OK, here it is. Short and dark, the intro exposition. I'll polish chapter two a bit, but you've got the idea. Have fun with this one guys! The challenge series and 'rules' such as they are, were posted to the groups on Sunday. Everyone can join, so have fun!
Dark Legend Chapter 1 (1/1)
X-Men AU � Dark Legend Universe
PAIRING: None this part.
ARCHIVING: Yes to the list archives and the challenge archive, other folks should ask first (I haven�t
said �no� yet).
FEEDBACK: Yes, please! Feeding writers increases productivity! Tarchannon@...
DISCLAIMER: None of the characters are mine � they belong to the people at Marvel. I�ll only use and
abuse them a bit � probably less than my muses did!
SERIES/SEQUEL: Yes, the Dark Universe. This is the introduction to the Dark Legend Challenge Series
SUMMARY: A plague visits the House of Xavier bringing death and dark changes.
NOTES: �_� contains spoken dialog, /_/ contains thoughts, *_* contains mental communication
* * *
Four Months Ago � Diary of Dr. Henry McCoy
Rogue was the first to become ill, and the virus had quickly spread through the students and staff. Strangely, I was completely unaffected, though I was exposed thousands of times. I understood even less when Rogue was the first to die, crimson flowing from alabaster skin, a thousand pinpricks shedding a thousand ruby tears.
I had to watch as my friends, my family, suddenly fell to the sickness. Almost simultaneously, they exhibited sniffling and sneezing. Later, I could do nothing but listen to their screams and watch as their bodies warped or their powers were twisted as they lay in their rooms.
The blood, oh, god, the blood!
I felt powerless as the others sickened and I could do nothing about it. It acted like Legacy Virus in many ways, but also like smallpox and Ebola. It was clear that the virus only affected mutants, as the non-mutants that were on staff were unaffected, and stayed to help the others the best they could while avoiding spreading the plague to their families. I was desperately afraid that Warren had contracted the plague before returning to New York for the week. The fact that I couldn�t call out by land or cell phone was a strong indicator that this was a deliberate attack.
As the children died, one after the other, I thought that this was the end of all of us. I could feel the darkness fall.
And then it happened. Most of my charges started to recover, emerging from the blood and the pain as something new. Something darker than before.
They were transformed, and I cannot help but think that it might have been better if they had died.
* * *
Two Weeks Ago � New Orleans
�Those fools!� Nathaniel Essex thundered.
The doctor�s immense frame shook in anger as he looked at the results of the simulation. The Legend Virus had been constructed by a real hack and had a 0.000000001% chance of changing host specificities from mutant to human. That wasn�t a large number in real terms, but considering that somewhere between a million and a billion viruses were generated upon every infection, the chance of it spreading to humans was very high. It was likely that after the disease had spread to five or ten thousand mutants, the virus would have mutated enough to cross over and bring a plague of unimagined proportion. There were almost a million mutants in the world.
Essex pounded his fist on the stainless steel counter, producing a bigger dent with each contact. �What are they trying to do?�
He sagged against the examining table behind him.
The virus spread like smallpox, in the air and on surfaces. It produces a runny nose and sneezing through the progression of the infection and the virus lives for long periods on surfaces. The Legacy Virus had been genetically designed and used as a mutant plague, and the Legend Virus had been hacked from it. Dr. Henry McCoy had developed an vaccinating anti-sera to the original virus, but by only after untold numbers of genetically valuable mutants had been killed. The new virus had been designed to circumvent the effects of the vaccine. The Legacy Virus had crossed into humans as well, but it had happened in rural China, and the government had virtually completely suppressed knowledge that 6.5 million humans had died. Not that that mattered, but the idiots had obviously not known about the inherent instability of the virus and failed to fix the problem. In fact, the simulation indicated that they made it worse. Ten to twelve independent outbreaks throughout the world would decimate incredible numbers of people and cause global breakdowns in political, social, and financial structure.
Beyond the sheer loss of the precious mutant genes, the disruption of his work could not be tolerated.
The problem was, these bioterrorists had started with the very place that housed the world�s expert on how to stop it � the Xavier Academy.
Essex crossed to a small console at the end of the lab and hit the intercom button. �Send LeBeau to me,� he commanded into the microphone, the very air shuddering with his fury.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]