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[META] CBFFA 2003: Fanfiction Hall of Fame and Conclusion

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  • mike_p_smith2002
    [PRESENTATION] The 2003 CBFFA s: Fanfiction Hall of Fame and Conclusion edited by Mike Smith send questions/comments/whatever to mike_p_smith@prodigy.net or
    Message 1 of 1 , May 29, 2003
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      [PRESENTATION] The 2003 CBFFA's: Fanfiction Hall of Fame and Conclusion
      edited by Mike Smith
      send questions/comments/whatever to mike_p_smith@...
      or head on over to the CBFFA Discussion Board at
      http://www.b2g4.com/boards/board.cgi?&user=cbffa

      Disclaimer: This narrative features numerous fictional characters
      which none of us own, unless stated otherwise. Our use of them is
      unauthorized, and no profit is being made on this by us. The stories
      referenced in this work are all copyright of their resepective authors.

      ***********************************************************************************************

      "RAAAARRRRGGHH!" bellowed the Incredible Hulk. "Stupid Awards almost
      over now! Hulk... Hulk wish stupid Awards could last longer, but puny
      humans in back tell Hulk to wrap things up! Building booked for Puny
      Shriners' Convention all weekend!"

      The Hulk sighed and seemed to be steeling himself for his last
      official act as the host. Perhaps his bestial nature was only a thin
      veneer covering the inner child in all of us. Like all children, the
      lesson "all good things must come to an end" was especially painful
      for him, in spite of his best efforts not to show it.

      Or maybe it was just that he knew as soon as he left, he'd be ambushed
      by the military, waiting patiently outside to take him into custody.
      "Final presenters," he grumbled, "are Pointy-Ears and Rope-Girl. Hulk
      like Pointy-Ears, even though he mean to Hulk sometimes. And
      Rope-Girl... Rope-Girl has shiny rope! Puny audience cheer now!"

      And they did.

      ***********************************
      The 2003 CBFFAs
      19. Fanfiction Hall of Fame
      Presentation written by: Mike Smith
      ***********************************

      They walked out together, her arm in his. She was smiling from ear to
      ear, swiveling her head to make eye contact with the crowd, waving
      with her free arm, all the right things for a seasoned public speaker
      to do when taking the spotlight.

      Her companion, on the other hand, seemed far less pleased to be there.
      He glared downward at the wooden planks that made up the stage,
      barely acknowledging the outside world, let alone the audience. The
      only part of his face that wasn't covered by the mask revealed a dour
      expression and five o'clock shadow that only confirmed that he didn't
      want to be doing this. And yet, as they approached the podium, his
      grip on her arm tightened, suggesting that he had no intention of
      being anywhere else.

      "Greetings!" the woman called out. "For those of you who may be
      unfamiliar with us, my name is Diana, commonly known as Wonder Woman
      in the media. With me, of course, is Captain America--"

      The man in black perked up at this, and looked at her with a cockeyed
      glance. "Don't make this more difficult than it already is," he
      muttered.

      "You're my escort for the evening," Wonder Woman replied with a
      mischevious grin. "I like my escorts focused on the event. In your
      case, I'll settle for conscious."

      "Hh."

      "In all seriousness," Wonder Woman continued, "Batman and I represent
      a goodwill envoy from the Justice League, and it is our honor to
      present this year's additions to the Fanfiction Hall of Fame. Each
      year, three stories are inducted into this esteemed collection of
      fiction. Tonight, three more titles will be included in the Hall,
      chosen by you, the voting populace, from among the field of nominees.
      Are you as excited as I am, Batman?"

      He took a deep breath and sighed. "At least," was his only answer.

      "Hera give me strength," Wonder Woman groaned. "Moving on then, the
      nominees the Fanfiction Hall of Fame are:"

      *******************************************************************************************

      "The Body Snatcher" by Alara Rogers

      *******************************************************************************************

      "You're waking up already? I'm impressed."

      The voice was strangely familiar. A man's voice, deep and resonant,
      with an American accent. He knew that voice. It was coming from right
      beside his ear, presumably from whoever he was leaning on. Magneto
      turned his head toward the sound-- moving slowly, as any sudden
      movement made it feel as if his head was about to fall off-- and
      cautiously opened his eyes again.

      And stared at his own doppelganger, silhouetted in red afternoon sunlight.

      Afternoon? It was early morning when I lost consciousness... For a
      moment he floundered in confusion. Could he have managed to mistake
      afternoon for morning? Without his power to tell him what direction
      they were traveling, he couldn't know that reddening sun was setting
      instead of rising... but no, he didn't feel as if he'd been
      unconscious through an entire night and toward a new morning. And the
      sun had been higher and brighter when... whatever had happened had
      occurred. Had the woman attacked him? It was the only possibility, but
      then what was the significance of the man who looked just like him?
      Shapechanger, perhaps?

      He felt a hand on his leg. It felt as if the hand was touching bare
      skin, though he 'd been wearing pants when he lost consciousness.
      "Well, I'm glad to see you waking up so promptly," the voice said, and
      now he knew where he'd heard it. It was exactly like his own, except
      that the speaker had an American accent and cadenced his words very
      differently than Magneto would have. Like a different person, speaking
      in his voice. Not a perfect doppelganger, then. "It hasn't been any
      real fun with you asleep."

      The hand moved up his leg, stroking it. The sensation was irritating
      and overfamiliar. Magneto looked down, and stared stupidly at what he
      was seeing for several seconds, unable to process it. The hand on his
      leg was grotesquely huge, even though it looked just like his own. No,
      it wasn't huge. It was just bigger than it should be against his leg.
      His leg was too small, too thin, and shaped wrong. And the wrong
      color. It was still white, but with a more sallow tinge to it than his
      own extremely pink flesh. And why was he able to look directly at the
      flesh of his leg, anyway? Where were his pants? Whatever shirt he was
      wearing, it was too light, too cool-feeling to be his shirt, and there
      was something constricting around his chest, and his socks and shoes
      were gone, replaced with wooden clogs and bare skin, and instead of
      pants he seemed to be wearing something blue that bunched up around
      his waist and upper thighs and left all the rest of his legs bare. And
      the hand lying limply beside his leg was far too small, and...

      He looked back up at the doppelganger. "Who... are you?" he forced
      out, past a dry and hoarse throat-- and froze in shock. The voice
      speaking those words was cadenced as his own was, did have his own
      accent-- but it wasn't his voice. It was a woman's.

      "Isn't it obvious?" the doppelganger said, and smiled broadly, an
      expression that would never have made its home on Magneto's face. "I'm
      the Master of Magnetism. And you... are nobody."

      Suddenly he knew what had happened. Painfully he looked down at the
      hands that probably belonged to him, focusing on trying to move them.
      They twitched, proving his theory. Delicate female hands; the strong
      masculine hand that should have been his and wasn't was still running
      up and down the leg that shouldn't have been his and was.

      "My... body..." he said hoarsely. "You... took..."

      "You are quick on the uptake," the other said. "Yes, I took your body.
      And a lovely body it is, too. Why, I can control almost every aspect
      of this car without even having to think about it hard. We ran out of
      gas two hours back, and it just doesn't matter."

      Car. Yes, that fit. The ride was too smooth, too quiet to be a train
      or plane. He was in a car, in the back seat, sitting next to the body
      snatcher, leaning on her in fact since he didn't seem to have the
      strength to support his own weight. It was a taxicab. He could see
      someone in the front seat, driving the car. But that didn't make
      sense; she had said she was controlling the car, with the powers she'd
      stolen from him when she took his body and left him in hers. Did she
      leave him in hers? That made sense; he hadn't been able to see what
      this body looked like very well, but the blue thing bunched around his
      waist could very well be the denim skirt the young woman on the street
      had worn. Of course, there were no guarantees that that had been her
      real body, either. She might be serially jumping from body to body,
      dumping her new victims into the bodies she'd just vacated.

      "Driver...?"

      "Oh, you're concerned for the driver? Don't be. He's quite beyond your
      concern." She smiled cruelly at him. "If I were you, I'd be more
      worried about what I'm going to do to you."

      ***********************************************************************************************

      "Climb the Wind" by Minisinoo

      ***********************************************************************************************

      Switching on a light by our bed, I found the room exactly like we'd
      left it down to the unmade sheets she'd dragged me out of to shower
      and get ready to go that morning. A Saturday morning, normally my day
      to sleep in. I'd been grumpy. Jean had left her clothes on my desk
      chair, which annoys me. I'd left my pajamas on the floor by my side
      of the bed, which annoys her.

      Annoyed her. God, when do you stop using present tense? At least I
      didn't do it aloud. Much.

      Now, picking up her black sweater off my chair, I collapsed backward
      onto the bed and laid it over my face, crushed it to my skin. The
      scent of her made me dizzy, made my whole body ache, my groin most of
      all, a sudden hot focus for pain. I crawled further up the sheets and
      wrapped myself around her pillow, refused to give in to the physical
      need, refused to hump the goddamn bed like a sixteen-year-old.
      Control, control. I'd forgotten my body could flex itself for reasons
      beyond the prevention of morning bedwetting. Maybe I shouldn't be
      surprised -- I was young, I was nominally healthy again, I was in my
      own room surrounded by the scent of Jean, and I hadn't had sex in too
      long. Rape didn't count as sex.

      I shouldn't be feeling this, even if I was thinking of her. She was
      dead. I'd never hold her again. I'd never make her gasp and hiss my
      name. I'd never feel her buck against me convulsively when she came.
      I shouldn't want like this; she was dead and what was wrong with me
      that I could want like this? Obscene, obscene. I was sick. They'd
      hurt me, they'd fucked me, and I was sick, messed up in the head.
      Messed up in my soul.

      I found I was humping the bed anyway, slow like I was fighting myself.
      I slipped a hand under the waistband of my sweatpants, down between
      my legs to grip myself, press into my palm, brought myself right up to
      that edge which drops off beyond thought and breath -- but I didn't
      let myself go over, took my hand away and waited for the body rush to
      cool. Then I did it again, and again, until my pelvis ached, my body
      strained, and my penis was hard and numb. Punishment for desire,
      rough and no release. Maybe my body would be pushed past saturation,
      give up and be as dead as the rest of me.

      It failed. I got up finally and went into the bathroom, turned the
      shower knob to cold, peeled off my shoes and clothes and got in to
      stand under the water until everything was shriveled and I shook, my
      skin livid pale and the only heat coming from tears, washed away as
      soon as my eyes released them, washed away like all trace of her.
      Nothing left.

      God, nothing left. I sank down until I was kneeling on the floor of
      the shower, freezing water pouring over me, running too-long hair into
      my face and tickling my cheeks. I needed a haircut.

      What a goddamn stupid thing to think right now.

      Everything that had been done to me . . . . I could have survived it
      if I'd just had Jean. But if I didn't, why bother? And for whom?
      The students? Xavier? The Dream?

      Fuck the dream.

      *********************************************************************************************

      "Future Pluperfect" by Domenika Marzione

      *********************************************************************************************

      "What the fu..." Alex Summers' hands were glowing brightly by the time
      he saw who had suddenly appeared in his living room. He had been on
      his way into the kitchen when the space in front of the couch had
      started to shimmer with blue light.

      "Afternoon," Cannonball greeted Havok, trying to cover up his own
      embarrassment for arriving unannounced by sounding casual.

      Alex took deep breaths, willing his heart to stop hammering in his
      chest. Now that the flight-or-fight instinct had been triggered and
      the correct answer was 'neither', it was hard to make the endorphins
      go away. "Nathan," he finally began. "While I am pleased and flattered
      that you have finally come to visit your dotty Uncle Alex, haven't
      your parents discussed with you the necessity for telekinetics to
      knock and ring doorbells like everyone else?"

      "You always said I could drop by any time," Cable replied as he turned
      around to face his uncle.

      "So I did. And you brought friends," Alex sighed, partly at the
      futility of this line of discussion and partly because of what was in
      his nephew's arms. "Not all of them conscious," he added, noting the
      young woman being cradled. Not someone he recognized - Scott would
      have said something about a new teammate - and, judging by what little
      of her outfit he could see, not a local.

      "What defect in Askani training makes all of you determined to the
      point of diminished returns?" Domino griped irritatedly, still
      discombobulated from the teleportation. Not as bad as Nate's body
      sliding, but still...

      "Teleporting four across the continent proved a bit much," Cable said
      tersely, although he privately suspected some aftereffects of the
      sedatives they had pumped her full of. Mirrin had always reacted
      strongly to medications. "She's just tired."

      "The couch isn't very comfortable for sleeping," Alex warned as Cable
      started to lay the sleeping girl down. "Take her to my bedroom. Good
      thing I did laundry today."

      He pointed in the proper direction and Cable nodded and headed off.
      While he was gone, the other three sat down on the couch. Cannonball
      tried to explain who Mirrin was. Alex was less surprised than amused,
      especially after Domino indicated that the woman had been working
      through Gambit.

      "I got a message from Scott, he sounded worried," he was saying as
      Cable returned sans Mirrin.

      "Your nephew's brought back more trouble from the future," Domino
      explained, shrugging to indicate that this was neither novel nor news
      and ignoring the dirty look she was getting from the nephew in
      question. "This time, they're looking for energy sources."

      "And I'm a battery waiting to happen," Alex finished bitterly, cursing
      genetics for the millionth time. He slapped his knees and stood up.
      "Well, I suppose I should call big brother back and tell him that I've
      been found in one piece."

      "Ah'm afraid you'll be too late ta reach him, sir," Cannonball said.

      "Blackbird'll be arriving in a while," Cable elaborated. "Just as
      well. Mirrin's going to be in no shape to 'port us all back. I suppose
      we should call Jean, though." He got up and headed towards the phone
      he knew was in the kitchen.

      Alex sat down heavily. "Do I really want to know what's going on, or
      can I just play dumb?"

      "It's some kinda cyborg army," Cannonball ventured, not quite sure
      whether Alex really wanted to play dumb or not. "They've been behind
      the massacres..."

      Alex nodded slowly. "Figures. Well, I suppose I should go pack a bag
      or something. Would anyone like a drink? Something to eat?"

      ***********************************************************************************************

      "Ghosts of the Past" by Morgana

      ***********************************************************************************************

      "Wanna talk?" Logan suggested, as he sat on his heels next to his
      teammate. "I'm a good listener."

      "Merci, Logan." Remy finally allowed himself to make eye contact with
      the other man. It had been days since he'd spoken to another living
      soul. But that conversation had only caused him more pain. "Rogue
      ended our liaison. I'm a free man 'gain," he whispered in the end.
      Logan nodded his head. He'd gathered that much. "I'm sorry, kid."

      "Don'," Remy mumbled and pulled the coat closer to his body. "I've
      been lyin' to myself for too long." He wondered why he was confiding
      in Logan. Why wasn't the man making an excuse to walk away from this
      conversation?

      But Logan's company felt good. He needed people close, needed the
      contact and for the last few days he'd lived like a hermit. Logan
      seemed genuinely concerned and feeling that sensation was all he
      craved. A little human contact... "I don' know if she ever loved me,
      mon ami," he continued, "mais she tried to make it work."

      Logan bit his lip, trying hard not to object. "What are ya gonna do now?"

      "Am 'lone 'gain," Remy sighed. "Ain't much I can do."

      Logan looked up and noticed the thunderclouds that were gathering over
      their heads. Soon the storm would hit Westchester. "I'll walk ya to
      the boathouse," Logan decided.

      Remy's smile grew warmer. "Merci cher, mais I can get back on my own."
      Logan's concern flowed into his mind and he clung to its warmth. He
      didn't want to be alone, but Logan shouldn't get involved in this. The
      others would only shun him for hanging out with the traitor.

      "Are ya sure?" Logan studied the Cajun's face and didn't like what he
      saw. Big dark circles disfigured the burning eyes. It worried him that
      Remy had lost a lot of weight. "Are ya still eatin' right?"

      Remy chuckled. "When I'm hungry, oui." Conveniently, he forgot to
      mention that he hadn't eaten for days. Slowly he pulled the coat off
      his shoulders and handed it back to Logan.
      But Logan declined. "Ya keep it."

      Indecisively, Remy looked into Logan's eyes. To his astonishment the
      blue orbs revealed affection. Logan was truly worried about his
      well-being! "It's good to know you care." The words slipped from his
      lips and angry with himself, he returned to stare at the lake. Heavy
      raindrops shattered the surface. He successfully fought the urge to
      reach out and touch Logan's skin.

      ***********************************************************************************************

      "God... er, Dog" by Mice

      ***********************************************************************************************

      "Billie, I have to thank you for this!"

      "Oh, thank me nothing! It's my pleasure."

      "I ... I just never knew such a show existed!"

      "Well, I know it's not the greatest show, but Diego is enough to make
      me want to learn Spanish, fake accent or not!"

      Nan grunted. "Jacqueline never lets me watch shows like these."

      Jubilee sat next to Nan on her bed. "Hey, Mrs. Bass, why do you call
      her Jacqueline?"

      Nan looked around. "Well, Billie, I'll tell you a secret that I'm sure
      you'll believe, but you have to promise never to tell anyone..."

      Jubilee leaned in. "I promise."

      "All right then." Nan drew closer to Jubilee. "Her name is stupid."

      "I'll buy that."

      Nana relaxed. "The girl is named after a country that doesn't even
      have that name anymore! If that's not a sign that it's a stupid name..."

      Jubilee nodded. "So, you just gave her a new name?"

      Nan nodded back. "I can be proud of a Jacqueline, I can only laugh at
      a Holland."

      Jubilee grinned. "So, what do you call Gilberto?"

      "The boy's name is Albert, though I do like the name Bert ... that's
      what Robert has been calling him."

      "And you call me Billie, because...?" Nan smiled.

      "To be frank, I think your parents were smoking the pot when they
      thought of the name 'Jubilee'."

      "Actually, it's Jubilation. My last name is Lee ... it's kind of a
      nickname."

      Nan sniffed. "Pot takers."

      Jubilee raised her arms in defense. "Hey, I'm not saying that the name
      isn't stupid ... I like the nickname, though."

      Nan reached over and took Jubilee's hand. "Then think of Billie as
      another nick name."

      Jubilee grinned. "I--"

      Nan raised a hand to Jubilee's mouth. "Did you hear that, Billie?"

      ***********************************************************************************************

      "In the Eye of the Storm" by Wolverine6Claws

      ***********************************************************************************************

      Henry is worried, and rightfully so, that if Logan does not begin to
      deal with what happened it will destroy him.

      He refuses to speak of the events that took place during his
      internment at the Weapon X facility, but we all have a pretty good
      idea of the type of treatment he received there. When asked about it,
      he responds with such anger it hurts us to watch. He remembers it this
      time, I am sure of it. If he didn't, I am sure he would not be this angry.

      Not only is he angry, I fear, but also... ashamed. Of what, though?

      Having been captured again and forced to face that nightmare all over
      again? For being feral when we found him, thinking all this time that
      he had his animal under control? For the conditions he had been forced
      to live in?

      I am certain he would not have chosen to be left in the quarters in
      which we found him.

      I suppose 'quarters' would not be an appropriate term. 'Containment
      cell' would be the more valid descriptive.

      [Details to Remember: cold, damp cement cell ... under ground -
      illuminated only by light in corridor when door was opened ... naked,
      beaten, starved and drugged ... chained, hands and feet, at odd angles
      and limited reach ... collared (power suppressant) and tethered to
      wall ... each tether was 18" in length, anchored 24" from floor (for
      neck and hands) and directly behind him, at floor level, to limit foot
      range. In essence, he was forced to remain in a crouched position,
      unable to bend elbows more than an inch or so, and unable to stand or
      lie down.----For how long???

      Torture was obvious, physical and psychological abuse evident.]

      Having studied human psychology and sociology under Professor Xavier's
      tutelage, I am familiar with his present behavior, which is common
      among victims who are lead to believe that whatever they had endured
      was by no one's fault but their own.

      ***********************************************************************************************

      "Losing You to Those Before" by Court

      ***********************************************************************************************

      Hank sighed, this was the beginning of the many things he had to cover
      with Logan. He cringed at the mistreatment the young man went through,
      he was surprised the boy was sane at all. The worry heavily weighed on
      his mind about the permanent trauma this will all cause. He did not
      envy Logan now, this would definitely take its toll on their
      relationship. He walked a small distance and collected a chair,
      pulling it across from Logan's. "That is one of three major things I
      need to talk to you about."

      "Three?" Logan questioned with concern.

      Hank nodded. "He has several other injuries. Cuts, bruises, and a few
      fractured bones, but they will all heal with no permanent damage. He
      is also extremely malnourished, I am afraid to assume that he has had
      next to nothing, if anything, to eat since he has been captive. There
      are marks from IVs, so I am assuming the only nourishment he received
      was intravenously. I do have him on IV for fluids, but I want him to
      begin eating solid foods as soon as possible. But that is the least of
      our problems." He pushed his glasses onto the top of his head. "There
      are three injuries I am very concerned about. The first is that
      bandaged arm." He stood and walked closer to the bed. "May I?" He
      asked while gesturing to take the hand Logan was holding. Logan nodded
      and stood to get a better look at what he was about to be shown. Hank
      unwrapped the arm and uncovered a huge gash running along the
      underside of Remy's wrist and arm. Logan gasped at the grotesque
      slash. "The angle of the cut would suggest he did this himself. The
      wound was very infected and I had to reopen and drain it. It looks
      like it has been reopened once before, but not properly, as if Remy or
      someone else had ripped out the stitches. I do not believe there will
      be any permanent physical damage, other then a nasty scar, but if he
      did do this to himself there are mental aspects that will need to be
      discussed." Hank began to wrap the wound again as Logan sat back down.

      Logan covered his eyes with his large hands, rubbing his temples. "He
      must have been desperate Hank. Remy is a fighter until the end, he
      wouldn't have done this if he believed for a second he could survive."
      Logan took in a deep breath, trying to hold back tears that threatened
      to come. "Please Hank, tell me this is the worst of the three." He saw
      Hank wince and sit down again, he knew then this was the least of the
      problems. He released a strong breath and sat up in his seat,
      straightening his shoulders. He had to be strong now, for Remy.

      Hank could see Logan was prepared to discuss the next injury, but he
      wasn't sure if he was. He dropped his hand into the pocket of his lab
      coat casually, acting as if he was just fidgeting with things. Truly
      he was holding a syringe of a strong tranquilizer, prepared to use it
      on Logan if he had to. He was not sure how Logan would react to the
      next line of the conversation, even though it was in the back of
      everyone's mind as a possibility. "I did a full examination of
      Remy...There was bruising and tearing that are consistent with rape."
      He looked up at Logan from the floor he didn't realize he had drifted
      his sight to. "I am very sorry Logan."

      Logan sat there in his chair trembling in rage. Every instinct was
      screaming for him to hunt that monster down again and make sure he
      finished the job he started. But in the back of his mind he remembered
      he didn't want to hurt Remy, he never would do anything to cause his
      lover pain. He knew leaving him now would hurt Remy more then
      anything. He sat there for many long moments trying to calm the rage,
      to be stronger then the beast within him. After his mind finally
      settled and began to think rationally again he realized that was only
      two of three major injuries. What could possibly be worse then this?
      Christ don't let him be going in some sick order. He closed his eyes
      and asked the question he was not sure he wanted to hear the answer
      to. "What's the third?"

      Hank breathed a sigh of relief, thankful he didn't have to restrain
      Logan. Now he just had to explain that Logan may lose Remy again. He
      was not sure how to tell Logan about what he had found, so he decided
      to be blunt. "Logan, this one I don't know how to explain. I did blood
      work on Remy and found a strange virus in his system. I don't know
      what it is, or how to cure it."

      "A virus? What do ya mean ya can't cure it? What the hell are ya
      telling me Hank?" Logan shot out of his chair and grabbed Hank by the
      collar of his lab coat, shaking him violently. "I'm not going to lose
      him again Hank, you hear me! You will cure him! He can't die on me
      again! He can't you hear me Hank!" Logan let go of Hank and sunk to
      his knees, sobbing. "I can't lose him Hank, not again, it's not fair."
      The once unbreakable Wolverine looked up at Hank with eyes full of
      tears, pleading, begging, for the life of the only thing that he ever
      held dear. "Please tell me ya can cure him, please."

      Hank knelt down and helped his long time friend up and back into his
      chair. He took Logan's hand and placed it on top of Remy's, knowing
      that would hold more support for the broken man then anything he could
      give. He sat back in his chair, satisfied as Logan began rubbing
      Remy's knuckled once again. "Logan, I am going to do everything I can
      to save him, I promise. The virus is nothing I have seen before. The
      little testing I have done proves it only reacts to Remy's bloodline.
      It cannot effect you or me, but anyone of Remy's immediate family
      would automatically be affected, theoretically, I have no one to prove
      this with. I believe Sinister has created this virus to remove certain
      families from the gene pool. This would fit in with his quest to
      cleanse mutantkind of weak genes. Why he used Remy to experiment with
      I do not know. I am hoping that when Remy wakes up he may have some
      information on the virus that will be helpful in my research."

      "How much time do we have?"

      "I am not sure Logan. The virus seems to only be effecting him like
      the flu. It is causing a fever, weakness and fatigue. That may also be
      symptoms of the malnutrition, infection, and blood loss. I am eager to
      put him on an IV for blood but it worries me that he refused it. Until
      I have his permission and know why he doesn't want it, I cannot do
      it." Hank reached over and put his hand on Logan's shoulder. "We will
      figure this out. As you said before, Remy is a fighter." He gave Logan
      a slight smile and squeezed his shoulder lightly. "I am going to go
      start working on this virus, you are welcome to sleep on the second
      bed here if you like."

      "Thanks Hank, and I'm sorry about earlier, losing it and all." Logan
      never looked up from the hand he held, ashamed of his behavior.

      "No need to apologize Logan, you just proved to me that you are still
      human. Now rest, you need it." Hank turned and left for his research
      lab that adjoined the medical room. He turned quickly when he hurt a
      scrapping noise behind him to see Logan pushing the extra bed up to
      Remy's. Logan gave him a challenging look, almost asking him to
      disapprove. Hank just smiled. "Make sure you watch out for the IV's."

      "Not a problem, I'll be careful." Logan pulled off his boots and laid
      down on the bed that was now pushed against his lover's. He laid down
      on his side facing Remy, winding his fingers into the young man's,
      careful not to hit the bandaged arm. "Everything is going to fine
      Darlin'. Hank will figure it all out."

      ***********************************************************************************************

      "Next Best Thing" by Jim Smith

      ***********************************************************************************************

      Sabretooth sprinted towards her like a Kodiak bear, arms outstretched to
      strike. She immediately flung herself to the ground and attempted a
      drop toe-hold, but he wasn't about to be surprised twice. As she
      wrapped her legs around the Maruader's left shin to trip him, he shifted
      onto his right leg and steadied himself. For a moment he towered above
      her, and then lunged down to grab her throat. Even with the thick metal
      gorget of Songbird's sonic carapace surrounding her neck, his hand was
      large enough to grip her tightly and hoist her eight inches off the
      ground.

      Defiant to the end, she strained to get free, swinging her legs in a
      futile attempt to kick Sabretooth in the solar plexus. "Might as well
      throw in the towel, babe," he gloated. "You put up a pretty li'l fight,
      but it'll go easier if you don't struggle."

      She spat in his face.

      "Ain't very ladylike, 'Birdie," he smiled wickedly, "but you probably
      guessed I ain't much of a gentleman." He slammed her down to the ground
      in an effortless motion, never loosening his grip. With his knee
      pressing into her chest, he lowered his head until their faces were only
      inches apart. "I'm gonna do you slow, sweetness. I wanna hear you
      scream..."

      She did so, the sound of her cry pouring into her carapace instead of
      Sabretooth's ears. He blinked at her in confused silence, and then
      realized that the apparatus on her shoulders was aglow with energy.
      Immediately he began to react--to kill her before she could attack--but
      even his superhuman reflexes were slower than the speed of sound. Sonic
      energy burst forth from the carapace, pushing Sabretooth away before
      wrapping around his throat in the form of a vice. The scream was
      crushing his trachea, cutting off the blood flow to his brain, pinching
      his spine. Only his mutant healing factor prevented him from passing out.

      And then Songbird began to laugh...

      ***********************************************************************************************

      "The Sum of Zero" by Dex

      ***********************************************************************************************

      On top of the refrigerator there was an old alarm clock in a bright
      yellow plastic case. The only other furniture in the room was a pair
      of wooden, straight-backed chairs and a square table covered with a
      drooping sheet of dark blue oilcloth. On the oilcloth there was the
      naked body of a young man in his midtwenties.

      In life, he'd been taller than the table is long. His head hung down
      over the near edge of the table while his legs hung over the far side.
      His mouth and eyes were open. Blood had settled into the face, turning
      it a mottled blue and bulging the eyes. The tongue, fallen back
      against the hard palate, was almost black. The bulging eyes were
      brown. He was fair skinned, and had light, corn-silk blond hair, cut long.

      "Interesting, don't you think?" said Sharpe, speaking to Caulder.
      There was no introductions or greetings. Piper would have briefed both
      of the doctors on the identities of the two FBI agents prior to their
      arrival.

      "No visible cause of death, but we haven't moved the body yet, so it's
      likely he's got another of those things wedged into his spine." said
      the Doc. "Never seen anything like it, John. Lillian showed me the
      little bastard. Just unreal." The Doc was almost on his fortieth year
      on the force, most of it in Pathology. It was said that anything that
      could be done to a human body had been seen by the Doc, and that he
      could identify a supervillian based on his victims. Something new was
      a rarity indeed.

      "Only real question is why didn't he mark this one." Sharpe said.
      Caulder looked at her.

      "What?"

      "No brand. In fact, other then the blade, this body is totally unmarked."

      Scott leaned down. The positioning of the limbs was strange. The left
      arm lay splayed out at a forty-five degree angle relative to the
      torso, while the right arm had been brought over the hairless chest to
      lay parallel to the shoulders. He felt something bothering him,
      tugging at his tactical sense. Ignoring the feeling for a moment,
      Scott slipped on a pair of gloves and gently lifted the hands,
      checking the palms.

      "Detective, look at this."

      "What is that, Agent Summers?"

      "His arms. Odd to have fallen that way naturally, isn't it?"

      "You're right." Caulder said, looking over the body again. He let his
      eyes drift around the room, taking in the sight again. Something here
      was not in place. His gaze stopped on the cheap alarm clock over the
      fridge. He walked over to it, and peered at it. It had been unplugged,
      the time stopped at 3:25. Caulder went back to the table, and looked
      at the body. The limbs matched the position of the clock.

      "Our murderer was likely a Boy Scout." Caulder finally said. The
      shocked looks of the others met his pronouncement. John pointed to the
      body, and then up to the clock. "Semaphore signals. This one meaning 'X'."

      "Good work, John. But why go to such outrageously complex means to
      display it? The body position could have been changed before someone
      noticed, and the symbol never discovered."

      "No, it wouldn't have. Only someone looking for it would have found
      it. Meaning that he knows we're on to him." Emma said, arms in her
      pockets. "This is a message to us. A challenge."

      **********************************************************************************************

      As the clips finished rolling, a grim smile crossed the Batman's lips.

      "You see, I knew it," Wonder Woman cheered. "Even you can't resist
      the lure of quality prose, can you?"

      He straighted his posture a little, trying to repress what little
      emotion he had just revealed. "I think you had one last piece of
      business to attend to?" he asked.

      "Of course. Without further ado," she announced, raising the envelope
      in her hands, "the winners are..."

      "Here," Batman offered, producing a small knife with a scalloped blade
      from his utility belt.

      "My, my, such a gentleman," she quipped, taking the blade and ripping
      into the paper with a practiced motion. "And the winners are...
      'Climb the Wind,' by Minisinoo; 'The Sum of Zero,' by Dex, and 'The
      Body Snatcher,' by Alara Rogers!"

      "Congratulations," Batman added. And then he backed away from the
      microphone and wrapped himself in the folds of his dark cape.

      "So now that we've finished," Diana mused, "what did you have planned
      for the rest of the night, Batman?"

      "You'd just have to find out for yourself," he answered cryptically.
      One of his powerful arms lanced out from within his cape, and he fired
      a grappling hook into the rafters of the building. Before he leaped
      into the air to swing away, he added, "If you can keep up..."

      She crossed her arms and smiled at his departure. "Well, I really
      shouldn't pass up a challenge like that, now should I, ladies and
      gentlemen? For everyone involved with the CBFFA's, good night!"


      [THE END]
      ***************************************

      Afterward: I'd just like to extend special thanks to everyone who
      helped make this year's Awards happen. Heading up the CBFFA's has
      been both an honor and and education, and the thought of trying to
      handle the entire thing on my own makes me feel an emotion not unlike
      spine-chilling dread. One way or another, the following people did
      their part to make it more like a spine-chilling fun thing, which is
      as it should be...

      Matt Nute, for putting together the CBFFA discussion board, which not
      only made my ruthless grab at power possible, but also provided me an
      invaluable tool for handling the 2003 Awards the way the people wanted
      to see them done.

      Alara Rogers, who assembled and hosted the ballots, and went out of
      her way to make this year's proceedings as top-notch as she could make
      them. If anyone else wants to try their hand at this some day,
      Suggestion #1 is "Find Alara". She makes this look easy.

      nWo Male Model of the Year, Jim Smith, who wrote the official rules
      for this year, and helped me figure out all the rough spots on the way
      to today. As I lay dying in the Scramble City repair bay, ready to
      pass on the Matrix of Leadership, Jim was there to point out that I
      wasn't really that badly hurt, and so I got up and went back to work.
      Also, Jim wrote the Macho Man into this awards show, thus fufilling a
      lifelong dream of ours to take the reins of the CBFFAs, and cram lots
      of professional wrestlers and Superfriends into the awards show.

      Brucha Meyers, official vote-counter extraordinaire. I tried to count
      them myself, just to get a rough idea who was winning, so I speak with
      firsthand knowledge that counting ballots is a genuine pain in the
      ass. But Brucha did it better, and faster, and she didn't complain
      about it like I do, and for that I'm grateful.

      The entire presentation show staff, whose names I have written here on
      this crib note that I had been crossing off as each of them turned in
      their segments. Cherry Ice, Minisinoo, Doqz, Rossi, Lyssie, Dex,
      Saille, Alara (remember, "Find Alara"), Indiana J, Andraste,
      Archetype, and those other two dolts who wrote pro-wrestlers and
      Superfriends into the show for giggles. If it needs to be said, you
      guys did great, and you did it nice and fast like I'd hoped for.
      Extra credit to Andraste, for making my fic sound really high-class by
      having 19th century literary figures talk it up. I want the League of
      Extraordinary Gentlemen back every year.

      And even though they had to back out due to other committments, thanks
      to Frito and Trisha Lynn, anyway, just for agreeing to take part in
      this little project. I'm sure if things had worked out differently, I
      would have gotten some stellar material from both of you. As it is,
      no biggie.

      And thanks to all the authors and the people who voted for them.
      Something like 160 people voted in the CBFFA's this year (I forget the
      exact number, which goes to show how crucial Brucha was), and without
      your support, none of this would mean a damn dirty thing. Not
      everyone appreciates the concept of a fanfiction award decided by
      popular vote, but _you_ do, and that's why this has become a five-year
      tradition. As long as you guys keep writing the fic and supporting
      it, the CBFFA's will go right along with you.

      And there you have it. I think I'm gonna go to bed now. The 2003
      CBFFAs, everybody. Woo!

      --Mike Smith
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