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FIC: X-Book 1: New Allies New Enemies - PG-13 - Chpt 4

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  • Kathleen
    X-Book 1: New Allies New Enemies - Chapter 4 - Classroom Conversations Rating: PG-13 By: Kath713/Leen713 Summary: (See Prologue of Book 1) Disclaimer: I own
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 29, 2003
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      X-Book 1: New Allies New Enemies - Chapter 4 - Classroom
      Conversations

      Rating: PG-13

      By: Kath713/Leen713

      Summary: (See Prologue of Book 1)

      Disclaimer: I own nothing associated with characters from the Marvel
      universe or any previously published work.

      ***

      Chapter Four:

      "Thank you all for your attention," Professor Xavier said
      with a warm smile, "I hope this wasn't too boring for
      anyoneÂ…"

      In a small classroom on the second floor of the mansion, Xavier sat
      at the head of a loose circle of students as their lesson drew to a
      close. He glanced at each one and felt quietly satisfied by their
      rapt expressions.

      A sprinkle of laughter ran through his small literature class.

      Xavier did not need to read their minds to know he had their full
      attention.

      They were reading "Gates of Fire," about the battle of
      Thermopylae, and Xavier was fairly sure no one could call the battle
      of three hundred Spartans versus a hundred thousand Persians a dull
      lesson.

      "Does any one have any questions before we adjourn?" he asked his
      students. Aside from the epic war story, Xavier hoped they would
      understand the message he was trying to draw from the text.

      With a curious frown, Tracy Roarke raised her hand. She was a fiery
      redhead and spoke with a slightly Irish brogue.

      "Do you think they knew, Professor?" she asked, "I mean,
      didn't the Spartans realize they couldn't win the battle?"

      Xavier nodded thoughtfully, "That's an interesting question,
      Tracy. The Spartans, after all, were exceedingly well-trained
      soldiers. Many had been enlisted in their army since they were
      children. And, I think even the most novice strategist would know
      that the odds of three hundred against one hundred thousand were not
      exactly favorable."

      "But..." Tracy continued, "That means they knew they were
      going to die."

      "That's true," the Professor agreed, "So why do you think
      they stayed to fight?"

      "So that the other Greek people could escape Athens," Peter
      Rasputin answered, "Because it was the honorable thing to do."

      He was by far the tallest student in the class, and he spoke in a
      quiet Russian accent, though his deep voice made him sound much more
      commanding.

      Tracy rolled her eyes, "And it wasn't because they were so
      arrogant that they didn't think they would lose?"

      "There's a difference between being arrogant and being
      brave," Peter argued, "Someone who is just arrogant
      wouldn't be willing to die for others."

      "I'm saying..." Tracy continued, raising her voice
      slightly, "What if they didn't think they were going to die?
      You
      know, because they were so good at fighting wars."

      Xavier gave the debaters a pleased smile as they argued, though he
      monitored them carefully. He had seen such arguments between the
      pair get out of hand in the classroom.

      Peter was quiet but firm in his opinions and Tracy, more than any of
      the other students, enjoyed a good argument, but had some difficulty
      keeping her temper in check. She had earned her nickname
      `Siryn' and a shouting match with her was something most
      others tried to avoid. The Professor hoped to get through one
      semester without needing the classroom windows replaced.

      "That would've been foolish," Peter said,
      "There's no way they
      would've thought they would win. They just wanted to let their
      families escape."

      "And they were arrogant enough to think they could fight off the
      Persians for long enough to get everyone out of the whole city,"
      Siryn shot back. Her voice was getting louder on every word and the
      other students were glancing at the Professor nervously.

      "The Spartans were confident and brave, not arrogant," Peter
      said, regarding Siryn calmly. Xavier knew the fact that she could
      not get the older boy to lose his cool only instigated her.

      "Maybe it was both," another voice added suddenly, breaking
      the tension between the other two. Jamie Madrox froze when all eyes
      fell on him, and took a deep breath before continuing. Jamie was
      typically open and friendly to everyone, always willing to talk
      someone's ear off if they let him, but he hated being the center
      of attention.

      "Maybe they were arrogant," he said, after a moment, "But
      I think they needed to be. I mean, if I was looking down that hill
      at a hundred thousand soldiers ready to kill me, I think I would
      want to be cocky instead of scared shi...scared out of my mind."

      The Professor nodded to Jamie, grateful that another student was
      willing to give their opinion on the matter, even though Siryn was
      throwing him angry glances.

      "That's an excellent point, Jamie," Xavier said,
      "They may have been arrogant in order to be noble in the face of
      great peril. They had a duty to their people and despite the
      inevitable end that awaited them they..."

      "They sacrificed themselves," Jubilation Lee interrupted
      quietly, "They gave their lives to save others."

      The other students glanced over to her, some shifting
      uncomfortably. Jubilee was sitting with her arms folded on the
      desk, her normally bubbly personality dampened by their conversation.

      Xavier kept his expression even, though inwardly he sympathized with
      Jubilee. She had been the only student in this class who had been
      with the X-Men at Alkalai Lake, and he knew the message of the book
      made the most sense to her.

      "Sometimes that's what needs to be done, right,
      Professor?" she
      said, looking up at him sadly.

      Xavier sighed. He had been asking himself that for eight months,
      and did not have an answer.

      "In times of great crisis," he said, "There is always the
      chance for acts of great bravery. Call it confidence or arrogance,
      the Spartans had enough faith in their own abilities to know they
      would be able to hold off the Persian invaders. And, even though
      they may not be the victors of that battle, their victory lie in the
      fact that they would have saved thousands of their own people. But,
      typically, people do not come face to face with that extreme
      circumstance. It is in your day to day life where you also need
      that distinction. By both understanding your strengths, and
      recognizing your weaknesses, you are able to balance and control
      your own life."

      The classroom was silent, both thoughtful and sad. Xavier remained
      composed, but inwardly empathized with all of them. Despite all his
      skill as a teacher and mentor, he knew that the students themselves
      would need to work through this crisis and their losses in their own
      way.

      After a moment, a voice broke the silence.

      "But that means we each have the chance to do great things
      too," Kitty Pryde said with a small smile, glancing brightly
      around at her friends, "That means we each have the chance to help
      people, make the world better...in our own way."

      The room seemed to relax, and Xavier smiled appreciatively.

      Everyone still seemed very somber, until Siryn sighed audibly and
      folded her arms dramatically.

      "Ay," she agreed, "Frankly, I think the world will be
      better as soon as certain people realize I'm always right."

      Siryn glanced over at Peter with a wicked grin, and he rolled his
      eyes and laughed. Jamie looked very relieved as the tension left
      the room, and Kitty nudged Jubilee until she smiled.

      "Well," the Professor said, "Perhaps we'll test that
      theory next time. Right now, it's time for lunch."

      The students rose from their seats and prepared to leave. Jamie ran
      up next to Peter as they left the classroom and grinned.

      "Too bad the Spartans didn't have someone around with your
      powers," He said, glancing up slightly to see the taller boy, who
      just laughed and shook his head. On the cover of Peter's
      notebook was a very intricate drawing of a Spartan helmet. Peter
      was also known as Colossus and was able to make his skin impervious
      at will.

      Siryn walked up to Jamie quickly, not quiet ready to forgive her for
      interrupting her debate.

      "I think they would've been better off with you, Jamie
      m'boy," she said loudly. She gave him a friendly clap on the
      back, which caused him to stumble as he entered the hall.

      Jamie yelped in surprise, and fell to the floor. The other students
      leapt away from him as he split into several identical copies.
      Siryn put her hands on her hips and chuckled as five angry Jamies
      glared up at her.

      "Hey!" the Jamies shouted in annoyance, before standing in
      unison and gathering up his books. Each copy rubbed one temple, as
      sudden splitting cause Jamie to have a headache, which fortunately
      was also divided across his separate selves.

      "They would'a had more soldiers that way!" she could not
      help but
      add.

      "That!"

      "Was!"

      "Not!"

      "Funny!"

      "Tracy!"

      Each Jamie spoke in turn and Siryn giggled. She held up her hands
      in truce and hooked elbows with two of the copies.

      "Oh, relax, or you'll never pull yourself together," she
      said, "Come on, boyos! Let's go get some lunch!"

      Each Jamie seemed to perk up at this idea and they followed her
      happily towards the kitchen.



      Scott was heading towards them down the hall and smiled courteously
      as one Siryn and five Jamies passed. As they moved away, his face
      darkened again and he headed toward the Professor's classroom,
      any facade of amusement fading away. He hated to see the students
      using their powers to recklessly.

      "Come in, Scott," Xavier called as he neared the doorway.
      Scott entered and stood quietly until the Professor turned around.
      Xavier gave him a welcoming smile, and motioned for Scott to sit.

      "I have the latest data for you from Cerebro," he said
      curtly, "There are several candidates I think we should
      consider."

      "Alright," the Professor said, taking the files from Scott,
      "I'll review them after the end of classes today."

      Scott nodded, "Bobby said the new system is working much faster
      now. We should have all the data from Cerebro in the computer by
      tomorrow."

      "Very good," the Professor replied, "I'm glad to see
      Bobby's learning the systems so quickly."

      "I'm going to have him in the Danger Room for this
      afternoon's
      demonstration," Scott said, "I hope he'll help teach the
      other students how to use it. Some of them seem to need a little
      extra training in control."

      "Are you referring to the incident in the hall a moment ago?"
      Xavier asked.

      "Yes," he acknowledged, "We shouldn't allow such
      disregard for
      safety to continue."

      "We can't treat the students like soldiers, Scott,"
      Xavier said with a frown.

      "No, but a certain measure of discipline must be observed."

      Xavier sighed, "Their children. Just as you were when you
      arrived. If I recall, you didn't much like the rules here
      either."

      "Things are different now, Professor," he said, "The
      world is much too dangerous for carelessness."

      "There's a difference between carelessness and
      playfulness," Xavier said, "Sometimes it takes children to
      remind us
      of that."

      Scott sighed, "I'm just worried they might start pulling
      pranks like that in public."

      "I'm afraid pranks are inevitable," Xavier said, and then
      added with amusement, "That's no different than when you were
      a student either, Scott."

      Xavier was pleased to see his former student suddenly smile
      nostalgically.

      "No, I guess not," Scott agreed, "But, you have to admit,
      these kids have a lot more to worry about than we did."

      "Indeed," Xavier said, "Did you happen to watch
      McKenna's address last night?"

      Scott nodded, "Glad to see he's still trying to help fight
      the Registration Act."

      "And, of course, without the influence of `Senator
      Kelly,' that will be much more difficult," Xavier
      added, "Fortunately, as long as the President continues to
      support
      our work here, and the efforts of other community mutant groups,
      public opinion seems to favor mutants also."

      "That can change easily, though," Scott said, "We saw it
      after Liberty Island. As soon as word got out that a `mutant
      terrorist group' was responsible, public opinion was not so
      favorable."

      Xavier nodded, deciding not to bring up that they also saw the same
      backlash after Akalai Lake. He knew Scott did not like to discuss
      those difficult memories while he was engaged in his duties.

      "Very true," Xavier agreed, "However, while the political
      climate is favorable, we must take full advantage of our resources,
      the President being only one. Have you made the final preparation
      for tomorrow's trip?"

      "Yes, everything is ready," Scott said, "Storm and I will
      fly out to Arizona and meet her at the Reservation. Her grandmother
      seemed very happy that we were coming."

      Xavier looked thoughtfully out the window. He was very interested
      in the candidate from Arizona. When Cerebro had identified her, the
      readings had been slightly different than other mutants, and she had
      been much more difficult to get a lock on than most. Xavier was
      curious to see the extent of her powers.

      Mary Sloane was in her early twenties and was a precognitive, from
      what they learned from conversations with her grandmother. She
      had `flashes' of future events, though since the events of
      eight months before, those `flashes' had become more
      frequentÂ…and more violent.

      "I'm wondering if I should go along with you," Xavier
      said, still gazing out across the back lawns of the mansion.

      Scott frowned, "Do you think we'll have trouble locating her
      once we get out there?"

      "No," Xavier said and turned with a small smile, "I think
      she'll be expecting us. However, I am interested in seeing why
      Cerebro had such difficulty finding her signal. After all, none of
      us have actually spoken to her yet. Our initial contact was from
      her grandmother, even though it had been at Mary's own request.
      I'm wondering if she may have concerns regarding other gifts,
      which she has not yet disclosed to us or her family."

      "Do you think she may be dangerous?" Scott asked, not willing
      to allow the Professor to be drawn into a possibly hazardous
      situation, no matter how interesting this mutant may be.

      Xavier shook his head with a thoughtful frown, "No, I don't
      think so. I didn't sense any hostility from her at all. I think
      she's as curious about us as we are about her."

      Scott nodded and stood from his chair, obviously not entirely
      convinced that the Professor's decision to join them tomorrow was
      the safest option.

      "I'll let Storm know about the change in plans," he said,
      "And I'll let Kurt know he'll be in charge of the
      students while we're gone since you'll be going with us."

      "I'm sure he'll be delighted," Xavier said with a
      grin, "The
      children never give him any trouble, although Rouge
      may need to help Kurt get some of them to their checkups with Dr.
      McCoy."

      Scott's eyes darkened again at the mention of the new doctor, but
      quickly gathered himself. He knew it was not fair to treat their
      new staff member with such as detachment, but Scott could not help
      but think of Dr. McCoy as Jean's replacement. It forced him to
      accept her loss, something which he was not entirely prepared to do.

      "Of course," Scott said stonily, "I'll see you at the
      Danger Room,
      Professor."

      Scott walked out of the room, and Xavier sighed sadly, staring again
      out the window. From where he sat, he could see some of the
      children enjoying the mild afternoon, as winter slowly faded into
      spring. He hoped the milder weather would help improve the dreary
      mood that continued to linger around the mansion.
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