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FIC: X-Book 4: Of Politics..., PG-13, Chpt 14

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  • Kathleen
    X-Book 4 -- Of Politics, Tacos and Other Things that Give You Indegestion Chapter 14: Alone By: Kath713/Leen713 Rating: PG-13 (violence, language) Genre:
    Message 1 of 1 , May 3, 2004
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      X-Book 4 -- Of Politics, Tacos and Other Things that Give You

      Chapter 14: Alone

      By: Kath713/Leen713
      Rating: PG-13 (violence, language)

      Genre: Crossover (with anything I can squeeze in), SPOILERS FOR X2
      Summary: See prologue to book 4

      Disclaimer: I own nothing in regards to the Marvel characters or
      any character from a previously published source portrayed in this

      Reviews: Any feedback would be great and is appreciated!


      Chapter Fourteen:

      Mary was up early the next morning, before sunrise. She had not
      slept much the night before, her mind awake with curiosity following
      her conversation with Professor Xavier. The book he had lent her
      sat unopened on her desk until about five o'clock a.m., her
      restlessness to study it enticing her to begin reading. However,
      Mary had a strange feeling that some things in the text may be safer
      to study in the daylight.

      So, Mary waited until she heard the first morning birds chirping
      before she picked up the old book and headed downstairs. She moved
      as quietly as she could through the halls and down the front
      staircase. She reached the kitchen, which was still very dark and
      shadowy, and decided to sit outside in the growing morning light.

      The sun had not yet appeared over the horizon, but the sky was
      slowly melting from darkness to a soft blue. The line of trees
      surrounding the school grounds prevented her from watching the sun
      crest over the horizon, and she felt a pang of home sickness for the
      wide open desert of her town.

      Her sense of being alone had only seemed to grow since coming to be
      among so many people. Even though they were all friendly, all
      honestly trying to help her, she still had the feeling of being
      different...being apart.

      Mary sat cross-legged on a stone bench, and opened the cover of the
      book slowly. The gold text of the title page glimmered slightly in
      the dim light, and Mary studied each word again carefully.

      Of Demons and Other Beings, Volume 49 – 1900 to 1950

      A compilation by Gertrude Giles, Council of Watchers

      Volume 49? Mary thought, and stared at the dates with a frown, If
      this is volume 49...and each volume covers a fifty year space of
      time...does that mean these books have been written for over two
      thousand years?

      The idea of anything lasting for so long was almost too much to
      imagine. The Council did not just count in centuries...it counted
      in millennia. The Christian religion had not even existed for that
      long. Was it possible for an organization like this to continue for
      so long in secret? Even the oldest texts the university had never
      made mention of the Watchers or the Council? Who exactly have they
      been watching for all that time?

      As she paged through the old text, Mary scanned the words and
      pictures quickly. She would read it in more depth later. Right now
      she was looking for a few specific things.

      Finally, about a quarter of the way through the book, her eyes fell
      upon one word.

      Angels, the title of the page said, written in a delicate and
      beautiful script. Below the word was a beautifully drawn image of
      angelic beings among the clouds. Some were typical pictures, wings
      and harps and long white robes, but two in particular caught her
      eye, one with a sword...and one with a trumpet.

      Mary shivered and continued reading. There was really nothing here
      she did not already know. A brief history of angelic beings drawn
      from religious texts, though specific angels were never named. She
      turned the page, and another word caught her attention.

      Phoenix, she read and drew in a sharp breath as a voice echoed in
      her head.

      Not yet, the voice said, Soon...but not yet.

      Mary stared down at the image below the words, a drawing of a large
      winged creature, shaped like a bird, but surrounded by fire. As the
      morning sun began to filter through the trees, the light, for a
      moment, was blinding...

      This was what she had seen before...

      A figure, enveloped in flame, soaring into the sky above the

      The picture in the book was the same...

      A fiery bird, hovering a moment, before it plunged into the school

      Get them out, Mary thought, The children are still inside...get them

      Then, the fire around her disappeared...and the vision changed...

      As the heat left, the cold grew... ice... snow... everywhere around

      Ice so cold it burned painfully against her feet...

      Just like in the hanger...

      You're needed here, the voice said, World of work ahead of you...

      Mary gasped as her vision cleared. She slammed the book shut, and
      stared forward.

      She took a few deep breaths and ground her teeth together in

      She was needed here...that is what the vision said. For what? To
      fend off the creature from the hanger if it returns? She did not
      even know what she did to fight it off. And what about the fire?
      Who was responsible for that?

      The visions gave her no answers. How exactly was she supposed to
      help people if she had no idea how to do it?

      Mary jumped in surprise as a noise echoed from the kitchen. It was
      still very early, and she wondered who else was up at this
      hour...besides maybe Blink. She stood from the bench and walked
      into the mansion.


      Scott turned on the faucet off the kitchen sink, and placed the
      glass coffee pot underneath the stream of water. After it was about
      half full, he poured it into the coffee maker and switched the
      machine on. It was still fairly early, even for him, but he wanted
      to get started on work in the labs right away. He had materials to
      examine, and details of their experiences of the past few days he
      wanted to document before he forgot them.

      Maybe he would schedule a meeting for the active X-Men for later on
      this afternoon, to discuss what had happened again, so no piece of
      information was missed. So they would be better prepared next

      He kept his mind occupied with these things...so he did not think
      about the empty spot next to him when he awoke this morning. He had
      fallen asleep thinking of his duties of the next day. After the
      alarm chimed, he had reached for his glasses...and almost asked Jean
      if she wanted to sleep in for a while longer...

      Then, he opened his eyes, and through the red lenses saw that empty
      place next to him.

      He really tried not to think about it. Alone would not be strong
      enough of a word to describe it.

      Scott (not yet Cyclops this morning) sat down and clicked on the
      kitchen television as he waited for the coffee to brew. It was too
      early for the local news yet, and he surfed through the channels to
      find something relevant.

      He stared at the television, and did not really see what was on the
      screen. He was clicking too fast to really tell what was on each
      station. Jean hated when he did that...

      Scott dropped the remote control on the table and rubbed his temples

      Alone...really was not enough to describe it. But, he did his best
      to ignore it.

      He remembered when his parents had found out he was a mutant. Kind
      of hard to ignore that he destroyed things just by looking at them.
      They had not kicked him out, not technically, but they did very
      quickly find Xavier's School for the Gifted and sent him away.

      Scott remembered staring back at his family as the taxi took him to
      the airport. His parents and his younger brother, Alex, who thought
      Scott was going to a prep school. That is what his parents had told
      the rest of the family, too. His cousins from Los Angeles had
      driven out for his `going away' party. They all looked so happy for
      him, so proud, and all Scott could do was smile, stare out of his
      ruby lenses, and go along with his parents' small lie.

      He had felt alone then, among his relatives, the Summers family.
      And then as he was driven away from that family. He really thought
      he knew what it was like to be alone.

      But then, Scott met the Professor, and began to make friends at the
      School for the Gifted. Others like himself, not freaks or
      outcasts...just others like him, who needed help. Suddenly, alone
      was a lot less frightening...

      But then, his family had died, a plane crash taking his parents and
      brother away from him. At the funeral, those same relatives who had
      wished him good luck were there to say goodbye again. He remembered
      his Aunt Joyce holding his hand in the church; his two cousins had
      been so little, not even in grade school yet...

      Suddenly, alone had a whole new meaning.

      But, someone else had been there too. His friends from school, and
      the Professor of course, but it was Jean who held his other hand.
      It had been Jean who had hugged him as he cried. He had hated the
      School for the Gifted when his parents forced him to go. But, then
      Jean had held his hand. Suddenly, alone was a lot less permanent...

      Scott heard the coffee pot bubbling and shut off the television. He
      poured himself a cup of the warming liquid, but the feeling of cold
      would not leave him.

      He thought he knew alone. But, then Jean got off of the jet...then
      Jean told him goodbye...

      Scott Summers thought he knew about being alone...

      In one icy moment, alone was not enough to describe it...

      "Mr. Summers?" a voice said quietly and Scott jumped as he was drawn
      out of his thoughts.

      Mary stepped into the kitchen from the outside deck and Scott
      smiled, with effort.

      "Hi," he said, his voice straining to be cheerful, as his student
      entered the room, "You're up pretty early..."

      "Couldn't sleep," Mary said, and sat down. She put the book she was
      holding on the table.

      Scott sat down next to her with his coffee and glanced at the cover.

      "I was wondering if the Professor was going to give you that," he
      said, "No wonder you couldn't sleep..."

      "You know about it?" she asked with surprise, "I mean... you know
      about the Council."

      Scott gave her an honest smile, "Well, let's just say my family is
      very involved with the Council."

      Mary shook her head, "For people who don't like to be connected to
      mutants, they sure do a bad job."

      "My cousins aren't mutants," Scott explained, "At least, not that we
      know of. I was...actually just thinking about them. The Council
      watches them for different reasons."

      "Like what?" Mary asked and Scott tapped the book.

      "Read this," he said, "And then we'll explain. My aunt Joyce and
      her daughters visit sometimes over the summer. By the time you're
      done reading that, it should probably be June or July..."

      Mary chuckled, and glanced down at the formidable volume. That
      probably was not far from the truth.

      "Storm was worried about you yesterday," Scott said, "But she was
      glad you went to mass with Kurt. She worries about him a lot, too,
      considering hate crimes against mutants have increased since...the

      "She didn't want him to be alone," Mary said softly, and Scott
      started slightly at the last word.

      "Yeah, I guess so," Scott said slowly, but Mary was oblivious to his
      discomfort. She was frowning deeply in thought.

      "Mr. Summers..." she began and then glanced up at him, "Have you
      ever heard of the Phoenix?"

      Scott frowned, "It's from ancient mythologies...a bird of
      fire...that phoenix?"

      Mary nodded, "There was a picture of one in this book. Just caught
      my attention."

      "Oh," Scott said, "What did it say about it?"

      "Just that, only one existed at a time, and when it died, a new one
      would rise out of the ashes..." Mary said, "It knows when it's time
      to die has come, and it builds its own funeral pyre. She takes her
      own life so that new life can continue. Then, she rises from the
      waters and is born again."

      Scott stared at her as she spoke and his hands shook around his
      coffee mug. Mary was staring down at the book still, and Scott
      struggled to keep his composure.

      Mary glanced up at him and shrugged, "That's all. I was really
      looking up stuff on angels but that just caught my eye. I'm sure
      I'll have a lot of questions about the creatures in this book," Mary
      laughed, "and I'm sure I don't want to know a lot of it either,
      but...Mr. Summers...are you alright?"

      Scott was looking down at his coffee cup silently.

      She takes her own life, echoed in his mind, She rises from the
      waters...did Mary know she said waters and not ashes...

      He took one long breath and looked up at her apologetically.

      "I'm sorry, Mary," he said, "It's...just been a trying few days. I
      didn't sleep too well last night either...and I think I need a few
      more cups of caffinated beverage before I'm myself..."

      Mary nodded and smiled, but she looked at him with concern.

      "Do you know what I really want to learn from this book?" she asked
      him and Scott shook his head, "I want to find out what I did in the
      hanger. I want to find out what that creature was and how I stopped
      it. I want to learn more about my powers, if there is something
      more than my visions."

      Now, Scott was able to smile again, drawn back to his duties. He
      was Cyclops, he was an X-Man, and this student, all his students,
      needed him to teach them.

      "That's why you're here," Cyclops said, "And that's why you need to
      learn all about this stuff," he tapped the book again, "Even if you
      don't want to know about it. And if that creature or those new
      powers appear again, you'll be ready for them."

      Mary grinned and nodded, "Thanks, Mr. Summers. It's good to be some
      place where I'm not alone when my powers appear."

      Alone, he thought, There's that word again...

      "Well, you get reading," Cyclops said to his student, "And I'm going
      to take another cup of coffee with me to the labs."

      Mary opened the cover of the book and began to read again as Cyclops
      left the kitchen.

      As Scott headed toward the elevator, his face fell again as he
      thought on Mary's words.

      She was a precognitive, but he wondered if she was a little
      telepathic too. Or was he seeing coincidences as more than what
      they were?

      Alone... he thought, She takes her own life...well, that much was
      true...so life can continue...and some did continue...though his
      life ended in many ways when Jean disappeared under the waters of
      Alkalai Lake... and she didn't rise from those waters... she never

      Scott entered the elevator, and removed his ruby glasses so he could
      wear his visor. The door hissed shut, and he was alone again...

      No, alone definitely could not describe it...

      Archived at www.fanfiction.net/~leen713
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