FIC: "Degrees" (2/6), Iceman [PG-13] X3
- View SourceDegrees
Based on X-men movies and comics universe
Disclaimer: Iceman and other X-men characters are owned and
copyright of Marvel and 20th Century Fox. They are being used here
for non-profit entertainment only.
Part Two of Six: Ronny
I try to catch my breath, but all I do is spit blood. I manage to
push myself up on my hands and knees, only to receive another kick
in the stomach. I crash down again, tasting dust and concrete... My
name is Ronny Drake, and right now, I'm getting my ass kicked. But
I guess I should back up some.
I just started college, majoring in political science. I'm also an
activist for human rights. One of the first things I did at the
university was join the Human League. That is how I found out about
the secret meeting of the Friends of Humanity. The FoH is a
clandestine group that fights for human rights. Their founder, who
we only knew as "The Leader" was going to conduct a secret rally. I
had only heard rumors about the FoH and The Leader, so I was more
than intrigued to see what they were about.
I arrived at the abandoned building and knocked on the door. I told
the guy the secret password, and was in. The meeting was
interesting. The Leader introduced himself as Graydon Creed. He went
on and on about how mutants were endangering our future. He brought
up Magneto several times, reminding us all how close we came to
extinction after "The Incident" a few years back. Then he attacked
the government for not having the courage to implement the obvious
solution: using the mutant cure on ALL mutants, forcibly if
necessary. The mutants that did not want to take the cure, he said,
were doing so because they were hell-bent on taking over the world.
I nodded for most of the talk, but that little bit at the end was a
little "over the top", I thought. Nevertheless, I decided to stick
around and talk to as many of the FoH as I could. I guess time flew
by, and I found myself to be one of the last ones there. There was
only one man that I had yet to meet, and I was not leaving until I
One of the men there said the Leader was in the back, but he was not
taking any visitors. I started going on and on about how I had to
meet him. I suppose he got tired of my whining, so he let me pass.
This part of the building was dark, and I walked towards the only
room with light. Before I could knock on the half-open door, I heard
voices inside. I don't know why, but I just stood behind the door
" so this woman, what's her name, Raven? How do we know she will not
"Her situation is dire, Graydon. Her sentence is life in prison, and
without her powers, her chances of escape are less than zero. Our
agent indicates that she is willing to give us the information we
seek if we can arrange her departure from prison."
"How much information? All of it?"
"It looks like that depends on how much we can pay her afterwards."
"Money is no object, Jeremy. I want to know everything: the whole
layout of the school, their secret areas, their defense
capabilities, the brand of cereal they eat in the morning.
"I understand, sir. I assume you want our experts ready to dissect
the information and find a way to destroy these X-men."
"I don't want to destroy the X-men, Jeremy. I want to destroy their
whole damn school."
"Uhhh Graydon, the children, their students, they live on the
grounds I suppose we can place a bomb during a school break or
" you pathetic little coward don't you understand? My war is not
against the X-men, it's against the whole idea of mutants! The whole
concept of a school for mutants it's repulsive! Immoral! If mutants
are allowed to live, they WILL be our extinction. Ask yourself, did
Magneto stop to think about all our human children before he tried
to annihilate our whole existence? No he didn't, and you know why?
He understood this is war, as do I. Jeremy, the only good mutant is
a dead mutant. So don't you wimp out on me. We are going to wipe out
the Xavier mansion from the face of the Earth, and all the filthy
mutants that live in it!"
A low gasp escaped my lips involuntarily at that point.
" who's there?"
Oh shit, I thought. I ran as fast as I could, not knowing where I
was going. I heard voices behind me. I went up a dark set of
stairs, until I reached a hallway full of doors. The room closest to
me turned out to be an abandoned file room. Crouching behind some
old file cabinets, I lay as quietly as I could, waiting for the
They say that before you die, you see your whole life pass before
your eyes. They say you can see your past mistakes, your errors and
triumphs. Sitting there in the dark for what seemed like an
eternity, I had plenty of time to do just that.
It hit me like a train, the whole reason why I was so anti-mutant.
It was not a desire to "cleanse our world". No, it was about Bobby.
Always was. To be fair, I had some anti-mutant feelings before that
horrible day when Bobby brought his friends home I'd seen the
articles describing how these mutants were destined to inherit the
Earth. How was I supposed to feel, knowing no matter how hard I
worked at things, no matter what I did, I was no match for them? The
point was brought home when that mutant kid in school used his power
to sucker-punch me one time I can't say I shed a tear when I saw the
news of his murder. Anyway, I was somewhat resigned to the whole
idea, but then my brother, the perfectionist, appears back from his
fancy school. He always received the most affection, and I was
always the one getting in trouble. He went to a school for
the "gifted". Me, I was lucky to get all C's. He would probably go
to some extremely expensive university, use up all my parent's
money, and I'd be left with nothing. And then came the icing on the
cake! Look, I'm a mutant! Look what I can do, whoopeedeedoo! And my
parents? They looked dumbstruck, unable to say anything "we still
love you Bobby". Yeah, if it had been me saying I was a mutant, they
would have kicked my sorry butt out of the house immediately! But
not Bobby, their perfect son, for him we have to try to help him.
Great. Now my overachieving brother was also going to inherit the
Earth with the rest of his friends. Great.
When I called the police, I wanted him to get in trouble for once in
his life. I wanted him to feel like I felt: rejected. And then
things got way out of control. And then he was gone.
I won't lie; my parents treated me 100% better after that. That part
worked out great. But I still deeply resented him, along with all
his mutant friends. I did not make a mystery of my feelings on the
mutant matter, and suddenly I found myself being more popular at
school. And I guess it grew from there God, what an idiot I've been!
Just an immature, desperate for attention little kid. And now I see
that I'm way over my head. I see where my hatred for mutants would
eventually lead, and I couldn't stand the idea. This guy, Graydon,
he would not think twice about murdering children. Mutants or not,
these were little kids! He wanted to exterminate every single one of
them; he wanted to kill Bobby.
I tried to fight it, but I started to cry. Regardless of how shitty
I treated him, Bobby was always willing to help me out. He could
seemingly do no wrong. Maybe that's why I was so jealous of him all
my life. But even with that jealousy, I could not escape from a
simple fact: I missed my brother.
Hours later, I managed to compose myself. I had not heard a single
sound for a long time. Perhaps they gave up, figured it was the
wind, or a mouse Opening the door slowly, I looked around the dark
hallway. Nobody. Eventually I made it outside of the building. The
street was deserted, with no signs of life. I stopped shaking long
enough to grab my cell phone and dial.
"Westchester County, New York Xavier School for students, or
something what do you mean it's not listed?...crap, fine."
As I put the phone in my pocket, I heard footsteps behind me.
"I can give you the number for that school if you want."
The man stepped out of the shadows. It was Graydon Creed.
"Umm Mr. Creed, I was "
"Shhh, we'll have a lot of time to talk inside."
From out of nowhere, a couple of men grabbed me and pushed me back
inside the building.
They looked at my ID's. Some guy ran a gadget over my head and
announced I was not a mutant. That seemed to interest Graydon even
"You were in our meeting, were you not?"
"So what is your connection to the Xavier school, Mr. Drake? Why
were you calling them?"
"I I don't know what you are talking about. I had some car trouble
and was trying to call a cab."
What followed was not very pleasant at all. One guy grabbed me from
behind while the other took his sweet time beating me to a pulp not
something I want to dwell on. When I thought I could not take any
more, they stopped.
"I'll ask again, Mr. Drake: what do you know about the Xavier
I could only mutter incoherencies from out of my bloodied mouth.
"Are you a spy for them, perhaps? Do you know anybody in the school?"
I could tell Creed was trying to make sense of the whole situation.
I was trying to come up with something to say, but I couldn't think
"Were you perhaps snooping around earlier, after the meeting? I
though I heard something, so we decided to hang around and see what
came out of the building, which turns out to be a human what did you
hear, Mr. Drake? Were you calling to warn them? To warn
somebody?...a friend, perhaps, or a relative?"
I knew that if I said something, they would hunt Bobby down. Maybe
use him for information or something. And then they would kill him.
I knew that for sure. And me? Well, they would probably kill me
whether I talked or not.
"So still nothing to say, boy? Very well "
And then it came again, blow after blow after blow, until the now
and the present. I raise myself up again, I stand slowly, weakly,
and I look into Creed's eyes.
"I'm not telling you shit, creep "
Creed stares at me, hatred in his eyes.
"Have it your way."
How ironic. Here I am, a member of the University's Human League,
trying to protect mutant lives and paying with my life for it. The
blows come harder this time, and soon everything goes black
"Is he dead?"
"I'm pretty sure he is, but I'm not a Doctor, boss."
"What should we do with the body, Mr. Creed?"
"Dump it in an alley down by the mutant slums. Make it look like he
was attacked and killed by one of them."
The first time that the darkness cleared, it came back quickly. All
I could think of was how I had to warn Bobby.
The next time, I find my brother sitting by my bed. With difficulty,
I manage to tell him everything. I see his demeanor change into a
Bobby that I've never seen before. He's focused, serious, and from
all evidence, mad as hell. No, I lie. I have seen this side of him
before. It happened a few weeks before Bobby left for Xavier's. The
school's resident bully, Rocky Beasley, was giving me hell every
day. Bobby found me crying in my room and made me tell him what the
problem was. His expression then was like the one now. I don't know
what he told Rocky or what he did to him, but Beasley never bothered
me again. The memory brings a crooked smile to my beaten-up face.
"Ronny, I'm so sorry you had to go through this."
"It's not your fault, Bobby. It's my own damn fault. I was Bobby,
"For everything I just..."
"It's ok, Ronny. It's ok. You need to get some rest. Mom and Dad
should be back any moment. And I need to take care of some business."
Bobby stood up.
"Where are you going?"
"Me and the X-men have a score to settle with Graydon Creed."
I looked at Bobby then and for the first time saw him as a man. I
closed my eyes and smiled again. Look out, Creed. My brother is
going to kick your ass.