X-Men fan fiction
Chapter 1: Mayday
Chapter 2: Sunset Home
Chapter 3: Sunset Home, part II: Exam
Chapter4: Sleeping Rough
Chapter 5: The Bogarts
Chapter6: The Bogarts, part II: Glasses
Chapter 7: Xavier
Chapter 8: New Students
Chapter 9: Eve of Grey
Chapter 10: Grey Christmas
Chapter 11: Dilemma
Chapter 12: Confrontation
Chapter 13: Jack O'Diamonds
Chapter 14: Escape
“Is everyone all right?” Hank asked.
Jean and Ororo each nodded numbly.
“Is he dead?” Scott asked as numbly.
Yes, the professor’s voice answered for all of them to hear. I fear there was no other way of stopping him.
“You’re right,” Scott agreed grimly, “he wouldn’t have stopped unless somebody made him... and in that form there was no making him.”
Jean again took hold of Scott’s good arm.
“Let’s get out of here,” Ororo suggested quietly.
“Wait,” Scott said softly. He couldn’t help but imagine what would happen when whoever came to investigate unexpectedly stumbled over a roomful of diamonds. Except that they weren’t truly diamonds. They were a man’s remains, and that deserved some inherent measure of dignity, regardless of the man. “Ororo, could you?”
He didn’t have to finish the thought, and even though Ororo hardly believed Winters deserving of anything resembling a proper burial, for Scott, she put her personal feelings aside and acted instantly.
She closed her eyes and a small cyclone quickly swept the room clean before dissipating over the hole Scott had blasted in the floor. Scott set his visor to the finest, most powerful beam he could manage, and finished the job by shearing loose a section of the metal Winters had already pulverized. Jean then used that sheet to cover the void. A brief crackle of thunder ensued as a mixture of rain-dampened electricity from Ororo welded the metal in place, creating at least the illusion of an undamaged floor.
Scott nodded gratefully to his friends. It might not hold under close scrutiny, but the illusion was fairly good. Either way, it was the best they could do.
“Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust,” Hank offered quietly.
Scott took a deep breath. “Now, let’s get out of here,” he concluded.
“I couldn’t agree more,” Warren interjected.
Every head turned in his direction, surprised to see him back here so soon.
“Everybody after me, and quickly,” he told them. “We’re way overdue for making our exit.”
“What do you mean, overdue?” Scott asked. He didn’t like the tone of Warren’s voice.
Warren didn’t give an answer. His attention remained on finding their way through the facility, and Scott exchanged worried looks with Ororo and Jean as they all followed. Apparently they shared his opinion that this way out, for some reason, seemed to be taking them deeper into the facility. Hank, who was bringing up the rear, offered neither question nor explanation, simply kept them moving forward. When they all finally came to a stop, it was in front of a solid wall.
“Scott,” Warren said, “on the professor’s mark, we’re going to need you to make us a door.”
Scott nodded. “I got it.” He moved back from the wall in question and motioned for everyone else to do the same.
Ready. Now, Scott.
Scott hit the wall with as much force as he thought it could take without triggering a collapse, and was relieved when he punched cleanly through. The relief was short-lived. Outside, the grounds around the nuclear facility were no longer quiet or dark. Police and fire sirens were blaring, and a helicopter hovered overhead, it’s powerful searchlight methodically scanning the building.
Warren, the professor prompted, strained.
“Move it, now!” Warren barked. “The plane’s directly across the clearing. Get there as fast as you can!”
They all took off at a run, trying to ignore the unreal scene they had just stepped into. And a couple of minutes later they had all reached the safety of the clearing. Warren was quick to board the plane, but Hank held Scott, Ororo, and Jean on the ground.
“Remain here for a moment. I need to check you all for radioactivity.” Then Hank sprinted aboard the plane with surprising swiftness.
Scott could see his own shock echoed in Ororo’s and Jean’s faces as they listened to the sounds of search teams being ordered to fan out, weapons loaded and readied for use. Maybe he should have known better, but he had expected this to be over once Winters was eliminated. He was completely unprepared to see such a large show of police force directed at them. They had been trying to help the police.
“Hank, you sure we can’t do this later– aboard the plane?” Scott called, keeping his voice as low as he could manage. He knew the professor had shielded them from discovery thus far, but he didn’t want to test Xavier’s skills any further than necessary.
Hank skipped the boarding ramp and swung from the plane to the ground in one swoop. A handheld radiation meter was cradled in the crux of his elbow, and he held a spray bottle of clear liquid solution in his hand.
“Believe me,” he said as he began scanning them with the meter, “I am as anxious to be away from here as the rest of you are, but if the suits are contaminated they must remain behind.” He quickly cleared Ororo, but both Scott and Jean were contaminated. Hank set to work scrubbing them down with the solution, concentrating mostly on their gloves and forearms. “This is far from ideal,” he explained, “but it will neutralize the contamination enough to get you out of your suits without further contaminating yourselves.”
Shortly after that, Hank was satisfied with their readings, but all of them were getting nervous.
Ororo had already shed her suit but was waiting on Scott and Jean. “They’re getting closer,” she warned. “We really need to go.” Not only were the search teams getting too close for comfort, but it was pretty clear that their intention was to shoot first and to ask questions later.
Jean had gotten out of her suit as well. Scott was having more difficulty with that task.
“Allow me to assist,” Hank interjected.
Scott yelped in spite of himself when Hank attacked the suit at its seam, peeling the sleeve away from Scott’s injured arm, from wrist to collar.
“Thanks, I think,” Scott gritted through clinched teeth, trying to ignore the little white spots that danced in front of his eyes in response to pinpoints of pain that were shooting through his shoulder and down the length of his arm. Until then, Scott hadn’t realized how bad his arm was, or how much the close-fitting suit had helped him by keeping his shoulder still.
Hank made no reply; Scott’s arm now had his undivided attention. Jean and Ororo had also gathered around them. Scott glanced down, and quickly wished that he hadn’t. His shoulder was dislocated, preventing him from moving it. He had suspected that, but his arm was also broken, compounded; bits of bone were piercing sickeningly through the skin. Jean turned an awful shade of green. Scott only glanced down for a moment, then resolutely ignored it.
“Get aboard, you two, now,” Hank barked in Jean and Ororo’s direction. Hank held to little illusion that the two of them would pass beyond sight lines while Scott was injured and they all remained in danger, but they did retreat up the boarding ramp, allowing him some space in which to tend to Scott. Hank kept a stabilizing hold on Scott’s arm while Scott stepped free from the remainder of the suit, then Hank began showing Scott how to brace and immobilize his injured arm.
Eager to negate the injury as much as he could, Scott ignored pain that Hank hated to fathom and did exactly as he was told. Scott nodded at Hank’s instruction, then used his opposite hand to tuck his elbow against the side of his body, and hold the arm firmly in place. He only swayed slightly in the process.
“Ready?” Hank asked once he was fairly certain that Scott was going to be able to keep to his feet.
“Yeah,” Scott nodded in answer.
“Jean, Ororo,” tell Warren and Charles to take it as easy as they can,” Hank instructed.
They did as they were told, even though they knew Hank could have easily relayed that message himself. Professor Xavier obviously knew that they were all on board; they could feel the plane lifting off as soon as Hank had guided Scott up the boarding ramp, placing one massive hand against Scott’s back to steady his balance.
As Ororo opened the door to the cockpit, Jean glanced back to see Hank getting Scott strapped in. He knelt in front of Scott, whose head was lowered. Scott nodded alertly in response while Hank worked, moving quickly but also solicitously. All Jean could see was the pain that etched Scott’s face; the sight made her sick at heart.
Warren glanced back at them. “Get yourselves strapped in, quickly now.”
“I’ll go as easy as I can,” Xavier assured them before either were able to relay Hank’s admonishment, “but even I might have some trouble convincing our friends down there that they should let us pass this time. A plane, after all,” he added, his voice gradually trailing off as his concentration increased, “is much harder to overlook than a small group of people on foot.” And it certainly didn’t help that every single person down there would be intensely focused on putting a stop to their escape.
Jean and Ororo watched in shock as they slowly rose above the treetops, above a veritable sea of flashing red and blue lights. Then those harmless lights were joined by the bright orange sparks of gunfire, trained upon them. Vertical takeoff and landing capacity had been a great advantage to them earlier, allowing their plane to land in a small, confined clearing very close to the nuclear facility. It made their takeoff more difficult for all of the same reasons. Xavier’s concentration deepened, and Jean knew he was using his mental powers to alter the perceptions of those people on the ground, shielding the plane from their attack until they could gain further altitude.
He had the power to do far more than that; Xavier could read and control minds, change or erase memories, and he could incapacitate (physically or mentally) with merely a concentrated thought, which he described as a mental bolt. It was for moral reasons that he elected to pursue the lesser action. Not only did Charles Xavier practice what he preached to his students, he knew firsthand that power had a way of seducing the user into becoming more and more dependent upon it... and, as a result, making the user less mindful of the inherent danger in abusing that power. For those reasons, Xavier worked diligently to find a balance between ensuring their own safety while respecting the integrity and dignity of those who would use force to stop them.
For several seconds the plane rose slowly into the air. Then it listed just slightly, causing Warren to redouble his efforts at the controls. He had them righted a moment later, but when Jean spared a glance at the professor she saw that his face showed the strain of his split concentration between the plane’s controls and events on the ground below them.
Ororo saw it too, and she lurched forward deliberately in her seat. Her eyes remained open, focused on the scene below them, until their bright blue depths were clouded over in pure white... much like the thick, heavy fog that rolled across the ground below them. But the gunfire did not stop; they could still hear their target. Ororo just barely shook her head, in anger and disbelief, then peal after peal of vicious thunder shook the night, followed by sheets of rain, heavy downpours that didn’t break in their intensity until the plane rose safely through the clouds.
“Good work, Ororo,” Warren offered gratefully.
“Indeed,” Xavier echoed that sentiment.
Jean placed a hand on her friend’s shoulder, and Ororo slowly brought her focus back to the plane’s interior. She looked toward Jean, her eyes returning to their normal shade of bright blue, and Jean smiled in a blend of sympathy and encouragement.
“I’m going to check on Hank and Scott,” Jean suggested softly.
Ororo nodded but stayed seated. She let Jean go, and sat silently watching the black night sky ahead of them. She didn’t feel like she would be of any comfort to Scott or anyone else at the moment. Ororo sat still, letting pieces of Warren and Professor Xavier’s conversation occasionally break into the background of her thoughts as they discussed the details of the flight home. But mostly she sat there trying to loose herself in the dark and the quiet, and ignore the burning memory of so much aggression on the ground behind them.
Back in the crew compartment, Hank continued his slow and steady treatment of Scott’s wounds while Jean hovered nearby. There was very little to be done here, but these early steps were vital. He needed to keep the open wounds clean to ward off infection, and he needed to slow the onset of swelling as much as possible; if the swelling was allowed to go unchecked, it would make later attempts at setting the broken bone far more complicated.
Hank kept up a running commentary on all of this for several reasons. He wasn’t foolish enough to believe it a learning opportunity, but talking about what he was doing helped him to remain calm and focused, and hopefully it would help keep Scott and Jean focused as well (or at least a little distracted from the pain that Scott was regrettably experiencing).
Scott was proving to be the calmer of the two of them in this circumstance. After extracting a full summary of the events surrounding the plane’s lift off from Jean, he sat silent and still while Hank worked. If anything, Hank was worried that only the regular jolt of unavoidable pain was serving to keep Scott fully conscious at this point. Jean, however, was either hovering by Hank’s shoulder or pacing from one side to the other behind him, and she winced each time Scott showed slightest bit of pain.
“Can’t you give him something!” she finally erupted.
Scott turned on her with a withering glare, and Jean was silenced. But Scott immediately regretted his anger, quickly realizing that her outburst came as an expression of her own guilt, and it wasn’t meant to reflect negatively on him.
“Luckily for us,” Hank stepped in calmly, “Scott has a very high threshold for pain, because he has an even higher threshold for sedation and analgesia. The doses I would have to give him to reach effect would be far higher than I’m comfortable with, at least in this setting.
Jean still protested, but more quietly, pleading. “There must be something–”
“I’m all right, Jean,” Scott said softly, “thanks to you.” Jean had saved him – from his own bad judgement, no less – and he was deeply grateful.
She smiled at him hesitantly. And Scott smiled back, hoping that she understood.
Jean had done what was necessary to get Scott out of danger. She had saved his life, despite the fact that Scott had been willing to risk it. They had both been acting on reflex and adrenaline-fueled emotions, and Scott would be the last person to blame her for not having full control over her powers at a moment like that.
“Once we get him back to the infirmary we will have more treatment options available,” Hank further assured Jean. And for a moment Jean just stared at him, dumbstruck.
What was Hank thinking? Skip the infirmary! Scott needed a hospital! But before she had time to form a coherent protest, Jean abruptly understood. Hospital was out of the question for Scott. Hank had already explained that none of the normal drug protocols would work on Scott; if that in itself didn’t raise enough suspicion, how could they explain away the fact that Scott’s eyes couldn’t be examined – his glasses couldn’t be removed under any circumstances. Even if Scott was unconscious, his optic blasts would continue firing away at full force.
A cold weight settled into her stomach as she realized that whatever medical treatment Scott required would be up to Hank to provide. That meant surgery to repair Scott’s arm and, as ambidextrous as Hank was, even he couldn’t single-handedly do the job of an entire operating room filed with specialized personnel. Jean swallowed hard and nodded to Hank in response. She had to stop reacting to this situation like a teenager in way over her head and start behaving like the doctor-in-training that she wanted to be. Hank was going to get Scott the treatment he needed, and Jean was going to assist him every step of the way.
Hank met Jean’s gaze for a long moment, showing both understanding and gratitude, before he turned back to Scott.
“But for now,” Hank told Scott, “we get you stabilized, and keep you still.”
It was Scott’s turn to protest, but Hank was quick to respond.
“If you won’t follow my orders and stay still voluntarily, I can have Jean take care of it.”
Jean raised her eyebrows at him, silently reinforcing Hank’s warning.
Scott sighed in equally silent concession. But he smiled appreciatively when Jean sat down beside him a moment later... close enough to thread her arm though his healthy arm.
“Why don’t you talk to her,” Professor Xavier prompted quietly, barely a moment after Ororo had left the cockpit.
“You’re all right here?” Warren insisted.
“Fine,” Xavier responded with a nod.
Warren gave an answering nod, then stood and followed in Ororo’s wake. Further down the hall, Hank was busy treating Scott, with Jean worriedly micro-managing his efforts. Ororo had seated herself in a small crew compartment that was tucked just behind the cockpit; there was really nothing there but a couple of seats and a small porthole looking out.
That little window was currently the center of Ororo’s undivided attention. As a result, the thick glass was crusted over by an even thicker film of darkly opaque frost. Warren didn’t need an explanation; he knew as well as Xavier did what she was feeling. All of them had risked their lives, Scott had been injured – all in an effort to protect people from harm – and for their troubles they had been hunted down like criminals, forced to retreat from that onslaught like frightened prey. Ororo was seething with anger.
Warren sat down beside her. Only a brief flicker of her eyes in his direction showed that she was aware of his presence.
“I never told anyone this story,” he started, “but, about six years ago, I was in college – not much older than all of you all are now – when the dorm where I was living caught on fire.”
Ororo slowly turned to face him.
“At first I was terrified, just like everybody else. Then it hit me. I had no reason to be afraid; I could get out. It was my friends and classmates who couldn’t. So I did the only thing I could. I wrapped a scarf around my head to block the smoke and to help hide my identity, and I started rescuing people. It wasn’t a choice,” he insisted. “I had to do it.”
“What happened,” she asked.
“For a couple of days they treated me like a hero, their very own guardian angel who had come out of nowhere to save the day, and then disappeared again into thin air... just like something out of the movies. Then, once the shine wore off of that story, the press started asking more serious questions, trying to find me. They wanted to know why I was the way I was, what had caused this deformity.
“Experts analyzed me on local news shows and deduced that I was unstable. They said that, psychologically, it was impossible for me to accept my condition, impossible for me to accept being so radically different from normal people. Their diagnosis was that I was acting out, and that it was only a matter time until my actions ceased be of the benevolent, attention-seeking variety, and instead led me to hurt, or even kill, someone.”
“I’m so sorry,” Ororo breathed, placed her hand over his.
“Needless to say, I left,” he swiftly continued. “It was no great hardship. My father pulled a few strings and I started over someplace new... but I was never the same. For the first time in my life, this accident of my birth made sense to me. I knew I wanted to help people, and I also knew that the world would never accept that. They would always seek to tear down what they had built up, always read evil intent into unselfish actions because it was so foreign to them – and because I was so far removed from their precious normal.
“When the professor found me, I had finished school and spent the following year trying thwart my father’s plans to make something respectable, and utterly meaningless, of my life. He expected me to put aside my foolish ambitions and embrace my birthright, follow mindlessly into the family business. He’s never tried to accept me for what I am,” Warren explained, trying hard to control the sudden hostility in his voice. “Honestly, I don’t think he’s ever even looked at me from that perspective. I’ve always been the heir-apparent to the family legacy, in need either of grooming or of damage control... never just a son in need of a father.” He took a deep, calming breath before he continued again.
“I tried playing the vigilante but, even with all the money and resources of Bruce Wayne, I couldn’t make it work like it did in the comic books. I was a recluse, living in the shadows, hiding my identity from the public, running from the police... all so that I could have a few precious seconds at a time of knowing that I had changed someone’s life for the better.
“Charles Xavier convinced me that there were better ways for someone of my resources and talents to spend his time and energy. I didn’t want to hear it at first, but he was right. He made me understand that we can hardly ever change the world as it is in the present. But if we focus our efforts in the present, working steadily toward something worthwhile, we can do much more... we can change the future.”
“Why didn’t you tell me this before?” Ororo finally asked with a small shrug.
“When I first came to get you, I was recruiting for the professor. It was more important that you hear what he had offer you rather than what he had done for me.” Warren hesitated, his hand turning over in hers. “Or what I wanted to say,” he finished softly.
She leaned her head against his shoulder, tired and confused. “I feel so angry – so impatient. I want to make them change! How can I just accept such intolerable reality?”
Warren smiled. “You have such fire, Ororo, like a raging storm... but you also have the serenity to match it... the calm after that storm. I know you’re angry. Believe me, I’ve felt that anger too, but it’s not worth holding on to,” he urged softly. “It can’t help you.”
“I like the anger,” Ororo admitted boldly. “It makes me feel strong, and unafraid.”
Warren nodded in wary response, his chin just brushing against the top of her head. “Maybe so,” he acknowledged, “but it can never make you happy.”
She shook her head in stubborn denial, but found that she didn’t have the energy to argue any further. Ororo closed her eyes instead and listened to the dull hum of the plane’s engines cutting through the night. That seemed like the only sound in the world, and for a few moments it was easy to envision that they were flying high above the Earth, far removed from hatred and violence. All the ignorance and intolerance of the world was far below them, inconsequential....
Warren looked up a few minutes later to find Hank standing in the narrow isle beside him.
“How are the others?” Warren asked softly.
“The same,” Hank acknowledged as softly, nodding toward the sleeping Ororo, “shell-shocked and exhausted.”
“Scott’s injury is more serous, but he will recover, in time.”
Warren took a deep breath. “They gave it their all, but this was too much for them.”
Hank nodded in return. “I’m afraid so,” he answered heavily. Then Hank pressed his hand to the cockpit door and disappeared inside to speak with Charles.
“How is he?” Xavier asked before the door had even closed behind Hank.
“Stable,” Hank responded without hesitation. “I have done all that I can, for now. Scott’s arm is badly broken, his shoulder is dislocated, and he is in a great deal of pain– which I can do very little for. Unfortunately, I don’t know how much the later will change, even after we’re on the ground. But he is holding up far better than we have a right to expect of him. Under the circumstances,” Hank added a moment later, “they all are.”
Xavier sighed. Hank had told him little that he hadn’t already known. His psychic talents had served him well in the past as a psychologist working with trauma victims, both in the military and following his release from the service. He was well-aware of Scott’s physical condition, and he remained aware of the distress all three of his young charges were feeling in the wake of this mission with its mixed results.
All the signs were there, familiar and frightening; Scott, Ororo, and Jean were no younger than the teenage soldiers he had once served with and treated, as idealistic and proud to serve as Charles himself had once been... before seeing his idealism give way to all the unpleasant realities of war.... But, like Charles had been, they were no normal teenagers; their mutant powers magnified all the normal risks of post traumatic stress, raising the stakes, amplifying the inherent dangers, and causing Charles to further doubt his decision to involve them in this mission.
“I thought I could protect them better than this,” he finally said softly.
“They are disheartened, Charles, but far from defeated. Just as we all are,” Hank offered poignantly. Charles Xavier only nodded in response, distracted by the weight of his own thoughts. Hank sat down in the copilot’s seat. “If I were to play devil’s advocate for a moment, I could easily point out that none of us acting alone could have stopped Winters, nor could have the proper authorities. Strictly speaking, the mission ended in success.”
Charles nodded again. “You are entirely correct, my friend,” he offered with a weary smile. “My dilemma now lies not with past decisions, but with future ones. Is it wise to continue on this course, or does it ask too much of them?”
Professor– Scott’s voice unexpectedly interrupted Xavier’s train of thought.
Scott. Are you all right?
Yes. But I need to talk to you.
There will be time, Scott, after–
It has to be now, Scott insisted, as soon as we land. Before– his voice trailed off.
And Xavier understood. Whatever Scott had to say, he wanted it said before Hank took him to surgery. I promise, as soon as we land, Xavier answered him.
When the plane put down on the grounds of the Xavier Institute a short time later, Hank quickly ushered Scott down the boarding ramp. And, as Hank now fully expected, he was closely flanked by Jean and Ororo. Warren and the professor followed as soon as the two of them emerged from the cockpit, and Professor Xavier immediately rolled to Scott’s side. Despite the fact that Xavier could communicate with his students entirely at will, and despite the fact that Hank had already given Xavier a full appraisal of Scott’s condition, the professor was clearly anxious to see Scott in person, speak to him face to face, and Hank paused to let them speak before he took Scott to the infirmary.
“How are you, Scott?” Xavier asked.
“I’m alright, Professor,” he offered immediately, then hesitated. “I’m just sorry I let Winters get past me in the first place.”
“Don’t worry about that now. Our goal was to stop Winters, and he has been stopped. Whatever mistakes were made along the way,” he offered with calm certainty, “no irreversible harm has been done. Right now, the most important thing is that you all are all right.”
Xavier gave them a reassuring smile as he let his gaze move over the uncertain faces of Scott, Ororo, and Jean, each in turn. They were thankful for his words of encouragement, but not entirely sure that Xavier believed those words.
“Professor–” Scott quickly expressed that uncertainty, “I don’t want you to make any final decisions based on what happened tonight. You’re right, we all made mistakes, but we can do better – I know we can, and I want you to know that I still stand by my decision. There will continue to be dangerous mutants who have to be stopped, and the rest of society will need to be protected from them. Everything depends on that – all of our futures – and we have to be the ones who take that responsibility,” he added. “This is how we use our powers for the benefit of society. Nobody else can do what we can do,” Scott finished more quietly, his gaze never leaving Xavier’s. “So promise me, you won’t decide anything right now.”
Charles Xavier nodded. “Okay, Scott,” he agreed, “I promise, no premature decisions. In fact, I promise you all, before I make any decisions about the future – our common future – I will discuss the matter again with all of you.” His gaze returned to Scott. “Once Scott is on the mend,” he concluded firmly, leaving no room for argument, and making no secret of his overriding concern for Scott’s well-being.
Scott nodded in concession. He was grateful and relieved to hear the promise Xavier had given them, but, aside from the argument that he had been determined to make, Scott remained careful to show little emotion of any sort. Xavier knew the young man was working hard to keep everything in check: standing resolutely under his own power, calmly reassuring everyone that he was all right... putting aside for the moment what Xavier knew full well had been a frightful, and remained an immensely painful, injury. But watching Scott Summers, Xavier admired more than the young man’s grit. Scott’s first priority was never himself. Luckily, Scott’s physical condition was the first priority for everyone surrounding him.
“Now, let’s allow Hank to get you treated,” Xavier prompted.
Scott nodded tiredly. And he walked away, quite steadily, surrounded by his steadfast friends.
In spite of a very heavy heart, Charles Xavier had to smile as he watched the group walk away from him toward the infirmary. He was very proud of his students. No one setback could change that, because it was the strength of their characters and the positive growth that he had seen taking place in their lives over the past two years that most impressed him.... Scott, Ororo, and Jean were ready to begin making their own ways in the world, and he had no doubt that each of them would excel in anything they chose to pursue. They were extraordinary individuals, each of them, and their lives would reflect that.
But Xavier couldn’t deny a trace of favoritism; it was Scott of whom he was the most proud. Scott was strong and determined; he had always been those things, but he had never had anything to show for it. Before, all of his strength and resourcefulness had been engaged simply in surviving whatever hardship life next threw at him. Scott had learned toughness and independence, not by choice but by necessity. For all the scarcity he had seen, Scott had most sorely lacked for the presence of a trustworthy guardian, a friend or mentor to take an unselfish interest in him, someone to show genuine concern for him.
As a result, Scott had never attained his full potential, never learned what he was truly capable of or given any real thought to the man he wanted to become... and Scott still had difficulty appreciating other’s concerns for him. He had learned early on to just barely scrape by; there were few resources left over for appreciating the simple joys in life, and there was even less appreciation for his own value or uniqueness as a person.... For all of those reasons, the last two years had changed Scott’s life more profoundly than they had Xavier’s other students.
Given the benefit of those pieces that had always been missing, Scott had learned that he could be far more than he had ever imaged. As a result, he was confident that he could deal with his present circumstances; he had also learned that he didn’t have to deal with them all on his own. He knew he was in good hands with Hank. Jean and Ororo would refuse to leave his side until they were just as convinced as Hank that Scott was going to be all right. And Warren and Charles would remain just as vigilant on Scott’s behalf because they all cared about Scott deeply, just as Scott had come to care about all of them. Scott had learned what it meant to be part of a family.
As complex and as difficult as his life had been, and would continue to be, Scott knew he was no longer in it alone. He no longer saw life as a random series of events happening beyond his control. Somewhere along the line, he had stopped simply reacting to his circumstances and started searching out ways to shape those circumstances for the better. Scott had learned to make his own way forward – but it was at this point where he started to diverge from his classmates, where something more began to take shape.
As proud as Scott was for the fact that he now held in his own hands responsibility over the course of his own life, that wasn’t enough for him. His life had direction and it had purpose; he knew beyond doubt that he could use his talents, and even his mutant abilities, to really make a difference, and Scott wanted everyone around him – everyone like him – to feel the same sense of hope and empowerment that he felt. Scott was a born leader, who was just beginning to discover that he possessed a talent for leading and inspiring others.
Scott Summers would work hard for what he believed in and he would fight for the things that he valued, beginning with Professor Xavier’s Institute for Gifted Students. Here, he would work to make a difference in the world, and fight to keep his family safe in it.... And woe be onto anyone, human or mutant, who chose to stand in opposition to the man who would call himself Cyclops.
So Let it Be Written Publishing © 2004