Wednesday, November 30, 2005

* SPECIAL DOUBLE SIZE 100th POST - COLLECTOR'S ITEM!! *

Now I certainly don't wish anybody harm, but ever since Jean Grey returned from the dead, her Dark Phoenix persona keeps clawing its way to the surface. There is usually some trigger that sparks the personality change. This time it was Cyclops making some remark about Jean's hips looking a little large lately. What an idiot that boy can be! If a girl asks you how she looks, you say great. Period. No ad libbing.

Dark Phoenix had incinerated Wolverine while he was in the middle of a Fast-ball Special. Not to worry. He was back in front of the TV with a can of Pringles within the hour. That still left the Phoenix for the rest of us to deal with, though.

Jean flew over the school, engulfed in her giant fiery bird. "Who's next?" she kept shouting. "Scott - where are you? I have a something for you."

Several of the X-Men came running up to me. "Nightcrawler, I want you to teleport onto Jean's back," I said to Kurt. "Then I want-"

"Um, I am zorry, Profezzor," he interrupted, "but I don't have zee healing vactor of Logan. I vill be in zee game room if you need me." And then Kurt disappeared in a puff of smoke. Some hero.

Longshot stepped up to me. "I'd like to help, Professor."

"Well . . your only power is that you can be lucky. That is really pretty useless in battle. Why don't you go play backgammon with Nightcrawler." He seemed a little hurt as he skulked off, but I really didn't have time to waste.

"Jubilee," I said, "why don't you go join Longshot?" She left, too.

"Now Storm, what I want you to do -"

"Professor?" Cyclops interrupted. "Maybe I should talk to her."

"I think you've done quite enough already, don't you Scott?"

"But . . she loves me! I'm sure I can talk her down."

"Haven't you heard what she's been saying? She wants to kill you. She hates you. And I think I know why. You've slept with half of the mutants on the planet."

"But we were on a break!" he whined.

"Now Storm, what I want -"

"Professor!!" shouted Beast as he ran up to me. "I have something that should help!"

"What is it, Hank?" I asked.

"I've had the boy Leech in the isolation chamber, as you directed. With the oscillation magnifier I invented, I can reflect his power to de-power onto Jean. That should be enough to take out her powers!"

"Well then, get to it Hank," I said.

As the Beast ran back to his lab, Jean decided to step up her game. The Phoenix flared up and a giant fireball launched from her beak and roared into the sky. We all heard a huge explosion in the direction of Morris Park. I reached out to Jean with my telepathy.

"Jean, this is the Professor," I thought.

"I'm a little busy right now, Professor. We can talk later."

"Don't you think you have done enough? I mean you did almost kill Wolverine and it looks like you just blew up that town to the north of us."

"First of all, I don't think you can kill Wolverine. Did you know the Hulk ripped him in half a couple of weeks ago? He crawled a couple of miles until he found his legs and then let them reattach. He was up and running around in no time."

"And what about that town?"

"Oh please. No one's ever heard of it so no one is going to miss it."

"Come now, Jean. Enough is enough. Put the Phoenix away and come down and have some cake."

" . . . well, let me just kill Scott then."

"That certainly is tempting but I do feel a bit sentimental about the boy. He was my first student, you know. Now, if you'll-"

And then my telepathy cut out. Beast came running up with Leech under his arm and some kind of large gun with an umbrella on top in his other hand.

"Hank you idiot!" I yelled. "I had just about talked her down!"

Phoenix, out of Leech's range, shot a fireball down towards us. The flaming blast exploded all around us. Fortunately, Gaia was just at that very moment returning with Forge from 7-11. Gaia dropped her Slurpee and from a distance, used her reality warping powers to create a protective shell around us. Gaia also dampened the flames before too much damage was done to the school. Luckily for us, she was beyond the range of Leech's power.

Beast stuck a tube down Leech's throat and aimed the gun and umbrella at Jean. A bizarre purple energy bolt shot out at her. Almost instantly a blanket of eerie light surrounded her. When it dissipated, the flaming bird was gone and Jean started to plummet to the Earth.

I thought to myself that letting her fall would be one way to solve the Phoenix problem permanently. I knew I was just kidding myself though. She's always going to come back.

Gaia again used her powers to create an air cushion under Jean. She landed softly and Scott carried her back to her room. Hopefully when she wakes up, she won't be too mad. We'll see.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

I have some rather bad news for all of you. It appears that the Phoenix entity has taken over Jean Grey again. She is now back in her Dark Phoenix persona and she has a deep hunger for destruction.

Why should this be a cause for alarm, you ask. Because this alien being is fully capable, through our Jean, of destroying the entire world. Quite easily, actually. Jean has formidable psionic powers but her ability to control the entity is limited. I have in the past been able to exert some influence over the creature, mostly by lending my power to Jean in an effort to help her ride herd on the thing. It isn't working at the moment.

Shortly after Physics class this afternoon, a deafening roar shook the walls of the mansion. I rushed into the main hall in time to see a giant fire ball smash through the roof, soar high into the sky and explode in a dazzling display of pyrotechnics. Rammstein would have been jealous, and that's saying a lot.

Jean was fully engulfed in the flaming bird of the Phoenix, shouting about how she was going to kill everyone, starting with Scott and Emma. Fortunately, she didn't mention me by name.

Jean soared off into the sky through the newly made sky-light just as Cyclops came running into the hall.

"What on Earth happened?" I asked him.

"Well Professor, she asked me how her new costume looked and I might have said something about how her hips were looking kind of big and the new suit wasn't really doing anything to hide that."

I swear, that boy can be such an idiot sometimes.

Then Wolverine and Colossus came running up. Logan took one look towards the sky and turned to Peter.

"Damn. Poor kid. Alright, Petey. It's time to do what we do best."

Colossus turned to his organic steel form and picked up Wolverine. He threw him skyward with all of his might. Logan screamed, "Fast-ball Special!!" as he popped his claws and aimed them for Jean. She looked at him and laughed.

As her arm stretched out towards him, the flaming Phoenix reached out a wing and surrounded Wolverine. His costume, along with most of his flesh, was instantly consumed in the inferno. His ashen remains fell back to the floor of the mansion with a dull thud.

"It be okay, Professor," said Colossus. "I vill take Logan to his room. He should all back to normal be in a couple of hours."

Wolverine does have an amazing healing factor. But what am I going to do about Jean?

Monday, November 28, 2005

First of all, I must apologize to everyone for what happened yesterday. As you may know, Magneto seized control of this journal while I was indisposed. He carried on with his usual sociopathic genocidal rantings and I am sure he must have offended some of you. Rest assured, I confronted him about what he did.

When I went to the room that he has been staying in since his escape from the Vault a couple of weeks ago, I found Magneto packing his bags.

"Do you mean to tell me that your whole reason for refusing to leave here has been so that you could post a crazy message on my blog?" I demanded.

"Did you figure that out all by lonesome, Charles?" he asked with a sneer.

"But . . but that's ridiculous!"

"It was the perfect venue to launch my cyber-assault on the complacent human cows that populate the Internet. I have now started my own on-line platform which I shall use to spread my own propaganda. This way I can directly combat the insidious dis-information that the human powers disseminate about Homo Superiors."

"Eric, be reasonable. People aren't going to blindly accept the hate-mongering nonsense that you are spouting."

"You are being naive, Charles. People believe whatever they are told. Humans are funny like that."

Magneto swung his bag over his shoulder and walked out into the hallway. I followed him.

"Eric! You can't treat people like this! You are only making the situation worse. You are fanning the flames of tension between man and mutant and that will only lead to needless bloodshed!"

"I've heard your liberal tripe before, Charles. I'm not listening to it any longer. Good-bye."

I watched as Magneto walked out into the courtyard where Exodus and the other Brotherhood were waiting with a helicopter. Magneto climbed aboard and the copter lifted off.

Well, I suppose I can at least take some comfort that the free-loader is gone.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Greeting people of Earth. I am Magneto, the Awesome Master of Magnetism. I added the "awesome" to my title recently to ensure that everyone understands just how incredible my powers truly are. My dear friend, Charles Xavier, who runs the school in Westchester, New York where I have been staying for the last couple of weeks, has graciously allowed me to post this entry on the Internet. That is to say, he has drunk himself into a Cognac stupor and he is not in any state to oppose my making this entry. I have bided my time ever since my arrival here to await this perfect moment to address you, the people of the Earth.

Your days are numbered, Homo Sapiens! The day of the mutants is at hand! Soon you will be nothing but a memory, just like Neanderthal Man before you! Accept your destiny, such as it is, and bow down before your superiors - Homo Superior!

That is all I wanted to say. You can now go back to whatever it is you do to occupy your time. My guess is television viewing.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

I had to break up quite the ugly fight today. Shortly after lunch, as I was meditating in my office with a tall glass of Cognac, I heard a terrible commotion out in the corridor. I did my best to ignore it, hoping the crashing and screaming would die a natural death, but the noise just wouldn't stop. Reluctantly, I wheeled to the door and opened it.

To my surprise, Cyclops had Gambit pinned to the floor and was punching him in the face. Normally in this situation I would use my telepathic powers to take control of their minds and separate them. Unfortunately with the mutant child Leech still in the house, no one's powers are working at the moment. While it's true that I did make use of him in defeating the Shadow King, he has been much the nuisance other wise. I just can't think of what to do with him. Perhaps I'll call Child Protective Services and have him taken into foster care.

Sigh. I guess I can't really do that to him. The other students just wouldn't understand. Oh well. I was left with no choice but to break up the fight the old fashioned way.

"Stop this nonsense at once!" I yelled at the top of my lungs. The boys turned to look at me. Scott slowly got off Remy. Cautiously Remy got to his feet and they backed away from each other.

"What on Earth is this ridiculousness about?" I demanded in my most authoritarian voice.

They looked sheepishly at one another but neither said anything.

"Well?" I said again an octave lower.

Finally Scott spoke up. "It, uh, that is he . . he said, well . . well, it's nothing really. We, uh, we're over it, Professor."

I was rather tempted to accept that so I could go back to my "work," but somehow I knew that if this wasn't resolved now, it might just break my tranquility again in the very near future. And so I said, "Not good enough."

"It was him," Remy said, pointing his finger at Scott. Continuing in his faux-French accent, he said, "Scott was whining like un petite fille about how mediocre his new action figure was. I told him not to talk, mine was much crappier. That's when he went crazy."

"Hey!" Scott interrupted. "There have been two Gambit 6-inch dolls out! He's got nothing to talk about!"

"Oh yeah?!" yelled Remy as he moved closer to Scott, his hands balling into fists.

"That's enough!" I shouted. "First of all, they are "action figures", not "dolls", Scott. Second of all, you have had more than two."

"Oh you aren't counting those crappy movie toys, are you?" Scott said dismissively. "They don't even look like me. They're based on James Marsden."

"No, the X-Men had their own classic line out a couple of years ago and you were in the first wave."

"That doesn't count!" Scott whined. "That thing was so scrawny! And that line got cancelled."

"But the other 6-inch Gambit figure was in that line. You can't have your cake and eat it too," I told him.

"But mine was crappier than his in that wave, too. All his figures have been cooler than mine!"

I couldn't argue with him about that, so I tried a different tact. "Scott, you are being childish. These toys are for children. Who cares? We get the money from licensing the images and that's part of how we pay for all of this." At that I spread my arms out to indicate the entire world.

"But it's not fair!"

"Oh, you are such a girl!" Gambit shouted.

Scott turned red and jumped on top of Remy. This time, Remy was ready for him. He fell backwards, pulling Scott down on top of him, and in classic Captain Kirk style, kicked his legs up and flipped Scott head over heals onto his back. Scott landed with a loud crash.

"That's enough you two!" I yelled. "This whole thing is ridiculous. Scott, Toy Biz is going to be releasing a Classic X-Men box set in the near future and you will be in your First Appearance outfit. You will then have three figures to Remy's two. You can therefore feel like a real man. Alright?"

Scott groaned as he pulled himself to his feet. He wiped away a tear. Unable to look me in the eye, he kept his head down as he nodded. They both walked away in opposite directions.

I swear, sometimes this place feels less like a school and more like a day-care center.


Thursday, November 24, 2005

Today, of course, we celebrated Thanksgiving at the mansion. We had quite a large group to feed, as when Exodus arrived yesterday from the Brotherhood's base in Avalon to take Blob, Toad and Magneto back with him, he decided to spend the night.

A crew was assigned randomly to prepare the feast for all the students. The cooking team consisted of Storm, Rogue, Shadowcat, Gaia and Polaris. Immediately after being given the assignment, the entire crew came bursting into my office.

"What is the meaning of this?!" Storm demanded, indignation high in her voice.

"Yeah!" offered Rogue in support.

"What do you mean, ladies?" I asked. As Leech was still in the mansion blocking everyone's powers, I had the opportunity to pretend I couldn't see where this was going.

"Making the cooking team all woman!" yelled Shadowcat, in that shrill voice of hers. I think she has a bit of Banshee's powers. I'll have to remember to check her with Cerebro.

"Yeah!" chimed in Rogue again.

"I can assure you, ladies, that the lottery for drawing cooking duty was completely random. The fact that the crew wound up being just women was totally coincidental."

"That's crap!" Storm shouted. "Do you have any idea what the odds of that happening are?"

"Well, no I don't actually. Math was never my specialty. If it's any consolation, everyone has been given a chore to do also. You have actually gotten off easy. Believe me. Wait until you see what Wolverine has to do."

They didn't leave happy but at least they left. The rest of the day was fairly uneventful. That is, if you don't count Mystique's assassination attempt against Magneto. Someone, I really can't imagine who, hired her to eliminate Eric. Fortunately for Magneto, her first move upon entering the mansion was to knockout the power-nullifying child Leech. He was the only thing keeping Magneto's powers in check. With Leech out of the way, he was easily able to defend himself.

With that disturbance over, we were able to get on with the meal. As is our annual custom, a student was chosen, again at random, I promise, to wear the Thanksgiving Turkey suit and recite the mutant prayer of thanks. This is quite an honor. The lucky X-Man to be selected this year was Wolverine.











He tried to get out of it when I informed him that he was the chosen one. "This is humiliatin'!" he yelled with that guttural voice.

"Now Logan, you know how important this is to all the children. They are here, far from home and family. It's these kind of little things that let them know they belong. I implore you, think of the children."

He let out a reluctant sigh and said, "But it ain't even a turkey suit. This is a damn chicken."

"I'm sure no one will notice," I said.

Just before dinner was served, Jean Grey arrived at the mansion, returning from her trip overseas. It was certainly nice to have her back in time for the festivities. Eventually the food was served and everyone ate until sated. Except, of course, for the Blob. Fortunately, Leech had recovered which put a bit of a limit on the obese one's appetite. But not much. As we ate, Wolverine recited the mutant prayer.

"Thank you, oh mighty Darwin, for discovering evolution. Praise to you in the highest for outlining the system that will let mutant kind someday take over the Earth. Thanks to you for ensuring our inevitable domination over Homo Sapien. Amen."

All those gathered joined in a chorus of 'Amen.'

And to all those mutants who couldn't be with us - Happy Thanksgiving!

(And a Happy Thanksgiving to the humans, too!)

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

After our stunning victory against the New Avengers, we took all the Brotherhood mutants we rescued from the Vault prison back to the school in Westchester. The flight back in the X-Jet was rather uneventful. Wolverine spent most of the time asking everyone if they saw his fast-ball special maneuver.

We managed to escape without any serious injury, unless you count the mortal wounding of my pride. My first stop once we landed at the mansion was to shave off my new shocking mane of orange afro.

I had thought about having Gaia simply erase my new, totally unwelcome hair with her awesome reality warping powers, but since I have been saddled with having the mutant child Leech staying in the school, no one's powers are working. Why we haven't bothered to come up with an actual name for the boy, I don't know. "Leech" can't be very good for his self-image. That's the least of my problems, though.

Instead, I let Wolverine shave my head. True, he is a sociopath and therefore not someone I would particular want to let anywhere near me when he's wielding a sharp instrument, but he is good with knives. The whole process took him about 20 seconds. Hopefully the hair won't grow back.

Now that I was presentable again, my next stop was to see Forge. I had a little assignment for him.

My third stop was to see Magneto. He was down in the game room playing the Nascar pinball machine. I noticed that he had managed to rack up a score of over 3 million points and was well on his way to getting the all-time high. There was a half eaten box of Milk Duds on the corner of the game.

"I hope you aren't cheating, Eric," I said.

Without turning his attention from the game, he said, "How can I with Leech in the house?"

"Well, that's true," I answered. After a brief pause I continued. "You know we have returned with Mystique and the others."

"Wonderful," he replied absently.

"Everyone made it out of the Vault safely, in case you were wondering."

"I had every confidence in you."

"Mystique has already left and Exodus is about to arrive to pick up the rest of the Brotherhood members."

"Fine, fine."

"Can I assume that you will be leaving with the Brotherhood then?" I asked.

"Hmm, no I don't think so, Charles."

I couldn't believe what I was hearing. "Look, Eric, the whole reason why we broke you out of jail was because the Brotherhood needs a leader. They are running amok in Avalon. You have a duty to go to them."

"Oh, I'm sure they'll be fine. You worry too much."

This was just too much for me. I'm afraid I lost my composure. If you are easily disturbed, then you may want to skip the next paragraph.

"Oh come on, Eric! What the hell is your game?! Why are you hanging around the mansion?! What do you want?!"

Did you see all those exclamation points? I was rather inflamed. Sorry. I will try and control myself in the future.

"Charles, if you don't mind, I am having rather a good game here and you are starting to distract me," was Magneto's reply to my tirade. He did not say another word to me.

I stared at him for several moments before turning around and wheeling out. He can just be so frustrating. I know he's up to something, but what?

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Cyclops engaged the X-Jet's stealth mode and landed us in a corn field just a few miles from the Vault. As Wolverine, Colossus, Beast and Nightcrawler pushed each other out the way to get into the X-Buggy first, I had a momentary pang of regret that I didn't take the time to select a more subtle team for this prison break. Loud "snnikktt" sounds filled the small passenger compartment as Wolverine kept withdrawing and retracting his claws.

The fact is, I didn't really need to take any of them on this mission. I could just use my psionic powers to take over the minds of all the guards at the Vault. Cyclops has been so eager to lead though, I thought this might be a nice opportunity for him. And Wolverine must be kept busy or he'll end up destroying all the furniture at the school.

When we reached the prison, the team immediately sprung into action. Beast quickly climbed up the right security tower and jumped between the two guards on the observation platform. Before they had a chance to react, he had smashed their heads together, sending them into dreamland.

Nightcrawler teleported onto the top of the left tower and did something similar to the two guards there. Meanwhile, Cyclops blasted the security cameras above the front door. Once the coast was clear, Colossus changed to his organic steel form and charged at the front door. He easily ripped it from its hinges and tossed it across the yard. This had the unfortunate consequence of setting off the alarms.

This, of course, did not deter Wolverine. He charged straight through the now open door. We all followed. We made our way quickly to Sector B, where the Brotherhood mutants were being held. Surprisingly, we encountered no resistance. At least, not until we reached the main gate to Sector B.

Standing between us and the Brotherhood's cells was US Agent, the head of security for the Vault. Standing behind him were the New Avengers.

"Let's kill these mutie scum!" snarled US Agent.

"Wait a second, son," said Captain America as he stepped next to him. "Wolverine, you're one of us now. Why don't you come stand over here?"

Power Man nodded supportively at him and Spider-Woman arched her back, causing her ample breasts to lift up high. If anything was going to make Wolverine betray us, it was that. Breasts are his kryptonite.

"Sorry Cap, I'm an X-Man first, last and always," Wolverine said. "The New Avengers is an alright weekend gig to kill some time, but this is my family."

Captain America just nodded. The room grew quiet as everyone tensed. Both teams were ready to strike. Telepathically, I told Wolverine that this was his chance.

Gleefully, he jumped into Colossus arms. "Fast-ball Special!!" he yelled, as Colossus tossed him forcefully at Iron Man. With his adamantium claws out, Wolverine sliced through the main power regulator's in Iron Man's chest plate. He never had a chance to defend himself. Smoke and sparks started flying out of his suit.

Unfortunately for Wolverine, he landed in Power Man's arms. "We gonna try that again!" shouted Luke Cage as he threw him with all his might back at Colossus. Peter caught Logan without any problem and threw him back at Cage. This time, Wolverine had his claws straight out in front of him, aimed straight for Cage's chest.

Mere inches from impact, Spider-Man's webbing caught Wolverine and pulled him back. Spider-Man started slinging Logan around over his head before releasing his web rope, sending Wolverine flying across the room.

Meanwhile, Captain America threw his shield at Colossus head. Cyclops managed to deflect the shield with an optic blast just moments before being hit by a bio-electric "venom blast" from Spider-Woman. Colossus picked up the shield and threw it with all his might into the ceiling where it became deeply embedded.

Beast had leapt at Spider-Man and the two of them were now bouncing off the walls, swinging and kicking at each other without either having much luck landing a blow. Nightcrawler had teleported behind US Agent and was trying to kick him, but the Agent was just too fast.

"Enough," I said. Gathering my mental energies I took over the minds of the New Avengers. The first thing I did was have Captain America give a strong right hook to US Agent. That racist, fascist pig really bothers me. Then I had them enter an empty cell and start playing Patty Cake with each other.

We resumed our quest and made our way to the Brotherhood's cells. "What kept you?" asked Mystique as Cyclops blasted open her door.

"Actually," I replied, "I believe the phrase you're looking for is 'thank you'."

"I'm not familiar with that one," she answered. I just shook my head as we all started to make our way out of the Vault.

Unfortunately, my concentration had slipped momentarily and Spider-Woman managed to get free of my mental control. She blasted me with her bio-electrical bolt. I could feel the strange energies flowing through my body, mixing somehow with my psionic powers. The skin of my head began to get very hot. Cyclops wheeled me out of the prison and to the X-Buggy. When we reached the X-Jet, I caught a look at myself in a mirror -






This could very well be the most embarrassing moment of my entire life. Looks like I'll have to start waxing my head again. I can't tell you how much I appreciate Master Yoda creating the above approximation of my shame.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Wheeling down to rec room B, I found Magneto leaning back in a chair, his feet on the table, a large bowl of avocado guacamole on his lap and a tall bag of Nacho Flavored Doritoes next to him, watching Cops reruns on TV.

"Eric, why are you still here?" I demanded. "If you had returned to Avalon when I rescued you last week, half of your Brotherhood wouldn't be in jail right now!"

"What are you talking about, Charles?" he asked indifferently.

"Blob and Toad, along with your children Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver were all arrested and are currently being held in the Vault! And apparently Mystique was captured trying to rescue them," I informed him.

"Really? How could that have happened?" He didn't even bother to turn to look at me.

"It seems Wanda and Pietro went to Avalon, logically assuming you'd be there, to spend Thanksgiving with you. The Blob somehow talked them all going to Hershey, Pennsylvania where they were all arrested."

"Oh, that's right," he said. "The Sweet Lights Christmas in Hershey festival began this week. He never misses it."

"Yes, well, we have to go back to the Vault and break them out!"

"I don't think so," he said, finally turning to look at me.

"What? But they're your people. You have to rescue them!" I insisted.

"No, I don't. I'm quite comfortable here. You go if you want."

And with that, he turned his attention back to the TV, raised the remote and increased the volume. Shaking my head, I rolled out of the room. At least Leech is still here so his mutant nullifying powers will keep Magneto weak while I'm gone.

I grabbed the first five X-Men I saw and lead us to the X-Jet. I was planning to take Jean Grey along but the Beast told me he saw her leave the mansion last night muttering "Emma" over and over.

As Cyclops flew the jet at top speed down to Virginia, Beast asked me, "Professor, could you please delineate the justifications for our intended prison break of our mortal enemies?"

"Well Henry, the intricacies of human behavior and motivations sometimes transcend understanding," I replied.

"What does that mean?" he asked.

"Sometimes knowing the path and walking the path are two different things," I told him.

"If you don't want to tell me, just say so."

Behind us I could hear Wolverine say, clearly loudly enough that he meant for me to hear, "All I can say is, I better get to do my "fast-ball special."

We'll see.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

After returning from our triumph in the Astral Plane last night, the team decided to forego our usual victory party and instead get some well needed rest. Though our spiritual projections all sustained injuries during our battle with the Shadow King, perhaps none worse than Gaia who almost sacrificed herself to save the rest of us, those injuries did not travel back to our physical bodies. But we all did feel exhausted.

Now that we were free of the Shadow King's machinations, I hoped things might get back to normal around the school. I was wrong. On the other hand, I suppose it might be my definition of normal that is wrong.

As I sipped my morning tea, savoring a few moments of peace, the door to my office burst open. And with that I knew any dreams of having a relaxing day were gone. Wolverine charged straight up to my desk with a rather sheepish looking Colossus in tow.

"I didn't get to do a damn fast-ball special," Wolverine shouted. "It's my signature move!"

Colossus, standing behind him, cleared his throat.

"I mean, our signature move," Wolverine corrected. Then Wolverine just stood there silently, looking at me expectantly. Did he expect me to actually answer that?

"Er, well Logan, sometimes a particular battle might not present the opportunity for each of us to use-"

"That's crap!" he yelled. "I got fans! They expect to see me do my signature move in each and every battle!"

"Now Logan, we all have fans. Just because-"

"That's crap!!" he yelled even louder. "Who's the most popular X-Man? Me, that's who! I put asses in seats! You like all that money you get from licensing us out? Well who do you think sells the merchandise, bub? They want a comic to sell, they put me on the cover! They want people to go see a damn movie, they make sure I'm on the friggin' poster! And my fans want to see me do my moves in each and every battle! I was hardly in that last one! The Shadow King zapped my powers and then I got swarmed by some friggin' green ghosts! What the hell is that?!"

"So what do you want me to do about it, Logan?" I asked, not even trying to hide my impatience. "I mean, this is silly! Do you want us to go back to the Astral Plane? Conjure up the spirit of the Shadow King? Re-do the battle for you? Hmm?"

"Yeah, that's what I want!"

"Well that's not going to happen. He's gone and I'm tired. In the next battle I'll do my best to make sure you get to do a 'spit-ball special'."

"That's 'fast-ball special'!"

"Whatever. I'm sure your fans are mature enough to understand. Now if you don't mind, I have some work to do."

With a grunt, he left, dragging poor Colossus after him. I swear, I don't know what that man's problem is.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Gaia's shriek rang throughout the Astral Plane. The Shadow King slowly withdrew his tendrils from her face.

"Stop resisting me!" he screamed. "Surrender to me or Xavier will die!!"

"Sp-spare the other's, too," Gaia answered feebly.

The Shadow King paused for a moment. Then with a small evil chuckle he said, "Fine."

Gaia surrendered herself to the monster. His snaking tendrils reached out again and this time when they touched her, she vanished from sight.

"Wh-what have you done with her?" I demanded, my astral form still weakened from the battering the Shadow King gave me.

"She is safe in her little cage," he answered. "Soon I will begin the process of consuming her, body and spirit. I will break down the last of her resistence and then I will use her to assimilate all the people of the Earth, starting with the telepaths. Everyone will be my slave!! HA-HA-HA!"
"Wh-what about the other X-Men?" I asked.

"I will kill you all," he answered coldly.

"But you said you would let us go!"

"I lied," he answered, amid more maniacal laughter.

Suddenly I felt all sense of reality ripped from me as the weird twisting landscape dissolved into nothingness.

When I regained consciousness, I found that I was still in the Astral Plane. My arms and legs were chained psionically to the corners of some kind of giant 'X'. As I looked around I saw the other X-Men with me, all looking about as bad as I felt and all as helplessly chained as I was. Emma Frost was the first to speak.

"I hope you're happy, Charles," she said. "That was really a brilliant plan. I am amazed the X-Men have lasted this far with you at the helm."

"Aw, give the Professor a break," said Cyclops. "He couldn't have known about that nullifying gun."

"We haven't lost yet," I said defiantly. Or at least, I started to say that. I only managed to get out the "we haven't" part when my mind was violently assaulted. Waves of pain tore across my brain. To my surprise, I felt that it was Gaia who was attacking me. I realized that the Shadow King was holding her somewhere nearby, using her as a weapon against me. If he is able to merge with her, then he may very well be able to take over the whole planet.

As my pain subsided, the giant form of the Shadow King strode through the purple-greenish mists of the Astral Plane. He stopped in the middle of our semi-circle.

"And now my use for all of you is over," he announced. "The girl will soon be mine for all eternity."

"Pardon me, Shadow King?" Emma said.

"What is it!?" he yelled with wild anger.

I saw Emma glance over to her side but couldn't see what she was looking at. "I was wondering if you could hurry this up. I have promised my students that I would take them to see the Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire tomorrow in England, dear."

The heat of the Shadow King's rage wafted over us. He gave her an intense look and I could see the energy being drained from her body.

Finally, he turned to the rest of us and said, "I can feel your powers returning. I can't have that. I'm sure you understand. So now it is time for all of you to die!"

Wild bolts of radiant energy leapt from his fingers, lashing through all of us at once. The pain was incredible. I could feel the life being blasted out of my body.

And then the bolts stopped. The Shadow King looked down at his hands in confusion. His massive form started to shrink in size as his black armor dissolved. Soon there was just a naked fat Egyptian man standing in front of us. Our chains had melted away, too.

"I didn't think you were ever going to send the signal, Charles," said Magneto as he walked up to me. Shadow Cat and Leech were at his side. "I thought I was going to have to take over the school myself."

"Thank you for having the courtesy to wait until you could confirm my demise," I answered, walking to him and shaking his outstretched hand.

"B-but . . wh-what . .?" was all Amahl Farouk, the former Shadow King, managed to get out. The look of sheer bewilderment on his face almost made all of our trouble worth it.

"I had my own power nullifier," I told Amahl as I pointed to the little green boy. "I knew you had some way to remove our powers, though I didn't know what it was. I also knew you'd have a trap set at the portal entrance. That's why I sent the cannon fodder, er, the um, first wave of attack in separately. I waited a few moments and entered through my own means some distance away. I knew this would give me the opportunity to find out what you were up to. Then I just had to wait for the right moment to signal Magneto to begin our main assault. With Leech here, all your powers are gone too, including your ability to conjure up those green wraiths. Looks like you're outnumbered, Amahl. I'd say it's 'game over' for you."

"N-no! This isn't fair!!" he screamed, this time in a rather girly voice. "I am the master of all the world!!"

"No, you ain't, bub," said Wolverine. Gaia, running through the mists, reached our group just in time to see Wolverine pull back his fist and then smash Amahl across the face. The fat man collapsed into a motionless heap.

"So what do we do with him?" asked Gaia.

"Kill him!" shouted Wolverine.

"Actually, he's already dead," I told the group. "This bit of astral form is all that exists of Amahl. It is his sheer force of will that has kept him alive thus far."

Then, right before our eyes, Amahl Farouk's astral body started to dissolve. In mere moments he was completely gone.

"Alright everyone, back to the portal," I announced. "Let's get some tea and biscuits back at the mansion."

"Make it beer and chips and you got a date," said Wolverine.

"And you didn't want us to bring the boy back from the Vault," Magneto said to me with a sly wink.

"Don't be silly. He was a part of my plan all along," I replied with a smile as I rubbed Leech's bald head. Magneto gave me a very disbelieving sneer. I winked back.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Vicious tendrils of ethereal force lashed out from the gigantic astral form of the Shadow King, crashing against me. Jolts of psionic energy racked across my body as he tore away the armor I had created for myself. I tried to gather my thoughts to resist him but his attack was over-whelming.

It's really kind of ironic. I mean I make all of my students spend hours and hours in the Danger Room, honing their combat instincts, but I've never gone through the course myself. Normally I stay off the front-lines. As the Shadow King's snake like tendrils wrapped around my body and squeezed the life from me, I wondered if I had made a mistake choosing to lead this mission.

All that Danger Room training wasn't doing the other X-Men much good. The Shadow King's phantasm army had swarmed over all of them. As I looked helpless in their direction, all I could see was a big swirling mass of greenish misty forms.

Just as I felt the life start to slip from my body, the Shadow King let up the pressure. He called out to his ghost soldiers. "Bring her to me!"

I watched as some of the green mist detached itself from the larger cloud. As it approached us, I could make out a body floating inside. The mists parted and I saw the barely conscious form of Gaia. The Shadow King's body shrunk a bit as he moved closer to her. His dark cackling voice filled the whole plane.

"You have one choice, my little dear," he boomed. "Surrender to me. Be my new Shadow Queen . . or I shall kill him!"

I saw Gaia look at me, desperation and horror in her eyes. I knew my only chance was to stall.

"G-give up, Amahl," I said weakly. "You c-can't win."

Freakish maniacal laughter erupted from deep within him. "I think you mis-read this situation, Xavier. All I have to do is give a little squeeze and your astral form will be destroyed. Your physical body may linger for some time, devoid of a mind, but probably not for long. Tell the girl to surrender to me."

"What on Earth d-do you . . want with her," I managed to get out.

"She shall be my Queen, of course. Every King needs a Queen." More wild cackling followed.

"F-for an h-heir?" I asked feebly, trying to goad him.

"No you fool," he bellowed, tossing my tortured body back and forth. "I shall join with the lovely Gaia, using her awesome mental powers to take over other minds. I will start with the telepaths, merging all of them together, through her, until I control everyone! I shall be the absolute master of entire world! All will bow before me!! HA-HA-HA!!!"

My heart sank. The madman started to move closer to Gaia again. "W-what did you do to the other's p-powers?" I asked, hoping to buy just a few more precious seconds of life.

He turned slowly to look at me. For a moment I thought he wouldn't tell me, but villains can never resist gloating once they think they've won. He held up his hand and in it I saw a gun. It took me a moment to recognize it. It was the power nullifier! Forge had built this gun a couple of years ago. A man named Gyrich used it on Storm and all her abilities were temporarily drained. How had Amahl gotten it? He must have made Storm give it to him while he was possessing her.

"Enough words!" he roared. Turning to Gaia, he demanded, "Chose girl!"

Gaia looked helpless at me. With a lone tear running down her cheek, she slowly nodded. More deafening laughter burst from the Shadow King. Long tendrils snaked from his mouth and stretched out towards Gaia. The poor girl let out a terrible shriek as the glowing ends touched her skin.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

The X-Men gathered before the dimensional portal generator in the sub-level of the mansion. The first foray into the Astral Plane a few days ago was unfortunately not a complete success. Gaia was able to confirm that our recent troubles were the work of my old enemy, Amahl Farouk. I had killed him many years ago in Egypt. Or at least, I killed his body. His essence somehow lived on in the ethereal Astral Plane of existence. His power there has grown over the years as he has become adept at manipulating people's minds on the physical plane.

Though Gaia's assault did not succeed in vanquishing the self-proclaimed Shadow King, she was able to determine that his primary goal was my destruction. This is a fact that I shall use against him.

The team that I selected for this mission was Cyclops, Colossus, Beast, Gaia, Emma Frost, Jean Grey and, of course, Wolverine. Part of my licensing contract with Marvel Entertainment obligates me to include Wolverine on every adventure involving a mutant. At least he can take quite a bit of damage. That's why I always let him go first.

With a maniacal howl, Wolverine dove head first through the portal. The others quickly spilled in after him. Rather than use the portal myself, I chose to enter the plane using my own psionic power.

As reality faded around me, the swirling amorphous mists of the Astral Plane appeared around me. The intangible alien landscape offered very little to give me any bearings. Once I had crossed the dimensional barrier though, my body was whole and I had the use of my legs again. Using my mental abilities, I created psionic armor around me.

Loud wails and crashing sounds from my left startled me. I turned to see all of the X-Men being overwhelmed by a hoard of other-worldly phantasms. The strange monsterous creatures swarmed over my beleaguered mutants who fought back fiercely but were seriously out-numbered. Five of the bizarre ghosts dragged poor Cyclops down into the shadows. I suddenly realized that he wasn't using his optic beams for some reason. Quickly looking to the other X-Men, I realized that none of them seemed to be using their powers.

Suddenly loud psychotic laughter boomed throughout the air. Spinning around, I saw the gigantic demon form of the Shadow King looming high above me.



Wednesday, November 16, 2005

This morning I set about the task of assembling the team to lead the assault on the Shadow King in the Astral Plane. As you may be aware, that fiend has been causing no end of problems for both my X-Men and Scarlet Witch's new team, the X-Hibitionists.

Selecting the right team is a very important and often overlooked, or at least rushed, process. An efficient team must be well-balanced. This means there must be members who can fill the need of great physical strength, stealth, flight, long range attack, melee and of course, perhaps the most important of all, leadership.

The original leader of the X-Men was Cyclops. He turned out to be a bit of a disappointment. I didn't really have much choice when I appointed him though. I mean, look what my options were. There was a superficial ladies-man playboy millionaire, a bounding nerdy bookworm who made every effort to fill the role of comic relief, an immature young boy, and a girl. Obviously I had to choose Cyclops. I had hoped he would eventually grow into the job. Rise to the station, as it were. Ah well.

In retrospect, I probably should have made Jean Grey the leader back then. But I was a product of my times and it never occurred to me to let a girl lead. Eventually I chose Storm to take over the X-Men. We have all seen how that turned out. She is unreliable, at least until this affair with the Shadow King is resolved. I suppose I shall have to assume leadership of this mission myself. At least on the Astral Plane I won't be hampered with my wheelchair.

The only real misgiving that I have about this mission is that I am forced to take Magneto along with me. I don't trust him to remain unsupervised back at the mansion. But because I don't trust him, I don't want to go on a combat mission with him. I went downstairs to the kitchen to see if I could talk him into leaving for Avalon to rejoin his Brotherhood before we took off. I found him deep in conversation with Emma Frost.

"The thing that I just don't understand about Pyro," Magneto was saying, "is how on Earth anyone can extol the Nazis."

"Would you please give it a rest already?" Emma said with exasperation. "The only thing that I hate more than Nazis is people who won't stop talking about Nazis. Yes, it was terrible. Move on."

"How can you possibly say that?" Magneto demanded, ire in his voice. "The Nazi movement and all that came out of it, World War II, the Holocaust, they were events of such magnitude that they had huge destructive impact on the lives of millions and millions of people."

"There have been other tragedies in the world, you know," Emma said.

"You - you have no idea what you are talking about," Magneto replied, standing to his feet. Without another word he turned away and stormed off. Obviously, this would have been a bad moment to confront him. I suppose I will be stuck with him when we enter the Astral Plane.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Storm went on another rampage this morning. A commercial had come on the television during the morning news set to a Christmas jingle and she just lost it. "It's not even Thanksgiving yet!" she screamed as she ran out of the mansion. Once she was beyond Leech's power dampening power, she took to the air in a violent gust of wind and started to rain lightening bolts down upon the local strip mall. Some of the X-Men rushed to the scene.

Colossus picked up Wolverine and tossed him straight into the air at Storm. That's their famous "fast-ball special" maneuver, in case you didn't know. Storm blasted Wolverine with a vicious lightening barrage before he could reach her, though. His crispy body tumbled to the ground but Jean was able to catch him telekentically and soften his landing. With his amazing healing abilities, he was already coming around.

While Storm was distracted, Cyclops zapped her in the back with a rather intense optic beam. It was really much stronger than it had to be to. That boy does have some issues. Storm fell unconscious towards the Earth at a rather quick pace. Fortunately, Rogue was on hand to swoop up and catch her.

Storm was returned to the mansion and, after having her locked in the room next door to Leech, I assembled the X-Men in conference room.

"Obviously the Shadow King is goading us into attacking again," said Beast. "He wants us to launch another assault on him."

"I think you are quite right, Hank," I replied. "And unfortunately we have no choice but to play along."

"Professor, things were really touch and go that last time," said Gaia. "He's got something that nullifies powers, sort of like Leech does. I think we're going to need some more help."

"The Scarlet Witch and her X-Hibitionists have returned to their headquarters at the Dazzler's nightclub. We shall leave them in the reserve, in case we need back-up," I said.

"But Professor," Gaia continued, "we barely escaped with our lives last time. Taking less people doesn't make any sense! It's . . it's like Bush's invasion of Iraq strategy!"

"As much as I hate to say it," chimed in Emma Frost, "but I have to agree with Gaia. Bush's strategy was ill-conceived."

"Now let's not make this political," I said. "Besides, it's me the Shadow King wants. We can use that fact against him. Now then, I want you all to get a good night's rest. I'll be giving you your team assignments in the morning and then we will launch our attack!"

Monday, November 14, 2005

Gaia and her team have returned from the Astral Plane after confronting the Shadow King. Everyone returned intact, more or less, but Shadow King is still at large. Obviously something is going to have to be done about him. First I want to get Magneto on his way, though. I certainly don't trust him but with Leech in the mansion, I am unable to use my telepathic powers to find out what he really wants and why he won't return to Avalon where his Brotherhood of Mutants are currently residing. At least I was able to get him out of the school for a couple of hours today.

Kitty Pryde discovered that the Smiling Baby Hitlers were playing a concert at the Westchester Civic Center tonight. This is the band that Pyro is playing with. He was a former student here but left to join the Brotherhood, as chronicled in the X-Men 2 movie. When Eric found out, he insisted on going. I reminded him that he hates loud vapid punk music. He responded that he wasn't going for the music but rather to confront Pyro.

We arrived at the concert just in time for the last song. Kitty insisted on coming with us and bringing Leech along. That, of course, defeated my entire purpose of going with Eric, which was, of course, to read his mind and find out what he was up to.

After the show, while Kitty chatted up the security guards, Eric, Leech and I went backstage to the dressing room. It was just as well that Leech was along, I thought for the first time, because Eric had murder in his eyes. I convinced Eric to let me try first with him.

"Hello John," I said to Pyro as he pulled off his purple afro wig.

"Yo', Professor X! Wass up!" he shouted at the top of his lungs. "Hey, Mags! How's it hangin'! Uh, hey man, that kid don't look so good. He's kind a green, you know?"

"That's alright," I answered, "Leech is suppose to look like that. I think. Anyway, that's not why we are here. John, I don't know what this silly music thing is all about but you are still enrolled in my school and it's very important that you complete your education."

"Hey man, Jim Morrison dropped outta high school. He did all right with this "silly music thing."

"Yes, and now Jim Morrison is dead. Do you see a connection?"

"What, you sayin' that if I drop outta school I'm gonna die? Then I say - Rock and Roll, man!"

"Now John, I don't think you are -"

"How on Earth could you name your band after that monster!?" Magneto exploded, cutting me off. "Do you have any idea what he did to my people?! To my parents?!"

"What? You mean that Hitler guy?" Pyro asked.

Magneto's face was turning bright red. He was shaking as he yelled, "Do you even know anything about the Holocaust!?"

"What, you mean that glowing energy dude in the see-thru yellow armor?" Pyro answered.

Then Eric turned to me. "What the hell are you teaching the children at your school, Charles?"

"Well, we focus more on the sciences and super-powered combat. I suppose we don't put quite enough emphasis on all -"

"That . . that . . that is totally irresponsible!" Eric shouted.

"Hey, chill out man," Pyro chimed in. "In the name he's, like, smiling, you know. And he's a baby. It's, like, um . . ironic, you know. I think that's the word."

Eric looked long and hard at Pyro and then shaking his head, turned and walked out. There was obviously nothing more I could do so I followed him. On our way back to the X-Van, Kitty bought one of the Smiling Baby Hitlers CD's in the lobby.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Well, Magneto, Kitty and I, as well as the little green boy, Leech - the one who's ability to dampen others' mutant powers almost killed us all - arrived back at the mansion in Westchester today after freeing Eric from federal prison. To my surprise, the school was deserted, save for Emma Frost who was sulking in her room. I wasn't able to determine this with my telepathic powers as I normally would, of course, because Leech was still in the vicinity. I had to use the school's extensive security system.

I knew that Gaia had taken most of the team on a perilous mission to the Astral Plane to confront the source of Storm's recent hostile behavior. I didn't realize they would still be gone, though. If only that blasted mutie - excuse me - homo superior child, Leech, wasn't still around, I could use my powers to make contact with Gaia or Jean and find out what is going on. Perhaps she has been able to get an update to her blog. I'll have to check.

I was also rather surprised to see that Rogue and Exodus had gone. After all, they were the ones who insisted I free Magneto. I just naturally assumed that they would be awaiting his return. I went up to Emma's room to try and get some more information.

"Hello Emma," I said once she had opened the door. "I thought you were going to accompany Gaia on her mission."

"Oh please, Charles," she answered in a rather condescending tone. "They have more than enough heavy hitters. Talk about overkill. It would just have been a waste of my time."

"Well, I can see that you have far more important things to do than defend your fellow mutants. For instance, that's the latest of issue of Cosmopolitan, right?"

That ticked Emma off. She tossed the magazine she had been reading off her bed. "Gaia may be thousands of years old but she has spent most of her life isolated in some other-dimensional vortex. She has the social development of a child and I for one have no interest in teaching her."

"Really? Rather strange that you would chose to be a teacher here at my school then," I said to her.

"Oh whatever," she answered turning away from me. "And incidentally, I would appreciate the removal of that Leech thing. Without my powers I feel . . powerless."

"Leech is a fellow mutant and it is our chosen task to protect him, as with all of our kind. It is our duty . ."

"Spare me that crap! I "heard" your whole conversation about the "pest." Remember, his power only cancels those who are actually within his sphere of influence."

"Regardless, he's staying for the time-being. Now tell me, where did Rogue go?" I asked.

"She and her sanctimonious purple freak of a friend went back to Avalon."

"But why didn't they wait for their leader?"

"I don't know. I was so glad to see them go that I didn't bother to ask."

"You really aren't being much help, you know," I pointed out.

Emma then wheeled me out of her room and slammed the door shut behind me. Heading down to the kitchen, I found Magneto deep into a pint of Double Mocha Fudge Haagen-daz ice cream. Kitty had the Vanilla Fudge Almond and Leech was scratching the surface of a Mint Chip.

"It looks like your friends didn't wait for you, Eric," I informed him.

"That's alright, Charles," he replied, "I'm not in a hurry."

"But . . the whole reason they had me rescue you was that things are falling apart in Avalon!"

"I'm sure it's not as bad as all that," Magneto said. "Besides, it looks like you might need some help with the X-Men."

"I'm sure they'll be just fine," I answered.

"And if they're not? If they need some help, don't you want some allies to go to the Astral Plane with you?"

"I'm sure it won't come to that," I said. "Gaia and the others are very capable."

"And if you're wrong?"

"Well . . if I receive some kind of message from Gaia or one of the others that they need backup, fine. But I won't be needing your help Magneto."

"Oh, that's right, you have Shadowcat." There was deep smirking tone in his voice. He turned to Kitty and winked at her. She gave him a little giggle in response. Hopefully, Gaia and the others will be back soon.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Shadowcat, Magneto and I, along with the child Leech whom I was cajoled into taking along against my better judgment, barreled along at warp speed north on I-95 back towards New Jersey after breaking Eric out of the federal detention facility known as the Vault. How could the X-Van, manufactured by Chevrolet Motors and designed to not reach speeds in excess of 110 miles an hour possibly achieve warp speed you ask? Because Kitty Pryde was driving. She tells me she passed her road test and has a driver's license but somehow I doubt it. No one under 30 should be allowed to drive.

Fortunately I was able to persuade her to pull over for a lunch break at Taco Bell. I would have chosen the Friendly's across the street because I simply love their Waffle French Fries, but what with a small green child and an escaped convict, I thought it best to stick to establishments that had drive-thru service. If Leech hadn't been blocking out my mutant telepathic abilities, I never would have stopped at all.

No sooner had we gotten our food and pulled into the parking lot to eat when three anti-gravity air ships suddenly swooped down on us from the heavens. Actually, they were coming from the direction of the Vault and they had little American flags on them so I don't actually think they were from Heaven.

Energy rays shot from one of the ships and smashed into the ground next to us. Concrete was sent flying everywhere. The van rocked so heavily that my Diet Pepsi spilled all over Leech. If only that would have been enough to cancel out his mutant power so that I could take out the pilots psionically.

A deep booming voice echoed over the whole area, broadcast from the lead ship's loudspeaker.

"Alright mutie scum! This is your last chance to surrender! You've got five seconds before I start blowin' the crap out of you!"

"Well," I said to my companions, "I really hope you are happy about your decision to bring Leech along. I told you that if we got killed it would be your fault. Thank you so much."

"Are you quite through?" asked Magneto. He looked over at Kitty who sat petrified in the front seat. "Don't worry my child," Eric said to her, "these are pathetic little Homo Sapiens. They can't possibly hurt us."

Then another blast hit just outside the X-Van knocking us all out of our seats.

"Even our little speed demon can't out run those ships, Eric," I pointed out.

Eric sighed and then got out of the van. He waved the little white Taco Bell paper napkin towards the sky and the lead ship then landed a few feet away. I watched from the van window as the canopy of the small fighter ship opened and out came a colorful costumed character.

"So, you thought you could escape, eh mutie?" the masked man asked.

"From such a pathetic specimen as you? I didn't think it would be a problem," Magneto answered.

"Ha! Well then, you didn't count on havin' to deal with US Agent! I've been placed in charge of security at the Vault and it'll be a cold day in hell before I let any a' you mutie scum escape on my watch!" The costumed man leaned in close to Magneto and jabbed a finger in his chest. This so-called US Agent was much larger than Eric and without his powers, I didn't think it would be much of a fight.

"You humans are are all so predictable," said Eric in a mocking tone.

"What the hell are you talking about?"

"You are responsible for security at the Vault, correct?" asked Eric.

"You got that right," said US Agent.

"That means it is your job to ensure that no prisoner escapes, right?"

"That's right mutie."

"And yet I did escape, no?"

"Well . . you didn't escape for long, 'cause I caught up to you!"

"None-the-less, I did escape from the prison," insisted Eric.

"Yeah," admitted US Agent reluctantly.

"You therefore failed in your responsibilities," Eric accused with an unmistakable smugness in his voice.

"I never failed at anything!" yelled US Agent.

"You were charged with making sure no prisoner escaped and yet one did. You failed."

US Agent said nothing. The heat seething from his anger spoke volumes, though.

"I have a simple solution that will guarantee that no one will ever know you failed," said Eric.

" . . I'm listenin'," US Agent replied.

"Let us go. Return to your post. Professor Xavier will use his awesome mental powers to erase the memories of everyone involved that I was ever even interred at the Vault. No one, not even you, will ever know of your one failure."

" . . he can do that?" US Agent asked with a hint of hope.

"Most definitely."

". . what about the kid?"

"He stays with us. Any memory of him will also be erased."

US Agent looked at Eric a good long time. Finally he said, "Alright Magneto, you got a deal." And with that, US Agent got back into his ship and left with his two wingmen.

Eric had a rather large gloating smile on his face as he climbed back into the van.

"Humans are so predictable," he said.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Kitty Pryde stood outside the door to Magneto's cell at the Vault, her powers temporarily disrupted by the presence of mutant-ability dampening Leech. Two groups of prison guards lined up on either side of Kitty, their energy rifles trained on her. Then they fired.

Wild bolts of energy leapt from their guns, whizzed past Kitty, and slammed into the armored chests of the opposite guards. They all fell to the ground, unconscious. Kitty looked rather confused.

"It's alright Kitty," I told her telepathically. "I took over their minds and caused them to shoot each other."

"But . . but what about Leech? Why didn't he disrupt your powers?" she asked.

"Because I am out of his range, of course. If Cyclops fired an optic beam that passed through Leech's sphere of influence, the beam wouldn't be disrupted. He only prevents people from engaging their powers. Now, enter the code in the lock and let's get out of here."

"Well, what about Leech? Are we taking him with us?"

Leech is a young child. He lived in the sewers of New York for a time with the Morlocks. He is a rather ugly shade of green and he has the rather frustrating passive ability to neutralize other mutant's powers. Now, you all know that I just adore children, but he is a liability.

"No Kitty, just free Magneto."

"But . . but he's just a kid! It's wrong for the government to use him like this! It's like Weapon X or something. We've got to take him with us!"

"Kitty, you're being irrational. We are in the middle of a dangerous situation here. This is no time for a debate. I am the leader and you will do what I say. Now, free Magneto!" You can see why I adore children so much.

"Fine!" she spat as she furiously punched in the code. The cell door slid open and Magneto walked out.

"Well, well," he said, "the Shadowcat. Is this a social visit?"

"Hello Eric," I said telepathically. "Are you ready for a little trip?"

"Ahh, Charles. I was wondering how long you would take to effectuate a rescue. Yes, I am ready."

Kitty and Magneto made their way towards the main entrance. Unfortunately, Kitty ignored my instructions and brought Leech with her. This meant that Magneto could not use his powers to open the doors. I had to read the codes from the guard's minds and have Kitty enter them in the locks. I then had the guards enter a sleep state so that there would be no more shooting. The three of them soon arrived at our van.

"Be reasonable Kitty," I implored, "we are trying to escape from the federal government here. We cannot bring Leech."

"There's no way we're leaving him, Professor. He's one of us and we can't let the government use him like this!"

"Kitty, if my mental powers were working at the moment I would completely rewire your brain."

"I'm afraid you're out-voted, Charles, I agree with the girl. We cannot allow homo sapiens to misuse our people like this. It is an abomination."

"You do realize Eric, that we will be powerless so long as he around us."

"So be it," Magneto said with a wink.

"Fine," I said shaking my head. "But if we all get killed then it's your fault."

Against my better judgment, we all climbed into the X-Van and headed back to Westchester. Hopefully, our trip home will be uneventful.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Kitty and I had a rather uneventful drive down to the Vault in Virginia. That's the federal super-powered-being detention center in Virginia where Magneto is currently being held. We stopped off at an Arby's just on the Jersey side of I-95. I had the Big Montana with Curly Fries and Kitty had a Santa Fe salad. Normally I prefer Wendy's just because their French Fries are truly superior, but I was in the mood for roast beef. Kitty wanted to go through the drive-thru, but after having Burger King switch my Diet Coke with a Diet Sprite a few weeks ago, I am never going to invite that particular disaster again.

Now fully energized, we continued on our drive to the prison. Why didn't we take the X-Jet? For one, I really don't like flying. For another, Kitty can barely drive a car let alone a supersonic turbo jet plane. Though she does have a drive's license, something that would suggest she had some minimal ability to drive a car safely, the fact is, she is a speed demon and has a tough time staying within one lane of traffic. I can't tell you how many fellow travelers gave us the finger on our trip. It wasn't pleasant.

When we arrived at the Vault, I did a quick telepathic scan of the nearby guards and was able to determine the location of Magneto. I then turned to Kitty and briefed her on her task.

"Kitty, I want you to use your phase ability to travel beneath the surface of the ground. I will guide your path by reading the minds of the guards around you, seeing through their eyes."

"Um, aren't you coming?" she asked.

After a polite chuckle, I said, "Now Kitty, how long have you been at the mansion? Have you ever seen me go on a mission? The whole reason why I have the X-Men is to do these little assignments for me. I am the leader. That means I coordinate from a safe distant. Didn't you learn anything in school about historical military tactics?"

"Well, yes, but . ."

"No buts. Get going."

"But there's no back-up. What happens if I get hurt?" she asked.

"Kitty, we fall down so that we can learn to get back up again. This will be a good experience for you. Character building. Now go already."

She finally left. I watched her fade down into the ground. She moved easily below the surface traveling under the prison. When she was beneath Magneto's cell, I had her rise up through the wall. She moved out into the hall in front of his door and materialized. A small control panel was set into the wall next to his cell. I scanned the mind of one of the guards and feed her the combination. As she reached up to enter it, a figure rounded a corner appearing in the hallway with her. A short green young man. Leech.

"Hi Kitty," he called out with a wave. Several armed guards appeared behind him.

"Leech! Oh no!" she called out. As she turned to run out of the range of his mutant powers dampening ability, several more guards appeared behind her, energy weapons pointed right at her.

"Orders, sir?" one said into his communication headgear.

"Terminate the mutie scum," came a dark voice. At that, the guards fired on her.


- To Be Continued

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

While Gaia and her powerful team are journeying to the Astral Plane to confront the probable source behind Storm's recent sociopathic behavior, Kitty Pryde and I are going to break Magneto out of the new Vault prison for super-powered entities in Virginia. The previous Vault prison was destroyed during a tour given to the royal family of the Inhumans. Whoever arranged for that bridge-building diplomatic mission made the mistake of providing an all-American meal of franks and beans for lunch before hand. This particular food stuff is of course conducive to the production of bodily gases. Basically, Black Bolt burped and knocked the whole structure to the ground. There was a huge melee with the escaping prisoners. Fortunately the Inhumans were on hand and most of the detainees were recaptured.

When Kitty was ready to go on our mission, she met me in the garage of the mansion. She was dressed in her X-Treme X-Men outfit - skimpy black leather and shiny buckles.

"Now Kitty, why on Earth are you wearing that silly Dominatrix costume? That's not very lady like," I scolded.

"We're going on a mission right? There's going to be fighting, right? This is my ass-kicking, taking-names combat gear. The enemy sees this and they wet their pants."

"First of all Kitty, the 'enemy' in this case is the US military. Secondly, there will not be any fighting if I can help it. This is a simple prison break and with our powers, we shouldn't have to confront anyone."

"Why the hell are we breaking Magneto out, anyway? After all the times the X-Men have fought to put him in jail, why do you want him out? I mean, he just tried to destroy the whole planet with nuclear missiles, didn't he?"

"First of all, it's pronounced "nu-clear." Secondly, I am a strong believer in a person's ability to repent. The only way for Eric to make amends for his past transgressions is to be out in the world, free to do charitable acts." I wasn't quite sure she was convinced but I saw no reason to tell her the truth - that I was being extorted into doing this.

I was rather appalled by Kitty's choice in outfit though. Still, it's not as bad as some that she designed for herself. I remember after seeing a Dazzler concert, Kitty created some bizarre multi-hued monstrosity. I quickly put a nix to that.

She was still calling herself Ariel in those days. What a wimpy name that was. She didn't have any code name at all for the longest time but she was jealous of the X-Men with their flashy super-hero handles. She desperately wanted to come up with something and she chose Ariel. How pathetic!

Eventually she re-designed her costume and selected the name Sprite. A bit better but still not the kind of thing likely to set the enemy quaking in their rubber boots.

When I first heard that she had changed her name again, this time to Shadowcat, I wasn't that impressed. But it has grown on me. She has also developed some excellent hand-to-hand fighting skills. Her power may not be of the "shock and awe" variety, but she has really learned to handle herself.

If only I could do something about her taste in fashion. Oh well, maybe this outfit will distract the guards at the Vault at least.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Yesterday I had a visit from Mystique, disguised as Jean Grey, and Storm, claiming to be possessed by Exodus. They were basically trying to extort my services to rescue their leader, Magneto, from Federal prison. Normally I would never give in to such strong-arm tactics but the truth is, I like having Magneto at large.

Eric serves two important functions in my life. One, he keeps my X-Men on their toes. They need epic battles or they will just fade into obscurity. Would Hercules have won a palace on Olympus if he hadn't performed his 12 labors? Of course not. He wouldn't be Hercules, Prince of Power. He'd be Hercules the Goat Herder who none of us would ever have heard of.

Magneto also justifies my role in society. If there weren't forces resisting the peaceful co-existence of mutants and humans, then I would have no use. I might as well be calling for the adoption of the metric system. Since there are forces resisting peace, I have something useful to do with my day.

Rescuing Magneto does therefore serve my own ends, so I am willing to go along with Mystique and Exodus' demands. But I don't believe for a minute Exodus' claim that he has been behind all of Storm's recent violent, anti-social behavior. I just don't buy it. He's a telepath. Very powerful, yes, but he doesn't have the ability to possess people. And I would have been able to detect his presence earlier if it had been him. I think he was just taking advantage of the situation to try and force me to liberate Magneto.

I have been investigating different possibilities to explain Storm's recent actions, but haven't been able to reach any definite conclusions. The most recent advice I had on how to resolve this issue may help me feel better at night, but doesn't really get to the heart of the problem.

Fortunately, Gaia has taken a rather large team consisting of both X-Men and X-Hibitionists to the Astral Plain to confront the most likely culprit - the Shadow King!

Gaia has taken Cyclops with her as part of her team. Normally when I leave the mansion I take Scott with me. I find it useful to have a human shield, um, that is a gopher, er, no, I mean . . assistant, traveling with me. Since Gaia needed Scott however, I have decided to take Kitty Pryde along. She doesn't get out much and I haven't really had the chance to talk to her about the . . issues . . involving Nightcrawler. The statute of limitations on her possible legal action against me haven't run yet.

As Kitty and I packed up for our trip to break Magneto out of the maximum security detention facility specifically designed to house super-powered beings, I couldn't help but wonder why on Earth I wasn't sending someone else.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Well, things certainly came to an unexpected head today. As you may know, I have been trying to get to the bottom of the strange aberrations in Storm's recent behavior. Reed Richards, Dr. Strange and Doc Samson all proved to be rather unhelpful. I thought this was rather odd as team-ups usually seem to resolve in successful resolutions by the end of the story. I was beginning to despair that this particular escapade might involve a cross-publisher team up with some fictional character like Superman, when Storm came into my office, followed closely on her heels by Jean Grey.

"Ororo, I'm glad you're here," I started. "It's time that you and I cleared the air about a few things."

"I agree Charles," she answered. "It's time for us to stop playing these silly games."

"Well, good. I'm glad to hear you taking-"

"I want you to turn over full control of the entire operation to me." Storm's voice was cold and commanding.

"What are you talking about?" I asked in bewilderment.

"All the holdings, real estate, intellectual property, licenses - everything."

"T-that's preposterous!" I shouted. "I will do no such thing. I have no idea what's possessed you but it is time - wait a minute. That's it!" I scanned Storm's mind and felt a psionic shield around her that I could not penetrate.

"Jean, quickly" I said. "Try to pierce the shield around Storm's brain!"

Jean looked at me for a long moment and then started laughing. "Please Charles! You can't win. Just surrender now. It's time for you to retire, don't you think? Tahiti, Boro Boro . . some place like that."

"Et tu, Jean?" I said in disbelief. "You were one of my very first X-Men. How can you have turned on me too? It's like you're possessed as -" And then I scanned Jean's mind. "You're not Jean!" I shouted. And then Jean turned into a naked blue woman. "Mystique!"

Mystique laughed even louder. I looked over at Storm in confusion and heard a very strange voice come from her.

"Very good, Xavier. It's about time you got to the bottom of this." That was definitely not Storm's voice coming from Storm's lips.

"Who are you?" I demanded.

"I am an old friend of the X-Men," came the steely voice. "And an even older friend of the Brotherhood."

"The Shadow King!" I snapped.

"Wrong!" bellowed Storm, her dark voice full of gloating. "I am . . Exodus!"

"Exodus!? But you can't possess people!" I insisted.

"Fool! I have tremendous psionic powers. At first I didn't have to possess Storm at all, merely guide her into accepting her own dark instincts. Her rivalry with Cyclops, her desire for leadership, her jealousy of the Scarlet Witch - it was all so easy until her mind was completely in my control!"

"But . . but why?" I asked.

"It's simple really. We want you to rescue Magneto again."

"What!?" I couldn't believe my ears.

"Oh yes, Charles," said Mystique. "Avalon has been in shambles since you took our leader away again. "The Blob is leaving crumbs everywhere, Master Mind jeeps making everyone think they forgot to put their clothes on, Juggernaut keeps knocking over the buildings just to prove how strong he is. We have fallen apart without out strong central leadership. Kind of like what happened to the Soviet Union under Gorbachev."

"You did all this - for that!?"

"Well," started Storm/Exodus, "after Magneto's last exploits we thought it would take quite a lot of pressure to get you to rescue him again."

"B-but . . but why not free him yourself?" I asked, still not quite believing what I was hearing.

"Come now, Charles," said Mystique. "You know how dangerous such things are. Far better to get someone else to do it, no?"

"And that's it?" I asked. "If I rescue Magneto, then you'll leave me and the X-Men along? Including Storm?"

"Of course," they both said at the same time.

"And do you have anything to do with the Sentinel/Brood satellite?" I asked.

"Nothing," said Mystique with an evil smile.

Friday, November 04, 2005

In my on going efforts to determine the cause of Storm's recent aberrant and sometimes violent behavior, I enlisted the aid of a most unusual individual.

This morning I found Storm back at the mansion. She was acting like nothing at all unusual has been occurring. She didn't mention her assault on the X-Hibitionists at the Palladium, the melee that erupted during Gaia's mission to hunt down the Brood Queen, or our recent . . intimacy. I asked Storm to come into my office.

"Oh, who is this Charles?" she asked upon arrival.

"This is Dr. Leonard Samson," I told her. "I'd like you to have a little chat with him, if you don't mind."

"Well . . I suppose not."

"Hey Ororo, it's really cool to meet you," Doc Samson said brightly.

"Yeah, great," she answered indifferently.

"Why don't you go ahead and make yourself comfortable," he offered. Storm stared at his long flowing green hair as she sat on the leather sofa.

"Why do you dress like that?" she asked. Doc Samson wore a ridiculously tight red T-Shirt with a lightening bolt down the center and "leave no secret unrevealed" tight blue pants.

"I find this suit is useful in my work," he answered.

"Oh? So, what kind of doctor are you, anyway?" Storm asked.

"I'm a psychiatrist," he replied with a trace of embarrassment in his voice.

"What? Oh that's it, I'm out of here," she said as she stood back up.

"No, no. Please, let me just ask you a couple of questions. It would be really helpful for my present case."

After a hard stare followed by a long sigh, Storm sat back down. "Fine," she said tersely.

"Good," Samson said as he leaned back in his chair and crossed one leg over a knee. "Now then, tell me about your father."

"Oh screw you!" Storm shouted. She gestured with her hand and lightening bolts suddenly materialized in the center of the room and blasted into Samson's chest. He flew out of his chair and crashed into the far wall.

"Spare me your games, Charles," Storm said angrily to me as she stomped out. I turned to Doc Samson and raised an inquisitive eyebrow.

"I am going to diagnosis her as having a histrionic personality disorder," he said shakily. "And I'm prescribing Zoloft."

"Good luck getting her to take it," I laughed.

Some how, I don't think we've gotten to the bottom of this problem yet.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

As Cyclops drove me down to Dr. Strange's Greenwich Village sanctorum, he started to whine about how all he ever does is chauffeur me around all the time. I explained to him that every one has a purpose and that he should take comfort that he knows his. I also offered that service was the highest calling in life and that he should take pride in his humility. I think he bought it.

Strange's manservant, Wong, greeted us at the door. Wong was polite enough, but as he led us to the Ritual Chamber, I scanned his mind. It turns out that when no one else is in the house, Wong likes to try on Clea's outfits. No harm in that I suppose so I'll keep his secret safe. Besides, it can always be useful to have a little something on someone.

When Cyclops and I entered the chamber, Strange was just wrapping up some Sorcerer Supreme incantation or other. After he finished his last "abra-ca-dabra," he turned to us.

"Ah, Professor Xavier. Good to see you again."

"And you Stephen. How are things?"

"Good enough, but I suppose this isn't a social call?"

"That's right. One of my students, Storm, has been acting rather odd lately. Some of us are concerned that she might be possessed by some kind of demonic force. Can you help?"

"Of course! They don't call me the Master of the Mystic Arts for nothing, you know. Do you have any personal object of hers?"

I looked over at Cyclops. He looked rather uncomfortable. I fixed him with a hard stare. I could see him squirming. I raised one eyebrow. Finally he threw up his hands and pulled a pair of thong panties from his jacket pocket.

"I wasn't going to do anything with them!" he insisted. I just rolled my hands as he sheepishly handed them to Dr. Strange. Stephen laid them on a pedestal and called upon his Eye of Agamatto. As the gold clasp opened and bathed the silken undergarments in an eerie yellow light, a weird mist began to fill the room.

Suddenly a crack of lightening shot around the chamber, bouncing off the walls until finally shattering an ancient idol. A rip in the fabric of space formed where the bolt struck and a giant white furred monster with fiery red eyes and no mouth sprang out.

"Xemnu the Titan!" Strange yelled.

In my mind I heard a deep growling voice say, "Yes Defender, I have returned and now I will have my revenge! First I will destroy you and then that accursed Hulk!"

Flashing psionic bolts blasted from the huge creature's head towards Dr. Strange. He quickly raised his hands and wiggled his fingers. Two red energy disks formed just in time to catch the bolts which were diffused in a shower of bright sparks. The monster then swung out with fearsome claws. Strange barely ducked out of the way in time.

I reached out with my mind, gripping his consciousness in a tight psionic vise. The beast turned to me and I could feel the awesome power of his mind fighting back. Cyclops let fly with a tremendous optic beam that slammed hard into the monster's chest. As he reeled back, Dr. Strange used a minor spell to push a the fallen pedestal behind Xemnu's legs.

The monster fell over backwards, into the still open rip in space and time. As he quickly shrunk away, Dr. Strange quickly wove another spell to seal the fissure.

"Well, wasn't that interesting," he said.

"Indeed," I answered. After a bit of an awkward silence I continued. "So . . anything about Storm?"

"Yes. I can tell you with absolute certainty that she is not possessed by any kind of a demonic being. There is nothing extra-dimensional about what she is going through."

"I see," I said, unable to keep the disappointment from my voice. Well, at least the possible answers are being narrowed down. We shall have to see what tomorrow brings.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

I was finally able to meet with Reed Richards today regarding the situation with Storm and he provided a rather interesting insight. As you may recall, Storm has been exhibiting very unusual behavior over the last few weeks, including taking advantage of me while I was in a less than sober state. Her bizarre actions finally culminated in an attack on the Scarlet Witch and her X-Hibitionists team at the Dazzler's nightclub following a victory party. Gaia arrived on the scene after the attack to survey the wreckage and over aid to the battered mutants.

My growing concern over Storm's aberrant behaviors had been causing me ever increasing distress. Jason aka Dark Magician 25 offered two possible suggestions. One, the Storm we have been dealing with is actually an alternate reality Storm or two, the Shadow King has somehow returned and is getting his revenge by manipulating Storm.

I had Cyclops drive me to Four Freedom Plaza for my meeting with Richards.

"Professor Xavier, good to see you," he said as he stretched his hand out to shake mine. As someone who is use to being around many beings with a wide variety of super-powers, I am rather used to seeing people doing unusual things, but his stretchy rubber body I have always found a bit disturbing.

"Hello Reed," I replied, swallowing my repulsion and taking his enlarged hand. "How are the wife and kids?"

Reed hesitated before answering. "Well, actually, I caught Sue this morning staring longingly at the cover of this month's Travel magazine. There is a feature on tourism in Atlantis and the cover has Namor flying towards the camera."

"Oh," I answered. "He's not wearing those little green Speedos, is he?"

Reed hung his head and nodded.

"I don't see how he gets away with walking around like that. You'd think the FCC or someone would fine him."

After letting out a long sigh, Reed said, "Well Professor, I certainly didn't mean to bother you with my problems. What can I do for you?"

"Thank you Reed. My dilemma is this. One of my X-Men, Storm, has been exhibiting extremely odd and atypical behavior. She actually attacked some of her teammates the other day. It has been suggested that she might actually be an alternate universe version of herself. Can you determine if the dimensional barrier has been pierced recently?"

"Of course, Professor Xavier. Just step into my lab."

Richards spent several moments fooling around with various gadgets and gizmos before stretching his head over to me.

"Well Professor, it looks like the dimensional barrier is firmly intact. Whatever is happening to Storm, it has nothing to do with any beings from other dimensions."

"I see."

"Perhaps she's hormonal."

"I think this goes beyond that, Reed."

"Well then, perhaps she has been possessed."

"Hmm. That is a possibility. I suppose my next to stop will be Dr. Strange then."

And with that, I had Cyclops drive me down to the Village. Hopefully the Doctor will be in.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

I was planning to contact Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four today to ask him to look into this Storm matter. Her behavior has come to a crisis point with actually attacking other X-Men following a party at Dazzler's nightclub the other day. Fortunately Gaia arrived on the scene and was able to offer some assistance. Storm has always been strong willed but her recent actions have gone to the proverbial new level. It has been suggested that she may have been possessed or replaced. This is what I was hoping Mr. Fantastic might be able to determine. Unfortunately, my plans were disrupted.

As I was preparing to leave the school, a swarm of people descended upon the front gate. This small army consisted of a number of people in sharp business suits, some in work clothes and some wearing casual outfits. There was a veritable rainbow of human skin tones, all arranged in a most photogenic way. At first I feared that Jesse Jackson had returned. No such luck.

I don't know how many of you are aware of New York City politics, but this election season the office of the Mayor is up for grabs. The current Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, the self-made billionaire, has been running a fierce, non-stop, around the clock and over the top media blitz, all to remind everyone in the tri-state area who may not be aware that he is a candidate. It was his army that launched an invasion upon my school.

Now, even though the Xavier Institute is in Westchester County and therefore not a part of New York City, we are rather near the Big Apple and we often get drawn into its environs. I tried to scan the minds of the hoards amassing outside my gates but the people were just so frenzied and harried that I had a hard time making heads or tails of what they were doing there.

As the camera crew, lighting people, make-up staff, wardrobe workers and the dozens of others that make up Bloomberg's entourage finished setting-up in front of the school, I moved in for a closer look. A director said "action" and Bloomberg started talking.

"Here in New York we have some of the best schools in the state. Education has been a principle focus of my administration and I am very proud of the turn around in our schools. Next Tuesday, please vote for me so that I can continue to make our schools even better."

And as quickly as they had setup, the army of handlers and press and what-not broke camp and cleared out. It was like some summer storm suddenly appearing in the midst of an otherwise clear sunny day, drenching everyone and then dissipating with alacrity.

No one asked for my permission, I never provided a property release, we aren't in Mayor Bloomberg's jurisdiction and I don't even have a public school! Can all politicians misrepresent reality so blatantly? They are as bad as the press!
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