Thursday, March 30, 2006

I reached for the bottle of Cognac but after a moment's hesitation, I decided to leave it be for now. Vampirella's news that she was pregnant, and that I might be the father, was rather unsettling but perhaps alcohol wasn't the answer. Besides, it was only 11AM. I wouldn't want yo end up like Tony Stark now, would I?

Now don't get me wrong, I have nothing against children. In fact, I think of all the students here at the Academy as my children. It's just that I did actually have a son once and it really didn't work out very well. David was a mutant, though I suppose that's not going to be a big surprise. But he was very powerful. Far more powerful than he could handle. And he also had some rather sever psychological issues. I didn't even know about him until he was grown. Perhaps if I had been there for him things might have turned out differently.

After suffering a traumatic event involving his emerging powers, David entered an autistic phase and was taken to Muir Island for treatment. It was only after David regained his senses that Moira MacTaggert summoned me and I learned that I had a son. Of course it was far too late at that point.

He kept absorbing people, killing their bodies but retaining their consciousnesses. All these minds existed within him and it was driving him crazy. They called themselves Legon. Any way, long story short, he almost destroyed out entire reality before he died.

This is why I am nervous about having another child. Especially with someone as powerful as Vampirella.

Before I got too deep in my thoughts though, Magdalena stopped by and took me to a most unusual circus. You can read about that here on her blog.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

"But Professor, think of what a cure would mean for a mutant like me!" Beast whinned. "I would be able to walk down the street like a normal person. No more weird stares. No gasps of shock. No cries of fear. I would be just like everybody else."

"I understand Hank, and that would certainly be your choice if this 'cure' is actually offered. But you have to understand what you would be giving up. Your power. Your uniqueness. You would be just like everybody else. We would be nothing but a planet of Romulans."

"But I'm a freak! I'm a big blue furry -"

The ringing phone cut him off, thank goodness. I certainly do appreciate Beast's many talents but his going on and on about his insecurities is more than a mortal man can take.

"Excuse me, Hank," I said as I picked up the receiver. "Hello? Hello?"

After a moment of silence, the line went dead. Telepathically I had felt Vampirella on the other end of the phone. Clearly there was something important she wanted to tell me, but she was too nervous to do so. Our affair, though brief, was quite intense and passionate. I suppose we never really talked about where things were going. We just sort of stopped at some point. Maybe she wanted to talk about that, especially now that I have begun seeing her friend Magdalena.

Or maybe it has something to do with those little love bites she had given me. Maybe she was calling to tell me that I'm about to turn into a vampire. I knew it! She's turned me into a vampire! I'm going to be one of the undead! Oh no!!

"Hank, please excuse me. There is something very important I have to take care of."

"But Professor, I-"

"Out!" I bellowed. Beast scampered away at top speed.

I dialed Vampirella's number. After several rings she picked up. .

"Charles," she said.

"You hung up. What - wait a minute - I can sense another."

"Yes . . I'm pregnant. That's why I called."

"Oh." Well that was rather unexpected. "Congrat - oh .. oh .. oh! So, um, you think that I . . um."

"Well it might be Trunks. I started seeing him after you and I . . stopped."

We agreed that we would all take a paternity test. I had Cyclops fly me at top speed in the X-Jet to the hospital nearest Vampirella. I was sweating bullets throughout the whole test. And now there's nothing but the waiting. Oh how I hate waiting.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Our battered team piled out of the X-Jet and made our way back into the mansion. Mangeto and his crew had already left us, thank goodness. Eric can be quite the free-loader. Magdalena had stayed in the city, wanting to take care of some personal business.

I rolled into my chambers looking forward to some much needed rest when what did I find waiting for me . . a tag by Deadpool. And it's really, really long. The nerve of that guy. Fine. Here it is.

1. Favorite Chocolate (Dark, White, Milk): There's so many ways I like chocolate that's it's very hard to choose just one. I'm going to go with uncooked Duncan Hines Double Fudge Brownie mix.

2. Favorite Pizza Toppings: Pepperoni and extra sauce.

3. Favorite Food: Friendly's Loaded Waffle Fries, though I only let myself eat them once a month. I have to maintain my girlish figure, you know.
4. Favorite Cheese Type: Camembert

5. Favorite "Pirate" Word or Phrase: You can get that off Kazaa for free, you know.

6. Music Genre: Swing

7. Favorite Music Artist: Adam Sandler

8. What are you listening to now?: Poncho and Lefty

9. Favorite Movie Genre: Super-hero action, 'natch.

10. Favorite Movie: Well it sure wasn't Alexander. I just watched that on Cinemax last night. Uggh.

11. Favorite TV show: Family Guy

12. Favorite Console Game: Morrowind

13. Favorite Computer Game: Baldur's Gate

14. Favorite Board Game: Risk

15. Ever play Dungeons and Dragons?: Er . . yes

16. Where are the Cheetos?: The nearest place is probably the 7-11

17. Can I have a Mountain Dew?: Whatever floats your boat

18. Believe in some sort of higher power?: Is that a trick question?

19. How many of these quizzes have you ever taken, email or blogs, in your net-surfing career?:
Too many to count on one hand

20. On a scale of banana to zebra, banana being "pink polka-dotted slippers" and zebra being "WTF?", how surreal would a guy taking a shower in a tub full of brightly coloured wrenches and monochromatic cat toys be?: Um, yeah

21. Have any pets?: If you include Beast, then yes

22. If yes on 21, what is the silliest thing you have seen them do?: Well, we once had Hank dress up like Deadpool and re-enact Bea Arthur's monolgoue from the series finale of Golden Girls. We sent the video tape to the FBI and that's how Wade got on their 10 Most Wanted list. It was really quite funny.

23. You think Karnov should have ended this quiz 20 questions ago?: Please phrase your question in the form of a question.

24. Ever Play 20 Questions?: Not willingly.

25. Think I get bored on my lunch breaks?: I just have one word for you - karma.

26. Who would win in a fight between Mr. T, Chuck Norris, and that giant robot from that one goofy Beastie Boys Video?: Obviously Chuck Norris. That guy beat Bruce Lee.

27. Could you conceivably use a Terrabyte Harddisk?: 10 to 12th power bytes? Maybe. I went through 200 gigabytes a lot faster than I thought I would.

28. HAH! HAH! I ACTUALLY HAVE A 28th QUESTION!!1! (Unfortunately it is more of a statement): Sniff a lot of glue as a child?

29. Paper or Plastic?: Plastic, of course. What am I, a barbarian?

30. Who will you tag to take this quiz next (Pick 1-5)? As I feel training is always important, I will share the pain. Gaia, Magadalena, Vampirella and Jean Grey.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

I quickly took assessment of our situation. Storm and Cyclops stumbled over to Magdalena and me, their in-fighting halted, at least for now. Scott had a rather nasty bruise on his jaw. Phoenix was lying on the ground in a ball, gripping the deep bloody gash in her side. Colossus was slowly trying to climb out of a deep smoking crater in the sidewalk. Gaia, Magneto, Master Mind and Nightcrawler were still unconscious. Wolverine was swimming in the Hudson River towards us, but clearly he would be awhile. I looked over at Mystique who held her gun to Dr. Rao's head. Her steely gaze left no doubt as to her intentions.

"Believe me Xavier, there is nothing that would give me more pleasure than toasting this bitch!" she shouted.

"I believe you, Mystique. But you must understand that doing so would not change anything. They already have whatever their cure is. Killing her won't stop that. In fact, it will just make the humans see us as more of a menace then they already do. They would be more likely to take some drastic paranoid action like making the 'cure' mandatory."

I could see the truth of my words were having an effect on her. Mystique may be cold blooded, but she is very logical.

Finally, she said, "Alright then, how do you propose we stop them?"

I looked around the devastated street. It was like a scene from Blackhawk Down. There were still several camera crews taping us though. Reaching into their minds, I coaxed them to come closer. When they were all gathered in front of me, I addressed the newsmen.

"Do you see what your fear has wrought?" I said into the cameras. "Rather than accepting mutants as people with the same rights and obligations as yourselves, you insist in treating them as lepers, inferior beings who must be destroyed. How can you be surprised that some mutants would feel threatened and try to defend themselves? This 'solution' that was being proposed today is predicated upon a false supposition - that there is a 'mutant problem' that must be cured. There is no more a mutant problem than there is a black problem, or a Jewish problem. Mutants are not an aberration and they are not a disease that must be cured. They are a natural step in the evolutionary process. Man and mutant should live together in peace. This is the only solution to your inherent desire for security. Taking steps like trying to create a cure will only create hostility. You are throwing fuel onto the fire. Peace, tolerance and acceptance is the only path to security. The first step to that peace is laying down your weapons and destroying your cure."

I looked over at Mystique. She hesitated, unsure of how to respond. I could feel her inner conflict but finally she lowered her gun. Dr. Rao stepped forward and in a clear voice said, "The efforts toward developing a system of curing mutations shall be stopped from this moment forward."

There was a smattering of applause from the few people on the street. When I turned around I saw that both teams had gathered behind me. Gaia used her warping powers to heal Jean's side. Magneto flattened out the Yugo into a large smooth disk which we all boarded and he took us up to the X-Jet.

I don't know how long this truce will last but hopefully - oh, who am I kidding. This isn't going to last long at all.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

"Eric!" I shouted. "This won't help! You are just proving their fears right. Stop this fight!"

"I will be glad to stop Charles, once you and your X-wimps are dead!"

Raising his hand in the air, Magneto caused a large UPS truck to lift up into the air and hurtle towards me. Gaia gestured at the truck, warping its reality and changing it into a big puff of smoke. Unfortunately her defense of me left Gaia open to an attack by Jean.

A powerful blast of energy shot from Jean and slammed hard into Gaia's chest. She was knocked back into a parked Yugo, the car door crumpling under her weight. Jean then turned her attention towards Colossus.

Peter had gotten back to his feet and taken several swings at Sabertooth who had managed to duck each one. A powerful uppercut though finally connected with his chin and Sabertooth was sent flying back across Battery Park. Phoenix aimed her arms at Colossus and was about to fire upon him.

"Jean!" I called out telepathically. "What are doing? We are your friends!"

"You are a traitor!" she screamed back, her voice full of manic energy. "You would let the humans destroy us! Magneto is right, we must kill them all first!"

And with that she unleashed her full Phoenix Force in poor Peter. All that was left was a very deep smoking crater in the side walk. She then turned towards me. I reached out, trying to dominate her mind but her Phoenix defenses were just too strong. She was about to fire on me when Magdalena leapt high into the air behind her. Her sword sunk deep into Jean's side. A terrible howl filled the cold city air.

I turned back towards Magneto. He ripped several pieces of spiked metal fencing from the ground and aimed them at me. Just as they started to fly towards me, a bolt of lightening erupted from nowhere and blasted Eric. He was knocked flat on his back.

Turning to the source of the lightening, I saw Cyclops and Storm were still battling each other. I knew Master Mind was in the area. Searching with my mind, I found him hiding in the ABC News van. With a powerful psionic blast, I quickly rendered him unconscious. Cyclops and Storm did not stop fighting, however.

"Enough!" I shouted into their minds. With great reluctance, they broke off their combat.

As I turned back towards Magneto, I saw to my horror that Mystique had an arm around Dr. Rao's neck and a gun pointed to her forehead.

"Let us walk out of here Xavier or I will kill this witch!" she shouted.

Gentle I probed her mind, looking for a way through her mental defenses. Though Mystique is not a telepath, she does have a lot of training on how to thwart psionic attacks.

"Stop that!" she shouted. "If you try any of your mind tricks with me I will kill her!"

I could feel that she was about to pull the trigger. Gaia could turn her gun into water. I searched for her but was dismayed to find her still unconscious from Phoenix's attack. The situation seemed hopeless.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Using Cerebro, I scanned frantically searching for Magneto but I could find nothing. It's that pesky psi-blocker helmet that he wears. I have only one power and he's able to block it with a little tin hat. I ask you, is that fair?

Gaia came running into the Cerebro Chamber with a newspaper headline. It said that Dr. Rao was due to make a public address at a press conference this afternoon in Battery Park. While the article was light on details as to what would be announced, the promised theme was mutations. Obviously she was going to be presenting her cure. I had no doubt that Magneto would pick this moment to strike. The X-Men would be there.

"I'm coming with you, Charles," Magdalena said.

"This isn't your fight Maggie. Eric and I have a lengthy history. This moment has been a long time coming."

"Don't be silly. You and I are bonded now. What concerns you concerns me. Of course I'm going."

I gave Maggie a hard stare. She returned it in kind. Her nose crinkled up in the cutest way. It was pointless to fight. The other members of the team met us in the hanger. Gaia, potentially the strongest X-Men was there, along with Cyclops, Storm, Nightcrawler, Colossus, Beast and of course Wolverine. Storm and Cyclops were staring at each other with a barely contained hatred.

"Who leads this mission, Xavier?" Storm demanded in her most imperious voice.

"I do Ororo. You will be my lieutenants. Everyone, on the X-Jet."

In almost no time at all, we were above Battery Park. I could see that the press had already gathered and Dr. Rao was making her way to the stage. Scott set the X-Jet to stealth hover mode and our team descended.

As we moved through the crowd towards the podium I sensed a presence I had not felt in a long time. I tried to pinpoint it, but was blocked out by a powerful telepath. Then Dr. Rao walked out onto the stage to address the crowd.

"The reason why I called this conference today was to inform the people of the Earth that we have developed a cure for the plague of mutations. Starting today we shall cure - "

The doctor was cut off by shocked gasps erupting from the crowd. All eyes were focused on the form rising behind Dr. Rao. It was the Phoenix. And her costume was red.

"Jean! Where have you been?" I communicated to her telepathically.

"It's over, Professor. There is no way I can allow this cow to do this!"

Several dozen police were working security for the event. They all drew their hand guns and pointed them at Jean. Suddenly their weapons jerked forward out of their hands and flew out into the water. Magneto walked out onto the stage.

"It is time for mankind to recognize it's place," he intoned in a deep, forbidding voice. "Mutants are not an aberration. We are not a disease. There is no cure for us. We are the future and you are the past. You are all doomed. Mankind is dead!"

"Eric! Don't do this!" I implored.

"Please Charles, even you and your bleeding heart can't possible condone this cure."

"But Eric, if they have developed some way to repress the X gene then it is up to the individual mutant whether they want to use it or not."

"Nonsense. A mutant is a mutant from the moment he is conceived. Being a mutant is a right that cannot be revoked."

"People have right to choose!" I insisted.

"No! They have a right to be a mutant and be proud of who and what they are. They cannot take a leap back on the evolutionary scale."

"This ain't goin' no where," Wolverine growled.

He had Colossus pick him up and do that thing they are always doing. Logan hurtled at break neck speed towards Magneto, but with a mere gesture, Eric waved him away. The rest of the X-Men leapt to action.

Nightcrawler teleported onto Magneto's back and started to bang on his helmet. The grumpy old man in the crumpled suit next to Eric suddenly turned into Mystique. With one high round kick she sent Kurt flying back off the podium.

Sabertooth slammed into Colossus from behind, sending him sprawling onto his face. Storm and Cyclops started to move in towards Magneto but they abruptly stopped in their tracks and turned on each other. As they began to fight, I realized that Master Mind was distorting their perceptions, making them think they were each other's enemy. That didn't really take a big stretch.

Mystique jumped towards me but Maggie spun into a flying kick and knocked her back. As the two locked in deadly combat, I moved towards Eric. Jean, wrapped in flames and emanating pure evil, flew between us. I could sense no remorse or pity in her. No compassion. She had become a cold blooded killing machine, and I could see that she had turned her sights on me.

Jean raised her hands and two glowing balls of energy started to develop. I tried to reach her mind, get her stop, but she had an impenetrable barrier that I could not breach. Just as the balls of Phoenix Force fired at me, Gaia created a warp in space, sending the energy blasts a few feet behind Jean. The blasts slammed hard into her back, knocking her flat. She quickly scrambled up and moved to engage Gaia.

I moved on Magneto.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

As part of my mission to spread tolerance and understanding between man and mutant I spend a lot of my time doing speaking engagements. Usually these are done before august bodies of influence people. Last week I got suckered into speaking at an all-girl's Catholic school. This was a favor for one of Maggie's Cardinal friends. When asked if I would do a little something for him, I made the classic mistake of saying yes before what was actually involved. Obviously I have no problem with children, I mean I do run a school, but there is just something about a building full of pre-teen girls that makes me want to self-inflict blunt force trauma.

Despite my anxieties, we did make it back in one piece. When I returned to the mansion, Gaia was waiting for me with some rather disturbing news. As a representative of the Xavier Institute, she had attended a conference with some very important world leaders. The topic was mutants and the guest speaker, Dr. Kavito Rao, was presenting a rather startling development in her research.

"She said that she had developed a "cure" for the mutant gene," Gaia told me.

"If that's true, this is rather disturbing news."

"Actually, it's worse. Mystique was there."

I thought about the logical consequences of that fact and then my face went pallid. "Magneto!"

"I already checked the Internet. Joe Fixit and Bishop had launched an assault on Magneto's base a couple of weeks ago and he's still in the Vault."

"Really? I suppose Mystique and he may still be on the outs. Let me just . . "

I reached out with my mind, letting my consciousness drift several hundred miles to the meta-human prison. Even at that incredible distance, I was able to reach the minds of the guards.

"He's gone," I told Gaia. "Mystique disguised herself as Nick Fury and walked right out with Magneto."

"What's does this mean?" she asked.

"It's mean Dr. Rao is in imminent danger. We have to get to her lab immediately. Assemble the X-Men!"

"I think that's the Avengers line, Professor."

"Um, right. Now that I'm thinking about it, I don't recall the X-Men ever having a battle cry. Do you know of one?"

"How about X-Men X-tricate? Or maybe, X-Men X-foliate?"

"Yeah, we'll have to work on that."

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Magdalena introduced Nightcrawler, Wolverine and myself to the Pope. I was rather impressed though not nearly so much as Kurt. He was like a 12 year old girl meeting Justin Timberlake. It was a little embarrassing. He actually had the Pope sign his chest. "I vill never vash dat again!" Kurt promised. We all just looked at each other and shook our heads.

After our audience we were informed why the Church had insisted that I come to Rome. You can read about it here at Magdalena's site. A cadre of cardinals informed us that the evil forces that wanted to ensure Maggie's blood line was destroyed had appeared in Venice. They would attack relentlessly until I was dead. Apparently they would kill any potential suitor of Magdalena so that she could never have children. Our only chance was to take the fight to them.

When we arrived in Venice it became quite clear that our mission was going to be made exceedingly more difficult thanks to the annual Carnival which was in full swing. All around us, people were in garish costumes which our enemies could easily blend in with. You see our foes had taken the form of clowns. I hate clowns. It's a long story.

Wolverine had the bright idea of simply killing everyone, you know, just to be sure. He seemed very disappointed when I told him no.

We got a tip from a local priest that a family had reported seeing a demon in their house. Racing to the scene I was able to telepathically detect several extremely evil presences. Inside we were confronted by a gaggle of demonic clowns. Or is that herd? Pack? Pride? What I'm saying is that there were several of them.

Using her Spear of Destiny, Maggie was able to unleash a holy light which vaporized the clowns. We knew that we had not yet faced the real foe, but we could feel that he, she or it was very close. I was able to pick up a psionic signature that was totally unnatural. While Nightcrawler searched house by house for any more of the clown warriors, the rest of us raced for the central plaza.

I knew we were closing in on the leader, but before we could find him we heard a woman's scream nearby. As we paused to find the source, several of demon clowns jumped from the crowd and attacked us. We saw one of the monsters assaulting a young woman across the plaza. While Wolverine and I engaged the clowns charging us, Maggie leapt to the woman's defense. But it was a trap!

The screaming woman turned into a laughing clown and squirted Maggie with some kind of poison from its lapel flower. Wolverine leapt on the demonic thing and skewered it. I lashed out with a ferocious psionic attack on the others and they all dissolved. I rushed to Maggie's side but she lay motionless. Reaching out with my mind I was able to touch her consciousness. She told me that to free her, I had to kill the head demon. Then she slipped beyond my reach.

I felt despair start to take me over. This is the biggest reason I ever had for not letting another touch my heart. The lifestyle that I lead is just far too dangerous. Seeing someone that I love fall in battle, be hurt by my enemies - it's more than I can bear. Almost. My despair turned to anger.

My awareness expanded, filling all of Venice, until I was touching every mind. I found the demon clown behind this. With Maggie across my lap, Wolverine and I raced to St. Mark's Basilica on the Piazza San Marco. There in the doorway of the cathedral stood our true foe -

"Took you long enough, Baldy!" he shouted. "What, did you get a flat?"

Without a word Wolverine withdrew his claws and leapt at the disgusting fat creature. He dove high into the air, aiming for the thing's heart. Energy blasts leapt from the monster's eyes, slamming into Wolverine's chest and sending him flying back across the piazza.

My mind was full of fury. I lashed out telepathically, trying to destroy the clown's mind. He fought back with surprising force. We locked in a deadly duel, almost evenly matched in psionic power.

"What's the matter Chucky," he said, "your date couldn't take it, huh?"

"You sick monster! You will pay for what you did to Maggie!"

"Oh please, spare me the bleeding heart crap. You don't really care about her. Admit it, you were just lonely and wanted some company. You're going to toss her aside like all the other little chippies."

His words only fueled my anger. Unfortunately, unlike the Hulk and his strength, getting angry interferes with a psyhic's concentration, making them less effective. I could feel my mental assault weakening. Fortunately, I had brought my fully-loaded hover chair with me.

I flipped the control panel and pressed the red button. Twin heat seeking missiles launched out at the clown. He shifted his powers to create a physical shield. The missiles exploded against the shield in a huge fireball. Though they didn't hurt the clown, that distraction was all I needed.

Marshalling all of my strength, I focused my psionic attack against him, and smashed through his mental defenses. The clown howled out in pain. I kept up my vicious assault until he collapsed in a lifeless heap. Maggie stirred on my lap. I held her tightly with my arms and kissed her hard. As she returned to consciousness, she kissed me back.

A strange sound from the clown made us break our embrace. We both turned to look at him and saw his body transforming.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

I awoke in a blissful haze, Maggie at my side. The last few days that we have spent together since our return from outer space have been a totally unexpected pleasure. It's kind of funny how your life can suddenly take a left turn and you find yourself somewhere you did not expect to be again.

I have been involved in only a few serious relationships in my life. One of them, the biggest obviously, would have to be doomed marriage to Moira. We had much in common but in the end I just couldn't stand her cold hearted shrewish non-stop nagging. Not that I'm bitter. I am totally over her. I just get so mad whenever I think about how small-minded and petty . . no, no . . that isn't right. I have let go. I'm certainly not going to let that failure sour me on what good be the best thing in my life.

There is certainly something infectuous in the air at this time of year. Perhaps it is that Spring is just around the corner, the season of new life and rebirth. Love is everywhere. Gaia and Cable seem to be passing through a new point in their friendship. I had a feeling those two might hit it off. They both have rather unusual backrounds. Cable is from an alternate future ravaged by war. He was a fighter and a leader and now he's here. A man out of time. Though he does have family here, he only met them very recently. Likewise Gaia has been alone for many centuries, guarding the universe against a terrible menace. She has found friends in the X-Men but also is a person out of place. Sharing this common emotion, it is only logical that they might find kindred spirits in each other.

Just as I have with Maggie. As we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast, two representatives of the Church, Maggie's employers, arrived at the mansion. I was a bit surprised that they had made the trip out from the city. Obviously whatever they wanted must be important. I agreed to meet with them.

Father Hope, a rather kindly gentleman, explained that if I wished to continue seeing Magdalena I would have to journey to Rome and undergo a very important test. Normally I don't respond very well to these kinds of ultimatums, but I recognized that Maggie had a rather unique position in this world, being a direct descendant of the Mary Magdalen and a powerful warrior in the service of the Church.

As it was explained to me, the test is not a right of passage kind of thing, but rather a preparatory trial for an inevitable battle in my future. Apparently there are dark forces arrayed against Maggie and they will send some kind of terrible enemy to try and destroy me. Having faced many a foe in my life, I am not concerned.

For the trip to Rome, I chose Nightcrawler and Wolverine to accompany Maggie and I. Cyclops came up to me as we were leaving.

"Why do they get to go?" he asked in his whiney nasal voice. "I'm, you know, you're right hand guy!"

"Of course you are Scott. But going to see the Pope is something special for Kurt. And Logan, well, I'm contractually obligated to include him on each and every mission involving a mutant. Sorry."

The poor boy seemed like he was on the verge of tears. Sigh.

"Besides, Scott," I continued, "I have a very important mission for you while I'm gone."

"Really?" he asked, brightening up.

"Yes. I want you to make sure the X-Jet is thoroughly scrubbed from top to bottom. Oh, and Scott?"


"I want you to use two coats of wax. It's crucial."

Scott's face broke into a broad grin. "I won't disappoint you, Professor."

What a putz.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

The Danger Sled brought us back to Earth and we said our good-byes to Captain Picard. Jon took his damaged ship back to his secret base for some much needed repairs. Gaia and Cable went off to spend some time assessing their relationship. Hopefully they won't have any unnecessary distractions this time. Mystique and some of the others decided to travel down to Atlantic City for some R & R. I pretty confident they will have plenty of unnecessary distractions.

One person who chose to stay here at the mansion with me was Magdalena. I must say, she is a rather interesting woman. Apparently she is a direct descendant of Mary Madalen and she serves the Church as her mothers did before her. Trained from birth as a warrior and a redeemer, she wields powerful artifacts and is very driven in her cause.

She is also quite beautiful.

After returning from our voyage yesterday, we rested for a bit and then had a rather nice, quiet dinner where we got to know each other. The evening passed rather quickly, which I always take as a sign that people are making a real connection.

After spending a very memorable night together, Maggie and I took in some of New York City. We stopped by Dazzler's nightclub but no one was there. I wasn't too surprised since it was still early in the day. We also went to the zoo in Central Park and then went to the top of the Empire State Building. I just love the view of the city from up there.

After I showed her the spot where the X-Men defeated Juggernaut for the umpteen-eth time, Maggie took me to meet her employer. She introduced me to a man named Bishop Martins. I say man because I'm being polite. He was really more like a toad. Or maybe a weasel. Not to be mean or anything. I tried to stay friendly because I have no wish to get Maggie into hot water with her bosses but the Bishop was rather hard to take.

The thing that I found most disturbing about him was that he apparently wanted Maggie to kill Vampirella. That kind of witless superficial judgmental attititude is one of my personal pet peeves. He also questioned my worthiness to be escorting Magdalena. Apparently he wants me to take some kind of test. We'll see.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Thanos fired twin bolts of pure Cosmic Force at our raiding party. My life flashed before my eyes. I remembered the good times, courting Moira, taking long walks in the park and talking about our future together. The plans Magneto and I made to pave the way for peace between Man and Mutant, back before he turned all evil. The few nights of wild pleasure with Vampirella. It looked like this would be the thing that finally kills me.

Just before the beams struck however, Magdalena jumped in front of me. She raised her weapon, the Spear of Destiny, which had survived the destruction of the Sinister clones' rocket, and shouted out "God's Eternal Light!"

Somehow that was enough to absorb a great deal of the Cosmic bolts. The X-Men and I were still sent sprawling from the backlash though. I really didn't think we could survive another such assault and Thanos was powering up again. I looked over at Maggie and saw that she was invoking some other prayer. A shimmering winged female warrior materialized behind her.

"She's my Guardian Angel!" Maggie shouted.

"Man, that chick is hot," Private Hudson said. Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator smacked him in the back of the head.

The Angel charged at Thanos, just as he unleashed two more blasts of Cosmic Force, the very fabric of the Universe, straight at her. There was no way she could endure that kind of energy. Gaia raised her hands and gestured towards the dark god. A rip in space opened up just in front of the Angel and the Force bolts disappeared inside.

"Fast thinking Gaia," I said. "Excellent work!"

"Where did you send the bolts?" Mystique asked.

Suddenly the ship was rocked by a massive explosion. An emergency siren began blaring as the deck tilted at a dangerous angle.

"I sent them to the aft part of the ship!" Gaia shouted back above the klaxon.

I sent a telepathic command to everyone to get back to the Danger Sled. All around us was chaos. Thanos alone seemed to be undisturbed. He got ready to shoot at us again. His eyes light up with unholy energy. The Angel rose up behind him and drove her spear deep through his chest. A terrible howl erupted from Thanos as the gathering energies dissipated.

A series of explosions rocked the ship. Jean levitated several of us and Gaia mentally carried the rest. We were able to make good time that way back to the Sled. Jon jumped into the pilot's chair and hit the engines.

"Burn rubber, man!" Hudson cried. Jon threw the ship into overdrive and we zoomed away from the battle cruiser just as it erupted it in a massive fire ball.

"I hope your Guardian Angel will be alright," I said to Maggie.

"Of course. She can move between dimensions easily. The explosion would not have hurt her."

"Then we're safe," Gaia offered hopefully.

"Not quite," Jon said. "I'm scanning a very large, heavily armed ship, Star Destroyer class, moving in. They're hailing us."

Jon flicked a switch and a strange alien voice cackled over the communicator. "This is Brood Empress Claktara. You may have stopped our invasion plans for your world, but you will not survive to enjoy your victory."

"Can you out run it?" Maggie asked Jon.

"Not a chance."

"Gaia, can you destroy that ship?" I asked.

"I-I can't get . . it's way too big, Professor. But I can try to . ."

Gaia's comment was cut off as laser fire from the Destroyer smashed into the Sled's hull, sending us all flying. Fire broke out in the already damaged ship.

"They're firing torpedoes!" Hudson cried in despair.

Suddenly another voice came across the still open communicator channel.

"This is Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the USS Enterprise to the Captain of the Danger Sled. Do you need some help, Jon?"

The strong English voice of Picard filled our team with hope. A barrage of photon torpedoes launched from the Enterprise and blasted the Brood Destroyer. Phaser fire tore through it's command center. Gaia was able to open another dimensional rift in front of the Brood torpedoes coming for us and teleport them on the other side of their ship so that the missiles blasted the Destroyer. Soon the Brood ship was disabled.

"I thought you had returned to your own time," I told Picard through the communicator.

"Well, I've seen how much trouble you are always getting into, Professor. I thought it might be best to delay my departure. Jon, is your ship in good enough condition to make it back to Earth?"

"We'll be just fine, Captain. Thanks for the assist."

The Enterprise stayed with us on the trip home, which thankfully was uneventful for once.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Our situation looked rather dire, what with the three giant battle-cruisers rushing down on our two small damaged craft. I could see their forward cannons charging up. Then Magdalena's pilot, McBane, started a suicidal run at the menacing ships. We all watched anxiously as he darted his small fighter between the 3 behmoths, narrowly avoiding hot laser death. He jetisoned all his fuel between the cruisers and sailed off on pure inertia. Hudson fired a blast straight into his fuel, igniting it. The giant explosion triggered a chain-reaction and all 3 cruisers erupted in firey death. Jon quickly sped toward's McBane's fighter and caught it with a tractor beam. We then approached the remaining mother-ship and boarded.

Brood were waiting for us, along with several Sentinel C-class, the 8 foot ones. Maggie and the X-Men launched into them. The battle was ferocious but the enemies soon fell to our onslaught. The thing that I found perhaps most surprising about the fight is that Maggie fought almost as viciously as Wolverine. For such a pretty young girl, she is certainly a fearless fighter.

As we moved through the ship, deck by deck, overcoming all opposition, I realized that the same psyhic dampening field that was at the Weapon X facility was present here too. We finally managed to reach the command center, a large open chamber with various control stations.

There, in the over-sized captain's chair, surrounded by four Mr. Sinisters, sat Thanos, the Titan. Two Brood Queens stood near him, as did Bastion, the origional Master Mold, creator of the Sentinels.

"Ahh," the Titan growled, "Xavier. You and your pathetic little band have traveled quite a long road to reach here. What a pity it's all for naught. Now you face your true enemy and now you shall die."

"Thanos!" I shouted in surprise. "You are behind all this? But why?!"

"You could never understand what motivates a god. But since these are your last moments, I will tell you this. The massive devestation that shall spread over the Earth from the war between the Brood/Sentinels and her defenders will be a fitting tribute for my mistress, the lady Death. Then, finally, she shall embrace me."

Thanos closed his eyes, titlted his head back and hugged himself in a most disturbing way. The others looked at me nervously, a little uncertain about what to do next. Thanos has beaten the Avengers, and is said to be immortal. I could not reach his mind.

"And now, it's time to die!" he shouted as he raised his hands at us, bolts of pure Cosmic Power shooting straight at us.
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