Sunday, April 30, 2006

As our borrowed Kree starship entered orbit around Coruscant, I wondered where on this extremely developed planet we'd be able to find Senator Palpataine. As it happens, I did know two people on this far away planet, Master Yoda and Lieutenant Commander Oneida. They had both participated in the Amazing Mutant Race 2 last year. In fact, they had won. Yoda was rather helpful lending us some Jedi Knights just a few weeks ago when Dark Phoenix had terrorized his section of the galaxy, so I thought I would try him again.

Strangely enough, Master Yoda did not respond to my repeated calls. In fact, the whole Jedi Temple seemed to be dormant. How odd. I had thought Jedi took an oath. Neither rain nor sleet nor snow shall keep them from defending their galaxy or whatever.

Since Yoda didn't seem to be available, I contacted Lt. Commander Oneida. I was rather amazed at how quickly I was able to reach her.

"Why Professor, what a surprise!"

"And how are things with you, Lt. Commander?"

"Pretty busy actually. I have a new intelligence assignment and it's fairly time consuming."

"Well I certainly don't want to distract you from your duties. I am on the trail of some thieves who are apparently planning to meet with a Senator Palpataine. I was wondering if you might be able to point us in the right direction?"

"Senator Palpataine? From Naboo? He's one of the most respected members of the Imperial Senate."

"Hmm, then perhaps he about to be the victim of a fraud. Is there anyway we could meet with him?"

"Funnily enough my current assignment is at the Senate. It shouldn't be any trouble to arrange a meeting at all. It probably won't be until the morning though."

"Tomorrow would be fine."

Friday, April 28, 2006

"Coruscant?" I said, a little surprised. "I wonder if they've repaired all the damage from the last time we were there."

We set the Kree ship into a light jump to Coruscant, hot in pursuit of Hepzibah and Ch'od, and more importantly, the stolen Sapphire of Radiance I needed to get back to clear my name of any involvement with it's theft from the Shi'Ar Empire.

As our ship started it's journey, Maggie gave me a wink. I smiled back. We still had some unfinished business to take care of. I led us to any empty chamber but before we could get down to business, Wolverine burst in. He had a rather sadistic grin on his face and asked some inane questions about our strategy once we reached Coruscant. Obviously he was just trying to be annyoing. When does he ever plan anything?

Corsair was making a disturbance outside. Maggie got that smile on her face again and, grabbing her knives, rushed outside. I quickly followed.

Rogue was pushing Corsair in front of her. She had his right arm twisted high up behind his back. The poor sod was crying like a baby. Actually, more like his son, Cyclops.

"Ah caught 'em tryin' ta steal the ship," Rogue told us.

"I wasn't trying to steal it! I was, uh, just going to set a course that, um, would, uh, take us more directly to Coruscant. That's all."

"You do realize that's I'm a telepath?" I asked him. He just hung his head.

"I know he's holding back Professor," Maggie said. "Let me question him some more."

"Help yourself, my dear."

Maggie's grin grew. She drew out a long thin silver blade with an intricate gilded handle. She twisted it slowly in front of Corsair's face. Beads of sweat ran down his brow. Maggie brought the edge of the blade up to his cheek. Just before contact, Corsair blurted out, "At least ask me a question?! What do you want to know?! I'll tell you anything!!"

"Where on Coruscant is Hezpibah going?"

I could see how torn Corsair was. His mind was racing desperately to try and come up with some way to preserve a profit from the Sapphire. Fortunately for him his sense of self-preservation won out.

"She's going to deliver the gem to the guy who hired us to steal it. And she's going to get our payment. I'd, uh, really kind of appreciate it if you'd, you know, let her get the money first and then kind of take it back from the guy who's paying."

"Not a chance," Maggie said. "Who hired you?"

Corsair gulped. "Some creepy old guy named Senator Palpataine."

Thursday, April 27, 2006

"Wait a minute, Charles," Magdalena said. I looked back at her. She was standing over one of the Guardians who wasn't bleeding too badly. There was a bright purplish aura around her. "This one, his heart is pure . . he will speak the truth as he sees it . . we should take him . . as a witness."

"Alright, fine," I told her. "Now we have a witness, we have a ship and we know who we want to find. The only question is, how do we find her?"

A strange, almost evil gleam shined in her eyes. Maggie whirled around on one of other semi-conscious Guardians. She raised her spear high over her head and the Guardian came fully alert.

"Tell him!" she shouted.

The warrior looked up at her with a mixture of fear and confusion. Maggie waited a moment, her spear poised to strike and then she slammed it down hard right between his legs. The poor man let out a horrible cry.

"Oops, missed," Maggie said with a twisted smile.

The Guardian looked down at the large yellow stain on his intake pants and let out a long sigh of relief. Immediately Maggie swung the spear high over her head again. She let out a loud vicious growl and bent down like she was about to drive the shaft through the floor. The Guardian quickly started babbling about his involvement in the theft of the Sapphire of Radiance.

"No!!" he cried. "I know where she is! Hepzibah! And Ch'od! I - I helped them break into the palace. And C-corsair too! But they double crossed him! And me too! I was suppose to get 10% of the sale but they cheated me!"

"Where is she?!" Maggie yelled at him.


Wednesday, April 26, 2006

"I'm not telling you anything!" Corsair said with a sneer.

A loud slow 'snnikkt' sound filled the large chamber of the Shi'Ar battle cruiser. After just a few moments of Wolverine's interrogation, I wasn't able to get Corsair to shut up. Half his mustache lay on the floor and he had wet himself. His son Cyclops was turning the other way and whistling to himself.

"Hepzibah stole it from me!" Corsair shouted.

"Your 'life-mate'?" I laughed. "So much for honor among thieves."

Corsair's head dropped in shame. "Turns out she had something going on the side the whole time with Ch'od."

The room went silent for a moment and then Wolverine burst out laughing. "I guess size does matter, eh Summers? Ha ha ha!!"

"So what's are next move?" Magdalena asked me.

"First we disable this ship so that the Guardians can't follow us. Then we take the Kree ship and go after Hepzibah and Ch'od."

"Why?" Logan asked. "It ain't our problem?"

"Gladiator has associated me with the theft. Unfortunately there is a connection as we picked up Corsair right after the crime. Clearly Gladiator's plan was to kill us and then claim we had attacked him when he questioned us about the Sapphire. He would have been justified in questioning us though."

"Don't worry about him, Chuck," Wolverine snarled, popping out his claws. "Gladiator won't be botherin' anybody ever again."

"Now, Logan, you know that's not how we do things. We'll leave him here while we go clear our name. It will just make him look all the more stupid for coming after us when we recover the Sapphire."

Wolverine grumbled something unprintable and then said, "Alright, but I'm takin' out their communications, too."

"That's fine. Now let's go."

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

I felt a cold chill run down my spine as I stared down the barrels of about 20 high-powered energy rifles. Gladiator could barely stop his gloating laughter long enough to give a command to the guardians. I tried again to attack him psionically but no matter how hard I strained against the Nega Strip, there was nothing I could do.

"Kill them both!" Gladiator boomed.

Just before his men could fire though, a golden light appeared between us. A sense of calm and peace filled the room as a giant winged man in shining armor appeared. His large hand reached out, offering a weapon to Magdalena. It was the Spear of Destiny!

As soon as the angel disappeared, the Guardians pointed their weapons at us again. Suddenly Maggie tossed her cloak over my head, shielding my eyes as a tremendous white light seared out from the Spear, blinding all of the Guardians.

Pulling the cloak off my head, I saw her leaping to the attack. I must say, she was magnificent. Her agile body leapt and spun, twirling her weapon through her opponents, cutting them down like a sharp scythe in a wheat field.

Just as she was about to run one of the goons through, Gladiator reached out and grabbed the end of the Spear. She was no match for his raw physical power. Using the Spear, he flipped her up over his head and slammed her down hard on the cold metal floor. He raised his heavy boot over her head and started to bring it down when a familiar "snnikkt" filled the room. Wolverine's claws jabbed hard into Gladiator's thick side.

I felt a blast of heat near the back of my head and the Nega Strip fell off. Immediately my mind reached out and I felt Cyclops behind me. He told me that they had traced Maggie's signal with a Kree scout ship. Captain Marvel owed Wolverine a favor for saving his life from the Super Skrull in a long ago team-up.

Rogue flew like a shot over my head and slammed into one of the Guardians and sent him crashing into two others. Angel flew behind her and grabbed up the fallen warrior's rifle. He started taking out stunned soldiers.

Wolverine's claws couldn't do all that much damage to Gladiator's thick skin. The mohawked fighter recovered quickly and smashed his fist hard into Logan's face. He was about to land another crushing blow when Maggie drive her Spear deep into his thigh. Gladiator let out a terrible howl.

In no time at all, the last of the Guardians fell. Angel came over to me leading Corsair, still down on all fours, by the collar. I could feel Cyclop's anguish. Corsair started sniffing at my feet with that little gerbil like nose twitch. I reached into his mind telepathically and undid Emma Frost's meddling. He looked rather confused.

"Wha - X-xavier? Where am I?"

"You are safe," I told him. "For the moment. Where is the Sapphire of Radiance?"

"Ummm . . "

"Um, is not an answer. Where is the Sapphire?"

"Never heard of it," he answered, the smirk returning to his face. Clearly Corsair was not going to be cooperative.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Immediately after Gladiator's ship jumped through the stargate, I experienced a weird vertigo. It was kind of like I had passed out, but not quite all the way. When I recovered my senses I saw that the ship had arrived in orbit around a planet I did not recognize. Magdalena was standing at my side, looking as disoriented as I felt.

Gladiator strode up to me, an evil gloating smile on his face. I stretched out with my mind to scan his thoughts and instantly realized I couldn't. Reaching up with my fingertips, I felt a cold metal band around my head.

"That's a Nega Strip, Xavier," he boomed. "It dampens all psionic abilities. You are powerless!"

"Why are you doing this!?" Magdalena yelled, her hand moving to her weapon.

"So Xavier can pay for his crimes, of course," Gladiator replied with a smirk. "This way he won't be able to escape justice."

"Where are we?" I asked. "This is not the Shi'Ar homeworld."

"No, this is a very remote world in the edge of the Empire. Empress Liliandra won't be able to come here and rescue you. "

Magdalena started to draw her spear. I put my hand on her arm. Behind Gladiator stood a dozen Imperial Guardians. There was no way we could take them all.

"I thought this had something to do with Corsair?" I said.

"Heh, heh! Indeed it does." Gladiator raised his right arm and snapped his fingers. Two guards dragged Corsair between us and threw him to the floor. Corsair quickly got onto all fours and made a little nibbling gesture with his mouth. He still thought he was a gerbil.

"Corsair has made a fool of me. He stole the Sapphire of Radiance from the palace, right under my nose. He made me a laughing stock!"Gladiator kicked Corsair hard in the stomach at this point. "And you helped him escape the galaxy! And you and your damn X-Men have made me look the fool time and again! I am the captain of the Empress' Super Guardians! You can not do this to me! I am power and you are nothing! You will pay for humiliating me!! I will have justice!!"

Gladitor's face was bright purple. He was really just ranting at this point.

"I will not let you harm Charles!" Magdalena shouted defiantly. She is so attractive when she's being courageous.

"Ha! Ha! You little fool!" Gladiator spat. "Why do you think I only let Xavier bring one of his little puppets? You don't have a chance! Ha! Ha! Ha!!!"

The Guardians all drew their weapons, very large powerful looking energy rifles, and aimed them at us. Clearly this was going to be a very short trial.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

"What on Earth are you talking about?" I demanded. "I haven't committed any crimes against the Shi'Ar Empire!"

Gladiator's lips curled into a sneer. "Do you deny that you aided the pirate Corsair in fleeing this galaxy?"

As soon as he mentioned Corsair, I knew I was in trouble. Anyone who comes into that guy's vicinity seems to be sucked in by his bad luck. Rogue, who was standing next to me, tensed up. I could sense she was about to attack. I put a hand on her arm.

"I certainly do deny it," I told Gladiator.

"Then I'm sure you would have no problem returning to the capital world and answer for your crimes."

"Actually, I have a rather important date and I hate to keep a lady waiting."

The Imperial Guard behind Gladiator stiffened and drew their weapons. Rogue leapt in front of me, her hands balled into fists. Just then Scott and Warren rushed into the garage and jumped next to Rogue. I saw Logan move quickly behind Gladiator, claws at the ready. Magdalena, in her full battle gear, hurried next to me and drew the Spear of Destiny. Things got very tense, very quickly.

Though the Imperial Guard are fierce, well-trained and well-armed warriors, I was confident that the X-Men could defeat them. I knew that there would be much death and destruction though and casualties would be unavoidable.

"Stand down everyone!" I shouted. "Gladiator, I will come with you. Peacefully."

"What!? You can't!" Cyclops cried.

"It will be alright," I assured him. "I haven't done anything wrong. I'll be back before you know it."

Maggie stepped in front of Gladiator. "You know who I am and you know that I have the power to see into men's hearts. I demand that you let me come and defend Xavier."

I could see Gladiator pause to consider his options. Fortunately, diplomacy prevailed.

"Alright. Xavier can bring one person with him. Chose," he said to me.

I nodded and said, "Magdalena." Then I gave Logan telepathic instructions.

A bright light filled the garage and the next thing I knew, the Imperial Guard, Maggie and I had materialized onto their battle cruiser. A stargate opened in front of us and we were gone.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

"Sure," Wolverine said. "I'll be nice to Miss Ass-kissawa."

As he left my office, I could swear I heard him snickering. Oh well, at least he was gone. I pulled the air freshner spray from my desk and spritzed the chair he had been sitting in. That was when Magdalena walked in. She had a rather grin on her face.

Maggie told me that Miss Ishikawa was actually a trained assassin named SHI who was trying, unsuccessfully it seems, to retire from the trade. The truth is, I wasn't really paying attention to what she was saying. The whole time we were talking, I kept looking at Maggie's face and thinking how pretty she was.

Then I thought about all of my prior failed relationships. I suppose they must all be considered "failed" since they ended. Rarely did they end well. Vampirella is the rare excepetion, though we didn't really go out that for that long. Normally the women complain that I am too distracted by all the things in my life and I don't pay enough attention to them.

I became aware that Maggie was looking at me, waiting for me to respond to whatever it was she had just said.

I cleared my throat and said, "Maggie, I wanted to appologize to you if I have in anyway negelected . ."

"Sorry Charlie, wont work," she interrupted. "If you want to appologize then you close that lap top, tell Rogue to watch the kids and meet me upstaits in 20 minutes."

A broad smile slowly grew across my face. Maggie hopped out of my lap and slinked across my office. She paused in the door way, looked back over her shoulder and blew me a kiss. I felt my heart skip a beat.

I was about to contact Rogue telepathically but thought better of it. I really don't want all the other telepaths in the house knowing my personally business. Leaders must maintain some distance.

Checking with Cerebro jr., I found Rogue was in the garage. I rushed there at top speed.

"Anna, I'm going to be, um, indisposed for a bit . . probably well into tomorrow actually, and I'd like you to -"

Rogue looked up from the remains of Cyclop's motorcycle, which she had been inspecting. A strange look came over her face. She was staring at something behind me. I turned around and saw that the Imperial Guard had materialized behind me.

"Charles Xavier," Gladiator said in that big booming voice of his, "for crimes against the Shi'ar Empire, I am hereby placing you under arrest."

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

"Alright Wolverine, take your seat," I said. "Good, now retract your claws. Come on Logan, the longer you play games, the longer this will take."


"Good. Now then, I think you know why you're here."

"Yeah, 'cause that little art house chippie ratted me out an' you don't got the sand to standup to anybody."

"Hummph. Miss Ishikawa's complaint was just the latest in a long line of grievances that I have received about you. Now, I admit that some are not legitimate. For instance the angry e-mail I got from the Blob that you had eaten all the legs and thighs from a jumbo size of extra-crispy Kentucky Fried Chicken, leaving only the wings for him."

"Heh, heh, heh. That lard ass needed a break from the grease. My mutant healin' factor keeps me from gettin' fat."

"Good for you. Father O'Brien's complaint about you jumping through the stained glass window of St. John's is not a frivilous objection. I had to pay over $10,000 to prevent him from going to the police."

"Hey! I didn't jump through nothin'! Sabertooth threw me through that window!"

"That's not really my point Logan. It is time for you to start thinking about how your actions and words effect those around you. You and Sabertooth should not be playing around a church. Of course something valuable, and perhaps sacred, might get damaged."

"That wasn't my idea."

"What about driving Scott's motorcycle into the middle of the Oike Gallery? Was that your idea?"

" . . "

"You were intentionally disruptive. Your rude and obnoxious behavior drove away legitimate customers. In addition to being very annoying, you cost Miss Ishikawa a small fortune in business."


"Now in the future, when you feel these beatial impulses coming over you, I want you to pause, take a deep breath, and think about some calm pleasant images. Perhaps a field full of flowers. Or the gentle lapping of waves on a sandy beach. Or maybe little puppies -"

"Look Chuck, let me just ask you one question. When you wanted someone to take care of Dracula, who did you send? Sigh-clops? Pretty boy Worthington? No, you sent me. If you make me all girly soft, then I ain't gonna be as much use to you when you need someone to take of Dracula next time. You get me?"

"But Logan . . you have to see that . . this isn't . . we can't . . . (sigh) . . . alright. Fine. But all I ask is that you be nice to Miss Ishikawa, okay? The school really doesn't need any more liability at the moment."

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

A loud clanging alarm woke me from my daydream. I tried to focus my eyes on the source. It turned out to be the phone on my desk. Reaching for the receiver I knocked over a bottle of cognac. Fortunately it was empty.

"Help?" I said.

"What was that?" replied a beautiful, slightly confused, female voice.

"I said 'hello'. It's a standard form of grating in this county when answering the phony."

"I'm not quite following you."

I took a deep breath and focused my awareness. The cobwebs cleared from my mind. "Fine. Let me start over then. Brrinngg brrinngg. Hello, this is Charles Xavier of the Xavier School for Gifted Children. How can I be of service today?"

There was a bit of a pause and then the woman said, "Hello Professor. My name is Ana Ishikawa and I run the Oike Gallery in Manhattan."

"How wonderful for you! Is there some reason why you're calling me?"

"As a matter of fact, yes. I'm calling to complain about that smelly Neanderthal thug of yours."

"Ahh, you mean Wolverine."

"Yes, that's right."

"I get complaints about him on an almost daily basis. So what has our vertically challenged star done now?"

"First of all, his boorish, obnoxious and totally inappropriate behavior chased away several potential customers from the gallery today and cost us perhaps millions of dollars in sales."

"Well he does have a habit of doing that. He doesn't bathe much, you know."

"I noticed," she replied, with noticeable perturbance. "He also damaged a very important and very expensive piece of artwork from the Ming Dynasty. I've had to send it out for restoration. I will be sending you the bill."

"I am sorry Miss Ishikawa, but the school accepts no liability for damages caused by Wolverine when he is operating on solo missions."

"But didn't you send him to slay Vlad and free Vampirella, Professor?"

"Er, um, perhaps. I mean, I might have mentioned something about Dracula at some point. How are you using the word 'slay' here exactly?"

"You can play whatever games you want, but if I see that barbarian at my gallery again, I will slay him. Do you understand how I'm using the word?"

"Heh, heh. You should know my dear that Wolverine is a fearsome warrior."

"Warrior? If you consider a water buffalo to be a warrior, then perhaps you are right. He has all the subtlety of Simon Cowell critiquing Ace Young."

"Come now. I think you're being a little harsh."

"Professor, his whole idea of doing a stealth operation is charging in screaming and flailing his arms about. Vlad saw him coming a mile away, smelled him coming, and captured him quite easily. If it weren't for his healing factor, I have a feeling Wolverine would have been killed long ago."

"Well, you might have a point there. I have noticed that myself."

"Good. Now then, in lieu of my suing you and your school for the millions of dollars in business that I lost, not to mention the violation of my personal space, what I want you to do is rein your 'warrior' in. Teach him some manners. You do run a school, right?"

" . . you're offer seems rather fair, under the circumstances, Miss Ishikawa. I will institute a sensitivity class for Wolverine, and perhaps a couple of the others, first thing tomorrow."

"Glad to hear it." And then the line went dead.

Monday, April 17, 2006

As I sat in my easy chair gazing out on the students playing an energetic game of softball in the back field, I slowly sipped my afternoon cognac. Then my peace and quiet was interrupted by the phone ringing.

"Hey Professor, this is Private Hudson. I was at your party the other day . . "

"Yes, I remember. You're Jon's sidekick."

"What, no way, man! He's my sidekick. I totally carry that guy!"

"I didn't mean to offend you, Private. What can I do for you?"

"Seriously dude! The H-Man is running this show!"

"Okay, I believe you. Sorry. Now why did you call."

"Well, it's like this, man. I was hangin' out with this wild chick that night of your party. She was really hot. She had like blue skin or something."

"Um, yes?"

"Anyway, I saw that thing you did for that chick with the pink hair and that dude with the glowing eye. You know, showin' them what their kid would look like?"

"Yes, that's a software program I have."

"Yeah, right. So I was thinkin', it would be really cool to see what that blue chick and me's kid would look like. Can you do that for me?"

"Well . . okay. But you have to send me a picture of yourself. Something where you look good."

"Hey, no problemo man. I got a ton of great pics. I'll e-mail one to you right now . . here it comes . . got it?"

"Uh . . yes. I got it. Now I'll use a picture from my database of the 'blue girl'."

"And now I'll run the program to extrapolate the probably appearance of your child . . here it is."

"Oh man, game over!"

Sunday, April 16, 2006

The talk of the mansion this weekend has been Cable's marriage proposal to Gaia. Well, that and the fact that Dracula appears to have taken over Vampirella and is making her kill innocent people. Magdalena has been ordered by her church superiors to kill Vampi, which isn't really all that terrible when you think about it because Vampi has died before and she comes back pretty quickly. The real problem is that her unborn child would not be able to comeback. That is, of course, unacceptable. I've had Wolverine go to Dracula's lair here in the States to try and kill Dracula. I'm hoping that Vampi would then be freed of his control and Maggie would not have to go through with her mission, thereby sparing the baby.

After Logan left my office to seek out the vampire, a heard a soft knocking on the door. It was Gaia.

"Can I talk with you a minute, Professor?"

"Of course Gaia, please come in."

She took a seat and I could tell she was feeling rather uncomfortable. Her foot was twitching and she didn't know where to start. So I made it easy for her.

"This is about Cable's proposal, isn't it?" I asked.

She seemed rather startled. "How did you know about that?"

"Oh come now. You are living in a house full of telepaths. Did you really think such a thing could be kept secret?"

"I guess not. I don't really care that people know, it's just, well, I'm kind of confused about the whole thing."

"I can certainly understand that. Even under the most ideal of circumstances, marriage is a very large step. Given your unique background, having been tied down in the Temple of the Universal Amalgamator for all of those years . . it adds a layer of complication."

"Yeah, it does."

"And you missed out on the normal day to day social interactions that the rest of us take for granted. And of course Cable has his own unusual past. But I can tell you this. You are both good people. You care about others and you are willing to put their needs first. These are certainly vitally important for a healthy long term relationship. One thing you have to ask yourself though is, do you love him?"

"Of course I do. Nate is wonderful. I feel safe when I'm with him, like nothing could hurt me. And he's funny in that kind of quirky sort of way." A sly smile crossed Gaia's lips. "And he's really cute."

I smiled back. "Have you thought about having children?"

"Kind of. Sometimes I think about what our children would look like."

"Well then, you're in luck. I just happen to have a computer program that can extrapolate probably appearance based on genetic structure. Let me just feed the data of you and Cable in here . . . "

". . yes . ."

". . good . ."

" . . just one more second . . "

" . . it's almost done . . "

" . . okay, here it is . ."

"Well, maybe you could adopt . ."

Friday, April 14, 2006

We spent most of the day cleaning up the wreackage from the party last night. All morning there was this strange faint wailing sound accompanied by a light rapping. We finally traced the noise to a small closet in the main hall. I opened the door and a rather frazzled looking Bucky Covington fell out. Someone had locked him in. I immediately suspected Wolverine but I had other things to worry about. I gave Mr. Covington his $20 dollars and he hobbled out the door.

"Professor, I have terrible news!" Cyclops yelled as he ran up to me.

"What is it Scott?"

"It's Emma Frost! She's taken the Stepford Cuckoos and gone to England! I think she's planning to take over the world!"

"Would you please stop yelling Scott. I had a very long night and my head is throbbing."

"But Emma-"

"Yes well, Emma has reformed. She's probably just taken the girls on a field trip. I agree she should have cleared that first before pulling students out of school but she's a grown woman and I'm sure it will be fine. Now, if you don't mind . ."

"But Professor . ."

"Scott please!" I said, doing a very poor job of concealing my exasperation. "I'll tell you what. Why don't you take a trip into the city. Go to the Hellfire Club. See if they know anything about Emma's plan. Take your time. Then report back. In a few days."

Scott's face immediately brightened up. "You got it Professor! Don't worry about a thing! I'm on it!"

I watched for a moment as Scott ran off to the garage. That's one problem solved anyway. I was bout to ask Colossus to change the locks on the door when I heard a strange groaning sound above me. Suddenly a large crumpled mass fell from the chandelier straight at me. Fortunately Peter was able to grab it before it hit me.

"Oh man, did anybody get the number of that truck?" Private Hudson asked, cradled in Peter's arms.

"I thought Jon was going to give you a lift home?" I asked.

"Oh, uh, yeah. I was doing pretty well with this purple chick so I told him to go ahead without me. It was the strangest thing though. My H-Man moves were workin' great but just as I was leanin' in to close the deal, she disappeared. Just vanished in the blink of an eye. Weird."

"I'll call you a cab."

Thursday, April 13, 2006

"What do you mean Cheap Trick isn't available?" I asked the booking agent. "They're suppose to be here in two hours!"

"Hey, I'm sorry Mr. Exaver, their Yugo got a flat and they can't come up with the dough for a tow. But there's another talent that just came on the market last night around 9:30 who can be there in two hours."

"And who's that?" I asked skeptically.

"Bucky Covington."

"Never heard of him."

"The kids love him. Trust me. Besides, what choice do you have? Heh, heh."

What a weasel. Well, it was too late to argue. I still had to finish setting up for the party. I had decided to throw a victory celebration for my X-Men who have been working so hard the last few weeks dealing with all the various crises that have arisen.

By the time Bucky arrived and started singing, the main ballroom was already packed with people. They were dancing and talking and generally having a good time. I waved to Magdalena and she came over to my side and gave me a warm hug.

"This was a wonderful idea, Charles!" she said. "Oh look, there's Vampirella."

We went over her to say hello. Vampi put on a bright smile but she seemed rather sad. I was about to ask where Trunks was, but then thought better of it.

"It's so good to see you, darling," she said as she bent over and gave me a quick bite on my neck.

"And how is you pregnancy coming?" I asked.

"Oh, everything seems fairly normal at this -"

A loud crash nearby made us all turn. Vegeta climbed up from the middle of the now ruined table and brushed off spilled crackers and dip.

"That was a cheap shot Wolverine!" he shouted.

Weird green energy glowed all around his body and he leapt at Logan. The two went flying across the hall and smashed into something else that made a strange crunching sound. I think it was Colossus.

"That's odd," Maggie said to Vampi. "I thought Vegeta was in another dimension with Dr. Strange?"

"He must have come back for the party," Vampi suggested.

Another loud sound, this time a sharp slap followed by an 'ouch', made us turn in the other direction. Private Hudson was rubbing his reddened cheek.

"If you all ever touch mah butt again I am gonna knock you into tomorrah!" Rogue shouted.

"Hey doll, I just wanted to say hi. I heard you absorb people's memories by touching their bare skin, so I was just making sure I touched you somewhere you had clothes. That's all."

"There's no safe place for you to touch me, creep!"

At that Rogue turned on her heel and stomped off. Hudson stood there looking hurt for a moment until Psylocke walked past. His eyes lit up and he trotted after her.

I reached out telepathically and contacted Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator's mind. He was sharing a bowl of cheese dip with the Stepford Cuckoos and Kitty Pryde.

"Aren't you responsible for Hudson?" I asked him.

"Oh no! I'm just the designated driver. If I need a broom and ice chest to take the pieces home, that's fine with me."

I was about to ask him why he was drinking a Rolling Rock if he was the designated driver when Wolverine zoomed over our heads and crashed through a large picture window. Just then Gaia walked in through the outer door and waved her hand. The window re-formed out of the thin air.

"Gaia! I'm so glad to see you up and around," I told her.

She came over and gave me a hug, too, though she seemed a bit distant.

"Are you feeling alright?" I asked.

"Oh, I feel all better thanks. It's just, well . . I have some thinking to do. Maybe we can talk later?"

"Of course, my dear. Whenever you like."

I was about to tell her that Cable had been looking for her when Emma Frost and the Scarlet Witch walked in. I went over to say hello.

"Is that thing gone from the basement yet?" Emma asked.

"Actually I don't - wait, there's Hank. Over there with Storm." I waved them over and asked Hank if there was any development with his patients.

"Well the spurious Jean remains deep in her vegetative state. The extra Emma however has changed into . . " At that he waved his hand at Storm, who was looking rather meek and confused, not at all her usual regal self.

"What?" asked Wanda. "How can that be?"

"I have no idea," Hank answered.

"This should be simple enough."

Wanda raised her arms and spoke in some language I did not recognize. Strange multi-colored lights sparkled from her fingertips and slowly descended onto Storm. Her dark brown skin shimmered in the eerie lights. Once the last of the glow faded, Storm remained, completely unchanged as far as I could tell.

"Hmm, that's odd. This appears to be her true form," Wanda told us.

"Well as long as she's not me then it's really not my problem," Emma said as she lead Wanda into the crowd. I turned to watch as she hooked her arm in Warren's and the two started dancing. Wanda smiled at Kurt and they joined them.

I was about to ask Maggie if she wanted to take a spin on my lap when Vegeta hurtled past us, slamming hard into the wall. Wolverine came running up to him, claws drawn. Blood was dripping down his cheek.

"Logan!" I shouted. "This is a party. We are suppose to be unwinding!"

Vegeta walked up to his side, rubbing his chin. "This is how we unwind," Logan explained with a half smile. Vegeta whacked him in the back of his head and Wolverine hit the ground hard. I just shook my head and scooped up Maggie onto my lap. I set the chair to turn to the beat and we joined the dancers.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

I received a call from the Scarlet Witch today. She told me that Emma turned up at the Avenger's Mansion last night in a seriously impaired condition. You know, four sheets to the wind. Blitzed. Bombed. Blotto. What I'm saying is, Emma was drunk.

Wanda let me know that Emma was feeling rather stressed about this imposter that had turned up at the school. I can certainly appreciate that with all the non-stop adventures we have been on lately, nerves have been quite frayed around here. I think I'm going to arrange to have a big party tomorrow. Perhaps with live entertainment. Hopefully that will help us to blow off some steam. You are all invited.

I see that several of the X-Men have decided to pick up blogging recently. Angel, Wolverine, Nightcrawler, the Stepford Cuckoos and Storm are letting their voices be heard. Not to mention, of course, my totally evil twin sister (who fortunately doesn't look all that much like me), Cassandra Nova.

While I'm certainly glad to see the X-Men online, the boom in blogs in general are getting a bit out of hand. And it's not just the people. I even came across a dog who blogs - Schuldig. You know things have gone too far when our pets are joining in.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

With the mysterious Emma and Jean doubles locked safely down in Hank's lab, I was able to turn to more pressing matters. Namely, checking my e-mail inbox. It's amazing how much spam can accumulate when you are on the other side of the universe for a week. Let me just say that any program that advertises itself as a spam-blocker is blowing hot air.

After I had just deleted my umpteenth e-mail promising phenomenal profit returns for some penny stock I had never heard of, I came upon a message that sent a chill down my spine. A really, really cold chill. It was from Cassandra Nova.

For those of you who don't know, I have a sister. Had a sister. Have a sister, apparently. A twin sister. I've actually killed her twice now but it looks like she's back again. Sigh. While I appreciate that we can always get Jean or Colossus back fairly promptly when then get killed, it seems the bad guys get to come back too. And my sister is bad. You don't think I would have killed her twice otherwise, do you?

The first time I did her in was actually when we were both still in the womb. I was barely sentient so I don't think I can really be blamed for that one. I could just feel how evil she was so I used my psionic powers (my little baby fetal powers) to do her in. She was still-born but she quickly recovered.

The second time I killed her was after she had launched a genocidal attack on mutants. She murdered thousands of us. In case I didn't mention it, she is evil. So I shot her. Six times. She was definitely dead. But once again she quickly recovered. That's how it goes in my world.

After our last battle we had managed to trap her consciousness in an alien named Stuff. Apparently she escaped and is now coming back to haunt me.

Unless . . (quickly checks the calendar) . . blast! April 1st has already passed. Ok, so it's Cassandra Nova, my evil and incredibly powerful twin sister. I suggest you all seek shelter now.

Monday, April 10, 2006

The Jedi dropped us off back at my school before they returned home. I decided to leave Corsair on his ship thinking he was a hamster, at least for awhile. He's probably safer that way. Besides, some of our team required immediate medical attention.

We rushed Gaia, Jean and Warren to the infirmary where Hank got to work. Angel had mostly recovered but Jean was still in a catatonic state. Gaia was conscious but obviously quite weak. Hank assured me that he would take good care of our injured. I was glad as there were other matters that required my immediate attention. Namely, during our trip to across the universe, another Emma Frost and another Jean Grey had appeared.

As soon as we had disembarked, our Emma had rushed off to confront her doppleganger. I realized that this is why she had been acting so strangely and insisting on our rushing back to Earth. When we were in our own solar system had she sensed this other Emma.

Leaving the infirmary I could hear shouting coming from upstairs. I rushed to the scene and found Gambit and Colossus holding Emma back. She had murder in her eyes and was screaming at the other Emma. I looked back and forth between the two and couldn't tell them apart. Clearly we had an Emma dilemma.

Though physically the seemed identical, their personalities couldn't have been more different. This new Emma was cowering before the real Emma's emotional outburst. She was frightened and confused. I scanned her mind and felt no psychic defenses. In fact, her memory seemed to have vast holes.

"Emma!" I shouted. "Please calm down. We have to find out what's going here."

"I am not doing anything until that . . that . . imposter is gone!"

"Please Emma, this isn't helping. Obviously something is amiss and we will get to the bottom of it."

Emma stopped struggling so Gambit and Colossus released her. She struck a rather defiant pose with her back arched and her arms crossed.

"Now then," I said, turning to the new Emma. "Who are you?"

"I-I'm Emma Frost," she replied meekly.

"I see. And where do you come from?"

"I'm not really sure. I was in class all day and suddenly I found myself here."

"Do you know who I am?"

"Of course. Your Professor Xavier. This is your school. But the school is all different. A-and I saw a blue man walking around!"

"Tell me, do you have any unusual abilities?"

"W-what do you mean?"

"Well, can you read other people's minds for instance?"

"Of course not," the frightened girl answered.

I reached out to the others and communicated telepathically. "Clearly there is something wrong here. Perhaps Sinister is up to his cloning tricks again. Perhaps all the dimension hopping we have been doing lately have left doorways open and this Emma, apparently a non-mutant, has fallen through."

"Perhaps this is Mystique and she is the spearhead of a new attack by the Brotherhood," Emma interjected.

"I know what Mystique's psychic shields feel like and this is not her. We have to find out where this girl belongs and then return her there."

"Well, I insist you keep whoever this imposter is under lock and key until you figure it out, Charles."

"Emma, please. She obviously isn't a threat."

"Would you want a body double of yours roaming around the school, talking to the students?"

"I see your point. We can keep her down in Hank's lab. He has a separate living quarters down there for when he's working late."

"That will be fine, but I want you to resolve this soon!"

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Whew, quite a bit has happened since I last gave an update on our mission. You might recall in my last post that Dark Phoenix was about to accept a bunch of human (well, humanoid anyway) sacrifices on an alien planet. Gaia was able to disrupt that vile ceremony before anyone was hurt. We chased Jean through the wormhole that lead us from Earth to this galaxy far, far away. Apparently she was trying to reach home. There was a huge, and I do mean huge, battle between Dark Phoenix and Gaia. You can read all about the very exciting clash here at Gaia's blog.

I saw the Jedi trying to use their Force powers to help in the conflict but the rest of us weren't able to do much during the space battle. The fight ended when Gaia was subsumed by a tremendous white and blue light that some how let her absorb all of the Dark Phoenix's energies.

Gaia glowed with the brightness of a small star. Weird red and white energies swirled around her, apparently struggling with one another. Suddenly the energies expanded rapidly, surrounding our ship and almost engulfing Earth. Then they crashed back in on Gaia and her body grew to the size of the moon. Her face was calm, almost beatific. She held up her arms and in her left hand was a giant flaming red bird and in her right was a glowing white eagle.

The giant Gaia brought her hands together and the white bird ate the red bird and then exploded into twisting trails of energies. Gaia's body rapidly shrank back to normal size. She wasn't moving. Mace Windu flew the ship rapidly to her side and we brought her on board. Then we picked up Jean's limp body. Warren rushed to her side, but Jean did not awaken.

"We should go back to Earth," Emma said. "These two need treatment."

"You are right but we have to pick up Corsair. You left him thinking he was a hamster."

"That man is a pig," Maggie spat. "He deserves it. Leave him."

"Yes Charles, leave him," Emma said. "Go back to Earth now."

There was something about the urgency in Emma's voice that seemed rather odd. Her fingers started to fidget and her eyes couldn't decide what to look at.

"Is there something I should know about, Emma?"

Just then Gaia groaned. Hurrying over to her side, I tried to talk to her, but she wasn't responding. Finally she said, "Professor, I think I'm dying."

I looked over at Emma who I could swear had a smile on her face. "Fine. Mace, please take us back to Earth right away. We need to get these two immediate medical attention."

Saturday, April 08, 2006

As Mace Windu piloted the Jedi space ship in hot pursuit of Jean Grey a bright light suddenly materialized before me. To my surprise, Son Guko appeared.

"The results of the paternity test for Vampirella's baby are about to be announced, Professor," the Sayian told me. "She would like to have you there. I can transport you back and forth. Is this a convenient time?"

I looked around at my team. Warren was still unconcious after being fried by Jean. Gaia was finally stirring after her own run-in. Everyone was on edge. How on Earth could we possible stop Dark Phoenix.

"Couldn't be better," I told Goku.

A bright light engulfed us and the next moment I found myself in a doctor's office. Vampirella was there, as was Trunks, the other potential father. There were also several others present who I did not recognize.

Barriss, a rather unusual woman with strange face paint asked, "Vampi, ready?" I went over to her side and put a hand on her shoulder. The woman pulled a paper from a long manila envelope and proceeded to read. "Professor Xavier is . . not the father."

With a long sigh I let out the breath I didn't even realize I had been holding. I was a bit embarrassed at just how elated I felt being excluded as the father. It's not that I don't like children, it's just that . . well I don't really feel ready to raise my own infant at this point.

The woman kept reading and to everyone's surprise, Trunks was also excluded as the father. Vampirella started to protest but Barriss continued. "The baby isn't even Drakulonian."

That was quite a shocker. Apparently someone somehow implanted the child in Vampirella.

"Vampi, I promise to help you solve this mystery, but first I have to return to my X-Men and help them stop Jean. I'll be back as soon as I can."

She gave me a warm kiss on my cheek and then Goku transported us back to the Jedi ship. I saw that Windu was just bringing us into orbit around a small Earth-like planet.

"What's going on?" I asked.

"That psycho friend of yours is down there on the surface being worshipped by the natives," Windu said.

A holographic image appeared and showed some rather small humanoids about to sacrifice each other to a laughing Dark Phoenix.

"X-Men Assemble!" I shouted.

(I really have to find some kind of battle cry.)

Friday, April 07, 2006

"Jean, were here to help you. Don't attack!" I pleaded telepathically.

"Fool! There is no Jean here, only the Dark Phoenix," I head back. "You will die like the pathetic worms you are!"

As the fiery death bird continued her head on charge, I signaled the others to get into position. A giant flaming ball shot out towards us. Gaia and the Jedi used their powers to deflect the terrible energy. Magdalena moved behind Jean and a brilliant light flashed from her spear, apparently stunning Jean, but she was still able to counterattack with a devastating blast that slammed into Maggie and sent her reeling.

Using her reality warping powers, Gaia manipulated the gravity waves around Jean to try and pressure her into unconsciousness. The great fire bird rapidly grew to tremendous size though and the backlash knocked Gaia off her feet.

Jean resumed her charge.

I tried to attack her psionically but her defenses were strong. Windu, Obiwan and Skywalker all focused their Force powers on blocking her assault. I could see they were able to slow her down, but she was still getting closer.

Just as she was about to reach our craft and destroy us all, Angel flew out of the ship and stopped right in front of her.

"Jean, I know you're in there. I know you can hear me."

The great fiery bird stopped. Her flame shimmered with blue light.

"Do you remember about a month after you first came to the school? You and I went out on a date to Le Pauls. It was just the two of us. You told me about your family and your childhood. We laughed about Hank's SAT word laced language and the professor's bald head. Well those four hours were the best moment I ever had in my entire time as an X-Men. I think about that date all the time. I have loved you ever since."

Slowly the flames started to dissipate. Jean's costume turned from deep red to forest green. Her angry face softened to a warm smile. She started to fly towards Warren and it looked like she was going to embrace him.

When she reached him she raised her hand and an energy blast lashed out, slamming him back into our ship. Her costume turned back to red and she sped off into the sky, leaving Yavin.

"What do we do now?" Windu asked.

"Pick up our comrades and follow her," I answered.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

In order to head off a star war, our team is going to have to find Jean and try to stop her before she does something we can't fix. After smashing through the Jedi Temple on Coruscant, she kidnapped on of their trainee pledges, someone named Anakin Skywalker, and has taken off for parts unknown.

"Gaia, can you follow her Phoenix Force energy trail?"

Gaia gazed out at the smoldering rubble littering the main plaza of the Temple and then quickly looked to the sky.

"Yes, Professor, I can. She went that away," Gaia said as she pointed to the heavens.

"Well then, back to Corsair's ship."

"Unh-uh. No way. Not happening," Magdalena said. "There is no way I'm getting back on board that slime-ball's ship."

"But Maggie, we are at least going to need him to take us home."

"Forget it. He's a dangerous incompetent and he's a pig."

"But then how are we going to follow Jean?"

"Help you, I can," Master Yoda said. "Fly you in a transport, Mace Windu and Obiwan Kenobi can. Get back young Skywalker, you must. Strong in the Force, are they."

"Oh, hell no!" Windu shouted. "I'm not goin' anywhere with Kenobi! He gets that damn Cheeto's dust on everything!"

"Hey, that's energy food," Kenobi replied. "And it makes you smarter, too."

"It stop!" Yoda yelled. "Go you will and no snack foods will you bring!"

"Thank you Master Yoda," I said. "Thank you for your help."

The two Jedi managed to put their bickering aside and get us out into orbit. Gaia concentrated and was able to pick up Jean's trail. Windu figured out her course and gave chase. In no time we were nearing a sparsely populated planet called Yavin 4. It was fairly easy to find Jean. She was surrounded by dragons.

"Actually, they are Dragonkin," Maggie explained. "They are a force of nature, extremely powerful. And they are here to protect Vampirella."

"Vampirella! She's here?"

"Can you contact her?"

I reached telepathically and was surprised to feel her presence. Before I could say anything intelligible though, she was transported instantly back to Earth by Goku. What impressive powers that alien has.

One of the huge dragons, excuse me, Dragonkin, slammed into Jean and sent her hurtling around the planet.

"Hey, there's Annie!" Kenobi shouted.

Mace swooped the ship down to the surface was a very frazzled looking young man had been tossed by Jean. "Yo, what's the dillio?" he asked as he stumbled on board.

"You've just been rescued, idiot!" Windu shouted. That man doesn't seem to be able to communicate any other way than shouting.

"For shizzle" Skywalker said.

Windu lifted us back into orbit and started to leave the planet.

"What are you doing?" I demanded. "We can't leave. Our friend is down there."

"Yoda sent us to rescue the boy. We have to bring him back."

"Jean will destroy this world unless we stop her," Gaia said.

Windu say a moment in obvious frustration. "Fine, we will stop you friend."

As we turned our attention back to Jean, we saw her charging at full speed towards the Dragonkin. Before she could reach them though, they faded away.

"What happened?" I asked.

"They were here to protect Vampirella," Maggie explained. "Now that she's gone, they aren't needed."

"And Ms. Grey is free to do whatever she wants," Emma said. "This is bad Charles."

Jean turned towards us. A giant fiery bird surrounded her as she started flying straight towards us.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Corsair's ship zoomed through the wormhole and we shot across the universe. It was most unsettling. Fortunately it was over very quickly. I was able to contact Gaia telepathically, though she was quite far away. Apparently Jean was nearing a planet called Coruscant as she sought out whatever warped vengeance she thought was due.

I was in the cabin talking with Logan and Warren about possible ways to calm Jean down when I heard a loud crash sound from the cockpit. Before I could scan psionically, Magdalena came storming out of the control room. You didn't need to be a telepath to tell that she was fuming mad.

"Oohh, that jerk is lucky I didn't kill him!" she shouted.

Corsair came stumbling through the door. He was clutching a rather large swollen red patch over his right eye. "Toots, it was compliment! Trust me," he said.

Maggie spun on her heel and stepped right up to him, her nose just an inch from his. There was murder in her eyes. Corsair shrunk back like a frightened bunny.

"If you ever say another word to me, or touch any part of my body ever again, I will run you through with a rusty jagged knife. Do you understand me?"

All the color drained out of Corsair's face. He was stumbling for something to say when an alarm rang out through the ship. "O-okay," he said. "We're here. Everyone to their seats."

Fortunately for him, and us too I suppose, Corsair landed the ship without incident.

"Shall I have the pig think he's a gerbil?" Emma asked me.

"Better not. We will need him to get home."

"Well then, just until we return." Emma focused her gaze at Corsair and he dropped on all fours and started to make little nibbling motions with his mouth. Just as well, I thought. He shouldn't be able to get into any trouble that way.

We exited the ship to find ourselves on a landing platform in the midst of a huge city. Towering skyscrapers reached high into the heavens all around us. Small aircraft zipped around in wild chaotic patterns overhead. I have been to several worlds but have never seen anything like Coruscant.

A hover-taxi took us to the location Gaia gave me telepathically. The building she was in was a magnificent open temple, completely different in style that the rest of the modern glass and metal structures surrounding it. Gaia waited at the entrance.

After exchanging hellos, she introduced us to Master Yoda and the two men with him, Mace Windu and Obi-wan Kenobi. Mace was pouring some kind of thick liquid on his head and wiping it around with a cloth square from his pocket.

"Yes, Professor Xavier you are," Yoda said to me. "Remember you, I do. Won your little race, Oneida and I did."

"That's right Master Yoda, congratulations."

I could feel Wolverine bristling behind me. "It was the Amazing Mutant Race!" he snarled. "You shouldn't even have been in it!"

"Logan! They won fair and square. Let it go."

"I want a rematch!"

"Do you know how much work that was?" I asked. "Now let's just focus on Jean, shall we?"

"Yes, Professor. Do much damage to our temple, your friend has. Stop her you can?"

"Of course, Master Yoda. But I don't sense her here. Do you know where she is?"

"Yeah, I can tell you where that crazy chick went," Kenobi said. "She blasted her way through the palace like . . like . . you know, something really big and um . . "

"It's a bantha, you idiot!" Windu shouted. "She charged her way through like a bantha!"

"Well excuse me mister expert on Tantooine animals. Sorry we can't all be animal herders."

"What are you saying?" Windu spat. "You sayin' I'm an animal header?! I'm a jedi knight you little -"

"Windu! Kenobi! Stop this silly nonsense now, you will!" Yoda shouted. "Professor, smash up our temple your friend did. Take one of our jedi's with her, she did. Where she has gone, we do not know. Help us save our friend, will you?"

"Of course, Master Yoda. I will do my best to save your friend and prevent an intergalactic incident. I would hate for this to lead to a star war."

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

A large rumbling space ship landed in the large field on the southwest corner of the school grounds. Maggie, Emma, Psylocke, Angel and, of course, Wolverine accompanied me as we approached the retracting boarding plank. A hatch slid open and a pirate walked out, a devilish grin on his face.

Corsair paused halfway down and quickly glanced around. He seemed relieved. Seeing our quizzacle expressions, he just shrugged and said, "I'm not too keen on seeing the boys. They always get so whinny about my ditching them when they were children. Scott and Alex just can't seem to see the bright side of things. They got to learn about the foster care system first hand. They got to move around as kids. And most importantly they got to be X-Men. It's good to see you Charles."

Corsair, the father of Cyclops and Havoc, held out his hand and I shook it. Our team entered the craft. Looking around, I noticed something was missing.

"Where are the rest of the Starjammers?" I asked.

Corsair's eyes fell to the floor and he started shifting his weight from foot to foot. "Well . . they decided, I mean, we decided that we, um, just needed a break. You know, just for a bit."

"Oh, I'm sorry about that. That means . . Lilliandra . . isn't here?"

"Yeah, that's right," he answered.

I was both disappointed and relieved at the same time. She was a former love of mine and having her might just have made things more . . complicated.

"So, you can fly this ship by yourself?" I asked.

He brightened up considerably. "Of course! Most of the systems are automatic. Watch - I just press this button and -"

The ship lurched violently upwards at ridiculous speed. Everyone went flying. Except for Angel. He just fell.

Corsair was able to deactivate whatever he had done and the ship came to a rest. We all picked ourselves up off the floor. No one seemed seriously injured.

"Uh, sorry," he said sheepishly. "I thought I had the, um, engine in stand-by so . . "

"It doesn't matter," I told him, rubbing my bruised elbow. "Do you see the wormhole Jean and Gaia went through?"

"Yep! I've got it locked into the navigator."

"Well then," I said, "engage."

Monday, April 03, 2006

When the door to my office banged open, it sounded like an atom bomb had gone off. An elephant in heavy boots stomped across the floor towards me. A terrible wailing erupted from the beast that almost knocked me out of my chair.

"Charles, have you been drinking again?" the elephant asked.

My eyelids fluttered as I tried to focus on the shapee before me. After a moment I said, "Oh, Maggie. Well, I may have a had, um, a few blinks but that doesn't mean I've been drinking."

"Blinks? You're drunk!" she said with a laugh.

"I'll have you know it takes more than . . a few little drinks . . to get me drunk."

"Well there is an empty bottle of cognac on your desk. That would be enough to get you drunk."

"If I were drunk, my dear, could I do this?"

"That certainly is an impressive skill my love, but there is a very serious crisis that has to be addressed."

"Oh there's always some crisis. Crisis is the routine. Why do you think I drink?"

Maggie just rolled her eyes. "I just have two words for you. Dark Phoenix."

That certainly got my attention. The surge of adreline helped to clear my head. "What's happened?"

"Oh, so now you care? Well I'll tell you, Jean as been taken over by the Dark Phoenix again and she has gone on a rampage."

"I've been seeing the signs but I just chose to ignore them. Blast! Where has she gone?"

"That's the thing we aren't quite clear on. The Cuckoo Sisters seem to think she might be after Trunks but Gaia said she was after a Jedi."

"A Jedi?"

"Yes. They are a powerful alien religious order that maintains peace in a far away galaxy."

"Far away? Well that's relief. She can't really hurt us then."

"Charles! We can't let Jean destroy people, even if they are aliens. Gaia has followed her through a wormhole. We have to do something!"

I let a long sigh. "I know. I was just kidding." After a moment's thought, I snapped my fingers. "I think I know just who to call for help. The Starjammers."

I woke up in the middle of the night to sounds of screaming. Looking feverishly around, I realized the screaming was coming from me. Maggie grabbed my shoulders.

"Charles, what's wrong?" she asked nervously.

Catching my breath, I answered, "There was something I didn't tell you about my son, David."


"Well, he killed me."

Maggie just smiled. "You're looking pretty good for a dead guy."

"I'm serious. He traveled back in time and killed me before I founded this school and started the X-Men. The Earth was mostly devestated as a result. Turns out we've done some important stuff over the years. But the important thing is that he killed me."

"Well . . you got saved obviously."

"Yes, a few mutants were outside the time-stream and managed to correct things."

"There you go. You have nothing to worry about, Charles. You have a lot of people who care about you and will protect you. Not that you will need it. I'm sure that if Vampirella's child is yours, it will be a wonderful, special child who will do great things in this world. I really hope it is yours."

I looked at her a moment and resisted the impulse to read her mind. "Really? It wouldn't bother you?"

The warmth from Maggie's smile told me that she was quite sincere. She really is a special lady. I slept soundly the rest of the night.
Free Counters