"I-is this it, P-professor?" he asked, having to shout to be heard about the roar of the wind.
Not wanting to yell, I just nodded. With the Fantastic Four and the Watcher dead, it looked like our usual stuff wasn't working. We'd have to try something else.
I knew our powers, as impressive as they are by Earth standards, would be fairly puny against Galactus, but what choice did we have? Going down swinging is in the hero's contract. In the fine print at the end. Damn those lawyers.
I had Scott drive us around the rubble towards Galactus. The wild streams of energy rushing past us almost blew our van away. We got as close as we could and then exited. Cyclops assumed an heroic pose, his feet no less than three feet apart. Very impressive. He opened his visor all the way and let out a furious optic blast at the energy converter. The shield around the device easily absorbed his blast.
Reaching out with my mind, I tried to penetrate Galactus's thoughts. First I would plead for what was left of our planet, and then if that failed, I would attack. He was prepared. A powerful psionic dampener blocked my powers.
Buildings started to collapse around us. A massive Earthquake shook the ground all around us, causing the sidewalk to rise and fall in waves like a tumultuous ocean storm.
Scott looked at me, tears streaming down his face. "P-professor," he said, "I . . I l-love you!"
Fortunately I couldn't hear him over the defeaning roar of destruction. I suppose at the end of the world this is the kind of thing one person said to another. He was obviously waiting for me to give him some kind of similar platitude. Oh why not. It's not like anyone will ever know.
"Scott," I shouted over the tumolt, "I love you too."
An unmistakable clapping could be heard from behind me. I whirled around and saw Wolverine standing tall in the midst of the chaos. Tall for him anyway.
"Very touchin', Chuck, but can we get outta here before this planet goes?"
I looked at him for a moment, my vision obscured by all the clouds of dust and smoke, wondering if this was some kind of hallucination. Then I saw figures standing next to him. Colossus. Beast. And Blink.
Blink! As the city collapsed beneath us, Blink teleported us all through the dimensional veil back to the school in Westchester on our own Earth.
Storm walked up to us, a superior smile on her full lips. "When we received Captain Picard's message about the transporter mishap, I sent a rescue team." Her arms were crossed and she had a rather smug look on her face.
"Well . . thank you Storm," I answered.
"And that's why I should be the leader of the X-Men," she finished.
I could only smile. "Well after Scott's falling to pieces, I think he's going to need another round of Fade's man-camp. Perhaps Deadpool can help. He seemed to work wonders for Wolverine."
Logan just snorted at that.
"But enough of this. We have a Christmas party to get to. Merry X-Mas everyone!"