Within an hour the last of the absent team members arrived back at the mansion. Bobby Drake calmly made his way to the main living room to be met by the annoyed stares of most of his team. Grinning sheepishly he quickly took a seat, he guessed staying out an half hour longer with his current girlfriend hadn’t been such a good idea after all.
“Thank you Bobby for finally showing up,” Xavier said in slight irritation well used to the youth’s childish spurts of stupidity. “Now that we are all here I would like, for those of you who were not here a few months ago, to meet Alexander Grey Logan,” he started before Bobby cut in.
“Whoa Logan you have a kid you’ve been keeping hidden?” Bobby asked with a smirk, not seeing the dangerous look that appeared in Logan’s eyes. “And all that time you were trying to charm Jean out of her pants, you never thought to mention you had...” Bobby never got the chance to finish his sentence as he found his ability to talk cut off.
“Silence Bobby right now before I let Logan rip you apart,” Rachel spat as she struggled to hold Logan in place. Jean was sat wide eyed which quickly turned to anger as well.
“Easy Jean,” Scott ordered, wishing he could whack Bobby as well for his callus comments, even with as much anger/hatred as he had towards Logan he didn’t think the guy would intentionally hide the fact he had a child, especially if he was trying to get together with someone. He did his best to ignore the fact it was Jean he wanted to get with as his anger about that wouldn’t help right now.
“If you would have let me finish Bobby I would have told you that while Alexander is the child of Jean and Logan, he is not from this dimension and thus did not come from our Jean’s womb,” Xavier stated with a hard look at the young mutant who was eyeing the still struggling Logan with unease. “I have warned you before that your quick mouth with get you into trouble one day Bobby,” he added.
“I don’t like this guy,” Alexander stated coldly, not taking kindly to the insult against his father. “I don’t know who he is but I don’t like him,” he added.
“This is Bobby Drake, code name Iceman,” Kitty introduced him to the still silently sweating Bobby. “Sadly he thinks he is the ‘be all of everything.’ His mouth usually gets him into trouble just like it just did,” she explained. “So he was never a member of the team in your dimension?”
“Nope, never seen him before in my life,” Alexander answered, having seen every record in the archives of who had been a member of the X-Men at one point or another.
“Lucky you shugah,” Rogue muttered with a grin as Rachel finally got Logan to settle back down with a little mental persuasion from Jean. “Sometimes we wish Bobby wasn’t on the team,” she muttered teasingly at Bobby who now glared at her once he saw Logan wasn’t trying to gut him anymore.
“Enough, now as I stated Alexander is from another dimension, one in which I was assassinated by a mutant who feared my dream of uniting humans and mutants together,” Xavier explained, stopping anymore talk. “He was, from what I am told, a fanatic. My early death inspired the Magneto of that world to take up my cause and it was he who created the X-Men and tried to find the way to bring both mutants and humans together in peace,” he informed them, causing Bobby to make a noise in protest. “The team in Alexander’s dimension is quite different from the one here. During an attack Alexander was injured and thus to save his life his mother sent him here where our Jean could use the Phoenix Force to save his life in time,” he went on.
“Are we certain on the facts surrounding his tale Professor?” Beast inquired thoughtfully, as he was another of the team who hadn’t been present the last time Alexander had appeared.
“Yes Hank we are,” Xavier assured them all. “Jean confirmed all the facts not only through her own powers, but also a full blood work and DNA check,” he told them.
“So the kid is Jean and Logan’s kid genetically, but just not from this dimension,” Bobby muttered.
“Exactly Bobby,” Xavier confirmed relieved the boy had stopped playing up and gotten serious. “After a short time conversing with him, his mother appeared through astral projection and told how to send him home, with Jean and Rachel’s help we managed to get Alexander back where he belonged,” he finished.
“So why is Alexander back Professor?” Kurt inquired from where he was leaning against the chair Rahne was in. He was doing his best to focus on the topic at hand, but he kept getting distracted by Kitty who sat off to the side. He was still trying to find a way to work things out with the girl he loved.
Alexander told them everything he had told Jean when he had first arrived. His description of the monster who had led the attack had caused a grim silence to fall in the room as they came to realize the danger, especially when they realized this thing took down the Juggernaut so fast. Alexander wanted to get back home and rescue his friends and family quickly so he left some things out. Jean noticed this, but knew exactly what he was thinking and thus didn’t bring it up.
“These people who followed the monster in, do you think they were controlling it somehow?” Beast inquired, quickly putting his mind to work on the problem of how to bring this thing down.
“It would make sense Hank, but I didn’t have time to really see how they interacted with the creature,” Alexander responded with a slight nod of his head.
“And you have no idea who was actually behind the attack do you?” Scott asked, looking for any insight into who they may actually face, because one thing was sure they were going to help Alexander. Xavier had already told him that when he had learned of Alexander’s return, he didn’t exactly like the idea but this was Xavier’s call.
“No I don’t, but I’m hoping when we return to my dimension we can check out the security feeds and see if they have picked up anything,” Alexander answered.
“I thought you said they had prior knowledge of the mansion’s security systems so would they even show up on camera?” Gambit spoke up from beside Rogue.
“I am hoping whoever is behind is might have slipped up and forgotten about one of the camera’s at the least,” Alexander replied, running a frustrated hand through his hair. “If not then the only way to find them will be for your Professor to use Cerebro, thankfully you had already built it in my dimension before you were assassinated,” he added.
“Exactly how are we going to get to your dimension Alexander?” Logan inquired as he finished off his cigar.
“Same way I got here, however with such a large group we need more than three people to transport us all,” Alexander answered. “As Mom and Rachel can tell you, the transport from one dimension to another is draining,” he explained. “And we do need a large team, I will not take chances with my family and friends lives on the line by taking a small team,” he stated seriously.
“There is only one other Phoenix host in our dimension Alexander and she is not a full host,” Rachel cautioned him. “She has some of Phoenix inside her, but nowhere near where Mom and I are or where I suspect your mother is,” she added.
“Then it must be blocked, one is either a host or you are not,” Alexander responded. “There is no middle ground Rachel,” he assured her.
“Now just a minute, hold it right there,” Scott cut in angrily. “You are not suggestion we somehow unblock it for her?” he demanded to know. “This woman is a danger to everyone and us in particular,” he told him beginning to get worked up.
Alexander frowned at the way One-Eye was acting. He glanced at his mother who had her eyes closed as if relieving a painful memory. Reaching out with his telepathy he delved into Summer’s mind. He knew he shouldn’t be doing this, but he needed information on whoever this fourth host was. While he wasn’t as powerful as his mother and sister with his telepathy, he knew how to use the small talent he had and worked his way into Summer’s head and began to see the memories of this Madelyne Pryor.
Jean felt the intrusion as soon as Alexander managed to get into Scott’s mind through her mental link to him, she frowned and was about to say something when Alexander pulled out. He had a look of disgust on his face as he looked at Scott, and she knew he had seen exactly what had happened between them and Madelyne.
“And I thought you couldn’t go any lower Summers. You married this woman thinking she was Mom and then dumped her and your child when it was revealed she was a clone?” Alexander spat as he stood and glared at the older man who froze in discomfort at first and then began to get angry. “You threw her away, allowing for her to be corrupted and your child to be kidnapped and you have the balls to be pissed at her because she wants revenge?” he snapped.
“Alexander enough,” Jean cut in before Scott launched himself at the younger man only to be intercepted by Logan who had been expecting such an action when Alexander had said what he had. Hell Logan agreed with his son on all his points, but he could have been a little more subtle, this subject was highly explosive within the team.
“How dare you fucking read my mind without permission, you piece of shit?” Scott cursed as he tried to escape Logan’s grip and get his hands on this kid who dared to stir up memories he would rather forget.
“You had no right to do that Alexander,” Xavier cut in, now moving forward to head off any more shouting. “You must never use your powers against someone without permission or cause,” he stated with a slight glare.
“In my view Professor it was necessary,” Alexander retorted. “I like to know who I’m getting involved with, plus I needed to know why this other host of the Phoenix seems to stir such troubled emotions in you all,” he explained. “I knew One-Eye could be a bastard, but I had no idea how far he could sink. This Madelyne Pryor is the way she is directly because of his actions,” he stated, locking his gaze on Summers.
“You do not have all the facts Alexander,” Jean finally spoke up having been paralyzed and unable to decide how to act here.
On one hand Scott was her husband and she didn’t take slights against him lightly, on the other there was a part of her who did not approve of the way he had acted where Madelyne was concerned. Alexander was correct, the whole thing could have been handled much better than they had done and maybe just maybe if they had then Madelyne might not be their enemy now.
“I forbid you to do that again do you understand me?” Jean demanded as she moved closer to him as the others watched the rather tense standoff as mother and son stared at one another. “I said do you understand me?” she repeated.
“Okay okay I understand,” Alexander finally backed down from what he could tell was a very pissed of Jean Grey. He had seen his mother angry many times back home and knew how far he could push her. This Jean was different than his mother and thus he had no clue how far he could push things.
Jean continued to stare at him for a few minutes and she saw exactly what he was thinking, she was still very much unknown to him. She was his mother genetically, but she was not the mother who had raised him or trained him, he had to remember he was not in his own dimension. That proved, no matter how well they had gotten on last time he had come here, that they were still strangers to each other. Scott watched Jean back the little shit down, but he still wanted to pound him for getting inside his head.
“Now please everyone sit back down and we will continue this discussion,” Xavier ordered. “That includes you Scott,” he added as Logan pushed the other man back a bit. “Now Alexander, are you seriously considering we give Madelyne Pryor full access to the most destructive force there is?” he asked, turning back to Alexander who was now leaning against a wall.
“Yes I’m Professor as the Phoenix has the power to heal her,” Alexander answered as he ignored the glare Scott was still giving him. “Whoever fucked with her mind and I know someone did from Summer’s memories, they helped push her over the edge when she was at her lowest after he abandoned her,” he went on as he moved and sat back down. “The Phoenix can reverse whatever it was that was done to her, if we can catch her in a triangle of power from mine, Mom’s and Rachel’s own Phoenix power,” he explained.
“I don’t understand, how will that help?” Beast inquired. “Madelyne is what I would call insane,” he pointed out.
“Her personality has been altered by outside forces, granted her downfall began with what went down with Summers and Mom, but still without that push she might not have ended up as what you call the Goblin Queen,” Alexander shot back. “By combining our powers, Mom, Rachel and I can use Phoenix to undo whatever it was that was done to her and maybe clean up her mental faculties and remind her of who she used to be,” he explained to them all as best as he could. “It’s a long shot, but we need her to get us all to my dimension,” he stated firmly.
“I can’t believe any of you are considering this. She is a raving psychotic,” he spat.
“I agree with Scott, Pryor is not mentally stable enough to handle that kind of power,” Emma spoke up, wanting to support the man she had fallen in love with. “And Alexander has not given us a guarantee that he can heal her, or even if she is healed that she will be willing to help us,” she argued. “I believe this is too great a risk,” she flatly stated.
“Risk Frost is part of our lives every damn day,” Logan stated with a frown at the blond who he did not trust one bit. “If they can heal her and put her back into some kind of right mind, one that will stop her coming after us then I say it is worth the risk,” he added to.
From there everyone started to argue one way or another. Only Jean and Xavier held back. Alexander rubbed his head as time was wasted, while they sat here and argued. He knew proposing what he had would be controversial, but if he wanted to get the whole group to come with him they needed the extra power Pryor could give them. Xavier rubbed his head as he felt a headache start to form, even with his power tightly controlled he could feel the echoes of anger or fear from his students, he was sure Jean had the same problem.
“ENOUGH,” he finally commanded with enough force to shock everyone into silence. It was a rare thing for the Professor to lose his temper, even rarer for him to shout at them all. “That is enough from all of you, I know this is a highly controversial subject, but we have been asked for help to save lives and I intend to render that help,” Xavier informed them in a tightly controlled voice. “Now I am certain that Alexander, Jean and Rachel can do what he has suggested and Logan has a point if we can heal Madelyne then it is our responsibility to try,” he told them all.
“But Professor,” Scott tried to argue but Xavier quickly cut him off.
“I have made my decision Scott and it is final,” Xavier stated. “If we can heal her and stop her from being our enemy, then it is a goal I’m willing to take a risk on,” he told him bluntly and with a pointed stare that told Scott he wouldn’t change his mind.
“And so am I,” Jean spoke up, finally having made her mind up.
Madelyne had never asked for what was done to her, for most of her existence she had believed she was Jean Grey. She had never known she was a clone and Scott’s actions after the revelation she was a clone destroyed her and as Alexander had said someone had then pushed her over the edge.
Maybe in the grand scheme of things they owed her this, Scott more than any of them. With Jean’s agreement as well as Rachel’s, the rest of the team agreed to the plan even if some of them were still unsure about the potential for success.
“Now while you are dealing with Madelyne I’m going to try and find us a little more aid,” Xavier stated. “I will locate Madelyne and transmit her location to the blackbird,” he added before he turned and left.
“I wonder who the Professor is going to ask for help,” Kitty mused aloud as the group broke up to get ready for the mission.
“I don’t know, but we’ll find out soon enough,” Kurt assured her before he quickly turned and left.
Kitty watched him go and let out a sigh. A couple of months ago they would have walked to their rooms together. Now they could barely stand being in the same room. Not because they didn’t like one another anymore, but because of the tension that had grown between them. Her refusal to take the plunge and admit her feelings to Kurt had begun to affect their friendship. Rahne and Rachel had tried multiple times to convince her to just admit it, but with no luck so far. She slowly made her way to her room, ignoring the pointed looks she got from Rahne and Rachel as they passed her.
(Earth-619, secret hideout)
Scott Summers stood overlooking the huge lab complex Essex had control of. He knew the man had government contacts, but this was a little beyond what he had expected. He was watching as each of his former colleagues was processed, blood and genetic samples were extracted at the same time as there were logged into the computers. He ignored any disquiet he felt at seeing his former friends abused like this. They had turned on him when they had welcomed that feral animal into their home. They had made it worse when they had done nothing to stop Jean falling prey to his machinations. They hadn’t even blinked an eye when she had dumped him and become a whore for Logan. At least that was how he saw things, well soon Jean would once again be at his side and she would never leave it again. He would have his revenge on Logan, and his children and on the X-Men for allowing it all to happen.
Down below Nathaniel Essex watched Scott Summers for a few seconds before he turned away. The fool actually thought he was going to give him Jean Grey back now that he had her. He wanted to laugh at the utter gullibility of the man. Jean Grey was the pinnacle of his research as she held within her the Phoenix force. No he would never let her go now, he would alter her memories as he agreed to do, but he would alter them so she would serve him and him alone from now on. Maybe he would do the same to some of the other X-Men he had captured. They were after all some of the strongest mutants alive.
(Earth-616, main X universe)
Xavier watched as the blackbird lifted off from its secret hangar and hoped he had made the right call in approving Alexander’s idea. As he had stated it was a risk, but still if they could succeed then it would be worth it as then Madelyne would be healed and no longer their enemy. That was something that would help them in the long run, turning he headed back to Cerebro. Time for a little talk with Eric, hopefully he could convince his old friend to help for this mission. It would not be the first time they had joined forces for a common course or the last he was sure. He had a feeling Eric’s presence might be needed.
It would not be easy to convince Eric to help them, but he felt certain due to the circumstances he could talk his old friend into it. After all he would be helping himself in another dimension in their mission of helping Mutant kind, one way or the other.
‘Let us hope Eric is in a cooperative mood,’ Xavier thought briefly before he put the helmet on and projected his thoughts outward to the location Jean, Scott and Kurt had given for Magneto’s new base.
Eric Lehnsherr, also known as Magneto, was at his desk resting when he felt a sudden pressure in his mind. He knew it could mean only one thing, his old friend Charles Xavier wished to talk to him. He glanced at his helmet that rested on his desk that could break the contact, before deciding to see what Charles wanted as at the moment he had no plans for an attack. Thus Charles had no reason to seek him out for a confrontation, something else must have happened.
Closing his eyes he listened carefully for Charles’s mental voice.
‘Hello Eric,’ Xavier said in greeting. ‘I have need of your help for a very dangerous mission,’ he stated. ‘A mission to save a version of the X-MEN in another dimension, one in which I was killed when we were still young men,’ he explained much to Eric’s surprise. ‘It seems my death inspired you to take up my cause and you created the X-Men to unite humans and mutants together. You even brought your daughter Lorna into the group,’ he continued. ‘Now they are all in danger, having been captured, all bar one a mutant we met a couple of months ago,’ there was a pause in the mental contact here and Eric guessed the meeting had been a charged one. ‘He is the son of Jean Grey and Logan from that dimension, he managed to escape to ask for our help against whoever took his group captive,’ he added.
‘Why should I aide you Charles?’ Eric inquired, cutting into Xavier’s explanation. He was intrigued by what he was being told, but he didn’t see why he should help.
‘Because Eric you will be aiding your mission of helping mutant kind, it does not matter that it will be in another dimension,’ Xavier responded quickly. ‘Also if the creature that led the attack and disabled all the X-men including Juggernaut, whom it put down with ease, exists in our dimension, we need all the information we can on it in case either of us encounters it,’ he informed him. ‘We need to know who created it and how, what powers it has and more than anything how to bring it down,’ he stated.
Eric frowned as he listened to Xavier’s argument and had to agree the idea of a creature who could so easily defeat not only the X-Men, but also the Juggernaut with such ease would be a great danger if it existed in both dimensions. Whoever controlled this beast could be part of an anti-mutant force, the very thought concerned him.
‘Very well Charles, you have made your point and I will aide you,’ he finally decided as he stood up and picked up his helmet. ‘I will be there with Wanda and Pietro in an hour,’ he told him before he put his helmet on, cutting the contact between them and leaving to find his son and daughter.
As he walked through the base he knew there was another reason why he had agreed to help, hearing that in this other dimension he had brought his other daughter Lorna into the X-Men. It had made him worry she was in great danger for say what you will about the Master of Magnetism, but he loved his children. It did not matter which dimension they were from, and helping another version of himself in his quest was the smart thing to do. Who knows, one day he may need help and he could then call in a favor.