Xavier looked up as he heard the sounds of the Blackbird returning to the hangar, he let out a relieved sigh and quickly started for the elevator. He noted Eric and his children quickly got up to follow. He just hoped the meeting between them and the returning X-Men would go smoothly.
Magneto didn’t have to be a mind reader to know what his old friend was thinking. He gave each of his children a look to signify to be on their guard, but not to start anything and was relieved when they both nodded in understanding. The elevator stopped and let them out, just as the ramp of the Blackbird opened. They all saw Logan storm out of the jet and quickly head towards them. Magneto awaited the greeting from the feral mutant, but to their surprise Logan paid them no heed and exited without even looking at them.
“That was strange,” Xavier stated as he watched the door close behind Logan.
“Yes, I was expecting a much more aggressive hello,” Magneto agreed with a nod of his head. “Not to be ignored as if I wasn’t here,” he added with a shrug. “Something must be wrong,” he mused.
“You have no idea,” Jean’s weary voice said from behind them, causing them all to turn back around to find the rest of the X-Men now assembled behind them. “Madelyne pushed Logan to his limit when we used him as bait to distract her. His senses and instincts are out of control,” she explained, even as she did her best to keep her worry for him from showing right now. “He’s gone to the Danger Room, to try and regain control away from anyone he might hurt,” she told them.
“Professor, what the hell are Magneto and his children doing here?” Scott finally exploded, having held his tongue as long as he could.
“They are the extra help I told you I would be contacting,” Xavier answered with a slight glare at Scott, not to blow this conversation into an argument. “It concerns him as one of Alexander’s team mates just happens to be his daughter Lorna. Say what you will about Eric, but he does care for his children”
“But Professor, he is one of our biggest enemies,” Scott couldn’t help to argue.
“While you argue this point between yourselves, I’m taking Miss Pryor, Alexander, Rachel and Jean to medical,” Hank said before anyone could say anything. “They drained themselves badly, so much that they all collapsed unconscious when they finished,” he told them. “And while they all came too again, bar Madelyne, during the flight home, I want to check them out just to be on the safe side,” he added as Jean went to argue.
“I agree, as we will need them at their best if we are to rescue Alexander’s friends and family,” Xavier agreed with a nod of his head. “Jean, please go with Hank and get checked over and the same goes for you Alexander and Rachel,” he ordered.
“I’m surprised you didn’t ask yet if we succeeded,” Alexander stated as he nodded in agreement. What he, Rachel and Jean had done was beyond anything he had taken part in before. It had pushed his powers to his limits, and he was still feeling drained. He also felt the echo of being joined with three other Phoenix hosts.
“I assume you did succeed or you wouldn’t have brought Madelyne to the mansion,” Xavier replied calmly to which Alexander just nodded before following the others out.
“Now Professor, I think we should discuss your choice in bringing them here,” Scott stated coldly pointing at Magneto and his children causing Xavier to sigh in annoyance.
“I don’t have to explain myself to you Scott, you forget yourself,” Xavier responded highly annoyed by Scott’s tone of voice. “This is and has always been my home before I turned it into a school for Mutants,” he reminded him and the other remaining X-Men. “I can invite whoever I chose here. I also am the overall leader of the X-Men and thus I choose who joins us on our missions,” he added.
“Scott doesn’t speak for all of us Professor,” Kurt spoke up before Scott could respond. “We have allied with the Brotherhood before, when we face a mutual threat, and this monster Alexander told us about could exist in our dimension and thus could be a threat to us all,” he stated calmly and doing his best to ignore the heated glares he received from Scott and Kitty.
However their reasons were for entirely different reasons, Scott was glaring due to Kurt accepting Magneto and his children’s presence in their home so easily. Kitty however was glaring at the rather heated gaze Kurt was giving Magneto’s daughter Wanda Maximoff. Hell she had noted from the moment they had seen who was beside the Professor that Kurt had been unable to look away from the stunning brunette in the rather flimsy red outfit. If she recalled correctly it was not the only time Kurt had responded to Wanda when they had met one another during their many battles. The thought of him been attracted to Wanda annoyed her greatly. But she also had to remember that she was too afraid to admit her own feelings for Kurt. He had already made his well know. If she couldn’t find the courage to take that step, then couldn’t really blame him for trying to move on she asked herself. That Wanda was returning the interest just annoyed her all the more, turning away she noted Rahne give her a warning look.
“At least one of you X-Men seems to think things through before jumping to conclusions,” Magneto responded and was not blind to the looks been exchanged between Wanda and Kurt. “I’m here to help you at Charles request. I believe it is possible this demon exists in this dimension as Nightcrawler just stated and any intel we can get will be of use if it does exist here,” he added. “However my main interest is ensuring Lorna doesn’t come to harm, no matter that this Lorna is from another dimension,” he stated with a cold glare at Scott.
Scott let out a frustrated growl before turning and storming out. Emma quickly turned and followed as she didn’t want to be alone with any of her team mates right now. Madelyne Pryor had caused her a huge headache in her attempts to attract Scott’s attention, although she could feel the anger it had caused within Jean. That would cause even more problems between the married couple, maybe just enough to cause them to split up. It was a mean spirited thought she knew, but she wanted Scott Summers and anything that could her attain him was good in her books.
“Why do I sense an even greater surge of anger, frustration and other high tempered emotions?” Xavier inquired after the blond telepath had departed.
“Before Pryor was healed she managed to read Scott and Emma’s minds,” Kitty told him as his question made her focus on something other than her problems with Kurt. “Scott it seems to have an interest in Emma that she returns fully,” she added with a frown.
“I take it Jean knows?” Xavier inquired with a feeling of dread descending on him.
“Oh she knows, she almost lost it fully which I’m sure was Madelyne’s intention,” Storm told him. “Alexander however was able to make her refocus on the task at hand,” she said thankfully.
“But that does not mean a reckoning isn’t coming Professor,” Rogue warned him as she leaned against Gambit. “After all the shit Scott has given her over the years about her and Logan, for her to find out he’s done the same damn thing must have hit her hard and spiked whatever anger she already feels for him,” she explained at the Professor’s look. “It will not be pretty, plus I assume once Madelyne wakes up in her right mind then she’ll want a piece of him as well for leaving her and their child for Jean,” she went on with a dark look in her eyes.
She’d never been happy about what Scott had done to Madelyne and their child, leaving them so quickly once he had found out she wasn’t Jean. Oh she was happy her friends we married and happy well had been happy, but not how they went about it. The fact it had sent Madelyne insane after their child was kidnapped just made it worse. She could never imagine leaving her child behind no matter for what reason. Of course the chance of her ever having a child was slim to none, unless she could find some way to control her powers.
“Hopefully they will leave it till after our mission is complete,” Rahne spoke up before she turned and all but dragged Kitty out of the room.
She needed to talk to her friend. She could already see another disaster approaching if Kurt’s look towards Wanda was any indication. Kitty had to be willing to step up and soon, or she may just end up missing any chance she has with their furry friend.
Jean watched as Alexander and Rachel were checked over by Hank, she was concerned by how drained her children had been from what they had done to heal Madelyne. She glanced at her clone and noted she seemed to be more asleep now than unconscious as her breathing was more even. She knew they had succeeded and healed Madelyne’s fractured mind and removed the taint that had driven her insane. What she didn’t know was just how much she would remember once she woke up. The feelings she had felt while in the link were still flowing through her mind. It had been an amazing feeling, her powers had felt super charged and beyond anything she had felt before.
But what was worrying her was her almost constant lock on Logan, since she had woken up she had been keeping a close eye on him. She could feel the war going on inside him; Madelyne had driven Logan’s control of the primal spirit within to his limit. Another few minutes and he’d probably have lost control and taken Madelyne right there in the cave, but while he’d been able to ignore just how close to the edge he was during the battle. Now he had nothing to distract him from the primal spirits urges for him to let loose. He had locked himself inside the Danger Room so he couldn’t hurt anyone and her especially. His control was brittle, any nudge would send him over the edge and the primal would gain control which wouldn’t be a good thing. At least worrying about Logan kept her from thinking about Scott and Emma. What Madelyne had revealed to her about them wasn’t something she wanted to think about just yet.
“How are they Hank?” she finally asked if for nothing else than to break her current train of thought.
“They, like you, are drained and tired,” Hank responded with a calming smile. “But I note all of you are showing an increase in power. It is almost as if the combination and joining of the Phoenix has increased your powers beyond what they were on their own,” he explained as best he could his findings.
“Will this be permanent Hank?” Alexander inquired as he sat up.
“I don’t know just yet, but I will like to check you all again once the current crisis is resolved,” Hank responded to which they all nodded.
“How is my aunt doing?” Alexander inquired with a grin as he indicated the still sleeping Madelyne.
Jean raised an eyebrow at the term he had used to describe Madelyne, then again given that he saw her as his mother even though she was from another dimension she guessed she shouldn’t be to surprised. Rachel just snorted as she glanced at the clone of her mother, wondering the same thing.
“She is fine physically and her power signatures are a true match for Jean’s,” Hank answered as he moved to the bed on which she lay. “Like with you, her powers seemed to have been enhanced by the joining of the Phoenix,” he added.
“And her mind Henry?” Xavier inquired as he and the others arrived.
“As Alexander stated to you, her mind also seems more of a match for Jean’s brainwaves,” Hank replied. “The former signs of her insanity or taint as it has been put are missing,” he told them.
“It has been burnt out of her,” Rachel told them as she sat up as well. “I could feel the Phoenix as it worked on her, combining each of our powers seemed to make the Phoenix aware of what we needed it to do,” she tried to explain. “And I sensed it wanted Madelyne healed as much as we did. I guess it does view her as part of its family tree, that’s the best way I could describe it,” she added.
“Will she be able to help us?” Wanda inquired from next to her father. “From what I gathered, without her we can’t cross over to Alexander’s universe,” she pointed out.
“I believe she can help us,” Alexander replied with a confident smile. “Now that her mind has been healed, she is on par with my mother in either universe,” he admitted.
“Are we sure she will not have a relapse?” Magneto inquired folding his arms over his chest as he studied this visitor from another dimension. “Or that whatever drove her insane and tainted her will not come back to put her back the way she was,” he added.
“That is a good question,” Jean said before trailing off with a frown marring her features before she let out a curse before turning and walking out of the room.
“What the hell was that?” Rogue inquired.
“That was my sister sensing Logan’s distress,” the answer came from an unexpected source as Madelyne suddenly sat up. “It seems I pushed his animal much closer to breaking loose than we thought,” she told them.
“Sister?” Storm couldn’t help but ask.
“What would you have me call her Ororo?” Madelyne responded with a smile. “It sounds better than clone, and at a genetic level we are the same,” she told them all as she moved to stand up. “I suppose you could look at us as twins,” she stated with another smile.
The gathered group all stared at the red headed woman in surprise at her calm reasoning. She sounded very much like Jean, but with just enough difference to tell them apart. The fact she had called Jean her sister made them all wonder just how much she remembered from what had happened before the last battle.
“Is it wise to let her close to him in such a state?” Rachel inquired worried for her mother.
She knew Logan would rather kill himself than hurt Jean, but if his current state had affected him so badly he could barely control himself, than he might do something without meaning too.
“Jean is the only one who has a snowballs chance of getting close to him without the animal causing him to gut them,” Madelyne told them seriously. “She will help calm the animal, she has that effect on him,” she pointed out.
“From what Logan’s hinted out, all Jean does is bring it out of him,” Gambit spoke up for the first time, having been listening closely to what was said.
“Oh she can do that too,” Madelyne agreed with a nod of her head. “But for the most part she has a calming effect on him, and right now that is what he needs,” she told them.
The others nodded and even Rachel relaxed somewhat at Madelyne’s explanation. It seemed to her at least that Alexander’s plan had worked. Madelyne Pryor seemed to be back in her right mind, and also did not seem to view any of them as enemies anymore. That was a good thing to Rachel. Going up against someone who was basically her mother on a genetic level wasn’t pleasant.
“Once Logan has calmed down, we will cross over into Alexander’s dimension and find as much information on who attacked the mansion and kidnapped his friends and family,” Xavier told them all. “Then we will plan our rescue of them,” he told them. “Rachel, please inform Scott and Emma of this please. I need to start locking down the mansion while we are gone,” he said turning to the red head who nodded in response, although seeing Emma wasn’t high on her to do list.
What Madelyne had revealed had shocked and angered her, she had already seen plenty of cracks in her parents’ marriage of late and she didn’t want to see anymore. Worse she didn’t want this new entanglement to be the nail in the coffin that ended that marriage, she was still unsure that if their marriage ended here and now that it would mean she would never be born. She knew there were so many theories on time travel and dimensional theories, that it was possible that this time line she was now in had no connection to the one she had traveled from and thus this Jean and Scott’s actions had no effect on her life.
(Earth-619, secret hideout)
Scott was getting tired of waiting for Essex to fulfill his end of the bargain. So far all the man had done was take blood and DNA samples from each of his former allies. Now he was intent on studying the samples he had taken, from the look on the man’s face the samples were worth a lot of him. Pacing a little he began to worry if Essex could indeed do what he said he could, or worse would Essex actually stick to their deal now he had the X-Men in his grasp. If he could manipulate Jean’s memories to remove any knowledge of her marrying Logan and having kids with him, then wasn’t it possible he could make her believe anything he wanted her to believe?
Glancing down at where Essex sat studying the samples taken from Beast, he felt a cold shiver go down his spine as he realized he may have just made a mistake in his rush to finally get Jean back where she belonged. Frowning he wondered if he was paranoid, glancing at the look on Essex’s face as he stood up and moved to talk to one of his underlings he felt as if he wasn’t paranoid enough. But still he had to hold onto the hope he would keep their deal, and that very soon he would have his lover back.
Below Essex calmly told his second, who was called Johnson, to begin preparations for the mind manipulations, it wouldn’t be as simple as he had told Summers, but it could be done in time. It might take a couple of sessions to ensure each of the X-Men were 100% loyal to him. He fought a smirk as he glanced up at the pacing Scott Summers. The idiot had no idea what was coming and how he would soon be under his control just like his former allies would be. And once he had the X-Men under his control, then he would have a world of opportunity to explore. The power he could control was already going to his head, turning back to the microscope he wondered what else he might find in the DNA strands.
(X-Mansion Danger Room)
Jean stood outside the doors to the Danger Room knowing once she stepped inside, she was going to be taking a big risk. Oh she knew that Logan would never hurt her, but it was possible with his control so out of reach he might do something he might not normally do. What was worse was the fact her own control was a little faulty right now, the images of Logan’s fantasy after seeing Madelyne in her costume was still very fresh. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath, they needed Logan in his right mind for what they were about to do and she was the best person to put him back in control. She just hoped as she keyed in the code to override the lock in, that she wasn’t making a big mistake that could make the explosive argument she knew was coming with Scott even worse.