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X Men III: The Fan Stand

X-3: X-Men's Stand chapter 1/??

X Men III: For Fans By Fans

X-3: X-Men's Stand chapter 1/??

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X-Men Jean cerebro
Author: ghanistarkiller or mrs_peel_fanfic
Rating: Keeping in tone with the first two movies, a general PG-13
A/N: Well, I answered an emphatic 'yes' to all the questions posed on the user info page, so here I am, offering up for your entertainment my version of X-3, with unashamed pilfering from the comics, from Genosha to Decimation. Hope y'all enjoy! That's a provisional title, by the by; any suggestions on a more permanent one are welcome.
Disclaimers: If caught or captured, I will disavow all knowledge. Nah. Not mine. Wish they were though, but, alas!


Prologue-

She closed her eyes and just let go. She felt the light burn from within as the water overtook her, and she was gone. Floating in the deepest recesses of inner space, darkness enveloped her. And then the fire came again and she was gliding, her body curled within its protective womb. She broke the serene surface of the lake and blazed towards the stars, reaching out to the darkest corners of outer space. Her mind was open, expanding like eager fingers across the blue-green marble beneath her. The cacophony of thought rushed over her and, for the first time in her life, she could manipulate, control it. So many hopes, so many dreams in vivid colors like a prism.

Words began to stand out, as if many voices merged into one as others faded into a dull din in the background. Those words, she heard them again and again, in so many different languages, so many different peoples, angered, in pain; she reached out to them. And, as the words emerged, as they solidified, in the state she existed in between realities, where time was immeasurable, almost with childish innocence, echoed those words:

“I wish…”

“… just want to be…”

“… normal.”

“If only…”

“…wish…”

She uttered three words that would change everything: “No more mutants.”

1.

Fourteen Months the Incident at Alkali

Elisabeth Braddock, Betsy for short, took a deep breath, taking in the sight of the rolling verdant grounds of Braddock Manor, the stately home rising in the distance against the clear blue skies. Its walls were covered in centuries of moss, the fortified stone worn by the ages, its windows lined with black iron. For a moment, she longed to be there, playing hide and seek with her brothers. She’d been a different girl back then. Literally. And, as for hiding and seeking…

She sensed him an instant before the attack, letting out a feral snarl as he lunged towards the tree branch she was perched upon. She was swift, agile, as she gripped the branch where it met the old, gnarled trunk, and swung off her roost. Logan’s adamantium claws soared above her; she could feel the wind from his momentum ripple through her hair, her long ponytail as it lashed around her.

A giant mechanized fist slashed through the wood a moment later, making kindling out of it; Betsy spared a look upwards as she twisted in the air, gazing up into the unblinking infrared stare of the towering Sentinel robot—William Stryker’s twisted brainchild. They were a perverse and disturbing progression of the questionable-at-best Mutant Registration Act; if Colonel Stryker had had his way, there’d have been an entire army of these behemoths patrolling the streets, searching out mutants and meting out so-called justice in a vigilante-controlled martial state. They were the very manifestation of every mutants worst fears, the stuff of nightmares, fashioned by politics and brought to life in cold steel. These were smaller than the ones that would have been built, and they were still terrifying.

“Close call,” Betsy grinned, panting heavily as she landed on the ground lightly and attempted to knock one of its sturdy legs out from under it but it surprised her with its speed, even in its damaged state, and she ended up spinning in a circle on the ground, a strike from its mechanical hand between her shoulder blades knocking the wind out of her.

“C’mon, Betts,” Logan flexed his neck, cracking it from side to side, “it’s just a little…” Before he could finish the thought, she’d rolled around onto her back, and bracing her arms in an arc beside her head, launched herself backwards and then over his head, her legs coming up to deliver one kick in quick succession of the other in an endless cartwheel. She spun around with the grace of a cat, using the momentum of her body to deliver a circle of blows.

Neither of them had noticed the second monster looming over the tree. A concentration of thunderous storm clouds had accumulated in the space of a minute, roiling above the them, until a blinding bolt of lightning struck, electrocuting the automated colossus as it reached for them; its “mouth” gaped open in a death gasp, the circuits within shimmering with the charge.

“Too much talk, not enough play,” Storm chided mischievously, floating stylishly upon a turbulent gale. The Sentinel lurched dangerously, bearing down upon them with a menacingly grinding and snapping sound. Ororo made a motion with her hands and the wind shifted, struggling against the collapsing torso. A blast of red energy shot through the air, aiming for the Sentinel’s head. It went wide by several metres, hitting the robot at its shoulder joint. Its arm lurched treacherously, held only by a few wires which were snapping under the strain. And Betsy was standing right in its shadow with no time for action.

Betsy turned in surprise at the unmistakable sound of air and smoke imploding only to find herself nose to nose with a smiling blue face. “Forgive me, liebling,” Nightcrawler said as he wrapped his arm about her slender waist, “for my impropriety.” A rush of air and she found herself standing well away from the scene as the Sentinel pitched and crashed to the ground in a spectacle of colored sparks and smoke.

“End simulation,” Storm sighed, her feet lightly touching down, her boots sinking into the soft grass even as it transformed, dissolved from damp earth to a glowing electronic grid, and then it was gone. They found themselves standing again within the sterile silver paneled walls of the Danger Room.

Logan turned to Cyclops, his arms outstretched in a sarcastically quizzical gesture. “And supposedly I’m not the team player here, pal,” he said gruffly. “Where were ya, Scott? Just now, where was your head, bub? Nah, you know what, just forget it,” he said, scoffing. He didn’t want to start this argument, not again and not when he knew what was really eatin’ away at him. Jeannie was gone, they all missed her but there was no power on Earth that could bring her back to them.

Cyclops looked apologetic though his expression was unusually indecipherable behind his visor, his voice flat as he shrugged, “Got distracted. It was one bad shot.” It was unlike him, the natural born leader of the group, to leave his team members in the lurch. “Thanks, Kurt,” he nodded to Nightcrawler, aware of the awkward silence, “for having my back.”

“It was not a problem, mein freund,” grinned Kurt, his teeth pointy white spikes against his rich blue skin. With an inrush of air, a thin cloud of wispy smoke and a distinct noise, Kurt disappeared and reappeared clinging to the wall horizontally beside Cyclops. “It is the purpose of these exercises, ja?”

“Psylocke,” Cyclops held out a apologetic, gloved hand to Elisabeth. “Betsy, are you…?”

“No worries,” she smiled elegantly. She took his hand, giving his fingers a small, affectionate squeeze. She ran her other hand through her dark tresses, the bangs laying across her forehead fringed with deep purple and damp with sweat from the work-out. “But I know how you can make it up to me. Buy me lunch, huh?”

“Done,” he grinned crookedly, his breath coming out in something between a chuckle and a relieved sigh.

“Good, it’s a date,” said Betsy as they walked out into the matching immaculate corridor. “Just let me get cleaned up, yeah?” With her black leather uniform tailored to her own specifications, Scott thought she looked just fine as she was. The arms and shoulders of the sleeves had been removed, leaving the tunic to fold into a triangle from her armpits to the collar around her neck. The pants likewise had been trimmed, the legs sheared off leaving her with figure-hugging bikini shorts. Her slender boots rose to her knees leaving the rest of her long legs enticingly revealed. Yeah. Just fine. He nodded. “Meet you out front in fifteen.”

“It’s a date,” he told her, some of the anxious unease from the exercise in the Danger Room melting away in a haze of her soft laughter.

“Hey, Scott,” Logan called as he followed after them, not content to let the issue drop. “What stage of grief is this exactly? ‘Cause I’d really like to know...” Only the soft grasp of Ororo’s gloved hand upon his shoulder halted him. She shot him a cautionary glare, shaking her head in the quietly commanding, authoritative way she had. “What, it’s my fault now?” he said defensively. “He’s choking on us and it’s my fault?”

“Logan,” she replied evenly, gently, “this is the happiest I’ve seen him since Jean… since the hardship at Alkali. He gets distracted from time to time, anyone in his position would, but he‘s getting better.”

“What, so we should just cut him some slack because he gets distracted?” said Logan incredulously. “Shouldn’t we be trying to teach him a lesson about responsibility or to nurture his inner mutant child or something? Because, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but you wouldn’t have let me get away with this shit for two seconds before and you’re just letting him get away with…” He grunted, balling his fist and punching the air in aggravation. “You know what? Forget it. Just… forget it.”

“Let him go, Storm,” Kurt said perceptively, materializing horizontally on the wall beside her. “It seems Scott is not the only one who is having difficulty coping with Alkali, ja? He is just handling it differently. Give him time.”

“And I thought I was supposed to be the wise one,” she grinned at him. From the control room, Professor Xavier gazed down on them, pursing his lips. No, he wasn’t the only one have difficulty coming to terms with Alkali. Sighing, the professor manipulated the controls on the arm of his wheelchair, turning himself around and exiting.

To be continued...


Peace, Ghani
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