Epic X-Men #27: The Mutant King
Magneto raises his arms and slightly closes his fingers in, guiding the magnetic fields to crunch and fold the metal he reached out to. The X-Men watched in a mixture of fear and awe at the amount of control this lone man had over the fundamental force of the planet, a power that dictated how everything lived as much as the sun and moon in the solar system. Power. Control. Focus. Confidence. Everything about him exuded superiority over the group of young men and women. This culmination of absolute perfection in his movements was what frightened Xavier. It was what he was preparing them for. And now they all understood just how much was at stake moreso than they did before they left for Genosha.............
........They would all die this day if they did not heed all they had learned this day.
"Beast! Angel! Queen! Get the Professor! Everyone else, converge on Magneto!", Scott called out. They ran out in unison at different directions, trying to divide Magneto's attention as best they could. Beast and Angel separated in opposite directions, in case Magneto decided to choose them as targets. Cyclops and Havok blast Magneto from the front while Jean, Storm, Iceman, and Polaris attack from above. Emma shifts into diamond and runs under Magneto, the electricity bouncing off her diamond skin.
"Is this the next generation of evolution, Xavier? A bunch of floundering fools desperately flailing to grasp at something? Pathetic", Magneto says with taunting pity. With a simple gesture, Magneto forms a metal wall on one side of the room and sends forward towards himself and everyone. With precise control, the Master of Magnetism form two holes for himself and the see-through prison that held Xavier. The wall hits every X-Man and threatens to send them through the window of Asteroid M.
"Polaris, stop the wall! I will keep us all from being sent out!", Jean says as she reaches out to the window and lets her tk absorb the impact of the lot of them as Polaris pushes the wall back to Magneto with intense concentration and strain.
"You are strong, Lorna, but nowhere near as disciplined", Magneto says as the wall protrudes metallic tendrils to wrap around Polaris and then Jean.
"Hurry, guys, move through the opening!", Polaris yells as she wills a hole in the metal wall with her powers as the metal begins to squeeze her and Jean.
"You al heard them! Move!", Scott commands as he leads them through the opening.
"But....Jean.....and Lorna......." Iceman says as he looks back worriedly.
"Magneto is first priority, Iceman. Keep your focus on him", Scott says, with the nagging guilt in the back of his head as he and Iceman run back to the fray.
"Focus on me all you like, but you all won't be winning without your motor control", Magneto warns before a wave of his hand signals the loss of their powers.....the loss of any movement in particular.
"What is he doing to us?! I can't move my wings!", Angel says as he falls to the metal floor and struggles to even stand. Looking around, he sees all his teammates falling under that same influence as Jean and Lorna remain trapped in their restraints.
"Marvel Girl......", Scott says with clenched teeth as he fails to resist Magneto's power.
"I am trying, Cyclops! Hang on!", Jean says as she tries to push harder on her psionic power to break free, with minimal success. "I can feel him inside my body, trying to grab me and make me yield like you all..."
"He is using his powers to control the iron fibers in our blood. I can feel it with my own abilities......I never knew of the kind of power I could be capable of....am I even capable of this kind of power?", Lorna asks dishearteningly as she resists with her own will exerted over her powers against his.
"If you had joined the right side, you probably could have, dear Lorna", Magneto says. A strange look of realization then dawns on the powerful mutant. "But there should be eight of you imprisoned under my thrall....where is...."
It was then that Magneto turns and raises his hand to a metal pillar, which crumples and tears itself away, revealing Emma behind it, still in diamond form.
"Clever. Your diamond body seems to change you as much inside as it does on the outside. And very rarely is diamond ever a conductor of electricity or magnetic. Still, you should be breakable to my power!", Magneto says as he blasts her with a force of electromagnetic pulses. Aside from being hurled and pinned to the metal wall by way of the concussive force of his attacks, he holds no success and breaking her. "Very well, then lets get rid of you, quickly!"
With a gesture of opening his hand, the wall creates a hole into space that creates a vortex that pulls Emma and the X-Men out into space.
"SCOTT!", Jean shouts as she turns her attention to the open hole and catches the X-Men flying towards the open hole and catching Emma out in open space. Emma was thankful for her immunity to the need for air and the dulling of her emotions. Otherwise, this situation would be utterly panic inducing. "Storm!.....Polaris!.....I can't....do this on my own!"
Hearing Jean's cry, Storm concentrates on the air molecules rushing out of the station quickly and begin to stop them from rushing out, trying to keep them in place with the necessary air pressure and pulling whatever oxygen she could reach in the open space before they can dissipate completely. After Jean pulls Emma inside, Lorna closes the hole and Storm releases her hold on the air in that area. The three women pant in exhaustion as the Master of Magnetism claps slowly.
"Very impressive, Charles. Your choice for recruits have proven themselves quite strong in such a perilous situation. Unfortunately, even they have their limits. These main three who at the beginning proved to cause me the most trouble have expended too much of their energy saving themselves and their allies. And so leaves any hope of victory, X-Men! Now you see how utterly criminally you had underestimated me. This transgression has led to your downfall!", Magneto says as Jean, Lorna, and Orroro are scooped up with metal and pinned against the metal wall with a slam that ko's the three, leaving the rest of the other X-Men to fight for survival as scrap metal of many sizes threatens them. "Who's next.....I think I will choose you next, boy."
"Crap", Iceman says as he takes off on his ice slide as Magneto throws multiple metal scraps at him.
"Angel, get Beast over to free the girls! Emma, Havok protect Iceman!", Scott orders as he starts shooting at different pieces of scrap that fly near Iceman.
"Scott, aim high!", Emma yells as she rides a piece of flying metal around. She then drops from up high for a chance for Scott to shoot her to toss her at Magneto. Though his precision was true, Magneto was no less distracted than before as Emma rammed into Magneto's shield. In fact, Magneto then took the time to ko Havok with a piece of flying metal after feeling the force from the plasma blast.
"Havoks, down!", Scott calls out.
"Is that the best you guys can do?!", Iceman says as the metal crashes into his slide and causes him to fall upon its collapsing. Iceman shoots to the ground a pile of snow for him to land on safely. He then creates a giant ice arching shield on top of him to block flying metal flying at him. He keeps shooting his ice beam to structurally support the ice shield protecting him.
"Excuse me for utilizing whatever usefulness I have in my diamond form, given that my psionic abilities are completely useless against this man!", Emma says as she gets back up.
"Then maybe give us a hand?!", Angel yells as he and Beast slowly pry the metal from Polaris, who is barely starting to regain consciousness from being slammed into the wall.
"Warren? Hank?", Lorna says confusingly.
"Hang tight, Polaris! We will get ya out in a jiff!", Hank says with gritted teeth as he pulls.
"Do it, Queen! I will distract him as best as I can", Scott says before opening his glasses and unleashing all of the streams of optic energy Scott had built up. For the first time since they started, Magneto was moved by the raw power outputted by Scott's optic blast. Not just moved, but shoved almost into the roof above their heads in the large room. Yet, Magneto catches himself by resisting against the powerful concussive force pounding at his shield.
While Magneto is distracted, Iceman runs from his ice shield and stands guard next tot Scott.
"Iceman, try to freeze him!", Scott says as he keeps hammering at Magneto's defenses.
"My ice beam can't penetrate his shield", Iceman says perplexedly.
"Directly, Bobby! You need to freeze him from within his shield!", Scott tells him.
"What?! Won't that kill him?!"
"Only if you're not careful. Just concentrate", Scott says.
Iceman closes his eyes and feels the molecules in the air begin to slow around Magneto. Matching the temperature to himself, Iceman begins to freeze Magneto's body. The experience is not pleasant.
"Am I seeing this correctly? Is Robert....Oh no! Beast, we must stop, Robert!", Orroro says as she begins to become aware of her surroundings.
"Why? Its working isn't it?", Angel asks confusingly.
"Oh dear. That is the exact problem! Scott, stop Robert!", Beast yells.
"Too late, fools!", Magneto shouts before he covers his body in electricity and shoots streams of electricity at the two. Iceman finds himself unaffected, but Scott screams in agony as he is electrocuted.
"Scott!", Jean shouts as she awakens from the mental agony sensed secondhand from Scott's mind.
"What just...", Iceman trails off confused.
"Its science, boy. Temperature plays as much of a part in electrical currents as the magnetic field can. Why else did you think I targeted Havok? The hotter the temperatures, the more resistance there would be. Thank you for aiding me in my bid for victory, son", Magneto says before he sends metal into Iceman and pins him into the wall. When Jean is freed, she runs over to Scott with the group trailing behind her.
"He is still breathing", Jean sighs in relief as she keeps some distant from Scott in case he was still electrified.
"I will check him, Jean", Hank says.
"I have ensure that he is safe for approach. Attend to him, Beast! Emma, Angel, get to freeing Xavier. Jean, Polaris, and I shall deal with Magneto, once and for all", Storm says as she flies up.
"Both of you get back! I am making a bid to end this!", Lorna says as she flies quickly up to Magneto.
"Polaris, no!", Storm calls out.
"You still oppose me? I was hoping you would see the error in your judgement, but I guess there will be no way around it. It pains me to say I will have to destroy you too, Lorna", Magneto says as he readies his next attack.
"As much as I hate to admit it, I am in the end your daughter by blood. That makes me the best qualified at stopping you! You gloat about how we underestimate you! Typical hypocrisy from someone guilty of the same exact crime against me! You wanted me to fulfill my true potential, in your footsteps?! There ya go!", Lorna yells as she builds up the energy and unleashes it in a giant aoe blast.
Magneto and the X-Men are thrown back by the force of her blast as the room begins to come apart by her will to overcome the man who she had renounce multiple times and would do so again if given the chance. Despite her opposing force, Magneto counteracts it with his own magnetic shield to attempt to contain the magnetic pulse as he tried to hold together his space station. To his amazement, and on some level pride, Magneto found himself straining to contain her energies that seemed to take forever to dissipate. Eventually they do, though, and she falls to ground, fully spent.
"Thank you for making this easier, child", Magneto says as he hovers over the panting young woman before trapping her in a metal restraint and throwing her to the side and turning to the leftover X-Men. Before he can make his next move, he is hit full force by a plasma blast from behind, tossing him across the large room.
"Alex?", Jean says as she sees the man run up to his brother.
"How is he?", Alex asks worriedly.
"Slightly singed, but surprisingly, he is no worse for wear. We will need to get him a more professional medical analysis to be certain, but from what I assess, he will recover with some rest", Hank explains.
"That is good to hear. Havok, we will need your help in dealing with Magneto for good. Polaris tried to go for a last bid to overwhelm him, but-"
"He still has more to give, children. It would seem that Lorna was right about me. I have underestimated all of you children. So, it would only serve me well to end this quicker if I ever hope to institute my plan", Magneto interrupts Storm as he hovers over their heads once more.
"Marvel Girl and Havok, you two will assist me in fighting Magneto. Queen, Beast, you two must take Cyclops with you to the Professor and work on getting him out while we have Magneto distracted. No one truly knows Magneto better than the Professor", Storm says. The three charge towards Magneto with their own powers bursting forth on Magneto's shield. It was then that Storm saw a change. Magneto wasn't showing off as he was earlier. No metal flying, or even floating aimlessly. He kept his concentration on his shields and flinched with ever attack that hit his shield. "Keep up the pressure, X-Men! Don't give him a chance to recover!"
While they attacked, Emma and Hank analyzed the prison that held their mentor, trying to figure out how to free their mentor.
"What kind of material is this?", Emma asks frustratingly when the glass does not break upon the impact of her diamond kick.
"Plexiglass, seemingly. Its probably best that we don't break it, since the kind of impact that it can withstand is greater than any human could absorb and live", Beast says as he just analyzes the prison.
"Ugh! This is ridiculous! If we can't break it and we don't know how to open it, then what should we do. It's not like we have a way to bypass it without opening it........wait, I think I may know someone who could though", Emma says excitedly before running out of the room.
It takes no less than a minute later when a giant pink portal forms under the Professors chair that allows him to fall through.
"Professor!", Beast calls out frighteningly. Another portal forms behind him, with Emma pushing the Professor through with a proud smile on her face. "Emma, what-"
"Blink", was all Emma said and Hank completely understood.
"You clever minx! Magneto's own teleporter used to free our mentor", Beast says with an impressed smile.
"It was indeed clever. I commend you, Miss Frost. Now lets finally deal with Magneto", Xavier says. Before they can go to assist the X-Men, a bright light illuminates the room from Storm, Havok, and Jean collectively hitting Magneto's shield in unison. Magneto takes a second to check Xavier and sees him out of his prison. Perplexed and angered, Magneto unleashes a magnetic pulse that throws back every mutant in the room. They all lay there on the ground, dazed, yet aware of Magneto's angry monologue.
"I have had enough of you and your students, Xavier! I have wasted enough time as it is and too much energy. With what little I have left, I shall end this battle by putting my plan into motion!", Magneto says as he controls the metal to restrain the X-Men once more in their spots. He then floats up to the middle of the room and begins to manipulate the magnetic field accessible, building it up more and more and more.
At the peak of his energy build up, Lorna manages to free herself and creates shield as she takes off into space. It was then that Magneto releases an electromagnetic pulse towards to Earth that is caught and redirected by Lorna back at Asteroid M. The result was that the space station was thrown off-course and flung out into open space away from Earth's gravity. On Lorna's end, the force of the attack shoots her in her shield to the Earth below at high velocity.
"What....just....happened?", Angel asks after the station jerks from the impact of Lorna's save.
"A great excess of electromagnetic energy hit Asteroid M, from what I can tell", Storm explains as Jean bends the metal around them all to free them.
"Lorna flew out and repelled my electromagnetic pulse back at Avalon. She hit us out of orbit", Magneto explains as he pants from pure exhaustion, unable to even stand.
"She sacrificed herself to save the world from being thrown into chaos", Alex says in awe as he looks out the window of Asteroid M.
"Not exactly. I can sense her mind still. She is exhausted, but using what is left of her power to shield herself as she is falling back down to Earth", Jean says.
"We gotta get to her then", Havok says urgently.
"That doesn't sound very possible, Havok. Even if the station weren't flying away from the Earth at this current moment, every one of us have exhausted our energies to stopping Magneto. It is not known if any of the fliers could make it to Lorna without passing out from exhaustion", Hank explains.
"I think I may have the solution", Emma says tiredly. She then props herself upright and reaches out her mind to Blink once more and takes control of her mind as before. "Jean, connect me to Lorna."
"I will help as well, girls. Together, now", Xavier said as they worked in-tandem to pinpoint Lorna and have Blink create a portal for her to fall through. At the same time, Xavier had Iceman create a soft pile of snow for Lorna to land on when she went through the portal and into the room.
"Lorna!", Havok said as he ran over to her.
"The telepaths saved ya from falling into Earth at high speeds", Alex explains quickly.
"That's....incredible", she says tiredly with a sigh from exhaustion.
"Do you think you can manage to get us back to Earth?", Iceman asks as he watches the Earth get farther and farther.
"After that, I am not sure I can even stay conscious", Lorna says dizzily.
"Magneto, doesn't look any better. Perhaps Blink can teleport the entire station back into position?", Scott says thoughtfully.
"Afraid not, Cyclops. The distance was stretching blink as it was when we grabbed Polaris", Emma explains.
"So, we are just hurtling?", Angel asks as panic begins to rise.
"It would seem so. Perhaps it would be wise to just use Blink to teleport whoever is in this station with us back to Earth and leave this thing hurtling endlessly", Xavier says thoughtfully.
"I agree with the Professor's assertion", Beast says.
"Then its settled. Marvel Girl, scan the station. Make sure that anyone who is left here meets us to the control room. Queen, get Blink ready once more. This time without mind-controlling her", Scott says.
"I will probably have to boost her powers at this distance, but I will get everything set up", Emma answers.
"Sounds good. Professor, can you watch over Magneto to make sure he doesn't try any funny business?", Scott asks the Professor.
"You can be assured that I will not allow Erik to cause anymore problems", Xavier says as he takes off Magneto's helmet from him and locks his powers behind a mental restraint.
So, after Jean and Emma get everything set up to gather all the mutants and blocking the telepaths from interfering, Blink ports the entire group from Avalon to Genosha, leaving the floating rock hurtling endlessly into forever.
*Magneto's throne room*
It is the next day, where all the X-Men and Brotherhood took the day to rest up in Genosha. By Destiny's advice, Magneto had decreed a pardon of all crime's the X-Men committed against his plans, though Magneto remained bitter from the humiliating interference by the X-Men's efforts. With such knowledge in mind, Charles was not surprised to see that Magneto had locked himself away in his chambers, allowing no one to see him. Thwarted by a bunch of children who had not seen the things he had, with misguided dreams from his perspective regarding Charles' teachings. But Charles knew Erik was only having their species in mind with every step he took. Far from an unreasonable individual, Charles still ever hoped to reach him, no matter how many times Magneto forced him to at times believe Magneto unreachable.
"Greetings, Charles Xavier", a woman dressed in a blue suit and gold mask said. Oddly, she didn't have any holes in the mask for her to look through, but she seemed to see him as clear as day.
"I am sorry. Do I know you?", Charles asked with confusion.
"No. But my mutant power allows me to know you from the very beginning, as I do everyone in this nation", the woman said cryptically.
"You are an omniscient mutant?", Charles asks.
"In some ways, I am. It is not absolute though, for I am only human. I do know this, though. Magneto's efforts, though misguided, were in good intent", she explains.
"Is that so?", Xavier said with arms crossed.
"Yes, and I know that it was this intent you sought to learn when you came to his chambers. So, now, we shall go in and all will be revealed to you", the woman said.
".....Alright. May I ask what your name is?", Charles asked conversationally. Before she answered, the door opens and out came Lorna with tears streaming down her head. She didn't give a look to either person and walked away quickly.
"I am Destiny", was all she said before leading Charles into Magneto's quarters. The curtains were drawn, leaving only a sliver of sunlight seeping into the room with Pietro and Wanda Maximoff at their father's side, who had his head in his hands. Magneto looked up at Charles and Destiny and ordered Wanda and Pietro to leave them. Though both were uncertain, they obeyed their fathers wish and closed the door behind them.
"I suspect you have told Charles everything, Irene?", Erik asked the woman.
"No, I have not. Though I believe he has a right to know, I respect your ruling to keep it all in secret. With only fate overruling your authority", she said to the man.
"Do you believe it would have been better if I had told him from the beginning?", Erik asks.
"From before all that has happened, it would have made no difference. In the end, the X-Men were destined to clash with you and thwart your plan, Erik. This what every timeline had dictated from the beginning and no amount of knowledge would have stopped your stubborn natures Erik", Irene said bluntly. This made the man chuckle fondly. After separating from Moira and Charles, he seldom had any people he trusted who would say things as they were to him. It was a breath of fresh air when he met Raven and Irene.
"What is this all about exactly, Erik? Why did you go to such extreme lengths after establishing a, frankly, safe haven for our people to escape from humanity?", Xavier asks.
"It should be apparent, Charles, that no place is truly safe, as Irene here will reveal. Go on, Irene. Open your mind to Charles", Magneto told the woman.
It was then that Charles saw the exact reason for Magneto's haste to overthrow humanity. The future that foretold humanity's bid to destroy their kind. Despite Charles dream of peaceful coexistence, it was apparent that Magneto inn the end would be right. If they would refuse to strike, humanity would make their move to end them.......................
*Xavier Institute; a week after the battle against Magneto*
"Congratulations!", Moira said happily at the very first graduating class of students. After the battle, the students at Xavier's were happy to get back to the mundane life at the school away from life-threatening situations of an X-Man. Endeavoring to forget the events that transpired, the students worked vigorously on their school work and tried to live their lives as much as they could. The distraction seemed to work consciously, but nightmares from PTSD pursued ever so for the ever uncanny individuals at Xaviers.
"Can Leech have graduation, too?", the little green boy asks.
"Work as hard as these fine lads and ladies and you shall, dear", Moira answered.
"Man, can't wait for the time that I can have my own graduation", Bobby says as he puts an arm around Hank's shoulder.
"With your work ethic? Good luck", Lorna said, causing Alex to laugh beside her.
"He's smarter than you give him credit, Lorna. He just needs to apply himself a bit and he can reach his ultimate potential", Emma said.
"Why do I get the feeling you don't just mean homework?", Bobby asks rhetorically. She answers anyway.
"Because that kind of work ethic I am referring to will be the ultimate road to success, Robert. Build good habits ahead of time and your chances for stability will be greater than previous", Emma says.
"So, what do you guys plan on doing now that you have graduated?", Warren asks.
"Build my own company. Live with class and luxury. Rule the world. Same old, same old", Emma shrugs.
"I am thinking about expanding into college level subjects. Nothing concrete just yet, but learning more on medicine, chemistry, and so on to extend my overall knowledge", Hank says.
"Just what we need. More reason to call ya a nerd", Bobby teases.
"I am actually thinking of pursuing something similar to Hank, but more in the psychological aspects to go along with some medical training", Jean says thoughtfully.
"I meant with the X-Men, actually", Warren asks. This left everyone silent.
"Guys, could you all come with me?", Jean breaks the silence before walking towards the house to the living room area. "I thought about it a little bit and have caught inklings in all of our heads. Like it or not, I know that the first thing on everyone's mind ever since this day had been approaching was whether we would continue this path. I normally try to stay out of everyone's thoughts, but...you all kind of been thinking about this intensely enough to ring out like a telepathic bullhorn."
"I can confirm, though I wouldn't take such an apologetic tone when admitting it, Jean", Emma says.
"The point being though is that.....I think I already know everyone's thoughts about whether we will continue on the X-Men...except for you Emma. anyways, Moira, the Professor, and I have been talking and.....after seeing something on the news about how the X-Men seemed more like a military organization, promoting less about individuality and more to conformity. Given how Magneto promotes conformity on Genosha to a cause that involves overthrowing humanity, we agreed that if we should continue the path as a superhero team, we would go as our own individual superheroes united for a cause. So....we made new costumes for everyone! The only thing is, I will need everyone's vocal affirmation that they would stay on the X-Men, to make things less awkward. I did make costumes for everyone technically and that it seems like I am putting everyone on the spot, but I know we all respect each other well enough to be honest and not judge one another, no matter our decision", Jean explained as she held up hangers holding uniforms covered in garment bags.
".......Honestly, I myself am a little lost about what I should do beyond this life. Being an X-Man has been the only purpose I had ever known, so I think I will stay as leader of the X-Men", Scott said confidently as he stepped forward with his hand extended to Jean. Jean hands him his costume. Scott took a peak and saw a solid blue outfit with a blue cowl and some yellow gloves and boots. It is tied together by a red belt with an "X" on the buckle, a style similar enough to his previous costume that it would be a comfortable transition. Typical of Jean to consider Scott's thoughts on change, prompting him to give her a grateful and fond smile.
"I am.....not certain this is what I wish to be doing forever....but I do believe it is where I am needed for the time being. Plus, I am intensely curious about what Jean and Moira came up for me", Hank says jokingly before hopping in front of Jean.
"Well, much like Scott, yours is not much different from our normal uniform. The inspiration has to do with the minimalist eye you like to have outwardly, to contrast with your complicated and extensive knowledge. With a comfortable blue and red fabric that stretches with your own movements, you have free roam to position yourself however you wish, like your typical acrobats", Jean explains as she handed Hank's his bag.
"'Ro? I did make something for you, as well, but it is wildly different from the cape design you have. Would you rather stick with your cape?", Jean asks Orroro.
"I think I shall. It helps better with flight for me, so I believe I shall keep it. However, I think I may still take your costume design, just in case I feel like a need for change", Orroro says.
"Warren?", Jean looks to the man.
"No need to ask, Jeannie. I am all in! I do, however, want too see your design for me", Warren says enthusiastically.
"In that case, here you are. A blue and white suit with a halo in the middle and a headpiece that lets your beautiful blonde locks flow in the wind. Better than your yellow suspender design, huh, Warren?", Jean says teasingly.
"Shush! Not in front of everyone!", Warren says nervously.
"Wait, Warren made his own suit?", Bobby asked.
"No, I didn't. Moving on!", Warren denied.
"Bobby? I talked it over with the Professor and we agreed that you and Lorna have proved yourselves as much our teammates as the original members, so I made some new suits for you and Lorna as well. Unfortunately Havok, our conversations took place prior to your induction to the team, so I didn't have time to come up with anything for you", Jean said apologetically.
"It's fine, Jean. My costume is unique enough as it is", Havok shrugged nonchalantly. Jean nodded thankfully to Havok for his cooperative attitude.
"Okay, okay. We get it! Alex, is the best. Now what ya make me?!", Bobby asked excitedly.
"Its a similar design to Angel, actually. Professor convinced me to stick to a simple design to allow you to experiment with your powers. Sorry if it wasn't anything spectacular", Jean said bashfully after seeing Bobby's over-enthusiastic reaction.
"At least I am wearing a shirt this time", Bobby laughed.
"Not exactly an upgrade in my opinion", someone whispered.
"What?", Bobby asked confusedly at everyone. Jean and Emma laughed at the statement, clearly knowing exactly who said it.
"Moving on", Jean said. "Lorna, aka Polaris."
"You get me a one-piece suit too?", Lorna asked jokingly.
"For once I didn't. I was kind of satisfied with the designs at first, but the more one-piece suits I handed out, the more nervous I have become due to the lack of variety that I did not realize I lacked", Jean laughed nervously.
"So, what is mine, exactly?". Lorna asks curiously.
"Yours is a green leotard with lighter green stockings and a green tiara. All the green to match your hair and lips", Jean says as she handed Lorna's bag.
"Sounds appropriate. Alright, I will try it on and see how I like it", Lorna said.
"Em'?", Jean turned to Emma.
"Actually.....I know I have been a hell of a lot more involved initially than I had said I would, but......I don't plan on staying at the institute for much longer. Maybe I will do some more college work here, but....a superhero life was never something I was all to interested in to begin with. I don't share that same dream that X-Men stand for publicly. I want to live my life the way I was meant to. To prosper in spite of my father's view of my choices and prove that I am so much more than he thought of me", Emma admits without looking at anyone in the eye.
"Emma.....that is perfectly fine", Scott was the first to say.
"You don't need to humor me-"
"I mean it", Scott said firmly over her.
"Scott's right, Emma. It's your life. It's entirely up to you on how you wish to live it. No one here has any right to say what path you take, so long as it doesn't hurt anyone", Jean says to her earnestly.
"If you had not heard from me, I don't believe I will be on this path forever either. You have always had a different outlook on things from the rest of us, so I find it incredibly understandable that you would be the first of us to leave the nest, so-to-speak", Hank says with a smile.
"Your father is incorrect to think so low of you, Emma. I know you will prove every one of your doubters wrong", Orroro says confidently.
"We will miss ya the day ya leave, but I would expect no less", Bobby says.
"I know your background better than anyone else, Emma. You should have already known I would have your back before anyone else", Warren says with a smirk. Emma tries her best to suppress her smile from the collective support of people who she was always afraid to open up completely to, even now. Yet even with that hurdle, there was no other moment than that one that she truly felt she had friends who liked her for her the way these people do now. Her real family.
"Hey! Wait!", Bobby said suddenly after a moment of silence for Emma to take in the support. "We have been talking about our new costumes, which I can't wait to fit into, but we never got to ask: Are you gonna get a new costume to, 'Marvel Girl'?"
"Well, 'Iceman', I actually do have an outfit ready that fits....me. You will get to see it in the surprise Danger Room session Scott was gonna call just now", Jean said with a smirk.
"Well, thanks for spoiling the surprise, carrot top", Scott said jokingly.
"Anytime, four-eyes", Jean winked before heading to the changing room with the rest of the team.
The X-Men then put on their new costumes and met in the Danger Room, ready for the next session. It was then that as the girls filed in after the boys, they took notice of Jean, who wore a green mini-skirt with a yellow belt with a red X-buckle and yellow glove, boots, and pointed mask. It was an outfit, though lacking in defensive practicality, managed to encompass a daring attitude for anyone to cross her. She was truly a sight to behold for every one of the members as she used her psionic abilities to skillfully maneuver past the different weapons that threatened to harm her in the contained environment.
Every single one of them worked together with their individual powers and identities as a unit that Xavier knew would rival the cooperation of famous superhero teams like the Avengers and Fantastic Four. With Scott as the leader, Storm as second-in-command, Beast as the muscle and brains, Iceman, Havok, and Polaris as the youthful pillars to hold up the structure should the originals fall, and Jean as the heart, this was the X-Men team that Charles could not be more proud of. He worried for Emma of course, but he was proud of her still in a different way than the others. For sticking up for herself and embodying a different dream he had for some who didn't follow the path to guide humanity and mutants to coexistence. A dream of mutants succeeding in their own lives positively, despite mankind's adversity. This was his legacy brought to life. How he wished such a hopeful atmosphere filled with promise would stay forever, instead of what was about to come next.......................