Epic X-Men #7: Readjusting
Xavier gave a nod of approval for the design he had just made. A rough design of a visor that would open with the turn of a dial on the side. Though it wasn’t the most efficient, it was a good starting point.
Xavier knew that with this design, Scott would have a way to use his powers, dubbed ‘optic blasts’ in his files, he would excel in using his powers in a more controlled fashion. That was what Xavier wanted for all mutants after living peacefully with humanity. To give them control of their powers and to put them to good use. Scott’s current glasses did well to block his powers from going out of control, but if Scott was to truly take steps in controlling his abilities, he would first need to start using them. Sending the designs to a friend and requesting the material called ‘Ruby-Quartz’ from a supplier in Africa. Xavier would have liked to visit there. Maybe around spring break or through some excuse for a field trip, he can go visit.
“Professor?”, he heard Jean call.
”Yes, Jean?”, he said looking up to her from his place. They were still on the private jet to the school. Ever since Jean woke up from her nap before arriving to a quick stop at the hospital, Scott had been stuck to her side ever since. The poor boy was feeling guilty and the poor girl wanted to assure him. She didn’t look like she minded being fussed over, though Xavier could feel her worry regarding Scott. So, Xavier gave them some space to spend with each other, but it wasn’t until Scott fell asleep on the jet that she finally had a chance to talk to Xavier in private.
”I just wanted to say I’m sorry. I completely lost it back there in Alaska”, Jean said as she looked down, not able to meet his eyes.
”Jean, it is true that I wish for you to always seek a peaceful solution when necessary. And I am not angry with you losing your temper and defending yourself when you had the chance. I am sorry that I wasn’t there to help you, when you needed it. With that one mind, while its okay to get angry, to exercise your right to defend for your life, I want you to remember that you still have one of the most powerful abilities of any mutant I have encountered. With that kind of power, you have accountability that comes with every action you make using those powers. If we are to preach peace between mutant and human relations, we must be examples for them. Show them a better way. Get angry Jean, but don’t lose yourself to that anger”, Xavier softly chided.
“Yes, Professor”, Jean said. She knew he was right. She didn’t want disappoint him further, or become something worse than any of the idiots at that place were. Jean would see to it that she not lose herself like that again.
*Xavier Institute for Higher Learning; the next day*
After the three mutants arrived from their flight from Alaska, they did their part to get back to whatever was normal for them. Jean back to her lessons on telepathy, with some more emphasis in countering psychic attacks like the one done to her in Alaska. Moira and Emma revealed details of Adrienne’s visit. A psychometric and ’touch psychic’. Quite an interesting powerset Xavier had thought and Emma reasoned that that must have been why her father made Adrienne the go-to in snooping out companies that were wild cards in the business world. From what Emma gathered from Adrienne’s mind, she had apparently been doing this since her powers manifested. Adrienne could gather and build up psionic energy from within her body through her psychometric abilities, but that psionic energy wouldn’t be enough to have any applicable uses until she made contact with her subject, much like how electricity travels. Once she did, she could do everything your average telepath could, but the second she let go, the psionic power would rendered harmless, not stable enough without Adrienne’s direction.
Moira seemed no worse for wear when Xavier asked her, but Moira was a stubborn woman. She would be reluctant share her troubles as any person would, not willing to add her problems to someone else’s plate. So, as one of her greatest friends, Xavier would have to be sure.
Xavier was in his study finishing up a call with Nick Fury, director of SHIELD. The man wasn’t happy with Xavier canceling several days ago, but Xavier assured him that this time he would make the next meeting. This involvement with SHIELD came as a result of Jean’s powers growing back on Annadale a week ago. To keep her out of SHIELDS possession, Xavier cut a deal to help them in securing mutants and other threats that were a trouble and couldn’t be handled right away by the Avengers, a newly created team, featuring the recently resurrected Captain America.
“Come in”, Xavier called.
”You wanted to speak to me, sir”, Scott said coming in.
”Yes, Scott. I wanted to discuss with you about your decision regarding your staying here at the Institute”, Xavier said, being sure to get to the point so as to not make the boy any more uncomfortable with trying to familiarize with him anymore than Scott wanted.
”I....I think....”, Scott trailed off, unsure what his right decision should be. Well, at least he knew he was making his own decisions, and he sucked at it.
”There is no pressure either way. I just wanted to let you know there was a place for you here. Just know I expect you to pull your weight here if you do seek residence here without taking classes”, Xavier said.
”Of course, sir. I....I am not entirely sure what I want right now, but I don’t have anywhere to go, right now.....I think it would be best for me to stay here, until I figure it all out”, Scott said more to himself than Xavier.
“That is fine. Do not worry of paying rent or any expenses. What I will have you do are some things around here, such as helping Moira wherever she decides is needing cleaning. Lord knows I couldn’t stop her from it, so to put my mind at ease, I ask that you assist Moira whenever necessary. I also have some other things that you can do to help around here, though they are more weekly things than daily...”, Xavier explained as he listed the rest of what Scott could do while he stays at the mansion.
*the next day*
Scott turned from skimming the pool to find a blonde girl watching him. Her clothes were tight-fitted and looked expensive compared to the other girls he had met. Emma, her name was? Scott was warned beforehand about her. Apparently, she came from a harsh, but wealthy, upbringing, but her attitude was the least of Scott’s worried that they had warned him about. According to Charles, she was a telepath like them, and she had no qualms about reading minds without given permission. Scott made sure to not be around her unless Charles or Jean were close by. Not so here, outside.
”Calm yourself, I’m just here to read my book. Moira is vacuuming the dorms and the professor is testing Jean’s telekinesis”, Emma explained with some mock annoyance. Unbeknownst everyone involved though, this commotion was more preferable to her old home.
”Aren’t there seating area’s everywhere else in this backyard?”, Scott asked. As if on cue, Scott heard the sudden start-up of a leaf blower and a lawn mower going across the lawn areas.
”Gardening day. If you thought Moira was the reason this backyard was so pristine, I‘ll laugh”, Emma said before returning to her book.
With no other noise other than the gardening machines in the background, Scott’s anxiety started to trouble his thoughts each passing second she was there. She is just so like, Claudine, Scott thought you himself. She treats everything like its no big deal. You get a sense that she knows what you’re thinking at all times and could use it against you at any moment. She probably does. She is probably looking at you right now, seeing every thought, every Dark Secret, every-
“Okay, that doesn’t it”, Emma suddenly said, putting her book down on the lounge chair. ”I can’t focus on my reading with your thoughts echoing louder than the damn leaf blower. Now, our with it.”
”Tell me what the rambling in your head is all about? The big ‘oh no she blah, blah’”, Emma said making a talking impression with her hand.
”You tell me”, Scott challenged. Wait, probably not a good idea to dare her to read your thoughts.
”No, it isn’t a good idea. And if I knew from the beginning, there would be no point in me asking. I‘d just tell you to shut up and be on with it”, Emma said with arms crossed.
”So, why don’t you?”, Scott asked.
“Because that wouldn’t solve the problem to begin with. Then the next time this happens again, I will be stuck with ramblings of boy who can’t speak his own mind”, Emma said.
”How do I know I can speak my mind with someone like you around?”, Scott asked.
”Someone. Like me?” Emma amusedly repeated.
”You know, a telepath! You guys can just burst your way in and change whatever’s up here to your liking. How do I know that isn’t what you’re doing right now?”, Scott said.
“.....You do realize how raving mad you sound to them over there?”, Emma asked pointing to the gardeners who had stopped to watch their argument.
”Mind your own business!”, Scott yelled out to them. Realizing they’d been caught, they return to their work, promptly.
”Alright, look you lunatic”, Emma said with a sigh. “You’re right. You won’t know unless you get used to certain signs of a telepaths intrusion in your head. Even then, there could be a chance where we can sneak right pass your defenses and flip whatever switch and wipe any memories that could have told on us. Hell, we could put in new memories to fit the logic going on in your head”, Emma said, which surprised Scott. They can do all that? “Yes, darling, we can. Now stay focused on me. If you have any reason to believe that I am not controlling your mind it’s for the very fact that I am right here arguing with you instead of telling your brain that everything is fine and that you could go on your business without knowing I’m here. Or maybe turn you into my little personal masseuse with no shirt off. Either works.”
Scott have her a dirty look that she couldn’t see through his glasses. After realizing that, he imagined in his head the vulgarities he would tell her in that moment, which only led Emma to chuckle in amusement.
”All, I’m saying is, if I wanted to control your mind, it would have been to do something a lot more useful to me than sit here and argue with a boy over his issues regarding his poor hurt feelings. Do yourself a favor and take something to calm yourself. I don’t care what frankly. A chill pill, a break, some chocolate, whatever! Anything to get you through your issues and separate your thoughts from my head”, Emma said before returning to her chair with her book.
Scott looked at the pool, not really seeing it, but thinking over Emma’s explanation. He really couldn’t argue with it, but he still was incredibly uncomfortable. So, he decided the pool was good enough and left the pool area to his room.
*by the end of the week*
“You wanted to see me, sir”, Scott said entering into the Professor’s study.
”Yes, Scott.....Calm your thoughts. You are not in trouble for anything. I just wanted to give you something. It is not so much a gift as it is a necessity”, Xavier said as he passed a small, narrow box on the desk.
Picking up the box, Scott saw inside a golden-yellow shade of ruby-quarts glasses like the shades he wore regularly. These ones seemed to have a narrow lens that encompassed the eye level. On the side of the visor, Scott saw a dial of sort. When he turned the dial, saw the visor lens open up, exposing where the eyes would be.
“Feel free to try them on Scott”, Xavier encouraged.
Following instruction, Xavier sees Scott take his shades to replace them with the visor. Upon opening his eyes, his visor lights up as the energy of his optic blast is blocked by the ruby quartz lens.
”Very, sir. But, why was the dial added on the side? You know what would happen if the visor opened up while my eyes stay open”, Scott said.
“Yes, Scott. I do. And I think it’s important for you to realize that this is a new responsibility I am entrusting you with. With this visor, I want you to learn not only to use your powers, but focus on the intensity that you shoot them with. That is why you have a dial, instead of a switch, and why the visor opens from the middle of the lens instead of the edges where the visor and lens meet. You shouldn’t live in total fear of your powers, Scott. They are who are an important part of who you are as an individual. As a mutant. Now, please, come with me.”
Down the hall and into the elevator, Scott followed, wondering what it was the professor had to show him. Scott marveled at the sight of the underground chrome halls and laboratories that he saw in his tour of the Institute. It felt like something out of a movie where secret agents ran off to get ready for their big missions. Xavier showed Scott Cerebro, the mission that helped Jean find him. A giant spherical room with metal playing covering the surfaces. Usable only by the telepaths, so he wouldn’t really get to see the room in action unless he joined one of the three psychics here. Bummer.
“This, Scott, is the Danger Room. True to its name, it is a room with mechanical courses and weaponry hidden behind the walls in order to train a mutant in whatever situation they may come to. This place is not to be taken lightly, which is why I will require someone to oversee the training exercises at all times in this room”, Xavier explained.
”Why are you showing me this?”, Scott asked.
“Well, Scott, I wanted to invite you into entering the school once more, but this time, for something more than scholarly activities. This will be to focus on your powers and training you to use them in dangerous situations that could happen to you or someone else in your day-to-day life. It is here that you can practice to us your optic without the stress and worry of harming someone’s safety, but that is only if you choose to work to be my student Scott Summers, as a part of this school”, Xavier concluded. “I will give you some more time to think it over and should you say no, your arrangement from before will not change.“
”.......I don’t need anymore time. Professor, I want to be an official student at your school”, Scott answered with the most confidence he had felt in a long time. And this time, after thinking it over to himself for so long and listening on some of the Professor’s lessons, Scott saw just how much of a good fit he can be there and how good it would be for him to learn to use his powers instead of shying away from using them.
“Well, if you are certain, welcome to the Xavier Institute, Mr. Summers”, Xavier said with smile.
*The next day*
Scott was busy at work trying to get a handle on the assignment. He would see to it that his first test not end up an ‘F‘ on the first day of semester.
Scott looked up from his paper to see Jean smiling at him from the seat in front of him. “Glad you decided to try out the education courses. I really think you will like it here.”
Jean then returned to what she was doing. Scott continued to star for a little while longer at the girl who would be close by for the rest of his semester.
”Thanks. Me too”, was all he felt he could say. He didn’t know if it would all work out in the end, but he would give it a shot and maybe earn some friends on the way.