(All Gen-X Characters are copyrighted by Marvel. This story was first published on Kindred Spirits back in 1998)
Ever since his sisters found out the truth, at least as much as they could, Emplate was upset. They had found out that their older sister Monet was Penance, but that was not the whole truth. He then started to dwell on the whole of the picture. He sat down in his chair and did something that his enemies, nor even his followers knew about; he cried. The door opened, and his man-servant, D.O.A., entered the room. The little man looked at him and said, “You’re thinking about her again.” He shot a nasty gaze at D.O.A. and the man shut the door. Only D.O.A. knew the truth about the big picture.
His voice was raspy through his respirator. “How can I not think about her now? Who knows what they know, and she did betray me. I thought...”
“Quiet, sir, you’re only making yourself weak. We shall try another attempt soon.” Emplate just sighed when he heard that. He watched D. leave the room and started to reflect on memories from long ago. He remembered when he left home, when he was still Marius St. Croix. He knew of his powers then, and decided to act on them. He traveled....
He traveled to the war torn country of Yugoslavia. He had slowly been learning all the magic and powers to add to his own mutant abilities, and decided to work on a plan. He wanted revenge on his family. He knew of a name in one of his father files, about a mutant girl. From all the suffering in her life, he thought he could strike a deal with her, for her help. He had only a description to go on. He walked the streets of the city she lived in, finding no sign of her. He did however see a face his family was familiar with. The face of Charles Xavier. He ducked out of sight. He knew that Xavier was a powerful telepath, but he also knew that Xavier sided with his father. He turned to go farther down the alley when he came face to face with the girl he was looking for. She glared at him, poised to strike at him. He saw in her soul that she was angry. These people took her family, hunted her, and she hated them for that. All she wanted was revenge. Marius looked at the girl and said, in his best Serbo-Croation, “Hello. I wish to help you.”
The girl, who was about to strike him, seemed to relax and Marius could see this as the claws on her hands returned to a normal hand like state. She stood up, and it was obvious that she had warn these clothes since she was a child. They had not been changed in how long, but she had to have been just a girl when she got them, and now she was an early teen. Her long red hair flowed from her head. She looked at him with blue eyes and said, “How can you help me? Are you going to try and tell me that the people don’t know what they’re doing, like that Xavier jerk keeps saying to me?”
“Xavier is a fool. He doesn’t realized that we have the power to purge this land of humans. Right now, I have gathered power together to rule many dimensions, I just have to get one person out of the way. If you join me, I can give you the power to extract your penance on this town.”
The girl smiled and said, “Agreed. I shall become the penance of this town, no, this country. I shall pay them all back for what they did to my family, and to me.”
Marius looked the girl straight in the eyes and said, “We shall get revenge on all our enemies.” He smiled and decided it was time to make their escape. He decided that a teleportation would be the best.
He started to conjure up the gateway when he heard a voice. “Yvette, I can help you.” Marius turned to face Charles Francis Xavier entering the alley. He could tell Xavier was surprised when he said, “Marius.”
Marius grabbed the girl, and said, “Au Revior.” With that they went through the portal to his new palace, in another dimension. He then closed the portal and said to the girl, “Welcome home, Yvette.”
She turned to him, red hair flowing and said, “Thank you, Marius.” With that, she kissed him.
A knocking on the door brought him back to reality. Emplate walked over to the door and opened it. It was Vincente. “What is it, Vincente?”
The mutant of mist looked around nervously and said, “Sir, D.O.A. said that there might be a psychic disturbance heading this way. It seems to be moving at a phenomenal rate. It has taken a toll on some of the other dimensions.”
“It is of no concern.” He slammed the door in Vincente’s face and heard something fall. He walked over to a picture that had fallen of the wall. He looked at it and felt a tear come to his eye. “I remember that day.” It was the first day that he and Yvette had broken free of this dimension prison, but it had cost him. The photo was taken before so they could remember their last day of normal love.
When Marius made the deal and became Emplate, he didn’t know what he was getting into, he now had access to all the mutant powers in the world, but he had to constantly fed or be tormented by the souls of his victims. He even had to wear a respirator now, and was given a man-servant, D.O.A. Yvette had walked over behind him. He knew what she was going to ask. “Did you figure on those two brats doing this to us, my love?”
“No, what Claudette did was not figured on? It cost me a lot to get us out of there.”
“I wish I could still kiss you. What about this need to feed?”
He couldn’t find a way around saying it. “If I don’t feed, I have to suffer.”
She looked at him and said, “Then feed off me.” She tensed up, and said “Hurry, before your sister’s mind realizes it. You...” She screamed and tensed up even more. At that point, Emplate saw Yvette lunge at him. He backed away in time to avoid the deadly strike. Monet’s mind had taken charge. Yvette had agreed to this, but neither suspected the power in Monet. He had destroyed her body, and placed her mind into Yvette’s, and now the two fought for control.
He jumped back and yelled, “D.O.A., get in here and restrain Yvette.” The little man ran in and quickly did his job. Emplate walked over to the now restrained Yvette and said, “I’m sorry, my love, but I had no choice.” He saw her nod. She was in control. He then put his hand to her head and started to feed.
He knew it was her love for him that made her last so long, but also it was his love for her that made him hunt others. He had hunted to save her from death. He killed so she could live. While in these thought, Emplate felt a knife splitting pain. He screamed out in pain and collapsed to the floor.
He saw his minions walk in, but there was something different. He could not see their auras. He had lost his “sight”. He was still partially with it, but he heard in his mind <My love, or ex-love. I know you can hear me now. I want to stay with them. I have learned to care about people. Monet is now free, and your sisters are teaching me kindness. Please let me be. If you still love me, let me be.>
Emplate stood up. He was saddened by what he heard, but he was also angry. She had truly betrayed him now. He looked at D.O.A. and said, “Prepare for an attack. Either we capture all of Generation X this time, or we leave them with a corpse.” Yvette could not be forgiven.
I wrote this story back in the first half of 1998. This was in the wake of the big reveal that Penance was the real Monet St. Croix, which the fans of the series took as a huge slap in the face. I, being one of the long standing fans of Penance, wrote this story as one of the responses to that. Adding to this that even a monster such as Emplate was capable of love, and that years down the line, Penance (named Hollow at that time) seemed to fall in love with Phil Urich, one of the various people holding the title of Green Goblin, the idea that she would fall in love with such a bad boy was plausible. Also, this fit in with the day, given the content. Happy Valentines Day.