X-Men #1: A Brilliant Mind
*Three years earlier*
”Moira, this is ridiculous.“
”I will have none of it, Charles. Ye wanted to open a school. Your students can’t go around this household with all the dust in every nook and cranny of this place”, the middle-aged brunette said in finality as she continued with her feather duster around the library.
”Moira, I don‘t even have students. What I do have is money. If you aren’t gonna let me call a cleaning service, at least let me pay you for the work you have already done.”
Such was the dynamic of Charles and Moira every time he was to institute his next step for his dream. Always thinking ahead, but never considering the practicality of what is in the present, or lack there of, from Moira’s point of view. He never slowed down though, even after the accident that cost him his legs ability to move. So, if his office was a mess, she’d organize. He’d argue, but by the time his point had gotten across in a long argument-
“Save yer breath Charles. I’m practically finished, as it is.”
”Pardon?”, Charles gave with a perplexed look.
“Yes. While you were off doing who knows what around that underground level, I’ve been up here where yer students would be living. Going from room to room, dusting and vacuuming. And don’t act so surprised! You know perfectly well that those companies would see big money the moment they drive up to yer mansion. Honestly Charles, yer better off with this ol’ lass”, she said with pride gleaming from her. “Besides, I wasn’t planning on doing everything. Just the necessity so that you make a good impression to them inspectors or whoever in the district judges the schools these days.”
“I still think you should take some form of compensation”, he pressed still.
With a sigh in mock exasperation, she turns to him, saying, “Oh alright, ya big fuss. If it makes you feel better, I suppose you could let me be here to see you teach your first students every so often.”
“Moira, I would like nothing more than for you to be there. Anytime under any reasonable circumstances. Where’s this coming from anyways?”
Before she could answer him, the doorbell rings. When she opens with a smile ready, it drops to shock and then determined anger. But the man standing knew her well enough to see that she still feared him, as tough as she tried to be considering how, back then, female scientists were underestimated so.
“Erik. What in bloody hell are you here for?”, she says with irritation not hidden.
”Moira. It has been too long, yet age has been kind to you”, he says with a calculated, yet smooth, casualness to his tone.
”Erik“, Charles says as he wheels into the entryway. “Why have you come? You made it clear the last time we spoke that next time we meet, it would be on opposite sides.”
”Yes, Charles, I did and my stance stays firmly in its place. My visit here though is a mixture of seeing whether the rumors were true about you opening a school.....and an attempt to mend burned bridges”, his old friend states with a deceptively open and friendly demeanor. Moira was relieved to see Charles wasn’t a fool to believe so easily.
”Mend? That is a completely different direction from where you say you stand on humanity and mutant relations. I don’t think you really mean that, Erik.”
With that statement, Erik chuckles.
”No, old friend. I am not. You see, I stand by my conclusion that one day, mutants will rule the planet with humans serving their masters as they should with all the appreciation that we don’t wipe them out completely. No, this olive branch is an invitation, for you to consider. I am building my army, filled with those who believe in mutants to be the ruling class for evolution as gods. As a common courtesy, in the name of what we used to have, this will be your opportunity to teach not just the next generation, but be a leader to an entire species”, he declared to the two. Before anyone could give a response, another voice comes in.
”Excuse me. I’m looking for, Charles Francis Xavier”, explains the well-dressed stranger whom was assumed to be the visitor they’d been expecting.
”I will take my leave, Charles. You seem to have other matters to attend to and it would probably benefit you to think hard about what you do next. Good-bye, Charles. It has been a pleasure seeing you and Moira”, he says before walking past the newer arrival without so much as a glance.
*One Month Later*
”YOU GET YOUR ASS BACK UP HERE, YOUNG LADY!!!! I‘M NOT FINISHED WITH YOU YET!!!”
It was the last straw. She knew quite well that she had crossed a line, but he had promised her way out of this place. But as per usual, it turned out to have been a lie. The worst though had walked right through the door in on her and his business associate being closer than he would have liked. He wasn’t really mad at the man though. He put on a show though of kicking the man out as if he were a decent father. But he barely raised his voice an octave. Oh no, the man trailing behind her in his fury was the man she knew.
“Winston! Please, calm down so we can talk about this as a family”, pleaded Hazel Frost, whom the fortune truly belonged to. Emmaline Grace Frost knew that as well. They never told her, of course. They both knew of the two, Hazel was the kinder and the one who would see to it her children were cared for with the fortune she inherited. But the one who carried the Frost name married into that wealth and he would be sure that every single family member in “his household” kept up appearances of a perfect family.
“Oh no, Hazel! She won’t get away so easily. I turned my head to her bleaching her brown hair to blonde because you said it looked cute and reminded you of your mother. I let her dressing like some whore off the slums because you swore to me that she would grow out of it!!! But it seems that is the very life she wishes to have and I WILL NOT HAVE IT!!!“, he says as he throws the first thing he can find, which unfortunately for Hazel, was a priceless art piece that she had bought.
“If that life were to get me away from the likes of you father, than let all the boys come“, Emma threatened.
”Hah! Go on, then! It would be a marvelous sight to see you come crawling back, begging for your room in this oasis I built for this family”, he retorts to her. He was truly delusional was what she thought. Anything would be better than this.
“Perhaps this is a bad time, but maybe I have a solution to your conundrum, Mr. Frost”, spoke a soothing voice that seemed to brought the boiling rage of the household to a simmer. No, not the voice, Emma thought to herself. Something else. She could sense it, but what exactly.
”Charles Xavier. You’re here. I am terribly sorry for any of what you saw. You know how it is with teenagers and their hormones, especially with the women around her around that certain month if ya know what I mean”, Winston spoke to appear inviting.
As Emma watched the two converse, she found herself perplexed by the bald-headed cripple. Another one of father’s businessmen? From what she gathers from her father’s head, Charles was a well-known scientist who studied human evolution to discover a certain gene that gave normal humans super-powers. Not just great genius like Tony Stark, one of the youngest entrepreneur’s of his generation, but honest to god abilities that defy nature. His plan was to open a school.
The strange thing wasn’t what she gathered from her father’s head. What was strange was what she couldn’t gather from apparent new headmaster’s head. Whenever she would concentrate on him, she couldn’t picture anything, couldn’t hear an inner voice. What she pictured was a wall, solid in foundation. What she heard was high-pitched ringing the more she pressed.
“Come on, girl, pay attention”, Winston said looking directly at Emma with sweeter voice that still held a warning.
”Pardon?”, her focus had been so preoccupied, she had not realized that they spoke to her at some point.
“I was just offering your father, and by extension you, a chance to have some breathing room. An opportunity for you to garner your education and become the brilliant mind we know you could be, Ms. Frost”, Charles answers. He is really selling this opportunity to her father. How the ‘great businessman’ doesn’t see right through it was beyond Emma. In fact, his thoughts were all agreeable to the suggestion. Winston Frost, who would keep a tight grip for how his family would be. The one responsible for ruining her dearest brothers life and drove the poor boy mad. The one who cherished her older sister and spoiled her rotten for being the perfect example of how a a Frost oughta be.
“I think it’s a wonderful idea, Emma. Just think of the opportunities this could give you. Oh, brings back memories of my time at my own boarding school. Some of the best times of my life”, Hazel chimes in excitedly.
”So, Emma, you wanted to have some time apart from the family. Here’s your opportunity. You always will have place here, sweetheart”, Winston says.
This was strange, but it was a solution. She had the choice for once in her life and she wouldn’t be the idiot that squandered it.
“I think I shall accept your invitation to your school, Mr. Xavier”, Emma responds.
“Please, dear. I prefer to be referred to as, Professor Xavier, if its all the same to you”, he says to her.
”Quite. Well, Professor”, she says with a sweet smile, “I do have a condition.”
“And what would that be, Emma?”, he questions.
”You take me to your school, today. Right now”, Emma says determined to leave.
”Well, you packed all the essentials in that bag you had with you, didn’t you, Emma?”, Hazel asked in her efforts to be a mother.
”Then, I don’t see why we can’t fulfill your request, Miss Frost”, Xavier answers.
”One more thing before you leave, Emma. Your allowance, should you continue your studies, will be regularly sent to you every month, just as it was originally done in this household”, Hazel says to Emma with no room for argument on the matter. Not that Emma has one to begin with regarding that arrangement.
”Now, Hazel, do you think that’s entirely necessary? I mean, Emma is fifteen, almost sixteen. Surely they have all the essentials over there for her and it would teach her a bit about how the real world works”, Winston intervenes on the conversation. His point may sound reasonable, but under that, Emma clearly reads that he wants her to see just how good she had it when she lived with them and see her breakdown from not being used to the way of living over there.
“No, Winston. Yes, the world works differently from how we live, but that doesn’t have to be Emma’s world. So long as she learns to budget with the money she has and not go spending willy-nilly, then she is learning to truly be above it all. That is how I learned and it will be how she learns”, Hazel argues back with, again, no room for argument further. Yes, Hazel was a demure woman content with living as a family, but as a businesswoman, she learned to negotiate with the best of them.
“I agree with, Mrs. Frost, Winston. Emma seems like such a bright young lady. I am quite sure she can manage through your rearing and our teachings at the institute”, the professor says.
”Oh, please, let’s drop formalities. Hazel will do just fine, Charles”, she says to the Professor.
”As you wish, Hazel. Now, if there is nothing else to go over, I believe we should start heading on the road, Emma”, Professor says turning his chair to the door.
”Yes, one second, if you please. Good-bye, mother”, Emma says to Hazel with a hug. She then turns to Winston with an emotionless look, and with a nod farewell, she simply says, “Father”, before leaving to the Professor’s car.
On the drive back to Westchester, Emma pretends to watch the scenery rush by as she concentrates further on the conundrum that is Xavier. It all becomes clear to her when he hears a voice echo in her head.
”You know, dear, it is quite rude to enter someone’s head without permission. I am quite sure you wouldn’t want anyone to see all your secrets and mistakes made that you‘d wish not to share”, spoke Charles voice in her head.
Yes, he was a mutant. Not just a mutant. He was like her. A telepath. He had to be like her, or else how could he explain how he knew she was trying to enter his head. She was still rather new to her powers comparatively, but she still had self-taught practice for a good two years, so she had no doubt that her powers were functioning properly the entire time of his visit to the Frost estate.
”Is that so? And what would a good Professor such as you have to hide? I mean, if you have something to hide, than it would explain why you tried so hard to keep me out of your head, Charles”, Emma spoke back with her own mind. That brought a chuckle, to hear her logic. Though Emma did not know what was so funny about her distrusting nature with men who continuously lied to each other like her father, who would take every opportunity at the expense of another, and would so freely make passes a minor because they knew they could get out of trouble with their money. No, what was more valuable were the secrets they held. She knew that, which is what made her secret the most valuable of any Frost. To think what her father could do with such an ability against his clients.
“Quite contrary, Miss Frost. I think your situation is rather sad. I don’t mean to read your thoughts, but note that with extreme emotion put behind such thoughts, the louder the thoughts become to fellow espers like myself. But you will learn to control that ability, and hopefully, use it in a way that proves you the best of all Frosts in your family. A telepath is capable of so much more than simple mind-reading and communication Emma and I know you will use it, not to better yourself, but for others you know should have a chance to live their lives peacefully”, Xavier says to her aloud now.
”Why would I care about the people of this god-forsaken world. You think people are any different than the rich? The only difference I see are either from the naive who think the world will change for them if they try to show it a better way or the ruthless who see those people and use them as leverage. Then there are those that simply seek temporary pleasures because they know nothing is there for them beyond what they can find themselves. So, where do you fit, Charles Xavier?”, Emma challenges.
He stays quiet for a minute as he mills over her words and decides how he wishes to answer.
”From what Moira tells me, I am a dreamer. I have a different perception of the world, Emma. I think that, all this injustice you see, is derived from fear. Fear of one taking advantage of another. So, as human beings, or in our case, metahuman beings, we take every step necessary to survive. But I believe we should rise above that, thinking more for the next generation. I wish for people like your father, mother, your brother and sisters to live harmoniously with the gifted individuals like you and I. Many oppose my view, but I am certain that when you take away the fear, you can find that we all are just people with same goals and dreams. But in order to get to that point, we must live by example and show them that it is possible”, Charles says in resolution.
”......alright”, Emma responds. Just as Xavier thinks he may have gotten through to her, she says, “naive it is then.”
With a sigh, Xavier drops the subject as they head through the mansion gate.
End of chapter.....
Okay, just wanted to try something out and get some ideas somewhere rather than lingering in my head. I welcome critiques and everything. Just please...be gentle.