Summary: Head spinning time-talk and explainations worthy of Inez Versange or any Trek Technobabble speaker! Finally, everyone's filled in on what is going on and we find out why the timeline isn't yet fixed.
Gomen! I didn't think this chapter would take this long! I really didn't mean to leave everyong hanging for so long! Really, I didn't. My muse decided to take an extended vacation on me for some reason, so I got rather stuck on the last two scenes. To make up for it, there's a little extra humor bit at the end that has nothing to do with the story at all. Brownie points to whoever can catch the most Otaku/SF geek in-jokes in it! ^_^
Anywho, on with the chapter, all ready. Enjoy!
Everyone’s mouths hung open and they stared
agape at K, Kitty, and the two Morlocks. The four of them let the
information sink in for several moments and let the conversation segue
And again, everyone spoke at once, all of them asking questions. Everyone except for Xavier who simply sighed at the chaos and rolled his eyes skyward and Nightcrawler who was still stunned into silence upon seeing his future self.
Finally, noticing they weren’t getting anywhere this way, Angelique put her fingers in her mouth and whistled. Everyone stopped talking all at once and looked at her instead.
“Better,” she said, “so, do we have to make a line or something? For crying out loud! One at a time!” She put a hand on her hip. “Shees, K, I thought you said these guys were organized.”
K blinked several times as though remembering situations long past. “J-ja…” he stammered, “maybe I should start again. You all remember last veek, your time, in ze cafeteria?”
“Yeah,” Cyclops answered, “they said the lighting and air conditioning systems got a couple of wires crossed.”
“Complete horse hockey,” Lycanthrope put in, “it was actually a Chrono Hole that led to our time. Well, our time ten years ago.”
“Miss Kitty fell through it and ended up with us for about a week, our time,” stated Angelique. “Then, we were able to send her back to the moment she left.”
“And we thought that would fix history, but-”
“W-wait, slow down,” Rogue interrupted Lycanthrope, “what do you mean by that? How would sending Shadowcat back to our time fix history? What needed fixin’ in the first place?”
“Everyzing,” stated K, “you see, in our history, it vas zat day vhere everyzing vent wrong. It vas zat day vhere everyone found out about ze X-Men and Mutants in general. But Kitty’s disappearance caused some serious problems.”
“People didn’t only see us as a danger,” Lycanthrope took over, “but cursed by God, as well. No one knew what the Chrono Hole was, so they blamed it on God and started hunting Mutants down in His name.”
Angelique shrugged. “On the plus side… there was a big resurgence of religious activity.”
K crossed his arms over his chest and sent a particularly peeved look her way. “Angela Serena Hunter, vhat have I told you about zat joke?”
“Anyway,” Kitty put in, “since everyone suddenly, like, knew about the X-Men, we were the first hit. Only Kurt and Mister Logan got away.”
Nightcrawler pumped the air with a fist. “Score! So, Herr Logan and I got to be ze heroes, ja?”
“Not score!” K exclaimed, “You vatched everyone else die! Volverine and I did ze only zing ve could and ve ran! Ve rescued some ozers, too, and ran into Toad as vell, but I lost Logan too, eventually. Ever since zen, it’s been me and ze Morlocks, hiding in ze sewers of New York City, running from ze entire vorld.”
Nightcrawler looked a little stunned by his counterpart’s outburst and he took a step back. “All of zat happened?” he asked, more of himself than anyone there.
“And all of zat happened,” said K.
“Because I couldn’t hold on to Kitty,” they finished together. The fact registered a moment later and they looked at one another. “Bizarre,” they both said.
“Okay, I guess that all makes sense,” said Jean, “but Kitty’s here now, so she obviously made it back again. So, why didn’t history change?”
“Because we were wrong,” Lycanthrope stated, “Kitty’s disappearance wasn’t what set all of this off. But the fact that it happened about the same time as the thing that did and the fact that it was such a weird thing made it overshadow the real thing.”
“Kinda like an urban legend,” said Angelique.
“Then what’s the real cause?” Wolverine asked.
“An assassination,” stated K, “zree days from now, a Mutant is going to kill Senator James MacKensey of New Jersey. Ve only have a zeory as to who.”
“Wait a sec,” Kitty interrupted, “I just have one question. I made it back, right? So, like, what happened to me when the Terra-Mutant Wars happened? I mean, just my being there would have changed history, so, like, how come you can still remember what happened?”
“The timelines merged with one another,” explained Lycanthrope, “Kat, remember how we said that our timeline was never supposed to happen? Well, neither was the other one. That kinda weird stuff… it messes with time. After we sent you back through the Chrono Hole, we all started remembering two different timelines that both happened to have the same result. We don’t entirely exist in either one.”
“So what’s this theory of yours?” Storm asked. “Who do you think killed MacKensey?”
“My muzzer,” said K, not without a certain degree of malice, “Mystique.”
The ride back to the mansion in the X-Van had
been a crowded endeavor. Even so, it wasn’t an impossible feat for
the two Nightcrawlers to be as far away from one another as was possible.
They sat in opposite corners trying to ignore one another. In the
meantime, a few laps had to be sat on. Angelique had immediately
plopped down on Cyclops’ lap, curiously enough drawing some rather strange
looks from Lycanthrope and Jean. Kitty, being the smallest was piled
on top of Lycanthrope’s lap. She shifted quite often, finding his
knees to be rather bony in places. Protesting all the way about how
he wasn’t ten years old any more, Spyke was placed on Storm’s lap.
Wolverine and Rogue… flat out refused.
“Hey! That’s my foot!”
“Watch where you’re puttin’ that leg, Porcupine.”
“Oof! You’re putting on weight.”
“Whose knee just whammed into my back?”
“That wasn’t my knee…”
“Shut up, you two, I don’t even wanna know!”
“By face ish smashed inchoo zha window.”
Xavier, in the shotgun position at front, his wheelchair having been anchored there for the ride, put a hand to the temple of his head and rubbed it with thumb and forefinger. Desperately, he tried to stave off what he was picking up from the sardines packed in behind him by concentrating on Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. He was only partially successful and by the time the van reached the mansion, he decided to head straight for the Aspirin.
They all popped out of the van as soon as it stopped moving in the driveway and a few of them even ended up in a pile on the ground. Everyone was still grousing about the uncomfortable conditions when it happened.
K, Lycanthrope, and Angela all staggered, putting their hands to their heads and moaning. Angela actually collapsed to one knee. When they finally stopped, the three of them all breathed as if to catch their breath, and then looked to each other.
“Wow,” said Lycanthrope, “wasn’t expecting that.”
The X-Men, having untangled themselves, all looked at the three Morlocks in confusion as Lycanthrope helped Angela to her feet.
“What?” Cyclops asked. “What happened?”
“The timeline flashes,” stated Angela as if it explained everything.
“I’ll explain later,” Kitty interrupted, noticing that K had wandered off toward a corner of the garage and was using that little communications device in his ear.
“Home base come in,” he said, his tail flicking slightly, “home base, zis is Nightcrawler, come in.” He made a fist and swung it through the air at his side, making a frustrated noise. “It’s still out.” He looked over to Lycanthrope. “I zought you said ve’d be able to communicate vith home.”
“Lemme see it,” said Lycanthrope, holding out a hand. K handed the small device over readily and his young charge took a close look at it with some sort of small magnifier. “It’s working just like it should,” he said, “only reason you wouldn’t be able to get through are if the other end isn’t there any more, or if…”
“Somezing happened,” K finished, “zen, ve’re on our own.”
Meanwhile, the rest of the group had pigeonholed Kitty and Angela for an explanation of the alternate timeline flashes. Consequently, they had missed K and Lycanthrope’s entire conversation.
“You mean you can actually see bits of the timeline you’re trying to make happen?” Evan asked. “Freaky, man.”
“So, what’d you see, Angela?” Jean asked.
Angela’s face turned beet red and she looked away. “Um… that’s personal.”
There was silence all around for a moment and everyone looked at little scarecrow at Angela’s comment. Each person there was obviously debating whether or not to press the issue and get the full dirt, but something told them they really did not want to know.
Everyone stared at Angela for several moments, trying to find a way to segue to another topic before things got, as they suspected they would, raunchy.
In this doldrum of uncomfortable silence, it was Kurt who put up his hand and spoke up.
"I just have one more question," he said, "a veek ago, back in ze cafeteria." He turned his gaze and looked straight at his
future counterpart. "I saw you. You came through ze portal vith Katzchen, ja? So, if history didn't change, vhy did you... fade away like zat?"
K had a small device in his hand and he held it up as though he had been waiting for the question. "Time stabilizer," he said simply, "ve don't truly exist in zis time, so ve need somezing to keep us here. Vithout it, ve bounce back." Carefully, he slipped it back into the small compartment on his belt buckle that it had come out of. He turned and began walking out of the garage. "Lycanthrope, vork with Xavier on ze modifications to Cerebro."
"Where ya' goin', K?" Lycanthrope asked.
"I'll be around," he responded just before bamfing off to some unknown location.
"New question," Logan said before anyone could do anything else, "what are these modifications you need to make to Cerebro, rookie?" He was looking at Lycanthrope with his constant suspicious look.
"Oh nothin' much," Lycanthrope responded, "just gotta change what it looks for completely, is all."
"So, Toad found his old CD, then what?"
Jean and Angela had hit it off, much to the chagrin of the guys. They were immediately embroiled in inter-tempus gossip and Evan and Scott couldn't get the two ladies to stop and talk about something serious. The four of them were presently lounging around in the sitting room. They were supposed to be strategizing, but things had gone slightly off track.
"Well, then, he had to fish the player out of the sludge in the sewer," Angela continued, "not a pretty sight."
"I bet he smelled better, though."
"Debatable. Anyway, so he finally got the thing playing and you'd hardly believe it, but he actually doesn't have that bad a singing voice. But, of course, he was hampered by this sudden low flying bird that had gotten into the sewers and flew right into-"
"Whoa!" Scott piped up. "I don't need that image! Anyway, shouldn't we be off doing something? I mean, three days to find someone who may or may not be Mystique and who may or may not be planning to kill MacKensey."
"Yeah," Evan agreed, "you want fries with that? Where's Big Crawler, anyway? He's been gone a good two hours."
"Oh he does this," Angela stated, "he was gone for an entire day, not too long ago. We nearly had to scrape him off the wall after Jack was done throwing his tantrum 'bout it, too."
"Think we should go look for him or something?" Jean asked.
"Hell no," exclaimed Angela, "I'm in no mood to be yelled at."
"That's still something I can't get through my head," stated Scott, "Kurt... being like that. It's just not like him."
"How do you know what's like him?" Angela asked in an almost accusing tone. "How can you possibly know what's like him?"
Scott, Evan, and Jean started at the sudden change of tone and glanced at each other. It was obvious that they were all suddenly regretting bringing it up.
"It's just that-" Scott began.
"You weren't there," Angela continued, "none of you were there at all, so how can you know what kind of person K is now?" She stood up from the comfy chair she had been sitting in and looked off into space. "I should... I should go check on Lycanthrope... see if he needs any help." And she exited the room, leaving three very mystified X-Men in her wake.
One level up, in the section of the mansion set aside
for the occupants' rooms, there was only one light on, signaling the wakeful
thoughts of one, young, blue-furred Mutant. Kurt was perched on the
railing of the tiny balcony attached to his room, staring off at the horizon.
His tail gently swished behind him in a pensive pendulum motion, back and
forth over and over. He had shut himself in his room, hoping that
he would fall asleep and wake up the next morning to find that the situation
had all been one bizarre dream. But of course, his plan was thwarted
by the simple fact that he couldn’t go to sleep. Too much to think
He was interrupted, however, by a knock on his door.
“Who is it?” he tossed over his shoulder.
“Kurt, it’s me,” came the reply in a distinctly southern accent, “open up, already, will ya’?”
Kurt bamfed across the room and obliged allowing Rogue to enter. He put on as friendly and upbeat a face as he could. “Vas up, Rogue?” he asked.
Rogue, naturally, saw right through his façade. “Well obviously not you,” she replied, “you look lahk ya’ve seen hordes of marauding Mongols wearing furry hats and attacking the mansion and there’s nothin’ ya’ can do ‘bout it.”
“Zat’s a colorful description,” said Kurt, trying to evade the topic he sensed the conversation was going.
Again, Rogue didn’t have it. “Don’t toy with me, Kurt, I know what it looks like when someone’s messed up inside. So spill it already.”
Kurt looked away from Rogue and went over to his stereo system, feigning a search for some suitable music. “Nozing’s wrong, I’m just fine. Really.”
Behind him, Kurt heard the unmistakable sound of leather sliding over skin. One of Rogue’s gloves plopped down onto the shelf in front of him. Carefully, he looked over his shoulder. Rogue was standing only about a foot and a half away, holding up her bare hand and wearing a look that said that she refused to back down.
Kurt gave a little yelp and turned around, backing into the shelf that held his stereo and pressing into it, trying to get as far away from Rogue as possible. “You vouldn’t!” he exclaimed.
“Ah would too,” she responded in kind, “so, it’s yer choice. You wanna spill it the easy way, or do I have to get my information from other sources?”
“Okay, okay, just back off, ja?”
Rogue lunged forward, her bare hand outstretched. Kurt flinched and squeezed both his eyes shut, tightly. When nothing happened, he opened his eyes carefully, fist one, then the other. Rogue was holding her previously discarded glove and waving it in the air. She had taken a few steps back. “So? Start talkin’,” she ordered.
Kurt gave a sigh of relief, then sauntered over to the balcony. Rogue joined him a few steps behind and they both leaned on it, looking out over the lawn.
“I guess it’s… vell, I guess it’s just… me,” Kurt finally said.
Rogue looked puzzled for a moment, then understanding dawned on her. “Your future self? He doesn’t seem that bad ta me.”
“It’s not zat,” stated Kurt, “it’s… I don’t know vhat it is.”
“I think I do,” ventured Rogue, “frankly, I’d rather have you around than him any day. It’s lahk you two aren’t even the same person.”
“He vants to kill Mystique.”
“He wants to stop her.”
“No, he vants to kill her, trust me. I saw it in his eyes… eye, vhen he said her name.”
“Well, c’mon, Kurt. It’s not lahk she’s ever done ya’ any favors. And that version of you has had twenty-five more years to think about it all. I mean, when you get right down to it, she’s really screwed things up for ya’ lately.”
“But… she’s my muzzer. How could I-”
“Might be your mother.” Rogue had put her other glove back on and put both of her hands on Kurt’s shoulders. “Kurt, listen to me,” she commanded, “if you’re worried about turning into him, you don’t have to worry. We’re gonna set everything raht and you’ll never go through the ten kindsa hell that turned you into that. Trust me.”
He shook out of her grasp and leaned on the railing again. “Zey… zey say zat evil always finds it true form,” Kurt mused, looking at both of his three fingered hands.
“Elf, if you start down that road, I swear ta’ God a’mighty, I’ll lay you out.”
Kurt finally allowed himself a small chuckle. “All right, I hear ya.”
“Good. Now, get some sleep. Your pacin’s keepin’ me awake.” She made her way back across the room and opened the door. “’Night, Kurt.”
“Zanks, Rogue,” he tossed over his shoulder before she had gone. It was several minutes later that Kurt finally decided to go to sleep.
On the roof just above, one lone figure had been perched, balanced at the apex where the two sides of the roof came together. He had over heard the entire conversation.
So, the figure mused to himself, I hate myself. Ha, story of my life.
*****SPECIAL INSERT X-MEN EVOLUTION OMAKE THEATER*****
(Happy, upbeat music begins to play and a bright rainbow streaks toward the camera. The XME cast appear marching over its arch in full SD form.)
All: (chanting) OMAKE OMAKE OMAKE OMAKE… (Trans: EXTRA EXTRA EXTRA EXTRA…)
(Once they have disappeared off the lower edge of the screen, cut to a sequence of scenes in which the SD characters make a whole lot of mayhem. Finally, we cut to a street with blinking marquee signs everywhere, a la Broadway. One by one, the SD characters drop in from the sky and start marching in place to the beat of the happy music. From left to right, it’s Ororo, Scott, Jean, Kurt, Kitty, Rogue, Spyke, and Logan. A claw arm, the type you might see in one of those impossible to win plushie-grabbing game machines, comes down and scoops up the entire group. Kitty drops back down to the pavement, bounces, and finally lands on her face.)
Kitty: Chotto dake yo. (Trans: Just a little more.)
(Title screen: “Mystique’s Bad Hair Day.” Cut to an SD Mystique, looking in a mirror in a bed room someplace. It’s obvious she’s just woken up, because her hair is a complete mess. She carefully brushes through it, perfectly styling it into the perfect do. She looks at herself in the mirror, quite pleased with the outcome. However, only a moment later, her hair pops back into a complete mess. Making a cute, li’l, sour SD face, she attempts to shape shift into her Principal Darkholm form. She succeeds, mostly. Her hair is still bright red and a mess on top of her SD principal head. The mirror breaks and she sighs. Cut to a scene as she walks down a street, hair still a mess on her head. A bird swoops down and lands in her hair. She shoos it away and continues walking and finally makes it to the school grounds. Suddenly, a whole flock of birds swoop down and pull on her mop of hair, lifting her off the ground and carrying her off. Cut to a scene in a woods somewhere. Mystique’s hair had been woven into a large bird’s nest. She pulls herself free and climbs the tree she’s in to find out where she is. Mystique changes back into her SD Mutant form and from out of nowhere pulls a bottle of Zima and opens it. As she starts to drink, we hear a very large whirring noise begin to grow and she looks up. Cut to another angle and we see a very large space ship hovering over her, zeroing in on her bright red hair as a beacon. It unceremoniously drops down on top of Mystique and a door opens up. Several very large Narn, carrying bats, storm out of the ship and disappear into the sunset. Fade to black.)
*****SEE YOU, SPACE BARBER!*****
Well, hope you all enjoyed the chapter, despite the head-spinning explanations.
(Inez Versange pops up)
Inez: Ex... Explanation?
(Berz pushes Inez off screen)
Down, girl. Wrong cartoon. Anyway, the next chapter will
be titled "A Lullaby for Lycanthrope." Be sure to keep checking back
for it to be posted.
Ja ne, minna-san! ^_^