1 Super X By: Nichole Gracie Short "Is he alright?" the man with the enormous white wings asked the man in the wheelchair. "He'll be just fine," the man replied, "he's just exhausted that's all." "How could he be exhausted," the man with wings asked, "he's supposed to be more powerful than us, yes?" "He is, but even the most powerful of people can wear down, especially when you've been through what he has." The man with the white wings unfolded his arms and slowly walked around the metal bed the man that was more powerful than himself laid on. At first he frowned upon him as he found himself semi-jealous of the power the man possessed. But when he heard the professor inside of his head, he suddenly had a change of heart. "Why is he here of all places Professor?" "Warren," Xavier replied, "I found him and brought him here, why wouldn't I?" Warren casually shrugged, "I dunno," he said casually, "same reason you allowed us to come here?" Xavier nodded, "and just like you and the rest of the team, I intend to find out more about him." "Uhhhh...." Brad moaned, "Amie?" "Relax," Xavier said calmly to him, "you're safe here." "Want me to get Piotr?" Warren asked Xavier .
2 Xavier nodded, "Yes please, thank you." "Who....who are you people, where the hell am I....what's going on?" Brad said groggily. "Relax Bradley," Xavier said, "you're safe here." "How the....how the hell do you know my name?" he asked. Brad closed his eyes again and everything faded to black. When he awoke again, he was in a bedroom with shiny polished dark wooden walls. The bed was soft and comfortable, and the pillow was firm yet soft as well. He slowly sat up and saw nightstands with lamps on top of them on either side of the bed. There was a closet to the left that was closed and had a blue duffle bag on the floor in front of it and a door several inches away from it. There was a chandelier above him that shone not too dim or bright above him made out of glass that glistened because of the light. The carpet was beige and clean and well-kept. Brad sat on the edge of the bed and noticed that the carpet was so soft he barely felt it under his bare feet. He shivered slightly and felt his chest and realized he wasn't wearing a shirt. He looked over at the closet and stood from where he sat on the bed and walked over to it. He placed his hands on the small golden knobs and slowly pulled back the doors and opened the closet. Someone had put clothes for a man of his size and stature in the closet. As he looked in the closet, he heard a soft knock at the door. He let go of the closet doors and spun around and looked at his bedroom door, "C...come in!" he said.
3 The door slowly creaked open and revealed two men. The first Brad noticed stood at about six foot and was lean muscled. Enormous beautiful snow white wings stood folded together on his back. The man looked relatively young, Brad guessed in his twenties. The other man with him was taller and covered in some kind of silver metal and had jet black hair. "I'm Warren Worthington the third," the man with the wings said, "this is Piotr Rasputin." "Nice to meet you guys," Brad said, "I'm Bradley Aron Stammossen." he extended out his arm for a handshake, but the two men exchanged glances and frowned at him. Brad dropped his arm back at his side as if he had been defeated. Warren rolled his eyes, "we just came by to tell you that Ororo will be here shortly to give you your belongings." he said, gesturing with his head for Piotr to come with him as he turned and started down the hall away from Brad and where he stood in the doorway to his room. "Okay," Brad said, "thank..." but the door slammed before he could get the words out, "you." he muttered as he shook his head and started back to his bed once more. Another knock at the door stopped him. He turned slowly and looked at the door, "Who is it?" he asked. "It's me," a muffled voice said from the other side, "Ororo Munroe." Brad took a step toward the door and reached for the knob and turned it and slowly pulled the door back and opened it. When he did, he saw a dark
4 skinned woman with white hair and blue eyes and stood at about five foot woman who was several years younger than himself. "Yes?" he said casually, smiling. "I was just stopping by to introduce myself and see if you had gotten settled in and everything." she said. "I'm fine," Brad replied, "just a little groggy's all." Storm nodded, "Okay, well, I'm sure you know who I am because Xavier probably told you," she said, "my name's Ororo Munroe and Xavier would like to see you as soon as possible in his office." "Alright," Brad said smiling at her, "thank you." Storm smiled and nodded at him before turning and opening, then closing his bedroom door behind her as she left. Brad looked at the wooden chair that sat by the door. There was a small brown backpack in it. Brad started over to the chair and stopped just as he reached it. He hesitated, then slowly reached for and picked up the bag. He then turned to the door and opened it and headed out of the bedroom to find the professor. As Brad headed to find Xavier, he saw the white winged man and headed over to him, "Hey," he said, smiling at him, "do you happen to know where I can find the professor?" The man sighed as if he were annoyed, "That way." he said, motioning in front of where he was standing.
5 "Thanks man," Brad said, "I appreciate it!" he started off in the direction of where the young man had directed him to with the bag. When he reached the professor's office, he hesitated, then knocked gently on the dark wooden door. The door opened by itself, which Brad knew he hadn't done and he somehow knew it had to have been the professor. He pushed the door open and saw Xavier in his wheelchair behind the dark shiny wooden desk and Ororo was standing to one side leaning against the desk. "Brad," Xavier said cheerfully, "please, have a seat!" Brad closed the door behind him and then walked a short distance across the room to one of the chairs and plopped down in it with the bag. "Have you opened it yet?" Xavier asked, referring to the bag Brad was carrying with him. "What," Brad said, glancing down at the bag, "Oh, no...I haven't opened it yet, why?" "I just thought you would have wanted to know what was in it." Xavier said, nodding to the bag. "Are you suggesting that I open it?" Brad asked. Xavier shrugged casually, "not unless if you wish to." he said. Brad lowered his head and looked down at the bag, then unbuckled it. He lifted the flap and laid it back. Inside he found: a Bible, journal, and newspaper and magazine clippings, along with a golden cross necklace. "I don't understand." Brad said as he looked at the items. Xavier shrugged, "Neither do I." he said.
6 "What do you mean?" Brad asked. "I don't understand why you don't recognize the bag or any of its contents." Xavier said. Brad gave him a puzzled look, "And why would I?" he asked. "Because," Xavier said, "you were carrying it with you when you arrived here." Later that night, Brad sat at the edge of his bed with the bag in his lap and stared down blankly at, trying to remember. But his mind felt dazed and confused and cloudy. He faintly heard a woman's screams and cries and begs and pleas for help and mercy. But he couldn't see her or the child that cried with her no matter how hard he tried. A sudden knock at his door jolted him out of his thoughts. He cleared his throat, "C...come in!" he said, opening the door from where he sat on the bed. It was Ororo. She entered his room and closed the door behind her, "How did you open it to let me in?" she asked him as she walked over to where he sat on his bed and sat beside him. "From right here," he said as he scooted away from her, "I don't know how I did it though." Ororo sighed, "Well," she started, "what do you remember?" she asked. "Well," Brad said, "nothing really, but just now, I thought I heard a woman and a baby." "Did they look or sound familiar?" she asked. "I couldn't," Brad said, "I couldn't see anything except blurry outlines."
7 "Well," Ororo said, "it's a start I guess, what exactly is in that thing?" she asked, referring to the bag. "I haven't looked in it yet," Brad said, "I'm not sure if I should or not." "Maybe you should," Ororo said, "maybe something in there will help jog your memory." Brad looked down at the bag again, then, with shaking hands, undid the snap on the bag. He lifted the top of it back and reached inside of it. The first thing he felt were hard and rectangular in shape. He pulled them out to find a Bible and a journal. He laid them on the bed carefully and then reached into the bag again and found a package of blue pens. Then one more time to find a solid gold cross necklace. "What IS all of this?" Ororo asked as she reached for and opened and started reading one of the books. Brad noticed this, "What is that?" he asked her. "Looks like some kind of journal," Ororo said, "Wow!" "What?" Brad asked curiously. "Nothing," Ororo said quickly, slamming the journal shut, she hurried and stuffed everything back into the backpack, then kissed him on his forehead like a mother would their child, "I'm going to take all of this to Xavier and see if he can find anything out to help you with your past." she said as she got up from the bed and hurried out of Brad's room before he could even think of anything else to say. "O...kay?" Brad said to himself after she was gone.
8 His mind raced like a thousand race horses. Their hooves making loud thunderous noises as they ran all at once, over and over again through his mind. After what felt like an eternity, Brad finally managed to drift off into a turmoilfilled sleep and dream. In his dream, Brad saw a man with enormous beautiful white wings like his own coming down out of heaven holding a black key with "abyss" written on both sides in bold black letters and a great chain in his hand. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years was over. Brad then saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given the authority of judgment. He saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because they had spoken out about being mutants and for mutant rights. These mutants had not committed any crimes or done anything wrong in their lives, but had been treated this way because of who and what they were. They had been raised from the dead by an unknown man in an army against their oppressors. There was a man on a white horse who led them and they were victorious. It was morning. The sun had just barely started rising. Brad pondered whether or not if he should tell Xavier about the dream as he stood on the balcony outside of the double French door and meditated on what he had seen. His hands were behind his back and his feet spread apart like he was at parade rest, only, his
9 eyes were closed instead of open. He felt Ororo's presence as he meditated, even knowing when she was about to turn and leave for fear of disturbing him. "Don't go," Brad said, staying where and how he was on the balcony, "your presence is soothing." "I didn't want to disturb you." Ororo said. Brad opened his eyes and sighed as he completely relaxed his body and slowly turned and looked at her. "What were you doing?" Ororo asked. "Meditating." Brad replied as he looked down at her in way he wouldn't hurt his neck. "On?" Ororo asked as she stepped out onto the balcony with him. "A dream." Brad said, sighing and shaking his head. "Bad?" Ororo asked. "I couldn't....I couldn't tell to be completely honest." he said. "What happened in the dream?" Ororo asked as she watched the sun rise with him. "I saw," Brad started, "a man much like myself come down out of heaven with a key." "Is that all?" Brad shook his head, "He seized a dragon and bound him for a thousand years. He threw him into the Abyss and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving anyone else until the thousand years was over." "What else did you see?" Ororo asked.
10 "Thrones that those which were given authority of judgment. Then I saw those who had been beheaded for speaking about being mutants and for mutant rights. These mutants hadn't committed any kind of crimes or done any wrong in their lives, but because they were mutants they were treated that way. They were raised from the dead and a man on a white horse led them to victory." "And that's all you saw, right," Ororo said, "or did you see anything else?" Brad shook his head, "No," he said, "I didn't see anything else." "It was only dream...." Ororo started. But Brad shook his head, "No," he said, "I don't think it is. I don't know how or why I'm here, but I know Xavier can help me, whether I want him to or not." "But you also know that he's not going to." Ororo said softly. Brad sighed and turned slowly and faced away from her again and nodded, "Yeah," he said, dragging the word out, "I know." "So," Ororo started, "what are you going to do?" Brad hesitated, "I'm going to ask for his help anyway." The burning fiery red sun seemed to sit on top of New York as it slowly raised into the air. Brad had awaken before anyone else in the mansion although his conversation with Ororo had been just several hours earlier. He got up from his bed as slowly and quietly as he could and crept down the staircase as softly as he could, taking as small a steps as he could for fear of making thunderous loud noises as he walked because of his height and body weight.
11 He reached Xavier's office and started to knock, but stopped when he thought he heard a man's voice inside of his head, "There's no need to knock," it said, "I knew you were coming already." the door unlocked and slowly opened, creaking and groaning some as it did. Brad saw Xavier sitting in his wheelchair behind his desk, smiling, "come in," he said in a warm and welcoming tone, smiling, "it's alright." Brad stepped into the office and closed the door behind him. He stayed at the door for several minutes. "Please, have a seat." Xavier said, gesturing to a chair in front of his desk. Brad bashfully walked over to and sat down in one of the chairs, his wings staying together somehow without unfolding as he did. "How are you feeling?" Xavier asked, staring hard at him, but not in an evil or threatening way. Brad shrugged, "Fine." he said casually, trying to sound convincing. Xavier chuckled to himself, "Now you and I both know that isn't true." he said smiling. Brad sighed, frustrated, "You're right." he said frustrated. "Have you explored my school yet?" he said, turning his wheelchair facing away from Brad. "Uhhhh....no, I haven't yet." he said, scratching his head. "I encourage you to do so today," Xavier said, turning the wheelchair facing Brad once more, "I think you'll find this placing soothing, relaxing, and...inspiring." he said, nodding.
12 "Soooo....can I leave now?" Brad asked. Xavier laughed to himself and smiled, "Yes," he said, "you can go, just please don't leave the mansion unless someone is with you." Brad stood and turned and left Xavier's office and headed back to his room. But as he was headed back, he heard people whispering. He turned and looked around and found a group of Xavier's students huddled together in the hallway gawking at and whispering about him. "Can I help you guys?" he asked them. The students stopped talking immediately and gawked at him. Then, one boldly stepped forward. He was trembling and wouldn't look Brad directly in his face. Brad looked curiously at him and then knelt down in front of him and gently lifted the boy's chin to where they were as close to being face to face as they possibly could be. "Hmmmm...." Brad said, smiling at him. "P...please don't hurt me!" the boy begged, "w...we just wanted to see our Savior for ourselves, w...we've been waiting for you!" he was almost in tears as he spoke. "Don't worry," Brad said gently, letting go of him, "I'm not going to hurt you." he said reassuringly. "What do you mean by 'you've been waiting for me'?" Brad asked him. "Th...the prophecy says that there will be a mutant born of a non-mutant virgin that will bring us peace. Please believe me, my name is Madison Jefferies, code name..." Brad finished for him.
13 "Madison Jefferies, otherwise known as Box, correct?" Brad said. "Yes!" Madison said relieved as if he were under hard interrogation. Brad started to say something else, but he heard Xavier's voice in his head again, "Can you come to my office?" he asked. "I'll catch you guys later." Brad said, standing, he turned and started away from the students and to the professor's office. Madison and the others watched him go before turning to each other and whispering more amongst themselves about the X-men's Savior. Meanwhile, Brad was headed to Xavier's office when he saw Storm waiting on him. "Uhhhh....hi?" he said, smiling and laughing nervously as he briefly waved at her. She pointed to the door. "Am I in trouble?" Brad tried to joke. "No." she replied sternly as she opened the door for him. He entered Xavier's office once more, "What's up?" he said as he made his way to one of the chairs and sat down as Storm joined him on the opposite side. "I've been watching over you." Xavier said as he moved his wheelchair around his desk to where Brad and Storm sat. "Okay?" Brad said, glancing curiously out of the corner of his eye at Storm before looking again at Xavier. "I want you to use Cerebro." he said. "Ummmm....okay, what exactly is that?" Brad said unsurely.
14 "It's just a machine that amplifies the brainwaves. But in the case of people like you and myself, it allows for us to detect traces of others worldwide." "So why do you want me to use it?" "To find whatever it is from your past that you can't remember." "Where is this thing?" "Come with me, I'll take you to it. It's underneath the school." As they walked through the school and into an elevator that took them to what would have been a basement in a normal house, Brad felt a wave of fear crash down over him. He felt he was being watched, but when he looked around himself, he saw no one but Xavier. "Here it is." Xavier said, jolting him out of his own mind. Brad turned and saw an enormous silver door that was round and had a circle with an "X" in it. The Professor placed his hand on the scanner that was to the right of the door, "Don't worry," he said, "if you gain my trust while you're here, I'll program you into this so you can use as it as you please." "Okay," Brad said, "thanks." The door hissed as it opened and revealed a round black walled room. There was a metal bridge that had round dimly lit lights that went down either side and met with a circle at the end. On the circle platform was a metal stand with a helmet on it. As Brad and the Professor neared it, Brad realized what it was. "Cerebro!" he gasped as he stood in awe of it and where it was on the stand with the chair behind it.
15 Brad sat down in the chair that was in front of the helmet. He reached for it and a vision of himself using the machine to and something going terribly wrong. "Is everything alright?" Xavier asked. "Yes," Brad said as he put the helmet on, "everything's fine." "Ummmm...." he said, "I'm not sure about this." "Okay," Xavier said, "first time jitters, I understand, it is a very powerful machine. Maybe some other time then." "Okay." Brad said, shrugging, he turned and headed out of Cerebro and back to his room. But as he headed to his room, he passed the school's kitchen and stopped when he heard a group of students whispering to themselves about what he thought at first was him, but as he listened, he knew they weren't speaking of him. "Oh come on Hisako, there's no way God hates us." "Oh really," Hisako said, "then why is the world going to end some day, why are we always under attack, why..." the first student that had spoken cut him off. "Dude, have you not ever read the frickin' Bible?" the student said. Hisako was instantly silent and shook his head, "No." he said softly. "Genesis chapter one, verse twenty-six says, and I quote, says, 'Then God said, "Let us make man in OUR IMAGE, in OUR LIKENESS, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground'."
16 "I...I am sorry, please forgive me." the student said softly. "You're forgiven, Hisako." she said, placing her hand on his shoulder, she smiled at him and then pulled him close to herself and hugged him briefly. Brad stepped around the corner, revealing himself, and cleared his throat, "Is everything alright in here?" he asked. The students all gasped. "Y....yeah, we were all just going to class." They scurried out of the room, leaving Brad alone. He shrugged and walked into the kitchen and helped himself to the fridge and cabinets. As he was preparing something to eat, he didn't see or hear Ororo enter the room. He finished what he was doing and turned to go sit at the kitchen table, but gasped and stopped what he was doing when he saw her. "I wasn't doing anything wrong I swear!" Brad said, holding up both of his hands and dropping what was in them onto the floor. Ororo laughed to herself, "I believe you." she said as she entered the room and sat down at the table. Brad walked over to where she was sitting and joined her. "I still don't think Xavier can help you." she said. "Why not?" Brad asked. "You said you remembered everything before coming here." she said. "Yeah but it was all jumbled up and blurry, that's why I've been trying to meditate." he said, shaking his head. "Maybe you should backtrack." Ororo suggested.
17 "Backtrack," Brad said, "what do you mean by that?" "Start with the last thing you remember." she said. "That's the...." Brad stopped and started racking his brain as he tried to remember the blurs that filled his head. "Ahhhh..." he moaned as he fell over out of the chair. "Oh my God," Storm shrieked as she jumped up from the table and rushed to his side and knelt beside him, "Brad!" The students heard the commotion and were soon visible, "Professor?" they said to Storm. She looked over her shoulder at them, "Go get the professor...please." she said, nodding for them to leave. The students scurried out of the room to find Xavier. After they were gone, Storm turned her attention back to Brad, "Please don't leave us." she whispered to him as the tears streamed down her face and onto his. Later that night.... "Well," Xavier said as he moved his wheelchair closer to where Brad laid, "everything seems to check out, it's probably stress related." Storm gently stroked the unconscious man's hair gently and shook her head, "How do we not know more about him?" she said softly. "Maybe the answer lies in what is in this backpack." Xavier said as he handed it to her. "Where did you get this," she asked, "he had it with him in his room?"
18 "I retrieved it when he blacked out so that when he wakes up he can't have access to it and panic and shut down on us." "What do you want me to do with it?" "Go through everything and see if you can find anything out about him." Xavier turned and headed out of Brad's bedroom, leaving Storm alone with his unconscious body. She started with the black book, which at first she thought was a Bible, but when she looked through the bag, she found a pink devotional book and blue Bible. She wondered what the black book was as she opened it. January 1, 1981 Today I go to the hospital to have our baby boy. I'm so excited and nervous, so is Brad! He trembled and shook so bad the night before, he could barely hold me as we slept! I have decided on a name, Jonathan "John" Allerdyce (we can't use Stammossen because of Brad's powers). My parents will be there, but his won't. It's so tragic what happened to them and his best friend Matthew. Well, I had better get going, we're here! Will write later though! Storm shut the book and looked at Brad. She wanted to wake him up, but knew he had been through enough for his first week at the school and so she just watched him sleep for awhile. She knew the X-men all had their baggage with and without each other, she couldn't imagine what his was. "Brad!" she whispered, gently shaking him. "Huh?" he said groggily as he rolled over and looked at her, his eyes half open.
19 "I'm sorry for waking you," she said softly, "but I needed to ask you about this journal." "Uhhhh," Brad moaned as he slowly sat up, "what?" he asked her as he rubbed the sleep from his eyes. "This journal," she said as she opened it again, "has a lot of writing in it about you." "But I didn't..." he started. "I know you didn't write it," Ororo said, "your wife did." "Wife?" Brad said, confused. She nodded. "How did you figure that out?" he asked as he sat up against the headboard of the bed. "I opened the book and read it," Storm said, "she kept it when she was pregnant with your son, John." "Son," Brad said, still confused, "let me see that damn thing!" Storm handed him the journal. March 4, 1981 No luck yet with having our son. I'm afraid for myself and for Brad. Not only are the pains and pleasures of marriage affecting him, but I learned today that if and when I successfully give birth to our son, I may or may not live to tell about it. I'm so afraid to tell Brad, I don't know how he'll handle it. He slammed the book shut and looked at Ororo with tears in his eyes, he choked them back, "What am I?"
20 Storm threw her arms around him and hugged him tightly against her, "you're one of us." she said softly. Once Brad was asleep, Ororo headed to Xavier's office. "Professor," she said as she sat across from him, "he still doesn't understand his purpose with us. Why the hell won't you let us help him?" "Ororo," Xavier said, "I told you before, you, nor I or anyone else can help him." "But why can't we at least try," she said, pleading with him, "Professor, there is something seriously wrong with him!" "Lower your voice, please." Xavier said calmly. Storm leaned back, "Sorry." she said, dropping her arms to her sides. "He's fine, I can assure you of that." Xavier said smiling. "He doesn't seem fine." Storm muttered under her breath. "No, you're right, he doesn't, but he is." Xavier said, "trust me on this Ororo," he said, "Brad will discover his purpose for being with us soon enough." Storm sighed as if she had been defeated, then turned and left his office and to her room for the night. But as she was heading to her room, she heard Brad crying in his room. She looked around and then walked up to bedroom door. She softly knocked, "Brad," she said, trying the locked door, "open up, please." He opened the door from where he sat on the bed, "Come in." he said hoarsely.
21 Storm stepped into his room and closed the door as quietly as she could behind her, "Are you alright," she asked, "I thought I heard you talking in your sleep?" she sat beside him. He looked at her tiredly, "I'm sorry for being so loud." he said, wiping his sore, tired, and bloodshot eyes that were behind his silver framed glasses with ruby quartz lenses sunglasses. "My God," Storm gasped when she saw how tired and worn out he was, "are you alright," she asked, "what's wrong?" "I just....had a nightmare's all." he said, clearing his throat. "Was it the same one as before?" Ororo asked. Brad didn't answer her immediately as he sat and tried to clear his mind again, "It was...it was a whirlwind of things." he said finally. "About her?" she asked, referring to his wife. "Yes," Brad said slowly, "and my past, my....child....the future, it's all a blur and insanity." "Have you been trying to piece it all together?" she asked. Brad nodded, "Yes," he said, "but I can't get everything in my mind straight long enough to get very far." "Well what have you seen so far?" she asked as she stood and walked over to the double French doors open and stepped out onto the balcony. He slowly stood and walked over to where she stood and stood beside her, leaning forward on the edge of the balcony with his arms folded across each other. "I've felt a strong evil and dark presence." he said, shaking his head.
22 "Here in the mansion?" Ororo asked. Brad shook his head, "No," he said, turning away from the balcony and stepping back into his room with Storm close behind, "but it is headed this way." he said as he sat on the edge of his bed. Storm followed him, "What is it?" she asked, "that's headed for us I mean?" "I can't...I can never see or hear it long enough to know," Brad replied, "it's moving too fast and it's not of this world." "Maybe there's something in her...." Ororo started, but Brad cut her off. "There's nothing in Amie's journal about what's coming to wipe out not just mutants but non-mutants as well!" he said angrily, putting his hands on his hips, he looked down at the floor and turned away from her and headed back out onto the balcony. Ororo followed him, "Brad," she said, "Amie DID write about what you're having visions of." He slowly lifted his head, "I never..." he started. "You didn't read it all the way through," Ororo said, "but I did. She knew this was all coming, she just didn't know when, and even though you're the most powerful mutant in the world and can see into the future, you can only see so far." Early the next morning, before anyone else was awake, Brad heard a low rumbling noise. At first he thought he was dreaming, but when he heard it again, followed by what sounded like artillery being fired, his eyes snapped open and he was sitting up straight in his bed in a flash. He ran to the window and looked out
23 of it, but saw nothing. Maybe he had been dreaming, but then he heard the noise again, only this time, it was closer to Xavier's school. Brad bolted out of his room and down the hall and staircase and ran outside onto the courtyard before stopping. "Brad?" Ororo said from behind him. He turned slowly to see her standing with her students, "I...." he started. "Look out!" one of the students shrieked as they pointed to the sky. Brad turned in time to see a long pointed muddy blade coming straight at him. Before he could even think to react, the muddy blade slammed into his right shoulder and sent him to his knees. He hunched over for a few seconds and jerked the blade out and threw it to one side before slowly standing. He heard the group scream with fright from behind him and spun around. They were being held captive by the slimy mud ball that had attacked him. "Brad!" the student cried. "Well, well, well," the muddy thing said, "THE Super X." "Who are you?" Brad asked in a low angry voice. "Awwww, you don't recognize me," the thing said, "shame, because I recognize traitors when I see them." "Traitor?" Brad said, not understanding what the being meant. "You had me imprisoned," it said as it slowly walked towards him, "my name was Rogelio Stevens before I was sent to prison because of you." Brad felt his head seem to rip apart and everything tunneled before him and started breaking apart and revealing the man before him being sent to prison.
24 Then, he saw that he was agnostic and had tried to kill himself in a mud sinkhole because he couldn't stand prison. But he had been rescued by the police and sent to solitary confinement before being released. "Why were you sent to prison because of me?" Brad asked, grunted and groaning in pain as he healed himself. Dirtblade made another blade made of mud in each of his hands and thrust them into Brad's shoulders once more, sending him back down to the ground, "you accused me of killing her!" he growled angrily. Without thinking, Brad grabbed the blade and jerked it out of his shoulders and froze it. He stared in awe of what he had done, then, he felt himself heal where the wound had been and he stood slowly. Dirtblade gritted his teeth and a low strange growl uttered lowly from his throat. He went into a fit of rage and fired the muddy spikes from every direction at Brad. Brad took off the sunglasses he was wearing and a long beam of bright red light shot forward and blasted Dirtblade back several hundred yards. "What...what did I just do?" Brad said to himself as he staggered back, looking at his hands. Brad then started over to Dirtblade's motionless body, but stopped when he saw it dissolve into the ground and vanish into thin air without a trace. As he racked his brain and tried to figure out what he had just done and what had just happened, he felt a pair of hands firmly grab him and start to pull him away from the fight scene and back to the mansion.
25 When he and the man who had brought him back to the mansion arrived at, Brad saw him in his head in front of a white, blue, and red flag. "Y...you're Colossus!" he said as they entered the mansion. The man chuckled to himself and nodded, "That's my code name, yes," he said smiling, "my real name is Piotr Rasputin." "Oh," Brad said, "could I ask you something?" Piotr nodded, "Sure." "What do you and the rest of Xavier and his students really know about me?" he asked. Piotr started to open his mouth. "And please don't lie to me." Brad added. "Well..." Piotr started, "I know when you first arrived here, you were mumbling something about a woman named Amie and a boy named John." "What else?" Brad asked. "You also said something about an enemy greater than we could ever imagine being headed this way." Brad suddenly felt lightheaded and dizzy and started to fall over. Piotr caught him, "Brad..." he said faintly. "I...I'm alright..." he said, "I just...I just felt it again." "Felt what?" he asked as they headed up to Brad's room. "The darkness that is headed this way." he said, rubbing his temples. "Darkness," Piotr said unsurely, "what are you talking about?"
26 But before Brad could answer him, both he and Colossus heard what sounded like glass shatter downstairs and someone scream with fright. Brad and Piotr exchanged glances and then bolted downstairs to see what the commotion was. When they arrived downstairs, they saw that all of the windows in the mansion had been completely shattered and knocked out and there were dead students everywhere on the floor. Brad stared horrifically at the dead students, reminded of the woman he had seen in his head that he thought may be his wife and the child she had bore that might be his. He shook his head as he stumbled over to one of the motionless bodies and knelt down beside it and checked its pulse. "Anything?" Piotr asked as he inched over to where Brad was. Brad closed his eyes and shook his head as he stood, "No," he said slowly as he stood, "he's gone, but I think we have bigger problems to worry about right now." Then, they both heard something move behind them. Piotr and Brad both spun around, but saw nothing. "What...what was that?" Piotr asked. "Super X," a voice cried angrily from behind them, "why don't you face me like a man?" the voice said as an enormous metal shield came flying at Brad and Piotr's heads. The two mutants turned and covered their bodies in an unbendable, unbreakable, metal. The shield smacked Brad in the face, but it didn't phase him and he looked down at the shield that had been bent all the way in from hitting
27 him. The man the shield belonged to gritted his teeth angrily and telekinetically brought the shield back to himself and charged at the two mutants. But as the enemy neared them, he dug into the ground and tunneled underneath it. He then dragged Colossus and Super X underneath the ground with him and dragged them through the tunnel as he dug it. The rest of the school's members were warned of the commotion from Xavier and bolted off in dead runs out onto the school's courtyard just as the enemy threw Brad and Piotr up out of the ground and into the pitch black sky before coming out himself. "Somebody catch them!" a student shrieked. Warren ran ahead of the group and jumped into the air, catching Brad and Piotr just before they hit the ground. He set them down on the ground and smiled and nodded. "Thanks man." Brad said. "Hey," Warren said, "even the most powerful of mutants need help sometimes." "Look out!" another student shrieked as the enemy tunneled his way up onto the ground to reveal himself as a human-plant hybrid. The students all cringed and coward back, making disgusted faces and sounds and comments at the thing that stood before them. It was almost as tall as Brad, and strong. Its appearance was green and slimy and covered in leaves and twigs. Its body structure was almost as muscular's as Brad and it walked dragging its right foot and leg behind it. "Brad," Storm shrieked, "do something, hurry!"
28 "Yes," Groundhunger said slowly, "do something to save them. They don't deserve it and are all just going to go to hell, just...like...you!" Brad stuck his arms and hands out in front of him and froze Groundhunger's feet to the floor, stopping him dead in his tracks. But the hybrid managed to jerk his feet out of the ice and start for him again, "C'mon," he taunted, "I know you can do better than that!" Iceman (real name Bobby Drake and student at the mansion and member of the X-men team), couldn't wait any longer and joined Brad out in front of the mansion and covered the beast in ice. "Hurry and kill this thing!" he said to Brad as he kept the ice coming on the beast to make sure it stayed frozen while Brad hurried to think of something to do. Brad took off his sunglasses and a long beam of red light shot from them and blasted Groundhunger to smithereens. When he was gone, Brad saw inside of his head that the beast had been headed for the school and everyone inside to destroy and shatter Brad's memories even further so that his mind would be in even more ruins than what it already was when the next enemy came. "Brad," Ororo said, "are you alright?" He shook his head, "No," he said, "things are about to get a lot worse." "When?" she asked. "I don't know," he replied, "but soon....very soon." When everyone was safely back inside of the mansion and in their rooms, Brad headed into his room and closed and locked the door. He picked up his
29 wife's journal and started to read it, but stopped when he thought he felt he was being watched from somewhere inside of his room. He looked around slowly and curiously, but saw and heard no one. He shrugged and started to open and read the journal once more, but stopped once again when the same feeling he had felt moments ago crashed over him again. But this time, he ignored the feelings and images that coursed through him and headed up to his room to rest. He entered his room and shut the door and took off his shirt, throwing to one side of the room onto a chair. Brad then took off his shoes and kicked them under the chair his shirt was on. He rubbed his face, then walked over to his bed and fell onto it on his back and stared up at the ceiling for what seemed like an eternity. He didn't feel any less confused than before. Instead, he felt the exact opposite, which was more confused than what he had been before. His mind felt like it was being ripped to shreds as the two enemies he had helped the X-men killed swirled around in his head like a tornado along with what his purpose with the X-men was supposed to be, and the wife and child he fought to remember. He also found himself fighting to try to remember how he had even found and ended up at Xavier's school racing around in the chaos in his mind. "Brad...." someone whispered to him. His eyes snapped open and he shot up in the bed, "Who's there?" he said, demandingly. "It's me...." the voice, which he now recognized was a woman's, whispered to him.
30 Brad threw the sheets and covers down to the end of the bed and flipped on the light switch, "Who are you," he said in the same tone, "show yourself!" "Come here!" it whispered from the balcony. He looked around and then crept over to where the voice that spoke to him wanted him on the balcony. He stepped out onto it and looked up into the pitch black sky that was pierced with tiny white balls of gas and a half-hanging bright white moon that looked like it was smiling at him. There was a gentle and cool breeze that swept through the air and onto his warm bare skin. He closed his eyes and slowly inhaled it. "Bradley," the woman's voice said softly, "why are you so tormented?" His eyes slowly opened, "I can't...remember anything." he answered. "Bradley," she said, "it's me, Amie!" "Amie...." he started, but stopped as everything all made sense to him suddenly and came flooding into his mind. Oklahoma City, twenty years ago.... "I, Bradley Aron Stammossen take Amie Nicole Rodriguez in sickness and in health for richer or for poor, in good times and in bad, to honor you above all others with this ring I thee wed." He slipped the ring on her finger and then Amie did the same and they said their 'I do's' to each other. "Then with the power invested in me by the state of Oklahoma now pronounce you man and wife. You may kiss the bride." He did, and for a moment all of the hatred towards himself and his kind disappeared and he stood at Heaven's gates with her finally. When their lips
31 unlocked, he looked down at her and smiled and mouthed the words, "I love you" to her. After they had been married, Brad hung out by the alcohol. He was craving it bad, but had sworn to Amie he would try his best to stay sober after they got married. But the temptation was overwhelming him and he started to reach for a bottle that was sitting on the table. "Brad!" a friendly voice called from behind him. He spun around and let out a sigh of relief when he saw, "Matt!" he said, relieved. They embraced briefly in a hug, "What are you doing?" Matt asked him, frowning as he smelled the air, "Have you been drinking again?" he asked. Brad shook his head, "No," he said, "not now." Matt shook his head, "You're married to her now," he said, "you're going to have to change and learn not to lie to her." Brad sighed, defeated, "I know." he said as he turned his head and looked across the yard as his now wife. That night.... Brad laid in bed, consumed with his sins. His mind raced with thoughts of his wife and how much he had already hurt her. Now they were married and he knew he was bound to her for life, until death would they part. He also knew that because of his powers that nothing but danger would follow them. He soon fell asleep and slept on the idea of being married as he turned over and put one arm around Amie and was soon fast asleep.
32 The morning sun burned bright red as it rose and sat on top of Oklahoma City and illuminated a dull light that stretched its arms out over all of the buildings. Brad awoke, even though his eyes were still half-shut, and felt for Amie. But when he realized she wasn't there, he groaned and slowly sat up, rubbing his eyes behind the ruby quartz sunglasses. He threw his legs over to one side of the bed and stood and staggered into the living room. He felt her in the next room, "In here!" she said happily from the kitchen. He smiled and started into the kitchen, sitting himself at the table. "Sleep alright last night?" she asked him as she slid him a cup of coffee before sitting across from him. He shook his head, "No," he said, "not really." "Would you like to talk about it?" Amie asked. "I just....I'm kind of nervous about the whole thought of us being married now's all." Brad said, half-smiling at her as he looked at his coffee mug. She took his hands in hers and smiled, "Don't worry, please," she said softly to him, "it's not good for you, and it's not what God wants for any of us." Brad scoffed, "Since when did God start to care about my kind?" Amie let go of his hands and leaned back in her chair, "Brad," she said, "God created us all with a reason and purpose in mind." "What are you trying to say?" Brad asked. "Have faith my love," she said, "you will find out your reason or reasons for being on this Earth soon enough."
33 Brad tried to believe what she said was true. One day, as he was heading to work, he discovered what she meant. He saw a carjacker driving as fast as they could down the street with a line of police cars trailing behind it. He turned and took off running, pushing past people as he did. Without thinking, he jumped into the air, spreading out enormous beautiful snow white wings. He then teleported himself onto the top of the carjacker's vehicle and tore through the roof of the vehicle and threw it behind them. He reached down into the car for the carjacker, who was scared half to death to see him. He jerked the man up out of the car and then soared through the air with him in his arms. "Follow them," the police chief ordered through his radio to the others, "and don't lose that freak!" Brad flew through the air without thinking to the police station and dropped the man in front of it just as the police arrived. Instead of staying, Brad headed back to his and Amie's house to tell her about what had just happened, but when he arrived, he was in for a shock. "Amie?" he said, looking for her as he entered their place. He went into their bedroom to find her unconscious on their bed, he slowly started for her, "Amie...hone, are you alright?" he reached for her and gently turned her over. Her eyes were closed as if she were asleep, but he heard no breathing or heartbeat. He hurried and picked her up as carefully as he could and then bolted out of the house and jumped into the air and flew as fast as he could to the nearest hospital. At the hospital....
34 "Do you know how this happened?" the doctor asked without looking up at Brad. "No," he said, trying not to break down, "I...I just came home from work and she was laying there on the bed with her eyes closed just like she is now!" "Okay," the doctor said calmly, "sir, I just need you calm down, could you do that for me, please?" Brad stopped, took a deep breath and held it for a few seconds before exhaling, "Yes sir." he said. As Brad waited, Amie's parents, Alex and Emma, entered the hospital. "There he is!" Emma said to her husband. "Brad," Alex called to him as they neared him, "are you alright," he asked, "we came as soon as we could, what happened?" "I....I don't know!" he sobbed as he turned and ran out of the hospital, away from everything and everyone he had ever known. Xavier's mansion, present day.... Brad's eyes snapped open. It all made sense to him now. Amie had been his wife and died giving birth to their son, John. He felt a raging urge deep within him to find the son he had never gotten a chance to know. The time of day was still night, the pale white full moon shone its light through his window. He sat up, throwing the covers to the end of the bed and threw his legs over to one side and buried his face in his hands. He then stood and stepped out onto the balcony. "Brad," Ororo said suddenly from the other side of the door, "can I come in?"
35 He thought for a moment, "Yes." he said as he telekinetically opened the door. "Have you figured everything out yet?" she asked as she shut the door behind her. "Just about." Brad said as he scooted over some on his bed and Ororo sat down beside him. "What have you discovered about Amie?" she asked. "She died during childbirth," he said, "but I don't know if it was a freak accident, or someone....planned it." "How could..." Ororo started, "Brad, talk to the professor again, please." "Why should I," he said angrily, standing, "he refuses to help me?" "Maybe you can convince him otherwise." she said. "H...." Brad started, but stopped when he remembered that he was the powerful telepath and mind power controller in the world. Brad headed to Xavier's office alone. He swung the door open, but found no one inside of the office, "Professor?" he said as he crept into Xavier's office and slowly looked around. He bolted out of Xavier's office and headed for Cerebro. He entered the chamber, but again he found no one. He looked around and then inched closer to the machine until he reached it. He glanced behind him and closed the door from where he stood and locked it. He then turned his attention back to the machine and slowly lifted the helmet and placed it on his head, gripping the edges of the machine as he did.
36 "Show yourself!" Brad ordered as he reached for the helmet that was upon his head and threw it off onto the floor. He heard someone in the room laugh. The laugh was faint, yet he could hear it. Brad spun around in every direction, looking for the person the laugh belonged to, but found no one. Brad gritted his teeth, "I said 'show yourself'!" he said again, clenching his fists. There was a low rumble like thunder from behind him. Cerebro violently shook like it was in an earthquake and he thought the entire place was going to come down around him. It didn't though however and everything was dead silent. "Behind you!" someone whispered. Brad spun around and saw a man that was tall and lean muscled standing before him, "Who are you?" he asked, demanding. The man reached into the air with both hands and lighting and thunder filled them. He then lowered his hands, which were glowing bright white, and fired the lighting and thunder at Brad. He caught it, almost knocking himself over backwards, and threw it back at him, knocking him through the door to Cerebro. Brad then stormed over to where he laid and grabbed him by his shirt and jerked him up into the air. "Tell me who you are before I kill you!" he said in a low angry voice. "My...my name is Rulethunder, God of Thunder!" "What are you doing here?" Brad asked him in the same tone. "I....I came to see if you were really him!"
37 Brad glared at him, "I don't believe you!" he said, slamming Rulethunder's head into the wall so hard that it not only splattered blood from his head all over the wall, but also killed him. Brad let go of his neck and his dead corpse slumped down onto the floor. A picture flashed before his eyes and he saw Rulethunder in the hospital Amie had died in. Brad saw himself asleep in the chair at Amie's bedside while Rulethunder and two other figures moved toward her bed. He couldn't see what they were doing though, however, but he assumed that whatever they had done had caused her to die while having her child. Brad bolted back to Xavier's office. He swung the door open, but still, he found no one. "Brad," Amie said softly to him, "listen to me, please!" she begged. Brad took a deep breath and relaxed, "Okay," he said, "I'm ready." "You need to relax and focus," she said, "the reason why all of this is happening has nothing to do with you or myself." "Then," he said, "what is it?" "You will figure it out soon," she said, "I promise." and just like that, she was gone again. "But...." he started before realizing he was too late. He wanted to scream and run away. What was going on? With him, with the world? What had he missed? What was coming to wipe out everything and everyone in the world? So many questions filled his mind that it confused him to the point he wasn't sure what to believe or think anymore. He had no idea who or what he was still, or what had happened to his son after his wife had died. He
38 needed to clear his mind and so he left the mansion without telling anyone, knowing Xavier would find him eventually. Brad flew up into the air as high as he could, until he was out of Earth's atmosphere and in the pitch black pierced with tiny white balls of gas that were stars. He looked down at the Earth as tears streamed down his face. He wondered why his kind was being attacked. Was the real reason behind the attack really truly honestly because they were mutants and different, or something much, much bigger than themselves and anything they could ever imagine? "Brad," a deep, manly, voice, said to him, "Listen to me." he felt something grip his heart and make him sick. "What?" he said to it. "Brad," it said, "surrender yourself, that is the key to discovering your true purpose for being on Earth." "But what does that mean," he asked, "I don't know myself or my sins still?" "You don't need to," The Voice said, "the reason why you are being plagued by your past is because you think you can't let go. These attacks on my people have nothing to do with you, or anyone else in the world." "Then...." Brad said, "what does it have to do with?" "Brad," it said, "read my Word, your wife was on to something. And have faith." and with that, The Voice was gone. That night, as Brad sat inside of his room with the door locked, he read more of Amie's journal and Bible. Everything was making sense to him, slowly
39 but surely, but there was still so much that he didn't understand. He needed a drink and so he opened the double French doors, stepped out onto the balcony, and then jumped off and flew away from Xavier's school. As Brad headed to find a bar, Ororo was headed to his room to check on him. When she arrived and discovered that he wasn't there, she headed to Xavier's office. "This is what I meant by 'I can't help him'." he said to her. She looked puzzled at him, "You knew he drank?" Xavier chuckled to himself, "No," he said, "but I did know he's the kind of person who has trouble letting go and resorts back to his old ways time and time again because he doesn't know what else to do." "And there's nothing I can do to help him, right?" Ororo said. "Until Brad learns to let go, then no, there's nothing you can do," Xavier said, "however, there is something you can do for him in the meantime." "Anything." she said. "Be there for him, console him, comfort him as best you can." he said. Brad sat at the bar inside of the small building. He lifted the bottle to his lips and tilted it to where the alcohol found its own way into his mouth, down the back of his throat, and into his body through his bloodstream. He felt the other people looking at him, but he didn't care. Right now, he just wanted to forget everything and he was convinced that what he was doing now was the only way.
40 The room slowly spun and he felt dizzy and sick, He could barely hold up his head. He fought to stay awake, but his eyes slowly closed and he fell forward onto the bar and was out cold. "Brad," a distorted voice said to him as a pair of hands roughly shook him, "Brad, wake up!" The X-men's final two enemies flashed before his eyes. He groaned and turned his head slowly back and forth, left and right, trying to blot it out. He couldn't remember how he had gotten here, only that he had been drinking excessively. "They're coming for us!" he said, his speech slurred. He passed out and awoke shirtless in his room at the school. He started to sit up, but the pounding in his head wouldn't allow for him to. He laid back down with his eyes closed, the pounding in his head eventually subsiding and the churning in his stomach calming. The door to his room slowly opened, but he didn't notice as he tried to pull himself back together from the hangover. He felt someone sit down on his bed and place their hand on his forehead. "You're burning up." she said, he heard her reach for something that sounded like a bottle of pills. Brad reached for them and took them from her as he slowly sat up in the bed and popped the pills into his mouth. "Here," the woman said, "drink this."
41 Brad shook his head as he swallowed the pills that almost instantly started to work as soon as they hit his stomach, "No way," he said, "I'm not drinking anything else as long as I live!" "It's just water." she said as he finally gave in and took the glass from her and swallowed the water down in one gulp. He looked at her, "of course!" he said, handing her the glass. "What?" she said. "It would be you!" he said under his breath. She started to jump down his throat, but stopped and took a deep breath. Instead, "What's wrong with me being here?" she asked him. He shook his head, "Nothing," he said, "I just didn't think you were the kind of person to come to someone like my side when they do something stupid like what I just did." "Why did you do it?" Ororo asked. "Habit," he said, "stupidity." "Other than the typical effects of drunkenness," Ororo said, "did drinking effect you in any other way?" she asked. Brad groaned from his headache and nodded, "Yeah," he said finally, looking up at her, "it did actually." "Oh," Ororo said surprised, "how so?" "I saw," Brad started, clearing his throat, "I saw the last two enemies of the X-men."
42 "What did they look like and why are they coming after us?" she asked him. "I don't...." Brad started. He saw the last two enemies marching toward the mansion with the largest army that had ever existed in the world. One of them carried a book with him underneath his right arm. The other carried a lamp and the army was armed with weapons Brad had never seen or heard of and dressed in a way no one in the known history of the world had ever dressed before. "Brad," Ororo said, "are you alright?" "I...I'm fine," he said, "I just...saw something that's all." "Tell me," Ororo said, "please." "I saw two men," Brad said, "one of them was much taller than myself and covered in green leaves, most of which were growing out from the top of his head." "And the other?" she asked. "The other was just as tall, but instead of plants growing out of him, he was red and covered in war paint, and both were armed with weapons not of this world, as was the army. One carried a book underneath his right arm and the other carried a lamp." "Did they have names?" Ororo asked. "Yes," Brad said, "but I don't know what they were." "Anything else?" she asked. "Yes," Brad said, "one carried a book, the other a lamp."
43 Ororo frowned, "What's that supposed to mean?" she asked. "We'll find out soon enough!" Brad said in disbelief, shaking his head. "Brad," Ororo said, "do you mind if I stayed in here with you tonight? I haven't felt very safe lately." "You haven't," he said, not understanding, "but you've been here longer than I have?" "I just...I just don't, okay?" she said, somewhat frustrated. "Okay," he said, "but, there's only one bed in here so...." "It's fine," she said, "it's not like anything's going to happen between us." Brad laid in bed with her that night and saw her life flash before his eyes. She had been married once before too, but unlike Brad's wife, Ororo's ex-husband was still alive. They were still together and yet here Brad laid with her. He didn't feel right, and so he got up and opened the double French door and stepped out onto the balcony once more. He heard a low rumbling that sounded like an earthquake, but was the sound of horse hooves. "What the...." he said, peering over the balcony, but seeing nothing. "Brad," Storm said suddenly from behind him, "what's wrong?" "Sh!" he whispered. Then, she too heard and felt the thunderous noise the hooves made and felt the earth-shaking vibration the hooves gave off. "What..." she said, "what is that?" "Brad," a man called from somewhere down below them, "down here!"
44 "Matthew!" he said surprised, "what are you doing here, get the hell out of here before you get killed!" "I came to help," he said, "are you guys together now?" he asked. "No," Brad said, somewhat harshly, "now get out of here!" But as they stood there in the pitch dark of the night, the ground shook violently again. Something sucked Matthew down underneath the ground and popped him back up into the air. Brad caught him from where he stood on the balcony and brought his friend to himself and set him down on it. "Are you..." he started before the ground rumbled and everything shook violently again. "Brad," Ororo said, "what IS that?" But before he could answer her, two enormous and long green vines shot out of the ground. The vines grabbed Matthew and Brad in each one and then jerked them away from Ororo and the balcony. The two men struggled, but even though Brad was the strongest and most powerful mutant in the world, not even he could break free from the vines. "Brad," Ororo shrieked, "Matthew!" "Get...get the professor...NOW!" he ordered her. She turned and ran back through his bedroom, swinging the door open and disappearing down the hallway. He started to say something to Matthew, but looked over and saw that the man was unconscious, "Matt," he cried helplessly, "No!"
45 The ground rumbled and shook again and Brad looked down to see a man come out of it and reveal himself. The vines weren't only coming out of his hands and arms, but out of his back as well. Another picture flashed before his eyes and he saw a man named Otto Octavius, an enemy, not of the X-men, but of a hero that went by Spiderman and whose real name was Peter Parker. A projectile (not from Brad) suddenly shot out of nowhere through the air at Vinelust. Brad slowly turned to see one of the students (a girl) standing behind him, breathing heavily as if she had been running a race. A smile crept across his face, "Let me guess," he said, "Jubilee, yes?" She nodded, then froze and stared behind Brad as if she had seen a ghost, "Uhhhh...." she said. He slowly turned and saw that Vinelust had grown even taller and more powerful. "Oh, shit!" he muttered as he stared up the beast. He shot out his adamantium claws from the tops of his hands, knowing there were only two ways to get rid of a pesky plant. One: burn it, or two: cut it off from its roots. Why he went with the most difficult choice first was beyond him, but he did. Brad charged at Vinelust, his claws shooting out from his hands, dove and cut Vinelust's feet off. When he did, the thing started to shrink. "Brad," Warren called to him from the sky, "now burn that thing!" He turned and created two balls off fire, one in each hand. Then, he hurled the flaming fireballs at the creature and set it ablaze. The thing ignited in flames
46 and howled and screeched as it shrunk to the ground and turned into black ashes that had fiery red and orange embers in it. Angel landed beside Brad and then ran over to where the embers of the burnt thing were and started stomping them out. Other members of Xavier's team ran past Brad and joined him. Brad started to join them, but an arm stuck out in front of him and stopped him. He looked down to see Storm, who then moved her arm and gestured with her head for him to come back to the mansion with her. As they started away from the fight, he glanced over his shoulder at the commotion. Ororo took Brad back up to his room. He sat down on the edge of the bed and buried his face in his hands. "My God." he said, shaking his head as he lifted it to see Ororo now in front of him, "crazy night, huh?" he said, laughing nervously. "Brad," she said softly, "what's going on?" "What do you mean?" he asked. "I mean," he said, "why this, why now?" "Brad, we're all going to die eventually," Ororo said, "it's inevitable." He shook his head, "I know that," he said, "but why did it have to happen when I got here?" "You're our Savior," she said, "God called you to protect us and you have." "Did..." he started, "did you guys have enemies before I came here?" "Of course," she said, "the world hates us because we're different, but you....you know how to overcome them."
47 "I'm not...Jesus!" he said before hopping up off of the bed and walking across the room to where Amie's journal was in the backpack and took it out and opened it to where she had started writing about what was happening to Brad and the X-men. "What's wrong?" Ororo asked him as he frantically flipped through the pages of the journal. "Shhhh!" Brad said as he flipped to the last entry Amie had made right before she gave birth to John and died. January 26, 1981 I know that Brad will be blamed for my death after I have John. I wish it wasn't this way, but it is. His kind are feared and hated by the world, just as Jesus was before he was crucified. I don't want anything like that to happen to Brad, but I fear that all hell will eventually break loose and things foretold in the book of Revelation will be brought upon not only mutants, but humans as well. There is no doubt in my mind what so ever that Brad is the Savior of Mutants, but I still fear for him. I pray that God will lead him to lead his kind and humans to victory against the forces that will soon attack and try to wipe them all out. Oh God, I pray that Brad will not continue to let worldly things blind him to the hope and future you have for him, mutants, and non-mutants. Just please, God, show him how to lead his kind and overcome the forces that threaten them and humans. Father, he doesn't realize yet that he isn't you, nor your Son, but he is a very powerful person that needs you like the air you breathed into him. Please, shower
48 him with your mercy and forgive him as I have and lead him and his kind to victory. I know they will win this war through you and only you. Brad shut the journal once more and looked up at Storm, "I understand everything now!" "What?" Ororo said unsurely. Without saying anything else to her, Brad ran out of the mansion as fast as he could with Ororo on his trail until he jumped up into the air and flew up into the sky, back up into space above earth. "Warren," Ororo said to the mutant whose codename was Angel, "follow him, make sure nothing bad happens to him." As Brad headed for the top of the world, he felt someone or something behind him. He turned and saw Angel flying a hundred miles an hour it seemed like at him. Brad stopped and lifted the ruby quartz lens that protected his eyes and shot several small beams out at him as they flew through the air. But the mutant dodged Brad's optic blast shots and kept coming at him. Brad gritted his teeth and then turned and flew as fast as he could away from him and out of Earth's atmosphere. As he flew, the tears streamed down his face, but not for his wife or what he had been through. The tears were for the people of the world. When he was just out of Earth's atmosphere and in space, he stopped and looked back down at Earth. "Brad," Angel said as if he were out of breath, "what's going on," he asked, "what's wrong?"
49 "I come up here to be closer to God and my wife." Brad replied after several long minutes. "O...kay?" Warren said, somewhat confused. "And to watch over the world." Brad said, finishing the thought. "What does that have to do with us and what is soon to happen to us?" Warren asked. Brad laughed half to himself, "God doesn't hate us," he said, "Warren, if he did, we wouldn't be here." "I know that!" Angel said, somewhat defensively. "Then why don't you or anyone else like us believe it anymore?" Brad asked. "Hey wait just a damn minute," Warren said angrily, "YOU didn't either, remember?" "You're right," Brad said, "but now I do after reading my wife's journal." "Journal?" Warren said, again confused. "I discovered that she kept a journal in her last months while she was alive...up until she had my son, that explained why all of this is happening to us." "Son," Warren said, even more confused, "wife, journal, none of this is making any kind of sense to me!" "Just know that I have seen our last enemy." Brad said. "And?" Warren urged him on. "And," Brad said, "He is far greater than any enemy the X-men have met yet."
50 "Even Apocalypse?" Warren said, his eyes bugged out of his head wildly with wonder and excitement. Brad nodded, "Even Apocalypse." "Is he more...you know, than you?" Warren asked. Brad paused, "Yes," he said at last, "he is far more powerful than myself." "So," Warren said, "what are you going to do?" Brad sighed out of frustration of not knowing what to think or say, "I hate to say this," he said, "but I really don't know what to do. I need you guys." "The most powerful mutant in the world, and you need OUR help?" Warren said in disbelief. "Not your help," Brad said, shaking his head, "but your protection." "Protection," Warren scoffed, "you're the most powerful mutant in the world though!" "That if attacked won't be able to defend himself because I can't!" Brad snapped. "Why not," Warren asked calmly, "you're pretty much unstoppable?" Brad didn't know how to explain to Warren what he had seen in his visions and read in Amie's journal. He knew he would soon meet a similar fate that another man had met himself over two years before Brad or anyone else in the mansion had ever even been thought of being born. He knew Warfreeze would come as a false prophet of sorts and condemn him to death on false accusations of Brad's true purpose on Earth.
51 The two mutants returned to the mansion. Once again, Brad found himself on the balcony and meditating. He felt Ororo enter his room, but said nothing as he continued meditating and looking for his son. As he looked for him, he wondered what he had turned into. Had he decided to use what powers Brad had left him with for good and help others (unlike himself before arriving at Xavier's mansion) or had he become what Brad feared he would? Corrupt. Evil. "What's wrong now," she asked, "is it more to do with us?" Brad shook his head slowly, "No." "Your wife?" she asked. Again he answered her, "No." "An enemy then perhaps?" He felt a wave of frustration wash over him, but he took a deep breath and again answered her, "No, not yet." "Then," Ororo said calmly, "what's wrong?" "I'm just," Brad said, "looking for someone, that's all." "Then," she said, "why not use Cerebro?" "I like this way better." Brad replied as he stayed in the same spot and position he had been. "Okay," she said as she walked over to where he stood and stood beside him, "mind if I ask who you're looking for?" Brad hesitated as he opened his eyes and then slowly turned and looked at her, "My son."
52 "I thought he died?" she said, frowning as she thought about what she and Brad had discovered in Amie's journal. "No," Brad said, turning away from her again, "he's alive...I can feel it." "But you haven't found him yet, right?" she said as she stood beside him. Brad shook his head, "No," he said, "I haven't, which is part of the reason why I have gone up above the Earth." "I didn't know you had..." Ororo started. "I did it so that I could get away for a little while and try to clear my head and sort everything out." he said. "And," she said, "has it been working?" Brad sighed, "While I was up there," he started, "I heard a voice." "Amie." Ororo said. "Not Amie." he said. "Then, who?" she asked. "God." Brad said. "You spoke to God," she said in disbelief, "and what did you talk about with him?" "My purpose for being here, Amie....you...." he started to say more, but Ororo stopped him. "Me," she said, "what about me?" "I..." he started, but stopped as his head felt as if it were going to split wide open as everything became distorted and saw he X-men's finally enemy coming with his army. Brad fell to his knees and held his head.
53 "Brad," Storm said, worried as she knelt beside him, "are you alright?" Time froze then and Brad knew that Warfreeze and his army were nearby and ever so close, not only to Xavier's school, but to the Earth itself as well. "He's...here...they're here!" Brad said as he started to lift himself up off of the balcony and back onto his own two feet. "Who's here," Ororo asked, "Brad, you're scaring me." "Warfreeze," he said, "the one who's coming to destroy me." "Destroy you," Ororo said, stunned, "but you can't be...." "I won't die by him." Brad said. "Then," Ororo said, "what will you die by?" "I can't say," Brad said, "but you will see soon enough, trust me." That night, time froze and Warfreeze and his army neared the mansion. He stopped them though just before they touched the front lawn. "What's wrong?" his lieutenant asked. "He's inside." Warfreeze said as he stared hard at the school. "So let's go in there and kill him already for...." the lieutenant stopped, they both did when they saw the mutant standing in front of them suddenly, not knowing that the rest of the X-men weren't far behind him. "Hello boys." Brad said as a smile slowly found its way onto his face. "That's him!" the lieutenant whispered to Warfreeze. Warfreeze reached up behind him and smacked him hard on the back of his head, "I know that!" he said harshly. "Kill him!" the lieutenant cried.
54 Warfreeze froze time to where only he and Brad could move. He pulled out a chain from his right pocket and cracked it against the ground. The sound was deafening and the ground shook like an earthquake. Brad staggered, but held out his arms to steady himself and didn't fall. Warfreeze lifted the chain above his head, making a lasso out of it, and threw it at and wrapped Brad in it. Brad struggled against it, but couldn't break free. At that moment, he had a vision about the chain. In it, he saw that the chain was made from a kryptonite-like material for mutants that not even powerful mutants like himself could withstand. As Brad stayed locked in the chain, he found himself growing weaker by the second. Warfreeze unfroze time and grabbed onto the chain and started slowly walking towards the mutant. Once he reached Brad, a smile crept across his face to reveal rotted teeth and his breath reeked of death. Brad tried not to show any kind of reaction to the smell, and swallowed hard to keep from gagging. "You know why I'm here," Warfreeze said, "don't you?" "To wreck havoc and hell on the Earth." Brad said calmly. Warfreeze slowly shook his head, "No," he said, "I came for you!" "Me," Brad said dumbly, "what do you want with me?" "I don't believe you are who you say you are." he said. "And what is that?" Brad asked. Warfreeze laughed, "This so-called 'Savior of Mutants.'" "And who do you believe it to be?" Brad asked him. "I'm not sure," Warfreeze said, "but definitely not you!"
55 The rest of the mansion had been awaken by the commotion going on outside and was soon out on the front lawn. Warfreeze saw them and went into a fit of rage, hurling Brad back across the lawn toward the school, he hit the ground with an enormous thud that sounded and felt like an earthquake. The members of the actual X-men all became enraged and charged the enemy that had attacked not only them, but their Savior as well. All hell broke loose. The X-men fought the twisted war freak tooth and nail. His army was first as they were protecting him. Storm found a way around the fighting without getting injured or killed to Brad. Angel and Colossus followed her to protect her and helped her take Brad back to the mansion. But Warfreeze saw them and fired at will at them, knocking Warren out of the air and Colossus and Storm out cold to the ground. He picked Brad up as several of the students fought to stop him, but couldn't because they weren't developed enough in their powers. So, with that, the war-torn being made off with the world's most powerful mutant. "Piotr," Ororo said to Colossus as they watched Warfreeze fly away with Brad, "we have to go after him!" Colossus nodded in agreement, "But we don't know where he's going with him." "Then, we'll follow him in the jet," Storm said, "let's go!" she said as hurried back toward the mansion with Colossus close behind.
56 When Brad awoke, he found himself in the clutches of talons. He was being flown through the air, high above the land and sea. He felt dazed and confused with no idea as to what was happening. "What's happening to me?" he wondered. "Do not fear," The Voice said, "I am with you." "Where am I being taken?" Brad thought to The Voice. "To your destiny," The Voice replied, "this is what your wife was trying to tell you about." Brad suddenly saw himself being crucified inside of his mind, he gasped, "I'm going to die!" his mind screamed. "Yes," The Voice said, "but not for your sins, that has already been taken care of." "Then," Brad said, "for what?" "For your kind." it said before it was gone once more. The talons soon dropped him onto a dirt path. He landed with an loud thunderous noise. He groaned as he slowly lifted himself up off the ground and looked around. There was a wooden cross off to one side of him that was as tall and wide as he was. "Pick it up." The Voice ordered. Brad started to lift the cross, but dropped it as it was too heavy, even for him. He tried again, and again, and once more before he was finally able to pick up one side of it and start dragging it up a steep, seemingly endless, dark green grassy hill with a yellow dirt path. The beast (Warfreeze) that had brought him
57 here stood waiting for him at the top of the hill. There were two more crosses already standing at the top of the hill with an empty spot in between them. Warfreeze waited until the mutant arrived at the spot where the cross he carried would go. He took it from him and stood it up and drove it into the ground. Then, Warfreeze grabbed Super X and threw him up onto the cross and nailed him to it with titanium spikes. He smiled pleasantly as he watched the mutant hang and not fight back. He then lifted himself up into the air and smiled wildly at the mutant. "If you are who you say you are," Warfreeze said, "then why don't you come down and kill me?" Brad didn't answer him, he knew why he was here. There was nothing he could do about it, even if he had wanted to. He and his wife had both known somewhere deep inside of themselves that this day would come because he was the Savior of Mutants, and Warfreeze would soon die right where he stood. Ororo and the rest of Xavier's team landed just miles away from where Warfreeze had taken Brad. She looked helplessly at Warren and Piotr as they got off of the plane. They got off of the plane and immediately saw Brad nailed to the cross. "That makes no sense!" Warren said half to himself. "We've got to help him!" Piotr said. "We...can't." Ororo said, shaking her head in disbelief.
58 Kitty Pryde or Shadowcat as she was known, knew how to get close to the group and over-throw the enemy without helping Brad, "I know how to get closer to them." she said as they watched Brad from the jet. The X-men left the jet and huddled together. Kitty placed her hands on them, and they disappeared to anyone that might be around and became invisible to the outside world. Warfreeze and his army stood around the cross they had lifted the mutant up onto, waiting for him to die. They had no idea that they were about to be ambushed. Storm stopped the group just as they reached the site where Brad was being crucified. She looked around and nodded at each of them. "Ready?" she said. The group nodded, "Attack!" she ordered and the group split and ran for the enemy up ahead. Colossus grabbed him by his throat and slammed his head into the ground. Storm then struck Warfreeze with lighting and Rogue drained the life out of him until he was dead. When they were sure he was dead, Angel and Colossus went to work on getting Brad down from the cross. The X-men took Brad back to the mansion and laid him on his bed in his room. Angel, Colossus, and Storm all stayed and stood around him. He laid flat on his back with his eyes closed. His heart had stopped, but they didn't know it. They didn't know yet that their Savior had finally lost the will to live and was dead. "He is dead." Xavier said suddenly.
59 Ororo, Warren, and Piotr all jumped and spun around, "what?" they said in disbelief. "He has lost the will to live." Xavier said calmly. "So," Warren said, "what should we do?" "Give him the proper burial, respect him though he's gone." Xavier said. "Yes sir." they said as they turned their attention back to Brad's corpse. "There's still so much we didn't get to know about him though." Colossus said as he shook his head. "Maybe it was best we didn't know," Angel said, shrugging, "maybe we're safer that way." The X-men buried Brad behind the mansion, his grave unmarked. Three days later.... The ground rumbled and shook violently as it split and Brad broke the ground apart as he arose from his grave. He stretched and brushed the dirt off of himself as he headed for Xavier's mansion. He came to the door and slowly opened it, listening to it creak and groan as it did. He saw the students hurrying back and forth to class and a smile slowly found its way onto his face. Ororo saw him and frowned as she didn't recognize him. "Excuse me," she said, "can I help you?" He smiled at her as he walked up to her and knelt down and gently kissed her soft lips. "Brad," she said softly, "is this really you?" He nodded slowly, "and I came to ask you something."
60 "Anything." she said, relieved as she kept her eyes closed. "Will you marry me?" he asked. Ororo slowly opened her eyes and stared deep into the ruby quartz sunglasses lens before smiling and slowly nodded, "Yes," she said softly, "but when?" "How about right now?" he said, wrapping his arms around her. "But you just..." she started. He put his finger on her lips and stopped her, "I know I just seemingly came back from the dead," he said, "but I'm here now to tell you that I've loved you since the minute I laid eyes on you when I arrived here. Yes, I still love Amie and will see her again some day soon, but I'm in love with you now and want you and only you." She nodded, "I believe you," she said, "okay let's do it then, lets get married right now." And with that, Brad took her to the nearest church and they were married before the priest and his family that had helped hide Nightcrawler. After Brad had made Ororo his wife, they headed back to the school. They went upstairs to Brad's room, and he left her there as he headed to her room and started moving her belongings out of her room and into his. After several hours, he finally finished and joined her on his bed. He turned and looked tiredly at her, "I know none of this makes any sense to you right now," he said, "but I had to come back for you." "And why is that ?" she asked.
61 "I loved you so much, of course." he said softly as he slowly leaned in and gently kissed her lips as he laid her on her back on the bed. She slowly ran her hands down Brad's arms as he kissed her neck and gently bit down on her neck and shoulders. She gripped him tightly and her heart pounded in her chest. He felt her and stopped and looked at her, "Are you alright?" he asked, out of breath. She slowly opened her eyes and nodded, "Yes," she said, "why?" "I just...thought I hurt you's all." he said as he laid his head on her chest and caught his breath. "I promise you didn't," she said as she gently stroked his hair, "I would tell you if you did." He nodded as he lifted his head again and leaned in and kissed her lips. A vision flashed before his eyes and he saw himself ascending to Heaven to be with his wife and Ororo giving birth to two identical twin boys, Johson and Sicler. He let go and looked at her once more, smiling like an idiot. "What?" she said, laughing nervously and smiling. He turned serious and shook his head, "Nothing," he said, "you will see soon enough." he lifted her shirt up over her head and took it off of her and threw it off to one side onto the floor before taking off his own shirt. She smiled and ran her hands over each of the Angelic markings of Gabriel that were on his torso, "You did these yourself," she said, "didn't you?"
62 Brad nodded as he kissed her cheeks and gently brushed back her hair, "Yes," he said, "a man named Kurt Wagner did the same and I thought I would to just to be safe." "And what about your glasses," she said, "did you make them yourself?" Brad shook his head, "No," he said, "Amie had them made for me." he said as he slid Ororo's pants off of her and then threw them onto the floor with his and her's shirts. Though his pants were somewhat baggy and he was wearing a belt to hold them up to where only the band of his boxer shorts showed, he felt her reach for it while still looking at him and undo it. He felt his pants drop and he worked them down and kicked them off onto the floor before undoing her pants as well and throwing them onto the floor with his. He felt her skin, which was brown and warm and soft. He placed his hands on her stomach and slowly ran them up to where they were just underneath her breasts. He stopped, never taking his eyes off of hers as he did, he saw that her eyes were closed and her head was tilted back slightly and she was smiling. "Am I hurting you?" he asked, knowing that he wasn't. She shook her head and opened her eyes and smiled at him, "No," she said softly, "you're fine." "Okay," he said softly, "tell me if I do." "Of course you know I will." she said. He leaned in again and kissed her neck and moved down onto her chest. He then moved down to her stomach and gently kissed it and felt her firmly grab
63 the back of his head and neck. He then made a sucking noise on her navel and looked up at and smiled at her as she closed her eyes and tilted her head back. He put his hands behind her and cradled her in his arms, still smiling at her as he watched her feel calm and relaxed. She slowly opened her eyes and gasped when she saw him staring down at her, "Why did you...why did you stop?" she asked. "I just wanted to take in this moment for a minute." he said, laughing to himself. Not letting go of her, Brad worked his boxer shorts off and kicked them onto the floor. Then, he worked Ororo's underwear off and threw them onto the floor as well before pushing himself up into her. She gripped tighter than ever and let out a breath of air before following it with several short gasps. He tightened around her and moved his waist faster. She held her breath for a second before letting it out, "Ahhhh," she moaned as she smiled at him, "Mmmmm..." He stopped and sat up against the headboard with her, breathing heavily himself, "Are you still alright?" he asked as he held her in his arms. She laid her head on his chest and put her arms around him, "Yeah," she said as she caught her breath, "are you?" He nodded, "I'll be alright." he said as he rested his chin on her head and then kissed the top of her head. She lifted her head slowly and looked at him, realizing that before this moment, this was the first time she had actually seen his face. His hair was jet
64 black and slicked back. His face was long, and his eyebrows straight. She remembered that if he didn't have the optic blasts in his eyes, they would be a light blue, almost white, color. His lips were thin and pinkish-red and his chin was square. "Did I ever tell you how handsome you are?" she asked him. He shook his head, his face flustered and was warm, he knew it would be red if his blue skin wasn't covering it up, "No," he said, "but thank you." She moved down him and pushed up against him and tightened herself around him the way he had her moments ago. He groaned with pleasure as he slumped back down onto the bed, "Uhhhh..." he moaned, smiling. She smiled at him, "Feels good, huh?" she said softly to him as she exhaled. "Ohhhh," he said, "you have no idea, I've...I've been missing the touch of a good woman since Amie died." "What do you see for you and I since we're married now?" Ororo asked as she let go of him and then slowly moved up and down him. "I,,,I see children...oh, damn!" he said as he put his hands on her sides and slowly moved her. She stopped, "Children," she said surprised, "how many?" "T...two," he said, swallowing hard as he caught his breath, "twin...twin boys." "Do you know what their names will be?" Ororo asked. "Johson and Sicler." he said.
65 "Whose last name will they have?" she asked. He stopped what he was doing and swallowed hard as he tried to catch his breath and slow his racing heartbeat, "Uhhhh...Munroe...to help hide them." he said. "Okay," she said, "I'm sorry." "For what?" Brad asked. "For stopping you." she said as she pushed back up into him. "Uhnnnn!" he moaned as he gritted his teeth. "But you're still going to die, aren't you?" Ororo asked. Brad nodded, "Yes," he said, "soon after this." "Well then," Ororo said, "I guess I'll have to make this a night worth remembering, huh?" He laughed nervously, "Yeah," he said, "I guess so." Ororo smiled and nodded as she leaned in and gently kissed his lips for the longest time and then laid on Brad and tightened around him and moved her hips as fast as she could, stopping, she sat up and tightened as hard as she could around him. She then placed her hands on his chest and pushed into him as hard as she could. Both of them let out sighs and groans of pleasure before she laid on one side of him and held him. **** The next morning, Brad's body was gone and Ororo knew he had ascended up to Heaven. She smiled, knowing that he was in a better place now and she could still feel his presence nearby. She felt sick and threw off the covers and
66 sheets on the bed and threw on a robe as she hurried to the bathroom. She hurled her guts out into the toilet, "Impossible!" she gasped as she slowly stood and wiped her mouth before heading out of the bathroom and to Xavier's office. "Professor, how could I possibly be pregnant already," she asked him, "Brad and I were barely married and...we were barely married before his ascension." she said. Xavier shrugged, "I do not know, Ororo, but you are and will be giving birth to twins in the next few months." So, with that, Ororo spent the next nine months of her life down below the mansion in its medical facility. "You nervous?" Wolverine asked as he waited with her. She turned her head and glared at him, "No," she said, "Why should I be?" "I mean because of what Xavier said Brad told you about what happened to his wife." Wolverine said, shrugging. "That's not going to happen to me Logan," Ororo said, "have faith." He shrugged, then turned and left the room to have a smoke. After several hours, Storm finally felt a burning in between her legs and let out a scream that could be heard throughout the mansion. Professor Xavier delivered the first identical twin boys, "What would you like to name this one?" he asked, smiling. "J...Johson." she said as she suddenly found herself pushing again and the other twin came out. "And this one?" Xavier said calmly,
67 "S...Sicler." she said as she closed her eyes and realized everything Brad had said was right and then some. After the twins had been born, Storm sat up on the edge of the bed where she had given birth. She looked almost disgustedly at her boys, they reminded her so much of Brad. She knew now how he had felt about John. She would wait until they were old enough to know about their deceased father and his ascension to Heaven. But for now, they would be watched over by and trained by herself and the X-men.