A major Scott/Jean fic. Scott disappears without a trace and the rest of the x-men are left without their leader. But it turns out there is a lot more to Scott than any of them could have imagined.
Chapter 4: Training
"The time has come chosen one!" exclaimed an exuberant voice through the temple. "Are you ready to accept the challenges of learning your true potential?"
"As ready as I'll ever be," replied Scott trying to hide his nervousness.
"Then you will face three phases of training," replied Chan ignoring the obvious sense of fear he showed. "You will first learn to become focused in the arts of concentration and meditation, then you will learn how to fight in the ways of a Taitzu warrior, and finally you will learn the art of magic. Now most citizens of Taitzu take many years of hard practice to even become moderately sufficient in one these fields, but we must complete your full training in three weeks. It is a hard task, but our very existence depends on it. So let's not waste time chosen one. Please, follow me."
Scott began to follow Chan as he made his way in to another room located adjacent to the main shrine. This time the rest of the monks stayed where they were and they began to pray. As they made their way through the corridors Scott continually hoped he wasn't getting in over his head. His nerves became more shot as he kept reminding himself that he was the only one who could stop a force so dark it would wipe out the world. His thoughts were still going a mile a minute when he finally got to a smaller room than the one he had just been in. Candles surrounded it and in the center of the room, there was a lone man silently meditating. He was also old, but he looked younger than Chan. Scott then noticed Chan leaving the room; he was about to say something when the silently meditating man awoke from his trance.
"Welcome chosen one," greeted the man. "My name is Shintao. Welcome to the world of the mystic arts."
The man then stood up and walked over to Scott.
"It's...Nice to meet you Shintao, so I guess you're my teacher?" asked Scott.
"I like to think of it as more of a guide," responded Shintao with a smile. "Now please...Have a seat."
Scott walked over to where the man had been sitting before and sat on a pillow facing Shintao. His new "guide" followed suite. Scott watched as he closed his eyes and seemed seeing something in his own mind.
"I sense you are nervous chosen one," said Shintao.
"Of coarse I'm nervous...All this has been happening so fast I guess," responded Scott.
"We must calm those nerves chosen one. That is what meditation is all about. You calm your nerves, and focus your mind."
Scott took a deep breath and closed his eyes; he slowed his breathing and tired to relax. However, anxiety got the best of him. It was just in his character to be nervous and anxious about things he didn't know about.
"You are still not at peace Scott Summer...Open your eyes," said Shintao.
Scott did as he was told and he saw his guide follow suite. Slowly Shintao put both hands on Scott's head. Once again Scott closed his eyes. In an instant hundreds if pictures began to flash before his eyes. They were pictures of everything in his mind. They zoomed by at unreal speeds. The pictures were everything from his fears, emotions, to memories of his past. As he watched them, his head began to spin. He felt dizzy and disoriented, for the pictures were becoming too much to handle. He felt sweat flow down his face in anxiety. Soon the pictures began to zoom by faster and faster, making him dizzier and dizzier. He was about to yell out to make it stop...Then, all of the sudden it was calm.
"Huh?" he said to himself as the pictures disappeared and he found himself somewhere new.
He looked around at his new surroundings. As he looked, he found himself in a peaceful meadow with a small gentle breeze. The scenery was dominated by endless stretches of short, flowing grass that seemed to move with the breeze. He looked around to see only a couple of tall, flawless trees shadowing the sunny landscape. The gentle glow of the sun and a whirling swarm of clouds that sped across the sky dominated the sky. Near him was a quiet, calm creek flowing near him. He noticed the soft, soothing sound of the water as it sparkled in the light. He also noticed that he wasn't wearing his glasses and all was in color. Color...Something he hadn't been able to see for so long. He walked around his new surroundings.
"Fear not Scott..." said a voice.
Scott quickly looked around to see where the voice was coming from.
"Who's there? Where am I?" he asked.
"We are in the deepest recesses of your mind," responded the voice. "The rest of it is a jumbled mess. Here in this place, is where your inner self is at peace."
Scott looked around at his peaceful setting. Here there were none of the countless complications in his mind that he went through almost nonstop. He looked at the surreal lands and smelled the crisp air. Even though this was all in his mind, it was still as real as it could possible be.
"It is here where your training begins," said the voice.
Scott then walked over to the stream and looked at the shining water. He looked at his reflection, for the first time in a long while he saw his own eyes. He saw the colors for what they really were. Slowly, he put his hands in the water, but the moment he touched it he felt himself zooming back. Before he could respond he was back in the room with Shintao. He let out a gasp of shock as he felt himself return. Still in front of him was Shintao, still meditating.
"It appears we have a lot of work to do with that mind of yours."
For the next few days Shintao relentlessly pushed Scott to his mental limits. He slept no more than two hours a day and only ate small meals, but this was all a part of his training. Scott had to do many odd tasks to exercise his mind. He had to do things like balance himself with one foot on a stick of bamboo over a bunch of lit candles. He had to learn to become so focused that time would slow down to him and his reflexes would become faster. He also had to attack the corruption that plagued his mind. This was not an easy task for the corruption that plagued his mind was a result of a lifetime of mental, physical, and emotional strain. However, he was able to slowly put these roadblocks aside for the sake of the skill. And it wasn't long before he was able to achieve greater states of relaxation and focus with little or no effort. Day after day Scott had no time to rest as his mind was pushed more than his body. On the sixth day of his training he was up against the final test. This was the test that would truly test his mind for new clarity and enlightenment.
"You have learned a lot Scott Summers, but you are still unable to focus your mind," said Shintao.
"I know, I'm sorry but..."
"No need for apologies, but we must have you mentally prepared, the evil that threatens us all is getting stronger. I sense you have felt it when you probe your mind," explained Shintao.
"Maybe that's what's holding me back," suggested Scott.
"No...I don't think that's it," said Shintao.
Then his guide walked over and picked up two sharp daggers and laid them out in front of them.
"You must pass this test before you can move on or else Sun Chin Tao will most certainly win. On the wall to our right there are two flies. Each is almost too small to see from this distance. They are constantly moving and great focus is required to succeed. Now...Focus and follow my lead."
And like lightning Shintao picked up the dagger nearest to him and threw it in to the wall. He got up, took the dagger out of the wall, and showed it to Scott. He was amazed to see the fly, smack in the center of the point.
"Remember...Focus, look in to your mind and find your picture, your point, your inspiration of focus."
Scott took a deep breath, closed his eyes, and began to meditate the way he had been shown. He forced every ounce of knowledge he learned in the last six days in to this moment, but he didn't reach for the knife. Something kept telling him he wouldn't succeed at this point. He tried harder, but it only made him feel more anxious and unprepared to perform his task. He kept reminding himself what was at stake here. Scott was unable to reach that point, that point he had when he first started in the meadow in his mind. Suddenly, a new image appeared before him, an image more soothing, more comforting than any other picture in existence. It was a picture of Jean Grey, the same picture Scott carried with him almost everywhere he went. He looked in to the eyes of the girl in the picture, and suddenly he stopped trying so hard. With that image in his mind he sunk deeper in to his subconscious. And then, he found himself back in the meadow he was in earlier. It was the same calm, comforting scene as it was before. However, that comfort was added by the presence of a beautiful girl as well. Scott looked to see that that girl was Jean. He looked at her and she just smiled at him as a warm feeling overtook him.
Suddenly, at speeds that far exceeded Shintao's, Scott grabbed the dagger before him and at far faster speeds, flung it against the wall. Shintao's face quickly turned to one of shock as he saw the speed of the young man's execution of the task. He walked over and got the knife and on the tip, lay the fly, perfectly in the center.
"Congratulations Scott, you have learned well. You've done a task in six days that usually takes six years for other monks. Now, my job is done here. It's time to move on," said Shintao with a smile.
Scott then came back to reality, this time smoothly instead of a rough jolt like before.
"Thank you Shintao," said Scott with a smile.
Shintao bowed in acceptance. "Now, follow me to your next task."
During the night across the realms and through the great distances of the lands, Jean Grey saw images of her missing friend in her dreams. She saw similar images that he saw while he was opening his mind. Nobody else saw them but her, not even the professor. The images of the peaceful meadow were the clearest in her mind, but those images were brief and the more she saw them the more she gave up hope. Scott had been gone for a week now; the searching was beginning to die down as the rest of the team was forced to do something that they never did easily, accept defeat. Scott was gone and nobody could find him, but Jean was the only one who could see brief images of him. However, the images she saw only saddened her because she felt that it confirmed what she feared most. It was as if he was really dead...Her worst fear come to life. Yet she still held on to the smallest shred of hope that he was still out there. She found herself late that night looking out the window, hoping he was still out there.
"Scott," she said to herself, "Please be okay, please come back, please..." She couldn't fight back the tears as they began to flow.
As Scott followed Shintao to the next room he thought of the image of Jean he saw earlier in his mind. He felt that was the key...That was what could bring his mind in to focus. He would remember that for future references whenever his mind needed calming. As they reached the next room Scott noticed it looked more like a gym. There were weapons of many sorts around the room. As Scott was scanning the room he saw Shintao leave. All of the sudden a mysterious ninja-like warrior attacked from out of nowhere.
"Stand and defend yourself!"
"Huh?" said Scott confused. The attacker launched a flying jump kick at him, but Scott dodged. Then the attacker began to fight aggressively against him, but he was able to fight back thanks to his training at the Xavier institute. He still wasn't much of a match; it took a matter of minutes before Scott found himself flat on the floor. Then his attacker revealed that he was a she, and a quite beautiful she in addition. She removed her mask to reveal that she was a slightly older than him master of the martial arts.
"Greetings chosen one...I am Nina, your teacher in the arts of combat."
Scott rubbed his head and got up.
"You already show some skill," said Nina, "But whoever taught you wasn't very keen on technique or chi, just anger and style."
'Well, there's Logan in a nutshell,' thought Scott. "Well it was the way I was taught."
"It's good," she responded, "But it could be much better with your life energy. You learned how to calm and empower your mind with your chi, now you must do the same to your body," declared the strong woman before him.
Needless to say a week of additional training was beginning to take a toll on Scott, but he held strong. Nina was a very tough teacher and she was also a very tough fighter. This was necessary because the art of fighting she was teaching usually took years to gain a moderate proficiency. She often performed gravity defying moves that seemed impossible for any mere human to perform, yet she assured Scott that when he was done he would make her antics seem like child's play. As hard as this was for Scott to believe he continued to try, but his successes were small due to his inexperience. Most of their sessions were spent with Scott learning some of the same gravity defying moves that Nina had showed him others he had yet to see. As the week went by Scott still had to survive on minimal sleep and meals in between sessions. He often found himself meditating the way Shintao showed him to help ease his mind and regain his strength. But there was little time for that, after six days of sparring and fighting he finally felt he could show his teacher his worth.
"Again!" yelled Nina as Scott was thrown to the floor again.
With a grunt of frustration Scott got up and fought back again. He was lasting longer and longer with each fight and Nina knew it. His progress was impressive, but it needed to be in order to stop the evil he was going to face. With every punch his body moved faster, with every hit he got stronger, and with every defeat came greater determination. Scott was beaten to the floor once again by Nina after an exhausting fight on both sides. Both, especially Nina were nearly out of breath.
"Get up," she said as she caught her breath.
"You're weakening I see," said Scott with a grin knowing that must be a good sign.
"You're getting better," she responded, "But you're still not ready to call yourself a Taitzu warrior. You must find a way to add your skills of meditation with fighting, for that is the true way of the warrior."
"I know that," replied Scott, "It's just different when..."
"NO!" she said as Scott was cut off, "It isn't any different! It's the same concept! You just need to find your key the same way you found it before."
'My key...' thought Scott.
"Now...Let's try it again. Come on!" she said as she readied herself.
Scott hesitated however. He took a deep breath and began to fight back with more ferocity than he ever had before. Nina countered with every ounce of effort Scott was putting forth. Soon Scott found himself saying 'You know what the outcome is going to be. You know how this is going to end.' He ignored those thoughts and kept fighting. Occasionally he used his optic blasts to assist him, but they didn't help much with Nina's speed. Once again he found himself stuck, like he had before when he was trying to master the arts of meditation. This time he had no time to think and calm his mind. With each second he felt it ticked closer to the inevitable. Then he felt time slowing down in his eyes as he tried harder to concentrate on the task at hand. He felt his mind begin to race as the combat got more intense, but soon he felt his mind slow down. It confused him because he still kept fighting.
He then heard a voice say, 'Free the chi within and you shall win.'
They had knocked each other back yet again. Each was nearly out of breath as they continued stare each other down in anticipation for what promised to be the last fight. Suddenly, Scott began to stop breathing so hard. Then he cracked his knuckles and then lunged forth at blinding speeds. Nina fought back, but it wasn't working. Something had gotten in to him and it was driving him beyond the capabilities for measurement. She tried to fight, but it was as if she was fighting a whole other person this time. It was as if something just snapped in his brain and he became the master instead of the pupil. With one swift, unavoidable blow Scott finally knocked her down for a change. As she fell she looked back up at him, who was still ready to fight.
"You are the one..." she said as she struggled back up to her feet.
She tried one last attack, but she wasn't able to dodge Scott's eye beams this time. She fell back in defeat, finally. Slowly, she got up.
"I guess the legend was true after all. I have never seen somebody fight with so much power and chi. I am honored to have faced you chosen one," she said as she bowed.
"Thanks," said Scott sheepishly, yet still proud of what he had just done, "But please call me Scott."
"You are far more than you think you are."
"That may be true," he said cockily, "But I still am what I am no matter what you call me."
"Modest and a smart alec," grinned Nina.
"I guess," replied Scott. "You're quite the teacher Nina."
"Thank you, now my work here is done and you must face your next and hardest part of your training...Magic. Do well chosen one, for you, me, and all of our lives are at stake," said Nina.
Suddenly an odd mist surrounded Scott.
"Oh no not again!" said Scott.
"Be not afraid," said Nina with a smile, "For now your real potential is about to be awakened."
After saying those words the room around him vanished, and Scott was in yet another unknown place.
AN: Well, That's it for part 4! Stay tuned for the next part as Scott realizes his full potential! I hope you all tell me what you think of this story. So please, REVIEW REVIEW REVIEW! I've gotta know! Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Well, hope ya like it so far! Best wishes to you all.