Categories > Cartoons > X-Men: Evolution > Cult of the X

Palace X

by slickboy444 0 reviews

Category: X-Men: Evolution - Rating: PG-13 - Genres:  - Published: 2007-08-18 - Updated: 2007-08-18 - 5904 words - Complete

Cult of the X
Chapter 6: Palace X


The decision had been made. The X-men were going to stay at Xavier Island, a place where mutants held the highest status and where Xavier and the X-men were worshiped as gods. To many, it was a long overdue vacation. But to others like Logan and the Professor, rest and relaxation were the last things on their mind.

Upon leaving the temple, the X-men and the high priest and priestess, Arion and Ayla, met up with the Praetorian Guard who led them to the palace where they would be staying. And given how large the temple was, everybody was eager to see what these people had constructed for their dwelling.

And they weren’t disappointed. After a quick trip further into the central area of the island via hover transport, they arrived at a sight that once again left them awestruck.

“Wow!” said Bobby as they landed inside the security perimeter, “This is where we’re staying?”

“It’s even bigger than the mansion,” said Kurt, taking in the sight.

“Hell, it’s big enough for its own zip code,” commented Remy.

“And it’s all for us?” said Jubilee, the former mall rat’s eyes lighting up.

“But of course,” said Arion, “We strive for the best when it comes to our lords.”

It was a pristine estate worthy of royalty. A large scope of land that rivaled the institute back home was walled off by high tech defenses manned by the Praetorian Guard. Within them, a perfectly kempt lawn surrounded a path that led up to a large, brilliantly crafted palace surrounded by a beautiful garden full of exotic plants. It looked like a mix between old Greek architecture and a medieval castle, but there was also a clear resemblance to the Xavier Institute back home.

The Church of X definitely had a knack for elegance. There were exotic pants, flowers, and sculptures everywhere. There was a large fountain before the entrance with a large statue of Xuthasius keeping watch over the area. Even the walkways had mosaics depicting the stories of Atlantis and their exploits as X-men.

“I think I’m gonna like it here,” grinned Tabitha.

“Ditto girlfriend,” said Amara, “I’m royalty and this is fancy even by my standards.”

“Coming from you, that’s quite a statement, princess,” said Jamie.

“Well I’m inclined to agree,” said Xavier, equally impressed even with his upper class background.

Approaching the large, elaborately decorated doors, Arion held up his staff. Immediately, it started glowing and the doors automatically opened, revealing the lush interior of the elaborate mansion.

“I hope this is to your liking, my lords,” said Arion.

“Are you kidding?” exclaimed Kitty, “This is amazing!”

“I’ll bet the President dreams of living in a place like this,” said Ray.

“Definitely a step up from de mean streets o’ New Orleans or the farm in Siberia, eh Pete?” grinned Remy.

“I agree, comrade,” said Piotr, not used to such opulence, “I’ve never seen such luxury.”

Above them hung an elaborate golden chandelier, illuminating the area with light from crystals that bathed their surroundings in a gentle glow. Like the outside, there were pictures and mosaics of their past selves. Only in here, there were also images of more modern events, such as their triumph over Apocalypse and their success with the Phoenix. Jean, especially, was taken by a large statue of the Phoenix on the ceiling.

“Amazing…” said the Phoenix avatar.

“Your living quarters are upstairs,” explained Ayla, “There is also a den, a living space with television and internet to monitor media back home, a 24/7 kitchen, a gym area if you wish to work off your stress, and a few other luxuries we hope you enjoy.”

“I’m sure we will,” said Scott, gazing over the vast interior.

“I don’t see how anybody couldn’t enjoy living in a place like this,” said Roberto.

“Well don’t let it go to yer head,” said Logan, “It’s not like we’re gonna be living here.”

“Says you,” said Tabitha, “I may have to be dragged away in chains from this place!”

Logan rolled his eyes. As impressive as this place was, it still didn’t feel right to him. But Ororo was there to help him ease up. More than anyone else, he needed something like this to unwind.

“You should at least try and relax a bit while you’re here, Logan,” said Ororo with a warm smile.

“I don’t relax,” he replied.

“At least try, father,” groaned Laura, “Don’t make us force you.”

“And don’t think for a second we won’t,” grinned Ororo.

“Oh boy,” he muttered, knowing these two were going to give him hell if he didn’t lighten up.

It took a lot for the Wolverine to ease up, but Laura and Ororo always had a way of helping with that. Maybe he did need to take it easy, but something still didn’t feel right.

“Well then, I’ll have the Praetorian Guard keep watch,” said Arion, “Athena, please check on Artemis and the rest of the unit. Ensure the area is secure.”

“Yes, your grace,” said Athena obediently.

With a quick hand signal, Athena ushered the rest of her troops out of the mansion.

“Now in order to make your stay here as pleasant as possible,” continued Arion, “We’ve also arranged the rest of our clergy and a few loyal citizens to cater to your every need.”

Turning their attention to the sides, the X-men were surprised to see an army of eloquently dressed servants humbly keeping their distance from their lords. There were an equal number of young to middle aged men and women. The men wore baggy, Persian style pants with no shirts while the women wore elegant, yet revealing toga-like attire. And like the rest of the Atlantean population, they were all very fit. All the men had strong athletic builds and the women had perfect curves. It made this enchanting place all the more enticing.

“Man, you guys sure know how to stay fit,” commented Sam.

“I’m not complaining,” said Rahne, smiling at some of the men.

“Yeah, great eye candy,” said Remy, earning him an elbow to the ribs from Rogue.

“Men…” muttered the Southern woman.

Arion and Ayla smiled. It seemed that their lords were pleased with the arrangements they so eagerly set up.

“I’m sure you’re all tired,” said Ayla, “But if you need anything at all whether it’s food, drink, or sex, just let us know and we’ll accommodate you.”

Everybody looked back at the high priestess with shock upon hearing that last part.

“Whoa…sex?” said Rogue, blushing profusely.

“You serious?” said Tabitha, looking back at the well built men who swore to cater to their every need.

“But of course,” said Ayla, “Sex is not taboo in Atlantean culture. Even the teachings of Xuthasius spoke of it as an acceptable practice of recreation and intimacy. And thus, we treat it the same.”

“Nice,” grinned Roberto, eyeing some of the women.

“Oh boy,” muttered Kitty.

“Hey, you can touch if I recall, girlfriend,” said Jubilee, giving her friend a little nudge, “This is your chance to take advantage of it.”

“I know I will,” grinned Ray.

It was a strange revelation, learning the Church of X had such an open view of sex. And as gods, they were entitled to whatever they pleased. Xavier, Logan, Ororo, and Hank could tell many were entertaining ideas of partaking in such an opportunity. Needless to say, it had them worried.

“Oh dear,” said Beast, “This could become an issue.”

“I agree,” sighed Xavier.

“Father, does this mean…” began Laura, but Logan cut her off.

“Don’t start, darlin’. For the love of God, don’t start,” he said, shaking his head and shutting out what she knew she wanted to ask him.

Ororo couldn’t help but laugh. Since arriving at the institute, Laura had learned about sex like everybody else. But when she asked Logan about it, he nearly fainted. Thankfully, Ororo filled her in. And while she hadn’t yet been involved in any relationships, sexual or otherwise, it was not something Logan liked to think about.

“Still don’t like thinking about the s-word, do you?” commented Hank.

“I like it fine,” muttered Logan, “Just not when it involves my daughter.”

It was sure to be a hell of a vacation. They were gods in a vast mansion where everything they could ever want was at their fingertips. And after fighting so long in a world that hated and feared them, the X-men could use a nice breather from it all. Even if some parts of it were a little odd, it was sure to be quite a stay.

“Do you have any other questions, Lord Xavier?” asked Arion.

“Uh…no, I think we’ll be okay,” assured the Professor, “When can I see some of the artifacts you told me about?”

“We have some already gathered in a study upstairs,” said Ayla, “One of our priestesses already took it upon herself to set everything up.”

Then, from atop the main stairs located adjacent to the right wall, a figure emerged that suddenly drew Xavier’s attention.

“Ah, there she is now,” said Arion, “Lilandra? Would you please join us?”

What happened next was the last thing Xavier expected. He could take a story depicting him as a god, but what he saw when this woman descended the stairs and approached him rendered his great mind at a loss.

“Oh my…” he gasped, caught in the splendor of the sight before him.

“Hello Professor. Hello X-men,” said a beautiful, elegant woman with lavender hair in an elaborate priestess gown, “I am Lilandra, priestess of the Church of X. I’ll be the one watching over you during your stay here at the palace.”

Xavier motioned to greet her, but he was rendered silent. The others were quick to take notice. It was odd seeing their mentor in such a state, but it was obvious for anybody to see.

“I’ll bet I know the exact words that are going through his mind,” said Scott under his breath.

“What might that be?” said Jean, unable to keep herself from grinning at the sight.


Jean couldn’t help but laugh. It seemed appropriate, given she and Scott had been in the same situation before. She remembered it vividly. The first thing that went through Scott’s mind when he saw her was that exact word. It was the moment when their profound connection took shape, eventually leading to moments like the Phoenix and their wedding. And now Xavier seemed to be caught up in the same moment.

“Uh…Charles?” said Hank, snickering at such a priceless moment.

“Oh…sorry,” said Xavier, trying to regain his composure, “Uh…it’s a pleasure to meet you, Miss.”

“Please, call me, Lilandra,” she smiled, “Come, I’ll show you and your students to your quarters.”

A smile formed on the Professor’s face as he followed this elegant woman. The others couldn’t help but grin. It was amazing how a man so wise and virtuous could fall victim to the presence of a beautiful woman. But they had so many surprises in one day that another such as this was hardly surprising.

“Man, this day just keeps getting weirder and weirder,” commented Jubilee.

“I’ll say,” said Bobby, “But I don’t think the Professor is complaining anymore.”

“And neither am I,” said Kitty in a chipper tone, “Come on, Petey! Let’s explore our new home away from home!”

“Hey, let us single gals take lead!” said Tabitha, eyeing the rest of the humble servants who would cater to them.

“And so it begins,” sighed Scott, shaking his head in amusement.

“Ah leave them,” said Jean, taking her husbands hand and guiding him along, “Maybe while they have their fun, you and I could treat this as a second honeymoon. It would give us plenty of time to work on that baby of ours.”

Everybody was eager to embrace this wondrous place. There was so much to see and explore. Even for those who were still weary, their stay on Xavier Island was sure to be an experience to remember.


After a tour of the vast estate, much of the team separated and settled in. The palace had a lot to offer, but after such a hectic day with the rally, the sentinel, and the revelation of Atlantis, many were ready for a peaceful night’s rest.

By now, the sun had set. Couples like Scott and Jean as well as Piotr and Kitty eagerly settled into a couple of the opulent, regal rooms. They were built for royalty, the beds covered in the finest of cloths and the room scoured in the best of amenities both modern and Atlantean. Excited by their experience, Scott and Jean made love into the night. Kitty and Piotr soon followed, capping off an amazing day of events.

For some, however, turning in for the night wasn’t as easy despite such exhaustion. For Kurt, he couldn’t stop thinking about his fiancé, Amanda. Back home, she was probably worried sick. For all he knew, the media listed them as dead. He had to hear her voice again. He had to let her know.

“Will you be alright, my lord?” asked one of the female servants who had shown Kurt to his room.

“I’ll be fine,” he said in a low tone, “Vould it be possible for me to make a phone call? Zhere’s someone I really need to talk to.”

“Of course,” smiled the young woman, “I’ll talk with Lilandra and set it up for you by morning.”

“Zhank you. I appreciate zhat,” he said, letting out a tired sigh.

“Do you need anything else? Anything at all?” she inquired, shifting somewhat in her stance.

Kurt blushed somewhat. This woman was poised to obey his every desire. Given his appearance, he wasn’t used to such treatment. But it was a nice shift to say the least.

“Zhat is all,” he assured, “Just let me know vhen I can make a call.”

“Very well,” she said, bowing respectfully and leaving Kurt to his solitude.

When the servant was gone, the German born mutant reached into his pocket and pulled out a picture of Amanda. Even when he was in uniform, he wanted to keep her close. He knew marrying her would be a major challenge, given that he was a mutant and she was human. But even the scorn of the world couldn’t keep him from marrying this girl. It just hurt now because he missed her so.

“Sleep tight, liebe,” he said kissing the picture, “I hope vherever you are, you’re okay.”


While many looked to turn in for the night, some of X-factor decided to stay up a bit longer and enjoy their newfound status. Tabitha, Sam, Amara, Ray, Roberto, and Rahne all were in the lower levels where a spacious, luxurious private bathhouse was organized just for them. Amara recognized it as distinctly Roman, but bore many Atlantean twists. There was even a statue of Tabitha’s descendent adorning the area.

“Now THIS is the treatment real gods should get!” grinned Tabitha, gazing over the vast bath area.

“I’ll say,” said Amara, “It’s even bigger than the royal bathhouses back on Nova Roma. And they didn’t have fountains.”

“Or company I bet,” said Ray, eyeing some of the female servant that faithfully followed them.

It was a situation they never thought they’d find themselves in. Here they had everything they could possibly desire. And for those like Tabitha and Ray who had not come from luxurious upbringings, it was a major step up.

“What say you, fellow gods?” said Tabitha playfully, “Shall we partake in this wondrous ambience our mortal subjects have so graciously bestowed?”

“I think ye be letting the whole goddess of sex and wine go to your head,” grinned Rahne.

“Oh come on, Wolfsbane!” said Roberto, excited by the idea of sharing a bathhouse with a team of loyal, sexy women, “Let the animal within you run free for once. When are we ever going to get another chance to live it up like this?”

Looking around at some of the handsome men, Rahne couldn’t help but blush. She did have an animal side to her and it was crying to be let out and embraced for once. And even if their luck ever caught up with them then why not enjoy this chance?

“You’re right,” she grinned, “It’s been too long for all of us.”

“That’s the spirit!” said Tabitha as she began stripping out of her clothes, much to the shock of the boys, “Now come on! Let’s live it up as real gods!”

“So much for not letting it go to her head,” grinned Ray, quickly following suit.

One by one, they followed Tabitha’s example, stripping naked and letting the warm waters of the bath engulf them. After a day of hard battles, it was nothing short of heavenly. Soon, they got some of the servants to join them in a little ‘fun’ and every one of them did so without questions. Now they could really indulge themselves in a way they hadn’t before. It was by no means a regular vacation, but the fun had already begun.


While some were enjoying the bathhouse, others were partaking in the boundless selection of food the Church of X had to offer. Bobby, Jubilee, Sam, Jamie, and Laura all gathered in the kitchen, receiving any meal they desired from the mansion cooking staff. And armed with Atlantean technology that cooked food rapidly and efficiently, there was no end to the feast.

“Now this is a meal worthy of a goddess,” proclaimed Jubilee, taking a sip of wine they had offered her.

“You know if Logan caught you drinking that, he’d have an aneurism,” commented Sam.

“I’m over 21 now. There isn’t much he can do now,” shrugged the former mall rat, “Besides, this stuff is great!”

“I’ll say,” said Bobby with a mouth full of burger and potatoes, “If only the guys back at Bayville could see us now.”

“Yeah, Ah can’t wait to tell my folks about all this,” said Sam, taking a big bite out of a cake-like pastry, “Although where Ah’m from, Ah doubt they’d believe in us being gods.”

“I doubt anybody would,” said Jamie, munching on some grapes, “But I don’t know about you guys, but living in constant fear of being lynched wasn’t very fun.”

“No kidding,” laughed Bobby, “Being worshipped as a god is SO much better.”

“I’ll drink to that,” said Jubilee, raising her wine glass, already showing some signs of the alcohol getting to her.

Everybody raised their glass except Laura, who remained quiet as she ate a helping of pasta the cook had made for her. While this wasn’t unusual given she had always been the quiet type, it was a bit off now that they weren’t surrounded in a hostile world where they always had to be vigilant. Like her father, she wouldn’t allow herself to become complacent.

“What’s wrong, X? Aren’t you having fun yet?” asked Sam.

“Don’t tempt me,” she quipped, “I think you guys are letting this whole divinity thing go to your head.”

“Well why shouldn’t we?” retorted Jubilee, “We’ve been fighting Magneto, Apocalypse, and the Phoenix for too long. Don’t we deserve a break?”

“Maybe so,” she conceded, “But that doesn’t mean we should let our guard down. For all we know, this whole situation could turn against us at a moment’s notice.”

Bobby, Jubilee, Sam, and Jamie exchanged looks. As nice as this whole setup was, much of it really did seem too good to be true. And in their history, that usually came back to haunt them. But they didn’t want to think about that right now.

“You’re right,” said Jamie, “It could. But doesn’t that make it all the more important we enjoy it now?”

“Yeah! Why shouldn’t we live it up while it lasts?” said Bobby, biting into a few cookies.

Laura sighed, knowing the others wouldn’t be convinced otherwise. Being surrounded by so much luxury had already gotten to them. While it was equally tempting to her, she remembered what her father said about situations like this. The second she lost her focus would be the second everything came crashing down. And if the others weren’t going to stay vigilant, then that meant it was up to her.

Yet still, a part of her wanted to enjoy this chance. There was a lot for her to explore. It was just a matter of doing so wisely.


In the upper levels, Rogue had chosen to turn in. While others had a snack or visited the bath house, she just wanted sleep. Even though she was invulnerable, it didn’t guard her from fatigue. But with all the excitement about them being gods, it would be difficult to turn her mind off.

In her private room, which was about as big as the house she grew up in back home, Rogue had a vast wardrobe of Atlantean attire to choose from. The Church of X had really done their homework on her. They had plenty of gothic style clothing, some of which were adapted to Atlantean fashion. And while not a clothing junky like Kitty or Tabitha, she couldn’t help but sample some of the selection.

‘Not bad for a Goddess.’

Settling on a green toga-like outfit that matched the color of her usual clothes back home, Rogue stepped out of her room for a quick trip to the bathroom. As she made her way down the hall, she passed Scott and Jean’s room where the passionate sounds of lovemaking echoed. Not far from them, Kitty and Piotr were doing the same, making just as much noise for all to hear.

It made Rogue stop and think for a moment. Even though she could control her powers, she had yet to explore the world of touch. Even though she had an on again off again thing with Remy, they never got really intimate aside from playful touching. But here was different.

Rogue had never been surrounded by an army of people willing to cater to her every need. If she wanted, she could have any man and do with him what she pleased. But it was still a daunting thought, embracing the world of touch after living in isolation for so long.

‘Ah better give them some privacy. Just hope they keep it down. Ah’ll probably have enough trouble sleeping tonight.’

Continuing down the hall, she neared another room where the door was slightly ajar. She almost passed by without a second thought, but then she heard a couple of voices inside, one of which she easily recognized.

Taking a peak, Rogue’s eyes widened to see Remy sitting on a bed shirtless while an attractive servant girl sat beside him, running her hand over the bullet wound he had suffered earlier.

“Your wound appears to have healed completely, my lord,” said the woman, “However, there may be some scaring.”

“Dat’s okay,” said Remy in a low, suave tone, “Remy’s survived worse.”

“Well I pray for your wellness,” said the girl humbly, “Does it still hurt? I could get you something if you desire.”

“Nah, Remy will tough it out,” grinned the Cajun, “You gals are just too kind.”

“Well we wish to ensure our lords receive the best of care,” said the girl with a smile, “As long as you’re here, we will strive to cater to your every need.”

“Our every need, ya say?”

“Yes…you’re every need,” said the woman with a sensual undertone.

Rogue had seen enough. Her face contorted in anger. She should have broken the door down with her bear hands, flown in there, and snapped Remy’s neck. But she managed to restrain herself. As infuriating as it was, she knew she had no right. It wasn’t like she and Remy were dating. They just flirted, but she always pushed him away.

If he wanted to bed that girl, nothing would stand in his way. But it still didn’t sit right with Rogue. It shouldn’t have bothered her, but it did. Hugging her shoulders, Rogue walked off. She didn’t know what she was going to do about this, but it was sure to plague her mind for the rest of the night.

“Dang,” she muttered, “What a way to start to a vacation.”


While the X-men lived it up in their new roles as gods, Logan remained as vigilant as ever. The servants had showed him to his room, but he didn’t bother. It wasn’t as if he would get any sleep tonight. He had to stay awake in case everything came crashing down. Everybody else could live it up. But for him, his job never ceased.

He made sure he got a feel for the layout of the vast facility. He took note of every path, window, and exit he could identify. Every servant he passed got a thorough whiff to ensure they didn’t carry any threatening scents. There was a lot of ground to cover, but he had to make sure he knew this place in the event of a battle.

Walking along the upper level east wing, he passed a few frescos and mosaics. Most of them told of their so called Atlantean incarnations, but here Logan noticed there were more depictions of the acts of the X-men. Along the wall, the story of how they stopped Apocalypse was told from start to finish. And even for a legend, it was remarkably well detailed. Even Logan had to admit, it was uncanny.

‘This place just keeps on messing with me. Any minute now it’s gonna turn on us. I know it.”

Just then, he was jolted from his daze by Ororo, who was walking down the hall in an elegant white robe. She had just taken a shower and her hair was still wet. She had every intention of drying off and resting up for the night, but Logan had changed those plans.

“Are you all right, Logan?” she asked.

Startled by her presence, Logan turned to see the concerned eyes of the weather goddess. He was a bit taken with her presence, bearing only a robe. She looked beautiful, even after having just showered. But he shook that off for the time being.

“I’m fine,” he muttered, “Just getting a feel for this place. Gotta make sure I know where everything is. Ya know, just in case.”

Ororo diverted her gaze, sensing he was still apprehensive. While she too couldn’t help but remain a little suspicious, she sensed these people were genuinely nice people. They whole heartedly believed in the story of Atlantis. As a former goddess herself, it was easier to accept. But Logan wouldn’t allow himself to fall victim to their pitch.

“You still don’t trust them, do you?” she commented.

“I don’t trust easily. You know that.”

“I do. And I’m not saying you shouldn’t.”

“So why are ya givin’ me that look?” made Logan, folding his arms.

“Because no one else will if I don’t.”

There was a brief silence between the two. Their attention drifted back to the mosaic of their exploits over Apocalypse.

“You don’t have to completely let your guard down,” said Ororo, breaking his train of thought.

“What do ya mean?” said Logan, turning his attention back towards her.

“I mean you can remain vigilant of these people while also accepting them,” she explained, “I admit, I might be naïve. But all those cheering people we saw earlier…Logan, they truly believe. Faith like that can’t be faked, believe me I know.”

“Well someone’s gotta keep watch,” said Logan assertively, “Even Chuck’s gone out to lunch with that Lilandra woman.”

“You’re right. Someone should,” conceded Ororo, placing a gentle hand on his shoulder, “But that doesn’t mean you can’t step back for a moment. I know you’re concerned, especially with Laura involved. But you can’t always live on the field of battle. You can’t always be Wolverine. You must also make time for being Logan.”

Letting out a deep sigh, Logan ran his hand through his burly hair. Ororo gave his shoulder a squeeze, casting a warm smile that helped ease his tension. Part of the reason he was so suspicious of the Church of X was because of how it involved the people close to him, especially Laura. But Ororo was trying to keep him grounded. Few people would dare to brave the Wolverine, but then again she was a goddess.

“Just think about it,” said Ororo as she made her leave, “And try to get some sleep as well.”

“No promises, but I’ll try,” said Logan.

“That’s all I ask,” she smiled, “Good night, Logan.”

“Night darlin’.”

Logan’s eyes never diverted as he watched her retreat to her room. Maybe he should give this place a chance. So far he hadn’t detected anything threatening, but he still had that feeling in the pit of his stomach that something was off. And as long as Laura and Ororo were involved, he was going to keep his guard up. But at the same time, maybe he should give the Wolverine a rest for a while.


In the uppermost level of the palace in a vast library, which held much of the knowledge and history of Atlantis, Professor Charles Xavier and Hank McCoy scoured over this newfound wealth of information. As a man of knowledge, Xavier was entranced by so much new material. But at the same time, he couldn’t help but be equally entranced by the woman who shared such passion for knowledge, the beautiful Lilandra Nerami.

“Fascinating,” said Beast, opening a large collection of scrolls, “Computer technology, advanced flight, free energy, even cures for diseases the rest of the world has yet to discover! Atlantis was truly every bit as advanced as the legends.”

“Yes, it is little wonder why it lasted over 15,000 years,” said Lilandra, “They had the right tools and the right conditions to make a strong society. And much of that was because of Xuthasius.”

Lilandra smiled at the Professor, causing him to blush somewhat. Hank tried hard not to laugh, but it was very unusual to see his old friend like this.

“These records are a real testament to humanity,” said Xavier, gathering himself as he next to Lilandra over a table scoured with texts, “You’ve done an excellent job of archiving them.”

“Thank you,” she smiled, “I suppose my masters in history and doctorate in humanities from Harvard helps.”

“Harvard?” said the Professor with a surprised expression.

“I know. It sounds odd,” she sighed, “A priestess of a radical sect of faith having such an illustrious background in the modern world.”

“So then how did you come to join the Church of X?” asked Xavier.

Lilandra cast Xavier a mysterious grin, one even a mind like the Professor’s couldn’t decipher. Then, much to her chagrin, his eyes lit up when he heard a voice echo in his mind.

‘Turns out I had other talents to fit into my pursuits.’

‘You’re…a telepath?’ said Xavier, lightly touching his temples.

‘This island is full of mutants. You’d be surprised what you can find, especially in a world so open.’

The two telepaths shared a bemused smile. Hank couldn’t tell what was going on, but their body language gave the story away. Sighing to himself, he shook his head in amusement. Chances were these two had a lot to talk about.

“Well I’m going to take some of these materials to my room and read up on them,” said Hank with a wink, “Don’t stay up too late, Professor. Take care of him, Lilandra.”

“I will,” assured Lilandra, “Besides, we have a lot to go over.”

“That we do,” smiled Xavier, “I can’t thank you enough for all your help.”

“The honor is all mine, Professor Xavier.”

Still grinning, Hank left the two telepaths to scour over their studies. But if the look on their faces was any indication, they’d be studying more than just books. The Church of X had been full of surprises and Lilandra was just one of them. And as night fell over Xavier Island and the X-men, there was no telling what was in store for them next.


While the rest of the island rested from such an eventful day, Praetorian Guard, Artemis, was wide awake. After her exploits in New York, which earned her plenty of scorn from Athena, she was stuck with guard tower duty atop the main temple.

It was long and boring. Not much happened on the island. Crime was low and society was peaceful. They were isolated from the conflict of the rest of the world and the law traditions laid down by Xuthasius kept life uneventful and prosperous for the most part. There was still deviance, but not at this hour. Artemis knew this was just Athena’s way of punishing her, but she could care less.

‘Damn Athena. She wants a job done, I do it, and I still get reprimanded. That woman has no idea how to fight a battle. I swear, if she crosses me one more time…’

Suddenly, she was cut from his train of thought by a flashing light on her high-tech wrist communicator. It was red, signaling that it was urgent. And like any good soldier, Artemis answered.

“This is Artemis. Report,” she said assertively.

“Stuck on tower duty again, my friend?” came a snide voice.

“Isaac!” shot Artemis angrily, “I told you never to use this line! If Athena found out she’d…”

“Forget about her,” scoffed Isaac, “How soon can you meet me in the central town square?”

“Are you drunk again? I can’t leave my post.”

“Oh you’ll want to when you hear what I’ve discovered,” said Isaac in an ominous tone, “If Athena asks, just lie. Trust me on this one.”

Artemis was inclined to laugh. Isaac was a lot of things, but trustworthy wasn’t high on his list of virtues. It’s part of what made him such a misfit amongst the clergy. But there was something in his voice too important to ignore. He may have been a shady character, but he was never one to joke around.

“Fine,” grunted the skilled warrior, “I’ll be there in ten minutes.”

“I’ll be waiting,” said Isaac, “And I hope you took some time to rest because we have a lot of work ahead of us.”


Up next: New drama unfolds at the palace
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