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


by slickboy444 0 reviews

Category: X-Men: Evolution - Rating: PG-13 - Genres:  - Published: 2007-09-01 - Updated: 2007-09-01 - 6483 words - Complete

Cult of the X
Chapter 8: Tours


Erik Lensherr, the mutant ruler of Genosha others revered as Magneto, had seen better days. His people were in revolt, demanding action against the human race for the anti-mutant sentiment that had erupted in wake of the sentinel attack in New York City. Reports of mutant deaths came in each day, further fueling discontent. Humanity and mutant kind stood on the brink of all out war. And everybody was turning to him.

While Magneto had long sought the beginning of a war, a lot had changed in six years. He was not the same man he once was the day he proclaimed his hatred for humanity. He had different plans now. War alone wouldn’t give mutants their rightful status. He came to realize that in the take over of Genosha. But he may not have a choice given current trends.

War was finally near. The battle lines were being drawn. But there was just one problem.

“So the sentinel incident was completely staged,” said Magneto as he and the Brotherhood went over their findings in the main citadel, “What a surprise.”

“Yeah, big whoop,” shrugged Pyro, “So now everybody’s crying war. Guess they did the work for us, eh?”

“It might not be that simple, Pyro,” said Magneto, folding his hands in a musing gesture.

“What do you mean?” said Lance, “Isn’t this what we’ve been fighting for?”

“Avalanche, if I wanted to start a war I would have done it long ago,” said the master of magnetism sternly, “My plans have changed.”

It was a shocker for the Brotherhood, who had been fighting alongside this man for years. But he looked dead serious. Apocalypse really did change him, but it had never shown like this before.

“Oh come on!” exclaimed Pietro, “Everybody on the island is practically begging for it. The humans won’t accept us. You’ve been saying it for years and now it’s come full circle.”

“And I still believe it,” said Magneto, getting up from his throne and gazing out the window, “But that doesn’t mean we should run head first into this conflict.”

“Why not?” groaned Blob, “We have the evidence right here.”

“No, what you have is proof of an internal plot from a fringe group. Clearly, someone went through a lot of trouble to set this up. They knew how to handle the X-men and the media. It’s all too perfect.”

“You mean like a trap?” said Wanda.

“Precisely,” affirmed Magneto, “And we’re walking right into it.”

“So what?” shrugged Toad, “They’re humans. We can take em.”

Magneto cast a scowl towards the nimble mutant, causing him to cower under his penetrating gaze.

“That, Toad, is the sin of hubris. If we attack now, humanity will have the upper hand. This incident has galvanized the public against us. And someone is pulling the strings…someone with very good connections in very high places.”

“So what do we do about it?” asked Lance, “For all we know, they could nuke us at any moment.”

“No they won’t,” said Magneto, turning away, “The government operates too slowly for such brash actions. But the seeds have been sewn and we must stop this before it manifests.”

“And how do we do that?” asked Wanda.

Picking up the tapes gathered from their spy mission, Magneto’s eyes narrowed.

“We expose this little conspiracy for what it is,” he said ominously, “We will compile our evidence and deliver it to the UN. Once they see this, the geopolitical drones will scramble for a resolution. Outrage or not, the public does not like being duped. And we will use that to our advantage.”

“But wouldn’t it just be easier to go along?” argued Pyro, “Hell, you’re the one always saying war is inevitable. Why not just leave it?”

“Because Pyro, if ever a war does come, it’s going to be on our terms…not the humans.”

Nobody questioned his words. His leadership was law. Magneto was many things, but above all he was a realist. And there were just too many things about this situation that didn’t feel right.

Suddenly, a call came in over the video phone built into the table.

“Erik, it’s Mystique. I have something.”

“Go ahead, Mystique,” said Magneto, turning his attention to the monitor.

“You know those stories about the X-men being rescued by some oddly dressed commandoes?”

“Yes, do you have confirmation?”

“Not exactly, but I did hack a report from the Pentagon. It’s vague, but the name on the report is Nick Fury and it has some classified recordings of the scene and more info on this Henry Peter Gyrich. I’m not sure, but it might be a little gift.”

Magneto rubbed his chin curiously. It was a lucky break, but he didn’t believe in lucky breaks. He knew of Nick Fury and unless he was getting careless in his old age, chances were he also wanted to see this conspiracy blown wide open. But at the moment, that was not his greatest concern. He had other questions that needed answering and the more he thought about it, the more suspicious this situation grew.

“I’ll be right there,” he told her, turning off the phone and turning to the Brotherhood, “The rest of you, prepare the evidence. We’ll make our case to the world soon.”

“What about you, father?” asked Wanda.

“I’m going to look into this a bit further,” he said, gathering his helmet and making his leave, “I have a feeling there may be more to it than any of us realize.”


Days passed as the rest of the world stood on the brink of chaos while everything on Xavier Island ran as peacefully as ever. The X-men were enjoying themselves, partaking in the opulence of being revered as gods by a Church that believed them to be reincarnations of Altantean deities. It didn’t matter whether or not it was true. All that mattered is they were getting a break for once.

Much of the team was embracing Atlantean luxuries. Tabitha, Amara, Ray, Roberto, Jamie, Rahne, Rogue, Remy, and Sam spent time being pampered. They partook in the large entertainment systems they had set up, complete with all the amenities of home. The staff chefs gave them food whenever they craved it. And they even took part in the sex the servants willingly offered. However, this didn’t sit well with everyone.

Ever since the first night, Rogue had been distant. Everywhere she turned, Remy was enjoying the company of the female servants. They were all attractive and wore sexually provocative attire, so it wasn’t much of a stretch to imagine what they did behind closed doors. And even though it shouldn’t have bothered the southern goth, it ate away at her. But she kept it to herself.

Logan was also not entirely enjoying himself. While his suspicious had been eased to some extent, he remained vigilant. He spent most of his time with Laura, exploring the island with her. He also spent time with Ororo, who seemed to enjoy the peaceful society and even became a fan of Atlantean clothing. And while Logan didn’t show it, he did find himself admiring her beauty. He still found himself growling every time one of the male servants offered her sex.

Kurt stayed in constant contact with Amanda, letting her know he was okay and telling her everything was going to be alright. He had been weary of telling Ayla and Arion about her. He didn’t know how they would react to one of their gods being engaged to an outsider. But so far, nobody seemed too suspicious and he wanted to keep it that way.

Scott and Jean spent most of their time alone, treating this trip as if it were their honeymoon all over again. They spent their time making love, sampling the vast selection of food, and exploring the enchanting city. They found themselves constantly stopped in the streets by other couples, asking them to bless their marriage with their love. It was a bit overwhelming, but reassuring to know their love was so strong.

Kitty and Piotr also used this time to be romantic with each other. Together, they toured the island. Kitty’s valley girl persona was right at home amongst the festivals and as a goddess, she and Piotr got a front row seat. It left few chances for private moments, but they managed to sneak a few in here and there.

For Xavier and Hank, curiosity about this island remained strong. Xavier spent hours going over the Orion Prophecy with Lilandra, who he quickly grew fond of. But it was slow progress. The prophecy wouldn’t reveal its secrets easily. So in order to learn more, Ayla and Arion were giving them a tour of their wondrous society.

“Such a grand city,” said Hank as he, Xavier, Lilandra, and the two high priests flew over the landscape in a hover craft, “I can’t even begin to conceive how it was constructed in a mere six years.”

“Atlantean technology has helped a great deal,” said Arion as they passed over a magnificent tower with a waterfall coming out the top, “The ancients were masters of metallurgy and masonry. They perfected means to take metal and rock and morph it into whatever shape or form they choose. Using this, building great cities is a not nearly as tedious as it seems.”

“Just like the mesomorphic nature of Apocalypse’s technology?” said Xavier as he gazed over the buildings.

“The very same,” smiled Ayla, “It was no wonder he thought it came from aliens. Who else would have thought that humans thousands of years ago championed such feats?”

“Sounds pessimistic in a sense, but I cannot say I blame them,” sighed Hank, “Atlantean society is truly remarkable.”

“Which is why we have tried to accurately partake in the values that made it strong,” said Arion, “Our code of laws is the very same that Xuthasius penned. And much of our policies are reminiscent of the early days when Atlantis was still maturing.”

The hover craft descended over a circular area within the city. It was the middle of the day and the streets were crowded with people going about their business. Some looked up and cheered at Xavier’s presence. In response, he kindly waved, still not used to such reverence. They then passed over another temple-like structure with statues of some of their descendants adorning the streets. And from the looks of it, something significant was going on within.

“Is that another temple?” inquired Xavier.

“No, that would be a breeding center,” said Ayla.

“Breeding center?” said Xavier suspiciously.

“Yes, it’s part of our program to advance the human genome to its former glory through selective breeding.”

“Selective breeding?” said Hank, shocked by this revelation, “You mean like eugenics?”

Ayla and Arion exchanged looks. Hank didn’t use that term with approval, but in their society it didn’t have such stigma. Nevertheless, they were quick to explain themselves.

“Well it is similar in some respects,” admitted Arion, “You see, we believe mutants are the key to furthering humanity. The X-gene is the pivotal step towards enhancing human DNA to its optimal state that once allowed Atlanteans to thrive. Therefore, we take segments of our mutant population and mate them for advanced offspring.”

“And the people do this willingly?” said Xavier, his eyes fixated on the crowd below.

“Of course,” assured Ayla, “There is no coercion with this program. Our population does it willingly in accordance to the teachings of Xuthasius. If you recall, he advocated the same idea in furthering the advanced beings of his time into future generations, eventually leading to a much more evolved race.”

“You mean he used the same practices?” questioned Hank.

“No,” said Arion, “Unlike us, Xuthaius had advanced genetics technology that made selective breeding obsolete. But since we don’t have that luxury, we must do things the old fashioned way. It’s slower, but it gets the job done. Altanean values on sexuality also help.”

“And we’ve had success,” added Ayla, “Thus far, we’ve been able to breed a sizable population of young mutants and put them with nurturing families. With some of our technical know-how, we’ve created a generation that is quite advanced and we’re very proud of it. You may find it ethically suspect, but if you wish you may go down and see for yourself.”

“No, that’s alright,” assured Xavier, “I just find it troubling that so many people are willing to go along with it.”

“Yes, I thought so too, Charles,” said Lilandra, placing a hand on his shoulder, “But I’ve seen the facilities first hand. Every participant is fairly enthusiastic about aiding the development of a new generation of mutants. In fact, I almost volunteered to bear a mutant child.”

“You did?” said Xavier with a surprised look.

“Indeed, but I decided against it. My studies came first.”

“And we didn’t try to persuade you otherwise,” said Arion, “Make no mistake, this program is not without controversy. There are some who feel it’s tampering with natural processes. But the majority of the island supports it. In fact, some have even asked to get you and the rest of our lords involved in fostering a new generation.”

“Involved you say?” said Hank suspiciously.

“Yes, some of our most esteemed and genetically endowed clergy have expressed desire to bear children with the X-men in hopes of propagating the divine spirit of our gods.”

Xavier and Hank exchanged looks. These values certainly stood in stark contrast with what they were used to. Their liberal attitudes towards sexuality were surprising enough, but this idea of breeding mutants to advance the human race was somewhat suspect. And saying they wished to do the same with their students was a disconcerting thought.

“Please, I assure you we’re not out breed with them right now,” said Lilandra, quickly stepping in, “That will only happen if you and your peers agree to it. That’s just a popular idea that’s been going around lately.”

“I see,” said Xavier with a bit of relief, “So the servants who are giving my students their every desire…”

“Are not out to bear their children,” assured Lilandra, “I personally made sure that nothing would happen unless you or your students chose to.”

“Very well,” said Xavier in relief, “Thank you for your foresight.”

“It’s my job,” she said with a warm smile.

That helped set Xavier’s mind at ease. He still had many suspicions about this mysterious organization, but Lilandra wasn’t one of them. While he hadn’t known her long, he already trusted her implicitly. But it certainly didn’t go unnoticed by Hank, or Arion and Ayla for that matter.

‘Getting a little friendly with the lady, old friend?’ sent Hank via his thoughts.

‘Please don’t start, Hank. I’d rather not discuss it now.’

‘Fair enough. But just so you know, you’re acting like Scott when he’s around Jean. I’m trying very hard no to laugh.’

‘Well I appreciate you keeping that to yourself.’

Hank covered his mouth to suppress his amusement. It was just too much seeing the Professor act this way around a woman. It was like teaching high school all over again. But he sensed great chemistry between these two. And he was happy to see him smile so much in her presence.

“Well then, shall we continue?” said Arion, casting Lilandra a knowing look.

“Please,” said Xavier, “I must see more. I have to know everything I can about Atlantis if I’m to decipher the Orion Prophecy.”

Ascending in their hover craft over the elaborate squares, Ayla and Arion continued their tour. Xavier and Lilandra continued to steal glances, having psychic conversations between one another the whole way. The two high priests didn’t know what to make of it, but they dared not question their lord. If he wanted to know more, then it was their job to oblige.

But for Hank and the Professor, they also couldn’t help but wonder how far the others would take to Atlantean values, namely that of sexuality.


Rogue felt like she was being left out. Everywhere she went her friends were enjoying the sexual freedom Atlantis offered. The servants were always willing to fulfill their needs and since everybody on the island was so keen on being fit, the possibilities were endless. But for her, she had yet to partake in such offers. Even though many male servants offered to please her, she turned them down. It was only recently she gained control, but old habits hung strong when it came to intimacy.

“Hey Rogue! In here!” called Tabitha as she saw her pass by the bath house, “Wanna join?”

Rogue stepped into the vast heated bath house where Tabitha, Amara, Rahne, Bobby, Sam, and Jubilee were all relaxing naked in the heated waters. They held up glasses of wine while a series of naked servants, both male and female, kept them company. Sam and Bobby were already making out with some of the girls while Rahne and Amara were getting busy with the handsome men.

Rogue had just come from the gym, having blown off some steam with a workout. And this was the last thing she wanted to see. It was bad enough Remy was indulging in Atlantean excess, but seeing everybody else have such a good time just made her more tense.

“Ah’ll pass,” she said, diverting her gaze from the nude figures.

“Oh come on, Rogue!” said Rahne, playfully sliding her hand down the chiseled chest of one of the male servants with animalistic lust, “It’s a lot of fun. I’ve never felt so relaxed before in me life!”

“Yeah, and besides, it looks like you could use a little intimacy,” said Amara, taking a sip of her wine.

Rogue shot the Nova Roman princess an angry scowl. But she and the others were too happy to even care. So she stormed off in a fit of anger.

“What’d I say?” said Amara with a confused look.

“Beats me,” shrugged Tabitha, slipping her arms around a couple of the handsome men, “But that girl needs to get laid big time.”

“I’ll say,” said Jubilee, “Wonder why she’s so tense?”

“Who knows?” shrugged Sam as one of the women was giving him a back rub, “Maybe she and Remy had another fight or something?”

“Ah forget about it. I’ll never understand how things work with those two,” said Bobby with a naked woman in his arms, “If Rogue wants to spend her vacation in a mood, that’s her problem. It shouldn’t affect the rest of us.”

“Amen to that!” said Tabitha as she and Amara set their wine aside and started getting busy with the handsome men.


While her friends resumed their fun, Rogue dragged herself down the elaborate corridors to the changing room. Along the way, she passed a collection of private areas that resembled steam rooms. Only with these, there was a large comfortable table in the center where one could get a massage from a servant or a loved one. She could tell some were occupied. Along the way, she saw Scott and Jean really enjoying themselves.

“Oh Scott…oh that’s it. It feels so good,” moaned Jean, lying naked on the center table surrounded by steam as her husband gave her a massage.

“Glad you like it, love,” said Scott as he carefully rubbed his wife’s back.

Rogue’s heart sank. Just once, she would have liked to share that kind of intimacy. Scott and Jean may not partake in the sexual services from the servants, but they spent plenty of time having fun together. It was enough to make Rogue want some herself. As she continued, she stopped at other rooms. In one, Jamie was getting a massage from an attractive female servant. Being 19 and surrounded by attractive women was nothing short of paradise to him.

“Oh man, I never want to leave,” he moaned approvingly as a scantily clad woman rubbed his back.

Rogue rolled her eyes. Even the youngest of the team was getting some. She started walking faster, wanting desperately to get out. But her luck caught up with her and she passed by one last steam room where a familiar voice caught her attention.

“Yeah…oh yeah,” moaned a muffled Cajun accent, “Dat’s it. Dat’s nice.”

Rogue’s face contorted in anger, clenching her fists as she peaked into the room to see Remy lying naked on the massage table with two nude women rubbing their hands over his back.

“You seem very tense, my lord,” said one of the attractive woman, “Is there any reason?”

“Nah, Remy just can’t turn his mind off sometimes,” sighed the Cajun.

“I see,” said the other woman, “Is there anything we can do to help?”

The Cajun mutant smiled. His womanizing ways were welcome in this place. And after taking a bullet in New York, the service here was perfect medicine.

“I can think of a few things,” he grinned.

Rogue heard enough. She was tempted to just fly in and rip that Cajun’s head off. It infuriated her to no end. He had no will power whatsoever. Surrounded by women, he shut her out and just indulged in Altanean excess. It shouldn’t have angered her. It wasn’t like they were together. They had always flirted, but nothing solid ever came of it, mainly because she kept pushing him away. Now she was starting to have regrets.

Suddenly, she was broken from her train of thought.

“Is everything alright, my lady?”

Rogue turned to see three attractive male servants carrying trays of food. They were most likely more playboys for the girls in the bath house. But after what she had just seen, the southern born woman’s frustrations boiled over.

“No, Ah’m not alright! Not in the slightest!” she spat.

“Is…is there anything we can do for you?” said another male servant wearily.

Looking back in the direction where Remy was getting it on with those girls, Rogue threw out her stern demeanor and started acting on impulse. If everybody else was letting their inhibitions loose, then why couldn’t she?

“Ah could use a massage,” she told them bluntly, “And maybe a few other ‘services’ if ya catch mah drift.”

The three men smiled and bowed loyally to their incarnate goddess.

“If that’s what my lady desires, then that’s what she’ll get.”

“Good, cause Ah need it,” she said, dragging them into a vacant steam room, “It’s about time Ah finally cut loose.”

The three male servants obediently followed her. Rogue was on a new mission. She was going to let herself go crazy for once. All her inhibitions were going out the window. If her friends could do it, then why couldn’t she? And just to spite Remy, she was going to make as much noise with her little activities as possible.


In the center square not far from the temple, Logan and Laura took some time to get away from the palace. A large festival had been organized by the locals and Laura wanted to attend, wanting to get out of the palace for a while. It wasn’t big, but it was pretty elaborate.

While some simply passed by minding their own business, others joined. It looked to be a pretty regular ritual. People were gathering in front of a statue of Xuthasius, played music, and sang songs. There were children, teenagers, and old men clapping along as a group of clergymen and women, mutant and human alike, dressed up in elegant Greco-Roman attire and dancing under the light of the setting sun.

While Logan and Laura weren’t one to dance, they still enjoyed the sight. Laura was smiling, watching the enchanting sight before her.

“They carry a nice tune,” commented Laura as she clapped along, “Don’t you think, Father?”

“It’s better than half the crap the others blast on their stereos,” he shrugged, holding a glass of liquor.

“I’ll say. I’m glad I could drag you out here.”

“Ah you know me darlin’. I’d go to hell and back for ya. Just don’t try and drag me to those fertility rituals.”

“Why not? I thought you wouldn’t mind a ritual that involved naked women,” she joked.

“I don’t,” he said, taking a gulp of his drink, “It’s just awkward when I’m with my kid.”

“Whatever,” she sighed, focusing back on the music.

The cheering and chanting continued. Many recognized Logan and Laura. Some even offered them to join, but they turned them down. They were content watching. It helped set the two living weapons at ease. These people were a part of a radical group, yet as they danced and sang they seemed anything but threatening. They all were happy to have found a place in this crazy world. Logan and Laura could definitely relate. Perhaps they weren’t so different from these people after all.

Suddenly, a cheer erupted from the crowd.

“Look, up in the sky! The goddess of weather approaches!” exclaimed a young girl, pointing skyward.

Everybody looked up to see Ororo Munroe descending over the area, wearing an elegant toga with African style emblems. Cheers and praise erupted from the crowd as they bowed and sang in the presence of their divine goddess. Ororo, being used to such adulation, smiled and waved as she descended towards Logan and Laura.

“There you are,” she said, landing before them, “I wondering where you two ran off to.”

“Blame her,” said Logan, elbowing his daughter, “She’s the one who dragged me out here.”

“Guilty as charged,” she shrugged, “So what are you doing here, Ororo?”

“I heard the singing and thought I’d check it out,” she said.

“Well then why don’t ya take a seat?” said Logan casually, “I got some of that wine that…”

But before he could finish, a mutant woman dancer ran up to Ororo and grabbed her arm.

“Lady Storm! Lady Storm! Please join in our festival!” she urged, “It would be such an honor to have your presence!”

“Um…sure,” smiled Ororo, “What do I do?”

“It doesn’t matter, as long as you’re with us! Please come!”

Ororo didn’t have time to say no as she was whisked along for the ride. Everybody urged her along from the old men to the young toddlers. She didn’t know what she was doing, so she improvised. Getting into the spirit, Ororo summoned some winds to rally the crowd and make her elegant toga sway. Such a sight certainly didn’t go unnoticed by the men, Logan in particular.

He stopped drinking as he watched her, smiling and dancing to the chants. She looked every bit as divine as the people believed. The more he watched, the more entranced he became.

Then Ororo stepped it up. Urged on by the populous, she closed her eyes and summoned the winds. Levitating into the air, rain clouds formed over her and a light drizzle engulfed the crowd. It was an amazing experience for the onlookers, throwing their hands up and absorbing this gift from their goddess. It was truly a wondrous moment.


The water clung to her toga, soaking it with moisture and causing it to cling to her womanly frame. Her hair cascaded down her back, the rain adding to her divine aura. She was beautiful. She was a sight no words could describe.

“Wow…” said Logan, fixated on the beautiful woman as she hovered over the crowd like an angel.

Caught in a daze, he dropped his glass of hard wine. But he barely noticed. For the first time, all his anxieties and concerns were set aside. All he could think about now as the wondrous sight before him.

“Dad? Oh dad,” said Laura, grinning at her father’s dazed demeanor.

Waving her hand in front of his face, she got no response. Rolling her eyes, former weapon X23 laughed.

“You think she’s beautiful, don’t you?”

That got Logan’s attention.

“Huh? What?” he stammered.

“It’s okay, dad. You’re secret’s safe with me.”

Logan was at a loss for words. He hadn’t expected that. He had seen Ororo countless times before, but never like this. He had known her for years. So why was he looking at her differently now?

Gazing up at her still hovering form, Ororo cast him and Laura a smile. For a moment, the Wolverine’s inner rage calmed and he actually smiled. It was a good feeling, one he hadn’t experienced before. Maybe there was something spiritual about this place after all. Seeing Ororo act as the goddess she was, he knew he could never look at her the same way again. And for Laura, it would be very interesting to see how this affected things between her dad and Ororo down the line.


As night settled over the palace, Kurt was sitting up on the roof getting some fresh air. The cooks had organized a feast for everybody. They made all their favorites, leaving nothing to chance. And despite his legendary appetite, Kurt wasn’t too hungry. He just couldn’t stop thinking about Amanda.

Perched atop a balcony, he gazed over the majestic lights of the island. It was a beautiful sight, much more gentle and peaceful than usual city lights. And down there, people didn’t run from him or chase him with torches. They actually revered him like a god. He had never been offered so much pampering before. He practically had to beat the women off with a stick. But for Amanda’s sake, his will power stayed strong.

He tried to relax, spending time in the bath house and exploring the city with the others. He was amazed to see how much people revered him and his friends. Being Catholic, it felt odd given his worldview. But it was a nice change from the usual. Yet Amanda was not there to enjoy it with him. She was stuck back in the real world with all the hate and turmoil still raging strong.

“There you are,” came a voice, breaking Kurt out of his train of thought, “You had me worried there for a while.”

“Kitty?” he said, commend down from his perch, “Vhat are you doing up here?”

“There’s a giant feast full of meat and deserts downstairs and Kurt Wagner is wallowing by himself up here,” said Kitty bluntly, “You honestly expect me not to be concerned?”

Kurt blushed. Kitty knew him well enough to see when he was distressed. And not partaking in a free buffet was a dead giveaway.

“So are you gonna tell me what’s wrong or are you going to let everybody keep worrying?”

“Fine,” he sighed, “It’s just…I can’t stop thinking about Amanda. Zhings aren’t getting any better out zhere. I keep vorrying something may happen to her.”

“Oh yeah, I forgot about that,” said Kitty, diverting her gaze, “I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be sorry, Kitty,” he smiled, placing a hand on her shoulder, “You’re right to be concerned. Zhat’s vhat friends do.”

Kitty smiled back, glad to see his mood lift somewhat.

“So when’s the last time you talked to her?” asked Kitty.

“Earlier zhis morning,” he said distantly, “She said people are starting to snoop around. I’m vorried zhat zhe media may find out ve’re engaged.”

“But she’s human. That should protect her,” said Kitty, trying to sound hopeful.

“She’s a human engaged to a mutant,” he muttered, “I’m petrified enough zhat zhe people here may not accept zhat. But vith all zhe drama back home, I’m vorried she may get hurt and it’ll be all my fault.”

Slamming his fist on the balcony, Kurt turned away. His face contorted with frustration, angered that he was endangering the woman he loved. Kitty couldn’t relate, but that didn’t stop her from giving her friend a calming hug.

“Hey, take it easy,” she said, “Amanda knew that risk the day you two hooked up. She’s already agreed to marry you. That alone shows how much she loves you.”

“But vhat if something happens?” he reiterated strongly, “I can’t sleep at night knowing she’s still out there!”

“Then, like, why don’t you ask Ayla and Arion to bring her here until the fury back home dies down?” she suggested, “I’m sure they’ll understand.”

“I don’t know,” he said, still deeply worried, “Zhey don’t know I’m marrying a human. Vhat if it runs against zheir beliefs or something? Vhat if it’s against zheir teachings for one of zheir gods to marry a mortal?”

Kitty hadn’t thought of that. These people had shown just how dedicated they were to their faith. They treated them like living gods, setting aside all their needs and concerns for the sake of theirs. And it took only one belief to dent their worldview. As two people who grew up with religious backgrounds, they understood that better than most people.

“I see your point,” she said, biting her lip, “So what are you going to do? Just keep it a secret?”

“I don’t know!” exclaimed Kurt, “I just…I vant Amanda to be safe. I vant to have her vith me.”

Kitty didn’t know what to say. She didn’t have that problem. Her lover was already with her and Kurt was miles apart from the woman he was poised to marry. She imagined herself in the same state if Piotr was the one in danger. It was hard to contemplate, but even harder on Kurt with Amanda’s safety at risk.

“I can’t keep doing nothing,” mused Kurt, calming himself down, “I just keep worrying more.”

“But you can’t keep hiding this either,” said Kitty, “Sooner or later, you’ll have to tell somebody.”

“I know, but…I don’t vant to risk ruining everybody’s fun.”

“Even at the expense of Amanda’s safety?” said Kitty, “Kurt, do you really think we’d hold a grudge for wanting to help someone you love?”

Kurt rubbed the back of his neck. He was in quite jam, but he couldn’t ignore this. It had to come out sooner or later. And with things getting so bad back home, it was probably better it come out sooner.

“You’re right,” sighed Kurt, “I have to get zhis out.”

“Now that’s the Kurt I know,” grinned Kitty, grabbing his arm and taking him back inside, “Come on, I’ll get the others to help!”


“Stop with the buts, Kurt,” said Kitty with a grin, “We’re X-men, remember? Gods or no gods, we still gotta stick together. And besides, don’t you think Amanda would get a kick out of a place as romantic as this?”

Kitty may have been overly upbeat, but it helped lay some of Kurt’s anxiety to rest. He couldn’t leave Amanda to the fury back home. He had to do something for her. Regardless of what the world thought, they were going to be husband and wife. And nothing would stand in their way.


Across the Atlantic, it was past midnight in upstate New York. Amanda Sefton stayed in her room, trying to sleep off the stresses of yet another day of protest among mutant factions. Reporters kept calling her, asking if it was true she was engaged to a mutant, was bearing a mutant baby, or the bastard offspring of other mutants. Eventually, her father ripped the phone jack out of the wall.

She had only been able to talk to Kurt for brief periods. The more she heard his voice, the more she missed him. But the more she watched the news, the more hopeless it seemed. Finally, she gave up watching and fell asleep on her bed.

The TV still blaring, Amanda Sefton slept peacefully for once. Her arm was draped across the other side of her bed where Kurt usually slept when they were together. In her dreams, he was still with her. In reality, she was still alone.

Suddenly, the window to her bedroom flew open, letting in a gust of cold air and stirring her from her slumber.

“Nnn…” she groaned, feeling a chill through her body.

Groggy and tired, Amanda got up and walked up to her window. Looking around, nothing seemed amiss. She was too tired to think about it and chalked it up to absentmindedness.

“Stupid cold,” she muttered, hugging her shoulders.

Now more than ever, she yearned for Kurt’s soft touch. His fuzzy body always kept her warm. She would have to make due without him though. She needed to rest up if she was to make it through another day.

Suddenly, the TV flickered and went out. Another chill ran down Amanda’s spine. Only this time, it wasn’t because of the cold.

“Hello?” she said, slowly approaching her TV.

Her heart rate jumped. Her breathing grew ragged. Her hands shaking, she scanned the darkened room for any signs of activity. Then it happened again. The window flew open.

‘Take it easy, Amanda. Don’t be afraid. You’re the fiancé of an X-man for crying out loud! Nobody’s here. You’re just having a bad dream. Just close your eyes and wake yourself up.’

But as she closed her eyes, a looming presence form behind her door shot out and grabbed her. Instinctively, she tried to scream for her parents. But a cold hand covered her mouth as an imposing grip restrained her.

‘No! NO! Wake up! Please wake up!’

But this was no dream. Whatever was happening, it was real. Suddenly, she felt a sting in the back of her neck. Something cold and metallic sent a wave of shock through her system. And before Amanda Sefton could do any more, the world faded into darkness.

“Sleep tight,” said Artemis, the girl going limp in his arms, “You and the rest of this pitiful world will soon learn the consequences of messing with our lords.”


Up next: Athena confronts Artemis and the X-men get some exciting news.
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