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


by slickboy444 0 reviews

Category: X-Men: Evolution - Rating: PG-13 - Genres:  - Published: 2007-09-13 - Updated: 2007-09-13 - 5596 words - Complete

Cult of the X
Chapter 10: Treachery


After Athena’s entrance and collapse, the palace servants took her down to the medical quarters. She was barely conscious and kept refusing treatment, demanding to speak to Professor Xavier. She was in a lot of anguish, but that didn’t matter to her. They had much bigger issues on their hands to worry about.

“Get off of me!” she spat, stopping one of the doctors from injecting her with pain killers.

“Commander, you still have a collapsed lung. We must administer the proper…”

“Not until I speak to Professor Xavier! Just bring him here and…”

Suddenly, she was cut off as Xavier, Lilandra, and the X-men regulars minus Rogue and Remy arrived. Ayla and Arion were also there, this matter garnering their interest as well. She tried to get up, but her head was still spinning.

“My lord…” she said, keeling over on the medical table.

“Easy commander,” said Arion, coming to her side and holding her up, “Who did this to you?”

Gritting her teeth, she turned to Xavier.

“It was Artemis,” she said in a dark tone.

“Artemis?” said Scott, “You mean that woman who blew up Kelly’s goons back in New York?”

“The very same,” she affirmed, “I found out she abandoned her post several days ago and I’ve been looking everywhere for her. Then I found her in the armory stealing some of our deadliest weapons. I tried to stop her, but…”

She let out another round of coughs. Blood spattered with each gasp. Ayla and Arion held her up, but she shook off further help from the doctors. She was a stubborn soldier, no doubt about it. But at the same time, she hung her head low.

“Forgive me, Lord Xavier. I have failed you,” she said, a tear escaping from her eyes.

The Professor wheeled in closer. Logan and Laura stood by him. Even they were impressed by how tough this woman was. But they could tell there was more.

“It’s alright, Athena,” said Xavier in a calm tone.

“No it’s not!” she said stubbornly, “Artemis was my responsibility!”

“Lady, it sounds like this woman was a loose cannon to begin with,” said Logan.

“Yeah, like, what’s her deal anyways?” asked Kitty.

Athena rubbed her head, still light headed from her injuries. She was in no state to do anything strenuous, but she toughed it out. However, it didn’t make her failure any easier to accept.

“Artemis has always been an unstable soldier,” she struggled, “Her whole life has been one battle after another. Before she joined us she was a faceless mercenary who worked for the largest bidder by day and drowned herself in sorrow by night. Our message of peace and combat resonated with her and she takes her job very seriously. It doesn’t help that she has a major grudge against me.”

“A grudge? What kind of grudge?” said Jean.

“She once outranked me. But I was promoted above her after she kept pushing for a plan to assassinate anti-mutant political figures. She was going to use tactics that violated some of our principles.”

“Indeed,” said Arion sadly, “That’s why we demoted her.”

“But if she was so volatile why did you keep her with the guard?” asked Laura, folding her arms in disgust.

“Because she was a good soldier,” said Athena, “She could get the job done on and off the battlefield. But…something’s happened. She may be a loose cannon, but this is too far even for her!”

Xavier had a bad feeling about this. He remembered how vocal she was about her hatred for non-believers during their arrival. Her aggressive actions back in New York City were evidence enough. But there had to be more.

“Do you have any idea what she’s up too?” asked Xavier intently, “Has she ever had a personal agenda?”

“I’m sorry, my lord, but I only know as much as he told me,” she said, bowing her head in sorrow, “All I recall is her saying something about fulfilling a prophecy. That’s it.”

“A prophecy?” said Xavier, rubbing his chin.

Lilandra and Hank were quick to pick up on what he was thinking.

“Charles, you don’t think…” began Lilandra.

“I pray it’s not,” said Xavier grimly.

Without hesitation, he turned his hover chair around and made his way back to the elevator. Hank and Lilandra followed while the rest of the team looked on in confusion.

“What is it, Professor?” asked Piotr with a concerned tone.

“It’s the Orion Prophecy. It has to be.”

“The Orion Prophecy?” said Ayla in confusion, “No, that’s not possible. The text says…”

“The text is written ambiguously,” quipped Xavier, “She may be interpreting something we missed.”

However, Athena didn’t buy it.

“No, that can’t be,” she said, “Artemis is a good soldier, but she’s hardly a scholar.”

“It’s the only possibility,” said Xavier, “I have to find out what she’s following.”

“And I’ll help,” said Lilandra.

“So will I,” said Hank.

Ayla and Arion also stepped forward.

“We will investigate this matter as well,” said Arion, “Atremis’s actions are very severe. You have our full cooperation.”

“Good,” said Logan, “I’ll get the others on standby. Vacations gotta end some time.”

“Just our luck,” muttered Kitty.

“Don’t tell me you’re surprised,” said Jean.

“Oh well, it was nice while it lasted.”

The work of the X-men was never done. Even on a paradise island, they had to be heroes and save a world that hated and feared them. It never ended, but it was their duty.

“I’ll help as well,” said Athena, trying to get off the table.

“Not in your state, you ain’t,” said Logan.

“Please, my lord!” she said, fighting off her pain, “Artemis is my responsibility! You’ve told me repeatedly that you won’t trust me until I prove myself! Just give me this chance!”

Logan folded his arms skeptically, but a quick gesture from Ororo stopped him.

“Please Logan,” she said softly, “She knows more about this than we do.”

Looking into those deep blue eyes of hers was too much. Even though the Church of X had done much to gain the respect of the X-men, Logan was still vigilant. Only now, he may not have a choice but to trust them.

“Fine,” he muttered.

“Thank you, Lord Wolverine,” said Athena, bowing her head respectfully, “I promise you I won’t let you down.”

“Whatever,” said Logan, rolling his eyes.

Ororo cast him a warm smile. While he tried to hide it, he smiled back. Laura was tempted to comment, but Ororo shook her head. Now was not the time for teasing. They had a problem and it was time for the X-men to do their thing.


While Logan and the others were gathering up the team and filling them in on the situation, some remained isolated from the conflict. After her behavior during breakfast, Rogue retreated to her palace suite and buried herself under the covers. Her hangover had waned, but she still felt miserable. Twice, the attractive male servants came by and offered to help, but each time she turned them away. She just needed to be alone.

‘Stupid Cajun. This is all his fault! If he wasn’t gettin’ busy with those girls Ah would never have gotten into this mess! Damn it, why do Ah have to have feelings for the guy?’

Covering her head with the pillow, Rogue tried to turn her brain off. All she could think of was Remy and how miserable he made her.

Suddenly, there came a knock at her door.

“Ah told ya, go away! Ah don’t want any services!” she spat.

“Cherè…it’s me,” came a deep, Cajun tone.

Rogue shot up from her grim state. Of all the people in the world, Remy was the last she wanted to think about at the moment. But at the same time, he was the source of her problems. She couldn’t turn away from this no matter how much she wanted to.

“Look, I’m comin’ in,” said Remy, not giving her the chance to turn him away.

Opening the door, he stepped into the room to see the sulking southern belle curled up on her bed. She didn’t look any better than she had earlier. Nevertheless, he was determined to make it up to her.

“Feelin’ any better?” he asked casually.

“Get out,” she said sternly.

“Sorry cherè, but Remy can’t do that.”

“Ya want me to throw you out?” she warned with a threatening look, “Ah swear, Ah’ll do it!”

“No ya won’t,” said the Cajun calmly.

“Oh? And what makes ya so dang sure?”

“Cause you’d have done it already,” he said, taking a seat next to her on her bed, “Ya wanna rip Remy apart, go ahead. But I ain’t leavin’ until we talk about dis.”

“Go ahead an’ knock yourself out,” she said stubbornly, “Cause Ah ain’t got nothin’ to say to ya!”

“Fine, den just listen.”

Rogue was being very stubborn. She was resisting him at every turn. But he had to do this. Taking a deep breath, Remy ran his hands through his messy hair. This wasn’t going to be easy, but he couldn’t just leave things the way they were with this girl. She meant too much to him.

“Cherè, I know it ain’t gonna do any good to tell ya Remy’s sorry. Yeah, bein’ surrounded by all these beautiful and willin’ women was very temptin’. And when it comes to will power, Remy’s pitiful in every way.”

Rogue turned her head, not wanting to look him in the eye. But Remy kept going. Even if she didn’t listen, he had to get this off his chest.

“But de thing is, for everythin’ Remy does ya expect him to do what ya want. I don’t know if ya picked up on it, but you’re very special to me, Rogue. Remy cares for ya more than you’ll ever know.”

“Sure gotta funny way of showin’ it bangin’ all these pretty girls,” she muttered.

Remy’s head sank, but at least it showed she was listening. Then his expression turned to one of frustration. He had just opened up to her in a way he hadn’t with any other woman and yet she still brushed him off. Even for her, that was cold.

“Oh? And what you did with those men was any different?” he spat.

“Don’t turn this back on meh, Cajun!” shot the southern goth.

“Why shouldn’t I?” quipped Remy, “You’re de one dat’s always brushed Remy off! Ever since you could touch again, Remy’s gone out of his way to get close to ya! But every damn time ya push me away and stomp on my heart like it was nothing! You think I hurt you by sleeping with those girls? Dat was NOTHING compared to how much you hurt me every time ya pushed me!”

Remy’s words were harsh. There was obvious strain in his voice. It hit Rogue in a way she didn’t expect. Their relationship had always been complicated. They flirted constantly, but nothing ever developed between them. Rogue never let it get that far. She had no idea it hurt this man so much.

There was a cold silence between them. They couldn’t even look at each other. They were so angry and frustrated. Everything felt so wrong. But Remy wasn’t done yet.

“Remy’s been thinkin’ about dis all day,” he said in a calmer tone, “And I finally came realized something. For all you’re power and strength, you’re still afraid, Rogue. Even if ya can touch, you’re still every bit as afraid as ya were de day Remy first saw ya.”

Rogue cast the Cajun a scathing look. But Remy wasn’t phased in the slightest.

“Ya don’t know nothin’, swamp rat,” she said angrily.

“Call Remy what ya will, but I have a talent for readin’ people,” he went on, unafraid of this woman’s wrath, “Remy looks at ya and sees two people. One is de strongest, prettiest, most amazin’ woman I’ve ever met. De other is a cold, angry, scared little girl who uses her powers as an excuse to stay alone.”

That hit Rogue hard. On one hand, Remy saw something in her that he really liked. On the other, he saw through her layers of insecurity. Few people could do this to her, but Remy Lebeau knew her better.

“For all those years, you’re powers protected ya from ever havin’ to get close to anybody,” he went on, “If ya just keep pushin’ people away, ya’ll never risk gettin’ hurt. Maybe it’s because of what happened with Mystique. Or maybe it’s because ya just don’t think yer capable of openin’ up to someone. But yer still scared. Yer scared and ya don’t want to face de truth.”

Each word stung like a million daggers into her flesh. It stripped away the layers of protection she had kept around her for years. Rogue never shared her fears or insecurities with anybody. But Remy didn’t need her to do that in order to show her the truth.

“Remy…” she said, on the verge of tears.

“I know it don’t excuse Remy for what he did wit’ dose girls,” he sighed, “But it was just sex. It wasn’t any different den what ya did wit dose guys. But don’t think for a second dat dis is all Remy’s fault. We weren’t ever an item. We were never together. Even thought Remy tried we…”

Never being good with words, Remy stopped himself. It was too hard to go on. He never unloaded on anybody like this before. But he never had such strong feelings for anybody like this either. He couldn’t face her like this. It just hurt too much.

“I’m sorry, cherè,” he said, getting up off the bed, “I just can’t do dis anymore.”

“Remy wait!” said Rogue, reaching forth and grabbing his hand.

The Cajun mutant stopped cold in his tracks upon feeling her warm hand in his. He didn’t want to turn around, but he couldn’t help it. The look in Rogue’s eyes was one of hurt and sorrow. But the soft touch of his skin sent a soothing warmth through her being.

“Don’t go,” she told him.

“But…” he began.

“Please, Remy. Don’t go.”

Time slowed down. No more words were spoken. What happened next happened without warning or reason. Slowly, Remy was drawn back into Rogue’s alluring warmth. Only this time, she embraced him and didn’t push away. Their bodies drifted closer, absorbing the soft touch that had once been denied to them. Finally, their lips came together in a soft kiss.

It was sweet and heartfelt. All the frustration melted away. All the complications of their relationship went out the window. Everything they couldn’t say or were afraid to confront could be expressed through a simple, meaningful kiss.

It seemed to go on forever. When they finally parted, Rogue and Remy were in a daze. Still locked in a warm embrace, they gazed into one another’s eyes.

“I’m sorry, Remy,” she said, her words choked with emotion.

“I’m sorry too,” he said, gently caressing her face, “Remy’s never told any femme dis before but…I love you.”

Tears streamed down her face as a feeling she once thought she never felt washed over her. Once denied the ability to touch, love seemed like a distant dream to her. But now it was before her, filling her with such warmth and tenderness.

“I love ya too, Remy,” she said, hugging him close.

Falling back on the bed, Rogue and Remy met in another deep kiss. For all the complications with their relationship, it was finally coming together. They were no longer afraid to embrace this feeling. This was their moment. It had taken awhile, but it was definitely worth it.


Back in his private quarters, Kurt was on the phone trying to reach Amanda. He had been dialing and redialing for nearly a half hour. But every time, he got a busy message. With a new potential threat looming over them, he yearned to speak to her. And the more he got no answer, the more concerned he became.

“Come on, liebe. Pick up!” he urged with a frustrated grunt, “Vhat’s vrong vith zhis thing?!”

Just then, somebody knocked on his door and entered.

“Hey Kurt, you still trying to call Amanda?” said Bobby.

“Yes, but something’s wrong,” he grunted, throwing the phone on his bed, “She von’t answer!”

“Wow, take it easy man,” said Bobby, backing off somewhat at Kurt’s mood.

He let out a deep sigh. He shouldn’t have been this frustrated, but he couldn’t help it. Whenever it involved Amanda, it always made him worry.

“I’m sorry, mien friend,” said Kurt, “I’m just vorried.”

“With a nut like Artemis running around, I can’t say I’d blame you,” said the Iceman with a light hearted gesture.

“It’s not just zhat,” mused Kurt, “Amanda never fails to answer my calls for zhis long.”

“Well maybe she’s busy or in the shower?” suggested Bobby, “Seriously man, don’t torture yourself with this sort of thing. It’s not healthy, especially when we could be called into action at any minute.”

“I know,” he sighed, “But I just…ever get zhat feeling vhere you know something’s wrong, but can’t quite put your finger on it?”

“Dude, I felt that with every girl who ever hit on me in college,” grinned Bobby, “You’re worrying about nothing. She’ll call. I know she will.”

Kurt managed a half smile. Bobby had a way of lightening things up with his sense of humor. But he couldn’t stop himself from worrying. Amanda was his fiancé and with everything so volatile back home, there was so much that could happen. But they had enough problems to worry about. Looking down at the wedding ring on his finger, he sent a silent prayer to his lover. Wherever she was, he hoped she was safe.


Back in Isaac’s layer, Amanda was still restrained. She watched curiously as the mysterious man toiled over endless texts and computer records. He never showed any signs of fatigue. He didn’t even eat. He was completely focused on the task at hand.

“Time’s running out,” he mused, “The signs must be in place. One has manifested. The child of the greatest love has been conceived. Another is in the works. It all must come together perfectly.”

Amanda cringed at his obsessive demeanor. Whatever this thing was, it was clearly disturbing him a great deal.

“Pal, I think you should lay off the caffeine,” she said, “And it sounds like you could use some help, namely the kind that involves straight jackets and drugs.”

“Silence!” he yelled, “I have no time to deal with smart mouthed comments from the likes of you! There is too much at stake!”

Just then, Artemis stepped in wearing new combat gear. She no longer bore the proud uniform of the Praetorian Guard. She left that life behind with the dead body of her commander. She had a much greater purpose in life now.

“Are we still on, Isaac?” she said, ready for action.

“Ah, you’re back,” said the monk, returning to his texts, “Did you have any problems acquiring the necessary equipment?”

“None that I couldn’t handle,” she said in a strong tone.

“Good, because we need to work fast. I’ve already got a transport ready to take us to the site.”

“I’ll start loading it up,” said Artemis, determined to get started with this task, “What about her?”

Isaac cast Amanda a curious look. Being the fiancé of an X-man, she remained strong. But this guy was creepy even by her standards. He looked at her with both disgust and intrigue, but was hardly intimidated.

“Just leave her,” he said, “She won’t interfere as long as she’s here.”

“Wouldn’t it be easier if I just put her down?” said Artemis coldly, gripping his high tech energy gun with intent.

“Don’t be brutish, Artemis,” said Isaac, “She’ll make a fine witness to the end of this pathetic world. Now hurry up. We have a short window to make this happen. Were you able to track you-know-who?”

“He’s a public figure. It’s already done,” grinned Artemis, “You get the stuff ready. I’ll take care of the beast.”

“Excellent,” said Isaac with an exuberant grin as he gathered his finest Atlantean robe, “Then we had best prepare.”

Covering the tablet in elegant silk cloth, Isaac and Artemis went to work. But before they left, Artemis cast Amanda a hardened scowl.

“You best pray to the gods, girl. You and the rest of your world are going to pay for your arrogant ways.”

Amanda cringed, struggling harder against the metal restraints. She had no intention of sticking around for whatever these two nut jobs had planned. They were crazy on so many levels. And if they were serious about destroying the world, then she had to tell the X-men. But first, she had to get free.

“Come on! Come on!” she grunted, trying to free her hands from the chains, “Damn it! Gotta get out! Gotta break these damn…”

Then she felt it. Her hands started to glow and a powerful bolt of force shot out, hitting the wall and leaving a gaping hole. Amanda froze, looking wide-eyed at what she had just done. It wasn’t the first time it happened, but it gave her an idea. She had been holding this in long enough. It was either control this force within her or stay with two crazed lunatics.

‘Okay girl. You know you’ve got it. You’ve been hiding it long enough. If there really is something in me, then it’s time to let it out. Come on! Concentrate! Get yourself out of this god forsaken hell hole!’

Closing her eyes, she tried to draw the power from within. She didn’t know the trigger, but it seemed to happen when she got angry or frustrated. Drawing on the anger she felt for being abducted against her will and having her fiancé framed for crimes against humanity, Amanda Sefton clenched her fists in a rage. Then with a hard grunt, she let it all out.


The force was much stronger this time. Her hands burned in a bright glow and the force sent her flying back, breaking her restraints and freeing her wrists. It felt strange. Looking down at her hands, she didn’t know what this power was. But she’d worry about that later.

“Time to get out of here,” she said with determination.

She then ran out the door opposite of the one she saw Isaac and Artemis go through. It was already a given she was far from home. Something about this place didn’t feel right and the young woman wanted nothing more than to go home and see her family. Only one person could help her. And the sooner she contacted her fiancé the better.


The rest of the X-men were briefed on the situation. Logan and Scott organized workout sessions in the gym to help everybody get their swagger back. But nobody seemed too enthused with having their vacation turning into another mission.

Both the regulars and X-factor were sluggish in getting back to the gym. Logan was even forced to bring in the Praetorian Guard for help. Everybody had gotten lazy with the pampering, the sex, and the drinking. If there really was a big battle coming up, they were definitely not ready for it.

“Come on, team! Get with the program! Start pushing yourselves already!” yelled Logan as he watched both teams work out and spar.

“Yeow! Tone it down, will you, Wolverine?” groaned Tabitha, “Some of us are still hung over!”

“Speak for yourself, Tabby,” grunted Kitty, who was trying to work the bench press, “At least you can still lift your regular weight. I think I ate one too many of those pastries!”

Tabitha, Kitty, Scott, Jean, Sam, Roberto, and Laura were all lifting weights. Some had a lot of excessive feasts and deserts to work off from days of pampering. Vacations had not left them in top shape. And getting back to their optimal state was no easy task.

“Easy Katya,” said Piotr, who was spotting her, “Try not to pull anything.”

“Fat chance,” she grunted, “Nothing’s even happened and I’m already sore.”

Over with Roberto, Sam, and Laura it wasn’t much better.

“Dang, what a time to hit the gym,” groaned Sam, “Ah just ate a big lunch.”

“Yeah, me too man,” groaned Roberto, “Why do they have to have an all you can eat buffet 24/7?”

“You guys have no will power,” grunted Laura, who was lifting nearly twice what they were managing.

“Speak for yourself, X,” grunted Roberto, “You’re the one with the healing factor.”

“Stop making excuses and start lifting!” she spat, going at it with another set.

Over with Scott and Jean, they were spotting each other intermittently through each set. It was hard getting back in the groove after spending so much vacation time kicking back. But that wasn’t their only concern.

“Are you sure you want to keep at it, Jean?” said Scott in a concerned tone.

“Scott, I’m pregnant, not weak,” she said sternly, “Stop worrying, alright?”

“You’re carrying my baby,” he said in a sincere tone, “You really expect me not to be concerned?”

Jean wiped the sweat from her brow and sighed.

“I know, hun,” she said, gently caressing his face, “But as long as I’m capable, I’m going to help the team.”

“I understand,” he said, casting her a smile, “I just worry our kid is going to pick up on your knack for stubbornness.”

“Watch it, Slim,” she said with a playful grin, “Now shut up an spot me.”

While the others worked out Kurt, Ray, Bobby, Amara, Jubilee, Jamie, Rahne, and Roberto were getting their workout through sparing. The Praetorian Guard helped by teaching them advanced Atlantean style fighting techniques. But hangovers and non-stop frustration compounded their efforts.

“Ugh, I don’t know how much more of this I can take,” groaned Jamie, taking a moment to catch his breath.

“You’re doing fine, my lord,” said one of the soldiers, “Try each move again.”

“Well I need a break,” said Aamra, taking a seat briefly, “I’m starting to cramp up.”

“That’s what fooling around with all those male servants will do you, Princess,” joked Bobby, “It’ll make you sore in so many places.”

“Shut up, Bobby,” frowned the Nova Roman princess.

Jubilee and Rahne weren’t fairing much better. But Kurt wasn’t showing any signs of exhaustion. If anything, he was in the zone punching mechanical dummies and target mechanisms.

“Wow, easy on the pads, Kurt,” said Jubilee, “Save some for the enemy.”

“Sorry, but I need something to take my mind off Amanda,” he grunted, “She still isn’t answering her phone.”

“Aye, I know how ye feel about that,” said Rahne, “But I’m sure she’s okay.”

“Vish I had you’re confidence,” grunted Kurt, “By zhe vay, has either of you seen mien sister?”

“Not since this morning,” said Jubilee, shaking her head.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if she’s still hung over,” added Rahne, “She was really out of it.”

Finally stopping for a moment, Kurt let out a frustrated sigh. He had Amanda on his mind and a hung over sister. It felt like the world was bearing down on him all at once and there was nothing he could do about it.

“I better check on her,” he mused.

“Nah, just give her time,” said Jamie upon catching his breath, “Rogue’s tough in more ways than one.”

As they team continued their workout, Logan shook his head in annoyance. He had a feeling something like this would happen. One minute the team is reveling in being worshipped as gods, the next their having to prepare for a potential threat. Needless to say it wasn’t going very well.

Tabitha, Kitty, Scott, Jean, Roberto, Piotr, Laura, and Sam were working on the vast array of weights that were set up..

“How are they doing, Logan?” asked Ororo, who was supervising with him.

“From what I see now, I wouldn’t send them to defend my liquor cabinet,” he grunted, “I knew this would happen. I can’t believe I let them get so rusty.”

“Don’t blame yourself, Logan,” said Ororo, maintaining a sense of optimism, “Whatever comes of this, I’m sure we’ll be able to handle it.”

“Not like this we won’t.”

“You say that as though they haven’t come through before,” scorned the weather goddess, “Why are you so frustrated?”

Logan let out an exasperated sigh. A headache had been throbbing ever since Athena was brought in. It shouldn’t have bothered him so, but he just couldn’t shake this ominous feeling.

“Something’s up, Ro,” he told her in a grim tone, “I got a bad feeling about this.”

“So do I,” she said, “I’m not taking this lightly either.”

“We’re not ready,” he went on.

“Yes we are,” she said, taking his hand and giving it a firm squeeze, “They’re strong. You trained them. Remember?”

Her gentle touch helped calm Logan’s nerves. He grasped her hand, the warmth lending him comfort in this time of conflict. But he still couldn’t shake this ominous feeling.

“I don’t know what’s comin’, but I hope Chuck finds out soon.”

“Me too,” she said, “By the way, where are Rogue and Remy?”

“I thought you would know,” he said suspiciously, “Didn’t we tell everyone?”

“We did,” she said, “I hope they’re okay.”

“They won’t be if I find out they’ve been foolin’ around,” he muttered, “Because that’s the last thing we need right now.”


Professor Xavier, Lilandra, and Hank wasted no time in getting to work on the Orion Prophecy. Ayla and Arion ordered all related materials be transferred to the study. Athena was still being treated, but she refused doctors orders and worked with the two high priests to search for Artemis.

But the task of deciphering the ancient text was no easy task. It was a 10,000 year old coded message not meant to be read by feeble minds. It was slow going, yet it held so many answers to so many questions.

“Such an odd text,” mused Hank as he looked over the endless tapestries, “This is unlike anything I’ve ever seen before.”

“Yes, it’s why this prophecy has caused so much controversy within the Church,” sighed Lilandra, “Nobody can agree on what it means. Nobody even knows how to decipher it.”

“But there is clearly something here,” said Xavier, gazing over several key passages, “Whoever inscribed this text knew something. I suspect he or she was a mutant, possibly with the ability to see the distant future.”

“What makes you say that, Charles?” asked Hank.

“It’s a hunch, old friend,” said Xavier, “There is too much detail in here for it to be mere ramblings. It says there will be a second age of conflict similar to the one Xuthasius faced in his time, but it is vague on the details.”

“So what could Artemis be interpreting?” said Lilandra curiously.

“Perhaps it’s something we’ve yet to translate,” said Hank, “We’ve only gotten to a part that speaks of a malevolent figure. But I don’t see how that would warrant any cause for mutiny.”

“Funny, in that same passage I recalled an inscription of the child created from pure love being heralded as the first king of the second era,” said Lilandra, looking over the text Beast was referencing.

The three great minds exchanged looks. It sounded like Jean’s baby, but it was very vague. Nothing was certain with this text. The prophecy was the key, but it would not give up its secrets without a fight.

“You think this may have something to do with Jean? Perhaps it is a sign of sorts,” suggested Hank.

“At the moment, nothing is certain,” said Lilandra, “But we must keep searching. If we don’t discover the true meaning of the Orion Prophecy soon, someone else will.”

Looking over the ancient text, a cold feeling came over the Professor. He didn’t know the true meaning of this text, but he knew there was something very dark lurking within these ancient words.

“Lilandra, my dear,” said Xavier with a solemn sigh, “I fear we may already be too late.”


Up next: Artemis and Isaac make their next move while the X-men continue to fall behind.
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