Home | Forum | Mailing List | Repository | Links | Gallery
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18
Chapter 19
Chapter 20
Chapter 21

The Cast of Shadows - REVIEW THIS STORY

Written by NicoPony
Last updated: 04/17/2007 12:31:03 AM

Chapter 21


Enter password to continue

* * * * * * *

I’ve decided to start a new journal, here on my laptop, and write out my thoughts. Like the way normal people do. Professor Xavier says it’s cathartic. Scott has to write one too, and Remy and Rogue. I guess we could all use a little space to vent.

First things first. After we returned to the Institute, there was a lot of explaining to be done. Like about Shadow, and what he was and what he did. Storm knew him from way back when, but she doesn’t want to talk about what happened. Only Professor Xavier, Emma, and I knew about Shadow, and perhaps Rogue and Wolverine caught a glimpse. Everyone else was pretty much in the dark. I suppose that’s what made it so hard for us to trust one another again.

I had to tell everyone about Shadow, and how he had escaped. I had to tell them what he was capable of, how he’d changed us for the worse. And how he’d changed me especially. When Shadow had gained my trust, he’d used Cerebro as a kind of conduit to the physical world. Professor Xavier’s powers were greatly hampered by his presence. Because Shadow was hiding out in my world, the professor was unable to locate him or Emma for that matter. I explained that Shadow had used my influence over Wolverine to poison his thoughts. I explained that Shadow had taken over my body, and that it wasn’t really me who strangled Rogue and scrambled her mind. I wasn’t the one who’d threatened Lorna. Nor did I cause Madelyne’s seizure, though I have a hard time accepting all of this myself.

When I was through, there was still more explaining to be done. This time, the professor took the stand. He told us that Kagiso, the girl we found on our first mission to Sinister’s base, was actually my clone. An imperfect one. Then there was the matter of Madelyne, and her origin. She was created in a lab, just as Kagiso was, and forced into adulthood. Madelyne carries both my genes, and Scott’s genes, making her our biological daughter. Her memories, what little she had, were residual memories from her parents’ minds. How she was able to coincidentally encounter Scott remains a mystery. We can only assume she was being manipulated by Sinister. And from this point, we’ve concluded that Sinister is still out there, somewhere. It will only be a matter of time before we encounter him again.

When the explanations were over, I still felt I had a lot of apologizing to do. I told Scott how I felt. His condemning silence seems to indicate his unwillingness to forgive just yet. I told Remy I was sorry for putting him back in the wrong body. He told me where I could put my apology, that he didn’t accept it because there was nothing to forgive.

“How could you have known I was supposed to be dead?” he asked me. His outlook on life is less than cheerful, to say the least.

I apologized to Rogue, but there is still some animosity there. I fear there will always be. Then I had to apologize to Logan. I found him out in the woods, where he’s been spending a lot of time lately. It was awkward and difficult to speak with him, we were both so riddled with self-doubt. In the end, we shared a brief and uncomfortable embrace. Our relationship damaged, never to be the same again.

It was hard to apologize to Lorna. Not that she purposefully made it difficult on me. She’s become a little preoccupied as of late. I found her in one of the recovery rooms, sitting up on her bed. Alex was sitting across from her, and a game was set up on the bedside table: Connect Four.

“Hi Jeannie,” she said when I entered.

“I like your hat,” I told her.

She tipped the white lady’s cowboy hat she wore in my direction. “Alex bought it for me…what do you think of my new do?” Lorna raised the hat, and showed me her shorn head. “I think they cut it a little too short.”

I laughed. “It’s not so bad.”

“Now both you and the professor have the same hairstyle,” Alex told her. Lorna scowled at him. He dropped his black checker into the game board. “Your move.”

“So what’s up, Jean?” Lorna asked when she dropped her red piece in a slot.

I looked at her nervously, and I glanced from Lorna to Alex, unsure of how to continue. “I just wanted to talk,” I said. “I was hoping you’d be my roommate again, when we both get out of recovery.”

“Don’t be ridiculous!” Lorna exclaimed, and I felt my heart sink. Then she turned and grinned at me. “Do you even need to ask? Of course we’ll be bunkies again!”

When Lorna turned back to the game, she found Alex making a big show of polishing his black checker and then kissing it. Slowly, he lowered the checker to the chosen slot.

“I am the champion! I am the champion!” he sang. “No time for *losers*---.”

“Nooooo!” Lorna screamed as he jammed the checker home, to complete a diagonal line of four black pieces on the game board. Before the checker could fall into place, Lorna overturned the game. Checkers flew everywhere.

“You are such a sore loser!” Alex exclaimed. “I am not picking up those pieces again!”

“But I like to watch you bend over,” Lorna said, fluttering her eyelashes.

Hank poked his head in through the open door. “If you two don’t keep it down, I am going to separate the both of you. From your heads! Now for the last time, please be quiet.”

“Sorry Mister McCoy,” they both said simultaneously, then they exploded into laughter.

I turned to look at Hank. “Please, get me out of here,” I said with false horror. I took the opportunity to escape and leave the pair on their own again, since they seemed to be enjoying each other’s company so much.

I guess that leaves me with one last thing. At first, I was afraid to return to the Astral Plane. I had to take Emma with me, though she was becoming more precocious and obnoxious by the minute. Of course, since I was afraid to go, Emma was the very picture of confidence and bravery. I showed her the small round object Madelyne had given me. It was smooth and milky white, with colors running through it like an opal. It filled the space of my hand.

“It’s an egg,” Emma told me.

“An egg?” I looked at the object again and turned it in my palms. “What am I supposed to do with an egg?”

“You could scramble it or make an omelet. Omelets’re good.”

“I’m not going to eat Madelyne’s egg,” I responded dryly. “It’s not even a real egg, it’s a psychic projection.”

“You could take care of it, make it hatch.”

I recalled the words Madelyne had whispered to me before she died. She told me to ‘take care.’ I looked at the egg again. I assumed she had meant for me to take care of the baby. But might she have been referring to this object? It was amazing it had survived her death. It had to mean something.

“How would I hatch it?” I said, mostly to myself.

“You could sit on it!” Emma immediately burst into giggles. I frowned at her. “Well…” she said, her face more composed now. “You’re good at making things hot. Why don’t you warm it up?”

“I guess that makes sense,” I responded. I sat down with my legs folded beneath me. I held the egg in both hands and drew up a gentle warmth, a softer version of the fire I’d used to burn the wall. The little object began to glow and pulse. Emma gasped. I had to squint my eyes when the egg began to shine. I clasped my hands around it, but rays of light escaped from between my fingers. “I think it’s working,” I said. I felt something sharp jab my thumb, and I unwittingly dropped the object. “Oh no!”

The egg fell into my lap. Only it wasn’t an egg any longer. Little talons were digging into my thighs as the creature sought purchase on my lap. It looked up at me and squeaked.

“Oh my…” I stared at the bird and it stared back. It was small and red, its feathers still damp. It made a pathetic mewling sound at me, and I think I fell in love.

“It’s a chicken!” Emma cried, and the bird shied away from her and cowered against my stomach.

“It’s not a chicken,” I said crossly, holding my hands over it protectively.

“So what is it then, you’re so smart?”

“It’s a…” I began, searching my memory for a name. Then it came to me.

“It’s Maddie’s protector, she gave him to me,” I said. “He’s not just a bird, he’s a phoenix.”



GambitGuild is neither an official fansite of nor affiliated with Marvel Enterprises, Inc.
Nonetheless, we do acknowledge our debt to them for creating such a wonderful character and would not dream of making any profit from him other than the enrichment of our imaginations.
X-Men and associated characters and Marvel images are © Marvel Enterprises, Inc.
The GambitGuild site itself is © 2006 - 2007; other elements may have copyrights held by their respective owners.