Thursday, July 06, 2000

X-Men #6 - Collecting Moss

X-Men #6 Marvel Universe: Transformed

"Collecting Moss"

Written by Karl V.

Plots By Dave C.

Cecelia managed to undo everything she had done. If Professor X had the time to lecture her, then she figured no one must need medical attention. Fortunately, just as she sat down to relax, she heard the creak of the front door.

"Doc, glad to see ya!" Drake immediately slid up to her and jumped on the loveseat.

Cecelia practically flipped over the side of the it in order to distance herself from the over jubilant X-Man. "Drake, do what you do best and chill."

The other Doctor of the X-Men, Hank McCoy, entered with a big blue furred grin. "As always, Bobby manages to get accosted within the first five seconds after entering the household."

Bobby gave Hank a roll of the eyes. The other X-men didn't seem as willing to share in the small festivities.

"What happened?" Cecelia pointed the question to Bobby, in the lowest whisper possible.

Bobby shook his head. "Not now, I'll fill you in later."

Scott seemed morose, as Jean held his hand in support.

"Don't worry, she's done this before. She'll be back." Jean patted Scott's shoulder.

Remy LeBeau looked at Jean, then lowered his head at the obvious mention of Rogue.

Cecelia instantly figured out it was Rogue. As Bobby had told her, Rogue had been the one most hurt by the revelation of Energon, and no doubt probably attempted to take it out on the robots.

"Where's the Professor?" Scott's concerned voice resounded through the front room.

Cecelia pointed in the direction of the Cerebro chamber. "He's down there...trying to find out what's up with our little purple ghost."

"La Morte returned, in here this time?" Remy's interest was piqued, as he had been the first one to spot the unusual spirit.

"Yes," Cecelia nodded, "I had a clearer shot than you though. It's human from what I can tell. I didn't have time to determine the sex."

Bobby's snicker ended up a hack as he was jabbed in the ribs by Cecelia. "Ouch."

"I do believe that Ms. Reyes meant the gender of the so-called "Spirit of the Mansion"." McCoy winked at Cecelia.

Scott looked to Jean. Jean tried a scan upon the house, and she could detect nothing.

"I don't sense anything now. Maybe, I should go help the Professor." Jean gave Scott a kiss, and then departed for the Cerebro chamber.

"Okay, I stay up here and be a chaperone for these two." Scott jokingly pointed to Reyes and Drake. Reyes instantly jumped over to the bigger couch, where McCoy had decided to sit as well.

Scott finally managed a smile on his face, as he had found a bit of distraction for his thoughts.

"Funny, don't you have a laser show you need to go to tonight?" Cecelia retorted.

Although Scott wasn't prepared for such an original badly timed zing, he tried to keep his light-hearted mood. "No, we did that bit already tonight."

Cecelia silently sat as she tried to figure if that was a comeback or what. She decided to change the subject. "Where's Wolverine?"

Upon cue, Logan walked bare-chested out with a towel covering the lower half. "I was with Puck and the gang for New Year's, then came back here. I did catch a whiff of you Doc, but I didn't bother to come out because wanted to finish cleaning up."

Remy looked at Logan. "The petite flew the coop."

"Figures, she was latching to ol' Magneto. I guess she's gone to her old ways."

Remy didn't care much for Logan's attitude and leapt right next to him. "No, she do what she always does when she angry. She flies away, then comes back and regrets it. She just need some air."

"Think what you want Cajun." Logan went upstairs to change, as Scott signaled Remy not to follow.

A knock at the door startled everyone. Scott went to the door and opened it. Rogue was standing outside with her arms crossed and head down.

"Come in." Scott smiled.

Rogue walked with a heavy heart. "I guess I should learn by now. The amount of times I've gone off and went away like that. But, I still have my opinions on what we should do."

Jean gave Remy a shake of her head, as Scott continued. "I do agree with some of what you said. But, with powerful robots like those, we have to decide on a more effective means to get them out of here."

"I know, the thing took a couple of my best shots and all I did was dent it." Rogue half smiled at Scott.

"Well, I guess that's my cue to make it ten minutes. If the strongest of you just dented those things, then you'll need a full doctor by your side. No offense Hank." Cecilia's offer startled everyone.

McCoy smiled. "None taken, and I would agree. But, you still need a nomenclature for your mutant ability and your stature. "

"In simple terms, you need a codename." Bobby translated for Cecelia.

Cecelia gave Bobby a look. "I did have to take other courses than medical to earn my doctorate, Drake."

Drake acted like a wounded child. "Okay, well then?"

"Do I really need to pick something?" Cecelia looked at the others.

Hank nodded. "Well, we could call you the Doctor, but we may be sued for copyright infringement."

"How's that again?" Cecelia asked.

Jean rolled her eyes. "Never mind Dr. Reyes. When it's time, I'm sure you'll come up with something. But, we will yell Medic if we need help right away."

After everyone else settled down for the New Year's night, McCoy went to go reread the documents to find any mention of Cybertronium in the files the X-Men had acquired.

"You could have come here personally Sinister. I don't care for holograms."

Sinister's "apparition" didn't reply. Mystique allowed an inward smile. She knew Sinister was arrogant and always made a habit of making an actual appearance whenever he could. Mystique would have to find out what is keeping Sinister's interest besides his visit here.

"And, I would be idiotic enough to possibly come and be in my own trap which I set. I think my hologram projection will serve a better purpose for now."

Mystique ignored the rebuttal. "Just get on with it."

"My dear, I believe we have been extremely ignorant. Fear is power, and no one is grabbing the power. For the longest time, we mutants have been feared. Where is the power? I say it is high time we get the power of this fear to our disposal."

"What about the X-Men, or whoever else wants to stand in our way?"

Sinister rolled his dark eyes. "We have always tried the direct approach my dear. Now, it's time for something more subtle. The government's anti-mutant propaganda campaign has instilled the worst kind of fear in flatscans, and no one bothers to use that fear to the advantage. We can do things without the X-men coming to save the day. After all, the Mafia can do things without the police coming to bother them."

Mystique hysterically laughed. "A mutant Mafia, I believe there is something called the Inner Circle."

"They are a bunch of misled arrogant fools who believe a small piece of parchment is power. No, it is time for something new, for something that uses the true power of fear. And, when they realize what they have created, it will be too late. We will have control of everything, and make their worst nightmares come true."

It was Mystique's turn to roll her eyes. "It's been all said and done before Sinister. What makes it so different now?"

"Would you believe a group of Sentient alien robots with the capability to transform? They are the ones that brought Energon here, and they will provide an excellent pause in mutant propaganda. Just enough for a small group of mutants to start gathering connections within certain circles of power. And, by the time it focuses back on mutants, we will be the ones making the headlines."

Mystique smiled. "Your lucky I saw the news on the X-Men Sinister. Otherwise, I would say no. Now, the question is: What part do I play in this scheme of yours ?"

Sinister tried to hide his smile of getting the hook, line, and sinker. "For now, just your approval. I will speak to you later. I have more pressing matters at the moment. {See Recent Cable issues for what Sinister has been up to...KV}."

The hologram disappeared and left Mystique to her own thoughts.


It took a couple days for McCoy to gather every little bit of information about Cybertronium. After briefing about half the team on the matter, they all sat in variant states of disappointment. The weakness that had been uncovered didn't turn out to be quite the ace up the sleeve as they were led to believe. Rather, it was the joker that laughed at the team to taunt them. Still, even the smallest weakness used to the fullest could prove effective, and the team began to discuss on how to use the information to the best means possible.

"So, I guess these things need something like suntan lotion, to protect them from the elements." Cecelia tried to put in the best analogy she could.

McCoy nodded. "A very rough human interpretation of it, but I guess it's our closest one. Good call Doctor."

"So, it ain't much of a weakness after all." Rogue's disappoint made her go silent.

Scott attempted to salvage the situation. "No, it's just finding out how they get burned. And, what would burn them."

"Well, according to what the big rig robot said, it almost seems like it would make them more susceptible to something." McCoy rubbed his chin in thought. "Maybe, it's like an extra skin they need to protect them against mechanically specific-driven viruses."

Rogue stood up, and had a sudden thought. "You know, while I was given that thing a lecture it probably didn't deserve, I brought up the Phalanx."

The X-Men were silent at Rogue's words. While Beast walked up to Rogue, she took a step back.

"My dear, you may have something there. If not the Phalanx, maybe something similar. Perhaps, we should call Cable and obtain a sample of his T-O virus. "

Scott shook his head. "It's too risky. If it got out to the wrong hands, we'd all be in a worse position than we're in now."

The doorbell rang and interrupted everyone's train of thought.

Bobby zoomed out of the kitchen, practically flying across the room. "I've got it!"

Scott turned to Jean. "Who is it?"

Before she could answer, Professor Xavier called her with a psychic message.

"Sorry honey, but you'll have to ask Bobby for a change. The Professor needs me for a moment." Jean gave Scott a kiss before going.

After a couple minutes of talking to the people outside, Bobby closed the door. "Oooookay."

"What is it?" Scott immediately sensed Bobby's look of concern.

"These group of guys and gals just came up, and said something about being sorry for what they did. They tried to make amends by tracking down some Prime Sentinel that killed a Private on a military instillation. {For the start of this conversation see the end of NeoKnights #6-KV}. They said they failed because she was with a team of mutants that protected her." Bobby shook his head.

"And, the proof is all in here, I think." Bobby held up a video tape. "Man, I would've actually preferred the Jehova's Witnesses." He mumbled more to himself.

A ring of the phone broke the silent pause, as McCoy picked up the phone. "Professor McCoy speaking, how may I help you? Oh my stars and garters, you can't be serious! My word what a wonderful..."

McCoy had to hold the phone away from his ear, as shouting boomed from it and into the room.

"Hank?" Scott crossed his arms, he knew things came in threes. This was the second.

Hank smiled and gently put the receiver back on his ear. "Please, my friend. I had no idea she meant this much to you. Yes, I will come immediately."

"Hank?" This time Scott practically demanded to know what was going on.

"Hold on." McCoy told his unknown friend on the other line.

Rogue, Logan, and Remy entered the room after hearing the yelling. Of course, Henry McCoy was so overwhelmed with the news, he didn't take care to notice their presence.

"We have hit upon a magnificent opportunity! My friend, The Spider-man, has recently been witness to a poor woman's tragic mishap with Energon. He believes her to be a mutant!" {The Call ended right before Spider-Man #6}.

Scott saw Rogue almost fall down the stairs. Here comes the third, he thought to himself.

"It's all true then. We're just some freaks created by an alien energy source." Rogue's words were barely whispered.

Hank realized his zealousness too late. "My dear, he simply called for a second opinion. We don't know for sure."

"The documents, this woman. Hank, we have all the proof we need. We're no god given gift, we were created by an alien energy." Rogue's tears began to well up as she tried to hide them.

"Great, so now we call ourselves the Fantastic Eight or something?" Logan stormed out of the house.

Scott tried to do the hopeless. "Look, settle down. Nothing is set in stone, yet."

"Don't ya get it Scott? I mean, it's all true. Those robots are responsible for us. What we've been through. I don't care if our government made it worse, but they are the ones who brought this damn Energon to Earth." Rogue's attempted to stop her tears.

Remy grabbed Rogue and turned her around. "Listen to you. You sounding just like Mags more and more, each time this Energon be brought up. I made my mistake with the massacre, and I sure don't want you to make a big mistake like mine. You keep trying to pin the blame on these iron giants, but you should know better. It make a demon out of you chere, just like that Ol' Eric. If you think by committing some sort of robotic genocide is gonna be cure for what you been through, you're dead wrong. In fact, you'd be a worse traitor than me."

Rogue promptly smacked Remy. "If that's what it makes me, then fine! We know everything! There's no more mystery, and the time has come for someone to pay the penance! And, for me, I'm starting with those robots! Whether they're actually alive or not!"

Rogue flew out before Scott could intervene. Scott picked up a psychic message from his wife.

Sorry honey, you and the Professor are a bit too late.

Minutes seemed like hours as Charles and Jean finally made it upstairs to the main room.

"What happened?" Jean asked Scott.

Logan came back into the house, slamming the door behind. "It's simple Red. We're all the governments lackeys. We have a team of mutants who have a killing Prime Sentinel on their team, all caught on tape which Iceman's holding there. The Beast has a bead on someone whose just been made a mutant by that Energon. And, Rogue's gone and flew off to join Magneto's Rapid Anti-Robot Assault Team."

Scott muttered in Jean's ear. "What he said."

The Professor tried to remain calm. "Hank, tell your friend that Scott and I shall accompany you. If it is true, then I must see it first hand for myself. Scott will come with us, just in case this is some type of elaborate trap."

"You know, I like it better when you tell me about this stuff, more then when it actually happens in front of your face." Cecelia told Drake.

The Professor gave Dr. Reyes a look which made her jump. "Such is the life of the X-Men, Doctor. Now, since three of our members will be gone, we will require one of your seven minutes. I have seen to it that a suitable uniform has been made for you."

"Yes, sir." Dr. Reyes took the uniform from Jean.

"Logan, I want you to look over Bobby's tape. I trust you can spot military videos as well as military documents."

After managing to calm down a bit, Logan lit a cigar. "I can do that for ya Chuck."

"What about Rogue?" Remy finally managed to get something out.

The Professor looked at Remy with a compassionate gaze. "I am sorry. We must let Rogue choose her own path."

"Even if that means teaming up with Eric? You gonna let one of your own slip again?" Remy's eyes were as cold as his statement.

The Professor turned stoic. "If she is to truly turn sides just like Colossus once did, she will realize the err of her ways. I just pray that she does not travel down that road far enough to not turn back."

Remy walked out of the mansion, with his question obviously not answered to his satisfaction.

Cecelia walked over to Bobby. "So whose going against this mutant team?"

"Me, you, Phoenix, Wolverine, maybe Gambit, uhh...I guess Rogue if Gambit manages to talk some sense back into her."

Cecelia looked at Bobby. "Well, I hope we can get ourselves together, since it looks like everything is going down hill. We need to be rock solid if we're facing even one Prime Sentinel, plus a bunch of mutants we know nothing about."

"Well, there's always a compromise. Maybe we can collect moss." Bobby smiled at the quick thought of the analogy.

"Cute," Cecelia said matter-of-factly, "but only one problem. We're still going downhill."


She flew so fast that the wind caused friction burn. Rogue stopped in the middle of the air, as she cried heavily into her hands. She looked up to see a light, a most wonderful brilliant purple shining array of beauty. A single small hand stretched out from the glow. Rogue immediately took off her glove and hoped to make the briefest contact in an effort to find out who this strange person was. As Rogue's hand came within a centimeter, the figure disappeared before her eyes.Now, she had a bigger dilemma on her hands. Report this back to the X-Men and face them again, or still go on her own way. Her thoughts went back to when her powers first manifested. Someone died because she didn't have knowledge of what her capabilities were. Now, she had a choice again. Someone may die if she doesn't impart the knowledge of this appearance, and the fact that someone started to actually come through. Besides, she could always leave once she reported it.

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