A stray cloud momentarily darkens the brilliant sunshine
of a perfect Labor Day afternoon. Ororo concentrates. The
cloud fades. Far below, the others continue their baseball
game undisturbed. Wolverine slides home. Scott calls him out.
The usual friendly shouting erupts, until Bobby, quite literally,
puts the whole argument on ice. She smiles. The game turns
as the X-men team up against Bobby in a free for all. Rogue
flies to Bobby's rescue. Storm's smile fades as other, more
pressing concerns, intrude on her solitude.
In another time, it could have been a place of worship, where
the belief of her tribe sustained her, calming her own unvoiced
doubts of her rightful position as a goddess. Doubts that
had never surfaced until this stranger, this Professor Charles
Xavier, intruded. On this afternoon, however, it is no more
than the eastern ridge of the estate. And Professor Xavier
is hardly a stranger.
"Did you never question my decision to follow you, Charles?
Did you never consider what you, a man not even of my people,
could offer that would attract the attention of a goddess?"
Storm's pride rumbles from her throat. Not vanity, no, but
the composed strength of one who has been tempered in the
fires of sacrifice and emerged victorious.
"The flick of my hand, Professor, the briefest thought,
and entire villages would thrive or perish on my whim."
When Charles Xavier first conceived of the X-men, his dream,
his vision, was absolute in its clarity. Not only to train
mutants to use their abilities to benefit all men, but to
instill in each of his X-men a solid foundation of basic morals.
Over the years, he has witnessed the dissolution of that foundation.
Circumstances never imagined created subtle shifts from black
and white--right or wrong--into shades of grey.
"And did entire villages perish on your word,
"Are you so certain you wish to know the answer, my
Continued in Chapter
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