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"Tales of the Twilight Menshevik"

Stories in this series:

Sisters under Their Skins
Midnight Sun
A Year in the Life
October 6: A Night 2 Remember
A Day's Work
Late Summer Interlude
The Time the Twain Shall Meet
Message to a Grandchild
Ergo Bibamus 1: Eat, Drink and Be Merry
Lights in the Dark
Between the Woods and Frozen Lake
Ergo Bibamus 2: There's a Tavern Near the Town
Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Someone Blue
Valentine Allsorts
The Ballad of Trish and Henry
Rogue's Fairy Tale
Magneto, My First Love
To My Dark-Haired Lady
The Raven and the Oriole
Trish -- A Rapture

Val and Ray at the Movies
March 2002
July 2002

Tales of Future Twilight
Ergo Bibamus 3: Drink to Me Only With Thine Eyes
They Will Always Be Penny and Max to Me
Getting to Know You
Fourth Thursday in November
The Iceman's Tale
Pictures at an Exhibition
The Survivor Has a Different Kind of Scar

Twilight Yet to Come
Hang on to Your Ego
Strange Headfellows
Sonnet for Magnus
Between the Winds

Disclaimer: This is an unauthorized work of fiction using characters that are (c) & TM by Marvel Comics Group. No profit is being made on this story, so I'll invoke The Marvel Readers' Bill of Rights (for the full text see Stan's Soapbox in some of the May 1998 comics, e.g. Generation X #38):
"8. The right to practice scripting and drawing our Marvel characters for your own pleasure and amusement."
The story is (c) Tilman Stieve ( You can download this and copy it for your entertainment, but don't sell it for profit, or Marvel will set their lawyers on you. Please do not archive this on your website without informing me first.
Strange Headfellows belongs to my series, the Tales of the Twilight Menshevik, where it is the second story of a new timeline, Twilight Yet to Come. It should be understandable on its own, however, as the first chapter tells the salient events of the first story, Hang On to Your Ego, from a different perspective. For explanations about the allusions to comic-book stories and other Tales in this story please see the notes at the end.
You can find the other Tales archived on "Fonts of Wisdom," "Down-Home Charm," "MissyRedX: The Average Website," and "Stacy's Fan-Fiction Page."

Twilight Yet to Come

Strange Headfellows

From the Diary of Valerie Cooper


I. Fitting In

6/11/01, overcast, slight drizzle in the evening. Today I attended my own funeral. As I write this down I don't know if I should smile or cry (it is not a sentence that you find in many diaries). Did we do the right thing?

It is night, and for the 1st time in days, perhaps since the death of my body I can collect my thoughts & put them to paper. Irene & Hope are asleep in their beds, so is Raven after taking a pill (today's events took their toll on her), Magnus & Charles are still in the living-room having one of their long talks, and Rogue's mind has gone to sleep as well. The body of my host is still up though, her superhuman endurance allows it to stay awake a little longer w/ me at the controls. Tonight she had to ask Ch. to send her personality to sleep so mine could come to the fore, but we hope that with a little practice she'll learn to initiate the change herself when she wants to let me 'borrow' her body & when she wants to take it back.

Did we do the right thing? Can it be justified that I accepted R's offer to absorb the sum total of my personality & memories permanently, to enable me to live on when there was no way of saving my own body? She says so, and Raven says she's glad that I'll still be around for her in reduced form for her & the girls, but I have to wonder.

What is definitely sure is that it will take some adjusting for everyone. Rogue will learn in practice what it means to share her life w/ me. At the moment we're pretty much in harmony, but I fear there will be times when we argue about who gets to spend how many hours and minutes in charge of the body and when. I will also have to learn how to control R's absorption power -- we thought I would simply be able to access her experience and get the hang of it soon, but we saw how wrong we were when I tried to kiss Irene good-night. Good thing Irene is so resilient, I was more worried than she, as it turned out after she regained her consciousness.

And it will be hard in some ways for the others. Raven will have to shoulder most of the work of raising Irene & Hope, and I. & H. will have to adjust to me being reduced to something approaching the role of a divorced mother with visiting rights on alternating weekends, b/c it is obvious that Rogue's own life has to take precedence over my interests. (I once tried to ask Raven how she intends to deal w/o the physical aspect of our love, but she quickly went off on a tangent. But that problem is not going to go away. ) Then there is Rogue's life-partner, Magneto. He did not look too pleased when she told him that I would be squatting in her skull, although he managed to hide it when we announced what had happened to those needing to know this afternoon.


6/17/01, pleasant, not too hot. We flew to Washington yesterday for the conference with Alex and Forge. It went off rather well, even F., who at 1st wanted to treat me as a figment of Rogue's imagination, eventually behaved pretty much normal. But A. liked to make fun of him anyway. We'll try to get Janet van Dyne interested in applying for some of my functions. It was nice to see how Raven loosened up during the meeting. Then a brief meeting w/ the other X-Factorites present (Jamie & Angelica Madrox were away on their long-planned family outing). St. John very solicitous around Raven; good thing Guido is around, he cheered everybody up no end. -- Lunch at home with Raven and the girls, with whom we then spent the afternoon and early evening. Irene came running up to me the moment she saw me, Hope was still a little confused to hear me talk through Rogue's mouth, but gradually warmed to us. After their nap we went to Dumbarton Oaks Park for fun and games. Then supper en famille at home. It felt so good to be with my 3 girls again, there were moments when it felt as comfortable as in the old days. (Would that it was like that between Rogue & Magnus, but unfortunately things are not back to normal between them. My presence is still stifling M's sexual abilities). After we put the children to bed (hopefully not too long until I'm able to kiss them good-night myself) & finished cleaning up it was quite late, so we just snuggled together & watched a DVD (Being John M.), after which I fell asleep. Rogue told me this morning that she woke up shortly after that & had a good talk w/ Raven before they both went to their bedrooms. We also had breakfast together, but then Rogue & I had to fly back to W.Va.


7/3/01. From what Rogue tells me, Magnus still worries a bit about me watching them when they make love. I tried to reassure her of my discretion, & she asked what I did when I'm discreet -- long division, higher calculus? Actually, I told her, I tend to let myself fall back into her subconscious to isolate myself from outside stimuli. She smiled uneasily (it took getting used to gauging R's facial expressions from the inside). "Maybe I should prefer you acting as a Peepin' Thomasine 'stead of letting you rummage around down there," she joked. Maybe she actually does, at least she overcame the qualms she had about using taking baths in my 'presence' quite quickly.

Tonight was a night for 'discretion'. R. & M. finally thought of a way of overcoming his inhibitions, & they did their best to catch up on several weeks' worth of enforced celibacy. R's subconscious is a strange and at times scary place, but how much of the way I perceive it is her imagination & how much is my mind trying to construct a cogent image from the input it receives using the props it knows, who can tell? There is a part of R's mind that contains the minds & memories of people she absorbed before, the ones who give her less trouble than I do now, or than Carol Danvers did back in the old days. R. once described it in terms of a battle-torn landscape, as a never-ending struggle with an army of ghosts. Somewhat unexpectedly, in my mental eye the place is reminiscent of many rooms in Washington DC office buildings, windowless & filled w/ huge filing cabinets. But whether that was something from my memories or from Rogue's (the Pentagon was her 2nd home for a time when she still was with Mystique's Brotherhood) I can only guess.

The temperature rose and everything slightly changed -- this meant that R's body was feeling very comfortable right now, so I guessed that she & M. were making great progress 'outside'. The 'filing cabinets' became transparent, I could see what was inside. I no longer was sure if they were filing cabinets, for at the same time my eyes were also telling me that I stood before racks & racks of big glass jars. Odd thing that -- it wasn't as if one image replaced the other, more like realizing that one thing was the other and vice versa. Inside the drawers or jars was a wild assortment of 'ghosts', some familiar, some total strangers, earthlings & aliens, superpowered humans whom Rogue had fought once & passers-by whom she touched & absorbed by accident, with no guiding principle apparent to me as the outside observer in the order in which their 'dwellings' were arranged. Next to a gawky, freckle-faced youth practicing tricks on a dirt-bike was a vaguely familiar alien monstrosity in a containment cell. Next to that was Storm, angrily but ineffectively hurling lightnings at the glass walls of her prison, now only a faint, semi-transparent memory herself.

'Walking' along the line I came upon another Ororo; this one was a lot calmer, even though she looked more edgy in her leather, chains & mohawk hairdo. She appeared to be lying in the grass under a tree, & seeing me she rose & walked up to the barrier to see who I was. We could talk to one another that way, & I felt rather embarrassed, for this turned out to be Ororo as she had been shortly before she was stripped of her powers for over 1/2 a year because I tried to capture Rogue in a Fed. raid w/ Forge's Power Neutralizer. Not exactly my finest hour, even if it wasn't my hand that pulled the trigger. But shortly before the ambush O. had allowed R. to touch & absorb her, to show her that they could trust each other. So unlike the Storm I had seen earlier, this O. was fairly well-disposed towards her 'host'. She was interested to see me b/c it had been quite a while since she had last seen another presence 'walking' around freely in R's mind (years in fact, but the way she told it, time seems to slow down for the absorbed personas when they are divorced from the outside world & only occasionally interact w/ R. or a 'ghost' strong enough to move through R's subconscious). That had been Carol Danvers' persona, whose disappearance I could explain to her -- she had been given shape outside R's body by the Siege Perilous & was now dead. If there still was a remnant of her in R's mind (and it seems plausible to assume that, b/c R. still has Ms. Marvel's powers) it must be so weakened that it can no longer give R. trouble & is probably locked up like the others. Storm told me I looked a bit familiar, she thought she had seen me when Rogue had a nervous breakdown & all the personalities she had absorbed were broken free. A lot of them had tried to overwhelm R's core personality until they had been subdued by, of all things, the C.D. persona.

"That wasn't me," I hastened to explain, "or rather, that was probably me as I was, oh, 9 years ago. You see, shortly after she absorbed you, you 2 were separated by my ambush, & when Rogue searched for Ororo, she caught up with me & used her power to find out if I knew where you were & to take me out of the picture for 1 day or 2." From there the conversation progressed to my relations to the real-life O. (being able to tell her she is Hope's godmother is definitely a bonus) & what O. now did in the outside world. "You still lead the X-Men," I could tell her, "alternating w/ Cyclops, but currently you're still on maternity leave. You have a daughter called Amani."

"A daughter? And who's the father?"

"There you have me. O. says she doesn't know & doesn't want to find out; from what I heard there's 4 men who could be the father. Apparently it happened at some kind of spring festival in the Savage Land."

"The Mfidul. Yes, I remember they told me about that when I asked them how they worshipped. So I let the Goddess decide ... Does this mean I'm single out there?"

"No, you have someone with whom you're together, at least as much as you can be with homes half a world apart. But as Yukio's a woman, she could not father your child herself..."

O's persona was evidently pleased to hear that her template had gone on to become a couple w/ Y. She was not that much interested in A's potential fathers, especially as she had not met 3 of them by the time she had let R. absorb her, & the 1 she did know had only been a 14 yr. old boy then. Not long after that we were hit by a wave of warmth & orange light -- Rogue was having an orgasm, a phenomenon that seemed familiar to 'Ororo'. Not long after that I bade farewell to the Storm specter & I continued my exploratory amble through this section of R's subconscious.

Eventually I came upon a Mystique (from what they told me, R. absorbed her mother on a No. of occasions). She was surprised to see me 'prowling' around & immediately switched into tigress-protecting-her-young mode b/c she thought I was a memory-ghost like her which had broken loose & now was trying to rob the control of R's body from its rightful owner. In a gambit to put me off-balance, she told me that in the outside world she was someone the real me trusted & who would frustrate my plans at every step & there was nothing I could do to stop it. Evidently she had been absorbed before I learned that Raven Darkhölme of DARPA & Mystique were 1 & the same person, probably before she approached me with the proposal to accept the services of the Brotherhood as Freedom Force. It was nice that for once it was me who surprised her. "But I already knew who you are, Raven."

'Raven', being a past mistress of deception & disinformation, at first refused to believe what I told her had happened in the 9 yrs. since Mystique had touched R. in a last-ditch attempt to convince her to leave the X-Men & return to her. It wasn't easy to think of things she could ask me where she could be reasonably sure that I hadn't picked the answer from R's memories. Oddly she seemed to find the speed with which I responded to her questions & the gaps in my knowledge (e.g. I could tell her R's real 1st name, but not her original family name) more reassuring than some of the things I could tell her. Funny how much time & effort I spent on trying to convince this 'psychograph' of M. that I was telling her the truth. But though this entity reflected a younger & more ruthless Mystique, there was something in her of the woman I came to love when she was older. I saw that when she reacted to the news that Irene Adler had sacrificed her life to save Raven's not much more than 1 year after this 'copy' of M. had been left behind in R's mind. I cursed my inability to touch, to hug her, to give her anything more than words to comfort her. But Raven got the idea & appreciated it, even if 'she' still wasn't quite ready yet to accept the truth of my claim that her real-life template eventually found solace in my arms & started a new life in partnership w/ a mere 'flatscan'.

The encounter with the Mystique from the past had aroused my curiosity. I knew there had to be a version of me somewhere in there, the Valerie Cooper that Rogue had absorbed almost exactly nine years ago & which the Storm I had spoken to had seen. It took a while to find her & during my search I was overtaken by another orgasmic wave, more intense than the first. R. & M. really were making up for lost time. I was tempted to watch, but I staid put in this remote part of R's subconscious & eventually found what I was looking for. When I caught sight of my younger self, I suddenly realized my own agitation. It is one thing to write a letter to yourself as a time-capsule & then read it after several years have passed. But this would be something quite different. After a moment's hesitation I took the plunge.

My younger self was a bit on edge, but that was to be expected. Back in '92 I had come within a whisker of being killed by a gang of body-eaters from outer space & had been high-tailing it in a car when Rogue ambushed me. Also, even though she knew that R. had saved her (my) life from the Dire Wraiths just before the absorption, she was not all that charitably inclined towards her & so at 1st reacted a bit coolly when I told her how I had ended up as R's 'guest'. I also had forgotten -- Raven would say: gone into acute denial -- how paranoid I then was about mutants. It even came out in her sour expression when she made a joke after I mentioned in passing that GWB is now president: "Maybe it really is time for mutants to take over." But at least she listened.

She approved of the setting up of the gov't sponsored mutant teams Freedom Force & X-Factor and she even felt OK about Uncle Sam's tacit understanding with the 'official' X-Men. But still her eyes goggled when I broached the subject of Mystique. But then it is hard to believe how our 'marriage' came to be considering how often M. had successfully pulled the wool over my eyes both with regard to my professional & my private life. "I don't think I could ever try to build a life with someone who tricked me into sleeping with her by pretending to be someone else!" That I was living w/ a woman did not seem to cause her much discomfort, on the other hand.

"I thought so too," I had to admit, "but Raven can surprise you in a good way as well as a bad one. I took a risk, but I never regretted it."

"Even though you're now dead?"

"No, not even now my body is no more. Besides, that wasn't R's fault. As you can attest yourself, V. Cooper's obsession about being there to get the job done can get a woman killed unaided."

Later that night, after Rogue had fallen asleep, I got up for some official work. Magnus was awake also, it turned out, he came from the bathroom thinking I was Rogue at 1st. We had a serious talk which I think cleared the air between us to some extent. And it also led to R. & M. to talk through some aspects of our situation that they had avoided addressing until now.


7/28/01, sunny, gentle breeze in the morning. Magnus is singing. Well, in all fairness I use the word 'singing' in its widest possible sense. It may not be the greatest aesthetic delight to hear him, but Rogue and I like it -- he really is in good spirits now. Over supper (which he prepared), he serenaded R. with a slightly adapted song from the Weimar Republic.

Du bist meine Greta Garbo,
Bist die schönste Frau der Welt,
Schlank bist du wie Greta Garbo,
Nur hast du nicht so viel Geld.
Trotzdem kannst du mit den Wimpern klimpern
Wie's die Garbo tut
Grad so schön wie sie,
So mondän wie sie,
Greta Garbo aus Hollyvoot!

He rolled the r's like the singer on the Palast Orchester CD Kurt gave him as present on his last visit. And so buoyant was his mood that later, when he went to bed, he wished me a good night as if he meant it. (And I hadn't even said anything, R. was in full charge of her body at the time). So maybe Rogue's optimism is warranted.

Afterwards, felling in a good mood ourselves, R. & I had a little talk before I got a brief run-around in her body, e.g. for writing this, before going to bed. There was a time when we became a little more serious -- talking about Irene & Hope led to her spilling her guts about her unfulfilled wish for children of her own -- but all in all it was a good evening after a rewarding training session for me.


8/25/01, hot & humid, thunderstorm at night. Another session training the use & fine control of Rogue's absorption power with Jean Grey. We are slowly making progress. What is beginning to work even better is the voluntary transfer of control from the one currently 'in the driving seat' to the one sitting passively in R's subconscious. Rogue, the more experienced is a lot better at it than me; she helps me so it works almost with the same speed either way -- when she is in her subconscious, she can, as it were, push open the door from the inside once I unlock it from the outside; when it's the other way around, I have to wait for her to pull it open for me. It really is a blessing we can now change shifts 'at the wheel' according to what we decide makes sense and not just when it happens 'naturally' because of stress, exhaustion etc. or when we ask a friendly telepath to effect the swap for us.

Afterwards we sat down for drinks with our men (i.e. Magnus & Logan). Jean told a bit about her recent trip to the East Coast (After bringing Warren IV to his family vacation w/ Warren Worthington III, Betsy & Bronwen, also Amiko to hers w/ Ororo & Yukio, she spent some time w/ her clone-sister's family). Madelyne Pryor-S. is now expecting her & Scott Summers' 4th child, which, along w/ Bronwen's birth last year has Jean & Logan thinking of adding a child of their own to their family. H VZR HM BGZQFD NE SGD ANCX ZS SGD SHLD SGZS BZLD NTS ZMC H HLLDCHZSDKX RDMRDC Z RSQNMF ORXBGHB NTSBQX EQNL QNFTD (KHRSDMHMF HM EQNL SGD RTABNMRBHNTR), ATS AX SGD SHLD VD RVHSBGDC ONRHSHNMR RGD GZC QDHMDC GDQRDKE HM & GDQ QDROMRD VZR ITRS BNMUDMSHNMZK. NCC SGZS. H KZSDQ ZRJDC GDQ ZANTS GDQ EHQRS QDZBSHNM, ATS RGD VNTKC QZSGDQ MNS SDKK LD. H RGZKK GZUD SN QDROBS SGZS, GZQC ZR HS LZX BNLD SN LD SN RSHEKD LX BTQHNRHSX.


9/30/01. Dear Diary, it's been days since I last had a chance to write, so just a quick summary. The Meddlers were called to Genosha to help the resistance against Mostyn Mundus' regime. We won. Sorry, after the fighting and because of the lack of sleep (Rogue & I had taken too much advantage of our ability to use her body in shifts and so the body did not get enough sleep) I'm too tired to write down a blow-by-blow account. Just this: R. got knocked out during the fighting, I had to take over and at least managed not to get R's body killed in the process. Since most of our training had been about controlling her absorption power, I mostly had to rely on my old non-powered self-defense moves, which were not entirely effective against Sentinels. But in a different way what was as scary as the battle itself was the change it brought on in Magneto; the fight really put him into a murderous mood and it took Rogue & me a lot of effort to calm him down. R. said she had seen it happen before, that the overuse of his power can trigger a mind-altering reaction in him, but fortunately it does not seem to be irreversible. R's faith in M. is touching, in some ways a wonderful thing, and I think it hurt her that I recommended that some form of therapy might be needed, even though I think they both feel my unwanted advice may be on the spot. I think I know how she feels, I'd probably react in a similar way vis-à-vis my trust in Raven, but that was cold comfort for Rogue...


10/11/01, ran into a storm front over mid-Atlantic. As Magneto's sessions with Dr. Samson made quick progress & are for the moment finished, we took a short break during which Rogue & I flew to America to get some equipment, provisions etc. for us & the other Meddlers. There's still no end in sight for our stay in Genosha, so we may as well make ourselves at home. On the return trip left the plane at the X-Factor base in Montgomery County & spent the night in Washington at home (or what used to be my home before...). Raven & I had a long overdue talk about our future relationship. Which of necessity will have to be entirely Platonic. Raven was a bit evasive about some aspects, though. Next morning we had a good time over breakfast & a too brief time after w/ Irene & Hope before taking off for Genosha at noon. Rogue & Magneto celebrated their reunion in style (& in bed), while I, somewhat downcast after the talk with Raven, had another one w/ one of the pseudo-Ravens in Rogue's deep storage. Oh fiddlesticks, after the initial problems my presence brought along, Rogue can relieve that itch wonderfully, & even when I don't peep I profit from the 'trickle-down effect', but what will Raven do? I don't think I'm being of any help to her, I tried to talk about the possibility (necessity?) for her to look for new sexual partners, but on reflection I'm not sure if my reaction when she half-jokingly took up the idea was not somewhat self-defeating, showing her and me that I actually don't at all feel comfortable at the thought of her becoming involved with new bedfellow(s). Will I find the strength to let her go when her well-being depends on it, or if she finds a new love? Raven's younger self in Rogue's subconscious kept smiling mysteriously & saying that her 'real-life counterpart' would no doubt think of something. I'm sure of that, but of what?


11/04/01, pleasant. Rogue and I had quite a bit of time to talk these past days & weeks -- lots of dull, repetitive work, which R. normally uses to work things out in her own mind, but now she let me into her confidence a little more. She spoke of her desire for a child of her own -- something she had only talked to with Magnus before, not even w/ Raven. "A child always wants what she can't get," she joked; but it is a very serious matter for her. She thinks she got pregnant after her first time (w/ M., at a time when she was temporarily deprived of her powers) but fears that her absorption power, once it returned, killed the fetus by sucking its life-energy from it via the walls of her womb & through the umbilical cord. What a terrible suspicion for a mother-to-be! Learning to control her absorption power did not remove the danger, even though she learned how to 'isolate' the contents of her uterus when Emma Frost tutored her in learning how to do it. Not even auto-hypnotic training helped, the shield would eventually break down when she slept (which apparently has to do with the loosening of her grasp on the personalities in her subconscious). And since it was not possible to lock up Leech in her bedroom for 9 months, she was now looking into having a 'test-tube baby', but both she & Magnus are a bit leery of involving a surrogate mother (who might end up laying claim to their baby herself). I then had an idea that takes advantage of my presence in her mind & together we worked out that she would be able to have babies if we take shifts maintaining the isolation of the fetus against her uterus & across the umbilical cord. We're not sure how much strain this will put on her body, as it probably means that it won't get a proper night's sleep for 9 months -- since there will always be one mind awake -- but R. is confident that the superhuman strength & endurance she stole (her word) from Ms. Marvel should enable us to overcome that problem. She talked about it to Magnus during the outing we took with the other Meddlers and the X-Men & Excaliburites who are here for the rebuilding of Genosha. The announcement of our solution came as a bit of a shock to M., so obviously he didn't say what his wishes are in this respect, but he at least had to agree that it is good that he and R. now can make a choice, as having babies had been impossible for her up until now, so his spirits were up. All in all, it was a pleasant day for all present, even though R. kept ribbing me about ogling the pretty girls.

II. No Rest for the Gravid

1/7/02, freezing. We're back. Maybe not the best of times to leave warm, tropical Genosha for wintry West Virginia, but it could not be helped. Still, despite of her misgivings, Rogue felt good to return to this part of the world which she is coming to look on perhaps not exactly as her home, but a place where she & Magnus belong, even in snow and sleet. She snuggled up to him when the steeples and smokestacks of Jupiter Hollow came within sight, a few score miles from the base (a little more with the usual precautionary detours, zigzags etc. Our work for the reconstruction of Genosha is finished, and after president pro tem Amelia Voght bade us farewell, we set off & flew halfway around the world in one go (R. & M. were too impatient for a stopover in Washington, but R. promised me that we'd be paying a visit there at the earliest opportunity). Logan certainly is glad to come back here again, this is more his kind of country & weather, but Neal understandably complained before the departure.


2/2/02, heavy winds, snowdrifts. In the past weeks Rogue and Magnus have begun trying for a baby, which meant more sex and thus more time for me to spend in her subconscious. (ATS H GZUD MNS ZKVZXR ADDM Z FNNC FHQK -- SGDQD HR NMKX RN LTBG Z ODQRNM BZM SZJD VHSGNTS DUDMSTZKKX FHUHMF HM SN GDQ BTQHNTR NQ UNXDTQHRSHB HMRSHMBSR). M. had not expected to become a father again when he became R's lover, but by now he is very keen. Ever since R. first broached the subject to him on French Cove, both of them have become more and more excited about the idea, in spite of some of the thoughts of possible problems that came up after a while. Meanwhile, after last week's battle against the Reavers, the Meddlers have settled down into a kind of rural cosines. Maybe they have become too impatient, they're not even going to wait until Logan & Jean's baby is born. Our Genoshan recruits Mongoose (whom now everyone calls Rikki) and Petrel are finding it a little hard to adjust to winter in the Alleghenies, though. Chen Li was pronounced 100 % fit today, and Wolverine just returned from a 'lone-wolf' trip to Canada, impatiently awaited by Jean (now well in her 6th mth.). But now Neal is all fired up to visit Ororo & Amani in Westchester next week.


2/28/02. A telepathic alarm from Jean dispatched us to an emergency in the Ozarks this morning: Mankind's Militia, a Friends of Humanity splinter group attacked a little mutant community near Eureka Springs (Graydon Creed is too clever to do something this obviously criminal). Somewhere they had managed to find a damaged Sentinel, which they patched up and activated somehow, but luckily the locals were able to hold it and the gunmen back until the Meddlers arrived to save the day. Unexpectedly we found ourselves joined by Photon (reserve Avenger) who heard about the battle on the radio in New Orleans and came over at light speed. She was even more useful after the fight, taking the red tape off our hands when it came to handing over the captured MM goons to the Arkansas police. After helping to bind up the injuries, the Meddlers went home. The plane hung a right on the return trip to drop Rogue & Magnus off. Since they were in the 'neighborhood', they took the opportunity to pay an afternoon visit to their Mississippian friends, the Cootes, before flying home under their own power in the evening. It was very dark indeed when we returned to base to find the others waiting for us with hot cocoa and mulled wine!


3/14/02, drizzle, wind in the afternoon. It's official, Rogue is pregnant with Magneto's child. The result came in this morning and she was so elated about it that she announced it to the team in the evening. Most of them had had no idea that R. & M. (with a little help from little old me) had thought of ways of overcoming the obstacles and were, well, flabbergasted. Logan seemed most happy for Rogue, but then with his supersensitive sense of smell it is hard to say if he hadn't already known about her pregnancy & had time to mentally adjust to it. Jean also reacted quite positively, while the others were a little more subdued in their reactions. Wonder what the X-Men, X-Factor and Excalibur will say when they hear about it? Later that night Rogue flew over to Washington to tell Raven about it in person. I don't think I've ever seen Raven as shaken and visibly emotional since Rogue first showed us she had learned how to control her power. Raven and the daughter of her heart hugged with tears in their eyes and I was only happy to join them in spirit. Raven went and woke up Hope & Irene to tell them about their impending aunthood. Later, when we had tucked the little ones in again, we all got on the phone to tell Kurt and Amanda. Now Rogue's mind is asleep and I'm about to finish the entry. We already started maintaining the isolation inside the uterus in mid-January, first to see if it could be done and then 'just in case', but now one of us will have to keep the body from falling into deep sleep for seven, eight, maybe nine more months. Something to ponder as I lie in the spare bedroom...


4/8/02, sunny. Well, our long weekend in Hamburg is over, we are flying back to W. Va. and after the hectic times we had a the 7th NATO Conference on Metapowered Operatives I can now sum up the past days. A year ago at the 6th conf. I still had my own body. Raven could not be there, but I had a nice dinner in a restaurant near Blankenese with Steve & Bernie Rogers & Brian Braddock, where we wound up discussing the ins and outs of raising children in the super-powers set. Afterwards Meggan picked Brian & me up and we took a ferry back to Landungsbrücken. During the boat trip we got a chance to gossip shamelessly about the members of our respective teams. The big news then was Rachel Summers going out with Inspector Dai Thomas of Scotland Yard. Meggan found this sentimentally appealing (the two apparently started meeting off-duty after D.T. became a widower in 2000), Brian was less sanguine about the prospects.

This year Captain America did not bring his wife along, but Raven was there, attending the main panels in a 19th-century mansion in Othmarschen, overlooking the Elbe. She was part of the Avengers/X-Factor delegation, along with Forge, Havok, the Wasp and the Black Widow (Hank Pym was this year's guest of honor). Rogue hasn't been to the Hamburg conference since 1998 b/c of her Meddlers duties, but now she is here as a kind of unofficial observer and together we are going to the unofficial meetings w/ representatives of autonomous, non-government super-teams that have made these conferences so interesting since the first one, even though the occasion has become much more routine than it had been back then. (Another instance of events going full circle: at the 1st one I was pregnant with Irene, now I'm once again in a pregnant body.) Aunt Emma insisted that we stayed at her home, which is fairly quiet and yet within easy reach of the city center. When we arrived on Thursday, whom should we meet but Uncle Dan, calling on Aunt Emma before his return flight to Canada the next morning. It was an enjoyable evening, all things considered, once Dan got over the shock of me in R's body. We hadn't met since the big Cooper family reunion in Toronto, so we had a lot to talk about. Since Magnus and R. were also in the conversation, he regaled us with a number of his life, including a couple about Logan (who, it turned out, was his RCAF buddy for a time). On Friday we had another meeting w/ Hammonia, who expressed an interest in strengthening her connection to the Meddlers. In the afternoon R. & M. went to see the little hotel in Billwerder where Magnus had stayed and where Rogue had secretly visited him during the first conference, but in the intervening six yrs. that had been closed -- it's now a Greek restaurant. On Saturday Rogue (and I) looked in on an off-the-record conference between Nick Fury and Cyclops (BLNMF NSGDQ SGHMFR VHSG QDEDQDMBD SN GHR DEENQSR SN FDS LZFMDSN Z BNMCHSHNMZK OQDRHCDMSHZK OZQCNM), and then afterwards we went out shopping for birthday presents for Hope. Found a pretty Lotta Schlotter doll in the big toy shop on the Alsterarkaden, also a Knurf action figure that may come in handy for Irene's b-day in July. In the afternoon there was another meeting and in the evening we went out with Magnus and Raven. Yesterday it was a bit less hectic, as the main conference finished in the early afternoon (some of the participants had already left by then, as usual). So there was a little more time for family, both in the shape of Aunt Emma and Uwe's family, and that of Raven (who departed during the night, though). That we stayed in this evening seems to have suited Magnus just fine. We also were very lucky with the weather, it was a nice spring weekend (which enabled us to do one of the more clandestine meetings in one of the parks).


5/12/02, sunny. We attended the big Drake/Frost wedding yesterday -- Rogue was invited as a close friend & former teammate of the groom. As Raven commented when we arrived at her home later that day (night, actually): The last bachelor out of the original 5 X-Men finally caved in. Of course Raven has a cynical attitude to marriage, seeing that the only time she was married that I know of was with Sabretooth to further her own ends. So she always resisted my attempts to formalize our union saying that she never needed a perishing piece of paper when she lived with Irene A. -- Actually it's different for Robert Drake & Emma Frost; they probably would have tied the knot earlier if they hadn't thought it would be better to keep their relationship a secret for fear of compromising Emma & thereby the school by her association w/ the high-profile superhero Iceman. What changed their minds was the birth of their daughter Imogen last year.

Robert ('Call me Bobby') had chosen Warren Worthington III for his Best Man, which set some tongues wagging about possible bad luck (b/c W.W. is the only remarried X-Man -- he married Elizabeth Braddock a year after his divorce from Jean Grey, currently the only remarried X-Woman). Humph. Some people will find any excuse for creating a superstition. I had expected Hank McCoy, but Bobby was the Best Man at his wedding & the McCoys are Imogen's godparents, so he & Emma must have decided to give someone else a chance. Still, they sat in the front row, Hank w/ baby Imogen on his lap & Trish w/ little Effie. Jubilee was the Maid of Honor -- most of the people in the bride's train & on her side of the Academy Chapel were former students. Ms. Frost does not have many close friends (few telepaths seem to have the knack) and apart from her 2 daughters she has no close blood relatives, & she does not seem to be on speaking terms w/ too many of her more distant relations. Rogue is probably as close to her as anyone in the wedding congregation, and even she could be described as a kind of ex-student, for Emma's help had been essential for R. to learn to control her absorption power. So they sat R. on the bride's side, even though she's been Bobby D's friend a bit longer, to even out the numbers. The problem was aggravated somewhat b/c among his friends he not only numbers the larger part of everyone who's ever been an X-Man (along with their spouses, life-partners & broods), but also more than a few former teammates from his stints w/ the Champions & Defenders, who were represented e.g. by Brunhilda the Valkyrie, the Black Widow (who had come w/ her hubby Hawkeye, but w/o their son), Darkstar (now with the Novye Bogatyri), Hercules (w/ Martha T.) & even Moondragon (Raven would say she was invited to make Emma appear a warmer person). During the service Rogue sat between Prof. X (he too being used to redress the imbalance, the excuse being that he's the bride's boss) and the Cassidy contingent -- Sean C., Moira MacT., plus Pete & Teresa Wisdom (Rahne couldn't make it).

Emma wore a quite astounding dress that must have thrown most males in the chapel (& a few of the females) into fits trying to hide their immediate reaction from the numerous TPs present. No wonder she smiled like the cat who had stolen the cream! Still, it's unfair of Rogue to accuse me of drooling. Panting maybe, but certainly not drooling! The elder Drake was taken aback that his son wore earrings to the service & afterwards complained how 'silly' they made him look. He only relented a bit when Bobby told him that Emma had given them to him as an engagement present and that she had worn them before. But to be on the safe side he did not tell his father where she had worn them. D. SNKC TR GDQRDKE VGDM VD OKZXDC SQTSG NQ CZQD ZS SGD AZBGDKNQDSSD OZQSX -- SGDX TRDC SN AD GDQ MHOOKD-QHMFR, ATS SGD OHDQBHMFR GZC GDZKDC TO ZESDQ RGD SNNJ SGDL NTS CTQHMF GDQ OQDFMZMBX ZMC VGHKD RGD EDC KHSSKD HLNFDM.

Also at the bachelorette party Emma let slip that Raven had paid her a visit earlier this year. It was the 1st time I had heard of this & I would dearly have known more about that, but unfortunately the conversation moved off on a tangent before I had a chance to try and get Rogue to ask E. about it. Then next day Moira mentioned that Raven had stopped over on Muir Island after the conference in Hamburg, another piece of information that came as a surprise. QZUDM HR TO SN RNLDSGHMF.

Rogue's pregnancy was not really evident (except from what Hank terms "the softened facial lines of impending motherhood", but it was a big topic of conversation as R. had mentioned it to a few other guests. Judging by some of the reactions I overheard, the detailed technicalities of a pregnancy for Rogue seem to have been a popular topic behind her back for ages (well, I know that Raven & I talked about it a couple of times back when I still had my own body, but at least we had the excuse of belonging to Rogue's family).

It was an enjoyable wedding, got to meet a few old friends again, the McCoys were in fine fettle, Trish T. looking after Imogen while Hank carried young Effie piggy-back. The only problem was the profusion of telepaths; esp. w/ Prof. X you get the impression that they're always making sure that Rogue is not going crazy w/ me inside her head. Ororo (there w/ Yukio & little Amani) seemed to be content with the way R. & I are doing, she also inquired after her goddaughter & gave us some little presents to hand over to Hope & Irene.

Otherwise it was all very jolly, Mrs. Drake a bit overcome with emotion during the service, but beaming w/ pride at the reception. When R. had to go to the bathroom, we met Jub. Lee & Angelo E. coming out of another door looking rather disheveled & rushing past us avoiding R's eyes in silent embarrassment. Sticking to romantic entanglements, I also noticed Cordelia Frost glaring at Everett T. (Synch) & his companion, a Ms. Buckminster, when she thought no one was looking. Jealous?

But of course one of the best things about this wedding for me was that we combined it with a brief visit at home to spend the rest of the weekend w/ Raven, Irene & Hope. My little ones welcomed us with a detailed run-down of all the games and contests at Michael Madrox' birthday party & gleefully showed off their prizes. Tomorrow we'll return to base, and Rogue to Magnus' waiting arms. H SQHDC SN RNTMC NTS QZUDM ZANTS GDQ UHRHSR SN RMNV UZKKDX ZMC LTHQ HRKZMC, ATS RGD BKZLLDC TO.


6/8/02, drizzle in the morning, sunny afternoon. I've been living in Rogue's body for exactly one year today. And looking back, that is the important thing, I still live. My old body was killed, but though I am corporeally and legally challenged (meaning I can only do stuff if Rogue lets me use her body and in the eyes of the law I am indeed dead), the life I lead is more fulfilling and more effective than I feared in my more depressive moments. I can still look after Raven and the children, and for Rogue (& by extension, for Magnus) my presence in her mind has not just been a source of constant frictions, but on more than one occasion proved an unequivocal boon, even if I say so myself. In the past months, due to the necessities of R's pregnancy, we had more occasion to talk. It is odd how the different sections of her brain now take shifts sleeping (it seems that my personality is to a large extent localized in some neural cells that had been less used before the transfer), but there are enough times when we chat while the body is inactive (half-slumbering) and we both watch old Simpsons shows through her eyes. Over this year I have come to know Rogue so much better, just as she has become acquainted with me better, with my strengths and foibles. She says that a large part of the reason why she took it upon herself to sublet her head for my mind was that she did not want her momma to lose me as she had lost Irene Adler, but that she now was glad she did it for my own sake. I think she actually believes this, or wants to believe it, but I'm not going to probe, I'm just grateful to be alive. There are frictions and occasional frustrations, but so far I'm the one who's getting the best deal out of it. It's Rogue, Raven and Magneto who had the most difficult task in readjusting their lives to accommodate my strange new existence.


7/27/02, hot & humid. The fact that we currently never get a proper night's sleep makes for a bit of a strain for Rogue & me; luckily her (or Ms. Marvel's) above-average endurance can handle the physical side, but there are times when we snap at each other. We have to remind ourselves that we're already more than half, getting on 2/3 of the way there. Our personas can effectively go to sleep, but the body never does entirely because one of us two is always awake, and that makes for low-level tiredness from time to time. I notice that while before the pregnancy I only wrote in this diary every few days because only every few days I would get the control of R's body necessary to do that, I now could write in here every night, but still only write new entries every few days because I so often feel too inert to do anything more exerting than reading a book or watch TV. The body may be able to do without sleep for a time, but it still needs regular rest. At least I finally mustered up the energy to send off the photographs of Irene's b-day party to Washington. That aside the pregnancy is fairly easy for us; thanks to R's super-strength we don't waddle as much as I did when I expected Irene & Hope. For R. it's a big adventure, she really enjoys keeping track of the changing shape of her body in the bathroom mirror. At times she becomes very amorous, which at first was a bit much to handle for Magnus. He can be rather old-fashioned in his pvt. life (well duh, he was born in a small town in the 1920s!) and so he was shocked when R. first broached the subject of sex during pregnancy. But that was then. Meanwhile we are coming to the point that R. is so large that she soon will have to step down as leader of the Meddlers. They considered splitting up command duties, w/ Rogue as the home-base boss & someone else as field leader, but finally decided to retain the unified command. Normally the job would have gone to R's deputy, Jean Grey, but she's still too busy with little Mary (3 mths. old) to look after besides Warren IV and Amiko. Rogue then thought of Logan, but he's very obstinate about not leading teams (even before he became an X-Man, I'm told) and he can use the latest addition to his family as an excuse. So today Remy got landed with the mantle of leadership. He resigned himself to his fate with an ironic smile, asking the others if they knew what they were letting themselves in for. I wonder if Gambit will in fact live up to his rep and will be taking greater risks in action. Let's wait & see. Belladonna was very confident that her hubby will be up to the task, reminding everyone of how he managed things in N.O. with the two guilds in spite of their long-standing feuds.


8/7/02, sunny. Magnus and Rogue are busy building and furnishing new quarters at the eastern end of our valley, as they decided that their rooms in the base -- which Magneto constructed years ago as a secret base -- are not the most suitable for raising their child. They want something that also won't be immediately seen by casual observers, but which has proper, large windows and airy rooms. I am reminded of how Raven and I made our 'nest' in the house in Georgetown. Not quite on this scale, but so important to us. Logan and Jean have their 'cabin' in the nearby forest, hidden under giant evergreens. Well, Rogue may be resigning herself to her enforced absence from active service in the team, but she sure does not let herself become inactive.


9/12/02, muggy, thunderstorm at noon. The Da Costas returned from Genosha today; Sunspot's return should help fill up the roster somewhat, and Monet says she'll be available on a regular basis starting a month or 2 from now. Rogue meanwhile continues to take a hand in the running of the team, even though she's no longer a front-line Meddler, helping with the dreary day-to-day management (what Remy regards as a necessary evil at best, but where I can give some useful tips) and contributing to team deliberations at the base. Jean Grey already took part on last week's mission, so the Meddlers' relative short-handedness (which became noticeable after Hammonia returned to Hamburg a week ago) is overcome. Of course now everyone who was on the active roster these past months is now itching to take leave themselves. Remy eventually decreed that the order in which Neal, Chen Li and the two Genoshans got their vacations was to be decided by the outcome of an evening of poker. The others watched the four play the allotted two hours, in the end Neal emerged as the winner. So he's off to the Big Easy next weekend to see Monica R. (nudge-nudge, wink-wink from all around). The two have been seeing each other quite a bit ever since they first met (see 2/28), but this is the first opportunity they have since then to go out together in her home town.


9/22/02, sunny. Taking advantage of the good weather on the West Coast, Rogue & Magnus went on a short visit to San Francisco to see Tom Calani (staying at his apt.) and their other friends in the Bay area. M. said that he felt like the ceiling was about to fall on our heads back in W.Va. (the new place is almost finished, but the smell of fresh paint is still too overpowering for us to actually move in) and suggested a break. First time I actually met their bookseller friend Mr. Calani, have to say that he took my presence in R's head rather well. He first met them the year Irene was born and then a few times in the years since '98, practically every time when they passed through S.F. The weather was with us, we did a little shopping, M. had his discussions with his radical cronies from Berkeley & Stanford, and in spite of the constraints put on R. & me because of our current condition, it was quite relaxing, all in all. Rogue & her friend Jessica Ishima-Drew (formerly Spider-Woman) even went to Golden Gate Bridge to show me the spot where she had fought Ms. Marvel and would have killed her had S.W. not rescued her. I've known how much the memory of the events of that night almost 11 yrs. ago has changed R's outlook on life, but it was something else to experience the trepidation she felt when she approached the place. But she was determined to show me. Do I have places like that? As Rogue told me, it took her some time to realize what she had done to Carol Danvers -- joining the X-Men, meeting Carol Danvers, meeting one of C.D.'s ex-lovers who really gave her hell -- and I did not immediately realize the full import of what I did back at the time when I still was involved in projects like Wideawake and even led that ambush on Storm and Rogue on the Mississippi that wound up robbing Ororo of her powers for a long time. Rogue & I got into a serious discussion about this, causing Jessica to worry R. had fallen into something like a catatonic trance! Then, after she had taken me out, I got to retreat back into her subconscious so she and M. could take the afternoon off together without having to think about me (they went to Sausalito, sailing home on a boat). The nights were fairly uneventful, there isn't really much to do if one gets tired of lying and thinking or watching M. sleep, thankfully Tom C. gave us the run of his library (mostly science-fiction), so I got to re-read a bit of LeGuin and Haldeman during our stay. I'm glad R. & M. decided to take this short vacation, not just for the insights it provided for me, but also for the recuperation and time together for them. I have a feeling that in the weeks to come M. may not always be around for R., since he has to take his part in Meddlers activities which may take him all over the place, so they'd better grab opportunities like these when they can.


10/6/02, gloriously sunny. Spent the day in Washington. Today was Raven & my seventh anniversary. My body did not live long enough for a 'seven year itch'. Here's the poem I wrote for her:

Hardy Raven, after you lived through years of
Death and danger, came through so many struggles,
You are mine in spirit, at least, as I'll be
Your girl forever.

Raven, fair one, 'dad' of Irene and Hopey,
You will raise our daughters without the help that
I can give no more for we now have both been
Torn from my body.

Thank you, love, for memories I'll always treasure,
More than five years lived as 'connubial' partners,
Joys our bodies shared were important, Raven,
Who would deny it?

But the time is gone when bare breast to breast we
Lay together, kissing, caressing, loving --
That's denied us now, so in future who will
Care for my Raven?

Val can't sate entirely her Raven's needs and
Thus she sees that someone who can will show up.
Don't forget me then and if you are happy
I'll be contented.

I tried to broach the subject to Raven almost a year ago, but I think I chickened out at the last moment. Now I put it into verse. Possibly a mistake, at any rate R. took it rather badly, shouting at me and accusing me of not loving her anymore, even (absurdly!) of falling in love with Magnus. I could not pacify her, in the end I had to call on Rogue to take control of her body again. That did the trick, Raven calmed down in her daughter's embrace, and the tears she had been holding back while talking with me came running down her face and onto Rogue's shoulder. Some time later Rogue put me in charge of the body again and Raven and I could talk sensibly. I finally managed to convince her that the idea of 'giving her her freedom' was not one that filled me with great happiness (Raven may have hit home with 'false pride' though), but actually tears me apart. But I simply see no other solution. At least this scene has cleared the air between us. But, good Lord above! I don't ever want to see Raven in this state again, ever.


11/07/02, indoors all the time. Alone at last! The crowd of friends & relations has finally left, and Rogue is taking a well-earned rest after giving birth to little Harriet. All in all she held herself well during the delivery, which in the end turned out quite smooth. The amazing logistics for a 'super-hero' birth, the special precautions if something did go wrong (Wolverine standing by with one of his Adamantium claws sterilized in case a Cesarean became necessary) thankfully were not needed after all. And once I've finished this entry, we'll finally have a proper sleep for the first time in 9 months! Was I this disgustingly elated when I had Irene? And at Hope's birth? Raven claimed I had been (she covered the distance from Washington in record time after she heard that Rogue's waters had broken -- I pity the friend or adversary who would try to delay my Raven when she rushes to a loved one's side at a moment like this). At any rate Rogue beamed with joy, pride and relief all afternoon -- a mix that also was quite infectious as far as the happy father was concerned. But she's earned it & I'm happy for her too. Magnus & Rogue had given quite a bit of thought to their child's name during the past months. M., who at times has a tendency to cast an eye towards posterity, suggested using a name with historic connections, and since he & R. discovered a common interest in Civil War history early in their relationship (and also have a few friends in C.W. re-enactment) they finally settled on Thaddeus (after Th. Stevens, one of M's personal heroes) for a boy and Harriet for a girl (after Harriet Tubman -- unlike me they hadn't thought of Harriet Beecher Stowe at first). So Harriet it is -- they suggested Harriet Valerie today, but I put my foot down, so thanks to my alternative suggestion the girl's full name will be Harriet Eleanor Adler. Now that I sit up and write this down, now that I have time to reflect, I realize how much I enjoyed Raven fussing over Rogue & me (her Siamese girls, as she called us) and her new granddaughter. Why can't things always be this easy between us! Aunts Irene & Hope were also thrilled about Harriet, as was Kurt (on the phone from England). The resident Meddlers also showed up, there were times when the room became very crowded indeed. Thank heavens they finally left! Only Magnus & Raven stayed a little longer, but thankfully Rogue's best beloved and my best beloved are people who can hold their peace when the time for talking is done. At that moment, when we just sat together in silence, with no more contact than occasionally exchanging glances, listening to Harriet's and each other's breathing, I felt what I wrote in that poem a month ago: I am still Raven's woman, soul, if no longer body. Still, I'm glad that M. & R. finally left the room and that after laying down this diary I (and Rogue) can now get some proper sleep. At least until Harriet demands attention. (Wish I hadn't thought of that).

III. Uncharted Territory

11/11/02, rainy. Woke after sleeping for nearly 23 hrs. -- Rogue & still have a lot of sleep to catch up on. Dear Raven looked after the baby while we were out, enabling us to sleep without interruptions for Harriet's meals (for a couple of days she reprised the way she had induce milk-production in herself, which she had learned when Irene was born). But the recuperation has mad a big progress now, and soon Rogue should be up to handling everything by ourselves herself. After breast-feeding Harriet for the first time today she beamed & said she can get used to being a 'momma'; it'll be fascinating to see how she settles into her new role. She and I had a little discussion before we went to sleep yesterday, she said that she wants to do things her way, without too much interference from me, thank you very much, especially as she already expects to get tons of advice on motherhood from her momma. Actually Raven & Rogue had a little talk about this afternoon; she doesn't expect to take that great a part in raising Harriet ("Reney and Hope take up enough work by themselves," were her exact words, but all 3 of us knew that it's because she doesn't want to stifle Rogue). Magnus, for his part, is glad about certain modern conveniences, not having to boil diapers all the time as he had to do for his first daughter. In the evening Logan & Jean paid us a call along with their children (even Amiko was there, she had extended her weekend visit by a couple of days to see us awake). Rogue was glad to see them; she really welled up when L. held Harriet in his arms. After everyone was gone, R. & Magnus sat together, first talking, then watching 'Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain'. A quiet and all in all satisfying end to the day.


11/24/02, rainy, cold, a day to stay at home in bed: Dear little Harriet, testing our patience by waking us up, calling for attention at the top of her voice. 'We' being Magnus & I, as Rogue was in deep sleep, allowing me to get up (is she learning to do this on purpose?). Luckily Harriet did not take too long to snooze off again once I changed her diapers. Afterwards, since we both were awake, we sat down in the kitchen over hot cocoa (which M. had prepared while I got stuck w/ the more smelly job; men!). M. reminisced about how he & Magda (his late wife) raised their daughter Anya in a drafty hut in the Carpathian Mountains during the cold winters after WW2. The way he talked about it, it sounded almost idyllic -- a reminder for me how much the abrupt, bloody end of this idyll (the tragic death of Anya in a blazing house, his lethal loss of control and Magda's flight) must have scarred him emotionally. After surviving the horrors of Auschwitz he tried to create a new intact little private world, only to have it destroyed in one terrible day which left him alone in the world. I've never known M. utter a word against Magda, but I have to wonder if it was because of her that he later found it so hard to trust anyone. Did he expect them to betray him as she had betrayed him that day in Vinnitsa? At least with Rogue (and, I am truly astonished to state, with me these past months) he is very relaxed. He genuinely seemed to enjoy sitting with me, swapping parenting tales).


12/27/02, cold all days. Now that Rogue and I spend so much time looking after Harriet, there isn't much left for you, dear diary. We're spending Xmas with X-Factor & my family, and Raven insists on looking after our every need, so apart from the feedings we're having a most relaxing time. Not having seen her for weeks, Raven is fussed over her granddaughter as much as she could. I on the other hand got to spend some quality time with Irene and Hope -- Rogue is most accommodating in this respect. We arrived on Xmas Eve in the afternoon, the girls were very chirpy to see us and their little niece again, but even more about the package with presents Magnus carried. Once that was hidden and the novelty of Harriet & how much she had grown since our last meeting had worn off, things relatively quickly settled back into something approaching normality. Irene proudly showed me her school exercise-books, and she & Hope both had done holiday decorations and helped Raven and the others making ornate Xmas cookies. We had to make sure that they did not go to bed too early so they would not wake everyone up too early on Christmas morning. After we sang a few carols and kissed them good-night, Raven and I had a moment to ourselves when we filled the stockings and did the other preparations for the next morning. Magnus tactfully left us to our own devices, and Rogue retreated to her own subconscious. It looks as if we are finally adjusting to our condition, learning to not think so much about the things we can no longer do and instead rejoice in what we can do when we are together. We sat closely together on the sofa and talked after finishing the Xmas preparation; a lot of the time Raven looked into space or at my photo on the mantelpiece (so she would not be reminded of the different body? At least my way of talking is very much as it was, even if the pitch produced by Rogue's larynx is not). Christmas morning was, well, terribly familiar. Hope & Irene all over us, very much took charge of proceedings. Let that suffice, dear diary. During the course of the day Kurt & Amanda rang up from England, Errol also came on to compare presents w/ I. & H., which took quite a while. Around 5 our dinner guests arrived -- this year the 3 unattached X-Factorites came to our home as Alex & Lorna had them last year and Jamie & Angelica & Michael are staying w/ A's dad for the holidays. Guido & Forge were immediately dragged to their room by the girls (Forge is of course most useful in helping Hope & Irene implement the ideas they keep developing for their new Lego kits). Pyro helped Raven in the kitchen. St.John really has been a great friend through all this (GD VZR ZKRN SGD ODQRNM ENQDLNRS NM LX LHMC ZANTS QZUDMR OGXRHBZK MDDCR, ATS GD ZMC Q. ZQD CDZC RDS NM MNS KDSSHMF RDW RONHK SGDHQ EQHDMCRGHO). Raven did herself proud (esp. considering that cookery is not exactly her first love in life) with the dinner, and we all ate a lot more than we probably should have. It was nice to be with F., G. & St.J. in a purely social, off-duty context -- it's been so long. A most pleasant evening, and we had all Boxing Day to spend just among the family, while today Lorna & Alex came over for a chat over tea in the afternoon (what Raven, taking her cue from Irene Adler, jocularly referred to as a thé parlant). The 26th was also when Rogue got to spend more time with her sisters.


1/1/03, frost. Another new year's day, another journey into uncharted territory begins. What will 2003 bring us all? Will the Meddlers, X-Factor, the other teams continue to make a difference? Will Rogue and Magnus find a way to comfortably organize their time between the team and raising little Harriet? Will Raven carry on well at home as Irene & Hope grow up from their current difficult age to -- the next difficult age? Will Irene continue to enjoy school in 2nd grade in spite of the occasional problems she experiences b/c of her blue skin? God grant that it all turns out for the best...

On our way back from Washington we stayed in R. & M's lodge in the X-Mansion grounds in Westchester a couple of nights. Ororo had seen to it that the heating was properly on before we arrived, while Bobby Drake had whipped up a very nice ice-sculpture in front of the lodge to welcome Rogue and Harriet. As usual on such visits, Magnus spent a lot of his time with Charles Xavier. But there also was something about staying in the old gamekeeper's lodge, it is a special place for R. & M., the first proper home they made together. The others see that & thus Charles still has the place maintained for them, even though a few of the X-Men might want to move in there themselves. (It is occasionally used to house visitors, though).

Most of the X-Men were at home, so we could bring each other up to date in a big way. Scott & Maddy added an extension to the boathouse last summer, perhaps not entirely aesthetic, but really inevitable with 4 children. David (1) is adorable, but land sakes, Nate ('stop calling me Natty!') will become 10 years old this year, his parents already have to think ahead about what will happen, what they will do when he'll manifest his powers. Ruth is doing well in first grade, Naomi still has almost two years to go before she has to go to school. Domesticity has come to suit Scott, something that Rogue still finds a bit surprising, having known him around the time he first met Madelyne. At that time both M. & S. had a hard time with the transition to family life. They really went through a crisis shortly after Nathan's birth, but thankfully managed to pull together again, agreeing that they no longer could dedicate the kind of attention to their respective jobs that they had done when they still were single. (Of course, having to face the facts that M. was Jean Grey's clone and that S. just was not cut out for life as an airline pilot and away from superheroing also came into it). And now he claims that he actually enjoyed his paternity leaves. Not that he lost his enthusiasm for his work -- he will be taking over as team leader from Ororo come April, rather to the disappointment of Paige Guthrie, whose stint as leader (when Scott took a break in 2001/02 and Ororo had just had Amani) was a bit shorter than she had hoped. But P. will get another turn, everyone is convinced of that, and being the X-Men's representative on the Avengers roster for a year is quite a good gig, as Rogue remarked. P.G. wasn't in New York at the time though, she & Joelle had gone to Scotland to celebrate Hogmanay with their eldest brother and Scottish in-laws. The 3 other former members of the junior class are also doing quite well, and by all accounts Jubilee & Angelo are quite firmly an item.

Husk's counterpart with the X-Men, Hawkeye, wasn't in Salem Center -- he had brought Natasha & Pavel over for the Xmas celebrations, but for New Year's Eve the Barton-Romanovs had returned to their Manhattan apt., where they also entertained some of their Avengers pals. Scott said some of the younger X-Men had expressed doubts if a non-powered Avenger would be able to pull his weight with the team, but Hawkeye's performance soon effectively silenced them, which comes as no surprise to me. Of course he still has not become an easier subordinate with age -- Scott quipped that it was almost as if Logan had returned to the X-Men but that luckily Clint mostly stuck with Ororo's Gold Team. We had a rare reunion of the original five X-Men that extended weekend, as Jean & Logan had come over from W.Va. (we then traveled home together today). Dani Moonstar surprised Rogue by asking her if there was room for her on the Meddlers; she says she needs some time away from Prof. X. (not that they had a big confrontation lately, but somehow their chemistry that they tend to get on each other's nerves).

Ororo was glad to see us all. Even though she has the nucleus of a family of her own now, she still looks on Rogue as something like a little sister, indeed the teammates to whom she had become a kind of surrogate sister or mother (K. Pryde!) ages ago, when she had no living relatives and no lover, are all very close to her heart. It was also very noticeable when she welcomed Jean.


1/26/03, thaw. The team came back from Arizona around noon, safe and sound apart from a few minor cuts and contusions. Even though Magnus was among the slightly injured, Rogue's relief at their return was palpable. Being able to look after him, to bind up his lesions was evidently preferable to having to wait in uncertainty. Enforced passivity definitely is not Rogue's kind of scene, and today she had a bad feeling (maybe it was something she ate). Her anxiety become something like a bad migraine for me; I tried to retreat into her subconscious, but to no avail -- it affected her entire psyche, at least until Harriet became hungry again. The afternoon was much better, after R. put up M. in bed she showered him with attention & care and thus got a chance to be active in some way again. Of course all this made her more determined than ever to return to the team ASAP so she can watch after M. & the others again. Our little 'action junkie'! Magnus of course would prefer Rogue to stay at home as long as she can afford, gentleman that he is. In the evening Chen Li (Qilin) set off for the X-Mansion. She had wanted to be able to spend more time in a big city for a long time, now she'll replace Dani M. in the ranks of the X-Men. Definitely not a bad idea, as life in this base is so isolated.


3/10/03, frost at night. Rogue officially returned to the active team today, although the difference was not that dramatic as there wasn't any emergency requiring the Meddlers' intervention. Rogue is now again part of the roster for the various team chores & will have a training session tomorrow. However, she is taking things a little easier at first, leaving the team leadership to Gambit for the nonce. But at the conference this morning I got the impression that a few of the others and maybe Rémy himself expect her to claim the position at the head soon enough. And though she denies it, I think she has enjoyed the taste of leadership too much to let it go completely. My prediction is that she'll be champing at the bit as soon as Harriet is weaned.


4/19/03, still wet. Big family occasion in Washington for Hope's party yesterday. Many happy returns for your birthday, child, and many more yet to come. -- Not just Magneto & Rogue were there to watch Hope blow out her four candles, but so were Kurt, Amanda & Errol. Apart from that it was just the Madroxes (Michael will turn 2 next mth.). Pity the weather was too wet to permit holding the party in the garden, that's two years in a row we had to stay inside. Still, there's always hope for next year. Hope relished being the center of attention for so many people and presided at the table like a little queen, proudly shouting out her decrees who was allowed to have another piece of the cake etc. And on her insistence we went next door to X-Factor HQ into the gym, where Kurt entertained us all with trapeze stunts. Jamie took his cue and did a 16-man human pyramid (4 Jamies for each year) that he dedicated to the birthday girl. Amanda showed us photos of the Excalibur crowd, especially the children. Brian & Meggan's sons George & Gavin is coming along fine, as is Alan Pryde-Stuart. Rogue inquired about Phoenix & Dai Thomas, but it A. told us that they recently decided just to be good friends. They found they are too different after all. There's going to be another party tomorrow, with friends from Hope's play-group and a couple of Irene's classmates. Thankfully things are working out a lot better at Reney's school than I had sometimes feared behind the Appalachians. She's not even the only one with a mutant parent there, there's the son of a 'genetically challenged' goldsmith a grade ahead of her (the way Irene explains it, she has special fingers that she can use for tweezers and pincers; she's also very heat-resistant, although I. said, somewhat dismissively, that if Ms. Jefferson handles gold that is just solidifying she still has to let it go. Kids!). Also paid a brief visit to casa Summers (who became the second set of parents in X-Factor the month before last). Lorna proudly handed over baby Christopher to Rogue, quipping "Put it off rather longer than you..." (because she was almost 5 yrs. older than R. when she had her 1st child). Actually, she's as old as I was when I had Irene, but at that time I had not yet figuratively heard my biological clock ticking. Which just goes to show how much urgent a wish can become if you think you can't have it, as I gleefully pointed out to R. later.


5/12/03, getting warmer. Still very busy w/ the training sessions to get back Rogue's body and her & my mind back into greater effectiveness for team service. I especially have a lot to do, so R. put her foot down and decreed that we would stay here for exercises while Logan, Jean & Rémy went to New York for the big double wedding (yesterday -- Jubilee & Angelo E., Everett T. & Darla Buckminster). Maybe not a bad thing, we don't want to travel with Harriet too much yet, and neither would R. like to leave her behind. R. says I am way too keen to go to such social and family occasions. Possibly I am, dear, but they can be so useful to get to talk with people. Now that Dani Moonstar is with us, our workouts can be come a bit more realistic in some respects thanks to her illusions -- is this some Zen thing? Not today though, as Dani and Josh also went to the Westchester. (We don't have the kind of technology here that they can use in the Danger Room in the X-Mansion or at X-Factor HQ, so we have to face up against each other or robots most of the time). -- After spending most of the morning and afternoon training w/ Magnus, Rikki & Petrel, we were glad to have a sunny late afternoon & evening. Rogue & M. took advantage of that for a nice evening walk. Not wishing to intrude, I retreated into R's subconscious. I met Irene Adler (I hadn't even known that Rogue had absorbed her, though it's not really unexpected given how close they were). Of course I could not resist the temptation of asking her about whether her precognitive power had given her any hint that Raven & I would become a couple, but the 'ghost' just smiled mysteriously. I've seen that smile in real life, when Irene & Raven were with Freedom Force, and on some occasions I saw Raven exasperated by it. We did get into a more general conversation about Raven & Rogue though, which finished w/ Irene A's cryptic prediction that Raven would surprise me. Nothing new there!


6/8/03, sunny. Two years living in Rogue's body and counting. I'm still alive, and thanks to my connection I'm a full-time mother once more, helping R. to look after Harriet when we're at home, and after my own darling Irene and Hope when we go on a visit to Washington or they come to visit us. The past year has been a bit more stressful than my first year w/ Rogue, but we attributed to the additional stress caused by the lack of sleep caused first by the pregnancy and later by dear Harriet's calls for attention and food at night. Yet we have also become closer to one another, something like very close roommates. R. used that simile herself, comparing it to the friendship she remembers of Kitty Pryde and Illyana Rasputina when they shared a room in the Mansion when she first joined the X-Men. That's not something I knew about first hand, but should I ever meet one of the Kitty-ghosts in her mind, it'll be something I can ask her about. Magnus too has become more comfortable with my presence, partly from becoming accustomed to me, partly because he is grateful for the help I was able to give in his becoming Harriet's father. Irene and Hope love their little niece with a passion and can't wait for her to become old enough to join them and Errol in their games. And my own Raven? She does me proud, shouldering most of the load of raising our two daughters, besides being a loving grandmother to Errol (doesn't time fly, he'll be starting school later this year!) and Harriet. She has also done what she could to help Rogue and me to maintain our modus vivendi, especially during that tense time in January, when she flew over from Washington and talked some sense into us (with a certain degree of impatience, but that just is the Raven that both Rogue and I know and love). I fear she does not entirely let on what troubles her, and at times I find her, well, opaque. There are things that she is keeping from us, but unfortunately we've been so busy both with Harriet and the Meddlers duties to look into the matter properly.


7/10/03, sunny. It really is a bother how little we get out these days, not counting missions. When we go to Irene's birthday celebrations in a couple of days, it will be the first time we travel somewhere without having to go after black hats (God willing) since Hope's b-day! Thankfully the training sessions are now tapering off to the normal level and Rogue & Magnus are learning to work out a more effective schedule to accommodate Harriet's needs but reduce slack periods to a minimum. There had been a few occasions too many occasions when R. or M. were left with a half-hour or so between tasks where there really was nothing to do (and you couldn't even devote some quality time to H., because she was sleeping). Well, not entirely nothing, we did manage to read through the papers of this year's NATO conference (an imperfect surrogate for the real thing, we missed out on the unofficial meetings). At least we're not entirely isolated, occasionally people from the other teams come to visit...


8/12/03, sunny. Morning as per usual. After lunch Rogue flew to Charleston for a confidential conference w/ Janet van Dyne & the Summers Bros. to review the co-ordination of X-Men, X-Factor & Meddlers vis-à-vis the Federal Gov't. After our return to base we found that Rémy & Belle were just back from their impromptu week's working vacation in the Big Easy (Logan joked that it's becoming too hot to wear trench-coats in N.O.) and now were reunited with Jean-Baptiste. To celebrate the return, we all gathered outside in the evening for a little BBQ. J.-B. was a bit sad that he couldn't have gone with his parents (poor guy, the Meddlers' other children are either really too old to play with him (although Warren IV did give it a shot a couple of times this past week) or too young. At least that is bound to change in a couple of years.


10/1/03. Rogue returned to the Meddlers' helm today. The transfer went smoothly, as she had become Gambit's unofficial deputy soon after rejoining the team in March. Gambit is glad in a way that she's the leader now, as it gives him more time to deal with his responsibilities in New Orleans. The latter is the reason why he did not accept the offer to act as her 2nd in command; he said that he had so much work to catch up on in the Big Easy. So instead Jean returns to her old job.


10/6/03. Today being Raven & my anniversary, Rogue gave me the run of her body for most of the day. At the end of the day, Raven made a surprising announcement. "I'm getting a new body for you, Valerie." And while I sat in stunned silence, she related what she had been doing all this time (& what I had never gotten around to find out b/c of the pregnancy & other distractions). After my death, she took cell samples from my body for later cloning. Then she asked around about psi-transfers to see if it was possible to transfer my mind 'back' from Rogue to a clone of my body. Moira MacTaggert had been involved along w/ the Starjammers' med. officer Sikorsky when they transplanted Professor Xavier's personality into a clone of his body after his original had been implanted with an egg of a race of intergalactic parasites. And Emma Frost has had a lot of experience with transferring minds -- her own and those of others -- from one body to another. Raven consulted them both, and together they came up with a way they are convinced will work. Moira MacT. has already set in motion the cloning process, the clone should be ready for birth and the transference come next March. There's just one drawback: I'd have to go through the whole growing-up thing in real time. Apparently the side-effects of force-growing a clone using technology available on Earth is too dangerous to risk (I'll have to ask Dr. MacT. about this). Dare I attempt this? If it works, it would enable to lead her own life again, but what would it be like for me, suddenly transformed to a child (and one younger than my own children at that)?


10/7/03. Magneto was not exactly wildly enthusiastic about Raven's project, saying that he is dead set against anyone ever cloning him. On the other hand he must be looking forward to seeing Rogue rid of my personality. And he must be worrying about the possible risks to Rogue if her mind is tampered with in the way Raven described -- especially considering how sensitive he always has been about the integrity of his own mind (and possible violations thereof). But he betrays no sign of either emotion -- as a man of honor he understands why Rogue feels honor-bound to support her momma's plan despite the risks. Having had a night to sleep things over, I'm a little apprehensive myself, but the possible benefits would outweigh the risks by a large margin, at least if Raven's outline is correct. We'll know better once we've spoken to Moira MacTaggert and Emma Frost.


10/15/03, drizzle. Rogue and I flew to Muir Island to see Dr. MacTaggert about the clone of my body. When we arrived, we saw Sam and Rahne Guthrie, who are paying a short visit to her mother at the end of their honeymoon. Moira MacT. expected us and immediately showed us in to the cloning chamber where we could see the little fetus. Indescribable feelings. I asked Moira and her ass't, Dr. Peabody what the deal is about the risks of force growing clones so that they'd have a fully mature body earlier. They said that as we don't have access to the technology to do it safely. There apparently is a Shi'ar device which they used to produce Professor Xavier's new body, but that works only if you transfer the mind to the already matured body, and the ethics of that worry me and Dr. Peabody, because that means deliberately making a mindless clone. It would mean killing my clone sister so that I could use her body. According to both, force-growing the body with the mind already in it would lead to insanity with that method, which is why Dr. MacT. and Sikorsky did not attempt it on Professor X back in 1992. Besides, the device from the 'Starjammer', the only one that Moira would trust, is not accessible to us at present. Other methods she knows about, the ones developed on Earth, all have all kinds of horrible side-effects. Madelyne Pryor-Summers apparently was lucky that her artificial aging by Sinister (by whatever unknown method and devices he used) only resulted in her being deprived of Jean Grey's mutant powers, the memory-gaps that Moira calls her 'pseudo-amnesia' (which made her more susceptible to memory implants), and a few other minor problems. Other force-grown clones she heard about had an unfortunate tendency to dissolve into a sticky goo or developed totally warped personalities.


10/20/03. Rogue & I talked all aspects of the operation through one more time. We're going ahead with it.


2/3/04: Well, the big moment is imminent. We arrived her at the Muir Island research center today, and tomorrow I -- that is, my persona & memories -- will be transferred to the cloned body. About a month in the glass-and-plastic 'womb' to adjust to the body -- Moira says it's the longest she'll risk without me going loopy b/c of the isolation -- and then I'll be released into the world as a new baby & infant. A daunting prospect. To ensure there's no danger of parts of Rogue's personality being transferred along with mine, the scenario involves Emma knocking out R's persona w/ a psi-blast and then letting mine rise to the surface for the transfer itself. Hopefully that will eliminate the risk, but Rogue is going to wake up with a doozy of a headache. Rachel Summers will act as Emma's backup telepath for that. The process is not without perils, & I've written letters to Raven, Irene and Hope in case things go wrong. There is still so much I want to do, but should my psyche (Greek for soul, unless I'm mistaken) not make it safely to its new vessel, I can't say I didn't have a good life, left my mark.

Dear Rogue,
Should the mind-transfer go wrong and my personality be lost, please don't be sad. Thanks to you I've already lived almost three years over my allotted time. That is miraculous and wonderful in itself, and I am glad and grateful for every day of it, for the time I could spend with my loved ones and for you allowing me to participate in your life. I think I can take a little pride in my part in bringing Harriet into this world, but that does not diminish my admiration for your selflessness for giving me a home in your body and the way you and Magnus found the strength in yourself and each other to handle the stress and overcome the problems and crises my presence in your life caused you. Have a good life with Magnus and Harriet, and make us all proud of your daughter. Continue to look after your sisters and our Raven (for if her plan goes wrong there's no telling how she'll react). I know they will be in good hands with you.
Thank you so much once again for inviting me in and for all you did,
your loving

This story is for Alyson Hurt, who wanted to read more about Rogue and Val in this timeline.

This timeline differs from that of my other stories in a number of respects, starting with the fact that in this universe Scott Summers did not leave his wife Madelyne after Jean Grey emerged from the cocoon below Jamaica Bay, and because of this and other events their first son Nathan was not infected with the techno-organic virus and stayed in the present, Jean first married Warren and later Logan, and so on.

The first ghosts Val sees in Rogue's mind (in the entry for 3rd July, 2001) are Freddy from the back-up story in Classic X-Men #44 and Hybrid from ROM #32. The first Storm is the persona Rogue absorbed during the fight in the Pentagon in Uncanny X-Men #158, the second one is from #185. Since the Mystique persona recognizes Valerie Cooper, it is likely that 'she' is the one absorbed in the Rogue/Mystique story in Marvel Super-Heroes Special #2. The Valerie persona is from UXM #186, while as far as I know it has never been shown when Rogue absorbed Destiny (although a Destiny persona in Rogue's mind can be seen in X-Ttreme X-Men #5).

The 1930 song Du bist meine Greta Garbo was written by Walter Reisch (text) and Robert Stolz (music); it is (c) Alrobi Musikverlag and is featured on the Palast Orchester CD Ein Freund, ein guter Freund (BMG Ariola, 1999). The passage quoted in the entry for 28th July, 2001, translates as follows: "You are my own Greta Garbo/Fairest woman in the world/Blond (Magneto substitutes 'slender' because Rogue isn't a blonde) like/Only have not as much money/Still can bat your eyelashes/Just does beautiful she sophisticated from Hollywood."

In Val's entry for November 4, 2001, Rogue refers to the time she and Magneto made love for the first time in the Savage Land (in a course of events similar but, due to the differences between the timelines, not totally identical to Midnight Sun, my between-the-panels story based on UXM #269, 274 and 275. Rogue also mentioned that she suspected that she suspected that she had become pregnant on that occasion but that the fetus had been killed by her power in Late Summer Interlude, another Tale set in the main timeline. That story also introduces the Cootes (see the entry for February 28, 2002) and Tom Calani (September 22, 2002).

Notes: This timeline differs from that of my other stories in a number of respects, starting with the fact that in this universe Scott Summers did not leave his wife Madelyne after Jean Grey emerged from the cocoon below Jamaica Bay, and because of this and other events their first son Nathan was not infected with the techno-organic virus and stayed in the present, Jean first married Warren and later Logan, and so on.

The first ghosts Val sees in Rogue's mind (in the entry for 3rd July, 2001) are Freddy from the back-up story in Classic X-Men #44 and Hybrid from ROM #32. The first Storm is the persona Rogue absorbed during the fight in the Pentagon in Uncanny X-Men #158, the second one is from #185. Since the Mystique persona recognizes Valerie Cooper, it is likely that 'she' is the one absorbed in the Rogue/Mystique story in Marvel Super-Heroes Special #2. The Valerie persona is from UXM #186, while as far as I know it has never been shown when Rogue absorbed Destiny (although a Destiny persona in Rogue's mind can be seen in X-Ttreme X-Men #5).

The NATO conference on metahuman powers, an annual event in the Twilight Menshevik multiverse, was first seen in A Day's Work; Valerie Cooper's relatives in Hamburg -- Emma Andreesen née Cooper, her children and grandchildren -- were introduced here and in Lights in the Dark. Dan Cooper of the RCAF is the hero of an air adventure strip by Belgian comics creator Albert Weinberg (first story serialized in Spirou magazine starting November 1954). Lotta Schlotter is the heroine of a children's book of the same name (Carlsen Verlag, Hamburg) written and illustrated by Eckart Breitschuh (also his (c)). Sadly you can't yet get dolls of the cute little witch, nor can you get an action figure of Knurf, the parody jungle hero written, drawn and (c) by Stefan, Mathias and Jan Dinter in various books produced by Zwerchfell Verlag, Hamburg.

The poem Val wrote for October 6th, 2002 is written in a form that some people might have expected to appear in an earlier Tale, given the subject matter -- Sapphic strophes. Sappho (born in the 7th century B.C.E., died probably after 569), widely hailed as the greatest female poet of antiquity, invented this format, which consists of three eleven-syllable Sapphic verses and a shorter fourth verse (Adonius). Although her name (and that of her native island of Lesbos) came to be applied to female homosexual love, it is in fact still debated whether or not she was what is now termed a Lesbian.

Charles Xavier's mind was transferred from his Brood-infected original body to a cloned one in UXM #167. The White Queen switched bodies with Storm in UXM #151-152 and later was involved in mind-transfers involving Jean Grey (in the story arc in UXM's 280s) and Iceman (UXM #314). Moira's remarks about the dangers of force-growing clones was brought on by the way things worked out with Madelyne Pryor, Joseph, the Spider-Clone etc. in the comics.

Adamantium, Angel (Warren Worthington III), Anya (Magneto's dead daughter), Assassins' Guild, Banshee (Sean Cassidy), Beast (Henry 'Hank' McCoy), Binary/Ms. Marvel (Carol Danvers), Black Widow (Natasha Romanova), Belladonna 'Belle' Boudreaux, Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, Captain America (Steve Rogers), Captain Britain (Brian Braddock), Brood, Champions (of Los Angeles), Valerie Cooper, Cyclops (Scott Summers), Darkstar (Laynia Petrovna), Destiny (Irene Adler), Dire Wraiths, Doc Samson (Leonard Samson), Defenders, Madeline and William Drake, Excalibur, Firestar (Angelica Jones Madrox), Forge, Freedom Force, Friends of Mankind, Cordelia Frost, Nick Fury, Gambit (Rémy LeBeau), Genosha, Jean Grey, Joelle Guthrie, Joshua Guthrie, Havok (Alex Summers), Hawkeye (Clint Barton), Hercules (Marvel version), Husk (Paige Guthrie), Iceman (Robert Drake), David Ishima, Bartholomew Jones, Jubilee (Jubilation Lee), Leech, M (Monet St.Croix Da Costa), Moira MacTaggert, Madrox the Multiple Man (Jamie Madrox), Magda (Magneto's late wife), Magik (Illyana Rasputina), Magneto (Magnus), Massachusetts Academy, Meggan (Meggan Braddock), Mr. Sinister, Moondragon (Heather Douglas), Danielle 'Dani' Moonstar, Muir Island, Mystique (Raven Darkhölme), Nightcrawler (Kurt Wagner), Phoenix (Rachel Summers), Photon (Monica Rambeau), Polaris (Lorna Dane), Professor X (Charles Xavier), Project: Wideawake, Madelyne Pryor-Summers, Psylocke (Elizabeth Braddock), Henry 'Hank' Pym, Pyro (St. John Allerdyce), Bernadette 'Bernie' Rosenthal Rogers, Rogue, Michael 'Mick' Rossi, Sabretooth (Victor Creed), Savage Land, Sentinels, Neal Shaara, Shadowcat (Katherine 'Kitty' Pryde-Stuart), Shi'ar, Siege Perilous, 'Sikorsky', Siryn (Teresa Cassidy Wisdom), Skin (Angelo Espinosa), Spider-Woman (Jessica Ishima-Drew), Starjammer (spaceship), Starjammers, Storm (Ororo Munroe), Strong Guy (Guido Carosella), Nathan Chrisopher Summers, Sunspot (Roberto Da Costa), Synch (Everett Thomas), Thieves' Guild, Dai Thomas, Trish Tilby, Valkyrie (Brunhilde), Amelia Voght, Amanda Sefton Wagner (Jimaine Szardos), Wasp (Janet van Dyne), White Queen (Emma Frost), Pete Wisdom, Wolfsbane (Rahne Sinclair Guthrie), Wolverine (Logan), Xavier Mansion, X-Factor, X-Men, Amiko Yashida, Yukio are (c) and TM Marvel Comics.

Dan Cooper is (c) Albert Weinberg.

Harriet Adler, Emma Andreesen, Uwe and Sarah Andreesen, Pavel Barton, Gavin Braddock, George Braddock, Darla Buckminster, Tom Calani, Hope Cooper, Irene Cooper, Jed and Sumitra Coote, Imogen Frost, Mary Grey, Hammonia (Sara Voss), Ms. Jefferson, Jean-Baptiste LeBeau, Josephine 'Effie' McCoy, Michael Madrox, Mankind's Militia, Meddlers, Mfidul, Mongoose ('Rikki'), Mostyn Mundus, Amani Munroe, Novye Bogatyri, Dr. Peabody, Petrel, Alan Pryde-Stuart, Qilin (Chen Li), Christopher Summers (Jr.), David Summers, Naomi Summers, Ruth Summers, Martha Tilby, Errol Wagner, Bronwen Worthington, Warren Worthington IV are (c) Tilman Stieve.


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