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Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6

Meadow-X v. 2.0

Chapter Three

One week later, there was a visitor to the mansion.

Mutants in general were hated and feared but if there was one person who could be considered the poster boy for being hated and feared it was this person. He was Erik Magnus Lehnsherr. Magneto. He landed neatly on the front steps of the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning and pressed the doorbell. He was, unusually enough, in a very good mood. After a few months of recuperating he was feeling like a new man. He didn't have any especially psychopathic tendencies anymore. After all, if falling through the atmosphere and landing head-first in a rain forest doesn't knock some sense into one's head, nothing will.

So he waited on the battered welcome mat and hummed a pleasant tune. He realized the X-Men and Charles might not be too enthusiastic about seeing him again but he was determined to make amends. And collect his spare undies from the box in the basement.

Scott opened the door, looking rather frazzled. He stared at the visitor.


"Hello, Scott," Magnus smiled. "I know that--"

"Thank god, you're here!"

Magnus blinked. He had been hoping for a peaceful reception but this was a bit more than he anticipated. A mental alarm bell went off.

"Scott, what's happened?"

The leader of the X-Men took off his visor and rubbed his face. It had been a rough week.

"Charles is crazy, the team's falling apart and we've got a cockroach rebellion on our hands!"

Deep breath, Magnus told himself.

"Okay. One thing at a time. Charles is crazy. That's fine. I've already done that. We know how to cope. Just humor him for now. He hasn't taken off and built a base somewhere at the ends of the earth, has he?"

"No, not yet," Scott said as he relaxed. "Sorry about that. Come on in."

In the living room, the X-Men were huddled in conference. Warren was drinking steadily and making vulgar comments about penguins, Jean, Remy and Logan had the blueprints for the house out and planning their counter-attack on the cockroaches. Magnus tensed as Logan stood up but the stocky Canadian held out a hand in greeting.

"Mags, it's good ta see ya. We could use some heavy-duty help here."

Magnus was baffled but decided to take the peace offering. "I'd be glad to help but I don't know what the problem is yet. Scott mentioned that Charles may not be of sound mind?"

Remy snorted into his beer. "Dat be de truth. He be doing wheelies in his chair all morning."


"He be de captain of the Enterprise. De new one," The thief elaborated.

Magnus searched through his memory. "Is that the show with the fellow with the pointed ears? No, never mind. So he's still on the grounds then?"

"Yes, he is," Scott sighed. "Hank's downstairs making up his dandelion joy juice, Betsy's gone, Ororo, well..."

"Is she all right?"

"She's dating a cat."

Presumably someone would fill me later on the details, Magnus decided. They can't possibly mean a real cat. A cat-like mutant is far more likely.

"I see. Go on."

"Rogue," Logan paused. "She's seeing somebody."

That was a tad disappointing, Magnus thought. "Ah. Well. I only wish her happiness."

"He be a neurotic little fruitcake!" Remy sulked.

"Binkley's just sensitive," Jean interjected.

Logan handed Magnus a glass of scotch.

"Here, bub. You'll need it soon."

Magnus accepted the proffered glass feeling a bit nonplused at the suddenly hard-drinking X-Men.

"I think I'll go talk to Charles first."

Something short and pet-like wearing a hat waddled by the doorway, catching his attention. This was new.

"When did you get a dog?"

"It's not a dog. It's a basselope," Jean said as she added another shot of whisky to her coffee. "His name's Rosebud."

Magnus went into the hallway and stared after the creature. The hat was in fact a set of antlers. He came back and drained his glass in one swallow.

After another round of fortifying drinks, Magnus flew up to have a look around the mansion grounds. Scott had locked the gates to prevent Charles from rolling away but it was a lot of area to cover. He spotted the founder of the X-Men behind the garage and flew over.


The captain looked over. He couldn't believe it, his old adversary was back. He steered his ship over to the entity.

"Q! What are you doing here?" Charles asked.

Magnus tried to think of a reason why his friend would have reduced his name to one letter. And the wrong one at that. Nothing occurred to him but then he really didn't expect anything to.

"Charles, what are you talking about? It's me, Magnus."

The captain fixed him with a disbelieving stare.

"You can't fool me, Q."

Just play along, Magnus told himself.

"No, M. Higher up on the alphabet."

Charles looked puzzled.

"The M Continuum? Why did you change the name?"

"I didn't," Magnus sighed. "Charles, why don't you come in? Scott and the rest of your students are concerned about you."

"Tell Number One he'll have to take command," Charles instructed firmly. "I'm going on a five year mission in search of cheap pleasures."

Magnus was scandalized. He had nothing against cheap pleasures but he had too much class to just announce it like that. He decided to try just a little force and held the wheelchair in place with the smallest amount of his powers.

The captain glared at the offending entity.

"Get your tractor beam off my ship! Fire forward phasers!"

The psi-bolt hit him directly between the eyes. Magnus released his magnetic grip on the wheelchair as he felt the migraine blossom forth. Charles made a break for freedom and Magnus flinched as his friend maneuvered over his feet on his way to another tour of the galaxy.

Magnus limped back inside with a pounding headache.

"How'd it go?" Jean asked anxiously.

"He ran over my foot," he informed her with glacial calm. "Twice."

"Um, I'd call Hank but..."

"He's stoned out of his mind on dandelion extract," Magnus finished. "Who the hell told him to do that?"

"We think Sinister did," Jean said uncomfortably. "Scalphunter contacted us and said Sinister's been acting strange. He wanted to know if we had put something in their water supply."

"Essex is always acting strange," he snorted as he grabbed the whisky bottle from her.

"Well, stoned then!" Jean yelled in frustration. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to shout. It's just..."

Magnus sighed and tried to look supportive. "It's all right, Jean. I know. What on earth possessed the man to experiment with vegetation?"

"He, they, were collaborating on a cure for the Legacy Virus," Jean sighed. "Essex was trying a derivation of Oliver's and it sort of took off from there."


continued in Chapter Four


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