Warning: this story is completely
Continuity: what continuity? Alex and Lorna seem to
be married-ish, they're still with X-Factor, so's Forge, and
Jean's just hangin' out because, well, her sis-in-law is preggers.
All the characters in this story belong to Marvel, but god
help us if Marvel ever decides to use this plot.
And You Thought Cable Was Bad?
Alara's Shaggy Mutant Story
Lorna Dane, nine months pregnant and on overtime now, struggled
against the leather straps that held her to the examining
table. "I am not being your puppet anymore,
Sinister!" she snarled. "And neither is my baby.
You get him over my cold, dead body!"
"If necessary," Sinister said. "Though it
doesn't appear that it will be. Dear Lorna." He chuckled.
"You couldn't defy me as Malice. What makes you think
that mere Polaris will do any better?"
Stall for time, stall for time. She could feel her
powers slowly returning, and with her memories from her time
as leader of the Marauders, she knew how unusual that was.
The jolt Scrambler had given her should have been enough to
knock her powers out for a day or two -- but it was only a
few hours since she'd been captured, and already they were
coming back. Far, far earlier than Sinister could possibly
know. Unless it was only a side effect of the pregnancy, and
he'd tested Scrambler's powers on full-term mutant women before,
something Sinister might perfectly well have done... don't
think about that!
"What do you want my baby for anyway?" she asked
indignantly. "Malice would have been happy to churn out
a rugrat or two for you if you wanted my DNA so badly."
"Happy to?" He chuckled again. "I think you
may perhaps be remembering your time as Malice poorly, my
dear. Malice was not happy to do anything that inconvenienced
"Well, happy's the wrong word then. But she'd have done
it, if you'd ordered her to. Why now?"
"Because I could not really have expected Malice to
be able to breed with Alex Summers," Sinister said. "I
did consider asking her, but I doubt she could have successfully
impersonated you alone long enough. And I considered it regrettable."
"I thought it was Scott and Jean you had a thing about,
not Alex and me!"
"Oh, your child with Alex won't be what a child of Scott
and Jean's DNA would be. Telepathy/telekinesis is so much
more versatile than magnetism. But the unique property of
the Summers line is that it catalyzes, so the child will surpass
the parent. You contribute the power; your husband contributes
the catalyst; and your child has the potential to be an Omega-class
magnetic manipulator, stronger than you, rivalling Magneto
himself. Such power is not to be sneered at, even if it is
not the equal of Nathan Summers."
He filled a hypodermic with some drug that Lorna was sure
she didn't want injected in her. "I think it's time to
induce labor, Ms. Dane."
"I think it's time for you to eat this!"
She grabbed the scalpels and other metal instruments on the
tray, and the tray itself, and flung them at Sinister, while
simultaneously undoing the buckles on the leather straps.
You are NOT getting your hands on my baby. Sinister
let the instruments pass through him harmlessly, and released
arms that had suddenly turned into stretchy tentacles at her.
Oh no you don't! Lorna deflected the tentacles off
a magnetic shield, jumped off the table, and fled.
She couldn't take Sinister. She knew she couldn't
take Sinister. Malice had tried, and Malice had combined all
Lorna's experience and power with her own. On the other hand,
she didn't need to take Sinister-- she knew how to work his
teleport devices. Lorna fled down the hall, following the
magnetic signature of a teleport machine. Sinister didn't
pursue; he'd have the Marauders try to head her off, valuing
his personal dignity too highly to run after her. Big mistake.
Lorna could take the Marauders. Especially since they
were trying to take her alive.
She slammed Arclight into Vertigo, taking out the biggest
immediate threat, and then yanked her off Vertigo and flung
her into Scrambler. The others hadn't reached her yet. Lorna
ducked into the room with the teleport machinery. Conveniently,
the deadbolt on the door was made of a high-density ferrous
alloy, as was the door itself. Not adamantium, but it would
do. It would take a minute or two for Blockbuster or Arclight
to get the door down, and that was all she needed.
There were four sets of coords on the teleport machine, not
three. That was annoying. Who the hell needed more than three?
Hoping that Sinister's coordinate system was still the same
as it had been when she was Malice, she flipped three of the
dials to the coordinates for X-Factor's base, ran up to the
chamber and dove in, while with power she set up a feedback
loop to destroy the teleporter when it had safely transported
Polaris, don't! Sinister's voice in her head. You
don't know what that--
Blather at yourself, Sinny, I am outta here! With
her powers, Lorna flipped the switch.
The first thing she became aware of was what a very, very
bad idea that had been. Teleporting was never fun -- it disrupted
her connection with the geomagnetic field at the best of times.
But normally it did not leave her on her hands and knees,
puking her guts out. Of course that might have had something
to do with what else was renting space in her guts -- a something
that alerted her, with a swift flash of blinding stomach pain
and a rush of wetness between her legs, that its lease was
Lorna looked down at her huge stomach. "Your timing
sucks, you know that?" she told her unborn son wearily.
"I mean, it really, really sucks."
There were people pointing at her -- she was kneeling on
a sidewalk, surrounded by curious people dressed like, well,
like foreigners, she guessed, or old-fashioned types, or people
from an old movie. They spoke a language she didn't understand,
which sort of left her leaning toward the foreigner hypothesis.
Which meant Sinister had, indeed, changed his coordinate system.
She should have guessed from the presence of four coordinates
instead of three, but she hadn't had a lot of options. Puking
and going into labor in the middle of a crowded street full
of people who didn't speak her language was still better
than being a captive of Sinister.
"Hello?" Lorna asked the crowd. "Does anyone
speak English? Anybody? Agggh!"
No, this kid's timing really sucked, she decided.
The labor pangs were already coming far too close together.
What were the odds she'd be able to get to a hospital in time?
A dark-haired young woman in a white nurse's uniform came
forward and grabbed Lorna's arm. "Haben die Wehen eingesetzt?
Soll ich Sie in ein Krankenhaus bringen?" (1)
Lorna blinked at her. That sounded like German. "Lady,
I don't understand a word of aagggh!"
That seemed to be sufficient answer for the woman, who flagged
down a taxi and dragged Lorna into it, barking orders at the
cab driver. Five minutes later they were at a hospital, whereupon
the woman got Lorna checked in and into a bed in record time.
She seemed to be a nurse at this hospital. She also didn't
speak a word of English, which made it difficult for Lorna
to convey her desire for a telephone to call X-Factor with.
The fact that every third word Lorna tried to get out was
interrupted by an agonizing contraction didn't help.
It didn't look like Alex was going to be present for the
birth of his first child.
Damn, now he'd claim he had a good justification for having
skipped out on half his Lamaze classes.
The labor proceeded rapidly, but not rapidly enough.
After Lorna had howled "I WANT DRUGS!" for the
third time and started seriously contemplating the value of
wrapping the steel bed railing around the male obstretician's
neck, the man seemed to finally get the idea and gave her
the desired chemicals. Way too many of them. Hadn't the man
ever heard it was a bad idea to give a woman in labor too
many drugs? Now she couldn't feel her body at all. Whee!
Lorna laid her hand on her stomach and giggled as it contracted
without, seemingly, any input from her brain at all. Maybe
it was just reacting oddly with her mutant metabolism.
The nurse who'd rescued her was present throughout. Oddly
this made Lorna feel better. They couldn't speak each other's
language-- the most she'd been able to convey was that she
was an American, and get that the nurse was indeed German
(or else Dutch-- but if a foreigner said something that sounded
like "Dutch" but it was in a German accent, didn't
that mean they were saying "Deutsch" and that meant
they were German? Whatever. The drugs were not helping in
this regard either.) But she was at least sort of a friendly
face, and a take-charge person, and obviously someone who
cared about helping people. The doctor, after determining
that he couldn't understand her language, had apparently dismissed
her as a person and was treating her as some sort of birth-giving
machine... unpleasantly like Sinister's attitude, though from
the horror stories she'd heard that wasn't such unusual behavior
for an obstretician anyway.
It was hard for her to worry too much, however, with this
much drug in her system. Happy Lorna, happy high Lorna. Happy
high Lorna wanted to go home. Having a baby in a foreign country,
far from her own obstretician and her friends and family and
her husband the BASTARD who had LET HER GET CAPTURED BY SINISTER
and COULDN'T EVEN BE BOTHERED TO HAVE JEAN TRACK HER DOWN
when she was giving BIRTH, was not her favorite experience
in the world, and when she got back home boy was Alex
going to get it. But at least she wasn't in Sinister's lab
A mewling sound interrupted her musings. Dammit, there was
a cat in here! "Get that cat out of here!" Lorna
tried to shout, rather incoherently -- didn't they know cats
would sit on a baby's face and suck out their breath? There
shouldn't be a cat in a delivery room anyway, it was unsanitary!
And then the mewling sound changed to a howl, and she realized
that it wasn't a cat after all. The epidural block she'd been
given had suppressed all feeling from the middle of her body
on down; she hadn't even realized the baby was coming out
of her until she'd given birth.
They handed him to her, a squalling red thing that objectively
speaking really looked rather like Yoda, only red, but then
he snuggled into her arms as she weakly tried to hold him,
and suddenly he was the most adorable creature in all creation.
Oh, she'd loved him before, had gotten all warm and fuzzy
when she felt him move inside her, but now he was here. He
was real, and he was in her arms, all warm and red, already
with a wisp or two of translucent hair on his tiny head. Oh,
gee, look at his fingers. They were so small. She had
made those fingers, she and Alex had put together the blueprint
and then she'd built them in her body. Look at the tiny little
fingernails! The tiny fingers had clamped tightly around her
own much larger finger when she'd touched them.
The nurse lifted him from her arms, apologetically, and said
something or other, which Lorna interpreted as "I know
I'm a sadistic bitch for taking your baby away from you, but
I have to go put him in a cold sterile environment with all
the other babies instead of leaving him with his loving mother."
She was going to whack the nurse over the head with the instrument
tray, but she was so very tired, and she couldn't concentrate.
Okay, let the nurse feed the baby. She would get up in just
a little while and fish her son out of the baby care area
and take him home, that was what she'd do. But first she needed
to sleep, just a little bit.
Lorna dreamed she was watching Jean on TV, only there kept
being static, like there had been the days before her power
had fully manifested and she kept making static on the TV,
so she couldn't see Jean's show, which seemed to be like Sally
Jesse Raphael only with mutants. Jean was interviewing Sinister
and asking him how he could do all these awful things, and
Lorna really wanted to hear the show, but the static just
got louder and louder and then it woke her up.
It was still there. But it wasn't a TV.
LORN... HEAR M...?
It was telepathy, in Jean's voice, but she could barely hear
it. Was there some kind of psi-shield in the way?
Jean, I can barely hear you! Speak up!
ZZZSKT... FIX ON Y... LORNA, WE'RE GOING... SZZKS...
A fix on her? They were going to teleport her home? Wait!
What about the--
--"baby," Lorna finished, after she was done vomiting
on Forge's floor.
She couldn't understand why Jean and Alex were so deadly
pale. She repeated herself. "What about the baby?"
"You -- you had the baby?" Alex asked. He sounded
stricken, like she'd just confessed that the baby had been
born with rabies, or something.
"Yes, I had the baby! Do I still look like I
swallowed a pumpkin?" Actually, she didn't look all that
great, and most of the swelling hadn't gone down yet, but
she didn't look nine months pregnant anymore. "We
have to go back and get him!"
Forge shook his head. "According to my readings, that
would be disastrous."
"What do you mean your readings? He's my baby
and I'm not just going to leave him in some foreign country!"
"You don't know, do you?" Jean said. She, too,
looked like someone had told her the baby was dead.
"Know what? WOULD YOU PEOPLE START TALKING TO
"Sinister sent you back through time, Lorna," Forge
said. He should his head sadly. "The moment we brought
you through time without your child, we created the timeline
we are now living in. Your son was left behind in the past
... which means that he belongs there. To try to bring him
forward would disrupt the timeline irrevocably."
"You can't be serious."
"I'm very serious."
She turned to Jean. "He isn't serious, Jean. Tell me
he is not saying I can't rescue my son."
"I can't tell you that." She shook her head. "Lorna,
I know what it's like to lose a child to temporal mechanics.
I'm so sorry."
"Screw being sorry, I WANT MY BABY!" She
turned to Alex. "Come on, back me up here! I'll take
control of Forge's machine and we'll go back and rescue him!"
"I--" Alex swallowed. "I can't, Lorna. We
"WHAT DO YOU MEAN, YOU CAN'T, YOU BASTARD?" She
lifted him by the metal in his belt buckle. "He's our
baby! We can't just, just abandon him in some
other time -- what year was that, anyway?"
"1928, according to my readouts," Forge said.
"1928! He'd be old enough to be a grandfather by now!
I am not leaving him there to get old and be twice
my age! Cable's bad enough!"
"Hey!" Jean said.
"Well, he is! I've heard you trying to explain
how a guy older than you are could be your son, only he's
really the son of your clone, but you went to the future in
the body of one of your descendants and raised him--"
"Lorna, put me down!"
"Not until you promise to help me rescue our son!"
"Lorna." Forge walked over to her. She wanted to
pick him up and toss him into the wall, but he was wearing
some kind of degaussing device. "Do you think I'm telling
you this only to be cruel? I've checked the readouts, and
run the projections. Your son belongs to the time you left
him in. Not only does he belong there, but he's going to have
a major, major impact on the timeline. Remove him, according
to my readings, and you'd create a paradox that would not
only disrupt our timeline but might actually collapse the
"What are you talking about?" Lorna put Alex down
"A paradox loop. I don't know how it's possible, but
all the readouts on the causality meters are telling me that
if your son is removed from the time you left him in, it will
actually prevent you from having him in the first place, which
will generate a paradox and collapse the timeline. He belongs
where he is, Lorna. You have to accept that. Your accident
with Sinister's time machine was destined."
"No!" She shook her head wildly, tears forming
in her eyes. "I won't leave my baby! I have to go back
"If you do that, billions of people will die when the
"All right then. I'll go back to take care of him!"
Alex took a deep breath. "I'll go with you."
"Do you two know what you're saying?" Jean asked.
"You'd probably be dead by the time any of us are born.
You'd never see any of us again."
"It doesn't matter anyway," Forge said, checking
his readouts. "I've just run a probability scan, and
you can't do that either."
"What?" Lorna screeched, outraged. "Why
"Because it would cause a collapse of the timeline,"
Forge repeated patiently.
"Why? I'm just talking about going back in time to raise
"You'd change history. It would be inevitable. With
your powers, with your skills, your impact on the timeline
would be enormous. And don't tell me you wouldn't do anything
to change the timeline-- I know you two too well. We'd be
talking about sending you back in time to prevent World War
II, the Holocaust, Stalinist Russia, the massacres in Cambodia
and Uganda. I don't think any good person could resist the
temptation to stop at least one of those events, if
they were forced to live through them and they had the power
to do something about it. And that would cause a paradox loop,
because you'd change history enough to alter your own births
and therefore prevent yourselves from ever being sent back
"Did I ever mention how much I hate temporal mechanics?"
Alex muttered, putting his arm around Lorna."We -- we
can't rescue him? We can't even go back to raise him?"
Forge shook his head. "I'm very sorry. But no, you can't."
Lorna burst into tears.
Alex held her close, rubbing her back. "It's all right,
Lorna. I'm sure he'll do all right. According to Forge, he's
going to do something important, something that has a lot
of impact on history. That's something, isn't it?"
"Why couldn't he be an underachiever like us?"
Lorna wailed. "Then I could go get him!" She pressed
her head against Alex's chest, sobbing. "I just got to
hold him in my arms once and now I'm never even going to see
"Maybe we can track him down," Jean said. "If
he was born in 1928, and he's a mutant, we should be able
to find him as an adult now, shouldn't we? That wouldn't harm
"It wouldn't have any effect, no," Forge confirmed.
"But he's going to be an old man! He won't want to know
his natural mother is really half his age!"
"Maybe he won't be," Jean said. "Maybe his
power would turn out to be a healing factor or something."
"No!" Lorna shook her head wildly. "Sinister
said it was going to be--"
Abruptly her brain caught up with her mouth, and the wild
shock silenced her sobs as she finished. "--magnetic
1928. Germany. Shaper of history.
Alex looked at Lorna. Lorna looked at Alex. Both of them
looked helplessly at Jean, who looked at Forge, who shrugged.
"Oh no," Lorna said, as her family tree suddenly
became far, far more complicated than even her sister-in-law's.
The nurse was upset. After she'd done so much for the American
girl with the strange hair, the woman had run out of the hospital
without even paying her bill! It was terrible to abandon a
She looked down at the cute little thing in his basinette.
So sad, that such an adorable little boy would end up in an
orphanage or something, because some stupid American couldn't
be bothered to take care of her baby. No, that was entirely
too awful an idea. She had to do something.
Her own daughter was two years old. It was far sooner than
she'd thought of having another one ... but she couldn't just
abandon the little boy. She'd have to talk to her husband,
get the wheels in motion. Surely she and her husband could
adopt the child and give him a loving family. That was the
only right thing to do. Nurse Lehnsherr turned away from the
basinette to find her supervisor and talk to him about the
possibility of adopting the child.
Back in the 1990's, in Forge's base, it was Alex who finally
said what both he and Lorna were thinking."How are we
supposed to tell Pietro we're his grandparents?"
(1): Has your water broken? Shall I bring you to a hospital?
-German provided by Tilman Stieve -- thank you!
Jean Grey to Moira McTaggert: Sean told
me that Apocalypse paid you a visit, poured himself a cup
of your coffee, said "This is strong. It will survive,"
and left. Any truth to that?
- Eric L Bailey, on racmx "What If The X-People Answered
The Introduce Yourself Thread?"
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