I was inspired to write this after watching X3 this weekend. Spoilers for X3 for those of you out there who haven’t seen it yet…
X-Men: Untitled X3 Sequel
by Jeffrey Harlan
A beam of compressed energy tore through the air where, moments before, someone had been standing. Now, that person was, instead, sprawled on the ground, and a wisp of gray smoke was beginning to rise from a blackened patch on the back of his black leather jacket.
â€œDamn,â€ Wolverine muttered. The kid had been good, but he’d started to get overconfident. And overconfidence and Sentinels were a fatal combination. â€œKitty! Can you get inside that tin can’s head?â€
â€œAlready on it, Logan,â€ Kitty Pryde said as she ran toward the monstrous, four-story-tall robot. Energy beams converged on her, but passed harmlessly through her phased body. She leaped into the air…
… and the world stopped. Kitty stared in dumbfounded shock as she found herself floating in midair, the Sentinel before her similarly frozen. Dust and mist swirled but did not settle.
â€œAbout goddamned time you showed up, Red,â€ Wolverine spat, pausing to light a cigar. â€œYou gonna do somethin’ about these scrapheaps?â€
Kitty craned her neck, straining to see who had arrived behind her. But she already knew, even before Wolverine spoke.
â€œCan you put me down, please, Phoenix?â€
* * *
The girl woke with a startled cry. The dreams again. Always so much death, so much destruction. But when she looked out the window of the taxi, she saw none of that. The world was calm, peaceful.
â€œHey, kid, we’re here,â€ the driver said, turning to look at the young redhead in the back seat. â€œXavier’s School.â€ He eyed her appraisingly. â€œYouse a student here or somethin’?â€
â€œSomething,â€ she repeated. She turned the handle on the door.
â€œThat’ll be thirty bucks, kiddo,â€ the cabbie said. The girl looked at him intensely. He seemed to stare off into nothing for a moment, then smiled. â€œThanks kiddo. Take care’a youseself.â€ After she closed the door, the cab driver drove away.
â€œShouldn’t’a done that, kid,â€ a deep voice came from behind her. She spun.
â€œLogan!â€ she breathed.
He looked at her in stunned silence. He’d never seen her before in his life, but she looked just like… No, it was impossible. Wasn’t it? And that scent! So like hers, yet not.
â€œWho are you and how do you know that name?â€ he demanded.
â€œRachel,â€ the girl said. â€œMy name is Rachel Summers.â€
* * *
â€œCharles!â€ exclaimed Dr. Moira MacTaggert. â€œWhat’re ye doin’ here? I’d heard ye were dead!â€
â€œI was,â€ Charles Xavier replied. â€œOr, rather, my body was. Before it was destroyed, I transferred my consciousness into this body. That was something, you will recall, that we’ve discussed in the past.â€
â€œPlease, Moira,â€ Xavier pleaded, â€œlet’s continue this discussion later. Once I’ve gathered my strength, I think it prudent to inform my students of my ‘resurrection.’ â€
* * *
â€œAlex, calm down,â€ Ororo Munroe said sternly in the Headmaster’s office at Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters.
â€œLike hell,â€ Alex Summers said, plasma glowing brightly around his fists. â€œI know for a fact Scott and Jean never had a kid. Whoever this is, she’s lying!â€
â€œUncle Alex–â€ Rachel began.
â€œDon’t ‘Uncle Alex’ me, kid. I don’t know who you’re working for–â€
â€œI told you,â€ Rachel insisted. â€œI’m Rachel Summers, daughter of Scott and Jean Grey Summers. I’ve traveled back from the future to stop the coming of Apocalypse.â€
â€œAnd I told you,â€ Alex spat. â€œScott and Jean never had any kids.â€
â€œYet,â€ Rachel replied.
â€œThey’re dead, you stupid brat!â€ Alex cried. He tried to rush forward in a rage, but was restrained by Logan and Peter Rasputin.
â€œThe Dark Phoenix was silenced,â€ Rachel said evenly. â€œMy father’s body was scattered to the winds. But where the Phoenix rose once, she shall rise again. My parents are not dead.â€
Logan stepped forward. â€œLet’s say we believe you,â€ he said, then glanced back to Scott’s grieving brother. â€œJust for the sake of argument. You look like Jean. You even smell a little like her. What else do you have to say for yourself?â€
â€œMagneto’s strikes against the human establishment,â€ Rachel began, â€œespecially the latest one, lead to even more fear of mutants, who are eventually rounded up. The Sentinel program goes into full-scale production. Then a mutant rises up, and leads a rebellion. He seizes power in dozens of countries around the globe. He turns the Sentinels against the humans, and anyone else who would oppose him. He is unimaginably ancient, unimaginably evil. He is Apocalypse.â€
â€œSo why did you pick now of all times to go after him?â€ Logan asked.
â€œAt this point in history,â€ Rachel answered, â€œhe is still weak. He still relies on others to cement his power base. It is here that he can be defeated.â€