Crystal
June 28th, 2004
7 Month Prior To Present Day
Wilksberry’s Day Camp

I had a job. That’s right I actually had a job. For about seventeen years now, I had always thought the only job I’d ever have was in my father’s lab. Around my fifteen year I had sort of reassigned to the fact that my father’s experiments would be all my life would be. I would help him find the way to create a viable, working X-Gene; different from the imperfect ones my brother, sister and cousin had. Their imperfect X-Genes made them what my father called, ‘inhumans’, reliant on the Terrigan Mist my father created to keep them sane and healthy, or as sane as healthy as a mad man, a forced mute and a girl with uncontrollable hair could be.

And eventually, my father would cure me. That was what I was really for. He was going to find a way not only to create an X-Gene but get rid of it too. Sometimes I doubted he’d actually accomplish it, sometimes I just felt his experiments would kill me but other times I believed he might cure me. I hated to admit that I didn’t know what would happen to me after I was cured, who I would become or what my father would do to me but I knew I would never be able to have a normal life. I wouldn’t be able to interact with the world as a teenage girl, go to school, get a summer job, and actually have fun.

But that changed when Sinister and Serenity came into my life. Now was a member of the Mutant Liberation Front and now I was allowed to be a normal girl, with a normal summer job.

Okay maybe that was stretching it. Though I now had a job as a counselor at Wilksberry’s Camp and I was going to be getting paid for that job, it wasn’t supposed an actual normal job or even my real job. The truth was I was to spy on fellow counselor and X-Man Lily Benson.

Yes I was a spy working with the Mutant Liberation Front. Why? Well my father was going to cure her and her friends of their X-Gene and I guess me getting close to them was important for that. I don’t know how. But because of them I would get to keep my powers.

Yes it felt wrong that I was basically making someone else take the bullet for me but I loved my powers and I loved being a mutant. I didn’t want to be cured and I didn’t want to be experimented on anymore.

And I wasn’t just being a selfish brat. I was doing this for my brother Locke too. He was turning thirteen soon which meant my father would put him through the treatment, which would include a mix of the Terrigan Mix and good old fashion torture, to see if he could successfully create an X-Gene. loved Locke and as much as I believed in my father I could not risk my brother turning out like the others. So I made a deal with my father that if I joined the MLF, thereby solidifying the alliance between Sinister and my father, he would not put Locke through the treatment. The deal was made and Sinister promised to help my father with the cure if he could cure the people he wanted.

And that was how I ended up here.
The orientation from camp counselors was more exciting than I thought it would. There were all kinds of diverse people, from all different backgrounds. I wanted to learn about all of them, to befriend everyone and have fun, intelligent conversations with them, but that wasn’t my job and that wasn’t my role.

My role was to play, what Serenity called, a ‘hot slut’. She dyed my hair a golden blonde, bought me tight clothes and even had me go ‘train’ in clubs across the city. It was now easy for me to slip into this other Crystal, this girl who I felt was so unlike myself; she was uninhibited, confident with who she was and her sexuality, she worldly and cool, quick witted and even raunchy. Being this other Crystal would make things easier, it would help separate me from the wrongs I was committing. I wasn’t skirting around my responsibility for my actions, I was just trying to make it easier to do the actions I had to commit.

That night as we stood around in the cafeteria, I was wearing a low-cut blue blouse and tight, hip hugging jeans. We were supposed to be mingling with other counselors but I stood watching a girl with long light brown hair. She was pretty with her dark green eyes, soft features and infectious smile. She had a good build, was of slightly above average height and held herself up in a way that you know she was okay with who she was. Currently she was talking to a skinnier girl with chocolate brown who didn’t exude the same confidence.

“I think I need to loss like ten pounds,” said the other girl, who was really skinny enough as it was.

“You’re crazy,” Lily seemed to agree with me, “You look great.”

“Yeah,” she girl sighed, “I like my tan and all but I was looking at myself in my bikini this morning and I had just like fat all over,” she grabbed her sides. “And I need to get my hair colored. I’m not really loving this new color.”

I had never really been around teenage girls, not in this capacity. It was sort of depressing to hear her talk this way but from what I understood it was pretty common for girls her age.

“Allie,” Lily shook her head, “You look fine.”

“I’m not going swimming,” she folded her arms and shook her head, “You can take the campers to the pool, I’m totally not.”

“I don’t think you have to worry about six years old judging how you look in a two piece,” Lily sighed.

“I’m not talking about them,” the girl called Allie replied, “I’m talking about the hot life guard.”

“Oh,” her eyes widen in realization, “He is hot.”

“With a body that’s like,” she let out a moan of pleasure, “Seriously not an inch of fat. So when sees me with my thighs, it would be like ugh!”

“I think you’re crazy,” Lily looked slightly exasperated , “Though he is very pretty.”

And I took this as my cue.

“I hooked up with him,” I said joining their little group. They both looked at me, seemingly confused. “The hot lifeguard.”

“Really?” a very intrigued looking Allie asked.

“It was amazing,” I nodded. It was disturbing how easy it was for me to lie to people.

“I’m so jealous,” Allie sighed.

“You have a boyfriend,” Lily reminded her in a disapproving tone.

“Doesn’t mean I can’t be jealous,” Allie retorted with a shrug, “You know what I’d like to do to that boy?”

“You know you’re objectifying him,” Lily frowned, “I’m sure guys dislike being objectified as much as women do.” Wow Serenity told me she was naïve but…wow. I was smiling, thinking how even in my life of seclusion, I seemed to know more about men than she did, “I’m just saying maybe he’s a nice guy who just wants people to look passed his abs and just see him as a person.”

“Lily’s a prude,” Allie told me in a blunt sort of way.

“Hey!” she shook her head, “I’m not a prude. I’m a romantic.”

Allie didn’t look convinced, “Her boyfriend is only allowed to touch her breasts for like five seconds.”

Lily huffed and brushed a piece of her hair behind her ear. Her cheeks blushed red as her glare turned towards the ground, “That’s very long…”

“It’s okay I’m sure your parents are a lot happier with you than mine are with me,” I started a subject which I knew could begin working in my favor. Lily’s mother was dead and her father was Magneto, who she had sort of a chaotic and unhealthy relationship with. She had an adoptive father too and her adoptive mother left her father a few years back.

“Yeah she is daddy’s little girl,” Allie shook her head.

Lily sighed and folded her arms looking more uncomfortable.

“My father is insane,” I began , “Totally strict. I was home schooled for like the last ten years, I only just started at a private school in Riverdale last year. Still he wanted me to be home right after school, no talking to boys at all. He wanted me to be this person I was not, wanted to use me to make himself look and feel better. Honestly he just wants me to believe what he believes, to follow his path and not my own,” A smirked crossed my lips, “But I have a rebellious spirit.”

Lily’s stance shifted from uncomfortable to relaxed as she looked to me like I was some kindred spirit.

“That’s awesome,” she was smiling now, “Really brave of you.”

“It also tends to be a little slutty,” I added with a smirk.

Lily gave a small laugh, “Yeah but at least you’re being who you want to be, not who he wants you to be.”

And just like that, I had her. It was really discomforting how good I was at manipulating people when I was Other Crystal.

“Wow,” I inclined my head like I was slightly embarrassed, “I haven’t even told you my name and I’m opening up to you about my daddy’ issues.”

Lily laughed, “Its okay.”

Allie nodded in agreement, “Lily a big fan of openness.”

“I’m a fan of emotional connections,” Lily said, “And trust me, I understand how you feel.”

I felt sorry for the girl. After what happened with her father betraying her you’d think she’d learn not to be so trusting and open to people. But again I admired it too. She wasn’t letting what happened in her life turn her cynical and jaded. There was a great amount of strength in that, a strength I respected.

“I’m Crystal by the way,” I put out my hand.

“Lily,” she took my hand.

And just like that, I was in.

Calvin
The Backyard of Milo Alexander
July 3rd

Ah human teenagers.

I watched with a serve lack of interest as a boy about my age was holding the end of a tube against his mouth as his friend pored to cans of beer into a funnel. A group of about three people were watching, cheering him on like he was doing some big sort of accomplishment. When the boy finished he throw the tube away from his mouth and let out a howl of victory, standing up pounding his chest, looking real proud of his ability to drink down liquids.

This was just one of the many events going on at that moment in the backyard of some kid named Milo. There at least fifty plus teenagers, some in the corner playing beer pong, others playing flip cup at another table, and others playing a game of Kings. People were mulling around the keg, talking to friends and helping someone do the occasional keg stand. Others were scattered about, some dancing to bad music, others talking to friends or new acquaintances. Some were even making out or at least trying desperately to do it.

I had a red cup filled with beer. I was probably on my third or so cup by now, drinking as fast as I could. Anything to dull the mundane boredom brought on by these jerk offs. These humans were so pathetic. They were so typical, so ordinary, so bland and useless. There was nothing special about any of them, yes some played sports, excelled at school or were attractive but compared to the likes of Crystal, Betsy and I they were nothing. It bothered me more than I can say that these types of people would have more power than me if the world continued on the path it was. Humans would be the CEOs, the government officials, the police force and the doctors, while mutants would have to go on hiding their true nature. Of course that’s if we’re even alive in the future. The humans realize we are a threat to their power, eventually they’ll try and cull us sooner or later. I was with Magneto in thinking ‘Why not get them first?’

Thinking of Magneto made my eyes fall on Lily Benson who was talking animatedly with Crystal who was laughing and having a good time. From what I could tell she wasn’t faking it. Crystal spent a good amount of time with the Lily chick and actually seemed to enjoy her company. I saw Crystal’s eyes move towards me and I could see her cheeks color slightly. I knew she liked me, which was great because she was hot. I also knew she would probably not be okay with me making any moves on her. She wasn’t at all like the girl she pretended to be. The real Crystal was completely introverted.

Betsy was by herself over at a table where the iPod was plugged into its iHome, which was connected to one decent size speaker. Her purple hair was tied into a loose ponytail and she looked miserable. Her eyes caught sight of me just as I began to move towards her eye. She didn’t even try to hide her eye roll.

“Enjoying your night?” I asked not really caring that she rather I not be near her.

“I think we’re supposed to pretend not to know each other,” she replied coldly.

“Than it’s nice to meet you,” I replied with a cocky smirk.

She gave me a cold stare before looking over the partiers around us, “I made them all think you’re an American football player at the high school next to theirs, which is their rival team. You are the star player. You’re renown and revered, I’m sure you’re thrilled.”

“I am,” It was nice to see she knew me already.

“Don’t worry though they’ll never talk to you about anyone in the other town,” Betsy continued, “I made sure of that.”

I looked at her impressed, “Wow, you are powerful.”

“I’m skilled,” she corrected me, her voice even, “There is only so much raw power could give you.”

I wondered if that was a dig at me. Not that I cared. I agreed with her that was skill was important but I preferred raw power.

My powers had finally grown. Sinister had used his telepathy to help do away with what he called ‘natural’ mental blocks on my powers which prohibited me from permanently retaining a power or retaining only half the quality of a certain power. The side effects were minimum. I had massive headaches and nose bleeds for a good two weeks, in between getting sick and not being able to sleep. But I overcame that.

The benefits far outweighed the occasional stabbing head pain. While I still only could hold five abilities, as long as a power wasn’t complicated or too powerful, I was able to not only hold it until I decided otherwise but I would have that ability at full power. Of course most of the powers I wanted were complicated; like Jamie Madrox’s, and I’d have to be around for a good long while before I even had the possibility of getting his ability even close to full power or hell even half. Sinister said it could take years for my ‘body and mind’ to fully understand Jamie’s unique power and that the best I should hope for now is just being able to make a duplicate or two, both at less than half power, for only a short amount of time. I just had to spend more time with the annoying little pest, which wasn’t easy since he didn’t want to spend time with me.

Currently I had Crystal’s fire and electric power(at half), Betsy’s telekinetic powers(probably at less than half) and super strength, which I was able to get from Rockslide without his ugliness. I had more spots open and was probably going to drop one of Crystal’s powers soon. I really wanted Lily Benson’s magnetic powers but they were hard to find and the fact that she mentally made them dormant made them even harder to grasp.

This was actually my first time seeing Lily or even being in this crap hole of a town. Sure Lily was hot but I wasn’t interested in her. I was waiting for Josh Kerr to arrive. It was his power I wanted most. I knew Sinister said it would take years for me to even get close to his true power but I would at least like flight and super speed.

Cory Ricci, meanwhile was walking over to Betsy. He looked pretty drunk but he didn’t seem to think that should stop him from talking to Betsy.

“Hey,” he nodded at her.

Betsy sighed, “Hello.”

“I like your hair,” he motioned towards it, “It’s purple.”

“Very good,” Betsy replied to him like he was a slow child, which he pretty much was.

“I was thinking of doing something with my hair,” he ruffled his own messy and slightly curly brown hair, “Maybe something purple. I’m a musician.” He waited for Betsy to reply or maybe coo, which she didn’t, “I think it would be badass to get a different hair color. I like yours,” he said again and she nodded, “I think I might go like red or blue or something. Not green. Green’s gross, especially if it’s like highlighter green because it just makes the hair look rotten and I don’t care how hot you are, if you have highlight green hair, I’m not tapping that. Unless you have big boobs or are willing to give it up.”

Betsy looked at him with a mix of disbelief and disgust, her mouth hanging open slightly. I moved towards Betsy and put my arm around her.

“May I help you?” I asked Cory as I switched out Crystal’s fire and electric abilities for his fire and electric abilities. Even at the half power, they were stronger than Crystal’s.

His face fell slightly in disappointed, “Aw man,” he sighed “no.” And with that he just turned away and walked away.

“Wow,” I shook my head letting go of Betsy, “That’s our competition.”

“Scary,” Betsy replied dully. Her eyes feel on me in a cold glare, “Why did you do that? People are going to think we’re dating now.”

“And?” I shrugged.

“What part of being strangers don’t you understand?”

I was about to reply to her when my eyes caught sight of average looking boy moving over to Cory Ricci. He was Josh Kerr. With three out of four of the X-Men in one place, and Betsy and Crystal, the backyard was basically a wallop of power. Josh Kerr had the most out of the five. Trying to concentrate on mimicking his power actually made me dizzy. It annoyed me like hell that he’d never use his powers to their fullest because of fears and qualms like humanity.

Still I was able to mimic Josh’s super speed and dropped Betsy’s telekinetic powers for his flight. I felt pretty strong at that moment and I had the urge to try and start something with Josh, to test my powers against his. I knew that despite him having the powers that he had, I was stronger. I just couldn’t wait to prove it.

Jamie
The North Salem Library

I walked into the library feeling a bit nervous. What was I doing here? Was I really going to go through with this? Was I really this desperate to survive that I’d spy on somehow in a plot to ruin their lives?

Apparently yes I was. Apparently Jamie Madrox was quite the survivor. I wasn’t sure if was duplicate or not but Sinister had scared me into thinking that if I was a dupe that I would die a horribly death; with all my organs shutting down very painful and slowly. Somehow I just couldn’t see that as fun way t go.

I still wasn’t even sure if Sinister was telling the truth. In fact, it was highly likely that he was lying. But I couldn’t risk it. I wasn’t brave enough. So I did what Sinister asked me to do to assure my survival, I joined his team.

Which made me wondered if I was a bad person.

And yeah, I was pretty sure the answer to that was; yup I was.

But then again wasn’t I trying to do what everyone does? I was trying to survive and I didn’t plan on hurting anyone, at least not physically.

To be fair emotionally harming someone didn’t make me feel any better about myself. None of this did.

So I guess the answer to why I was here was because I was a spy and today was the day I’d be meeting Cassie Eaton for my first tutoring session with her.

She was already there by the time I arrived, sitting at a desk with an open SAT study guide. Her black hair hung past her shoulders and she was wearing a red tank top and jeans. Her mocha skin was flawless and I couldn’t help notice how pretty she was.

I ran a hand through my brown hair and made sure my green t-shirt wasn’t to wrinkle and moved forward.

“Hi,” I waved to her.

She stood up, “Hi are you Jamie?”

“Yeah,” I nodded, “Cassie?”

She nodded, “Yup.”

“Cool.”

“Yup.”

For a moment we stood there in an awkward silence. I put my hands in pocket and Cassie gave a look down to her book, before her eyes turned to me. I knew that Cassie knew I was a mutant. Or at least she most likely suspected. Josh Kerr knew I was one of Sinister’s old patients as met in passing, and one of my dupes had met Cassie last year outside of Sinister’s office. But Sinister and Serenity both thought it was okay for me to go forward as a spy. They believed if anything Cassie would trust me more because she would think I got tricked by Sinister. And to be fair. For the majority of my life, I did.

“So what do you think you need help in?” she asked taking a seat.

“Uh just about everything,” I said sitting a seat adjacent from her. Of course I was lying. I was pretty damn smart.

“Well that should keep us busy,” she said opening up a book.

I nodded, “I love getting busy.” I cringed inwardly, regretting that comment.

“Okay,” she elongated the word before pushing the book towards me, “What is your weakest subject?”

“Uh,” I paused and tried to think of one, “Um..uh…” I tried to be think of something to say, a subject which wouldn’t make me look to dumb, “Uh..”

“English it is,” she flipped through the SAT book.

“So you go to school in this town right?” I asked trying to make conversation.

“I do,” she replied not looking up from the book.

“Do you like it?”

“Not really, no.”

“Why?”

“Because people in this town make inbred hill people look cultured.”

I nodded, “Oh,” I leaned forward, placing my elbow on the desk, “I like school.”

“Not too much apparently,” she muttered under her breath. The comment stung a bit and it must have shown on my face because she looked up and frowned, “Was that mean?”

“A bit,” I replied.

“Damn,” she sighed and leaned back in her chair, “I’m trying to be less mean but sometimes I feel like I’m just set up to make a snarky comment, which you know isn’t always mean. Sometimes I snark for snark’s sake.”

“I hear you,” I nodded, “People say I make jokes of situations I should not but I can’t help it.”

“Old habits,” she nodded in agreement.

“It’s all, oh be who you want to be, be happy with who you are,” I spoke in an overly saccharine tone, my hands even doing some of the talking for me, “Until you make an inappropriate joke at a bad time. Sorry I’m trying to lighten the mood! People are buzz kills. People just want you to be a certain way, the way they are, the supposedly happy, appropriate way.”

Cassie nodded, “Very true. And here’s the first lesson I’ll give you,” she leaned forward, her brown eyes fixing upon me, “No one is who they want to be. They might pretend they are but everyone wants to be someone else. No one is happy with anyone. Everyone tries to be someone they’re not.”

Her words sort of hit me right in the face. Again who exactly was I trying to be? Was I me or was I Jamie? Was I real or was I fake? Was I good or bad? What was I at this moment and more importantly, what was I trying to be? I couldn’t decide but every time I hazarded a guess it came up with answers I didn’t like.

“Too much?” Cassie asked. She gave me a quick look over, like she sizing me up, “Reality is harsh, so if you want to pretend what I said wasn’t true go ahead and go to the land of fairy and rainbows. I heard Xanadau is really nice this time of year.”

I shook my head, trying to get back to the conversation and away from my thoughts, “It’s not that I just got caught up in thinking how popular you must be.”

She nodded, a sarcastic smirk on her face, “Yeah its true. I think this is my year for prom queen.”

“Watch out for the pig’s blood.”

“I plan to bathe in it,” I smiled at her and she smiled back before looking to her book, “I guess I should be nicer, just from a moral standpoint,” she rolled her eyes there.

“Yeah probably,” I said, “Nice people tend not to die both hated and alone. I’m fine though. I’ll I do is inappropriate jokes. Some people find that charming.”

She gave me a skeptical smile, “Really? Like who?”

I shrugged and gave a confident smile, “I do, for one.”

“So you charm yourself?” She actually looked amused, which was nice, “Does it work?”

I nodded and said without any shame whatsoever, “I please myself quite often.”

Her eye brows raised and I smirked in return. And it might have just been my imagination but I could have sworn a bit of a glimmer in her eyes, a glimmer that meant Cassie Eaton thought I was amusing and fun. She might even like me.

I wasn’t sure how I felt on many things but if there was one thing I felt certain about it was that I thought that was pretty awesome.

Betsy
July 21st

My life in America had been pretty mundane and boring, which was surprising considering the circumstance of why I was here. I was living in my new house, a mansion right across the way from Cassie Eaton. It paled in comparison to my old home in many ways. My home in England had history, both familial and historical, while my home in America was new and untouched and therefore cold and empty. My family just moved through it’s hall, getting by each day the best they could. Everyone was adjusting well. I had used my telepathy to make Brian want to go to this fancy private school over in the city. He would have followed me into public school but I needed Brian far away while I did my work. My mother through herself into her charities as she usually did and my father worked in his office in Manhattan. It were almost like home except I had no friends here and I never felt like I was in place. It was not because I was British and living in America. It was because I was here for all the wrong reasons and I got here using all the wrong methods. I always abhorred using telepathy to manipulate minds and still could not stomach the fact that I had used my powers on my family to get them to America.

But I had to do it for my brother Jamie, which was ironic considering that just a few years prior Brian and I had told my father the horrifying things Jamie had done with his telepathy, which had set off the horrible events which had lead me here. Horrifying things and Jamie seemed to go hand in hand that year before the incident. He had became a degenerate and the night at the manor, when he attacked Brian I, were he turned my hair purple with his vast powers, all seemed to be inevitable. He was bound to fall and take us with him. But that still did not absolve me of the guilt I felt for thrusting a psi-sword through my brother’s head, damaging his mind both physically and mentally. He had been in a coma ever since.

Jamie had been moved to a hospital in the city, one of the best for those in Jamie’s situations. Of course the doctors here could not really do anything about Jamie’s situation. They said he was technically brain dead, stress on the technically. Jamie still had a few brains waves, enough to bring my brother and I into the world he called Albion, a place he thought was the real. But the fact remained that Albion was just his astral plane, formed from a fairy tale my father had told us as children. Since we had arrived in New York our trips to Albion had become less frequent, which worried me. Was Jamie getting weaker? Was he dying?

Sinister assured me otherwise. I hated that Sinister was my best hope in saving my brother. He had already woken him up once before putting him back to bed. ‘He needed time,’ Sinister told me, ‘There were intricate parts to the brain than you will ever realize Betsy.’

That Saturday was like any other. I made my 9:00 am visit to Jamie’s room and then sat by his side for the next two hours. I usual I alternated between reading my novel and watching him sleep. When I did the latter I would feel the guilt slowly gnaw at me. I wanted Jamie awake so bad and I was getting frustrated waiting for Sinister to make a move.

As if thinking his name somehow summoned him, Sinister appeared before me, literally out of thin air, startling me so much that I rose a few feet in my chair.

“Hello Elizabeth.”

I took a few deep breath before I became steady again, “Hello creepy man.”

His bright red eyes examined me for a moment, which was never comfortable. I got up from my seat, trying to maneuver myself away from his glare. But sure enough, like horrible red spotlights, his eyes followed me.

“I am glad to see you are here,” He said and I turned back to him. Despite the fact that he was a fellow Brit, I could not exactly pinpoint where in Britain he was from.

“You knew I was here,” I corrected him, quite annoyed.

“Yes,” he nodded, his voice flat and emotionless.

I stared at him with cold eyes, “Are you here to work on my brother?”

“I am,” he replied, “And to report to you that I have decided when you and your fellows will be making their public debut.”

I felt a shiver go down my spine. I hated the fact that the MLF was becoming a reality. I crossed my arms, “Oh?”

“Yes, you will strike at the North Salem Town Fair, a carnival.”

I frowned, “Isn’t that a bit public?”

“Is that not the point?” A smile crossed his lips and I felt my stomach turn in disgust.

“But there will be children at this carnival,” I began to protest even though I knew it was a lost cause.

“No one is asking you to hurt anyone,” Sinister said in a patronizing tone.

I was going to say something more, protest more and say I quit but of course all I did was look down on the ground, ashamed at my cowardliness.
“Shall we move on to your brother?” Sinister walked towards my brother’s bed. Staring at my brother was always so hard. He was pale and gaunt, his eyes closed and heavy. He looked so fragile and I knew he was hanging out by a thread.

“What are you doing for him?” I moved over to the left side of my brother’s bed, across from Sinister.

“I am slowly treating and remedying the damage you had done,” he said ever so tactlessly.

I brushed past it, keeping calm and steady, “And how are you doing that?”

Sinister’s eyes looked into mine for a moment and I stared back, trying to prove I was not afraid of him.

“I need your help.”

“My help?” I asked in disbelief, “I believe you have my help already. Now you need to do your part of this horrid arraignment.”

“I while accomplish it in due time,” he said coolly, “But first I need you to take my inside your brother’s mind.”

“What?” I said, “What why I do a thing like that?”

“Do you not want me to cure your brother?”

I sighed, feeling rather frustrated, “Of course but-”

“The damage you have done to your brother is extensive,” he went on, “It is not just physical but mental and emotional. I need to go into his astral plane to bring him back to this world.”

“What do you mean?”

“Your brother believes Albion is a real world does he not?” He asked knowing the answer full well, “In Albion he is a powerful wizard and a hero. He has his siblings by his side and a world that he controls. He has no desire to leave there therefore he will remain in his vegetative state.”

I loathed the fact that what he said somehow made sense, “And what are you going to do? Convince him otherwise?”

“Yes,” he said matter-of-factly, “It will take time but I will bring your brother back into this world.”

“Why can’t I do it?” I asked a bit heatedly, “I am his sister and you look like the thing which goes bump in the night,” a smile crossed my lips and said with no sincerity whatsoever, “No offense.”

“Do no concern yourself with such minor details. Just do as I say so I can save your brother. Send me into his mind. Alone,” he added sternly.

“Are you mad?” I shook my head, “I will not let you go in there on your own. I do not trust you in the least.”

“By that is it may,” Despite the fact that my tone was raising, Sinister’s own remained calm as ever, “I desire only to help your brother, whether you believe me or not. You might be blind to it but you are only hindering your brother’s recovery. You are giving him what he wants when you go into his world-”

“So I will tell him I won’t come anymore. I will talk to him, not you.”

“Has he ever listened to you before?” Sinister asked, his eyes back on me. I avoided eye contact, once again not wanting to admit he was right. Jamie had never listened to a word anyone in our family had ever uttered, “I believe you know that I can bring forth a very convincing argument..”

I glared at him, not even trying to contain my hatred, “How do I know you won’t manipulate my brother?”

“You will not,” he simply replied, “But you know I am his only hope. But I will tell you, I have no interest in someone as unstable as your brother and yes, he will be unstable upon his return. He might have great power but his mind is weak. My interest is you in.”

I rolled my eyes. He had such a flare for the dramatic.

I looked down at my brother and brushed my hand through his brown hair, “So you need me to do this? Why can you not go in yourself?”

“He will not let me,” Sinister replied, “I need you to, if we were to put it crudely, bypass his systems. You will only need to do it once, I shall be able to enter his mind as I pleased thereafter”

“Oh good, that puts me at ease,” I said in a false jovial tone before sighing loudly, “Fine I’ll do it.”

“Good girl. I only plan to talk to him, that is all,” Sinister said and I looked him to as he smiled at me, “I have dabbled in psychiatry in the past. Ask Jamie Madrox..”

That did not make me feel any better but I had no choice. I did as Sinister said. And as I lead Sinister’s mind into my brother’s mind, every part of me screamed that this was a mistake. That I should somehow destroy Sinister while I had a semblance of control over him. But I knew I could not.

He was my best hope for my brother and he would likely be the death of me.

Sinister isn’t the only one with a dramatic with a flare.

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