Chapter One: Forgotten Memories Return
It was an interesting thing, to not have a body.
For Iceman, the world was more than just a physical place. It was a sea of energies, shifting and chaotic, like watching colored dyes move through water. When he shifted into his mind-form, leaving behind the physical world, this was the place that he dived into. Beautiful, wild, unseen to most of the world. It took Bobby years to learn how to manage it. To see how the bright spots were people, animals, things with heat. How the passive spots were structures, buildings, trees, rocks. Between all that was swirling mists of light blues and greys, the air itself, filled with eddies and spikes of other colors.
Even without a body, Iceman could feel the wind and sun and rain. Now it was a part of him, passing through him as he moved through the world and as the world moved through him. It was amazing, it was singular, it was more a part of who Bobby Drake was than his name anymore. No one else shared this with him, human or mutant.
Was it any wonder that he had begun to lose himself? It was bad enough being caught up in the war as he had, bad enough to watch your friends fight and die for a world that didn’t want them in it. Viewing himself as something…other…than human or mutant didn’t help.
But it did keep him alive. That was more than he could say for the X-Men who were “missing”.
Now, swirling and diving and gliding over the broken landscape of Apocalypse Island, another little piece of Iceman threatens to shatter. He searched because Ororo told him to. But he knew what Storm was refusing to believe – that everyone was dead.
He knew that was true as soon as he looked at the Island. No heat signatures, no unnatural shifts in the seas of heat and cold, no changes brought about by something other than the world’s natural fields. No one was alive on this rock.
Nothing but a floating mind, leaving ice patches and snowflakes in it’s wake. And depending on his mood when you asked him, Bobby wasn’t even sure that he would call himself alive anymore.
Suddenly that wasn’t true. Iceman felt it as sure as he could feel the sun when it fought it’s way out from behind a storm cloud. A sudden bright burst of energy filled his mind, scattering the natural energies that permeated the island. He twists, his mind reeling, and streaks towards it. As he does, Bobby pulls at the moisture in the air, forcing it together and pulling the heat from it. In a burst of snow and ice-shards, Iceman has a body again, riding on top of a wave of shifting ice and sleet.
As Iceman streaks towards the energy shift, dodging melted debris and skeletal buildings, something happens in the air before him. From the same area where he can feel the energy actually. Materials float into the air, buildings shrieking and groaning as they are ripped from their resting places, cars bending and twisting as they are altered in mid-flight. Approaching closer and closer, Iceman’s eyes go wide as Apocalypse’s Citadel is slowly – but surely – reassembled before him.
“This is turning out to be a bad day,” Iceman says to himself as he pushes down on the ice, forcing himself higher. As he does he sheds his body. Clearly whoever was doing this must be an ally of Apocalypse – if not the big A himself – and going mind-only would keep Bobby safe, presuming this wasn’t a telepath.
Judging by what they were doing, they wouldn’t be.
As Iceman gets closer, he finally reaches the site of the Citadel’s rebirth. Material practically chokes the air; dirt, rock, concrete, metal, glass, plastics, anything physical. It flies through the air, changing as it goes, until it reaches the body of the Citadel. There it’s shifted into place, becoming just another piece of the building. It’s amazing, it’s haunting, the very thought of what this is terrifies Iceman. There were plenty of alphas on the wrong side, but very few mutants possessed THIS level of power.
It stops though. For a moment, all of the items drop, falling back to the ground that had given them up. Bobby can feel the energy in the air pulling at them; he could feel it drop away, like a man out of breath lifting a heavy object. Whoever this was is powerful – but not all-powerful. That was good.
Feeling the pull of energy again, the materials resume their trek through the air. Bobby follows them, battle instincts alert, and after passing through a melted lump of building, finally reaches the site.
Standing on the very edge of a large crater – or rather, a cluster of craters, the High Council making sure to target the original Citadel – is a man. Even from this distance, Iceman can feel the energy-shifts coming from him. Arms out wide, the man is tall and well-built, in shape as so many of the alphas are. When you lived for a king who would attack you at any provocation, staying in combat shape was always useful. Dark grey material covers his outstretched hands, with pieces of black armor over top. A bright red cape billows behind him as he gestures, directing the swirling masses of materials into the Citadel. He’s bald as well, at least from behind, and Iceman swings around to get a better look. As he closes in, streaking in from the left, the man suddenly tenses, the materials stop moving.
And he looks at Bobby.