Tales of a Young Mutant
Chapter 18: Orlando
The closer we got to Orlando, the more I thought about Eric. How he and Lance were doing. How he had Lance while I was Logan-less. Then I was reminded that Eric had barely any idea of the situation here. Sentinels could go after he and Lance at any time.
We landed in an underground hangar beneath what was to become our new hideout, and possibly a new school. Everyone shakily exited the Blackbird and took the items they brought with them to their own rooms inside. The place had a little decorating needed, not to mention installing the new equipment purposed to hide out mutant DNA signatures.
The adult X-men began to set up all of the equipment, while us junior team members headed upstairs. We talked for a while, and I left to use the restroom. When I came out, Scott was there. He was angry at me. I knew why. And I didn't blame him.
"I'm sorry Scott. I didn't know that we'd be attacked--"
"You should have protected him!! You should have been alert instead of fucking around!"
"I wouldn't have stood a chance! We were assaulted by machine guns, and the only reason I am still alive is because of my healing factor.
"Lucky you." said Scott before he turned and went back to work downstairs. I felt so hurt right then. MOm and Evan tried to comfort me, but the hurt wouldn't go away. It'd never go away, not until Logan was back.
A few weeks later, the Orlando school was close to being finished. I still felt so lonely. My friends and family were helping in every way they could. Rogue and I were even becoming better friends. But Scott served only to remind me of what happened--Logan was away, Who knows what the hell happened to him? Was happening to him now? What if he was in Mutant X and being tortured? What if he escaped and was lost? I needed to talk to someone who could help me. I needed to talk to Eric. I hoped that someone would take me to him. But all the members of the team were worn out, as we had to avert another sentinel attack.
I sat on a couch downstairs. I noticed a whirring sound and footsteps. I look up to see Professor Xavier and Jean coming down the stairs.
"Hey Joshua, you want to come with us? We're going to see Eric to talk about installing some mutant signature-blocking equipment."
Sometimes it's a joy that I am not the only telepath in the X-men. I promptly agreed. Xavier told me to wear clothes over my X-men uniform, since I wouldn't know if I needed it nor not. I went up to my room and took out some clothes to cover my uniform. I hurried back downstairs and the three of us got into a van and drove to Eric and Lance's house.
We pulled up to the house where Lance and Eric lived. We went up to the door and knocked. Lance answered the door.
"Hi. I'm Professor Xavier. This is Jean Grey and Joshua Munroe. We're here to see Eric McCoy."
"Oh yeah, sure. C'mon in." he said. We came in and waited. I began to think about Logan. I know I was safe, but what about him?
<He'll be fin! Don't worry!> say both Prof. X and Jean.
Lance called for Eric. A few minutes later, Eric joined us. I was still thinking about Logan.
"Hello, Eric." Professor X greeted.
"Hi. How are you guys?" he asked.
"We're doing well."
"Please have a seat."
The three of us sat down on the couch. Lance sat down in the chair and Eric sat on the floor between his legs. I looked away, as it reminded me of how much I missed Logan. I felt some of Eric's molecules stretching out to me. He must have been trying to feel what I was going through.
"I received the letter from Joshua. What's going on?" he asked.
"Things have changed rather quickly in New York. An organization has formed against mutants. They are calling themselves the Friend of Humanity. It's quite unsettling." replied the Professor.
"At least you are safe in the school."
"What school?" I replied.
"The school was destroyed.. We are going to have to rebuild." said Professor Xavier. "Most of the lower levels were undamaged, but there is nothing more we can do at the moment until the rest of the mansion is restored."
"Wow," Lance said, "To have your home gone. That must feel horrible."
"It is rather disquieting. We have much rebuilding to do once New York is safe."
"Where is everyone else?"
"We have a building in hand at the moment. Hank, along with everyone else, is setting up a field that will hide out mutant signature. It will make it rather difficult for the Friends of Humanity to find us."
"What an interesting name? Don't they realize that mutants are part of humanity as well? God, I hate bigots." Eric said disgustedly.
Lance put his hand on Eric's shoulder to comfort and calm him. Like I wish Logan were here to do for me. The anger that I felt radiating from him instantly subsided.
"You should come to the school, Eric." Professor Xavier invited. "We could give you equipment that would mask your signature. You could set it up in your house."
"We'll see." replied Eric.
"It's all quite safe for you and Lance," Jean said trying to convince Eric.
"It's not that I'm worried about. I spent most of my life hiding my sexual orientation. I'm not about to hide the fact that I'm a mutant." Eric stood and went into the kitchen. Someone had to convince him to do this. For his safety, as well as Lance's. I didn't want either of them to die because of Eric being a mutant.
<I'll talk to him.> said Jean as she rose and followed Eric into the kitchen.
We wait for a few minutes, Xavier making small talk with Lance about the group, rehearsals, etc., and then Eric and Jean returned. Professor Xavier and I stand to leave. "I believe it's time for us to go." Professor said. "It was good to see you, Eric."
"It was good to see you as well, Professor. It was good to see all three of you." We nodded and went to the door. "Professor, do the X-men still believe I murdered Dr. Israel?" he asked.
"Some do. I don't. Jean does not. Joshua does not. Joshua has talked with Logan extensively on the subject. It makes Logan a bit less comfortable toward you, but he is still apprehensive." I began to think about and worry about Logan. God, I missed him!
"I can understand that. When you find out someone you know may have murdered someone, many feelings of discomfort come toward that person. Perhaps I will go to Los Angeles soon and redeem myself." said Eric.
"There is no redemption needed in our eyes, Eric." the Professor replied.
"Thanks, Professor. But I do know of some who do need it."
The professor nodded and he and Jean went out the door. I turned to Eric. "It was really good to see you." I pulled him into a hug. "I've missed you."
"I've missed you, too, Joshua. We'll have time to talk later."
I followed the others to the van and we drove back to the mansion. I helped tidy things up for Eric's arrival. A few hours later, the doorbell rang. I went to answer it, but Remy was there. The only reason I try to be civil towards him is because Marie like him, and he likes her.
"Joshua?" I turned to see Mom.
"Mom, Eric's here."
We walked through the main entrance hall to greet Eric
"Good to see you, Eric." Mom said.
"Good to see you as well, Orroro. Hello, Joshua."
"Hi Eric." I replied, trying my best to sound happy. It didn't work. I was still thinking about Logan.
"The Professor told us you might be stopping by. He's downstairs with Hank. Have you met Hank before?" Mom asked.
"No, I haven't."
"You'll like him." I said with a smile. Hank was a real nice person. In fact, he helped make the mini-Cerebro given to me for my birthday.
"Follow us." Mom said and we led Eric down to the basement level of the "chapel." The Professor walked over to Eric.
"Glad you decided to come, Eric. Jean and Hank are finishing up some last minute adjustments. Then they will assist you in getting your home equipped."
"Thanks, Professor." He paused, then said, "Who is that?" pointing to Hank.
"That's Hank. . .Henry McCoy. Any relation?" the professor asked with a smile.
"Not that I'm aware of." replied Eric.
"His codename is Beast. He is very smart, agile, and strong."
"He has a good heart, too." I added.
Professor Xavier and Mom smiled at me. I smiled back. Eric smiled at me too. Stop the smiling people my mouth is going to get stuck like this. I thought to myself, while shielding my thoughts from anyone who'd be listening.
Jean and Hank came over to us, and Jean formally introduced Hank and Eric. Hank asked of Eric's mutation, which he told Hank.
"We are almost done here. Once we are finished, we will load up the van with equipment and drive to your house. Then we can set it up and make it rather inconspicuous." said Jean.
"Okay," Eric replied.
Just then Marie entered and whispered something to the Professor.
"Right." Professor X replied. "Storm," he said, "come with me."
Marie, Professor X, and mom turned and went up the stairs leaving me, Jean, Hank, and Eric alone. Hank and Jean went back to their work. I needed to talk to Eric.
"Can we talk?" I asked.
We went u[stairs to my room. I saw Remy out the corner of my eye. I knew what he was thinking. I wouldn't do that. I care too much for Logan. Eric and I sat on my bed. He looked scared that we'd fall through it or something. Since we hadn't fully rebuilt, we didn't have the best of furniture at the moment.
"What's up?" Eric asked.
"I'm a little scared about what's going on, Eric. Why are people acting this way toward us? We haven't done anything to them."
"I know, Joshua. It's sad that mankind is putting each other through things like this. Hate is something that is learned, which makes it both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because it can be unlearned. We can teach them that not all mutants are bad. A curse because someone who has a good heart can be led the wrong way in their feelings toward anyone born different.
"If you can remember the United States history in the 1950s African-American were hated and even murdered in the South because Southerners were taught to hate. Fathers and Grandfathers, mothers and grandmothers taught their children that people of different color were inferior and should be hated. Most of their children learned to hate, yet most of them had no idea why.
"Hitler hated just about everyone. he murdered Jews, Africans, Homosexuals, women and children for no apparent reason other than he believed they were inferior."
"But we are superior to them." I said, "We have special powers that make us very powerful."
"And they fear us. Their hatred stems from the fact that we are born different and have powers that they don't. They fear that we are powerful. They will probably want us to register ourselves one day or have us all killed off."
"Would it be so bad to be registered?"
"Registering would make us know to others. It would be easier for people to hate us openly. Why should we be licensed to live? Why should we have to be open about who and what we are? It's nobody's business but our own."
"Would it be the same with gay people?"
"Yes, it would. As nice as it would be for gay people to be able to readily identify one another, it would only make life much more difficult for them. Bigots and hate mongers would thrive on the fact of knowing who we are and would try to kill us. Look what happened to Matthew Shepherd. He was beaten to death because of his sexual orientation. James Byrd was drugged to death because he was a different skin color. As tolerant as this country is becoming it still has people who feed off of hate."
"That is so sad. They live a pretty close-minded life."
"That they do."
jean walked up to us. "We are finished here. We just need to load up the van and go."
"Okay." replied Eric.
"Can I help?" I asked.
"Sure." Jean replied.
Marie returned and cam up to me. "Your mother wants to see you, Josh."
"Okay" I said. I wanted to help so I could trick Jean into letting me go to Eric's with her. I turned to Eric. "Talk to you later, Eric."
I went up the stairs behind Marie. I wondered what was up.
"What is it my mom wants?" I ask.
"She has a surprise for you." replied Marie. I wondered what was up.
I walk into the room and see my mom and a tall, black man, with short-cut hair, dressed in a soldier's uniform. An X-MEN soldier uniform. But I recognized him instantly.
"Joshua, this is Lucas Bishop, your father." Mom said.
"Daddy?" I said.
"Josh? My son?"
He walked up to me and took me into a long, strong hug. I couldn't believe it! My mom and my dad, both here! I finally had all my biological family!
Dad and I talked a bunch. He talked about where he had been the past years. Well, the future years for him. He was from 2070. He was a soldier there and had recently defeated an enemy known as Fitzroy. His mutant power was that he could absorb and redirect many types of energy. He also had a lot of weapons.
Then he asked about me, and the sports I liked, etc. I told him everything I could think of about me, always avoiding the topic of girls, sports, training, fighting, etc. And then, the inevitable question arose.
"So, you have a girlfriend?"
"Umm, not really."
"Aw, come on, there's gotta be some girl in the school or on the team you're interested in. Wait a minute, you're not one of the boys hung up on Jean, are you?"
"NO!. It's just that..." I looked to Mom for support.
<He may understand, Josh. He knows what it's like to be different.>
<Remy knows and it doesn't stop him from hating me.>
<He's your father Josh. He'll still love you, no matter what.>
"The reason is -- I'm not interested in girls." Dad looked at me a little confused. Then his face turned awkward as he began to realize the truth.
"No, No, it can't be true!"
"Dad, it's true. I'm gay."
"NO. No child of mine could be gay. You're not my son."
"You're not my son."
I was devastated by his words. Tears like rivers fell from my eyes. I ran from the room. I couldn't. . .live around this. I ran into Scott on the way out. he was about to yell at me, but then he saw my face. I pushed past him to get out the door. Scott yelled after me, but I wouldn't. . .couldn't stop. I used the wind to lift me in the air, made air currents to carry me to the only person I felt comfortable to talk to right now. . .Eric.
Chapter 18 is finished. Bishop just arrived and had already disowned Joshua? Stay tuned for the next chapter of Tales of a Young Mutant. And if you have any comments, criticisms, etc., send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org