|To Follow In The Footsteps Of Giants
Author: Mr Sinister PM
Thunderbird III (Neal Shaara) explains why he chose his codename...Rated: Fiction K - English - Words: 672 - Reviews: 8 - Favs: 1 - Published: 06-13-01 - id: 315947
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
To Follow In The Footsteps Of Giants
I am Neal Shaara. I am an X-Man (but only just). I was rescued from certain death by the sacrifice of my brother and the woman I loved – rescued from a madman who called himself Bastion (a madman who turned out not have been a man at all, but an amalgamation of two of the X-Men's previous foes, the Master Mould and the futuristic Sentinel they called Nimrod). I have been offered a place in this team, this home, this life, but… I don't know if I should take it for good or not. They are a family, and I… I am an outsider. Not just because of the colour of my skin (the "Goddess" they call Storm, Ororo, has skin the colour of mocha, and the man with the wings of an Angel, Warren, is as blue as Vishnu himself, so it is not the case that they have excluded me on those grounds), but because these men and women have lived together for so long. Lived, and, in some cases, died, for Charles Xavier, the man whose dream they all purport to follow.
There is great beauty in his ideals, but I have looked through their records, and I have seen that there is also great ugliness – the mad god Onslaught, or the wiping of Magneto's mind, for instance – and I am left wondering: what kind of a man is this Charles Xavier, that he should be able to inspire such loyalty in his followers, despite such darkness? There is something magnetic about the man if you talk to him in person – there is a strength of conviction that I have never experienced before – and there is a strange kind of pain that I cannot quite identify, although it seems to intensify when he speaks of X-Men past, their sacrifices clearly weighing down on his shoulders like a ton weight. He is charismatic, and clearly full of compassion for his students, but is this really the life that I want to pursue? I suppose I could test this out on a probationary basis, but that might be the wrong approach to take. I think if I am to become a full member of the team it will have to be with all my heart, and not just half of it, while the other half remains detached. It… is daunting to think that I will have to give myself totally to this cause. I have no doubt that the rest of the team will give me all the help and guidance that I need, but what if I make a mistake in battle? What then? Would I endanger myself? The others? Would I live? Would I die?
Uncomfortable questions all, I think. But if I can meet the enemy head on, with no fear in my heart, then there can be no greater cause for which I can sacrifice my life. Many others have done it before me – John Proudstar, Rusty Collins, Doug Ramsey, the Changeling. Their example is something that I can look to as inspiration, and that is why I have already picked the codename by which I want to be called, if I join the team on a full rather than probationary basis.
By following in the footsteps of the first X-Man to lay down his life in the line of duty, I only hope that I can emulate his bravery and dedication to the dream. I know, thanks to Hank, that the Thunderbird is a symbol important to John Proudstar's people, but I feel that if I do the name justice, then I will be honouring his memory, in my own way. If I use my powers as he did – to strike a blow against the mutants that would seek to subjugate humans – then John will be vindicated.
And that will serve me as well as Charles Xavier's dream, I think.