|Born to the Blood
Author: Jerathai PM
In the early days of the X-Men an unknown young mutant was assassinated at the very gates of Xavier's School for the Gifted. Or was she?Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Fantasy - Charles X./Professor X - Chapters: 33 - Words: 56,853 - Reviews: 19 - Favs: 13 - Follows: 14 - Updated: 03-31-13 - Published: 01-15-12 - id: 7743669
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Professor Xavier entered his personal quarters at the end of a tiring but satisfying day. He dumped his physics and literature textbooks on a convenient bookshelf just inside the door. Monday's lesson plan can wait until tomorrow. He grasped the doorknob with one hand and pulled the door shut, using the other automatically to maneuver his wheelchair out of the way as it obediently closed.
Charles Francis Xavier was the founder, owner, and headmaster of Xavier's School for the Gifted in upstate New York. Children from all over the world resided in the family mansion that he had put to use as an institute for learning. To the public, the rural campus was simply a school for special children. In reality, those children were more special than most realized – they were, one and all, mutants.
The first few "special children" had appeared just over fifty years ago. For reasons that no one could discover, they were born 'different'. In Xavier's case, he had been born with the gift of telepathy so powerful that he was nearly without peer. Unfortunately, an exploding mine that he encountered during military service robbed him of his ability to walk.
While acquiring an Oxford education (and accent), he became increasingly troubled by the growing fear and persecution of "mutants" – those born with special gifts, like himself. When the first incidents of violence occurred, he knew that humanity would self-destruct unless mutants and non-mutants could be reconciled to each other.
Charles retired to his ancestral home and began seeking out mutants who were young enough to have avoided the cynical intolerance that had claimed many his own age, but were old enough to be trained as a special-tactics strike force that could be utilized to stop the increasing number of incidents that threatened human-mutant peace. One by one, Professor Xavier gathered and trained the X-Men.
Tonight, however, such incidents were blessedly far from Charles' mind. The usual routine of lesson plans, homework, and tactical training took a distant second place to the fact that he was expecting a phone call. A long distance phone call. A very, very long distance phone call.
He wheeled his chair to his specially built desk. A computer keyboard slid out from under the tabletop at the touch of a button. A couple of commands caused the blotter on the desk to smoothly lift itself on a hinged edge to reveal a large flat screen computer monitor. It lit up, and he logged on to the workstation. Oddly shaped characters flowed across the screen, forming words in a language unknown to any native Earth culture. After a few seconds, the screen went blank. Then it lit to show what appeared to be a woman's face – except that this woman had fine short feathers instead of hair and a delicate tracery of artwork across her cheekbones.
The woman on the monitor reached out with her hand, to lay it flat on the communications panel at her end and spoke his name lovingly. "Charles." Behind the woman on the screen was a collection of artwork that was - literally – alien to him. For the woman on the screen was light-years in distance away. The Professor covered the open palm on the monitor with his own hand, returning the gesture and the greeting. "Lillandra, my wife."
They were quiet for a few moments, just enjoying the sight of each other. Then Charles drew his fingers lovingly over the image of her cheek and quietly asked, "Nothing?" He knew the answer anyway, but watched as she shook her head and quietly replied, "No." Lillandra of Clan Neramani, Majestrix of the Shi'ar Galactic Empire, smiled sadly at her consort. Xavier had returned to Earth from a rare visit to the Imperial throne world only a fortnight ago. She'd gone through her cycle during his stay, and they hoped – as they'd been hoping for years. But to no avail.
The Empress sighed. "The Great Festival is in six months. I'll be able to get away as soon as I've attended the opening ceremonies. I'll need to be back for the closing ceremony, but that should give me more than ten days to be with you, not counting travel time. My ship will arrive in Earth orbit early on the third day." Charles smiled at his wife fondly. "I'll plan on it."
It had been four years since they had exchanged marriage vows in the High Temple on Chandilar, Lillandra's homeworld – over the objections of many. The Shi'ar weren't - quite -xenophobic, but they weren't too far from it. Most of them regarded other life forms inferior and incapable of intelligence or true civilization.
The Shi'ar had been scandalized by their Majestrix' exchange of consort vows with a Terran. The marriage had been one of the very few times Lillandra had pushed through a decree backed solely by the weight of her personality and office. Much of her personal political coin had been spent in that action.
Because Xavier would not abandon his mission of human-mutant peace, and the Majestrix was rarely able to escape the throne world, Chandilar, their time together was little and infrequent. This contributed greatly to another problem. Charles and Lillandra were childless.
For other couples the situation would have been of less importance. For the galactic ruler to be without an heir was disastrous. Many Shi'ar saw their childlessness as a direct sign of their gods' disapproval of the union, so Lillandra had a religious situation on her hands as well.
Lillandra's parents had given the Empire three children. D'ken had been the only male. He had been consumed by his desire for ultimate power, and had died as a result of nearly achieving it.
The only alternative heir to Lillandra's throne was her older sister Deathbird, a woman who made Hitler look like Santa Claus.
So far, Deathbird had been uninterested in the responsibilities of the throne, even to the point of abdicating it, as she was the elder of the two. She was convinced that her sister would never bear children by her consort, which left her in the position of being the only blood-heir available. As long as she avoided being publicly declared a traitor or getting herself killed, she enjoyed all the power of being the heir to the Imperial House. She loved testing the limits, though. With no alternate Heir in sight, Lillandra's only alternative to her sister was civil war between the high nobles, who would fight for the appointment. Deathbird therefore had a great deal of latitude for her pleasures.
The Shi'ar nobles were equally adept at smelling blood in the water. One of the greatest regrets that Xavier had regarding these "telephone calls" was that they were sure to be intercepted. Espionage and politicking were rife in the Empire; there were many who made a living by selling whatever they found out to the highest bidder.
It was incredibly frustrating to both of them to have to confine their conversations to inconsequentials, common news, and coded sentences. It made their separation all the worse. He touched the screen. "I keep wondering if this is what it's like for non-telepaths." His fingertips gently skimmed the image of his wife's forehead. "I see you. You respond to my words. But when I reach out to you with my mind, I can't sense you there." Lillandra shared his disappointment. "If anything, I have more pity for couples like your Doctor Gray and Mr. Summers. I can't imagine how she feels – reaching out and touching him, but never being touched in return. I can't think of a more hideous torture for a telepath."
Xavier sighed. That wasn't the only issue besetting his two oldest students, but it was a significant one. It was difficult; to be so concerned about both of them and yet leave them alone to work it out by themselves went against the grain. They were both adults though – frighteningly powerful adults, both of them. If they are going to make their relationship work, then this is only one of many things they will need to address, I'm afraid, he thought to himself. He shook off those thoughts; time spent with Lillandra (even by 'phone') was too precious to allow distractions to claim his attention and he turned back gratefully to his wife's image on the monitor.