Doctor Jean Grey, a strong, attractive woman in her early 30's and my friend, addressed the committee on the behalf of those who couldn't. This was an open hearing; behind the committee members were ordinary Washingtonians. An image of the human genome was closing down behind her as she's concluded a talk about what mutants are and how they came to be.
"We are witnesses a new stage in human evolution. The mutations appear during puberty, and are often triggered during periods of high emotional stress." she said. A microphoned voice interrupted her. I looked to see the flamboyant Senator Robert Kelly, a conservative from Florida, and the hearing's Chairman.
"Thank you Miss Grey, very educational. But it missed the question that is the focus of this hearing. Three words: are mutants dangerous?" he asked her.
"I'm afraid, that's an unfair question, Senator. After all, the wrong person behind the wheel of a car is dangerous." Jean told him.
"Well, we license people to drive." Senator Kelly told her.
"Yes, but not to live." She countered. "Senator, the records clearly show that mutants who have chosen to revealed themselves to the public have been widely regarded with fear and suspicion, even violence." I looked at the people around me as murmurs of dissent moved through the crowd. "It is because of this violence that I urge you all to vote against mutant registration. Forcing mutants to expose themselves will only-"
"Expose themselves?" Senator asked her. "What is it the mutant community has to hide?"
"I didn't say they were hiding-" Jean tried to tell him, but he stopped her.
"Well, let me show you what is being hidden, Miss Grey." He stood up and began to work the crowd, reading from a piece of paper.
"I have here records of mutants living in the United States. Here's a girl in Illinois who can walk through walls. What's to stop her from walking into a bank vault? Or into the White House? Or into their houses? And I have even heard, Miss Grey, that there are mutants so powerful that they can enter our minds and control our thoughts. Even some who can even gain the powers of other mutants. Either one of these kinds of mutants could take away our God-given free will. I think the American people have a write to decide if they want to send their children to school with mutants. To be taught by mutants. Ladies and gentlemen, the truth is that mutants are very real. And they are among us. We must know who they are, and most importantly, we must know what they can do!" The crowd reacted loudly in support of the Senator. I noticed one man in a hat and trenchcoat get up and leave. I tapped my father's shoulder and pointed him out to him. We followed him as he stormed out and stopped him without a word.
"Erik. What are you doing here?" Dad asked him.
"Why do you ask questions to which you already know the answers?" Erik asked him.
"Don't give up on them, Erik." my father almost begged him.
"What would you have me do, Charles? I've heard these arguments before." Erik told him.
"That was a long time ago. Mankind has evolved since then." Dad told him.
"Yes... Into us." Erik told him.
"We aren't the future, Erik. But we can help build it by things like this." I told him, motioning back to where Jean was.
"Angela, you aren't old enough to remember everything your father and I went saw." he told me.
"I'm older than I look." I told him.
"Oh, I know." he told me. It was silent for a moment before Erik tapped his own forehead. "Are you sneaking around in there, Charles? Whatever are you looking for?"
"I'm looking for hope." Dad told him. Erik turned to us and gave us a warm smile.
"I will give you hope, old friend. And I ask only one thing in return. Don't get in my way." Erik told us before turning on his heel and striding out, leaving my father and I more troubled than ever. "We are the future, Charles, not them. They no longer matter." I waited until he was gone before turning to my father.
"I'm headed up to Canada for a while. I have a friend I wanted to meet up with." I told him and he nodded to me. I left to go home and change before leaving.
I walked into the bar at Lotham City in my black leather pants,black knee high boots, black turtleneck, and a black leather coat. Lotham City was on the borders of Canadian civilization and the bar showed it. In the back was a cage where men would fight for money and bet on thier favorite fighter. I watched the cage match, waiting for my pen pal (a girl named Marie) to find me. A man was leaning against the bars of the cage. He looked to have taken a pretty bad beating already, but he was smoking something, Perhaps not as injured as he wanted them to think. The crowd was booing him, as the announcer worked them up.
"Ladies and gentlemen, in all my years I have never seen anything like this. Are you going to let this man walk away with your money?" he asked them and many people shouted at that. One tough-looking man rose up and entered the cage. This is clearly not the second man's first fight, and he clearly expected to win. I watched the announcer and the second fighter talk for a moment before separating. The second fighter didn't look impressed. He walked up behind the first fighter's back and hit him. A second and third blow dropped the first fighter, and second kicked him while he's down. The first fighter got up in time to see the second's next punch coming. The first man's knuckles collided with the second and I heard it. A metallic clang. Mutant. the second fighter held his hand close to his body, showing his agony. Te first man followed up with a punch of his own, then a head-butt. More sounds like metal on bone. The second man went down and stayed there making me smile and the crowd boo viciously..
"Ladies and gentlemen, the winner for tonight and still king of the cage... the Wolverine." I smiled at the name before feeling someone tap on my shoulder. I turned to see a girl in a log green coat with a hood that fell to her ankles, a brown scarf that fell to her knees, a brown shirt, patchwork pants, brown shoes and black gloves holding a large brown bag.
"Are you Angela Xavior?" she asked me and I smiled.
"I am. You must be Marie." I said told my hand out for her to shake. She stared at it a moment before shaking my hand.
"I'm going by Rogue now." she told me and I nodded.
"Are you hungry?"
Rogue and I sat at the bar with her nursing her water while I drank a beer.
"Once the welcoming point to thousands of immigrants, Ellis Island is opening its doors once again, this time for..." I ignored the TV as it went on about the world's largest-ever summit, including nations from over 200 nations.
"Can I get something for my friend here to eat? I asked the bartender, smiling. We'd both noticed Rogue staring at the tip jar.
"Sure." he told us as Wolverine sat at the bar close to us.
"I'll have a beer."
"So, what did you want to meet me here for?" I asked her quietly.
"Something happened a while back at home. I couldn't stay there anymore." she told me and I nodded.
"I understand that. Sometimes our abilities come at a time when we least want them to." I told her.
"I was kissing my boyfriend." he said looking down into her lap.
"The face is, he's still alive Rogue. Not all of us can say that." I told her.
"You owe me some money." I turned to see the second fighter from earlier talking to Wolverine.
"C'mon, Stu, let's not do this." his friend tells him.
"No man takes a beating like that without a mark to show for it." Stu ignored his friend.
"C'mon, buddy, this ain't gonna work." Stu continued to ignore his friend and leaned in to whisper something into Wolverine's ear. I pushed my hair behind my ear and listened.
"I know what you are."
"You lost your money; you keep this up, you'll lose somethin' else." Wolverine warned him.
"C'mon, man." Stu's friend begged him. For a moment, it looked like Stu had let his friend and Wolverine persuade him to let it go. He walked away before turning and walking back with a switchblade in hand.
"Look out!" Rogue called out to him. I used an ability I'd copied from another mutant to quickly run to Stu and take the switch blade from his hand and used my mind to destroy it. Wolverine slammed Stu up against the wall and two metal claws emerged from his knuckles on either side of Stu's neck. A third began to extend between the first two, and stopped just short of slashing Stu's Adam's apple making the human keep very still. I turned as I heard a shotgun being cocked. I turned and saw a gun pressed against Wolverine's temple.
"Get out of my bar, freaks!" the bartender ordered. Wolverine looked at him for an instant, then, in one quick motion, extended three claws from his other hand and used them to cut through the metal of the gun like a hot knife through butter. I had the metal float over to me and crumble into dust. Wolverine looked from Stu to the bartender for a moment, growling, before glancing at me.
Don't. Let them go and we can all leave here in one piece. I used my telepathy to tell him. Wolverine retracted his claws and quietly walked out.
"Rogue, let's go." I told her and we followed the man out.