Greetings everyone, Danielle, aka DC-MarvelGirl 1997 here! Today, I bring you my very first series related to X-men Comics titled Peace in Our Time! This story is in collaboration with one of my favorite X-men writers on here, MarvelMaster 616.
Plot Summary: Twenty-five-year-old Tony Stark and Professor Charles Xavier form a branch of Stark Industries called X-Corporation, a company that helps employ mutants in effort to help make the world better. But, when Tony's anti-mutant competitors form anti-mutant organizations, Tony and Xavier realize they need to form a team, hence, the X-men are born!
This series will work like a comic book, being titled with issue numbers similarly to how MarvelMaster 616 does his X-men Supreme series on this website, but, due to me being a college student, I cannot promise I will be posting weekly. I will be posting as frequently as I possibly can. I just want to give a huge thank-you to MarvelMaster 616. You've been great with helping me edit and giving me constructive criticism especially when writing this first chapter. You truly inspired me to start writing for X-men, so this story is dedicated to you! Depending on the response I get, I will post a sequel to this story and make it a full series! So there for, be sure to read, follow, favorite and most importantly of all, REVIEW! I thrive on reviews and I am open to any constructive criticism that any of you have.
'This here means psychic communications and others' thoughts.'
Remember, read, follow, favorite, review, and most of all, enjoy Peace in Our Time Volume 1! -
Issue 1: X-Corporation
Manhattan, New York – X-Corporation Tower
It was a crisp autumn day in Manhattan, New York, the clear skies being picturesque as they looked over X-Corporation Tower. Twenty-five-year-old Tony Stark, the prodigal son of Howard and Maria Stark, sat at his desk in the workshop space, a steaming cup of coffee at his desk along with half-empty bottles of vodka, brandy and other liquors. Attempting to cut cold turkey from alcoholism proved to be much more difficult than the young, billionaire playboy expected. In fact, at that moment, he was making the attempt at organizing his thoughts together, writing them down into his computer before he attempted tinkering with any of the his tech. He proceeded to type into his computer as he sipped his coffee, running a hand over his face as he breathed a heavy sigh.
Journal Entry 1,
We are living in a world of conflict . . . a world filled with hatred, fear and anger, and these very things rule the world. We're facing trying times in this country known as the United States of America, and guess who has to deal with the brunt of it? Me.
My name is Tony Stark, the son of Howard and Maria Stark who owned and founded Stark Industries. My old man was quite the genius, having built Captain America's shield. Growing up, I had to listen to his stories of all the most amazing things that Captain America ever did, as though Dad had more pride in Steve Rogers than he did in his own son. However, my old man did manage to make his company a success story and me being his only son, was the heir to the company and had to take it over one day and follow in his footsteps.
Growing up with an alcoholic father definitely has its own set of problems. Mom tried protecting me the best that she could, but, even her very best didn't help sometimes. However, that came to a head when Dad came into business with a man named Professor Charles Xavier.
Charles Xavier is a mutant with telepathy – ability to read others thoughts, and Dad had found him when he'd been studying in Oxford after having left the military. Professor Xavier came from a wealthy family and was raised in Westchester, New York by British parents. Reason why his military career was put on hold was because he ended up suffering from cancer in the spine, which confined him to a wheelchair. After Xavier had quit the military, he went on to study at Oxford and became a PHD in medicine. The man himself being a mutant is constantly looking for ways to see how mutation can benefit the world and help it be better, stronger . . . needless to say, when Dad met Xavier, the two instantaneously became friends, and Dad even funded Xavier's trips when he'd go off to third-world countries to help people who were victims of severe trauma. Soon after their friendship was formed, Xavier and Dad went into business together and they founded a company called X-Corporation, a company that could potentially help mutants who were struggling with finding careers due to their mutations being so out of control. That was probably the most selfless thing that Dad did, considering how egotistical he was towards me. His alcoholism always managed to get the best of him, and oftentimes, he took it out on me. In many ways, Charles Xavier was more of a father to me than Dad was, because he was there to offer me his sympathy and his compassion and his empathy, which is something I will forever be grateful for in a sense.
However, this all turned a head when I was seventeen years old and Mom and Dad died in a car accident. That left me to be the one to inherit my dad's company and needing to be the one to take it over. Believe me; being in this man's office opens old wounds. It reminds me of the times where Dad would be neglectful towards Mom and me, but, I also know in many ways it's my responsibility. Working with Professor Xavier is definitely a plus, but, there are many underlying issues that continued to be problems for the both of us.
Professor Xavier being a mutant has faced a shit ton of discrimination in his life, like many mutants. Now, with Senator Edward Kelly having aspirations to become president in order to take the place of President Norman Osborn, and several of my competitors being anti-mutant, it's ultimately hurting my bottom line with both X-Corp and Stark Industries. People wouldn't dare take what we are trying to do seriously. Stark Industries is a weapons company, plain and simple. We manufacture and sell weapons to the US army. Professor Xavier having served this country is very patriotic himself; part of why he went into business with my old man in the first place. X-Corp was designed by my old man and the professor to potentially help mutants find job opportunities. Teaching, weapons manufacturing, medicine . . . you name it, we can help mutants have a career in it. In fact, we already have three mutants on our payroll already, in addition to several other humans that work for me: my assistant, Pepper Potts and my bodyguard/driver Happy Hogan.
The first mutant that got hired when Dad was still alive is a man named Forge, a brilliant mutant with high intellect who is extremely gifted with technology. Forge has been doing wonders for both X-Corp and Stark Industries, building several planes as means of transportation, and a computer to enhance Professor Xavier's telepathy called Cerebro. Despite Forge having been trained as a medicine man by his tribe that he was raised in as a child – he's of Native American descent – his brilliance with technology never ceases to please me, especially since he helped me with designing Friday, the computer software system that runs not only X-Corp Tower, but also Stark Tower and my large private home in California.
The second mutant that we have is Hank McCoy, a mutant doctor who is a genius in his own right. McCoy's mutation started off as him just thinking to have overly large hands and feet. Being a graduate of Harvard University at the bright age of sixteen years old, Hank managed to suppress his mutation with a serum he created. Unfortunately, the serum did not have the longest of lasting effects, and Hank's mutation became rather "beastly" – and by that I mean covering him in blue fur as well as giving him ape-like reflexes. My old man had hired him feeling he'd be useful. Turns out, the big blue beast is useful, considering how skilled he is with technology and medicine, and is our greatest asset.
And lastly, we've got our newest hire, Warren Worthington III, who is twenty-two. Warren's mutation just simply gives him large, beautiful, feathery wings. He managed to somehow hide it from his parents; however, both his parents are mutant-hating bigots who own Worthington Industries and Worthington Pharmaceuticals. Warren's parents are looking to develop a "cure" for mutant powers. This definitely worries me considering they are not only are they one of my biggest competitors, but, when they learned of their son being a mutant, Warren Worthington Jr. and Katherine Worthington cut their son off and disowned him. Warren's a disgrace to the Worthington family name. So therefor, Warren had no place left to go, and he was sought out by Xavier, who offered Warren a chance to be employed by us. That means his employment at this company is the only thing that he has left in life . . . well, that, and his girlfriend Candice "Candy" Southern, who is surprisingly accepting of Warren's mutation, and God bless her for that, because we need more people in the world like her.
Now, this leads to me and Xavier looking for more mutants to join our cause. The only things we really can hope and pray to God for is that my competitors do not try and do something that could destroy our reputation. People already don't take me seriously as is, which is to be understood considering I am following in my old man's steps of being an alcoholic. And considering last week I was scolded by not only Professor Xavier, but also Pepper for making a "drunken slob" out of myself at my birthday party – Pepper's words, not Xavier's – I know now I've got a lot of making up to do. For Christ sake, Pepper never lets me forget that I have responsibilities to focus on, but ultimately, the only thing I care about at this point is keeping this company afloat somehow. I just know that if this fails, it'll prove my competitors right . . . that I am nothing more than the drunken fool that cannot function for shit.
Tony saved his journal entry on his computer and proceeded to finish off his morning coffee, knowing he had a long work day ahead of him. Needing to manage two companies, especially in the wake of growing anti-mutant sentiment, was hard enough on the young man. Alcohol seemed to often be the easy way out. He was scolded by Pepper for that all the time, and even Xavier was starting to have little tolerance for it since he and Tony were in business together. Tony felt the urgency and temptation to reach for a bottle of Jack Daniels, and just as he was about to, Pepper Potts, his strawberry-blonde, blue-eyed assistant, walked into the room, holding paperwork with a tight lip, dressed in a black pant suit.
"Not today, Mr. Stark," Pepper said in a tone Tony knew not to argue with. "You've got actual work to do, and besides, Xavier and Hank, they're out picking up two of our newest recruits for this company, so you might as well straighten up before they get back."
"Who are the recruits?" asked Tony.
"Scott Summers and Jean Grey," Pepper said. "From what Xavier gathered, these kids' history, it's nothing pretty. Both are seventeen. However, their lives aren't the best, and that's putting it kindly. Scott is the son a military test pilot and military scientist, Christopher and Katherine Summers. His parents died in a plane crash, and he and his younger brother Alex were both separated. Alex was adopted while Scott was in a coma for a full year, but, the two manage to have a brotherly relationship they keep in touch. Scott's currently in Claremont Orphanage in Alaska because no families want him; his mutant power of releasing concussive optic blast beams makes him a danger to anyone around him. Jean Grey was born to college professor John Grey and Dr. Elaine Grey. A car crash on a rainy night killed her mother and father, and Jean was separated from her siblings and was in a coma for three years. When she awoke, she destroyed the hospital and she was placed in the Morrison Mental Institution. Her powers are all psionic – telekinesis and telepathy; Xavier and Hank are assuming that her powers manifested after witnessing the deaths of her parents. Xavier is picking her up first because he was recommended to the mental hospital because of his experience as a mutant. So therefor, when Xavier gets here with Scott and Jean, you better be cleaned up and prepared, Tony . . . Capiche?" Pepper raised an eyebrow at her boss, feeling the need to hold him accountable yet again.
Tony nodded at Pepper, taking in the information he'd just heard about Scott and Jean. He felt a wave of sympathy for both kids. Jean and Scott having lost both their parents, he could easily sympathize with that, especially Jean, who had to feel her parents dying inside her head. He could only hope and pray that Xavier would succeed and not fail those kids like how society failed them.
Morrison Mental Institution – Newark, New Jersey
Professor Charles Xavier and Dr. Henry McCoy found themselves in Newark, New Jersey at the Morrison Mental Institution, where they were about to pick up someone who would hopefully be their first recruit. Working with Tony Stark to build up X-Corporation was something Charles Francis Xavier had devoted his time to since Tony had been seventeen years of age after his parents had gotten killed in a car wreck. However, the prodigal son who had grown into a young man had the tendencies his father Howard had. Tony being an alcoholic attempting at cutting cold turkey was something that Xavier found hard to watch, considering Tony still had a lot of growing up to do as a twenty-five-year-old. He was still a kid, especially with his mindset. He was brilliant, he was smart, but, he needed direction, and that was why Xavier felt the responsibility to be that source of guidance for Tony, who was rather self-serving. Xavier understood that mutant discrimination ultimately hurt Tony's bottom line, and that was why it was utmost important that they come up with a solution.
Currently, Professor Xavier and Hank were going down the hallway with the doctor of Jean Grey, Dr. Grant Kirby, who was talking to the both of them regarding Jean's condition.
"So you're saying she's been a patient here since she was nine?" asked Hank.
"Yes," said Dr. Kirby. "Her life's been pretty rough, and that is putting it very generously. A severe car crash on a rainy night killed her mother and father, her father being a beloved college professor of Bergen Community College in Hackensack, and her mother being a successful doctor at St. Joseph's Hospital in Wayne. As a matter of fact, Jean was separated from her siblings, her older brothers Liam and Roger, her older sisters Sarah and Julia, and her identical twin sister Madelyne who had been sent to a separate mental hospital for experiencing similar symptoms as Jean. It truly is terrible, but, no matter what we do, we cannot seem to help her. And it's sad, because she's such a sweet kid," he explained.
"I understand her circumstances, Dr. Kirby. But, I have an explanation . . . do you know what a mutant is?" asked Charles.
The doctor nodded.
"Then you would understand that it is simply a person with an extra gene called the X-gene. I think that Jean might possibly be one with psionic abilities, Dr. Kirby," Charles explained.
"And you really think that you are more equipped for helping her?" asked the doctor in a serious tone.
"I believe that we can find some way to help her . . . but, we won't be curing her . . . her powers, her abilities, they're part of her. All we can do at this point is just trying to helping her learn to control her abilities," said Hank.
Dr. Kirby nodded nervously. "Well, I'm sure myself and the rest of the staff would be happy to release her into your custody. This girl doesn't have any family, no relatives willing to take her in. She's a mess . . . we've just resorted to drugging her at this point because there's not much any of us can do for her," he said, and proceeded to lead them down the hallway to Jean's room. The duo entered the room. In the small space resided a cot with a blanket and pillow, a rudimentary toilet, and an emaciated redheaded girl who was rocking herself backward and forward, clutching her head and her face in her knees. It was a pitiful sight for Professor Xavier and Hank McCoy. Xavier nodded for Hank and Dr. Kirby to give him a few minutes alone with Jean.
"Jean Grey?" asked the professor as he entered the room. He could only imagine that the crazed thoughts of other patients were not helping her, especially considering she was full-on sobbing.
'I'm a freak . . . nobody wants me! Mommy and Daddy are dead . . . my siblings are gone . . . my twin sister Maddie . . . what's wrong with me?!'
"Jean . . . Jean Grey?" Charles asked her again.
Slowly but surely, Jean looked up to reveal her tear-stained face and watery green eyes. Her lips were swollen from crying.
"Who-Who are you?" she whispered, her voice shaking.
"I'm Professor Charles Xavier," the professor said, going closer to Jean in his wheelchair. "I'm here to help you."
"No," Jean said, shaking her head as more tears rolled down her face. "No . . . Nobody's able to-to help me!"
"That's not true, Jean," Charles whispered, coming closer to her as objects in the room started to shake all around them. He could just simply tell that Jean's telekinesis was starting to flare up, and he knew that he had to take care of it right away. "You are not sick, Jean, believe me . . . I know exactly how you feel. All those voices in your head . . . they're not voices."
"H-How do you know h-how I feel?" Jean asked, tears continuing to fall from her eyes and saturate her face.
Professor Xavier simply cupped Jean's face into his hand, using his thumb to wipe her tears away. 'I know how everybody feels,' he told her telepathically.
This time, when Jean heard a voice, this voice seemed to block out all the other loud thoughts of the mental institute patients, and it sounded a lot softer, more controlled than what she'd heard since she was nine years old.
"You're-You're like me?" Jean asked, feeling herself slowly starting to calm.
"Yes, Jean . . . very much like you," said Xavier around a soft smile. "And if you want the chance . . . I can help you learn about these special abilities that you have . . . your gifts. Would you like the chance to have that?"
Jean swallowed, considering her options. She could stay here in this miserable place and suffer, or, she could go into custody with this man who was offering to help her. Nobody had ever offered to help her without a cost before, and here was this kind man, telling her that she could trust him and was offering to take her under his wing. It was nothing short of a miracle to Jean Grey, who'd suffered enough for far too long.
Slowly but surely, Jean nodded her head, taking in the fact that she was going to leave this place . . . that she was going to go with this kind man and have something better. This time, tears of gratefulness filled her eyes as she struggled to voice her gratitude.
"Yes . . . please, help me," Jean whispered, leaning further into Xavier's touch as she felt him slowly wrapping his arms around her in a comforting embrace, something she hadn't had in years.