Author's Notes will be at the end.
The door opened to allow the beautiful woman inside. She said she was a reporter and she insisted on complete privacy while she conducted her interview. The guards didn't bother asking for ID. A quick glance at the long legs protruding from her short business skirt was enough for them.
Finally, she entered the room where she would be allowed to conduct her interview. It was the same as the movies always showed it. Glass split the room in half. There were four seats on either side of the glass and partitions to separate them so that, in essence, there were four private booths with one chair on either side of the glass. The woman sat down in the chair against the far wall and waited.
Finally, the door opened in the other half of the room, the half she was cut off from by the huge pane of reinforced glass. A guard emerged first, followed by the mutant prisoner and another guard. The prisoner's hands were shackled together by a long chain. He was led to the seat across from the woman and left alone with her.
"Ya got 30 minutes," said the guard as he closed the door. The woman nodded her understanding.
Now they were alone. The prisoner reached for the receiver that looked like a telephone and put it next to his face. The woman followed his lead and did the same.
"How nice to see you again, Mystique."
"Wish I could say the same, Erik."
"So, you've let me sit here for four months. I'm sure you heard about the trial?"
"Which one? Yours or Xavier's?"
"Yes, I did. Frankly, I find it rather amusing."
Magneto scowled. "And what is so amusing about me being sentenced to life in prison?"
"Just as freedom is granted to every mutant in the country, yours is taken away."
"I fail to see the humor."
Mystique smiled at him as they sat in silence for a moment.
"I suppose you're here to get me out?" said Magneto with an obviously optimistic tone.
"Actually, no," said Mystique rather wickedly. "I'm here to let you know how bad you screwed it up. I came to answer those questions that must be laying on your mind."
Magneto watched her mouth curl up in a cruel smile. "Fine, I'll play your game. What happened? I thought Destiny was never wrong."
"She wasn't wrong. She said we'd be successful if we kept the two X-Men out of the fight. And in a sense, we were successful. We did manage to kill the President, after all. But we could have won the day completely. We could have destroyed the Congress too, if not for your lust for blood!"
"What?!" cried Magneto loudly. "Are you suggesting this is my fault?"
"It is your fault, Erik. The vision Destiny saw was what would have happened if we had waited another three weeks to attack. But you just had to change the plans. You got angry and impatient and it cost you your freedom, not to mention Pyro's life! And by the way, Wolverine nearly killed me, too! And it was entirely your fault. I've talked to Destiny personally and that was exactly what she said. That the only reason we failed was because you got impatient. When you changed the day of the attack, you nullified her vision completely!"
Magneto sat in silence for a few seconds before responding.
"What about the others? What happened to the Brotherhood?"
"The X-Men had managed to put them all out of the way pretty easily. Colossus rounded them up and carried them off before the building collapsed. They're fine, but I wouldn't expect them to follow you again anytime soon."
Magneto glanced around the room. His hands were shackled together by metal handcuffs, he was stuck in prison like a common thief, and now his followers had officially abandoned him. Life was great.
"They're suppressing my powers with some sort of serum. I can't escape on my own."
"Good!" said Mystique chipperly. "You need to spend some time in here."
They both glared at each other through the glass.
"Then you're not going to help me?"
"No. When have you ever helped me, Erik? If you wanna get out, do it yourself."
"I will," he growled through the glass. "Someday I'll be out of here and I won't forget this conversation."
"By the way, I suggest you stay on your toes. They're looking for the mutant that killed the President. I've refused to give them any information, but I can always change my mind." He smiled at her menacingly.
"Erik, I can change my appearance to be anyone at anytime. The odds of them finding me are slim to none. So tell them all about me. I'm too good to get caught."
"Then I suggest you run, Mystique. And when they close in on you, remember me."
Mystique stood up quickly, the receiver still against her face.
She returned the receiver to its holder and left the room without looking back at Magneto. She continued walking until she was out of the building entirely. Then she slipped into an alley, changed her appearance to that of a young man, and left the federal prison for good.
August 19, two weeks after the trial, was the first day of school. As such, it was also the first day that Scott, Jean, Logan, Remy, Ororo, and the Professor had inside the mansion without the kids. They spent the day cleaning. The X-Men had returned to the aboveground portion of the mansion a week before, but there was still plenty of work to be done. Fortunately, the army had already cleaned the blood left from the day of the attack. But there were still many jobs to be done. Bulletholes had to be repaired. Windows had to be replaced. The mansion had to be generally restored to being a home again. It would take months for the warm feelings of home to return, but they would eventually come. In the meantime, all they could do was wait and live their lives, their free lives. Free from the threat of detention camps. Free from the threat of Sentinels. Free from the threat of Magneto. To Scott and Jean, it seemed like the happiest time they could ever remember.
Rogue, Kurt, and Kitty stood on the steps of Bayville High School for the first time in nearly a year. It was the first day of school. The last time they had seen this building had been the day the Anti-Mutant Act passed and they had been called away so suddenly. It had been the day that had defined their lives for ten months. It had been the day that had changed their lives forever. It had been the day Evan died.
And now, they stood together at the entrance to the school debating whether they could go back or not. Things could never be the same inside that building again. For one thing, they had all been held back a year, an inevitability when you're unable to go to classes. The classes at the mansion had kept them sharp, but could not substitute as required work for school. As a result, they were all now forced into classes with people they didn't know, people who had always been in the grade below them, and perhaps, people who hated them. They each took a deep breath to prepare themselves.
"Well, its now or never," said Kitty.
They all nodded, climbed the stairs, and entered the school building together with their heads held high.
A/N:Well, that's it. I hope you've enjoyed this story as much as I have. Right now, I have some acknowledgments I'd like to make. Many would call these "shout-outs." I hate that word, though. So these are acknowledgments.
Jolly B– You only reviewed once, but you reviewed first. That is why you get named first. Thanks for the vote of confidence when I really needed it. Five chapters with no reviews can really make someone feel bad. Thanks again!
ishandahalf– You never cease to amaze me with your speed of posting reviews. There would be times that the new chapter wasn't up but for a mere hour and you would have already reviewed it! For those who don't know, ish is a teenage girl in Canada who has been locked in a small room with nothing but a computer and a love for the X-Men. She spends all of her time reading fan fiction and posting reviews to Romy stories. Her life is sustained by sugar and Mountain Dew, both of which are fed to her intravenously throughout the day. She also gets her exercise by chasing crack bunnies around the room. lol, just kidding, ish. Just so you know, your reviews changed one aspect of this story. It wasn't incredibly major, but it could have been depending on how it was handled. I'm not telling what it was, but I'm rather glad you came along because I like things the way they turned out. Incidentally, your "Decemberween" comment still cracks me up to this day!
furygrrl– My resident Jean and Logan nut! As you noted, I was trying to blend Evo with the comics and original series. I hope I succeeded. Thank you for sticking around despite Jean's decision to stay with Scott.
sweetlikechocolate– And here is my resident Jean and Scott nut! You're enthusiasm for Jott is quite obvious. Between you and furygrrl I just couldn't please anyone! Thanks for all your wonderful reviews.
PossesedRoguey– For some reason, I could have sworn you wrote more than just one review, but I can't seem to find anymore right now! lol, I guess that shows how much I appreciated your review. Thanks.
LyranFan– I'm very glad you liked the story. To know that I connected with an older fan who grew up with the comics is quite an honor. Thank you.
Shadowkeepre– Though ish made me change some of my plans, you actually made me edit a chapter! Thanks for pointing out my mistakes. I appreciate it. I suppose I should start using a beta…oh well!
Kase1– I know what you mean. But this story is proof that if you hold out through the lack of reviews, they will eventually come. Thanks.
bocaj– Yeah, we dealt with some drama there for a while, but the truth is you are a valued reviewer and I'm very glad you decided to stick with me to the end. I hope the end of the story was more to your liking than the middle.
FoenixFyre– I'm glad you felt my story was something new and different. That was a goal of mine. The biggest inspiration I had for this fic was the fact that every story I was reading in XME fandom was basically the same! Thanks for your many reviews! Oh, and don't worry about that comment I called you on a while back. We all make mistakes when we're not thinking.
StraightJacketPhil– Thanks for all the reviews, though I maintain that you probably need psychological help! lol. For all of you who enjoy intense and senseless gory violence, I strongly suggest Phil's "X-Men Evolution Uncut." It's very good.
tenzo– Thanks for the review! I'm glad you liked it.
Cyko Person– I left the cliffhanger on Jean's decision just so that I could get more people like you to leave me a review. I wanted to know what my readers wanted. Thank you for taking my bait and giving your input! I appreciate it.
aimtbj– Thanks very much for the review. I'm glad to know you liked it.
Jen1703– As I've told you, I tried to not let the Logan/Jean relationship get very disturbing anytime I could avoid it. I hope you were able to look past it. I'm glad it was recommended to you as well!
Star-of-Chaos– I agree. There is nobody else in the Evo universe that could get away with killing the President, especially in the way she did! Thanks for the review.
madleinx– Thank you very much! For those who want tips on how to get on my good side, read madleinx's review. I always like to have my writing skills complimented. Is that selfish and arrogant of me? Yes, but I can live with that on my conscience! lol. Anyway, I know I'm not good with imagery. That has always been a problem of mine. My brain just doesn't seem to think out of the box enough to handle imagery. I'm much more of a literal type of thinker. But I'll work on it! Thanks again.
Xerios– Thanks for the reviews and I hope you get that problem with the chapters worked out on your computer sometime soon. I still can't imagine how you managed to follow the story without those chapters, but I applaud your perseverance! Thank you very much.
Jennilyn Maxwell– Thank you. I grew up on the original cartoon and so a lot of this story has been influenced by that. It's always good to see fellow lifelong fans.
Wing Knight– Thanks for pointing out my mistakes on the Supreme Court chapter. As I said before, I tried to research Supreme Court proceedings but couldn't find anything. Besides, I think the trial was more interesting the way I did it than it would have been had I followed the actual guidelines anyway.
Radical Chic– Thanks very much for the review. I tried to keep it all as three-dimensional as I could and still keep the story moving.
icedmochas4every1– Okay, so this review wasn't posted on ff.net, but rather sent to me as a PM at Animation Insider (for those who don't know, I'm kousotsu at AI). Thanks for the great response! I really appreciated everything you said!
So there you go. I appreciate all my readers, even those who don't review! I know you're out there! Just so you know, all you had to do to get mentioned above was leave one small review. I accept anonymous reviews so you have no excuse not to give me any feedback! It only takes a second, so go on. You can do it.
Incidentally, I have a small challenge for all of you. My favorite singer is James Taylor. Through the course of this fic, I made three allusions to three different songs of his. One is found inside of a chapter and is quite obvious. The other two are found in the chapter titles. These two require a bit of knowledge about James Taylor lyrics. So if you're a fellow JT fan, the hunt is on! First person to figure out what the three references are gets…uh, my undying love and respect.
Finally, I want to tell you all of some important news. One week from the day this chapter is posted I am going to be making some changes. This story has been in the R section up until now. When I decided on that rating, I thought it would be more violent than it was. So, I have decided to move this to the PG-13 section. Again, this change will take place exactly one week after this chapter is posted. That gives all of you time to read this chapter before it is moved. I just thought you should all know just in case you have not archived this story and you decide someday that you want to read it again. It will be in the PG-13 section under Action/Adventure.
I know that it's fairly common for people to write sequels to their stories. Furygrrl already mentioned the possibility of a sequel in one of her reviews. I have not decided if I'll be writing one or not, but right now I think it's a strong possibility. I do have a few ideas that I'm kicking around to form a plot. However, if I do ever write one, it will not be in the immediate future. I have some other ideas that I want to write first. If you're interested in seeing a sequel to Evolutionary Crisis, please let me know either by reviewing or in an email. Thanks.
And speaking of other ideas, one of them will be coming soon to ff.net! Keep your eyes open for Scott Summers: Murderer? I've been waiting to get to write this for months and I'm really excited that I can now start it! I'll write about the first half of the story before I post anything, but keep your ears to the ground because it's coming soon!
Well, that's all I have to say. I thank you all for taking the time to amuse my little hobby and I hope to see you all again in the future! Farewell and take care!