Author's note: Hey, I'm back, with my second in, hopefully, a series of X-Men stories. Anyway, this really isn't a story meant to offend any sensibilities, even with War asthe mainissue, so do keep that in mind when you're reading (that is, I hope you're reading). As for the copyright, yeah,I don't own these guys, Marvel does. Save for the occasional supporting player I throw into the mix of course, so don't sue. So, with that out of the way, and without further adeu, here is the pilot to my new fanfic. I hope you enjoy...
Astonishing X-Men: " The Soul's End"
It was beautiful, if you'd take a moment to stop and simply look. Vast stretches of land, untouched by greedy, colonial hands. An endless hue of golden brown, that meets with a sapphire blue sky come the horizon's hued edge. The land between two rivers. Both wallowing in the blood of the innocent. In the far distance, a very privileged female child is playing a run-down piano, for a host of American soldiers taking a break from the day that would inevitably stretch into another month. A pair of chocolate hands extended from the end of the pristine white burka. Frail fingers tapped gently against a set of plastic keys. She used to play for her mother. But those were far simpler times. Twelve miles away, a private dreams of coming home. He thinks of loving his country so much that he would offer his life for her sake. His life. Though deep inside, he promised that he would not let that vow extend to the people who fight for the country that he was standing in now. To serve one's country does not presuppose that one should kill for her. Nor does it give one the right. Deep inside, he believed that. And of every other man, woman and child could think the same way, then odds are that the bullet headed towards him would never have been fired. He turns and glances, just in time, just to find a miniscule sliver of light flash before his eyes. In half a second, the sound of flesh rending signaled the end of the three days that Emerald Company enjoyed without bloodshed. The clock has been reset. The child keeps on playing.
One of the soldiers sitting on the beige, elevated doorstep listened to every note. He was thinking of how, should the child have been born in his country, that she would make a big name for herself. Of how her talent was wasted on barren soil. He believes this so much that he thinks of taking her along with him, once everything was over. His Sheila never did manage to give him a baby. The war will be over. And then he'll come home to the dream. And he'll bring the little girl before him for the ride. It will be for her own good. He will be a hero. She continues to play, an endless melody that reminded the soldiers of what they fought for. The gunfire does not stop. They came in from the cover of direct sunlight, under orders from an ideal that they held in as much regard as their opponents did to warm summer nights and apple pie. Two years ago, none of them needed to carry guns. Neither side questioned whether or not what they did was right. It would have been unpatriotic. Treason. So instead, they march blindly to their darkness, hoping that the rocks would provide cover, that their enemies' guns would jam, that someone would miraculously drop from the sky and tell them that the war was over. There wasn't any need to fight.
Private Christian Lewis has been wishing the same thing over and over for the past three years. And now, as he was pulled away from the body of his dead friend, he could not think of anything else, but the wish. "He's gone, Lewis!" screamed the sergeant as he managed to drag Christian behind the corner of a small home, the bullets flying aimlessly through the air, their purpose, if not to kill, was to at least just hit something. "Where the hell are Vick and Vale?" the sergeant asked out loud, to no one in particular, right before turning the corner and returning fire. "Oh dear Allah, please not again…don't let anymore of my children die…" came the faint whisper of a woman's voice, barely above the hiss ofsweeping sands. Yet for some reason, loud enough to be heard through the constant screams and gunfire.
"Sarge!" Christian called, right as his superior resumed cover.
"What the hell is it, Lewis?" the older man asked, straining to get heard over the sound of bullets erupting and concrete churning.
"Did you…I heard a woman's voice! Did you hear- - "
"Vale! Where the flying fuck have you been?" the sergeant interrupted, as a short, young man whose eyes were perennially covered by glasses, hurried to a kneel beside them.
"They got Vick, sir. He was singing 'Sweet Home Alabama' and they just shot him dead." Vale immediately reported in a trembling voice, his eyes clearly resigned to the thought of vengeance for his fallen friend. Both of them were the perimeter guards for the northern block.
"Goddamned terrorists." The sergeant muttered through gritted teeth.
"What? What did you say?" Christian turned to the sergeant, with a look of complete confusion etched on his young face. The sergeant raised his eyebrow, not knowing if the private was serious or not in his inquiry. Nonetheless. "I said 'Goddamned te- -"
"You said we deserve this." Christian remarked, cutting his superior before he could finish his statement. Vale was already busy peering beyond the corner and taking potshots at each opportunity he could.
"…" the sergeant furrowed his brows as he stared at his charge.
"I heard you." Christian whispered.
"God…I can hear all of you…"
"It's not…stopping…! There's a nine year-old boy trying to find the gun his father left behind…I…oh God, I think we killed him…Moore never wants the war to end, he's afraid of going back home…I can hear a piano…"
"Lewis, snap out of it!" the sergeant ordered. Not that it mattered. Christian was already breathing rapidly, his eyes clenched and his teeth grit, as he tried desperately to make sense of the overwhelming symphony of thought and emotion that came crashing down on his mind. A litany of voices, pleas and prayers, each one like a hammer bludgeoning his skull, all at once. And four figures in shadow came to him. Each one with an air of menace that he has never before felt. Each one a vision of what lay beyond. And in an instant, the young soldier's eyes snapped wide open, as he felt the creatures of immense power enter his mind. He could only force himself to whisper. "…they're here."
"Lewis?" With his attention stuck on the ailing soldier, the sergeant never even realized that his nose was already bleeding. It took another second before his vision blurred, and then slowly gave way to white. The sound of bullets and screaming all faded into nothingness, as each man, woman and child began to feel themselves drift away into a cold, heartless embrace. And just as sudden as it all began, the bloodshed ended. The blowing wind was the only sound to be heard. Nothing remained.
Four hundred miles away, three old men and a middle-aged woman sat around a small table, in a room guarded by no less than the combined technology of Stark Industries, and the House of ideas. The woman leaned forward, resting her chin on the back of her palms. "The world can't take any more of this." She declared, her voice cold and stern. "Our ability to govern has been put to question one too many times. The war that our little puppet hopelessly entrenched himself in is neither flattering, nor helpful, and I suggest we take action. Immediately." With a soft sigh, she leaned back, their eyes and ears fixed on her frail silhouette.
"Gentlemen, I believe it's time to end the war."
Chapter 1: "As They Gather"
Even beneath the morning sun, when the bright lights were still at rest, Times Square was still a proud sight to behold. A massive intersection where you could see men and women of all walks of life, culture and religion, walking by, like some cosmic melting pot of humanity. And of beings who already evolved past humanity. Mutants. The next rung in the evolutionary ladder, where a couple in love were born into. "I still can't believe you're going through with this." Scott Summers remarked as he held his girlfriend by the hand. It's been awhile since he's shaven, and combined with his perennially uncombed, dirty brown hair, it more or less proved the point, given his girlfriend's own appearance, that even externally, opposites do attract. Not that Scott wasn't handsome, as he did earn a smile from a lot of women who he passed by. "We should be looking for that psychic spike you felt a few hours ago."
"No need to worry, Scott. My very capable girls are on the case as we speak. Besides, dear, you promised." Emma Frost stood out from the New York crowd without any effort, thanks in particular to a body that could only be described as the combined masterpiece of a dozen or so cosmetic surgeons over the past half-decade. Her golden hair seemed as silk as it fell gracefully against her shoulders, nudging and then falling back into place at the slightest breeze.
"You already know that you're worth the world to me." Scott pleaded, rubbing the back of his neck.
"Of course, honey. It's just that I want an exact value." Emma retorted, as they stopped in front of the pedestrian lane due to the red light. "Besides, you don't hear me complaining when I let you watch that horrendous excuse for entertainment." She then reminded.
"First of all, this is different. Appraising you isn't like watching television. Second, don't say that about wrestling. I'll have you know that what those guys from the WWE are doing is like poetry in motion." Scott quickly defended.
"Yes. Like poetry written by a neurotic three-year old."
"Uh-huh. Don't think I don't notice that you're eyes get glued to the screen whenever that show-off Randy Orton performs." Scott retorted, his eyes fixed on the red light that prompted them to stop from crossing.
"A neurotic three-year old with good taste in men." Emma replied with a half-smile. The light turned green.
"Behold!" interrupted a bellowing cry, coming from the sky itself. The mutant couple, as well as most of the people on the city streets, stopped and looked up. With the sun behind him, a middle-aged man stood defiantly on top of a large, hovering disk that was strong enough to hold his weight. On his rather thin figure was a white lab coat, and a slew of robotics slung on his wait and on his metal hardhat. "I am the Mystifier!" he further shouted, holding his hand out like a king would talking to his subjects. "And I will show you, show all of you! That you're beauty-obsessed culture and supermarket politics will not go unpu- -" Before he could finish however, he was interrupted by a woman's loud laugh.
"Oh God, I'm sorry, I'm sorry…" Emma apologized in between fits of laughter, while Scott stared intently at the possible threat that the man could pose. "How terribly rude of me…please, do continue. This should be classic…" She urged, as she attempted to regain composure. The people around Emma and Scott was quick to recognize who they were, though most of the other New Yorkers, already too jaded to consider the threat level of the man hovering above them, would readily admit that it was curiosity which prompted them to stay and listen.
"Do you think this is funny, woman?" the villain asked, clenching his fist and waving it in front of him. "You…women like you represent what is wrong with the world! Letting achievement get seconded by luscious lips and zero body fat!" he ranted on, oblivious of the growing number of policemen in the area, each one with a hand ready on their gun holsters. "This world needs change! And pacifism will get us nowhere!"
"Emma. He could have explosives in that utility belt of his." Scott whispered. "Bombs plus a lot of people make for 'not good'. I don't have my visor to adjust my beam, so I don't think I can hit him without killing him." He then said, a little worried that an optic blast could be enough to cut the frail, little man in two. "Oh, alright. In that case…" Emma, without effort or hindrance, used her mutant, telepathic abilities to patch right into the villain's mind. "…you sir, are going to stop your mindless dribble. Right this instant." She instructed, forcing the man into a zombie-like trance.
"Now, be a sweetheart, and fly yourself down here." She then ordered, to which the Mystifier quickly complied. "Also…Mr. Harris was it? Yes, that's you're real name, Mr. Harris, seeing as you've got unlicensed weapons-grade technology on your person, don't you think it would be most prudent for you to turn yourself over the proper authorities? We have quite a few fine men and women of the law in attendance after all." She suggested, prompting Mystifier to step off of his hover-disk.
"…proper…authorities…" he drunkenly repeated.
"That's very good. And while you're at it, you most certainly will defuse those explosives you have strapped on your person. It's really quite unhealthy."
"Oh, and do you have anything to say to these people?" she asked, raising her eyebrow.
"That's a good boy." Emma remarked, patting the villain on the head, before having him go his way. The police officer simply stood in shock as Mystifier walked up to him, his hands outstretched, begging to be sent to jail. In a second, the murmuring began. A young man led his friends in cheering for the two mutants, while another began to jeer at what they deemed to be abominations passing for human. Some people really did favor pride so much that they wouldn't forsake it even at the world's end.
'This is awkward." Scott remarked, directly in Emma's mind, right as his hand was being shaken by an overly appreciative elderly woman.
"You're the one who's been clamoring for some public approval. Here it is. And by the way, that's not a woman you're shaking hands with." She responded, furrowing her eyebrows as she felt some malicious thoughts glowing from a young adult on a corner.
"Please tell me you're joking."
"I'm…huh?" Emma suddenly turned to the massive screen hanging in the middle of Times Square, a second before everyone else did. The bright, bold letters of CNN marched on screen, the logo of the company newsflash appearing soon after. A woman came next, her hands trembling, as she held a file of papers in both her hands. "Breaking news…" she reported, a breath of disbelief clear in her voice. "…tragedy has befallen our soldiers in Iraq, as four entire companies, died suddenly, from what the Government is calling a desperate suicide attack by the enemy soldiers. There is no official word from the American military as to what caused this sudden disaster." She then said, trying in vain to muffle the emotions that seeped through her voice. "This… treacherous attack did not end with our armed forces, as reports of civilian casualties reaching the thousands have come in, all of whom apparently suffered through the same manner that our troops have…"
Xavier Institute, Campus Grounds/11:36
"Oh…that's horrible." Katherine Pryde, more commonly called 'Kitty' by her friends, felt her heart sink as she heard the tragic news. Being a guidance counselor meant that you needed to be prepared for anything. For whatever emotion that a confused child would throw your way. On the bench where she was, Emily Walters sat as well, the child in question, her head hung low, her eyes in a defeated glaze. At first glance, one would think them both students. Both had brown, shoulder-length hair tied back to a tail, and both were unknowingly the object of half the school's male population's desire.
"God…it makes me so…I don't know how to make things right again…like, how can anyone make this better…?" the young woman whimpered. "Is it…maybe it's like punishment. Karma or something…"
"Well…if you look at things from a different perspective…maybe it isn't all that bad." Kitty suggested.
"What?" Emily shook her head in disbelief. "What do… how can it be not bad? Were you not listening to anything I just said? My life is over! Kevin Myer turned me down for formals in front of the entire class! I…we were supposed to have a moment! You know? Like in those romance movies? But now, after he…I can never, ever show my face in this school again! I'm ruined!"
"Emily…look at it this way. How many times have you spent…infatuated with this boy? Every day, right? And like you said, you're worst nightmare came true, he turned you down. But imagine if you never asked. You'd still be spending everyday making up scenarios where he acts like prince charming, which he, clearly, is not. If you didn't ask him out, then you'd be spending like, the rest of the year hoping for something that won't ever come. And spending the rest of your days hoping for something that jus won't happen…that's a lot worse."
"…" Emily bowed her head, letting the counselor's words sink in.
"And would you like for it to continue? Spending everyday, wondering if he'd…if he'd just talk to you? Smile at you? Tell you how he really feels, and say every line where he says every right thing every right time? Well, at least now, you know. It's not a fairytale. You know that he isn't the person you dreamed about, and you can start finding someone who actually appreciates you for who you are."
"…" Emily slowly nodded.
"Kevin Myer…it's, he…it's just a phase. Was a phase. And now, it's over. You grabbed an opportunity to follow your heart, and even if …it didn't work out the way you hoped for, at least you did it. And you'll be the better for it. Because sometimes, talking to someone you like takes more guts than saving the world."
"I…oh my God…" Emily tilted her head back, a look of realization evident on her face.
"Yeah." Kitty smiled at the sight of the student's face lighting up. It made her job all the more worth it.
"Oh my God…were you just projecting? You were, weren't you?" the student then asked, with a mischievous smile.
"You totally went to another place for a second, there." She then commented, seemingly out of her dreary phase.
"Is it about Mr. Rasputin? Because you know, everyone's talking about you two."
"Uh-huh… maybe that could be a topic for another day. Or decade."
"Ha ha…thank you…Miss Pryde. Really."
"I totally feel a lot better now. Because…because I know what you said…it really came from the heart."
"So when are you gonna' quit the Hagrid act? Cuz' you know, I got it first, and I already got it down to an art." Logan remarked as he threw his long-dead teammate a cold one.
"Hagrid? Is that a band?" Peter Rasputin asked as he caught the bottle, clearly unaware of the reference.
"Never mind." Logan responded. He of course, was referring to a literary creation, who like them, opted to stay in a small cabin inside the campus grounds. And even though it was Logan who had as much body hair as the aforementioned character, it was Peter who was much more reclusive. Which meant the young ladies of the campus needed to be creative to catch the black-haired, extremely well-built man with a heart of gold. And a limited vocabulary. "I… like it here. It gives me time to think. Away from noise." Peter remarked, looking out the open window and into the vast expanse of trees.
"You know, I've been meaning to ask…" Logan started, not one to usually be hindered by political correctness or thoughts of sensitivity.
"Yes?" Peter asked, his mind still apparently in a hundred places at once.
"How did it feel?"
"How did what, feel?"
"You know. Dying. I mean, for more than twenty seconds." The Canadian mutant asked, as he would usually find himself legally dead in a few of their more intense battles, a process which his mutant healing factor always managed to overturn. To be alive for more than the better half of a century meant a greater deal of curiosity for seeing what was on the other side.
"I know everyone probably asked you, but I…"
"…it felt…terrifying." Peter admitted after a moment's silence.
"People must look at us now…superheroes…think we do not fear death. Untrue. My last few moments…I wondered if what I did could make difference. I thought of what I would see in the world beyond, but at the same time I kept thinking if there was nothing. That death was simply ceasing to exist. To not exist, I find it frightening. To die without making a difference in the world, that is much worse."
"Now I see my death meant nothing." Peter whispered.
"That's not true." Logan immediately protested.
"World is still suffering. People are still killing each other because they want more than what they already are so blessed with."
"…You saved the mutant race from extinction, Pete. That means a lot."
"And how many times have the X-Men saved the world? Without getting themselves killed?"
"…you know, I was watching you, back in the fight with Danger."
"…Didn't go very well. Nearly got killed, for real."
"We won the day."
"…It wasn't easy."
"We missed you, Pete."
"And maybe the reason you're back, is because the world still needs saving. A lot more saving."
"Hey, lighten up. Coming back from the dead may be as common as a bar fight for us X-Men, but it doesn't mean we don't jump for joy inside."
"It really wasn't the same without you, Pete. Really wasn't."
"…You didn't have anyone to throw you at sentinels, didn't you?" Peter asked with a smirk.
"God, was I bored."
"A heart full of love…a night bright as day…" Henry McCoy took a deep breath as he leaned forward and examined the mounted specimen on his microscope. Not every humanoid, blue-furred feline had the capacity to analyze samples of mutated mesenteries while singing the entire libretto of Les Miserables at the same time. "…and you must never go away…" The new students always felt uneasy when they'd first lay eyes on a were-cat perennially clad in a white lab coat, with the only exception being five telepathic sisters whose combined intellect and strategic abilities rivaled most of the adult X-Men.
"Are you there, girls?" Henry asked, feeling the presence of an invisible force hovering around his mind.
"Mr. McCoy, we're ever so sorry to interrupt, but have you heard the news?" came icy the voice of three sisters, the ones still alive, speaking as one.
"Huh? No, I'm afraid not. I've been in here studying cell samples all morning. I've been hearing rumors of a man who surpassed our stage of evolution, calling himself homo supreme. Apparently, he is staying in Milwaukee along with a vigilante group." Henry responded out loud.
"Well ,that is interesting, but if you would allow us to borrow your mind for a second…" they declared. "…this is something you need to see." Without any effort, nor wait for consent, the three sisters used their psychic abilities to extract Henry's subconscious, leaving his body at motionless at attention.
"Ladies you must know uncomfortable I am about my mind getting swung like a gibbet."
"We could just patch you into one of the students' brains, but you wouldn't want to see the junk floating around most kids' heads. Now… open your eyes."
In an instant, Henry found himself in front of a woman whom he recognized. A raven-haired news anchor named Trish Tilby, who was busy reading the report on her hands. He wasn't there of course, though he felt as if he were, down to the last chill he felt from an overpowered air conditioner. It wasn't the reality of the illusion that struck him however, no matter how spectacular it may be. It as the woman's words. "…reiterates that this level of desperation by the enemy means only one thing. Our troops are coming closer to achieving victory over terrorism. We will have more on this…"
"…Fill me in, girls." Henry thought, not needing his years as both a super hero and a world-renowned scientist realize that the Government was hiding something.
"Do you recall the psychic spike that we all felt five hours ago? We're in Cerebra now, and we've pinpointed telepathic radiation levels that are…quite stunning, in the exact same spot where all those people died. This wasn't a suicide attack, Mr. McCoy."
"I trust you have a fix on our new mutant?"
"Unfortunately, no. We lost him."
"Any idea who's side our mutant is on?"
"That, again, is out of our sight. We think that a team should be sent on recon Mr. McCoy. We can't risk a mutant that powerful running out there. It would be disastrous to public relations should it be discovered that one of our kind was responsible for this."
"Your compassion is overwhelming. Emma must really be proud of you girls."
"Now isn't the time for recycled wit, doctor McCoy. Think about it. If it is one of theirs, then it would be up to us to make sure that he or she doesn't do anything of this scale again. But if it was one of ours…well, do you think that after an attack like that, they wouldn't retaliate in kind?"
Abandoned Hospital, South of Baghdad/12:00
They walked as slowly as caution would permit, each and every one invoking a life's worth of military training to assure their survival. The hospital was empty now, abandoned because of the war. Once white walls were now brown and grey, with trays and bed sheets gathering as much dust as they possibly could. "…" An African-American lieutenant took first to checking each room, left and right, just to make sure that the perimeter was secure. A taxing job all things considered, especially since there were about a hundred rooms in the building. "Clear?" he asked, as he finished a seep of the second floor. The sergeant seconded the motion. "Come on, we still have some- -" The lieutenant found himself cut off as he felt an imbalance in the room, a new presence so to speak, that one with training such as his could immediately pick up. "What is it, sir?" one of the soldiers asked, a little concerned as he watched his superior turn and scan the corridor with his eyes. A dead silence stared back.
"Maybe it's a hostile." One of them eagerly suggested, clearly much too excited at the prospect of a fight.
"Can it, Connor. We've run them off this sector months ago. This is just to make sure we there aren't any refugees starving to death in here or something…" one of the soldiers protested.
"Let them starve. We come here to save them and they spit on our hands." Another one bitterly responded.
"Come on Justin, these poor souls don't know any better…" chided another.
"Whatever. We don't discuss these things, we just do our jobs. Understood?" the sergeant remarked.
"Yeah, well maybe these refugees are packing hea- -" before Connor could finish his sentence however, he noticed the figure of a woman, clad in a blood-red burka with a net curtain covering her eyes, standing at the hallway's end. "What the…?" The rest of the soldiers turned just in time to watch the woman slowly raise her hand in front of her. The soldiers strained for a moment, to see what it was that she meant by doing so. "The new world…" hissed the woman, right as her hand began to violently convulse. The soldiers could only stare in shock as the woman's hand permuted into an organic blade, so long that it reached her feet. It had long, thick veins where the handle should have been, and the throbbing blade was the color of flesh and blood. "You've got to be kidding…" one of them muttered as the woman began to walk the rather large distance between them. "This some kind of trick? You know Gretzky could pull shit like this off…" another soldier remarked, even though his finger was already ready at the trigger. "Guys she's getting- -"
"Hold it!" The lieutenant ordered, raising his weapon and aiming at the still approaching woman. "Drop that hand, lady!" He instructed. She did not heed him. "Come on, I don't want to have to- -" Without warning, she charged forward, much faster than anyone could imagine. "Shit!" the lieutenant opened fire, hitting only air as the woman inhumanly leapt from the ground and onto the wall, where she continued to run. Only the red of her cape seemed visible to the soldiers, as they even their eyes proved too slow to catch her each move. "Fire!" Now with the threat all too real, Connor stepped forward, got on his knee, and proceeded to spray the wall with gunfire.
Once again, his effort proved fruitless, as the woman simply jumped to the other wall, seemingly defying gravity as she pleased. "Don't let her- -" In an instant, she then jumped to the ceiling, and kicked herself off, slashing right through Connor as she got to the floor. It killed him instantly. The sergeant re-adjusted his aim, a second too late, as he found himself staring down the point of the woman's blade. Second man down. Opposite where he fell, the youngest of them took aim, as he watched the woman from behind. No time to think. With a deep breath, he opened fire, only to miss at point blank, as the woman bent forward, kicking her heel back in order force the soldier's barrel upward. She then turned, grabbed the soldier by the collar, and pulled him in front of her, right as the sergeant opened another volley of gunfire.
A muffled scream escaped the young soldier's lips as he felt his body violated by a dozen shards of steel, punishing his system with contemptuous ease. She then jumped from behind him as he fell to the floor, a vision of crimson death, who raised her scythe in a half-circle over her head. "…!" The lieutenant raised the barrel of his rifle, much too late, as the woman came upon them, effortlessly decapitating both him and the sergeant with one fell swing. She landed in silence, in a grace that would make you believe she was simply stepping down a staircase, instead of ricocheting all over the place. One last soldier stood in her way. He had bright, blue eyes and freckled skin. Paralyzed by fear. The woman stopped an inch in front of him, her hands seemingly disappearing beneath the robes of her burka. "What is your worth?" she asked, in a soft voice. But before anything could even register for the young man, the woman shot her hand up, literally pushing her palm right through the soldier's face with ease. "…Nothing." She whispered, as she watched the soldier crumple to her feet.
"…" The woman then turned around, finding three more females clad in crimson burkas, just like hers.
"Laikana." The middle one greeted, while the other two remained deathly silent.
"Sisters." The woman called back, bowing her head to the women she considered, and truly were, her superiors.
"…six soldiers in under a minute. Huh."
"Cheesy line though. I give you a four out of ten."
Chapter 1, End
On the next chapter...where key players are introduced, fallouts begin their falling, and no one focuses on the mundane.
Author's note: There you go, also, I've taken some liberties with the military establishments, just so i don't go and get myself flamed for being inaccurate. At any rate, I hope you enjoyed, and be good people. Review. For the love of all that is holy, review:)