Disclaimer: I do not own X-men, X2, X cetera. I think Marvel Comics does, (but X cetera is mine - X cetera - et cetera - get it?) All other disclaimers are on my profile page.
"So, uh, Sam," I whispered as the theatre lights finally dimmed, my ears still ringing from the violent previews they'd blasted at us. "What's the movie about?"
He leaned closer to me, and I pulled back slightly, out of instinct. "It's called X2 - it's about the X-men. You've never seen X-men?"
What the heck were X-men? "Um, no," I muttered. "Cuz, my, uh, parents are missionaries... and, uh, it had a lot of cussing and stuff," I guessed blindly. Hopefully this X-men movie wasn't a chick flick, or my cover would be blown pronto. But judging from the previews, this would be another incredibly violent movie with a lame hero and curvy damsel-in-distress.
You know, Voice, I started accusingly. You'll tell me the capital of Paraguay and anything else I need at school, but you won't even let me know what on earth my... date... is talking about.
The movie screen flashed up a picture: "Please turn off all cell phones and pagers. Thank you!"
I smiled inwardly and said, OK, Voice, I guess you've got to shut up for the next two hours.
That did it. Boy, if I kept this up, soon I'd be playing the Voice like a CD player.
Just because you don't want to hear me doesn't mean that you won't, it said in its confusing and grammatically questionable way.
Gimme a moment to digest that one, I thought. Some would think you'd never taken English 101.
How can a Voice inside your head give a disgusted huff? I don't know about yours, but mine managed, despite the obvious lack of oxygen in my brain.
And just in case you're scratching your head over that one, I was avoiding the word "atmosphere" which would make things both scientifically incorrect and... incorrect.
The opening credits started playing. Then someone started going on about evolution and how humans came from monkeys and how we were all going to reach a stage of global oneness through mutations and...
WAIT A SECOND.
What was this????
My Life, by Maximum Ride?
They pirated my book and made it into a movie without my permission? They didn't even pick a good title!
The girl went on to elaborate on the benefts of mutations, while I sat in stunned silence. She was starting to sound like a whitecoat, for crying out loud.
The Voice smirked. (Don't ask me how it did that.) X-men. Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, published by Marvel Comics, first edition, 1963. In this popular series of graphic novels, the superheroes are mutants, led by telepath Charles Xavier. Supposedly, due to nuclear accidents such as Chernobyl, a generation of children adversely affected by the radiation - mutants - was born.
No kidding, I thought, hoping the Voice would stop reading Wikipedia to me at let me watch the movie. OK, scene 1: Some random guy staring at a snowed-over wreck.
But, as they say, curiosity killed the bird girl, and I had to ask. Uh, Voice, did any of them have, say, wings??
One of the four original characters was a mutant by the name of Warren Worthington the Third, nicknamed 'the Angel' because of his -
I howled inwardly. That. Just. Took. The. Cake.
The Voice evidently didn't like me occupying all my brainwaves, so he cut into my rant. However, in this movie, the character of Angel does not appear.
I stopped my mental breakdown and smirked. So, Voice, just how do you know that? This is a new movie. Been pirating films during coffee break?
I loved it.
The Voice was finally stuck between a rock and a hard place - EXACTLY what it deserved.
I, having nothing better to do than gloat, and being far to gracious to gloat - well, not for too long - got back to the movie.
OK, so there were these weird mutants with assorted superpowers. The usual super strength (check), super speed (check), telepathy (check), speedy healing (check), powers to control weather (hmmm... Flock's a little lacking in that department), shape-shifters (I won't allow that in my Flock, thank you very much), icemen (well, Fang's got a pretty icy demeanor, pardon the pun), and ... knives coming out of their hands? Talk about a bunch of freaks.
Look who's talking, the Voice immediately said.
I frowned. Let's see. A disembodied Voice?
Oh yeah! Max, 2, Voice, 0. I was starting to like this.
So, since it couldn't stand up to my stinging repartee, the Voice graced me with a science lesson.
You do know, Max, that the chances of mutations bringing about such... 'powers', for the lack of a better term, is virtually impossible.
I frowned, trying to figure out how a guy with laser eyes could see anything.
Even at the School, where mutants are created through DNA manipilation, the failure rate is alarmingly high.
Gee, I really needed to be reminded of my own mortality here. I mean, I only had Erasers growling in my face every other day.
You, the Erasers, and a handful of others were the only successful experiments.
That stung. OK, FYI, Voice, I've got a NAME and I'm a PERSON. Please take that under consideration when you address me in the future.
Yes, your Highness, it shot back at once.
I stewed. Finally, I thought, OK, so what's your point? I'm already quite glad to be alive. Grateful, grateful, grateful. So there.
The Voice sounded insulted. The point is, Max, that you could never have evolved by chance.
No, duh, a bunch of mad scientists CREATED me, so it's not like I'm the next EVOLUTION of humans. I paused. What had I said? I'm not the next evolution of humans...
Bingo, Maximum, said the Voice.
I closed my eyes, both to avoid a particularly disturbing kiss (blue girl and hairy man? yikes!) and to think about what I'd said.
I know, you're thinking, it's about time.
So, the whitecoats are trying to make this.. X-men type scenario happen? They're actively trying to evolve humans to a higher state of being? Like, return of a headache here.
Elementary, my dear Watson, purred the Voice.
I scowled. Thanks, Sherlock. But what they're doing is not evolution. Hello, they're CREATING recombinant life-forms and calling us the next EVOLUTION of humans? Paradox warning!
The Voice sighed. I know, Max,it began, but i cut it off.
And since they're using animal DNA, we're not even humans! We'd be, like, the un-evolution of humans, not the next step!
Yes, Max, the Voice snapped. I know that.
Well, sorry to insult your omniscience, I said, then got caught up wincing at a particularly bad fight scene. Some creepy Asian girl with long metal fingernails was whirling around like a dervish trying to stab wolf-boy. And no, not an Eraser. Actually, more like Eraser Fang - perish the thought! Besides Fang was a lot cuter.
The Voice chuckled, and I mentally swore at myself for even thinking that. I was on a date with Sam, after all. And he was cuter than Fang ... wasn't he?
Anyhow, what I was originally going to say was that spinning is not a good idea in a fight. No self-respecting Eraser I'd ever seen (and believe me, they all have pretty high self-esteem, hence the ego) has ever turned his back on me. Not on purpose, that is. And spinning? Well, all I can say is, picture a fully morphed Eraser with big clunky wings whirling around a stage wearing a pink tutu. See? Ridiculous doesn't begin to describe it.
I can see why the X-men were in a comic book, not, say, a novel. (Shameless advertising right here, even though it's probably not allowed on fan sites: READ MY NOVEL. Then send me a review. A/N: Via Val Evenstar, of course, and yes this is more shameless groveling for feedback)
But anyway. I got a strange sense of deja vu many times during that scene - and I've got to say I wish we healed that fast, the claw marks were gone in, like, seconds. The marvels of CG. Hey, there's one the School hasn't tried: CG Max. Let her save the world - 'cuz she wouldn't even have acne.
Well, they fought and yelled and died, etc. I really think that Wolverine guy was a terrible 'hero'. You'd need to totally redefine the word to make it fit him. All I can say is that I hope X-men fans don't start reading Maximum Ride and then send me death threats for saying this.
But enough of cute theatrical asides. I watched the final, touching scene where Jean (the scary telepath) nobly gives her life (I bet they bring her back in the next movie) to save her friends and her lover (who, predictably, goes ballistic). And then, because leaving me alone is so anti-social, the Voice made a grand re-entrance.
Now you see how much good you mutants can do for the world, Max, it said, sounding a trifle weepy.
I mentally grabbed my throat and gagged. Cheese! Too much cheese! I thought.
The Voice howled.
I loved it! And then I did the single most embarrassing thing I had ever done. Ok, maybe the tenth most embarrassing thing. I burst out laughing. In the middle of the sad, death-of-a-hero scene, I laughed uncontrollably. I'd finally got a reaction from the Voice, and it was so ticked off that I couldn't stop cackling. Yeah, my dark side has very interesting ways of revealing itself. Fortunately, I had enough presence of mind not to roll into the middle of the aisle, and managed to stay in my chair and smother my giggles. I almost smothered myself, too, but hey, I'm a big girl. Oh, and FYI, don't try this at home. Smothering yourself may be hazardous to your health.
Sam made the wise decision to haul me out before they hauled me off, but I was still snickering on the way out. He very politely didn't mention my, er, outburst.
The Voice, besides being a non-mutant, was also no gentleman. YOU IDIOT GIRL, WHY DO YOU NEVER LISTEN??? it screamed.
Look who's - I began, but wisely shut my mental mouth. (Mental, not metal. Just in case you got any ideas).
I'M TRYING TO HELP YOU SAVE THE WORLD, FOR PETE'S SAKE!!! Acting like an eight-year-old will NOT help matters AT ALL.
And the Voice-of-Yoda will?
Ouch. I really needed to learn to control my thoughts. One would think that after living with a mind-reader and Max-reader would teach me, but no, I'm just stubborn that way.
After its long, wordless scream died out, the Voice took several deep breaths. Again, don't ask me how.
Finally, the author decided that childish theatrics, though side-stitchingly hilarious, weren't doing much to move the storyline, and sobered everyone up by having Max and Sam step out into the rain. The cold water had a maesurable effect on both Max and her Voice, so the rain was speedily and providentially stopped to prevent Sam from making comments about 'Singin' in the Rain'.
Max, the reason the whitecoats made you was so you could save the world.
I refrained from echoing his final phrase with a sing-song accompaniment.
Now, in case you haven't figured it out yet, oh-retarded-one -
That hurt. But I heroically battled my inner monsters (exception of the Voice) and kept my trap shut.
- the whitecoats (you couldn't have picked a less obvious name, could you?) are not, in fact, accomplishing their goal of advancing humanity.
You're kidding, I thought without thinking. Yet again, don't ask. Shoot, a girl who wrote a best-seller is allowed some poetic license, isn't she?
They are, as you said, un-evolving humanity. That, my dear girl, is why you must save the world.
Wait a second - it was saying that I had to save the world from... us? The mutants? By, like, doing a 'kill the mutants' - on us?? Is fiction rated K+ allowed to blatantly endorse genocide? To say nothing of suicide! Just my luck to get a R-rated Voice.
Not so fast, kid, said the Voice, overhearing/overthinking/somehow accessing my thoughts. I guess that came out wrong. You're supposed to stop them from making more!
I stopped and blinked. There was silence for a long time.
You know, Voice, I finally thought. That was very anti-climatic.
No one's perfect, it replied. But do you know what would be even more anti-climatic?
If the story ended right here. No final heroic poses, no confessions of secret love, no sappy kisses, no mission accomplished music...
Gee, that would be a bummer...
Author's note:LOL! I am so evil!!! But if you really want the truth, my endings are usually pretty bad so that's one reason I did that. Oh, and FYI I do like X-men quite a bit. Except for you-know-who. But I had loads of fun writing this - I'll have more fun if you review, hint, hint.