Who: Hellion & Professor X When: Friday, November 28th, 2008 Where: Somewhere in rural New York What: The time is coming Status: Complete Rating:PG
“Magneto is dead…” Those were the first words out of the Professor’s mouth as he sat down in Hellion’s company. He was still in shock himself and now had to bare witness to another reaction - though less sympathetic. Uncommon to the eye, Charles was dressed in casual clothes during his visit. His usual suit and tie were traded in for flannel and denim as to keep an inconspicuous profile during his venture through the brush. This two room compound deep in the woods of rural New York was what kept Julian Keller alive over the past several months. A safe haven provided by the professor, in hopes that his identity would fade from the mansion.
Once intended to be a private shelter for the Professor, this structure was utilized for a different person. There were enough supplies, food, and water to last any person at least a year. The security came not only from it’s durability, but from it’s discreet location and camouflage. The entrance was secured by a thick steel door, much like what you would find on a submarine. Half of the building dwelled into the side of a hill, while the other was covered by brush and thick vines. The property was bought by Charles sometime ago and therefore kept private from the public. However, not even the land was kept in his name.
Records of Julian’s education and previous inhabitance at the mansion were all destroyed, his bedroom cleared out the next day. The only remaining evidence to prove his affiliation to the X-Men were the electronic messages sent back and forth between the Professor, who is the only person he has remained in contact with. Family, friends, fellow-students, and most faculty were blind to his whereabouts. Many assumed he became just another statistic, a victim of the Darkseekers and therefore would never return. But he was very much alive and being kept hidden for a particular purpose.
Julian held a water bottle in his hand and was covered in sweat. He was in the middle of running on a treadmill before Xavier’s arrival. His hair was greasy and he was a bit unshaven. The room smelled like a combination of beef-flavored ramen noodles and dirty socks. A table in the corner of the room was covered with books and folders and stood under a cork board with tacked pictures and messages. A black and white picture of Mystique peeked through the jumbled mess.
“So that’s it?,” Julian asked.
“Not exactly. I’m highly certain the Brotherhood will not die with him. Too many of his followers will continue his legacy of mutant superiority.”
“Yes, she is a threat, however I’m not quite sure she’ll take on the responsibilities. Either way, we still need you. Scott and Ororo have been informed, in case something was to happen to me. I’ve sent you the most up to date information on each member, I hope you’ve been studying.”
“As if I have anything else better to do in here?”
A serious look fell over Xavier’s face, he needed reassurance right now, not humor. He needed to know that he chose the right person for the mission. This was a sensitive endeavor that risked the integrity of the X-Men and of course the life and well-being of one of his students. It wasn’t often that the Professor was on the receiving end of wisdom, but Julian felt the need to speak.
“Look, I know I’ve never been very reliable, but you chose me for a reason. I’ve had my fair share of trouble and rule breaking, but I never forget what‘s important. Believe it or not I was paying attention in one of your classes, mostly on the Edgar Allan Poe stuff. You gave us a quote and if I remember correctly it said ’I have great faith in fools - my friends call it self-confidence.’ Do you remember?“
Charles’ furrowed brow morphed into a smile.
“Yes, I do.”
“I have confidence in myself whether or not I have it from anyone else. I’ve had lots of time for soul searching these past several months, I’ve learned more about myself than I could have ever expected. So come on, lighten up. I’ll be in before you know it. Getting into trouble is what I do best, remember?”
The professor stood and crossed his arms while strolling to the make-shift desk. He picked up a picture of Sebastian Shaw that was sticking out of a manila folder.
“And the Hellfire Club…”
“It will only be a matter of time before Emma knows I’m in the Brotherhood. She is a conflict of interest, but if I know her well enough she wont blow my cover even if she was aware of my intentions. But if she does, hopefully that time will come later rather than sooner.”
“Time is not on our side. You can not underestimate Shaw. Once you’re in, there’s no turning back. If the Brotherhood is in danger - he wont hesitate killing you,” Xavier commented.
“I realize that. I‘m ready. I‘ve been ready.”
They had talked further about plans and potential obstacles for quite sometime prior to the Professor’s departure. But before he left, he placed his hand on Julian’s shoulder and gave him that memorable look, in case it was the last he would see of the young man. Charles gave him the sense that when the time came for Hellion to leave, deception would soon engulf his life. It would go beyond a disguise and a performance, it would mutate into a lifestyle.