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circa UXM #353

Stories by Northlight

On one bright, beautiful morning, the X-Men awaken to face their deadliest foe ever: bad hair.

"Inquiring Minds"
A mysterious figure decides to "tell all" about the secret lives of the X-Men in a bestselling book.

"Just in Time for Christmas"
Gambit is rescued in Antarctica -- by Santa Claus?

"Love and Pain"
Stuck in the "waiting room" between appearances in their respective series, Gambit and Angel (from Buffy the Vampire Slayer) compare notes on their respective problems.

"Reunions and Other Troubles"
The sequel to "Love and Pain," Gambit and Angel escape from Limbo and are reunited with their respective love interests.

"Maybe Just a Little Strange"
The true origin of Wolverine is revealed.

"Nothing More"
In response to Alara Rogers' challenge to kill off one's favorite character, Northlight writes her own version of Rogue's death as a result of Dr. Agee's "cure."

"Of Cooties and Dice"
Rogue, Jean and Storm get a little too involved in their board game.

"One of Those Days"
An evil villain attacks -- and so does Murphy's Law, as the X-Men suffer multiple "insignificant" inconveniences on their way to the battle.

Sitting on the roof, Rogue looks back on what really happened in Antarctica as she tries to avoid the other X-Men.

"Searching for Justice"
A man tries to seek justice for the death of his sister as a result of Dr. Agee's "cure."

A woman named Lindsey, with the unique power of appearing to be whoever someone else wants them to be, meets a frantic woman on the street and walks into another case of mistaken identity.

"Skin Crawl"
A unique take on Rogue's feelings toward her powers.

"Small Problems"
Rogue awakens to the incessantly annoying attempts of a misguided mosquito to get a morning snack.

Realizing the sheer stupidity of fighting in the dead heat of summer, Magneto and the X-Men decide to get slushies together. Since TheAudience still needs to be entertained, the PTB find replacements for the heroes and villain.

"Summer Vacation"
In a follow-up to "Substitutions," the X-Men prepare to go on a real vacation and leave their "replacements" in charge of the Mansion.

"That's What Happens"
Wondering about the practicality of Rogue's skimpy little outfit in UXM 353-4, Northlight writes her version of what could happen if Rogue's not careful...

"The Super Beings Bureau Saga"
A series of short stories about the Super Beings Bureau, someplace all super-powered types have to visit at one point or another.

"The Susan Smith Show"
A series of talk shows in which various super hero-types discuss the issues that affect their lives.

For someone like Rogue, the sense of touch can mean any number of things.

"Untitled Random Mutterings"
A series of vignettes in which Rogue deals with engagement, marriage, parenthood and growing older.

"Watching from a Distance"
We all know how the heroes feel. But how about their parents? This story is from Rogue's mother's perspective, as she watches her daughter grow up through news reports and newspaper headlines.


Web site: Northlight's Page

Look at who finally decided to fix up this story! Wow... this is a first for me :)
For the people who asked for more.
Disclaimer: The mutants are Marvel's (or at least living in their world). I have no idea who Quincy belongs to -- but he's on A&E :)

Part One

Helen Tyler lifted her face to the sun, a smile tugging at the corner of her lips. She stood there, motionless among the sea of people for a long moment, enjoying the feeling of normalcy that she could finally claim. A sharp jab in her side jolted Helen back to her surroundings, and she glanced over at the man who had hit her.

He glared at her and continued to hurry down the street, his large figure soon lost among the others. Helen shrugged, too buoyant to let anyone's foul mood bring her down.

If she hadn't been a mature young woman, Helen would have been skipping down the sidewalks in an expression of the pure joy that she was feeling at that moment. Seeing as she was, she settled for a jaunty spring in her step as she made her way towards her bus stop.

She felt more alive that she had in ages.

Absently, her hand raised to her temple, massaging the tender area. Her cheerful steps stumbled to a halt as the mild ache in her head exploded into agony. Helen gasped, her purse tumbling from nerveless fingers. Her shoulders hunched forward, and her newly freed hand moved to wrap around her stomach protectively.

Her sense of joyful well being was fading quickly.

Her head was swimming with disjointed thoughts which quickly drowned beneath the haze of her growing pain. She drew in a ragged breath and tried to force herself forward. Her feet caught on each other and Helen tumbled to the sidewalk.

She could hear the distant cries of the people around her as they cautiously approached. Her eyes flittered open, drifting past the worried faces hovering above her to focus on the sky for one last time. And then her eyes fell shut.

Quincy shook his head sadly as he pulled the simple cover over the young woman's lifeless body. He hated seeing a wasted life, it sent his sense of injustice skyrocketing. This girl shouldn't have been here.

"I'm certain that it was the treatment," Quincy stated solemnly, turning towards his assistant. "This girl was perfectly healthy except for the results of that surgery!"

Sam nodded slowly. "I think you're right, Quincy." His eyes skimmed over the pamphlet he was holding one last time before handing it over to the older man.

Quincy accepted it and leafed through it. 'Live a Normal Life -- Dr. Agee's Cure for Mutations!' the cover proclaimed. A smiling young man graced the cover, as if to assure others that they too could be as happy as he was.

Quincy's anger began to grow as he read about the treatment which had taken Helen Tyler's life. "I can't believe this!" he exploded, storming out of the room, Sam on his heels.

Once in the hall, Quincy stopped walking long enough to start his tirade. "This treatment is practically untested! How can they let this happen!"

Sam sighed sadly. "You know how it is, Quincy. People are afraid of mutants. The government included. It's no wonder they're willing to let this treatment be put into use."

"Fear is no excuse, Sam!" Quincy shot back. "These people are still human, they shouldn't be put through a treatment as likely to kill them as help them!" He stuffed the pamphlet into his pocket and continued to stride down the halls determinedly.

"Where are you going?!" Sam called after him.

"To see Dr. Agee."

Quincy, defender of the weak and well accomplished trouble maker had no problem getting past the doctor's secretary. In a righteous rage, he stormed into Agee's diploma decked office and glared at the startled man.

"May I help you?" Agee inquired politely when he managed to calm his pounding heart. He nearly cringed at the determined glint in the intruder's eyes.

"I want to talk to you about your 'cure'," Quincy replied sharply, already composing his stirring and guilt inducing speech in his mind.

"What do you want to know?" Agee asked. He leaned back into his swivel chair and watched the agitated coroner. As nervous as Dr. Agee may have appeared to others, he had great confidence in his treatment.

"I have a young woman, dead, because of this treatment of yours," Quincy snapped, waving the pamphlet before the other man's face.

Dr. Agee's eyes widened slightly behind his glasses. "I'm sure that you're mistaken! My cure is perfectly safe... at least a dozen mutants have been through the treatment and emerged human and perfectly healthy."

"Maybe so," Quincy growled, "but I have no doubt in my mind that your treatment is the cause of that girls death! The treatment is dangerous, I read about it several months before it came out... it shouldn't be in use."

Dr. Agee's lips tightened into an uncompromising line. "I'm not going to stop my treatments, Dr. Quincy," he said with conviction.

Quincy glared at him and stalked towards the door. "I'm going to make sure that you do, Dr. Agee." With that, he swung the door open and strode out.

It hadn't taken Quincy long to find who he needed. It was well known that Charles Xavier was the expert on mutant affairs, and when he had informed the man's secretary as to what he was calling about, Quincy was told that Xavier was willing to see him.

Quincy was met at the door by a beautiful young red-head with worried green eyes. Without a word, she led him to Xavier's study and closed the door on the two men.

Xavier looked at the doctor over steepled fingers, a small frown on his lips. "I was told that you wanted to speak to me about Dr. Agee's treatment?" he asked, motioning for Quincy to take a seat.

"Yes," Quincy nodded, settling down into the offered chair. "I believe that his treatment is directly responsible for a death." He noted that Xavier's frown deepened.

"I was afraid of that," Xavier admitted to his guest. "Many people have attempted to 'cure' mutations before Dr. Agee, and every one of those attempts has led to disastrous consequences. So far, Dr. Agee's treatment has been one of the more successful ones -- but it is by no means safe."

"Then why has it been allowed to be put into use? Why hasn't the public been informed of the dangers of this treatment?!" Quincy demanded, his voice raising angrily.

Xavier smiled tightly, appreciating the doctors passion about this threat. "I attempted to halt the introduction of Dr. Agee's treatment to the general public... needless to say, I failed." The man's face darkened momentarily, "in fact, the government was debating whether to make the treatment mandatory for all mutants. Luckily, they weren't willing to go that far -- the backlash would have had tremendous impact. And as to why the public hasn't been informed -- we've tried. Many times. But those people desperate enough to search out Dr. Agee don't care about the consequences. They have been feared, hated, even hunted by Sentinels and FoH members for most of their lives. And if they haven't, they've lived in fear of discovery."

"But there must be some way to help these people. A way that doesn't led to needless deaths!" Quincy was at the edge of his seat, watching Xavier intently. His mind was shifting through the possibilities of how he could use his connections and position to help in this cause.

"There is. Mutants can be trained in their powers so that they don't hurt themselves or others. And more than that, we can provide support to help them in the rough times during their lives -- times which they will have more than enough of." Xavier paused a moment, and when he continued his voice was tinged with excitement. "I also have a program in mind -- one in which humans and mutants work together in safe circumstances in order to promote understanding among the two groups."

"Why aren't these solutions being used in place of Dr. Agee's treatment?" Quincy asked, the answer already evident to him. He'd seen this far too often.

"The government, which we need to grant permission, feels that these are too expensive. They seem to feel that the quick solution Dr. Agee offers is to the benifit of everybody concerned."

"Even when people are dying?!"

"I'm afraid so, Dr. Quincy."

The shrill ring of the telephone cut the conversation short. Xavier picked up the receiver and glanced at Quincy. "One of my students will show you out."

Quincy nodded politely and headed towards the door. Another woman was waiting for him at the door instead of the same red head who had shown him in. She smiled at him, "Doctor." He recognized her voice as that as the woman who had made the appointment between Xavier and himself.


"Rogue," she responded, leading him down the hallway. "You..." she hesitated a moment. "You have news about Dr. Agee's treatment?"

Her voice held an emotion Quincy couldn't quite place. "Yes. I believe that it's responsible for the death of a young woman."

She drew in a sharp, pained breath. "Oh..." she said, her voice brittle.

"What's wrong, Rogue?" Quincy asked, concerned by the sudden paleness in her cheeks.

Almost as if to herself, the woman began to speak. "I thought that I'd destroyed that machine..." Her green eyes drifted up towards Quincy's. "When Dr. Agee first began his treatments, I nearly... I nearly underwent them."

Quincy jerked to a stop. "Why?!"

Rogue looked away from him, her eyes downcast. "I wanted to be normal, Dr. Quincy. I wanted to have the life that I'd always dreamed of, and I felt that his treatment was the only way that I'd ever have that..." She shook her head, as if ashamed of her actions then. "But I destroyed the machine before I underwent them. It's dangerous... Dr. Agee's sister..." Rogue trailed off with a shudder.

She started walking again, and Quincy had to speed up to catch up to her. The arrived at the door within moments. Rogue opened the door for Quincy, but stopped him with a gentle hand on his shoulder before he could leave. "Dr. Quincy? I hope that you can stop him before he hurts anyone else."

"That's what I intend to do."


To be continued.


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