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Location: Avalon

Matrix, the newest addition to the Acolytes, lounged lazily in the control room. Nothing interesting had happened since the day she had been recruited into the ranks.

A pity that she had been too young then, when things had actually happened, when Magneto had actually attacked and ruled New York City, if only for a short time. Now that was what she called happening.

But he should have been able to keep it, instead of losing it to those humans. If only I had been there, things might have gone differently!

Yeah, and not those Acolytes. The whole bunch of them were too old now; it was a surprise that they even survived the battle that followed their attack on New York. And most of them had not even recovered yet.

Nah, even with them being Alpha mutants, they were all past their prime now; but the new recruits were still young, and they too, were Alpha mutants. If it had been them there instead, things would have gone differently; but those oldies still called the shots, unfortunately...

She turned her attention to the globe on the view-screen. It looked so beautiful from Avalon, so vulnerable and so peaceful, one could hardly imagine that there was actually a silent war going on there.



Their home.

Vanessa Leningrad had never really known her home. She had left New York as a child, when her parents retreated to Avalon. She could remember little of her home planet, relying only on books and tapes that her parents had brought with them.

She regretted that Magneto had been unable to keep New York. Maybe if he had, she might be able to see her home, and not as a " criminal", but as a normal person. At least, as normal as she could get. She really did miss her home; if only...

She was roused from her lamentations by the chirping of the computer. She sighed as she moved towards it. Even an incoming message was considerably more interesting than sitting around doing this useless sentry duty.

She reached out and placed her hand on the computer, and the two merged together. She searched the computer banks with the ease of constant practice, and quickly found the message. Except that it was not a message: it was a live transmission.

But it was not that fact that caused her to involuntarily stiffen in her seat, nor the fact that it was from Earth. No, it was the name of the man on the other end of the transmission, and the name of the man who was to receive it.

Turn the page...