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Location: Xavier Mansion
1407 Greymalkin Lane, Salem Center, NY, 10274

The Beast lounged on the couch, engrossed in his book. The average man would have thought Henry P. McCoy to be some sinister monster. Indeed, he resembled one, with blue fur covering his entire body. But even so, the glasses that sat upon his nose, and the kind, gentle look on his face, bespoke a sensitive and caring nature. Hardly the characteristics of a monster.

The author of the book, was not anyone of any real prominence, but Hank deemed it worthy of his attention. It presented a rather unique view of the more recent public debates on the subject of mutant persecution.

Perhaps it is not unique to us; but to the uninformed public, it surely must be.

For once, the book did not cry out hysterically against the ' mutant criminals' who ' plagued mankind with suffering', to use the already clichéd terms. That was one of the reasons why Hank had picked up the book in the first place.

But what was most surprising, was the author's arguments, and his conclusions; and his propositioned methods of achieving the results were so similar to the X-men's, that even Hank had been startled at the brute similarity.

It was as if the book had been written by Charles Xavier himself, the founder of the X-men whose views were shared by all of them. At least, to a certain extent in various quarters.

To quote Samuel Johnson, ' Are these thy views? Proceed illustrious youth/ And Virtue guide thee to the throne of Truth!'... The world needs more authors such as yourself, my friend, not less.

He put down the book, only to reach for another, which told of the recent breakthroughs in the field of medicine. As a medical man, even though not in practice, he was still obliged to keep up with the times.

" Hey, Hank... what's cooking in that furry head of yours?"

" Nothing, Bobby, is ' cooking' in my head. I am not a culinary utensil."

Robert Drake laughed at his friend's answer, before settling himself on a couch opposite. His mouth curved in an open grin, which before long earned him the honour of Hank's suspicion.

" Is it a private joke, or am I to be allowed into it?"

" There isn't any joke, Hank. Just relaxing, and loving every minute of it."

Bobby, better known as Iceman, picked up the television remote, and began to surf the channels. " Sorry Hank. Looks like there aren't any cartoons on..." he continued switching. " Boring ( click)... stupid game shows ( click)... nah ( click)..."

" Mon ami, you keep switchin' dem channels, you ain't gonna be watchin' nothin' today."

Beast looked up to see Remy Lebeau join them. The man was idly shuffling a pack of cards, his red eyes reflecting what Hank could only label as boredom.

Bobby, still surfing channels, replied a little stiffly, " It's not like there's anything to watch anyway."

" Gambit think he agree wit' you."

Relations between the two were still a little cool, Hank saw. But it had nothing to do with anything external. Hank knew that Bobby only distrusted the man. Other than that, they usually worked well together. But he would have to see that the slight tension did not develop into anything worse.

Further research into genetic mutations... hmmm... 'Surveys have shown that there has been an upward increase of genetic mutations in newborn babies by 2.1 percent from the previous 0.6.'... hmm... not too good, especially for those poor children... ' steps will be taken to try and curb this growing trend of genetic mutations'... oh my.

Worrisome indeed.

They were only trying to stop the inevitable. Mutants resulted from the many human inventions, ranging from radiation to radio waves, to pesticides found in one's food. Any attempt to curb genetic mutations would only result in man having to give up almost a millennium's worth of what he called progress.

He sighed. Even medical journals today, had been caught up in the wave of anti-mutant movements. Dr. McCoy remembered that at one time, science, had been free from the distrust and fear of the unknown.

During that time, the Beast was able to return to being Dr. McCoy again, even with his very obvious mutation ( blue fur was rather difficult to hide.) That was until the hospital that he worked in, facing pressure from anti-mutant groups, had to fire him.

' I try to find a pleasant path to guide/ To fairer scenes - but still they end in gloom...' Charlotte Bronte aptly describes a mutant's dilemma. For myself, it would seem that I have no other course open, besides the life of an X-man.


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