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FLASHBACK: September 1998, and I had just finished reading the Mutant Empire Trilogy ( there is some reference to it in this story), and a marvelous idea just struck me full in the face: Why not write a story myself?

Okay, so it wasn't that sudden. I had been tossing around the notion of writing a sci-fi novel myself for some time, only it hadn't borne any fruit just yet. But this time, the idea for a story really hit me, and it was a whopper ( for a student who doesn't specialize in this stuff anyway).

It took a while to take root properly, but that allowed for some changes to the plot. So what you see here won't be what I thought of originally. The plot has expanded far beyond its humble beginnings.

But it's main message has not really changed. This is story about friendship and its ups and downs. What happens if a pair of best friends find they have to take conflicting paths in life? Will you be friends, or will you be enemies? Or will you be both?

Friendship is a precious thing. With this story, I hope that I may send a message to all friends out there, to treasure what you have. And never give it up for anything in the world. Anything.

Finally, to say thanks to a bunch of people. Thank you, to my official mentor for this project Ms June Chua for the wonderful ideas she has given me; to my early unofficial mentor Mr Benedict Lin, for bothering with it at all; to Stan Lee, for creating an X-men to write about in the first place; and lastly to all readers who have come to this page, have read the story, and whether you found it bad or good, thank you for taking the time to read it in the first place.

Karin Lai

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