1963-09-02 - As a Kite By Then
Summary: Jean undergoes more Weapon's X testing.
Related: Continued from I'm Gonna Be High; Missing Pieces Plotline
Theme Song: None


"But what if they aren't?" Jean asks the beast, she wasn't upset with the poor thing, she was attempting to show respect by holding a rather intelligent conversation. "In life, people lie to get what they want.. but often times they fail to realize that it is not far from the truth.."

The world was spinning, and Jean nearly lets go of the beast but he has her; the fire girl clinging to the fur of the one that she was supposed to save and protect but it ends up saving her. The irony in that was laughable.

The voice. The voice that asks to report. Who was it talking to? The beast?

Jean didn't care, she gives a slight shake of her head, one hand pressed to her temple as her eyes close. It was starting to get cold.. and her shoulders were steaming. While worrying, the most worrying thing was the sign within that smoke. A face. She wanted to know what face that was and if it was a sign she were supposed to follow. Was it the professor reaching out? Was it Sam? Logan, even? She couldn't tell, but something in her had to know..

"We're not long from here.. please.. let's press on.."


The beast, while hesitant to move, will not leave Jean's side — whether he intends to protect her or too garner her protection is unclear. But his loyalty is unyielding. His hand gives Jean's a squeeze, a gentle reassurance that they can indeed press on. He growls lowly.

Be strong. Another low growl echoes over her consciousness. The meaning of the sound seems all too apparent for Jean, not that she's ever spoken ape. Or to an ape.

The face ahead calls them over rocky terrain that feels sharp on the soles of Jean's feet. It cuts and scrapes. Yet the face remains.

The smoke wafts into Jean's senses as the steam continues to rise around her, but the beast draws her close, almost like a security blanket — its size is wholly fortunate.


'What particular interest do you have in this beast?' The voice murmurs.
"I don't know. He needs protecting."
'But it is a beast. A rather odd one at that. It may eat you. It will eat you. It is only inevitable.'
"Like all things.." Jean answers the bird.

The message of strength was one that causes her to gut the beast closer, she's heard his growls and glances towards the cat-ape with a grim expression, yet a nod. She will, until the end. She'll try as best as she could.

Her free hand waves against the air as she tries to walk, her shoulders hunching and waving, her feet stepping as if she were to lose her balance at any moment. The pain, it hurt.. so much that her calves were starting to burn with the clench of her toes to try to steel the soles of her feet. Every now and then there was a squawk, or a silent yip of pain, a slight tug of the hand of the beast and a whimper that allows two tears to burn her ethereal cheeks. And when they curl and hang from her chin, they fall to the ground in flames..

"I'm TIRED of this!" She yells out towards the smoke, drawing in a shrill breath which has her coughing into her hand, turning into the fur of the beastly thing. "WHAT DO YOU WANT? Huh?!"


The beast snuggles closer to Jean. Its arm comes up to curl the red head into him. He growls lowly and warmly, inviting the girl into his protection. His breath emits in another puff of moisture through his nostrils.

The pain on Jean's feet turns worse, and the large beast reaches down to pluck her up.

Be Strong.

This time there is no growl, just the simplicity of words over her consciousness. The beast cradles her in his arms, handling the rocks with an adept nature akin to his status as something not-human.

Along the sky, the face turns more tangible, taking on shape of all those familiar; all those that would urge her strength. Their gentle admonition continues to roll over her mind.

Be Strong.

Large arms continue to hold Jean as the pair pick along the rocky terrain — finally drawing uphill to something sharp and steep and altogether pained. The beast yelps, and clings to Jean, but doesn't drop her.

"Be strong," in unison, the voices assert that Jean remain steadfast. "We will carry you. We will find you. We will protect you." The cat-ape holds her tighter still.


She was close to falling. To giving in. Her feet felt wet, like there was blood that poured from them where there was none. She still felt cold. Being plucked from the ground was like a godsend, her arm wrapping around the neck of the odd beast, curling into a slight ball which was easier to be managed, and cared for.

To be strong.

To her, the sky was darkening. Those faces.. she knows those shapes. The blurred lines of real to now and her hopes and dreams were right above her for the taking.

To be strong.

Those words give her faith; but also a minor annoyance, the repetitiveness of what she's heard through the years, what she's told herself.. and what she's hearing now. But if she was strong, the current predicament may have never happened. If she had strength, she would have fought against those who took her. And if she were stronger, she would have saved those she remained with, and broken away to freedom.

'You know what you want to do. Just do it. I am here.'
"We have to keep going." She tells the bird. "To the very end."
'But at what cost?'


The bird gives sage wisdom, and perhaps, for once it would be wise to listen to it, even if that isn't always in Jean's nature.

A large hawk swoops downward, cutting at Jean. It clips her in the arm. Whatever poison lingered on its beak courses through her veins. Yet as it happens, she can feel her heart rate quicken. Her blood boils, urging to get out. And, for a moment, she can feel the constant thrum of a beep both near and far.

Beep. Beep. Beep.

Voices roll over her thoughts, yet they aren't voices she knows. They aren't clear. Each is lazily, lolling over her thoughts and ears like something apart.

Water pours over her like the heavens have opened like a water balloon popping overhead, creating a giant sopping mess of her and her beast companion.

Control seems to be deteriorating. Urgency becomes the rule of thumb.


'Listen.' The bird says.

The steady beep, and the way Jean cradles her arm protectively against her chest has her twisting her way out of the beasts arms. Even as she touches down upon the rocks below, both hands striking out to press against the ground to stop her from -completely- falling, she felt nothing. Nothing at all. But she felt on edge. Maybe it was the fright that the hawk had given her, or the fact that it was so fast she barely had time to register. The graze upon her arm only showed an upturning of dead skin that glowed with a dim, red light.

Beep. Beep. Beep.

It was becoming rapid. Rapid in a sense that Jean had to get away. To run. That burst of energy was fortifying her in such a way that her back had begin to ache. "AAHHGH!" She cries out, her shoulders drawn and hunched, the burn upon her back drawing out wings aflame, though the wings themselves sizzle and hiss as water from some unknown places begins to draw steam from the newly formed appendages that she's grown.

The pain itself was only minor, for she slowly draws herself upright, her arms still burning, back set aflame, her legs eager to continue to work and beat her feet against the landscape. But no.. the hand of the beast was gripped and tugged with renewed vigor, wings arching almost threatening as she crouches, then takes off with a crack of thunder and precious pet in tow. This new change drew out a response. A response that said..



The smoke clears. The fog empties. The beast vanishes, grumbling with its last vestiges one phrase and one phrase only Be strong, dropping Jean as it happens, eaten by the world beyond. Colours swirl and blend together, and in an instant, the world rips apart.

Jean's body never makes purchase with the ground below — instead falling falling falling down into an abyss before waking up with a start on the bed which she'd been strapped.

The waking world feels different, yet far more like the dream one.

Smoke wafts and billows around the room. Burn marks line the observation area, charred black, and flecking from the ash that lines the metal bunker. A single spot demonstrates melting metal — an extreme exposure to heat.

Jean's arms are no longer strapped to the bed. The straps have been mangled like some giant ripped them apart with all of its strength.

And around the room, the bodies of workers present float feet above the ground — held by some unseen force.


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