by Paradoqz

"Hey, guys. Yep, it's me. Came to visit you again.

I know, I know... It's been a while. Sorry about that. Last year has been kinda hectic. Heh. Guess I'm hanging around Uncle Nate too much; starting to understate things just like him...

Heh, betcha I know whatcha thinking Wolvie. 'That flaming overgrown pile of tin. Corrupting the kid.' Hah. Gotcha, didn't I? God, I miss you guys. I wish I could stay longer this time... Can't though. They're waiting for me. Oh c'mon, don't be like that, guys. I'll come back real soon and stay for a long while. It'll be just like old times.

Hey Ororo. Your garden is as beautiful as ever. Strange how at peace I feel here. Not many places I can do that anymore.

Every second I think Jean will come up and ask me whether I want to go to the mall with her and Betsy. Or maybe Popsicle's gonna suddenly jump up from behind a bush and stuff a snowball down my shirt. Scott'll frown at him and ask me about my grades. God...

It'll never happen again, will it? No, it won't. You know I was the only one who believed the rumors at first? Everybody was saying that it was just gossip. Then they all said, that it wasn't the first time. That you'll come back, like you always do.

Some still believe that, you know. 'The great X-Men will return one day to right all wrongs.' You guys are legends now. Weird, isn't it? I keep picturing Bobster hearing this and laughing his butt off. Hank getting a puzzled look in his eyes and saying something like, "How perplexing. I never anticipated such a phenomenon. This needs thought..." Hah.

I knew though. Don't know how. Just did. When they first let the cameras into the Mansion, I already knew.

Trish was all broken up. She was talking into a microphone, about the mystery of X-Men being at an end, and those small tears were running down her face.

It was way harsh what you did here, guys. Ev threw up when they showed it and Ange went whiter then a sheet. But you did it. You stopped him.

Weird isn't it? How everything keeps coming back to this place. It's fitting, I suppose. This is home. Don't know who keeps looking after the place. After the Feds, the police and the rest of them left, the mansion was a wreck. We couldn't come. Emma said that it was too dangerous. She was right too... We still didn't make it out in time.

Hey, the Danger Room! Been ages since I been here. Dang, but I hated it. Everybody could beat the snot outta me. I felt like such a loser.

Hmm, it's not working anymore, of course. But they cleaned the blood off...

Prof, how did this happened? I mean... it's so unfair. They say that theoretically, you were there. Inside Onslaught all the time.

I'm sorry. You probably think that I've got no idea what I'm talking about,eh? That I could never comprehend the horror of killing the people I loved? Of being there and not being able to do a damn thing but watch?


I grew up, Charles. Grew up real fast. I started when I saw your mangled body, lying there like a puppet with its strings cut. I started when they showed your face. Close-up. That smile... Those idiots! Saying that it was a final sign of your madness. You were happy weren't you? Happy for the nightmare to be finally over?

I hunted down all the documents I could find. All the photos, autopsies, tapes. Everything. You got them all by surprise. One by one they got sucked into your spell and you grew stronger. Then the Sentinels. Striking New York, Washington and LA simultaneously.

I wonder what went though you head when you stood there and saw them flame those people. I still don't know what happened. Uncle Nate says that it's possible that Scott and Jean's mindlink was too strong even for you to destroy completely and eventually they broke free. Them and the others.

They did it. Took everything they had but they did it. Wolvie never told me the details but I figured the basics out. Even together they were barely a match for you. God, sometimes I wish I never saw the security tapes...

It still comes to me in the night, you know... Warren with his right wing hanging by a thin, crimson strip of skin screaming blood in your face as Betsy goes limp. Jean, bleeding from nose and ears, as she tries to shield the others... Bobby, getting up, his left leg a ruin of bone and gore, his face a snarl to rival Wolvie... Hank.... Oh Hank... The same old spectacles on your face, same sadly kind eyes behind them. A slightly surprised expression as you look at the pole protruding from your chest...

I think it was this that did it... They just didn't care anymore.

I see they rebuilt the wall. I guess I never did see Scott use his power to the full before. And Storm.

In the end it was just Scott and Wolv though. Cable says that when they saw Jean turn the gun on herself, they just went berserk. That after that there was no way you could get into their heads, to much 'interference,' raw emotion.

You did well enough, I guess. Wolvie limped for the rest of his life... And they said adamantium bones couldn't be broken.

Weird, I always thought Logan could take Scott in his sleep. But fitting I suppose... That he'd be the last. The one to go the distance.

Fathers and sons. Justice I guess. That it was his hand that dealt that final blow. Fitting.

Our fearless leader. Heh. Remember how you hated that name? Couldn't stand it.

I think... No I KNOW Uncle Nate is wrong. You didn't go nuts.

Wolvie... yes. But I saw your face when you put that knife between Onslaught's ribs. You were crying. Not those small bitter tears of Trish', no... Yours were the tears of a kid losing something. Streaming openly down your face as you killed your father. As you killed your dream. As your family lay dead around you. Still you stood up to be counted when the time came.

Duty all the way.

I'm sorry, I hardly ever cry anymore. Wouldn't do for me to cry now. Being the X-Man and all. Gotta uphold the title. But I guess we all have to, sometimes. Gimme a sec, 'k? I'll be all right.

There, see? All better. God, it seems as if it was all yesterday... Almost ten years.

I brought you flowers. Daisies. I know, I know... They were Rogue's favorite so hush up.

I brought you news too. It looks like we'll make it now. It was chancy for a while, but we are doing ok now. Remy is in Texas with Magneto, Cable and Shaw. They got the Provisional Government up and running.

Don't know about Sam... Last we heard, he was trying to get out of that Richmond disaster. We heard he led out almost the whole division. Remy said that it was a miracle. Shaw said it was impossible. Uncle Nate said, 'That's my boy.' Magnus just smiled. Men.

They scattered and the stragglers have been trickling in ever since. They say Sam tried for the Appalachians. Don't know if he made it.

You wouldn't recognize him now. He's harder. Colder. Last time I saw him cry was three days after I made to the X-Force base. You remember, right Wolvie? You were there already. Don't know why, but somehow it became the center of it all.

I visited Pryde and the rest before I came. You'd be proud of her Ororo. They, the Excalibur, were almost the first who came. Without them... I probably wouldn't be standing here, eh? Yeah, OZT was pretty good. We never knew what hit us. They had files on everybody.

And then Genosha declared its support for US policy and sent them help...

That first year was the worst. But we survived. Heh. Idiots. I mean. 60% of all elite and SpecOps units had mutants in them. The Sentinel strikes did their damage too, but it was North's guys that really saved our hides. Totaled their infrastructure.

Heh. It got so bad that candidates began dropping out. I mean after three presidents get offed, suddenly the post doesn't look so good, you know? Yeah, they bought us time. And then people came. >From all continents. They came and we got an army. They came and we got a Civil War.

It was so strange at first. I mean, I kept watching that tape with Spiderman stopping a robbery and then getting mobbed. It made no sense... But like I said, I grew up real quick.

Emma and Sean tried their best to lead us out.

They were waiting for us though. They were waiting to kill us. No warning shots, no offers to surrender, they just opened fire...

Don't remember much of it, really. That grenade knocked me out real good. When I woke up, we were in some farmhouse and me, Penny and Ange were all that was left of Generation X...

Don't even know where their graves are...

We are going to be ok though. We are dealing. It's hard, but we are dealing.


Remy took it harder then most. Keeps blaming himself that he wasn't here. Oh, not out loud of course! But, let's just say if it was still the old days, there would be a hole in the roof. But we are dealing. I miss you, guys. Miss you, Wolvie.

You saved us all at St. Lois. As always, the Xers came through. Paid the price, but came through.

They're buried in a tomb in San Antonio, you know. Pryde and Wisdom next to each other and the rest around them. They wanted to put you there too. A monument to heroes of St. Lois. But I knew you'd want to be here. Next to Jean. And Scott. And Bobby. With your friends. You did the impossible, guys.

They said that his heart wasn't in it. That only his duty kept him going. That he was a tired man by St. Lois. Maybe. He was still one of the best. We lost it before we even began. Odds were nothing. We've been fighting outnumbered for years already. But we were tired.

And he was smart. Cut our supply line. Maneuvered us into exhaustion. We lost it, when we saw them surrounding the city. Shinobi, our great general, started talking surrender, the bastard... Well that's not really fair, I suppose. He did well enough for a month against him. He was just so tired.

And then you and Pete of all people. Never figured you two for motivational speakers. Heh. Logan and Wisdom. The Demosthenes and Socrates of our time. I think the crowning touch was when you slugged Shaw Jr.

God, we were tired. Not just physically, but soul-tired too. I mean it wasn't just some schmuck we were up against. I think everybody in the army felt vaguely guilty going up against him.

It's like if he was on the other side you were automatically on the wrong one, you know? Still, you managed it. Whipped us up for one last charge. I wonder were you surprised that Creed was the first one to follow you two. Even before Pryde. And you did it. Tore them apart at the seams. Tore us an escape route through the 7th Army. Through HIS army.

I still have the scars. I don't wear the mask anymore though. I got off easy after all. Ange was there in time. Again. Cable showed me what happened, he 'browsed through' a couple of survivors' heads. You paused. Don't deny it, you paused. All of you. There was always some tension between them and us,but still going up against each other like that...

Creed snapped out the first and went straight for Thor's throat. Don't know why... it's like inthose years he started to defer to you. Maybe because you were becoming more and more like him... He left HIM to you, whatever the reason.

Steve Rogers.

Captain America.

The Great Captain.

He was gray. He wasn't wearing his suit anymore, just the fatigues. Tired lines around his eyes and mouth. He still gave you a run for your money. But you did it. You won... Or rather he lost. I don't think he was giving it all in the end. I guess we were not the only ones tired after all.

Oh Ange? He isn't here. He and Penny and Tabitha took it on the chin with the 3rd at second Denver. We broke Gyrich's offensive but again we paid. As always.

Well I guess this is it. They are waiting for me. I knew they would be when I came here. But... It's time for me to go. I know you wouldn't approve, Wolvie. Any of you. But I'm just so tired. So very tired. It's hard to be the last.

They don't need me anymore. They will probably take it hard. Uncle Nate and Remy been treating me with kid gloves since Denver. It will hurt them and I'm sorry... But I'm tired. And I miss you guys."


"Hey, Rhymer?!"


"Can you sing it?"

"Again? I've already sung it a hundred times. Ain't ya tired of it yet?"

"C'mon, Rhyme. They signed peace today. Sing it? The 'Last X-Man's Ballad.'"


"Tell it, Witness. Tell about Jubilee."


"Bishop, you made him cry!"

"Did not!"

"Did so!"

"Shut up, Shard! You'll see someday I'll grow up and I'll be a hero like her. I'll stand against the whole army. You'll see."


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