Author: Notmanos
E-mail: notmanos at yahoo dot com
Rating: R
Disclaimer:  The characters of Angel are owned by 20th Century Fox and Mutant Enemy; the
character of Wolverine is also owned by 20th Century Fox and Marvel Comics.  No copyright
infringement intended. I'm not making any money off of this, but if you'd like to be a patron of the
arts, I won't object. ;-)  Oh, and Bob is *my* character - keep your hands off!   

"Something like that.They only travel as a unit,because they are one:think of them as a person whose right arm,liver,and pancreas all have minds and bodies of their own.But somebody forgot to pack the brain,or at least give the brain directions to the super-secret hideout."

"They didn't seem very bright."

"They literally have nothing like a pre-frontal cortex:there is no higher brain functioning."

"So it's like fighting a brick wall all the way through."

Bob nodded,running a hand nervously through his well coifed hair,barely ruffling it:it fell back into place like magic."Their lack of intelligence just adds to their native viciousness."

After thinking about it for a minute,Logan said,"I don't suppose they're the infamous 'I am Legion',are they?And what do you mean someone sicced them on us?"

Bob grimaced slightly,obviously weighing whether or not to share something with him or not,and ultimately decided to do so."Can I tell you a secret?Belial demons pretty much wrote what Humans call the Bible,and it's in jokes like that that prove my theory."

"In jokes?"

"Saying 'I am Legion' is like saying 'I am as dumb as a bag of hammers,and almost as pretty'.Not a threat more than a self-directed insult,although I admit that they're tough motherfuckers."

"But so stupid someone has to do the thinking for them."

"Right.They're terrific soldiers:they follow whatever order is given to them to an absolute t.They don't stop until their directive has been achieved,or they're dead.Basically they're attack dogs,only dumber."

"So why don't I see them all over the place?"

"'Cause it ain't that easy to call Legion up.I've had people come to me and ask for a squad of  Legion,but I've told them to fuck off.I mean,no one wants them for a good purpose,and that takes more time and energy than I'm willing to devote to anything that's no fun at all."

"Call them up?"Logan decided he didn't want to know;it wasn't important."So who's pulling their strings and why?"

"A good question.One you and I are going to have to figure out.But I think we'd better brief the others,huh?I might be here for a while."

Now it was Logan's turn to grimace.At least Bob would have to explain himself and spare him the pain,but could Logan ever live it down?


Bob had known it was bad the second he got a look at Logan.

Of course,the fact that he had called in the first place meant things had progressed beyond Shitsville,but Bob hadn't expected it to be quite this bad.

When was the last time he saw any Legion about?It had to be way back,before the turn of the century in Nepal,when that nutjob sorcerer thought he could become Emperer of the World or some such stupid notion,an idea that was not only idiotic to the core,but highly impractical.He sometimes thought he should have let that jackass (what was his name?Mauve,something like that?) take over for a bit-he'd have run off screaming in two days,tops.Some jobs just sounded better than they actually were.

So now someone had brought Legion up for a bit of grazing-but that alone would not make sense.Nobody would be stupid enough to let the Legion off the leash without a purpose,not after all the trouble they must have gone through to raise them.The attack on the town,as far as Bob was concerned,was a trap.Draw the Mutant Wonder Squad out,and pick them off,leaving-

Leaving the Professor all by himself.

Ah-there was the key.Professor Xavier.But Bob kept that to himself as Logan led him down through the Professor's posh school and high tech,snazzy hideout in the bowels of the building.It was nice,although a bit sterile:Bob had learned to appreciate atmosphere.It helped you keep a sense of humor.

But as soon as he entered the infirmary,he knew things were about to get worse.

There was an unintelligible noise of pain as soon as Logan walked through the sliding metal door,and Bob heard a man-not Logan-exclaim,"Professor,what's wrong?"

Bob stopped at the threshold and looked inside,mentally cursing himself."It's me.I'm sorry."

Logan looked back at him,surprised."You?"

"Who the hell is he?"He heard the man from before snap at Logan.

"Bob."Another man-the Professor-groaned in pain."Am I right?"

"Yes.Look,I'll phone you from the end of the hall,okay?"

"What the hell is going on?"Logan asked him,giving him an impatient glare.

"He's too strong a telepath to be around me,"Bob said,grimacing at his own forgetfulness.Xavier could probably regulate it but not turn it off;Bob couldn't turn off what he was at all,so that left them in a bind.

"No,give me a moment,"Xavier replied,his voice fragile with pain,then said to the other man,"Scott,second cupboard on your right,third shelf."

Logan scowled at him,his brows drawing down in confusion."Can't you just tell him 'I don't hurt you' or something?"

"I could,and I bet I could lessen the pain a bit,but he's a stronger telepath than I thought,and I'm probably the psychic equivalent of a heavy metal concert in his cranium,with the amps cranked to eleven."

"How did he-you get here so fast?I thought you were in Los Angeles."The mutant named Scott asked.Bob couldn't see him because he retreated completely away from the door,and could only see Logan,who remained inside the doorway,but just barely:he looked caught between worlds,an apt metaphor for Logan if there ever was one.

"Would you believe I teleported?"Bob replied.

There was a pause."You can teleport?"

"No,but I know people who do."

There was a long moment of silence,and Bob could imagine the disbelieving,dirty look he was getting from the man.He seemed to ooze anal retentiveness like an aura that always cleaned up after itself .Or something like that.

Logan shook his head and rubbed his eyes,shoulders hunching over as if he suddenly felt all the weight of the world."This was a mistake.Shit."

"Why would you say that,Logan?Just because your friend is apparently lethal to the Professor,"Scott carped,sounding extraordinarily bitter.He didn't like Logan,that was obvious,but there was more than that...jealousy?Why?Although those claws of his were pretty fucking cool,Bob wouldn't want Logan's life for the world.Any of them.

"He's not my friend,"Logan snapped,and Bob had to bite the inside of his cheek to keep from laughing.He knew he'd say that.

"I asked Logan to bring him into this,"Xavier pointed out,in a surprisingly firm voice.Scott and Logan must have clashed a lot:he already sounded fed up with it.

But he asked Logan to bring him in?Xavier again.He knew more about this than he'd let on to the others,didn't he?Wheels within wheels...

"Okay,while I wait,why don't I tell you what the hell your up against,at least for now?"Bob offered,feeling a bit funny shouting into another room from the hall,but it was hardly the first time he had done such a thing.He told them about Legion, leaving out the bit about Belials writing the Bible as a big joke against humanity (well,Belials really loved taking the piss-it was just too easy most of the time).

He heard Scott several times,making little "oh,you're shitting me" sort of noises,while Logan just scowled at the floor and shifted uncomfortably,generally just mortified,even though he himself didn't doubt that Bob knew what he was talking about. Logan had encountered too many inhuman things to be doubtful now-hell,he was Logan the Berserker Slayer,was he not?

And he had no idea yet,but that was going to come in awfully handy soon.

There was no comment at all from Xavier,and Bob didn't expect one.In fact,he knew now that Logan had not been the only one in this little group to have encountered inhumanity in his life.

"This is such bullshit,"Scott said,as soon as Bob finished.

"How exactly did they hurt Storm and Logan by touch?"The Professor asked,interrupting his impatient student.

"They feed off the neural energy of intelligent beings.It doesn't take too long-one good squeeze and you're as empty as a beer bottle on Saint Patrick's Day.The fact that Storm is still alive is a testament to how strong you mutants are.The fact that Logan is still walking around and able to string words into coherent sentences convinces me he's fuckin' immortal."

Logan gave him a dirty look for that-Logan appreciated the fact that immortality was not a gift,like many mortals seemed to believe,but a big fat ugly curse-and Xavier said suddenly,"Don't,Scott."

Logan's head shot around towards them,eyes narrowing suspiciously,and Bob guessed Scott was about to make a disparaging remark,possibly about the amount of neural energy Logan actually had."Don't what?Got a joke you want to make,Clops?"Logan growled,sounding positively lethal.He must have guessed too.

"They're not shapeshifters,are they?"Xavier went on,ignoring the bickering boys.Logan was jealous of Scott?

Again,why?No,that was not hard to glean off Logan:Scott had a sedate life,torture free,and full of memories that were mostly pain free.He also had a girlfriend that was too good for a guy like him...oh...

"Not as such,"Bob said,shaking himself out of that reverie."They have the two forms:Human disguise-or,as Human as they can possibly get-and normal.All they can really shift is the appearance and molecular density of their skin,which adjusts to its circumstances on an almost instantaneous,autonomic level.A weapon used against them once is no good the second time."

"Except my claws,"Logan interjected.

Bob nodded."They can't do adamantium-do you know its molecular density?Too rich for their blood.They could probably mimic a layer,but what good is a few microns against your claws?Forget it.They also can't mimic mercury or plutonium,but what good is that exactly?"

"And you know this how?"Scott asked,the disbelief still evident in his voice.

"I've encountered them before."

"What about little green men?"He continued sarcastically.

"Scott,"Xavier said sternly,sounding a bit better than before.What kind of medication had he given himself?A painkiller of some sort.

"All the green men I've encountered have been normal sized,"Bob replied,grinning to himself.Ah,Humans-they could be so funny sometimes.

Before he could say something else,there was a frantic wavering electronic beep,and Scott cursed low under his breath as Logan stiffened and headed into the room."What's wrong?"Logan asked,as Bob crept up to the door.If the Professor was sufficiently medicated,he should be able to come in now,if only for a little while.

"I don't know,"Scott replied,sounding frustrated."Jean,can you hear me?"

Logan left,going deeper into the room,and Bob glanced inside the doorway.He caught the eye of Xavier,who seemed to be grimacing from the pain,but had enough drugs in his system that he could look at him without his head exploding.He looked like an almost regal man,perfectly bald with clear,strong blue-grey eyes,confined to a wheelchair that he managed to make look like a throne by personality alone.He threw off an aura of absolute authority that was hard not to be deferential to by simple reflex.He gave Bob a small,dignified nod,which Bob returned,wondering when he'd get a chance to talk to him alone,if ever. Xavier was hiding something,he just knew it.

He saw two hospital beds in the room:in the nearest was a pretty dark skinned woman with curiously white hair,who looked as wrung out as you could imagine:Storm,he bet.Being grabbed by Legion-how fucking awful.She was lucky to have survived,and the fact that she had meant she'd recover eventually.
The next hospital bed,where Logan stood beyond the end looking both guilt ridden and angry as the mutant called Scott-a rather blandly good looking man wearing a dark amber colored pair of sunglasses that looked like a distant cousin of that visor worn by Levar Burton's character in "Star Trek:The Next Generation"-was torn between looking at the machines and the woman in the bed.

This woman was bloodlessly pale,with reddish brown hair and a handsome if slightly patrician face."Jean,can you hear me?" Scott asked,holding her hand between his.

"She probably can't,"Logan pointed out ruefully."She wasn't far enough away not to be deafened."

Bob entered the room casually,trying to keep as far from Xavier as possible."What happened here?Can I help?"He wondered.

Logan looked at him intently,sizing him up anew."Yeah,I think you can."

Scott looked up sharply,scowling first at Logan then at him.It was hard to tell with his eyes hidden,but Bob was reasonably certain he had done a double take upon seeing him,as if he had been expecting someone who looked more inhuman...or perhaps someone who looked like he might hang out with Logan."Oh,he's a doctor too,is he?"Scott said,scowling back at Logan.

"He's a hell of a lot better than that,"Logan drawled back,not taking Scott very seriously at all.That annoyed him,and Logan both knew and enjoyed that.

"Was she touched by Legion?"He asked,aiming the question at Logan.Scott hated him,probably because of his association with Logan.Wow-if he could see his eyes,he bet they'd be nuclear green.Meow.

If she had been touched by Legion,he wasn't much use to her right now.He needed to access the conscious or subconscious mind at some point,and it was safe to say Legion generally robbed power from the higher functions first.He'd have to wait until enough of her higher consciousness crawled back before he could be of any use at all.

"No.I think they blew out her eardrums along with mine,but something else happened.She had a telekinetic meltdown of some sort."

"She's telekinetic?"Well,wasn't that bloody impressive?"Telepathic too?"

"Yeah.Is that a problem?"Logan was trying hard not to show how eager he was for Bob to help her,but he was.Was this the woman?She hardly seemed like The Face Launched A Thousand Ships,but he was not seeing her at her best.Besides,how shallow was that?To just assume she was some jaw dropping uber-beauty;Helen wasn't exactly,if he remembered the stories correctly.

Bob glanced at the Professor,who remained stone faced,but Bob could tell by the way sweat was beading on his wide alabaster brow,and how he was gripping the arms of his chair like he might shatter them,that he was still in a great deal of pain.Bob really had to speed this up."How telepathic?Like you?"

He shook his head very carefully,as if it was a fractured china orb he was afraid might fly apart if he moved it too suddenly. "She's not that powerful.Yet."

Ah,potential.She was the golden girl here,was she?Hopefully not so golden that he would inadvertently hurt her while trying to help her."Then I think I can help."

"She's unconscious and possibly deaf-does that matter?"Logan wondered.

Bob shook his head."Remember Death Valley?I don't need to look them in the eye,and they don't need to hear me with their ears:I only need to know my target."

"Death Valley?"Scott repeated,looking more dubious by the syllable."And what do you mean by target?"

"Just an expression,mate,"he said,looking at Jean's slack,unconscious face.He probably ought to stay where he is,as getting too close before he could judge how strong a telepath she was might result in an inadvertent burn out.

Bob closed his eyes,and vaguely heard Scott say defensively,"Expression or not,I'm not having you-"

But,focused on his own inner eye,Scott was soon gone from the world,along with everything else.

And he found himself in a garden.

It was a nice,sunny day,the sky a crystalline cerulean,the birds chirping and almost covering a constant electrical humming in the background,a thrum you couldn't quite feel through the bright green grass,but almost.

The breeze was warm,redolent of roses and power,and he found her sitting in a chair in a small thicket of well trimmed but overgrown weigalia bushes,some of which were as tall as him.

She was sitting in the sun,a cold glass of ice tea  sweating on a small glass table beside her,and while she had a book in her hands,she seemed to be glancing between it and the gardener across the yard,diligently weeding a flower bed beside the house.He was shirtless and barefoot,clad only in short denim cut offs,sweat drenched back turned towards them as he crouched beside the bed and worked,but something about him looked familiar to Bob,even if he couldn't place him at the moment.That couldn't be her boyfriend,could it?He'd swear Scott didn't look that broad shouldered.

She looked at him,her brown eyes curious but not startled."Who are you?"She asked.

"A friend,"he said,deciding that was good enough."Sorry to intrude,but I just wanted you to know you're fine."

Her brows drew down in confusion,and when her hair moved just so over her pale shoulders,Bob thought he could see what Scott and Logan might have seen in her.She was quite lovely;he envied her cheekbones."I didn't know I wasn't."

They were tucked in a small corner of her subconscious,where she had probably embraced a certain level of denial as a safety measure.He really wasn't surprised she didn't remember,and it made things easier really.

"Well,trust me:you couldn't be better.And your hearing is astounding."

She looked up at him with some kindness,but it was clear she thought he was nuts."Thank you."

The power running through the land(mind)scape was astounding:she did have a lot of potential.He felt like he was standing in the center of a thunderhead,just as the lightning to be was gathering strength from the air around it.And just beyond this ultra-controlled spot,he could see the edges of the sky bleeding at the horizon,swirls of black and red fire,the true power she could unleash if she let herself go and gave in to chaos.He was impressed.

"You won't remember this specifically,but you will remember everything else.That okay with you?"

She continued to gaze up at him curiously,although a hint of a smile graced her lips."You are the strangest man I have ever met."

"I get worse."He assured her with a roguish grin."But I'm sure we'll get on famously."

He turned to leave,and caught another glimpse of the hard working gardener.He knew what he symbolized,but he was still curious who it was.Still,none of his business.

But just before he stepped through the fragrant hedgerow of magenta flowers,he caught the gardener's profile in the corner of his eye,sweat dripping off the end of his almost regal nose,and...oh shit,no wonder he looked familiar.

No wonder Scott was so jealous.

Bob stepped back,and shut his inner eye.

"-near her,"Scott finished,as Bob opened his eyes.

That's when he was distracted by the strange noises the machines were making.

Logan gave him a sidelong glance."Nice job."

"Live to serve,"Bob replied,unable to stifle the small laugh at seeing Logan the gardener again,if only in his mind, superimposed over the real one.Well,if Logan had a lust thing for her,at least it was mutual.

Logan gave him an odd look,probably wondering what he was laughing at,as Scott gasped."What the hell happened?I think she's waking up."

"Remarkable,"Xavier said,quietly impressed."What are you?"

Bob smirked at him,wondering how much he already knew,and what would be acceptable to their particular world view.But it was clear the Professor couldn't take much more of him,at least for now."As soon as you're ready to hear it,I'll let you know."

Bob left them to it,at least for now.A place this big had to have a kitchen,and Ganesha knew he needed a drink.If only to keep from laughing.


Logan traced Bob by smell to the front room of the mansion,where he was lounging on the leather sofa,eating reheated pizza and drinking a soda while watching what appeared to be a Spanish soap opera on the television,but with the volume off. Well,there was something to be said for small mercies.

"She okay?"Bob asked,not even looking towards him as he came in the room.

"Yeah,although she can't believe it.She vaguely remembers her eardrums bursting,although they're fine now."He came around the couch and joined him,sitting on the end of the sofa,his stomach tying itself in small knots from the smell.

Bob held the huge plate full of pizza towards him."Have some.I can hear your stomach growling from here."

Logan grimaced,but took a slice and gulped it down in three bites.Man,he was starving:it had to be ten hours since he last ate at the very least."Why are you watching this?"Logan asked,taking another slice.Bob had put the plate down between on the couch.

"The nude talk show doesn't come on until eleven o'clock."

Logan raised an eyebrow at him,but Bob kept on eating his pizza,intently watching a woman with way too much make up on over-emote on the screen."I miss a lot not having cable,don't I?"He said dryly.

"Yeah."Bob then chuckled faintly."Humans-gotta love them."

After a moment of eating in companionable silence,during which Logan tried to figure out what the narrative was on screen (no clue-honestly,he couldn't even guess),Bob asked,"They ready for me?"

"As they'll ever be.Although Scott continues to be a total dick.Which is normal for him."

"He thinks I'm a friend of yours.He's bound to hate me."

"What an ass."He would never get Scott,but he didn't want to,so he was cool with that.

"You can't blame him though,Logan.You're got a hell of a lot more fighting experience,so he feels his leadership of the group is threatened-"

"He can have his damn group,"he interrupted impatiently."I don't want it."

"-and he's afraid of losing his girlfriend to you."

"He oughta be."

"Yes,he oughta be,"Bob agreed,with a surprisingly somber tone.Logan gave him a curious look-what was that supposed to mean?-but he instantly changed the subject."How much do you know about Xavier?"

Logan wanted to ask him what he meant about him and Jean,but decided it wasn't important."Not a hell of a lot.He's a telepath, he has buttloads of money,but he seems to be a general,mutantarian? heart.Why?"

Bob shrugged,taking a final swig of his soda."Just curious.How did he make his money?The usual telepathic way?"

"What's the usual telepathic way?"

"Going to Vegas or Atlantic City,reading people's minds at the card tables,breaking the bank."

Logan considered that for a moment."He doesn't seem like the Vegas type to me."

"Me neither,but maybe when he was younger.Even I did that once or twice,and I'm not a telepath."

"You could just take people's money and leave,and they'd never know they'd been screwed-why play cards at all?"

"It killed the time,"he admitted,shutting off the television."But it got kind of boring.Where was the challenge?"

Logan probably should have felt some sympathy,but since the guy could do goddamn everything,it was kind of hard."Maybe you should have tried bare knuckle boxing."

Bob snorted in amusement."Nah,don't think so,mate.I'll leave that to the professionals."He got up then,and bowed in a very exaggerated way towards Logan.

Logan scowled at him,but wasn't too offended:after all,if it wasn't for his powers,Logan knew he could kick his ass.It was what he did best,after all.


Logan led Bob to the Professor's plush,large upstairs office,where the others were waiting for them-save for Storm,of course,who was still too far gone from the touch of Legion for Bob to help her just yet.

The Professor had parked himself in the farthest corner of the room,for obvious reasons,but still looked a bit pasty and far from well.Scott,still looking pointlessly belligerant,sat on the black leather couch in the center of the room,next to Jean,who had changed into a plain black dress and looked absolutely fine,a stark contrast to the way she had been even before Legion attacked the mansion.Bob was incredible.

Logan was beginning to wonder if  one person's 'demon' was indeed another person's 'god'.It was looking like a thinner line all the time.

Bob walked to the farthest point of the room from the Professor,aware despite precautions he was still inadvertently hurting him,but still able to face them all.Logan just leaned against the wall by the door and crossed his arms over his chest,more comfortable standing up.

"So you're Bob,"Jean said,giving him a curious smile.She sounded surprised,making him wonder what she had expected.

"Indeed I am,Doctor,and it's good to see you so well,"Bob replied,with a slight bow of his head and bright,charming smile."I take it you've been briefed on Legion?"

"Yes I have.What are they after?"

"Ah,the heart of the matter,"Bob continued smoothly,like a salesman working up to his pitch."The short answer is you.All of you."

"And you know that how?"Scott wondered,sounding completely paranoid.

Bob gave him a small,dry smirk,clasping his hands in front him to give them something to do-or maybe keep them from balling into fists."Nature of the beast.They don't show up on their own,and they can only follow orders."

"It's not like we have a shortage of enemies,"Xavier allowed.

"Enemies who hire big ugly..."Scott seemed to scramble for a word,and settled on an ironic one."...freaks to kill us?"

"Freaks are generally big and ugly,"Logan commented,unable to stop himself.Why should he?"And I could have sworn that's all we've fought."

"You believe they're coming back,"Xavier continued,ignoring them both and addressing Bob alone.

Bob nodded."I'd bet you a million bucks cash.And they weren't hired,Scott-Legion has no use for money.Remember,they're as intelligent as footstools,but not nearly as useful."

"Legion's good at killing things,"Logan pointed out.

"There's that.Their one talent."

"So how do we find out who is behind them?I assume questioning is impossible."Xavier said.

Bob nodded,looking unusually serious for him,a few lines suddenly appearing in the corners of his eerie blue eyes.But even they didn't make his preternaturally handsome face look any older,just more serious and intense."It is:a bag of doorknobs has no story to tell.So when they return,Logan and I will have to follow them back to the lair of their leader."

"You and Logan?"Scott repeated dubiously."Wait a minute-"

"Scott,"Jean whispered in warning,putting a restraining hand gently on his slinged arm.But that wasn't enough to stop the Boy Wonder.

"Why the hell should we trust you?You're just some supposedly non-human guy from L.A. who just happened to show up at the mansion in record time,and is supposedly a friend of Logan's,a man who has no friends."

"Scott,"Jean hissed,louder this time,angrier.

Xavier looked like he was going to say something,but Bob actually regarded Scott with some sympathy."After everything he's done for you people,you still don't trust him?"

Silence seemed to actually fall like a physical presence,something weighted and oppressive that seemed to momentarily suck the air out of the room.Logan didn't know why that stunned him-very little actually stunned him."You don't trust me?"He spat, feeling a sudden flush of anger like a heat rising up the back of his neck from the base of his spinal column.Of all the things he hated Scott for,that was the newest one.

Scott had at least a sliver of human decency,enough to seem somewhat embarrassed."It's not-"he began,and again seemed at a loss for words."I don't-shit,Logan,you came out of nowhere,like a hurricane,and we don't really know anything about you. How can I trust you?"

"I trust him,"Xavier said."Isn't that good enough?"

Well,that seemed to mortify Scott.Good.

Sunlight streamed in through the bay window,the gauzy white curtains bracketing either side like still ghosts,illuminating the soothing room of dark wood and deep blue carpeting,but the light seemed strangely cold.Maybe it was just the basic atmosphere of the room coloring his perceptions.

"Legion can camouflage itself quite well,"Bob continued,possibly trying to spare Scott more embarrassment.Why?"And while I can sense them,I really don't want to find out how well in field conditions and fall short.Logan can trace them by smell, which is something no one else in this room can do.And,if worse comes to worse,he can kill them,and I can try."

"Try?"Scott replied,scrambling to get some prestige back."What exactly is it that you do?"

Bob hesitated,grimacing in thought."Well,it's difficult to explain.Humans really don't have a word for it.I suppose mesmerism is close,but only in the way the sun is close to the Earth."

"Are you saying you hypnotize people?"Scott asked in disbelief.

"No-hypnotism requires you to believe in it in order for it to work.No one actually needs to believe in me.To quote Philip K. Dick-acid head paranoiac but otherwise capital guy-reality is that which when you stop believing in it doesn't go away.And I ain't going anywhere."

Scott shook his head."This is unbelievable."

Jean wakes up not only not deaf but better than she was before,and he preferred to think it was some kind of miracle as opposed to something Bob did?What a fucking moron.

Bob stared at Scott,and said,"You've always wanted to see your eyes,haven't you?You can.Take off your visor."

"What?"Jean asked,sounding startled.

Scott's back stiffened,but he said nothing.But he couldn't say anything,could he?Bob had him."It's's perfectly safe.No one will be hurt."

"No,Scott,"Jean said,sounding slightly panicky,grabbing at his arm as he stood up."Don't-"

"Jean,it's okay,"Bob told her,in his most soothing voice."Trust me."

Logan glanced at the Professor,and saw him watching intently,more morbidly curious than anything else.

Scott,now standing in the direct center of the room,took his visor off.

Jean tensed,ready for the worst,but absolutely nothing happened:no beams shot out,Bob's side of the room did not suddenly vaporize,everything remained as it was.

Scott walked over to a small mirror hanging on the near wall,looking zombie like in his general stupefaction.Jean gasped when she saw his profile.

There was no red energy oozing out of his eyes.There was just a run of the mill,ordinary pair of blue eyes-not Bob blue,just everyday blue-and the look on Scott's face as he gaped at his own reflection was almost comical in its abject shock.Logan could have laughed,and almost did,except he suddenly noticed the pungent smell of fear in the room,sharp and acrid.It looked like Scott was starting to hyperventilate.

"What-what have you done to me?"He demanded,wheeling on Bob,shock giving way quickly to horror.

It was Bob's turn to look surprised:he hadn't expected him to react that way."Put your visor back on,Scott."Scott did,and Bob said,"You're fine;everything's back to normal."

Scott felt his face as if to confirm that,and,satisfied,sat back down,getting his breathing under control once more.He propped his elbows on his knees and let his head fall into his hands,his posture one of dejection.Jean rubbed his back in a comforting gesture,moving closer to him as if ready to protect him from Bob somehow.

"My god,"the Professor gasped in total awe."You reinforce belief to the point where it alters the very fabric of reality."

Bob gave him the kind of smile a teacher might give a student who finally got something through his thick head."That is really damn close,yeah,although it's a bit more complicated than that.Still,kudos."

"You can't do your thing to Legion?"Logan asked,getting back to the topic at hand.

"Well,only to a certain degree.As I said,no higher brain.They pretty much just have the stem.But if they grab me I'll blow their mind."


"I mean literally blow their mind,Logan,out their ears.Like a potato in a microwave.My neural energy isn't their usual diet,and just a bit too intense for them."

"Thanks for the visual."Jean muttered sarcastically.She seemed to have adapted to this situation better than Scott,though,which was no shock."So what then?Assuming you track down the person behind this."