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Earth-717: X-Men Vol 1 Chapter 11: Choices After smashing the Sentinel with two cars that she

had lifted with her mind, Jean started franticall wa!ing her arms, ca"sing the ch"n#s of de$ris to $e lifted o"t of the destro ed $"ilding% &iece after piece lifted into the air and got tossed to the road% '&iotr() Jean cried% '&iotr() After mo!ing a few more $ric#s, a sil!er fist p"nched o"t of the pile% Jean sighed with relief as &iotr clim$ed o"t of the r"$$le% '*on+t worr , ,+m still ali!e,) said &iotr% A lo"d noise was heard, li#e the la"nch of a roc#et% Jean t"rned aro"nd and saw the missile fire into the s# % Jean+s e es widened% 'Might not $e for m"ch longer,) said Jean% 'Jean() Jean loo#ed to the right as Scott, -an# and .o$$ ran "p to her% 'Scott() '/h, m stars and garters,) said -an#% Scott loo#ed at the missile% 'Magneto,) said Scott% '0o,) said .o$$ % '0o%) '-an#,) said Scott% '&lease tell me that+s not what , thin# it is%) ',+m afraid it is, Scott,) said -an#% '1e+re near Cape Citadel missile $ase%) Scott loo#ed down at the gro"nd% '-ow m"ch time2) '3i!en its tra4ector % % % % min"tes%) '0ot eno"gh time for me to s#ate "p there,) said .o$$ % '.esides, if , free5e it, it will still hit

the gro"nd%) Scott winced $efore sho"ting and firing a laser at the destro ed Sentinel in front of him% .o$$ closed his e es and e6haled% &iotr shoo# his head $efore wrapping his arm aro"nd Jean+s sho"lders and p"lling her close% Jean leaned her head against &iotr, $"t loo#ed at Scott% 'Scott % % % %) '1e were so close() sho"ted Scott% 'All these people % % % % all these li!es % % % % Magneto+s 4"st going to ta#e all of it() -an# p"t his hand on Scott+s sho"lder% '7o" can+t $lame o"rself for this, Scott,) pleaded -an#% ',t+s not o"r fa"lt%) Scott sharpl t"rned to -an#% '."t it was m responsi$ilit () Scott loo#ed $ac# down at the gro"nd, sha#ing his head% ',+m sorr % % % % ,+m sorr % % % %) .o$$ wea#l ch"c#led% '1ell, at least we+re all here, right2 8he X-Men%) Scott+s fists trem$led% 'X-Men2) said Scott% '1hat #ind of a team are we2 1hat did we accomplish2 1e failed % % % % , failed%) Jean loo#ed "p to see se!eral Sentinels fl ing into the s# % '8he Sentinels are lea!ing,) said Jean% '0o do"$t Magneto wants to ma#e s"re the +re still aro"nd to help him,) said .o$$ % '8hat m"rdering $astard%) 'So that+s it,) said Scott% 'Magneto wins%) ',s that all o" ha!e to sa , Scott2) Scott t"rned to loo# at Jean%

'8his is what+s coming from the man who fo"ght Magneto when he had no good reason to $elie!e he co"ld win2) '1hat do o" want me to do, Jean2) '0ot o",) said Jean% 'Me%) '1hat2) ', can stop it%) &iotr mo!ed his arm off Jean+s sho"lders% '-ow2) as#ed &iotr% ', ha!e to raise a similar 9"estion, Jean,) said -an#% 'Scott,) said Jean% '*o o" tr"st me2) 'Jean % % % %) '*o o" tr"st me2) Scott stared at Jean for a few seconds% '7es%) '8hen let me do this% , can "se m tele#inesis to propel m self "pwards, and hopef"ll , di!ert the co"rse of the missile % % % % $low it "p in the air%) Jean wal#ed forwards, past Scott, and foc"sed her energ % After a few moments, she started to float a$o!e the gro"nd% .reathing in, she $egan to fl "pwards% 'Jean() Jean t"rned to loo# at Scott% '*on+t do this,) said Scott, tears in his e es% 'J"st get awa from here( ,f o" go after that missile, o"+ll ne!er ma#e it() ', ha!e no choice, Scott%) '1h 2) '.eca"se when it comes down to sit"ations li#e this, , ha!e no other choice% , ha!e to p"t

m self on the line % % % % $eca"se no one else can%) '&lease, Jean % % % %) Jean t"rned forward and loo#ed at the missile% 0o one co"ld see it, $"t her green p"pils filled with orange flame for a $rief moment $efore she started fl ing "pwards% 'JEA0() Jean roc#eted into the s# as Scott held o"t his hand in !ain% As Jean stared at the missile, she felt the resid"al ps chic energ of Scott+s astral signat"re% Closing her e es, she $reathed in as she allowed Scott to lea!e her mind% All that she wanted to foc"s on was the tas# at hand% 7et, she fo"nd she co"ld not% As she approached the missile, she fo"nd her mind drifting to the astral plane% She felt tho"sands of e es watching her, thin#ing of her% ,nside, she did not #now e6actl how to process how she was feeling% She was fl ing headfirst into a sit"ation that she tr"l did not $elie!e she was going to s"r!i!e% As tears welled in her e es, she allowed the tho"ghts she wanted to hear to flow thro"gh her ps che% “Please . . . . come back to me, Jean.” She closed her e es as her heart sei5ed% 8he feeling of pain emanated thro"gh her chest% &ast the missile, she co"ld see the tho"sands of stars in the night s# % 8he reminded her of all the so"ls on the astral plane that she had to"ched % % % % and all the ones she wo"ld ne!er #now% “Please . . . . I can't lose you.” Jean winced% 8he tears started to stream down her face% She wanted to repl , $"t co"ldn+t $ring herself to% She didn+t want to increase the pain% 8he missile was closer% “Nothing made sense before you . . . . don't do this . . . .” She closed her e es and opened them again% 8he tears stopped% She stared at the tip of the missile as it started to point downwards% She felt her speed increase as small flames appeared on her arms, $"t she felt no pain% She formed her tele#inetic $arrier aro"nd herself as she opened her palms% :oc"sing on the missile, she felt it start to mo!e "nder her control%

“Jean . . . . I . . . .” Jean closed her e es one last time% As she felt the e6plosion $egin, she co"ldn+t help herself% “Goodbye, Scott.” “Jean ” All of Jean+s feeling stopped as the e6plosion $egan% After a $rief moment of $ea"tif"l silence, it all came to a close% ;;;; Scott screamed as lo"d as he co"ld as the e6plosion lit "p the night s# % -olding his fists to his chest, he felt his !ocal m"scles shred "nder the sheer !ol"me of his cr % -an# closed his e es and loo#ed down, tears stro#ing the f"r on his face% &iotr placed his hand on his forehead% .o$$ stared into the s# as the e6plosion $egan to fade% Scott fell to his #nees% 8ears streamed from the edges of his !isor and dripped onto the gro"nd% :or a long while, e!er one was silent% 8he massi!e orange flare in the s# finall phased o"t of e6istence% After that, all that was left were the stars% 'Scott % % % %) Scott didn+t repl % -e 4"st #ept his e es closed, his hands on the gro"nd% 8hen, he heard a series of lo"d noises% <oo#ing "p, he saw the Sentinels ret"rning to the cit % '/h no,) said &iotr% “!"#en ” All fo"r of them felt Xa!ier+s !oice in their mind% “#agneto is furious I kno$ that $hat ha%%ened to Jean is on your mind . . . . but he's sending the Sentinels back in, and he's %ersonally leading them &ou ha'e to sto% him ” Scott stood "p% '1hat do we do2) as#ed .o$$ % Scott didn+t answer for a moment% 8hen, he t"rned aro"nd%

'7o" three % % % % ta#e on the Sentinels% =eep the ci!ilians safe% Magneto is mine%) '."t Scott,) re$"tted -an#% '7o" can+t 4"st % % % %) '-e+s mine,) said Scott, pointing his finger at -an#+s face% 'Sta o"t of m wa %) Scott t"rned aro"nd and ran forward% 'Scott() Scott didn+t loo# $ac#% -e felt himself $ecome weightless as he ran% -e didn+t e!en feel an of the steps he was ta#ing% All that mattered was what was right in front of him% E!er thing in his peripheral !ision $ecame a $l"r% Street signs, $"ildings, ci!ilians % % % % it was all 4"st static to him% -e 9"ic#l lost trac# of time as he contin"ed r"nning% E!ent"all , he saw his target% Eri# was fl ing a$o!e the streets% -e fired a massi!e p"lse from his own $od , and the s"rro"nding $"ildings e6ploded% ,t also created a large crater in the gro"nd% Scott leaped into the crater and wal#ed towards Eri#% 'Magneto() Eri# loo#ed at Scott% '1ell, if it isn+t Xa!ier+s pri5e p"pil,) said Eri#% 'All $ '7o"+re going to s"ffer for what o"+!e done() 'Am ,2) Eri# threw "p his arms, as tho"sands of metal o$4ects, ranging from $olts to pop cans to gar$age containers to cars $egan to circle aro"nd him in a whirlwind% Scott felt the force of all of the o$4ects fl ing impeding his mo!ement% Still, he too# another step towards Eri#% '7o" don+t #now what s"ffering is, o" imp"dent child() Scott contin"ed to wal# forward% Se!eral o$4ects $egan fl ing directl towards Scott, $"t he $lasted them awa with his laser% '7o"+re a traitor to o"r own species() e6claimed Eri#% ',+m going to create a new world for m"tant#ind % % % % too $ad o" won+t $e there to see it%) o"r lonesome%)

Scott $lasted e!en more o$4ects o"t of his wa % 1ith great diffic"lt , he contin"ed wal#ing forward% -e stared directl at Eri# as he smir#ed% Eri# fired two energ $lasts from his hands at Scott% Scott 4"mped to the side to dodge, $"t Eri# fired more $lasts, which hit the gro"nd as Scott+s feet, #noc#ing him down% '>gh() 8he press"re $"ilding #ept Scott on the gro"nd as Eri# fired another energ $last% Scott 9"ic#l fired one of his own to deflect it $efore p"shing himself off the gro"nd% 8a#ing another step forward, Scott watched as Eri# folded his arms% “Scott.” Scott stopped% -e co"ldn+t $elie!e what he was hearing% “Jean(” “Scott . . . . hear me . . . .” “Jean )o$ are you . . . .” “Scott, listen to me . . . .” More o$4ects flew towards Scott% -e $arel reacted in time to $last them% “I can hel% you defeat #agneto . . . .” “*hat(” “+o you trust me(” Scott stood still for a moment% 8ime seemed to slow% “&es.” “,hen $hen I tell you . . . . take off your 'isor.” “-ut . . . . it's too dangerous . . . .” “Please, Scott . . . . I $ill %rotect you.” Scott e6haled and contin"ed wal#ing forward% Eri# ch"c#led% -e allowed Scott to wal# "p to him "ntil the were onl a few meters apart%

'7o" co"ld $arel s"r!i!e fighting me with o"r team,) said Eri#% '-ow co"ld o" possi$l hope to defeat me alone2) “No$ ” '.eca"se, "nli#e o", Magneto,) said Scott, ',+m not alone() Scott tore off his !isor and #ept his e es open% Eri# gasped as a massi!e crimson $eam ripped its wa o"t of Scott+s e es% -owe!er, Scott felt the energ $eing directed in a wa it ne!er had $efore% After a $rief moment where it felt li#e all time had stopped, the energ $eam hit Magneto s9"are in the chest, and $lasted him do5ens of meters "ntil he crashed into a $"ilding% 8he entire $"ilding cr"m$led on top of him% Scott felt his e es close? he did not close them himself% -e then p"t his !isor $ac# on% E6haling lo"dl , he started co"ghing and fell to the gro"nd o"t of e6ha"stion% 8a#ing a few moments to $reathe, Scott p"shed himself $ac# "p% <oo#ing aro"nd, he saw the Sentinels all fall down and collapse at the same time% -e then felt a small ps chic tinge in the $ac# of his mind% 'Jean%) ;;;; Xa!ier rolled "p to the destro ed $"ilding where Eri# had fallen% -e 9"ic#l fo"nd Eri#, his $ac# against the gro"nd, collapsed amongst a pile of r"$$le% -is helmet was on the gro"nd near him% Xa!ier sighed% -e rolled "p to Eri# and placed his hand on his forehead% A small ps chic p"lse entered Eri#+s mind% ',+m sorr , old friend%) ;;;; Scott ran o"t to the $each% <oo#ing o"t at the ocean, he saw the wa!es, all seemingl mo!ing in "nison% @"nning forward, he felt each step as it imprinted in the sand% 'Jean() 1ading into the water, Scott ignored the discomfort of his "niform $ecoming drenched with

li9"id% -e p"shed forward as his feet stopped to"ching the gro"nd% Starting to swim, Scott p"lled all of his remaining energ to propel himself% 'Jean() &art of him wasn+t s"re if he had act"all felt it% 8he other part was a$sol"tel con!inced% 'Come on, Jean, gi!e me a sign( Sa something( &lease() Scott didn+t hear a response% .reathing in, Scott pl"nged "nder the water, swimming faster $elow the sea line% &"lling his head a$o!e the water, he finall saw something% S9"inting, he saw a shape floating in the water ahead of him% Staring for a few moments, he finall saw it% ,t was her hair% 'Jean() Scott started swimming as fast as he co"ld% A$o"t a min"te later, he fo"nd her, still in her "niform% -er face was to the s# , her hair soa#ed in the water% -er lim$s were o"tstretched, her e es closed% '/h m % % % % Jean,) said Scott% ',+!e got o"% ,+!e got o"%) Scott p"lled her close to him, paddling his legs to #eep himself afloat% :lipping her o!er so that she was straddling his $ac#, Scott started to swim towards shore% 'J"st sta with me,) pleaded Scott% ',+!e got o"%) -e stared at the shoreline% -e co"ld see three fig"res standing on the $each% ',+m going to get o" home, Jean,) said Scott% ', promise%) Scott contin"ed to swim% 8he feeling in the lower part of his $od started to $ecome n"m$% 8he weight of the water in his "niform strained his m"scles% '1e+re going to $e o#a ,) said Scott% 8he shoreline was closer now% 8he fig"res were more distinct% Scott closed his e es as his $reathing $ecame more la$o"red% -e #ept p"shing his m"scles, $"t he felt them start to gi!e% Conscio"sness started to lea!e him%

'-an#( -elp him() Scott $lin#ed as he desperatel tried to paddle his lim$s% -e then saw -an# entering the water and p"lling on his arm% Scott rela6ed as -an# p"lled him to the $each% Scott $reathed in as his face hit the sand% After a few seconds, Scott p"shed himself off the gro"nd and loo#ed o!er at Jean, who was ne6t to him% 'Jean() -an# was standing o!er her% '-an# % % % % is she % % % %2) 'She+s ali!e,) answered -an#% '>nconscio"s, $"t ali!e % % % % $"t Scott, she+s not $reathing%) -an# mo!ed o"t of the wa % Scott started to p"mp her chest% 'Jean % % % % wa#e "p() Jean didn+t mo!e% Scott opened her mo"th and $reathed into it $efore ret"rning to pressing against her chest% '&lease % % % %) Jean didn+t mo!e% Scott $reathed into her mo"th again% -an# winced% '*ammit, Jean % % % % wa#e "p % % % % please() Jean didn+t mo!e% Scott slammed his fist against the sand as he $egan to cr % -e then gra$$ed her head and placed it against his chest% 'Jean % % % % , was so close % % % %) .o$$ felt fro5en tears stream down his face% ',+m sorr , Jean % % % %) said Scott% Scott then heard a co"gh% E!er one+s e es lit "p% Another co"gh, followed $ a sp"tter% 'Jean() 'Scott % % % %) Scott mo!ed Jean+s head so he co"ld see her e es% 8he fl"ttered open% Scott had ne!er seen

an thing as $ea"tif"l as her e es at that moment% Scott felt a tho"sand words hit his mind, $"t he co"ldn+t $ring himself to sa an of them% Jean loo#ed into his e es, as a smile wea#l formed on her face% '-e % % % %) Scott didn+t repl % -e 4"st smiled% ',t+s o#,) said Jean% ', #now what o"+re thin#ing%) Scott la"ghed $efore placing his chee# against hers% -e too# the time to feel her $reathe against his chest% -an#, .o$$ and &iotr all smiled% :or a few moments, Scott 4"st a$sor$ed the relief he felt% :inall , he pic#ed Jean "p, one arm "nder her sho"lders, his other "nder her #nees% She pressed her head against his chest and closed her e es% '8han# o", Scott % % % %) 'Come on,) he said% ',+m going to ta#e o" home%)