Ties Never Binding, part 1

Disclaimer: All Marvel characters are (duh!) Marvel's. Anyone else is legally mine. Ha.

Author's Note: All right, this'll be a bit different then First Contact; the major difference being that on occasion the scene will shift to other characters and be told in third person out of necessity. Henceforth, the _*_ sign will now represent a change of scene and/or perspective. Not only will this present a wider view of the story, it's also so gosh darn fun I couldn't resist! But enough of this empty prattle, on to the story!


Roma, the Omniversal Guardian, sat in the throne room in Otherworld, gazed into her scrying globe and contemplated what it showed. Finally, she said, "Saturnyne, what is the meaning of this?"

Opal Luna Saturnyne, the Omniversal Mastrex, appeared instantly, her long, white hair slightly disarrayed and worry written on her face. "There is a disturbance in the continuum," she told Roma. "A being from earth 616 is disrupting the sidereal strings. She is fighting the natural process, m'lady."

Roma turned to her scrying globe briefly and then said, "And how is she doing this?"

"She has Otherworld blood, m'lady. Diluted though it is, it allows her to resist the barriers between the planes of awareness."

"Otherworld blood..." Roma murmured thoughtfully. "All beings of Otherworld are sworn to protect their descendants in times of need. This does not concern me, of course, but we cannot have the child tearing the sidereal strings any further. I shall bring her here so we may discuss her intentions and perhaps solve both our problems." The Omniversal Guardian gestured.

Welcome Back

There was something wrong. I could feel it. I couldn't place it, but I KNEW there was something severely wrong. So I struggled against the invisible barriers keeping me in, and I thrashed and kicked and fought, but it didn't accomplish much. I was moving a little, but slowly, and it felt like swimming through molasses. I was aware that I wasn't exactly ME anymore, but I still had my old determination and stubbornness, and I wasn't about to stop. It hurt, too, like I was being torn apart, but I kept pushing. If I'd had teeth I would have been gritting them in pain and frustration, but I pushed as hard and furiously as I could, praying that something would give soon.

And just my luck, something did.

I was suddenly in a huge, luxuriously decorated chamber facing two women. No, facing isn't the right word. I was kind of... spread out. I was over, under, beside and around the two women simultaneously. I wasn't physical or mental, I just WAS.

"Why are you disrupting the sidereal strings?" the younger woman with black hair inquired, her pure white robe flittering slightly as if in a breeze.

:I'm... looking... for someone...: I sent haltingly, not accustomed to talking with neither mouth nor mind. :They... weren't... there.... and they... should... have been. I was... worried.:

"Saturnyne, have there been any other disturbances lately?" the younger woman asked her companion.

"A minor one," Saturnyne agreed, smoothing out her jeweled cloak. "It ended quickly, though, so I didn't think it was worth worrying about."

The woman considered for a moment. "If we were to put her back into the cross-time streams she would continue to disrupt them," she said. "I could simply erase her memory, but that is not the way we treat those of our own bloodline. Therefor, I shall remedy both our concerns and send her back to the place she desires. That would cause less of a fuss then letting her battle through the realms of existence, don't you agree?"

"Yes, m'lady Roma, but... is that wise?"

"We all must make sacrifices, Saturnyne. This decision is for the greater good." Roma gestured and, in a flare of arcane light, I found myself back on Muir Island.

Kind of.

It seemed to be several days after I had left it, though it was morning now as well. Sean was standing on the cliff overlooking the ocean, sipping a cup of coffee. He still had a few light bandages on, but seemed to be feeling all right. Physically, anyway. Emotionally he was a wreck, which even a non-psi could have seen. I wanted to talk to him, but I was having a little trouble focusing. I was still in that state of just... being. I was everywhere and no where, all at once. I wasn't really seeing things so much as sensing them, like feeling my surroundings and smelling sounds... it was strange. I concentrated on cohering myself, but the process was agonizingly slow.


Sean turned around to see who it was, putting aside his coffee. "Aye, lad?" he said. Everett was standing behind Sean, still in his nightclothes.

"Are you all right?" Everett inquired.

"Nae, I'm not," Sean said with a sigh, swishing the coffee around in his cup absently. "I let her down, Everett."

I wanted to tell him that he hadn't let me down, but I couldn't talk--I didn't even have a mouth. Everett, however, beat me to it anyway.

"No you didn't, sir," he told Sean. "There's nothing you could have done, you know that."

"But I FEEL like I should've done SOMETHING," Sean told him. "We took her in, and then we couldna save her when she needed us the most."

"That's not true, Mr. Cassidy," Everett said. "There's nothing anyone could have done. She--" suddenly Everett cut off.

"Everett?" Sean said. "What is it?"

"I can sense someone..." he said at last. "I'm getting into synch with someone nearby, but I can't tell who it is."

"Could it be one o' the other students?" Sean inquired.

"I don't think so," Everett replied. "It's so hard to hold it... it's like it keeps blinking in and out of existence."

"I think we should get ye inside, lad," Sean said gently, walking Everett back to the main building. I followed as well as I was able, shifting my presence after them. Everett's aura continued to flicker on and off as I continued my attempt to pull myself together, but it was a strain. I followed the two down the hallways of Muir and into the makeshift quarters they had been using for the past few weeks. As the two entered the kitchen I tried to talk with them.

:Ev? Mr. Cassidy? Anyone? Can anyone hear me?: I sent.

My answer was the two other psi-sensitives on the island blinking in surprise. I still wasn't able to use words, but I could tell they were definitely feeling something. I also woke up Meggan, who was sleeping nearby. She walked drowsily into the room and blinked.

"Who's there?" she said.

"Meggan?" Sean said, looking up. "Who're ye talkin' to, lass?"

"I don't know," she admitted. "But I know there's someone else in here."

"You can feel it too?" Everett asked her.

"And I can see it," Meggan nodded.

"What do ye see?" Sean inquired, curious.

"A light," Meggan said. "It's... hard to describe. It's everywhere, all around us. It's kind of blue and white, and the patterns... it's almost like it's alive."

What was she saying? Could she see me? I concentrated harder.

"I think that might be what I'm synching with," Everett said. "It feels almost... familiar."

About then Monet and Jonothon came in, both looking confused.

"Who was calling us?" Monet asked.

:And what's that light?: Jonothon inquired, looking around.

"Acch, am I the ONLY one who canna see it?" Sean frowned.

"Nae, ye're not," Moira said as she walked in, holding a little device that was flashing crazily. I felt a little irritated. I had wanted some attention, but this was getting ridiculous. What WAS this, a convention?

"What's that?" Everett inquired.

"A scanner tha' registers the amount o' psionic energy in the air," Moira replied. "I was workin' in the Lab when it began ta blink like mad. I thought it was a malfunction, but apparently it's not if ye four can sense it."

"What's it saying?" Meggan asked as she peered at the little blinking screen.

"Well, that's Jonothon, that's Monet, an' the haze around them is what's makin' the readin's go off the chart," she told her.

Meanwhile, I was focusing on trying to make contact other then being a reading on a screen or on the edge of a sixth sense. I figured my two most likely possibilities were Everett or Jonothon. Maybe if I could get Everett to synch with me he would figure out who I was, and Jonothon... well, I rather doubted he was a more powerful psi then Monet, but since he was composed almost entirely of psionic energy I felt a strange connection to him, possibly because, according to Moira's little psionic detector thingie, I currently seemed to be composed entirely of psionic energy myself. I was still trying to gather myself up, and getting a little better at it, but I was having no luck in talking to them. Finally I tried something new and concentrated on touching just Jonothon's mind. I gathered around him and tried to send directly to him.

:JONO! YO, CHAMBER!: I sent as hard as I could. Jonothon looked around, startled. I had gotten his attention.

:Y'know, I coulda sworn I just heard my name,: he sent to the others in confusion. :No, more like FELT it. Who WAS that?:

Well, that was SOME progress...

"Accordin' tae these readings, the psychic anomaly is focusin' around ye," Moira told him. "Could it be tryin' tae make contact?"

I wished I had a mouth so I could sigh. Of COURSE I was trying to make contact! Geez, this WASN'T going to be easy.

"I'm starting to feel something," Meggan said, reaching a hand out towards my general direction. "Anxiety, annoyance, and some relief." She looked back at Moira and said, "It's definitely alive."

:I think it was trying to talk to me,: Jonothon sent. Hmph. That made me sound like Lassie. 'What is it girl? You're standing right next to us but we can't even hear you?' Sheesh!

:All right, let me try this again,: I muttered to myself. :JONOTHON! EVERETT! MONET! He-LLOOO!:

"You're right, I DID feel something that time," Everett said. I let out a small, exasperated thought and decided to quit with the communication and focus on pulling myself together. I gathered myself into a small space and tried to condense my energy into the shape of my body.

"It's gathering over there," Meggan said, pointing to the space I was occupying.

"We c'n see that, lass," Sean told her.

"So that light..?" Everett began.

"Is what you've been synching with," Monet nodded. "Strange, I can't tell what it is."

:Is it just me, or does it look like it's takin' shape?: Jonothon inquired.

"Aye, it DOES seem ta be solidifying into somethin'," Moira agreed. "An' the cloud of psionic energy is begginin' ta condense."

Well, how nice for me. This whole ordeal was tiring me rapidly, and I was getting a little irritable, but it WAS paying off. My awareness was focusing as my head began to take shape somewhat, letting me see things as opposed to feeling them. I saw my hand beginning to form and felt some feeling return as my body began to gain some semblance of solidity. Soon my outline became more then simply a human-shaped blur and more sharply defined. I could sense the amazement of all the others gathered in the room as they watched me taking shape, and Moira taking quick peeks at the psionic detector. From her expression I guessed the readings must have been through the roof, but who was keeping track? I was aware that, as I grew more solid, I could feel my fatigue more acutely, and just as I was almost finished I collapsed, falling onto my newly formed knees, my faintly glowing, half-solid hair tumbling around my face.

"Hi, guys," I smiled weakly, lifting my head as much as I was able, "Miss me much?"

"Her hair... her voice..?!" Everett gasped.

"Saints preserve us, it CANNA be..." Sean whispered. "DAWN?!"

"The one and only," I smiled. "It's good to be back, guys." I paused and blushed a little as I noticed a rather awkward detail I hadn't thought about when I had cohered myself. "Um, I'm not try

:It's her all right,: Jonothon commented, giving me the distinct impression he was smiling at me. My blush grew and I began to discorperate in embarrassment, but pulled myself together. Moira strode up and removed her lab coat, saying, "Occh, ye wee bampot, ye sure do know how ta spoil the moment, don't ye? Cover yeself up, lass, a'fore these boys get any ideas." I blushed again and put her coat on as several snickers escaped the others. I got off the floor and stood up, wobbling a little. "Whew," I said, pushing the hair out of my face, "Being dead is tiring."

"We missed you, Dawn," Everett told me. "Why'd it take you so long to come back?"

"*I* am more interested on how you managed it," Monet said. "You should not have been able to do that."

"I know," I nodded. "Actually, it wasn't me, it was a woman named... Roma, I think. She said something about my bloodlines..?"

"Roma?" Meggan said. "The Omniversal Guardian?"

"You know her?" I asked, amazed.

"Yes, but not very well. She guards the Omniverse while Saturnyne manages it." Her nose wrinkled in distaste; evidently she didn't like Saturnyne very much. "She used to help Brian sometimes. Still, she must've thought you were special to bring you back to life."

I shrugged. "I don't know why ANYONE would think I'm special," I told her.

"What about Sinister and the Askani?" Everett reminded me.

"Oh. Well, besides them."

"Actually, now that ye mention it, I DID find a strange anomaly in yuir DNA," Moira said thoughtfully. "Come ta think of it, Brian has the same anomaly in his. Could the two be related?"

"Oh, didn't he tell you?" Meggan said. "Brian's father was from Otherworld. Both he and Betsy and probably Jamie too have Otherworld blood. That's why he got to be Captain Britain."

I snapped my fingers. "THAT'S what she meant about my bloodlines," I said. "She said that wasn't they way they treated their own. I must have Otherworld blood." Then I did a mental double take. "WHAT? Did I just say what I THOUGHT I said?"

:Prob'bly,: Jonothon sent. I shot him a half annoyed, half amused glance. He shrugged innocently and whistled a tune mentally. I let out an exasperated sigh and shrugged myself.

And THAT was when Jubilee made her entrance. "Hey, guys, what's going on in he--" she cut off, a look of stark amazement on her face when she saw me. She was still in her nightclothes as well, evidently having been intending to have breakfast instead of walking in on the sight of a resurrection.

"Um, hi Jubes," I said, a little awkwardly.

"Uh, hi," she replied, her eyes seemingly in danger of popping out of her head. "Sean," she said slowly, "PLEASE tell me you're seeing this too."

"Aye, she's real," Sean assured her. "Acch, I admit 'tis hard t' believe..."

"You're telling ME," I said. "But I came back for a reason."

"He's missing, isn't he?" Monet spoke up quietly.

"Yeah, he is," I replied. "How did you..?"

"Don't ask," she said. I sighed.

"Who's missing?" Moira said.

"Glenn," I told her, sitting in a chair and cradling my chin in my hand. "I looked, believe me, I looked, but I just couldn't find him ANYWHERE. He wasn't there to meet me when I died, either, it was just Mom, Dad, and Will. I asked them where he was, but they said he'd left before I came." I shook my head. "Time's kind of funny there, so they couldn't be sure how long ago it was, and that could be why I came back a few days after I left."

"What about yuir rapport?" Sean inquired.

"Broken when D'Spayre killed him," I said.

"Have you tried your medium power yet?" Everett offered.

"Give me a second." I concentrated, trying to find Glenn with both my medium power and the remnants of our rapport. I came up with nothing on both counts. "Hey... my power's still dead!" I exclaimed, alarmed. "I... I kinda thought it would come back after Roma sent me here."

"We should run some tests on ye ta see what ye can and canna do," Moira told me. "I'm also quite curious aboot how ye're holdin' yeself together. I canna find a trace o' anythin' chemical in the air, an' nothin' on the infra red scan either. If I didna have this psionic scanner or couldna see ye wi' me own two eyes I wouldna think anythin' was there. Are ye at all hungry?"

"Not really," I replied. "Just a little tired is all."

"Good. I'd like ta get to those tests immediately, if ye dinna mind. I'll find Rahne and somethin' for ye ta wear, too, and then we'll get down to it." Moira disappeared down the hall, leaving me with the others.

"Um, anything happen while I was away?" I asked.

"Dr. MacTaggert found a substitute for Verney's hunger," Monet told me. "She used DNA samples from random mutants to put together a formula that duplicates the substance he extracts from other mutants. He hasn't been feeling very well, though."

"Withdrawal from possession isn't very easy," I nodded. "It's kind of like having certain parts of your body go numb for a long time and then having to use them again all of a sudden, except it's your brain instead. It was hard for me, and I'd only been possessed for about a day. It must be a lot harder for Verney." I hadn't even really SEEN her brother for almost a month. In fact, I hadn't even seen him after the fight with D'Spayre. I began to wonder if I had been deliberately avoiding him. Yes, he WAS the guy who had sucked a bit of genetic marrow out of me, enslaved my mind, and sent me after the rest of my teammates, but he had been enslaved himself. My brain knew this, but emotionally I retained a bit of hostility towards him. Given the circumstances, this was perfectly understandable, but I didn't WANT to hate the guy. I KNEW it wasn't his fault, and I felt bad about feeling angry at him. I decided to talk to him later to put my mind at ease.

Moira returned carrying something black and a mug of coffee, Rahne trailing behind her. "Here," she said, handing me the black object, "Put this on an' get yeself down to the Med Lab. We'll be waitin fer ye." She took a swig of the coffee and headed back towards the Med Lab, Rahne still in tow.

"I'll be seeing you guys later," I said. "I'm going to put this... um, whatever this is on."

"I'll go tell the others," Jubilee volunteered immediately as she skipped off down the corridors. The last I saw of her was as she went outside to find Paige. I smiled and went to the bathroom to change. Upon getting a closer look at the thing Moira had given me I almost had second thoughts. It was black and kind of spandex-like, but it had little wires running through the cloth. Well, probably more convenient then attaching tubes and monitoring devices. I put Moira's lab coat on over it and went down to the Med Lab, where she and Rahne were waiting.

"Um, Dr. MacTaggert, do you have anything less... this?" I asked her. "I mean, I know the mobility deal, but this is tighter then my skin!"

"Occh, no' even back an hour an' already complainin'," Moira smiled. "Lass, this is a specially designed suit tha' let's me monitor heartbeat, energy output, an' brain waves along wi' aboot half a dozen other things that I might get around tellin' ye aboot later. Ye will keep it on, or I will have yuir hide for a doormat. Is that clear?"

"Yes, ma'am," I said obediently.

"Good." Moira turned to some monitors and said, "All right, I'd like ye ta reach as far as ye can wi' yuir telepathy."

"Okay, I can do that," I said amiably. I reached out with my mind in a full circle, touching North America, Europe, and parts of Africa. I managed to keep it so I just touched a few minds on the outer fringe of my range, which kept me from being overwhelmed by other people's thoughts.

"Incredible!" Moira murmured. "Yuir range is almost as great as Charles Xavier's, an' the amount o' psi energy bein' broadcast is fantastic! Ye've retained the power Legacy gave ye, makin' ye and Alpha Level 1 psion."

"So... maybe Legacy doesn't BOOST your powers, it just unlocks potential?" I offered. "And maybe once it's unlocked, it stays that way?"

Moira considered that. "'Tis an interesting theory, an' well worth lookin' into," she agreed. "But fer now, let's jus' concentrate on seein' what ye can do. Now, try an' use yuir medium power."

I tried, but came up with nothing. I pushed harder, making the ultimate attempt, trying to breach the wall between states of existence. It had been no problem before, but now it seemed like an impossible barrier. I shrugged and said, "Nothing."

"Lady Moira, the readings..!" Rahne gasped, looking at a monitor.

"Occh, they're astronomical!" Moira agreed.

"Meaning..?" I said.

"Meaning, the power's still there, but ye canna get to it," Moira said. "It appears ye've effectively destroyed the psychic keys that allow ye ta use it."

"Great," I sighed. "My prime defense, gone. Will it ever heal?"

"Doubtful," Moira said. "The keys would ha' ta be completely reconstructed, and ta do that would take enormous power. The odds o' that happenin' are verra slim."

I sighed again. "No kidding," I said. "Well, anything else?"

"What aboot yuir wings? Can ye still use them?"

"I dunno, they were pretty torn up..." still, I tried all the same. To my surprise, I felt absolutely no pain when I extended them. I fluttered them a bit and found them whole again, with no pain whatsoever. "What happened?" I asked, amazed. "When I died, they were shredded. You said I'd never fly again, but now..."

"Just as I thought," Moira nodded. "I think I have enough information to present my theory. This is no' yuir body, 'tis yuir mind given substance. Those wounds were physical, they didna affect yuir mind. The reason ye arrived on the cliff outside instead o' inside thecomplex is because that is where ye died. No' only that, but ye released all o' yuir psionic energy there. Ye locked on to tha' energy and used it to make yeself visible."

"So basically I'm-aaaaaaahhhhhh..." That was the last thing I said before the world turned upside down.

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