Why We Do The Things That We Do

Why Do We Do The Things That We Do? Was the title of New Mutants Annual no. 2. Therein Cypher had a bit of a crisis of faith, which was resolved through saving the rest of the team almost single-handedly

This is set just pre-Fall Of The Mutants: the big eighties x-men crossover. It is really obvious why “just pre” is the best possible description. It contains quasi-spoilers for the New Mutants strand of the story.

Kitty looked down at the letter clutched in her hands,

“Hiya Kitty!

“Thought I’d take some time to write and catch you up on things back at Xavier’s and prove that though you’re living at the End Of The World, otherwise known as Muir Island, nobody’s forgotten you.

“I told Storm I was writing before she went off, X-men business, I’d don’t know what, but, hey, I’m just a kid, right? Ororo said to send you her love. So did everyone else. We all miss you here. Oh, and Illyana wants to know if it’s okay for her to stick posters on your side of the room. She also said that if you need anything from your room, just ask. I think Illyana really likes you.

“Mags said he would send this out in the postbag to Muir in the morning, so I’m going to keep this short. He’s been losing his temper lately, I know he just wants us to all be safe and everything, but he’s cutting me out of team practice in case I get hurt. But in the real world, we aren’t safe, the whole world’s a Danger Room. I’m part of the team but he’s not letting me pull my own weight. I can’t duck out when there’s fighting, it’s not what the X-men do, it’s not what the New Mutants do, it’s not what we do.

“He’s been snooping around at the Hellfire Club and everyone on the team’s saying that he’s gone back to the dark side of the force. Snicker But he’s okayed it with Storm and I think he’s doing it for the same reason he keeps me out of team practice, he wants to keep us safe. I know you hate it, but the Hellfire Club has a lot of heckuva (hey I sound like Sam, Kit-Kat, I so need out of here) important people, who sure could stop the Mutant Registration Bill if they wanted to. I’m not ‘sposed to be mentioning that, Erik says you’re still weak and don’t need an upset like that, but I think you should know I’m glad you’re out on Muir. From what I overheard Moira and Mags saying, we, all the New Mutants, could be out there if it even looks like it’s going through.

“You see I think I know what Mags’ thinking, he wants to keep us safe. Xavier when he handed us over to him, gave him something real to live for. Not some crackpot cause but a whole bunch of real reasons to go on. Sure we’re noisy unruly teenage reasons, but there it is. He’s put all that world-domination energy into keeping six teenagers (and one teenage alien – sorry Warlock) safe. It’s his everything. It’s his Reason. God knows what he’ll do if something does happen.

“The thing is, he doesn’t get that we have our Reason too, our thing that keeps us wanting to go on. We want to help. We want to save the world. It’s our reason for coping with radio-active acne. When I met Captain Britain, I realised that that’s what I want to do, keep people safe. The whole team was relying on me, and I came through. The only limit to what we can do is our dreams.

“Don’t tell Mags, but that’s why we’re doing this tonight. That’s why I have to be quick or the whole gang will be waiting for me. You see, we’ve found this mutant, Birdbrain, you’d really like him, and we’re going to help him. Dani’s going to Mirage up a spaceship and we’re going to go and save his friends before this nutjob scientist does whatever nasty he’s got planned. We’ll be back before morning. and Mag’s going to be sleeping off his hangover from that soiree over at the hellfire club, so he’ll just assume we’ve been staying up playing video games all night, while the cat’s away.

“I’ll write again real soon. You’ve got computer access over at Muir, right? I’ve found this little network with a perfect back door, and we can…

“Gotta run. It’s time. I’ll just put this in the mail bag and we’ll be off.

“Seeya soon, Doug”

Kitty looked down at the letter in her hands, and began to cry. She wanted to call him an idiot, she wanted it to all turn out a joke. But she knew otherwise. She’d seen the pictures on the tv screen, knew the x-men were gone forever. And that Hurt. But this, this stole her soul. It tore out her heart . They were heroes, she’d woken up to the realities of that life long ago, long before that encounter in the tunnels beneath New York, long before she’d become this, this ghost . But Doug, Doug wasn’t a hero, he was just a kid trying to do the right thing . Just a kid.. .She heard herself in her own head, just a kid, but he was the same age as her, he was dead and she, what was she, what had she become?

Unnoticed, the letter slipped through her hands like water.

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