Parenthood Part 5

Hank had been psychically alerted by Jean and was already in the med lab when they arrived. He wasted no time in providing Remy with an oxygen mask to aid his breathing, and proceeded to make a quick but thorough examination.

He finally turned to face an anxious Scott and Jean. "He's fine. Just smoke inhalation really, and that probably would have been a lot worse if you hadn't gotten to him so quickly."

"Hey! Gambit not a child. Don' talk over his head!" Remy protested.

"My apologies Remy!" Hank said chuckling faintly. "I can see no reason why you need to remain if you feel you can control your breathing. Otherwise you can stay and use the oxygen okay?"

Remy wasted no time in pronouncing himself fit, and got up immediately. He coughed only once, and left the medlab, Jean and Scott trailing behind.

"So Remy, you want to discuss what happened in the danger room?" Scott asked as they reached the kitchen and made themselves comfortable. Jean poured them all a long cool drink.

"I panicked," Remy muttered, almost inaudibly.

"What was that?" Scott asked.

"Gambit panicked okay. Couldn' see Jean and dere was too many targets. Didn' know why you not stop de program. Guess m'instincts took over."

"That's very likely, and in truth, partly what we were trying to achieve," Jean admitted.

"What?" Gambit exploded, "You try and kill Gambit t'see if his instincts take over?"

"Of course not Remy. It was nothing like that. I was monitoring closely and Scott was ready to kill the program at my command. We wanted to observe you in action and to see if we could observe how your instincts took over, so that you could reproduce the effects at a later date."

"Hmmm," Remy muttered, not totally mollified.

"Look, perhaps we should leave the physical training for a while, and try and concentrate on your telepathy. Practicing the mental skills ought to help with your control over your powers," Jean said.

"Don' know. Maybe I should f'get it fo' a while and den jus' try on m'own. Dat's how I learned in de first place."

"Remy, you know that won't work. We have to get this sorted out as soon as possible. You don't want another incident where you lose control do you?" Jean said knowing it would play on Remy's secret fears.

Remy sighed, knowing he'd been outmaneuvered. "Okay, when we start?"

"Well there's no time like the present, if you're feeling okay after this morning. Scott will come with us, to watch over us while we're on the astral plain okay?"

"Sure whatever."

Jean led them all outside.


It was a beautiful day. The sun was shining brightly but not too hot. A gentle breeze rustled through the trees and all around them were the sounds of life.

Jean led them to a quiet spot, in a clearing in the woods, and they all sat down.

"Now Remy. I want you to lie back. I'm going to enter your mind and I'm going to start you off with the basics okay?"

Remy nodded and lay back. He took a few deep breaths, trying to relax himself. Jean took the opportunity while he was preoccupied to gently slip into his mind. She had expected some resistance from Remy's reflexes at least, but she found surprisingly little.

As soon as she manifested herself she saw Remy approach her. His astral self looked no different from his corporeal form, except that his astral self appeared even more vulnerable and wary.

"Remy I'm going to give you a basic tour of your mind first. It'll introduce you to the basic techniques which you can practice yourself. Hold my hand. Good. Now, in your mind, and on the astral plain thought is deed. So for example, if you think about looking at your memories..."

Instantly the scenery changed and the duo were suddenly on a wide plain with long, shimmery strips flying all around them.

"Now if you want to play back a memory, you can do it by just thinking about it. Once you're replaying the memory, you can stop it, you know like a freeze frame. You can zoom in on certain sections. Basically it's an ideal place to start because you can easily play around with them, whilst improving your skills. I won't do this with you now, because your memories are private, but this is something you can practice when you're alone okay?"

Remy nodded, "Does my mind really look like dis?" he asked.

Jean thought about this for a moment, "Well partly yes and partly no. This is your mind's representation. Although that's not to say that it's made up. Every mind has the same basic qualities which you're seeing today, but it might look different. Hmmm, how do I make this simpler. Ah, I know. When you just looked at your memories we were standing on a plain weren't we. In my mind the memory is located in a closed room. The memories themselves are filed in cabinets. It's just a representation and you may find that as your mind becomes more ordered the landscape of it will change. Mow let's move on. You're going to need to build your own barriers. You imagine yourself on the outskirts of your mind."

The scene changed and they were floating in white fog on the edge of Remy's mind.

"Now remember thought is deed. That's the golden rule. You start off by imagining some building blocks. Put them together, and that's the beginning of your wall. After that it becomes faster and easier. Try it."

A look of concentration came over Remy and slowly large white blocks began to appear forming a large wall.

"Good. Now whenever you want you can come to your wall, and you can put more blocks on it, or reinforce it. You can take blocks away, or you can change the appearance and form of your barrier. Remember though that this barrier is your defense against unwanted intrusions. When the Professor and I first came into your mind we encountered a natural barrier that your reflexes had created to protect you. You might want to try and recreate that. It should come easily because it is a form you will feel comfortable with. Now I'm going to show you something important."

Jean held Remy's hand and transferred them to a large field. In the center of this field was a huge glowing white ball. It was very bright but strangely did not hurt their eyes to look at it.

"This is the source of your powers. Look closely and you can see a fine net around it. That's the temporary filter I put in so that you can control your powers to some extent, but it is limited and it won't last forever. You need to shield this ball and learn control over the full extent of your powers. I'll teach you how as we go along. But practice more than anything else is going to make the difference. A simple way to look at is that when you use your powers you tap into this ball, now most mutants do it subconsciously, but being a telepath as well, it might help you if you can consciously tap into the ball in order to control how much of it's power you can use."

"What happen when I use all de power in dere?" Remy asked.

"The ball will get smaller if you are using a lot of your power, but it will grow again after you've rested. It will never get any bigger than this and it will never disappear. This ball is a part of you."

Jean took Remy's hand again. "I'm going to transfer us to the astral plain now. If you want to do that when you're by yourself, you have to imagine leaving your body, and thought being deed..."

Remy smiled, "I get it."

The astral plain was unlike anything Remy had ever seen before. It was empty space in all directions. Below he could see three red lights laced with blue.

"What's dat?" he asked Jean.

"That's our corporeal forms. The blue means that we've got the x-factor gene. Now I'm going to teach you one of the first things the Professor taught me about defending myself on the astral plain. This form that you are in now can be changed. Watch me.

Remy watched in amazement as Jean was suddenly transformed into a fully armed warrior.

"Remember Remy, thought is deed, so you must armor yourself in a way that will bolster your mental strength. It helps to choose a form you feel most comfortable with though."

Jean suddenly looked distant for a moment and then she focused her attention back on Remy.

"Okay. I think we've had enough for today. Scott says that you're looking a little strained. Wake yourself up."

Jean disappeared before Remy and he remembered her words. Thought is deed. He imagined himself back in his body, and then waking up and... he opened his eyes slowly and blinked.

Overhead a bird glided idly through the air. His attention shifted as Jean sat up beside him and he too sat up to face Jean and Scott.

"You did very well Remy, especially for your first time. Now perhaps it might be a good idea to get some rest. You've had a pretty busy day," Jean said.

A rustling from behind had them all spinning around to see a grotesque stranger in front of them.

"And the day isn't over yet...son!" he said.

End of part 5

Part 6

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