The Moebius Arc
This story arc is a melange of a number of ideas, intersecting with one another. Unlike most of my ideas, it lends itself to many small vignettes, which seems to play to my strengths lately-- I conceive of grand epics but have time only to write tiny short shorts.
Pieces that went into this include the Kill Your Most Hated Character challenge (I'll actually kill off two of them), my own desire to resurrect Joseph, the baby Stryfe that Persephone and Diamonde have inflicted on me, my desire to write a Cable story for Alicia as repayment for all the great stories with Magneto she's written, Romeo and Juliet as platonic best friends of the same sex, Matt Nute's Do A Cliche Right challenge, and my autobiography of the last two years.
The autobiographical subseries, Roman A Clef, deserves some notes of its own. There is a major challenge when trying to write autobiographical fanfic. Firstly, you have to pick a self-representation that really fits. Some people use self-insertions but a self-insertion character would not have worked at all. I needed an existing character and I needed her to be involved with an existing character and the tiniest bit of thought about what in my real life I was trying to represent made it obvious who I should choose. However, the people I chose may be functioning as representations of me and other real people, but they are also themselves. So there are things they do and say that are outgrowths of what was really happening at the time, and there are other things that come because of who the characters are. For example, and just to be absolutely clear on the subject, Kate Pryde's angst over not being able to be a good mother in "Hole In The Bay" because of what a bad one her own was is a mapping of real feelings I had onto Kitty's history. In reality my mother was excellent and my angst was fearing I could never match up.
Secondly, of course, you run a risk with autobiography in that people think you're talking about how you feel now. Just to be clear, 4 AM refers to events of July 1999, This Is The Way It Ends refers to August 1999, and Hole In The Bay refers to May 2000. There may be further stories in the series if I feel that Kate Pryde's life continues to be a good mapping to mine, but I'd certainly need more distance in time from things actually happening. There's a reason none of these were written within 6 months of the events that triggered them.
In chronological order:
Moebius Strip: The story that gives the arc its name, though I'm not sure how appropriate that is. After the fall of the Twelve and Apocalypse's takeover of Scott Summers' body causes the destruction of everything, Cable decides to create a new timeline to live in, and journeys back to the future to interfere with the creation of Stryfe in a unique way.
To Gain The World: Post-Magneto War. Magneto has created a mutant homeland, and Mystique has become its spymaster. She has fulfilled every personal and political ambition she had, all because her daughter is dead. This was written, in part, to fulfill my Kill Your Most Hated Character challenge, and no, it's not Rogue, although she is established in this story to be dead.
Roman A Clef 1: 4 AM: Kitty Pryde (who has changed her name to Kate) considers the circumstances that led her to become a Genoshan councillor, and Magneto's lover, and how she and the X-Men feel about each other.
As mentioned, this is autobiographical, and was born in July 1999. I was in a situation where I felt like the community I belonged to, my friends and the people I cared about, had all turned on me because I had fallen in love with a man who was going through an unpleasant divorce with a member of the community, and although he had thought of himself as part of the community too, for various reasons it seemed as if everyone had taken her side and demonized him. In the long run, it all worked out and it turned out that things were never as bad as I thought they were. But this story was conceived the day after the night that I stayed up until 4 AM talking the man I loved down from a virtual ledge because of something the community seemed to have done that night.
Roman A Clef 2: This Is The Way It Ends: Kate Pryde and Wolverine have one last bitter conversation before ending their friendship forever.
I actually thought of this story in Dec. 2000, only a month or so before writing it, based on Kielle's "Shattered" challenge. The idea of the challenge was to take two friends and make them hate each other. I'm not sure quite how well this fits. But after thinking of it, I realized I've wanted to write this story since August 1999.
In story terms, while I tried to feel enough sympathy for Wolverine to write his part without seeming one-sided, actually I have come to despise how Marvel handles his attitude toward Magneto-- he whines about how Magneto ripped his adamantium out, without Marvel or Wolverine acknowledging that Magneto did so when he was being telepathically assaulted by his worst memories by the Professor and Jean and Wolverine had just gutted him and it was the second time Wolverine had done so, and the first time, Magneto did nothing but rant about what he could do in retaliation, then run away without doing any of it. The Wolverine that I enjoyed as a teen was a man who took total responsibility for his own actions. His honor wouldn't have allowed him to whine about how someone he tried to kill hurt him; he'd have recognized Magnus as a formidable enemy and that would be that, none of this slavering hatred. Of course, what Magneto did to Wolverine shattered him almost as badly as being given the adamantium in the first place, and Logan's only human, but it's not a characterization I like.
In real world terms, the man who used to be my fiance, who dumped me and then still remained in my life as my best friend for two years, turned on me and became a complete ass in May-August 1999 because he didn't like my boyfriend. And, in the end, physically threatened him over something stupid, two weeks before I was to move out and the day after I'd given him a birthday present and I thought we'd reconciled our differences and would remain friends.
You do not threaten anyone I love and hope to retain my friendship. And he knew this. An attack on someone I loved was an attack on me, and he knew this. Two weeks before I was to move out, after we had supposedly reconciled our differences and would remain friends. And he knew this.
My primary consolation is that his next two roommates left him under acrimonious circumstances and that, when I left, he was having problems with his girlfriend because he is a slut and she, unlike me, wasn't willing to put up with it.
Why yes, I keep grudges. Why do you ask? :-)
It was very helpful for the purposes of this story that where my self-identification character in X-Men had always been Kitty-- brown-haired, slightly built computer nerd teen genius who gets along better with adults than kids her age? No, I couldn't identify, could I-- his had always been Wolverine. So the story became obvious.
Roman A Clef 3: Hole In The Bay: The pressures of motherhood drive Kate to consider suicide.
This really happened and actually is probably closer to a real event than anything else in the story. My reasons included feeling like I was being swallowed alive by the role of mother, without getting help from anyone, but actually the real reason I nearly killed myself was that I was having my period and I was on the wrong birth control pills. It is very scary to think that we can be so governed by the chemicals in our lives. In Kate's case, I collapsed circumstances from my depression in November and December 1999 with my suicide attempt in May 2000 to make it more believable, since my attempt in May came out of nowhere and occurred at a time when I thought I was over the depression.
It is a remarkable coincidence that both Baltimore and the capital of Genosha are built on bays.
Other stories and concepts planned for this arc:
Joseph story: In which Joseph attempts to come to terms with Rogue's death and his role in it, and decides that the best thing he can do is make sure her sacrifice was not in vain by going to Genosha to try to keep Magneto under control.
Nightcrawler and Kate story: in which Joseph asks the X-Men to come to Genosha as friends of Kate's to help her through her horrific first pregnancy, and Nightcrawler does, in part to reconcile with Kate and in part to try to connect with his mother in the wake of Rogue's death. Colossus may be in this too, or maybe a future one.
Pietro story 1: In which Ian Pryde is born, and Pietro is displaced as Magneto's son, and he finds he cares a hell of a lot more than he thought he would.
Some political jazz in which Joseph, Pietro and Magneto form an unstable triad of alliance and repulsion, where Pietro and Magneto are at opposite poles and Joseph takes either side depending on circumstance. Also includes Magneto's political maneuvering with the Inhumans to get partial custody of Luna for Pietro, and how very grateful Pietro is not.
Some story where Ororo and Kate come to terms.
Magneto finally tells Magda (who's still dead) that she's ruined his life for long enough, he's pissed off, and he rejects her memory and what she has done to him.
Pietro's brilliant idea to form a superhero team that protects humans in Genosha, consisting of the Great Leader's son, his clone, his wife and his protege Polaris. It's all about sending a message that Genosha Cares About Its Humans, even if Magneto really doesn't.
Sequel to Hole in the Bay: Mystique drags Kate off to therapy, Amelia chews Magneto a new one.
Some other Pietro story: Pietro tells Magneto that he is a terrible father and he's going to lose Ian and Atarah just as he lost Pietro and Wanda. Magneto thinks Pietro is rewriting history and is mostly full of it.
She likes second-banana men. Joseph and Lorna up in a tree, k-i-s-s-i-n-g.
Amelia and Mystique? Why does Amelia set off my gaydar so hard when her only canon relationship is with a man?
Limbo: Ian, Kate and Atarah all end up skipping about three years, the last several months of which Ian spends with Chris Summers and they become best buds while fighting off Limbo monsters, the ghost of Chris's mom who is really Chris's clone's mom but Chris doesn't know that, and other assorted. Why yes, Mr. Summers, your son is best friends with Magneto's son. Whattya mean he's grounded till he's twenty?
Who is the guy who lives in Chris's head anyway, and why does he have all these nasty bitter comments to make? His fighting skill was sure helpful in Limbo though...
Ian manifests his powers. They involve disintegrating pretty much everything. This is Not Good.
Atarah manifests her powers. They involve controlling computers. This is A Lot Better.
Magneto needs another story or two. He's supposed to be my guy, and I'm stuck doing this Pruitt/Nicieza thing of having it be about everyone who knows him, and not him.
Cable needs a story or two. So does X-Force. Is Chris happy with the fact that Sam Guthrie was taught that his team needs to watch Chris like a hawk and protect him in spite of himself? I bet he's not...