By Seema

Disclaimer: None of these characters belong to me. No profit or infringement intended.

Author's Note: My gratitude to Liz Logan, Minisinoo, Rocky and Yahtzee for the direction and help provided along the way.


"If the radiance of a thousand suns
Were to burst at once into the sky
That would be like the splendor of the Mighty one --
I am become Death,
The shatterer of Worlds."

-- The Bhagavad Gita

**** Prologue ****

It starts in darkness and ends in light.

She remembers nothing of the dark and very little of the light. She is aware only of sensation, how each period made her feel. She remembers floating, drifting endlessly and then being lifted to the surface. There is a man, his face in shadows, who reaches out to her. He is an old friend, he tells her. The very oldest and best of friends and he has come to help her. He has come to save her.

If nothing else, she knows she must be saved. She holds her hands out and lets him take her, leading her through the snow. She feels cold, she feels exhaustion, she feels as if a million years have passed, a life continuing on without her. She follows the man, the one who calls her Phoenix. He looks familiar to her, but she cannot remember his name, and he doesn't tell her.

You are reborn, he says.

She does not remember dying.

He tells the story of a jet, of water, of the energy which consumed her. He calls her Phoenix.

You saved your friends, he tells her. You died in the most noble of ways. And in your sacrifice, now you are reborn.

She is aware he is creating a new woman, and because she knows nothing else, she allows him to do so. Every so often, she reaches out with her mind because she knows she's powerful and she thinks before her death she may have been able to communicate that way.

You saved your friends once before, he tells her. Now you must save them again.

And then this is true darkness. But she remembers this much, that this wasn't the woman she was before. Before Phoenix, she was Jean Grey. As she feels the knowledge and awareness come back in a rush, she knows she has saved herself.

When she stands in the light, she is surrounded by true friends, ones who do not call her Phoenix, ones who do not view her as a savior. She is Jean Grey again, come back into the light.

Go to Chapter One

Feedback always welcome.

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