Born to Darkness
Act I: Fathers

By Adrianna Scaletti and Jeff O.



Disclaimer: Marvel’s. You know the deal. Now read. ;)

A child. A child of _my own_. MY child. It was too beautiful to believe. I had to be dreaming... It was too perfect, too... Too pure. I had to be dreaming... I had to... I was.

She had the same gorgeous eyes as her “mother”, the same defiant chin, the same delicate hands... She was just like my Rebecca, in that. She had my hair, but in her it was like black silk. And my pale, unnatural, demonic skin- -- My god, how she managed to made even that cursed mark of my blood look... beautiful! Like a rose... or a lily. I called her like that... Lily. Victorian taste? Probably. My white lily.

A clone? Not really. She was a mix, a ‘what if’ of what Rebecca had been, and what remained of myself, of the original Nathaniel Essex. She was a part of me that I wanted to keep as... Could the word be ‘natural’? Yes, I wanted to keep her as natural, as unpolluted, as untouched by the devil’s hands as I could. No, I do not know what possessed me to try in the first place. Call it a personal experiment, if it helps you understand it. A twisted way to challenge myself, and what ...the Monster left of my humanity. But on second thought, it was only logical. It was a way to recreate my biggest ‘human’ loss... It was the first thing that could be completely mine... in the longest time. In decades. In almost a century. So yes, I am selfish. I wanted her. As a beacon in my world of darkness, as a reminder of what my wife had been. She will be my anchor to reality, the living proof that I was once a man. In this century, at least. See, I didn’t make her immortal, I didn’t manipulate her DNA... just made the necessary steps to prevent her to suffer the same fate as her two failed brothers before. I wanted for her to be _normal_.

Unlikely? Maybe. Just a trip outside the monster I have willingly changed myself into. Just for a minute. No regrets, only a glimpse of a different world, even if I am rather pleased of the one I have chosen. The experiment was worth, I think, in the final count. I like her. I even love her.

Why did she get away? I still do not understand it completely. I mean, of course I am fully aware that she’s an independent woman now, but still... I was not that bad of a father those brief fourteen years... And yes, she called me ‘Father’. I WAS her father, and I like to think I was at least a little succesful in the task, thank you.

Is she well? I still worry, sometimes. Even if after Madripoor, nothing could come as a surprise anymore... Of course she is well. The sensor continues to beep softly at my right, a blue dot in a digital world map. She is fine. A most peculiar occurrence has developed, of late. Almost every time I check on her location these days, the irony hits me like it was the first time. Xavier’s mansion. Hah. Is that not precious? An Essex inside the Summers’ stronghold. A wolf’s puppy next to the sheep. Next to Him, the other result of some of my manipulations... My masterpiece, you could call him. Or ‘Nathaniel Jr.’, if I am in a more gleeful mood. Sometimes I wonder...

As always, I have to contain the urge to pick up the communications system and give them the surprise of their lifetime... And as always, I figured I would have time for that later... I have a couple of other experiments waiting...

I pat softly the picture upon the table. She will be fine.




“Penny for your thoughts, love.”

“Uh... I... Nothing really, just-“

“You and him at it again?”


When she gives me that patented ‘You worry too much, honey’ look, I just crumble. I mean, could *you* resist the most beautiful red-headed in the world, telling you to stop brooding, with that half-smile...? I knew it. You couldn’t. Still, as any husband would do, I can _try_ ...

“We’re not ‘at it’...!”

Okay, so that seemed more like a whimper than anything, but still... ...Could anyone blame me for worrying about my son? ...Even if he’s taller and _older_ than me now...? And yes, I recognize that probably he could take care of himself in almost every situation, but still... I can’t say I’m thrilled about some of the choices he’s made, even if I admit they were probably the only logical ones at the time... And still...

Ok, this is going to sound unfair and totally out of place: *why* can’t he tell me the real name of his partner? Told you it was going to sound unfair... You can add ‘paranoid’ to the list. I don’t care. Does he know at all? ...Well, he HAS to, right? They know each other for what- fifteen years?

God. I just suddenly realized that that means he’s been around here _that_ long and I... And I haven’t... Couln’t...

I’m perfectly aware that I don’t always ask that kind of thing out of everyone just to trust them -Rogue being the living proof of that- but... this is different! This is my son we’re speaking about. MY son. With more enemies, inherited or self-acquired than I can even count... We Summerses are easy that way.

I just want to know... I just want to be sure... He trusts her, but still... I don’t know anymore. ...WHY can’t he just tell me? Yep, I’m ‘at it’ again...

And still... She has this strange vibration... Reminds me of someone... Of a distant past...?


She called yesterday. She has been having those dreams again... Blasted inefficient self-decoding gene-... I am very pleased that she is calling on a regular basis again. When she does not do it, it could only mean that she’s very _very_ angry at me, which somehow disturbs me greatly. But again, it is a pleasant surprise when *anything* reaches me... when I can actually _feel_ myself reacting to what surrounds me.

Like that time after the... ‘incident’ at the gravestone, with Stryfe and Cable. I thought she will never speak to me again, and I was greatly upset with her myself for not having told me about just how deep was their involvement... On a strictly scientific basis, there has something to be said about how a parent regards his little girl’s male friends... That alone was disturbing enough of a discovery...

Again, every minute is a new discovery, a new experiment, a new revelation. An absolute success, in the final count, that unfolds worlds of new possibilities. For example, what if she and he... But I am getting way ahead of the time, and sadly, I cannot afford to waste _that_ anymore.

Now, about those new variations of the Legacy...

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