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...but before we begin, a brief X-planation...

I have been a fan of Marvel's Multiple Mutants ever since puberty hit me smack in the face and made me FEEL like a mutant waaaaay back in (gasp! shudder! ack!) 1975. I joined the X-Men about the same time as Storm, Colossus, Nightcrawler and (my personal favorite) Wolverine. I stayed with them until around the time the Shi-ar war got out of hand and Chris Claremont did his own version of ALIEN with the Brood. Around that time I lost touch with many of my friends, real and four-color, because of my father's death and a prolonged estrangement from my family.

I kept in sporadic touch with the companions of my troubled teens up until the time the X-Men television series hit the airwaves in 1992. I was pleasantly surprised by the artwork and the storyline--this was not JUST a show for kids (though certainly oriented in that direction, especially when it starts preaching about "racial harmony" and such. But it *is* an important message, and anyway doesn't the comic-book Professor X get just as heavy-handed at times?).

I spent most of the past year or so playing catch-up--buying back issues, reading articles, talking to other fans. In July 1993, our gaming group entered the world of multiple mutants with an X-Men roleplaying game conceived and run by yours truly, based on the GURPS system (all hail the great Steverino...oh my gosh my golly, hubba-bubba-Jackson. Fnord). Suddenly we were *living* with a claw-popping Canadian, a card-throwing Cajun, a Southern belle roughhouser, a blue furry physicist, *two* purple-haired telepathic place-kickers, a teen-aged fireworks factory, a redhead who can lift a truck by just thinking about it, and a drop-dead-gorgeous hunk who shoots crimson bolts from his eyes and is affectionately known around the house as "Blinky". Each person threw in an original character of his or her own, I put them up against some old and new menaces, and--voila! Instant chaos.

A few special notes here:

GALATEA MALLOY appears courtesy of her creator, Barbara O'Quinn.
PIXIE, a/k/a Vanessa Covington-Smythe, appears courtesy of her creator, Kristyn Perkins.
ANARCHY, a/k/a Anarchy Dude, appears courtesy of his creator, Mark Brinkman.
MIRROR, a/k/a Miryoko Kagami, is mine.

The story in this volume takes place sometime around the time of UNCANNY #303, but *before* X-MEN #25/WOLVERINE #75 (i.e., before everything goes BOOM, before Magneto loses his mind, before Wolvie loses his adamantium, etc.) because the games my friends and I played picked up around that point and rather than trying to run concurrently with the comic book storyline (which would have given the GM, or God: Me, a terminal screaming headache), we decided to run off on our own tangent, something like the television series has done, but in a wholly new direction. We have incorporated isolated incidents both from the television series and from the comics, but primarily we've gone our own way. Call the results a "what-if" scenario, call it the road not followed, call it yet another alternate future...heck, call it kitty box liner if you want. A lot of the things that happened in this story were *lived*, through our characters, and I for one sincerely hope you get as much pleasure out of reading this work as we did experiencing it. Although the words you will read were put to paper by yours truly, the story itself was very much a collective effort and edited only slightly for mass consumption. If you liked it, please let us know. If not, well, let us know that too and I'll work harder on my translation of events next time around.

Well, of course you knew there was going to be a Volume II, didn't you?

Peace.

Margaret O'Quinn
November 22, 1997

PLEASE NOTE: Although the language and content of this story is at roughly an equivalent with the comic books, there are some adult situations and graphic descriptions of violence and illness which may disturb or confuse very young children. Parental discretion is advised. If your 'rents wouldn't want you to see a PG-13 movie by yourself, please go no further. By clicking on any of the links below, you accept responsibility for viewing the content accessed thereby.

WHEW! Now, with the CYA stuff out of the way...

Discovery: Prologue
Discovery: Part One
Discovery: Part Two
Discovery: Part Three
Discovery: Part Four

X-CLAVE: DISCOVERY (c) 1997 by Margaret O'Quinn for Undercover Press, Ltd. All rights reserved. This is a non-profit, fan-produced publication and cannot be reprinted in whole or part without the express written consent of the author and publisher. This amateur publication is not intended to infringe upon the established copyrights of Marvel Comics, Stan Lee, Marvel Entertainment Group, Inc., Fox Television, TSR, nor the copyrights of any other legal copyright holders. For more information on this or any other Undercover Press, Ltd. story, send E-mail to embyquinn@hotmail.com.