The X-Men Ruined My Life - Ace West

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The X-Men Ruined My Life - Ace West

Post by ネオンスピリット on Sun Feb 28, 2016 10:51 pm

The X-Men are a well-known team of superheroes, one of many, though distinct in the fact that they're an entirely mutant team. This is obviously a subject of controversy, as the mutant population has, in recent years, become hated and feared. It seems as if the majority of the population is either indifferent toward the team, or despises their existence. In spite of this reputation, their involvement in numerous world-threatening crises--Positive or negative--Is undeniable. Last week, I had the opportunity to interview a former member of this team, whose story is both considerably inspiring, and heartrendingly tragic. No matter what your opinion may be of the team, this young man's experience shines a light on a topic that is hardly brought up: The aftermath of a super-heroic career.

Timothy Gunning--Whose real name has been removed in interest of anonymity--Was fourteen when he joined the X-Men. An age, he says, is somewhat normal for the team. "... Every generation needs one of 'em." He observed, on the topic of young X-Men. He'd given the examples of Jubilation Lee and Katherine Pryde. Both were around his age when they were recruited. "... Y'know, people who didn't get screwed by the job until they became an adult."
At fifteen, he'd become what some might consider the 'heart' of the team. He was considerably popular,  talented, and had started dating his teammate, unnamed here per request of Timothy.
He has the ability of total psionic manipulation. However, his early training was focused on mastering his telepathy and telekinesis; the abilities to read minds and control physical objects with focused mental energy, respectively. Later on, he mastered astral projection--Separating mind from body. Due to his discovered similarity to a previous member of the X-Men, the late Jean Grey, he was dubbed 'Marvel' (after Marvel Girl), and given a costume similar to the founding member's. Eventually he'd separate from this identity, being code-named 'Psyche' and taking a uniform in line with his team's style of the time.
His quick rise in the ranks of the team was remarkable, to say the least. He'd gone from a student to a well-respected and well-known member of the team. His was an uncommon story, considering the majority of the team had spent years training before earning their badge. "I guess, you could call say I was lucky." He commented, "But, looking back, I just can't say I'm truly proud of any of that."
There was no warning of what would follow, the event that would end his fruitful career with tragedy.
He was just sixteen, at the time of his final mission. Though, this mission was never planned. As hard as it is to believe, the X-Men were thrust into a battlefield, with little warning or explanation beforehand. Equipped with nothing, they had been put in costumes that, upon reflection, Timothy said would be considered their most 'iconic'. "They were the kind of costumes that an artist would use, if they weren't up-to-date on us. Individual, though clearly inspired by the old teams." Despite his new identity, he was in his classic 'Marvel' costume for the mission.
Timothy recalled an announcer, declaring that they'd been put in a 'game show', aired for a universal audience. "... He was weirdly cynical..." He described, reflecting on the faceless 'host'. "As if he was like, taking enjoyment in watching us fight these other mutants. Like that awful New Warriors reality show."
Though even on its own, this mission would seem particularly cruel, the biggest blow came in the form of their escape. While Tim was unable to go into detail, he did tell me that he lost his boyfriend during, as well as receiving numerous burn scars, the most noticeable covering his entire right shoulder and the upmost-right of his chest.
"A day doesn't pass when I'm not reminded." He said about the psychological trauma he's experienced. "Not one normal day, when his final moments don't run through my head."
This is especially crucial considering his abilities. Telekinetic outbursts during these post-traumatic episodes have forced him to recluse, though the psychological scars had already pushed his previous teammates out of his life.
When asked if he blames his teammates for the tragedy, Timothy most definitely let me know what he thought. "What kind of school weaponizes children like this? If we were just teens with guns, enforcing our own moral code, we'd be labelled tragically misguided villains."
Timothy is in no niche with such a condition, either. At least 15% of those who seek psychiatric help for PTSD or depression have reported a history with a costumed career, according to a 2010 survey documented by Medtech. Timothy hopes his story will raise awareness of this phenomenon, adding, "No one's going to know the story of Jewel, or Cannonball. If you hadn't found me, no one would've heard this one either."
-- Ace West, Reporter for The Daily Bugle
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