Year 2023, the Future...
Drew Ashford clicked the silver Zippo lighter in his hand and opened it, barely glancing at the bright red flame that emerged. His thoughts were elsewhere, though he was sitting on the broad window sill. There was a soft cough, and he turned around.
'Drew?' It was his younger brother, Barry. Drew stood up. 'What?'
Barry shook his head. 'I couldn't find anything. I'm sorry.'
Drew clicked the lighter shut. It was a legacy, ever since his dad have presented his mother with a similar lighter. His mother had in turn shared it with him. Now they were gone, and he was in charge of the family.
'Okay,' he said. 'Where're the twins?'
'Lexa's outside with Michael,' Barry explained. 'You know how much she loves the fall.' Drew nodded. He knew. They all did. Mom and Dad loved the fall. During the time they would make apple pies and have lemonade; Dad would burn sweet-smelling apple wood in the fireplace. They would snuggle close to Mom and Dad, and Drew was hit with a pang of nostalgia as he remembered the smell of herbs and toast that Mom always had around her, while Dad always smelt of apple and lemon. He inhaled again, inhaling the scent of their childhood.
'What about Leo?'
Barry hesitated. 'He's with Lex. Drew, I know you're under hugh pressure, but...if we could just...'
'Could just what?' Drew growled. 'We're supposed to look after the rest of the students. The rest of Professor Xavier's students. Mom and Dad's extended family. And we failed. I failed.' The last was whispered in an undertone.
Barry grimaced. Ever since Optical had laid the attack on them, Drew was experiencing night terrors again. So were the twins. So was he, Barry. Night terrors were common in this family.
Abruptly, Drew stepped towards the mantelpiece, where there was a family picture. Mom, Dad, Drew, Barry, Lexa and Leo. The Ashfords. He remembered how youthful Mom looked, how Dad was always able to do whatever task that was required of him. He remembered his fifteenth birthday, where he recieved permission to fly the Horizon, Mom and Dad's custom made VTOL plane. And then he knew the answer to his prayers.
He had to go back to the past.
P.S. I know this isn't very long but trials are just around the corner and I was in a hurry. Dun worry though, i'll finish part 10 soon enough.