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Years later, Charles would remember that day. Sometimes he would wonder if he could have changed anything; other times he would despair over what he had since become. But he would always hold the image in his mind: Raven, laughing, and his thoughts flying alongside her on strong wings, silver-gold through the winter air. Once upon a time.

Nine Eleven Ten is a deconstructive Dark Fic written by Subtilior, inspired by the 2011 film X-Men: First Class and its wider canon, Alternate History, and various traditional fairy tales and mythologies.

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Set in the aftermath of World War III, the story follows one esteemed Professor Charles Xavier, who, protecting his sister, is wrenched away from his home in Oxford to the remnants of the former United States by the mysterious Eastern Brethren and Sistren (EBS) to aid in their fight against the Free West.

It can be found here.

Warning: Some tropes are spoilers by definition. Beware!


Nine Eleven Ten contains examples of:

  • Abuse Mistake: Type B occurs when Charles and Logan, misinterpreting and underestimating the pain Emma has caused Hank, incorrectly assume she had simply seduced and abandoned the young man - neither realizing that she actually raped him.
    • Type A is exploited when Logan believes Charles' sexual relationship to be non-consensual. Charles doesn't correct him because he needs Lady Frost to believe so, and he knows she'd find out by reading Logan's mind if he knew.
  • Age Lift: Used so that characters that appear in the current X-men comics (e.g., Jubilee, Kitty Pryde) appear in this story that should take place at least 20 years before their time
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  • Animal Motifs: Telepaths express their powers using psychic projections of birds, but Charles favorite becomes a Raven after he's taken from his sister, to the point where most people who know him can recognize that particular thought-bird. Like in the source material, Jean's favorite thought-bird is a phoenix.
  • Apocalypse How: The use of nuclear weapons in World War III resulted in a Class 1: Planetary Scale, Societal Disruption event, the effects of which are still keenly felt, even nearly twenty years later.
  • Arc Words: "Everyone can be deceived." At times boarders on Survival Mantra.
    • Also, "I am my own Finder." Which represents how Charles' power is growing, and how he becomes stronger even when his captor wants him weaker.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: Pretty much how Lady Frost and Erik built a kingdom.
  • Batman Gambit: As a Manipulative Bastard, Charles pulls this on Frost, his allies when necessary, and helps the EBS come up with political and military strategies that work this way.
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  • Bodyguarding a Badass: Anybody protecting Lady Frost. She's a little obsessed with being protected, but she could probably handle most threats on her life alone.
  • Bread and Circuses: Mentioned by name as the Free West's standard. Considering that one of the first things the EBS does when taking over Dallas is give food to all the civilians, it's likely that they do the same.
  • Cassandra Truth: Logan to Charles on a few occasions.
  • Child Soldier: All the children enlisted in the EBS
  • Classified Information: "Need to know basis."
  • Comic-Book Movies Don't Use Codenames: Rather, Fanfics Don't Use Codenames. The character's codenames from the movies and comics are used by the Free West to refer to them by their powers; however, within the EBS, their codenames aren't generally known
  • Connected All Along: In this story, Jean is Erik's daughter.
  • Crying Wolf: Briefly, as Armando knows that Charles is always scheming his first thought when the latter gets a panic attack is that he's faking to get out of talking to Frost.
  • Cute Kitten: And her name is Princess Alexandra!
  • Darker and Edgier: A darker version of Disney's Beauty and the Beast mixed with X-Men: First Class
  • Declaration of Protection: Charles gives a minor one to Hank, when he learns what Frost did to him. Unfortunately we never see it go anywhere.
  • Democracy Is Flawed: The public opinion (or at least the voting public) can be swayed easily by the president, and the Free West has far more public discrimination than the EBS.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: Averted in the story proper, but the casualness with which Frost describes putting her lovers to sleep implies that she believes this.
  • Forced to Watch: Happens in the torture shed: Sean was supposed to watch Alex get tortured; General's platoon watches him be tortured and then killed by Erik
  • Heroic Bystander: Dr. Vogelzang tries to be this.
  • Hiding Behind the Language Barrier: Several Russian-speaking character do this, leading Charles to teach himself the language in secret so he can eavesdrop.
  • Hobbes Was Right: The reasoning of several characters to stand behind Frost.
  • Human Weapon: While the EBS treats mutants like soldiers, the Free West mutilates those who can be useful to weaponize them.
  • I Have Your Wife: Frost sometimes takes the loved ones of her underlings hostage, as with Hank's family and Anne-Marie and Logan to each other.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Charles accidentally insults Armando by asking him to do one too many chores, unaware that in the Free West it's common for non-whites to be servants to whites.
  • Intangible Theft: Thanks to the prevalence of telepaths, memories and emotions being stolen show up more than once.
  • Jigsaw Puzzle Plot: What exactly happened between Frost and Erik to get them into their current situation? Why is the Free West so obsessed with capturing Erik alive? Who is Jean? What are the goals of the Resistance in the Free West, and how strong is it? Who, or what, is Azazel? And what on Earth was Frost planning to do with Charles before he escaped?
  • Knighting: Probably the inspiration behind having mutants (and some humans) who fight be "sworn."
  • Lady and Knight: Played With.
    • Jean pictures herself as a lady and Charles as a knight when they're in the mind-world together, which they both joke about.
    • Lady Frost would like to be a Bright Lady with her soldiers serving as her knights, but forcing them into the role makes her a Dark Lady.
    Frost: Muñoz... you (Charles), Howlett, Azazel, Scottmy prince – all of my defenders.... I value you so highly.
  • The Lady's Favor: The concept of "tokens" as in medieval nobility show up more than once. Frost wears a necklace from Erik, and Erik is later very concerned with keeping Charles token- his watch- on him at all times, and with giving Charles a token of his own.
  • The Magocracy: The EBS is mostly run by mutants, while humans play roles in local governments of individual cities and the like few are allowed in national or international politics.
  • Mildly Military: The EBS's army. Slightly justified, as the diverse range of mutant powers makes it hard for the uniformity of most militaries to be practical, but there's still no mention of battle formations beyond groups with different objectives and squads.
  • Military Mage: Since the EBS's army has a lot of mutants, this is a given.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: "Erik the Red"
  • Near-Rape Experience: A major turning point in Erik and Charles relationship, as it makes Charles realize that Erik doesn't want to hurt him and can thus be better manipulated, while it gives Erik a My God, What Have I Done? moment and leads him to accept that he needs more restrictions, adopting some of the morals Charles impresses on him without being explicitly asked to.
  • Nicknaming the Enemy: On an individual basis- the code-names from the comics are nicknames that the Free West gives mutant enemies. Plus there's the traditional "mutie."
  • No Woman's Land: The Free West, to the point where no women except prostitutes are allowed in Las Vegas, and as punishment for joining the army and refusing re-education, Moria MacTaggert is forced into prostitution. Think American 1800's stereotypes about women ramped Up to Eleven.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Charles when Frost informs him that she returned Erik's memories of his actions inside the latter's mind, just after telling him that he's going to be chained up at night.
    • MacMurphy and his squad when they see Erik on the battlefield.
    • Erik when Frost becomes aware of Charles' presence in Erik's mind.
  • Oppressive States of America: The Free West is what the original American government became after WWIII, and is heavily influenced by American culture.
  • Patriotic Fervor: Charles has a minor case, refusing to believe that the Queen of England is in the wrong for selling out underaged mutants to the EBS and firmly sticking to everything he thinks of as British. Considering his position, this could also be a coping mechanism.
  • People's Republic of Tyranny: The Free West.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Styker and much of the Free West is shown to be anti-mutants, homophobic, anti-Semitic, racist and sexist.
  • Press-Ganged: How the EBS recruits.
  • Propaganda Machine: Lady Frost uses telepathy to convince people she's in the right, while the Free West makes propaganda films.
  • Properly Paranoid: Charles, Azazel, Armando, and Frost (though the latter is sometimes too paranoid).
  • Protectorate: Zigzagged all over the place.
    • Played straight with the children to Charles, except in the end he leaves all of them behind for his own safety, only bringing Jean along by accident.
    • Deconstructed when Charles becomes one to Erik, as this allows the former more leeway to manipulate the latter and sometimes Erik's attempts at protection come off as obsessive and creepy.
    • Invoked and deconstructed with Lady Frost, who styles herself as one for each of her soldiers by forcing them to fight for her
    Frost: So talented. Him, you, Howlett, Azazel, Scott – my prince – all of my defenders.
  • Renegade Splinter Faction: It turns out that due to all the discrimination, one of these has popped up in the Free West and Moria MacTaggert is one of their leaders.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Frost plays an active role in politics, military and diplomacy, and uses the Finder to kill hundreds of soldiers on her own and lead battles herself. Erik fights on the front lines himself and is a major military leader, although it takes Charles help for him to become even slightly proficient at diplomacy.
  • Safe Word: One of the first things Erik and Charles do after the former almost rapes the latter is come up with one of these, using "blue".
  • Scheherezade Gambit: How Charles convinces Erik to not torture and rape him to death.
  • Sex Slave: Frost apparently took some of the Free West prisoners "for her pleasure," and later punishes Charles escape attempt by "giving" him to Erik, though the later case is thankfully averted. She later threatens Charles with this, telling him that if he tries to escape again, she'll give him to Erik for good.
  • Shout-Out: As following Disney's Beauty and the Beast, there are a number of lines directly taken from the movie (although the context and character parallels may be different)
  • The Siege: The Dallas Arc.
  • Straight for the Commander: One of the goals in Dallas is to capture the enemy commander.
  • Tactical Withdrawal: Averting Overnight Conquest on the first day of the Dallas Siege, Erik's forces have to pull back.
  • Title Drop: Speculated as being somewhere in the opening "One is a journey" bit (for example, [1], [2], [3]), but really noticeable when Charles writes a message to Raven.
  • Unfriendly Fire: One advantage of the Finder is averting this- Frost's powers usually prevent mutants from killing each other in battle.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Stryker and MacMurphy to the Free West
  • We Have Reserves: The EBS has mutants, the Free West has a lot more men.
  • White Straight Male Human Anglo Saxon Protestant: In the Free West
  • With Us or Against Us: As is common in war, many people on both the EBS and Free West sides believe this.
  • Would Not Shoot a Civilian: Not completely averted, but the EBS tries to limit civilian casualties.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: Subverted by Frost and Erik. And much of Free West as they fight children and experiment on those that are captured.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Charles does this with Frost after she gives him to Erik. Unusual in that she instigated the events that would have been traumatizing, and he merely pretended that he hadn't foiled her previous plan.
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