From X-Factor

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2045-10-2 There But For The Grace of I Go They

What would they do without my munificence?

Perish the thought. One of the obligations of wealth and privilege is to take advantage of it, to hone yourself into someone worthy of the opportunity you have been granted. Without Volfram financial, technological, and logistic support the African Union would still have become impressive, but would have had to function under far greater duress. Would South Africa's policy towards mutants be so tolerant if not quietly accepting if so many of the great families were not either mutants themselves or keen to avoid the mistakes of apartheid?

There are wicked souls, also of means and talent, that would take the heart of humanity and twist it to dark and evil things if allowed. The good who refuse to play the game become statistics, or hope that the whims of strong but morally uncertain character intersect with their own and cannot be tempted.

Revelation, the backward politicians and armies of small minded nations, the other side of the board has no shortage of volunteers or resources. Logic dictates that the good must not refuse to play the game, but become better at it. The difference is that a good man will sometimes admit that he is playing the game, and have some rules as to how he conducts the campaign.

It is as the man said, fortune has been kind to me. Yet I have undertaken and sacrificed much for the betterment of Humanity. I am no man of destiny, but I am a man with more than most, so therefore expectation is that much greater. The stakes are high. The goals set for me and for my siblings are dynastic in nature. Many of our tasks are but smaller works in a grand design that is the work of generations.

Which means that instruments must be used, and rarely, sacrificed....but with this comes a corollary.

That we ourselves are instruments, and one day we may be required to sacrifice. Just as others serve our design, we serve the greater human race and its constituent parts.

What would they do without my munificence?

When a game has one player, that side wins by default.

There but for the Grace Of I Go They.

Aufsteigen und überwinden

2045-09-23-Here Began the Fall of Rome

Or perhaps it was already failing. But as I watched two young men battle for sport (or was it money? I sometimes have trouble telling the difference), I cannot help but dwell on the consequences of America's attitude toward its mutants. To appease a tyranny of the masses, the petty and small who rule marginalize a population that should, all inputs being equal, be its foremost champions and scholars.

The last gladiatorial games in the city of Rome were held in the new year of 404 AD. In seventy two years the Empire would cease to exist as a political entity. A mere blink in the eye in the span of human history, a speck in the ocean of geologic time, but a profound moment nonetheless. In the greater scheme of things, the battle of Nova and the Red Peril is even less so. Yet it is a moment stacked upon other moments that some historian will point to in a long vignette as to the decline of the American state.

Viewed through this lens, it almost makes the patrician meddling my family and I practice seem justifiable. However, one always must be careful about arguments of the greater good. Down that rabbit hole leads all manner of dark designs, and the greater good has a diminishing return inverse to the amount of wickedness perpetrated in pursuit of it. There is a time when even Rome is too far gone, and the decision must be made to build something new.

I am fortunate that bioethics ultimately concerns itself with the good of a single patient. Making decisions for an entire society sounds like there would be a great deal of hand wringing and search for vindication involved.

2045-09-22-Aufsteigen und überwinden

Aufsteigen und überwinden. The family motto. Ascend and Overcome. A bit pretentious perhaps, but if our continued prosperity echoes in those beneath us, can anyone truly find fault with it? I was sent here to evaluate and, if necessary, prune a possible deviancy, but in the eyes of New York, perhaps I too am a stark deviation.

Which raises the question: am I the carnivore, to devour and conquer? The parasite, that hides and subverts the host organism? Or, as I hope, am I the farmer, who guides and grows his field while benefiting from the results of his crop?

An invasive species either has an advantage over the native life or it does not. It takes advantage of a biome that was not designed to defend against it, or it fails to find a niche and perishes. New York has seen wealthy men before, and it has seen great men of science and medicine and engineering before. I am an invasive species, but my kind has invaded before. The challenge, then, is to make inroads before adaptation can occur.

I have the disadvantage of class and education, but with my history of publication and family name, deception would have been a cumbersome tactic at best, and ruined chance to establish a foundation of thrust. A bit of exaggerated social clumsiness and naivete (with the added benefit of being not entirely artifice) may win more favor than more calculating behavior. A bit of humanity in this group, I suspect, will pay greater dividends. Ms. Kane's reaction has been prickly, but I believe it is better to be suspected as awkward than something more sinister. I have no doubt that her skills in the disposal of overeager chessmasters are far superior to my own in a more direct format.

Which raises the question of X-Factor itself.

Mr. Wallace's band is....ragtag, which is not without its advantages. Projects of this nature tend to escalate well beyond the initial intentions of their mission statement, and uniformity while a logistical comfort and a guarantee of quality can lead to stagnation. Former mercenaries, private investigators, well-meaning thrillseekers. Useful skillsets, if a bit disparate at first glance. There are a few whose backgrounds bear more detailed examination, but I will not over-commit resources to this task until I am certain this X-Factor Solutions is a strategic tool rather than a tactical one. A few ten thousands to track Uncle Heinrich is of no issue. Making them an equivalent (if not as subservient) of our own security forces would require extensive investment and very gentle handling. Regardless, X-Factor is a promising potential asset and worth cultivating. Sweet kids, a few lost souls, nothing that cannot be swung to great purpose.

Aufsteigen und überwinden. Maybe I can even take them with me. It is a nice thought, certainly.