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|Dates run:||May 11, 2005 - July 19, 2005|
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Part 3 of the Lost In The Woods Arc.
There's a girl going crazy 'bout you, and I'm not far behind...
Charlie Plunder is a nice, normal boy with a fascination for the occult. Meeting him changes the lives of Remy LeBeau, Amanda Sefton and Forge.
Whilst visiting an occult bookstore in New York, Amanda met a young man called Charlie Plunder. He was a quiet bookish type with an interest in magic despite his entire lack of occult ability. The two hit it off immediately and became friends, working on ways to improve Amanda's spellcraft to avoid the physical damage it had on her. Remy, who was acting as Amanda's transport to her Saturday magic lessons with Dr. Stephen Strange, befriended Charlie also, finding in the young man someone who was utterly normal, something which had been a rarity in his life as Gambit.
Over the next two months, the friendship florished. Amanda introduced Forge to Charlie, and the three of them began work on a system of magic designed specifically for Amanda's mutant gifts. Concerned about Amanda after Meggan's kidnapping, Charlie braved a visit to the mansion, meeting several of the residents and generally being confused by the weirdness levels there.
However, whilst things were happy on the surface, Charlie was concealing the fact his mother, a high-powered lawyer named Caroline, was strict and abusive and that he was frequently a target of bullies at his private school. His father, Stevie, was a Gulf War veteran who had left Charlie's mother years previously and Charlie had not heard from him again. Charlie was reticent about his past, and Amanda's clumsy attempts to push led to the pair arguing; later she apologised and they resumed their friendship.
Remy, curious about what little Charlie had told him about his father, had Jake Gavin investigate, finally tracking him down to San Francisco where he had remarried and become a military history professor at a small college. In a telephone conversation Remy had with the man, it became clear that Caroline had been intercepting messages between Charlie and his father, leading them both to conclude they'd been rejected by the other. Spurred by finding Charlie's father and possibly reconciling the pair and the good news that Strange was interested in taking Charlie on as a possible apprentice, Remy took Amanda out for a night clubbing.
Back in New York, Charlie returned home to find his mother had gone through his room, destroying his computer and burning the magic texts he had hidden there. Stevie had contacted her to confront her with her actions, and she had concluded (erroneously) that Charlie had been sneaking off behind her back to get in touch with the man she blamed for 'ruining' her life. Already suspicious of his friendship with Amanda and in light of her finding the magic-related files and books, she beat him and informed him that he would have no further contact with the witch. Locking him in his room, she left to sleep in her office.
Distraught, Charlie tried to call both Remy and Amanda. Unfortunately they had their phones off, being out clubbing, leading him to believe his mother's contentions that no-one would help him. Driven to the point of despair and seeing no way out, Charlie cut his throat with a box cutter. He left no note.
The next day, when Charlie failed to attend their pre-arranged meeting to go see Strange, Amanda and Remy went to Charlie's apartment and found his body. Amanda, initially believing Caroline was responsible, stormed off to confront her, but was intercepted by Remy. The pair were overwhelmed by grief and loss and returned to the mansion to spread the news. Charlie's three friends tried to deal with matters in their own ways: Forge cut himself off from anything related to the young man; Remy found himself reaching out to his other friends in an effort to understand; and Amanda blamed herself for not being able to see what was wrong and swearing a vow no-one close to her would die again. This vow was instrumental in her later clashes with Strange and her expulsion from the school.
Trivia and Meta
Remy employs his training in le parkour to intercept Amanda when she leaves the Plunder apartment.
Charlie Plunder's PB is a (very) young Noah Taylor.
The Charlie plot was inspired directly by a series of songs by Australian band, The Whitlams. Quotes from the three songs were used in some of the logs and all of the log cut-tags come from Whitlams lyrics. The character names come largely from one of the band's founding members Stevie Plunder, who committed suicide in January 1996.