|Dates run:||November 14, 2005 - 31, 2005|
|Read the logs:||Stigmata|
No longer afraid to look, as if accepting her fate, Paige tore the remaining skin away. The bruises, welts, and slashes remained, angrier than ever, but this time were joined by sores, scabs, rot... Paige looked down at herself calmly, piling her hair on top of her head to examine herself fully.
I'm a monster. I'm a monster. I'm a monster.
It all made sense.
Following her build up of emotional trauma, her sessions with Samson, her eventual release from the trainees and lack of coping methods, Paige finds herself in an increasingly failing effort to control her morphing, finding herself trapped in a series of different form elements, each one mirroring more and more the darkness of her thoughts and insecurities. That control lost, she flees from the mansion in terror.
With Jono's accident in November 2004 robbing him of what remained of his body, Paige dropped into her old coping mechanisms of overwork and pretending everything was fine. Everything was not fine, however, as the pressure gradually grew, exhibiting first in a series of uncharacteristic emotional outbursts, such as a rather nasty fight with Amanda Sefton and an increasing paranoia regarding how other people saw her and her place at the school and on the team.
Paige's gradual decline did not go unnoticed, with her friends and teachers becoming increasingly concerned. She proved to be resistant to getting help, however, and even when blackmailed into seeing Samson, her first appointment going disastrously badly, Paige continued into her downward spiral.
Her mental state began to be reflected in her physical shape, with increasingly ugly bruises, gashes and welts appearing beneath each successive husk. At Nathan and Moira's wedding, Paige lost her grip entirely, but managed to conceal it for several more days until a failed Danger Room session led to Haroun calling her on her over-taxing herself and Scott making the decision to take her off the trainee team for her own good. Coupled with the outing of the ill-fated 'Suitemates of Guthries' group by Catseye, it was the final blow that Paige's sanity couldn't take, and she left the mansion shortly afterwards, announcing she was accepting an offer to go to Harvard. She left letters for Angelo and Jono, ending her relationship with them.
The concerns of her friends at the suddenness of her departure were partly alleviated by confirmation that she was in fact at Harvard. Then Alison received a phone call from Harvard regarding Paige's failure to attend a second interview, and the alarm was raised. Upon being sent pictures of the apartment Paige had only spent a few days in, the walls daubed with blood, spelling out the word "Monster" over and over again, Alison knew immediately where Paige had gone and took herself and Kylun to the the Morlock Tunnels. There they found Paige, covered in gashes and weeping sores, having retreated to the tunnels as the only place a monster like her could go.
Brought back to the mansion, Paige spent many weeks in seclusion, going through a succession of husks which gradually brought her closer to her normal form as she underwent therapy with Charles Xavier and Samson, with Jean the only doctor she would permit near her. Gradually she regained her health and her sanity, although she remained living in the medlab basement until Forge's successful experiment enabled Jono to regain his body.
Trivia and Meta
Angelo never shared the true contents of Paige's letter to Jono with the Brit, telling him a less-cruel lie.
Paige and Jono resumed their relationship, but she and Angelo remained broken up by mutual agreement.
Upon hearing of Paige's return to the mansion, Amanda secretly sent a package of her favourite arrowroot cookies for her, but never told her. They appear in a log with Alison, although, it's unclear on whether Paige figured out who they were from or not.
Both the title, 'Stigmata', and the idea of Paige's suppressed emotions showing up in her mutation, were originally proposed by Dex.