The Winding Way
|The Winding Way|
|Dates run:||August 10 - 28, 2007|
|Read the logs:||The Winding Way|
"When it comes to this", Kurt said coolly, looking only at Amanda, "it is a problem concerning the clan and to be dealt with by those who know the clan. Even its outcasts. No one else."
When Amanda starts showing signs of increased magical ability, it seems her hard work has paid off. But then various books on power augmentation go missing from Strange's collection and all fingers point to the witch.
Part 1: August 10 - 28, 2007
Part 1: Lady Strange
In the weeks after her torture by Candra, Amanda threw herself into her magical studies, determined to not be a victim again. It seemed to pay off - she showed marked improvement in her spell casting, using new versions of old spells she hadn't tried before and being able to cast in situations where she oughtn't due to lack of a power source, such as the team's mission in Arizona. She used magic far more often than she had before, and the odd accident happened - she cast a shielding spell in her sleep that trapped Angelo in bed with her, a slip in concentration whilst renewing the protection wards on the school resulted in Cain Marko being locked out of the house for several days - raising some concerns among those who remembered Amanda's last power boost under the tutelage of Selene.
Those concerns spread to her X-Force colleagues, as Wanda revealed a number of valuable magical texts, part of the collection she was holding in trust for Dr. Stephen Strange, had gone missing. Amanda was as mystified as anyone - until several of the volumes were found in her car by Kurt, doing her a favour. Amanda couldn't explain herself, half-convinced that she was stealing books in her sleep. The volumes dealt with power augmentation and spell casting, and even Amanda couldn't deny the coinciding with her power boost. Doubt was cast, however, by Doug and Logan, who confirmed that the security footage of a blonde girl taking books to Amanda's car was not her body language, and that the scent was wrong. A trap was set for the thief.
The mystery only deepened, however, when the trap caught none other than Amanda's younger sister, Jimaine. She was sullen and tight-lipped, at least until Amanda called Kurt in to talk to her. Already closely resembling her sister, Jimi had been sent by their mother Margali to steal the books and put the blame on Amanda. Margali was also behind Amanda's power boost, but why Jimi would not - or could not - say.
Part 2: Someone Else's Shoes
Amanda and Kurt, with Wanda, Doug, Marie-Ange and Mark as backup, went to Germany to confront Margali. Encountering the Romani woman, she proved confrontational, stating her belief that Amanda was not in fact her daughter Gemile, but some kind of imposter sent by Rack. Then, in a display of power she'd never had before, she cast a spell designed to switch her consciousness into Amanda's body and vice versa. Unfortunately, she also caught several of Amanda's friends - awakening later they discovered Kurt was in Wanda's body, Wanda was in Mark's and Mark was in Kurt's. Amanda was trapped in Margali's drained and ailing form, and Margali herself had vanished, with Amanda's.
Whilst X-Force and Kurt hunted for Margali, Amanda clung to life in Margali's body, aged prematurely by the magics she had been using. It was also clear Margali had not been in her right mind for some time, as Amanda showed the same vagueness and confusion of names that Stefan reported Margali as showing over the past year. Margali was tracked to Berlin, where she had succumbed to the twin lures of youth and Amanda's city-based energy absorption, and had taken herself to the clubbing district. Upon being confronted, Margali fought back, but even Amanda's boosted powers and Margali's new magical knowledge were not enough in the face of trained fighters. She was overpowered and returned to the camp.
Initially Margali was defiant, refusing to undo the spell. But as her mind cleared from the power rush of Berlin and she began thinking rationally again, she realised what she had done and agreed to switch everyone back. The effort was more than her ailing body could take, and after asking her family's forgiveness and passing on the leadership of the clan to Stefan and her position as clan witch - and the power it entailed - to Jimiaine, thinking she was Amanda, she quietly died, leaving many unanswered questions. The primary one being, with whom had she made the deal for the power to take Amanda's body?
Trivia and Meta
The differences in ethics between X-Force and the X-Men were highlighted by Doug and Marie-Ange's treatment of Jimaine when she was caught; their treatment of her incurred Kurt's wrath.
At her death, Margali passed on the leadership of the clan to Stefan. She attempted to pass on the magic of the clan to Amanda, but Amanda switched places with Jimaine and she received the legacy instead.