By Tim Stevens
The following is an excerpted transcript of a conflict resolution session between Wolverine (Logan) and Cyclops (Scott Summers). Tim Stevens is on hand as a mediator to facilitate the session.
WOLVERINE (gruffly, half mumbling): What’s the point of this?
CYCLOPS: Look, I can’t seem to get you to talk to me about…whatever it is that is going on with you. And we’ve both worked with Tim, so I figured…why not?
TIM STEVENS: I appreciate that you both would come to me. As I understand things, there has been some hostility in the air between you both and Scott seems to think that you, Jam—Wolverine, are having some issue with him, or issues, that you will not discuss.
W: Because the X-Men are all about discussing feelings and working things out these days, huh Slim?
C: Well, it’s never been your forte certainly, but—
TS: Ok, let’s just slow down for a moment here. Wolverine you just said something that seemed interesting to me: as Scott pointed out, you are not typically one for emotional exploration, but your complaint about it not being part of the X-Men right now seemed…honest. Can I ask you to talk more about that?
W: …Oh, you know me, doc…just a little sarcasm.
TS: No, no I know. But I don’t think that’s what just happened there. I thought you were authentic there.
(A long pause fills the room. Everyone just stares forward without eye contact with one another)
TS: Fine, we’ll get back to that. Tell me, Scott, why you think Wolverine is upset or disappointed with you? What signs do you have?
C: I don’t know. Just comments, I guess. He’s not, obviously, a big follower of orders and we’ve not exactly had the best relationship forever, but the tone is different. Usually it’s defiant or…I don’t know, affectionately sarcastic. But that’s not the case now.
TS (turning to Wolverine): Do you feel that’s accurate?
W: Affectionately sarcastic? I can’t say anyone’s called me that before.
TS: Ok, fine, but is the sentiment accurate?
W: If he feels that way, I guess it is.
TS: It’s not just about him though. It matters how you feel, too. The equal sharing is what makes a team stronger.
C: Right, because Logan is a big fan of openness and team building exercises.
W (turning to Cyclops, annoyed): You know what, you are right, I’m not. I like to stab stuff. That’s my bag. That’s what I’m here for. But the rest…
C (jumping into the pause): Who are the rest?
W (deflates a bit): Never mind…
TS: No, no, let’s not. Please, Wolverine, continue. And Scott, let him finish. So, please, “the rest?”
W: Fine…sure. I was…just the students. Why have combat training for kids, you know?
C: What? Are you kidding me?
W: No…I get why we fight. We’re adults. I’ve been fighting forever. That’s what I’m here for. But these kids…they’re kids. Why do they need to be in the field? We own a friggin’ island, for god’s sake.
C: Have you missed all of our history? The fights we’ve been in?
W: Yes, we! Us! There’s a 14-year old girl on Utopia who’s convinced she’s a monster. Convinced! You think the Professor would be happy about that?
C: So now you want me to be more like Professor X? Because you always agreed with him?
W: It’s not about being more like him. It’s about…these are kids. The reason I’m around is so they don’t have to do what I do. 14-year olds being trained in combat? Why?
C: Because we need to fight!
W: We do! They don’t!
TS: Alright. Let’s just take a moment here and gather. Good work, both of you, but let’s deflate things for just a second, okay. Good. Now, Scott, Wolverine has said what’s bothering him. What do you think about it?
C: I think…we are at war, all the time. We need to be trained.
W: That’s just it…soldiers need to be trained. But some of these guys…they aren’t soldiers. They are refugees. They are on Utopia so they can live, not so they can fight the Hellfire Club or Sentinels or…whoever.
C: To live they need to fight.
W: That’s what the X-Men are for. Doesn’t our team mean that other mutants, especially kids, can catch a break from all of that?
C: I was 16 when I joined the X-Men.
W: Which is two years older than Idie. And you joined a school, first and foremost. You also had classes. With books. Things were very different then.
C: Exactly. They were very different. We could be a school back then. Now…we are an army. We will be ready when they attack us.
W: They? Huh…never picked you for a separatist, Slim.
C: I’m a realist. The school…that idea is done. Every mutant on Utopia is an X-Man.
The room lapses into silence once again.
TS: This seems like a good place to decompress. I just would like to close on a mindfulness exercise to return us all to baseline so if you—
Wolverine stands without comment and leaves the room. Cyclops follows shortly thereafter.
For further information on this conflict, please refer to file X-MEN: SCHISM #4, available on September 21.
Psy D Candidate Tim Stevens, MA is a Practicum Trainee at a Federal Correctional Institute and a Dialectical Behavior Therapy Consultant.