By Tim Stevens
The following is an excerpted transcript of a group therapy session with Cannonball (Sam Guthrie), Karma (Xi'an Coy Manh), Sunspot (Bobby da Costa), Danielle Moonstar, Cypher (Doug Ramsey), Magma (Amara Aquilla), and Magik (Illyana Rasputin). Warlock was invited to attend as well but could not due to "feeling ill" according to Cypher.
TIM STEVENS: From what I understand, you, as a team, have recently been part of what is perhaps best described as a combat situation. Often these encounters can be traumatic, even apart from physical wounds, although I understand some suffered those as well. So, today, I am just making this a safe place for all of you to discuss what happened, how you felt then, how you feel now, and where you feel it leaves you and the team as a whole.
CYPHER: That's interesting.
TS: I'm...sorry, Doug. What is interesting?
C: Just the way you sit and talk. You compose your body in such a way to be inviting of responses, but not demanding of them. I imagine this is very helpful for people who have difficult experiences to discuss.
TS: Well, thank you, Doug. That's...very kind feedback.
C: Is it?
TS: Of course.
C: Then why do you suddenly appear so much less comfortable then a moment ago?
TS: Umm...perhaps that is something we can discuss later. For now, however, I'd like to keep this focused on all of you. So, again, the floor is open to whoever would like to talk.
There is a long pause in the room. All avoid eye contact with TS and one another. Minutes pass.
TS: Say more about that, Sam, if you would.
CB: Every since I came to Xavier's I've been looking forward to being a leader. And I thought I was ready. But now...I know we won, but I feel like that was despite me not because of me. Shan lost her leg. Magik was nearly lost. Warlock killed. I blew it. Cyclops neve-
DANIELLE MOONSTAR (cutting him off): Oh, Sam, this hero worship thing needs to end.
CB: What? Scott is a great leader an-
DM (interrupting again): Maybe he is. To you, I know he is. But it's not like he was born this way. I am sure he's had more than a few injuries on the missions he's led. Hell, people have died on his teams. Maybe you need to realize that he's not perfect and it is okay if you aren't either.
There is a brief moment of silence.
TS: Okay, Sam, how does it feel to hear that feedback?
CB: I'm not sure yet.
TS: That's ok. You don't need to have an answer right away. We'll check in from time to time with you to see how you are feeling about it. For now, though, I'd like to move to you for a moment, X'ian, if that's okay.
KARMA: I think I can guess what you're going to ask.
K: About my leg. About losing it.
TS: That is certainly something that I imagine is very much on your mind right now.
K: I don't know...of course, it is, right. But, like, maybe it does not feel real yet. Or something. I do know that I don't blame Sam at all.
TS: Tell him.
K (shifting her focus to CB): Sam, Cameron Hodge took my leg, not you, not anyone else here. If you had not led us there, I might not have lost it, but a lot of other people, maybe some of our friends, would have been
CB (weakly, quietly): Thanks.
SUNSPOT: Yeah. The thing is...I can only imagine how you're feeling right now, Sam, but this is not the Boy Scouts we're part of here. We've lost people before-
C (interrupting): I only recently returned from the dead myself.
SS: Exactly, Doug, exactly. None of us are here because it's "safe." We're here because it's right. And, for me, and probably everyone else here, if we get hurt or die while we are doing what's right...well, it still sucks, not gonna lie, but it's a sacrifice we are willing to make.
MAGMA: I think Bobby's also here to hit on women, but yes, he's right.
SS: Me? Hit on women? What do you mean?
MAGMA: Right, like that's never happened.
SS: Listen, I like the ladies, sure. But I am always a consummate professional.
MAGMA: Like with Rogue the other day?
SS: Hey now...I was just making conversation.
MAGMA (smirking): Uh-huh.
TS: If, maybe, we could refocus here?
SS and MAGMA (giggling): Sorry.
TS: Not a problem. You are all entitled to some silliness to blow off steam, just like everyone else. However, I just want to make sure everyone has a chance to speak. Illyana, I cannot help but notice that while everyone seems fairly involved, you have been staring out the window the whole time. Could you possibly let us know what is going on for you right now?
TS: And you think bad things are going to happen?
MAGIK: Maybe. It is not an exact thing. Just a feeling.
TS: Is it possible you might be feeling bad for some other reason.
MAGIK: Well, I hate Limbo. Hate it. So I hated being back there. I also do not blame Sam, but I did hate being there.
TS nods and the group wait quietly for MAGIK to speak again
MAGIK: Also, I have this...I am not sure, a friend I guess. She probably does not feel that way towards me, but I would like her to be a friend. She is a teammate and a big reason I am here at all. She says she hates me though. Because I stole a part of her soul.
TS: I...see. Can anyone here speak to Illyana's concerns with this teammate?
SS: Are you talking about Pixie?
K: Oh...yeah. She does not like you. At all.
MAGIK: I know and...I do not know what to do.
TS: What if there is no "one thing" to do? If it is just going to take time and you...not stealing anymore of her soul to get her to feel better about you? How would you feel about that?
MAGIK: Not good...but I could live with it.
TS: Well then, that is as good a place as any to stop. Thank you for coming in everyone and we will see you soon.
The New Mutants' next session will be with Doctors Zeb Wells and Leonard Kirk on July 21. Their notes will be available for review in file NEW MUTANTS #15.
Psy D Candidate Tim Stevens is a Practicum Trainee at a Federal Correctional Institute and a Dialectical Behavior Therapy Consultant .
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