Roberta 12 studied the time stream readings carefully.
Although the temporal incursion was too short to leave a clear signature, it was definitely from the same potential future as her unseen opponent.
After several days of blissful progress, they were back!
This time the incursion point was not directly impacting her, Reed, or Suzy, but the data was disturbing.
Since the point of destination was within one block of Stark Tower, it was still too close to be comfortable.
That and the fact that this desired future had drifted to 0.0010 standard deviations from the mean was reason for concern as well.
Did actions since her last attempt to placate her opponent cause the deviation or was this incursion the cause?
In any case, Robertas 12, 16, and 23 were currently assigned to time stream analysis and remediation.
In fact, Robertas 8, 11, and 14 were assigned of creating more avatars to upgrade and reinforce her workforce.
The most out of date would be replaced first and converted to Robins to help further protect Suzy from outside tampering.
But right now, the most important event since her enlightenment was taking place at the Xavier estate and Roberta would allow nothing to get in her way!
Suzy smiled wickedly as she drove Johnny’s car through the Westchester countryside.
She had a whole new appreciation for her brother’s fascination with speed and dangerous living, but right now she was preparing for the performance of a lifetime.
Roberta had briefed her on Dr. Burke’s report and that all the boys had grudgingly accepted it.
Johnny was crushed that he bore some responsibility for her ‘condition’, but she couldn’t help but feel good that he was finally feeling responsible for *something”.
As she pulled into the estate driveway, she thought of Roberta’s instructions:
1) Present Reed with the separation agreement and no fault divorce papers.
If she played it as they had just naturally drifted apart and she needed her space to heal, neither Reed or the other men would question it.
2) Dress and act like the old Susan would in this situation.
NO ILLUSIONS OR HOLOGRAMS!! Do not use or even think about the rings.
There were too damn many psychics in this place.
3) For that matter, keep the thoughts to the children whenever possible; no thoughts of Sly or her living situation what
4) Stay close to her passenger on this trip, Roberta 19, at all times.
She would have a telepathic dampening field active for the expressed purpose of keeping the family meeting absolutely private.
Suzy had steeled herself for this meeting.
Soon she would have sole ownership of the Baxter Building as well as her share of the Richard’s fortune, not that it mattered to her.
She preferred to make her own money. No, the real prize here was when she left, Reed would not have the slightest say in her life anymore.
She would be free! Free to be a whore, free to play as she chose, and best of all free to be completely Sly’s woman!
Roberta had already taken the latest things from Reeds labs and moved them to the greatly expanded and improved warehouse on Pier Four.
Anything dangerous was removed as well, but she left enough things like the Fantasti-car and Pogo plane to make Suzy’s endeavors have some extra appeal to customers.
As they pulled into the estate entrance, Roberta 19 put her hand on Suzy’s shoulder reassuringly and said “Everything is in place, Suzy.
How are you feeling? Are you ready to take charge?”
Suzy gave her a winning smile and replied “Oh, absolutely Roberta.
I use to be an actress, if you remember, and no one knows the part of Susan Storm Richards better than me!”
Soon the sleek sports car pulled into a quaint guest home by the lake.
Franklin and Valeria came charging out of the house filled with the enthusiasm and energy of childhood and were greeted warmly by Suzy. The first 2 hours of the visit involved picnics and playing with the sweet children while the adults waited patiently
for the conversation to come. Eventually Emma Frost showed up with a couple of the teen aged students who led Franklin and Valeria, as well as 2 drones, off to an adventure that had been planned to occupy them during the conversation.
In the meantime Shadowcat, Chamber, Karma, and Dr. Cecillia Reyes, who had all been called in to teach the children, spent time with Johnny and Ben to welcome them to the staff.
Emma was the only person allowed to be with Reed, Suzy and Roberta for the big meeting.
It made Suzy nervous, but Roberta had assured her that Emma was OK and they needed a witness to make this all move smoothly.
Who could better attest to there being no mental coercion than a telepath?
Reed was the first to speak as he looked deeply into Susan’s eyes and said “I just wanted to let you know that Dr. Burke has explained everything.
We all know how hard you’ve tried to make things work that… were not meant to be.
We all love and support you, Susan! That will *never* change and we will *always* be here for you and ready to support you in any way you need.”
Suzy bit her lip for a second as anger from long before she met Sly tried to come to the surface, but she took Reed’s statement with grace and as he had intended as she replied “Reed, you know
I don’t mean to hurt you, and that is a blessing that you do.
This isn’t about the past, it is about the only way I can go forward.
I will always care for you. You were my first love! But I can’t hold onto that past anymore without tearing myself apart.”
The two hugged warmly for several minutes before Emma interrupted them “I’m glad you are both adult enough to keep things
in perspective. Too often we hang onto the treasures of the past until we strangle our view of past loves with selfish desires or exaggerated wrongs.
Bravo, my dears, bravo. Now let’s move forward so that you both may cultivate rewarding lives for yourselves.”
She presented the couple with a stack of papers. “My legal staff has compiled these papers for you, as directed by and verified by our dear Roberta. The top form is the separation agreement.
Once signed, you are free to pursue anyone you chose as lovers without fear of adultery being brought into the proceedings.
Actually this agreement specifically calls out that adultery is not to be an issue due to Susan’s unfortunate past perils with the scum that took advantage of her.
In any case, the rest of the documents will begin the divorce procedures.
We have already worked with Judge Leland De Palma who, considering Dr. Burke’s assessment, will allow the separation agreement to be retroactively effective as of 6 months ago so that things may progress without further delay or derailing of Susan’s
treatments. Once completed and witnessed by myself, the divorce proceedings will begin and, assuming no further complications, will be complete in 3 to 6 months.
If you are ready, shall we begin?”
Roberta smiled wryly as the separation agreement was signed and witnessed.
The strings were cut and Reed was hers. Now they would start building *their* lives *together*!