The Betrayal Arc

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Fanfiction
Title: The Betrayal Arc
Author(s): Valerie Jones
Date(s): 90s~
Length: 312,446 words (currently)
Genre: Gen
Fandom: X-Men
External Links: Valerie Jones at Comicfic.net;
Fanfiction.net: Betrayal, Paradox Law and Games of Empires

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The Betrayal Arc was a popular series, consisting of three stories: Betrayal, Paradox Law, and Games of Empires (as of yet incomplete). The central focus of the narrative being the character of Gambit. It tied for first place in the X-Day 1999 Fan Fic competition.

Summery

Betrayal

When the mutant named Bishop first arrived at the Xavier School For Gifted Youngsters, he warned the X-Men that they would one day be betrayed and murdered by one of their own. He was right, but that is only the beginning of the story.

Paradox Law

Sequel to Betrayal. The Witness's actions to protect the X Men from their betrayer have unexpected consequences for four young X Men.

Games of Empires

Sequel to Paradox Law. Nightengale finds herself in the service of a dark power, while the X Men must come to terms with the various betrayals of their mentor, Charles Xavier. This story diverges from continuity just after UXM 350

Author's Note

This set of three stories begins with my version of the X-Traitor story and then runs rampant from there :} By far my favorite of all my stories.[1]

Reactions and Reviews

[The rec site Fleeting Fancies has this to say about the series] Everything about the story is tightly paced, always focused on where it wants to go, the scenes never wander, everything that's put in has its time and place. It was striking upon rereading how many details I'd missed the first two times through; knowing what I knew now, I could see all the clues that the author had placed in the scenes previous to the big reveal, how everything was planned, how everything came together and made sense when you finally had all the pieces. The scene where Remy has a hallucination about the intruder in the kitchen struck me all over again, knowing what I knew about what it meant, so much that my heart turned over a little for the character. Or when Charles and Jean dove into Remy's mind to see the large, black tree at the root of his subconscience, it hurt to see that because I knew what it was hiding. Every time I reread the story, the impact of the events the author puts the characters through affects me all over again.
The first time I read the story, when I got to the reveal, it was an incredible build-up, something that was so engrossing I couldn't put it down until the mystery had been unwound by the X-Men. Afterwards, it caught my imagination, both for how much sense it had made of the canon (at the time; the whole Witness thing, the X-Traitor, etc.) and how well everything came together. Yet, it's more than that. Perhaps it's because Remy is one of my favorite characters--and I do think that you have to be open to reading a story that focuses on his character pretty heavily, no matter what other elements the story is brilliant at, at it's heart, it's a story about Gambit--but it's more than that. The idea appeals to the creative part of me, makes me wonder what other situations could arise from this new situation, how this would affect the futures of everyone.
In addition to the actual plot of the story, the relationships are some pretty damn delicious frosting on this cake; the Remy/Rogue relationship isn't just dealt with, it's woven into the core of the story. The characterization continues to be gorgeous between the two of them, all those insecurities and issues and things they've been through, things they've seen in each other, none of it was left behind, but neither did the author let it drag them down. They worked through their problems in that way that I always desperately wish they would, it's never easy, but they both know they don't want to let go again. The chemistry between them is out in full force in the story as well, they're each a part of the X-Men family in their own ways, their whole worlds aren't made up of each other, but you can still quite simply feel how much they love each other, how strongly they're drawn towards each other. Not that it's limited to just them--the insights into Charles Xavier's character is quite possibly my favorite for his character. Bishop's role with the team is quite brilliant, the things he learns and goes through because of the Witness' actions are brilliant. Jean is absolutely everything I love about the character here, she's quite simply wonderful. There is a real sense of family here. [2]
Betrayal has plot like there's no tomorrow -- time travel, paradox, action, romance, revelation, loss, sorrow, heroes and villains who possess deep reserves of complexity and humanity. It ought to be required reading for anyone, in any fandom.[3]
I’m not a big fan of comic gen-fic, but this is one series that really makes an impression. Taking the ‘traitor-within-the-X-Men’ theme from canon, Valerie creates her own version of the storyline, one that explores the history of Gambit -- past, present and possible future. Fans of the X-books should not miss this one.[4]
though, god, it's just... she took this confused mess of canon and had it MAKE SENSE and was the most amazing story I have ever read. Period. Nothing else has ever come close for me.[5]
This is a Gambit-focused series set around the comics canon of the mid-to-late 90s, where the comics were in the midst of a huge "what is Gambit's past" arc. By and large, I very much like the Remy and Rogue in here, but some of my favorite bits are more about the X-Men as a family. Also, there are people coming back from the future to warn the present, revelations of backstory, mind-boggling time paradoxes, dystopic alternate timelines, original characters that almost seem too much but aren't because they are such X-Men, and plot reveals like whoa. I was really glad to find how well it still held up, though I wish it were longer. My favorite parts are actually the ones with Jones' original characters and original dystopias. There's still a bit of "my favorite character gets all the best powers" and "anyone who doesn't like him sucks," but to a much lesser degree than in most fic (especially most of the Gambit fic I read in that time). I also really liked the portrayals of Xavier and Scott.[6]
If I had to pick /one/ fanfic out of all of the ones I've read to be my very /favorite/, it would be "Betrayal". It's... truly deserving of the word "awesome". Without spoiling the fic, it's tough to say why I love it so much. The sheer /scope/ of the fic is amazing. Very few fics really deserve to be called "epics", but this one earns the description and then some. There are scenes that very nearly make me cry no matter how many times I read them. (The end of 'Paradox Law' gets me every time.) The characterization is phenominal, the plotting brilliant, and just.... You can't fully comprehend how amazing this fic series is until you read it.[7]

Fanworks

Fanfiction

References

  1. Valerie's X-Men Fan Fiction
  2. Fleeting Fancies - Fanworks Recommendations (Accessed April 21, 2010)
  3. "XM: Betrayal by Valerie Jones (Gambit, various), May 4, 2001 Livejounal post". Archived from the original on 2019-04-18. 
  4. "JR's Parlor Fanfic Recommendations". Archived from the original on 2013-05-06. 
  5. "Fan, beckymarie, commenting on Livejournal Post Yami no Matsuei, X-Men, HanaKimi, Prince of Tennis, Saiyuki". Archived from the original on 2019-04-18. 
  6. "Recent reading, livejournal post by springgreen". Archived from the original on 2019-04-18. 
  7. "Marvelverse Fanfic recs - Fleeting Fancies". Archived from the original on 2019-04-18.