|Season 6, Episode 27|
Come As You Are
-I have finished running down the analysis, Professor.- Beast walked to the leader of the X-Men. -These are the likeliest candidates to be hosts of the Phoenix Force.- McCoy handed a tablet over to Xavier.
-Hmm… There are some odd choices here. But it makes sense. Powerful mutants, all of them.-
-Indeed.- McCoy nodded.
-I agree.- McCoy nodded. -I think five will be enough to split the Phoenix Force without making them go power crazy.-
-Fair enough, Hank.-
-HALT!- Amir ordered, pointing her spear at them.
Both of them raised their hands.
-We’re here with the X-Men.- Alani explained.
-It’s fine.- Namor dismissed the guards. -Xavier told me they would come.-
The guards relaxed and swam behind their king.
-You can go.- The Sub-Mariner looked at his subordinates, who grudgingly nodded and swam back inside the palace. He then turned at the youngsters. -What do you need me for?-
Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters.
-Professor X really needs me?- Wiccan raised an eyebrow, as the Young Avengers were led by Prodigy inside the Mansion.
-Yes.- David nodded. -They probably aren’t expecting us all but… You refused to do anything without your friends.-
Kate Bishop put her hand on Billy’s shoulder. -We’re here till the end.-
William smiled slightly, as they walked through the wooden gates of the Mansion. Inside, they were met with a world of colorful people, displaying their powers and being themselves.
-Wow…- Hulkling muttered, looking around at the community surrounding them. No one batted an eye at his green, scaly skin. He took Billy’s hand and held it tightly.
As the team entered the Professor’s office, he smiled at the teenagers. He had enough chairs ready.
-How did you know…?- Speed started to ask, counting the chairs and the team members.
-He’s a telepath, Tommy.- Bishop explained.
-Take a seat, Young Avengers.- Xavier nodded, and they did as he said. -We’re facing a… Difficult situation here at the school. There’s an… Omnipotent force from outer space that is set on making one of our most powerful X-Men its host.-
-Why?- Stature inquired.
-It is how it works. It needs a host. It corrupts it. And Jean… She’s not ready.-
-Oh my…- Billy looked at Teddy. -Jean Grey…-
-Exactly.- Charles smiled slightly. -So Dr. Hank McCoy has devised a way to split it to hold it off until Jean is ready.-
-And how does Billy fit in all of this?- Hulkling asked.
-We have run extensive analysis and he’s one of the suitable mutants to host part of this Phoenix Force.-
-For how long?- Tommy asked.
-I am not sure, Thomas.- The Professor shook his head. -Could be days, weeks… Months… Years.-
-You said it corrupts its host. Will it hurt him?- Teddy looked into the Professor’s eyes.
-Not… Not as much as a full host, that’s for sure.- Xavier turned around. -But I cannot promise it will be entirely safe.-
-No way.- Hulkling stood up.
-Teddy…- Prodigy put his hand on the hybrid’s arm.
-No, David. Billy is barely in control of his natural powers, are we seriously going to let an extraterrestrial entity take over him?-
-He’s got a point.- Tommy shrugged.
-He does, indeed.- Charles nodded. -I became so focused in saving Jean that I completely forgot about the other partial hosts. It was a mistake, William. I’m sorry.-
-But Professor…- Billy looked at the older man.
-I know you want to help Jean. I know you want to help the X-Men like other mutants do. But your boyfriend is right. Your brother is right. Your friends are right. And even though David has a closer bond to us here at the school, he knows it’s crazy to ask you to do this.-
Prodigy looked down.
-Professor…- Kaplan tried to change Xavier’s mind, but he didn’t let him.
-Thank you for your time, Young Avengers.-
Wiccan nodded, as the teenagers stood up and walked out of the Mansion.
The Professor picked up the tablet and looked at the candidates again. His eyes laid on Emma Frost’s picture. She was by far the most experienced suitable host. And she wasn’t entirely evil. It was worth a try.
Hellfire Club Building, San Francisco.
The Blackbird parked outside of the building, and Professor X descended from it. Emma Frost walked to his encounter. -Your mind was screaming for me.- She smirked.
-I know. As they say, desperate times…-
-Desperate measures.- Emma finished his sentence. -And I didn’t have to read your mind for that. So, what made you come all the way from New York to San Francisco? Wait, let me guess… You need a partial host to hold off the Phoenix Force until little poor Jean Grey is ready?-
-At least this was easier than last time…- Xavier shrugged.
-You underestimate her, Charles.- She said, pacing around the man. -She’s stronger than you think. She’s no damsel in distress.-
-I know that.-
-Do you? You and Scott Summers have constantly tried to held her back. Protect her. Save her from her own fate.-
-It could be catastrophic…-
-Then we’ll all be there to stop it and fix the damage.-
-What if we are not there?- He looked up at her.
She remained silent for awhile. -Then someone else will.-
-So I assume you’re gonna say no? You put up your psionic shield, while I didn’t. Not fair, Ms. Frost.-
-I thought you’d have known that I never play fair.- She smiled. Then, she rolled her eyes slightly. -Just because I hate the idea of a world in which I’m obliterated…-
-Whatever the reason, I’m glad.- He smiled, as the two telepaths got onboard the X-Jet.
Back at the Mansion, Professor X and Beast gathered the five hosts in front of the disruptor weapon. Cyclops, Emma Frost, Colossus, Magik and Namor stood by each other.
-How long till it happens?- McKenzie asked.
-We… We don’t really know.- McCoy shook his head slightly, as Frost and Namor grunted.
Suddenly, Jean ran outside and saw the gathered mutants.
-What are you doing?!-
-Protecting you, Jean.- Scott explained.
-I don’t want any of you to put yourselves at risk because of me!-
-Even me?- Emma smirked.
-Yes, even you.- Grey replied. -It is my duty to host the Phoenix Force, not yours.-
-We’re twisting fate, dear Jean.- Beast smiled at her.
-What is that?- Namor looked up at the sky, as a fiery bird soared above them.
-That’s the Phoenix Force! Shoot it, Hank!-
-No, stop!- Jean ran towards them, but Emma pushed her inside the Mansion with her telekinesis and locked the door.
Beast started shooting at the entity, but it dodged the blasts. However, as soon as Jean was out of sight, it started flying away again. Taking advantage of this instant of hesitation, McCoy hit the entity, splitting it in five smaller fire birds that flew straight towards the five potential hosts, engulfing them in flames.
-Professor! What’s going on?!-
-I had never seen it myself, Hank!- The two doctors backed away from the fire. Suddenly, five figured walked out of the fire. They were alive, and sporting different clothing.
-D… Did it work?- Beast asked.
-It did.- Cyclops nodded, looking down at his new outfit. -I can feel it inside.-
Namor went back to his kingdom, where he was greeted by Janus.
-Welcome back, King Namor.- He bowed gently. -You changed your attire while on the surface?-
-That is none of your business, Janus.- He growled, as his eyes glowed fierily.
Shocked, the guard nodded and swam away.
The next morning, Politus entered the King’s chamber. -Imperius Rex, our scouts in New York have informed us that they are introducing some sort of generator into the water… We don’t know what for but…-
-SHUT UP!- The King ordered, unconsciously setting the loyal guard on fire and disintegrating him. Without any sign of remorse, the Phoenix’s avatar travelled all the way to the Bronx.
Rising above sea level, Namor looked down at the scientists who were working on the experimental generator.
-What do you think you’re doing?!- He screamed, firing cosmic flames at the docks. Suddenly, Spider-Man kicked the Sub-Mariner’s chest.
-Hey man, wasn’t water your thing?- Peter asked jokingly. Without any further response, the Atlantean fired a water blast at Parker, throwing him against a crewman, who was knocked overboard as the generator was being lowered into the ocean.
With the people responsible for the generator dead or gone, and Spider-Man knocked unconscious, Namor headed himself to the X-Mansion.
-They are jealous of our powers.- McKenzie theorized, after telling the other Phoenix Five what happened with Spider-Man at the docks.
-We cannot just attack other heroes.- Colossus shook his head. -That would make it as bad as they say the Phoenix Force makes you.-
-Everyone knew I was up to no good before the Force.- Frost shrugged.
-What about you, Illyana?- Scott looked at Magik. -What do you think?-
-I stand with my brother.- She said, putting her hand on his metallic shoulder.
-What would that be, Colossus?- Namor asked bitterly.
-I believe tyrants such as you should be crushed… Does that answer your question?-
McKenzie fired a cosmic blast at the Rasputins, but Piotr protected his sister with his forearms. Magik pulled out her Soulsword and ran towards Cyclops and Emma. Scott fired a fiery optic blast at her, as Frost gave the teenager mental paralysis.
-Snowflake!- Colossus screamed, as the Phoenix Force slowly abandoned her body, getting divided between the other four members of the Phoenix Five.
As Piotr was distracted, Namor leapt and punched his face, pushing him aside. Rasputin tried standing up, but Emma transformed her body into diamond form and kicked his stomach. Cyclops pulled his visor off and looked at the metallic mutant until the Phoenix Force was no longer within Colossus.
-Now that the two objectors are no longer part of us… I am going to make the so-called heroes pay.- Namor informed the other two, before leaping away.
-My king…- He bowed. -There is a tidal wave approaching Wakanda.-
-A tidal wave, you say?- T’Challa stood up, as his bodyguards readied their spears.
-Not… Not a natural one, I am afraid. Namor, the Sub-Mariner is riding it.-
-Evacuate the city. Engage all defences.- Black Panther ordered the Dora Milaje. -And inform Ororo about this situation.-
-Me too, my King?- Okoye inquired.
-No, Okoye. Stay by my side.-
As soon as Black Panther, W’Kabi and Okoye walked out of the Palace, they were approached by Shuri, T'Challa’s sister.
-What is going on?- She asked, putting her Vibranium Gauntlets on.
They looked around. Every tribe of Wakanda, including the Jabari Tribes led by M'Baku, were ready to fight.
-Hope you’re ready.- Black Panther told his sister.
Namor was getting really close as the Wakandans took a stand. Ayo, a Dora Milaje, and Nakia, T’Challa’s former lover, were within the warriors. As soon as the Atlantean was within range, Shuri pointed her gauntlets at him and fired a blast that destabilized Namor slightly.
-WAKANDA FOREVER!- Okoye screamed as the Dora Milaje, led by Black Panther, ran towards their invader.
A wave of spears was headed towards Namor, who disintegrated them midair.
-How the hell did he do that?- W’Kabi inquired.
-That’s not regular pyrokinesis… This is something I had never even read about before.- Shuri explained.
Members of the Dora Milaje jumped at the mutant, who blasted them with cosmic fire.
-My king!- Nakia yelled, holding her Ring Blades. -What are we going to do?!-
Suddenly, Storm flew towards Namor, firing lightning at the Atlantean.
-What’s gotten into you?!- She asked, creating a wind barrier to protect the Golden City.
-I’ve been touched by the fire! I’ve been enlightened!-
-I can help with the enlightening!- Munroe smirked, creating thunderbolts against her fellow mutant.
McKenzie tried to attack Storm with his cosmic fire but she created a tornado around him. Then, she let go, propelling him towards the ground.
The Wakandan warriors gathered around their invader, pointing their weapons at him. Ororo landed besides her husband and looked at Namor.
-He’s fine now.- She explained.
-How do you know?- Shuri wondered.
-His outfit looks normal. Also, he was knocked out… And I doubt the Phoenix Force would let that happen.-
-Phoenix Force?- The young princess asked.
-Oh, I never told you about it?- She looked at her sister-in-law. -Come on, I’ll explain, even though I’m no expert.-
Back at the Mansion, things weren’t going that well. After Namor’s fragment of the Phoenix Force went to both Scott and Emma, their urge to obtain the other’s power was uncontrollable.
-Stand down, Frost!- Cyclops held his right index and middle fingers next to his visor.
-Oh, Summers… You’re so… Pathetic.- She spat bitterly, transforming into diamond form. He fired a powerful cosmic optic blast that hit the telepath, who barely withstood it. Without giving her any rest, he pulled his visor off and looked straight into her eyes. Slowly, the diamond started to crack and before Emma perished, the Phoenix Force abandoned her body. Cyclops started levitating, as he absorbed the final fragment. He was now the Dark Phoenix.
X-Men members and students gathered around the overpowered leader, who looked down at them.
-Hear me, X-Men! No longer am I the man you knew! I am fire! And life incarnate! Now and forever… I AM PHOENIX!- He screamed, emanating fire from his whole body.
Jean ran outside and faced the Dark Phoenix. -You wanted me? I am right here. And I’m not scared.-
-Aren’t you?- Scott flew towards her, placing his fingers under her chin.
His touch felt so familiar, yet so… Foreign.
-You have been running away from me… Hiding… You sent your friends to hold me back… You caused so much destruction without me even touching you…- Scott, taken over by the Phoenix Force, continued. -Then… Who is the monster here?-
-Enough! You’re right. I am guilty. I am a monster.- She nodded.
-Then how are you any different than me?-
-Because I choose to believe… That’s what makes me Phoenix!- She yelled, as her teammates watched in awe. -Come to me, Phoenix Force!- The entity abandoned Scott’s body, flying towards its true host.
Slowly, she started floating just like Summers had done some moments ago. A new outfit was formed around her: green bodysuit, yellow gloves and boots… And the Crest of the Phoenix shining on her chest.
-The Phoenix has risen!- She exclaimed, fire in her eyes. Then, she descended to ground level and looked around her at the other students. -I can read your minds. Stop worrying. I’m in total control.-
She smiled at him. Looking past the change of clothing, she looked like her normal self.
-Is this…- He looked down her outfit and then back into her eyes. -Going to be a permanent thing?-
-I… I guess.- She shrugged, chuckling.
-I dig it.- He smiled at her, as they kissed.
Back in his nullifier cell, Mr. Sinister smiled widely. Everything was going according to plan. All was about to be revealed.
- Namor, Professor X, Anole and Kid Omega's sprites were made by User:Nekhene.
- Banshee, Karma and Bobby Drake's sprites were made by User:Loupi.
- Graymalkin, Prodigy and Stature's sprites were made by User:Sunder4321.
- Jean Grey and Jubilee's sprites were made by M:AA Wiki User:Ami7mina.
- Black Panther's sprite was made by M:AAFF Wiki User:SpencerWalker21.
- Sunspot's sprite was made by M:AAFF Wiki User:Josh27.
- Eva Bell's sprite was made by User:Wynter's Sloth.