|Who Am I Living For?|
|Season 6, Episode 29|
"Who Am I Living For?" is the twenty-ninth episode of Assemble!'s Season Six and the one hundred and sixtieth episode overall, as well as the Season 6 Finale.
Jean Grey woke up on a cold metallic surface in Essex’s lab. Sitting up, she looked down at her body and noticed the red dress around her. She did not recall even owning it. Slowly, she walked out of the lab, where she found a cozy living room full of antiquities. At first, she didn’t recognize them but then, she started getting flashbacks of people she had never met but looked like she had known them forever.
Jean looked around. She wasn’t in Mr. Sinister’s living room anymore. In fact, there was no building in sight. Only wilderness. A woolly mammoth laid dead next to a woman in green.
A sorcerer besides him created mandalas around his hands, as the Eye on his chest lighted up.
-We were formed to fight off threats, not become one ourselves!- Black Panther exclaimed, pulling out his blade.
-You fools! You have lived long enough to believe you are eternal, but this is going to be your demise! I am fire! And life incarnate! Now and forever… I am PHOENIX!-
-I have been able to withstand Dormammu, how are you any better?!- Agamotto spoke back.
-Oh.- The Phoenix host chuckled. -I could defeat Dormammu with my eyes closed.- The woman attacked them with a cosmic fire blast.
The Sorcerer Supreme leapt in front of his teammates and casted a shield in front of all of them that withstood the blast long enough until it disintegrated. Ghost Rider stood in front of the blast, believing his pyrokinesis would make him immune.
Before she could see the outcome of the battle, Jean found herself standing inside of a temple, in front of two men.
-There was a bird in the sky.- Lei-Kung the Thunderer told an elder.
-Yes… Yes…- The Elder replied. -A fiery bird… The burning cycle… Very, very old that. Very bad. Come to cleanse the field. Extinguish the old and make way for the new.-
Suddenly, she was outside a cave, where a young redhead was standing, her fist glowing. -到外邊來，守老撾.- She smirked cockily.
Even though she was speaking in traditional Chinese, Jean could understand her perfectly. -Come outside, Shou-Lao.-
A dragon slithered out of the cave and looked down at the woman.
-You used to be more silent.- The dragon replied sternly.
-I grew up.-
-You were given the power of the Iron Fist to protect K’un-Lun, not destroy it!- The reptile yelled.
-That was not the only power I was given, old creature. I was blessed by heavenly fire. I am fire! And life incarnate! Now and forever… I am PHOENIX!-
-It is a mistake, Fongji! Fight it back! You have the strength inside you to repel it!-
-You are mistaken, Undying. I have the strength now that I was chosen.-
The dragon was headed towards the young woman, who didn’t back down. Lei-Kung jumped on Shou-Lao’s back, as it charged against the Phoenix host.
Jean was back in Essex’s living room, as the villain smiled at her from afar.
Dark Phoenix looked at him. -You actually did it. You triggered my full potential by reminding me of my past lives.-
-How do you feel… Dark Phoenix?- He smiled, walking to her.
-Like I could hold the world in my hands.-
-And… You know… I was wondering if you could…-
-Make you stronger than Apocalypse.- She smiled, reading his mind. -After all these years you still resent your master. The master Jean killed.- Sinister stood silent.
-I will not make you more powerful.- She chuckled, pushing him against the wall and choking him telekinetically. -You lose, Sinister. This is my mind, my soul, my life… And I mean to keep them to myself!- She let him go and teleported away, as the villain fell to the ground with a loud thud.
At the X-Mansion, while students played in the inner grounds, they were covered by some large shadows.
-I don’t mean to fall into the movie trope of looking at the sky during an alien invasion but… What else are we supposed to do?- The green mutant whispered.
-It’s the Shi’ar.- Beast figured out looking up at the spaceships. -They’re here to exact revenge after what Jean did.-
-It was Phoenix!- Cyclops corrected the doctor. -It was Phoenix.-
-Sorry…- Dr. McCoy muttered.
-Maybe I can talk to them.- Professor X said, as he telepathically contacted Majestrix Lilandra. -Hello, I am Professor Charles Xavier of Earth. I assume you are Majestrix Lilandra Neramani of the Shi’ar Empire.-
-You assume correctly, Professor.- The woman replied, sitting on a chair in the middle of the vessel. -I am here looking for the woman you call Phoenix.- She informed them. -She committed multiple crimes against the Shi’ar Empire and I am here personally to execute her.-
-I am afraid that can’t be so.- Xavier replied.
-Why?- She stood up violently, startling the soldiers beside her.
-She is not in the School anymore.-
The Majestrix nodded, closing his eyes. Then, she sat down calmly. -Very well, then. You will pay for her crimes.- She replied sternly, as the vehicles stopped right above the X-Mansion.
-How did it go?- Storm asked the Professor.
-We need Jean. We cannot stop the Shi’ar on our own.-
-But we don’t know where she is.- Angel replied.
-And Cerebro doesn’t work on her. We’ve tried.- Beast added.
-Oh, no.- Xavier put his hand on his forehead. -I think I have an idea of where she can be.-
Dark Phoenix appeared in front of some houses and started marching towards them.
As I march alone to a different beatSlowly swallowing down my fear, yeah, yeah ♫
As she walked, she started creating a golden armor around her body, setting aflame different objects around her.
Suiting up for my crowning battle
This test is my own cross to bearBut I will get there ♫
Two police cars approached her, ordering her to stand down. Without even looking at them, she flipped them around telekinetically.
Standing on the frontline when the bombs start to fall
I can see the heavens, but I still hear the flamesCalling out my name ♫
One of the officers who survived the crash pulled out his radio and called for reinforcements. The Phoenix soon approached him and blasted him out of existence with cosmic fire.
I can’t ignore this war
At the end of it allWho am I living for? ♫
She gently placed her hand on a hedge, but it burnt immediately. Three police vans approached the redhead and opened fire at her. However, none of the bullets even got close to her, since she disintegrated them unconsciously. Then, without looking behind her, she blew all three vans up, leaving no trace of the vehicles or the officers inside them.
Growing fast into a bolt of lightningI know one spark will shock the world, yeah yeah ♫
An elderly woman who was walking and saw the scene tried to fled, but she wasn’t fast enough and was scorched as well.
I need your strength to handle the pressure
I know there will be sacrificeBut that’s the price ♫
Slowly, she approached a single house, bursting the door open telekinetically.
I can’t ignore this war
At the end of it allWho am I living for? ♫
A couple that was sitting on the couch immediately stood up, and their faces lit up with joy.
-Jean!- Elaine Grey exclaimed.
-It’s been so long!- John Grey smiled, as they both were headed to hug their daughter.
-STAND BACK!- A voice ordered in their heads.
-What happened?- Dark Phoenix asked, pouting. -Aren’t you happy to see Jeannie?-
-What are you doing here?- Dark Phoenix asked.
-Saving your parents, Jean.- Cyclops tried to get close to her but was pushed away violently.
-MY NAME IS NOT JEAN!-
Standing up, Scott shook his head. -I refuse to believe that my Jean is lost. I know she’s somewhere behind all that power.-
-What is she doing here?!- The Dark Phoenix asked, enraged, as she pointed at the diamond-skinned telepath.
-We needed another telepath. To keep you distracted by blocking them out of your mind.-
-Distracted? What for?- The Phoenix asked.
Suddenly, Magik reappeared.
-No…- The entity whispered, realizing what they had done. She flew inside the house immediately and screamed loudly. Jean’s parents weren’t around anymore. Setting the house on fire, the Dark Phoenix flew outside, ready to crush the X-Men and find out where the Greys were, but the mutants weren’t there anymore.
-I am Gladiator, Superguardian of the Shi’ar Imperium. My sworn duty is to preserve stellar harmony. May the eternal heavens forgive us for what we must do here… Destroy all mutants.-
-Piotr!- Magik screamed, unsheathing her Soulsword and charging against the Imperial Guardsman.
Gladiator drew in air and expelled it, pushing the mutant away from him.
Flying at full speed, Cannonball charged at the Shi’ar, making him let go of Colossus.
-I came in search of the X-Men. You will do.- Kallark muttered, retaliating with his eye beams.
Samuel blasted off, creating an energy field around himself that shielded him from the attacks. Keeping his course, he crashed against the Imperial Guardsman and released thermo-chemical energy from his feet.
Visibly surprised, Kallark stood up and hovered above the mutant, ready to kill him.
-Sam, watch out!- James Roger yelled.
Gladiator turned to face the human and Cannonball flew straight towards the Shi’ar, punching his chest. As the Guardsman’s confidence started decreasing, so did his durability. Guthrie focused his attention on defeating Kallark and delivered blows against his face repeatedly. The mutant channeled as much energy as he could and released it from his hands, successfully defeating the Imperial Guard leader.
While the Gifted Youngsters faced the Shi’ar, a large lanky figure resembling circuitry and machinery descended from Lilandra’s ship. Visibly disoriented and frightened, the being looked around in awe, as if it was taking in as much information as possible.
Cypher, whose powers weren’t always useful in combat, approached the being holding his hands above his head.
-Greetings.- The being smiled down at him.
-Hello…- Doug looked up. -Are you okay?-
-How can you speak my language?- The alien wondered.
-Uh… Yes, I can speak English.-
-You are not speaking English.- He shook his head. -I do not speak English. Only Technarch.-
-That’s on my powers.- Cypher explained. -I am an omnilingual translator.-
The Technarch nodded.
-I am Douglas Ramsey. Some call me Cypher.-
-I am Warlock. I come from Kvch, the Technarchy Homeworld. But that was long ago.-
-Why are you with the Shi’ar, then?-
-I was… Employed by Emperor D’Ken to serve in all kinds of situations.-
-Did they capture you? Are you enslaved by the Shi’ar?-
Before Warlock could reply, Majestrix Lilandra pointed at him. -Get back on the ship! Now!-
The Technarch nodded and started walking back to the ship, but Cypher grabbed his wrist. -No. You will no longer be a slave.-
Enraged, the Shi’ar ran towards the pair, holding her spear in her right hand and ready to pierce through Ramsey’s chest. The New Mutant closed his eyes and covered his face with his forearms, but the spear never got to him. Warlock had grabbed it with an enlarged fist. Cypher looked up at his savior, extremely thankful, as the Technarch started fighting his former captor.
Indra clashed his sword against a Shi’ar’s spear. Armor protected herself against a gunner, who opened fire against the mutant. Nightcrawler BAMFed around a soldier, hitting him repeatedly. Smasher battled Sunspot in the sky.
While Warlock held Lilandra’s spear, the Majestrix pushed a button on the weapon that send an electric shockwave through the Technarch’s body.
-Warlock!- Cypher crouched besides his new friend, and the Shi’ar Empress was ready to kill the New Mutant.
Suddenly, Cyclops pulled his visor off and fired a blast at Neramani, pushing her away from the pair. -Lilandra, stop!- He ordered. -It wasn’t a mutant who did this! It was the Phoenix Force!-
-Within a mutant’s body. You may want to spare your beloved Jean Grey, but this was her fault! She annihilated numerous Shi’ar citizens! She almost killed my brother!-
-You wanted to kill him yourself!- Scott replied.
-But she went against my orders!- The Majestrix screamed.
-Speak of the devil…- Dark Phoenix appeared between the two.
Everyone around her stopped and remained silent.
-The Phoenix…- Lilandra muttered.
-In the flesh.- The redhead looked at the Empress. -You want me to pay for my crimes against the Shi’ar Empire?- Phoenix chuckled, flying towards Lilandra. -Guess what, Majestrix?- She emphasized on the title, mockingly. -The Phoenix isn’t bound by rules made by mortals.-
-GET HER!- Neramani ordered.
-Fools! You dare to trifle with the Phoenix?!- The entity within Jean pushed every Shi’ar away from her.
Dark Phoenix looked at Magik. -Seriously? You brought them… Here?- She laughed, and Colossus stood in front of his sister. The redhead snapped her fingers, as John and Elaine Grey appeared in front of everyone.
-Jean… Please… Don’t do this…- John pleaded.
Enraged, Phoenix faced them. -JEAN GREY IS DEAD, AND SO ARE YOU!-
Fire started to consume the couple, disintegrating them both.
-WHO ARE YOU?!- Cyclops screamed, firing a powerful optic blast at the woman in red, but she wasn’t affected by it.
-I already told you, dear Scott.- She laughed. -I am Phoenix. MY Jean is gone.-
-She was never your Jean. She was never mine either. She is her own. She has always been.- Summers said, running towards Dark Phoenix.
-SCOTT, NO!- Professor X screamed, pushing him away from her telekinetically. -She’ll disintegrate you!-
-What a smart man, Professor. You could have made a worthy host. Of course, I would have fixed the problem in your lower half.-
-DON’T YOU DARE!- Wolverine screamed, running towards the redhead and getting past the cosmic fire barrier around her, constantly disintegrating and reforming. -Jean… I know you’re in there…- Logan pleaded, getting close to the woman he had grown to love as well. -Fight it. Don’t let this be how they’ll remember you.- He looked into the woman’s eyes, who looked back into his. Eventually, the fire in her eyes vanished and her red outfit started to turn white.
Jean found herself surrounded by pitch black, as she held the universe in her hands. She was wrong back at Sinister’s lab. She wasn’t her strongest version. She wasn’t able to hold the universe in her hands before. Now she was. The Dark Phoenix wasn’t the strongest. The White Phoenix of the Crown was.
Outside of time and space, she could see perfectly well the whole universe and manipulate it at her will. But most importantly, she was in control. With a single thought, she undid her parents’ death, as tears started rolling down her cheek. She had done too much damage. To the Shi’ar. To the X-Men. To her parents. To Scott…
Suddenly, Scott appeared beside her.
-Jean…- He looked at her. -Is… Is it you?-
-Yes, Scott. It’s finally me.-
-Where are we?-
-Physically? Still at the Mansion. However, our minds are… Somewhere else. Time and space don’t affect us here. Not a single second has gone by back where we are.-
Scott remained silent, not knowing what to say.
-I saw the end of the world. I could feel all this death…- She spoke up. -And I was the one who brought it upon us.-
-It was Phoenix, not you…- He reached out, placing his hand on her cheek.
-I’m always Jean. And I’m always the Phoenix.- She shook her head slightly. -I cannot separate myself from it, and neither should you. I am responsible for everything the Phoenix Force did. I must leave the X-Men… Forever.-
-Jean… Please, don’t… I cannot lose you…- He started crying. -Losing you is the loss I can’t take. Jean… You’re necessary to me… As necessary as the air I breathe…-
-We come into the world alone and we leave the same way. The time we spend in between — Time spent alive, sharing, learning together — Is all that makes life worth living.- She kissed him softly. -Live, Scott. Live. All I ever did was die on you.-
I can’t ignore this war
At the end of it allWho am I living for? ♫
Scott found himself back at the Mansion, just in time to see Jean vanish, taking the Phoenix’s cosmic fire with her. Simultaneously, the Greys reappeared.
Speechless, Lilandra looked at the spot where Jean was. Nothing was left.
Professor X approached the Majestrix. -I hope you feel your score is settled.-
Without uttering a single word, Neramani nodded and went back onboard her ship, followed by the Shi’ar.
-I have to go…- Warlock told Cypher, saddened.
-Stay… Stay with us. Be a New Mutant, like me. Help us.- Douglas turned to face Xavier. -Can he stay with us, please?-
-Everyone is welcome at my school, Douglas.- He nodded as the Shi’ar ships left the Terran atmosphere, going back to Chandilar.
The X-Men were all visibly affected by Jean’s demise. Placing a tombstone on the garden, the mutants and the Greys gathered around it. Colossus wiped his tears off with a handkerchief.
All my life, it seemed that every time I turned around, I was losing people I loved. Each time, the loss hurt. “Losing you was the loss I couldn’t take. Jean, you’re everything to me… As necessary as the air I breathe…”. I said those words, not long ago, to a woman I loved more than my own life. Now I stand over her grave.
The tombstone read “She will rise again”.
That’s the thing about the Phoenix. There always has to be destruction… Before rebirth.
Back in his lab, Mr. Sinister picked up a vial containing blood. Slowly, he turned it around, revealing whose blood it was: Jean Grey’s.
-Hope, are you there?- He asked. Not getting any replies, he asked again. -Hope?- Starting to grow worried, he forced it open and found his adopted daughter levitating, her eyes on fire and the Phoenix’s wings behind her.
- Songs featured in this episode:
- Dark Phoenix and Jubilee's sprites were made by M:AA Wiki User:Ami7mina.
- Agamotto and Gladiator's sprites were made by M:AAFF Wiki User:Danny R.R.
- Professor X and Elixir's sprites were made by User:Nekhene.
- Cypher, Warlock, Banshee, Dani Moonstar and Karma's sprites were made by User:Loupi.
- Armor, Graymalkin, Icarus, Indra, Ink and Wallflower's sprites were made by User:Sunder4321.
- The Shi'ar soldiers' sprites were made by M:AAFF Wiki User:Agentk98.
- Eva Bell's sprite was made by User:Wynter's Sloth.
- Blink, Sunspot and Warpath's sprites were made by User:Josh27 of the M:AA Fanfic Wiki.
- Hellion's sprite was made by User:Shadow757.