Previously,Scott SummersandLoganof theUncanny X-Menhad a disagreement of large proportions concerningthe next generation of mutants, they had what one would call, aSchism. The Schism still lurks amongst them, but, a newGenesisdawns on the kind of people you would usuallyfearandhate. Since then, Scott and Logan have gone their separate ways, operating in different factions while keeping in mind what the two of them wanted most. They’ve been through wars, they’ve had their trials and tribulations, but now ? The Children of The X-Men are taking matters into their own hands.
The Young X-Men #3
New Beginnings Part 3 – The Dead Will Rise.
Panel 1/ Flashback. A Caucasian teenage girl, with long blonde hair, wearing a black headband, a purple jumper, a plaid skirt, white tights and blue shoes—lying dead on the floor, there’s a gaping hole on the side of her head, gushing with blood. Besides her is Joshua Foley, bits of blood splattered on his face, looking at her in complete shock. Wearing red and white combat gear with “X” accents.
CPT: After M-Day.
CPT: Laurie Collins. Wallflower. Dead.
JWOP: She’s dead. Shot right in front of me. There was nothing I could do but look at the girl who meant the world to me…die. I loved her. I love her. Laurie Collins.
Panel 2/ Joshua, hooded up, looks on at the trash pile. He’s fixated on the man-made machine head beneath it all.
CPT: June 16. 2012. Saturday.
JWOP: She was the only girl who could accept me for who and what I was. Even when I was unfaithful. When I took advantage of what I really had…of what I couldn’t bear to lose when that was taken away from me.
Panel 3/ Flashback. A slightly younger version of Laurie is looking at Joshua in anger, with tears rolling down her cheeks, the iris of her eye is yellow. A yellow coloured essence resonates from her body.
Panel 4/ He kneels down towards the head. He sombrely looks at it.
JOSHUA: (I wasn’t able to heal you before, Laurie. I wasn’t able to save you. But I’ve got help now, I can bring you back…)
Panel 5/ With his right hand, he removes all the trash and clutter from on top of the machine’s head.
JOSHUA: I can--oh no…
Panel 1/ Inside a dark, dull, prison cell. A Caucasian woman stands looking at some notes on her tatty bed, in her early forties, wearing common prison clothing. Her hair is of a brownish colour, her facial complexion is pale. She seems bitter.
CPT: June 11. 2012. Monday.
CPT: Governor Strelonivich. Former Governor of Russia. Incarcerated for War Crimes.
Panel 2/ She doesn’t move an inch, looking at the notes, she starts to bite her bottom lip in anger.Two shadows form on her back.
VOICE: Excuse me, Veronika?
Panel 3/ She turns back, squinting her eyes at the two people who approach her barred cell.
VERONIKA: What do you want?
VOICE: You have a visitor. He goes by the name of Walthamstow Berkshire, but prefers “Kaga”.
VERONIKA: …I don’t recall acquainting myself with anyone called Walthamstow BerkshireorKaga. Sincerely speaking, if this “visitor” of mine has nothing better to do with his time, then I’d advise him to leave. I am busy.
Panel 4/ Veronika looks across to the wall in front of her. The taller shadow out of the two crouches down and whispers something to the person standing next to it.
Panel 5/ The taller shadow leaves. Veronika looks to the left of her, taking note of it.
VERONIKA: I have no time for games, be gone or I’ll-
KAGA: Veronika, you realise my coming here could possibly ensure the proverbial exit from this encampment?
VERONIKA: Are you hard of hearing? I have no time for games. You cretins have evidently-
KAGA: The Sentinels, Veronika Strelonivich… or should I say--Governor Strelonivich. I came here to speak to you about the Sentinels.
Panel 6/ Veronika pauses in obscure shock.
KAGA: Yes, I know all about your people and what you yourself had to do with the Sentinels. It is of course, the sole reason for your being here, is it not?
Panel 7/ She looks down at the notes.
VERONIKA: You know nothing. How dare you-
KAGA: On the contrary, I know far more than you could ever imagine. If you could just give me a minute of your time, we could work wonders together. I know you want out of this rat-hole, I know how much you want to take revenge on General Nobakov and the hatred you have for the men and women of Symkaria burns far deeper than the Earth’s core. I possess the things you want, you possess the things I need.
Panel 1/ She turns around to the man in shock, covering her mouth in disgust.
VERONIKA: <О, мойгосподин>!...what manner of--
KAGA: Do not be alarmed by my physical appearance, Veronika. I did not ask for your hand in marriage, what I request is your full cooperation in a plan that will change both our lives for the better.
Panel 2/ She slowly takes a seat on the lower bed of her bunk-bed, carefully watching him as she does so.
VERONIKA: Explain yourself and the business in which you need my apparent assistance, quickly.
KAGA: As I was saying before, the Sentinels. It is quite obvious that you know not of my work with the machines you were looking to use to wreak havoc with on your neighbouring country, Symkaria. In my line of work, Sentinels are quite vital…as well as conspicuous. I travelled to your base in Puternicstan along with my…associates. Some of the blue prints found there were quite…fascinating.
Panel 3/ Side view. She looks at him in curiosity.
KAGA: I was amazed by how you and your men were able to re-model and re-vamp the first model Sentinels into your own “Machines of War”, as most would refer to them as. With such a lack of tools and fine resources to use on them, the results were surprising. I can get you out of here, I can help you get the revenge you were so long denied…
Panel 4/ She stands up and walks closer to him in discreet anticipation.
VERONIKA: Before I go along with this, you--whoever you may be--I think it best that you be warned beforehand that I am not the sort of lady that the likes of you should be trifling with. Your proposal is sweet, I will not deny that, but I could just as easily refuse. I am a woman of honour and duty, I will protect my country at all costs by any means that I alone deem necessary…
Panel 5/ She reaches the bars, they both shake hands between the gaps of the bars. The man’s hands are old, wrinkly and frail, as if they’re about to break at the touch.
VERONIKA: …But I will accept in knowing that I will be free of this place, in turn, getting back to where I left off.
KAGA: Wise choice.
Panel 6/ He removes his hand. His face and body are still not visible, shrouded by the shadows.
VOICE: I’ve taken care of the men like you asked, Kaga.
Panel 7/ Some keys are thrown towards the cell entrance, much to Veronika’s surprise.
VERONIKA: Who lurks there?!
KAGA: Fret not. The girl is my accomplice, one of my…wonders, if that’s what you’d call it. Now release yourself and follow me…
Panel 1/ Inside a luxurious looking kitchen, Sofia and David, both wearing pyjamas, are conversing. The sun shines in from the windows. Both are eating breakfast.
CPT: Utopia. June 24. Sunday. Today.
SOFIA: “Pax Utopia”, huh? Sounds like the second best alternative to heaven.
DAVID: It kind of was, but I was planning on leaving everything since before that. The Avengers invading our home was the last straw for me, I couldn’t take it.
SOFIA: What gives?
Panel 2/ David puts his sandwich down, to reply to Sofia.
DAVID: All of it.
Panel 3/ Sofia raises her left eyebrow at David, in a sort of, cheeky manner.
SOFIA: Yeah, right.
DAVID: I’m not kidding, Sofia. You weren’t here, you don’t know what happened. Staying here isn’t benefitting any of us. I stood by Cyclops’ side because I wanted a fighting chance and I knew that going to the school wouldn’t give me that, but this--this is something else.
Panel 4/ Large shot of Sofia looking down at her breakfast.
SOFIA: Well, with the way you go on about everything, it’s not like the old days, huh?
DAVID: You’re right, it’s not. It’s nothing like the old days. Everything’s changed, you can see that for yourself. We’ve all grown up. We’ve been through a lot of--a lot of crap. I think it’s time to move on from this place.
SOFIA: Time to move on? And what’s that supposed to mean? David, I just got here.
Panel 5/ He gets out of his seat, directing his body towards the exit of the kitchen. Sofia looks at him in annoyance.
DAVID: Sofia, you’re one of my closest friends…I couldn’t possibly leave you in this place. You’re coming with me--us.
SOFIA: Right. I take it you haven’t told Cyclops or Emma about this, have you?
DAVID: Not yet.
SOFIA: Will they know?
DAVID: By the end of today, pretty much. I’ve still got some more packing to do, you don’t even live here.
SOFIA: Thank goodness for that.
DAVID: …Sofia, don’t resent me for what’s happening. I know there’s still a lot more that you’d like to know and explore…but we’re at a turning point. We need some time to re-cooperate.
Panel 6/ Close up. Sofia looks at David in reassurance.
SOFIA: David, you don’t exactly have anything to worry about. Believe me, it’s not impossible for me to wrap my head around all the happenings. I can handle it.
DAVID: …Thank you.
Panel 7/ David prompts Sofia to follow him, she looks back at him in confusion.
SOFIA: What are you--…
DAVID: Come with me. There’s something I need to show you.
Panel 1/ Sofia and David have arrived inside a dark jet hangar, Sofia looks warily of the place. David, walking in front of her, directs her towards a cloaked automobile of sorts.
SOFIA: A hangar room, where they keep jets and aeroplanes? Is this what you wanted to show me?
DAVID: No, not exactly. When we leave this place, I wanted us to have our own, solid, mission statement. One that would benefit the world and Mutants as well. That includes us getting to certain parts of the world when needed…
Panel 2/ He reaches the cloaked automobile and grabs a piece of the cloak, he looks back at Sofia.
DAVID: If we’re going to show the X-Men that we’ve learnt from our past mistakes, that we’re better than what we used to be…
Panel 3/ He removes the cloak, it reveals a medium sized, technologically advanced jet. Sofia looks at in in amazement.
DAVID: …I present to you: the—uh, well, I haven’t exactly named it anything yet, I’m still getting there. What do you think?
Panel 4/ Sofia looks at David in surprise, he admires the jet.
SOFIA: I know for a fact that it did not take you less than forty-eight hours to create this, so where did-
DAVID: That’s not the point, but if you’re still interested, I’ll explain things later on. But I want to know, do you like it?
Panel 5/ Close up. Sofia looks back at the in awe.
SOFIA: I love it.
Panel 6/ She turns around and flies towards the other-side of the room, covering her mouth in the process.
SOFIA: But I don’t love having morning breath. I’m gonna go take a shower, we’ll talk about…this, later.
DAVID: *to himself* Yeah…we will.
Panel 7/ As David starts re-cloaking the jet, he gets startled.
Panel 1/ David looks up towards the upper-deck of the hangar, the identical twin sisters of Phoebe are standing, watching David.
DAVID: Celeste? Irma? Is there a problem?
CELESTE: We’re not too sure about that, David-
IRMA: -What do you think?
Panel 2/ Side view. David contemplates.
DAVID: I think you’ve got a problem with Phoebe’s decision. There isn’t exactly time for this, though. Phoebe’s developed as a person, just like we all have. We need to start thinking on our two feet these days--
Panel 3/ Close up on Celeste and Irma. They aren’t exactly amused.
DAVID: --Instead of constantly relying on whomever is available.
CELESTE: Well, someone’s obviously gotten a bit too big for their boots. You realise, David, if it wasn’t for us-
IRMA: -You wouldn’t even be here. Don’t worry, we fully acknowledge the fact that you’re forever in our debt.
DAVID: Is that some sort of threat?
IRMA: No. We’ve spoken to Phoebe, she seems quite adamant on her final choice. She’s leaving Utopia, ready when you are.
Panel 4/ Angled topographic view. David argues his case.
DAVID: I gathered that, really. You shouldn’t blame her, she also told me about how she feels…about all of this. Change is good and change happens, accept that.
CELESTE: Evidently, you conceited ingrate. We know. Phoebe is our sister, we are the Stepford Cuckoos. How do you think we feel about all of this? The original plan was to come here and…apprehend you, but we’ve more or less realised that…that isn’t the wisest of options.
IRMA: Please, David. We know what you’re planning, we’ve looked into your mind. We admire the dream and the mission, we do. But as you can see, we can’t exactly come with…but we aren’t here to discuss that.
Panel 5/ The telepathic astral projection of Irma appears before an astonished David.
IRMA: (It’s just that, we haven’t exactly experienced things like this before…the Phoenix, everything from then on, it’s been a lot. Just--just let her know that we’ll always be here for her, our place is with Scott…and Ms Frost, we can’t leave. As much as we want to make amendments we just cannot.)
Panel 6/ The projection dissipates, David looks back up at the girls in concern.
CELESTE: As you can see, the direction of the intended conversation as somewhat…changed. You will let Phoebe know about this, David. You must. We’re leaving now and we…
IRMA: We wish you--all of you, the best. Hopefully Mutants and Humans can live together in peace, if we just try hard enough.
Panel 7/ They leave.
CELESTE & IRMA: Goodbye, David.
Panel 1/ David is left speechless.
IRMA: Oh, and, David? If it’s of any consolation, Phoebe was the one who suggested giving you back all the memories you presumed lost. Just thought I’d let you know.
Panel 2/ Noriko is inside her room, her hair is tied into two pig-tails. She’s packing some luggage into an oriental designed suitcase.
Panel 3/ On top of her dresser, her cell phones starts to vibrate.
SFX: *ZZZZ !* *ZZZZ !*
Panel 4/ She walks over to her dresser in annoyance.
NORIKO: Ugh. I can’t exactly deal with this while I’m-
NORIKO: Unknown number…weird.
Panel 5/ She answers the phone-call and brings it towards her right ear.
NORIKO: Hullo? If this is some sort of--
VOICE FROM THE PHONE: Nori. It’s me, it’s Josh. I can’t talk right now…I need you to come to New York, quick. It’s important.
Panel 6/ Her demeanour changes, she looks a little worried.
NORIKO: Hold on, I told you everything would be--
VOICE FROM THE PHONE: Dammit, Nori !...It’s not about that, this is something else…something serious. I need your help. You can’t come with anyone.
NORIKO: Why not?
VOICE FROM THE PHONE: Because I said so. I still need to…I still need to get myself sorted. Just…it’s important, I need you, Nori.
NORIKO: Josh, what’s happening? I don’t think--
Panel 7/ Angled topographic view. She leaves her room, her suitcase not properly packed.
Panel 1/ Phoebe is inside her own room, sitting on her bed, looking through some pictures. The pictures that are visible, show her, Celeste and Irma, happily smiling.
PWOP: It was only a matter of time before this happened, I suppose. It’s pointless living in the shadow of someone who holds you in no sense of high esteem.
Panel 2/ She looks at her wardrobe.
PWOP: I know I’m not doing the wrong thing. I know I’m not going down the wrong path, so why do I feel this way? Why do I feel like there’s no turning back?
Panel 3/ On Utopia’s beach, Hope is taking a hike. She’s no longer wearing the caped, green combat suit she had on before, instead, a hooded green jumped and jeans.
HOPE: (Nice one, Hope. Under only three months, you’ve already managed to make yourself a public enemy in the eyes of people who hate you, as well as those who thought they could trust you. Nice. Good work. You deserve a medal.)
Panel 4/ Side view, she looks towards the ocean in sadness.
HOPE: (First, you decided to “make your escape”, then, you were found, then, they got you, and then? Then you did the dumbest thing ever and ran with the people who wanted to annihilate you if you gave them the chance, when you found out, anyways. In turn, making yourself look like the biggest traitor this side of Kansas. And then things got even trickier from there…)
HOPE: (Why did you do that?)
VOICE: Penny for your thoughts?
Panel 5/ Hope stops walking, getting in somewhat of a defensive stance, she looks up. Sofia gently flies in.
SOFIA: Sorry about that. I’m Sofia, Sofia Mantega?
HOPE: Never heard of you.
SOFIA: Yeah, I’ve been getting that a lot. You’re Hope Summers, aren’t you?
HOPE: I am.
SOFIA: Hi, David told me about you. I, uh…I’m his friend.
SOFIA: I used to attend the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning, before M-Day, before my powers were removed. But they’re back now, and, well-
Panel 6/ Sofia lands, welcoming herself to Hope.
SOFIA: You know, David talks a lot about you.
HOPE: David…is he…okay?
SOFIA: He’s alright, yeah. Are you okay?
SOFIA: I know what happened between the X-Men and the Avengers, and how you were in the middle of it all.
HOPE: *to herself* Of course you do…
SOFIA: I didn’t come here to point fingers; I’m just trying to wrap my head around everything, one day at a time. I figured it’d be smart for me to come to you because, well, I figure we could somehow…relate. I’m not even trying to compare or anything, but you look like you could use a break.
Panel 7/ Hope, timidly brings her right hand out towards Sofia.
Panel 8/ They shake hands together.
SOFIA: Nice to meet you.
Panel 1/ Noriko is sitting inside a café, adjacent to her, is an obscure looking Josh. There are some other customers inside the café as well.
NORIKO: Josh, I won’t lie to you. I thought things were getting better, I thought you were getting past everything…with Laurie, with-
JOSHUA: That’s the thing. Laurie…
Panel 2/ Side view. Noriko gets a little agitated, Josh preserves himself.
NORIKO: What? Laurie’s alive? Are you deaf or just delusional? Josh, her corpse was used as a host for a robotic sleeper agent. Some wacky radiation guy got a hold of it and used it as a weapon against the X-Men. It’s destroyed. Gone. Vamoose.
JOSHUA: Shut up…
NORIKO: What did you--
JOSHUA: Sorry…but you’re wrong. Nori…does anyone know about…”this”?
Panel 3/ Noriko backs down a bit, looking at Joshua concern.
NORIKO: No. Nobody’s exactly aware of our meetings, I was kind of hoping you’d stop all this shady behaviour and let everyone know that you’re around. What is with you, Josh?
JOSHUA: I just--I’m not ready. I’m not ready for everything, not now. My head’s still messed up.
NORIKO: Obviously. But I know the little exchange of words we just had isn’t what you brought me here for. Josh, what is it?
JOSHUA: It’s Laurie.
Panel 4/ “Camera” focus on Joshua as he explains to Noriko, directly looking at her.
NORIKO: Oh for--
JOSHUA: Please, listen. Just hear me out.
JOSHUA: A couple of days ago I was kinda strolling about, still attempting to sort my head out. I was on the beach, then, some guy came to me. He called himself “Kaga”, an old dude. His face was…something. He was confined to a wheelchair but then…Nori, he went on to tell me what happened to Laurie’s corpse.
JOSHUA: It wasn’t her corpse, Nori…
Panel 5/ Noriko looks at Joshua in shock.
JOSHUA: It was a clone.
NORIKO: Josh…how do you know this?
JOSHUA: Because…because I was desperate and he…he took me to his lab, some underground place, in San Fran’. And I saw her…I saw Laurie for the first time since she died in my arms…she was lying on a gurney. The wound was still fresh, her skin was so…soft. Her hair smelt so nice. She looked so innocent and she was…
Panel 6/ Noriko covers her mouth in disbelief, some of the customers in the shop look at her in confusion.
NORIKO: Oh, Josh…we need to-
JOSHUA: I’m not done yet. He said that…he said that there was a way that I could save her, that I needed to go back to where the Sentinel was. I did…but it was all gone, Nori…I need you to help me. Please…
NORIKO: Josh, what you’re telling me right now, i--we need the rest of them. I can’t help you by myself, you don’t even know what you’re up against.
JOSHUA: Noriko, I’m begging you…help me.
Panel 1/ Joshua reaches out to Noriko, she looks at him in slight discomfort. Unbeknownst to her, his right eye glows a reddish colour.
JOSHUA: If you cared about Laurie…even a little.
NORIKO: Josh, I…
Panel 2/ Joshua’s perspective. Joshua isn’t viewing the world with human eyes, everything is viewed in robotics. Noriko gives in and hesitantly holds Joshua’s hands.
NORIKO: Ugh. Fine…I’ll do it.
Panel 3/ Joshua’s perspective. Next to Noriko’s face, a subheading reads “Target has been apprehended.”.
Panel 4/ Noriko notices that Joshua isn’t letting go of her, other customers inside the shop grow wary of the situation.
NORIKO: Josh? Josh you’re hurting me, could you--
JOSHUA: Initiating transportation sequence in 3-
NORIKO: What the hell…
NORIKO: Oh…Oh God…you’re a--
Panel 5/ Her gauntlets start to spark, she struggles from his iron grip. He doesn’t move an inch. Still staring at her.
NORIKO: Josh! LET GO OF ME !
JOSHUA: Transportation commencing in 2-
Panel 6/ She looks at the other bystanders inside the shop in panic, they’re frozen in shock to help her. Joshua still hasn’t moved, continuing his hold on her. Sparks continue to pour out from her gauntlets as well as her eyes.
JOSHUA: Transportation finalizing in 1-
Panel 1/ Splash. Noriko disappears in a flash of bright-blue light, along with Joshua. The bystanders in the shop look on in shock.
Panel 1/ Hope Abbot is walking through the school corridors, conversing with Victor. Some other students are walking down the corridor as well.
VICTOR: So, yeah. We’re supposed to figure everything out by today, but I got no idea how that’s supposed to work out. Wanna come?
HOPE A.: But…I wasn’t invited to the “meeting”, would Rachel allow that?
VICTOR: I dunno. But you’re a part of us, David and Sofia were your friends too. It’s only natural that you join. I’ll see if I can talk to Rachel about it.
Panel 2/ Hope begins to ponder.
HOPE A.: Um, alright. Victor, don’t you think it’s a little funny that we’re going on “missions”?
VICTOR: This isn’t a mission. Rachel knew what was going to happen when telling us is.
HOPE A.: Yeah, but you’re not listening, Victor. We came to the school so we could live “normal” lives, or, what passes for that word these days. We’re not exactly supposed to be doing things like this as part of our grading criteria. We left Utopia for a reason.
Panel 3/ Elevated side-view. Victor looks over to Hope in suspicion.
VICTOR: But you saw what happened last week. No matter how far we run, or how evasive our skills might be…we will always be a target for something. There’s no running from the fighting--
Panel 4/ Hope pauses to look at Victor, a little disappointed. He walks off.
VICTOR: --We need to stop kidding ourselves.
Panel 1/ Angled topographic view. Sooraya and Hope are conversing in the kitchen.
SOORAYA: If you don’t mind me saying, I have nothing against you, Hope, but I do believe that what you did was wrong.
SOORAYA: I do not understand what the X-Men and the Avengers did, honestly, I do not. It is quite upsetting to see such grown men and women squabble over something that could be settled over a peaceful discussion.
Panel 2/ Side view. Sooraya continues to converse with an eager looking Hope.
SOORAYA: But you attacked us, Hope. I wasn’t aware--nor could I comprehend what you were going through at the time, still, you could have tried to communicate with us…
SOORAYA: But the war is over now, you’re decision to run over to the Avengers side is by no doubt, unforgivable in the perspective of other…residents. But Allah taught me to forgive, forgiving is the only thing we can do in times like these. That, I will do, regardless.
Panel 3/ “Camera” focus on Hope replying back to Sofia, a little reluctant to do so but she does it anyways.
HOPE: Thanks. Believe me, I didn’t ask for any of this. I didn’t ask for the Phoenix, I didn’t ask for the X-Men or the Avengers. If I had my way…I wouldn’t of been born. I was in perpetual rapture, the Phoenix was calling me every second of every minute of every hour….
HOPE: The…lust and…temptation, to follow through and let it take over was overwhelming me, I didn’t want that to happen. I wanted to die. I wanted Logan to kill me. When the Phoenix was split into the other X-Men…I guess I was kind of relieved.
Panel 4/ Focus is still on hope, she looks a little concerned, thinking back on everything.
HOPE: But, in a way, I felt a bit betrayed. I know what I did…I know I rejected it at first, but at the same time…I wanted it. Running to the Avengers while pieces of the Phoenix’ constantly had me under their noses was the only thing I could do. I couldn’t help myself, then things went…off.
Panel 5/ Behind the two, Sofia opens the kitchens door with a frantic look on her face.
HOPE: I can take the funny looks and I can take the-
SOFIA: Sorry to interrupt the conversation, but has anyone seen Nori?
Panel 1/ Elevated side-view. Sofia and Noriko are looking at Noriko’s bed in curiousity, her suitcase not fully packed.
CPT: Later on.
SOORAYA: You did not see her as she was leaving?
SOFIA: No, she didn’t even tell me she was leaving. I’ve asked Loa, Celeste, Irma and even that Tabitha woman, none of them have seen her and they’re the only ones present in Utopia. Everyone else is off on a mission of some sort.
SOORAYA: Hmm, that is…interesting.
Panel 2/ Sooraya walks over to the suitcase, looking at it peculiarly.
SOORAYA: This does not bode well. She would have at least told me…and she didn’t think to leave any notes as to where she was going either.
SOFIA: Let’s not anticipate the worst just yet.
SOORAYA: Indeed…but we cannot be lenient on the subject either. Sofia…
Panel 3/ Sooraya turns back to Sofia.
SOORAYA: We need to contact Phoebe, immediately.
Panel 1/ Phoebe is seated towards the podium in the Cerebral room. Sooraya is standing behind her with her arms crossed, Sofia is looking towards the holographic projection of planet Earth.
PHOEBE: Hold on…I’m still looking.
Panel 2/ Side view. Phoebe touches the side of her head, which has Cerebra placed on top of it.
PHOEBE: For crying out loud…
SOFIA: I forgot to ask, where’s David? Haven’t seen him since earlier this morning.
SOORAYA: He arranged a meeting with Scott concerning our departure, I did not think it would take this long, but it has.
Panel 3/ Phoebe ominously stands up, much to Sooraya and Sofia’s surprise.
PHOEBE: I haven’t found her yet but…something’s…someone’s…coming.
Panel 4/ Above the three of them, an astral projection of Hope Abbot enters the space, hovering before them.
HOPE A.: Sorry, sorry, sorry. I’m not even supposed to be here, but I kinda have to let you guys know.
SOORAYA: Good afternoon, Hope.
Panel 5/ Hope proceeds to carry on with her explanation but pauses upon looking at Sofia.
HOPE A.: Oh my gosh…Victor wasn’t lying…
HOPE A.: You’re back!
SOFIA: Whoa…uh, hi. It’s been a while…(Wow, she’s grown up so much…)
Panel 6/ She snaps out of her daze and gets back on topic, Phoebe looks up at her in suspicion.
PHOEBE: Is something wrong?
HOPE A.: I can’t believe you guys are totally out of the loop on this, like, don’t they have TV’s in Utopia?
HOPE A.: It’s Noriko. Quentin and his loud-mouthed self, let us in on it. It’s on the news and everything.
PHOEBE: What is?
Panel 7/ Sooraya covers her mouth in disbelief, Sofia’s jaw drops, Phoebe immediately removes Cerebra from her head.
HOPE A.: Noriko was kidnapped!!
Panel 1/ Still inside the Cerebral room, Hope continues to explain things to the gob-smacked trio.
PHOEBE: But…that doesn’t explain why Cerebra didn’t manage to track her.
HOPE A.: Just wait a sec, I can already feel my body pulling me back. It was in some random café in New York, the witnesses reported that she was talking to some hooded, blonde guy, around the same age as her. The conversation got heated, then it cooled down again, but then the guy took action and all of a sudden…poof! She was gone in a “flash of bright light”, they said.
Panel 2/ Sooraya tries to grasp the concept, Sofia doesn’t know what to say. Phoebe looks over to Cerebra.
SOORAYA: This is very strange, I wonder who that boy could have been?
PHOEBE: Blonde guy. Is he still at the crime scene?
HOPE A.: Well, obviously not. That would be silly. He got taken off in the flash, too.
Panel 3/ “Camera” focus on a shocked Sofia.
SOFIA: Blonde hooded guy…”hooded”. Blonde, as well.
Panel 4/ Everyone directs their attention to Sofia.
Panel 1/Elevated side-view. It’s late afternoon. Sofia, Sooraya and Phoebe are walking towards a large crowd in New York City. Amongst the crowd, are plenty of innocent men and women, eager news-reporters and annoyed police-officers barring the crowd from stepping any further.
CPT: A little later on. 17:38 PM.
SOORAYA: Sofia, are you sure it was Josh?
SOFIA: Positive. A couple of months back, we had on-and-off conversations of…stuff. In each one, he was wearing the same thing, over and over. Didn’t change or anything.
SOORAYA: I see…
SOFIA: Then he stopped coming to see me at the café, I tried to reach him but to no avail. This “Necrosha”…how much psychologicaldamage did it inflict on him?
Panel 2/ “Camera” focus on the police-officers keeping the large crowd at bay.
NEWS-REPORTER #1: Officer, is this Noriko Ashida the daughter of up and coming business tycoon, Seiji Ashida?
POLICE-OFFICER #1: No comment.
NEWS-REPORTER #2: Is there any way you could elaborate on the kidnapping? From what I’ve heard, she’s a mutant and a member of the Uncanny X-Men, the same X-Men who shaped the world in their own image no less than two weeks ago.
POLICE-OFFICER #1: No comment.
NEWS-REPORTER #3: Officer, if you could just-
NEWS-REPORTER #4: We need more-
NEWS-REPORTER #5: Would it be possible if there was-
Panel 3/ Behind the crowd, Sooraya, Sofia and Phoebe walk in.
SOFIA: They know Noriko’s dad?
SOORAYA: It would appear so.
PHOEBE: Something tells me that furthering our arrival won’t be needed.
Panel 4/ They all look at Phoebe, she’s fixated on the crowd, her eye’s glow a bright white.
PHOEBE: The crowd, they’re very jolly. What happened just now, it’s still extremely vivid in some of their heads. But this is all too ominous for my liking.
SOORAYA: Why do you say that?
PHOEBE: Because I can “see” it, I can see what happened. That wasn’t Joshua, it was--I think Noriko managed to uncover that he--it, was some sort of fake, a robotic doppelganger.
WOP: Being the telepath that she is, Phoebe’s quite aware that this isn’t all that happened, she’s familiar with the truth. Noriko was given no help whatsoever.
Panel 5/ “Camera” focus on a worried Sooraya, Sofia is looking back in curiosity.
WOP: And Phoebe just watched.
SOORAYA: But then, what shall we do now?
PHOEBE: I’m not too sure.
PHOEBE: Cerebra failed in tracking Noriko, but I could always try again. My only concern is that we’re not the only ones who know of this, Scott and the others must be aware, especially Ms Frost.
PHOEBE: We can’t let them figure this out before we do, we need to make it clear that we’re just as good as they are. No longer are we the novice students they once knew, we’re much more.
Panel 6/ Sofia continues to look back, before her are words riding along the winds, words which read “Well, boys, let’s just see if the Dark Avengers can lend a hand in this horrific mess.”.
SOFIA: Uh oh...
Panel 1/ Black panel.
Panel 2/ Black panel.
Panel 3/ Someone’s perspective, everything is a fuzzy. What’s visible are, several light sources around what seems to be some sort of cave, two figures, a seated figure, up close and personal, at the other end of a room, a female looking figure.
Panel 4/ Person’s perspective starts to clear up, they seem to be stationary. They are placed in an extremely large cave, around the cave, are carcasses of giant sized animals, heads of prehistoric beasts, the large breastplate of a Sentinel is in the middle of the room. It’s apparent that Kaga is the seated figure, Veronika is looking up at the breastplate.
KAGA: Awake already?
Panel 5/ Perspective is now clear. Kaga is sinisterly smiling in the person’s face, yet, acknowledging that there’s something bad going on.
KAGA: Now, now. You’re not exactly in any shape to be stressing the muscles in this fine piece of art your indomitable spirit has been placed in.
KAGA: I must admit, though, I’d be fibbing if I were to say that it did not take quite the effort to get you all suited up. But alas, thanks to your Marvels, I’ve now managed to provide the correct amount of energy needed to have my machine work at efficient standards.
KAGA: Noriko Ashida…
Panel 1/ Splash. Noriko is stark naked, though, her private parts are covered by electronic equipment. She’s held in a contraption, the gauntlets on both her right and left arms have been removed, instead, wires and extremely thick cords have been physically attached to her arms, electrical energy from both of her arms surges through the wires, powering the cave and other things. She’s evidently been brutally beaten, her mouth is gagged.
KAGA: …Forgive me if the trap you fell in was of an inopportune moment for you. Friends, eh?
KAGA: Your hand in this soon-to-be phenomenon will not be overlooked. Welcome to the future.
To be continued…
Next - It's a dark, dark world out there.
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