Epic X-Men 11: Invasion of the Kingdom of Amahl Farouk
”Emma! It’s time to bustle on over! The Professor needs it immediately! We must make it to Africa, swiftly!”, Hank called out from the opening of the newly bought Blackbird.
”I know, Henry! Warren told me directly over the phone. I have the Cerebro unit, right here. There is no need to keep shouting”, Emma said irritably.
”Well, Warren said it Twas’ a necessity to bring the portable Cerebro within a timely manner. If Professor so deems it a priority, we shall deliver!”, Hank said invigoratingly.
”So it’s really about getting the Professor what he needs and nothing to do with wanting to fly the plane?”, Emma asked deadpanned.
”Absolutely. Granted, the piloting the Blackbird has been something I have been eager to proceed with, but it is most certainly not of the utmost importance on my to-do list”, Hank said.
”So, then you won’t mind if I drive then?”, Emma asked with mischievous smile.
”That’s what I thought”, Emma laughed as she got on the passenger seat of the plane. Hank made a show of pretending to be a fighter pilot as he flipped the different switches to ready for lift off. Soon, though, the two were up in the air, making way to Africa.
*Nearby Orroro’s Village*
The Blackbird descended as it started to lower it’s wheels for its landing. When they touched down, the two mutants stepped out into the seemingly clear day with only the village visible in the distance.
”What do you suppose the Professor wishes to do with the Cerebro helmet this far out in the Serengeti, anyways?”, Hank asked as he hopped happily from the exit.
”I asked you that earlier at the mansion?!”, Emma snapped as she descend down the ramp.
”Did you? I can’t quite recall”, Hank said scratching his head.
”Of course, you couldn’t. You are a man of many talents, Henry, but you’ve such tunnel vision that you neglect to keep awareness of, well, everything else”, Emma says walking past him with the helmet. “I am sure this would be a case where you could have thought more about this whole thing instead of the glaring plane.”
”So, you don’t have any idea as to why the Professor would need the helmet?”, Hank asks as he follows Emma.
With a sigh, Emma thinks back before saying, “I don’t. Warren said that there was some psionic presence and that Cerebro may be of use against that force..... wait....”
”Something troubling you?”
”......I think....I feel the presence that they were talking about....such a vast nexus of negative emotion intwined with raw psionic energy. I’ve never felt such a presence like it”, Emma says as chills crawl up her spine.
“Come, Emma. When we convene with the Professor, we will explore multiple possible hypotheses and queries”, Hank declares as he and Emma move further towards the village.
“I guess it is time to retrieve the package. Scott. Warren. Bring me Cerebro“, Amahl ordered the two mutants. With no other word, the two exit and head towards the unsuspecting mutants.
”Amahl, I am warning you! If you harm them-“
”You will what Xavier? Have you been holding out on me this entire time? Go ahead. Stop me if you can”, Amahl challenges with a evil grin. “Now, to deal with the Grey child.”
Snap out of it, Charles, he told himself. You cannot waver now when they need you the most. I will not let him take them!
With newly found determination, Charles pushed himself through the pain and negativity to get to Amahl.
”Finally”, was all Amahl responded as they waged into another battle that rocked the Astral Plane from each blow struck.
”Emma? What are you sensing?”
”..........I’m not sure Henry”, Emma pauses for a minute as she tried to make sense of the waves upon waves of mental energy epicenter was located with her mind. “......I think Charles is in trouble....”
”If such is the case then we should make haste once more. Perhaps our fellow comrade, Scott, can clue us into this complex conundrum”, Hank says as he waves over to Scott. Emma held back.
Squinting her eyes in concentration, not to see with them but to focus her telepathy, she felt Scott emanating with a strange psychic energy signature....a signature similar to.......
”HENRY! GET DOWN!”, Emma yelled in Hank’s head telepathically.
Scott takes the shot, but only manages to hit Hank’s arm. Hank had never been so thankful for his super-human durability as he had in that moment. Now aware that Scott was not completely himself, Hank made sure to zig zag, jump, flip, run, anything to avoid Scott’s optic beams as he got closer to Scott.
Meanwhile, Emma sought for a way to infiltrate Scott’s head, but his defenses were doubled-down somehow by someone else's influence. Then, seemingly from nowhere, Warren swoops down on Emma and carries her high up in the air.
“Warren?! What are you- oh, that’s really high. Warren, please, put me down gently. Warren?”
Emma reaches out to Warren’s head and found the same presence inhabiting it the way it was to Scott. Seeing no alternative, Emma looks up at Warren sympathetically before swinging her legs to wrap her feet around his own. Now parallel instead of perpendicular to his body, Emma reached for his knees and pulled them forward as she unwrapped her feet and swung her legs forward to stagger Warren’s flight path. With his hold loosened, Emma grabbed hold of his arm and swung herself around him to his back. After she securely held onto him from the back, she held on for dear life as Warren flew around to shake her off.
Meanwhile, Hank was hopping around still as Scott had earlier started running as he kept shooting his optic blasts. As Hank was hopping around, he was looking around for something to distract Scott with. Something....like that small rock that he had just saw as he was hopping. Changing directions once more, Hank grabs the rock as he mid-flip. Taking aim from the trajectory he had to as he was jumping around while he making sure not to aim for Scott’s head, Hank threw the rock towards Scott’s torso. The rock bounced off Scott’s left hip hard enough for Scott to cry out from the sudden pain that resulted. Hank took his chance and ran towards Scott before he jumped over him and putting him in a choke hold. Scott struggled to break free, but Hank wasn’t your average human, so he merely shrugged off Scott’s every attempt to free himself. With the air being deprived from the choke hold, Scott’s body went limp as he fell unconscious. With Scott taken care of, Hank looked around for his blonde companion.
It was then that a shadow passed through that he looked up and saw Emma hanging on to Warren. Looking around, Hank ran to a nearby tree and stationed himself on the highest and sturdiest branch, waiting for his opportunity. As Warren started making a lower pass in attempt to shake Emma, Hank jumped from the branch up and grabbed Warren.
“Pardon me, my aviary-limbed compadre, but I think these high flying tricks are a smidge too dangerous to try with a passenger aboard. I will just take the young lady off you hands and-“
Grabbing hold of Emma, Hank stopped himself and she as he controlled his angle by flipping himself and Emma to a standing position. With his legs being sturdier, he absorbed the impact from his landing and set Emma down.
“I swear that flying with Warren was a lot more enjoyable before”, Emma said as she shook off the dizziness from all the sharp turns, dips, and flips.
“I think it may be best if procure Cerebro and search for cover as I deal with Warren”, Hank said as he saw Warren making another nose-dive towards them. Anticipating that, Hanks jumps and grabs on to one of Warren’s ankles. Not willing to give Hank a chance, Warren flew at a high velocity that left Hank trailing behind him as he held onto Warren’s ankle.
Meanwhile, Emma ran inside the Blackbird and puts on the Cerebro helmet. She activated the helmet through different buttons off the side of the helmet.
”Alright. Let’s see what is really going on here”, Emma says as she concentrates on the signals the helmet picks up. In front of her eye from a recently installed small circular lens is projected a mini image of the planet. “Let’s get a look in Africa.....there you are.”
“You have fought valiantly, Xavier, but even as you keep fighting me, the emotions that surround me are amplified by my presence ever more. Soon, as your strength falters, mine will only grow and overcome”, Amahl says.
“So, you are what’s been causing all this trouble? Typical that it would be a lazy fat man with too much power in his hands. Why we couldn’t have faced the better looking ones, I will never understand?”, Emma‘s voice says in their heads as suddenly Amahl is assaulted by a wave of psychic energy from Cerebro.
Panicking from being outnumbered, Amahl puts up a defensive wall to block the attacks from Cerebro as he turns to the White-haired maiden.
”Orroro! Go outside and strike my enemy with your lightning fury”, Amal commands. Amahl then turns back to the battle and starts returning blows for blows with Emma Frost while keeping an eye on Xavier’s attacks. He would be sure not to last in the battle this way, but it should be enough for when Orroro strikes.
*On the battlefield*
“Warren, if this is about ruining your new loafers, no you have my deepest apologies”, Hank says as he dives to the side away from a zooming Warren.
As Hank readies for another sweep from Warren, he notices Orroro fly by.
”Another flyer? Who might she be?”
Hank watched as she lifted her arms above her head. Confused at first, his expression changes as the clouds that were white previously gather and grow, becoming darker and darker. Without further warning a lightning bolt connects to the Blackbird, but before he can run to Emma, he gets clocked in the back of the head by Warren. Before he can gain his bearing, Scott, who had recently recovered from being ko’d, blasts Hank. Ultimately taking him down.
Meanwhile, Emma seemingly was gaining way on Amahl’s defenses when suddenly, a flash and rocking affects the Blackbird. Again and again this occurs. Looking out the front window, Emma sees clouds darkened above her with a lone flying woman among them, being the only light from the power generating from her very body.
She reaches out to the young woman’s mind......Orroro Munroe. A victim of an evil psychic named Amahl Farouk and, according to Cerebro, powerful Omega Level Mutant with power over the elements of Earth. Such a powerful mutant must have been why Farouk, has taken down all of the X-Men and gained control of most of them. But......with that explanation, only one question remains: Where are Jean and the Professor?......
In Orroro’s distressed mind, she once more heard the voice of Farouk.
“I must say, Miss Emma Frost, you have thoroughly impressed me with how innovative you have been in your tussle against Warren and even now, as you fight me. Xavier taught you well”, Amahl said haughtily.
“Her mind, it’s different from there’s. She’s the only mind you are actively controlling. The rest, they are just acting under the darkness you nurtured inside then. I saw it in their heads. Scott’s self-esteem and abandonment and Warren’s identity issues. But Orroro, even though I canny dive further than her surface thoughts, I can already tell she is being kept on a tight leash whereas the others only have enhanced defenses made up of mistrust”, Emma said thoughtfully.
“Very good, my dear. You have solved this conundrum, just as Xavier has a little while ago. Unfortunately, he’s a little occupied at the moment. Impressed, yet?”, Farouk asks with a smirk.
”Not particularly. Honestly, the fact that you use others to so your own dirty work spells that of lazy fat man to full of himself in more ways than simply with what’s in gut”, Emma says to Farouk.
“Joke all you like, girl, but your efforts are useless. I have already won. It is all thanks to you, in fact. Orroro, try something a little more small scale. Feel the electricity flowing through that device.....that’s it. You know what to do next”, Farouk says putting a shield up to block Emma once more.
Before Emma could make an attempt to break past the shields, Emma is hit by pain through the short-circuiting of the Cerebro helmet by Storm’s control over the electricity running through it. Emma desperately throws the Cerebro down, which gives Warren behind her a chance to hit her from behind and get the helmet. Emma goes to make chase, but is stopped at the sight of Scott and his hand at the dial of his visor......
A gasp is audibly heard from Xavier as he is hit by the intense feeling of terror from Emma before silence was all that was left. He could feel no further thought from Emma. Looking out, over the rooftops of the other houses, he sees smoke of where he presumed the Blackbird jet was destroyed.
”I’m it is true, Xavier. Looking through the eyes of your students and Orroro, I see the wreckage from an explosion no one could survive. Warren at this very moment is bringing me the Cerebro helmet. It is over, Charles. You have once again, lost”, Amahl says before letting out a maniacal laugh victoriously.
Warren hands him the helmet and it falls into place. Xavier tried as much as he could to get through to any one of them, but Amahl was just as powerful as a telepath as he, with experience that rivals his own. Amahl had been biding his time for this moment, setting the seeds and taking action against every wild card and unknown contingency. Now was his time. Putting on his new helmet and activating the helmet, Farouk feels the minds of all on the planet. Very few could escape the notice of the roving eye of the one who feeds off darkness. The now self-proclaimed ruler of all, Shadow King has invaded the minds of almost all.......