The Uncanny X-Men #255

    The Uncanny X-Men » The Uncanny X-Men #255 - Crash & Burn released by Marvel on December 1, 1989.

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    Freedom Force has arrived on Muir Island and a new line-up of X-Men must subdue the incoming villains. Destiny plays a mind-game with Legion...with deadly consequence. As if Mystique and her Freedom Force weren't enough, Donald Pierce arrives with The Reavers...and the mutant-terrorists are armed to the teeth with dangerous tech.

    Freedom Force arrives at Muir Island and help stop the Reavers' attack, but Destiny and Stonewall are killed in action. Forge decides to help Banshee find the missing X-Men. Psylocke reappears in China, captured by the Hand. Storm is on the run from Inspector Reisz, the vessel of the Shadow King.


    The Reavers have their hands full with Banshee. The Irishman is able to use his sonic screams to mess with the mechanical parts of the attackers. In addition to Banshee's attack, Polaris, in her augmented state, joins the fight. She is quickly neutralized, however, when Pretty Boy seizes her in a neural contraption from his ribs, veritably paralyzing her. He begins to use his eyes to "reprogram" her brain, but Banshee comes to the rescue by severing the bands with his scream. Polaris shouts that Banshee should be killing these men, as that is what they've set out to do to the Muir Islanders. Banshee recalls his duty as an X-Man and refuses to stoop to the level of the Reavers. He picks up Polaris and begins to fly away with her when he seemingly runs into an invisible barrier. The Reavers don't know how it happened, but they look forward to adding Banshee and Polaris to their slowly accumulating list of prisoners.

    In Illinois, FBI Inspector Reisz (which is really the Shadow King's physical puppet) inquires about a girl brought into the hospital. The doctor in charge, Dr. Shen, is reluctant to give him the requested information. She relents. The two enter the girl's cubicle to find her gone.

    Back on Muir Island, the Reavers are busy securing Banshee and Polaris when they see something falling from the sky. Too late do they realize that it is the Blob. Their attempts to scatter prove futile. Landing soon after, Avalanche causes an earth wave to nail the Reavers. In the air, Mystique orders their plane down to help in the fight. Blob reports that they situation is under control, but Mystique wants in on the action. Forge questions Mystique. Mystique vaguely tells him to get ready - because she hates him. Approaching Destiny, Mystique mentions that her old friend has not been the same since they embarked upon this mission. She pleads for Destiny to let her know and help. Too late, Lady Deathstrike lands on the plane and takes out the pilots. The plane crash lands.

    A boat arrives on an island in the South China Sea. A man, Matsuo Tsurayaba, exits. He is greeted and taken to a room that holds a mysterious woman. The woman, it is said, is not picked up on any scanners and has the uncanny ability to speak any language. It's reasoned that she is a telepath. Tsurayaba enters and declares that they have found the X-Man Psylocke. He also knows just how the Hand can use her.

    With their plane destroyed, Forge carries Mystique out of the burning rubble. Mystique couldn't more angry knowing that Forge has left Destiny in the plane. Stonewall has that figured out, though, and escapes with Destiny in hand. As fire reaches the fuel tanks, Pyro absorbs the flames to protect his teammates. Safe, Mystique sends Forge with Destiny to the medi-lab. Pyro sends a flame towards the Reavers, but this only seems to boost their power. Avalanche then steps in and sends out another wave. Lady Deathstrike leaps over it and guts Avalanche. Blob boasts that she can't hurt him, but somebody (not the Reavers) turns the earth beneath Blob into quicksand.

    At the medi-lab, Destiny sends Forge away. He is reluctant, as he's already let Mystique down in a big way. Destiny states that it would be for the best; besides, if he didn't leave then Mystique "pay the ultimate price." As Forge leaves, Destiny tells him to love Mystique with all his heart, as storm's always seem to pass away. She then turns into the lab to find a solitary Legion. And no, she is not accompanied, as he had hoped.

    The Reavers regroup to attack the mutants and Lady Deathstrike approaches the team. She begins shooting at the Reavers but is quickly taken out by a new player: Donald Pierce. He couldn't read any techno-systems on the woman and it turns out to be Mystique. While in Pierce's grasp, Mystique is given a mental picture of Destiny, dead. Just then, Stonewall tackles Pierce. Seemingly with Legion's help, Pierce kills Stonewall. Freedom Force retreats. As the Reavers pursue, Skullbuster gets blasted by Forge sniping on a nearby hill. Lady Deathstrike convinces Pierce that they are in a bad position but have done enough for the day. They teleport away before Forge can take any more Reavers out. With the battle over, Tom Corsi, accompanied by Moira and Alysande, brings the body of Destiny to Mystique. In deep pain, Mystique tells Forge that he now owes her for two lives.

    Later, after Freedom Force returns to America, Forge has a talk with Banshee. Banshee knows the X-Men are still alive and he'd like Forge to accompany him in searching for them, right after Forge makes a protective barrier for the island. Glad that someone still trusts him, Forge accepts.

    At the hospital in Illinois, little girl Storm continues to run and hide. The doctors, as well as Inspector Reisz/Shadow King, are close. The doctors begin to be suspicious at Reisz's motivations and so he kills one of them with the plan of blaming Storm for their deaths. He then advances upon Dr. Lian Shen.


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