Hot Lava last edited by pikahyper on 07/31/19 05:38PM View full history

X-Force is vacationing on a Hawaii beach. Bobby DaCosta (Sunspot) and Tabitha Smith (Meltdown) try out tandem surfing. They wipe out and while Tab is under the surface, she sees several creatures with tiki masks marching on the seabed. By the time she gets Bobby and James Proudstar to come look, the things have gone.

Later, the team enjoys a luau, and as James admires the sunset, he sees a familiar figure, Risque. He confronts her about her betrayal of him, and turns his back on her when one of the creatures seen by earlier by Tabitha emerges from the shore intending to abduct Risque. The pair run, but Krotok, as the beast calls himself, not wanting to be seen by humans, returns to the water.

To his teammates' dismay, James brings Risque back with him to the luau. Risqué explains she, along with Sledge and the Vanisher, came to purloin a mystic artifact called the Heart of Pele (the Hawaiian volcano goddess), which is also being sought by a faction of Lava Men. Risque and the Vanisher evaded the Lava Men, but Sledge was caught by them. Apparently, its theft has caused an increase in volcanic activity. Risqué states that if the heart is not returned, a cataclysm could ensue. Warily, X-Force agree to help.

Risqué leads the team to a cave within the Kilauea Caldera, where they find Sledge in the company of Lava Men. Sledge explains that a cave-in separated the trio and Vanisher made off with the stone. Jinku, the high priest and leader of the Lava Men, demands the return of the Heart of Pele, and he threatens the group. Risque offers X-Force's aid in retrieving the stone, but Jinku agrees to allow two members to leave while the rest remain in the cave. Sledge tells Theresa Rourke (Siryn) and Bobby they will likely find the Vanisher at a particular hotel on Maui.

They find the thief at the hotel's pool, and since he's never met Theresa, she makes a plan to take him unawares. She walks by Vanisher, flirting with him. When he approaches her, and she leans in under the pretense of whispering into his ear. Instead, she stuns him with a sonic blast, allowing Bobby to grab him before he would be able to teleport.

Soon, Theresa and Bobby are back at the cave handing the Heart of Pele to Ginku. The priest then announces his intent to use it to power a continent-leveling weapon called the Firebringer in order to destroy the surface world. The team goes on the attack and Theresa grabs the Heart. Risque tells her to give it Bobby, the only one of them that can return the stone to where it belongs. By this point, Dani Moonstar surmises the woman is not Risque, and indeed, she reveals herself to be the goddess Pele. She had taken Risque's form after the theft, leaving the real Risque safe in an enchanted sleep, in order to guide X-Force to aid the goddess. At Pele's direction, Bobby dives into the magma of the volcano to deposit the stone, making Pele whole again. In return, Pele ensures that X-Force enjoys the rest of their vacation uninterrupted.

[Mote: This issue ncludes a poster of Adam Pollina's sketch of X-Force commemorates his run on the series.]

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