The Young X-Men #1
Previously, Scott Summers and Logan of the Uncanny X-Men had a disagreement of large proportions concerning the next generation of mutants, they had what one would call, a Schism. The Schism still lurks amongst them but, a new Genesis dawns on the kind of people you would usually fear and hate. 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.
New Beginnings Part 1 - Schism Tore Us Apart
PG 1/PN 1 – Angled topographic view of a moderately large island in the middle of San Francisco Bay, upon it, is a metallic home of sorts, with a large landing station, three power domes around the island and a few satellites.
CPT: Utopia. Sanctuary for all the worlds’ mutants.
VOICE ON PANEL: My name is David Alleyne, this place, our home, the world knows it as Utopia, but that’s far from it. I’ve been here with the rest of my friends for a couple of years, and now, some of them, it’s nice I guess, but it has its up’s and downs, emphasis on the “downs”.
PN 2 – Down below, on the island itself, in a coliseum like landing, a teenage girl with bright red, long hair, wearing a green and yellow jump-suit, bandages wrapped around both forearms and silver shoulder pads with a raggedy, grey cape is looking towards the ocean, she’s miles away.
CPT: Hope Summers. The sought after Mutant Messiah. Harbinger of the unknown.
DWOP: Since I’ve been here, a lot of things have happened, sometimes I ask myself… “is this all worth it ?”. I’ve been through apocalyptic wars, been on the run from robots from the future, seen a couple of my best friends shot right in front of me just to name a few, but yet, I still go on.
PN 3 – Watching her from a ledge, are two teenage identical Caucasian blondes, with black headbands, wearing casual clothing.
CPT: Irma and Celeste Cuckoo. Part of the three-in-one. Not amused.
DWOP: Before Utopia, before all this madness, I was a student at the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning, back when I was still naïve and learning more and more with my powers…But I don’t have that anymore, I don’t have any of that.
PN 4 – Inside the metallic building, a teenage Japanese girl with blue, short hair, wearing a fitted white and yellow turtle neck crop-top, with a large yellow X across it and tight, white bottoms with silver gauntlets on both arms is walking through the hallway.
CPT: Norika Ashida. Surge. Questioning her future.
DWOP: When I first discovered that I had the X gene, that I was a mutant, I didn’t exactly know what to do; my whole life along with its direction took a completely new turn. When Dani Moonstar and Shan Coy Manh found me, and invited me to the Xavier institute, I wasn’t exactly keen on coming here, I didn’t want to be a mutant superhero and I didn’t plan on saving the world on a daily basis either, but things happened and there I was. A New Mutant.
PN 5 – In a moderately large room, a teenage Muslim girl fully clothed in an Abaya and Niqab Veil is kneeling down on the floor, on a red and brown decorated rug, praying.
CPT: Sooraya Qadir. Dust. Reconsidering her choice. Actual Young X-Man.
DWOP: I settled in nicely, but then there was Julian Keller, one of the most arrogant and annoying Alpha males you’ll meet. He made my life a living night-mare for the majority of the time, but, part of me cared for him, part of me still does. The initial team was me, Sofia Mantega and Laurie Collins. I loved these guys and I won’t ever stop. Sofia could control the wind and almost every aspect of it, she was taught by Storm, one of the best X-Men to ever live. Laurie had the power over pheromone control, which meant she could change your mood in an instant; your every feeling was more or less hers to command, then came Joshua Foley, my best-my best friend…And Kevin Ford, Wither.
PN 6 – Swimming in the seas just off the island, is a teenage boy who takes the shape of a grey coloured crustacean, he’s wearing a black and yellow body suite, with an X on his chest. His hands and feet are webbed.
CPT: Crosta. Silent member of the Recruits. Loyal only to Namor of Atlantis.
DWOP: But things have changed, drastically. Wanda Maximoff-The Scarlet Witch lost control of her reality altering powers because of-of-only God knows what, and turned the whole world up-side down, apparently, mutants were the majority and humans were the outcasts this time around. From her mouth came the infamous words “No More Mutants” and with that, more than 95% of the world’s mutant population was gone within the blink of an eye, me included, I lost my powers of telepathic mimicry and everything I had learned was gone, because of the Scarlet Witch. The same thing happened to Sofia, we were outside training as usual when all of a sudden she fainted from mid-air and fell unconscious, she woke up but without her powers of the wind, she was no longer the Wind Dancer.
PG 2/ PN 1 – Inside his room, a teenage African American, with buzz cut hair and a shape-up, wearing the same outfit that Crosta was wearing but with yellow glasses is standing up, looking outside the window in determination. It’s David.
DWOP: From there, our whole lives took a turn for the worse. Because I was no longer of use to the school I decided to take up admission at Harvard, but Scott Summers, sole leader of the Uncanny X-Men said I should stay, as reluctant I was, he said I was an asset that they couldn’t afford to lose, but some other things happened…Those things forced me to leave, but then, the Stepford Cuckoos came, they restored what I had learnt with my powers back into my mind, I couldn’t learn anything more but it was something, I thank them for that, I thank God for that.
PN 2 – He walks over to his small bedroom table, a framed picture of David, Noriko, Sooraya, a shy looking Caucasian teenage girl with blonde hair, a Hispanic teenage girl with brunette hair tied back and a teenage Caucasian boy, with golden coloured skin and ash blonde, short hair is on the table.
DWOP: Sofia left and called it quits with Julian Keller, that’s a story for another day. We never saw her again after that, she never called, never visited, but she made her super-heroine return as the Renaissance of the New Warriors, I didn’t exactly know what to think with that, but I know for a fact that I was proud of her. Laurie…something happened, a guy name Jay Guthrie…he-he betrayed us, he betrayed all of us and got her killed ! DAMMIT !
PN 3 – He picks the picture up and looks at it.
DWOP: Some people…they called us the Children of The X-Men, some looked at us like we were simply the kids from the Xavier Institute, but we were more than that, we were The Young… X-Men.
PN 4 – Snapping out of his day-dream, he quickly places the picture back and begins to leave his room.
DWOP: Schism tore us apart and it broke countless bonds between us, we were supposed to be a family but Scott and Logan destroyed all of that because of their petty differences concerning US ! The next generation of mutants…Schism tore us apart, but The Young X-Men have of yet to leave their legacy.
PG 3/ PN 1 – A calm looking, peaceful café with just a handful of people sitting down, sipping on coffee, having conversations and the usual. It’s busy outside, just through the windows.
CPT: New York City. Al’s Diner. Something wicked this way comes.
PN 2 – Through the entrance of the café, arrives a young girl who strongly resembles the Hispanic girl in David’s picture but with much short hair. She’s wearing a brown waitress outfit, with earphones in her ears.
GIRL: (That’s not something that I need to be thinking of right now, that part of my life is over and there’s no way I could go back to it…I just, I can’t. You can’t do this Sofia, not when you’ve finally picked yourself up. Think about mother…what would she want ? ) But it’s all over the damned network !
PN 3 – Everyone seated in the café looks at her in surprise, she timidly covers her mouth while blushing and slowly walks inside the café.
CPT: Sofia Mantega. Former New Warrior. Former New X-Man. Tempted.
GIRL: Oh ! Sorry, private joke ?... (This is so not my day.)
GIRLS WORDS ON PANEL: My name is Sofia Mantega. I used to be a mutant. An X-Man. A hero. I can’t exactly say that things have changed in my life since the Scarlet Witch found her way in, but, I’ve seen a lot.
PN 4 – She enters the café’s kitchen to be met by a short, podgy Italian man wearing a mucky apron and a chef’s top hat. He doesn’t look happy, she looks as if she’s about laugh.
MAN: An’ what time do ya’ call this ?!
SOFIA: Well, I call it nine thirty, which is “approximately” nine minutes after I’m supposed to start my morning shift, though I could be wrong mind you. What time do you call it ?
SWOP: Before I became the chief hostess at Al’s diner, I was actually the waitress…haha ? Okay, honestly, I was a student at Professor Xavier’s Institute for Higher Learning. I had some good times there, I met some good people, I learnt what it meant to be part of something greater and help people. Then, one day, all of that was taken from me, Wanda Maximoff, but mainly known as the Scarlet Witch, cast a spell on the entire Earth, taking away almost all the worlds’ mutants’ powers, including my own, my name is Sofia Mantega, yes, but the world knew me as Wind Dancer. I had the mutant power to control air molecules, I could make your ear drums burst if I wanted to, I could eaves drop on any conversation in the vicinity like a pro, I could save your life. But she took that from me, she took it all.
PN 5 – He walks closer to her and looks up to her face in annoyance, she puts both hands on her hips and looks down at him with a grin.
SOFIA: I hope this isn’t a problem now Al, is it ?
SWOP: I-I had to leave, I couldn’t stay there anymore…Josh, David, Laurie…Julian ! They-they didn’t need me and I didn’t need them, I didn’t even want to- I couldn’t even keep in contact with them, it’d make me want what I had even more and I wasn’t about to take that risk, not before…not today, and not ever.
PN 6 – He walks past her, she smiles.
AL: Just get back ta’ werk, alright ?
SOFIA: Of course.
SWOP: …But the feeling never dies.
PG 4/ PN 1 – Sooraya, still inside her room which is now well-lit is seated on her bed on the phone, waiting, Noriko is sitting next to her waiting and growing impatient by the second.
NWOP: All of this is just too much, like, I can’t even hear myself think ! How did the five of us; me, David, Josh, Laurie and Sofia…how did we end up like this ? How did the New Mutants fall, how could the rest of us let Schism separate us like this ?! And-and why would anyone even want to go to that damned school !?
PN 2 – In concern, Sooraya looks over to Noriko, who isn’t happy.
SWOP: It did not need to come to this, we didn’t need to split ourselves up, Scott and Logan were arguing for the sake of our lives, we should have said something…we should have told them what we wanted to do, we should have left all the fighting…I miss all of my friends so, but, if it was Allah’s will that I attend the school with the rest of my friends then I would have done so, but it was not, so I shall reside in Utopia. Fooling myself would be futile.
PN 3 – Sooraya slightly dilates her pupils at will, her attention is shifted.
VOICE FROM THE PHONE: Hullo ? Is this another crank call or-
SOORAYA: Santo ? it is me…It is Sooraya.
NORIKO: *silently* it’s about time…
SANTO: Yup, my bad Hope, it’s another crank ca-
SOORAYA: Santo !
PN 4 – She looks down at herself in disappointment.
SANTO: No way…Sooraya ?
SOORAYA: Yes Santo, it is me, Sooraya.
SANTO: HOLY COW ! HOPE !? IT’S ACTUALLY SOORAYA !
PN 5 – With a surprised look on her face, as well as Noriko’s, Sooraya slightly moves the phone from her left ear as it’s evidently a bit too loud.
SOORAYA: Yes…It is me, Santo, again. How is everyone ? How is it like at The Jean Grey School For Higher Learning ?
SANTO: It’s so cool ! Except that there’s like, uh, some sort of blue alien rats that are always running around, stealing my crap and stuff, but other than that ? IT’S SO COOL ! Like, there’s a mini Danger Room in the toilet, but, I think the whole place is a Danger Room, I dunnoe, man, Sooraya ! Don’t tell anyone this but, uh…I kinda miss you guys.
PN 6 – Sooraya looks at Noriko in concern, Noriko looks a little sad having just heard what Santo said.
SOORAYA: Really, Santo ? Well…I miss all of you too, we miss all of you. It is just not the same with the rest of you at the school, and Ms Frost strictly said that we are not to be seen at the school lest we face unbearable punishments. Everywhere just feels…desolated.
SANTO: Gee, I think I can-hey waitaminute ! Hope ?! You weren’t supposed to hear that ! Dammit ! Stupid astral thingies !
PN 7 – Sooraya smiles a bit in relief, Noriko face palms.
SOORAYA: *giggles* Santo, send Hope and the others my greetings, Nori said hi as well. I am sorry but, we are not allowed to stay on our phones for that long, after the battle for Hope between the Avengers and the X-Men, things have gone quite hostile around here.
SANTO: Sorry ! And…oh shoot ! I forgot it’s past curfew, I guess Wolverine upped the security around here too, I gotta go too Sooraya and I will, tell David he’s still a nerd and that Julian said he’s a nerd too.
SOORAYA: Oh, Santo, you never cease to amaze me. Goodbye.
PG 5/ PN 1 – Sooraya cuts the phone off and places it besides her, while looking at Noriko.
SOORAYA: Well ? Do you believe that we should still go along with David’s plan ?
NORIKO: Well, I’m only agreeing because at this point we’re all just sitting on our backsides, Schism was because of us and yet they’re putting us back in the background while Cyclops and his Extinction Team along with Storm and her Security Recon Team go on global missions saving the world like, every day. If they want us to fight, if they want us to protect ourselves and guarantee our positions as-as powerful mutants, then we’re going to need to be more proactive.
SOORAYA: That is correct, Nori. Well, we’re going to need to round up a team, because after this, I have a strong feeling that we may well not be coming back to Utopia. Jubilee is no longer with-
NORIKO: Jubilee isn’t coming with us, anywhere. She’s not a part of Ororo’s team and she doesn’t even have mutant powers for that matter, she’s a Vampire Sooraya, she has no place with us.
NORIKO: And on that same note, no. We won’t be coming back to Utopia, we won’t ever be coming back to Utopia because this is no longer our home.
PN 2 – Sooraya immediately stands up in surprise, facing Noriko.
SOORAYA: Noriko ! You cannot be serious about this ! I did not mean that literal-
NORIKO: Sooraya, it doesn’t matter if you meant that literally or not, I mean it when I say we’re not coming back here, ever. And I don’t care what Ms Frost says-
PN 3 – David, is walking towards Hope Summers on the landing, up till now she is still looking towards the ocean, miles away.
NORIKO: -She’ll never see us again.
PN 4 – He reaches her and stands beside her, he doesn’t say a word but looks out towards the ocean as well, she acknowledges his presence but does not react.
DAVID: So, after everything that happened last week, with the Avengers and the X-Men, and your dad-
HOPE: …If we’re going to have this conversation David, please, don’t bring Nate into this. I’m begging you.
DAVID: I’m sorry, I didn’t realise it was that harsh…
HOPE: It’s alright…Go on ?
DAVID: I just wanted to tell you, I and some of the others-well, I’ve said this before and I’ll say It again, Schism happened because of us, Hope, it happened because of the next generation of mutants. It’s caused a rift between us all and now we’re divided, but we can’t keep living the same lie and believing that we won’t be targeted because of who we are and what we are, and last week-
HOPE: David, no offence but, that is why the rest of your friends went to the school, to get away from all the “fighting” and live “normal lives”, whatever that is.
DAVID: Yeah, of course I know and I’m speaking on their behalf, no offence. As I was saying, last week was one of the biggest battles and events of our lives and now I realize that didn’t come from the enemy, it didn’t come from some crazed lunatic who sought after our body parts, it came from the Avengers. Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, allies of the X-Men, now enemies. And that wasn’t our fault, it wasn’t even-
HOPE: You’re right, it was my fault, wasn’t it ?
DAVID: No, granted, they were fighting over you but-
HOPE: David, please. All of this, it’s getting a little bit overwhelming, the fact that I’m talking to you right now and haven’t already singed you to a crisp should tell you something, the Phoenix burns and disinfects, it dies to return, David. Do you know what that means ?
DAVID: I’ve done enough research, read enough books, seen enough news reports and I’ve heard enough tales, trust me Hope Summers-
PN 5 – Close up on a serious David.
DAVID: -I know exactly what that means. But that’s not what I came here to talk about, look, you remember when Utopia was on complete lockdown and I questioned why we never mingled much when it’s evident we’re not that different ?
HOPE: I remember that like it was yesterday, David…
DAVID: We don’t need to be here, it’s your job to find and help New Mutants, right ? Well, we don’t need to necessarily be here. The Scarlet Witch is officially back, she’s repowered Rictor and I’ll make sure she does the same for the other mutants whose lives she affected on M-Day...maybe my-
PN 6 – Hope looks over to David, her eye’s glow fiery.
HOPE: Stop it, David. Just stop all of it.
DAVID: How can you-
HOPE: I’ve still got the Cuckoos’ telepathic powers, I can read your mind and it’s practically oozing with your feelings towards me, you distrust me-
DAVID: Distrusted, that was before, that was when I saw you kill Bastion, which was when I saw how many people died for you, Hope. That was then, this is now.
HOPE: News flash David, the time between then and now isn’t that big, it doesn’t change a thing. Look at me David, look at how many people have fought for me, over me, look at what my life Is built on, blood from countless lives, pain and suffering, I’m not the Mutant Messiah people think me out to be, I’m the complete opposite ! I almost killed Wolverine last week, David, you don’t kill Wolverine. I almost melted Emma Frost while she was in Diamond Form to molten slag for crying out loud, I’m just…
PN 7 – She immediately turns to David and gets closer to him in frustration, she appears to be crying. A fiery aura flares about her. David backs a little bit away in confusion.
HOPE: LOOK AT ME, DAVID ! DO I LOOK LIKE A MESSIAH !? DO I ACT LIKE ONE !? HAS ANYTHING OVER THE PAST RECENT WEEK PROVED ME TO BE ONE !?
HOPE: I’M NOT WHAT YOU THINK I AM AND I’M NOT WHAT ANYONE ELSE “THINKS” I AM ! I’M NOT EVEN HOPE SUMMERS ANYMORE—I’M-I’M…
DAVID: Under a lot of pressure ?
PG 6/ PN 1 – Close up on David.
HOPE: What—What do you mean ?!
DAVID: I’m talking about Jean Grey. She’s probably another topic you don’t want me to bring up but for this sort of conversation I’ll probably need to, no one else knows what she said to you when we all fell unconscious in Wakanda but when we woke up…you seemed a bit changed and in fact—I’m not even telling it how it is right now, there you were, up in the skies in the centre of the Phoenix, we all saw it this time around and it wasn’t the same stunt you pulled off on Bastion, this was greater, stronger, and it changed you.
PN 2 – Hope backs away from David, still angry, but with a hint of disbelief.
HOPE: I can’t tell you what she said, David. I can’t tell anyone but myself. And it hurts…it hurts because for some strange reason, she believes in me, she believes that I’ll save us…that I’ll save us all. But I don’t ! I can’t ! I’ve asked myself this same question over and over again…why me ?
PN 3 – The scene has changed. In a white, bright area of sorts, there is no floor, there is no ceiling, there are no walls or windows, just white, bright space. Hope is standing in the middle, looking at a naked lady with red, long hair, longer than her own, in her mid-thirties, the Phoenix Raptor resonates around her, fire roughly covers the majority of her nude body up.
WOMAN: You don’t need to think like that, Hope. The X-Men have been through a lot, you as a child, you’ve been through a lot but you mustn’t lose yourself in the process, you can’t afford to lose your namesake. Mutant-kind needs you, just when they’ve been taken back from the brink of extinction all of this happens. With the Phoenix—it’s-it’s hard to explain, you mustn’t let the power of the Phoenix, the fire of the Phoenix…you can’t let it destroy your mind—your soul ! The Phoenix’ power corrupts and its power corrupts absolute…even a fragment of it, even if I’ve proved that statement false as is evident. Scott-Oh…Scott—Hope, Scott was wrong in trying to use the power of the Phoenix to restore the mutant race back to its former glory, that’s not his decision to make and it’s not in her power to do so either, what she could of done…would escalate the current situation to something else, I couldn’t let her do that, this isn’t what we returned for.
HOPE: But how do you expect me to-to do this ? To do any of this ?! I’m just Hope Summers…you people-everyone-believe me…I’ve tried to play the Mutant Messiah role, I’ve tried to put my selfishness aside and help the people who need me most but it’s too much !
WOMAN: There’s a piece of the Phoenix that’s still missing….she has realised that it wasn’t you, Hope, this isn’t your responsibility, you are not the Phoenix and you don’t need it…but for some reason, she wants you, she wants you more than I could ever imagine but she knows how you feel and she respects your choice. But don’t ever lose Hope, always remember the people who do believe in you. Hope, be their Messiah. Save them, save them all…Before I’ve got the pieces togeth-
PN 4 – The scene reverts back to the beach. Hope has calmed down, she’s facing David.
HOPE: I know that the Phoenix always leave a portion of its power in any of its previous avatars…she—it…left a portion with me—in me. Power corrupts absolute David, the Avengers and the X-Men fought because of the possibility of what I could do with the power and to add to that, Scott wanted to use me to save mutant-kind…and…and more people died, David ! People got killed during their war over me and I was too busy running around trying to avoid everything that was my fault…I wanted nothing to do with it…I mean, at first I tried but i-I was scared ! All of its power…all the flames…I was burning from the inside out…I was in perpetual rapture.
PN 5 – She walks closer to him, her eyes begin to glow with fire.
HOPE: But now i--I’ve had enough of the constant fighting back then running away again when things get tough. If I’m going to save us, if I’m going to help bring us back from the depths of Extinction fully…I need to step-up…Nathan would like that…Hellion…I remember when he told me that I’m like the Anti-Christ…that I only pulled out the miracles to save myself and not others, well…well I need to prove him wrong. David ?
DAVID: What are you-
PN 6 – She holds David by his right hand with her right hand in determination. He slightly staggers, the Phoenix Raptor starts to take shape.
HOPE: You don’t have your powers anymore and I know how badly you want them back, trust me…I know. I could have the power of every single mutant on Earth if I wanted to, I could have yours. I haven’t tried this before but-but I need to do so, I need to help them, help you. David…please out of all the young mutants that I’ve met in my life I respect you the most, you’re powerless and honestly…out of your league but—you keep on going. Help me help you, let me be your messiah.
PN 7 – Bright light gushing from Hope’s body engulfs the both of them.
PG 7/ PN 1 – Inside a luxurious looking bathroom, a young woman in her early twenties, Caucasian with long, blonde hair, wearing a bathing towel. She’s looking into the mirror at her reflection, struggling.
CPT: Heather Cameron. Lifeguard. Finding her place.
HWOP: My name is Heather Cameron, and in most places, Lifeguard. I joined the X-Men a couple years back with my brother, Davis Cameron…but so much stuff has changed since then. My joining wasn’t by choice, in fact, as soon as I met them I and my brothers’ worlds were turned upside down, they came across us in Australia, my real home. My father, the viceroy was assassinated by a Chinese Crime Lord intent on taking over his empire. Our lives were at stake during that period, the X-Treme X-Men rescued us, at that time I was already in use of my mutant powers, saving lives was a prime instinct, my brother on the other hand ? He didn’t know the half of it.
PN 2 – Still looking the in the mirror, the colour of her skin on the right hand side of her face begins to turn gold, much to her dismay.
HWOP: He wasn’t a mutant like me, he didn’t know what it was about, and he didn’t know what anything was about— so why did he let her--! Along the way, some…events occurred, events that had to force us to make certain decisions, Ororo and Sage already had this in mind, Sage knew that my brother, Davis, was a latent mutant, his powers weren’t active and they were never going to be but when push came to shove, they both thought it the best option to unlock his potential. It changed his life for the worse.
PN 3 – The colour changing effect starts to spread to the other areas of her body, she puts her palm on the mirror. She’s clearly scared.
HWOP: He gained the powers to “travel” through warp-space, whatever the hell that is, it helped the team greatly as we could reach different places in like, record time that we would have if we didn’t have his ability at our disposal, but then…Sage…our living computer got hacked, she was on the verge of death and out of all the people she could use, she wanted me ! She took me into her mind of which awaited Sebastian Shaw and his daughter, Regan Wyngarde…the masters of supreme illusion, I saw sides to Sage that I never thought possible, I got out of it a live along with Sage’s revival but when the invasion came I discovered Sage didn’t just bring me into her mind…
PN 4 – All parts of her skin are now shining with gold. Her hair turns jet-black and sleek. Her finger-nails turn into monstrous talons. She slowly drags her talons down the front panel of the mirror, firmly.
HWOP: She turned me into something else, she changed my physiology into something I never even knew I had within me, I’m a Shi’ar now, still don’t understand what that means. I just…after the Invasion…my brother, I saw my brother and he didn’t even think twice before he classified me as the enemy, he called me a monster, I wasn’t the sister he knew.
PN 5 – Her once human eyes turn into catlike eyes, her stature increases from what she was before. Her hair mysteriously begins to flare from the pointy tips. Black, ancient markings originate from underneath her lower eyelashes, the same markings begin to cover her forearms and upper chest. She looks at her reflection in complete fear.
HWOP: And now I’m back with the people who made me like this…I’m Heather Cameron; at least…I used to be.
PG 8/ PN 1 – Inside an extremely large, green garden, a boy who’s skin glows bright red and orange, his head engulfed in fire wearing a dark green school uniform with a black tie and a white shirt is sitting at a bench, conversing with a young, black, Nigerian girl with a petite looking afro and blue eyes, wearing the same uniform as him but with a grey skirt.
CPT: Benjamin Hammil. Match. Teaching.
CPT: Idie Okonkwo. Oya. The Third Light. Learning.
BEN: You see, when you’re playing with fire, you always gotta remember what’s around you and the people that are around you too, you wouldn’t wanna accidentally cause a catastrophic accident now, I mean, that’s how I see it. Also, you always need to have absolute control over what you’re doing, the slightest distraction could end fatally, you know ?
IDIE: I-I think I understand what you are trying to say, Ben ?
BEN: Yeah, Ben.
IDIE: Thank you, back when I was still in Nigeria, when my mutants powers of Fire and Ice emerged I thought that Satan had impregnated my soul with a demonic spirit. That is what the people told me. It is nice to know that there are monsters in the world like me, “you know” ?
PN 2 – She pleasantly smiles at him while steadily creating a small ball of fire, he looks at her in confusion.
BEN: Uh…yeah, I guess I see what you mean.
IDIE: I also forgot to ask you, Ben. Long ago, back when this was the Xavier Institute For Higher Learning, before the other monsters-children, were “depowered”…you were some sort of leader ?
BEN: Huh ? Who gave you that piece of information ?
PN 3 – She focuses on the ball of fire while replying to Ben who seems extremely intrigued, while at the same time, pondering.
IDIE: Hope, not Hope Summers, but Hope Abbot. We were attending one of Headmistress Pryde’s lessons just yesterday and she was telling me about it, while she was doing so, she looked a little sad. She also mentioned how there were many other “training squads” across the institute, it seems as if there were better days before all of the monsters got depowered.
BEN: Hmm. She told you that, did she ? Well yeah, I guess. I was the leader of the Paragons Squad, the members were: Trance, Pixie, Wolf Cub, Preview and DJ. Our advisors were Magma, you probably know her, and Wolfsbane—Rahne Sinclair, who you probably wouldn’t. I guess you could say we did kinda have better days…before, before M-Day.
PN 4 – Scene change. Ben and Hope Abbot, a short Caucasian girl with brunnete short hair and two green clippings at the , both wearing green, black and maroon, “X” orientated combat gear are at a deck, looking through some windows at the rest of what seems to be their teammates fighting against giant-sized robots in a blue, metallic room. Ben has his arms crossed and doesn’t appear to be moved, Hope is looking at Ben in slight disconcertion.
HOPE: You know Ben; you really need to give the rest of the guys a break, seriously, chill-out for a bit. Ever since the New Mutants won at beating the Hulk, you’ve gone all Magnetoish and it doesn’t look good.
BEN: In case you didn’t notice, Hope, we’re fourth out of all the other squads for the summer field day event and if that doesn’t tell you anything then I don’t know what will. We need to step up a little, we need to be better than this if we’re going to win.
HOPE: There you go again. We’re supposed to be having fun while doing this, Ben. Not jumping down each-others’ throats just so that we’ll emerge the “victors”, cut the rest of us some slack, Ben. We totally need it.
BWOP: I guess you could also say that way back when…I could have been a little pushy when things came down to it, I just wanted the best for my team…as silly as that sounds. I mean, I know we weren’t supposed to take everything seriously because we were only battling against the other students, our friends…but I wanted to win, I wanted my team to be successful.
PN 5 – Back at the garden, Idie is still focusing on the ball of fire, which has seemingly gotten a little bit bigger than it was before, it glows brighter as well. Ben is still pondering.
IDIE: That is interesting. It is a shame that we do not have squads like that today, but I can understand why we do not considering the circumstances. Everyone who attended this school instead of staying in Utopia, wanted to have a peaceful life. That is why I came here. But…Preview and Wolf Cub and…DJ, I do not recall seeing any of them since my arrival, where have they gone to ?
BEN: Where have they gone to ? Uh…well, right after M-Day happened, there was kind of a-
IDIE: Oh, wait !
PN 6 – Close up on a curious Idie.
IDIE: Were they part of the students who were brutally killed in the bus ? .
BEN: Well…just DJ, I mean, he’s the only one that was actually confirmed to be, well…dead. I mean, we—we saw him die, we saw him go…
IDIE: My apologies, Ben. You do not need to further explain the events of that day if it-
BEN: No…no. It’s not that…it’s just that, I miss how things were before everything came crashing down on us, i miss how things were before Utopia…before this…I really wanted to be a superhero when I first came to the school. My powers…my powers are the only things that keep me from being a complete nobody, I need them…and I want to use them to do good.
PN 7 – Hope Abbot, wearing the same outfit that Idie is wearing, is eavesdropping on the conversation next to one of the school walls. She looks a little bit disappointed.
IDIE: I do not understand, excuse my rudeness but, why did you come to the school instead of staying in Utopia, then ?
BEN: Cause…cause I wanted to be here, with my friends…I wanted to be with them. I’d miss them too much if I stayed in Utopia and…and I don’t like Scott, I don’t like what he’s turned into. He doesn’t believe in Xavier’s Dream.
PG 9/ PN 1 – Back at Al’s Café, Sofia is cheerfully serving a surprised couple hot cocoa. There are still other customers inside the Café.
SOFIA: And here we are, Amaretto and Raspberry, as you both ordered. Anything else ?
WOMAN: No, thank you.
SOFIA: Alright !
PN 2 – She turns around to go back to the kitchen.
SOFIA: (Huh, so, so far the morning seems to be going pleasantly. I just can’t get that funny feeling out of my head…like something’s going to happen, something—Oh, just shut up, Sofia.)
PN 3 – She reaches the Café till and starts writing on some piece of note-paper. At the entrance, enters a female, wearing a large brown duffer coat with a red jumper inside, she’s also wearing a wide brimmed red coloured sun hat, which is evidently masking her face.
SOFIA: (I think…I think maybe I need to go check on Jubilee, yeah, I’ll do that ! It’s been how many years since we last had a proper conversation, ever since the New Warriors disbanded and we all had to go our separate ways…why do i-why do I feel like this ? Why do I want what I had so badly ? I mean, ever since news broke out that Captain America invaded-
PN 4 – Close up on Sofia looking over to the entrance in confusion.
SOFIA: (Huh ?) Good Morning, welcome to Al’s Diner. I’m a little bus at the moment but I’ll get one of my-
SOFIA: Ma’am, excuse me ?
WOMAN: Are you-are you Sofia Mantega ?
SOFIA: Whoa, whoa, whoa. Who the hell is asking ?
PN 5 – The woman backs away towards the entrance, mysteriously, the door opens backwards, much to Sofia’s surprise.
WOMAN: I can’t exactly explain things to you currently, it’ll jeopardize what I really came here to do for you. You may not know me now but time is of the essence, I need to do this.
SOFIA: Listen, lady…in case you didn’t notice you’re sort of causing a scene and I’ve got customers who need serving so-if you don’t mind…I’d really appreciate it if you-
WOMAN: Sofia, if you do not come now then you’re kind will cease to exist, you won’t ever be brought back from the extinction that I induced onto all of you…you’ll be an endangered species all over again, if that isn’t the case.
SOFIA: (This isn’t true, she can’t possibly be talking about what I think she’s talking about…No ! I mean—she couldn’t be, she doesn’t even know me—she doesn’t even know about what happened ! That—that was years ago…but—but…) Fine.
PN 6 – The woman leaves the Café and turns left, Sofia begins to follow, looking back to give a message while sneakily carrying a Swiss knife in her apron pocket.
SOFIA: (I swear…if this lady pulls the slightest stunt--) Jeremy ? I’ve got a delivery that I need to pick up, I’ll be back in a couple of minutes, okay ?
VOICE: Okay !
PN 7 – Scene change. Sofia and the ominous looking lady are now standing oppositely towards each other, near the dustbin area behind the Café. Behind Sofia shows the busy streets of New York.
WOMAN: You are Sofia Mantega, right ?
SOFIA: Now you’re just wasting my time—now I want answers, who the hell is asking ?
PG 10/ PN 1 – The woman raises her hat up, to reveal a Caucasian lady, with long, brunette locks of hair around her shoulders and blue eyes. She’s wearing red gloves.
WOMAN: The Scarlet Witch. Hello, Sofia.
CPT: Wanda Maximoff. The Scarlet Witch. Causer of M-Day. She remembered everything.
SOFIA: No-no…I mean…you were on the news but-but…you took my powers away-
PN 2 – Sofia points at her in fury, tears slightly coming from her eyes.
SOFIA: -You –you forced me to leave my friends, Julian-I’ll never see him- THEM ! How can you be back ? How can you come back after all these years just when I’m—I’m getting myself together…after the New Warriors, after being a damned X-Man ! What are you doing here ? As if showing up in my dreams wasn’t enough now you want to make my life a nightmare ? Wanda Maximoff, you better-
WANDA: This isn’t the time or the place, Sofia. I came here with a purpose and you’re banter will only prolong what I have to do. I’m sorry for what I did, I’m sorry, honest to God, for the sins that I committed towards the whole world…I wish I could go back in time and stop it from happening but I can’t, I can’t do that Sofia which is why I’m here-
PN 3 – Wanda’s eyes glow red with magic, her hair begins to flare up, the winds about them begin to rustle up as she hovers into the air.
WANDA: You’re going to need to trust me on this one, Sofia. I know you’re confused and I know you’re wondering why I came to you out of all the other mutants who I depowered but I can’t explain things right now, everything just comes at once day by day—the Avengers and the X-Men—what happened was—not the topic of discussion. Tell me you don’t want this, Sofia-
PN 4 – Eerily, Wanda reaches out with both her hands to take Sofia by her own hands, Sofia slightly hesitates.
SOFIA: (This isn’t what I was bargaining on…but I-I can’t keep kidding myself ! I know I want this-I know I want my powers back and over compensating isn’t going to do me much good in that sector of my life…I need to stop being so vague with it, I miss what I had…I miss what once was mine—but i—no ! I probably won’t ever get this type of opportunity in my life…this’ll probably never come back to me and I want to be the Sofia Mantega that everybody used to know, I want to be Wind Dancer again…)
WANDA: -Tell me now and I’ll end the process, you’ll go back to living the life you’ve grown to accept, tell me now before it’s too late.
SOFIA: N-no, I want it. I want what I had…
PN 5 – Sofia, grabs tightly onto Wanda while simultaneously shutting her eyes tight. Cosmic, red energy bursts as they float higher. Wind speeds grow higher than they were before.
SOFIA: AUNGGHH !
WANDA: I’m sorry…I’m so sorry for what I did, for what I did to everyone…please, forgive me…-
PN 6 – Suddenly, they repel away from each other, Wanda is still floating in mid-air, rubbing her head in pain.
WANDA: -It’s over ! Nnggh…So-Sofia ?
PN 7 – A moderate gust of winds helps Sofia slowly to the floor, Wanda hovers down to her. Sofia looks at her in confusion.
SFX: *SWOOSH !*
SOFIA: I can’t-I can’t believe this…
WANDA: You better start believing it, my plan was to give the X-Men more mutants...You’re the second one, you need to go back to Utopia immediately, people died last week during the war with the Avengers of a girl called Hope Summers—her situation…--its-it’s-
SOFIA: Wait—let me get my bearings for just sec. (Oh my God…I actually cannot believe any of this…my powers, they’re actually back..)
PG 11/ PN 1 – Sofia finally lands on the ground, Wanda lands as well, in fear.
SOFIA: So wait—who is this Hope Summers girl ? What’s she about ? What does have to do in all this and why is everyone making such a big fuss over her ? (Oh, wow. I’m no longer the leader of the New Mutants anymore…you can call the “Alpha Female” act off, Sofia.)
WANDA: That—I’m not exactly in the position to tell you, you need to go back to Utopia, Sofia, you need to go back immediately. Your friends were right in the middle of the war as well, they were trying to help Hope—in some ways more than one, I can’t stay here-
SOFIA: Wait, you can’t just-
PN 2 – A bright red portal opens up just behind Wanda, she backs away cautiously into it.
WANDA: I came here with a purpose, that purpose has been fulfilled. There’s a reason why I came to you, Sofia—but that’s not up for discussion.
SOFIA: No-no wait !
PN 3 – Wanda steps into the portal and disappears. Sofia reaches out towards her.
SOFIA: You don’t-you don’t do this ! You can’t just leave me ! What am i-
PN 4 – The portal itself disappears as well, leaving a trail of red sparkles about the area. Sofia’s jaw drops in disbelief.
SOFIA: -Supposed to do… ?
PN 5 – Sofia slowly drops to the ground, on all fours, questioning her next actions in disappointment.
SOFIA: Where am I meant to go from here ?...
PG 12/ PN 1 – Back at Utopia. In a large, spherical, blue, room, standing on a deck in the centre of room is a girl identical to Celeste and Irma, before her is a large holographic projection of Planet Earth, several blue dots are scattered across the globe, a flashing green dot is seen near America, another red dot flashes next to it.
CPT: Phoebe Cuckoo. Third wheel of the three-in-one. Intrigued.
PHOEBE: Oh ? What’s this ?
PN 2 – Phoebe takes a closer look.
PHOEBE: Hold on a minute-
PN 3 – She looks gobsmacked.
PHOEBE: My God. That’s-that’s impossible…there’s no way she could be back…not after all these years and-oh—(Hope ? This is Phoebe Cuckoo…there seems to be a little—Hope ? Hope ?!)
PN 4 – On the beach, both Hope and David are lying dazed on the floor, a smokey, scorch mark separates them.
PHOEBE: (Hope !)
HOPE: Nngghh…Mu-my head…
PN 5 – David slowly leans forward while rubbing his head, he seems to be in excruciating pain. Hope leans forward as well, looking at David in disconcertion.
DAVID: Wow…Hope, I think I kind of figured out what you were trying to do…but i-
HOPE: Did it work ? Do you-do you think it worked ?
DAVID: I don’t really-
PN 6 – A sparkling telepathic projection of Phoebe appears before the two of them, she appears cautious of what’s going on.
PHOEBE: Hope ! David ?!
HOPE: Whoa-! Phoebe…remind a woman when you start popping in like that. When did you even learn to-
PHOEBE: A couple of weeks ago. Before I go on…I need to ask, what on Earth happened here ? That explosion…it gave off great psionic feedback, painful ones at that…
DAVID: She-I think it—no way…it worked !
PHOEBE: Really ?!
HOPE: What ?!!
DAVID: It worked. Hope…what you did, whatever you might have done to me…it worked, I know stuff…as we speak, my powers are returning…Cyclops’ optic blasts, his eyes are the entrance to a universe that hold…ruby beams of pure concussive force. Sooraya, she can-
HOPE: Oh my Gosh…it actually worked, it actually…worked…
PHOEBE: Believe me, I’m as happy as the two of you are but David…are you getting all of this from ? None of the people that you mentioned are in the immediate area, so what’s this all about ?
DAVID: I don’t know, I think maybe the range might have expanded itself a bit ? I’m not too sure. I’m just—I can’t even explain how I feel right now.
HOPE: It’s from me…
PN 7 – Hope gets her bearings and begins to stand-up.
HOPE: It’s no secret that I can absorb the powers of any mutant in the same vicinity as me, well, it’s optional anyways but sometimes it just happens. Those powers…some of them don’t exactly leave me, some do and some don’t-
DAVID: Oh…I get it. You mimic people’s power while I mimic the knowledge and skills of how to use them, as well as knowledge in general.
HOPE: I guess you could put it that way…I just, I can’t believe I’m finally doing my job, being the Mutant...Mutant…
DAVID: Hope ?
PG 13/ PN 1 – Hope suddenly faints to the floor, David goes over to her, checking her pulse, Phoebe watches on in concern.
DAVID: I didn’t exactly think that this would happen…I think you already know, though. She’s not dead or anything-
PHOEBE: Oh, I know that.
DAVID: Yeah. She’s just suffering from a bad case of fatigue. Hope…thank you so much.
PHOEBE: That would be—
PN 2 – Phoebe’s projection of herself begins to dissipate, much to David’s surprise as well as her own.
DAVID: Phoebe, what’s the problem ?
PHOEBE: It’s Ms Frost…she’s calling me and-and she doesn’t exactly seem happy about it, I need to go, now. Before I leave David, there’s something I need to tell you and it’s more or less of the upmost importance. You were not the only mutant to have their powers restored to them at this moment…there’s someone else-
PN 3 – Her form has almost disappeared.
PHOEBE: Sofia…Sofia Mantega…-
PN 4 – It disappears completely, David freezes as she makes her departure.
PHOEBE: -She’s back, David…She’s back.
PN 5 – Angled topographic view. David doesn’t move an inch, Hope is lying unconscious on his laps.
PG 14/ PN 1 – Phoebe walks into a modern looking office, before seated behind a table, is a Caucasian women in her early 30’s, strongly resembling her. Her hair is tied back in a bun, she’s wearing a white summer dress, and she’s got a stern look on her face.
CPT: Emma Frost. Co-leader of the X-Men and Mutantkind.
EMMA: Good morning, Phoebe.
PHOEBE: Good morning, Emma.
PN 2 – Phoebe slowly walks towards Emma’s personal desk.
PHOEBE: What was the problem ?
EMMA: Nothing, nothing that you need to worry about, anyways. Phoebe, you’re sisters: Irma and Celeste, how are they ?
PHOEBE: Irma and Celeste ? Well they’re fine, is there something wrong ?
EMMA: No, like I said, it is nothing you need to worry about. Carrying on, I won’t go into how much love I have for the three of you or the fact that I’d most probably grovel in a year’s supply of junk food if the same thing that happened between our dearest boys Scott and Logan somehow managed to happen to the three of you.
PHOEBE: Meaning ?
EMMA: Meaning that what’s happening right now needs to stop. I’ve been watching the three of you these past few daunting months, it’s no shocker that there’s something evidently going on between the three of you. I do also understand that you originally wanted to go to the school, did you not ?
PHOEBE: That’s true, I did. Celeste got the deciding vote and thought it would be wise for us to stay here on Utopia seeing as how Quentin Quire was based at Logan’s school, I don’t see why his presence there should affect our own, but—that is not up for discussion, is it ?
EMMA: Indeed it isn’t. You love your sisters, Phoebe, correct ?
PHOEBE: Of course I do, I love them more than life itself if it’s of any consolation.
EMMA: Then what’s this whole thing about ? What exactly is separating you from the two of them ? Ever since Hope’s little band of misfits disbanded, the sense of symmetrical symphony that usually resonates from your trio has been off key. Family’s hard to find these days, Phoebe, you should know that. Me and my family—we’re not exactly that close, so to speak.
PN 3 – Close up on a concerned Emma speaking to Phoebe, the sun shines onto the room from the windows behind her.
EMMA: I guess you could say we each had our faults, we were all wrong in one way or the other. We weren’t…we weren’t really a family come to think of it. I knew what I wanted in life and I already stumbled upon what I’d need to do to get there, I wasn’t going to wait around for my obnoxious father to start shouting orders or forcing me to inherit the family fortune of which I didn’t even feel was mine, no, I was going to do things myself, and in the end…I managed to make quite a woman out of myself. But it still hurts, knowing that I won’t be able to tell my-to tell my children that they’ve aunties or-or uncles, my brother…my sister’s…I’d like to believe that we’ll never see each other again, I grew up with them, we played the occasional hide-and-seek even under my father’s watchful eyes…but what happened then has gone. I don’t want it to happen to either of you, Phoebe.
PN 4 – Phoebe looks at Emma in pity, Emma looks across the room, not saying a single word.
PHOEBE: Ms Frost…that’s-
PN 5 – Phoebe’s pity changes to arrogance.
PHOEBE: -That’s nice. Clearly you have no idea what’s gone on between us because you obviously haven’t been paying enough attention. In case you need a memory refreshing…it’s because of the threat my sisters believe to be Hope Summers, the girl you were all running across the globe for, last week, not just solely her, some of the fault rests on my shoulders.
EMMA: I knew that girl was-
PHOEBE: No, you don’t. You don’t know a thing. We are the Stepford Cuckoos, Ms Frost. We are the three-in-one, we act of our own accord and what you see, Ms Frost…is your fault. It happened with Sophie…it happened with Esme and it’s probably happening to the three of us, you were supposed to be there for us, you were supposed to guide us when we needed it—you were supposed to be our-our…
PN 6 – Phoebe lashes out at Emma, much to Emma’s surprise.
PHOEBE: -OUR MOTHER !
PN 7 – Phoebe calms herself down, still looking at Emma in discreet anger. She clenches her right fist which is turning into complete diamond.
PHOEBE: But for some reason, you could not. You were too busy playing the housewife with Mr Summers, you were too busy focusing on how to save the world or the entire Universe every other day…that you forgot about us, you forgot about your daughters. My distancing from the rest of my sisters is my choice and my choice alone, Esme did it before, but look where it landed her-- In hell. That’s what you’re worried about, is it not ? You’re afraid I’ll fall off the tracks and lose my mind…but I won’t, I’m not that easy.
PG 15/ PN 1 – Phoebe turn’s her back on Emma, looking down at the floor, Emma attempts to get out of her seat.
EMMA: Phoebe, I never realized that this would-
PHOEBE: You never realized ? The arrogance. I’ve got a job to do, Ms Frost…after the war with the Avengers I learnt a few things…this isn’t the life I want. I am sick and tired of reporting to that foolish sociopath every ten minutes when he needs it, and on that same note…the secrets you keep between one and other…it almost cost me losing people I’d like to think were my friends ! I am sick of being your mutant handmaid and I am sick and tired of being referred to as “one of the Cuckoos” ! I’ve had enough, I want to help people, I want to help people like me…but not like this.
EMMA: Phoebe, you can’t possibly be seri-
PN 2 – She starts walking towards the exit of the office, she doesn’t look up for a second.
PHOEBE: I am serious, Ms Frost. Your neglect has done this…I still love my sisters, I always will, but there’s only so much a person can take. They can obviously handle it, but me ? I can’t. Like I said before Ms Frost, we… are the Stepford Cuckoos-
PN 3 – She leaves the room.
PHOEBE: -But I…am an individual.
PN 4 – Emma herself starts to turn into complete diamond, excluding the clothes she’s wearing.
PN 5 – She looks down at her desk, at a framed photo.
PN 6 – She picks it up, it shows Irma, Celeste and Phoebe, all happily smiling wearing white prom dresses, it seems to have been taken a while back.
PN 7 – Angled topographic view. Emma covers her face, weeping in sorrow.
To Be Continued…
NEXT – Where were you at Laurie Collins' assasination ?
ALL CHARACTERS AND SETTINGS ARE THE PROPERTY OF MARVEL INC. AND THEIR RESPECTIVE AFFILIATES. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, I THOUGHT OF THE STORY BUT THESE AREN'T MY PEOPLE.