If I Were Running the X-Books...

X-Men: Battle Lines
The war wages between X-Force and the network of Bastion-controlled humans.  When the Leper Queen shoots and kills Domino, X-Force goes on a rampage.  While the team of mutants gain the upper-hand, the covert group is ambushed into a multimedia frenzy, exposing their activities to their friends in the X-Men and the world alike.

While the world erupts in fear, the safety of mutants in San Francisco is compromised and many are forced to leave the area.  Several mutant slayings are reported and the 198 number dwindles one by one.

As part of a dying wish, Professor Xavier asks that Wolverine help to keep his dream alive.  Unbeknownst to him, Rogue began recruiting a group of leftover mutants to join her cause.  After absorbing the life and memories of her foster mother Mystique, she has dedicated her life to fighting against the evils she experienced without resorting to the life Mystique decided to take.  Wolverine leaves X-Force along with its other reluctant member, Wolfsbane, and joins Rogue's new team of X-Men, which initially also includes Cannonball, M, and Anole.  Despite bringing the group together, Rogue hands leadership into Wolverine's unwilling hands.

Former Xavier students Hellion, Elixir, Rockslide, Surge, and the Stepford Cuckoos decide to side and train with X-Force, a group who will directly take on the surviving Purifiers that killed their classmates.  Anole is initally tempted to side with his friends, but remains adamant at making the world a better place in the long-term rather than give in to shortsightedness.  Cyclops refuses to end X-Force's mission with more threats than ever since the team's public outing and recruits a few more questionable members into its ranks.  While Wolverine thinks Cyclops' is brainwashing kids for his own agenda, Cyclops insists he's forcing them to grow up and learn how to survive. 

Unfortunately, Cyclops' ideals are reinforced when Bastion attacks four young students (Mercury, Indra, Match, Pixie).  While Pixie and Mercury work together to try to defeat the villain, they are overcome by the Transmode Virus.  Rockslide recklessly jumps into the battle but is quickly ambushed by Bastion's accomplices and has his soul dispersed by Witchfire, effectively killing him.  Hellion visciously suffocates her in a telekinetic bubble and collapses from his effort.

The two opposing mutant teams work together for the last time against Bastion and unfortunately their former pupils, seemingly killing the foursome.

Despite the victory, the teams remain in shatters over their losses and move on.  After realizing the type of everyday trauma a member of X-Force would go through, Hellion decides to leave the team and joins the X-Men.  Surge nearly follows but remains with her teammates in X-Force.

Return of the Mutants
In a world where only 300 mutants exist after Wanda Maximoff's mutant plague called M-Day, how in the world did these nine mutants regain their mutant abilities?  Following an encounter with a mysterious Benefactor, the group must rely on each other as they must perform several dangerous missions to keep the gift they had been granted with.

But as the stakes grow higher, Danielle Moonstar tricks her former pupils, Sofia Mantega and David Alleyne, into staying behind before they take off for their second mission.  However, the price for leaving could prove deadly as Sofia encounters a series of deadly traps near her apartment in New York.

The mystery over the identity of the Benefactor plagues the team, which includes Chamber, Blob, Rictor, Moonstar, Quicksilver, and Marrow.  Would they be willing to potentially hurt the mutant population just to get their old powers back?  Their choices become limited when the group is confronted by a fully powered Magneto, ready to take down the blasphemous group.

Following a near-fatal defeat, the group reunites with Sofia who shares with the team the events that took place.  Because David did not survive the consequences he paid for not completing the mission, he is replaced by another African-American depowered mutant named Nyree Green who will then take on the name Paranormal. 

With the ability to phase into objects and quickly jettison from an area he had phased in, Paranormal brings the group to its next mission--infiltrate the Negative Zone prison.

Bidding War
As recruitment for membership becomes harder, the X-Force begin to bargain with some of the X-Men's former villains to help their cause.  While Lady Mastermind gregariously agrees, the level of control and trust among other villains cannot be negotiated.  Mastermind joins a group already composed of Cyclops, X-23, Archangel, Cable, Warpath, Transmode Virus infected (and resurrected) Catseye, the Vanisher, Elixir, Surge, and the Stepford Cuckoos. 

During a mission, Warpath runs into his former flame Risque.  While the adventurous young woman is enthusiastic about joining his team, he pleads for her to leave and informs her of the X-Men's home headquarters if she was truly willing to do some good.

A computer screen later shows that X-Force's next attempts are at recruiting Gambit, Frenzy, and Unuscione.

Elsewhere, no longer safe amongst large masses of people in San Francisco, the X-Men move to an abandoned warehouse near Rogue's hometown in Mississippi, unable to afford much else after many of the richest mutants' bank accounts were frozen. There, the team is attacked by an uncontrolled Sentinel. While it smashes through their new home, the team decide to accommodate it into their base using its different compartments as rooms.

The group uses functioning systems within the Sentinel to track and rescue mutants as well as communicate with those who may need their assistance.

Reverting into an elitist snob, Hellion snubs most of the auditioners who try to join this new team of X-Men in this new, dangerous world.  His attitude rubs Monet the wrong way, putting the two at odds when the team is unable to add even one new member.

The Great Divide
Meanwhile, Emma Frost has become a major social influence for mutants as a member of the new Dark Reign's cabal.  She maintains an icy relationship with both the X-Men and X-Force, but has gained their respect in the meantime.  She broke up with Cyclops to avoid conflicting interests, favoring mutant survival over her own feelings.

The Acolytes (Exodus, Frenzy, Neophyte, and Unuscione) try to get their former colleague Colossus to join the Acolytes, following the public rivalry amongst the X-Men.  The group is also insistent on finding a way to repower Scanner and Sunfire, unaware of the activities occuring in X-Factor or the whereabouts of Magneto.

Colossus, unwilling to take a side amongst his feuding friends, is tempted to rejoin the Acolytes, a group that becomes to seem less fanatical than the X-Men and less vicious than X-Force.  To avoid this, Nightcrawler, Karma, and Dust join him in a tour across Europe and Asia whilst protecting the citizens they encounter.  However, despite this adventure, the Acolytes offer remains fresh on his mind.

Iceman refuses to take a side between his close friend Rogue and his fellow founding X-Man Cyclops.  His whereabouts are unknown.

Storm pitied the X-Men and decided to focus her efforts into ruling Wakanda and acting as an occasional member of the Avengers.

Beast was deeply hurt by the revelation of X-Force and became a full-time instructor at the Initiative, bringing his pupil Armor with him.

Book Dynamics
'Astonishing X-Men' is supposed to represent classic stories with more character-driven arcs and a focus on the team dynamic.  Its legacy spans from each generation, from founding character Xavier's Legacy to 'All New, All Different's Wolverine, the New Mutants (Cannonball and Wolfsbane), Generation X (M), and the New X-Men (Hellion and Anole).

Wolverine often ventures off on his own when he's not tutoring Anole into become one of the best fighters around.  Cannonball is the comforting big brother to the team but also one of the most hardcore fighters on the battlefield.  Somewhat dark, Rogue also maintains her southernly charm throughout.  All the characters will have some kind of rapport with one another.

Its meant to be comedic and have more levity than the other titles, but it is still smack dab in the middle of the gravity of the mutant's dreadful situation

'X-Factor' is meant to be full of mystery and intrigue, with unexpected twists throughout.  It will have a sort of dark comedy to it as well as high stakes adventure and action.  Its meant to end at a certain point so its characters can be divided amongst the other two books or to be replaced with another title.

'X-Force' is brutal action full of daring risks.  Its at the center of the action but on the periphery as far as events go, often remaining in the background (or underground).  It will often interact with Emma Frost, the X-Men, and occasionally X-Factor, but its public appearances will be rare.

The three books will closely interact, often exchanging characters or tragedies like a hot potato.
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