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Gerry Duggan (writer), Phil Noto (artist), VC’s Cory Petit (letterer), Tom Muller (Design), Russell Dautermann & Matthew Wilson (cover artists), Betsy Cola (alternate cover), Nick Russell (production), Jonathan Hickman (Head of X), Annalisa Bissa (assistant editor), Jordan D. White (editor), C.B. Cebulski (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)X-Men created by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby
An alien man, Eden Rixlo, travels to Arakko in search of the White Queen. Soon, the Marauders visit Arakko. Kate steals some blasters and she and Emma end up in the Red Lagoon, where Rixlo confronts Emma as the woman who stole his spaceship, though from her side he had it coming. Soon a fight breaks out between Rixlo and Emma and Kate. Sebastian Shaw, who happens to be present, finally intervenes, telling Rixlo they can make him rich. They pay him off with mysterium and invite him and the rest of the Marauders for a dinner on the Mercury. Unfortunately, Rixlo still can control the ship telepathically, meaning he has the ship space them and leaves them to die its vacuum. In Manhattan, Lourdes Chantal prevents an attack on the X-Men’s Treehouse by some malcontents.
A spaceship drops out of hyperspace near Mars/Arakko. The pilot is asked to identify himself, and explains the transponder relay burned out in a radiation storm. He is asked about his business. He has business on Earth, is the curt reply. He is ordered to stop at SWORD Station Two near Arakko for inspection. When he refuses, the KEEP fires at him. The pilot swears and lands – barely – at Port Prometheus on Arakko.
A guard – Jenus – angrily orders him out. He gets the door slammed in his face. Another guard warns that, if he has come to fight, he has come to die!
The pilot, a black man with glowing, golden eyes and a short cape, aims his weapon at him. He is not here to fight or die. He is Eden Rixlo. Tell him: where is the White Queen of mutantdom?
Sometime later, Emma Frost’s spaceship, the Mercury, lands at Port Prometheus. Emma, Kate, Bishop, Iceman and Pyro exit. Iceman asks if they have been to this planet he has helped make? Pyro groans, he &*%$ one planet back to life with Magneto, and now he is a cosmic elder!
Bishop tells the others he is here on business. He’s got to see the new sheriff about the murder of the old sheriff. This is the third sheriff in four days! Holler if they need him. He leaves.
Iceman and Pyro also go looking for some action, leaving Emma and Kate to walk the market.
Kate asks why Emma tagged along. Emma reveals she received a message from Commander Brand. An alien has been making trouble and bandying her name about. Anyone they know? Kate asks. Looking at some merchandise, Emma admits it could be several men, but she isn’t getting a hint he knows anyone here in the port.
At another stall, Kate asks the price of a blaster. The vendor tells her he doesn’t sell to Earthers.
Out of principle, Kate steals some blasters by phasing her hand in from behind the stall. She offers one to Emma, who declines. As they walk toward a bar, Emma believes she has found who they are looking for. There is a mind wearing a formidable psi-blocker in the Red Lagoon and one mind she doesn’t want to read. She refers to Sebastian Shaw, who is nursing a drink at the counter. Rudely, he tells them he came to Arakko to drink alone. Have fun with that, Kate shoots back as they walk on.
Emma swears a moment later, as she is addressed by Eden Rixlo sitting at a corner table. Rixlo orders her to send her mousy daughter for a glass of milk and to sit her ass down. What an unpleasant surprise, Emma snarks. She didn’t think their paths would cross again. She knew a blaster would be fun! Kate mutters, while reaching for the one she has stuck in her belt.
Rixlo continues that he went looking for Emma on Venus, but it was uninhabited. He thought she’d gotten away with it but then he checked his spam broadcast and heard about a mutant world and asked himself where had had heard this before. Oh yeah! The woman who stole his ship was a mutant!
Emma sits down and asks Kate if she would mind. Kate disappears to get some drinks.
Rixlo asks if his ship is here. He holds a blaster aimed at her under the table. She replies in the positive. He gets ready to shoot and asks why he can’t remember what they did. A part of their deal, she replies. She doesn’t need him to sign a non-disclosure deal, if there is nothing to remember.
Kate returns with the drinks. Rixlo insists he would never have agreed to give her his ship! Emma admits she… borrowed the ship, but he did try to double-cross her, and she only helped herself to what he had previously stolen, right?
Rixlo fires his blaster but only hits her glass, as Emma turns to her diamond form. That was a mistake, she states. While he is still surprised, Kate hits him. He fires the blaster at her and, of course, she phases.
The Arakki are now interested in a decent fight and begin to wager. Shaw chuckles as he sees “his” queens in trouble.
As Kate keeps on hitting Rixlo, Emma remarks they had fun together and she got a lot of work done. Forming a nation on Earth required a discreet jaunt into space. She needed transportation and, of course, a telepath is going to fall in love with a ship that works with telepathic controls.
Rixlo throws a gas pellet at Kate. She has to cough and stay solid and he kicks her in the stomach. Emma asks if she may intervene. Just this once, Kate replies, and Emma throws her glass at him.
The Arakki at the bar mock the Krakoans’ weakness and Shaw finds himself defending the two women he hates by pointing out there is strength in restraint.
Rixlo warns he will blow the whole place up if anybody moves! Unimpressed, Emma tells him there is no need. She will make him whole. He tosses a small globe at her, claiming it is a detonator. Shaw grabs it and presses it into a small cube and absorbs the detonation’s energy. He remarks they can’t have their entire side of the Quiet Council in the resurrection queue at the same time. It would be embarrassing. Emma flashes him a genuine smile and thanks him.
Shaw turns to Rixlo and remarks he underestimated those two once too. Whatever their quarrel, it’s over, especially if he only wants money, because they have lots of that. How big a payoff are they talking? Rixlo asks.
A little later, the group as well as the rest of the Marauders are on the Keep. They are welcomed by Peepers, who carries a small case. Emma greets him warmly and invites him to Hellfire Bay. Peepers hands the case to Pyro, who opens it and shows the contents – mysterium - to Rixlo. Is he happy? he asks. Rixlo is satisfied with the payment and asks them to drop him off on their way home.
Soon they are all having dinner on the Mercury. Everyone is relaxed. Emma promises to drop him off. Rixlo praises the whiskey, causing Shaw to begin his spiel about possibly selling Krakoan whiskey off-world.
Rixlo gets up. While he didn’t love how they got into this mess, he does love how they got out. He moves toward a door and thanks them for making him rich. He’d really miss her, but they put him in a position where he can keep both the mysterium and the ship! The door closes with him on the other side and suddenly the entire room is spaced.
At the same time as the Marauders are beginning to die in space, a woman stands outside the X-Men’s treehouse, a mutant who has spent years among the humans.
A derelict-looking young man throws a Molotov cocktail at the treehouse. The woman teleports to his side, grabs it and chides him for playing with fire. She’s one of them! he accuses her. As she dowses the flame, she replies she is Lourdes Chantel and proud to be a mutant, and he should be ashamed!
Bishop, Emma Frost, Iceman, Kate Pryde, Pyro (all Marauders)Sebastian ShawLourdes Chantal
- Eden Rixlo: his Nova Corps service record and his arrest record
The whole issue seems a bit of an homage to the original Star Wars trilogy.
Iceman helped turn Mars into a living planet in Planet-Size X-Men.
This is Lourdes Chantal’s first actual appearance in the present.