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Al Ewing (writer), Paco Medina (artist), Jay David Ramos (color), VC’s Ariana Maher (letterer), Tom Muller and Jay Bowen (design),Leinil Francis Yu (cover artist), Phil Noto, Fernanda Souza(variant covers), VC’s Clayton Cowles (production), Laurie Amaro (associate 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
Arakko was attacked by Krakoa, an attack led by Mr. Sinister’s chimeras. Many died, the world was destroyed and the Brotherhood, led by Storm, is now hiding in the new asteroid belt. Ten years later, Storm is still angry at Destiny and blames her for her poor advice. One of the Brotherhood members, Jon Ironfire, reveals that it isn’t Destiny but Mystique who came with a message that they can destroy this timeline. Mr. Sinister has a secret lab with Moira X clones hidden at Muir Isle. The Brotherhood and Mystique travel to Muir Isle, where again they are attacked by chimeras. One half of the group stays above to fight them off, while Storm, Wiz Kid and Ironfire travel underground where the lab is, protected by an immense forefield. While Storm and Ironfire battle more chimeras, Wiz Kid uses teleport tech to teleport the whole lab including the forcefield away. Unfortunately, it turns out that Wiz Kid is really Mystique, while the other “Mystique” above is just a Shi’ar hard light hologram. Mystique teleported the lab to a secret location. She injures Storm almost lethally and teleports away. She and Destiny give the Moira lab to Orbis Stellaris who ahs his own plans for this timeline.
Flashback / narration:Yes, she remembers how Arakko died, Storm recalls to Destiny. She confronted the Quiet Council. Krakoa had only grown worse, while Arakko had got better. She wanted to know the reason why and learned to her horror that the Council members carried Mr. Sinister’s DNA and were controlled, or at least changed for the worse, by him. She escaped only via a psychic fail-safe implanted by her fellow Arakkii. They were ready to go to war then and there, but were advised by cooler heads to wait. They marshalled their forces; they grew their strength. Apart from the Great Ring and the Brotherhood there were the members of SWORD, Nova, the original Famine, Dust, Thunderbird, Wrongslide and many more. They were ready for anything but not for everything, and everything was thrown at them.
The Krakoans blamed the attack on the Skrulls, but they were chimeras – flying eyeballs with Cyclops’ optic blast, Madrox dupes combined with other powers and many more. They felled Famine and Nova. Sunspot died in Storm’s arms. They fought against all hope. They fought, knowing they would lose. Because that is what it is to be of the broken land, even if that land is broken for all time!
The Present (10 years later):Their people are scattered to the winds or hiding here in the asteroids of what was once Arakko. Perhaps if they had gone against her kind advice, had struck sooner, they would have had a chance, but Destiny told them to wait! Storm states accusingly. She orders Irene to look her in the eyes. How does she think Storm feels about that?
Destiny observes that Storm hasn’t forgiven her yet, but she won’t kill her – at least not today. Storm warns this is not the place to test the infallibility of her predictions. If her predictions can fail, the prediction she made for them can be forgiven. But if she was just arranging the chess pieces for later - choosing a more opportune hour for their death – she should not have come here! If she came here at all, she adds cryptically and calls out the name Jon.
There is a metallic sound and Destiny demands who is there.
The young, horned man creates a blade from his arm, as he announces this isn’t Destiny. The body language is off. He impales her on his lance and, as he knew, she turns into her true shape, that of Mystique.
Raven angrily shouts he could have chosen a less painful method. He could but he didn’t, is the curt reply. And anything he stabs, she grows back, so don’t play for sympathy. Jon Ironfire, Ororo’s gruffest attack dog, Mystique mocks. From the rebel without a cause to the inner circle. How the mighty have risen… though she thought only omegas could serve on the Great Ring. Has that rule died with their planet? Or is he the omega of molten metal blood? He’ll let her know if he ever hits a limit, he shoots back.
Storm orders them to stop bickering and asks why Raven is here. To protect her wife, is the reply. Irene predicted she’d be safe, but some things you don’t gamble with. So, she came wearing Destiny’s face to deliver her message. To make a point, she shifts to look like Destiny again and asks how would they like Arakko to live again?
She explains that Nathaniel Essex has a secret cloning facility, dedicated to a secret clone of Moira MacTaggert. It has an activated mutant gene, the power to reset the universe to her birth, should her life end. The clone’s life began almost ten years ago. It was a safe point of some kind. That will save them from Sinister. Destroy the facility. Kill the clone. Reset time. There is no guarantee that things won’t play out the same way, but at least there is a chance to save everything, and all she has to do is end it!
Storm orders Jon to assemble the Brotherhood. They have a mission.
The Brotherhood currently consists of Storm, Jon Ironfire, Cable (who is now bonded with Xilo and called X-Man), Khora of the Burning Heart, Wiz Kid, Quick aka Loolo Marshall and now Mystique.
Soon, Cable teleports the group to Muir Isle, where Sinister hid his secret lab. Storm explains that, according to Destiny’s vision, Sinister’s lab is hidden in the rock beneath. Assuming they trust her or her wife, Ironfire states pointedly. Not to worry, Wiz Kid assures them and asks Mystique how the guns he fabricated for her are. She replies by threatening to set them on them, after they are through, causing Quick to attack her. Wiz Kid explains the security lock on the guns won’t let her attack a Brotherhood member, not to mention that they will all be too busy to quibble among themselves: Muir Isle is defended. He points at several zombielike chimeras closing in.
Cable, now combined with Xilo, and calling himself X-Man, analyzes that the chimeras are half Marrow, half Maggot. Every bone in them is a flesheater! The chimeras throw flesh-eating bones at the Brotherhood. Quick uses her speed to take them down. Quickly, Storm orders her, Mystique, Khora and X-Man to defend the surface, while Jon. Wiz Kid and her will dig up Sinister’s lab. She creates a localized tornado to open the doorway to beneath the rock and they fly in.
Impressed, Wiz Kid asks why she needed the rest of them. She doesn’t, Jon replies. She might, Storm corrects him. She senses something beneath them, not so much energy but absence. On the floor beneath, there are more chimeras who are defending what looks like a huge black globe. A chimera unlike anything they have ever seen, Storm ventures Like a living forcefield. Unus genes, Wiz Kid figures, amped by who knows what else? Skids? Armor? How many mutants with forcefield powers are there? He doubts even a teleporter can get in… but maybe they don’t have to. Leave it to him! He throws several hexagon-plated at the globe. Not his usual tech, Storm observes. A little something he has been saving for just these occasions. He asks them to hold off the goons.
Gladly, Ironfire grins and throes several iron spikes at their foes, who are partly based on Glob Herman. His rain of pain moves the chimeras need a little extra. Storm uses the metal to conduct electricity at the chimeras.
That leaves the unbreakable shield, Wiz Kid muses. The question is not how you break it, but why would you bother. He grins and counts down.
Further away, Khora enhances Looloo’s speed, so she can take out all their foes almost instantly. As her powers enhances, so do Looloo’s perception and she see Mystique glitching. That’s not Mystique, she realizes.
Wiz Kid tells Storm, he teleported the whole forcefield and its content away. Storm praises his work. Now they can return to the base and switch the field off at their…
Taki impales her with a sword from behind, grinning it is not at their base. Did he spot her this time? he (or more to the point Mystique) asks Ironfire. No, because he was looking at the fake tells she fed him for years! And he was looking at the Shi’ar hardlight hologram of her above, perfect down to the thermal temperature. Ironfire tries to kill her but she is prepared and teleports away.
He crouches next to Storm, shouting he has failed her. Not yet, she replies weakly. He shouts to the others they need a medical evac. Storm continues that Mystique cannot kill them. Sinister cannot kill them. Arakko survives. And they will find her wherever she hides…
Meanwhile the real Destiny is currently at the Worldfarm and informs its master that Mystique has returned with their prize. Destiny muses it’s ironic: if they hadn’t lured Ororo into action, the timeline would have reset. Tomorrow a Quiet Council vote will go against Sinister and he will decide to cut his losses… too late.
The other person remarks, he knows how Sinister thinks. This chaos was his idea of a controlled experiment. A shame for him that he won’t be the one to control it. He is curious though. He knows why he doesn’t want to undo the last ten years, but what about her? What does she get form a diseased reality like this? Destiny replies, it is simple: in this timeline her wife is alive. And some things you don’t gamble with. The other person agrees. They are similar like that. They play long games and they like to play them safe. But nothing is forever though and at the end of the game there is only one winning card. There can be only one who has dominion, Orbis Stellaris, the spade-clone of Nathaniel Essex warns.
Jon Ironfire, Khora of the Burning Heart, Quick, Storm, X-Man (Brotherhood)
In Storm’s narration:Khora of the Burning Heart, Storm, Sunspot, Thunderbird, Wrongslide (Brotherhood of Arakko)DustSobunarWeaponless ZsenSyziza of the SmokeFamineNovaFrenzy, Wiz Kid (SWORD)
Colossus, Emma Frost, Professor X
(Council of Sinisters)Nightcrawler clone
The story follows the Sins of Sinister one shot. The next part is Nightcrawlers #1.
This title replaces X-Men Red (2nd series) for three months.
The title is probably a reminiscence to both the British science fiction show Blake’s 7 in which a small group of rebels fights a mighty evil empire and to heist moves lie Ocean’s 11.
Storm confronted the Council in Sins of Sinister.
This is the first appearance of Jon Ironfire. He first appears in regular continuity in X-Men Red (2nd series) #11.
Quick is the grown version of the Arakkii orphan Looloo from X-Men Red (2nd series) #6. Given her last name is now Marshall, she was apparently adopted by Craig Marshall.