Friday, June 27, 2014
X-men Supreme Issue 98: Tech Spec Terror PREVIEW!
The next era of X-men Supreme is almost upon us and I couldn’t be more excited. This fanfiction series is set to enter a bold new world that has risen from the ashes of the events in X-men Supreme Volume 4: Politics of Fear. Professor Charles Xavier and his X-men have always fought for peace. However, the very nature of peace tends to be fragile. And the peace that was forged through Xavier, General Grimshaw, President Robert Kelly, and Wanda Maximoff promises to be more fragile than most.
That peace is built entirely around the alien technology that Genosha has been harboring for centuries. This is the technology that Cameron Hodge used to wage war on mutants in the Uprising arc. Magneto used this same technology to nearly destroy the entire human race during both the Overlord arc and the Cambrian arc. Now Wanda Maximoff is ready to use this technology in a different way. The world of X-men Supreme could be vastly improved by this alien technology. It’s value as a commodity is much greater than its value as a weapon. By exporting this commodity, Genosha becomes an engine for prosperity rather than conflict.
It’s a dynamic that often plays out in the real world and one that will drive many of the new conflicts in this fanfiction series. When new precious resources are discovered, societies naturally seek a way to make use of these resources. In most cases, maintaining peace is preferable to endless conflict. And after battles against the likes of the Cambrian, the world of X-men Supreme has had all the conflict it can stomach. To govern this peace, Professor Xavier and the X-men must work with General Grimshaw and the Scarlet Witch to enforce the peace treaty that meant to give order to this new state of affairs. But in the first issue of X-men Supreme Volume 5: Dark Truths, the X-men will be faced with some of the very real challenges that these new affairs will bring. With that in mind, I’ve prepared an extended brief preview of the volatile kind of world that the X-men will have to deal with.
“Ain’t nowhere left to run,” said Gambit, “You gonna cut the voodoo and save yourself the pain?”
Zero responded by pulling out one of his guns and firing right towards the Cajun. He and Psylocke ducked behind a nearby crate for cover. He may have been low on options, but the man still had guts.
“Why does Remy bother asking?” he said as the pullets flew by him.
“This bloke doesn’t say much. I can’t imagine who hired him for a stunt like this,” grunted Psylocke as she formed some psionic blades in preparation for an attack.
“These days, could be anybody. This here tech be attracting every kind of thug from every kind of hell.”
“Good thing they aren’t as smart as they are dangerous.”
With Zero still backed up against the crate, Gambit and Psylocke needed only to wait. He was bound to run out of bullets at some point and reinforcements were already close by. From the same stairs Zero had walked up earlier, Cyclops and Colossus emerged. When Zero saw this, his options quickly narrowed even further.
“There he is!” Colossus yelled out.
“We’ve got him now. Let’s box him in!” said Cyclops, following close behind.
Zero put away his gun and went back to running. He cut through a few lines of crates, buying precious seconds and avoiding another optic blast from Cyclops. He made his way towards the other side of the ship, which was running parallel along the dock. If he couldn’t make an escape by sea, he would have to take his chances on land.
By the time the other side of the ship came into view, Psylocke and Gambit were closing in. Gambit charged a couple of playing cards and aimed for his feet to trip him up. He missed on both shots, but it caused him to stumble. Psylocke tried to take him out with a well-aimed psionic blade. She tried aiming for his legs where there wasn’t any body armor. She missed her first shot, but by the time she was ready for the second, the assailant had run out of room.
Now standing over the rail of the massive ship, Zero looked down to see he had quite a fall before him. As he took in his situation, Gambit and Psylocke arrived along with Cyclops and Colossus. Now they had him completely surrounded. There was no way out.
“Nowhere left to run and no more ceilings to shoot,” said Cyclops, his hand menacingly gripping his visor.
“Are you going to quit while you’re behind? Or are you going to keep up the silent treatment and do something outrageously stupid?” said Psylocke.
Zero looked at the X-men and then over the rail. The choice was a lot easier than she made it out to be.
Without hesitation, the masked figure jumped over the side of the ship and plummeted towards the hard pavement below. The four X-men rushed towards his position, not allowing him to escape their sights.
“Are we to be surprised?” said Colossus.
“Not as much as we should, Peter,” said Cyclops in a bemused tone.
“So are we gonna go after this rat or what?” said Gambit, who still several charged cards in hand.
“We don’t have to, luv,” grinned Psylocke, who had already picked up up on a few welcome telepathic signatures.
The four X-men stood over the deck and watched Agent Zero plummit to the ground below. There was no chance this was some suicide tactic or desperation move. Based on the power he demonstrated earlier, they assumed he had a few more tricks up his sleeve. However, he wasn’t the only one.
When Agent Zero struck the hard pavement, rather than become a mangled corpse, he absorbed the energy of the impact. It caused his whole body to glow bright red and left a sizable indent in the concrete. It was a lot of energy and should have equipped him for his escape into the city of Calcutta. However, his glowing form revealed something else that he didn’t expect.
“Hands in the air, Tinkerbell. That’s more than enough pixie dust for one night,” said the caustic voice of Captain Jack Freeman.
Suddenly, facing the X-men didn’t seem as daunting. His glowing form revealed that the MSA backup his superior mentioned had arrived. All over the port, there were dozens of well-armed, well-equipped officers from the Indian branch of the MSA. They bore the distinct uniforms that had become so recognizable all over the world. They were dark green with shades of blue around the shoulders and arms. All were heavily armed, sporting more advanced weapons than the officers on the ship. At every angle surrounding Zero’s position, he faced a dead end with a gun pointed at him. The success of the mission was now question.
Captain Freeman, who was wearing a special uniform that bore the emblems of the Green Berets, stepped forward to confront Agent Zero. Psylocke’s telepathic insight worked to perfection. Their coordination with the X-men allowed them to box in this latest attempt at high tech piracy. It was a game he and the MSA had been playing for a while now and while their record was not perfect, it was still playoff caliber so to speak.
“Agent Zero, is it? Interpol has had you in their top ten most wanted list six years running. I can see why,” said Captain Freeman as he fearlessly approached.
Agent Zero stayed silent, clinging to the two cases and remaining still as a statue.
“I know you don’t say much so I’ll get to the point,” Freeman continued, “None of these guys have any problem with shooting you, but we’re not hit men. We’re the MSA. We’re sick of this tech being on every greedy bastard’s Christmas list. We’re more than willing to make deals if it will keep this tech flowing to the people who actually make useful shit out of it. Long story short, if you come with us, we might be able to work something out.”
It was a standard speech that Jack Freeman rarely said with much enthusiasm. He was more soldier than police officer. But as General Grimshaw’s most trusted subordinate, he was required to be political at times.
“So what’s it going to be, Zero? Your move,” said the Green Beret menacingly.
Agent Zero stared down Captain Freeman. Then he looked over the vast contingent of Indian MSA officers before him. Then he looked up at the X-men, who were still watching from the cargo ship. He had no way out. If he was to escape, it was going to cost him something. Looking down at the two cases he was carrying, he saw only once chance. His superiors probably weren’t going to like this. However, they would like it even less if he got caught or came back empty handed. This forced him to make a fateful decision.
With his body still glowing with energy, Agent Zero made his move. Taking one of the cases, he threw it up into the air as hard as he could. Then with all the energy he had absorbed, he unleashed it in a concentrated burst. When that blast hit the case head on, the reaction was immediate.
“GET DOWN!” ordered Captain Freeman.
I’ve really enjoyed developing the various dynamics that fuel the story in the X-men Supreme fanfiction series. Like real life, I see it as an ever-unfolding process. One of the problems I have with the comics is that it just seems to go from crisis to crises, never taking note of the bigger picture. I want to great a bigger vision with this fanfiction series and that will definitely show in X-men Supreme Volume 5: Dark Truths. As always, the success of that vision depends heavily on the feedback and support I get from readers. So please take the time to contact me or post feedback directly in the issues. I’m always happy to talk about X-men Supreme or X-men in general. Until next time, take care and best wishes. Excelsior!