Friday, December 23, 2016

X-men Supreme Issue 146: Unanswered and Unaccounted PREVIEW!

Despite the many challenges the X-men have faced throughout the X-men Supreme fanfiction series, they’ve at least been able to count on one major advantage. They usually know who their enemies are, where they are, and when to keep an eye on them. Magneto and his Brotherhood of Mutants didn’t exactly hide their efforts early on in X-men Supreme. Whether they were crashing Dazzler’s concert or invading an entire country in the Uprising arc, there was little subtlety to their efforts.

Granted, these challenges still tested the X-men in ways they didn’t always pass. Enemies like Magneto, Sinister, and the Mutant Liberation Front gave them targets. Even when they didn’t know where to find them, the challenge still had a clear face. The X-men Supreme fanfiction series had a true, cohesive enemy for the X-men to battle. Now, after the events of Proactive Regression, that dynamic is changing in a major way. Now, the challenges before the X-men in this fanfiction series are about to undergo a profound upheaval.

Ever since the end of X-men Supreme Volume 1: Mutant Revolution, the human/mutant conflict hasn’t just had clear enemies like Magneto and the Mutant Liberation Front. They’ve also had clear battle lines, which often began and ended at the shores of Genosha. It was part of Magneto’s larger vision for the mutant race and that vision was eventually tweaked by the Scarlet Witch and Professor Xavier. Now, after Havok’s fateful decision during Proactive Regression, those lines are gone. Those distinctions have disappeared. The human/mutant conflict no longer has clear battle lines or even a clear face. So what does this mean for the X-men and their allies?

That’s the burning question that everyone is asking down the home stretch of X-men Supreme Volume 6: Liberation Decimation. Already, there has been plenty of liberating with the Mutant Liberation Front. Now, Havok and the Brotherhood of Mutants have done their part to add the decimation. It’s now up to the X-men to pick up the pieces. The world of X-men Supreme is now entering a new world of uncertainty. What’s going to happen to the mutants on Genosha? What’s going to happen to the Warlock technology they still have at their disposal? Where are displaced, disillusioned mutants going to go now that there’s no mutant haven to turn to?

These are all difficult questions to answer. Unlike the X-men comics, the mutants in X-men Supreme have not been sterilized or had their numbers curtailed. Mutants in this fanfiction series are still a growing population, complete with all the fear and uncertainty that brings. Professor Xavier and the X-men know that so long as new mutants keep emerging, the conflict will continue, with or without the Brotherhood.

What does that mean for the X-men? What does that mean for President Kelly? What does that mean for General Grimshaw? There are so many challenges before them. With only a few issues left of X-men Supreme Volume 6: Liberation Decimation, some will get answered. Others will pose new challenges. This fanfiction series is set to undergo its next great upheaval and it begins with the next issue, which will act as an epilogue to Proactive Regression and a prologue to something so much more hectic. As always, I’ve prepared a preview that hows just how hectic things will get for the X-men moving forward.

“Thank you all for meeting here this morning. I hope you enjoyed your week off. It’s important we’re all rested for the challenges that lay before us,” said Professor Xavier.

“That imply it may be the last break we get for a while?” asked Remy, “Between aliens and mutant terrorists, a week just don’t seem like enough.”

“I wouldn’t expect it to be. It’s been overwhelming, I know. I wish I could give you more time off. You’ve more than deserved it, X-men. However, we’re at a critical moment in human/mutant relations. The very core of our mission is changing. This time it’s going to be much harder to adapt.”

Professor Xavier took a deep breath, allowing his students to prepare themselves for what he was about to announce. They were all looking to him for answers. He was usually so good at providing them. This time, it was different in a profound way.

“First off, I’d like to update you on a few recent activities. Last night, Hank left for District X so he could aid Tessa in maintaining the fragile peace. Now that Genosha has been abandoned, District X is officially largest mutant community in the world. As such it’s been heavily scrutinized by the MSA. They’ve been questioning the locals, looking for leads on the Brotherhood.”

“And Bishop is okay with this?” said Bobby skeptically.

“He’s not in a position to oppose it. Even the mutants of District X understand that mutant affairs are tense. We can’t afford to spark any further conflict,” said Xavier grimly, “This leads me back to Genosha. As you know, Logan and Ororo have been working with Mystique and Warpath in the Persian Gulf. They’ve been trying to track down Frenzy in hopes of making more connections with White Cell. Last I heard, the trail has gone cold. Logan says there’s little hope of something substantive.”

“I’m sure he used more four-letter-words in his report, Professor,” muttered Jean.

“That’s the heavily edited version,” he reported, “In addition, Nightcrawler has been working with Wanda to track down the rest of the Brotherhood. We assumed they would contact Wanda once they were settled. So far, not even Pietro has reached out to her.”

“He probably knows Wanda is still with us,” said Betsy, “For all we know, she’s just waiting to meet up with him after we let our guard down.”

“After we saved her life and her island? That would be cruel, even for her,” said Kitty.

“Which is why I don’t suspect that is the case,” said Xavier, “The Brotherhood and every last citizen of Genosha are keeping a low profile. Of the few citizens that have dispersed, they seem unaware of any larger plan. But with so many mutants unaccounted for, it’s safe to assume that the Brotherhood still has a move in mind. They haven't made it yet and I don’t suspect they’ll make it anytime soon. This leaves the rest of the world bereft of answers. I fear this will allow governments all of the world to take extreme measures.”

“For all we know that could be just what the Brotherhood is hoping for,” said Betsy.

“That may be the case, Betsy. As such we cannot simply wait for the authorities to overreact. The X-men need to stay involved. That also means being ready and willing to adapt in uncomfortable ways.”

The X-men held their collective breath. They were prepared for bad news on multiple levels. There seemed to be little silver lining to what was happening. Genosha as a nation was gone, but everything that made it dangerous was still present. Professor Xavier was intent on not falling behind again.

“I wish I could tell you a clear cut plan for our future. Our next mission has yet to take shape because the dust has yet to settle on Genosha. However, we can still put ourselves in a more advantageous position. With this in mind, I've made the following decisions. First off, all scheduled classes and tests are suspended indefinitely. There will be no more tests, projects, or state sanctioned exams.”

“So…that means the higher learning part of the institute no longer applies?” said Bobby.

“Don’t get too excited, Bobby. There will still be plenty of learning. Except now it will be exclusively focused on training,” Xavier explained, “Starting today, all students will undergo a new series of training exercises. They won’t be restricted to the Danger Room either. They will involve regular scouting of suspected hot-spots, getting updates from staff, and taking necessary action when needed.”

“Necessary action?” questioned Scott, “That’s a pretty vague term, Professor.”

“I know, Scott. Clarity is at a premium right now, but given the current state of affairs the X-men must remain active full time. That is why I am also implementing new regiment of shift work. At least two X-men must be ready for deployment at all times. You’ll be divided into three groups, each taking an eight hour shift. Even when not on duty, the team must still be ready to mobilize at any given moment.”

“So we’re basically going to be X-men 24/7? Always assuming there’s a crisis going on?” surmised Kitty, “I’m not sure that’s what we signed up for, Professor.”

“Well we didn’t sign up to fight aliens either, but we learned to adapt,” shrugged Rogue.

“That’s easy for you to say. You don’t have parents who assume the superhero gig is just a part-time thing,” said Kitty.

“Yes, I understand there are legitimate concerns and they will be addressed,” Xavier told them, “However, those issues will have to wait until we have a more concrete plan in front of us. For the moment, we must err on the side of vigilance.”

“More like paranoia,” commented Scott.

“Scott don’t,” groaned Jean, scolding him to dissuade any further remarks.

“I understand your sentiment, Scott. I would appreciate it if you and everyone else worked with me during this difficult time,” he said in a serious yet reasonable tone, “This tension will pass. We just cannot assume our old methods will continue to work. Just as when the X-men chose to unmask, we must follow the times. We’re entering this new era, regardless of whether or not we’re prepared.”

He made it sound so easy, yet so complicated. The X-men had always been vigilant, but the Professor always balanced their duties as heroes with their responsibilities as students. Now he was telling them that they couldn’t be students anymore. They had to be full-time participants in this conflict.

For some, that wouldn’t be too much of a change. For others, it was a daunting notion. Their only solace was Professor Xavier’s confident tone. He wouldn’t make these decisions if he didn’t feel they were absolutely necessary.

“Now then…are there any questions?” asked Professor Xavier, hiding the distress in his tone.

“Just one, Professor,” said Remy, “If we gonna be training all the dang time, shouldn’t we have an idea on what we’re training for? It sounds like we stumbling around in the dark here.”

“Everyone is in a similar position, Remy. We’ll know what we’re training for when the situation arises,” said Xavier.

“When do you think that will be, Professor?” asked Piotr.

“Sooner than we expect, that much I’m sure of,” he said, “Now, at the risk of going over too many trivial details, I’d like to begin the new training regiment immediately. Logan, Ororo, and Hank will return later today and join you.”

“What about you, Professor? What will you be doing?” asked Rogue.

“I’ll be in the War Room formulating our next step with General Grimshaw and President Kelly,” he said, “I promise I’ll inform you the moment a major decision is made. Until that time comes, I trust you will be ready. Whatever may come of this chaos, one fact still remains. The world needs the X-men.”

We’re at the point in X-men Supreme Volume 6: Liberation Decimation where the main plots of one volume end and the plot or the next volume begin. I won’t tease or entertain ending X-men Supreme this time. There will be an X-men Supreme Volume 7. I decided that before I even started X-men Supreme Volume 6. I know that feedback on X-men Supreme has been limited at times, largely due to the size and scale of this fanfiction series. It’s been going on for nearly seven years now so it’s bound to get a little daunting.

Even so, I’m still committed to making X-men Supreme as awesome as it can possibly be. I still don’t know how much longer I’ll keep writing it. If it gets to a point where I’m okay ending it, then that’s what I’ll do. Until I get to that point though, I want to keep making this fanfiction series great. To do that, I still need feedback. I still need support from my wonderful readers. I’m always happy to listen and discuss feedback. Either contact me directly or post your comments in the issue. Either way is fine and I’d love to chat. Until next time, take care and best wishes. Xcelsior!



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