Friday, March 3, 2017
Giant-Sized X-men Supreme Issue 6.1: Beyond Top Secret PREVIEW!
For most of X-men Supreme’s history, there has been a recurring theme of sorts. I started this fanfiction series because I was dissatisfied with the direction of the X-men comics and wanted to give an outlet to other X-men fans. As X-men Supreme has evolved, it has often been the case that when things are looking bleak in the X-men comics, things are looking more promising in this fanfiction series.
When the X-men comics were bogged down with schisms and secret kill squads, the X-men Supreme fanfiction series was focusing on more traditional X-men stories like battling Magneto in Overlord, fighting a malevolent entity in the Cambrian Explosion, and exploring Wolverine’s mysterious history in The Lotus and the Warrior. X-men Supreme has managed to do all of this and more without resorting to time travel, clones, or major retcons. Personally, I take pride in that. I feel it helps X-men Supreme stand out in a way that the X-men comics just can’t at this point.
However, the current situation in the X-men comics is changing. On top of that, the X-men Supreme fanfiction series just underwent its biggest upheaval to date. The events of X-men Supreme issue 148: New Divide capped off X-men Supreme Volume 6: Liberation Decimation with some devastating decisions. Charles Xavier has effectively restructured the X-men, integrating them into General Grimshaw and President Kelly’s newly-minted Mutant Monitoring Initiative. The dream, as the X-men have known it since this fanfiction series has begun, has changed. Some, such as Cyclops and Wolverine, believe that Charles Xavier has abandoned his dream altogether in the face of fear and uncertainty.
Now, the X-men are divided. Friends have abandoned one another. Relationships, including that of Cyclops and Jean Grey, have been shaken to their core. It is a difficult, tenuous time for the X-men in this fanfiction series. Conversely, things are looking far less dire in the X-men comics. Their latest extinction plot is about to end. The X-men, and the mutant race as a whole, is on the road to recovery. Old allies, like Kitty Pryde, are returning. The vision of Charles Xavier and the X-men is once again starting to guide them again.
It puts X-men Supreme in an odd position because moving forward, the X-men will be divided. There will be conflict between two teams, namely the X-men and the Cyclops-led X-Force. X-men Supreme Volume 7 is going to have plenty of tension and conflict, the likes of which the X-men comics are moving away from. It may be an odd position, but it’s one I intend to explore in a compelling way.
X-men Supreme Volume 7 is already in the works. I have a vision for how it will play out. I have every intention of seeing it through. Before I begin that vision, however, I’ve decided that the time is right to do another one of my point-one issues to help set the stage for this new era in X-men Supreme.
Like the point one issues that Marvel has done before, these are self-contained stories that act as jumping-on points and transitions. I’ve done several to date. Some, like X-men Supreme Issue 5.1: Deception Revelation, offered important insight into ongoing stories. Others, like X-men Supreme 3.1: Sin City Shenanigans, were just fun asides. For this one, however, it’s going to be serious.
Before X-men Supreme Volume 7 gets going, I’m going to revisit another plot that has been brewing since The Good, The Bad, and the Sinister. With Cyclops about to begin a new mission with X-Force, he’s in a vulnerable state. Naturally, he reaches out to his father, whom he just learned is still alive after the events of Outer Limits. Now, just before he embarks on this new mission, he gets in touch with him and learns a secret that has remained hidden for years. It is entitled X-men Supreme 6.1: Beyond Top Secret and it should get X-men fans excited about X-men Supreme Volume 7. As always, I’ve prepared a preview for this extra-sized, extra-awesome entry of X-men Supreme.
“We’re just about ready, Agent Brand,” said the top engineer, “The lab area is clear and we’re ready to lower the psychic dampeners on your order.”
“Is the facility sealed on every other end?” asked Agent Brand as she looked out over the research area.
“We’re officially in lockdown,” said her chief security officer, “It’s already raising a few red flags at the Pentagon. I don’t think they’ll appreciate us not clearing this experiment beforehand.”
“I’ll handle anyone whose feathers get ruffled. Just make sure that we don’t have a repeat of what happened on Genosha,” said General Grimshaw.
“For the record, I’m still in a position to detain the X-men over that affair,” Agent Brand reminded, “Xavier better not give me a reason to execute that authority.”
“I know this goes against your nature, Agent Brand. But cut the good Professor some slack. He’s putting himself in a very dangerous position. You may not respect his vision, but you have to respect the man’s bravado.”
Agent Brand remained skeptical. There were way too many ways that this could backfire. She and General Grimshaw stood behind several inches of concussion proof glass on the main observation deck, which stood a good two and a half stories above the main level. It allowed them to completely monitor the activity below. Charles Xavier was almost ready and the time had come to see if he could be as valuable as they hoped.
Within the main research area, Xavier stood a mere ten feet away from the alien ship. Behind him and surrounding the perimeter were two squads of masked MPs. They all had their weapons drawn in preparation for any unforeseen threats. Captain Freeman stood with them, acting as the squad leader for this bold experiment. Having never been a science buff, he maintained a strict sense of indifference to this ordeal.
“Are all these guns really necessary?” questioned Professor Xavier, “I get the impression that nobody here trusts me and given recent events, I find that troubling.”
“I doubt it’s just you, Xavier. It’s the alien ship that’s the real x-factor here,” said Captain Freeman, “I’m pretty sure that everyone here has seen the movie Independence Day.”
“Which movie was that again?”
“The one where guns came in handy when unruly aliens were in a confined space. If you’re lucky they won’t be necessary.”
“I try not to rely on luck in my line of work,” said Xavier, “I just worry that expecting the worst does little to help the odds.”
Captain Freeman signaled the MPs to assume a fire-ready position. Professor Xavier wasn’t going to convince him or anyone to relax their guard. Not when alien threats were involved. Given his experience with the Shi’ar, that may not be an unreasonable approach. He remained poised under these unfriendly circumstances as he waited for the go-ahead from Agent Brand. After a final check from Captain Freeman to ensure that the lab was sealed and all non-MPs were behind sealed doors, he signaled the observation deck.
“Are you ready down there, Professor? Last chance for a bathroom break or second thoughts,” said Agent Brand through a speaker system.
“I’m ready if you’re willing,” said Professor Xavier confidently.
“Then good luck and for all our sake, don’t make me regret this,” said Agent Brand in her usual coarse tone, “Lowering the psychic dampeners in 5...4...3...2...1.”
There was a slight flicker from the lights as the facility’s elaborate psychic defenses were disabled. Professor Xavier picked up on it almost immediately. He sensed the barriers preventing his mind from utilizing his telepathy weaken. It created tension throughout the lab, knowing that the world’s most powerful psychic was now unhindered. Xavier made no effort to alleviate those concerns. His sole focus was the alien ship. Now that he could use his powers, he could begin the experiment.
“It’s just as I suspected. There is indeed a psychic signature emulating from this ship,” said the Professor as he cautiously approached the vessel.
“Does that mean there’s something alive in there? If so, it would be good to know if it was bulletproof,” said Captain Freeman.
“I’ve yet to determine if it’s the ship’s inhabitants or the ship itself,” he said, “I’ll need to probe a little harder to uncover the truth.”
Under the careful watch of many, Professor Xavier placed one hand on the ship and the other on his temple. He closed his eyes and began a psychic probe. He was immediately struck by the level of psychic clutter. The damage to the ship seemed to extend to the sentience. It was as if it had been wounded on a psychic level as well as a physical level. That damage led Xavier through a system that was still intact. As he began to access it, this ship that had been dormant for over 60 year became active.
“Agent Brand, we’re detecting some significant energy readings from the ship,” said a SWORD researcher that was monitoring the experiment.
“We have working eyes last I checked. Tell us something a 1st grader can’t readily observe,” said Agent Brand.
“Our instruments can’t make sense of it yet, but Xavier definitely flipped a switch of sorts,” said another female SWORD researcher, “You know those computer-like components that we could never get to work? Well apparently, they’re working now.”
“They’re doing more than just working,” said one of the SWORD technicians in a nervous tone, “They appear to be rebooting the whole ship! And not very smoothly from the looks of it!”
Excitement quickly turned to tension as the activity from the ship grew more ominous. Lights along the edges activated. They flickered at first, indicating that the systems on the ship weren’t fully intact. Along with the lights came the distinct hum of the ship’s power source. It was a source that the researchers had never been able to understand and the energy it radiated defied what their instruments could detect. While Captain Freeman and the MPs remained vigilant, Professor Xavier remained focused. He continued focusing his powers for nearly ten minutes, trying to reach whatever sentience was within this ship.
Then the activity took an unexpected turn. As the lights along the rim of the craft continued to flicker, the exotic propulsion system along the bottom of the ship was activated. It didn’t appear to be by design either. Three distinct hemispheres erupted in a burst of yellow light. This caused ship to levitate slightly and sway. At this point Xavier had to halt his probe and step back. From the looks of it, the ship was malfunctioning in major way.
“Oh no…this is exactly what I hoped to avoid!” the Professor dreaded.
“Whatever you did, you better undo it!” warned Captain Freeman as he stood beside him apprehensively.
“That’s exactly what the ship is trying to do! It appears as though the ship is more damaged than I anticipated!”
“What did you expect?! We already told you this thing crashed!”
“I’m not talking about the damage done by the crash.”
“You mean crashing doesn’t do enough damage to alien technology?!” exclaimed the mutant soldier.
“From what I sensed, this ship was badly damaged before it crashed.”
Captain Freeman was getting that sinking feeling that every soldier experienced just before a battle broke out. He and Professor Xavier continued to back away from the hovering ship. The rest of the MPs nervously held their ground, gripping their guns more intently than before. Something was clearly wrong with this ship and they were right in the crossfire.
Up in the observation deck, General Grimshaw and Agent Brand shared their trepidation. Many of the researchers were either watching in amazement or scrambling to make sense of the data. Professor Xavier had definitely stumbled onto something and it was clearly very volatile.
“What the hell is going on down there?!” exclaimed Agent Brand, “Somebody tell me something smart or I’ll start making assumptions!”
“Uh...well remember that energy we mentioned earlier?” said one of the researchers, “Well apparently, the ship had some kind of system that could stabilize it.”
“Do I need to give a damn about the nuts and bolts?” she asked.
“All you really need to know is that system is malfunctioning,” said another SWORD technician, “And it isn’t a result of the crash either. These systems are failing internally!”
“What does that mean for us?” asked General Grimshaw, now deeply concerned about the well being of Xavier and the MPs.
“We aren’t entirely sure, but if I were to make an educated guess I would say that when Xavier activated that reboot we mentioned the system crashed,” explained another senior researcher as best he could, “Based on these readings, it loosely resembles a computer that was crippled by a virus trying to boot up.”
“So the ship is crippled. Big deal,” Agent Brand surmised, “So why does it look like a busted up Chevy with a blown out engine?”
“That’s where the data gets more disturbing, I’m afraid,” the senior researcher continued, “Remember those compartments we couldn’t open? Well I don’t think they were meant to be opened. The damage to the system didn’t seem to originate from the crash. It came from those compartments!”
“So then what the hell could be in those compartments?” pondered General Grimshaw.
“I don’t know, but if Xavier is right then it may be the reason why this ship crashed!”
The possibilities were too disturbing to contemplate. Luckily or unluckily, they wouldn’t have to. As they continued watching the scene unfold, they heard a series of loud clangs from inside the ship. They were so loud and forceful that they caused dents to form in the hull of the ship. Something was definitely trying to escape.
X-men Supreme Volume 7 will be a different kind of X-men story for this fanfiction series. It’ll be different at a time when the X-men comics are returning to their roots. It’s an inverted dynamic of sorts, but one I’m determined to make work. It’s going to be a challenge, but I won’t let that stop me from making X-men Supreme as awesome as it can possibly be. As I confront this new challenge, it’s still very important that I continue to get feedback. So please take the time to tell me what you think of X-men Supreme. Whether it’s praise, dread, fear, or animosity, I want to hear it. Either contact me directly or post it directly in the issues. Either way is fine. Until next time, take care and best wishes. Xcelsior!