Friday, March 31, 2017

X-men Supreme Volume 7: United and Divided Announcement and PREVIEW!

It’s almost here. A new era of the X-men Supreme fanfiction series is about to begin. The end of X-men Supreme Issue 148: New Divide effectively split the X-men into two teams. The events of X-men Supreme Issue 6.1: Beyond Top Secret helped solidify those teams. Now, it’s time for both teams to enter a world that is still fragile and wary after the assault by the Mutant Liberation Front.

This won’t just be a matter of moving onto new enemies, confronting new threats, or forging new allegiances. The X-men must completely change how they’ll operate moving forward. Some of that is out of necessity. The Xavier Institute was destroyed, as it often tends to be in the X-men comics, during the events of X-men Supreme Issue 147: Vengeful Anarchy. The loss of their home, in many ways, triggered the initiative that Professor Charles Xavier crafted with General Grimshaw and President Kelly. He calls it the Mutant Monitoring Initiative. It will, for the most part, be the guiding force for the X-men Supreme fanfiction series moving forward.

Since X-men Supreme began, the X-men have had a tense and fragile relationship with the authorities. Going all the way back to X-men Supreme Volume 1: Mutant Revolution, there have been times when the authorities have been adversaries. That relationship has been in flux ever since, but it gained a new dimension with the arrival of General Grimshaw in X-men Supreme Issue 75: Renegade. His emergence as President Kelly’s most trusted associate in mutant matters ensured that closer ties between the X-men and the government were inevitable. With events like Natural Disorder and The Cambrian Explosion, these ties only became more complex.

In the end, the Mutant Liberation Front in X-men Supreme Volume 6: Liberation Decimation pushed both sides over the edge. Charles Xavier could no longer cling to full breadth of his dream. President Kelly and General Grimshaw could no longer tolerate the X-men’s method of doing things. Something had to change. The Mutant Monitoring Initiative is the catalyst for that change, but not everybody is on board with it.

In the final moments of X-men Supreme Issue 148: New Divide, some of Charles Xavier’s most loyal X-men decided to cut ties. This included Cyclops and Wolverine, two X-men who rarely see eye-to-eye on anything. However, they agreed that their mentor had lost sight of his dream. They’ve now taken it upon themselves to fight for what’s left of it by forming X-Force, a new team that will operate outside the Mutant Monitoring Initiative.

What does this mean for the X-men moving forward? What does this mean for the future of the X-men Supreme fanfiction series? There’s a lot of drama, upheaval, and struggle ahead. That’s why I’m proud to officially announce the beginning of the next stage of this fanfiction series. I call it X-men Supreme Volume 7: Divided and United. The first issue, like previous volumes of X-men Supreme before it, will jump ahead somewhat in time. It will also set the stage for a new set of conflicts in X-men Supreme. As always, I’ve prepared a preview of this new era of X-men Supreme.

“State your business and show your identification. You have five seconds to comply,” said one of the MSA operatives from behind the gate.

“The paint isn’t even dry on this place and you’re already treating it like George Washington’s tomb. Gotta love this city,” commented Melita as she showed her ID.

“You must be the new press hound from the White House,” said the operative, “Tell me, how did you get roped into this job again? You make a pass at your boss or something?”

“Believe it or not, I didn’t have to sleep with anybody to get this job. Doing PR for the Pentagon just wasn’t exciting anymore. I’m ready for something bigger and that something is waiting for me inside. Now if you don’t mind, can you let me through? I’ve got a deadline.”

Melita spoke with a toughness not often heard from media personnel. The MSA operative stood mildly impressed. He turned towards the MPs and nodded, who opened the gate. The young woman then walked in confidently with poise, adjusting her sunglasses as she walked up the winding trail that led to the Xavier Institute.

Along the way she passed more MPs and a few maintenance workers. Even though this facility looked like a private mansion, it had the feel of a government facility. Something about that seemed a little off, but that was why Melita was here.

She followed the trail up to the front door of the institute. Upon arriving, she saw that Charles Xavier was already standing there waiting for her. He wasn’t dressed like a politician or a military man. Instead he wore dark pants, a dress shirt, and a blazer. He still looked like a Professor, which was reassuring in the sea of controversy that surrounded this facility.

“You must be Melita Garner. The Mutant Monitoring Initiatives newest PR consultant,” greeted Professor Xavier.

“Just Melita is fine. Let’s avoid unnecessary breaths and go straight to being on a first-name basis,” replied Melita as she shook his hand, “We’ll have to be if we’re going to make this work.”

“Indeed,” Xavier agreed, “I hope you’ll bear with me because I’m not quite sure what this entails.”

“You and everyone else at the Press Corp,” she said, “This is General Grimshaw’s idea so take it up with him if you want. He thinks that after the Mutant Monitoring Initiative was approved, it still requires a significant image boost. You and the X-men have been running around making all this noise, but not everyone is able to listen. My job is to sift through that noise and deliver the right message to the public.”

“By right, you mean...”

“I’d rather not get into semantics. For now, assume that John and Jane Q. Public are standing right in front of you. They want a full assessment of how the Mutant Monitoring Initiative has unfolded over the past seven months. They also want to know where it’s going moving forward.”

“Sounds like perfectly reasonable concerns,” said Xavier, “I’m more than happy to discuss them at length. Care to walk and talk at the same time?”

“Taking notes on the move is a requirement for everyone in PR. I’ll be recording this for the record so in the spirit of full disclosure, I’ll ask you to be concise,” said Melita, “It also wouldn’t hurt to be mindful of what you’re saying.”

“I’m the world’s most powerful psychic. Paranoia is somewhat redundant,” he quipped in good humor, “Besides, I’ve nothing to hide, nor do I care to during this critical transition.”

“So try anyways. In this town, saying too much can get you into a world of trouble.”

It sounded like a warning. Melita clearly took her job seriously. He also sensed in her a touch of cynicism. She assumed every shortcoming was severe and did not shy away from harsh truth. It was little wonder why General Grimshaw selected her for this. So while maintaining his calm demeanor, Professor Xavier started walking while Melita turned on her recorder.

“Let’s start with the basics,” she began, now holding the recorder up near the Professor, “Your team consists of seven X-men. Phoenix, Beast, Storm, Rogue, Gambit, Colossus, and Psylocke. You have two reserve X-men with Shadowcat and Iceman, who are currently attending school at the Academy of Tomorrow. Between each of them, you have a fairly limited number of mutants to head up such a bold operation.”

“I’ve always been a strong believer in quality over quantity,” replied Xavier, “These gifted individuals have more than just mutant abilities and the training to use it. They have my trust.”

“That trust must go a long way. Before the ink dried on the Mutant Monitoring Initiative, you and the X-men hit the ground running.”

“We had little choice in the matter. The world was vulnerable. The Mutant Liberation Front may have been thwarted, but the Genosha exodus changed the stakes. Every nation on the planet was clamoring for some sense of clarity. They wanted to know where all these mutants were, what they were up to, and what happened to the valuable technology they took with them when they disappeared.”

“And have your X-men obtained any answers?”

“We’ve surmised part of the answer,” said Xavier, choosing his words carefully, “Before this new institute was complete, I worked with General Grimshaw to get a new version of Cerebrum up and running.”

“Cerebrum…you mean that mutant-tracking computer that many find so mysterious?”

“There’s nothing mysterious about it. The way it works is well-understood by those familiar with the biology and physiology of the X-gene.”

“All of which could probably fit into a greyhound bus,” Melita quipped.

“Even fewer understand quantum mechanics, but that doesn’t prevent people from enjoying its fruits. Namely computers, cell phones, and even the recording device you’re using this very moment.”

There was a certain wryness to his tone. Melita tried to blitz him with finer details, but he didn’t skip a beat. It left her mildly impressed. He still had much to prove though.

“Regardless of how it works, we were able to get a new Cerebrum up and running within a month. Thankfully, I had many of the files from my previous institute backed up in a secure location. So we were able to get to work. Thanks to the addition of the MSA’s resources, we were able to get a firm grasp of mutant activity.”

“How much of that activity was from former Genoshans?” asked Melita.

“Not nearly as much as we hoped,” Xavier conceded, “But we were able to confirm some of our early suspicions. The society that was created on Genosha is still active, even if it’s now fragmented. Just as before, they guard their thoughts and capabilities very well. So much so that Cerebrum cannot hone in on all of them at this time.”

“I assume there are exceptions,” she stated.

“There often are. We discovered early on that some of Genosha’s citizen’s are not quite on board with their leadership’s current agenda.”

As I’ve said before, this will be a very different battle for the X-men. This fanfiction series is undergoing some of its greatest upheavals to date. Characters will be shaken. Relationships will be strained. Revelations will further test the bonds between the X-men. As I’ve done since I began this fanfiction series, I intend to make it as awesome as I possibly can. To do that, I still need feedback from all the passionate X-men fans I know are out there. Given the ambitious nature of X-men Supreme Volume 7: Divided and United, that feedback is more vital than ever. So please take the time to post your comments. Either contact me directly or post your comments directly in the issue. Either way is fine. Until next time, take care and best wishes. Xcelsior!



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