Friday, March 2, 2018

X-men Supreme Issue 165: Crimes Against Inhumanity Part 4 PREVIEW!

Throughout the history of Marvel Comics and the X-men Supreme fanfiction series, there have been incidents where it’s painfully clear that nothing can ever be the same again. It’s one thing to just stop Dr. Doom from taking over the world, prevent the Brotherhood of Mutants from crashing a Dazzler concert, or thwart one of Mr. Sinister’s experiments. Winning those battles doesn’t involve much aftermath. The world basically continues as it is.

Then, there are events like Secret Wars, House of M, Overlord, and the election of President Robert Kelly in which there’s no undoing the upheaval. Things are going to change in a major way. There’s no way around it. There have been many such moments in the X-men Supreme fanfiction series, the events of X-men Supreme Issue 148: New Divide being the most recent. That moment, which set the stage for X-men Supreme Volume 7: United and Divided, split the X-men into two teams, one led by Charles Xavier and one led by Cyclops. That division has left the world vulnerable.

It was only a matter of time before someone attacked that vulnerability. Sebastian Shaw tried and failed during the events of the Drug War arc, but that conflict only set the stage for a much bigger battle with Romulus, the father of Wolverine and the leader of White Cell. As a villain, he has a somewhat shaky history in the X-men comics. In this fanfiction series, however, his efforts and his vision promise to shake the X-men, X-Force, and everything in between to their core.

The Crimes Against Inhumanity arc will likely be another one of those critical turning points for the X-men Supreme fanfiction series. It’s one of those moments where nothing can be the same again. There’s no going back. There’s no undoing the damage that Romulus did. Going all the way back to X-men Supreme Volume 5: Dark Truths, I’ve been setting up Romulus’ plan. He’s been silently working behind the scenes, manipulating the Wolverine, Weapon X, the X-men, and the governments of the world to carry out his vision. That vision is dangerously close to being realized.

It has already claimed casualties, as we saw in the Unholy Man arc. It promises to claim many more as Romulus’ armies of Weapon X drones roam the world, destroying every major defense system more advanced that a spear. He’s not just trying to win the conflict with humans, mutants, and the X-men. He’s trying to end all conflict, but on his terms. It’s the vision of a dangerous man who has shown a willingness to torment his own children to see it through. The clock is ticking and the final showdown for that vision is set to unfold.

Make no mistake. The world of X-men Supreme will never be the same after this. Characters like Mystique, Wolverine, X-23, Cyclops, Charles Xavier, and so many more will face some hard challenges and harder questions in this final battle. What happens to them and what happens to Romulus will shape the course of this fanfiction series for a long time to come. As always, I’ve prepared a preview of just how big this final battle will be.

“These men…are too…strong,” grunted Colossus, who was locked in a grapple with one of the warriors.

“They’re fast too,” groaned Psylocke as she missed one of the warriors with her psionic blades and got a heavy dose of telekinesis in the process.

“I get it, guys. You don’t need to keep reminding everyone!” said Captain Freeman while narrowly avoiding a claw slash.

“Argh! Well…I think…it bears…repeating, comrade,” said Colossus as he took an optic blast to the head, “What we are doing is clearly not working,”

“Even I need time to adapt!” grunted the Green Beret, “Any luck on your end, Xavier?”

“Not the kind I would prefer, Captain,” said Professor Xavier, who was concentrating while a couple of MSA agents defended him, “These men have telepathic abilities. They’re blocking me out and trying to attack with probes of their own. I can barely keep my own shields up.”

“Well, we better find another way soon!” said Psylocke as she narrowly avoided an optic blast, “Once these blokes run out of equipment to destroy, they’ll only have us left to target.”

Professor Xavier felt a thick sweat form over his head. His psychic attacks yielded no results. The minds of these warriors were built like Wolverine’s, except they had their own telepathy with which to fight back. They were like computers carrying out a program and with the destruction in the Pentagon, they were definitely succeeding.

Colossus, Psylocke, and Captain Freeman continued incurring injuries. Captain Freeman had adapted his body to become more durable. One of the warriors fought back by rapidly teleporting around him and striking him with head blows. Two more did the same with Colossus, utilizing more optic blasts to wear him down.

They even seemed to use his metal form as a means of destruction, blowing him back against any piece of heavy equipment that wasn’t easily destroyed. The warrior taking on Psylocke didn’t try to match her agility. While she attacked with her psionic blades, the warrior simply used telekinesis to keep her off her feet and slam her against nearby walls.

“Hnn…is it too late to swap powers, Colossus?” groaned Psylocke, now with a dislocated shoulder.

“I don’t think metal skin would fare much better,” grunted Colossus, falling to his needs after taking an optic blast to the head.

“We’ll have to fall back,” said Captain Freeman, “We can’t save this area, but the least we can do is-UNGH!”

The Green Beret was cut off when one of the warriors struck his legs with a wave of telekinesis, tripping him so that he fell flat on his face. The warrior made sure he stayed down by driving his claws into his upper shoulder, wounding the mutant soldier in a way that was difficult to adapt from.

With Captain Freeman and Psylocke injured, the mysterious warriors turned their attention towards Professor Xavier. He was still guarded by a couple of MSA agents who anxiously fired back with their weapons. None of their shots landed. The warriors didn’t even notice when they incurred a wound. With perfect coordination, they used their telekinesis to disarm the agents. This left both them and Xavier vulnerable.

“My rifle!” shouted one of the agents.

“Whoa! Looks like you’re on your own here, Xavier. This was not part of our training,” said the other.

“I need more time,” said the Professor intently, “Too much time to make sense of it all!”

The two warriors used their telekinesis again to shove the two MSA agents out of the way. Their eyes glowed red as they prepared to attack the Professor with an optic blast. Xavier was forced to stop his psychic probe. His only option at this point was to run, but he was unlikely to get far.

‘No…it can’t end like this. Is this going to be the legacy of the Mutant Monitoring Initiative? Failing to stop an attack that crippled the world?’

The warriors were about to attack. Then in an unexpected turn, their eyes stopped glowing and they froze where they stood. For a moment, they looked like computers processing a new set of commands.

“Emergency Protocol Omega initiated. Returning to core for Defense Strategy X,” they said in perfect unison.

Then as suddenly as they appeared, the four masked warriors teleported away. They left behind a decimated MSA control hub and many unanswered questions. Colossus, Psylocke, and Captain Freeman emerged injured and confused. General Grimshaw and several officers rose up, taking in the damage that they had just incurred.

“Talk to me, Xavier. What just happened?” asked General Grimshaw.

“I’m…not entirely sure, General,” said Xavier as he did a quick psychic scan, “I detected a brief psionic signal. It seemed to come from all directions. I disappeared too quickly before I could make sense of it.”

“I sensed it too, Professor…in addition to my shoulder popping back in place,” groaned Psylocke, who was helped up by Colossus.

“You’ll have to make sense of it later,” grunted Captain Freeman with blood dripping from his mouth, “We’ve got a hell of a mess on our hands.”

“Something tells me, it is much worse than we expect,” said Colossus.

It wasn’t an unreasonable assumption. No one dared contest it as they struggled to process what just happened. Everyone was just beginning to catch their breath. Then General Grimshaw’s cell phone went off.

“I presume that’s the president,” said Professor Xavier.

“You really are the world’s greatest psychic, Xavier,” said Grimshaw as he recognized the number, “If he’s able to call, then something must have changed on his end as well. He’s going to want answers. For all our sake, someone better figure them out.”

It's moments like this with X-men Supreme that I find uniquely satisfying. There have been only a handful of big battles like this where I take my time to set up a huge, game-changing battle like this. It’s not something I want to force or rush. It’s one of those things that deserves time, energy, and just the right kind of emotional payoff. That’s what I believe will make this fanfiction series as awesome as it deserves to be.

I intend to make an extra effort to ensure the conclusion of the Crimes Against Inhumanity arc matches or exceeds the other moments I’ve crafted within this fanfiction series to date. I want this moment to enrich X-men Supreme to new levels. To do that, I need plenty of feedback. I know there has been another surge in spam lately. I am doing what I can to temper that, but I will still sift through as much of it as I can to find that feedback. Either contact me directly or post your comments directly in the issues. Either way is fine and I appreciate any support you can offer. Until next time, take care and best wishes. Xcelsior!


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