BIOGRAPHY - Page 5
Sadly, Callisto’s new lease on life in Genosha was cut short by the events of M-Day. When Magneto and Xavier’s efforts failed and the Scarlet Witch fell into madness, her brother Quicksilver convinced her to create a world where mutants were the ruling class. Once reality was restored, Wanda made a powerful declaration – “No more mutants”. Instantaneously, millions of mutants worldwide lost their genetic gifts. Callisto was among those who were depowered. She remained in Genosha with a few of the mutants that she, Xavier and Magneto had gathered. But the loss of her powers and tentacles hit Callisto hard and she began to cut herself in order to fight the numbness she felt due to her dulled senses. It was not long before Quicksilver, who blamed himself for the Decimation, discovered a means of restoring mutant powers. He stole the source of the Inhumans’ sacred Terrigen Mists and used them to restore his powers. He also exposed his daughter Luna to them, causing her to manifest powers of her own. Together, they traveled to Genosha where they were greeted by the despondent Callisto. When offered the chance to regain her powers, Callisto embraced the chance without reservation. At first, she rejoiced in the return of her superhuman senses. But she soon learned that her renewed powers came with a terrible price. Her senses were now so sensitive that she experienced excruciating pain at the slightest touch, was blinded by daylight, and overwhelmed by the lightest of scents or sounds. Magneto found her and learned the truth of what Pietro had done. The pain was too great for Callisto to bear. Her mind shut down and she slipped into a coma. After confronting Pietro, Magneto asked him to get Callisto to a hospital on the mainland. Quicksilver never had the chance. He was attacked by General Lazer and agents of the U.S. government’s Office of National Emergency (O*N*E). They confiscated the Terrigen Crystals and took Callisto into custody for “treatment.” [Son of M #4-5]
Months later, Callisto resurfaced as a part of a group of former mutants calling themselves X-Cell. They believed that M-Day was a government plot against mutants. Their suspicions were reinforced by the actions of O*N*E and the subsequent Superhuman Registration Act. Their leader Elijah Cross sought out Quicksilver, having learned that he might possess the means of restoring mutant powers. When Callisto first saw Pietro, she attacked him in retaliation for the agony he had put her through. He easily defeated her with his enhanced powers and responded that her pain was because she had not been worthy.
Given what happened when Pietro “restored” her powers, Callisto was far from eager to trust his claim that he could now restore powers with less risk. X-Cell hatched a plot to use the depowered mutant Rictor as a catalyst of sorts, to refine Pietro’s restorative process. This brought X-Cell into direct conflict with X-Factor Investigations. Using Rictor, Quicksilver successfully restored the powers of several X-Cell members. When it was Marrow’s turn, Callisto urged her not to trust Pietro or to at least wait to see how the others fared. Cal’s instincts proved on the money. The process was still unstable and led to the death of Elijah Cross and the others being banished to another dimension to escape their fate. When X-Factor member Layla Miller hinted at the truth of Pietro’s role in the Decimation, Marrow guessed correctly that Wanda had been the cause. Pietro tried to silence her, stabbing her. During the inevitable showdown between Quicksilver and X-Factor, Callisto slipped into the sewers with the injured Marrow. [X-Factor (3rd series) #18-20]
Callisto and Marrow parted ways and the powerless Callisto eventually returned to the Morlock Tunnels she once called home. Seeking to live a quiet life by herself, Callisto still found a group of orphans and runaways trying to live in the tunnels. Unable to turn away strays, Callisto recreated the underground community she once appreciated with the Morlocks. So, when Storm came down into the tunnels looking for a missing girl, Callisto lashed out at the prospect of losing to Ororo again. She had engineered a staff to harmlessly absorb Storm’s lightning, but without her powers Callisto wasn’t the same contest for Storm anymore. However, when Ororo discovered Callisto wasn’t harming her charges, and the runaways actually wanted to stay with her, she relented. Storm and Callisto reached a peace between them, and Ororo sent down a few supplies while otherwise leaving the new Morlocks to live as they wished. [Storm (3rd series) #2]
Callisto’s people expanded in time, recreating the Morlocks with humans, mutants and former mutants among their ranks. Many more mutants were driven underground by the Terrigen cloud and the deadly M-Pox it spread in their populace. A wolf arrived amongst the sheep as well, though. The vampiric Emplate had to feed on other mutants to survive, and his hit-and-run tactics on Callisto’s people looked at first like another wasting disease afflicting the Morlocks. Callisto suspected the truth, however, and sent word for Emplate’s sister, Monet of the X-Men.
Cal was surprised when Monet turned up with her new X-Men partner, Sabretooth. Callisto hadn’t forgotten Creed’s involvement in the Mutant Massacre, and attacked the former Marauder. Monet forced them to set aside their animosity for the moment and had Callisto explain why she contacted her. Monet confirmed Emplate’s involvement when she examined the weakened mutants and found they had been turned into marrow-vampires like her brother. The infected Morlocks tried to draw Monet to Emplate, and Callisto fought with Sabretooth to make sure he didn’t injure her people while defending himself. Monet was forced to make a deal with Emplate to get him out of the Morlock Tunnels and away from Callisto’s people. [Uncanny X-Men (4th series) #6-9]
Callisto’s life lived outside the law caught up with her, and she was eventually incarcerated at the Box, an advanced penitentiary. Cal competed with an inmate named Crazy Maisie to be the alpha in the yard. She saw an advantage when Kitty Pryde arrived as her new cellmate. Shadowcat, Prestige and Storm had been set up by Mesmero and detained. Callisto stood by as Crazy Maisie and her posse confronted the X-Men, knowing she could claim the top spot from whomever was left weakened at the end of the first match. [X-Men: Gold #23-24]
Life got bad for mutants again after a massive battle seemingly claimed the lives of Magneto, Apocalypse and virtually the entire roster of X-Men. Without their protectors, mutants were vulnerable as the government moved forward on a vaccine to prevent X-Gene manifestations and the Office of National Emergency hunted mutants in the streets. Chamber of the X-Men came down into the sewers to help Callisto protect the Morlocks from O*N*E raids and other threats. [Uncanny X-Men (5th series) #11] Despite their efforts, another mutant massacre occurred, with many of the Morlocks falling to the Marauders once more. Cyclops and a small band of surviving X-Men were of little help preventing the massacre, but they stepped in afterwards. They arranged for some land in Chernaya to be set aside for the surviving Morlocks. Chamber remained with the X-Men to hunt down the butchers while Callisto helped their people adjust to their new life in Eastern Europe. [Uncanny X-Men (5th series) #14]
Soon, however, the X-Men changed all the rules. A new mutant nation was established on the living island of Krakoa. A land for all mutants, Krakoa was legitimized by bribes and political favors thanks to the revolutionary drugs for humans grown in its unique soil. Through these means, they secured citizenship and amnesty for any mutant willing to swear allegiance to Krakoa and its Quiet Council, forged by Xavier and Magneto. Even further, a new group of mutants known as the Five were now capable of bringing back to life any mutant who had ever died. Callisto was one of a group of incoming citizens considered potential troublemakers who were asked upon arrival to agree to terms of loyalty to the nation that the Council required. Likely considering the Five’s relevance to her lost people from the Mutant Massacre, Callisto accepted. [House of X #5]
Callisto received a surprising invitation to the White Palace in Hellfire Bay, Krakoa’s home for the royalty of the Hellfire Trading Company. As the White Queen, Emma Frost was responsible for the distribution of Krakoan drugs to the human nations who could pay for it. Her brother Christian was her second, the White Bishop, but she was also in need of an enforcer, a White Knight. Emma wanted Callisto to be her advisor on behalf of the Morlocks and other mutants who might not trust the “paradise” being offered on Krakoa by the “pretty ones.” Her personal designer Jumbo Carnation even provided Callisto with a designer jacket in the colors of her new association. Callisto took the White on a trial basis, and made her own modifications to Jumbo’s work. As payment, Callisto gave Jumbo one of her blades and advice on how to use it, so Jumbo never had to visit the Five again.
Callisto took Emma’s money and used it to provide a new home to the Morlocks. Instead of the bitter cold of Chernaya, they bought out a retirement community in Rio Verde, Arizona. Masque and others uncomfortable with the crowds of Krakoa could have their own space in the sunlight. Callisto herself was stationed at Island M, Magneto’s old fortress that served as a second port for Krakoa and its ships. Kate Pryde had joined the monarchy of Hellfire Trading as the Red Queen, naming her pirate ship and its crew after the Marauders. (Callisto, for her part, understood Kate chose the name for something terrifying that hurt her in the past, and took no exception to it.) With the Marauder frequently making berth on Island M, Callisto also became reacquainted with Storm, who was crewing with Kate. [Marauders (1st series) #7]
Callisto fell comfortably into the role of White Knight, and became a loyal one-woman security force for Emma. She stabbed those who needed stabbing, and fought for those who needed protecting. But something was still off. Without her powers, Callisto was a force to be reckoned with, but it still felt like there was a bag over her senses at all times. The Five could bring back a Decimated mutant with their powers, but to earn their death it was ritualized in an arena match known as the Crucible. Apocalypse had served as the ultimate opponent, an unyielding force for former mutants to die against only to be reborn whole. But with Apocalypse gone after the Otherworld tournament, a Decimated mutant was now expected to bring their own second.
There was only one person Callisto wanted to kill her in the arena – Storm. The goddess had always been Callisto’s most respected foe, and in her eyes there could be no one else. Still, Ororo retained her reservations against killing, even under these circumstances. She told Callisto no at first, even after Callisto reminded Storm how she had once felt being deprived of her powers. When Callisto entered the arena for her Crucible, though, Storm was not far behind her. Callisto fought for her life, as was required in the Crucible, using knives just as she and Ororo had done when they
fought to the death the first time. Unlike in the past, Storm was prepared to kill this time. She struck Callisto but once in the chest, sending a bolt of lightning straight into her heart and killing her quickly and almost painlessly. Hours later, Callisto emerged from the Five’s hatchery. Her eye she left missing, a reminder of all she had been through in life, but in all other ways she was whole for the first time in years. [Marauders (1st series) #17]
The Hellfire Trading Company feuded with Verendi, a pro-human group that bought out the government of Madripoor, making it an enemy state to Krakoa. The HTC began spending money to buy out land and business rights in Lowtown, winning support in the slums as they prevented Verendi's investments in Hightown from bulldozing the poor out of their homes. Callisto brought in Masque to work at a new Lowtown hospital, deviously positioning her old rival as a "cosmetic surgeon" to help the wounded and disfigured.
Verendi pushed back, using Reaver cyborgs to provoke the Marauders into politically detrimental street-fighting. Madripoor's ambassador to the United Nations requested sanctions, and the Marauder was forced to remain outside Madripoor's waters while Verendi's Reavers took back Lowtown by force. The HTC needed some mutants to "unofficially" protect Lowtown, and so Callisto went to Arizona to drum up support from the Morlocks. Although the people of Lowtown weren't mutants, they were the same sort of people that once lived in the Tunnels, and Callisto got Marrow and the others to take to the streets. Even Masque got involved once Callisto told him his fancy new hospital was being threatened. The Morlocks claimed the new "Mutietown" in Madripoor as their own, defending Lowtown's interests and driving off the Reavers. [Marauders (1st series) #18-19]