BIOGRAPHY - Page 3
Cecilia returned to New York, operating in Chinatown and serving in local shelters. Celia also made special cases, such as when she invited Kiden Nixon’s NYX crew to her apartment where she assisted in stitching up Tatiana. Unfortunately, when she was overheard calling the Beast for a favor in helping the kids, she was mistaken for calling the cops. Panicked, the homeless mutant teens left her house on the run. Soon thereafter, Cecilia left New York for Utopia, which was currently the safest location for the world's few remaining mutants. [NYX: No Way Home #4-5]
Celia did not stay on Utopia long, but was instrumental in helping the X-Men recover from an attack by a demon-possessed Wolverine. [Wolverine (4th series) #4, 6] Cecilia soon returned to New York but even though she had left the X-Men and their troubles behind, she obviously still cared for them as she kept a framed photo of her and Beast in uniform adorning an end table.
Even if she had been trying to escape it, the world of the X-Men intersected with Cecilia again when Gambit and X-23 arrived at her apartment for Cecilia to stitch Gambit’s wound. By happenstance, X-23 had known Kiden Nixon from earlier in her life and, having immediately smelled that her friend had recently been in Cecilia’s apartment, went out in search for her. Eventually, Gambit and Cecilia in turn went looking for X-23 and during their search their relationship grew from that of teammates to something more intimate. In the end, the two found X-23 at the Baxter Building’s infirmary. [X-23 (2nd series) #13, 14, 16]
By now, Cecilia had begun spending some time in Utopia, as well as living in New York. During one visit back on the island, Cecilia kept tabs on Magneto as he exerted himself, magnetically reaching across the cosmos to bring back the Breakworld projectile into which Kitty Pryde had been trapped months before. Though successful, the exertion proved too much for Magneto but luckily for him Cecilia was there to resuscitate him.
Soon thereafter, Cecilia was then tasked to go with Psylocke to Mexico City to retrieve one of the so-called "five lights," a youth named Gabriel Cohuelo. Cecilia attempted to explain to his parents that she and Psylocke thought he was becoming a mutant and that the X-Men could help him. When young Gabriel panicked, Psylocke hijacked Cecilia’s forcefield abilities to keep the youth from leaving, throwing up the force field around the entire bedroom.
Later, as a virus spread through Utopia, Dr. Rao consulted with Cecilia on pandemics, concerned they may be witnessing one. Indeed, Cecilia verified that the virus was HX-N1, an influenza strain discovered by Wolverine at Sublimecorp headquarters, and immediately ordered Utopia be quarantined. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #522, 527, 529-530]
Though San Francisco had been uncharacteristically accepting of the X-Men and mutants, sentiment changed with the arrival of the Serpent War. Chosing the Juggernaut as one of his "generals," the Serpent god empowered the Juggernaut via a mystical hammer, transforming him into "Kuurth" and sending him to walk the streets of San Fransisco, magically fomenting anti-mutant hysteria among the people. In an attempt to stop the deadly Kuurth, Cyclops included Cecilia Reyes in his core team to keep the anti-mutant mobs safe from the demigod while the core attack team engaged him. Ultimately Kuurth was stopped and the Serpent god defeated. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #541]
After a Schism erupted from within the X-Men, splitting the team into factions following either Wolverine or Cyclops, Cecilia continued her part-time presence with the X-Men at Wolverine's Jean Grey School, which was admittedly more conveniently located in New York. Once again finding herself around Gambit, the two began unofficially dating, going to dinner every Friday night, simply as two people with lives outside of the X-Men. When Cecilia decided she wanted once again to leave the X-Men behind and focus on her work at the hospital, she sought Gambit’s help in finding a cheap apartment closer to work. He offered his apartment in the Upper West Side, but she declined.
It was there at Gambit's apartment that Wolverine tracked down Cecilia and once more offered her a spot at the Jean Grey School as the resident doctor. Again, Cecilia declined, insisting that she wanted to be rid of the X-Man life. In an ironic demonstration of what she was trying to escape, as Cecilia was walking out the door, Gambit’s apartment came under attack. Instinctively, Cecilia extended her forcefield, just as Psylocke had previously done using her powers, to protect them all. [Astonishing X-Men (3rd series) #48-49]
After the wedding of Northstar and his partner Kyle, Cecilia worked with Hank McCoy, studying a nano-worm that had been found in Wolverine’s blood. As they worked, she admitted that she missed him, declaring that e-mails just weren’t the same as in-person contact. He brought up Logan’s offer to her, to which she justified her decline once more.
Nevertheless, the X-Men soon learned that the nano-worm was of technology belonging to a company called Hitachi Tech and that their research famility was holding Karma. Cecilia proceeded to tag along with the team in a rescue mission, figuring that they would need her on this mission for Karma, if not for them. While the X-Men rescued Karma, Cecilia stayed behind to try to examine other innocent people on whom Hatchi had experimented on. She tried to persuade them to escape with them, but it proved impossible when Hatchi’s nano-worms exploded inside all of them. Though the entire area was obliterated by the exploding victims, Cecilia saved the X-Men by putting up a forcefield around them, though they were buried beneath layers of rubble.
Straining from keeping the shield beneath tons of rubble, Cecilia managed with one last effort to extend her shield upwards to create a tunnel, inspired by Gambit’s words and vowing that she had survived too much to die like an animal in a hole. This event led Cecilia to doubt that perhaps she should have spent more time learning to use and develop her powers with the X-Men. If she had, then maybe she could have helped the victims of experimentation. [Astonishing X-Men (3rd series) #53-54]
Upon escaping the rubble, the exhausted X-Men found the head of Hatchi Tech, Susan Hatchi, flanked by armed henchmen and waiting for them. To their shock, Hatchi explained that she was Karma's half-sister and then threatened to infect all of New York City with nano-worms if the X-Men did not conquer Madripoor for her. When questioned why she wanted Madripoor she told them the task had the sole purpose of proving to her potential customers that her technology could control even the most powerful people on the planet. Faced with no choice, Cecilia accompanined the X-Men to Madripoor, where it was soon learned the true purpose of Hatchi's plans - to lure out hers and Karma's long-believed father. Along with the rest of the team, Cecilia watched in shock and horror as their father unexpectedly ended the whole conflict by killing Susan Hatchi by gunshot. [Astonishing X-Men (3rd series) #55-56]
Since his wedding to Northstar, Cecilia had become good friends with Kyle Beabier-Jinadu. During a yoga class together, they talked about dealing with the superpowered community as outsiders. She said she would never date anyone with superpowers, but Kyle knew better, judging by the way she looked at Gambit. Though she insisted nothing would ever be there between them, Kyle insisted that she was either afraid or still had feelings for Beast. This possible touching a nerve, she promptly cut him off, no longer wanting to discuss the matter. [Astonishing X-Men (3rd series) #59]
On a night off, the X-Men were singing karaoke when they were suddenly attacked by possessed people. Seeing the ease with which she was using her shield to keep the attackers at bay, Gambit noted Cecilia’s evident practice of her powers. Oddly, a part of the possession affecting the mob traveled through Cecilia's shield, though it had not affected her as it had the other victims. Using this newfound connection, Cecilia attempted to communicate with the source of possession and calm it. In this way, she was able to lead the X-Men to the source: a frightened, alien child. With Karma's help, Cecilia was able to make the creature feel safe with her and release its hold on the people it had infected. While Kitty Pryde and Rachel Grey tracked the alien in the sewers, Cecilia confided in Gambit that she related to the baby alien because she had not felt safe in years and felt like an orphan. However, she was among orphans as X-Men. [Astonishing X-Men (3rd series) #66]
When the Dark Beast resurfaced, this time with a monstrous creature created by numerous, merged innocent people, Ceclia was among the X-Men squad that faced it down in Central Park. The creature was soon defeated and died, more due to its short lifespan than the X-Men's actions, which left the decision of what to do with the captured Dark Beast. Though Warbird wanted to kill Dark Beast for what he had done to the people that had been transformed into his monster, Cecilia joined Wolverine in intervening. She explained that as mjuch as she wanted Warbird to kill him, if the Dark Beast were bleeding on the ground in front of her, she would have to save his life, because it's what she does, even for the people she hated most. Soon after this, Cecilia gave up all pretense, as she and Gambit officially started dating. [Astonishing X-Men (3rd series) #68]
Cecilia's next assignment came not from the X-Men but from Agent Brand of SWORD, who summoned the former X-Man after Deathbird showed up at her door in critical condition. Since her resident med-tech was currently away, Agent Brand knew that Cecilia had the next best knowledge of Shi’ar biology. While treating Deathbird’s wounds, Cecilia discovererd that she was also pregnant. Things quickly became complicated when SWORD technician Manifold Tyger delivered an unconscious Storm to the med bay. He not only let her know that he had strangled Storm but then proceeded to maul Cecilia across the abdomen. Convinced via the biological sensors in the med bay that both Storm and Cecilia were dead, Manifold Tyger left to kill everyone on board Peak. However, this was not the case, as Cecilia had saved herself by creating fifty-six micro forcefields in her wounds to keep her insides from falling out. While Cecilia sent Jubilee to her ship to retrieve the working defibrillator to bring Storm out of cardiac arrest, Cecilia simultaneously used additional micro forcefields to keep Storm’s heart and lungs functioning. The strain was almost too much for Cecilia, but she held on until Jubilee showed up to shock Storm to awake. [X-Men (4th series) #18-22]
After Wolverine lost his healing factor, Cecilia monitored Wolverine’s status closely, worried he would die if he continued living the way he did. While the X-Men fought off a Trimega invasion at the mansion, Cecilia protected the children with her forcefield. It was indicated that she may be a full-time staff member at the Jean Grey School, probably to keep an eye on Wolverine and as a part-time physician. [Nightcrawler (4th series) #1, 3-5]
Cecilia decided to stick around with the X-Men and become their official physician. Her skills were needed when the team took an alien member of the Brotherhood prisoner. She also ended up watching over Rachel Summers, who had slipped in to a coma during a mission. [X-Men: Gold #4-7, 17-18]
It does not seem like Cecilia feels pain any longer when her shield is hit; nor is it an involuntary reaction only, as it once was. Cecilia seems to have mastered control over her power quite well, only straining under a combination of lengthy duration and heavy hitting. How long she sticks around with the X-Men is anyone's guess, but it seems she has finally come to accept her status as a mutant and X-woman.