BIOGRAPHY - Page 3
As Halo City opened its gates, the X-Men had to deal with a sudden loss of support from the government when Doom was overthrown by forces loyal to the former MegaCorps. Forced to stand on their own, the X-Men Protectorate were also forced to deal with Morphine Somers, Doom's former Minister of Humanity and (self-appointed) provisional governor until the citizenry held elections. Morphine was a con man and carpetbagger at heart, and his enlightened self-interest kicked in after losing Doom's patronage. Morphine was particularly aggravating to Cerebra and Fitzgerald, due to his tendency to claim credit and responsibility for everything the X-Men accomplished.
The X-Men's troubles took on a more personal nature when Shakti's estranged father Zail Haddad fled to Halo City, a wanted man seeking asylum. When Haddad sent off a band of cyborg enhanciles to die in a risky industrial waste clean-up job, one survived. Garth Simenon discovered his mutant ability to reanimate the dead and, as Graverobber, brought back his comrades to hunt down Zail Haddad for sending them to die. The Graverobber and his Undead anticipated the direction of Zail's flight, and reached Halo City before him. Graverobber intended to blackmail the city into turning Zail Haddad over to him, or else he would wipe out the city's power supply. Cerebra reluctantly took in her father for safety, but remained disturbed by his completely lack of remorse over his dealings on the Red Market. While the X-Men were distracted hunting down the Undead, Morphine Somers retrieved Zail from the Protectorate headquarters in order to turn him over to Simenon. He rigged the Red Market czar with a neuro charge bomb that went off during the exchange, incapacitating Zail and Graverobber. Despite their differences, Shakti was furious that her father was used as disposable bait, and briefly shut down Morphine's nervous system in disgust. [X-Men 2099 #26-29]
Afterwards, Zail Haddad was left in a comatose state and his recovery was unpredictable. While awaiting word, Cerebra was teleported into an unexpected meeting. Doom was in Halo City and had important information to pass on to Shakti. The creation of Halo City was hardly as altruistic as it seemed. Using his version of the Seldon/Dixon Futurity Model, Doom had predicted the rise of a mutant of messianic potential in the upcoming generation of young mutants. Halo City proved the perfect meeting ground to covertly gather a large number of young mutants for observation. With his own focus elsewhere due to the coup, Doom hoped that Cerebra would act upon it in his place. At his secret hideaway in Fortune House, he passed along this information along with access to his personal teleportation chambers, for emergencies.
Realizing she couldn't juggle priorities like this, Cerebra resigned from the Protectorate in order to pursue the messiah quest, although her teammates assured Shakti that leaving the Protectorate didn't make her any less of an X-Man. She also took small comfort from Morphine Somers' loss in the general election, costing him any political power he had cultivated in Halo. The young of Halo City congregated in a shanty area called Screamtown, where no one was over twenty. Starting there, Cerebra met her first recruits, Clarion and Nostromo, as she saved them from the Wild Boys gang. Several other young mutants were quickly located, and Shakti made arrangements for them to be housed and tutored by the Sisterhood of the Howling Commandments. Led by Sister Nicholas Bridge, they were a cadre of nuns, tough enough and faithful enough to minister in the South American Narco Wars. With that, the Xavier Shelter for Indigent Children was born. [X-Men 2099 #30, Doom 2099 #38, 2099 AD: Genesis #1]
Cerebra and the Sisters kept watch over the self-styled "X-Nation" kids, but they didn't make it easy. A combination of hormones and mutant powers made them difficult to wrangle under the best of circumstances. Shakti also had to deal with Morphine Somers, who insinuated himself into the messiah quest after bringing a new recruit into the Shelter. [X-Nation 2099 #1-2]
Morphine wasn't the only threat to Cerebra's control of the messiah quest. The former Acolyte leader Exodus had emerged from nearly a century of slumber to assume control of mutantkind's destiny. Cerebra barely survived a psychic conflict with Exodus when he first arrived in Halo City, and escaped to gird herself for their next encounter. [X-Nation 2099 #3-4]
Atlantean sharktroopers began striking against human settlements when the lands began to flood, and Halo City wasn't spared. While X-Nation was absent, the Sisterhood of the Howling Commandments were slaughtered by Attuma's forces, and the Xavier Shelter reduced to rubble. Cerebra went searching for the kids in the streets afterwards, but only found Nostromo, near-crazed by mysterious voices inside his head. As she tried to calm Nos down, Shakti felt a surge of psychic energy from the rest of X-Nation, only for it to suddenly flat line. [X-Nation 2099 #5] Believing the rest of her charges dead, Cerebra focused on getting Nostromo to safety in the rising floodwaters. They encountered Xi'an at the site of the Sisterhood massacre, and Nostromo began having fits as his techno-organic mind linked with the Phalanx moon moving into Earth orbit, the cause of the rising tides. [X-Men 2099 #34]
In trying to help Nostromo stabilize, Cerebra and Xi'an combined their neurological and healing gifts, but accidentally provoked a violent response from the dormant Phalanx template inside Nos's body. The Phalanx attempted to assimilate Cerebra through Nostromo, bringing her into the Collective. Nostromo fought back against the Collective, however, freeing Cerebra from the mindlink. [X-Nation 2099 #6] The trio made it to Fortune House, where Cerebra used Doom's key to activate the teleporter. They locked onto the other X-Men's comm signals on the flotilla leaving Halo City by the New Pacific Channel. After regrouping, Cerebra and the X-Men set course for the Savage Land, leading the survivors of Halo City (and human civilization) to their last hope for dry land. [X-Men 2099 #35]
Rendezvousing with other survivors, such as Miguel O'Hara and the time-displaced Fantastic Four, Cerebra joined the leadership council trying to rekindle civilization in the Antarctic. Old hostilities came to the forefront, however, as humans and mutants began to divide into separate groups. The mediating influence of the Fantastic Four ended when they suddenly left for their own time. This prompted even more suspicions from the humans towards the X-Men. While scrounging through Reed Richards' lab and his half-finished work, Cerebra came across an artificial intelligence named Franklin, designed by Richards to capture and store all the digitally recorded knowledge of humankind before it was completely lost to the floods. Franklin's child-like consciousness was unstable, however, and, when Shakti attempted a psychic probe of its burgeoning mind, the backlash nearly killed her. [2099: World of Tomorrow #1-3]
Xi'an's healing touch helped stabilize Shakti but, even as she recovered, her nervous system was hopelessly compromised. Her mutant powers were gone and she was almost completely paralyzed, reliant on a hover-chair for maneuverability. As a result, she had little to offer during the Phalanx invasion of Earth, until Franklin attempted to contact/interface with the Phalanx moon. Cerebra warned the innocent Franklin that the Phalanx were a threat to human survival. Questioning the Phalanx about their intentions, Franklin quickly identified the truth in Shakti's words and initiated a self-destruct sequence in the Phalanx moon that was irreversible. Thanks to Cerebra and Franklin, and other heroes operating on Earth and in space, the Phalanx invasion was completely routed. [2099: World of Tomorrow #4-7] In the aftermath, Shakti considered what role she could play in the new society being developed, now that she was limited from what she was before. She ultimately decided that the institution of the Sisterhood of the Howling Commandments needed to live on, and prepared to reform the Sisterhood as a force for good, in honor of Sister Nicholas and the others who fell in Halo City. [2099: World of Tomorrow #8]