BIOGRAPHY - Page 2
The headway that Karima and her allies made in rebuilding Genosha and forging a new community there were cut short by the Scarlet Witch, who created a reality-altering wave that caused 90-95% of Earth's mutants to lose their powers, including most inhabitants of Genosha. Exactly what happened to Karima in the wake of Wanda’s breakdown is unclear, but a short time later, she intercepted a low-level telepathic cry for help from the mutant villainess Regan Wyngarde aka Lady Mastermind. Karima traced the psionic “distress signal” to the Fordyce Clinic and was apparently captured by the same agents who were holding Lady Mastermind. The team of scientists behind the Clinic proceeded to study Karima’s Sentinel systems. By the time the X-Men arrived, tracing Wyngarde's faint mutant energy signature, Karima was partially dismantled. Luckily, the Beast was able to restore Karima’s systems after the X-Men destroyed the facility and rescued both Karima and Lady Mastermind. [X-Men (2nd series) #188-189]
When Rogue was offered the chance to lead an X-Men squad of her own choosing, Karima was among those she hand-picked for her strike force. Karima adopted the alias “Omega Sentinel” and readily accepted the chance to help the X-Men safeguard what remained of mutantkind. Her Sentinel-based abilities and technological savvy proved valuable to the X-Men as they faced the enigmatic Children of the Vault. With this threat temporarily thwarted, the X-Men turned their attention to hunting down the man responsible for Karima’s recent dismantling: Pandemic. Pandemic proved to be a bigger threat to the X-Men than expected and nearly defeated the entire team. However, once again, the X-Men beat the odds and defeated the scientific mastermind. [X-Men (2nd series) #190-196]
They had little time to enjoy this victory as they were soon confronted with another seemingly insurmountable threat, the alien menace known as Hecatomb. In the course of this battle, Karima’s systems were mildly damaged. After returning to the Institute, Karima ran a diagnostic check on her systems. While plugged into the mansion’s systems, she received an email marked URGENT. The email carried an “attachment,” the Marauder known as Malice. Karima was digitally possessed by Malice and forced to aid the Marauders in their sneak attack on the X-Men. This attack was part of a broader scheme on Sinister’s to disoriented and distract the X-Men from important events in the near future… specifically the first mutant birth since M-Day. [X-Men (2nd series) #200]
Omega Sentinel remained under Malice’s thrall and joined the Marauders in their efforts to acquire the child for Sinister before anyone else became aware of its existence. Inevitably, Sinister acquired the child but the X-Men intervened. Under Malice’s directive, Karima battled her former teammates alongside the Marauders. The battle was a draw until the unexpected arrival of the New X-Men and Predator X. Cyclops ordered the New X-Men to engage the Marauders, who has not been trained to deal with the powers of the next generation of X-Men. Malice squared off against the youngest of the New X-Men, Pixie. Her Sentinel technology could have easily overwhelmed Pixie but Malice chose to toy with her instead. Malice was unaware that Pixie had recently acquired mystical powers and a “soul dagger.” When Pixie plunged her soul dagger into Karima’s chest, it knocked her unconscious and somehow freed her from Malice’s influence. [X-Men: Messiah Complex crossover]
When she awoke, Karima found herself on the field of battle, just as things had reached a climactic end. Professor Xavier had just been fatally wounded by Bishop and lay dead on the ground, surrounded by his X-Men. Exodus saw an opportunity here and called on his ally Tempo to slow time. He enlisted Karima’s aid in stabilizing Xavier, using her Sentinel technology. Karima agreed out of a sense of indebtedness to Xavier, who helped her deal with her transformation into an Omega Sentinel. Escaping with Xavier’s body, Karima and the Acolytes attempted to heal the damage done to his brain and wake him from his coma. She was able to do the seemingly impossible and used her sentinel technology to re-forge connections in Xavier’s mind, healing his brain enough that he finally woke up. Despite Karima’s best efforts to repair his mind, Xavier was left with severe memory loss and he ventured off into the world to heal. Karima was concerned for his welfare, but he turned down any offer of help, leaving her to make a new home with Exodus and his Acolytes. [X-Men: Legacy (1st series) #208-210]
Karima stayed with the Acolytes for a number of months until Xavier turned up on their doorstep once again. Having gone through a life-changing journey, Xavier boldly walked into their base, disarming any of the team who stood in his way. When Exodus went to confront him, Karima switched her allegiance and stood alongside the man who had saved her life years before. Xavier showed Exodus that the Acolytes were not the solution to fighting for a better world for mutants, and he convinced the man to disband the team, permanently. Once again, Karima found herself without any direction to go in. [X-Men: Legacy (1st series) #225]
Eventually, she made her way to the X-Men’s new island nation of Utopia, but once there she kept a relatively low profile. When her former enslaver Bastion attacked the X-Men with his latest scheme to wipe the mutants out, she was notably left out of his plans, despite their past connection. Unfortunately for her, the X-Men’s retaliation would have unforeseen consequences for her. Bastion had unleashed an unending army of Nimrod units from a portal he had opened to the future.
To combat that, Cypher had created and unleashed a virus that attacked all the Nimrods, effectively destroying them. Karima’s Omega Sentinel programming was based on Nimrod technology, and whilst the virus didn’t have an immediate effect on her, it started to present itself over time. Whilst on a mission to clear up the aftermath of Bastion’s attack, Karima began to notice many of her systems were not functioning as they should. Suddenly, her old Sentinel routines kicked in and she began attacking her mutant teammates. Unable to stop herself, she would have likely killed someone had it not been for Hellion, one of the X-Men’s students, unleashing a powerful telekinetic attack on her. As he was having issues controlling his powers at the time, he hit her with such force it damaged her on a molecular level. The X-Men’s science team was unable to fully fix her systems or even wake her up, so they were forced to put her in stasis until a solution could be found. [X-Men: Legacy (1st series) #242-243]
Karima’s problem perplexed even the smartest minds on Utopia and she remained in her stasis chamber for many months. Her salvation came in an unlikely form, the ancient sentient bacteria called Arkea. Able to possess any electronic equipment, Arkea had arrived on Earth looking for its sibling, who was going under the guise of John Sublime. Making its way to the X-Mansion, Arkea found Karima to be the perfect host, capable of communicating with the humans but also possessing immense destructive capabilities. Believing Karima’s body to be an empty shell, Arkea used it to take on the X-Men and hunt for Sublime. Quickly setting her sights on global domination too, Arkea overstretched herself and she was soon cornered by the X-Men.
Trapped in Karima’s body, Psylocke was getting ready to destroy Arkea once and for all when Karima herself started to fight back. Still very weak and confused, Karima wrestled her body from Arkea and used the brief moment of control to force Psylocke’s psychic knife into her mind. Whether it was a well-executed plan or just a stroke of luck, Karima’s consciousness survived the psychic knife, whilst Arkea was seemingly destroyed. Karima was welcomed back to the X-Men with open arms, although she had to go through a lot of testing to make sure all her systems were functioning properly and Arkea was truly gone. [X-Men (4th series) #1-3]
A silver lining to having Arkea possess her was that Karima’s Omega Sentinel systems seemed to be inert, meaning she was now more human then she had been in a long time. For the first time in a while, Karima found herself thinking about the future and she decided she wanted to go back to the police. Despite trying to stay out of active missions, she was drawn into the X-Men’s world when a new Sisterhood attacked the X-Men, stealing an inert sample of Arkea from Beast’s lab. Karima felt compelled to help the X-Men with their investigation, dusting off her former police skills in the process. Her worst fears were confirmed when Arkea managed to take over someone else’s body and reignite her vendetta with Sublime and the X-Men. Karima and her team were more prepared this time and they tracked the Arkea down, easily taking out the other members of the Sisterhood. With the help of Sublime, the X-Men created a “microbial smart-bomb”, that would effectively kill Arkea whilst leaving the host alive.
Despite Arkea’s pleas and threats, Karima showed no remorse in destroying Arkea once again. Afterwards, Karima revealed to the team that she had been offered a place alongside Sabra and Gabriel Shephard, two mutants they had recently worked alongside whilst hunting for Arkea. Karima left with them in the hopes that she would finally get back to the job she trained for many years ago. [X-Men (4th series) #7-12]
This wasn’t to be the case though, as at some point after leaving the X-Men her Sentinel programming reactivated again. Only subtle at first, the Sentinel influence started to take over her once more, showing Karima that she would never be rid of it. In fact, the lines between Karima’s consciousness and the Sentinel programming started to blur as she edged more and more towards a complete Sentinel takeover. It wasn’t only a mental change she was going through, the once inert physical components of the Omega Sentinel tech had also reactivated, replacing much of her organic tissue in the process.
With the more dominant Sentinel programming in control, Karima’s own consciousness and desires started to give way enough that she began to work for an organization called Orchis, a collection of the brightest minds from numerous factions on Earth. Orchis’s central function was to save the human race by creating a doomsday device in the event that mutants take over the Earth. Acting in an advisory capacity, Karima oversaw the development of a Mother Mold, an enormous station that closely orbited the sun, that’s sole purpose was to create Master Molds. Naturally this brought her into conflict against her former teammates, the X-Men, who saw Mother Mold as a threat to their existence. When the X-Men launched a direct assault on the Mother Mold space station Karima stayed out of the fight, despite being able to wield significant firepower. It seemed that whilst the Omega Sentinel programming was stronger than it had ever been, her humanity was still holding it back from completely taking over. The X-Men succeeded in their mission to destroy Mother Mold, leaving Karima and Orchis to pick up the pieces of their failed doomsday plan. [House of X #1-6, X-Men (5th series) #1]
Whilst Karima seemed to have overcome her Sentinel programming, recent events have seen her backslide significantly. If future predictions of the Sentinel technology are anything to go by, Karima is in for a losing battle, but time will tell if she manages to hold on long enough for the X-Men to save her once again.