Agent X-13’s report on the emergency annexation of Earth-616:
A gray-haired man, with buzzcut hair and a cadaverous face sits in a chair, obviously being interrogated. He’s the man the X-men only knew as Subject X. He is not a soldier he begins; he does not have a military mindset. What was done, was done in haste, and done according to the intelligence directorate protectorate rather than military strategy.
Agent X-13’s narration accompanied by pictures:
The brief military indoctrination he received had instructed him, in case of intervention by 616’s surviving “X-Men,” that he enable their Logan first. But when he was attacked by Wolverine, he decided differently. Had he clung to that, he would most certainly be dead now, he decides. His instincts told him that heir Scott Summers was by far the most dangerous.
So Agent X attacked Wolverine with his pyrokinesis, for long enough for him to be able to flee and hide. He hid in the vessel waiting until the X-Men group led by Cyclops entered the ship. He used his pyrokinetic powers to instantly kill Cyclops who was in the lead.
And they fell apart when he removed Summers. This gave him time to engage the Ghost Box.
Protocol states that an inert Ghost Box and a dead agent are preferable to an alive Ghost Box and a threatened agent. An inert Ghost Box is just a puzzle. A live one is a homeworld security breach. In this situation, protocol obtains that the Ghost Box must be switched to a site safeguard cage. He did so and three Deathlok class security units were therefore deployed to the scene.
Sentinel-like beings emerged from the Ghost Box, one of them seemingly powered by a captured Magneto in it.
Seeing the still-burning Logan, Magneto uttered a guttural scream of rage and the unit smashed him through the wall into the next one, passing the three female X-Men. Next, the force of magnetism hurled the three women forcefully to the ground of Chaparanga, with only Armor surviving the impact.
Agent X relates that by this point, of course, he was already back home being processed through the security cage. So, while it can be said, in theory that he approved the securing of the site… he made no decision on the annexation. In fact, if the military directorate hadn’t insisted on Deathlok-class units which can make a decision on annexation autonomously… Well, to be honest, it did make their mission a lot easier in the end.
Agent X’s narration:
Armor tried to wake up Emma Frost, not realizing, she was already dead. The girl didn’t know what to do as Sentinels spread. Indonesia was secured within the hour. The Southern hemisphere before nightfall. The northern hemisphere was always going to be the more difficult problem. But, as Agent X’s team and he had already established: lots of enhanciles, lots of freaks, but very few full-powered mutants. There were the expected nuclear exchanges on the second day. In some way that too made the annexation easier.
His intent? His intent was simply to complete the mission. In fact, he is on record as preferring Earth-889 as an annexation target, as they’re a pre-digital culture.
Anyway, he gets up, they know the rest. Earth-616 was annexed by the weekend and processing has begun. All of which is outside his purview as a field agent. He acted inside protocol at all times and everything worked out for the best.
Does he know the final death toll? Agent X-13 is asked. They kill him, do they know that? he retorts. There is no final death toll, not in an annexation. No when local breeding pairs can hide and resistance movements can hole up in bunkers. They’ll be killing people on that world without mutants for years to come. Not his problem. He is just a field agent. With that he leaves.
Being a Journal by Miss Emma Frost of New Portsmouth Bay in the State of New Albion.
A lushly decorated room. Emma Frost sits on a chaise lounge, reading a book. She is dressed in white, as usual, with long gloves and boots and bodice and a highly slit long white skirt.
On the face of a clock, a screen lights up and a voice announces there is an audiovisual call from the New Portsmouth Police department. Emma sighs. Another perfect day ruined. She accepts the call. The face of a man with a bowler hat appears on the screen. The redoubtable Inspector Slipper, Emma greets him. How can she be of service? The man regrets he must request their immediate presence at the junction of Cressing and Witham Street. They have a conundrum.
She has her own conundrum, Emma notes in her journal. Scott continues to speak of marriage. Her society acquaintances and other enemies believe her to be quite mad. Scott Summers, they never fail to remind Emma, is the most famous adventurer in the civilized world.
A steam-powered flying carrier rises from the beautiful mansion.
If she were to marry beneath herself, Emma writes, her ancestors would rise from their salted graves to pluck out her eyes. And other cosmetic enhancements.
Within the pilot, Scott addresses Emma. She cuts him off. She is greatly enjoying her bohemian years, and really has no burning wish to exchange them for whatever horrifyingly dull notion of matrimonial bliss squats in his simple mind. The carrier lands.
Emma notes that Scott comes from a poor family. And that is all that can be said. She abhors such tedious scandal. Why can he not simply allow her to enjoy her bohemian years, and by extension, those parts of him she continues to find amusing?
The X Society leave the carrier, Emma, dressed in her white ensemble with the addition of a white fur-trimmed cloak. Scott dressed in a practical flying suit, Beast, dressed in a three piece suit (but without shoes) and Logan, dressed in worker’s clothes: Jeans, shirt, a vest and flight goggles.
Inspector Slipper leads them inside a tent, explaining the murderer was disturbed by some Chinese workers, but not before he did… this. Surprised and disgusted they look at a floating, burning corpse. Slipper continues they don’t know how to put him out and they don’t know where the perpetrator is. The situation is an hour old, give or take.
Emma asks Dr McCoy about his impressions. Clearly the work of Homo mutandis, comes the instant reply. From the Latin, he explains to the inspector. Literally, “the changed man.”
Logan crouches in a corner. Emma, coolly remarks she believes they have spoken about his behavior in public. Can’t help it, he replies. There’s a wrong stink round these parts, ‘round… he leaves the tent and points to an abandoned bag. Emma asks Scott to take the bag. She sees a journal in there. And don’t let Logan touch it! His paws are always filthy.
Logan figures the killer wanted to take this guy’s gear, but had to dump it when he got himself spotted by the Chinee.
A fine assessment Emma agrees, as she browses the journal and finds something interesting. She would suggest that the dead man was following his own killer! He even has records of the killer’s somewhat extensive travel plans. He was routing through New Portsmouth. He leaves on the noon airship from Sir Francis Drake Aerodrome.
Scott smirks. It’s twenty to twelve now. Given an hour since, the killer might just make final boarding. Slipper admits his fastest police vehicle couldn’t make the journey to the aerodrome in less than forty minutes. It’s true, it couldn’t, Scott agrees. However, he called the X Society. They’ve got something better.
And soon the X Society’s ship flies towards the dirigible where Subject X is among those entering. Stuck in the queue, Subject X swears he should have listened to them, but no, he had to argue for Earth –889. Pre-digital culture, he said. Easy, he said. Nothing goes over sixty miles an hour, he said. Except that! He refers to the X Society’s vessel.
Inside, Emma commends Scott on his aviation, promising a delicious reward. Could Henry please assist Mister Logan with his trajectory calculations? Hanging outside the ship, Logan complains he doesn’t even know who to hit. Henry suggests he aim at the person who starts setting things on fire. With that, he drops Logan who thanks him.
Agent X takes away another passenger’s attaché, sets fire to it and tosses it at Logan. Logan deflects the burning object which touches the dirigible which he just scratched.
What follows next is a disaster as the airship goes up in flames, with Logan the only survivor.
As Emma notes in her journal, the X Society receives the blame for this disaster and this seems to be the point an entire panoply of cowards were waiting for. Suddenly, they are no longer adventurers and admired amateurs in their fields of expertise, but “freaks” and “sports of nature.” Almost overnight they become hated and feared. On Telegraphy Hill now, there stand mechanical men optimistically termed Sentinels, their great guns trained on Emma’s house. Their government’s response to the scandal: House arrest and a permanent clockward firing squad.
Emma muses that she tires of West Coast living and feels that she may decamp to Europe in the near future. Perhaps she’ll allow Scott to marry her after all. In Europe, a woman of talent and means can both be married and continue her Bohemian years without scandal. Scandal does take rather the joy from life.