Generation Hope #6

Issue Date: 
June 2011
Story Title: 
“The Ward” – part one

Kieron Gillen (writer), Salva Espin (art), Jim Charalampidis (color), Dave Sharpe (letterer), Mike del Mundo (cover), Irene Y. Lee (production), Jordan D. White(assistant editor), Nick Lowe (editor), Axel Alonso (editor in chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (Exec. Publisher)

Brief Description: 

Cyclops asks Kitty Pryde to take over Rogue’s job as liaison with Hope’s group, an offer which she ultimately accepts. Meanwhile, Hope and the Lights are going about daily life on Utopia when both Hope and Cerebra sense the emergence of a sixth light in Germany. Immediately, they depart on the Blackbird and, on the way, Kitty introduces herself to them as their new liaison. The Light is in a Berlin hospital into which no one can enter, as everyone falls unconscious within a certain radius. However, the group finds Teon is immune and Kenji can protect the others. With the exception of Kitty and Idie, they enter to find that the cause of all the chaos is indeed the sixth Light, who is actually an unborn mutant.

Full Summary: 

Cyclops has called Kitty Pryde into his office and asks her to be the liaison between Hope’s team and him. Kitty begins to ask about Rogue, who held that position, but Cyclops interrupts. She has enough duties already. More importantly, she’s proven herself unreliable as far as Hope goes. She’s repeatedly disobeyed orders. It’s turned out for the best, but… Hope seems to engender extreme loyalty seemingly from nothing. He’s not sure Rogue has proved entirely resistant. He needs someone who has some distance… better for Hope and better for them. He wants Kitty to watch her closely.

She’s not going to spy! Kitty announces. Cyclops clarifies that he needs Kitty’s opinion on Hope. He’s worried. He doesn’t give her anything more than that because he doesn’t want to color Kitty’s impressions. He needs he unbiased which is the other reason why Rogue couldn’t…

Kitty interrupts: she isn’t wondering about Rogue, but why her? Cyclops explains that to build a nation from nothing the foundations are bloodier than they like. They had to act questionably to save them all, but for the future… Kitty is the best of them. They need the best of them. With a smile, Kitty calls him a suck-up and asks where the Lights are.

Laurie is in the lab to have her power tested with the help of Storm. Dr. Nemesis and Idie watch. Nemesis announces a theory: that by pushing Laurie with extreme conditions they’ll see a morphic cha… He stops in midsentence as he recalls that Idie is only 14 and her intellect couldn’t hope to comprehend, so he orders Storm to increase storminess. “See, girly-lady goes goo goo,” Nemesis patronizes Idie, who tells him that, if he were as clever as he thinks, he wouldn’t be examining how they were sick. He’d help them get better!

In his room, Kenji begins to draw and cackles. On the beach, Wolverine and Teon are sparring. In the student kitchen, Gabriel is happily making up a song about Hope, unaware she is standing in another part of the kitchen. In the Cerebra chamber, Emma Frost checks the readings.

Under the pressure, Laurie’s features begin to change, seemingly melting. Kenji giggles gleefully as he begins working. Is she doing okay? Logan asks Teon after the session. Woof, the boy replies. That’s good, Logan decides.

And then she took me to Japan,” Gabriel sings. “And we fought a tentacled man! I was so scared I nearly died! And then she kissed me.” Let her guess, Hope remarks. Not the original lyrics. Not strictly 100 percent faithful to the original, he admits embarrassed. It’s from Goodfellas. Never seen it, she admits. She’s probably never seen a movie, he realizes. She should go to one some time, she agrees. He asks her if she wants company.

That moment, Cerebra has a mutant signal as Hope’s eyes flare and all of them sense it. She orders Gabriel to get the others. He runs to Idie and tells the girls to get dressed for a mission except for Laurie. He bursts into Kenji’s room telling him mission is go! He knows, get out! Kenj orders and walks out soon with his uniform on. What was he doing in there? Gabriel asks. What he’s doing now, comes the reply. Going wherever his muse leads him.

The kids gather in front of a Blackbird. Rogue congratulates Hope on being right, then explains she is not liaison any more. Cyclops said she had enough going on with the other young ones. Does she believe him? Hope asks. Nope, Rogue admits, but he’s not wrong either. She promises Hope that she’ll be there whenever she needs her. She knows that, right? Yeah, she does, Hope agrees, isn’t that strange?

After the kids leave, Rogue asks Cyclops that he didn’t tell them. It can wait until after the mission, he replies. They can worry about the family’s lawyers when they get back.

Aboard the plane, Kitty Pryde (still in her uniform) puts the plane on autopilot. OK, time for the awkward silence, she announces. She wishes they had more time to get used to the idea, but they’ve just switched one shouty woman who can’t touch them for another shouty woman who can’t touch them. Are they all cool?

Hope admits that she likes her. Kitty has been kind to them since they got here. But it doesn’t matter if she or Rogue are the liaison, because they are a liaison. They are the team and the mission they’ve been training for hasn’t changed. As long a Kitty realizes that, all is cool. What have they been training for really? Kitty demands. She’s seen them on the firing range. They train for everything, Hope explains. All options are on the table.

That moment, Cyclops hails them from Utopia and explains they’ve been in contact with German authorities and advised them assistance is in transit. There appears to be a problem. Surprise, surprise, Kenji smirks.

The jet lands outside and some distance away from a Berlin hospital. Police cars are stationed at a certain distance around the building. No movement inside, they explain. No one picking up calls. People have collapsed. They sent in a bomb disposal robot to have a closer look and they all appear to be asleep. When they heard specialists were on the way, they backed off. Though they didn’t know they were children…

Hope orders Gabriel to take a run. When he almost reaches the hospital door, Gabriel falls down unconscious. Kenji creates goggle eyes and announces he is asleep. Hope orders Laurie to try and retrieve him nit Laurie protests. Scientific method, Hope decides, they need to be sure. Grumbling, Laurie complies and falls down next to Gabriel.

Two members down already, he is impressed, Kenji mocks. What now? Tell Teon to fetch? Teon does just that, too late to hear Hope’s protest. He jumps up to his two teammates and carries them out of the danger zone without any problem whatsoever. Soon they recover.

Hope suspects they are dealing with a telepath of sorts and for some reason they are not registering Teon. Maybe he’s protected by something, she suggests. Kitty points out that Emma had no problem with him. She scanned everyone. It’s something else. Gabriel, who’s up again, doesn’t like the idea of Emma Frost knowing what he was thinking when she first walked into the room. Idie informs him he is deeply immoral.

Unexpectedly, Kenji offers help. There’s a philosophy that art is about making life tolerable, to protect you from the psychic trauma of life. He thinks he can make a work to do that here. His finger tentacles grow. He can protect himself from telepathy? Hope asks. He believes so, to some degree. Over the disgust of Laurie, he connects his tentacles with the backs of their heads to protect them. He warns them that if his constructs dissolve away from him, they only have a few seconds before his protection fades.

Hope announces they are going in and Idie is to stay with Kitty, who promises to deal with the authorities and arrange for backup. Getting Emma here, for starters. Hope doubts there will be time for that. Gabriel agrees. They need to lock this down before whoever’s in there pulls a Kenji.

They walk inside the lobby where everyone has sunk to sleep where they stood. He objects to characterizing any mutant creating widespread havoc as “pulling a Kenji” Kenji protests. When someone else on the team destroys the heart of one of the world’s greatest cities, he’ll stop, Gabriel offers. Hope orders them to cool it.

Laurie kneels down next to a victim, observing she doesn’t think they are asleep. The breathing is wrong. Hope decides they need to go room by room until they find the Light. Teon interrupts with a woof, his way of saying he knows the way. Hope tells him to take the lead and show them the quickest way. So, he literally jumps through the ceiling, after which Kenji creates a spiral stairways for them to follow.

As they leave, they do not notice as in the lobby the people get up zombie-like and empty-eyed. One of them bites into a table’s surface.

In the upper story, Laurie remarks her mother wanted her to be a doctor, but she was always scared of hospitals. But now, more so. Gabriel adds that in the movie version of this there’s a creepy orchestra following them, dropping sinister chords. Diminished fifths, they are called, Laurie corrects him. Even Kenji admits he despises hospitals, then points out the sleepers are starting to move.

Ahead, they see someone standing at the entrance of the maternity ward. They run towards that person and see a highly pregnant, empty eyed woman shouting “Unself. Wombsafe reject womb reject!” They begin to realize that the woman is not the Light, but her unborn child.

Hope announces she needs to touch him and she doesn’t think he wants to be born. Laurie protests at the automatic assumption of the child’s gender. Kenji cynically suggests he could manage a Caesarean, but he couldn’t guarantee either’s survival. While Hope is about to chew him out for his tactlessness, Laurie shouts a warning as a whole army of zombies shouting “unself” storms in to attack them.

Characters Involved: 

Hope Summers II
Gabriel Cohuelo, Idie Okonkwo, Kenji Uedo, Laurie Tromette, Teon Macik (all Five Lights)
Cyclops, Rogue, Shadowcat, Storm, White Queen, Wolverine (all X-Men)
Dr. Nemesis (X-Club)

Unborn sixth Light
His mother

Possessed bystanders

German authorities

Story Notes: 

Rogue acting against orders for Hope refers to events in Second Coming and in issue #2.

When Cyclops talks about questionable things, he is referring to X-Force among other things.

Goodfellas is a mafia movie from 1990. Gabriel is singing a version of “Then he kissed me” by The Crystals from the soundtrack.

Rogue being busy with other young ones refers to her adventures in X-Men: Legacy.

The plot about the family to which Cyclops refers will be explained in issue #8.

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