Marauders (2nd series) #4

Issue Date: 
September 2022
Story Title: 
Extinction Agenda, part 4

Steve Orlando (writer), Eleonora Carlini (artist), Matt Milla (colorist), Virtual Calligraphy's Ariana Maher (letterer & production), Tom Muller (designer), Kael Ngu (cover artist), Russell Dauterman (Hellfire Gala variant cover artist), Luciana Vecchio (Pride variant cover artist), Eduard Petrovich (variant cover artist), Lauren Amaro (assistant editor), Jordan D White (editor), CB Cebulski (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

On the space prison called the Krag, the Marauders fight the secret Kin Crimson sleeper agents after they executed Xandra. The Marauders' problems are intensified when Kate Pryde is killed in action. The Marauders fight on until they locate where the mysterious Chronicle is being held. They find thev Chronicle, a Lupak, held in a stasis tank and after the Chronicle emerges from the tank, and Psylocke shoves her psi-blade into his head and enters the Lupak's mind, where she learns about the first mutant race, from billions of years in the past, where mutants lived at a place called Threshold, until they were stumbled upon by the prehistoric avian Shi'ar. The Thresholders were able fend off the Shi'ar, until they returned with Lupaks and deadly weapons. The war was brutal, and the Thresholders were seemingly wiped from existence. Several of the surviving Shi'ar and Lupaks decided to keep the secret of this First Blood Spilled and vowed to do whatever it took to prevent this information from ever being revealed. Cassandra reveals that some of the Thresholders were held in a timedrive for study – which eventually ended up on a doomed Shi'ar base, destroyed some years back. The Marauders discuss the merit of returning to the past to try and save their ancestors. After much deliberation, they settle on going back in time to the old Shi'ar base before it was destroyed, despite Tempo warning her teammates about the dangers of time travel. Daken and Aurora remain in the present to watch over the Chronicle, while Tempo uses her powers to shunt herself, Bishop, Somnus, Psylocke and Cassandra Nova back in time to the Shi'ar base – the asteroid known as Avalon, base of the Acolytes, which is currently under attack by the reality-lost Nemesis! Meanwhile, Deathbird has finally returned to Chandilar and is very unhappy.

Full Summary: 

Chandilar, the Shi'ar Throneworld, where a large red alien has fallen, knocking a large building down with it. 'Fall back, Crystal know who has rank here!' a representative from the Kin Crimson calls out as they hover over the cirt. 'Cal'syee Neramani! Deathbird! By order the of the Kin Crimson – you will surrender!' the Kin Crimson exclaims. There is a loud booming sound as the Kin Crimson are attacked and knocked down. 'Absurd. Now... which lucky survivor wants to tell me where my niece is?' Deathbird shrieks.

Meanwhile, at the space prison called the Krag, Krakoa's Marauders are under attack by the Kin Crimson. The Marauders are linked telepathically as Captain Kate Pryde tells her team that as jailbreak's go, this is not their best work. 'This was a tinderbox when we landed. Xandra didn't trust the Kin. No one did. But even she didn't think they'd execute her to protect their secrets. We can't let that pass' Kate declares, adding that the only thing between them and the truth is the Kin Crimson's Chronicle – so they need to go get themselves a book. Lucas Bishop fires energy blasts at his opponents, while Heather Tucker a.k.a. Tempo speeds ahead. Kate phases her body, causing the Kin Crimson who attacks her to pass through her body. 'They torched Xandra's ship. As of now the only way forward's down!' Bishop points out.

Kate tells her team to watch the Kin's West Skin, as a brain-dead symbiote is still a sharp symbiote. 'They all burn the same to me -' Bishop replies, before Kate shouts' Bishop – GET DOWN!' and pushes Bishop aside, taking the brunt of a blast from the Kin Crimson. 'KATE!' Bishop shouts. He knocks two of the Kin Crimson backwards, and grabs Kate, telling her that he could have absorbed that blast. 'Couldn't be sure...Hard Skin runs on thought, could've been rigged with a posion idea' Kate utters. Kate looks up at Bishop and tells him that the mission is still on. 'I told Eric the Red I'd die for our history... I meant it. Keep digging...' and then her body falls still and lifeless.

'This is not your place! The Chronicle is not yours to take!' one of the Kin Crimson exclaims while Jeanne-Marie Beaubier a.k.a. Aurora rushes towards him. 'And what of Captain Pryde?' Kwannon a.k.a. Psylocke asks as she shoves her psi-blade into the head of one of the Kin Crimson. 'Was her life yours to take?' Kwannon screams. 'Not Pryde's, not our ancestors. Whatever the Shi'ar did...whatever the Kin's covering's cost enough mutant blood' Bishop declares as he grabs one of the Wet Skin weapons, absorbs its energy, and his eyes begin to glow. 'Open the door' Cassandra Nova telepathically commands, and a door appears. 'Won't be a moment. Aurora, shall I trickle in and turn up these poor birds' visual receptors?' Cassandra asks. 'Got it, Wicked Stepmother. Time to shine!' Aurora replies as she creates a blinding flash of light, which causes the Kin Crimson even more distress than usual thanks to Cassandra effecting their visual receptors.


The Marauders rush through the large open doors, and Kwannon reports thatbthe lasat Noble's mind was open enough so she learned that the Chronicle is held deep below. Tempo reports that she will get there before the Kin finish blinking. 'From their perspective, at least. Subjective time for us... it'll still feel like we're taking the long way'. The Marauders arrive at another set of doors and Tempo remarks that she needs a nap, a boost fruit or a beer. 'But here we are' she adds as the team enter the next room. Aurora, Daken, Kwannon, Bishop, Tempo, Somnus and Cassandra Nova look up at a strange glass cylinder tank which is filled with a red liquid. The red liquid bubbles, and Cassandra notices an inscription at the base of the tank. 'Old Shi'ar. Hardly a match for their modern chirpings' Cassandra remarks, before she reads out the inscription: “Touch lightly for knowledge”.

Cassandra then starts to ask who among the group has the lightest touch, before Daken slashes the base of the tank. 'What was that, Aki? What is this?' Somnus asks, confused. 'Whatever it is, it's juicy' Tempo tells him. Daken explains that it is a gland, a Lupask gland, and that he smelled one before. He tells the others that each Lupak has got one floating near it. 'It's usually invisible. Destroy it? They die. Otherwise, they always come back' Daken adds, remarking that the Shi'ar keep a Lupak on their Guard, his name is Fang. 'I'd kill for a rematch' Daken snarls, before declaring that the Chronicle is not a book – it is a person, with a healing brain that can handle any memory download. 'I bet they regrow him to update their records...then slaughter him to save the file. It's torture. Billions of years of torture' Daken explains, as a figure begins to appear in the red liquid within the tank.

The figure is fully formed, and phases through the tank. 'Not torture, pup... sacrifice. Anyone with the right to wake me would know that' The figure has a large muscular body under the Wet Skin that he wears, and blond hair below his shoulders. He grits his teeth and turns to Daken telling him 'You stink with the blood of my kin. What's to stop me from balancing it with your seepings?' 'Me' Kwannon answers as she drops down from above and shoves her psi-blade into his head. 'Bishop isn't the only one losing patience' Kwannon declares. 'Hey! You think I'm done with that hairbag and his mouth!?' Daken yells at Kwannon. 'Not at all. But I'd like him intact while we hunt the truth' Kwannon responds, holding the Chronicle to the ground. Cassandra tells Kwannon that sifting through billions of years of thoughts requires more than a strong stabbing arm, and offers to lead them in after she has projected this gem into Somnus' dreamscape. 'It is a sealed box, after all. Perfect for interrogation. And if events do turn ugly... we simply leave and lock the door Cassandra suggests.

'Now wait a minute -' Somnus begins, before Kwannon points out that Cassandra Nova is no captain and does not lead. I'll twist the knife' she exclaims as she increases the intensity of her psi-blade to see what the Kin is hiding.

(inside the Chronicle's memories)

It shouldn't be possible – but it was. A mutant society, thriving – long before humans first evolved. Billions of years in the past. It was called Threshold, and it was a golden age, which was stumbled upon by the prehistoric Shi'ar. They were feathered spacefaring nomads back then, much closer to their avian roots. They pillaged the galaxy with Lupakite berserkers at their heels. They came to raid, but the early mutants refused to yield an inch. If not for the mutants' ancestors' fear of the airless void, none of the Shi'ar would have survived.

And, when the Shi'ar returned, it wasn't as scouts, but as an army. At its head, a living doomsday weapon hired to obliterate the mutants – the Shi'ar were ashamed of their defeat and wanted nothing less than the extinction of the mutants. The Shi'ar returned with death regiments, and Threshold answered with five heroes. Heroes who lobbied for peace – but the Shi'ar would not let mutants live to tell of their loss. Diplomacy was dead. So, biased toward their continued existence, Threshold responded as only mutants could – and the Shi'ar great Obliterator was dealt with in seconds. It was slaughter. A swift refutation of the Shi'ar's would be genocide. This bloodbath between the species – this was the First Blood Spilled. Mutants, and Shi'ar.

This is how the Kin Crimson were born – the survivors vowed to hide the defeat and any to come. First, they saw to the Avian biology they looked at as weak, and using Xorrian science to temper their genes with sturdier traits. The Kin monitored Threshold from afar as they strengthened themselves. But by the time a Noble was selected to embed on Earth, Threshold had disappeared. Eons passed until mutants resurfaced. Okkara rose, confronted Amenth and split. The Kin kept watch, ensuring that mutants never got too close to their history. Stopping any chronal escapees from Threshold's past. Even Erik the Red's attacks were assessments, nothing more.

And soon, the First Blood Spilled was one of many crimes hidden by the Shi'ar.



'Enough!' the Chronicle shouts, breaking Kwannon's psychic hold on him. He declares that he will relish telling them what is next. 'You came all this way to rescue your ancestors, but there is nothing to  save. The Kin made sure of that. Threshold may have defeated us, but we outlived them. Our prescients foresaw their desperate lifeboats in time...and vaporized them on arrival!' Chronicle exclaims. 'You think that helps your odds of living?' Daken asks. 'Right. Attempted genocide. Successful murder. Espionage.'re coming to Krakoa' Bishop declares. 'Except he's lying, Lucas. Most escapees were executed. But some were held in the timedrives for study...on a doomed Shi'ar base, destroyed some years back. This poor old Shi'ar chapbook left it right in the front of his weary mind' Cassandra announces. 'Why, you -' the Chronicle begins, before Tempo begins to alter time around him, slowing him down, and announces that she sees that twinkle in Cassandra's eye, so thought she would pump the breaks.

Tempo turns and faces Cassandra: 'I know the look. Saw it plenty in the Mutants Liberation Front. You want to go back in time' Tempo declares. 'I...have no counter-argument' Cassandra admits. 'Back to when? For what? The murderer's right here!' Daken exclaims, popping his claws and pointing them at the Chronicle's face. 'Such callousness offends my gentle heart...there are sacred mutants to be saved!' Cassandra snaps. 'A jump to the recent past wouldn't even be as far as I first came' Bishop remarks. 'You came here to undo your future, Bishop. That's dangerously easy. Preserving the future's much harder. And riskier' Tempo replies. 'Risk? Captain Pryde is dead' Kwannon points out. Bishop acknowledges that sonme Thresholders almost made it here, but the Kin got to them. 'This is a pandimensional prison. We can follow Nova's lead, go back... and get to them first' Bishop suggests, adding that they all know Pryde will kick their asses if they come home empty-handed. 'You think you know the risks. But you don't. You're a time-traveler. A tourist. I'm a chronokinetic. The difference is worse than deadly' Tempo declares.

Tempo tells her teammates that the closer to their “now” that they go, he more dangerous the trip is. 'You want to bring something back from the recent past? Even the smallest change could mean we'd never have been here to steal from there. The people you were would caease to be. And me, well...that's a special kind of pain for me' Tempo explains. Aurora suggests that they owe it to Pryde to try, but that this is a two-front mission, and she and Daken can hold the line here while the others work the time heist. Kwannon tells Tempo that they understand the risks, and wonders if Captain Pryde chose her to overcome them. '...Have Nova send me the specs. This is now a space and time heist' Tempo declares.

Shortly, Tempo leads Bishop, Kwannon, Somnus and Cassandra Nova down a tunnel and announces that the Pandimensional Doors are deeper down. 'They'll cover space. As for time? Pulling this many of us back won't be an exact science' Tempo remarks.

(Years ago, circa X-Men (2nd series) #42-43)

Avalon, the onetime orbital base to Magneto and his Acolytes. Currently under fire, and exploding from several points. 'This is no Shi'ar base. You walked us into a firefight!' Kwannon exclaims. 'Where one timedrive still hides. Do keep up, Kwannon... Avalon runs on Shi'ar technology. Though some care with our arrival might've avoided its crashing' Cassandra remarks. 'Time and space in one step , and you've got notes?' Tempo asks. 'I'm sure I've a gold star here somewhere?' Cassandra remarks before a wall explodes next to the group, and a figure reaches through, grabbing Cassandra by her head, the figure asks 'How long since I've tasted such power? The prelate you would've made!'

The large figure slams Cassandra against a wall, 'But that was a world ago. My fagther has fallen. And from his death...let the AGE OF NEMESIS begin!' the powerful villain booms as he holds Cassandra above him, while Kwannon, Tempo, Somnus and Bishop look up in horror....

Characters Involved: 

Aurora, Bishop, Daken, Kwannon, Cassandra Nova, Kate Pryde, Somnus, Tempo (all Marauders)




Kin Crimson

Krag guards


(in the past)

Nemesis IV/Holocaust


(in the Chronicle's memory)

Mutants at Threshold

Prehistoric Shi'ar


Chronicle and other Lupakite berserkers

Kin Crimson


Early humans

Firehair/Phoenix host

Mutants at Okkara

Erik the Red

Colossus, Cyclops, Nightcrawler, Storm, Wolverine (all X-Men)


Story Notes: 

Deathbird was abducted by the Sidri in Secret X-Men #1.

Obliterator, seen in the Chronicle's memory, has previously appeared in Silver Surfer (3rd series) #4-6, #21 and #44, Quasar #47-48 and Contest of Champions #6.

This issue includes entry upload .7 of the Kin Crimson Chronicle, by Executor Klaarum the Red which details the First Blood Spilled.

This issue includes a note from Tempo to Bishop in which she discusses her powers and explains that she has a unique relationship with time in that she remembers every change that happens when the past or future is altered.

Holocaust a.k.a. Nemesis is a character from the Age of Apocalypse. He was transported across to the 616 reality in X-Men Omega #1, where he laid waste to Avalon and murdered Rusty Collins in X-Men (2nd series) #42-43. He went on to appear in issues of X-Man (1st series), Cable (2nd series) and X-Force (1st series) before disappearing, although the Nemesis who appears this issue is from the past.


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