Mekanix #6

Issue Date: 
May 2003
Story Title: 
Memento Mori

Chris Claremont (writer), Juan Bobilla (pencils), Marcelo Sosa (Inks), Tom Orzechowski (letterer), Avalon (colors), Andrew Lis (editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Bill Jemas (president), Celia Calle (cover art), Dennis Haseley (technical advisor)

Brief Description: 

Shola fights against the Sentinels, who are attacking the student union, while Shan, whose powers are useless, runs away. Soon, she is joined by Kitty and together they take care of one Sentinel, until Shola joins them to take care of the other. While Shan possesses all students to evacuate them, Kitty calls Tom to come and get them. They drive away, luring the Sentinels after them. Eventually, they make it to Bessemer station, where, using teamwork, they lure the robots into a trap and destroy all of them – or so they think. In the meantime, Alice Tremaine has found a damaged Sentinel at the student union and has made it her project to repair it, so it can kill more mutants. Later, Kitty has a talk with her shrink and, for the first time, is willing to work with her. Later still, at the bar Lieutenant Ramos tells Kitty that she has the Police’s respect for what she did and she goes to join her friends in the bar.

Full Summary: 

The student union is about to be attacked by smaller versions of the new breed of Sentinels. Outside the building stand Shan Coy Manh and Shola Inkosi, looking in horror at the creatures. Shan’s powers are useless against the robots, the telekinetic Shola, however, fights back, while shouting for Kitty Pryde to come out and help them.

Shola shields Shan from the Sentinels’ attack, then propels his own body towards one of the creatures, drawing their fire on him and then capturing them in a telekinetic sphere, the way he handled the last Sentinel attack. Unfortunately, the creatures adapt – in this case, they overcome Shola’s telekinetic barriers by finding their way through the ground: tentacles appear from out of the ground surrounding the two mutants.

Shola urges Shan to run: she has to think of her family. She should find Kitty- he’ll cover her escape. Shan doubts it the way he is burning up energy, but runs only to find her way blocked by another Sentinel. Shola attempts to draw their fire on him and succeeds for the most part. While the robots recognize Shan as a Class 1 mutant, they also realize that she is a minimal threat with her psychic powers. Most of them focus on Shola but two follow Shan, who unfortunately finds that she ran into a dead end. With her back against the wall, she shouts for Shola as the creatures are closing in on her when, suddenly, she finds herself grabbed by two arms and phased backwards through the wall- it’s Kitty to the rescue.

Instead of running, Kitty keeps the two of them phased in the wall. Phasing the wall as well, she lets go at the very moment when the robot hits it – leaving it stuck and badly damaged. However, the second one bursts through the wall and attacks Kitty with a barbed tentacle. Shan warns her not to phase – the Sentinel will network with the others and develop a counter measure. She smashes it with a tool lying around – both girls strike until an exhausted Shola joins up with them and telekinetically smashes it into the ground.

At that point, they hear sirens. The police and campus security arrive with no idea what they are getting themselves in for. They’ve just given the Sentinels a whole new set of targets and, indeed, the Sentinels scan the cops and find their genome patterns are within parameters of potential mutants. Detective Paulie Ramos stares in horror and disbelief as the robots turn their attention on them.

Kitty figures they have to stop the Sentinels before they get a hold of the cops’ guns. She calls Tom More on her cell phone and tells him to drive onto the campus, while the exhausted Shola runs interference. This time, he gets hit though. Kitty grabs Shan and Shola, phasing all of them, while the Sentinels keep on firing at them. The Sentinels pull back to regroup. Kitty intends to use that time and asks Shan to possess the students and get them out of the building. She takes her friend’s hand to make sure they can’t hurt her and Shan makes the supreme effort of leading all of them out of the building where the police take care of them.

Tom finally arrives and they enter his car, once more giving the Sentinels who follow them a solid target. She tells him to drive as fast as he can out of the city and off-campus. Shola zaps a robot, getting them to follow.

Back at the ruins of the students union, Alice Tremaine is still there. As far as she is concerned, this mess is Kitty’s and the mutant’s fault and she’ll see them expelled for that. Suddenly, she finds a badly damaged small Sentinel before her. The robot scans her, announcing she is baseline human and therefore an authorized user. Alice realizes that her and the robot’s purpose are the same and picks it up.

Back at the car, Kitty tells Tom to head for Bessemer Station, while Shan does her best to patch Shola up. Suddenly, the Sentinels lift the car up into the air. The others grab onto Kitty and she phases them, dropping them down. Shola trashes the car and the four Sentinels, an effort that takes everything out of him.

Kitty tells the others that the Sentinels are made of spare parts and a mechanism is only as strong as its weakest component. Shan grabs the gaping Tom, while Kitty phases them all underground. Tom protests that he wasn’t in danger. He’s not a mutant, so the Sentinels will leave him alone. The others wonder if he’s right. Kitty finally phases them into the foundry of Bessemer’s. The walls down there are ten meters thick, reinforced concrete, steel and lead, as it was rebuilt for a major fusion experiment.

Kitty lets the others in on the plan. They can’t defeat the Sentinels one by one. They learn too quickly. And, if one gets away, they reproduce and start all over. She tells Shola to work with Shan, she can prop him up. Shan protests: he is too badly hurt, but Shola tells her it is his decision. Tom tells them that Purity says their kind is evil, but he is over that. They can count him right in.

Kitty plays bait. When the Sentinels come crashing in, she seemingly panics and runs. The Sentinels follow straight into a trap, as Tom, whom they ignore, pulls a lever dropping several tons of steel plating on them. Shan lightly possesses Shola, adding to his strength. Shola uses his TK to create an energy sphere in the middle of the chamber as Tom pulls out the phased Kitty. Then, Shola, in pain and with Shan’s help, compresses the sphere. Finally, the creatures are destroyed by the intense heat, as even the walls are nothing more than polished glass. Exhausted, they fall down as police sirens come closer.

Later, the four backtrack the Sentinel signature to the freighter, Amazon Belle, and find the ship stripped to the walls – nothing left but a shell. Near as they can determine, the Sentinels are done for.

In the meantime, in the Evanston home of Alice Tremaine’s parents, Alice is cobbling together the small, damaged Sentinel in her parents’ basement. She admires the little robot and its efficiency. To all intents and purposes, it is walking Alice through the repairs, showing her step-by-step how to repair and improve it. As her father calls her to supper, Alice hides the robot. She tells it that that they will take their time finding the proper components. But, when she’s done, they’ll deal with the muties once and forever.

Elsewhere, in her office, Dr. Maureen Lyszinksi listens to the news about the police investigating the mysterious attack on the student union. Apparently, there were no fatalities. At that moment, Kitty enters and apologizes for her lateness. Her almost shy behavior is in stark contrast to her former brashness. Maureen asks her if she was involved with what happened at the university. Kitty curtly tells her, yes. She admits, with what happened last session, she wasn’t sure if Maureen would actually want her back. Why? Maureen asks. Because she was harsh and way out of line. Maureen explains that this is part of what they are doing here. Taking a look at the ugly things inside and finding a way to cope. The fact that Kitty keeps coming back, tells her how much she needs her. And, more importantly, that Kitty knows it. Kitty admits that she’s scared and that she is a mutant. No, Maureen corrects her. She’s a human being and her patient and this is her life and future to shape. As long as she lives and keeps on fighting, she has options and she doesn’t have to face them alone. So, where do they begin, Kitty asks.

Later, Kitty stands before the Belles of Hell, still observed by the FBI and finds herself joined by Detective Ramos. She asks him if he wants a beer. Ramos tells her that the feds may still be on he case but, after what she did for him and his guys, she’s got the respect of Chicago’s Finest. Kitty looks inside the bar, seeing her friends waiting for her and waving at her. She thinks to herself that she came here to learn whether mutants could have anything resembling a normal life. Things may not quite have worked out the way she hoped but, all things considered, she figures, she’s off to a pretty good start.

Characters Involved: 

Kitty Pryde / Shadowcat (former X-Man)
Xi’an “Shan” Coy Manh / Karma (former New Mutant)

Shola Inkosi (a Genoshan mutant exchange student)
Tom More (former fire fighter, student and former Purity member)

Dr. Maureen Lyszinski (Kitty’s psychiatrist)
Paulie Ramos and other Police officers

Alice Tremaine (Tom’s ex-girlfriend and web-mistress of the anti-mutant group “Purity”)

Prime Sentinels

Story Notes: 

It is unclear why Tom (and the others) could be so sure that the Sentinels would recognize him as baseline human, when apparently they identified MOST humans they ran into as possible mutants. It’s also unclear why the Sentinel would consider any human as an authorized user when, according to New X-Men #114-115, they were programmed to obey the Trask family (and then Cassandra Nova).

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