New Mutants (3rd series) #22

Issue Date: 
April 2011
Story Title: 
Age of X, chapter 2

Mike Carey (writer), Steve Kurth (penciler) Allen Martinez (inker), Brian Reber (colorist), Virtual Calligraphy’s Chris Eliopoulos (letterer), Mico Syuyan & Marte Gracia (cover artists), Clay Mann, Jay Leisten & Brian Reber (variant cover artists), Jake Thomas & Sebastian Girner (assistant editor), Daniel Ketchum (editor), Nick Lowe (X-Men group editor), Axel Alonso (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Brief Description: 

Jubilee ponders what the mutants at Fortress X are fighting for, while Legacy asks Magneto if she can interview Katherine Pryde, recently found attempting to escape. But Legacy does not tell Magneto about the camera that she recovered from Pryde. Legacy takes the camera to techno-genius Madison Jeffries, who is having trouble measuring the stars outside the force walls. Madison informs Legacy that the 247 photos on the camera are all blank. Legacy then absorbs Madison’s power. In the dead of night, Basilisk and Frenzy discuss Basilisk’s discovery - the dogtags he took from a soldier are exactly the same as the ones he took from another soldier in another battle - two entirely different people. Legacy, embued with Madison’s power, makes her way easily into the brig. She heads straight for Katherine Pryde’s cell, but encounters another prisoner, Blindfold. The young mutant prisoner confuses Legacy by calling her “Rogue”, and urges her to ask the Professor. Danger becomes aware that Legacy is in the brig and sends drones after her. Legacy finds Katherine Pryde and asks her why the pictures she took are blank, but Pryde is less than forthcoming. Legacy absorbs Pryde’s power, which comes in handy s the Danger drones attempt to apprehend her. Legacy finds the Professor that Blindfold was speaking of, and touches him - which sends shockwaves throughout the fortress as Legacy sees and hears strange images. Legacy manages to gather herself long enough to evade more Danger drones, and is assisted to safety by one of Madison Jeffries’s robots. Magneto sounds the alarm, as Moonstar and her Cadre are called in to apprehend Legacy, using all force necessary!

Full Summary: 

Fortress X, in the dead of night. Chamber and Jubilee are on a balcony, overlooking the surrounding area. Chamber tells Jubilee that he is sorry, as he did not understand the question, or why she thinks he would have an answer. Jubilee replies that she doesn’t know, and remarks that Chamber came from way over in Europe and tells him that he has seen the world. ‘Oh yeah, definitely. Some of its more interesting gutters, anyway’ Chamber replies. Eyes downcast, Jubilee replies that the question stands: ‘What are we fighting for?’ she asks, and tells Chamber not to tell her “survival” because that is not enough, as every animal does that.

‘Bloody hell’ Chamber mutters, before reminding Jubilee that it is them against the world. ‘Seems like it’ Jubilee replies, to which Chamber tells her that on the other side of the force walls there is an army - a million strong - and they are never going to stop coming. Chamber explains that the longer they hold out, the more mental and impossible it looks. He remarks that maybe someone, someday, will hear a story about how they fought, and think “okay then”, and roll their own sleeves up. ‘Is that enough?’ he asks. Jubilee pauses, before hanging her head and telling Chamber that will do fine.

Inside, ‘I’m sorry, Legacy. But the answer is no’ Magneto tells Legacy inside the large monitor room. ‘Pryde is your prisoner, Magnus’ Legacy points out. ‘Danger’s prisoner. I merely delivered her’ Magneto replies. Legacy explains that she can question Pryde better than Magneto or Danger, for all she has to do is touch her. Legacy reminds Magnus that Pryde was outside the barriers, that she probably saw the enemy troop deployments and their latest weapons. ‘Maybe if we knew what she knows, we could go on the offensive for once’ Legacy suggests.

Magneto asks Legacy if she has asked herself why Pryde was outside the barriers, to which Legacy explains that is one of the things she was looking to find out. ‘Or what she might have brought back with her?’ Magneto asks. Legacy hesitates, ‘Ah - no. Ah can’t say Ah gave that any thought’ she claims. Magneto turns away from Legacy, reminding her that they have survived this long because they take no unnecessary risks. He declares that Pryde stays isolated until they know what her agenda is - and how she escaped from the brig in the first place.

Walking along a corridor, Legacy tells herself that it won’t do, not anymore. ‘Ah know this much: Once you start asking questions, you’re like a snowball rolling downhill. It’s the hardest thing in the world to stop. Until you hit up against some kind of an answer’. Legacy enters a laboratory, where Madison Jeffries is busy working. ‘You busy? Ah’d hate to intrude’ Legacy exclaims. ‘Busy going nowhere’ Madison replies, before asking Matilda to fix them some coffee. A robot hovering nearby replies ‘I sure will, honey bunch’, while Madison tells Legacy that he is measuring starlight, and getting the wrong answers every time. Looking at the large telescope, Legacy asks Madison how he even takes the measurements, pointing out the stars are outside the force walls.

Madison explains that he sends Matilda up about a thousand feet, as the refraction index is a lot less up there, at least, that was the theory. Matilda brings over the coffee as Rogue asks Madison to take a look at the camera. ‘Ah’d like to know if it’s broken. Or if there’s any way to access the photos. Ah just get a blank screen’ she explains, handing it to him. Madison holds the camera and talks to it - ‘How you feeling, little camera? That bad, huh? Yeah, you’ve been through some really hard times. I can feel your pain’ Madison tells the camera. Legacy watches intently, before Madison informs her that it is not broken, that there are 247 pictures, all of the blank. Matilda calls Madison “darling” and informs him that the coffee is ready, while Madison explains that someone pointed the camera at nothing 247 times and clicked the button.

Legacy takes the camera and asks Madison if he is sure - ‘No hidden messages? Encrypted data?’ she asks. ‘Am I sure? Well, let me think how to put this’ Madison remarks, before motioning to the Box armor behind him and telling Legacy that every time he gets into the armor and plugs himself in, he becomes a bit more of a machine and a bit less of a man. He tells Legacy that he is capable of a lot of things, but data error is not one of them. Legacy tells Madison that he is a good man, and informs him she needs one more favor from him - maybe two. ‘With the soulful stare and the human contact an all?’ Madison replies as Legacy stares at him. ‘Name it. Or them’ Madison exclaims. Legacy smiles, ‘Well, for starters…pucker up’ Legacy declares.

In his quarters, Basilisk looks out the window, and sees Legacy walking along a platform. ‘Thought I’d worn you out, tiger. How come you’re awake? And over there?’ Frenzy asks. Basilisk turns back to Frenzy, who is on their bed, and tells her that he couldn’t sleep, before apologizing for waking her. ‘Awake’s not bad. There’s things you can do with awake. Not long-distance, though’ Frenzy replies. Basilisk goes over to their bed and they kiss. However, Frenzy tells him that was half-hearted. ‘I’m sorry. I just -’ Basilisk begins, but Frenzy tells Basilisk that she does not love him for his mind, but to tell her what is on it, anyway. ‘Well, since you’re asking…it’s this, mostly’ Basilisk replies, handing Frenzy a set of dog-tags. ‘Jackson. 45th infantry, 2776. You knew him?’ Frenzy asks. ‘Her. And not really. We never actually met. I just killed her’ Basilisk explains.

Shown with flashback illustrations:

Basilisk tells Frenzy that three days ago, a couple of exonims broke through by the west wall, with infantry support. As he was on wide patrol, he engaged them, but they had energy diffusion armor, which meant that he had to get a little creative in battling them. He blasted the side of rock face, causing a landslide, as he figured it would not be that easy to diffuse a couple of tons of brick and concrete. Basilisk explains that he was not particularly aiming for Jackson, but she bought it, too - one of the tin cans fell across her, broke most everything she had that was breakable. He saw that Jackson looked to be about seventeen - too young to buy beer, but old enough to fight. Old enough to die.


‘Hey, you were up at bat. They throw kids at you, you’ve still got to take a swing’ Frenzy tells Basilisk, who replies that he knows, and normally he doesn’t think about it, but he grabbed the tags because the deaths matter - someone has to keep score. Frenzy smiles and asks Basilisk why he is brooding and prowling and neglecting his husbandly duties. ‘Don’t tell me you’re in mourning for a freak?’ she asks. ‘Not hardly. But here’s the thing’ Basilisk replies, revealing that he already had Jackson, 45th infantry, 2776 in his collection, that he had for a month or two. ‘You already -?’ Frenzy asks. ‘Yeah’ Basilisk declares. ‘Far as I can remember, he was a black guy. And I left him on the ground that time, too’ Basilisk states, holding the dog tags.

Meanwhile, Legacy approaches the brig. The words “Secure Holding Facility. No Admittance” are stamped on the doors. Legacy tells herself that she has not done that in a while - kissed a man to borrow his powers, although it used to be her thing when she was young and stupid. ‘These days Ah’m mostly the Reaper. And death doesn’t flirt’ she tells herself. A computer begins an ID scan, but using Jeffries’s powers, Legacy talks to the computer, telling it there is nobody here, so the computer terminates the ID scan, before Legacy orders the brig doors opened, then the activity log erased. The giant doors being to open, and entering the facility, Legacy orders the cameras to look away, as there is nothing to see. And just like that, the cameras look away from her. Legacy approaches a console and tells it that she needs a map, specifically asking where Katherine Pryde is located.

Legacy makes her way past several apparently empty cells, when suddenly, ‘W-wait! Rogue! Is that you?’ a young girl calls out and begins waving her hands out through the bars of her cell. The girl is called Blindfold and she wears a black and yellow uniform, with an “X” on the belt. Legacy looks at her and informs her that she has her confused with someone else. ‘Ah’m Legacy’ she explains. ‘Excuse me. Everyone is confused. Everyone is someone else. It hurts to look at them’ Blindfold declares. She begins clutching at her head and tells Legacy that she has to untie it or take her back, she doesn’t mind which. I’ll be good this time. I won’t see. I won’t see anything!’ Blindfold exclaims.

Legacy puts her arm through the bars and touches Blindfold on the arm, while Blindfold exclaims ‘Oh, I miss her! I miss them all so much. You have to untie it! Please!’ Legacy looks confused, and explains that she should not even be here right now, before assuring her that she will come back, and they can talk some more. Legacy continues on, while Blindfold calls out to her: ‘It’s the scar tissue, Rogue! Ask the Professor! Where it doesn’t fit! Where everything was amputated but the patient didn’t die! Ask the Professor! Ask the Professor!’ she shouts.

Elsewhere in the brig, Danger is monitoring the cells, when the voice of X informs her that Blindfold, in cell 17, her heard rate is spiking and adrenaline levels are elevated. Danger thanks the mysterious X and replies that she had noticed the anomalies, before announcing that drones Delta and Epsilon will investigate and assess. Legacy walks past two Danger look-alikes against the wall, and after she passes them, they step forward.

Legacy comes to the cell where Katherine Pryde is being held. ‘Do you remember me?’ Legacy asks. ‘That would be a no’ Pryde replies, squatting on the floor, her hands tied behind her back, wire cable wrapped around her, a brace around her neck and a device covering her head. Legacy explains that they met briefly on the battle field, and introduces herself as Anna Marie. ‘Pleased to meet you. But if this is an interrogation, do me a favor and cut out the small talk’ Katherine exclaims. Legacy assures Katherine that she is not here to beat answers out of her. ‘Okay. So you’re the nice cop. Good to know’ Katherine replies, to which Legacy assures her she is not any kind of cop.

But holding up the camera, Legacy tells Katherine that she would like to know what she was doing outside the force walls, what she saw there, and what the camera is for. ‘You take pictures with it’ Katherine explains, but Legacy informs her the pictures are all blank. ‘Shoot. I always forget to take the lens cap off’ Katherine replies. ‘What’s out there? What did you see?’ Legacy asks. Katherine tells Legacy to cut her loose or get the stupid hat off of her so she can phase, and then they can talk.

Legacy crouches down in front of Katherine and explains that they do not exactly have to talk, that she could take what she wants just by touching her. ‘And there we are with the threats. I knew what you were the moment I saw you’ Katherine declares. ‘Ah said I could. Ah didn’t say Ah was going to. Ah just wish you’d trust me’ Legacy replies. Katherine bites her lower lip and reveals that she saw nothing. ‘But he said take a lot of pictures, so I -’ she begins, when suddenly, the two Danger drones enter the cell. ‘Legacy, your presence here is unauthorized’ one of them states, ordering her away from the prisoner. ‘Ah’m real sorry to do this, but…’ Legacy begins, before she uses Jeffries’s power once more, ordering the Danger drones to freeze. But the Danger drones are able to modulate to counter the attack, and continue towards Legacy, ordering her to surrender and submit to arrest.

‘Danger, Ah can’t. There’s something Ah need to -’ Legacy begins, while the Danger drone logs Legacy’s response, before reminding her that she was asked to surrender but refused - before releasing a laser beam, which passes through Legacy. Legacy tells herself that perhaps she should feel a little ashamed, but she did not take any memories from Katherine, just borrowed a little phasing power. She then runs through one of the Danger drones, knocking it over, while Legacy decides that this power turns out to be useful in all kinds of ways as she shoots through Danger’s motherboard like a flash flood.

The drone sounds the alert, calling for back up, and orders a full system lockdown. ‘Like Ah said. Looking for answers. Exact same thing as looking for trouble’ Legacy tells herself, turning intangible just as several laser beams are fired at her, she finds the new power hard to hold the focus, hard to keep it working. ‘But pain is a great teacher, mah mom used to say. Both of may moms, in fact’ she reminds herself as she dives through a wall, telling herself that she is a quick study, usually ready for anything that gets thrown at her. Usually.

Legacy looks up to where a bald man is strapped to a bed, hooked up to all sorts of monitors. ‘This is insane’ Legacy thinks to herself, certain that she has never seen this man in her life before - but a name stirs right at the base of her brain. ‘Charles? Charles Xavier?’ Legacy asks. In her cell, Blindfold calls out ‘Ask the Professor! Ask the Professor!’ Legacy raises her hand to the Professor’s face. ‘No promises this time. No holding back’ she tells herself, deciding that she has to know, although her hand is shaking like she has malaria, and her heart is in her mouth. ‘Ah got to know’ Legacy tells herself again as she places her hand, mostly covered by a glove, except for a small square on the palm of her hand, against the Professor’s face.

Phrases flash through Legacy’s mind. ‘Don’t any more probably never did’, ‘Believe in you still less your goodwill’, ‘But if you’re there, God, you’re a coward’, ‘Whole lot of graves in a whole lot of’, ‘Why does my head’, ‘Burn the world for you’, ‘Everything, everything for you’, ‘The strength in my hands’, ‘The looks in their eyes’, ‘The strength running through me’, ‘The blasting cap is in my mind’, ‘Her face when she turned away from the girl on the ground’, ‘The hammer is my mind’, ‘Blood loos is about the same’, ‘Knife catches in the scar tissue a little’, ‘Need to find a new place to cut’.

Legacy tells herself that she cannot turn it off, ‘God help me. Ah can’t turn it OFF’ she scream inside herself. Around Fortress X, others know something is going on. Basilisk calls out to Frenzy as she lies motionless, blood trickling from her nose. Magnus looks up from his computer, while Moira MacTaggert looks at a pensive Legion. Gambit is polishing a weapon, while Wolverine is driving a knife into his own arm. Several mutants including Colossus, Dazzler and Nightmare are gathered together, and they all convulse and blood begins to seep from their noses as well. On the balcony, Chamber holds up the now motionless Jubilee, and calls out to X, ‘Code red! We’re under attack!’, while Magneto falls to the floor. ‘Legacy?’ he calls out.

But Legacy has keeled over on the floor, ‘Stop it! Stop it!’ she screams. ‘Please!’ More words flash through her mind: ‘Smash it’, ‘Have to smash it before they’, ‘Break it into pieces’, ‘Then there’s no way out’. Another Danger drone busts into the cell, telling Legacy that she must stop, as she is hurting people. But Legacy rises and announces that she has it under control. Danger believes that Legacy is too weak to phase now, and orders her to surrender. ‘Ah…Ah really can’t do that. Danger…before this place was a jail…before it was part of our fortress…it was a bank’ Legacy reveals, before using Jeffries’s power, she calls out ‘Security breach!’ and part of the Danger drone is torn apart.

Legacy makes a run for it, but more drones follow her. She uses the last dregs of Madison’s power to mess with the drones’ targeting. Approaching a large window, Legacy realizes that she is out of gas and out of options. ‘Well…almost’ she tells herself as she leaps through the window, sending fragments of glass everywhere as she falls downward. The Danger drones stand at the broken window and one of them states that as far as can be ascertained, Legacy did not touch any mutants with the power of flight. Another drone verifies that, but announces the sensors at ground level have not located Legacy’s body. ‘Danger to all stations, via X. Fugitive alert’ another drone states. ‘Legacy has attacked all inhabitants of Fortress X with a mutant power whose modality is unknown. She also attempted a rescue of Katherine Pryde, currently in isolation on Magneto’s orders’.

Hovering mid-air, Legacy clings onto the Matilda robot, asking her to set her down gently on the ledge. Matilda tells Legacy it would be her pleasure, as any friend of Madison’s is her friend also.

In the communications room, Magneto rises, while the voice of X asks what his orders are. ‘Standard protocol dictates -’ X begins, to which Magnus interrupts: ‘Yes. Apprehend Legacy. Bring her in. Using all necessary force’ he orders.

An alarm sounds throughout Fortress X, and several young mutants are gathered together - Moonstar, Eclipse, Warlock, Magma, Karma and Dust. ‘Hear that kiddies?’ Moonstar asks her comrades. ‘Just when we thought it was going to be a quiet night….’.

Characters Involved: 

Basilisk, Blindfold, Chamber, Colossus, Danger, Dazzler, Dust, Eclipse, Frenzy, Gambit, Madison Jeffries, Jubilee, Karma, Legacy, Legion, Magneto, Moonstar, Nightmare, Katherine Pryde, Warlock, Wolverine, Professor X

“Moira MacTaggert”

In Basilisk’s Flashback:



Story Notes: 

In the Age of X, several characters have new codenames:

Cyclops = Basilisk

Pixie = Nightmare
Rogue = Legacy / Reaper

Sunspot = Eclipse

Warpath = Berserker

Cypher = Warlock

Also, someone with Phoenix imagery and maybe the Phoenix Force goes by the codename Revenant.

This issue is narrated by Legacy / Reaper.

This story follows X-Men Legacy #245 and continues in X-en Legacy #246.

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