X-Corp #1

Issue Date: 
July 2021
Story Title: 
Simply Superior

Tini Howard (writer), Alberto Foche (artist), Sunny Gho (colorist), Virtual Calligraphy's Clayton Cowles (letterer), Tom Muller (designer), David Aja (cover artist), Tom Muller; Todd Nauck & Rachelle Rosenberg; Otto Schmidt (variant cover artists), Jonathan Hickman (Head of X), Nick Russell (production), Lauren Amaro (assistant editor), Jordan D White (editor), CB Cebulski (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

The new X-Corp headquarters has been established. XCOs Monet St Croix and Angel have busy schedules as they film promo videos and set about to make the X-Corp the best business they can, although they have differing opinions on how they might achieve that. They meet with Charles Xavier to provide him with updates on their activities, and Xavier suggests that they expand X-Corp's board of directors to another three members. Monet arrives in Mumbai, where she saves Trinary from officers of the Indian Mutant Defense Force who are attempting to apprehend her. Monet offers the expert hacker a position on the board, and Trinary uses her powers to interface with X-Corp's new headquarters. It's then that she discovers a malicious virus poking around where it doesn't belong. Angel meanwhile travels to Angra dos Reis, where, after evading anti-mutant soldiers, he meets with the head of Noblesse Pharmaceuticals, Jon-Pierre Kol. Kol is interested in discussing the mutant drugs that Krakoa produces and sells to countries around the world. He is not satisfied with the price X-Corp paid for his assets, and makes a threat against the Krakoan drug processing plant in the Savage Land. Monet arrives in the Savage Land where she meets with Jamie Madrox, wanting to offer him a position on the board, too. Madrox is more interested in working in the lab, though, but eventually gives in to Monet's puersuasive manners. Monet, Madrox and Trinary regroup at the X-Corp headquarters, where Monet's telepathy picks up on what is happening with Angel – and Kol's plans to do something to the Savage Land processing plant. Monet tries to remain calm at this news, but slips into her savage Penance form. She eventually calms herself down enough to reveal to Madrox and Trinary that the X-Corp headquarters is more than just an island – it's an entire vessel capable of flight. She raises it from the ocean and then teleports the entire HQ to the skies over Angra dos Reis. Kol continues to “negotiate” with Angel, but goes ahead and blows up the Savage Land processing plant anyway. Madrox is devastated by this – not only for the loss of his work, but the loss of his dupes who were killed in the explosion. Local film the spectacular arrival of the X-Corp HQ on their phones and the media flurry begins, which is not what Angel wanted. Angel flies towards the HQ as local soldiers fire on him and the X-Corp HQ. Angel makes it to safety, and tells Monet that Xavier is probably furious about this, but Monet points out that they couldn't buy what has happened today – that this was the perfect launch.

Full Summary: 

X-Corp headquarters, a high-tech island with several facilities building into the mountains on the island.

'Possibility. A word that can mean literally anything. But what makes us seek out possibility? What inspires us to say farewell to comfort... and seek out... more? Is it the opportunity to reach for the stars toward a common goal? Is it the chance to be the best version of yourself? Or is it merely natural to want the next big evolution? Whatever it is that's next – let's discover it together. Hello, and welcome to X-Corp' the handsome Warren Worthington III a.k.a. Angel, and CXO of X-Corp smiles as he wears a white suit for the filming of a promotional video. 'We're simply superior' Monet St Croix smiles, arms folded as she stands next to Warren, wearing a gray suit.

Elsewhere within X-Corp HQ, Sunspot and Forge work together in some sort of laboratory, with Sunspot pouring heat onto a large machine that Forge is tinkering with. In a science lab, several Multiple Man dupes check specimens. And Lucas Bishop stands on a platform in another room where Jumbo Carnation runs a hologram over Bishop's body, several suits laid out nearby. Withing the sprawling X-Corp facilities, others go about their business in the brightly colored chambers.

It's 9:00, Krakoan Standard Time, and Sofia Mantega a.k.a. Wind Dancer hovers near a film crew and shouts 'Cut!' She then tells Monet 'That was great, but PR hasn't approved that slogan yet'. Monet doesn't care and tells Sofia that it is good, and they should use it. 'Are we done? Who has my coffee?' Monet asks. 'Oh, um, actually...' Sofia begins, but Monet walks past her, telling her that she is on a tight schedule. 'You can't do one more take for her?' Warren asks Monet as he picks up a drink from a table nearby. Monet reminds Warren that they have been shooting here since 6 AM, and tells him that Sofia is a great girl, and she is glad Sofia is using her recent stint in the Mojoverse for their cutting-edge marketing, but she has bigger fish to fry. 'These are investments, too' Warren reminds Monet. Holding up her coffee, Monet walks past him as Warren tells her that the welcome video gets released, that it will generate discussion, they can do the appearance tour – all before they have debuted phase one of the new base's capabilities. 'Sounds like you've got it all handled on set. Enjoy the bad catering' Monet replies.

Warren walks alongside Monet towards a Krakoan gate and asks Monet if she realizes that in order for her to feel like she can fly by the seat of her pants, someone has to keep order. 'And I'm so glad you've volunteered for the job. I don't do this corporate boardroom crap because I like rules, Warren. I do it because I'm hungry. And this is what I eat' Monet explains. 'Is that so?' Warren asks. Monet smiles and points at Warren: 'It is. But don't worry, Warren. I'll show you how', and with that, she steps through the portal.

9:30, Krakoan Standard Time now, and Monet and Warren step into the Krakoan Council Chamber, where Charles Xavier sits at his seat, waiting for them. He addresses them both as “X-Corp” and thanks them for meeting with him. Monet tells Charles that she didn't know this was official Council business, but Charles explains that it isn't – he just likes to sit here and work in the light, as it reminds him of how far they have come. 'Will you have a seat?' Charles asks. 'There isn't time' Monet responds, reporting that she is waiting on a ping any minute now from her next meeting. Warren tells Xavier that, regrettably, Monet is right, and that he will be jumping time zones himself in a few minutes. Xavier gets up from his seat and walks closer to Warren, and asks him 'Busy with anything I should know about?' Monet looks at her watch and tells Charles that Warren has been in the makeup chair, that she was in Manhattan, as the city pushed back on some of the new real estate – but she made a strong case. 'That was very thoughtful of you to assist us, Monet' Xavier replies.

'Airspace is proving a little more difficult. Apologies to our legal team' Warren remarks. Monet frowns and asks what Sunspot's space lawyer is doing – because she has seen their legal team. 'And if ugly means good, we're going to want that guy's help' she points out. Xavier asks Warren if he thinks they should hold off on the X-Corp launch and prioritize this, but Warren tells him he doesn't think so, as these legal battles are prolonged as a matter of strategy, and it's just meant to tie up their time and resources in the hopes they get tired before the other party and drop it. 'Monet?' Charles asks. Monet states that if it were up to her, she would hit lift off today and let the launch speak for itself. She declares that their product is backed by a resource that regrows itself – so no one can compare. 'An interesting approach. But I advise you to be more cautious with risks – they are thrilling but make us a target' Xavier replies. Monet frowns and tells Charles 'We don't make ourselves targets. People target us because of what we are'.

'She's right, Charles -' Warren begins, before Charles puts one hand on Warren's shoulder and his other on Monet's and tells them that their first offering to the world bought them their freedom – now they have new currency to spend. 'Oh, please' Monet rolls her eyes. 'Imagine how rich we'd be if we didn't have to buy what was owed to us' she remarks. Xavier starts to walk away as he tells them that with X-Corporation's expanding opportunities will come the need for an expanded board of directors. 'I was thinking -' Angel begins, but Monet interrupts him: 'Five, right? I have ideas, Charles' she exclaims. 'Wait -' Angel begins, before Monet's phone beeps. She answers it and starts to walk away. 'Ideas? Already? Shouldn't we discuss this first?' Angel asks. Monet glances back at Warren and tells him that she is sorry, it was a psychic chat, and that she will loop him in, or have Xavier catch him up. 'My next meeting is asking if we can meet a little early...' Monet explains.

At 3:00, Indian Standard Time, Monet is in Taredo, Mumbai, India. In her Penance form, she kicks an armed officer in his neck, knocking him backwards. She is in some sort of control room, all of the screens around the room are fuzzy. '... thank you...' a voice calls out. Penance looks down and hisses, as she sees a young woman cowering under a desk, clutching a laptop and wearing yellow glasses over her eyes connected to an earpiece. 'Oh, no. I shouldn't have said anything' the woman utters, before asking 'You don't just attack everything with a heartbeat, do you?' Penance crouches down beside the woman and replies 'Not today' before addressing the young woman as Trinary. 'I was irritated you messaged me eleven times before I arrived, but I understand now it was an emergency' Penance explains. 'Sorry, Ms St Croix' Trinary responds, before informing her that it was the Indian Mutant Defense Force, and while she tried to cover her digital tracks, but as soon as she is within the country, they know, and they come after her. 'I just want to see my family. My friends. Maybe not my father, but...' her voice trails off. 'That's a sad story – that you were just innocently visiting here' Monet responds as she switches to her human form and touches Trinary's face, telling her that she knows her story is $#%&, because she can read her mind.

'You couldn't resist hopping a gate to your home country – site of your biggest scores. So, what if you've been caught before – they won't be expecting you now' Monet remarks as she stands up and folds her arms. 'You're an enterprising little squirrel who knows where her best nuts are buried. So, you hacked a few bank accounts and the anti-mutant cops showed up to punish you'. Monet tells Trinary that going forward, she expects her honesty, and tells her to come along, as she has compromised this office space, and they can't possibly meet here now. 'You're still interested in meeting with me?' Trinary asks. 'I had assumed when the armed enforces arrived at the interview space I didn't get the job' she remarks. Monet tells Trinary that she isn't interviewing her – she is offering her a position on the board of X-Corporation. 'Yes, on the board. You'd have a vote. Don't say yes or no now. Think on it. At least while you walk me to the gate' Monet remarks as she helps Trinary out from under the desk. 'A board position? That's... very public. What about my criminal record? Is that a problem?' Trinary asks, smiling. 'Not for me it isn't' Monet tells her as they leave the room, full of unconscious Indian Mutant Defense Force officers.

Outside, Monet and Trinary walk towards the Krakoan gate, and Trinary asks Monet if all she needs from her is a yes or a no. 'Not quite' Monet begins, explaining that her offer, like most of her offers, has contingencies. She reminds Trinary that so far they have been able to help each other on a freelance basis – but this offer comes with a certain degree of expectation. 'When I need you, I don't want to have to ask. If I had to ask, I'd hire an assistant, not give away a high-value position' Monet tells Trinary, who responds by saying 'Understood'. Monet asks Trinary if she can get started right away, and Trinary tells her 'Immediately' as she adjusts her googles, she asks Monet what she can check for her: 'Stocks? Trending articles? If your phone is feeling happy today?' But Monet tells Trinary to see if she can interface with the new headquarters. 'Oh, I can! How marvelous!' Trinary smiles, before reporting that the headquarters is telling her that her digital security has caught 417 instances of farther vicious malware. 'What?' Monet asks, surprised.

Trinary suggests that if they wait a moment, she can try to catch another one in the act, and that if she can talk to it, she can keep it on the line while she tries to figure out more. Monet asks where the malware is going, but Trinary doesn't know yet. She reports that it is destructive, and it says it wants to provoke a response. She is hopeful that she can distract it and slow it down. 'Fine. So we won't let it know we're responding' Monet suggests. Trinary tells her that it seems human in origin. 'It's advanced but not fluent. A bit...' her voice trails off, as Monet suggests 'Clumsy? You can say it. They are clumsy'.

Meanwhile, at 18:30 Brasilia Time, in Angra dos Reis, Brazi. Warren is inside a chopper that darts over a seaside establishment. Several armed men are in the chopper with him, and in their native Portuguese one of them says 'If Angel-boy gets one of those wings caught in the propeller, it'll be like a pillow. Feathers everywhere!' he laughs. Angel frowns as he reads a text message from Monet that says “Enjoy your day hobnobbing with the elites while I work” before he looks up at one of the men and, in Portuguese asks 'Excuse me?' The old man is surprised that Angel speaks Portuguese, and and then tells Angel that he said he probably wants to put away his big wings before he gets hurt. Angel steps towards the edge of the chopper and tells the men that he was assured he would be picked up at the nearest gate and transported safely to his meeting. One of the men spits at Warren's feet and tells him that if he leaves his disgusting flower seeds in the earth down there, in his home soil, then he will come and kill him. 'Relax, we're not gonna hurt him' one of the other men smiles. 'If it's all the same to you – I think I'll get off here' Angel remarks as he drops out of the chopper and flies down to the street below, to the amazement of some of the people on the street.

Angel approaches a guard and informs him that he is here for a meeting with Mister Jean-Pierre Kol. Angels makes his way through a room of well-dressed people and adjusts his tie as Monet telepathically contacts him and asks him if he is there and what he reads on the place. 'You need to check in when you're in unfriendly territory' Monet reminds him. 'Yes, Monet' Angel replies, before his thoughts tell her that he thinks Kol is just offering a social call to stay networked and relevant ever since Xavier brought and gutted Noblesse Pharmaceuticals, as he hasn't met with anyone since Magneto led that field trip to Jerusalem. 'He just wants to know he's in my good graces' Angel adds, as he reaches an outdoor area where Jean-Pierre Kol is pouring some drinks, and a table is set with a lot of food. 'Mr Worthington. A bold entrance. My men radioed ahead to tell of your arrival'. He welcomes Angel inside and tells him to enjoy himself. 'We are fine men who deserve fine things. And then we will have much to discuss'.

In some stables nearby, jockeys tend to their horses. Some of the horses are quite unusual – one is a pegasus, another has a flaming mane and tail, and another has gills. Some jockeys ride their horses to the starting line of a race track. At the same time, Jean-Pierre Kol tells Angel that when he first did business with Charles Xavier, it was before the world had changed, and that he was well paid for his efforts by the standards of the world– the world in which humans worked with their limited resources. 'But the world is something new now. You've brought a factor of infinity into it. You've upended the entire game' Kol tells Angel. 'Your presence, your resources... you've lengthened the racetrack immeasurably'. As the horses take their starting point on the race track, Kol tells Angel that mutants have created a problem, and now they are the only ones strong enough to finish the race. 'At the end, when you're the only ones there? People will want better options. That's capitalism. Not exactly making yourselves a healthy market' Kol explains. There is a BANG as a gun is fired to start the horse race. 'It doesn't behoove you to move so quickly that the race is no good to watch' Kol adds.

At 19:30 Brasilia Time, Warren now sits opposite Kol, who tells him that he hopes the circumstances of his proposal are clear to him. 'Dinner was lovely. It's a shame this is how you want to start discussing business' Angel replies, to which Kol announces that he is no longer satisfied with the price Angel and his company paid to acquire his assets. Kol grins as he tells Angel that he encourages him to settle the ledger in his favor, or face an ongoing set of dreadful consequences. 'This is your one warning. You needed me then. And you need me now' Kol declares. 'Need you? Let's not exaggerate, Jean-Pierre. Charles Xavier made six other calls before you. You were the first to agree to a price. I'm sorry you don't like it now, but the deal's been long inked' Angel replies. 'Let me finish my offer. Or you will wish you had' Kol states as he puts a piece of paper on the table and remarks that he is no fool, and that he does not expect a man who lives in paradise to be wooed with wine and oysters. 'I do not come to ask for more with my empty hands'. Kol declares, while Warren reads the paper as Kol announces that he comes with that old corporate enemy – the letter of the law. And at that moment, on the race track, one of the horses lashes out at another, smacking into it mid-race.

In the Savage Land Flower Processing Facility, it is 19:00, Brasilia Time. A dozen or so Madrox dupes are in the laboratory going about their business, at computer stations and testing stations. 'Hey!' one of them calls out as a door opens to the lab. 'This is a secure facility! You can't just walk through here!' one of the lab-coat wearing dupes exclaims. 'I assure you, I can' Monet replies. She's wearing her black and white costume as she stands on a platform looking out down to the lab, she asks to talk to the real Madrox – right now. 'It's Dr James Madrox, actually. And lady, I am the manager' one of the dupes remarks, approaching Monet. '... you know what I'd do if my friend Jamie Madrox called me a lady?' Monet asks – before punching the Madrox dupe hard in his stomach, creating another dupe, both of them in some pain. 'What the hell is going on out here?' a voice shouts, as another dupe emerges from a separate office in the lab. 'There you are' Monet remarks, looking up at Madrox, while the two dupes struggle to stand up.

'Was that necessary?' James Madrox the Multiple Man asks. 'He's fine. I most just scared him. Come down here, I need you' Monet declares. 'You? Need...me? This might be a first in our friendship' Madrox replies as he walks down to where Monet is waiting for him. Monet announces that she needs some people she can trust – she doesn't know how many she needs, and doesn't trust a lot of people. 'But thankfully, you're a lot of people, when I need you to be' Monet points out. 'That I am' Madrox agrees, and as he helps one of his dupes stand up, asks Monet not to hit them. 'He called me lady' Monet exclaims. Madrox absorbs the two dupes and explains that he doesn't like to have unauthorized extras in the lab that he doesn't know about. 'It's a whole thing. They go rogue real fast' Madrox adds. Madrox smiles as he tells Monet that he can send a team along with her, and all he asks is absorption rights – meaning he expects to get them back. 'Not without you there to corral them. I don't want disposables' Monet replies. 'They're not disposables, Monet!' Madrox protests.

Madrox follows Monet out of the lab as Monet reports that she and Warren got the go-ahead to expand X-Corp, so they are doing it – and fast. 'Want your old desk back?' Monet asks. 'Sounds exhausting' Madrox tells her. Monet points out that Madrox is out here in the processing lab playing with flowers and pharmaceutical formulas – which is just monkey work, so he should come and be a stakeholder. 'Not just a... mad scientist'. Madrox smiles as he tells Monet that he likes it here, as he gets lots done – and he doesn't talk to anyone who he doesn't want to. 'It's the opposite of corporate life' he adds. 'It doesn't bother you to be a one-man mutant medicine factory?' Monet asks. Madrox looks at Monet and asks her if it would kill her to realize that nothing has ever fulfilled him more. 'Fine. Leave your interests unprotected, then' Monet tells Madrox, who asks her what she means by that. 'From what?' he adds. Monet walks away and doesn't answer him, so he rushes after her. 'Monet! Protect my interests from what?' he calls out. She still doesn't answer, so Madrox stamps a foot on the ground and creates a dupe. He hands the dupe his lab coat and tells him to stay here. 'Sir?' the dupe asks. 'I'll be back... soon' Madrox tells the dupe.

10:30, Krakoan Standard Time. Trinary and Madrox sit at a long boardroom table, where Madrox asks 'So this mean little code – who sent it? What's it going to do to my lab?' but Trinary doesn't know, she tells Madrox that the code wouldn't tell her. 'Tell you?' Madrox asks. 'Can't you just hack it or... whatever? Aren't you a hacker?' Madrox asks. 'No' Trinary replies, before stating that she can convince the code, probe it and see what it will give up. 'It doesn't know what it is there to do and it says it wants money. But we obviously cannot give it that' Trinary adds. 'Oh, boy. I should have collected my staff before I left. Would you excuse me?' Madrox replies. 'Moneeeet!?' Madrox calls out, when he turns and sees Monet leaning against a wall nearby. He asks her if she is okay, and clutching her head, Monet tells him to shush, as she is trying to contact Angel and needs to concentrate.

Monet telepathically informs Angel that Trinary calls it ransomware and says that it wants money, but it isn't clear what happens if it doesn't get the money. Monet explains that the security all runs out of the same hub that Sage set up months ago, so Trinary can't tell which hub is in danger. 'Trinary?' Angel asks. 'Be careful with her, Monet. She tends to attack corporations' Angel's thoughts respond to Monet. But Monet tells Angel that unless he thinks Trinary is the one launching this attack, she doesn't care. Angel informs Monet that he thinks it is Kol, and he thinks it's the Savage Land plant. Monet suggests to Warren that he kill Kol and hide him. Angel proposes to Monet that the money is meaningless to them, and that they should think of this like a settlement. 'Absolutely not' Monet responds sternly. Monet tells Angel that she is trying to remain calm so as not to shift forms and sever their psychic connection – but she refuses to give that extortionist a penny more. 'Angel...Angel?' Monet asks when she gets no response. She then switches to her Penance form – and cuts open a wall with her lethal claws. 'Are you okay?' Madrox asks. 'Enough talking' Monet snaps.

'Monet? Are you listening?' Angel asks from Angra dos Reis. He tells her that it isn't about extortion, and that they just aren't shy about sharing what they have. 'I think it makes us look strong' he suggests. Angel's wings rustle as a waiter pushes a trolley past him. Angel tells Monet that Kol is saying they are in violation of the United Nations. He adds that he thinks the Savage Land base might have to go, but that they can't let him just threaten their supply chain, as people rely on these drugs now. 'You're never quiet when you think I'm wrong. Are you there?' Angel calls out. 'Hello? Did you lose your temper again?' Angel asks when he gets no response from Monet. Kol opens a door and sees Angel: 'There you are. I was concerned you did something unsporting, like stepping out during our negotiations to phone a friend' Kol remarks, before he holds up Angel's phone and tells him that he saw he had left this inside, and then remembered that he is a good man. 'Of course, Jean-Pierre' Warren replies. 'Wouldn't dream of it. I'm quite enjoying hearing what you have to say' Warren adds. Kol hands Warren his phone and suggests they get back to watching the race. Angel slips his phone into his jacket pocket, and presses a button on it, that lights up part of the phone.

Back at X-Corp: 'Don't suggest things that make me lose my temper' Monet snaps as she slams a fist on the table. 'I'm not just being a #$%^&. It's something with Penance. Sometimes she comes on a little suddenly and it makes telepathy nearly impossible. Are you listening to me? I'm saying I can't do both – unless I calm down' Monet telepathically calls out to Angel. Her form switches between Penance and her human appearance, and tells Angel to ask her the details over several drinks later. 'I need you back here now, you're in danger' Monet tells Angel – then she looks horrified, 'Oh god, of course! You can't find a way back because you're in Brazil! That human slime did this on purpose!' Monet exclaims, before ripping up the console from the table. 'The console!' Trinary calls out. 'Move. I'm done playing. I'm done waiting. Sit down' Penance snaps, before announcing that it is time to get this office up in the air. 'Up in the air?' Trinary and Madrox reply in unison, both confused.

Trinary remarks that she thought there was more to this machine, and reveals that when she was talking directly to the base, it kept talking about thrusters and turbines and things. 'Does this part of the building become an escape pod or something? Monet?' Trinary asks. 'No, Trinary...and it's more than a building' Monet replies, as the entire island suddenly rises from the ocean, revealing a sprawling complex underneath it. 'So I see' Trinary replies. Madrox and a dupe hold onto each other infear, as Monet holds some controls in her hand, she exclaims that thisis phase one – no rollout needed. Monet tells her companions to hold on tight, pointing out that they haven't signed liability forms yet. Trinary looks at some holographic screens and notes that the ship – the base – appears to be solar powered, but not like any solar power she has ever seen. She comments on the impressive propulsion systems and notes some other things that are a little complex. 'That's enough unchaperoned chitchat with the home office' Monet tells Trinary, who asks Monet if she needs her to communicate with air traffic control. 'I do not' Monet answers.

'We're not telling anyone we're flying this thing into foreign airspace?' Trinary asks, before offering to look outside and try to talk to any cruise missiles that she sees. The table transforms into a control deck, and Monet sits at the main controls. Trinary and Madrox sit next to her, as Monet reveals that this base has a few capabilities they haven't really been public about, including that it is supposed to have an entire bridge crew – but they haven't hired them yet. She explains that Angel wanted to do a rollout, wanted to force getting everyone's attention – but she has a better idea. 'We've got some pretty intense teleportation capabilities, but they're limited' Monet states. 'Limited to what?' Madrox asks. 'Krakoan gates' Monet replies. 'That's perfect! You said the Savage Land plant is under threat? There's a gate right in front of the processing plant. It's on a little island, but we can get there right away – no one who can't use the gate is gonna beat us there' Madrox smiles. 'Relax' Monet tells him. 'How does it work?' Madrox asks, looking at the console panel in front of him. 'Take your seat' Monet instructs Madrox.

Madrox asks if he should start making dupes so that when they arrive they have a unit to get in and stop them. 'Trinary, can you do anything to stop this security breach? Can you like...distract it?' Madrox asks. 'Flirt with it?' Trinary replies, before stating that it seems to be literal ransomware – and the user deactivates it when they have received a certain amount of money. 'Change of plans' Monet suddenly declares. 'What?' Madrox asks, wide-eyed. 'Executive decision. We're going to pick up Angel' Monet reports. 'Didn't you just say that my Savage Land lab was under attack?' Madrox asks. 'Does anyone work there that isn't a dupe?' Monet asks. '.. .no?' Madrox responds. 'Then I'll buy you whatever needs replacing' Monet tells him as the entire X-Corp island vanishes, teleporting away.

Back in Brazil, at 21:00 Brasilia Time. Angel watches the horse race, as several horses crash into each other. He remarks to Kol that he doesn't understand: 'How does threatening our Savage Land laboratory prove we need you at all?' Angel asks. 'I'll make it clearer' Kol replies, stating that the Worthington family may be of old money, but mutants and this flower venture are very much new money. 'You're entering the market with the optics of corporate heroes. And business is not hero friendly' Kol declares. He remarks that mutants are the gardeners of a flower so magical it saves the lives of people who aren't even their own. 'You come into this dirty business of dirty monet with your clean hands and your clean white wings – we don't want you. We will drive you out and remind you why there is no room for compassion among our kind' Kol warns Angel. 'Our kind?' Angel asks. 'The rich' Kol smirks. He boasts that when his case lands in front of the United Nations and everyone is so disappointed in Krakoa, he will watch the mutants' wealth plummet as they sell off tours to pay their bills.

'Then we'll pack up and leave the Savage Land, it's but one of -' Angel starts to reply, but the grinning Kol interrupts him, telling him that he can't just leave now – he has swum in the water where the sharks feed – and now he is wet with blood. 'I want to be clear about something, Monsieur Kol. If this is your game, to escalate sly corporate doublespeak with actual threats, you will lose'. Angel states. He tells Kol that if his game is to force them to choose between being good businessmen and simply good men – they will win.

In the Savage Land laboratory, 'Do you hear something?' one of the Madrox dupes asks. 'We'll just tell the boss when he gets back' another dupe suggests – when suddenly the laboratory explodes.

Angel continues speaking to Kol, telling him that they are mutants – they are different from humans in ways which Kol cannot understand. 'But here is one way in which we differ I can make very clear. Our needs are met. Our desires are within reach. You cannot buy our kind'. Kol folds his arms and tells Angel that the money is ephemeral, and warns him that he cannot just leave. 'Because my work has already been done. Your plant is in ashes. You've left a smoking crater in one of the world's most beloved sanctuaries, and no amount of Krakoan gardening will help you escape sanction. They'll blame your risky mutant engineering. I've made sure of that' Kol boasts, smiling smugly.

At that moment, in Nova Roma, several civilians look towards a Krakoan gateway, energy glows around it, and a beam of energy points upwards as the X-Corp HQ materializes above the ancient civilization.

Back in Angra dos Reis, Kol tells Angel 'With that being said, I know you're busy. And I believe we're done here'. There is a loud noise, WHUUMMMM and a light shines in the sky, as the X-Corp HQ materializes. 'It would seem not quite' Angel states. Kol looks up at the floating island and asks 'What are you doing? What the hell is that?' 'It's...proprietary and should not be out here' Angel responds. 'What?' Kol asks, before Angel informs him that it is the X-Corp HQ.

Inside X-Corp HQ, Madrox looks at several monitors depicting the explosion in the Savage Land laboratory. 'My laboratory!' he exclaims. Monet reminds him that she said she would buy anything that needed replacing. 'You don't understand. The information was in the minds of those dupes! That is irreplaceable!' an upset Madrox exclaims. He points out that it is Friday, which means a week's worth of research is gone, and he will never even know what's gone, because he didn't get a chance to reabsorb his staff. 'Well, then you don't know what you're missing, I guess' Monet responds. 'They aren't disposable, Monet!' Madrox snaps. 'And a week of work for my team is beyond what any other team can do. You owe me. And you can't pay it back!' Madrox declares. Monet glances at him as she switches to her Penance form and tells him to hold on. Madrox, Monet and Trinary look out the window to see helicopters swarming around the X-Corp HX. 'You want a seat on the board? Then follow me and earn it' Monet tells her companions as she rushes from the bridge. Trinary follows her, while Madrox tells her to have fun, and that he will be right here, sitting down in the control seat that Monet was sitting in earlier.

Angel looks up at the helicopters swarming around X-Corp HX, and one of the soldiers in a chopper orders 'Please identify yourselves and vacate the airspace'. Kol asks if it is a UFO, while a man nearby remarks that it is friendly, as he saw someone online say it was mutants. 'Unidentified object in civilian airspace. I'd be well within my rights to have my air escort open fire. I'd probably be a hero' Kol remarks to Angel. 'It's mutants. It's X-Corp!' Kol suddenly says to someone holding a camera nearby, instructing them to get Joao at the business desk on live right now, and he can send the footage. 'To paraphrase a friend, the whole world is watching us now, Kol. So you just try it!' Angel exclaims as he clenches a fist, grits his teeth and takes flight. 'He's headed for the base. Open fire!' Kol orders.

Angel concentrates hard as he flies towards the X-Corp HQ, dodging the choppers in the air, he tells Monet that he doesn't know if she is listening to his thoughts, but if she is, then she needs to open up that base, as he is on his way in. Angel's skilful flying enables him to narrowly miss weapons-fire that is blasted towards him. Outside on one of the open areas of the HQ, Penance sees Angel coming to them. Angel!' she calls out, reaching towards him, as he dives down onto the island. 'Welcome onboard!' Monet exclaims, while Trinary stands next to her and Madrox arrives on scene. Angel drops down, his wings slightly singed from weaponsfire, while Monet reverts to her human form and points out that Angel managed to do it without getting mad and letting the inner him out. 'One thing we don't share' Monet admits. 'Happy Friday, CXO Worthington' Monet smiles. 'Happy Friday, CXO St Croix' Angel replies as they shake hands. 'Now, Madrox' Monet remarks, as the entire HX begins to hum and a glow surrounds it.

'Liftoff. Currently ascending to the ionosphere. Please stay in the recycled air as temperatures out on the deck are measured in kelvin' a voice announces over the intercom. 'Who's flying this?' Angel asks. 'My staff learns quickly – they know everything I know' Madrox declares. Monet tells everyone that once they ascend out of heligun range, they can try to check the stock tickers. She adds that she had hoped the unveiling of the new HQ is making such an international splash that the Savage Land isn't even trending. Angel states that he understands things didn't go as planned today, and that they were supposed to do a rollout. 'Xavier's probably furious. Poor Wind Dancer had months of spreadsheets, you know' Angel adds. 'I'm furious too, actually, if we're doing expense reports...' Madrox mutters, before Monet asks Warren if this isn't what he wanted – and remarks that they are going to be 24-hour news for days with this. 'You can’t buy what we got here today' Monet explains, as the X-Corp HQ blasts off above the Earth, camera crews filming the spectacular display.

Down below, Kol frowns as he looks up into space, and someone informs him that the mutants have ascended, that they cannot reach them. 'What do we do?' they ask, but Kol has no answers.

Characters Involved: 

Angel, Multiple Man, Penance, Trinary (all X-Corp)
Bishop, Forge, Jumbo Carnation, Sunspot, Wind Dancer, Professor X

Jean-Pierre Kol (Noblesse Pharmaceuticals)

Camera crew
Indian Mutant Defense Force officers

Story Notes: 

This iteration of X-Corp is the business-side of Krakoa and mutant kind. Sunspot first mentioned X-Corp in New Mutants (4th series) #2. Monet and Angel were seen working for X-Corp in X-Men: Empyre #1.

Previously, X-Corporation, was a global mutant organization with offices and teams, or operatives, set up in several major cities around the world to deal with mutant issues on a more global scale.  It was first established in New X-Men Annual 2001.

X-Corp should not be confused with the para-military group X-Corps which was established by Banshee in Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #401. Monet was actually a member of this group, although it was quickly disbanded.

Wind Dancer spent some time in the Mojoverse prior to X-Factor (4th series) #3. She was killed on Mojo World, but resurrected in X-Factor (4th series) #5.

The Indian Mutant Defense Force were previously seen in X-Men: Red.

Magneto led the trip to Jerusalem in House of X #1. Jean-Pierre Kol previously appeared in that issue and in House of X #5.

This issue includes a one-page dossier called the Savage Land Flower Processing Plant, from Noblesse Pharmaceuticals to the International Court of Justice, although it was not submitted. It queries the rights of the Krakoans to cultivate and process plants from the Savage Land. Presumably this is the piece of paper Kol gives to Angel after lunch.

Madrox has experience working in labs, notably he was Moira MacTaggert's lab assistance for some years on Muir Isle, beginning in X-Men (1st series) #104.

Trinary was introduced as having trouble with Indian authorities for being a sort of cyber Robin Hood during her first appearance in X-Men Red #2.

Monet and Madrox are friends, having both served as longtime members of X-Factor Investigations, commencing with X-Factor (3rd series) #1 and lasting for years. Prior to that, they both briefly served as members of the X-Corporation, based in Paris, as seen in New X-Men (1st series) #128-130.

Included at the end of this issue is a newspaper article titled “X-Corporation on the Map” which notes that the market has soared following the x-ceptional display in Brazil.

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