X-Factor (4th series) #1

Issue Date: 
September 2020
Story Title: 
Suite No. 1: Aurora Moratorium

Leah Williams (writer), David Baldeon (artist), Israel Silva (colorist), Virtual Calligraphy's Joe Caramagna (letterer), Tom Muller (designer), Ivan Shavrin (cover artist), Tom Muller; Davod Baldeon; Ema Lupacchino & Neerjar; Otto Scmidt; Larry Stroman, Mark Morales & Jason Keith (variant cover artists), Nick Russell (production), Annalise Bissa (assistant editor), Jordan D White (editor), CB Cebulski (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

On Krakoa, Northstar senses that his twin sister, Aurora, has died. He races to the Hatchery and demands that the Five resurrect his sister. Hope explains that they need to establish cause of death before a mutant can go in line for the resurrection process. Unimpressed, Northstar goes to speak with Sage, who monitors the comings and goings on Krakoa, and gives him information about his sister's recent whereabouts. Northstar speeds to the Green Lagoon Tiki bar where he questions the Blob, who tends bar, but gets nowhere, until Polaris tells Northstar that he is going about this all wrong, and suggests they form a task force to investigate what happened to Aurora. Daken overhears them and offers to join them, but they aren't interested in having him with them. They begin to put together a squad to assist them – consisting of the newly resurrected Prodigy, and Rachel Summers. The four gather at a gateway, and Daken joins them. They don't want him to accompany them, but after he uses his powers to manipulate a child who doesn't want to go through the gate, they relent, and he accompanies them through the portal to their destination, Bellingham in Washington – where they are surprised as Eye-Boy rushes through the portal to join them after learning of their expedition. They visit the hotel where they determine Aurora spent some time, although they don't know why. Rachel uses her chrono-skimming to replay Aurora's last moments at the motel, while Daken flirts with the motel attendant to obtain information about Aurora. The group works well together, although they tend to exclude Daken, and start to leave the motel without him. They arrive at a bridge where they learn that Aurora crashed through the barrier and fell into the river below. They group works together to locate the car Aurora was in, and once they raise it from the water, Northstar finds his sister's body and races away to the Hatchery, where he gives Aurora's body to the Five. It is determined that the Council need to be made aware of this situation because of the way that Aurora died. Daken picks up Aurora's body and starts to carry her away, only for Northstar to race after him. Daken explains he is taking Aurora's body to the Healing Gardens so an autopsy can be undertaken, and assures Northstar that he is not his enemy. Two hours later, Polaris and Prodigy address the Quiet Council, informing them what they know so far about the mysteries surrounding Aurora's mysterious death, and propose that X-Factor Investigations be reformed, and the Five second this proposal. The Quiet Council agree, with X-Factor's new purpose to investigate mutant missing persons and suspected deaths and murders. The Council presumes Polaris will lead the team, but Polaris suggests Northstar, and he agrees. When Magneto questions Polaris, his daughter, about turning down leadership, she tells him that he clearly doesn't know her, and flies away. Polaris lands in the Krakoan wilds, where she shares a bond with the island nation itself, and use her powers to create a massive tower called the Boneyard, where X-Factor will make their new home and headquarters. The Five arrive and give X-Factor a tree that grows bagels, while Forge gifts them with fleet seeds, a high-tech messenger system. The fleet seeds are released, and hundreds of messages regarding missing mutants are received, so Northstar tells his team that it is time to get to work.

Full Summary: 

'Jean-Paul... are you okay?' a voice calls out, as Jean-Paul Beaubier appears to be lost in deep thought. Gazing into his coffee, he sees an image of his sister, Aurora, falling. Northstar's husband, Kyle Jinadu-Beaubier, holds a plunger of coffee and tells Jean-Paul that he looks like he has seen a ghost. 'Aurora's dead' Northstar utters, wide-eyed.

At the Arbor Magna Hatchery, Hope Summers rests on a window and looks out at the hundreds of mutants gathered beneath the sprawling tree where she stands, placing candles, photos and gifts on an altar below. Some of them hang photos of missing loved ones on a tree, while Fabio Medina a.k.a. Egg approaches Hope, who is drinking some coffee, and asks if she ever thinks about how she is the resurrection special sauce. Hope laughs at this, and spits her coffee out, before they year a strange noise, and Northstar speeds into the room. 'What th-' Fabio begins, as Northstar announces that his sister died, and he wants them to bring her back. 'What is wrong with you? You can't just cut the line and barge in here with demands like that!' Hope exclaims, pointing a finger at Northtar, while Fabio tries to hold her back. Hovering over her, Northstar declares that he saw no “line” - only two resurrection workers sipping coffee while enjoying a view of their gift-bearing, groveling supplicants outside. 'Oh, is that the problem? Did I not bring enough presents to make you feel like doing your job?' Northstar asks.

'Guys! What was -' Kevin MacTaggart a.k.a. Proteus calls out as he enters the room with Josh Foley a.k.a. Elixir and Eva Bell a.k.a. Tempus, who mutters 'Oh no'. Hope asks Northstar what he means by “supplicants” - as all those people outside have come here for the same reason as he has – except, he cut the line, flying past hundreds of people all making resurrection requests on behalf of their loved ones – and then he mocked them for it. 'What -' Northstar begins, while a nervous Fabio explains that it is more of a figurative line, a protocol queue, and reveals that they were inundated with so many requests that they had to start establishing some rules, like, for example, proof of death.

'What?' Northstar asks again. 'Um, how did you find out about Aurora's passing?' Egg enquires. Northstar explains that he sensed it, he felt it happen, to which Hope tells him that they still need definitive proof Aurora died before they can begin her resurrection process. 'I mean, dude, you understand why, right? We can't be out here making duplicates all willy-nilly...' Elixir remarks, before Proteus tells Northstar that if he doesn't mind, they have still got the other 16.5 million dead mutants to keep bringing back. 'What do you expect me to do? I felt her die!' Northstar calls out. The Five turn and start to walk away, as Hope glances back and tells Northstar that he should have no problem proving it, and Elixir suggests that he talk to Sage, as she might be able to help. At that moment, the sun shines down through the leaves of the large tree-home that the Five work in, while outside, those waiting for the resurrection of loved ones continue to look up at the tree.

'I can't help' Sage announces, not bothering to turn from her busy computer station to even look at Northstar when he arrives in her office. 'Why not?' Northstar snaps, arms folded. Sage slumps over and props her head up with a hand as she tells Northstar that even if his rudeness wasn't making her feel belligerent, she is not running a police state. 'I don't keep track of the comings and goings of individual mutants – I monitor transit' Sage explains. 'So you're useless, then' Northstar mutters. Sage doesn't respond, before mumbling 'First Beast, then Boom-Boom, now this clown. Why does everyone on Krakoa think I'm a $#%&*#%^ babysitter...', before she asks if Aurora drinks. 'No. Of course not' Northstar responds. An image appears on a monitor as Sage asks Northstar if he is sure about that – because this footage shows Aurora leaving the Green Lagoon Tiki Bar about five nights ago, then she exited Krakoa through the Vancouver gate. 'And that's the last I h-' Sage begins, before Northstar flies away. 'Sure. You're welcome. Bye' Sage calls out.

An instant later, Northstar speeds into the Green Lagoon Tiki Bar. 'Hey, JP. Good to see you' Fred J Dukes a.k.a. Blob greets him from behind the bar, where he is cleaning some glasses. Someone can be seen sitting at the other end of the bar as Northstar takes a seat in front of the Blob, informing him that Aurora is dead. 'Well, $#%&' Blob replies, asking what happened. Northstar tells the Blob that he is trying to figure that out, but he needs “proof of death” to appease those haughty little resurrection monkeys. Northstar adds that every Krakoan “authority” he has requested assistance from in finding that proof has been extraordinarily unhelpful thus far – too busy with whatever it is they do that's so much more important than a dead and missing mutant. 'I... I think it's just other dead and missing mutants, Jean-Paul...' Blob suggests, before Northstar asks him if he remembers seeing his sister here a few nights ago. The Blob confirms that Aurora was around for that big opening party they hosted, but that she left pretty early.

Northstar states that that was the last time Aurora was on Krakoa, and shortly after leaving here, she traveled via gate to Vancouver, but was never registered returning. He asks the Blob if Aurora talked to anyone, but the Blob doesn't recall seeing her speak to anyone, although he offers to ask around.

Suddenly, the person at the other end of the bar looks up and calls out 'Okay, I'm just gonna throw this out there – you're going about this all wrong'. It's Lorna Dane a.k.a. Polaris, and she leaves the bar with Northstar, who asks 'A task force?' 'Investigative' Polaris explains. 'For hire?' Northstar queries. 'For the greater good' Polaris tells him. 'For Aurora?' Northstar asks. 'For now' Polaris responds, before Northstar asks her who is the most suitable. Lorna explains that “suitable” happens after “available”. 'Oh, who's av-' Northstar begins, when suddenly, someone outside the bar reaches up from the ground where they are sprawled out and grabs Polaris by her ankle, mumbling something incoherently.

Lorna and Jean-Paul look down to see Daken lying on the ground. 'What did you just say?' Lorna asks. 'Who cares?' Northstar tells her, before Daken announces that he is available. Jean-Paul and Lorna don't answer him, instead they take flight, as Daken shouts out 'COWARDS! You could've just said no!'

Northstar asks 'Who's both available and suitable?' Polaris reports that Prodigy is available, to which Northstar tells her that he thought Prodigy lost his powers. Lorna reports that he was just resurrected.

'Poop' Rachel Summers a.k.a.  Prestige frowns at her Warwolf pup which she has on a leash as Northstar asks which of the telepaths isn't currently spoken for. Polaris tells him that Rachel was freelancing with Excalibur last she heard, but that she will give her a call.

'Amazing Baby. You have to poop' Rachel tells the pup.

Northstar asks Polaris if there is anybody else she can think of who would be useful to an investigation, to which Polaris tells Northstar that she thinks they are good, and at that moment,

Trevor Hawkins a.k.a. Eye-Boy is sitting on a deck, sticking goggley-eye discs onto his shoes – a pair of Crocs.

Later, Polaris, Northstar, Prodigy and Prestige – with Amazing Baby – are gathered in front of a Krakoan gateway. Polaris offers to post on “mutiesunmuted” to see if anyone else is interested in joining them. 'Couldn't hurt. The more the merrier' Northstar replies. Polaris gets her cellphone out and begins to post, while Rachel tells Amazing Baby not to eat something, when she sees it munching away on something near the gateway. Northstar shakes Prodigy's hand as he thanks him and Prestige for agreeing to help find out what happened to Aurora on such short notice, as it means a lot to him. Prodigy exclaims that he is glad to be back in the power saddle, and thanks Northstar for inviting him. 'Try not to look so gleeful about my sister's death' Northstar orders. Polaris tells the others that she has made the post, and said in it that they will be here for the next few minutes.

'Why wait?' Daken asks as he approaches the others. 'It only took me five minutes' he points out. Polaris looks up at Daken and tells him that isn't really the boastful innuendo he seems to think it is. 'Oh, is that what we're doing? Well, in that case – it would only take me three minutes, if you were having a good day' Daken smiles as he leans in towards Polaris. 'Not you. Go away' Northstar snaps, stepping between Daken and Polaris. Daken asks Northstar if he is too good to work with reformed rabble, and assures him that his super villain days were a long time ago. 'I was finding myself and really Eat-Pray-Killing it up at the time' Daken adds. Northstar explains that he does not enjoy messes – and that Daken is twelve kinds of messy

Meanwhile, a woman drags her screaming child towards the gateway: 'Shhh, no, sweetie, it's okay! It's okay!' the green-skinned woman tells her child. '

You're such a potent concentration of “disaster bisexual” that I fear your chaos is contagious' Northstar continues berating Daken, but Daken replies 'Nah, not when you've got “distinguished bi” Prodigy around to keep things balanced'. So, Northstar tells Daken that they don't need an “enforcer”, or whatever it is that Daken seems to think he has to offer something to an investigation.

The woman is still struggling with her child, 'Come on, sweetie. Please? Don't you want to go see Grandma?' she asks. 'No! Her breff is stinky like dookie!' the child cries out, causing Prestige, who is watching, to laugh.

Daken leans into Northstar and tells him that “Enforcer” is type-casting. 'Oh – do you do anything other than slice and flirt? I didn't know' Northstar mutters. 'As a matter of fact... I have many talents. So how about we allll just.... calm down' Daken replies, turning to the irritated child. 'Huh?' Northstar asks. 'Daken's pheromone manipulation' Polaris explains, as the child suddenly calms down. 'I hate grandma' the kid admits. 'You – you don't mean that, sweetie' his mother remarks, picking him up. 'Yes, he does' Prestige announces. 'You're raising a psychopath. Just so you know' Prestige frowns at the woman, who carries on into the portal with her child.

'What the hell was that about?' Polaris asks. 'Kid was dreaming too loud about kicking Amazing Baby' Prestige reveals. 'Get 'im, Rachel' Prodigy exclaims, while Polaris asks if the kid was scared. 'I mean, Amazing Baby is a warwolf...' she points out. 'Kid didn't know that' Prestige replies.

As the five heroes walk through the portal, Northstar asks Daken why he is so intent on helping. 'Because I'm bored and your sister's hot. The sooner Aurora gets resurrected and starts walking around Krakoa again wearing those -' Daken begins, before Northstar interrupts him: 'Okay, okay!'

The heroes arrive through the portal, and Prodigy tells everyone to wait up, as he can do some digital recon before they hit the street, adding that he can probably narrow down where Aurora went from here. Northstar boasts that he could search the entire city from top to bottom in thirty seconds, to which Prodigy claims that his way is smarter, and asks Northstar if he has checked Aurora's social media activity. 'Aurora doesn't use social media' Northstar responds.

Suddenly, someone runs through the portal from the Krakoa side. 'Wait' they call out, before they re-appear in on the other side – slamming into Prodigy and causing him to drop his phone. The hurried mutant falls to the ground – it's Eye-Boy, who looks up at Polaris and tells her that he is sorry he is late. 'Honestly? No one cares' Daken mutters, while Polaris tells him to shut up. Prodigy picks up his phone and asks Northstar how sure he is that Aurora doesn't use social media. 'Scale of one to “I don't know my own twin”' Prodigy mutters. Northstar pauses, before asking Prodigy what he found.

Shortly, at a motel just outside Bellingham in Washington. 'Well, for starters, I know where she went... I just don't know why. Yet' Prodigy announces as he and the others stand outside a motel room. Polaris uses her powers to unlock a motel room door from the inside, and once inside, Northstar speeds about the room searching for clues, while the others take a closer look around. Prodigy explains that it was easy enough to reverse engineer Aurora's digital trail and bring them to the motel room she stayed at for the past week. 'But what was she even doing here?' Prodigy wonders. 'This room smells like $#%&. I'm going to interrogate the front desk clerk' Daken announces. “Interrogate”? Polaris asks. 'Tomayto, tomahto' Daken mutter as he leaves the room, while Prodigy reveals that Aurora prepaid for this motel room a week in advance. 'How can you tell?' Northstar asks. 'Uh... 'cos I'm good at this. Also, there' a receipt on the counter' Prodigy explains.

In the office, Daken stands before the front desk clerk and remarks 'Tall. Gorgeous. Long, dark hair. I'm sure you saw her'. The nervous clerk remarks that he doesn't know if he can say. 'Taking too long, super-soaker. Let's mix it up' Daken smiles, leaning across the counter. 'Wh-what?' the clerk asks as Daken grabs his tie. 'I literally could smell you had the hots for me as soon as I walked in, so let's just stop wasting our time... and get down to business' Daken suggests. The wide-eyed clerk smiles, and tells the shirtless Daken that he has never seen anyone with as many abs as he has in real life. 'Ha, I know right?' Daken jokes, while the clerk asks him what his question was again.

Back in the motel room, Northstar tells the others that he doesn't think there is anything else they can learn, while Polaris suggests that they need to figure out where Aurora went after this, as she expected to come back. Prodigy points out the mostly full travel-sized toothpaste that he thinks was purchased for this trip, and suggests that they back trace the barcode to see when and where it was purchased. 'And then cross reference -' he begins, before Prestige interrupts, suggesting that she could just telepathically watch Aurora's last moments in here by herself, instead. She sighs and mutters that everybody always forgets about her chrono-skimming ability. Prestige sees visions of Aurora at various stages during her motel stay and reports that she is seeing her last moments, and that Aurora doesn't seem to be in any distress. 'If you have this ability, why not just tell us how and where she died?' Northstar asks. Prestige explains that she can't, that her chrono-skimming ability is so vast and unfocussed that she has to use psychometry to even pick up the correct psychic temporal trail, first.

Touching a hairbrush, Prestige tells the others that she looks for objects Aurora interacted with to serve as her telepathic runway lights to keep following her through time, otherwise, it would be like hunting for a penny you dropped in the ocean when you were a kid – and you don't remember why ocean, or if you maybe just dreamed it. Prestige turns back to the others and reports that she can follow where Aurora went after here too, but that unless they want to spend the next two days watching her continue to track Aurora's movements in real time, she will need help narrowing it down first. Prestige holds something of Aurora's above Amazing Baby and asks the warwolf pup to smell it for her. Northstar and Polaris look at each other wide-eyed, while Prestige tells them that she thinks if Amazing Baby can track Aurora's actual scent, it will be faster than her playing a telepathic game of “hot and cold” through a spectral plane embedded with millions of years of information. 'Or however old this $#%& planet is' Prestige adds.

Back in the office, Daken leans against the counter, while the front desk clerk is now sitting on the counter and is snuggled up next to Daken. 'The same car. Every time. Local plates' he tells Daken, who asks if it is always the same guy. 'Looked like a romantic interlude if you ask me' the clerk remarks. 'How do you figure?' Daken asks. The clerk runs a finger down Daken's chest as he explains that Aurora took the trouble of doing her hair all nice, wearing all these pretty dresses for him. Suddenly, 'That's right Amazing Baby!' Prestige can be heard saying. 'Good boy!' she calls out as she follows Amazing Baby, holding onto his leash. The others follow Prestige, as the clerk asks 'Hey... aren't those your mutie pals?' Daken pats the clerk on his face and thanks him for his help, as he rushes out of the office and catches up to the others, 'Hey' he calls out to Prodigy. 'Hey. Learn anything?' Prodigy asks. 'Yeah. That we're leaving' Daken mutters. Prodigy laughs and apologizes to Daken.

Soon, the group comes to a stop on a long bridge that towers over a river beneath. Northstar and Polaris hover in the air above the bridge, while Daken asks the others if they know that he can track by scent, too, so they don't need to use the mutt. 'Don't say that. He's doing a good job' Prodigy replies, before asking Daken if he can track by scent to other dimensions. The group gather around some railings on the bridge that are missing, and Prestige reports that Aurora's trail gets murky here. 'When she... when her car goes into the water' she explains. Northstar drops down to the edge of the bridge as Prestige explains that she can use her time-travel telepathy to pick up Aurora's trail again, but that it will take her a while to sift through everything that's ever happened down there first. 'How long?' Northstar asks, before Eye-Boy announces that he can help now. He looks over the edge of the bridge and asks what he is looking for. 'Car shaped things' Prestige tells him. Seeing dozens of cars submerged beneath the water, Eye-Boy asks Prestige if she thinks she can narrow it down a bit.

'Midsize SUVs made within the last decade or so' Prestige suggests. 'Um, ok, um, Polaris, do you think you could – there's one right there – and another right there. And there -' Eye-Boy calls out to Polaris as he points down into the water below. Prodigy turns to Northstar and asks him if he is okay, to which Northstar quietly replies 'No'. Eye-Boy motions to some more vehicles in the water, 'And...um...right there too. And...there. Yeah, that's the last one' Eye-Boy states, as several vehicles now hover, suspended in the air thanks to Polaris' control over metal. 'So she's inside one of these? I'll start -' Northstar begins, but as he takes to the air, Daken grabs him and holds him back: 'No. Just let them handle this part, man' Daken tells Northstar. As Polaris continues to hold the cars in the air, Prestige begins telepathically searching them. 'I see it' she calls out, motioning to one of the cars, which Polaris brings to the front of the group, maintaining it just over the group. Prodigy reports that the car's plates match the motel's parking ledger. 'This is what we came here for, right?' Daken asks. And as he looks up through the car windscreen, where  he sees the lifeless body of his sister, Jeanne-Marie Beaubier a.k.a. Aurora, slumped over in the driver's seat. 'Yes' Northstar confirms.

Seconds later, Northstar speeds into the Arbor Magna Hatchery on Krakoa, he flew there so fast that the water surrounding Aurora's body didn't get a chance to drip away, and he places his sister's body and the water down on the ground in front of Hope Summers and the other members of the Five. 'Here, then' Northstar snaps, hovering over the Five. 'Here is your proof'. 'How... how did she die?' Hope asks, looking up at Northstar, who scowls and drops to the ground as he screams 'LOOK AT  HER, YOU USELESS TWIT!'

Egg steps between Northstar and Hope and tells Northstar that Hope is asking because if foul play was involved, they need to alert the X-Men. Tears fall down Northstar's face while Egg tells him that they will begin the resurrection process now that they have proof of death, but that if someone hurt Aurora, then they need to face justice.

Daken, Prodigy, Eye-Boy, Prestige with Amazing Baby and Polaris arrive, and as Daken crouches down next to Aurora's body, Egg asks Northstar if he knows anything about why Aurora drowned. 'I – I have no idea. I... we -' Northstar begins, as Prodigy puts a hand on Northstar's arm and tells him that they have got him. 'Dude, you and Aurora whizzed off before we could show you what else we found...' Eye-Boy calls out. Daken picks Aurora's body up, while Northstar asks his companions what they found. 'We figured out what happened' Prodigy announces. Rachel Summers and Hope Summers look at each other, 'Ay' Rachel remarks, while Hope tells her that she is sorry she missed dinner – again, and they fist-bump each other. 'And we take this proof to the X-Men now?' Northstar asks. Polaris explains that because of the nature of what happened to Aurora, she thinks they should take this to the Quiet Council. She gets her cellphone out and reports that she will tell her father that they are coming.

Northstar sees Daken carrying Aurora's body onwards through Arbor Magna and speeds after him, telling Daken to stop, he asks what he is doing with her. Daken looks over at Northstar and informs him that he is taking Aurora to the Healing Gardens morgue, because even though they know Aurora drowned, he wouldn't hurt to have Reyes do an autopsy to confirm it. 'Not everyone is your #%^&!$% enemy, Beaubier' Daken adds as he carries on, while Polaris announces that the Council is convening, and they have two hours to prepare.

Two hours later, at the Grove, most of the Quiet Council can be seen sitting in their respective seats. Magneto, Xavier, Jean Grey, Storm, Nightcrawler, Emma Frost, Sebastian Shaw, Mr Sinister and Apocalypse are all accounted for, while Polaris and Prodigy stand in the center of the grove, and Rachel, Eye-Boy, Daken and Northstar sit on the seats around the edge, behind the Council. Several holographic images are displayed above Polaris and Prodigy, who announces that at 6:37 this morning, a body identified as Bellingham, Washington, resident Eddie Avidan was pulled out of the Puget Sound – and he was dead before he hit the water. Prodigy explains that the video showing above him is of Eddie's car swerving out of control and crashing through the guardrail, which he sourced from a nearby CCTV camera. Prodigy informs the Council that it was foggy and raining when it happened, so not all of the footage can be made out, but they should get the idea. Polaris adds that they also have photos of the recent skid marks on the blacktop to back this up.

Prodigy continues, explaining that the tread patter of those matches maintenance records for Eddie's car, and the vector trajectory of the marks aligns with the break in the guardrail. Polaris states that human authorities, lacking the resources to retrieve Eddie's car, have concluded this was an accident due to the low visibility and inclement weather. Prodigy informs the Council that when Polaris pulled the car out of the water, they found a different story. Northstar hangs his head, while Polaris reports that the brake lines had been cut, and that she also sensed carbon steel caltrops embedded in the tires. Prodigy displays a simulation that they constructed of the vehicle tampering, while Polaris announces that Eye-Boy used his selective spectral vision to single out a mechanical assembly wireframe. 'And then Prodigy's psychometric ability allowed him t-' Polaris starts to say, before Emma Frost interrupts her: 'Yes, yes we can see how delightfully clever you all are. But what does this have to do with poor Aurora?' she asks. 'She was the one driving Polaris reveals.

Polaris tells the Council that Daken has heightened senses and that he could smell faint traces of brake fluid still clinging to the car, even after she raised it out of the bay, and that it was Daken who suggested they check to see if the brake lines had been cut in the first place. 'You're welcome' Daken calls out, while Northstar raises his head, but says nothing. Polaris continues, reporting that Eddie had not even been in the car at all, that he had been standing where the guardrail break is. Prodigy explains that they think Eddie was lying in wait to dump Aurora's body in the Puget and retrieve his vehicle, but that he miscalculated how the rain would affect the distance of a car skidding after crossing the caltrops trap he had set up. Prodigy reports that their best guess as to Eddie's motive concerns the anti-mutant terrorist militia that he has been involved with in the past.

'Aurora most likely died because an anti-mutant bigot tampered with a car he knew she'd be driving. And he died because he was stupid. What we still don't know are all the whys of Aurora being there, or driving the car, or how Eddie knew where she'd be going – and with Eddie dead, we obviously can't ask him anything' Prodigy announces, adding that based off the proof of death they are able to provide, they would like to request that the Council pass a motion sanctioning the official formation of X-Factor Investigations. Egg, Elixir, Hope, Tempus and Proteus are sitting nearby, and Hope stands up, raising her hand she tells the Council that the Five seconds the proposal. 'We need X-Factor' she states, explaining that if Northstar hadn't sensed Aurora's death, it could have taken them days to realize she was even missing. Northstar reports that Sage mentioned to him that she had already been contacted a few times with missing-persons inquiries, but apparently, that destracts from her normal duties. He adds that Sage might be persuaded to assist an X-Factor workflow in simply monitoring who does go missing, however.


Charles Xavier announces that it has been discussed that a new organization should be formed with purposes of investigating mutant missing persons and suspected deaths and murders so as to confirm when the resurrection process should begin. 'You all answer the first. Is this the assistance the Five had in mind?' Magneto asks, folding his arms. Egg looks up at Magneto and informs him that they have been slammed with resurrection requests, and that they have got to figure this queue priority stuff – like, now. Elixir suggests that they could use an X-Factor team's help in throttling the flow of resurrection requests. Hope folds her arms as she tells the Council that they are having to turn away too many people for lack of proof, which slows trhem down. She adds that Northstar wouldn't be the first person who has needed help finding the proof. 'But it is the first time anyone's done it' Proteus remarks. 'Let alone in under a day' Tempus smirks.

Xavier asks if there are any objections, or whether they are all in agreement that this is to be done. No one raises any objections, so Jean Grey smiles and announces that it is settled. 'Bring them home, Lorna' Storm adds, before Polaris suddenly announces that she nominates Northstar for leadership. 'Quoi?' the shocked Northstar exclaims. Xavier asks Northstar if he wishes to lead the new X-Factor Investigations, and Northstar quickly stands up, 'What? No! Wait – okay. Yes. Oui. I do. I will' Northstar responds. 'Smooth' Rachel mumbles.

As Northstar, Polaris, Prodigy, Daken and Eye-Boy leave the Grove, Magneto goes after them, 'A word?' he calls out to Lorna, who turns to her father as he tells her that was impressive, what the six of them accomplished today – but that he is concerned she would shirk such an important leadership role. 'Why have you done this?' he asks her. Lorna tells her father that she has her reasons, to which Magneto tells her that may be, but reminds her that she has a name here – his name – and with that comes no small measure of expectation. 'Father – if you had to describe my personality, what would you say?' Polaris replies, ignoring her father's comments. Magneto falls silent as he stares back at Polaris. Polaris smiles and tells her father that it is okay, that she wouldn't know how to answer that, either. 'But I would like to learn' Polaris calls out as she takes flight. Magneto looks up at her and tells her that she will return to the House of M for tea regularly. 'Of course. Good night, Father' Polaris responds. 'Good night, Lorna' Magneto utters, smiling.

Shortly, under the star-lit night sky, Polaris descends down into the Krakoan wild, and calls out 'Krakoa... are you there?' Strange colorful metals rise from the ground, and Lorna asks Krakoa if they remember how they first met. The colorful metal begins to retreat back into the ground, but Lorna laughs and tells Krakoa that she is sorry and to come back. 'That was a dumb way to approach you asking for a favor' Lorna admits as she leans into the colorful metals, explaining that the two of them have known each other for such a long time, before asking Krakoa if they can try making something together. Lorna stands up and thanks Krakoa – for everything. There is a loud rumbling, and green energy flows upwards in the middle of the Krakoan wilds. Polaris hovers in the green glow, telling Krakoa that she had forgotten how mineral rich they were until she was living here. 'Every step I take on Krakoan soil imbues me with strength – your strength'. Polaris adds that she doesn't know if Krakoa can feel the connection the same way she can, before setting back down on the ground. She tells Krakoa that she has been meaning to thank them, because for the first time in her life, she feels like a person and not someone's problem. Lorna then climbs into one of the colorful metal objects and lies down, 'And I used to feel alone all the time, but now I feel you...' she utters as she falls asleep.

The next morning, Lorna wakes to find Daken standing over her, laughing as looks up at the new building that towers over them. 'You know what this place kinda looks like? I'm calling this place the Boneyard' Daken announces. Polaris sits up and looks up at the bone-like building that she and Krakoa created, while Prodigy, who arrives carrying some luggage, snorts. Eye-Boy looks up at the structure, while Amazing Baby suddenly runs past Polaris and Daken, making a shrill bark-like noise, as Rachel calls out to it, telling it to get back here. Amazing Baby stops in front of Rachel, and begins to poop. 'Seriously? Now?' Rachel asks, shrugging. Northstar and his husband Kyle arrive, dragging several suitcases behind them, Northstar asks Polaris what she is doing here and if she is all right. Polaris tells him that she is, and that she is just thinking. 'About how grateful I am that you're the one in charge' Polaris adds. Northstar helps Polaris out of the colorful metal and asks her if he can count on her to tell him when he is doing literally everything wrong. 'Oh, always' Lorna assures him.

Polaris, Northstar and Kyle enter the Boneyard, and Kyle looks around in amazement, telling Polaris that she did a really nice job with this place. Polaris thanks him and explains that she collaborated with Krakoa. Eye-Boy rushes down a staircase and announces that there is an indoor pool. 'That's the bathroom' Daken tells him, while Rachel claims dibs on the basement. 'Which part?' Prodigy asks her. 'The whole part. Dibs on the whole basement' Rachel declares.

Later that night: 'A'rrright, think I got it. Hand me that doohickey' Forge calls out as he tinkers with some equipment in X-Factor's headquarters. Forge thanks Sage, who drinks something and mumbles 'Mmhmph'. Prodigy is with them, and explains 'What we get through here filters through you first, Sage?' to which Sage replies 'Mmhmph'. Forge adds that he set up a new alert protocol with Cerebro, informing the others that 'If Cerebro is unable to pull a mutant's backup for about a month...' his voice trail off as Sage continues, '... I'll get flagged with an auto-generated report of the list of potentially missing or dead. Then I'll cross-reference that with any gateway activity, and if I can't find them...' her voice trails off, to which Prodigy states that the alert will come to X-Factor, and they will open an official investigation into the mutant's disappearance.

'Check it out! I made us a flyer!' Eye-Boy calls out as he approaches Polaris and Rachel who are sitting nearby. 'Pretty sweet, dude' Rachel tells him, while, nearby, Daken is leaning against a wall, and sees Kyle standing nearby. 'So, Kyle... d-' Daken begins, before Northstar speeds over, coming between the two of them and frowning at Daken, just as there is a knock on the door. Northstar opens the door and finds the Five standing there. Egg announces that they wanted to say how happy they are to be working with X-Factor and bring them a housewarming gift. 'It's... a bagel plant!' Elixir exclaims. 'They're not as good as Montreal bagels, I'm sorry' Hope adds as she holds the planet. 'We tried a few different times, but -' Tempus begins, before Northstar thanks them and takes the bagel plant.

Prodigy asks Forge what happens if someone is missing but being held captive, as Cerebro would still be pulling backups, so they won't appear on the alert, and asks how someone would submit a case to them directly. 'What if people want to submit an anonymous tip or emergency requests concerning missing or murdered mutants to us before the requisite month has passed?' Prodigy asks. Forge tells him that Krakoa has them there, and holds some small seeds in his hand which he explains are called fleet-seeds, zero-waste, sustainably designed proxy messenger system with a passive psychic interface. 'You just kinda whisper to 'em and the wind takes care of the rest' Forge adds. Forge remarks that if the fleet seeds end up working well for X-Factor, then they can plant bushes of them around Krakoa like public safety emergency beacons. 'We'll see how it goes. I only planted ac couple bushes for now' he adds.

Forge then announces that the tech organic is all online, and Sage's potential missing mutants report is already chugging through. 'So if folks start submitting cases via fleet seeds, it'll be pretty obvious' Forge remarks, when suddenly, dozens and dozens of small pink blobs appear in the air around the mutants. 'These are -' Prodigy begins. '- all cases?' Sage asks. 'Yup' Forge confirms. Polaris, Daken, Rachel, Prodigy and Eye-Boy all turn to Northstar, who asks them why they are all looking at him, before he frowns and shouts 'Let's get to work!'

Characters Involved: 

Daken, Eye-Boy, Northstar, Polaris, Prestige, Prodigy IV (all X-Factor)

Egg, Elixir, Proteus, Hope Summers, Tempus (all The Five)

Aurora (body only)

Amazing Baby

Kyle Jinadu-Beaubier

Blob, Forge, Sage


Apocalypse, Emma Frost, Magneto, Marvel Girl, Mister Sinister, Nightrawler, Sebastian Shaw, Storm, Professor X (all Quiet Council of Krakoa)


Unnamed Krakoan civilians

Motel clerk

Story Notes: 

Technically this is the fifth, X-Factor series, although  it is known as X-Factor (4th series). The original series debuted in 1986 and the team consisted of the original X-Men, who were at times joined by a group of young mutants called the X-Terminators (including Boom-Boom, Rictor, Skids and Rusty). The purpose of the original X-Factor was that posed as mutant hunters, but in fact rescued mutants from danger. Over time they became more of a traditional mutant super team. This team lasted until #70 of that series, when the members rejoined the X-Men. From 1991's #71-#149, the team acted as the government's mutant agents. Originally the team consisted of Havok, Polaris, Strong Guy, Multiple Man, Woflsbane and Quicksilver. They were accompanied by their government liaison Valerie Cooper, and were later joined by Forge. The team had an off-again on-again relationship with the government, and sometimes worked against them. They also had Sabretooth and Mystique forced onto the team at times in an attempt for the villains to pay for their crimes. The series ended in 1998. An unrelated four-issue mini series focusing on mutant civil rights was released in 2002.

The third series of X-Factor, with the team officially known as X-Factor Investigations, was launched in 2005, with X-Factor (3rd series) #1. The team acted as a detective agency and consisted of Madrox, Strong Guy, Wolfsbane, Monet, Rictor, Siryn and Layla Miller. The roster later expanded to inlcuded Longshot, Shatterstar, Darwin, Polaris, and, briefly, Havok. The series lasted fifty issues, before being rebranded as X-Factor (1st series) #200, and continuing until #262. The fourth X-Factor series was officially titled All-New X-Factor, and lasted twenty issues, with Polaris, Gambit, Quicksilver, Cypher and Warlock working as a super team for a corporation called Serval Industries.

The opening party for the Green Lagoon Tiki Bar that the Blob refers to took place in X-Force (6th series) #9.

Northstar and Aurora were previously confirmed to be on Krakoa in X-Force (6th series) #1-2.

This issue contains a one-page text advert for the services of X-Factor, in both English and krakoan.

Northstar and Polaris have some history together, serving on the same X-Men team from Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #418 when Polaris returning to the Xavier Institute. 

Prodigy lost his powers when he was depowered on “M-Day”, although he has continued to assist the X-Men and for some time the Young Avengers without his powers since then. 

Rachel Summers was given her Warwolf pup, who she has named Amazing Baby, in Excalibur (4th series) #8.

Although she has attempted suicide on at least two occasions, this marks the first time Aurora has actually died.

Polaris has led X-Factor on several previous occasions – she was supposed to lead the team beginning with X-Factor (1st series) #149, but the team disbanded after Havok's disappearance. She then became de-facto leader of X-Factor Investigations in X-Factor (1st series) #250, and when X-Factor Investigations disbanded, she led the corporate X-Factor team in All-New X-Factor #1.

Polaris and Krakoa first met in Giant Size X-Men #1, when Polaris pushed her power further than she ever had, by absorbing Storm's lightning, Havok's solar blasts and Cyclops' optic blasts, causing a disruption in the magnetic field around Krakoa which then blasted the island into space.

Written By: