X-Factor (4th series) #8

Issue Date: 
May 2021
Story Title: 
Suite No. 8: Scio Me Nihil Scire (Tritone Substitution - - Jazz Arrangement)

Leah Williams (writer), David Baldeon (artist), Israel Silva (colorist), Virtual Calligraphy's Joe Caramagna (letterer), Tom Muller (designer), Ivan Shavrin (cover artist), Jonathan Hickman (Head of X), Nick Russell (production), Shannon Andrews Ballesteros (assistant editor), Jake Thomas (editor), CB Cebulski (editor-in-chief)


Brief Description: 

The members of X-Factor are expecting a quiet night in at the Boney0ard. Northstar and Aurora are watching a film, while Rachel is struggling with Amazing Baby, who won't stop barking at something, but she doesn't know what. She takes Amazing Baby out of her room and finds Eye-Boy, who seems to be using his powers to scope out various parts of the Boneyard, and offers to look after Amazing Baby for her. Prodigy is spending his evening continuing to investigate his death, analyzing a photo that was taken of he and Tommy. He wonders whether he should let X-Factor know about his findings. Daken is in the hot pools. He thinks he is visited by Aurora, but it's a haunting and he is attacked. He survives the experience and goes to find the others. Eye-Boy is in his quarters, cuddled up with Amazing Baby, his sight is disturbing him as he sees what is going on in the Boneyard. Daken finds him, and is able to calm Eye-Boy down, when the two of them are attacked by Siryn, who is host to the Morrigan. She chases them through the Boneyard, where they find Prodigy, after determining that the others are all dead. They find the bodies of their teammates, and realize that they have been killed in some ritual killing. Eye-Boy's powers prove particularly useful in evading the Morrigan. When Daken sees Aurora's body, he gets upset, and starts to lash out at the Morrigan, attacking her physically – also in revenge for the way she attacked him previously. The Morrigan fights back against Daken and kills him. Eye-Boy and Prodigy run for their lives with Amazing Baby. The next day, Kyle Jinadu is at the Hatchery with Eye-Boy and Prodigy when Northstar, Aurora, Daken, Rachel and Polaris are resurrected. X-Factor return to the Boneyard, which has now become a literal haunted house thanks to the Morrigan. Rachel and Polaris are able to work together to draw the Morrigan out of the terrified Siryn, who begs Polaris for help, as she can  feel the Morrigan coming back, while Northstar wants to know about the deal she has struck with the Morrigan.

Full Summary: 


The Boneyard, where Jean-Paul Beaubier a.k.a. Northstar is sitting on a sofa in the living room, shouting out to his sister. 'AUROR-' he begins, before Jeanne-Marie Beaubier a.k.a. Aurora appears. 'Tch. I'm here, I'm here' she mutters at her brother. Taking a seat on the sofa next to him, Aurora tells Northstar that she knows he is all sad and lonely because Kyle is off watching Shogo this weekend, but that there is no need to get noisy about it. Jeanne-Marie tells her brother that she wants to watch a terrible B-movie tonight – something so terrible that it feels like a fever dream. She pushes a button on the remote control and the TV depicts the film “The Birds”. Jean-Paul turns to his sister and tells her that when she left the living room to pee she was not soaking wet, and points out that now she is. 'Without explanation, one might assume you... fell... in?' Jean-Paul asks, his voice trailing off. Jeanne-Marie responds by kicking her feet up onto the couch and pressing them against her brother. 'My feet are cold!' Jeanne-Marie exclaims. 'Arretez, imp! Augh!' the horrified Jean-Paul cries out as he tries to pull himself away from his sister, who bursts into laughter.

In her basement quarters, Rachel Summers a.k.a. Prestige sits up in her bed as she tells her Warwolf pup, Amazing Baby, to give it a rest, as the pup barks loudly and repeatedly at a corner of her room. 'There's nothing there! I would sense it if there were' Rachel remarks, but the pup doesn't stop barking. Rachel sighs and gets out of bed, picking the pup up, she leaves her quarters, climbing the winding staircase within the Boneyard. 'C'mon, Baby. Let's go out. Out-out. Outside!' Rachel exclaims. But as she reaches another level of the Boneyard, she goes wide-eyed when she sees Trevor Hawkins a.k.a. Eye-Boy standing in the center of the large open area which looks upwards through the center of the Boneyard. 'Uh... hey, kiddo... what are you doing?' Rachel asks. 'What are you doing, Rachel?' Eye-Boy responds. 'Uh... Amazing Baby won't stop barking at an empty corner' Rachel remarks,

Amazing Baby struggles to break free of Rachel who holds the pup in her arms while informing Eye-Boy that Amazing Baby has been fed, watered and already went potty so she was going to see if he maybe just wants to sleep outside. 'N-no!' Eye-Boy exclaims, before asking if Amazing Baby can sleep in his room tonight. Amazing Baby barks at Eye-Boy, and Rachel decides 'He certainly seems to want that'. 'So you were just tired of hanging out with mom, huh, Baby?' Eye-Boy asks as Amazing Baby rushes over and leaps into his arms. He promises Rachel that he will take good care of Baby, and Rachel replies 'He'll take really good care of you, too'. Eye-Boy looks up through the opening of the center of the Boneyard, his mutant abilities enable him to see all sorts of things hidden throughout – and he looks scared, as he tells Baby not to worry, as he can see something, too.

In his quarters, David Alleyne a.k.a. Prodigy is examining a  holographic projection of a photograph taken of he and Tommy, where he discovers that there is an encrypted data stream under the jpeg. He looks at it closer, and the holographic projection appears to take the image of a face, which leans in to kiss David. 'AA-AH!' David screams, pulling his glasses off his face and moving backwards on his bed, away from the image, which fades away. 'Lord... that's why this VR hardware was so cheap...' the wide-eyed David reaches for his glasses, 'Stupid-ass, cheap $%#&, human-designed junky, hump scare trolling  into feed... ha, ha! So funny! Not!' David mutters.

David investigates the image – the first hidden layer reveals edits made to the photo of he and Tommy kissing. The second hidden layer reveals GPS coordinates and a date/time stamp embedded in the JPEG metadata. The third hidden layer reveals device information, the photo was taken and posted from David's old phone. David's hypothesis is that he both edited and posted this photo for him to find later, and tagging Tommy in it would make him aware of it, and thus able to provide an alibi to David's previous assumptions about how he died – although he isn't sure why he would bury probative data like this. David's assessment is that the metadata supports Tommy's claim that the chronology the Five and he pieced together and the cause of his death were incorrect. The photo was also not taken at Club Pepper in West Hollywood, but was posted from there. The photo was posted from David's old phone, but that phone hasn't been seen since before his demise, and he has no recollection as to what happened to it upon his death. David ascertains that the photo was taken and subsequently posted during a Cerebro backup blind spot – meaning the week between one backup and the next – but why? He wonders at what point he involves X-Factor.

Daken is in the hot pools still, and Auroa appears before him. 'Swim with me' she tells him.'Where?' Daken asks. 'Anywhere. Away from here' Aurora suggests. 'I'll go wherever you want, baby' Daken replies. He reminds Aurora that she saved him. 'Waited so long...' he utters while Aurora puts her hands on his face. 'In the snow...but I...didn't think you'd come' Daken, standing naked before Aurora, remarks. 'I didn't' Aurora tells him. 'Wh-what?' Daken asks, surprised. 'I...didn't' Aurora tells him once again, her eyes wide, hair suddenly blowing around her, Dkane screams as Aurora seemingly shoves her hands through his chest and forces him down under the water. 'N-no, no stop – let me go – n-no, stop, please stop. Please stop, stop. Please stop – I'll be good!' Daken cries out as Aurora's body appears to not be her after all – some mysterious force instead. Suddenly, Daken gasps for air as he bursts up through the surface of the hot pools. Water drips from his naked body as he exits the pools and puts some trousers on, before climbing a staircase to leave the hot pools.

In his quarters, Eye-Boy sits on his bed, hugging Amazing Baby. 'I...I know...I know you're there' he utters, while Amazing Baby whimpers. 'What do you want?' Trevor calls out. He quickly turns around, 'Why can't I see you?' he asks. 'I don't know how to help you if I can't look at you!' Trevor shouts. His special sight skills show him various images but he closes his eyes and screams 'PRODIGY! POLARIS! SOMEBODY! ANYBODY – PLEASE! HELP!' as he pulls his bed covers up around him to cover his face. He begins sobbing, then stops when he senses someone in his room. He pauses, before he starts to call out 'Hell-' before the covers are pulled back away from him – by Daken. 'Shut! Your fear! The $%#&! Up!' Daken snarls. He asks Trevor if he knows how loud he is right now. 'I was asleep! You woke me up! Your fear is so loud that it reeks, and it gave me a bad dream!' Daken exclaims.

Eye-Boy flings himself into Daken's arms and tells him that there is a thing that he can't see, but that it is in the Boneyard, and he almost keeps “kind of” seeing it but he can't look at it and, earlier, it won't let him look at it, either. 'I can't look at it – I can't see it!' Eye-Boy explains. 'What the – okay, okay, calm the $%#& down. Take a deep breath' Daken tells Trevor. 'Good. Take anoher deep breath. Good. Okay, and slow down and tell me what you know' Daken asks Trevor. Trevor looks up behind Daken, where he sees Siryn, possessed by the Morrigan, looming over them, uttering something in the Morrigan's language, dark energy whirls around her. Trevor screams as he, Daken and Amazing Baby begin to run, while the Morrigan attacks them with some sort of energy that crashes into Trevor's room. 'Yes. Run...RUN!' the Morrigan calls out, rising up above Daken and Eye-Boy, appearing as some strange dark figure with green energy flowing around her.

They don't get far though, as the Morrigan hurls several large spikes around them in an attempt to trap them. The Morrigan continues to mumble in her native tongue, while her eyes glow green and she grins, a mouthful of teeth on display as she slinks around the room. Before she can trap Daken and Eye-Boy completely, Prodigy rushes into the room and grabs Eye-Boy by his shirt, pulling him out into the corridor, while Daken escapes soon after. Prodigy tells his teammates that they need to turn off the TV, because if she sees the light from the hall it will draw her attention. 'Rachel's dead' Eye-Boy utters. 'Polaris, too...we're the last ones. Everybody else is dead' he announces. Prodigy tells Eye-Boy that he needs to examine Aurora and Northstar's bodies. 'Can you -' he begins, while Eye-Boy stands up, the various eyes on his body all seeing different parts of the Boneyard, as he reports that he is tracking the Morrigan, and that he will let Prodigy know if she starts moving in this direction again. His eyes depict Aurora and Northstar slumped together in some ritual killing, Polaris lying motionless on the floor and other parts of the Boneyard.

Prodigy examines the Beaubier twins and notes that they have been killed in a ritual killing, with no obvious signs of assault. He adds that there is no scent of blood or fear lingering in the air, and that it happened fast – but the weird thing is he can smell cold medicine and cheap chocolate – just like on Siryn. 'Oh...yeah, their tiny secrets are the same as Siryn's, too' Eye-Boy remarks. 'What? Like precisely the same particulates?' Prodigy asks as he kneels over the bodies of the Beaubier twins. 'Exactly the same trace evidence' Eye-Boy replies, as he moves closer to Prodigy so that Prodigy can see what he is seeing. 'What are they?' Daken asks. 'Chalk dust, honey and hollyhock pollen' Eye-Boy reports. 'Wait – those are hollyhock flowers!' Prodigy gasps as he looks at the flowers around Northstar and Aurora's heads. 'Hollyhock, honey, and chalk...$%^&! I know what happened!' Prodigy exclaims.

Eye-Boy informs his teammates that the Morrigan is coming back, as he can see her coming up the lightwell. Eye-Boy then tells Amazing Baby to go and hide. '%$^&! I can't die now! If I die, then I'm gonna have to figure out the connection between the trace evidence and the Morrigan's ritual sacrifices all over again!' Prodigy exclaims, muttering that the statistical probability of a Cerebro backup being taken at precisely the moment of death is one-in-604,800 – which is a 0.000165343% chance of full information retention! Daken appears sad as he looks at Aurora. 'Ugh, don't give me that look, Jeanne-Marie' he utters, before popping his claws, 'I know, I know...I'll distract her while you three escape' Daken tells Eye-Boy and Prodigy. 'Wh-' Prodigy begins, while Daken shouts 'WHAT'S UP, YOU NASTY HAG?' as he walks towards the Morrigan, who continues to appear as some strange spectre-like creature, dark and glowing with green energy. 'Remember me?' Daken asks, lunging towards their foe. 'Run. We should run' Prodigy suggests to Eye-Boy, as Daken begins shoving his claws into the Morrigan.

'See you – tomorrow!' Daken calls out to his teammates, as he slashes away at the Morrigan, 'You used Siryn's hypnosis on me! You made me believe I was worthless!' he exclaims, while the Morrigan laughs, and as Daken, covered in green gunk, goes wide-eyed, the Morrigan tells him that she did no such thing – he just actually believes those things of himself. Eye-Boy and Prodigy continue to run, with Amazing Baby at their feet, while the Morrigan decapitates Daken, dropping him to the ground in horrific display, while David and Trevor scream as they run from the Boneyard.

The next day, at the Hatchery, the sun glows down through the into the Hatchery, while Eye-Boy smiles and exclaims 'Welcome back! Boneyard's haunted!' as he and Prodigy stand nearby while Kyle Jinadu-Beaubier helps his husband, Northstar, emerge from the egg. Aurora, Polaris, Daken and Rachel rise from their eggs nearby. 'What?' Northstar asks. 'Er, yeah' Prodigy remarks, before announcing that he left a status report to catch them up. Polaris points out that Northstar is busy and asks for the report, while Kyle begins 'Jean-Paul, when I heard...' before he sighs. Northstar tells his husband that he is sorry for worrying him, and remarks that if it is any consolation, he has absolutely no recollection of what happened, or how he got here. 'It's all in the report!' Prodigy exclaims. Northstar thanks Kyle for being here for this. 'I know this -' he begins, while Kyle asks 'This is you? This is really you?' 'I was going  to say “I know this is not your comfort zone”' Northstar remarks. Kyle asks Jean-Paul how he can even tell if he's the real deal or not. 'It's me. Kiss me' Northstar replies, reaching out for Kyle, who pulls away: 'No, you're gooey and I have to get back to the Braddock Lighthouse after this' Kyle declares. 'Oui! So kiss your naked, gooey husband first!' Northstar exclaims. Kyle laughs and tells Jean-Paul that he gets it. 'I can see you now, you $%&#!'

'Baby boy! Miss me?' Rachel asks as Amazing Baby leaps up into her arms. Aurora looks over at Daken and asks him what the last thing he remembers is. 'Being uncomfortably impaled in the snow. You?' Daken replies. 'Ha! Oh, well...a bit more than that...' Aurora replies, as an annoyed Lorna Dane a.k.a. Polaris covers herself with a blanket and, after reading Prodigy's report, exclaims 'Killed in my sleep? That $%&#!' Charles Xavier and the Five – Hope, Tempus, Proteus, Egg and Elixir – are present, and move towards Polaris, as Xavier tells Lorna that a death goddess killed her in her sleep, so she shouldn't beat herself up over it. 'I'm not. I'm going to beat her up' Lorna retorts. 'Yes, well, seeing as the Morrigan did dispatch all of you relatively quickly last time, I would like to offer my -' Xavier begins, but Lorna interrupts him: 'Don't! You. Dare. X-Factor will handle it. But thank you' before asking Xavier not to tell her father that she died, as she is humiliated enough as it is. Xavier sighs, 'Very well' before telling X-Factor that in the event they should need any hypothetical assistance, even simply for the Boneyard's current zombie situation – 'The. WHAT?' Northstar asks. Xavier suggests that X-Factor's survivng colleagues should have debriefed them first. 'Hehe, sorry...did we bury the lede?' Eye-Boy asks. 'If you all make me have to say “It's all in the report” even one more time after this, I swear to god...' Prodigy begins.

Soon, at the Boneyard, whch is now black and glows with the same green energy as the Morrigan, who appears to have manifested beside the towering building. 'Ugh' Northstar mutters as he and Polaris hover in the air nearby. 'I'm so angry' Polaris tells Northstar. 'A mess' Northstar remarks. 'You hate mess' Polaris acknowledges. 'I do indeed' Northstar agrees. Aurora, Daken, Rachel, Prodigy and Eye-Boy all stand the ground underneath, and turn to Northstar as he drops down among them. 'D'accord, did a lap. Here is what is going to happen -' Northstar announces.

Soon, from outside the Boneyard, Rachel begins a psychic assault on ther Morrigan. She is instructed to keep slicing down through the Morrigan's consciousness until she finds and delivers Siryn within. With the entrance to the Boneyard obstructed, Polaris breaks inside via the Hanging Gardens, and once inside, she begins looking for the Morrigan. Northstar and Aurora enter through the flight deck to do a sweep of the interior, disinviting any unwanted guests and making sure none of them will provide distraction to Polaris. 'Daken wants to kill the big bug!' Daken calls out. 'I thought it looked like you'd have fun with that thing'. Northstar remarks. 'Um, Sir? Do we -' Eye-Boy asks, but Northstar tells he and Prodigy to wait outside. 'You've already done enough, and now the authority in this situation is taking the appropriate actions' Northstar adds. 

As the assault against the Morrigan continues, Polaris stands in the Hanging Gardens, over several fallen zombies. 'Garden's done. Just standard zombies' Polaris reports, before announcing thaty she is heading inside. 'Not so standard, I'm afraid...' Aurora reports from her interior sweep, where she takes down a headless Daken zombie. Rachel telepathically reports that she might need some back up, as the Morrigan closes in on her. Polaris announces that she has eyes on the Morrigan herself, and Rachel tells Polaris to keep her locked in sight. 'Little mortal, little mortal...I smell your decay...' the Morrigan utters. Rachel uses her psychic powers to keep the Morrigan at bay, but struggles, until she is finally able to pierce the Morrigan's energies, while Daken shoves his claws into part of thew Morrigan's strange body, or essence. 'Lorna, now!' Rachel cries out urgently. 'With absolute pleasure' Polaris smirks.

The Morrigan laughs, her eyes glow as she lashes out at someone approaching her. 'Foolish girl!' she exclaims as she slashes the woman with her claw-like fingers. But she sees a zombie body drop to the ground. 'Who...' the confused Morrigan begins, turning around as another figure approaches her, she slashes her, too – only it's another zombie. 'What is the meaning of this?' the annoyed Morrigan screeches. 'I used your kills as bait' Rachel calls out. 'Look up' she adds, as Polaris flies towards the Morrigan, 'Hey, sweetie' she smiles. Rachel and Polaris unleash a combined assault on the Morrigan – and it works as they tear her form from that of Theresa Rourke a.k.a Siryn.

A pained Siryn sits on the ground, closing her eyes while Polaris and the rest of X-Factor gather around her. 'Please – please, you have to help me, Lorna, she's already trying to come back, I can feel her -' Siryn begins. 'We're not going to let her hurt you anymore, Terry' Lorna assures her friend, while Northstar asks her to tell them about the new bargain she has struck with the Morrigan.


Characters Involved: 


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

Amazing Baby

Kyle Jinadu-Beaubier


Professor X

Egg, Elixir, Hope, Proteus, Tempus (all the Five)





in photograph:

Prodigy IV


Story Notes: 

The movie that Northstar and Aurora watch is “The Birds”, a 1963 classic from Alfred Hitchcock, starring Tippi Hedren.

Aurora is soaking wet after stepping into the hot tub where Daken was recuperating last issue.

Siryn has been possessed by the Morrigan since way back in X-Factor (1st series) #244.

This issue includes an email from Charles Xavier to Northstar, congratulating him on the successful de-haunting of the Boneyard, and indicating that the Quiet Council have learned of the developments regarding Eye-Boy's powers. Charles asks Northstar to keep the Council updated on Eye-Boy's developments. Northstar's response to Xavier is an email that says “No”.

The title is Latin for “I know that I know nothing”.

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