X-Force (1st series) #90

Issue Date: 
May 1999
Story Title: 
Armageddon Now, part 4: Rude Awakening

John Francis Moore (writer), Jim Cheung (penciler), Mark Morales, Rob Stull, Scott Koblish & Mei (inkers), Marie Javins (colorist), Richard Starkings & Comicraft‘s Oscar (letterers), Brian Smith (assistant editor), Bobbie Chase (editor), Bob Harras (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

Storms rage across the West Coast due to the release of the Armageddon Man. Bedlam managed to leave the vineyard and is attempting to fill up the truck he took with gas and get even further away, leaving the rest of X-Force at the mercy of King Bedlam and the New Hellions. Senator Danville pleads with King Bedlam to end this, but King Bedlam is not interested, as he wants to prove his power, and uses a device to psychically control the Armageddon Man. Siryn has a plan, but the New Hellions encourage King Bedlam to get rid of X-Force once and for all. Cannonball flies off to distract the Armageddon Man, while Feral reveals that she has the Legacy Virus. X-Force and the New Hellions engage in battle, but as Siryn tries to take down King Bedlam, Feral slashes her throat. Moonstar immediately takes command and orders Sunspot to fly Siryn to a hospital, while the battle continues. Meltdown takes on Feral, while Domino takes out Switch. Magma continues to annoy her former teammates, before Cannonball takes her out of the picture. Tarot reluctantly battles Proudstar, before Bedlam makes a surprising return, destroying the device which his brother uses to control the Armageddon Man. The storms and destruction increases, while King Bedlam reveals that he was responsible for their parents death. Moonstar helps the Senator and finds out how to stop the Armageddon Man, before King Bedlam, Feral, Switch and a reluctant Tarot all make their escape. Moonstar tells her teammates what to do, and they are aided by Magma, before a combination of Moonstar, Cannonball and Proudstar’s abilities take the Armageddon Man down. They bind him in carbon rods, before Paradigm appears, he speaks to Moonstar, before leaving. The Senator convinces X-Force to leave the Armageddon Man with him, so they do, warning him that they will be watching what he does, while Meltdown reminds him it was mutants who saved his life. They leave, and pick up Bedlam on the way out, offering him a second chance. Arriving at the hospital, it is revealed that Siryn may never speak again.

Full Summary: 

Summerfield Canyon, California, rain pours down as tonight, a young man by the name of Jesse “Bedlam” Aaronson attempts to desperately escape the ever-growing storm - and a profound sense of guilt for leaving his friends to weather the worst of that storm without him. ‘Whoo-ee! Don’t take this personal, bud, but you look like a drowned rat!’ remarks the elderly man behind the gas station counter as Jesse enters. ‘Whatever’ Bedlam replies, before asking if he can get ten bucks of gas on number one. The old man remarks that it is some night, and adds that the news says the weather has gone crazy up and down the coast, with flash floods, tornadoes and more.

The old man remarks that everybody blames El Nino, but if you ask him, it Is the Government testing the secret weather control satellite network. ‘I’m telling ya, pal, if the American people knew half of the things they shot into space they’d -’ the old man begins, before there is a massive rumbling, ‘WHOA!’ Jesse exclaims, while the old man falls off his chair and shouts ‘Duck and cover! Duck and cover!’ while various items fall of the shelves of the gas station. ‘Whew! Nothing like a little earthquake to wake up, huh?’ the old man remarks, adding that it felt like a five pointer and that he bets they are not too far from the epicenter. ‘Closer than you know’ Jesse frowns.

At that moment, in the reactor tower of the Summerfield Canyon nuclear power facility, the Armageddon Man screams in rage and the earth trembles. Years ago, after he destroyed a small New Mexico town, the United States army imprisoned him in metabolic suspension chamber, where for four decades he remained barely alive, completely unaware of the rapidly changing world outside. Newly awakened, as the turbulent energy once again builds in his body. He knows that he holds the power to destroy the world that was so long denied him. His shackles have broken and energy crackles around him.

Hundreds of yards away, in another part of the power plant, the members of X-Force - Domino, Sam “Cannonball” Guthrie, James Proudstar, Bobby “Sunspot” DaCosta, Theresa “Siryn” Rourke, Tabitha “Meltdown” Smith and Danielle Moonstar face the group responsible for the volatile creature’s revival - the mutants calling themselves the New Hellions - Christopher “King Bedlam” Aaronson, Marie-Ange “Tarot” Colbert, Maria “Feral” Callasantos, Devon “Switch” Alomar” and Allison “Magma” Crestmere, while Senator Owen Danville, a prisoner of the Hellions, stands nearby, and their other member, Paradigm, absent.

King Bedlam exclaims that in 1959, the Armageddon Man was labelled a monster because their narrow minds couldn’t see him for what he truly was - one of the first generation of post-atomic Homo Sapiens Superior, a mutant, like each of them. ‘Senator Danville excepted, of course’ Bedlam adds, before announcing that the storm outside and the tremor they just experienced are only the first of the disasters to come, and that unless his demands are met, the Armageddon Man will destroy the entire West Coast.

The Senator puts a hand on Bedlam’s shoulder, ‘Hang on, Bedlam, you assured me none of this would happen if I relayed your demands to Washington’ he exclaims, asking Bedlam why he could not wait for the White House to reply. Aaronson explains that without a demonstration, the Government would be deploying commandos to storm the power plant as they speak, so this way, they understand that his threats are extremely real. ‘B-but you can’t control that thing. It’s not like you or me. It’s an unthinking engine of absolute destruct-’ the Senator begins, before King Bedlam knocks him backwards, telling him to be quiet or else he will scramble his brain until he is a gibbering idiot.

King Bedlam calls out to Tarot, ‘If you please’ he remarks. ‘Voila, Christopher’ Marie-Ange replies as she opens a small case and presents it to her lover. Bedlam smirks as he places the device from the case on his head, announcing that it is a psionic amplifier, developed by England’s ultra-secret Black Air to enhance telepathic transmissions. Telling everyone to observe the monitor, King Bedlam announces that even though he cannot control the Armageddon Man’s movements, he can telepathically paralyze him with confusion, leaving him frozen like a deer in a car’s headlights.

Turning to the Senator, King Bedlam smirks as he remarks that he is sure the President is up, and suggests they call him to arrange for funds to be transferred into his off-shore accounts. ‘And let me remind you that this isn’t a negotiation. The United Nations gave Magneto a country’ he adds, pointing out that his own demands are a bargain in comparison.

Domino quietly asks Siryn, leader of X-Force, what the call is. Theresa replies that so long as Bedlam controls the Armageddon Man, he has to be their first target. Proudstar points out that they will have to move fast before Bedlam can turn his mental powers on them. ‘Then you need a distraction’ Cannonball declares, telling Siryn to hit Bedlam, before he blasts away, announcing that the Armageddon Man belongs to him. ‘Blast it, Sam, no…I didn’t give the order!’ Siryn calls out. ‘You know how guys are Theresa. Even the nicest ones get macho and stupid now and then’ Meltdown points out.

Switch tells King Bedlam to do something, as Cannonball could ruin everything for them. King Bedlam smirks as he tells Devon that there is a reason the army kept the Armageddon Man on ice for forty years. ‘Try as they might, they couldn’t kill him. He’s nearly invulnerable. Cannonball’s about to meet the proverbial immovable object!’ Bedlam gloats.

Mere seconds later, in the reactor building, Cannonball blasts towards the Armageddon Man and realizes that the Armageddon Man does not seem to be aware he is here. ‘Cant say Ah like sucker punching an opponent, but Ah don’t have much choice now’ Cannonball declares, but as he moves closer to the Armageddon Man, the behemoth’s arm rises, and an energy backlash causes Sam to scream in agony as he galls to the ground. Sam tells himself that his force field is supposed to protect him, before realizing that he thinks he has cracked a rib. ‘Probably deserved that for rushing in without thinking. Didn’t think he could move so fast. Guess he showed me’ Sam remarks.

Back in the control room, the others watched Sam’s encounter with the Armageddon Man on the monitors. ‘Hah! Looks like Mr Holier Than Thou got knocked off his high horse - I can’t imagine it happening to a more deserving guy!’ Feral snarls, while Meltdown asks her former teammate what made her so cold-hearted. ‘You don’t know anything about suffering, Blondie!’ the feline mutant retorts, revealing that during her stay in the Vault she learned that she has the Legacy Virus. Maria tells Tabitha not to look sad, as the last thing she wants is her sympathy. ‘So I figure, if I gotta die for no reason, I’m gonna make sure a lot of people feel my pain before I go!’

‘You might as well go home, X-boys and girls. You’ve been out-matched from the start!’ King Bedlam exclaims. And as he gloats, the members of X-Force surreptitiously watch Siryn’s right hand, with which their superhumanly vocal leader silent signals them to get ready - and strike. ‘Bedlam’s mind, people!’ Siryn announces as every moves into action, and Siryn flies towards King Bedlam, screaming, causing Aaronson to clutch his head, ‘Ahh! That sound…’ he exclaims, when suddenly, everyone looks on in horror as Feral lunges at Siryn, ‘Someone’s needed to shut you up for a long time, Irish, and I volunteer!’ Maria snarls as she slices her deadly claws across Siryn’s throat.

‘Theresa!’ Proudstar calls out to his best friend, a desperate Siryn puts her hands around her neck, ‘…throat…’ is all she can whisper. After the massacre in which his family along with everyone else on the Camp Verde Reservation were murdered, James let anger and hatred rule his life. Only recently had he finally made peace with his tragic loss, and put to rest the need for vengeance that once drove him. ‘YOU PSYCHOPATH!’ James shouts as he grabs Feral and throws her hard across the room. For seeing his best friend in the world viciously wounded by their former teammate, the anger has returned.

Sunspot goes over to Siryn and announces that she is bleeding badly. With Siryn down and Cannonball absent, Moonstar, who co-lead the New Mutants, takes command, pointing out that as Sunspot is the only one who can fly he is to get Siryn to a hospital, now. Sunspot picks Siryn up, as Moonstar exclaims ‘As for the rest of you…Domino, take Switch…Meltdown take Feral -’, Proudstar interrupts, angrily declaring that he wants Feral, but Moonstar tells him that she needs him to get Tarot and Bedlam out of the play, while she deals with Magma.

‘Running away, Maria? I thought you were the one who wanted to play rough?’ Meltdown calls out as she throws time-bombs at the aggressive mutant, who just hisses as she dodges the attack. ‘Sorry, Switch. You won’t get the opportunity to claim another body again’ Domino announces as she smacks Switch in the head. Magma causes a massive burst of lava to rise from the floor as she remarks that Dani has stepped in and taken charge of her new team. ‘But if you think I’m as easily beaten as Feral and Switch, you’re oh so mistaken’ Allison declares, reminding her former teammate that she commands the molten earth. ‘So unless you can stand the heat, back off!’

Senator Danville runs for cover while exclaiming ‘You’re all crazy!’, just as Cannonball blasts into the control room, apologizing for taking so long to get back, as he was still shaking off the Armageddon Man’s backhand. Sam collects a surprised Allison and lifts her into the air, ‘Put me down or I’ll -’ she begins, ‘Or you’ll what? Charbroil me? Don’t think so. Remember my force field makes me immune to your heat’ Sam tells his former teammate. ‘No, you and I are going to have a little talk, Amara, or Allison, or whatever you want to be called these days’ Sam tells her, adding that, as a friend, he has to tell her that she has gone way over the edge.

‘Why? Because I’ve chosen not to play the hero like you and the rest of your friends?’ Allison asks. ‘Don’t you understand? Xavier’s dream is as much a fantasy as Amara Aquilla, princess of the last Roman colony. The world gives mutants nothing but pain and grief. What’s wrong with using our power to take what we want?’ she asks.

Back down on the ground, Proudstar approaches his former teammate Tarot, now dressed in a purple cloak and wielding a scythe, while King Bedlam stands behind her. James asks Tarot why she continues to protect Christopher, ‘My God, what’s happening to you?’ he asks. Marie-Ange replies that her power has changed since her rebirth, explaining that she not only projects the imagery of the tarot arcana, but now she can assume their mantle. ‘I wield Death’s scythe. Do not make me use it’ she exclaims. Proudstar tells Marie-Ange that Bedlam does not deserve this kind of loyalty, which causes Tarot to lash out at him, though he dodges her attack, while Tarot exclaims that she owes Christopher her life.

‘Thank you, my love, but my head has cleared from Siryn’s assault’ Christopher exclaims, telling Tarot that he no longer needs her protection to take care of Proudstar and his companions. He declares that it is not without a reason that he is called King Bedlam, for he sows confusion and discord to the minds of his enemies. He suggests that he makes their confusion permanent. ‘Imagine spending the rest of your lives drooling in some mental intit -’ he begins, while X-Force begin to clutch their heads and ramble: ‘Expectorant’ Moonstar exclaims. ‘Turnstile’ says Domino, while Meltdown declares ‘Waterspout’ and Proudstar exclaims ‘Vacuum pump’.

However, King Bedlam was interrupted during his sentence, he screams and the device on his head short circuits, as Jesse arrives on scene. ‘No more, Chris!’ he exclaims, remarking that it is funny how similar their powers are. ‘You mess with people’s minds. I mess with their electronic toys. Guess that’s why we’re the Bedlam Brothers’. Jesse tells his brother that he is sorry it turned out like this, as it was great to finally find him after all these years apart. But Jesse declares that he cannot let family ties blind him anymore. ‘You’re one crazy mutant, and you have to be stopped!’ he exclaims. A furious Christopher tells his younger brother that he is a fool and a moron, for without the amplifier, he has no way of controlling the Armageddon Man. ‘You’ve doomed the entire West Coast!’ he exclaims.

As the energy inside the Armageddon Man builds exponentially, he becomes a transmission power of environmental disaster - his own inner agony mirrored and magnified in an ever expanding radius of catastrophe. In San Francisco, fifty foot waves rock the scenic city’s most famous landmark. In the Pacific Northwest, lightning storms have ignited old growth forests in a firestorm of destruction. In Southern California, tornadoes rip though downtown Los Angeles, while in Palm Springs, hotels are levelled by massive earthquakes. And this is only the beginning. As long as the Armageddon Man lives, the disasters will only escalate in intensity. He can do nothing to stop the destruction he causes. That is his curse. And now, he has burst free of the nuclear reactor and into open space while the storm continues to rage around him.

‘Yeow! This whole place is falling apart!’ Jesse exclaims as small fires begin to ripple through the complex. ‘This is your fault, Jesse. I should have let you die with our parents!’ Christopher exclaims. ‘What are you saying?’ Jesse asks. Christopher frowns as he exclaims that Jesse doesn’t remember much about the day their parents died. ‘Dad was threatening to send me away to military school, but I wasn’t going to let him’ Christopher reveals, adding that his father did not know about his power, so he made him lose control of the wheel. ‘I drove him insane - just like I’m going to do to you now!’. But Christopher touches his head and exclaims that it is not working, that the feedback from the psi-amp must have affected his power.

‘You killed our parents? You’re more of a monster than that creature outside!’ Jesse exclaims as he shoves Christopher up against a wall. ‘You don’t know how much I want to hurt you, but I need your help more’ Jesse exclaims, reminding Christopher that he said he read all the military reports on the Armageddon Man before he retrieved him. ‘I’m betting you know how to take him down’ Jesse exclaims. Christopher asks his brother what makes him think he will help him, pointing out that he has ruined years of planning and preparation, and cost him a fortune as well. ‘Suffer, little brother. Suffer!’ King Bedlam declares.

Moonstar approaches Senator Danville, who tells her to get away from him. ‘Haven’t you people done enough damage today?’ he asks. ‘Despite what you may believe, not every mutant is a terrorist, Senator’ Dani tells him as the Senator makes his way through the fire. Dani informs him that she needs to know everything he does about the Armageddon Man. ‘How did you stop his first rampage?’ she asks. The Senator replies that it was an air strike, but that the Armageddon Man was nowhere near as dangerous then as he is now. He adds that their researches concluded that his capacity for mass destruction is limitless.

Tarot approaches Moonstar and the Senator, revealing that she read the army’s files on the Armageddon Man, and explains that the creature draws its power from the Earth itself, tapping into lines of power science does not yet understand. ’As long as he is grounded, he cannot be defeated’ Tarot remarks. Suddenly, King Bedlam finds Tarot, ’Marie-Ange, after all I’ve done for you - given you a new life - given you my heart - you once again betray me to my enemies!’ he snaps. ‘I owe you my life, not theirs!’ Tarot exclaims, telling King Bedlam that his greed has endangered the lives of millions. ‘I do not want their deaths on my conscience!’ she announces.

‘If you want to die a martyr with the rest of them, go ahead!’ King Bedlam tells Tarot, before calling the remaining Hellions to his side. ‘Right behind you, boss’ Switch exclaims. ‘Vamanos!’ Feral declares, before the three of them begin their exit, when suddenly, Tarot calls out to Christopher. ‘You know I cannot live with you’ as she walks towards him. ‘Get back here, Maria! I’m not through with you!’ Meltdown calls out after her. ‘No matter how screwed up your life is, it doesn’t excuse what you did to Theresa!’ she exclaims. ‘I’ll be sure to send her a card’ Feral snarls as she bounds away, while Jesse exclaims that they have to get out of here before the entire place comes down. ‘We have your brother to thank for that, Jesse’ Proudstar remarks as he holds up a falling beam.

Meltdown readies a plasma time-bomb and exclaims that they can save the blame for later, as right now they have to get their butts in gear: ‘We can’t let the Hellions get away!’ she exclaims. Domino stands at a monitor, which states that the reactor core has been breached, and tells Tabitha to forget about the Hellions, as they have a more immediate problem. The four heroes turn to Moonstar as Domino informs her that there is radioactive gas leaking from the coolant tower that the Armageddon Man bulldozed on his way outside. Moonstar announces that their first priority is sealing off that building before this place makes Chernobyl look like a kitchen spill.

Moonstar orders Jesse to shut down the reactor power grid, but to be careful, as they last thing they want is to cause a meltdown, before telling Proudstar, Meltdown and Domino to use whatever materials they can find and close the coolant tower. Meltdown asks Dani what she is going to do, to which Dani explains she is going to find Cannonball and see what they can do to tranquilize the Armageddon Man. Suddenly, Cannonball and Magma appear behind Dani, ‘Don’t bother, Dani. Ah’m right here - and Ah’ve brought help’ Sam exclaims. ‘If you’ll have me’ Magma frowns.

Magma exclaims that be commingling the damaged concrete exterior with the molten earth, she can create a barrier which will hold it once it cools. ‘I knew you’d come through. You’re no killer’ Sam tells his former teammate, who replies that nor is she a hero, for if they survive this, she has no intention of rejoining their holy crusade. ’I intend to use my powers for my own personal gain - and I will do so without apology’ she declares. ’Sure, y’say that now, but Ah have faith the good person I knew is still inside you’ Sam tells Allison, who frowns at him and tells him that he is insufferable.

Outside, as the Armageddon Man continues to grow in stature, his hold on his own humanity weakens. The rain pours down as he walks through a large set of power lines, while memories of his life he led before his transformation fade, becoming distant echoes in the turbulent landscape of his mind: Davy Crockett. Mickey Mantle. That’ll Be The Day. Gene Autry. Leave it to Beaver. Yo-Yos. Mom. J Fred Muggs. Eisenhower. Sputnik. Irish McCalla. Gunsmoke. Sick Sick Sick. Father Knows Best.

X-Force arrive outside, the rain beats down on them as Dani exclaims that the Armageddon Man is in pain, that his destructive rampage is tearing him apart. Meltdown asks Dani how she knows this, remarking that she thought her psionic powers had gone. Dani, eyes glazed over, replies that since her encounter with Arcadia, she has seen the world in a broader spectrum of light and energy. ‘Man, when that girl spaces out, she goes full tilt’ Bedlam remarks, while Dani exclaims that the energy building inside the Armageddon Man is approaching critical mass, so they must act quickly, before asking Sam if he can get her close to the Armageddon Man.

Cannonball picks up his good friend and blasts towards the Armageddon Man, telling Dani that he hopes she knows what she is doing, pointing out that it is not like she has mastered this new power of hers. Danielle unleashes her power, telling Sam that her mistake was fighting the changes that have occurred in her, instead of embracing them. Sam tells Dani that the Armageddon Man is a good example of someone consumed by an uncontrollable power, and tells Dani that he would hate to see that happen to her.

Moonstar tells Cannonball not to worry, assuring him that she is in control, and exclaims that her quantum blasts are disrupting the air around him and distracting him so that the concussive blasts of Tabitha’s time-bombs can knock him off balance, which will give James a chance to get under him and lift him into the air. The Armageddon Man looks cross as Moonstar’s quantum powers dart around him, before Meltdown throws several plasma time-bombs at him, rendering him unstable, as Proudstar uses his incredible strength to lift the Armageddon Man up - and throws him into the air. ‘He did it, Sam!’ Dani exclaims, before telling him to let her down quickly, as the last part depends on him.

Cannonball puts Moonstar down before blasting straight up - into the path of the falling Armageddon Man. Sam remarks that the Armageddon Man has reached the zenith of the arc and is going to becoming down fast now, so he has to hit him with everything he has while the Armageddon Man is still in the air and vulnerable. ‘Ah hope this works’ Sam remarks, before impact with the falling Armageddon Man, resulting in a massive explosion in the air. An instant later, Sam and the regular-sized Armageddon Man fall from the sky, with Sam just managing to recover so he can blast upwards before he impacts with the ground.

Cannonball drops back down, asking if it worked, if the Armageddon Man is down for the count. ’My teeth are still rattling from the impact’ he exclaims. ’TKO, Sam. You’re still the champ!’ Meltdown exclaims, to which Sam exclaims that the collision worked as he hoped, causing the Armageddon Man to expend all his destructive energy without consequence. Proudstar points out that this is only a temporary victory, for once the Armageddon Man wakes up, the storms and earthquakes are going to begin again.

At that moment, the rain subsides, while Domino arrives in a truck, telling James not to worry, as she has that covered, motioning to the carbon rods that she found, explaining they should absorb their large friend’s excess radiation, for a little while anyway. ’Nice save, Domino’ Moonstar exclaims, before asking James if he would do the honors. ’I’m on it’ James exclaims, while the Senator approaches them, telling them that it is amazing they actually stopped the menace, before asking someone get him a phone so he can get a clean up team here to put that monster back on ice. As he wraps the carbon around the Armageddon Man, James asks the Senator what makes him think they are going to give the Armageddon Man back to him, remarking that he is not a mad dog that should be put down, he is a human being whose unfortunate genetics made him an instrument of destruction. ‘He deserves to be somewhere where people will try to cure him, not thrown in cold storage for another forty years’.

‘I don’t have to defend my actions to you, son. You’re too young to understand what it was like during the cold war’ the Senator exclaims. ‘That’s what they all say’ Meltdown mutters, when suddenly, Moonstar alerts everyone to the approaching Paradigm, remarking that they haven’t seen the last of the Hellions. The techno-organic being hovers beside X-Force, announcing that he has repaired the damage done to him by Moonstar’s quantum energy, announcing that his reconfiguration makes him one hundred and ten percent more functional than his previous incarnation.

Proudstar reminds his teammates that Paradigm turned them into his puppets last time they fought. ‘One time too many’ Sam remarks, while Tabitha readies a time-bomb, exclaiming that there is nothing she hates more than someone messing with her mind. ‘I say we give him everything we’ve got’ she remarks, while Moonstar tells Paradigm that if he is looking to join the fight he is too late, as the other Hellions have fled and the Armageddon Man is contained. Paradigm replies that he has no intention of engaging in combat with them a second time, as he learned much during their last encounter.

Moonstar tells Paradigm that she knows a little about him, and remarks that she doesn’t think being part of the Hellions will help him reach his next stage of existence. Paradigm agrees, and announces that he leaves in search of new biology and technology to synthesize and incorporate into his own being. ‘I hope we meet again, Dani Moonstar. I find your own transformation most intriguing’, Paradigm declares, before taking to the skies. ‘Well, on that enigmatic note, I’d say it’s time we find a truck to load the Armageddon Man on and head out of here’ Moonstar remarks, but Senator Danville tells her to hold on, pointing out that she does not have the facilities to safely contain the Armageddon Man. ‘This is a matter best left to the proper authorities’ he declares.

Domino declares that although she hates to say this, the Senator is right. ‘We can’t take him to a safe house like we did with Mary. He’ll never pass for normal’ she exclaims. Meltdown asks how they can ensure that the Armageddon Man is treated humanely. The Senator tells X-Force that they have his word he will see the Armageddon Man gets the best possible care. ‘All I ask in exchange is your silence. There are some things the public still isn’t ready to know’ he remarks. ‘Right. Like us’ Domino remarks, before telling the Senator that they will be watching what he does with the Armageddon Man this time. ‘If we don’t like it, we’ll be back. And if you think the Hellions were trouble, wait until you get us mad’ Domino warns him, and as she, Dani, James, Sam and Tabitha walk away, Meltdown tells him to remember who saved his butt the next time he is voting on an anti-mutant bill.

Soon, X-Force are driving away from the power plant, and Moonstar tells her friends that once they reach the hospital she will make a few calls to the people she trusts at SHIELD, as they will keep the Senator honest. Suddenly, Domino motions up ahead and asks if that if Jesse. Tabitha remarks that Jesse slipped away while the were dealing with the Armageddon Man, while Danielle asks what they are doing to do about him. ‘He did set us up for his brother’ she reminds her friends. Sam replies that he thinks it is more complicated than that, as Jesse was torn between his conscience and his loyalty to his brother, adding that he never got along too well with Jesse, but that in the end, he did stand up against his brother.

‘It’s a long walk back to San Francisco. Get in the car’ Cannonball tells Bedlam as he pulls up beside him. ‘After everything I’ve done?’ Jesse asks, surprised. James tells him that they all make mistakes, and that this is his second chance. ‘Don’t blow it’ he tells him. ‘I don’t know what to say. Thanks’ Jesse exclaims, smiling, before X-Force drive off into the night.

Meanwhile, at the nearby hospital, ‘It appears the worst is over. Weather conditions across the Pacific Coast have returned to normal - leaving dazed Californians to survey the damage done in one very frightening night’ a news announcer reports over the television, which Bobby watches, hunched over a chair in the waiting room. The announcer remarks that the casualties of this grim period have been remarkably far less than expected, given the damage, and that both meteorologists at the National Weather Institute and seismologists at Cal Tech have been unable to explain the freak weather and seismic activity. ‘Our own weather doctor, Burton Kronkheit, will have more on the storm watch later - but now we go to Summerfield Canyon where Hannah Calderon is live’.

At that moment, Sam, DanI, James, Tabitha, Domino and Jesse enter the waiting room, and Domino asks if there is any news on Theresa. Bobby replies that there isn’t yet, and that the doctor said he would tell him when Theresa got out of the operating room. ‘I told them she was attacked by a mountain lion’ he explains, while, on the television screen, reporter Hannah Calderon thanks Dolores, as she announces that she is at the Summerfield Canyon nuclear power facility, where army hazmat teams have been called to contain a fire at the long closed nuclear facility. She explains that officials have confirmed that there was an attempt to restart the plant’s dormant reactor by a group of terrorists, but that group was stopped. ‘Typical. We never get the credit’ Meltdown mutters, while the reporter reveals that unnamed sources have informed her that the terrorists may be connected with the mutant revolutionary group called X-Force. ‘But we always get the blame’ James frowns.

Suddenly, the doctor enters the waiting room, ‘Oh, I see there are more of you in your colourful outfits. Are you all family?’ he asks. ‘Closest thing to it’ James declares, before Meltdown asks the doctor how Theresa is doing. The doctor replies that she is doing as well as can be expected and informs them that they can see her now, as she is in recovery, however he wants them to keep their visit brief as she needs her rest. ‘You look pretty good for a girl who’s just had surgery, Red. How do you do it?’ Tabitha asks as she puts a hand on Theresa’s shoulder.

Siryn smiles at Meltdown, but the doctor remarks that she cannot answer. ‘What do you mean?’ Domino asks, while everyone looks concerned. The doctor explains that fortunately the animal that attacked Theresa missed her jugular, but severed her vocal chords. ‘We did the best we could, but the damage may be permanent. If that is the case, Ms Rourke will never speak again’. And with those shocking words, a look of terror falls across Siryn….

Characters Involved: 

Bedlam II, Cannonball, Domino, Meltdown, Moonstar, Proudstar, Siryn, Sunspot (all X-Force)

King Bedlam, Feral, Magma, Paradigm, Switch, Tarot (all New Hellions)

Armageddon Man

Senator Owen Danville

Gas Station Attendant

Hannah Calderon

Voice of Dolores


Story Notes: 

Magneto was given Genosha to rule at the end of the Magneto War.

Feral learned she had the Legacy Virus in Quicksilver #9.

Switch took over Domino’s body in X-Force (1st series) #88.

Tarot previously betrayed King Bedlam in X-Force (1st series) #88.

The Mary that Domino refers to was seen in X-Force (1st series) #77 and #86.

Switch has not re-appeared since this issue.
Paradigm has recently reappeared – dead – in Astonishing X-Men (3rd series) #33.

King Bedlam has not reappeared since this issue, but he was confirmed as one of the many mutants depowered by M-Day in New Avengers #18.

Tarot was also identified as one of the mutants who lost their powers by M-Day, in New Avengers #18. Her status remained unknown following that issue, but she recently re-appeared alongside the other deceased Hellions as members of Selene’s army of dead mutants in Necrosha. This seems to suggest that Tarot died once more before this happened. Whether this is somehow linked to her initial resurrection remains unknown. Tarot has been very cryptic about this. Some theories suggest that King Bedlam’s power resurrected Tarot, so she was linked to his mutant power, and when he lost them, she lost her life once more. However in X-Force (1st series) #89, Tarot revealed that King Bedlam found her after her death at the hands of the Sentinel in Uncanny X-Men #281-282 proved transient, suggesting she had already been resurrected, as he was fated to come to her in a time of need. Additionally, in X-Force (1st series) #88, Tarot revealed that she is cursed to life her life over and over again to atone for the sins of her past, meaning that whatever the outcome of Necrosha, it is possible for her to return again.

Magma does not appear for some time, as a prisoner of the Church of Humanity where she was one of several mutants crucified on the lawn of the X-Men’s Mansion, luckily for her she survived the ordeal. [Uncanny X-Men #423]

Feral does not appear for some time also, next showing up, once again allied with the X-teams, as a member of X-Corporation Mumbai, surprisingly alongside Proudstar, her hated sister Thornn and Sunfire. [New X-Men (1st series) #133]

In Generation X #60, an unknown person placed a file regarding the New Hellions on the White Queen’s desk at the Massachusetts Academy. Though she was furious someone was using the name of her favorite students, no follow up about this was ever seen.

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