Destiny’s Diary extract 117 / G3:
The stars shall be her home
And Earth her destination
Mothered by War
Her father’s her salvation.
The price of Xavier’s dream
Shall be this ancient Aerie’s fall.
Aliyah Bishop is jogging through what seems to be a shady road passing Xavier’s Mansion. She appears to be a normal, Black teenager, apart from an exotic eye marking on the right side of her face. She is the daughter of the X-Man, Bishop, a father she’s never known, and the Shi’ar princess Deathbird.
The X-Men had helped Deathbird’s sister, Lilandra, at times. Deathbird herself, depending on circumstances, could be the X-Men’s ally or their foe. Over the years, she was content to let her more responsible sister assume the burden of rule. She had far more fun as a renegade. What she never counted on was falling in love with Bishop, a latecomer to the X-Men. But, as with her sister and Xavier, fate drew him from her side and back to his homeworld. She had a daughter by him and told the girl tales of her father and how eventually they’d see him again. But that was not to be. Lilandra had gone insane, the empire was falling apart and only Deathbird cold save it.
Aliyah is shaken out of her reverie by the alarm klaxon. The hologram of Xavier’s mansion disappears, leaving what clearly is a hall in a huge spaceship. Aliyah demands to know what is going on and a voice apologizes. Aliyah is shown space around the ship and sees a Kree command dreadnought. With her own ship in stealth mode, they haven’t been detected and Aliyah watches, as the dreadnought deploys an assault barge down to a planet.
Aliyah dresses in a blue and gold uniform, similar to those of the X-Men, and the ship sets her down on the plane. She watches the dreadnought land, while arguing with her mystery mentor via comm. Why can’t that other person make the decision, Aliyah complains. She is smarter and more experienced than her. The other reminds Aliyah that this is her life and those are her people. Aliyah complains that she doesn’t really care about them.
Several Kree soldiers depart from the ship. Theirs used to be a great empire, but it fell to the Shi’ar. Now, with the Shi’ar empire in chaos, the Kree are looking to reassert themselves, hoping that this clandestine acquisition will guarantee their ultimate triumph.
A teleportation portal appears created by a young man on a surfboard – Slipstream - who is followed by several extra-dimensional obscene blue-skinned creatures – slavers.
Watching from afar, Aliyah asks what she is looking at and is told that the slavers’ prisoners are hounds - enhanced power beings genegineered and behavior-modified to be slaves. When possible, the slavers like to use X-Men, as they have a history with Xavier’s teams. The male slave is identified as Jamie Madrox. The flier is Slipstream, who works for the slavers for free. The woman is Theresa Cassidy. As the Slavers and the Kree deal, Aliyah’s friend wonders why the Kree are taking the risk of doing this in Shi’ar space and why they are basically bankrupting themselves for this acquisition. More Madroxes appear carrying a huge pod. The Krees’ eyes alight at the sight of it.
Suddenly, Aliyah finds herself attacked from behind by another Hound, Talia Josephine Wagner aka Nocturne. Nocturne and Aliyah tumble downwards. Aliyah shakes her off by using her jetglider to fly upward again. Nocturne simply scales up the wall, unwilling to give up her prey. Siryn joins in trying to nail Aliyah with her sonic scream. Boasting that they’ll never nail a Shi’ar in the air, not even a wingless one, Aliyah stuns her with her gun. The Kree open fire at her and Aliyah shoots back determined on keeping them from taking the pod.
That moment, Nocturne catches up with her again. Losing control of her glider, Aliyah alone with Nocturne topples to the ground. Both of them are momentarily stunned when they see the dreadnought above them under attack. Aliyah finds that the Kree are using a tractor beam, both on the cocoon and her. Looking down she sees that one of the Kree troops is actually a ringer – a Warskrull. It fires at the ship and the tractor beam fails - Aliyah and the cocoon drop. The Warskrull’s artillery fire actually brings down the ship – on the roofs of the city.
Aliyah fiercely attacks the Warskrull. She has no love for their kind, as her mother was reported to have fallen in battle against them. She doesn’t bother with her weapon, as the Skrull is wearing armor. Instead – she kicks him right in the face. The Warskrull quickly gains the upper hand and, in a last gesture of defiance, Aliyah spits in its face, certain that she is going to die. Instead, an energy blast hits the Warskrull in the back.
Aliyah looks up to see the source of the blast. A bald human woman has come out of the cocoon, still shackled to some devices. The energy blast seems to have taken everything out of the woman, as she collapses. Aliyah doesn’t even have the chance to ask questions, as, a moment later, strange pods land around her – releasing Brood soldiers, members of the most feared species in the galaxy.
Aliyah tears the cables away from the strange woman, grabs her and flies up with her jetpack, intent on fleeing for her life. The woman telepathically contacts her, telling Aliyah they can’t leave just yet. They can’t leave T.J. behind. Aliyah protests but to no avail. They save Nocturne from the Brood soldiers.
As Aliyah puts the two women down on the Starjammer, she looks around to see a swarm of flying Brood warriors on their trail. The Brood find themselves surprised, as out of the murky water comes the Starjammer, one of the few powers even they respect, since a generation ago it was responsible for the defeat that almost led to the Brood’s annihilation. They hesitate, giving Aliyah the moment she needs to order the ship’s computer to go into warp. The computer warns her about the consequences of going into warp within an atmosphere. With the Brood there, the planet’s already dead, Aliyah shouts, as, outside, Kree soldiers are being slaughtered.
The ship goes into warp, causing more damage than expected. The sentience that resides within the computer appears – Carol Danvers, in her Binary shape – announcing that they have a problem, as the star is going supernova and they are too close. They cannot outrun the shockwave and, even if the shields hold, they’ll be sitting ducks. Aliyah apologizes and Carol tells her she’d have done the same.
Suddenly, the woman Aliyah has saved tells them not to give up yet, as she starts to glow.
A fiery bird rises around her and the ship, as she drains the dying star’s energy. And, as Phoenix is reborn, those to whom she was important on Earth sense that rebirth.
At the Xavier Institute, Scott Summers senses Jean and informs his wife and fellow headmaster Emma Frost, who is holding their youngest child, Alex.
In Chicago, at a rally for Katherine Pryde’s political campaign, Rachel Grey suddenly shouts out her mother’s name.
In Hammer Bay, Genosha, Charles Xavier suddenly drifts off, worrying his students.
In parts unknown, Mr Sinister smiles broadly at the prodigal daughter finally re-emerging.
In the Hindu Kush, Jean’s almost-son, Cable, reacts melancholically: They’d sworn to him that she was gone for good, that the threat was over. Did he betray her and everything he held of value for nothing?
In the Kimanu Highlands, East Africa, Storm, in an iron lung, and Wolverine are having dinner when they sense Jean. Logan tells Ororo it has nothing to do with them. Jeannie can take care of herself. Right now, he is only concerned about Ororo.
In Shi’ar space, the Starjammer’s systems gradually return to normal, as an amazed Carol and Aliyah stare at the glowing woman before them. Is that really her? Aliyah asks Carol, awestruck. Phoenix jokes that hasn’t got her driver’s license with her to prove who she is. If they want any more bonafides, she really doesn’t know what to do for an encore.
Aliyah replies that, according to the stories, Phoenix is supposed to be the end of all that is.
Returning to her human form, Jean Grey forcefully replies not today. Hopefully not ever. She is kind of cold, though. Any chances for some clothes and maybe a bath?
Suddenly, an alarm sounds and Carol detects an intruder. Her fault, Jean explains with a sheepish smile. It’s because of Nocturne, who, deep in her soul, is still fighting to be free. Jean wanted to help, so she brought the only person who she thought had a chance to save T.J. …
Kurt Wagner aka Nightcrawler stares at them flabbergasted.