X-Treme X-Men (1st series) #23

Issue Date: 
June 2003
Story Title: 
Schism - part 4

Chris Claremont (writer), Salvador Larroca (artist), (uninked), Liquid! (colors), Tom Orzechowski (letterer), Nova Ren Suma (assistant editor), Andrew Lis & Mike Raicht (editor), Mike Marts (supervising editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Bill Jemas (president)

Brief Description: 

Storm and Emma stand outside and prepare to enter the Danger Room, where a scenario is being played out. Horrifyingly, this scenario has the ability to be just as dangerous as real life, since the security protocols are all turned off. The two women enter the Danger Room to find a large mansion, filled with three employees and five well-dressed business people. Shockingly, they also find the students behind bars, with Bishop and Sage hung up by chains being tortured. One man, named Oliver, seems to be possessed by a mutant named Elias Bogan and he tells his captives, through his subjects’ bodies, how he will use them to kill all the X-Men; except for one, whom he wants to keep alive for his pleasure: Emma Frost. With that said, Storm knocks Emma out and tries to use her as bait. Bogan posses Emma’s body and captures Storm, leaving her plan in shambles. Garret, sensing his time to escape, uses his powers to save the possessed Emma and his fellow students. Garret removes them from the Danger Room, all except for Storm, Bishop and Sage. After defeating Bogan’s unknown telepath, they turn their attentions to getting out of the Danger Room, in which they do just in time to hear a summons from Xavier asking them to let him in. After the X-Treme team cleans up, they have a meeting with Xavier. In the meeting, Storm tries to convince Xavier to turn Garret in to the proper authorities but Xavier rejects their suggestion. Leaving the mansion, the X-Treme team tells the others that they are fighting for a world that does not need a haven like the school to feel safe.

Full Summary: 

In the women’s dressing room under the mansion at the Xavier Institute, Storm changes into a more standard-looking X-Men uniform. Emma explains that her X-Treme uniform wouldn’t have been recognized by the mansion’s security, but the X-Men uniform she is changing into does. Emma goes on to say that the uniform is coded on a molecular level to give whoever is wearing it immunity to the protocols and dangers of the Danger Rooms programs. Storm reluctantly agrees to the change. Storm and Emma go to the door leading into the Danger Room and Storm uses her old thievery skills to pick the lock to allow them access. Emma, while Storm tries to pick the lock, talks about how the mansion is locked down. Nobody is allowed to enter or leave the mansion and now their only way to stop the Danger Room’s scenario is to enter the room and turn it off from the inside.

After the door opens, Emma unceremoniously steps in, followed by Storm, who asks Emma if she can sense the children. Emma tells Storm that she can sense the children’s fear and can also sense Bishop. She explains that Bishop is just being himself; angry, in control and waiting for the time the two of them will need him. Storm tells Emma that the two of them shouldn’t keep Bishop waiting any longer…Thinking about Sage, Storm asks about her presence. Emma explains that she cannot sense Sage, because her psychic shields are at their ultimate. Shocked, Storm says that Sage would only do that if she were facing off against a formidable opponent as tough as Xavier himself. Emma states that there is no presence that she can sense in the Danger Room as powerful as that. Storm tells Emma that she may not be able to sense that presence, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Emma and Storm, still continuing into the Danger Room, are both startled to see a lavishly decorated house, filled with stairways leading upwards to the sky.

In the house, a maid calls out to a couple of her fellow employees and asks them if they need help downstairs, since her duties upstairs are finished. They call back to the maid, named Mary, that they have everything under control and to continue working up stairs. Storm and Emma hide behind a nearby couch as they listen to the staff’s conversation. The two employees, Ms. Andres and Mr. Rosario, argue over sending Mary home, because Mr. Rosario says that he does not like a stranger in the house, especially with what is going on! Ms. Andres walks away carrying a tray of iced wine and tells Mr. Rosario that, as long as Mary stays upstairs, she will be find, but if she comes downstairs they will deal with her accordingly!

Passing by Emma and Storm Ms. Andres tells Rosario that they need to continue as Master Bogan commands. Emma looking after Ms. Andres is shocked to see that the lady walks as if the Hellfire Club trained her. Emma tells her findings to Storm, who teases back that she should know, since she was part of the club herself. The two women watch as Andres walks down a flight of stairs and Emma tells Storm that she was the White Queen a long time ago and she doesn’t even feel as if that woman even exists in her now. Emma explains her concerns about Jeffrey’s memories being that of a conversation he couldn’t have been a part of and she explains about how a couple of hours ago she had downloaded these memories from Jeffrey to the Danger Room. Storm, closing in on an open door, is shocked and horrified as she calls Emma’s attention to the scene. Emma nearly loses her lunch, as she is shocked to see bodies lying everywhere on the ground in tortured contortions. Emma mutters out that they at least know how Jeffrey’s siblings died now and Storm states, as she stands resolute, that they need to go find the killers.

In a casual meeting area of the castle, chains hang up Sage and Bishop as Ms. Andres serves wine to the guests of the house. An old man grasps onto Sage’s jaw as he taunts her about how her tattoos were a reminder of their ownership of her and how, when she escaped years ago, it was only for their amusement. She should have known they would one day claim her again. Sage is in an elegant evening gown and Bishop is wearing a tuxedo, just as the other guests are dressed with the same elegance. Bishop tells the old man to leave Sage alone, but the old man tells him to quieten down before his tongue is cut out for his dinner. Sage, calling the old man Oliver, tells him that whatever happens to her neither him, the Talents or even Xander (the other guests that accompany Oliver) will be there to see it, because Jeffrey killed them days ago.

Mrs. Talent sits in a chair, as she hugs Jeffrey to her body, and tells Sage that she is foolish, because the poor boy only killed their bodies. Mr. Talent explains that, once they are bound to Bogan, their essence can never die, so their bodies are nothing more than clothes to them. A glowing flash appears behind Oliver’s head, as he holds Sage’s head up and, in a different voice (that of Bogan’s), Oliver tells Sage that of all people she should know that where he is concerned the mind is all. He tells her that, not only did his little Judas Boy (Jeffrey) lead him to new students, but he also led him back to her. Popping into Mr. Talent’s head, Bogan speaks through him, as Mr. Talent holds onto the unconscious body of Rubbermaid. Bogan tells Sage that Jeffery has also led them to Xavier and, for that, he may pardon the boy for the deaths of his colleagues. Bishop screams out to Mr. Talent/Bogan that, if he harms the girl, he’ll take every piece of him apart! Bogan, popping into Xander’s body, touches Bishop’s nose and asks him how he expects to do that when shortly even he will be under Bogan’s control?

Emma and Storm hide behind a nearby wall as all these events transpire and they watch Bogan go back into Oliver’s body. Oliver/Bogan tells Bishop that, soon, Bishop will gladly kill Xavier and the other X-Men. The only one he wants kept alive is Emma Frost, because he has unfinished business with her. Storm asks Emma what Bogan’s words mean. Emma replies that she doesn’t know and she has never met any of those people before. Storm looks up to see Emma’s eyes bleeding and she comments on it. Emma, shocked by Storm’s odd words, tells her that they are not. Storm puts her finger up to Emma’s face and draws some of the blood, asking Emma to look for herself. Emma looks, but doesn’t see anything. Emma tells Storm that she seems to have a problem, because they’re on a mission and she is acting foolishly. With a loud “Krakow,” Storm strikes Emma telling her that she is right about that one thing.

Storm walks into the meeting dragging Emma behind her. She tells Oliver that she has come to make a deal with them for the exchange of Emma for her companions. Oliver seems to begin to ponder her proposal as Emma/Bogan looks up and tells Storm that she is regretfully informing her that she has already taken back her property. Xander/Bogan grabs a hold of Storm telling her that he will take her in the bargain now too. Emma/Bogan grabs Storm by the hair and explains that Xander’s merest touch can cause pleasure or pain and it doesn’t take to much thought to figure out what he is causing now. Emma/Bogan tells Storm to continue to fight, because the harder she fights the sweeter their victory over her will be. Behind Storm, Jeffrey leaps out of Mrs. Talent’s arms and hides behind the chair she sits in, screaming NO! Bishop screams Jeffrey’s words too, but Xander/Bogan comes over to give the same pain to Bishop as he just seconds age administered to Storm. Mrs. Talent asks Oliver to stop Jeffrey’s whining, because she is starting to get a headache. Jeffrey tells them, as he cowers in the shadows, that they weren’t supposed to hurt his friends. He tells them that they promised him if he brought them to Bogan he wouldn’t harm them.

Oliver looks at Jeffrey and tells the boy that he feels sorry for him, because his innocence was so abruptly taken away. The Talents tell Jeffrey that he needs to realize that he is in the real world now and he should expect it when he sells himself for money. Jeffrey, in tears, tells them that his family was freezing and they were hungry! Oliver tells the boy that he knows that and he also knows that their paths didn’t cross by accident. Emma/Bogan kneels on the ground with her hands around Storm’s throat. Oliver looks down on Storm and contemplates aloud how the X-Men were led to their doom by an unwittingly succulent prey in their little Judas Boy. Laughing, Oliver says that Jeffrey thought his teleportation powers could save his family at any time, but he miscalculated. Jeffrey stands in front of the prison bars that hold captive his young friends and dorm-mates. Jeffrey mutters out that he didn’t know…he thought he could… Mr. Talent walks up, with Rubbermaid in his arms and tells Jeffrey to stop whining. Mr. Talent says that thanks to Xander the X-Men will love every minute of their torment and beg them for more.

Bishop, still hanging by his chains, tells Jeffrey that, what was in the past is in the past, but he has the opportunity to do what’s right now and save his friends. Jeffrey still weeps and tells Bishop that he cannot understand, because as he was trying to save his family they fought him. He tells Bishop that his family didn’t trust him anymore, so they didn’t think he was trying to help them. Emma/Bogan tells Jeffrey that his family’s lives were delicious. One of the students from inside the prison screams out to their enemies to let Ms. Frost go! Jeffrey, zipping up his jacket, says not again twice and, on the second time, his eyes glow red and, with a blast of energy, he teleports all the students and Emma Frost out of the Danger Room.

Oliver, smiling, says out loud that Jeffrey is so full of surprises and Bogan didn’t even think the boy would be powerful enough to teleport all the students, himself and Emma out of the Danger Room. Oliver boasts that they still have Storm, Bishop and Sage and the three of them will be enough to suffice.

Bogan appears in a red glow above Storm and he tells her that, through Emma, he knows all the trails into her mind and all the keys that will unlock her soul. Storm, lying on the ground, tells Bogan that she was counting on him going into her mind, because she knows his secret. She knows that he has had to use a telepath to sneak past the mansion’s security, that it couldn’t have been Jeffrey or Emma because the two of them were under constant scrutiny. She tells him that she doesn’t know who the telepath is, but she does know one thing: that when telepaths enter her mind they get hurt!

Storm sends lightning bolts through Bogan’s astral form and, as he writhes in pain, he tells Storm that he will destroy her for her actions. The pain seems to be so intense that Bogan’s presence leaves the Danger Room, giving Storm the opportunity to send lightning through Bishop giving him enough energy to free himself. The two take out the Talents, Oliver and Xander easily, after they are freed of Bogan’s influence. Bishop frees Sage and asks her if she is okay. She tells him yes, just as a rematerialized Mr. Talent knocks the two of them to the ground. He reminds them that the Danger Room’s protocols have been disabled, so the more the X-Men destroy them, the more they will come back stronger than before. Bishop tells Storm that he is right and asks her if she can generate a lightning bolt powerful enough to knock the Danger Rooms electronic systems out. She tells him that she cannot create one powerful enough from the inside to take out its systems. Sage reaching through a wall tells them that they will not have to, because the system was designed with a manual off switch. Sage opens the latch to the switch and presses it, causing the images to fade away to nothing.

An astral projection of Xavier appears above them as the X-Men stand in the empty Danger Room. Xavier tells Storm and the others that Emma’s and the students’ psyches seem so fragmented that he doesn’t wish to do a mind scan on any of them, so he is expecting her to debrief him on what’s been going on. Storm teases Bishop that he should offer the Professor some green tea, because it is his favorite. Xavier also requests them to turn off the mansions security and unlock the doors, because, after all, he still is the master of the house.

Inside the mansion, Storm, Sage and Bishop meet one another in one of Xavier’s offices. Sage tells the others that, when she was a child, she knew there was a war, she just tried to keep it out of her mind and sometimes she was even able to have fun. She tells the others that Xavier has said the children don’t remember any of what transpired in the Danger Room. She tells the others that Elias is so powerful that he can cover his own tracks and, if the children do not remember, how can they prepare for his next attack? Bishop asks if Sage believes Elias will come back for the children and she confirms his fears. Sage tells the others that, when Elias could not break her, he branded her to remind the both of them of their unfinished business. Bishop turns to Storm and asks her about the telepath that she zapped at the end and wonders a who she was. Storm tells Bishop that she is another mystery and perhaps another one of Bogan’s victims.

As the X-Treme team talks, Xavier, Jean and Emma walk in to discuss what transpired. Xavier greets Ororo and Bishop, who tells Xavier of his excitement to see his mentor walking and in good health. Xavier sits down at his chair, with Emma to the left of him and Jean to the right of him. Both women are standing. Xavier tells the others that he has scanned Emma’s mind and ran a diagnostic check on the Danger Room and he has found no evidence of Elias Bogan or any attacker, besides them, to be on the premises. He tells them that, given their statements, it is a great concern and they will have to find a way to deal with Elias Bogan appropriately.

Bishop asks Xavier what he plans on doing with Garret, since he is a wanted murderer anyways? Xavier tells Bishop that, given the circumstances, he cannot release the boy to the world at large. Xavier tells Bishop that the X-Men will deal with Garret, because, after all, he is innocent, because the murders were in self-defense. Storm asks for Xavier’s forgiveness for contradicting but Mary Holland, who was just working late that night, was not apart of the torture but Jeffrey killed her too. Storm asks Xavier, if Jeffrey is allowed to get away with murder, when will he ever learn right from wrong? Xavier tries to assure Storm that Jeffrey will one day learn right from wrong. Storm tells Xavier that, in open court, Jeffrey can learn and he can also show the world that mutants are not above the law. Storm reminds Xavier that even Magneto stood trial for his past mistakes.

Sage interjects and tells Xavier that the world is not his school and it isn’t an experiment for him to control. Bishop tells Xavier that they have to prove themselves masters of their own fate, even if that means accepting the consequences for their mistakes. Xavier interjects and asks Storm if she truly believes human society is ready for threats like Elias Bogan? Storm tells Xavier that, at one time, he taught them that they were all human. Xavier stands to his feet and asks Storm whose side she is on. Storm tells Xavier that the law is to make men and women everywhere equal and, if they subvert the law, they begin to create a world in which Elias Bogans all around the world can thrive. Xavier tells Storm that her words will not come true and Storm replies that she prays he is right.

Sage is the last to walk out the door and Xavier asks her why she still follows Storm and thinks so badly of him? She tells him that she has walked the road to hell that his “good intentions” have paved. She then leaves to catch up with the others. Outside the door, Bishop tells Sage that she was pretty hard on him and she tells Bishop that she hopes her words will make Xavier listen. Sage tells Bishop, as they walk behind Storm and Emma, that she values the school as a haven, but she wants to fight for a world in where that haven isn’t needed. Through another door, Storm tells Emma to take care of Jeffrey, because he will need her guidance. Emma, shocked, asks Storm if she can really trust her. Storm tells Emma that she can call her naïve if she wants to, but she also knows where she lives. Emma jokingly touches her chin, telling Storm that she hit her pretty hard. Emma continues to talk and tells Storm that she is worried about how Elias Bogan could so easily sink his claws into her. Storm, vowing to find out, tells Emma that she doesn’t know.

Jean walks in and tells Storm that she cannot leave, because it would be wrong and she wonders why none of them seem to trust Xavier. Storm tells Jean that the reason she leaves is because she believes, with all her heart, she cannot stay. She reminds Jean of the time that Xavier traveled to Africa and offered her the chance to join his X-Men. He told her that perhaps the time had finally come to leave her nest. Now those same words ring true and she believes it is time again. Storm, finishing their conversation, tells the others that, if mutants truly represent the hope of the future, then they must prove themselves worthy!

Characters Involved: 

Bishop, Charles Xavier, Emma Frost, Jean Grey, Sage, Storm (all X-Men)

Jeffrey Garret, Gloom, Rubbermaid, unnamed students of the Xavier Institute

Mr. Talent, Ms. Talent, Oliver Rolland, Xander

Ms. Andes, Mary Holland, Mr. Rosario (house staff of Talent family)

Astral Form:

Charles Xavier

Story Notes: 

Emma downloaded Jeffrey’s memories into the Danger Room, through Cerebra last issue.

The telepath was first seen last issue.

Magneto stood for his crimes way back in Uncanny X-Men #200.

Storm was invited to the X-Men in the now classic Giant Size X-Men #1

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