X.S.E. #2

Issue Date: 
December 1996
Story Title: 
Future Intense

John Ostrander (writer), Deodate Studios / Mozart Cuto (art), Richard Starkings & Comicraft/AD (letters), Derek Bellman (colors), Graphic Color Works (enhancement), Kelly Corvese (editor), Bob Harras (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

Bishop and Shard continue their trip down the memory lane. After defending his classmates during an Emplate attack Bishop was promoted to a full X.S.E. officers and about a year later Shard graduated too. Years later when Bishop was turned into a squad commander he chose very odd candidates for his team in Malcolm and Randall. Their powers were pretty useless in combat situations and they really despised each other; although that changed after both lost friends and relatives during a massacre at Harmony Base, the only functing colony where mutants and humans worked together.

Full Summary: 

(future flashback)

Continuing from last issue the X.S.E training class of which Shard and Bishop are partt of is attacked by Emplates. Under the stress of the situation Shard manifests her mutant ability to transform light into concussive force. Feeding her brother with her blasts Bishop is able to amplify the energy to shoot some of the Emplates. Instinctively Bishop takes command of the group, he takes the guns of his killed teachers and throws one to Shirley who did very good at practising. Together they can fight off the Emplates long enough till an X.S.E rescue (including Amazon) team arrives; only one kid is lost to the villains. One month later Bishop is promoted and becomes the youngest cadet ever to become an X.S.E. officer; although the promotion is mainly to honor his deeds, the X.S.E. lost too many of their number recently and new officers are desperatly needed.

After watching the holo simulation of their past, Shard comments that one year later she too graduated and by doing so, stole the title of youngest cadet ever to become an X.S.E. officer. Bishop points out that she always was so competitive back then, but Shard excuses that she had to be if she ever wanted to come out of her brother’s shadow. She activates the Danger Room and wants to train a little bit, sseeing who could achive better results, but Bishop continues to talk. Other people’s opinions should not matter so much to her, but the important thing is that they always made a good team. Shard points out that there was a better team and activates a simulation of the death of Malcom and Randall, upsetting Bishop very much as he still feels guilty about their deaths. Shard tries to apologise, but Bishop replies that she did not spend as much time with them as he did.
Shard asks how it was like when he first met them.
(future flashback)

One day Hecate summons Bishop to the nerve center and information core called Cerebro. Bishop has just been turned him into a squad commander and Hecate suggests Malcolm for a position within Bishop’s team. Checking his datafile Bishop is not much intrested; the mutant ability to detect humans is not that useful and being from a rich and powerful family Bishop assumes that Malcolm payed his way through the training. Upon hearing this Malcolm gets very angry, he really is in the X.S.E. because he believes in their cause and has worked very hard to become an officer. Seeing Malcolm’s potential Bishop agrees to take him into his squad, but only if he is given free reign in filling the final position of his squad. Bishop then leads Hecate to a training room where Randall is seen performing. Hecate points out that this officer is undisciplined, was never near the tops of his classes and his immunity to radiation would be even more useless than Malcolm’s power, but Bishop wanted him anyway. He likes the unpredictability and the free spirit of Randall.

Shard remembers that Malcolm and Randall constantly bickered, she always thought that they despised each other. Bishop explains that after having problems at first, everything changes as the squad was called for a mission at Harmony Base, Randall’s birthplace and the only known colony where mutants and humans really worked together.
(future flashback)

Harmony Base is under attack by a newly formed band of Exhumes under the leadership of Styglut. Bishop, Malcolm and Randall are the first to arrive at the base, but they come to late to save any of the people who lived there, all they can do is to hold the villains in check till more X.S.E. officers arrive. Among the dead citizens is Donalbain, the human brother of Malcolm, who had joined the community to show support for his mutant brother. Since Randall too lost many friends in the massaker the pair finally bonds.

Bishop says that after the Harmony Base incident Malvcolm and Randall became best, inseparable friends, and now they are dead because he couldn't save them - just like with his sister Shard. She replies that Bishop did anything he could for her, he even helped her to get that promotion she was after, but her words don’t change Bishop’s mood. The point is that if he hadn’t gotten Shard that promotion, she might still be alive.

Characters Involved: 

Bishop (X-Men)

Shard (X-Factor)
Bishop, Shard, Shirley (all X.S.E. training class, in future flashbacks)

Amazon, Bishop, Hecate, Malcolm, Randall (all X.S.E, in future flashbacks)
Feebs, Styglut (all Exhumes, in future flashbacks)

Emplates (in future flashbacks)

Story Notes: 


Issue Information: 
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