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Last Updated: 
28th September 2023

The Protectorate (Earth-253)


  • The Brilliant City was the home of a race of immensely powerful beings. Their society was “perfect” but stagnant / unchanging. They believed that all other worlds in "the Spiral” (multiverse) were inferior / contaminated and must not be allowed to interact with theirs for fear that they would corrupt their glory.
    Note: The belief that realities were “worse” based on their numerical designation is not reflective of actual differences between realities in the Marvel multiverse and this was erroneous thinking on the part of the citizens of the Brilliant City.  
  • A “mutant” among their number, Idris, had “looked up” the Spiral and seen that there were beings superior to even them. Shocked by the knowledge, she leapt from the Brilliant City and shattered herself into the multiverse. One fragment of her made its way to Earth-616 and became the precognitive nun, Sister Perpetua. Another, named Hassan, joined a world with an unknown designation called the Emirate. Finally, another, Nicola Zeitgeist, started a life on Earth-253.
  • Nicola was considered the “Spirit of the Age” and believed herself intrinsically linked to the survival of the planet. A being of vast power, she joined with other superhumans in the group called the Protectorate.
  • The group had “repelled alien invasions, ended hunger and rebuilt time.”
  • Their headquarters was called the Foldcastle, which existed in subspace and was psionically connected to one of their members, Technocrat. This connection allowed the group to teleport anywhere in a matter of moments across the globe.
  • At an unspecified point in time, Nicola and her teammate Professor X discovered they could journey into parallel Earths, even taking on missions on those worlds.
  • Qabiri was another denizen of the Brilliant City. He had become aware that in realities that he considered lower, some had developed the ability to move through the Spiral (multiverse). Seeing this as a threat to his people, he “sacrificed” himself and left the Brilliant City in an effort to destroy all “Spiral walkers.” 
  • Nate Grey, a mutant shaman and also a “Spiral walker,” met with the nun Sister Perpetua, who told him of her nightmares. He agreed to help her find the source of them.
  • Qabiri had destroyed 4 Earths before traveling to Earth-253 searching for Nicola Zeitgeist and teammate Professor X (Nate Xavier).
  • They, along with another teammate Thor, were on a mission in an alternate reality when Qabiri attacked their world.


Qabiri appeared in Times Square in Manhattan on Earth-253. Initially due to his profound beauty, he was mistaken for an angel. This quickly changed when he incinerated the onlookers, as well as the rest of the population of New York City (including the boroughs). The members of the Protectorate that were on-world, Technocrat, White Bird, Nightfighter and Citydweller, teleported to Manhattan from the Foldcastle nearly instantaneously. Qabiri greeted them, demanding that the group bring him the “worldwalkers.” Nightfighter and Whiteb\ Bird attempted to engage Qabiri but they were supremely outclassed and injured. Technocrat managed to protect herself and Citydweller from the initial assault with a force field. Just then, the group's three “big guns” appeared on the scene having returned from their mission on an alternate earth.

Qabiri was hardly intimidated and simply smiled and flew off. Nicola advised Thor and Nate to pursue. Technocrat told Nicola she was taking the injured back to the Foldcastle so she could heal them. She advised Nicola that Washington and Moscow were arming missiles to deal with the threat. Nicola thought this folly and that they should leave things to the Protectorate. Technocrat was concerned that Nicola was underestimating Qabiri, stating that nuclear weapons, even if sufficient, wouldn't be fast enough to deal with the extinction level risk that was Qabiri. Receiving this new information, Nicola asked Professor X to read her thoughts and told him and Thor to engage Qabiri with extreme caution. Citydweller interrupted and stated that globally all the major cities were already burning.

Nicola went to the White House to try to find survivors but everyone was already dead. Communicating with Citydweller, he told Nicola that psionically he could feel that all the cities were now dead and that he was dying and did not believe they could save the world this time. Thor and Nate Xavier engaged Qabiri in the skies. Thor, a hot head, flew straight at Qabiri, only to be destroyed on impact by his foe's force field. Nate made a joke at his colleagues' demise, which shocked Qabiri. Nate explained he was joking because he was so afraid. Seeing that physical assaults were no use, Nate attempted to use a telepathic attack, a dreamball, on his foe. As he was about to strike, Qabiri explained to Nate that it was he and Nicola who had doomed this world and that Qabiri was trying to prevent worldwalkers like him from infecting his home. Technocrat teleported from the dreamball, for it had been misdirection. Having analyzed Qabiri's force field, she had created techno toys to devour it. Again, this effort proved to be in vain, as Qabiri blasted Technocrat in half and blew Nate's right arm off as both plunged from the skies. Nicola then joined the fray, blasting their attacker. Her effort seemed to jolt Qabiri but even she was not powerful enough and he shot her out of the sky.

In the meantime, Nate Grey and Sister Perpetua from Earth-616 had materialized on Earth-253, trying to find the source of her visions. Perpetua attempted to comfort Citydweller, who had sensed Nicola being shot down. Initially, he mistook Perpetua for Nicola herself. Nate Grey caught Nicola as she was dropping and teleported her away, infuriating Qabiri who swore vengeance. They arrived on a rooftop with Perpetua, Citydweller, Technocrat and the remains of Nate Xavier who had bled to death following Qabiri's assault. 

Nicola had initially mistaken Nate Grey for her lover Nate Xavier but was in for a rude awakening upon finding her Nate's corpse on the rooftop. She was upset but Technocrat explained they had no time for that now. Technocrat questioned the newcomers but Nate Grey quickly stated that they had no time for that either and they needed to quickly bring him up to speed if they were to survive. While telling the story of Qabiri's arrival, Citydweller started to pass away and, to her surprise, he told Technocrat that he had hoped that one day the two may have had a chance together. Technocrat remained calm and finished recounting the “Burning Tiger's attack” and let the others know that the remaining members of the Protectorate, White Bird and Nightfighter were trying to find survivors to move to the Foldcastle.

Following the death of Citydweller, a frustrated Nicola remarked that, when she died, the world was truly doomed. Nate Grey considered this egotistical but then Nicola said she was the “Spirit of the Age,” connected to the world's survival. Grey found this hard to believe and questioned it, surprised she had not. He asked did they know why Qabiri had attacked and, as the group didn't, Grey flew off to ask him. While he was gone, Nicola had a call from Nightfighter, who asked of the status of Thor. Nicola advised he was dead and told Nightfighter she was sorry. Nightfighter had located survivors in Australasia (approximately one hundred Aborigines) and he was preparing to transport them back to the Foldcastle. White Bird also radioed that she had found survivalists in Idaho but they were resisting her rescue attempts. As Nicola was speaking, Perpetua was staring at her, her blindness now seemingly cured? The two women soon realized they were connected, concluding they were alternate reality counterparts.

Grey engaged Qabiri in the upper atmosphere. The two men read each other's minds and both came to the opinion the other was insane. Arguably one of the most powerful beings of his own home reality, even Grey's power was drawfed by Qabiri's who flung him back to Earth, landing in Nebraska. Nicola had Technocrat teleport them both along with Perpertua to the site of impact hoping it was Qabiri not Nate. When they arrived, the location was on fire and Technocrat exploded, her injured body no longer able to resist the attack on their Earth. Nicola felt this was all her fault. With Technocrat dead, they could not teleport any survivors to the Foldcastle. Nicola ran to the crash site, hoping she could kill Qabiri, only to find Grey's injured body.  At this point in time, Qabiri made his final assault on the planet with pyrokinesis, exploding and killing all remaining residents of Earth-253. [X-Man #71-72]


  • Grey, Nicola and Perpetua found themselves on another reality as Nicola's Earth exploded. The world they landed in was extremely hostile and not fit for life. Grey was struggling to use his telekinesis to create oxygen for them and also shield them from the elements. He was mystified as to why they had ended up in this reality, as he would never have chosen it. Grey and Nicola started to argue, as he believed she had brought them here and he questioned, if she was the “Spirit of the Age” on her world, why was she able to survive its destruction? The trio were interrupted by a woman named Hassan, who appeared seemingly out of nowhere.
  • Grey took the three women back to his Earth-616 in the Himalayas; a deserted location in case Qabiri pursued them. He believed that Nicola and Perpetua had called Hassan to them but all three women protested. He believed they were, in fact, literally fragments of the same person and not alternate reality counterparts at all. He challenged them, stating that it was Nicola and Perpetua who had saved him from Earth-253's destruction, acting instinctively, and that Perpetua, after having come into contact with Nicola, had regained her sight so naturally that she had not even noticed. Analyzing them, he said all the women's memories were merely surface and that they were hiding something. Nate used his telepathy to unite the three fragments as Qabiri found them and fought Grey. The reconstituted “Idris” was able to fight Qabiri to a standstill but Grey cautioned her that she was still not at full strength and that it was in their best interests to flee right now. Qabiri warned Grey that he still intended to destroy his Earth to prevent it creating more “Spiral walkers.”
  • Grey, now knowing that what Qabiri feared was contamination of the Brilliant City, teleported himself and Idris there. Idris was hesitant, as she wasn't sure if she wanted to remember why she had left. The duo were greeted by Melanchoir and others but told to leave or be destroyed. Grey told Melanchoir that Qabiri was destroying worlds, which is why they were there. Melanchoir and the other's didn't care about other worlds and considered both Idris and Qabiri now corrupt and not of their number. Grey quickly projected himself telepathically to Earth-616 (called Earth-611 in story now given that Qabiri had destroyed 5 Earths at this point) to let Qabiri know that he was in the Brilliant City. Melanchoir and the others had been assaulting Idris but, when the easily more unstable Qabiri teleported back home, he quickly took the attention of the residents, who started fighting him as he protested everything he had done was for them.
  • As Qabiri and his peers battled, they began to destroy their city. Grey used this opportunity to restore Idris' memories, connecting her to her other fragments in the multiverse. She was shocked to remember why she had left. Grey showed Qabiri and the denizens of the Brilliant City Idris' truth: they simply were not the pinnacle of all creation, other beings existed above them who considered them, despite their seeming "perfection", nothing. Qabiri's mind shattered completely.
  • Grey advised that the citizens, after this shock, would rebuild with a new society that would now change thanks to her. Idris was not sure, nor did she want to particpate. She wanted to be Sister Perpetua again and Nate returned her to the convent, wiping her memories at her request. She was seemingly at peace now, as her visions were cured and she was now whole. [X-Man #73-74]


Idris (Nicola Zeitgeist / Hassan / Sister Perpetua)

First appearance: X-Man #71

All Protectorate appearances: X-Man #71-74


  • Idris: great strength, speed, endurance, reflexes, and senses, vast psionic powers allow her to read and manipulate minds, levitate and propel solid objects, teleport through dimensions, and control various energies
  • Nicola: Allegedly the "Spirit of the Age", able to assume an electrical energy form, fly, and project her energies outwards
  • Hassan: Flight, presumably invulnerability to survive inhospitable environments
  • Perpetua: Multi-dimensional awareness which allowed her to view events on other possible worlds



  • Idris was the only female member of her race shown. It was unclear if this was to denote her “mutant status”. 


  • Nicola had some sort of romantic relationship with Nate Xavier.
  • Nicola was inspired by Jenny Sparks of the Authority.
  • She was the leader of Protectorate.
  • This fragment of Idris remembered manifesting as an Earth spirit without an explanation.


  • This fragment of Idris remembered being tasked by her Caliph to control an unknown energy from the stars.


  • This fragment of Idris remembers her eyelids being cut out by her father for sleeping in church. She remembers gouging out her own eyes when she started to experience visions.

Technocrat (Kim)

First appearance: X-Man #71

All Protectorate appearances: X-Man #71-72

Powers: Bio-mechanical symbiosis with technological components co-existing with flesh, employs nano-technology to sustain her body, rebuild it from damage, exhibit sensors to scan transmissions, detect energy signatures, and analyze matter or energy, and forge technology on a subatomic level to create specific effects like force fields, energy consuming scorpions, or a teleportation circuit linked to the Foldcastle


  • Technocrat is inspired by Wildstorm's Engineer.

Citydweller (Jerry)

First appearance: X-Man #71

All Protectorate appearances: X-Man #71-72

Powers: Psionically connected to all the cities of the world, enabling him to psychometrically sense those cities and events within them, as well as drawing strength from their existence


  • Citydweller had an unrequited romantic interest in Technocrat. She seemed to be unaware prior to his death.
  • Citydweller is inspired by Wildstorm's Jack Hawksmoor, God of Cities.

Thor (Randy)

First appearance: X-Man #71

All Protectorate appearances: X-Man #71-72

Powers: Flight, likely other abilities not shown


  • Thor was based on Wildstorm's Apollo.
  • It is unclear if he was intended to be an Asgardian.
  • He had a blue halo effect around his head.

Professor X (Nate Xavier)

First appearance: X-Man #71

All Protectorate appearances: X-Man #71-72

Powers: telepathy, telekinesis, flight and the ability to travel between realities, concentrate telepathic energies into a dreamball, a powerful telepathic attack capable of mind-wiping


  • This version of the character was inspired by Wildstorm's the Doctor.
  • Despite a strong physical similarity between the two, Nate Xavier was not "a Nate Grey" as defined during Ellis's run on the title, but merely a similar multiversal being, like Cable or Stryfe.
  • Had a romance with Nicola.

White Bird (Amara)

First appearance: X-Man #71

All Protectorate appearances: X-Man #71-72

Powers: Wings allowing flight


  • White Bird is based on Wildstorm's Swift.


First appearance: X-Man #71

All Protectorate appearances: X-Man #71-72

Powers: Enhanced physical attributes, combat psychic due to nervous system and cerebral cortex replaced by interlocking chain of super computers, allowing him to "quantum compute" all possible outcomes of an encounter and chose the most advantageous


  • Nightfighter was based on Wildstorm's Midnighter.
  • Possibly he was in a romantic relationship or interest with Thor as he phoned Nicola and asked of his status and she told him she was sorry for him that Thor had been killed. This would mirror the relationship between his counterpart Midnighter and his teammate Apollo, who Thor is based on.


Qabiri (Burning Tiger)

First appearance: X-Man #67

Powers: Advanced specimen with great strength, speed, endurance, reflexes, and senses, vast psionic powers allowing him to read and manipulate minds, levitate and propel solid objects, teleport through dimensions, and control various energies


  • Destroyed five Earths.
  • Was considered mentally unstable by his peers.
  • Was named Burning Tiger by the Protectorate, though he disliked the name and insisted they refer to him as Qabiri.
  • It was remarked that he was incredibly beautiful.


First appearance: X-Man #67

Powers: Presumable similar to Qabiri


  • Appeared to hold a leadership role among the citizens of the Brilliant City.
  • Had no empathy for the beings on the 5 Earths destroyed by Qabiri and considered both he and Idris corrupted after they traveled the Spiral.