MILLER, LAYLA: Page 3 of 8

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13th July 2012
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The sheer amount of information Layla was processing in her head was too much to completely access, however, leaving the occasion gap in her awareness. These gaps sometimes occurred in the worst of places. Layla was caught completely off-guard when Monet and Siryn returned from France with a depowered mutant girl named Nicole, whom Layla had no recollection of at all. [X-Factor (3rd series) #18] That initial blind spot led to even more trouble, as Nicole fished a positive pregnancy test out of the toilet, something else which had escaped Layla's knowledge. In Central Park, Layla experienced a crisis of faith about the pregnancy test -- having gone for so long knowing the outcome of every decision she made, she now found it difficult to make any decision at all when the outcome was in question. Nicole took the decision out of her hands when she smashed Layla’s head with a rock and tossed her into the waterways running through the park. [X-Factor (3rd series) #22]

Layla was pulled to safety by Quicksilver of all people, who had apparently been hiding in the park ever since losing his powers. Almost deranged by the recent events of his life, Pietro believed God was giving him a chance to redeem himself for losing the Terrigen crystals, by killing the "tool of Satan" that stood in his way... Layla Miller. Their encounter was fierce but brief, and Layla managed to get away to warn X-Factor about Nicole and her master, Josef Huber. While Madrox and the rest of X-Factor dealt with the self-styled Isolationist, Layla finally disposed of Nicole by flipping her in front of a subway train. Nicole was revealed as an android created by Huber to infiltrate X-Factor, possessing a "chaotic randomizing generator" Huber constructed with Forge's power, which created the blind spots in Layla's knowledge.
[X-Factor (3rd series) #24]

One fateful day, the first new mutant birth after M-Day came to Cooperstown, Alaska, drawing the attention of raiding parties from the Marauders and the Purifiers. Learning of it as well, the X-Men were put on high alert as the future of their species was now in question. Forge had developed a chronal tracer to map the future and look for a solution to M-Day. When the new mutant was born, two distinct timelines spiked, indicating two new possible futures where mutant began to flourish again after the Decimation. To explore these possibilities, Cyclops and the X-Men contacted Jamie Madrox. Layla accompanied Jamie to Eagle Plaza in Texas, where Forge explained the situation to them. Madrox produced two dupes to send into the machine, one apiece for the new timelines. When the second dupe was being transported, however, Layla leapt into the machine at the last second, jumping into the future with Jamie. Only after they were gone did Madrox Prime find out the only way for his duplicates to come back was to die, sending whatever knowledge they picked up in the future back to him through the chronal tracer. [X-Factor (3rd series) #25]

Layla and the dupe arrived in what they eventually learned was Bishop's future timeline: 80 years in the future where mutants were actively banned from all aspects of society, even speech, and the few who remained were housed in concentration camps. While trying to glean information on the Sheepshead Bay camp in Brooklyn, they were surrounded by a battalion of armed guards. Always full of surprises, Layla's biology fluctuated between mutant and non-mutant signals on the guards' equipment, giving her an opportunity to escape. Instead, she openly confessed to being a mutant and was sent into the camp as a prisoner along with Multiple Man. [X-Factor (3rd series) #26] They were quickly put through the thorough and humiliating processing procedure, including shaving their heads and removing all their own clothes. The worst of it was the branding -- a specialized virus disguised as a 'M' tattoo over the eye, the "ink" bonded to Layla at a genetic level, making the mark of being a mutant permanent. [X-Men (2nd series) #206]
Jamie and Layla met up again inside the camp, and she led him to the mutant they needed to see... Lucas Bishop, as a young boy. Hearing Bishop's story alerted Jamie to his hatred of the so-called "mutant messiah" who had just been born back in the present, and gave Madrox the information he needed to pass on to Cyclops and the X-Men. With her mission completed, Layla attached a stolen grenade to the dupe, setting it off so that he died and returned his information to Jamie Prime in the present, leaving her trapped eight decades in the future. [X-Factor (3rd series) #27]

Not long after parting ways with Jamie, Layla began arranging for her escape from Sheepshead Bay. By standing in the same spot for ten days straight, without moving, she drew the guards’ attention. They surrounded her at her chosen spot just in time for space debris from old satellites to fall out of the sky, breaking the fences and crushing people everywhere... except for the exact spot where Layla had been standing. Now able to travel freely, Layla helped arrange for a rogue mutant named Linquon to escape the police, and drew the attention of a curious car thief named Dwayne. At an open rally denouncing the concentration camps, Layla planted rumors in the attendees about Operation: Purity, a government-sponsored program to test the entire populace for mutant genes going back ten generations. Of course, Operation: Purity wasn't nearly as far along as Layla claimed, but it didn't matter: the point was to make the threat of the camps more personal to everyday citizens. With rumors spreading on the Ethernet that normal people would lose their civil rights along with mutants, a strong outcry of sympathy for the mutant plight quickly began to develop.
With Dwayne's help, Layla made her way to the bombed out ruins of Atlantic City, where she contacted Cyclops, now an aging cyborg, and his daughter, Ruby Summers. Scott had been waiting there for Layla for years, because in her future she would one day return to the past and tell him of her own eventual arrival. Initially, Scott was furious at Layla upon seeing her, demanding to know how she could have let the past unfold as it happened, knowing what she did. At this point, Layla finally broke down in front of Cyclops, the weight of her knowledge almost unbearable. She confessed how she would wake up at nights screaming because she knew the torture and branding at the camps was coming closer each day. She demanded Scott explain why she would have let that happen to her, if she had any way at all to alter events as she knew them. Cyclops forgave her after that and, once Layla composed herself, she pushed Scott and Ruby into starting the fabled Summers Rebellion. In Times Square, as the government publicly announced their intentions to go forward with Operation: Purity, Layla arrived with Ruby and the others to lead the people in open revolt against the government. Humans and mutants united in opposition to the government's programs, and the insurrection broke out in the streets. [X-Factor Special: Layla Miller #1]

The Summers Rebellion spanned more than five years, with the country in a continuing state of civil unrest. Many camps were liberated in that time, including Sheepshead Bay. During this period, Layla was an active participant in the fight alongside Cyclops, Ruby and their allies. She also located and recovered a detailed series of her own journals. These journals were written by Layla in her personal future, detailing everything she knew or experienced after inevitably returning to the present after the Summers Rebellion. By reading these journals, Layla ensured she would have advance knowledge of all things to come in the next 80 years after her return. [X-Factor (1st series) #230]
Now in her late teens, Layla took steps to make sure Jamie Madrox was brought into the future when he needed to be. Against Scott and Ruby's wishes, she accessed some old technology which enabled her to send a hard-light hologram of herself backwards through time. Seeking out Reverend John Maddox, Jamie's wayward dupe and family man, she posed as a nun until Madrox himself arrived in New England. Jamie was at his lowest after the loss of his infant son, Sean, and Layla arrived just in time to prevent him from committing suicide. Madrox blamed himself for months for leaving her in the camp, and just seeing Layla alive and well was enough to temporarily stave off Madrox's depression. As Layla's consciousness was pulled back into the future, the tech allowed her to physically transport Jamie with her as well. [X-Factor (3rd series) #40-41]
After being shot at by Sentinels and recruited into the Summers Rebellion by Cyclops, Madrox finally got a moment to catch his breath and asked Layla why she brought him there. As always, Layla couldn't tell him what he wanted to know about how she knew things, and they began arguing. Unlike before, however, this argument ended with a passionate kiss. [X-Factor (3rd series) #43] After that, the two of them reached a sort of peace, and Jamie realized there was no point in questioning Layla for answers she couldn't give. Layla explained that she needed Madrox's involvement in an investigation, to find out why members of the Summers Rebellion were blinking out of existence for brief periods. Reasoning that some form of time travel might be involved, Layla and Jamie consulted with the now-ancient Victor von Doom about the situation. [X-Factor (3rd series) #45]

As Layla knew already, Doctor Doom was deeply involved in recent events: his chronal variance inhibitors, or "Doomlocks," had been cyberneticly incorporated into an agent known as Cortex, who was now operating in the past to eliminate the ancestors of the Summers Rebellion members. The Doomlock prevented the timeline from splitting because of his actions, allowing him to make actual changes to history. Doom arranged to recall his Doomlock to the future, but rewrote Cortex's control codes in the process and directed him to kill the members of the Summers Rebellion in the here and now. [X-Factor (3rd series) #48-49]
During Cortex's rampage, Trevor Fitzroy of the Rebellion was killed. Ruby confronted Layla and insisted she use her reanimating power on Fitz. Layla tried to explain why she had previously only used her power on animals: that the living things she brought back with her power returned without a soul. Ruby was insistent, however, and Layla reluctantly restored Fitzroy to life. In the end, Cortex and the Sentinels were defeated.

This was all apparently orchestrated in advance by Layla and Doom to some degree, both of whom were destined to meet in her future and his past. As his final part of the deal, Doom rigged his time machine to take Madrox and Layla back to the past. Mere moments before the time machine was activated, Madrox aksed Layla whether it was true that she had resurrected Fitzroy. She admitted that this was her mutant power not "knowing stuff" as she had led everyone to believe. This revelation was cut short as Doom's time machine returned them to the past. Madrox arrived in the immediate present, shortly after X-Factor Investigations had dealt with the time-traveling Cortex. Layla, however, arrived a few years earlier, before House of M and the Decimation of mutantkind. She approached her own younger self at St. Joan's Orphanage, and told the young Layla her story of what was to come. After explaining the situation, Layla used a small Doomlock device to upload all her accumulated knowledge and memories into the younger Layla, thereby assuring that the past, present and future would unfold the way she remembered them. As the younger Layla passed out from the rush of knowledge, the adult Layla walked away, regretting her own role in turning herself into a pawn of fate. [X-Factor (3rd series) #50]