THE UNCANNY X-MEN #390: "PAX, Part One: The Great Campaign" (August, 2005)
- THE UNCANNY X-MEN #390: "PAX, Part One: The Great
Campaign" (August, 2005)
Writer: Kenn Beck
Editors: Bob Lot, Hoang Thai
Patron Saint of Gummi: JM
Webmaster/EIC: Liam Gibbs
[The Interior Jungles of Genosha, 1859 ]
"Dr. Milbury," the soldier stammered, "there's a man here to
The man who would come to be known as Mister Sinister looked
up from his sheaf of documents and saw the soldier, one of his
personal guards, sweating profusely. Considering they were off
the coast of equatorial Africa, a little perspiration was to be
expected. But the wide eyes and visible trembling were all the
indication he needed that his time had run out.
"Dismissed," Milbury said.
The guard turned and left quickly, the relief on his face evident.
As he left wooden door creaked back open, and the massive
form of En Sabah Nur filled the doorway. His frame was draped
in loose robes, his face covered with a silken scarf. No sense in
startling the guards any more than he already did. They knew
Nur to be a powerful man, but the site of his face, chalky gray
with thick, blue scarring, would only compound their illusion that
he was not quite human.
"Milbury, Essex, Sinister " Nur smiled. "You and your love of
aliases. I see your little colony has made progress."
Milbury looked down at the papers on his desk, smiling. "Yes,
Lord Apocalypse. The future lies within the building blocks that
make up our bodies. I have been attempting to combine-"
Nur grabbed him by the throat, lifting him from the ground. "I
decide where the future lies. You have defied my orders. Instead
of augmentation of existing mutants, you insist on attempting to
create new mutants through selective breeding. That is not what
I empowered you to do." He released Milbury, letting him drop to
the ground, gasping. "If you ever dare defy me again, Nathaniel
Essex, I will crush the life from you and make tea from your
powdered bones." He slid a hand across Milbury's papers. "Your
work here is done. You work for me. You seem to have forgotten
"No, Lord Apocalypse, I have not. I am your servant, and obey
Nur nodded at the paperwork, taking notice of the dossiers of
Milbury's collection agents, led by the man named Oscar
Summers. "I know you do. And to remind you of that fact, you
have one last mission before you return to London."
"Yes, Lord Apocalypse?"
"Release the mists."
Milbury's blood ran cold. He had run a risk by deviating from
Nur's orders, and now the price was to be paid. And it would cost
him dearly. The work he had done here could be the key to the
future of mutantkind, and now he was being ordered to destroy it.
The mists, brought to him by Nur, were originally a catalyst for
mutation. With some augmentation, the mists could temporarily
suppress mutations. "You've lifted the veil, haven't you?"
The veil was a system of camouflage, decoys, traps, and
noisemakers that kept the superstitious human settlers from
penetrating the island's interior. With the veil down, and the
mists released, the mutants of his colony would be helpless,
and if discovered, slaughtered.
Nur chuckled, the sound similar to the stone lid of a
sarcophagus being slid back. "The humans are, even now,
approaching. I abducted one of their children, killed him, and
placed the body within the boundaries of this colony, leaving an
easily followed trail. Your experiments here must be destroyed.
The humans must think they are the cause of this colony's
destruction, lest they wonder what actually did cause it. Now,
release the mists."
Milbury bowed his head. "Why?"
"To remind you," Nur smiled. "There is a price for disobeying my
orders. Consider yourself fortunate the price is so small." He
turned and stopped in the doorway. "Your guards have already
been ordered to the ship. I will expect you there within the hour.
Do not make me wait." He left without another word.
Milbury hung his head for a moment, and then bundled his
papers. Stuffing them in his haversack, he collected his few
personal possessions, and left his office for the last time.
As he crossed the crude street that bisected the scientific quarter
of the colony, he saw dozens of the mutant residents looking at
him. One of them, known to her people as Beatrice, stopped
Milbury in the street. "Dr. Milbury," she said, "are you leaving? We
saw the protectors leave in formation with the big stranger,
heading towards the coast."
"Only for now, Beatrice." Milbury placed a hand lovingly on her
cheek. "I will return shortly."
"But with the protectors gone, who will keep us safe from the
Milbury smiled a sad smile. Damn you, Apocalypse, he thought,
you planned it like this. One last stab at me, even as I have to
destroy my greatest work. I have to lie to them, tell them they will
be okay, and they will curse me as they die before our ship is
even below the horizon.
"All will be well, Beatrice. I shall only be gone a day."
Beatrice watched as Milbury walked to the forbidden shed at the
center of the complex. Milbury disappeared within, and emerged
a moment later. He stopped in front of Beatrice, and now a small
crowd of mutants had drawn close, curious at the news of Dr.
Milbury's sudden departure. He looked at Beatrice, who had
grown to be one of his favorite subjects. "Beatrice," he said. "Go
to your children. Give them a nice big hug."
Beatrice nodded, smiling a confused smile. Milbury turned and
walked through the gate, in the direction that Nur and the
soldiers had gone. As the other mutants looked about in mild
confusion, Beatrice felt a sudden sense of dread, as if a tumbler
in her brain had clicked. Her powers had always allowed her a
special insight into the minds of others, and from Dr. Milbury,
she had glimpsed the edges of a profound sorrow. She stepped
over to the forbidden shed and tried the door handle. It wouldn't
budge. One of her friends, a large mutant named Hamish,
stepped up and grinned. "He's gone one minute and you already
want to go into the forbidden place?"
When Beatrice looked at him, all his humor was gone. Her face
was now that of one who has learned a terrible secret. He turned
and slammed his large frame into the door, which gave easily.
Beatrice stepped past him into the dark interior. As she did, she
saw the fuse on the small explosive strapped to the barrels in
the center. Her eyes flew wide and she dove away from the
building. As the explosive charge detonated, the barrels erupted,
and the air was instantly filled with a thick, choking green mist.
As she drew in her first breath, she felt her entire body begin to
burn, her senses seeming to dull. In her confusion, she heard
the voices of her children screaming in terror deep within her
brain, and then, she heard nothing at all.
[Genosha, Now ]
Marvel Girl sat bolt upright in the bedroom that she shared with
her husband. Cyclops sat up next to her, his eyes wide. Just six
months ago this would have blown the far wall of the room, and
the citadel that contained it, into smithereens. But since his
death and resurrection within Magneto's cloning cylinders, his
powers were fully under his control. (1) He looked at Marvel Girl,
who sat soaked in perspiration, sheets clinging to her skin,
panting in terror and confusion, and laid a comforting hand on
her shoulder. She turned to him and without a word began to
"It was her again, wasn't it?" Cyclops asked. Marvel Girl had,
since their occupation of Magneto's former headquarters, been
dreaming of a woman who lived on the island more than a
century ago. Horrible dreams of chaos, fire, blood, and death.
Somewhere deep inside, they both thought that perhaps her
mind had finally just let go, and Cyclops witnessing the
apparition of the woman's two dead children only seemed to
make him think he was joining her. "Let me see," he said
soothingly, feeling the tingle in his frontal lobe as their psy-link
allowed him to share what she had experienced.
"This has to end, Scott," she finally sobbed, "I don't know how
much more of this I can take."
"I know, Jean. I think that tomorrow we should discuss you
leaving Genosha until we can figure out what exactly happened
"No," Marvel Girl said vehemently, "I don't want to leave. I want to
find out what happened, and how we can make it right."
"Jean," Cyclops said sternly, "that would mean we'd have to
actively try to harness what you're dreaming. It's bad enough
these images seep into your mind, if you open the gates to them
you may drown."
"I've drowned before," Marvel Girl said, remembering the
moment when she was taken from the shuttle which had sank
into Jamaica Bay and placed in suspended animation by the
Phoenix Force. (2) "This is much worse. But Scott, I have to
Cyclops nodded. "I know, Jean. I promise you, we will look into
this together. I'm with you. The Professor and Shortpack should
be arriving in Genosha tomorrow. Let's wait until they can assist
you and then we'll find out what really happened."
"Okay, Scott," she whispered. She leaned against him and he
laid back on the bed, gently stroking her head, whispering
soothingly to her as the sun broke over the horizon of Hammer
[Genoshan Parliament ]
Angel stood at the podium at center stage, his metallic feathered
wings glimmering in the sunlight. Before him, the assembled
remaining population of Genosha stood, their faces beaming,
their admiration of their acting President clear. (3) He had always
been charismatic; it had served as a valuable tool in running his
company for years. To run an entire nation, he had needed more
than charisma, but it was a challenge he had relished. He was
proud of the success he had been able to claim in the fulfillment
of that task, with only a few stumbling points. Now, one last task
remained; helping these citizens to elect one of their own as a
leader. He turned back to his mentor, Charles Xavier, who
nodded and smiled. Behind Professor X, Shortpack, Scarlet
Witch, Nightcrawler, Unus and Shadowcat stood in a line.
Shortpack was at a full five feet nine inches, wearing a smile that
was tremendous, a smile that was seldom absent from his face
now that the size altering effects of his powers were under his
control. (4) Angel smiled at Shadowcat, whom hed had just
learned had returned to the Institute after a long absence. He
then glanced over at PAX, the peacekeeping force that had been
assembled from his former teammates to keep order in
Genosha. Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Iceman, Dazzler, Texas Twister,
Rictor, Wolfsbane, and Synesthesia stood in a line as well. He
then turned back to the crowd and spoke.
"Genoshan citizens! Thank you for joining us here today at the
final debate between the three candidates for President. We, you
and I together, have restructured your government into one that
truly serves the best interests of all Genoshans. The time has
come to turn control of what we've created, side by side and
shoulder to shoulder, to one of your own native sons. Tomorrow,
you will each cast your vote for the representative of your
choosing, and embrace the future of your homeland. I look to the
future of Genosha, and I see an unprecedented potential for
success and peace. The country has risen from the ashes of
war and terrorism and made a new destiny for itself. We stand
on the shores of a new world, under the dawn of a new day, at
the beginning of a new era. I feel a strong sense of pride at
seeing what this nation has become. And my colleagues and I
will continue to be there, not only to assist you should you ask for
help, but to witness the greatness that Genosha can achieve
when it is guided by the will of its people rather than by the
mistakes of the past. It has been an honor to serve as your
leader in these past few months, and I thank you for allowing me
to play a part in the shaping of a great nation."
Angel stepped back from the podium and was met by a
thunderous and hearty applause. He smiled and waved his
hand, acknowledging the appreciative crowd as a man in a
charcoal gray suit stepped up to the microphone. "Thank you,
President Worthington. My name is Charles Filgretti, Genoshan
liaison to the interim President. For the past few months, you've
heard from each of the candidates for President, and today, you
will hear from them one last time before tomorrow's election as
they each make a statement. I remind you that this is not the
forum for questions, that there will be a final question and
answer session tonight. Without further hesitation, I am pleased
to present the first candidate for Genoshan President, Mr. Dane
There was a hearty round of applause as Dane Scurry stepped
up to the podium. He was dressed smartly in a navy blue suit,
which matched well with the icy blue tint of his skin. He waited a
few moments for the applause to die down, and then began his
"My fellow Genoshans, you all have seen me already in the
debates, you know my position on the issues, so I won't be long
here today. Because today is nothing but the final step of a long
journey. It is tomorrow that I am here to talk about. Tomorrow is
the day when you get to cast aside the chains of oppression and
take your first breaths as a free nation in over a score. Through
its history, Genosha has long been a place of great turmoil and
strife. The Genegineer's Mutate transformations, Magneto's
takeover, and his eventual expulsion, all these events have taken
a deadly toll on the mutant population. But they have also taken
their toll on the human population as well. I think it is vital that
we, as a nation, look to tomorrow in the figurative sense as well
as the literal sense. We need to unite Genosha's sons and
daughters, whatever their genetic codes may be, and strive
towards guaranteeing that no blood will ever be spilled here
again. I know there are some that would seek to keep human
Genoshans out of our borders, to expatriate them for the sins of
the past. But I say that is only continuing the cycle of prejudice
and hatred. Charles Xavier, who's students have brought peace
to our island nation, teaches that an open hand can win out over
a closed fist. That peace and harmony are within reach, and are
goals worth fighting for. Remember that tomorrow. Tomorrow,
we make history. Thank you."
There was another thunderous ovation, and Scurry waved and
smiled as he stepped back. Charles Filgretti, still applauding,
stepped to the podium. "Thank you Mr. Scurry. It is now my
pleasure to introduce our second candidate, Mr. Bennett
The crowd's reaction was far more diverse and intense.
Serringer, part of the Mutants First Party, played heavily upon the
mistrust engendered between humans and mutants, calling for
Genosha to close its borders to anyone not possessed of the
mutant gene. He had found an alarmingly large number of
ardent supporters to that view, and they all cheered passionately
for the man as he strode to the podium. There were also a
smattering of boos and hisses. His form was large, but carried a
certain air of weakness to it. His muscles looked thin and ropy,
his belly had a slight paunch to it. In short, his time spent
laboring as a mutate was long behind him, as was his desire to
ever labor again. The only evidence of his servitude was the
number 6146 which had been emblazoned in his forehead. He
wore this with an almost perverse pride, forgoeing the removal
which was an option of the reversal process. He has served his
nation as a slave, and this mark was a badge of honor to him.
"My brothers and sisters! Mr. Scurry is right. Tomorrow is the
future. The future of our nation, and our race, hangs in the
balance. Mr. Scurry would have you open the doors of our
homes, our lives, to the very people who tried to strip us of those
precious commodities. I say to you, we cannot allow this! We
have shaken off the rule of our human masters, and cast out the
madman who would wage war with the rest of the world! It is
time for us to lead ourselves into prosperity. I have seen first
hand-" and with this, he pointed a bony finger at the inked
numeral desecrating his brow as if saluting- "what the humans
would have in store for us! Mutant kind is nothing but a
commodity to them! So they must be kept at bay. I have no wish
to make war with humanity. I seek only the right to live among my
own kind in peace. The distinguished Professor Xavier would
have you believe that the Gene War Magneto started is over. But
the War has not ended, nor was it started by Magneto. It started
when the first mutant to suffer persecution by a human hand
spilled blood. When the world renounces its racial hatred, then
the war will truly be over. Then perhaps it might be feasible to
allow Genosha to become a great melting pot. But until then, we
need to think of the walfare of Genosha's main population. The
world simply isn't ready to let us live in peace with them. So we
must have a place where we can live in peace without them. Vote
Serringer in tomorrow's election! Mutants First!"
There was a near hysterical burst of applause and cheering from
a large segment of people who had crowded near the stage. The
boos had also grown in intensity, and some minor scuffling
broke out, but it broke itself up before Cyclops could even turn to
order his team in to keep the peace.
Filgretti stepped to the podium again, clapping politely. "Thank
you Mr. Serringer. And finally, our last candidate for Presidency,
Mr. Pierce Moorhouse!"
The crowd reaction instantly swelled to outright adoration. While
Angel had squelched an overwhelming popular motion to
nominate him to remain President, he had his doubts about his
chances were he to run against Moorhouse. The man was
insanely popular among the Genoshan people, as his wealth
and limited fame in America had always found ways to help
fellow Genoshans. He had set up shelters for Genoshans who
had left the country as he had following the introduction of the
mutate bonding process, used his company's considerable
resources to help Genoshans escape, and personally assisted
many of them financially until they could acclimate into the
societies they fled to. He was truly a benefactor of the Genoshan
people. It was also almost a foregone conclusion that he would
be sworn in tomorrow evening, beating out Scurry, the everyman
who meant well but suffered from some antiquated ideals, and
Serringer, who's anti-human dogma seemed to hold the more
violent minded populous in the palm of his hand. Angel smiled,
because he felt that the right man was going to win this election.
Barring any turmoil tomorrow, he and his friends in PAX would
be able to return home to the United States and let Genosha
grow on her own.
Pierce Moorhouse nodded to his Vice President, a man named,
coincidentally enough, Stephen Xavier, and smiled. "Wish me
Xavier gave him a thumbs up, and then turned and smiled at
Professor X. Professor X didn't see him, as his attention was on
the charismatic candidate with his hands up, politely, and
perhaps a little disingenuously, beseeching the crowd to be
silent. They continued to cheer for a few moments longer, and
then finally settled down.
With a tremendous smile on his face, Moorhouse placed his
hands on the sides of the podium, his thumbs resting on its top,
and began to speak.
Before the first syllable could leave his throat, his left bicep
exploded a thick spurt of crimson ichor. By the time the weapon's
report reached their ears, Moorhouse had already been hit a
second time, his chest crumpling under the impact of the
projectile. Instantly, the crowd flew into a panic, and Angel
launched himself into action. He wrapped his metallic wings
around Moorhouse, hearing a sharp ping as the feathers were
actually dented by the last projectile. Unus instantly created a
thick dome around the group on stage, while Iceman reinforced
it with sheet upon sheet of ice.
Cyclops fired a beam at a precise point off in the distance, and
Angel's enhanced vision could see that he had found his mark.
As the crowd began to panic and scatter, Marvel Girl reached out
with her telepathy and tried to calm them down. She succeeded
only in stopping a full scale riot. There was still a sense of blind
panic rippling through the crowd.
"Unus, stay with Professor X, keep him safe," Nightcrawler
ordered. "Shortpack, stay with PAX, help Jean get this crowd
under control. Scarlet Witch, Shadowcat, let's go."
Cyclops nodded quickly and issued his orders to his own squad.
Wolfsbane, Synesthesia, you're with me. The rest of you; crowd
control. Make sure that no one takes advantage of this chaos."
He fell in line with Nightcrawler's group.
"Nice shot," Nightcrawler said. "Did you see who it was?"
"I didn't see anyone," Cyclops looked at Nightcrawler. "I just
calculated the angles, and fired where I knew the sniper had to
"Unglaublich," Nightcrawler replied, "I sometimes forget about
your uncanny proclivity for trigonometry."
"When you shoot pure destructive energy out of your eyes, you
learn to know the angles," Cyclops said, and for a moment,
Nightcrawler was stupefied; he could have sworn Cyclops was
"This is your territory," Nightcrawler said, "I put my team at your
"Alright," Cyclops said, pointing ahead. "We're going after
someone who may or may not be enhanced, may or may not still
be armed, and may or may not be alone. I want everyone on their
toes." He cracked his knuckles and to Nightcrawler's
amazement, smiled again. "Let's go bag us a bad guy."
[On Stage ]
Shortpack had linked with Marvel Girl and tapped Professor X's
brain for help. The three of them guided by Professor X's years of
experience, managed to partially calm the crowd. They were
assisted by the fact that the crowd hadn't heard another shot,
and felt that the danger had already passed. Angel and Unus
stood shielding Moorhouse as Xavier knelt over him, checking
for a pulse.
"I saw the second shot," Angel said. "It was a bright flash, but the
bullet was real shiny. The third one hit me in the wing, and I
actually felt it."
"You could see the bullet?" Xavier asked.
"These wings aren't the only thing I have that are like an
Eagle's," he said. "My vision is just as superhuman. I also saw
that Cyclops tagged the guy with is optic blast." He looked down
at Moorhouse. "I thought his powers could deflect anything?"
"Correction: anything man-made," Xavier said. "But bullets don't
just grow in the wild. How the hell did this happen?"
"Only one thing in nature is hard enough to actually dent my
wings when they're in metallic form. Diamond."
Iceman looked over at them with an incredulous look.
"Somebody tried to kill him with a diamond?"
"Correction," Xavier said, slumping back on his heels.
"Somebody DID kill him. He's gone."
[Next Issue: Who Killed Pierce Moorhouse?]
1. It happened in AMU's X-Factor Vol. II #13.
2. In Uncanny X-Men #101.
3. Angel was nominated and accepted as acting President of
Genosha following Magneto's departure at the conclusion of The
4. See last issue for details.
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