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Friday, September 22

  1. page Issue 91 - 'Judgment Day' edited ... Plot In the aftermath of Avengers vs. X-Men, the Academy X staff faces a changed world. Cyclo…
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    Plot
    In the aftermath of Avengers vs. X-Men, the Academy X staff faces a changed world. Cyclops, as Dark Phoenix, caused a larger number of latent mutants to manifest powers. Over the summer, ten times as many adolescents as normal became mutants across the globe. Cyclops believes this will force humanity to stop oppressing mutants. He is in S.H.I.E.L.D. custody in a ruby cell on the east coast. The various Avengers and mutant teams (including the eXalts) assist in cleanup efforts worldwide of the damage done by the Dark Phoenix. Bastienne doesn’t return to Utopia. She accompanies T’Challa to Wakanda to help with humanitarian efforts in the capital following Storm’s attack. While Bastienne spends the summer in Wakanda, the rest of the group returns to Utopia. As July begins, the staff completes end of term tasks, like sending reports to the Board of Trustees. One third of the students are in residence during break. Due to Schism, Academy X hosts its own students that cannot or will not return home. They work on various projects. Utopia is self-sufficient in terms of food, water, and energy, but there are other chores, like tending livestock (chickens, pigs, and sheep), cleaning projects at Academy X, and farming. And there are changes to Utopia itself. The island is hundreds of times larger than before…
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    at Logan’s School.school. The Avengers
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    force people from killingto kill mutants.
    As summer flies by, the

    The
    Academy X staff is busy.busy as summer flies by. Alice looks
    There is a great deal of public outcry after a S.H.I.E.L.D. telepath outs David as the MRF member in the “Erik the Red” costume. Even though David was working to prevent deaths, after his possession by Runak he was already viewed as a villain by most humans. Once he’s seen as a participant in the bombing that killed dozens of anti-mutant protesters, there are calls for punishment from all corners. As a result, David lays low over the summer. He spends time on Utopia by himself or disappears for days to visit family. Meanwhile, Dane also keeps a low profile. He spends time with Davan and Dagan. He visits Ginny in New Genosha once she moves in following her graduation from the Jean Grey School. His estate is still being settled after being presumed dead legally. At the moment Matt still holds Dane’s seat on the Board of Trustees, though he’s willing to return it to Dane. Dane plans to work as the school’s technology officer. He works on the school’s farms, improving their yield, and looks forward to Jasmine’s return for her assistance.
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    Bastienne. She attendattends Utopia meetings
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    Bastienne is seen wearing bandages
    Sam has a hard time dealing with the aftermath of being one of the Phoenix Five. She spends time with family and only does the minimum required for her various positions. She still feels guilty over accidentally killing Matt and is reminded whenever she looks into his phoenix-shaped irises, though his eyes slowly return to normal. She uses Cerebra to recruit students for the fall and keeps in touch with her teammates and Honoka, but is otherwise reclusive. As summer break ends she seems to feel better. She and Matt explore the island. They find the blue orchids Jasmine saw and visit the Morlock caves. Several dozen Morlocks live there that were granted asylum. Utopia has miles of caverns below the surface and the Morlocks are making themselves at home with the assistance of Matt. Valerie will be their representative on the surface. At one point on their hike, Sam sees something large moving in the forest at the horizon…
    Bailey settles into his new role as officially elected mayor of New Genosha. He greets the 100 new mutants when they arrive. The group includes familiar faces: recent graduates Ginny, Erica, Mercy, and Ethan have all moved to the town. Bailey also works with the three newly-elected town council members, Neal (from X-Corporation: Los Angeles), Finn (a dock worker), and Jamie Lynn (the Evan worshiper). He outlines an agenda involving setting up laws, zoning, and taxes to try to get the town more autonomous from X-Corporation: Los Angeles. He’d like to get businesses and housing into private hands as soon as possible. He works with Liam to make sure the town courts are running smoothly and is in discussions over where the town’s boundaries lie in terms of policing duties. He finds time to go on dates at least weekly with Tsu-Zana. When not in New Genosha or with Tsu-Zana, he is in Asteroid M setting up a living space. He hopes Plex will let him use the former space station as an emergency shelter in case of a Genosha-style attack. He works on his training his new adaptation abilities.
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    4:47 pm

Wednesday, September 20

  1. page Issue 99 - 'Death' edited ... Apocalypse has risen! Former Academy X student Evan Sabahnur embraced his fate to become the p…
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    Apocalypse has risen! Former Academy X student Evan Sabahnur embraced his fate to become the powerful and evil villain. As weeks have passed, he has only added to his strength. He has the power to manipulate matter, including turning his enemies into ash. He has also developed a gas that turns humans into mutants or kills them. He’s already used the gas on thousands. Each human turned into a mutant joined his growing army – including the son of Academy X’s headmaster, Mac! In addition, Evan found “seeds” (mutants created to host Egyptian gods) and forced them to fight to the death to become his Four Horsemen. The four include the twin sister of Academy X Headmistress Bastienne, Georgie (Sekhmet), former Academy X student and terrorist Christine (Osiris), Irish soldier Ian (Set), and a small-time superhero from Los Angeles named Robyn (Horus). Evan is also surrounded by the Inner Circle of Clan Akkaba, each a powerful mutant in their own right. One recent addition to the Inner Circle was the clone of former eXalt team leader David, now the evil Norse sky god, Runak. Runak had been impersonating David all semester. The eXalts learned the real David was a prisoner in a dimension called Aleph which resembles Ancient Egypt. They traveled to the realm to rescue David, but were split up and forced to fight on opposite sides in a war for control of the dimension. On one side, David had become the general of Aleph’s natives. On the other side, a Clan Akkaba member named Cynthia ruled Aleph’s city while posing as the goddess Isis. Isis commanded thousands of Clan Akkaba soldiers. She compelled half of the eXalts to fight at her side, though eXalt team leader Samantha refused and was imprisoned. With the help of Ian (who, despite being one of Evan’s Four Horsemen, somehow avoided Evan’s mental control) another seed named DJ Niji, and a formerly-brainwashed agent of Clan Akkaba named Blink, the eXalts overthrew Isis and returned control of Aleph to the natives of the dimension. Cynthia was killed, but during the battle Sam disappeared from her jail cell. Meanwhile, weeks passed in the real world during their time in Aleph. Upon returning to Earth, the eXalts learned Evan corrupted the global food supply with the same substance as his gas, causing tens of thousands of humans to die or mutate. The world is in chaos. Evan’s army seems unstoppable. Then the eXalts learned that, during their absence, Evan infiltrated Academy X and used the mutant detector Cerebra. What is his plan?...
    Though Ian and DJ Niji remained in Aleph and Sam is still missing, Blink remains with the group. She uses her mutant power to open a portal to Academy X. Bailey hurries to New Genosha. As mayor of the town, he wants to make sure it’s been okay in his absence. David is so happy to be back on Utopia he kisses the ground. Sam’s husband, Matt, is waiting for the group. He’s clearly concerned Sam is missing, but focuses on the problem at hand. He says that Evan broke into the school just an hour ago. Evan used his ability to control machines to shut down the school’s security system, but Matt was able to tell he used Cerebra. He has other news: Academy X professor Dane returned in their absence. He disappeared while searching for his missing son, Davan. With the aid of a former ally, private investigator Dakota North, Dane followed a lead to Japan, but was captured by a group of Hellfire Club: Tokyo mutants. He escaped and learned that Davan was truly gone. At least he uncovered a way to regain his powers after being depowered in the Hellfire Club: Tokyo attack on Academy X. He returned to Utopia only a few days ago and helped Michael and Alice run the school in the eXalts’ absence. Dane is working on Cerebra to see what Evan was up to. And Dane’s not the only one who recently returned: Academy X professor Liam is back, but he’s not himself. Liam is still possessed by Sobek, the Egyptian crocodile god. As acting eXalts team leader with Sam missing, David calls everyone to the War Room for a team meeting. He begins by asking Blink about how her powers work – how far can she create portals, how many can she transport, and so on. Matt updates David on what he’s missed since he’s been gone. He also updates the team on what they’ve missed over the past few weeks. Apparently the various Avengers teams (including the Uncanny Avengers, the Avengers/X-Men hybrid team that Mac and Dane belong to) are missing, along with the various X-teams. First several of the teams disappeared while following a lead on Arcade (the villain who forced young heroes to fight to the death, then put the footage on YouTube in an event dubbed Avengers Arena). Then the other teams disappeared while trying to rescue the missing heroes. Matt asks David about what they’re going to do to find Sam. David assures Matt they left allies in Aleph (Ian and DJ Niji) who are looking for her. Dane joins the meeting. He had been working on Cerebra with the help of Kai, an Academy X student with technopathic abilities. Dane discovered that Evan destroyed the machine’s files, but he was able to recover enough data to find who Evan was looking for. He was searching for the most powerful seed of them all: the mutant created to host Ra, father god of the Egyptian pantheon. Unlike most of the other seeds, Ra did not have a twin sister. And he was difficult to detect because his X-gene had been deactivated. But once Evan searched for late teen or early twenty-something mutants with light powers, he found the seed in New York. The realization of Evans’ target dawns on the group: it’s none other than Academy X founding member Lucius “Prism” Hayes! He’s the right age, lives in New York, has light powers, and has a deactivated X-gene (due to taking Hope to fight a techno-organic virus infection). Now he’s in danger!
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    human residents toor made them
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    notify S.H.I.E.L.D.’s westeast coast office
    Blink opens a portal back to Utopia. The group is in mourning over the loss of their friend, Lucius. They finally get some rest. Billy and Bastienne spend the night together. On Sunday, Mac drafts another statement to the New Genoshan residents. He tries to reassure them that the eXalts are doing everything they can to keep Utopia and New Genosha safe (as well as the rest of the world). He understands their grief over losing loved ones (the humans that died) as well as their worry over their missing friends and family (the humans who became mutants and disappeared to join Evan’s army). He reveals that his son, Aiden, was one of the New Genosha residents who has disappeared. The New Genoshans are surprised to hear he had a secret son and are mollified knowing he’s in the same situation they are. Mac then contacts Amanda, former Academy X student and Doctor Strange’s apprentice. She hasn’t heard from Steven since he disappeared on the mission to apprehend Arcade. Amanda has other news. She says Mac’s mother, Clea, is missing. And she believes Evan is using a powerful artifact called the Ka Stone. She’s sensed that reality itself is being modified, something the Ka Stone can do. The artifact’s description matches the red gem used by Evan’s ally, Ozymandias. He used it to channel Egyptian gods into the horsemen as well as to create the gas that kills or mutates humans. Mac is shaken – Evan seemed unstoppable before, and now he has an artifact as powerful as an Infinity Gem. Meanwhile, Bastienne approaches Honoka and asks if she’ll set up a meeting with the elderly Billy and Ruth. Despite their attack on Academy X, Hellfire Club: Tokyo and the eXalts both want to stop Evan. Honoka agrees to arrange a meeting.
    At the eXalts meeting that night, Mac shares that Ozymandias has the Ka Stone. David asks where Ozymandias is, as well as the rest of Evan’s army. Mac says he can use the Orb of Agamotto to scry for them, but it’s likely they’ll be able to detect his intrusion. It’s best he waits until they’re ready to take out Evan to locate him. David asks Bastienne if their Wiki files from the future provided any more insight into fighting Apocalypse. Bastienne says they only listed Apocalypse as an enemy and little else. David then asks if they can go back in time to stop Evan before he became Apocalypse. Perhaps Diana could boost Billy’s powers to give him the ability to travel through time. Billy is worried that the plan could lead to him becoming the elderly Billy, known as the Golden Claw. Bastienne assures Billy that the Golden Claw is a different Billy (as he is from a different timeline) and he won’t become the Golden Claw. But boosting Billy could have other effects, as Diana’s X-gene boosting can cause secondary mutations (like Beast’s blue fur). Billy asks Bastienne if he should go through with the boost, but she says it’s up to him. He agrees to try it. The group brings Diana into the meeting. They ask her to boost Billy. She says she has to see if he’s able to be boosted – some mutants’ X-genes are already being used at their full potential. She looks at Billy and concentrates. She opens her eyes, surprised. Billy has an incredible amount of untapped potential. He may even be an Omega-level mutant! The rest of the group laughs, as they already knew he was an Omega-level mutant. Dane asks how often Diana can boost mutants. She admits she isn’t sure exactly, but no more than one a day as the process is draining. Diana tells Billy she needs to touch him to boost him. Billy quips that he hopes it doesn’t work like Frankie’s powers (a classmate of their from Xavier’s school whose touch caused pleasure), then checks to see if that’s true in their timeline. Bastienne assures them it is. Diana says the only side effect is intense pain. Billy gulps, but tells her to go ahead. Diana takes Billy’s hands and concentrates. Billy grimaces, then begins screaming… and a moment later, disappears!
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    10:26 am

Monday, September 18

  1. page Issues edited ... Following Hellfire Club: Tokyo's shocking betrayal, the most powerful threat the eXalts have e…
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    Following Hellfire Club: Tokyo's shocking betrayal, the most powerful threat the eXalts have ever faced has risen: Apocalypse! Can the eXalts stop Apocalypse from ruling the world - or destroying it?
    Issue 96 - 'Pestilence' - Evan has embraced his destiny as Apocalypse, but the eXalts have time before he puts his plan into action. Can they uncover Evan's plan and find the other seeds before Clan Akkaba?
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    Evan's allies leadleads to disaster.
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    - 'Death' - The group makes plans for their final confrontation with Evan, but when the Four Horsemen attack Disneyland the eXalts must intercede. And death has come to a beloved ally...Issue 100 - 'Apocalypse'
    The Phoenix Force – a cosmic force of destruction – has returned. The Avengers and X-Men have clashed over its intended host, Academy X professor and eXalt Dagan Lightfoot. The Avengers wanted to stop the unprepared mutant girl from merging with the Phoenix while the X-Men trained her so they could use the Phoenix to make the world a better place for mutants. The eXalts were caught in the middle. But when the Phoenix Force arrived, Tony Stark blasted it with his Phoenix Buster armor splitting it into five shards. Each shard found a mutant host: Scott “Cyclops” Summers (X-Men leader), Ororo “Storm” Munroe (X-Men member), Heather “Lifeguard” Cameron (CEO of X-Corporation: Los Angeles and eXalt ally), Dane “Panzer” Lightfoot (former eXalt and Academy X headmaster), and Samantha “Phantasma” Stone (eXalts leader). There isn’t one Phoenix host now – there are five! The Phoenix Five levitate into the air, glowing with immeasurable power. Is the danger over, or have things gone from bad to worse?...
    In the week and a half before the Phoenix Five were created, eXalt Liam “Primal” Stonecrow traveled to New Mexico to seek advice from his people, the Apache. He met with the Apache elders. Beyond the dire warning that the Phoenix Force had destroyed several planets on its way to Earth, they had no further insight. They knew of another option, but it was risky. One Apache group, the Mescalero, knew of seven communities in the Land of Ever Summer. One of them, called the “Under-City”, was the crossroads where lost spirits were called. Liam could go on a spirit quest to the Under-City with the help of the elders. But if his trek was unsuccessful he could become a lost spirit himself. Liam agreed to the risk. After a days-long ritual, Liam’s spirit left his body in astral form and traveled the space between life and death. He followed the subtle pull the Under-City exerted on all lost spirits until he reached the fabled refuge. It resembled a run-down neighborhood in a sprawling metropolis, but it was made up of dwellings whose architecture came from cultures across the world and from all different time periods. A rickety shack from medieval China sat next to a hut from an African tribe which sat next to a FEMA tent from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. It was people by orphans and castaways from every time and every place. And standing in the middle of the main street – mostly a dirt road, but showing evidence of broken pavement and occasional cobblestones – was Dog Brother. He seemed to be some kind of Asian warrior, perhaps a samurai or assassin. A pack of stray dogs formed a semi-circle behind him and his followers peeked out of buildings along the road. He sensed Liam’s tie to the world of the living – his connection to the Apache elders allowing him to return from this land between life and death. As ruler of Under-City, he demanded to know why Liam had come.
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    8:19 pm
  2. page Issue 99 - 'Death' edited Issue 99 - 'Death' {Issue 99 Small.png} Plot Apocalypse has risen! Former Academy X student Ev…
    Issue 99 - 'Death'
    {Issue 99 Small.png}
    Plot
    Apocalypse has risen! Former Academy X student Evan Sabahnur embraced his fate to become the powerful and evil villain. As weeks have passed, he has only added to his strength. He has the power to manipulate matter, including turning his enemies into ash. He has also developed a gas that turns humans into mutants or kills them. He’s already used the gas on thousands. Each human turned into a mutant joined his growing army – including the son of Academy X’s headmaster, Mac! In addition, Evan found “seeds” (mutants created to host Egyptian gods) and forced them to fight to the death to become his Four Horsemen. The four include the twin sister of Academy X Headmistress Bastienne, Georgie (Sekhmet), former Academy X student and terrorist Christine (Osiris), Irish soldier Ian (Set), and a small-time superhero from Los Angeles named Robyn (Horus). Evan is also surrounded by the Inner Circle of Clan Akkaba, each a powerful mutant in their own right. One recent addition to the Inner Circle was the clone of former eXalt team leader David, now the evil Norse sky god, Runak. Runak had been impersonating David all semester. The eXalts learned the real David was a prisoner in a dimension called Aleph which resembles Ancient Egypt. They traveled to the realm to rescue David, but were split up and forced to fight on opposite sides in a war for control of the dimension. On one side, David had become the general of Aleph’s natives. On the other side, a Clan Akkaba member named Cynthia ruled Aleph’s city while posing as the goddess Isis. Isis commanded thousands of Clan Akkaba soldiers. She compelled half of the eXalts to fight at her side, though eXalt team leader Samantha refused and was imprisoned. With the help of Ian (who, despite being one of Evan’s Four Horsemen, somehow avoided Evan’s mental control) another seed named DJ Niji, and a formerly-brainwashed agent of Clan Akkaba named Blink, the eXalts overthrew Isis and returned control of Aleph to the natives of the dimension. Cynthia was killed, but during the battle Sam disappeared from her jail cell. Meanwhile, weeks passed in the real world during their time in Aleph. Upon returning to Earth, the eXalts learned Evan corrupted the global food supply with the same substance as his gas, causing tens of thousands of humans to die or mutate. The world is in chaos. Evan’s army seems unstoppable. Then the eXalts learned that, during their absence, Evan infiltrated Academy X and used the mutant detector Cerebra. What is his plan?...
    Though Ian and DJ Niji remained in Aleph and Sam is still missing, Blink remains with the group. She uses her mutant power to open a portal to Academy X. Bailey hurries to New Genosha. As mayor of the town, he wants to make sure it’s been okay in his absence. David is so happy to be back on Utopia he kisses the ground. Sam’s husband, Matt, is waiting for the group. He’s clearly concerned Sam is missing, but focuses on the problem at hand. He says that Evan broke into the school just an hour ago. Evan used his ability to control machines to shut down the school’s security system, but Matt was able to tell he used Cerebra. He has other news: Academy X professor Dane returned in their absence. He disappeared while searching for his missing son, Davan. With the aid of a former ally, private investigator Dakota North, Dane followed a lead to Japan, but was captured by a group of Hellfire Club: Tokyo mutants. He escaped and learned that Davan was truly gone. At least he uncovered a way to regain his powers after being depowered in the Hellfire Club: Tokyo attack on Academy X. He returned to Utopia only a few days ago and helped Michael and Alice run the school in the eXalts’ absence. Dane is working on Cerebra to see what Evan was up to. And Dane’s not the only one who recently returned: Academy X professor Liam is back, but he’s not himself. Liam is still possessed by Sobek, the Egyptian crocodile god. As acting eXalts team leader with Sam missing, David calls everyone to the War Room for a team meeting. He begins by asking Blink about how her powers work – how far can she create portals, how many can she transport, and so on. Matt updates David on what he’s missed since he’s been gone. He also updates the team on what they’ve missed over the past few weeks. Apparently the various Avengers teams (including the Uncanny Avengers, the Avengers/X-Men hybrid team that Mac and Dane belong to) are missing, along with the various X-teams. First several of the teams disappeared while following a lead on Arcade (the villain who forced young heroes to fight to the death, then put the footage on YouTube in an event dubbed Avengers Arena). Then the other teams disappeared while trying to rescue the missing heroes. Matt asks David about what they’re going to do to find Sam. David assures Matt they left allies in Aleph (Ian and DJ Niji) who are looking for her. Dane joins the meeting. He had been working on Cerebra with the help of Kai, an Academy X student with technopathic abilities. Dane discovered that Evan destroyed the machine’s files, but he was able to recover enough data to find who Evan was looking for. He was searching for the most powerful seed of them all: the mutant created to host Ra, father god of the Egyptian pantheon. Unlike most of the other seeds, Ra did not have a twin sister. And he was difficult to detect because his X-gene had been deactivated. But once Evan searched for late teen or early twenty-something mutants with light powers, he found the seed in New York. The realization of Evans’ target dawns on the group: it’s none other than Academy X founding member Lucius “Prism” Hayes! He’s the right age, lives in New York, has light powers, and has a deactivated X-gene (due to taking Hope to fight a techno-organic virus infection). Now he’s in danger!
    Meanwhile, in New Genosha, Bailey meets with the town council. Councilmen Finn and Neal are joined by interim councilman Barry (Bailey’s deputy police chief who’s filling in for JamieLynn, the Evan worshipper who’s joined her lord). The New Genosha residents are extremely agitated: first Evan destroyed the Hellfire Club: Tokyo complex next to New Genosha, then he released a gas that killed the human residents to made them mutants, and most recently the newly-activated mutants disappeared, presumably to join Evan’s army. They don’t feel safe and they’re worried about what will happen next. Bailey assures the Council that he’s doing everything he can as an eXalt to stop Evan and make New Genosha (and the world in general) safe. He says he can no longer split his time between police chief and mayor, however, so he resigns as police chief. Barry will now take over the position. The meeting is interrupted by the eXalts: Bailey is needed! The reserve eXalts team, dubbed the Red Team, is activated to protect Utopia and run the school. The team includes Academy X graduates Mercy and Ethan (Sublime and Subsume) as well as Glob Herman and Wicked, Dane’s sister Ginny “Spark” Lightfoot, Bailey’s girlfriend Susanna “Ultragirl” Sherman, and Matt, or Agent 37. The eXalts have Blink open a portal to Xavier’s school, as Lucius works there as technology officer. They arrive in the school’s foyer. A student staff member asks them to wait. Bastienne walks over to the framed photographs of graduated classes. She finds the one from the fall of her senior year. Dane, Sam, David, Billy, Ruth and Lucius are all in the photo, as are departed allies Jessica and Meghan. A sense of how much has changed washes over her. Then the C-list mutants that are helping run the school in the X-Men’s absence arrive. Former prostitute Stacy X and Maggott, a mutant whose sentient digestive system allows him to eat anything inform the eXalts that Lucius is visiting family in Upstate New York. Blink teleports the group to Albany. David flies them the rest of the way to the Hayes’ homestead in Clifton Park: a beautiful upper-middle class home in a nice neighborhood. Dane knocks on the door and the door opens wide. From the entryway the group can see a large open room down a hallway. Evan is floating in mid-air flanked by Sam and Lucius. Sam seems to be in Evan’s control, while Lucius is unresponsive. The heroes soon realize why. Before they can enter, Sam takes control of their minds, paralyzing them. They can still hear and see, but cannot move. Evan says they’re too late. He’s found the last seed, and once he adds Lucius’ power to his own, he’ll be unstoppable. Mac tries to reason with Evan, but Evan won’t listen. He’s Apocalypse now. As Evan moves to grab Lucius, David tries one last gambit. He says Evan isn’t even powerful enough to find Arcade. Evan ignores the taunt and grabs Lucius’ chest. Before the group’s eyes, Lucius seems to age decades in an instant. His skin wrinkles and he seems to shrink into himself until only a husk is left. Bright yellow energy bursts from Lucius and streams into Evan, causing him to glow like a miniature sun. The husk falls to the floor, dead. Evan laughs in triumph. He is now Atum-Ra!
    Evan and Sam fly off into the sky. It seems like an eternity, but perhaps only a minute or two later, the eXalts are freed. Bastienne rushes over to the husk that was once Lucius and confirms that he is, in fact, dead. Sobek, in Liam’s body, gnashes his teeth in rage. Despite not knowing Lucius, Blink cries quietly. And it’s even worse – in the nearby kitchen, Dagan finds the dead bodies of Lucius’ parents. Bailey notices they had Clan Akkaba tattoos under their hairline but had them removed. They must have defected instead of turning Lucius over to the clan. Bastienne calls Director Owens to notify S.H.I.E.L.D. about the scene. Owens says he’ll notify S.H.I.E.L.D.’s west coast office so they can respond. David grimly looks at the bodies and says that Evan is now on their kill list. It’s too late to save their former student. This is a big deal coming from David, who always puts students first. Mac and Dagan argue they still need to try to save Evan, but Bastienne pleads for them not to have this argument again. David turns to her and says she shouldn’t even be there as she’s pregnant and putting the baby in danger. While a few of the group knew of the pregnancy (Billy and Bailey), the rest are surprised, especially Honoka. Sobek laughs and slaps Bastienne on the shoulder, congratulating his niece. Bastienne angrily says she’s able to fight as an eXalt and protect the baby – after all, Sam remained an eXalt while pregnant once. Billy adds that, as a fertility goddess, Bastienne might even be stronger while pregnant. David leaves the decision up to her. Bailey reminds the group that they still need to figure out how to stop Evan, whether they kill him or not. Perhaps Hellfire Club: Tokyo could provide more plant material from Utopia that blocks super powers when turned into a gas. Honoka says they used all their supply on the attack on Academy X weeks ago. Dane suggests using weaponized Hope, at least to stop Sam. They can always give her the Hope cure later. Blink asks if they can’t just break the mind control on Sam – after all, she was mind controlled by one of Evan’s Egyptian artifacts until Sam ended the effect. Dane points out that Sam used her telepathy to free her and they don’t have a telepath now. Bailey suggests Diana, a powerful Academy X student (who’s really the younger version of X-Men Sage). Dane and David both insist they can’t put students in jeopardy. Billy suggests Ruth might help, even though she’s now the elderly Lady Lotus and working for Hellfire Club: Tokyo. David thinks Dagan is the better option. She can borrow a telepath’s power. Diana also has the power to boost mutant abilities and might be able to make Dagan stronger. Dagan is willing to help, though she points out their one advantage is there’s still time before Evan launches his plan, whatever it is. Precognitive mutants can’t see anything past December 21st. They have nearly three weeks until that date, so they have time to plan a strategy to take down Evan. For now, they need to regroup at Academy X.
    Blink opens a portal back to Utopia. The group is in mourning over the loss of their friend, Lucius. They finally get some rest. Billy and Bastienne spend the night together. On Sunday, Mac drafts another statement to the New Genoshan residents. He tries to reassure them that the eXalts are doing everything they can to keep Utopia and New Genosha safe (as well as the rest of the world). He understands their grief over losing loved ones (the humans that died) as well as their worry over their missing friends and family (the humans who became mutants and disappeared to join Evan’s army). He reveals that his son, Aiden, was one of the New Genosha residents who has disappeared. The New Genoshans are surprised to hear he had a secret son and are mollified knowing he’s in the same situation they are. Mac then contacts Amanda, former Academy X student and Doctor Strange’s apprentice. She hasn’t heard from Steven since he disappeared on the mission to apprehend Arcade. Amanda has other news. She says Mac’s mother, Clea, is missing. And she believes Evan is using a powerful artifact called the Ka Stone. She’s sensed that reality itself is being modified, something the Ka Stone can do. The artifact’s description matches the red gem used by Evan’s ally, Ozymandias. He used it to channel Egyptian gods into the horsemen as well as to create the gas that kills or mutates humans. Mac is shaken – Evan seemed unstoppable before, and now he has an artifact as powerful as an Infinity Gem. Meanwhile, Bastienne approaches Honoka and asks if she’ll set up a meeting with the elderly Billy and Ruth. Despite their attack on Academy X, Hellfire Club: Tokyo and the eXalts both want to stop Evan. Honoka agrees to arrange a meeting.
    At the eXalts meeting that night, Mac shares that Ozymandias has the Ka Stone. David asks where Ozymandias is, as well as the rest of Evan’s army. Mac says he can use the Orb of Agamotto to scry for them, but it’s likely they’ll be able to detect his intrusion. It’s best he waits until they’re ready to take out Evan to locate him. David asks Bastienne if their Wiki files from the future provided any more insight into fighting Apocalypse. Bastienne says they only listed Apocalypse as an enemy and little else. David then asks if they can go back in time to stop Evan before he became Apocalypse. Perhaps Diana could boost Billy’s powers to give him the ability to travel through time. Billy is worried that the plan could lead to him becoming the elderly Billy, known as the Golden Claw. Bastienne assures Billy that the Golden Claw is a different Billy (as he is from a different timeline) and he won’t become the Golden Claw. But boosting Billy could have other effects, as Diana’s X-gene boosting can cause secondary mutations (like Beast’s blue fur). Billy asks Bastienne if he should go through with the boost, but she says it’s up to him. He agrees to try it. The group brings Diana into the meeting. They ask her to boost Billy. She says she has to see if he’s able to be boosted – some mutants’ X-genes are already being used at their full potential. She looks at Billy and concentrates. She opens her eyes, surprised. Billy has an incredible amount of untapped potential. He may even be an Omega-level mutant! The rest of the group laughs, as they already knew he was an Omega-level mutant. Dane asks how often Diana can boost mutants. She admits she isn’t sure exactly, but no more than one a day as the process is draining. Diana tells Billy she needs to touch him to boost him. Billy quips that he hopes it doesn’t work like Frankie’s powers (a classmate of their from Xavier’s school whose touch caused pleasure), then checks to see if that’s true in their timeline. Bastienne assures them it is. Diana says the only side effect is intense pain. Billy gulps, but tells her to go ahead. Diana takes Billy’s hands and concentrates. Billy grimaces, then begins screaming… and a moment later, disappears!
    As the group looks on in shock, Bastienne walks out. Mac follows Bastienne to her room, but she’s locked the door. Mac is surprised to see boxes piled in the hallway nearby. They’re filled with Billy’s belongings. It seems he was in the process of moving into Bastienne’s room. They had begun a romance and kept it a secret from the team. The eXalts team meeting continues. Dagan agrees to retrieve Magneto’s old helmet for Dane to see if he can make copies. They’ll need a way to block Sam’s mental abilities if they’ll have a chance to stop Evan. Bailey says Plex might be able to help. The alien artificial intelligence has extensive manufacturing capabilities in the space station below Academy X and could make copies more quickly. The group agrees. The meeting ends, but first Honoka says Billy and Ruth have agreed to meet with whichever eXalts want to see them tomorrow. Most of the team decides to go. After the meeting, David contacts Jamie Madrox, or “Multiple Man.” He runs a mutant private detective business in New York City. He leaves a message for Jamie to call him back as soon as possible. Later that evening Bastienne leaves her room to find Diana. She asks the girl if her mutant boosting ability could harm her baby. Diana admits she doesn’t know. Bastienne says she’d like to be boosted whenever Diana is ready.
    The eXalts readjust to a normal school schedule on Monday. They can’t ignore the news from around the world, however. Evan has contaminated food supplies around the world with the same substance as his red gas. Tens of thousands have already died or become mutants. With little idea which food is safe, riots have broken out in countries worldwide. Utopia has been bombarded with thousands of requests for asylum. Cults calling this the end of the world have begun popping up across the globe. In the midst of the chaos, Bailey meets with Barry to discuss creating a New Genosha town militia. Deacon Graves, the man in charge of Bastienne’s worshippers, calls to tell her that her followers are in hiding after Sekhmet’s recent attacks on her churches. However, the newly-created warriors of the faith are training and willing to fight for her. That night, Honoka takes David, Bastienne, Bailey, and Blink to meet with the Golden Claw and Lady Lotus at the old Hellfire Club: San Francisco headquarters. It’s a beautiful walled compound with a mansion built in an Asian style. They meet with the Emperor and his Guji in a room with a low table surrounded by pillows. After taking off their shoes they kneel on either side of the table. At the end of the table, with the elderly Ruth standing next to him, the elderly Billy says, “I knew you would come to us.” David says that Evan is a problem and they need to work together to stop him. Billy says his resources are depleted and his numbers have been decimated. Due to Michael’s betrayal, his most powerful soldiers (Tattoo, Base, Ghost Rider, and Decay, Shiro) are depowered, dead, or are too injured to fight. He has at least found a way to re-power Honoka, but there’s not much else he can do. David says he has to do something – Evan now has Samantha and a powerful artifact called the Ka Stone. David asks the Golden Claw if he can go back in time to stop Evan. Unlike “their” Billy, elderly Billy can time travel. The Emperor says he’s tried, but it never works. Trying to stop Evan always caused him to become Apocalypse even earlier and before he was ready to stop him. The attack on Academy X was their only opening, but due to the eXalts it failed. David asks if the elderly Billy and Ruth will at least stand with them when it’s time to confront Evan. They agree. David hands them eXalt communicators and says they’ll be in touch. Before they leave, the Golden Claw asks if they’re willing to sacrifice anything and everything to stop Evan, as it’s the only way to have a chance. David says the entire world is at stake: either they win or the world ends. Young Billy already sacrificed everything – he’s lost in the time stream. The Emperor frowns and nods.
    David, Bailey, and Blink return to Academy X. Bastienne remains behind as she wants to visit her church in Oakland and Honoka remains with Hellfire Club: Tokyo. The next day, Jamie Madrox returns David’s call and agrees to meet. Blink opens a portal to his agency in New York City. David and Dagan emerge to talk to Jamie. David asks if Dagan can borrow Jamie’s powers. Jamie is a little surprised by the request, but considering the eXalts are the only major superhero team left, he agrees. David thanks Jamie and they return to Academy X. Once back at the school, he has Dagan use Jamie’s power to create duplicates. He then has the duplicates attempt to borrow other powers. It doesn’t work, but Dagan thinks she can figure it out given time. David is pleased – Dagan should be able to create an army of power-stealing duplicates. Later that day, Dane approaches Diana and asks if his X-gene can be boosted. She says it can. He undergoes the boosting and becomes a puddle of liquid metal. He’s regained the use of his alternate form that was once unlocked by Cassandra Nova. Though drained, Diana checks to see which other eXalts she can boost. She believes she can boost Michael and Dagan. On Wednesday, Matt reports some disturbing news. The number of humans killed or turned into mutants by Evan’s corrupted food has continued to grow. It’s possible that he’ll have millions of followers by December 21st… By the end of the week, Dane has figured out how to duplicate the mental-blocking effects of Magneto’s helmet. The copy won’t be as powerful as the helmet, but it will help. Plex has agreed to create as many copies as possible before the 21st. They believe they will have one for each eXalt, at least. Dagan is working on having her duplicates borrow other powers and is having some success. Each duplicate can borrow one new power as well as nullify others’ powers. Mac completes his ritual to attune the Orb of Agamotto to Ozymandias so he can find the sorcerer when the time to attack arrives. Diana then boosts Bastienne. Black hair sprouts all over the goddess and she’s even stronger. Bastienne is able to return to her human form, though she’s most powerful when in her furry “were” form. Another week passes. As Secretary of State, Bastienne fields requests from dozens of countries to build embassies on Utopia. The presidential campaign on Utopia continues, with Dane and Bailey the main candidates since David has dropped out. The rebuilding of Asiantown continues, though with 25% of the residents gone and Hellfire Club: Tokyo in disarray the progress is slow. Then news arrives from West Coast S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Owens. Agents have tracked Clan Akkaba members to an unlikely place: Disneyland! There’s a big ceremony planned on a busy Saturday afternoon. State and federal politicians are urging the public to trust food safety and lead normal lives in the face of the recent global unrest. They’re hoping to boost the slumping tourism industry. Could Clan Akkaba be planning an attack?
    David alerts the eXalts. Blink opens a portal and the team emerges in the middle of the California amusement park. By the time of their arrival, the Akkabites’ attack is already underway: Evan’s Four Horsemen are on the scene. Horus (or Robyn) is flying above releasing red gas while Set (or Ian), Sekhmet (or Georgie) and Christine (or Osiris) have taken out the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents who tried to intercede. Sam flies nearby, herding the crowd into the area where gas is descending. And Diamanda Nero, Apocalypse’s daughter from another reality, seems to be leading the attack. The eXalts leap into the fray. Most of them are wearing earpieces based on Magneto’s helmet to protect them from Sam. But before the eXalts can react, Osiris phases through the castle to emerge next to a blonde senator and disintegrates him! Even more shocking, Bastet recognizes the other senator still standing: it’s her father, Senator Noel from Louisiana! Horus spreads more red gas into the crowd, causing hundreds to collapse or have their mutant powers uncontrollably activate. And a dozen or more crowd members shift into the familiar forms of Apocalypse soldiers! Mustang flies above the crowd and attacks Horus, but only slightly injures her. Primal, still possessed by Sobek, leaps at two soldiers. He kills one and injures another. A pink-haired man appears next to Bastet and grabs her. A moment later they disappear into a pink portal. It’s Frederick Slade, Blink’s ancestor and fellow teleporter! Where has he taken Bastet? But the battle continues. Set mentally attacks Panzer, injuring him. Sekhmet presses the attack, attacking Panzer with two wicked claw attacks, nearly dropping him. Sam, still mind-controlled, mentally blasts Mustang but Magneto’s helmet protects him for now. Glimmer attacks Sam, hoping to knock her out. “We need to save Sam!” she yells. K9 uses his kinetic energy control to attempt to paralyze Sam – and it works! Mystic creates magical weapons and duplicates to defend himself. Then Diamanda unleashes a blast of lightning at Panzer, Mystic and K9. One of Mystic’s duplicates disappears and K9 is hurt, though his skin turns blue and he adapts to resist future lightning attacks. Panzer is also hurt by the lightning, but fortunately he’s already regenerated much of the previous damage he sustained. But then the Apocalypse soldiers strike, injuring several eXalts. Can they last?
    Meanwhile, Bastet is teleported inside Cinderella’s castle. There she is surprised to see her family: her mother (Josephine) and her brothers (Patrick IV and Felix). They’ve been Clan Akkaba members all along! Josephine tells Bastet to join her family. “My only family is my daughter,” she retorts, reflexively touching her stomach. Then she launches herself at Josephine, injuring her mother with a claw swipe. Josephine knocks her back with a telekinetic shove. She also has telepathic powers. Patrick and Felix move to attack. Patrick is strong and tough and Felix can absorb energy to become stronger. Bastet dodges their attacks, but she can’t hold off all three at once. Then a figure appears out of nowhere: it’s a man in a white superhero costume that Bastet recognizes as Moon Knight! He’s a superhero who channels the power of Khonshu, an Egyptian god! He was able to track the Horsemen (due to being merged with Egyptian gods) to Disneyland and has come to stop Clan Akkaba. He attacks Patrick and Felix and injures both. In the meantime, Josephine has recovered and uses her telekinesis to throw a marble pillar at Bastet. Bastet collapses, barely conscious. Josephine raises the pillar, ready to finish off her daughter… when suddenly Bastet’s father appears in the doorway. “That’s my daughter, you bitch!” he yells, then empties his pistol into Josephine. She drops, dead! Moon Knight takes advantage of the surprise and lands a flurry of blows on Felix. He’s dead! Slade grabs the younger Patrick and disappears. Outside, the battle is grim. The Apocalypse soldiers have dropped Panzer, Mystic, and K9. Glimmer creates a duplicate to nullify Sam while she’s paralyzed. It works! Mustang flies over and puts his helmet on Sam, blocking her powers. He tires himself by attacking Horus and knocks her out, stopping the gas! But then the Horsemen strike, dropping both Glimmer and her duplicate. Mustang goes down and Sobek is nearly out. Finally, Bastet returns. She grabs Sam and calls to Blink on the communicator: “I’ve got Sam! We need to go!” Blink emerges from a portal and teleports the team to safety. But by coming to the scene she’s put herself at risk. Sekhmet takes out Blink, but not before the eXalts escape with Sam and Horus. The last thing they hear is Blink’s scream before the portals wink out. They’ve stopped the Horsemen’s attack, but at what cost?
    Next: Issue 100 - 'Apocalypse'
    Previous: Issue 98 - 'Famine'

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Monday, August 21

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    Issue 98
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    Issue 99

    Issue Synopses
    Arc 1: School's Out
    ...
    Following Hellfire Club: Tokyo's shocking betrayal, the most powerful threat the eXalts have ever faced has risen: Apocalypse! Can the eXalts stop Apocalypse from ruling the world - or destroying it?
    Issue 96 - 'Pestilence' - Evan has embraced his destiny as Apocalypse, but the eXalts have time before he puts his plan into action. Can they uncover Evan's plan and find the other seeds before Clan Akkaba?
    ...
    'Famine' - ?A mission to take down one of Evan's allies lead to disaster. Evan seized control of the seeds and now has his Four Horsemen. The eXalts must regroup and escape before all is lost.Issue 99 - 'Death'
    The Phoenix Force – a cosmic force of destruction – has returned. The Avengers and X-Men have clashed over its intended host, Academy X professor and eXalt Dagan Lightfoot. The Avengers wanted to stop the unprepared mutant girl from merging with the Phoenix while the X-Men trained her so they could use the Phoenix to make the world a better place for mutants. The eXalts were caught in the middle. But when the Phoenix Force arrived, Tony Stark blasted it with his Phoenix Buster armor splitting it into five shards. Each shard found a mutant host: Scott “Cyclops” Summers (X-Men leader), Ororo “Storm” Munroe (X-Men member), Heather “Lifeguard” Cameron (CEO of X-Corporation: Los Angeles and eXalt ally), Dane “Panzer” Lightfoot (former eXalt and Academy X headmaster), and Samantha “Phantasma” Stone (eXalts leader). There isn’t one Phoenix host now – there are five! The Phoenix Five levitate into the air, glowing with immeasurable power. Is the danger over, or have things gone from bad to worse?...
    In the week and a half before the Phoenix Five were created, eXalt Liam “Primal” Stonecrow traveled to New Mexico to seek advice from his people, the Apache. He met with the Apache elders. Beyond the dire warning that the Phoenix Force had destroyed several planets on its way to Earth, they had no further insight. They knew of another option, but it was risky. One Apache group, the Mescalero, knew of seven communities in the Land of Ever Summer. One of them, called the “Under-City”, was the crossroads where lost spirits were called. Liam could go on a spirit quest to the Under-City with the help of the elders. But if his trek was unsuccessful he could become a lost spirit himself. Liam agreed to the risk. After a days-long ritual, Liam’s spirit left his body in astral form and traveled the space between life and death. He followed the subtle pull the Under-City exerted on all lost spirits until he reached the fabled refuge. It resembled a run-down neighborhood in a sprawling metropolis, but it was made up of dwellings whose architecture came from cultures across the world and from all different time periods. A rickety shack from medieval China sat next to a hut from an African tribe which sat next to a FEMA tent from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. It was people by orphans and castaways from every time and every place. And standing in the middle of the main street – mostly a dirt road, but showing evidence of broken pavement and occasional cobblestones – was Dog Brother. He seemed to be some kind of Asian warrior, perhaps a samurai or assassin. A pack of stray dogs formed a semi-circle behind him and his followers peeked out of buildings along the road. He sensed Liam’s tie to the world of the living – his connection to the Apache elders allowing him to return from this land between life and death. As ruler of Under-City, he demanded to know why Liam had come.
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    8:35 pm
  2. 8:33 pm

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