Part 1 of the Kwannon Arc.
|Dates run:||June 13, 2003 - Nov 25, 2003|
|Read the logs:||Crimson Dawn|
"Ms Braddock. Tomorrow afternoon. If you'd like to visit the medical station, I'll need to do some examinations before I can start to devise a program. Don't worry. I promise not to subject you to anything... sinister."
Betsy Braddock makes a deal with Nathaniel Essex in a bid to regain her sight, and the consequences are more than either of them could have anticipated.
Betsy Braddock, blind from an earlier injury, decided to seek out Nathaniel Essex late one night, to see if his skills could possibly possess a medical solution to her infirmity. Essex agreed, and submitted her to a battery of tests to determine the extent of the damage caused and the source of her blindness. During the next several weeks, Essex worked on a possible solution, the whole time his relationship with Betsy had taken several interesting twists. Betsy, clearly apprehensive about Essex, requested Pete Wisdom to do some digging into his background. In doing so, she learned about the death of Essex' family, and her own small resemblance to his deceased wife.
Betsy confronted Essex with this information, only to be coolly rebuffed. Essex pointed out that her surgery had to be her choice, and he could not ethically perform it if she didn't trust him to do so. Agreeing to her request for secrecy, Essex recruited Kitty Pryde to serve as his assistant during the process, where she would monitor Betsy's vital signs while he operated. While Betsy prepared for the process, another set of encounters between her and the Doctor continued, each underlining her unease, and yet attraction to him. After only barely rejecting him during a late night in the lounge, both her and Essex swiftly drew up clinical barriers, to obliterate any emotion in their dealings.
In secret, Essex and Kitty began the surgery, and it was successfully completed after sixteen hours. However, within a few days, it became apparent something was wrong, as Betsy failed to awake from her coma. Essex spent the next several weeks seeking a solution, while the X-Men struggled to deal with the discovery of her secret. Feeling driven to action, Charles Xavier called a staff meeting, during which Essex was removed from his position at the school and as Betsy's doctor. Henry McCoy took over her case, but they had limited hope in bringing her from her coma.
Unwilling to allow Betsy to slowly linger and die, Essex arranged for access to a Japanese bioweapon experiment called Crimson Dawn. Originally developed by manipulating the brain tissue of a dead Yakuza assassin named Kwannon, Crimson Dawn was an attempt to graft psionic abilities to a living brain. Essex had a strong theory that it could regenerate the damage caused to Betsy's psychic signature during the surgery. With great persuasion, he convinced Kitty, her boyfriend Jamie Madrox, and two other former students, Sarah Morlocke and Marie-Ange Colbert to kidnap Betsy's recumbent form from the medlab, and to a waiting transport to Fort Dix. There, Essex' military connections gave him use of their advanced medical bay, where he grafted the Crimson Dawn process into Betsy's mind.
Following the surgery, Betsy was returned to the school with the students, and Essex accepted an offer from the military to return and take charge of a new research program stationed on Muir. While the staff struggled to deal with the issue of the students, Betsy's emergence from the coma blunted the anger somewhat, as she began to adjust to her new now-perfect vision.
Trivia and Meta
As a result of Essex' surgery, Betsy's eye colour was changed from their original blue to their current violet colour.
Crimson Dawn was the second ever plot in the game, and the first non-mission related plot.
Crimson Dawn is a reference to the mystic process through which Wolverine and Angel subjected Betsy to save her life following a fight with Sabretooth in comics canon.