|Dates run:||April 17-19, 2004|
|Read the logs:||Daddy's Girl|
"You’re mine, bought and paid for, and you’ve got my marks on you to prove it."
A simple field trip becomes an excursion into Amanda's past when she receives a message from the last person in the world she wanted to see again.
In an effort to get to know his student better and introduce her to the wider American magical community, Dr. Stephen Strange invited Amanda to come with him to Los Angeles on a business trip. Amanda invited her friend Angelo along, thinking he would be able to see his mother. Remembering the reading Marie-Ange did for him about going with Amanda if she asked him on a journey, Angelo agreed, despite personal misgivings about his old gang.
Things went well until Patches appeared with a letter for Amanda. The letter was from Rack, the magic user who had raised Amanda and used her as his own personal mystical power source. Patches had sold the blood she'd paid him with to Rack, who had used it and the information Patches gave him to track down the source of a powerful teleportation spell back in February 2004 (see Limbo (plot)). Rack demanded that Amanda return to him in Mexico, threatening harm to the school and her friends if she refused.
Unable to contact Strange, who had been waylaid by associates of Rack's, Amanda decided to face Rack by herself, not trusting the X-Men to have the resources to deal with a magical threat and not wanting to endanger the place that had given her a second chance. Angelo refused to let her go alone; they attempted to contact Pete and Emma and left messages as to their plans.
Rack was in Catamaco, Mexico, a mystical energy hotspot; Amanda removed the amulet that controlled her mutation in order to absorb as much power as she could. Pausing for Angelo to obtain a gun from an old associate, they confronted Rack. Using the power of the place, Amanda initially bested him. But Rack, taunting them both, provoked Angelo into saying Manuel's name despite Amanda's prior warnings about the power of names. Rack used the name to tear open the blocked empathic link between Manuel and Amanda. Distracted by the sudden input of Manuel's emotions, Amanda lost her hold on Rack and he beat her down. Freezing Angelo in place and promising to deal with him later after Angelo tried to shoot him, Rack then began draining Amanda entirely of magic and life; the open link meant Manuel too was caught in the spell. Back at the school, Manuel nearly electrocuted himself and almost drowned in the bath, but was saved by Marie-Ange acting on a vision.
As all seemed lost, Pete and Emma arrived. Pete fought with Rack whilst Emma freed Angelo. The draining spell caused a connection between Amanda and Rack, and Emma was forced to use telepathic means to sever it. Pete then killed Rack.
Amanda lay in a coma for four days. Nathan entered her mind by accident during this time and encountered Gemile, her younger self and discovered the extent of the damage. Upon regaining consciousness, Amanda was very weak for several weeks and unable to use magic. Manuel's mind was damaged by Rack's abuse of the link and he spent several days in a walking coma. Even after regaining his faculties, he believed Amanda dead and was unable to recognise she was alive even when confronted by her. Nathan and Charles Xavier worked together to repair the damage and restore the link as this was the only way to prevent further harm to both teens. In a sense, this was the true beginning of Amanda and Manuel's relationship.
Angelo, racked with guilt, returned to his self-harming ways. Several friends intervened to get him to accept help and he began seeing Leonard Samson regularly. Marie-Ange, by preventing Manuel's death, realised her visions weren't the only future, that events could be changed.
Meta and Trivia
Amanda never did tell Manuel the full truth of what happened in Mexico.
Plot Runner: Rossi
Despite the name and the power draining, Rack in no way resembles the character from Buffy: The Vampire Slayer.
This plot still occurred in Phase 2, but specifics, such as which characters were involved, remain fuzzy for the purposes of not breaking the world. ;)