|Dates run:||February 16th, 2007 - March 17th, 2007|
|Run By:||Alicia and Kate|
|Read the logs:||Kaiten|
Whoever has done this, whatever their motivations, they will be left behind by history and we will move forward. Because there is nothing in this world stronger than the will of good men.
When a wave of suicide bombings hits Elpis and several other, even better-known targets, it draws a wide range of people into the attempt to stop a new mutant terrorist group from striking again. Complications ensue.
Angelo Espinosa, Nathan Dayspring, Medusa Amaquelin, Pete Wisdom, Amanda Sefton, Rahne Sinclair, Sofia Mantega-Barret, Rogue, Polaris, Cyclops, Phoenix, Storm, Dominion, Blink, Cannonball, Sunfire, Quicksilver, Nightcrawler, Siryn, Wolverine, Cain Marko, Crystal Amaquelin
During a Christmas visit to Muir, Angelo and Domino made arrangements to go to Burma in several weeks on an investigative mission, looking into reports of mutant rights abuses. In mid-February, Nathan saw Angelo off to the airport, with much good advice about traveling in unsettled countries with Domino. Angelo arrived in Tel Aviv, and had a very enjoyable day with the Elpis staff members there. The next morning, Domino took him to the Elpis offices for a last pre-flight briefing from MacInnis. Other meetings were going on simultaneously, including an orientation for new staff on the ground floor of the offices. Domino had a strange, powers-related moment, and started shouting at everyone to get out.
It was some warning, but not enough. The Elpis offices were hit by a massive explosion, killing a number of people and injuring many others. Angelo escaped with minor injuries and a concussion after Domino pushed him into a stairwell. Regaining consciousness, he searched for her, finding her trapped by debris and not breathing. He kept her alive until help got there, and helped dig her out.
Nathan rushed to Tel Aviv from Muir, calling Pete to tell him what had happened. Arriving at the hospital, he discovered that there had been other bombings: the headquarters of the UN Human Rights Council's Committee for Mutant Affairs in Paris; the Mueller Institute, a mutant hospital in Switzerland; and the Ministry of Mutant Affairs in Budapest. Shocked, he tried to focus on checking on his friends. Meanwhile, Pete, along with Amanda and Angelo's mother, made his way to Tel Aviv as quickly as possible, borrowing the jet from Emma Frost. There were various unhappy reunions at the hospital.
Over the next two weeks, the surviving Elpis staff worked feverishly to try and overcome the near-crippling blow their young organization had received. Meanwhile, Pete set his people to work to try and find out who was responsible for the bombings. Some unusual information was turned up. There was no trace of conventional explosives at any of the bombing sites, leading to the natural suspicion of suicide bombings. Several days later, a claim of responsibility was made - by the Preservers, a hitherto unknown mutant supremacist group who claimed to be specifically targeting groups and organizations that encouraged genetic integration.
The hunt for them continuing over the following weeks, but there was no real progress made until the FBI caught a young Preserver planning to bomb a conference at the United Nations dealing with the aftermath of Smichov. A mutant, the Preserver was in obvious distress, his powers slipping out of his control. Moira MacTaggart, via telephone from Muir Island, was called to consult on the case, and suggested to Val Cooper that Jean Grey could be her eyes on-site. The young Preserver, feverish and gravely ill, responded to Cooper's questions with some disturbing information - his current state was deliberate, something that had been done to him by a senior member of the organization so that he could be of service, despite the fact that his mutation was "weak". At Cooper's request, Jean did a telepathic scan, to gain further information from the young man. Distressed by what she saw, she allowed Cooper to usher her from the room for some fresh air, just in time to miss the Preserver going critical and literally exploding. Only her telekinesis saved herself and Cooper, and shocked, she returned to the mansion with the information that the suicide bombers had literally been suicide bombs, information which Nathan then passed to Pete.
Working on that information, the X-Men went to Portugal and raided a Preserver safehouse there, successfully taking a number of prisoners and bringing them back to the US. Though some of the Preservers escaped in the confusion of the fight, the team generally regarded the mission as a success. Meanwhile, Angelo was approached by the FBI to go undercover, based on some of the information Jean had gathered that suggested to them that there might be local recruitment activity going on. Mark Sheppard had become aware of some suggestive activity at Silver, and Angelo decided to start there.
Scott, who had been feeling ill over the days since the mission, had a serious powers accident, blowing out the wall of his office. Jean and the rest of the medical staff were horrified to realize that he was undergoing the same metabolic changes as the young Preserver who had exploded, after unknowingly coming into physical contact with the bombmaker during the fighting in Portugal. He was whisked away to a containment facility, Jean accompanying him.
Meanwhile, Angelo was making new friends. A semi-staged fight with some human Silver patrons drew the attention of a young woman calling herself Ash, who introduced him to a number of her friends. They turned out to be mutant militants, if at a very amateur level. A bigger break happened when a speech by Barath at the UN was disrupted by a riot, instigated largely by Ash and her friends. As they fled the scene, they encountered an acquaintance of Ash's by the name of Benedict Devlin, an older man - and a projective empath - who was much more serious about the cause of mutant supremacy. In the evening at Devlin's apartment that followed, Angelo managed to clone the hard drive of the man's computer, passing along the data to Nathan, who returned after an hour and took Angelo to the roof of a building overlooking Devlin's, where he scanned the man's mind. Devlin was indeed a senior Preserver, with direct knowledge of the mutant who had created the suicide bombs - Kushini Jinasena - and his location.
Within forty-eight hours, FBI agents - including Garrison - had accumulated enough information to justify a search of Devlin's apartment. Devlin called Ash and her friends, who stopped by to pick up Angelo on their way to his apartment, fearing that their mentor would be arrested. Angelo warned the Professor, who sent Ororo and a small team to the FBI's assistance. This turned out to be a wise decision, as the junior Preservers attacked the FBI, pinning the agents down in Devlin's apartment. Angelo interceded and managed to stall things for a time, prolonging the standoff until the X-Men arrived and successfully subdued the young mutants.
Meanwhile,in Florida, a week of frustration and lack of progress finally got to be too much for Scott, who noted more physical changes and decided that he could no longer risk the lives of the others in the facility. He tried to convince Jean to continue her work remotely. When she refused, he provoked an argument in an attempt to get her to leave; when that didn't work, he knocked her out and fled the facility, stealing a seaplane and heading out to sea.
Almost simultaneously to the events in New York and Florida, another team of X-Men under Kurt's command was leaving for Mexico to find Kinasena. Perhaps warned by Devlin, the Preservers on-site shot down the Blackbird as it approached. Several of the X-Men were injured in the crash, Logan seriously, but they pulled themselves together and, despite being badly outnumbered, fought their way through the Preservers and captured Jinasena. They brought him and many other prisoners aboard the hastily repaired Blackbird, intending to head immediately to Florida. In a bizarre coincidence, they passed over a beach where Cain was vacationing, and stopped to pick him up.
This turned out to be another wise decision. En route to Florida, Nathan was warned of Scott's flight, and the Blackbird changed course to follow. They found Scott in the ocean in the wreckage of his plane, his powers on the verge of going critical. Nathan telekinetically air-dropped Cain and Jinasena, and Cain forced the Preserver to reverse what he'd done to Scott. Jinasena was killed in the subsequent energy discharge, but Scott survived.
The X-Men dropped their surviving prisoners with Val Cooper and returned home, knowing that while the Preservers were still out there, they were a diminished threat for the time being.
Trivia and Meta
Prior to the bombings, Bobby Drake had been planning to move to Ireland to take over the running of Cassidy Keep, but delayed his departure by a month to help get Elpis through the aftermath of the explosion.
Angelo's near-death in the explosion proved to be the spur for him and Amanda to admit their feelings for each other went deeper than friends.
Tighter security measures were instituted in Attilan after the bombings, the Attilani government reasoning that they might very well be a target, given their status as a mutant-friendly nation.
The badly damaged Blackbird made it from Mexico to Florida and then back to Westchester largely because Nathan was holding the plane together telekinetically - with the assistance of amphetamines from the Blackbird's medical supplies. His behavior while under the influence later led Kurt to propose that psis be kept away from the go-pills whenever possible.
As a result of his experiences in Tel Aviv and the strain of the undercover work in New York, Angelo was sent on a "work trip" to Madagascar that was really nothing of the sort. After some collusion between Nathan and Wanda, Amanda was sent with him.
Kaitens were WWII-era Japanese suicide torpedoes.