Operation: London Calling
|Operation: London Calling|
|Dates run:||May 1, 2008|
|Read the logs:||London Calling|
London is a labyrinth, half of stone, half of flesh. It cannot be conceived of in its entirety, but can be experienced only as a wilderness of alleys and passages, courts and thoroughfares, in which even the most experienced citizen may lose the way...
"London: the Biography" - Peter Ackroyd.
The EOE, using a combination of psionics and magic, made a play for more power, this time against the city of London and its inhabitants. They attempted to co-opt the collective unconscious of the city's inhabitants with an obedience spell lodged directly into the minds of Londoners, but with the astral plane still recovering from the events of the Shadow King plot, something went wrong and instead they wake the sleeping beast - London itself.
All these shenanigans on her home turf, as it were, caught Amanda's attention via her mutant power, and at her behest, XF travelled to the city to find out what was wrong. In the course of their initial investigations, they spilt up, and Amanda wandered off unnoticed towards Cannon Street. Behind a metal grille, tucked away in a corner of the Bank of China building, is the London Stone. Once considered London's protection, the stone has fallen into obscurity. That doesn't mean it doesn't have power, however. It drew Amanda to it, and as she touched the metal grille, she was sucked into the stone, her consciousness melding with that of the awakened London. Nature abhors a vacuum, and in Amanda's place, various 'avatars' of the city were released. These are guardian spirits, the epitome of aspects of London and its history brought into existence to protect it from attack. But with the failure of their attempt, the EOE slunk back into obscurity and there was no-one to fight. Except X-Force - trapped in the city, Amanda's consciousness was reaching out to them, and the avatars misinterpreted the focus.
One by one, the members of XF faced down the avatars, each of which was 'matched' to their own skills and powers.
- Pete found himself time-slipping, facing Francis Walsingham and Kit Marlowe, agents of Queen Elizabeth 1.
- Sofia battled Jack the Ripper, using her profiling skills to avoid becoming another victim.
- Bishop was drawn to Tyburn, the site of the old gallows, where his powers were stolen by notorious thief and escapist, Jack Sheppard.
- Mark, in Soho, found the vanished Little Compton Street and battled London's darkness and noise, experiencing a flashback to his escape from the Warwolves dimension.
- Wanda found herself on the wrong side of the law, pursued by an entire history of law and order in London; from modern times, to Sir Robert Peel's 'Bobbies' to the old Watch and a Roman centurion, to finally Gog and Magog, guardian giants of the city.
- Remy needed to take on Gambit, a manufactured monster, to fight the myth of the Raven King and the Tower Ravens, exemplified by a man calling himself Jack Dawes.
- Emma fought the animated statue of Boudica, Queen of the Iceni people.
- Jubilee had to prevent another Great Fire of London, driving the avatar towards the Thames.
- At the site of St Batholomew Fair, Marie-Ange was dragged into the tradition of the Lord of Misrule and a battle with Mr. Punch.
- Doug encountered the power of the mob in Trafalgar Fair and engaged in a battle of great speeches.
- Sarah, in the Underground, was targeted by the Wild Hunt and fought various incarnations of the Great Beast of London.
With each avatar that was defeated, Amanda's consciousness separated a little more from London's as the city was pushed back into 'sleep', and she started trying to attract her teammates' attention, helping them against their foes. XF began to realise where she was, but not how to get her out. The last avatar defeated, London resumed normal behaviour and the team regrouped at one of the local hospitals, but still no Amanda.
Trivia and Meta
The official reaction to the strangeness of the city of the night of May 1 was a 'mass hallucination, possibly caused by some kind of mutant activity' and promptly hushed up.
Many of the ideas and the research for this plot came from Peter Ackroyd's book London: The Biography.