|Dates run:||November 30, 2006 - December 4, 2006|
|Read the logs:||Xorn|
"It's a crude simplification, but it conveys the essential elements, yes." Essex tapped part of the board. "Xorn is a psionic singularity. His power extends beyond the ability for human comprehension of any real nature. There are analogies we can use, but they are poor references at best. He is the Teilhard Omega Point in a very real sense, having migrated into the emerging noosphere as a matter of existance."
Blank looks greeted him. "In plain terms, Xorn is what we'd normally define as God."
Nathaniel Essex re-emerges after two years, only to present X-Force with a mutant so powerful as to no longer be recognizably human, and endangering over ten million lives with his approaching death.
Xorn started in a shitty East End club in London, in 1977. The Sex Pistols, were playing one of their major live gigs. During that night, in the crowd were Nathaniel Essex, Romany Wisdom, and due to a total inability to shake him off, her little brother Pete . During a typical show, all were shocked by the sudden manifestation of a mutant in the club, who seemed to almost explode. Those leaving the club after the young man had been carted away noticed something left behind by the incident; a small red raised circular mark on their inner arm, the size and look of a cigarette burn.
The young man was Kim Ye-Xorn, the eldest child of the Xorn family and a student at Oxford. His manifestation was severe enough to render him near catatonic, and British authorities failed to see what could be done about the young man. He was subjected to a battery of tests trying to determine exactly what had happened to him. After six months, his grandfather, Sir Walter Ye-Xorn decided that he should be returned to be close to his family in Hong Kong. British authorities bowed to his wishes, and prepared a research time to accompany the young man back to the island. However, neither the team nor Xorn made it back to Hong Kong. Their plane stopped to refuel in Hawaii, and its transponder stopped transmitting less than an hour after take off. British Intelligence and the CIA concluded that the PRC had an agent on the flight crew, who must have been able to take over the flight and fly it into mainland China instead. However, without evidence, Britain had no option but to let the incident go.
Since 1980, a team of Chinese scientists had tried unsuccessfully to find a way to weaponize Xorn's abilities. However, despite their best efforts, Xorn stubbornly refused to yield any results. They only application they'd been able to successfully develop is harnessing Xorn to power the complex and surrounding area. Because they cannot communicate with him, attempting to study or train his actual abilities is impossible, and more radical methods like surgery were thwarted by his unique physical form.
In the last year, the Chinese government formally decided to shut down the facility at the end of 2006. With no proper use to be found for Xorn, they had orders to terminate him through whatever means they could devise. While Xorn could not react, he understood both his imminent death and the repercussions. The method they had devised would strip away the subconscious limits on his containment and cause a small supernova as well as a psychic black hole. The loss of lives would be in the tens of millions at the very least. He couldn't even use his powers to call for help, since he was trapped in the facility.
But for someone of his powers, his subconscious had found a way to reach those who he marked at his manifestation. While his call for help was in the form of nightmares, it was the only option left. Fortunately for him, people like Romany Wisdom have a habit of listening to their nightmares. She quickly talked to her brother Pete, and he pointed out she was having the same issue as him. Something was very wrong, and it was tied into the mutant somehow.
To the shock of all, Doctor Nathaniel Essex made his reappearance, in the Snow Valley Center's lobby. He'd been trying to find out information about Xorn since the mid 80s and ended up getting his hands on a lot of the initial material the original British team generated. He'd even put together a strong hypothesis about what was potentially about to happen, and what Xorn is. Xorn's power even affects Essex, despite his mutant power. Essex worked with the team for a couple of days, putting together information about what to do about Xorn, while Snow Valley worked to locate him. Fortunately, their recent contacts with the Russians pinpoint the most likely possibility as a compound in a remote location south of the Amur river.
They enlisted Forge's help to build a helmet that can help regulate Xorn's powers if they reach him soon enough. They also recruited an intensely unwilling David Haller because Essex' plan required a telepathic transmitter. Once the helmet was completed, Essex took his leave and the team traveled to Russia to meet Vazhin. He'd arranged for a pair of stealthed helicopters and a very small flight team headed up by Romanova to get them into China and to the facility. Once they landed, they split into two groups. Pete, Remy LeBeau, Marie-Ange Colbert, Wanda Maximoff, Mark Sheppard and Sarah Morlocke were the combat team, moving to neutralize the guards and kill the communications to avoid detection. Sofia Mantega-Barret, Betsy Braddock, Amanda Sefton, Doug Ramsey and Haller moved into the compound itself to find Xorn, already in the process of mental discorporation.
Using Haller and his personalities as the transmitter, Betsy as the psychic link, Doug as the filter (to basically communicate in Ur-language) and Sofia as the spokesperson with her psychiatric training, they managed to interact with Xorn on a basic level and haul him back from the brink. Amanda's shielding spell kept all of them from getting fried by the waves of energy emitting from Xorn's unshielded head. The sheer power of Xorn actually pulled their minds apart at one point, but as Xorn stabilized with the help of the helmet, he was able to refix their psychic images and return them to consciousness.
They made their escape and stopped in a remote area of the Caucasus, where X-Force left the helicopters and make their own way back home. Xorn made his farewells without a word, simply walking away from the group and out into the world.
Trivia and Meta
Betsy employed her psychic knife to make the connection between herself, Doug and Sofia, for the first time using it in a non-combative fashion.
An often quoted reason for the need for two different types of teams in the game, X-Men and X-Force, is that the X-Men are higher profile and are meant to be a public face for mutants. That means that certain missions, like invading China and committing a terrorist action in freeing a mutant could be disastrous if caught. In Operation: Xorn, X-Force does invade China, and does commit a terrorist action to free a mutant.