The Magnificent Seven
|The Magnificent Seven|
|Dates run:||November 28 - December 3, 2008|
|Read the logs:||The Magnificent Seven|
Chaos can have its own order, White Queen.
When Tanya Callery passed along information that Sebastian Shaw would be receiving information relating to the Taygetos program at a Hellfire Club function, Nathan went to Emma Frost, asking for her help to intercept the information. Along with Adrienne and Manuel, they attended the party, and with the other two providing a diversion, Nathan and Emma managed to follow the courier to a brief meeting with John Lense, where he handed over the information. Nathan distracted Lense while Emma found a way around the psi-bafflers active in the room. Once Lense's protection was removed, Emma applied the patent White Queen whammy to his brain and she and Nathan departed with the flash drive he had just received. Back in the limousine, they discover that the drive is encrypted, and Emma takes it back with her to recruit Doug's assistance. Adrienne reveals that she 'read' the courier, Malachi Hark, on his way out of the party, and saw him receiving his watch years ago as a gift from a woman that a shocked Nathan recognized as his mother, Esther.
Doug, still on an efficiency kick after Day Zero, decrypted the hard drive quickly, and revealed that it contained details of what appeared to be ongoing negotiations between Trask/Shaw and Taygetos, including the confirmation of a "product demonstration"; having received an initial payment, Taygetos would now send one of their teams to take out a target designated by their new customers. The information included a timeline for the Taygetos team's travel to Wakanda, making it clear that the intended target was T'Challa.
A team was quickly assembled, under Jean and Nathan's leadership, and with Emma and Domino accompanying them, departed for Wakanda. There, they discovered that the country (and its local astral plane) was still in some disarray following the events of the summer. T'Challa himself was disturbed by the revival of the Panther cult, focusing on him. Though he was willing to serve as bait in hopes of luring the Taygetos team into a position where they could be taken into custody, the Wakandan government forbade it (although offered whatever other help was necessary). The X-Men settled in to search N'Jadaka, the capital, for any trace of the Taygeto team. During the search, Zanne's retrocognitive projection turned up evidence that Trask, along with Saidullayev and Amber Hunt, had been in the city in the immediate past. But before the team could do more than begin to plan a response to this new complication, Wakanda was invaded.
The invasion was the work of rogue elements of the Kenyan and Tanzanian armies, who had inexplicably crossed the border and attacked the Wakandan military. To make things worse, reports came in that Saidullayev had attacked the Wakandan army base at Kanda, and Nathan and Jean departed to find and stop him. That same morning, Emma detected and thwarted an attempt by Trask to rouse T'Challa's security detail into an assassination attempt of their own; following Trask on the astral plane, she discovered that the other woman was in fact responsible for the invasion, and left the capital to search for her.
The rest of the team stayed in N'Jadaka to follow through with their primary objective - protect T'Challa and catch the young assassins - but their job was made infinitely more complicated by the arrival of enemy troops, who took up positions in the mountains about the city and began to shell the capital. Knowing that the commanders of these troops were being driven by Trask's manipulations, the team knew they had to do something to buy the Wakandan civilians time to evacuate. Jennie, Zanne and Alex departed to delay the enemy troops, while Marius, along with Domino, stayed to protect T'Challa. While engaged in delaying tactics, Alex encountered Amber Hunt, making a daring tactical choice in order to defeat her, while Jennie and Zanne applied their powers in equally creative ways, managing to stop the troops' advance for a few hours.
Back in the city, the Taygetos team made their move, and although most of T'Challa's security team was killed, Marius, Domino and T'Challa survived, mostly due to the unusual interaction of Marius's 'stacked' powers. A few hours outside the capital, Emma found Trask, but after a brief confrontation that appeared to have been set up deliberately as a trap, she was blindsided by Carly Alvarez, who helped Trask to escape.
Near Kanda, Nathan and Jean's helicopter was knocked out of the sky by Saidullayev, leading to a colossal telekinetic battle in which Saidullayev revealed he was on Kick, and Nathan and Jean were forced to 'meld' their minds in order to fight him. Savaging his mental defenses and pushing him past the point of burnout, the NathanandJean entity then turned its attention back to the capital, where the rest of the team was involved in a last stand to keep the enemy troops out of the capital. When T'Challa tried to surrender in hopes that it would end the fighting, the NathanandJean entity intervened, first saving his life, then frightening the enemy troops into a panicked retreat by projecting Nathan's remembered image of the Panther God from the summer.
Emma intervened telepathically, separating Nathan and Jean from the highly dangerous gestalt entity, and on the borders, the Wakandan military was able to drive the invaders back out of their territory, where their neighboring governments were fully prepared to step in and ensure that there were no further hostilities. Two of the young Taygetos operatives were taken into custody by SHIELD, as was Saidullayev, who remained in a deep coma. The X-Men prepared to return home, but not before T'Challa informed Nathan that he was planning, once the immediate aftermath of the crisis was over, to leave Wakanda for a time, hoping that his absence would allow his people to rethink their reactions to the tumultuous events of the year.
Trivia and Meta
Alex and Zanne were both promoted to full X-Men shortly after the events in Wakanda.
Nathan and Jean experienced lingering side effects of their 'mind-meld', including knowledge particular to the other that neither possessed beforehand.