|Dates run:||August 29, 2017 - September 28, 2017|
|Read the logs:||Psi War|
Save the day. Quentin Quire. Who the fuck thought up this reality?
A mysterious patient at Jean's hospital paves the way for the return of an old and terrible foe.
Quentin Quire, Jean Grey, Rogue, David Haller, Emma Frost, Topaz, Alex Summers, Cecilia Reyes, Amanda Sefton, Wanda Maximoff, Illyana Rasputin, Stephen Strange, Marie-Ange Colbert, Rachel Kinross-Dayspring.
It started out normally enough. Jean met a new patient at Claremont Hospital who was suffering from fatigue, body aches and unable to sleep. After he was discharged, he and Jean started dating; when Jean mentioned him to Rogue, she was unaware that it wasn't the first time she had heard the name - in another life, "Parker Matthews" had been Mesmero and then later Nightmare, a psi with the ability to hypnotise who had targeted the "Frankenberry" Jean twice. Concerned about the coincidence, Rogue sought help from the Phase 1 members of X-Force, who investigated this version. Nothing untoward was found, except that Matthews had previously had some friends in the magical community who were now missing.
Meanwhile, Matthews was still experiencing symptoms, leading Jean to consider it might be related to his mutation - he had confided during his time in hospital that he was a low-level psi. She emailed Charles for advice, who suggested that she bring him to the mansion. Upon finding out the patient's name, however, he enlisted Haller and Emma to assist in observing him, mindful of his previous incarnation's acts and hoping for the best. It was well he did - while Haller and Emma discovered this Parker Matthews was nothing like his P1 counterpart, they were unaware that he was the host for a psionic parasite, one they'd met before. The Shadow King emerged and possessed Jean, seeking to use her stronger psionic powers to feed himself. Haller and Emma managed to fight back and force him to retreat back into the Astral Plane. Jean woke up in medlab and was checked over by Haller and Matthews was left in a coma following the ordeal and was transferred back to hospital under his recovery.
And that seemed to be that. Haller and Emma searched the Astral Plane for the entity, but there was no trace. Recalling their previous encounter with him, Haller emailed Amanda, suggesting a repeat of the magical ritual they had used last time which had flushed the Plane with magic and forced the Shadow King to flee. Amanda began her preparations, balancing instructing those involved and not breaking the world, as Wanda, Illyana and Stephen were all P2 counterparts of the original participants. In the meantime, life went on, with the escape of a would-be bank robber from a local prison resulting in Quentin's pleased reaction.
The day of the ritual came. Amanda gathered her helpers at the X-Force office. Jean, now up and about and at work again, was having an uncomfortable encounter with Quentin Quire, who didn't seem to know the word 'no' and in his persistence revealed the truth - his mind was the hiding place the Shadow King had fled to. But just at that point the ritual ended and the Shadow King, wearing Quentin's body, raced to the X-Force offices with Jean in pursuit. Haller, Amanda and Jean fought the Shadow King while Wanda got the students away, but were close to defeat when Jean offered the Shadow King her body and powers in return for leaving her friends alone. The Shadow King, having already used up Quentin's power and with the body starting to disintegrate, agreed. Amanda, recalling the destruction caused by the Dark Phoenix, couldn't let that happen - she cast a shielding spell around Jean, preventing the Shadow King from possessing her. While Jean raged against the interruption, Quentin realised what he needed to do. Already dying, he used what was left of his telepathic powers to create a psychic shotgun, which he used on himself, apparently killing the Shadow King and then dissolving into ectoplasmic goo. Wanda later got Doug and Marie-Ange to help her scoop up Quentin's remains, unsure if maybe he would be able to be reassembled as Rachel had once had been.
For the next several days, Quentin's friends and co-workers mourned. Jean was furious at being stopped from sacrificing herself and refused to accept his death - with the help of Haller and Emma, she was able to find his fragmented consciousness on the Astral Plane, still hounded by the Shadow King. The three telepaths helped Quentin piece himself back together, however discovered they had been deceived by the Shadow King himself into helping destroy Quentin's psychic immune system. The Shadow King attacked but found itself outmatched by three powerful telepaths. What was left of Quentin's mind was recovered and the Shadow King rendered powerless and bound to the astral plane. Without a body and without the telepaths sustaining him, however, Quentin's time was limited. Until Jean offered her own mind as an anchor point for him. Reluctantly, Quentin accepted the offer rather than die, and for the next few days they learned to literally live with each other.
The situation was only temporary, however, and would result in one or both being destroyed in time. Working with Rachel and Marie-Ange as well as the jar of ectoplasm that had been his previous body, Quentin was able to inhabit one of Marie-Ange's constructs (taken from a portrait she had painted of him) and use Rachel's knowledge of recreating herself from the astral plane (following the Dark Phoenix Saga) to make it flesh and blood and very pink hair all over. One thing was lacking, and it was a great loss - Quentin discovered that his powers were gone. To say he was upset about this was an understatement.
Trivia and Meta
As part of the link between Phase 1 and Phase 2, Ben wanted to recreate the original magical ritual first used to banish the Shadow King.
Much of the Shadow King in this reality was inspired by the television show Legion.