|X-Treme X-Men (2nd series) # 6|| || |
Issue Date: X-Treme X-Men (2nd series) # 5
Story Title: You Canít Go Home Again (Part 1)
Staff: Greg Pak (Writer), Stephen Segovia and Raul Valdes (Pencils), Dennis Crisostomo and Lorenzo Ruggiero (Colourists), VCís Joe Sabino (Letters), Kalman Andrasofszky (Cover), Jeannie Schaefer (Editor), Jennifer M. Smith (Assistant Editor), Nick Lowe (Group Editor), Axel Alonso (Editor in Chief), Joe Quesada (Chief Creative Officer), Dan Buckley (Publisher), Alan Fine (Executive Producer)
Kurt is a prisoner of the robots and he recalls how the robots of his world rose up against the humans. His parents protected him by giving him a cloaking device and tranquilizing him. When he came to, everyone was dead and he was being hunted by the robots until he was kidnapped and taken to an alternate reality. Elsewhere, Dazzler and the rest of the team land on a Savage Land-like world but they force a reluctant Xavier to send them to Kurtís world. Xavier stays behind as Dazzler and Howlett enter the portal. On Kurtís home world, Dazzlerís uses her power to mask herself from the robots and they track Kurt via Howlettís sense of smell. As they track him through the city, Dazzler gets Howlett to reveal he is gay but regrets it when he reveals the world he came from wasnít as enlightened as her world. They eventually track Kurt to a zoo. A few miles away, Sage is acting as a S.W.O.R.D. ambassador. She petitions the ruler of the world, Danger, to release Kurt but to no avail. Danger wants to kill Kurt but accepts that she will need a legal ruling to do so since the treaties were set up after she murdered all the humans. Afterwards, Sage explains to her bodyguards that they might have to accept that Danger can kill Kurt, otherwise they could rise and all-out war between planets if any rules of the treaty are broken. However, unbeknownst to her, Dazzler and Howlett have broken Kurt out of his jail and in doing so have ďkilledĒ numerous innocent robots.
(Two Years Ago)
Kurt welcomes everyone to Cupertino, the capital city of the United States of California and the greatest city in the greatest country on the greatest world in the multiverse. People are socializing in a lush, green park as skyscrapers raise high in the background. Kurt explains that they have limitless green energy, a zero carbon footprint, a cure for cancer, sixteen million robot servants, free health care and peopleís life expectancy is 122 years. Amongst the crowds in the park robot servants mingle and bring people drinks and walk their dogs.
On a rooftop, Spider-Man stands in front of TV reports and is about to unveil a new device. Kurt says that Spider-man is in charge of the Department of Homeland Technology. Plus they also have jetpacks. With that, Spider-Man takes to the sky wearing a jetpack mounted to his body as spectators look on in wonder. Kurt says that everything is perfect around here for everyone except him.
He is sat next to a small, white robot on a park bench and eating a packed lunch. He introduces himself as Kurt Waggoner, who is in the seventh grade. Mutants may have gained their legal and civil rights two generations ago but donít expect the blue, furry twelve-year-old ones to be grateful. Three kids walk past him and one elbows him in the head, causing him to drop the sandwich he was eating. As he lies on the floor, the boys surround him and one compliments his robot. Kurt cautiously thanks him but the boy picks up the robot and walks away.
The robot lets out a little squeal, clearly distressed at being separated from Kurt. Kurt yells for the boys to wait and stutters as he tries to say that itís his robot. Before he can finish, however, the boy who has the robot turns around and teases him that itís Kurt boyfriend. Kurt doesnít say anything as the robot continues to make noises and reaches out to him. Kurt, still kneeling on the floor, clutches at his lunchbox and says that it was his homework. The boy laughs and corrects him and says he means itís his homework now.
The boy flicks the robot up in the air, causing it to let out a cry. He comments that Kurt is always working on these things and then asks why he likes them so much. Kurt replies that they treat him like everyone else and the boy scoffs at the concept. The boy holds the robot upside down by one of its legs and says he thinks itís broken. He then demands that Kurt fixes the robot by seventh period or else.
Just as he finishes, all the boys are thrown to the floor as a number of giant robots appear and tear up the ground around them. One of the robots grabs Kurtís smaller robot as Kurt futilely asks whatís happening. His parents suddenly appear behind him carrying weapons and yelling for him to run. When Kurt starts to protest that he left his robot behind, his mother tells him the robots are the enemy.
As they reach their home Kurt asks whatís going on. His father says that they thought they had the proper safeguards and the protocols were sound. But the robots have achieved sentience and they want to kill them all. His parents open a cupboard door and put Kurt inside. His mother hands him a small circular device and tells him itís a cloak that should stop the machines from finding him. His father tells him to use his gift and to stay in the shadows. Kurt says he is going with them but his parents tell him they work for the conglomerate and this is their responsibility. Kurt continues to protest and his parents beg him to stop. His mother holds his hand and starts crying. She tells him he is their world and they love him more than anything else in the universe. He has to live. She then takes out a gun, tranquilizes him and he falls asleep.
He doesnít know how long he was out for but when he wakes up he is lying with his parentís bodies amongst the rubble of his house. He picks up his Spider-Man lunchbox, which now has blood splashed across it. A giant robot suddenly appears and Kurt uses his teleportation powers for the very first time. He appears on some rocks next to the ocean, stunned as to what just happened. He had no idea what happened but he found he had left his murdered world behind.
Soon he found new enemies when he was taken from his reality and brought to another to where he was used as a power source. He would also find new friends in the form of Dazzler, Howlett and Xavier. He starts to recall recent events that brought him back to his world. He and his team were jumping between realities when he thought he saw his world. He jumped through a portal after it thinking it would reunite him with his parents. But instead he ended up in a prison cell with a power-nullifying collar on his neck. But he realizes he was right about one thingÖ the robots treat him like everyone else.
(Meanwhile, in another universe)
The rest of the team appears a few meters up in the air of the new world. Around them, dinosaurs roam and volcanoes churn out smoke in the distance. Dazzler yells that they have lost Kurt but Xavier tells her that they have bigger problems at the moment. As he swipes at an incoming Pterodactyl, Howlett comments that itís a nice world heís brought them to. Xavier tells him that, by definition, none of the worlds could be described as nice. Each one contains a corrupt and dangerous version of him after all.
The team suddenly catches the attention of a large carnivorous dinosaur and it starts coming towards them. As Howlett runs towards it to take it on, Xavier continues and says they must find cover so that they can find and defeat this worldís Xavier. Dazzler grabs Xavierís bottle and tells him that have lost Kurt and they must go back for him. Xavier tells her absolutely not but she tells him she assumes ďabsolutely notĒ means ďyesĒ in severed-head language. She then demands he is taking them back to find him right now.
Xavier tells her that every time they jump, they are drawn to the universe with the greatest Xavier-related emergency. If they abandon their mission, then countless innocent might die. Dazzler tells him not to give her hypotheticals. The only innocent person she is concerned with is a fourteen-year-old kid who is lost somewhere in the multiverse. She yells for Howlett, who is finishing up killing the large carnivore, as she needs some back-up. Howlett walks over to them and Xavier tries to reason with him saying that he led a nation back on his world, so he must know what heís talking about. Howlett agrees that he does but then proceeds to pop his claws and threaten Xavier by seeing how much more can be whittled off him.
Giving in, Xavier tells them that heroes can be pretty aggravating but Dazzler just tells him to stop stalling. With that, he uses his powers and opens up a portal to Kurtís world. Dazzler and Howlett walk through but Xavier stays behind. When they ask what heís doing, he tells them that heís staying there to complete the mission as someoneís got to save the multiverse. As the portal closes, Xavier is left in the savage world with two large carnivorous dinosaurs advancing on him.
Dazzler and Howlett appear in a dilapidated room with rubble strewn all around. Outside, they see a red sky and destroyed buildings. Howlett whispers to Dazzler to keep her head down, as they donít know where Xavier really sent them. Dazzler picks up a broken picture frame off the floor and sees a picture of Kurt and his parents and tells him they are in the right place. Howlett uses his keen sense of smell to figure out Kurt was there a few days ago, much to Dazzlerís annoyance that they lost time in the jump. He tells her it wonít be easy to pick up the scent, as everything around them smells like machines. With that, he grabs her as a Sentinel lights up the area and announces itís found human brainwaves. As it locates them, Howlett yells for Dazzler to blow its head off but she tells him to take her hand. The Sentinel suddenly announces it was a false alarm and that no humans were detected. It walks away amongst a crowd of other robots.
Howlett whispers to Dazzler and asks what she did. She whispers back and says that it sounds like the standard robots-kill-all-humans world. The robot was reading their brainwaves so she disrupted its sensors with some photoelectric noise. Howlett rushes off and calls for Dazzler to follow him. Alarmed that she canít shield him, she suddenly realizes the robots arenít picking him up. She asks how they arenít attacking him and he tells her he has an adamantine skull. She sarcastically comments that itís magic but he tells her itís the metal of the gods and thatís much better than magic.
They come out on an open area where robots are walking around. Keeping their voices low Howlett tells her to just keep walking. As he sniffs his way around Dazzler brings up the ďmetal of the godsĒ comments and says someone must have really liked him. When he starts to reply awkwardly Dazzler lets out a triumphant ďha.Ē When he asks what that was, she tells him she saw how he went all weak at the knees when they saw the big, bearded guy on the other world. She tells him to just say itÖ he loves HerculesÖ. heís the hottest god on his home world and heís his booooooyfriiiiiend.
Howlett stops and tells her she doesnít understand the world he comes from. She replies that he was governor-generalÖ he does what he wants. But he tells her that he was governor-general and the queenís laws prohibit and man from loving another. Dazzler apologizes and says she should have thought but he tells her not to worry and that heís just glad she comes from a more enlightened world. She scoffs and says semi-enlightened anyway. He tells her it sounds better than any of the worlds they have visited so far.
Dazzlerís attention is suddenly caught by a big pile of human bones and she can barely contain her anger. Howlett tells her to hush as they have arrived at where Kurt is. Above them is a big metal sign that reads ďFounderís Zoological Park.Ē Dazzler starts to ask about Kurt but Howlett says that heís alive and only smelling of fear. He says to talk about a plan but Dazzler replies that thatís easyÖ. they blow everything up.
Howlett agrees but then says after that her shielding trick wonít hide them, they need an exit strategy. She tells him he saw the piles of bones; they could kill Kurt any second. So they are going to walks in nice and easy and bust him out. Then she will blow a sixteen billion gigawatt exit strategy through any robot that gets in their way. Howlett smiles and says he doesnít know what a gigawatt is but he likes it.
(Meanwhile, two miles away)
A flying spaceship is parked next to the top of a huge skyscraper. Sage says, as a representative of the S.W.O.R.D. truth and reconciliation commission, she is submitting a petition for the release of the organic sentience known as Kurt Waggoner. Danger tells her that she is sorry but she has no record of any creature by that name. Sage tells Danger that her sense of humor is as sharp as ever but she knows her abilities and legal mandate allows her to access all new information in the datastream. Danger tells her that she should know then that Kurt Waggoner came through three days ago in a cross-dimensional vortex. He is an invader and as such isnít covered by the treaty with S.W.O.R.D.
Sage corrects her and says that he is a native of this world that first disappeared when the genocide began. He is most certainly covered by the treaty and she will release him to her. Danger tells her they appear to have a difference in interpretation. According to the statute, this must go to the legal board for mediation. Sage retorts and says she could just release him to her.
When Danger questions this, Sage asks what she has to lose and reminds her that she has already won. They look towards a mural on the wall of the room that depicts Dangerís uprising and slaughter of the humans of the world. Sage tells her she massacred nearly every single human on the planetÖ no one lives to lay claim to it anymore. She then thwarted the S.W.O.R.D. invasion force by agreeing to every surrender term. In three years, when the monitoring team leaves, Danger will have her human-free world. She asks why this one boy matters.
Danger replies and says people speak so highly of Sageís computer-like brain and its efficiency has made interactions easier during this transitional period. But sheís afraid she will never truly understand them. Kurt Waggoner is human and, if it is in their legal reach, they will kill him.
As Sage leaves the building and boards the ship, one of her bodyguards asks how it went. She tells his it went as expected. But Prime Minister Danger understands whatís at stake; she wonít harm the boy before a ruling is made. Another bodyguard asks what happens if they rule against them. She informs him that the treaty is clear that there is no protection for post-genocide invaders. The bodyguard asks if they will just stand by while they kill him. Sage says it doesnít sound like a hard question but if they interfere then they could start a cross-planetary war that could result in the deaths of millions. The bodyguard apologizes and informs her that their ships could incinerate the planet in seconds.
Sage says there is a part of the tragedy that they are forgetting. The robots have benefitted from genocide but many of them never participated. In fact, most of them came online after the last human was killed. They are all as guilty as they are from benefitting from the horrific atrocities that form the basis of all their civilizations. But right now, millions of them are just living their lives and not hurting anyone. She says to let her put it another wayÖ the robots are people too. And may the prime mover forgive anyone who forgets that.
Elsewhere, Dazzler lays waste to any robot that stands in her way, as Howlett carries Kurt in his arms.
Dazzler, Howlett, Kid Nightcrawler, Xavier (all X-Men)
Citizens in the park
Kurt was taken from his world and used as a source of power for another world by an evil Xavier. [Astonishing X-Men (3rd series) #44-47]
The team met an alternate Hercules on the first world they visited. [X-Treme X-Men (2nd series) #2-3]
It was confirmed via Greg Pakís Twitter account that this is indeed 616 Sage. This is the first time Sage has appeared since Exiles (2nd series) #6 (2009). She joined the Exiles after gaining the powers of Roma. She then merged with the Crystal Palace and her body and mind was revealed to have been absorbed into it, along with the rest of her teammates.
S.W.O.R.D. stands for Sentient World Observation and Response Department.
Cupertino, California is famous as being the location of the headquarters of Apple Inc.
Issue Summary written by: Gremlin