Wednesday, March 02, 2005

X-Men #4 - Starting things off with a bang...Part 1

Previously in A World Transformed...

When the Autobots crashed into Earth after their collision with the Nemesis all aboard were rendered inactive. Within this time, human scientists uncovered the Autobot vessel The Ark and harvested it of the Transformers energy source, Energon, which had the unpredicted side effect of activating mutant Chromosomes and they also removed the Creation Matrix from within the dormant Optimus Prime.

When awakened, Optimus Prime felt himself slowly losing control. The Matrix bonds itself to the holders 'spark' giving the possessor great power, but once removed the effects become detrimental. Optimus Prime, the greatest Autobot leader has been left with the mentality of a 5 year old child and if he is not reconnected to the Matrix soon he will cease functioning.

Stepping in for Prime, Prowl, the Autobot tactician assumed command and dispatched the Autobots across the world in an attempt to locate the Matrix. Jazz discovered that the X-Men had broken into a government facility to retrieve information on the effects of Energon and recovered many other secret documents including the recorded findings of the Ark's crash. Overhearing this information, Optimus Prime sped off to New York to find the X-Men in the hope that they can tell him the whereabouts of the Matrix.

Optimus is joined by his oldest friend, Ironhide and by Bumblebee who regards Prime as an idol. Little do they know that where the X-Men are concerned, things are always much more than meets the eye...

X-Men Issue 4

Starting things off with a bang...Part 1

By Dave Cousens

New York. New Years Eve.

The final days of the 20th Century saw great speculation on what the end of the millennium would bring, but nobody had predicted what would unfold on this day.

The weather was cold but clear. The traffic was even worse than normal. Each person had somewhere special to celebrate the dawn of the new millennium and they all wanted to get there immediately. The result? Total gridlock.


"Louie, take it easy, shouting at every New Yorker in the vicinity isn't going to help us get home any faster."

The driver of the truck sighed and looked at his friend. "I know Frank. I just can't believe we got stuck delivering a damned crate the size of New Jersey to some weird, creepy looking complex on New Years Eve. It sucks."

Frank slumped back in his chair and made a half smile. Louie was always the more impatient of the pair. Frank wasn't really bothered about the party that they would have to go to. Frank had already been disappointed by New Years Eve before. He'd got worked up and excited only to have the night turn into one big anti-climax. In fact, he'd just be happy to sit in his apartment with his close friends and a couple cases of Bud.

On the plus side, they'd delivered whatever the package was and they were done for the day. All they had to do was get through the immense traffic jam and go home to get ready for 'the big night'. At least they wouldn't have any problems until the hangover that they would face the following day. Or so they thought. The gentlemen stared as they heard a couple of voices echo out into the traffic jam.

"I'm telling you Ironhide, we could've walked across the whole city by now." The little yellow Volkswagen bug seemed to speak as though it were alive and impatient to get to it's destination. "Being stuck in our vehicle forms has just got us caught up in this chaos."

Louie gave Frank a puzzled look as they continued to listen in to the conversation.

"Bumblebee, we have ta stay in disguise! Bein' in our alternate forms stops anyone suspectin' that we're robots from another planet!" The red van responded.

"Kids playing a prank, either that or the drivers are at a mid life crisis." Frank shrugged while the conversation still carried on between the two cars and their "drivers".

"I know, I know." Bumblebee sighed in frustration. He understood the logic perfectly and he didn't need Ironhide to patronize him. Bumblebee knew that Ironhide meant well and was just as worried about Prime as he was, but Bumblebee was tired of being talked down to just because he was smaller than most of the other Autobots.

The cars finally began to move forward as Louie and Frank looked at each other and couldn't help but laugh.

"Bumblebee, Ironhide? What kind of lame CB handles are those? And they used outside speakers too." Louie jabbed his friend with his elbow. The only reply was a wide stare as Frank looked out Louie's window.

A man had approached and knocked on the window. "Excuse me?"

Both Frank and Louie bolted upright in their seats. They hadn't expected to see someone next to the drivers window whilst in the middle of the road, let alone have the person actually engage them in conversation. Louie rolled down his window.

"Can I help you buddy?" Louie asked hesitantly. There was something about talking to an absolute stranger whilst in the middle of traffic that made Louie feel uncomfortable.

"I certainly hope so." The voice boomed in response. "I was wondering if you could tell me exactly what you have delivered today?"

Louie turned to look at Frank who was equally bemused. Outside of their truck stood a tall and well built man in a business suit that would cost more than month's salary for both of them. The man appeared to be in his early forties. He had almost metallic gray hair, which was short and tidy. His steel blue eyes pierced into them. Instinctively, both passengers in the truck felt anxious.

"Uh, I-I'm sorry sir, that information is strictly confidential." Louie stuttered nervously.

"I see." The response was cold and bitter. "Listen to me. Carefully. I am Erik Magnus Lensherr and I demand to know what your cargo has been today!"

A chill ran down the spines of Frank and Louie, that name was familiar...

Not too far away...

"Are you sure this is okay?"

"For de third time Everett, it's fine." came the tired reply.

"Thanks man. Really. Me and Angelo and Jono are really glad that you're letting us come along." Everett said enthusiastically.

Gambit sighed.

This is what you get for bein' a nice guy Remy!

The excitement was getting to Everett, AKA Synch. He'd always lived a fairly sheltered life (if you ignore the fact that he's been hunted down by Sentinels, possessed by Emplate and fought off the extra-terrestrial Phalanx). This was the first time that Everett had gone to a club that would have been a big enough thing in itself, but the fact that he was going with his friends to some of the Big Apples nightlife hot spots, and that he had a fake ID and that it was the eve of the Millennium...well let's just say that he was excited.

His friends in question were mostly the more easy going members of the X-Men (and the ones that didn't have dates...). Remy LeBeau AKA Gambit could have found a date easily, but the one woman that he wanted to spend his time with, Rogue, has grown increasingly distant since the revelation of Energon. The equally well dressed Dr. Henry McCoy found himself in a similar situation. The mutant also known as Beast would have preferred to see in the new millennium with his girlfriend Trish Tilby, but because she is one of the city's most prominent news anchors she was required to be one of the live broadcasters when the hour arrived.

Robert Drake, the Iceman, and Jamie Madrox, formerly the Multiple Man of the now defunct X-Factor had decided that they would find someone whilst in a club. Drake had contemplated asking Cecilia Reyes for some reason that he couldn't fathom, but she'd mentioned that she was spending the time with her family. Madrox just figured that women are easier to come by when they've had a bit to drink.

Everett was also accompanied by the male half of Generation X. Jonothan Starsmore AKA Chamber had reluctantly come out after deciding that it was the quickest way to shut up Angelo Espinosa who was insisting that they should all go out and forget the Gen X girls for the night. (This was mostly because Angelo was worried that he'd be the only one who didn't pair up, but he didn't think the others needed to know that...) The three silently had no use of their powers or codenames tonight.

The fake ID's that Chamber, Synch and Skin were carrying were kindly supplied by Gambit. After all something like this was simple for the worlds greatest (and allegedly most charming) thief. Well, that and Iceman had promised the Gen X'ers that he'd get them.

"Guys, trust us, it's fine, just make sure to act like you're all twenty one okay?" Iceman assured them.

"Don't worry Mr. Drake we'll-" Everett was interrupted by his teammate Skin.

"Amigo please!" Angelo interrupted with a show of bravado for the benefit of the older X-men. "Stop actin' like we're muchachos! Don't call Bobby 'mister Drake' comprende?"

Bobby laughed to himself. He turned to Beast whose blue fur was masked by his personal image inducer so that he looked like a normal human.

"Tell me we were never that bad Hank?" Bobby joked.

"I certainly wasn't and Warren's upbringing ensured that he was never going to be awkward, but you and Scott?" McCoy smiled aloofly "Well, some kids just can't help being...socially challenged."

"So Bobby? When are you going to grow out of it?"

"Shut up Madrox!" Drake grinned. "You make me look good!"

The sun was beginning to set as the group walked down the streets. This meant the everybody who was working would now be home and getting ready for the big night.

"Whoa! Would you look at those!" Angelo's jaw dropped, fortunately he still remembered to keep his mutant power of extending his skin in check lest the skin from his jaw literally dropped to the ground.

"Smooth, mate." Chamber remarked with more than a hint of sarcasm through the scarf covering his mouth. Jonothan's psionic chamber of energy replaced a big portion of the front of his body including his jaw. It was an unfortunate by product on his first manifestation of his powers.

However, thoughts of powers and troubles quickly dwindled away as a group of 8 women (wearing enough fabric for just one of them) walked past the off duty X-Men and smiled flirtatiously. One of them dropped her small purse on the floor and went to pick it up. Her hand met Gambit's who was already kneeling down and holding the purse. Their eyes locked as they stood up again.

"Thank you" Her voice whispered like honey.

"My pleasure" Gambit replied with a smile.

The girl rejoined her friends and they began to walk off. A couple of them were giggling at something as all of them looked back.

"We'll see you later?" One of the girls called out.

"I hope so." Gambit replied with slight smirk.

The X-Men paused for a moment and enjoyed 'the view'. Skin had a massive grin on his face. Madrox nudged Drake in the ribs.

"Hey did you see the one with the know's?"

"Which one?" Drake asked whilst smiling.

"The redhead. She was into me, big style!" Madrox nodded assuredly.

McCoy looked at Gambit who shook his head. They carried on walking down the street. Skin walked ahead to match his pace with the two X-Men.

"Hey Amigo's?" Skin put his arms around the shoulders of both of them. "When we get to the club, howsabout we ditch the other guys and go find some fine chicas?" Skin said somewhat ambitiously.

Again, McCoy and Gambit shared a look of incredulity. McCoy turned to Angelo and smiled.

"Angelo? There's probabl--"


All of the X-Men looked up towards the sky. First there was the sound of glass shattering. Then there was smoke and car alarms. Then there was the screams of hundreds of people.

"What the hell was that?" Chamber asked.

"Dat was life's li'll way of telling us we aren't gonna get to go drinking right now." Gambit grimaced.

Scant seconds later, there was a herd of people heading towards the X-Men in mutual panic. Each person had a look of terror in their eyes. The older X-Men instantly began to run straight into the crowd, their instincts told them that if this many people were on the run there was definitely a problem (either that or there was a sale on).

"Aw man!" Everett complained. "These clothes are a rental!"

McCoy looked back at Everett and raised an eyebrow. The X-Men rushed towards the explosion's source.

"Idea's?" Gambit asked Beast between breaths.

"One of the big apples finest citizens got overzealous with a firework display of immense proportions?" McCoy quipped.

"Whatever it is, I know we're not going to like it!" Madrox yelled across the torrent of people.

The one positive effect the gridlock had was that people couldn't run across the road because it was filled with cars. The Beast quickly noted this and started leaping across the roofs of the stationary vehicles. Gambit followed in the Beasts example, pulled out his staff and extended it, catapulting himself across the road. The members of Generation X were slightly in awe of their older counterparts. For all of their training they were relatively inexperienced. The X-Men had been doing this for years and it showed. They were acting off of pure instinct and adrenaline. Simultaneously, the Beast deactivated his image inducer and Robert Drake became Iceman. they knew that at this stage keeping a low profile wasn't an issue.

Iceman sped off with Madrox leaving a column of ice in his wake. Gambit and the Beast had already made considerable headway and were almost around the corner. Chamber realized that running against the crowd wasn't working.

"Synch up to my power and fly us there!" He ordered Everett. "We need to catch up now!"

The older X-Men arrived on the scene.

"Oh no." Madrox whined half-heartedly.

"Not now." Iceman's sentiments echoed the Multiple Man

"Formidable." Gambit sneered. "Magneto."

Synch flew around the corner with both Chamber and Skin in tow to see the havoc that New York was being exposed to. Magneto was hovering in the air, radiating with power. The whole precinct was glowing an ominous blue. Almost every metallic object was floating mid-air, most being used to pin down innocent bystanders to witness Magneto's power.

"Well, at least he dressed for the occasion." Madrox whispered.

The X-Men stood in awe for a moment. The mutant that was currently holding a small section of New York hostage was arguably the most powerful being on the planet. Magneto embodies every fear that humans have about mutants. He has absolute power and has no compunctions about using it to gain control. His attack appeared to be focused two men who were suspended above the floor by a blue aura. Magneto was higher up, at the center of the maelstrom of metallic and mechanical objects that were hurtling through the sky.


"It would appear that we need to provide a distraction until the calvary arrives." The Beast surmised.

"Mr. Starsmore? Would you please take your comrades and contact any and all of the relevant crisis intervention specialists while the four of us remain here and attempt to improve the situation?"

Chamber nodded grimly, he understood that Magneto was a far greater threat than Generation X had faced before. At the moment they'd probably only hinder the X-men's efforts. "Sure, but we'll back as soon as we do guv'nor." Jono stood defiantly. "We're not useless kids."

The Beast smiled at Jonothan's charisma and nodded. "That was never in question."

With that the three members of Generation X left the scene hoping that the others would be okay. The X-Men gathered together to formulate a strategy to combat Magneto who was still unaware of their presence amidst the chaos.

"Madrox, make as many copies of yourself as you can and start getting the civilians out of here,quietly."

Madrox nodded in confirmation. Beast turned to Gambit. "Remy, I need you to sneak behind Magneto and--what?!?"

The Beast had seen a big red truck virtually untouched by Magneto's rampage. Not only that it was rolling forward without a driver at the wheel, however it seemed in total control. All four X-Men stopped in their tracks and looked on in disbelief as they turned their eyes toward it as well.

"Excuse me mister mutant?" An unearthly robotic voice resonated from the cab.

"Hank?" Iceman started in confusion. "What the hell is going on with that truck?"

The Beasts eyes widened as the truck apparently began to fall apart, but the Beast's trained scientific eyes noticed an order to the events transpiring before him. "It appears to be...transforming!"

Gears shifted, cogs rotated and circuits moved. A large red truck had started to rise up and become something more. The truck began to take on form, blue metallic legs stood up proudly, followed by the formation of a torso and arms and then finally a face that would soon become legend.

Optimus Prime stood tall in front of Magneto.

"A robot in disguise?" Madrox scratched his head. "Now I've seen everything."

Beast looked at Madrox who nodded and started to make duplicates of himself to start sneaking out the hostages. Gambit span around his staff in his right hand, moving it aside.

"Let's see how dis plays out."

Magneto turned around in shock. He stared into Primes eyes with wonder. Magneto's affinity with allthings mechanical allowed him to determine that this was not a sentinel or any sort of remote controlled robot. In fact this was like no construct Magneto had encountered before. This was sentient.

"You're Magneto aren't you?" The towering robot said in a deep voice, which seemed slightly wrong somehow. "I've seen you on TV! You want to rule the world."

Magneto didn't respond. He was still taking everything in. In one moment he had lost control of the situation. He had no idea that there was a robot hidden in the area. The robot stood awkwardly, it's demeanor reminded Magnus of a child.

"Mister Magneto, I..." Prime hesitated for a moment. He raised his right hand to his head. His eyes glowed bright blue for a second. He corrected his posture as something in him that he had thought was gone resurfaced. Optimus Prime's optic glared directly into Magneto's eyes. He spoke, this time proudly and determined.

"Magneto, I cannot allow you to harm these humans. They are sentient beings. They have the right to be free."

Magneto remained motionless. His eyes narrowed as he assessed his opponent. There was something familiar about this robot standing in front of him.

"Prahme! You're back!" Ironhide yelled excitedly and transformed. He instantly cursed himself for his mistake. Iceman raised an eyebrow with concern.

"Is every car in this street a robot?" He said exasperatedly.

Gambit's lip twisted with concern. Two gigantic robots have appeared without warning and are dictating ethics to Magneto.

"D'ere is not one possible way dis could be a good t'ing."

Prime turned around to face Ironhide. The big robot ran up to his friend and gave him a bear hug.

"Ironhide! I'm happy to see you!" Prime said gleefully.

Ironhide flailed like a rag doll in his leader's arms. He realized that he was wrong about Prime's condition instantly. He just hoped that Bumblebee had the sense to stay out of the situation. Ironhide suddenly realized that Magneto's aura was glowing even brighter and more intense. Ironhide hadn't been on Earth long enough to properly assess humans facial expressions yet, but he instinctively knew that Magneto was about to explode.

The first word was uttered almost silently. "You."

Magneto's face began to twist and contort. His rage was now in control.

"You! It is you who brought Energon to Earth! It is you who the caused the government to manipulate and abuse countless people! IT IS ALL YOUR FAULT!"

An intense glare of almost pure white filled the entire street. Magneto had unleashed a magnetic blast so powerful that Optimus and Ironhide were catapulted into the nearest building. Dust, glass and shards of metal flew in every direction. Still stinging from the blinding flare, the X-Men opened their eyes and picked themselves off of the floor.

Gambit looked down at his $500 shirt that was torn on the arm. "Okay, new plan. Get him!"

No comments: