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#93
The X Remix Part Four

"New Dawn"
by Chip Caroon

X vs. X. The classic match-up. New vs. old.

On one side is X-Factor, the newly reformed government sanctioned mutant team. On the other side, the X-Men, group of mutants branded as outlaws by a world that hates and fears them. In the past, both teams have worked together. Presently, all of them are friends.

So why are they fighting?

The answer lies with the United States Government. They asked Val Cooper to form a new mutant team*. Their first mission: Take out the X-Men.

*(Uncanny X-Men #372)

What the government didn't know was that the lost love of one of X-Factor's members has just returned to the X-Men. What the government also didn't know was that the members of X-Factor would be friends of the X-Men.

At the present moment, things are at a stalemate.

"Val, why the hell are you here like this?" Cyclops shouted. "Why is X-Factor here, breaking down our door, trying to take us down?"

"Cyclops, you don't understand," Forge answered for Val. "This is just a show. We don't want to take you out, the government does. We're just doing our job."

"Even if it means killin' yer friends?" Wolverine asked, his claws out, in full view of all the members of X-Factor.

"Logan. We're not planning on killing anybody. We came here because the President told us to," Val replied. "Now that's we're here, they think that we're taking you down, while we come up with a good cover story." She walked over to Forge and whispered, "Tell X-Factor to stand down."

"X-Factor, stand down," Forge said.

Cyclops thought about this for a minute. "How do we know that you're just here to pretend to be friendly, but then take us out when our guard is down."

"Cyclops, why are you so paranoid?" Val exclaimed.

"Frankly, it has to do with the recent outbreak of mutant hatred. The epitome of betrayal. A little government operation called Zero Tolerance."

"Scott," Forge interjected. "We are here because we were told to come here. We did not want to fight you, much less kill you."

All of the X-Men and X-Factor was silent for a few minutes while everyone present thought about the current situation.

Finally, Cyclops turned to his troops, the X-Men. "X-Men, stand down, and welcome our friends back to the X-Mansion."

Immediately, Alex ran over to Lorna, hugged and kissed her.

"Where've you been?" Lorna asked.

"It's a long story. I'll tell you later."

Wolverine walked over to Maggott, grabbed his hand, and shook it.

"How've ya been?" he asked. "Missed ya here."

Forge came in and began a conversation with Storm and Cyclops.

X-Factor was once again an ally of the X-Men.


Later that day, the X-Men and X-Factor heard a low rumble followed by a crash. They abruptly stopped what they were doing and ran outside to where they heard the crash.

This crash was also in their backyard. When they ran out, they found a small spacecraft that looked vaguely familar.

"It a Shi'ar spacecraft!" Storm cried. "Who could be in it?"

Just then, the hatch to the cockpit started to rise up. Inside they saw a black man, with dreadlocks and a big 'M' branded on his right eye. They all recognized it right away.

"Bishop!" Wolverine shouted. He was somewhat glad to see his teammate back, although he didn't want to show too much emotion.

Bishop climbed out of the ship and fell to the ground. Several X-Men ran over to help him. They got him up and walked him inside to the med-lab.


While Bishop was recovering, a small group of X-Men, consisting of Storm, Wolverine, Colossus, and Gambit returned to the Danger Room, where the Skrull imposter was finally regaining consciousness.

"Man, Wolvie, y'must a hit him hard!" Gambit exclaimed.

"It seemed like a normal fight t' me. Mebbe I was angrier and hit harder 'cause he stol' my face!" Wolverine replied.

"Gentlemen," Storm commanded. "Enough. We're here to interrogate our prisoner."

"Prisoner?" the Skrull asked. "How do you figure I'm your prisoner?"

"You impersonated an X-Man. You're being held in a cell by us. I think that's enough," Colossus answered.

"Fools," the Skrull said. "I'm not alone. My master will send more."

"Yer master?" Wolverine asked.

"Oh, no!" Storm sighed. "Come on, X-Men, let's go report. I know he's not going to tell us his boss."

"Oooh! You're smart!" the Skrull said as the X-Men left. He opened a telepathic link to his master. {It's time, master!}


Storm, Wolverine, and Gambit walked up to the den, while Colossus returned to his room. They found Bishop up and about, ready to tell the X-Men where he had been. Already surrounding him was Cyclops, Rogue, and Xavier, who had finally decided to get up.

"So, after the accident*," Bishop was saying, "I ended up with Deathbird, who kept trying to tell me you were dead, or that you thought I was dead. I knew all along that she was lying. Anyway, yesterday, as we approached Earth, I mutinied, if that's what you could call it, ejected her, and came to Earth. I crashed in Genosha**, which I found to be controlled by Magneto!"

*(Uncanny X-Men #345)

**(X-Men #92)

"Yes, Magneto controls Genosha," Xavier said, with a sigh, looking down. "Something we couldn't prevent.*"

*(X-Men #87)

"So, that's were yuh been, Bish?" Rogue asked.

"Yes. I missed all of you." Bishop was silent for a few minutes. He then stood up. "If you excuse me, I would like to get a haircut."

"A haircut?" Logan asked.

"Yes, Logan. A haircut. I don't like these dreadlocks and I would like to get rid of them."

When Bishop left the room, Xavier turned to Storm. "What did you find out from the Skrull?"

"He's not alone. He said something about his 'master.'" Storm replied.

"Did he say who?"

"No."


Meanwhile, far off in space, Jean Grey-Summers was being held captive against her will by the Phoenix. She didn't know where she was, nor how far away from Earth she was. All she knew was that she was surrounded by the fiery aura, and she couldn't feel her husband's mind.

Suddenly, these parts of space were looking familar again. She was returning to her own solar system. What did the Phoenix want?


While the X-Men were talking to the newly returned Bishop, X-Factor was using the Danger Room. Instead of using a holographic program, they were using the actual machines in the room. All around them, heavy metal balls were falling out of the walls, lasers were crisscrossing on the floor, and dozens of more dangers were awaiting the X-Factor team.

Forge was in the control room with Val, orchestrating the training session. Together, they were gauging the skills of the mutants, both individually and as a team.

Forge looked up at Val. "It's interesting how Maggott uses his slugs to occupy the lasers, while he lets the other destroy the source. Either Havok's plasma burst or Polaris's magnetic pulse."

"Yes," Val replied. "But do we really have enough members on the team. Four members isn't going to do much."

"Four? I thought we had three."

"I talked to Alex shortly after we arrived. He said he would gladly come back. But, that will bring up the question of who the leader will be."

"That should be resolved later. As for the membership numbers, we can always recruit more."

"I guess . . . "


Outside, several of the X-Men were playing a rather simple game of "Capture the Flag." They had divided into two teams: Blue and Gold. Each team had to capture the other teams flag first.

Leading the Blue Team was Gambit, with Marrow, Shadowcat, and Nightcrawler. Wolverine led the Gold Team, with Rogue, Colossus, and Cyclops. Each member could use their powers, but only to a certain extent, so not to harm their teammates. Normally, they would play this in the Danger Room, but it was such a nice day, and they had let X-Factor use the Danger Room.

The Blue Team had placed their flag directly in plain site. Right in front of the hole that had been blasted into the mansion by the Skrull. On one side, hidden in the bushes, Marrow hid, waiting for the other team to come up, when she would shower them in bones. Nightcrawler waited on the roof of the mansion, ready to teleport at a moment's notice.

The Gold Team had hidden their flag in the shaded area farther back behind the mansion. Wolverine was hiding behind it, where no one could see him. He didn't need back-up, so it left the remaining three members of his team to capture the other flag.

Soon, he saw Gambit coming up. He could tell that Gambit saw the flag, but he also knew that Gambit didn't know that Wolverine was behind it. Gambit walked up, looking around to see if anyone saw him. He reached to grab the flag off of the pole, but just as he did, Wolverine leapt out from behind and tackled him.

Gambit was on the ground before he knew what hit him. Before he could pull a card out, Wolverine had popped out his claws and was about to tap Gambit. But Gambit charged the ground under them. Before Wolverine's claws reached Gambit's forehead, the ground exploded, sending Wolverine into the air. Gambit got up quickly and began running. He saw Marrow behind the bushes. He dived behind her and said, "Marrow, run out! I'll cover here!"

Marrow ran out and saw Wolverine charging for where Gambit was. Gambit saw this, and threw a card. It exploded, but didn't stop Wolverine. Marrow quickly lifted her arms and a shower of bones came out. Wolverine could feel them in his back, but he paid no attention. He jumpped over the bush and landed on Gambit.

"Tag, cajun," Wolverine said. "Yer out!"

Wolverine stood up and walked over to the flag, ready to take it out. Marrow ran over to Gambit and tried to help him up.

"Are you hurt?" she asked.

Meanwhile, Nightcrawler saw Wolverine try to take the flag, but he teleported down and took Wolverine away.

Suddenly, they all heard Rogue, who was flying up fast shouting at Marrow, "STAY AWAY FROM GAMBIT, MARROW! HE'S MINE!"

All of the other X-Men stood in awe, watching Rogue grab Marrow and toss her off of Gambit. She knelt at Gambit's side.

"I'm okay!" Gambit said with a smile, getting up.

Then, Marrow had stood up and fired a shower of bones none of the X-Men had ever seen before. Rogue turned around, flew up to her and decked her as hard as she could, then she took off her gloves.

"Let's see how yuh like me without the gloves, and with YOUR POWERS!" Rogue shouted, as she grabbed Marrow's face. Suddenly, she had the ability to grow bones.

Cyclops came running up, blasting his optic beams in between the two. "Stop!" he shouted. Rogue turned and fired a giant bone fragment at him. He ducked and took that cue to butt out. Meanwhile, Nightcrawler teleported over to Marrow and tried to teleport her, but she tossed him off.

Marrow finally began to take the offensive, slamming Rogue with a giant bone that was impossible for a normal human to have.

Suddenly, a single playing card landed in between them and exploded. Both females looked up at Gambit.

"Remy?" Rogue asked, tears in her eyes.

"Wha' th' heck got into ya two?" Gambit shouted. "If you're gonna act like dis, den I'm leavin'!"

With that, Gambit turned and walked back to the mansion. Everyone was silent for a moment. Rogue finally spoke up.

"Ah'm sorry," she said, looking down. "Ah'll be leaving too." She also walked back into the mansion.

Everyone was looking at Marrow. She looked at everyone, then ran back into the mansion, tears in her eyes.

Everyone assumed that Marrow was running back to the basement, but instead she ran into the control booth of the Danger Room, where Val and Forge were still evaluating X-Factor's abilities. She still had tears in her eyes when she ran in.

"Marrow!" Val said when she ran in. "What are you doing here?"

"Please, Ms. Cooper, can I please be on X-Factor?" Marrow asked. "I need a purpose in life. I haven't been too happy ever since my mentor Callisto got shot,* and I was hoping that X-Factor would give me a reason to go on."

*(Uncanny X-Men #346)

"Well, if you're sure . . . " Val said.

"We'd love to have you!" Forge exclaimed.


Meanwhile, back outside, the other X-Men were still in shock at what had just happened. Suddenly, they heard a familiar, friendly voice.

"Oh, my stars and garters! What happened here?" the voice asked. The X-Men turned and saw Hank McCoy, the Beast standing in front of them, suitcases in his hands.

"Beast!" Cyclops exclaimed, happy to see his old teammate.* "What are you doing here?"

*(Beast and Cyclops were both part of the original X-Men)

"Well, I figured that it was time for the bouncing blue Beast to return to grace these hallowed halls of the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning with his humble presence," Beast replied. "And you?"

"Me? Oh, I was on the way back at the request of the X-Men. They said Charles wasn't doing well, but ever since I got here last night, he's seemed fine," Cyclops replied. "But what are you doing back here?"

"I came to the front door, but before I could ring the bell, I heard the ruckus back here. I came to investigate and found . . . this!"

"Let's get you inside. We can talk in there."


As the X-Men were walking back into the mansion, they saw X-Factor in the foyar, ready to leave.

"Thanks for letting us use your Danger Room, Professor Xavier," Val was saying.

Wolverine walked over to Marrow. "So, yer leavin' too?"

"Yeah, sorry. I think that X-Factor is just what I need to learn about my bone growth," Marrow replied.

"Well, take care, kid," Wolverine said, walking away.

Scott, in the meantime, had been talking to Alex. "I guessed that you would be rejoining X-Factor," he said with a smile.

"Yeah," Alex replied. "See ya around big brother."

The Summers brothers gave each other a quick hug.

A minute later, X-Factor had walked out of the door, and Storm came from upstairs, a piece of paper in her hand, which she gave to Xavier. Xavier read the note.

"It's from Rogue," he announced. "She has quit the team and left."

"Gambit left as well, Charles," Storm said. "He just rode off on his bike."


A few hours later, after the Beast had unpacked, been filled in on current events, and remade his old aquaintances, he went with Cyclops, Storm, Wolverine, and Professor Xavier to the Danger Room. They intended to interrogate the Skrull further.

"Are you the only one of your master's servants?" Xavier asked.

"Maybe. I dunno. She never told me," the Skrull replied.

"She?" Cyclops asked.

The Skrull looked like he had just given out some information that he shouldn't have. Then his expression changed back. "Yeah, so I work for a woman!"

"That narrows the possibilities down," Xavier said.

"Look, bub," Wolverine said forcefully. "I'm only gonna ask ya once. Who is your master?"

Then, the room was encased in flames as Wolverine could feel someone behind him. A booming feminine voice spoke.

"Why don't you look behind you and find out!"

The X-Men turned around and finally saw who the 'master' was.

"Th' Phoenix!" Wolverine whispered.

"Jean!" Cyclops exclaimed.

{X-Men! Come to the Danger Room immediately! We have an emergency situation!} Xavier said.


Continued in Uncanny X-Men #374! The X-Men vs. the Phoenix! Jean Grey's redemption! The final fate of the Skrull! Xavier's last stand! All this and more in The X Remix part five!