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Appearing in "All You Ever Wanted to Know About Phoenix... But Were Afraid to Ask"

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Synopsis for "All You Ever Wanted to Know About Phoenix... But Were Afraid to Ask"

In the X-Mansion, Professor X finds some time to relax alone. As he reads, he is interrupted by Scott Summers, who informs him that the crisis board is empty. As he looks at the book, he summons Scott, who appears instantly in the room. As he talks to Scott, Scott flickers between his various uniforms from different incarnations of the X-Men. Professor X realises this is all some kind of projection into his head, and so he stands up, asking who Scott really is. Scott demands he sits down, but the Professor refuses, and deflects Scott’s blast as he leaves. Suddenly, the X-Men appear, lead by Magneto, and while the professor fends them off, he realises his attacker must be using outdated knowledge. As he approaches the library door, the Phoenix appears, and blasts him across the room.

In Braddock Manor, Professor X’s wheelchair flies away from Rachel’s bed, only stopped by Jean Grey. The Professor is confused, asking Jean why he is in Braddock Manor. She explains that they have come to help Rachel, and they realise that he has lost his memory of the last 12 hours or so, including the 10 he has been inside Rachel’s mind. As they talk, the Professor comes to the conclusion that he is treated as a threat by the Phoenix Force, so he mind links Excalibur and Jean Grey with Rachel in an effort to communicate. Suddenly, they feel themselves falling, into a blast brighter than a million suns, more powerful than nuclear bombs, as they witness the big bang, and see the birth of the Phoenix Force. At first, it was alone, unconscious, not sentient. Then, when Feron reached out to it, it came alive, and experienced emotion for the first time. At first, it felt joy, before Necrom threw it into space, and so it first felt pain. Many years later, it returned to Earth, seeking Feron, but instead found Jean Grey. It couldn’t understand the emotions that drove her, and it wanted to know. Offering her a way out, Jean was cocooned while the Phoenix took her place. But it didn’t understand these new emotions, which drove it to destruction and the Dark Phoenix. Eventually, the Professor stopped it, and the force was relinquished. Later, when Jean was obliterated, and the Phoenix Force was alone once more. She returned the life force to Jean’s original body, but as it did so, it sensed another, precisely duplicating Jean’s mental presence. It sensed Rachel, and saw the dark world (where Jean had never become the Phoenix) she came from. As it followed her back, Rachel returned, unconscious, but it reached out to another, Kitty Pryde. They struck a bargain, so that Rachel could start again in the past, while the Phoenix had a host. But as a consequence, Rachel’s memory was shattered as it supressed her memory of the future.

Its tale complete, the heroes find themselves back in Braddock Manor. The Phoenix Force appears before them, a baby cradled in its aura. Rachel was destroyed by the forces she used to defeat Necrom, and through it rebuilt her body, it has learnt to take time on rebuilding the mind. It tells them of its intentions, before taking Rachel to the stars to heal, while Excalibur, Jean and Professor X watch it disappear into the sky.

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