Appearing in "Denial"
- Phoenix (Rachel Summers)
- Kylun (Colin McKay)
- Alistaire Stuart
- Phoenix Force
- R.C.X./Cloud Nine
- Sponge (First appearance)
- Static (First appearance)
- Syphon (First appearance)
- Silkworm (First appearance)
- Damson (First appearance)
- Lens (Only appearance) (First appearance)
- Scope (Only appearance) (First appearance)
- Iris (Only appearance) (First appearance)
- Sonar (Only appearance) (First appearance)
- Scan (Only appearance) (First appearance)
- Agent Peter (Nigel Orpington-Smythe)
- Nicholas (First appearance)
- Zebedee (First appearance), his assistant
- Necrom (Dream)
- Sa'tneen (Dream)
- Terminator-100 (hologram)
Synopsis for "Denial"
In his mind, Kylun slays Necrom, who crumples away to dust. As he embraces Princess Sa’tneen, she too crumbles away, and he awakes screaming. As he gets up, he spies a house in the distance, his family home. A house Colin McKay left only a year ago, but to which he returns 20 years older. Nervous, he approaches the door, but just before he presses the doorbell, he is sucked backwards, crashing into the woods that surround his home. He is surrounded by a group of Warpies, one of whom, Lodestone, apologises for overmagnetising him and nearly hitting one of his fellows, Ocelot. As their large, hulking colleague oak goes to lift him, Kylun strikes Lodestone and Ocelot, before leaping away from the grip of oak. He draws his swords, the Enchanted Swords of Zz-ria, but as they can’t harm those who are pure of heart, none of the Warpies are injured. As he stands, confused, a blow from Oak knocks him unconscious.
Back in Cloud 9, Nigel Orpington-Smythe tells Excalibur that they are to be assigned ‘guides’ who will neutralise their powers. Kitty calls him out immediately, calling them guards, which makes them still prisoners. Nigel feigns a sense of duty, but quickly moves on, taking them to the next room to meet Alistaire Stuart. They gasp as they see Alistaire strapped to a series of medical machines, to which Nigel tells them that his agents overreacted. As he flicks a switch, a wall slides up to reveal a long room filled with suspended animation tubes. Inside, 63 Warpies who have fallen victim to the affliction have been suspended to prevent their deaths. Nigel tells them that first, they lose their abilities. Then they return to human form. And then they die… Nightcrawler is intrigued, believing that the humanising effects of the disease could be used to offer mutants a choice over whether to accept their abilities. As Nigel asks Nightcrawler to help save the Warpies, Kitty is forced to explain the concept of children to Cerise, with some awkwardness, as Cerise’s speicies emerge from The Source fully formed. Nightcrawler accepts on behalf of the former Excalibur, not for Nigel and his agency, but for the good of parahumans everywhere.
Light years away, in Space, the Phoenix Force finds itself forcibly removed from Rachel Summers. It panics, knowing she will die if it can’t sustain her, but her assailant tells her that they are now outside time. Death has come to speak to the Phoenix Force. It offers it oblivion, an end to the suffering it feels as a result of Galactus’s pronouncement. As Death flickers between various forms, the Phoenix Force considers its options, before telling death it cannot go, for Death will take the universe if the champion of life is lost. As Death fades, and the Phoenix Force returns to Rachel Summers, it considers how it may return to its life solely as life’s champion.
In Cloud 9, as Nigel shows them more of the facility, Excalibur are mobbed by Warpies, who look up to them as heroes. One asks why Nightcrawler is missing his normal uniform, to which he replies it was damaged in battle. In a flash, the Warpy makes him a new uniform, as Nigel explains that the Warpies abilities range from martial abilities to engineering and tailoring. As Nightcrawler marvels at the array of abilities, Nigel explains that the diversity of abilities means there is no common factor between all of the Warpies. As they enter a blank chamber, Nigel introduces them to Iris, Scope, Sonar, Lens and Scan, Warpies who have abilities to record data far better than any technology. Nigel asks Nightcrawler, as the only adult mutant, as all the Warpies and Shadowcat are children, to use the room, the R.C.X equivalent of the danger room, so they can study his genetic code and abilities. He agrees, and the others leave the room so the simulation can begin. As Nightcrawler performs, the head scientist, Nicholas, deduces that he is a 2nd generation mutant, while Kitty calls his a show off. Nigel decides to up the ante, putting a harder simulation on, that causes Nightcrawler to teleport away from danger. While the other Warpies are disorientated, Scan visualises the dimensional rifts that Nightcrawler opens. As they find him again, they him fading into the background. An alarm sounds, and the simulation stops immediately. As Excalibur follow Nigel into the room, Nigel tells him that the alarm means that Nightcrawler too has begun to destabilise…
On the south coast of England, Captain Britain tries to lift a huge boulder on the beach, as Meggan begs him to stop to prevent him hurting himself. He struggles, before the rock crumbles in his grip. Meggan tells him that the light has come back to him, having disappeared when he fell earlier. Brian feels his strength return, and his ability to fly, believing it must be to do with being back in Britain and absorbing its energies. But then he asks Meggan about the light she saw, and why she didn’t tell him. She tells him that he looked different, and he was scared. They are interrupted by another team of Warpies, the Cherubim. They ask Meggan and Captain Britain to come with them to the R.C.X headquarters, but as Captain Britain refuses, they spring into action.