- Save yourselves...and leave me to die...with the city...I will destroy!
- -- Rictor
Appearing in "Die, Mutants, Die!"
- X-Factor / X-Terminators
- Apocalypse (Shadow only)
- The Four Horsemen of Apocalypse (Shadow only)
- Madelyne Pryor (Vision)
- Celestial Ship
- X-Factor helicopter
- Warren's jet
Synopsis for "Die, Mutants, Die!"
This story takes place after Thor #378...
Thor returns Iceman to X-Factor's compound following his abduction at the hands of Loki . They are picked up on the security monitors and the members of X-Factor notice that not only is Bobby iced up, he is shivering. With Iceman's assurance that he's okay now that he's back at his headquarters, Thor leaves to attend to other affairs. As Hank, Rusty and Skids arrive on the rooftop, they have the unfortunate duty of telling him that Warren committed suicide and that his funeral is today. Taking Bobby down to his room, they find that he is having trouble keeping his powers under control and Rusty uses his in order to thaw Bobby out. Bobby is further surprised when Skids is able to grab his suit out of the closet and learns that the two of them have learned how to control their powers. When Skids remarks how proud Warren would be for them, she runs out of the room in tears.
Shortly, Scott, Jean, Bobby, and Hank arrive at the church where Warren's funeral is taking place. They are glad that they didn't bring the children with them as the outside is a media circus with anti- and pro-mutant protesters in attendance. In addition to this Caliban and Leech have come incognito to pay their respects for Warren in thanks for his part in rescuing them from the Marauders. When Trish Tilby starts harassing X-Factor about Warren's "mutant connection" to a team of mutant hunters, Bobby loses his temper and his powers flare out of control. Fortunately, his ice powers jam up her crew's camera and Caliban and Leech arrive in the nick of time, Leech's powers canceling Bobby's so that their cover isn't exposed. Leaving Cameron Hodge to deal with the press, they don't like the PR spin that he's using that demonizes mutants. When they once more ask the question of what effect they are having on human/mutant affairs as X-Factor, they get an answer of sorts when they enter the church: Across the pew, spray painted in red is the slogan "Die mutant scum".
Interlude: High above the city of Manhattan in a ship cloaked from the naked eye, Apocalypse checks on his newest recruit, a being whom he will turn into his fourth horseman, Death.
When X-Factor returns home from the funeral, they bring Caliban and Leech with them, which reunites Leech and Artie. As Scott slips away from the others there is a phone call and Cameron answers it. It's from the governor of California who has called to hire X-Factor to deal with a threat, supposedly made by the X-Terminators and a mutant named Rictor, to shake up the entire state and cause it to fall into the Pacific Ocean. Hodge tells him that given the passing of Worthington they decline the offer. Jean is angry that he would pass on a mission that is clearly an attempt to give their alter egos as the X-Terminators a bad name, however once she grabs the phone the governor has already hung up. Jean then tells Rusty to gather the others telling them they're going to deal with this case. Rusty provides a genius idea: To go as the X-Terminators in order to prove that they are innocent. Caliban offers to come along lending his mutant tracking powers to help them.
When Tabitha and Skids go upstairs to the roof to tell Scott about the mission, they find him talking to Angel and Madelyn, ghosts that are not really there, making them both wonder if the leader of X-Factor is in his right mind. Jean sends them off and convinces Scott to go with them. They are being watched by Cameron Hodge from the security room, who is no longer maintaining any friendly pretenses now that Worthington is dead. He sees that Scott and Jean are the lynch pins of X-Factor and that if he wants to bring them down, he will do so through them.
Boom Boom meanwhile tries to tell Bobby and Hank about Scott's problems, but when Hank refuses to listen she tries to get their attention with one of her time bombs. This only irks Hank who gets Bobby to chase her. Boom Boom manages to escape when her old friend in the street gang known as the Fallen Angels, Ariel, appears and teleports her away through the closet doorway.
X-Factor soon takes to the air in their jet and heads to California, where they only have four hours to find Rictor and these supposed mutant terrorists. Iceman is worked up and ready to tackle this mutant that is giving others their bad name. While Caliban uses his tracking powers to try and find the mutant, the members of X-Factor have a surprise for him: His own uniform, should he want to join the group -- Caliban does.
While back at X-Factor headquarters, the kids have searched everywhere for Boom Boom and found not a single trace of her. When they decide to go and tell Cameron Hodge, they hear him giving suspicious instructions to someone over the phone about X-Factor's impending arrival in San Francisco, something that sounds fishy to the group, so they decide to leave Cameron alone.
In San Francisco, X-Factor locates where Rictor is being kept, in a large building, however as they approach it a roof hatch opens and a number of helicopters with markings for a group called the "Right" fly out and attack them. Using their mutant powers, X-Factor easily subdues the attacking helicopters. Before they land, the building starts to quake, sending the other helicopters inside to flee. When X-Factor lands and goes to check it out, they find Rictor is nothing but a young mutant boy with earthquake generating powers, who has been hooked into a machine to destroy the state of California. Realizing that he's been forced to do this by a group calling themselves the Right, X-Factor frees the boy and makes a break for their chopper. With Rictor's powers flaring out of control, Jean has to keep the boy in a telekinetic bubble pulled by their chopper. When his powers fail to quit she uses her powers to temporarily stop his heart so that all he does is destroy the building. This awesome show of power makes Scott think that Jean is really the Phoenix, reincarnated but only alludes to it to everyone else.
When the San Francisco police arrive in police helicopters ordering the X-Terminators to surrender, Iceman angrily grabs the radio and tells them that they just saved the city. His speech, even though it causes his powers to flare with his temper, strikes a chord with the police who let them leave. Watching these events unfold on the news, Cameron Hodge finds this detrimental to his goals, however he believes that he can spin this to his organization's ends, and decides to focus his efforts on unhinging Cyclops even more in the hopes of toppling X-Factor.
Iceman (Robert Drake)
Marvel Girl (Jean)
Iceman (Robert Drake)
Beast (Hank McCoy)
Cyclops (Scott Summers)
Marvel Girl (Jean)
This story is continued next issue...
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