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Quote1.png Help's not help when it's all of us - then, it's tactics. Quote2.png
Fisher King

Appearing in "Man on Fire"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

  • Progenitors
    • Harvester-Class Progenitor
    • Experimenter-Class Progenitor

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Synopsis for "Man on Fire"

Weeks ago, a feverish dream. Gabriel "Vulcan" Summers, sleeping in the memory of the entities that found him in the Fault, and returned him to the world, seemingly untouched by the experience, but with a secret to come. When he wakes, his family and friends were waiting for him, with a shocking revelation.

His two friends, Petra & Sway, who had been living with the family in the Summers House on the Moon, were merely constructs, projected by the power of Vulcan. But, with advances in Krakoa's resurrection technology, now they could be truly revived. Refusing to accept this, Vulcan destroyed the house.

In the present day, Vulcan is in custody on the Keep, the S.W.O.R.D. space station orbiting Planet Arakko. He is accosted by Abigail Brand, director of S.W.O.R.D., who laid out her case - Vulcan is a toxic mix of irrepressible energy and unreliable motivation. He fights with his family on the Moon, he will not live on Krakoa, and so he is picking fights with diplomats on Arakko. Brand thinks he needs an outlet, and so she has recruited him to her new project - X-Men Red, an order enforcement agency for the red planet.

Vulcan is dismissive, which makes another recruit, Manifold, quit. He already had issues with Brand's plan for the team, which smacked of paternalism to him. He cannot trust such an unstable man as Vulcan, and thinks Brand would have to be a fool to trust him... and Brand is no fool. Making a cryptic reference to the recently-deceased HP Gyrich, whose death benefited Brand greatly, Manifold departs. Brand asks the rest of the group if they would disagree with a "hypothetical" policy of murdering her political enemies, and to a chorus of silence, X-Men Red departs on their first mission - to save the settlement of the Morrowlands from a pair of space monsters.

The Morrowlands is a commune of artists, seeking a path to recover from the traumatic memories of the prisons of Amenth. The monsters are unknown to them... but the suddenly-arriving X-Men Red identify them as Progenitors, a class of ancient computer mind that perpetrate science on smaller lifeforms, of a kind last seen fighting the Guardians of the Galaxy. Cable tries to frontally assault one, and has his techno-organic arm stolen away before getting burnt alive.

As X-Men Red freeze in shock, a Morrowlander artist named Oris Light-Shaper throws a hologram at a Progenitor and is similarly immolated. While Frenzy understands that the Arakkii never see themselves as innocents to be saved, Brand overrules her and tells the team to get the "civilians" to move back, in a standard police action.

Vulcan, his arrogance visible, is the worst possible man for the job... but he is swiftly overruled by the arrival of Storm and her team, the Brotherhood of Arakko. Onlookers recognise her - and also the Arakkii among them, who they call the "weaponless king". Fisher King dismisses this as mere tales, but when Magneto announces that he can decapitate the Progenitors if someone can distract the creatures, Fisher King uses his reputation, calling on the Morrowlander artists to generate sights and sounds to dazzle the interlopers, to give their comrades an opening. With squared shoulders, the artist collective lobs songs and holograms at the aliens, vowing to break the beasts with beauty.

Grinning, Magneto is able to send the heads of the shocked Progenitors flying into space. But this moment of victory is interrupted by Vulcan, who sees the success of the Brotherhood as a personal affront. He is interrupted by Storm, who opposes his power with her own. As the power tenses around them, Storm explains why she is going to win - although they are both omega-level mutants, he has spent his whole career fighting against foes weaker than himself, why she... hasn't. Exhausted by the fight, Vulcan passes out.

In her diary afterwards, Abigail Brand admits that the day was a mix of success and failure. By using her hireling, Orbis Stellaris, to deploy the Progenitors, she was able to secure one goal - stealing data on Cable's techno-organic arm to give to Orchis. Orchis, who she plans to betray, and who will not see her coming, because they are led by technologists, not political thinkers. Her second goal, to present X-Men Red as heroes while using them as a dull hammer to drive a wedge between Krakoa & Arakko, to drive the Arakkii back to Amenth so that she can make use of the planet they leave behind, failed, because Storm's Brotherhood are so much better at the public goal of her team that they render it redundant.

Brand thought of Storm as a pawn to be played and discarded, but Storm has persevered in her role, and made her own moves. And so she must be opposed. And so Brand needs an agent on the Great Ring of Arakko.

And so Abigail Brand goes to Vulcan, and tells him that to be seen as the biggest hero, he must kill and depose the biggest villain - Tarn the Uncaring, who sits on the Great Ring...

Solicit Synopsis

WHO CAN TAME THE RED PLANET?

The mutants of Mars spent millennia worshipping war — and on what they now call Arakko, they’re keeping up their violent ways. ABIGAIL BRAND knows the red planet needs a firm ruler in charge. But STORM has other ideas, along with a broken MAGNETO in her corner and ROBERTO DA COSTA making his own moves.

Welcome to X-MEN RED. It’s a new world… and someone has to claim it.

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