- I choose to believe. That's what makes me Phoenix!
- -- Jean Grey
Appearing in "Face The Music"
- X-Treme X-Men
- Valencia Spain
Synopsis for "Face The Music"
Gambit and Red Lotus invade a meeting of the Triad’s ruling council. They present evidence that proves Gambit’s innocence as actually the Examiner is responsible for the murder of the Viceroy and he and Shaw had wanted to take over all of australia’s crime syndicates. In the X-Men’s appartment, Storm is visitied by an astral image of Jean Grey. From half a world away, Jean establishes contact and though their conversation would fill hours in the real world, it takes only seconds on the astral plane. Jean warns Storm of Cassandra Nova and that she might have infected the teams at the school with some strange illness, so they should consider the mansion quarantined. Also the diaries given to Xavier by Mystique are missing. Before departing Jean telekinetically braids Ororo’s hair. In the next room the catatonic Sage is still trapped in Lady Mastermind’s illusion.
The others wonder what to do, as Sage suddenly reaches out to Heather, whose Lifeguard powers activate as she is pulled into the illusion as well. She experiences the scenarios that Tessa has to witness until being discovered by the illusionist. Lifeguard manifests new abilities for every new threat that Mastermind throws at her, but her power is limited to only reacting and she can’t hope to defeat her foe. Meanwhile Tessa is manipulated into pointing a weapon towards a version of herself, representing her alliance to the X-Men. Once she shoots it, she will be loyal to Shaw once more. Mastermind believes Lifeguard defeated after draining her body of water in a desert-scenario, yet her skin cracks to reveal Tesa underneath.
Trained by Xavier himself, Sage managed to switch places in the illusion scenario, right under Mastermind’s nose. Still the bullet is fired against Heather who finds herself in the victim position, but Tessa, within Lifeguard’s armor, leaps in between and the bullet bounces off. Sage and Heather return to the real world, where Tessa apologizes for taking over Heather’s body and risking her life. Lady Mastermind took the bullet’s impact herself and is wheeled catatonic into a hospital. Bishop and policewoman Terri Baltimore try to arrest Sebastian Shaw, but can’t come up with enough evidence to support it.
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