Grave of Oblivion
By Mike VW
Book one begins in an intense battle among mutants in a large museum of antiquity. An oddly ferocious Katherine Pryde is found giving orders to her team, entrenched in battle. She turns only to find herself face-to-face with the one of the opposing mutants. Peter Rasputin, clad in his steel flesh. A look of worry and betrayal on his face as he is unable to utter his disbelief. Before he is able to ask why she is doing what she’s doing, she confirms his worse fear. He looks down to find Pryde has thrust her hand into his chest and pulls out his heart. With a crazed look on her face she leans in and whispers in his ear, “Don’t worry, it’s because I love you.”
As Colossus falls to his knees, his sister Illyana runs in to confront Pryde. “Quit wasting time.” She yells and she pokes the now fallen Colossus with her soul sword. “We’ve a job to finish, and it doesn’t involve my brother or your feelings for him.”
After a quick parry on an incoming energy blast with her soul sword, Illyana quickly runs off to attack another X-man. Pryde, with tears streaming down her face, fights off a smile. She then looks at her hand to see Colossus’ heart slowly turn to steel. The irony is not wasted on her. She gives it a kiss and throws it over her shoulder. A loud metal clunk rings out as the hardened heart hits the ground.
After quickly leaping over Colossus’ corpse, Pryde is off and running to rendezvous with Cain Marko. She climbs up his back and begins to focus her mind and soul on the Juggernaut.
“You’ve wasted too much time with your boyfriend,” Marko snidely remarks. “Did you forget we have another dimension to breach? I need to be in sync with the other’s portals or none of this is going to work.”
“DO NOT tell me how to do my job!” She screams back at him. “I don’t need another distraction. Dealing with the subtle nuances of the Universe is not as easy as it looks.” “it’s bad enough that we have to deal with these pathetic X-men.”
Set upon her task, she quickly phases Marko’s body in and out of this material plane until she reaches the attunement she is searching for. Hanging on for dear life, she gives Marko a quick nudge. The Juggernaut begins to smash his way through everything and everyone. After demolishing the third wall in front of him, they speed out into a larger gallery where most of the action is taking place.
One by one, four other mutants break away from their assailants and begin to open portals. After the forth portal opens, Rayna Piper steps up and draws energy from the three other teleporters: Gateway, Blink, and Magik. In a moment, the four separate portals merge into a single apparition. In an instant Pryde and Marko speed towards the portal. Marko has smashed through different dimensions before, but this one is different. The realm of the dead was almost always a one-way journey, but Marko is about to change all of that. His unstoppable force hits the portal with a massive explosion of light and energy. Those left behind stand in awe and watch what looks to be the space-time continuum being ripped inside out.
In less than a moment, the storyline flashes back to weeks earlier. The reader finds Pryde lying in bed, flipping through a bridal magazine with her fiancé Peter showering in the next room. She pauses for a moment as her hands appear to be that of someone else’s. she jumps up to look in the mirror to see her reflection is not her own, but that of a pale-white mutant with red facial tattoos. She then sees herself in battle at a museum of some sort, and just as quickly the vision vanishes. Alarmed and frightened at first, Kitty’s fears flee as quickly as they came. She’s sure that she has just seen something important, but she can’t remember what it was or why it was important. With a shrug, she turns back to her magazine, as though it never happened.
In this series, the reader will follow Pryde’s storyline as well as five other storylines, each following the lives of six different mutants. Each story seems completely unrelated to each other, jumping from storyline to storyline. The only common thread is the internal struggle each of the mutants seem to have. As the reader is lead through several series of events, the story dives deeper into the emotional struggles and tolls that are placed upon them. The journey will ultimately climax as the team meets up at the antique museum. Though each of the six mutants come from different backgrounds, the reader watches them all being lead through a chain of events that ultimately will shake each of the mutants and their beliefs to their very core.
“Don’t worry, it’s because I love you.”
Katherine Pryde (Shadowcat): A favorite of many, she embodies the good of all mutant-kind. Her compassion for her fellow mutants and positive outlook on life places her in a position to be the last one anyone would expect of vileness and villainy. But as this is a story of corruption, Pryde is faced with the idea that all things are corruptible, including herself. Will she resist the temptations before her, or will she fall?
Rayna Piper (Locus): Piper’s story finds herself waking, from what she thought was her grave. She vaguely, remembers being torn apart by Sabertooth. The weight and reality of it all begins to sink in. But was it all a dream? A nightmare? Some sort of horrific game a telepathic mutant was pushing her through? Death was one thing, but re-living it again, and again in her mind is far worse. Angst, animosity, and revenge are what a girl needs to regain her sanity and help her patch up her emotional damage. Yes, revenge has a very familiar feel to it. Everyone that had a hand in putting her through her death would pay. Sabretooth’s death and those who ally with him will pay. However, then in an instant, she has a feeling that Sabretooth can wait. There’s something in the back of her mind, a task she has to complete. Something bigger than revenge. Something to help her cope. Something deep within her.
Illyana Nikolievna Rasputina (Magik): A lust for power, subtlety begins within her. Like a tiny spark that has the potential to become an unquenchable inferno. Her self-doubts of being a sickly weakling begin to kick in. She died, didn’t she? Not strong enough to beat the Legacy Virus. If she was stronger she would have survived. She needs to be more powerful. Unbeatable. She shakes her head and tries to clear her thoughts. No that is nonsense. These are the thoughts of Darkchilde, Not Illyana. But what if Darkchilde is reawakening? Savage and brutal, but powerful. Could she truly become unbeatable? No this something else, she thinks…or is it? As wrong as it is, it begins to feel right. This is something powerful. Something unimaginable.
Clarice Ferguson (Blink): Fear is a bitter companion. It is not a foe one conquers in a single battle. It most often is a burden one carries for the rest of their life. Especially when one fears themselves. Fear has always enslaved Clarice. It was there when her mutant powers first manifested. And it’s been there time and time again. Even in her strongest moments, fear was always in the back of her mind, pulling her into the darkness. But now there’s an awakening. Awakening from within. Fear can be conquered, beaten and even mastered. “It’s time to set myself free from fear, whatever the cost.”
Gateway: For one that has always been in tune with the subtle whispers of the universe, Gateway finds himself for the first time drawn to an urban center. But not just to civilization, but to society; high-society. Something so unnatural to his tribal origins in the outback. But when the universe compels, one cannot simply refuse. Something is different this time. It’s as though the universe has a different voice or accent. Or maybe a different mannerism. Wealth and luxury, is a fool’s errand, compared to the heartsong of the universe. “But yet it compels me in this new voice. It’s not quite how I remember it, It feels different. But then again I’m not quite sure what I remember. The past seems so shallow, the future seems so narrow, and the present seems so singular. And now it seems that task at hand will require me becoming something I never wanted to be. Such is the price for a disciple of the cosmos.”
Cain Marko (Juggernaut): Freed once again from the Cyttorak’s grasp. Marko has had time to reflect on his life: “Maybe it’s time to move back to Utah.” Or maybe it’s time to end this whole charade…no, not death…at least not mine…Is it possible to kill the Cyttorak? This should be my next pursuit. The death of a demon. A demon that owes me. Grab his power and kill him. But I’m going to need help.
The would be antagonist:
All throughout time, human and mutant alike have dealt with the unknown, the unexplainable and the unproven. Superstition and belief as well as uncertainty and doubts have led to myths, legends, and dogmas. We choose to believe or disbelieve when face with the unknown. But in the back of all of our minds, there is a place where we house our doubts, our weaknesses, and our fears.
It is in this place that a certain being can manipulate us. He reaches us from far beyond the realms of the living. And though his home is in another dimension, known only as a grave of oblivion, his subtle influence can still be felt in our dimension. His influence is barely noticed by the masses but can be concentrated upon a few, with astounding power. Those under his influence, are driven to complete his bidding, whatever the cost. And somehow they believe they are acting under their own accord. Even those who are normally immune to psychic or telepathic control still find themselves affected by his powers. His influence is like a bad drug, and his victims are like drug addicts, unaware that by giving in to his influence, they are enslaving themselves. His name, Joppa Neroit, is now known only unto himself. However, after centuries of planning, influence, and manipulation, the earth of 616 will soon know its new master.
At first, I was intrigued by the idea of a villain book. The bad guys finally win, who hasn’t waited for that? It’s a novel idea. And yet very anti-comic at the same time. While I have been excited about the challenge, I don’t think I’d ever be happy with a piece where the villains ultimately won out. However, I’m still not sure how this storyline ends. Currently, I could see it going either way. But for now, I’ll allow the reader to draw their own conclusions as to whether good or evil wins out.
For this pitch, each of us was given a ‘wild card’ mutant, that we had to include in our team. Each author submitted a character into a pool, and each of us was randomly assigned our wild card from that pool. I was given Locus.
My first thought was that the Marvel universe was better off with Rayna Piper dead. But then I was intrigued by the idea of bringing people back from the dead. The emotional toll it would have on someone, especially someone who was savagely torn apart by another mutant, would be overwhelming. Revenge, fear, a feeling of being weak and powerless. The emotional damage would be horrific. The true conflict would not be between superheroes and villains but within one’s own mind. It was this conflict of overcoming one’s self that I wanted to build my pitch around.
Also, I’ve heard good things about the other pitches this year. Please take the time to read everyone else’s pitch. I know I’m excited to dive into them. Should be a good week of X-Men fan fiction.