X-Men Pitch Week 3: Pitch 4 ‘Mutant Empire’

MUTANT EMPIRE

By Maxime Garbarini

This is a story about taking action for your own future. Whatever the price to pay.

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EPISODE 01 / TO STEAL

Prologue:

As news channels report the death of young Bella Ramirez at the hands of an anti-mutant mob, we see silhouettes standing on a barren beach. They all agree the time has come to let the world know they have had enough.  One of the silhouettes walks away, saying “I’ll assemble a team.”

Synopsis:

A four-member team infiltrates the Xavier Institute and thanks to well-oiled teamwork and perfect planning, manage to steal Cerebro technology and files.

The X-men react, but it’s already too late. They have been played. The team is led by Madison Jeffries and composed of Neophyte, Wraith, and Thumbelina.

Epilogue:

On a rainy night, a young Syrian refugee tries to run away from an angry police squad in the south-east of France. As he uses his powers to raise a mud golem, he is wounded by gunfire and falls. The mob catches up to him. The rain blurs his vision, but he sees five individuals fighting the police with (really graphic) violence. He sees a winged creature, someone who moves objects with their mind, another one who make things explodes, a beastly one who tears through his opponents, and lastly an elemental who swiftly moves through the squad while killing them mercilessly. As he tries to get on his feet, one of them approaches him and offers a hand.

He mutters “you.. the X-Men?” They answer, “No. we are the future”

As an unnatural light appears we find out who they are: Dragoness, Shola Inkosi (from the Mekanix and Excalibur V.2 series), Poltergeist (from the Beauty & The Beast” mini), Litterbug (from the Morlocks mini), and LightBright (from the Silver Sable series).

Notes:

  • The whole episode could have an Oceans 11 / Now You See Me / the Italian Job, kind-of vibe. The idea is to show these characters are no joke and can easily get their way, thanks to their carefully laid plans.
  • The young Syrian mutant is Ghoulem. He can summon spirits of dead people he knew, to create and animate golems made of inorganic matter. Each spirit can only be summoned once and their “lifespan” is limited to 24 hours.

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EPISODE 02 :

Madison Jeffries is tuning the new Cerebro tech in their HQ.
We see other members around, working, living, and training for battle with their instructor, Random. As Jeffries finally manages to bypass Cerebro firewalls, someone (identity hidden) uses the machines and concludes that there is a new recruit to pick as soon as possible.

Synopsis:

In Chicago, a young Indonesian mutant pickpockets his way through the subway, when suddenly he is chased by someone who kills bystanders to get to him. It’s Cortex.

The young mutant escapes to the streets and uses his mutant powers to displace/teleport objects to try and slow  Cortex down. As Cortex is about to kill him, he is taken down by a team of four: Dragoness, Shola, Zero, and Lightbright.

Later on, we see Cortex incapacitated by one of Jeffries gizmos, and he is being ruthlessly interrogated by someone in the dark and Poltergeist.

Elsewhere in the HQ, we see Ghoulem getting accommodated to his new home. As he is healed by Elixir, he then meets and must train against two other young recruits, Neophyte and Berzerker.

In the End, the shadowy figure exits the interrogation room, as we see Cortex dead, with a very creepy Poltergeist standing next to him.

Epilogue:

The Netherlands. A young mutant is hiding in a toilet booth as others throw garbage and insults about his/her gender. A disk of light flashes as Magik, Kitty Pryde and Iceman appear. As they make the angry students go away and try to talk to the young mutant, they freeze in place. Someone opens the door to the booth and explains to the young mutant how the x-men don’t even protect their own and that he/she should come with them instead. The young mutant stands up and takes Rusty Collins’s hand. Together with Tempo, they enter one of Zero’s portals and disappear leaving the x-men unfrozen and baffled.

Notes:

  • The young mutant they rescue in Chicago is Vecto, who can leave localized psionic imprints so he can make things or himself directly teleport from one imprint to another
  • The young mutant they rescue in Netherland is Progeny, who is able to sample the genetic codes of anyone s/he touches to become their temporary genetic offspring (sometimes male, sometimes female).
  • It’s the comeback of both Tempo (unseen since Age of X) and Firefist (unseen since Necrosha).

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EPISODE 3 / TO BOMB

Prologue:

Somewhere in the HQ, Tarot is sitting, quietly reading her cards, while a big purple cat is sleeping at her feet. The same shadowy figure who interrogated Cortex enters her room and asks questions about the future. She answers that the actions they took have set things straight again. They talk about how they can be proud of what they learned and achieved. Tarot adds that her own previous death gave her the power of precognition, but her predictions are still blurry. The shadowy figure reassures her.

Synopsis:

SHIELD academy helicarrier. We see Skids tutoring some trainees( maybe Cloud9, Rage). A young female Columbian recruit trains and befriends another girl, who seems a little wilder and daring.

The recruit faces disciplinary Proceedings after they find drugs in her quarters. She is taken to a cell. Her wild friend has permission to visit her, but instead of comforting her she provokes her, pushes her more and more, and tells her she knows what the drugs are for. Then she pulls a gun and shoots her. The whole helicarrier explodes and crashes into the city it was hovering over.

Down in the debris of the city, we see the wild girl exiting one of Zero’s portals. Part of her skin is burned and appears scaly. She uses a hidden gizmo on her gun and slowly the young Columbian girl begins to reform, naked, in front of her, angry. She jumps at the wild girl who turns into a full-grown green dragon-like creature. Zero teleports in Elixir, Rusty, Lightbright, Wiz Kid, and Thumbelina. Elixir heals Scaleface’s injuries. Lightbright uses her powers on the Columbian girl to calm her and they take her away. Before he exits into Zero’s portal, Rusty contemplates sadly the chaos of the city. Wiz Kid launches one of his gizmos that projects a recorded message that claims the bombing in the name of the Mutant Empire. As the portal closes, we see Skids getting out of the debris and speaking Rusty’s name in disbelief.

Epilogue:

In the HQ canteen, Scaleface is trying to make amends to the Columbian girl who tells her to get out of her face. Scaleface goes away and joins a table with Rusty, Berzerker, Shola, and Neophyte. Shortly, the Columbian girl is joined by Vecto, Ghoulem, and Progeny. As they talk about their experiences and listen to the Columbian girl’s story, they begin to question the organization’s methods.

Notes:

  • The girl from Columbia is Nimbia, her powers make her body disintegrate on contact/impact releasing bursts of kinetic energy. She hid it with power dampening drugs, thus putting her body under too much pressure, hence the explosion
  • The Rusty/Skids situation can be very interesting à la Romeo & Juliet
  • Along with Rusty, the other resurrected mutants from Necrosha are Tarot, Catseye, Berzerker, and Scaleface. They all share a close friendship and form their own clique within the organization.

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EPISODE 4 / TO MANIPULATE

Prologue:

We see Dragoness and Thumbelina sitting outside a room. They are talking about the upcoming missions and how “he” creeps them out. the door opens and one person exits, saying it feels really really weird. Before she enters the room, Dragoness kisses Thumbelina.

Synopsis:

A training session with all the new recruits against Marrow.  She goes very hard on them and lectures them about survival. It brings the new recruits even closer as they all worry about the reason for their presence here.

In Madrid, a summit between the most powerful nations takes place, where the matter of anti-mutant terrorism is being discussed. Amongst the participants are a blonde woman and her aide.

As the debate goes on, the arguments between the countries are more and more heated and threats are being thrown. From afar, Madison and Thumbelina realize the drug’s effect is wearing off and their acolytes’s powers can now be detected. They warn them through comm links. But before the mutant spies manage to get out, the room is attacked by a young sign language translator who reveals his power to hurl powerful gales from his mouth. He is quickly apprehended by the security.

The aide laughs at the debacle and makes a quick getaway, aided by Thumbelina who just arrived. The Blonde woman hesitates for a bit, then zaps the security guards and grab the young revolutionary with her.

Meanwhile, one of the young recruits have been hurt during the session and encounters another patient in the infirmary: Leech, whose body is used to create the power dampening drug.

Epilogue:

Tarot reads her cards and sees something unsettling, someone who should not be there. elsewhere, a hooded figure is hovering over the aide’s face, then walks away when it’s done. Masque has given her leader his face back.

Empath is his own again, as he smiles thinking he hasn’t even had to use his powers to manipulate the humans into setting up a new WWIII threatening climate.

Notes:

  • Empath is still blind from his adventure with the Sisterhood, but Masque’s powers has temporarily given his vision back during his mission in Madrid.
  • Dragoness & Thumbelina are a couple.
  • The boy who interrupted the debate is Hurlevent. he is mute and deaf. He is French and a real troublemaker.

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EPISODE 5 / TO INFILTRATE

Prologue:

the young recruits (Vecto, Progeny, Nimbia, and Ghoulem) wander around the ruins of a city.
They are talking about what to do, if they want to stay and participate in the organization’s actions. While they walk, they are unaware they are being watched by Madison Jeffries’ drones.

Synopsis:

In a nice suburb, a couple leaves for work after having small talk with their neighbors.

we follow them during the whole episode as they visit several facilities, each time with a different identity. Their M.O. is the husband sneaks in first, and sabotages their systems. Then the wife arrives (sometimes with an assistant) and acts as a security expert, there to restore the system. Their last target is super guarded and they are really stressed before the mission. They end up being suspected and have to escape. He is hurt during a gunfight and she has to leave him behind.

Back at HQ Masque gives her her face back and we find out it’s Amelia Voght. She is angry and tells Madison Jeffries his virus better work because they lost Bedlam for it.

Epilogue:

Val Cooper is at home and gets a panicked call from someone in Washington. As she turns on the news, she discovers all files mentioning mutants have been erased by a worldwide virus.

The name of the virus refers to Wiz Kid’s televised message after the helicarrier crash.

Notes:

  • This episode is a nod to the excellent TV show “The Americans.”
  • Val Cooper will take center stage once more as her knowledge of mutants will become very valuable.
  • Madison Jeffries powers and aptitudes are crucial to the story. he should be portrayed as a Tony Stark level genius, minus the ego, confidence and wealth. He is assisted by Wiz Kid.
  • The facilities Bedlam and Voght visit could be: Serval industries, Trask, Shield, Department H, and so on.
  • This episode is set over the course of a whole year.

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EPISODE 6 / TO GO TO WAR

Prologue:

The young recruits are trying to flee HQ and they want to bring Leech with them. But, they are stopped by Tarot, Shola, and Catseye. Tarot says she understands their concern but offers to change their vantage point. She introduces them to Artie who projects overwhelming images and sequences of human abuses on mutants. The recruits are left shocked and crying. Tarot gives them the choice to leave or to stay and help the cause.

Synopsis:

All is revealed.

Empath stands regal in front of the whole team. Tarot, Madison, and Voght are at his side. He makes a speech about how they now have the power to change things. and to be respected and feared. As a show of truthfulness he is joined by Leech and tells his audience he has not manipulated any of them as he lost his powers and Leech is the insurance he can’t use them anyway.  He makes Cyclops, Magneto, Xavier, Exodus, Stryfe, and Apocalypse references, and tells them to be proud that together they managed to achieve much more. As his speech ends, he introduced his audience to their leader who is acclaimed by all: Emma Frost.

Emma tells them to get ready. We find out that they have been on Genosha the whole time.

The episode then follows different team members preparing for different missions, some eager, some scared.

The episode ends with scenes of teams (among them the young recruits) attacking enemies like Friends of Humanity, the Right, and the Purifiers, while others back in Genosha fight off ships and missiles from a world coalition attacking the island.

Epilogue:

we see several x-men members, allies, and enemies reactions to the attacks.

Note: It’s a launch for a step-2 phase where the x-men enter the game.

OVERALL NOTES

  • Emma is finally in a place of power where she is able to really form, protect, and lead mutant kind. She is fierce and regal as ever and very determined.
  • Empath is on a road to redemption in the sense that for once he does put the needs of his community before his own. He has lost his sight but found a vision. There is a similarity between him and Cyclops. He sees the Phoenix possessed Scott and revolutionary Scott as an inspiration and a martyr.
  • Tarot is a bit like a Cassandra to Empath’s leadership. Her secondary mutation has kicked in and she now has precognitive intuitions based on her card readings. She has grown very reclusive and usually is all but alone with only Catseye at her side, in feline form, most of the time.
  • Though they were believed to have died again after Necrosha, several characters are now alive again. how? Empath made a deal with a devil: Mephisto. Maybe he promised his own soul … or Amara’s.
  • It will be interesting to explore what Genosha means for a lot of these mutants.  The place where some of them were resurrected during Necrosha, for the Utopians, a refuge for peace, for Shola Inkosi the homeland where his family died, and for Emma the place where her students died and so on.
  • The core generals of the group are Empath, Tarot, Voght, Dragoness, and Jeffries. Jeffries is the grand architect of the new Genosha. he has pushed his powers to their limit to build a super advanced HQ and with the help of young Runaway Klara Prast an amazing place for them to live.
  • Random is a good instructor for the new kids cause he’s actually still a kid himself.
  • There is a joke about Scaleface, about how she has been resurrected more times than Phoenix.
  • Neophyte still believes in peaceful solutions. But contrary to his time with the Acolytes, he is now listened to and respected and he is in charge of prepping mission and minimizing casualties. Same goes for Thumbelina, she is now quite respected and has proven her worth on numerous occasions.
  • Tempo’s secondary mutations are the ability to rewind her own time a few minutes at a time. it is very random so she rarely uses her power that way.
  • Wiz Kid is still his cute self, only now in his twenties. He has insisted on staying disabled, even if Elixir could cure his condition. Jeffries mentors him.
  • Leech is now a bit of a brooding teenager. he tags along with Empath a lot, as a sign of good faith that Empath is not manipulating anyone with his powers (which he supposedly lost anyway). He and Artie are not friends anymore, the reason is still unknown…
  • Zero still does not speak. he is not the exact same version that was in the MLF. He does interact more and more with some of the characters ( especially Madison Jeffries and Firefist)
  • Wraith is now able to turn fully invisible. He and Neophyte have become good friends and are a good duo in the field, specialized in stealth and espionage.
  • Poltergeist is the scary wild card of the team. He gives the creeps to almost every other member. His dialog makes little sense. He refers to his old friend Link a lot. We might assume Link is dead and his death pushed Poltergeist over the edge.
  • Artie’s powers are stronger than before and he can really project other people’s memories and emotional states.
  • In the next phase of the story, it will be revealed that some of the x-men have been agreeing and working in secret with the empire: Hellion, Monet, Magik, one of The Cuckoos, Sunfire, and Forge.
  • They will form their own covert action rogue squadron: « X-Men Black » (in their own title).
  • The young recruits will also have their own spin-off title called « New Mutants ».
  • They will be mentored by Random, Berzerker, and Lightbright.
  • Their first mission will be to recruit the last member: Elizabeth Guthrie, code-named Amazon.
  • Vecto will be very important for future stories as he will push himself to his limit and sacrifice himself to be able to teleport the whole island constantly. This will make it near impossible for it to be located. This is the reason why Cortex wanted to eliminate him specifically.
  • Next phase will also include flashbacks where we discover how some other mutants were turned down from taking part in the Empire: Mystique, Xavier Jr, Black Tom, Lady Mastermind, some members of the Hellfire Club’s inner circle.
  • We will also see more of the beginning of the alliance between Empath and the hellions and the utopians (Jeffries, Masque, Random) and of course how Emma unified all these teams.
  • The empire will form an elite squad tasked to eliminate and/or take revenge on other mutant threats. the Squad will be composed of Dragonness (field leader), Poltergeist, Marrow, Tempo, and Shola.  There will be a double agent working for the x-men (guess which one)
  • The empire will have a lot of followers and the public opinion will be divided.
  • Romances will include: Dragoness and Thumbelina, Berzerker and Scaleface, Progeny and Vecto, Bedlam and Tarot and Empath.
  • Very important: Empath has a beard.

THE CAST

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WHITE TEAM

  • Emma Frost
  • Shola Inkosi
  • Elixir
  • Tarot
  • Lightbright
  • Zero
  • Tempo
  • Wiz
  • Poltergeist

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GREEN TEAM

  • Dragoness
  • Bedlam
  • Berzerker
  • Leech
  • Firefist
  • Scaleface
  • Litterbug
  • Madison Jeffries
  • Neophyte
  • Klara Prast

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PURPLE TEAM

  • Voght
  • Random
  • Empath
  • Thumbelina
  • Catseye
  • Masque
  • Wraith
  • Marrow
  • Artie Maddicks

TRAINEES

WHITE

  • Progeny
  • Vecto

PURPLE

  • Amazon
  • Nimbia

GREEN

  • Hurlevent
  • Ghoulem

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