Categories > Comics > X-Men > Phoenix Destiny0 Reviews
The power of the Phoenix is shaken to it's core and Jean Grey must face all her old demons or the universe itself will burn to ashes in cosmic flame.
Chapter 2: Rupture
Standing over an ominous grave, a tall man with ruby red glasses glared at a heart wrenching inscription.
"Here lies Jean Grey-Summers. She will rise again."
His poise was stern and cold, as if his very soul had been sucked out and all that remained was a mere shell of a man. His name was Scott Summers, and he was standing here in the cold, gazing upon the tombstone of his dead wife, whom he cradled in her final moments.
"How many times has it been now, Scott? Three? Three times that you've stood over her grave?" said an attractive woman with blonde hair.
"Go away, Emma," said Scott sternly.
"You can't go on like this. Don't you want to live on and inherit the world?"
At that very moment, a force beyond human comprehension stepped in. Looking over this scene from a place far away, Jean Grey-Summers bore the White Crown, holding in her hands a dying universe that rested on the shoulders of one human being.
He was the man she had always been so deeply connected to. He was the man she had loved with all her heart. Yet fate had torn them apart once more. And here he was, broken and lost.
She knew there was only one way to save him. She knew she would have to make the greatest sacrifice she had ever made. But for the man she loved, it was a price she was willing to pay, no matter how much it tore at her heart.
Capturing the lips of Emma Frost with his, Scott Summers gave his pre-determined answer.
"Jean? JEAN!" yelled an alarmed voice.
The limp body of Jean Grey, still bearing her White Phoenix attire, came to life in a haze of confusion as she opened her eyes to see the mysterious mutant warrior known as Slayer hovering over her.
"Hnn...what? What's going on?" she groaned, grasping her head.
"I'm not exactly sure," said Slayer anxiously, "But I think there's something wrong with your little White Hot Room."
Helping her to her feet, Jean took in the horrific sight around her. Everywhere she looked, there were massive ruptures in the light of the White Hot Room. And from these ruptures, vortexes of unimaginable force were sucking in members of the Phoenix Corps by the thousands.
The penetrating light of the nexus was flickering violently, showing signs of serious distress. Something was terribly wrong. And even the Phoenix was powerless to stop it.
"No! The nexus! It's rupturing!" gasped Jean.
"Yeah, I gathered that," said Slayer, his all seeing eye still glowing, "But how is that possible?"
"I don't know!" cried Jean, feeling the strain throughout her being, "Something must have happened to the M'krann crystal!"
"Great...just great," muttered Jack, "Any idea how to fix it?"
The fires surrounding Jean's aura were starting to intensify. Even as White Phoenix, she was deeply affected by this mysterious phenomenon. She could sense it on all levels, physically and psychically. And for all the power she had amassed as Phoenix and Jean Grey, there was nothing she could do about it.
"I...I don't know!" she gasped desperately, "Everything is falling apart! I can't...I can't...AHHHHHHHHH!"
"JEAN!" yelled Slayer, catching her before she keeled over.
Looking up at the area above him, he saw the rupture sucking in more Phoenix Corp. It caused a hurricane of fire to fill the area, sucking in everything in its wake. Soon, even the two towers began to crumble under the strain. And through his all seeing eye, Slayer saw the sheer scale of what was going on.
"Damn! This is NOT good!"
Looking down at the ailing Jean Grey, Slayer took her in his arms and powered up his magic, taking to the air.
"Hold on, Jean! We've got to get away from that thing!"
But despite her half conscious state, the power within her still burned strong.
"No! All wrong! This is all wrong!"
"Oh man. Why do I get the feeling this is gonna get worse before it gets better?"
Pushing his mystical abilities to the limits, Slayer sped as far away from the vortex as possible. Along the way, he passed other members of the Phoenix Corp who were not strong enough to get away. And one by one, they descended into the fiery whirlwind.
The light of the White Hot Room was pulsating with greater severity, as if the whole realm was crying out in pain. Slayer may have been able to see it, but he was still far from understanding it.
"Falling apart...everything is falling apart!"
"Come on, Jean! Stay with me here! Now is NOT the time to be losing it!" grunted Slayer, pushing himself to his limits.
Gritting her teeth in determination, Jean held herself together. Looking back at the vortex, she felt as though was being torn apart on every level. It was painful just trying to keep it together. Every last bearer of the Phoenix was being sucked in, but Slayer wasn't letting them go without a fight.
"Jack...there's no way," said Jean, gasping in a fit of desperation.
"Then we'll just have to make one!" said the determined mutant warrior, "Just hang in there! I'll get us out of this!"
Jack didn't know why he was so bent on helping her. Maybe it was because he had a weakness for beautiful women. But aside from that, he just had this strange feeling about her. He saw something within her when he looked her in the eye. He wasn't sure what it was, but if he was going to find out, they were going to have to get out of this mess somehow.
The light of the nexus began to fade, turning from a steady white glow to a burning red color, resembling flames on a cosmic scale. There was nowhere to run. It was all going to hell. Yet Jack refused to submit to the end.
"It's over. All hope is lost."
"Whatever you say, redhead," said Slayer, still undeterred, "But hopelessness just happens to be my specialty!"
Looking back at the vortex, Slayer's eye glowed bright red. This was not looking good.
Okay, quick analysis of the situation here. You're stuck in the nexus of all realities, there's a rift in the dimensional fabric, and it's sucking in everything in its path. The Phoenix is powerless and you're just a guy who does magic tricks. So what do you do?
Grunting in determination, Jack kept trying to outrun the vortex. Then finally, it started sucking him in, no longer able to escape its infinite pull.
"Damn! It's pulling us in!" he grunted, tapping as much energy as he could to power his way out.
"The rip is too strong. Every Phoenix...scattered through the fabric of reality...lost in the path between life and death."
"Life and death?"
Suddenly, an idea came to Jack that was nothing short of crazy. But looking back at the fiery whirlwind, he was out of time, out of options, and out of his mind.
"Oh boy, I can't believe I'm even thinking this," he muttered.
"Jack?" gasped Jean, not understanding what was going on, "What are you..."
But the mutant warrior didn't let her finish. He couldn't afford to hesitate now. It was now or never, and frankly he'd rather not end up drifting aimlessly through the gaps between reality.
"Just hold on a little longer, Jean!" he said, psyching himself up, "I'm getting us out of here! Just keep yourself together and it'll all be over soon!"
Then, much to her surprise, Slayer started flying towards the vortex. There was a look of great intensity on his face, one that only a true warrior could bear. But that didn't lift Jean's hopes as she struggled against him.
"No! What are you doing? Are you crazy?!" she exclaimed.
"Do you really gotta ask?" grunted Slayer as they drew near the rift, "Just sit tight! I know what I'm doing!"
Having just met this guy, Jean wasn't too optimistic. But she didn't have the strength to struggle anymore. She was too weak and torn.
"This is a bad idea! This is a very bad idea!" yelled Slayer, gathering what energy he had left and preparing to cast a risky spell.
They were almost at the rift. Slayer's hands were glowing brilliantly, still determined to beat this. But for Jean, all hope was lost.
This was it. All of reality was doomed. After trying to come to grips with her being for so long, this was how it would all end. Closing her eyes and bracing for the inevitable, the White Phoenix let out a cry of anguish as she felt her world falling apart all around her.
Jean Grey-Summers had never felt so much love before in her life. Everybody, from her family to her closest friends, showed her all at once how much they loved her. And from that love, the raging hatred of Dark Phoenix was replaced by the peaceful calm of White Phoenix.
Now she was standing in a white void with her soul mate, Scott Summers. She had never felt so conflicted before in her life. The power of Phoenix and Jean Grey were becoming one. And she would be leaving behind everything she held dear.
"I'm going now, Scott. I'm so scared."
"Who are you?" he asked her.
For a moment, she hesitated. But she held on through the chaos.
"Jean. Jean Grey."
"That's right. You're Jean Grey. And always will be. No matter what happens, no matter where you go or how you grow or what the cosmos tell you. Find yourself, Jean. Find all your pieces. You'll be fine. You'll remember. And you'll know what to do."
His words bore so much love. Even in this twilight hour, she could still feel so much of his love. And now that she was complete, they would finally say goodbye to each other. Scott would live on, but she would not. She was the Phoenix, now and forever.
But before she left, she wanted one last thing.
"Scott. I want to see your eyes."
Lifting up his visor, the white aura surrounding them was inundated with ruby red light. And through the blinding hue, Jean Grey faded away once and for all.
Everything was calm. The blinding chaos of the White Hot Room was no more. And yet, she was still whole. Her being was still intact.
"Jean...Jean, wake up," said a calm voice.
She was floating in a peaceful trance. There was no more pull and no more vortex. Now, all was silent around her. And hovering close to her was the mutant warrior who kept his promise.
"Jack?" she said weakly, still reeling from being so torn.
"It's okay. It's over now," he assured her, "Sorry for the bumpy ride, but I had to improvise."
Still in her White Phoenix attire, Jean opened her eyes to see the young warrior before her. She didn't know where they were. It felt like a tunnel of sorts. Her mind was so hazy. Everything had happened so fast. It was all a blur.
But she clearly remembered this man saving her. Even after she and the Phoenix Corp attacked her, he still saved her. And that brought out a maze of feelings in her chaotic being.
"You...you saved me?" she said, still disoriented.
"What else was I going to do? Leave you?" he shrugged, "Sorry, but that's not my style. Besides, I owe you one for sticking up for me back there."
His demeanor was a mystery. His prowess was undeniable. And the more she experienced his enigmatic persona, the more intrigued she became.
"But...why?" she said, reaching out and grasping his face with her hands.
"Why? Well uh..." he stammered, not knowing what she was doing.
"Jack...please. I want...I need..."
"Jean? What are you..."
What happened next was something even Slayer never could have foreseen. In her dazed state, Jean Grey crashed her lips upon his and pulled him into a passionate kiss. With her endless passion, she pulled him close, wrapping her legs around his waist and soaking up his enchanted aura.
At first, he was shocked. But as was his custom when a beautiful woman kissed him, he kissed back. Only when their lips met, his all seeing eye started glowing bright yellow and through this medium, Jean Grey got an unabated glimpse of the man behind the enigma.
A young boy came into the world, born into poverty on the streets of San Francisco. His parents were dead, he was abused constantly, and he had mysterious visions of an unknown force.
Growing up in an orphanage, alone and lost. He was a very dark boy. And after being sold into the underworld sex trade, his being was forever tainted by great sorrow.
The young boy comes of age, running away from the sex trade and living on his own. He steals, fights, and does whatever he can to stay alive. Still haunted by visions, he is without hope. Yet his soul still burns with a determined flame like no other.
He meets a beautiful young girl with blonde hair named Layla, who brightens his world in a way no other force ever has. He falls in love with her and she falls in love with him. And for once, their world is a happy one.
Layla is taken away from him in a heinous act that forever shatters his heart.
"LAYLA! LAYLA NO!" yelled a young, desperate teenage boy as the love of his life was taken away from him in an act of unyielding cruelty.
Her body was naked, bloodied, and bruised. The dark, imposing men of a local street lord in San Francisco named Felix had shown no mercy. They crossed their path, so they paid the price.
They brutalized a beautiful young girl. They were like zombies, devoid of all emotion. They held him and made him watch while they raped her. Tears of anguish were streaming down his face. And with one final stroke, the only light of his life was snuffed forever.
"Jack..." she cried weakly with one final gasp.
BANG! And with a single gunshot to the heart, her innocent life was taken away.
In his anguish, Jack's latent mutant powers manifest. And with unabated rage, he butchers the monsters who took Layla from him. They all scream in pain, but he didn't care. Energized by radiant energy, he eviscerated their bodies with bolts of raw power and ripped into their flesh with his bear hands.
And when all was said and done, he stood over the unmoving corpse of Layla covered in blood, crying for his lost love.
"Layla...please...don't leave me. Layla...LAYLA!"
His heart shattered, Jack continues his fight for survival. He is dark, yet strong with his new power. But he is without hope. He has nothing to live for.
Already driven half mad by the visions that had haunted him since birth, Jack lived recklessly until the day his luck finally ran out.
In a hail of gunfire from the same gang that killed Layla, Jack Robinson died, falling into the icy waters of the San Francisco Bay. And with a heavy heart, he accepts death.
A mysterious being comes to him, tells him that he has the legacy of a warrior, and must make a choice. Either he accepts this power or he keeps running, dooming a world that had hurt him so much to the forces of darkness.
And with the heart of a warrior, Jack accepts and becomes Slayer, the ultimate warrior.
Out of the cold waters of the San Francisco Bay, Jack Robinson arises from the dead, ready to take on the forces of darkness.
Descending upon the dark persona known only as Felix, Jack Robinson shows no mercy as he kills, maims, and eviscerates all those who stand in his path. And with the skill and drive of a proud warrior, he falls before his power.
Layla is thus avenged, yet his heart is still empty and his soul still tormented. Only now, he has something to keep him going...honor.
And at the whim of his sword, dark forces tremble with fright, destroyed in the never-ending battle between darkness and light. He lives in the shadows, drowning his sorrows with booze and hookers. But in his fight, Slayer shows no mercy, killing and destroying those that dare to upset the balance.
Soaked with the blood of those caught in the crossfire of his difficult life, he is tormented and twisted, yet strong and noble. And he is Jack Robinson...a mutant, a fighter, and a warrior.
As the disturbing images of Jack Robinson's life bombarded Jean's mind, she gasped with shock at the sheer horror of his world. And as the mutant warrior relived those twisted memories, he pushed away and let out a pained yell.
"STOP IT! STOP! GET THE HELL OUT OF MY HEAD!"
Pulling away from the beautiful redhead, Jack clutched his head in pain as the screams of Layla echoed through his mind.
For Jean, it was a sobering splash of cold water that pulled her together. Tears were streaming down her face as she recalled those images. They were so horrific and this man had to live with it every waking hour. It made him less of an enigma, yet no less mysterious.
"Jack," she said, covering her mouth in horror, "I...I'm so sorry. I didn't mean to..."
"Will you just drop it!" he spat, a look of anger on his face.
Taking some deep breaths, Slayer pulled himself together. Jean couldn't have known his mind would have been that unpleasant. But at least now she knew he wasn't a threat.
Yet still, he kicked himself for going off like this.
"I'm sorry," he told her calmly.
"No, Jack. I..." she stammered, not knowing what else to say.
There was an awkward silence between them. Here they were in a tunnel-like void, unable to make any headway for this grave situation. The White Hot Room was falling apart and they couldn't even get along enough to do something about it.
Jean's look sank as her gaze diverted from his, feeling very strange with herself after what she had just done.
"Sorry about the kiss," she said awkwardly.
Jack managed to lighten up. As sudden as it had been, kissing a beautiful woman was nothing to complain about. He knew it didn't mean anything, but it certainly had an effect on him.
'I am going to need SO many hookers after this shit,' he thought to himself.
But setting such thoughts aside, Jack pulled himself together despite the circumstances.
"Forget about it," sighed Jack, "You were confused. I understand."
"I know! This shouldn't be happening!" she cried in a fit of desperation, "It's all wrong...everything is so wrong."
Knowing all too well how it felt to lose hope, Jack placed his hands on her shoulders in a show of comfort. It helped ease her tension, but she was still so conflicted.
"If it makes you feel any better, I won't tell your husband," he said, managing a grin.
As lame as that comment was, Jean actually laughed.
"I'd appreciate that," she choked out, "But where are we? And why do I feel like I've been here before?"
"Of course you've been here before, Jean," said Slayer, "You've died like what? Three times?"
Looking around the darkened tunnel, it began to dawn on her. She had been down this path before. She knew where it led. And as the Phoenix, she had gone both ways.
"I know it's not the first place I'd choose to escape to, but we had to end up somewhere," explained Jack, "As soon as we hit the event horizon of the vortex, I cast a transport spell that took us to this tunnel instead of scattering us through the dimensional rift. It's not pretty, but it beats the hell out of oblivion."
"I'll have to agree with you there," said Jean, taking in the feeling of this familiar place, "But how did this happen? Where did that rift come from?"
"I wish I knew," sighed Jack, "But as you saw in my head, I'm just a guy. You're the one with the White Crown here."
Clutching her head in exasperation, Jean still felt as though she was falling apart. The damage to the White Hot Room had hurt her the most. She was so deeply connected to the nexus that the rift should have torn her forever. But somehow, she was still intact.
"I don't know. I just don't know," she said, shaking her head in defeat, "I shouldn't even be here! I belong in the White Hot Room! So why is this happening? What does it all mean?"
This was all new to Jack. He could take down malevolent entities, but he didn't know the first thing about balancing fundamental forces in the universe. That was just way out of his league.
But like it or not, he was involved now. And as a warrior, it was up to him to see this through.
"Now what do we do?" she said, sounding at a loss, "Where do we go from here?"
Jack wasn't very good at moments like this. Living on the streets for most of his life hadn't done much for his social skills. However, he did know a thing or two about getting out of a bind. And as he contemplated their situation, an idea came to mind that could help them both.
"Sorry, Jean. But I don't know either. However...I do know someone who may point us in the right direction."
That got Jean's attention as she looked back at the mutant warrior with new intrigue.
"You do?" she said hopefully.
"Yes. And I can help," he said with a determined tone, "I know we just met, but as long as I'm involved in this mess, I might as well see it through. Besides, I never was one to run away from a good challenge."
Jean couldn't help but smile at his words. Despite his tortured soul, he was still a man of honor. And that was something she deeply admired.
"Look, you don't know me. You're a cosmic entity and I'm a street kid from San Francisco. But if we're going to be in this together, we're going to have to trust each other. So how about it?"
Holding out his hand, Jean contemplated her situation. She had lived, died, and been reborn more times than any being ought to. And with the White Hot Room in chaos, she was at the end of her rope.
But with so much riding on her weary shoulders, she had to remain strong. She didn't know what was going on, but she was going to do what it took to fix it. However, she couldn't do it on her own. And as she looked into Jack's penetrating gaze, she knew there was someone there worth having faith in.
"Okay," she said, taking his hand, "I trust you."
"Thank you," he said with a smile, "I promise on my honor, your trust is in good hands."
Smiling back at the mysterious man who had come into her world so suddenly, Jean knew she was in for a hell of a ride. And for now, all she could do is hold on and hope that wherever this led her, she could regain the balance she so desperately sought.
"Now come on," said Jack as they floated through the tunnel, "It's high time we get some answers."
THE ANSWERS LAY JUST AHEAD! DON'T FORGET TO REVIEW!