The Erotic Phoenix Saga: Dark Passions

BY : marvelmaster616
Category: X-men Comics > General
Dragon prints: 3073
Disclaimer: I don’t own X-Men, Avengers, or any Marvel characters. I am making no money off of this. They are the property of Marvel and Disney. Please don’t sue.

The Erotic Phoenix Saga: Dark Passions
Chapter 4: Dark Realizations

Whiltshire, England – Sinister’s Lab

“The dampeners are in place. Are you ready, girls?” asked Daken Akihiro, his dispassionate voice mirroring his broken spirit.

“Does it matter?” asked Celeste of the Stepford Cuckoos

“Does anything matter?” Phoebe, Mindee, Sophie, and Esme.

“Point taken.”

The mood in the central security hub was somber and hallow. Daken and the Stepford Cuckoos – the five cloned daughters of Emma Frost – displayed the barest of emotions. When their every desire had been twisted to serve the Goblin Queen, there was no room for excitement or passion. They just did whatever that woman desired, no matter how deplorable or perverse. They could hate every second of it, but could not stop themselves from doing it.

Daken had grown numb to it, having long since abandoned any hope. The five young telepaths bore a similar demeanor, even as he strapped them into five heavy chairs that had been placed in the center of the chamber. According to Dr. Warren, this hub utilized a rare form of Celestial technology to keep the lab cloaked from anyone and anything. It had succeeded for centuries, but that still wasn’t enough for the Goblin Queen.

Shortly after they arrived, Dr. Warren installed five heavy chairs that contained neural links to the Celestial systems. Those links included a helmet that relied on a skilled telepath to interface with those systems. Only a handful of individuals had access to such technology. Sinister had been one of them. The Goblin Queen just instructed them to calibrate it for use by the Stepford Cuckoos.

That was not a comfortable process, as was often the case with anything the Goblin Queen did. Each chair was metal and cold. The thin, skin-tight body suits she made the five of them wear didn’t help. The chairs were also fitted with special shackles for their wrists and ankles. Daken could smell their disgust as he strapped them in. They had to know they were in for far greater discomfort as the Goblin Queen’s plan played out.

“If we’re lucky, this will kill us,” said Esme coldly.

“Since when have we been lucky? Ever?” replied Phoebe.

“The Goblin Queen won’t allow it…ever,” said Sophie.

“She’s plugging our brains into a Celestial defense system. She’s setting us up to launch a psychic attack that’ll turn our brains to burnt meat,” Mindee pointed out.

“You think she expects us to survive?” Celeste asked.

“She probably expects it to hurt…a lot,” said Mindeee.

“It will. It most definitely will,” the four other girls said simultaneously.

The prospect of great pain and imminent death didn’t scare the five young women. Even after Daken put the psychic-augmenting helmets on their head that Dr. Warren had calibrated, they didn’t show an ounce of fear. He could still smell their emotions. Whatever painful death awaited, they preferred it over serving the Goblin Queen for the rest of their lives.

“You’re already luckier than me,” Daken said. “At least you’re almost done with this.”

“We’d strongly contest that point,” said Esme.

“But we can’t bring ourselves to care enough,” said Sophie.

“Story of our lives,” said Celeste.

“Compared to what I have to do, I’d switch places with the lot of you if I could,” Daken replied.

“We’d contest that too,” said Phoebe, “but we can read your mind.”

“And it’s disturbing how honest you’re being, right now,” said Mindee.

The five girls cast him a cold, but understanding glance. Daken just nodded as he put the last helmet on Mindee, avoiding her gaze as the top of her head became obscured. He might be the last face she sees before she and her sisters perish. It could’ve been worse, but not by much.

They offered no final words or condemnations as he locked them in and activated the system. If it worked as Dr. Warren described, it was going to argument the telepathic abilities of the five young psychics. It would be painful, but necessary. They had to coordinate with the various defense forces that the Goblin Queen had set up.

The lab had an assortment of Celestial technology that included shields, defense turrets, and strong barriers. The Goblin Queen did not believe that to be enough or sufficiently cruel. That was why she had Dr. Warren calibrate the psychic dampeners in a way that allowed for additional measures. He didn’t get into specifics and Daken didn’t ask. He had enough disturbing thoughts coursing through his mind as he played a part in this horrific act.

“I’m done caring about what happens to me,” Daken said flatly. “This woman is going to ravage the world. And I can’t not help her. If only my father had killed me and my mother when he had the chance.”

Daken held back his disgust as he initiated the program. He didn’t even watch as the psychic amplifiers booted up, causing visible discomfort with the five Stepford sisters. He shut out their pained groans as he exited the room. They had their part to play and so did he. As bad as those girls had it, he was in for something even worse.

Fate seemed eager to torment him even more because Carnage was waiting for him just outside the chamber. He was the only one who seemed genuinely excited to help the Goblin Queen achieve her sick desires. He wasn’t sure if she even had to twist his desires. He might have been the only one who chose freely.

“Don’t you look happy?” Carnage said jokingly. “What’s the matter? Sad you didn’t get to fuck those girls one last time?”

“Spare me your false concern, Carnage. I’m not in the mood,” said Daken bitterly.

“Ah I’m just messin’ with you!” the madman laughed, casually swatting him on the back.

“And making sure I do everything as our queen specified,” he added.

“That too…not that you could do anything else. She just told me to give you a nice kick in the balls if you stalled for too long. She says her main guests are here!”

“And I’m sure they’re just as elated,” Daken said dryly.

“Ha! Sucks to be them,” Carnage laughed, “but don’t worry. I’ll tell our sexy Queen we’re up and running.”

“I appreciate that. I’m sure you’re just as eager to start.”

“Are you kidding? This is gonna be the bloodiest, messiest, sexiest shit storm anyone ever kicked up! And I get to be on the front lines? I’m the happiest son-of-a-bitch on this planet right now! Well…second happiest, after our queen.”

Carnage laughed harder as he ran off, eager to join the rest of the Goblin Queen’s forces. His insanity, as well as his bloodlust, echoed the sterile halls. He was already frothing at the mouth, ready for whatever mayhem their queen invited. As much as he pitied the Stepford Cuckoos, he pitied anyone dumb enough to get in Carnage’s path.

“If only I shared such sadistic desires,” Daken said under his breath.

He cursed to himself in multiple languages, fuming at the role he’d been ordered to play. Whereas the Goblin Queen was content to unleash Carnage on anyone who dared disrupt her big moment, she wanted him in a very specific position for a very specific enemy. She fully expected the many friends and allies of her special guests to come after them. She needed to be certain they didn’t reach him in time.

Tactically, the Goblin Queen’s reasoning was sound.

In terms of methods, she still preferred her own brand of torment. And he had to be the catalyst for it.

He still couldn’t stop himself from entering a nearby elevator and making his way to the ground floor entrance. There, he was set to meet up with Magik. They had to prepare for a battle forged entirely by someone else’s desire. Daken couldn’t imagine a less noble act. He was already a disgrace in the name of his honor, his family, and his legacy.

The best outcome, at this point, was for someone to slay him before he dishonored himself even more. He did not expect to get that lucky.

‘Damn you, Carnage! Damn you, Goblin Queen! Whatever happens to me on this day, I hope your fate be as cruel as your bloodlust. And may these special guests be your last victims. For their sake and so many others, they better be strong enough to endure.’

Underneath Stonehenge – The Null Chamber

“Jean Elizabeth Grey,” said a conflicted, yet intrigued Madelyne Pryor, “the source of my flesh…the foundation of my being. We were always destined to cross paths. I thought I knew how I’d feel when the time came, but…”

The words of the Goblin Queen trailed off as she stood before the woman from which she’d been cloned. Many different thoughts and feelings came over her. From anger to gratitude to disgust to affection, Madelyne experienced many emotional states. Since the moment she arrived, courtesy of the Phoenix Force detecting the M’Kraan barrier’s cracks, she tried to process every one of them.

It happened faster than expected. She and Scott Summers arrived just as the sun was setting over Stonehenge, an appropriate act of timing by any measure. The came soaring within the cosmic flames of the Phoenix Force, their bodies surrounded by a fiery halo that nearly lit up the late evening sky. Madelyne had been there to greet them, but she came prepared.

“Fire…life incarnate…Phoenix,” said a half-conscious Jean Grey.

“Yes. Yes. We’ve heard that before,” said the Goblin Queen dryly. “Spare me the proclamations. You’re in Null Chamber, now. Your cosmic flames won’t help you.”

The other redhead snapped her fingers in front of the disoriented woman, jarring her from her daze. When Jean came too, she realized she was no longer soaring through the sky within the fires of a cosmic force. She was in a dark, but spacious room.

Looking around, she saw a large metallic dome over her head, not unlike the Cerebro chamber back at the Xavier Institute. It was difficult to see much else. Only a single light above illuminated the area. The rest was shrouded in shadow. As Jean took in her surroundings, she realized wrists bound together with shackles, which hung over her head from a heavy metal chain. She immediately tried to resist. That proved futile. In her struggle, she also discovered that her ankles had been bound too. It was like waking from a nightmare.

One moment, she was empowered by the Phoenix Force to find this agent of chaos.

The next, she something hit her like a shock to the system, knocked her out cold, and transported to a place where all her power had been nullified.

Even a cosmic force couldn’t anticipate how prepared she’d been. Two years, careful planning, complete control, and a sizable collection of Celestial technology had given the Goblin Queen plenty of advantages. As more strength returned, Jean fought her restraints. Madelyne just watched in bemusement.

“What is this? Why can’t I feel the Phoenix Force?” Jean gasped anxiously.

“Do you honestly care about the technical details?” the Goblin Queen scoffed. “Does it really matter?”

“My powers! I can’t feel my powers, either!” she said, trying and failing to break the shackles with her telekinesis.

“Of course, you can’t. If the Null Chamber can block the Phoenix Force, it can certainly block mutant abilities. It’s exactly as my creator intended…a place where no power, be it external or internal, can manifest in any form. It might very well be the only place in any realm where one such as you is completely vulnerable. And – more importantly – completely under my control.”

Jean finally stopped struggling and looked towards her devious clone. Her reaction was every bit as mixed. Seeing her stand in front of her, bearing the same voice, figure, and demeanor, trigged a wide range of feelings. Even without being able to read minds, she could sense the inescapable link they shared.

She was looking at her clone.

She was in the presence of someone who’d been created from her own flesh.

Ever since that fateful encounter with the Phoenix Force, they had been drifting towards this moment. Now that it had arrived, the disturbance that she and Scott had caused with their choices had a face. The fact that it was her face made it more distressing.

“Madelyne Pryor,” Jean said distantly.

“Great! You already know my name,” the Goblin Queen said. “That spares us both an awkward introduction.”

“I know it was you. You were that disturbance I sensed…that looming shadow hanging over me and Scott, ever since we embraced the Phoenix.”

“Really? Is that all I was to you?” she scoffed, pretending to be offended.

“You worked very hard to stay hidden. That kind of sends the wrong message.”

“Wrong to you. Necessary for me.”

“But it doesn’t have to be that way!” Jean said intently. “Madelyne…clone or no clone, you’re part of me. Whatever this is – this darkness that seems to hang over you – we can help.”

Her voice was both sincere and serious. However, it did not have the desired effect.

“No! You most certainly can not!” Madelyne yelled, her eyes flashing with malevolent energy. “That darkness you speak of…you don’t understand. You can never understand.”

“But you and I…” Jean began, only to be silenced by a hard slap to the face.

“Shut up!” the other redhead barked. “Just because I’m your clone doesn’t mean we can relate to one another.”

Jean grimaced at both her tone and the strike. Madelyne was deceptively strung. It stung more than she expected. Without her powers or the Phoenix Force, she couldn’t block it. Being bound and powerless, she fell silent as she stared down her clone. It was becoming abundantly clear that she could not be dissuaded. She was every bit as broken as Emma Frost claimed.

The Goblin Queen fumed for a moment, her expression half-mad, like a woman on the brink of insanity. Surprisingly, she calmed down quickly. She even laughed to herself, backing away and fixing her demeanor.

“I apologize for that outburst,” she said curtly. “That must be the fertility drugs talking. They are making me rather hormonal.”

“Fertility drugs?” Jean questioned. “What are you…”

“Don’t bother asking questions. The answers won’t matter to you. How could they? You’re the product of an untainted, unbroken soul. You were not born with a specific purpose written into your DNA. You could freely choose which to embrace or reject. That’s a freedom you and so many others take for granted.”

Madelyn then looked down at herself, focusing on her hands and arms. From her perspective, she didn’t just see the cloned flesh of another woman. She only saw the handiwork of Mr. Sinister and the agenda behind it. She felt Jean’s curious, but anxious gaze. She might have been tempted to exercise her compassion. The Goblin Queen planned to emphasize how pointless that was.

“My choices have always been limited,” she continued, “my passions constrained to a particular context. I was made to bear the child of Scott Summers. And, subsequently, to birth the ultimate mutant.”

Jean gasped at that revelation. The idea of so much planning and plotting around this one act must have confounded her. It was further proof that she couldn’t hope to understand.

“A child…the ultimate mutant,” she said distantly. “That’s…”

Again, she didn’t finish. Madelyne slapped her across the face again in another outburst of sudden rage.

“Silence!” the Goblin Queen spat. “Don’t judge what you can’t understand. You may value your expanded perspective, but it ends where my flesh begins. Being your clone – a shell of copied flesh over the jumbled shards of damned souls – I am painfully limited by what I can control.”

“Shards? Of souls?” Jean said under her breath, her face still stinging from the strike.

“It’s the price you pay for having a defined purpose. Whether it’s bearing a child or raising goblin armies, you can’t escape it. You’re driven towards it. You desire it with every fiber of your being. It’s enough to drive anyone mad.”

“Except…you’re not mad, are you?”

Madelyne cast her another engaged scorn. Jean braced for another slap as she hung helplessly in front of her. To her surprise, the other redhead stopped herself. Instead, she shifted again from angry to humored.

She burst out laughing, which Jean found more disturbing than any slap. Madelyne Pryor had made her point. She had a perspective that Jean couldn’t hope to understand. What drove her was so different and perverse. Any chance at a balanced perspective had vanished long ago.

“Ha! That’s the first sensible thing you’ve said,” Madelyne said through her laughter.

“I already wish I hadn’t,” muttered Jean.

“It’s kind of refreshing, honestly. Everyone I meet says I’m crazy after just a few minutes. Honestly, I don’t blame them. Even before I torment them, they get rather tense.”

“Tying people up with chains and shackles tends to do that,” Jean pointed out.

“But honestly, what doesn’t seem crazy from your perspective? You’re not a clone. You’re not locked into a certain fate. After all, you already escaped one particularly grim outcome.”

Jean was taken aback. She looked at Madelyne with more concern. She knew more about her and Scott’s perspective than she let on. That shouldn’t have been possible. It made her seem less crazy in the grand scheme of things, which only added to Jean’s anxiety.

“You know about that?” she gasped.

“To a point,” Madelyne replied cryptically. “I just know that what you and your husband gained came at a price. In a sense, I am part of that price. You defied your fate. I’m here to affirm it. I cannot control anything else. That is why for what little control I have…I make damn sure my grip is strong!”

Her demeanor became more serious and menacing. She loomed closer over Jean, gazing into the eyes of her counterpart. The more she looked, the more the chaos within her escalated. Hatred, love, gratitude, resentment, jealousy, and pity consumed her all at once. It was too much to process.

In another outburst, she reached forth and grabbed Jean by the throat. With the same deceptive strength she’d demonstrated earlier, she squeezed her neck. Jean gasped and gagged, struggling harder against her restraints. It was no use. She remained trapped.

“And now, I have control over you, Jean…the source of my flesh,” Madelyne said coldly. “Honestly, I’d hoped it would be more satisfying.”

“Ugh!” Jean choked, struggling to breathe.

“I wasn’t entirely sure how I’d go about this. Part of me wants to kill you. Part of me wants to keep you alive so you can see me fulfill my purpose. Part of me just wants to let you hang her and rot. With a fragmented soul like mine, there are many parts to consider.”

She squeezed even harder. She lifted Jean up off the floor, along with her chains. Jean struggled harder. Her legs dangled and her arms flailed. She was on the brink of passing out.

Just as she was starting to black out, Madelyne released her grip. The other redhead fell back to the floor, her legs collapsing under her. Now, she just hung from the restraints, her body still reeling. The Goblin Queen looked down at her with her mixed feelings. Even as the emotions overwhelmed her, other more powerful forces won out.

“But in the end, stronger desires wins out,” Madelyne said. “That’s how my creator made sure I would pursue my purpose. Not by forcing me to bear the child of Scott Summers, but by having me desire it. Being locked into that desire can be quite overwhelming. But since you’re so keen on expanding your perspective…”

As her words trailed off, a devious grin spread across her face. Jean, still catching her breath, looked back at her clone with growing distress. There was no getting through to her. There was no dissuading her, either. She was truly locked into this purpose that had been engrained into her.

As Jean hung helplessly in the chamber, the Goblin Queen waved her hand to form a small portals. From it, a goblin-like creature emerged carrying a loaded syringe. It hissed as it presented her the item. Madelyne took it graciously and gave the creature an affectionate pat on the head.

“Thank you, my little precious,” she told it, as though it were a beloved pet. “Please inform the others we’re ready for them.”

“Kween!” it screeched.

Like an obedient pet, it nodded and retreated into the small portal. Moments later, a dozen larger portals opened around the Goblin Queen. From them, multiple humanoid figures emerged. They were much larger in stature than the first creature. They also bore a familiar human figure, but with a terrifying non-human face.

“My God,” Jean gasped. “They look like…”

“They are…to a point,” Madelyne teased.

Jean watched with growing horror as the creatures approached. They had the body, skin tone, and even the endowment of a typical man. However, Jean quickly recognized those features as being identical to that of her husband.

She knew every one of Scott’s muscles and sinews so well. Each creature matched Scott’s body perfectly, right down to the hairs on his chest, the poise of his posture, and the veins on his penis. Everything below the neck was familiar and identical for every one of them. What she saw above diverged completely in a terrifying way.

Instead of Scott’s square jaw, groomed complexion, and chestnut hair, there was monstrous face with a malevolent gaze. They closely resembled the goblin creature she’d just seen, but seeing it atop Scott’s body made it more horrifying. They had fang-like teeth, snake-like tongues, scaley coarse skin, and glowing red eyes. As unsightly as they were, one particular feature stood out.

In their demonic expression, Jean saw the complete antithesis of the love and affection she saw in Scott. There was no hint of such sentiments. There was only hate and blind lust. It quickly intensified as they approached her, their dicks becoming erect in the process. They all surrounded her with perfect coordination, licking their lips and eyeing her body like hungry animals before a piece of meat. And there was nothing Jean could do to stop them.

“Jean Grey, meet my Summers Studs,” Madelyne said proudly as she approached as well, the syringe still in hand. “They are my second proudest creation…after the child I’m about to conceive, that is.”

“Madelyne,” said Jean anxiously, “Emma told me about this. Whatever you think this will accomplish…”

“Oh shut up!” the other redhead said, rolling her eyes. “Besides, you’ll want to rest that mouth of yours. You’ll need it for all the dicks you’re about to suck.”

Jean opened her mouth to speak again. Madelyne silenced her by grabbing her jaw firmly, pulling her in closer, and narrowing her gaze. Her grin widened even more.

“I’m sure that blonde bitch told you all about the torment she endured,” the Goblin Queen continued. “In hindsight, it was sloppy on my part. I placed too much trust in dark magic. My co-creator, Belasco, had plenty of spells that turned defiant cunts like her into cock-hungry sluts. But in the end, Frost overcame it through sheer force of will. Such is a common mishap with magic.”

The devious redhead pulled Jean’s face closer and dangled the loaded syringe in front of her eyes. She continued struggling and grimacing, dreading the effects of the clear liquid inside. She might have a sneaking suspicion of what it entailed. Madelyne doubted her growing dread did justice to the experience that followed.

“Rest assured, I’ve learned from my mistakes,” Madelyne said coldly. “Thanks to some research and refinements, I’ve perfected this little cocktail of unfiltered debauchery. It won’t just render you hornier than a hundred bitches in heat. It’ll flood your brain, body, and soul with so much lust, you won’t be able to function. It won’t just be temporary, either. With the dosage I’ve prepared, it’ll last indefinitely…or until you expire, whichever comes first.”

Jean’s eyes widened with shock and horror. It was a cruel act from a cruel soul. Coming from her clone made it even worse. In Madelyne, she sensed so much hatred and inner conflict. Even without her telepathy, she felt it raging within this woman who bore her face and body. She radiated chaos, embraced darkness, and celebrated discord. Hers was a perspective truly lost.

Jean instinctively struggled harder against her restraints, fighting whatever forces had rendered her powerless in this chamber. The restraints and shackles clanged, but did not give in the slightest. She tried to tap her telekinesis. She tried to summon the Phoenix Force, as well. They were both still present, but both remained blocked.

This was not the fate she wanted. Every choice she’d made was supposed to improve the ultimate outcome of her encounter with the Phoenix Force. She and Scott did so much in pursuit of something better. Now, it felt like she’d exchanged one cruel fate for another.

“Errr! No!” Jean struggled, despite Madelyne’s grip on her.

“Oh, don’t be so melodramatic,” said Madelyne, rolling her eyes. “I could kill you in any number of ways. But you’re my clone. To hurt you is to hurt myself to a certain extent. And even I’m not that sadistic. This, believe it or not, is an act of mercy.”

Then, with devilish glee, the Goblin Queen pushed Jean’s head to the side and stuck the needle right into her neck. Jean let out an anguished cry as her clone injected her with the mysterious substance. She tried shaking her head to knock the needle off. It didn’t work. Madelyne injected every last drop.

Almost immediately, Jean felt the effects.

“Ungh!” she stammered. “It…it burns!”

“It’ll pass,” Madelyne said. “What comes next…well, you’ll find out soon enough!”

Jean continued groaning and thrashing about. She managed to knock the needle out of her neck, but Madelyne made no effort to catch it. She just let it fall the floor while its potent contents flowed through her system.

That burning sensation she felt on her neck passed quickly. It rapidly morphed into a concentrated warmth, which flowed outward from the injection site until it completely consumed her body. That warmth left her skin feeling so hot. She could already feel a light sweat forming on her face and palms. As it spread, a different kind of warmth formed between her legs.

In an instant, her pussy became fully engorged. It didn’t feel the least bit natural. It was like a switch had been flipped in her body and brain, sending her sex into overdrive. It was so overwhelming. It was almost unbearable. Jean rubbed her thighs together and groaned, the flood of physical sensations overriding her brain’s capacity to make sense of it all.

It initially rendered her dazed. That soon escalated to utter intoxication, drunk on intense arousal and a growing desire to sate it.

“Hnn…so hot. So horny,” Jean groaned, her voice distant and slurred. “Can’t think straight. Can’t even…”

“Don’t expect to do much of anything from here on out,” Madelyne taunted, “besides fuck and get fucked. And since I’m in such a helpful mood…”

The Goblin Queen finally let go of Jean’s jaw. She then grabbed the top hem of Jean’s shirt and ripped it off, along with her bra, in a single act of uncanny strength. Now exposed from the waist up, the waiting Summers studs surrounding her hissed with growing lust. A few even began stroking their semi-erect cocks in anticipation.

While they grew more aroused, Madelyne used that same strength to rip off Jean’s pants, panties, and boots. The devious redhead went out of her way to rip every piece of clothing to shreds. From her perspective, she wouldn’t need clothes for the rest of her life, which Madelyne assumed was not much longer.

“There! All naked, wet, and ready for fucking. You’re welcome!” Madelyne said with perverse glee.

Jean tried to respond with words, but could only get out a muted groan. As she hung in place at the center of the chamber, her naked body on full display, the Goblin Queen’s lurid creations closed in on her.

She could feel their glowing red eyes narrow on her, especially on her breasts, butt, and pussy. Their goblin-like faces were still terrifying, but she was too horny to feel terror. She was too horny to feel anything other than intense arousal. She kept rubbing her legs together, her feminine juices soaking her outer folds and inner thighs. These creatures had disgusting faces, but they had erect cocks along with manly bodies that perfectly mirrored Scott’s. In her intoxicated state, basic instincts took over.

“Sex! I need sex! Those hard cocks…in my pussy…in my ass…I need it now!” Jean exclaimed in her dazed state.

“Take comfort, Jean. That’ll be the last and only thing you need!” said Madelyne.

She casually waved her hands and took several steps back. The restraints on her wrists and ankles abruptly unlocked, releasing her from her bound state. She would’ve fallen to the floor had a Summers Stud not come up behind and caught her, grabbing both her breasts in the process.

Jean could already hear the creature hissing in her ear, his snake-like tongue teasing the side of her face while he squeezed her breasts. His hands might have been identical to Scott’s, but his touch felt nothing like it. The way this creature touched her had no affection, love, or tenderness. There was only a dark and powerful lust.

“Jean…” the creature hissed.

“Jean!” the others around her echoed.

Like hungry animals swarming around captured prey, more Summers Studs grabbed her. One grabbed her legs and held them up while licking along her feet. Two others knelt down and licked around her pussy, lapping up her juices. More reached in to grope her naked flesh, their hands grasping at her from every direction. More snake-like tongues found their way to her nipples, face, and asshole. They left no part of her untainted by their touch.

As Jean hung helplessly in their powerful arms, Madelyne lingered back and watched the scene unfold. Her expression shifted from one of disdain to one of lurid intrigue. The prospect of watching Jean – the woman from which she’d been cloned – get gangbanged by her Summer Studs got her very aroused. With all the fertility drugs coursing through her system, her ultimate purpose now within her gasp, it felt so fitting.

“Mmm…Jean Grey, fucked to death by a gang of goblins, created by her clone,” Madelyne mused, “and on the same day I conceive the ultimate mutant with Scott Summers, no less! Just when I thought I knew what turned me on. Ha!”

Her laughter filled the null chamber while the Summers Studs kept groping at Jean, preparing her for the last sex of her life. Their chaotic touching and licking of her naked body had the desired effect for the both of them. Every Summers Stud was fully erect, their dicks practically throbbing for her flesh. Jean’s arousal was even more intense, her pussy dripping wet with a mix of her feminine juices and the saliva of the creatures. She was already so disheveled, but she didn’t care in the slightest.

She was too far gone in her intoxicated state. With her eyes half-open, her expression locked into a state of overwhelming lust, Jean couldn’t stand it anymore. She craved sex. It was the only thing her body and mind craved at that point.

“Please…fuck me,” Jean managed to get out. “Every last one of you…fuck me!”

The creatures let out a collective cry of elation, as though they’d been waiting for those words. If the goal was to get her to talk like a sex-crazed whore, they succeeded. They had her completely surrounded and at their mercy. They could fuck her in every way and she wanted it as much as them.

Their elated cries turned to seething lust as they positioned her for her first round of ravaging. With coordination that hinted at a hive mind, of sorts, several studs stepped back while two stayed with her. The one behind her – the first one who touched her naked flesh – made the first move. He stood her up, bent her over, and positioned himself behind her, aligning his pelvis with her butt. She would’ve fallen over, but once again, a Summers Stud caught her before she could.

That same creature held her by her shoulders, his grip far colder and stronger than any ordinary man. He also guided her head down towards his dick, which stood erect just above her face. As she eyed it with sexual hunger, she felt the stud behind her deliver the first thrust. In a forceful, yet focused motion, he shoved his rigid cock into her pussy.

That sharp feeling of hard penetration flooded her body with intense sensations. They were the exact sensations she craved. The creatures might have been disgusting, but their dicks filled her just as effectively as Scott’s. She would’ve let out a moan of delight had the stud in front of her not shoved his dick right into her mouth.

“Mmf!” was all she got out.

“That’s it, my strapping studs. Gorge with her!” Madelyne yelled out. “She wants it! She craves it! So give it to her!”

The Goblin Queen’s words barely registered with Jean. She was already being fucked hard, one stud pumping into her from behind while the other humped her face from her front. They weren’t too careful or gentle, either. Once they felt their cocks slithering inside her, they worked their bodies in perfect unison, rocking Jean’s body back and forth with every motion.

It wasn’t too rough, but it wasn’t too gentle either. It was just raw and chaotic. That did plenty heighten Madelyne’s arousal, as well. As she watched, she fondled her breast through her lingerie and slipped her other hand into her panties so she could finger herself.

“Ooh! This will do the trick. I’ll be nice and wet for your husband when the time comes,” she said.

Jean only caught a brief glimpse of her clone as she moved to the pace of the hard fucking. The reference of Scott, along with the sight of her fondling herself, triggered a reaction in her mind that quickly flowed to her body. With one cock slithering between her lips and the other pounding into her pussy, the chaotic sensations sent her body past a point of no return.

“Mmmffff!” Jean cried, her voice muffled by the cock in her mouth.

It was difficult to hear over the creatures’ hissing and Madelyne’s moans, but it still happened. She had an orgasm. Her face grew flushed, her legs buckled, and her vaginal muscles contracted hard. It was more like a reflex rather than a culmination. A switch inside her just flipped, her body going into autopilot.

The release of pleasure that followed was intense. It was too intense to be a real, natural orgasm born through desire and passion. It felt so synthetic, like a drug being injected into her body to perfectly mirror an orgasm. It was hardly satisfying. It was just unordered pleasure that clouded her mind, overwhelmed her body, and weakened her spirit. The only one who took satisfaction in it was the Goblin Queen.

“Ha! She already came. She’s an even bigger slut than I thought,” Madelyne laughed, “not that there’s anything wrong with that.”

The Summers Studs laughed too. Some even got more excited, waving their erect dicks in front of Jean, a few even hitting her face. If she weren’t too lost in her orgasm, she would’ve been disgusted.

“But don’t let her have all the fun!” the devious redhead called out to the creatures. “Go on! Fill her holes with your cum! I programmed your dicks to shoot multiple loads and stay hard!”

The two Summers studs fucking her quickened the pace, even before Jean’s climax had passed. She could barley stand, forcing the stud behind her to grab her waist and hold her up. It allowed for even more leverage as he pumped into her pussy, eventually crossing that same threshold as she had.

The one holding onto her shoulders did the same, humping her face harder and faster. As he neared that threshold as well, he shifted his hands to the side of her face, holding them firmly as he prepared for his release. As their strong, yet unaffectionate hands gripped her flesh, the two Summers Studs climaxed.

“Jeeaaannn!” both creatures exclaimed in perfect unison.

What Jean felt next furthered her descent into this dark, perverse lust. The Summers Stud behind her came first, thrusting his cock in deep as he released a thick load seminal fluid into her womb. The one in front of her followed soon after, pulling out slightly so that he could spray part of his load down her throat and the other part onto her face.

“Agghh!” Jean gagged, gasping for air as the fluid dribbled down her chin.

It was so hot, thick, and messy. She tried not to swallow, but there was just too much. She tried not to savor the salty taste, either. It was too late. Their cum was in her and, like the orgasm she just had, it did not feel natural. On top of being repulsive, having these creatures come inside her, the fluid in her mouth and in her womb had another effect. She felt it manifest even as her orgasm subsided.

“Oohhh!” Jean moaned. “What’s happening? I feel so…”

“Don’t bother describing it. You’ll just hurt your brain even more,” Madelyne said. “It’s a little something extra I put in their man juices. Think of it as a failsafe, in case getting gangbanged wasn’t disorienting enough.”

Jean tried to respond. She opened her mouth, but no words came out. The two Summers Studs inside her pulled out and let go of her, allowing their strange fluids to drop down her face and inner thighs. She tried to stand under her own power, but her legs gave way. She fell to the metal floor where she was barely able to hold herself up.

It was as though parts of her brain had been numbed. Any area that didn’t have to do with sex, pleasure, and lust was turned off while those that did went into overdrive. It rendered her unable to speak, act, or think clearly. If she had any lingering thoughts of resisting her torment, they were now long gone.

“Those chemicals in their cum…they do more than give you that hot, sexy feeling of getting filled after a hard fuck,” Madelyne continued. “They also act as depressants. They hinder your ability to think or react. Even if you wanted to escape, you couldn’t string enough thoughts together to even try.”

It was devious, yet cunning. It rendered Jean even more powerless. Much of her faculties had already been tempered. She was still fully conscious, but she could only process feelings associated with sex. Her husband, her powers, and her greater desires were completely superseded. That was exactly what Madelyne needed.

“It’s another lesson I learned from Emma Frost,” Madelyne added as Jean looked back with her vacant gaze. “Bombarding her with sex, pleasure, and desires…it only went so far. But my goal with her was to bend her to my will. With you, I’m content to let you get fucked to death…very content, in fact.”

Her lurid undertone did not go unnoticed by the other Summers Studs. They got the message from their queen. They were to keep ravaging Jean Grey. They had no other purpose or desire.

Jean, still breathing heavily and lost in her dark daze, just looked up to see plenty more studs with fully erect cocks. They all continued leering and hissing at her, their insatiable lust for her now abundantly clear. She gave no more thought towards Madelyne Pryor. From that moment forward, her only focus was having more sex.

“Please…fuck me again,” she said, her voice weak and flat.

Several Summers Studs eagerly obliged. One got down on the floor with her, grabbed her by the shoulders, and pulled her on top of her so that she straddled his waist, cowgirl style. Another got behind her, pushed her over, and knelt down so that his cock aligned perfectly with her asshole. Two more stood in front of her, presenting their erect dicks to her face. With no hesitation or forethought, she began sucking one and stroking the other.

“Jean!” the two creatures hissed.

Moments after she had another cock between her lips, the Summers Stud under her thrust into her vagina. Right after he entered her, the one behind thrust into her asshole. In her overly aroused state, she barely felt any discomfort. If there had been any, it quickly got washed out by the onslaught of pleasure that followed.

It was even more chaotic than the first round. The two studs fucking her pussy and ass were rougher than before. They pumped their manly flesh into her with perfect coordination, their rigid cocks slithering effortlessly within her tight holes. As she bounced and rocked to their sex, Jean alternated between sucking one of the cocks in front of her while stroking the other. Like the creatures, there was no skill or tact to such lurid acts.

It was not the kind of passionate sex that Jean had come to cherish.

It was a sloppy, messy, crude outpouring of lust worthy of a sex-crazed slut.

“Mmm…cock! So much cock! I want it! I want it…so bad!” Jean said in her slurred tone.

The Summers Studs screeched and laughed with glee. Even those not fucking her seemed to take pleasure in her descent. They wanted to ravage her and she wanted to be ravaged. It was a perverse, but powerful cycle.

The ravenous humping quickly led to another orgasm for Jean. It built up quickly, reflexes once again taking over as it approached. She rode their dicks faster, sucked the ones in front of her harder, and shuddered erratically as waves of hot pleasure washed over her. She barely got out a muffled moan due to the Summers Stud humping her face, grabbing onto her head so she could barely move. The creatures appeared to sense her latest climax, hissing and cheering as she withed like a sex crazed whore.

It dulled her senses even more. It also prompted the Summers Studs to fuck her even harder. The two in front of her, taking turns getting blown, began stroking their cocks while she sucked them. Jean barely finished processing her orgasm when one of the creatures climaxed again. Like the first, he shoved his dick in deep when he came. As she gagged on his length, he shot a thick stream of cum right down her throat. Its salty taste and potent side-effects quickly followed.

While Jean ingested every last drop of the creatures jizz, the one next to him went off as well. He stroked his cock hard, letting out an orgasmic hiss as he shot his thick load onto her face and breasts. It didn’t have the same effect, but it raised the bar for debauchery even more.

“Mmm…Jean,” the creatures hissed, seeing her get fucked in all holes and covered in cum.

She just looked up at them with her vacant eyes. When the creature who just came in her mouth pulled out, she coughed up a bit of his cum. However, Jean didn’t get much time to catch her breath. The two studs fucking her pussy and ass came too.

“Jean!” they both screeched with orgasmic glee.

The two Summers Studs gasped onto her naked flesh as they climaxed. The one under her grabbed her breasts while the one behind her grabbed her throat and pulled her head back. Together, they savored her womanly flesh. Their hard cocks throbbed inside her depths, filling her pussy and ass with another load of jizz. That double dose of chemically altered cum rendered Jean utterly subdued.

She was past the point of no return. There was no escaping or fighting this off. These creatures were going to fuck her to death and she was going to beg for it.

“More sex. More dick. More…” Jean managed to get out before her words trailed off.

The Summers Studs heeded her decadent cries. Moments after the two studs inside her finished depositing their loads, one particularly aggressive stud shoved two others out of the way to get to her. He was both rough and direct, grabbing Jean by the shoulders and effectively pulling her off to two cocks inside her.

The next thing she knew, the creature pinned her on her back, forced himself between her legs, and held her wrists to the floor in an act of complete submission. Jean barely had time to recover, streams of sexual fluids still dripping from her ass and vagina. All she could do was look up at the demonic expression of the Summers Stud on top of her, her expression devoid of any feelings beyond lust.

The creature looked back with unbridled lust of his own. With a monstrous grin, he thrust his hips forward and entered her still-throbbing pussy with his cock. Once inside her womanly thrust, he began humping her hard and fast. Her body shook and her breasts bounced with each motion. It was so rough and dominating. The creature held her down as though she were just a mindless fuck toy, relishing her complete subjugation to this feeling.

“Jeeaaan!” the Summers Stud on top of her howled.

“Jean! Jean! Jean!” the others cheered.

The chorus of lecherous leers echoed alongside the sounds of naked flesh clashing with naked flesh. It was a scene of nightmarish decadence. However, Jean had since stopped processing things like fear, disgust, or despair anymore. The only parts of her brain and body that remained active were the ones necessary to keep the raucous sex going.

Some went into overdrive. Despite the escalating roughness of the sex, Jean achieved orgasm again. The Summers Stud fucking her hardly noticed. He just kept hammering away, even as her body writhed with orgasmic onslaughts. Eventually, the creature came too, filling her pussy with more cum and more its perverse effects.

“Don’t…stop,” Jean stammered, those effects manifesting into words.

It was hard to hear over all the hissing and screeching, but the Summers Studs still got the message. More shoved their way to the front of the pack, eager for their share of ravenous sex.

Two eager creatures managed to get to the front of the pack. They were just as rough as their predecessor, shoving aside the Summers Stud on top of her, even as his dick dripped with sexual fluids. Jean got a brief reprieve, but in her current state, she barely moved. That didn’t bother the lustful creatures.

They eagerly repositioned her body for more sex. One grabbed her hips and flipped her over so that she was on all fours. The other got in front of her, grabbed her shoulders, pulled her up slightly, and shoved his cock between her breast. While he began tit-fucking her, the one behind opted to thrust his cock into her asshole. Having endured a previous round of anal, the transition was smooth. Jean was soon rocking to a fresh round of ravenous sex.

“Hnn…my ass. My tits. My body,” Jean muttered.

Her disjointed musings were quickly silenced by more Summer Studs getting in on the action. While one creature continued tit-fucking her, two more moved in closer so she could give them blowjobs or jerk them off. Jean did so without hesitation, her body and mind on autopilot at this point. It led her to yet another orgasm, but even a fresh wave of pleasure did little to temper her lust. She was prepared to keep fucking and get fucked every which way until her last breath.

“Beautiful,” said the Goblin Queen, still watching from afar. “It’s decadent, dirty, wrong, lurid, and depraved. And yet, it’s so…”

The devious redhead had to stop herself. She’d been touching and fingering herself so intently that she almost climaxed on the spot. As much as she enjoyed taking pleasure in Jean Grey-Summers’ utter defeat, Madelyne preferred to bide her time. She intended to save the bulk of the ecstasy for Scott Summers and the promise of true fulfillment.

“Best not get too ahead of myself,” she said with a humored grin. “There will be plenty of time for that, soon enough.”

Catching her breath, the Goblin Queen removed her hand from her panties and fixed her lingerie. After smoothing out the wrinkles and fixing her hair, she cast Jean one last taunting glare. It was hard to even see her through the see of Summers Studs. She doubted the other redhead could hear over the grunting, hissing, and moaning. That didn’t stop her from appreciating this moment.

“Keep fucking, Jean! Fuck to the flesh falls off your bones!” the Goblin Queen said to them. “That’s your only purpose now. Think of it as your last insight…your final perspective. You may not find it satisfying. For once, that your problem. I know what I need. And it’s time I finally seize it!”

The devious redhead took one last look at Jean. She was now being held up off the floor, sandwiched between two Summers Studs while getting double penetrated from both ends. It looked like she was going to climax again, but her gaze was so flat it was hard to tell. There was nothing left aside from her insatiable lust. That assured Madelyne that this marked the last time she would have to deal with her predecessor.

Turning away, she casually exited the null chamber. She was ready, eager, and in control of everything around her. Jean was already doomed to her fate. Now, it was time for the Goblin Queen to face hers.

Skies Over The Atlantic Ocean

“Attention all vessels! This is Captain America. Whether you’re SHIELD, Avengers, X-Men, or just close friends…listen up! We’re closing in on the coordinates. The beacons that Scott and Jean-Grey Summers willingly had planted are active. That means they’re alive, but assume they’re in trouble. Moments ago, X-Corp and Dr. Strange confirmed this. As I speak, a large force of Hand sentries, alien entities, and supernatural monsters has assembled. They’re fortifying their position just outside of Whiltshire near Strong Henge. That means two things. They’re expecting an attack. And they’re guarding something important. We’ve assembled a large force of our own…a force full of close personal connections. Let that be our greatest strength as we head into this battle!”

Captain America had a knack for inspirational speeches. Some claimed it was the only superhuman ability the super soldier serum didn’t give him. Nearly everyone who’d fought by his side agreed with that.

Emma Frost had never sided with him, the Avengers, or anyone near that decent. Everyone involved with the Hellfire Club and the inner Circle were the antithesis of Captain America. It was strange, but refreshing. Hearing him make that announcement from the bridge of the Quinjet got everyone he assembled on the same page. Looking out from the window of a SHIELD transport jet, which flew close behind the Avengers’ famous aircraft, the White Queen marveled at the force X-Corp assembled on such short notice.

‘Close connections, indeed. I doubt they’ve slept with everyone here, but I can sense they’ve made an impression…a very big impression,’ Emma mused to herself. ‘The X-Men, the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, SHIELD, the Sorcerer Supreme, and a few others I’ve never heard of…I knew Scott and Jean got around, but this is really something. Now, I’m part of it. And I’m still not sure on the extent of that part.’

Emma had kept to herself since the response to Scott and Jean’s not-so-subtle departure. Moments after they took off in a fiery display of cosmic force, Tony Stark coordinated with Hank McCoy to lock onto their tracking implants. The inherent chaos of power like the Phoenix Force made that difficult, but Dr. Strange’s assistance allowed them to secure the location of their friends. It set the stage for a final showdown against the Goblin Queen.

For someone capable of drawing in the Phoenix Force, they assembled more than usual. Tony Stark put out the call to the Avengers and SHIELD. Hank McCoy put out the call to the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, and various other allies they had made in recent years. That even included the likes of Spider-Man and Elektra, two individuals not known for joining in on these large-scale battles. Scott and Jean’s abduction was really that personal for them.

Moments after the call went out, SHIELD mobilized a series of large transports. Shuttles dropped by X-Corp Headquarters and various other sites, picking up those who needed a quick ride to the battle site. Nick Fury and Elizabeth Braddock of Excalibur even called in favors to the British government, evacuating the area and creating a massive perimeter around Stone Henge. By the time every transport shuttle was in the air and flying behind the Quinjet at supersonic speeds, the site was ready for a full-blown attack.

“Tell Cap to save the rest of that speech for when we land,” said Tony, who flew alongside a shuttle in his Iron Man suit. “I just got some fresh images from some Starktech Satellites. That force he mentioned is much larger than he let on. Seriously, I’m seeing hordes of creatures that look too ugly for Hell.”

“You don’t know how right you are, Anthony,” said Dr. Strange, who was in one of the shuttles mediating in preparation for the battle. “I’ve been observing the area around Stone Henge since we departed. That place has always been ripe with mystic energies, but this level of chaos is unprecedented.”

“And when a wizard says something is unprecedented, you know it’s crazy,” Tony added.

“Call it what you will, gentlemen. We’ll have to plow through in order to get to our friends,” said Hank McCoy from the pilot’s seat. “I keep checking the signal from their tracker. It’s still coming in loud and clear.”

“That means they’re alive, right?” said Warren anxiously, who sat in the seat behind Hank.

“Yes,” he affirmed, “but that reveals nothing about their current state. We must assume they’re in a distressed state.”

“How distressed?” asked Bobby intently, who sat next to Warren.

“I do not know,” said Hank grimly, “which I find quite troubling.”

“Trust me. You’re better off not knowing,” Emma said under her breath.

They didn’t hear her. She was sitting behind the cockpit in one of the passenger’s seats. That had been her choice. She opted to sit alone and let them carry out the business of being heroes. She used to scoff at that line of work, but now it was critical. It also wasn’t quite as comprehensive as she’d hoped.

“I just wish I knew why Professor Xavier isn’t answering our call,” said Hank. “He must know by now that we’re approaching the site.”

“I keep ringing him. The response is the same,” said Tony. “He’ll be there, but he’s gotta take care of something first.”

“What the hell could that mean?” Warren wondered, not hiding his frustration. “He knows this is big. He promised Scott and Jean he would be part of this fight with them. Now, they’re in trouble and he’s got other priorities?”

“I’m sure it’s not like that, Warren,” said Hank. “These are his first students. He cares for them as much as we do. I’m sure he has a valid reason for diverting his attention.”

“He damn well better,” said Bobby. “Everything Frost told us about this woman makes me wanna puke. A crazy clone with demon armies and mutant monsters? This is something the X-Men need to be part of!”

“I don’t disagree, Robert. We’ll have to trust that our friends will be there when the time comes…although I hope they make time to share that reason with us.”

“They should,” said Bobby with folded arms. “It’s not every day the X-Men team up with Earth’s Mightiest Heroes like this. We have a chance to fight by their side and save our friends! It feels like something we should take seriously. And that’s coming from me.”

“Bobby Drake, talking about taking things seriously?” remarked Warren. “Now, I’m really worried.”

The mood in the shuttle grew tense. Hank remained focused on flying the shuttle while Warren kept trying to contact Professor Xavier and the X-Men. Nothing came through and the clock was ticking. According to the plan that Captain America had hatched with Tony, their attack was set to begin in a little over an hour.

Emma had her part to play, but she stopped short of aligning herself with any team or group. She thrust herself into this battle as a means of vengeance and self-preservation. She sought to get back at the Goblin Queen for what she did to her and to take her down before she saw the former White Queen as a loose end. Those motivations evolved with each passing moment.

‘It’s all so personal for them,’ Emma pondered, still gazing out the window. ‘No promises, transactions, or blackmail necessary. They all genuinely care. And here I was thinking I’d have to bribe, extort, or blow someone to be on the front lines.’

It was unexpected and even a little humorous. Emma didn’t expect to be part of such a large, diverse rescue effort. She’d entered this fight with the sole intention of taking down the Goblin Queen. Initially, it was selfish. Emma was just looking to neutralize someone who’d hurt her and had plenty of incentive to do so again, having escaped her clutches. That was all there was to it, from her perspective.

Then, she got to know Scott and Jean-Grey Summers. Emma even told them outright that she didn’t seek to be among their many connections, intimate or otherwise. She sought to remain a callous, independent agent. The White Queen ultimately betrayed her own words.

It didn’t start or end with her having sex with Scott. It all seemed to cascade after she made a small connection with someone who hadn’t set out to screw her over or see her naked. Emma wasn’t sure if that had been a grave mistake or the best decision she ever made. Only time would tell.

The former White Queen was content to stare out the window, watching other transport jets fly alongside the Quinjet as they neared their destination. A rematch with the Goblin Queen should remain her primary focus. She couldn’t afford to start second-guessing her decisions at this point.

“I know that look,” came an unexpected voice. “Either your head’s not in the game or you’re playing the wrong sport. That’s not the kind of distraction you can afford right now.”

Emma groaned and rolled her eyes. In the reflection of the window, she saw Carol Danvers enter the passenger area. She hadn’t been on board when they took off. Her Kree tech helmet was still on, indicating she’d been flying through the darkening skies alongside Tony. Having avoided unnecessary acquaintances since she arrived at X-Corp, the former White Queen didn’t appreciate her comments.

She also didn’t like non-telepaths trying to read her mind. It just annoyed her to no end.

“I’m not distracted,” Emma said flatly. “Worry about your own damn part in this looming cataclysm of crazy.”

“It’s only a cataclysm if we don’t come out on top. And I never assume we won’t,” Carol said with folded arms as she retracted her Kree mask.

“Am I supposed to respect such brash confidence?”

“I don’t give a damn what you respect, Frost. You’ve already demonstrated how little you care when you barged into X-Corp uninvited. A lot of people may still see me as an Avenger, but I’ve developed some important personal ties since I left…most of them through X-Corp.”

“Translation…you’ve slept with Scott Summers, Jean, or both,” Emma quipped. “I’m guessing both.”

“Speak for yourself,” Carol retorted. “You wouldn’t have that look in the first place if you were as cold as you pretend to be. I’m guessing you only slept with Scott. Because if you slept with both of them, you’d be just as confident as me right now.”

That remark left Emma even more annoyed. She turned to scold the other blonde standing before her. She looked so smug, staring back with folded arms, wearing that fancy Captain Marvel uniform. Emma was used to being on the other side of that glare. It didn’t help that Carol had just surmised something she’d attempted to hide.

Her sleeping with Scott Summers had been an unplanned moment, born of an unexpected choice. She didn’t need others scrutinizing that choice, especially someone like Carol Danvers. She was both a former Avenger and one of X-Corp’s most powerful defenders, in more than one way. She probably didn’t appreciate Emma circumventing her completely in getting to Scott and Jean, either.

“Suddenly, I miss the old leotard and waist sash from your Ms. Marvel years,” Emma said condescendingly. “At least with that, I could guess how much of that confidence was self-delusion.”

“Keep criticizing my choice of fashion. You’ll just keep proving my point,” Carol said, still dead serious. “You show you’d rather attack me than admit I’m right.”

“Believe me, Danvers. If I were to attack you, I wouldn’t be this cordial.”

“And I wouldn’t be this accommodating. So, we’re both out of our comfort zone. Guess we have that in common too.”

“Assume that’s where the list ends,” Emma said more apprehensively, urging the other woman with her scold to leave it at that.

“Sorry, but even my confidence only goes so far,” the former Avenger said. “Seeing you look out the window…as though we’re all just one big inconvenience to you…I have a problem with that.”

“I have problems too. And they take far greater precedent. That, I won’t apologize for.”

“I didn’t expect you to,” Carol said, “and I was going to wait until after the fight to bust your chops. But I decided to be proactive. Breaking into X-Corp and barging in on Scott and Jean – and on their sex night, no less – that really bothers me. They’re not just friends, co-workers and confidantes. I owe them a lot.”

“I’m sure you do,” Emma said, rolling her eyes.

“I mean it, Frost. And I’m not just referring to the sex.”

Carol sat down in the seat across from her. She kept gazing at her with a stern look that could only come from someone who’d spent too much time in the Air Force or working alongside the Avengers. She was the last person Emma cared to relate to, especially at a time like this.

However, Emma didn’t have the energy to tell her off. She had to save the bulk of her focused hate for Madelyne Pryor. She’d made no secret of that. Most respected it. Leave it to Carol Danvers to be that inconsiderate.

“You may think this is all about you,” Carol went on. “Given your history of shameless self-interest, you may see this whole thing as a glorified business deal.”

“Congratulations,” Emma quipped dryly. “You’ve been listening to everything I’ve said, as though I’ve made everything so ambiguous.”

“I’m also no stranger to how Scott and Jean affect people,” she continued. “They don’t always have to sleep with them to get that effect, but it certainly gets the point across.”

“That’s one way of describing it,” Emma said under her breath.

Carol leaned forward, narrowing her gaze on the former White Queen. She was still serious, but a hint of something deeper came out through her demeanor.

“Not long ago, I had that same look and a similar attitude,” she said strongly. “You and I may be very different.”

That’s putting it lightly,” Emma said.

“But you don’t end up as this crass, cold-hearted bitch without falling into a dark place at some point. I know because I’ve dealt with plenty of them. I’ve ended up punching or blasting most of them.”

“So, why am I still in one piece? It’s not like I haven’t given you plenty of reasons, Danvers.”

“Because I’ve been in that dark place too,” Carol said strongly. “I haven’t forgotten what it was like. It would’ve been so easy to just retreat into it, put up a bunch of walls, and tell anyone who got close to fuck off. I was ready to make that choice. If I had left the Avengers like I’d planned to do, that’s probably what I would’ve done. And who the hell knows how far behind the curve I’d be now.”

The strength in her tone faltered. Emma could sense her thoughts drifting back to Scott and Jean. In that moment, the stern woman who’d once flown fighter jets and battled Ultron came down to Earth. She had the same concern and vulnerabilities as any other human who had genuine concern for someone they cared about.

That kind of humanity was something the Hellfire Club frowned upon. Emma once went out of her way to shove it down into the deepest recesses of her soul. She was just starting to realize how incomplete her efforts had been as the White Queen.

“Except, I made another choice…one I didn’t know was a choice before Scott and Jean entered the picture,” Carol said after a brief pause.

“Was that before or after the sex?” said Emma, still hiding her sentiments behind a crass tone.

“Before,” she said, her tone serious and sincere. “To that point, everyone else tried to pull me out of that dark place. As though I needed to be rescued a second time from that coma. It really pissed me off.”

“So, what did they do differently?” Emma asked.

“Something I’m guessing you only got a taste of,” Carol answered. “Instead of trying to save me, they offered a new perspective…a different way of looking at things. They helped me take a step back. I looked at where I was and how I got there…and how much I hated it. Even if they hadn’t offered me a gig at X-Corp, they still gave me an opportunity…one that I had to choose for myself if I was going to make the most of it.”

The former Avenger paused again. This time, Emma made no crass remarks. She was tempted, but opted not to this time. She hadn’t interacted with Scott and Jean Grey-Summers that much since returning from Limbo. She could already attest to the impact they had on others when they shared their perspective, including the non-sexual parts. Carol was just one of many who’d felt that impact. Emma was starting to feel it too.

“I eventually came out of that dark place,” Carol went on. “I left Ms. Marvel behind. I went onto become Captain Marvel. I still have my demons, but I’ve learned to rise above them.”

“Demons…very poor choice of words, Danvers,” Emma remarked.

“Duly noted,” she replied with a half-grin, “but as someone who came out of that dark place and got stronger because of it…at least try to appreciate that same perspective. You might be real comfortable in that place right now. You might even have plans to stay there when all this is over. What I’m telling you – as someone who’s been there and someone who has to fight this battle with you – don’t get too locked in. Be ready to make different choices. Scott and Jean helped me realize that. And that’s why I’ll fight like hell for them!”

Emma Frost turned back towards the window briefly. It helped hide how much Carol’s words resonated with her current state of mind. She didn’t have much in common with her, a former Air Force pilot and Avenger. There weren’t many circumstances in which their paths would ever cross. Getting a nuanced perspective from her, of all people, seemed laughable.

However, Emma could not just scoff it away. The woman she was before she encountered Madelyne Pryor might have been able to do that with ease, but not this time around. What Scott told her, even in the moments leading up to their sex, still echoed within her mind. What Carol told her made it resonate even more.

Emma had tried to set all that aside in order to focus on the Goblin Queen. That might not have been possible at this point. The more she tried, the more it burdened her. It led her to wonder what challenges and choices awaited her in the coming battle.

“And yes, by the way. They also give me damn good sex,” Carol added with a humored grin, which significantly lightened the mood.

“On that, we can agree,” said Emma, looking back with a similar grin.

“Hopefully, that’s not the only thing we’ll agree on when all is said and done.”

“We’ll see, darling. I’m assuming more than a few complications before the Goblin Queen falls.”

Carol nodded and kept grinning. They were finally on the same page. That made Emma somewhat less anxious about the upcoming battle. She still had a plan in place to take on the Goblin Queen. She still intended to see it through. However, certain parts of that plan might require changes. Those changes also meant other choices, some of which she had to make soon. A final showdown against the Goblin Queen would have little room for error.

As she mulled over the many challenges that awaited, a sudden surge in activity came from the cockpit. A couple sensors went off on a console. However, the shuttle wasn’t shaking or crashing. That was usually a promising sign.

“Oh my! We just got a new radar signature and it’s coming up fast,” said Hank.

“Is it shooting at us? Because usually when that happens, they shoot at us,” Bobby pointed out.

“Relax, Robert,” he assured his former teammate. “I’d recognize that signature anywhere. It’s the X-jet!”

“Finally!” said Warren. “Where the hell have they been?”

The mood in the shuttle, as well as the assembled force outside, shifted considerably. Emma, along with many curious onlookers, watched as the X-Jet flew out ahead of the pack. It soared over Quinjet, the Fantasticar, and Iron Man. Their flying style seemed a bit reckless, but their presence was welcome.

“Whoa there! Ease up on the afterburner, X-Men,” said Iron Man, who narrowly avoided the wing of the X-Jet. “We’re glad you all made it, but you’re tardy as hell. We’ve got a hell of a battle ahead of us…literally, if you believe the sat photos.”

“Our apologies, Iron Man. I promise we have a good reason for arriving late,” said the distinct voice of Storm over the intercoms.

“Good enough for me,” said Hank from the cockpit, already sounding more confident.

“I appreciate the confidence, Hank. But you’ll need to know the details. Before we could depart Westchester, something came up. It has required us to significantly alter our tactics.”

“That a good thing, right?” Bobby wondered.

“Is it ever good when we have to adapt on the fly?” groaned Warren.

Before anyone could further comment, Dr. Strange unexpectedly emerged from his meditative state. His eyes shot open and the glowing Eye of Agamotto flashed bright green. His reaction was even stronger than Hank’s, but for a very different reason.

“By the Vishanti!” Dr. Strange gasped. “This might be it. This could be glimmer of light we need to forge a new fate.”

His comments only added to the confusion.

“Um…okay, now I’m even more confused,” Bobby commented.

“That makes two of us,” said Hank.

While the Sorcerer Supreme reacted, returning to his meditative state, more transmissions came in. From the sound of it, Storm was broadcasting to every transport they had assembled. What she had to say must have been important. Against a foe like the Goblin Queen, they needed every tactical advantage, regardless of the source.

“Friends and allies – new and old, alike – listen closely!” Storm said through the intercom. “As I speak, Charles Xavier is fighting another battle with Nightcrawler and Rogue assisting him. They will rejoin us soon, but we must be prepared for when they do. I am being quite serious when I say the outcome of this battle – as well as the future that unfolds beyond it – hangs in the balance!”

Jamaica Bay, New York City

There were certain places that few in the X-Men cared to revisit. Sites like the Savage Land, Krakoa, and Atlantis were among them. Their missions had taken them to many areas of conflict throughout the world and beyond. Even when those missions succeeded, the X-Men often left hoping they never had a reason to return.

Just a few hours earlier, Jamaica Bay was one of those sites. That fateful body of water had been the location of the crashed Starcore Shuttle. Every X-men who had been on that fateful shuttle remembered vividly how they nearly perished while guiding it back to Earth. Were it not for the efforts of Jean Grey, they never would’ve survived.

That incident had since gained far greater meaning. In addition to the shuttle crashing, it was also the site where Jean and Scott had first embraced the Phoenix Force. That cosmic power had since become a major influence in their lives. Even though many of those influences were positive, the process was still harrowing. It was quite telling that neither they nor the X-Men had revisited Jamaica Bay since that fateful night.

“Vhere it began is also vhere ve must return,” mused a restless, but focused Nightcrawler. “Sometimes, God’s love is rivaled only by his fondness for irony.”

Like the rest of his team, Kurt Wagner had no inclination to return to Jamaica Bay for any reason. Even after the Starcore Shuttle was hauled away by the Avengers, he was content to let it and all memories associated with this lone body of water remain in the past. Now, he was standing at the bow of a large trolly boat, courtesy of Professor Xavier’s old friend, Dr. Peter Corbeau.

“Hey Nightcralwer!” he called out from within the main deck. “I just received another wind advisory from the Coast Guard. They’re encouraging all ships to return to port within the next two hours.”

“Ve’ll return vhen ve find vhat we’re looking for, Doctor,” Nightcrawler replied. “You heard vhat zhe Professor said. Ve must locate zhe item as soon as possible!”

“I’ve known the man longer than you. I could hear the urgency, too. In fact, I can’t recall a time when he was more serious,” Corbeau replied.

“If only you knew zhe whole story, mein friend,” Nightcrawler said under his breath.

“But sinking my best underwater retrieval vessel is not a good way to return a favor. Don’t get me wrong. I’m grateful that the X-Men saved my life with the Starcore Shuttle. But I’d like to keep some of my vessels in one piece.”

Nightcrawler understood Dr. Corbeau’s hesitancy to put more his advanced equipment at risk. However, he was the only one with the resources they needed to carry out this revised plan to defeat the Goblin Queen. Armed with the valuable hindsight offered by Kate Pryde, they a rare advantage on their side. For the sake of the future, they needed to take advantage of it.

“It was the hardest lesson we learned that day. It didn’t become clear until years later, but it came to haunt us and everyone we cared about. We attacked the Goblin Queen, thinking our connections and passions would be enough. We were wrong. We so tragically wrong!”

Nightcrawler vividly remembered the tears in Kate’s eyes when she recounted that lesson. Even though she was in the body of young Kitty Pryde – an otherwise lovable and spirited teenage girl – he felt her sorrow. He and the rest of the team realized the stakes were greater. Their battle against the Goblin Queen would go onto define them, as well as their future.

Having learned his fate within that future, Nightcrawler was as motivated as the others to change it. Still gazing over the stern of the boat, the cold waters getting choppier by the minute, he prayed for a better outcome.

“Dear God,” he said as he bowed his head, “please give us zhe strength for vhat awaits us. Guide us vith your love and compassion as ve fight to regain control of our fate. I still have faith in your plan. And I know zhis devil of a woman is not part of it.”

As the devout Catholic prayed, the skies overhead grew darker. The sun had not yet set, but storm clouds had rolled in. They were coming in faster than the Coast Guard’s estimate had indicated. He sensed a growing unease among Dr. Corbeau and his crew.

Since the Professor dropped him and his old friend off at the docks, they’d been hard at work, scanning Jamaica Bay with advanced sonar equipment. They focused primarily on the shuttle crash site. While the Professor didn’t tell him the specifics of what they were looking for – if only to prevent word from getting out and finding its way to the Goblin Queen – he assured them they would know it when they saw it.

Nightcrawler, who had been privy to some of those specifics, remained uneasy. Enlisting the help of an ally they’d assisted before was the easiest part. Finding what they needed in time was much harder. What they had to do afterwards was, by far, the most important.

“Kurt, I know you’re a man of God. And for the record, I lost my faith long ago…along with a lot of dear friends. For us to have a chance, you’ll have to be as strong as your faith. You’ll have to push yourself in ways you’ve never attempted. But I believe in you! And I believe you’ll be right where you need to be when the time comes.”

That heartfelt vote of confidence struck Nightcrawler to his very soul. She asked of him a certain feat that he had never done before, but Kate claimed he’d done so regularly in the future. He had to have as much faith in her as he did any higher power.

A lot was riding on him, as well as her and the Professor. So many things had to go right to avoid the horrible future that Kate had described. Faith gave them strength, but that couldn’t be their only asset in the coming battle against the Goblin Queen.

“Whoa! That’s an unusual sight,” yelled one of the deck hands near the starboard side of the boat.

“That’s more than unusual,” said another.

His ears perking up, Nightcrawler turned around and rushed to the side of the ship. He quickly saw what had caught the men’s attention.

There was something in the water causing strange waves and ripples. It didn’t look natural. It was like a mix of heat and unseen forces swirling together in a chaotic mix. Some of the other hands had to blink a few times, just to be sure their eyes weren’t deceiving them. Nightcrawler was already certain.

“Mein Gott,” he said. “It’s here!”

As others gathered to take in the phenomenon, Dr. Corbeau came rushing out again. He was every bit as astonished, but still moved with great urgency.

“Nightcrawler! We just picked up a signature unlike anything I’ve ever seen before,” Dr. Corbeau said. “The energy readings are all over the place. The saline current disruptions alone defy the laws of physics. Please don’t tell me this is what we’ve been looking for.”

“I’m sorry to disappoint, Doctor. But this is it,” Nightcrawler said with an excited grin.

It might not have been the news Dr. Corbeau had hoped for, but it was critical for the X-Men’s mission. With renewed energy, Nightcrawler teleported up to the main deck next to the Professor’s old friend. He quickly drew his attention and guided him back towards the main controls.

“Ve must hurry!” he told him. “Tell your crew to activate zhe retrieval gear. Ve must get it to zhe surface and into a containment unit at once!”

“I can give that command, but I’ll need more than a gesture of faith, Nightcrawler,” Dr. Corbeau said. “Tell me what we’re looking at here. And tell me why Professor Xavier needs it while you’re at it.”

The older man was both overwhelmed and curious. Nightcrawler couldn’t blame him. He’d already seen some uncanny sights during his time with Charles Xavier. This might be the most astonishing to date.

As the rest of the crew watched on, the activity in the water intensified. Within the various waves and ripples, a fiery light appeared within the depths. It looked similar to the flames the X-Men had witnessed during their first encounter with the Phoenix Force, but this one had a different hue. It also had a distinct crystalline shape. The brighter it got, the clearer it became.

It was like a divine light, giving them the ray of hope they needed to win the day. Nighcrawler, who appreciated all things divine more than most, smiled with renewed confidence. In addition to his faith, his friends now had the tools they needed to win the present and the future.

“I’m sorry ve can only tell you so much, mien friend,” said Nightcrawler. “All you need to know is that zhe X-Men need zhe M’Krann Crystal shard for vhat lies before us. Our future and our souls depend on it!”

Up next: Conceived Chaos

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