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Old October 20th, 2012, 10:43 AM
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Re: C3G Promotions Dept. - October is Fantastic w/ an Extra

The release date is revealed within the story by Johnny and Lord Pyre.

And btw, don't forget to submit your Halloween Costumes.

Enjoy! And as always Happy Scaping!

9:39 AM EDT | 10/22/12

"How are you feeling, Jean?"

The mutant winces, clutching her head inside a large helmet, tangle of wires connecting it to a supercomputer the size of a small home. "Absolutely fantastic..."

"Well, hopefully we can figure this one out. Charles' methods aren't quite as, let's say, traditional as mine, so I'd bet this is serious. Just be sure to tell me if you feel any changes."

"I know, Dr. Richards. I just can't figure out what's happening. Even if I couldn't understand what went on in my head, the Professor was always able to figure it out."

Reed Richards pauses by his computer, designed - on an otherwise unoccupied afternoon a few years prior - to interpret various brainwaves. "We can figure this out: you have my word." Professor Charles Xavier sent word late last week that he detected serious psychic vibrations from Jean Grey; insofar as he could tell, they were caused by something in the timestream, but not even the Professor could unravel their meaning. His first attempt was fruitless, and the second nearly put him into a coma before he pulled back. Perhaps, he thought, if a mind couldn't handle a psychic attack, a computer, without a mind to scramble, could sort through the visions.

"Agh... my head! It's... it's getting worse...!"

"Alright," said Richards, eyes still glued to half a dozen different screens, "the machine is running. Now, Jean, I want you to try to think as clearly as you can about what's in there. Stay calm and focus."

"I HAVE been! I've been... I've been trying for... for weeks!" She replies through clenched teeth.

"I understand, but any little bit of effort will help things. Even if you are unable to see clearly, the computer will understand."

She nods, eyes shut tight as the room begins to rumble. Reed's machine starts to emit loud beeps as he rushes towards it, rubber fingers bouncing across the keyboard. "Jean? Is everything alright?" he shouts, telekinetic winds screaming through the Baxter Building.

"It... it hurts! I've never felt something so... s-s-strongg...!"

"Hang on Jean, just a little long- GAH!"

A sudden burst of psychic power knocks Reed to the floor; papers scatter around the room, and Jean, kneeling among sparking wires and torn upholstery, breathes in ragged breaths. Johnny Storm, the Human Torch, rushes through the door. "Reed, what's going on in here?! You guys alright? The entire building felt that one!"

Reed starts to pick himself up, knees weak from the blast. "I... think so. Where are Sue and Ben? Are they alright?"

"Ben is with the kids - he's fine, but they're a little scared. No idea where Sue is; maybe I'll go..."

"You won't... find her..."

Barely conscious, Jean climbs to her feet with a nearby desk. "That last one went right... I don't know. I can't... I can't really think. Right now. I'm sorry. I just... I saw her..."

Like a snapped rubber band, Reed darts to her, grabbing her by the shoulder. "What are you saying? What exactly is going on!?"

"She's... gone," Jean mutters, eyes rolling in her head. "I'm sorry. I don't think it's... don't worry, she'll be fine. Don't... worry."

"Where is she? What's happening!? Talk!"

"I'm sorry, Reed, I just... I can't..." With a whimper, she collapses; he lays her gently on the floor. He shoots a glance at Johnny, anxiety clear on his face; the Human Torch gives a nod. "Got it. She can't be far - FLAME ON!"

As the trail of smoke and heat fades, Reed shakes his head, a massive migraine swelling behind his eyes. Sleepwalking through the room, he turns his head to the computer readout; screen cracked, but data still clear. Slowly, his head clears and his mind focuses once more. The machine, it seems worked perfectly.

His eyes widen.

" God..."

If only it hadn't.

9:52 AM EDT | 10/22/12

Atop an apartment complex, a woman in blue kneels, clutching her head, body fading in and out of view. She mutters to herself as if mad, and barely notices the streak of flame appear in front of her.

"Sue!" says the Torch, body cooling as he lands. "You're alright! Come on, let's get back to... Sue?"

Slowly, she climbs to her feet, the soft and nurturing face of Susan Storm gone. It flickers in and out, catching only brief glimpses of a cruel and twisted visage.

"Sue? You alright?"

She walks, as if on tiptoes, and reaches out for him - then, like a flyswatter, a force field knocks him from the building, sending him spiraling through the air. With a shout, the Human Torch returns.

"What's the matter with you!? You could have-ULK!"

Hand raised, she watches as his throat clenches; his fire fades as the oxygen around him disappears, a bubble slowly closing in on him. He gasps and sputters as the Invisible Woman looks on with sadistic glee. "Sorry, Johnny," she says with a smile. "But I don't think I'll be home tonight."

Finally, his eyes roll back, and she lets him fall.

10:18 AM EDT | 10/22/12

When Johnny Storm awakens, the sound of distant sirens fills his ears. Reed Richards stand above him, lifting his limp body with long and slender fingers.

"Reed..." he moans, feeble words punctuated by sputters and coughs. "Sue. Something's wrong. She's... sick... or... We've gotta go... go find her."

The smartest man in the world does not look down, or offer consolation; his brow is heavy and his eyes are distant. "We've got bigger problems right now, Johnny," he says, a hint of regret in his voice. "Much bigger."
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