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X-Men ’97 – S01E06 – Lifedeath – Part 2 | Transcript

Storm is forced to face her worst fears in order to free herself.
X-Men '97 - S01E06 - Lifedeath - Part 2

Original release date: April 17, 2024

During the Kree–Shi’ar War, Lilandra Neramani announces her engagement to Professor Xavier. Refusing to accept her sister marrying a Terran, Deathbird invokes the Rite of M’Dashaa, challenging Xavier to purge all of his memories of Earth to prove his loyalty to the Shi’ar Empire. Xavier’s refusal to renounce his memories of the X-Men results in a battle between the Royal Guard and Deathbird until Xavier pulls everyone into the Astral Plane to educate them on coexistence. Upon receiving a psychic vision of Gambit’s death, Xavier calls off the engagement and requests that he be returned to Earth as soon as possible. In Arizona, Storm and Forge search for a rare cactus to cure Forge of the poison from the Adversary’s bite. Storm finds the cactus in a cave, but when she is cornered by the Adversary, she overcomes her fears and regains her powers to defeat the Adversary. Shortly after returning home, Storm and Forge learn of Master Mold’s attack on Genosha, which is revealed to have been orchestrated by Mister Sinister as part of his plan to instigate a war between humans and mutants.

* * *

[♪ exciting music playing]

Shi’ar fools, surren

[alarm blaring]

[groans]

[all yelling]

[soldier] Don’t move! Stay where you are!

Hands up!

[Deathbird] Surrender?

[groans]

No, just perish.

Stand, Kree.

This pigeon shall not thwart the will of the Supreme Intelligence.

[all yelling]

Victory for the Imperial Guard!

[grunts]

[yelling]

[yelling shakily]

[Ronan] A Pyrrhic victory.

The Kree do not…

[grunts]

Be honored to fall at my feet, Ronan, for you shall be memorialized as the corpse upon which I posed.

A true Kree bows to no one.

[grunts]

Thank you, Gladiator.

Ronan dear, tell me where the Supreme Intelligence has fled, or your forces shall suffer.

Save them, Ronan.

All you need to do is…

[messenger] A million pardons, your Highness.

You dare interrupt my glorious moment?

Oh.

It’s your sister, The Empress.

Oh, joy.

Why didn’t you say so?

[grunts]

My dearest sister is always of utmost priority.

Greetings, Shi’ar.

One year ago, we offered the skills of our mighty healers to a Terran man on the verge of death.

No ordinary Terran, this man helped spare the entire universe from the madness of my brother, D’ken, as well as the galactic hunger of the Phoenix.

And now, in his greatest feat yet, this man has unlocked the secrets to my heart.

[Araki] Hmm.

So I, Empress Lilandra, stand before this High Council, and before you, my loyal people, with joyous news in times of war, for your Empress is to be married, and our empire shall welcome a new emperor.

Professor Charles Xavier.

[all murmuring]

To the might and glory of the Imperium.

Hmm.

I pray our act of performative jingoism erased any concerns over my heritage?

[Lilandra] Do not fret.

My subjects trust me when I say you are no mere Terran, Charles.

Well, on Earth, newlyweds whisk off to some faraway island to celebrate their love.

And how far would my hopeless romantic see us go?

Dare I assume a sandy beach on Earth itself?

Perhaps an empress could even spend a portion of her time ruling the galaxy from my little corner of it?

My handsome emperor has much to learn, about masking his manipulations.

You wish to return to your children, don’t you?

Merely visit.

See their faces.

Yet families often mimic black holes.

Visit and risk being stuck in its everspiraling vacuum of dramas.

This is especially true with your students.

[Professor X] Mmm, didn’t your brother nearly destroy the universe with the M’kraan Crystal?

You should message them.

Use a hologlobe.

Invite them to the wedding.

Unless you fear they’ll think you’ve abandoned them.

You’ve earned a life of your own, Charles.

And I need you.

Once we crush the Kree, an educator such as you can teach them our ways.

Do as you did on Earth.

Play the role of the peacemaker.

Wasn’t aware my XMen and I were playing makebelieve.

Much like my legs in this armor’s exoskeleton.

All ruling is makebelieve.

I pretend to be perfect, as my subjects would never love the woman beneath the armor.

Not like you do.

Never pretend with me.

Will you at least consider Earth?

[Lilandra] I will.

But I remind you, Charles, the virtue of a teacher lies in showing their students how to walk on their own.

True.

But only if he is sure there are no more lessons he can teach them.

[Forge groans]

You must drink.

[The Adversary] Why bother?

[Forge groans]

He’s a liar.

Traitor.

Cost you everything.

He was trying to help me.

A tawdry romance of guilt and shame.

How many have suffered his gifts?

How many made slaves?

[Storm] Your bite is a sort of demonic infection.

Once the venom reaches his heart…

[The Adversary] Leave him.

Don’t play martyr.

You will not break me.

But I can fix you.

Forge made his bed.

Let him die in it.

All lives deserve saving.

Even his.

[grunting]

[The Adversary] You go for help, but there is no pill for my poison.

Let him die.

Look the other way. Watch.

Get used to it.

You’re not an XMan anymore.

Well, where did that get you?

Kissing the hand that beats you?

[exclaims]

[yelling]

I do not fear death.

I know. That’s why you rush to play dead.

You fear living.

As you said to Jean, “I have wondered what it would be like to be human.”

It is a tempting daydream.

I… I was so tired.

Is that why you fear your power, sought refuge with this monotone family?

Enough! Let me out!

Let me out!

Look at your family.

Who you follow.

I was wrong.

Forge didn’t rob your gifts.

You had already renounced them.

No! Please!

I cannot breathe.

[The Adversary] Sham!

You turned your back on these paths long ago.

Lord of chaos!

Weaver of lies,

I tear your thread and break your loom.

Depart to the desert, demon.

Depart, and be gone.

[breathing heavily]

[screeching]

[groans]

Mom practiced desert magic.

Some of it sunk in, despite my best efforts.

[Storm] Careful. Your shoulder.

Well, give it to me straight.

You need a better bedside face, Doc.

Its bite is magical.

Perhaps your mother’s book holds an answer.

[Forge] She wrote about a cacti, the midnight cholla.

Grows in nearby caves.

Doesn’t need sunlight.

Its aloe is powerful magic medicine.

I can show you the way.

You are too weak. Tell me where to go.

I don’t have much time, Ororo.

If this nastiness gets worse while you’re gone, I don’t wanna be alone.

Then we ride together, my love.

[announcer] The Empress, Lilandra Neramani, and her Royal Consort.

[playing fanfare]

[crowd cheering]

Your man speaks as if I am your pet.

Hmm. Not an entirely displeasing thought.

Hush now, beloved. You may bark later.

[clears throat] Your Majesty, I have known you since you were but a hatchling and wish only for your happiness.

But given our war with the Kree, and how it’s divided even we Shi’ar, is a royal wedding…

Gladiator and his Guard fill my ears with news of coming victory.

Yes, but we have been trapped in so much change, some yearn for the stable comfort of what is familiar for sameness.

Araki sugars his words, my sister.

Your consort was born on the wrong side of the stars.

He is Terran.

Gentle sister, heed my throne.

A throne that is bound to more than the whims of your heart.

A union with the Terran would bind the Shi’ar into alliance with his inferior home world.

I respect you speaking the quiet part out loud, Deathbird, so let’s speak plainly.

Your Empress and I decide alliances as well as which world we call home.

[Araki] Chandilar is home.

Our throne world.

Of course, Lord Chancellor.

I merely meant…

[Deathbird] Spoke the quiet part out loud?

Xavier would see his Milky Way ghetto become our new throne world.

You are twisting my words.

High Council, for the sake of the empire, I must invoke the Rite of M’Dashaa.

[all gasping]

Terran, the rite requires…

A nonShi’ar pass a test of loyalty in order to wed a royal.

I finished that volume my second day here, Deathbird.

Not any mere test, Terran.

A challenge of my own choosing.

[Professor X] Then choose.

[Deathbird] To ensure we are protected from your Terran ties, you must renounce Earth and erase all memory of your life there.

[all gasp]

Charles is a formidable psychic.

His mind will not be easily scrubbed.

Luckily, we Shi’ar bow to a ruler of equal psychic power.

Charles Xavier must purge all memories of Earth, and you, dear sister, must be the one to do it.

[crowd murmuring]

[Gladiator] Sharra and K’ythri.

Our highest gods.

Mmm. Once enemies, then forced to marry to bring harmony to the universe.

And here I thought the Shi’ar looked down on art as a sign of insanity and deviance.

In most cases.

But the union of Sharra and K’ythri is at the core of our principles.

To bind various cultures into one for the sake of galactic peace and harmony.

How Rudyard Kipling of you.

I do not know this Kipling.

A Terran?

Yes.

One possessed of many burdens.

None real.

Much like your myth.

What is united if one half must be erased for the sake of the whole?

Idealism is also a sign of insanity.

[chuckles softly]

You know, I have a very old and very dear friend on Earth who would agree with you.

Wise, for a Terran.

Yes.

His name is Magnus.

And I wish to remember him.

[Lilandra] You’ve made your decision, then?

Forgive me.

I do so love to think.

Do you love me, Charles?

A silly question.

Even you know Deathbird’s challenge goes too far.

On Earth, you fought tirelessly to be tolerated and were nearly killed for it.

Why remember?

Why not let go?

Start anew.

If you refuse, they won’t let us be together.

Not unless I forfeit my throne, which is exactly Deathbird’s design.

Imagine the chaos that my sister would unleash across the galaxy as ruler.

It would rival that of my mad brother.

You saved my life.

Gave me a home, a new future.

Your devotion is beyond measure.

Perhaps it is time to show you mine.

[groans] There. That’s it.

Snowsnake Tower.

Union forces stored weapons here during the Civil War.

It was actually built during the Plains War decades earlier, by colonists.

Those wars exterminated your people.

Why let them build such a thing into the very foundations of your land?

Well, they said that they were here to help.

Sort of like how I came to you.

I heard The Adversary telling you to let me die.

[sighs] I’m so sorry, Ororo, for deceiving you.

For drawing the Adversary.

Hush. The demon was not your doing.

A big, evil owl that feeds on anger and self-loathing?

Call me chum in the water.

Then I am chum, too.

Before I lost my gifts, I told a friend, my sister, that I often wondered about being human.

I confessed this as if to console her.

No matter how many I saved, my mutant gifts inspired twice as much hate in humanity.

In a way, your machine failing is a blessing.

I am better this way.

Growing up,

I always heard how the worst weapon used by the Europeans was not bullets or blankets, but a white lie that they could make us…

[coughing]

The cactus grows in darkness.

Where?

That’s why I came.

I know how you feel about tight spaces.

[♪ eerie music playing]

Charles Xavier,

do you stand in our circle to complete the Rite of M’Dashaa?

I do.

And do you renounce all memories of Earth?

Of your life there?

I do.

And of your XMen?

Xavier, do you renounce your XMen?

[Deathbird] See?

He hesitates.

He insults all Shi’ar.

This was exactly my fear.

What you ask of him is no small burden.

He seeks to ally us with Earth.

My God, you are dramatic.

How can we entrust our mighty empire,

which has endured for eons,

to a ruler descended of simians?

Have our blood mixed with his inferior freak fluids?

Indeed.

This Xavier is not even a pure Terran.

A lower caste.

A mutant.

My sister, like my brother D’ken, has gone mad.

Renounce her before her lovesick lunacy destroys us all.

Sedition.

Gladiator, arrest this treacherous vulture

and any who dare to stand with her.

[yells]

[grunts]

[soldier] By Sharra!

[all yelling]

[device powers up]

[all yell]

[grunts]

Charles!

Lilandra, behind you!

[both grunting]

Hmm.

[Professor X] No, not this way.

I have forgotten my greatest gift.

Hear me.

Class is now in session.

[gasps]

[all gasp]

What is this? What have you done?

Gladiator, please raise your hand if you have a question.

To answer, I have used my vast psychic abilities

to draw us into the astral plane.

Now, pay attention.

It is time for today’s lesson.

[♪ mysterious music playing]

Oh!

[panting]

[The Adversary growling]

You had to be the bigger woman.

Had to save him, be above it.

Now look at you.

No!

Forge destroyed you!

[The Adversary] Yes.

Yes, let me taste.

Ooh, yummy!

Fear poached in selfloathing.

More! The high road, Storm.

Last stop, you, pancaked by the pressure of existing.

[whimpering]

How unfair.

Yes. There.

[gasps] Yes! Always beg to be saved.

Submit, and I will save you and let you live your tempting daydream.

[Storm] No, you demon.

Not a daydream.

[stones rumbling]

The XCutioner’s neutralizer

was not the only weapon tamping down my gifts.

There was that lie.

And I believed it.

Be warned.

Be smart.

Believe the lie.

Deny your power.

Play dead, or humanity will thunder down upon you and your kind.

[Storm] You all are an echo of who I am.

[thunder rumbling]

[♪ exciting music playing]

[growling]

[Storm] So let them thunder,

for I am lightning!

[rumbling in distance]

[laughs]

[sighs]

[rumbling echoing]

[Storm] Strange, to feel grateful.

Towards the demon?

What are demons, but reflections of our fears and shame?

[groans]

[Storm] Things we bury within us,

hide from loved ones,

even as they poison our hearts…

[winces]

…until we finally heal our adversary by embracing it.

There. It’s starting to heal.

So, what now?

You’ve been given a second chance.

Should we whisk away to some tropical island?

Not an entirely unpleasant idea.

Nations refusing to allow mutants

displaced by the brutal attack on Genosha

to return to their home countries.

This, as rumors swirl…

[gasps]

…that Genosha is the opening salvo

in the longfeared evolutionary war

between humans and mutants

that the late Professor Charles Xavier…

Let’s talk about power.

Real power.

Who can tell me from where the Shi’ar Imperium draws its might?

From the crushed skulls that house inferior minds such as yours.

[Professor X] Demerits. Raise your hand.

[groans]

The power of your empire is, in truth,

a harvest of stolen worlds.

Younger cultures that, had they not been tilled to death,

would now be empires rivaling your own.

Fearing this, you strike at the knees

and claim you can help them walk again.

But only if they assimilate.

Submit.

Which brings us to this conclusion.

The Shi’ar empire is a snake oil racket.

Even you Terrans claim, “Might is right.”

[Professor X scoffs] The rhyme that sells the lie.

That we must pillage worth from one another.

That for me to be more, you must be less.

Your existence against mine because…

Why?

Says who? Who made up these silly rules?

We did, beloved.

Playing makebelieve.

Even if we were to agree,

your idealism would confuse our people.

They might even call it nonsense.

Want to know a secret?

Coexistence is messy.

Thus, my love for education,

for my XMen.

Their heroism teaches a lesson we mustn’t forget.

That the universe is very old,

and all of us, very young.

Born of ancient stardust,

and all children of the atom.

Heavens, no!

[♪ dramatic music playing]

Gambit?

No!

No!

They were dancing, drinking wine, making love!

Oh, my children!

My children of the atom, destroyed!

No!

[screams]

Charles! [breathing heavily]

Beloved.

What in the stars?

[shakily] I must return to Earth immediately.

But we’ve nearly convinced the council.

It doesn’t matter!

While I cowered in the cosmos, the unthinkable has happened.

Charles, if you leave,

you will prove my sister right about your kind.

If that should end our starcrossed affair,

so be it.

I will not abandon my kind.

It is time I return to my XMen.

[panting]

I did what you asked.

I gave you my DNA to access Master Mold.

[grunts]

[sobbing]

Kill me, please,

for what happened in Genosha.

[shushing]

[Bolivar] I beg you.

[man] Don’t take all the blame, Bolivar, and don’t fret the future.

Why, Genosha was merely the beginning of a prologue, now past.

You have nothing to fear, so long as you place your faith in Sinister.

[laughs maniacally]

[♪ closing instrumental music playing]

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