E.G.G Episode 47: Experiment X-23
AND THERE CAME A DAY, A DARK DAY. A DAY WHERE THE LIVES OF THREE FRIENDS WERE SINGLEHANDEDLY DESTROYED. BUT THAT DAY HASN’T HAPPENED YET. NOW, HISTORY HAS BEEN REWRITTEN, AND E.G.G WILL WAKE TO SEE A BRAND NEW DAY.
Previously, on E.G.G...
After E.G.G's greatest battle yet with the Masters of Doom, the team coped with the aftermath in their own ways. Acacia bawled her eyes out, thus leading Eileen to reveal her identity as Lightstream. James conducted an investigation into a break in at Worthington Labs, leading him closer to Miguel O'Hara. And Josh got... closer to Maya, leading him further from Allyson. At the end of the day, the eggheads had dealt with the aftermath and are ready to get back in the action.
Click here to read E.G.G Episode 46: Arrested Development
Click here for Episode 46 Q&A
It was late at night. Josh, Eileen, and Acacia were all in the E.G.G Jeep driving back home to E.G.G Base. Josh was driving, with Eileen in the passenger seat and Acacia in the back.
“That was a monumental waste of time.” Josh complained.
“I don’t know who you’re complaining to, it’s your fault we were out there in the first place!” Acacia replied.
“Well, when the biggest comic book store in New York says they’re gonna have a live appearance from Spider-Man, I expect Spider-Man to show! Not some fat guy in a greasy suit!”
“He’s probably doing other things, you know, like fighting crime. And didn’t you already meet him?”
“Well, yeah, but any time with Spidey’s a good time! Oh, speaking of that, I’m integrating his web shooters into my next suit of armor. It took me a while to get the mechanics down but I…”
“Josh, watch out!” Acacia screamed. Josh quickly looked to see a girl dart into the middle of the street. He slammed the breaks, but was too late and he hit the girl.
“Oh crap!” He said, as the three rushed out of the car.
“Is she alive?” Eileen asked.
“I’ll check.” Acacia said, rushing past them in a cloak. Josh looked in confusion.
“Wait a minute, when did you put that cloak on…” He said.
“Josh!” Eileen exclaimed. “Can you focus, you just hit a girl with a car!”
“Okay, technically she darted out…”
“She’s breathing.” Acacia said.
“I’m calling 911.” Eileen said, taking out her phone.
“Da, da, da…” Josh objected, lowering her hands. “Let me assess the situation first.”
“She needs medical attention!” Eileen shouted.
“Just give me a minute…” Josh said. He examined the girl. She was about 16, with jet black hair. She had on a black tank top, with black pants, and leather boots. Josh nodded. “Okay, load her in the jeep.” He said.
“What!” Eileen shouted.
“What’s the matter with you?” Acacia added.
“Look, she just a little banged up, we can nurse her back to health in E.G.G Base. I don’t feel like the cops asking me a bunch of questions.”
“You just don’t want a lawsuit on your hands!” Acacia accused.
“So sue me… okay, bad choice of words. Just help me please! I go down you two are accomplices!” Acacia sighed, walked over and grabbed the girl’s legs as Josh got under her arms. “Wuthrich! Get over here!” Josh demanded. Eileen shook her head.
“I want no part in your criminal activity.” She replied. Josh rolled his eyes.
“Fine! We don’t need you anyways! On three Acacia. 1, 2, 3!” They both began to lift, but were struggling.
“Oh boy!” Acacia said, re-grasping the girl’s legs.
“She’s pretty heavy for a teenage girl!” Josh grunted, as they dropped her into the back of the jeep. “Okay, let’s see here… ah!” He grabbed Acacia’s cloak. “Thank you!”
“Hey, that’s mine!” Acacia complained.
“It’s hers now!” Josh replied, laying it over the girl and covering her up. “Perfect, let’s roll!” He and Acacia got in. Eileen sighed.
“You both are going to prison.” She said as she got in and they drove off.
* * *
Josh and Acacia shuffled through Grand Central Station carrying the girl. The few people inside stared as they passed by. Josh needed to clear the air of suspicion.
“Phew, that was some party, huh Acacia?” He said.
“What party?” Acacia asked. Josh sighed. Then Acacia was alerted. “Ohhhhh, right, that party, uh, it was crazy! Yeah, this poor girl had a little too much to drink, and then she got hit by a car!”
“Okay, you suck at this, get to the elevator.” Josh quickly said as they made their way to the elevator disguised as an employee’s only closet. Eileen hit the button and they all got in and exited in E.G.G Base. They walked the girl to the medical bay and laid her on the bed.
“Phew!” Josh said, out of breath. “She is very heavy. Alright, let’s just let her lay here until she wakes up.”
“That’s a terrible plan.” Eileen said. “We should check her vitals.”
“You want to do that, be my guest!” Josh said. Eileen rolled her eyes and got the medical equipment.
“She have any ID?” Acacia asked.
“Do you see a purse with her? No.” Josh replied.
“Josh, not all girls carry purses.” Acacia said, patting her down.
“Really? I thought it was like, a fundamental rule of life.”
“No. It’s not.”
“Heart rate is steady,” Eileen said. “Everything looks okay. I’m gonna give her some painkillers, or she’s gonna have a bad time when she gets up.” Eileen got a needle ready while Josh looked at her.
“Where are all the bruises?” He said. “Hm, guess I didn’t hit her as hard as I thought…”
“She’s unconscious.” Acacia said.
“Okay, whatever.” Josh replied. Eileen approached.
“This won’t hurt a bit sweetie.” She said, slowly moving the needle towards her. But the second it made contact with her skin, the girl opened her eyes.
“AH!” She shouted, smacking it out of Eileen’s hands.
“Holy crap!” Josh said, as he and Acacia jumped back. Eileen held out her hands.
“It’s okay…” She said. “Calm down…”
“Grrrrrr…” The girl snarled.
“Um, Eileen, I don’t think she’s listening to you.” Josh said. The girl looked over at Josh. “Ah! Uh… hey… what can I do for you…”
“Where am I!” She growled, standing up.
“Um, you’re in a safe place.” Josh answered. She looked around and saw all of the medical equipment.
“You’re lying!” She shouted. And with a snikt, two Wolverine-like claws popped out of each of her hands. “Where am I!”
“Aaaaahhhh!” Acacia screamed, rushing out of the room.
“Time to go!” Josh shouted, he and Eileen right behind Acacia.
“Come back here!” The girl screamed. She began to run after them when Josh slammed the metal door in her face. They heard a crash.
“Did you hit her again?” Eileen asked.
“I don’t know, and I don’t care!” he replied. “Did you see that! We’ve got Little Miss Wolverine Jr. in the other room and she’s trying to kill us!”
“I think she’s out again,” Acacia said. She put her ear to the door, and suddenly two of the girl’s claws burst through right next her head. “No, she’s definitely still awake!” Acacia screamed, running for her life. The girl’s other two claws crashed through, and she began to cut an opening.
“Run!” Josh shouted as he and Eileen once again followed Acacia. The girl cut a hole in the door and began pursuing the three friends.
“Is she still behind us?” Eileen asked. Josh looked back.
“Rrrrraaaahhhh!” She screamed, lunging towards them.
“Yeah, still there!” Josh replied, as he and Eileen picked up speed. They were about to round the corner when Acacia came around with a Thwip Blaster.
“Move!” She shouted as Josh and Eileen spun out of the way.
“Grah!” The girl roared as she lunged. Acacia then blasted her with a web net and stuck her to the wall. “Er! Ah! Grr! Get me out of this!” She screamed. Josh laughed and walked up to her.
“Not so tough now, are you?” He asked. Then, with a snikt, another claw popped out from the top of her foot and she kicked at Josh, barely missing his neck as he jumped back. “Are you kidding me? She has one in her foot? Does Wolverine have claws in his feet?” The girl brought her leg up and cut the web loose with the claw on her foot. The three friends backed into a corner as the girl approached them, snarling angrily.
“Where am I?” She growled.
“Please don’t hurt us!” Acacia begged.
“I’m sorry I hit you with my car!” Josh shouted. The girl raised her claws and was about to finish them when the elevator dinged, and suddenly a squadron of men in armor and masks flooded out of it. E.G.G agents jumped back as the men rushed in, surrounded the girl and aimed their guns.
“What the shell?” Eileen asked, as the men began to move in on her.
“Stand down experiment X-23!” The commander called. “You’re under arrest!”
“I’ll cut you all to pieces!” She growled. Just then a woman in a lab coat emerged from the elevator.
“No, stop!” She called to the men, rushing up and waving her arms. “Don’t threaten her!” She pushed through the perimeter of soldiers. “Laura, listen to the sound of my voice.”
“I’ll kill everyone!” X-23 roared.
“No Laura, calm down.” X-23 held her head.
“Aaaaahhh!” She screamed, as she began to lunge.
“Get ready men!” The commander shouted. The woman then quickly began to sing.
“Hush little baby, don’t say a word,” She sang. X-23 stopped in her tracks. “Mama’s gonna buy you a mocking bird.”
“You’re kidding, right…” Josh whispered.
“If that mocking bird don’t sing,” X-23 retracted her claws. “Mama’s gonna buy you a diamond ring.”
“If this works, I swear…” Josh said.
“If that diamond ring turns to brass,” X-23’s eyes got heavy, and she began to sway back and forth. “Mama’s gonna buy you a looking glass.” X-23 fell to the ground, asleep.
“Are you serious!” Josh shouted. “All we had to do was sing to her!”
“Stand down men.” The commander said, as everyone lowered their guns. The woman sighed with relief and knelt down next to X-23.
“Yeah, hi, excuse me.” Acacia said. “Does anyone want to explain what’s going on!”
“And how you located and infiltrated our secret base.” Josh added.
“I will.” The woman said. The soldiers dispersed around E.G.G Base as Josh, Eileen, and Acacia sat around the woman. She lifted X-23’s head onto her lap and began stroking her hair. “My name is Sarah Kinney. This is Laura, or, as you may have heard, experiment X-23.”
“So, is she your daughter?” Eileen asked.
“Not exactly. I just took her in.” Sarah said.
“So why’s she have… you know…” Josh said. “Snikt, snikt?” Sarah sighed.
“I’m a mutant geneticist, I work with Weapon X.”
“Aren’t they the guys that made Wolverine?” Acacia asked.
“Yes.” Sarah replied. “And due to his… insubordination, they’ve been trying to recreate him ever since. After years of experiments gone wrong, they called me in.”
“So how did Laura come about?” Eileen asked. Sarah closed her eyes.
“I suggested that experimentation on mutants was a dead end, and that we need to start from scratch, make a clone. So, using a damaged DNA sample from Wolverine, we successfully imbued a female infant with his abilities, most prominently his healing factor.”
“Are you serious?” Acacia said. “You ran experiments on a baby?” Tears began to stream down Sarah’s face.
“I know, it sounds bad, but we were on the verge of a scientific breakthrough…”
“Was that worth injecting an infant with the X-gene!” Eileen exclaimed.
“I feel horrible for the things Laura had to endure…”
“Wait a minute, what else did you do to her?” Josh asked. Sarah shook her head.
“She was deprived of love. Left in a room alone as a child, only ever receiving human contact when it was time for her to eat or bathe. When she was five, she began training, to achieve physical perfection…”
“She was just a kid!” Acacia said.
“What kind of creeps are you?” Josh added.
“I’m not proud of what I’ve done!” She defended. “I tried to give Laura some remnant of a normal life, that’s why I gave her a name. I tried to take her out of the lab every now and then, but she became… violent in public.”
“Gee, I wonder why.” Eileen said angrily. “Finish the story doctor. What happened to make her like this?” Sarah buried her face in her hands.
“At age 7 she went on her first mission, the assassination of a senatorial candidate…”
“Assassination!” Acacia shouted.
“A seven year old girl!” Eileen added.
“That was one of many. Weapon X wanted a monster, a weapon, this way she was left emotionally… void. Filled with no compassion, trained to hate and kill, exactly what they wanted. By age 10 she had been left in the forest, the desert, the snow, for two years, forced to survive on her own in extreme conditions, constantly set against impossible odds.”
“This is horrible…” Acacia said.
“At age 12 she underwent the Weapon X Procedure, and Adamantium was fused to her bones.”
“Oh my goodness…” Eileen gasped.
“Seriously!” Josh shouted. “I’m pretty sure even HYDRA labeled that procedure inhumane!”
“I don’t believe this,” Acacia said. “All this to make the perfect assassin that Weapon X could bend to their will?”
“I didn’t want to go along with it, but you have to understand, these men rarely don’t get what they want…”
“You didn’t like the guests but you stayed for the party, huh?” Josh growled. “Guilt by association Dr. Kinney.”
“I only stayed for Laura’s sake!” She shouted. “I’m the closest thing she had to a mother, or family of any sort!”
“So what’s with the X-23?” Acacia asked. “That her serial number?” Sarah looked away.
“She was codenamed X-23 because… because we attempted and failed 22 times to recreate Wolverine, she was our 23rd try.”
“I’ve heard enough!” Josh shouted, standing up. “I want you and your band of sickos out of my E.G.G Base, now!”
“I couldn’t agree more!” Eileen said, folding her arms. Just then X-23 opened her eyes.
“Sarah?” She asked. Sarah hugged her.
“It’s okay Laura, I’m here.” She said.
“Sarah, I was so scared…” She said. “I heard voices in my head, then I saw lights… and after that it was all dark…”
“I know baby, shh, you’re okay.” She said, rubbing her hair. “I’m here now.” Acacia looked at Josh.
“I don’t think she’s the bad guy.” She said.
“She may not have done the dirty work, but she sat by and let it happen.” Josh replied. “That makes her just as bad in my book.”
* * *
Across the base, the commander received a transmission.
“Hodge.” He answered.
“Commander Hodge, this is the Professor.” A voice said.
“I read you loud and clear Professor, go ahead.”
“Have you procured experiment X-23 yet?”
“We found her, but I don’t know if it’s gonna be that easy getting her back to the lab. She’s pretty resistant.”
“Find a way.” The Professor replied.
“Yes sir.” He looked over. “What about Kinney? She’s not gonna back off easy.”
“Kill her, the good doctor has long outlived her usefulness, and she’s always been a liability.”
“Understood. Hodge out.” Commander Hodge cut transmission and signaled his men to form up on him. X-23 sat up.
“Do we have to go back to the lab Sarah?” She asked.
“Of course not.” Sarah exclaimed, rubbing her cheek. “We can go anywhere you’d like. How does ice cream sound?”
“Delicious!” X-23 exclaimed.
“Alright, head over there and I’ll join you in a second.” X-23 nodded and walked off to the side as Sarah stood up. “I am sorry for what I’ve done, but I’m trying to do right by her.” Eileen grabbed her shoulder.
“You can start by leaving Weapon X.” Eileen said. “And teaching Laura how to live a normal life.” Sarah nodded.
“I suppose you’re right, thank you. Whoever you people are.”
“We’re E.G.G.” Josh said. “And, in case you didn’t catch it earlier, this is a secret base, so…”
“Of course.” She said, smiling. “Come on Laura, we’re going.”
“You’re not going anywhere doctor!” Hodge said, as he and his men surrounded her and aimed their guns.
“I don’t understand…” Sarah said.
“Then let me clarify, you’re fired!” And in an instant, Hodge shot Sarah in the chest.
“Hey!” Josh screamed, tackling Hodge. The Weapon X troops tried to get Josh off while alerted E.G.G agents began to attack the Weapon X troops. Eileen and Acacia rushed to Sarah’s side.
“Is she gonna make it?” Eileen asked.
“I... I don’t think so…” Acacia said. “This looks bad…” X-23 looked over at the scene.
“Sarah?” She asked, slowly approaching. She saw her lying on the ground bleeding, Eileen and Acacia sitting solemnly by her side. “Sarah!” X-23 rushed up next to her. Sarah’s eyes fluttered rapidly.
“Laura…” She coughed. “Don’t let them… control you…”
“Sarah, don’t die! Please!” X-23 begged, tears in her eyes, clutching her hand.
“You’re not a monster…” Sarah managed. “You’re my little girl… and I love you…”
“I love you too.” X-23 said. Sarah weakly smiled, then silently died. X-23 squeezed her hand. Then she looked up.
“Hodge…” She growled. With a snikt she popped her claws, her eyes white with rage.
“Oh no…” Acacia said. Hodge finally punched Josh and rolled him aside.
“Get off of… me?” He looked to see X-23 snarling at him. “Oh crap, subdue target!” The Weapon X agents opened fire.
“RRRRRAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!” She roared, charging through the shower of bullets towards the men.
“Josh! She’s going to kill them!” Eileen exclaimed. Josh immediately held out his hand, and an arm to his latest suit of armor came soaring out of the Humpty Dumpty Hall and attached itself to him. He aimed and fired a laser blast on X-23, just before she reached the troops. She slid into a conference room.
“I’ll keep her busy,” he said. “You guys got these chumps?”
“Hey, it’s us you’re talking to.” Eileen reassured. Josh nodded and rushed into the conference room, closing the door behind him. A slew of E.G.G agents rushed up behind Eileen and Acacia.
“We’re ready to fight ma’am!” One replied.
“Uh-uh, no agents in combat,” Acacia said. “Not after what happened with Viper. You guys are a last resort, head to the Nests, we got this.”
“Um, okay.” The agents rushed off.
“Jocasta!” Eileen called. “Activate the Mother Egg protocol and neutralize all intruders!”
“Mother Egg protocol initiated.” Jocasta said, as the walls opened and an army of Jocasta androids came rushing out. “Neutralization in progress!”
* * *
In the conference room, X-23 stood up, growling savagely. Josh stood in front of the door.
“Now I know you can cut right through that door.” He said, “But to do that you gotta cut through me first!”
“Grrrraaaahhhh!” She yelled, slicing the table in half. Josh gulped.
“Although I see that may not be a problem for you.” She lunged at Josh, and he held up his armor arm, activating a holographic shield. She sliced viciously at him, but he blocked each attack. “X-2… Laura! Come on, you gotta calm down!”
“They killed her!” She screamed. She kicked Josh against the wall. Josh quickly spun a web and stuck her feet to the floor. “Grrr!” She growled, popping her feet claws and breaking out.
“You heard what Sarah said, you’re not a monster!” Josh shouted, firing laser blasts at her. She blocked them with her claws then spun around and slashed Josh across the chest with one of her foot claws. “Ah!” He shouted, falling back.
“She was the only family I had!” X-23 screamed. “I’m going to kill everyone out there! And if you won’t let me do that, then I’ll kill you too!” Josh held out his hand but she sliced his armor arm, causing it to spark. Josh pulled it off and stood up.
“I know you’re upset, but that’s what they want! A killer! If you go out there and slaughter everybody you’ll only be doing what you’re ‘programmed’ to do! Sarah wouldn’t want that!”
“Yes she would! She worked hard to make who I am!”
“And who is that? Laura Kinney, or experiment X-23!” X-23 stopped. She looked at her hands.
“You’re right…” She said. “Sarah didn’t want to be like this… she wanted me to be…”
“A normal girl.” Josh finished. “She sacrificed her life so that you could lead a normal life.” Josh grabbed both of her hands. “No more claws. No more killing. You’re not a weapon. You’re free.” X-23 broke down crying and fell into Josh’s arms. Eileen and Acacia walked in.
“The men are subdued and S.H.I.E.L.D is on the way.” Acacia said.
“Good.” Josh said. “And make sure they never see daylight again.”
* * *
The next day the three friends stood with Laura in a graveyard in front of a tomb that read: ‘Sarah Kinney, Beloved Mother’. Laura turned to Josh, Acacia and Eileen and hugged them.
“Thank you.” She said. “For everything. You guys are so nice.”
“It’s no problem.” Acacia replied.
“Now then,” Eileen said, handing her a duffel bag. “We got the tracer out of you and destroyed it, so Weapon X shouldn’t bother you again. And the bag has enough money and supplies to last you a month.”
“Are you sure you don’t want to stay at E.G.G Base?” Josh asked. “Free food, warm bed…”
“Thanks for the offer,” She said. “But I should find the only person close to a family I have left.”
“Who’s that?” Acacia asked. Laura smiled.
“The Wolverine.” She said. Josh nodded.
“Okay, stay safe! And please look both ways before crossing the street!” Laura laughed.
“I will. Thanks again you guys! I’ll never forget you!” She waved as she walked off.
“Bye!” Eileen called. Josh wiped away a tear.
“Are you crying?” Acacia asked.
“They grow up so fast!” Josh cried. Eileen laughed and patted his back.
“Come on Josh.” She said, as they all headed home.
Emma Frost walked into a dark circular room, lit only by torches. Five figures emerged, shrouded in the shadows.
“Emma darling, it is very good to see you.” A man said.
“Have you completed your task?” Another man asked.
“Yes.” Emma said. “Poor girl, I felt horrible, making her run into the street like that.”
“Yes, it is unfortunate when a mutant must be injured for the greater cause.” A third man said. “But alas, it is necessary.”
“Back to the matter at hand,” a female said. “The files you retrieved for us those many months ago, is what they say true?”
“But of course,” Emma said. “I don’t know why you doubted me in the first place.”
“That is very pleasing to hear,” a fourth and final man asked. “I’m assuming you acquired what we need to accomplish our goal?” Emma smiled.
“Yes,” she said. “I now know the location of the group called E.G.G.”
See you Thursday!
Alright, make sure you tune in next week Thursday, September 10, and catch the Q&A for this episode! Then come back the next day, September 11, for E.G.G Episode 48: The X Factor! The countdown to E.G.G's 50th Episode Spectacular continues!