"Origins: Hellfire Club"
by William L.
Evil lurks in the palatial estate of the 18th Century HELLFIRE CLUB in the shadows that slither and creep through its many rooms. One among which lies the body of SIR GORDON PHILIPS, the Lord Imperial.
The half-cyborg DONALD PIERCE finds his still body there shortly before EMMA FROST finds him standing over his body, and upon catching a psychic flash of his hatred, psionically incapacitates and imprisons him, fearing the worst.
Emma Frost calls to meeting all the members of the Hellfire Club’s Inner Circle, the most powerful and influential members of the society.
Having found Gordon dead, Emma discusses the suspicions about Pierce and whether he was the murderer. Unfortunately, they could not determine neither the fate of Pierce or how to proceed with a murder investigation without SEBASTIAN SHAW, the Black King and head of the England Branch, who is away at the moment.
A pitch black carriage pulls up to the estate of the Hellfire Club, and Sebastian Shaw steps out, greeted by by Emma Frost. Emma tells him about the death of Philips and he becomes concerned.
Shaw and Frost confronts Pierce in his cell, and despite all attempts at verbal and physical interrogation, maintains his innocence. Sebastian Shaw retires to his private chamber.
Standing in the privacy of his chamber, he makes a hand motion and the velvet walls of his room disappear, and hes’s transported to a landscape of fire and burning rock.
From out of smoke comes a monstrous being of indigo skin and pointed ears, S’YM. Sebastian tell S’ym that having helped him defeat BELASCO, he is entitled to the extra power that he has promised. And that the death of Gordon Philips was unfortunate and unexpected. When, Shaw asks if he had any part in it, S’ym is caught speechless. When Shaw presses for an answer, S’ym becomes angry and tells him he had nothing to do with his death and says be careful when playing with fire, for there are worse things than getting burned.
Meanwhile Frost has assembled a meeting with the Inner Circle. Selene, The Black Queen demands what to do with the absence of Gordon Philips. Shaw replies that Gordon, as they all know, was a puppet. He never knew the dealings of Inner Circle nor has he ever pressed to know. He said he will assign HARRY LELAND to look after the investigation.
Shaw also wants to continue investgation into more possible Mutants in the area, as both Frost and Selene have detected strong mutant presenses lately, and said that a coming War with humans is likely to either kill them or force them into hiding.
Selene is resentful and suspicious at Leland’s assignment and secretly ask her pet and servant FRIEDRICH VON ROEHM, te Black Rook a half-lyncanthrope, to secretly conduct a counter-investigation. In a scenario where Selene has Friedrich chained and in his feral form, Selene lovingly pets him and tells him to do what Mommy dearest wants him to do.
Sebastian Shaw entertains a British General in a luscious boardroom decorated with paintings and various baroque decor, discussing what would happen if war breaks out in England. The General, chuckles and asks what if the world was at war, citing unrest in the Austrian-Hungarian empire, as an example of how unrelated events could trigger a world at war.
But the General says, he is more interested now in the Ladies of the Hellfire which he has heard so much about. Sebastian Shaw makes a motion and a bevy of attractive women walk into the room. And the door closes behind them, leaving the viewer on the other side of the room.
That night Selene is confronted with something unseen but terrifies her. Using her psychic blasts and eldritch energy, she is unable to stop it, and is struck down.
In prison cell below Donald Pierce hears Selene’s muffled cry, looks up and grins to himself.
The next day the housemaid finds the body of Selene dead and screams. The Inner Circle holds an emergency meeting again. All of them are in consternation at a Mutant woman as powerful as Selene being murdered. BISHOP, one of the grey members, said he may have heard yelling but nothing that seemed unusual for someone of Selene’s tastes. Shaw also informs that Friedrich, when he seeing Selene dead, went mad and refuses to revert to his human form.
Sebastian Shaw states that all members of the Inner Circle are to stay temporarily outside of the Hellfire Estate for their safety while Leland continues the investigation under the eye of Shaw. Emma asks if Shaw would like her to stay with him, which he refuses, leaving her with feelings of hurt.
Emma Frost and Shaw attend a Dinner Party in which Emma claims to have detected Mutants. Sebastian Shaw meets a lady nemed ELIZABETH “BETSY” BRADDOCK who charms her into coming to her estate with Emma Frost for a drink. Emma also spies a young American girl named Kitty Pryde, and although she detected remarkable mutant ability, tells Shaw that she is still too young to be recruited and will pursue her once she is old enough.
Sebastian Shaw and Emma Frost tells her about the history of the Hellfire Club, how he seeks out other fellow mutants in order to protect them and teach them the use of their gifts.
Shaw tell Betsy that as a bonus, she can have all her hearts desires. Betsy laughes and asks if she will be treated like a princess. Shaw replies with, better -- she will be treated like a Queen.
Emma Frost, overcome with jealousy, rushes out of the estate and races off in her carriage.
Sebastian Shaw confronts S’ym again, telling him that Selene is dead, and demands more power, power enough to protect the other members of the Hellfire. S’ym tells him to have patience.
Betsy Braddock, unbeknownst to Sebastian, has stayed behind at the estate instead of leaving as she was told to do, and has seen the whole meeting transpire --- shocked and intrigued, she runs off, careful not to be noticed.
In the darkness of the night, a voice wakes up Donald Pierce in his prison cell. The voice says he can free him and help find others like him, if he would help him with a task, that seems too delicate and beneath him, in return for setting him free. Donald agrees and the bars of his cage and melted loose. Donald wastes no time breaking the bars of his cage with his cyborg arms.
Meanwhile, Betsy rushed back to her home. Her parents confront her, and she says she is going off to live on her own. Her parente berate her saying she turned out just like her brother Brian, having broke their heart by leaving them. After the fight with her family, she leaves, with only a bag of her belongings.
Emma Frost finds her, in front of her home and takes her. Emma Frost, being psionically blocked by Betsy’s considerable psychic abilities is forced to intimidate her physically in her diamond form, suspecting that Betsy had an affair with Shaw.
At first, Betsy plays along, until a fight ensues. The fight ends with Betsy finally surrendering, even though at times Betsy had the upper hand. However, the fight destroys Emma’s home. Betsy tells Emma what she had seen, that Sebastian Shsw is consorting with a demon.
Emma, enraged, confronts Shaw at the Hellfire Estate just as Shaw discovers that Donald had broken free of his prison, next to the body of Friedrich. Sebastian Shaw, under verbal battery from Frost, confesses to working with S’ym, but only to gain power to protect the Hellfire Club and fellow mutants.
Emma scoffs and asks him if its not really to increase his power for personal gain. Betsy watches the whole altercation. Emma demands to see S’ym. S’ym, hearing of the passing of Friedrich, tells Emma Frost and Shaw about a mutant whom they could recruit, as a show of faith, and again delaying his power boon.
They find him being pursued by a mob of men who are trying to chase him down, claiming him to be a “demon”. Emma Frost, Betsy Braddock and Shaw easily subdues the mob, and Sebastian Shaw offers Azazel safety and nurture in exchange for his loyalty. Azazel reluctantly agrees.
Back in the estate, Shaw calls a meeting with all at the Inner Circle to introduce the new members and have Leland update them on the investigation.
Leland tells the circle that some of creature perhaps supernatural had killed them. Emma looks Shaw clearly pressing him to speak but he says nothing. Shaw proclaims finding Donald Pierce is priority.
Just then a loud explosion rocks the Estate to it’s foundation. A bunch of of men in cyborg men led by Donald Pierce walks onto the grounds of Hellfire Club, having disposed of the security guards.
Shaw and the rest of the Hellfire Club confronts Donald in front as he proceeds to decimate the mansion with firebombs from both the cyborg men and their machinary.
An imeediate fight ensues as the Hellfire Club tries to protect the mansion and destroy the invading horde of cyborgs. Shaw screams his name and demanded that he and his cyborgs surrender before he sends them to hell.
To that Donald screams, we are Reavers -- and we will not surrender. Out of desperation, Shaw yells out for S’ym, and out of the ether, his giant form appears before the Reavers.
Donald smiles and says, yes -- we’ve been waiting for you. N'ASTIRH busts through the rubble of the burning mansion, and taunts S’ym for being on the weaker side and a weaker pawn of Belasco.
They battle, and amidst the chaos, they crash through an opening that sends both creatures back to Limbo. All the surviving members, including Betsy, Bishop, Azazel and Shaw escape, with Frost helping Shaw.
In order to escape the Scotland Yard and other authorities, Shaw says he will flee to Germany with Azazel. Emma and Shaw part ways, with Shaw vowing to be reuinited with Emma after he can dodge his pursuers --- both S’ym and the Law ---- for good.