Uncanny X-Men (Vol 2) #352: In Sin Air

While Jean is mentally trying to locate Professor Xavier, the plane is suddenly hit by turbulence. Except that they have not encountered “choppy air”. Instead, it is as if the plane is being dragged down by a force coming from inside the plane. While “mentally wide open”, Jean is bombarded by the “fears” of everyone. The turbulence is over as suddenly as it happened.

Jean senses Scott is in a great deal of pain. But he does not want Jean to be distracted with having to psychically “dampen [his] pain receptor neurons”. She should be focused on trying to locate Xavier. Jean explains that she is encountering “weird static on the psi-plane” that is impeding her search. She also wishes that Scott would open up to her more often; he does not need to “shoulder all the pain of the world” and “be a hero around [her]”.

Their new friends Staci and Chris are a little shaken by the turbulence. Jean refrains from using her psychic powers, and instead talks to them to reassure them they will be fine. Suddenly, one of the passengers bursts into hysterics and claims that a voice in his head is telling him “[they’re] all going to die”. Jean is resolute in not using her telepathy to calm the passenger, against Scott’s better judgment, insisting “if [they’re] planning on being civilians, [they] have to start acting like them”. Soon, the flight attendants come to tend to the passenger. But Jean is left curious about the origin of voice in his head.

Scott’s pain is getting worse. The hysterical passenger is not faring any better. At first, Jean thought he was reacting to her being a mutant, but he is not paying any attention to her. Instead, he is “fixated” on one of the plane’s doors. Suddenly, the plane is being hijacked by armed agents of A.I.M. in high-tech armour. Jean is “blown back to the galley” and gets separated from Scott. For a moment, she is panicked that the agents have come for her and Scott. But they have come to interrogate Dr Sibelius who has checked “the entity” in the plane as cargo. Sibelius has anticipated their attack and lets them know that his cargo is “rigged to explode if [they] try to remove it at this altitude”. Unhappy with Sibelius, they stun him unconscious.

Scott relays his observations to Jean via telepathy. Jean talks him out of using their powers to stop these men. Scott could put “strain” his “wounds” or they could “endanger the other passengers”. Staci asks Scott where Jean has disappeared to. Scott is caught talking to Staci by the agents and has a gun pointed to his head to silence him.

Suddenly, there is another “air tremor”. The passengers feel “dark forces” making them relive their worst traumatic experience. For Scott, it is “the moment he saw the woman he thought was the love of his life sacrifice herself on the surface of the moon”. The tremor is gone in an instant. Jean seized the distraction to track the source of the “phenomenon” and deduces that it is coming from the cargo hold. She goes down there to investigate.

Suddenly, the hysterical passenger goes crazy again and implies that Jean cannot discover the whereabouts of the entity. Despite wanting to stop the man with his optic blasts, Scott is paralysed by the severity of his wound. The man is restrained by the agents. Some agents are sent down to the cargo hold to investigate. Scott immediately alerts his wife telepathically.

Jean breaks her rapport with Scott to save him from experiencing the “psionic feedback” from the entity. Her mind connects with the entity, and she senses its pain of being taken from its home dimension, being “subjected to torturous tests”, killing and imprisonment “for transport”. The pain momentarily paralyses Jean as the agents arrive in the cargo hold.

Sibelius is ordered to identify the cargo which contains the entity. One of the agents examines the bomb and orders for the plane to land so they can remove the entity without setting off the bomb. Suddenly, the entity lashes out again. The agents force the pilots to descend the plane at a dangerous speed. The plane’s wing crashes into A.I.M.’s plane and causes it to explode in midair. All the passengers on board start panicking.

Scott tells Jean to focus on the agents in the cargo hold while he tries to take care of the situation in the cabin. He tackles one agent to the ground. The other is knocked unconscious by the co-pilot with a fire extinguisher. The pilot is making an emergency landing in Winnipeg, Canada.

Jean is discovered by one of the agents, but she proves that she is equally capable in hand-to-hand combat and knocks him out.

The damaged plane wing is on fire and the cabin is “filling with smoke”, and it is affecting the pilot’s ability to control the plane. But Jean is unable to focus on “too many minds” at once. She reaches out to the entity and asks for her help. The entity agrees, despite what humans have done to her.

The plane makes a safe landing in Winnipeg. Men from the government show up almost immediately to collect the entity, “almost as if they were expecting trouble”. Jean tells one of the government agents that the entity should be “freed” for saving everyone on the plane. Her pleas fall on deaf ears and she presses no further. They will contact Wolverine when they are in Anchorage to alert him that “Department H” is back in operation.

Staci and Chris come over to check on Scott and Jean. They praise Scott for his bravery. Jean tells them that she had been “hiding out in the bathroom” in fear. Now, they are off to enjoy a “quiet life” in Anchorage.

The hysterical passenger is wheeled past them on a gurney. In a last exchange, the entity reassures Jean that she will be “fine”.

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