|Date||May 3-30, 2009|
|Team Lead||Original: Remy, Kitty|
|Team||Original: Kitty, Pete, Remy, Walter, Zenith, Terry, Amadeus, Kaci, Sal|
Secondary: Natalie, Will, Percy, Tom, Illyana
|Location(s)||Lost Waters Ranch|
|Casualties||Angela Corpo, Nancie Edwards|
They end up trapped on Lost Waters tourist ranch in Colorado, unable or unwilling to leave, and soon drop out of contact. Eventually the rest of the team joins them, and things quickly turn bad.
The death of one of the ranch employees and a guest, as well as unexplainable happenings in a nearby abandoned mine eventually lead to a face-off with the Shadow King and those in cahoots with him, but not before some agents are manipulated and some trusts are shattered.
Kelsey shot future teammate, Percy. Alex burned Sid's face, forcing Sal to choose her loyalties. Pete and Will take down Jeffrey Hatfield with powers and tranquilizers, resulting in severe burns to his legs.
In the end, the activity is credited to a former X-Factor employee with the ability to create telepathic compulsions and the dangerous-but-weakened Shadow King. When the team wraps up to go home, they find themselves taking a number of new agents with them.
- A series of security breaches occurs, first at Old Home, then at Management. The same man is seen at both incidents, and he escapes with a list of potential recruits.
- The man seen during the breaches is discovered to be Ethan Moore, a computer security engineer who lived in Las Vegas. Pete, Remy, Sal, Kitty, and Illyana travel to Vegas only to find Moore dead. Bahir and Natalie are called in, and Natalie's ghosts confirm a staged burglary.
- Analysis discovers that several individuals on the stolen list (Alex Summers, Nancie Edwards, Susan Turner, Stephen Bishop) are taking unexpected vacations.
- While tracking activity on the renaming listed individuals, it becomes clear that Jaimie Brin is making sudden plans to travel. A team is put together to track her after her plane lands in Denver, Colorado.
Lost Waters Ranch
- The team, headed by Remy, trails Jamie to Lost Waters Ranch, a tourist ranch in rural Colorado. They check in under a variety of cover stories and hand over their cell phones and other electronic devices under the request of the ranch proprietor, Angela Corpo. For some then-unknown reason, the agents felt this also included their X-Factor communication units.
- Once settled, the team seems to have no desire to really leave the ranch - or contact Old Home. It's not until several days in that this begins to seem odd enough that someone tests the limits and finds themselves unable to force a step beyond the ranch's boundaries.
- Kitty manages to secure some of the confiscated cell phones from a lockbox in the office, but they get no signal. The com units were missing from the locker.
- The team uncovers several pertinent facts about the ranch and those who run it:
- Angela Corpo is in charge. The ranch belonged to her husband, Carl, before his death. They struggle to make ends meet.
- Angela has been acting nervous and warning guests to stay close to the ranch. Kitty saw her with a piece of paper that seems to be important.
- Jeffrey Hatfield is responsible for the sudden influx of visitors to the ranch, something the others credit to his PR abilities. He's heading into Denver soon.
- Sid Garringer is a quiet type in charge of the stables who spends a lot of time worrying about Theo's teenage ways.
- Theo Bear is happy to take guests out on trails and show them the area. Especially if they bring him alcohol. Or if they're Irish and have boobs. Mostly just boobs.
- The team uncovers several pertinent facts about the guests:
- Pete and Remy stage a brawl in order to distract the ranch's occupants while Kitty sneaks inside the ranch house to poke around at the office.
- Sid is injured when his horse acts up and his saddle strap doesn't hold. Some on the ranch suspect that it's no accident.
- Nancie Edwards overhears both an argument featuring Angela and Sid, and Angela making what looked to be a phone call late one night.
- The phone lines continue to be down.
- Sal begins a relationship with Sid Garringer.
- Jeff goes into town for supplies - and the team continues to think about leaving, make plans to leave, and then abruptly decide that leaving isn't really an awesome idea.
- The team uncovers some more facts about the ranch and those who run it:
- The team uncovers some more facts about the guests:
- Jessica Hodgens arrives, claiming it just 'felt like a good idea.' She's later confirmed to be a mutant who turns invisible.
- A new arrival, Kelsey MacDougall, is a former classmate of Kitty and Alex from Xavier's. She is a mutant who understands all languages.
- Alex Summers begins to suspect something shady is going on. Kitty warns the team to be cautious around him, and Pete later orders the others to minimize interaction with Kitty, as her cover has been compromised.
- A massive thunderstorm keeps everyone locked in the ranch dorms. Significant damage occurs to the ranch, including a lighting strike that is dangerously close.
- Theo finds Angela dead in one of the stable stalls. Jeff is determined that no one bother the body until the authorities arrive. The local police determine that Angela died from blunt trauma to the back of the head, and there are numerous wounds after a night in a stall with a stallion panicked by the thunderstorm.
- Amadeus sneaks in to check out Angela's body and finds that there wasn't any blood spatter around the stall Angela was found in. The body itself was found face down, head smashed in.
- Remy shares his inability to leave the ranch with Nancie Edwards, who in turn tells him that she overhead Angela in a huge argument the night of the storm.
- On a trip to some local caves with a hidden swimming hole, Kitty overhears a man's voice, apparently talking to himself, which says: "What if she tells?", "Don't give her the chance."
- Remy responds by having cameras planted outside the cave to watch for comings and goings and asks others to try to determine whether there is more than one entrance to the mine.
- Another new guest, Amber Nash, arrives, claiming she came because of a 'vision quest'. Her name appears on the list stolen from Management; she can detect mutants.
- Pete and Kitty go exploring in the abandoned mine near the cave system, and both claim that 'something' is in there. Kitty is shaken up by the incident, and Pete tells the rest of the team to only explore with someone they know they can trust, and to absolutely not split up inside.
- Sal is injured in some manner that she won't discuss. It later comes to light that Sid Garringer tempted her to a cliff and pushed her over the edge.
- X-Factor agents at home send a robot to explore the ranch. It is intercepted and hidden by Kelsey and Jess and its packaged communicator, intended for Remy, is taken by Kelsey, who later offers it to him in exchange for some answers.
- Walter and three of the new guests, including Amber, Alex, and Kelsey go into the mine. Kelsey hears voices and is twisted into believing Walter is trying to hurt her; he forcibly removes her from the mine. He calls the mine 'spooky', but does not feel its effects himself.
- A secondary team, led by Bahir, arrives at Lost Waters after nearly three weeks of no contact. They determine:
- Their cover is fucked. At least, where the guests are concerned.
- All team members are accounted for.
- Back home, Jeffrey Hatfield has been identified as Jacob Hendrickson, a former X-Factor employee with a psionic mutation that allows him to create compulsions in others.
- Bahir and Tom do some mind-poking and determine telepathic influence which had been preventing the guests from leaving. They do their best to clear this up and distribute inhibitors.
- Bahir thinks he may recognize the thing in Kitty's head. The signs he sees are bigger than what Jeff should have been able to produce.
- Inhibitors are a good idea. Everyone gets one.
- Bahir and Tom find something dark and twisty inside Amber's head, bigger than the telepathic compulsion to come to and stay on the ranch.
- Nancie Edwards goes missing and is later found dead at the base of a cliff. She was still alive when Jeff left.
- Natalie's ghosts reveal that Sid Garringer killed nosey-Nancie by pushing her off the cliff, then buried her body.
- Alex Summers grows increasingly angry at being left out of the XF loop.
- Concerns grow about Sal's close relationship with Sid.
- Agents are ordered to stay out of the mine without approval by Remy, Kitty, or Bahir.
- Kelsey MacDougall is made an offer. She joins up.
- Kitty disappears. Kelsey saw Sid traveling toward the mine with something bulky slung over his horse. He's been MIA since.
- Bahir suggests that for the Shadow King, his maximum telepathic range is over 1.5 km; average range around 100m, minimum is touch. Jeff -- who is NOT, technically, a telepath -- has a likely range between 1.5km and 100m, possible to be farther both due to the narrow focus of his power and outside assistance, plus he does not require line of sight.
- Bahir confirms that the entity in the mine is the Shadow King, but the information is communicated only on a need-to-know basis to prevent panic. In light of this, they contact Jean Grey and Emma Frost for help, but neither is reachable.
- A team goes into the mine in an attempt to find and rescue Kitty. In the course of this, Kelsey leaves the team for a brief time and has telepathic compulsions to sabotage the mission forced into her mind by the Shadow King. The team finds small room off of one of the side passages in the mine, set up for temporary living, with food, drink, sleeping bag, and electricity.
- The team believes that both Jeff and Sid are still on the ranch. They place cameras and snipers outside the mine entrance, watching, with plans to take them both down if seen. Further concerns surface about Sal's ability to do her job in relation to Sid.
- Agents on Jeff Watch, including Sal, Will and Pete, witness two figures presumed to be Sid and Jeff near the second cave.
- There was some confusion between the agents about what happened, as well as definite psychic attacks suffered by at least one of the agents.
- Later that morning, Alex and Remy investigated the explosion points in the mine and discovered that it was slightly less hostile than prior.
- Teams split to different sniper points to prepare for a final showdown, surrounding the mine entrance and the ranch. The Plan: Have snipers in position to track Sid and Jeff when they appear. A demolitions team consisting of Alex, Remy and Zenith head into the mine to use a combination of explosions and mutation to cut off Sid and Jeff's ability to escape out other points of the mine. They succeed, but then have to make a serious run for it.
- Sid and Jeff (And the Shadow King) catch up with them as they head back out the mine, and play psionic headgames, disorienting them and preventing their escape. Will and Sal approach the mine to assist in getting them out. In the process of extraction, Alex drops Sid by burning his face off with his mutational blasts. Sal witnesses this.
- Jeff makes it back to the ranch, with agents from Team Sniper and Team Explosion in hot pursuit. Kelsey, under Jeff's influence, begins shooting at the agents, injuring Walter and Percy and is eventually taken down by Pete. Jeff is taken down by Pete Wisdom and is severely burned.
- Sid and Jeff are both captured, and medically stabilized with Kaci's help. It is determined that Sid has been under Jeff's influence for some time.
- The Shadow King escapes.
- Angela Corpo ran Lost Waters Ranch after her husband, Carl, died. During X-Factor's stay she seemed nervous and worried, and after a huge thunderstorm she turned up dead in a stable stall.
- Jeffrey Hatfield was the ranch's newest employee, brought in to help with PR and advertising. He was very successful at bringing in new business - mostly because he was really Jacob Hendrickson, a mutant who was working with the Shadow King to bring likely mutants to Lost Waters via telepathic compulsion for some nefarious purpose.
- Sid Garringer was in charge of the stables at Lost Waters and started a romance with X-Factor agent Sal Harper before his mind was taken over by Jeff's compulsions.
- Dinah and Theo Bear are a mother-son combo who help do general things around the ranch. Dinah runs the kitchen, and Theo does a variety of chores, including sharing lots of juicy ranch tidbits with the guests.
- Nancie Edwards was one of the first missing names to show up, and her reporter's curiosity led her toward a few pieces of evidence before eventually getting her killed.
- Kelsey MacDougall, a victim of Jeff's 'show up' compulsions and a likely XF candidate, lent a hand to the team and ended up joining it.
- Amber Nash came to the ranch on a 'spirit quest' and used her mutant-sighting abilities to help get things back in order before she went home with X-Factor.
- Alex Summers nearly ruined everything when he caught on to former-classmate Kitty's cover-related lies, and spent a lot of time angry at XF for theirs. In the end, though, he also joined up.
- Lost Waters Ranch, where the atmosphere is homey and you won't ever want to leave. Ever.
- Awesome caves with a waterfall and swimming hole.
- Abandoned mine where evil things live.