|Dates run:||December 15, 2004|
|Read the logs:||Shattered|
"Blood and water made one, flesh and earth made one, breath and air made one..."
An accident down in the medlab shatters the Gem of Cyttorak in Cain's chest, setting in motion events that will change his life forever.
After the events of Sound and Fury, Alison was still having trouble controlling her light powers due to overstimulation. As part of an experiment organized by Moira, Cain offered to let her use the gem embedded in his chest as a prism to test her ability to focus her lasers.
While Moira monitored readings from outside the reinforced test room, Alison focused her laser on the gem, trying to contain the beam within the facets of the crystal. Unexpectedly, as the laser refracted through the gem, it began to cause memories to flood Cain's mind of the circumstances through his acquiring the gem. When these memories began to become visible as red-tinged holograms, Cain went into a full flashback of his experiences in Vietnam. As Alison watched, he was forced to relive the events of his youth before the gem in his chest shattered and exploded.
Immediately, Moira ran to the room, summoning Nathan when she discovered the damage. When Nathan arrived and the full extent of the damage was realized, Moira put emergency measures into action. Calling Amanda down to the medlab, a mindlink was formed between Moira, Nathan, and Amanda. Nathan used Amanda's magical senses to telekinetically gather every single shattered piece of the crystal, including those that had embedded themselves in Alison. While Moira kept Cain's damaged heart pumping, Nathan pushed his telekinesis beyond the limits, working on the molecular level to bond the crystal fragments on a molecular level to Cain's DNA while Amanda worked a spell to make the gem one with Cain's flesh.
The procedure appeared to be successful, although Cain's body was still comatose, and undergoing intense physical changes, spiking his body temperature high enough to cause his body to give off steam. Once Cain was physically stabilized, Moira contacted Charles, who immediately chartered a plane to return from a cross-country speaking engagement and entered into telepathic contact with his comatose stepbrother.
Once inside Cain's subconscious mind, Charles realized that the gem had basically taken the place of Cain's nervous system, and once removed the damage had been similar to a massive stroke. However, unless his mind could repair itself from the psychic shock, Cain would never recover.
In Cain's memories, Charles watched scenes from his stepbrother's life unfold, illustrating how he had become the man filled with so much rage that he was able to contain the power inside the gem. He watched as a young Cain was chastised by his father for choosing athletics over science, spurring on Cain's decision to join the Marines. The next image was one formed by Cain's own fears and doubts, a homecoming parade for Salem Center's returning Vietnam veterans, with Cain himself a crippled invalid forced to watch from the shadows.
Charles confronted Cain directly about his situation, urging him to return. At this point, the true landscape of Cain's mind was revealed as a burning wasteland of destruction and desolation that Cain was sinking further into. Struggling to free his brother, Charles became aware of another presence inside Cain's mind - the Elder God, Cyttorak.
Cyttorak declared that Cain had been destroyed, and that he had been no more than a vessel. In defiance of Cyttorak's decree, Charles summoned his psychic strength and fought the invincible presence until Cain stood on his own and took Charles' place, fighting the massive god in his own mind.
Charles then exited the astral plane, receiving the telepathic message from Moira that Cain had stabilized. Although massively changed physically, Cain Marko would live.
Trivia and Meta
As a result of these events, Cain became physically smaller (Losing a foot of height and over half his body mass, although he still clocks in at seven and a half feet tall and over five hundred pounds) and spent the next three months recuperating from his injuries.
When the gem broke, Cyttorak was released from the gem, taking physical form elsewhere and setting in motion events that would conclude in The Enemy Within.