|Dates run:||October 31,2010 - December 3, 2010|
|Read the logs:||The Gift|
“Welcome to the first last day of your life, daughter.”
The Minoru family curse comes back to haunt Nico and almost destroys everything she has.
Part 1: I Can't Face Myself When I Wake Up. On the night of her birthday, Nico dreamed of a woman, Arcana Minoru, who issued a prophecy relating to Nico and the destruction of the world. The dream disturbed Nico, but for some reason she was reluctant to talk about it.
Part 2: Hold Me Now I Need To Feel Relief. Several days after Nico's dream, Amanda took her protegee birthday shopping at the local mall. Drawn to a Goth store she hadn't seen before, Nico and Amanda found themselves separated and trapped by Nico's parents, Nico with her father Robert and Amanda with Nico's mother, Tina. While Robert tried to 'reason' with Nico to voluntarily return to her family in time to free the Minoru family from an ancient Curse, Amanda battled Tina for custody of Nico, refusing to let the girl go without a fight. Between them, Nico and Amanda managed to drive the Minorus off, Nico overloading herself in the process.
Part 3: I'm So Afraid Of The Gift You Give Me. In a misguided attempt to help Julian save his family, Nico and Dori teleported to California to the Green family beach house. The escapade was short-lived as Jean and Jan arrived hot on the heels of their missing students. Crystal was called in to escort the runaways back to the school, but at the airport they were ambushed in the bathroom by an unseen foe.
The alarm was raised by Amanda, who had arranged to meet the flight to take her wayward apprentice to task. With the abduction of Julian's family, it was assumed that Gordon Macphearson had taken the girls as extra insurance, however once Macphearson was captured, an interrogation by Wallflower and Phoenix revealed that he in fact knew nothing about the missing girls.
With that news, Amanda teleported immediately to Los Angeles to join the X-Men team that had remained there. She had used a location spell to determine that the girls were not in a major urban centre and were somewhere in Wyoming, and further research by X-Force on missing young people as part as their investigations into the Minoru family's whereabouts pinpointed the mining town of Cody. While Amanda and the team were working on finding a more specific location from Cody locals, Crystal, Dori and Nico were waking up to discover they were indeed in the hands of Nico's parents and their cult. With Dori and Crystal trapped in cages imbued with a spell that reflected any attempts to escape back on the other prisoner (discovered when Crystal tried to attack Robert Minoru and instead injuring Dori), the Minorus explained that they were going to attempt to perform a ritual with Nico that would free them from a curse laid upon the family when an ancestor had made a bargain with a demon called the First. With her friends' lives at risk, Nico could do nothing more but comply as her parents managed to sever her connection to the Staff of One, rendering her helpless.
As the ritual began, Amanda and the X-Men had found the abandoned mine that the Minorus were using as a base. They encountered resistance when they tried to enter, members of the Minoru's cult preventing them from entering. While Hamster, Meltdown, Nightcrawler and Phoenix engaged the cultists, Amanda and Julian pushed their way through to the cavern where the ritual was taking place, only to discover they were too late - the ritual had concluded, with Arcana, the First Minoru witch who had made the pact with the demon in return for everlasting life possessing Nico. Strangely, as Amanda entered the chamber, the Staff of One left Robert Minoru's hand, striking her in the back.
Julian freed Crystal and an unconscious Dori while Amanda faced down Arcana, who showed great interest in her host body's teacher. Kurt teleported in to assist Amanda, but his sister requested him to help protect the Minorus from Arcana, who seemed intent on killing them. Arcana explained to Amanda that Nico wasn't "ready" yet and that she would return. Amanda used the Staff of One to cast Arcana out of Nico's body, but only to discover that the ritual had triggered Nico's mutation - the ability to drain energy from living things. With a mental call to Jean to get everyone out of range, Amanda managed to talk her hysterical student down and into a semblance of control, but not before she had killed several cultists with her powers.
Trivia and Meta
Dori was injured by Crystal's powers due to the magical prisons and spent several days in the medlab recovering.
Jean was injured during the fight by a magical monster and required Amanda's help in healing the wound.
Nico spent a large portion of the next few weeks hiding in her room, terrified of hurting anyone, until Amanda dragged her out to a remote area to feed.
This was Aura's first time running a plot, designed to reflect the changes in Nico's character in canon. The section titles came from the Seether song, "The Gift".