In the cold of space, a figure clad in white and gold silently mediated, surrounded by a fiery, bird-shaped corona. In front of her, the sun burned as brightly as it ever had, though its heat had no effect on her. Instead, she was protected by the warm cocoon of the Phoenix, which let out a caw every once in awhile as the woman encased in the middle of its blazing form concentrated. A short while had passed since Jean Grey had appeared on this merged world, somehow reborn from the grave, and once more joined with the Phoenix Force. She still hadn't figured out the whats and the whys of it, but she was coming to realize that instead of questioning that, perhaps it would be better if she just went with it, and let things play out as they inevitably would. Jean had become used to the cycle of death and rebirth that her life had taken, and so she no longer feared what the future held, though she would at least like some sort of a hint as to what was next. Not that anyone could have predicted this merging of worlds, Jean thought to herself. There are so many still missing, she added, thinking of those friends of hers who still hadn't appeared. Scott. Ororo. Kitty. Jean frowned. Even Emma.
Jean lifted herself out of the lotus position that she had been in and turned away from the sun. Above her, she heard the Phoenix caw once more. It wanted to fly. Jean understood that. She wanted to fly, as well, to explore, to learn of this new world. From here, so far away from Earth, everything seemed as it should have been, but when she reached out with her consciousness, she could instinctively tell that things were different. Reality had changed at its most fundamental level. On Mars, Jean could feel a dead civilization which had not been there before the universes at merged. She could tell that there were other planets out there - lives which had not existed on her world previously. Everything has changed on a fundamental level.
She turned and went back towards Earth. And yet, still is so much the same. After all, the villains still did their thing. Crime still happened. People still fell in love, got married, had children. Some people lost their jobs, others got promotions. Jean half-smiled to herself, thinking of the French author Alphonse Karr. The more things change, the more they change the same. Yes. I can agree that the quote is indeed true.
A couple of hours later, Jean came down in the New York City, just in time to stop - of all things - a bank robbery. You'd think with the advent of the internet, that things like this would have become less commonplace. Then again, the more things change... She turned her attention to the robbers and telekinetically held them in place, while telepathically nudging a nearby police car to come over and arrest the two thieves. No fancy fireworks or anything. She didn't want to give the Phoenix too much leeway to go crazy again. Not that she knew if it would, but the last thing this new world needed was Jean taking any chances with a power that could potentially rend the entire universe apart. She didn't pay attention to the citizens around her who either gazed at her in awe or ran screaming from the scene. She was just glad that no anti-mutant protesters tried to attack her while she waited for the police.
She was gone right before the police arrived, though, walking around a corner, arranging her molecules into a far more casual outfit. She had, she realized, some thinking to do, and a direction to find. She couldn't quite decide on what that would be, though.