The island of Arcadia:
Waves crash against the cliffs overlooking the sea, as rain pours down and lightning crackles in the sky above. Jennifer Walters a.k.a. She-Hulk, Baroness of Arcadia stands on the shore along with several of A-Force – Medusa, Jean “Phoenix” Grey, Ororo Munroe a.k.a. Storm, Jessica Drew a.k.a. Spider-Woman, Alison “Dazzler” Blaire, Megan Gwynn a.k.a. Pixie and Monica Rambeau a.k.a. Spectrum. 'Any sign of the Sub-Mariners?' Medusa enquires. She-Hulk replies that there isn't yet, and points out that the pressure of the depths might be affecting their communicators. 'Jean, could you -' Jennifer begins, before suddenly, 'No, wait – Namora?' she asks, as Namora can be heard over the communicator, informing She-Hulk that it is beautiful. Below the depths, she, Namor and Namorita float before a glowing light, 'We can hear – we can hear music, Baroness' Namora reveals. 'We can see – what can't we see?' Namor comments, while a wide-eyed Namora adds 'It's – it's – a portal'. The three Sub-Mariners float before the portal, all sorts of fish and marine life swim around them, as events and people can be seen, blurred, inside the portal.
'A portal...' She-Hulk muses, before there is a loud rumbling, and Namor informs She-Hulk that the portal is collapsing. 'We need to go' he exclaims as he grabs Namora and swims upwards, while Namora looks back at the portal, and Namorita swims alongside. The portal closes, 'Brace for impact!' Namor decalres, as a burst of water throws the Sub-Mariners out of the sea. Phoenix catches Namorita, while Pixie looks after Namora, and Spider-Woman helps Namor, and Spectrum and Carol Danvers a.k.a. Captain Marvel are nearby. 'Are you injured? Can you stand?' She-Hulk asks. Namor reports that they are unhurt, 'The portal is -' Namora begins. 'Gone' She-Hulk declares as she gazes out over the sea.
The next morning, at the house of Loki, Nico Minoru and America Chavez, 'Come on in' Nico a.k.a. Sister Grimm tells the strange woman she found, whose appearance is entirely that of a night sky, filled with stars. Sister Grimm tells her companion that this is her room, and America's is down the hall. 'She... she broke a law. My team, A-Force, they exiled her'. She adds that they have to be really quiet. 'If we're caught... oh. Yeah' Nico remarks as she sees her companion looking at a wall of photographs depicting Nico, America and their friends. 'Little moments, you know. I... here, let me' Sister Grimm tells her companion as she picks up a bow from her dresser, Sister Grimm sits on a chair, with her new friend sitting in front of her, playing with the cat, while Nico does her hair. 'So – ah, I don't suppose you'll tell me your name?' she asks, but gets no response.
We are rarely given to know when our lives will change forever. In the years that follow, as we count the ripples, we can trace them to the single tiny stone – the brush of a hand, the sudden look, the conversation that took such a strange turn – the call in the dead of the night. Who we are – the kindness and cruelty that shape us – may not come with a blush or a scar. We don't hinge on universes. We hinge on little things.
'Nico, child?' a voice calls out, and Nico looks worried, 'Nico, are you awake -?' the female Loki asks as she enters Nico's room and Nico looks up and tells her that she can explain. 'Nico... I went looking for you, child' Loki tells her, touching her face. Nico hangs her head and explains that she didn't want to come home. 'It would've made America... it would've made what happened... real'. Loki watches as the mystery woman plays with the cat, and tells Nico that she understands, for they all grieve in different ways. 'This little friend of yours... is she something you conjured?' Loki enquires. 'I – I found her' Nico announces. 'You know that the Baroness must be told' Loki points out. 'That is the last thing we should do! America -' Nico begins, while her friend has removed the bow from her hair and uses it to tease the cat, Loki explains that She-Hulk must be told precisely because of what she did to – because of what happened to America. 'Our domain has come under attack and we've yet to discern the source'. Loki adds that they must take this girl to A-Force, and let them determine her true nature.
Shortly, the Arcadian Plaza, outside of A-Force Headquarters:
She-Hulk, Medusa, Dazzler and Captain Marvel stand on the stairs to their headquarters, and She-Hulk smiles as she greets Nico and Loki, before asking 'And who is this? A – newcomer?!' 'Going to send her away to the wall too, Baroness?' Nico asks, arms folded. 'Loving the light show. She's got good taste, clearly' Dazzler remarks as she inspects the smiling new arrival. She-Hulk hangs her head. Carol asks Nico where she found this girl, to which Nico explains that she fell from the sky. 'How can that be? There is nothing above -' Carol replies, before Medusa starts to tangle her hair around the strange woman, 'She does not speak, perhaps I can -' Medusa begins, but Nico angrily tells her to stop. 'You're scaring her!' she exclaims. 'Medusa -' She-Hulk begins, when suddenly, everyone looks up as a burst of red energy can be seen and a rumbling noise is heard. The red energy is a portal, and from it, a very large Sentinel falls. 'Commence destruction!' the robot announces, causing nearby civilians to run for their lives, while the mystery woman stands before the Sentinel and grins. The Sentinel raises a foot, ready to stand on the woman, while Nico shouts 'No!' and lunges towards her new friend, pushing her to safety. 'A-FORCE assemble!' She-Hulk shouts, and the heroes turn to face the Sentinel.
'Dazzler!' She-Hulk calls out, 'I got it, boss' Dazzler replies as she flies towards the Sentinel, light powers at the ready. She-Hulk tells Dazzler that they know nothing about it, and instructs her to go on defense. 'Disco Tuesday, coming right up' Dazzler exclaims as she prepares to discharge a blast of energy – but the Sentinel blasts her first, sending Dazzler crashing backwards, Captain Marvel follows. 'Nico! What's in this thing? Is it a person?' She-Hulk asks as she shields herself from the blast. 'X-ray' Nico utters, before reporting that it is a program, an android – there is nothing inside but code. 'Then shut it down!' She-Hulk commands, while protecting several civilians from a falling wall. 'Medusa, you take the civilians and I'll take the robot?' Nico suggests as she fires a blast of energy towards the robot. 'What can I say? I'm a river to my people' Medusa replies as she uses her hair to shield several people from the Sentinel blasts. Amongst a ruined fruit stall nearby, the mystery woman watches the chaos and smiles. 'Mutant signature detected. Terminating' the Sentinel declares as it pulls a large spire from a building, as if it was spear, the Sentinel throws it towards Dazzler, who has fallen over, and is surrounded by a group of civilians. 'Oh, God, look out -' Dazzler gasps, while some sort of energy, similar in its cosmic appearance as the mystery woman, is emitted, and Dazzler, the mystery woman and the civilians suddenly find themselves safe on a nearby rooftop. 'What the -?' someone gasps. 'How did we get up here?' another asks. 'Look! There!' someone shouts, as they look at the mystery woman.
'Bomber formation!' She-Hulk commands, Dazzler and Sister Grimm fighting alongside her, the Sentinel suddenly grabs Dazzler, 'Target apprehended' it states. 'Because you chose the wrong target!' Captain Marvel declares as she fires a blast of energy that cuts off the Sentinel's hand, causing it to drop Dazzler, who falls into the open arms of the mystery woman. 'Oh. Thank you' Dazzler tells her, the strange woman just grins at her. 'Terminate' the Sentinel states, and She-Hulk picks up the spire that the Sentinel used as a spear, 'Getting a little tired of that monologue' she remarks. 'Time we put a pin in it' She-Hulk suggests. From a rooftop, Medusa wraps her long tresses around the Sentinel's head and pulls it backwards. 'Or a...you know' She-Hulk mutters as she hurls the spire, which penetrates the Sentinel's chest, and Captain Marvel delivers the finishing blow as she punches the robot's head off. 'Boom, son' she declares, before sitting down near her teammates, who have gathered at the fallen robot's body. 'Okay guys... that was pretty cool' Sister Grimm admits. The mystery woman and Dazzler join the others, and Medusa reminds She-Hulk that she asked for the source of ther portal. 'Forgive me, but do we not have the answer right in front of us?' Medusa enquires.
Medusa turns to the girl and points out that she is a newcomer, and she evidently causes rifts when she is distressed. 'The great shark, this monstrous android – these apparitions are not forces of nature. These portals, these attacks upon Arcadia must be stopped. Do you wish for all of us to suffer America's fate?' Medusa asks as Sister Grimm raises her staff to protect her new friend. Civilians look around at the heroes, and Medusa warns She-Hulk to do her duty, less she does it for her. 'The girl saved lives!' She-Hulk exclaims. 'As did America' Medusa replies. She-Hulk points out that they don't know the girl is the cause of these rifts, as the first one closed too soon, and she was nowhere near it. 'That proves nothing. What if she triggers them with her mere existence?' Medusa suggests. 'She intervened, in the fight – when the Sentinel threw the bell tower on the sidelines, she saved those civilians' Dazzler declares. 'Not sure how, admittedly...' she adds. Carol suggests that it could have just been self-preservation.
She-Hulk points up at the whirling portal above them and asks if the mystery woman meant to preserve herself, why would she summon a weapon that immediately tried to kill her? 'I do not believe that the simplest answer is always the truth' She-Hulk announces. Sister Grimm puts her arm around her new friend, while She-Hulk declares that the source of these attacks is still out there, and announces that she means to find it. Everyone looks up the red portal, and She-Hulk points out that there is no time like the present. 'Captain Marvel, Dazzler, are we -' She-Hulk begins, before the mystery woman rushes from Nico's side, over to She-Hulk. 'What now, little one?' She-Hulk asks. 'Oh' she gasps as the mystery girl takes the bow from her hair and wraps it around She-Hulk's wrist. '...thank you' She-Hulk replies, as the mysterious girl lifts She-Hulk into the air, and she is sucked towards the portal.
'Okeedokee, then' She-Hulk utters as she finds herself in a destroyed city. The sky burns red, buildings are in a state of disrepair, rubble lay across the street, tanks have come to a stop, and the sign at She-Hulk's feet reads “New York City. United Doom States”.