'Does it still hurt?' Betsy Braddock a.k.a. Psylocke asks as she leans down across Fred Dukes the Blob, who looks up at Betsy with wide-eyes. 'Yes' he utters. Kneeling on the Blob's kitchen table, Betsy then pulls back and folds her arms. 'Okay' she tells him, before getting off the table and walking out of the kitchen, telling the Blob that she will see him tomorrow. The Blob lets out a gush of air as he continues to watch Betsy, wide-eyed.
“Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse”
TS Eliot's “The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock”.
The next day, the Blob sits at his desk in the Department X office, and looks over at Betsy as Jubilee hands her a report. 'You wanted this, right?' Jubilee asks, telling Betsy that it is the Danger Room intake reports from last year. Betsy thanks Jubilee and tells her that she had forgotten she even asked for it. Betsy then looks over at the Blob smiles. Blob looks sheepish, and smiles back.
Shortly: 'Please, I'll be good. It won't happen again! Stop!' a mutant with green skin calls out as he is brought into the office by Bobby Drake a.k.a. Iceman and Jean-Paul Beaubier a.k.a. Northstar. The mutant looks over at Moneta and tells her 'I'll never see her again, I promise! Just don't make me forget her!' Scowling, Moneta remarks to her colleagues that it is funny how they always say that. 'Nope' Bobby replies. 'Non' Jean-Paul agrees. This annoys Moneta, who calls out to Betsy. 'Yes, of course. Coming' Betsy responds as she gets up from her desk and approaches the green-skinned mutant, 'Nooooooo!' the mutant screams, while Betsy tells him that should be it, and asks if he feels better now. 'Yes' the now drowsy mutant replies, looking at Betsy. Betsy tells the others that they should give him some time to rest before they go back in for confirmation. 'That was quite a lengthy infraction to clean up. And I don't want to be more invasive than we have to be' Betsy remarks. Jean-Paul agrees, and Bobby leads the mutant to a comfy chair, while the Blob tries to focus on the work at his desk.
At Noon, the Blob looks at some papers on his desk. At 2:00 pm he answers his phone, 'Department X, Fred speaking. Gosh, that's too bad. What night did you say that was? Okay, we'll investigate and get it cleaned up in a jiff. Don't you worry' he tells the caller. At 4:34 pm, Jubilee tells the Blob that she really needs to talk to him, but the Blob interrupts her, 'One sec' he tells her, before asking Jean-Paul if he has a minute. 'Possibly' Jean-Paul responds. Jubilee frowns and folds her arms as the Blob informs Jean-Paul that he got a tip about the condemned building off route 9 – a group of kids are rumored to be throwing a party there a few nights from now. 'Kids being teens, teens being kids, you know how it is – but we should plan on getting there before anything goes wrong' Blob suggests. He adds that he thinks he has caught everyone else up to speed, but asks Jean-Paul if he sees Betsy to let her know. 'Non. Tell her yourself. She's in the kitchen with the clown' Jean-Paul mutters.
The Blob enters the kitchen to find Betsy and Bobby making some food. 'So, listen – what do you call this?' Bobby asks. 'Do you mean the hob or the baking tray?' Betsy responds. 'Fascinating. And this?' Bobby asks, picking up the food. 'Biscuits?' Betsy replies. 'I didn't know you could cook, Betsy' the Blob calls out. 'Oh! Hi! Sorry -' Betsy utters, covering her mouth as she eats some of the biscuit. Betsy then declares that she absolutely cannot cook – she just remembered this one recipe for sage biscuits. Betsy admits that she thinks she might have picked up the recipe accidentally from someone's mind recently, as it is not her knowledge, as far as she knows. 'Betsy, you scoundrel! What if this was someone's prize-winning recipe you stole?' Bobby asks.
Suddenly, Moneta enters the kitchen and calls out to Betsy. Bobby gasps, 'They found you! I'll destroy the evidence!' he jokes. 'Mon dieu, tu as du front tout le tour de la tete, Betsy!' Moneta snaps. Betsy, Bobby and Blob all look over at Moneta blankly, when Jean-Paul speeds into the kitchen and informs Betsy that Moneta said “You have some nerve, Betsy”.
'What did you do?' Jean-Paul asks. Betsy tells him that she doesn't know, that she hasn't done anything, before Blob asks Moneta what this is all about. 'She's been lying to you! To us all!' Moneta exclaims as Jubilee joins the group, too. Betsy asks Moneta what she is talking about, to which Moneta announces that she just went to confirm with the retrograde they brought in earlier, but she found no trace of a mindwipe – none!
Wide-eyed, Betsy asks Moneta what she did that for. 'I told you we needed to let him rest!' she exclaims, before asking Bobby to go check on him. 'If any harm was because of us -' Betsy gasps, 'On it!' Bobby replies as he ice-sleds out of the kitchen. Betsy reminds Moneta that she can't go into their minds until they settle after a wipe. 'You know this. It's a delicate process!' she exclaims. Moneta sarcastically responds that she is sure that's it, and not Betsy stalling to find a way to get him out of here with his memories intact. She then accuses Betsy of working with the Resistance.
'Enough!' Blob exclaims, looking down at Moneta, he tells her that these are very serious accusations she is making, and states that Betsy didn't do anything wrong. He asks Moneta if she even stopped to consider that perhaps their guest has an ability that allows him to get his memories back somehow, and adds that there is no resistance movement. 'You can't even make a decision about the prisoner in the basement!' Moneta snaps. 'Quiet! Call her a guest, you little w-' Jubilee begins, but Moneta glares up at Blob and asks why she should listen to anything he has to say. 'Because I'm the one who communicates what Department X does to the X-Men' Blob responds, before suggesting to Moneta that she take the rest of the day off to clear her heard a bit – and before she says something hurtful that she might regret later. 'But there is a resistance movement! I'll prove it to you!' Moneta retorts as she rushes from the kitchen, right past Bobby, who has returned.
Betsy asks Bobby how the young man is, to which Bobby assures her that he is okay, and suggests that the mindwipe probably didn't take is all. 'Has that ever happened before?' Jean-Paul asks, arms folded. 'First time for everything!' the Blob points out. 'I swear, I didn't mean -' Betsy begins, as the Blob tells her that it is okay, and they know she didn't mean to, that it is fine, everything is fine. 'Uh, no' Jubilee calls out. She hates to say it, but remarks that Moneta was right about one thing – they have to do something about Nezumi. 'This is what I was trying to talk about earlier, Fred. Have you... seen the way she's being kept down there?' Jubilee asks. Blob replies that he hasn't. 'I assumed -' he begins, to which Jubilee informs him that for one thing, Nezumi is in chains. 'WHAT! Who -' the Blob utters. 'Who do you think? Bibitte, who also runs down there to refine her torture techniques every chance she gets' Northstar declares. 'Why -' Blob begins, to which Jean-Paul asks 'Why is there still a pregnant woman chained in the basement in the first place?'
'Because no one will take her in, Jean-Paul. I've called every hospital within 500 miles and no one will accept a pregnant patient. And I'll be honest, I'm too afraid to process her for the Danger Room. I don't want to be the person responsible for Miss Nezumi giving birth in prison after we cleared out all her prior knowledge of the pregnancy. It seems...I don't know...you folks know what I mean' Blob responds, to which Jean-Paul tells him that he will have to do something about her sooner rather than later – because that pregnancy will force the moment to its crisis – whether they are ready for it or not.
Night falls, and Blob returns to his home, tossing his jacket aside, he lays shirtless on his bed and closes his eyes – only to open them when he hears a knocking. He goes to his front door, and opens it – Betsy is standing there. 'I wanted to see if you were okay' Betsy smiles. The Blob lets her into his house, 'Some day, huh? I tell ya' he remarks to her, as Betsy walks to the kitchen and announces that she will put the kettle on, before asking Blob to bring her his favorite books. 'Okay' the Blob smiles.
Shortly:'I hate it' Betsy declares, slamming a book called “The Age of Anxiety” by WH Auden onto the kitchen table. 'It's so – it's too raw' Betsy explains. The Blob looks up from his book, “The Waste Land” by TS Eliot, and tells Betsy to try this one as he puts it on the table. Betsy sighs and tells Fred that she doesn't know how he stomachs this stuff, that it makes her feel so embarrassed that they ever carried all these things inside them.
She pulls her legs up to her chest as she sits on the chair and adds 'And all the time, too! I remember – I mean, I'm fairly certain this is my memory, because look – it can still make me cry' she utters. Blob calls out to Betsy, who assures him that she is fine. 'This is how I know it's mine' she sniffs. Tears welling up in her eyes, Betsy tells Fred that she remembers hearing a classmate describe the first moment when she felt beautiful – she distinctly recalls the understanding she had upon hearing this, because she had yet to feel that way – so then she thought it might just be some kind of rite of passage, then to look in the mirror and discover she no longer hated every inch of her body.
Betsy continues, revealing that she had always hated her own physical imperfections, but after that, she just grew up thinking she was waiting for her turn to finally feel good about her body – but it never happened. Because nothing she was would ever be enough for her – and she had already developed an eating disorder long, long before overhearing her classmate breathlessly gossip about the first time she felt beautiful. Betsy sniffs again as tears roll down her face, she wipes the tears away and informs the Blob that she has always had a deficit of selflove, or an abundance of vitriol, perhaps, towards her own body – but now there is just this calm void in her head where there used to be a hissing, living abyss of self-hatred instead. She remarks that she never felt that way toward Kwannon's body, only hers, that it was so much easier to be kinder to herself through Kwannon's body – she didn't struggle with here eating disorder when she looked like Kwannon. 'Because she is not me, and she is beautiful' Betsy utters, before sighing and telling Blob that her point is that she doesn't miss anything about the old ways, it was confusing and she can only seem to remember hurting all the #$%&$#& time'.
Blob tells Betsy that he knows hearing him say it won't make a difference when it comes to combating the kinds of difficult internal processes she has been dealing with, but he does feel honorbound to state that, for the record: 'Betsy, you are so beautiful that I'd sell out every single member of the team just for a chance to #$%& you forever' Blob reads from a book. Blob tlels Betsy that he means it, that it seems downright criminal that she can't even see how lovely she is. 'Faces like yours would've started wars in ancient Greece, you know -' Blob adds, before Betsy bursts into laughter, before telling Fred that that is the worst thing she has ever heard. 'Oh. That? That's nothing. How about: “Hey, Betsy, you're so beautiful that when you crawled across my kitchen table yesterday, I was both turned on and terrified”' Blob reads. Betsy laughs again and asks Fred if it would really be that easy for him to leave behind Department X for her. 'So much for “apart and a part” then, I suppose' Betsy adds.
Blob tells Betsy that not every part is created equal, pointing out that he wouldn't prioritize his toenail over his heart, would he. Betsy stands up amongst the stacks of books around them and asks the Blob if, by default, he isn't more like the brains of the operation. Blob supposes that her would be the central nervous system more than anything else. 'And I didn't mean me – you're the heart' Blob adds. Betsy smiles at this, before frowning and remarking 'Monet's the $#%&, isn't she?' to which both she and Fred burst into laughter.
Days later, a few miles off route 9, the Department X team arrives at a run down old building. 'Are we sure it was tonight?' Jubilee asks. 'Yes? I mean, yes. This is the right time and place' Blob replies as they enter the building, with the Blob adding that they did want to get here before anything went wrong. He suggests it might be farther inside, and that the party these kids are throwing is supposed to be a real doozy. 'Did you know?' Betsy asks, looking around at the dishevelled stacks of books. 'That this place used to be a library? No' Blob replies, adding that he kinda wished he had.
The team comes to another area, where several mutants are seated around a small fire. 'Great party, you guys...' Bobby mutters. 'Again, I ask: are we sure this “doozy” of a party was tonight?' Jubilee asks her teammates. Betsy reminds the others that Fred said whoever called in the tip insisted they be here at this time. Jean-Paul points out that leaves the question of who phoned in the tip. 'I did!' Moneta announces, while a moth flies against a nearby light. 'None of you would believe me...so voila. I brought you right to the Resistance!' she exclaims, before rushing towards the mutants gathered in the room, declaring that they are all known members of a dangerous retrograde cult. 'It's the X-Tremists! Everybody scram!' one of the mutants exclaims. 'What did they just call us?' the Blob asks. The mutants begin to run, while one of them asks they others if they can't see that this is a test from En Sabah Nur, and declares that they must prove themselves worthy. 'For the glory of the father – LET US FINALLY DESTROY DEPARTMENT X!' they shout, as they begin to fight Department X.
Northstar grabs two of the mutants and flies upwards, while Iceman sleds about the room and covers one of them in ice. Jubilee fires her plasma fireworks at two of them, knocking them back, while Betsy readies a psychic sword, and Blob stands his ground as two of the mutants run towards him. 'Stop fighting us! It doesn't have to -' Blob begins, as the other mutant punches him, only his fist gets trapped in the Blob's stomach. 'We believe community is not conflict!' one of the mutants calls out, while Betsy alerts the Blob to the fact that these mutants are totally untrained, easily knocking one of them backwards. 'We believe love is not war!' one of the mutants exclaims, as Iceman throws up a wall of ice that blocks a large bookcase filled with books from falling on Northstar who is cornered by two mutants. 'Yeah, they don't know what they're doing. Great resistance, Moneta' Bobby mutters, as one of the mutants declares 'We believe mutant is not God!'
Northstar creates a brilliant light which causes the ice near him to melt. 'I don't need a nanny. Worry about yourself' Northstar snaps at Bobby, before the Blob slams a fist against the ground, knocking several mutants over. All of the other mutants are defeated, and Bobby turns to Betsy, 'Do you, ah, wanna...' he begins. 'What?' Betsy asks. 'You know, destroy the evidence? Erase their memories of us?' Bobby asks. 'Is that ethical?' Betsy enquires. 'No' Bobby tells her, while Jubilee announces that she doesn't feel good about this. Northstar agrees, and declares that whether they were resistance or not, they weren't breaking any laws. 'Bibitte... what have you done?' Northstar asks Moneta, who declares that she did what she had to. 'By leading your teammates into a trap?' Northstar asks her. Clenching a fist and looking very proud of herself, Moneta announces that she proved the resistance exists. 'Proved? The only thing you proved is that we're all a bunch of monsters!' the Blob replies.
'THEY WERE AFRAID OF US, MONETA!' the Blob shouts, looming over Moneta, pointing out that she instigated a fight with unarmed mutants – who weren't even breaking any rules. Blob tells Moneta that she endangered everyone in this room and all because she was petty enough to prove a point that way. 'You wouldn't listen to me! I was just doing my job!' Moneta protests. Enraged, Blob looks furious as he asks Moneta 'What job? You don't work with us'. A shocked Moneta goes wide-eyed and tells him that he can't do that. 'I'm the only one who can do that, little buddy' the Blob informs her. 'YOU CAN'T!' Moneta snaps, to which the Blob tells her that he did, and that she is done. The Blob looks up at several moths who fly into lights hanging nearby.
The Blob informs Moneta that they will have an independent contractor take care of her exit interview so there is no conflict of interest. 'You won't even remember there was ever a “resistance”!' the Blob exclaims as he grabs the light, and crushes it, while his teammates look at him. Betsy then takes Fred's hand, 'Thank you' she utters, looking at him and smiling.