They’ve got them, Mr. Snow! a technician announces as energy coalesces within the teleportation chamber and into the team called X-Factor. Good work, Snow compliments his employee when, a moment later, Polaris, Danger, Quicksilver, Warlock and Cypher are back. Seeing Cypher holding an unconscious Georgia in his arms, Snow asks what’s the matter. They shot her with some sort of tranq dart, Cypher replies. Snow quickly instructs Cypher to get her to the infirmary, and then congratulates Polaris on her good work, shaking her hand in the process. Asked by him about Georgia’s mother, Lorna replies that she’s currently in the hospital. She expects she’ll be fine. Asked which hospital, Lorna replies Park Nicollet Methodist.
Now turning to Quicksilver, Snow voices that he hates to send him back so soon, but the matter transport won’t be charged up for another hour yet. Can he run back there and get her? His concern is that her husband… Finishing his employer’s thoughts, Quicksilver notes that Memento Mori might use her as a hostage or something. Exactly, Snow replies. On his way, Quicksilver proclaims, disappearing half a moment later. Good, Snow voices. The rest of them, he then continues, excellent job. This thing went so wrong so quickly, but by working together as a team they managed to overcome all the… Hold it, Polaris interrupts, looking around. Where’s Gambit?
Elsewhere, Gambit is stripped naked and shackled to a chair. Around his body are several circular devices through which electricity is being run, causing him to yell in excruciating pain. Cutting the current, Memento Mori asks his prisoner if he is still with them. Yeah, fine, Gambit replies while trying to catch his breath. Comfy cozy. Continuing, Mori suggests that Gambit make this easy on himself. Tell him where his compatriots have taken Georgia. Hawaii beach is lovely… this time o’year, Gambit weakly mutters through gritted teeth. A moment later, another jolt of electricity courses through Gambit’s body, accompanied by a scream of pain. As the current subsides, Gambit informs Mori that he might as well kill him… Not gonna get… anywhere…
Resolute, Mori asks Gambit to tell him… which of his teammates did he piss off? The rest of his team is gone. Just transported away. But he was left behind. When Gambit weakly voices that it was an accident, Mori offers a “perhaps,” but he doubts it. So again, he has to ask him: who in his group would have reason to abandon him? Because that’s what they’ve done. They’ve abandoned him. Who would want to do that? Silently, the question courses through Gambit’s mind, eventually coming to an answer. Snow… he mutters to himself. Damned Snow.
Hearing this, Mori inquires “Harrison Snow?” Of Serval Industries? He’d heard tell that he had assembled a team of superdoers, but he has had yet to actually generate a publicity push for it. Is he on the team? Mori asks Gambit. Weakly, Gambit innocently asks what team. Ignoring the lie, Mori calls out to Reginald and orders a strike troop assembled. They’re moving out in ten minutes! Asked for the target, Mori replies Serval Industries in Virginia. Next asked regarding the goal, Mori reports that Georgia is there. They go in hard and fast to recapture her. Asked if they encounter resistance, Mori replies that they level the place. Isn’t that right, Mr. Lebeau? Receiving a “bite me,” Memento Mori orders Reginald to pack up Mr. Lebeau to come along.
Back at Serval, Harrison Snow tells one of his technicians that he doesn’t understand how Gambit got left behind. Completely covered by his suit, body and face, the technician reports that it could be any one of a dozen possible explanations. He assures his employer that he’ll look into it. Please do, Snow replies innocently. When Polaris balks at his apparent lack of concern, Snow repeats that he said he’d look into it. They’ve got to get Gambit back! Polaris quickly announces, to which Snow replies blandly that he’s sure Gambit can handle himself. Suspicious, Polaris asks what’s going on. Repeating the question, Snow adds that he’s no idea what she’s talking about. Cursing, Polaris notes that Snow doesn’t seem the least bit upset about Gambit being stranded. Of course, he’s upset, Snow innocently replies, his demeanor showing the opposite. He’s just trying not to let his upset show.
Turning to the technician, Polaris orders the machine to be fired up now. His arms spread wide in helplessness, the technician replies that he swears that if he could he would. But it will take at least an hour to “fire it up.” Plus he has to run diagnostics to find out what caused the glitch. Growing more irate, Polaris notes that losing a teammate isn’t a glitch! Touching her finger to the headset comm in her ear, Lorna radios Quicksilver, asking if he can hear her.
Already on his way back, Georgia’s mother in his arms, Quicksilver replies that he can hear her fine. What’s up? Asked if he can swing by the mall, Quicksilver asks if she means while he’s carrying Dakota? Not the most convenient of tasks. All right, all right, Polaris relents. Get back there as fast as he can. Then she has to send him back out again. Asked why, Polaris explains that Gambit didn’t get transported back with them. He has to go get him. Asked why again, Polaris notes the attempt at humor. A moment later, Quicksilver notes that he has Serval in his sights. Should be there in a min… Uh, oh. Asked by Polaris what he means by that, Quicksilver notes the inbound aircraft high above and informs her that they have company. Big company.
A moment later, the giant craft comes to a stop and hovers above the area over which Quicksilver is racing. Extending a multitude of weapons, the craft opens fire, attempting to spray the terrain in the speedster’s path. Dodging the projectiles, Quicksilver reports that it’s armed. Asked if it’s anything he can’t handle, Quicksilver replies with a “nah.” He’s on it.
Within Serval HQ, Polaris announces that it has to be Memento Mori. They can’t ignore the coincidence. When Snow agrees, Polaris asks if he has any thoughts as to what to do, Snow replies yes, and then darts away. Following closely, Lorna notes that this place is executive center, not a super hero headquarters. Does he have weapons? Reaching an immense door, Snow replies not offensive, no. Taking this to mean they do for defensive, Lorna assures Snow that they can put up a battle… but she can’t guarantee there won’t be incidental damage. Entering the room, which is bare except for a tall, seamless cylinder which rises in its center, Snow informs Polaris that he’s very aware of the number of times the Xavier School was destroyed, so he knows that claim is accurate. However, when he purchased the title of X-Factor from Jamie Madrox, that wasn’t the only thing he bought… He also picked up some devices and had his people make adjustments.
Before the two, the seamless cylinder begins to rise, after which its shell components begins to separate and float away, revealing a device within. At the center of the device rests a metal gauntlet. Cursing slightly, Polaris asks if that is… It is, Snow confirms before she can finish. Layla Miller’s glove. She used it to create a personal force field. They’ve got it wire to the entirety of the building. As Snow moves to put the glove onto his hand, Polaris reports that Quicksilver just reported in. The ship is right behind him though. Then tell him to stay put, Snow suggests. No one else is going anywhere.
Outside the building, still pursued by the aircraft, Quicksilver radios Polaris that if she’s going to do something now is the… Quicksilver’s words trail as yellow light fills the air. Never mind, the speedster says as the light coalesces into individual but interlocking hexagonal shapes, which form a dome over the building. Unable to stop or turn in time, Mori’s craft impacts with the energy dome with a deafening RAKOVLAAAM.
Though crippled, the raft remains intact. A few moments later, a hatch opens, out of which Memento Mori steps, accompanied by a cadre of armored troops, adorned with markings representing their allegiance to him. All right, that was very clever, Memento Mori admits, addressing those within the force field. Now he suggests they see who the cleverness continues. They appear to have forgotten something, he tells him, referring to the naked and bound Gambit sitting at his feet. Don’t worry. He brought him back for them. Now pointing a handgun at his captive, Mori announces that he will send Gambit to them one piece at a time unless they send out his daughter to him. They have five minutes to comply.
Seeing this from a distance, Quicksilver radios to Polaris that they have a problem. She knows, she sees it, she replies. Asked by Quicksilver if they’re going to do as he says, Polaris replies no. Asked if she has any other thoughts, she replies that she’s working on it. Still in his arms, Dakota tells Quicksilver that he’s got to let her handle this. Resolute, Quicksilver tells her not to worry. They’re on it.
Still at the craft’s ramp, Memento Mori notes to Gambit that there’s been no response. His team doesn’t care about him. Seems that way, Gambit quips. Asked if that doesn’t bother him, Gambit sneers that it just reminds him of his place in the world. Asked by Mori what that means, Gambit replies just what he said. Pull the trigger, don’t pull the trigger, he tells Mori. Means the same t’him. When Mori declares how very depressing, Gambit asks why. Remember what Mori told him – he’s gonna die. Every man before him’s done it. Sooner or later, it’s his turn. And if his dying keeps the girl out of his hands, well so much the better. Enraged by the insolence, Mori pistol whips Gambit. Go right on believing that, he tells Gambit. In fact, he can take that belief right to his gra…
Suddenly, one of Mori’s troops interrupts, telling his employer to look. Turning in the direction his minion is pointing, Memento Mori spies a portal opening at the edge of the energy dome, through which steps his daughter, Georgia. How about that, Mori tells Lebeau. It appears he matters to his team after all. As Georgia approaches, Gambit asks if Mori’s going to let him go. Once she’s there, he replies. Addressing his daughter, Mori asks if she’s all right. When Georgia does not reply, instead continuing to walk toward him in silence, Mori’s anger grows. He orders her to say something. Now. Now!
“Too late,” Georgia says simply. Raising her hand, she projects an energy blast, knocking Memento Mori off of his feet. A moment later, the form of Georgia Dakei transforms into that of the robot Danger, master of holograms. Quickly she requests Gambit to raise his hands and then promptly shoots his bonds once he complies. As she then tosses a jacket toward the still naked Gambit, Danger requests Mori’s men to stop shooting her. It’s annoying. Danger then proceeds to return fire, taking out Mori’s men. However, before she can finish the job. Mori recovers and uses a blast to knock Danger off of her feet, calling her a mechanical bitch in the process.
Shouldn’ta done that, cher, Gambit announces hurling nearly half a dozen charged cards from his jacket at Mori. Fine then, Mori replies, easily withstanding the attack. Then Gambit can die fighting. Suddenly, the fight is joined by the rest of X-Factor, who emerge from the force field. Polaris quickly orders Quicksilver and Cypher (who is clad in an armor made of Warlock) to flank Mori. Cypher to the right, Quicksilver to the left.
Seeing the attacking team, Mori orders his men to fall back and leave them to him. As his men comply, Mori informs Polaris that she have no idea what he’s capable of. Same here, Lorna rejoins, deflecting Mori’s energy blast with her own. Struggling in the process, Polaris stresses to her teammates any time!
On cue, Quicksilver knocks Mori off of his feet and calls to Cypher & Warlock that it’s all theirs. Before Memento Mori can recover, Cypher slams his Warlock-armored foot on the back of Mori’s head. He’s got him, Cypher announces. Mori’s down! Is that what he thinks? Mori asks Cypher. With a wave, Mori retaliates with an energy blast from his hand. Does he really think someone like him can take down someone Mori? Following up his attack with another, Mori explains that he harnesses the power of the sun itself! He’s a walking bomb! Don’t they understand that? And they know what bombs do, right? He means, they all get that? Overwhelmed by the attack, Polaris falls.
His foes now dispatched, Memento Mori nonchalantly raises his hood. So here’s what they’re going to do, he calmly proclaims. Back to Plan A. And no tricks this time. No, a voice corrects. That’s not what’s going to happen. Turning to regarding the source of the voice, who has placed her hand on his shoulder, Mori finds his ex-wife, Dakota. It’s going to end, she tells her. Here and now. Incredulously asked what she is talking about, Dakota adds that she’s doing what she should have done years ago when she did this him. Still not understanding, Mori pronounces her words nonsense, but Dakota explains. She used to practice magic, she tells him. He never knew. She kept it from him. He wasn’t the power-hungry one. She was. But she siphoned the power incorrectly and it wound up… he wound up…
This is nonsense! Memento Mori snarls, interrupting. No, it’s not, Dakota rejoins, placing her hands over Mori’s wrists. Quickly, Mori’s demeanor turns from disbelief to horror, demanding to know what she’s going and ordering her to let him go. She ran from him because she knew, Dakota continues, that sooner or later it would come to this. That she would have to stop him. She wasn’t strong enough then, but now… Now to protect her baby? She’s plenty strong.
Energy fills the air as X-Factor looks on. It is Georgia who first acts, calling out to her mom and dad, asking them to wait. No waiting, Dakota replies, looking back at her daughter with inhuman eyes. Be good, she tells her. She came around after she was born!! Came around to this! Stay strong! Seeing forces beyond per ability to understand or control, Polaris orders everyone to get back. Immediately, the team complies, fleeing from the tempest of energy which swirls around Georgia’s parents. Looking back as Cypher drags her away, Georgia can only yell in horror. NOOOOO!!!
The air around the fleeing X-Factor seems to cook. Then, one moment later, a massive flash of light and energy is unleashed in absolute silence. When it finally subsides nothing is left, except scorched earth. Having lost everything, a silent, tear-filled Georgia Dakei drops to her knees, her head in her hands. Though surrounded by the members of X-Factor, she is very much alone.