‘Oh, Jeannie! NO!’ Wolverine a.k.a. Logan cries out as the past Jean Grey stands in the center of a flaming Phoenix raptor. Hydra agents lie motionless around her as the flames spread across the floor. Regan Wyngarde a.k.a. Lady Mastermind and Madame Hydra are also motionless, while Mystique a.k.a. Raven Darkholme and Victor “Sabretooth” Creed stare in horror. Jean’s teammate also from the past, Scott “Cyclops” Summers is equally in shock, and asks Wolverine how she is doing this, and what is happening to her. ‘Please. Not this! Not again!’ Wolverine calls out.
Six Hours Ago:
An X-Jet streaks across a darkened sky. There is silence inside as Wolverine is inside at the controls alongside the past Hank McCoy a.k.a. the Beast. The past Cyclops and Marvel Girl don’t look at each other, while Kitty Pryde holds her head up with one hand, and the past Bobby “Iceman” Drake is slumped forward in his seat. Suddenly, Bobby looks around and asks ‘Am I the only one upset that Warren totally bailed on us?’ ‘No’ Cyclops and Jean both announce in unison. Hank assures Bobby that Warren will come back to them, but Bobby asks him how he knows that. ‘Because he’s our friend, Bobby, and you have to have faith’ Hank explains. ‘Did anybody know that Scott, here, has a brother?’ Bobby remarks.
‘What does that have to do with anything?’ Cyclops asks, turning to his teammate. ‘I’m saying: maybe we don’t know each other as well as we thought’ Iceman explains. Wolverine turns to the children and announces that nobody knows anyone as well as they thought, which is what makes the world interesting, before remarking that it is time for some schooling.
He crouches beside Jean and calling her “Jeannie”, tells her that he wants her to try something. “Jeannie?” young Jean asks. Logan tells her that where they are going, they are wanting to get in and out without anybody noticing that they are there. He tells her that this plane can cloak, but that when they put boots on the ground, he wants her to use her psychic powers so no one in the vicinity knows that they are there. ‘I’ve never done that before’ Jean replies. ‘I know’ Logan tells her. Turning to Kitty, Jean asks if she can do that. ‘Professor Kitty?’ Wolverine smiles. ‘You focus’ Kitty tells Jean, before asking Logan not to call her “Professor Kitty”. ‘You create a thought in your head. A picture’ Kitty explains to Jean. ‘I could make everyone real cold’ young Bobby suggests.
Everyone ignores Bobby as Kitty informs Jean that the trick is that the thought she puts out is about nothing - that she has to project a thought that everything is normal. ‘Normal’ Jean replies. Her eyes glazing over as Kitty tells her that she pushes the thought out into the world, and makes everyone feel like everything is okay.
Soon, at Resilient International, in Seattle:
‘Tony Stark is Iron Man?’ Bobby asks. ‘It’s common knowledge’ someone tells him. ‘I didn’t know that. Where we come from he was, I guess he was pretending to be his own bodyguard’ Bobby tells everyone. ‘How did that work?’ Kitty asks him.
Nose to the ground, Wolverine tells everyone to shut up. They are standing amongst the ruins of part of the sprawling facility that was recently destroyed. Construction vehicles are on site, which is being guarded by several soldiers. ‘What is he doing?’ Bobby asks. ‘Tracking’ Kitty explains. Logan tells the others that this is where Mystique’s fake X-Men came in and trashed the place and made off with Stark’s money, and that he picked up a scent. ‘Is that what you do? Pick up scents? Is your mutant name Hound Dog?’ Iceman inquires.
‘Wolverine’ Logan reminds Bobby, before announcing that he has the scent, so they can go. ‘Just like that?’ Cyclops asks. ‘Your girlfriend Mystique has partnered up with a guy named Victor Creed’ Wolverine reports. ‘She’s not my -’ Cyclops begins, before Wolverine informs the kids that Creed is a mutant named Sabretooth, someone he has been bopping heads with since the turn of the century. ‘Century? Which one?’ Bobby asks. ‘Pick one’ Wolverine replies, while Cyclops asks ‘You can track him from that?’ Wolverine confirms that he can, and Cyclops asks him ‘How far?’ Wolverine reveals that once I picks up the scent, he can track anywhere. ‘How do you know this Sabretooth?’ Cyclops asks.
Nearby, Kitty stands beside Jean, who is concentrating hard, focussing her attention on the soldiers, while Logan tells Cyclops that it is a long story.
‘But he knows you too?’ young Cyclops asks. ‘Oh yeah’ Logan replies. ‘Then he knows you’re going to track him. They all do’ Cyclops points out. Logan turns to him and tells the young mutant that he is right. ‘So they know you’re coming’ Cyclops surmises.
Suddenly, one of the soldiers looks nervous, ‘Uh-oh’ Jean utters. ‘Oh! Oh man! They’re back!’ the soldier exclaims, looking up to where the young X-Men, Wolverine and Kitty are standing. Jean apologizes. ‘Uh, hey, guys’ Kitty calls out to the others as the soldier all aim their weapons. ‘I got this’ Bobby smiles as he raises his hands and starts firing shards of ice, which slowly form into a wall around the X-Men. ‘Holy! They’re just - they just appeared!’ one of the soldiers calls out as they start firing. ‘Call Ms Potts!’ he adds. ‘Screw that! Call Maria Hill! We have to lock down this area!’ another soldier shouts.
‘See? I do stuff’ Bobby remarks proudly as he turns to Kitty. ‘Nicely done’ Kitty congratulates him, while Jean looks around and mutters that she is so sorry. Wolverine instructs everyone to grab some ice and go. ‘They don’t ask questions? They don’t try to detain us? They just start shooting?’ Cyclops asks. ‘Welcome to the real world, Slim’ Wolverine replies, while Cyclops tells him to stop calling him that. Bobby starts creating an ice-sled that spirals to their jet above. An instant later a soldier calls out ‘Break it down! Hurry!’as a tank slams through the ice wall. ‘Are you sure you saw them?’ another soldier asks. ‘They were right here!’ one of them exclaims, but as the tank comes to a stop, they find the area where the X-Men were standing deserted, while above, the X-jet takes off. ‘Break it down! Hurry!’
Meanwhile, in a warehouse somewhere, Mystique leans against a fancy red car as she watches a news report of Havok giving a speech in which he states that he sees the very word “mutant” as divisive, that it is old thinking that serves to further separate mutants from their fellow men. In the speech, he announces that they are all humans, of one tribe and are defined by their choices, not the make-up of their genes. He asks that they not be called mutants, as the M-word represents everything that he hates, and a reporter follows that statement by asking if he doesn’t want to be called a “mutant”, then what should they be called.
‘Who knew Baby Summers had a thought in his head?’ Mystique remarks, while Sabretooth mutters that he is going to hurl. Regan approaches them and tells Mystique that she has had just about enough. ‘If you don’t tell me what the plan is… I’m out of here’ she announces.
Raven glances back to where Lady Mastermind is walking towards her, piles of cash dumped on the other side of the warehouse. ‘Well, Lady Mastermind, if that’s how you feel about it… bye’ Mystique replies. Regan looks shocked, and Mystique smirks at her, telling the young mutant that if she is going to bluff, she has to be ready to be called. Regan replies that she isn’t bluffing, and that she wants in, she wants all the way in on this plan of hers - otherwise she is out. ‘What’s the money for?’ Regan asks. Mystique tells Lady Mastermind that she didn’t lie to her, and declares that Charles Xavier died and it opened her eyes. ‘The original X-Men are here and it turned my stomach. You and I and Victor and all our “peers” - we have spent our entire lives fighting’. She reminds Regan and Victor that the three of them were X-Men, and they were also Brotherhood, that they were everything they needed to be when they needed it, and here they are and they are not one step closer to anything.
Mystique continues, remarking that it occurs to her that people of their talent should have more to show for it than they do. ‘What’s the money for?’ Regan asks once again, hands on hips.
‘They’re here’ Sabretooth announces, nose turned to the air. Raven glances over her shoulder and tells her companions not to panic and not to use their powers. ‘And let me do all the talking’ she adds. Lady Mastermind asks what is happening, and Raven tells her that she is about to make her everything she ever wanted to be.
The new Silver Samurai appears, two swords ready, an army of Hydra agents behind him as the door to the warehouse is open. ‘Raven’ he calls out. ‘Silver Samurai. Why is he here?’ Regan asks nervously, biting her lower lip. ‘I told you not to talk’ Raven replies. ‘Are we ready?’ the Silver Samurai inquires. ‘We’re ready’ Raven tells him. Regan begins to repeat her question, but Raven once again shushes her, and tells her to be cool.
‘Then I present you… Madame Hydra!’ the Silver Samurai declares, as Madame Hydra steps forward, holding a large gun over her shoulder. ‘Raven, darling you look…’ she begins to say, before getting distracted by the huge piles of cash behind Mystique and the others. ‘You look… absolutely… gorgeous’ Madame Hydra states, before asking what she and Hydra can do for them. ‘You have something I want’ Mystique replies, announcing that there is a little island in the Orient that is the centerpiece of every vice trade and crime on the planet. ‘You control it and I want it. I want to buy Madripoor. How much?’ Raven asks. Madame Hydra just looks intrigued.
Aboard the X-Jet, Wolverine, Kitty and the young X-Men are also watching Havok’s speech, and Bobby asks ‘The M-word?’, while Cyclops inquires as to when this happened. Wolverine announces that it happened this morning. Kitty asks Logan why he didn’t tell them Alex said this. ‘If I have to report to you ever time a Summers brother makes an announcement, we’ll never get anything else done’ Logan replies. ‘Who cares what he wants to be called?’ Bobby asks. ‘Exactly’ Wolverine agrees, while Cyclops remarks ‘He said this and then went looking for us? In the same day?’ Beast repeats ‘The M-word?’ He knows what Havok is trying to say. ‘But…’ his voice trails off. ‘You okay?’ Cyclops asks Jean, who is sitting with her knees up to her chin and looking away from the others.
‘I screwed up’ Jean replies. Scott reminds her that everyone got away, and no one got hurt. Jean repeats what he just said - “No one got hurt” and asks if that is all he has got for her. Scott frowns and tells Jean that she did screw up, but that she will learn from it - right? Jean wipes a tear from her mask and reminds Scott that he hasn’t seen what she has. ‘I’ve seen my entire life flashed before my eyes and I know… I know I have to be perfect or things will fly off the rails. I just have - I have to be a better me’ she explains.
Hank asks if “mutant” is a bad word, and if it is derogatory. Bobby remarks that any word can be derogatory if you say it with enough derogatory. ‘Pepperoni!’ young Bobby exclaims haughtily , screwing his noise up. Hank turns to Kitty and asks ‘What do you think about this, Professor?’
Kitty looks at her students and replies: ‘Here’s the thing. I’m Jewish. I don’t have a quote unquote Jewish-sounding name. I don’t look Jewish, whatever that looks or sounds like… so if you didn’t know I was Jewish, you might now know… unless I told you. Same goes for mutation’. Kitty points out that she doesn’t have to wear a visor or have blue fur all over her, that she can walk around, just a young woman of the world. ‘But I’m not. When I was thirteen, before my mutation kicked in, I was in love with this boy at school. In love. And I followed him around like a puppy dog because I was an idiotic thirteen year-old girl’. One day the boy saw a Rabbi walking across the street and he made the worst anti-Semitic comment ever. ‘I won’t even repeat it’ Kitty tells her students, recalling that the boy just said this awful thing and laughed - and laughed and laughed, then her heart sank, and her blood boiled. ‘I mean boiled’.
Kitty informs her students that she turned to the boy and growled “I’m Jewish”, and he just stared at her, like he didn’t even realize he said something wrong, or he didn’t know how to compute what she just told him, but that when she got home, after she was done crying her eyes out, her first heartbreak, she realized she was, maybe for the first time ever, really proud of herself. ‘I am Jewish. I am a mutant. And I want people to know who and what I am’ Kitty says to her students, adding that she tells people because if they are going to have a problem, she would like to know. ‘So no offense to your brother, Scott, but he sure as hell ain’t talking for me’ Kitty tells the young mutant. ‘You’re Jewish?’ young Bobby asks, before Wolverine announces that they have arrived.
Back inside the warehouse, ‘You want to buy Madripoor from me?’ Madame Hydra repeats Mystique’s announcement. ‘The whole thing’ Mystique declares. ‘I don’t own it’ Madame Hydra explains. ‘But you do control it’ Mystique points out. ‘I only just took control and now you want to control it’ Madame Hydra remarks. ‘Lock stock and the whole thing’ Raven confirms. Madame Hydra smiles and replies ‘Raven Darkholme, aren’t you a riddle?’ Raven smiles back, ‘No riddle. This is one of those few things in life that actually is exactly what it seems’ she replies. Madame Hydra points out that Mystique could have shape-shifted into any organization and tried to assassinate her. ‘I could have shape-shifted into your organization as you and pulled the whole thing down around your ears’ Mystique smiles. Madame Hydra tells her that she could have tried, but instead she is going to give her a giant pile of money and send her on her way. ‘If I would have killed you, two more would have grown in your place. Isn’t that the thing?’ Mystique smirks, arms folded. Madame Hydra looks surprised.
Outside, the X-Men stand on the rooftop of a nearby warehouse, and see several Hydra agents scattered about, a large transport vessel parked alongside them. ‘Huh’ Logan remarks. ‘Who is that?’ Cyclops asks. Wolverine tells him that it is Hydra, and lots of them. ‘They look like little green Nazis’ Bobby remarks. ‘That’s about the size of it’ Wolverine replies, while Kitty asks Jean to concentrate inside the warehouse and see if she can pick up some thoughts. ‘What are they thinking?’ she asks. Jean concentrates, and sees Madame Hydra asking where Hydra would go, and Mystique telling her ‘Anywhere else’, suggesting they go on vacation, blow up the White House or start a country. ‘Just leave you alone’ Madame Hydra responds. Mystique tells her that they will respect each other’s boundaries, and business will thrive.
Jean reports that Mystique is buying something called a Madripoor. ‘What?’ Kitty gasps. ‘A Madshapoosha? What’s a Padshapoosha?’ Bobby asks, confused. ‘No, she ain’t’ Logan declares, adjusting his mask. He instructs the youngsters to remain here, and tells Kitty that they are short-handed, but that they have got this. ‘Stay back? We took on Magneto when he was crazy!’ Bobby protests. In the warehouse, Sabretooth glances sideways, and Jean alerts Wolverine to the fact that Sabretooth knows he is here. ‘Yeah, yeah. Let’s go, Pryde’ Logan tells Kitty.
An instant later, Wolverine smashes through the glass rooftop of the warehouse, Kitty follows, then the original X-Men do. ‘Told you kids to stay back!’ Wolverine calls out. ‘What? I totally missed that’ Bobby replies as he moves down on an ice-slide. Mystique, Sabretooth, Lady Mastermind, Madame Hydra, the new Silver Samurai and the Hydra agents all look upwards to the intruding X-Men, and Logan growls, ‘Hey Victor!’ He shoves his claws into Sabretooth’s chest. ‘Midget!’ Victor retorts. Bobby starts blasting ice towards the new Silver Samurai, ‘Hey, cool sword. Can I have it?’ he asks. Madame Hydra is not impressed. ‘Filthy mutants… you set me up! Me!’ she scowls, aiming her gun at Mystique, who is tossing the Beast over her shoulder. ‘You idiots!’ she tells the X-Men.
Kitty suddenly phases her arm through Madame Hydra’s weapon, ‘Ah-ah-ah, no guns’ she tells her, her phasing disrupting the mechanics of the weapon, it explodes, sending Madame Hydra careening backwards. Lady Mastermind, who had fallen over, looks up. ‘Oh my God, it’s her!’ she utters as she watches the X-Men start to take out the Hydra agents. ‘Jean Grey. The real honest-to-goodness Jean Grey’. She raises a hand, and suddenly a shadow appears over Jean, calling out to her. Jean turns, and finds an older man standing behind her. ‘Do you remember me, Jean? I am Jason Wyngarde… the original Mastermind. How I have missed you so…’ he smiles at her. Flames reflect in Mastermind’s eyes as he tells her ‘You were never more complete than when we were together’.
Jean goes wide-eyed, and suddenly, flies into the air, a huge Phoenix raptor bursting around her. Wolverine and young Cyclops look up, in shock, while Lady Mastermind smiles, ’You destroyed me family and drove my father insane so… welcome to Hell, Jean Grey’….