Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, England, last year:
A woman looking like and addressed as Moira MacTaggert is giving birth in the hospital. With a final scream, she pushes out a healthy boy. She holds the baby in her arms and recalls the death of Charles Xavier at Cyclops’ hands. She tells the medical personnel to take the baby. She doesn’t want him.
They look at her nonplussed. Is something wrong? a doctor asks. Take him and give him to someone who will take care of him! She can’t. She’s unfit! He isn’t safe with her! The midwife remarks that she didn’t say anything about giving up the baby before. This is a huge decision she’s making, the doctor adds. Get the baby away from her now! she screams. She shouts at them all to get out.
Once she’s alone, she turns to her true blue form as Mystique. She cries she’s sorry, Charles. She thought she could do it. She can’t!
Outside the new Xavier School:
Listen to him, young Xavier addresses the future Brotherhood of Mutants. Let’s not make the same mistake twice. No one is looking for a repeat of last time, Beast points out and Deadpool dimly recalls he thinks he died last time. Xavier addresses Molly Hayes, who takes up a ball of scrap metal to smash in the door. They sure it’s time? Deadpool asks. Xorn replies Raze has been ready for three minutes.
Three minutes earlier inside:
The X-Men have gathered around the injured X-23. Kitty asks her what happened. Beast shouts at Triage to come help. Someone get Cyclops, Tempus suggests. Magik orders an emergency lockdown. Triage tries to calm Laura telling her he is a healer. You first! “Laura” decides, stabs him through the throat and reveals herself to be Raze. So have they all guessed who the shapeshifter is? he grins.
Magik wounds him with her Soulsword, announcing she knew this day would come. Grabbing Raze from behind, Beast wryly remarks he wishes she’d told them then. He throws Raze down hard.
Kitty fears the rest of the Brotherhood is here as well. Moments later, the lights go out. Someone cut the power. The emergency system goes on. Who would even know where the power generator is? Magik wonders. It’s ten stories below them.
Celeste and Phoebe Cuckoo are in their rooms and wonder what is going on. She senses the others are in the cafeteria, Phoebe announces. Celeste snaps she can read the same minds. Where is Mindee? She doesn’t like not being able to feel her in their hivemind.
Their sister Mindee crouches on the ground in the corridor. When Celeste addresses her, she turns around, her eyes glowing and telepathically attacks her sisters.
Xorn informs the rest of the Brotherhood the Cuckoos are down. She really enjoyed that. Beast warns her not to get cocky. They have entered the HQ. Molly Hayes reminds them they still have Frost and Jean Grey to deal with.
Xavier, in a floating chair, announces he can’t sense them, which means they are shielding themselves. Moments later, they see Cyclops, Emma and Jean in the corridor.
Cyclops fires his optic blast at the Brotherhood, blasting them out the door. Afterwards, he admits that’s all he had for a while. Jean telekinetically blocks the entrance with debris. Sure, that’ll keep them out, Emma mocks. She’s buying them a second to regroup, Jean shoots back. Emma lectures her that keeping up her psychic shield is more important.
Did they recognize them? The Brotherhood of evil X-Men from the future. Cyclops recalls some of them had expired last time they fought. When she sees people time-travel here to cause trouble she understands how annoying it is that the original X-Men are here, Jean announces. Just her admitting it makes her forgive Jean, Emma states. Jean wonders what they want.
The adoptive mother of teenage Charles is playing with her tablet in the kitchen and shouts the bus will be there in a few minutes. She hears screams from her son’s room and runs up to him. Is it the headaches again? she asks and suggest going to the doctor. Charles doesn’t believe he can help. She believes it’s just migraines. She doesn’t understand, he sighs.
Unwillingly, he lashes out with his new powers. When he recovers, he finds her lying still and bloodied. Horrified, he realized he has killed her.
Growling, Raze attacks. Iceman blasts him with ice while Magik shouts she is not getting any pulse from Triage. Kitty and Beast demand answers from Raze, who turns back into a frightened X-23. It’s really her, she stammers. They are controlling her. They are mentally manipulating them. Nothing is as it seems. The young X-Men are confused. Despite Kitty’s warning, Tempus reaches out to “Laura.”
Benjamin Deeds shouts at Magik to use her magic to help Triage. He’s dead, she replies. Suddenly, Christopher sits up and wonders aloud whose blood is on his shirt. Did he pass out for a second?
Laura has turned into young Cyclops and announces they are all in a heap of trouble. Iceman states critically Scott wouldn’t say heap. Can he? Beast asks. Please, Kitty replies and Beast hits Raze square in the face, knocking him out.
Magik and the kids marvel at Christopher healing himself from being dead. Kitty orders they need to regroup. Mindee? Angel asks.
The Cuckoo stands there empty-eyed, then attacks all of them telepathically, under young Xavier’s control.
Years from now, Madripoor:
A limo stops in front of a luxurious building. Mystique exits the car and enters her spacious apartment. How come she can smell him but not see him? she demands. Xavier shows himself and notes why she can smell him. He used telepathy to prevent her seeing him. He didn’t know to do the other senses. Mystique wants to know who he is. He came here because he thought she was his mother. But who is she really? Is he a mutant, “Mystique” asks. Or SHIELD, whatever’s left of it? Xavier probes deeper and states it would seem he is his brother.
Raze shifts to his true form and announces he hates psychics. Xavier realizes he is a shapeshifter like their mother. He killed her and took her place. How is he meeting him just now? Raze asks interested. Xavier explains their mother gave him away. But kept him, Raze scoffs. Genius move. And Raze killed her, Xavier states. If he read his mind he knows why, Raze shoots back. And if he has a problem with it he has a problem with him. And if he doesn’t, he’s welcome!
They size each other up. Raze muses he looks exactly like— his father, Xavier finishes. Intrigued, Raze states maybe they should think about what they are going to do when they grow up…
Scott, Emma and Jean are on their own. Emma wonders how to get the cafeteria without getting tracked by psychics. She is the expert on psychic manipulation, Scott points out. She tell them. Emma reminds Jean to keep up a strong psychic shield to protect them. Jean announces she can’t stand the screaming. They are psychically torturing everyone else. She suggests they call for help. Emma points out everyone hates them.
They can do this. They beat them before, Scott announces. Emma remembers a few of the Brotherhood died the last time. And yet, here they are.
Jean groans. They found her. They are trying to take down her defenses. Emma hits her hard and takes her out. She’s been dying for an excuse to do that, Scott states as he checks Jean’s vitals. Emma reminds him they have a full-grown Jean and Xavier versus teenage Jean. She didn’t like the math.
The astral plane:
Jean finds herself here facing Xavier, Xorn and the Cuckoos. Xavier coolly states last time they met he realized he should have dealt with her first. That was why they failed. He thanks her for the chance to rectify that. Why is he doing this? Jean demands confused.