A dirty quarter of Madripoor, now inhabited by mutants:
Magik teleports Emma Frost and Jean Grey there. Jean is immediately disgusted by her surroundings. If she’d known where they were going, she’d not have agreed to this. That’s why she didn’t tell her, Emma replies unimpressed. She’ll acclimate.
Emma tries to dismiss Illyana, who’d rather stick around. Emma informs her this is private. Illyana doesn’t want to return to the school but Emma remains hard. Magik leaves, threatening she will move to an island and forget about all of them!
Jean warns Emma that Illyana was very angry. She’s doesn’t like using her teleportation as a car service. Emma points out that she also hates it when people read her mind and, since she is carrying an entire demonic dimension around inside of her, Jean would do well to stay out of her mind.
They walk down the street. Okay, Jean begins, they are here in the armpit of the world… Emma corrects her it used to be the armpit of the world. Now it’s more like the steamy undercarriage. But why are they—
A mutant is thrown through a window. This, Emma replies. This is a baaaad place.
Another mutant jumps after him.
This was HYDRA territory, then it was ninja assassin territory and most recently the lovely and talented Mystique tried to make it a mutant utopia. Utopia? Jean echoes in disbelief as the brawl turns into a free for all. Emma concedes they and Mystique might have different definitions of the word. She thought it meant “an island of decadence where mutants can feed off each other’s basest desires.” She was selling Mutant Growth Hormone to anyone who would buy.
As Jean telekinetically splits up the fighting parties, she asks what that is. Emma explains MGH is an illegal drug that grants mutant powers. She abruptly changes the subject. So, she promised to train her. Today’s the day.
Jean doesn’t want to read anyone’s horrible mind here. Good, Emma replies, because she is going to turn off Jean’s psychic powers. Emma focuses. How did she do that? Jean cries a moment later. Practice, Emma retorts. Jean demands she put her powers back. She gets them back when she passes the test, Emma insists. She thought Emma’s psychic powers were broken? They were. She’s been working with the Stepford Sisters to repair them. Slowly, slowly, slowly… She’s getting there. She’s almost there. She’s pretty much there… Since when? Jean bursts out. Why hasn’t she told anyone? Because if she teaches her one damn thing in this life, it’s this: A lady keeps her secrets. She bops her nose, walks ahead and orders Jean to follow.
What are they doing here? Jean asks. Honing the part of her power that desperately needs honing, Emma replies. And as long as she can’t poke people’s minds with a stick, she is not going to get there. As Emma has recently experienced, it’s not a guarantee that you will have your psychic power available all the time. And believe it or not, she’s not always going to be the fresh-faced cute little red-head that turns every man’s head forever.
When did she get her psychic power back? Jean repeats. Emma orders her to pay attention. The good news about this hellhole is that almost everyone here deserves a beating for something. Almost everyone is here because they are actively looking to do something bad to someone else. So let that clear whatever conscience she is carrying around—
Are they in the Danger Room? Jean interrupts. She is a big fan of field training, Emma replies. She is not a big fan of the Danger Room. That’s how she learned. In the field. In the real world. Jean is here in this time because she is looking for a second chance and the first time around she trained in the Danger Room and things didn’t end well for her. So she’s training Jean out here and she’s going to make her the best version of herself. Which is? Jean asks, arms crossed. Emma reveals her telekinesis is her most attractive feature. It is what makes her a more precise warrior. Or it will, when Emma’s done with her.
Jean still smarts about her cut off psychic powers. Emma promises to teach her next time how to not let that happen. Like Xavier should have, the minute he met her. He would have if she’d had the power when he knew her, Jean defends her mentor. It’s cute she thinks so, Emma replies amused. Of course he would have, Jean insists. Amazing how those power came into play the minute he wasn’t around anymore, Emma points out. That’s not true, Jean stammers. She doesn’t know that…
Emma points to a building. In there is a target worth putting down, so says Cerebro. And Jean will do it using only her telekinesis. Jean points out she knows how to use her telekinesis. If she did, it wouldn’t have taken her so long to figure out she can use it to levitate herself and fly! Emma shoots back. And she would not have done so by accident. Is she saying Xavier kept her psychic powers dampened? On purpose? She is saying she needs to grow the hell up! What’s in there isn’t the Danger Room. It’s real. But Emma has her back, Jean almost questions. At this stage, if Jean needs her help to pull her out, she has no business being an X-Man / person. And they both know it.
Jean walks into the building, an abandoned mall. Inside, she wonders to herself if Emma can at least read her thought. Emma answers in the positive and Jean asks what she is looking for. She’ll know it when she sees it, is Emma’s reply. Walking up to the second floor, Jean demands she tell her. That is more than she’ll get in the field, Emma points out. She’s been in the field, Jean retorts. Emma tells her not to get snippy. As she carefully touches a door, she asks if she is going to get shot. Not if she is as good as she thinks she is, Emma retorts.
Jean slams the door open and finds the Blob sitting at the table, with several Japanese gangsters. The men go for their guns. Jean recognizes the Blob but wonders why he is bigger. Emma informs her he is addicted to Mutant Growth Hormone.
Jean telekinetically removes the guns and points them at the men. She orders everyone on the ground. Recognizing her as well, the Blob asks why she is so little. Emma telepathically praises her but warns her that the Blob can take a bullet on his worst day.
The Blob slams the ground and the floor collapses and sends them all falling. Jean is barely able to levitate, however, when the Blob jumps towards her she loses control and falls as well.
Emma is disappointed in Jean, who lands in the trash. The Blob jumps at her again. Jean bares her teeth and smashes a van into him. Emma smiles.
The Blob observes she is littler than the last time he saw her. He’s a lot bigger, she replies and telekinetically fires the guns at him again… to no avail. Told you he could take a bullet, Emma comments telepathically.
The Blob asks what she is doing here. The bullets ricochet back at Jean and she barely dodges them. Stopping him from doing whatever he’s doing! she snaps back. Selling MGH compound to the Yakuza? he asks in disbelief. What could she possibly care? She’s not having this conversation, she replies disgusted. He’s betraying their entire people for money. Okay, &%$/ her then, he replies and tries to hit her.
She levitates out of the way. She reminds him of when they first met. They’d asked him to join the X-Men and he thought he was so much better than them. In retrospect, doesn’t he wish he’d have taken them up on their offer? Yeah sure, he snorts. The X-Men have it all going. Everybody loves them. It all worked out so well for all of them. That’s fair, Emma admits.
Jean insists this has to be the bottom. What is she talking about? He never felt better. He’s here in this armpit selling their people out for whoever will pay, Jean points out. Whoever will pay the most, he corrects her and moves against a lantern to distract Jean. They are going to see this through, he threatens, because she just cost him. And isn’t she already dead?
She almost loses her balance, then use her telekinesis to lift the Blob. She levitates him higher and higher and asks if he thinks the drop will kill him. No! he protests. She drops him and finds out he did survive the landing, albeit it knocked him out.
Emma is satisfied. Jean admits to feeling sorry for the Blob. That’s one for them, Emma replies and adds she got rid of the MGH. He’s such a tragic case, Jean muses. He’s a self-made man, Emma shrugs. She assures Jean she did good. Jean admits that was hard. Emma tells her she needs practice. Can she have her brain back? Emma bops her forehead and returns her telepathy to Jean.
Emma states she has seen what Jean can do and believes she has seen just a fraction of what Jean is capable of. She knows Jean holds back because she thinks there is a darkness in her, a darkness that she won’t be able to control, a darkness that will destroy her and everyone she loves.
Jean shouts at her to stop it. Emma continues Jean is not the darkness. It just isn’t in her. It just isn’t there. If it were, Emma would put Jean down like a dog, to give the rest a fighting chance. Jean has to give herself a break. Open up. Be everything she can be.
Jean admits she doesn’t know how. She knows how, Emma announces. Decide to. And she promises she’ll be there to help. This is good for the both of them. On numerous levels.
Is Magik coming back to get them? Jean asks. Oh hell, no, Emma replies. They have a long way to go… On numerous levels, Jean adds.