As usual, Pietro Maximoff a.k.a. Quicksilver notices it before anyone else – a sudden dip in the air pressure, the faint taste of electricity on his tongue – something is happening to the Mansion. He suddenly realizes that with Earth's Mightiest Heroes all gathered in one place, this is the perfect target. As Sam Wilson the Falcon is shouting something out to the other Avengers gathered, Quicksilver knows that he must evacuate the building as swiftly as possible, and speeds for the door – but even for him, there is no time – as Avengers Mansion explode, leaving among the flaming rubble several photographs, statues and the Avengers' Charter.
Above the ruins, in the darkened sky, hover those responsible for the destruction – the Black Order: Corvus Glaive, Proxima Midnight, Black Dwarf, Ebony Maw, Supergiant and Black Swan. Proxima boasts that in the tick of a second, the Avengers are no more, and adds that she had assumed their strike would feel thrilling, not anticlimactic. Black Dwarf asks someone to explain again how planet Earth was chosen as the playing field because of its “unique defenses” and remarks that there is nothing unique about dying at the hands of the Black Order. He then pauses, and asks 'They did die...?' to which Supergiant tells him there is no question, as a telepathic sweep of the area reveals no sign of life. “Earth's Mightiest Heroes”? She remarks, declaring that they are gone.
However, there is a purple glow, and suddenly, the Avengers re-appear, within an unfamiliar warehouse-like complex. 'Where – where are we?' Jane Foster a.k.a. Thor asks as the Avengers examine their new surroundings. '... auxiliary...Avengers headquarters...' Valerie Vector a.k.a. Voyager explains as she collapses from the strain of the mass teleport that she just undertook. 'I forgot this place even existed' Wanda Maximoff the Scarlet Witch remarks, before turning to Voyager, who explains that she never handled this big a group before. She tells Wanda that she is fine, but just needs a minute.
'The Black Order struck us? We need to strike back!' Quicksilver calls out, before seeing Miguel Santos a.k.a. Lightning keel over, and tells him to get it together. 'Oh, sure, mass-teleported away from an explosion caused by alien super villains... nothing to see here, officer...' Miguel mutters, while Quicksilver darts about the complex, 'We can't afford a moment's hesitation! The world is in jeopardy! We are the Avengers! We do not play defense!' he exclaims. Sam Guthrie a.k.a. Cannonball and Dr Toni Ho a.k.a. Iron Patriot go over to a monitor console, while Falcon and Redwing stand near Rogue, who is checking on the frozen forms of several Avengers – Vision, Wasp, Squirrel Girl and Enigma. Falcon reminds Quicksilver that they are miles away now, and points out that Voyager clearly needs to recharge. 'So unless you plan on running us back to Manhattan one by one -' he begins, before Roberto DaCosta a.k.a. Citizen V interrupts him, announcing that Falcon is right – as much as they want to pound the Order into extraterrestrial paste, they need to take a few seconds to strategize.
Rogue agrees, and announces that there is way too much they don't know – like what is immobilizing certain Avengers in mid-stride, and why. She adds that as near as she can tell, that is not a typical Black Order play, which means there is something else involved. 'But what?' Rogue wonders.
“For when the one great scorer comes to write against your name... he writes – not that you won or lost – but how you played the game” quotes the blue-skinned cosmic being known as the Grandmaster as he stands in what appears to be some sort of space-fortress. A projection of the planet Earth before him, he states that the quotes is from Grantland Rice, and claims that he shall miss the people of Earth, and that in some ways they almost understand. A cloaked figure standing nearby declares 'They understand nothing, Grandmaster! You understand nothing!' The cloaked figure points out that the Grandmaster chose this board, and now his pawns control it – but the game has not even begun yet. Six pyramids, each with a different color and different symbol on them appear before the Grandmaster, who pauses, then remarks 'First moves, then, challenger. Each to his element'. The Grandmaster choses the earth element, for sentimental reasons. 'Hrrh. A weakling to the end. I...will choose fire!' the challenger declares, taking the fire element.
In Midtown Manhattan, Hank McCoy a.k.a. the Beast and Nadia van Dyne a.k.a. the young Wasp are at the hospital, looking after the wounded Edwin Jarvis. Hospital staff and civilians move about the hospital in various states, while the Beast communicates with Toni Ho, he tells her he is glad to hear she is alive, and adds that he was worried. 'Jarvis? Jarvis is... ah...not good' the Beast replies, revealing that Jarvis' bioscan is all over the place, particularly his encephalogram. Nadia exclaims that it is as if his brain was fighting itself, and that she has never seen anything like it. The Beast reports to Toni that he and Nadia are doing what they can. He adds that he hopes it is enough, and asks Toni if this means comms are back up.
At the Avengers Auxiliary HQ, Toni leans over the monitor and replies 'Kinda sorta' and explains that her people over at AIM ferried over some of her stuff via stealth drones, along with supplies – as in coffee – enough for her to get to work. She adds that they don't have satellites, but they do have fiber optics, and hacked TV towers, and any minute now, they should have a working global alert systems. There is an alarm which suddenly sounds, and Toni tells the Beast that she has to go. 'Keep in touch' she adds, before Roberto goes over to her and points out that they already know they are in a global crisis, and asks if they really need the klaxon. 'Actually, Roberto...this is new' Toni discovers. Examining the monitor before her, she reports that the news states it started with a column of light blazing up into the sky in Rome, specifically the Colosseum, and another one in Peru which began ten minutes ago. She adds that both sites are now suffering rapid and sever environmental effects with a side order of alien invaders.
'The Black Order...' Falcon utters. 'Avengers Assemble!' Rogue exclaims as they and the others look at the monitors. 'At last. I've been waiting for the chance to prove myself' Quicksilver thinks to himself. Citizen V suggests that they organise two away teams – one per threat – plus a reserve unit here, and asks Voyager if she can provide transport. 'Right on' Voyager replies, while the Scarlet Witch announces that she and Jericho will stay here, so they can use magic and try to un-pause their frozen comrades. Jericho Drumm a.k.a. Doctor Voodoo tells Wanda that is good thinking, so if they can free them, they will have all the reinforcements they need. Quicksilver looks at his sister and decides that she is probably safer here. He knows she is stronger than she once was – but is still vulnerable on the battlefield.
Falcon announces that he will lead the squad to Peru, and as it looks like there is some kind of firestorm brewing in the Cusco Mountains, he will need Johnny Storm the Human Torch, as well as Red Hulk if he is available. 'Lemme just start the hour of power' General Robert L Maverick' remarks as he switches into his Red Hulk form. Falcon also states that he wants Synapse a.k.a. Emily Guerrero and Simon Williams – Wonder Man – and asks him if he is still a pacifist. Simon confirms that he is, but that he can still save lives. 'Good enough' Falcon agrees.
Quicksilver thinks to himself that he will have to work with Rogue, which is awkward, but he will make do.
Rogue declares that she will take Rome, and points out that if the Black Order is there, she is going to need heavy hitters, which means Thor, Hercules, and Lightning. 'Okay – but Thor might have the “lightning” part covered -' Miguel points out. 'So lightning's gonna strike twice' Rogue tells him, before announcing 'And finally...' which Quicksilver thinks 'Just say it already. You need my super speed -' but Rogue declares 'Cannonball'. This causes Quicksilver to look shocked. 'Cannonball? A heavy hitter?' he asks. Sam begins to declare 'Well, I am nigh-invulnerable when I'm -' but Quicksilver throws his head back and shouts 'Don't say it! Don't you dare say it! I knew you when you were in short pants!'
Quicksilver then turns to Rogue and points his finger at her: 'And you! You're leaving me behind? To do what? Make coffee at the speed of sound?' he asks. 'Actually -' Toni begins, holding up her cup. 'Shut up, doctor!' Quicksilver snaps. An unimpressed Rogue tells Quicksilver that it is simple – she needs people she can count on out there – and that is not him. 'Pietro -' Synapse calls out, but Quicksilver tells Emily to leave him alone, and that he doesn't want her pity. 'Voyager?' Rogue asks, looking back at the forlorn Quicksilver. 'Um...right. First stop, Rome...' Voyager declares as a purple glow begins to surround herself, Rogue, Hercules, Cannonball, Lightning and Thor.
'... be ready for anything!' Voyager exclaims as she and the others re-materialize in Rome, where the Blood Brothers, Mentacle and Moyln the Metal Master are standing their ground as the Colosseum is being torn apart by some sort of vortex. 'A fitting stage for battle, eh, Hercules?' Thor remarks, noting the Colosseum. 'Aye! Zeus himself could not have chosen better!' Hercules calls back, while one of the Blood Brothers exclaims 'Behind us, Legion! The obstacles are here -' before he is struck down by a bolt of lightning fired at him by Thor. 'Geez – hard not to feel outclassed by the God of Thunder...' Lightning remarks, while Voyager tells Rogue that she needs to return to New York and transport the other team. Rogue tells Voyager that they have this and to get going.
As Voyager returns to the Avengers Auxiliary HQ, Falcon asks her what the word is from Rome. “Troublesome” Voyager tells him, before she extends her powers around Red Hulk, Synapse, Human Torch, Wonder Man and Falcon, who asks her if she thinks they can handle this. 'We're the Avengers, Sam... it's what we do!' Voyager replies as they suddenly re-appear in Cusco, Peru, where over a volatile volcano they find Captain Glory going up against Proxima Midnight, and Frene the Other fighting Ebony Maw, while Corvus Glaive fights Drall. 'Okay, team, let's go!' Falcon calls out.
Back in the Avengers Auxiliary HQ, Wanda and Doctor Voodoo approach their frozen comrades, while Quicksilver stands nearby, while Wanda remarks that this is incredible – an underground warehouse and a bomb-proof vault, all empty. 'The Avengers HQ that never was' Wanda remarks, wondering if Tony Stark even remembers setting this up. Doctor Voodoo points out that their change in surroundings has not affected their friends. He looks closely at Enigma and states that there is no movement, and no sign that any of them are aware of their current predicament, either. 'Whatever is keeping them in stasis, it doesn't appear to be mystical in nature' Doctor Voodoo decides. Wanda agrees, but tells Jericho that she doesn't see how technology could cause this effect, either.
'Hmmph. Doing nothing while the others fight around the globe... it's shameful' Pietro mutters. Wanda tells her brother that they all have their roles to play. 'True, but mine isn't here' Pietro declares. 'Rogue made it clear she doesn't trust you' Wanda reminds him, and suggests to her brother that he follow orders to try and win back a bit of respect – but suddenly, Pietro speeds away. Jericho reminds Wanda that she is not her brother's keeper. 'More's the pity' Wanda tells him.
Quicksilver speeds through New York and thinks to himself that years of loyalty and hard work have been wiped away because he is not the perfect soldier – because he made a mistake.
Wanda looks at Enigma and suggests that she could try a hex to see if it distorts reality enough to free one of them.
At that moment, 'Surprise, ugly-bro!' Cannonball exclaims as he slams into one of the Blood Brothers, sending them careening backwards.
Quicksilver speeds across the ocean, thinking that his mistake nearly cost Emily her life, and that it weighs on him every single day.
Doctor Voodoo suggests to Wanda that, given the risk involved, he suspects the Vision may work best as a test case, as his synthezoid makeup is the most resilient and his connection with Wanda may help create a sympathetic resonance with Wanda's spellcasting.
'Your strength is great, but I shall prevail!' Hercules boasts as he takes down the other Blood Brother, while Rogue dodges some metal fences that the Metal Master throws towards her. 'Every scrap of metal on this pitiful planet is mine to control!' the small alien declares.
'Wanda acting holier than thou...' Pietro thinks to himself as the ocean water parts as he continues to speed across it. He tells himself that it makes him feel weak, and wonders if she has so quickly forgotten her own sins.
In Rome, Mentacle strikes down the Living Lightning, while in the Avengers Auxiliary HQ, Wanda concentrates hard on her spell.
'If metal is your wish, then Thor shall be happy to give you a taste of mystic Mjolnir!' Thor exclaims as she flies towards the Metal Master. 'Indeed – your hammer is unlike any metal I've seen before!' the alien replies, using his power, he is able too pry it from Thor's hand, 'It's delightful!' he exclaims as he then sends Mjolnir back towards Thor, knocking her and Hercules through the air.
Quicksilver suddenly arrives in Rome and sees that Rogue's team is already down – except for Cannonball – and now he. Just then, Mentacle takes down Cannonball. 'Now it's just me' Pietro thinks to himself, as Mentacle announces that the obstacles are halted. 'The Pyramoid Point is ours, Blood Brothers. Retrieve it!' Mentacle calls out, before Quicksilver speeds over and slams him to ground, shattering his strange mask. 'Ow' Mentacle utters. 'Even better' Quicksilver tells himself, before he speeds over to Metal Master and slams him over – then strikes each of the Blood Brothers with ease. 'A speeding obstacle!' one of the Brothers calls out.
Wanda's eyes glow pink as energy starts to radiate around her – her spell has begun.
Quicksilver thinks that there is no one to order him around, no one to hold him back. He smiles as he decides that he will make things right, and show them that Pietro Maximoff cannot be stopped.
'Wanda' the Vision utters as he is suddenly freed from his state of suspended animation.
And at that instant, Quicksilver is frozen mid-speed.
'You did it!' Doctor Voodoo calls out, while Wanda looks at the Vision, who asks her 'Where are we?'
'There you are! Looks like their zipster ran out of “zip”!' one of the Blood Brothers remarks as he lumbers towards the frozen Quicksilver. 'Take the obstacle out of play!' Metal Master tells him. 'Heh' one of the Blood Brothers remarks as both Brothers look down at Quicksilver. 'Our pleasure!' the other declares as they slam their fists into the defenseless Quicksilver!