TV-host Doctor Ross Ludlum introduces his guest senator Catherine Niles. Together they will talk about the mutant crisis. Ludlum remarks that her predecessor was in favour of mutant registration and monitoring. Niles seems more in favour of co-operation between mutants and humans and the government should help the mutants control their powers. To help the mutants she wants to find out how many mutants there are and who they are. The interview then turns towards the terrorist acts of the Brotherhood and it's leader X. The senator tells him that the U.S. intelligence is working together with other nations to apprehend the terrorists.
A strike team invades a so-called Brotherhood Stronghold in Colombia, but they find only a crying girl. When they want to take her for interrogation, the girl turns out to be a pyrotechnic, that takes out the team with an explosive fireball.
In Brooklyn Hoffman and Fagin are watching their new target for recruitment, Asher. Fagin wants to check the boy out, afraid that he will do something stupid, but Hoffman thinks Asher just needs time. Orwell, the mute telepath arrives, spooks Fagin and reports the recent events in Columbia. Orwell and Hoffman leave to investigate who betrayed them in Colombia.
Inside Asher's house, Asher is playing a computer game, trying to release his rage. When he loses the game, he breaks the screen in front of him. While his hand is bleeding, his father asks him if everything is okay; he's been locked inside his rooms for days and hasn't spoken to anyone.
Back in the offices of Dr. Ludlum, he assures his wife Lisa on the phone that their daughter Tracy will not be tested on the mutant gene. He gets another call and Catherine, probably one of his assistants, tells him that the capture of X has backfired.
The sole survivor of the strike team is brought to Barksdale Air Force base in Louisiana, where he is diagnosed with third degree burns on 95% of his body. A mysterious man arrives, who wants to ask the soldier some questions. The doctors take the wounded man inside, while a soldier stops the mysterious man, who tells him that he will not let that man die without him telling what happened.
The next day, Asher's girlfriend Kary approaches him and sees his wounded hand. She tells him that doesn't want to "do it" with him yet and that they should wait. Asher doesn't really react and he is then attacked by Joey, the school bully who was stopped the other day by Fagin. Asher doesn't resist
and tells Kary to go away when she wants to help him. D. and D., two outcasts, pick up Asher and tell him that they have to fight back. Fagin sees this and decides to intervene.
Barksdale Air Force base: the mysterious man wants to talk to the wounded soldier, although the soldier will probably not survive the night. When he wants to enter, he is sent away by a general, who will interrogate the soldier himself. The mysterious man leaves without complaints, striking a match on a
Back in Brooklyn, D. and D. show Asher their armoury and tell him that they have bombs all over the school and want to take revenge on all the students who have embarrassed them in their lives. Asher tells them that he's a mutant and tears away with the bandages, so the bleeding starts again. One of the D's
pulls a knife and threatens Asher, but Asher only wants him to kill him, so they run away. Asher looks at the knife that was dropped. The two kids run into Fagin and tell him that Asher's crazy and that he has a knife. He enters the toilets and sees Asher, ready to cut his arm.
In the airforce base, the wounded soldier hands a letter over to the general, whose name is Hammond. The letter is from X and tells him that he has failed twice: the Brotherhood lives on and Hammond won't. When the general asks the soldier for an explanation, the soldier turns out to be a Brotherhood-agent
and he blows up the hospital.
Fagin stops Asher from killing himself, by telling him that being a mutant has advantages. He asks if Asher doesn't want to know what power he has; according to Hoffman, he should be very powerful. Asher is still not sure, but he is curious. Fagin takes away the knife and tells him that should he develop an
useless power, that he will kill him himself. Then he tells Asher that they will go away, take care of his wounds, get drunk and find a nice mutant girl to deal with Asher's other problem.
Dr. Ludlum arrives on the airbase with a helicopter and is shocked. He had a meeting with Hammond. The mysterious man orders the rescue team to report to him and tells him that he is now in charge. He then invites Ludlum for dinner so that he can tell him his source of information and how he can help him destroy the Brotherhood.