A young girl is running down a road, frantically looking behind her with tears in her eyes. Most other girls her age spend their evening on the phone or listening to music, but not she. She is running for her life. The brown-haired girl, with a white stripe, is Rogue, a mutant with powers that make her different, make her feared. And what people fear, they hate. Coming up behind her are four boys around the same age as she, one on a motorbike, the other three in a truck, armed with baseball bats and a rifle. They know what she “did in town” and do not intend to let her get away with it. Quite on the contrary, they want to kill the “mutie”.
Rogue runs downhill into the woods, but trips. She darts to the side, as the truck flies over her, knowing that she only bought herself a few seconds. Still crying, she mutters that it was an accident, as she gets up and once more tries to run away. The headlights of the truck and the bike approach her. While she looks behind her, Rogue runs into a tall man and passes out. The last thing she hears is the stranger telling her to calm down, as the good guys have arrived.
It is actually only one, but one is more than enough, as he is Cable. He comes from a distant future to avert mankind’s destruction, one step at a time. When the teenage boys see the tall outline of his figure, they decide to run him down. However, he lashes out with his powers, creating a telekinetic roadblock. Both the truck and the bike are torn apart and the four bigot youths are knocked out, as they hit the ground in a very unpleasant way. Cable angrily tells them that, when they want to fight, they should do it against someone who can fight back.
With them dealt with, Cable‘s attention again shifts to Rogue. He asks his “mentor,” the Professor, why they can’t take her with them, and the mechanical voice answers that Cable needs to show some trust- he has guided him all these years and he knows that the girl will find her way to safety. Cable reluctantly agrees, but he knows that the Professor is right. No child should be forced to see what he sees and fight the horrors he fights. Cable vows that, with the powers at his disposal, he’ll make sure that this innocent girl will never have to suffer like he has. He then orders a Bodyslide by One and is teleported away.
As of lately, Cable has begun to doubt his actions and the decision he made. Rogue, for example, eventually joined the X-Men and, in her life, she endured much suffering. Cable thinks it was a mistake to leave her back then, maybe the first in a long series of mistakes. However, Cable has no time for such thoughts right now, as he wants to survive the next few minutes. He is in Boston and, a few seconds ago, the Brotherhood members Post, Blob and Avalanche crushed in, interrupting the speech of presidential candidate Senator Robert Kelly. Cable is prepared to battle all three of them but needing to protect Kelly at the same time puts him at a disadvantage. The team of Secret Service agents that serve as Kelly’s bodyguards won’t be much help either, compared to the deadly powers of the mutant terrorists, so Cable decides it’s time to call in some reinforcements.
Outside, Gambit and Beast are standing on a rooftop, looking out for trouble. They have no idea of the events inside and are actually joking that the boring surveillance mission is still better than listening to Kelly’s speech. Cable’s astral self appears in front of the two X-Men, informing them of the Brotherhood’s arrival and his need for help. Hank and Remy react instantly and leap off the roof. In free fall, they are witness to an explosion from one of the windows, scaring the crowd. Beast grabs his fellow X-Man and tells him to prepare for some fancy maneuvering. They need to make it inside and past the crowd as fast as possible.
The Meeting Hall, or what’s left of it, is by now empty, save for the Brotherhood, Cable, Kelly, his guards and an old man in the corner, who seems totally unaware of what’s going on. Post fires a few shots towards the senator, but Cable deflects them all with his charged Psimitar. The Blob punches at the floor, creating a small earthquake to throw Cable off guard, but the experienced X-Man is faster and propels himself into the air telekinetically. However, he is unable to deflect Avalanche’s attack, which buries him beneath some rubble. Taking the respite, Blob asks Cable why he even defends Kelly, whose anti-mutant views are well known.
With Cable no longer blocking his path, Post now marches forward, laughing at the agents unsuccessfully trying to shoot him. Beast and Gambit finally arrive, entering the hall through the hole left by the Brotherhood’s entrance, but they are too far away from Post to stop him, as he is already a few feet away from the senator. It seems like Kelly is a dead man and Post’s weapon flare up, preparing for the killing blow. Suddenly, one of the Secret Service agents transforms into the steeled form of Colossus, who has been hiding his appearance with an image inducer. Post’s blasts bounce harmlessly off the organic steel skin and Senator Kelly takes cover behind the Russian X-Man.
Unnoticed by any of the combatants, the old man in the back of the room stands up. He is wearing a trenchcoat, a big hat and is constantly coughing. Colossus’ unexpected appearance seems to turn the tide and Post is the first to receive a steel fist in the gut. Post the calls out to Cable, asking why he is helping the X-Men. Thanks to men like Kelly, mutants are feared and have to run and hide, they are even killed – how can he protect such a man? Cable though tells Post to shut up; he made his choice and knows where he stands.
Beast struggles with Avalanche, while Gambit throws his charged cards at the Blob, distracting him long enough for Cable to channel his psi-energies though his Psimitar, enabling him to telekinetically lift the Blob from the ground. The fat mutant is in disbelief. He is supposed to be an immovable object. His eyes widen as Cable already prepares the next blow, sending him flying. It’s then that Cable realizes that, although the battle goes well, he can’t shake the feeling that something is terribly wrong. He becomes aware of the old man who is stumbling forward. Cable senses the man’s despair and he finally removes his head. It’s not an old man at all but one terminally ill, the former Brotherhood member Pyro, who is in the final stages of the Legacy Virus infection.
With pain in his eyes, Pyro manages to mumble a single word “Master....mind.” Cable understands what he is trying to say. Everything is a set-up and, distracted by his own doubts, he fell for it. While Colossus and Post still duke it out and Beast and Gambit are tackling with Avalanche, Cable throws his weapon to another, apparently empty, corner of the room. The Psimitar hits its mark. Though it penetrates the chest of the young woman codenamed Mastermind, it doesn’t kill her, but it puts her out of commission and ends her charade. With her illusions fading, Colossus finds Post disappearing beneath his fist. All four X-Men turn to see where Post actually is – right on stage, next to Senator Kelly, and they know that none of them will be able to get to him in time. The Blob laughs; their plan worked perfectly and he orders his teammate to kill the senator.
With an evil grin, Post says, “Time to die, senator,” and readies his bio-weapons. Barely able to stand, Pyro cries out and urges him to stop. He is again having problems with his cough, but then asks if they don’t see ... Post tries to shoot but, strangely, nothing happens. Cable, however, realizes what is going on, but there is nothing he can do to stop it. With the Legacy virus flaring up his powers a final time, Pyro bursts into flames. As a member of the Brotherhood, he killed ruthlessly in the name of mutantkind’s salvation. Now, on the brink of death, he has come to realize how wrong it all was and that it is only the X-Men’s way that can be a real hope for both man and mutantkind, just as Cable’s starting to doubt those same beliefs. Post doesn’t even have time to scream, as the flames form a bird of fire totally engulf him. Still aflame, Post collapses but the heroic action comes with a price.
Kelly is shocked by the events he has just witnessed and mumbles a “My God.” Cable corrects him; God had nothing to with it. Then, turning to Pyro, he tells him not to move and offers to get him some medical attention, but the former Brotherhood member knows that his life has come to an end. However, before he can let go, there is one more thing he needs to do. Addressing Kelly, Pyro says “Please ... senator ... Make it end. The hatred ... the death. There’s a war coming ... stop it. You’re the only one who can.“ Looking into the agonized face, scarred by the effects of the Legacy Virus, Kelly kneels down and promises that he will, for as long as he lives. Pyro thanks him and, with a peaceful smile, he passes away.
The X-Men silently look at Kelly and the lifeless body of a villain turned hero in his arms. Cable wonders whether they have changed the future today. He doesn’t know. Judging possibilities and probabilities is the work of gods, not men. At least Kelly is alive and finally understands that hate and fear will never bring peace. Cable hopes that Pyro’s sacrifice wasn’t in vain and that having witnessed his noble death will give Kelly the necessary strength to truly make a change in human-mutant relations. However, at heart, Cable is a Soldier and, as such, he always expects the worst...