A politician is stuck in his car on Dupont Circle, arguing with someone on the cell phone that they should tell their boss that the vote for pro-mutant legislation is going to cost their boss their election, and tell him… hold on. He notices a traffic jam then a piece of hot metal falls on the car. He swears and gets outside, then is speechless. In the sky above, a furious Captain Marvel and Iron Man are battling.
Captain Marvel dives head on into Iron Man, while Captain America and the young Spider-Man watch horrified.
On the SHIELD heli-carrier hovering over Washington, Commander Maria Hill informs the Ultimates and Alpha Flight that they are to stand down. It’s an order by both Captain Marvel and her. Sasquatch wants to protest but Hill states she can handle this and reiterates her order.
Watching the battle on a screen, she asks Blue Marvel if they should be worried about Iron Man’s ability to immobilize Captain Marvel, as he did during the Triskelion battle. Brashear replies that he took care of that, but who knows what else he has up…
Hill orders Agent-22 to reach out to the Inhumans to inform them they are still at war over Ulysses. Agent-22 replies that the Inhumans are already on the comm.
Medusa implores Hill to stop the fight. When Hill asks for more info, Medusa turns to Ulysses but he is in a trance, energy tendrils surrounding him. Again Medusa pleads, as the battle continues.
At the Capitol, Captain Marvel and Iron Man keep on battling. Spider-Man shouts for Stark to drop the forcefield that holds him prisoner.
Captain Marvel reminds Stark she warned him that, if he interfered with her again, she wouldn’t hold back. Tony shoots back that she also said she wouldn’t arrest a kid for something he didn’t do…
Captain America tries to get their attention. Carol shouts that she is trying to save his life! She dodges Iron Man’s small missiles, which hit Captain America instead.
Iron Man’s smart computer system “Friday” assures him that Cap’s vital signs are healthy. Great job not killing Cap just then, Stark mocks Carol. She curses him out then adds he is under arrest. He shoots back that she has lost her mind and he is going to save that kid from her.
On New Attilan, a frustrated Medusa informs Karnak that Hill hung up on her. Then they need to stop the fight, Kanak announces. Medusa addresses Ulysses and they see he is in a trance, energy tendrils surrounding him. Beast ventures that he may not be on the same plane of existence as they are. Medusa replies the others need to hear about his vision from him.
In Washington, Carol tells Tony that she forgives him and orders him to stand down. Let the kid go! he stubbornly repeats. Miles tries to get free.
On the heli-carrier, Hill gives Alpha Flight and the Ultimates new orders: stop the fight!
In Brooklyn, Nova and Ms. Marvel have found Miles.
The Inhumans teleport in via Lockjaw. Medusa shouts at Danvers but cannot be heard. Karnak attempts to free Miles. Friday informs Stark the systems are failing.
Carol keeps on hitting and damaging the armor, even as several heroes – the Human Torch, Nova and the finally free Spider-Man – move toward the combatants. Something in the armor explodes and Tony falls free.
Suddenly, Ulysses’ energies engulf them all and he tells them he is showing them the futures.
Karnak sees two groups of monsters battling each other and humanity caught in between.
Nova sees all the X-Men united attacking an Inhuman fortress.
Captain America sees himself dead on the steps of the Capitol, killed by Spider-Man.
Medusa sees a future where Martians have conquered Earth and only Killraven and his allies fight back.
Spider-Man sees a future of mutants murdered by Sentinels.
Captain Marvel sees Ultron standing triumphant on the corpses of the Avengers.
Ulysses sees Thor facing his brother Loki once more.
He pleads to knows what is happening. He is one of them now, a voice replies. He turns around to see Eternity, surrounded by light. Eternity informs him that he has shown the world all he can. He is part of the greater universe now. There is much more than the Earth. If he chooses to join them.
Ulysses smiles ecstatically. Over Medusa’s protest, he thanks Eternity and joins him.
The visions are over and all of them see a broken Tony Stark, cradled by Spider-Man.
A little later, Beast and Carol stand over a life capsule holding the body of the comatose Tony. Beast reminds Carol that Ulysses’ powers were evolving the entire time. Sounds like he evolved past them. He really wishes he could have seen that. No, he really doesn’t, Carol tells him bluntly. They were taken to the edge of reason. And she hasn’t slept since.
She looks at Tony’s body. Is he going to die? In theory. One day, is Hank’s non-answer. Is he going to live? Carol clarifies. Henry admits he is uncomfortable going any further with his examination.
As Maria Hill joins them, he continues that Tony has done something to himself. He has never seen anything like it before. And by that he means no one has ever seen anything like it before.
Hill asks if he has been experimenting on himself. If Henry had to guess, he would say for years. He’s hardly one to point a finger, though. This device is the only thing keeping his body alive. But he has to dig much deeper before he can tell them anything about Tony’s condition. He’s even afraid to draw blood. But at least he saved her from being the woman who killed Tony Stark.
Looking down, Carol replies she didn’t start it. Surprisingly, Henry agrees and adds Tony wasn’t fighting her. Carol looks up surprised. Henry continues, he trusted her. Then who was he fighting? Carol demands. Himself?
Henry replies she popped open a dangerous door. And deep down - maybe very deep down – Tony knew and Henry knows Carol can be trusted. She saved millions of lives by profiling the future. But he was worried about who would come after her He knew that once Carol made profiling the norm, how much longer until someone less noble would use it? Against say mutants r Inhumans or anyone else deemed unworthy? Stark’s a futurist… he knew what would come next, if he didn’t stop her now. He just couldn’t believe she would fight him this hard. Yeah, Carol didn’t start it. But she sure ended it.
Carol stands alone, her face buried in her hands as she grieves. There she is, a new voice remarks. It is Clint Barton who has snuck in. Nice to see the old Carol, he continues. The one everyone actually liked. He needed to see that for himself.
Where has he been? Carol demands. Setting up shop, he replies. For what? she asks. Now that he is suddenly the most popular Avenger ever because of the one thing he did that will forever haunt him, he’s going to do what maybe she can’t. Carol asks what that means. That’s what he came here to tell her. No matter what happens next, do him a favor: Trust him. Carol looks at him silently.
Another day in the White House Situation Room:
The president of the United States asks Carol how she is doing and commends her on handling everything with grace. He asks about Ulysses and is told he is no longer with them. The president regrets this. He was really getting used to this knowing the future before it happens stuff. A future, Carol corrects him. A possible future. One of many.
The president continues, noting that they are still breathing American air, so he doesn’t care about the how and whys. And no matter what they say on their Facebook pages, most Americans don’t care about the how and whys, as long as they get to wake up the next day.
He asks about the fallout in the superhero community. It’s a little bit of everything, Carol replies. Some are just overwhelmed (like a despairing Miles Morales). Some find themselves starting anew (like Hawkeye). Some think they absolutely know what they need to do now (like the younger Avengers who will strike out to become the Champions). And some might feel exactly the opposite (like Captain America). Some are just lost over what has taken place (like Jennifer Walters). Some wounds will never heal (like the Inhumans’), some have just become an engima to her (like the Black Panther). But she’s going to choose to focus on those who have been inspired to do something new (like Riri Williams). She’s going to focus on the good that may have come out of this (like the new Defenders team).
As will they all, the president announces, but in the meantime the winner gets her prize. What can he get her? Carol is nonplussed. He explains that, not too long ago, he had Colonel James Rhodes there in this office and told him he was the future of the country. But now he is thinking she is.
Carol appreciates the gesture, but… Not a gesture, he interrupts. She wants to do her job as best as she can and his piggy bank is open and he wants her to go forward and win. Big. Don’t blow this off. What can he do for her? Carol replies that she has some ideas about the future…