It was an audacious rescue. Heading directly into the belly of the beast! In this case, directly into the mouth of a flying space whale that served as the fortress of Mr. Knife. In the fortress, young Scott Summers, Bobby Drake and Groot are being held prisoner. Scott tells the others it won’t be long now. He can feel it.
Among the new mercenaries hired by Mr. Knife is somebody who had used his underground connections to become one of them – Cyclops’ father Corsair, who then sneakily busts them out. Grinning, he tells them they’d better be ready for a fight. And they are.
It’s the story Cyclops would be talking about for years. Perfectly planned. Perfectly executed.
Of course it never happened.
Iceman asks the brooding Scott if he is oaky. He is not coming, Scott whispers. He thought he’d be here by now.
Bobby tells him their little X-Men group wasn’t the same without him. They’d be happy to have him back. He suggests Scott tell them about his adventures as a badass space pirate. Scott is reluctant, but a guard suggests he do it. They’ve got lots of time to swap life stories, he replies, unless Mr. Knife decides to execute them. Speaking of which, the boss wants an all hands meeting to address some stuff going down. He’d tell them not to make trouble while he was gone but, with the cell’s power inhibitors going, they couldn’t if they tried.
Soon the guards are gone. In spite of the inhibitors, they still have some power left, enough for Iceman to chill up the metal bars where the guard’s fingerprint is made visible and Scott using his power copying the heat finger print with his optic blast, allowing them to switch off the inhibitor.
Moments later, they are out of the cell and, moments after that, they run into dozens of Mr. Knife’s mercenaries who give chase to them. Iceman ices up and blocks the entrance behind them.
They find themselves alone in a room with the Black Vortex. Iceman announces it is obvious they have to submit to the Vortex. His icewall is not going to hold up for long. Scott refuses. With great power comes great responsibility. But power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. What about cosmic power? Infinite power? They know what happened to the older Scott Summers. Or how Phoenix became Dark Phoenix. Some things in the universe you just don’t want to mess with and maybe the Black Vortex is one of these things. They don’t know what the repercussions will be, if they submit. Well, if they don’t do it, the repercussions are that they are going to get killed, Bobby snarks.
Suddenly, Scott hears a telepathic voice. It’s his father Corsair and Jean Grey, who linked them up. Corsair tells Scott he knows what he’s worried about. That there’s a darkness in him like in the other Scott and that the Vortex’s power will bring it out. He promises Scott that he won’t be that man. Their time together has shown him that. He has to trust himself. He can control the Vortex’s power, not the other way round. But if he wants to save himself and his friends, he is going to have to do this.
He’ll do it, Scott announces. Let’s go, they don’t have much time. That’s what he’s been saying! Iceman bursts out confused. All three of them reach out and submit to the Black Vortex.
The mercenaries are about to break down the ice wall, when they are swept aside by Iceman and Groot’s enhanced powers. Easily, the three of them take down the rest of the soldiers and marvel at their new capabilities. I am Groot! the taller, blazing Groot remarks. Iceman critically states godlike powers should come with a vocabulary upgrade.
They shouldn’t stick around, Scott replies. They have the Vortex and its power, which means they have the upper hand. He suggests they get out and get it somewhere safe.
Outside, they see the Slaughter Lords fighting Beast, Angel, Gamora, Captain Marvel, Nova and Drax. Does that look safe to him? Iceman asks. Looks like they just entered a warzone, Scott admits. Iceman wishes for a punny, ice-themed equivalent of ‘out of the frying pan, into the fire.’
Cyclops tries to reestablish telepathic contact with Corsair, to no avail, and mistakenly lets go off the Vortex. Iceman breaks his concentration and sends Groot after it. But Captain Marvel is already on it. She tells them to join the battle. She’ll take the Vortex off their hands. Kitty has big plans for it.
Iceman and Groot join the battle, but Cyclops stays behind and is indecisive. Carol asks what he is waiting for. He asks if she knows what’s going on with his father. He can’t reach him. She explains to him that Spartax was frozen in an amber-like substance. Along with everybody on it, which includes Corsair.
He stammers and his father appear in his mind again, admitting he’s not real. That telepathic message was all in his head. Scott insists it had to be real. He never would have worked up the courage to submit to the Black Vortex without his help. Corsair tells him he’s wrong. It’s always been Scott. And this version of him in Scott’s head is just telling him things he already knows. Is he dead? Scott asks. Who knows? Corsair shrugs. Scott doesn’t know, so he doesn’t. But he does know, if he’s going to be rescued, there’s no one he trusts more than Scott to do it. Scott is a hero and he’s going to do the right thing. He’s got courage, smarts and inner strength. And now when entire worlds need saving, he’s got even more power to do the right thing. Get out there and save the world!
Assured, Cyclops joins the fight.