“Dazzler!” Rogue shouts as she kicks in the door to Alison Blaire’s apartment. “Ah’ve come for ya!” She tells her prey to come out from her hiding spot and face her predator. However, it quickly becomes clear that Dazzler is not even home. She groans; she went through a lot of trouble to find where Alison lived.
Rogue seeks to exploit Dazzler’s connection to Angel, through whom she and her Sisterhood can exact revenge on the X-Men. With them out of the way, evil mutants will finally have free reign to ride roughshod over the entire world! Rogue declares. Besides, she and the Sisterhood owe Dazzler in kind for foiling their earlier attempt to kidnap the Angel. In Rogue’s mind, that alone is justification enough for her to disobey Mystique and seek out the meddlesome Alison Blaire.
Although disappointed by Dazzler’s absence, Rogue decides to make the most of her trip. She trashes her apartment instead, a job that only takes a moment thanks to her super-strength. As she prepares to leave, however, she has an idea; why not wait in hiding for Alison to return home? Rogue finds this plan palatable. She reattaches the door to its frame, turns off all the lights, and finds a spot in the kitchen to wait, right beside a pile of walnuts. “Ah love walnuts,” Rogue says to no one in particular while cracking a pair of the tough shells in her hand.
Rogue’s vigil of vengeance nears its end shortly after it begins. While approaching her scorched residence, Alison Blaire thinks back on the day’s tough rehearsal, and how much progress her band has made under the direction of recording-technician extraordinaire L.B. Holman. Her daydreaming is interrupted by one of her worried neighbors. What is it? Alison asks. Frank, her neighbor, informs her he saw a woman break into Alison's apartment right as he left for his jog. The culprit trashed the place and is still inside! he says. Alison’s heart sinks; she asks if the intruder has red hair with two white streaks. Yep, that's her, Frank says. Alison gasps. If Rogue has found her, Destiny and Mystique cannot be far behind. Instead of investigating on her own, she decides to call her bodyguards, Power Man and Iron Fist.
At that same time, these two heroes-for-hire sit idly in their office, frustrated by their failure to solve Dazzler’s case. Iron Fist assumes finding the flamboyant women of the Sisterhood of Evil Mutants would have been easy. Instead, the two stumped heroes have been reduced to goofing around with office supplies. An unexpected phone call changes all that. Power Man answers it and speaks to their client, Alison Blaire, who reports the break-in at her apartment. The two men depart immediately.
A short while later, Power Man and Iron Fist meet up with Alison a few blocks from her building. She informs them Rogue still hasn’t left the apartment. Luke and Daniel tell Alison not to worry; she hired them to do exactly this kind of work. After asking her to remain behind – an order to which she gladly agrees – Iron Fist and Power Man head upstairs and approach Alison’s front door. Power Man asks Iron Fist if he thinks this Rogue person is as tough as everyone claims. Danny tells him he’ll let him know the answer to that question in just a few minutes. He kicks down the door.
They find Rogue waiting eagerly in the living room. “Wha—?” she gasps. “You're not the Dazzler!” Of course not, Iron Fist says, but he adds they are cute in their own way. Rogue hurls a couch at them in anger. “Moron! You think you're funny? Ah think you're pathetic,” she says. The couch knocks the two bodyguards to the ground. Rogue arbitrarily chooses to attack Iron Fist first. Normally, Iron Fist would attack a foe as deadly as Rogue without restraint, but his internal code of conduct causes him to hesitate before attacking a woman. Rogue takes full advantage of this reticence. Reduced to using only evasive and defensive moves, Iron Fist can do nothing but leap around the apartment in an attempt to outmaneuver his super-powered foe. Rogue eventually snags him by the ankle and crushes his chest with a powerful bear-hug. “Sleep well, darlin’,” she says as he falls unconscious, “and be thankful I didn't end yoah irritatin’ life—”
Actually, Power Man says, it is Rogue who should be thankful she didn’t end Iron Fist’s life. If she had, Power Man would be much angrier than he is right now! He catches her off-guard and punches her across the face. She stumbles backward, but to his surprise, remains standing. How can that be, he asks? Rogue, rubbing her jaw, tells Power Man her mutant ability allows her to absorb the abilities of others. She stole Ms. Marvel’s powers permanently, and since Ms. Marvel was one tough lady, so now is Rogue! She springs forward and cracks Luke Cage across the face. He counter-attacks with a double-fisted uppercut, propelling Rogue upward, toward the ceiling. She recovers and retaliates with a torpedo attack concentrated on Power Man’s neck. She tells him to stay out of her quarrel with the Dazzler; it’s none of his business! Power Man thinks otherwise. Dazzler hired them to protect her, and besides, they consider her a friend. Well, Rogue says, it looks like he just let his friend down. She strikes Power Man, harder than before, and sends him soaring through the exterior wall of Alison’s sixth-story apartment.
During his long fall to the street, Power Man desperately tries to clutch onto any available surface, but fails. He hits the ground hard. Alison runs over to check on him, and he unconvincingly claims to be alright. However, he adds that he left Iron Fist alone and unconscious with Rogue. Alison resigns herself to the inevitable confrontation and rushes up the stairs to her apartment. She cannot in good conscience leave the man to die at the hands of her enemy. As she tears down the hallway on her magnetic skates, her body glowing with energy transduced from her pocket radio, she laments her unfortunate backslide into heroism. She only wants to use her powers to entertain, and yet, she cannot go for a few days without having to use them to save someone’s life. It’s not fair, but life, she realizes, rarely is.
Dazzler arrives in her busted-up apartment, ready for a fight. To her surprise, Rogue slips through the hole in the wall and flies away. Dazzler can’t say she cares. She kneels down and tends to the battered Iron Fist. He asks if Power Man survived the fall. Of course, Alison says. It takes more than crashing through a wall and falling six stories to put Power Man out for long. She completely loses herself as she tends to Iron Fist's wounds, forgetting not only the malicious intent of her nemesis Rogue, but also the plainly visible note pinned to her bulletin board reminding her to meet her sister Lois on campus at three o'clock on Tuesday… a note Rogue did not fail to read.
She may have had to flee before things got too out of hand, but Rogue now knows when and where to best strike at the Dazzler.
The next day, Alison, garbed in her incognito-best, takes a cab to Electronic Oz recording studios. She tips her cabbie well, a gesture that practically makes his day. Alison wishes something as trivial as a nice tip could cheer her up. Instead, she will have to settle with enjoying every moment in which Rogue doesn’t beat her to a bloody pulp.
She walks inside the studio and meets with L.B. Holman, her recording technician. Today, he wants to lay down some vocal tracks, so he has Alison sing over some songs prerecorded by her band. Although she finds L.B.’s methodology foreign, she admits it produces some quality music. After the session ends she thanks L.B. for his time. He tells her not to worry about it, but cannot refrain from commenting on her apparent anxiety –or her ridiculous outfit, for that matter. Is she hiding from somebody, he asks? Alison admits someone has been harassing her. The person is quite nasty, but she doesn't care to say anymore. L.B. tells her that anyone who would hassle her must be a real villain! He doesn't know the half of it, Alison replies.
L.B. abruptly changes subjects and asks Alison out on a date. Without skipping a beat, Alison advises him that at this point in her life, he would be better off not hanging around her very much. However, if he gives her his number, she can call him later when things settle down a bit. Sure, L.B. says, perplexed. He gives Alison his card and watches her leave. She’s quite a woman, he thinks to himself while scratching his head.
Later that night, in the home of her lawyer boyfriend Ken Barnett, Alison enjoys some good food, good wine, and good company. Ken, speaking in a campy French accent, proposes a toast to Alison, whom he dubs the most wonderful woman in all of New York. She thanks him for both the kind gesture and the wonderful night. However, she admits she has a hard time living like she has lately, in perpetual fear of the Sisterhood of Evil Mutants. At any moment, Rogue and her cronies could strike at her and destroy everything – and everyone – she loves! Ken tells his anxiety-stricken girlfriend she can hide out at his place; he can protect her. How? Alison asks. Could he defeat the Sisterhood if they attacked? Ken answers her unanswerable question with a warm embrace and a soft kiss. She loosens up in his arms and asks him to hold her, and help her pretend, just for one night, that everything is okay. “Everything is okay,” Ken promises.
The two lovers embrace and lie down on Ken’s couch, wrapped in each other’s arms. After some time passes, Ken asks Alison to swallow her pride and ask the Fantastic Four or the Avengers for help. Ali doesn’t respond; Ken realizes she fell asleep. He gets up and covers her with a blanket. She deserves a night of rest, away from her worries, Ken thinks. He walks over to his window and looks out over the city. He vows to protect her, no matter what.
The next day, at the Washington Heights Athletic Club, Warren Worthington III, also dressed in a trench-coat and wide-brimmed fedora hat, hands a thousand dollars cash over to the club’s owner. This payment reserves the club’s interior basketball arena for Warren's use for one afternoon. Curious, the club owner asks when Warren expects the rest of his scrimmage team to arrive. They should be arriving soon, Warren nervously tells him! The club owner leaves, not quite believing his answer.
As soon as he shuts the door, Warren throws off his sunglasses, removes his disguise, and unleashes his expansive wings. The Angel flies around the empty arena, stretching his cramped wings for the first time in what feels like an eternity. He cannot afford to be seen flying in public while the Sisterhood pursues him. As the heir to a sizable fortune, however, he has no compunction about dropping a few hundred bucks for one afternoon of relief. He does wonder how Dazzler is doing, though.
Across town, Luke Cage and Iron Fist ponder their next move. Iron Fist reports Dazzler’s plans for the day: she intends to visit her half-sister, Lois London, on campus at State University at three o’clock. The college is quiet, secluded, and forty-five minutes outside of town. In other words, it’s a perfect place for the Sisterhood to strike! Power Man suggests they head there immediately.
Alison Blaire arrives at the State U campus right as the clock strikes three. The cab ride to the campus costs her a small fortune, but she didn’t dare allow the Sisterhood to catch her riding public transportation. She proceeds immediately to Durbach Dorm, her sister’s hall. She fails to notice the woman wearing preppie clothes and a red scarf who waits near the dormitory’s entrance. There she goes, Rogue says to herself as Alison climbs the stairs. She vows to get reacquainted with Alison very soon.
Inside, Dazzler knocks on Lois’s door. She hears no answer and begins to worry. She decides to open the door, and when she does, finds her sister lying unconscious in the center of the dorm room. “Lois!!” she shouts. Lois slowly stirs to consciousness and lifts herself up off the floor. What’s wrong, Alison asks? Although Lois claims to be okay, she admits to experiencing several strange symptoms lately: fainting, light-headedness, strange headaches... could this all mean she is a mutant, like Alison? That’s unlikely, Alison says. If anything, it probably means Lois has anemia.
Their tender heart-to-heart is interrupted by Rogue, who kicks down the door and announces her arrival. Time to take care of business, she says! She demands Dazzler reveal where she can find the Angel. If she complies, Rogue promises to only rough her up a little bit. Alison, with total sincerity, tells Rogue she does not know where the Angel is hiding. Lois, meanwhile, asks for the intruder’s name. “Why ah’m Rogue, honey,” Rogue says, “—ah’m a mutant like ol’ Alison here — one a’ those evil kind ya read about — and ah know how to have a good time!” She slaps Alison, and the slight gesture sends the singer flailing across the dorm room.
Alison hits the wall, bounces off the couch, and lands on the floor in a heap. She slowly picks herself up, and surprisingly, admits defeat. She cannot bring herself to fight back today. However, she has no information to share with Rogue. She can go ahead and kill her if she wants, Alison says, but asks her to leave Lois alone. Rogue lifts her by the collar and raises her fist in preparation for a punch. Dazzler is in no position to demand anything, Rogue says.
Lois, still lying on the floor, watches the evil mutant wail on her sister. She feels terrible for thinking this way, but she thinks if she were a mutant, she would much rather be like Rogue than a patsy like Alison. At least Rogue seems to enjoy herself.
Rogue suddenly looks at Lois and realizes she is wasting her time torturing Dazzler. Maybe if Rogue threatens her little sister, Dazzler will finally talk! She hoists Lois off the ground, slaps her across the face, and effortlessly flips her across the room and onto the couch. If Dazzler gives up Angel’s location, however, she promises to stop. Dazzler’s morose resignation quickly turns to furious anger at the sight of her sister’s mistreatment. After snapping on her roller-skates, she calls Rogue an animal and asks if she is woman enough to face her in a fair fight!
Surprisingly, Dazzler lunges not at Rogue, but at the dorm window. She crashes through the glass and plummets to the sidewalk. Thanks to her acrobatic training, however, she transfers her momentum into forward motion once she hits the ground and begins roller-skating to safety. Her body hurts from the maneuver, but it buys her some time to decide how to deal with Rogue.
Inside the dorm room, Rogue steps up to the windowsill and glares at the escaping starlet. She shoots a menacing glance at Lois, but ultimately decides to leave her alone in favor of Dazzler. Rogue quickly catches up with her on the university library's stone steps. In her panic to escape, Dazzler stumbles, and her pocket radio unnoticeably slips out of her purse. Rogue stops to pick up the device. To her, it looks like an ordinary radio, but she supposes it might be some super-weapon one of Dazzler’s hero friends built. She intends to ask her about it... right before she breaks her neck.
Dazzler, meanwhile, skates into the crowded library and maneuvers her way through the hordes of frightened university students. She curses her poor judgment at skating into the quietest place on campus. However, she mistakenly believes she still has her radio to protect her. Rogue swoops into the library and blocks Dazzler’s path. Dazzler throws her coat in the mutants face and changes direction. She skates down a narrow book aisle, leaping over an oblivious student as she goes, with Rogue following closely behind. The aisle ends, and Alison finds herself in the card catalog section. She deftly hurdles over each hefty set of cabinets while ignoring Rogue’s cruel taunts. Once she puts some distance between them, she reaches into her purse, now intending to power up her radio, and indirectly, her powers. Her stomach drops when she learns it is missing.
Alison refuses to give up just yet. She spies the library’s listening room nearby and realizes it might be her last chance. She skates inside, but to her dismay, finds it somehow even quieter than the rest of the library! She sees the problem: the room’s occupants are listening to their audio through headphones. Before she can escape the silent chamber, however, Rogue appears in the doorway. For a moment, Alison contemplates surrender; she would hate to see any innocent civilians hurt. Her mindset changes after she spots the room’s audio control panel. Before Rogue can stop her, Alison switches the output from the headphones to the library's public address system and cranks the volume as high as she can, instantly filling the entire library with the sounds of Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy”.
Rogue commends her rival on this clever move. Admittedly, she was growing bored with the fight. Why do they even have to fight? Dazzler asks. Can't they just talk things over? Rogue tells her to forget that notion; there’s nothing to talk about anymore! Fine, Dazzler says. She decides to hit Rogue with everything she has. She releases a blindingly bright pulse of light, but even at its peak, it does nothing to abate Rogue’s approach. Then, she concentrates her energy into a pair of high-intensity lasers. Rogue easily dodges these. In fact, she laughs at Dazzler’s attempts to defeat her, and reminds her to exercise caution with her powers. If one of those laser beams accidentally hit some students in the library, it would blast them into smithereens! Rogue claims she wouldn’t care, personally, but she knows Dazzler is one of those bleeding-heart Homo superiors who concerns herself with the plight of the regular humans. Could Alison live with herself if she accidentally killed one of these kids? Rogue asks.
She’s absolutely right, Dazzler realizes. She decides to focus all of her remaining energy into one final, non-lethal attack. She releases a burst of light and color. Rogue continues to approach unperturbed. She rips off her gloves, lunges at Dazzler, and grabs her by the wrists. “Ah’ve got ya, Dazzler! And now, with skin-to-skin contact,” Rogue says, “…ah can absorb your mutant abilities!” Alison feels the power flowing out of her body and into Rogue’s. Despite the intense pain in her wrists from Rogue’s grip, she goes limp, and nearly falls unconscious. “On yoah knees, honey! Ah’m the winner of this tussle, and the only one a-dazzlin’!” Rogue finally lets her victim go and steps back, lifting her arms in victory. “It’s grand to be able to shine like this! Ah’ll tell ya a secret — ah’ve been itchin’ to do this since I first found out yoah light was biologically generated, and now that ah’m doin’ it—” Rogue admits, “—honey, it’s a blast!”
Out of nowhere, Iron Fist sneaks up on the radiant Rogue from behind and kicks her in the back. Rogue falls forward, right into the path of the blindfold-wearing Power Man, who knocks her back toward his partner. The combination of the two attacks finally puts an end to Rogue’s tirade. She collapses on the floor.
Alison thanks her two bodyguards for saving her life. No sweat, Iron Fist tells her. While they still have the opportunity, he tells Power Man they should take a few more shots at the stunned Rogue, just to be sure of their victory. No! Alison shouts. She believes she can talk some sense into her! Power Man doubts that will happen, but Alison insists he at least let her try. The heroes-for-hire agree, but stand over Rogue watchfully as she wakes up, in case she tries anything funny.
Rogue lifts her head, her body language conveying the shame she feels, and acknowledges Dazzler’s kindness. Power Man and Iron Fist could have thrashed her — even killed her — but Alison stopped them. Alison tells her there is a reason for that; she isn’t like Rogue and the rest of the Sisterhood. However, now that she has her attention, she delivers her a message. “You want the Angel so he can lead you to the X-Men. Well, now that I’ve finally got a chance to speak, I’ve got news for you: the X-Men are dead!” Alison says. Rogue gasps; she finds this hard to believe. “Dead,” Alison continues. “In space. A zillion miles away. The Angel told me someone else did your dirty work for you. Now why don’t you leave the Angel — and me — alone?”
The puzzled Rogue turns away. Maybe Mystique was right after all, she thinks. Maybe this isn’t the best time to strike at the X-Men. She decides to return to her Sisterhood so they can plan their next move. To do that, however, she needs to break free of her captors, and she knows just the way. Realizing she still has Dazzler’s abilities, she discretely switches on the pocket radio she recovered from Dazzler’s purse and prepares to make her escape. Oblivious, Dazzler asks if she has something to say. Rogue flares up, temporarily blinding everyone present including the powerless Alison, and vaults toward the library’s ceiling. “So long, suckers!” she says. Dazzler she can rest easy, Rogue says; she and Angel are off the hook — for now.
Power Man admits he is glad to be rid of Rogue. Dazzler concurs; she will not miss her either. However, she turns to Lois and notices a less-than-jubilant expression on her face. What’s the matter, she asks? Lois admits she feels apprehensive about her chronic fainting, her strange headaches, and what these entail for her future. Alison tells her kid sister not to worry; they will take her to the doctor and get her some vitamins right away! Lois feigns relief, but genuinely feels none. She feels something churning inside of her body and inside of her soul. She has no idea what it is. She only knows it terrifies her beyond any fear she has ever known.