Alison Blaire, dressed in a hastily conceived disguise, and her half-sister, Lois London, travel westward through the night on a cross-country bus, fleeing what may be a charge of murder… murder at the hands of Lois, who shares with Alison unwanted mutant powers. Most of the bus passengers sleep as the tires whine along the interstate. Alison, however, cannot sleep, as she cannot take her mind off her fugitive sister’s predicament. She realizes she could be implicated as well for aiding and abetting Lois after the fact. They’re in one heck of a mess!
Alison has no idea how her sister can even sleep at a time like this. However, Lois is new to her power—whatever it is—while Alison has lived with her own for a while. Some nights, she worries she will never fall asleep ever again, considering the events through which she has lived. She remembers all the villains who tried to destroy her, such as Terrax, Dr. Sax and Galactus. Although her powers saved her from each of these life-or-death situations, she would not have been in them in the first place without her unwanted mutant power!
Neither Alison nor Lois want these mutant powers, so why them? As Alison recalls, she and Lois are not the only victims of their unwanted powers. Alison believes her powers caused all of her father’s recent mental-health problems. Additionally, Lois’s powers might make life difficult for her mother, Barbara London. Thankfully, Alison has a support network beyond her family. She has friends in her band—Beefer, Hunch and Marx—as well as her managers, Lance Steele and Harry S. Osgood. She also has the men she has dated: Paul the doctor, Quasar—whom she wishes she had gotten to know better, Ken Barnett, and Warren Worthington III, the Angel. However, it’s performing she loves most of all: the work of the rehearsals, the gut-churning agony before the curtain rises, the fury and sound of the music, the roar of the audience… Alison has to have it all. However, she seems to be running out of time.
Time! Alison suddenly snaps to attention. What time could it be? She must have left her watch back in the hotel in Pittsburgh a few days ago. She wonders how many days ago they left. Two? Three? Deciding she needs to know for sure, Alison asks the woman sitting in front of her if she has the time. “I sure do, honey!” the green-hooded woman says. She turns around and pulls down her hood, revealing a head of white-streaked brown hair. “The time is UP!” she says. “We’re havin’ it out right now!” Dazzler screams at the sight of her old foe, Rogue!
Rogue slaps Dazzler in the face, figuring she wants to warm up with a few soft blows. Dazzler falls out of her seat and into the aisle. She realizes Rogue is pulling her punches; if she lets loose, Alison has no chance. She crawls along the floor while Rogue orders her to stand. Defiant, she searches for a source of sound she can use, and finds one in a boom-box tucked under someone’s seat. Dazzler pulls it out, flips it on, and, amidst the confused cries of everyone else on the bus, begins rechanneling its sound energy. She glows so brightly that her radiant pink light spills out of every window on the bus. She then faces Rogue. Rogue, however, doesn’t flinch; she senses Dazzler’s hesitation, presumably because of the heroine’s caution around the innocent bystanders. Sure enough, by the time Dazzler lines up her shot, Rogue is prepared. She deftly leaps out of the way of Dazzler’s laser.
Rogue lands on an empty seat, which she uproots to use as a weapon. While the terrified passengers flee to the back of the bus, Rogue hurls the chair at Dazzler, destroying her radio and knocking her to the floor. She then pulls Lois out of her seat and takes her as a hostage. Dazzler begs Rogue to let her sister go, but Rogue refuses. Although she intends to snap Lois’s neck, she wants to have some fun first!
Once again, Lois’s right hand begins its mysterious transformation into a weapon of deadly power. Dazzler cheers and tells her sister to use her hand on Rogue. Instinctively, Lois squirms free of Rogue’s grip, pivots, and tries to hit her with a right hook. Rogue slips out of the way and redirects Lois’s momentum so her death-fist connects with a chair instead. “Quite a weapon yuh got there! But that aim’s a mite shaky. Mind if I try?” Rogue asks, pulling off her gloves. Lois has no idea what she means by this. As such, she lunges at Rogue, not knowing about her ability to absorb the powers of other mutants. Rogue grabs onto her wrists and begins the absorption. The terrified Dazzler screams as she witnesses Rogue adding this deadly ability to her arsenal.
Once she finishes, Rogue tosses Lois aside and creeps closer and closer to Alison, her hands glowing menacingly. The bus falls completely silent. The frightened passengers just watch in silence as the two superhumans face off. Unfortunately, this silence works against Alison’s chances of survival. Rogue abruptly lurches forward and grabs hold of Dazzler’s wrist. She screams; her hand feels like it’s on fire! “That’s nothin’!” Rogue says. “Now ah’m gonna give yuh a facelift!” She leaps forward once more, this time putting both her hands to Alison’s face. Alison, clutching her head, screams in a mixture of horror and pain. Rogue merely laughs and orders Dazzler to show her face. When Dazzler removes her hands, she reveals a visage of melted flesh in frozen horror.
Meanwhile, the panic-stricken bus driver swerves his vehicle dangerously, unable to stop or pull off the road. A fast-approaching truck driver pulls close and blows his air-horn, hoping to snap the bus driver back to attention. Fortunately for Dazzler, the blaring air-horn provides her with the sound energy she needs to fight. She pushes beyond the pain of her disfigurement and focuses on transducing as much sound as possible. Once again shining like a star, she gets on her feet and channels a high-energy burst of blinding light at Rogue’s face. Rogue falls instantly. Unfortunately, the bus driver catches sight of this attack in his rear-view mirror and finds himself blinded as well. No longer able to control his bus, he veers toward the edge of the road, breaks through the guard rail, and sends the bus plummeting off the edge of a steep canyon road. STOP! STOP! Dazzler and the other terrified passengers scream for their lives. STOP!
“…stop! Last stop! Los Angeles!” the bus driver says to his passengers. Lois London, meanwhile, shakes her screaming sister by the shoulders, attempting to wake her up from what is obviously a nightmare. Alison wakes up and immediately demands to see a mirror. Lois tells her to relax; she has one in her purse, and hands it over to Alison to placate her. After taking a look at herself in the compact and realizing it was all a bad dream, Alison sits back down, buries her face in her hands, and unravels. Lois tries to cheer her up; three days on a bus has made a mess of both of them, she says! Perhaps it’s time for them to get cleaned up. Alison agrees. She hopes they can get their heads cleaned up as well. She stands up, removes her curly black wig and suggests she and Lois find a place to talk.
Alison Blaire and Lois London check into a motel near the bus stop. After they settle in their room, Alison tells Lois her dream on the bus led her to an epiphany: she thinks they should return to New York and face the authorities. Lois was worried she might say that. After all, Alison didn’t kill anyone; she has nothing at stake! Alison asks if anyone else saw what happened with the derelict. How does Lois even know she killed him? Somehow, Lois is certain of it. She wonders what will happen to her now that she has this power to kill with a touch. It could strike again and again. To demonstrate, she grabs an ashtray and melts it in her hand. How can she ever live a normal life with this power?
Dazzler, deciding to be brutally honest with her sister, tells Lois she can’t live a totally normal life. However, her power will never go away, and living life on the run only increases the chances of her using it dangerously. She thinks this is what her dream taught her. Taking Lois in her arms, she tells her they will go back to New York together. “Everything will be all right! I’m your own sister,” Alison says. “I love you.” Lois just hugs her back and agrees to do whatever she says.
Suddenly, the sisters hear a knock at the door. Alison opens it up without hesitation, but finds the hallway completely empty. However, she sees an envelope pinned to the door. Alison tears it off, walks back inside, and slams the door. Her heart stops when she looks at the photos. Lois asks what’s wrong, so Dazzler shows her the three photos, which clearly show Lois killing the derelict man in New York City. Peek-a-boo, I see you! the note reads. Curious? 555-2645.
Lois cannot believe it; someone saw her kill the homeless man! Maybe they even trailed her on the bus to Los Angeles! She collapses on the bed, feeling alone, afraid and totally naked. Alison tells her not to undress just yet. She picks up the phone and begins dialing. Lois asks if she’s calling the police, but Alison doesn’t think even the police would believe their story. She tells Lois she’s calling the number on the note. After all, it can’t hurt.
The call rings through to a payphone on a country road. A man in a suit answers and immediately asks what the note says. “Peek-a-boo,” Dazzler tells him. With that of the way, the man tells her to listen, but Dazzler interrupts him. “I don’t know who you are or what your game is,” she says before the man tells her to shut up. He asks if she wants him to turn the photos—and Lois’s location—over to the police. Since Dazzler obviously doesn’t want that to happen, she asks the man on the phone what he could possibly want from them, seeing as how they don’t have any money. The man doesn’t want money; he has something far more nefarious in mind. It involves a car, a map, and a sleeping man. It’ll be so simple, he tells Alison. She asks if he’s talking about murder, and he confirms it. If Lois and Alison do what he says, he promises to return the negatives and disappear from their lives forever. He tells Alison she has an hour to think about it, after which she must call him back at 555-7071. He hangs up before she can respond.
The well-dressed man puts a quarter into the payphone and makes a new call. This call goes to a sunny mansion surrounded by palm trees. A rich man in a bathrobe, lounging by his enormous, outdoor swimming pool, casually answers the call. The well-dressed man on the other end tells his boss he is close to locating Lois; he should reach her in a few days. When the rich man asks where he is, he says he’s in Las Vegas. “I’m paying you plenty to find Lois! You’d better come through—fast!” the rich man says. “Otherwise, I can send that Milwaukie file to the F.B.I. They love that kind of reading material!”
Meanwhile, back at the motel, Lois begins freaking out about their developing predicament. She can’t believe someone is blackmailing them! Tears fall from her eyes as she asks Alison what they are going to do. Although she admits she doesn’t have all the answers, Alison suggests they pretend to cooperate with the extortionist in order to get to the bottom of the mystery. Lois reluctantly agrees. “Good girl!” Alison says. Now that they have waited about an hour, Alison picks up the phone and calls the man at the new number.
Seconds later, the mysterious man answers the call from a different payphone. He tells Alison to wait until midnight, at which point she and Lois must walk to a car he parked near their motel. Inside, they will find the keys, a map, and instructions on what to do. They shouldn’t have trouble getting into the grounds; female visitors are quite common at their target’s estate. However, their target will surely be asleep. They must see that he never wakes up! Additionally, the man asks them to steal the million dollars hidden in the wall safe and take it to the drop point—which he’ll tell them about later. For now, he reminds Alison the game ends if she contacts anyone else.
After the call ends, Alison, clearly defying his orders, makes a phone call to a good friend of hers in Colorado. This friend often spends time in both L.A. and New York. Hopefully, he can help them.
At that moment, high above the streets of Los Angeles, Warren Worthington III soars through the air, enjoying the freedom provided by his wings. As much as he enjoys this city, he realizes he must soon head back to New York. It’s not as bad as it sounds; he gets to return to the Plaza Hotel, nights out at the theater, the Met, and most importantly, Alison Blaire. Suddenly, his beeper goes off, interrupting his meditative flight. He can’t even seem to get truly get away, Warren sighs. He decides to head back to his apartment and see who wants to contact him. It might be important, but he assumes it’s just more business nonsense.
Later that night, Alison and Lois, following the instructions on the map, slowly pull into an obviously rich neighborhood. Lois gasps at how luxurious all the houses seem. “Yes,” Alison says. “The parking meters only accept Krugerands!” Moving right along, Lois tells her sister to turn left, after which they arrive at their destination. The car pulls into a long, darkened driveway. As they park, Dazzler tells Lois she hopes Angel got her message; she doesn’t trust answering machines! They’ll soon know, Lois says.
The sisters exit their vehicle and sneak into the house. Alison asks Lois if she’s having second thoughts; Lois tells her she’s had so many second thoughts she’s lost count. They climb the mansion’s stairs in the dark, unknowingly under the scrutiny of a mysterious old man. They finally reach their target’s bedroom door. After Alison opens it up and enters, Lois asks what they should do now. Alison has no idea; she just hopes Angel checks his phone messages often enough. She begins whispering Warren’s name to see if he’s in the room.
Much to her dread, Alison’s whispers tip off their mysterious stalker as to their lack of total compliance. He emerges in the doorway, gun in hand, and tells the two frightened sisters he suspected they might do something stupid. Lois instantly recognizes his voice; he’s the man from the phone! While Dazzler inches her hand toward the power switch on the room’s television set, the gun-wielding man asks which girl wants to get shot first.
“Try me!” a voice shouts from the edge of the room. Alison and Lois turn in time to see the Angel soar through the window and directly toward the gun-toting madman. Unfortunately, the gunman manages to get off a shot, which penetrates the Angel’s right side. Warren falls to the floor in a heap. Alison screams.
“So much for your freaky friend!” the shooter says. “Hope I didn’t shoot him out of season!” While the gunman has his back turned, Alison turns the volume up on the TV and hits its power switch. It flickers to life, unleashing a deafening barrage of late-night infomercials. Dazzler then sprints toward the gunman, along the way absorbing the sound and transducing it into light. She unleashes a burst of light so bright it dazzles the gunman and causes him to miss his next shot. He stumbles backward, trips, and hits his head when he falls to the floor.
With the threat neutralized, Alison immediately rushes to Warren’s side to check for signs of life. Thankfully, he wakes up from his stupor. While she tends to his wounds, Lois switches off the TV, but it’s too late; their sleeping target wakes up anyway. Lois asks her sister what they should do. Before she can answer, however, the man wipes his eyes and gets a look at the girls in his room. Much to their mutual surprise, he and Lois instantly recognize one another, and freeze in place as the truth of the situation settles.