In her holding field in Four Freedoms Plaza, the new Exile known as Namora tells Reed Richards, a.k.a. Mr. Fantastic of the Fantastic Four, that the last time she met him she killed him. Surely, he understands that seeing him now is bittersweet, even if he is just an alternate reality version of the hero she killed forty years ago. Present with Reed are his wife, the Invisible Woman, his brother-in-law, the Human Torch, and his friend, the Thing, as well as the Atlantean Prince Namor, who was the one to bring Namora to Four Freedoms Plaza after seeing her as a threat to his world’s future.
Namor, with his hand on Reed’s shoulder, tells the man that they are wasting time. Namora came with others from alternate Earths and their goal is to sabotage their future and destinies. The Fantastic Four should be hunting down the Exiles. Reed removes Namor’s hand and tells the prince that he knows, but right now they need a strategy and the best way to do that is to learn what they are dealing with. Reed turns back to the imprisoned Namora and recalls how, when she first arrived, she asked for help. How can he help her when she also claims she murdered him in her own reality? Namora smiles and tells Reed that she did not “murder” him. She supposes that she should begin her story from the start.
As a young girl, she would always sneak away to go exploring the ocean depths alone, such as a nearby reef. She would always ignore the warnings of danger. She, like most children, believed herself to be indestructible. One day, she was attacked by a shark and discovered that for at least for her it was true. When the shark clamped its massive jaws on her, it found all its teeth shattered on Namora’s impervious skin. It was easy, with her strength, to rip the shark in half. She had no clue what she was at that time, but she was the first mutant born to the people of Atlantis.
Eight years later, Atlantis learned that they housed another mutant. His name was Attuma and he believed his preternatural strength gave him the right to take the throne from Queen Dorma. He easily dispatched the guards and, by the time Namora reached the scene, it was too late. Attuma murdered Queen Dorma. Attuma was ten times stronger than the strongest Atlantean soldier. Charging with his spear, Attuma laughed that a woman had the audacity to challenge him when all men fled before him. Attuma stopped laughing when Namora ripped the spear out of his hand and showed that she was twice and strong as him. When it was over, Attuma lay dead and the people of Atlantis claimed her to be their hero. Queen Dorma died without an heir and Attuma killed all those who were next in line. The people decided to choose their savior to be their new queen. Who was she to deny them?
For many years, Atlantis lived in peace, much thanks to her heavily enforced edict of no contact with the surface world. Unfortunately, the surface dwellers began to increase their encroachment of her land, especially around the time of World War Two, with the Nazi U-Boats. Two global wars later and horrifying and explosive tests of bombs in the Pacific proved to Namora that humans were a threat to life on Earth. After discussion, Atlantis decided to end isolation and introduce themselves with a preemptive strike on the humans. Imagine her surprise, says Namora to the Fantastic Four and Namor, when she was contacted by a surface worlder first on her way to attack!
The bald man had startled her, especially since all she saw was his psionic head in the water before her. She resented his psionic intrusion, but she sensed compassion as their minds touched. Her invasion would wait until he had his say. Professor Charles Xavier would become one of her few precious friends. He was a rare fellow who convinced her that there was hope for the future for humans.
All that was ruined soon when Magneto attacked an Air Force base and ignited humanity’s fear of mutants. Magneto was stopped by Namora and the X-Men, but the media spread the pictures and their half-truths. Namora resisted, but Charles surrendered himself and the X-Men like sheep to a slaughter, because he trusted a criminal justice system that locked him away forever. Within months, any mutant who did not voluntarily surrender was hunted by the government and their Avengers. There was one notable exception: a hero who spoke on behalf of mutants. If only they had listened to you Reed, says Namora. There would have been much less bloodshed in the end.
Later on, the Human Torch and Thing stand outside on the rooftop of an adjacent building to the Four Freedoms Plaza. Johnny asks Ben who they are supposed to be looking for. Thing gets on his hover bike and says that he does not know, but there are five of them. Johnny was there when it was announced. Smiling, the Torch admits that he was a bit distracted by their guest.
As he ignites in flames and follows Thing into the air, Johnny tells Thing that he has the hots for Namora, but wonders if that makes him gay if he has a thing for an alternate reality version of Namor. Ending the conversation, Thing tells the Torch to drop the metrosexual stuff and just help him check the perimeter.
On another rooftop, Blink teleports her group onto the building. Blink sees the Baxter building and tells her team, and Beak, that the Tallus told her that Namora is being held inside, but she doesn’t know where. Nocturne wonders how they are going to get Namora without getting into a fight. Morph transforms into a mop and bucket and tells Nocturne that they need to do some reconnaissance. She can possess one of the janitorial staff and look around. Beak begins to say something, but Morph cuts him off and offers to go with Nocturne. He promises to keep things clean, as long as she firmly grasps his handle.
Heather clamps her hand on Morph’s mouth and questions their original mission. If they complete it, won’t they and Namora just blink off to the next reality? It makes more sense than attacking the Fantastic Four and Namor. Blink agrees, but their mission is still a riddle: “Leave your possessions and earn you wings.”
Beaks asks if he can say something. Everyone looks at him skeptically as he continues. Beak explains that they teach a class on the Fantastic Four at Xavier’s school. Mr. Fantastic is supposed to be smart. He would probably want to talk rather than fight so Beak could just deliver a message on behalf of the Exiles. No one is scared of him so the Fantastic Four won’t attack him. He could ask the team to let Namora go or tell them to not be afraid of the Exiles.
Listen Beak-Boy, says Mimic. Beak, corrects Beak. Mimic doesn’t want him to take offense, but they only brought him along so he wouldn’t squeal on them to the X-Men. They will take him back home as soon as they are done. Until then, they would all appreciate it if he keeps his comments to himself. Nocturne interrupts Mimic and tells him that Beak’s idea isn’t that bad.
Inside Four Freedoms Plaza, Sue, clearly disliking Namora’s flirtatious nature with Reed, tells her husband that she agrees with Namor. She is tired of Namora’s lies. Namora cannot even keep her story straight. First she claims to have killed him, now she says that she and he were friends while batting her eyes at him! Namora asks if she is being accused of lying. Sue approaches the energy field and informs Namora that he time frame doesn’t add up. She said that she ruled Atlantis for decades before meeting Xavier forty years ago. How old is she? Namora comments that she never expected such insolence from the Invisible Girl, to which Sue corrects her on her codename change. Namora agrees that sue is much more of a woman than a girl. Namora informs Sue that she is one hundred and four-years-old. Mutation has been kind to her.
Namora continues her story of how she met Reed. Once his objections to the government were overruled, she could only think of one sane way to end the anti-mutant madness. She prayed that Xavier would one day forgive her, as she set out to destroy the oppressing “superheroes.” The Atlanteans invaded and flooded the cities of the surface world, while she dealt with the heroes, such as the Avengers. Who knows that good these marvels could have accomplished had she not expunged them. All she knows is that they each died with honor. Her biggest challenge was the Fantastic Four and the irony of fighting Reed, who had once championed for mutant rights, was not lost of her. Reed organized human forces in the Sahara Desert and led a well-coordinated assault against her. However, his greatest strength as also his fatal flaw: the Fantastic Four was a family.
She led the Human Torch and the Thing into the depths of the Marianas Trench, knowing that Sue and Reed would follow. The pressure and darkness tipped the scales in her favor and she removed her last obstacle to her Pax Atlantica. The world did become a better place under her rule, though it was a tragedy that so many died. She cherishes her last hour in battle with the Fantastic Four. The intercom beeps and the receptionist tells Reed that they have an after-hours visitor who says that they are expecting him. He says he is with a group called the Exiles.
Back on the rooftop, Heather complains that it has been twenty minutes. Sitting by Heather are Nocturne and Morph, the latter exclaiming that maybe Beak took the visitor’s tour. He hears they have a cool trophy room with the Silver Surfer’s skateboard and Doctor Doom’s nuclear shoehorn. Blink goes over to Mimic, who tells Clarice that this was a bad idea. They may have just blown their last chance to end this cleanly. Blink tells him that it was her call and, if she is going to lead, she cannot have him second-guessing her all the time. Nocturne comes over and asks what happened to the new give-peace-a-chance Mimic. That is just it, says Mimic. They might have just lost the element of surprise they needed to end this quickly. A voice from behind asks why they would need an element of surprise for. All turn around to see the Thing and Human Torch on the rooftop, ready to fight.
Mimic, worried, tells the two to keep calm, since this isn’t what it looks like. The arrogant Torch tells Mimic to save his breath, as they know why they are there. Thing grabs Mimic by the neck, as Blink asks what in the world has Namora been telling them. She told them enough, says the Torch. Namora informed them that they are here to screw up the timeline. Mimic turns to steel, which prompts Thing to ask if he can take a punch then. Yes, says Mimic, but he doesn’t want to fight. The unreasonable Thing punches Mimic across the night sky. Blink teleports to get Mimic, but tells the others to keep the fight to the rooftop. Heather approaches Thing and tells him that he lost his last chance for a negotiated settlement. Incredulously, Thing asks the “little lady” if she is Mimic’s lawyer. Heather turns into her Sasquatch form and tells Thing that she sort of is.
In the Baxter building, Beak tells Reed and the others to check with Cyclops if they don’t believe his school I.D., but he is telling the truth. The Exiles are not here to hurt anyone. Namor looks at Reed and asks if he is really going to stake their futures on the world of a feathered child. Annoyed, Reed tells Namor that, if he hadn’t forced him to imprison Namora in the beginning, they could have resolved this matter already. He turns to Namora and announces that he will meet the Exiles in the forest upstate safely away from the city where they can all discuss how he can release them from their servitude to the Timebroker that Namora mentioned. Namora thanks Reed for being reasonable. Reed tells Namor that, unlike in Namora’s world, cooler heads prevail here. Still stuck on Namora’s flirtations, Sue tells Reed that he shouldn’t expect her to let them be alone together. Reed presses an intercom button and asks Johnny and Ben to come back in.
Ben comes in… after Sasquatch smashes him through the wall of the building and into Namora’s energy field. In the process, Sue is knocked over and hit in the head with a laptop, which knocks her out. Sasquatch asks Thing why he just couldn’t listen, but Namor rushes to Ben’s aid and knocks back Sasquatch. Ben gets up, not noticing that Namora is free, and complains that he won’t let a sissy in a Speedo like Namor fighting his battles. Namor tells Sasquatch that only he will decide his destiny, as he grabs her by the throat.
Namora grabs Namor’s fist before he can punch Sasquatch and asks him if he would snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Having had enough of being mocked by Namora, Namor threatens to hurt her. Sasquatch takes advantage of the situation and punches Namor, while praying that Thor won’t show up, as it is bad enough that they have to hear Namor yap.
Blink teleports in with Nocturne, Mimic and Morph, who is dressed up as a commando, but with a gun that has flowers instead of bullets. Blink calls out to Reed, but the man tells them all to hold on a minute. The Human Torch sees them and, thinking that they are going to hurt Reed, he throws several fireballs at them. Beak goes to Sue’s aid and tells her that it is his entire fault. If only he had convinced them all faster.