Cat, Psylocke and Thunderbird stare in mute horror as their friends and teammates disappear from the computer screen. Thunderbird asks rather pointedly where they went. Cat says they’ve lost all contact and guesses the shockwave scrambled the Palace’s computer systems. Psylocke suggests they better start looking for them then.
Sabretooth finds himself lying flat on his back in the middle of a grassy field. As he sits up he spots a graveyard in the near distance. Sabretooth gets to his feet and checks the Tallus to see if it’s working. He tries contacting Psylocke, but doesn’t get a response.
Sabes decides to explore the area and get his bearings. As he walks through the dense tree line he hears, then spots, a group of camouflaged soldiers armed with rifles and pistols. They’re moving slowly towards a lone figure standing amongst the headstones. The man in question is holding a bouquet of roses in each hand and seems to be staring at two graves, one marked IRENE ADLER BELOVED WIFE AND MOTHER and the other ANNA RAVEN OUR BLESSED ROGUE AND BELOVED DAUGHTER.
Sabretooth ruins the surprise attack as he leaps toward the skulking men, slicing two of them pretty badly with his claws and knocking another one down. He tells them to have the courage to attack the guy face to face. When Creed turns around a few more soldiers jump out of the woods. He carves through one guy’s chest and another’s elbow.
The man at the gravesite appears pretty handy in a fight as he disarms a soldier with a kick to the face. He’s really angry that his enemies tried taking him out at the graves of his wife and daughter. So angry in fact that he grabs the gun of the guy he just disarmed and blows off the side of his head.
Creed is distracted by the violent show and receives a knife in the back for his laziness. He turns around and nearly guts the young fighter. The remaining members of the militia decide not to stick around and hightail it into the forest.
The stranger thanks Sabretooth, and noticing his wounds, asks if he can be of any help. Creed says his hand won’t quite close and asks the man if he would pull out the knife lodged in his back. The stately chap thinks the blade may have clipped his spine and suggests Sabes get to the hospital. Sabretooth tells him rather brusquely to just pull out the knife.
The gentleman does as asked and the blood-soaked blade is removed. He offers his shirt as bandaging, but Sabretooth declines, pointing to his already healed wound. The man finally introduces himself, Raphael-Raven Darkholme, and tells Creed he will forever be in his debt. They shake hands, to which Sabretooth tells him to be careful what he offers for the deal he may get in return may surprise him.
Thunderbird and Cat are hard at work trying to fix the computer system. T-Bird apologizes that he’s not much help. Cat tells him not to worry, she likes working with computers and fixing them is something she’s good at. “And they don’t die,” she adds. Her eyes dart to the left as she relives a horrific gun battle from her past.
Cat apologizes for going off track there. She explains when she’s nervous stuff sort of slips out. She tells T-Bird to forget what she said. He places a reassuring hand on her shoulder and tells her if she ever needs to talk he’ll be there to listen. Cat tells him she doesn’t want any friends. Her friends, she all kills.
Later, along with Psylocke, they start up the computer system. Holographic images of planets suddenly appear all around them. Psylocke says she’s very impressed. Cat asks how they’re expected to find the Exiles in all of this. Psylocke explains that they’re listed in the system’s database... unlike her. Cat asks why. Psylocke clarifies that as far as the Palace and its systems are concerned she doesn’t exist. “Outstanding,” is Cat’s sarcastic reply. Psylocke admits it has its good and bad moments. With that piece of information out of the way, Psylocke tells Cat to turn on the Search System and bring everyone home.
The ocean waves pound against the beach, but instead of shells or sea life, the unconscious form of Spider-Man washes ashore.
Miguel awakens from a nightmare and finds himself shirtless, lying in a nice comfy bed. Weakly, he calls out Gwen’s name. He blocks the sunlight from his face, wondering aloud why she didn’t fight for her life, why she didn’t let him die with her. A redheaded woman slinks in behind him and wraps her arms around his chest. She suggests that may be the nature of love.
Miguel’s jaw drops and his eyes bug out. The redheaded woman is no longer there. Was that just a dream, he wonders. He looks around his room and then at the ocean outside. He knows he’s not in the Crystal Palace and assumes he’s lost on some parallel Earth.
A voice welcomes him to the world of consciousness and he sees the same redheaded woman from his dream. Miguel finds himself telling her of his adventures across the Omniverse.
A bit later the woman shows Miguel exactly where he washed up on the sand, just a couple days earlier. She tells him it was a miracle he didn’t drown. Miguel says it might have been better if he had. She scolds him for that kind of talk. Spidey tells her she wouldn’t understand. The woman reveals to Miguel he talks in his sleep and she got the gist of the whole story. Gwen refused to let him die with her because she loved him. Redhead advises him not to spit that back in her face. Gwen’s life still has value, she points out, but only if Miguel doesn’t give up.
New Tokyo, Paragon Tower
Rogue is so busy trying to crack the safe she doesn’t even notice when the Royal Avengers show up outside the office window. Lord Iron announces their presence and tells Rogue to give as they have a warrant for her arrest. Grim determination crosses over Rogue’s face. Ever defiant, she tells the Avengers those words mean nothing to her.
The brash American Boy smashes through the window on his jetpack, the other Avengers close behind. She manages to land a solid hit on Lord Iron, causing a three Avenger pileup. Saracen comes in and knocks her to the ground. He readies his fist for another strike, but Morph appears on the window ledge behind him.
The Exile’s funny man dives right into the fray and attacks Saracen, taking him by surprise. Morph quickly checks on Rogue, referring to himself as the Crimson Pirate. The duo takes to the air hoping to escape. Morph introduces himself mid-flight and when they touch down near a flower shop he changes into a tuxedo. Rogue is a bit weirded out by this, but Morph explains it’s what he does.
Morph grabs a bouquet of flowers and hands them to Rogue. She says she’s never heard of powers like that and asks what he is. He tells her it’s a long story. Rogue suggests they find somewhere comfy so he can tell her all about it. High above, the Royal Avengers go streaking through the air unaware their quarry is down below.
A window cracks in the near empty cottage, while a snowstorm rages beyond. Blink is inside, huddled next to a roaring fireplace. She figures it’s just her luck to land in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of winter, in the middle of night, in the middle of a blizzard. She’s thankful for the fireplace, though, and that nobody happened to be home.
She decides to snoop around and sees some pictures over the fireplace mantle. She’s surprised to discover they’re pictures of her and some kids. She pulls one of the photos down for a closer look. That’s when the Wife appears and comments that the children are as lovely as their mother.
Blink whips out a crystal shard and asks the Wife what she wants with her. The Wife tells Blink to put away her weapons for they won’t be needed. To illustrate the point she places her hand atop the shard and nothing happens. The Wife tells Blink she led her on quite a chase.
The Wife’s form quickly turns to a fiery visage. She explains that Blink’s teleportation power messed with the Crystal Palace energies and somehow she was bounced through both space and time, but she did leave a trail. Blink asks if this is the future. The Wife says it’s a possibility, or better yet, a hope. Blink stares down once more at the picture and says she lacks the strength for hope or possibilities. The Wife tells her that would be a shame.
Blink and the Wife return to the control room of the Crystal Palace where the Husband and Psylocke are waiting. Blink demands to know who they are and what they want. The Husband explains they were the ones who brought many of the worlds into existence and since their time is coming to an end they’re looking for people to take their place.
As gods, Blink queries. Heroes, the Husband replies. Blink asks about their (Exiles) ideas and dreams. The Husband suggests the two aren’t exclusive. The Wife asks her if she ever considered that the path to one might lead to the other.
The Husband and Wife, Blink and Psylocke appear in the middle of a game hall where they find Raphael and Sabretooth playing a game of pool.
With the addition of Sabretooth and Raphael the traveling group find Morph and Rogue mid-conversation.
The whole lot of them appear outside the hut/eatery in which Spider-Man has been residing. Some of them decide to head in and grab some food. They meet the owner, the redheaded woman, but Sabretooth can’t get a scent on Miguel due to all the food.
As they bite into their food Psylocke and Sabretooth instantly recognize the recipes, which belong to Miguel. They report their findings to the group outside. Sabretooth says he’s going back to check things out. Morph notices the lights go out and tells the group they must have called it a night.
Moments later, Sabretooth returns and tells them Spider-Man and the owner have gone to bed together and it seems like it’s been going on for some time. Both he and Blink agree that he’s happy where he is and is finally home. Blink doesn’t want to take that away from him, chalking it up to his destiny. She suggests they leave him to it and maybe someday they’ll be just as lucky.
Everyone returns to the Palace and Sabretooth points out they’re still missing someone, Longshot. He asks Husband and Wife if they can offer any help in finding him. They tell him it doesn’t work that way. Sabretooth turns his attention towards Cat who’s at the computer terminal. She’s babbling on about some false readings on the computer screen. Sabretooth takes a look over her shoulder and tells her she’s wrong. She asks how he could know. Simple, he replies, he took a breath.
Sure enough, in another part of the crystal structure, there lies Longshot fast asleep.