A celebratory parade runs through the middle of the city, with its leader, Magneto, riding a hovership above the crowd of cheering mutants. Alongside him on the upper deck are his daughters Wanda and Lorna as well as his wife, Moira MacTaggert. On the lower floor stand members of his triumphant X-Men, with their latest conquest, the decapitated remains of Wolverine, bolted to the front of the ship. For added emphasis, Sabretooth stands up front grasping a spear adorned with Wolverine’s head.
The Exiles take all this in from afar. Seeing as how they just learned their mission was to help Wolverine overthrow Magneto they aren’t too happy. Panther jokes that they’re supposed to throw Wolvie’s head at Mags. As he was a dear friend on her homeworld Polaris isn’t happy with the remark. Beast tries calming her down, but she says her Wolverine met the exact same fate, his head jammed on a pike. Panther apologizes.
Blink isn’t caught up in all the nonsense. Instead she takes control and tells the group their next goal should be to gain access to the palace and try and gather intel on Magneto and why he’s such a threat. She hopes the Tallus will fill them in with more details along the way.
Arms folded across his chest in annoyance, Forge asks Blink who made her team leader. Apologizing, Blink asserts she was only saying what she thought was obvious. With that said, Panther casts a leadership vote for Blink, which is followed by Beast who agrees the plan sounds good.
With no further objections Forge starts fiddling with his tech. He informs his teammates he can hack into any database, but thinks they need to get a handle on the people Magneto’s with and asks if anyone among them is stealthy. The Panther offers himself to take that position.
The Exiles make their way to the outer limits of the city. As soon as they emerge from the forest Forge registers an incoming object from the north coming in fast. Overhead a nuclear missile can be seen dodging sky mines, altering its course on a dime when needed. Polaris attempts to get a hold of the weapon, but a force field prevents her from doing so. Forge can only stare transfixed, figuring that’s what the makers had in mind if they wanted it to take care of Magneto.
The citizens begin to scatter, but it appears Magneto has other resources at hand. Sauron appears against the backdrop of the sky and heads straight for the nuclear projectile. The green-skinned mutant latches on to the missile and starts to tear away at the organic shell surrounding it. As he takes in the sustenance of the shell’s life force the metallic casing is finally exposed. Sauron radios Magneto with his progress and the erstwhile leader uses his powers to detonate the weapon midair. Magneto thanks his old friend for his sacrifice.
Still hovering above the city streets Magneto tells his people he asks nothing of them he wouldn’t do himself. His daughter Polaris casually mentions that she disabled the detonator on it. Not to be outdone, Wanda adds that she rendered the plutonium inert. Moira, obviously used to this, tells the girls to can it. Magneto doesn’t skip a beat, though, shouting that the humans thought him vulnerable during the celebration, proclaiming their attack has made their achievements that much greater.
The gears begin to turn for the quasi-leader Blink. She eyes up her teammates Polaris and the Witch believing they should come in handy considering how important their counterparts are in this reality.
A mutant with red skin and pointed ears spies Forge standing in the reformed crowd. He shouts out, “It’s the Weaponmaster--right here in our land!” Beast moves quickly and wraps his hand around the guy’s mouth, but it’s too late as a security officer, Maggott, cocks his shotgun and points it at Forge. He orders the very shocked Exile to the ground. Thinking quickly, Polaris tells Maggott to put his weapon away, using her magnetic prowess to seize the gun and crumple it.
Maggott apologizes profusely saying he didn’t see the two princesses standing there. He’s a bit surprised to see the two of them together, hinting at a non-friendly relationship between the two. Trying to get out of the awkward moment Polaris orders the security officer off to the side to discuss what’s being said about the royal family. Meanwhile, down in an alley not far away, Beast is busy smashing the red-skinned mutant from earlier into the stone wall.
Southwest Quadrant, Guardsmen Station
Forge goes about doing what he does best, taking a seat at a computer and removing a cable hook-up from his wrist and connecting it to the computer station. Blink asks if he can access the database. Easily, Forge responds, a coy smile on his face. He tells Blink he needs her to block his view for half a minute while he gets down to business.
Forge data log, Entry X-1-A
From what Forge can glean from the database Charles Xavier and Eric Magnus were friends who shared the same goals of bringing mutants under their protection and tutelage, and though they differed on methodology, Xavier’s goal of coexistence was the one they followed.
Most mutants who would have been Brotherhood, Hellfire Club or Morlock material became X-Men, though it wasn’t always an easy alliance. The X-Men mostly dealt with mutant problems and didn’t really integrate themselves with the rest of the world’s heroes. Eventually, a few bad apples spoiled the bunch and the X-Men were feared by the human populace.
They were feared enough that anti-mutant forces in the government created Sentinels, with one finally achieving their long-planned goal of killing Xavier. After that, battles happened more frequently with the regular heroes and X-Men often coming into conflict. Eventually the United Nations agreed to let the mutants relocate to the island nation of Genosha, where they prospered under Magneto’s rule.
Not much later it was realized the U.N.’s olive branch was merely just a tactic to get all mutants together, as some time later a score of missiles were sent to obliterate them. The mutants were able to detect the attack and Magneto sent the missiles back. Ever since, various nations have been working on finding a way to get at them and vanquish them and their power once and for all.
Further information is acquired through the guardsman, Maggott, as he details the tenuous relationship between Lorna and Wanda, which started since they came to live together. Their jealousy, he continues, extends to Magneto’s Queen, Moira MacTaggert, who was Xavier’s wife until his untimely demise.
With their intel gathered the Exiles work up a plan. Polaris convinces the guardsman to give them all a ride over to the palace. They figure Wanda and Lorna are their best bet at infiltrating the palace so they split into teams of three and head off to take Magneto’s daughters out of the equation for the night.
Princess Wanda’s room
Wearing only a black bra and panties Wanda is furious to hear from Jean that Lorna is planning on wearing a similar black dress to the dinner, an obvious attempt to upstage her. She puts the dress she was holding in her hands back in the closet, resigning to just wear the red one she was also considering. Jean assures Wanda she’ll still look hotter and then makes her exit so she can get changed too.
The Witch, Blink and Beast take cover behind a giant pillar in the hallway and watch as Jean leaves. They’re glad they didn’t have to mess with Jean, Wanda worried she might have the Phoenix powers. Blink says from what she’s learned they didn’t seem to have manifested in this reality.
With the extra opposition out of play Blink teleports the trio directly into the room. At the same moment Wanda emerges from her walk-in closet and immediately starts doling out her hex-based powers scoring a direct hit on Beast. Blink teleports in behind her and whacks her across the back of the neck, knocking her unconscious. Blink then checks on Beast to see if he’s ok. Beast grabs the side of his head, feeling as if the whole room is spinning. He tells Blink he doesn’t know whether he’s going to throw up or bleed from his eyes.
Judging by Hank’s reaction Blink surmises Wanda’s hex powers disrupt physiology. As the Witch drags the unconscious Wanda toward the couch she says her hex power disrupts too, but it has to be some kind of energy transmission.
Blink walks over to the couch where Wanda’s laid out. She tells the Witch she’s going to teleport Wanda out of the city limits so she can have the rest of the night at Magneto’s without any complications. Wanda takes a look at her doppelganger and snarks she must really like plunging necklines. Beast, still groggy, voices his hopes that the other team has fewer headaches trying to achieve their mission.
Princess Lorna’s room, balcony
Magneto, with Maggot at his side, speaks to Lorna about her behavior, stressing the need for her to behave around her sister. When Lorna asks why he’s getting on her case Magneto explains he won’t be around forever and one of them will be a successor to his throne. Lorna points out that was a role he had planned for Pietro.
This angers Magneto as he moves face to face with her. He asks if it was the Frost girl who said that, adding that they need some rules about her and Jean Grey. Either way, they’ve avenged Pietro’s killer, Magneto finishes, and states he wishes not to speak of it further. He excuses himself and leaves the balcony. Lorna looks a bit worried and apologizes to her father for bringing up that painful memory.
Panther makes his move leaping up onto the balcony and asking Lorna to a local wine bar on the edge of town. She startles, and yells, but Panther quickly muffles her mouth. He says he wanted to get her drunk, but not for reasons she might think... well maybe a little, he admits.
Panther’s big mistake is he talks too much. Lorna magnetically manipulates a nearby lamp and klanks Panther in the head with it. Forge makes his entrance, leaping over the balcony railing. He can’t believe Panther messed up; he only had to knock her out. However, he too is outmatched as Lorna uses his metal arm to make him punch himself in the face over and over.
Finally, Polaris joins the fray and manipulates Forge’s arm in much the same manner clocking Princess Lorna in the face. The two mistresses of magnetism struggle over control of Forge’s metallic appendage. Seemingly in agony, Forge tells Panther, who claims his failure has to do with never having hit a beautiful woman before, to knock her out this time. Polaris belays that order saying she’s better than some pampered princess. With that added emphasis she gains control of Forge’s hand and knocks Lorna out.
The stealthy Panther checks on the unconscious Lorna, hoping the hit doesn’t bruise her beautiful face. Polaris thanks him for the compliment since the two look very much alike. As Panther moves the princess back into her room Polaris begins to look for something to wear. Panther volunteers to help her with that, and Forge, looking annoyed with his comment, asks Panther if he thinks he’s a real Casanova.
Wanting some fresh air Forge moves back onto the balcony, but Panther follows after wanting to know what his problem is, asking if he wants all the ladies to himself or something. A furious Forge spins around and snatches Panther by the front of his cowl. He grits his teeth, spittle flying out of his mouth, and shouts he only wants one woman, the only one he’s ever had. Panther asks who that was, saying there might be a version of her on this world… though she may be evil. Forge tells him Storm was his wife.
Panther looks at him a bit taken aback, but Forge keeps churning saying when he data-mined the database he discovered Ororo never left Africa and eventually married T’Challa, King of Wakanda. He guesses that’s probably what often happens when Xavier doesn’t discover her. He hopes this guy is a better character than some rich Don Juan. Panther cuts Forge off saying he’s grossing him out for in his world T’Challa is his dad and Ororo is his mother and he doesn’t want to think of his dad cheating on his mom. He takes off his mask to reveal a young man barely out of his teens.
Polaris takes a look at him and his immature demeanor finally makes sense since the Panther she knew of was a lot older. She asks if he’s still a teenager, but Panther says not as of last year. He then adds that in his world everyone’s much older so he guesses his world runs a bit faster than most.
Looking a bit remorseful for his earlier attitude, Forge apologizes and asks Panther his name. T’Chaka, Panther replies and adds that his dad never looked at another woman if it makes Forge feel any better.
Blink teleports into the uneasy situation. She finds Lorna’s unconscious body and asks if everything went smoothly. They all say “yes” in unison before Blink teleports Lorna away to where she stashed Wanda.
Later that evening, Forge, an obvious outlaw, and Beast, already with a counterpart, hang out in a tree off in the distance scouting the events at the party as they transpire. Beast complains, none too happy being stuck on the sidelines. Forge says he could’ve made them image inducers if he had access to a lab.
Then Forge spies Beast’s doppelganger hitting on someone at the party. Beast hopes he doesn’t screw it up, and gives his alternate some unheard advice: stay away from the science stuff and ask her questions about herself. This leads Forge to question why his counterpart didn’t side with the mutants, but he doesn’t have much time to postulate as their fellow Exiles finally make their debut.
However, the “sisters” are too close and Beast quickly points that out. The group splits off into two pairs with Panther and Polaris quickly approached by Anna Marie inquiring about the lovely man attached to her arm. The Witch does the quick introductions and T’Chaka kisses Anna’s gloved hand. She asks if he’s the Black Panther, because as she understood it he’s not a mutant. Panther kind of hesitates and then says he’s a mutant from way back. Unfortunately this conversation, and the Witch’s black dress, catches Jean’s attention and she infiltrates the Exile’s mind.
Jean quickly walks over and grabs Anna Marie, telling her Scott wants to see her. Rogue seems a bit confused, but follows anyway telling the pair she’ll see them later. Panther whispers to the Witch praising his performance under pressure, but she doesn’t seem too impressed.
Meanwhile, the two ladies have caught the attention of a few X-Men, namely Blob, Pyro and Toad. Polaris is very charming in her flowing white gown, telling a nearby waiter to keep the drinks coming. The fellas mistake Polaris’ attempts to get them liquored up for intel as a come on.
With the two bigger gentlemen focusing on Polaris Toad makes his move on Blink. He takes his martini and wraps his tongue around the base of the glass, tipping it and draining the contents into his open mouth. He tells Blink he’s Magneto’s right hand man and everything around there goes through him. Blink smiles and says he must be the most trusted mutant in Genosha.
Back out on the overwatch Beast smells something funny, something like brimstone. That’s thanks to Nightcrawler who teleports in with Rogue. Rogue reaches out with her gloveless hands, placing one on Forge’s forehead and the other on Beast’s neck. Both Exiles yell out in agony before falling unconscious.
Back at the party, Panther has moved his wily ways onto another lady, this time Mystique. He seems very impressed with her ability to transform into other ladies. Mystique adds that she can change into men as well, but Panther is not as turned on by that.
Colossus sidles over and asks Wanda for a dance. The Witch accepts and the two begin to move to the slow music. The one-armed man of steel apologizes for his missing arm, missing courtesy of the traitor Logan. Wanda looks up into his dreamy eyes and asks if she’ll be upsetting any girlfriends. Colossus says he and Kitty broke up some time ago.
This doesn’t go unseen by the watchful eye of Kitty. She rushes over to Panther, grabs his hand and pulls him away from Mystique and onto the dance floor. Mystique, pursed lips and all, yells at Kitty for dragging him away. Kitty looks back at her snidely and tells her to go talk Bobby’s ear off instead.
Panther seems a bit bewildered at the moment, advising Kitty not to get on Mystique’s bad side. Kitty says she lives on her bad side, and besides, nobody can lay a finger on her unless she wants them to. With all these ladies giving him attention Panther’s in love with the world. He did see Kitty with Colossus earlier and asks what the deal is with that. Kitty looks over at Colossus dancing with Wanda and says he looks happy. Panther questions whether or not she’s doing this to make him jealous. On the contrary, Kitty protests, and phases him through the wall so they can be somewhere more private.
Over with the other pair, Blink’s still laying on the charm with Toad while Lorna has the others, including Sabretooth, eating out of the palm of her hand. She even has Blob proposing to her. Scott shows up with a few friends to rain on their parade saying he needs to talk to Lorna and Blink in private. Blob tells him to beat it. Bobby and Blob share some more tense words.
When Jean senses Blink about to teleport she puts some sort of mental hold on her and lifts her into the air. Bobby ices down his flirtatious teammates while Angel grabs Lorna and wraps her up in a half nelson. Lorna demands to know what’s going on. Scott tells her it’s an interrogation as they don’t like it when people from other dimensions come to sabotage their world. Jean snidely tells Lorna she should have worn the black dress.