As a girl probably aged somewhere between ten and fourteen walks through a subway station, someone thinks to themselves that Kwannon is the Goddess of Mercy, and in Japan, you can find a statue of her holding a child. 'Mercy is my name' they think to themselves, 'But it is not my way'. They remark that they have been robbed of their own body, their identity – in that time of darkness, when they were no one. 'I hoped she was happy. Free. I still think of her. For years, she was the only me who lived in the world. I pray that she found love. And peace. And most of all. - mercy.
The girl steps onto subway train, and a butterfly symbol can be seen on the back of her neck. She removes some sort of tech from her pocket, and places it on the side of her face, connecting to her ear. She closes her eyes and when she re-opens them, blood trickles from them. She looks angry, and snaps a metal pole on the trail, using part of it, she whacks it into the back of the head of two people nearby, while others look on in shock. 'Little one, don't let war find you. If they marked you, be more than that. I pray you are better than me. That you have never known fear' the mysterious voice remarks.
The girl breaks into the front of the train, and the driver turns to her, before the girl slams his head into the control console. She takes hold of a lever, and her dark, blood-stained eyes narrow, as she utters 'Apoth'. The subway train then de-rails, crashing before exploding with all of its passengers trapped inside. The mysterious voice remarks that they hope the girl will never cause harm, and states that they are the product of love. 'It was my shame that I have never held you. I was not free them. But I am free now'. They state 'I have never spoken of you. You have never known me. Because I am not safe to know. But we have a place now. Krakoa. Soon, I will tell you of it. Little one, we both have earned our mercy'.
On Krakoa, a beautiful woman with purple hair decides that each breath tastes of jasmine here, that the sun is always warm, and here, she can sheathe her sword. She runs a finger along her blade, spilling some blood, she tells herself that here, she needs to make her pain to be reminded of it, and that even spilled blood brings new life. The blood drops down onto a purple flower, while a butterfly emerges from a cocoon, and the purple-haired woman asks herself if she will allow herself paradise – whether she deserves it, and if she can be part of it. 'Hai. I can' the woman who is called Kwannon decides, as she levitates herself over a field in a meditative pose.
Suddenly, she hears something in her mind, and she begins to scream. A voice calls her “Psylocke” and tells her that she is not dreaming, and tells her to listen, as these are the most important words she will ever hear: 'Your enemy is named Apoth. You must kill a god'. The voice declares that Psylocke must not ask their name, and adds that when Abraham heard the voice of truth, he did not ask – he listened. He placed his child on the slab and he raised the knife. 'I am truth. And you are not dreaming. You'll wither here, Psylocke. In the bosom of Xavier's peace. Take up this war' the voice warns her, while Psylocke clutches at her face, covering her eyes. Strange images fill Psylocke's mind, including a baby and a city, as the voice tells her that mankind is evolving itself, that Apoth is the tetragrammation, the new name of God. The voice announces that by peace shall Apoth unite all and destroy many. The voice instructs Psylocke to go to Tokyo, and tells her that it began with the train. 'He has already taken something precious from you. Stop him. This is not a dream'.
Kwannon groans as she falls to the ground, the images no longer pulsating through her mind. 'Apoth?' she utters, as she looks up and out over Krakoa.
'A vision, you say? From an unknown source?' Magneto asks as he sits on his “throne” in his domain within Krakoa called the House of M. 'It wasn't a dream, Magneto' Kwannon responds. Magneto asks her what he should call her now, to which Kwannon hangs her head and replies 'Psylocke. Braddock had my body. I am keeping this name'. Magneto tells Psylocke that it is difficult to think like Charles, but that he is certain Charles would have told her to leave the matters of the human world be. Psylocke announces that she needs to leave Krakoa, that she needs to know if this is real. Magneto informs Psylocke that Elizabeth Braddock hated him – hate like a psychic dagger she ran through his mind. 'Do you remember?' he asks Psylocke. But Psylocke declares that she is not Elizabeth Braddock, and from what Xavier had told her, she is not sure hate matters anymore.
'Hate always matters' Magneto declares, before remarking that Psylocke had a bad dream, and that in the wake of Xavier's death, they are on lockdown, so there will be no passage from Krakoa, and her request to leave is denied. 'This was no dream, Magneto! And we are not safe from what it could mean!' Psylocke exclaims. 'I prefer you this way. Fearless. Certain. A little disturbed' Magneto replies, to which Psylocke tells him that she doesn't care what he prefers. 'You'll care about what I have to say next' Magneto claims, before informing Psylocke that while she may not leave the island, she should go easy from here, where she will find Sinister, and then she should tell him of her visions, as he may find them of interest. 'You gave me a rule and now you're helping me break it' Psylocke points out. 'I have no idea what you mean' Magneto responds, adding that in his grief over Charles' death, he forgets conversations – offically. Psylocke thanks Magneto, who tells her not to thank him, as he hasn't done anything.
Shortly, inside Bar Sinister, Psylocke stands near Mr Sinister himself, as he motions to a hologram of a DNA strand that weaves around him as he tells Psylocke that evolution is constant, that Krakoa cannot change that, and they are not the end of progress. He adds that Apoth sounds like a homo sapiens who has found the truth and asks whether they should punish him for that. 'You're an assassin, yes? I imagine the spirit of Kwannon seeks a bit of warm blood. All this happiness must be difficulty for you' Sinister remarks, telling Psylocke that she has the dreams of a predator, but he doesn't know why she is sharing them with him. Psylocke informs Sinister that she needs passage out of Krakoa. 'And don't call me Kwannon. It's a shackle, not a name' she declares. Sinister suggests to Psylocke that she speak with Magneto, as he is enjoying his self-importance while they mourn Xavier. 'Use his vanity against him. I always do' Sinister remarks. 'He told me no. then he told me to speak to you' Psylocke explains. 'So you want me to help you break the laws of paradise?' Sinister asks.
'You constantly break the laws of nature, don't you?' Psylocke asks Sinister. 'My dear... nature has no law' Sinister responds, before asking Psylocke what it was like the first time she killed someone, how did it change her? Psylocke ignores that comment as she tells Sinister that she is trying to prevent an apocalypse. 'Apocalypse is a blue man with a very bad temper. And none of my concern' Sinister replies, before pointing out that Psylocke disturbed his work, and that she should be mindful not to bore her. 'I asked you a question' he reminds her. Psylocke confesses that killing made her realize that life only matters when they choose to make it matter. 'Where were you when Braddock was your puppeteer? Looking out of your eye-windows, watching her control your hands?' Sinister asks. 'I was burning. Screaming. But no one could hear me' Psylocke explains.
Sinister suggests to Psylocke that she could kill Betsy Braddock now – punish her. 'You would get a few scars, but I doubt she could stop you'. Sinister then asks Psylocke how she would kill Betsy Braddock. 'The same way I kill anyone' Psylocke replies, as she raises a fist and uses her psychic energy to form a psi-blade, 'Quickly' she declares. Sinister smiles as he asks Psylocke if she would allow Braddock to scream, but Psylocke doesn't answer, she tells Sinister 'Enough' and asks him to help her leave Krakoa. 'Oh how this paradise would judge us, if it knew whhat we truly were' Sinister replies, before informing Psylocke that her passage is granted, and to go chase her Apoth. 'But don't do it alone' he adds. 'No one here trusts me' Psylocke replies, but Sinister smiles and tells her that he is sure someone else here needs something to destroy. 'Find them' he tells her, before announcing that his work calls. 'Thank you for not being boring' he adds.
Flashback, years ago:
A hooded figure and a young woman holding up a sword stand on the edge of a cliff somewhere in Japan, and the hooded figure tells the woman that one day she will leave Japan, and that she was not born to stay on an island. The hooded figure declares that civilization is a lie, that it is a world built on the weakness inside the spirit of men. 'I am a weapon against all lies' the young woman replies. 'Yes' the hooded figure agrees. 'You are the balance. The rat kills the insect. The snake kills the rat. The falcon kills the snake' the hooded figure tells the young woman, who states that balance is achieved through violence – that is the way of all things. 'That is mercy' the hooded figure responds, before telling the young woman that she will be Kwannon, the enemy of peace. 'I am Kwannon. Thank you' the woman replies. The hooded figure reaches out and touches Kwannon's face, informing her that she is a caterpillar, soft and ugly and useless – but she will become a butterfly. 'Kwannon, I will make you beautiful'.
A party is underway at the area known as the Carousel on Krakoa, where several mutants dance around a large bonfire, singing. Laura Kinney a.k.a. X-23 stares into the flames before her when a voice calls out 'You don't dance, Laura?' The time-displaced Nathan Summers a.k.a. Cable approaches Laura and asks her if she doesn't like the music. 'This isn't how I like to party, Cable' Laura replies. 'And how does X-23 like to dance?' Cable enquires. Laura glances at Cable and tells him that she could show him – but it might hurt a little. 'Don't make promises you can't keep' Cable replies, smiling. 'Never' Laura tells him as she clenches a fist against the flames of the bonfire – then slams her fist into Cable's face, causing blood to spray from his nose. 'Heh' Cable replies, wiping the blood from his nose, before he attempts to kick Laura, but she ducks his foot and tells him to watch his balance, as she extends her own leg and kicks Cable's lower leg. Laura pops her claws and waves them through the flames, before raising them above Cable, who she is holding to the ground. 'I win' she tells him. 'Feel better?' Cable asks. Laura walks away from Cable and tells him that she doesn't feel anything – because nothing here matters – mutants have never been this safe. 'Sand safety sucks' she frowns.
Suddenly, Psylocke approaches Cable and X-23, addressing them by their true names, she introduces herself to them, while a memory floods her mind, of her mentor calling her Kwannon. The memory fades, and Psylocke informs Cable and X-23 that she needs to speak with them, informing them that her home is in the Reservoir near the Wild Hunt. 'When you're finished wasting energy, find me there' she instructs them. 'She's not safe' Cable tells Laura. 'No, she's not' Laura agrees. 'Psylocke' a voice calls out, and Psylocke turns to see Betsy Braddock standing on the other side of the flames from her. 'I was wondering if we could -' Betsy tells Psylocke, who walks away from her, 'We don't need to' Psylocke calls back.
Shortly, in the Reservoir, Psylocke's house is situated in a lush forest, the moon glows down on it. Inside, Laura and Cable sit at the kitchen table, empty cups of tea on the table before them. 'Why do you think we'll help you?' one of them asks as Psylocke leans against the kitchen counter. Psylocke tells Cable and Laura that it is because they were fighting instead of dancing, that she thinks they are smart enough to hate comfort. 'You're a soldier and you need a war...' she tells Cable, while telling Laura that she is a predator and she needs a hunt. 'None of us have a place in paradise' Psylocke declares. Laura gets up and walks towards the door, asking Psylocke to go talk outside. Psylocke agrees and excuses herself from Cable, while telling him to help himself to some tea. 'Tea?' Cable asks. 'Right' he replies.
Standing under the glow of the moon, Laura turns to Psylocke, 'I'll go. Cable stays' she declares. 'You speak for him?' Psylocke asks. 'I know him. You don't know either of us' Laura points out. Laura explains that Cable is a soldier, that if you give him a command he will do it – but that he needs this place – he deserves this place. 'And what do you deserve?' Psylocke asks. 'A life without Logan's shadow' Laura responds, before asking when they leave.
Later, rain pours down over Tokyo, where the locals make their way through the drenched city. Some food is being prepared inside a a building, when suddenly, a woman wearing dark glasses looks up and remarks 'Kwannon. Long time. Japan misses you'. Psylocke calls the woman Motoko and informs her that she isn't here for her black market, rather, she is here for information. 'Tell me the truth about Apoth and my sword remains still' Psylocke declares. Motoko claims that Apoth is a rumor who uses black market tech, body modification and digital narcotics – it all needs a boogeyman, and while Apoth makes a fine one, no one is sure he exists. Psylocke reminds Motoko that she mentioned a video, a train explosion, and asks her to show it to her. Laura sits next to Psylocke across from Motoko, while two of Motoko's guards stand behind Psylocke and Laura.
Motoko touches a small screen and explains that it is called Overclock, that it bypasses the need for chemicals and boosts the endorphin centers of the brain, but the problem is it can kill you – and while it is doing that, it makes you decide to take everyone nearby with you. 'Someone overdoses on your product and all the junkies come knocking. Because you have the best stuff. If Apoth is the source of Overclock, then he's about to make millions' Motoko explains. Footage of the young girl on the train with the tech on her head appears on a screen. Psylocke is fixated on the images of the girl, the butterfly on her neck, and the blood trickling from her eyes. 'You all right, Psylocke?' Laura asks. But Psylocke doesn't respond. 'Psy? What's wrong?' Laura utters, while more memories fill Psylocke's mind.
Flashback, years ago:
'Remember this pain, Kwannon. You loved a boy, and we killed him' Kwannon's mysterious hooded mentor utters as he puts his hand on Kwannon's shoulder, while the anguished young woman, who reaches out for a crying baby. Kwannon's mentor tells her that her daughter must be taken from her, as love is weakness. 'Remember this' the mentor declares, placing both hands on Kwannon's head, as tears stream down Kwannon's face. Kwannon sees a small image of a butterfly, and her mentor explains that she will need this memory. 'When you think you can't endure, remember what you endure now'. The mentor states that they will mark Kwannon with a butterfly. The mentor disappears, telling Kwannon that if the fates are kind, then perhaps she will find her daughter again. 'We are merciful here' the mentor adds, as Kwannon, resting on her knees, hangs her head.
The monitor displaying the footage of the girl on the train is suddenly sliced in two by Psylocke's psi-knife, which Psylocke then puts to Motoko's head and asks 'Where is Apoth?' Psylocke suggests that Motoko tell her, otherwise she will scramble her mind like eggs and find it anyway. X-23 pops her claws, which touch both of Motoko's guards on their face. 'Easy, boys. My friend is asking a question' X-23 tells them. 'I don't know – and if I send you there, he'll kill -' Motoko begins, before screaming as Psylocke shoves her psi-knife into Motoko's head, scrambling her brain. Motoko falls to the ground, and X-23 asks Psylocke if she wants to tell her what they hell they are doing here, as she leaps upwards, kicking both of Motoko's guards, knocking them aside. 'No. I'll show you' Psylocke responds as she places a finger on X-23's hand. X-23's eyes glaze over as she utters 'You have a daughter...oh, God'. Psylocke pulls away from X-23 and heads to the door, announcing that she has a location. 'You coming?' she asks.
Soon, outside of Tokyo, Psylocke and X-23 walk through a field where a farmer is tending to their crops. A barn is located several feet away, as Psylocke reports that this is the place she found in Motoko's mind, and that she has no intention of letting anyone here survive. 'I'm five by five with that' Laura replies, before asking why there are no guards, if this is the hideout of a black market tech dealer. 'Because no one would look for technology here' Psylocke points out. A moment later, Psylocke opens the barn door, and discovers five children in the room, dark eyes with blood trickling out of them. 'Psylocke?' Laura asks 'What do we do?' Psylocke tells Laura not to hurt them, that this isn't their fault. Laura notices the Overlock tech on the sides of the children’s heads and tells Psylocke that they have to help them. 'No' Psylocke replies, and suddenly, four of the children gasp for breath, before dropping to their ground. Blood begins to pool around the children, and someone screams 'NOOOOOO'.
X-23 tells Psylocke that they have to find out who did this, when a voice calls out 'I did this' the fifth child calls out, standing over the bodies of the others. 'Not this child. It is just the speaker. I am the song, mutant' the voice from within the child says. Psylocke realizes that it is Apoth, and warns Apoth that there is nowhere safe for them now. 'You have taken an interest in me. It would be rude if I didn't take an interest in you' Apoth replies. 'You're a coward that kills children!' Laura exclaims. 'If you ever killed a child, you would know how hard it is' Apoth replies, before telling the mutants to go back to their exile, and that without them, this world will finally evolve. 'Leave me to my peace' Apoth asks them, before the child collapses to the ground, gasping for breath.
Flashback, years ago:
A butterfly soars past Kwannon as she stands on the edge of the cliff, holding a sword raised high while wearing a long flowing dress. 'Spread your wings, Kwannon' the hooded mentor utters. 'Fly'. Kwannon's mentor tells her that she is the will of balance and asks her to reveal what she needs. 'Someone worth killing' Kwannon responds.
Bar Sinister, where Mr Sinister is working with some holographic strands of DNA when he notices Psylocke enter. 'I'm growing tired of you bringing human trash to my doorstep' Sinister tells her. 'I brought purpose, Sinister. And I brought Cable' Psylocke replies, motioning to where Cable is standing with X-23. Sinister looks at Cable, while Psylocke tells him that she needs a team, and that she will recruit them, while he keeps their existence from the Council. Psylocke offers to bring Apoth back to Sinister, whatever he is, whatever he can do – it's all his. 'And then I kill him' Psylocke adds.
Psylocke leaves Bar Sinister, with Laura and Nathan following her. She tells them to find others that they can trust. 'You're giving us orders?' Laura asks. 'I don't have a choice' Psylocke replies. Psylocke walks off as the sun shines down on her, and she tells Cable and Laura that they are caterpillars, glistening and soft – but she can make them butterflies.