Jean has shown up to face her accusers. She addresses Gladiator directly, admitting that everything the Phoenix did… all those deaths… were her fault. He has proven to her that one day she will be possessed by this Phoenix Force. Or maybe she already has. She is not sure how time travel works anymore. She will be nothing but a vessel for that horrible thing to murder and destroy.
Kitty Pryde shouts at her to get out. She has this, Jean replies and levitates herself, her eyes glowing. She won’t be able to stop it. She won’t have any control over it. But here’s the part she doesn’t understand. And she can read all their thoughts. They are all thinking the same thing. None of them could stop it either. Yet she is the only one on trial. It might be her face that haunts Gladiator’s nightmares. But whether she kills herself or lets him kill her… the Phoenix would still find another vessel. He is angry because he is fighting an act of nature. And she is angry it found her. But all of them know punishing her or killing her will not stop it or change what has happened.
They will see, Gladiator seethes. She is the last Grey, and with her ending — Jean interrupts him. She would forgive him everything he has done to her today. Because she did need to see the Phoenix. She needs to know this. Except his people went and killed her family. They “ended her bloodline” just in case. That she’s not having.
Getting ready to attack, Gladiator coldly tells her goodbye. Jean suddenly powers up and is engulfed by energy, then unleashes it at him, impossibly felling him. The others watch confused, having never seen her use her powers in this kind of display before. Is that the Phoenix? Beast asks. Gamora replies whatever it is, they are winning. And this is the krutacking Imperial Guard. They really shouldn’t be.
Oracle shouts at Jean to stop this. Does she even know what she is doing? Jean orders her to stay out of her mind She is warning her. Oracle offers help. Jean refuses. Oracle enters her mind and asks if she knows she is demonstrating immense new psychic powers. Jean orders her to take her out of her mindscape. She knows what she is doing! It is psionic energy. She is taking everyone’s psychic energy and sending it back at them. Oracle explains it’s Jean’s telepathy and telekinesis working together. She didn’t know Jean could do that. Neither did she, Jean admits. It’s new, and she has to say, she likes it.
Can she control it? Oracle asks. Can she control herself? Jean retorts Oracle forced her to push herself harder than she ever had to before. She forced her hand to confront this. And now she is something other, Oracle states. No, Jean replies. She is Jean Grey. The last of her kind. She is not the Phoenix!
Gladiator flies toward her. She rushes to attack him in turn. Both of them fall. Jean is caught by Star-Lord. Oracle telepathically orders the fighting to stop. The other X-Men run toward Jean and Star-Lord. Peter helps Jean up and introduces himself. She knows exactly who he and the Guardians are, Jean replies. They came all the way here to get her. She loves them.
She begins to flare with energy again as she addresses Gladiator, flanked by all her friends and allies. As the Guard help Gladiator up, Oracle points out this Jean Grey is already different than the one he so fears. She already has a different relationship to her mind and powers that—
He cuts her off, it is not her decision to end the battle. No, it’s his! Cyclops announces. And they are leaving! If any of the Shi’ar come back for Jean… come anywhere near Earth again, he will kill them. He’s not joking. He faces Gladiator. If he even hears they are thinking about this, he will bring the entirety of the mutant race, the Avengers, the Fantastic Four… he will bring a hellstorm of Asgardians, mutants, Atlanteans and Hulk monsters right down on top of the Shi’ar. They brought this much fight to them in one day. He’s telling them: stay the *&/%$& away from Earth!
Gladiator seethes that history will repeat itself and they will die at her hand. Displaying her new powers, Jean asks if any of this has ever happened before. Don’t answer. She can read their thoughts. The X-Men are making new history now. This is all new.
It is over, Oracle agrees. Star-Lord reminds Gladiator the Earth is under their protection. Next time he won’t even get near it. Gladiator takes off into the air, then turns around and asks the Guardians how many star systems they can go to war with at the same time. Uh, seven? Peter guesses. They are not welcome here, he is told. They have chosen poorly this day.
Gamora stares after him pensively. Rocket takes aim at Gladiator. Gamora tells him not to. They won the day. It’s time to go.
As they leave the planet, Rocket wonders if the Shi’ar are following. Kitty is surprised they didn’t sneak attack them once they were in orbit and then blamed it on the Skrulls. Peter tells her his father is a bad guy galactic dictator and the Shi’ar don’t want to deal with it, should something happen to him.
Drax tells X-23 he is impressed with her boot claws. Hank and Angel sit with Jean. Hank asks how she is feeling. Energized, she tells him. She really doesn’t think this new thing with her is bad. She thinks she just found a new level. She thanks all them.
Angela asks Gamora what worries her. Gamora admits she isn’t sure this was worth it. Now the Shi’ar have their sight on them just like Spartax. Thanos is out there somewhere, time and space are damaged and Angela is lost in space with them. How much longer till all of this comes crashing down on top of them. “I am Groot,” Groot points out. She knows they did right today, Gamora replies. She is talking about the big picture. Jean carefully watches them.
The Guardians’ ship lands near the X-Men’s base. The young people are glad to be back. Gamora wonders aloud how people could bother to fight about this planet. Rocket tells Groot not to get weird with the trees again.
Jean again thanks them. She said that already, Gamora points out. Numerous times, Drax adds. Angela announces she owes them a blood debt. Like actual blood? Jean asks. Iceman offers a home-cooked dinner instead.
Kitty thanks Peter. If the Guardians ever need anything from them, they need just ask. Peter gives her a communication device so she can reach him. She will definitely keep it for emergencies. It’s not an emergency beacon, he tells her. She can call just to say ‘hi’. He’s traveled the galaxy up and down and he’s met a total of like seven cool people. She seems very cool. Call him. Just to whine about the universe. He’s going to regret saying that, she warns. It was very good to meet her, Peter tells her. Kitty gives him a quick kiss and then runs off smiling.
The X-Men invite the Guardians to stay the night but the Guardians want to be off. Rocket lectures Groot on his interest in the local trees. When he sees some raccoons, he angrily tells them to pull on some pants.
Cyclops then drops a bombshell, informing his teammates that up till this day he thought he was an orphan. He loves them all but he’s going with his dad. The X-Men are shocked. Kitty announces she isn’t going to allow this. It’s his dad, he points out simply. He turns to the shocked Jean. They’ll get married, have kids, all the good and terrible things that are supposed to happen to them in their lives. And they both know they don’t live happily together. Maybe this way they finally get to be happy.
He turns away. He loves them. Stay safe. He addresses Laura. She’s been at this longer than any of them. He asks her to take care of the others.
The Starjammers and Guardians leave. Angel wonders what happens if they find a way back. Do they go without him? They go back inside. Jean sinks down in the snow, her eyes flaring dangerously…