San Francisco, under the cover of night, several members of the Hellfire Cult carrying machine guns as they run between some trees, when suddenly, they are knocked over by several mutants 'Engaging' Wovlerine reports as he slices one of the Hellfire Cult members, while Theresa Rourke a.k.a. Siryn releases a powerful sonic scream, blasting her opponent over, and Santo Vaccarro a.k.a. Rockslide lifts one of them up and tosses them aside with ease. Via communicator, Wolverine reports that the stragglers are down, and asks if the weapons are secure. 'Weapons secure' Alex Summers a.k.a. Havok responds as he crouches near several fallen members of the Hellfire Cult, an open van parked nearby, while Kurt Wagner a.k.a. Nightcrawler stands with Havok. Havok looks into the van and sees it filled with various weapons and declares that they now have to find the idiots who sold military grade weapons to the Hellfire Cult. 'Perhaps they were stolen' Nightcrawler suggests. 'Yeah, Kurt, this guy looks like a real cat burglar' Havok mutters, looking down at one of the cult members.
Havok remarks that these guys are idiots, and that more likely, some rich bigot wanted to help dumber, poorer bigots celebrate the anniversary of the mutant massacre with another one. Nightcrawler tells Havok that it is dangerous to assume that all humans are out to get them. 'Is that – did I stumble into one of your bible studies?' Havok asks, frowning, when suddenly, the van explodes, blasting Havok and Nightcrawler through the air, thanks to another member of the Hellfire Cult who blew the van up with another weapon. 'That worked' the Hellfire Cult member grins, while another laughs. Nightcrawler seems to be unconscious, while Havok, his costume torn to shreds, struggles to get to his feet. 'Blue guy's down' one of the Hellfire Cult remarks as they approach the fallen mutants. 'This one's not yet' another points out as he stands over Havok, before another member of the Hellfire Cult kicks Havok in the stomach. 'Bleed him, Ned! Bleed him!' one of the cult urges another, who grabs Havok by his hair and asks 'You hear that, mutie?'
Havok responds by laughing, then releasing a surge of plasma energy, knocking the cult members standing nearby backwards. Havok's eyes grow wide and he grins as he turns to the remaining cult member and utters 'I'm going to have fun with you...' to which the cult member tells Havok that he doesn't scare him. 'Not for much longer, no' Havok replies as he grabs the cult member by his head and starts releasing his plasma energy direct into his head, causing him to scream. Suddenly: 'HEY!' Wolverine shouts as he leaps at Havok, knocking him away from the cult member. 'I've got him' Rockslide calls out as he wraps his arms around Havok, restraining him. 'Get off me!' Havok cries out, while Siryn helps Nightcrawler to his feet. 'You can't kill 'em, kid!' Wolverine tells Havok. 'What are you talking about?' Havok asks, confused. 'Can smell the flesh...' Siryn utters, while Havok asks his friends why they are looking at him. 'What did I do?' he asks, hanging his head.
Later, on Krakoa, members of the Quiet Council are meeting, sitting around the large table where they often gather. Magneto tells the Council that he would remind them that all mutants are welcome on Krakoa – even the inconvenient ones. Apocalypse looks at Magneto when he says that, while Professor Xavier appears unmoved by those remarks. 'Sure, but also: if I have to behave, everyone does!' Mr Sinister smirks. 'Ah, Mr Sinister has something to say. Can you all tell how shocked I am?' Exodus mutters. 'Are your epaulettes getting bigger?' Sinister asks, turning to Exodus who sits next to him. Sinister tells Exodus that if he wants to go down this road, he will be on his ass every step of the way. 'Mister Sinister's shoulder-ornamentation will not be outdone' Sinister declares. 'Kill me' Mystique mutters, covering her face with one of her hands. Sebastian Shaw remains silent as Emma Frost suddenly shouts 'Please, God. Back to the point at hand...! What do we do with them?' she asks, motioning towards several mutants standing nearby – the mysterious Nanny and Orphan Maker, John Greycrow a.k.a. Scalphunter, who is shackled, Kyle Gibney a.k.a. Wild Child, with chains around his ankles and wrists, Havok stands in the shadows, while Manuel de la Rocha a.k.a. Empath complains 'I don't know why I'm here. I was just having fun'.
Earlier – the Crimes of Manuel de la Rocha:
At the Akademos Habitat, Empath stands in a clearing amongst some trees, his eyes narrowed, as he appears to be using his powers on someone. Suddenly, Haroun ibn Sallah al-Rashid a.k.a. Jetstream rushes towards him, 'Manny?' he calls out. 'No no no no' Jestream exclaims as he starts shouting 'Are you doing that? Dude, you're so $%#&*! They're gonna kick you out! I'm $#%&ing serious! Stop!' But Empath just tells Jetstream to shut up, and to enjoy himself.
Suddenly, Jetstream falls under Empaths manipulation, and he looks over to what Empath was looking at when he found him, and laughs: 'Look at them go! This is awesome!' Jetstream calls out, pointing at Marie-Ange Colbert a.k.a. Tarot and Jennifer Stavros a.k.a. Roulette, who are both knocked back by Sharon Smith a.k.a. Catseye, who has shifted to a half-cat half-woman form and screeches 'I know you hate me! Die!' Jestream continues to laugh hysterically, while Empath remarks 'Catfight, get it?'
At that moment, Glob Herman and Hisako Ichiki a.k.a. Armor walk onto the scene: 'What the hell? Hey, stop it!' Armor calls out. 'Don't stop! Go! Go!' the emotionally-warped Jetstream grins. Empath glances at Armor and Glob as they run towards him, and asks Jetstream 'Don't these two just piss you off? Of course they do'. 'YEEARRRRGH!' Jetstream agrees as he flies towards Armor, who tells him to stop, but Jetstream exclaims 'Heard you been talking $#%&!' and Empath starts to walk away, 'That was fun' he remarks to himself.
Earlier – the Passion of Nanny and the Orphan Maker:
'Everyone! Run!' Warren Worthington III a.k.a. Angel calls out as he wraps his arms around the mysterious Orphan Maker, who shouts 'I don't want a nap!' as he punches Hank McCoy a.k.a. the Beast, knocking him backwards. Roxy Washington a.k.a. Bling is nearby with several other students, who begin to run as Angel commands, before Angel is suddenly flung to the ground by Orphan Maker, who shouts 'I want my nanny!' The Beast rubs his head, before getting up and grabbing Oprhan Maker by his arm, calling him “Peter” he tells him that he needs to learn to take care of himself, and that he is a big boy. 'I want my... Nanny!' Orphan Maker retorts as he slams his head into the Beast's drawing blood. Angel goes over to Hank and remarks 'I think it's time we -' to which the Beast, covering the blood pouring from his nose, mutters 'Fine! Fine! Let her out!'
A moment later, the odd, egg-shaped being known only as Nanny emerges from behind a broken wall, 'Peter!' Nanny calls out. 'These goobers said I couldn't see you anymore...' Orphan Maker utters as he crouches down to Nanny's level. 'Nonsense. You're my baby boy. Come here' Nanny replies, hugging Peter, she begins to sing: 'That's right. Right and better, isn't it. The fire is hot, the orphans are made, rest your pretty head. We both know what comes next when all bad parents lay dead. Drink, drink from Nanny. Wet your thirsty tongue. Drink, drink from Nannu. Then we free the young'. The Beast and Angel look at each other, 'Wow' Angel utters, frowning. 'Yeah' the Beast responds, amazed.
Earlier – the Curious Condition of Kyle Gibney:
The Healing Gardens, where Sage and Dr Cecilia Reyes walk past several pods where bodies can be seen inside them, as Sage asks 'So this one went feral within days of landing on Krakoa'. 'To each his own' Cecilia replies. 'Kind of' Sage tells her, explaining that this one ran down a wild boar in front of some children, that one of them freaked out, tried to help Mr Piggy, and got clawed up pretty bad. 'Ah, so you're fixing him' Cecilia smiles. 'Not me. These little babies' Sage replies, holding up a tray which has two small pills on it. 'Two pills twice a day keeps the ravenous wolfman-psycho away' Sage tells Cecilia, who asks Sage if they are of her own design. Sage explains that they were developed by Department H, and that he took the pills a few years ago, made his animal side completely dormant. Sage reveals that since her brain is a supercomputer, all she needed was a description of how the pills tasted to recreate their molecular structure. 'Really? I didn't know -' Cecilia begins, to which Sage confesses to making a few calls and getting some boxes shipped over on Kate's boat. 'But it's cool that you think I'm a wizard' Sage adds. 'Shut up' Cecilia mutters.
The two women enter a cell which contains two small flower gardens along the sides, while a steel bench runs along the back wall. Kyle Gibney a.k.a. Wild Child is lying on the bench as Sage approaches him and asks him how he is feeling. 'A little tired? Not a known side effect of the treatment. But I'll make sure to make a note of it' Sage adds, before Cecilia looks at one of the gardens and notices that someone has been digging. She examines the hole in the garden closer, and finds several buried pills. 'What did we say about that, Kyle?' Sage asks. 'Sage, they're pills...lots of pills!' Cecilia calls out, urgently. Wild Child suddenly growls, and turns to the women, claws at the ready, while Cecilia and Sage slowly back away. 'What do we do?!' Cecilia asks, frightened. Sage drops the tray and tells Cecilia to do her thing. 'Why do you think I brought you?' she adds, before Wild Child lunges towards them, roaring, as Cecilia tells Sage to run, and throws up a force field between Wild Child and her – but she screams as Wild Child scratches at her force field with his claws, shattering it.
Earlier – the Ghosts that Haunt John Greycrow:
On the shore of Krakoa, John Greycrow, known as Scalphunter, sits on a beach chair, the TKCH TKCH TKCH sound of guns echoing around him as cleans his weapons. Suddenly, 'Found him' Cybelle calls out as she appears on the beach, several feet back from Scalphunter. Scalphunter doesn't react, he continues adjusting his weapons, before several other Morlocks appear on the beach – Callisto, Masque, Tommy, Erg and Piper. 'Do you know what day it is, John?' Callisto asks. 'It's the day I clean my guns' Scalphunter replies, turning to the group gathered behind him. 'Same as every day' he adds. Callisto informs Scalphunter that it is the anniversary of the mutant massacre. 'We didn't forget' Callisto frowns. 'Romantic' Scalphunter tells her as he stands up and raises his large gun towards the Morlocks. 'TAKE HIM, MORLOCKS! Those who fall will be reborn!' Callisto shout, as the others rush forward towards Scalphunter.
'You attacked a defenseless group of Morlocks, victimizing them yet again. Haven't you caused them enough pain?' Ororo Munroe a.k.a. Storm asks, frustrated. Nightcrawler and Jean Grey a.k.a. Marvel Girl sit next to Storm, to which Scalphunter, unmovingly replies 'Guess not'. Professor Xavier remarks that this is troubling, and points out that they have given predatory mutants a home in paradise, while Magneto states that it is their responsibility to make a place for them. 'Such is the promise of Krakoa . Yet -' Apocalypse begins, before Sinister raises a hand and tells Apocalypse that he is going to stop him right there. 'Do I see someone else in the back? Don't be shy! Let me get my peepers on you!' Sinister calls out to the group of mutants gathered before the Council. 'Hey' Havok remarks as he steps out of the shadows. 'Alex! Get out of there!' Scott Summers a.k.a. Cyclops shouts at his brother, before turning to the Council and asking them why they put his brother in the circle of judgment without telling him. 'Scott... it's okay...' Alex begins.
Storm frowns at Cyclops and tells him that this is the business of the Council, while Jean informs him that Alex put three humans in hospital, two of them lost limbs and one is disfigured for life. 'What are they talking about?' Cyclops asks. Havok hangs his head and tells Scott that he doesn't remember, and that he thinks his head might still be messed up. 'He was going to kill them. He would have if Logan hadn't stopped him. Logan' Nightcrawler explains. Magneto points out that if there was a death, there would be no discussion – no choice but to exile Havok to the pit. 'In that case I would have no choice either' Cyclops replies.
Sinister gets to his feet and walks into the space in the center of the Council and tells them to relax and unclench. 'Eyes over here! I've had an idea! Yaaaaay!' Sinister exclaims. Scott scowls as he turns to Sinister, so Sinister tells him 'Clean up those poopy pants, Scott. I'm here to save the day! Come on, you're so much prettier when you smile'.
Sinister motions to the mutants gathered nearby and tells the Council that they aren't predators, that these are square pegs straining heroically against round holes. 'That was a metaphor' Sinister smirks as he turns to Scalphunter. '$#%& you' Scalphunter replies, before Sinister turns back to the Quiet Council and asks what they will do with their outcasts, their unwanted. 'Medication? Incarceration? These are human solutions. They are sweaty and they are dumb and they are gee dee boring'. Sinister tells the Council that he knows they all look up to him, but that he has a confession – he too knows the cerebral itch of madness, and he knows madness can be put to good use. 'Even these crazy $#%& right here' Sinister adds, which causes Nanny to tell Peter to cover his ears. Apocalypse frowns and tells Sinister that he has not grown so accustomed to bureaucracy that he will listen to him prattle on indefinitely, and that he needs to reach his point before violence comes.
Sinister points out that these mutants have known only pain and suffering. 'Except for Havok, who has no excuse' Sinister adds, before stating that they know quiet only in carnage, peace only in violence and tranquility only in insanity. 'If that is how they best express their gifts, who are we to stop them? Is not the expression of their mutation a birthright?' Sinister asks. Professor Xavier remarks that they have not yet codified it in Krakoan law, to which Magneto states that they will, and that Sinister might have a point. 'Sinister? You can't be serious!' Cyclops shouts, while Havok tells his brother that he has to relax. Jean informs Scott that his objections are heard, but that the Quiet Council will decide how to proceed. 'Now leave us...' Storm tells Cyclops. '... so we may consider Sinister's proposal' she declares, while Sinister grins wickedly.
Later – the Damnable Duty of Kwannon:
'You've familiarized yourself with the briefing?' Cyclops asks Kwannon, who now calls herself Psylocke. 'Yes. It's simple enough. Sinister now wields a team of unstable mutants... under the guise of therapy. And you need a babysitter' Psylocke replies. 'If there's trouble. We know you'll keep it in check' Cyclops tells her. 'If there's trouble... we both know what I'll do' Psylocke replies, but Cyclops tells her 'Only if the situation requires'. He then brings up his brother, and asks Psylocke if she will go easy on him. 'As much as I can be trusted. Yes' Psylocke responds.
Shortly, Havok, Nanny and Orphan Maker, Empath, Wild Child and Scalphunter gather before Sinister, who tells the solemn group to smile, and that this is going to be fun. 'You've been given the chance to give back... to the place... er... nation that's given you, well, everything!' Sinister adds that, through work, may they find their purpose. 'Hard work... you know... feels good' he points out, before telling Psylocke that he is bored, and asking her to tag in.
Hands on hips, Psylocke informs the group that they will travel to the Essex State Home for Foundlings outside of Omaha, Nebraska, and that once there, they will find and destroy the clone farm Sinister built underneath. Sinister remarks to his group that he is told that the clone farm has been made redundant by the Five – and if he is being honest, he let it go to the dogs, so it is a complete teardown at this point. 'Also – full disclosure – I've gotten a few notes that it's an abomination against nature, decency... and if God exists, him too'.
Psylocke tells the group that this isn't a simple demo job, as Sinister's Marauders, minus their friend John here, have holed up inside, refusing all Krakoan overtures to come home. 'These are psychopathic mutant assassins. Be careful' Psylocke warns the group. Sinister folds his arms as he remarks that he supposes they are not allowed to call them “The Marauders” anymore, as the overachiever Katherine Pryde stole the damn name. Psylocke then tells the group that no one is to engage the mutants unless she declares them hostile and gives the order. 'I'm your leader in the field. Is that understood?' Psylocke asks. Wild Child responds by growling, to which Scalphunter points out that this one is wild, and ain't gonna accept an alpha that can't dominate him physically, so he could be a problem. 'I assure you it won't be' Psylocke responds.
'Enough of that chit-chat! Everyone good?' Sinister asks, grinning. Havok frowns and remarks that he swore he would only go back to that orphanage to burn it to the ground, so this works. Psylocke informs the group that transport leaves in five minutes. Empath smiles and stretches his arms as he remarks that it will be great to get away from all these $#%&%#* trees. Scalphunter towers over Empath and tells him to listen very closely, as he warns Empath that if he thinks for a second he is using his powers on one of them, at any time, for any reason, then he will shoot him between the eyes. 'Sure, grandpa. Haha. Understood' Empath smiles.
'You're a dirty man, Mr Sinister' Nanny remarks. 'Hmmm?' Sinister utters, turning around, he throws his hands in the air and utters' Dear god! You scared me! I'm sorry, with the little mouth, you just look -' he stops himself, before asking Nanny what she wants. 'I know how you love your orphans. Yes, I do. If this is all about getting your hands on my Peter, your wrist will be slapped. Hard' Nanny informs Sinister, who grins. 'Flowery language. Flowery and vaguely inappropriate. I assure you, I want nothing to do with your...' Sinister starts to reply, before he turns around, and finds Orphan Maker standing in front of him. '... Peter. Oh, this doesn't feel safe at all' Sinister utters.
Wild Child growls, and Havok looks down at him, 'Uh, is this normal?' he asks. 'I got 'im' Scalphunter replies, putting a hand on Wild Child's shoulder, which causes Wild Child to spin around, growling, he lashes out and scratches Scalphunter's bare chest, drawing blood. 'Ow! Dammit!' Scalphunter calls out. 'Son of a %$^&*!' he exclaims as he grabs Wild Child and slams him into the floor. 'Holy $#%&!' Havok utters. Psylocke tells him that they have healing factors, and that they will be fine. 'Sure. Sure' Havok replies, before asking Psylocke how she got roped into this. Psylocke doesn't answer him, she just stares back, to which Havok mutters 'Ooooookay', before turning away from Psylocke to follow the others as they start to walk out of the chamber. 'Get your rowdy ass on the plane...' Scalphunter snaps at Wild Child, throwing him in front.
'Something on your mind, m'lady?' Sinister asks Psylocke as he stands behind her. 'The orphanage. You're not telling me something' Psylocke replies. 'Of course not! That's what makes it fun, dummy!' Sinister jokes, before looking at some monitors which display the faces of most of his other Marauders. Sinister grins as he tells Psylocke to trust him when he says that they are all in for a very fraught adventure – super unpleasant! 'And here you are, with no choice but to go. I'll rest assured you haven't forgotten that' Sinister adds, as he walks past Psylocke, asking her to be a dear and walk into hell for him.
Meantime, at the Essex State Home for Foundlings, under a purplish night sky, moans can be heard from the laboratory underneath the large home. Water drips in the dank lab, while several people can be seen hanging by their ankles. Hands dart about, casting some sort of spell. The figures hanging are seen to be the original Marauders, and responding to the spell, the Marauder known as Harpoon's eyes suddenly flash white, before his mouth vanishes, then re-appears, he seemingly screams as his mouth returns, before he appears to hang as lifeless as the others, the spell-caster telling him to go to sleep. Arclight, Prism, Riptide, Scrambler and Blockbuster can also be seen hanging by their ankles, as the Goblin Queen stands under them, 'Rest for the horror to come' she utters, her eyes glowing red.