The catacombs beneath Manhattan, where the Morlock called Madin asks Bobby “Iceman” Drake what exactly he thinks he is going to do. Bobby tells Madin that he is done playing by the house's rules, and that he is going to break her brother out of jail himself. 'Must be nice' Madin replies. 'Excuse you?' Bobby snaps. Madin scowls and tells Bobby 'You heard me' and remarking that it must be nice to think he can stroll into any space like he is allowed, take what he wants and not worry about any consequence. Bobby's ice-form increases mass as he spins around and asks why he can't ever so the right thing here. 'Because you come in guns blazing without having the full picture' Madin replies, announcing that six more Morlocks have gone missing. 'But what does that matter to -' Madin begins, before the young Morlock called Grimlock interrupts her, handing her a bowl of food. 'I don't want your food to get cold' Grimlock tells Madin, who beckons Iceman to follow her.
Iceman and Madin sit opposite each other in an abandoned subway train as Madin eats her food and remarks that she misses catfish – good, fried catfish. She informs Bobby that they have LEDs set up, generators and one of the kids can even talk to the critters and keep them away – but she hasn't had proper catfish in a long time. 'Weren't we just arguing?' Bobby asks. Madin explains that she was hangry, and that Grimlock always knows when she needs food. Madin then suggests to Bobby that they talk like grown-ups, and informs him that going in all Tom Cruise is not the solution. Bobby narrows his eyes as he explains to Madin that the guy behind this is Mr Sinister, a weird Darwinist loser who plays people like marionettes until he is ready to strike. 'And he used Ash to bait me' Bobby adds. 'Then go fight him' Madin retorts, suggesting that Bobby could stay in his lane and if he cares so much about her brother, find them a lawyer or something. Madin tells Bobby that if this Sinister guy is coming after them, then to put some distance between them. 'I know where you live. We need something – we'll call' she declares. '... fine' Bobby replies, before he ice-slides out of the catacombs through a large pipe.
Three days later at the Xavier Institute:
'Ugh, when did this wrinkle show up?' Kitty Pryde asks, looking at her face in a small mirror. Ororo “Storm” Munroe sits at a table and does her makeup as she tells Kitty that is the downside to leadership. She jokes that she is lucky her hair was already white before trying to lead a team where Bishop was trying to kill Gambit, Dracula tried to marry her and Goddess knows what else. Kitty runs a hand through her own hair and jokes that she is going to shave her head or get a pixie cut, adding that she would look good with a pixie cut. Kitty then remarks that she can't fuss over this speech anymore, and asks Storm whether she is sure they should be in uniform – not too “military” for mutant pride? Storm looks over at Kitty and tells her that the uniform doesn't make her look like a soldier – it makes her look iconic. Storm assures Kitty that she has everything planned for the keynote and that this is going to be perfect. 'Sharing the speech with you – not tacky?' Kitty asks.
Storm goes over to her friend and tells her that it is fitting, and that she is honored to share the stage with her. 'Every day you make me more proud to know you than the last' Storm adds. Kitty smiles and tells Ororo to stop, or she will make her cry off the concealer.
They walk out into a hallway as Kitty remarks that the kids have supervisors and Dazzler is doing soundcheck, while Jean and the Cuckoos are sweeping for terrorist thoughts. 'Tell me again why you're not gonna keep the literal rain off my parade?' Kitty enquires. 'To prove that we weather any storm, and that we always find a way to celebrate' Storm explains, before Lucas Bishop approaches them and asks if he is interrupting. 'Storm is just keeping me sane' Kitty jokes, before Storm asks Bishop why he is in uniform. 'I never trust a good thing' Bishop replies, asking them if they have seen Bobby.
'Outta the way, beep beep!' Bobby suddenly shouts as he slides past them on an ice-scooter, while holding what looks like a hotdog. 'Follow the path of melted ice. I bet you ten bucks it leads to Beast's lab' Kitty frowns while informing Bishop that Bobby has been spending a lot of time down there with Forge.
Bishop enters the lab to find Bobby sitting at a console, and Forge standing near some equipment several feet away. 'Okay, lemme see the floor plan one more time' Bobby asks. 'Can you not eat that sloppy mess over my keyboard?' Forge responds annoyed. Bobby explains that he is carbo-loading, that this mission is going to be a doozy and he will need all the calories to burn. 'Knew you were up to something. I want in' Bishop snarls. Bobby turns to Bishop and tells him no – this is between him and Mr Sinister. 'You guided by ego again, Drake? Sinister has got a century of experience on you' Bishop points out. Bobby assures Bishop that he is well aware and tells him that while he would love to an iceshop reunion, he wants everyone to enjoy the parade. He adds that Forge did a lot of cool tech roadie magic for Dazzler's show, before remarking that Sinister may be smarter than him, which is what he is banking on.
Forge goes over to Bobby and tells him that he is all set. 'Bobby -' Bishop begins, but Bobby tells Bishop to trust him on this, adding that Madin made it clear Sinister is obsessed with him for some reason, so he is going to go there himself. 'With only me, myself and ice' Bobby jokes as he ices up his hand.
Elsewhere, smoke darts across the floor of a lavish ballroom, where Mr Sinister is dancing on his own. 'And step... and turn... and step' he utters, adding that soon he will be dancing in a ballroom full of his most beautiful bodies. 'A waltz so perfect... and step... and turn...' he continues as he dances about.
'HOW ARE WE DOING NEW YORK?' Alison “Dazzler” Blaire shouts from her stage at the Mutant Prude Parade in Manhattan. 'We love you, Dazzler!' someone in the crowd calls out. Dazzler wears her rollerskates and disco outfit as slides across the stage . 'We're gonna take you back for this jam... back to when a little girl from Gardendale had a dream and a keyboard...' Dazzler calls out to the adoring crowd, many of whom are recording the show on their phones.
Amidst the crowd stands Emma Frost, wearing large sunglasses to hide her appearance. She is with her brother, Christian, and asks him if he is sure he wants to be here. 'Truly, I feel ready, Emma' Christian replies, adding that he needs to see that it is okay to be him, that this won't go away. Suddenly, on stage, Dazzler's costume changes into her blue one-piece with the yellow star and brown jacket as she exclaims that she couldn't pick just one outfit for them today, so she brought them all.
At another stage, Kitty peers out from behind the curtain and upon seeing the crowd, tells Storm that she made a huge mistake. 'What is that, Kitty?' Storm asks. 'Having our speech after an act like that – what was I thinking?' Kitty smiles. 'You were thinking your words could have more impact than Forge's pyrotechnics. And your instincts are correct. Stop with your nerves. I mean it' Storm tells Kitty, while back on stage, Dazzler, wearing a more modern, ripped leather costume shouts 'Thank you! Thank you!' As brilliant lights burst around her, a red hand-held fan suddenly materializes, and a woman with green hair wearing thigh-high platform boots and a leotard with a gold X across it, and several pouches around her wrists, shoulders and ankles, steps through some sort of portal. 'Ello Manhattan!' she calls out, introducing herself as the emcee, Shade. She jokes that she has no shade to throw at Dazzler's set and tells the crowd to give Dazzler another round of applause, before announcing that it is the moment they have all been waiting for.
'Okay, let's do this' Kitty tells Storm as they step forward from behind the curtain and wave at the crowd as bright lights sparkle around them, standing under a banner that reads “mutant pride”.
Meantime, Bobby is on a rooftop, watching a building across the road, he tells himself that it is now or never, as he leaps from the rooftop, onto an ice-slide below, he lowers himself to the ground. A bell chimes as Bobby enters a theater, the stage has been set up, and smoke billows across the floor. He walks down past the empty audience seats, where out of the orchestra circle, several strange creatures suddenly emerge.
Back in the sewers:
'Madin! The hunky X-Man in the tight pants is here!' Grimlock calls out as Bishop walks towards Madin, who leans against an old subway train. 'Is there a recruitment bonus going on at the Xavier Institute or something?' Madin asks. Bishop ignores her comment and tells her that he needs to talk to her. 'I want pants like yours. What are they – lycra?' Grimlock enquires. 'Iceman already cometh over. We just want to be left alone' Madin declares. 'Oh, he's like a time cop! A hot time cop!' Grimlock grins, while Madin scowls and tells her to stop reading minds. Bishop asks Madin how many fighters she has among her, to which Madin tells him that she has enough. 'Good' Bishop replies, instructing Madin to bring them with him, and have the others go into deep hiding for the night. 'Why are you coming here thinking I'm going to listen to you?' Madin asks. 'Cuz I'm keeping an eye on the bigger picture' Bishop responds
Back at the Mutant Pride Parade, Kitty and Storm stand at a podium and Kitty bids the audience good evening, announcing that they stand here to celebrate the achievements mutantkind has made since Charles Xavier first opened his doors to those being shunned for being different. She adds that there are so many derogatory terms for mutants, but she prefers to focus on the word that can't be taken from them – gifted. Storm remarks that they stand before everyone as a reminder that while much has changed, there is much to be angry about, still much to be done, and that they stand here to show that mutants are no longer represented by one man's vision of the future.
Back in the theatre:
'Heeeeellll -' one of the strange creatures calls out as it lunges at Iceman, who turns around just in time to grab the creature and toss it aside into another of them. 'Help me!' another creature pleads, grabbing Bobby by his shoulders.
Storm continues with her speech, stating that as times change, their challenges become more unique – solutions more opaque – the X-Men's reputation in global media is that they are fighters. 'And in some countries we have been labeled as terrorists' Kitty adds, while Storm remarks that Kitty prefers the term “gifted”, she prefers the term “fighters” and points out that while the future they hunger for is one of harmony, there are many fights to be had to get there. She explains that they fight so their bodies are not policed, their rights are not taken away and their safety is not placed on a pendulum of violence. 'We fight in the hope that one day your children will only know about this time as myth, or fodder for comic books... not the status quo on the news' she adds.
In the theater, Bobby knocks back the creature who lunged at him pleading for help. 'Red eyes. On you' the creature utters, before firing projectiles at Bobby, two of which strike him in the shoulders. Bobby runs, and pushes through a door into another room. 'Red red red' a voice utters over and over, and Bobby looks to see more strange creatures, all holding large pens and writing on two large scrolls that extend the length of the large room. 'Help' one of them pleads.
Kitty continues to make her address, telling the crowd that if they are standing in the audience then they believe in hope, and are brave enough to stand with them. 'Together, we can help every mutant live the life they want to lead. As a community bonded together, we can accomplish so much more for the world than fighting' Kitty adds.
At that moment, Bobby runs from creature to creature, knocking each one aside with a punch or a kick – until one of them suddenly slams one of the large pens into him, sending him careening backwards across the room, he crashes into a window and falls through onto some sort of stage, where three open caskets are laid out. 'It hurts' the creatures call out as they pursue Bobby, who jumps onto one of the coffins, where he begins to fall through it and through the stage beneath it.
Kitty concludes her speech by informing the audience that they still have workshops going on in the tents and asks them to stick around. 'Be safe tonight. Thank you' Storm calls out, as the crowd cheer and take photos.
As Bobby and the coffin crash into the laboratory beneath the stage, 'Rushing to the finale, are we?' a voice booms. 'Help us' creatures call out as they rush over and grab Bobby, while the mysterious voice suggests that the sets for the Merchant of Venice theatre seemed like an appropriatev location for them. Bobby is placed into some sort of stasis tank by the creatures as the voice admits that the location is a bit ghoulish, but he is only here during the show's hiatus, and only had time to build this set specially for Iceman. 'Here. Let me help you' the voice adds as Sinister steps forward and shoves Bobby completely into the stasis tank, which closes around him. 'You are our guest of honor, after all' Mr Sinister grins.
Sinister stands in the center of the laboratory and declares that if his calculations are accurate, there is no point in Bobby trying to use his powers, as there is far too little access to moisture in there for him to conjure up additional ice. 'That word...conjure...there's no other way to describe your abilities without getting a bit mystical' Sinister remarks. He narrows his eyes and grins wickedly, walking past other stasis tanks that line the laboratory, he remarks that Iceman defies the laws of physics, neuroscience, molecular biology and countless other practices he has mastered. 'My dear boy, I don't know how else to put this...you're perfect!' Sinister announces, but Bobby does not look impressed.
Sinister walks past the other stasis tubes, each containing some sort of creature made of ice. Sinister tells Bobby that the irony here is that he is going to have to ruin his body to figure out how it works. 'And I really want to know how you work' Sinister adds, explaining that he has studied Bobby's genetic profile, but he needs his physical body to truly understand how he can make and mind-control a flawless army. Sinister grins as he declares that this is kind of a renaissance for the kind of science he is exploring, and unfortunately this process is as subtle as medieval trephination. Sinister walks back over to Bobby and tells him that he has become dreadfully leery of their leaders. 'En Sabah Nur – in all his greatness – cannot shape this world to its true form. It's time I tried my hand at it – sincerely' Sinister remarks. He then apologizes to Bobby for prattling on, but he hasn't had a soul to talk to about this.
Sinister asks Bobby if he has ever just wanted to give nature a nudge in the right direction, and narrowing his eyes admits that for years he was so focused on Cyclops and Jean Grey, that all it took was Scott Summers dying for him to see the beauty that Iceman is. He adds that after tonight, that is all that will remain – exquisite genetic specimens – utopia. Bobby bangs on the stasis tank, and shouts something at Sinister. 'What's that? I can't hear you...' Sinister replies, leaning into the tank. He grins as he tells Bobby that he wishes there was a way to do this where his brain didn't turn into a puddle. 'This world will be pristine. It's a shame you won't see it' he adds, as he presses a button on a remote control – and the stasis tank begins to rumble, and Bobby's body shatters! 'Oh! I did not forsee that happening...' Sinister utters.