SHIELD agents Haines and Rodriguez look at an injured man in a hospital bed, John Greycrow aka Scalphunter. Haines announces there is a long list of heinous crimes with his name on it. Cooperating with them might make things easier. He has nothing to say to them?
Greycrow swears under his breath. What was that? Haines asks. He said they should have let him die! he snarls. Is it pity he wants? Rodriguez scoffs. Because a guy like him… guilty of the things he’s done… it takes some stones to going fishing for… Haines tells her that’s enough.
He don’t want sympathy, the maimed man retorts. He wants his arms and legs back! But he doesn’t reckon’ that’s gonna happen. He can heal real fast, but he knew that and cauterized those wounds.
Haines asks if it was definitely Magneto who did that to him. Greycrow replies it was. He wanted him to suffer, to pay for what he had done. Don’t matter that it was in a former life. And he thinks Magneto wanted him to know that he ain’t done with old Scalphunter yet.
Elsewhere, Scalphunter’s fellow Marauders, Prism and Scrambler, are running for their lives. Did they lose him? Scrambler asks. Prism thinks so. Moments later, a metal shard hit him in the chest. He pulls it out but they realize this means he is here. Just scrap, Prism mutters, not enough to do any real damage. But the small hole inside his chest cracks and the cracks spread, making him explode. Seeing Magneto head toward him, Scrambler threatens to make his power go haywire if he touches him. What makes him think he needs to touch him? Magneto mocks. Or that he needs his powers to finish him off?
Briar Raleigh has just given Magneto her information about the Marauders and asks what he is going to do with it. He reminds her they brutally slaughtered dozens of mutants. Whenever they surfaced, it has been as a plague on his people. She notes the pronoun. Doesn’t he mean their people? The Marauders are mutants too. Magneto glares.
One thing’s for sure, they don’t stay dead, Briar continues. They’ve been killed time and time again. They are clones. When one dies, another one is activated. Those they have murdered are not afforded the same luxury, he states grimly.
Briar explains they are scattered all over the world, stored like wine. Now he knows where to find them. And then what he does to his fellow mutants… she hands him the data disc. …Is up to him, he finishes. He’s the boss, she shrugs. Just remember something for her: the best way to stick it to his enemies is not to simply take their favorite toys from them. It’s to take them and keep them for yourself.
The other Marauders – Blockbuster, Arclight, Riptide and Harpoon – hear Scrambler’s screams of agony. Another one, Blockbuster pronounces grimly. Laughing madly, Riptide announces, it’s separating wheat from the chaff. Let that maniac go after low-hanging fruit while they slip away.
Harpoon suggests they ambush him. He could shove his harpoon right up his… Arclight reminds him it’s metallic. He shoves her away and points out they can’t keep running. He’ll find them. That’s why they are here. Why they’ve been activated. He found the others and killed them. They are next. Maybe they think they are immortal because when they die someone else takes their place but those others, they are not them. Dead is dead. They begin to run.
Unknown to them, Magneto hovers above them, musing what the Marauders did years ago is almost forgotten in the light of other tragedies.
They slaughtered men, women and children in the name of genetic cleansing. In the name of a madman, Mister Sinister, who stripped away their will and individuality. In his time, Magneto surrounded himself with like-minded underlings. He bent them to his will, to his cause. He’s raised himself above them like a messiah. But he never absolved them of their loyalty to their species. He never stripped away the thing that made them mutants. Sinister hardcoded the Marauders to serve as his instruments of murder.
The Marauders hear a noise that stops them in their tracks. It’s a growling sound. Harpoon thinks of a ghost. Arclight corrects him. It’s metal scraping metal like old gears turning. It’s coming from the cranes.
A weight from a crane brutally hits Harpoon in the face. When they see Magneto hover above them Riptide decides he’s going to take him with him. Blockbuster and Arclight watch in horror as Riptide and Magneto fight for control over Riptide’s blades.
Magneto kills Riptide but falls exhausted onto a large container. Arclight hits it to finish him off. She decides he is just some half-assed imposter. Blockbuster mocks if he is here to hurt them he hopes he brought a tank.
Magneto levitates some iron balls straight into their chests, then has the metal flow through their veins. It’s called ferro fluid, he explains. Ferro-magnetic particles suspended in a carrier fluid. He discovered how it could be used to skip past their defenses into their bloodstream and the meat of their brains the third time he killed them.
Why? the dying Arlight asks. They know damn well why, he hisses. But he fights for mutants, she stammers. They are mutants. Does she think their powers make them mutants? he asks. Does she believe that affords them any leniency? Does she remember murdering the Morlocks? With those actions they decided that the Morlocks were not worthy of life. And that’s what he’s doing now. She and her companions… they no longer fit his picture of a mutant. If it helps her to understand, call it genetic cleansing!
Back in the hospital, Agent Haines orders plains clothes agents to guard the hospital. Rodriguez asks if she really thinks Magneto is coming back for him? Scalphunter thinks so, they’ll proceed accordingly. Haines replies. Scalphunter announces he thinks they heard him wrong. Magneto is not coming after him. He is nothing but a slab of meat to him. What he said was Magneto wasn’t done with Scalphunter. He’s got designs on him, not in this life… but the next.
In a secret base, Magneto modifies the personalities of the Marauder clones slumbering in their tubes. When next they open their eyes, they will serve him and they will know that when next they die – and they will die – they will not be redeemed. But their final deaths will mean something. And perhaps with their sacrifice they will remember what it means to be a mutant.