The ice is melting thanks to human-caused climate change.
With Christian Frost’s submarine in the Arctic, his current guest Bobby Drake aka Iceman, dressed only in Christian’s dressing gown, shows what he can do by restoring the ice of an area. Quite the picturesque band-aid, Christian commends him. $§%+ the Anthropocene Era, Bobby replies.
They head downstairs again. Christian gives orders for the sub to submerge… the White Queen is waiting. Bobby asks if he has given any thought to his true name. He kind of has the market cornered on Frost.
They enter a huge room with a piano, a bar, lots of space and a transparent ceiling. He will be the first one to know, Christian promises and asks in turn if Bobby has given any thought to their chat. Bobby replies it’s always fun to come aboard the Mercury, but he can’t just drop everything and join Christian’s crew. He has other responsibilities. He gets ready at the bar to make himself a drink, while Christian sits down at the piano, noting they all do. He asks Bobby to be honest. Does he love it on the Marauder or is he worried his friend who can’t pass the gates will die out there and the Resurrection Protocols will fail her? That is why he and Storm are all over Kitty like the Secret bloody Service, isn’t it? Call her Kate, Bobby replies stonily.
Outside, around a table, the Black King, the two Queens and their respective Bishops (now including Lucas Bishop as Red Bishop) are gathered, with only White Bishop Christian Frost missing.
Shaw announces that the Hellfire Trading Company has increased capacity to the black market by almost 200 percent in the last two weeks. They’ve moved through the backlog of medicine deliveries and by the next week they will be caught up.
Emma states that the Marauder has delivered dozens of mutants to Krakoa safely.
Christian joins them and apologizes for being late. He had to answer a call from mother nature.
Shaw announces that the Black Bishop will be heading on a dangerous mission to the Horn of Africa shortly. It would be a great help if the Marauder would take the Madripoor run in the opposite direction; it’s a milkrun. Unimpressed, Kate suggests a vote. Emma, Kate and Shaw vote. Predictably, only Shaw is for the change in destinations, with the two queens outvoting him. Kate dryly tells Shinobi to enjoy Lowtown.
Seething, Shaw gets up and stalks away. Concerned, Shinobi remarks he thought he could drive his father nuts, but he has nothing on them.
Later in Kate’s pirate-style bedroom in the Red Keep, Kate and Emma drink to their victory. Emma adds a toast in Krakoan. Kate doesn’t understand, as she never passed through one of the Krakoan gates, so Emma teaches her telepathically and then asks what’s really bothering her.
Kate admits she is somewhat concerned. The gates don’t work for her – what if the Resurrection Protocols don’t work for her either? Maybe one day she will be the only old woman on the island. Emma tells her it’s cold comfort but she is afraid to die, too. Which nose would she return with?
They hug. Kate wonders wistfully how her life would have turned out if she had chosen Emma instead of the Professor. Back to her cool countenance, Emma tells her not to ruminate on the past. She gives Kate a peck on the cheek. As a parting shot, she remarks she was barely a woman herself back then. She would have utterly destroyed Kate. Now let’s meet those mutants Kate saved. They need habitats. She walks down the stairs, while Kate simply phases through the floor…
… to the room below, where a party is already in full swing… until an agitated Pyro comes running shouting there is a distress call. The Upstart is in a huge fight in Madripoor Bay.
Emma has opinions about Shinobi naming his boat the Upstart.
The Marauders run into action with Storm and Bishop using the gates while the others head to the ship.
Emma and Christian continue their conversation about his submarine, unperturbed.
Kate, Iceman, Pyro and Lockheed man the boat and drive off, watched by an impatient Sebastian Shaw. When he sees they have gone, he walks through the Madripoor Gate.
In Madripoor, Bishop sees armed men in the streets. He asks a young boy what is going on. He replies, you got to kill a mutant first. Then you see Verendi. Then they make you rich. Bishop tells him to stay off the docks tonight. He will pay him to go home.
Storm joins Bishop. Both of them see the Upstart under heavy fire. Storm muses that Madripoor used to be friendly to mutants. Bishop tells her what he learned about somebody named Verendi paying for mutant blood. Storm takes the armed men out and the two race toward the Upstart, while warning Shinobi they are coming via comm.
They run towards the boat and open the hatch. Shinobi and the refugee mutant kids are waiting down below. Shinobi explains that their attackers waited to hit them until they were most vulnerable. When he had offloaded the drugs and brought the mutants aboard. How did they handle their power-dampening gear?
That part is news to Storm and Bishop. Soon they are surrounded by several armored attackers. One of them fires the power-dampening ray at Storm and asks how they intend to fight powerless. They think she is powerless? Storm seethes. She stabs him in the eye with a knife, announcing they cannot take her power. Bishop joins her with his gun and shouts at Shinobi to get the boat into the bay while they cover him.
From their skyscraper, the Verendi brats watch pleased. Kade Kilgore announces the suits are everything the Russians promised. Wilhelmina Kensington observes, the second mutant boat is coming, and waits in glee for what is going to happen.
Aboard, Kate swears when another ship steers right at them and rams them. Aboard are the X-Cutioner and the Hate Monger, who immediately attack Iceman, shouting that humanity will never yield to gene junk. Humans first! Homines Verendi!