Dr. Cornelius and the Professor have a tête-à-tête regarding Logan and the experiments being carried out on him. Cornelius tells the Professor that, if he knew what he was really up to, he might be very upset with him. Possibly, replies the Professor. Cornelius is ashamed that he has helped to create a monster; a mindless, murdering animal. The Professor says they can make him behave. Cornelius doesn’t believe that. Logan has slaughtered an innocent boy in the lab, and then it came after him and the guards.
Logan sees the doctor and a couple of security guards standing behind the observation glass. He crashes straight through it, leaving many of his feed cables behind. The three men are terrified, as they realize Logan might kill them. Cornelius’ eyes meet Logan’s for a moment, and sees that they are filled with hate and fury. He can’t tell if it’s some animal bloodlust, or horror at what they’ve done to him. Suddenly, with his life-support torn away, Logan collapses to the floor and passes out. His claws sink back into his body and Cornelius thanks God for his good fortune.
The Professor reminds the doctor that he survived the experience. Cornelius mentions the boy. He’s dead! The Professor says it’s tragic. Whatever could have possessed him to enter the booth? Cornelius doesn’t know, but he must have seen the danger. They should inform the police, and then there’s the boy’s family to consider. The Professor doesn’t believe the police will be necessary. The boy’s family can be compensated “…secured, let’s say.”
As Logan is carried back to the lab and plugged back into the feeds, the Professor tells Cornelius that he realizes that he must be feeling a little estranged from him right now, so perhaps it’s time to induct him further into the program. He requires his explicit trust. Does he have that?
Cornelius thinks about it, and accepts his offer. The Professor then asks him if he is familiar with the term Homo superior. Cornelius asks if he means the master race or something. The Professor says it is to some extent, but no. He means mutant. He explains that mutants aren’t human. They are Homo superior. Logan is not human and is therefore Homo superior. They look through the broken pane of glass into the laboratory and the Professor asks what he sees. Cornelius replies that he sees a wild beast that was once a man. The Professor says he sees a man as he ever was, but with his subconscious stripped bare… cut from his very soul and scored to the bone. Their friend Logan is coming into his own at last.
Cornelius enquires about the experiment; the adamantium bonding process. He asks if he’s being told that it mutated Logan into this infernal thing. The Professor points out that this ‘infernal thing’ is what Logan has always been. He’s a determinedly violent individual, pummeling his way through a purposeless life. One day is distinguished from the next only by the changing patterns of bruises and blood from last night’s drunken fights. But then, his wounds inexplicably heal and are gone before noon and his first beer. He doubts that Logan even suffered hangovers.
As they chat, Logan begins to slowly writhe around in some discomfort. The two men don’t even seem to notice. The Professor continues to explain that, for all his years, Logan has endured this, suffering a destiny that tore at him from his guts outwards, battling a fate decreed him by nature. He became a government agent and was ideally suited to the danger of the work. He had nothing to lose… not even his godforsaken life.
He’s been shot, stabbed and beaten in the course of duty, recklessly seeking the honor of dying for his country. How pitifully desperate he must have become, he feels. Now, he adds, his demon is free; released by the intervention of Experiment X. The double Id is supplanted by the superego and all of Logan’s prime instincts are focused and resolved. What the doctor is now looking at is the most formidable tactical weapon ever conceived. “Yes,” replies Cornelius. “The knives then, in his hands… pure adamantium.” The Professor asks if he’s heard a word he’s said. They’re not knives… they’re claws.
As they speak, Logan finally wakes from his slumber and rips apart his bindings. His claws snap open and the Professor calls for security. They need gas in lab five now. He hurries them along, and as Logan begins to stand, a wall of gas burns his lungs and puts him back down again. Cornelius is shocked by the devastating effect it has on Logan. He wonders if they can’t treat him better than this. He’s still human in some way, isn’t he?
The Professor feels the doctor’s earlier description was more apt. “A mindless, murdering animal,” he believes he said. This is why he is depending on Cornelius. Logan must be restructured now, trained and then programmed. He can do all this. “Manipulation of the mindless, Doctor Cornelius,” he adds, “It is your calling.”
Off the north coast of Scotland, not far from the lighthouse, Shadowcat and Meggan come to the rescue of two men who cling to wooden boxes to stay afloat in the North Sea. Kitty arrives by motorboat, whilst Meggan glides gracefully above her. Kitty wonders what they were doing out in a boat during last night’s storm. She wishes the rest of Excalibur hadn’t chosen today to go shopping on the mainland. They could use their help. She isn’t sure if she can place her phasing power on hold long enough to be of much use.
They manage to drag the men on board the boat and, in a daze, the blond one thanks her in Russian. Kitty hasn’t heard Russian since Piotr went away. She wonders who these guys could be. Unseen by all, they are being watched through high-powered binoculars. Holding them is a strange-looking man named Cypress, who is aboard his own boat. He calls his superiors by radio and informs them that the men are alive and have been rescued by children. He will move out soon.
Later, in the lighthouse, Kitty brings the now conscious men a hot drink, as they warm themselves by the open fire. Introductions are made. The blond man is Mikhail or Mischa as he likes to be known, and his dark-haired friend is named Yuri. Kitty compliments Mikhail on his English and he thanks her, explaining that he’s been living in England for several years. He is grateful to her and Meggan. If not for them, they might not have survived their fishing boat capsizing. Kitty cannot help but notice how handsome Mikhail is, but reminds herself not to make the same mistake she did with Piotr.
He lifts her hand to his lips to kiss her fingers but, as he does so, he calls her Katya. Kitty pulls back in surprise and Mikhail asks what’s happened. She tells him that the coffee pot is hot and has burned her fingers, but really she is reminded how only Piotr called her that before he went away and fell in love with someone else.
Yuri is more concerned with the fact that someone is after them. He knows that the storm will not stop them and that they must never capture them alive. It would mean the deaths of too many. He is also concerned that Mischa behaves like a schoolboy with Kitty.
Mischa tells Kitty that they have imposed on their hospitality for too long, and wonders if they might borrow a boat to get to the mainland. Kitty wonders what’s the matter with her. She’s a member of Excalibur; an X-Man. All it took was the sound of a familiar accent and the touch of Mischa’s hand on hers and she’s thirteen again. Tears appear at the corners of her eyes. She wonders why she shouldn’t trust him. Maybe she should wait for the rest of Excalibur to arrive. Is she being paranoid? She can hear Logan’s voice telling her to use her good sense. But, Wolvie and the X-Men are gone, and she’s on her own now.
Mischa places his hands on her shoulders and asks if they have guns there. Kitty flips, turning and phasing right through him, much to his astonishment. “Guns?! What do fishermen need with guns?” she barks. She asks them who they are. Yuri replies that they need help, and if they refuse to give to them, then they’ll be forced to take it. He places a knife at Meggan’s throat. He’s serious. Unfortunately for him, so is Meggan, and she metamorphoses. She knocks Yuri’s knife from his fingers as he screams, “The girl is a monster!”
Kitty corrects him, informing them that she’s not a monster. She’s just protective. She doesn’t have time to explain, and she asks Meggan to contact Brian on the beeper and ask him, Ray and Kurt to come straight home. She then tells Yuri she’ll bandage his arm, but warns them not to try any tricks. The two men realize they owe the ladies an explanation.
Mischa relates their story. He and Mischa are scientists. For the last few months, they have been working with Roxxon on a floating research station north of there. They made an important discovery and realized that it could be made into a dreadful biological weapon. Roxxon wanted the formula badly enough to destroy the lab and kill their co-workers to get it. Yuri and Mischa escaped. By then they knew they had been betrayed and were inventing a weapon all along. They just didn’t know. They knew the last bit of the formula that Roxxon did not and also knew they would follow. They saw their assassin’s boat come after them, but then the storm hit. Their little craft didn’t stand a chance, but it meant their assassin wasn’t able to track them until morning, giving them some breathing space.
Looking from the lighthouse window, Yuri suddenly spots their assassin approaching. Cypress wanders up to the lighthouse and then destroys Kitty’s boat to let them know he is there. He’s carrying a large gun, and intends taking them home where they’ll reveal the information he desires.
Kitty asks Mischa and Yuri to remain where they are as she phases through the floor, figuring Cypress will probably come in through the basement bulkhead. She’ll hold him until help comes. Mischa reminds her to be careful.
Soon, in the basement, Kitty spots Cypress and says hi. He must be the assassin they ordered. She finds mail-order stores amazing. Cypress doesn’t share her levity and tells her that he will find them or kill her. Kitty matter-of-factly informs him that cypress means ‘tree of death’ before phasing through a wall and appearing right before him on the staircase. “Boo,” she shouts, causing Cypress to fire in surprise. The blast passes harmlessly through her body, but he continues firing anyway, regardless of the ineffectiveness of it all.
As she floats around, distracting his attention, Mischa appears carrying a box. He hurls it at Cypress, knocking the weapon from his hands. He reaches into a holster and brings out a pistol and fires it at Mischa and Yuri. Luckily, Kitty touches them both, which phases them too and causes the bullets hit the wall behind them. Despite being safe, Yuri panics and lets go. He is brought down by a bullet in the back, before Meggan almost drowns Cypress with a seawater hose. Mischa then smacks him on the back of the head, putting him down for the count.
Surprisingly, he then realizes he’s been shot, too. He turns and sees Yuri lying on the ground with a smoking gun in his hand. Yuri apologizes to his good friend, but he tells him he cannot risk the formula getting into Roxxon’s hands. Both men die before the other members of Excalibur return to the lighthouse. Kitty is upset. She thought heroes led charmed lives and thought nothing could touch her anymore. Sometimes being a hero isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Meggan asks her if she’ okay. “I will be, Meggan… in time,” she replies.
Dr. Doom is bored. Sitting on his throne, he doesn’t enjoy wallowing in self-pity when there are mighty deeds to be done. He heads into the laboratory situated deep within Castle Doom and works away at the hi-tech equipment therein. He believes he can capture cosmic energies and store them within his own body in useable form. He works for hours as he tears at the secrets of the universe. Finally, with a triumphant gesture, he realizes he’s succeeded. He flicks a switch and his armor courses with energy. It pains him greatly, but he survives and now has the power to shake the stars.
Soon, he is on a small flying craft and heading into New York City. He strikes without mercy, scattering civilians as he blasts his way through the streets. Within moments, half the city is in flames and mighty towers topple into the streets. He gets a real rush from seeing people cower like ants. He asks who there is to challenge him, and the response comes in the form of a web fired from the wrists of Spider-Man.
Doom curses the arachnid, but then brushes away his attack, throwing him skywards. The Human Torch is on hand to collect him before he drops, and then the rest of the Fantastic Four arrive to back him up. Crystal, Thing and Ms. Marvel stand their ground, but they are all blasted by Doom’s mighty gauntlets. Doom wonders where Reed Richards might be, and his answer comes quickly, as Reed’s elastic arms wrap themselves around Doom’s body. Reed informs him that he’ll pay for his crimes. Doom has waited years for this moment, and he uses the energy in his armor to knock Reed out.
Doom gloats in his victory; his greatest foe dead at his hands. The Invisible Woman warns him that he won’t get away with it. She’ll see him dead! He replies by asking if she intends to stop him all by herself. “She’s got plenty of friends, Doom,” says a voice from behind. Doom turns to see Captain America’s shield heading in his direction. Acting quickly, Doom catches the shield and crunches it into a small ball like it was made of paper. Captain America is mortified, and Doom makes things worse by hurling it at him. It knocks the wind from Cap, and Doom returns his attentions to the Invisible Woman.
Before he can attack, he discovers she has more friends, and a whole host of heroes face him including the Sub-Mariner, Thor and Wonder Man. He allows them a moment to feel like they have a chance before blasting them all to the ground. “Doom is power incarnate!” he bellows. “Where is there a foe to stand against me?” he asks. “Here Doom,” comes the reply, as the Silver Surfer unleashes a cosmic blast. It topples Doom, and the Surfer tells him this is the most despicable act he’s ever seen. Doom jests that maybe he’s never seen his former master, Galactus, eat lunch.
The Surfer informs him that he’s not there to bandy words. This monstrous assault upon Earth and its defenders must be brought to a halt. If no one else can stop him, he will. Doom points at the alien and tells him that not even his power can stop him. He fires a kind of ray at the Surfer, and he reverts to his Norrin Radd form. He then drops many stories to the ground. Doom clenches his fist and wonders where there might be another power to match him. He begins to grow, towering over the city. He then grows even more and soon he stands on the Earth like it was a beach ball. “Where is Galactus?” he cries. “Bring on that cosmic buffoon!”
“Franklin? Franklin honey? What’s wrong Franklin?” Young Franklin Richards wakes up, bleary eyed at the sound of his mother’s voice. She tells him he was crying and must have had a scary dream. He tells her that he did, and in it, Doom took over the world. She assures him it was only a dream, and he should go back to sleep. Franklin yawns. At least he thinks it was a dream. That’s the scariest part of all.