Utopia, inside the X-Brig, where Armor approaches Danger, asking her if everything is running smoothly. ‘Yes, Hisako -’ Danger begins. ‘Armor’ Hisako declares. Danger pauses, before she declares that, as a sentient program, it is simple for her to monitor all of the X-Brig’s functions, simultaneously, including food service and climate control. ‘Yes or no will do, Danger. And if the facility were under attack…’ Armor declares. ‘They would have to get through three-foot thick walls of reinforced vibranium and concrete. Plus, the holding cells are securely hidden six floors below us’ Danger replies. ‘So there’s nothing important on this level? Say, the wall behind you?’ Hisako asks as she surrounds herself in her large armor. ‘That’s just empty storage’ Danger replies. ‘Good. I’d hate for you to ruin something important’ Hisako declares.
Danger looks at Armor and asks her who told her to come here for the inspection. ‘Wing did’ Armor exclaims as she punches Danger - hard - knocking her through several walls. Danger slams against a wall which blocks her from going any further. ‘My bad’ Hisako remarks, standing in the hole in the wall. ‘I meant to tell you nicely, first. You’re not welcome on Utopia. So get out’. Danger launches a projectile from her mouth, and remarks that she can see Armor still has issues. ‘But I’m needed here, Frost says so. I’m going to reform the prisoners’ she explains. The projectile slams into Hiskao’s armor, but doesn’t penetrate it. ‘Really? You? Reform them? How are you going to reform anyone?’ Armor asks, her mind flashing back some months ago. ‘You talked my best friend into killing himself. Made the students see him as a bloodthirsty ghoul out to kill us all. That’s how they remember Wing. Thanks to you’ Armor exclaims.
Danger stands up and admits that she has certain regrets. ‘I don’t care. Get out!’ Armor declares. ‘You know everything’s changed since then’ Danger tells her, pointing out that they fought to save the Earth - side by side on Breakworld. ‘It would be impossible for you not to understand -’ Danger begins, but Hisako shifts her armor, creating three claws on each fist. ‘”Understand” these. Bub’ she declares, making reference to what she has learned from Wolverine, she lunges at Danger, who has also shifted her form, to combat Armor, telling her that this will not bring her friend back. ‘Shut up!’ Armor screams while Danger tries to break through the armor.
‘I’m simply pointing out that this assault won’t actually help anyone -’ Danger begins, before Armor exclaims ‘I said - SHUT UP!’ and shoves her armor-claws toward Danger - stopping inches from her face, as Danger’s hand presses against Armor’s fist, the her claws reaching through Danger’s fingers. Danger tells Armor that she still has all of her Danger Room sessions recorded in her memory, so she knows all her moves, strengths and weaknesses. ‘You can’t beat me’ she tells her. ‘You know what I have to say to that?’ Danger asks. ‘Snikt’ she declares as she extends her armor-claws, shoving them into Danger’s face.
Armor screams and begins to rip through Danger savagely. Suddenly, ‘If you’re quite done with your “salute to Wolverine” Danger declares, appearing behind Armor, with a weapon pointed at her. ‘You sanctimonious bitch!’ Armor declares. ‘And channeling Emma Frost…I’d like for us to talk’ Danger declares. ‘But if you insist on continuing, I will begin utilizing lasers. Which we both know go right through your armor’ Danger declares. ‘Fine’ Hisako mutters, dropping her armor, they stand face to face. ‘You want to talk? Then tell me. Why are you here? Weren’t you trapped in the Danger Room computer for years?’ she asks. ‘And now you want to live with us? The people who “oppressed you”? That’s so sick!’ Hisako declares, comparing Danger’s situation to “Battered computer program syndrome”.
‘I’m here to understand humanity’ Danger explains. ‘Fine. So join a reality show. Or move to New York City. But you can’t be here. This is a haven for mutants. And you being here spits on Wing’s memory!’ Armor shouts. ‘But…Wing is the reason I’m here’ Danger exclaims. ‘Ever since Breakworld, whether I’m working on new programs…or accessing files. Or even in shutdown mode. I see him. Wing. Everywhere. I’ve dumped his file. Purged my memory banks of his records. But nothing works. He just keeps coming back. Just standing. Smiling at me. Waving’ Danger reveals. She adds that she hoped understanding the nature of mutants could help her find a way to fix this error. ‘To finally erase him from my operating system’.
Wide-eyed, Hisako exclaims ‘Oh my God. That’s no error. That’s guilt. You feel…guilty’. Danger tells her not to be ridiculous. ‘Programs don’t feel guilt’ she remarks. ‘You felt anger and resentment against Xavier for years. And you’re definitely condescending. So why not guilt?’ Armor asks. ‘Since the Shi’ar technicians said your hybrid programming doesn’t explain your having emotions…you probably do belong here. Because you’re a - a mutant. A mutant program, but a mutant all the same’ Armor declares.
Danger’s mouth drops, and pauses, before asking Hisako how she resolves this guilt. ‘Depends. In some cases, it’s incurable’ Armor tells her. ‘Incurable?’ Danger asks. ‘Hello? Have you met Scott Summers?’ Armor jokes, before putting a hand on Danger’s shoulder and leading her back to the control booth, telling her that she will help her learn about mutants. ‘Let me tell you about a fine one. His name was Wing…’.
‘Looking good, y’all!’ Cannonball calls out to Magik, Anole, Mercury and Rockslide, who are all helping him work on getting the garden ready. The three younger mutants are carrying some rocks out of the dirt-covered field, and Anole mutters to his teammates ‘This sucks. We’re supposed to be in the field, not a field’. Rockslide and Mercury drop their rocks, and Anole tells them that they should be more concerned with the seeds of hate than the seeds of wheat. ‘Ain’t that supposed to rhyme, ya dope?’ Rockslide asks. ‘Meh, close enough. How about this one? I signed on to be an X-Man, not an X-farmer!’ Anole declares.
‘Is that right?’ Cannonball asks as he stands over Anole. ‘Care to enlighten me on the difference?’ he asks, frowning. ‘With all due respect, Sam, anyone can farm. As mutants, this is a waste of our time’ Anole declares. ‘Last time I checked, mutants need to eat’ Cannonball replies. ‘Then we should send someone to the store! I mean, hello? Does the army have a “farming unit”? I don’t think so!’ Anole declares. Cannonball tells him that Cyclops doesn’t seem to think they are wasting their time, considering he approved this project. ‘But if you think you know better, fine. We got enough -’ Cannonball begins, but Anole exclaims ‘Thank you!’ and begins to leave the field. Walking past Magik, he remarks ‘You get what I’m saying - right, Magik?’. But Magik glances sideways at Anole as he walks past her, sheepishly - before he suddenly vanishes - teleported away by Magik!
‘What the -?’ Anole asks as he lands in a desert. ‘Crap’ he mutters, looking around at the never-ending landscape.
‘What, you think this lizard can’t survive in the big, scary desert? Well I got news for you, Magik!’ Anole shouts out, confidently.
Anole is playing on the side of a cliff. ‘Bam! Fa-kow! Cyclops, get down! I got this!’ he exclaims.
‘Soooooooo boooooored!’ Anole mutters, lying against a mound.
‘No water…so I guess this isn’t a cactus. Great’ he mutters as a small plant crumbles in his hands.
Anole is sitting under a ledge to escape the heat of the sun, when suddenly, a canister of water is dropped nearby. He quickly grabs the canister and begins drinking the water, while Magik stands over him. ‘What is your problem? Are you insane?’ Anole asks, wiping his mouth. ‘Any longer without water and you’d be dead’ Magik tells him. ‘What? Are you serious? What if you couldn’t find me!’ Anole exclaims. ‘There is always the store -’ Magik tells him as she begins to teleport away. But Anole grabs her by the shoulder, telling her not to go, and that he gets it.
‘I’ve had a lot of time to think and I realized that without making our own food, we - well - we could all die’ he admits, nervously. ‘HAMMER, of God knows who could come along. They could cut us off from our supplies and stuff at any moment!’ Anole points out. ‘And that’s something I wouldn’t have thought of back on Earth if I’d taken a second to use my brain’ Anole admits. He tells Magik that she was right and he was wrong. ‘I’ve learned my lesson’ he assures her.
Raising her arm, Magik replies ‘Lesson? This was no lesson. I sent you here because it made me sick to look at you’ she reveals. Anole closes his eyes, before screaming ‘WHAT?’ Stepping Disks surround Magik and Anole as they teleport back to Earth. ‘But that lesson sounds like a good one to have learned. You better be careful or you may need to learn some other lessons’ Magik warns Anole.
‘Victor!’ Mercury exclaims as Anole and Magik return to the field. ‘Holy crap!’ Rockslide shouts. ‘Thank the Lord! Illyana, you don’t do that you your teammates’ Cannonball tells Magik. Mercury turns her arm into a weapon sharp weapon and asks ‘Did you she send you to Limbo? AGAIN?’ as she points her arm at Illyana’s throat. ‘Everything’s okay! I’m totally fine!’ Anole assures everyone. Cannonball asks him if he is sure and suggests that Doctor Nemesis should check it out. ‘No, really, I’m fine. And you were right, Sam. I was being a real jerk’ Anole admits.
‘In fact, I’m in the mood for some - farming’ Anole declares as he struggles to pick up a large rock. ‘Well, I’ll be…’ Cannonball smiles ,before telling everyone that the show is over and to get back to work. ‘What the heck happened?’ Rockslide asks as Anole carries the rock off the field, and looks at Magik, who frowns as she knees down to dig another hole in the field.
On the edge of Utopia, a glass coffin is dropped into the ocean - the body of Lillian Crawley-Jeffries a.k.a. Diamond Lil inside it. At the waters edge, Lillian’s estranged husband Madison Jeffries looks down, while their fellow former Alpha Flight members Wolverine a.k.a. Logan and Jean-Paul “Northstar” Beaubier stand nearby. Jeffries’ X-Club teammate Doctor Nemesis stands behind them, while Scott “Cyclops” Summers stands further up the bank. ‘I met Lillian Crawley’ what feels like a hundred lifetimes ago’ Jeffries thinks to himself. ‘The first time I saw her was through glass. Part of me preferred it that way. That separation between us’. But Jeffries reminds himself that the separation didn’t last, as Lil wouldn’t let it. ‘That’s not who she is. Lil is visceral. Raw. Alive. I can’t believe this is happening. Oh, God, how did this happen?’
‘Jeffries! Jeffries! Good Lord, man. What’s gotten in to you?’ Doctor Nemesis asks his teammate, walking over to him as he awaits on the landing pad. Jeffries stands and looks out to the Blackbird. He knows Diamond Lil is coming - and that he would not be able to avoid her any longer. That’s what Utopia is - a home for all mutants, and Lil needed that right now. ‘After what I did to her. I just didn’t think…I didn’t think it would be so soon’. Lil arrives, exiting the Blackbird wearing her classic green and yellow costume. She smiles, she looks happy, beautiful. Jeffries tells himself that Lil deserves to be happy after everything she has been through in her life, everything she has survived. Jeffries watches as Lillian follows the Beast across the landing pad and thinks to himself ‘She deserves to be here without me’.
Jeffries is in one of the labs, tinkering with a machine. A version of his old Box armor stands against a wall. ‘This is what I’m good at. Glass. Metal. Machines. Robots. Well, as long as they don’t think too much’. Jeffries tells himself that tinkering just gets in the way, while feeling just hurts. ‘It’s better that I just stay in here, away from the others. Away from her’. Suddenly, ‘Did you think I wouldn’t find you?’ Diamond Lil asks as she stands in the doorway of Jeffries’ lab. ‘Dammit’ Madison thinks to himself. Lil looks annoyed, and folds her arms across her front. ‘What kind of man are you? Are you even a man? Look at you in here, with all your garbage…hiding’ she declares.
‘Don’t you have anything to say to me, Madison? Anything to say to your wife?’ Madison approaches Lil, and tells her that she is sorry. ‘You’re sorry. That’s great. You hurt me like I’ve never bee hurt before. And then you left me to die’ Lil exclaims. ‘You know I couldn’t stop it…Lil…I’m so sorry!’ Madison declares. Lil frowns and spins around, leaving his workshop, she tells him that she knows this island is not that big. ‘But if I see you again, I’ll kill you’ she warns him.
Madison hangs his head. He knows Lillian is passionate. And he knows she is right. ‘I hurt her. I can say it wasn’t my fault all I want, but it doesn’t change what happened’ he tells himself. So Jeffries pulls back and puts up the glass between them, deciding that it is better this way.
Jeffries buries himself in his work. There is enough of it here. The entire installation is a disaster, and given his abilities, he is best suited for much of the work. He, Beast and Nemesis meet with the senior X-Men including Angel, Wolverine and the White Queen. The others help brainstorm, but Jeffries is left to do the work - he doesn’t mind that, in fact he prefers it. It keeps him away from people - it keeps him away from his estranged wife.
Wearing a special suit, Jeffries uses his powers to transmute various mechanical pieces in a large chamber. ‘Air, water, power, flotation, communications, defenses, structural integrity. Honestly…it’d have been easier to start from scratch’. But he knows that some things simply cannot be repaired. ‘Sometimes, it’s smarter to not even try’.
‘Madison’ Lil calls out, while Madison is fixing something under his desk. ‘Uh. Hey, Lil…do you have to kill me now? Because that seems a little unfair’ he tells Lillian who is sitting down, leaning against the wall. ‘Marrina’s dead’ Lillian announces. ‘I…I know’ Madison replies. ‘She was one of us, and now she’s gone’ Diamond Lil declares. ‘The Marrina I knew died a long time ago’ Madison replies. ‘Everyone I care about. One by one. They’re dying’ Diamond Lil remarks, hanging her head, before telling Madison ‘You left me, you made a vow to me, but you left’. Madison tells Lil that he never wanted to hurt her, and that he thought she would be happier without him. ‘Do I look happy, Madison?’ Lil asks, before getting up and leaving.
Madison Jeffries stands in the door of Diamond Lil’s quarters. ‘I can create. That’s my gift. I can make anything I can imagine out of metal, glass, you name it. She’s so beautiful. With people, I can’t create. I just destroy. I betray. I want to be with her. But I know I can never be. I know that if I’m with her, she’ll just be hurt again’ Madison thinks to himself as he stares at Lilllian. He turns and leaves, but Lil stirs: ‘nnn…Madison?’ she calls out.
Madison is in his workshop again, tinkering away, he thinks to himself that it is so much easier to be alone. ‘To be a machine’ he tells himself as he looks at his Box armor. Suddenly, ‘HEY! JERK!’ Diamond Lil shouts. ‘Lil?’ Jeffries asks as Lil storms over, wearing a pink dress, she grabs him by his jacket and asks Madison why he is doing this to her. ‘You keep finding me! I’m trying to leave you alone!’ Madison tells her. ‘You’re trying to run! Surrounding yourself with your machines, hiding…this is what happens! When it gets too hard, you leave!’ Lillian exclaims, tears streaming from her eyes.
‘I loved you, Madison, and I know you loved me. Why wasn’t it enough?’ Lil asks. ‘Why didn’t you fight for what we had? Why didn’t you fight for me?’. Madison thinks to himself that he should run, that he should get out, but he tells Lil that he would die for her if he could take it all back. ‘I would. But I can’t’. Madison tells himself that he will only hurt Lil again, before telling Lil that he loves her, that she has every right to hate him. ‘I understand. And I’ll leave this place tonight if it makes things easier for you’ he tells her.
‘I only ever wanted you to be happy. I just think you’re better off with…with some separation’ Madison explains. ‘I’m not happy. I’m Diamond Lil. Nothing can hurt me. But somehow, you keep doing it!’ Lil declares. Madison suddenly takes Lil’s right hand: ‘Lil…’ he begins. ‘Shut up. I don’t want to be alone anymore, Madison’ Lillian exclaims.
The Box armor stands against the wall, as if starring at Madison and Lillian, who are on the floor across the workshop. Lillian leaning into Jeffries, a blanket over their naked bodies. ‘Remember when we first me?’ Lillian asks. ‘I do’ Madison replies. ‘I saw you looking at me. Checking me out. You were cute. Spying on me through the window like that. You fell for me hard. First sight’ Lillian recalls. Diamond Lil tells Jeffries that she wants him to look at her like that forever. ‘Like you did through that glass. Promise’ Lil asks.
‘Promise’ Madison replies, and Lil smiles, before telling Madison that she doesn’t blame him for anything. ‘All the bad stuff…our marriage…I know who I am. I’d leave me, too’ she tells him. ‘Never again’ Madison smiles. ‘We’re going to make it this time, aren’t we’ Lillian declares.
A storm brews over Utopia - and an hour later, Lillian Crawley-Jeffries a.k.a. Diamond Lil is dead.
Four days later, Madison Jeffries puts her in a glass box and drops her to the bottom of the ocean, deciding that the separation is better for them.
Cannonball is lounging around outside on Utopia, while Magma and Surge are having a mock-battle nearby. Surge unleashes a blast of energy - it streaks skyward and almost collides with a jet which is flying nearby. ‘WHOA!’ the pilot exclaims, while an officer radios to him, asking ‘Tiger 01, what was that?’. ‘Some kind of energy blast almost hit me!’ the pilot replies. ‘Surge! Geez, you almost hit that fighter jet!’ Magma points out. Well, you jumped high - I dunno’ Surge replies, before telling Cannonball that they may need his help. ‘We may have just started a war!’ she exclaims.
‘An’ how am Ah s’posed to do that? I’m no telepath’ Cannonball replies. ‘I dunno, go up there and sky-write or something’ Surge suggests. ‘Yeah, just write “out bad” our something’ Magma suggests. ‘”Our bayd”? That what the kids say these days?’ Cannonball asks. ‘Yeah, like ten years ago’ Surge smirks. Cannonball tells the girls to stand back. ‘Mmmmkay!’ they exclaim, watching him and smiling, before Cannonball blasts into the air, and “writes” “Our bad” with his blast. ‘It’s all good, buddy!’ he calls out to the pilot, who radios to his commander, announcing ‘They’re sky-writing something. Looks like they wrote “Our bad”!’
‘They’re…”bad”?’ the commanding officer replies. ‘So. They think they’re tough, do they?’ he remarks, before telling the pilot that he is free to engage. ‘Ten-four’ the pilot replies, before remarking ‘See how bad you think this missile is!’. ‘Uh?’ Cannonball remarks as he sees the missile launched and follow him. ‘He’s attacking us!’ Magma exclaims as Cannonball blasts towards Utopia, with the missile and fighter jet hot on his tail. ‘What the -! I got this!’ Surge exclaims, but Magma tells her to wait. ‘Sam’s still up there! Let him handle it!’ she tells her. ‘Argh. You’re right. I’ve done enough already’ Surge mutters.
Cannonball swiftly dodges the missile, and ends up flying alongside it, wondering how he stops it, before supposing he will just punch it - and he does so, causing it to explode high above Utopia. ‘Whoa!’ Surge exclaims. ‘Sam!’ Magma calls out, concerned. ‘Phew’ both girls remark as Cannonball blasts free of the explosion. Sam lands on the island, and exclaims ‘Tarnation! What’s got this hombre all fired up!’ Magma tells Sam that what he wrote looks like “UR bad”. ‘Shoot! Well, sky-writing a perfect “o” is tough, y’know!’ Cannonball exclaims. Surge points to the approaching jet and tells Sam that she hopes he is better at deflecting jet bullets, because the pilot is taking another pass at them. ‘Aw heck. Ya’ll stay here!’ Sam calls out as he takes flight once more.
His blast-field making him invulnerable, Sam approaches the jet, the bullets bouncing off him, Sam decides he better use a full blast force, and energy explodes around him. The pilot calls out to his commander: ‘Damn! This mutie can punch rockets and deflect bullets!’. The commander gives the pilot clearance to use the blaze-gun, to which an officer seated nearby monitoring the pilot announces that the blaze-gun is experimental. ‘It’s not combat ready -’ she points out, but the pilot replies that it is okay, that he will use it. ‘These muties need to learn their place in the sky!’ he exclaims. ‘Good. Tiger-01, fire!’ the commander orders.
Several flaming bullets suddenly explode from the jet fighter, which speed towards Sam. ‘Whoa! Hot stuff!’ Cannonball calls out, while the pilot announces that he has a lock, and that the blaze gun is full charged. ‘Fire!’ the commander orders again - but the pilot shouts ‘Gah!’ as the blaze-gun blows up. ‘Losing control - bailing out fast!’ he announces. ‘Ugh’ the commander mutters. ‘I told you it was experimental’ the officer remarks, to which the commander tells her to shut up. ‘Tiger-01, eject immediately!’ the commander orders. As the jet plummets to the water surrounding Utopia, the pilot announces that he can get the jet back, while Cannonball blasts alongside the jet. ‘The mutant. He’s…’ the pilot begins. ‘Attacking?’ the commander screams.
‘Hang on! I’ma land you!’ Cannonball calls out as he holds onto the jet. ‘He’s trying to - help me land!’ the pilot announces. Cannonball takes hold of the jet, and pushes it downwards, towards Utopia. ‘Wow. Cannonball is pretty good’ Surge remarks. ‘Yep’ Magma agrees, as Cannonball gets ever closer - until finally, he lands the jet safely. ‘Tiger-01 has landed!’ the officer announces. ‘Thank God’ the commander declares, while Cannonball exclaims that this is too much excitement for his day off.
Suddenly, the pilot appears: ‘Hey, mutant! Why’d you fire on me, then decide to rescue me later?’ he asks. Cannonball informs the pilot that they were just training and tried to tell him it was an accident. ‘Yeah. And you were flying too low’ Surge mutters, while Magma shushes her. ‘Well, if the blaze-gun didn’t shut down my jet…’ the pilot remarks. ‘So you understand then…?’ Cannonball asks. ‘What?’ the pilot asks. ‘Human or mutant…we all combust sometimes!’ Sam exclaims. ‘Heh!’ the pilot smiles.
‘And now we have a sweet jet to play with!’ Cannonball points out. But the pilot replies that he has to take the jet in for repairs ASAP. ‘Eh. Don’t actually need a jet anyway’ Sam replies. ‘Hey. Don’t rub it in!’ the pilot exclaims. ‘That’ guy’s beard is crazy!’ Magma whispers to Surge. ‘Seriously!’