Crystal Palace, Situation Room
The collapsing of the Omniverse has kept Cat and Sabretooth’s attention for far too long. Sabretooth wants to know what’s going on with the “away” team.
Cat brings Psylocke up on the monitor and explains her transformation into Lady Mandarin; Psylocke’s alternate on this Earth who was murdered by Slaymaster. Cat then discusses Psylocke’s new penchant for speaking Chinese and makes note of the facial tattoo she’s recently been sporting. Next, Cat highlights the French capture of the British Queen, Sage and Morph. Lastly, she explains Rogue, Mystiq and Gambit’s team-up with Dame Emma Frost and her young team, Force-X, with the intention of stopping the French.
Sabretooth is disappointed to discover all that’s happened while their attention was diverted. “Man-o-man, you turn your back on this crowd for no time at all… and just look at what happens!”
Morph and Sage are currently being held below deck on one of the French ships. They’re shackled at the wrists, which are wrapped around wooden support beams. Their watchman is Purge, one of the French para-normals gifted with a telepathic power.
Purge introduces himself and comments on Morph and how his data streams are completely contradictory on many fundamental levels. He remarks on how much joy he’ll have taking his mind apart. However, first things first as Purge must finish the process on Sage. Sage, pouring sweat, tells him to be careful what he wishes for.
Purge tells the young woman to cease her talking as her psyche can’t handle the strain. He explains she’s been injected with a psychic neutralizer, designed specifically for her powers. Sage says she’ll continue to fight it. Purge smiles and says that’ll make his triumph all the sweeter.
Purge goes into more detail on the neutralizer, explaining it was developed by Napoleon’s friend Ogun and it works to drain the conscious identity of the injected person and from there that person can be reprogrammed as a loyal and willing servant of France.
Surge kneels down beside Sage, looking at her face to face. He takes off her ruby shades and strokes the side of her face with his gloved hand. He tells her resistance is pointless and that she belongs to him.
Suddenly, Sage’s face changes to that of Diana Fox. She breaks free of the shackles and takes stock of Purge. Purge is taken aback, her hair and eyes have changed and he has no idea what’s happening. Diana reels back and delivers a punishing blow that knocks Purge crashing into a bunch of wooden crates. She continues the physical attack until Purge resorts to his astral self.
Diana also releases her astral self, but her form has no face. Purge makes a comment on it to which Diana explains Sage’s identity has been wiped away and though she has control of the body, the soul is still up for grabs.
Purge’s physical body reels backward in pain. He demands to know what Diana is doing to him. However, Diana is experiencing the same exact thing. She thinks it must be Sage trying to reassert control. Suddenly, there’s a bright flash and the both of them crumple to the floor, unconscious.
Outside, a storm is a brewin’, literally. Thunder, lightning and a torrential downpour hamper the French soldiers on the streets. Marcel, Sebastian, Domenic and others head for cover from the painful pelting.
While on the other side of the shore, Aurion begins the second phase of Force-X’s assault by freezing the harbor waters. The sounds of holes being punched through the ship’s hulls reaches Aurion’s ears and she’s pleased.
A direct assault comes next as Starbolt and Sunspot travel by snowmobile toward the ships firing their optic and telekinetic blasts respectively.
“Victory not quite going as planned, Admiral?” the Queen asks with a smirk, aboard one of the French ships. The Admiral tells her it’s no more than an annoyance.
While outside the ships Sunspot remarks on the French soldiers thoughts and how Starbolt should be happy she can’t hear them. Starbolt tells Sunspot to keep his telepathy focused on the powered soldiers as they’re the ones they need to worry about. The cocky Sunspot tells her to follow his lead then.
Back on the ship, the Admiral tells Gigantor to deal with the problem. Gigantor acquiesces and leaps overboard as he grows to twenty times his original size. He smashes through the ice depriving the young upstarts of their transportation capabilities. Both Force-X’ers are sent flying, Sunspot getting scooped up by Gigantor and Starbolt falling into the freezing waters of the ocean.
Starbolt is sent into a slight shock by the water and has some trouble orienting herself. Luckily Gambit is on scene and swims over. He plants his lips on hers, giving her a rescue breath. It turns out to be a flimsy excuse to kiss her as he then produces an oxygen pack and places it on her mouth. The old Gambit charm worked, as Starbolt can’t stop her heart from racing. Gambit leaves, though, and takes the fight to the big man.
Gigantor feels a great impact against his leg from under the water. He loses his balance and falls backward, slamming the back of his head into one of the ships. Puma comes on scene and takes a leaping punch at Gigantor’s mouth. Puma tells him to stay down, but Gigantor has a better idea. He shrinks down to normal size and whallops Puma real good. Puma looks like he’s headed for the freezing waters, but timely webbing courtesy of Spider keeps him on board.
Upon landing they face some of the regular French sailors and dispatch them pretty easily, which is good because Carronade and Salvo have entered the party. They both start blasting away at Puma and Spider. Spider deftly avoids everything fired at him and manages to wrap up Carronade in his webbing. Salvo sees the writing on the wall and heads for cover. Spider attaches the helpless Carronade to the mast.
No sooner said than done, Spider’s spider-sense starts tingling like crazy. He’s wrapped about the neck by some sort of wire. On the other end is the para-normal Garotte who tells Spider he’s as good as dead. Mystiq spots this and yells to Gambit for help. Gambit leaps out of the water carrying Starbolt and asks what he needs. Mystiq tells him of Spider’s precarious situation up the foremast. Starbolt takes care of it with an optic blast that tears the mast in half. Gambit erects a force field to catch their arachnid teammate. Mystiq, meanwhile, rushes over to Garrote and gives him the ol’ one-two knockout punch.
The French still have a few tricks up their sleeve and introduce a new player to the field, Wolftrap. Puma is the first to have a go at him, but he’s knocked back by some wolves Wolftrap manifested out of energy. Puma falls to the ground, overwhelmed by the three wild creatures. Rogue joins the fun and rips two of them off the young Puma. The third wolf isn’t too happy and leaps on her back. She drops the others and then all three gang up on her. They manage to tear off her sleeve with their teeth, revealing tribal tattoos along Rogue’s arm. Seconds later they’re blasted away by Starbolt.
Puma, back on his feet, gets his licks in on Wolftrap. He takes him out with only one punch and isn’t happy with the lack of a fight the guy put up. Starbolt assures her teammate the French have more superbeings waiting in the wings. Mystiq asks Rogue how she’s holding up. She gives him an icy, “I’m fine.”
With most of the French out of contention Force-X and the Exiles surround the Admiral and the captive Queen. The Admiral orders his last two para-normals, Salvo and Legion, to take care of them. He reminds them time is of the essence. And just like that Legion creates over a dozen copies of himself. Puma lets out an “Oh my stars and garters!” and the battle begins anew.
Psylocke touches down at the estate of the French emperor, Napoleon. She easily sneaks past the guards and makes her way to the windows outside his bedroom. She picks the lock and neutralizes the alarms. Psylocke steps inside and approaches Napoleon’s bed. Psylocke stares at his sleeping form, wondering whether she should wake him with a word or a kiss.
Napoleon opens his eyes and says one word, “Wolverine.” He then sits up and puts on his housecoat, and noting Psylocke writhing in pain tells her to stop trying to resist. Psylocke can’t seem to focus her thoughts, her body refusing to follow her mind.
Napoleon remarks on the wonderful gift his friend Ogun sent him. He smiles and says she’s all he could have hoped for and more. Psylocke yells out “No!” to which Napoleon says, “Yes.”
Napoleon walks toward Psylocke and explains that while Ogun was training her body he also was shaping her mind so that she would become his queen, subordinate to both him and Ogun. Napoleon strokes her chin and tells her she must first prove herself as his ultimate weapon against the English and the Atlanteans. He asks her if that wouldn’t be wonderful, and she says “No.”
Napoleon can’t believe it, Ogun promised the conditioning was supposed to be unbreakable. Napoleon supposes Ogun might have seen this as an opportunity to get rid of him. Psylocke says it has nothing to with that. In actuality the Emperor’s code word placed a lock on Lady Deathstrike’s psyche and allowed Psylocke to regain control of her mind and body once more.
Psylocke grabs Napoleon by the throat and tells him nobody makes her a slave. The Emperor asks if she plans on killing him. Psylocke says she’s tempted, but it’s not her style. In order to save the world, they’re going another way, she finishes.
New York Harbor
The battle continues and the odds aren’t looking good. No matter what happens Legion keeps bringing on the bad guys. Mystiq changes into different variations of French soldiers and moves through the ranks searching for the original Legion. He finds the right one and all the duplicates disappear. Rogue tells everyone to take the opportunity to check on each other and make sure they’re all ok.
A hologram appears out of nowhere showing Napoleon with Psylocke beside him. With some prodding from Psylocke Napoleon orders General Gorbachov to cease all fighting and withdraw all ships. He also tells them to release the Queen.
Up above, ‘Ro-‘Ro withdraws her storm and reports to Dame Frost the French ships are still iced in, but appear to be complying with their Emperor’s orders. She comments on the huge mess within the harbor itself.
Sage and Morph have joined their teammates topside. Sage asks Morph how he feels. Cheated, Morph tells her, as he missed out on all the fun. Gambit offers to start up another fight. Morph tells him he’s real funny. He then looks at the bright side: they saved the world by preventing a global war. He tells his teammates they did well today.
Sage takes off her shades and wonders to herself how Morph and she managed to defeat Purge. She doesn’t remember anything and Morph was unconscious the entire time.
Meanwhile, Gambit offers the Exiles’ help in securing the French and restoring the city until reinforcements arrive. Dame Frost thanks him.
Morph notices Rogue by the ship’s edge, staring out over the water. He approaches her and asks if everything is ok, if there’s anything she needs. Rogue takes to the sky without answering. Mystiq sidles up beside Morph and says Rogue is a private young woman, even with her friends. Morph says she just needs some time to herself, and if she needs them she’ll let them know. He suggests they let her be until then. Mystiq supposes Morph is right, after all he met her first.
Morph changes subject to the battle with Legion. He compliments Mystiq on being the one to take him out. He asks Mystiq how he knew which one was really him. Mystiq looks at him sideways with a devilish grin.