Rogue’s unconscious body lies uncomfortably close to the raging waves crashing against the cliffside rock. Her teammates are unable to come to her rescue as they’re too busy fighting a newly arrived gang of super-powered bad guys. Sabretooth orders his people not to mess around so they can be done with it and get to Rogue. It’s easier said than done as the Exiles are initially forced on the defensive.
Blackdog introduces himself and his team, Panther’s Bloodforce, to Mystiq and pins him against the ground. He claims they’ve never been beaten.
Nearby, Psylocke tangles with Rough Justice, who can generate force beams from the palms of his hands. He fires away at Psylocke who uses her agility to barely avoid getting hit. The rock she was standing on a moment earlier is blown to bits.
Sabretooth notices his teammates getting hammered, but can’t let up in his fight against the red-headed woman. He delivers a devastating punch that draws blood. The woman only smiles, revealing four fanged teeth, two at the top and two at the bottom. She grabs Sabretooth by the neck and hoists him into the air. She introduces herself as Bloodwitch and claims to sense the richly heroic soul within him. She sinks her teeth deep into his neck and hopes his blood tastes just as sweet.
Psylocke sees this and cries out Creed’s name. She deals Rough Justice a powerful overhand right and then puts him into a throwing hold, tossing the young man at Bloodwitch. Sabretooth is knocked free and both he and Bloodwitch fall to the ground.
Psylocke rushes over to check on Sabes. He gets up, pupils red, and tells Psylocke he’s fine. Psylocke is shocked, but has no time to ponder the reality of it all as Creed immediately punches her in the gut. She doubles over and receives another punch across the face. Psylocke responds with a high kick, which Sabretooth catches with his hand. He tosses her down to the ground.
Bloodwitch crouches over Psylocke, eager to get her fangs on another tasty meal. Psylocke activates her TK to keep the witch at bay. It works for the moment, but she worries for how long.
Suddenly a giant lightning bolt arcs across the sky. The rain starts pouring down and Panther’s Bloodforce suddenly find themselves alone. Rough Justice wonders what’s happening and Bloodwitch blames it on the weather witch. They then converse over whether or not they should leave. Bloodwitch figures the one who fell into the water is probably dead and the big guy is now under her control so they can split.
The vampire couldn’t be more wrong as Rogue suddenly finds herself mouth to mouth with a young man. She breaks the liplock, her thoughts racing as to what happened and to the identity of her rescuer. She mentally thanks him, but thinks he better not make a habit of it.
They make their way to shore where Rogue explains the last thing she remembers. The young man supposes it was a concussion blast from Rough Justice. He tells her Panther’s Bloodforce is a rough bunch and there’re worse ones out there than those three.
Rogue stumbles and her new friend catches her. She pushes him away and says she’s fine. He sarcastically agrees. Once onshore Rogue follows her rescuer through a safe passage to the inland. When they reach higher elevation Rogue spots the town they saw when the Exiles initially arrived, but now completely destroyed.
They make their way to the town and Rogue is surprised to find no survivors, yet no dead bodies anywhere. The man tells her the folks in Genosha know when a storm’s coming and have learned from experience how to handle it. Rogue asks if that means they ran. He tells her it’s the smart move; they can rebuild their homes, but not their lives.
The man then holds out his hand and introduces himself as Remy and tells her most people call him Gambit. Rogue doesn’t take his hand, but does tell him her name. He asks if that’s her only name. Rogue asks if he’s got a problem with that. Gambit tells her no.
Rogue wants to know if he has any information on her friends, if they were involved in the battle and if they were captured or escaped. Gambit isn’t sure, but he doesn’t think they were taken by Bloodforce since there was a powerful storm at the end. He assumes they were taken by Ororo herself.
Gambit notes the look of incomprehension on her face and asks if she knows who he’s talking about. Rogue says she doesn’t have a clue. Gambit asks how she couldn’t know basic things about the world. Rogue tells him to consider her a new arrival, learning as she goes. She asks him to tell her more about it. She mentions the meteor strike. Gambit calls it a tsunami.
Gambit explains the meteor strike initially struck the western hemisphere and the east coast was pretty much wiped out, the continent being split down the middle, flooded from the Caribbean to Hudson Bay. He adds that Central America was shattered into a chain of islands and that Brazil, Cuba, England and Japan were no more. Best estimates claimed almost 2/3rds of the human population died that day.
They found ways to survive and prosper from the disaster, Gambit adds, though they’re back to fighting and killing each other again… just plain stupid.
Gambit apologizes for rambling and explains if her friends were taken by Ororo she’ll have them in her home in Alexandria. He warns her they’ll have to cross through Panther country to get there.
Rogue asks if there’s anything she can do to help him. She owes him her life and doesn’t like having open debts. Gambit tells her it’s not necessary, but Rogue insists. Gambit relents and says his parents are in danger. Rogue offers assistance. Gambit sarcastically asks if she can fly, not really expecting it. Rogue smiles and lifts herself off the ground.
Psylocke awakens and finds herself lying on an opulent bed, dressed in fanciful garb. She supposes she’s no prisoner and gets out of bed and starts exploring. She walks in on Creed, propped up on pillows in a meditative pose. She stares at him wondering if he’s still under the control of the vampire witch. Sabes catches her scent and invites her in, promising not to bite.
Sabretooth explains he was thinking about Bloodwitch and admits she was a more formidable foe than he thought. He says she took him by surprise and promises that won’t happen again. That’s when a familiar looking man wearing an eye patch walks in. He tells Sabretooth that once the witch tags someone she becomes a hard lady to shake. Sabretooth says he’s different. The man says that’s what he thought too.
Psylocke exclaims, “Logan?!” Logan says only a few people know him by that name, most calling him Wolverine, and he wonders why he doesn’t remember her. Psylocke tells him it’s a long story. Logan still wants to hear it.
Sabretooth butts in and explains they’re from other dimensions and are in charge of protecting the structural integrity of Cross-Time. Psylocke is puzzled why Wolverine doesn’t look very surprised. Logan explains he’s been around, but does want to know why they’re there.
Sabretooth moves to stand in front of Wolverine, his body language intimating he’s the alpha male in the room. He tells Logan his world needs help. Logan says they’re 30 years too late. Sabretooth replies if that were the case they wouldn’t be there. He tells Logan he can’t bluff him and to stop wasting his time. Logan senses a challenge coming from the burly Exiles leader. Psylocke, tired the testosterone in the room, tells the two men to stop already.
Logan instructs the two Exiles to follow him. Sabretooth asks where they’re going, but Logan is tight-lipped. Psylocke asks if he knows about their friends. Wolverine says they may know about the girl, but have no idea about the guy.
They reach their destination and find Ororo sitting upon a throne having a conversation with Kang and some of his Atlantean friends. Kang is in the middle of thanking Queen Ororo for her concerns about the political situation in Atlantis, but tells her it’s unnecessary. He claims that whatever the fate of Namor the realm will endure.
Ororo points out that he keeps referring to Namor in the past tense. Kang says he’s merely facing reality. Ororo asks if he’s hinting for her to mind her own business. Kang sidesteps the question, but insinuates that was his meaning. Ororo thanks him for coming and says she’ll have her decision to him soon. Kang has one final piece of advice for the queen before leaving. He suggests that for someone who lives near the ocean she would do well to remember who her true friends are.
Wolverine jokes they came at the wrong time. Ororo complains about Kang and then gives Wolverine a passionate kiss. Wolverine introduces their two guests, Sabretooth and Psylocke. Ororo informs them that times are currently tense and if Namor has truly been overthrown it will be a great tragedy for the world.
Psylocke asks about her friends. Ororo says she knows nothing about the gentleman, but she has an awareness of movement across the southern Sahara, a flight signature she’s unfamiliar with. She adds that the Atlantean rebels have aligned themselves with the Panther and they have to move quickly to save Namor so saving her friends is unfortunately not their first priority. She brokers a deal with Psylocke, that if she’ll help them save their world they’ll help find her friends.
the heart of the Libyan Desert
Rogue, with Gambit straddling her shoulders, flies near the vicinity of Wadi Howar. They spot some tents on the ground and Gambit tells Rogue it’s the last place anyone would look for his father. Rogue observes someone near the tents dragging a little girl behind him and tells Gambit to look again.
Sure enough there’s a man on the ground scolding a little girl for her behavior, threatening that she’s going to pay the price. Rogue lands in front of them and tells the guy to pick on someone his own size. The man is nonplussed and tells Rogue to surrender or he’ll kill the girl. Then someone taps him on the shoulder and when the man turns he’s decked by Gambit. The man falls to the ground and Gambit tells him to leave his sister alone. Rogue tells Gambit to take care of his sister while she handles the rest.
Inside the tent, the hoodlums are getting restless. They wonder what’s taking Samood so long. Then the tent door opens revealing Rogue carrying Samood by the back of his shirt. She asks them if this is the guy they’re waiting for. Then she throws Samood’s limp body at them and commences with the fisticuffs. They don’t stand a chance and just for fun she throws one of the men out of the tent so Gambit, or “G” as she’s started calling him, can have some fun too.
With all the mooks taken care of Gambit checks on the rest of his family. He finds his mother and two other siblings shackled, but otherwise in good health. His mother, Sue Storm, asks after Ari. Gambit tells her they rescued her first. Then he takes her shackled wrists and breaks her free. Sue stretches out her arms, turning one translucent, and remarks on how you never realize how much you depend on your superpowers until you can’t use them.
Gambit hugs Erin and Johnny and asks after their father. He finds Namor in the next tent over, chained up and looking worse for the wear. He asks his father if he’s hurt to which Namor admits he’s felt better. Gambit breaks the restraints and sets his father free.
Namor can’t believe his plans were foiled by a bunch of bandits. Sue tells him to plan better next time. Namor agrees and hopes his son will learn from his mistakes. He places his hand on Gambit’s shoulder and tells him a good leader must be ready for anything. Gambit looks stoic as he says he’ll try. Namor tells him he knows and then asks how he plans on saving the world.