A helicopter with RAF markings on the exterior hovers overhead what looks like a lavish home set it the country, with a stable and barn along the perimeter. The picturesque setting is ruined, however, as dead bodies litter the grounds.
Not far away, a man carrying a bow with a quiver of arrows slung across his back leads a young boy and a red-haired woman through the smattering of trees. The man, Captain Rogers, identifies their attackers as French commandos, regular men so they wouldn’t show up on any para-normal sensors. The young boy, Prince Jeffery, doesn’t see how they’ll be able to escape from them. Their female companion, Grace, echoes his concerns.
No sooner does Rogers agree then five commandos appear out of the tree line. The prince and Grace are knocked down, leaving the Captain to the battle. He takes the first soldier out by hooking him by the neck with his bow. Then he draws his sword and duels it out with the rest. Using a combination of deft maneuvers and hand to hand combat the Captain overcomes them all.
Rogers is pleased with his handiwork and cautions the prince they’ve likely called for backup. The expression on his face sours as a knife is rammed through his back, piercing his heart. The Captain collapses to the ground, revealing Grace standing behind him with a blood-soaked knife in her hand.
Jeffrey kneels down beside the Captain and asks Grace why. Grace says it was her duty to the empire, that they’ve been planning this for years. Grace gets on the radio and begins speaking French. She identifies herself as Darkstar and tells whoever’s on the other end the “package” is secure. She then requests immediate pickup.
Transmission ended, Darkstar puts away the radio and starts waving the knife in Jeffrey’s face. She warns the young prince not to try anything stupid. Jeffrey asks if she’s going to kill him. Darkstar tells him Paris wants him alive, but not to press his luck as accidents have been known to occur on helicopters. Right on cue the helicopter is en route for retrieval.
That is until it explodes midair. Grace shields her face from the explosion and doesn’t notice that Captain Rogers is back on his feet. He leaps at her and rocks her across the face. Darkstar admits she’s impressed with his skills, she didn’t even sense he was “enhanced.” She strikes with her knife, but misses. Rogers retaliates with an elbow to the jaw. Grace manages to land a punch, but is then knocked out with a powerful overhand right. Rogers warns her not to get back up.
Captain Rogers checks on Jeffrey, who is shaken, but fine. Jeffrey has one question though, how is it he survived a knifing to the heart. Rogers explains he’s “enhanced” like Grace said, and very hard to kill. He admits she did come close and stumbles a bit as if actually saying it brought his near grave wound to reality. Jeff asks if there’s anything he can do, but the Captain requires no assistance.
Right before Jeffrey’s eyes, Rogers changes form into an older man with red hair, the Exile better known as Mystiq. Mystiq tells the young prince he’s putting everything back where it belongs, although the area where she stabbed him is still a bit sore. Jeffrey admits he’s never seen an enhanced like him before. Mystiq apologizes they weren’t able to save the estate staff during the attack. Jeffrey asks who else he’s referring to.
A voice from up above asks Mystiq how he and the boy are doing. Mystiq tells Rogue to check things out for herself. Rogue touches down, telling young Jeffrey that she took care of the helicopter and the rest of the assault force and also notified the royal garrison in Albany who’ve sent fast reaction helicopters to their location.
Prince Jeffrey is impressed and asks who they are. Rogue introduces herself and Mystiq and, noting a look of discomfort from her teammate, asks the “old man” what’s wrong. Mystiq says he doesn’t like the uniform Sabretooth picked out for him. Rogue tells him he should have said “no” like her. She then notes the woman on the ground is still alive and is surprised as she thought that mercy wasn’t Mystiq’s style. He tells her she’s wrong.
Mystiq turns his attention to Jeffrey and asks the young boy to trust them. He says once the military arrives he and Rogue will see him safely home.
Later, the trio is in the air, Rogue with her arm wrapped around Mystiq and the prince with his arms wrapped around Mystiq’s neck. Jeffrey is amazed with the new form of transportation. Taking in his comments, Rogue makes mention of some of the advantages to her flight: she doesn’t show up on radar and she can come in too low and too fast for people to see. She also suggests the next time they go up together he should wear goggles.
Mystiq’s thoughts turn toward Rogue and her obvious dislike of him. He wonders what the Mystiq analogue was like in her dimension. He guesses it would be a waste of time for him to even ask and reasserts his focus on the mission.
The Exiles are situated in the conference room, some sitting, some standing. Psylocke, coffee in hand, asks Sabretooth what’s up. Sabretooth tells her it’s Cat’s briefing. Cat sarcastically thanks him, to which Sabretooth calls her a runt and tells her to start talking.
Cat begins explaining her recent attempts at collating all the data in the palace mainframes. After a “duh” comment from Morph about the impossibility of “cataloguing the infinite” Cat explains she’s picked up “eddies and strains of ray chaos scattering through existence.” She warns the group it means serious trouble.
An Earth appears out of nowhere and Cat explains this world’s the worst of them so far. “It’s on the verge of a global conflict with ramifications that could destabilize the structure of a whole section of the Omniverse” she furthers. In summation, they have to prevent a world war between Imperial France and the British-Empire. She adds there’re no nukes, but lots of super-beings.
Sabretooth says everyone’s going and Psylocke’s taking the lead. He adds that he and Cat will stay behind and keep tabs. Psylocke is surprised at his choices causing Sabretooth to take his “arms folded pose” and ask if she has a problem with that. Psylocke merely says he caught her by surprise. Sabretooth explains that was his intention and tells her to prove how brilliant he is by saving that world.
New York City- Capital of the British Empire
Lord Iron holds a meeting with some of Britain’s finest superheroes. There are intelligence reports from the Kyhber Pass showing increased French activity. And although they’ve been receiving alerts for the past two weeks they still have no definitive evidence of a French plot. All they have to go on, he finishes, are Lady Scarlet’s “bad dreams.”
The queen asks if their naval scouts have anything to report. Lord Iron says there has been no information from anyone on either side of the Atlantic, though they are under radio silence. He adds their troops unarmed to comply with the Atlantean Rules of the Sea, but each craft has at least one alpha-class super-being assigned to the crew. He assumes they should be able to defend a vessel long enough to send a transmission.
“We hope,” the queen adds, and her worries are well founded as somewhere along the sea, a British ship is under attack. The crew is dead and their alpha class super-being, Klaw, has just been killed by Colossus, his lifeless body tossed down from the mast.
Nearby, Psylocke, Gambit, Morph and Sage are gathered on a rooftop not far from the capital building. Psylocke asks Gambit if he’s having a good time and he says it’s fantastic, so much like home, yet totally different. Psylocke explains that’s the essence of Crosstime and tells him not to get too distracted and remember he’s on a mission. Gambit smiles and says, “Yes, Ma’am.”
Morph, in gargoyle guise, is a bit put off at Gambit’s “boy in the candy store” demeanor and complains to Sage. Sage reminds him of his own immature disposition. Morph reverts back to his regular self and admits she’s got him there. He then notices Sage grabbing her head and looking uncomfortable. He asks if she’s ok. Sage says she can’t shut out all the thoughts trying to rush into her head. She says it’s a bedlam and isn’t shocked that most telepaths end up crazy.
Speaking of crazy, Psylocke suddenly whips her head backwards and yells out in pain. Gambit asks her what’s happening, but she doesn’t answer, instead falling unconscious to the ground. Morph orders Gambit to check her vitals and asks Sage to try her telepathy. She argues she has no access to any of the Exiles, but Morph tells her to try anyway.
Morph shifts to doctor mode, garbed in some scrubs and carrying defibrillators. Gambit tells him to chill out, that Psylocke is coming to. Psylocke looks into Gambit’s face and has no clue who he is. She starts speaking in Mandarin and then knocks Gambit away. She takes to the sky, yelling at everyone to leave her alone.
Everyone stares as she flies away. Morph asks if anybody knows what she’s saying. Gambit says it’s Mandarin. Morph is shocked to hear Betsy speaks Mandarin. Morph asks if Gambit can catch her, but he admits he’s not fast enough. Morph, again, asks Sage to use her telepathy. Sage tells him it’s worse when it comes to Betsy because her mind is totally blocked from all psychic contact.
This begs the question as to how she learned to speak Mandarin and why she didn’t seem to recognize anyone when she woke up. Sage is suddenly overcome with a powerful psychic image from nearby. The troopers at the Royal Palace are facing some sort of intruder and they’re scared, ready to fire their weapons. Sage probes deeper and discovers the identity of the attacker to be Havok, and that he’s building to detonation. She screams out that she can’t stop him, her eyes wide in desperation and fear.
An enormous explosion rocks the Royal Palace from the inside. Plumes of smoke burst out from the center of the building and the whole place topples. Sage collapses from the weight of the dying one’s screams. Gambit catches her and notes the tears streaming down her face. Sage says their emotions and thoughts are so primal she can’t shut them out.
The three remaining Exiles take off to the scene, Sage riding an invisible transport with Gambit and Morph gliding down pterodactyl-like wings. Morph tells Sage to scan for survivors and before she can even respond Morph yells at her to suck it up in this time of disaster. Gambit suggests Morph ease up, but Sage agrees that this needs to be about the survivors and not her.
Gambit finds the queen who describes Lord Iron’s heroics in shielding her from the blast. She asks after the rest of her heroes, but their bodies, scattered about the ruins, paints a pretty bleak picture.
Gambit asks Sage to inhibit the queen’s pain receptors to make things easier on her. Sage acquiesces and admires Gambit’s ingenuity. Then she picks up on something and alerts Morph to the trouble. Sure enough, Havok is alive and well and recharging his power. Speaking in French, he tells the queen she won’t escape her fate.
Morph wraps himself around Havok shortly before he detonates. There’s another explosion, but this time Morph contains it, though with great pain to his body. He unwraps himself from the Frenchman and is surprised to see Havok still conscious. He asks for backup because he doesn’t think he can handle another blast.
Gambit takes his cue and starts pummeling Havok. It seems to have no effect on the guy. He starts thinking of different ways to stop him, dropping him into the sea, putting up a tk shield, but he’s not sure either will work. Havok, a glutton for punishment, confides his next blast will tear apart the entire island.
That’s when Sage steps up to the plate and locks his mind inside a psychic prison. Havok drops to his knees and then collapses on his stomach. A little too late, the British forces arrive and tell the Exiles to stand down. The queen corrects them and tells them to put Havok into custody. She then orders them to alert coastal command for any sign of French activity. She defines this assault an act of war.
Though Morph is sitting down, nursing his shoulder, he’s still up to the leadership game. He tells Gambit to head to the water and patrol for any sign of a French invasion fleet, and to mess them up if he finds them. Next, he tells Sage to stick around with him and keep searching for survivors. He asks Sage to try and psi-contact Rogue and Mystiq and see how they’re doing with the prince. He also asks that she try once again to get a hold of Psylocke as they need some replacement heroes.
Morph’s disposition takes a drastic turn. He looks a bit demoralized, finally realizing he’s been bossing everyone around. Sage smiles and tells him he’s doing pretty well and should try it more often.
the fringes of space
Meanwhile, Psylocke has just finished flying all the way out to the edge of space and halfway around the world. Inside her mind, the memories of another jumble around with her own. She looks down at her fingers and wonder where her rings are that the Mandarin gave her. She remembers the Mandarin and the look of shock on his face when she killed him. Next, she can sense someone coming to kill her. A man called the Slaymaster.
It’s evening and Psylocke touches down near a lovely estate overlooking a harbor. She stands in the hallway of the opulent building, a feeling of fear coursing through her body. The words “Call me Slaymaster” that have been echoing through her head have struck a deep cord of terror. Her heart beats so hard it hurts. She looks down at the ground and sees blood and debris everywhere. Her eyes widen when she sees the lifeless body of herself lying on the floor.
Psylocke is momentarily confused, believing the person on the floor to be herself. She realizes that can’t be and begins to understand that somehow she’s received this Betsy’s memories. Looking at the corpse’s face, she sees Slaymaster took out her eyes. She wonders if he’s been after her ever since he escaped from his world with Madame Hydra. Delving even deeper, she wonders whether he’s going to be killing versions of herself until he finds her. She realizes she should have fought him back then, but she was too scared.
Psylocke senses someone behind her. She turns, but not quick enough. Whoever the mystery person is knocks her silly and she falls unconscious on top of Lady Mandarin.
Cat’s in the Observation Room eating a burger and fries and watching over her teammates. She thanks Mystiq, in absentia, for making such good food. Then she spots something so horrible that she drops her burger. Something’s happening to the core structure of reality itself. She starts running some tests, but all the data points to the Omniverse dying. She watches as stars begin blinking out, entire dimensions ceasing to exist right before her. Cat’s eyes betray no hidden emotion as she utters, “All of creation - - is coming to and end!”