‘They stink! All of them stink! Rats!’ exclaims Samuel “Sam” Guthrie a.k.a. Cannonball, co-leader of the young New Mutants as he blasts around his bedroom trying to find something to wear. Posters of Sam’s inter-stellar rock star girlfriend Lila Cheney line his walls as he holds up one shirt to his friend and teammate Doug “Cypher” Ramsey and asks him what he thinks of it. Doug assures Sam that he looks fine, and points out that it is just a party, before reminding Sam that Lila has seen him before.
Sam replies that this is not just any party, but a party to launch Lila’s new album, so it is really important to her. Sam cringes at his old-fashioned country-bumpkin clothes. ‘No sense of style!’ he exclaims in anguish as he wonders once more what he is going to wear. Pulling off the shirt, Sam mutters that he doesn’t want to embarrass Lila in front of her rock world friends - as they are pretty sophisticated-international - intergalactic even! Sam rubs his head and tells Doug that he is scared stiff that someday Lila is going to notice he doesn’t fit in and then he will lose her.
Meanwhile, down the hall in another of the rooms belonging to the New Mutants at the Xavier School, Illyana “Magik” Rasputin checks herself out in a mirror, and her teammate Danielle “Dani” Moonstar a.k.a. Mirage tells her that her outfit isn’t bad, but that it still needs something else. Standing in a corner of the room, Rahne “Wolfsbane” Sinclair exclaims that Dani and Illyana have already tried on everything they own - five times! Mirage replies ‘Not quite’ to her best friend as she rummages through a pile of clothes until she finds what she is looking for - a pink feather boa.
Rahne goes over to the radio when a special announcement comes on. The creature dubbed Bird Boy, rescued from an ice floe in the North Atlantic last week remains in quarantine on Governors Island off Manhattan pending shipment to the research laboratory… ‘Poor thing!’ exclaims Rahne, wondering if Bird Boy is a mutant or something else. ‘All alone in that chilly tower!’ she remarks, until Mirage switches the radio off, telling her best friend to forget it as it is probably a publicity stunt.
Mirage exclaims that this party is a big deal and points out that after all the worrying about Sunspot and Warlock that they have done they deserve some fun. ‘One desperate, mindless fling before midterms!’ Dani exclaims as she hands Illyana the pink feather boa, adding that tonight they can just thinks about music, dancing and clothes. ‘Fresh! Absolutely…fresh!’ Illyana exclaims admiring herself.
Mirage turns to Rahne and asks her if she isn’t getting dressed. ‘I am dressed! Rahne replies. Dani and Illyana lean in towards Rahne and Dani tells Rahne that she cannot go in like that. ‘Your hair is punk, but…’ ‘Only cause it won’t grow!” Rahne remarks. Dani asks Rahne if she doesn’t like any of these clothes, and offers her to wear her new sequined sweater. Rahne exclaims that it would be like dressing a goose in peacock feathers, and adds that it is not unstable molecules. Rahne asks what would happen if they had to use their powers, and as she transforms into her lupine form she points out that the dress she is wearing now is made from unstable molecules, but the sweater isn’t and she might rip it.
‘Good grief! We’re going to a party, not a battle! You won’t have to shift forms!’ Magik exclaims. Danielle suggests that, for once, they forget they are mutants have normal, ordinary fun, before asking Rahne if she could look like anything, what would it be? Rahne looks suspect as DanI draws from her friend[‘s mind an illusion of what she wants to look like. ‘Ah ha!’ DanI exclaims as she sees Rahne in a orange dress. Angry, Rahne tells Danielle that she shouldn’t have done that, as it was her dream and she could never look like that. ‘Pulling dream images is what I do, kid!’ Mirage replies, while Illyana mutters ‘The Cinderella look, hmmmm…’ before declaring that it is kinda Fifties and that it could be funky. Illyana then disappears via a Stepping Disk…
…and re-appears moments later, ‘Try this!’ she exclaims, handing Rahne an orange dress, just like the one seen in her dream image. Rahne hugs the dress and exclaims that it is beautiful, before asking Illyana where she got it from - before handing it back to her. Illyana asks Rahne why she won’t wear it, to which Rahne points out that she teleported for it. ‘It comes from Limbo - that Godless dimension with demons and sorceries!’ Magik asks Rahne if she is afraid that the dresses merest touch will corrupt her, before reminding her that she was raised in Limbo. ‘I come from there, too!’
Rahne replies that she knows, and that it is tempting, really, but that Reverend Craig said they must put temptation behind them. ‘Temptation? Rahne, it’s just a dress!’ Illyana exclaims as she angrily snatches it back, until Mirage tells her to cool it, as Rahne cannot help how she was raised any more than she can. Dani hands the dress back to Rahne assuring her that Magik wouldn’t have brought it here if it could hurt her, and suggests that she pretends Illyana is her fairy godmother or something. Rahne looks unconvinced, so Dani asks her to at least try it on.
Meanwhile, out on the porch, Doug stands dressed in a gray suit, while Sam is in tight jeans and a black leather vest and declares that he looks more like he is going to a Halloween party. Sam wishes that Bobby was here, as he always knew how to dress. Doug assures Sam that Bobby will be back soon, and Warlock too. ‘Magneto says so!’ Doug smiles and points out that, until then, the two of them are the only guys left, so they should stick together. ‘I’ll even hold your trick-or-treat bag!’ Doug jokes, before apologizing, then motioning to the fancy car that pulls up the drive. ‘Your girlfriend sure does things in style!’ Doug gasps as Sam begins to fly back inside, muttering ‘Sure wish I did’ as he exclaims that he has to get the girls.
Dani, Illyana and Rahne approach Sam, who then crashes into a wall. Illyana and Rahne laugh while Dani helps her fellow co-leader up asking if he is all right. Sam replies that he is okay, as nothing hurts him when he is blasting. Illyana and Rahne walk outside, and Doug smiles upon seeing Rahne all dressed up in the orange gown. Rahne looks all coy as Magik whispers to her ‘I guess temptation has its places, huh, Rahne?’
Suddenly, Magneto comes out onto the porch to inspect his five young charges. He tells Rahne that her dress is beautiful and that she looks very beautiful in it. He remarks that Dani is very stylish, but is at a loss for words when it comes to Illyana’s outfit. ‘It’s punk, sir! It’s supposed to look like this, really!’ Illyana explains, before pointing out that Sam is going for the same look. Magneto remarks that times have indeed changed since he was a boy, before informing the New Mutants that he still expects them home by one am. ‘ONE?!!’ the New Mutants exclaim in unison. Magneto smiles, before reminding them that as Headmaster he must make the rules as he sees fit, before telling his wards to have a good time and try to behave like ladies and gentlemen.
Soon, in Lower Manhattan. Glancing out the window of the car, Rahne points to the island where Bird Boy is being held. Rahne remarks that the club is really close, and suggests that Illyana could teleport them to the island. Mirage tells Rahne that they would only cause trouble and that they would end up ripping their clothes or something. Magik agrees, and points out that Bird Boy is probably being quarantined for a good reason. Cannonball tells Rahne to cheer up and assures her that they will talk about it tomorrow. ‘Tomorrow. Tonight we party!’ Cypher reminds Rahne that the Bird Boy is valuable science, so his captors wouldn’t hurt him. ‘And what could happen there in one night?’…On the island, the mysterious Bird Boy lets out a mighty squawk…..
Minutes later, ‘That’s a rolls!’ ‘Who can they be?’ ‘Rock stars?’ ‘I think I saw her in a movie!’ gasp the crowds of people outside the club as the New Mutants pull up and step out of the car. Magik tells Sam not to let the bouncer psyche him out, and reminds him that they have invitations. Sam swaggers past the bouncer without even giving him a look and waves the invitation in his face. ‘Way to go!’ whispers Illyana, as Mirage jokes that they will make a rock groupie out of Sam yet. Entering the club, the five young heroes stand in the doorway and look in. Rahne exclaims that it is beautiful, but very lout and very crowded. Sam agrees before reminding his friends that Lila said she would meet them here, so he wonders where she is.
Nearby, the glamorous Lila Cheney remarks to a man dressed in blue ‘No one invited you, Raek! Before asking him if he tricked himself in like usual, before telling him that, for old times sake, that she will not cause a scene by having him removed - unless he makes trouble. Lila tells Raek to dance, eat, drink and have a good time - but that he needs to get it through his thick Zyndarian skull that she is not interested in him or his propositions. With that, Lila storms off, and Raek calls out as she goes. Ignoring him, Lila sees her boyfriend and rushes over to him - only to be surprised at his new appearance. ‘What did you do to yourself?’ she asks.
‘Oh well, I’ve been known to change my look occasionally, too!’ Lila jokes before kissing a pleased Sam on the lips, before telling him that after they kiss he needs to come and dance with her, as she wants to show him off. ‘Dance…?’ Sam asks worriedly as he is led on to the dance floor, thinking to himself that he doesn’t match what Lila is wearing, and that she must hate the way he looks now.
Shortly, Rahne and Doug stand against a wall, and Rahne remarks that Dani and Illyana both seem to be having fun. Doug agrees, before asking Rahne if she wants to dance. Rahne replies that she can’t, as she doesn’t know how. ‘Reverend Craig thought dancing was sinful!’ Doug replies that he supposes this place is full of sinners, before admitting that he doesn’t know how to dance either and asks Rahne if she wants to check out the upstairs. Rahne replies that it would be lovely, before asking if they could eat first, as she is starving.
The two head over to the tables covered in foods and Doug asks Rahne if Reverend Craig ever told her that gluttony was a sin. ‘Why he - oh, you!’ Rahne exclaims, realizing Doug is only joking. Rahne motions across the table where she sees the man who was arguing with Lila standing with several others and glaring at Cannonball. Rahne realizes that the man is not speaking English and asks Cypher what it is he is saying. ‘How should I know?’ Doug replies. ‘Your mutant power is figuring out languages, isn’t it?’ Rahne remarks. Doug grins and reminds Rahne that Magneto said to act like a gentleman, so it is not polite to eavesdrop.
‘Tough! Do it!’ Rahne exclaims, shaking a fist at Doug. ‘Okay, okay! You convinced me!’ Doug replies, and begins concentrating on the brightly-dressed strangers. The strangers are commenting on people at the party, and mentioning many non-Earth names. Doug turns back to Rahne and reports this to her - meaning whatever language it is they are speaking, it is not from Earth. He reveals that they know Lila is a teleporter and the certainly do not like Cannonball, before adding that the bristle-leaded guy is jealous and he thinks he wants Lila for himself.
Doug and Rahne carry their food they have gathered upstairs, and Doug exclaims that he would like to see the stranger take Lila away from Sam, before suggesting to Rahne that they forget about it and start eating! Raek and the other strangers continue talking in their language, and Raek remarks that Lila’s companion may be a small cog, ‘But he’s wrecking my machinery!’ Raek reminds his comrades that he needs Lila, but with Cannonball around, she isn’t interested in what he has to offer. Raek declares that they have twenty four Earth hours before the jewels are destroyed, so Lila is their last hope. ‘But don’t worry - he won’t be in our way for long’!
With that said, Raek goes over to where Cannonball and Lila are dancing, and as Lila remarks that Sam is looking happier now, to which Sam replies that once you get used to dancing, it isn’t that bad, when you get used to it, Raek then drops some small balls on the floor - which Sam slips on as he begins to say that he is getting the hang of things, except he crashes into several other people and they all end up in heap on the floor. Lila laughs and tells Sam that what he did was an incredible move, and adds that he never does what is expected, does he.
Sam rubs his head and mutters that he thinks he needs another drink, as Raek grins at one of his companions and whispers that it is now time for phase two. While Lila continues to dance with someone else, Sam walks away glumly, telling himself that he was trying as hard as he could, and supposes that he is lucky he didn’t kill anyone with that move he made, before wondering if his real mutant power is having two left feet.
One of Raek’s female companions approaches Sam, telling him that she saw what happened out there, and offering him a drink remarks that it looks like he needs it more than she does. Sam thanks the woman, before cracking open a can of Pepsi and informing that this is all he drinks. The woman frowns, and in her native tongue, mutters to Raek that it didn’t work, so what are they to do now. Raek grits his teeth and tells his associate to leave it to him.
Raek walks over to Sam and asks ‘Lila’s your girl, huh?’ Glumly, Sam replies that she is - or at least was, because after tonight, he thinks that she will probably never wanna see him again. ‘Yeah, girls like her - they like sophisticated guys!’ Raek exclaims. ‘Guys who’ll try new stuff, who’ll show them a good time!’ Raek adds that he means no offense as he tells Sam that he is looking real mopey. Raek extends his hand to Sam, and in it are some green pills. Raek tells Sam to take them as they will make him feel better. ‘You feel better, you act better, you dig?’
Sam replies that he doesn’t want them, before looking back over at Lila dancing with some other guy, and Raek remarks that he thinks Lila is beautiful - at the height of her glory and everyone wants her tonight. ‘You gotta get out there - fight for what’s yours - or one minute she’s dancing with you, the next she’s dancing right out of your life!’ Grinning behind Sam’s back, Raek asks him if he wants that. Clearly upset, Sam takes the green pills and tosses them into his mouth.
Moments later, he heads back over to Lila, smiling, and Lila asks him if he feels better now. Sam takes Lila’s hands and replies that he does, while thinking to himself that the pills are working, for he really does feel better. Sam asks Lila if she is mad at him, to which Lila asks why would she be mad. Continuing to dance, Lila exclaims that she thinks people should build human pyramids at her parties. Sam’s vision begins to blur, and he asks Lila whatr she means by that.
Lila explains that it was a joke, before realizing something still isn’t right with Sam, and asking him if he wants to sit this one out. Holding onto his head, Sam asks Lila if she doesn’t want to dance with him, and tells her that she doesn’t have to, as there are too many people in here, so he is going outside. Lila calls out after Sam, when a man in yellow comes up beside her, asking if she wants to dance with him for old times sake. ‘Remember that time on Alderaan?’ he asks. Addressing him as Gyrk, Lila angrily tells him to bug off, before calling out to Sam once more.
Up on the balcony, Rahne motions down to the dance floor and seeing Sam, exclaims to Doug that something is wrong with him, before realizing that the aliens are all following him. Rahne drops her food and grabs Doug, ‘Come on!’ she exclaims as they run down the stairs, but getting to the dance floor, Rahne doesn’t see Sam anywhere. Doug does though, out on the outdoors balcony. The two rush outside, only to see the aliens reveal their wings and carrying Sam, they fly off. ‘Wow! They are aliens!’ Doug exclaims, before watching and wondering where they are taking Cannonball. Rahne suggests that Sam might have been drugged, and declares that they better get Dani and Illyana - if they can find them that is.
High in the air, Sam wonders what is going on, and realizes that he is flying - but not himself blasting - someone else is carrying him. Wondering who it is, he turns and sees the man who gave him the drugs - Raek - then Sam instantly blasts free of Raek and Gyrk’s grasp. One of the alien sarcastically exclaims ‘So, it’ll be easy? Drug him and dump him - and tomorrow, one more human teenage junkie washes ashore! A normal part of everyday Earth culture!’ Raek replies that it should have worked, as Lila saw how Cannonball was, and there would be no way she could connect it with them. But as Cannonball has escaped, they must now do things the old fashioned way.
Sam is tired, but keeps blasting, knowing that he has to stay awake and get away. Sam hovers just above some water as the aliens begin firing at him - lucky for Sam, they cannot hurt him while he is blasting. Sam realizes that the aliens attacking him might result in an innocent below being harmed, so he turns around with the intention of stopping them, but he is so tired he can hardly stay awake - and smashes into one of the aliens - before plummeting back down towards the city.
Raek urges his associates to burn Cannonball - and one of Raek’s blasts strike him in the side - but it manages to wake Sam up in the process. Sam returns to blasting, despite the pain in his side, he blasts on, wondering what it was that they used on him. One of Raek’s comrades mutters that they should have used a stronger drug, something of their own as opposed to an Earth drug on him. Raek points out that it would have tipped off Lila, before explaining that the dosage Cannonball took should have been enough to stop him breathing.
Sam glances back over his shoulder, thinking that he has proved he is a country bumpkin - ‘Get the boy feeling sorry for himself, get him looped, then mug him!’ - Sam thinks that trick was old when Abraham was young, yet he still fell for it tonight. Sam blasts right through the very top of a building, knocking a small corner off it as he thinks that without the training he received to resist mind tampering from his old teacher, Professor X, he would be a goner already! Sam thinks however that he still might be a goner, ‘Bet Xavier never thought his teaching would save me from my own stupidity!’ Raek laughs loudly and points out to his associates that there is more to Cannonball than meets the eye - like an unparalleled zest for destruction! Raek thinks that he should have trusted Lila’s judgment and that it is a pity his new acquaintance will prove so short-lived.
Meanwhile, back at the party, Rahne and Doug push past everyone in their search for Danielle and Illyana, and Rahne regrets that she didn’t wear her old clothes, for then she could have switched to wolf form and easily sniff out their friends. Doug suggests to her that she could still switch, but Rahne exclaims that she would rip her gown, and adds that it is special - not to mention what Magneto said about her in it. Rahne changes the subject quickly, exclaiming that Dani and Illyana down here, so they must be up on the next level.
Moments later, Rahne and Doug go up nearby to where DanI and Illyana are dancing with two guys, and Rahne urgently exclaims that Sam is in trouble, that some aliens with wings took him away, except that DanI and Illyana cannot hear her. Rahne isn’t sure if her teammates are ignoring her on purpose, or if they actually cannot hear her, so she rushes over to them declaring that they are going to listen, whether they want to or not. Rahne grabs Dani and Doug grabs Illyana, dragging them away from the dudes and pulling them onto the balcony, with Illyana calling out to the guys, telling them not to go away as they will be right back.
Annoyed, Mirage tells Rahne that she is ruining the most perfect evening of her life so this better be good. Rahne just points across the city and tells her best friend to look. Dani does, and sees Cannonball’s blast and wonders what is going on. Rahne reveals that Sam has been kidnapped by five aliens, which is what she has been trying to tell her, when suddenly, they all witness Sam’s blast crash.
Instantly, Illyana teleports herself and the others to the location, as Mirage exclaims that she hopes Sam didn’t crash through any skyscrapers. Rahne gasps that it wasn’t water that Sam just exploded into, and the young heroes soon materialize on a garbage barge. ‘Oh no!’ ‘My dress!’ ‘Gross out!’ ‘It figures!’ they exclaim, standing almost knee-deep in rubbish. Rahne spots Sam and alerts the others, but Sam warns his friends to stay back as they are dangerous, and adds that just cause he screwed up, it doesn’t mean that he can let them get screwed up too. ‘Is he nuts?’ Mirage asks.
‘Perhaps I am,’ thinks Rahne as she transforms into her lupine form, thinking she should have done this earlier, if not for her “accursed” vanity. Her dress in tatters, she leaps onto one of the aliens, Rahne hopes that Sam will be able to forgive her. One of Raek’s companions cries out that she is a shape-shifter, so they need to burn her also, and gets ready to fire at her. However, Cypher sees this and rushes over to the alien, and with some metal piping, smashes his opponent in the face ‘Leave her alone!’ he shouts. Doug then smiles as he realizes that he stopped the alien all on his own - only to get shot in the back by another of the aliens. ‘Doug! No!’ shouts Illyana, picking up one of the guns, she then blasts the female alien that struck Doug down.
Mirage rushes up and grabs Raek from behind, while telling Sam, who is punching Raek, to quit playing with him. Mirage sarcastically tells Raek that he is so brave for kidnapping kids, before suggesting they find out what it is he is scared of, and using her illusion creating powers, Dani displays some sort of alien symbol before Raek, who, declares that he will kill them all. Mirage points out that Raek obviously means it, before informing Sam that she cannot hold Raek for much longer. Cannonball then smashes Raek in the face, knocking him out.
The New Mutants all regroup and Dani tells the aliens to reach for the sky, meaning they need to put their hands up, as the New Mutants have the weapons now. Mirage then wonders what they are to do with them now, to which Magik declares that they should kill them. Doug tells his friend to get real, as they are not killers. Mirage informs her friends that what she cannot figure out is why Raek was so scared of what she thinks is a lollypop.
Suddenly, ‘That’s not a lollypop - you don’t want to know what it really is!’ The New Mutants turn and see Lila standing on the edge of the barge. Lila explains that she got worried when she couldn’t find Sam, or any of them, at the party, then when she saw some fireworks out here from the roof, she thought she would investigate. Lila then asks Mirage to show everyone what Raek’s heart most desires. A brightly colored “something” appears before them all, to which Raek exclaims ‘The Jewels of Inferno!’
Lila reveals that she met these…people…during her days as an intergalactic thief, in fact she took something from right under neath their noses. Lila informs the New Mutants that Raek and his cohorts what her to help them steal a treasure beyond price that will soon be catapulted into an alien sun as a sacrifice to alien gods, but of course she turned them down. Raek points to Cannonball and exclaims that it is all his fault, before mocking Earth drugs and declaring that he should have given him something stronger, then they would be rid of him. ‘And now he’s rid of you!’ Lila declares as she goes over to Sam.
Magik mutters that the rest of the New Mutants won’t let her kill the aliens, and asks what they should do with them, before suggesting that although it sounds cold of her, she could send them to Limbo. Lila replies that Raek and his gang used to be thieves, but not murderers, however now they have changed, so she agrees that Limbo would be a good place for them. Lila tells the New Mutants that she would love to stay, but that it looks like they have everything under control, and she has to get back to the party, as there is this award ceremony. ‘Tiresome, but a part of the game!’ Lila kisses Sam on the cheek, and tells him that he is a fantastic counter to a life of interstellar crime. Lila adds that a girl has time for only so much temptation in life, then farewells Cannonball and the New Mutants, before teleporting off.
Magik declares that she might as well get on with it, adding that she hopes this isn’t a mistake. ‘See ya, villains! Don’t do anything in Limbo I wouldn’t do!’ Illyana exclaims as she creates a Stepping Disk to take Raek and the others to Limbo. ‘And watch out for demons!’ she calls out to them. Holding her ruined dress, Rahne mumbles that she guesses this is what comes out of vanity, that she knew she would have to use her power, only she didn’t use it soon enough! Rahne, obviously upset, asks Sam if he will ever be able to forgive her.
‘Forgive you? Get real, Rahne!’ DanI remarks, as in there is nothing to be forgiven for, then she takes off her purple jumper ands puts it on her best friend, remarking that it isn’t a ball gown, but at least she will be decently covered. Doug goes over to Rahne, who returns to her human form, and tells her that she doesn’t need a princess dress to look like a princess to him. Mirage declares that they are all a mess, so they cannot go back to the party like this. She then asks Magik if she can teleport them all home.
Cypher and Wolfsbane look at each other longingly, while Magik and Mirage help Cannonball. Sam exclaims that he was stupid, that he actually took the drugs because he thought it would make him cool. As Illyana teleports everyone home, Sam declares that Lila already thinks he is cool, and fears that if she finds out what he did, then he would have lost her for sure.