Samuel “Cannonball” Guthrie holds one hand against his chest and the other up in the air, telling Magneto that if he gives him permission to go into New York to Lila’s concert, he swears he will not use his powers during the concert, or any time he is with Lila, at all. Sam tells Magneto that he has his word, and a Guthrie always keeps his promise. Magneto asks Sam if he understands why he doesn’t want him exercising his powers outside of the school grounds, or even without his permission for that matter. ‘Yes sir’ Sam replies, before remarking that the Mutant Registration Act deadline is coming up, and since Magneto doesn’t want them to register, because he thinks the Government is just trying to locate people who are born with powers so they can limit mutants, or use them.
Sam adds that he knows Magneto would prefer that the New Mutants were not recognized. ‘Or killed, Sam, doing something dangerous and stupid, as your classmate Doug Ramsey was killed’ Magneto reminds Sam. Magneto smiles and tells Sam that he can go to Lila’s concert, ‘But I trust you to keep your word!’ ‘To the letter!’ Sam replies excitedly, unconsciously lifting himself into the air, before quickly stopping the use of his powers and sheepishly exclaims ‘I guess I didn’t have your permission to use my power then, right sir?’ ‘Exactly!’ Magneto replies, before remarking that it is cheering to see that his students actually seem to be capable of learning. The Master of Magnetism then tells Sam to enjoy the concert and enjoy seeing Lila, adding ‘In time you’ll come to understand that I am right and that I act in your best interests’.
Meanwhile, in the endless void of space, just outside of Earth, a space ship sits, and a viscous looking alien exclaims ‘I own Lila! I financed the beings who bought it from Earth!’ the alien sits on a chair, surrounded by servants, the alien looks at another alien, entirely white, and kept on a leash at his feet. The vicious alien exclaims that secretly and without Lila’s knowledge, he aided and abetted its escape. ‘Lila’s a she, Spyder’ the white alien announces as she addresses her master. ‘A…she? Fah! She-Hood will avail it naught!’ Spyder replies, addressing the white alien as Gosamyr.
Spyder exclaims to Gosamyr ‘As little as it avails you, despite the fact that you, among your kind, are a very potent kind of she. We have no shes here – we have only the buyers and the merchandise!’ Spyder shouts. Spyder declares that he forced Lila’s owner into bankruptcy and reminds Gosamyr that her own clan forfeited itself, meaning they are both merchandise, and a contract is a contract! Spyder tells Gosamyr that she must know what will become of them, what will become of her when he has that need again – since the bankrupt fools now list Lila as missing.
Spyder sniffs something from a test tube as he remarks that he has the right – the financial obligation – to recoup his loss, before remarking that what he is smelling is of a fine distillation, a finer feeling essence of determination – grim determination. Spyder remarks that it is a terrible loss to lose Lila, for he has use of her, and demands that he will have her back. He orders his accountants to detach the retrieval ship and take it to Earth, before shouting that they have her bio-harmonic profile and Lila advertises her presence as if she has no fear. A fearful Gosamyr listens as Spyder points out that the world below is small and primitive, so they should locate Lila in little time, then they can bring her back to him.
Backstage at the concert, Lila kisses Sam and tells him that she is so glad he could make it. Sam explains that it was a close one as he had to promise Magneto that he will not use his powers during the concert, and tells Lila that she better not do anything during the concert where he might be tempted to use his powers. Lila tells Sam that he shouldn’t worry and boasts that if there is trouble, she can handle it, ‘I like trouble!’ she adds before rushing to the stage and telling Sam that she has been handling trouble since she was a kid like he is. ‘Wish me luck!’ she adds as she takes the stage.
‘A…kid’ Sam thinks to himself before remarking that sometimes he forgets that Lila is so much older than he is, that she has been off in space and escaped back to Earth to become a major star. ‘Real major!’ Sam exclaims, listening to the crowd going wild. Sam wonders just how long Lila is going to put up with a “kid” who has to get permission to even visit her and who has to pay such a high price to do it!
Back at the Xavier Institute, home of the New Mutants, Cannonball’s teammates are relaxing in a lounge. ‘At least they broadcast the concert so we can listen in case there is trouble!’ one of the teen heroes remarks. Bobby DaCosta a.k.a. Sunspot remarks that Sam was a dope to make that promise to Magneto. Danielle “Mirage” Moonstar, co-leader of the New Mutants points out that if Sam didn’t make the promise then he couldn’t have gone to the concert at all.
Tossing a ball up above his head and spinning it on a finger, Bobby asks why Sam even needed permission, as Illyana could have teleported him there secretly, remarking that it’s not like Illyana hasn’t done it before, ‘Haven’t you, Illyana?’ ‘Hmmmm? What?’ Illyana “Magik” Rasputin replies nonchalantly as she lies on a bean bag playing with her long blonde hair.
Mirage tells Bobby that Illyana has only done it recently if someone’s life was a stake or if it was an emergency. The alien Warlock has turned himself into a mirror and chair, where Rahne Sinclair a.k.a. Wolfsbane sits and brushes her hair. Warlock remarks that perhaps Sam did not wish to disobey Magneto for personal gain. Rahne exclaims that she doesn’t blame Sam for promising, as Lila is so beautiful and famous, it’s not wonder Sam loves her – not to mention she can sing really well. Rahne remarks that it isn’t her favourite kind of singing, but that it is well done. Rahne admits that she croaks like a frog when she sings before lamenting that her hair does not grow like Lila’s, adding that she cannot even spike it as it is so short.
Dani is creating illusions with her mutant power as she sits nearby and suggests to her best friend that her hair might be longer in her wolf-form. Rahne transforms into a wolf-girl transitional stage, and Warlock points out that her hair is longer, and is spiked, his voice trails off. Rahne exclaims that she knows she looks ridiculous as she doesn’t look anything like Lila at all. Bobby tells Rahne not to worry, as they like her usual, normal, dowdy self best.
Dani tells Bobby that he better quit picking on Rahne, to which Bobby suggests to Dani that she quit fooling around with that spear she has psionically created in case Magneto sees. Dani replies that Magneto won’t see it and if he does, he won’t know that her powers recently got enhanced and she can now make her mirages solid, like making wishes – and fears – come true. ‘Magneto won’t care; he’ll see you using some power – any power – and shackle you in the basement or something!’
Dani tells Bobby to give her a break as she has got to practise choosing control in what she wishes for, since one illusion stays solid all the time it better be a safe one. Bobby jokes that perhaps Dani should have conjured up a nice solid Lila-image for Sam, as he sure wanted her the most. Dani tells Sam that she doesn’t see what the big deal is, as Lila is both powerful and experienced, so if there is ever trouble, which there won’t be, Lila can save Sam, so they shouldn’t worry about it. ‘Shocked, Sunspot lets the ball drop onto his head as he rudely exclaims ‘She can save I>Sam? Dani, where are your finer feelings? Women are the weaker sex! Men should save them!’
Meanwhile, back aboard Spyder’s ship, Gosamyr detects that Spyder is asleep, so she manages to pull off the collar he has restrained in, then she sneaks out of the chamber – but Spyder hears her, and grins wickedly when he sees that she is gone. ‘What is it up to? It seeks to steal itself!’ Spyder exclaims. Turning to a monitor, he traces Gosamyr’s movements around his ship, before sniffing some more from that test tube as he exclaims that Gosamyr will be shopped, whipped and punished. Drugged up, Spyder thinks that he is the personification of generosity, before deciding that Gosamyr is allowed to have “its” little outing which he will dutifully observe.
Gosamyr hides in the shadows as a guard walks past her, and she thinks to herself that Spyder’s accountants will be leaving for Lila’s planet any second now, so she must reach their ship in time – lucky for her, she leaps onto it as it begins its separation from the main ship. Safely inside, Gosamyr decides that all she has to do is hide until she can find Lila and warn her, then perhaps she will be able to make Lila help her in return.
Spyder declares that when Gosamyr, all fluff and feathers, tugs at the end of “its” tether, he shall reel “it” back and crush “it” in his poisoned fists!’
Soon, aboard the retrieval ship, one of Spyder’s accountants declares that the blind spot apparatus is fully functional, there is no indication that those below register their approach. Another of the accountants exclaims that this is excellent and asks the first if he has traced Lila’s bio-harmonic profile. The first replies that he is getting a reading now, and informs the others that Lila is in the shiny black building below. ‘Excellent! Land and prepare for disembarkation and retrieval!’ the second declares.
The ship lands on top of several buildings, crushing their rooftops and one of the aliens informs the commander that they are going to have to cut their way in. ‘Very well’ the commander replies, ordering double entry molecular dispersal units to be ready. Suddenly, the aliens burst into the auditorium where Lila is performing. ‘Lila, dig it! The ceiling just went away!’ Lila calls out to the audience ‘Here it is folks, a sound to raise the roof!’ and the audience goes wild in reply. ‘Monsters!’ one of the audience exclaims. ‘It’s special effects!’ another cries. ‘This happened at her last New York concert!’ someone else declares.
The aliens drop down on Lila and her band mates, ‘And now the one you’ve been waiting for – monster smash!’ Lila exclaims as she dodges one of the aliens. From his position backstage, Sam rushes out onto the stage thinking that he cannot believe it, as Lila and her band do not miss a beat, despite the barrage of aliens. ‘They’re actually working these monsters into the act!’ Sam thinks that he promised not to use his powers, and he should know better. He blasts towards Lila and rips one of the aliens away from her, thinking that if he didn’t promise then he wouldn’t be here at all, before realizing that it doesn’t seem like Lila even needs his help as she is doing just fine.
Lila tosses one of the aliens up against a cymbal while whispering to Sam that he shouldn’t look so miserable, as she and her and can handle these creatures…whatever they are. Lila assures Sam that if things get too bad then she will just teleport everyone away, but not yet, as it would spoil all of the fun! Sam supposes that it is fun for Lila but wishes that she wouldn’t take so many chances, before wondering what these creatures are and where they came from, not to mention what it is that they want. ‘What they want is Lila, any fool can see that!’ Sam tells himself.
Sam thinks that he is doing the best he can with his two fists, but these creatures can fly and he has grounded himself. He regrets that he made a flat out promise – no powers at the concert and no powers while he is with Lila – but stands by his statement that no matter what, a Guthrie always keeps his promise. The audience all watch the battle with glee. ‘Dig it!’ one of them exclaims. ‘Are they bad or what?’ ‘I paid scalpers prices…and I still got my money’s worth! The lady puts on a show!’
Back at the New Mutant’s school, the young heroes listen as a radio announcer reveals that there is apparent chaos at the Lila Cheney concert, that you can hardly hear the music over the roar of the crowd as creatures right out of “Star Wars” appear to swarm toward the stage. The announcer adds that Lila’s concerts are known for their striking special effects, but that this is a humdinger! Bobby exclaims that Lila may be noted for them, that’s true, but the “special effects” reputation mostly marks real events, things people do not believe is happening, even when they see it with their own two eyes!
Sunspot adds that Sam isn’t doing anything, to which Rahne points out that he can’t as he promised. Angry, Sunspot declares that Magneto made Sam promise and now he blew it, big time. Sunspot adds that lack of physical powers is partly what got Cypher killed. Bobby adds that the monsters or aliens, whatever they are, could hurt people – including Sam – and the New Mutants can stop them – except that Magneto doesn’t want them even trying. Bobby declares that he is sick of Magneto’s attitude towards them and their powers, and is going to tell him straight up, that it is their duty as mutants and human beings to stop these monsters.
Dani races after Bobby, and Warlock extends his body so that he grabs Sunspot before he gets to Magneto. Bobby is held down on the ground outside of Magneto’s office, and Rahne tells Bobby that he can’t go in, when suddenly she asks the others if they can hear what she does – Magneto is talking to the White Queen of the Hellfire Club! Dani decides that they should bug Magneto’s office as it is the only way they will find out what is going on.
Inside his office, Magneto tells Emma “the White Queen” Frost that dark days are coming, that the rumblings have already begun. Emma must ask Magneto a question, for he replies that of course he would, as White King of the Hellfire Club, authorise the use of power neutralizers.
‘Power neutralizers!?’ exclaims Dani. Warlock suggests that Magneto might know the New Mutants rescued Magma, and that they know the Hellfire Club has plans for her. ‘No doubt Magneto has plans to use the neutralizers on us!’ Sunspot declares. Rahne asks what they are going to do, to which Magik exclaims that Magneto may have ordered them not to use their powers, but they never promised, and opens up a Stepping Disc to teleport them away. ‘Don’t forget our costumes!’ Bobby remarks, but Illyana has that under control as she creates another portal which collects their costumes.
Arriving in Limbo, Illyana tells her friends to hurry up and get changed, then she will teleport them to the concert. Wolfsbane exclaims that it is terrible here, that Limbo gets worse and worse. Magik replies ‘That’s because I get worse and worse!’ before remarking that she thought by letting Forge go…among other things…it would help, but she was wrong. ‘I can’t escape it!’ Illyana remarks, adding that Limbo’s power is only tied to her through the Stepping Discs that she controls that teleport them from place to place.
Bobby, Dani and Illyana all begin to get changed, while Warlock turns himself into a changing room for the modest Wolfsbane to get changed in. Magik exclaims that Limbo reflects what she is, adding that what Limbo has become is something terrible. ‘Love it or leave it, sweetness!’ the demon known as S’ym exclaims from where he is sitting, watching the New Mutants. ‘Leave it to you, S’ym?’ Illyana asks in disgust, before opening another teleportation disc and remarking that his offer is actually rather tempting, as he deserves the slime pit that this place has become.
Illyana adds that Destiny prophesised she would have to leave the Earth or else her wilfulness would destroy it. Illyana admits that she is afraid if she doesn’t leave then Earth will become like Limbo – a place of misfits and monsters. The New Mutants then arrive at the concert and Sam is relieved to see his friends, asking them what took them so long. Rahne asks Sam if he is all right, to which he replies that he is, before Dani asks where Lila is. Sam replies that he doesn’t know, explaining that everything was going okay, and that Lila thought this was a blast, and the fans thought it was all part of the show – until one of the creatures fired a smoke bomb into the audience and suddenly people began running around screaming – which is when he lost sight of Lila.
Suddenly, one of the aliens shouts ‘Got it!’ as he slams a device down over Lila’s head, capturing her and ordering his fellows to get back to the ship, that this operation is now in the black. Sam sees Lila being taken away and calls out to her. Bobby tries to comfort his best friend by pointing out that Lila got cocky, playing games when she could have escaped, then telling Sam that he was dumb enough to make that promise, but pointing out that now the concert is over big time, and he is no longer with Lila, ‘You kept your promise to the letter – so now go and get her!’
Sam tells Sunspot that he is right and begins blasting through the aliens, while his friends all go about fighting the aliens in their own unique ways. One of the aliens tries to order them to stop, informing them that they are interfering with the requisition of misappropriated property. ‘Misappropriated? What are you guys? Lawyers?’ Bobby asks before smashing the alien. ‘Accountants! The IRB – the Intergalactic Red-Tape Brigade!’ another alien explains, revealing their identity.
Dani remarks that trying to fight them will be a waste of time then, so perhaps they can scare them off, so she creates an illusion of what that alien is most afraid of – an even bigger alien. The alien screams and Dani remarks that she supposes he has a good reason. Sam calls out to his co-leader and asks Dani what that thing is. Mirage replies that she doesn’t know, but that she thought it might take out the aliens while they go after Lila. As the alien tries to smash Dani, Sam tells her it was a good thought, but that it seems more interested in thrashing them. ‘Yeah…tell me about it!’ mutters Dani. Sam tells her to get rid of it, as it is only delaying them, and Dani mutters that she sure wished she had her spear again!
‘My little spear’ she points out, when suddenly the heroes look around and see that all the aliens are gone. Sam wonders where they could be, and Illyana motions up to a hole in the roof, before collecting her teammates in a teleportation disc, and they arrive nearly instantly later on the rooftop – just in time to see the alien’s vessel fly off. Someone asks Magik if she can teleport them to it, but Illyana explains that it is screened from sight and somehow moving incredibly fast, so she would need her scrying glass, otherwise she couldn’t match its trajectory for certain, and they could land in space instead, ‘I’d probably kill us!’ she exclaims, regretting that she fought Forge. ‘It’s arrogance! Destiny was right. Why is everything I do always wrong?’ Magik laments, while Sam regrets making that idiotic promise.
Spyder has been watching the proceedings from monitors as exclaims ‘So…Lila is mine! Excellent!’ while remarking that the human children – the New Mutants – practically broadcast their horror, anger and despair. Spyder remarks that they are too young to have learned to temper their feelings, and decides that he could distill from them an excellent brew, adding that they appear “useful” in other ways too. However, Spyder refuses to allow them to board his ship, as the present a 97.32055 percent possibility of structural damage, until of course, proper restraints can be designed.
‘I want them. I need them!’ Spyder exclaims, before wondering how he can arrange it so they come along peacefully, voluntarily and at their own expense. Watching Gosamyr appear on the monitor, Spyder is pleased, as he believes this is his answer, proof that finer feelings only expand the profit potential the universe offers.
‘Oh, please…you’ve got to help me!’ exclaims Gosamyr as she approaches the New Mutants. Everyone turns and looks at her – ‘Who?!’ asks an intrigued Sunspot. ‘Wow!’ exclaims Sam. Wearily, Gosamyr introduces herself and asks the New Mutants for help, exclaiming that she knows where Lila is, as her master, Spyder as taken her. ‘”Master”? What do you mean!?’ Bobby asks. Gosamyr collapses in Sunspot’s arms as she explains that Spyder runs an intergalactic network called The Webb.
Gosamyr informs the New Mutants that Spyder says it is a textile manufacturing company, but really, it is a tangle of deceit, with Spyder gloating in the center…spinning lies that are the warp and woof of his business practice. Gosamyr reveals that her family has an interest in textiles, a special ability in their manufacture, and that her brother dealt with Spyder, who now owns her entire family, and has imprisoned the others, but keeps her with him. She reveals that when Spyder ordered his accountants to Earth, she snuck aboard the ship, hoping to escape and free her family before it is too late.
Sunspot assures Gosamyr that they would love to help but that they don’t know where Spyder has gone or how to reach him. Gosamyr reveals that she does, and motioning across to another building points to the small space yacht which she detached from the other craft. Gosamyr looks into Sunspot’s eyes and assures him that she will help them rescue their friend if they help her save her family. Smiling back, Sunspot asks Gosamyr why Spyder took Lila.
Gosamyr replies that Spyder mentioned Earth sold her. Mirage remarks that Lila has told them that story, to which Magik points out that Lila never said who sold her, bought her, and why. Gosamyr remarks that she doesn’t know that part, but she does know Spyder made a business loan to the beings who bought Lila, then arranged their bankruptcy and appropriated their assets. Gosamyr explains that when Spyder discovered that Lila, the prize collection was missing, he traced her here to Earth, and impounded her.
Gosamyr remarks that Lila has very strong feelings about things, before informing the New Mutants that Spyder has a taste for feelings, before exclaiming that they have to save them. Mirage and Magik look at each other with suspicion, and Dani remarks that it seems awfully convenient, to which Illyana agrees.
Sunspot grins as he looks at Gosamyr and reminds the New Mutants that Destiny prophesied that Magik had to leave the Earth or cause its destruction, meaning she knew about their future, that they are supposed to go. Bobby tells Gosamyr of course they will go with her and help her. ‘Really…?’ Gossamyr asks. ‘I promise!’ Sunspot exclaims.