A strange group of young heroes flies across the horizon…they are the New Mutants! Samuel “Cannonball” Guthrie and Dani “Mirage” Moonstar, co-leaders of the mutant team. Bobby “Sunspot” DaCosta, Rahne “Wolfsbane” Sinclair and the alien Warlock round out the depleted roster. One of those former members, now a child, Illyana Rasputin, is in their care, and rides alongside Sunspot and Wolfsbane in a transformed Warlock.
‘Now that we’re not going to Xavier’s School anymore’ Sam begins to say, ‘Now that the school’s been blown to smithereens!’ Dani points out as she rides her winged Asgardian horse, Brightwind. ‘What do we do next?’ Rahne asks. Dani remarks that she is glad she found Brightwind and that he was not hurt in the explosion. ‘He found you!’ Sam points out as he blasts alongside Brightwind. ‘Yes, he’s such a good boy, really smart, aren’t you, fella?’ Dani remarks.
Bobby asks his friends what they are going to do next, to which Rahne suggests they call their parents, and she will call Moira MacTaggert, then they will all go home and be normal kids again. Suddenly, Warlock cries ‘Alarm! Alarm!’ and points out that he does not have parents, nor can he return to his home planet, as he is not like those on the planet, and they will surely destroy him. ‘We aren’t like most of the people on our planet either!’ Dani points out. ‘Our altered genetic structure gives us powers and abilities far beyond those of other -’ Sunspot begins to say, until Sam interrupts, alerting everyone to a shopping mall up ahead.
Sam supposes that if they are going to call home, then they ought to do it now and get it over with. ‘Are you kidding? Just land there and reveal our powers before the world?’ Dani asks her fellow leader. ‘Why not?’ Sam replies, suggesting that if they are going to be ordinary kids, they should start acting like them. ‘Besides, who’s going to stop us?’ he jokes. Rahne tells everyone to look at Illyana, who is still asleep, and asks her friends if they wish they could all sleep like this. ‘I wish I could sleep at all! When was the last time we slept anyway?’ Bobby asks.
They land and Rahne continues to hold Illyana as they step out of Warlock, who returns to his default form. ‘Two days ago? Three? I am exhausted!’ Rahne exclaims. Bobby asks her if she wants him to take Illyana, to which Rahne shifts into her half-wolf half-girl form and tells him that it is okay, as she is strong in this form and can carry Illyana for a long time. Rahne adds that as Illyana cannot speak English, everything is very strange for her, so as she went to sleep in her arms, she would probably feel safer waking up in the same place.
Suddenly, the crowds of civilians become aware of the unusual group walking among them and one of them shouts ‘Look! Mutants!’ ‘Or demons!’ another suggests. An elderly lady points at Illyana and shouts that they have stolen a child, like in New York, as she heard it on the news. ‘That was real!’ someone in the crowd cries out. ‘A hoax…wasn’t it?’ someone asks. ‘Give me that child this instant, you…you monster!’ the old woman shouts at Rahne. ‘Give her to me now!’
Rahne begins to tell the old woman that she is not a monster, when Sunspot does it for her, but showcasing his power, and getting everyone’s attention, he shouts ‘Monsters are we? Don’t touch her, you…you bigots! How dare you call us demons? We saved New York, and that so called “innocent child” from the demons!’ The civilians cannot comprehend what is going on. ‘He’s turned into a shadow! He is a demon! RUN!’ they shout.
Bobby turns to Rahne and apologizes for losing his temper, claiming that he didn’t mean to scare them, at least not that bad. ‘Don’t be daft! You thought I’d lose control and bit her, didn’t you?’ Rahne asks, before admitting that she was considering it. ‘Were you?’ Bobby asks as they approach Dani and Sam who are at a telephone. ‘Then I saved you from a case of food poisoning’ Bobby remarks.
‘Either of you got a quarter?’ Sam asks, pointing out that they cannot call if they don’t have ‘A quarter, Sam?’ Danielle asks, holding a quarter between her fingers. ‘Your wish is my command!’ Dani jokes, demonstrating her power, which Sam exclaims is very useful. Dani tells Sam that he should call his mother first, pointing out that if he tells his “Ma” about the demons attacking, Magneto turning bad and the school being destroyed, then she will worry sick, and tells Dani that she should talk to her mom first.
Mirage replies that she can’t, as she doesn’t want to tell them that it is over. ‘I don’t want our time together to end!’ Suddenly, Bobby gets his friends’ attention and alerting them to the police that surround them, remark that the decision has been taken out of their hands! ‘Oh good grief!’ Sam mutters, before he begins to explain the situation to the police, before wondering what the use is, and deciding that he is too tired to deal with this flack. ‘There they are, officer! They have the child!’ the old woman from earlier exclaims.
Mirage leaps onto Brightwind who was standing nearby, and Cannonball blasts into the air while Warlock transforms himself into a craft again to carry Bobby, Wolfsbane and Illyana. ‘Let’s get out of here!’ Sam exclaims. ‘Ironic, isn’t it? We save the world and we can’t even make a simple phone call!’ Dani mutters.
The young heroes manage to evade the authorities, and once up in the safety of open air, Dani points out that it was pretty brave of the police to stand up to them, considering that lady thought they were all demons. Blasting along, Cannonball remarks that they probably handled it as poorly as the police, but they are just too tired to think straight. ‘So…what now?’ he then asks his friends. Warlock announces that he will lead them to X-Factor’s SHIP, as he knows the way and has been there before. Sunspot remarks that is a good idea, and reminds his friends that the X-Terminators accepted them when they met during the Inferno. ‘And on that huge Ship, somewhere I’m certain we can get some rest!’
At that moment, the X-Terminators are thinking about their friends the New Mutants, wondering what they are up to. ‘Whatever it is, it can’t be as fun as this!’ Tabby “Boom-Boom” Smith exclaims as she and her teammates are scuba-diving in the ocean under Ship which is at a stand still in the air high above them. Boom-Boom then asks what time X-Factor is supposed to get back from taking Jean’s family home, to which Sally “Skids” Blevins tells Boom-Boom not to sweat it, as X-Factor should be gone for hours.
‘Who’s sweating it? Ship said we should do something educational since we got kicked out of Summer school…and we all agreed that under-sea exploration is educational!’ Tabby jokes as she swims on ahead. Julio Richter, a.k.a. “Rictor” laughs that he can’t believe Ship fell for it, and even made them suits to explore in. ‘Are we lucky or what?’ ‘Educational is sitting in a classroom, wishing you were somewhere else, right, Rictor?’ Tabby exclaims. ‘Yeah, collecting and identifying shells and seaweed and - what the heck?’ Rictor yells as he finds something else.
Rusty Collins, the team’s leader tells Rictor to be careful, reminding everyone that X-Factor does not know they are doing this, and did tell them not to get into trouble. ‘This is educational, remember? How can we get into trouble?’ Rictor asks as the octopus that he discovered squirts some ink at him. ‘Lesson one on Ship’s undersea education agenda! Octopuses shoot ink when disturbed!’ Sally laughs. Rictor doesn’t find it particularly amusing, and when he turns around, he calls back that he hates to burst his teammate’s bubbles - so to speak - but octopuses are not all that they have disturbed!’
The young mutant heroes turn and see sharks! Rusty calls to his girlfriend and asks her to throw a shield up around them, to which Sally replies that she is way ahead of them, and the watch as the sharks crash into Sally’s force field. ‘What now?’ Sally asks. Boom-Boom starts throwing her plasma time-bombs around, only to discover that they hardly move in the water. Sally asks her teammate if she has ever heard of “water resistance”, to which Tabby tells her to quit talking physics and do something, as the time bomb will explode near them.
Another shark crashes into the force field as Rusty remarks that it is probably a good thing the time bomb was moving slowly, for if those sharks were blown up then their blood would have only drawn more blood! The time bomb explodes several feet away from the X-Terminators and Rictor points out that the vibrations from the explosion has got the sharks really rattled. ‘If they don’t like those vibes…they’ll like these even less!’ he exclaims as he uses his powers to send more shockwaves through the water.
The sharks flee, and Rictor exclaims that he didn’t do too badly, boasting to Boom-Boom that he managed to send the sharks on their way without spilling any blood. ‘Hmph!’ mutters Boom-Boom, about to say something else when Rusty interrupts, motioning to something on the sea floor nearby. Everyone swims over, and Rusty begins tugging at the barnacle-encrusted object, exclaiming that whatever it is, it is no ordinary shell.
Suggesting that it is time to go back to Ship for lunch, Rusty leads the way up to the surface, and taking the object with him, decides that they can compare it to the patterns in Ship’s files and see if they can find out what it is. A small dock is waiting for the X-Terminators, and as it transports them back up to Ship, Boom-Boom exclaims that the object is gross, covered with slime and scratchy stuff. Sally informs her that it is just muck and barnacles, and wonders how long it has been down there for.
Back aboard Ship, the X-Terminators take off their scuba gear and Rusty exclaims that it looks like it has been down there for years. Rictor suggests that it may not be a shell after all, but some kind of artifact, the remnant of some lost civilization - like Atlantis! Boom-Boom tells Rictor to get real, as there isn’t really such a thing as Atlantis - ‘Is there?’ she asks.
Shortly, back in their regular clothing, the teens are having lunch and sitting around as the examine their findings. Rusty informs his friends that it does not match up with any shells in Ship’s files, and wonders if it is really a horn. ‘A horn! Ha!’ laughs Boom-Boom, before telling Ship that he made them some good burgers, and asks for the ketchup, while exclaiming that she cannot believe an intelligent, mature individual like Rusty would actually mistake an ordinary shell for a horn.
Ship suddenly declares that, despite Boom-Boom’s objections, he thinks Rusty is on the right track, and begins to display some images of the horn on a computer screen as he informs the X-Terminators that an analysis of the scallops and the curve of the bell both suggest Rusty’s hypothesis is possible. ‘See, Boom-Boom! It is a horn!’ Rictor remarks, before exclaiming that he wonders what it would look like all cleaned up, and uses his powers to shake all the barnacles off. Boom-Boom exclaims ‘Is that cool or what?’ to which Sally remarks that even she has to admit it looks better.
Rictor points out that there is only one way to tell if it is a horn, and blows into, to no avail. ‘You see? Nothing! So much for Atlantean artifacts!’ Boom-Boom exclaims smugly. Sally takes a turn at blowing into the horn, to no avail. ‘Wait, I’m stronger!’ exclaims Rusty, but he tries too and there is no sound. Tabby mutters that she may as well give it a try too, muttering that, after all, without her explosion they never would have found this…’This educational…thing!’ Tabby blows hard into the horn, and a small shell is thrust from it and smacks Rictor in the face, as a loud noise sounds.
‘Hey…wow! It is a horn!’ Boom-Boom exclaims. ‘No kidding!’ Julio mutters, to which Rusty asks where it came from, when suddenly there is a loud rumble, and the X-Terminators are knocked off their feet…as deep below in the ocean, an enormous octopus rises from the sea bed - and with its huge tentacles, it grabs Ship and begins to pull him towards the water.
The X-Terminators don’t know what is going on, until Ship informs them that he is under attack and being dragged under. Ship tells the X-Terminators to save themselves, but as they put their scuba gear on, Rusty assures Ship that they will save him. ‘Uh…you don’t think my horn had anything to do with this?’ Boom-Boom asks, to which Sally tells her that it is too late to worry about that, and suggests she also put her helmet on and get outside, while they still have a chance!
Out on the deck, ‘That’s what’s attacking us?’ Rictor mumbles as the four friends see the huge tentacles. Ship tells the X-Terminators to watch out, as he is being tipped over - and as he is pulled into the ocean, the X-Terminators are thrust into the water. Rusty shouts that it is worse than he imagined, while Boom-Boom announces that at least she has saved the horn. ‘That is a relief’ Rictor mutters sarcastically, before pointing out that without the horn - not to mention Tabby’s underwater blast - none of this would have happened.
Just as Rictor is about to land in the water, the creature grabs his foot. Boom-Boom tosses a time bomb up to free him, and Julio falls into the ocean. Sally exclaims that it is huge and asks how they will ever stop it, when help arrives in the form of the New Mutants, who see Ship under attack, though they aren’t sure what from. Bobby sees the X-Terminators in the water and alerts his teammates. Warlock calls out to the X-Terminators, telling them to hold on, as he and the New Mutants have come to the rescue.
Warlock lowers his craft-like body towards the water and lifts Rictor up while Bobby grabs a hold of Boom-Boom and her horn. Cannonball calls out to Skids and blasts down to scoop her up, while Dani lifts Rusty on to Brightwind. Rusty thanks Dani before telling her that they thought the New Mutants had left, and asks her what they are doing back so soon. Mirage informs him that their school was destroyed, ‘It’s a long story!’ she tells him, before explaining that they came here to get some rest. ‘No such luck, huh?’ Rusty remarks, before asking Mirage if she can get him overhead. Dani manoeuvres Brightwind above the sea creature and Rusty remarks that he might be able to burn the monster into letting go of Ship, but as Dani points out, the flames have the opposite effect, and the creature begins to pull Ship under faster, until Ship is completely submerged.
‘Your Ship…is gone!’ Sam exclaims as he blasts towards Warlock and places Sally on him. Boom-Boom declares that if a blast of the horn called that creature up, maybe another blast will drive it away! But as Tabby brings the horn to her lips, it is swiped away - ‘Are you mad?’ shouts Prince Namor the Sub-Mariner, flying up beside the two teams of young mutant heroes. Namor exclaims that the monster beneath them alone can decimate a city, and asks if they would call up another - for that is the horns function. ‘Where did you steal it, you foolish human child?’ Namor then asks Boom-Boom. Namor asks Boom-Boom what right she has to defile this sacred relic, to meddle in the darkest secrets of an ancient realm. ‘Did you not know that Prince Namor, the Sub-Mariner, would hear the blast from this stolen horn?’
Cannonball comes to Boom-Boom’s defense, exclaiming ‘You may be the famous Sub-Mariner, but they didn’t steal anything!’ Cannonball informs Namor that the X-Terminators found it, and remarks that if it is so dangerous, then Namor shouldn’t have left it lying around in the first place. Mirage and Rusty fly over on Brightwind and Rusty tells Cannonball to chill out. He turns to Namor and confirms that they did find it, and suspected it to be an artifact of some kind.
Rusty admits that they should have checked it our more thoroughly before they blew it, but points out that what’s done is done, and right now they have to get rid of that monster - ‘And save our Ship! Not to mention whatever city it might decide to destroy’. Namor remarks that Rusty has the attitude of a statesman, and reveals that, in truth, the horn is dangerous, and was lost to him, knocked from his hands during an epic battle which seems like a lifetime ago. Namor realizes that the teens have powers they can use as weapons, and declares that, unlike some surface dwellers, they take responsibility for their actions and are willing to rectify their mistakes.
Namor informs the heroes that he will share their responsibility and help as he can, though points out that it would be useful if they all had underwater breathing equipment. ‘Hold that thought!’ Dani exclaims, and thanks to her powers, the teens all have diving suits on. Sunspot congratulates Mirage for a good use of her power, before Cannonball, Mirage, Rusty, Skids, Rictor and Boom-Boom dive into the water behind Namor. Sunspot, Wolfsbane and the still-sleeping Illyana remain on Warlock, whom Rictor suggests turns into a submarine.
‘These diving suits are so fresh - even better than the ones Ship made for us!’ Boom-Boom exclaims. Cannonball explains that is because the diving suits are based on an image in the Sub-Mariner’s mind, as it is how Dani’s power works. Namor declares that it is an impressive feat, before declaring that they have a monster to destroy. ‘There it is!’ Dani exclaims. Namor declares that the creature is enormous, even larger than the one he encountered before. Mirage asks what they can do against something like this, to which Namor informs everyone that the Fantastic Four used a bomb to destroy a similar monster.
Boom-Boom suggests they make one of her time bombs work, a real big one on a long delay, and tosses it towards the monster. In the Warlock-submarine, Sunspot remarks that he can’t believe Illyana is still asleep, to which Rahne reminds him that Illyana is exhausted. ‘We all are!’ Back outside, Namor begins punching the monster, while Rusty shoots flame at it. Namor tells everyone to use what power they possess against the creature to keep it from diving any deeper so that this “time bomb” will have time to reach it and destroy it. Rictor sends shockwaves towards the creature while remarking that blowing off a tentacle - or even two or three - will not do any good.
Suddenly, BOOM! - Boom-Boom’s time bomb reaches the sea creature, The heroes are shocked to see that the bomb barely grazed the creature. Rictor remarks that they need a more localized attack, they need to destroy its brain. The New Mutants are unsure about what to make of Rictor’s comment, as he has never seemed particularly intelligent before, but he informs them that he was with his Dad in South American and learned a lot of things there, including stuff about dynamite.
Mirage points out that she could wish that TNT up no problem, to which Cannonball reminds her that she can only wish one thing up at a time, so their Atlantean diving suits would disappear. Mirage replies that it is no problem, as there are still the suits that Ship made, plus they have Warlock, so it should be enough. The creature roars loudly, and Cannonball exclaims that it sure didn’t like that time bomb. ‘Nope, not at all!’ agrees Rusty, before the group swims back over to Warlock, informing him that they are coming inside, as they have an idea.
Once inside, Mirage informs Namor that it will take team work, and be dangerous, but that it might do the job. She turns to Rictor and asks him about how much dynamite he would need, to which he replies ‘About…this much?’ he remarks surprised, as the amount he was about to say appears in his hands courtesy of Dani. Namor exclaims that this is excellent, and now all they need is to get that creature angry enough to open its mouth. ‘No problem!’ exclaims Boom-Boom as she creates another time-bomb.
Warlock shifts his submarine form so that a torpedo tube is added for accurate aim, and Sunspot uses his enhanced strength to give the time bomb a little added speed. In a moment, the time bomb is in the water, before it bursts into the creature. Someone points out that the creature is mad and thrashing about, but that it hasn’t seen them yet. Rictor shoves some shockwaves down the torpedo tube, ‘Come on, you sucker! We’re here! We’re the ones that are bothering you!’ he shouts.
The creature grabs the Warlock-submarine in one of its tentacles, and someone shouts ‘Open wide!’ Suddenly, Illyana screams. ‘You would wake up now!’ Rahne mutters. Namor tells the child to remain calm, as this is only the ocean. ‘And a giant monster who’s crushing poor Warlock!’ Tabby adds, before some water begins to pour in. Warlock apologizes to his friends, explaining that he is having some trouble maintaining integrity of the hull. Boom-Boom has her scuba helmet from Ship on, and begins muttering something, which Rictor cannot hear, as Sam has his helmet. Remarking that the monster has clearly opened its mouth, Rictor is thankful they have accomplished phase one.
The teens watch as Cannonball, Rusty and Skids swim through the torpedo shoot along with the dynamite, and into the monster’s mouth. Inside though, the leaks are getting worse. Rahne tells Illyana, not that she can understand, that she has to put her down now, as Sunspot and the Sub-Mariner need her strength also. ‘I only hope that we can keep from being crushed until the dynamite does it’s job!’ Rahne exclaims.
In the mouth of the monster, Sally asks Rusty and Sam if they think they are far enough back. Sam points out that if they go any further, the creature might swallow them, before asking Rusty to hurry and ignite the cord. Rusty asks his girlfriend if she is ready, before lighting the cord and exclaims that it is time to get this show on the road! Sam, Rusty and Sally hold onto each other and Sally throws a force field around them. ‘Let’s hope it holds!’ someone exclaims as they are blasted through the water when the dynamite explodes in the creature.
Minutes later, Warlock has shifted his form into that of a life raft, and Mirage, Sunspot, Rictor and Boom-Boom are safe aboard. Sunspot points to the water as the Sub-Mariner rises with Wolfsbane, Illyana and the horn. Dani asks where Sam, Rusty and Sally are, so Warlock extends his neck and head into a periscope and drops into the water so he can have a look, re-appearing shortly, but announcing that he has searched and cannot locate them. As if on cue, Sam, Rusty and Sally all bob up to the surface. Sam gets his friends attention, while Sally asks where Ship is.
Suddenly, the massive Ship rises from the ocean, declaring that he is grateful to all of them for saving him, before announcing that X-Factor is returning. ‘Talk about perfect timing!’ Rictor remarks. Brightwind flies nearby as X-Factor, in a small aircraft hover in the air above the teenagers and co. Jean Grey exclaims that Ship is a mess, while Iceman remarks ‘Is that…a flying horse?’ Sternly, Cyclops asks if someone would mind telling them what is going on.
Moments later, after introductions and explanations are made, X-Factor, the X-Terminators, the New Mutants, Brightwind, Illyana and the Sub-Mariner are all aboard Ship. Ship tells X-Factor not to scold the X-Terminators, for they are not to blame for his misfortune, admitting it was he who insisted they do something educational. Sub-Mariner tells his old friends that he agrees with Ship, as the teenagers learnt much from their experience. Taking to the air, with the horn, Namor remarks that he has also learnt a lot, and promises to take more care with the ancient artifacts of his people.
Boom-Boom exclaims that this might not be the best introduction to the New Mutants, while Skids informs X-Factor that the New Mutant’s school was destroyed. Rusty admits that he was wondering if the New Mutants could stay here, to which Rictor adds ‘Just for a while, till they can figure out what to do next’. Iceman replies that of course the New Mutants can stay, ‘We know what happened to your school - and remember, it was once our school too!’
Cyclops shakes Rusty’s hand and Boom-Boom hugs Jean, while Cyclops points out that now the life and death matters have been settled, he reveals that X-Factor was actually hoping to find the New Mutants and invite them to join them here on Ship, permanently. Cannonball thanks Cyclops, and exclaims that the New Mutants and X-Terminators make a good team. Wolfsbane remarks that this is wonderful, but that their existence as mutants seems so fraught with danger. She points out that they all have powers and can protect themselves, but Illyana doesn’t. ‘What will become of Illyana?’….