Two months ago:
Gehring, Arizona, ‘Come on, come on! I need you back to the end of the street!’ a fire fighter shouts at some civilians who are standing nearby watching a shopping mall which is currently ablaze. ‘Come on!’ the female fire fighter orders. ‘What the hell is this?’ a nearby civilian asks. The fire fighter informs him that something caught the mall, that the whole west side of town has gone up. ‘I can see that’ the civilian replies, explaining that he is in fact referring to the weather. The fire fighter looks up and sees what appears to be purple lightning crackling across the sky. The fire fighter replies that she doesn’t know what it is. ‘I’ve seen dry season storms before, but this…’ she remarks.
Suddenly, ‘Heeyyy! Help!’ an employee of Borri King calls out on top of the roof of the store. ‘Damn it. Hold on!’ the fire fighter tells him, before she climbs up some nearby crates until she reaches the roof. ‘I got you’ she tells the young man as she walks over to him. ‘How do we get back down?’ the man asks. ‘Working on that’ the fire fighter tells him, when suddenly, the roof caves in. ‘Watch it!’ the fire fighter shouts. ‘Oh crap’ the employee mutters as they begin to fall - when suddenly, there is a BLINK, and a voice from above tells them to ‘Hold on’, as a figure clad in pink and green touches the two, and they re-appear back down on the ground.
‘What just happened? What - what -’ the fire fighter asks, looking up, she sees the young mutant called Clarice Ferguson, known as Blink, standing over her. ‘How’d we get down here? How’d you do that?’ the young man asks. ‘Glory be!’ the fire fighter gasps as a large donut statue falls from a nearby roof. ‘Stay still!’ Blink tells her, as she fires several bursts of energy at the statue - and it vanishes. Blink suggests to the fire fighter that she tell her chief and the Fire Service that this is not a natural event. ‘Someone started it?’ the fire fighter asks. ‘Some-thing. Something chaotic’ Blink replies, looking up at the angry sky. Blink announces that it is getting worse, and tells the fire fighter and the young man to go the other way. ‘What’s your name?’ the young man calls out as they turn around, only to discover that she has vanished. ‘She was right here’ the fire fighter declares.
1128 Mission Street, San Francisco, California. An elderly woman blinks twice from behind her thick spectacles, and asks ‘You are people move in?’, to two young people who are unpacking a moving truck. ‘No, we just love boxes’ Nate Grey a.k.a. X-Man mutters. ‘What you say?’ the elderly woman, propped up by a walking frame asks, as Nate strides towards the front door to the large three story home. Danielle “Mirage” Moonstar” tells the old woman to ignore him, as he was joking. ‘Ah. I am enjoy joke’ the woman remarks, before Dani introduces herself. ‘I guess we’re your new neighbors’ she adds. ‘I am Livitz’ the old woman replies, shaking Dani’s hand.
‘Mrs Livitz?’ Danielle asks. ‘Of Mr Livitz. He previously dead already. I am lives in under rooms’ Mrs Livitz explains. ‘The basement apartment?’ Mirage asks. ‘Is under rooms’ Mrs Livitz replies, pointing. Dani asks Mrs Livitz where she is from, and the old woman replies ‘I am born Latveria, I am lives since here also there’. The old woman smiles, and continues, ‘Livitz am makes you special prokporzhki prod for welcome. You is bring your grumpy boys-friend’ Mrs Livitz tells Danielle, smiling. Dani smiles back and replies ‘Oh, that sounds…delicious’, but tells Mrs Livitz that there is no need. ‘And he’s absolutely not my boyfriend’ Dani adds.
Inside, X-Man approaches Bobby “Sunspot” DaCosta and Warlock, who are setting up one of the living areas. ‘Dani’s met the neighbor - some dotty old bag from - where’s Latveria?’ Nate asks. ‘Latveria? Our neighbor’s Dotty Doom?’ Bobby asks, smiling. Nate telekinetically lowers some boxes to the floor and remarks that he doesn’t get it. Bobby walks over to Warlock, who is peering out one of the windows. ‘What’s up, self/friend?’ Sunspot asks him. With his eyes acting like binoculars, Warlock announces that the large man who lives in the domicile opposite has been watching them from his bedroom window for the past 23.37 minutes. ‘Query: Normal?’ Warlock enquires.
‘He’s just curious about his new neighbors, you know’ Sunspot replies. ‘Self does not’ Warlock declares. Turning away from the window, Bobby starts dancing and exclaims ‘Maybe we should throw a little paar-taay. Get to know the local life’ Bobby suggests. Nate sits down on one of the boxes and mutters that he can’t believe he moved out of Utopia to live in this…place, and listen to Sunspot use words like “paar-taay”. Sunspot quickly tells Nate that their life could have been a lot sweeter. ‘I have means, my man’ Bobby boasts. ‘So you keep telling us, Bobby’ Nate mutters, who knocking back a drink.
Mirage enters the room, carrying some more gear, she tells Bobby that Nate is right. ‘This is the deal - we live in the real world, like real people. No free ride off your private fortune’ she exclaims, adding that this will do them good, as none of them knows enough about life. ‘I beg to differ’ Nate remarks. ‘Life as it’s lived here on Earth. Today. By people who don’t have super powers or secret identities’ Mirage tells Nate. ‘Can I just buy us a 3-D home cinema with -’ Sunspot begins, but Dani interrupts him, telling him no. ‘Real life sucks’ Sunspot mutters. Warlock extends his neck and brushes his face up against Sunspot, ‘I’ll be your 3-D home cinema, self/friend’ Warlock declares. Nate mutters that he knows Magma has an excuse for not helping with the move, but asks why Cypher couldn’t lift a finger. ‘He’s working on a task for me…our next mission’ Dani explains.
‘Hey’ Dani calls out as she enters an empty room where Doug “Cypher” Ramsey is sitting on the floor, tapping away at his laptop computer. ‘So I met our neighbor from downstairs. Mrs Livitz’ Dani tells Doug. ‘Ah. Latverian’ Doug replies without looking up. ‘Apparently she’s going to make us pokie prod something’ Mirage tells Cypher. ‘Prokporzhki prod. Braised pork, potatoes, allspice, cream and paprika’ Doug explains. ‘How’s it going?’ Mirage asks him, leaning over. Doug reveals that Cerebro has matched Blink’s mutant bio profile with a number of natural disasters. ‘Natural disasters?’ Mirage asks. ‘Blizzards. Storms. Floods. A firestorm in Arizona’ Doug explains, adding that he is speed reviewing footage from all the events.
‘I’ve seen her three times so far’ Doug announces. ‘What’s she doing?’ Mirage asks. ‘Saving lives. That’s what it looks like’ Doug tells Dani, who asks what the connection is, between the events. ‘So far? It’s Blink. Clarice Ferguson is the principle common denominator’ Doug explains. Mirage asks if Blink is causing these disasters, pointing out that her teleport powers have major applications. Doug replies that he doesn’t think she is. ‘Why would she?’ he asks. ‘I don’t know!’ Mirage replies, throwing her hands into the air. ‘Why didn’t she stay with the X-Men when we offered her a home?’ Mirage points out. ‘Why did she run? What’s she doing? What happened to her when she came back from the dead?’
Cypher narrows his eyes, and reminds Dani that coming back from the dead doesn’t automatically make you a bad person. Sitting down next to him, Dani tells Doug that she knows, and that she didn’t mean him. Dani tells Doug that she just wants to know what Blink is doing, and asks if there are any other patterns. ‘Of course. Everything’s linked’ Doug tells her, announcing that the connections include wildlife migrations, eighteen separate regional advertising campaigns, cell phone coverage areas… his voice trails off. ‘Okay’ Mirage remarks, before Doug tells her that four of the disasters began at the same time of day, and six of them happened in places that had been visited by the same touring company of Shakespearean players.
‘Okay’ Mirage replies, before Doug continues, revealing that nine sites are served by the same air carriers, and all have branches of Starbucks, while six have recent reports of ball lightning, and three had hosted concerts by the band called Diskhord. Doug announces that five have statistically high numbers of road accidents, seven have branches of the so-called Church of Higher Visitors - ‘Okay. Okay’ Dani exclaims, getting Cypher to stop talking. Doug looks at Mirage and frowns, telling her that he is looking at all patterns. ‘That’s the thing with a teleporter. There’s no point working out where she’s been. If you want to find her, you’ve got to work out where she’s going’ Cypher states.
Meanwhile, at a Ribstickers BBQ restaurant, Amara Aquilla a.k.a. Magma sits at a booth with the manager, while an employee washes the floor nearby. ‘So, Miss…Amara…why do you want a job at Ribstickers?’ the manager asks. ‘Because I want a job to see what a real job is like, and also to earn money to pay rent’ Amara replies, smiling. ‘Honest. I like honest’ the manager remarks, before asking Amara what makes her qualified. ‘I can fry food and smile’ Amara tells him. The man laughs, when suddenly, Amara’s phone beeps. ‘Sorry. I’m sorry’ Amara declares while reaching into her bag for her phone.
‘Okay, small tip. Maybe you should have turned off the phone before the interview…’ the manager suggests. Looking at the phone, Amara goes wide-eyed and tells the manager that she has to take this, before announcing that she has to go. ‘I’m sorry. I’ve got to’ Amara declares. ‘You’re interviewing for a job’ the manager points out. ‘I’m sorry’ Amara tells him, before she gets up and rushes out the door. ‘Hey! Heeey!’ the manager exclaims. Following Amara into an alley, he gasps: ‘What the -’, as he sees a sleek jet take off vertically into the sky.
Later, Stroud on Lake Michigan. The sky is a dirty purple color, as people gather for a concert. With a hood covering some of her face, Blink walks into a secure area. ‘Hey! You can’t go back there!’ someone standing nearby exclaims. ‘Yeah, I can. I’m with the band’ Clarice tells him,. ‘You Joey’s new girl?’ one of the men asks. ‘No. I’m Tina’s’ Clarice replies as she makes her way backstage. ‘Dig it’ one of the men exclaims, while another announces that the band is starting. ‘What’s with the insane weather, huh?’ the first man remarks as the clouds overhead swirl. ‘I know. Like a storm coming’ the other man agrees.
Backstage, the chants of the crowd can be heard. ‘Diskhord! Diskhord!’ the crowd cries over and over. Blink peers out at the crowd from where she stands. The band appears on stage. Two men and a woman, all wearing masks and an assortment of punk/grunge clothes. The band begins to play and the crowd goes wild. Energy seems to radiate from the band members, while Blink narrows her eyes as she watches them from backstage. Suddenly, the male guitarist lurches forward, and purple energy pours from his body, upwards, off the stage and into the darkened sky.
‘ETA Stroud, six minutes’ Warlock reports from inside the New Mutants’s Blackbird jet. ‘Nap-of-the-Earth, and stealth, please, self/friend’ Cypher tells Warlock. Mirage tells her team that when they get there, they are to fan out and scope the area for Blink. ‘Why’s she so special?’ Nate enquires. ‘She’s one of us. We -’ Mirage begins, but Warlock interrupts, announcing that the meteorological conditions have begun to fluctuate. ‘Extreme electromagnetic -’ he begins, but stops himself. ‘Warlock?’ Cypher calls out, concerned. ‘Self does not heart this data. Caution advised. Self-friends, we are flying into a maelstrom’ Warlock announces. Mirage urgently tells him to turn around, but it’s too late, as they are struck by a charge of lightning!