Rahne Sinclair aka Wolfsbane sits in the idyllic nature, just enjoying herself. She flashes back to her recent resurrection.
After the work of the Five, Professor X and Storm welcomed her back from her cocoon. Storm welcomed her as a Krakoan, gave her a kiss on the forehead and promised her that all things that made her a prisoner of past sins are gone. So, let the past go… and live.
Rahne smiles. She is joined by her friend Xi’an Coy Manh aka Karma, who asks what she is grinning at. Rahne tells her it’s like she died and went to Heaven. Shan points out she kind of did. She’s sure some people would say to take the gift for what it is, but truly heavy stuff has a way of sticking around. Experiences like that lend themselves to broader questions of self, faith and fate – things that are tough to ignore. She offers to talk, if Rahne wants to. But Rahne surprisingly announces she’s good. She really is.
Elsewhere on Krakoa, Mondo is meditating, his body taking on the structure of the ground. Anything? Doug Ramsey aka Cypher asks him. Mondo asks him to remind him what he is looking for. Doug explains that Krakoa is sentient, so he was thinking because of the way Mondo’s powers work when he absorbs part of the island he might be able to sense it or communicate in some other way. Monod tells him he is sensitive but he felt nothing. So, are they done?
Doug asks Krakoa to give it a try. Mondo groans. The next moment a plant-face appears on Mondo’s chest and greets Doug as Krakoa speaks through Mondo. Well, he’s never gonna sleep again, Doug mutters. Krakoa calls that unfortunate. He needs his sleep. Doug asks how this works. Is Krakoa remote-piloting the body or just its motor functions. Is Mondo in there with it? Not in the way he means, Krakoa replies.
Indeed, Mondo’s consciousness is somewhere alone in the dark, wondering what’s going on.
Doug suggests they should try to figure this out. Krakoa calls this a bad thing, and now it’s over. It breaks contact with Mondo, who panics and asks what that was. Doug admits that was pretty creepy and Mondo warns him, if Doug asks him to do that again, he will probably punch him in the face. So. Many. Times. Sounds fair, Doug agrees.
The Akademikos Habitat:
In the center is the Sextant where the New Mutants live. Dani Moonstar and Roberto da Costa walk there and muse that this turned out better than they ever thought it would, especially if you consider how they got here. First there were ancient mutants like Apocalypse… and then came those like Xavier and Magneto, elders of a more modern time -- and after them came the first widescale emergence of mutants. The X-Men Sunspot agrees. And after that, the mutant population exploded both exponentially and globally, Dani continues. Which resulted in… more X-Men Sunspot muses. Which is weird, right? You’d think there would have been a brand change or something. Maybe Xavier couldn’t afford a marketing budget. Dani doubts it. Roberto admits those guys aren’t worth what they charge anyway.
Dani continues that, after that, there were enough of them that they could start building a real community. Which is where they came in, Roberto agrees. And the school.
They walk past Monet St. Croix screaming at her younger sisters, both in Penance form.
Which is also where it failed, Dani opines, because human ideologies and institutions were never built for something better.
He doesn’t know if anyone has told her that today, Roberto states smoothly, but she is an amazing woman and she deserves better. Taking up his tone, Dani thanks him and calls him all man. Nonsense, he replies. He is all mutant! You can’t stick this in a people farm and expect to get an accountant on the other side.
They walk past the new Hellions, arguing with one of the original ones. As they enter one of the domes, Roberto continues. So here they are in the sixth generation of mutantdom, trying something new: a mutant sextant. Dani suggests they call it what it is. Home.
Inside are Chamber and Magik and the smell of coffee. Chamber explains that Synch and Monet talked this new kid Fauna into seeing what would grow on the island and it turns out he grew a coffee bean that they swear is one part innocence and one part sincerity.
Cradling a full pot protectively, Magik explains that Chamber brought them some. He adds that he can’t drink it, but damn, does he love the smell!
Roberto asks Illyana for a cup. Holding on more tightly to the pot, she announces it is hers and… empty. When he reaches for it, she tells him not to make her cut him.
Luckily, Chamber made a second pot and proffers a cup to Roberto and Dani, as well as Rahne and Xi’an who join them. Illyana drinks hers straight from the pot.
Doug and Mondo enter as well, Doug gladly takes some coffee but Mondo passes. He saw how that stuff was made. With sincerity? Illyana asks. With innocence? Rahne suggests. Not what he would call it, Mondo mutters. Not how it smelled.
This is fun, Dani chuckles. It is almost perfect, Roberto agrees. Dani predicts he will say to be perfect Sam would have to be here. Roberto agrees. Sam would love this more than anyone. Dani reminds him Sam is several hundred thousand light years away in Shi’ar space. With his family. That’s true, Roberto admits and asks her a moment later if she wants to go for a ride.
And so, sometime later, the New Mutants (plus Mondo and Chamber) hitch a ride on the Starjammer.
Their leader Corsair points out that they and the Shi’ar have a complicated history and he is putting his crew in danger by entering Shi’ar space. Roberto retorts Cyclops said that after the visit that was exactly where they were headed anyway. Of course they are, Corsair replies. They are pirates, they laugh at danger. Ain’t that right, baby? he asks his lover, Hepzibah who asks him stone-faced if he can’t see the smile on her face.
Corsair tells Roberto they can get them to Shi’ar space. But if they want to get to the throneworld Chandilar, they will have to make the rest of the way on their own. Roberto assures him he has a big smile and pockets full of money.
Cypher and Mondo walk the corridors of the Starjammer, trying to find the Krakoan portal which they came through originally. They finally find a chamber which contains a big garden and the Krakoan portal.
Enjoying the ground, Mondo notes this is better. It’s good to get that island off him. It was itching, which isn’t normal. Doug muses that there is more going on. On the island, he didn’t notice because Krakoa is everywhere, but here he notices a pull between the existing portal and the gateway flower.
An annoyed Ch’od announces, they are talking to each other. This is a closed, carefully regulated biome. So, when he started getting alerts that the helium, nitrogen and oxygen mixtures were elevated, he came down here to see what was wrong with the equipment. But it’s not the equipment, it’s the gateway and flower’s proximity. They want to terraform!
Chastened, Doug points out they will be off the ship soon. Ch’od kneels down to some desiccated plants. Those are Pomi. A delicacy from his home world that only ripen once a decade. It took him years to get the environment right and this was the first time they were ready for harvest. Now they are dying. The two apologize. Either the plant goes out the airlock or they do, Ch’od replies. But they need the plant to create a gateway home from the Shi’ar world. Mondo puts the plant inside his body which is good enough. Still Ch’od’s mood is sour.
Several days later:
Magik and Raza are testing each other in a sword battle, watched by the others. Insults are hurled and bets are made: Corsair bets his good bottle of Kentucky whiskey against Sunspot that Raza will win. When Raza hits Magik’s nose, all bets are off, however, and she slices off his prosthetic arm. To his shocked exclamation, she tells him to get over it. It’s just a robot arm. That was her real nose. Threatening him with her sword, she demands an apology. Gloating, Sunspot demands his bourbon.
One day later, they have reached the station Benevolence on the edge of Shi’ar space. Corsair tells Sunspot this is the ass-end of the galaxy. Fortunately, they are just making a short pitstop. He orders him to get his group together. He has to lay down some ground rules.
When the mutants are gathered, Corsair informs them the Starjammers have some business down there. Karma inquires after their sort of business. Pirate business, Corsair answers curtly. And while the Starjammers are down there, the New Mutants are to stay aboard. Rahne and Jono protest, both want to stretch their legs a bit.
Corsair stares at Jono, assuring him there is nothing for them outside the ship. What’s the worst thing they can imagine? Judgy fundamentalists, Rahne ventures. People with four arms, Chamber adds. Corsair reveals he has bad news for them. The space port is owned by the Nuwabi’ka, a real angsty group run by the grand priest Kaliwaki. Dude makes the pope seem like a pentagram-worshipping heathen. And he has four arms. They took the place over, force-converted who they could and put the rest into prison. They hate sinners. And you pretty much can’t sneeze without offending them. You commit one sin and you go to prison and get tortured. Corsair describes the torture to some extent.
Dani asks why they do business with them if they are so bad. Corsair retorts they don’t. They do business under their nose. They are here to pick up a shipment that the powers that be don’t know about. He repeats his order for them to sit tight, then leaves.
With him gone, Sunspot tries to make his friends see Corsair’s point. Karma protests that they need to help. Bobby points out they are not here to interfere on another planet but to get Sam home. He offers the bourbon he won off Corsair to take the edge of. Dani suggests he get it.
With him out of the room, Dani asks Magik to follow the Starjammers. Illyana got a look at the map so she knows where they are going. So, when Bobby returns with the bourbon, the team is gone.
The mutants find themselves in a huge, almost empty chamber. In the center, atop a kind of altar, hovers a multicolored egg. Rahne climbs up and grabs it .A moment later, she is ordered to put it down as the Starjammers burst into the chamber. Corsair orders them away from the containment unit.
Look, it’s a one-armed preacher! Magik snarks and Mirage demands answers.
While Ch’od and Raza grab the small containment unit of the egg, Corsair reminds them the Shi’ar are a monoculture. They don’t allow any other religions. This is a containment facility of exotic matter. And they are pirates. Why else would they be here but to steal stuff. He tells them to go and the Starjammers race off.
The mutants muse what makes this worse is that Bobby was right. Magik gets ready to teleport them back aboard the Starjammer but is hit by an energy blast, courtesy of a Shi’ar weapon. The guards have arrived.
The Starjammers take note of their situation but decide not to help. They are expected on Pshor Prime in days.
With Illyana out, Karma tries to possess the guards but their helmets make them psi-proof. Mirage orders Chamber to use his psionic energy against them.
In the meantime, the Starjammers have reached their ship. Sunspot asks where his friends are. The crew gets ready for take-off and Corsair bluntly informs him, his teammates met some Shi’ar shock troops and it isn’t going to end well. Roberto states they are going to rescue them. No, they have to haul ass, Corsair replies. They have a deal with a very serious buyer. They can’t just leave them! Roberto insists. Yes, they can, Corsair shoots back, and they are.
Why would they do that? a bemused Roberto asks. What have any of them done to deserve that? They ruined his plants, Ch’od reminds him. The angry girl cut off his arm, Raza adds. Hepzibah admits to simply not liking children. And Roberto stole his whiskey Corsair adds. Roberto shoots back Corsair lost that fair and square. And now he’s lost a ride, Corsair decides.
And so, a little later, Sunspot and the bourbon are left behind on the planet. Sunspot sensibly downs some bourbon before deciding to save the day.
A little later yet, he and his teammates are forced to surrender but Roberto is still cheerful. After all, he has the number of a really good space lawyer…