The Hellfire Gala, Mykenes:
Several mutants enter on the green carpet and are photographed by the press. Warlock, looking like usual, smiles for the press, until a darkhaired man loudly opines that his look is embarrassing. Depressed, Warlock tries to slink away until Dani asks him where he is going. They don’t want to be late.
Inside, the New Mutants mingle with the heroes and celebrities. Warlock stays by Dani’s side while she greets Captain America and Captain Marvel.
Wolverine and Thor make a date for drinking. Warlock tells Iron Man he loves the circuit-work of friendstark. Always great to meet a fan, is the reply. An already inebriated Nightcrawler asks Dani about her experiences with the veil between life and death as a Valkyrie.
Later again, Rogue urges Dani to go to the afterparty. She’s been working hard; she deserves an evening of revelry!
Finally, Dani catches up with Rahne, currently in her transitional form, and the female Wolverine, Laura Kinney. Dani asks Laura about her clone sister Gabby. The food should be right up her alley. Laura isn’t sure. Gabby hasn’t been home. Rahne muses she hasn’t been at training either. Laura suggests she is probably causing trouble with Akihiro. She excuses herself and joins Synch.
Dani sends Warlock away on a pretext. Alone with Rahne, Dani asks why she is in uniform. Did Jumbo not give her one of his custom creations? Rahne shrugs. All this pomp is for the humans. She doesn’t feel like preening and strutting for them. Dani suggests it is less strutting and more flexing their mutant pride. And what a great excuse to get fancy! If she says so, Rahne agrees listlessly. Dani takes her hands and apologizes for not being there to go to X-Factor with Rahne. There was a whole thing with an old wizard and a pot but that’s beside the point. She’s sorry and she wants Rahne to know she is here now. Rahne replies it’s fine after some hesitation. She got Dani’s note. It sounded like a serious situation. She’s glad she was there for the boy when he needed her.
A Madrox clone offers them champagne. Dani asks what X-Factor said about their next steps. For getting Tier back. Rahne gives the evasive reply, that it’s complicated Dani suggests she can also tell her later. But it sounds like it’s building up in her head. She should talk about it. They can go if she wants to talk. And miss the party of the century? Rahne jokes. She’s worth ditching for, Dani jokes back.
Turning serious, Rahne bursts out, Tier is not going to be resurrected. Is that what she wants to hear? Dani is taken aback. Does that mean he is alive? Rahne sighs. No. yes, maybe. They couldn’t say. Cerebro’s still taking back-ups. But they are wrong, somehow… different than they should be. Even if he were in the resurrection queue, he wouldn’t come back right, and they can’t tell her why.
Dani bursts out that that doesn’t make any senses. What happened to his back-ups? A fed up Rahne lashes out. If Dani had been there, she wouldn’t ask her about that. It’s not their job to find out. They investigated and found what they told her. That’s the end of their line.
Dani apologizes. So does Rahne; she is just tired. They are interrupted for the announcement for the X-Men election. Rahne wants to sit down. Dani promises her they will make this all right somehow.
Laura asks Daken and Aurora if they have seen Gabby. Not today, Daken replies. Why, she getting into trouble? Aurora asks if she is alright. She has been withdrawn lately. Laura is worried. She knows Gabby is a functionally immortal highly trained assassin. But she is also her kid sister. And she never misses an all-you-can-eat buffet. She doesn’t want to sound the alarm yet. They know how Logan gets and, if she Gabby turns up for dinner, it will be a whole thing… She asks them to keep an eye out for her. Daken promises but assures her she is probably just putting cherry bombs into the toilets.
The unpleasant man who insulted Warlock before is trying to chat up Illyana, who is dressed in a demon style outfit. He boasts that he is the highest paid artist in the States and has an eye for beautiful things. She’s got a form that’s begging to be sculpted. He nudges Warpath, who just glares and tries to hold back an angry Magik. They are all distracted when Karma joins them. James and Illyana are stunned by her outfit; a retro fuchsia mini dress displaying her artificial leg.
The artist tells her how bold it is to wear something above the knee. Easy, James warns Illyana, who points out teleporting him inside a volcano is easy. The artist makes a show of kissing Xia’an’s hand, asking her to be his next muse She’s giving him cyberpunk aesthetic realness. Warlock angrily hovers over Karma’s shoulder and glares at him. Karma asks who he is. He believes she is playing coy but introduces himself as Barry Thee Artist. He’s sure she’s seen his work.
Illyana tells James if she can’t end him, then he should play interference while she and Xi’an make an exit. Illyana addresses Karma as “babe,” pretending to be her girlfriend. Barry leers. Must be hard not to get in there, huh? he asks James. The two women are about to leave. Barry remarks that, when he’s through with them, they’ll be begging him to lick his brushes clean.
Karma turns around and possesses him. She forces him to take a tray of drinks and empty them over his head. He realizes she used her power on him and begins uttering threats. That sounds like trending news. Get ready for an international incident.
Karma returns to him and informs him he seems to be confused as to his importance, so let her explain it to him as if he were a child: his negging and crude tasteless insinuations aren’t shocking. They are boring. As is his work. He creates an abrasive persona to prove that he is authentic, but all he has done is show how basic and cruel he is. He is a guest here – a tourist, not a diplomat. But if he were a human representative to their nation, his behavior would cost his country dearly. She tells hm to be grateful for his lack of importance. As she then turns back to Illyana, Warlock gives her a big thumbs up. Karma tells him to take the loss and keep his mouth shut for the rest of the night. Barry is speechless. Warpath tells Barry to clean himself up.
Illyana commends Xi’an on her ruthlessness. If she ever wants to give a seminar on evisceration in Limbo, she is welcome. The two laugh and dance.
James turns to Warlock and asks why he keeps following an imitating him all night. Warlock admits he is lonely. He is trying not to be resentful but, ever since selfsoulfriend Doug returned from Otherworld with his new wife Bei the Bloodmoon, he has had no time for Warlock and he feels like parts of him are missing. He feels sad and misses that level of connection and wanted to see if someone else wanted to be his best friend.
Gently, James tells him he can’t cut and paste people like that. Sometimes people get in deep to where you are vulnerable. That is family. Replacing Doug is impossible. Just as replacing Warlock is impossible. He’s lost people too. The pain doesn’t go away but you learn to breathe through it. But that isn’t what’s happening here. Doug is in the honeymoon phase of things right now, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t need Warlock. He most likely feels the same way he does. He suggests Warlock talk to Doug. His power is communication; he will understand. Encouraged by the peptalk, warlock decides to do that and thanks him.
Warlock walks over to the couple and begins to talk. Doug smiles and Bei shows her acceptance, and soon they are goofing around together.
Elsewhere, Amahl Farouk talks with Scout, telling her he never had the opportunity to make friends when he was her age. When he was ten his father along with hundreds of neighbors had been taken by a plague. He wasn’t alone, however. He had him. And, for a long time, he thought what he had was good. Because of him he was never alone. Cheered wherever they went. Weeping with joy… but it wasn’t real. He knows that now.
When he came to Krakoa, it was the first time in centuries that he felt free. He still hears little pieces of him but, something about this place keeps him dormant. Farouk can think and feel for himself. For the first time, people smiled at him because they wanted to. Her friends came to him out of their choice because they were curious and trusted they were safe. It felt good. They are lost like he was. There will come a time when they will have to face the world again. And be ruthless like he was. He knows what lurks in the darkness and will tolerate them becoming prey. Goodbye, Gabrielle Kinney.
Later, on Planet Arakko (formerly Mars), Illyana recruits Dani for disrobing James, who has gotten the spikes of his jacket stuck and can’t get out of it. Illyana gets them all champagne for a toast, though Rahne passes.
Laura has returned to the home she shares with Gabby and Jonathan to find a letter by Gabby. She begins to read then shows it to Daken.
Gabby’s friends, returned from Arakko, finds her dead body in a ditch.