During a particularly rigorous training session against their battle robots, Wondra barks orders to each of the New Warriors. She instructs Tempest to use her elemental powers in tandem instead of in succession, Skybolt to use his osmium alloy suit as a battering ram instead of wasting his ammunition, and Ripcord to never stop moving in battle. Each of Wondra’s teammates accept her advice, but not without first making snarky comments. Blackwing, fighting alongside Sofia and Decibel against another robot, is the only one who earnestly accepts Wondra’s advice.
Sofia, who now goes by the handle Renascence, fires a barrage of rounds at her target. Wondra observes, and is impressed; she remarks that several of the New Warriors have told her their tech now feels like extensions of their bodies. Just like our old mutant powers, Wondra says to herself. Renascence’s precision with her guns and tech seems to support this belief.
For one brief moment, while observing Renascence vaulting herself over her opponent’s head, Wondra even believes this group of New Warriors could take on the X-Men or the Avengers. She quickly brushes this thought aside, however. Her mind keeps returning to her problem with Night Thrasher. Unfortunately, her current lapse in concentration provides an opening for a back attack by another hulking robot. It smashes her into the ground. The resilient New Warrior immediately gets back up and delivers an uppercut so powerful, it sends the robot crashing into its counterparts.
The simulation ends. “Guess that’s a wrap,” Ripcord says. Jono, having noticed Jubilee’s inattentiveness at the end, asks if she got distracted thinking about Night Thrasher. Jubilee does not wish to talk about it; unfortunately, this brief exchange piques Tempest’s interest. She asks for an explanation.
“Wonder chick here thinks Thrash is secretly working for the control organization,” says Vincent. Sofia takes the onset of this argument as her cue to exit; she still waits tables at the diner and has her own bills to pay. As soon as she leaves, however, Jubilee defends her suspicions. All she wants to know is what Night Thrasher does when he leaves and why he acts so secretive around his supposed friends. Vin tells Jubilee it is none of her business. A defensive Jubilee begins lashing out at everyone in the room at this point. She asks Christian why he doesn’t care more; after all, it was his sister Christina who died recently in battle. Christian, obviously upset by this callous remark, tells Jubilee it was an accident. He cannot blame Thrasher for Christina’s sacrifice.
“Dude…she was using Stilt-Man extenders,” Wondra says. “With all the force-fields, laser gauntlets, flame throwers and gravity discs we have, that was a weak set of tech to choose.” Thrash should have known her power set would be ineffective. Wondra places the blame squarely on his shoulders.
Christian stops arguing and begins to walk out of the room, but Vin stops him. He looks right at Jubilee and tells her that her negativity is undoing all of Night Thrasher’s hard work. All the dissension and strife, he says, is her fault.
“Oh, so you two gonna go Omega Gang on me now?” Jubilee asks while putting up her fists. “I was wondering when it was gonna happen…” Barnell tries to stop the argument from getting any more out of hand, but is too late. Jubilee and Vin begin to fight. Vin launches some explosive missiles at Jubilee, who deftly dodges each blast as she works her way toward her opponent. Once she clears the distance, she lunges to strike. Thankfully, Christian restrains her from behind, and Jono puts a stop to the fight before anyone gets hurt.
Night Thrasher takes this opportunity to make an appearance, albeit in the form of a holographic projection. “What seems to be the problem?” he asks his feuding teammates. Jubilee steps up and immediately gets in the projection’s face. She tells Night Thrasher that the team has put their lives on the line for him several times now, yet he refuses to even reveal his true identity. She scolds him for continually running away during battles, and is about to make another point when he cuts her off. However, instead of denying anything, he concedes.
Jubilee is taken aback; she never expected to win so easily. Night Thrasher tells his New Warriors that he will explain everything. He tells them to meet in the War Room in an hour.
From beneath the cover of the thick jungle canopy, Midnight’s Fire looks at a castle through a pair of high-powered binoculars. He spots the villain Diablo through the viewing window. The ancient alchemist rests his elbows on one of his castle balcony rails and stares pensively into the distance. “We will soon see what secrets you hold,” Midnight’s Fire says. He pulls down his binoculars and continues with his mission.
Detectives Harry Givens and Bev Sykes arrive on the scene of an ongoing hostage situation in New York suburb. A crazed super-human by the name of Seismic is holding an entire family hostage in their home, and keeps threatening to blow the place up if his demands are not met. Sykes asks the SWAT leader what powers the man possesses. Treating this like a foolish question, and tells Sykes that all he knows is Seismic wants ten million dollars and a plane. From this information, Sykes deduces that the terrorist probably does not possess flight powers or super strength; if he did, he would already be drinking daiquiris in Aruba.
The SWAT leader gets restless and tells the detectives he has multiple snipers targeting the villain. He can end the whole ordeal in twenty seconds. Givens and Sykes, however, order him to be patient. Without proper knowledge of the target’s powerset, any action they take could have fatal consequences. Harry recommends they wait for assistance from the Initiative. The SWAT leader ignores him and orders his squad to move in.
As the SWAT team surrounds the house, Harry yells for Bev to take cover. His fears turn out to be correct; Seismic sees the SWAT closing in on the house, yells that he gave them fair warning, and then unleashes the raw totality of his powers. The entire house explodes, spewing shrapnel into the streets and pillars of smoke into the sky.
The War Room…
“You think we’ll find out who he is?” Angel asks her teammates as they wait for Night Thrasher’s arrival.
“I bet you it’s Synch,” Sofia quips. Barnell says Thrasher is probably Dwayne Taylor, which leads Vin to ask why everyone automatically assumes Night Thrasher is black.
“It could be Dwayne Taylor’s brother, Bandit. Wasn’t he a New Warrior, once?” Barnell asks. Miranda scoffs at this suggestion, as she remembers Bandit as being somewhat of a punk.
Night Thrasher enters the room unexpectedly and tells everyone to listen up. He starts by saying that his identity is not nearly as important as his purpose in gathering this team. The last set of New Warriors lacked focus; the new version needs to be stronger and more focused. He explains that he chose depowered, former X-Men for the task, because they have already had the necessary training and had proven themselves in the field.
At this point, Jubilee accuses Night Thrasher of exploiting their vulnerabilities. Miranda asks for her to give him a chance to explain himself. Continuing, Night Thrasher segues into why he gathered these New Warriors in the first place. He presents them with a device he calls the Transmap. This invention not only monitors all superhuman activity, he explains, but it also predicts the future activities of super-powered humans as well. “The computer calculates possible scenarios based on an individual’s past machinations and forms a probability profile,” Night Thrasher says. Everyone is amazed. Everyone, that is, except for Jubilee.
“That’s a crock,” she says. Jono tries to talk her down, but she tells him to back off. “This explains nothing. Plus, how could you have this technology, and both Stark and Reed Richards not?? What, they’re not smart enough??” Night Thrasher simply responds he does not know. Unsurprisingly, this answer does not satisfy Jubilee.
Thrasher, however, quickly changes the subject. He tells the New Warriors he needs their help, and asks them to make a choice. It takes them but a moment to decide. Everyone crowds around Night Thrasher in excitement and congratulates him on his excellent plan. He thanks them, and as he begins explaining about their next target, Jubilee storms out of the room. Jono asks where she is going. “Don’t talk to me,” she says as she leaves.
Later that day, Wondra approaches Grace and Aja in their lab. The lab monitor, a sentient computer called P-Jack, cracks a joke as she enters, but Jubilee is not in the mood. She tells it to shut up and begins grilling the two tech assistants about Night Thrasher. Because they joined up with Night Thrasher before any of the New Warriors, she hopes they might have some inside info on his true identity. Unfortunately, Aja tells her they know just about as much as she does.
This only compounds Jubilee’s frustration. She lashes out once more, this time asking why they so willingly follow such a nebulous, dishonest leader. “Girl, you need ta lay off ‘im,” Grace interjects. “He’s doin’ his thing. The New Warriors got a rep on the rise, clippin’ foolz back and makin’ the world safe because of him. And now you’re gonna sweat ‘im?? What’s up wit’ dat?”
Jubilee crosses her arms and gives Grace a stern look. “Grace, you don’t even know what you’re talking about. He could be leading us to the slaughter and we wouldn’t even know it. And if you can’t see it, you’re as stupid as you’re pretending to be.” This comment cuts Grace to her core; she looks up at Jubilee with a pained expression on her face. “What, you gonna cry now?” Jubilee asks.
Aja asks Jubilee to leave Grace alone, but it is too late. Grace runs out of the room in tears. “You happy?” he asks. Jubilee feels no remorse for upsetting Grace, as she had grown tired of the kid trying to sound like she was from the streets. Aja asks if Jubilee has any idea what Grace has been through. Jubilee says no, but sighs and says that Aja is probably about to tell her.
Ignoring Jubilee’s cynicism, Aja explains that Night Thrasher gave Kaz, Grace, and himself a place to stay when they were homeless. Jubilee is surprised to hear that they were runaways, but is even more shocked by what Aja reveals next. “When Thrash found her, Grace was two minutes from turning her first trick in some seedy hotel in ‘the Kitchen,’” he says, adding that Trash beat her pimp to a pulp. Grace may have latched onto a culture that is not her own, yes, but she is young. She does not yet know who she is, but he adds that none of them do, including Jubilee. Night Thrasher, however, discovered Grace had an innate talent with electronics and has given her a path to follow.
Wondra begins feeling guilty. She asks Aja to tell his story too. He pulls the sleeve up on his arm, revealing several scars from cigarette burns. He explains how he was adopted through the black market out of Punjab, and put in a home with parents who treated him like a slave. It was Night Thrasher who finally freed Aja and exposed the corrupt adoption ring.
Finally, Jubilee asks to hear Kaz’s story. “You don’t wanna know,” is all Aja has to say. He restates his support for Night Thrasher, and asks if Jubilee truly wants to turn on someone who does so much good for the world. Jubilee has no answer at this point; she merely turns away and averts her eyes in shame.
Later, at Al’s Diner…
Despite being secretly affiliated with the New Warriors, Sofia Mantega continues to wait tables. Due to her recent, highly publicized heroic actions, her coworkers now view her as somewhat of a celebrity. After joking with her boss a bit, Sofia heads over to great a new patron in her section. This particular diner orders an interesting breakfast: two Belgian waffles, two eggs over easy with bacon, a cup of coffee, and an exclusive interview!
Sofia does not believe she heard the woman right. “You heard me,” she says. She introduces herself as Kat Farrel, reporter for The Daily Bugle. Kat wants to know the full story behind Sofia’s act of bravery that not only saved the life of an innocent child, but turned the tide of battle in favor of the New Warriors. She shoves an audio recorder in Sofia’s face and tells her to drop the act. Sofia just stares in disbelief.