Aboard the X-Men’s SR-71X Blackbird, cruising along the edge of space, Kurt “Nightcrawler” Wagner, the young mutant called Rico and several Bamfs are in the jet, as a hologram of Ororo “Storm” Munroe appears and informs Kurt that she needs a favor. ‘Anything, Ororo. You know that’ Kurt replies. Storm informs her dear friend that they are registering a new mutant signature, surprisingly powerful, and in his vicinity. ‘Can you check it out?’ she enquires. Kurt asks Rico if he is ready for an adventure. ‘Absolutely!’ Rico exclaims. Storm tells her friend that this won’t be as easy as it sounds. ‘Why am I not surprised?’ Kurt wonders. Another hologram appears, of a facility called NARWAL. Storm informs Kurt that the mutants works at NARWAL, an advanced weapons research facility. ‘You can expect appropriate levels of security’ Storm adds.
Kurt tells Storm that this won’t be a problem, and asks if there are any specifics on the mutant. An image of the young mutant appears on the hologram, and Storm reports that what Hank has been able to glean is that her name is Ziggy Karst, and the Beast’s back-channel sources suggest that she is a prodigious intellect, and an entire wing at NARWAL is devoted to her research. ‘If she’s that smart, why would she go back to school?’ Rico enquires. The Bamfs watch the hologram of Storm curiously, as Kurt tells Rico that they both know the Jean Grey School has much more than just traditional academics to offer. Kurt suggests that perhaps Miss Karst would accept an invitation to spend time amongst fellow mutants, before informing Storm that they are on their way. Kurt teleports out of his seat and re-appears behind Rico, telling him saddle up, as it is time to go on their adventure. ‘Hey, wait a minute - I thought you couldn’t teleport somewhere you’ve never been!’ Rico calls out. ‘That’s why the Bamfs leave first’ Kurt smiles. The Bamfs quickly disappear, and Kurt follows, ‘They mark the trail. I follow their lead’. And as he vanishes, Kurt decides that, occasionally though, that plan leaves something to be desired.
Inside NARWAL, the Crimson Pirates - Killian, Bloody Bess, Broadside and their Sea Dogs are blasting at the scientists and NARWAL employees. When the blasts strike, the people simple disappear, leaving their clothes behind. ‘Weapons on stun, pirates! We earn of profit from corpses!’ Killian declares. ‘The facility’s under attack!’ Kurt exclaims as he, Rico and the Bamfs materialize on a platform overlooking the area of the facility under attack. ‘Like I’ve said before, Killian - you take the fun out of everything!’ Bess exclaims. ‘Who are these guys?’ Rico asks, nervously. Kurt grits his teeth and reports that they are freebooters called the Crimson Pirates, and Killian is their leader. ‘They’re shooting - everyone!’ Rico exclaims. ‘Burning them all to smoke - right before our eyes’ he adds. Kurt takes Rico by his shoulders and looks down at him, apologizing to him, as he is just a child, and he shouldn’t be here, or be a part of this. ‘I’m not leaving you! I can help you! We can save lives!’ Rico exclaims.
‘Can you do that? For me? For them?’ Nightcrawler enquires. Wide-eyed, Rico replies that he is scared, but that he will try. ‘I’m proud of you, lad’ Nightcrawler tells the young mutant, instructing him that his job is to get the survivors out of here, and the Bamfs will help. ‘Leave the rest to me. And have no fear - you’ve my word, I’ll bring you home safe’ Kurt adds, as he and Rico leap off the balcony, and the Bamfs teleport in unison. Kurt drops down towards Broadside, who he decides is possessing more muscles than s descent, but is sadly not a proportionate intellect. Kurt realizes that Broadside’s weapons seem to be doing the bulk of the vaporizing. ‘So if I can take him out -’ he thinks, but just as he is about to land on Broadside, the hulking pirate spins around and smacks Kurt hard. ‘Trying to catch me by surprise, are ye, y’scut? Not even in y’r dreams!’ he boasts.
The moment Kurt hits the floor, landing on his back, he is swarmed by several of the human-like, green-skinned Sea Dogs. He knows that they are out for blood - which suits him fine, as he reaches up and punches one of them in the face. Kurt likes a good fight. He leaps up and kicks another, while wrapping his tail around the third’s neck. Kurt takes one of their swords, ‘The more impossible the odds, the better’ he thinks to himself, but he knows that the sea-dogs are just Killian’s grunts. He knows he needs to find a way to take down the principals. Hold ‘im fast, y’scuts! All I need is one shot!’ Broadside exclaims as he holds one of the weapons towards Kurt, but he can’t get a clear shot. However, decides that there are more Sea Dogs where they came from, and fires the weapon - which makes two of the Sea Dogs disappear.
Broadside is then set upon by nearly a dozen Bamfs, who teleport all over him. ‘All right then, that takes care of - where’d these ratspawn come from?’ Broadside calls out. Two of the Bamfs pull the cloth around Broadside’s waist down around his ankles, and trip him up. ‘My legs -’ he calls out, as he hit’s the ground. The Bamfs pull his weapons away from him, and he declares that they move too fast, bouncing in and out of the shadows, they are too quick for him to swat. ‘My transmat guns!’ Broadside cries out as the Bamfs succeed in pulling away all of the weapons.
Nearby, Rico scurries down one of the walls. His mouth is dry and his heart won’t slow down. He knows that this isn’t the Danger Room, that these are real people - and it is up to him to save them. He wonders if Nightcrawler was crazy. ‘What could he have been thinking? This is way out of my league’ Rico decides. But, as he lands between several Sea Dogs and the remaining NARWAL scientists, Rico knows that there is no one else to even try.
‘Back off, creeps!’ Rico calls out. ‘Oh my God, another one!’ a woman exclaims. ‘It’s some kind of monster!’ another scientist shouts. ‘But - he’s protecting us’ one of them realizes. ‘Leave these people alone!’ Rico shouts. ‘Hear that, mates? Sounds like one o’ these scuts is willing to put up a fight!’ one of the Sea Dogs grins. ‘Time he learned his lesson!’ another exclaims as they engage Rico in battle. ‘He’s - fighting for us’ one of the scientists realizes, while Rico wraps his scorpion-like tail around one of the Sea Dogs, and decides that he can’t let them scare him, to just pretend it is another Danger Room class.
Rico tells himself that he did great beating the bad guys there, and boasts that he will do even better here. ‘I did it!’ Rico thinks to himself, as the Sea Dogs are all taken out. Rico then calls out to the scientists, telling them not to just stand here. ‘Let’s get outta here!’ he exclaims. He ushers the scientists down a corridor, ‘Don’t slow down, don’t look back. Get out the door -’ he encourages them, and they rush past him, out the door. Rico follows them out and tells them to head across the parking lot toward the tree line. He adds that there aren’t that many bad guys, so he doesn’t think they will find them. ‘Once you get clear, you can call for help’ Rico adds. ‘But what about you?’ one of the scientists asks. ‘My teacher’s inside’ Rico replies as he scuttles back through the door. ‘That’s a kid?’ one of the scientists asks the others.
Back inside, there is a BAMF as Kurt teleports over to Killian. ‘I say, we’ve all had enough of this foolishness’ Kurt declares. ‘You’re still here?’ Killian asks as Kurt tackles him and shoves him to the floor. Kurt stands over Killian and holds his sword to Killian’s face. ‘Consider me very hard to kill. Call an end to this, Killian - before I see if the same can be said for you!’ Kurt declares, when, suddenly, ‘Big words, cutie! But that’s a whole lot easier said than done!’ Bloody Bess exclaims as she leaps towards Nightcrawler and kicks him in the back of the head, causing Kurt to topple forward. ‘That voice - why does it sound so familiar?’ Kurt wonders, deciding to worry about it later, and thank the lucky stars that she doesn’t have a gun. ‘If you like your life, my friend…make things easy for yourself and give up’ Bess grins, lunging towards Kurt with her sword. ‘My thoughts precisely’ Kurt replies as he leaps back, telling himself that Bess is very good, so he can’t afford the slightest misstep.
Kurt blocks Bess’s next lunge, as she tells him that he should have listened to her, as it is only a matter of time now. ‘Don’t get cocky’ Kurt replies. Bess declares that she was born cocky. ‘Last chance. No profit in slaughter’ Bess points out, attempting another swipe at Kurt with her sword, he dodges again, and Bess’s sword strikes a desk. ‘You surrender, you live’ Bess points out. Kurt blocks her foot as she attempts to kick him, and asks her why she treats him differently from everyone else. Their swords clang together, as Bess tells Nightcrawler that nobody has died yet, they are just a little banged up. ‘I cut you with my sword, that option’s gone’ she tells him. ‘Teleport guns!’ Kurt realizes. ‘Yup!’ Bess smiles. ‘That’s precisely what I was hoping to hear’ Kurt replies, as his tail wraps around Bess’s ankle, ‘You’re very good, Bess’ Kurt remarks. ‘Bloody h-’ Bess calls out as she starts to fall backwards. Kurt punches her in the face and adds ‘But as my best friend loves to say: I’m better!’
Elsewhere in NARWAL, Ziggy Karst rushes from the three Sea Dogs who are chasing her. ‘I guess marines aren’t so hot when it comes to fighting super-baddies. Looks like I’ll have to save myself. Hope I’ve got enough modules to do the trick. Only one way to find out’ Ziggy thinks to herself, as she several small rod-like modules hover around her, she throws them backward, and they transform into a large being that she calls her avatar. ‘Now put him to work’ Ziggy thinks to herself as the avatar starts to punch the Sea Dogs. But, one of the Sea Dogs lunges at Ziggy, pushing her over, ‘Hey! Don’t break my concentration!’ Ziggy calls out. ‘I got ‘er, mates!’ the Sea Dog exclaims. The modules splat to the floor, the avatar gone. ‘You’re done, girl’ one of the Sea Dogs threatens as they surround Ziggy. ‘No! Someone - help!’ Ziggy screams.
As if on cue: ‘Have no fear - Rico’s here!’ the young mutant exclaims as he drops down between Ziggy and the Sea Dogs. ‘Are you - wearing a costume?’ Ziggy gasps, wide-eyed. ‘I am. Because I’m an X-Man!’ Rico replies as he starts to fight the Sea Dogs. Ziggy realizes that he doesn’t sound much older than her, and, wide-eyed, watches, deciding that his physiology is magnificent, so he must be a mutant. ‘But in his case, that’s taking the concept to a totally unique level’ Ziggy tells herself. ‘And he’s fighting for me. That’s so cool!’ The Sea Dogs turn and run, ‘Smart move, slug-dogs, run for your master…with your tails between your legs’ Rico calls out after them. ‘You want more of the same, you know where to find me’ he adds. Rico then turns to Ziggy and asks her if she is okay. ‘Just fine - now. I’m Ziggy’ she replies, introducing herself. Rico does the same, ‘I’m here to save - you?’ he begins, before Ziggy is blasted and vanishes, leaving nothing behind but her clothes. ‘Oh no oh no oh no oh no’ Rico utters.
Killian stands over Rico, holding the teleport weapon, Killian tells Rico that he cannot save her, as her fate was pre-ordained. ‘As is yours!’ Killian threatens Rico. ‘You killed her!’ Rico exclaims. ‘I’ll kill you!’ he shouts, leaping towards Killian, who grabs the young mutant by his neck. ‘Many have tried. Yet here I stand. Don’t fret about the girl. You’re about to join her’ Killian announces as he aims the weapon at Rico - but before he can fire, ‘I don’t think so!’ Kurt calls out as he teleports into the fray, punching Killian in the face. ‘And this time, when I put you on the floor - stay there!’ Kurt exclaims. ‘Arrogant fool - you’ve not yet won!’ Killian shouts, attempting to blast Kurt with energy fired from his fists. ‘Wanna bet?’ Kurt replies, before instructing Rico to grab Killian’s pistol. Rico does so, while Kurt punches Killian again, ‘Impressive armor. Next time, though, protect your jaw!’ Kurt suggests.
Rico uses his pincer-hands to break the gun in two, ‘He won’t use it to kill anyone else!’ Rico calls out, before noticing that the silver modules belonging to Ziggy are still moving. He alerts Kurt to this fact, but as Killian drops to the floor, Kurt teleports away, telling Rico that he is a bit busy right now, but that he will be with him in a minute. ‘No, you don’t understand. I’ve seen Ziggy control them. If they’re moving like this…she has to be alive!’ Rico calls out. Kurt teleports back onto Killian, and the Bamfs join him. ‘And that confirms what Bloody Bess was saying when we fought. You didn’t kill anyone, did you, Killian? Those were teleport beams’ Nightcrawler realizes. Killian explains that they are pan-dimensional transmats, and reveals that Ziggy and the others are alive, but that there is no going to their rescue. ‘You’d be a fool to even try!’ Killian adds. ‘Then cool me a fool’ Kurt smiles, before telling the pirate that he is an X-Man. ‘You’ve fought us before. You, above all, should know that regardless of the odds…we always find a way to win!’
Kurt tells Rico that he has done very well, and that he is proud of him. Kurt informs Rico that he needs to keep the survivors safe and the prisoners secure until he returns. ‘But how? I smashed his gun’ Rico points out. ‘Killian’s, yes, but the Bamfs still have Broadside’s’ Kurt explains, as two Bamfs teleport before Kurt, and holding up the gun, they aim it at him. Kurt instructs Rico to alert Storm, as it wouldn’t hurt to have her on-site as backup. ‘But, Professor, suppose you’re wrong?’ Rico asks. ‘;Then, the joke, my friend, will me on…’ Kurt begins, as the Bamfs fire the weapon - the energy ray strikes Kurt, and he vanishes, his costume dropping to the floor.
But, as Kurt materializes in a strange chamber, clad in a black and white costume, three large aliens lunge towards him, while others in the same costume are in a dock nearby, watching. Kurt decides that it looks like he wasn’t wrong. Kurt recognizes this place as the operation run by Tullamore Voge - and this is the personal reception committee to welcome him. Kurt teleports about, tossing the aliens into one another, wishing he was doing this to Voge - but knows that that satisfaction will have to wait. Kurt knows that what is important tonight is getting these prisoners safely home. ‘Don’t be afraid, my friends. I’m called Nightcrawler. I’m a super hero. I’m here to save you!’ Kurt calls out to them. A bearded man steps forward and remarks that he has heard of Nightcrawler, and knows he is with the X-Men. Kurt sees Ziggy Karst and informs her that she was the target, while everyone else was just collateral damage.
‘But why?’ Ziggy asks. ‘What does it matter? You beat up the guards, but how’re you gonna get us home?’ another prisoner asks. Kurt smiles as the little Bamfs teleport in around him. He explains that anywhere he goes, they can follow, and they will teleport them all home. Kurt instructs the prisoners to just take one of the Bamfs by hand, and not to worry, as they are quite friendly. One of the prisoners asks about the person responsible for all this - won’t he try it again? ‘That would be the biggest mistake of his misbegotten life’ Kurt replies, while an annoyed Voge watches over a holographic projection of what is transpiring in the chamber. ‘I do hope you’re watching, Voge. Because if I have to come back - you’ll be the one to regret it’ Kurt calls out. ‘Do your worst, wretch! I’m not afraid of you!’ Voge exclaims. Voge picks up a control and mutters that someday there will be a reckoning. ‘Withdraw your pirates, Killian. The girl isn’t worth the trouble. My vengeance can wait for a better day’ Voge announces.
And shortly, Kurt, the Bamfs, Ziggy and the other prisoners are teleported back to the facility. Kurt tells himself that this is not the end - not by a long shot. He knows though that not every battle leads to outright war, and what matters tonight is returning these captives home safely. Rico rushes forward and tells Professor Wagner that he is sorry, but the Crimson Pirates just disappeared. ‘Their boss was likely just tidying up his mess’ Ziggy points out. ‘Ziggy - are you okay?’ Rico asks. Ziggy kisses Rico and tells hi that she is fine - thanks a whole lot to him. Ziggy tells Rico that this adventure was cool, and suggests that they do it again sometime. ‘She’s kidding, right? This is a joke?’ Rico asks Kurt, while he and Ziggy wave goodbye to each other. ‘She’s smiling, Rico. Not laughing’ Kurt points out, and suggests that Rico take this for what it is - an offer of friendship - and build from there. ‘Who knows where it’ll lead’ Kurt adds. ‘Wow!’ Rico exclaims, while Kurt tells the young mutant that he has the instincts of a hero - and above all, the soul of a good man.