As the sun rises over Wundagore Mountain’s golden citadel, a casual Exodus and his fellow Acolyte, Scanner, view a report from Pyro who is with a group of fellow villains. He is using a strange holographic camera to speak to Exodus and informs him that they have been unable to locate Sir Ram and Lord Anon, but he is confident that they will obtain the whereabouts of the High Evolutionary from the Knights they have captured. His associates are the Russian powerhouse Omega Red, his former team-mate from Freedom Force, Avalanche and Feral, once a member of X-Force. Exodus informs Pyro that if he wishes for himself and his compatriots to receive the cure for the Legacy virus from him, then they had best succeed. He logs off.
Scanner questions why Exodus has entrusted this mission to mutants who are no longer pure, but Exodus replies that it is simple; they are desperate and expendable. He adds that once they have provided the information they seek, those members of Pyro’s strikeforce who are infected with the Legacy virus will be eliminated. Magneto would have it no other way. He also tells Scanner that it is their holy mission to rid the world of impure and artificial mutants, including the High Evolutionary and his cursed creations and, the Inhumans. He then takes a look at how Fabian Cortez’ mission in New Attilan is proceeding. Switching channels on his holographic viewer, he picks up the events just before Black Bolt spoke, adding that he would love to know what is running through Quicksilver’s mind as he faces destruction.
In New Attilan, Quicksilver opens another correspondence file, Crys-200. In it he tells Crystal that it is excruciating to perceive the world in slow motion as in the milliseconds between Maximus’ taunting words and now; all he could think about was how they got to this point.
He recalls arriving in New Attilan where Crystal was reunited with her family and how as part of the celebrations, the Inhumans organized a Gene-Fest; an event where Inhuman children are altered by the Terrigen Mists. Then, Maximus used his mental powers to play on his mistrust and prompted him to steal the mists, which ultimately landed him in a jail cell. Once he and Crystal had realized his mind had been taken over for the second time in the past few weeks, she had broken him out of his cell, only to discover that Maximus had taken over the minds of all the royal family, ordering them to destroy New Attilan.
Black Bolt arrived in front of Quicksilver carrying Maximus who told Quicksilver not to get all worked up. Pietro knew instinctively that Maximus was going to make Black Bolt speak and as Crystal arrived on the scene he placed Luna into her hands. Crystal was already off and flying away before Maximus said, “My brother has something to say to all of you.” With Luna’s safety his foremost concern, there wasn’t enough time to gag Black Bolt before he could speak. He simply said, “Die.”
Pietro notes that the sonic force of Black Bolt’s voice begins to rip the ground beneath their feet. Stones fly into the air as Quicksilver turns to see his sister, the Scarlet Witch casting a hex, knowing she will be killed before it is complete. He rushes to her, grabbing her around her waist, probably winding her in the process, thinking that he would never lose her again (as he had against Onslaught). As he begins to hear the word, die, uttered by Black Bolt he wonders what will happen to New Attilan even if he outruns the shockwave. His body is now just a blur and the rest of the world appears to be frozen around him as he carries his sister away from Black Bolt at top speed. The only thing keeping up with him is the shockwave, and it is gaining ground. He realizes they only have once chance to survive and grabbing his sister’s wrist, he aims her hex sphere into the path of the shockwave. With an enormous ‘krakoom,’ there is an incredible explosion that can be seen many miles from the city, looking like a nuclear detonation which shakes the entire island with its force. Pietro has to admit he enjoys seeing the look of shock on Black Bolt’s face as he snaps out of his mind-control. He wasn’t been sure what the effect of Wanda’s hex would be, but he can sense he’s done the right thing.
On the other side of the world, on a quiet peaceful evening, the moon shines over the castle on the Hudson where Sir Ram has returned from his fruitless search for his fellow Knights who disappeared during their first trip into man’s world (New York City). He steps out through a doorway next to Lord Tyger’s painting of the High Evolutionary and asks Bova if they have returned but she replies that she has received no word from them. He then asks about Sir Pietro and she tells him that he is having troubles of his own in New Attilan. Sir Ram, looking thoughtful, says Pietro always seems to have troubles of his own, first running off with the Avengers and then disappearing to New Attilan. He wonders if the High Evolutionary chose well when choosing him to lead the Knights. Bova tells him she is shocked at his suggestion, asking how he can question the wisdom of their creator. Sir Ram replies that it is not their lord he questions, but Quicksilver, saying he abandons his duty and look what happens. He tells Bova that he shall return to New York City and try once again to pick up the Knights’ trail. Bova offers to join him but he tells her that the world of man is too dangerous for her gentle ways and tells her to stay at the castle and monitor communications, and contact him the moment she hears from the Knights or Pietro.
In New Attilan, the explosion happens way too fast for anyone other than Quicksilver to perceive. The blast rocks all of New Attilan but its force is sucked into Wanda’s hex sphere. His plan has saved everyone’s lives, although not everyone is grateful. Maximus, still wearing the crown, yells at him, saying, “Curse you! You ruined everything,” and commands Black Bolt, Medusa and everyone else to destroy Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch, adding, “Well? I’m waiting.” Unfortunately for Maximus, they are no longer under his controlling influence and Karnak stares at him, telling him that he will have to wait from his jail cell, adding that he has lost his power over them. As both Karnak and Black Bolt approach him, Maximus tells them, “That may be true, but they are still under my control.” He points behind them and they turn to see a group of soldiers who Medusa recognizes as being the Crimson Cadre, the former Elite Guard of the Inhumans, evidently under Maximus’ control. They include the winged Margoyle, the agile Eelak and the powerful Leonus.
Pietro thinks that he can do without this as things are bad enough already. The last he knew, Leonus, Stallior and Falcona weren’t even members of the Elite Guard but that was the least of their worries. The Crimson Cadre attack, with Medusa fending Glaboo off with her hair, Quicksilver easily out-maneuvering Eelak the Agile and Black Bolt striking down Leonus with a mind-blast. Pietro is grateful that Crystal is high above the mayhem, keeping their daughter safe from harm. Pulssus manages to blast Karnak into the ground as General Ator tangles with Gorgon, chanting, as the rest of the Crimson Cadre are, “Death to the royal family.” Gorgon pleads with General Ator to try and break free of Maximus’ grip while Quicksilver manages to shove Triton out of the way of Stallior who swings his ball and chain ferociously downwards. He pays the price however, as Lockjaw head butts him from behind, sending him careering into the air and out of the fight.
As the Crimson Cadre continue their assault, still chanting, “Death to the royal family,” Margoyle and Falcona take on Black Bolt who by now is airborne, and the Scarlet Witch uses her hex bolt to try and prevent Rootar from striking Medusa who also has Glaboo behind her to contend with. However, Wanda notices something unusual. Her bolt appears to have no effect and she immediately realizes that their opponents are in fact illusions. She calls for everyone to stop fighting, telling them their enemies aren’t real, and that Maximus is still manipulating their perceptions. As Quicksilver stops in his tracks, still with his hands grasping General Ator who he had knocked free of Gorgon, he thinks about how sick he is at having villains control his mind.
Black Bolt descends from the sky alongside Crystal who is carrying Luna. Her sister Medusa says the madness must end before they lose their homes again and asks where Maximus has got to. The man himself meanwhile has retreated to the cell where he had been held prisoner and is agitated as he asks the voice in his head where he has gone and why he has forsaken him. Fabian Cortez promptly steps from the shadows from where he had been watching the destruction in relative safety. He tells Maximus that their master is displeased as he has not fulfilled his part of the bargain, the destruction of the Terrigen Mists. Maximus, arms folded, replies that he had not forgotten, and if Fabian increases his powers still further, the mists will be his. Cortez however is in no mood to bargain with him and commands Maximus to take him to the mists.
Elsewhere in the city, the royal family are gathered together and wonder what to do next. Crystal tells Wanda that she saw Maximus running away but in all the chaos, she didn’t see where he went to. Pietro arrives having covered the entire island with no sign of him. He turns to Lockjaw and asks if he can lead them to Maximus. Teleportation isn’t the only thing the large canine is proficient at; he can also follow scents and leads Pietro and Black Bolt into the cell where Maximus had been held. There is no sign of him there either however, and Quicksilver asks Lockjaw where he went next. Lockjaw sniffs the air whilst in the hall outside the cell, Crystal and Medusa talk.
Medusa says that this is going to be a dangerous battle and asks her to leave Luna with her to protect. Crystal asks her sister to forgive her, but reminds her that when her mind was taken over by Maximus earlier, she had almost killed Luna. Medusa, not unreasonably, replies that she thought she was fighting to save her life and after what happened to her son Ahura, she has sworn never to let the child of an Inhuman come to harm. She adds that Crystal’s powers will be of more use in the coming fight than hers and asks again for Luna to remain there with her.
Maximus and Cortez meanwhile are in the underground caves and Maximus informs Cortez that the Terrigen Mists are sealed in a cavern below their feet, imprisoned there by molten rock ever since Attilan was brought back to Earth, Cortez, carrying some drilling equipment over his shoulder and a case with more gizmos in his other hand tells him that he has done well. He adds, “Lord Exodus has provided me with a device that will neutralize the mists forever. All I have to do is bore through..” but Maximus looks alarmed and cuts him off before he completes his sentence, saying “I wouldn’t do that if I were you. The mists are under the protection of a bloodthirsty guardian.” Cortez, assuming these are more of his insane ramblings, tells him to keep silent as he hasn’t come this far to allow anyone to stop him now.
Unfortunately for Fabian Cortez, as he prepares to begin drilling through the rock which steams with the heat below, Magneto suddenly appears and Cortez reels backwards upon seeing his former leader. Magneto, arms raised and bristling with power states that Cortez has betrayed him one time too many and for that he shall die. Cortez is petrified and tries telling Magneto that he is simply doing his will before Maximus steps behind him and tells him that he can save him, if he increases his powers with his touch. He can then control Magneto’s mind. Quickly realizing that with Magneto under their control, he could conquer Exodus himself, Cortez willingly agrees and places his hand on Maximus’ head. He feels the power rush through him once again and Cortez suddenly becomes aware that he has been played.
As a group of Alpha Primitives step from the shadows, Maximus tells Cortez that he is a fool, and that Magneto was just an illusion he placed inside his mind, based on his greatest fear. He introduces the Alpha Primitives, the true guardians of the mists and as his power has been increased, he now controls them. He commands them to take Cortez away as he was no longer of any use to him. Cortez’ power is useless against the primitives and he offers little resistance to being unceremoniously removed. Maximus stands triumphantly before his subjects and tells them that he will release the mists into the atmosphere, mutating every living being on Earth. He shall be their master. As he laughs insanely, a blur of blue and silver whisks him away from the crowd and into the clutches of the royal family as Quicksilver delivers him to his peers.
“By Agon,” Gorgon exclaims, “We finally reclaimed Attilan, and now you would destroy the world in pursuit of your mad dreams!” Maximus looks maniacal as he replies, “Not destroy, Gorgon, rule.” He calls on the Alpha Primitives to protect their master against the royal family and they approach menacingly as Quicksilver questions whether this will ever end. Triton, Black Bolt, Karnak, even Lockjaw are faced with an overwhelming force of attackers and Karnak knows there are too many of them, and as Triton says, they cannot harm them as they aren’t acting of their own accord. Karnak says that they are in need of one of Crystal’s hurricanes and asks where she has gone.
Suddenly, right on cue, a sword is raised into the air, held aloft by Crystal who tells Karnak she had to retrieve the sword from the alcove where she had left it. As she stands imposingly on a raised piece of ground, she orders the Alpha Primitives to cease their attack. Pietro is surprised by his wife’s behavior and asks what she is doing with the Black Knight’s Sword of Might. The Alpha Primitives bow down as commanded, calling her ‘majesty.’ Pietro adds in a sneering manner, “A gift from your lover is it?” but Crystal tells him that the sword was trapped there in stone after it was stolen by Morgan Le Fey. When Crystal had released it to battle the Blood Wraith, the Alpha Primitives made her their queen.
Holding the device that Cortez had brought with him, a kind of computer with a laser guidance system, Maximus tells her that queen or not, she is too late as he has freed the mists and now he shall become king of an entire planet of Inhumans. He cackles once again with this promise of power as Triton tells Quicksilver that the mists will cause everyone to further mutate, as they had once done to him and Pietro looks anxiously at the mists and says, “That’s my cue.”
With great speed, he runs in an anti-clockwise direction around the escaping mists, creating a whirlwind which he hopes will suck the mists back into the fissure below but he realizes he is too slow. He notices Fabian Cortez standing nearby, seemingly free of the Alpha Primitives who must have released him when Maximus lost control of them to Crystal. He says he should have seen his filthy hands in his and tells him to boost his powers or else the world will be overrun with artificial mutants. He threatens him with the thought of how angry Exodus will be if this should happen and Cortez reluctantly touches Pietro’s forehead and increases his levels to previously unknown proportions. He feels an incredible rush, moving faster than he ever had before as the mists are funneled into the under-ground chamber which Crystal closes using her elemental powers to make sure they don’t escape again.
Maximus stands before the royal family, holding his crown and ordering them to do his bidding but his powers have been spent controlling the Alpha Primitives. As Triton looks at him in disdain, Black Bolt punches him with some force, knocking him unconscious. Quicksilver turns to Cortez to tell him he has some explaining to do but sees that he has already been teleported to safety. With Black Bolt now carrying his brother in his arms, he stands alongside the royal family and Karnak thanks Pietro for all he has done in this time of trouble. Pietro replies that maybe in future, they’ll think twice about giving him the cold shoulder. As the Inhumans depart, Pietro turns to Crystal and says that the immediate danger is over and they need to talk.