One mile beneath Las Vegas:
Kuva of Breakworld repeats her challenge to Yukio for the leadership of the four clans, so that instead of fighting for scraps they can crawl out of their caves and seize the world’s greatest thrones. She turns threateningly toward Yukio. If she has no champion to fight for her… Yukio calls Storm’s name.
Storm curses inwardly, then positions herself between Yukio and Kuva. She asks her to give up the challenge. Because, if she decides to fight, Kuva’s warriors will fall to the ground before they can draw their swords.
So Yukio does have a champion, Kuva smiles. Fine. They’ll meet in the desert at sunset. Storm corrects her. She asked her to withdraw the challenge. Kuva’s warriors can’t beat her. If Storm knew how to use her powers, she might believe her, Kuva scoffs. But if she knew how to use her power, Kuva would already be dead, wouldn’t she? She turns away. They’ll see her in the desert. The other bosses walk out.
Yukio thanks Storm, who tells her to shut the hell up. She’s getting her out of there. Yukio refuses and reminds Storm she said she’d do for her what Wolverine did. Well, this is it and it works. When the champions fight, it keeps the clans’ business underground and prevents civilians from getting hurt. If Storm wants to finish Wolverine’s business…
Storm reminds her she is not a killer. And she doesn’t like being tricked into other people’s fights. Then fly away, Yukio tells her. And they’ll just let Kuva seize the four clans and take over the world. Storm tells her not to be ridiculous; this is just a ring of criminals. Ten minutes ago, they were fighting over who gets concession rights on an AIM base! If Kuva’s stupid enough to try for something bigger, she’s going to learn you don’t start revolutions with a bunch of thugs and monsters. That doesn’t mean she won’t kill thousands while trying, Yukio points out and Storm realizes she’s right.
Later in the Mojave Desert:
Yukio explains the four clans meet here for the big fights. They pass several weapons. Yukio tells her to help herself. Seeing claw marks in the rock, Storm realizes Logan was really here. Bought Yukio’s arguments and played by her rules. And died without telling Storm a damn thing about it… Kneeling down in front of the marks, she tells Yukio she doesn’t need anything here.
Then let’s get on with it, Kuva announces and presents her champion, Gah-ran of Breakworld. With a roar, Gah-ran smashes his axe into the ground.
Storm overhears Moses Magnum and Davis Harmon betting on how fast her opponent will beat her.
Formal challenge by the book, Yukio announces. These are the rules: The two champions head in opposite directions until the sun sets. And then? Storm asks. And then there are no rules, Yukio replies.
Storm wonders if Logan was in the same situation. If he was aching for the fight. That’s what Yukio wants her to think. That’s how she wants her to remember him. But she remembers things differently.
Storm stretches out a hand to Gah-ran, not saying ‘good luck’, but Gah-ran grumbles. Someone in the crowd chuckles. Gah-ran turns away, almost embarrassed for Storm. They think it’s already over, Storm realizes. Kuva tells Yukio her champion is weak, just like her. Magnum and Harmon go down in their estimates on how long Storm will survive.
Fine, Storm announces and walks away. Sunset’s coming, let’s go Yukio tells her chauffeur, who protests he wanted to watch this. What part of ‘there are no rules’ doesn’t he understand? she asks.
Some distance away, Storm muses they should be terrified of her. She could wipe Gah-ran off the map in a heartbeat. But they know she is looking for another way. And if Logan is the man she knows he was, so was he. She’s sure he knew he had to stop this someday. What was he waiting for? He was hurt, sick, growing weaker every day… but she’s not.
She flies toward Gah-ran, who tells her the sun hasn’t set. Would she break their one rule? Storm lands. Actually, she would hope to break them all - they don’t have to fight. The system is insane. How many of his friends died like this? How long until his time runs out?
Gah-ran point to the choppers and a bunker atop a butte. They are watching them. Who cares? Storm replies. The two of them are the strongest warriors here. If they say ‘no’, who could make them? Gah-ran replies he understands what she is trying to do. But if he refused to fight, Kuva (watching from the bunker) would break all bonds with his family… his sisters, children would die in the street.
That doesn’t sound particularly fair, Storm admits. That’s what Wolverine said, he agrees. He came to him? Storm asks. Yes, but as he told Wolverine, it’s the way his world works. Gah-ran takes her hand. And they can’t change that in a heartbeat. He takes up a spear as the sun sets.
Storm screams and hurls herself forward, manifesting lightning. Gah-ran grabs her foot and smashes her to the ground.
Watching with her binoculars, Kuva laughs triumphantly.
With a roar, Gah-ran raises his spear. Suddenly, Storm uses her winds to stir up sand into his eyes. Her turn! she shouts and hits him with a small sand cyclone.
Davis Harmon and Moses Magnum realize they’ve both lost as Storm flies upward. When Magnum finds she didn’t kill Gah-ran, he claims he’s won.
Storm puts a stop to their bickering with a bolt of lightning and tells them to pay attention to the next bit. Yes, she let him live. Does anyone want to fight her? When no one reacts, she announces that she makes the rules now. She asks Gah-ran if he can stand. Why is he alive? he demands. Wolverine was right, she replies. They can change things. Just watch!
She opens the bunker door with a lightning bolt and is shocked to find Kuva lying in a pool of blood. Yukio grins and thanks her. She couldn’t have done it without Storm.
Yukio tells Gah-ran Kuva challenged her, so she killed her. A perfectly legitimate move. Now Yukio rules Oakland. Kneel and pay his respects to his new boss.
Well done, Gah-ran tells Storm, who protests this wasn’t what she— Yukio orders her to shut up. Kuva was crazy. Everyone knew it. Ran her clan like some warrior priestess trying to get everyone killed. Yukio is just trying to make a few dimes. She promises Gah-ran his family will be safe with her. He kneels. She orders him to announce her to the warriors.
She tells Storm not to be so sad. The system worked. They culled a monster, everyone’s safer and Yukio is completely in charge now. Which is exactly what Wolverine wanted all along and, if Storm can’t see that, she never really knew him.
She knew him, Storm replies. Did Yukio? He didn’t want to put her in charge of this madness, just free her from it. Yukio refuses that idea. She belongs here. She promised she’d do his job here, Storm replies. Call her when she’s really ready. She leaves while Gah-ran announces the winner. All hail boss Yukio! he cheers while Storm flies off.