The news reports the civil war in the southwest and the idea of a mutant nation. New president Captain America has promised a swift resolution.
In other news, a young man calling himself Johnny Storm was found on the streets of Brooklyn, severely dehydrated and showing signs of horrific and sustained torture.
In the southwest, Kitty Pryde and Nick Fury are organizing the resistance. As the Nimrods come flying, Kitty orders the telekinetics to attack. After the first volley is done, the fliers are next to attack directly.
Fury warns Kitty not to expose them for any longer than she needs. Kitty calls them back. One boy ignores the order and is killed by a Nimrod blast. Fury shouts at them to get out of the sky. Their one advantage is surprise and the Nimrods are adapting to them!
Kitty fires her rifle at one Nimrod, noting that, while their army is growing with every liberated camp, the seemingly inexhaustible supply of Nimrod Sentinels is dwindling. The mutants are winning!
Armor uses her psionic armor to contain a Nimrod about to explode. Jimmy Hudson jumps on its head and decapitates it with his claws.
Kitty calls Storm, who suggests everyone get under cover as she electrocutes the Nimrods.
Looking at the fallen robots, Kitty wonders how to get used to this. You can’t, Fury tells her and adds it’s time he left. She doesn’t need him anymore. Like he said at the start, a mutant needs to do this. She’s ready. He has duties to attend to elsewhere.
The new government? Kitty asks. It’s the first step towards putting all this behind them, he explains. America, he means. She tells him he helped them so much and the world should know that. In time perhaps, he tells her. She and her people still have a few more steps to take to get there. But they’ll get there.
Is the new government going to be a friend to mutants or another enemy? she asks. He admits he doesn’t know. He believes mutants have a genuine friend in Cap. But he has a whole country to put together. And mutants aren’t exactly polling high. So he doesn’t have an answer for her on that. But he will have her back, no matter what a bunch of politicians have to say about it. Now come on, shake his hand. She does and tells him she believes him.
Fury gives her one last piece of advice. Remember he told her there would come a time to put down that gun? He’d recommend she try and remember to do so before Captain America comes to visit. He’s coming here? she asks nonplussed. When?
Elsewhere, a last Nimrod fleet closes in, led by the Master Mold, which repeats the words Thy will be done and Kitty Pryde will die.
In the caves, Rogue tells Quentin Quire that they say the battle is over but she still feels like a loser… a freak… and she’ll never be able to change that. He tells her she is not a freak. He thinks troubled. Broken, she suggests. Just confused, Quentin amends. She admits she hears voices, sees things, she doesn’t know what’s real anymore. She knows her friends don’t trust her. They’re just waiting for the next time she starts ranting about God or ghosts or horsemen and they’ll bounce her from the team.
Quentin offers to fix that. Fix her friends? she asks. Fix her, he clarifies. She muses that people tend to die when they touch her. She doesn’t understand how he’s immune. Who cares? Quentin shrugs. What’s important is that he is. He’s a powerful telepath. Mind over matter. Can he make the visions and voices go away? Yes. Can he make her feel normal and not crazy anymore? Like the old Marian Carlysle? Is this what she really wants? He asks. When she says ‘yes,’ he kisses her and a moment later she laughs that she feels amazing.
In the meantime, mutants are dismantling Stryker Camp 14. Warpath mutters that it’s degrading to have to clean up their own prison camp. Iceman tells them they can reuse the stuff, repurpose it into something that will help them in the future. Consider it spoils of war. What future? Zero mutters.
Iceman slaps his neck. He hates mosquitoes! Another mutant tells him there are no mosquitoes in the desert. The ‘mosquito’ turns out to be a Sentinel micro-drone. Moments later, the fleet is upon them. The fight begins.
Kitty comes running, addressing the Master Mold as William Stryker. He recognizes her as the mutant who killed him in New York. He fires a missile at her but she easily phases though the explosion. She asks Warpath to throw her up to the Master Mold.
Why doesn’t she die? it demands. Why doesn’t he? Kitty retorts. She killed him. She lands on his head.
His vision is a world devoid of mutants. It is perfection. He can never die! She calls him a self- loathing psycho and fires her rifle at his head. She’s beaten him from one side this country to another. She doesn’t lose, not to hate mongers like him! Adamantium-tipped jackets, incendiary core, forty to a mag, courtesy of SHIELD. This time he dies forever!
The fight over, Captain America soon arrives in the Southwest states and meets with Kitty. They shake hands in front of the journalists.
In private, Cap thanks her for meeting him. Nick Fury thinks the best of her and he will pay her the courtesy of not wasting her time. He is prepared to offer the mutant community two things. A home and a choice. He tells her of the SEAR virus. It removes the mutant gene. SHIELD scientists were able to replicate it. And he’s offering it to them.
He wants to take her mutation from her? Kitty bursts out. He’s not asking her to give up who she is. But he is offering the choice to her and every mutant. They’ve suffered unspeakable persecution and loss. There may be some who’ll want a new life, one where that would never happen again.
This is what General Fury said would happen, Kitty realizes. He’s making a political deal. Cap tells her he has an entire country to consider. This is an offer. No one will be compelled. He’s also secured federal land for the mutant population and it’s freely offered as a gift. A safe haven for those who decline the virus.
Is that all? she asks. He reminds her he has an entire country to put together, an entire spectrum of people. Some of those people will simply never accept an integrated mutant population.
Is that all? she repeats. He wishes her and her people nothing but the best. For some, the virus may be what allows them a safe and fulfilling life.
Kitty leaves the room, realizing she should have seen it coming. It’s like something Fury would say, about swapping one enemy for another…