In a secret installation, men in strange, medieval, templar-style outfits are guarding kids in cells. New men arrive, bringing a new prisoner, an unconscious teenage boy named Jimmy Hudson. The men tell their leader, William Stryker, that they found him right where Stryker said he would be. He was trying to hitchhike a mile away from the motel. They checked the motel room but it was empty. They must have beaten them to--
No, Stryker replies, it wasn't. She's playing games with their mind. The telepath. Powerful girl. He should have gone himself. One of the men protests. He knew what he saw! And he knows what he saw, Stryker replies, as he goes for his throat, or does Donald doubt him now? Remember the gift He has given him to see all the sins of men, see them, find them, take hold of them and purify them! Yes, Reverend Stryker, Donald agrees.
Union Square Park New York City:
Marian Carlyle aka Rogue is surrounded by several Nimrod sentinel units which order her to surrender or they will be forced to engage physically. Trust him, Iceman who has arrived with the Shroud and the Human Torch remarks. As someone who has dated her, that is really not a good idea.
Stop bragging! Johnny tells him. Told him she was hot, Iceman replies smugly. Kitty asks Rogue if she is all right. Rogue replies she is but warns them to be careful. To the teensï¿½ surprise, the Nimrods identify Bobby and Kitty, leading Johnny Storm to sulk what about him? They've been over this, Bobby reminds him. He is not a mutant. And he says it's up for debate! Johnny shoots back. But he guesses that means he doesnï¿½t have to surrender. Does appear to be a loophole, Bobby agrees. Ah, see? Now everybody wins, Johnny announces as he blasts away at the robots.
The Nimrod announces as they have responded with aggression to verbal request, lethal force is now permissible. Iceman points out again Johnny is not a mutant. Whatever happened to due process? Besides just because you can do something, doesnï¿½t mean you should! It's called being the bigger robot!
As the robot prattles on, Johnny tells it to wake him when they build the hot blonde Cylon. For now, they are just annoying!
Kitty phases through one Nimrod but Rogue tries to warn her. A moment later, when Kitty is pushed back, Rogue explains they have a kind of shield on them, a power dampener. Unimpressed, Johnny goes as hot as he can, intending to melt a Nimrod. Dampen this!
Unfortunately, the Nimrods are fine, still operating at 98 percent. This must be a really embarrassing moment for him, Bobby needles. He's had worse, Johnny shrugs.
Iceman wants his turn, but Kitty tells him to fall back. Hasn't she ever seen a giant robot movie? he asks. Underneath the scary metal exterior is a confused puppy-loving soul just waiting for some nice boy to come along and take him on long walks. Or stab him in the face with ice daggers, one of the two. Bobby goes for the latter option on an iceslide. He gets why they have a problem with Rogue, he remarks. She dumped him for some dude who was like thirty and had a lame accent, but if he can grow past it then so...
As Iceman speeds toward it on an ice slide, the Nimrod severs one of his arms. As Johnny catches him, Bobby assures the group that it will grow back but it's leaking. This must be a really embarrassing moment for him, Johnny remarks helpfully.
Kitty orders the boys to get out. They'll meet at the rendezvous point in twenty. When Johnny asks where, she tells him it's on Bobby's phone. She'll get Rogue. She's the one they can't hit, remember? She can handle this!
Kitty begins running and counts. As she does, she phases under the ground and dives up at the right point to grab Rogue and pull her down into the subway onto the tracks. A train comes rushing at them and Kitty phases them both inside one of its cars. They land hard and the passengers stare in amazement.
Soon thereafter, they meet up with the others on a roof. What the hell was she thinking? Kitty shouts at Rogue, who apologizes. She didn't mean to get anyone hurt. Kitty points out the news said Rogue started this. That she went nuts all over Port Authority, then made them chase her all the way to Union Square. Did she? She had to get their attention! Is she kidding? Kitty scoffs. When they get their attention, they get shot at!
Bobby asks her to go easy. She did what she was told to do, Rogue replies apologetically. He told her to take the bus to New York, that they would come after her. Who told her? Kitty insists. Rogue continues that they would find her and rescue her. Who the hell told her to do this? Kitty shouts. God, she replies. God told her that they'd save her. That Kitty would save all of them. The others stare for a moment. Ha, Bobby dated a crazy chick! Johnny announces.
New York, Upper Westside:
Elise Cartwright, a young career woman, a corporate lawyer, is a prisoner of Stryker. She was always a workaholic, never got married or had kids, but was happy that way. When Manhattan was flooded she couldnï¿½t get back to her city apartment for weeks. When she finally did get back she found two orphaned mutants, age fourteen, squatting, scared out of their minds. What should have been a quick call to the authorities became a cause for her. She took them in and then came more, nine in total, all with nowhere to go after Magnetoï¿½s attack. So, she gave them a place to sleep, kept them fed and took a couple of hours off each day, playing mother and schoolteacher to them. She didn't worry too much about the government finding her. She should have been worried about other things.
Facing Stryker, Elise tells him she knows who he is. Admiral Stryker's son, who attacked Xavier's school. She saw it on the news. What's his thing, then? Hunting kids? Does that make him feel like a big man?
He asks if she has children. Nine, she spits back. Of course she does, he remarks. He means of the flesh and blood kind. He was a preacher, back before the wave. And he was so ashamed of his father, what he did to mutants. He thought he was a monster. Then he had a little boy of his own and swore to teach him to be kind and tolerant. That he wouldn't be like his father and would raise John better. He didn't understand until it happened... until he saw his son floating in the waterï... what a father will do to protect his own.
Elise refuses to tell him where the kids are. He informs her he already knows. He just wanted to give her a chance to atone for her sins. He produces a big knife and slices her open.
One of his men calls him and is shocked at what he sees. Hesitatingly, he announces they found the children. They were in the brownstone out on Carroll Gardens. Just where Reverend Stryker said they would be. Of course, they were, Stryker replies. He's told Nathan before, this is God's will! The shocked young man agrees. As they walk away from the corpse, Stryker reminds him this is all part of His plan...
In a cave, in the dark, something glowing red stirs...