Surrounded by US military personnel, the mutants of Utopia – Storm, Blackheath, Rogue, Kitty Pryde, James Hudson – stand back to back, realizing that everything is falling apart.
Two weeks earlier:
Kitty Pryde tries to make her way through the jungle that the Sentient Seed has created around the Utopia settlement. She finds a puma which growls and sniffs at her, then runs away.
James Hudson cuts his way to her with his claws. He tells her to check out his new trail – runs north-south along the long axis of Utopia. He’s calling it the Hudson Passage. Cute, she remarks. He continues that they gotta get Blackheath to talk to this seed of this. Two weeks ago, this was salt flats, so what’s it gonna look two weeks from now?
In the past few weeks, a lot has changed in Utopia. Amara Aquilla raised the ground, giving them a natural border defense and microclimates. Thanks to the mountains, Storm now has the raw elements to make weather on command. Zero and Blackheath unleashed the Sentient Seed and, with that, the return of wildlife and a sort of natural beauty most of them have never seen before in their lives. They now have building materials, farmable soil, protection, water and food, resources… a purpose. And the name Utopia isn’t a joke anymore. Kitty thinks it’ll be their life’s work. They’ll raise families here.
Their numbers keep growing as well. They arrived as twenty lost souls. But as word spread – thanks to Tony Stark and the media – mutants who never dared show themselves before arrive. The original inhabitants take turns at greeting the newcomers, to see the look on the faces of the newcomers when they realize they’ve come home.
Storm asks the musing Kitty if she thinks Mach Two and her people are still even inside Utopia. Maybe they followed their own advice and left to take the fight to the enemy. Kitty reminds her she is the enemy. She’s frustrated. Ororo offers to take her flying. Kitty refuses, waiting for Jimmy. Ororo suggests with all these new people arriving it’s a good time to be single. But at least Kitty got time to get a haircut.
Kitty muses they’ve all changed for the better. Rogue’s pulling out of her shell. With her madness banished for good, she is finally free. She spends hours every day in the forest surrounded by life she can touch.
They’ve had debates on the nature of the Sentient Seed and the forest it grew for them. There is an intelligence there. They figure a sort of symbiosis.
Rogue tries to communicate with it.
Elsewhere, the plants withdraw from Warpath, who remarks: “Screw you too, mother nature!” “Behind you!” Psylocke’s telepathic voice tells him. How is she? Warpath asks. Mach Two? Still the angriest fourteen year old ever, Psylocke replies and asks for his report aloud. Nothing to report, he replies. “Claw boy” is still running his search grids but always misses them by miles. And they are welcome for that, she smiles. Telepathically she adds she should be in charge for all she does for everyone.
He’d vote for her, James agrees. Of course, he is in love with her, she shoots back. Telepathically she tells him to think, not talk. Especially when it’s about her royal highness, Nomi Blume.
He’s not an idiot! James protests. Betsy agrees loudly that he has his qualities, and continues telepathically that mutiny isn’t one of them. As long as Nomi is running this little insurgency, she’s the one with the target on her back. Psylocke has no burning desire to be that person. It leaves her free. To do what? James asks. To fully infiltrate the army base of soldiers down the highway, she reveals. Kitty’s back-up, should she ever call it, won’t be picking up the phone. They are welcome for that too. Wanna take a walk in the woods? With him? he asks dumbly. She orders him to stop both the talking and the thinking, and everything will go better.
Tian’s aerial recon over Utopia, Farbird, calls his mistress Karen Grant who was sleeping. Farbird apologizes profusely for waking her. Karen asks for news. Farbird has had no visual contact with Utopia since the foliage grew. Karen thanks him and tells him to come home to rest. Farbird admits he loves her. Casually she tells him she loves him too.
Karen phones Liz Allen, informing her they lost aerial recon. Karen decides to become a refugee herself and see Utopia first-hand. She suggests they and Derek meet at 06:00 and asks Liz to call her Jean Grey from now on…
Back in Utopia, Kitty is proud that since the discovery of the Sentient Seed they have started inventing and innovating. Creating new technologies and approaches. With Tony Stark’s help they are filing patents and incorporating. They are a true nation with a small treasury, mineral wealth, a viable population that grows every day and the start of a governing concept. That’s her contribution: a peaceful collective. A promise of non-violence and a dedication to the sciences and to human rights.
Elsewhere, a gloomy Mach Two walks through the jungle. She aims her gun and fires, then keeps the bullet frozen in midair with her powers. Bang, she says and the bullet flies freely.
In Washington DC, three politicians meet clandestinely, agreeing on more overt attacks on the mutants. An elderly man remarks the mutants have been shoring up on their defenses. They need to work the political angle. A woman remarks her legal counsel sees nothing in Captain America’s executive order that can’t be undone. Public perception will be the biggest hurdle.
The third member notes that mutants are toxic in the polls. They’ll steamroll over them. The law can sometimes do wonderful things. No American is going to support these creatures once they start breaking federal law. He asks the older man about the business community. Have his office submit candidates. Once they make the case that the mutants are United States government property, so are their patents and copyrights.
And the Sentient Seed? the woman asks. Including that, she is told. They can reverse-engineer the seed and nullify its effects in weeks. They agree on five days. America can be great again, the older man assures them. They can again be the strategic and economic powerhouse they once were. Think of their children.
At the border of Utopia, James Hudson meets up with Warpath and Shola Inkose…