The Capitol, Washington DC, where Resolution 334, having passed the House of Representatives with a veto-proof majority, now passes the Senate by similar margins. It is also called the Protect American Ideas and Property for the Vitality of the Homeland Act.
A reporter remarks this will place enormous pressure on the office of the president as major leaders of industry have expressed support for the bill as well as the financial, pharmaceutical and defense sectors. Going unspoken is what some critics claim the true target of the legislation. According to Tony Stark, this is less an issue of restoring America’s economic power but a direct attack on mutant sovereignty. It’s a complete betrayal of the special arrangement Captain America has with the mutant community, one that the mutants themselves have fully complied with.
Jean Grey pretends to be one of the many mutant refugees heading for Utopia. She wants one mutant homeland Tian, one that befits and honors the mutant race. Looking scornfully at her relieved, fellow refugees, Jean thinks to herself this reservation reeks of pity and guilt.
She and the others are welcomed by Magma, who gushes about Utopia and then tells her the rules. She can shower and change and eat and they have temporary housing set up for new arrivals. They feel it’s important not to rush them getting a permanent home, since most people like to help build theirs. The Sentient Seed is involved in that process as well. She is sorta in charge of how they use the trees and stuff. They live in trees? Jean asks, causing Amara to retort where she’s from anyway. From everywhere, it seems, Jean replies evasively. She’s heard about Utopia but figured it was all rumor and wishful thinking.
Amara calls Kitty over to meet Jean. Jean uses her telepathy to make Kitty not recognize her. Kitty offers her hand to welcome her. Instead, Jean hugs her, telling her she has no idea what it’s like to actually meet her, the leader of the mutants!
Deeper in the forest, Rogue climbs up a tree and jumps down. Vines catch her and break her fall before she hits the ground. Rogue laughs, telling the Seed-developed nature she loves it too.
Elsewhere, Nomi Blum aka Mach Two is shocked when Psylocke has revealed to her James Hudson came to Warpath and Shola with a proposal of joining up a protective force and they accepted. The two young men try to reason with her. Wait, wait wait, Nomi interrupts. They agreed to team up?
James Hudson explains to Warpath and Shola that they are the warrior class here. The protectors. He loves Kitty, but can’t buy into her pacifist philosophy. He’ll support her all the way up to until he can’t. He’ll fight anyone to the death if need be to save Utopia.
Warpath points out he sounds like Mach Two. He sure he doesn’t want to defect? James scoffs. Nomi is a child. Kitty used to basically babysit her in the tunnels in New York. Nomi worshipped her. At some point she decided Kitty wasn’t living up to whatever ideal Nomi has in her head and to her that’s worth pitting them against each other. Don’t let a temper tantrum bring down Utopia. All they have to do is agree to a common defense.
After some thinking, Warpath agrees. Shola warns him Kitty is playing a dangerous game with the seed and Tony Stark and her stupid press conferences.
James asks them to return the handgun Mach Two stole from Kitty as a sign of good faith. He’ll owe them one…
“Hit’em!” Mach Two orders Psylocke, who telepathically tortures Warpath and Shola. For how long? she asks. Let’s wait and see, Nomi shrugs, as she leaves. Maybe James Hudson will show up and save them?
In a temporary residence, Jean muses that in a way she can understand Kitty and Utopia. Tian fought their own war and they lost much. She recalls Xorn and Zorn beaten, possibly dying. She cradles two small idols of Xorn and Zorn in her hand and puts them on the ground before she bows deeply. All hail Tian!
Later, there’s a party outside. Magma creates some fireworks. Kitty talks to Jean, musing they were lucky with their original twenty. Their abilities were well suited to the task at hand. Task? Jean asks. Creating Utopia, Kitty replies.
Jean secretly bristles at the word and Kitty’s implication that they created an actual paradise here.
Kitty muses then they were only trying to secure the basics: food, water shelter. They had no idea. Jean thinks her arrogance is repulsive. Kitty asks Jean what her ability is or are. She just admits to telekinesis. They lost their telekinetics, Kitty tells her. They are with the others who rejected Utopia. Rejected Kitty, Jean thinks. She knows all about Mach Two and decides after reading Kitty’s emotions she should be in therapy.
Jean asks if this is some kind of interview. In a way, Kitty replies. They are a collective. A community. They all bring something to the table and they all benefit from each other’s strengths. She makes it sound like everything works perfectly, that it’s so ideal, Jean points out. It should be, Kitty replies. She feels like she was given a gift. She and everyone else here have this once in a lifetime chance to do something so important it can benefit mutants for generations. There’s nothing like it anywhere else.
What about Tian? Jean asks. Tian’s not really the same thing, Kitty muses. It’s more a kingdom… a walled garden, a playground for Xorn and Zorn, right? She has a hard time imagining scores of refugees knocking on their door. Utopia’s the true mutant homeland. More grounded, more honest, where mutants can build their future with their own hands. Tian just seems a bit … much. She doesn’t see Jean’s eyes flare.
In the jungle, Warpath asks Psylocke to stop causing them pain. Lover, she can’t, she tells him and reminds him he has no secrets from her. She tells him he has no respect for Nomi. Mach Two needs his support. She’s just a kid, he moans. She tells him to look at the big picture. Think of his meeting with Hudson. Kitty is just a figurehead. James knows that. He’s taking steps. The true power’s never at the top. Telepathically, she orders him to suck up to the little blue-haired monster, so they can get to work!
US Army base, special operation, 80 miles north of Utopia:
General ‘Thunderbolt” Ross looks at the order he was just given, scoffing he’s never seen a commander-in-chief so unwilling to take command. A fed reminds him this operation is domestic. Ross tells him he has no problem with the feds taking point, but he is not going to stand around while another Waco or Ruby Ridge goes down. This Utopia is an embarrassment to the country. To the world! His youngest daughter sees that girl leader of theirs on TV and all he can do is not put a round thought her set. So if those mutants so much as twitch at them… He commands his troops, informing them Operation Natural Resources is go!