Utopia, night time:
Jean Grey walks the jungle, secretly contacting Derek Morgan in Tian. She puts down the communication device as extraction point for a homing signal. Rogue secretly watches her.
In the village, Psylocke returns the gun to James Hudson, which he demanded as a sign of good faith. She stresses that he now owes her, not Shola or Warpath.
At the Approaches, Storm waits. Blackheath joins her and remarks if he is coming he’ll come. Her waiting around like some sad waif won’t speed up the process. It’s not like that, she replies. Piotr is a friend from the camps. She keeps hoping he makes his way here. But he wouldn’t be coming for her. Not like that. Never been all that keen on competition anyway, Blackheath tells her relieved.
Elsewhere, Mach Two sits atop a high rock. Warpath warns her it’s a long drop. Nomi explains the rock has high amounts of iron. Really sticky stuff for someone like her. James complains he hasn’t eaten in two days. Not real food anyway. How long can they stay out here? Until they win, she replies. Has she seen the village recently? Utopia’s got greenhouses full of food. They are winning. He agrees with her. Humans should be punished for what they’ve done to them. He’ll go freedom fighter on them in a second. He just hopes they get the chance before they die out here from eating tree bark and those weird green berries.
They’ll get the chance, Nomi promises. The humans will never leave them in peace. Military helicopters closing in seem to prove her right.
Outside Utopia, the army under the command of General Ross has gathered. They have drones up, intending to deny the mutants contact with the media. They are restricting airspace, scrambling satellite cover and cell communication, road-blocking the area. They can’t afford any witnesses or martyrs. The fed reminds Ross that he is charge. He has orders from the president. This isn’t going to be a bloodbath. Point taken, Ross replies, but tell that to the kid up there with the razor claws. He aims to be prepared. A soldier informs Ross they have identified every mutant within the target zone. Time to open up a dialogue, Ross decides.
At the edge of the jungle Kitty, James, Storm and Jean wait for them. Kitty doesn’t understand. This isn’t part of their deal. They are supposed to leave them alone, not park a small army at their front door. Tony Stark was right, James mutters. Kitty angrily shouts this is abuse. They are a sovereign nation protected by presidential order! She’s going to talk to them!
Kitty meets Ross, demanding who he is. Ross introduces himself and explains that by special congressional order he is here to inform them that their… arrangement with Captain America has been declared null and void. This land’s been transferred back to the federal government, as have its inhabitants. This includes all material owned by, created by or otherwise in possession of any mutant living within these borders. Utopia’s been nationalized and they will all be taken into custody. The US government is reclaiming what is theirs.
Kitty demands to speak to Captain America. Ross tells her that will not be possible. As a courtesy, he is giving her twelve hours to talk to her people and coordinate an orderly exit from this land. He hands her a phone with a direct line to him.
Kitty reaches out, unsure, and a sniper gets nervous. His cousin touched a mutie once and it messed him up real good. Against orders, he aims at Kitty.
In the jungle, Psylocke telepathically addresses James and reads his mind. Cryptically, she tells him it’s time. It’s happening now. This is where everything falls apart. This is where it all comes together. What is? James asks. Mothervine, she replies and kisses him. Don’t act like he didn’t know. What did she just say? he asks. Nothing, she replies and tells him to play his part. It’ll be over soon. But just so he knows, in all this time, he’s the one she’s enjoyed using the most.
The bullet flies toward Kitty. Ross shouts at her to get down, even as it tears though his shoulder. Kitty phases and falls backwards. It will never stop, she tells the general, if mutants don’t have a safe place to call home. She phases away.
His driver asks if Ross is okay. The pensive general gives orders to place the sniper under arrest and prepare stage two. What was she like? the driver asks him. When he was at Camp Angel, he saw a lot of mutants, Ross replies. They treated them like inmates, a population they needed to control. He has a niece the same age as Kitty Pryde. They even look alike. He thinks none of them are prepared for what is about to happen.
In her house, Kitty sinks down in despair. Then she wipes away her tears and tells herself to stop pitying herself. It happened. It’s what it is. She survived Stryker; she can survive this. They need her to be strong. Utopia will not die, not here and now. Jean Grey eavesdrops on her.
James Hudson, in the meantime, has made contact with Mach Two, who reminds him he never said two words back to her in the tunnels. She’s not some dumb kid. Would she have the famous Jimmy Hudson asking her for help if she was? Psylocke telepathically tells James to let Nomi be a brat. She is 14.
James agrees with Nomi. Psylocke tells Nomi that this is her only shot. Say it, Nomi orders. She isn’t some dumb kid, James replies. She is Mach Two and he needs her help to save Utopia. The army is parked at their front door. They can’t do this without her.
Happy now? Psylocke asks Nomi. The big handsome man thinks she is awesome. Nomi grins and promises to get the others.
Hours later, Mach Two’s people return the village. Jean wonders what the rift between them was and figures it couldn’t have been that bad. Mach Two is so young and obviously fixated on Kitty. Is something else at work here? Or someone?
Later, Kitty discusses the situation. She doesn’t think negotiation is a viable option but Utopia is peaceful in intent and she will make the effort. Utopia is well-defended. Magma, and Storm and Blackheath and Zero and so many others turned this dead patch of desert into a living fortress. But they will not attack. They are perfectly positioned to defend, to ride out the siege and maintain their non-violent stance. General Ross has no orders to kill them. They are to be taken alive. As long as that’s the situation, they cannot lose. They need to show them that they are not a threat but that they are to be respected and afforded basic rights. To be left in peace. As they were promised. And this is why they will meet aggression with resistance.
James takes over, talking about gathering water and food, move essentials deeper inside the forest. Next is a perimeter watch.
Kitty asks Jean if he didn’t hear a thing she said. Jean tells her he is being sensible and not contradicting a word she said. Her people are behind her. They just want to help carry her burden a bit. Let them!
Is she behind her? Kitty asks. Jean silently decides that the future of Tian and Utopia are linked and announces she is behind Kitty. Kitty needs this victory, so Jean can bring the people into the fold of Tian.
She slips into the jungle and uses the communicator to call Farbird. She informs him she is going to see this through with the Utopia mutants and needs him to keep watch. On her order, she needs him to hit the military convoy with his EMP weapons. She’s going to level the playing field. She is unaware that Psylocke is watching her…