James Hudson tells Kitty Pryde she’s won. They all won, she corrects him. He clarifies that he means her ideas won. Her vision for the future of mutants. Congratulations.
Why is he angry? Kitty asks. He’s not angry, he’s resigned, James explains. She doesn’t need him anymore. He’s designed for battle, for surviving violence, for bringing the fight to the enemy. She wants a world without violence, no conflict, no war. And she will do whatever it takes to get there. Kitty agrees. He wishes her the best of luck. But being at her side feels more and more like standing in her shadow.
Utopia and the mutant nation thrive. In the wake of the US government’s attempt at nationalization, the deal ex-president Captain America struck with mutant leader Kitty Pryde was deemed legal and binding in a Supreme Court emergency session. All rights have been returned to the mutants. Additional land surrounding Utopia was awarded as part of a damages settlement, extending their sovereign borders by several thousand acres. The land was terraformed using mutant technology and now supports several hundred individuals. The original reservation is mostly wild land but a few of the first twenty mutants still reside within.
Blackheath is farming. Storm remarks that he helped create the Sentient Seed and Kitty has him down in the dirt working with his hands? She keeps them honest, he explains. They are building all this with their own hands. There’s that much more pride of ownership and connection to the land. He teases her and they embrace.
Good for her, a wistful Colossus remarks, observing her from some distance away. He has come with a friend.
Generating a huge surplus of water and arable land, the mutants have assisted humans nearby. Their sentient seed technology via Stark Industries started deliveries to Third World nations and hard hit disaster regions this week.
Iceman and Husk watch Rogue swinging from tree to tree.
Mach Two sits outside, writing down something, still concerned the humans will never leave them alone. Some small object drops from the sky. She is too late to stop it; though, using her magnetic powers, she grabs something else from the air.
The next morning the trees are barren, their sentient-seed grown jungle dying. Blackheath explains it’s a herbicide that was spread hundreds of meters. It’s bio warfare. There might be a bit of sentience in the virus. It’s adaptive. But the seed is fighting.
Kitty asks who did this. Nomi tells her to come. Some vines are holding Farbird fast. Rogue asks the Seed to let him speak. They need answers. Farbird introduces himself.
Nomi explains she pulled him out of the sky and the Seed tied him up. He dropped the bomb. Kitty ask how high he was. Pretty high, Nomi replies evasively. Kitty is impressed by her range.
Blackheath asks why Tian is launching bombs at them. A rivalry is one thing… Storm agrees, but Jean Grey’s gone off the deep end.
Kitty steps closer to Farbird. She admits she didn’t think Jean would take it this far. What does Farbird have to say? Just that his mistress will want him back. Bloody hell, Blackheath mutters.
Kitty gives orders to move homesteaders into Utopia proper, into the tree cover. Spread the word!
Rogue tells her the Seed’s really hurt. And Blackheath warns the herbicide is an infection. Can she still fight? Kitty asks. Rogue tells her she is in terrible pain. Blackheath suggests Kitty let the Seed kill that winged monster, for morale. No murder, Kitty orders. Rogue walks off, announcing she is going to do what she can to help her. Anything they can do to help? Kitty ask. Rogue suggests she not try to start another war.
In Tian, Jean Grey meets with fellow mutants Liz Allen and Derek Morgan, announcing they are her war council. They need to move to stage two. The other two are doubtful on the need for this war, besides her wounded pride, Derek remarks. Jean tells him mutants will never have the respect they deserve if they remain a divided people. If they are seen to be split, they are already halfway to being conquered! Tian is the mutant homeland. They were there first. And they are the best option in every conceivable way. Utopia would jeopardize them all for the sake of a land boxed in a patch of desert, a twofaced gift given to them out of pity and guilt!
But she wanted Utopia, Liz reminds her. She wanted the people, Jean snaps. In the interest of their shared future, if the Utopians won’t work with them, Tian has to absorb them. This public division can’t be allowed to exist. They see how many times mutants in America have come under attack.
Jean explains that stage one was neutralization of their bio-engineered jungle defenses. She’s seen what that Seed can do first-hand. As of six minutes ago, Farbird dropped an experimental herbicide over Utopia. It’s designed to self-replicate and adapt and render the whole matrix inoperable. Stage two will be the landing of several Tian soldiers within Utopia village. This is a diplomatic effort, Kitty Pryde’s last chance for the peaceful resolution she swears by. She can make the right choice and this will never be a war at all. She’s designated the northwest sector of Tian to settle the Utopia mutants—
A shocked Derek interrupts and reminds her the Sentient Seed is alive. It’s a mutant like them. An experimental herbicide? Tian soldiers? What are these things? Liz points out they came here on a humanitarian mission. She’s never heard of any of this either.
Jean is silent, then reveals that Xorn and Zorn were developing several initiatives in top secret projects that she has since inherited and repurposed. The first of which is a soldier program. It was complete. She simply activated it. Would they like to meet them?
Morning in Utopia. Storm leaves the bed she shares with Blackheath, downs some coffee and takes to the sky for first watch as the sun rises. A fleet of Xorn-looking fliers passes her by.
Storm flies after them. When she reaches the last one, he turns around and attacks her in the air. They fall into the foliage and land on the ground. Sam, she moans. No, it’s Piotr, Colossus tells her as he tears the Tian soldier away from her and slams him into a tree. He tells her to warn the others sin the village. They are circling back. They’ll talk later.
The soldiers have landed. One asks if he defends the apostate Utopia nation. He defends his friends, Colossus replies gravely. What are they? Your cleaning fire, is the reply. All hail Tian!
Kitty meditates, wondering how she can have such a perfectly defined philosophy yet feel so wholly out of control of it. Jean Grey helped them during the siege. Now she seems intent on hurting them. Is this the burden of the pacifist? To be constantly tested? Or is this an excuse? She wonders if their community would be less of a lightning rod for conflict if she weren’t a part of it. Should she be more like James and accept the inherent violence of her mutant gifts? Where did he go? she wonders, when she hears shouts from outside.
In Tian, James Hudson kneels before Jean Grey, who welcomes him to her side…