Valerie Cooper, special liaison to the president on superhuman and mutant affairs, returns to the White House. One man praises her job at the press conference. She tells him to shut up. She sees an angry Nick Fury storming out of the Oval Office. Val smirks, remarking she hopes he isn’t pissed about those budget cuts she suggested for his department. He doubts it, the Secret Service agent guarding the door informs her: At least not at the moment. She better see for herself.
She enters the office to see the president’s guest, one Pietro Lensherr aka Quicksilver. He is barely bigger than his file, she announces as he tries to kiss her hand, after which she asks how come this terrorist didn’t end up riddled with bullets the second he stepped onto the White House lawn.
“Please, Valerie”, Quicksilver begins. Miss Cooper, she corrects him. If the men were to fire on him, he could be to South Africa and back before the bullet could reach the intended target, any number of times.
She threatens that this place has other defenses. It has ever since his father attacked it. And he is here to add to them, Pietro claims smoothly. As he was telling the president the events of the last twenty-four hours have left them all a bit shaken. Learning that their government was the driving force behind the creation of mutants, well, he simply couldn’t believe it, and he immediate thought of the president and the threats to this great office that would no doubt soon emerge. The angry, perhaps militant responses from other nations. The riots. Perhaps most frightening, the possibility of mutants themselves seeking retribution. And that’s not even to mention the political implications…
Val interrupts him: the mix of veiled threats and smug condescension is great, really, but how about getting to the meat of the conversation? He has the leader of the free world’s ear, now try hers.
Of course, Pietro agrees smoothly. She is a very important woman. He hardly wishes to waste her time. His point is, all these new threats come from all sides. And so many! Their security measures are defensive in nature. If only the technology existed to help them track and identify those threats as they emerge. To empower them to act proactively and decisively! Does she know what a Cerebro is?
In Times Square, Stryker addresses his people. They used to come down here on Saturdays after dark, he reminisces. Always full of tourists but she loved the sights… One of his men announces the snipers are in position.
All over the US, citizens are in an uproar, plundering protesting, fighting the police. Let’s take our country back! Stryker announces.
Kitty, Iceman and Johnny have led Rogue to their hideout, the Morlock Tunnels beneath Manhattan. Kitty refuses to listen to Rogue. God didn’t tell her anything, she insists. Rogue is post-traumatic or something. It was bound to happen with all that went down this year!
Rogue appeals to Bobby, who refuses to get involved. Kitty tells her she can stay until they figure out how to get her help or something. In the meantime, try to sleep off the crazy.
Suddenly, they hear a noise and Kitty orders Johnny to make light. After he flames on, they find a little African American boy, who asks if they are the Morlocks. How did he get here? Kitty asks. His friend said the Morlocks live here. Is that them? Secret hideout, Johnny mocks. Kitty still wants to know how the boy got here. Behind the boy, a giant barbed slug rises defensively, scaring them back. The boy apologizes. That’s his brother Joshua. He won’t hurt them. So, are they Morlocks? Not exactly, Kitty replies. Well, whoever they are, can they help his friend Jimmy? He points towards an injured Jimmy Hudson lying in the dark. Jimmy almost died saving him and Joshua…
The boy tells them how they were all imprisoned in cages. So was Jimmy. He clawed his way out and freed the other youngsters. He fought the armed guards and kicked in the door to freedom.
They ran into the courtyard, but the other soldiers noticed and fired at them. Many of the kids died and Jimmy was shot too. He grabbed the two boys and jumped into the water with them. The boy dragged the unconscious Jimmy ashore.
Jimmy awakes with a scream. Oh good, he can have his bed back, Johnny remarks. Not now, Kitty chides him. Jimmy recognizes her. He tries to get up and stumbles. Bobby tries to support him. Where is he? Jimmy asks. They tell him not to worry and ask what happened. Jimmy asks for the kid who is asleep with his brother. Jimmy insists they go back for the others.
Johnny points out that he lost a lot of blood and probably shouldn’t go anywhere. He’s gonna kill them! Jimmy shouts and explains he has a bunch of mutants in cages. He said he was gonna kill them. He wants the world to watch. Jimmy begs them to come. They haven’t got much time.
Who is doing this? Kitty asks. Mean bastard, Jimmy explains. Looked like a Sentinel with skin. Said his name was Stryker.
Elsewhere, Stryker orders his men to fire at the cops. As officer after officer fall to snipers, explosions level Times Square. The chaos subsides, Stryker steps out into the conflagration. ”O Babylon the great, how you have fallen…” he begins to quote. “Your sins are so many.” He climbs upon an upturned car. “And you have strayed so far from the truth. Now heed the word of the Lord…”