News reports that, out of nowhere, a super typhoon has descended on Southeast Asia, locating on Tian. A pilot sees a flying woman engulfed by lightning. Soon the news has identified her as Storm, working for Utopia and terrorist Kitty Pryde, thus lending credence to Jean Grey’s statements.
In Tian, Jean stands at the window. The window shatters, some shards lightly cutting her face.
She just wants her to know she is still here, Kitty announces. Move for move.
Later in the evening: Jean coolly informs James that Kitty has to die. That wasn’t part of the deal, he protests. He’s here, so she leaves Kitty alone! Oh is that the deal? Jean mocks. She doesn’t think so. He is here because he is a warrior and the hippie commune that is Utopia was frustrating to him. He came to her where the action is.
Angrily, he replies he can chalk up poisoning the Sentient Seed to her ignorance. The media campaign? They are used to it in the States. But she wants to deliberately assassinate Kitty. She escalated-- Jean begins. No! James shouts and unsheathes his claws. Every single thing Jean has done is making preemptive moves on them. Them, Jean echoes. The word speaks volumes about his loyalties.
She tells him to choose: Tian, where he can be a valued member of a pro-mutant rights movement that will defend itself properly, or peace-loving Utopia, where he can be the most pointless mutant in that sorry patch of dead grass. Choose carefully, because if he chooses Tian he will be expected to support every single decision she makes. James turns around to find himself surrounded by Xorn fliers.
In Utopia the residents evacuate into the cave system set up by Magma. Kitty climbs up one of the dead trees where Rogue has made her home. She hugs her and asks how the Sentient Seed is. Rogue doesn’t know. Kitty asks if Rogue, Zero and Blackheath can bring it back. The guys think they can and have set up a lab to work on it. Can Utopia survive without her? Rogue wonders. Kitty doesn’t think so. She tells Rogue a secret. After the battle with the Tian fliers, she found a message from Jean at her house. Terms of surrender of Utopia and repatriation to Tian in exchange for the herbicide cure.
What will she do? Rogue asks. Kitty wanted to ask her. She won’t give up Utopia wholesale but, if Rogue thinks it is their best chance at saving the Sentient Seed, she’ll find a way to give Jean something she wants.
Rogue announces this is her calling. Her purpose in life. She is the Seed’s best friend, her caretaker, her partner. How can she make the decision? She has to, Kitty replies. Rogue thinks and admits she can’t find the criteria to make a rational decision, so she’ll make an emotional one. No deal. Kitty promises to make Jean pay for this.
Later, Kitty has gathered a small group and explains they are both her war council and her army. Blackheath, Shola, Husk, Warpath, Iceman, Armor, Mach Two and Aleks, who arrived with Colossus. Rogue is in the trees, Storm is maintaining eyes on Tian and Amara is seeing to the shelter in the mountain. Everyone else is underground. They are the first and last line of defense. Then she announces that Colossus is the new leader of Utopia and she is the final member of Utopia’s army.
The others are surprised. Isn’t Colossus a murderer? Husk bursts out. Kitty explains that Piotr took a life while imprisoned in Camp Angel. Colossus readily admits he did it and regrets it. He and Aleks have both done things they regret, but always in the pursuit of freedom from persecution. He would not have accepted Kitty’s offer if he felt otherwise.
Blackheath criticizes that Kitty didn’t pick someone who was with them longer. Kitty explains she wants the survival of Utopia and for that two things have to happen: She has to be removed as the face of Utopia. She is hated by too many people, a reminder of a dark period of American history and there are some people in the American government who will never trust her. They need a new public face, someone who projects strength and intimidates without being provocative. Colossus fits part and is a fresh face for people who hate her on sight. Such as Jean Grey.
Shola asks if she thinks her stepping down will prevent the war. No, but it will make it harder for Jean to smear her and by extension them in the media.
Husk insists he is a liability. His boyfriend isn’t a mutant! Kitty reminds them Aleks risked his life in fighting the Tian fliers.
Too much to hope for a vote this time? Nomi needles. Piotr explains he only accepted this position for four weeks. Even if the Tian conflict is still unresolved, he will step down and everyone votes. He is here to help turn the tide. He agrees with Blackheath. Utopia should have a Utopian as leader.
What will Kitty do now? Armor asks. Fight like hell, she replies grimly.
The next day, Nomi and Shola take Piotr up a cliff side. Nomi explains she and Shola have been tinkering awhile about weaponry. Ways to use their powers that haven’t been done before. She asked Magma to seed these mountain ridges with iron, stuff she can use. There is a line of iron, nickel and coal all the way up to the slope. A perfect line. A rail, Shol adds. Nomi shushes him. She lifts some of that mass, a small nugget, magnetizes it, Shola telekinetically lobs it up and Nomi fires the nugget up the rail into the air.
Colossus is impressed and asks about its range. A 700 meter rail gun, she reckons. Between Magma, Shola and herself they can make one as long as 26 miles. With another day of tinkering they could probably reach Tian.
In Tian, it’s icy cold, thanks to Storm. Jean Grey walks to a high security prison and opens it. She informs her prisoner he needn’t try to move. She is controlling his parietal lobe. He’ll find moving impossible. It’s now been nearly thirty hours in containment. Impressive, given the cold and lack of food. But she guesses a guy like him could stand a lot more, right? While she’d be up for the challenge time isn’t on her side. Things have changed.
And Kitty? James asks. Just abdicated her throne, so to speak. On TV. Colossus has taken her place. All very clever, Jean admits. Puts her in an awkward spot. She could continue to prompt the war but, without even an appeal to this new leadership for a non-violent resolution, she’d look unreasonable. So the new boss has to be made to look as bad as the old one. Which is where he comes in. She’s going to set him free. And then all of Tian is going to try and kill him. It’s going to be open season on James Hudson, Utopian terrorist, wreaking havoc on Tian soil. Not only will he die but her subsequent retaliation on Utopia will be swift, decisive and justified.
He tells her she is insane and doesn’t know when to give up. She’ll know it when she feels it, Jean replies telepathically. She tells him goodbye. It was almost something real, he and her.
She leaves the cell door open and telepathically alerts Farbird, ordering enough with that weather. Find that miserable witch Storm and pluck her from the skies! She tells him he is free to take any steps. She need not be taken alive.
Jean addresses all citizens, warning them of an escaped prisoner. He is extremely dangerous and completely deranged. She asks all loyal sons and daughters of Tian to join the hunt and bring the terrorist to justice. There’s a monster loose in their homes. They are justified in putting it down. She snaps her fingers: Go!
And with a cry of fury, James runs from his cell.