Outside the Xavier Institute sits Jean Grey, meditating, psychic flames rising from her. She is surprised as her boyfriend, Scott, approaches her. She thought he’d gone to Coney Island with the others. After some excuses, Scott admits that he wasn’t interested in another mindless field trip without her. Jean understands but tells him that, once a month, her telepathy starts stepping on her telekinesis and she needs a little peace and quiet to get her head straight back on.
Admiring the sunset, she wonders whether something that beautiful is truly created by mankind’s pollution. Scott admits he’s not sure. After all, sunsets all pretty much look the same to him. Shades of red and all that. With a smile, she orders him to take off his ruby quartz glasses. Scott is reluctant. He isn’t in control without them. Jean urges him to do it, to just let loose and he blasts away at the sky while finally admiring the sunset.
Peter Raputin is testing his strength at a strength machine and failing miserably. “Nooo winnah,” the bored carny announces. “Way to go, Colossus,” Wolverine mocks, while Peter snarls some Russian swearwords and shouts that the game is rigged. Ororo pulls at his shirt, telling him he’s been at this for thirty minutes. And he will stay at it until he has a stuffed… something to send home to little Illyana, he insists stubbornly. Rogue tells the others that she and Bobby are going to take in the rides and Bobby belatedly invites Kitty along. ”Gee, thanks,” she mutters sarcastically under her breath. Storm tells the others that she and Logan are going to roam for a bit and reminds them to meet at the parachute drop by eight. And no powers.
Alison is the only one who has stayed behind with Peter and she asks if he wants to make out behind the Hot Dog stands. Calling her Dazzler, he brusquely tells her to leave him be. Impatiently, she points out that her name is Ali. “Dazzler“ is her band. Or was her band until Charlie pulled a Yoko and broke them up They start walking, as Colossus points out that Xavier never made her leave her musician friends. She joined of her own free will. Nah, Dazzler scoffs, Cueball used his braintricks to force her to that. That’s the only possible explanation for why she’s still hanging with the straight edges. Changing the subject, she asks what his problem is. Why won’t he get with her? For one thing, she has more metal in her skin than he does, he points out wryly, referring to her piercings. They would scrape… Watching them from the dark is a man with red glowing eyes.
“This is disgusting,” Storm announces angrily, referring to a poster of a lycanthrope mutant named Wolfsbane with the tagline ‘half animal - half human’ in front of the sideshow. She fully intends to go in there. Wolverine holds her back, reminding her that it isn’t their place to tell other mutants how to live their lives. But the girl is clearly being exploited by humans, she protests. Or is she exploiting them, he shoots back. Preying on their fears to make a little extra cash. Turning around the corner, they see the sideshow “freaks,” including Wofsbane, sharing a happy dinner.
Everybody’s a freak to somebody, Wolverine states. You just gotta find your tribe and try to do right by them. But if it makes her feel better, he could storm the ticket booth and eviscerate a few carnies for her. Ororo gives him a peck on the cheek, announcing that he is sweet. She apologizes, but Logan tells her to forget it. He knows stuff like that reminds her of the way people treated Hank. It’s not just him, she explains. It’s guys like Nightcrawler and Angel. She and Logan can pass as normal but they are stuck at the school just because the world can’t deal with their looks. As they walk on, the man from before watches them, a card glowing in his hands. Can he imagine how awful that must feel, Storm muses.
“Hahaha,” Nightcrawler cackles evilly, as he and Angel are back in the Danger Room running, a pirate simulation. Armed with a cutlass, he orders ‘Captain Eagle’ to hand over the beautiful wenches… or face the wrath of the Dread Pirate Bluetail! He may have the women, if he can survive his army of the undead, Warren smirks, as pirate skeletons rise behind him.
On and on the battle goes, until Angel breaks character, nervously asking if Kurt is sure that they won’t get into trouble for this. Using the Danger Room unsupervised… Taking the parental-controls off these holo-things. The Professor has no idea what they are up to, Kurt calms him. He is most likely locked away in his study, preparing another boring speech for the United Nations. Up in the Danger Room’s observation booth, Xavier smiles indulgently.
Back at the carnival, Bobby and Kitty are waiting, while Rogue is using the bathroom. Is she using the can or giving birth, Kitty asks impatiently. What is her problem with Rogue, Bobby asks. Kitty reminds him of her time with Magneto and, before that, Weapon X. She was manipulated into that, he reminds Kitty. Besides, she’s changed. Then why did she almost murder that Sinister guy, Kitty demands. Maybe because he was trying to murder them, Bobby shoots back. What’s her real problem? She’s just jealous because he’s together with Rogue, isn’t she?
Oh, please, Kitty scoffs. How can they be “together” when Rogue can’t even touch a guy? You don’t need to be physical to be with someone Bobby insists. Kitty remarks that he sounds unsure about that. He’s with Rogue because he’s scared of being in a real relationship, she announces. Maybe he’s too religious or-- Before she continues, Bobby suddenly kisses her. After the initial surprise passes, Kitty responds.
That moment, an enraged Rogue joins them, telling Kitty she has three seconds to go intangible. On three, she belts Kitty, who passes out from hitting her head on the ground. Bobby angrily tells Rogue that he was the one kissed Kitty. It’s his fault. Why, she asks. He doesn’t know. And Kitty’s unconscious. Is there a problem? somebody asks. It’s private, Bobby replies. Perfect. He’s good at keeping secrets, the stranger announces. Bobby looks up, annoyed. He doesn’t know who the guy is. Name’s Gambit, a scruffy-looking young man with red glowing eyes and a cocky smile announces. He holds up an energized ace of hearts. His card.
Is that supposed to impress him, Iceman asks, as he ices up. Gambit tosses his card at him, knocking Iceman into the roundabout behind him. Enter the rest of the team, out for blood. Storm tells the others that she recognizes their foe. The Professor and she tried to recruit him a while back. He found a better clan to run with, Gambit drawls, as he draws Rogue to him. They cleaned him up, even gave him a few speech lessons to wash that Louisiana yat out of his mouth. Taught him a few new tricks as well…. A few month s ago he never would have been able to make a shot like that. His card hits the Ferris wheel, which starts falling. “Big wheel, keep on turning,” he remarks as panic spreads among the visitors.
Wolverine tells the others to take care of it. He’s got the Cajun. Storm takes to the air and orders Colossus to try and stop the wheel’s forward momentum, while she gets the passenger out of the top cars. Colossus gets to it, muttering, “test your strength,” my zhopa.
Dazzler rudely tells the people to chill and stop screaming, while she helps getting them out of the cabins.
Is he going to hide behind the girl or throw down like he’s got a pair, Wolverine challenges Gambit. He’ll dance with him, the Cajun replies. But if he’s bringing the knives, he’s going to have to even the score. With a flourish, Gambit produces a staff and jumps at Logan, hitting the staff over his head. Hope that was worth it for you, Wolverine snarls, as he proceeds to attack. Gambit blocks Wolverine’s one set of claws with his staff while onto the middle claw of the other hand.
Logan tells him to give it up. His skeleton’s laced with Admantium. Gambit can’t beat him. He already has, Gambit, announces. He can charge up anything inorganic… and that includes Wolverine’s metal bones. If he so much as nicks him, Gambit will blow him up from the inside out and take half the park with them. Wolverine first claims he’s bluffing but finally relents and sheathes the claws. Gambit follows this up by charging up what’s left of his staff and stuffing it into Logan’s mouth. A moment later, the staff explodes and Wolverine’s down for the count.
Rogue begs Gambit not to kill her. He’s not a murderer. He’s a thief, he tells her. He can take her purse, then, she suggests. He doesn’t want her money. He’s been sent to steal her.