Two armed soldiers are running through the halls of the Ultimates’ former headquarters. Somebody has escaped from their cells, and it’s their job to lock him up again. One of the soldiers wants to wait for backup first, but his companion responds they’re on their own. They have to engage before he escapes.
Suddenly, somebody jumps across their heads… none other than… Henry McCoy! The startled soldiers remember their orders to only use non-lethal ammunition on Hank. Hank on the other hand doesn’t really want to make it easy for the soldiers, and jumps through a hatch. The soldiers attempt to follow him through it, but Hank uses a device he created to close the hatch upon his escape. He has done his research. One of the soldiers gets his leg stuck between the door, but Hank promises the poor guy he’ll have a broken ankle at worst. Give Fury his regards!
The New X-Men are in full battle against the Sentinels. Angel has rescued a beautiful girl from danger, and Psylocke helps bring the innocent bystanders into safety. In the meantime, Storm, Bishop, Pyro and Wolverine fight the Sentinels. Wolverine jokes that these new Sentinels are much easier for him to destroy: he doesn’t need to get on top of them anymore to do some damage.
Bishop reminds Wolverine that these new Sentinels are much deadlier than the old ones, and also carry more guns. Bishop absorbs some energy, and uses that energy to telekinetically lift up one of the robots. He tosses the machine against another Sentinel, which destroy both.
Meanwhile, Pyro is having a little difficulty with his adversary. He melted half of a Sentinel’s body but it still keeps firing at him. Storm is having the same problem. Her lightning only stuns them for a short time. It’s taking a lot to bring these monsters down, and she notices they’re definitely sporting upgrades! Wolverine doesn’t mind, and jokes that cutting the Sentinels’ heads off still works fine for him.
Storm gets the picture: they need to use brute force to bring the Sentinels down. She uses her winds to blow one of the robots against a building to destroy it. They’re finally winning now but, without warning, something odd happens to Ororo. In her mind, Storm is attacked by inhuman, dark brown creatures with sharp fangs and yellow eyes. The creatures warn Storm that the Shadow King is coming for her. Soon… very soon… she will belong to him! Storm screams and falls to the ground, however Wolverine catches her and safely puts her down. An exhausted Storm has to remind herself that the creatures are just dreams, and that they never happened when she was awake. Wolverine tries to tell Storm to put it together.
Elsewhere on the battlefield, a brown-furred wolf-like mutant encourages her fellow mutants that they need to fight for themselves and that they don’t need the X-Men to protect them. They’re the Mutant Liberation Front! They fight injustice because the X-Men refuse to! “Xavier must be avenged,” the girl wolf screams. Psylocke attacks a Sentinel and mocks the MLF that they’re high-strung, to which Bishop compliments that at least they’re passionate about something.
Dazzler panics when a Sentinel closes in on her, and grabs her in its strong arms. She calls out to Bishop for help, but he can’t. Still, Dazzler knows what to do, and hopes Bishop was right about her powers. She uses her powers and creates a huge blast of light, which brings down that Sentinel and two others. As the one holding her collapses, Angel picks Dazzler up and flies away with her. An astonished Alison admits to Warren she really has no idea how she just did that. Psylocke and Bishop also saw it, and Bishop calmly responds that was step one.
Stryfe and Zero appear behind the X-Men, while his other followers try to escape. Stryfe wants Bishop to know that their hasty retreat doesn’t mean his people are ungrateful. Though they’re not exactly in love with law enforcement these days, he thinks the feeling is mutual. He and his group have been haunted by these new Sentinels since their formation. They appreciate the opportunity to fight back, so he wants to thank the X-Men for that. Bishop corrects they’ll step in to stop any senseless murder of innocent mutants, but warns Stryfe he doesn’t approve of his organization. Bishop is certain that, if Stryfe doesn’t cease these violent demonstrations, they will have to fight each other. Bishop says the MLF isn’t helping the mutant cause, and that they’re nothing more than little terrorists.
Stryfe becomes furious at this. He calls the X-Men cowards, because they allow the figurehead of their cause to die at the hands of humans and they refuse to fight back? He thinks they sully the memory of Xavier’s dream while the MLF fights to keep it alive, and he thinks they’re not the terrorists here. Bishop tells Stryfe that what he and his group do hurts mutants. Storm adds that Xavier wasn’t killed by humans, but by a mutant. Stryfe doubts that a mutant pulled the trigger. He wonders who pulled the mutant’s strings. He’s sure their current administration had a hand in it, and that it’s not a coincidence that the Sentinels are back just a few weeks after Xavier’s death. He thinks this is an attempt of the humans to get rid of the mutants once and for all. He believes the Mutant Liberation Front is their last line of defense and that the X-Men should join them.
Pyro thinks that maybe Stryfe is right and that they’re going the wrong way about this. Seeing Bishop clearly stunned, Pyro presses. Cyclops is turning the mansion into a school. Bishop started a new team, but Pyro isn’t sure what they’ve done so far. They’ve done minor rescue missions, and not really accomplishing anything. He thinks Stryfe has the right idea and that the MLF can make a difference. Stryfe is pleased to hear dissension in the X-Men’s ranks and that there may be hope for them yet. Stryfe is pleased to have Pyro on their side and he and the MLF welcome him with open arms. The authorities arrive in their police cars, which is Zero’s clue to teleport him, Zero and Pyro away.
Thanks to a teleportation portal, the X-Men are now back at their base, but Bishop isn’t pleased at how things have turned out. Psylocke explains she’s responsible for what happened to Pyro. Bishop asks Betsy if she told Pyro to do that. She did. She explains that, before Stryfe shut her out of his mind, she felt he had absolutely no conviction about what he said. Stryfe doesn’t believe in his own hype. She thinks something is going on there. So she sent Pyro into the belly of the beast. Psylocke admits it was a bit forced, but she sensed enough arrogance in Stryfe that she knew he’d fell for it. And, she jokes, Stryfe doesn’t think very much of the X-Men.
Bishop admits it’s a good idea to have someone on the inside, but now is not a good time to be down a man. That’s why Psylocke chose their most ineffective member with the least amount of experience. She saw Pyro didn’t pull his weight into that fight. Of course, until she saw what Dazzler did, Psylocke would have chosen her first. Bishop compliments Dazzler on being a fast learner. Dazzler on the other hand has no idea how she did that. And now… her hands hurt. That has never happened before. Angel wonders if that’s normal and if they should be concerned about it. Bishop thinks she’ll get used to it, and again compliments her on doing a good job. Dazzler thanks him for saying that.
Wolverine wants to know what they’re going to do next… wait for another Sentinel attack? Not even close. It’s time they start taking steps to end this Sentinel threat once and for all!
Xavier’s, later that night…
Scott tells Jean it’s okay if she goes to bed now, because he knows she’s handling a lot of things with the school. Jean thanks Scott for that, and says she loves him. He says the same and she closes the door. The little green goblin creatures start crawling around Jean again, and she wonders if Scott would still love her if he knew how crazy she is. She also wonders if these creatures would talk to her instead of just sitting there and looking at her, and crawling all over her. She wonders if that would make her more or less crazy.
She supposes talking to the goblins is enough. She combs her hair and the goblins help her with it. Jean knows the goblins are just something her mind came up with when she was conjured as a child to help her understand her telekinesis, a way to explain how she moves things with her mind. They’re invisible goblins, and Jean knows they’re not really there. Just like the Phoenix visions are just illusions, brought on by her fear of her powers, and fed by the things she overheard her parents say when they were members of the church of the Shi’ar Enlightenment.
So, Jean asks, if she can explain it all, why does she still see them? One of the goblins suddenly freaks out and points Jean at something. The Phoenix force crawls out of her closet, and Jean is shocked by the sight of it. “It’s time,” the female Phoenix entity begins. She flies towards Jean, mentioning she has all the answers Jean needs. The force crawls onto Jean, who tries to struggle it off. But the Phoenix wants Jean to let her in, and embrace her.
The goblins do their best to keep the Phoenix away from Jean, but have little luck. Phoenix tells Jean that once she realizes the power she possesses, the power she can give Jean, she’ll beg her to take over. The gathered goblins are now strong enough to overthrow Phoenix and lock her up again in the closet. They both disappear, leaving an exhausted Jean alone on her bed. Jean goes to sleep, not noticing that on a tree outside her window, Hank has been watching.
The next day, Newark, New Jersey…
Wolverine and Bishop are fighting another Sentinel. Wolverine rescues a small mutant boy with a blue skin from harm, while Bishop places a bomb on the Sentinel’s back, causing it to explode. The Sentinel isn’t completely destroyed, though, and returns back to its base, which is exactly what Bishop wanted it to do. Bishop now wants to get the rest of the team and take down whoever’s driving these things.
Twenty minutes later…
The X-Men arrive in a base where lots of deactivated Sentinels are resting. Wolverine is a bit surprised they’re not being attacked, and Dazzler just calls them lucky. Bishop thinks they’ve still got the element of surprise on their side, and that this should be easy. But on that moment, he gets taken down by a powerful blast, coming from… Fenris!
Holding hands with Andrea, Andreas mocks that Bishop was the X-Men’s ticket out of there. They’ve got nowhere to run now. He warns the mutants that they’re trespassing on Fenris International property, and that’s something they usually frown upon. He asks his sister if she thinks they should kill all of the X-Men, and Andrea would be happy to.