Central Park, night…
Pyro fears for his life, as he is being chased by wild Sentinels! He pleads for help, though nearby human bystanders simply watch. Luckily for him, however, Pyro receives the help he begged for… but in a most unexpected way. Hanging upside down from a lamppost, Beast grabs Pyro and jumps to nearby tree branch. Pyro immediately recognizes Hank, and is surprised to see him. Hank explains he saw what was happening on the news and just had to help.
As they move from tree to tree to safety, Hank asks Pyro who’s driving the Sentinels, but Pyro has no clue. He does have a suspicion that this “Stryfe” person who’s leading the Mutant Liberation Front is involved… He teleported away before the Sentinels attacked. Hank finds that a pretty obvious smoking gun, and asks where Stryfe went. Pyro answers Hank’s guess is as good as his.
Bishop points his gun at the Fenris twins, who are threatening to kill Psylocke. Bishop shouts at them to release his wife… now. He won’t ask again. Andreas smiles, joking that Psylocke seems a bit young for him… but he won’t be the judge of that. Andrea agrees, wanting Bishop to take comfort knowing they’ll be together forever. They open fire on Bishop, who is tackled to safety by Wolverine. Nevertheless Fenris’ blast obliterated Bishop’s gun, his hand smoking where he once held it. He himself is unharmed, he having absorbed the energy. Wolverine, however, is not as fortunate, as the top half of his costume is now shredded. Not waiting for a counter attack, Andreas announces that he has had enough of this… they’ll kill Psylocke now.
Bishop remembers a period from his timeline. He found the dead body of his wife, Psylocke, who is an adult wearing a black X-Men uniform there. Seeing her dead, blood pouring from her body to the concrete on which she lies, he says “no” over and over again in disbelief.
Back to reality, where an incensed Bishop charges up the blast he just absorbed, and fires it at the Fenris twins… rendering both their heads to a fine, red mist! A distrought Psylocke gets up, reeling from the horrific sight of the twins. As Wolverine tries to calm her down, the others, including storm, reel in horror. Before she can speak, Bishop defends to Storm he didn’t want to do this, but he had to save Psylocke. Wolverine confounds his teammate that these things happen and that he doesn’t have to explain himself. However, Storm strongly disagrees with Logan. She reminds him that they’re the X-Men. They don’t kill! Nobody on this team kills… nobody!
Psylocke interrupts, saying that, given the circumstances, she doesn’t mind the killing part. She’s a bit more concerned about the “wife” part, though. Bishop points out this is neither the time nor the place for that.
Suddenly, Warren notices that someone is teleporting in behind them. The entire team turns around, and are confused when none other than… Stryfe and Zero arriving via teleportation circle! “Hmmm, awkward,” Stryfe mutters, unsure of the situation. He is further disturbed when Zero panics and immediately teleports away again, leaving his boss behind. Stryfe shouts after Zero, but it’s too late.
The X-Men begin to close in on Stryfe, but are stopped by a frightened Trask, who begs the X-Men to let he and Stryfe surrender. He claims that this whole plan was a huge mistake and wants the X-Men to take him and Stryfe in. He promises they won’t resist. They’ll shut everything down, but don’t want to get hurt.
Stryfe tells Trask to speak for himself, and promptly gives Bishop a kick in his face! Stryfe also confesses to Psyocke that he can feel her in his mind, trying to get in there. But that won’t work, he claims. He’s got defenses for “her kind.” Psylocke admits it looks that way, but she found a crack.
Psylocke enters Stryfe’s mind, which is really painful for him. She sees parts of his past. He sees how Stryfe got involved with Fenris. They offered him a lot of money. Andrea explained to Stryfe their plan. They knew all about him; they read his file. They knew how his power work, Stryfe’s ability to instigate unrest in people. Fenris could use that. Andreas added that they had a business endeavor that could use Stryfe’s participated, and asked if he was interested. The money Stryfe saw in front of him was just an advance. Andreas said they’d be able to double this amount after the U.S. government grants Fenris International the exclusive rights to manufacture the army of Sentinels he thought they’d need after Stryfe would instigate unrest in the mutant community.
Fenris introduced Stryfe to Trask, the original designer of the Sentinels. Trask had come up with a new design: compact, more mobile and, most importantly, cheaper to build. So Andreas and his sister fund Trask. They need Stryfe to give the world a reason to think they need the Sentinels. Andrea loved the name Stryfe came up for his group: the Mutant Liberation Front. It’s very revolutionary sounding. Trask explained that production would start in the coming ten days. He just has a few more kinks to work out before they begin. Stryfe would have six months to organize his little terrorist organization before the Sentinels are ready.
Stryfe claimed that would be more time he would need. He just wanted his new allies to make sure that when all this is done, the other half of his money is on its way to his account. Because after this, he’ll be a ghost.
Later, Stryfe went to a carnival where he talked to some mutants performing there. He told them they aren’t betraying their kind by performing. He knew they’re merely using the human’s fear and prejudice against them for profit, and he found that admirable. Still, no matter how these mutants would justify what they did, Stryfe told them they live on the fringe of society, confined to the shadows. That they were being kept from the others… hidden. He offered them a better way. A wolf-like girl was interested to listen to more.
Some time later, after Xavier’s death, Fenris invited Stryfe again. They saw what happened on the news and thought their timetable had now moved up considerably. Andreas said there was a substantial paranoia among the human communities and that mutants are already accusing the government of the murder. He was certain things were going to get ugly, and couldn’t think of a better time to activate the M.L.F. and introduce the world to the all-new, all-different Sentinels.
Stryfe slaps Psylocke across her face, and shouts at her to get out of his head. Though wiping blood from her mouth, Psylocke reveals to the team that Stryfe was working with Fenris, and sent the Sentinels after his own kind, selling out for a buck. Bishop wants to attack Stryfe, but Wolverine wants first slice. Wolverine warns Bishop not to get in his way, as he’ll do as he pleases.
Nearby, Warren and Alison are in a different discussion. He doesn’t understand why she has to keep her feelings all bottled up and, in turn, Alison defends that she’s acting like the man in this relationship and has to do everything. Psylocke accuses Storm for having a perfect adult body and shows it off by flying in front of her all the time. She doesn’t think it’s fair. Storm realizes what’s going on: Stryfe is using his powers on them, but she is still in control. Stryfe tries to run away, and Trask asks him to surrender again.
Stryfe presses a red button on a control panel. Storm wants to attack Stryfe, but is grabbed by Psylocke, who plans to attack Ororo with a psychic knife. Storm gets the upper hand and pushes Betsy away, and fires a powerful lightning bolt on Stryfe, which knocks him out. As Trask panics, Storm lands in front of him, admitting that she doesn’t know who he is, but promises that Stryfe will live.
Still panicking, Trask replies that she doesn’t understand. Stryfe just activated the fail-safe. Trask himself didn’t want to do it, but Fenris made him. They threatened to kill him if he refused. He explains that, in case they got caught, in case the government refused to pay for the Sentinels, Fenris had Trask create a fail-safe. Now, a program has been sent to the Sentinels. They are completely automated now. Trask can’t stop them. He was still working on programming the override, but the timetable moved up. He wasn’t finished. He doesn’t think the Sentinels can be stopped. In resigned disbelief, Storm turns around and looks at all the Sentinels getting activated. They all fly outside and into the sky.
Unsheathing a single claw, Wolverine points it at Trask’s face, demanding to know where the Sentinels are going. Trask reveals the Sentinels are programmed to rendezvous at the last dispatch location. They’ll kill all the mutants at that location, and spread out to continue the rest. Wolverine wants Trask to find a way to stop them. He won’t ask again.
Trask tells Logan he doesn’t have to threaten him. He knows what he has done, and that there’s nothing he can do to atone for that. He reveals that mutants were an abomination for him. Something to be feared, exterminated. He was going to be a hero. He wasn’t supposed to be a murderer, but Trask realizes that’s what he is now. When the program was shut down, he tried to forget it. He didn’t want to do this, but the Fenris twins, and the money they offered… Trask cries, because this wasn’t how his life was supposed to be. He promises to find a way to fix this.
Taking charge, Bishop states that they have to act now. He orders Angel to stay behind and make sure Trask keeps his word. In the meantime, he wants the rest of the team to find out where these Sentinels are going and do whatever it takes to keep casualties at a minimum. Wolverine picks up the still unconscious Stryfe, and Bishop wants to stop along the way and drop the villain off at S.H.I.E.L.D. custody. Bishop gives Trask one last warning that if he doesn’t pull this off, he’ll send Wolverine after him… alone.
The Sentinels have landed in the park and start firing at mutants there, not caring about the scared human bystanders. Pyro is in the middle of the battle. One of the Sentinels fires a blast through Pyro’s arm, but he doesn’t feel any pain, because he doesn’t have any nerve endings left.
Suddenly, Bishop’s teleportation portal opens, and he and the X-Men step through it. “Let’s shut these machines down,” Bishop declares, “It’s time to make a difference, X-Men!” He uses his powers to lift up a Sentinel, so that some humans can run into safety. Pyro fires his flames at another, whole Wolverine climbs on a third, using his claws and slicing it to pieces. Meanwhile, Storm flies towards another robot in order to attack it. Psylocke jumps on her back so she can make it to another Sentinel’s head, and poke her psychic knife through it to destroy it.
Amidst the battle, Pyro talks to Bishop, saying that he trusts that Psylocke told him that she had asked him to infiltrate the MLF. When Bishop confirms it, Pyro wants to inform Bishop what he learned about Stryfe’s connection to the Sentinels, but Bishop quickly adds that Stryfe is taken care off. Pyro is impressed.
A wolf-like mutant jumps on a Sentinel’s head, intending to scratch it off with her claws. However, Dazzler notices that the Sentinels is ready to fire and shouts at the wolf-girl to jump off, but the warning comes too late. The Sentinels fires its shot and kills that mutant, reducing her to bones and fur. Dazzler is distraught by it and falls to her knees in dismay. “No,” she cries, “if only I was fast enough…” Suddenly, her eyes start to spark and her emotions manifest as an incredible bolt which destroys the Sentinel. Having witnessed the feat, Storm quips that, if Dazzler does that another twenty times, they’ll be clear. Unfortunately, Alison is too exhausted by one blast and can’t do another one.
Back at the Sentinel base…
Trask is at work at his computers. When Angel notices some lights flickering, he asks what Trask just did. In response, Trask says he did the only thing he thinks will stop the Sentinels: he overloaded the generators. This base will be a crater in a few seconds. He warns Warren that he’d better leaves now. Warren quickly picks Trask up and intends to fly them both out, but Trask feels so bad for taking so many lives he wants to die! Warren thinks Trask has gone crazy, but Trask is determined and punches Warren into his face, causesing Warren to drop him. As Trask falls to the floor far below, he asks Warren to forgive him.
Warren flies outside the base. A second later, an explosion takes place which destroys the entire base.
As he directs a mutant with grey skin to safety, Bishop asks someone to cover him, as he wants to go check on Angel. He thinks Trask was lying, because the Sentinels are still active and it should be over by now. Storm flies an unconscious Dazzler to Bishop, and tells him to take her with him.
However, a Sentinel sneaks up behind Storm, ready to kill her and Dazzler. But then, before a shot can be fired… the Sentinel falls down! Storm thinks Bishop spoke too soon and that Trask did keep his word. Still, Storm’s glee turns to panic, as the now-deactivated Sentinel is falling down too fast for her to move out of the way. A moment before impact, however, Storm adnd Dazzler are picked up and leapt to safety by the strong arms of… Beast!
Regarding their savior, Storm can’t believe her eyes. Noting her disbelief, Beast sheepishly says “hi” to her. Silence is his ownly reply, not only from Storm but from the rest of the X-Men, all of whom are as surprised as Ororo is. Wolverine looks totally unhappy, and Psylocke and Pyro are speechless. Bishop appears to hold back a slight grin. Storm, however, continues staring in abject disbelief at Hank, who smiles widely and asks if she missed him.
While the other X-Men keep looking at Beast, who finally helps Storm from the ground, Bishop separates himself from the group. He takes a communicator out of his utility belt and goes to talk behind a tree. He tells the person whom he contacts that he’ll have to be quick. He doesn’t know how much longer the others will be distracted and doesn’t know when he’ll get another chance to call without being noticed.
Everything is working out, Bishop continues to say. Beast just returned, which is ahead of schedule. Dazzler has gone supernova twice now. The main thing is that the X-Men are really working as a team now, and help each other out in battle. Everything is progressing nicely. “Excellent”, Cable responds…