(flashback, during “Secret Empire”)
Washington DC, during the rise of the Hydra Nation. 'WANDA!' Quicksilver calls out to his sister, who is surrounded by a glowing sphere of energy as she hovers over Quicksilver and several other heroes who fight nearby – the Iron Man AI, Kamala Khan, and two heroes called Spider-Man – Peter Parker and Miles Morales. The Scarlet Witch then opens her mouth to speak, but it is not her voice that Quicksilver can hear. 'This vessel now belongs to Chthon... oppose us and die!' the demon possessing the Scarlet Witch exclaims, as the Scarlet Witch fires a blast of energy that strikes Quicksilver, who shouts 'NO!' as he falls to the ground, looking up at his sister, he promises to save her – that he won't stop her until she is free.
Avengers Mansion is battle damaged, the roof has been busted in, part of two walls are collapsed and smoke rises up from another part of the former home of Earth's Mightiest Heroes. Several former residents begin to gather around – Rogue, Jericho Drumm a.k.a. Doctor Voodoo, Jan van Dyne the Wasp and Johnny Storm the Human Torch. Standing away from the others are Pietro and Wanda Maximoff a.k.a. the twins Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, respectively. So...' Quicksilver's voice trails off as he folds his arms in front of Wanda. He remembers Wanda possessed by Chthon, and finds himself without anything else to say. 'Yes, Pietro?' Wanda asks, looking at her brother. Pietro rubs the back of his head as he asks 'Sister... where do we go from here?'
Wanda folds her arms and looks away from her brother as she tells him that they must do what is always done after great strife overtakes their lives – they must carry on. Quicksilver remembers the possessed Wanda screaming 'Blood and fire! A fitting baptism for our new world!' as she unleashed chaos around her. 'I...I tried to save you' Pietro tells Wanda. Wanda puts a hand on her brother's arm and tells him that she knows he did the best he could, and adds that what is important now is that she is herself again. 'Are you?' Pietro asks, remembering Wanda's possessed eyes. 'YES' Wanda declares, putting a hand to her brother's chin and turning his face to look at her. Wanda announces that what she needs now is a new purpose and people she trusts. 'And you think you'll find that here?' Pietro asks, turning away. 'It'll do for now' Wanda responds.
Nearby, 'C'mon, now. Don't eavesdrop on their conversation, Emily' the Wasp remarks to Emily Guerrero a.k.a. Synapse who is watching the Maximoff twins. Emily turns to the Wasp and tells her that she has never seen Pietro like this before, that his emotional state has waves of frustration and regret rolling off him. The Wasp smiles and puts a hand on Synapse's shoulder as she informs her that Wanda and Pietro have always struggled, and that she will get used to it. Looking up at the statue of the founding Avengers, Rogue turns to the Torch and tells him that if Wanda thinks she is just waltzing back in and joining them, then she has a another think coming. 'Cool down, Rogue! Only one of us gets to be the hothead around here' the Torch replies. 'Ah'm serious, Johnny!' Rogue exclaims, to which the Torch tells her that he knows she is. 'Death, chaos, insanity...that woman drags destruction behind her' Rogue declares, adding that the Scarlet Witch can't be trusted. The Torch smiles at Rogue and suggests she at least hear the Scarlet Witch out.
Rogue and the Torch walk over to where Wanda and Quicksilver have gone over and joined the Wasp, Synapse and Doctor Voodoo. Quicksilver tells his teammates that his sister has been through a traumatizing experience. 'I feel it would be best if -' Quicksilver begins, but Wanda interrupts him, telling him that there is no need to couch this in sympathy, before explaining to the others that her body was controlled by Chthon during Hydra's rise, but now the demon is gone. 'I'm an Avenger. I wish to stand with you once more' Wanda states. 'You're off your nut, Wanda!' Rogue shouts angrily. 'Steve Rogers disbanded the Unity Squad! We're not a team and we don't follow the Avengers Charter!' Rogue exclaims. Wanda narrows her eyes and asks 'If that's so, then what are you doing here at Avengers Mansion?' Rogue scowls and explains that they stick together because they are needed. 'Good. Then I wish to assist in that mission' Wanda replies, staring Rogue down. 'We don't want you!' Rogue retorts.
Quicksilver moves in front of Rogue and the Wasp steps up next to Wanda as Quicksilver reminds Rogue of her own words – they are not a team and she is not the leader – they all get a say here. The Wasp agrees with Quicksilver, and Doctor Voodoo reminds the Avengers that during the Darkforce invasion, his body was also under control by an invader, yet they accepted him immediately once it was purged – so Wanda deserves the same chance. 'We've all done things we regret' Doctor Voodoo adds. 'It's true. Some of us only this morning' the Torch smiles, while Rogue folds her arms and frowns. 'What's important is what we do moving forward, yes?' Doctor Voodoo asks, putting a hand on Wanda's shoulder. 'I...I agree' Wanda smiles, before Quicksilver thanks Jericho, and tells him that they are in his debt.
Later, Rogue lies in one of the beds of a ruined room within the Mansion. 'SHHHH!' the Torch exclaims as he enters the room. 'Johnny! What the $#%& are you doing?' Rogue calls out, sitting up in the bed. 'I think it's fairly obvious...I'm bringing a little heat to your room' Johnny smiles as he lies down next to Rogue. 'You know if Ah touch you, Ah'll -' Rogue begins, as the Torch interrupts her: '... steal my powers and memories and turn me into a drooling, unconscious wreck. Yeah, yeah. I didn't forget'. Rogue tells Johnny that she doesn't want to be his Medusa rebound. 'If anything, she was my Anna Marie rebound' the Torch jokes. 'You know what Ah mean' Rogue replies. The Torch then smiles and tells Rogue that he actually just stopped by to make sure she was okay. Rogue lies back and looks up at the ceiling, 'Trapped in a city of eternal darkness, saving people from Darkforce demons, 'til we were exhausted, week after week... none of us realizing the whole world was crumbling outside and Steve Rogers had tricked us all. Our friends fixed it. Yay for them. Now we're squatting in Avengers Mansion while an evil witch tries to move in and bust up my family. Yeah, Ah'm peachy' Rogue tells Johnny.
The Torch looks up at the ceiling as well and tells Rogue that, firstly, they are not “squatting”, as the previous owners abandoned the Mansion during the Darkforce invasion and the city is letting them use it for a couple of weeks as a “thank you” for saving thousands of lives. Rogue and the Torch turn and look at each other as the Torch tells Rogue to forgive the terminology, but they had no way of knowing that Steve Rogers had gone “rogue”. 'He was Captain America for crying out loud!' the Torch exclaims. “Sentinel of Liberty”, “Bald eagle of American values” the Torch quotes, telling Rogue that she can't blame herself for that. 'And the Wanda stuff?' Rogue asks. Johnny leans back against the pillow and admits that he has nothing to offer – except they will just have to wait and see how it goes.
In another part of the ruined Mansion, Wanda gazes out a broken window as Jericho approaches her. Wanda notices him and tells him that he should get some rest. 'I could just as easily say the same of you' Jericho replies, before asking Wanda why she is still awake. Wanda hugs herself as she explains that she is restless, still feeling out of sorts after recent events. Doctor Voodoo sits down on a sofa as Wanda reminds him that he mentioned this afternoon that he had been possessed recently. Doctor Voodoo tells Wanda that it is far from the first time, and explains that the magic he wields involves a great deal of taking or losing control of physical forms. 'How...how do you deal with that?' Wanda asks. 'A simple question. A complex answer' Voodoo replies, before explaining to Wanda that the body is his. 'But is it the sum total of my existence? No' he adds, revealing that he inhabits it and wields it in service to his spirit.
'So your body doesn't matter?' Wanda asks. Voodoo explains that it has a purpose, grounded in its animalistic needs and desires. 'Those can be nice too, you know...' Wanda smiles, to which Voodoo laughs, before touching his head and his chest and telling Wanda that what really matters is the spirit – the inner self, beyond physical limitations. Wanda sits down on the sofa and puts her hand near Voodoo's on the sofa as she informs him that she wielded dark magic, and hurt so many people. 'Chthon did that. You did not' Voodoo replies. Wanda tells Voodoo that, for all her bravado in front of Rogue, she wonders if Rogue is right – chaos magic makes for a chaotic life – it always has. Voodoo takes Wanda's hand in his and tells her that she wields great power, and that could not be without strength of spirit. 'I know' Wanda replies, looking back at Voodoo. 'You know it in theory, but now you must believe it' Voodoo points out. Voodoo puts two fingers to Wanda's forehead asks her to lift her mind above aching bones and muscles pressed tight from tension. 'Your fears will stay behind as you begin – to FLOAT?' Voodoo calls out as a powerful wind sweeps into the Mansion and lifts the two sorcerers off the sofa. 'I take it this wasn't your intent?' Wanda calls out. 'No!' Voodoo replies as they are thrown about the room.
In another room, the Wasp continues to sleep as the bed she is in is raised up above the floor, and Rogue and the Torch suddenly find themselves lifted up above the bed. 'Um...'Rogue calls out. 'WEIRD!' the Torch shouts, adding that he is not sure yet where this falls on the creepy-or-sexy spectrum. Rogue alerts the Torch to the ceiling which begins to break apart, but the Torch tells her not to mind that, and decides that this is definitely creepy. In another part of the Mansion, Emily grabs hold of a light fixture on the wall as she is lifted up off the ground. 'WHOA!' Emily calls out. Quicksilver sighs as he speeds along the ceiling, asking if they could just go one night without everything going berserk. 'Did we win a free trip to space camp and no one told me?' Emily asks, looking over towards Pietro, who begins to speed around her, creating a funnel effect. 'Not quite, Emily...' Pietro calls out, before moving away from Emily, who is now in her Synapse costume. 'PIETRO!' Synapse exclaims. Quicksilver assures Emily that he wasn't attempting to be cheeky, but that they need to be ready for battle.
'Hold on!' Synapse tells Quicksilver, grabbing his hand as the ceiling begins to break apart, and the two heroes suddenly find themselves standing on all sorts of Mansion rubble that has been upturned and now floats over the Mansion. The Wasp wakes up and looks around herself, while Doctor Voodoo and Wanda hover nearby, as does the Torch, while Rogue is resting on a chunk of concrete as she looks over and sees a man with long hair wearing a blue and white costume floating nearby. 'Oh, $#%&, it's Graviton!' Rogue calls out, while Graviton greets the Avengers as “groundlings” and informs them that her has had a revelation. 'NO ONE CARES, PAL! FLAME ON' The Torch shouts as he powers up, switching to his fiery form. 'Don't interrupt me, little firefly' Graviton replies. '...or else' he warns the Avengers as he uses his control over gravity to hurl the Torch into Rogue, who screams. 'NO!' the Torch exclaims, before Graviton slams the Torch into a chunk of rubble floating nearby. 'Where was I? Yes, yes, yes... revelation' Graviton declares.
Quicksilver begins to move his clenched fist at a super speed, as Graviton calls out 'The Red Skull, Hydra, Doctor Doom, Magneto...it doesn't really matter. Pick one. All their schemes, all their machinations...meaningless!' Graviton boasts as Quicksilver tries to run through the air to attack him, but Graviton causes Pietro to plummet to the ground below. 'Wha -?' Quicksilver calls out, before he slams hard into the concrete beneath him. Graviton grins as he adds 'Even this...tearing you all apart, controlling the force of gravity that defines us here on this planet... it's nothing'. As the heroes begin to float around Graviton, the villain tells them that he has seen true power – the Cosmic Cube – he has felt the force of its gravity, just for a moment – and then it was gone. Graviton goes wide-eyed as he tells the heroes that the mind was not built to see the Cosmic Cube's multitudes, let alone control it.
Rogue tells Graviton that they don't have the Cube, and that they barely stopped Hydra. 'Why take it out on us?' she asks. 'You're not listening. This isn't a villainous plot, Miss Mutant' Graviton replies as Rogue floats over to him. Graviton tells her that the universe is a random place full of random occurences beyond comprehension. 'In an instant, I can take away any hope of control you thought you had' Graviton declares, while the Scarlet Witch begins to cast a hex, energy swirling around her fingers. 'I'm going to show you and everyone else how futile and meaningless our lives really are. Because I can' Graviton exclaims. Suddenly, 'Enough boasting, madman! We are Avengers, and we have bested far better than you!' the Scarlet Witch calls out, aiming her hex towards Graviton. 'Feisty!' Graviton grins. 'Fly high, silly witch... and say hello to the stars for me' Graviton declares as he uses his power to send the Scarlet Witch careening upwards through the air, up into the atmosphere, where Wanda clutches at her throat, desperate for air....