Downtown Los Angeles, in the dead of night. A sewer cover in the middle of a street is pushed open from beneath, and an arm reaches out - it is Lucas Bishop, who pulls himself onto the street. He thinks that ‘It’s at times like this, when I’m swimming through a sewer of #$%& to survive - it’s at times like this I think of you. I think of you watching me trudge upstream through the grime of the 21st Century, yet again. And how you’d laugh and smile and offer me your hand’. Bishop thinks to himself that maybe if things had been different, he could have learned more from him, he would have liked that. Maybe they could have even been friends. ‘But you know me - I always end up pissing my friends off’ Bishop tells himself, before calling out ‘You still here’, and standing behind him is the Demon Bear, who lets out a small roar.
Bishop starts to walk down the street, thinks to himself that the Demon Bear is a powerful bull Revenant who possessed him and tried to kill him - but that it was not the Demon Bear’s fault, as the Revenant Queen used both of them like chess pieces to get to the present. Bishop recalls that Psylocke commanded the Demon Bear to protect him, and he saved his life, stating with him through the whole sewer. Bishop cannot think of one example in the entire history of the Order, of a hunter like him teaming up with a Revenant like the Demon Bear - but the 54th Protocol comes to mind: the Syzygy Protocol - when you ride alone, seek allies in strange places. Bishop supposes that Psylocke, Storm and Puck will be under heavy guard now, and they know he will come for them - they will be prepared, it is a trap. ‘You ready to wage war?’ Bishop asks. ‘ROWLF’ the Demon Bear replies. ‘You would have laughed and smiled. Maybe’ Bishop thinks to himself.
Meanwhile, Revenant-possessed civilians stand on a building with Grand Central Market written on the side. And, inside: ‘Do you even lift, bro? You’re such a puny little body. Puny Puck’ the Revenant version of Eugene Judd a.k.a. Puck, who stands tall, and good mocks the real Puck, who is tied to a post with Ororo “Storm” Munro and Betsy “Psylocke” Braddock. ‘You were this small once, too, Dirtbag Puck’ Judd replies. ‘Doubt it’ the Revenant Puck retorts, while the Revenant Storm, dressed as a goddess turns to the Revenant Psylocke and declares that she detests these lesser versions of themselves. ‘They wasted their lives while we languished beyond the veil’ she adds, before turning to the real Storm, and calls her pathetic. ‘You could have been a goddess, but you left it all behind to be a degenerate sewer princess’. The Revenant Psylocke remarks that after Bishop comes for them, then they can dispose of them as they please, but first, the Revenant Queen must have her Bishop.
The Revenant Psylocke then turns to the real Psylocke, ‘I noticed you admiring my suit, Elizabeth. Jealous?’ she enquires. ‘Hmph’ Betsy mutters, while telepathically announcing ‘I hate her’.
Betsy, Storm and Judd are linked telepathically, as Judd asks the women ‘Do you see that guy’s hair? It’s gorgeous!’, to which Storm tells the others that it is enough they must endure these broken-mirror versions of themselves. ‘But… heckling?’ she asks. Betsy reports that she has a splitting headache trying to keep the three of them out of their heads - but that is the thing, they are psychic demons, they are their shadows, and shadows are cast by light. ‘That would mean we can beat them if we can -’ Betsy starts to say, before her Revenant version turns to her, ‘What was that? Was that a telepathic murmur I heard, Little Lizzie? Chatting with your feeble friends?’ she asks. The Revenant Psylocke touches the real Psylocke’s face, ‘You’re one of the most powerful telepaths on the planet. But now so am I. And I’m an international super-spy, to boot. Chitchat all you want. You can’t defeat us. You are us’ she warns the real Betsy.
Meantime, Bishop enters a store, and thinks to himself that there are 79 protocols every hunter of the Order must memorize, and decides that he is going to have to make a hybrid of a half-dozen of them just to get through this. He takes a cowboy-style hat and puts it on his head, while gathering other supplies. He recalls the Solos Protocol, which says that when reinforcements are improbable, become your own army. He picks a bottle off a shelf and reads the label: Methylchloroisothiazolinone and decides that it will have to do.
Suddenly, a security guard appears: ‘Sir! Stop now! Sir!’ the security guard calls out, but Bishop starts to run, thinking ‘You would not approve of theft, I know. But the 39th Protocol gives me license to take what I need’ he thinks to himself as he carries a basket of supplies out of the store. He and the Demon Bear go over to a tree, as Bishop recalls the 39th Protocol - the Bountiful World Protocol - when cut off from supplies, let your surroundings supply you.
Bishop goes into some sort of kitchen and starts to combine the supplies in a pot. He recalls that he has been all over this time steam, the year changes, but his life does not. Hiding in the shadows, existing in the margins, always fighting. He thinks of the Crow Protocol, which states that you are never without weapons as long as you have creativity. He drinks some of the Methylchloroisothiazolinone before blowing his nose, and from it, a shrimp-like creature falls. He reminds himself of the Wolf Protocol - when backed against the wall, save nothing for the next fight. He remembers his third glotus parasite lasted him years. He looks at the creature, and tells it that it served him well, but there is one more battle. ‘Who knows when I’ll get another? They won’t engineer these for centuries. So it goes. I don’t need it to cloak my presence anymore. They know I’m coming. But they don’t know what I’ve got for them’. Bishop tells himself as he cuts the glotus parasite open, and removes a small piece of it, shaped like a kidney bean, and drops it into the pot where the concoction he is creating floats.
While remembering that the Flower Protocol speaks of survival being impossible without sacrifice, Bishop draws out his knife, and cuts his arm, holding it over the pot. “With blood and flowers, I consecrate this Revenant invenom in the name of the Haruspex” Bishop quotes, before realizing that he needs some heat. The Demon Bear opens his mouth and roars, releasing some flame over the pot. ‘Always fighting. This is not the life you would have wanted for me. For us’ Bishop thinks, while warning the Demon Bear to keep its distance from this stuff. He pours some of it into a lightbulb, and recalls the Absolution Protocol - when hunting Revenants, there must be no hesitation. Always strike with death. Bishop then starts smearing the concoction on his face.
Back at the Grand Central Market, the Revenant Puck declares that Bishop isn’t coming. ‘That idiot’s, like, a million miles away by now. We might as well party. Spring break!’ he exclaims. The Revenant Storm tells the Revenant Puck to hope that he is wrong, as the Revenant Queen will destroy him for letting Bishop escape. ‘That’s on you, babe. One gust of wind and he’d be in her talons right now’ the Revenant Puck replies. ‘Shut up! All of you -’ the Revenant Psylocke snaps, when suddenly, the Demon Bear appears, and growls at them. ‘It’s the bear! Bishop is close! Revenants, find him!’ the Revenant Storm exclaims. ‘Yeee-haaaw!’ the Revenant Puck calls out, boasting that it is time to kick some ass, he holds up a large gun. ‘Wait - do not underestimate Bishop. This is a distraction -’ the Revenant Psylocke calls out. A light bulb is thrown into the room, and from it, a brown smoke pours out. ‘The smoke burns!’ the Revenant Puck calls out. ‘Can’t focus - can’t summon wind!’ the Revenant Storm declares, while the Revenant Psylocke tells them to shut up, that it is in their head, and they need to concentrate.
The Revenant Puck then realizes that it is invenom. He shouts several expletives before reporting that it is in his skull, as he clutches his head. The real Psylocke sees Bishop, who appears before and starts to untie her and the others. ‘Bishop! But how?’ Betsy asks. Bishop explains that Revenants hate the smoke, as it scrambles their nervous systems. ‘This would be easier if I were more like you. You were a leader of men. I am but a knife, slashing blindly’ Bishop thinks to himself. He tells Betsy and the others that they don’t have much time, that they have to get out of here, as the Queen is the target. ‘No way. I have a score to settle with the big guy’ Puck announces. Storm suggests that they need to regroup, while Bishop thinks to himself that they don’t listen to him.
‘I can’t take it anymore! Get us out of here!’ the Revenant Puck shouts as he thrashes about. ‘No, Puck! Stop! You’re going to -’ someone begins, when, outside, in the market proper, ‘Earthquake?’ a woman asks as she and many others go about their shopping, when the roof above collapses, and the heroes, the Revenants and rubble start to collapse onto the market. ‘You can’t escape me! I am a goddess, Storm! I have surpassed you in every way!’ Storm’s Revenant double calls out as they both cast a lightning bolt. ‘How dare you pervert mother nature so brazenly?’ Storm demands as she holds her ground. ‘Keep up, Lizzie! Can’t kill what you can’t catch!’ the Revenant Psylocke goads as she leaps away from Betsy, boasting that she has been trained by the best. ‘You’ve languished with the riff raff!’
‘Bro, I am gonna crush you!’ the Revenant Puck calls out as he follows the real Puck, throwing tables into the air as he tries to catch him. ‘Hey, dumbass, don’t bro me -’ Puck starts to call out, jumping against a table lined with alcohol bottles, the Revenant Puck picks a bottle up and crashes it against the real Puck’s face, ‘This… is alcohol abuse!’ the Revenant Puck exclaims. ‘Hey, that’s my joke’ the real Puck replies, rubbing his head as he sits up in the pile of broken bottles
‘If I never joined the Order, would we be friends? Would you fight alongside me? Or would you disapprove, and fight to stop me?’ Bishop wonders as he shoves his knife into a Revenant-possessed civilian. ‘Because I will never give up. As long as Revenants plague the world - any world - I can never quit’ he tells himself, deciding that because what happened between them, ‘You sacrificed so much, we both did. I won’t waste that. I won’t make your death for nothing’.
Up above, Storm kicks her Revenant double, knocking her off-balance, while Bishop calls out ‘Storm, catch!’ as he throws his knife towards her. ‘Got it, Lucas!’ Storm calls back. ‘A crass weapon for a sordid soul’ the Revenant Storm remarks, while the real Betsy tells her double that she talks a big game, but that she is really only a couple of hours old. ‘You don’t know -’ she begins, before the Revenant Psylocke drops down from a beam above,’ Neither do you, puppet!’ she declares, knocking Betsy to the ground. ‘And now your tortured little life is over!’ the Revenant exclaims as she shoves a psychic-knife into Betsy’s head. ‘You may be an all-powerful goddess -’ Storm begins as she attempts to knife her double. ‘I’ll kill you!’ the Revenant Storm threatens. ‘But I know my way around a knife fight’ Storm points out. The Revenant Storm warns the real Storm that she will kill Logan and Kitty, and will destroy everyone she ever loved. ‘Can you say the same? Not a chance’ Storm declares as she shoves the blade through her double’s back, and out her chest.
‘Impossible. How can you endure…?’ the Revenant Psylocke asks the real Psylocke, psi-knife still embedded in her brain. ‘So that’s what that feels like’ Betsy mutters. ‘Die, damn you!’ the Revenant Psylocke declares, to which the real Betsy tells her that her knife is thin because she is weak. ‘You’re weak because you’re only as strong as I make you. I own my place in this world. I own my darkness. I own you’ Betsy remarks, readying her own psi-knife, she reaches up and tells her Revenant self that she is not afraid of her, as she shoves the psi-knife into her double’s head, and the Revenant howls as she vanishes.
At the same time, Puck sits at a table while his taller, handsome Revenant double leans against the table, both men drinking. ‘Do then the other guy says, if that’s the dog -’, to which the double concludes ‘- then where’s the girl from the back of my truck?’ Both Pucks start to life, before the real Puck announces that he has a confession. ‘Me too, bro’ the Revenant adds. ‘This whole time I was drinking you under the table as a strategy’ the real Puck reveals. ‘Me too, bro!’ the Revenant agrees. ‘But you don’t have my secret weapon’ the real Puck remarks, taking another drink. ‘Oh really?’ the Revenant asks. ‘Adversity’ the real Puck declares as he suddenly leaps up and kicks his opponent in the face. ‘Without it, you got big and soft. With it, I got small, but strong’ Puck explains, standing on the table, he holds his double up by his singlet, ‘But even though you are a total dirt bag - I can’t bring myself to ruin this beautiful head of hair’ he admits. He starts to punch his double, when Bishop appears, and throws something into the Revenant Puck’s head. ‘No! Not the scalp!’ Puck gasps.
‘Nice shot’ Betsy tells Bishop, who quotes “Always strike with death”, before telling Betsy that he has never seen anyone destroy a Revenant like she did. Betsy replies that she is used to seeing dumb doppelgangers of herself, and explains that she didn’t destroy her double, as she can’t be destroyed. ‘She’s my shadow…one of many’. ‘You idiot. We…could have ruled this planet’ the Revenant Storm mutters as Storm sets her down on the ground. ‘You watched me from afar, but you know nothing about me’ Storm responds. The Revenant Storm coughs, before telling the real Storm that she is a fool to trust Lucas Bishop, adding that he doesn’t even know them by their true name. ‘And the Revenant Queen… he thinks she’s from the future. But you already know her in the present…’ she utters, before passing away, and Storm uses a lightning bolt to destroy her double’s body.
Bishop walks over to Storm and tells her that it is not easy to kill one’s own Revenant, and that many cannot. ‘It is the final initiation into the Order’ he adds, before informing her that she has proven herself tonight, and although she may have skipped some of the steps, under the circumstances, she has earned her place with them. ‘I, Lucas Bishop, as, uh, a substitute for Sister Superior, herby baptize you as a hole Revenant hunter of the Order. Rise, Ororo Munro, and shine a light in this dark world. Take your place among the order’ Bishop announces. Puck and Betsy approach Bishop, as Puck asks him what his deal is. ‘We all had to tangle with the booger versions of ourselves. Where the hell was your Revenant?’ he asks. Betsy quietly tells Puck to shush. ‘Don’t you get it? In their final initiation, Revenant hunters must…’ she begins, to which Puck exclaims ‘Ohhhh, now I get it!’, to which Betsy tells him to shut up.
Bishop hangs his head, ‘It’s at times like this I think of you’ he thinks to himself. ‘To tell the truth, I think about you all the time’ he admits, recalling his time with the Order. ‘I think about what you’d say to me, and if you’d smile and laugh. Or if you’d sacrifice everything to stop me’. He remembers walking through a forest, and pulling a white owl - a Revenant - from a tree, while recalling that he did learn one thing - the value of picking a direction and sticking with it. He remembers holding the Revenant over a boiling brew, instead of letting his anger catapult him from one half-baked crusade to another. He drinks from the brew, and thinks ‘I wonder what it took to achieve what you did -’ and recalls screaming, and energy pouring from his eyes.
He sees his mirror self, the anti-Bishop, the him that could have been, had he let go of his anger. ‘But I’ll never know what you sacrificed - to become a leader of men - and it’s all my fault’. He sees himself as a militant warrior, and a leader, speaking on a platform with the American flag behind him. ‘It was my initation into the Order. My training. I took a vow. I picked a direction. I had to stick with it. I’m sorry’ he thinks to himself, before recalling killing his Revenant self - the great leader, and remembering the Absolution Protocol - when hunting Revenants, there will be no hesitation - always strike with death.
‘It is for you I continue the fight. In the past, in the present, wherever it may take me’ Bishop thinks to himself, before Puck calls out: ‘So, okay, Bishop. You’re not bonkers. Sorry’. Psylocke asks if the Revenants came to their doorstep, just how bad this is going to get, to which Bishop tells her that this is just a taste of what is to come. He states that the Revenant Queen is here, that she is summoning Revenants into the present, and it is his holy obligation to stop her - only he can’t do it alone. Everyone looks up when a fifth person enters the room, ‘You better be able to back up that big talk, big guy’. It’s Spiral, the six-armed time-witch, armed with an assortment of blades and axes, and reveals that she knows who the Revenant Queen is. ‘And I want that $%&$# to die!’