Wolverine finds himself on the run on a very alien planet, trying to keep his berserker rage at bay and fearing that he is dying. The entire alien jungle – the mass of unknown scents, sights and sounds - is giving him sensory overload – he can ’t get his bearings. To make matters worse, he’s suffering from horribly painful attacks from something within him. An alien tentacled plant grabs him and sprays him with some gas. Wolverine frees himself by slashing through the tentacles, but the hallucinogen pollen has an effect on him after all.
Wolverine finds himself in Japan on horseback, by his side is his beloved Mariko Yashida. Wolverine tells Mariko, that she has to admit they are a mismatched pair in many ways. Mariko denies this: Logan is an honorable man with the soul of a true samurai. No woman could ask for more. As they kiss, Mariko adds that actually she feels unworthy of him at times. Wolverine tells her that is nonsense; she’s the bravest woman he knows. Logan becomes suspicious when he sees giant eagles closing in on them. Realizing that they are making perfect targets, he shoos Mariko’s horse on. Reality intrudes and the eagles turn out to be flying Brood soldiers, who shoot at “Mariko,” disintegrating her.
Wolverine snaps out of the hallucination and realizes the hunters are real. He evades their scanners and heads for the undergrowth. When one hunter closes in, Wolverine slashes him. Without warning the ground beneath him collapses and Wolverine finds himself caught in a giant spider’s web. In pain, he passes out.
Time passes and Wolverine awakes, still trapped. He gets a good look at his surroundings. He’s surrounded by a huge, continent-sized, decomposing corpse, whose skeletal ribs stretch well above the breathable atmosphere. It is the corpse of one of the Brood’s living starships, Wolverine realizes; formerly sentient beings whom the Brood enslaved, lobotomised and eventually consumed. The natural fauna and flora of this world became enmeshed in the corpse, trying to claim it, but it was too huge for the process to be finished yet.
Nearby, the Brood hunters debate what to do. A novice wants to follow Wolverine, since he hosts a Queen embryo. The others consider this suicide, as he will, no doubt, be killed by the predators.
Wolverine notes movements of something nearing. Just when he is about to slash himself free, the pain overcomes him again and he flashes back to what happened to him and his team-mates.
(flashback to Lilandra ’s yacht Z’reee shar)
Lilandra has invited the X-Men and Carol Danvers to a farewell dinner on her yacht to thank them for their help in preventing Deathbird’s coup d’etat.
Colossus isn’t really in the mood to celebrate, as he keeps on thinking about his sister, Illyana. Wolverine urges Peter to snap out of it. Moping isn ’t going to help Illyana. Storm, in the meantime, muses about her meeting with her alternate, older self during the same adventure. That other Storm was a sorceress and pointed out that half of Storm’s heritage was bound to magic. Storm wonders how that is possible. She’s a mutant, not a sorceress.
Suddenly, Deathbird appears before the X-Men, proclaiming herself as the new empress. When the X-Men try to attack, they are stunned by a stasis bomb.
Wolverine is flooded by a multitude of scents and impressions before properly awaking again. He finds that they are surrounded by Brood, but the others, whose costumes are hanging down in tatters, don’t notice anything amiss. A moment later, reality shifts for Wolverine and he sees that they are surrounded by kindly Shi’ar instead. Wolverine finds himself incapable of dealing with those two different sets of reality.
A worried Carol Danvers asks him what’s the matter. Wolverine explains that this is a trap, but Carol doesn’t take him seriously. They are interrupted by two Shi’ar, who are interested in Carol’s physiology and would like to examine her. Without a question, Carol agrees. As they fly her away, Wolverine suddenly sees them as Brood. He tries to warn her, but only the other X-Men react. Worried, they ask him if everything’s okay. Wolverine comes to the conclusion that it’s all in his mind, that he once more can’t trust his senses.
A ceremony starts. Lilandra hands out awards to each X-Man, while the tall mysterious woman besides her on the dais hugs everyone. Seeing her, Wolverine senses terrible danger. When it is Kitty’s turn, she too seems to sense something wrong. She cries for help, but the woman tells her it is already done. Then, it is Wolverine ’s turn, but he sees her as she truly is: a giant Brood Queen, infecting him with something. Wolverine screams.
Awakened by his own screams, Wolverine notes the nearing scavengers. He goes berserk, until the creatures lose interest in him. Wolverine slowly climbs up, out of the pit, wondering why he feels so ill, since the scavengers didn’t hurt him that badly. He stops for a rest and realizes he can’t go on. He thinks of how animals stop struggling, when they know their time to die has come and hopes that it won ’t take too long.
(flashback to the night before)
After the ceremony in his guest room, Wolverine awakes from the first pain attack. He believes himself to be on Lilandra’s throne world. A glance through the window shows him that he is quite somewhere else. He runs into Storm’s room, wakes her up and tells her, they’re in trouble. Storm does not believe him; Wolverine’s been acting strangely ever since they arrived. She intends to call a doctor, but Wolverine kayos her with a nerve pinch. He realizes that she is acting out of character. The Brood must somehow be affecting everyone’s perceptions to keep them in line.
Logan makes another stop in Kitty ’s room, remembering ashamed how she cried for help in the throne room and how he was unable to do anything. He wishes he could take her along, but realizes it would be too dangerous. Kissing the sleeping girl on the cheek, he promises that he will be back for her. Suddenly, an image flashes before his eyes of him killing Kitty and taking some sick satisfaction from it. Horrified, he wonders what the Brood have done to them.
Elsewhere in the palace, he finds Fang (a former member of the Imperial Guard who then threw his weight in with Deathbird) surrounded by Brood soldiers. Fang is clearly in pain and pleading for his life. Wolvie enjoys the show, until he sees what happens to Fang. His body starts smoking and transforming. As Fang asks why they treat their allies like that, the Brood reply that they have no allies, only enemies and slaves. Fang was implanted with the embryo of a warrior-prime. As he changes all his genetic potential, all his abilities and memories become absorbed by the newborn Brood he turns into. Wolverine screams out in horror. He finally realizes that this is the fate in store for the X-Men. The Brood notice him and the chase begins.
Wolverine wonders what to do. Even if the X-Men manage to escape, they’ll eventually turn into Brood. He wants to quit, but reminds himself that he is no animal, but a man. An X-Man. He’ll fight for his life.
He notices a warrior Brood passing by and realizes by its markings that it’s the one Fang hosted. Wolverine jumps on him and neutralizes its stingers. He tries to blackmail the Brood into bringing him back to the palace. Riding on the warrior’s back, Wolverine is overwhelmed by another pain attack, the worst one yet. Taking advantage of Wolverine’s pain, the Brood tosses Wolverine over to his brothers. The Brood attack and Wolverine once more goes berserk. When the battle is over, only he is left standing. The pain starts again, followed by the metamorphosis. Wolverine fights, as the egg tries to transform his mind as well as his body. His adamantium skeleton is one thing, howeve, that cannot be transformed. Wolverine tries to imagine it as an anchor and fights the transformation with all his strength.
The sun rises and Wolverine, although momentarily covered in scales, is still himself. His healing factor saved him. It reacted to the Brood parasite as a disease, kicked into overdrive and killed it. Wolverine stares at the palace and realizes that there is no such cure for the X-Men. He remembers his fantasy of killing Kitty and somberly decides that if there is no cure, he’ll kill her. He’ll kill all his friends … and then it’s the Brood’s turn.