Professor Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters, Salem Center, New York, in a space where three powerful mutants - Scott “Cyclops” Summers, Jean “Marvel Girl” Grey and Ororo “Storm” Munroe have come to call their “War room”. The trio stand on a podium, and Storm declares ‘Behold, my friends - our world, the forces currently arrayed against us, and as best we can determine, their location. The question now becomes, what do we do about them?’ as they observe a computer simulation of the planet Earth, with several locations marked with threats, such as Manhattan, which has two - the Hellfire Club and Masque’s Morlocks. Another threat is in East Asia, the Hand. In Australia, the Reavers continue to pose a threat, while in Genosha, the Magistrates, the Press Gang, and Commander Hodge are still marked. In Antarctica and the Savage Land, Zaladane is listed as a threat, while an unknown location lists Fenris as a threat.
‘Answer’s simple, Storm’ declares the mysterious Cable, mentor to the New Mutants, as he taps something into the computer. ‘Perhaps to you, Cable’ Storm replies. ‘To anyone, lady, with the brains they were born with’ Cable retorts. ‘Do unto them what they’ve surely got planned for us. Hit em hard and fast. We got the power, people, past time we used it’ Cable states. Storm asks Cable if violence is his only solution, to which Cable replies that it works for him and gets the job done. ‘We’re not you’ Cyclops points out. ‘No kidding’ Cable remarks. Cyclops adds that combat may be Cable’s second nature, but that it doesn’t come as easily to them. ‘So maybe it’s time you learned’ Cable suggests, asking if that was the reason why Storm took the X-Men underground, letting the world - friends, foe and even family - believe they had all been killed in Dallas? ‘In order to give them the freedom to strike at the bad guys with a greater degree of impunity, to put the fear of mutants into em?’ Cable reminds her.
Storm turns away from Cable, so he asks her if he is correct. ‘It may have been a mistake. My mistake’ Storm replies. Cable suggests that the grown-ups need him as much as the kids do. ‘What’s that supposed to mean?’ Cyclops enquires. ‘You need a leader, that’s clear as can be. Storm’s admitted as much, you’re a fool to deny it’ Cable tells Cyclops, adding that, quite simply, he is the best equipped for the job. ‘Give me a break!’ Cyclops shouts, while Jean tells Cable that they are not warriors, and that Charles Xavier did not found this school, or the teams that came from here, to fight wars. ‘Better look around, girl, because war is what you’ve got, in all its cruel, messy, brutal, bloody glory’ Cable tells Jean.
Cable continues, pointing out that their precious school is in ruins, and that if they don’t get their acts together quickly, then the graveyard outside is going to get real crowded. ‘Warlock and Cypher are dead. Wolfsbane’s a Genoshan mutate, a genetically engineered slave. You want to see more end up like that?’ Cable asks. ‘HOW DARE YOU!?’ a furious Storm shouts. ‘Who do you think you are, Cable, to speak so?’ she adds as she tells Cable that he knows nothing of the X-Men, nor X-Factor, nor the New Mutants, or the dream that brought them together.
‘Do you, Storm? Do any of you, anymore?’ Cable replies. ‘Splintered into a handful of teams - running all over the map, no focus, less direction, half the time doing your enemies’ job for them’ Cable adds, admitting that he could be wrong, but that it strikes him that he is their last, best hope for salvation. ‘If that’s the case, Mister, could be “salvation” comes with too high a price’ Cyclops declares. Cable replies that anything is possible, and tells Cyclops that if he thinks he can do any better, then to take his shot. Cable turns and leaves the War Room, his last words being ‘All I’m saying…is that somebody better do something’.
As he strides forcefully down a corridor, Cable decides that Storm, Cyclops and Jean Grey have good hearts, but that they are soft. Further down the corridor is Tabitha “Boom-Boom Smith, who bangs on a door: ‘C’mon, Bobby this is the only stinking bathroom and I’m desperate!’ the young New Mutant calls out to her former X-Factor mentor. ‘Have a little mercy willya before I burst’. Cable asks his ward if there is a problem. Boom-Boom continues to bang on the door and declares that Iceman is being a pig and that he has been in there for “positively hours”.
‘ICEMAN! Show some consideration - before I lose my temper, capice? Trust me, kiddo, that ain’t a pretty sight!’ Cable shouts, banging on the bathroom door. ‘Gee, I’m sorry’ Bobby replies as he opens the door. ‘That’s better’ Cable tells him. Bobby claims that the water was running and that he couldn’t hear. ‘Golly, Boom-Boom, I hope I haven’t kept you waiting he smiles as he leaves the bathroom. ‘Grrrrrr’ Tabitha mutters as she enters the bathroom. Cable continues on down the corridor, while inside the bathroom, Boom-Boom finds everything covered in ice. ‘Coating everything! The bathroom’s freezing! AARRRGH!’ she screams. ‘Gotcha!’ Bobby laughs.
Back in the War Room, ‘That man has a serious attitude’ Cyclops remarks, referring to Cable. ‘What the New Mutants see in him -?’ Cyclops begins, before telling Storm that the underground complex they are all residing in cannot sustain everyone, and points out that as far as simple accommodations go, they keep tripping over each other. Storm asks Cyclops if he has an alternative. Cyclops points out that they will all be more comfortable, not to mention secure, aboard their Ship. Storm wonders whether removing the X-Men to the farthest reaches of the Earth, by relocating to Australia, was a mistake. ‘How is it an improvement to shift our base of operations to a craft not even of this world?’ Ororo asks. Cyclops points out that, for one, it has the virtue of being a safe haven, explaining that the Ship generates an energy field that allows only mutants into its interior.
Storm asks Cyclops if the heart of Xavier’s dream is not the integration of mutants into society. ‘If instead we remove ourselves completely from it, do we not run the risk of becoming precisely what those like Magneto have always believed us to be, an elite? Homo Sapiens Superior’ Storm declares. ‘Speaking of Magneto’ Jean speaks up, referring to a monitor which depicts Magneto battling Iron Man. ‘I know you believe he’s reformed, Ororo, though that’s hard to square with my memories of the man. But increasingly of late, he seems to be reverting to that original type’ Jean adds, announcing that there are reports of him actively participating in the “Acts of Vengeance” attacks on various super heroes, and most recently, in an assault on the Avengers West Coast. ‘We have to accept the possibility that he too is once more becoming a threat’ Marvel Girl adds.
‘Another error in judgment on my part to trust him?’ Storm wonders, adding that for all his faults, Magneto tried his best while he was headmaster here to care for the New Mutants. ‘He isn’t a teacher. That’s what the kids need, Ororo: another Professor Xavier’ Jean replies. ‘And Cable’s it?’ Cyclops asks. ‘Wherever Magneto’s vanished to, after that last fight with the Avengers, we have to find him’ Scott states. Ororo creates a small rain cloud and a burst of lightning and states that Magneto is peripheral, and that it is Cable and the challenge he poses, that they must deal with. ‘Have either of you considered that he might be right?’ Storm asks.
Storm continues, stating that times have changed since Charles Xavier founded the school and created the X-Men. ‘Changed even since he brought in myself and my companions to be the team’s second generation’ Ororo adds. ‘And now there is a third, and we must answer, my friends - are we fit caretakers any longer, for Xavier’s school and his dream? Or has the time come to turn that role over to others…as it was handed first from him to you, and you to us?’ Storm asks.
Elsewhere in the sprawling underground complex, Sean “Banshee” Cassidy stands at a hologram station, where the computer announces that a holographic comlink has been established to the Muir Isle Research Center. ‘Moira?’ Sean gasps as Dr Moira MacTaggert, clad in a tight blue spandex costume, appears before him. ‘Sean! Acushla! Is it truly you?’ Moira asks. ‘Funny, lass, I’m thinking much the same’ Sean replies, while wondering if this can be real, for even at her wildest, he cannot recall Moira wearing such clothes, ever. The holographic image of Moira reaches out and embraces Sean, ‘Banshee, my love, you’re alive!’ she gasps, and Sean is surprised by her attitude, too.
As her holographic form slips through Banshee, Moira realizes that they cannot embrace as they are simply illusions to each other, and tells him that she missed him, and wants him by her side, in her arms, so she can greet him properly. ‘No less than I, Moira’ Sean replies, assuring her that he will be there as quick as he can. Moira replies that she is already counting the seconds, as Dr Henry “Hank” McCoy a.k.a. the Beast rushes into the lab, and Sean wonders what has happened to Moira, as if the fiercest highlander side of her nature has overwhelmed all her gentler aspects. Hank announces that he hates to interrupt, as he tells Banshee that he is needed in the Danger Room.
‘Duty calls, love’ Sean tells Moira, who asks ‘So what else is new?’ and leans her holographic form down to kiss Banshee, telling him ‘Until we meet again, Sean Cassidy, a little something to remember me by’. ‘Oh my stars and garters’ Hank utters, before telling Sean that is not the Moira MacTaggert he remembers. ‘Nor I’ Sean replies. ‘Not that it’s any of my business, of course’ Hank adds, to which Sean tells him that it is not, and flies down the corridor, releasing his sonic scream, despite Hank telling him not to use it in the close confines of the hallway.
As he enters another lab, where Forge is working, thinking to himself that Banshee knows better than that, and realizes that Moira has him seriously distracted. ‘And why not? She’s one eminently distractible woman. I must confess that I didn’t think she had it in her’ Hank thinks to himself, before telling Forge that if he keeps this up, he will worry away what little hair he has got left. ‘If that happens, Hankster, I certainly know who to turn to for any replacement’ Forge replies, before Hank asks Forge if he has had any luck finding a means to restore Wolfsbane to normal. With various computer readings displayed in front of him, Forge replies that it is hard to tell at this stage.
Forge explains that the secrets of the mutate transmodation died with its creator, the Genoshan Genegineer. ‘Our gamble is that my mutant ability to invent things will allow me to duplicate his work’ Forge adds. The Beast points out that Forge doesn’t sound hopeful, to which Forge assures him he can do it, that it is simply a question of time. Forge explains that the trouble is, the process is akin to casting a mold, and that initially, there is considerable malleability, he suspects that is partly why Storm was able to neutralize hers and revert back to her true self. ‘But the more time that passes…the more that genetic lock sets…until it becomes permanent and unbreakable’ Forge adds. ‘Meaning, if we don’t get to her soon…’ Hank’s voice trails off.
Inside the Danger Room, Warren Worthington III a.k.a. Archangel is having a one-on-one training session with Sam “Cannonball” Guthrie. Sam blasts about the Danger Room, trying to catch Archangel, who tells Cannonball that it is just the two of them without any obstacles. ‘Am I that hard to catch?’ Warren asks. As Sam approaches Warren, he moves his razor-sharp wings in front of him, but it knocked off balance as Sam blasts closer, ‘Your mistake, Archangel! Your spikes can’t hurt me - nothing can - when I’m blasting!’ Sam declares. ‘I guess then, I’ll have to find another way!’ Warren states as he swoops around and follows Sam, who is surprised that Warren can move so fast, when suddenly, Warren covers Sam’s eyes, and forces him downwards, towards a pool of green gunk.
‘Nice thing about the Danger Room…is how it takes care to make sure when we hone our powers in here…that none of us gets hurt’. Warren pulls up as Sam falls into the gunk, ‘If this were a real fight, Sam…’ Warren begins. ‘Ah get the message, Angel. Don’t rub it in’ Sam replies, before Warren asks Banshee to disengage the crash field so they can give blondie a rematch. ‘If at first you don’t succeed, Cannonball…’ Banshee calls out.
Outside, walking amongst the ruins of the mansion, Storm tells herself that twice now since joining the X-Men she has seen the mansion destroyed, and wonders if fate is trying to tell her something. ‘And on our first mission, how long ago that seems - Thunderbird was killed’ Ororo reminds herself, and wonders whether following Cable will keep the reaper from their door, where she could not - or simply make the losses easier to bear. ‘Hey, Stormy!’ a voice calls out. Ororo turns and sees her companion Gambit, telling him, hopefully for the final time, to not call her that. Gambit tosses Storm a duffel bag and tells her that it is time they blew this pop stand, as there are roads to roam, sights to see and marks just waiting to be fleeced.
‘Not by me’ Storm replies. ‘Talk sense, woman! Whatever you owe this place, appears to me the debt’s paid in full’ Remy tells her, adding that if she sticks around, she will be fixing to be dead for real instead of pretend like the last few times. ‘That what you want?’ he asks her, before remarking that he liked Storm better as a child. ‘No muss, no fuss, no complications. Knew what you want and took it. That kid’d laugh at the Devil’ Gambit adds, before asking Storm how come she got so tipppy-toe now that she is grown. A rain cloud forms overhead and Storm tells Gambit that it is here she belongs, and here she will stay. ‘These are my friends - my family in every sense save blood - they need me. And I, them’ Storm declares. Gambit smiles and tells her to do them both a favor, and start acting the part.
Twenty odd meters beneath their feet, in a section of the complex set aside for the ladies, ‘You’re toast, Iceberg!’ Boom-Boom shouts as she chases Bobby through the cubicles set up as quarters. ‘That’s Iceman, dearie. And only if you can catch me’ Bobby calls back as he easily keeps away from her on an ice-sled. Bobby asks her what the matter is, and whether she can’t take a joke, while Boom-Boom throws her plasma “time-bombs” at him, ‘You freeze my bee-hind, buster - watch me fry yours!’ Tabby shouts. ‘Promises, promises’ Bobby calls back.
‘I beg your pardon?’ Elisabeth “Betsy” Braddock a.k.a. Psylocke asks, hands on hips as she appears in the corridor. ‘Psylocke! Fancy meeting you here!’ Bobby smiles as he drops his ice-form, and appears human, wearing only a pair of shorts. ‘I live here, remember’ Betsy replies, coldly. ‘Heh heh silly me, of course how forgetful, oh golly gosh gee’ Bobby utters, gob smacked. ‘Major spazcase!’ Tabby thinks to herself, deciding that she best put Bobby out of his misery, she pulls on the back of his shorts and drops a time-bomb down them. ‘3’ Boom-Boom whispers, while Marvel Girl enters and points out that there is ice all over. ‘Duty calls!’ Bobby calls to Psylocke, smiling, while assuring Jean that he will clean it up. ‘2’ Tabby utters, while Jean asks what Bobby was doing here. ‘Learning a real big lesson’ Boom-Boom tells her, before calling out ‘1’, and Bobby shouts ‘YAIOW!’ as the time-bomb explodes down his shorts.
Marvel Girl tells her former charge to scoot, and announces that she is not having these living quarters turned into her battleground. Jean then asks Betsy if they were ever so wild, as she begins to undress in the shower. ‘Some of us still are. No matter how hard we try to hide it’ Betsy replies. ‘Touche’ Jean agrees, before stating that at least the shower is free, as there are some things she hates waiting in line for. The water pours down on Jean, who asks Betsy if she has called her brother yet. ‘And say what? Hullo, twin, guess who this is, back from the dead, just like you’ Betsy asks, before continuing: ‘Remember last time we met, and you couldn’t believe I had purple hair? Well, the hair’s still purple. It’s everything else that’s changed’ Betsy suggests.
‘It can’t be fixed?’ Jean asks. Betsy explains that the Hand used magic as well as medicine to do the job, and that even Forge can’t puzzle out quite how. ‘What’s still in doubt is whether their work went simply skin-deep’ Betsy tells Jean, who asks what she means. Betsy tells her that the Hand brainwashed her into becoming their master assassin, and that no one is quite sure if she is wholly free of their influence. ‘They’ve only Wolverine’s word for that…and no one’s quite sure of him anymore, either’ Betsy declares.
At that moment, in the Danger Room, Wolverine a.k.a. Logan is going head to head with Gambit. ‘Storm thinks you’re pretty hot stuff, Cajun. Don’t seem so to me’ Wolverine tells him. Engaged in physical combat, Gambit points out that they have been going at each other flat out for the past handful of minutes, and that he is still standing. Up in the control booth, Jubilee looks down at Wolverine and wonders what he is trying to prove with this “lamoid macho poop”, and decides that they are like a couple of bull elks butting heads on the nature channel. ‘You figure Gambit’s making time with Storm, that why you’re angry?’ Jubilee wonders. ‘The heck with her, where was she when you were hurting? What about me?’ Jubilee thinks to herself.
The Danger Room is filled with holograms of large jumbo jet planes, and Wolverine leaps from one in pursuit of Gambit, while Jubilee decides that even if she doesn’t matter, Logan should show some consideration for himself. ‘You push like you’re in tip-top shape…can’t you see you’re not even close?’ Jubilee tells herself, wondering why Wolverine won’t listen to her. Gambit tells Wolverine that he goes or stays as he pleases, and that he hasn’t found a door yet that has stayed closed to him, if he wanted in - or a body that could stop him.
Wolverine admits that Gambit is fast, and decides that he moves a lot like Longshot. ‘Seems I’ve lost a couple of steps since then’ Wolverine realizes, when suddenly, Lady Deathstrike lunges at him, telling him that he is going to lose far more. ‘Your day is done, Gaijin dog! And the time has come to deliver you to an eternity you’ve too long denied!’ Wolverine’s deadly foe tells him. Logan unsheathes his powerful claws and asks Deathstrike if she is still out for his blood, and points out that she isn’t the first. Jubilee is surprised by the Deathstrike simulation and wonder who ordered it, while Gambit just smiles. ‘And you sure as sin…ain’t gonna be the last!’ Wolverine snarls as he slices the Deathstrike robot’s head off with his powerful claws.
Logan stands over the Deathstrike robot’s destroyed body, unaware that Gambit is sneaking up behind him. ‘Your father named you Lady Deathstrike, Yuriko. You didn’t have to follow the path he laid out. But then am I really any different?’ Logan wonders. ‘Wrong time for questions, Bo’ Gambit declares as he strikes Logan in the back with his staff. ‘And to be looking the wrong way. You forgot all about me’ Remy declares, smacking Wolverine again with the staff. ‘Gotta tell you, Bo, makes me crabby’ Gambit declares, holding the end of the staff at Wolverine’s neck. ‘So I notice’ Logan mutters. ‘For the record, though, just to make this official…bang…you dead’ Gambit exclaims, while in the control booth, Jubilee begins to cry.
After her shower, Jean returns to the War Room, and decides that Cable is right, times have never been more dangerous. She approaches the Cerebro unit, and states that there are still too many of them missing - Rogue, Longshot, Dazzler. ‘Even if they’ve no interest in rejoining the team, we still need to stay in touch’ Jean decides. ‘And how better than using…’ she begins as her mind flashes back:
Flashback, years ago:
‘Cerebro. Essentially, a psychic scanning system, keyed specifically to my brainwaves - and yours, Jean, designed to amplify your latent psi-potential, and thereby enable us to scan for the unique mental signature of mutants, literally anywhere on the globe’ Professor Charles Xavier once told a young Jean Grey. Concerned, Moira asked Xavier if it was wise to involve the lass. ‘To be truthful, Moira, no. But more like us are being born every day’ Xavier replied. He added that if not found and helped, they may well fall victim to those who would exploit their extraordinary abilities, or worse, become predators themselves.
As she places the Cerebro headpiece on, Jean decides that this is not her responsibility, as all those missing are X-Men. ‘And I’m not?’ Jean asks herself. ‘Who else here has more right to the name?’ she wonders, before being thrust into the Astral Plane. ‘Such a rush, so glorious, I’d completely forgotten! Jean tells herself, while thinking that she thought she had come to terms with losing her telepathy. ‘But the pain, it’s as brutal now as when I first realized I was head-blind. I should have done this’ Jean decides, as shards of her past self flash by her.
Suddenly, ‘That, my pretty, depends on your point of view. I for one am overjoyed to see you. It’s been sooo long, Grey, since you last visited!’ the Shadow King exclaims as he materializes before Jean. ‘YOU!’ Jean gasps. ‘Who else? As I was, as I am…as I might yet become! An infinity of aspects - but always the Shadow King!’ the deadly psychically- powered mutant declares. He shatters a defense placed up by Jean, who stumbles backwards. ‘But how -? Cerebro’s got built-in defenses!’ Jean shouts. ‘Which are hopelessly out of date. Does this hurt?’ the Shadow King replies, telling Jean that she will soon come to love it. His form separates into shards, and he tells Jean that pain is something he has dealt with since the days her precious Xavier bested him.
‘I have grown, you see. While your precious toys have remained static. Small wonder they’re less than useless’ the Shadow King tells her. Jean gets back up and launches an attack on the Shadow King, ‘You’ve still me to contend with, monster!’ Jean shouts. ‘True, true’ the Shadow King replies, as a manifestation of a woman appears in front of Jean. ‘But your loss is my triumph. Telekinesis is of the corporeal world. You need telepathy here. And you have none’ the Shadow King exclaims. ‘Embrace my Shadow Queen, Grey. Be one with me’ the Shadow King tells her as the Shadow King tries to overwhelm her. ‘NO! I’ll fight you!’ Jean retorts, but the Shadow King asks her if she hasn’t realized the battle is over. ‘Not so!’ a voice declares, as Psylocke, in astral armor, appears. ‘Another pretty. And dressed to play, how nice! Poor puny Psylocke - do you truly believe your psychic knife can do me the slightest harm?’ the Shadow King asks her as Betsy holds her psychic knife to her opponent. ‘It isn’t meant for you’ Betsy replies, as she shoves her psi-knife into Marvel Girl.
‘Apologies for the headache’ Betsy tells Jean, who returns to the real world. ‘Who was it that attacked you?’ Betsy asks as she removes the Cerebro headpiece from Jean. Jean replies that she isn’t sure, and rubbing her head, explains that her memory is all jumbled. Betsy explains that is her fault, as it is another after-effect of her knife strike. As they leave the War Room, Betsy tells Jean that she could see no other way to break her free. ‘I’m grateful’ Jean tells her companion.
Soon, Cyclops, Jean and Storm gather outside, as the moon shines down on them. Jean tells her lover and dearest friend that the specific disorientation is so intense that even Betsy’s psi-probes cannot pick out the information, but that she says in time it will return. ‘Until then, I think we’d best leave Cerebro alone’ Jean adds. ‘There be dragons’ Storm remarks. ‘In every aspect of our world’ Jean points out. She looks over to where Wolverine, Betsy, Banshee, Forge, Jubilee and Gambit have all gathered, all wearing the X-Men blue and gold uniform. ‘So how do we face this reality? I intend to put it to a team vote: whether we go on as we are, or join you, or join Cable. Or go no farther’ Storm announces.
Scott tells Ororo that it appears to him, as id that decision has already been made. Jean tells Scott that he sounds wistful, and Scott replies ‘Just a sudden yearning to prove Thomas Wolfe wrong’ and declares that this is home to him, to Jean, to all of them. ‘The longer we’re away, the more I miss it’ Scott reveals. ‘Then come back’ Storm suggests. Scott replies that it is worth considering, and that so long as she puts in a second bathroom. Jean and Scott turn to leave, as Cyclops tells Storm that they will leave her to this moment. ‘Whatever we might wish…right now we don’t belong’.
‘Well, darling, here we are. Never thought I’d ever wear this monkey suit’ Wolverine declares. Gambit asks if they are a team, shouldn’t they dress the part, to which Jubilee exclaims that she hates them, and wants her own colors back. ‘Suffer, kiddo’ Wolverine tells her, while Forge tells Storm that they are here. ‘What comes next?’ he asks.
Jean and Scott stop by the lake, and Jean tells her lover that he is right, no matter where she goes or what she does, this is where her inner compass turns to, even more so than her parents’. ‘We made a choice, Jean’ Scott reminds her. ‘Which means it’s set in stone?’ Jean asks. Suddenly, Scott hears a noise, and sees a car, speeding up the drive. ‘Another attack?’ Scott wonders, while a large figure in the car calls out ‘Gangway, folks, coming through!’ and tells the driver, a certain Lila Cheney, that they ain’t on no race track. Lila addresses her oversized companion as Guido and tells him that he is such an old softy. ‘I know how to drive’ Lila claims. ‘That’s a matter of opinion’ Guido replies as the car comes screeching to a halt.
‘Oh, ye of no faith whatsoever!’ Lila declares, while Guido tells her that it is a custom suit and he doesn’t want it messed. The car stops near the X-Men, and Guido calls out ‘Youse all the X-Men?’ as he introduces himself and Lila, whom Storm recognizes and races over. ‘Love the hair, Storm’ Lila remarks, commenting on Storm’s sleek look. Lila adds that she would love to chat, but that the clock is running. Lila informs Storm that Professor Xavier is in trouble, and needs them big-time. ‘Then take us to him, Lila, at once’ Storm orders. ‘Music to my ears, Wind-Rider’ Lila replies. Jean wraps a telekinetic field around herself and Scott and flies towards the X-Men, ‘Something’s happening!’ Scott exclaims, but it’s too late, as Lila casts her teleport power around herself, the X-Men and Guido, and tells them to hang on to their hates, because they are outta here. And with that, they vanish to the unknown, leaving Scott and Jean behind.