Archangel and Wolverine, standing in a rather dark place, are dressed in ninja clothing. Warren supposes that there is a reason for this, but wants to hear an explanation from Wolverine. Logan explains that, in order to save Psylocke’s life and to get a pint of the Crimson Dawn, they have to visit a place the locals consider to be sacred. Tradition dictates that visitors dress accordingly. Gomurr, while opening a door, smirks that the grounds truly are sacred indeed, but also that much patience is required. He’s having some work done.
The door opens, revealing a dark room where Logan can see lots of carnival-like party heads and calls this place sick. Warren agrees and is totally un-amused. He mentions that the sole reason he agreed to follow Logan and Gomurr is that they convinced him it was the only way to rescue Betsy after she was brutally injured by Sabretooth. And somehow, he’s unconvinced that can be accomplished by running around in a warehouse in Little Asia, in the heart of New York City, in the middle of the night.
Gomurr smiles that, when someone puts it like that, its only natural they aren’t convinced by the plan, but Warren can trust him: one doesn’t become Gomurr the Ancient by keeping one’s eyes clenched tightly. He reveals that to become that, you first and foremost have to be named Gomurr. Then, you have to get really, really old. Logan gets impatient and warns Gomurr to get to the point or else he’ll lose his patience too. Gomurr reveals that nothing is what it seems to be. Neither the light nor the shadows.
Dr. Strange’s astral form materializes and compliments Gomurr on that fine advice he just gave. As the heroes talk, they don’t notice strange shadow forms shaping into something behind them. Logan admits that, for a minute, he thought Strange was going to leave them to trek to the Ebon Vein by themselves. Strange would never allow that, and admits that he is late because he was checking on Psylocke’s deteriorating condition at the mansion. Warren wants to know how Betsy is doing right now. Strange apologizes for it, but he learned that Betsy won’t be in this world much longer unless they do something about it. That’s fine by Logan: he suddenly snikts his claws open and wants to move over to action. He jumps towards Strange and slices through his stomach!
Strange panics, until he realizes that Logan only cut through his astral form in order to defeat a shadow assassin sneaking up behind him! Strange apologizes for the panic, but even he still learns new things every now and then. Logan didn’t take any offense. Warren wants to know what the shadow creature was. Strange recognizes it as Undercloaks. Gomurr claims it’s correct that Strange pronounces the term in plural, because Undercloaks never act alone. The four heroes go to stand against each other, ready for a battle. Warren doesn’t understand why someone would stop them from saving a life. Strange claims that it goes much deeper than that. Wolverine doesn’t think that these creatures care anything about that. Gomurr agrees, as he knows that the Undercloaks only care about their deaths.
All of a sudden, tons of Undercloaks reveal themselves and start attacking! Warren wants to know how many there are. Gomurr, with a serious tone in his voice, claims that there are as many as there need to be. He believes its best that Warren starts using his metal wings now. Logan snikts out his claws and angrily growls, at the same time realizing that isn’t a good sign. He feels like he has been losing his grip on humanity a little more every day since the adamantium was ripped out of his body, and being attacked by magic ninjas will only strengthen his animal senses. But if that is what he’s got to do to help Psylocke out, that’s exactly what he will do.
As Dr. Strange attacks the Undercloaks using his magic powers, he notices that their strength appears to be in the shadows around them. Logan had already noticed that. Gomurr tells Logan not to be rude, as he realizes that the master mage is not referring to the earthly shadows. No, he is referring to the absence of life, meaning the life of the world. Gomurr goes to stand in front of a big carnival head, and uses his magic staff and a spell to open it. Once open, its mouth sucks all of the Undercloak creatures inside itself! Gomurr mentions that the Undercloaks are gone, at least for the moment. Right now, they must hurry if they want to save Psylocke.
The Xavier Institute For Higher Learning…
Over the years, it has been a private estate, a secret school where students came to learn about their mutant powers. Currently, it hosts as a genetic research center. It’s also where the X-Men live, and, unfortunately, sometimes… die.
Gambit enters the Infirmary and takes a closer look at Betsy. He thinks it’s funny how the life can change everything, from one moment onto the other. It was just a couple of weeks ago when he was lying in Betsy’s hospital bed, while he was recovering from his kiss with Rogue. And it was Betsy who was standing over him, along the way telepathically probing his mind without asking. He knows she was trying to look for something he doesn’t want anyone to find out about – ever. Remy recalls that he and Betsy never truly had the chance to talk about her discoveries, and wonders if she discovered his darkest secret and… at the same time, his greatest shame.
On that very moment, Betsy’s entire body begins to shake like a maniac! Gambit realizes that, if he lets Betsy go on like this, she’ll probably die and his secrets will once again be safe. But, he acts instinctively and uses the intercom to summon Beast and orders him to come over to the Infirmary right away. While he waits for Hank to arrive, Remy decides to give Betsy CPR.
Archangel, Wolverine, Gomurr and Dr. Strange have walked through the carnival head and are now running on many stairs. Warren has a hard time following all this. He doesn’t fully understand how they can suddenly be in this place and thought he was told that the Ebon Vein was situated in the heart of the city. Logan agrees with Warren and asks Gomurr, if that’s true, why they are wasting time at this place. Gomurr asks Logan to think, like the way he used to do in the old days when he was still a samurai. Sometimes, you have to go in order to get out. Exit in order to enter. Go up to head down.
Speaking of going down, the injuries Warren received thanks to his recent battle against Sabretooth have caught up with him. He feels too bad to continue and almost collapses. Strange goes to attend to Warren’s wounds, calling Wolverine insane for allow Warren to join them on the quest. Logan shouts at Strange to shut up, explaining that Warren is in love and that it isn’t his place to baby-sit. Strange explains that he was a doctor before he became a magician and can’t allow Archangel to continue. Logan tells Strange to leave then. Strange shouts that, if he does, he’ll take Warren with him as he refuses to have murder on his conscience.
Warren, having a hard time getting up, tries to anyway and asks Wolverine and Strange to stop shouting. He explains that his life hasn’t been worth much since he lost his original wings and later on became a Horseman of Apocalypse, getting these techno-organic wings in return. It wasn’t until Psylocke came into his life that he has been fully happy. He’s pretty sure that he loves her. He begs Strange to let him help rescue her.
Suddenly, a voice claims that he agrees with the “soul infants.” Logan asks Gomurr if the guy that’s talking is a friend of his. Gomurr denies that. But, he introduces the others to Tar, the Proctor of the Crimson Dawn. Gomurr wants to introduce Tar to his friends, but the big man sitting in his throne warns Gomurr not to try to be cute. He reminds that he didn’t find it that attractive when Gomurr was still Gomurr the Impetuous, and finds it even more tedious now. Tar reveals that he knows who Gomurr’s friends are and what they are after, and has known it ever since they set foot in this city. He knows that another friend of them is dying and needs to be given a sip of the Crimson Dawn. And that means, that Gomurr and his friends… need him!
Logan admits that. But, while sheathing out his claws, Logan reminds Tar that another way to look at this situation is that they just need Tar to get out of the way. Gomurr holds Logan back, explaining there is a proper etiquette to all of this. Gomurr starts to quote, “Oh, mighty Proctor Tar, we worthless creatures of mud and bone petition your generosity for a boon. A single cup of the life essence which flows through the Earth.” Gomurr kneels before Tar, and he is intrigued. Tar guesses that he could help, but doesn’t see the point. Suddenly, he stands up, and teleports Gomurr away!
Archangel wants to know if Tar killed Gomurr. Tar explains that he found it tiresome over the years that people only came to visit him when they needed something. He has feelings. For instance, at this moment, he’d like to see his Neon minions scale the flesh from all of his enemies’ bones. As Tar starts casting his Neon minions, Logan jokes that Tar is way too sensitive for this job.
Back at the mansion…
Beast tries to give Betsy some electrical shocks in the hope to revive her again, but she isn’t responding at all. Gambit panics a bit. The Professor explains that Betsy has been through a lot in her life. First, she was blinded by her brother’s adversary, the Slaymaster. Next, she became a living camera, documenting the X-Men’s activities for Mojo’s viewing pleasures, until she emerged from the Siege Perilous and was transformed by the Mandarin and the Hand. Xavier fears that, at this point, it may be too optimistic to expect that Betsy will respond to any scientific application at all, even if they are treating her with advanced Shi’Ar adrenal-compound.
Beast believes that the Professor’s assumptions are probably correct. If Betsy is going to live through it all, Hank is afraid it will have little to do with anything they are capable of doing here. Which isn’t to say they are going to try it anyway. Part of Gambit hopes Psylocke will survive, but the other part…?
Wolverine slices his way through Tar’s Neon minions. Tar jokes that he’s being called unstable. Warren asks Strange if it wouldn’t be better if they were helping Wolverine instead of standing in front of some strange, orange glowing structure. Strange explains that Logan is doing what he has to do, namely distracting Tar so they might get this close to the Vein. Strange tells Warren to gaze upon the reflection of the “real world.” Suddenly, Warren is able to see that as they speak, Psylocke’s soul seeks to slip away from her Earthly vessel, even though the X-Men are trying their best to prevent it.
Warren panics and wants to know what they have to do. First off, Stephen adds, they have to pray that there is as much love and hope in Warren’s heart as he claims there is. Strange puts his hand into Warren’s heart, and pulls out a golden statue-like replica of Psylocke. Strange corrects that, actually, it is the part of Betsy’s very own soul that she has trusted to Warren. Warren thinks it’s beautiful. Strange smiles that it always is. He points the soul to the Vein, which starts to glow, and the soul floats inside it.
Tar notices it, and angrily shouts that Strange has gained nothing. Without Psylocke being here to sip of the Crimson Dawn, the mystic life’s blood of the Earth is useless to her. Strange corrects that where magic fails, love will prevail.
Beast gives up. He apologizes, but he did everything he could for Betsy. On that very moment, a red glow merges from the roof and floats into Psylocke’s body! Suddenly, her eyes open. Beast reads on his machines that Betsy’s vital signs are stabilizing. That means she is alive. However, Gambit notices a strange mark on Betsy’s eyes, which wasn’t there before. He wonders what it means. Xavier can only guess it, but what he thinks it means, is that Archangel and Wolverine accomplished their mission.
An angry Tar spits Logan, Warren and Stephen to Earth. Warren wants to know from Strange if Betsy is going to be alright. Strange can confirm that Psylocke lives. Logan is glad to hear that. He takes a look around, noticing that Gomurr didn’t make it back out and finds that a bit of a shame, mentioning that he may have hardly seen the little guy over the years, but Logan will still miss him. Gomurr lands back on Earth as well. He jokes that you can say what you want about Tar: he’s rude, brash and insensitive over the needs of others, but at least he doesn’t hold a grudge.
As Logan, Warren and Gomurr take off, Strange stays behind to think about their adventure. He supposes that they should be grateful for Tar not holding a grudge. Yet, the doctor wonders why he can’t shake the feeling that, despite their apparent victory, this war between light and darkness, the battle for the soul of the X-Man known as Psylocke, has only just begun…?