Cumberland, Kentucky, a peaceful town that is about to be disturbed. Young Jeb Guthrie and his friend Ray are reading some fantasy magazines and discussing one of the characters: Saryan the UGLY, Ray calls him. Jeb jokes and tells Ray that every Cabot in the county is uglier than that. Ray agrees and rattles off some of their names Abel, Julia, Ben… Jeb tells Ray not to forget about Abraham, as that guy could stop a train with his face! Nearby, Abe Cabot is sitting with two of his friends and one of them, Danny, asks Abe if he can hear what the smaller kids are saying about him. Abe replies that he can hear them, that the whole town can.
Ray tells Jeb that Abraham may be ugly, but that they cannot exactly put his face inside a computer game as some innocent child might get hurt! Jeb smiles and agrees before adding that a face like that should be governed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Ray declares that he once heard Ben Grimm came through the town and stopped dead in his tracks when he saw Abraham Cabot and began to scream please don’t hurt me, please just look the other way. Ray states that that is how Ben Grimm became the Thing. Jeb declares that he thought it was cosmic rays that did it, but that this way makes much more sense! Jeb tells Ray to imagine a whole life ruined by a Cabot – and that he can relate.
Abe Cabot and his two friends creep up behind Jeb and Ray, and Abe asks Jeb what his problem is. He asks Jeb if he didn’t beat him up enough during the school year and so now he has to come looking for trouble over the summer. Pretty much, Abraham, yeah, replies Jeb before Abe Cabot informs Jeb that the whole Guthrie family has never been anything more than dirt, and they are made worse than dirt by hanging out with Ray’s kind. Ray asks Abe what he means by that, but Abe ignores him and reminds Jeb that some of his family turned out to be muties – which means they are all less than dirt.
Sitting on a stoop nearby, the local Sheriff overhears what happens and Abe pulls Jeb off the ground and punches him in the face while his friends hold back Ray. Clutching his mouth, Jeb asks Abe what he means by some of his family, and a blue glow emits from his eyes as he reveals that he just hit puberty, and Abe cries out as blue laser beams shoot from Jeb’s eyes and the dart over Abe like some sort of electrical fire. The Sheriff rushes over and orders Jeb to ‘stop that’ as Ray looks impressed and asks his friend how he did it. The Sheriff tells someone to put Abe out and one of Abe’s friends tries to smother the flames by covering them in a jacket, but declares that it will not go out.
Screaming, Abe exclaims that it is frying him, but Jeb just smiles and tells Abe that it isn't frying him, and he is about to reveal what it is doing when a mechanic creeps up behind him and hits Jeb over the head with a crowbar. Jeb falls to the ground and rubs his head, as the Sheriff asks the mechanic, Jason, what he did that for. Jason informs the Sheriff that Jeb started it, and that it is ‘them Guthrie’s and coloreds all over again!’ Struggling with one of Abe’s friends, Ray asks the mechanic what he called him, and then manages to flip the friend over his back and throw him into Jason, the two fall to the ground.
Sheriff Pete pulls his gun and points it at Ray telling him to settle down, but Ray just protests that Jason could have killed Jeb. Pete replies that he knows, and as he sees blue flicker in Jeb’s eyes he turns the gun towards the young Guthrie and tells him to settle down before someone really gets hurt. Jason the mechanic gets up off the ground and hurls the crow bar at Jeb, but Jeb moves out of the way and as it glides towards Sheriff Pete, and towards a car, Jeb tries to stop it by shooting it with his powers. The crowbar hits the ground, but some of Jeb’s power hits the car instead, and it bursts into flames.
The flames spread to surrounding buildings as Jeb narrows his eyes and asks if anyone wants to mess with he and his friends, as this is what happens. Pete holds his gun at Jeb and tells him to shut his powers down, which makes the young boy more upset as he reminds Pete that he saw the Cabot and his friends jump him. Pete tells Jeb again to shut it down, but Jeb wont give up, as he knows he is not in the wrong. The gun gets closer to Jeb as the Sheriff tells him again to shut his powers off and to lie face down on the street. Pete! This is bull! You saw Abe hit me and you saw – shouts Jeb, obviously upset, but he is made quiet when the bullet reaches his body, fired from Sheriff Pete’s gun, and he falls to the ground.
The Xavier Institute for Higher for Higher Learning, Salem Center, Westchester, New York.
Paige Guthrie, the new X-Woman known as “Husk” walks up to her older boyfriend, Warren Worthington, a.k.a. Archangel, one of the founding X-Men and asks him if she can talk to him. Warren replies ‘sure’ and asks what he can do for her. What can I do for you? repeats Paige. Taken aback she asks him if she is some kind of business associate. Warren realizes his mistake and apologizes before asking how he should be talking to her. Paige tells Warren that it was he who came to her – she stops what she was about to say and thinks a bit before what she really wants to say.
Paige tells Warren that they are going to <>Ilay it all out on the line and reminds him that he came to her seeming as if he wanted a relationship. She admits that she had an attraction to him, but that she has an attraction to Brad Pitt as well ‘and that’s never going to happen either so –’ Warren cuts her off and asks ‘Brad Pitt?’ Paige replies that he is cute and tells Warren to let her finish. Paige tells Warren that the point is he expressed interest, she knows she didn’t imagine it, and now he is walking away from her all the time, and she wants to know why.
Husk starts to cry, she promised herself she wouldn’t cry Warren puts an arm on Paige as she reveals that she wants to know if she should turn her interests elsewhere and stop bothering him. Warren glances sideways and walks away from her without saying anything, until he is several paces away, he replies ‘Yes’. Paige covers her mouth shocked and more tears fall from her eyes.
She starts to leave the room when her friend and teammate Jubilee walks in with a phone, informing Paige that she has a call. Husk covers her face with her hair and tells Jubilee that she doesn’t want to talk to anyone. Jubilee follows Paige and tells her that it is important, as her brother Jebediah has been shot, Paige looks mortified – as if things couldn’t get any worse for her!
Sometime later, back in Cumberland, Kentucky, Paige has arrived, with Warren, at her family home. She stands around Jeb’s bed with Warren, her mother Lucinda, a friend of her mothers, Ray and his father, her sister Elisabeth and Sheriff Pete. Lucinda, the Guthrie family matriarch tells Jeb that he did a stupid thing, and Jeb asks her to stop saying that, as everyone knows stupid is her favorite word in the world when it comes to her family, but he reminds her that they have company. He exclaims that Warren healed his shoulder and the house that caught on fire was insured, and that no one got very hurt. Lucinda cuts her son off and tells him that it doesn’t make what he did any less stupid.
Lucinda motions to Sheriff Pete and tells Jeb that Pete told her he was antagonizing Abe Cabot and looking for a fight. Both Jeb and Ray look sideways and Jeb tells his mother that they were ‘just goofin` around’ and that words don’t hurt. Ray’s father Ray Senior, asks his son if words really don’t hurt anyone, and the boy cannot really find an answer. Ray Senior tells his son that words can hurt and he should know that. Lucinda declares that she has raised her children to be smarter than this, even if it is the Cabots they are riling.
Jeb asks if that isn't the point, that the Cabot’s were behind it this time, and that they have been behind it every time since his father died. Lucinda raises her voice and reminds Jeb that it was him this time, and that she never thought she would see the day when one of her own offspring would ever do something as mean and spiteful. She tells Jeb that he is lucky the Cabot boy wasn’t electrocuted to death, to which Jeb says that he has been practicing and knows the limitations of his powers. Ray Junior smiles and says that that is why they decided to do this because - everyone standing around the bed looks cross when they hear this and Ray’s voice trails as off as he realizes his mistake, saying that they just wanted to scare the Cabot.
Way to go, brainless, says Jeb quietly as Lucinda raises her voice again and asks if this was intentional. Sheriff Pete puts his hat back on and declares that he is going to have to report this and take Jeb in once he is well enough. He adds that he needs to ban all the Guthries from town too, which causes some commotion from everyone in the room who declare that they didn’t do anything, but Pete apologizes and tells them that it has to be like that, as this was a premeditated event. Pete adds that with all the Guthries getting powers and the Cabots always looking for ways to retaliate…his voice trails off.
Lucinda puts a hand to her forehead and declares that this is what happens without a father to keep them in line. Elisabeth puts a hand on her mother for support as Paige asks where Josh is, she would have thought he would be here, especially as he took it upon himself to play “Dad” since she and Sam left. Elisabeth smiles and reveals that Josh is performing in town at “the View”, adding that he has a good singing career now with a band. Another of Paige’s siblings sitting on a bunk behind her smiles and says that Joshua is more interested in the perks than the singing, like “the View’s” head waitress and boss’s daughter, Rosalinda Aguilar. Standing right beside Archangel, Paige declares that at least someone in the family has a love life that is going somewhere.
At “the View” a waitress called Julia rushes around tables and calls to Rosalinda that table three asked for their drinks to be refilled. Rosalinda just stands watching the stage and says that she will ‘get to it’. Rosalind pours a patron a glass of wine and informs Rosalinda that table three seemed upset, as if they had been waiting a while. Rosalinda snaps at Julia, calling her by her last name – Cabot – she says she will get to is. Julia asks Rosalinda to get to it now and asks what she is waiting for. Rosalinda smiles and tells Julia that the show is about to begin.
The winged Josh Guthrie sits at the front of the stage with the band in the background as the music spreads over the crowd as Rosalinda watches intently as Josh sings about an unrequited love during a summer when he was a child, until the inevitable separation, and the hopelessness of finding each other again. Julia stands beside Rosalinda as Rosalinda tells her that Josh and she are dating, which is why he is looking at her and singing to her. But that may not be the case, for Josh Guthrie seems to be looking at Julia Cabot – and Julia Cabot is looking back.