Manoli Wetherell reports on the evening news that increasingly violent ice storms are overtaking the globe. In London, the Thames river has frozen, it is snowing in San Diego, and the Sahara is being bombarded by blizzards. The governments of the world are desperately trying to determine the cause of the bizarre weather, but the president is expected to declare a state of national emergency very soon.
At the Xavier Institute, while the students enjoy the snow outside, the X-Men meet in the war room to assess the global crisis. Emma and Scott enter the room, and Cyclops realizes that this is a major problem. He asks for Hank’s advice, but Hank’s news is not comforting: They suspect Storm as once before she had lost control of the worst winter storm in recent history. Although the heroes are unable to pinpoint her exact position, Iceman is able to locate her Blackbird in the Canadian Rockies. After looking at the intensity of the cells, Havok points out that Storm’s powers are being augmented by someone or something else. When Kitty notes that the cells are merging, Hank states that within a week the storm will be beyond even Ororo’s control.
As the Savage Land is covered with a deadly blanket of ice and snow, Hank and Kitty continue their conversation. Although some mutants may survive this storm, it won’t matter, because very soon humanity could become extinct!
At the Hauk’ka citadel, R’Chel continues to exploit Storm’s mutant abilities. The stasis vault glows white with cold as Ororo begs her to stop before it is too late. All of her efforts to convince R’Chel that she is human and not Hauk’ka are useless.
Meanwhile, Masano’s doubts are becoming more acute. He openly and vehemently questions Kaidan’s plan to use R’Chel and Storm to usher in this ice age. He fears that they too will be killed by the weather. Kaidan protests: he has everything under control. Masano laments the missing Raina. She would be able to convince Kaidan of the danger of this plan.
Back at the X-Men’s and Mutates cavernous hideout, Kurt and Betsy sit on a precipice and watch the storm. Betsy, wrapped in layers of animal fur, expresses concern about Kurt’s safety in the subzero weather. Kurt explains that he comes from healthy stock and that his uniform’s insulation is keeping him from freezing. He stares into the white wilderness and hopes aloud that Ororo will break free, or that Rachel will come to her senses.
Attempting to lighten the heavy conversation, Betsy comments lightly that weather like this reminds her of skiing: a downhill jaunt, a cabin in the mountains, a roaring fire, hot wine, and a lover to share it with would be heavenly right now. In a very tender moment, Kurt agrees…except for the skiing. He has never skied because he can’t find boots that fit.
Suddenly the storm’s intensity increases. Kurt says that he is bewildered—he doesn’t know what to do next. Betsy tells him that she has faith in him, and encourages him to have faith in himself. But Betsy is concerned… Kurt’s usually upbeat manner is grave and haunted. The role of leader has cost him much.
Inside the cave, the Hauk’ka powerhouse Raina sits restrained while the remaining X-Men eat and talk. Brainchild whispers discreetly to Leash, and Leash promptly and violently usurps control of Raina’s mind. Now Brainchild controls both Raina and Ka-Zar.
Without warning, X-23 attacks Leash. Somehow she has sensed the duplicity that is afoot. The mindslave Ka-Zar comes to his mistress’ rescue, and Kurt ‘ports in to stop the madness. X brushes them all aside and tackles Leash. Bishop is the first to realize that X is on to something. Brainchild makes a feeble attempt to blame Leash alone for the treachery, but Bishop doesn’t buy it.
Leash releases Raina who screams for the mutate’s heart. Psylocke attempts to calm Raina, but X points out that Ka-Zar’s scent indicates he is also mind-controlled. After Leash releases him, X-23 slams her head into the floor and knocks her out. Nightcrawler tells Brainchild that he will not be incapacitated since they need him, but he warns him not to push his luck with any more stunts like this one.
As the weather worsens, the X-Men realize that they need to take action. A wrong breath outside now could freeze their lungs and kill them instantly. Even Raina is frightened by the worsening weather. Nightcrawler suggests that they try to trust one another since they have no other choices. Brainchild has a plan. From his previous encounters with Storm, he has mapped her genome. He believes he can successfully interrupt the process that R’Chel has started without killing either of them, for if Storm were to die, the weather would continue unabated. Although the X-Men are hesitant to trust Brainchild, they have no other options. After somber goodbyes to the Saurids, Kurt teleports the motley crew of heroes and allies to the base of the stasis vault. As expected, the travelers arrive sick as dogs and barely able to stand.
The team’s plan is immediately halted when Raina realizes that her access code has been blocked and they are unable to get into the citadel. The situation is further complicated by the sharp report of gunfire. The Hauk’ka guards have arrived.
Kaidan, Masano, and scores of dino-soldiers attack! Bishop calls for plan ‘B’ and the team goes into action. While much of the team fights the soldiers, Betsy, Brainchild, and Raina try to override the entrance controls to no effect. They are interrupted, but Kaidan learns the hard way that his mindblast has no effect on Betsy as she takes both him and Masano down. Raina makes a final decision and begins to plead with Kaidan and Masano to stop this madness. Kaidan believes her to be mind-controlled, but Masano needs no convincing of her genuineness.
Before the dueling dinos come to a conclusion, Kurt and Betsy teleport into the chamber. As they materialize in the stasis vault they are nearly frozen where they stand. The cold is like deep space! Betsy extends her teke shields to save them, but it barely hinders the cold. Both mutants stand in awe of the raw power of Ororo Munroe. She is creating a storm stronger than any recorded in history…and she’s only just begun!
Storm is fighting R’Chel so intensely that even though R’Chel knows Betsy and Kurt are there, she cannot do anything about it or she will lose control of Storm. Betsy needs only that long to manifest her telekinetic katana and attack R’Chel. In a flash of psionic energy, the blade strikes, and the door of the stasis vault falls open.
Betsy now has R’Chel under her control, but the storm has grown so powerful and R’Chel’s control over Storm so deep that all three women are basically paralyzed. This is where Brainchild comes in. Unfortunately, Brainchild never intended to help Storm. With his genome mapping device he usurps control of Storm and the blizzard and begins to max it out. He intends to use the storm to destroy the inhabitants of the earth and rule!
X-23 has other plans. In a heartbeat she attacks and disables Brainchild, but the damage is already done. The power of the storm is increasing exponentially and there is nothing Storm can do to slow its destruction.
Ororo begs X-23 to slay her, for that is the only way to slow the storm. Betsy holds R’Chel paralyzed and pleads with her to help them. Kurt orders Betsy to release R’Chel and let her make a free choice which Betsy does. R’Chel is about to turn on Betsy and attack when Kaidan’s astral image appears and pleads with R’Chel to work together with the X-Men to stop the storm. R’Chel agrees.
The only way for R’Chel to stop the storm is for her to merge minds with Ororo. She wastes no time, and the process begins. The X-Men and their allies watch in awe as the two women’s psychic selves become one. Each has complete and total access to the farthest corners of the other’s consciousness. It is a desperate and deadly gamble, but it pays off. With a blast of psionic energy the storms disappear. The Savage Land goes from a deep freeze to a tropical jungle in moments. The effects are global...the worldwide ice storms suddenly cease to be.
Storm and R’Chel collapse and the X-Men rush to their aid. It seems they both survived the experience. The X-Men are surprised to hear Storm refer to R’Chel by her Hauk’ka name, but Rachel, now freed from her dino delusion, reminds them that Storm is now a little bit of her. Rachel remains hideously deformed although she is now in her “right” mind. She expects that the genetic cascade will also reverse itself and she will soon return to her normal form.
Before congrats and hugs can be given, the Hauk’ka guards storm the citadel. Kurt restrains his team and stands before the army to give peace a try. Through his deft use of diplomacy and logical appeal, he convinces the soldiers and even the ruling council members to live peacefully with those around them. Kurt tells the Hauk’ka that they are worthy and noble adversaries, and that he would like to have them as good neighbors rather than enemies.
Raina and Kurt shake hands.