Something’s coming, girls…
In an abandoned church in the west of England, Rachel Grey, Betsy Braddock and the renegade mutant Nocturne listen carefully as the Marauders approach. Betsy, dual psychic katanas blazing, can wait no longer and uses her teke to launch the remnants of a wall at Caliban and T-Rex. The huge dinosaur brushes the assault aside and Caliban continues searching the area for the runaway Nocturne.
The telepath is using her power to inhibit mine, he states. But he can still sense Nocturne’s presence. Whatever the reason is for their wanting Nocturne, Rachel is determined to prevent her capture. Improvising, she invites Nocturne to posses her and thereby hide herself from the Marauders. Nocturne does, hiding both her psyche and her physical self deep within Rachel’s mind.
Psylocke orders T-Rex and Caliban to stand down. There is no one here, she claims, except herself and her companion Rachel Grey. The Marauders do not believe her; T-Rex even goes as far as to say that he can smell Nocturne. Rachel can read his mind and know that he is lying, but Betsy reacts and shatters his senses with her katana.
As T-Rex falls, the woman are entwined in a mesh of oaken branches, and Black Tom Cassidy rises to attack. He mocks Betsy’s royal heritage and invites her to “dance an’ see who’s the stronger…” Cassidy is suddenly burned by a volley of hot knives as Pete Wisdom appears to aid the two. Psylocke takes advantage of Tom’s momentary distraction and lunges.
The strength of my teke is limited solely by my imagination, she tells him, and my imagination has no limit.
With a single swipe, she short-circuits Cassidy’s brain stem. She tries to talk to Rachel, but realizes that Nocturne has taken control. Rachel streaks off skyward and Betsy follows. She is certain that someday Rachel will be the death of her. Callisto and the other Marauders see them leave and plan to follow, certain that the two women will lead them to Nocturne. Captain Britain stands in their way. Callisto warns him that if he stands in their way he will start a war with the entire House of M. Brian explains that when he and his sister find Nocturne Callisto and her crew can have both the credit and the fee. Callisto agrees but warns Brian that if there is any trouble, both he and his sister are dead.
Suddenly just over their heads in the hover-jet, Meggan begins convulsing and starts to channel Roma, Saturnyne, and Jamie Braddock all three of whom urge Brian to continue his task of stopping the chaotic tsunami that is sweeping across reality. Callisto stands amazed as Meggan’s malleable makeup morphs back and forth between her own image and the other three beings. Meggan returns to her true form and tells Brian if he cannot find the hero within the monarch, they are all doomed. Callisto wonders aloud if the queen has lost her mind. Brian has no answer…
Meanwhile, Betsy streaks across the west England sky hot on the trail of Nocturne and Rachel. Betsy has reached the limit of her patience. Once she has determined that they are far enough out of the reach of the Marauders, she uses her telekinesis to bring Rachel/Nocturne down. Rachel lands and takes out half a building before coming to a stop. The possibility that Rachel has underestimated Nocturne’s abilities crosses Betsy’s mind as Rachel/Nocturne manifests and psychic sword of her own and positions herself to go blade-to-blade against her. I won’t let you take me, Nocturne says. I’ll fight…and I’ll win.
Nocturne fights admirably, but Betsy prevails without much effort and succeeds in bringing the rest of the building down around her. Nocturne is knocked out and Rachel is back in control of her own body once more. Rachel fills Betsy in on what she knows. The mutant is Talia Josephine Wagner…T.J. To the best of Rachel’s knowledge, the girl knows nothing about herself other than her name. Rachel decides to keep the unconscious TJ locked up inside her for now.
Rachel looks around them and asks Betsy where they are. Betsy replies that they are standing at the ruins of St. William’s Tower a historic site that predates the Norman Conquest. Rachel makes a passing comment about it looking more like a Chinese Folly. Betsy seems confused by this comment so Rachel offers to use her psychometric power to show Betsy what the stones here “remember.” Betsy is shocked to see a two thousand year old Chinese fortress built over the ruins…how is this possible? Have you looked in the mirror lately? Rachel quips.
Betsy continues to explain to Rachel that this isn’t right. These ruins are where she and her older brother, Jamie, would come to have their adventures while Brian immersed himself in his books. Rachel asks why Jamie isn’t king if he is the first born; Betsy explains that Jamie’s power, the ability to pull the quantum strings that define causality, has driven him mad.
Rachel suddenly notices something and points it out to Betsy. It is the lighthouse where Brian used to retreat to study his books in solitude. But Rachel is more concerned with the cavernous X-shaped tear in the fabric of reality that is gaping at the foot of the tower. Like the Chinese fortress, Betsy cannot see the tear. Rachel cautions Betsy to stand clear, but Betsy advances toward the chasm confident that she will be safe by linking her teke with Rachel in case anything happens. Suddenly the mists swirl upward and grab Betsy forcing her down into the darkness. Her costume changes instantly into the standard blue and gold training uniform worn by nearly all the X-Men. Betsy gasps in terror as her body begins to crack, crumble, and disintegrate before her very eyes!
Back in Braddock Manor, in the quiet of the midnight, Brian nurses a glass of wine and tries to sort out the jumble that his life has become. Without warning, the memories come flooding back to him. He remembers Roma and Saturnyne and the celestial nullifier. He remembers it all!
Meggan again convulses and begins to channel Jamie Braddock, Brian’s mad brother.
Time’s almost up!
Meggan’s fit passes, and she too urges Brian to take action. They are about to get dressed when they notice the glowing eye of a Sentinel outside their window. Omega Sentinel Karima Shapandar leads a squadron of Sentinels and informs Brian that in the name of Lord Magneto he is now under arrest for the crime of high treason.
Back at the lighthouse, Rachel uses her telekinesis to pull Betsy back out of the chasm. Betsy immerges changed but fine. Her costume is still the training uniform, and she declares that the universe is sick. This chasm is a causal tear in the quantum fabric of creation. Reality is unraveling! The women are about to go get Brian when they are attacked by Banshee and the rest of the Marauders.
Both women are knocked out by Banshee’s sonic scream, and Nocturne immediately pops out of Rachel’s body and makes a run for it. She doesn’t get far. Mammomax knocks her down and T-Rex picks her up. A semi-conscious Betsy pleads with Callisto to help them fix reality, but Callisto knocks her out. The Marauders have their prize!
When Betsy opens her eyes, she is momentarily confused. All around her she sees Braddock Manor. She realizes that she is “twin-synching” watching Brian and Meggan stand before the Omega Sentinel. At the same time Brian is watching the Marauders as they beat Betsy. Brian remembers this “synching” happening before when the twins were children. Brian’s nose begins to bleed just as Betsy’s is.
Brian turns his attention back to Sentinel and asks if there is any point in denying the charges. You will have every opportunity to defend yourself, Your Majesty, Karima answers. But until that time she will have to imprison him in the tower until Magneto’s birthday party is over. Brian responds by slamming Karima through three of the Sentinel guards destroying them.
Karima is badly damaged, but uses the spare parts from the destroyed Sentinels to rebuild herself quickly. Traitor! She shouts at Brian. Carrying a newly formed plasma cannon on her arm, Karima Shapandar, invokes the authority of Lord Magneto and sentences Brian Braddock and his family…to death!