‘This is what happens. This is what happens to mutation and impurity when it goes unchecked!’ exclaims someone who was recently transformed into a new breed of Human Sentinel. While the Human Sentinels begin revealing themselves through San Francisco, the Human Sentinel declares ‘We asked, then pleased, then begged. We marched arm in arm, lockstep with our fellow man, for a better, cleaner tomorrow. You ignored us. You called us bigots and believed us extremists’. The news report continues, as media focuses in on the new breed of Human Sentinel, and the “spokesperson” declares that the bloodline must be purged, and the gene pool cleansed.
‘It’s bad, right? It looks pretty bad’ declares Cyclops, leader of the Uncanny X-Men, as he addresses the situation to four of his allies at Graymalkin Industries, in Marin, California. ‘It’s okay. Everything’s going to be okay’ Cyclops tells DanI Moonstar, Domino, Psylocke and Mindee of the Stepford Cuckoos. Cyclops tells the women that he would normally speak to them individually, but that time is very much of the essence. ’We’re boxing in a very small ring, folks, and it’s about to get intense’. Cyclops explains that they are about to make the shift from defense and observation to offense. ’You all play key parts in my strategies’ he tells the women.
Turning to the depowered Moonstar, Cyclops tells her that this is her last chance to pull out. ‘Are you sure you -’ he adds, before Domino interrupts, and motioning to Psylocke asks ‘I’m sorry, is she wearing a wetsuit? Why is she wearing a wetsuit?’ ‘Because I’ve been swimming’ Psylocke replies. Cyclops tells Domino that they don’t have time for questions, before informing her that he is borrowing X-23 for a little bit this morning, but when they get back she can gather her X-Force team and wait at the rendezvous point for Wolverine. ‘Logan’s coming back? How? I thought Osborn had the city shut -’ Domino begins, but Cyclops just say’s ‘Don’t’.
Turning back to Dani, Cyclops asks her if she is sure about this. ‘Yeah, boss’ Dani replies, to which Cyclops tells her to get to Vegas and get it done - ‘And don’t take no for an answer’ he adds. Cyclops turns to Psylocke, who tells him that they are on it, and when Cyclops asks for an ETA, she replies ‘Two, three days’. ‘We need it faster. Don’t sleep’ Cyclops tells her, before informing Mindee that he needs her to get arrested. ‘Whatever you say, Mr Summers’ Mindee smiles.
Meanwhile, in Alcatraz, HAMMER agents stand around observing as Norman Osborne’s team of Avengers and his team of X-Men stand before each other. ’That’s right, that’s right, bring it on you nancy boy - you ain’t the only one with claws!’ Bullseye - who now wears the identity of Hawkeye - exclaims as he holds two sharp arrowheads between his knuckles while Daken - posing as the new Wolverine - lunges towards him. Rounding out the “Avengers” team are Ares, Moonstone - who now calls herself Ms Marvel - and the third Venom, who poses as the new Spider-Man. The “X-Men” team consists of Namor the Sub-Mariner, Cloak & Dagger, Mimic, Michael Pointer a.k.a. the new Weapon Omega, and Emma Frost - who enters the room, ’Oh for the love of -’ she mutters as she sees the two men sparring.
Daken easily cuts Bullseye’s arrows in half - only for Bullseye to shove a dagger through Daken’s jaw, which slices through his cheek. The dagger comes out - but Bullseye finds Daken’s two claws shoved through his right bicep. Bullseye cries out in agony, while Daken exclaims ‘Lights out’ as he prepares to strike Bullseye again - only for Emma Frost, in her diamond-hard form, to come between them. ‘Kill you -’ Daken exclaims. ‘Not if I kill you first’ Bullseye retorts. ‘You’re bloody children, both of you!’ Emma declares, annoyed as she pushes them apart.
‘Stand down, little man’ Namor declares as he holds Daken, who snaps ‘How dare you -’ while Mimic tells Bullseye to be cool. ‘You serious?’ Bullseye retorts. ‘Enough! All of you!’ Emma shouts, before announcing that the X-Men are needed in San Francisco, as the city is under attack and needs to see her mutant heroes out there saving day. Emma adds that the world at large needs to know the Avengers have their backs. ‘This war, you cretins - and you’re either with us or against us. Make up you minds and get out of the way’. Emma strides past the “Avengers”, with the “X-Men” following her, while Daken turns to Bullseye - ‘See you ‘round’ he tells him. ‘Got that right, punk’ Bullseye replies, the two men eyeing each other up.
Meanwhile, in Northern Park, civilians stand in awe as a bus speeds down a suburban street - with one of the Human Sentinels at the wheel. Emma Frost and the “X-Men” arrive on scene via Cloak’s teleportation, and Emma explains that some of Trask’s people have mutated into some kind of biomechanical abomination who appear to be receiving orders from him telepathically. Emma adds that HAMMER is tracking down Trask’s exact location, before explaining that preliminary reports suggest these bio-Sentinels can fire some kind of energy blast from their palms, but this tends to be fatal to the host - something like a bee sting. ‘So be mindful’ she tells the “X-Men” as the descend on Northern Park. ‘Civilians first, hostiles second, property last. The whole world is watching, children. Be amazing’ Emma declares.
As the “X-Men” rush into action, Emma barks out orders, telling Cloak and Dagger to tend to the civilians in a nearby building, while informing “Wolverine” and Mimic that there are hostiles at her three o’clock. While one of the Human Sentinels attacks some civilians, Namor asks Emma if they are even human. Emma drops out of her diamond form so she can use her telepathy, ‘I…their minds are…my word!’ Emma gasps, before quickly resuming her diamond form as she tells Namor that whatever Trask infected them with has killed them. ‘These things are no longer human. They’re no longer technically alive’ she exclaims, telling everyone to stop them however they deem appropriate. ‘Imperius Rex!’ Namor shouts.
Back at Graymalkin, Cyclops, Colossus, Iceman, Northstar, Dazzler, Pixie, Armor and X-23 make their way to several motorcycles which are waiting for them. ‘Is it safe? Mr Summers?’ Pixie asks Cyclops as she walks alongside him. ‘Probably not, but still…until we know the situation is being taken care of, we can’t just sit on our hands and hope for the best’ Cyclops tells her. ‘I guess I just - I don’t know what to do. Nobody does. And - if you guys get caught out there, aren’t you just, like, gonna get arrested or whatever?’ Pixie adds as everyone gets onto their motorcycles. Cyclops tells Pixie that people are dying, and they don’t know enough about Emma’s team to trust they will deal with the situation. ‘Everything’s going to be okay’ he assures her as Pixie opens a portal, and everyone rides through it.
‘People of San Francisco - try not to be alarmed. We’re the good guys!’ Emma Frost announces telepathically while she and Namor are surrounded by several of the bio-Sentinels. Namor pushes them aside, while Emma telepathically introduces herself, claiming that she is speaking on behalf of Norman Osborn, she adds that HAMMER are now on site. ‘Be calm and stay safe’ she tells everyone, assuring them that she and her companions are highly trained professionals and that catastrophic outbreaks like these are their speciality. ‘After all…we’re the X-Men!’ she exclaims before quickly resuming her diamond form and punching one of the bio-Sentinels through the head.
Emma tells Namor that there is nothing human at all here, that Trask’s infection has stolen their humanity - biological or otherwise. ‘Humanity is overrated’ Namor exclaims as he throws one of the bio-Sentinels into a vehicle. ‘Then darling…you’re fighting for the wrong side’ Emma tells Namor.
In the air above the battle, Dagger asks Cloak if he ever gets the feeling they are fighting the right war with the wrong people. ‘We didn’t exactly have a choice’ Cloak replies, reminding Dagger that the two of them were not given any other options. ‘We could run’ Dagger replies as she takes down several of the bio-Sentinels with her light powers, before flying up inside Cloak’s massive garment. ‘We can’t. Not anymore’ Cloak tells his dearest friend, reminding her that is what they do - what they always so. ‘We run now and we’ll be running forever’.
Down below, Daken slashes through the bio-Sentinels, ‘Is it worth taunting you, I wonder? Do you abominations even understand English language anymore? Or any language, for that matter?’ Daken remarks. ‘Doesn’t matter. You’re dead all the same!’ Daken declares as he shoves one of the Human Sentinels into another, and stabs them through the middle. Suddenly though, over a dozen of the bio-Sentinels dog-pile on Daken, ‘Hey - HEY!’ he shouts while one of them prepares to blast his face at close-range. Thankfully, Mimic snatches the bio-Sentinel up into the air, just in time.
‘You know, it’s Interesting. Whatever this infection is that’s turned you into this monster…it’s a kind of mutation’ the Mimic remarks, while the bio-Sentinel attempts to fight back, in mid-air. ‘The man that hates mutants…made himself a mutant army. Do you understand that, ya dumb bigot?’ Mimic exclaims, demanding to know where Trask is - only for the bio-Sentinel’s head to be blown off by Weapon Omega, who tells Mimic that he is wasting his time. Mimic drops the remains of the bio-Sentinel as he exclaims ‘Absolutely not. As long as there was a human soul in there somewhere I could’ve reached it - I could’ve reasoned -’ he declares, but Weapon Omega grabs Mimic and tells him that you can’t reason with the dead. ‘We’re all dead. Don’t you see that? We’re dead. We’re dead and this is Hell!’ Weapon Omega exclaims.
Meanwhile, in Las Vegas, ‘Your boss is expecting me’ Moonstar exclaims as she approaches two men dressed in suits outside the Inferno Club. Dani strides across the chequered foyer floor, before entering an office. ‘Well. I’m here’ she announces. ‘Let’s make a deal’ she exclaims to someone in the office.
Back in the Northeast, Cyclops, Iceman, Colossus, Northstar, Dazzler, Pixie, Armor and X-23 stand on a rooftop and observe the “X-Men” battling the bio-Sentinels. ‘You’re sure the bikes are safe?’ someone asks. ‘Worthington Industries owns the building. Nobody comes in unless Angel gave ‘em a key’ someone replies. As the real X-Men and the X-students examine the situation through high-tech binoculars, Cyclops tells them that they are the squad he put together to take out Emma’s gang, that they were each chosen specifically. ‘Now look down there and tell me what you see’.
Northstar asks ‘Shouldn’t we be down there trying to stop those monsters?’ to which someone replies ‘We got spotted, Northstar, and we get disappeared. Not arrested. Not detained. Disappeared’. Cyclops announces that the pico-second it looks like Emma’s group doesn’t have this siege under control, they will get involved. ‘Disappearing be damned’ he adds, before pointing out that right now it’d be a pointless sacrifice. Cyclops tells his allies that they need to observe the team. ‘Find your mark. Watch how they move; study how they think in the heat of battle. This is homework. Study hard’.
‘10010’ one of the bio-Sentinels states as several of them unleash blasts from their palms. ‘There’s a clock ticking somewhere, darlings. And we can’t hear it’ Emma exclaims, adding that they need to fight their way up the food chain. ‘Lights, camera, action!’ Mimic jokes as he covers several of the Human Sentinels in ice, while Weapon Omega blows some of them up. Daken then slashes through the ice - and the bio-Sentinels, before kicking one of the bio-Sentinels back into Cloak, who teleports it away. ‘The don’t seem to be fighting any smarter’ Dagger remarks as she throws her light powers around, before kicking several of them in the face. ‘Good’ Namor exclaims as he rips a power pole from the ground and smashes it down on several of the bio-Sentinels. ‘Stay down!’ he tells them.
Namor turns to Emma, who is helping a civilian woman out of her car. ‘Don’t be afraid. You’re safe now’ Emma tells the woman. Namor walks over to Emma and asks ‘What’s next?’ Emma asks if they are done, but Namor motions to all the destruction caused by the battle and tells Emma that he would say her team is just getting warmed up. ‘Let’s tell the boss the good news’ Emma declares as she telepathically contacts Norman Osborn, informing him that they have shut down the outbreak in Northern Park, and asks where they are need now. ‘Nice to hear from you’ Osborn mutters as he stands next to his EA, Victoria Hand, and watches various scenarios playing out on monitors. Osborn, in his Iron Patriot armor, announces that Trask’s last known location was St Francis Hospital, and it seems the attack is being directed from there. Osborn adds that all of their Intel suggests that if this particular hurricane has an eye, that’s it. Emma asks Cloak to transport them to St Francis Hospital, and the “X-Men” vanish, leaving a burning and destroyed neighbourhood.
‘Civilians protected, the injured were evacuated and not a single hostile left standing’ Cyclops tells those with him. ‘Man…these guys are good!’ Dazzler exclaims. ‘Yes they are. And this is how we beat them. It’s not superior numbers. It’s not powers, it’s not divide and conquer’ Cyclops begins. ‘It’s us. It’s all of us. They were all fighting alone. Together, but alone. And we fight as one. We fight together…together’. Cyclops tells his allies that believing in one another, trusting their team and acting accordingly, will mean that the others will never see it coming. Iceman remarks that even if they get lucky and outfight Emma’s group, the second they attack them, Osborn is only going to call in his Avengers. ‘I mean…how are we supposed to stop them?’ he asks. ‘Who said you’re the squad that supposed to stop the Avengers?’ Cyclops smirks.
Meanwhile, at the Bay of Oakland, ‘So, uh…do you guys work together a lot, or something? Do you -’ begins Magik as she stands on a large rock by the water, with Domino and Warpath standing behind her. Suddenly, X-23 appears on some higher rocks, and calls out to Warpath. ‘Where were you?’ Warpath asks as he turns and looks up at X-23. ‘Studying’ X-23 replies. ‘Say what?’ Warpath asks, to which X-23 tells him not to worry himself. Warpath asks why he would be worried, as Cyclops gave them these co-ordinates to wait for Wolverine to show up, and didn’t bother to specify a time. ‘There’ Domino remarks, motioning to some bubbles that appear on the surface of the water - then, Wolverine rises from the ocean. Wolverine, dressed in his black and gray costume, apologizes to Magik for dragging her into this, ‘But we need you’ he tells her. ‘We’re going to get our people back’.
Finally, just off the Pacific Coast, the X-Sub moves through the murky waters, and communicating with Doctor Takiguchi, those aboard are informed that they should be approaching their destination now. Psylocke, Madison Jeffries, Doctor Nemesis and Kavita Rao are aboard. Psylocke asks Jeffires how long he thinks this will take to install, to which the former Alphan replies ‘Four, five hours. Fore if we’re lucky and it works first time out’. Jeffries reminds everyone that it took them three days to make it, and they need three more after this. ‘Do you guys really think we can pull this off?’ he asks. ‘This is the end of the X-Men in California, Jeffries. We don’t really have a choice’ Psylocke replies as the move towards something lying on the ocean floor….