Utopia, inside the sick bay. Magneto lies motionless on a bed, while Madison Jeffries attempts to fit the New Mutant called Karma with a prosthetic for her missing leg, while Colossus sits next to the capsule containing the recently returned Shadowcat. ‘Dammit!’ Karma exclaims as Jeffries lifts her injury up. ‘Sorry! Sorry!’ Jeffries tells her. Karma calls him a “clumsy ox”, to which Jeffries suggests she doesn’t get snippy, and points out that he said he is sorry. ‘Don’t be sorry; do better’ Karma snaps. Suddenly, Magneto sits up on the bed, pulls out the tube from his nose and tells the others in the room that he has the strangest feeling that something’s happened. ‘What have I missed?’ he asks.
Outside, the blood-covered body of Nightcrawler lies on the ground, with Bastion’s hand sticking through his chest. Several people have gathered around him - Wolverine, Cyclops, the White Queen, Iceman, Angel, Psylocke, Dazzler, Northstar, Cable, X-23 and Hope. Everyone is in various stages of shock and awe, as Nightcrawler’s lifeless body stares up at them. Wolverine grits his teeth. Psylocke puts a hand on his shoulder for comfort. Northstar comforts Dazzler. Hope puts herself against Cable, while someone exclaims ‘Bring him back!’ Cyclops points at them and exclaims ‘Knock it off. Don’t put this on her’.
Hope looks down at the ground, before looking up, ‘Me? Why would I be able … how could - I can’t do that. I can’t do anything. I’m nobody!’ she exclaims before running past everyone, upset. ‘Hope -’ Cable calls out, while the White Queen pushes Cyclops, telling him to go after her. But Cable gets to her first. ‘This is so -’ he begins. ‘I know’ Hope exclaims. Cable tells Hope that she cannot control what anyone else thinks of her, that she cannot control the conditions on the ground - only how she responds to them. ‘We’re going to survive this. That’s what you and me do. We survive’ Cable exclaims.
Cyclops approaches the duo and calls out to Cable, who introduces Hope to Cyclops, revealing ‘He’s my father’. ‘Whoa!’ Hope gasps. Cyclops smiles and greets Hope, telling her that he has wanted to meet her for a really long time. He bends down so he is eye-level with her and remarks that it must be weird for her to hear that everybody has some sort of expectation of her. ‘It’s not fair’ Hope mumbles. ‘I’m not anybody. I don’t know what you all want or what you all think but I -’ she exclaims, but Cyclops declares that it doesn’t matter what they think. ‘Stay alive, Hope. The only thing you have to do is stay alive. Listen to Cable no matter what and stay alive’. Cyclops tells his son to take Hope to the sickbay as he wants both of them checked out. ‘You’ve been without medical care your entire lives, so I’m not asking’ he exclaims, before excusing himself, returning to the others he announces that he has a friend to bury.
Arriving back at where the others are still gathered around Nightcrawler, Cyclops tells them that nothing will ever heal this, that nothing ever can. Cyclops points out that Nightcrawler will need a burial and asks Angel to prepare the body. ‘Get him…cleaned up…if you can’. Cyclops remarks that he doesn’t know if they will be able to put together full catholic rites or not, but thinks they should try, and tells Iceman that is his responsibility. ‘He had a sister. Amanda Sefton. She was his…foster sister. She’ll need to be contacted’ Cyclops announces, before declaring that he does not want Nightcrawler’s death to be in vain. ‘And that means getting back to work and shutting Bastion down. Stay sharp. And we’ll bury our dead when we can’ Cyclops adds, while Wolverine frowns.
Meanwhile, in the brig, the robotic Danger walks, checking the prisoners, when a voice from the control room calls out to her. ‘One moment, please. I’m in the middle of running therapy sessions with all of my wards’ Danger replies. Turning to Legion, she explains that she has been working with him quite a lot these days. ‘As you’d imagine, what with Mr Haller having such wholly separate personalities…’ she remarks, before the person in the control room informs Danger that they are being attacked, that Cerebra has been taken offline and they suspect it is happening on Utopia, somehow. ‘Double check your charges and stay on your toes’ comes the order.
‘As you wish’ Danger replies, turning from Legion, she walks around the brig, announcing that the tattooed man is present and accounted for. ‘Empath - present and accounted for’ she declares as she passes the former Hellion. ‘Sebastian Shaw - present and accounted for’ she declares. However, when she comes to the chair which is supposed to be occupied by Donald Pierce, she pauses momentarily - ‘Donald Pierce…present and accounted for’. But the chair is empty. ‘Stay sharp and keep it tight, Danger. We have a hunch we’ve been infiltrated’ the voice announces. ‘Understood’ Danger replies.
Meanwhile, in room full of pipes and other equipment, Donald Pierce uses a communicator to inform Bastion that Danger remains fooled, and that he is still safely hidden from her view. He assures Bastion that his absence has not been discovered, and that Cerebra is down, communications are down and their security is in tatters. ‘What’s next?’ Pierce asks. From his stronghold, Bastion congratulates his soldier and explains that now that the rats have gone to ground, they are adapting a strategy of containment. ‘Plan B has become Plan A, if you will’ Bastion remarks, informing Pierce that they have already begun removing the X-Men’s teleporters from the game, and next they need to remove the X-Men’s ability to move off-site.
Bastion projects images of the X-Men’s Blackbird and orders Pierce to proceed to the Hangar Bay, to their planes, which he is psycasting to him, along with data, now. ‘Find them all…the X-Men must not leave that island’ Bastion orders. ‘But…that’s suicide’ Pierce exclaims as he strides through the room. ‘No. That’s containment’ Bastion replies, before telling Pierce to be a good little soldier and execute his mission. ‘In your name, master’ Pierce replies.
Meanwhile, in a control / monitor room, Cyclops and Emma Frost stand before a projection of Utopia, while several others - Angel, Psylocke, Colossus, Dazzler, Northstar, Gambit, Cannonball, Cypher, Anole, Pixie, Trance, X-23, Jeffries, Kavita Rao and Doctor Nemesis stand nearby. ‘Magik. We need her here and porting again’ Cyclops declares, before turning to Cannonball: ‘You’ve got your crew. Pixie…you’ll take ‘em to Limbo. We need to get Magik back’ Cyclops declares. ‘I really hate this’ Pixie mumbles, but Cyclops tells her that he doesn’t care, as they need Magik back. The squad of mutants heading to Limbo - Cannonball, Dazzler, Northstar, Anole, Trance, Pixie and Gambit - then departs the room, while Cypher informs Cyclops that he really think they need to address Bastion’s towers.
Doctor Nemesis tells Cyclops that Cypher is right, and to hear him out. Cypher begins by stating that he doesn’t know what Bastion is doing, or why, but whatever it is has something to do with the towers, the platforms that he is making. ‘And even if I’m wrong - why allow him to make anything for a reason? It’s an asset and we should blow them up. Or something’ Cypher declares, but Cyclops tells him that they won’t do that until they know what they are, but immediately thereafter, yes. Cyclops turns to the X-Club - Jeffries, Doctor Nemesis and Kavita Rao and tells them to go figure out what Bastion is making, why he is making it, and how to bring it down. ‘And then do exactly that’ he orders.
‘Great’ Doctor Nemesis exclaims, to which Cyclops declares ‘All right then. Everybody, one last thing, before you go - she’s still just a girl. Even if she isn’t. You want to blame somebody, you blame me. Are we clear?’ No one says anything, so Cyclops concludes with ‘Good. Come home alive, everyone’. While outside, Wolverine still stands over Nightcrawler’s body.
In the sick bay, Magneto sits up on the bed and examines some monitors, while Cable is being examined by Kavita Rao, who asks him to breathe in. Hope stands outside the capsule containing Shadowcat and pauses, before saying ‘Hi. Hello?’ Shadowcat smiles and waves back. ‘That’s Kitty. She’s not really herself these days. Then again, who amongst us are?’ Magneto declares. ‘Is she a ghost or something?’ Hope asks. ‘Something like that’ Magneto tells her. Cable frowns and tells Hope not to talk to him. ‘Who are you? And why doesn’t Cable want me to talk to you?’ Hope asks. Magneto looks sideways at Cable and explains ‘Because he doesn’t know what I’m up to is why’.
Hope looks at Magneto with a suspect look on her face and exclaims ‘Oh yeah? And what are you up to? And why would it worry him one way or the other?’ Magneto smiles and declares that he wasn’t always an old man in a bed. ‘My name is Erik’ he remarks, extending a hand. ‘I’m Hope’ she replies, taking his hand. ‘I know’ Magneto tells her. Kavita and Cable look at Magneto and Hope as the girl exclaims ‘Oh, great. Are you one of them, too? That think I’m gonna walk on water and cure the sick and every other damn thing in the world?’
‘Why? You’re here now, right? You’ve come? And are people still trying to kill us? Has war ended? Hunger, disease, poverty? Hate?’ Magneto asks. ‘No’ Hope mutters, arms folded. Magneto frowns, to which Hope declares that she has only been here a couple of days, though. ‘Give me a week and maybe I can -’ she begins, before Angel enters the room and announces that they only have a few minutes before everyone splits up again, and Cyclops wants them to say goodbye to Nightcrawler.
Outside, darkness has fallen, and a procession of mutants walks across Utopia, with Wolverine, Cyclops and Colossus carrying Nightcrawler’s coffin. A small aircraft lands - it’s the Beast, who bounds towards the procession, and pauses by Rogue and the Sub-Mariner to wipe away a tear, before moving to the front of the group, he exclaims ‘Hey! Summers! This is yours. You own this. Now and forever. Do you understand?’ the Beast asks Cyclops, who just stares back.. ‘Do. You. UNDERSTAND?’ the Beast shouts. Cyclops wipes some spit from his glasses and ignores the Beast’s comments, instead he thanks him for coming on such short notice, as it would have meant the world to Nightcrawler.
Cyclops, Wolverine and Colossus lay the coffin on a pyre, while Iceman, dressed in a suit, stands before everyone. He thanks them for coming. ‘There’s so much - so much happening. Thank you. Kurt would want me to say thank you’ he declares, adding that Nightcrawler would also want him to say that he is a Methodist, and this is not properly Catholic. ’Well. We’re doing the best we can’ he adds, before announcing that he wanted to read this. ’I always liked the song, when I was a kid’ Iceman remarks, before beginning the reading:
“He asked me: son of man, can these bones come to life? ’Lord God,’ I answered, ’You alone know that.’ Then he said to me: prophesy over these bones, and say to them: dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! …Thus says the Lord God to these bones: see! I will bring spirit into you, that you may come to life. I prophesied as he told me, and the spirit came into them; they came alive and stood upright, a vast army. Then he said to me: son of man, these bones are the whole House of Israel. They have been saying ‘our bones are dried up, our hope is lost, and we are cut off.’ Therefore, prophesy and say to them: thus says the Lord God: o my people, I will open your graves and have you rise from them, and bring you back to the Land of Israel. Then you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and have you rise from them, o my people! I will put my spirit in you that you may live, and I will settle you upon your land.”
Iceman pauses, before remarking that it is a nice thought, anyway, and as various mutants begin remembering things about Nightcrawler, Iceman begins by stating that Nightcrawler always made this insanity feel like an adventure. Professor Xavier declares that, of all his students, he taught Nightcrawler the least, and learned from him the most. ‘Well he made me look like a matinee idol’ the Beast points out. ‘You know, they said I was dead once, too. Maybe this works out okay’ Colossus exclaims.
Storm declares that there was never darkness in Nightcrawler’s presence, that nothing was ever so grim when he was near. ‘I hope he found the peace he helped so many of us seek. It’s the least he deserves’ Angel exclaims, while the White Queen remarks that Nightcrawler’s was the only chapel she ever set foot in. ‘He was my brother. He was my friend. He was our light when we lost our way’ Cyclops announces. Wolverine frowns again, before Iceman calls out to him: ‘Do you…Logan?’ he asks. Blood trickles from the openings where Wolverine’s claws emerge from, as he replies ‘Yeah…’.
Wolverine continues, declaring that Nightcrawler was the only guy that ever looked him in the eyes like a man, and spoke to him like one, and treated him like one. ‘No matter what I did or where I was or how I felt. He was my best friend and he never treated me like a damn animal. And now he’s - he’s gone, and -’ Wolverine unleashes his claws and approaches Cyclops: ‘And what for?’ he shouts, before turning to Hope, aiming his claws at her, he exclaims ‘You better be worth this, I swear to God’. And with that Wolverine, Angel, Domino and X-23 stride away, and Nightcrawler’s body burns behind them.