The decommissioned Breakworld flagship with the refugees is parked in Earth’s orbit next to the Peak, SWORD’s headquarters. In a meeting room, SWORD commander Brand, Cyclops and Emma Frost, Sydren… and former powerlord Kruun and his partner are discussing what to with the refugees. Kruun explains they are a warrior race and do not have diplomats. They consider them weak. His partner Haleena adds now that they are weak, it’s too late to master that art.
Let her get this straight, Brand summarizes, they came in a decommissioned warship, because they only have warships. They didn’t signal because they don’t know how to professionally play nice. And they smell, because… She wonders if it’s just the Breakworlders who don’t understand diplomacy, Emma observes.
Haleena apologizes and asks if this is the right word. Bringing down his fist, Kruun tells her not to, they want them to beg! They are on their knees, they will not beg! If they would send them to the void, perhaps it would be a better end for them! He tells his mate that her visions are wrong. They will never take them! Gently, she asks him to let them speak their minds.
Cyclops asks what happened to Breakworld. Their world ended, Kruun announces. Whatever happens, there is no longer Breakworld. Factions fight factions. There is no longer peace. There is no war. There is only chaos and violence. Civilization scale puberty, Brand explains. Pretty much what all their models predicted. Messy, but necessary for transition. Could have been less messy if a certain metallic idiot didn’t jumpstart the process, she mutters. Her growing pains are their death rattle, Kruun snarls. Those aboard the Resplendent Celestial Slaughter can stand it no longer. They need a new home.
Cyclops asks Brand about the situation. She explains that the UN is still divided on Utopia’s sovereignty. But she has a certain leeway. As far as she is concerned the X-Men are a sovereign body, so if they want the Breakworlders to be their problem, they are their problem. Of course, if it goes badly, she’ll sterilize their island from orbit. There’s no weapon aboard their ship though, as far as their intentions go…
Her empathy Sydren hisses. He can pssychically ssscan them. She can psssychycally ssscan them too, Emma tells Scott. After some thinking, Cyclops offers to try and make this work.
And so, the Breakworld ship lands on Utopia. Did he feed strays when he was small? Emma asks Scott. She’s in the office with him and Magneto. She can see him doing that, she continues. Scott Summers, anointed savior of the alley cats of Anchorage, Alaska.
Magneto points out that their needs are critical. They are here for mutants. They cannot hope to safeguard the galaxy’s teeming hordes as well. Still looking outside, Scott asks Magneto if he knows why they are refugees. Emma pipes up: because they thought firing a moon-sized bullet at Earth was a good idea and they had to be brought down for their audacity. He asks her to stop. She sounds like Brand. The Breakworlders are refugees because of them. And they have to take responsibility for what they do. If they don’t do that they are nothing. They have to be better! They don’t even know what they eat, he sighs.
Kitty and Peter walk amidst the tents erected for the refugees. Kitty recalls that the last time they saw so many Breakworlders they were trying to tear them apart. This is weird on about a dozen levels to see them like this. Peter agrees, this must be hard for them. They never had time to get used to being scared. By their rules, they probably think the X-Men are about to slaughter them. How do they even start? Same as any relationship, she tells him, by being interested and listening. She walks up to a sitting Breakworlder and kneels down next to him.
And so, they listen to the refugees’ stories. One who had to see his grandfather wither and die instead of being allowed to end it in a civilized way. One man who puts his faith in Kruun. One begging for mercy, still not quite sure what that is. A mother who misses the order Breakworld had. A young man with a cynical smirk who asks if it matters where they ask to die. A young boy with an amulet of Colossus who asks him if he will reclaim Breakworld and make it all right. Does he want a shrine? He’ll slice off his arm for Colossus if he wishes! He grabs Peter. Is that his wish?!
Kruun and Haleena have joined them. Kruun orders the boy to leave the powerlord alone. He’s sure he and his mate would prefer to walk around the camp and laugh at whatever takes their fancy. They are not here to laugh! They are here to help, Kitty corrects him. Helping is laughing, Kruun replies. They have never been weak. Now look at them as they crawl towards their graves!
Kitty tries to convince him this is not the end. That’s why they are here. Scott said, that their augur said they would accept the Breakworlders. Kruun orders Haleena to tell them the rest. Haleena admits she saw that they would be taken in. Still, she sees no future for their people. No future h-- they would hear. Kitty insists there is always hope. Kruun retorts he has no need for their human pity. He doesn’t have it, Peter replies. He feels sorry for Kruun’s people. But Kruun? He lived off death! He profited from suffering. His choices let to this! His code was: might makes right! And Colossus beat him. That he believes that something as meaningless as taking his arm makes him lesser, that makes Kruun the potter of his own bitter cup.
Kruun just laughs. He doesn’t understand. Does Colossus know how they brought him back? They were a world without hospitals. Why would they have the ability to reverse death? It is a rite of submission. You lose your life to someone… you lose your life to someone! Life energy is transferred from a slave to a fallen. Both those who give life and those who receive it are the lowest of the low. To be any part the ritual is to become untouchable. They are the lowest of the low. Five slaves fed their life into Colossus’ corpse to bring him back. He spits the word “powerlord.” And they were grateful they died in the process rather than live with the shame. That’s the irony. Colossus is powerlord… and he is nothing. Kruun’s lost arm is a far lesser shame than Colossus’. And that it was him who led Breakword to its fall…
In the meantime, the youth who smirked about dying has snuck up on Colossus (in his human form), a knife in his hand. Kruun shoves him aside and attacks the boy. Never like that! he roars, enraged. He destroyed their world! the boy protests. It’s not about him, Kruun retorts, it’s about them! He saw him stand as a boy in the arena, a blade in his hand and nothing in his chest but a cry of beautiful rage. He’s fallen so far to attack from behind? He shames himself! He shames them all! He apologizes to Colossus and promises it will not happen again.
Peter and Kitty walk on. Haleena tells him she is proud of him for trying. She is? he asks. How could she ever be proud? They may have done it, but he let it happen. Their world ended because of him. If it hadn’t, would they be together? she asks. The gaze of the powerlord would not have lingered on a weak augur. And even if it did, he would never have deigned to speak to her. Hypothetical musings serve no one, he replies. There is only the now. And she should not even look at him.
Magneto interrupts them and asks Kruun to help with his problem. He shows him the bit of Breakworld metal that’s been puzzling him. It is unusual, he announces. It is merely metal of Breakworld which would make it unusual to them, Kruun replies. Can he explain it? Magneto asks. What is the science here? Kruun replies he is not a scientist or theoretician but he can show him how to work it. A warrior who cannot make weapons is not a warrior. All he needs is the tools.
So, they find themselves a little later in the X-Labs, where Kruun begins working the metal. Madison Jeffries, addressing Magneto as “Mags,” warns him the doctor won’t like unauthorized personnel in here. Then he should have answered his very reasonable requests in less than a geological timeframe, is the reply. And Jeffries sacrificed Magneto’s interest in his opinion when he called him Mags!
He asks Kruun to explain. In the time of their forefathers, there was a great working. Their world was changed. Every part of it has properties beyond this plane. Are they speaking of magic? Magneto asks. The word has little meaning for them. Humans say “technology.” They say “magic.” Breakworlders say “weapons.”
Kruun has charged the piece of metal kinetically and now it defies gravity. They use it as a child’s toy. It’s not a weapon? Magneto asks. It is a training weapon, Kruun corrects. Aerodynamical principles and training reflexes. Though he did use his first to blind his brother. Quite fascinating, Magneto muses. What else can he do? With this? Little. More metal and he’d… Magneto interrupts him. There’s debris scattered over the whole state. He is the master of magnetism. Give him half an hour! He leaves.
Half an hour? Kruun asks. He attacks Jeffries and takes him out. When his chance came, he thought he’d require far more haste… He bites one of his hands and takes out some capsules with fluid. He prepares the fluid.
When Magneto returns, Kruun ambushes him with darts full of the fluid. Kruun explains that to them it is just another weapon, but Magneto’s people called it “The Cure.” He takes him out, ties him up and puts him into a small chamber next to Jeffries. He has no grudge against him, Kruun explains to Magneto. But there are people here who owe him satisfaction and they have a saying on Breakworld: “Revenge is a dish best served…” Cold? Magneto asks. Swift, Kruun corrects and gags him. Swift and bloody, he announces as he walks on, holding a dagger of Breakworld metal in his hand.