'Human cowards. You never learn. And this is all you can think to do? You never want to face us face-to-face. Always a toy. It's always a little better made, always a little more advanced... but it's still a toy. And whoever sent it... you're still a damn coward' Scott “Cyclops” Summers thinks to himself as he stands before a robot which identified itself as a Blockbuster Sentinel. Green energy hovers around it, while human supporters of mutants run in fear. They have dropped their support signs and banners, which are strewn across the ground, near Scott's teammates Emma Frost and Illyana “Magik” Rasputin and their students.
'My name is Cyclops of the X-Men!' The Blockbuster Sentinel simply replies 'Terrorist Scott Summers identified!' to which Scott asks 'Terrorist? Who sent you? Who’s is your puppet master?' 'Mutant targeted for termination' the Sentinel announces, as energy blasts forward to Scott, who wonders how the cowards know where to find them. 'How did you know we were going to be here? We decided to come here on a lark'. 'Scott!' Emma gasps. 'Oh, dear Lord' Eva Bell a.k.a. Tempus utters as the space where Scott was standing has become a gaping crater. 'Oh' Fabio Medina exclaims. 'No' David “Hijack” Bond declares, while Christopher Muse a.k.a. Triage asks if he is dead, and Benjamin Deeds stares in horror.
'X-Men!' Cyclops calls out as he re-appears, alongside Magik. Scott thinks that Illyana saved his life without even having to ask her. 'Get the civilians out of here! Secure a perimeter and let's take this thing to robot hell!' Scott instructs the students. 'That was a hell of a nice save, Illyana' Emma remarks. 'Doesn't get any closer' Magik replies, arms crossed. 'Mutants identified!' the Blockbuster Sentinel announces. 'Kind enough to teleport me out of harm's way before I could even think of a a plan' Scott tells himself, thinking of Illyana, before realizing that his chest hurts – that is how close the blast was. Suddenly, Emma turns to diamond-form and runs towards the Blockbuster Sentinel. Scott thinks to himself that Emma's powers are a mess, but that she can still throw herself into diamond form and throw herself in front of their new students. 'You heard your teacher!' Emma calls out, instructing Hijack to back her up with some of that mutant hijacking thing that he does. 'Shut it down!' Emma tells Hijack, before calling out to the robot, 'I hope this hurts like hell!' she shouts as she shoves a diamond-hard fist into the robot. 'The White Queen' Scott thinks, as Emma is knocked backwards by a surge of energy from the robot. All he can think about is these amazing humans who have come here to rally in support of them, and how they are being punished for doing so.
Angel, transported to the present from long ago, flies over and grabs Emma, while Scott thinks to himself that in his lifetime he never thought he would see the day that humans would stand up for mutants, for him. Just like he never thought he would be fighting alongside Angel again. 'Two original X-Men still on the same team after all these years. I don't think Warren knows how much it means to me that he is here'.
Hijack stands near Tempus and one of the Stepford Cuckoos, as Cyclops watches him and thinks that Hijack hasn't been an X-Man two days and a mutant for more than three, but he is getting right into the action. 'Uh... robot guy. Shut down' Hijack instructs the Sentinel. But his usual control of robotics and machinery has no effect. 'Unidentified mutant' the Sentinel states. 'Uh-oh' Hijack utters. 'Uh...power off. Shut down. Go to sleep. Freeze. Time out. You're done. Night-night. Robot out!' Hijack shouts, but nothing happens. 'Uh, help!' Hijack calls out as energy is blasted from the Sentinel towards him.
Cyclops watches as Eva Bell steps forward and casts a time bubble around the energy from the Sentinel. Scott thinks to himself that Eva is a young Australian with a unique time-stopping ability that scares the hell out of her, but doesn't make her think twice about doing her part.
'X-Men! Get everyone to safety!' Cyclops shouts as he fires an optic blast towards the Sentinel, before asking the Stepford Cuckoos what they are picking up from the Sentinel. Cyclops's optic blasts dart around the Sentinel, he knows his powers are broken.
'I'm half the mutant I used to be' he thinks to himself. He can't control when his optic blasts anymore. He wonders how he is supposed to live up to everyone's expectations, before being knocked back by the Sentinel. One of the Stepford Cuckoos, probably Phoebe, announces that the Sentinel is not biological. The other blonde, probably Celeste, states that there is no brain in there to manipulate with their hive mind. 'But it's, huh...it's not really a machine, either' Mindee, with the dark hair reports. Celeste agrees, and adds that it is something in-between. Cyclops wonders what that means.
Nearby, Triage rushes to some civilians, one of whom has fallen over, broken her leg. She screams, while Triage tells her that she needs to get out of here, 'My leg!' she shouts. Triage puts his hand over her wound, 'Let's see what I can do!' he tells her. 'What – what?' the woman asks. 'Just -' Triage begins. 'What are you doing?' the woman exclaims. Christopher introduces himself and tells her to stay still. He concentrates, and her wound closes up. 'Oh my God. You healed her' another woman exclaims, asking him how he did that. 'If only I knew' Triage replies, before telling them to get out of her. At that moment, Benjamin is directing civilians to safety, while Fabio Medina stands a few feet away from him. 'I – I think I can do this -' Fabio tells himself, while Benjamin calls out to him, 'Cyclops told us to -' he begins. Cyclops thinks to himself that Fabio is not ready. If he thought for a second that this would turn into a hostile situation, he would never have allowed Fabio to join them. 'I have this! Poink!' Fabio exclaims, before shouting 'Gold Balls! Yeah, I said it', as a stream of gold balls bursts from his body, and strikes the Blockbuster Sentinel at close range.
More and more of the gold balls appear, 'Well, how about that' Scott tells himself. He was just about to call out to Magik, to take advantage of the situation, but she is already here. 'Everybody down!' Magik shouts as she appears behind the Sentinel. 'So much like her brother' Cyclops thinks. Suddenly, one of Fabio's own gold balls knocks him on the head. Triage sees this and calls out to his teammate. Magik utters something in a magickal tongue, while striking the Sentinel with her sword. 'What is it?' Emma calls out to her. 'I hardly give a damn. I just want to know who sent it' Magik replies. Energy crackles all around the Sentinel, and Cyclops realizes that he has seen this before – it is adaptive technology. Every time they hit the Sentinel with something, it adapts and changes. There is another flash of power, and the students are knocked backwards. 'Artificial intelligence with one objective. We're screwed' Scott tells himself.
Meanwhile, aboard a SHIELD Helicarrier, world headquarters of the UN peacekeeping task force, its present location, 1000 feet over the United Arab Emirates. 'Commander Hill, we have another Sentinel / X-Men situation!' an officer reports. Maria Hill responds with several expletives, to which the agent replies 'Yes Ma'am'. Maria stands on the bridge and views several monitors depicting the battle. 'Is this going on right now?' she asks. An agent confirms that it is. Hill swears again and declares that Ann Arbor is her alma mater. She asks the agent at her side if they have a SHIELD station in Michigan, but the agent tells her that they don't. 'No? Why not?' Hill barks. 'Because it's Michigan, Ma'am' the agent replies, adding that the closest they have is Chicago. Maria asks if Chicago have been alerted and assigned, to which the agent explains that they are engaged at the moment. 'With what?' Hill asks. 'There was a Ghost Rider sighting' the agent reveals. Maria hangs her head and asks where her brand spanking new Special Mutation Relations Liaison is. 'Where is Dazzler? Where is agent Dazzler?' Maria demands.
Maria is told that Dazzler is in Madripoor, to which she asks 'What is she doing in the criminal armpit hell of the Pacific Rim?' The agent informs Maria that Dazzler is following up on the recent intel from Captain America, for according to him, the mutant terrorist Mystique tried to outright buy the entire Madripoor territory from Hydra, but the X-Men stopped the deal, only Mystique is on the loose. 'Don't remind me' Maria mutters, before the agent asks if she should get Agent Blaire on the comm.
Madripoor, at a Hydra facility, where a Dazzler is clad in black and observes a meeting between Madame Hydra and some Hand ninjas. Perched on a platform above the ground, Dazzler watches as Madame Hydra asks the agents 'Are you people crazy before you become members of the Hand Assassin League or do you become crazy after you join? Is it something to do with the initiation that makes you all stupid?' she enquires. One of the Hand ninjas tells Madame Hydra that he will not be disrespected. 'I think you know that' he adds, asking her what this meeting is all about. Madame Hydra tells the Hand agents that Mystique tried to nuy her out on this territory, that it seems she thought she would be able to control this place. 'I don't see how she could do that. Unless you scoundrels have already made a deal with her' Madame Hydra declares.
At that moment, Dazzler's communicator on her wrist lights up, REPORT IN flashes on the watch, while down below, Madame Hydra raises a hand, and several Hydra agents step from the shadows behind her. 'But I wanted to meet with you to make one thing clear...' Madame Hydra begins, before the Hydra agents open fire, striking down all of the Hand ninjas except for the one who spoke to Madame Hydra. Dazzler goes wide-eyed at the scene below her, while her comm watch flashes again. Madripoor is mine. And you are my dog' Madame Hydra tells the Hand ninja, who shouts 'ATTAKU!' and from the shadows, dozens of other ninjas appear, surrounding him, they all stand towards Madame Hydra. Dazzler's jaw drops, while the message on her comm watch flashes again. 'Nothing to report' Dazzler smirks, and her eyes flash yellow – for she is not Dazzler, but Mystique!
‘Will we ever see peace? Will we ever be left alone?' Scott wonders as Angel and Emma try to restrain the Sentinel. 'Come with me!' Cyclops calls out to the civilians. 'This is insane -' one of them tells him. He tells her that he knows, and apologizes for bringing the Sentinel here. 'You brought this here?' the woman who was leading the rally asks. 'It follows me' Cyclops mutters. He can't take it anymore – he can't let it happen one more day. 'It will never stop unless I stop it' Cyclops decides, pushing the woman aside as a powerful optic blast surges from his eyes, 'Leave us alone!' he shouts. Optic energy spreads like a wave across the area, before Scott falls to the ground. 'Leave us alone...' he utters. That is all he had – and it wasn't good enough. The Blockbuster Sentinel moves closer to him, as Cyclops wonders if this is the way it has to be – maybe the only way it could be. 'Maybe if I'm gone...the world will listen' he wonders.
Suddenly, Scott looks up and sees a bus hovering in the air above. It slams into the Sentinel, and then into one of the university buildings. 'Bus attack! Ha ha! Did you see that? Did you see what I -?' Hijack exclaims, when suddenly, there is an explosion. Hijack doesn't look so happy with himself now. Scott looks around at the destruction. The civilian supporters look none to pleased, either. 'Come on' Cyclops declares, and the Blockbuster Sentinel returns and moves closer to Cyclops. 'Come on!' Scott shouts again. At that moment, Magneto appears. 'Where the hell have you bee?' Scott wonders. 'You are right, Illyana. This creature is not made of a metal I can control. This was made to kill us' Magneto remarks. 'So we're screwed?' Illyana asks. 'Hardly' Magneto tells her. He raises a hand, and something forms above him – which is then sprayed towards the Sentinel. Scott knows that Magneto's powers are as damaged as his own.
The shards pierce the Sentinel's head, and it drops to the ground. 'Well, okay then' Scott thinks to himself. He rushes over to the Sentinel. 'Everywhere we go. Everywhere we turn' he tells himself, before shouting at the headless Sentinel 'Who sent you? Who sent you?' Emma rushes over and grabs Scott, who just increases his voice. 'Now, Scott!' Emma calls out as she tries to pull Scott back as the Sentinel disintegrates. 'No' Scott utters. He thinks to himself that whoever sent it, took it back. 'And let's call it what it is – whoever is behind these attacks is officially stalking us. And until they show their face I have to think about who I can really trust. I have to think everyone is a suspect'. He looks over at Magneto, while deciding that their stalker is doing more than trying to kill them. 'Ugh, how long was I out?' Tempus asks as she wakes, with Triage standing over her. 'They're trying to taint the world's image of us. These violent displays are meant to compound people's fear' Cyclops realizes, deciding that whoever is doing this is an idiot, because they don't need any help being made look bad. Cyclops tells Angel that he wants him to make sure the fire department can get here. 'Everybody else, on your feet. Let's help these people. Christopher, it's going to be a long night for you' Cyclops tells the students, while thinking that he is going to find their “stalker”. 'I'm going to find out who you are...and God help you then. You think you know me? You think you know what I'm capable of? That is everyone's mistake' Scott decides.
While, elsewhere, in a facility where more Sentinels can be seen standing in rows, and monitors depicting images of Cylops and his students line the room, a figure in a space suit like outfit stands over a table, examining the remains of the Blockbuster Sentinel!