I need to keep this together long enough to see it all through.
Harry's Hideaway, Salem Center, New York, where in the middle of the night, Logan a.k.a. Wolverine knocks on the door to the room belonging to Illyana Rasputin a.k.a. Magik.
'What's going on?' Illyana asks, opening her door. Logan tells her that he wanted her to hear it from him – he's done. 'After Rahne and Guido and Ruth... this stuff with McCoy, whoever this Frost lady is...' his voice trails off as he declares whatever they are doing here, it isn't for him anymore. Logan remarks that he was around for saving the world, or whatever, but this – nobody is trying to save anything anymore, they are just trying to make sure they look good in the history books.
'Why are you telling me?' Illyana asks. Logan looks at Illyana as he tells her that she is the only one left on the team who see things like he does, that they are broken in the same ways. He adds that he wanted to give Illyana a piece of advice before he goes. 'Don't trust them' he warns her.
Logan continues, telling Illyana that history books are written for people who want to remember what happened. 'People like us... we want to forget'.
Illyana tells Logan that she thought he was the man who learned to believe in the future. 'Didn't you run a school to teach kids about making a better world?' she asks him. 'Yeah. Then those kids were all killed' Logan mutters as he walks away, suggesting to Illyana that she get downstairs, as Chamber found something. Illyana asks Logan if he wants her to tell the others anything. 'Tell them to make all this count. They get one shot at all of this... this is forever' Logan responds.
Meanwhile, at an underground train station, six interesting people wearing coats and jackets over their costumes are waiting. 'This our train?' a woman with shaped green hair called Malice asks. A train speeds past and doesn't stop. 'Guess not' Malice mutters, while on the other side of the platform behind her and her fellow Marauders – Scalphunter, Vertigo, Arclight, Blockbuster and Harpoon – the X-Men appear! Chamber, Karma, Moonstar, Magik, Cyclops, Multiple Man, Juggernaut, Hope, Banshee and Havok stand silently before Dani Moonstar who calls out to the Marauders, informing them that they are here to take them in!
'The X-Men? What the hell did we do to you now?' Arclight snaps. Moonstar reminds the Marauders that their attack in the sewers killed dozens of the Morlocks. 'We can't allow you -' she begins, before Arclight pulls back her hood and announces that they didn't do that. 'LIAR!' Jono Starsmore a.k.a. Chamber exclaims. Harpoon tells the X-Men that Arclight is correct, and adds that if they did, he would be proud, but they didn't. In fact, he isn't even sure why they are all together. 'Something is going on with our -' he begins, to which Chamber shouts 'ENOUGH!' and releases a powerful surge of energy that knocks the Marauders backwards.
'X-Men! Take them down!' Scott Summers a.k.a. Cyclops exclaims as the X-Mean and Marauders leap towards each other, meeting on the train tracks between the platforms. Cyclops confronts Scalphunter, while Alex Summers a.k.a. Havok moves towards Arclight. Cain Marko a.k.a. Juggernaut and Blockbuster grab each other's arms, as Magik readies her Soulsword against Harpoon and Xi'am Coy Manh a.k.a. Karma puts up a psychic attack against Vertigo. 'This is your stop, Blockbuster!' Juggernaut jokes as he slams the other behemoth into a nearby train, before Karma quickly alerts him to the fact that there are other people on that train. Juggernaut apologizes and claims that he forgot he was a good guy again. 'Long time no see, Arclight' Havok remarks as he blasts Arclight back with a surge of energy, as Moonstar fires a psychic arrow into Malice's head, knocking her back, as Karma attempts to take possession of her.
Cyclops fires an optic blast at close range into Scalphunter, telling him that he takes no pleasure in beating people up, but Scalphunter is in a special class. Suddenly, Harpoon holds out his weapons and raises his hands as Jamie Madrox the Multiple Man, Sean Cassidy a.k.a. Banshee and Magik surround him. 'That's enough! We surrender! We surrender!' Harpoon calls out. Blockbuster tells the X-Men that they have to believe them, that they didn't attack anybody. He swears that someone has been messing with them. 'I saw what ya did in the tunnels! Ya murdering piece of -' Chamber begins, before Cyclops tells him that Blockbuster surrendered, so it is over. 'They don't get to decide when it's over...' Chamber mutters as he releases another powerful energy flare, which blazes across the Marauders and engulfs them. 'Jono! No! This isn't what we do! We're not killers!' Cyclops exclaims, grabbing Chamber by his shoulders.
'What the bloody hell do we do, Summers? You want to stop mutants from dying? This is it, mate. We kill the killers!' Chamber exclaims. 'Then who comes for us?' Cyclops asks. 'You swore to me if I rode with you, you'd let me -' Chamber begins, before a deadly harpoon is shoved through his stomach. 'Die, X-Man...!' Harpoon utters as he holds the harpoon in place through Chamber's body. 'You first' Hope Summers remarks as she then shoots Harpoon in the head at point-blank range.
Karma crouches beside Chamber and tells him to hang on. 'Bloody hell. I'm actually dying, aren't I?' Chamber asks, while Madrox explains to him that Harpoon's energy is doing something to his powers, as the energy from the harpoon darts about Chamber's body, and his psi-flare that covers his lower mouth vanishes. Cyclops looks down at Chamber and tells him that they are going to get him out of here. 'You, Summers. You killed me. #%&$ you forever' Chamber utters, before Cyclops instructs Magik to get them home, now. 'What about them?' Magik asks, motioning to the still burning Marauders. 'They're dead. Let's go' Cyclops replies. 'Going' Magik tells him as she surrounds the X-Men in a teleportation stepping disc.
An instant later, the X-Men emerge – into a blazing fury. 'What the...? Illyana, take us home!' Dani exclaims. 'I did...' Illyana replies. 'Harry's Hideaway, girl! Not Limbo' Dani declares, to which Illyana assures her that this is their home.
Cyclops quickly tells Juggernaut that they have people in the basement, and instructs him to get Dark Beast, Kwannon and Warlock – who he calls “Warlox” - out. 'On it, boss' Juggernaut responds, before Cyclops tells everyone else to get outside. Banshee unleashes a sonic scream to blast a hole in the wall. 'Make sure everyone is out!' Moonstar calls out, to which Havok tells her that the bar was closed, only their people would have been there. He starts to tell Magik to get Chamber to a hospital, when suddenly, Madrox lies Chamber on the ground clear of Harry's Hideaway and announces that he is gone, that his energy just went out. Before anyone can react, Juggernaut bursts up through the ground, 'Got 'em!' he calls out, carrying the Dark Beast and Warlox under his arms. 'Well, these two. No sign of Betsy' Juggernaut reports. 'She's not Betsy – doesn't matter' Havok begins, before Juggernaut looks down at Chamber and asks if he is dead.
'What a shame. He was such a uniquely gruesome specimen' a voice calls out. 'SINISTER!' Cyclops gasps as he turns to see the diabolical madman hovering above them. Sinister tells the X-Men that he is sorry about their living quarters, and explains that he simply came to chat – but when he disovered the X-Men were murdering his proteges while they peacefully waited for mass transit, his temper got the better of him. Sinister blocks energy fires by Cyclops and Havok, defelcts Dani's psychic arrow and prevents Karma from taking possession of his mind as he states that he would comment on how the mighty have fallen, but he fears they fell some time ago. 'Fielding a team of imitation X-Men in the back of a speakeasy is a bit beneath you, Scott, no?' Sinister remarks. Cyclops responds by telling Sinister that he was next on their list, and he saved them a trip. 'Your glorious species is on the eve of extinction and you are brawling with hoodlums in the streets and making plans to hunt exceptional men. You always lacked vision, but this is pathetic even for you' Sinister replies.
Firefighters rush onto the scene as Sinister exclaims that when mutants are but a small chapter in biology textbooks, the Polio of the 21st Century, he will make sure that Scott Summers is remembered. “The man who poked holes in his own sinking ship to let the water out” Sinister suggests, before Karma announces that she thinks she has got Sinister's mind. 'Do you now, mon enfant arrogant?' Sinister replies as he resists Karma's attack, and knocks her back, suggesting that she doesn't try her parlor tricks on people who are her superior in every conceivable way. 'My mind would be your grave, little girl' he adds. 'You talk a good game about how smart you are, Sinny. But you ain't getting much done besides a little light arson' Havok points out as he continues to blast Sinister with his energy. Sinister grins at Havok and calls him the weak link in the Summers genetic chain. 'When I want your opinion, Alexander... well, I actually can't fathom when that would ever happen' Sinister remarks, before the fire fighters move in closer – they all appear to look like Sinister. Sinister calls them the Sinister Fire Brigade and asks if he isn't the best nemesis, while one of the Sinisters knocks Havok over with a surge of water from a high-pressure hose.
As the Sinister Fire Brigade moves in on the X-Men, Dani tells her teammates to regroup on her, while Hope Summers asks if there are real people under there, or if they are Sinister all the way through. 'Knowing him, if they were real people, they're gone now' Madrox replies, while Magik tells the others that Sinister never fails to impress. 'This is literally my power set' Madrox points out, to which Magik tells him that Sinister makes it seem cooler. 'Forget this. I'm taking out the real one' Juggernaut mutters as he rushes towards Sinister, who grins, and admits that he is surprised to see Juggernaut here, adding that since Juggernaut isn't even a mutant, his surprise is far outweighed by his boredom. He grabs Juggernaut and hurls him skyward, promising to come find him if he ever develops an interest in studying crystals or brain damage. 'For now, let me show you all a trick my clones have been working on...' Sinister calls out, as his cloned fire fighters begin merging together into one giant Sinister. 'Ta-da! Impressive, aren't they?' Sinister boasts. 'Okay, that I can't do' Madrox mutters, looking up at the giant looming over them.
'You couldn't handle but one of me. What hope do you have now, X-Men?' the giant Sinister asks, smashing his fist into the ground and knocking the X-Men off their feet, although Cyclops manages to fire an optic blast at his chest. 'I'm done with this guy' Havok mutters, telling the other X-Men to stand back, he unleashes a powerful surge of energy that expands, larger and larger as it moves towards the Sinister giant. 'Alex! That's too much! ALEX!' Cyclops shouts, but Alex continues to pour the energy on, 'He's...not...stopping' Alex shouts back, before screaming as he increases the amount of energy further – until it tears through the Sinister giant, destroying it. 'Huh. I did not anticipate that' Sinister frowns, before supposing that he will surrender, he asks the X-Men not to set him on fire. 'Good job, little...' Cyclops begins, while Havok looks at his own hands. 'Holy crap' Madrox utters, as Havok's body appears to become transparent. Suddenly, 'This is the Westchester Police! Remain where you are!' a voice from a helicopter that darts nearby calls out to the X-Men. 'This looks bad. We have to go' Karma calls out, to which Moonstar asks her where they can go. 'I have a place' Karma announces.
The next morning, 'This is good' the Dark Beast remarks, looking at the transparent Havok, who sits up in a bed in Karma's Manhattan apartment. 'What about this is good?' Havok asks, looking at his body, while Scott, Dani and Karma stand around the bed. The Dark Beast explains that he was relatively sure Havok was going to lose molecular cohesion last night, so this is an improvement for him. 'I would have liked to see it. Now you rest and we wait' Dark Beast adds. Havok smiles and looks up at his brother as he tells him that last night sucked, and asks if he has any plans for tonight. Scott tells Alex that he needs to rest. 'Well, that's an opinion' Alex replies. 'But my doctor also said he wanted to see me evaporate. So I'm weighing all options right now' Alex smiles, before looking around the room and asking why he is the only one trying to cheer Scott up right now. Scott tells his brother that he is worried about him, and is wondering whether that all felt too easy.
Dani frowns and asks Scott what about last night felt easy. 'Sinister. He just gave up?' Scott points out. 'And I gave up trying to understand people like him a long time ago. You should too' Dani suggests. Karma then tells everyone to get out of the room – as much as she hates to say this, Dark Beast is right, Alex needs his rest. 'I'm staying' Scott responds. Karma agrees, but asks him to let Alex sleep.
Entering the living room, Karma turns to Warlox and instructs him to take Dark Beast back to his “quarters” before turning to Magik, Banshee, Hope and Juggernaut, and remarks that they already picked out their rooms, so they should go get some sleep. 'We already lost one teammate tonight. We stand by our own' Magik snaps. 'Fine, Illyana. But be quiet' Karma replies, before she and Dani walk down a corridor, Karma explains that her people took Jono's body and are dealing with everything. She adds that he had a family, so someone should call them. Dani offers to, before picking up a vase, she tells her friend that this place is amazing. 'What -' Dani begins, to which Karma interrupts, 'What is it?' she asks. 'No. I was going to ask what you were doing making us all live above that miserable bar when we could have been here...but sure, answer yours' Dani replies. Karma explains that she had her people start building it as soon as she could, that it took her a bit to get her life and her funds back in order after they were “cured”, and that she wanted to give everyone something nice, as a goodbye present.
'What?' Dani asks. Karma tells her not to act so surprised, and that she is smart enough to see this coming. 'I don't belong on the X-Men anymore' Karma announces. 'I've been hearing that a lot. It's not true, Shan' Dani tells her friend, grabbing her by the arm. Karma tells Dani that it is, that most of her friends on the X-Men are dead or not her friends anymore, all she has left is Dani, as the others don't trust her, and Illyana hates her. Dani points out that Illyana kind of hates everyone. 'She's not wrong to hate me. What I did to her, to my team... I was under my brother's influence, but that doesn't change it. I betrayed the people I care most about, and I can't just act like I didn't. And I can't fix it anymore' Karma declares. Dani asks her if this is about Rahne, to which Karma claims that she was leaving before Rahne's death, but here death didn't help her find a reason to stay. 'All of them – Roberto, Guido now Jono... and Rahne' Karma utters, tears in her eyes, she remarks that Rahne hated her, she could see it in her eyes – she died hating her, and she is just done. 'She quit before I could. And she died because of it' Karma adds.
'She died because she wouldn't fight back, Shan. If you -' Dani begins, embracing Karma, who interrupts her, declaring that she won't make that mistake, that she has her little brother and sister to watch out for, and she has arranged to take custody of Shogo, as well. 'But we're fighting for their future. Don't you want to be a part of that?' Dani asks. 'Are we? Because it feels to me like we're throwing ourselves at a wall just hoping it falls. And I don't want to know what's on the other side' Karma replies, before Dani asks her where she will go. 'I'm rich, Dani. I can go wherever I want...' Karma responds, adding that she owes it to her family to try and find a better future – while they still can.
Back in Havok's room, Scott looks down at his brother, who then asks if he wants to talk about this Emma Frost thing. 'You're supposed to be asleep' Scott replies. 'And you're not supposed to stare at people while they sleep. But here we are' Havok points out, before sitting up as Scott tells Alex that he is worried about him. 'I don't think you get how dangerous pushing yourself like that was' Scott remarks. 'Said the only guy to ever get shot in the face and not question any of their life choices afterward' Alex replies. 'I did question -' Scott begins, to which Alex tells him that it was a joke. 'My friend died tonight. I almost turned into a cloud and nobody has any idea why the least you could do is laugh at my jokes' Alex exclaims. 'Tell better jokes' Scott frowns. 'So... this Emma Frost person...' Alex begins.
Scott turns away from Alex and asks what there is to talk about – Emma appears to be a mutant psychic who has hidden herself from them. 'Makes sense. I'd do the same if I were her' Alex replies, before asking Scott why he isn't talking to the Juggernaut, as he said the two of them were very close. 'Cain says a lot of things that don't make sense' Scott points out. 'That's it? That's your answer?' Alex asks. 'We aren't going to talk about the mystery woman we all knew but none of us can remember?' he enquires. Cyclops opens the door and tells his brother that they are done here, that he has to go call Captain America and tell him to come pick up Sinister. 'Get some rest, Alex... you're going to need it'.
Elsewhere, Emma Frost the Black King frowns as she sits on a comfy throne, martini glass in hand. 'Well, Emma? What's happening?' Mystique asks as she stands nearby. 'Nothing' Emma replies, informing Mystique that the X-Men cleaned up their Marauders problem and somehow caught Sinister – but they still don't know anything. 'Damn Juggernaut...' Mystique remarks. Emma tells her that it doesn't matter, as nobody listens to that overgrown simpleton, and everything is still going according to plan. 'In fact, they're calling you right now, Mystique' Emma declares as she hands Mystique a cellphone, with “Scott Summers” on the screen indicating that he is calling her.