Twenty miles outside Ukistoval, Chernaya, civilians and the army are engaged in civil war – with several members of the Uncanny X-Men caught in the middle. Ororo Munroe a.k.a. Storm and Lorna Dane a.k.a. Polaris hover above the ground, while Sam Guthrie a.k.a. Cannonball circles them. Kurt Wagner a.k.a. Nightcrawler, Betsy Braddock a.k.a. Psylocke and Jubilee stand their ground, ready for action, while two newcomers arrive – two Horsemen of Salvation – Angel the Horseman of Life and Magneto the Horseman of Peace. The battle is engaged, with the X-Men keeping the civilians and army away from each other in an attempt to prevent any deaths, while the two Horsemen make their presence known – and Storm attempts to strike Magneto with a bolt of lightning, but he throws a forcefield up around himself. Betsy shoves her psi-knife into a soldier, while Jubilee keeps several of them back with her plasma blasts. Cannonball knocks back several civilians as Nightcrawler darts around them in an attempt to distract them, while Polaris throws up magnetic fields to keep the factions at bay.
'I know what you're thinking. If you really want to help people you can't just sit back and do nothing. There is too much evil in the world, too much anger and hatred. You have to change it. But that's not enough. You can't end war by taking away guns. You can't just stop people from hating. If you want to fix the world you need to show that there's a better way' Kitty Pryde declares. 'Ha! An adorable sentiment from an adorable child' the uber mutant called Apocalypse scoffs from where he is chained to a large X. 'Excuse me?' Kitty asks, chained to a chair herself. Apocalypse tells her that he meant no offense, but that her worldview belies a naivete so often found in her kind, but he did not mean to interrupt her meaningless diatribe. 'No, I'm always excited to hear the thoughts of a genocidal maniac! Please go on!' Kitty retorts.
X-Man walks towards Apocalypse, Kitty and the captive senator, Ashton Allen and tells Kitty that there is no reason for any unpleasantries, that they are all friends when they are in this room. X-Man then asks Apocalypse to tell him what he would do if he was trying to save the world. 'You disrespect me enough to hold me captive, yet you expect me to believe you would truly value my counsel?' Apocalypse replies. 'I do' X-Man tells him. 'Very well, “X-Man”. If you actually want to be a ruler of Earth worthy of the counsel of Apocalypse, there is a simple first step' Apocalypse responds. 'You fancy yourself a god of sorts as do I. Yet you let false prophets lead the masses down the paths of their false idols' Apocalypse explains. 'Fascinating' X-Man replies. 'Yeah. Really helpful' Kitty mutters. Apocalypse tells X-Man that if he wants to save Earth, he must cleanse it of its delusions of holiness. 'Okay. Let's give it a try' X-Man responds as he hovers above the others legs crossed. 'WHAT?' Kitty shouts.
Suddenly, holy buildings begin to vanish around the world –Vatican City. In Mecca, Saudi Arabia, and in Thiruvananthapruam, India. Golden energy spins around them – and then they are gone.
'It is done' X-Man announces. 'Nate, what did you just do?' Kitty asks. Nate reports that he has cleansed the world of its fake houses of worship and false prophets. 'Are you out of your mind? Put them back!' Kitty exclaims, wide-eyed. Nate reminds Kitty that they just discussed this and points out that she had no objections. 'I didn't think you were going to take Apocalypse seriously!' Kitty gasps. Nate points at Kitty and declares that Apocalypse has a place on his council, the same as she, but she opted not to debate, so he took up Apocalypse's suggestion. Nate adds that he does not expect Kitty to agree with Apocalypse, the opposite, in fact, but he does expect her to take this council seriously and respect any decisions that come from it. 'Are you psychotic?' Kitty snaps. 'No. I'm smart enough to know that I don't have all the answers' Nate replies, adding that if any of them knew for certain how to save the world, they would have, so he is listening to all sides and trying to find the best solution.
Kitty tells Nate that Apocalypse doesn't want to save the world, that he wants to burn it down. 'There aren't two sides to -' Kitty begins, before Nate silences her with an energy bond around her mouth. 'That's enough. I believe it's your turn, Senator Allen. What would you like to see done?' Nate asks, turning to the human senator.
Meanwhile, in the Gulf of Mexico, fifty miles off the Louisiana Coast. Jean Grey leads Bobby Drake a.k.a. Iceman, Jean-Paul Beaubier a.k.a. Northstar and Laura Kinney a.k.a. X-23 in a rescue mission as they load oil rig workers into a rescue jet. Jean telekinetically hovers over the water as she telepathically contacts Lucas Bishop and reports that she is pulling the last of the stranded workers out of the water, and they are all his. 'I don't want to die!' one of the workers shrieks as Jean telekinetically lifts him from an ice-platform onto the jet, where X-23 is waiting for him. 'You're not gonna die. I mean, not now. You will someday' X-23 tells him.
Suddenly, the remains of the oil rig are engulfed by strange plants that sprout up seemingly from nowhere. 'Umm...I don't remember all that nature stuff on that oil rig just a minute ago. Did I just fall asleep for a hundred years?' Bobby asks. Jean tells him that Omega Red and the Blob did something to it. 'The Blob's still basically just a fat guy right? I don't think this is something fat guys can normally do' Bobby remarks.
Jean levitates herself and X-23 over to the transformed oil rig, with Northstar flying alongside them and Bobby keeping up on his ice-sled. 'This makes no sense' Jean remarks, wondering if Blob and Omega Red were a distraction to keep them from X-Man. The X-Men come to a stop and examine their surroundings – plants including venus fly traps, and various animals appear. 'Perhaps? This certainly doesn't fit with their usual MO' Bobby remarks. 'Unless they've become eco-terrorists?' he suggests. X-23 looks at some frogs and tells the others that this is beautiful – weird, but beautiful. She adds that it feels like an improvement to her. Jean reminds her that they put the oil rig workers' lives in danger – who knows how many of them died. 'Too many' Northstar declares as he examines a venus fly trap. He reminds his teammates that they are used to that from Omega Red and Blob, they are murderers. 'But this... this makes no sense'.
Meanwhile, at the Xavier Institute for Mutant Education and Outreach, in his lab, Hank McCoy a.k.a. the Beast is examining something on a monitor, while the unconscious X-Men students Oya and Anole are in beds nearby. The Beast reminds himself that the vaccine should have been secure in his lab, he set up every security protocol. 'Note – review security protocols and upgrade where necessary' the Beast mutters as he continues to observe the monitors. He instructs the computer to bring up camera three and to replay any and all instances of anyone accessing the refrigeration unit, excluding all instances of himself. The computer then plays an image of a hooded figure standing in front of the refrigeration unit where the vaccine was being stored. 'I have you, you little thief' Beast remarks, while wondering who they are. He instructs the computer to run a comparison scan against the database, using height, weight, build, posture and movements to give him a list of potential matches.
Outside the Xavier Institute, civilian protesters are still in full force as Robert Herman – commonly called “Glob” pushes past them with Jamie Madrox the Multiple Man. 'Remind me again why we're helping these people' Madrox asks. 'Because it's the right thing?' Glob replies, reminding him that they took a vote. 'If you say so' Madrox mutters.
'COMING THROUGH! OUT OF THE WAY, PEOPLE! Please!' Glob shouts. They come to a barrier where several armed soldiers are keeping the civilians back. 'We're X-Men. This is our -' Glob begins. 'Yeah yeah. Go ahead' the soldier tells him, waving he and Madrox past. 'Oh my God...Legion did this?' Madrox asks, looking at the ruins of the Mansion. 'No' Glob replies, informing Madrox that Magneto, Blob, Omega Red and Angel did this. 'Warren? Damn, who can you trust these days?' Madrox replies.
'Hey, guys, we're back' Glob calls out as they approach his teammates, Megan Gwynn a.k.a. Pixie, Santo Vaccarro a.k.a. Rockslide and Hisako Ichiki a.k.a. Armor who along with Legion are lifting rocks and rubble. 'Good. Help us lift rocks. Cerebro's still buried' Rockslide declares. Legion looks at Madrox and tells him that it is good to see him. 'I realize you might have some questions. I...I... you must have so many...just hundreds of questions' Legion declares as he throws his arm around Madrox, embracing him. 'You kidnapped me. Chained me up' Madrox reminds Legion, who assures Madrox that he only needed Madrox's help to save the world. 'I'm sure you understand?' 'No' Madrox replies, before pushing Legion away and telling him not to touch him. He adds that he is only doing this for the kids, for the X-Men. 'But you stay the hell away from me. Understood?' Madrox tells Legion, before Rockslide pulls open the door to Cerebro and announces that Cerebro is open. 'We doing this or what?' he asks.
Legion, Madrox, Armor, Glob and Rockslide walk along the platform towards Cerebro, while Pixie hovers above them. 'Ah, perfect, perfect, perfect' Legion declares as he sits in the chair at Cerebro. Armor asks him how he plans to use this to find X-Man if he didn't show up on Cerebro for the other X-Men. Legion explains that X-Man is an omega-level mutant who knows how to hide himself well, that he operates at a different frequency, so it will just take a few modifications. 'You sure you trust this guy? I mean, he doesn't have the best history with the X-Men' Madrox quietly remarks to Armor, who stands with her hands on her hips and points out that Legion is the only one who seems to know what is going on around here. Legion tells Madrox that he doesn't blame him for having doubts. 'There. That should do it' he adds after completing the necessary modifications to Cerebro.
Legion looks back at Madrox and admits that he hurt him and that he understands he is going to have reservations about his motives. 'I know I'll have to earn your trust, and I aim to' Legion assures him, adding that he is not the enemy as he places the Cerebro helmet on his head, he declares 'With your help, we're going to stop the man who is'. He then asks the others to step outside, and tells them that this should just take a moment. He concentrates hard, then grins. 'There' he utters before the door to Cerebro opens again and Armor steps through. 'Well, did it work?' she asks as Legion puts the Cerebro helmet down. Legion reports that he found him and asks the young mutants if they are ready to save the world. 'Hell yes we are' Armor replies.
Back on the outskirts of Ukistoval, Chernaya, the battle continues to rage with the X-Men doing what they can to keep the soldiers and civilians apart, while Magneto hovers in the air above them. Betsy knocks some soldiers back with a psychic shield and sword, as Nightcrawler punches one of them in the face, and Jubilee causes a soldier to fall backwards by blasting her fireworks at him. 'What is Magneto doing?' Storm calls out to Polaris, who replies 'As far as I can tell, nothing'. Polaris looks up at her father and remarks that he is just watching, that it doesn't make sense. Polaris then flies up closer to her father and asks him what he is doing, what his play is. Magneto tells Lorna to stand down and that she and the X-Men should not be here. He suggests that they let these men sort it out themselves, now that the playing field has been leveled. 'They're going to kill each other!' Lorna exclaims.
Magneto asks Lorna what she would have him do – give them back their instruments of death? Polaris frowns and asks her father where X-Man is – the man he holds in such high regard that he deemed it necessary to build a tacky tribute to. 'Where do we find him?' Polaris exclaims as she uses her power to levitate the massive monument that looks like X-Man, created from the weapons of the soldiers, into the air. Magneto's eyes glow as he tells Polaris to put the tribute back – to put it back and take her X-Men and leave this place. 'This is as X-Man has commanded it and, though I do not wish to, I will fight you to preserve his wish' Magneto warns Polaris, who responds by crushing the monument of X-Man within her magnetic field. 'Oops' Lorna jokes. Magneto just narrows his eyes.
Back on the ground, Storm uses a gust of wind to knock back several soldiers while Cannonball and Psylocke stand nearby. 'Elizabeth, are you sure about this?' Storm asks. 'No, but we need to try' Betsy replies. Storm agrees and tells Sam that he is up. 'Yes, Ma'am' Cannonball responds as he blasts skywards – straight into Angel, grabbing him by his waist and forcing him upwards, higher and higher – until they are in space! Cannonball tells Angel that he apologizers for this. 'But you're not yourself and we need you back on the side of the angels... so to speak' Cannonball remarks, telling Angel to forgive him if he doesn't talk much, but the air is terribly thin up here. Cannonball comes to a stop, and Angel gasps for air.
At that moment, Magneto fires a powerful blast of energy at Storm and Polaris. They respond in kind, with Storm summoning lightning and Polaris throwing up a magnetic field. 'Do not waver, Lorna!' Storm calls out. 'I'm not sure we've got a choice. Wavering feels imminent!' Polaris responds as she digs her heels into the ground to maintain position.
Several sonic booms can be heard, and moments later, Angel crashes back to the ground. He looks up from the crater which was created upon impact and finds Betsy standing over him. 'Hullo, Warren' Betsy remarks. Warren Worthington III climbs out of the crater and Betsy tells him to come back to them. 'I don't know what's happened to you, but I know you and this...this isn't you' she tells him. Warren tells Betsy that she is wrong, that this is the perfect distillation of his true self, that X-Man has shown him the way, cleared away all the noise to reveal only his pure being. Betsy tells Warren to look around him, pointing out that this is chaos – people are dying and this isn't a way to remake the world. 'Birth... rebirth is pain, Betsy. But it will be fleeting and when we are done, what's left will be worth it' Angel explains. Warren then tells Betsy that it isn't too late for her, that they would have her by their side, the two of them together again – it would be beautiful. 'I...' Betsy begins, looking into Angel's eyes. Warren tells her that all it takes is a word.
'I'm sorry' Betsy replies. '... Betsy?' Warren asks, confused as Betsy stands before him and suddenly reveals the psychic sword she had manifested behind her back. Betsy appears angry as she slams the sword into Angel, who screams and drops to his knees. Betsy tells him that she is sorry, that they didn't see another way. Suddenly, Angel looks up at Betsy – only he isn't Angel anymore – he's Archangel. His eyes glow red as he tells Betsy that he hopes she is happy, that he hopes it was worth it – because she has taken the only peace he has ever known – she has ruined him forever!