Charles Xavier’s astral form rises above the planet’s stratosphere and toward Starcore One, the brainchild of his friend Dr Peter Corbeau. His astral form looks around the space station which has been damaged indiscriminately. It’s like a powerful child has been wandering the corridors, smashing objects at random. He senses chaotic thought patterns ahead – the crew are terrified.
Ahead, the three metallic beings torture Peter Corbeau. One of the three, a bearded one with a Mohawk, explains to the others that he found “it” trying to talk with its mind; it was calling to the world below for help.
Corbeau screams in pain, then mutters that the satellite is devoted to peaceful exploration. They mean no harm. Please stop hurting his friends!
A second knight, a female one and younger than the others, laughs that the Peter Corbeau is funny. The first knight agrees. He told them it was the best one. And there are billions more like these. A third less amused one with a lengthy head asks why they are wasting their time. Let’s move! Victory is truth, he tells the bearded one, calling him Burning Moon. Burning Moon angrily tells him not to quote the lifecode at him. Calling him Cloud Runner, he reminds him he leads because he thinks. Then think of war, Cloud Runner, replies. He wants blood on his sword and fire beneath his feet! Show him the honor field!
Xavier’s astral form enters, sensing that the minds of Corbeau and his crewmates are screaming. They’ve been subjected to crude psionic invasion. Their psyches have been tortured! What are these three creatures? he wonders. He senses nothing but static when he scans them. A psiblast would be useless. Their armors must be shielded.
Burning Moon, in the meantime, promises Cloud Runner they’ll have their war soon enough. What say they arm their heads before they march off? He wants more knowledge of the terrain before they strike.
Xavier’s astral form nears Corbeau and tries to mentally help him. Corbeau tells him they found them on the surface of the sun but they detected them. The things they did to his friends… they are monsters!
Oh joy, Cloud Runner states sarcastically. He wants knowledge, and how do they find it sitting around here? Well, that’s the thing, Burning Moon replies and grabs Xavier’s astral form by the throat. It just found them. Did it think he couldn’t see it? Burning Moon asks Xavier. He is Burning Moon. He sees the dust gathering on the corpse of time.
Xavier thinks this is impossible. All things are possible for legends, Burning Moon answers his thoughts and strikes him with a mental blast. They are the Knights of Hykon!
The youngest, Sky Song, marvels that now she can see it too. What is it? A stray thought, Burning Moon replies. He’s getting a familiar feeling. Do they remember when they came across the guardian of the ascending cluster? He thinks the world that spawned this thing has much to offer them. He orders Cloud Runner to go and mark the territory. It’s theirs now. Let the enemy know that!
Finally, Cloud Runner exclaims while Sky Song pouts that she wanted to do that. Burning Moon tells her she is on scouting duty. He’ll show her the path this creature travelled. Take it back to its origin. He wants to see where it came from.
At Xavier’s, in the kitchen, Wolverine announces to the other waiting X-Men – Banshee, Colossus and Nightcrawler, that there are a lot of things he does well, but waiting ain’t one of them. Why are they letting Summers and co treat them like a pack of grunts? Sean tells him to be patient. Kurt points out that Professor Xavier summoned the others over an hour ago. It would be polite to keep them informed. They will call them when they are needed, Colossus decides.
He’s a regular tin soldier, ain’t he? Wolverine needles him. He bets Charley gives him an extra gold star on his report card this month. Peter thanks him, but the professor does not… Wait, this is sarcasm? If his lips are moving, then yes, Kurt states.
Wolverine tosses aside his coffee mug. If they want to play in the nursery while the grown-ups talk, fine, he’s getting some air. They were asked to stay inside, Banshee reminds him. If he catches a chill, he’ll scream for help, Wolverine promises and leaves.
That man’s a powder keg, to be sure, Banshee muses. One day he’s going to blow, and heaven help anyone standing in his way. Kurt admits he knows how Wolverine feels. There is a wrongness abroad tonight. Can’t they sense it? They are on the edge of something huge, something terrible! Sean tells him with a smile not to let his imagination carry him away. All he’s sensing is a caffeine overload. He’ll just poke his head around the door and see what’s what.
Walking through the dark den, he admits to himself that his skin’s been crawling, too. Feels like that time in Prague when he got inside that gunrunning ring. The job looked like it was going smooth, but somehow he knew his luck had run out. He orders himself to stop being stupid. They are the X-Men. What could there be what they can’t handle? He walks on, unaware that Sky Song has found them.
In the lab, Xavier is sitting strapped in a chair, wearing a strange helmet and watched by Moira, Lilandra and Cyclops, who tells Sean to come in. Any change? Lilandra asks Moira. All biosigns are stable, Dr MacTaggert replies. So far, so good.
Banshee asks what happened to Charles. He isn’t here, Cyclops replies simply. The professor received a distress call from Peter Corbeau on StarCore One. When it got cut off, h decided to project his psionic form to investigate. Moira explains that they’ve amplified Charles’ range with some Shi’ar technology provided by Lilandra. She begged Charles not to attempt this, Lilandra adds. The neural lattice was not designed for a human mind, but he was adamant.
Banshee secretly wonders. He though Lilandra came to Earth with just the clothes she was wearing. Where did this gadget come from?
Moira explain to Lilandra that Charles would gladly risk his life for Peter Corbeau. Lilandra understands, but it hurts seeing him like an empty shell. She kisses his cheek, praying he is well.
In the kitchen, the invisible Sky Song watches the mutants, namely Kurt and Peter, drinking coffee and reading newspapers. She pouts that these things aren’t fun at all. She makes a disgusted noise when Wolverine comes in. He informs the others he changed his mind. He’s gonna get some exercise in the Danger Room. Who’s with him? They are not allowed to take part in unsupervised sessions, Colossus points out. Oh, render unto me a freakin’ break! Wolverine groans. Does he need permission to cross the street? Live a little!
He supposes they could just use the room as a gym, Kurt offers a compromise… play some Fussball… Great, how about a fast game of tiddlywinks if that ain’t too stressful, Wolverine suggests. C’mon, he wants to slice something, for pete’s sake! For his sake? Peter asks. It’s just an expression, Kurt explains. Ah, like by the white wolf, he gets it. Sky Song is bored out of her mind.
Wolverine dons his mask. So, neither of them wants to break some walls? Punch out a robot? Dodge those stupid flamethrowers? He thinks they will leave him to his workout, Kurt replies, hope he doesn’t mind. Nah, that’s okay, he replies. He got it nailed down now. Her scent, he shouts and claws at Sky Song.
Immediately, she becomes visible. Unhurt, she announces that she was wrong. They are clever little things. Colossus armors up and politely asks her to surrender. He has no desire to harm her. Manifesting an energy lance, she announces it is much prettier now. She thinks Burning Moon was right, this world is going to be fun! She hits Colossus with her lance, with such a force he is thrown through the kitchen wall.
In the lab, Cyclops orders Lilandra and Moira to stay and protect the professor.
In the kitchen, Wolverine tells Nightcrawler to go after Colossus. He’ll take care of the steel chick. He snarls he’s gonna cut that tin can she’s wearing open and puree whatever’s inside! She manifests a shield to hold him back, then grabs his claws when he tries to attack. Sky Song muses that its pointy bits would hurt little animals. It needs to calm down. She hits him in the head with her mace.
Nightcrawler rushes towards Colossus, who lies unmoving when he is caught by Sky Song’s energy whip. It sends spikes of energy through him, keeping him from teleporting. He manages to wiggle free, much to her amusement. He kicks her in the face. She strikes him, remarking he is a little rude thing.
Cyclops orders Banshee to catch Nightcrawler. He tries to blast her but she deflects the optic blast with her shield. She creates a huge hammer and brings it down, wondering if he can move as fast as his friends. Scott barely dodges it. She playfully dodges both Cyclops’ optic blast and Banshee’s sonic scream.
Colossus gets up again, thinking the girl hit harder than the Juggernaut. He grabs a tile from the ground and throws it at her. Oh good! she exclaims, the shiny thing is back! She kicks the tile away. Usually the natives just run and scream… these ones are really are special! She swats away Sean as she muses it’s almost like they are pretending to be knights!
Cyclops wishes Storm and Phoenix were here but the two ladies are flying across Manhattan after an adventure of their own. Jean happily reminisces about the night, then notices Storm is quiet and asks what is bugging her. Storm replies there is a disturbance in the wind and soil. Jean marvels that Ororo can feel things like that. Human minds is one thing, but to connect with the whole planet, that must be wonderful. Not tonight, Storm replies somberly. Something wrong has arrived; it is tainting the very essence of the world.
Jean suddenly screams. She felt Xavier screaming psychically, and now there’s nothing!
A moment later, the sky turns red. Rain falls and it’s hot!
Aboard the SHIELD helicarrier, Colonel Nick Fury demands to know why the sky lit-up bright like Krakatoa. Agent Porter replies that reports are still being collated but the atmospheric disturbance is spreading at an astonishing rate. They estimate complete planetary coverage in under three hours. The origin seems to be about five hundred miles due east.
Fury orders he wants that gunk analyzed. Get him Reed Richards on the horn. No luck, an agent replies. The Fantastic Four are exploring the Negative Zone. They’re not due back for five days. What about the Avengers? Their butler says they are currently in the nineteenth century… Figures, Fury swears.
Sky Song is still fighting the X-Men. Cyclops has the sinking feeling that while she is countering their attacks, she doesn’t have to. It’s like she is playing with them.
Nightcrawler teleports atop her and takes away her sword. He teleports again. Oh, bluetail’s tricky, she smiles. It can spacefold. She does something and Nightcrawler screams, as his teleportation seems to go awry. Nevertheless, he’s gone.
Aboard the Helicarrier, an agent informs Fury they are tracking a UFO on a collision course with the Helicarrier. Fury asks for a visual. It’s Cloud Runner flying towards them. The agent states that his energy signature matches the atmospheric disruption. What the heck is that? The enemy, Fury replies and gives orders for the starboard batteries to lock on target. On his mark… fire!
They fire and it doesn’t even faze Cloud Runner. A metal airship filled with light and smoke and frightened animals, he marvels. What will they think of next? Ah well, Burning Moon wanted him to be the messenger, so he’d best write a message! He lifts the Helicarrier and throws it at the ground.
On the ground, Sky Song still easily fends off the X-Men and announces to Burning Moon that she is getting bored. Can she finish here? Thanks, she replies a moment later, taking out Cyclops and then throwing Colossus into the trees. These things were interesting, she decides, but she bets there is a lot more to see and they do deserve a proper death.
Banshee is the last one standing. He hits her with the tightest strongest scream of his life. It’s got to work, he prays. Shh, Sky Song chides him and blasts him.
Seeing him fall, Moira MacTaggert runs towards him. Cradling his unconscious form, she looks up to see a newcomer. She asks for help. Her hopes are shattered the next moment when she sees that the newcomer is another huge unknown knight, brandishing a sword.
Above, in the sky, Jean tells Ororo that the whole city is screaming. She has to block her psi-powers down or her head’s gonna burst. Can’t she stop this rain? She’s tried, Storm replies. It is not part of the natural order. It’s alien – beyond her influence.
They hear a crashing nose and see lightning flashing from Central Park. There, another female knight with hornlike appendages on her head and hooves has manifested. Is this the new honorfield? she harrumphes. Smells like a dungheap.
Phoenix tells her she just made a huge hole in her favorite park and she’s got a feeling she’s the reason this weather has turned apocalyptic. Start talking before she starts punching!
Flying mammals gabbering at her, the newcomers states and manifests a lance. This must be a welcome ritual on this world. It would be rude not to respond. She tosses the lance at Jean’s head and Jean falls.
Storm generates an updraft to slow Phoenix’s descent and Ororo wonders how the spear could slice through Jean’s telekinetic shield.
The newcomer asks if they liked that. A watcher somewhere else states that the Mist rises. Convergence is near.
Storm does what she still can. Manifesting storm winds to strike the stranger who is not impressed. She suggests perhaps she could blow that away. Storm looks around to see what she is pointing at and sees in horror that the Helicarrier is falling towards them.