Jubilee runs through a dark Chicago alleyway, being chased by a car whose headlights approach ever closer. She trips and falls, and sees the car looming. Suddenly, a bright light descends from the sky, and as it gets closer, Jubilee recognizes it as the Phoenix. It destroys the car with ease, and Jubilee is impressed. However, she asks herself why she’s even more scared than before.
She turns and sees Wolverine, strapped to an X-shaped crucifix. He’s awake, and replies that maybe it’s because thing’s ain’t precisely what they seem. Jubilee remembers this moment clearly. It was on the night, when, for the second time in less than a year, her life changed forever. She gets him down, but this time she remembers not to get trapped by his weight. She helps him as he struggles to the old shacks in the Australian Outback. Jubilee knows that this is just a James Cameron moment; some recreation of her own personal ancient history, except for the Chinatown scene. She has no idea where that came from.
She sees the enigmatic Gateway sitting silently high above them. She wonders if this is his doing, or whether he’s just part of the set dressing. She wants answers, and says it was awful enough seeing Wolverine being tortured the first time. Why did he being her back?
Suddenly, Jean Grey appears, wearing an all-green costume covering her whole body and with the Phoenix raptor surrounding her. She holds out her hand as several others appear behind her, including Psylocke and Tyger Tiger. Jean tells her they have been gathered for a purpose. Jubilee will join them in this enterprise. Jubilee thinks not, and drags Wolverine through a doorway. Unfortunately, she doesn’t see a hole in the floor, and they drop through it. They’re fine, but Wolverine is still pretty immobile.
She recognizes the place as being the catacombs beneath the town. History repeats itself, she thinks. Big whoop. She doesn’t like this dream at all, but must continue to play along. She picks up Wolverine and they make their way though the catacombs. She asks Logan if he has any idea what’s happening, but Logan replies that it’s her dream. She’s gotta find the solution. As they walk, Jubilee sees company approaching. She climbs up between the pipes that line the walls, and manages to drag Logan up with her. His hands won’t close as a result of the crucifixion.
The three women approaching are all wearing green, just like Jean Grey. Tyger Tiger, an Asian crimelord from Madripoor, owes Wolverine her life. Her outfit is oriental in style. Psylocke is a member of the X-Men. Her outfit is more in keeping with her personality, and shows plenty of flesh. Jessica Drew used to be known as Spider-Woman. Now, she’s a full-time private eye based in Madripoor. She walks on the walls, and searches for Jubilee and Logan. Jubilee knows that Psylocke is the most dangerous of the three. She’s a telepath, and Jubilee has to remember her training so as not to have her thoughts reveal her presence.
Psylocke creates her psychic knife, which lights up the darkness with a violet glow. Jubilee almost drops her clog to the floor, but catches it with her toes. She thinks they’ve gotten away with hiding, until a drop of blood from Wolverine’s wrist drips to the floor. “Thanks a lot, Wolverine. Who gave you permission to bleed?” she remarks as she unleashes a burst of plasmoids at their pursuers. The brightness blinds them, and the concussive impact packs quite a punch. She grabs Wolverine and runs. They need to get as much distance between them before their senses come back on line. Jubilee informs him that she counted seven on the roof. The four they haven’t seen are real trouble.
As they prepare to make their escape, the wall comes crashing down and, through the gaping hole, come Rogue and Yukio. The Japanese warrior hurls three daggers at Jubilee, which go right into her chest. “I’m dead, I’m dead, I’m dead,” she cries, “I’m… falling through the wall?”
Jubilee finds herself in the crisp cool air of a spring night in Massachusetts’ Berkshire Mountains. She realizes she’s about three stories up, but her savior tells her to trust her. It’s not the fall Jubilee will have to worry about. “Deep breath, Jubilee - make like you’re swimming,” she’s told. Suddenly, everything goes dark, and Jubilee realizes she’s not in the water; she’s underground. Soon, as the air in their lungs begins to burn, they surface. They are fired from the ground like they’ve been shot from a catapult, and land clumsily on the ground.
Jubilee stands, and instinctively summons some of her ‘fireworks.’ As she attacks her savior, she realizes that it’s Kitty Pryde. She is carrying Lockheed on her shoulder, and wearing the familiar green garb like the others. She tells Jubilee that they can fight some other time. Right now, they’re on a clock and it’s running fast. She assures Jubilee that she isn’t the enemy. She came to save her, and needs her help.
Jubilee replies that it’s bad enough that Kitty can phase her skinny butt through walls, it doesn’t give her the right to go touring other folks’ memories. She’s furious, and figures she’ll finish with her fists what she started with her fireworks. The attack proves just as effective. Kitty phases, and Jubilee passes straight through her. Kitty turns. Jubilee tells her she hates it when she ghosts. “So do I,” replies Kitty. Intangibility is pretty much her natural state. She has to remind herself, and concentrate fairly hard to turn solid.
Kitty informs Jubilee that the dreams weren’t her doing, or her fault. She apologizes if pulling her out of the dorm and underground scared her, but there wasn’t any time to explain. Jubes asks what’s to explain, and asks where the heck they are anyway. Kitty replies that they’re roughly thirty clicks west of the school. When they phased underground, they remained at rest relative to the Earth. Its planetary rotation did the rest. “Cool,” says Jubilee. Kitty adds that the problem is, it can only go one direction and the world’s moving around the sun as well. Get careless and you can get left behind, big-time. “Cold,” replies Jubes.
Kitty’s prowling makes Jubilee nervous, but Kitty tells her that time is short. She’s on the run, and now, so is Jubilee. She informs her that the opposition is being run by a world-class terrorist named Viper. There’s none better when it comes to poisons. Somehow, she’s gotten her fangs into six women members of the X-Men and people they know. Jubilee figures that, if Viper can nail the likes of them, she must be serious. She suddenly has a reality check, and reminds Kitty that they were all wearing green leather, with lipstick and hair highlights to match. So is Kitty! She replies that she was on the list.
Jubilee is a little skeptical about this, but asks what Viper is after. Kitty asks her to think about what they all have in common. That’s her answer. “Wolverine,” answers Jubilee, correctly. Kitty informs her that it’s a good idea to have the people who know him best take him down. They’re the ones Logan won’t fight. She thinks he must be warned and Viper stopped.
Jubilee asks why she should trust her, dressed the way she is. Kitty replies that she’s a ghost. Her thoughts can be as hard to grasp as her body. Viper managed only a partial “makeover” before she slipped loose. Jubilee is still not one hundred percent trusting of her, but before she can think about it too much, Kitty senses the others coming. She tells Jubilee she’ll go alone, but they have a better chance as a team. Solo, Jubilee has none. Jubilee agrees to help her, and as Jean Grey and Rogue fly towards them, Jubilee has Gateway teleport them out of there.
They travel from one end of the world to the other, and from night into day. Kitty asks the diminutive Gateway how he heard their call. Jubilee replies that he doesn’t talk much, but it’s what he does. She thanks the old guy, and they head into a small village. Jubilee has some clothes stashed away, and Kitty tries some of them on. She tries on Jubilee’s yellow overcoat and shades, but looks like a mallrat. She then tries a college jacket and skirt on, but figures that not only is Jubilee a mallrat; she’s pure Los Angeleno and has no taste, and less mercy. She laughs as Kitty tries on one costume after another, and Lockheed, “The Traitor,” giggles alongside her. Eventually, Kitty opts for a Lara Croft-style outfit, consisting of shorts, tight T-shirt with a small black jacket.
Kitty asks Jubes if this is where she hid Wolverine, after the Reavers… Jubilee’s excitement dissipates, as she recalls the occasion. It was pretty grim back then, she explains. She didn’t know about Logan’s healing factor back then. She figured she’d brought him down there to die. Even then, he was so weak for so long afterwards, there’s no way he would have survived on his own. Kinda like now, she adds, popping her bubble gum. “The Wolverine Rescue Squad is back in business.”
She reckons Gateway will get them wherever they want to go, but with a whole world to choose from, she’s got no clue where to start looking. Kitty smiles, and tells Jubilee to leave that to her.
A beautiful valley in the shadow of Mount Logan is their next destination. Thanks to the International Date Line, it’s the previous day. Mount Logan is the highest point in Canada, and two hundred klicks from the nearest settlements. Kitty gives Jubilee a history lesson about the place, and says she’s studied Logan’s past, as she has with all her teammates. Being strong or talented won’t save the day. It’s knowing how to use that strength.
Jubilee isn’t too happy about being there, especially when she gets snow in her boot. It’s much colder here than in Australia. She calls for Gateway to take her home, but the old man isn’t listening. “Guess who’s in for a major bruising?” jokes Jubilee. They enter a shack, and she asks Kitty what’s so special about this dump, anyway. Kitty tells her that, there, Wolverine met a man who couldn’t be killed. That man took from him someone he loved. Kitty notices a damp glass on the table and a fresh cigar. They’ve only just missed Wolverine. “Terrif!” replies Jubilee. “So what comes next?”
A massive explosion destroys the shack, sending Jubilee sprawling to the floor. Above them, she sees Rogue circling in. She warns Jubilee to behave, or she’ll receive the same treatment as the shack. She approaches Jubilee, but is caught full in the face with one of Jubilee’s firework bursts. Despite being nigh on invulnerable, the impact knocks the wind out of Rogue, and the momentary distraction is all Kitty needs. She phases her hand into Rogue’s neck. Her intangibility has the effect of short-circuiting electrical circuits. It has the same effect on Rogue’s spinal cord; the body’s primary power conduit.
Rogue falls, but Kitty turns to see Tyger Tiger with a pistol aimed at Jubilee’s temple. Instantly, Kitty dives through Kitty and solidifies the upper part of her body, leaving Jubilee where she is but taking Tyger down hard. As they stand, Tyger points the pistol at Kitty, but she tells her gun cannot hurt her. “That is not its purpose,” replies Tyger, and she fires. Instead of a bullet coming out, a murky gray fixative is expelled which actually bonds to Kitty’s phased form. It debilitates her, and Jubilee asks what she’s done. Tyger tells her Kitty’s simply being packaged for shipment. Rogue recovers and warns Jubilee not to try her lightshow again. She won’t be caught out twice.
Suddenly, Lockheed makes a play, descending towards Tyger and Rogue before unleashing a sea of fire from its mouth. Rogue grabs Tyger and gets her airborne. The flame is hotter than a blast furnace. Jubilee congratulates Lockheed as he grabs her and Kitty and disappears through a fresh portal created by Gateway.
This is a small town, in Miyago Prefecture, on the main island of Honshu, roughly 300 klicks north of Tokyo. It’s the ancestral seat of Clan Yashida. Gateways delivers his cargo with a bump. Kitty’s body is totally enveloped in Tyger Tiger’s goo, but Jubilee is fine, despite the rough ride. She swears that if she gets dumped into one more snow bank, somebody’s gonna die for it. In the darkness, Logan is standing alone, wearing only a pair of Hakama pants and holding a staff. “Best be careful, Jubilation… else that someone might be you.”
He isn’t expecting company, but he’s not surprised to see them. He tells Jubilee that she has an instinct for trouble, but Kitty; she’s another thing altogether. Jubilee replies that he’s got major grief, courtesy of some nutjob calls herself Viper. Before she can finish, Wolverine notices blades flying through the air, and acts with the speed of a leopard. He leaps in front of Jubilee, and deflects the blades with his staff. One of the blades careers off Kitty’s hardened body, but does her no damage.
Jubilee doesn’t want him to hurt their assailant, and Wolverine hopes she doesn’t give him that choice. Yukio somersaults from a rooftop, laughing. She knows no fear, and acknowledges no equal. She unleashes more blades in Logan’s direction, but again he deflects them with his staff. Despite Yukio’s prodigious martial arts skills, Wolverine’s are better, and he manages to deliver a punishing heel to Yukio’s chin which sends her sprawling. Unfortunately, this distraction allows Psylocke to get in close, using telepathy to mask her presence. She creeps up behind Logan, and plunges her psychic knife straight through his brain. He drops instantly.
(Wolverine’s psychic hallucinations)
Logan lies helplessly on the ground, as Psylocke’s hallucinations warp his thoughts. He sees the slither of scales and smells the scent of perfumes as six shapes close in around him. The women he knows so well become snakes, and he can feel their hunger. He pops his claws, preparing to fight to the death. Jean Grey tells him that to save himself, will he kill her? As her fangs connect with his neck, this hallucination shatters as Psylocke’s poison burns ever deeper. Time loses all meaning for Logan, and he finds himself at the town with his name. Silver Fox is there; the woman who holds his heart. It’s a happy time. He catches the fish, and Silver Fox cooks. They’re so young in spirit, and so in love. His dream suddenly becomes a nightmare as out of the shadows comes Sabretooth to bring his cozy fantasy to a fatal end.
As the snakes continue to poison Wolverine, his dreams turn to Mariko Yashida; mistress of Clan Yashida. Logan loves her, and he is her champion. He wears the ancestral honor sword of her family, but he is unable to save her from a deadly dose of puffer fish venom. The neural toxin kills her slowly, and in agony. Logan kneels down beside her. He knows the end is near. He knows what he must do, and so does she. As they kiss, he punctures her body with his claws, and Mariko’s short life ends.
The snake women won’t let him be. They hound him at every turn. For Logan, seeing Mariko die again frees the beast inside of him. He lashes out mercilessly, and is after blood. From above, Jubilee appears with a rope ladder, and uses her fireworks to keep the snake women at bay. He ignores her, but Jubilee has other ideas. She informs Logan that she went to a lot of trouble to rescue him, and she offers her hand for him to grab. Luckily, Logan hesitates. “Nice try, girl, but this is a lie, an’ so are you!”
The image of Jubilee fades away and is replaced by Viper. Wolverine charges her but, under Viper’s mental thrall, Viper has Jean Grey simply stop him in his tracks using her telekinesis. They are no longer in Japan, but instead find themselves in Madripoor; upstairs in the owner’s suite of the Princess Bar. Somehow, when Psylocke was nailed by Psylocke’s psychic knife, a kind of empathic link was created between Wolverine and Shadowcat. It allows her access to an echo of his feelings; the merest portion of what his senses tell him in full measure. Even this small proportion almost overwhelms Kitty. She doesn’t dare imagine what it’s like for him as he struggles against Jean’s telekinesis. Viper doesn’t know it yet, but she’s in real trouble.
Viper feels that Logan isn’t yet tractable enough, and tries to get Jean to increase her hold on him, but Logan’s will is unbeatable. As he fights all the way, Tyger Tiger is grabbed suddenly from behind. Another hand goes over Jubilee’s mouth. She’s tied to a chair behind most of the other women, and the newcomer doesn’t want her screaming out. She whispers to Jubilee that she needs a small diversion and, after releasing her, Jubilee unleashes a small barrage of fireworks. Kitty’s shell is shattered, as the Black Widow launches herself feet first at Jean Grey. She connects, and swiftly turns to land a left cross on Psylocke’s jaw. Viper is next, falling to the Widow’s bite. In no time at all, Natasha Romanov has used her formidable fighting skills to take out the group’s three most powerful individuals.
Wolverine, now freed from Jean’s assault, heads for Viper. Rogue gets in the way, though. His claws mess up her green costume, but her skin’s tough as armor plate and doesn’t even scratch. She doesn’t hit him back. She kisses him instead. With anyone else, one touch means the fight is over. Not Wolverine. The last time anyone struggled this hard - the transfer became permanent. Kitty won’t allow that to happen again. She phases Rogue right through Logan’s body, and feels the tug of her power against her own. She fights the feeling, and cuts her loose, just in time for Rogue to be caught right between the eyes by Betsy’s psychic knife. It has to hurt, and part of Kitty is glad about it.
She looks around to see Jessica and Yukio pulling a tag-team on the Widow. She doesn’t need Kitty’s help. Viper decides to leave, but she’s too late. Logan sees her and is quickly in pursuit. Seeing Logan’s fury, Kitty knows she has to stop him before he does anything he’ll regret. She phases through the floor with Jubilee in tow, just in time, as Jean Grey wakes up. She’s not a happy camper. The question is - whose side is she on?
Viper descends into the basement, but Wolverine is hot on her trail and with his claws ready to strike. Kitty gives Viper credit. She knows what’s coming but she isn’t scared. She retaliates to Logan’s attack by blasting at him with two pistols. She fights hard, and even tries to reason with Logan. She tells him that she never meant to do him harm, but she could think of no other way to bring him to Madripoor. His friends would know best how to find and capture him, and do him no lasting injury. She asks him to remember this place, and to remember what happened there. “Remember your vow!”
It doesn’t do much good, as Wolverine lunges at her. She avoids his initial flurry, and leaps about acrobatically as the claws try their best to remove her limbs. Kitty and Jubilee phase through the ceiling and land with a thump on the stone floor.
They watch as the two warriors do the dance of death, and Jubilee thinks Logan killing her will serve her right. Kitty is the voice of reason, and has no intention of letting that happen. Viper reminds Logan that he swore an oath on Seraph’s tomb, by all he holds most sacred. “Whatever I ask, you said, whenever I ask it. Is this how you keep your word?” Kitty notices that Logan is beyond rational thought, and has to find a way of stopping him. Jubilee tells her she better act fast, ‘cause she’s a bad feeling about what’s coming.
Through the darkness comes Jean Grey, flames following in her wake. She’s furious, and Kitty bravely steps up to tackle her. “You’re crazy!” remarks Jubilee, but Kitty is transfixed at the sight of her. She can only imagine what might happen if Jean ever yields to the dark side of human nature.
As Jean flashes past, Kitty phases into her, and for a brief moment, they merge. Their bodies and minds are momentarily one. Then, Jean’s mental defenses kick in. Kitty is pummelled by the forces created, and it leaves her barely conscious. There’s no way she can get to Wolverine. Luckily, she doesn’t have to. Jubilee bravely puts herself between him and Viper, and shouts at him to stop. All the women then enter the basement to see how this turns out.
Jubilee pleads with Logan, who still has his fingers clenched around Viper’s throat. She tells him that just because Viper’s a low-rent mook; it doesn’t mean he has to join her. Everything she’s ever learned about being a hero, she learned from him. Shadowcat figured he was worth fighting for; maybe even dying, and so does she. “Was that all a lie?” she asks. Wolverine snarls as his rage is halted. Jubilee points out that a beast has instincts, but a man has honor. Which is he? Logan pauses, but then retracts his claws. The onlookers breathe a sigh of relief, as Jubilee asks why the bimbo came after him so hot and heavy.
A lifetime ago, Wolverine appointed himself the keeper of the X-Men’s collective conscience. He told Kitty they were heroes, and were supposed to play by the rules, because if they didn’t, why should anybody? The powers, they’re born with. How they use them; the life they live, well that’s a matter of choice. Wolverine made those words real to Kitty. Like Jubilee, much of who Kitty is comes from him. She believes in him with all her heart. His next words break it.
Wolverine relaxes and puts his arms around Viper who reciprocates. Answering Jubilee’s question, Wolverine answers, “The oldest reason there is, Jubilee. Viper is my wife!
Kitty’s life is turned to ashes.