Twilight in Georgetown. Drawn to the X-Factor’s brownstone a young man looks inside the building through one of their windows. He then presses his hand against a scanner. Identifying him as an authorized user, the system opens the door. The young man steps inside and lets out an uncertain “h-hullo?” Nobody’s there.
Honolulu, Hawaii. Having taken over Havok, the malevolent mutant Malice intended to kill Havok’s lover Polaris and was just abut to finish the job, when help arrived in a dubious form – Mr Sinister and the Nasty Boys.
Poor dear Malice, Sinister mocks. Did she truly think Sinister would allow her to deprive him of one of his most valuable pawns? Did she think her actions would go unnoticed?
Malice blusters, exclaiming she won’t be Sinister’s puppet anymore. She wants to be free. Malice can resist all she wants, he calmly replies, but it will be to no avail. Surely she realizes by now he is always in control. So like Threnody, he muses, another burr under his saddle. They believe themselves to be invisible to his eyes when the reality is he sees their every move.
He orders Malice to release Lorna hinting that he can at least salvage much of his original plan. Malice warns him to back off. Sinister does quite the opposite as he calmly takes the near unconscious Polaris away and gently carries her off, stating that he wouldn’t see her come to any further harm. Turning back to Malice he commends her on her choice of murder weapons. Imaginative to use Havok to kill his true love. However it’s not what he would have done. He addresses Ruckus and the Nasty Boy imitates and amplifies the sound which hits Malice with concussive force of a hurricane blast. Of course he couldn’t allow Malice’s actions to go unpunished, he adds and tells the “boys” that dinners is served. He gives them one caveat though as he tells them to keep Havok intact.
The Nasty Boys attack, but Malice strikes Ruckus. Intent on killing them all she hits Slab with the plasma blasts and manages to fend off Hairbag’s and Ramrod’s two-pronged attack. Slab grows inside intent on teaching Malice a lesson. But while Malice may not have Havok’s experience with his powers, neither does she have any scruples about unleashing them as Slab learns when he falls hard. Malice intends to finish the job only to learn that Slab was the decoy: the next moment the fluid form of Gorgeous George attacks.
And so it goes while Polaris slowly regains consciousness. ‘Alex?’ is her first question Not Alex, Sinister replies, but one who cares just as deeply. He urges her to rest, adding that he has everything under control. Alex is in fine and capable hands as his associates and he have a well structured and well-rehearsed plan that is certain to render Malice harmless with a minimal amount of harm to Alex. The beatings Alex receives are an ironic counterpoint to those claims.
X-Factor’s supersonic spyplane nears Honolulu and Guido carrying Wolfsbane jumps from the plane piloted by Val Cooper.
They immediately recognize the beaten Hairbag on the ground and realize that with the Nasty Boys around Sinister has to be nearby as well.
The see the villain carrying Lorna and Strong Guy immediately attacks only to be contemptuously slapped aside by Sinister.
Is he just going to sit there and take that, Rahne chastises Guido who pulls himself up with a stupid look- Yes, he is, he replies forcefully. Sinister assures them that he is the least of their problems and explains that he is actually here as Polaris’ savior. To see the true cause of her pain they need only look behind them.
They do. And seeing the Nasty Boys fighting Havok they immediately get the wrong idea and over Sinister’s protests that Malice has taken over Havok, they run to their teammate’s aid. Malice plays them shouting for help. Guido throws Rahne towards him in a fastball special maneuver and while Ramrod and Ruckus stupidly look at her, Guido takes them out.
Rahne changes form and attacks Slab viciously threatening him while Gorgeous George intends to suffocate Guido.
Sinister advises Lorna to keep resting but she shouts at everybody to stop and weakly tells Rahne and Guido that Sinister is speaking the truth. Malice has possessed Alex and they have to stop it.
Malice uses the moment’s distraction to allow all of Havok’s power to build. The air around Havok seems to explode and Nasty Boys as well as Guido and Rahne are caught totally unawares in the backlash.
It’s more than Lorna can stand and despite her pain she powers up announcing that she won’t allow Malice to do anymore. Malice has crossed the line. Lorna knows what it is like to be possessed by her, the violation, and she can’t let Alex go through this one moment longer. To show that she’s not bluffing she starts crushing Alex with her magnetic forcefield. She asks Alex to forgive her, then brutally tosses him onto the ground, yelling at Malice to get out of him.
Havok lands at Sinister’s feet and the villain suddenly suggests that this would be the perfect opportunity to salvage what she can by leaving Havok and possessing Polaris.
The members of X-Factor are dumbfounded by the sudden development.
X-Factor’s townhouse. The young man enters a deserted room full of crates. He pulls a picture of Moira MacTaggert out of one of the crates and looks at it seemingly puzzled. He walks to a dusty mirrors and takes a look at himself. Then he leaves the room.
:Sinister orders Malice to do it now or he will scatter her essence to the four corners of the world. He reminds Malice that he is much more fearsome than the idea of being merged with Polaris again. It is not in his nature to offer second chances, but if she possesses Ms. Dane now, all will be forgiven. Lorna will submit as she knows it is the only way to save Alex Summers. Isn’t that right, he asks her. Lorna quietly acquiesces.
Angrily threatening Lorna Malice begins the transferal. Alex Summers stirs to consciousness. But as he sees Lorna grasping him and feels Malice leaving, he understands. And so he tears Malice back, unwilling to let her take Lorna away again. But Lorna lunges at Malice as well, trying to draw her inside, desperate to save Alex from Sinister’s threat. For the other to survive they fight with every fiber of their being and caught in the middle of this emotional battle, unable to possess either one, Malice screams, as she is being torn apart.
Sinister catches her ghostly self. Announcing that she was such a wonderful pawn he destroys her and then crushes the necklace that’s all that’s left of her.
Well, that is done, he announces smugly. Guido demands to know what just happened. Offhandedly Sinister stats that he stepped in at a rather “anxious” moment to help their leader. Malice has always been a confused creature. It is a blessing that her suffering is ended.
Alex tells him to cut the bull. Sinister didn’t save them out of nobility. There has to be an ulterior motive. What does he want from them? That’s the question, isn’t it, Sinister goads him. His motives are his own. But he can rest assured that Alex and his family are always in his thoughts. One day they shall meet again and on that day Sinister willtake what he wants and none shall stop him. With those menacing words he and the Nasty Boys disappear.
The brownstone. The young man stares at the pictures in the hallway. One has captured his interest. A teamshot of X-Factor. He sees Wolfsbane, Havok, Polaris and Strong Guy. But his eyes widen at the sight of Multiple Man. omigod exclaims Jamie Madrox as he recognizes himself.