Cameron Hodge is tackled as he walks down the infirmary hallway. His large glasses are knocked askew and his briefcase goes flying as he flips end over end. His attacker is none other than X-Factor’s Hank McCoy, who leapt to action from his hospital bed.
Jean, Scott and Bobby come running down the hallway behind Hodge. Scott, concerned, demands to know what Hank thinks he’s doing. Jean lifts Hodge up in a telekinetic bubble and tells her formerly hairy friend he should be back in bed recuperating. Hank tells Jean to drop Hodge and let him have at him.
Scott asks Hodge what he’s doing in the X-Factor building. Cameron explains that as the public relations director of X-Factor he felt it necessary to be present for the reading of Warren’s will. Jean drops him from the bubble and Bobby ices him up in an ice throne. Jean cautions Bobby not to overdo it since his control hasn’t been that great lately. Bobby tells her not to worry and turns his attention towards Hodge. He asks Cameron what his problem is. Is he jealous of them, of Warren?
Hodge points out that he and Warren were old friends and were in the same social circles growing up. They were the elite before he grew his wings. Scott and Cameron start arguing over Warren’s choices in life. Scott brings up Warren’s death and Cameron rather sarcastically asks if they blame him for that too.
Cyke gets right up in Hodge’s face. He reminds him of the ad campaign he created that made the public believe mutants are a menace to society. Hodge counters that the program worked, that people called whenever they found a mutant and now they have young charges to look after and train in the use of their powers. Scott clenches his fist in anger. He tells Hodge the public is now paranoid of mutants. Hodge counters with the fact they agreed to the campaign. Scott explains they never looked at the fine print until it was too late. He takes off his ruby quartz glasses and blasts away at Hodge breaking him free from his ice chair.
Scott stands over Hodge now and asks him about the Phoenix hologram. Hodge claims ignorance and tells Scott to seek professional help. Scott tells Jean to bring Hodge up to the penthouse and so Jean encapsulates him in a telekinetic bubble.
Upstairs, Scott turns on his computer to show Hodge what he’s talking about, but nothing happens. Hodge stands with arms folded, triumphant. He suggests to X-Factor they wear their X-Factor uniforms at the reading of the will in honor of Warren. Scott can’t believe Hodge still doesn’t get it. He tells him point blank they are done with the ad campaign that has fueled anti-mutant sentiment. He tells Hodge they’re going to go with a public relations firm that has mutant interests at heart. He tells Hodge to clean out his desk and get out.
Caliban enters the penthouse after hearing all the shouting. Scott explains they were discussing Hodge’s future. Caliban starts talking about his useless power and how he couldn’t help Bobby or Hank during the battle with Apocalypse’s Horsemen or help his fellow Morlocks against the Marauders. He says he needs power, needs revenge. Bobby tells him to lighten up and that he’ll teach him some unarmed combat moves.
Bobby and Caliban leave, followed shortly after by Hank. Jean asks Scott what they’re going to do about X-Factor. Scott’s not sure and asks Jean if she thinks they should disband. She immediately says no, but whether it’s for the good of the team or because she wants to stay near Scott is unclear.
Outside the X-Factor building, Trish Tilby reports on the protestors picketing outside. A lot of people are upset that X-Factor did nothing to help out during the recent mutant battle in Central Park. She also discusses the rumors of a possible power struggle within X-Factor and brings up the reading of Warren Worthington’s will, which will take place later in the day.
X-Factor’s young charges watch the newscast from Hank’s medical room, where they are partaking in a game of chess with their strong-minded mentor. They start talking about Warren’s will and Skids tells them not to worry, that Warren told Jean he was leaving his money to X-Factor. Rictor asks if that means Cameron Hodge will be gone. Hank tells the kids to stop worrying about things they can’t control. He smiles as he moves his Bishop to take out their Queen’s Rook.
Rusty turns his attention back to a chess book they’ve been using in their match. He tells Rictor it’s his turn and that the book says to move their Queen’s Knight. Rictor starts talking about how happy he is that Hank’s alive, which leads them to discuss Warren’s suicide. Artie projects an image of Warren flying high as the Angel. Rusty asks Hank how Warren could kill himself. Rusty adds that he sometimes hates him for what he did.
Hank tells them he doesn’t think Warren knew what he was doing, that he was in too deep a depression. Rictor voices concerns about Hank’s condition, mentioning how weak he is. Hank smiles, grabs him by the butt and lifts him in the air. He tells Rictor not to worry, that he’s stronger than he feels. Then he makes his next move, “Check!”
Rusty and Leech can’t believe they’re about to lose. Hank smiles and tells them they still have a move they can make to avoid checkmate. Rusty starts poring over the book. With a scowl he says the book is worthless and then disintegrates it with some fire. He tells his friends they should try a new approach and use their heads.
Deep within the complex, Cameron Hodge sits at the computer controls checking on the members of X-Factor. He finds Hank getting out of his bed and telling the kids he’ll be back to finish the game. In Scott’s penthouse, Bobby ties his tie with Scott in the background, ready. And in the library, Jean apologizes to Caliban that he can’t go to the reading of the will.
Hodge picks up the phone and orders someone to ready plans Beta and Tau. He tells whoever’s at the other end that X-Factor is about to get some bad news and they may need to discredit them.
Trish Tilby is now reporting from the Worthington Building where once again demonstrators line the streets. There are people on both the pro- and anti-mutant side. Jean and Scott walk into the building together discussing Trish Tilby’s persistent hounding of X-Factor. Behind them walks Cameron Hodge.
Inside, people are gathered to listen to Warren’s will. The executor reads “...my entire fortune to X-Factor Organization...” but is interrupted by a distant cousin who believes all the money should go to him. The executor asks for order and then continues. “...funds of which are to be administered by Cameron Hodge!”
Hank, Jean, Scott and Bobby all sport incredulous looks on their faces. They can’t believe Hodge now controls the money. Some of the other people present start complaining about the sudden coldness in the room. Hank tells Bobby to relax before he loses control. They decide to leave, but before doing so Scott stops by Hodge’s seat to tell him they’ll no longer pose as mutant hunters.
Bobby and Hank are the first to leave the building and are met by several news crews. They’re bombarded with questions and somehow Trish manages to get to them first. Trish starts in on Hodge being the new CEO of X-Factor and how he was also part of Worthington’s competency hearing, where Warren was declared incompetent and was mandated to have his wings amputated. Hank had no idea of this and gets really upset. He starts yelling at Tilby and demands to know why she’s bringing all this stuff up. She tells him she just wants the truth and now thinks she knows what it is.
Scott and Jean arrive and are followed once again by Cameron. Hank tells Hodge they quit and they’re going to tell the world the truth about who he is and what he’s done. Hodge looks at him nonchalantly and asks if he has any evidence. Bobby gets angry at his cocky attitude, but Hank tells him to relax once more. Scott, ready to dish on Hodge to the rest of the country, asks Trish Tilby if she wants a good story. From behind them Hodge speaks into his ring and activates plans Beat and Tau.
Trish prepares quickly and tells Scott she’s ready. He starts by telling her of X-Factor’s beginnings and just before he outs them as mutants they come under a barrage of gunfire. The Right arrive, flying overhead blasting away at anything and everything. Tilby is hit and goes down. Scott dives for cover grabbing Jean on the way. One of the Right soldiers yells, “Power to the mutants! Death to the humans!”
The Right soldiers keep firing and more people are hit. Jean says they need to do something about it. Scott tells her to throw up a telekinetic shield and she does. Hank grabs Tilby off the ground and takes her to safety. Bobby ices up and creates an ice shield that covers some of the innocents. It starts cracking after taking some fire so the civies skidaddle.
The Right take note of their bullets bouncing off Jean’s shield and decide to switch over to bazooka burst. Scott tells Jean to create an opening in her shield so he can fire at them. Jean points out their armor is reflective and it won’t do any good, just ricochet. Scott tells her there’s a weakness in the armor near the shoulder. She complies and Scott fires a needle-thin beam of high intensity energy that connects causing some damage. The Right decide to retreat with their mission already accomplished.
With the chaos ended X-Factor takes off in the hopes their cover wasn’t blown. They stop by a nearby manhole and lift off the cover. One by one they head down into the sewers. Scott puts the cover back on and Bobby ices it shut.
The surviving news crews ask Cameron Hodge if he has any comments on the attack. He says he’s shocked and dismayed. He adds that it takes a tragedy like this to show humans how dangerous mutants can be.
Apocalypse’s Ship, above Manhattan
Apocalypse and his Horsemen watch Cameron Hodge’s interview on an extremely large monitor. Hodge is telling the viewing audience to trust no one because mutants can look like regular people. Apocalypse is pleased to find a human who is a worthy adversary. He tells his newest Horseman, Death, that he is ready and that he needs to learn how to use the new power he’s been given. Apocalypse starts laughing.
The kids, still sitting around the chess table, are watching the interview of Cameron Hodge. Skids is upset at what Hodge is saying. The others wonder if X-Factor’s guise is up with them using their powers in public. They take off downstairs to the basement, knocking the chessboard over in their rush. Rusty is sure the team is coming back to the building through the tunnels.
As they reach the door to the tunnel they hear voices on the other side. Rusty pulls the lever free and the door busts open wide. The Right troops fly in barreling the kids over. One of them yells, “Mutant scum—you are ours!”