New York City, where in the dessicated, bone dry, dusty dog days of Summer, things are really heating up. Hot heads, hot bodies, tempers flare, short fuses, an inflammatory situation. Dynamite any minute now…it’s gonna blow sky-high!
‘What the heck?’ asks Bobby “Iceman” Drake as he approaches his friend and teammate Hank “the Beast” McCoy, who is currently being attacked by, of all things, a truck! ‘Unsnap your mandibles, you animate pile of junk!’ the brilliant Beast exclaims as he struggles to free himself from the trucks’ grasp. He does, and uses his mighty strength to smash the truck, and is soon joined by his X-Factor teammate who blasts the truck with ice, and asks what is going on. The Beast tells his friend that it would help their understanding of this phenomenon if they could contact Ship and access its scanners, to which Bobby asks how, as nothing is working - no phones, no radio, no TV, no nothing, all they get is static.
Suddenly, an petrol tanker races towards the ice ledge which Bobby is standing on, and sends a burst of fire billowing upwards, knocking the handsome hero from where he stands, luckily for Bobby, the Beast leaps to his rescue and remarks that it appears man’s artifacts appear to have turned against him. ‘No kidding!’ Bobby exclaims, declaring that black magic is just what this town can do without.
With civilians gathering around to watch, the Beast deposits Iceman safely, before shouting ‘I said - give it a rest!’ to the tanker, and kicking it over, so it lands upside down, unable to shoot out any more fire. ‘You saved us!’ ‘You stopped it!’ the civilians shout, applauding the hero, who asks them if they are insane, as the tanker is still twitching. ‘Keep back!’ he warns them. Suddenly, Iceman appears and literally drowns the tanker in ice, spreading it everywhere, he exclaiming that icing the truck ought to keep things from heating up again.
The civilians all look around and smile, while Bobby remarks that it looks like Hank could use it to chill out a bit too, when, suddenly, they hear yet another scream. ‘The city’s gone nuts! It must be some kind of spell!’ Iceman exclaims, before he creates an ice sled, and the Beast bounds along, in the direction of the scream. Bobby remarks that the next break they get, he wants to try and reach Ship again, as this is too big for them to handle alone. ‘We’ve got to get a hold of Scott and Jean!’.p>
However, unaware to Iceman and the Beast’s predicament, their teammates and friends Scott “Cyclops” Summers and Jean “Marvel Girl” Grey, are a long way from home, standing outside the orphanage where Cyclops was raised. ‘My son’s in there, somewhere…’ Scott declares, to which Jean asks who took Nathan Christopher, and why - not to mention why bring him here. Scott replies that he doesn’t know, but that what he does know is that his son has been stolen, and he wants him back.
Scott motions upwards and tells Jean that they will go through the dormer window, as it is empty up there, nothing but cobwebs and junk. ‘I know. I used to hide in the attic when things got bad down below’ he reveals, adding that it was a place to be alone and remember the happy times when he was just an ordinary kid, before his Dad’s plane caught fire and his Mom pushed his brother and he from it sharing a single parachute. ‘Before I cracked my skull’. Jean lifts herself and Scott upwards telekinetically and rips the grate off the dormer, again with the power of her mind.
Cyclops tells Jean that he remembers being brought to the infirmary below, where he opened his eyes and practically blew the roof off. He explains that he closed his eyes fast, and nobody seemed to notice what he had done - except for one kid. Scott tells Jean that he heard the kid talking and bossing everybody around - even the grown-ups. ‘It was strange…except…that can’t have happened, can it?’ Scott exclaims, quickly reminding Jean that he was in a coma when they found him, that he was taken to a hospital and was there for a year before he came here, not to mention his power appeared much later also. Scott tells Jean that the infirmary used to be right below, and suggests they keep to the shadows, so as not to set off any alarms.
But making their way into the infirmary, Jean remarks that they could fly through here on a rocket ship and no one would notice. A member of staff walks past them and ignores the duo as Jean points out that it is as if no one even sees them, like they are invisible. Scott remarks that he was in here off and on for years, with headaches, vision problems, all brought about by the fall, or so he was told. He exclaims that he remembers being in the infirmary clearly, but cannot remember a single thing that happened to him in here. ‘And the only thing I do remember can’t possibly have happened!’.
Jean motions to the kids who are playing in the hallway and on some couches and remarks that they probably wont be able to remember either, before motioning to one girl playing with a ball and telling Scott that she is a mutant, or at least has some sort of powers. Moments later, Jean has deduced that the girl is a telepath with telekinetic powers, similar to her own, but just emerging. Jean explains to Cyclops that the girls’ eyes don’t register them, that there is some hypnotic suggestion blocking them - but she does feel them here, and is not supposed to.
Unaware that a strange aircraft is approaching the orphanage, Jean tells Scott that the girl is pushing her away, that she is scared to death to disobey, and adds that there is something that frightens her - something in the basement. ‘She’s afraid of the cold and dark. She thinks they’ll shut her in a coffin again’. Solemnly, Scott reminds Jean that Destiny mentioned a coffin when she searched the timelines for his son. Jean tells Scott that it cannot be coincidence that he was brought here, and now his son, before asking him what else he remembers about his time here. ‘Were there any other mutant children?’ Jean asks.
(Shown with flashback images)
Scott replies that he doesn’t remember any and remarks that he kept to himself as much as possible, before revealing that eventually, he was sent to a specialist in Washington who discovered that ruby quartz lenses would control his headaches. Scott recalls how the other boys hassle med him about his glasses. ‘They were a pretty touch crew. I guess they had to be’ Scott remarks, before telling Jean that there was one kid, everyone called him Lefty - but his real name was, of all things, Nathan. Lefty was the leader, and one day stole Scott’s glasses.
‘Hey, red-eyes! Open your eyes! Look at me! Chicken! I dare you! Look at me!’ Lefty taunted Cyclops. Scott tells Jean that Lefty kept on taunting him to look at him - ‘But I wouldn’t’ he exclaims, for he knew that if he did, the he would blow a hole right through him. ‘If looks could kill. I…almost think he wanted me to. I came so close. But something held me back’.
‘Your better nature, probably. Your looks can kill’ Jean reminds Scott, comforting him. But Scott tells Jean that it must have been some kind of premonition or delusion, as he didn’t have his powers back then, as his optic blast emerged a while later, powerful, uncontrollable and dangerous. ‘Brain damage from my concussion, years earlier, had left me unable to contain their power’ Scott exclaims, adding that her learned his ruby quartz lenses would block the blast, but without them, he would destroy whatever he looked at. ‘I’ve made enough of a botch of my life without having that on my conscience’ Scott tells Jean, who hugs her lover and whispers that this is a terrible place, not normal - nothing like normal.
The powerful duo descend down some stairs past the infirmary and Jean asks Scott what really happened to him here. But Scott tells Jean that she is overreacting. ‘I hated it here, sure. We all did. But they told me I was lucky that, damaged, as I was, they let me stay’. Scott points out that there were no babies on that level, while Jean remarks that the little girl provided their first clue she thinks, and remarks that they should begin their search in the basement.
Meanwhile, outside the orphanage, the strange aircraft - a new threat - has landed. The enigmatic calls out to her Orphan Maker, and to several other children under her care, exclaiming that they must be up to do her work. ‘Our goal, the orphanage, lies below’. Nanny declares that inside are many little children, some, like those here, born with an altered genetic structure, that will, in time, giver rise to extraordinary powers. ‘These are the mutants, the children we must save’ Nanny exclaims, remarking that there are too many for she and Orphan Maker to rescue alone, which is why she has chosen these five as her Lost Boys (and girls). ‘You will lead those little labs to safety’ she declares.
The odd round beings walks over to the brightly clothed children and remarks that each of them possesses a special talent, like in the old nursery rhyme: “Here comes a poor woman from baby-land with five children in her hand…one can brew, the other bake…the other can make a pretty round cake…one can sit in the garden and spin…another can make a fine bed for the king. Pray, ma’am will you take my babies in?”.
‘So we will take the babies in!’ Nanny exclaims, while Orphan Maker looks at two red-haired children with green masks on as the aircraft lands on the orphanage, smashing up the roof, as Nanny exclaims that the children will be on the lowest level. ‘And now…let us begin!’,
Many stories below, Jean telekinetically lowers herself and Scott down an elevator shaft, while Scott remarks that he doesn’t remember the orphanage having an elevator. ‘You weren’t supposed to. It was hidden’ Jean replies, to which Scott suggests that he could have been added later, after he left - but Jean tells him to get real, that it has been here for ages, that it is part of the sinister wrongness here. ‘Just ask yourself…why you? Your son? Your brother?’.
Scott replies that Alex was only here for a couple of weeks, and explains that when he awoke from his coma, he was told that Alex had already been adopted, before informing Jean that he just remembers someone taking Alex away. ‘He was crying out to me to save him’ Scott remarks, exclaiming that he wanted to, but that it was like he was frozen and couldn’t move. ‘Probably just some jumbled memory from the hospital…or else I dreamt it’ Scott supposes, before remarking that he missed Alex, and was jealous. ‘Sometimes, I actually hated him’. Scott adds that someone had wanted Alex, and he was told that no one would want him.
Jean motions to the light at the end of the elevator shaft and tells Scott that she can “feel” something down there, so soft, like a butterfly resting on her heart. Scott asks Jean if her telepathic powers are returning, but Jean replies that she doesn’t know. ‘That little girl…’ Scott remarks, as Jean exclaims ‘Was reaching out to her, anyone with any sensitivity could have felt it. ‘I didn’t’ Scott replies. ‘That’s because they taught you not to feel’ Jean remarks as they enter a large chamber, walking straight past another zombie-like worker.
Looking around the large underground facility, Scott mumbles ‘all this was here, and I never knew…! I wonder…’ while Jean agrees, and points out that they have just broken into a secret billion dollar high-tech fortress. ‘So why doesn’t someone try and stop us?’. Jean then motions across the chamber, to a separate room, and tells Scott that what she is feeling is coming from in there.
‘Oh my lord’ Scott gasps as he and Jean enter the next chamber. ‘Babies…children. Inside those pods. Frozen…sleeping…cold as death but still alive!’ Scientists go about their business in large orange suits, while Scott and Jean run along a platform which is surrounded by the pods filled with frozen infants, the air freezing, as Scott and Jean’s breath can be seen when they speak. Scott declares that his son is in here, but that it has been so long - he’s just a baby, how will he find him? ’How will I know that he’s mine?’. ’I’ll know!’ Jean declares.
Jean leaps off the platform into the unknown, pulling Scott behind her telekinetically, she explains that Scott’s son is what she is feeling. ’He’s not calling out…not projecting. Just being’. But Jean is certain that she still feels Scott’s son. Looking around at all the pods, Jean exclaims that there are dozens of babies here, and wonders why she can feel just Nathan, before, suddenly, ’Here he is’ she exclaims as she places her hands on one of the pods.
‘I sense…’ Jean remarks as she wipes the steam off the pod, revealing the baby inside, tubes and wires stuck to him. ‘Oh…he’s adorable!’ Jean exclaims. ‘Christopher!’ shouts Cyclops, before Jean exclaims that they have to open the chamber and disconnect him. They do so, and liquid pours out of the pod while Jean exclaims that they have to wake Nathan up and get him out of here, that they have to save him from this terrible place. ‘Not just him, Jean…we have to save all of them!’ Cyclops declares.
Meanwhile, outside the orphanage, more trouble arrives in the form of demons, sent by their lord the uber-demon N’astirh. ‘Smell them! Mutant babies…like master say!’ one of them exclaims, adding that it is important that their master sent two squadrons. ‘Lord N’astirh say lots of babies here!’ ‘And special one, most very special! Master need him most of all!’ the exclaims. The demons enter through the opening that Nanny’s ship made, ‘Master say we bring him special baby!’ one of them exclaims, before they come across some older children.
‘Smell him! He filled with power!’ a demon exclaims as it tries to lift up an older boy, but struggles, while another points out that this one is too big, they need infants. ‘He fat! Meaty! We eat him!’ the first demon declares, still holding on to the boy. ‘You crazy!’ another exclaims, before smacking the big boy out of the other demons arms. ‘Lord N’astirh say bring babies…then we eat!’ he declares. They begin to make their way downwards, remarking that their lord has lured those who guard babies to the other fight, while another motions to an opening and exclaims that the sooner they find the babies the sooner they eat. ‘Hurry demons, search…everywhere!’.
Scott is drying his son off and tells Jean that it is hard to go slowly, to wait, to let Nathan warm up, when all he wants is to have him in his arms again, as he has waited so long. Jean replies that she knows, before asking Scott ‘Do you hear…’ too late, as part of the wall is ripped away. ‘Uh-oh! Nanny…there’s people here!’ Orphan Maker exclaims, motioning to Cyclops and Jean. The cloud that was surrounding all of the pods begins to pour out of the chamber, through the hole which Orphan Maker created. Scott remarks that this place is defended after all, while Jean points out that whoever these people are, whatever their sins, they cannot fight them here.
Nanny motions to the babies, ‘They’re here my Lost Boys (and girls)! All rockabye safe in their tree-top cradles‘ the odd being declares. Orphan Maker stands blocking the makeshift entrance / exit, while the Lost Boys stand by Nanny, who calls out to Shatterbox, the two red-heads, telling them to pluck the pods gently, like the ripe little berries they are. Nanny turns to the one called Speadfreak who is holding onto one of the pods and tells him to be gentle, remarking that this is not a race. Nanny asks the one called Monitor to observe the infants’ conditions carefully, before telling Big Top to have Bozo collect the pods together for immediate transport.
Scott puts his arms on Jean, who exclaims that children have been sent to do dirty work. ‘Mutant children…led by an armored giant and a high-tech Humpty-Dumpty!’. ‘Who are you? Why did you steal my son!?’ Cyclops demands to know, believing Nanny to be responsible for the goings-ons here. ‘Your son? That does make things more difficult!’ Nanny exclaims, remarking that she had assumed that the parents had been dealt with previously. ‘Again, my Orphan Maker, it’s time to go a’ hunting!’ Nanny exclaims.
‘Yes, Nanny!’ Orphan Maker replies as he steps forward and fires several blasts from his weapon at Cyclops, while the one called Big Top increases the mass of her stuffed bear, Bozo, as requested. ‘Cyclops! No violence here!’ Jean exclaims. ‘Tell them, Jean!’ Scott replies as he blasts Orphan Maker with a powerful optic beam. ‘The bullets’ ricochet could harm the babies! They could kill my son!’ he points out. But Jean again tells Scott to stop, exclaiming that his optic blasts have ricochets off Orphan Maker’s armor.
Nanny points out that the optic blasts have shredded the coolant pipes, ‘Great care you show for the little ones!’ she mutters. Jean motions to the red-haired kids, the ones Nanny called Shatterbox, and asks who they are. ‘Orphans…like all of my charges!’ Nanny declares. ‘No! That can’t be true! My sister can’t be…!’ Jean’s voice trails off, while as the Lost Boys continue to collect the babies, Orphan Maker and Cyclops continue to battle it out, with Orphan Maker exclaiming that Nanny makes the best armor in the world, that Cyclops cannot hurt him. ‘Nanny promised. She won’t let anybody hurt me! But I can hurt you!’.
‘Can you?’ Cyclops asks as he dodges Orphan Maker’s attack, while at the same time, Jean throws up a telekinetic shield to protect herself from Nanny’s arsenal, while Nanny tells Jean that Shatterbox do not answer her. ‘They don’t know those names. Don’t even know you’re talking to them!’. Jean realizes that Nanny has the kids ensorcelled. ‘You won’t find me such an easy target!’ she exclaims, while Nanny is shocked that Jean easily blocks her power. ‘Excellent telekinetic control’ she remarks. ‘Informed, I think, but a low level telepathy. A pity that you’re all grown up…A pity that you’ll have to die!’ Nanny exclaims.
‘No!’ shouts Cyclops as he pulls on one of the coolant pipes and aims it at Orphan Maker, who in turn cries out to Nanny. ‘I’m coming! How dare you hurt my boy!’ the egg-shaped creature shouts at Cyclops as she uses her jet back to fly towards Scott. ‘You! You’re a fine one to talk about injury to children, egg head!’ Scott replies. ‘You, who burst in shooting…endangering all their lives! GETOUT!’ Scott shouts, unleashing a massive optic blast at Nanny, thrusting her into the air, she is propelled upwards through many floors, until she finally crashes, amazed at Cyclops’ power.
‘You hurt Nanny! She couldn’t make you do what she wants all by herself…sometimes that happens…and that’s when I get to help!’ Orphan Maker exclaims, ‘Pixie sand!’ he remarks, as he shows off another power. ‘So that’s Nanny’s secret. She’s a weak telepath with a chemical that makes her subject more suggestible!’ Jean deduces, producing yet another telekinetic shield to block Orphan Maker’s pixie dust. But this annoys Orphan Maker, who begins blasting Jean’s psi-shield, exclaiming that Nanny says his pixie dust is valuable that he mustn’t waste it. ‘And you threw it on the ground!’ he exclaims.
‘No! No bullets here!’ Jean shouts, but Orphan Maker ignores her, so Jean decides that as he will not listen to her, she will remove them from the chamber, and telekinetically lifts herself, Scott and Orphan Maker through the opening in the ceiling that Scott’s optic blast created. They all land on the same level where Nanny is, and Jean uses her phenomenal powers to seal the floor so they can try and contain the fight here, as there are just offices on this floor. ‘If they’ll let us! Who are they? Not guards like we first thought!’ Scott tells Jean.
Nanny tells the heroes that there is an old rhyme they would do well to remember: “Of all the sayings in the world, the one to see you through is…never trouble trouble, till trouble troubles you”. Cyclops blasts Orphan Maker, sending more optic beams ricocheting around the floor, while Jean tells Scott to keep Nanny talking, as she seems to like that, so they need to distract her and find out what is going on.
Scott asks Nanny who she is and why she is fighting them, ‘We’re on your side, we want to save these children too!’ he exclaims. But Orphan Maker exclaims ‘You’re not on our side! You want to take us and use us and hurt us!’ before he smacks Cyclops over. A couple of children suddenly appear, and Scott, lying in some rubble, alerts Jean, before telling the kids that they are not supposed to be here, he tells them to run or they could get hurt. But the kids just stand there, so Scott asks Jean to throw a shield around them quickly, adding that they cannot fight here anymore.
‘Ah, but you will…and to the death!’ exclaims Nanny, declaring that she knows their kind, that she has lived among them. ‘You worship perfection…and prey on the weak’. Nanny reveals that her Orphan Maker came from a place much like this, cast out and destined for destruction. ‘I saved him. He is the first and best soldier in Nanny’s salvation army!’ Nanny exclaims, firing some rockets from her form, she declares that she will save them - all of them. ‘Stolen children! Special children! Kept in cold sleep…to be awakened years later, when the search for them has ceased, and the world has forgotten them!’. Nanny exclaims that she hasn’t forgotten about them though, she heard of their peril, and came for them.
Jean throws another psi-shield up around Scott and herself, while Scott tells Nanny to stop this, remarking that he and Jean have powers, great powers like her, and they can protect the children. ‘No, you can’t! Tell them, Nanny! Tell them that part!’ Orphan Maker exclaims, bursting through the rubble behind Scott and Jean. ‘Certainly, my Orphan Maker’ Nanny replies, before telling the heroes that they cannot save these children from those who would exploit and destroy them. Or else they would not be here now.
Crouched nearby behind some rubble, the demons are watching Cyclops, Jean, Nanny and Orphan Maker. ‘Look! A fight!’ one of them exclaims, before the demons decide that there is no need to join in, for while they fight each other, they can go and steal the babies. ‘Ha! Big fight! It was. Big hole!’ one of them points out as they descend into the hole, ‘All the way down into the Earth!’ one of them remarks as they enter the chamber where the Lost Boys and Bozo the bear are still collecting up the babies.
‘Smell power! Feel power! New power!’ the demons shout as they swoop down - one of them right through the large stuffed bear as it grabs a baby in a pod. ‘Infants…of power and purity, like master say!’. ‘Childs down here, too. Lots of power in them!’ another points out, referring to the Lost Boys. One of the demons tells his fellow to look through the glasses. ‘See what you see. Master say take ones that shine brightest!’ he exclaims. ‘There - that one bright like star. Like fire! Smell the power of him!’ the demon declares.
One of the demon goes to collect the pod which that baby is in, ‘Easy. Lies all sleeping! Wires pulled off…wrapped up in big human’s coat!’ the demon exclaims. ‘He the one that master sent us for. Present for Goblin Queen!’. Holding up Nathan Christopher, the demon exclaims that they just need three more, but another declares that they will take six, or seven, or ten. ‘We get lord N’astirh choose best one for magicks…and then we eat the rest!’ another demon suggests.
Back upstairs, Orphan Maker exclaims ‘You can’t get me! Your light bounces off me! But I got a chunk of the roof and I can smash you!’. ‘My light bounces off -?’ Scott remarks. ‘Why…it does indeed!’ he exclaims as he unleashes another blast against Orphan Maker, sending optic beams upwards, shattering the huge slab of roof which Orphan Maker holds, and sending it crashing down upon both Nanny and Orphan Maker, burying them both. ‘You think you have defeated us…but you have not. Fool we have distracted you wolves with battle…while my little shepherds collect the lost lambs!’
One such shepherd, the red-haired girl called Shatterbox suddenly appears, ‘Nanny!’ she cries urgently as Nanny and Orphan Maker emerge from the rubble. ‘Down below! Monsters…with horns and wings…!’. Nanny quickly collects Shatterbox and, leaping past Jean, exclaims that she feared this might happen. ‘I thought we had time. But you delayed us!’ she snarls at Jean. ‘Parents…even parents with power…are useless. Are better off dead!’. Jean sees Nanny getting away with the girl and exclaims that she has to know, so flies towards them and rips off the girls green mask. ‘No! It’s you! GAILYN!’ Jean screams at seeing her niece.
Down below, ‘Girl child got away!’ Girl child told!’ ‘We go! Out back way! Quick and quiet!’ ‘Uh oh no so quiet! Special baby wake up!’ the demons mutter away, while Nathan Christopher begins crying at the top of his lungs.
As Nanny carries Gailyn to her aircraft, Jean hears Nathan crying, and asks Scott if he does too, stopping mid-flight as she follows her niece. Nanny calls out to Orphan Maker to get into the ship while Scott and Jean are distracted. The aircraft takes off with Nanny, Orphan Maker and Gailyn inside, Nanny exclaims that they have to save the babies from worse villains than those who had them before. Orphan Maker tells Nanny that she has forgotten the others, but as Nanny points out, the vortex behind the aircraft is in operation, and the rest of the Lost Boys (and Girls) are being carried behind them.
‘The children! Save them - No! The baby! It…it’s screaming!’ Jean exclaims, before carrying Scott in her telekinesis as they head downwards, Jean asking Scott if he can’t hear the baby. ‘No. Screaming, where?’ he asks. ‘Loud…inside my head!’ Jean replies. But, as the heroes reach the chamber where all the babies were being held, they see that ‘Gone! He’s gone!’ Cyclops exclaims. ‘Claws…prick my flesh Monster faces. Monster jaws!’ Jean gasps, until Scott tells her to snap out of it, asking what has happened to his son. ‘What are you talking about?’ he asks.
Jean exclaims that her sister, Sara’s children - Nanny has taken them, but exclaims that it doesn’t matter, as Nanny’s problems are with adults, with parents, not children, so the kids will be safe with her for now. ‘Baby…little Christopher…needs us. Needs me! Woke up screaming…’. Jean exclaims, before flying out of the orphanage with Scott in tow, arriving back at the aircraft, Jean declares that Nathan Christopher calls out to her as though he owns her heart. ‘He’s in my head, screaming…screaming!’ Jean declares that they must get back to Ship to follow Nathan Christopher. ‘Scott…we have to save Christopher…because, sweet Heaven, they’re going to kill him!’.