A desert wilderness somewhere in Trans-Sabal. The clash between the government troops (backed by X-Factor) and the rebel troops (backed by the Hulk and the Pantheon) ended with an explosive draw. But Wolfsbane was kicked miles from the scene before it happened.
Half-conscious, she hears a female voice telling somebody what she found here. What does he think it is? A young male replies he doesn’t know. Delirious, Rahne believes the voice comes from her ex-boyfriend, Rictor. It’s been so long, she mutters. Thought he forgot about… She tries to get up and stumbles, finally falling unconscious.
“Incredible!” the young Trans-Sabal man Jolel exclaims. His sister, Sandah, a modestly dressed young woman, is nervous and suggests they get out of here. This isn’t natural. Jolel decides they didn’t stumble on this by accident. He lectures her that everything is as the Farnoq would will it, and if they tried to forget that they have found this they’d be ignoring his will. That would be a mortal sin.
They pack Rahne into the range rover and decide to get it back to their home. There they have rope and he still remembers how to tie knots that exert more pressure the more someone struggles against them. With that and their prayers, they should be able to keep the creature prisoner until the Farnoq tells them what to do.
Some distance away at the verge of a gorge stand the rest of X-Factor, save for Havok. Polaris calls out for her lover. Quicksilver points out that, considering the power at their command, standing at the top of a crater and screaming seems hardly the most efficient means of looking for him. Jamie Madrox agrees he’s right. Snide but right.
Quicksilver runs ahead downstairs, Guido and Jamie follow more slowly and Lorna flies down. Guido recalls they saw Alex get all powered up when he blasted the Hulk. They saw the earth-shattering kaboom. What they are not seeing is ‘Lex. Where the heck is he?
Lorna gets no answer over the headset either. She suggests that the force of the explosion threw the Hulk and Alex in opposite directions… which means he could be anywhere.
Jamie points out that they know though which way Rahne went. The Hulk tossed her that way. Lorna agrees, they should be going after her, but a moment later they hear military tanks. The Pantheon’s attacking again. Guido reminds them that the government troops need their help, as apparently they are getting clobbered.
So they join the battle. Pantheon member Hector calls his brother Ulysses for back-up and is told that they’ll arrive in seven minutes.
While his teammates fight, Quicksilver searches for Rahne. He tells himself it is difficult being the best suited to handle any task at hand. Oh, the supreme responsibility of being so blasted versatile…
Rahne wakes up tied to a chair in a small shabby house. Sandah notes she … it, she corrects herself, taking a cue from her brother, seems really upset. Jolel orders her to be quiet. Jolel tells Rahne who they are and that she is theirs until such time as Farnoq Dahn himself has had a chance to see her and decide what to do with her.
Well, that’s perfect, Rahne replies, because she is here fighting for his beloved Farnoq Dahn. So if they’d just cut her loose, she’ll get about her business.
Jolel refuses. For all he knows, she could be one of the beasts, the “liberators” who have turned their country into a battleground. Rahne snaps at him to phone Farnoq then. That’s not exactly possible since the “Liberators” managed to destroy phone lines all over Trans-Sabal, he snaps back. Of course, if she’s one of them, she already knows that.
Rahne appeals to Sandah to be more sensible. Jolel remarks she is merely a female and has nothing to do with this. Oh, they are going to get along just fine, Rahne snarls. He thinks men are God’s gift to the world and women are window dressing. Where did he come by that attitude, she wonders. Farnoq Dahn, perhaps?
Pointing to a picture of Farnoq, Jolel boasts she knows nothing of God or their culture and she certainly knows nothing of Farnoq Dahn. He is God’s anointed one! He loves and protects them. He is the voice of God on Earth!
In his palace, a servant assures Farnoq Dahn that the wine has been prepared precisely to his specifications. They enter the room where Valerie Cooper is waiting. They have to talk, she announces. He agrees and with a smarmy smile offers her a drink.
On the battlefield, Hector uses his energy mace against Multiple Man, only to be attacked by two dupes who criticize his antisocial tendencies. He smashes them together, boasting he has the strength of ten men. Really, do they know he took it? more dupes ask. Now he doesn’t have the strength of ten men but give him a moment and he will.
The dupes dogpile Hector. He orders them to shut up. He reaches for his mace. Standing before him, Guido grins and tells him he won’t need that glow stick of his. Not where he is going…
That moment, the cavalry arrives, more Pantheon members: Superstrong but dumb Ajax, archer Atalanta and Ulysses. Friends of him? Strong Guy asks Hector. They are not friends, Ulysses stresses. They are family!
Ajax hits Strong Guy. Ulysses intends to use his energy sword on Madrox but Hector warns him not to do that. Ulysses calls him too soft-hearted but he’ll have the sword turned down to a lower setting. The moment it hits Madrox, two dupes appear who toss him away. One of these days he’ll listen to him, Hector sighs.
Atalanta aims her energy arrows at Polaris, who intends to magnetically swat them away, however the arrows return, hurting Polaris’ shoulder. Atalanta gloats that her little arrows have lives of their own.
Elsewhere, Quicksilver searches the area for Rahne, figuring since she isn’t in the vicinity, she either landed in town or outside and someone brought her to it.
Meanwhile, in his car, Pantheon member Prometheus follows Quicksilver and informs Ulysses that he is heading to the city Jaffan. Once there, he will have less maneuverability and Prometheus plans to engage him.
In the small house, Jolel has his sister serve him a drink while mocking Rahne that Americans are all the same. Rahne sighs she isn’t American. Not interested, Jolel snaps she isn’t one of them. They come into this country, despoiling their culture, trying to impose their lifestyle on them. They know nothing of their people and look their nose down on them. Just who is looking down whose nose at the moment? Rahne retorts.
Silently, she considers turning to her full wolfen form, which would give her the strength to snap those ropes. But lately she’s been having trouble controlling herself in that body. So she uses her claws to cut at the ropes.
Jolel calls her a demon from the pits, given her appearance. Rahne snaps back she is a God-fearing Christian. Farnoq Dahn would be able to tell, Jolel replies. And even if she were… well, here’s proof of his culture’s superiority: Christians have to go to church to worship their pathetic God, but their God can be worshipped everywhere! Rahne snaps that that’s ridiculous. Their God is everywhere too. Jolel is just distorting things.
Like they are distorting things about them, Jolel shoots back. No respect for their culture or beliefs! Beliefs such as women being second class citizens? Rahne shoots back. Jolel laughs that her culture feels the same. His people are just more honest about it. Westerners claim equality and yet American women still complain of unequal treatment. At least their women aren’t complaining. They wouldn’t dare! Rahne states.
Suddenly, she hears Quicksilver calling her name. She stands up, having at last shredded the ropes binding her feet, and, still tied to the chair, jumps out of the window.
Pietro races towards her but Prometheus intervenes. Oil spills from his car and Pietro slips, falling against the vehicle.
On the battlefield, Ulysses threatens Madrox, announcing he is turning up the juice on his sword. What kind? the dupes ask. Orange? Apple? Shut up already! Ulysses orders and hits them with the sword.
Grabbing a tank, Ajax insults Guido: he is big and stupid! He hates guys like that! To this, Guido suggests he look into the mirror. By the way that’s one of his side’s tanks he is tossing around. Ajax throws the tank on him. Oh good, Guido smirks, that was kinetic energy. He absorbs it, and then releases it by hitting Ajax.
Lorna, in the meantime, has become attuned to Atalanta’s arrows. Since they are held together with magnetic bonding, Lorna can assert more control over them and sends them after Atalanta who, a moment later, has the misfortune to stand where Ajax lands.
Seeing his beloved Atalanta hurt because of him makes Ajax go hysterical and he carries her off, plowing through half of the Pantheon’s armament.
Ulysses orders Hector to pull them back. Their troops are in disarray, they need to fall back until they can get their act together.
Guido helps Lorna up and asks Jamie how he is. Jamie managed to spread the wounds between the dupes, so he isn’t badly hurt. Should he chase them? Lorna reminds him they have to find Alex and Rahne.
In the town, Prometheus is attacking an increasingly annoyed Quicksilver with a pulse cannon. Rahne is still working on her ties when Jolel runs out with a raised knife, ready to attack her. His sister hit him with a bottle, realizing he is going too far. She unties Rahne.
Rahne runs to help Quicksilver, then hears a scream. She turns around to see that Jolel has stabbed Sandah. Horrified, he stammers he didn’t mean to. She got him so angry. Rahne goes berserk. She pushes him inside the house where she tears him apart.
Elsewhere, Quicksilver has gotten rid of Prometheus and shouts for Rahne, who steps out of the house. He asks who the dead girl on the sidewalk is and what happened. She tells him to just get her out of here now! As he carries her away. He asks if she wants to tell him what happened. Not what happened, she replies crying. What will happen! She’s going to burn, she just knows it! Forever and ever!