David Alleyne a.k.a. Prodigy is in his room within X-Factor's headquarters, the Boneyard. His tablet keeps ringing repeatedly – 94 missed calls from Tommy. '$%^& speedsters...' Prodigy mutters, before he finally answers the phone: 'Yes! Hello! $%^&! Hi!' He then looks into his tablet as he declares 'Yes, it's true! I got ganked during the same O.N.E. attack on Xavier's Institute that wiped out a bunch of other kids! Okay? Happy now, Tommy? You know how I died – now stop calling me a hundred times a minute!' David exclaims. 'Okay, but see, this is why I'm calling you a hundred times a minute' Tommy a.k.a. Speed can be heard responding over the tablet. Suddenly: 'Because, no, actually – you didn't!' Tommy declares as he races into David's room, knocking David over onto his bed, while his voice can be heard echoing through the tablet. 'What?' David asks, sitting up on his bed. 'You couldn't have died in tht mess. You were with me that night' Tommy reminds David. 'Look' he tells him as he holds up his phone, which displays a photo of them kissing.
'Who took that?' David asks. Tommy tells him that he doesn't know, and remarks that it is the only thing posted on that account, before revealing that there are other pictures from that night, and that David tagged him in it. 'I did?' David asks. 'Yeah' Tommy replies, before sitting down next to David. 'So...' Tommy begins. 'Oh' Davis utters. 'Sorry' Tommy tells him. 'No, no... it's okay' David replies. Tommy grins and asks David if he wants to make out. 'Yup' David replies, turning to Tommy, they quickly embrace and lock lips.
Elsewhere within the Boneyard, 'You're afraid of me, Aurora' Daken calls out to Jeanne-Marie Beaubier a.k.a. Aurora as she walks down the sprawling staircase that tuns through the center of the building. 'Non, non – I -' Jeanne-Marie begins, looking up at Daken, who points at himself and reminds her that he can smell it. 'Fear is a thing I can smell' Daken tells Jeanne-Marie. Jeanne-Marie sighs and asks Daken if he can blame her. 'You are a being who can smell things like fear. Who can manipulate things like fear. Or... lust' Jeanne-Marie adds. 'My pheromone powers don't even -' Daken begins, before looking away and telling Jeanne-Marie to forget it. He turns and starts to walk away. 'Daken, wait -' Jeanne-Marie calls out, but Daken tells her not to worry, and that he will stop bothering her now.
'I said wait' Jeanne-Marie exclaims as she speeds up the stairs and places herself in front of Daken. 'Your pheromone powers don't even...what?' she asks. 'Work that way' Daken tells her as they look into each other's eyes. Jeanne-Marie puts her hands on Daken's chest as he tells her that he is not a telepath, that he can't just make people feel whatever he wants them to feel or think. 'I can only adjust what already exists' Daken claims. He moves away from Jeanne-Marie and leans on the bannister next to the staircase. 'I can't... I mean, I can interact with brain chemicals. Nudge them up or down to a limited extent. But I can't manipulate anything that doesn't exist. And I can't manufacture something out of thin air' Daken explains. Jeanne-Marie asks him if he just goes around feeling and sensing and smelling every emotion around him, but can't see why people feel that way. 'Yes' Daken confirms. Jeanne-Marie falls silent, and Daken tells her that she hates this.
'Well, yes! That sounds wretched. You're like a blindfold empath set out to wander alone in darkness' Jeanne-Marie tells him. 'You walk through a crowd feeling and smelling how many of the people around you lust for you. But you can't see why. Or what their intentions are. Or if they even like you at all. There's no context. Only a barrage of their desire via noise and scent and sensations?' Jeanne-Marie asks. 'This is a harrowing experience, out?' she enquires. 'Sometimes' Daken admits. He then turns to Jeanne-Marie and smiles, explaining that other times, it is sensing a shift from fear back to, “lust”, to use what Jeanne-Marie described. 'What would you call it?' Jeanne-Marie asks, as Daken puts a hand near her shoulder. 'A cocktail' Daken responds. 'Or... a series of green lights. I don't know. I -' Daken begins, as Jeanne-Marie interrupts him: 'Can't see it' she tells him. 'Right' Daken agrees. 'You can only feel it' Jeanne-Marie points out. '... Right' Daken agrees, before a voice shouts 'DAKEN!'
'Kiss me' Jeanne-Marie tells Daken, ignoring the shouting. 'No' Daken tells her, before Jeanne-Marie asks him why he is dressed like a frat boy today, noting he is wearing a cap backwards. 'You're one to talk. Why do you dress like a Sunday school teacher every day?' Daken replies. Jeanne-Marie laughs, while Daken runs his hand across her ear and explains that he is wearing “normie” clothes to pass for a flatscan while he follows Siryn. 'DAKEN!' the voice shouts, even louder this time, coming from the ground level floor, it's Jean-Paul Beaubier a.k.a. Northstar, Aurora's brother and leader of X-Factor. 'Kiss me, you coward' Jeanne-Marie tells Daken. 'No' Daken replies, kissing Jeanne-Marie's forehead. 'You'll have me begging for it soon, Jeanne-Marie...' Daken remarks as he walks away. 'As it should be' Jeanne-Marie calls back.
Daken arrives downstaris, and Northstar tells him that he doesn't have his number. 'I don't have a phone, Northstar' Daken repies. 'Then take fleet seeds. Plenty' Northstar instructs him. 'No phone, but plenty of fleet seeds – water? Take water' Northstar adds. 'You're terrible at this' Daken mumbles. 'Don't die?' Northstar suggests. 'Better. Needs work' Daken remarks. 'Right. Well. We don't need to have the talk, correct?' Northstar asks as they walk towards the front dooor. 'I mean...I think I have a pretty good handle on the birds and the bees by now?' Daken responds. 'No, the talk where I remind you that I'll kill you if you break my sister's heart' Northstar responds. 'Oh -' Daken utters. 'Et-cetera' Northstar adds. 'Actually – I know you're good for it' Daken remarks as he walks out the door. 'Don't forget the fleet seeds!' Northstar calls out.
Soon, 'He forgot the fleet seeds' Lorna Dane a.k.a. Polaris remarks as she holds them up while sitting around a table. Northstar utters several expletives, while Aurora and Trevor Hawkins a.k.a. Eye-Boy sit nearby, everyone has small holo-monitors displayed in front of them as they keep track of Daken's mission.
'Thanks, snitch' Daken remarks through a payphone, while watching as Theresa Rourke Cassidy a.k.a. Siryn towards him. 'Listen – do me a favor and tell JP we're not in Barcelona anymore' Daken remarks. He turns away from the sidewalk as Siryn moves closer, while he reports that Siryn backtracked through the Barcelona gate and then left Krakoa again through the southern Alberta one. He adds that he thinks she is headed south toward the States now. As Siryn walks towards a bus, Daken announces that he has to go, as she is taking a bus, and he is following behind in a car he stole. 'Don't tell JP that part. I just felt like bragging' Daken adds. He falls silent as Siryn passes him and gets onto the bus. 'Polaris? You still there? Hello?' Daken calls out down the payphone, but gets no response.
'He says Siryn's dong a guided Gaudi tour around Barcelona' Lorna reports as she hangs up her mobile phone. 'It's a wlaking tour, so Daken says it'll take a day' Lorna adds. 'So she's just... sightseeing?' Northstar asks. 'Apparently' Lorna tells him. Eye-Boy looks at Polaris and picks up various pieces of information from her, noting her heartrate, the way she narrows her eyes and so on. 'Lucky Akihiro. Barcelona is a beautiful city' Northstar comments, before clapping his hands and reporting that the rest of them have work to get to. With Aurora wearing her X-Factor costume, Northstar suggests that they split into three teams, of two people, one interrogator and one lie detector on each time. Polaris tells him that that makes sense and offers to go grab Rachel, who is over at the Braddock Lighthouse right now, checking on how everything is going with Betsy. 'Why is she lying?' Eye-Boy wonders. 'Partner up' Aurora smiles art Eye-Boy. 'Oh! Sure, haha. Okay!' Eye-Boy replies sheepishly. 'Then Prodigy, you and I will... where is he?' Northstar asks, realizing that Prodigy is not at the meeting.
An instant later, Northstar is speeding through the Boneyard in an attempt to find Prodigy – but comes to a stop when Tommy speedds towards him. '...Hello...young person...?' Northstar remarks. 'Hi? Fellow speedster!' Speed responds. 'Who are you, and why are you here? Do you need help?' Northstar asks. Pulling his shirt down over his head, Prodigy emerges from his quarters and remarks 'He's on his way out. His name is Tommy – he's my guest'. 'Guest with benefits' Tommy adds. 'Guest with benefits, who is leaving' Prodigy remarks as he goes over and starts to pull Tommy away from Northstar. Tommy smiles and asks 'Hey, what's your top velocity? Mines 761 miles per hour'. '189,299 miles per second' Northstar responds. 'Bull! There's no way! That's impossible!' Tommy declares, pointing a finger at Northstar. 'No, Tommy, that's Northstar' David utters. Tommy goes wide-eyed and quickly turns his head from Tommy to Northstar, smiling, he exclaims 'Wait, you can fly?'
'That's not fair! A speedster and you can fly? That would make you -' Tommy begins, to which Northstar boasts 'The fastest mutant alive, oui. This is true'. As David drags Tommy down some stairs, Tommy tells Northstar that is cheating, and that he is taking shortcuts if he flies everywhere. 'I suppose that make sense, were I trying to soothe my wounded ego by lying to myself about an arbitrary speedster rule system I had just made up. Sure'. Northstar replies. 'Race me!' Speed calls out. 'Non' Northstar tells him. 'Fastest runner to Australia and back buys the loser a smoothie' Speed suggests. 'Non' Northstar replies again as he follows David and Tommy down the stairs. Tommy smiles as he asks how 189,299 miles per second is even possible, as that is faster than the speed of light. 'That would -' Tommy begins. 'Destroy everything in my path, yes. That's correct. I could garrote the world in half with one lap if I wished it' Northstar boasts. 'Badass' Tommy smiles. Northstar admits that it would just destroy him – physically, he means, not emotionally. 'I can't breathe at that point because I've created a vacuum and my organs are getting crushed, my bones pulverized into dust'. 'Bad. Ass' Speed exclaims.
Prodigy continues to try and drag Tommy towards the front door, while Tommy asks Northsstar if he used to be an Olympic skier too, and won gold a few times. 'God, I bet you were fast' Tommy gushes. 'Olympic speedster skier? Olympic speedster skier going downhill on snow!' he calls out. 'I'm also rich and gay, since you seem to be keeping score' Northstar adds. 'Downhill on some %$&^ snow!' Tommy exclaims. 'Okay, okay! Time to go, Tommy. Northstar and I have X-Factor work to do' David declares as he pushes Tommy out the front door. ''But I'm feeling really emasculated right now, babe. Kiss it better?' Tommy replies. Northstar stands in the doorway and Tommy turns back to him, asking him if gravity even registers to someone like him. 'Can you feel it? It's different, isn't it? Tell me! I have to know!' Northstar explains that it only feels different in movement, but at rest, it is the same, while in flight and at top speeds, it doesn't quite feel the same to him as it does to others. 'That was an astute observation' Northstar tells Tommy. 'MWAH! Bye, Tommy!' Prodigy declares as he kisses Tommy. Northstar then tells Tommy that he is welcome to come back and visit the Boneyard anytime.
Later: 'Acting strange how?' Banshee asks as he talks to Northstar and Prodigy. 'Well – you know she's died a lot recently, right?' Prodigy replies. 'WHAT?' Banshee, the father of Siryn, shouts. 'Guess not' Northstar remarks.
Elsewhere, Polaris' phone begins to ring. She answers it, and Daken's voice can be heard: 'Polaris, I need y-' he begins, before she scowls and hangs up on him.
Aurora and Eye-Boy, meanwhile, are meeting with Dazzler, who tells them that since they mention it, Siryn has been missing a lot of band practices lately. 'Dazzler's telling the truth' Eye-Boy whispers to Aurora, who asks Dazzler to tell them more.
Northstar and Prodigy have found Multiple Man, who tells them that it was a one-time thing, and that he doesn't know why they are asking her about Siryn like he is her keeper or something. 'I wasn't. I thought you were friends' Northstar responds. 'You know, when I ran X-Factor, we did things differently' Multiple Man declares. 'Must by why I run things now' Northstar replies calmly.
Polaris' phone rings again, an unknown number located in Montana – but she hangs up on it.
'What the $%^&, Lorna!' Daken calls out, looking at the payphone he holds in his hands.
'Mr Summers, have you noticed Theresa acting strangely lately?' Aurora asks as she and Prodigy enter the Green Lagoon bar. 'Please, call me Alex. Mr Summers is my brother' Havok smiles, before he reports that he hasn't seen much of Siryn around. Their conversation does not go unnoticed by another patron in the bar – Feral – who cocks her head to listen and watch.
'You're too late. They're on their way' Daken remarks as he hangs the payphone up under a night sky. 'You're bluffing' someone unseen calls back.
Back at the Boneyard, X-Factor are regrouping. 'Welp! That was a total bust' Polaris remarks. 'At least we confirmed she has been unlike herself lately' Aurora tells the others. Northstar notices his husband, Kyle Jinadu-Beaubier, walking down the staircase and asks him where he is headed. Backpack over one shoulder, Kyle reports that he is headed to Braddock Lighthouse, as Excalibur is doing some fieldwork in Avalon and Jubilee asked him to babysit Shogo tonight. 'She said that he needs more “positive human influences” in his life' Kyle explains, before asking 'What was a bust?' Northstar tells him that questioning Siryn's friends and family was, as none of them were particularly helpful. Kyle asks Northstar if he wants him to give it a go, suggesting that his public relations experience might help. 'The only difference between what I do and what an investigative reporter does is that only one of these professions actually publishes its findings' Kyle adds. 'The other endeavors to hide it'. Kyle then asks if Siryn has been seeing someone lately, but Northstar reports that they couldn't determine, as Siryn has been keeping her distance from her friends and family, for whatever reason. Kyle suggests that these things might be connected.
'How do you mean?' Northstar asks. Kyule explains that deliberately isolating someone from their friends and family is an abuser tactic – it's how they get away with the abuse, by making sure no one is around to intervene on their loved one's behalf, because it doesn't look like abuse at first, of course. Kyle remarks that it looks like they are helping because no one cares about this person they've isolated anyway, and an abuser convinces their victim it is their fault, and they will often methodically attack weaknesses in someone's emotional armor before things escalate to physical violence.
'They won't even take your call!' an unseen Siryn calls out as she flies through the dark sky, above Daken, who rushes through waist-high snow in a remote, desolate location. 'Do you know how eas it was to lure you all the way out here? How dumb you are?' Siryn asks, before she suddenly swoops down and flies past Daken, knocking him in the face in a frantic blur. She hits him again, drawing blood and hurling him towards some broken timber lying nearby, telling him to face it, that no one cares about him – not his father and not his co-workers, either. She then drops him down towards the jagged planks of timber that poke upwards and tells Daken that they sent him off like a sacrificial lamb because no one gives a $#%& what happens to him. 'You...won't get away with this...' a badly injured Daken utters, his bruised and bloodied body skewered on one of the boken planks. 'You sure? No one knows where you are. They'll never find you' Siryn tells Daken, pointing out that they have to have a body to resurrect him. 'When do you think someone will even think of coming to look for you? They'll just assume you've flaked like always'. 'No...' Daken whispers, while Siryn declares that she is doing them a favor, really, getting him out of their hair.
'Something to keep in mind, anyhow' Kyle concludes. 'I see. Thank you – I love you' Northstar tells his husband. Aurora tells the others that she really, truly hopes that is not what Siryn is experiencing right now, as it is awful. Rachel Summers a.k.a. Prestige approaches the others and asks them why they have long faces, and whether or not they are working today. Polaris utters a forced laugh and asks Rachel what she means. 'We already worked today! Remember!' she exclaims. 'Lorna! You're lying! And you were lying earlier!' Eye-Boy shouts, pointing at Polaris. Northstar snaps his fingers at Rachel and tells her to fix it, to get it out of Lorna, whatever it is. 'I'll be quick' Rachel smirks. 'Bet you say that to all the girls' Lorna retorts, too which Rachel snorts, as she telepathically enters Lorna's mind, and sees a replay of what happened between Siryn and Polaris. She sees Polaris frozen and a flock of birds hovering in the air around her. 'It's the Morrigan. It's the $#%& Morrigan! She's been passing as Siryn all along!' Rachel reports.
Rachel announces that she has removed the blocks, and explains that the Morrigan used Siryn's sonic hypnosis to brainwash Lorna into forgetting her encounter with her and to get her to sabotage their investigation at every step, which is why Polaris has been acting so weird, she had no choice. 'I'm going to kill her! Again!' Lorna exclaims, before telling everyone that Daken called the first day he left because he was trying to tell her they had changed locations, they came back, then left through the Alberta gate. Northstar speeds out of the Boneyard an instant later, despite Polaris telling him to wait.
A short time later: 'I told you... bring the stupid $#%& fleet seeds! What is wrong with you!' Northstar asks Daken as he arrives in Alberta, snow falling around him as he finds Daken, impaled on the planks. 'Ha... funny you should ask...' Daken utters. Northstar tells him to hold still, as he starts to break all the wood trapping Northstar. Daken wearily asks Northstar how he found him, to which Northstar asks what he means “how” and boasts that he is the fastest damn mutant alive. 'Polaris said you were in this general area, so I searched this part of the continent. The whole endeavor took about seven minutes' Northstar explains. 'Been stuck here... days...' Daken reveals. Northstar tells Daken that he knows, and apologizes, assuring him that he came as soon as he heard. 'You look like $#%&, by the way' Northstar adds as he helps Daken to walk. 'Quit flirting. I'm flattered, but -' Daken begins, to which Northstar tells him to stop talking.
'I already know this punch line won't even be worth it'. 'Flattered, but...my heart belongs to...' Daken begins, but Northstar tells him to shut up, as he can hear the blood gurgling in his lungs. 'Aurora' Daken concludes. Northstar looks at Daken and tells him that he knows, and that they've talked about this. 'Ugh. I told you the punchline wasn't worth it' Northstar suggests Daken save his breath, or he will spare them both the hassle of getting his nearly dead ass back to the Boneyard and just make him fully dead and flagged for resurrection, instead. Daken says nothing, as Northstar continues to help him trudge through the snow. Northstar sighs and thanks Daken.
Later, in the Boneyard, within the Alveolar Caves, Daken is alone, relaxing in the warm waters of the hot pools, as steam rises around him. 'I thought you'd left us' Aurora utters as she drops down into the water, fully clothed. 'I thought you'd all left me to die' Daken replies. Aurora moves closer to him, 'Boy, she really did a number on you...' Aurora begins as she reaches out to touch Daken, but he brushes her off. 'Akihiro...' Aurora utters. 'I don't want to talk about it' Daken tells her as he hangs his head. 'What happened to you out there?' Aurora asks. 'Don't worry about it' Daken replies. 'Akihiro, it's me' Aurora exclaims. But Dkaen remains silent, closing his eyes, he finally looks up at Aurora and reveals that he pulled his punches, thinking it was Siryn. 'This stupid team, trying to play nice on Krakoa – it's all made me so soft. I got killed by a death goddess who didn't know I have a healing ability. I was stuck, impaled alive on a broken crossbeam while too injured to pull myself off it, and with it stuck in me, I couldn't even heal enough to try!'
Daken continues, informing Aurora that before the Morrigan left him for dead, she got in his head, too, using Siryn's hypnosis, like she did on Lorna, and made him believe all these awful things – like he was trying to swim for shore while a furious tide kept pulling him farther and farther out. 'I wish I had just $%^& died out there' Daken admits. 'Can I kiss you?' Aurora asks, leaning against Daken's bare chest. 'Yes. Please' Daken replies. Their lips move closer together and Aurora puts her hands on Daken's face, then hugs him close, before Daken winches, and Aurora pulls away, 'Oh – I'm sorry! I'm sorry! I didn't mean -' she begins, but Daken tells her that it's fine, that he is okay, but still healing. He wraps his arms around her, and Aurora tells him that is understandable, as a goddess of death gored straight through him. Aurora leans into Daken and puts her head against him, 'Akihiro. While you were gone. I missed you' she admits. Daken sighs as he admits to Aurora that he missed her the entire time he was gone, too. 'Please... don't go away like that. Again' Aurora asks him. 'Okay. Okay, I won't' Daken responds.
'AURORA!' Northstar shouts from the living room where he reclines on a sofa. 'AURORA!' Northstar shouts again when he gets no answer. Daken laughs, before asking why Northstar is like that, why he is shouting instead of zooming. 'There's nothing he's more terrified of than losing people he cares about' Aurora replies as she stands up and starts to move away from Daken. 'How so?' Daken enquires. Aurora tells Daken that when he gets the chance, he should ask Northstar about his time in Nate Grey's false utopia. 'Both my little sisters were trapped inside there' Daken informs Aurora. 'Then you know. You know what it was like, and how they all came back acting a bit different' Aurora remarks. She stands out of the water and tells Daken that it is the trauma, it's what trauma does to a person, it rewires their brain. 'For his part, Northstar's still terrified and needs to keep checking that we're all still here' Aurora explains.
Later on the same night: 'They're dead. Aurora and Jean-Paul' a voice utters. The Boneyard has been plunged into darkness, save for the glow of the television screen in the living room. 'We need to turn the TV off – because if she sees the light from the hall, she'll know we're hiding in here' Prodigy utters as he hides in a corner with Eye-Boy, while Daken crouches opposite them. 'Rachel's dead. Polaris, too' Eye-Boy announces, seeing their bodies with his special sight powers. 'We're thev last ones' Eye-Boy remarks as Daken crawls behind the couch and reaches the television, switching it off, as he discovers a glowing symbol etched in the carpet, the bodies of Northstar and Aurora leaning against each other, blood stains around them, and flowers in their hair. 'Everybody else is dead!'