The Med Bay. Utopia…
Doctor Nemesis struggles to revive Rahne Sinclair as she goes into cardiac arrest. After ordering the standers-by to clear, he places the defibrillator paddles on her chest and sends a surge of electricity through her body. CHOOM! Rahne remains unconscious. Vanisher, standing nearby, asks Nemesis if they can do that to Elixir. X-23 tells him to shut up.
X-23, addressing Dr. Nemesis, plainly states he has to save her. He asks what the hell she thinks he’s been trying to do—torture her? Laura tells him to try harder. Annoyed, Nemesis explains exactly what’s wrong with the girl. She’s got severe internal bleeding, her heart’s about to fail and there’s something kicking the hell out of her insides, which the sedatives are not stopping. “If you’ve got ideas, I’m happy to hear them,” Nemesis says to X-23. “Because otherwise, Rahne Sinclair’s got abboouuttt fiiiivvvee… mmmmiiiinnnuutteeeessss…”
His voice slowly fades; time seems to stop. Within this frozen moment, Wolfsbane’s lover Hrimhari appears with Hela, the Asgardian goddess of death, at his side. Hela seems surprised; for this, Hrimhari has summoned her—for a mere dying mortal? She expected more. Hrimhari begs for Hela to save Rahne, citing his relation to Hela’s servant Fenris as leverage. “Save her and my unborn child,” he asks.
Hela denies him. If Hrimhari wishes to save a soul, he must give Hela his in return. A soul for a soul—this is what Hela will grant him. With the terms of the deal clear, Hela asks Hrimhari to make his choice—and choose which life he wishes to save.
The Upper Corridors…
Wolverine, Domino, Warpath and Archangel stare at the new intruders on Utopia. “It’s him. It’s Bard,” Warpath says. Logan knows; he also identifies one of the assailants as Senyaka, a former goon of Magneto’s. Dazzler, meanwhile, looks in astonishment at Mortis—known to her as her sister, Lois London, whom she has not seen in years. Cyclops spots their former student Wither amongst the five, deadly looking arrivals. Wither’s presence distresses Mercury, his former classmate at the Xavier Institute. Emma Frost identifies the final member of Selene’s Inner Circle as Clarice, also known as Blink, whom she believed to have died years earlier.
Not willing to wait to be attacked, Diamond Lil leaves Iceman’s side, leaps to her feet and charges at the invaders. Madison Jeffries screams for her to wait, but Lil refuses to listen. She charges headfirst at Mortis. Lois, however, calmly grabs Lillian by the neck and effortlessly stops her heart. Lillian slumps to the ground with a sickening THUD, her lifeless eyes wide-open in shock. Madison screams as he watches his wife die.
While Mortis slays Diamond Lil, Senyaka strangles the reptilian mutant Meld with his psionic whips.
With two of their allies already defeated, Cyclops gives Wolverine the order. The four members of X-Force size up their opponents across the corridor and prepare to strike. “Take ‘em down,” Wolverine commands.
X-Force charges. Domino rapidly fires her handguns at Eli Bard, but her bullets pass harmlessly through the ageless, intangible vampire.
Bard places dibs on Warpath, to whom he refers as ‘the Apache’. Wither orders him to just to his job while the others deal with the X-Men.
Emma Frost screams as Wolverine lunges claws-first toward her former student Wither. Don’t hurt him, she pleads! Momentarily distracted by Emma’s screams, Logan stops what he’s doing and turns to face her—leaving himself vulnerable to Mortis’s lethal touch. She places her hand on his shoulder and stops his heart—almost. Amazingly, Wolverine actually survives the attack. “His heart is strong,” Mortis says. “Well…stronger than the girl’s.”
Logan, a screaming mess, falls to the ground and curls up into the fetal position. Wither follows up Mortis’s attack by placing his hand on Logan’s face and forcing his flesh to decay. “Hello, ‘professor Logan’,” Wither says. “I always hated you.” Wolverine screams as the skin sloughs off his face.
Fortunately for Wolverine, Warpath comes to his aid and knocks away Wither’s touch. However, Eli Bard intervenes and resumes his feud with Warpath. He told him this was personal, Bard says as he pins Proudstar to the wall. James vows to slay him, but Bard asks how he intends to do that when he can’t even touch him. The only thing that can save his friends is the spirit blade, Bard says. He demands to know where it is.
Meanwhile, Archangel soars toward Blink and Senyaka. He advises Blink to run while she still can. After glibly saying she’ll think about it, Blink orders Senyaka to ground their assailant. Effortlessly, Senyaka binds the airborne Archangel with his psionic whips and tethers him to the ground. Blink approaches the fallen angel, says goodbye to his wings and, with a mere gesture, teleports the majestic metal wings off his back. Archangel screams as the wings are ripped from his body.
Selene, curled up on her red, velvet armchair, asks her servant what he brought her. Caliban has found more mutants to serve her, Caliban says. These ones held onto their powers, unlike the others. He promises more are coming. Selene approves; Caliban has served her well.
Behind Selene stands her two resurrected servants, Negasonic Teenage Warhead and Thunderbird—Warpath’s brother. “My brother will fight you, witch…you and the demon Bard,” John Proudstar says stoically. Negasonic Teenage Warhead disagrees. His brother is coming to Necrosha, but he won’t kill Bard, she says. In fact, John will fight him. Does he want to know how it ends? She supposes it doesn’t matter; he’s going to die—again. They all will.
Selene, grinning in anticipation, tells her servants not to quarrel. It’s almost time, she says.
Utopia. Med Lab…
Hela grows impatient with Hrimhari’s indecision. She reminds him her patience is not infinite, even for one of Fenris’s pack. Choose, she commands. He may save one life, be it his love, or his cub. He must choose: his soul, in exchange for one other. Forlorn, Hrimhari claims he cannot make such a choice. He must, Hela says, or both shall die. If that’s the case, then Hrimhari chooses another. He points toward the comatose Elixir.
Angered, Hela asks Hrimhari if he seeks to trick her. Denying her accusation, he claims he only obeys the rules she created. He exchanges his soul for the life of the mortal healer. He will not put either his child or his love in Hela’s debt. Very well, Hela says. She lays her hand on Elixir’s forehead and orders him to awaken.
Just like that, Elixir jerks upward off the medical table and screams for Nori, whom he last remembers saving. Confused by his whereabouts, however, he looks around the room and struggles to discern where he is. The two Asgardian figures call out to him. Josh faces them as their figures begin to fade. There is not much time, Hrimhari tells Josh. He must save Rahne Sinclair; she believes in him. “Tell Rahne I love her,” Hrimhari says as his form fades into nothingness, “and tell her… tell her, I will find a way back to her—”
They vanish. The regular flow of time slowly resumes, and Elixir discovers Doctor Nemesis, X-23 and the Vanisher in the room overseeing the unconscious body of Rahne Sinclair. Nemesis glances over at Elixir; when the hell did he wake up? “Foley! Yes!” the Vanisher says in jubilation. While Nemesis demands to know what just happened, the Vanisher begs Elixir to help him. Elixir, however, shouts at them to move and rushes over to Rahne’s side. He lays hands on her head and womb and begins to heal her. A warm glow emanates from both points of contact. Behind him, Vanisher watches inquisitively. “So, uh… can I get in on this?” he asks.
The Upper Corridors…
The battle with Selene’s Inner Circle continues. Mercury binds Wither with her metallic form and begs him to stop what he’s doing. This isn’t who he is; he’s being controlled, she whimpers. Kevin looks his former flame in the eye. “Cessily,” Wither says softly, “…you’re pathetic.” At that moment, Blink sneaks up behind Mercury and forcibly teleports her away from Wither. Mercury screams as a large portion of her liquid body is transported to parts unknown.
Nearby, Cyclops orders Dust to switch to her sand form so she can take down Wither. He fires his optic blast at Blink; Dazzler accompanies his attack by firing a laser of her own. Blink, however, disappears before their beams can hit.
Wolverine comes to Domino’s aid as she fires her handguns at Senyaka. Surging forward, he plunges his claws deep into Senyaka’s chest. His attack does nothing. “Dammit,” Logan mutters. Senyaka, looking his attacker calmly in the eye, asks if thinks he has not been killed before—because he has.
Mortis, meanwhile, charges at her sister Dazzler, hoping to make her the victim of her next attack. Dazzler repels her estranged sister with blinding pulses of light. Stay back, she shouts! Why is she doing this? “Because I hate you!” Lois shouts back.
As per Cyclops’s orders, Dust swirls around Wither in her sandy form. She begs Kevin to stop; they were once friends. While Dust encircles him, her classmate Onyxx arrives to assist her, diving headfirst at Wither in an attempt to clobber him. Cyclops watches this scene unfold in horror. Although he shouts for Onyxx to halt, he is too late; Onyxx tumbles right into the deadly touch of Wither. Instantly, Onyxx’s rocky body disintegrates as Wither destroys the organic bonds that bind it. His metallic helmet is all that remains. Dust screams as her friend dies—and Wither smiles.
Nearby, Warpath struggles to slay Eli Bard but the vampire’s ethereal form eludes him. The exhausted Warpath pauses for a moment to recompose himself. Bard takes this opportunity to deliver his ultimatum one more time: bring him the spirit blade before there are no lives left to save on this island. Looking him in the eye, Warpath asks if he’ll truly stop the attacks if he gives him the blade. Yes, Bard says—but the killing will continue until he has the weapon. With that, Warpath takes off running, in desperate search for the one thing that can stop this mayhem. A demonic grin spreads across Bard’s face as Warpath departs. “Run, little Indian,” he says, “…run.”
The Med Lab…
Rahne, covering herself with a sheet, sits up and screams. Elixir tells her everything is okay; she’s in the med-lab on Utopia. “On… on where?” Rahne asks. She also asks what happened; the last she remembers, she was with Hrimhari. She thinks she may have fainted. Elixir tells her that would make sense because of her unusual pregnancy. He could sense the genetics of her baby and discovered they were not human. They were similar, he says, but stronger. As he lays his hand on her womb once again, he explains to Rahne he’s transferring some of her baby’s strength to her so her body can survive the pregnancy.
Stunned, Rahne’s eyes widen. Baby? It’s the first she’s heard of this. She examines the room but doesn’t see Hrimhari anywhere. She asks Laura and Josh if they know where he is. Laura tells her that he is gone; she cannot sense him anywhere on the island. Josh, hesitating for a moment, reveals that he thinks he saw Hrimhari. A giant woman dressed all in green took him, but before he left, he said he loved Rahne—and that he will find his way back to her. Elixir tells Rahne he’s sorry for her loss.
Elsewhere on the island, Warpath barges into his bunk room and stumbles over to his bed. Frantically, he digs through his things, in desperate search of the spirit blade. He finds it in short time. “You want this knife, Bard?” he asks. “I’m gonna put it right in your damn—”
BLINK! A burst of pink light heralds the arrival of Selene’s Inner Circle. They encircle Warpath, who holds the weapon they seek. Senyaka lashes out with his whips and binds James while Eliphas rips the spirit blade from his hands. “Thank you, savage. This is exactly what I was looking for,” Bard says. Through choked breaths, Warpath vows to kill Bard, but Bard merely laughs at his pitiful threats. “Oh, please. You don’t get to kill anyone. You just get to watch as everything you love dies.”
With their mission accomplished, Blink prepares to return the Inner Circle to Necrosha. Wither curses; he really thought he’d get the chance to kill Frost. Nevertheless, he agrees they need to return.
The Upper Corridor…
Madison Jeffries sobs as he cradles Diamond Lil’s lifeless body. He’s so sorry, he says. He never stopped loving her.
Nearby, Dust crouches before Onyxx’s hemispherical helmet, the last remnant of his body. This is not happening again, she whimpers. Cyclops tells her he is sorry for her loss. However, the Cuckoos have detected Cessily on the north end of the island, but she’s hurt. He needs Sooraya to find her and get her to Dr. Nemesis immediately. Dust is unresponsive.
Dazzler and Domino, meanwhile, help the crippled Archangel to his feet. To Domino’s surprise, Archangel’s wings grow back before their very eyes.
Emma Frost remains an emotional mess. She curses Selene’s name as she grovels on the floor.
Cyclops, standing tall, orders Phoebe and Irma Cuckoo to continue scanning the island. They need to find him Wither. Confounded by the attack and their losses, Wolverine asks Cyclops what the hell just happened.
Meanwhile, in Cerebra, Surge and Hellion stand guard while the Cuckoos scan the island. Hellion urges the girls to hurry; they’ve got more company coming. The Cuckoos report to Cyclops that they found Wither, but he’s on Genosha, not Utopia. There’s more, they state; Warpath is with him.
In the upper corridors, Cyclops reports to Wolverine that Warpath is now on Genosha. Wolverine pieces the scenario together: Selene’s crew got what they wanted and took Warpath with them when they left. Declaring that the time for reacting is over, Cyclops begins issuing orders. He and Emma and the rest of the X-Men will stay on Utopia and defend it. Wolverine and X-Force, however, are going to Genosha to save Warpath and stop Selene.
“I don’t want her stopped,” Emma Frost says. Scott and Logan turn and see Emma standing upright in her diamond form. “Let me make this as clear as I can, Logan,” Emma says. “You need to kill her. Her and everyone that attacked us… even Kevin. That’s the only way this will end.”
The Med Lab…
As Wolfsbane pulls on her X-Force uniform, she asks how this can be happening. “We must assume the two of you had se—” X-23 begins to say. Elixir interrupts her; he doesn’t think that is what Rahne meant. Turning to Rahne, he tells her she’s going to be okay; they’re going to get through this. “Not necessarily,” X-23 says. “Both of you are unaware… the island is currently under attack.”
This news takes Josh by surprise, but the Vanisher assures him it’s true. “That’s right! We’re all going to die!” he says. “So don’t you think you should take out the tumor you gave me?”
Dr. Nemesis, standing behind Josh, smiles at this news. He gave the weasel a tumor? That’s great, he tells Josh.
X-23 tells the Vanisher that Josh will not remove his tumor. The entire island is under siege, she says; they need his abilities. “Then take out the tumor and I’ll help you. I swear,” Telford says.
Elixir begins to say something to Telford, but Wolverine arrives and orders him to leave it in. They’re not done with him yet, Logan says with Archangel and Domino at his side. He’s taking them to Genosha.