In their van the X-Men escape from the Synge enforcers, while being shot at. Xi’an’s consition is critical, yet without Tim he wouldn’t be alive at all. They wonder why the enforcers are after them, but Krystalin knows the answer when she picks up the com-lines opf the enforcers. Noah Synge was murdered and the evidence points to Xi’an. Meanstreak scouts ahead and finds a route through the tunnels, but once they make their way to the surface, the X-Men’s van is surrounded by a helicopter and a tank. Unexpected help arrives in Bloodhwak, who deals with the helicopter first, making it crash and then throws a grenade to blow up the tank. Bloodhawk lands near the van and says that this is his way of repaying that Xi’an sent his operatives to save him (last issue), but now that debt is paid. Cerebra fills him in on the critical condition of their leader, and that they need a place to hide. Bloodhawk offers to take them to a secure location.
Lytton Synge inspects the Arcology, the X-Men’s former base. Junkpile tells him that his assassin screwed up. Lytton injects himself with another ampule of Shriek, a drug, and then sends Junkpile to find Xi’an. Junkpile obviously doesn’t believe that Xi’an is responsible for killing Noah Synge, but has his own reasons to see Xi’an dead.
Noah Synge’s funeral service is disturbed by his daughter, Desdemona, who is glad that the old man is dead. Lytton tries to shut her up, but she continues to voice her opinion on her father and verbally assaults the people who have come to show their respect.
In the safe place, Bloodhawk tells the X-Men to not overstay their welcome. The X-Men discuss Junkpile’s betrayal. Shakti then calls them to see Xi’an. Xi’an is comatose but a protective sheath of some unknown material, according to Shakti cuticle-like, is forming around the wound and is spreading across his body. Shakti then decides that they first need to prove Xi’an’s innocence, so that she can take care of him in a genuine med-lab.
In the Las Vegas-casino, Metalhead forces an enforcer to open the doors to the mortuary. Krystallin takes out the enforcers inside with a crsytal bo staff and Meanstreak locks up another employee.
Back at the hideout, Tim, Cerebra and Tina observe that Xi’an’s body is now almost completely covered. Shakti explains to Timothy why everybody blames Xi’an for Synge’s death. Back when Xi’An rode with the Lawless, they were offered to work as his Casino Elite, but refused. This angered Noah Synge, and becasue of being huinted by his enforcers Xi’an left to Vietnam, where he sfound a new conscience and returned with a vision of post-coporate world order. He recruited people like Cerebra for his cause, and Tim was meant as their final addition. Suddenly they hear Junkpile’s vehicle.
In the mortuary, Krystallin takes a tissue sample of Synge’s body and Meanstreak analyses it. It turns out that Synge was dead before being subjected to a process that simulates Xi’an’s power signature. They are being watched by the casino’s elite enforcers, the Rat Pack, who then enter to take them in. The Dealer throws diamond cut razor disks at Meanstreak, but the speedster dodges them. The Suicide King’s bullets bounce of Metalhead’s skin, but Krystalin’s arm turns numb when she gets hit by the electrifying toch of Mr. Entertainment. Having not enough room to maneuver, Meanstreak runs into Mr. Entertzainment and is taken out, wnd Metalhead is rendered unconscious by the Chairman. Only Krystalin manages to escape, by sealing off a hallway behind her. She knows that the evidence they found won’t menat a thing if they can’t get it out of the complex.
Somewhat later, in Lytton’s office, Desdemona complains that Lytton didn’t tell her about the capture of two X-Men. Since she now owns half the casino, she is interested in casino affairs. Desdemona suspects that her brother might supress evidence in their father’s murder, and her brothers threatens her not to cross him.
Shakti tells Tim and Tina to get Xi’An to safety, while she tries to deal with Junkpile, yet her powers no longer affect him. He picked up a psionic jammer to protect himself from her. Shakti then tries to get Junkpile to leave, but he hits her. Serpentina attacks, but she is thrown of the building. Timothy blasts Junkpile’s arm of him, but his arm reattaches to his body. He then chokes Timothy till he passes out, and makes his way to Xi’an’s completely cocooned body.