Five years ago, the dead and dying lined the city streets of New Hope, Texas. After one very long, bloody afternoon, this small town was burned to the ground. There were no survivors, except for one man. The ones responsible? The Lawless!
The Lawless triumphantly stand over the burning city, and notice the survivor. They don’t seem to be bothered by the one man. How could he possibly stop them? The man takes out a gun, but Xi’an makes short work of him and kills the old guy. The Lawless find that they have wasted enough of their time in this stupid town and decide to move on.
That was in the past.
Today in the present, in Halo City, in a bar called the Negative Zone, December and Twilight are talking to each other. They can’t believe that Willow actually betrayed them after they rescued her out of Avian’s clutches. The two lovely lady mutants are disturbed by another mutant named Remo, who hits on them.
December isn’t impressed and uses her powers to make Remo understand that he should leave them alone. A drunken Remo leaves the bar and complains about the loss. He bounces into a tall guy wearing a hat. Remo tries to apologize, but the man doesn’t accept it and won’t tolerate such stupidity. The man takes out his guns and kills Remo!
Above the Data District, a blue-furred mutant on a bike is chased by two members of the Wild Boys. The blue mutant says that, under different circumstances, he would have killed them both for this, but at the moment he has some business at some other place. The mutant named Mongrel activates the turbo on his bike and leaves the two youngsters startled behind him.
Mongrel parks nearby a church and enters it, where he is welcomed by Auntie Maim, Xi’an and Victor Ten Eagles! Mongrel is a little bit surprised to see them again, since he thought he would never see his former teammates again, let stand in a church.
Xi’an tells Mongrel to not let the stained glass fool him: this is in fact one Halo City’s polyclinics. Xi’an reveals that he has been using his healing powers to atone for the many misdeeds of his past. Mongrel laughs at that and feels sad to see such a former bad guy having become actually one of the good guys.
Auntie Maim is a little disappointed to see that Mongrel hasn’t changed at all, like they have. Mongrel shakes hands with Ten Eagles and asks him what’s going on. Victor explains that a Foolkiller is trying to kill the former Lawless members. And so far, that maniac has already has cost Ten Eagles his arm.
Mongrel thought that they had killed all the Foolkiller super soldiers five years ago. So thought the others, but apparently not. Mongrel is a little bit worried now, claiming that he still gets nightmares from what the Texican Foolkillers did to them that night. Mongrel asks Ten Eagles for the full story.
Victor explains that he was in his Santa Fe studio. He was working on a deep sea-holed swim for a wealthy client when, suddenly, Broken Haiku called him. Victor found that odd since the last time they had spoken to each other was when Haiku represented herself as Thunderstorm. This call, Haiku’s choice of cyberspace archetype was surprisingly conventional.
Victor was just starting to tell how much he missed the flesh when Haiku interrupted him. In a scary voice tone, Haiku informed Ten Eagles that their former friend, the Reverend, was dead. His body was found in Reno with the word “fool” laser-beamed into his chest. Before the full impact of Haiku’s word could sink into him, Victor’s dog Harry Dean began barking protectively.
As Victor turned around, he caught a laser flash in the corner of his eye, and suddenly he felt an electric pain exploding from his shoulder! In that instant, Ten Eagles knew that Haiku’s warning had come too late: a Foolkiller had found Victor. Victor’s perception of time slowed. He felt his arm, but it wasn’t there. Instead, Victor touched cauterized flesh. The laser had cauterized the very wound it had created.
The Foolkiller kept talking about a “long overdue judgment” but Victor wasn’t paying attention to that. Victor was staying focused on the pain, trying not to go into shock. The only chance Victor had on surviving was to close the studio’s power, and plunging the workshop in darkness. Ten Eagles didn’t know how much time it would take the Foolkiller to adjust to the darkness, but Victor could navigate his ranch blind. He slipped outside to storage tanks in which the previous owner had stored fuel. Victor thanked his ancestor he had never gotten around to dumping those thanks. One strategically thrown match later, and the resulting explosion took the ranch house. Victor hoped that the Foolkiller couldn’t survive the blast, but on the chance that he might have, Victor knew better than to wait around and find out.
Victor staggered into his Desert-Rover and set the autopilot for a hospital in Flagstaff. Then Victor blanked out from the pain. After a doctor cleaned his wound, Victor headed to Halo City, where he found Xi’an. Mongrel wonders that if the Foolkiller is still alive after the blast, how he is going to find them there.
Mongrel also wants to know why Xi’an doesn’t enlist the help of his X-Men friends. Xi’an finds that this doesn’t concern the X-Men. This is just about the Lawless. Mongrel understands, and asks why Junkpile and the Broken Haiku aren’t with them. Xi’an explains that Junkpile has disappeared after he attacked the Theatre of Pain as an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. And as for Haiku, Xi’an says, he explains that, after the Lawless broke up, the woman retreated herself permanently into cyberspace. Xi’an tried to send her a message, but it got boomeranged. For the first time in years, the Broken Haiku is off-line. For all Xi’an knows, the Foolkiller has already reached her.
The Industrial Zone…
The Foolkiller named Gideon visits Dr. Philo Bunsen. Bunsen is glad to show a potential investor his shop. Bunson explains that, there at Unicelco, the employers are developing environmentally responsible means of modern waste management. Bunsen takes Gideon to a simulated ocean spill. He explains that Unicelco designed Amoebots, which consume and transform the petrochemical sludge into a harmless gas. Bunsen knows that man’s future depends on them.
Gideon says that man’s only hope for the future lies in repenting his churchless and childish ways. Bunsen finds that remark to be a true Judean-Christian way to look at their work, but he himself is not a believing man. Gideon gets serious, and finds that a foolish thing to say.
Halo City, the Data District…
Meanstreak is running through that certain part of the city to check for any trouble. Krystalin beeps him up and orders Henri to come to the park immediately. Thinking that something is wrong, Meanstreak puts up high speed and rushes to the park. Suddenly, two yellow, fast creatures pass him by, and Meanstreak recognizes them as Zoomers, which were part of the Virtual Unreality effect that Halloween Jack had used in Las Vegas.
Meanstreak doesn’t know how they could get into Halo City, but that’s of no concern right now. He wants to get rid of them! Meanstreak stops running, and as he does that, the Zoomers disappear! Meanstreak makes it to the park, where Krystalin tells him an old friend unexpectedly came by to visit them, and she thought that Henri wanted to say hello. Meanstreak can’t believe his eyes and is overjoyed to see Metalhead again! They happily hug each other, and Meanstreak also says hi to Rosa and her baby, and to Bloodhawk as well.
Rosa introduces her baby to the gang. Meanstreak notices how vast the child is glowing. Bloodhawk knows that the kid is special. Eddie knows that, but doesn’t know what’s behind it all. Anyway, he tells his friends that Rosa asked him to be Joachim’s godfather.
As Eddie and the rest cheer for the little baby, they don’t realize that they are being watched by an evil Bloodsmith known as Vulcann. Vulcann warns the X-Men not to get too attached to the little boy. Vulcann also knows that the child is even more special than even his mother suspects, as Vulcann is aware of the unimaginable powers and potential the child has within himself. And now that Vulcann knows that, he plans to use the child for his own plans…
Mongrel hates to see how the former Lawless are hiding like little kids. Mongrel remembers the old days, when they just took and did everything they wanted to. Xi’an replies that they just answered atrocity with atrocity, and now it seems that they have to do that once more. Xi’an seems not to be able to escape from his past, no matter how hard he tries to.
Mongrel hates to see how Xi’an turned into a pacifist. Mongrel knows that Xi’an didn’t used to be like that at all. Xi’an was one of the most vicious men Mongrel knew, and he respected him for that. Mongrel hopes that Xi’an hasn’t lost all of that former fire, since he could use that against the Foolkiller.
Auntie Maim believes that if they can’t trust each other, maybe that they will be better off fighting alone against their enemy. Victor doesn’t want to do that, because they owe it to the Reverend, and maybe to Haiku as well, to fight together once more. Auntie Maim agrees and doesn’t want to wait anymore, and to just go find the Foolkiller.
Xi’an hopes that they will only have to fight one Foolkiller, and not a whole army of them. But if they do have to fight only one Foolkiller, Xi’an knows that he won’t be smart enough to take on all of them at once. They will need to draw them out. Mongrel asks who’s going to be the bait. Xi’an says that he will do it, and proudly walks outside and awaits his enemy’s arrival.
Understanding that information is power, Halo City established the Archive, a resource center collecting date from every possible infobank, newsnet and printvault. Within, a weightless environment designed to support his unwieldy bulk, is a mutant named Book. His hulking body belies his true genius, a photographic memory and computer-sharp mind. In return for his rescue from indentured corporate servitude, Book offered his services to Halo City. Culling data from a thousand obscure sources, Book is a wealth of secret knowledge. That makes him a very dangerous man.
A video screen goes on, and La Lunática begins to speak. Book first thanks her for helping set him free. Luna says that she just recalled that while they were rescuing him, Book told her that he knew about her relationship with Brimstone Love. Luna wants Book to tell her what that meant. Book agrees, but not over video phone. And he wants their conversation to be private as well.
On the other side of the town, the Lawless has split up and each guard one corner of the market, so that they can easier attack the Foolkiller when he comes. Suddenly, someone comes! Everyone jumps down and protects Xi’an with their lives, but… it was just an old lady! The old lady falls down own her knees and apologize for the misunderstanding, but she has a weak heart and begs Xi’an for help.
The real Foolkiller arrives, and easily knocks Mongrel down. The Foolkiller gets off from his bike and informs the former Lawless that he, as the last of the Foolkillers, is there to finish them off, as was agreed by his creators.
The Foolkiller activates his bike and flies up the skies, with Mongrel put in chains. Xi’an quickly jumps aboard, but the Foolkiller is already high up. The Foolkiller puts Mongrel on fire. Xi’an tries to set his former teammate free, but Mongrel tells Xi’an not to be a hero and to just let go. Xi’an does so and the Foolkiller gets away together with Mongrel.
Xi’an, Auntie Maim and Victor Ten Eagles all swear to rescue their friend: Lawless style!