In Kingman, Arizona, three Trackers are following Dominic, a boy who has bug like eyes and red reptilian skin. Dominic is cornered between several car wrecks and he starts to generate fire out of fear. One of the Trackers wants to shoot him, but is swept away by a dust devil. The remaining Trackers turn around and find four silhouettes that tell them to drop their weapons.
Above Southern Nevada, some of the X-Men are in a plane returning from New York. Krystalin says that he could still join them, but Bloodhawk refuses and leaves the plane, however Fitzgerald jumps after him and grabs his leg. Bloodhawk questions his sanity and in the plane, Krystalin comes to the same conclusion and blames the psychic vampire Luna (X-Men 2099 #4) for it. Bloodhawk drops Fitzgerald in the desert and tells him that he doesn’t like him and leaves him. Fitzgerald decides to walk home.
The three Trackers have been stripped of their armor and are tied up. The leader of their attackers tells them that they want revenge for what has been done to them and when one of the Trackers, Anderson, shouts at him, the leader kills Anderson with a single touch that turns his face into crystal that shatters like glass.
Xi’an is meditating in the desert when a biker races to him. Xi’an takes a defensive position and tells the biker to leave, but the biker, who has “The Lawless” written on his jacket, takes of his helmet and turns out to be a younger version of Xi’an. He tells Xi’an that his attitude as leader of the X-Men is a lie and that he, the younger version, is the true Xi’an. The X-Men don’t know anything about their leader and the younger Xi’An wonders what will happen when they find out. The older Xi’an tells the younger one to go away. Then Timothy arrives and asks who Xi’An was talking to, but Xi‘An changes the topic and takes him back to their camp.
Meanstreak is in the base, talking to Cerebra about their new plane and how he can incorporate the stealth-technology of the plane into the Experience, their van. Shakti then asks about the Theatre of Pain, when Xi’an arrives with Timothy. Xi’an asks Meanstreak if he found his missing friend and Meanstreak tells him that Boone now calls himself Loki and gives a short recap of the Fall of the Hammer event. Xi’an then shouts at Meanstreak that he shouldn’t have left. A silence falls. Shakti whispers to Xi’an that she can tell he has visions again. Xi’an then apologizes to his X-Men and tells Shakti to show them the disc. Shakti shows pirate transmissions by a woman called Mama Hurricane. During the Great Purge, a woman called Hurricane ran with the Mutant Underground Railroad to carry mutants to a safe haven. Xi’an hopes this is the same woman and that she can take them to mutant survivors of the Purge, so that they together can begin to rebuild the mutant nation. Meanstreak tells them that he is capable of tracking the transmissions. Metalhead is concerned that the woman must be very old by now and she could be senile or crazy. Krystalin says that she can’t wait to meet Hurricane, but Xi’an tells her that he has another mission for her.
The next morning Krystalin is leaving on a tricycle and Meanstreak catches up with her and asks her about her mission. Krys hasn’t got much to tell: on Xi’an’s request she’s going to Santa Fe to give a man a card with a red X on it. Meanstreak asks her if she needs company, but Krys replies that she can take care of herself. Meanstreak thinks to himself that he knows that, but that Krys hasn’t convinced herself of that.
The Experience arrives in Iron Horse, Arizona. Shakti wants to run some tests on Timothy and his change in behavior, but Meanstreak interrupts her: he has pinpointed the transmissions to within a kilometer of their current position. Shakti then tells him to wake Xi’an cause she senses another mutant nearby. The Experience is then hit by a twister that turns the van upside down. Xi’an orders them to leave the van and Metalhead turns into adamantium. Tim notices their attacker and she is introduced to them by the leader of the aggressive group as Psyclone. The group calls themselves the Freakshow and is composed of so called degens: genetically manipulated people that were discarded by bioshop laboratories and now want revenge. The leader tells them to leave this town on foot and introduces himself as Breakdown. The X-Men want to fight, but Xi’an tells them to wait, he wants to find the mutant Shakti sensed. Breakdown then asks him if he’s Xi’an, the mutant cult leader and one of the Freakshow whispers to Breakdown about the gatherings Xi’an organized to unite humans, mutants and other people.
Xi’an asks them if they know Hurricane and Breakdown becomes aggressive and orders Dominic to attack. Dominic’s fire drives the X-Men a step back, but Meanstreak hits him. Henry immediately feels sorry for Dominic who is more a kid in behavior. Psyclone takes out Cerebra and Timothy blasts Tantrum without any result. Tantrum unleashes a vocal storm which knocks Tim into Metalhead, who fails to notice that one of the Freakshow sneaked up on him from behind. Contagion touches Metalhead and infects him with a strange disease that causes Metalhead’s metal skin to blister and change. Xi’an kicks Contagion and tells Breakdown that he’s responsible. Breakdown demonstrates his power: his touch can warp the elements of what he touches. Xi’an then takes of his left glove, to reveal his own destructive touch.