island in the South China Sea
Forgiven’s Command Center
It’s Jubilee versus the assassin, Lord Deathstrike. She’s the only thing that stands between him and the death of Raizo Kodo. She points her sword at his chest and tells him he’s not leaving without a bruise or two. Instead of replying, Deathstrike quickly jabs his sword toward Jubilee’s gut.
This catches Jubilee off guard, but she manages to dodge the swift and deadly attack. Deathstrike turns and lunges toward her, and Jubilee finds herself backpedaling. She brings her sword up just in time to block another strike. The two foes are practically face to face and the realization sinks in for Jubilee that this may be harder than she expected.
With one boot resting atop Scorpion, Quickshot gloats about the victory over his loud and rough opponent and about how awesome he is. He then puts on his comm piece and tries connecting with Raizo to give a full report. He doesn’t get a response, of course, but a giant explosion in the nearby forest draws his attention.
The explosion Quickshot saw came courtesy of Deadpool, firing a cannon from the Assassin Guild’s out of commission tank. “Awesome!” he exclaims from his position atop the cannon. Colossus isn’t as happy with the theatrics, asking Deadpool what he thinks he’s doing making all that noise.
Nearby, as Ghost Blade returns his sword to its hilt he asks Domino about Deadpool’s mental state. Domino, also returning her handgun to its holster, tells him it’s a long story, and they’ve got bigger worries. She’s unable to get into contact with the X-Men. Ghost Blade says he hasn’t been able to reach Raizo, either. Domino suggests they round everyone up and head back to the base, but Deadpool wants to blow up a coconut tree first… and maybe a seagull.
deeper in the forest
The battle between Nighteyes and Lady Bullseye remains at a standstill. They continue to fight, however Bullseye has had a change of heart. With the nearby explosions and gunfire she’s deemed the bounty too difficult to collect and their fight no longer profitable.
A nearby explosion, most likely the death of a coconut tree, causes Nighteyes to briefly look away. When she returns her gaze to her opponent, she finds her no longer there. “Hello? Lady Bullseye?” Nighteyes quietly calls out.
Forgiven’s Command Center
The Forgiven’s leader, Raizo Kodo struggles to his feet with the stake still protruding from his chest. Mustering his strength, he tells Jubes to quit fighting and save herself. While deflecting one of Lord Deathstrike’s attacks Jubilee reminds him she’s been trained by both him and Wolverine and she can handle herself.
A flying kick to the face scores directly against Jubilee. Her iconic pink sunglasses break at the arm and fall off of her head. Jubilee also drops her sword as she crashes to the ground. This serves to infuriate Jubes who retrieves her sword and charges him. For the first time Lord Deathstrike is on the defensive, having to block four fierce strokes in a row. It’s the non-sword play that gets her every time, though, as Jubilee receives an elbow to the temple for her troubles.
out by the cliff face
Both opponents have recovered from their fall from the cliff. Standing hip-deep in the water Visigoth nails Black Axe with his mace, sending him flying all the way to the beach, where he loses consciousness.
Quickshot is there waiting to congratulate Visigoth as he emerges from the water. His only comment is he would have dealt with his opponent in a more artful way to which Visigoth asks if he’s going to talk about how awesome he is again.
Their bickering is cut short by the arrival of most of the dispatched X-Men and Forgiven. Domino’s happy to have finally caught up with them, citing their dependence on Psylocke as a major drawback. “You know, Domino, there are these things called cell phones…,” Deadpool chimes in, but she ignores him as most should and rallies everyone to find Warpath.
The Apache warrior has Bruiser in a headlock, but is unable to pick him off the ground. It’s like all your weight is in your feet, Warpath complains. Then Domino appears from the brush and tells James to finish him off. A frustrated Warpath says he’s been trying. “Well, I’m here now, so maybe you’ll get lucky.”
Removing his arms from the headlock Warpath gives Bruiser a good old-fashioned karate chop to the back of the neck. It has the intended effect and puts Bruiser down for the count. Warpath then asks Domino what she meant by “getting lucky.” She tells him to stuff it and explains they’re needed back at the headquarters as these guys they’ve been fighting seem to have just been a distraction.
Forgiven’s Command Center
Realizing swordplay isn’t getting her anywhere Jubilee decides to get creative. She tosses Lord Deathstrike across the room, knocking over a computer chair. She then takes off her yellow jacket, wishing aloud Deathstrike would at least let out a grunt during their fight.
As Deathstrike drives his sword toward her she leaps over his head and lands behind him. Since she hates that mask so much she throws the jacket over his head and kicks him into the computer console. Deathstrike recovers quickly and tears the jacket in half.
What he sees next is Jubilee leaping straight toward him. His only recourse is to jab the sword through her gut, skewering her. Jubilee screams in pure agony, her face a mere six inches from Deathstrike’s.
Recovering from the shock of the sword puncturing her body, Jubilee gloats it was the only way she could get in close without risking a beheading, plus the sword isn’t wood so her heart will recover. She then headbutts Lord Deathstrike and as he sways back delivers a one-two punch that puts him on the ground.
Jubilation then grabs the hilt of the sword buried in her belly and begins the process of pulling it out. It proves almost as painful as when it went in. With the job done she drops the sword on the floor, blood still oozing from her gut. She grabs the unconscious Deathstrike by the collar and lifts him toward her.
Furious, she tells Lord Deathstrike this is what happens when he takes on a vampire. We’re immortal, she grits at him. So enraged is she, that she begins to lose focus on her training. She tilts Lord Deathstrike’s head so his neck is exposed to her. Stammering, she calls him “food” and then prepares to feed on him.
“JUBILEE!” Raizo yells out. He pleads with her not to do it, not to lose everything she’s worked for. You can still save your humanity, he begs her. She turns to face Raizo and asks what she could want with humanity, as all they want to do is stake her.
Storm comes to at this point and reminds Jubilee she was hated as a mutant, too. Jubilee tries to argue the point, but she can’t think of a response. So instead, she sighs.
This has served as enough time for Lord Deathstrike to recover. Jubilee turns to face him again, but all he does is bow. While doing that, he also clicks something on his bracelet, which opens up a portal that he immediately steps through.
“Wait!” Jubilee cries out, racing toward the disappearing figure, but Raizo says to let him go, that they have more important things to deal with. Jubilee approaches her mentor as he tells her how proud he is. Then, placing one hand on his shoulder, she tells him to brace himself as she yanks out the stake from his back.
Looking at the gaping hole in his armor Jubes asks Raizo if people are going to try and stab holes in their chest all the time. Raizo smiles and tells her it’s an occupational hazard.
That’s when the rest of the teams arrive, but they’re too late to help with anything. Deadpool spies the Zapata Brothers hanging out in the corner and kneels down beside them. Thinking they may have come just to see him he asks if they have any beer. Gus tells him to get away.
Nearby, Jubilee helps Raizo to his feet, saying the Klaw sect dudes really want him dead, but Raizo reaffirms his belief this was not a Klaw attack. Then Storm butts in and reiterates why the X-Men arrived in the first place, to bring Jubilee back home.
After a lengthy discussion the X-Men begin boarding the Blackbird. Storm and Jubilee are just outside the bay discussing the situation. Some of the Forgiven take bets on whether or not Jubilee is going to stay with them. They argue their reasoning, but Raizo says whatever she decides will be the right decision. Nighteyes gives him a jab and says he seems anxious, but Raizo denies it.
As the Blackbird fires up its engines it sends a cloud of sand into the air obscuring their view. Then they watch as the jet takes off from the beach. As the sand settles, a lone, shadowy figure can be seen walking toward them.
It’s Jubilee, who jokingly asks what she has to do to get a glass of pig’s blood. She explains that Storm finally agreed she can still learn a lot from them. Raizo puts a reaffirming hand on her shoulder and agrees.
Switching gears, Jubilee asks who he thinks went after him if it wasn’t Klaw sect. “That, my dear Jubilee. Is what they call the sixty-four thousand dollar question,” Raizo replies.
It’s evening, and Brad of the Mystikos sect stands waiting by the pool of his penthouse apartment. He was waiting for Alyssa, head of the Siren sect, who has just arrived. After saying hello Alyssa asks why Brad seems so happy after the botched assassination attempt against Raizo Kodo.
Brad thinks the blame will be assigned to the Klaw sect, which will create a further divide between Dracula and the Forgiven, a wedge he hopes to exploit. Alyssa asks if he’s sure about all this, because if they’re found out it would mean their deaths.
Brad assures her they’re doing the right thing, blaming Dracula and his antiquated ways and the Forgiven’s methods for undermining the progress of vampires. It’s their two sects, he tells her, that’ll bring the rest of their kind into the modern age.
Now looking over his balcony Brad says Xarus was right about one thing. Alyssa approaches him from behind and rubs his shoulders. She says she loves to hear him say it. “Vampires are the rightful rulers of the world,” Brad smiles.