'Open your eyes' a voice orders. 'I can't, sir. I won't. I'm scared of what will happen' comes the response. There is darkness all around as the first voice replies 'In understand you're afraid you're going to hurt someone. But choosing to keep your eyes closed because you're scared? That's what they do'. The first voice adds 'And you don't have to go through life blind because you are not like them'. 'How do you know?' the second voice asks. 'Because I have no small measure of experience in those who are extraordinary. Now... open your eyes' Professor Charles Xavier repeats, as Scott Summers opens his eyes, and is met by a ruby-hazed Xavier sitting next to him. 'They work. The glasses work' Scott utters, touching the glasses that cover his eyes. 'I can see' he exclaims, sitting up. 'Better than most, my boy' Charles smiles. 'And oh, the things I will show you' he adds, putting a hand on Scott's shoulder.
Inside a high-tech building surrounded by a forest, Ororo Munroe a.k.a. Storm releases a surge of lightning at several Orchis soldiers, knocking them backwards. 'They thought they could hide from us, but they were wrong!' Storm declares, announcing that they have reached the heart of the last Orchis stronghold on Earth. She tells Cyclops to be careful, because if you look close enough, you can see the desperation in their eyes. Storm adds that suicide bombs and serving the greater good are always the last refuge of a conquered people. 'Oh!' Storm gasps as an Orchis Sentinel attempts to grab her from behind – only to be blasted backwards by an optic blast that streaks along the wall behind Storm, and slams into the soldier. 'I'm always careful, Storm' Cyclops replies, touching his visor. 'It's part of my charm' he jokes.
Storm thanks Cyclops, who tells her that it was not a problem, and that he is surprised the giant purple robot snuck up on her. Storm explains that it is because she is tired – but she doesn't know what she is more tired of – these engines of death, or the men who insist on making them! Cyclops and Storm move out into a corridor, where they see more soldiers and Sentinels. Cyclops reminds Storm that for years they have endured small wins, that they called incremental change “progress” - when what they really needed was a giant leap forward. 'Well, this is it' he declares as he fires a powerful blast into the group of soldiers and Sentinels, blasting some of them backwards. The other soldiers and Sentinels respond by opening fire, but Storm and Cyclops step behind a wall to dodge the blasts.
Cyclops remarks that these machines are the product of the greatest human minds on the planet, the very best they have to offer – but now, they know that no amount of ingenuity can stop what's coming. Storm releases a surge of lightning into the corridor which strikes down more of the soldiers and Sentinels. Cyclops exclaims that they can put a new coat of paint on it, shine it up bright, but nothing will hide the fact they have spent far too long passing off the past as the future. 'Yes' Storm agrees as she and Cyclops rush down the corridor that is littered with bodies. 'Man should know when he is beaten – he should know to break and run...or surrender and asks for unearned mercy – and yet... I can't help but notice they're falling back instead of scattering' Storm declares as she and Cyclops approach some sort of large lab area, where dozens more soldiers are stationed. Storm remarks that either they are incredibly well trained, or they are protecting something.
'Okay, then. This is the beating heart of it' Cyclops announces, reporting that they have located the main lab. 'Do you have a lock on our position?' he asks via communicator. 'Yes' a voice responds, and Cyclops tells the person he is speaking with 'We're ready when you are'. Suddenly, 'What the -' one of the soldiers remarks as the roof above them is torn open. 'Oh no' a soldier utters, as Magneto appears through the opening. The soldiers all raise their weapons, and the Master of Magnetism speaks to Lorna Dane a.k.a. Polaris, his daughter, who hovers alongside him. He tells her that he knows that at times he can be overly demanding, but wonders if he is asking too much of a flawed world if he wants no rubble – and certainly no rabble – beneath his feet when they touch the ground. 'Of course not, Father. Allow me' Polaris replies as she uses her incredible abilities to rip up the floor the soldiers are standing on, and wraps the scrap from the floor around all of the soldiers, trapping them.
Cyclops and Storm move into the lab, and face a large set of doors, which Cyclops fires an optic blast at, but the doors don't open. 'They're locked down tight. It'shielded, which I can punch through, but the door itself is made of Vibranium...' Cyclops explains. 'Which you cannot' Magneto points out as he drops into the lab and puts a hand on Cyclops's shoulder, telling him to step aside. Magneto then begins to work on the large doors, which is noticed on the other side, as an Orchis operative points at the doors and exclaims 'Doctor Mars! They are almost through the door. What should we do?' An older man wearing a strange head covering asks how much redundancy they have between this Hub and the Forge. He looks up at a large engine-type piece of equipment in the center of the lab as one of the operatives reports that there is an 80 percent overlap, so if they fall, their brothers and sisters will still retain a vast majority of the Orchis knowledgebase. The operative then asks if they should begin purging the mainframe, and destroy the datacore.
'And lost the information forever? No!' Doctor Mars replies, suggesting that it is better they make the ultimate sacrifice than to surrender one inch to the mutants. 'What is that?' a masked operative asks as Doctor Mars holds up a large needle. Doctor Mars declares that evolution is an unyielding, unapologetic master, and the truth is, they are too civilized to deal with these vandals. 'Will it hurt?' one of the operatives asks. 'Life hurts, Doctor Smyth' Doctor Mars remarks. 'But will I let a little pain – a little sacrifice – stop me from protecting all these good works that I have done?' Doctor Mars asks. 'Of course not!' he snaps as he injects himself with the needle, snarling that these monsters can have his science when they pry it from his cold dead fingers.
Soon, Magneto, Cyclops, Storm and Polaris are through the thick doors and walk into the lab. 'Is that...?' Polaris begins, while Storm comments that it sounds like wild animals. Suddenly, the mutated Orchis science team now resemble gorillas and leap at the four X-Men. 'On your right!' Cyclops calls out, telling the others to be careful, as these gorillas are sure to be savvy – they all have PhDs. Magneto grits his teeth and tells the others that he will take care of this. 'Find them!' he exclaims.
Deep inside the Hub, Cyclops, Storm and Polaris come to a stop in front of several stasis tubes. 'There!' Cyclops exclaims, while Storm notices that there are over a dozen tubes, all with prisoners inside them. 'How little they must think of themselves to treat others this way' Storm adds. Cyclops announces that he and Polaris will get them out, and asks Storm to make them a gateway. Storm holds up a small flower, and after breaking away part of the floor with a bolt of lightning, plants the flower into the ground, and creates some that falls onto the flower. 'It's ready' Storm reports as the flower transforms into a portal.
Polaris holds up a glowing scanner, and as she comes to a tube that is slightly different to the others, she informs her teammates that the other tubes hold mutants, but there is something different in this one. Cyclops tells Polaris to go ahead and open the tube. Polaris does so, and the water inside the stasis tank pours out – along with it, a woman wearing striped tights, whose skin appears dark and her hair almost transparant. The woman goes wide-eyed, 'I'm not here. You don't see me' she utters. The three X-Men stand in front of her and Storm asks her what she is talking about. 'I'm looking right at you' Storm declares. Checking the scanner, Polaris reports that this woman is human, but the tachyon bleed suggests massive atemporal development – so, technically, she is posthuman.
'I'm weak. So weak' the woman utters, dropping to the ground. Storm realizes she recognizes the woman and asks if she is from the Vault. The woman goes wide-eyed and remarks that she emerged before she was fully cooked – a child born out of time. 'But I had to, don't you see...there are wild gods loose in the world' she explains. Magneto joins the others and looks at the woman as he tells her that the only gods on this planet stand here before her. 'That was faster than I expected' Cyclops smirks at Magneto, who informs him that the evolutionary throwbacks retained just enough of their humanity for things to quickly become tribal, and after he asserted his dominance, it didn't take long for them to turn on one another.
Suddenly, the mysterious woman is surrounded by a bubble, 'Have to go...' she utters. 'Wait! Don't!' Storm calls out, but the woman vanishes. 'Translocated. Clever girl' Polaris remarks, before asking her Father if they should follow her. 'Yes. She couldn't have gotten far, the faster you -' Magneto begins, before Cyclops interrupts him, pointing out that is not their priority, and if the council wants to make it one, they can deal with it later – but right now, they have more important things to do. Magneto offers no response, as Cyclops turns to the mutants freed from the tanks. 'Let's get these children home' he declares, as an assortment of mutant children stare back at him.
Soon, on Krakoa, the Living Island and Mutant Nation-State:
'All things considered, they seem fairly healthy, Doctor Reyes. But I'd like to be sure that -' Cyclops begins as he addresses Cecilia Reyes, before Cecilia interrupts him and tells him not to worry, and that they are in good hands now. She points out that if they do find anything physically wrong, they have a healer standing by. Logan a.k.a. Wolverine watches as Cyclops and Storm lead the mutant children onto Krakoa, through the portal. Nearby, Alex Summers a.k.a. Havok and Gabriel Summers a.k.a. Vulcan can be seen walking down a platform. Cecilia examines a young mutant with what appears to be leaves or feather emerging from their face. Cecilia adds that, if she is being honest, her greatest concern is any underlying psychological trauma that they might have after what they have been through, but even then, they have empaths, and some fairly gifted telepaths, who are standing by ready to help. 'To say nothing of clean water, clear skies and all the good things that come from living in paradise' Cecilia remarks.
Storm approaches Cecilia with two of the children, one who appears in a bluish form and the other in a gold one. Storm tells Cecilia that, if she doesn't mind, she will stay with these two until she checks them out. Storm reports that they have not spoken, but with the amount of energy they are radiating, she would be more comfortable waiting. Cecilia looks at Storm and tells her that she is happy to have the help. Cyclops looks at Storm and asks her if she is sure she feels like sticking around. He reminds her that they have been going nonstop for the last week, and points out that she seemed a little beat out there. 'Yes. I am sure' Storm responds. Cyclops tells Storm that the beauty of this place is that they are not on their own anymore, and it is okay to let others shoulder some of the burden. Storm smiles as she tells Scott that she is tired of fighting – but she will never be tired of lifting their own up. 'This is rain in the desert. It's life where there was none' Storm adds. 'Fair enough' Scott replies, before telling Storm that he will check in later – just in case.
Suddenly, Cyclops hears voice shout 'Magneto's back!' 'Magneto!' and he turns to look as a number of young mutants gather around Magneto. 'Tell us how you defeated the humans, Magneto!' one of them calls out. 'Tell us how you saved those children?' another exclaims. A third asks Magneto if he will take them with him when he next goes, as they want to fight with him. After removing his helmet, Magneto tells the children that he has spent his life fighting so they would never have to, and that he has wasted too much of his life at war with the humans. He adds that it was worth it because they now have Krakoa – and Krakoa is all they will ever need. 'But what if the humans try to take it from us? Like they always do?' one of the young mutants asks, boasting that he is not afraid, and that he won't run. 'You won't have to. For I am Magneto. Let man run from me' Magneto declares, which causes the children to begin chanting his name repeatedly.
'It's like he's a young man again' Polaris remarks to Cyclops, admitting to him that this is getting a little embarrassing. 'He's waited a long time for this. We all have' Cyclops replies. Polaris follows Cyclops towards one of Krakoa's portals and asks him if he is headed back home. Scott tells her that his father is in town for a visit, so the whole family is there – Alex, too. 'You know you're welcome to come' Scott tells Lorna, who replies 'Maybe next time. When the past is the past and I'm not still finding my way in a new land'. They pass through the portal to another part of Krakoa, and walk through a lush forest. 'It's something, isn't it?' Scott remarks to Lorna, adding that he remembers the day his son was born – he remembers the sheer terror of it – not the idea of being a father, he loved that, and had waited his whole life for that – but thinking about what kind of world he had brought this precious, innocent child into. 'The horrors that my beautiful boy would have to endure simply because he was my son – of my blood. Like me' Scott adds.
Scott tells Lorna that the worst part of it was that he was right – his son did suffer, and there was nothing he could do to stop it – all he could do was endure it, try not to surrender, try not to give up. He adds that it was a close thing, surrendering to the world – very close. 'But I held on. And, look, I have you, and your father, and my family... my boy. And we are home' Scott remarks, declaring that is because he believed in a thing, and now it is real. 'Scott?' Lorna calls out. 'Yeah?' Scott replies, looking at the strange webbing ahead of him. Lorna pauses, before asking Scott if he really believes that. 'Every single word of it' Scott replies as he turns back to Lorna.
Meanwhile, aboard the Orchis Forge, several space ships are stationed around the space station, and inside a large open part of the space station, a man with strange goggles over his eyes looks out to a glowing light as he remarks that Orchis was created to be the last gasp of the last generation – a doomsday weapon composed of human minds – the greatest ever assembled. He adds that Orchis is free from the ideologies that have paralyzed the civilian word, and that they were scientists from SHIELD, the AIM, ARMOR and Alpha Flight. 'You also have a small army of HAMMER parasites – and six – six infernal geneticists from Hydra' Karima Shapandar the Omega Sentinel points out as she stands near the man. The man tells her that there are lesser evils that they tolerate for the greater good – because what they do here is all that matters – survival. 'Our enemy is the future, and this is what comes from forgetting that'.
'Mutants... just look at what they have done' the man with the goggles remarks, motioning to the room that is full of coffins. Omega Sentinel addresses the man as Director Devo and tells him that the same sun that powers this station also powers the mutants. 'Your two races exist in a closed system. For now, any action you take – any action they take – will have repercussions on the other. Conflict was... unavoidable'. Director Devo informs Omega Sentinel that he has read Doctor Gregor's reports, and he knows she saw this disaster coming. Omega Sentinel tells him that thev signs were there for anyone to see. Director Devo watches as a Sentinel places one of the coffins on a conveyor belt and tells Karima that not everyone is gifted with the machine brain of an Omega Sentinel. He adds that humans will always be slaves to their emotions, and in that spirit, they built the Forge as a last hope for humanity – a great refuge in case evolution saw fit to leave mankind behind.
Karima tells the Director that it is one thing to shake your fist at God, but it is something else altogether to call down the thunder. 'Putting 93 million miles between you and the Earth was a human deterrent – not a mutant one' Karima points out, adding that placing a Mother Mold in orbit around the sun was always going to spark a response. 'Doctor Gregor was -' Karima begins, to which Director Devo replies 'The blame is mine, not hers'. He watches as the coffins on the conveyor belt roll down towards the bright light at the edge of the room, and Director Devo states that it was he who designed the uplift of this station based on the pre-existing Stark-Richards model, and it was he who adapted the Trask Sentinel template for celestial production – he only wishes he could have been here to try to stop them. Karima tells Director Devo that it was better he was in transit, as humans need leaders – pack behavior is dependent on them. She adds that it is bad enough that Doctor Gregor remains compromised, and that so many died – but losing him would have made this whole experiment pointless. With that, they watch as the coffins fall into the fiery chamber at the end of the conveyor belt.
Elsewhere, the Summers House, a Mutant Habitat on the Blue Area of the Moon. 'Son' Christopher Summers a.k.a. Corsair calls out to Scott. 'Oh, hey, Dad' Scott replies, turning to his father. Corsair tells Scott that Jean asked him to come find him, as dinner is almost ready. They walk side by side through the strange habitat as Scott tells his father that when they all got to Krakoa, someone asked him where he wanted to live, and while he didn't worry about it at first, they just hung out under the stars, happy to soak it all in – but the more he thought about it, the more he really wanted a place with a view. 'I can tell' Corsair replies, while Scott tells him that they can grow Krakoan habitats anywhere, and they all link back to the main island. 'So I figured, well... why settle?' as he looks out a window that gazes down at the Earth.
Elsewhere in the Summers House, 'Want to explain what you're doing?' Logan asks as he approaches Vulcan, who is barbequing some meat. 'Inside this device an inferno burns. That fire matches the one inside of me' Vulcan replies. Wolverine drinks a beer and watches Vulcan, who asks him 'Do you see? I was born for such things, and I will not stop until these all-consuming flames have -' to which Wolverine interrupts him: 'Yeah, you're not listening. I want my steak rare' Logan declares. 'You put the meat on the fire and expect, what, the fire not to be fire?' Vulcan asks. Logan frowns and tells Vulcan that he is going to fight him. Smoke rises up from the barbeque, as Vulcan tells Logan 'Peace, warrior. Because you are valiant and have earned my respect... I will give you your rare steak'. Logan thanks Vulcan, who smiles as the flames on the barbeque increase, 'Medium rare' he jokes. 'You sonofa -' Logan begins.
In another room, Raza Longknife of the Starjammers frowns as he holds up a large gun, while the time-displaced Nathan Summers a.k.a. Cable asks 'Does it have a thermal scope? Mine has a thermal scope'. 'A holographic thermal scope? Of course. To be clear, that's insufficient armor when facing a Strontian Alpha, but yes, always...' Raza responds. He points to a part of the gun and tells Cable that here is the real shimmer, in the celestial eye – it has antimatter rounds. 'Oh my god...I have to have it!' Cable exclaims. 'Mom! Is it cool if I trade guns with Raza?' Cable calls out to Jean Grey a.k.a. Marvel Girl who tells him to set the table first. Jean is telekinetically placing plates on the table, and as she turns around, bangs into Ch'od. The green-skinned alien holds up a tray with some tea and tells Jean that he believes it needs sugar. 'Of course it does. Thank you, Ch'od' Jean replies.
Soon, more steaks are being cooked by Vulcan, and the table is set by Jean, Cable and Ch'od. Wolverine drinks a beer at another table, and Rachel Summers a.k.a. Prestige leans against a counter and talks with Hepzibah, who tells her that she has a question. 'All your clothes, spikes on them have they, or a special occasion is this?' Hepzibah asks. 'Yes' Rachel responds without looking at Hepzibah, who sips some more wine and turns to a supply of alcohol, 'Then another hard drink for another hard girl I am getting' Hepzibah declares. 'Sure, but not the purple stuff' Rachel replies.
Jean smiles as Scott and Corsair enter, 'Hey. Just in time. Gabriel's almost done burning dinner' Jean remarks. 'Fantastic' Scott replies. Jean then asks Scott if he gave his dad his present. 'What's this?' Corsair asks. Scott remarks that he hadn't said anything yet, but suggests they must be doing that now. 'Hey, Alex! You got the thing?' Scott calls out.
'Yes, I do. Here you go, old man' Alex announces as he holds up a purple Krakoan flower and hands it to his father. 'It's nice. It's a plant. A flower. Okay, I don't get it' Corsair responds. Scott explains to him that it is a Krakoan gate, linked with the one they have here in the house, and that all he needs to do is plant it in the Starjammer's arboretum and, no matter where he is in the universe, he will always just be a short walk away. 'Well, then... I love it' Corsair smiles at Scott and Alex. 'It's good to see you, Dad' one of them replies, before Vulcan joins in, telling his father that his visit warms his heart, which already enflame, is like pouring heat upon heat. 'It's the fire of one thousand suns -' Vulcan adds, before Havok tells him 'Okay, Gabe. He gets it'. 'I'm only like this because I grew up without a strong male role model' Vulcan mutters. Scott tells everyone that it has been a good day, the first of many, and suggests that they eat.
Later, Scott is cleaning up in the kitchen when Corsair returns, 'Got stuck doing the dishes, huh?' Corsair asks. 'It's my night' Scott replies. Corsair tells him to move over. 'You wash and I'll dry' Corsair tells his son, but Scott tells his father that is not how things work. Scott holds up a plate and a strange piece of Krakoa which he sprays at the plate, explaining that the goo just wats the bacteria and waste, then it converts that into various elemental gases, it evaporates, leaving behind clean plates. 'Son, that's disgusting. I think I'm going to vomit' a frowning Corsair remarks. 'No. Disgusting was when Krakoa tried to grow us edible plates that also “improved” what it considered to be abnormal biological functions. The plates and the goo were a compromise' Cyclops replies. 'My boy... your world has changed' Corsair points out. 'Yes. It has. And for the better' Cyclops declares.
'Well, forgive my simpleminded human observation...' Corsair begins. 'Dad' Scott begins, but Corsair tells him to listen, and reminds Scott that he has always lived a dangerous life, and that it has cost him over the years. 'But what you are doing...it feels even more dangerous. I'm worried about you and your brothers'. Corsair tells Scott, who replies that he has figured out that there is no end to the number of things on Earth, or in the universe, that want to kill them. 'They never stop coming – they never have. We're all the same that way. So, sure – I'm a fighter – I will never stop fighting for what I believe in... but I also live here, surrounded by the people I love. So I'm focussing on the things that want me dead – and I'm choosing to spend my days focused on the things that make me want to live. Okay?' Scott announces. 'Okay. You're a good boy' Corsair replies, putting an around Scott's shoulders.
Meanwhile, the Orchis Forge, where Dr Alia Gregor is in a lab, working at some equipment. She looks up when someone enters the lab: 'I had heard you'd arrived. First out, last in, always a soft bed for the man behind the curtain' she frowns. 'You're angry with me' Director Devo responds. 'You think I shouldn't be angry? At you? At them?' Dr Gregor asks. Director Devo stands expressionless before her and tells her that if she wants to use that rage for whatever it gets her, then that is fine – so long as she doesn't get lost along the way or lose sight of where they are headed. 'Lost sight?' Dr Gregor asks, turning back to her work. Director Devo touches the goggles on his eyes and remarks that it is true that he was born blind, but that through science, he can see the world in infrared, ultraviolet and a hundred ways beyond that. He boasts that there is not much that slips past his observation – especially when he is looking closely. He tells Dr Gregor that he did not see her earlier at the funeral and remarks that she should have been there – they were burying her husband.
Dr Gregor hangs her head as she replies that there was not enough left to bury. She addresses Director Devo as Killian, and points out that if there were, it would have just been a shell, nothing more. 'What he was lives here...' she adds, touching her chest. 'And here. In my work' Dr Gregor remarks, motioning to some equipment, where several beams of energy converge on a small object. Killian Devo tells Dr Gregor that her husband was their best military mind, a great strategist and hunter, a tower of a man – and while memories are fine, legacy is better. He adds in losing Dr Gregor's husband, they lost more than that. 'I know. But... well, I guess now is as good a time as any...' Dr Gregor remarks, grabbing the object that was bombarded with lasers, she asks the Director if he wants to know a secret. 'What's that?' Director Devo asks. 'I know how to bring him back' Dr Gregor claims.