Westchester, the X-Mansion. Lovely evening. Isn't it? There is an explosion that shatters the still night, as the mercenary Maverick is blasted through a wall. Maverick lands on the ground outside, and Bishop, his very large gun raised, steps through the hole in the wall, 'The others might be okay with you just walking out of here, Maverick, but in case you couldn't tell – I'm not!' Bishop declares. 'Please, my friend, we're running out of -' Maverick begins. 'We aren't friends!' Bishop responds, before reaching down to grab the surprised Maverick, who tells him that he is making a mistake. 'I went through your bag of tricks while you were unconscious' Bishop announces as he picks Maverick up and holds him up to his face, 'Cerebro is the most advanced computer on Earth So why can't it make heads or tails of what's on those disks you were carrying?' Bishop demands. 'User error?' Maverick jokes. 'Why you -' Maverick begins. 'Tell ya what, new guy, I'll give you 'til three to turn him loose' Wolverine a.k.a. Logan warns his new teammate as he comes between he and Maverick.
But with Wolverine's claws aimed at Bishop's neck, Betsy “Psylocke” Braddock appears and holds her psi-knife to Wolverine's head. 'Tit for tat, little man. One...' she begins. Wolverine asks her if she is sure she wants to go this route. 'You pull on me, you best to be ready to follow through' he warns her. 'Two' Psylocke continues, when suddenly Ororo Munroe a.k.a. Storm shouts , 'ENOUGH!' as she flies towards her teammates. Rogue and Henry McCoy a.k.a. the Beast are with her, and the Beast tells them that this is no way for teachers to behave.
'He's hiding something -' Bishop starts to tell Storm, while Wolverine checks on Maverick. Storm tells Bishop that this is not X-Force and that she won't remind him again. 'Think she needs a little refresher, too' Rogue snaps, pointing her fingers at Psylocke, who holds her arms and glares at Rogue, 'Because I trust Bishop more than some mercenary?' she asks.
Several students start to gather around including Husk, Doop and Synch as Storm tells Psylocke that none of them deny Maverick's story raises more questions than it answers, but if Wolverine vouches for him, that is enough for her. 'I won't force him to stay any more than I will force you, Elizabeth. Understood?' Storm asks.
Remy “Gambit” LeBeau and Professor Charles Xavier are near the gaping hole in the wll, as more students including Skin, Kid Sensitive and U-Go Girl appear. 'Look here. Our little hard party done work the tadpoles!' Gambit jokes. Xavier tells the students that there is no need for concern and asks them to go back to bed. 'Come on, Professor X, do we have to? Things were just getting good!' Skin exclaims, while Xavier insists, adding that it is well past curfew.
'Somebody should maybe tell them!' a wide-eyed Synch suddenly announces, pointing across the grounds. Others look in that direction, equally shocked. 'Oh my stars...' the Beast utters, as Chamber walks through the front gate, carrying a lifeless Jubilee in his arms. 'Help us... please. He bit Jubilee!' Chamber exclaims.
Elsewhere, chess-piece figurines of the X-Men are placed on a chess board and someone knocks the figure of Jubilee over. 'I wonder, Andreas... if both of them die, will he double the points?' Andrea von Strucker asks her brother, Andreas, as they hold glasses of champagne and stand in a room, where Shinobi Shaw is seated at a desk, and Fabian Cortez pours himself a glass of wine. 'An excellent question, sister' Andreas replies, adding that their little clique never thought to discuss collateral damages outside the core X-Men. 'Xavier reopening the school is something of a wild card in all this'. 'Von Strucker brings up a good point. You're supposedly from the future, Fitzroy. Why not mention there'd be a slew of new mutant brats to contend with?' Shinobi asks the green-haired Trevor Fitzroy who is also in the room and goes over to the chess pieces. 'Isn't it obvious? He was saving them for himself. Looking to run the score up on us, old boy?' Shinobi, now sitting on a sofa, asks as he sips his wine.
'A flattering thought, Shaw, but no' Fitzroy replies. He holds up the figurine of Bishop and announces that this isn't the history that he remembers, as there is no record of Xavier teaching these students, or the X-Men being so well-liked. 'It's as if something's changed the timeline. Any advantage I might've exploited has been... erased' Fitzroy muses, examining the Bishop figurine.
'And thus the game remains fair, Mr Fitzroy. As it should' a man in a gray jumpsuit with yellow pouches and a yellow headpiece remarks as he enters the room. 'Gamesmaster! Well, it's about time' Fitzroy exclaims. The Gamesmaster explains that their benefactor had need of him elsewhere. 'I am here now. That's all that matters'. Cortez rushes over to the Gamesmaster and tells him to stop wasting their time, and asks when they meet this “benefactor”. 'The rules -' the Gamesmaster begins, as Cortez interrupts him: 'Damn the rules! I was the right hand of Magneto! You say you're charged with finding the next supreme mutant, well look no further! Here I am! Game over!' he boasts.
The Gamesmaster laughs and replies 'If only it were that simple, Mr Cortez!' before he picks up the chess piece figurine of Jean Grey and asks 'What of your fifth player?' Shinobi knocks back some more of his drink and replies 'Off planning a nasty bit of business in London, last I heard'. The Gamesmaster announces that they will proceed without her, and asks Andrea and Andreas to step forward. 'Congratulations. Your current endeavor has put you in the lead' the Gamesmaster smiles. This causes Shinobi to spit out his wine in shock. 'What?' he exclaims, while Andrea and Andreas hug each other. 'That's absurd. They've already caught up with me?' Shinobi asks. 'On the contrary, Mr Shaw. They have surpassed you' the Gamesmaster explains. 'How? By letting some monster do their dirty work? By eliminating a kid who's barely even an X-Man?' Fitzroy asks. The Gamesmaster states that the game allows players to employ the services of others. 'As for young Jubilee's “elimination”...the child yet lives' the Gamesmaster announces. 'What?' Andrea and Andreas gasp in unison. 'Isn't the whole purpose of this ridiculous game to end the X-Men?' Cortez asks.
The Gamesmaster frowns and addresses those before him as the Upstarts and tells them that they will learn that this contest is about far more than simply taking lives. 'This is about survival. And the prize is all of mutantkind!' 'Fine, “mutantkind” whatever... here's what I don't get: we ordered Alpha Red to destroy her. Why's she still around?' Andrea asks as the Gamesmaster picks the Jubilee figurine back up. 'It would seem young Jubilee still has a part to play' the Gamesmaster declares, telling Andrea to make no mistake – she and her brother may have set him free, but Alpha Red is playing a game all his own.
Back at the X-Mansion, in one of the medlabs, the Beast holds the lifeless body of Jubilee in his arms. 'I did everything I could. I'm – I'm sorry, but... we lost her' Henry announces, before he places Jubilee's body on a table, covers her with a blanket and asks Chamber if he can tell them what happened. Charles is with them, while looking through an observation window, Storm listens in. Chamber reports that something snatched Jubilee on the walk home, dug its teeth into her throat, so he blasted him, and then it turned on him. 'Went for my neck, but... joke's on him, huh?' Chamber remarks, adding that it all happened so fast. 'It's been a long night, young man. Let's get some rest, shall we?' Charles suggests to Chamber, exiting the lab with him. Storm speaks to Henry via the communicator in the observation booth, and asks him if this is the work of the monster that Maverick warned them about - “Alpha Red”. But the Beast tells Ororo that he can only share what he knows. He reports that the damage to her neck was severe, but worse, her blood cells have collapsed in on themselves. He announces that he has never seen anything like it. 'I have' Storm replies.
Rogue and Gambit enter the lab, and Rogue reports that the head count has been done, but they have a problem – Wolverine has gone AWOL and Maverick is missing, too. Storm goes into the lab as Rogue asks 'Want me and Remy to go after 'em? Bring 'em home?' Storm tells them that Wolverine has gone after the monster responsible for this no doubt, and asks her teammates to find him and help put an end to this. She instructs them to ask Bishop and Psylocke to meet her in the hangar. Storm turns to Henry and asks him to lock down the lab. 'No one gets in or out, understood?' Henry asks Ororo if she is going somewhere, and she tells him that she is, but that she needs one of his students. 'Take me to Edie Sawyer' Storm instructs Henry.
Shortly, Chamber sneaks back into the lab, telling himself that he has a few minutes until the lab is locked down for good. He stands over Jubilee's body, knowing that he would never be able to sleep if he didn't come down to say goodbye. Chamber hangs his head, then looks back up – and sees the table where Jubilee was lying is now empty! 'Where'd...?' he wonders, before thinking 'Oh, bollocks'.
Meanwhile, at a warehouse just outside Westchester.
'This is it!' Maverick exclaims as he searches through several crates and finds Alpha Red's coffin, empty. But Maverick knows that daylight approaches, and so Alpha Red will return. 'All I have to do is wait' he tells himself. 'Talking to yourself, bub?' a voice calls out. 'LOGAN?' Maverick shouts, turning around, surprised. 'We got history. But don't think for a minute that means I trust you' Logan warns Maverick as he leans into him. Teeth gritted, Wolverine narrows his eyes at Maverick and admits that he doesn't really trust Bishop, either, but that the man knows his tech. Logan gives Maverick one last chance to tell him what is on the disk before he stops asking questions and does what he does best. 'I told you everything -' Maverick begins, before Wolverine pops his claws, the familiar SNIKT sound is heard. 'Fine...' Maverick mutters, before revealing that there is a book, and nobody knows how far back it dates, but in 1915 Rasputin spent a bit of the czar's fortune tracking it down, sometimes page by page. Maverick adds that he called it “The Book of Sins” but that it has another name – the Darkhold.
Maverick continues, explaining that the book disappeared behind the Iron Curtain after the revolution, but he stumbled upon it when he was hacking the classified KGB database that led Fenris to Alpha Red. 'From what I can tell, it might be the key to defeating him' Maverick explains. He adds that once he discovered who he was really working for, he took the disk for himself, hoping to contain the damage that he did. 'Shut up' Wolverine replies. 'I'm telling you the truth, Logan' Maverick replies. 'I know... but we ain't alone' Logan declares. Suddenly, 'Idiot' Omega Red exclaims as he appears in front of Wolverine and Maverick, waving his tendrils at them. 'Good choice of last words, bub. It's exactly what I was gonna carve on yer tombstone' Wolverine snarls. Maverick holds his large weapon towards Omega Red, and sees that he is injured. 'And about to get worse' Wolverine points out, waving his claws about. Omega Red asks them why they came here alone – 'Are you wishing to die?' he enquires, wondering where the rest of the X-Men are. 'Don't worry yer pretty little head, scumbag – I'm more than enough to deal with!' Wolverine shouts at Omega Red, when suddenly, a voice from above utters' Haha foolish little man – it is not you he must be worrying about'. 'Oh no. he is here' Omega Red utters.
'Of course I am here, tovarisch. I am not one to suffer my enemies to live' Alpha Red declares, positioned on the rafters above, alongside Omega Red's teammates in the People's Protectorate – Darkstar, Ursa Major, Vostok and Red Guardian, all who seem to be under Alpha Red's control. 'Look at you. Cowering like some rodent. And they say you were meant to be my replacement, when I have ever been your superior' Alpha Red tells Omega Red, adding that he thinks his former teammates would agree. 'They are mine to command now – slaves to the burning power that is Alpha Red. And I have but one command to give'. Alpha Red then smacks his teeth together and shouts 'KILL!' as he, Darkstar and the others drop down towards Wolverine, Maverick and Omega Red. Alpha Red grabs Maverick and asks 'Where is it?' but Maverick doesn't respond. 'I won't ask twice' Alpha Red declares as he tosses Maverick through a wall, into another room, then goes after him and grabs Maverick by his throat. 'Do not think you can lie, German – not to me' Alpha Red warns Maverick, informing him that Red Guardian told him about the book, about its power and how Maverick took it from Russia. 'Tell me, and the death I grant you shall be quick. Where is the Darkhold?' Alpha Red demands, his cowl fallen away, revealing his face.
Nearby, Wolverine growls and pushes Darkstar and Red Guardian away from him. 'Get offa me!' he exclaims, while warning Maverick that if he tells Alpha Red anything, then he will be dealing with him next.
Ursa Major appears before Wolverine, who calls out 'C'mon then, Yogi. I could use a new rug!' 'You only pretend to be an animal, Wolverine. You know nothing of the savagery of nature. But come, let me show you... and then let me eat you!' Ursa Major declares.
'Not today, sugah!' Rogue exclaims as she flies into the warehouse and slams her fist into Ursa Major's face, while Gambit remarks that the one good thing about Wolverine is that he is never hard to find, while tossing kinetically-charged playing cards at Omega Red, Darkstar, Vostok and Red Guardian.
Rogue swoops in and pulls Wolverine into the air, telling him that Storm figured he would need some help, but that they didn't count on running into an army.
'They sent more X-Men? How delightful' Alpha Red smiles as he wipes his mouth while standing over the motionless body of Maverick. 'Traitor!' a voice cries out in Russian. It's Omega Red, who wraps his tendrils around Alpha Red's hands and tells him that he is a relic. 'I exist as a testament to your failures! I am improved in every way!' Omega Red boasts.
'They will hail me as a hero when I bring your head back to Moscow and leave your body for the wolves' Omega Red tells Alpha Red. But Alpha Red grins, showing off his jagged teeth, and tells his comrade that he is wrong. 'They did not make you because I failed. They made you because I performed too well!' And with that, Alpha Red slashes Omega Red's tendrils with his claws, freeing himself and causing Omega Red to fall backwards. 'We're leaving' Rogue announces, while Gambit holds onto the motionless Maverick. 'No, blast it! Turn me loose! He's the one who hurt Jubilee!' Wolverine exclaims as the super-strong Rogue flies all three men into the air. Wolverine looks back down at the warehouse as Rogue tells him that she knows, but that anybody who can do that to Omega Red ain't somebody she wants to face without the whole team. 'We stay there, and we ain't helping nobody' Rogue points out. Gambit remarks that this may be the wrong time, but he isn't sure if Wolverine's friend is going to make it. 'Looks like he got bit pretty bad'. Suddenly, 'YES – I DID!' Maverick exclaims as he bares his now jagged teeth at Wolverine, lunging for his neck.
Not far away, in the dormitories of the X-Mansion, Skin, Leech, Dead Girl, Artie, Doop, Husk, Vivisector and Kid Sensitive are sitting on the floor as M stands before them. 'As Student Body President, I, Monet St Croix, take your safety very seriously' Monet announces. 'President? We haven't even had an election' Skin points out. 'It's inevitable' Monet tells him, before continuing with her speech, telling the others that the teachers clearly aren't telling them everything. 'I mean, you heard what Chamber said – Sentinels don't bit you on the neck and drink your blood. I think we're dealing with... vampires' Monet declares. 'Oh, come on. You're being ridiculous' Vivisector remarks. 'Dude, you're literally a werewolf' Kid Sensitive points out. Dead Girl covers her ears, while Husk looks scared. 'That's different. Besides, I've seen every episode of the X-Men's TV show and I don't remember anything about vampires' Vivisector remarks. 'That's 'cause they're too violent to show on TV' Kid Sensitive suggests.
'AHEM!' Monet clears her throat, telling the others that if it is vampires, then they need to have a plan. 'We clearly can't rely on the staff to do something. So... what do we know about vampires?' Monet asks. 'They can't get in unless you invite 'em. So as long as we stay inside, we oughta be safe!' Husk exclaims, raising her hand and smiling. 'What about Jubilee?' Kid Sensitive asks. 'Dude! Too soon! Vivisector snaps. 'No, for real! I mean, this is her home, right? And even if it wasn't, they brought her in already' Kid Sensitive points out. Husk tells the others that their rooms are like little houses, so she thinks that means it works. There is a crack of lightning, and the students all turn to the window, when suddenly, 'Wrong' Jubilee exclaims, grinning, as the doors slam behind her, and the students scream.
In the hangar, Psylocke tells Bishop that she doesn't know what Storm hopes to accomplish with the overhead recon. 'She should've sent me along with Rogue' Bishop replies. 'Don't you mean “Rogue and Gambit”? Or did I have it right the first time?' Psylocke responds. 'Don't know what you're talking about, Braddock, but -' Bishop begins, but Betsy tells him to relax and points out that there is no sense in lying to a psychic. '...and here we have Psylocke and Bishop. They'll be joining us' Storm tells U-Go Girl, who is wearing one of the red training uniforms as they approach Bishop and Psylocke, who looks the young mutant up and down. Bishop informs Storm that the Blackbird is ready. Storm thanks him, but announces that they won't be taking the plane. 'A little late for a field trip, isn't it?' Betsy asks. 'Uh, hi? I'm U-Go Girl' the young mutant introduces herself. Storm explains that time is of the essence, and that they must move quickly. She informs Bishop and Psylocke that Miss Sawyer is a long-range teleporter, and that she can get them where they are going even faster than the Blackbird. 'A teleporter? Where exactly are you taking us... and does Xavier know you've recruited a student for whatever this is?' Psylocke asks. 'Charles has enough on his mind' Storm points out.
'You're first mission as leader, and already you're keeping secrets from the Professor... tsk tsk, Storm. What would Cyclops say?' Psylocke smirks. Bishop frowns, while U-Go Girl looks nervous as Storm tells Betsy exactly what Cyclops would have said: “You should never let Psylocke on the team, Ororo”. Storm assures Edie that she can do this. 'Ready? Set...?' Storm begins. 'GO!' U-Go Girl calls out, throwing her arms into the air, a portal warps around them, and soon, they materialize out in the open, as a storm rages around them. Lightning crackles and rain pours down. 'That was... rad...' U-Go Girl utters as she collapses into Bishop's arms. 'She's exhausted. That 'port took everything out of her' Bishop remarks. 'You dropped us in the middle of a bloody hurricane!' Psylocke snaps. Storm tells her that this is not natural, that this is for her. 'He knew we were coming' Storm reveals. 'Who?' Psylocke asks. 'Him' Storm replies as they look over to a large mansion.
'Inside, quickly!' Storm calls out as she pushes the door open with a gust of wind. 'Storm. Where have you taken us?' Betsy asks. Soaking wet, they stand in the foyer of the mansion, and Bishop and Psylocke go wide-eyed as someone calls out to them 'You are in Transylvania, my celestial beauty'. The cloaked figure grins, as he welcomes them all to Castle Dracula!