The Swiss Alps in the dead of night. A large muscular figure trudges through the snow towards a chalet. 'Light's on. Somebody's home. Too bad for them' he thinks to himself, large weapon in one of his hands. Inside, sitting in front of an open fire is Warren Worthington III, who asks the woman sitting with him, whom he calls Gisela 'What could be cozier than this? The snow, the fire – you 'n' me -' he begins, as Gisela replies that she guesses she should be frightened. 'They say you've got a mad scientist up here. Doctor Frankenstein, I presume?' she asks. Warren informs Gisela that his name is Gottfried Adler, and he is an expert on genetics, but that he is not here, as he sent him to Scotland to do some research. Warren decides that he should take Gisela home, as it is getting late. 'Why can't we get close, Warren? Why do you push me away?' Gisela asks. Warren hangs his head as he tells Gisela that if she knew what he was really like, she wouldn't want to get close.
Suddenly, there is a crashing noise, ' - what's that?' Warren wonders as he turns to the window, 'Warren – the glass!' Gisela calls out as glass shards fall towards them. 'You Adler? Talk!' the muscular man with the gun exclaims as he stands in the broken window – it's Cable! Warren then introduces himself, and when he sees Cable glance at Gisela, he uses this opportunity to grab his own gun, though it is nowhere near as large as Cable's. 'Now it's my turn to ask questions, pal!' Warren exclaims as he fires the gun, striking Cable's arm. 'Not bad, kid. But next time, aim for the heart!' Cable shouts. He shakes off the plasma blast and grabs Warren by his hair, 'You got hi-tech connections' cable points out, before asking again 'Who the blazes are you?' 'I already told you, man – and I've got nothing else to say!' Warren replies. 'Maybe so..but I'' somebody else in here's got lots to say! Whatta you think?' Cable asks as he tosses Warren out onto the balcony. 'You touch her, mister and you'll regret it to your dying breath! I'm not kidding, you creep!' Warren warns Cable.
'Not much for laughs, myself, Lancelot, so take a powder – while I chit chat with the little lady' Cable remarks as he fires a blast from his weapon, which knocks Warren off the balcony to the snow-covered ground below. 'What have you done to Warren? That was horrible!' Gisela exclaims. Cable turns to her and tells her that the weapon is on stun, before asking where Adler is. 'Quickly – I've little time!' he exclaims. 'Scotland – he went to -' Gisela begins. 'Scotland! Stab his eyes – you mean Muir Island?' Cable asks, baring down over Gisela, who looks up at him, wide-eyed and replies that she doesn't know – really.
At that moment outside, Warren sits up in the snow, which cushioned his fall. He knows he has to get back inside, as the madman has Gisela. Warren then pulls at his clothes, ripping them off, revealing a red and white costume underneath – and large feathered wings, which stick out from his back. 'YOU PICKED THE WRONG LITTLE RICH BOY TO MESS WITH, BUSTER! GET SET FOR ANOTHER GO ROUND!' Warren a.k.a. Angel exclaims, as he flies back up to the chalet, 'Get away from her while you still can move! Get away!' Warren shouts. Cable turns back to Angel, 'Those wings – you're a mutant!' he exclaims. 'Warren – is that you?' Gisela asks, confused. Cable dodges Warren, who comes to a stop near Gisela, as Cable throws a stun grenade towards them, remarking that he already got what he came for. 'Gisela, get back!' Warren declares as he protects her from the grenade.
Cable then leaps off the balcony, 'Adler at last!' he tells himself, while Angel tells Gisela to take it easy, as he is here now. 'Warren, I don't understand your condition -' Gisela begins as Warren sets her down on a sofa and tells her that it is nothing she needs to concern herself with. 'Rest...I'll be back soon...' he assures her, before flying out into the snow, he calls out 'This blizzard won't hide you from me, whoever you are!' and warns him that there won't be a helpless woman for him to threaten next time. 'Do you hear me?' Angel shouts, but his angry words are lost in the wind's howl.
Meanwhile, on Muir Isle, a small place off the coast of Scotland, location of the Center for Mutant Research, headed by Dr Moira MacTaggart, who at this moment is in the company of Professor Charles Xavier, founding father of the X-Men. Moira tells Charles that it is good to see him, and adds that even with all her work, she sometimes get lonely. 'Being a word-renowned geneticist doesn't mean you can alter the human condition' Charles points out. 'Aye' Moira agrees, as they walk towards one of the smaller laboratories away from the main complex. Charles tells Moira that she is accomplishing some remarkable things here, and it is only her presence that makes mutants feel free to come and be part of the research. Charles reminds Moira that she was his silent partner in forming the School for Gifted Youngsters. 'And one upon a time...we were going to be so much more' he adds. Moira tells Charles not to torment himself, as it wouldn't have gone as they planned. 'That's years past' Moira adds, as she asserts that this is her life now, and tells Charles that she is on the verge of a momentous breakthrough in mutant gene control.
Charles looks up at Moira and remarks that the core of this research is being done by the mysterious Dr Adler. 'He won't even allow you to see his work until it's completed. How is that possible? You're in charge here' Charles points out. As the enter the smaller lab, Moira explains that Adler is not part of the Center, and pays for everything he uses here, so in return, she allows him seclusion. Moira adds that he is brilliant. 'Then you don't truly know if he can reverse mutations?' Charles enquires. 'I only know what he tells me' Moira replies, before they come to another door, and Moira tells Charles that this is Adler's lab. She presses an intercom and tells Dr Adler that she has brought a visitor, but before she can even reveal who the visitor is, Dr Adler's voice can be heard: 'Visitors are verboten! You promised not to interfere! Good day'. With this stern response, Charles decides to probe the lab.
He concentrates, and the most powerful mutant brain on Earth penetrates the chamber beyond – infiltrating the cerebrum of the scientist within, a non-descript middle-aged man. Instantly, a series of stark images feed back into Xavier's consciousness – images so unexpected, so intense – they precipitate an abrupt disruption of his telepathic inquiry, as he sees images of a sullen blue-skinned woman with red hair, and an angry with dark skin wearing a blue costume. Moira sees the concern on Charles' face and asks him what happened. 'Tried to probe his brain – some force of immense strength blocked it! Pictures of a woman – and something else... something inhuman!' Xavier gasps, sweating. Charles tells Moira that it is time he contacted his students, as they have been in the dark long enough.
Moments later, in the X-Mansion, in New York's Westchester County, the assembled X-Men hear their mentor for the first time in days, as they watch a monitor where he appears, informing them that Adler claims his process can reverse genetic mutations within each cell of the body – so in short, a mutant can be turned into a non-mutant. Xavier informs his team that there are things about Adler that disturb him, which he will brief them on later. Xavier then asks Scott Summers a.k.a. Cyclops why there is damage to the War room. Scott informs the Professor that his half-brother, Juggernaut attacked the mansion when they were in Genosha, but they located him and put an end to his rampage with no casualties. Xavier remarks that he will deal with that upon his return, and instructs Scott to continue to lead in his absence. He asks the X-Men to forgive him for not informing them earlier of his activity. 'We understand, Professor. Cyclops out' Scott replies, as the communication ends.
Logan a.k.a. Wolverine tells the others that he has a twitchy nose about some of the stuff Charlies was spouting, and wonders if this Adler isn't on the up-and-up – what then? Jean Grey turns to Logan and tells him that it is just speculation at this point. 'Maybe so, Jeannie. But something don't smell right' Logan replies. Remy LeBeau a.k.a. Gambit asks Ororo Munroe a.k.a. Storm what she makes of this Muir Island business. Storm declares that if Adler's process works, then each of them must decide for himself if he will remain a mutant – an X-Man. Storm reminds Gambit that the Professor has taught them to value their powers, use them for the benefit of others. 'We must -' Storm begins, but Gambit interrupts her, suggesting that they need to at least consider the idea of being human – 'Just human... tempting, non?'
Jubilee tells the others that she hates to interrupt all this total heavy-osity, but they still have to fix the trashed x-pad. Cyclops reports that he has been in touch with a contractor who is interested in the job, and gave a reasonable price. 'Great – how we paying fer the re-do, Bub? Gonna pass the hat?' Logan asks. Cyclops reveals that he has access to the Professor's emergency funds in his absence, so they needn't sweat it. Rogue has remained silent through all of this, she narrows her eyes and thinks to herself 'A chance to be normal...to touch somebody without worrying about absorbing theah life force. Ah could be with someone... someone Ah could love' she then turns and walks out of the War Room. Jean notices this and quietly tells Scott that she is worried about Rogue. 'Why? What happened?' Scott asks. 'I'm a telepath. I know how she feels when I touch your hand – kiss you. It's something she could never aspire to...in her condition' Jean explains. Storm notices Jubilee looking pensive and asks her why she is so. 'Oh, just thinking about the future. Nothing special, y'know. Really' Jubilee replies.
A short time later, Rogue is getting into her red convertible car, tossing a suitcase onto the backseat, she tells herself that she has to do it – for her sanity – she has to undergo the treatment. She doesn't want to say anything to the others, which is why she is slipping out quietly. Before she can pull away though, 'Ahh, mademoiselle, such a perfect day pour une promenade' Gambit calls out as he leaps onto the car, sitting on the edge of the passenger door. 'Oh, man' Rogue thinks to herself. 'Mind if Remy join you? Merci' Gambit remarks. 'Gambit, please -' Rogue begins. Remy smiles and tells Rogue thaat “Gambit” is so formal. He picks up a map of Scotland that was sitting in the car, and realizing where Rogue is going, Gambit tells her that she is making a bad choice. Gambit asks Rogue to share a Concorde with him and go to Paris. 'Is not de prospect of a week wit dis suave Cajun irresistible?' Gambit asks, leaning in towards Rogue, who tells Gambit that he is such a letch, so sure of himself. 'Makes what i'm gonna do to yoh lil' ol' ego a crime' Rogue scowls. 'A crime of passion, I hope' Gambit tells Rogue, who then puts her foot down on the accelerator, so hard that Gambit falls from the car as Rogue speeds away. 'Time to re-think de approach. Subtlety is wasted on dat ravissant femme' Gambit decides.
Six hours later, inside a pub on Muir Isle, the innkeeper pours some beer, while two costumed individuals are playing darts. 'Okay, Mr St John – I'm not spending all night shooting darys. Is she coming or not?' the man in the blue-gray costume tells ther blond man in the yellow and orange costume, who throws a dart towards the dart board. 'Krikey, but you're becoming impatient in your old age. She'll be here. We've a deal. Now don't be messin' up me shot, mate!' he adds, as another dart streaks past the first man's face and hits the bullseye. 'Nice one, limey' the man in the blue-gray costume remarks, before asking what Mystique looks like. The blond man smiles and tells his companion that he doesn't know, as he's never seen her. 'What?' the first man asks. The blond man then reveals that Mystique is a shape-shifter, and that she can appear as anyone. 'Claims she's a real looker. Just like -' St John begins, as he and his companion go wide-eyed: 'Like that walking dream that just made an entrance? Wow, is that -?' the first man asks. 'One way to find out, m'boy!' St John exclaims as an unimpressed Rogue enters the pub.
Rogue goes over to the bar, and the innkeeper informs her that Adler has his lab on the other side of the island, but tells her that she shouldn't plan on seeing him, as he is a recluse. St John tells his companion to keep an eye on the approach, and she will be putty in his hand. 'Right. Shape-shifters usually are' the man in the blue-gray costume replies. St John approaches Rogue and introduces himself as Pyro, as he generates a small flame. 'You'd be Mystique – nobody else here could be lighting me fire' he tells her. 'Get lost, firebug' Rogue snaps without looking at him. 'Don't be cold, babe. We got -' Pyro begins, but Rogue grabs him, 'I said – GET LOST!' she shouts as she throws Pyro across the pub, where he crashes into a chair and lands at his companion's feet. 'Oh, she's a looker! Knocked you right off your feet. Love at first site Pyro's companion jokes. 'Very droll, my friend' Pyro mutters, before his companion tells him to relax, as he will show him how he handles recalcitrant cows that don't have respect for a man's prerogatives.
'What's the “A” stand for, shugah? Couldn't be -' Rogue begins, as the man in the blue-gray costume exclaims 'Don't be cute! It's Avalanche! Avalanche!' he shouts, before asking Rogue to guess what he does. 'Try hard?' Rogue asks as she leaps into the air, while Avalanche boasts that he sets up vibrations and shatters anything he focuses his power on – like the floor, for instance. 'Or smartmouth females that aggravate me! Any more questions!?' Avalanche roars, before Rogue slams her fist into Avalanche's face, asking him what hospital he wants his flowers sent to. Avalanche falls backwards, 'Nice movies, Dixie! Let's see how you like my avalanche effect up close and personal! This one's got my stamp of approval, “shugah”! Now don't toss your cookies on me, please!' Avalanche jokes as he slams his foot against Rogue, and releases his vibro-power, which shakes Rogue, forcing her backwards.
Avalanche gets to his feet and punches Rogue in the face, 'Even just a second's touch – like so – sends massive vibrations through my fist and into your lovely jaw!' Avalanche exclaims, telling Rogue that he is sorry he can't touch her a little longer, but another time, another place. 'You know how it is'. Rogue frowns and tells Avalanche that he has read her wrong – she has got a thing about touching. 'And you been so nice tuh me – a stranger 'n' all...Ah'm just gonna return the favor! Y'all don't come back now yuh heah!' Rogue calls out as she slams her fist hard into Avlanche, knocking him through the pub wall – where he falls out of the pub and straight down into the water below the cliff that the pub sits on.
'As for you, flamebrain -' Rogue begins, turning to Pyro, who looks embarassed and raises his hands, 'I catch your drift, darling' he remarks. 'Thought so' Rogue tells him, before Rogue announces that she has to see a man about a very special treatment. 'Gonna make a new person out of me – maybe out of us all! Think about it over a beer' Rogue tells Pyro. Pyro is intrigued by this and starts to follow Rogue, deciding that she has piqued his journalistic curiosity as there is more to Rogue than meets the eye. Pyro plans to return for the mysterious Mystique in short measure.
Back at the X-Mansion, Gambit informs Wolverine and Cyclops that Rogue had a map of Scotland, he assumes she is headed for Muir Island. Wolverine suggests they grab a little sky in the Blackbird and do some fast talking. 'Problem with that, Cyke?' he asks Cyclops, who, for once, agrees with Logan. Cyclops adds that there is no telling what Rogue will do, so they should leave now. Cyclops adds that he is curious about this doctor.
And at Muir, Rogue arrives at Dr Adler's lab. She presses on the intercom and announces that she would like to see him, informing him that she has come a long way. 'Well go back a long way. I see no one! Goodbye!' is Dr Adler's response. Rogue uses her incredible strength to force the door down and warns Dr Adler that he is not getting off that easy. 'Ah want some'a that treatment – an Ah ain't taking no for an answer!' Rogue warns him. Rogue sees Doctor Adler, ahead of her, in the shadows. She asks him to come out, as she doesn't bite. 'Well, your aggressive entrance does not bespeak peaceful intentions!' Dr Adler responds, before he suddenly appears and remarks that he supposes he will be forced to listen to Rogue. 'So, what exactly is the reason for this visit?' he enquires.
Rogue pleads with Dr Adler, telling him that she has to have his treatment – she can't go on not being able to touch another person, never getting close. 'Ah'd rather be dead than face another day!' Rogue gasps, adding that she is alone – so alone. Pyro listens from outside the open door, as Dr Adler tells Rogue that her plea is heartfelt, but that is anti-mutant process is untried. 'The danger...I'll need time to consider your request' He then asks her to return to him in one hour, and Rogue assures him that she will be back. 'tidy bit of information' Pyro thinks to himself, before slipping back as Rogue walks out the door. He doesn't want to be spotted until he relays this touching scene to his partner. One hour on the dot' Rogue calls back to Dr Adler.
Moments later, 'An interesting turn of events. This may push up our timetable. Still...' a voice calls out from within the laboratory. 'Yes. This one is perfect. Her distress was almost palpable' Adler comments, before suddenly, he announces that in Rogue's absence, he can shed this clumsy persona, and return to the infintely preferable form – of Mystique! The blue-skinned mutant looks stern, as the mysterious being Xavier saw in his probing steps from the shadows, and tells Mystique that she has done well. 'The real Adler has been removed – and tyou stand in his place doing my bidding!' he declares. 'I serve you, Apocalypse...our goals mesh. We -' Mystique begins, as Apocalypse scoffs, wondering what Mystique can know of the goals of one who has trod this Earth since man first crawled from the cave.
Apocalypse boasts that his hidden land has influenced much of human history, and of late, he remains in the shadows, while that strutting fool Magneto seeks to unite all mutantkind under his pathetic banner. Apocalypse declares that soon, he shall move openly to realize his dreams of conquest – and thwart Magneto's. 'And Adler's machine will not remove genetic mutations' Mystique points out. 'Correct. It will instead turn any who basks in its rays into my slave!' Apocalypse boasts. 'This Rogue woman will be the first of those to suffer such a fate' Mystique points out.
Sitting on the edge of a cliff overlooking the water surrounding Muir, Rogue hugs her legs up to her chest and wonders if this is what she really wants. 'Sure it is. Hasn't muh life been a curse? Maybe the other X-Men want tuh keep using theah powers for the cause...Ah just want tuh be held – tuh be special tuh someone forever. Tuh be a woman'. Rogue remembers that one time, long ago, she learned what she really was – and it was horrible.
'The Mississippi never looked more beautiful, Cody!' a young Rogue remarks as she and Cody walked along the river, the moon glowing in the night sky. 'Neither have you, gal' Cody tells her, before asking if she has evah been kissed. 'No, Ah -' Rogue starts to say, before Cody leans in and kisses her on the lips. 'Always a first time' he mumbles, when suddenly, Cody drops to the ground. 'What's happening?' Rogue asks, confused. 'Ah can feel Cody – inside mah head! His memories flooding through me! No! Noooo!' she screams.
Rogue reminds herself that Cody survived, but she never saw him again, as he thought she was a witch. 'Maybe ah am. But Ah got a chancer tuh change it forever. Make it all right!' Rogue tells herself as she gets to her feet, deciding that she is going to do it. But as she gets up, she doesn't notice Pyro nearby, on the shore, he has found Avalanche and asks him if he is all right. 'I'll live. But my pride...' Avalanche replies, before Pyro informs him that he followed their pugilistic partner to a certain Dr Adler's, who is a local scientist in great demand, seems he has developed a method of reversing mutations. 'Of what!?' Avalanche asks. 'You heard me, mate. Here, let me warm you' Pyro replies as he creates a small flame to dry Avalanche out. Pyro grins as he asks what would happen if this Adler were to suddenly disappear. 'Imagine the fortune in ransom to be paid'. Avalanche decides that as soon as he dries off, they should arrange a disapppearance. 'And your dear friend Mystique need never know – wherever she is'. Avalanche adds that he will then want another crack at that southern steam roller.
At Adler's lab, Rogue has been strapped to a table, and Adler tells her that this treatment has never been tried before on a human being. 'This is your last chance to back out' he adds. Rogue tells him that she isn't strapped down here to get her teeth cleaned, and explains that this decision did not come easy – but that she isn't backing out. She tells Dr Adler to get this show on the road. Dr Adler touches a button on the console and informs Rogue that there will be some discomfort first, a heavy tingling. Suddenly, the entire ground begins to shake, and Adler assumes it to be an earthquake – before he is knocked over by some falling equipment. 'Earthquake don't cover the topic tonight!' Rogue exlaims as she gets off the table – before being knocked aside by some vibrations. 'Very perceptive of you!' Avalanche tells her as he and Pyro enter the lab.
'You remember me – with the big “A”!' Avalanche exclaims, to which Pyro tells his companion that he is sure it is induebly impressed on her memory now. Avalanche boasts that he is going to bring this place down around her ears – just in case – and fires another blast of vibrations towards Rogue, knocking her about again. Pyro calls Avalanche Dominic and informs him that he has bagged the good doctor, so they should be on their merry way. Pyro has placed Dr Adler in a large bag, while Avalanche continues to use his powers, causing some equipment to fall onto Rogue, he tells Pyro that he is ensuring that they won't be pursued – and teaching her a lesson. As they leave the lab, Avalanche declares that a woman has to know her place, and Pyro adds that in this case, it is buried – under ten tons of rubble. He adds that it is a pity, as she was a looker. Under the rubble, Rogue's hand sticks out....