Genosha, the island nation where three X-Men – Ororo “Storm” Munroe, Remy “Gambit” LeBeau and Jubilee have come in search of respite from the rigors of Charles Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters. But shortly after arrival, the trio was gassed and captured and forced into a labor camp where they now toil for the unknown rulers of this hellish isle.
'Keep working, muties. Nobody called break-time!' one of the Genoshan soldiers calls out from where he stands on the wing of a hovercraft that keeps watch over the mutant prisoners. 'You heard the man let's move it!' one of the soldiers on the ground declares, holding his weapon ready. Storm, Gambit and Jubilee are exhausted from work and the heat. Shovels in hand, they are doing constriction work – on top of a freshly constructed and very large dam. Dozens of soldiers line the top of the dam where the three X-Men and a number of other mutant prisoners are forced to endure this slavery.
Genosha is an illusory Eden, advertised as a haven for mutants – mutants who soon discover there is little of utopia here. Lulled into a false sense of comfort, the special arrivals are easy prey for the swift attack soon made against them. Gambit tells Storm to take it easy, as they still have hours to go, so she should pace herself. 'Zip it, Bushy! We're in charge here!' one of the soldiers warns Gambit. The helpless captives are enslaved by the Genoshan security forces and made to labor on massive construction projects with little hope of escape. Welcome to paradise. One of the soldiers holds on control box and informs the mutants that the collars they are wearing suppress their powers. He announces that he will be turning the collars off so their work performance improves – standard procedure. He explains that if they try to escape the collars get reactivated, and if you try to remove the collars, they explode. 'So unless your mutant power is growing a new head, don't try anything' the soldier suggests. 'This is what we have prepared for, Storm. Ready' Gambit whispers. Storm replies that she is, and remarks that the slave collars are off, so she can now disable the control box. 'It's your show, Ororo' Jubilee smiles.
'And I will strive not to disappoint you, child!' Storm exclaims as she takes flight and casts a bolt of lightning at the control box, frying it and knocking the soldier backwards. Jubilee starts to move forward, but Gambit grabs her. She tells him to let her go, as they can make a break, too. But Gambit reminds Jubilee that is not the plan. He adds that there is much they are in the dark about. He recalls how they came here to rest and relax, but someone in the hotel reported their movements and laid the trap in the bungalow they went to. The gas came out of the walls and put them under, only for them to come to in the slave collars, toiling for these scum – but why they are captives and who the power behind it is, they do not know. He adds that with Storm free, they may soon learn. High above the dam water, Storm suddenly feels the collar tingling, and she clutches at it – the collar has switched on again. Her powers start to fade and she plummets into the water, landing with a splash. Storm emerges and gasps for air, before pulling herself onto a large rock that protrudes from the water. She tells herself that she destroyed the control box, and wonders how the collar was re-activated. Suddenly, a cable snakes out of the water and wraps around one of her legs – that cable is connected to the hand of a massive Sentinel which suddenly bursts from the water.
'Apprehension of fleeing mutant. Objective achieved. Suspect being returned to point of origin' the Sentinel states in its robotic voice as the cable retracts part way back into the Sentinel's hand, and it flies out of the water, landing on the top of the dam. 'We got her back, Mr Trask' one of the soldiers reports. Trask steps forward, holding another control box he admits that was not a bad escape ploy, but unfortunately for the mutant, he happened to have this duplicate control box hidden nearby. 'Nice to know' one of the soldiers remarks, while Jubilee quietly informs Gambit that the Trask dude is one of the Mutant Registration guys that nabbed her and took her to that smelly factory. 'Factory... where they made the Sentinels. Now they here with Trask. Hmph' Gambit replies. Trask announces that the rebel can be of no further use to them, and instructs the Sentinel to dispose of her properly. 'Wait! You be making the mistake!' Gambit calls out, declaring that she controls the weather – wind, snow – all of it. 'Grab him in case it's a trick!' one of the soldiers tells another, and the two of them take hold of Gambit as he tries to rush forward. Gambit points out that she can make it rain like a big storm and fill up the lake behind the dam in no time.
'Point taken' Trask replies, adding that Gambit's motivation for such an outburst is unclear, but they can use the hydroelectric power quickly. He orders the Sentinel to take Storm to the box and keep her there until the dam's completion.
Light suddenly fills a dark space, and the Sentinel drops Storm into the box. 'No! Not here! Not here!' Storm pleads, tears stream down her face 'Not HEEERE!' she screams as the top of the box is replaced, plunging her into the darkness of the confined space. 'Let me free!' Storm calls out, sealed inside the box, while the Sentinel stands over it.
Back at the unfinished dam, Sunfire uses his control over flame, while the Blob carries some heavy beams overhead, and Jubilee tells Gambit that she can't imagine what it is like or Storm to be in the punishment box, as she is claustrophobic, so she must be going nuts. Gambit assures Jubilee that Storm is alive, and points out that they can't ask for more at this stage, when suddenly, they turn their attention to an explosion in the distance, which can just be seen over the mountains that obscure the view. 'What's up with that?' Jubilee asks. 'Mr Trask. It's him!' one of the soldiers gasps. 'Quiet! I know!' Trask retorts. The soldiers all turn to the explosion, which Jubilee picks up a wire nearby and uses a small plasma blast on it to cut a piece off for herself. Putting it into her trench, she decides that it is going to come in very handy.
Meanwhile, the War Room of Professor Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters in Upstate New York. 'Problem, Scott?' Jean Grey asks Scott “Cyclops” Summers who puts the phone down and reports that there is no way to get through to Genosha by phone, he is always cut off. 'Never mind that, lookee what the cat drug in!' Rogue exclaims as she sees Wolverine enter and asks him where he has been these last two weeks, as they have been worried. 'Someplace cold, darling. Real cold' Logan smiles, adding 'And yer a sight for sore eyes, too'.
Night has fallen over Genosha's prison, which is under a heavy patrol by numerous security officers. Floodlights flicker as electrical power is suddenly diverted by a massive surge elsewhere. Jubilee uses this escape her cell and rush over to Gambit's, informing him that she used some wire to pick her lock. 'Now you do the same to mine?' Gambit asks. 'Right!' Jubilee exclaims, but Gambit tells her to go back to her cell and get the night's sleep before she is caught and winds up like Storm. Jubilee scowls and walks away, 'Man, what is wrong with him? I figured if anybody'd want out a this dump, it'd be Remy'. She wonders if she can rouse some of these other losers to make a break for it. 'Listen up! I've got a plan to get us out of here!' Jubilee shouts . She informs tem that tomorrow, they nail the goon who turns the collars on in the prison yard, they will get their powers back, then they can overpower those guards before they can react. 'Shut up, Shorty. We got enough trouble without you filing our heads with malarky!' the Blob exclaims, but Sunfire decides that her plan at least bears listening to. Suddenly, the lights start to come back on, and knowing she could get in trouble for this, she runs back to her cell, wanting to hide under the covers.
The following day, guards patrol the prison as the mutants are led out of their cells. 'Keep that line moving, muties. Lotsa work to do today!' one of the guards calls out, while Jubilee notices that Gambit's cell is empty. Sunfire informs her that Gambit was taken away in the night, but that it is no matter, because they are going with her plan. 'You make the initial attack – they'll suspect you least of treachery' Sunfire tells her. 'I look that wimpy, huh?' Jubilee replies.
Elsewhere, the X-Men's Blackbird soarts over the Atlantic heading toward Genosha. Inside the aircraft, Rogue tells Cyclops that he looks worried. Cyclops confirms that he is, after all, they have X-Men who are incommunicado, and he intends to find out why. 'Yer an inspiration, Cyke' Wolverine remarks sarcastically. 'Logan' Jean declares.
Back on Genosha, the mutants are led from the prison grounds and Sunfire alerts Jubilee to the guard with the control box, telling her that if she makes her move, it must be now. 'Watch my dust, carrot-head!' Jubilee exclaims, as she leaps towards the guard, 'KAI-YAH!' she shouts as she kicks him in the head. 'Jackie Chan, eat your heart out!' Jubilee declares. The other mutants start to fight the guards, and Jubilee picks up the control box. 'Now all I gotta do is press this button to shut the collars off – and we cream these dorks with our mutant powers' Jubilee begins, but as she presses the button, nothing happens. 'Hey! What's the scam? I keep pressing but the collars are still on!' Jubilee exclaims, when suddenly, cable wraps around her leg, and pulls her into the air. In the process she drops the the control box and it breaks. 'There's nothing inside except some wires and junk!' Jubilee declares as she hangs upside down. The Sentinel at the other end of the cable slowly retracts the wire, drawing Jubilee closer to its hand. 'I screwed up big time! Now this dopey Sentinel's using me like a yo-yo!' Jubilee mutters.
Jubilee sees Gambit and asks him where he has been. 'Don't just stand there – help me!' Jubilee calls out. 'What're you smiling at?' Jubilee asks, before suddenly realizing that this was a trap. 'You finked on us! I'll get you for this!' she tels Gambit, when suddenly, more Sentinels arrive and release a gas which knocks the other mutants out. Jubilee is then thrown into another box, the brief glow of daylight slammed behind her. 'Newcomer. Do not be afraid. I will make a snowstorm when the sun rises' Storm utters from the box alongside the one Jubilee is prisoner in. 'It's like snow...so pure...beautiful. Pure....' Storm utters. Jubilee realizes that Storm is delirious, and she starts to cry, wondering how Gambit would have done this. 'We were friends – you creep!'
Miles distant from the distraught Jubilee, just downstream of the nearly completed dam, a VIP limo pulls to a stop before a dilapidated factory, an unassuming edifice housing perhaps the greatest secret of Genosha. Inside, an enormous Sentinel is housed, and Trask stands at the behemoth's feet, with Henry Gyrich recently arrived from the limo. Trask tells Gyrich that this is why they needed to come to Genosha, so he could conceive his ultimate creation – Master Mold. Trask explains that it requires an enormous outside power source, and last night its operation blacked out half the island temporarily. He boasts that they will have their own desperately needed power grid once the dam is finished and from this locale, they will track and capture mutants anywhere on the planet. 'And of course, the manufacturing process is entirely self-contained' Gyrich remarks.
There is a rumbling noise, and a panel on Master Mold's chest opens. 'Exactly. Think of it as a giant all-purpose oven that bakes a Sentinel – going from a dough-like texture to metallic hardness...and then pops it out when done to perfection!' Trask exclaims as a Sentinel emerges from Master Mold, and drops down to the ground where it, shadowed by Master Mold, still towers over the humans. 'Magnificent and accomplished using the resources of this backward island!' Gyrich declares. Trask tells Gyrich that he isn't sure the Leader would like his country referred to as “backward”. The Leader enters and approaches Trask and Gyrich, remarking that he will allow Mr Gyrich his slice of innate Yankee condescension, as it has its charm. 'Don't you agree, Mr Hodge?' the Leader asks the man walking alongside him. 'As your development advisor, Colonel, I'd prefer not to comment on matters of common courtesy' Hodge replies. The Leader shakes Dr Trask's hand and tells him that he understands there was a revolt by the slaves, which he allowed to occur. 'Generously done to break their spirit and discourage further attempts at sedition' Hodge states, to which Gyrich points out that everyone has to learn their place.
'Especially mutants, eh?' the Leader jokes. 'It's not as if those dangerous powers they have make them any more ethical' Trask declares, adding that it was one of their own sainted kind that betrayed them, a mutant who goes by the nomenclature “Gambit”. At that moment two guards bring Gambit into the large warehouse, 'Smile for the nice men, pond scum' one of the guards tells Gambit, before apologizing to the Leader for not having time to have cleaned him up. The Leader tells the guard it is all right, before asking Gyrich if he knows this one. Trask confirms that he was one of the mutants who attacked the Sentinel factory in America, a member of the subversive mutant group called X-Men. 'What's so special about these characters? Where are these X-Men located, Gambit?' Trask asks. 'If I tell you that then maybe you don't need Gambit no more' Gambit replies, adding that he thinks he will just take them to the X-Men – when they are ready. Another Sentinel emerges from Master Mold, and Trask warns Gambit that when they have completed enough of these, they may not need his directions to locate his X-patriates. 'If you'll pardon my witicism. And now that your current usefulness is at an end, you'll be returned to the prison until we have need of you' Trask declares. 'But I -' Gambit begins. 'But nothing! Guards, remove this Judas!' Trask calls out.
Soon, outside, Gambit is loaded into one of the hovercraft, as one of the guards asks him what it is like to be a stinking mutie, to know the whole world hates your guts. 'Aw, don't ask him tough questions like that. You know their kind's a little dense upstairs' another guard remarks. The hovercraft takes off, 'Ahhh, good to know that all Remy thought about humans is true' Gambit utters, adding that in the face of their probing questions, he has gotta respond by saying 'Va te faire futre'. 'Oh, boy! I think I'm being dissed in French!' one of the guards exclaims. 'Only the finest for you, hommes' Gambit tells him. Gambit offers to shorten the journey with a card trick, and pulls a deck of cards from his trench coat. 'Keep the eyes on this deck and see what disappears as you watch' Gambit instructs them. 'Some trick. Nothing's happening' one guard remarks as Gambit flicks the cards up into the air. He then kicks one guard in the face, while slamming his fist into the other guard's face. Gambit then leaps from the hovercraft, lands safely on the ground and rushes into the cover of the surrounding bushes. 'He hit the ground running. Get that swamp rat!' one of the guards declares.
'I'm gonna cram those lousy cards down his throat one by -' a guard begins, when suddnely, 'We're hit!' the other calls out as some weapons fire strikes one of the craft's wings. 'Going down!' one of the guards shouts. 'Bail out, now!' the other declares as they leap to safety. Gambit does ythe same as the explosion radiates towards him. Fragments of the hovercraft strike him, but he knows he has to find the shooter, and find out why he owes him a favor. Gambit spots the guard's plasma gun laying several feet from him and crawls towards it, when large foot steps on his arm. 'Who -?' Gambit asks, as a voice calls down to him 'You want to keep that arm? Let it go limp like a rag'. A rugged man with a lot of pouches and two very large guns stands over Gambit, he aims one of the guns at Gambit and tells him not to make him regret saving his miserable life. 'And if I don't hear the right answer... the next thing you're liable to hear is – boom!' the stranger warns Gambit....