A rainy night in the city of New York, where light in the upper windows of a condemned tenement betrays a sign of occupancy. 'You said you had a gift for me' the enigmatic Mystique remarks as she stands before the diabolical Mr Sinister inside that upper apartment. 'And I did not lie' Sinister responds. Mystique smiles as she tells Sinister that she would never accuse him of lying. Sinister grins wickedly as he informs Mystique that Professor Charles Xavier, leader of the X-Men, is no longer with them, and like sheep without a shepherd, the X-Men wander aimlessly. He tells Mystique that under such circumstances, the X-Men would fall quickly, and her daughter will be easily reclaimed by her. Sinister adds that he wonders how Mystique's daughter is doing at this very moment.
'NOOOOO! GET AWAY FROM MEEEEEE! AWWWAAAYYYY!' the X-Man known as Rogue screams as she sits up in bed, drenched in sweat, her eyes wide with fear. Scott Summers a.k.a. Cyclops tells Rogue to take it easy, that she is at the X-Mansion, and they are all here with her. Remy LeBeau a.k.a. Gambit asks Rogue what she has been seeing in her sleep, what it is that is spooking her. Rogue looks up at them and explains that it must have been one of those flashes she has been having lately. She informs them that it has been going on for the last few weeks, ever since the Professor disappeared. Rogue reveals that the Professor was using his mental abilities to block out a whole bunch of her unpleasant memories, but with him gone, the floodgates are opening up on her. Remy tells Rogue that he will stay with her, that she is in good hands.
Suddenly, Jean Grey enters the room, holding a file as Cyclops tells her that she looks tense and asks her what is up. Jean reveals that she ran a computer search on the woman Rogue saw the other day, the one whose appearance disturbed her so much. 'And?' Scott asks. Jean opens the file and holds up some photos of the woman at protests and points out that she really got around, front and center almost like she wanted to be seen. 'It's eerie!' Jean adds. Rogue holds up one of the photos and tells her teammates that this is so weird, that she knows she has seen the woman somewhere. A strange yellow zig-zag symbol flashes before Rogue's eyes and she utters 'No! No! NOOOOO! TAKE 'EM AWAY!' as she throws the photos away, and covers her face with her hands.
(in Rogue's mind)
Rogue looks up, only she's not in the X-Mansion anymore, she's floating on an asteroid, seemingly in space. 'Where am I? Where's mah room? The X-Men?' Rogue calls out, while a woman with long blonde hair floats above her, wearing a black costume with a large yellow zig-zag symbol. She tells Rogue that she is in the lower depths of her mind. 'Where you put me!' the woman exclaims. Rogue asks her who she is, and why she is doing this. 'Didn't you hear me, Rogue? I'm doing it because you stole my life!' the blonde woman declares. 'You stole my life!' she repeats over and over. Rogue gets up and tries to fly from the asteroid and the woman, but the woman keeps reappearing as Rogue flies on. 'Stop haunting me! Stop! STOP!' Rogue screams.
Rogue looks around and sees Gambit and Cyclops standing over her. 'Chere! You blink out again! Steady, Petite, steady' Gambit tells his friend. Rogue looks confused and scared as she exclaims that she can't stay here, as the woman is in her head, haunting her. 'Can't y'all tell? She's in there! Get out y'hear!' Rogue calls out. 'GET OUT!' Rogue screams as she leaps up off the bed, knocking Cyclops and Gambit backwards. Rogue drops to the floor, fists pressed against her face, she claims that she has never suffered like this, and she doesn't know what the woman is talking about. 'Why's this happening tuh me?' Rogue asks. Jean begins to probe Rogue's mind and reports that Rogue is practically delirious – and she is detecting another presence in there, too. Rogue exclaims that she has to find out what is going on, that she can no longer stay here – and flies straight through the window, out into the night. Concerned, Cyclops asks Jean to get Storm to follow Rogue, as there is no telling what she might do in this condition.
Moments later, Ororo Munroe a.k.a. Storm flies towards the Statue of Liberty, where she finds Rogue huddled and shaking on the mighty statue. Storm radios Cyclops, informing him that she has found Rogue and that she is approaching her now. Cyclops' voice can be heard over the communicator, acknowledging Storm's update. Storm hovers before Rogue and asks her to let her help – as she hates seeing her in such torment. 'Please. Are we not friends?' Storm asks when she gets no response from Rogue. Rogue hangs her head and tells Storm that she appreciates what she is saying, but that friendship doesn't count for much now – only the Professor could have helped her. With tears streaming down her face, Rogue utters that the Professor is gone now, maybe forever.
Elsewhere, Professor Charles Xavier sits quietly around a campfire in a hidden jungle beneath the frozen Antarctic wastes, conversing with the man who was his greatest enemy in the world – Magneto. Charles tells Magneto that it is odd how they were both duped into coming here at the same time, neither of them knowing why. 'Strange – the Savage Land Mutates I created years back have turned against me' Magneto comments, before telling Charles that he does not understand why their mutant powers ceased to work, or why Charles is able to walk. He grits his teeth and supposes that there must be a new source of power at work in the jungle. Suddnely, they hear a growling from the shadows nearby, and Charles sees some eyes beyond the fire. 'What can it be?' Charles wonders, before a brown, furry figure wearing a yellow contraption on its head leaps at Xavier, forcing him to the ground, large hand around his throat, the creature growls at Charles, while kicking Magneto back as Magneto exclaims 'Timberius! Stop!'
Timberius bares down on Xavier, its razor-sharp teeth inches from Xavier's face, as Xavier struggles to keep the creature at bay, as it is too powerful. Suddenly, before Xavier meets his demise at the hands of Timberius, a sabertooth tiger lunges at Timberius, knocking him away from Xavier. Timberius leaps up onto two feet and runs away into the jungle, while Magneto tells Xavier that Timberius is another of his Savage Land Mutates, out for their deaths. 'But he was chased off by that enormous sabertooth tiger!' Charles exclaims. Charles approaches the large cat and remarks that it seems almost docile – he sees the cat's ears prick at the sound of a strange noise, and watches as it turns to follow the direction of the sound. 'If we follow it...' Xavier begins, to which Magneto points out they may be drawn into a trap, as the intelligence commanding the animal may be no more benevolent than anything else they have encountered here in the Savage Land. Xavier laments that Magneto's words ring true, and adds that the mystery here deepens.
Back on the Statue of Liberty, Rogue covers her face with her hands as she tells Storm that she is so scared. Storm assures Rogue that she won't leave her, that her troubles can be shared. Rogue looks up, and sees the mystery woman in the dark costume with the yellow zig zag hovering before her. 'There she is again – see? In front of me!' Rogue exclaims. 'You are mine now. Don't fight it' the voice of the woman calls out. 'What d'yuh want, lady?' Rogue shouts. Storm asks Rogue what she is doing, as there is nothing there – when suddenly, Rogue knocks Storm back and leapps from the statue, 'She's there Storm an' Ah gotta follow! Ah gotta!' Rogue calls out as she flies away. 'Come with me and all your questions will all be answered' the mysterious woman's voice calls out. Storm uses her communicator to report to Cyclops that Rogue has fled, and that she is in pursuit, and will remain in contact.
At the Midtown Hospital in New York City, two nurses check in on a blonde woman who lies in a coma. 'No change in our Jane Doe?' one of the nurses asks. The other replies 'No. Her brain activity is minimal'. They leave the room, with the nurse adding 'That's the way it's been since she was brought in here'. Moments after the nurses have departed, the mysterious blonde woman who has been tormenting Rogue emerges from behind a curtain – looking remarkably like the blonde woman lying in the coma. 'There you are, sleeping beauty. So easy for me to use my shape changing powers – to assume your form and await Rogue's arrival' the mystery woman grins, when, a second later, 'That voice led me here!' Rogue calls out as she flies through a window. 'Now there's two of yuh – who?' Rogue gasps when she sees the woman standing, and the woman in the bed. Suddenly, the woman standing reveals her true form as she shifts into Mystique! 'You're behind this? You been making me see things? But you helped tuh raise me! Ah used tuh call you muh Mama!' the wide-eyed Rogue calls out, before asking Mystique why she is tormenting her.
'To get you close to her! To help you reclaim the past Xavier has purged from your memory!' Mystique declares, before grabbing Rogue by her wrist, and removing one of her gloves so that Rogue can touch Mystique skin-on-skin, so that Rogue's mutant powers will absorb her memories, fill in the gaps. 'Don't! Ah can't ever touch anyone! It might hurt them real bad!' the wide-eyed Rogue exclaims. Mystique narrows her yellow eyes and tells Rogue not to fear, that she should just touch her and open her mind to her, to let the memories seep in. Rogue's bare hand is pressed against Mystique's face, but after a few moments, Mystique grows weak, and Rogue pulls her hand away, while Mystique tells Rogue not to worry, as she has done what she wanted to do. 'Just remember...' Mystique utters as she collapses, leaving a now blue-skinned Rogue standing over her unmoving body, while the wide-eyed Rogue exclaims that her mind is burning. Tears fall down Rogue's face as her skin reverts to its regular color, but images flood her mind, images from years back, in Mississippi, where something happened with her first boyfriend.
(memories in Rogue's mind)
A teenage Rogue walks hand-in-hand with a blond boy called Cody and tells him that they have been walking along the riverbank for an hour, and suggests they hold up by the cypress tree to get better acquainted. But as they lean in and kiss each other's lips, something terrible happens, and Cody collapses before the shocked Rogue who utters 'We only kissed!'
This is when Rogues powers first acted up, and when she first realized that she was a mutant. Nothing was ever the same for her – she was ashamed of what she had done, and what she was, so she left home, a frightened kid. Sitting at the bus stop alone, until a mysterious blonde woman showed up and told Rogue that she looked like she could use a meal and a hot bath. The blonde woman was really Mystique in disguise, and through Mystique, Rogue got introduced to other mutants in her circle – like Blob and Avalanche – and Mystique trained Rogue in the use of her powers, and how she could steal others' abilities and memories.
Wearing a green and black costume, Rogue trained with Mystique, Blob and Avalanche, as Mystique told her not to run from what she is, but to embrace it. She instructed Rogue to reach out and touch Avalanche, so Rogue put her hand to Avalanche's face, telling him that she didn't want to hurt him, but that Mystique told her to do this. 'Don't sweat it kid. I'm plenty tough' Avalanche replied, before he collapsed, face-flat on the ground. 'Apparently not tough enough' Mystique grinned, before explaining to Rogue that she had temporarily absorbed Avalanche's vibratory powers, and that she should direct the energies at a large boulder nearby, to concentrate on its disintegration. 'Ah – Ah'll try, Mystique' Rogue replied, before concentrating hard, and releasing those stolen powers at the boulder – destroying it into small pebbles and stones.
They spent weeks training for what Mystique told Rogue was the most important day of her life, when they snuck into a MacIntyre Air force base to steal a B-1 bomber plane. Firstly, Rogue came into contact with the pilot so she could absorb his piloting skills. When she touched the surprised pilot she told him that she would try to make this as painless as possible, before he collapsed. Mystique congratulated Rogue on her accomplishment and instructed her to head inside the cockpit and take the controls, while she dealt with the hangar doors. 'Hope this crate's got wide body seats' the Blob joked as he lumbered into the plane. Rogue grabbed the plane controls like she was born to do this – her whole body was tingling, and she moved the plane right out on the tarmac with ease.
But as the plane took off, that is when the mysterious blonde woman – the super hero known as Ms Marvel – showed up. Rogue didn't know it at the time, but this whole escapade was done to attract Ms Marvel's attention, to get her to try and nab them, because Mystique knew Ms Marvel was stationed at the base. Ms Marvel flew after the stolen jet, knowing that the tower did not give permission for takeoff, so assumed it was being hijacked. Ms Marvel landed on the top of the plane and began to peel back the roof of the plane like it was an onion skin. As Rouge would learn, Mystique had previously fought with Ms Marvel and didn't do very well – so this was for revenge, and Mystique was taking no chances.
'That's far enough! You let off the throttle and bring this aircraft to a halt! Now!' Ms Marvel called down into the plane. Ms Marvel flies down into the cockpit, but finds it empty, so she takes the controls, knowing she will have to stop the plane herself. 'Exactly as I intended!' Mystique grinned to herself as she appeared behind Ms Marvel and told Rogue to get behind her and grab her head – and not to let go. 'Ah hear yuh, Momma!' Rogue responded as she pressed her bare hands to Ms Marvel's head. 'Dizzy – strength draining! Let go!' Ms Marvel called out, wide-eyed, while equally, Rogue thinks something is wrong, and told Mystique that she wanted to let go, that she had to let go – but the wicked Mystique grinned and told Rogue not to let go.
As Ms Marvel slumped to the floor, Rogue asked Mystique why she made her so that, and who the woman was, as she looked hurt. Rogue would later learn that she was Carol Danvers – but never considered that Carol might have a permanent condition. Now permanently possessing Ms Marvel's powers, Rogue had a blast with her newfound super strength and ability to fly. However, she had also absorbed Carol Danvers' mind, which was now trapped inside her, and that is when the spells started. She began to see Carol in her mind, 'You stole my powers! You stole my life!' Carol would shout at Rogue – and sometimes it would get so bad that Rogue could barely stay conscious. One day, Rogue fell from the sky, crashing into the ground, and when she was found by Mystique, who asked her what was wrong, told her that nothing was wrong, and that she would be okay.
But Rogue wasn't okay, and so, for the second time, she was forced to leave a place she called home, flying out into the night, on what she thought was the lowest point of her life. It was then that Professor Xavier called out to her – the leader of the X-Men reached out to heal, Rogue had to forget – only even Charles Xavier couldn't return Ms Marvel to her real body – all he could do was quiet her down – for both their sakes, burying Carol deep in Rogue's mind. And, as long as Xavier was around, the spells never recurred.
Crying, Rogue utters that now Xavier is gone, she is worse off than ever before. Mystique runs a hand through her striking red hair and replies 'That is hw I lost you to Xavier and the X-Men. And I swore that one day I would get you back!' Rogue looks at her “mother” and points out that she used her. 'Ah trusted you – and you used me as a weapon! Do you know how much Ah been suffering 'cause of this?' Rogue asks. Mystique points out that Charles Xavier is no longer around to quell Rogue's pain, and that he offered her only a panacea, not a true cure. 'You belong with me, daughter. With your mother. Come with me and we will put an end to what ails you' Mystique declares. 'Right now, you're what ails me!' Rogue snaps, wide-eyed. 'You give me some lie about a cure – when you oughtta be offering me a shoulder to cry on! That's what a real momma would do! Ain't it?' Rogue exclaims.
Suddenly, 'Who – the X-Men!' Mystique utters as Cyclops, Storm, Gambit and Wolverine burst into the hospital ward. 'Rogue – and Mystique!?' Cyclops calls out. Wolverine informs Rogue that Storm tracked her here, but she didn't say anything about Mystique paying a visit. 'You're starting to change into Ms Marvel – what are you doing?' Mystique gasps as Rogue grabs her and uses Mystique's shapeshifting powers to change her appearance into that of Ms Marvel's, as Carol Danvers, seemingly in charge of Rogue's mind, declares 'Rogue still has your shape-shifting powers from being in contact with you. So I'm taking over her mind – and body – so I can get to you – at last!' With that, Rogue leaps out the window, taking Mystique with her.
Gambit calls out to Rogue, asking her to ocme back, that they want to help, and this running away will only make things worse. Wolverine tells Gambit to save his French, as Rogue ain't listening – in any language. Storm flies after Rogue and tells Cyclops that she will not let them get away. Suddenly, Jean's voice can be heard over Storm's communicator, informing Storm that she is at the Mansion, and is monitoring them all through Cerebro, and with Cerebro's help, she can probe Rogue's mind and get to the bottom of what is eating her up. Jean's voice is projected into Rogue's mind, asking her to let her in, that she can help her, and she must let her try.
(in Rogue's mind)
Rogue lets Jean in, and Jean sees the psyches of Rogue and Ms Marvel battling it out within Rogue's mind. Jean tells Rogue not to let this happen, and that she must fight Ms Marvel, as Ms Marvel slams her fist into Rogue, knocking her backwards. Ms Marvel declares that she has waited a long time for this, and she is going to enjoy every minute of pounding Rogue lifeless. Rogue collapses to the asteroid that they fight on, before Ms Marvel flies upwards and exclaims 'And once I've defeated you here... your mind and body will become mine! MINE!' Ms Marvel shouts as she turns around mid-flight and speeds back down towards Rogue.
Jean knows that if Carol Danvers succeeds in killing Rogue, that they will both die. 'I'll only have one chance...' Jean tells herself as she realizes that she must implant a suggestion in Ms Marvel's mind that she is flying into a trap, a cage from which there is no escape. Indeed, Ms Marvel is surprised as a cage begins to form around her, 'I'm flying right into it! How did you do this?' Ms Marvel asks. Rogue looks up at her, 'Search me, gal! But if it gets you to stop popping me...I'm closing thev door as fast as Ah can!' Rogue replies as she grabs the cage when it is fully formed around Ms Marvel, and slams it down onto the asteroid. Ms Marvel begins banging on the cage, 'Let me out! This ends now! I can't take this any longer! Don't you understand!?' Ms Marvel exclaims. Dropping to her knees, Rogue remarks that she can't take this any more either, but that killing her won't make Ms Marvel live again. 'Ah'm truly sorry, Ms Marvel. Believe me' Rogue utters.
At the Mansion, Jean Grey removes the Cerebro unit and leans against a wall, putting her arm to her face. While flying through the air outside the hospital, Rogue reverts to her true form, and Mystque asks her what she is doing. 'Ah'm puttin an end to our dealin's Mystique – once and fer all!' Rogue responds. Mystique scowls at Rogue and tells her that she can desert her own mother. 'Haven't I come back to help you – to be with you? Don't turn away from me, daughter' Mystique replies. But Rogue tells Mystique to save it, that she isn't her daughter anymore. 'Ah was just a tool for you – and you know it! You only cared about mah powers... and you made me into something worse than a killer!' Rogue then tells Mystique that they are through – and warns her never to come near her again.
The next day, at the X-Mansion, Rogue is wearing a long green dress, and picks up some potted flowers as Gambit enters the room and tells her that he likes her dress. He suggests that now she is feeling good, they should go take in a show. Rogue smiles at Gambit and tells him he is sweet, but that she is going out on her own – she has got somewhere to be.
A short time later, 'Hope these brighten yoh day, Carol' Rogue remarks as she places the potted flowers on the table next to the comatose Carol Danvers. Rogue tells Carol that the nurse said she has almost no brain activity – but Rogue is sure Carol can hear her. Rogue looks down at Carol and tells her that she is leaving now, but that they will find a way to restore her mind – she swears it. 'Ah did this to you – and Ah'm making amends'. Rogue tells Carol to take care, and bids her farewell. But when Rogue leaves, the life-support monitor connected to Carol blips – and a tear falls down Carol's face.