The future, the year is 2099, the city is bright and the colors sparkle. A public eye scan frequency in 12-vector-12 has detected a crime in progress, all units are instructed to engage, as the perpetrators are identified as designated X-Men, and additional perpetrators of unknown origin. Lethal force is authorized.
Brightly colored cars are parked around two groups of strange individuals. One group being the X-Men of this reality, the other, a group of time-lost, reality-displaced and very confused X-Men. 'I guess I don't know how to convince you, but we are the original X-Men – Professor Xavier's first students. Most of us, anyway. And, yeah, we're a long way from home' Jean Grey a.k.a. Marvel Girl tries to explain as she stands with Scott Summers a.k.a. Cyclops, Hank McCoy a.k.a. Beast, Warren Worthington a.k.a. Angel, Bobby Drake a.k.a. Iceman, Jimmy Hudson and Bloodstorm.
'We know who you are. At least, we know who you look like. And, for some reason, we still haven't buried you' replies a gray-skinned man wearing a blue costume called Skullfire. Marvel Girl tells the other X-Men that the thing is, they are not supposed to be here. 'I think that's pretty obvious to them, Jean' Bobby mutters, while Jean adds that they are trying to get to another time altogether. The winged mutant called Bloodhawk asks if all X-Men where they come from play with time so haphazardly. 'Oh, brother. You don't know the half of it' Angel jokes. Cerebra informs Skullfire that she believes the other group, and tells him that there is a tachyon field around them, clinging to them, and their nervous systems all read as mutants. 'Except for him. He's an odd one' she adds, referring to Jimmy Hudson. 'Grrreat' Jimmy mutters. Cerebra adds that there is no trace of mimic corruption, and they are not gene-dupes – so they're the real deal. 'Fair enough... but why are they here?' Skullfire asks.
The Beast reports that something happened in their original time, and that he hypothesizes that it happened because they weren't there, and whatever happened has sent some catastrophic ripples through the timestream, altering events and wiping some people from existence. He adds that their equipment was not quite ready for the jump through time and space, so they are a little off course. Krystalin points out that it seems quite the coincidence that they appear here, right in front of another group of X-Men, and La Lunatica declares that she doesn't like it. Cerebra confirms that the X-Men's device is glitch-tech for certain, but that it isn't an accident they are here, and that they are jumping to pre-programmed coordinates, so either someone was testing the device, or they wanted them to visit this time. The Beast frowns at Cerebra and asks her how she knows that, and whether she can communicate with the device.
Cyclops tells the other X-Men that now they know why they are here, perhaps they can talk to them for a second, and enquires as to why they brought them into a parking garage. Bloodstorm looks at Bloodhawk and announces that they are not supposed to be here, either, that they are hiding from something – she can sense their uneasiness.
Suddenly, several soldiers storm into the parking garage, 'Alchemax public eye! Everybody, shocking freeze! You have been identified as trespassers and thieves!' one of the soldiers exclaims, while another reports that they have authority to use lethal force. 'Hey! You guys are always in trouble, too! You are X-Men!' Iceman exclaims, before Bloodstorm engages the soldiers in battle. 'We need to clear out – now! They've probably got the place surrounded... so be ready for a fight!' she exclaims. 'Right behind you, Bloodstorm. Just give me a second to juice up!' La Lunatica exclaims as she fires a blast of energy at one of the soldiers.
The others race for the exit, and Cyclops asks the X-Men of this era what they did and what they stole. 'No clock for questions right now, kid' Skullfire calls back. 'Be inquisitive later, if you don't get yourself fragged' Meanstreak suggests as the X-Men reach street level.
'Halt! You are in violation of public eye ordinances!' a voice calls out as several small vessels race up alongside the X-Men. 'Surrender at once or we'll -' someone calls out, before Meanstreak speeds past them, knocking them over. 'Too slow, shock-face. You shouldn't be playing with big boys toys anyhow. You'll burn your eye out!' Meanstreak exclaims.
The Beast looks at the control pad that he has been carrying around with him, and as Krystalin creates a large colorful crystal in front of her to protect herself from weapons fire, she tells him to get his eyes off his busted tech, but the Beast claims that he thinks he is getting it close to working again. 'That won't do you any good if you get yourself roasted!' La Lunatica points out as she throws a soldier to the ground, while his vessel explodes against the side of a building.
'Jimmy! You almost shredded that guy!' Angel calls out as Jimmy tears a vessel apart, narrowly missing the soldier inside it. Angel soars over to him, when the soldier radios base, asking for reinforcements. Angel sighs, and decides that having Jimmy with them is like X-23 is still here. Skullfire blasts several soldiers and tells Cyclops that his friends have the right idea. 'We need to get out of here – fast!' Cyclops tells him as he fires an optic blast, knocking a vessel out of the air. 'Set this thing down!' Jimmy calls out as he clings to the vessel which blasts through the air, the soldier having re-positioned himself on the seat of the sky-cycle type vessel to pilot it again. The soldier then shakes Jimmy off, and he crashes to the ground, landing with a lout 'UNNF!' When he gets to his feet, Jimmy looks up to see a large holographic statue of the original X-Men, with a sign that reads “honoring the founders”.
Angel drops down beside Jimmy and when he sees the statue he remarks 'That's not something I expected to see'. 'Feathers?' Jimmy asks, referring to the Angel in the statue with feathered wings. 'We have monuments in the future? Are we famous? Did we found a company and strike it rich?' Bobby asks as he ice-slides over, while Bloodstorm flies over with Cyclops and Bloodhawk carries Krystalin over. 'It was more of a hostile takeover' Meanstreak remarks. 'Very hostile Bloodhawk adds. 'I'm still waiting on an answer to the “did we strike it rich?” question' Iceman declares. Marvel Girl, Skullfire, La Lunatica and Metalhead soon arrive, all on the sky-cycle like vessels, and Cyclops asks Jean if she is seeing this. 'I saw it the moment you saw it, Scott. Telepathic bond, remember? But that doesn't mean I understand it' Jean replies through the telepathic link she shares with Cyclops. Jean then goes over to Jimmy and tells him 'See what we did there? This is how you highjack a flying motorcycle'.
Cerebra informs the other X-Men that they took over Alchemax long ago, before they vanished, tore the business down from the inside, rebuilt it and rebranded it with an emphasis on the “X”. 'Tell me Alchemax was an evil company. Tell me our takeover was a good thing' Jean replies. 'Evil company, yes. But as for it being a good thing...' Skullfire begins. 'It might be easier – if we just show you' Cerebra suggests.
Soon, the bright colours and tall buildings are gone, as the X-Men find themselves walking through squalor – shacks and people garbed in rags, huddled around drums of fire. 'What is this place. All these people... what happened here? Some sort of attack?' Jean asks. Skullfire tells her that this wasn't an attack – it was gentrification. Cerebra tells the X-Men that the place they found them was Xavier Greens, and only a small percentage of the population is deemed worthy to live there – the rest are pushed out here, to the Outlands. Cerebra asks the Beast to take a look at his tech, to see if they can get it working again. The Beast tells Cerebra to be his guest, as he is quite lost, and hands her the pad.
'These people...' Jean begins as she looks over at some of the people and notices that they are sick. Krystalin informs her that they are dying – hit hard by a new strain of the Legacy Virus, a disease used to target mutants, and now it wastes anyone unlucky enough to get in the way of making progress. Referring to some cloaked individuals who are standing over the sick, Skullfire calls them the Theatre of Pain and explains that they act as priests these days, performing last rites, getting tweaked on the suffering. 'They don't need to suffer. I can ease their pain' Jean declares as she goes over and uses her psychic powers on a woman and her child, before asking 'Who would do something like this?' 'Alchemax. Working on polices established by... well...' Krystalin starts to reveal, 'By you' Skullfire declares. 'We wouldn't -' Jean begins, while Metalhead informs Skullfire that they could use those meds if he is not too busy playing tour guide. Skullfire pulls out a pack of medication and tells Metalhead to make it last, as it is not much and not enough.
'That's what you were doing... you were stealing medicine' Jean realizes. 'It's all about the haves and the have-nots' Skullfire replies, adding that these days, even the haves only have a little to spare.
The two teams of X-Men come to a stop, taking a rest on a pile of debris, and Bobby asks Scott if he is okay, before adding that she gets it – this isn't how they expected the future to turn out. 'Actually, Bobby – this is exactly what I expected' Scott replies, remarking that ever since they were yanked out of their original timeline, he has been holding his breath in anticipation of something like this. Cerebra then hands the Beast's pad back to him, telling him that it might be an antique, but that it is as good as new. 'But – how? How did you repair it so quickly?' Hank asks. 'It’s the future. We have all the best toys. Stealth cyber gear. Allows a direct connection to -' Cerebra begins, when suddenly, there is a rumbling, and the X-Men are all knocked to the ground.
'We've got trouble! We need to evac the area! Get these people clear!' La Lunatica exclaims as she rushes from a large robot that moves towards them. 'The Onslaught has found us!' she calls out as the large red robot, with images of the original X-Men on its “face” starts blasting away at the derelict buildings. 'This sector is harboring fugitives from Alchemax! All rights are forfeited! Demolition and purging have commenced!' a voice announces. 'Is... is that some sort of future Sentinel? With our faces?' Jean asks, shocked. 'Why not? You left it here to look after your interests!' Meanstreak points out. Energy glows around Skullfire's hands as he announces that they will try to hold it back, give the civilians time to scurry.
Cerebra tells the Beast that his tech is operational, so he can make his jump, but the Beast tells her that they are not leaving, not while these people are in danger. Cerebra tells the Beast that she is banking on him succeeding, because if they fix whatever went wrong in the timestream, maybe none of this will happen. She then hands him a small chip, and looking at it, the Beast wonders what if they only make it worse, what if coming to the future in the first place, all of the changes they have gone through – he has gone through – has corrupted them beyond repair.
Angel flies through the air, carrying Jimmy, who looks mad and exclaims 'What Alchemax did to these people... get me close to that thing! I'll cut its face off!' 'Yeah... but which face?' Angel asks, looking at the five different faces on the robot. Cyclops and Skullfire blast the robot with their respective energies, while Bobby slides past it on an ice-sled and Metalhead attacks it physically. 'I'll take whichever one I can get!' Jimmy replies 'All right. Any of them – except mine – it is!' Angel replies, while Cyclops wonders what happened to the X-Men, why they would unleash something like this into the world. Bloodhawk flies through the Onslaught Sentinel, while Jimmy slams his claws into the robot's “face”, as the robot announces that Annihilation Protocols are activated – and Jimmy is blasted back by a powerful energy force.
Cerebra tries to use her own powers against the robot, but tells the Beast that she can't stop it, can't control its cybernetic nervous system. 'Let me give it a shot' Bloodstorm calls out as she hovers mid-air, a storm raging around her, she casts a mighty lightning bolt into the robot, short-circuiting it in spectacular display. 'Really, Scott?' an unimpressed Jean asks telepathically. 'We're in the middle of a fight and you're thinking about how hot Bloodstorm is? Try not to be such a pig, huh?' she snaps at him, while Cyclops tells Jean to try and not read his every thought. However, Bloodstorm soon discovers that despite hitting the robot with everything she has, it is barely slowing the mechanoid down, as it lumbers forward. The heroes continue their assault against the robot, and dodging a blast, Cerebra tells the Beast to activate the device, that his team is surrounded by tachyon fields, so they will be pulled in, too. 'We can't just leave you in the middle of this fight!' the Beast calls out. Cerebra tells him that he can, he has to, and that if they are lucky, they won't get themselves killed, and none of this will have ever happened. The Beast tells Cerebra that she is right, then thanks her, and tells her that, for what it is worth, he is sorry. He then touches his control pad.
Green energy swirls around as the original X-Men, Jimmy and Bloodstorm suddenly re-materialized outside the gates of Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters. 'What did you do? We can't just leave these people behind! Send us back!' Jimmy exclaims, but the Beast tells him that he can't do that, and adds that, for all they know, there is nothing left of that timeline to go back to. Bobby glances around nervously and asks if they are back where they are supposed to be. 'This is familiar, but -' he begins, before Jean tells him to take a look, and points at the Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters plaque on the fence. 'We're home' she exclaims. The young mutants open the gates, and Scott asks if they even know what they are looking for, or what they will find. The Beast explains that it is his hope that the source of the distortion will readily reveal itself, and adds that they must tread carefully.
'Remember the last time we returned to this time – we discovered that we were already here' he reminds the others. 'Yeah, that messed with me for weeks' Bobby admits, when suddenly, a voice calls out 'Oi!' and the young mutants turn in shock. 'Uh... maybe I spoke too soon. I don't think we're home at all' Jean remarks. 'Who are you wankers?' the voice calls out again. 'Oh, dear' the Beast, wearing the chip that Cerebra gave him in his ear, utters as the young mutants find themselves confronted by Penance! Husk! Synch! Skin! Jubilee! Chamber! Mondo! M! Collectively known as Generation X!
Jean asks Hank if he has any thoughts, to which Hank remarks that it appears they have arrived at another of those pre-programmed destinations. Bobby smiles and tells everyone not to worry, he has gotb this. He extends his arms to Generation X and calling them fellow Xavier School students, informs them that they are the X-Men. 'We've come from another time in an effort to -' Bobby begins, before M suddenly lunges towards him. 'Eep!' Bobby yelps in fright!