(Lake Baikhal region of Siberia
A rabbit hops around the snow-covered forest, pursued at a distance by a deranged-looking man with a shaggy beard and tattered clothing. As the rabbit steps over a trap, the man pulls on a rope and snares his victim. He sings Boney M’s Rasputin as he takes a look at his catch. It’s a little on the scrawny side, but it will do. He looks around and sees that there is no one there yet; but there soon will be. He sets off home singing the song, barefoot and seemingly oblivious to the cold.
Piotr Rasputin is shocked at Larisa’s revelation that their great-grandfather is the infamous Grigory Rasputin. He asks if she’s certain of the facts. Rasputin is hardly an uncommon name in Russia. Larisa is certain and asks whether, even without the documentary evidence, if he can feel it. Piotr remains staring at the photograph of Grigory with Elena and wonders what this all means. Why have his descendents become targets?
Larisa asks Piotr how much he really knows about Rasputin. Piotr says he knows that he was a mystic and a holy man who supposedly had supernatural powers. He wonders if he may have actually been a mutant. Larisa admits that he did have an extraordinary effect on people.
Rasputin was known in his home village as Grishka the Fool; a lazy, drunken womanizer. He began wandering the monasteries and forests of Siberia and often experienced visions. On one occasion, he claimed the mother of God appeared to him. She told him that she was weeping for his sins, and asked him to go and cleanse the people of theirs.
He arrived in St. Petersburg in 1903; a filthy, semi-literate peasant with the face of a madman. Yet, within a few years, he had become one of the most influential men in Russia. It was rumored that he had hypnotic control over the imperial family, and even that he had seduced the empress herself. What is known for sure is that the Tsar’s son, Alexei, was a hemophiliac. In 1912, following a fall, Alexei began bleeding. The doctors could do nothing for him, yet Rasputin slowed the flow of his blood with a wave of his hands.
Larisa explains that the investigation reports that, in 1915, Rasputin met with someone referred to only as ‘the pale man.’ After that, he took a number of lovers, including their great-grandmother, Elena. According to witnesses, these women took part in sacred rituals. Rasputin was linked to the Khlyst Sect, who used dancing and self-flagellation to purify themselves. Once in this holy state, there was no sin. Any children conceived during the rituals would be new ‘christs’ or ‘mothers of God.’ Whatever went on in the cellar, what is known is that it left the young women carrying Rasputin’s children. The pale man was witness to all these proceedings.
Only Larisa, Piotr and their uncle, Vladimir, remain after all the other descendents were murdered. Piotr asks if she knows where Vlad is. The last Larisa heard, he was living as a hermit in the forest near Baikal. Piotr wishes to go visit him, and Larisa says she’s already booked tickets on the Trans-Siberian Express. They leave tonight. With luck, they’ll reach him before whoever is killing their family does.
Soon, Kirill sees them off but, before Larisa can get into the car, she is grabbed by a couple of strange men. Piotr immediately transforms into the powerful Colossus and charges at them, grabbing one by his throat and knocking the other with force against a lamppost. As he prepares to strike, Larisa desperately calls him off, and informs him that they’re just policemen.
Piotr releases the man. He thought they were something more sinister. Larisa realizes Piotr has crushed the man’s ribs, but he’s alive. Larisa calls an ambulance, as Piotr looks at his hands and wonders what’s happening to him. They leave the men for the ambulance to collect and depart, as the robed stranger and his companion watch from above. There is no need for them to make their move right away. They know where they’re going.
(the next day)
As Larisa and Piotr board the train, she advises Kirill to lay low for a bit. As the train streak through Russia’s vast open spaces, Piotr admits he had forgotten just how big their country is. Larisa asks where he was, for all the time people thought he was dead. Piotr clenches his fist, as he explains that they buried him in a room without windows, a few hundred feet underground. He then apologizes for his reaction to the police officers last night. It wasn’t him. It’s not who he is. Larisa knows it’s not his fault. It’s in all of them; Rasputin’s bloodline.
Larisa has seen the background reports on Rasputin’s descendents, and they all follow the same pattern of uncontrolled violence, paranoia, manic depression, self-hatred and suicide. Piotr recalls time he thought he was losing his sanity. He fought against friends like Bishop, and other times he’s killed in anger, as was the case with Riptide. He asks Larisa if she thinks he might be insane. Larisa tells him it’s the legacy of Rasputin. Somehow, his madness has lived on in them. It affected Piotr’s brother and sister too.
Piotr recalls how Illyana appeared to be possessed when she became Darkchylde. Larisa understands his brother, Mikhail, was plagued by insanity as well. Until the end, his life was a constant battle for power. Piotr informs her that it was the influence of an alien parasite that caused his madness, but admits he can’t be sure that was entirely the case.
Larisa then admits the sickness has affected her too. She shows him scars on her wrists from numerous failed suicide attempts. This revelation upsets Piotr. She says she tries so hard to find reasons to live, but it never stops. The poisonous whisper in her head telling her there is no point to it all. All the good things in life seem to get swallowed up, only to end in the grave. She can feel it out there; the darkness rushing towards them.
Elsewhere, a long black limousine screeches to a halt, as the robed stranger’s companion holds his head in pain. The voice in there feels like a spider, skittering around behind his eyes. He and the stranger exit the car, and he explains to his companion that the voices will soon be silent once Peter Rasputin is dead.
(Lake Baikhal region of Siberia)
After exiting the train, Piotr and Larisa take a vehicle more suitable to the snow-covered forest and drive to Vladimir’s home. What surprises them as he opens the door is that he’s been expecting them, and has made soup. He invites them inside. His walls are covered with posters - of Grigory Rasputin, religious images and posters of bands like ABBA and the Beatles. He slips on an ABBA tape as he explains that he knew they were coming as Grigory Rasputin has been calling them there.
The robed stranger’s limousine is unable to travel through the snow, and their red-skulled chauffeur pulls up. However, they don’t need a car, as they’re now close enough for a little teleportation.
Back at the shack, Larisa asks her uncle if he knows who’s been killing their family. “Oh yes,” he replies, “It was them!” He points behind them as the robed stranger and his companion, shadowed in darkness, appear from nowhere. Piotr steps forward and asks who they are. The robed stranger, or the pale man as Larisa correctly identifies him as being, removes his mask to reveal his true identity; Sinister.