Beast looks out of a window at the Xavier Institute and doesn’t like what he sees. Cyclops, standing next to him, isn’t surprised by that: they are looking at a Sentinel just… hovering above the yard. None of the team likes it. But Hank wasn’t talking about that, although he has to admit the idea of being under government surveillance by Sentinels doesn’t thrill him either.
Scott wants to know what Hank is talking about. Hank was referring to energy. He explains that all life… plant, insect, animal, human and mutant, at most basic levels its been discovered that it’s all about energy. And, Hank adds, every study has shown that genetic mutants have every specific signatures, more powerful energy signatures that is.
Scott doesn’t see the point of all that. Hank asks Scott to think about it. Last week, there were over a million mutants across the entire planet and, now, all but a comparative handful of them appear to be nothing more than human. So, as a scientist, Beast is simply wondering where all that energy went.
Meanwhile, in outer space…
Red energy covers a part of the Earth. The space shuttle called Prospect has been destroyed and its mission control tries to contact the astronauts, but they are all dead. Two sit in the shuttle's cockpit, while another spacewalks, his faceplate shattered.
Mission control is worried, as they haven’t had contact for three days now. But none of the astronauts respond. As communication closes down, an asteroid covered in energy approaches the shuttle and hits one of the astronauts. The man gets up again and the energy now floats all over his body! He gets up and simply knows that it can’t be just him.
He floats over to another astronaut and notices that his face has been completely ruined! The man, Peterson, starts touching the man and, at that very moment, a green light suddenly appears. The mission control overhears the man talking and demands to know what’s going on, but then everybody starts screaming! The man’s eyes glow proudly. He goes back inside the shuttle, where he discovers that the mission was space exploration. Devastated to find himself in the 21st century, the man furiously screams and unleashes an amount of energy!
The Xavier Institute…
Nightcrawler is looking at an old picture from when he just joined the second team of X-Men. Colossus notices that and jokes that Kurt must be feeling nostalgic. Kurt believes that it would be difficult if he didn’t feel that way, as so much has changed since those early days. And it just occurred to him that this is one of the few times all of them have been together again since that day. At least, the ones that are still among the living.
Peter tells Kurt he can’t just assume that the Professor is dead. They start walking away together. Kurt certainly prefers not to think that, but he can’t understand why they haven’t discovered if that is the case or not. Peter is confident that they will find Xavier in due time.
Kurt asks Peter if he remembers what if felt like when they first met the Professor. Of course Peter remembers. Kurt admits that ever since the day Xavier left the team, he can’t stop thinking about the day when Charles rescued him from that angry mob. Kurt now realizes Charles saved him in more ways than he can count and more specifically taught him that he wasn’t the monster those angry people told Kurt he was. Kurt feels sad about Xavier missing. Peter tries to cheer Kurt up by reminding him that Emma has been doing nothing else recently than trying to locate Xavier with Cerebra.
In the Cerebra room, Emma tries to convince Kitty that she doesn’t need assistance, as she is quite familiar with Cerebra’s inner workings. She also jokingly suggests that she and Lockheed go play with the Sentinel outside. Kitty would prefer playing with a dead machine like that, but she thinks finding Xavier is more important. Lockheed spits fire on the Cerebra helmet turning Emma a bit angry. She tells Kitty to get the dragon away from her, as she needs to concentrate. Kitty smiles that it’s Emma’s own pheromones agitating Lockheed, so she needs to stop exuding them. Emma asks Kitty to wait as she’s picking something up!
Emma opens a map and a beam is heading straight towards the Earth! She explains that this is one off the charts, at least Omega level but it’s moving too fast. Emma suddenly gets an electric shock and is knocked out. Kitty takes a closer look at the viewing screen and recognizes the Prospect shuttle crashing down!
Kitty goes to find Cyclops and Beast and they rush Emma to the infirmary. Kitty still doesn’t know what happened back at Cerebra; it must have been an overload or something. Hank states that Emma seems stable, but he won’t know for sure how serious it is until he gets a C.T. But, since Hank knows that Emma is tough, he worries more about what could have brought damage upon Cerebra. Scott asks Kitty about the signals Emma told Kitty she was receiving. Kitty is still feels dizzy because of them, and informs Scott about the space shuttle burning through the atmosphere. But she doesn’t think it makes any sense, as Kitty knows NASA is situated in Houston. And the shuttle was about to crash somewhere in upstate New York.
Scott quickly gathers a team and rushes to the X-plane. Wolverine demands to know what the rush is, as the Maple Leafs were down one in the second. Once they’re in the plane, Scott explains that, if Kitty is right, the mutant Cerebra found was falling to Earth in a government-owned space shuttle. So, either they get them before the government does, or they try to investigate this while sneaking around the military. Logan doesn’t think that’s out of the question. Scott agrees, but the way things have been going lately he would prefer not to.
Rachel wonders if there’s a chance it might be the Professor. Scott believes there’s always that chance, but tells Rachel he’ll be counting on her to pick up Charles’ thought patterns once they get close. If it isn’t the Professor, Scott wants to know who else could be that powerful. As the plane goes up, Logan reminds Scott that, first, they’ve got that Sentinel to deal with. Scott claims they’ve got that problem under control, thanks to something he and Hank thought up.
He flies the plane right towards the Sentinel. Logan doesn’t have a problem attacking it but that doesn’t seem like Scott’s style. Scott flies right past the Sentinel’s face and then moves at full speed away, but the Sentinel engages and still follows the X-Men. Scott explains that won’t be for long, as they are almost out of the Sentinel’s visual range, and that it’s now just following their heart signature.
The plane gets out of the Sentinel’s visual and Scott moves to the next phase of his plan. He unleashes five diversion missiles, which are designed to perfectly duplicate the X-Men’s heart signatures, and are all going in different directions for five miles until they self-destruct. Logan is impressed. Scott explains that it’s just a modified anti-missile defense, but on a larger scale for a larger enemy. Now, it’s time for them to head upstate.
Back at the Xavier Institute, Kitty is at the bathroom, washing her face, sarcastically thanking the White Queen for the migraine. Somebody walks over to her, making Kitty freak out as she sees… a zombie?! She screams, but a hand gently touches her shoulder and tries to calm Kitty down… It’s Colossus! Kitty calms down, telling Peter she thinks she saw something, but it must have been residual effects from Emma’s attack or something. She hugs Peter, who thinks Kitty just needs some rest and wants to bring her to her room.
Kurt is walking through the woods behind the school. An owl passes by, which is weird as its barely sunset. He thinks that’s a bad omen. Kurt thinks he must be going crazy. Ignoring that, he continues his walk, but finds himself welcomed by… an angry mob?! Kurt recognizes them: it’s the same angry, German mob that tried to kill him all those years ago! They start chasing Kurt, but he teleports away, wondering what that was all about. But the mob catches up on him and start pounding Kurt with their torches, sticks and stones. Kurt feels the pain, but a few moments later, the mob simply… stops? What was that all about?
Elsewhere, the X-Men attack team is getting in close. Logan believes the military must have scrambled search teams by now. Rachel explains that, according from the mental scan she took from Kitty, Cerebra was estimating impact right around the place they are at now, namely in the Adirondacks, somewhere north of Lake Placid. They scout the area for a while, until Logan spots something just above the tree line. And he doesn’t think that the Professor was responsible for the crash.
Everyone stares out of the windows and see a giant arm merging from the grounds, crushing the shuttle! Rachel warns Scott that she’s picking something up but it’s hard to get a lock on. It’s strange but she thinks someone’s in the shuttle. Logan thinks they are dealing with an omega-plus mutant, and no way that’s the Professor. He thinks they have to check this out. Scott takes the plane down.
At the one time-glorious mutant research center, Banshee answers a video call from Beast. Sean sadly has to report that he has come up with nothing so far, other than a lot of painful memories. He even slept in his and Moira’s old bed last night, and her pillow still smells like her hair. Hank apologizes to Sean for putting him through this, but they thought Moira’s files might give them a clue where the Professor might have gone. And if anyone would know about Xavier’s secrets, it would have been Moira.
Sean understands, but he just misses her. Hank thinks they might have some good news on their end, as Logan and Scott are onto something. Sean wants to be kept informed, as it would be nice to get out of the lab. Sean suddenly notices a female figure standing outside in the pouring rain, and she looks like… Moira?! Freaking out, Sean rushes outside but once there, the woman has already disappeared.
the Adirondack mountain hills…
Logan wants to know what’s going on. Scott thought that this was a random opening in the rock face, but it looks more like some sort of tunnel. Rachel senses that something is wrong. She can feel her, but it’s faint and wrong, like she’s just out of her reach. A female voice calls out to Scott. He thinks it’s… Jean?! Logan doesn’t want to go through this again. Jean, wearing her old Marvel Girl uniform, begs for help and starts fading away.
Rachel rushes after her mom. Scott and Logan try to hold her back but Rachel doesn’t listen. Wolverine snikts his claws open and warns Scott that they aren’t dealing with Jean, but he already knew that. A man, whose face is covered in shadows, appears, holding an unconscious Rachel by her throat! Cyclops and Logan initiate an attack.
Sean thinks he’s really seeing Moira’s spirit, though it’s weeping and takes off. Sean follows her to a house, but he thinks he must be losing his mind. He makes it to an old stockroom and Moira’s spirit fades away. Sean notices important notes from Xavier, thinking this is what Moira wanted him to see.
the Adirondack Mountains…
The X-Men’s enemy puts Wolverine on fire! The man mentions that he was going to be gentle like he was with Rachel, as he just shut her brain down for a few minutes. But Scott and Logan are getting on his nerves, so that’s why he attacks them. He pushes them both out of his way but Scott soon gets up again, and attacks with an optic blast. The man steps aside and asks Scott if he ever wondered what his blasts felt like. The man mentions he can arrange that and ricochets the blast back to Scott and Logan!
Scott is down but Logan is almost recovered. Logan wants to kill the man, but he doesn’t think that’s going to happen. He puts Logan on fire once more, rendering him unconscious again. The man walks over to Rachel again, recognizing her wearing a Marvel Girl uniform… but it’s not like any he has ever seen before. Scott gets up and orders the man to leave Rachel alone, with the man glad that at least Scott hasn’t changed. Scott wants to know why the man knows his name, but then he faints again. The man is surprised that Scott doesn’t remember him. He starts dragging Scott away, thinking they have found a use for Rachel after all.
A few moments later, Wolverine wakes up, naked, outside in the woods. A voice shouts at him not to move, and Logan finds himself surrounded by an army helicopter and a Sentinel!
Petra walks alone through some dark alleys. She thinks she’s always scared but can’t remember when that started. She puts up a strong front, and no one messes with her much anymore, but she’s still scared. Two men follow her. Like all the other kids on the streets, Petra has her own secrets, except there aren’t many people left anymore with secrets like hers. She attacks the men following her and makes the ground under their feet swallow them!
Petra is confident that her secrets are the kind that would get her killed. She has seen it on TV, the hate crimes on people like her. And she has seen other scary things right above her, in the New York City sky, like the patrolling Sentinels. While taking the subway, Petra thinks that it seems like, every day, she is given reminders of how much this world hates her. She believes that, if she wasn’t scared, she would be a fool. And Petra’s parents may have unknowingly raised a freak, she thinks, but they did not raise a fool. And thinking that, Petra suddenly misses her parents even more than usual.
She was the first of her family to be born in America, her parents and older brother having immigrated from Denmark when her mother was pregnant. They were an instant American family. A house in the suburbs, two cars, two kids, one dog. Until the rockslide that killed everyone but Petra on a camping trip after her thirteenth birthday. She could never explain how she had escaped without a scratch. And she certainly wasn’t going to tell the police that, when she saw her brother torn by a jagged boulder, it appeared for a moment like the entire mountainside was at her command.
And Petra was still lost in confusion when, after weeks in the custody of child protective services, she was placed in a foster home in New Jersey. But Petra disliked foster care. There were five kids sharing her bedroom, even boys. And Petra disliked her foster parents even more. The wife was old and bitter and smoked all the time. The house always smelled like it was going to give all the other kids there cancer at any moment. Her husband was nicer, but Petra knew why. She had seen men like him before, always with the looks and need to touch someone.
The husband tried to touch Petra one day when they took all the kids into New York’s Central Park, but, before the man could, he sank into the ground up to his knees! It was like the earth just grabbed him. The man knew Petra was a mutant and had such an angry look in his eyes. Petra just ran away, knowing that was the right thing to do. And that night, she curled up on the cold floor of a cave in Central Park and she cried so hard, because she knew the husband was right and that meant she had killed her own family. Or at the very least, that she could have saved them but didn’t do it.
Petra cried a lot for a while, until she learned how to keep it inside. She learned how to survive, as she didn’t have a choice. She knew there were homeless people living in Central Park, where many were still afraid to wander at nights. But a lot of these people ended up frequently arrested. Petra couldn’t have that. She couldn’t go to juvenile hall, or back to foster care. So she had found a solution, thanks to her abilities. The rocks moved aside for her, and then sealed themselves behind her. They molded themselves like clay however Petra wished. It wasn’t the worst home a runaway kid in New York City could wish for.
And as the years passed, Petra did survive, though it wasn’t always easy. She panhandled and when she had to, stole things. But she didn’t do what some of the other kids did and was proud for that. Petra didn’t even do drugs but didn’t have a lot of friends either. She was too scared to have friends, fearing they might found out about her. When Petra was sixteen, and had experimented with her abilities a lot more, Petra had a breakthrough that made her life a lot easier, at least for a little while. She found a peace of coal, real hard coal, and could turn it into diamond!
A shady pawnbroker in the East Village gave Petra more money for it than she expected. She went to a motel that didn’t ask questions, rented a room for an hour and took her first shower in two years. It was heaven. She used this trick a few times over the next year. And she learned how to make the diamonds smaller, so they would be less suspicious. But something went wrong.
At the place Petra was earlier, the clerk had told her he had to call the owner but Petra knew that was a lie. He was calling the police. Somehow, she had been discovered. She is so close now to her secret home in the rocks, the only place that feels close to safe to her, but then the police found her. She fought the police but it was of no use. An electrical shock from one of their weapons knocked her out, and Petra feared that she was dead.
Except, she wasn’t. She wakes up a few days later in a holding pen somewhere. Petra thought she was in prison by the look of her green outfit. Until one day, a nice lady comes and leads her to the showers. Petra remembers asking the woman if she had to go to jail, but the woman denied. There was someone here to see her.
Petra feared she was in trouble. The nice woman smiled that Petra should be in trouble, but whoever these people are got all the charges dropped. Petra was being released into their custody, as there was some deal with the court, and the nice woman thought these people were going to help Petra. She guessed they’ve got a soft spot for people like Petra. Petra faked not knowing what the woman was talking about but she knew the truth.
Petra panicked. Someone is coming to get her, knowing she is a mutant. Who would want to help her? Now, Petra is really scared.