Orbiting the Earth is the large N.A.S.A. space station, Simulacra. Today, the station’s personnel work hard out in the harshness of space to retrieve the Mars Lander. N.A.S.A. Command down on Earth sends a message up the station to ask them if they copy. One of the crewmen outside confirms that the signal is good. The team on Earth then asks if final preparations for the arrival have been completed, to which the astronaut confirms as well. The space shuttle Titan has been moved to the lunar side of the station and the retrieval team, led by Lieutenant Rodriquez are in position. Rodriquez announces that he has visual confirmation of the Mars Lander, which has just entered the station orbit. It appears the back burners are functional and are slowing down its descent.
The crew, tethered down to the Simulacra, float out to catch the Mars Lander. They make contact and slowly guide it back to the arrival bay safe and sound. Rodriquez announces to N.A.S.A. Command that they are hooking the Lander and reeling her in as he speaks. The crew brings the Lander in as someone in station control seals the airlock. Once the doors are closed, Rodriquez proudly announces that the mission is complete. N.A.S.A. Command congratulates the team, but suddenly something goes horribly wrong. One of the astronauts yells that something is wrong. Another voice screams to Command that there has been a Code Red breach. The station is put into full lockdown, prompting N.A.S.A Command to ask the Simulacra what is wrong. Suddenly, there is a horrible scream… then silence. N.A.S.A Command repeatedly asks the Simulacra for a status report, but no one answers. At that moment, the left side of the Simulacra blows up.
Sometime later, the doorbell rings at the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning in Westchester, New York. The doorbell rings three times before it finally wakes up Wolverine, who was slumbering in his bed. Irritable, Wolverine mutters that there is no way to get any sleep around the mansion. As he wonders where the rest of the team is, he does not notice a note on his door saying that they are in Danger Room if he needs them when they wake up. Still in his wife-beater and boxers, Logan reaches the door and tells whoever it is outside to stop ringing unless he really wants a handful of claws up his rear end. He opens the door and finds himself face-to-face with the Fantastic Four.
The Thing greets Wolverine and asks him if they have any coffee brewing, because it sure looks like Wolverine could use some. Wolverine looks at the three members in front of him and then closes the door on the Thing, Invisible Woman and Mr. Fantastic. As Wolverine heads back up the stairs, the Thing opens the door and tells Wolverine to hold on for a moment. How is he going to be like that? Is this any way to treat an old friend?
As he continues to go up the steps, Wolverine tells Thing that it is too early in the morning and he needs his beauty sleep. What are the Fantastic Four doing there anyway? Thing replies that his team’s big brain wants to speak with their team’s big brain. Then Reed should use that big brain of his to make an appointment, replies Wolverine rather rudely. Calling Wolverine a baby, Thing asks him if he doesn’t like surprises. Wolverine stops at the top of the stairs and smiles. He tells Thing that he likes surprises. One never knows when one will pop out at you. With that said he pops out his claws and leaps straight at Thing.
The two end up crashing right through the main doors to the mansion. The Human Torch looks at the two and wonders why this always happens when those two are together. The Invisible Woman reminds her husband that she said it would be a bad idea to come unannounced. Wolverine tells Sue that she doesn’t know the beginning of “bad idea.” He then brings his claws up to Thing’s face and asks him if he is right. Thing bats Wolverine away and tells him to get off of him. Johnny gets out of the way as Wolverine flies by and announces that it had to hurt. “Yes, I imagine it did,” says a voice from above.
Storm descends from the sky and asks for someone to explain why the Fantastic Four are assaulting her teammate. Johnny flies up to Storm and quickly tries to explain that this is a misunderstanding. Ben and Logan are just blowing off some steam and goofing off. Storm tells Johnny that she thinks everyone present needs to cool down. With a huge gust of wind, she extinguishes the Torch’s flames and sends him to the ground. Nightcrawler teleports beneath Johnny to catch him and orders the young man to go limp. Annoyed that Storm and Nightcrawler are ganging up on him, the Torch erupts in flames again, just as Nightcrawler catches him. Nightcrawler screams in pain as Johnny flies off.
As Wolverine and Ben square off, Sue looks up as Johnny attacks Storm. She asks Ben if he sees all the trouble he has caused. Shocked that Sue blames him, Thing reminds Sue that Storm was the one who attacked Johnny. Reed points out that she was probably lashing out in defense of Wolverine, who was riled up by Thing. Wolverine announces that he is way passed riled. He then leaps at Ben, but Sue puts up an invisible wall between the two. Thing orders Sue to let him fight Logan, but Sue refuses to budge. Logan taunts Ben for hiding behind a lady.
Suddenly, a powerful voice booms through all their heads and tells them all enough. As the psychic pain subsides, all turn to the ruined mansion doors to see Emma Frost. She announces that the ringing in their ears will end soon and apologizes for using her telepathy, but they were acting like some of her students. She then addresses Reed and asks him if he and his team are willing to join her in the parlor to discuss this invasion like adults.
Moments later, the Fantastic Four meet with a few X-Men in the parlor. Outside the parlor window, three students like in at awe at the sight of the Fantastic Four. Sophie exclaims that the Fantastic Four are there. While Josh tries to peer into the window, Laurie wonders out loud why they are there. Inside, the Fantastic Four are met with the four X-Men they met outside, as well as Cyclops, Beast and Gambit. Emma admits that their arrival was rather unexpected. She then asks if the phones to the Baxter Building were broken. Sensing Emma’s hostility, Reed apologizes on behalf of his team for barging in on the X-Men like that. However, he felt that this trip was necessary considering the nature of what he is about to request.
In her usual rude manner, Emma asks what the request is. Do they need help rounding up naughty mutants to improve their public image? Not wanting anymore trouble, Cyclops asks Emma to stop and then asks Reed what he needs. Reed admits to Cyclops that he was hoping that Charles could arrive first before he explains things. Wolverine smirks and tells Reed that he doesn’t seem to be up to current events. Charles Xavier no longer runs the mansion; he is gone and left the mansion to Scott and Emma.
Disappointed, Reed admits that he did not know that. He supposes that they must continue the meeting with Xavier. Reed then asks if he could borrow their television, as it will make things easier to explain. Reed turns on the television, which shows an image of a space station. Storm immediately recognizes it as the Simulacra. Reed confirms this and informs the team that this morning the Mars Lander was to return to the Simulacra after a year of collecting data. The docking was successful, or so it seemed at first. The image on the television then switches to one of the left side of the Simulacra exploding. Beast and Storm are shocked at the sight, but Reed continues on to explain that this event occurred nine hours ago and that there has not been any communication with the Simulacra crew since.
Cyclops asks about how many crewmembers were aboard. Twelve station members and six retrieval team members, replies Reed. In other words, eighteen crew members in total. Cyclops asks about the survivors, but Reed is unsure of how many are left. All scans have been ineffective. It is as if something is blocking any signals in or out of the station. Beast wonders if the blast created some sort of distortion field around the station. Perhaps, agrees Reed, however, communications before the blast indicated a breach. Figuring out where Reed is leading the discussion, Beast asks him if he thinks something hitched a ride on the Mars Lander and penetrated the Simulacra.
Though concerned, Storm wonders why the Fantastic Four came to them of all people. Reed announces that he wants to use Cerebra. Shocked, Emma demands to know how he even heard about Cerebra. Reed explains that Professor Xavier once mentioned the device to him and explained how it could locate mutants across the globe. He was hoping to use Cerebra to scan for life on the Simulacra. Impossible, replies Emma. Even if Cerebra could be modified to scan for human life, the sheer distance is too much. Taunting Emma, the Thing asks her if she isn’t up to the task. Smiling, Gambit tells Thing to be careful with his choice of words around Emma. Angered, Emma turns to Thing tells the “ignorant piece of rock” that no telepath on Earth would be up for the task. Pleased by Emma’s attitude-filled response, Thing tells her that now she is talking his language.
Cyclops turns to Reed and asks if the probe would work if a telepath could get close enough to the Simulacra. Reed assumes that it is possible, but Beast adds that it would only work if the distortion field didn’t interfere. Emma turns to Scott and asks him if he really isn’t proposing that they go up there. Scott tells Emma that men and women might be alive up there. They are their only hope. Without doubt or hesitation, Emma tells Cyclops that she is not going into space. Cyclops reasons with her and reminds her how he almost lost his dad to space, but was lucky enough to get him back. She should think about the families of those people. Shouldn’t they at least try to help them get their fathers and mothers back?
Thing steps in and tells the group that he doesn’t want to rain on the X-Men’s feel-good moment, but how doe they plan to get up there without a spaceship. Gambit taps Thing on the shoulder and tells him that the Fantastic Four aren’t the only ones with friends in high places. Wolverine motions for the Four to follow him to the hangar to see what they got.
The Fantastic Four enter the hangar to see the X-Plane. Reed takes one look and admits that with a few adjustments if could be in space in no time. Not so convinced, Thing tells Reed that the plane will need a little bit more than a few adjustments. To appease Thing’s trepidation, Beast informs him that the X-Plane is equipped with the best Shi’ar technology this side of the galaxy. Impressed, Thing asks Beast if he means that this thing has accessories. Beast informs him that it has shielding, propulsion and pressurization that N.A.S.A. would kill for. Reed tells the group that with a few adjustments to the doorway and docking gear they should also be able to get into the Simulacra. The Thing checks out the interior as Cyclops comes in to announce that they have one problem: only six seats.
Obviously, continues Cyclops, since Emma is the only telepath in the group one seat is for her. That leaves five left. Beast takes out a pad and pencil and starts to jot some notes. If there are survivors then they will have to go in obviously. Since the station is pressurized he advises that anyone with energy-emitting powers should not go. That rules out Cyclops, the Human Torch and Storm. However, continues Reed, if there was a breach as they suspect then he suggests that the heavy hitters go up. Those would be Thing and Wolverine. The Thing pats Johnny and tells him sorry since he can’t go. Cyclops suggests that Nightcrawler and Gambit go. Kurt’s teleportation can be invaluable and Gambit is quite… resourceful. Gambit thanks Scott for the compliment.
Suddenly, Sue announces that she will take the last seat. Reed is not sure, but Sue explains that if something goes wrong her invisible shields will be the only thing to protect them from the cold harshness of space. “Well, up, up and away we go…” says Wolverine.
Some time later, the X-Plane is prepped and ready to go. Reed and Sue share a tender hug in case it is their last, while Emma and Scott kiss. Emma notices Sue take a long look at her brother and husband as she boards the plane. The woman asks Susan if she is not used to this by now after all she has been through. Sue tells Emma to call her Sue, and adds that one will never get used to leaving family behind. Emma takes a look at Scott and then boards the plane. The six heroes strap themselves in and take off for the Simulacra.
Once in space, Sue turns to Emma and admits that she noticed how close she and Scott have gotten. Emma admits that they have, to which Sue questions how the other X-Men are handling it. Realizing that Sue is referring to Scott’s relationship with Jean Grey, the offended Emma supposes that they handle it just the same was when Namor comes to visit. Sue then falls silent.
In the front, Nightcrawler wonders if they should rename themselves the Fantastic 6 or X-4. Wolverine tells Nightcrawler to save the chit-chat because they are at the Simulacra. Nightcrawler is taken aback to see the wreckage of the Simulacra, which is barely together on one side. As the X-Plane heads to dock, Wolverine tells Thing to watch out for debris. Sue notices that the remaining part of the station is holding together well, which mean the inner blast doors must have held. Gambit turns to the Thing to dock the plane on the other side of the station with the Titan ship. The Thing does and Wolverine turns to Emma, announcing that it is time for her to tell them if they came all this way for nothing. Emma uses her telepathy and in moments she senses that there are survivors. There may be six. All are terrified.
Nightcrawler wonders what the survivors are terrified of. Being trapped in space should be enough, replies Wolverine. He then asks Emma if she senses anything else. Emma tells the group that it is all she senses. Sue tells the team that knowing that there are survivors is good enough for her. The time has come to head in and save the day. Nightcrawler announces that the docking bay is pressurized and the outer doors are opening. Sue puts up a bubble just in case of trouble and has Thing take point. Wolverine pops out his claws. “Like the lady said,” explains Wolverine, “Just in case.”
The team enters into the docking area and head toward the inner doors. Emma closes the door to the outer doors. Thing turns to the others and wonders what is behind door number three. Wolverine tells Thing to hit it, to which Thing obliges him. As the doors open, Wolverine welcomes the team to the Simulacra. “Let’s see whose open for business.” Unseen and awaiting them in the darkness are a hose of Brood aliens.