Manhattan, a bar on the lower eastside:
A smartly dressed woman tells the barkeeper she is a federal agent and needs information. She got a warrant? he asks unimpressed. She warns him not to go there. She shows him a photograph showing Rogue and Nightcrawler shortly after their transformation. Has he seen either of those two people? They are not people, they’re freaks! he mutters, and he wants nothing to do with them.
A patron sitting at the counter announces that the girl busted up a fight a couple of hours back. Hits pretty hard. But then she disappeared. The woman demands all details. In her dreams, he snorts. She doesn’t do dreams, she replies and suddenly transforms into a monster, she prefers nightmares!
At the same time, elsewhere in a back alley in Manhattan, Spider-Man has found his quarry, the changed Rogue, but it’s not quite the person he thought. He introduces himself and admits he’s a little confused now. He knows it sounds crazy but is she related to a guy named Nightcrawler? They were friends. And, well… she looks just like him.
Rogue replies curtly that Nightcrawler and the X-Men are dead. She teleports away, causing Spider-Man to observe that her teleportation effect is just like Nightcrawler’s, down to the stench. No reaction from his Spider-sense though, the woman is no threat, at least not to him. Strangely, her voice seems familiar.
”Rogue, is that you?” he asks, as she reappears on the roof. He assures her she can trust him. He is on her side!
Rogue distrustfully tells him that’s easy to say, especially these days when mutants are the world’s number one public enemy. Spider-Man notices the anger and sadness in her voice. He admits to himself that if she is Rogue, with all that’s happened lately she has good reason. He asks her not to run and promises he means no harm. He only wants to talk. Talk is easy, she shoots back, finding someone who believes the truth that’s hard! He reminds her who she is talking to. That’s the story of his life! He’s also had a great listener… She had an accident, she replies evasively, and woke up looking like this. He promises her that she actually looks great.
Suddenly, they hear a burglar alarm coming from somewhere. Care to blow off some righteous steam? he asks and she joins him.
The site of Xavier’s school, now a restricted area patrolled by Trask’s SHIELD agents and Sentinels. The mansion seems to have been blown to smithereens but actually now exists a split moment apart in time.
Everyone’s busy in their own way. Fury’s SHIELD agents are patrolling the grounds, too.
Kitty Pryde has taken over Storm’s attic and is meditating.
Gambit is helping Nightcrawler get accustomed to his “normal” body.
‘Ro is gathering information about the island state Genosha and the African principality Wakanda.
Dr. Moira MacTaggert has been examining Sabretooth, trying to find a way to help his faltering healing abilities against the Burnout that is affecting him.
Lt. Daisy Dugan and Colonel Nick Fury are watching Jean Grey, who is using Cerebro to keep tabs on the overall mutant population, making sure nothing tragic has happened to any of the folks they know, Nick explains to Daisy. Something tragic may be heading their way, Jean retorts, as Rogue has gone off the grid!
In the office that used to belong to Charles Xavier, Scott Summers muses on events so far. They’ve spent six weeks in the shadows without the Sentinels, SHIELD or anyone else finding them. Thanks to Kitty they are hiding in plain sight, just a second out of phase with the rest of the world. The activation of the tesseract field looked to the Avengers and to any electronic sensors just like a monstrous explosion. As far as the world is concerned, the X-Men are dead, which should give them freedom of action to move against the Consortium, especially now that they’ve sunk their hooks so deeply into SHIELD.
Looking at a picture of his family, he muses that the problem is the effect on those left behind. Warren and Betsy know the truth, so does his father, but he didn’t tell his son Nate. The less he knows, the safer he is.
That moment, his reverie is interrupted as Fury, Daisy and Jean step into his office. They have a breach Fury announces. Jean telepathically informs him about Rogue missing. Scott continues their conversation the same way, asking why she didn’t spot this sooner. She’s not a hall monitor, Jean replies sharply. She trusts her colleagues, though she admits she should have kept an eye on Rogue. Nice to see she isn’t quite perfect, Cyclops shoots back.
Finally noticing what is going on, Fury points out that their mental private conversation is bit rude. It saves time, Scott replies. Jean remarks that she can’t get a psilock on Rogue. Angrily, Fury rants that he thought Summers’ people understood the situation. This plan works only if they stay down. The moment they are seen their cover is blown! They’ll find her, Jean tries to reassure him. That’s not good enough, he retorts.
Fury orders Daisy to scramble an Alpha team. Daisy admits to a problem, Rogue is invisible to all their sensors, hardware, mansion systems, Shi’ar tech, everything! Jean and Scott explain that the goddess Roma cast a spell on Rogue. Because of this she is functionally invisible to all form of electronic detection. She can’t be recorded. That’s probably how she thought she could get away with this. People would see her but there would be no record.
Is that supposed to make him feel better? Fury seethes. She can still be captured or worse. This mess could still raise questions they can do without. Cyclops decides the X-Men go after her themselves. Minimal team, strength and stealth, people who know her. Jean to try and establish telepathic contact, and Kitty and Kurt. The rest of them will monitor their progress from here.
A diner at Trumbel, Alaska where Corsair, his mother and his grandson Nate Summers are eating. The boy is dejected, missing his father. His family asks him to have faith. His great-grandmother reminds him she thought her son, his grandfather, lost forever, and yet, here he is. Miracles do happen.
A slim woman with black hair in a business suit joins them, looking for Christopher Summers. She introduces herself as Robyn Hanover, explaining she wants to rent a plane. She was told flying is the best way to see Alaska. And that Summers Air were the best people to take her. Nathan speaks to her via a comm.-link speaks to her, praising her charm. He couldn’t refuse her himself. He reminds her that for now she should just watch. How fascinating to meet Scott’s family, he muses. He thinks he liked him better as an orphan. Which means eventually they will all have to be dealt with…
In the meantime, back in Manhattan, Spidey and Rogue are having the time of their lives, fighting criminals galore and even a super-villain, the Rhino.
Later, on a rooftop, they watch the sunrise eating bagels. Spidey notes that Rogue doesn’t say much. She is still getting used to herself, she explains. Everything for her has changed. New look, new reality. A tail apparently with a mind of its own. Spidey tells her she seems to be coping well. As the night wore on, he could see her getting better. He advises her to follow her heart. She jokes she may just take that advice. She is about to kiss him, then shouts out in pain.
The three X-Men looking for her are in a back alley. Jean still had no luck telepathically. It looks like she made a friend, Kitty observes. The more they follow Rogue’s trail, the more they find of Spider-Man’s webbing. That should thrill the colonel, Jean sighs. On the other hand, Spidey’s thoughts should be easier for her to track. Kitty suggests they move fast. The city is starting to wake up. They are running out of time. Wrong time, Kurt tells her, looking up as a duo of Sentinels have found them and are getting ready to kill.
In the meantime, the mysterious redhead walks the streets of Manhattan, wondering how to improve her search. She is simply reacting to things. Destiny never had that problem. She always knew what was coming and faced it with courage, even the moment of her death. She passes the window of an electronics store, the TVs show the news. Spider-Man is fighting thugs alongside a figure that seems woozy and cannot be recognized yet seems very familiar to the woman’s eyes. Apparently, the ghost effect still holds true for Rogue, she muses. But her new partner seems to be enjoying the spotlight enough for both of them.
Then the news switch to show Sigrid Trask, new director of SHIELD who announces that she is planning the deployment of a contingent of Sentinels to patrol New York City.
Elsewhere, the three X-Men attack the Sentinels. Ziggy Trask isn’t wasting any time fulfilling her agenda, Kitty remarks. A Sentinel foot stomps on her. However, she phases through it, then claws at it.
Nightcrawler is at a disadvantage as the power he got from Rogue don’t work on robots, he can only try to duck. However, a moment later, he is hit and taken out. But before the robot can finish him off, it’s Rogue to the rescue who jumps on its head. He loves her sense of timing, Kurt announces. She certainly took her time answering her psi-call, Jean remarks pointedly. She didn’t, Rogue retorts. She sensed Kurt was in danger. There seems to be some special bond between them. Didn’t they nail these robots in space? New improved model, Kurt replies. Good grief, Rogue swears, telling them to follow her, as she jumps up a wall. She’ll show them how to deal with them.
The Sentinel gets trapped in the webline of Spidey, who then punches out one Sentinel.
Suddenly, Sigrid Trask shows up, ordering the other Sentinel to stop. It does for one moment, than realizes that there is something wrong about “Sigrid.” She shouldn’t be a purely biological being. It blasts at her. But the distraction is enough for Jean Grey to take over.
Kitty urges they have to go. The Sentinels have probably already alerted SHIELD but Jean is in her element. Since the moment they attacked she’s been scrambling their com-circuits. She telekinetically turns the Sentinels into so much scrap metal as she explains that all the information is stuck inside their heads and now she is shredding the memories along with crushing their bodies. Cool, Rogue announces while Spider-Man finds her scary and Kurt and Kitty have noticed a hint of Phoenix around Jean.
Rogue happily hugs Spider-Man, assuring him he has nothing to fear from them, while he thanks her for one of the best nights of his life. What? Kitty exclaims and instinctively unsheathes her claw. Don’t ask, won’t tell, Spidey replies. Is she gonna use that? Is he gonna talk about them? she asks. Talk about who? Spidey asks. Kurt thanks him.
Jean announces it’s time they got home. Rogue asks what about the woman who helped them. She’s likely been hurt. From the smoke rises a female shape, announcing she needn’t worry. Rogue of all people should remember how hard she is to kill. Harder it seems than even Logan. Her condolences on his loss, by the way, Mystique announces. As Miss Pryde can testify, she and Wolverine have known each other a long time. She considered him a friend.
What is she doing here? Rogue demands. Aside from saving her life? Mystique retorts. The answer is quite simple. She is there to join the X-Men!