Gambit, Sabretooth, Nick Fury and Daisy Dugan prepare for a special mission. Gambit criticizes the SHIELD agents for putting their trust in the wrong folks. That’s why he works alone, Sabes adds. Daisy insists most of SHIELD is made up of good people. They’ve been betrayed too.
Fury asks, how do they tell good from bad now? In a firefight, who is she going to shoot at? Daisy stammers, then claims she will figure it out. And that moment of hesitation will get her killed, he retorts. That’s the bind they are in.
Gambit suggests they just don‘t get into a shooting sitch. Why be squeamish? Sabes suggests. Let’s just kill everyone. What’s with the Cajun anyway? He thought they were gonna keep the party private.
Gambit asks if he remembers how this caper started. Sabretooth’d gone hunting the Consortium and he finds Gambit’s friend, ‘Ro. ‘Ro and Storm are supposed to be the same. Only they are not. Now they have two distinct people. One’s the ‘Ro Gambit remembers. The other convinced them she was the Storm they all have known for years and then betrayed them. What is the truth? Till they find that answer they are stuck with him.
Fury figures a thief can come in handy, especially where they are going. He shows them the Consortium is hiding their primary New York installation beneath the United Nations.
This hour of the night the East River is pretty quiet. Minimal traffic running on the FDR and no windows means it’s likely nobody watching from the highrises right across the river in Queens. Most of the onsite UN staff has been replaced and the construction crew won’t be back till morning. That gives them a clear field of operation. Their submarine comes up and they get inside the sewers.
Meanwhile, at the X-Men’s medical facility, Beast examines Rogue, who has permanently absorbed Nightcrawler’s powers and appearance. She complains that her body doesn’t feel right anymore. Kurt, now human-looking, tries to comfort her. Beast empathizes. It was a nightmare when he first transformed. But he got used to it. So will she. She has a tail that acts like it has a mind of its own, she complains.
Kurt muses that he is looking like everyone else for the first time in his life and his thoughts are that he can’t hide in the dark anymore or duel upside down with three swords. He always wondered what it would be like but in his heart and soul he was always happier to be different. He was special… unique.
He discusses the situation with Moira MacTaggert and admits he doesn’t understand how this happened. They only touched for a moment. Moira points out Rogue’s genetic structure is a mess. They’ve no way of determining her baseline.
That’s what they always thought, Beast remarks, but his readings here are remarkably consistent and surprisingly stable. In fact, the structural profile parallels Kurt’s model from the day he joined the X-Men. He doesn’t see any of the iterations always associated with Rogue, except perhaps for her ability to fly.
He asks her to trust him and touches her. Nothing happens. She got Kurt’s powers but lost hers.
Jean notices that Kurt doesn’t react to that statement; apparently he hasn’t drawn the logical conclusion. But he’s been keeping to himself since their return. One simple way to find out, she figures, moving towards him from behind.
Xavier telepathically stops her. If she is right and something happens to her, nobody will be able to help. She is the only one who is both telepath and telekinetic. That makes her better able to deal with a crisis. He’ll make the contact and she can watch his back.
Xavier touches Kurt’s hand. Both men groan. Kurt definitely displays Rogue’s absorption power.
Jean telekinetically separates them. Rogue catches Kurt but is immune to his new power. She tells the panicked Kurt to relax.
Moira silently notices how handsome Kurt is. He’s embarrassed to be reading her mind. He tells Jean he senses Scott’s thoughts upstairs.
Jean silently muses that right from the start Scott’s always been able to catch her by surprise. The only person in her life who’s ever been able to do that. She used to take that as fate’s way of telling her they were meant for each other. Then she met Logan, now Hank.
She enters Scott’s room and asks how his gran and Nate are. Without looking at her, he replies everyone’s fine. The Starjammers are protecting them.
She wonders if he is so angry with her about Logan.
He continues that Sikorsky got them some answers from the Consortium. They are like no enemy the X-Men have ever faced, outside of maybe the Shi’ar Empire. The Hellfire Club are billionnaire bad guys. The Consortium is more than that. They’ve been around longer; they are totally secret. No one knows about them but the X-Men.
He won’t let them threaten his son or any of the kids at the school or his friends. They want a fight, then the first thing he wants is to drag it out into the open, so they can see what they are up against.
Not much of a plan, Jean observes. Plans are easy, life is hard, he replies. He hesitates before saying he is sorry. No less than she. None of this is fair, he rails. To either of them, she agrees. He blames her for being too rational. Can’t she be more like Logan and throw him a punch? She wishes it were that easy. He decides they won’t do this today. Instead they’ll save the world like always.
In Manhattan, Sabretooth warns the others. He smells multiple scents coming. They are in a closed hallway with nowhere to hide. Hit them hard! Fury orders and they attack the armored soldiers who are soon down.
Wimps! Sabretooth scoffs. He asks Fury if he should kill them. Fury replies that this might trigger a sensor alarm. Better keep them sedated and cloaked off on the sidelines. Daisy hides them with an image inducer.
Sabretooth announces there are more scents ahead but now with armor. He doesn’t like the fact the complex is so light on security.
In the X-Men’s command center, Kitty is hacking computer files. ‘Ro asks if their SHIELD minders won’t notice. Kitty calms her. Not even Hank could. ‘Ro muses that sounds more like the Kitty she read about but there’s an edge to her now that scares her. She asks if Kitty is okay after what happened with Illyana. When she tried to morph her into Firecat? Kitty asks. Does that memory scare ’Ro? She probably would have beaten the Kitty she remembered. But because of what happened before Logan died she’s not that girl anymore. Black Magik thinks she is scary. She has no idea what scary really means…
Elsewhere in the house, Hank greets Scott and wants to talk about Jean. Scott tells him to change the subject and asks about Kitty. Hank explains the integration of claw and abilities from Wolverine is one thing, but he’s worried about the implications of her transformation into Firecat.
That was magic, yes? Scott asks. And the spell was broken? They’ve all been through things like that before. Hank warns him not to dismiss the situation so easily. The child’s taken a brutal succession of hits.
As have they all, Scott insists. Is what Kitty’s going through any different really from what just happened to Rogue and Kurt? To Logan? To Jean? To him? Right now, the X-Men need Kitty’s brain and her abilities. Logan always chose to trust her. Scott’s instinct is to follow his lead.
They join the two girls. He didn’t know ‘Ro could work computers. She’s a quick study, Kitty replies and asks ‘Ro to handle the briefing. She’ll keep focusing them in on Fury’s team.
‘Ro explains Remy disappeared with Fury, Daisy and Sabretooth. But before they left there was some sort of fight in the lower levels. There are prisoners in detention stasis. SHIELD agents. Kitty figures Fury is engaged in a private caper. They think he is going after the Consortium.
Scott asks Kitty to reverse engineer the link to see if they can find out anything about their physical dimensions. Kitty is already on it. ‘Ro develops a direct link. Cyclops addresses Fury who is not surprised and asks him to sync with his scan cam and record everything that happens. They are in a Consortium installation. They have a prisoner, someone the X-Men may remember. An emaciated, tortured Fabian Cortez.
Cortez weakly asks if they are here to mock. Fury tells Daisy he wants him alive. Sabretooth points out it’s a miracle he is still breathing. Cortez weakly tells them originally the Consortium invited him to join them but then the tests started. They didn’t care how much it hurt. And they wouldn’t let him die either. Shame on them, Remy mocks. They stole away his life, Cortez points out.
He did worse to Magneto and his boy! Sabretooth retorts. Seems to him fate balanced the scales.
Why is he still alive? Fury asks. Cortez explains it has to do with his power, about how it affects mutant powers. They wanted to harness it. Maybe they’ll make him a better offer. He accelerates mutant powers. He causes Burnout. Maybe he can cure it, too. He tells them to make their choice now; they are running out of time.
Sabretooth announces he didn’t sense them. Armed Consortium troops pop out of nowhere and surround them. Suggestions? Gambit asks. Just kill them all, Sabes replies. Works for him, Gambit agrees.