The Summer House, on the Moon, where Scott “Cyclops” Summers and Jean Grey sit naked, facing each other on a bed. They stare at each other and hold hands as they communicate with their thoughts. 'The people should choose their leaders' Jean utters. 'I agree, but -' Scott starts to respond. 'But what?' Jean asks. Scott tells her that he thinks there are two ways to get Krakoa there – one is tough and the other takes a bit longer, but that it is the path of least resistance. He suggests that it may be more advantageous for the people to choose the X-Men, rather than the Quiet Council, as the team has always been stronger than a government. 'Okay...then I quit th council and we call for a vote' Jean replies, asking Scott if he thinks they will make the cut.
The X-Men's Treehouse, in New York City, where Scott and Jean sit naked, facing each other on a bed. They stare at each other and hold hands as they communicate with their thoughts. Jean reports that the Bugle went live with the story. Scott asks Jean what the temperature is out there, to which Jean tells him that it is variable, as always. 'You sensed the trap when none of us knew it was there in front of us. The truth about mutant resurrection was always going to come out. Orchis just wanted the X-Men to lie about it first' Jean tells Scott, asking, 'Then where would we be? The truth counts. I just hope my leaving the council wasn't a mistake' she adds. Scott tells Jean that they can't look in the rearview like that, and reminds Jean that they would all be dead if she weren't on the X-Men this past year. 'If my talking to Urich costs me – if I don't make the roster this year...' his thoughts drift off, before Jean removes Scott's optic visor. 'If mutantdom blames you for telling the truth...' Jean begins, leaning in to kiss Scott. The fall backwards onto the bed, with Jean smiling as she jokes that Scott can replace Gambit in the kitchen.
Krakoa, where Captain America walks along the shoreline, telling the Black Widow, Iron Man and Hulk that the mtuants make it very difficult to sneak onto Krakoa, but not impossible, especially when you are an Avenger – or playing as Earth's Mightiest Heroes. 'They know we're here' Captain America remarks. 'FAN OUT!' he shouts as he raises his shield to block a powerful blast of energy, fired at him courtesy of the young mutant called Surge. 'Hiya, guys! Nice of you to drop in!' Surge calls out as one of her energy blasts sends Iron Man into the air, then she fires another at Captain America, striking him in his chest. However, it's not the real Captain America, as Glob Herman is revealed to be Cap in disguise, and Armor was pretending to be Iron Man. 'Hey, that hurt, Surge' Glob complains as he and Armor lay strewn on the beach. 'So, is uh, playtime over?' Armor asks. 'Gentle smash!' Gentle calls out as he claps his hands together as if he was the Hulk. 'And I do it so loud that nobody can hear, including me? How does that work for the Hulk?' he asks. Illyana Rasputin a.k.a. Magik smiles and tells Surge that she did good, before asking what would happen if the Widow goes down swinging. 'Pew pew!' Magik calls out, mimicking firing a gun. 'What ya gonna do? Bonus points for not killing her' Magik adds. Surge declares that she would fracture those bullets in midair.
'Good job, Avenging team... coming ashore near Hellfire Bay on a moonless night is a good strategy' Lucas Bishop tells the younger mutants as he walks towards them, resting a large gun over his shoulder. He explains that what these wargames intend for them to do is think like the people who might invade the island. He adds that he doesn't think a beach assault is what anyone is most worried about, and challenges the younger mutants to think about in what way Krakoa is weak. 'What are our pressure points?' Bishop asks, assuring the others that their enemies are doing the same – and they have to be smarter than their enemies. An astral projection of Professor Charles Xavier appears, informing Captain Commander Bishop that they have a serious situation. 'Hit me' Bishop responds. He looks calm as he then utters '... ya gotta be kidding me' before informing the young mutants that war games are over, and instructing Charles to lock the island down until the council can convene. Bishop starts to walk away, and tells Magik to come with him. She runs after him, asking him what is wrong. 'It's about to hit the fan, Illyana' Bishop remarks, before instructing her to find the Five and stay with them. 'The secret's out' Bishop utters.
Elsewhere, Emma Frost is getting her hair done by Jumbo Carnation. She picks up a copy of the Daily Bugle newspaper and goes wide-eyed as she reads the headline and utters 'This is how the man decides to #$%& me?' The headline reads: “Immortal X-Men”.
In the Sanctum Sanctorum, Dr Clea Strange is checking in on the day's news and comes across the Bugle. 'Well, well. This answer to unraveling Strange's death may be closer than I thought' she tells herself.
At the Baxter Building, Reed Richards and Sue Storm have seen the news, too. 'I'll be honest, it makes a lot of sense in their line of work' Sue tells Reed, who wonders why this admission is being made now. 'Cyclops must have known how provocative this would be'.
In his lab, Tony Stark has also seen the news, and tells computer to un-cancel his RSVP to the Hellfire Gala – and to dust off his Tux Armor.
Captain America has come to a stop on his motorcycle, outside a diner somewhere, and is reading the Bulge, too. 'Woof. Looks like I'm going back to the Hellfire Gala' he supposes.
Above the planet Arakko is Phobos, the moon held captive by Orchis, where Feilong remarks to Dr Stasis 'You predicted the mutants would lie. That we would be hanging them with their own words'. Dr Stasis admits that it is true, the mutants avoided the trap, but that humanity will reject them completely – they just need a little time and patience. Dr Stasis declares that no good will come from this revelation. 'You've already read my proposals. Chaos awaits' Dr Stasis adds. The diabolical men walk together past several trees that are growing in this artificial environment, and Feilong replies 'True. Public sentiment swings in our direction, and certain acquisitions may become easier for me' he then asks Dr Stasis 'Do you trust the woman?' to which Dr Stasis asks 'Is that what she wants now?' and suggests to Dr Stasis that he ask him that question in about a year. Feilong laughs as they walk down a staircase, and supposes that they will need a proper name for the eventual holiday. 'V-K Day?' Dr Stasis suggests.
'V-M Day is better – think bigger. We won't just be destroying a nation' Dr Moira MacTaggert smiles as she sits on an examination table in a lab within the Orchis facility. She tells the men that Orchis is more already more fun than she has had in ages, and thanks them for their assistance today. Feilong announces that Moira means “destiny” in Greek, which is something he has been pondering lately. 'We hope your arrival will help Orchis achieve our dream of a world free from mutants' Feilong adds, while Dr Stasis asks Moira to forgive their skepticism that a longtime ally to mutants would wish to join their crusade. Moira climbs down off the table and declares that now seems like the perfect time for Orchis to have its own clairvoyant, to which Feilong asks her how it is that she seems to know so much. 'Let's just say when you've been around mutants for as long as I have...you get to know them in ways they don't know themselves' Moira replies. 'Beyond that... let a lass have her secrets, Feilong' Moira whispers.
Dr Stasis turns to a capsule and asks 'So this is your ticket in, huh? What is it with the X-Men and redheads?' Inside the capsule is the unconscious captive Mary Jane Watson. Moira looks down at Mary Jane, who is wearing a white and red dress, and declares that Mary Jane is not a mutant, but one of Emma's spokespeople for the Krakoan medicines that are keeping her aunt's dementia at bay. 'She's just a meat puppet I'll be wearing to their vapid party' Moira explains, adding that she has got her arm around Mary Jane's throat, quite literally, disguised as a necklace which administers a very mild sedative, and should keep her cooperative and help evade the telepaths. Moira reveals that her cybernetic right arm is missing. Feilong thanks Moira for her assistance, and tells her that she has leaped Orchis forward by years. He states that the weapon is ready for insertion, and that it is really going to change the world.
'Yes, in fact, while you two are having fun at the Gala, I'll be doing science!' Dr Stasis proclaims. Moira declares that the Gala will hardly be fun, but that if she is successful, then mutant resurrection dies tonight – and if not, well, at least she will see some old friends. Feilong tells Moira not to bring the woman back here, as he wants to avoid something so overt for the moment. 'Don't worry – I'll kill her when I'm done' Moira replies as she and Mary Jane suddenly vanish.
On Krakoa, the Quiet Council is in session. 'It's just a party. Cancel it' Bishop tells the council as he stands in the circle within the Grove where they meet. Emma Frost hangs her head while Kate Pryde and Sebastian Shaw sit next to her. Emma then tells Bishop that it is not just a party, as they are featuring humans whose lives have been made better by Krakoan medicine, and she thinks they might need the public relations at the moment. 'The show must go on' she declares. Shaw announces that he agrees – and that canceling now would make them look weak. 'Okay, we've heard from the Caligula side of the council, anybody else want to back me up?' Bishop remarks. Charles Xavier states that the truth was always going to come out, and that he wished they had returned more of their people before it had. 'As Captain Commander, I order the Five confined to the island. The humans know what we've done, but not how, so we need to make sure they're benched until further notice.... so no Hellfire Gala for the Five' Bishop declares.
'I should be at that council meeting' Hope Summers complains as she paces around the Arbor Magna. Josh Foley a.k.a. Elixir, Eva Bell a.k.a. Tempus, Kevin MacTaggert a.k.a. Proteus and Fabio Medina a.k.a. Egg sit nearby. 'Shows what kind of opinion your new friends have of us, doesn't it' Proteus remarks. 'I didn't even want to go to the party, but now that they tell me I can't go to the party, the party has become my new sexual orientation. I will have that party' Egg frowns. Suddenly, 'The Quiet Council doesn't have anything to do with it... it was the Captain Commander's order...and I agree with it. So, any of you who wanna go to the Hellfire Gala... will have to go through me' Magik smirks as she appears in the Hatchery.
At that moment, in the Healing Gardens, Dr Cecilia Reyes is examining Glob Herman, who tells her that next time he won't volunteer to be Captain America. 'That's probably a good idea, Glob' Dr Reyes smiles as she uses a device to scan Glob's hand, and tells him that his bones should regrow over the next hour or so. 'You'll be right as rain' she adds. Glob thanks Dr Reyes and gets up to leave, as another figure arrives in the Healing Gardens. 'Hey, Doc. You said you wanted to know if anything was different for me...' the new arrival calls out. 'Oh my god' Dr Reyes gasps as she looks at Everett Thomas a.k.a. Synch, who appears older, even having gray hairs in his beard which he has grown. '...I'm gonna assume the gray hair counts' Synch smiles. Dr Reyes thanks Synch for coming in, and Synch tells her that he was going to grow a mustache for the Gala, but this changed his mind, and he thinks he will keep shaving.
Dr Reyes starts to scan Synch with a device and tells him to hold still. She remarks that the more data she has the better she can understand what is going on with him. 'You've aged several years since my last scan' Dr Reyes announces, before they sit down, and Dr Reyes tells Synch that she thinks they have enough data to conclude that he is more powerful post resurrection, and that he has developed the ability to sync with mutants out of the traditional range of his aura from “muscle memory”, and now syncing with another mutant in his presence is basically cost-free to him. 'But syncing with someone not near me from “muscle memory” as you put it...is putting some miles on my odometer' Synch realizes. Cecilia puts a hand on Everett's shoulder and tells him that he must stop syncing from memory – maybe only in cases of life or death. 'It's always been life or death on the X-Men, Doc' Synch smiles, before announcing that he is going to shave and get ready for tonight. He then asks Dr Reyes to keep this between the two of them.
Later, Emma Frost is wearing a new gown as she steps through a Krakoan portal to Mykines Island, a protectorate of Krakoa, and home to the Hellfire Gala – and thousands of puffins. Several other Krakoan portals are set up on the island, and more guests arrive. Emma telepathically welcomes everyone and announces that this year they have welcomed the humans whose lives have been made better from the gift of Krakoan medicines – like Mary Jane Eatson, whose aunt is staving off the effects of dementia with the help of the Krakoan medicines. Mary Jane smiles, then frowns as she looks over at Emma Frost, who adds that the news that mutantdom has created a “safety net” for themselves to keep from falling has been the topic of much discussion. 'However, we'll not be discussing it tonight... at the Hellfire Gala!' Emma proclaims telepathically as she steps into the large hall where the Gala is well underway.
Emma takes center stage as Krakoans, Arakkii and human guests mingle and enjoy the spectacular celebrations. Madrox dupes carry drinks among the guests, while Synch can be seen speaking with Forge, while Destiny walks nearby, and Rogue can be seen talking to the Black Widow. Emma reports that entertainers from Gameworld are here tonight, indentured servants of a crime lord out in deep space until the X-Men freed them. 'The X-Men saved their world – and ours – over the last year... and tonight, a new team will be asked to serve by vote' Emma reveals. As she takes a glass of champagne from a Madrox dupe, she telepathically tells everyone to eat, drink and make new friends.
She-Hulk can be seen walking nearby as Cyclops approaches Emma and tells her that he needs to talk to her. 'Absolutely not' Emma snaps telepathically a she spins around and looks at her former partner and asks him how he dares time his reckless hit piece against mutantkind for today, of all days. 'Piss off' Emma adds. Cyclops starts to tell her that he is sorry about the timing, and reiterates that he needs to speak to her.
'Sorry, may I cut in?' someone calls out. Emma turns around and goes wide-eyed, 'Oh, Jonathan! How I've missed you' Emma grins as sees the handsome actor Jon Hamm standing nearby. 'You're still the only one who calls me Jonathan, and I've missed you too' Jon smiles. 'How are you, Mr Hamm?' Emma asks, before she kisses him on his cheek. 'Better now' Jon replies. Jean Grey wearing her new Gala costume walks over to Cyclops, who tells her 'That... could not have gone worse'. Jean tells Scott not to worry, as the night is still young.
Suddenly, a woman wearing a familiar red cape arrives, and walks over to Emma, introducing herself as the Sorcerer Supreme and announcing that they must talk. The Scarlet Witch can be seen standing nearby, looking over at the new arrival, while Jon Hamm tells Emma that this seems important. Emma smiles and asks 'Would you excuse me for a moment, Jonathan?' before the irritated woman in the cloak tells Emma that she needs a word. 'And... you are?' Emma asks, disinterested. The woman with white hair introduces herself as Clea Strange, the Sorcerer Supreme – this world's sole defense against the myriad arcane forces that seek to claim it. Mystical energies wave around Clea as she starts to tell Emma that Dr Strange died protecting this realm. 'And let me guess... you'd like him back?' Emma asks, tilting her head.
Emma finds herself in some other realm alongside Clea, strange magical beings surround them, as Clea tells Emma that Stephen Strange is her husband, so of course she wants him back. 'But more than that, this is not my world – it's yours – and his – and it needs him'. Clea remarks that as for everything Stephen has done as Sorcerer Supreme, for all the screaming horrors he has placed himself in front of for the sake of everyone else in his world, Emma Frost owes him that much. 'Clea, is it?' Emma replies casually, before informing the sorceress that mutant resurrection only works for mutants – it is mutant technology. Emma claims that she can assure Clea the first question she had about this secret process was whether they could return John Lennon as a gift for everyone. 'Unfortunately, it was not in the cards' Emma declares. She tells Clea that she is sorry for her loss, and gives Clea some advice: 'Perhaps I'm speaking to the woman who will be the better Sorcerer Supreme. I'm certainly no expert in the occult, but one of you is dead, and the other is alive, so you seem to have the leg up'. Clea looks less than happy, before Emma turns from her and waves. 'Ciao, darling' Emma utters.
Emma then walks over to Spider-Man, wearing his own Gala costume, and tells him that she is so glad he could join them. Commenting on Spider-Man's Gala costume, Emma remarks that she sees he received Mr Carnation's attire, and that he looks splendid. 'I'm not a very strong partier' Spider-Man replies. 'Now with that attitude you’re not' Emma smirks.
Suddenly, Mary Jane walks towards Spider-Man. 'Hey. Fancy meeting you here, MJ' he exclaims, folding his arms. 'My aunt is on the Krakoan medicines' Mary Jane responds, and walks on past him. Spider-Man's spider-sense is activated, and he tells himself that that was weird, while Doug Ramsey a.k.a Cypher watches them.
Spider-Man turns around and bumps into Doctor Doom. 'Oh! I shoulda known you were creeping up on me' Spider-Man exclaims, before asking Doom which mutant he is most looking forward to getting resurrected. Doom remains silent, to which Spider-Man asks 'Maybe Jimi Hendrix or David Bowie?' Spider-Man wonders what he is talking about, and supposes that Doom probably only listens to fascist marching music. 'Leave me' Doom snarls. 'On it' Spider-Man replies, vanishing from Doom's sight. Doom then asks 'Hnh. Could Bowie have been a mutant?'
Angelica Jones a.k.a. Firestar and her longtime friend Bobby Drake a.k.a. Iceman are at a gaming table. Iceman tosses some dice onto the table while other guests look on. 'Firestar. I didn't think you'd come' Emma Frost remarks telepathically. 'Iceman insisted, and stay out of my head' Firestar snaps. Emma smiles at her former pupil and tells her that she is a hard woman to apologize to. 'Is that what this is? The first kid I saw called me a “cop”. Is that what you wanted? More humiliation for me?' Firestar asks. Firestar starts to walk away as she tells Emma that other mutants think she is a traitor because she didn't fling herself through the closest Krakoan gate. 'But then again, they don't know you like I do, right?' Firestar adds. 'I wanted to show you the stables at Hellfire Bay' Emma utters, but gets no response. A handsome man in a red and blue stripped suit moves next to Emma. He greets her and tells her that Firestar is a tough cookie. He adds that it was a long time ago, but that he had a situation like this when a powerful young woman had the wrong idea about he and his team. Emma smiles at Captain America and asks him to tell her about it.
(flashback images, narrated in the present)
Captain America remarks that he is a bit of an expert in trying to make himself understood to younger generations – not much of a choice when you're as old as him. 'The alternative is to grow old, and I don't have time for that' he adds. He remembers when Rogue came calling for the Avengers' heads, he put her through a rigorous test, assessed her defensive powers. He tossed his shield towards her, and it skimmed off her arm. 'Kiss yer star-spangled ass goodbye, old man!' Cap remembers Rogue saying to him, before she punched him straight out through a window. Cap judged how well Rogue could take a punch and, in Rogue's case, how well she threw one – she has quite the fastball.
Iceman watches as Captain America throws some dice on the gaming table, and he tells Emma that when Rogue was done with the Avengers, she went on his hit list. 'And that isn't a euphemism, ma'am' Cap adds, explaining that Rogue went on his list to enlist, because he knew if he didn't make friends with Rogue, he would be fighting her for the rest of his days. Cap tells Emma that sometimes the best way to earn a person's trust is by giving them more responsibility. 'Rogue was as great as an Avenger as she was an X-Man' Cap declares. 'Thank you, Mr Rogers. That is excellent counsel' Emma responds. Iceman throws his hands into the air while some guests near Captain America clap at Cap, who must have won the game they were playing.
She-Hulk helps herself to the buffet, while Forge approaches Cyclops and asks him how his apology tour is going. 'I'm not apologizing. To anyone. For anything' Cyclops responds. 'Uh-huh' Forge tells him. Cyclops takes a glass of champagne and tells Forge that he knows he is working on something big for the council. 'Any hints?' Cyclops asks. 'Sure, here's a hint. If you wanna know... get your ass onto the Quiet Council' Forge responds as he walks past Cyclops, suggesting that he do something useful and start apologizing to everyone on the island.
Suddenly: 'Let's gooooo!' Egg calls out as he and the rest of the Five step through a Krakoan gateway and arrive at the Gala with Magik. Magik tells Egg to go live the dream, and warns them that none of them are to leave here without her. 'Yeah, yeah' Hope mutters as she walks off. 'Don't start with me, Mr Bishop' Magik tells Bishop as she walks over to her fellow Captain Commander. 'What happened to keeping the Five away from the party?' Bishop asks. 'They formed a union. I was powerless against it' Magik jokes. Magik explains that with most of Krakoa's heavy hitters off the island and here at the Gala, she realized grounding the Five is exactly what their enemies might suspect they would do. 'Besides, nobody's getting to them in this room' Magik adds. 'Fair enough' Bishop tells her.
Mary Jane Watson smiles and holds a champagne glass up as she walks near Cypher and then waves as she says hello to Proteus. 'Uh. Do we know each other?' Proteus asks, confused. 'No, but I'd like to. Want to take a walk?' Mary Jane asks. She then taps her fingernail three times on her champagne flute, which is noticed by Cypher. 'Sure' Proteus answers as he starts to head outside with Mary Jane. They walk onto a balcony and Proteus asks Mary Jane how is it that she knows him. 'Well, which you? Proteus the powerful mutant, or Kevin MacTaggert?' Mary Jan asks. Proteus tells her that he is really confused now. 'Not fer long, lad' Mary Jane replies, her voice changing, as Moira reveals herself: 'Hello, son' she utters. 'M-Moira?' Proteus gasps. 'Mom! How – you've been dead so long!' he utters. Moira puts a hand on Kevin's shoulder and tells him to buckle up. 'Have I got a story for ye, lad'.
Lorna Dane a.k.a. Polaris looks stunning in purple as she heads down a flight of stairs behind Tony Stark, and the X-Men's enemy, Feilong. Tony turns to Feilong and tells him that he is surprised the White Queen invited him to this Gala. 'She didn't, Stark. I go where I please' Feilong, wearing a white suit, responds. 'So I've read' Tony remarks, before asking him how it is being a man on a moon. Feilong frowns and Stark and suggests that he visit Phobos some time. Stark thanks him, but points out that there is enough to keep him busy on this planet. 'But have fun...doing whatever you're doing up there. Don't let a giant Martian mutant slap you off that rock' Stark mutters, before he turns and starts to mingle, 'Hello, hello, no pictures please!' he calls out, while Reed Richards can be seen nearby.
Tony asks Reed if he knew about the mutant resurrections. 'No' Reed replies. Tony tells Reed not to feel bad, and asks him if he is sure none of the mutants put a whammy on him to make him forget anything. 'No' Reed replies again. Tony Starts to carry on walking past Reed, then comes to a stop. 'Excuse me?' he asks, turning back to Reed. Reed reveals that Charles and Erik came to him, they took something from his mind, and he figured out how to mask the X-Gene. He adds that they made no secret of taking the knowledge – they wanted him to know. Stark is wide-eyed and mutters that he better prioritize his inhibitors. 'Let's talk. Not here. Not tonight' Reed whispers.
Tony goes over to Emma Frost and takes a seat next to her at a poker table. He doesn't even greet her, simply asking her to walk him through the thought process: 'You terraform Mars and announce Earth is in the backseat, then you tell the people of this world that you've conquered death, but not for everyone... just for you'. Emma glances at him and asks 'I'm sorry, have we met?' Tony smiles and tells her that she knows who he is. 'I'm sorry, I didn't recognize you outside of your bulky work clothes'. She tells Stark that she is surprised that he is just as disappointing as all the other humans this evening. 'Not a one of you has congratulated us on our achievements'. Stark looks at his cards which he picks up from the table and laughs, before replying 'Well... “congratulations”. You think I'm just that multi-billion-dollar suit parked outside on your lawn with the puffins. Suits aren't even what I do best' Star replies. 'I'll bite' Emma tells him, while Feilong takes a seat opposite them.
Emma drops some cards and poker chits on the table and asks 'What's your precious gift, then?' Feilong tosses two large wads of cash on the table and remarks that Mr Stark is a futurist, of course, gifted with visions of possible tomorrows. 'Feilong. How nice of you to join this evening. Are you here to relinquish Arakko's moon?' Emma asks. Feilong looks at two cards on the table and remarks that Phobos is a moon of Mars – the second planet in humanity's solar system. 'And I'm quite happy to hold it and to share...for all mankind' he adds. 'Feilong is right about one thing. I am a futurist' Stark declares. 'So let me tell you how this is going to go for mutants. You have an incredible technology. Something you failed to keep a secret' Stark adds, before placing two cards on the table. 'Something that will change the world, something worth killing over' Stark declares. 'And so they will. People will fight and kill over it. The technology will proliferate, or... it will be destroyed... along with who knows what else?'
The alien controlling the poker game announces that Mr Stark wins, and Emma Frost stands up, thanking Stark for his concern. She tells him that when she is around Avengers, it is not the future she thinks of, but the past – all the times the mutants have had to go it alone without so much as a wave from “Earth's mightiest heroes”'. Emma turns and walks away, with Stark thanking her for letting him remember their little chat. 'I'll treasure it always' he mocks. 'What? That's not our way' Emma snaps, spinning around and scowling at Stark. 'Really? Tell Reed Richards I said hello' Tony smiles, suggesting Emma introduce herself to him, as there is no telling what he remembers.
Feilong tells Stark that he is quite right about everything, and remarks that the mutant population isn't going away by itself. 'I'm all in' he adds quietly as he pushes his poker chits into the table. Stark tells Feilong that he doesn't care for him casually throwing around the words “mutant problem” because it implies a solution. Stark looks at his cards and asks Feilong if he is so concerned about Earth, then what it is he is doing up there. 'The Avengers could've continued to terraform Mars, but -' Stark starts to say, before Feilong narrows his eyes and interrupts him: 'But you didn't. And look at what it cost mankind'. Stark pauses, before throwing his cards on the table and asking Feilong what he is really doing up on that rock. 'I am looking for a worthy opponent' Feilong smriks in response. Stark stands up and tells Feilong to be careful what he wishes for. 'I'm out' Stark adds.
Spider-Man is at the buffet, while a man with a beard stands nearby and turns to someone who likes like a walking corpse. 'you can be honest, I'm just hallucinating, right, Eddie?' the man asks. 'I'm still mad at that guy' Deadpool mutters nearby. 'Posehn or Spidey?' Cypher asks him. 'Yes' Deadpool replies. Cypher excuses himself and walks over to Spider-Man. They bump their fists together, and Cypher tells Spider-Man that one of the things he can read with uncanny accuracy is body language, and so he figured maybe Spidey must have met or had some dealings with that redhead he saw him talking to earlier. Mouthful of food, Spidey tells Cypher that he doesn't know which one he's talking about. 'There are so many redheads here tonight'. He then asks if his body language is not selling that. He then asks Cypher if he means Mary Jane Watson. They look out to see Mary Jane and Proteus talking outside, and Cypher remarks that he's not sure if it was a nervous tick or not, but that she was tapping out S-O-S in Morse code on her glass. 'Thank, Doug!' Spider-Man exclaims as he pulls his mask down over his mouth and runs towards the balcony.
Outside, 'What you've told me, it's... it’s...' Proteus' voice trails off. 'The truth' Moira declares. 'I know you sometimes worried you were a mistake – nothing could be further from the truth. You were a necessary creation' Moira adds. She looks out over the ocean surrounding the island and explains that they needed that very specific X-Gene in him – the flesh around it didn't matter. 'I suppose that's why I didn't spend much thought on it....you were simply a 3D printer I needed to design. Nothing more' Moira reveals. 'You never loved me' Proteus utters. 'What is love? You want to cry, but you can't. I thought you at least deserved to know the truth. That's why I crashed the party' Moira reveals. Proteus grabs Moira/Mary Jane by her shoulders: 'You... you're not my mother...' he tells her. Moira hangs her head and tells Proteus to be careful, as there is no need for violence.
'Watch the hands, naked energy guy!' Spider-Man calls out as he swings down and kicks Proteus away from Mary Jane/Moira. Proteus falls to the ground and Spider-Man asks MJ if she is okay, and what is going on. 'What's this weird necklace?' he asks, grabbing the necklace. 'Don't -' Mary Jane tells Spider-Man, before a surge of energy strikes them both. 'I'll fry you both!' Proteus exclaims. Emma Frost glances out the window and tuts. 'You really can't take Spider-Man anywhere, can you?' she mutters. Proteus punches Spider-Man in the face, causing him to fall off the balcony. Spider-Man fires a web and swings down to safety, seeing some puffins walking on Iron Man's armor stashed under the building. Proteus flies up above Moira and tells her that she didn't come here to make amends or apologize, she came here to hurt him – again. 'I started to say “You're not my mother” but you've never been my mother. I have no family!' Proteus calls out. 'Until us! 'Hope Summers shouts as she rushes forward. 'The Five are your family!' Hope adds as Elixir, Tempus and Egg run alongside her.
'Is Spider-Man being mind-controlled or something?' Egg asks. 'Or are we fighting this model?' Egg enquires, looking at Mary Jane. He remarks that if they are fighting the model, he might tap out. Proteus drops back down onto the balcony and announces that nobody is fighting. He tells his friends that he learned a great deal tonight, and that the woman in front of them tried to come here tonight to break him. 'It would have worked on the old men. If I am being used, Moira...at least I am being used to create'. Moira/Mary Jane turns and walks away. 'Yes, yes. Continue to do exactly what they want. What a good “boy”. Enjoy what time remains. Perhaps you've earned it'. Suddenly, she comes to a stop as Wolverine appears in front of her, claims at the ready. 'End of the road, Moira' Logan frowns. Moira drops her disguise, and tells Logan that they should see what this pretty lass thinks about that. She reverts to Mary Jane, who appears scared, and cries out 'Please – she won't hesitate to kill me'. Moira returns, and grins as she tells Logan to piss off.
Wolverine pauses, before retracting his claws and tells everyone to let Moira go. Logan projects his thoughts to Jean, telling her that he doesn't think Moira can listen in telepathically. Logan instructs Jean to have Greycrow track the woman and the tech around her neck. 'We can't lose Moira's hostage' he adds. 'You!' Wolverine exclaims as Spider-Man leaps up onto the balcony. 'That woman needs our help!' Spider-Man calls out as Mary Jane/Moira carries on walking by. 'And she'll get it – but we gotta do this right or this is gonna be another Berlin situation' Wolverine tells Spider-Man as he slams his fist into him, forcing him up against the balcony edge. 'That can't happen' Spider-Man replies. He watches as Mary Jan vanishes through a Krakoan portal. 'Logan, please. Whatever it takes' he tells Wolverine, who replies 'We play it smart. We get whatever that is off the civilian...then you let me do what I do best' Wolverine replies. John Greycrow turns and acknowledges Wolverine as he follows Mary Jane through the portal, and a moment later 'Let's go get 'em!' Wolverine calls out as he and Spider-Man rush into the portal.
Meantime, Emma Frost finds the Stepford Cuckoos gathered together. She telepathically tells them to look about and take note, because next year, this will be their responsibility. 'Are you kidding?' the girls respond in unison. 'You. Literally. Couldn't. Pay. Us' the girls declare.
Emma walks past the cuckoos and finds Reed Richards. His son, Franklin, and Kate Pryde, are with him. Emma informs Dr Richards that something has come to her attention, and that she would like to ask him about it. Reed begins to tell Emma that he would rather not disccuss business tonight, when Jon Hamm interrupts, asking Emma if he may have a dance. 'Of course' Emma smiles back. 'I'm not sure when the chance will come again' Jon smiles. He takes Emma's hand and leads her to the dancefloor, asking her not to be mad at him, as he suddenly disappears – a psychic projection thanks to Jean Grey – and in his place, is Cyclops, who reminds Emma that he told her he needed her. Jean Grey is dancing with the real Jon Hamm, and she telepathically apologizes to Emma, while asking her to listen to what Scott has to say.
'Damn you both' Emma scowls, before asking Scott if this makes him happy. 'No... and Hamm is one of Jean's hall passes so...' Scott's thoughts trail off as Emma dips him as they dance and tells him 'Not about this charade – about being a sanctimonious $#^%! Couldn't you have just lied, even a little?' she asks. 'No, Emma. I couldn't just lie' Scott responds. Sean Cassidy a.k.a. Banshee is watching the dance and remarks to someone 'Oh man. That fella is getting roasted telepathically. Been there. Woof'. Scott informs Emma that it was a trap, and instead of answering for their uncomfortable achievement, their enemies would have hung them with their own lies. Scott tells Emma that they need their friends, and that they have to live in peace and tell the truth. 'And I'm just so exhausted by all you men. Always think they know exactly what to do' Emma snaps as she pulls Scott upwards, looking concerned, she reveals that she is alone, because Charles and Erik looked her in the face and lied to her. Scott tells Emma that he is sorry, that he doesn't know what is going on with the council, which perhaps is his fault, but that he needs her to look into his mind and see what has happened to him in the last few days. 'Please' he utters.
Emma pulls Scott close to her, she looks sad as she rests her head against his shoulder and holds him close, telling him to show her what is important. 'Orchis is a patchwork of our enemies...some are new...some are very old. Like “Dr Stasis”' Cyclops remarks as Emma sees a fake paramedic looming over Scott's dead body, then a resurrected Scott blasting the helmet off Dr Stasis, revealing a version of Mr Sinister underneath. 'No' a wide-eyed Emma utters. She pulls away from Scott. 'Sinister' she remarks telepathically, as Mr Sinister arrives at the Gala, several guests applaud him. Scott telepathically informs Emma that she is the only one he and Jean are trusting with this information. 'Stasis says he's the original and Sinister is just some demented experiment' Scott reveals. Emma suggests that they kill them all. Scott kisses Emma's gloved hand and remarks that the old him would have gone to the Quiet Council chambers to kill Sinister, but that they don't know how many of them there even are.
Emma and Scott continue dancing, and Scott reminds Emma that she said she was alone. 'You're not. Once an X-Man, always an X-Man' he declares, adding that their enemies are circling. 'I can feel it. We'll discuss the Sinister situation later. You said you were lied to. By whom?' Scott asks. 'Well, you showed me yours...' Emma responds as she lets Scott into her mind. Scott gasps, shocked, as he sees Moira MacTaggert standing over flames. 'Remember Moira MacTaggert?' Emma asks, revealing that Moira was always a mutant, and hiding it, trying to end her miserable existence, along with mutantkind's. Emma explains that Moira had the power of resurrection, and that every time she died, she reset the universe to her birth, with only her remembering what happened. But, at some point, living all those lives and remembering it all, well, it broke her mind. 'Charles and Erik, they came to us with a fairy tale. Now she's out there somewhere in an artificial body... and she has our number'.
'I can't believe Charles and Erik would -' Scott starts to say, before Emma informs him that she believes they have partially mindwiped Mister Fantastic. 'What? What happened to them? Did they reboot the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants when I wasn't looking?' Scott asks. 'Now you know the sand upon which our young nation has been built' Emma remarks. 'Nothing to say?' she asks when Scott doesn't answer her. 'How about mind-wiping me?' Scott enquires, before realizing that this will be hard for Jean to hear, as she was just wondering if her leaving the council was a mistake. Emma starts to walk away from Scott, telling him that they will never know, but that it has been an uphill battle for the good guys since Jean departed. Scott telepathically tells Emma that he will be in touch, and thanks her for the dance.
Nearby, an older man in a suit is standing with a woman called Gwen Poole. 'See? I told you I could get in' he remarks. 'Great. But what I really want is to get into a book' the young woman responds. 'Yikes, well, that could be a tall order' the man replies.
Jean goes over to Scott and asks him if he is okay. 'Show me' she asks him. Scott is clutching his head, and tells Jean that he will in a minute, but he needs some air. Synch walks up beside them and Jean tells him that she is sorry it didn't work out between he and Wolverine. They look over to where Laura Kinney a.k.a. Wolverine is partying with Scout. Synch remarks that he is happy for Laura, to which Jean remarks that the mission into the Vault was a lot – he and Laura lived lifetimes together. 'Yeah' Synch agrees. He adds that they loved each other, but that those were hard years, and he is glad Laura won't know the Vault, even if it means she won't really know him. 'You're a good man, Everett. And a great X-Man' Jean smiles, before telepathically announcing that the voting is about to begin.
Emma Frost takes center stage and a spotlight shines down on her as guests gather around. The Scarlet Witch and Polaris can be seen standing together, while Shiro Yoshida a.k.a Sunfire stands nearby along with Wolverine, Rogue and Destiny. Emma telepathically tells her guests that she hopes as the day ends that they all end it with more friends and allies than when it began. 'But if that is not the case, at least we have been honest with each other. I said I would not address our tremendous achievement, but that would be a mistake' Emma remarks. She raises a glass of champagne and looks over to where Captain America stands with Iron Man, She-Hulk, Firestar and Iceman. 'Believe me when I tell you that a mutant technology has led to remarkable ways to undo mistakes'. Kate Pryde raises a glass to Emma while Magik stands nearby. Emma declares that today it is just for mutantdom – but tomorrow, well, who knows?
Captain America smiles as Emma Frost exclaims that mutant medicines are improving the lives of humans across the globe suffering from a variety of afflictions – and these drugs are safe and effective. 'We call on the countries that do not recognize Krakoa to do so to increase the expediency with which we can get the drugs into the bodies that need them...' Emma states that the flowers are completely organic, and are produced safely in secret Krakoan facilities, and then sold at a loss. 'What do we ask for in return? We want to be recognized for who we are. We want to be safe'. Emma asks if they will acknowledge the “other” and let them live alongside humankind. 'I would hope so...but I have my fears. Peaceful coexistence is all mutandom wants with our human neighbors. So please help us help you. Thank you for joining us this evening'.
As Emma makes her speech, Dr Stasis is busy in one of the Orchis laboratories. He sings to himself as he readies some sort of charger, then goes over to some machinery, where he contacts the Orchis Central Column, reporting that he is ahead of schedule on delivering their payload. 'Copy, Dr Stasis' someone responds as Dr Stasis holds up what looks to be a pot with a small flower in it.
Back at the Gala, 'And now, the moment we have been waiting for' Emma begins. Motioning to Polaris, Wolverine, Sunfire and Rogue, she announces that they have served proudly and now see themselves on a different path. She thanks them for their service, before turning to Cyclops, Jean Grey and Synch, and reporting that they have asked to be voted back onto the team. 'Much as I would adore the change of pace and company, I am ineligible to serve...' Emma remarks, before nominating Firestar. Captain America gives Emma a thumbs up and smiles as Emma points out that most people have not had the chance to know Firestar, and she accepts responsibility for that, because she pushed Firestar away when she was young. Firestar looks embarrassed as Emma tells her that she hopes she can forgive her, and that she thinks Firestar will be an exemplary X-Man. 'Yes! She'll be great!' Iceman grins at his friend.
Polaris and the Scarlet Witch smile at each other as Emma proclaims that, in the spirit of friendship, she asks the X-Men's great ally, the Scarlet Witch to have the honor of announcing the X-Men. The Scarlet Witch raises her hands overhead and hex spheres begin to float through the Gala. Emma reports that Synch, Jean and Cyclops will remain on the X-Men, and that Firestar will join them. 'Those votes are not close' she adds, remarking that there are so many wonderful mutants volunteering that they are far from a consensus.
Cyclops' thoughts are projected as he tells mutantkind that he does not take their trust for granted, and that he will continue to fight for truth and justice – and he wants to speak the truth again. 'It's time that Forge should return to be an X-Man' Cyclops adds, motioning to Forge, who looks unimpressed. 'Are you $#%&ing kidding me?' Forge exclaims, adding that he could only serve on the X-Men if they were joined by Cyclops' brother, Havok. Forge slaps Cyclops on the back, and Scott looks over to his brother, Alex Summers a.k.a. Havok, who spits his champagne out in surprise.
Suddenly, Magik slams her Soulsword into the ground and declares that she hasn't even done this dance, and that anybody who wants a roster spot over her is going to have to fight her for it. Bishop and Kwannon look over at their fellow captain and Bishop looks concerned, wondering what that would mean with the X-Men having two captains on the team. Kwannon reminds him that the he and she are both captains and serve on the Marauders, before suggesting that the real question is whether he wants to fight Magik. 'No. No I do not' Bishop frowns.
'Any of you beat up the Frost Giants or Fin Fang Foom this year? No? Okay. If Angelica is in, then so am I!' Iceman exclaims.
'Ah. A consensus is reached. What a team' the Scarlet Witch smiles. 'Meet your new heroes of Krakoa – the X-Men!' Cyclops! Jean Grey! Havok! Iceman! Forge! Synch! Firestar! Magik!
The celebrations continue, everyone appears happy with the new X-Men team, while a Professor X frowns and approaches Forge, asking him how this affects Project Blackbox. Mystique can be seen dancing with Destiny as Forge tells Charles not to worry, that he won't let this get in the way. 'I know what I have to do' Forge adds, suggesting he will get kicked off the team if he has to.
Tony Stark approaches Firestar and congratulates her. 'Thanks, I think?' Firestar responds. Tony tells her that he knows she just got blindsided, but that this is an opportunity. 'If you see something the Avengers should know about...you've got my number' he tells his former teammates before he turns and walks away.
'Emma, I hope I wasn't too much of a party bummer. I'm just trying to call it like I see it' Tony Stark remarks as he approaches Emma, who turns to Tony and tells him that she certainly hopes and thinks he is wrong, but that she has come to appreciate men whose first instinct is not to lie. 'So thank you' she remarks. 'Until the next Gala' she adds, as Tony starts to walk away, telling Emma that this was a fun time, but that he won't be back, as parties haven't been his thing in a long time.
Emma turns to Bishop and asks him if that was really Moira tonight on one of her guests. 'She's more brazen than I thought' Emma frowns. Bishop assures Emma that they are on it, and that he wants her dead by dawn. 'And save the model for heaven's sake. We can't keep throwing parties with murder' Emma frowns. 'On it' Bishop responds.
Hours later, at an undisclosed location, 'Unfortunately, the night was not a bloodless as the mutants hoped' Moira remarks as she holds up her blood-drenched hands. 'Ello, luvs' she smiles, before washing her hands in a sink and apologizing to someone for keeping them waiting. 'Had a busy day, omelets and eggs and so forth' she remarks. Moira dries her hands and approaches someone who sits at a desk. The mysterious figure tells Moira that he was intrigued by how she seemed to know of him at all, and now she is late and he is aggravated. His name is Druig, the Prime Eternal, and reminds Moira that she promised to spill yet more secrets, and suggests they get to that. 'Unless you want me to start spilling something else' the Eternal called Jack of Knives suggests as he tosses a knife towards Moira. Moira catches the knife between her fingers and announces that the seeds of mutant destruction were planted in their own garden tonight. 'But you Eternals may be able to help expedite matters. Her eyes flash red as she reveals she has names – Deviants – nasty ones who are making more Deviants. 'Tempus. Proteus. Egg. Hope and Elixir. They are the key to mutant resurrection. You may find them and kill them on Krakoa' Moira grins.