The Corridor, now. Inside the strange facility some people are floating in a wave of purple and blue energies. ‘Luz, you disappoint me’ a woman remarks. ‘Haven’t we given you every indulgence? Forgiven your absurd rebellions again and again?’ the dark-haired woman asks. ‘Yeah, I suppose’ the blonde Luz replies casually. A muscular man stands over her and remarks ‘And yet, you do this. Paint light-sculptures of our leaders. Caricatures!’ he exclaims. ‘At three intersections in the city and at the fates of the Universidad’ the muscular man points out, holding one of the light figures up. Child, what were you thinking?’ the other woman asks.
‘I was thinking it’s funny. But maybe it’s only funny if you’re me’ Luz replies casually. ‘And I was thinking maybe this time they’ll choke on my so hard they’ll spit me out’ Luz adds. The other woman frowns and folds her arms, announcing that she has considered, and now passes sentence: ‘Three nights in the punishment hall, with water but no food’. ‘Verdad? Cooooool!’ Luz exclaims, smiling.
Soon, Luz is led down a corridor, while the stern woman announces that Angelfire is almost ready to go online. ‘You know the city needs energy - and you’ll have a place in the Thirty, aren’t you proud of that?’ she asks. ‘Yeah, I’m the happiest cog on the whole wheel’ Luz mutters before she steps into the punishment hall. As the door begins to close, the stern woman tells Luz to use this time to reflect. ‘You’re too old, now, for these child-games’ she remarks. ‘It’s not a game!’ Luz replies, addressing the other woman as Corregidora. ‘It’s art!’ she tells her. ‘In that case, I apologize. Your sentence is extended to seven nights’ Corregidora retorts.
Corregidora tells the muscular man to notify Luz’ teachers. ‘If this happens again, they’ll be punished too’ she announces. ‘Yes, beloved sister’ the man replies, before Corregidora asks him to send Luz’s psyche profile to her focal space. ‘At once’ the man replies. Inside the punishment hall, Luz fiddles with some wires attached to a bracelet: ‘Okay. Let’s see what we can do here’ she remarks. ‘Hello door-lock override sensor. My name is Luz. Let’s be friends’.
At that moment, a passenger airplane descends over Mumbai, India. Someone announces that they will be shortly arriving at Shivaji International Airport, and tells the passengers to stay in their seats with their seatbelts fastened, as they are experiencing unusual turbulence. ‘Man, they’re not kidding. This thing is rattling like a bucket full of quarters!’ Victor Borkowski a.k.a. Anole exclaims as she looks out the window. ‘I’m not small change, Victor. I’m a hundred dollar bill’ Alani Ryan a.k.a. Loa exclaims, while Paras Gavascar a.k.a. Indra looks up from his book and remarks that this cannot be normal, as it came out of nowhere.
Across the aisle, Rogue turns to Erik Lehnsherr a.k.a. Magneto and asks him if it is normal. ‘Not in the slightest. The local EM field is fluctuating wildly, cuasing the plane’s instruments to over-correct’ Magneto explains. ‘You think you might do something about that?’ Rogue asks. Magneto replies that he was studying the phenomenon. ‘But yes, by all means’ he remarks. ‘There. Will this do?’ he asks as the plane evens out in the air.
A short time later, the five mutants have passed through customs and have collected their luggage, making their wait through the airport foyer. ‘This is where your family lives, Paras?’ Anole asks. ‘No, they live outside the city. A long way out, to be honest’ Indra explains, telling everyone it was good of them to come with him. ‘Are you kidding? All we needed was the excuse!’ Alani declares, before quickly telling Paras that she is sorry for her comment. ‘That was a horrible thing to say. You must be worried about your brother’ Alani declares. Paras replies that he doesn’t even know what is wrong with him, and that it might be nothing. ‘My parents have been known to make a big fuss about quite small things’ he explains.
A couple of locals exchange words in their native tongue as the five mutants walk past them, before a voice exclaims ‘Mr Gavascar and party?’ Indra walks over to the man standing beside a car, who introduces himself as Marut, their chauffeur. ‘I do not encourage smoking or singing, but I’ll tolerate just about anything else’ he remarks, adding that he understands they are heading directly out to Panchajana, he asks them to step into the car. Once everyone is seated, Alani looks at a figurine dangling from the rear-vision mirror and asks ‘Who’s the god?’ Marut tells her that it is Ganesh, the Remover of Obstacles. ‘In my line of business, he’s the go-to deity’ Marut adds, before asking the quintet what brings them to Mumbai.
36 hours earlier, on Utopia, home of the Uncanny X-Men and their allies. ‘Okay. But tell me why?’ Rogue asks Scott “Cyclops” Summers. Holding a letter in his hand, Scott tells Rogue that the Gavascars are very clear in their letter. ‘Indra’s brother is ill, and they need him home right now’. ‘Ah read the letter, Scott. What Ah meant was why me?’ Rogue tells him. Scott announces that he is sending some of the other students as well, as they all need a furlough after what they have just been through. Scott tells Rogue that she will be there to ride herd on them and to watch out for them if anything unforseen happens. ‘It’s part of your general brief’ he declares.
Rogue tells Cyclops that she thinks she should remain here with Hope and Hellion. ‘Hope will live without you for a few days. It will even be healthy for her. She needs to have a wider circle of friends’ Cyclops replies. Rogue frowns and tells Cyclops that she is not going to beg his forgiveness. ‘Ah made mah choice, and Ah’ll live with it’. Rogue adds that if that means there is no place for her here any more, she will have to live with that, too. ‘That’s a little melo-dramatic for a week in Mumbai, Rogue’ Cyclops tells her, before announcing that Magneto will be joining them, as he says he has business out that way. ‘Check in when you get there. And every twelve hours after that’.
Rogue makes her way to the med-ward, where Julian “Hellion” Keller lies in a bed. Rogue greets the handsome young mutant and asks him how he is feeling. ‘Oh, I’m just fine, Rogue. I was about to pick out a few tunes on the guitar. Star and sing along’ Hellion mutters. Rogue stands beside the bed and tells Julian that she is going to India with Paras and some of the others, and asks him to come with them, to get out of this place for a few days. ‘Hah! That’s really thoughtful of you Julian tells Rogue, turning away from her.
‘Sure, I’d love to come. To wave these things in people’s faces and watch them look away. That would be a real tonic for me’ Julian declares, looking at his bandaged arms. Rogue puts a hand on Julian’s shoulder and tells him that the world is not going to go away. ‘Ah’d like to help you face it. Get past this terrible thing’ she tells him. ‘I know you would. But today’s worthy cause is going to have to be someone else’ Julian declares.
Now, ‘Wow! Nice house!’ Alani exclaims as she and Rogue look out the window and up at the sprawling estate before them. Indra reveals that his father is a lawyer. ‘Somehow he’s able to reconcile this with the religious injunction to absolute non-violence’ Indra explains. After the car is parked, Paras walks up the stairs to the front door, where his parents and their servant are waiting. ‘Paras! My son! And these are your friends!’ Mrs Gavascar exclaims. Paras’ father remarks something in his native tongue, to which his wife exclaims ‘Not now, Rav. Please’.
‘We’ve missed you so much!’ Paras’ mother exclaims as she hugs her son. ‘I’ve missed you too, Mama-Ji’ Paras replies, adding that it is good to be home. ‘Pita’ Paras remarks, shaking his father’s hand. Rav Gavascar welcomes his son home, and remarks ‘You’ll want to see Tejpal at once, I’m sure. Go with your mother. I’ll speak with you shortly’ Mr Gavascar declares. Mrs Gavascar leads Indra inside, while Mr Gavascar turns his attention to Rogue and the others. ‘And you are my son’s teachers’ he remarks. Rogue explains that she is sort of a school counselor and introduces herself as Anna-Marie. ‘Mr Lehnsherr here is -’ Rogue begins, but Rav interrupts her: ‘A terrorist, and an advocate of violent revolution. Who has not heard of Magneto? If I had known my son would mix with such people, I would never have allowed him to go to your academy!’ Mr Gavascar exclaims.
‘”The man who has gotten everything he wants is all in favor of peace and order”’ Magneto quotes. ‘You quote Nehru to me? I am no admirer of Nehru’ Mr Gavascar responds. ‘Mr Gavascar, if there’s any problem with our staying here -’ Rogue begins, but Rav tells her that they are his guests. ‘I invited you and I will make you welcome’. He turns to his servant, Suvrat, and asks him to show “these people” to their rooms. ‘Yes, sir’ Suvrat replies. Rav tells the mutants to understand they are here to allow his son an easy transition back to his former life. ‘From no on, that is his only life. And when you leave, your contact with him will cease. Forthwith’. As Alani follows Mr Gavascar into his home, she turns to Victor and informs him that he has gone into camouflage mode. ‘Sorry. Reflex action’ Anole replies.
Elsewhere in the sprawling mansion, ‘I - I don’t understand’ Paras exclaims as he and his mother stand over the bed where his brother lies, hooked up to monitors. ‘He’s in a coma, Paras’ Mrs Gavascar explains. ‘Why? How? When did this happen?’ Paras asks. Mrs Gavascar looks down as she explains that Tejpal was in Mumbai when one of the storms hit. ‘Many people fell down, like this, and haven’t woken up since’ she explains. ‘But that doesn’t make any sense! How could a storm do this? What do the doctors say?’ Indra asks his mother. She replies that the doctors don’t say anything. ‘They shrug their shoulders, then present an invoice. Nobody knows’.
Paras kneels down beside his brother and exclaims ‘Tejpal, my brother. If you can hear me - I love you. And I’ve come to stay with you until you’re well again’. ‘Until -?’ Mrs Gavascar begins. ‘Ah but Paras, there is something else you need to know. I wanted to tell you in the letter, but your father said -’ she begins. ‘To tell me what?’ Indra asks, looking up at his mother. ‘It’s a good thing, Paras. A lovely thing for you’ Mrs Gavascar remarks. ‘Please, Mama-Ji. The truth!’ Paras pleads. ‘Tejpal was engaged. To a very beautiful girl. This is why we needed you to come home. To be married in his place!’ Mrs Gavascar reveals.
Elsewhere, Rogue steps out onto a balcony where Magneto is standing. ‘Well, the welcome wagon may be missing a few wheels, but the rooms are palatial’ Rogue remarks. ‘Of course. This is a palace. 15th century Mughal’ Magneto replies. ‘Ah would have said 14th century’ Rogue replies. ‘Oh? Why would you -’ Magneto begins, but Rogue interrupts, explaining that she wanted to stay in conversation. Rogue remarks that Magneto never said why he came here with them. ‘Ah’m pretty sure it’s got nothing to do with Indra’ Rogue remarks.
Magneto tells Rogue that she is correct. ‘Those anomalies in the EM field - I was already aware of them, from a distance’ he explains, adding that he knew they centered on this area and wanted to take a closer look. Rogue informs Magneto that she is taking Victor and Alani into the city for some sightseeing, as Marut says he will drive them. ‘If you want to come along -’ Rogue begins, to which Magneto tells her that he would be delighted. ‘But you might want to take some warmer clothes with you. I think the weather is about to turn’ Magneto warns her.
Back inside the mysterious Corridor, ‘Corregidora -’ the muscular man remarks as he enters the room where the stern woman sits in a chair, viewing several monitors. ‘Come in’ she replies, addressing him as Martillo. ‘It’s my turn to monitor the anchor tonight’ Corregidora announces, asking Martillo if it amuses him that a city as magnificent as theirs should be tethered like a balloon to the side of its parent universe. ‘Beloved sister - I hate to disturb your labours. Luz has disappeared from her cell’ Martillo announces.
‘Escaped, you mean? Then track her and put her back!’ Corregidora declares, standing up. Martillo informs Corregidora that they have read Luz in the vents, but she is too close to the membrane to be pursued. ‘Probably she’ll return when she realizes that there’s no escape that way’ Martillo remarks. ‘Except that there is’ Corregidora reveals. She touches a screen, while Martillo exclaims ‘Well, only if - you’re not suggesting that she would -’. Corregidora tells Martillo that he forgets that Luz is an artist. ‘Practicalities don’t concern her overmuch.
Suddenly, Corregidora finds Luz on one of the monitors. ‘There! She intends to jump and take her chances. She knows we can’t follow. She believes she’ll have time to go to ground, on the other side of the membrane’ Corregidora declares. ‘Luz, you try my patience!’ Corregidora calls out through an inter-comm system. ‘You have patience, Corregidora? Where do you keep it?’ Luz shouts back. Corregidora informs Luz that the corridor where she walks is dangerous, that the energy discharges that flow through it are inimical to life. ‘There’s also a filter ahead of you, that stops anything, larger than a fingertip passing through’ she adds.
‘Yeah, I know. But we’re in down cycle, so I can stand the energy wahs for a few minutes’ Luz replies, before standing in front of the filter. ‘And as for the filter - it’s a light-net, isn’t it?’ she asks, remarking that she is probably good. ‘She’s right!’ Corregidora gasps as she watches a monitor. ‘This is good light. If I had the time, I could make something really nice out of it. Pity I’m in such a rush’ Luz remarks, pushing her hand though the energy net, she turns the light into balloon-like animals, and walks through the remainder of the tunnel. ‘So long, beloved sister. I’ll see you, like, never’ Luz declares.
‘Wake the Servidores. I’ll show her where rebellion leads!’ Gorregidora announces to Martillo, while several large humanoid begins loom before them in the darkness.
‘Any place in particular you’d like to be dropped off?’ Marut asks, remarking that the Gateway is a must-see, and that Chowpatty Beach is really nice when it is not too warm. ‘Let us out here. And then leave us’ Magneto tells him. ‘Here? But this is the middle of nowhere!’ Marut exclaims. ‘Excellent. I’ve always wanted to see it’ Magneto remarks. A moment later, Magneto, Rogue, Anole and Loa are standing in the street, and Marut hands Loa his Gaesh statue. ‘Take this, little one’ he tells her. ‘Your god? But -’ Loa begins, to which Marut tells her that it is a loan, just in case. ‘Why here, Magneto?’ Rogue asks.
Looking skyward, Magneto replies that there is a gradient in the local EM field, so he would like to see where it leads. ‘Ah promised Alani we’d go shopping’ Rogue remarks. ‘This will only take a moment’ Magneto replies, to which Rogue replies that she is not happy just following along blindly. ‘No. That’s an instinct one has be born with’ Magneto replies.
Back at the Gavascar mansion, ‘Father. We need to talk!’ Indra exclaims as he bursts into the greenhouse where his father is sitting at a table, pruning some plants. ‘Yes, Paras, we do. But is that the correct tone in which to address me?’ Mr Gavascar asks his son. ‘I’m sorry, but Mama-Ji said -’ Paras begins, walking towards his father, who interrupts him: ‘Begin again, please. As you have been taught. Paras scowls, before hanging his head, and muttering ‘Peace be upon my father, and this house. May I speak?’
Rav Gavascar does not answer his son, he continues to prune a plant, while Paras scowls. Shortly, Rav turns to his son: ‘Yes. You may speak’ he tells Paras, while Suvrat looks on in silence. ‘Mama-Ji said you want me to marry a girl named Vaipala Rani. A girl who was promised to Tejpal. Is this true?’ Paras exclaims. ‘Yes’ Rav replies, without looking at his son. ‘But what will Tej think when he wakes? How can I do that to him?’ Indra exclaims. Rav tells him that Tejpal will think this was decided by older and wiser heads than his, and thus it is for the best.
Rav tells Paras that Tejpal may not wake at all. ‘The doctors are not hopeful’ he announces, adding that, naturally, he consulted the doctors before he came to this decision. ‘Do you think your father a fool?’ Rav asks. ‘No. No, sir. But -’ Paras begins, but Rav interrupts once more. Placing a towel on a tray which Suvrat holds, he declares that Panchajana Estate needs a great deal of care and attention. ‘It’s time, now, for you to take a wife and to help me in that task’. Rav informs Indra that Vaipala’s family is well connected, and the girl herself is very quiet and responsible. ‘A perfect wife. A modicum of gratitude might be expected in such circumstances’. Paras hangs his head further, closes his eyes, and thanks his father. ‘Thank you very much’.
Back in town, Magneto still keeps his attention on the sky above them, and Rogue informs him that they are walking in circles. ‘Yes, we are. The gradient is actually changing, from moment to moment’ Magneto ‘Then what do we get by trailing along behind it?’ Rogue asks. ‘A sense of its contours. Something - some colossal power source - is very close to us. And yet we can’t see it’ Magneto remarks. Alani folds her arms and asks if they can see the spice market instead. ‘Wait. A moment - yes’ Magneto exclaims, telling everyone that they should all stay close to him. ‘It will be easier to shield you if you’re not spread out too widely’ Magneto tells them. ‘Shield us? Shield us from what?’ Victor asks.
‘From the storm’ Magneto exclaims as the sky suddenly turns dark and lightning crackles through the air, striking the ground. ‘Oh no. Do your stuff, Ganesh’ Alani exclaims, holding the statue up. There is a massive THRAKOOM as the bolts of lightning strike the ground, shattering the road, and sending cars and people tumbling over. Some of the energy strikes a building over Alani, who screams - but Magneto shields everyone, while the locals look at him strangely.
‘Ow! Ow! Ow!’ Luz exclaims as she falls to the ground. ‘Wh - what was that?’ Anole asks, standing in the rubble. Magneto explains that it was a massive discharge of energy, or rather energies, plural. ‘The EM pulse was just the carrier wave’. Alani alerts the others to some people who are hurt nearby, Magneto kneels beside one of them, and Rogue announces that he is still alive. ‘No burns or crush injuries. Nothing hit him, and yet he fell’ Magneto remarks, adding that there seems to be others in the same state, and remarks that this is interesting.
Anole stands over Luz and tells the others that it looks like this girl got a knock on the head, before asking them if anyone saw where she came from. Luz moans, before standing up, and telling Anole and the others to leave her alone. ‘I live two streets over. I was here all along’ she claims. ‘Okay. That’s fine. Nobody wants to hurt you, sugah. Just let me take a look at that head wound’ Rogue declares, but Magneto warns Rogue not to touch her. ‘Magnus, Ah just want to make sure she’s okay’ Rogue replies.
‘I’m aware of that, Rogue. But let’s be sure we know what we’re dealing with’ Magneto tells Rogue. ‘What do you mean?’ Luz asks, telling them to get away from her. Magneto announces that Luz is saturated with the same energies he sensed before the storm. ‘The identical signature. The same fluctuations. She’s connected with this in some way. I’d like to know how’. ‘You don’t have any right to question me. I’m Lu - Luisa. Daughter of - of a local magistrate guy. And he’ll arrest you if you hurt me!’ Luz claims.
Rogue tells her that nobody is hurting anyone. ‘But please tell us what you know’ Rogue asks her. ‘I don’t know anything. I just told you, I’m just -’ Luz begins, before he bracelet starts beeping. ‘Oh, no! They couldn’t!’ she exclaims. ‘They couldn’t lock onto me so fast, unless -’ she begins, before tall dark shadows loom over the four mutants, and Luz. ‘The Servidores! They sent the Servidores!’ Luz exclaims. ‘Who are -?’ Rogue begins, before a robotic voice declares ‘Initial mission objective achieved. Additional targets acquired!’ - the Servidores are the Sentinels, and one of the deadly behemoths reaches down for Luz and the heroes….