David says there is a pretty good chance that he is destined to accidentally annihilate mutantkind. Today he aiming to locate and obliterate just a single one. You have to hope, though, that it’s not fate’s idea of a slow build-up. His prey has no idea that he is tracking him, no notion that he’s tracking his steps, listening for his breath or breathing in his spoor.
David is inside his mind, capturing two personalities with satellite dishes coming out of their heads and acquiring their powers for himself. Hearing the last part of his speech, a voice calls out in disgust. It is Blindfold and she is sitting a little way off, watching and listening to David. David says he was being metaphorical but she tells him it’s just gross. David asks her not to interrupt him, as he can’t help having a dramatic subconscious. She mutters to herself that he can probably not help being pissy at her. David apologizes and tells her he’s just a bit tense.
In the real world, David is meditating and using his newly acquired powers. As he emits some kind of broadcast wave, he starts the hunt. He picks up an anchorman using the M-word in Africa. A local mutant’s gravestone was desecrated last week. That’s not important enough though, as today’s prey needs bigger bait. Two megahertz and 7000 miles away, a New Zealand show reports a mutant rights campaigner was crippled by an unseen assailant. Some weird graffito left behind reads “the X-beast will eat itself.” There is a similar story in Madrid where a pro-mutant politician was murdered two days ago. There were hateful messages left there that weren’t anything new but David gets the first sniff of a scent. They say a man showed up who had an X on his face. He inspected the scene and asked some questions. Eventually, he declared it a civil matter and vanished in a bright light.
The tracking gets easier after that, knowing what to look for. In Vienne, seven hours ago, some false rumors of mutant extermination and a student with a cell phone manages to catch an image of Cyclops. Four hours ago at a tenement fire in Maine, reporters shout questions from the crowd. A voice declines to comment on the growing popularity of cruciform sunglasses. The time tags bunch together and the trail gets younger. Until, little by little, against crimson-lit battles in the desert and easily impressed kids, we arrive at the present.
David finds a live news report on TV that is being broadcast from Swancall in Montana. The reported says that a mutant-centric crisis has been averted in the most extraordinary manner. It all started when a young girl activated her newly manifested powers and caused every living thing within two hundred yards to fuse together. It also left the girl in a coma. Needless to say, they’ve had a lot of very frightened folks down there, until now. The reporter is standing behind some barricades whilst Cyclops tells everyone there is nothing to worry about. Behind him, his team of X-Men is dealing with a giant blob-like creature that contains numerous people and animals.
Inside his mindscape, David declares that he finally has him. Blindfold walks up to David and asks if he is sure about it. David says that he is certain as no one else will do it. There is to be no more waiting, no more dead parents and no more ignoring the enemy. David says that he rules himself and Blindfold repeats it. David’s voice comes out of a loudspeaker on the wall and wonders if he should kiss her. The voice realizes that she heard that and he angrily stares at the speaker. From within his cage, the Xavier personality warns Blindfold that David’s smooth talking exterior conceals the heart of a grubby little Casanova. Grinning menacingly, he tells her she should see the filth he dreams of at night involving her, her teachers and her friends. David yells at him to shut up and goes to grab him. But Xavier backs away in the cage and laughs.
Blindfold tells David to ignore him as he is snide and petty and he can’t hurt him anymore. She tells him to focus on what he has to do and that she is here with him. She’s here and he can do anything. She kisses David on the lips and then asks how they are getting there. As his needles whip off his hands and into two personalities, he tells her they will go with thunderbolts and lightning.
In Montana, as the young girl Tempus holds the newly manifested mutant girl in her time bubble, Cyclops talks to the reporters. He says that it is an opportunity for some of the new recruits to really prove their worth. They still don’t have an ID on the mutant girl that caused this but thanks to Tempus she is being safely held in a stasis field. Tempus mutters that he better hurry as it hurts like hell.
Cyclops directs the camera to Triage, who is using his powers to separate the poor folks that got caught up in the incident. The reporter asks Triage how it feels to be a part of such a high-profile rescue and he replies that it’s kind of strange. All of the folks caught up are out-of-towners and not a single local. And there is something weird about the biology too. As he talks, his voice gets quieter and quieter until nothing comes out. Everyone else around him is unable to talk as well but they are suddenly distracted by a bright light in the sky.
They look to see David and Blindfold appear in a huge ball of light and a deafening, booming sound. As they land on the floor, David remarks at how great his entrance was and Blindfold quickly runs out of the way. Cyclops instantly recognizes David and calls him “Legion” and Emma tells him to undertake “scenario 44.” The students look on in wonder as Tempus reminds people she can’t hold the stasis field forever. Cyclops begins to speak but David cuts him off. He says that firstly he doesn’t like that name and secondly he would threaten to kick his ass to reinforce point one but that seems a bit superfluous now. Thirdly he is there to transform Scott Summers into a greasy smear of father-murdering pâté. All those who get out of the way now are excused pate creation duties. And finally for his forth point, he is serious.
David looks at them and knows they won’t listen to him as they are planning and strategizing. The X-Men leap into action as David continues to radiate energy. David smiles as Cyclops sends the kids in first, which seems narratively convenient. It’s one thing to go after the guy for being a cavalier paramilitary &#*$ who murdered your father but you don’t expect an alleged %&#* to be so shameless about being one. Reckless child endangerment is the gross side of his father legacy alive and well.
David releases an energy blast and the attacking teens are flung backwards. The students recover and get back up. Tempus is still struggling with her stasis field as it is now hurting her. David looks out at the group and says that the human treasure map wants to play war-games, or maybe it his harmless super villainous lieutenant pulling the strings. It would be wrong to disappoint him.
David turns to Triage and says fantasy gamer strategy 101, take out the healer first. With that, he zaps the young boy and removes him from the battle. After that, the first wave is a little softcore. Blindfold runs up to David and tells him they should go. David isn’t fooled though and uses another power to reveal that she is really the shapeshifter Morph. David zaps him and he is flung into the young Angel. As David continues on towards Cyclops, he finds it curious that he should commit his lamest troops to engage the enemy he has clearly laid plans down for. David is suddenly distracted by a golden ball thrown at his head. He turns to see Goldballs standing against a tree. Goldballs apologizes but David still zaps him unconscious.
David suddenly realizes that Cyclops knows he’s no killer as these kids will come to no lasting harm. They are not the first wave at all but rather the distraction for the main assault. David is confronted by Magneto, who launches all the metal in the area at him. As Magneto levitates in the air, he tells David he supposes he thinks it is some grand moment of mythic confrontation. He says they like to call them “heavy hitters” locking horns. But it isn’t like that. Magneto says that he and David’s father had their differences but there was always respect. He knew, via a cunningly designed helmet, that he was excluded from the territories of his mind. And he knew that the mastery of Magneto’s power is unrivaled. Magneto then levitates the debris around him and tells David that electromagnetism is a fundamental law of physics. David’s father knew that no matter whatever else the mutant arsenal may contain, it cannot compete.
David stands calmly below Magneto and agrees that Magneto may be right. He says that his father was a scientist and he knew that for every strong force there were one or two weak ones still able to pack a punch. Magneto asks which ones and David tells him gravity as an example. As David uses another personality’s power, Magneto’s helmet floats into the air. David tells him he should have worn a chin strap and he clicks his fingers. Magneto suddenly falls asleep and collapses to the ground.
David’s attention is caught by a voice coming from behind him. He turns to see Magik holding Blindfold hostage, with the soulsword against her throat. Magik tells David he will back off or he will turn his loserslut into a frog. David tells Illyana she won’t and tries to use another power. But it has no effect as she just laughs back at him. She mocks him and tells him his psychic powers won’t work. When he asks why not, she says she has magical protection and he can’t psychic her. David’s eyes glow with energy and he tells her she is rational. He tells her to look at him and that she doesn’t believe in magic. He repeats himself and Magik lets Blindfold go in confusion. Blindfold asks what he is doing and he explains that his is the power of the creepy flashy-eyed Hypnobloke. Illyana kneels on the floor, clutching her head and saying that she has wasted her life.
Tempus remarks that she was their teleporter and asks what they are supposed to do if they can’t zap the mutant girl off to some stasis tech. Cyclops tells Emma to launch a “pyrrhic” but she tells him it takes too long to mature. He tells her to do it as it’s for the greater good and it’s insurance if all goes wrong. Emma turns to the Stepford Cuckoos and tells them to do it just like they practiced. David insults Emma and begins to say nothing she can do can hurt him. So challenged, Emma and the Cuckoos launch a joint, psychic assault on David, who reels back in pain. Emma tells Cyclops she thinks they can take him as he is strong but his discipline is abysmal. Cyclops tells her to do whatever it takes but to keep him away from Tempus.
Blindfold suddenly appears and punches Emma across the face. Emma falls to the ground unconscious and the Cuckoos tell Blindfold they assumed they would have to squash her one day. For what it’s worth, there is no satisfaction in it but she just isn’t cut out to be a winner. David can taste it on Blindfold’s mind that she believes them. She’s not as strong as them, or so she thinks and she’s not as calm or cool. Whatever powers her brother stole, it’s something deeper and less tangible he took. So maybe just a little tweak, no added power but rather a calmness and confidence.
Deep with David’s mind Xavier sarcastically congratulates him for weaponizing his girlfriend. David ignores the voice as the newly confident Blindfold attacks the Cuckoos with her psychic powers and knocks them out. She stands over them stunned at what just happened but David tells her she rules her. His inner voice calls him a liar though.
A huge red beam suddenly blasts David and catapults him backwards. Cyclops stands before him with the rest of his team, who have recovered from the earlier assault. Having had enough, David unleashes a huge attack on all of them and knocks them to the ground. As Cyclops lies on the floor, he tells David they have to keep the girl contained. David says he doesn’t care and that this is between them. Cyclops says that he could explain what happened with David’s father but he is guessing he wouldn’t listen. David agrees and so Cyclops tells him to just do it. Pointing to the cameras, David says that it isn’t that easy as the world is watching. He leans down to Cyclops and tells him he wants a fair fight. Holding the stasis field, Tempus remarks that it’s the stupidest thing she has heard. Magik says that David will cheat, she the reporters and viewers at home look on. Cyclops tells David he is a trained martial artist and he will kick David’s ass but Emma tells him not to argue with the unstable insaniac.
Pointing to Emma, he says that the human bicycle has a point, as he is unstable and he is famous for it. He decided to make it easy for Cyclops by threatening to kill his friends if he doesn’t agree. David muses that it is a bluff, or at least it probably is. As the two men square up to each other, David tells Cyclops that he could easily annihilate Cyclops with all his powers. He could get so caught up in the rush that he could snuff Cyclops out like a bug. And yet he chooses not to because he is better than him. He tells Cyclops he wants to feel him break and then calls him a sanctimonious, heartless, hypocritical bastard. After thinking for a few seconds, Cyclops agrees to a fair fight. Taking off his shirt, David congratulates him and then puts his arms up, ready for a fist fight.
Around the world, viewers are tuned in to their TVs as the fight airs live. In a bar somewhere else, Luca Aldine, hidden by a hat and coat, sees the fight on a TV and seems a little surprised.