Recalling her earliest memories, Cassandra Nova muses that Nelson Mandela once said: “No one was born hating.”
But she was, her brother Charles Xavier tried to kill her in the womb. That kind of thing can really stay with you. She was born hating his kind, she informs the mutant inventor Forge, whom she has under her control, forcing him to work for her. And she will never be safe, until all mutants are eradicated. She could try to destroy them all herself, but more would be born. Does he know which animal kills the most humans? she asks, a seeming non sequitur. Mosquitos, he replies, not interrupting his work.
Cassandra calls him a clever little mistake. When humans see a mosquito, they squash it without thought. It’s instinct. She wants to extend that to mutants. Every time a new mutant is born, she wants humanity to instinctively squash it. She claps her hand like squashing a mosquito.
She admits Jean Grey and her grasp for legitimacy are concerning, but she will have nowhere left to hide soon.
She turns to a teenage boy with long brown hair sitting on a crate. He will help her. Obediently, he repeats her words. Cassandra muses she shouldn’t distract Forge. They have a timeframe after all. She orders him to keep building the instruments of his own destruction. She continues that Mandela said people must learn to hate. She is paraphrasing here, leaving out a lot of lovey-dovey inclusion stuff, but he was right. People must learn to hate. She’s going to be their teacher.
A younger Nezhno Abidemi, standing in a spacious Wakandan apartment, asks his mother why they hate him. Mercilessly, she replies that he does not belong here. His father wasn’t Wakandan. He isn’t Wakandan. He is an outsider and will never be welcome in their land. Nezhno asks her if she likes him. His mother does not reply. She looks away and announces her husband will be home soon. Nezhno should not be in sight when he returns.
He shouldn’t hit her, Nezhno insists. His mother orders him to leave. Nezhno claims he can stop him and begins to glow as he accesses his strength. Angrily, she hits him. She told him never to do that! She tells him he is not Wakandan! He is not human! He is a mistake!
Jean cradles Nezhno’s chin and tells him how sorry she is. She explains to him that is it not his powers harming him. His seizures and pain aren’t physical. The doctors looked for what they thought they’d find and no deeper. And they weren’t Jean, Storm adds. Jean explains that any time he used his power, someone hurt him. And, instead of wishing violence on those who hurt him, he wishes for no violence at all. She can undo the trigger for the pain and then they can work together on the reasons behind it.
Nezhno doesn’t dare to hope as he asks if that means she can help him? She already has, Jean promises. It won’t hurt next time. She tells him they are going to fight for a world where everybody belongs.
Jean and Storm leave, while Trinary joins Nezhno and asks if he is alright. She takes his hand and he is taken aback, because for the first time in a long time he can feel physical sensation.
Jean joins Gambit, who is impressed at all she has done, at saving so many mutants. Jean replies that they shouldn’t have needed saving. Until they are welcomed back by their countries, all they’ve done is create another city for refugees. They need to find the chief architect if this hate and change their mind. That’s where this comes in, she refers to the cupola being erected by Atlanteans. Gambit asks what it is. Jean replies that, when it is finished, she will use it to find their attacker.
Honey Badger joins them and announces, it’s called Searebro. They haven’t decided on a name Jean answers diplomatically. Gabby claims she will get inside her head and chants Searebro Searebro. Jean continues she is very glad they ran into him, because they need to steal something.
A little later, with the whole team gathered, Jean explains they can only win this with the truth. Before the British ambassador died, someone else in her mind spoke to Jean. Taunted her. No cameras caught their interaction, but Trinary believes she can pull that conversation from a cell phone to clear Jean’s name.
Trinary adds the British ambassador certainly had a phone and they are always recording. She’s been reading recent British diplomatic conversations.
She’s spying on the British government? Gabby asks. Trinary clarifies she is talking to a Russian server spying on the British government. They’ve learned ambassador Marbury’s possessions are to be transported back to England aboard the new ambassador’s private jet. Marbury’s phone will be there. They’ll be over the Atlantic in a few hours. Apologetically, Jean tells Gambit, she realizes this sounds bad. Gambit summarizes she wants him to break into a diplomat’s plane over international waters to steal from a dead woman. She didn’t realize how bad, Jean admits. While he leads the retrieval Jean will use Searebro to find out who is working against them.
A little later, Trinary’s Sentinel is flying high over the Atlantic. The ambassador’s plane is in sight and Trinary has taken their radar offline. Also aboard are Gambit, the Kinney sisters and Nightcrawler. Gambit names the cargo hold as their best point of entry. Laura lectures Gabby to listen to Gambit. He’s one of the best thieves in the world. Gabby appreciates her sister for wanting her to be better at breaking and entering.
Gambit and Kurt discuss how to best teleport them inside, as Kurt can’t see into the cargo hold. Trinary suggests she could open the door, so Nightcrawler can see inside. A moment later, it is done and they have teleported into the plane’s cargo hold.
In the meantime, Jean is donning the Cerebro helmet, carefully watched by Gentle and Storm, who asks if she is up to this. Jean explains that, in the past, she has never been able to use a Cerebro machine without worrying about going too deep and have the Phoenix take over. With the Phoenix gone, she finally gets to learn what she is capable of. She is more than ready. And the seas should amplify her reach.
She starts scanning and Cassandra Nova greets her moments later, mocking she was wondering why it took Jean so long. As Jen recognizes her, Cassandra assures Jean she is ending that little dream of hers. More poised, Jean retorts she won’t. Her X-Men are close to the truth. She will share it with the world.
Cassandra scoffs. Jean has been gone a long time. Nobody cares about the truth anymore. Humanity will be turned against mutants. It’s not so hard. They are quick to fear anyone who is different. There will be nowhere safe for her in the world. She wanted to play on a global stage? Let’s play, Cassandra challenges Jean. She’s already driven Jean form one nation. Now she is going to take away the support she enjoys from another.
Cassandra is physically in a helicopter over the ocean with the boy. She tells him they are going to focus the hate and anger in him on a goal worth it.
Horrified, Jean warns Namor.
Her work done, Cassandra kicks the teenager out of the chopper. Mutants! he shouts in the air and begins to transform into his abomination form. Abomination!
She is hitting Atlantis! Jean warns.
Smash! Teen Abominations cries as the waves gather above him.