Utopia, home of the Uncanny X-Men and the majority of the world’s mutant population. Right now, two senior X-Men - Wolverine a.k.a. Logan and Scott “Cyclops” Summers are engaged in battle. With each other, while a massive Sentinel looms over the island. Cyclops releases a close-range optic blast at Wolverine, who shoves his adamantium claws through Cyclops’s arm. The Sentinel stands over them and fires a blast of energy, causing the battling men to separate. ‘You press that damn button, you’re killing me too!’ Cyclops tells Wolverine. ‘No…you’re killing yourself’ Wolverine replies as he holds his thumb over a bomb detonator.
The Sentinel brings a fist down, slamming it down on Wolverine, while Cyclops leaps out of the way. Scott lands on the shore of the island and fires an optic blast up at the Sentinel - who just brings his other fist down, and captures Cyclops in his hand. Scott continues to release an optic blast from inside the Sentinel’s fist, while Wolverine slashes his way through the Sentinel’s hand. The battle continues, with Scott lunging at Wolverine. They fight each other with no regard for the danger the Sentinel poses. Wolverine smiles as he holds the detonator in his fist, and punches Cyclops in the face. Scott forces Wolverine back, before the Sentinel dowses them both in a burst of energy.
Wolverine was on top of Cyclops, so Logan took the brunt of the blast, flesh flayed from, his body. Logan head-butts Cyclops, and then shoves his claws through Scott’s hand, causing Scott to cry out in agony, and release and optic blast and close range - right at Wolverine’s head. Practically just his skull remains as Wolverine continues to hold his own as Cyclops attempts to pry the detonator from Logan’s fist. The Sentinel prepares to stand on the mutants - when a blast of energy attacks it. Scott and Logan turn to the direction of the energy and find several young mutants have started attacking the Sentinel.
Hope, Dust, Velocidad, Rockslide, Gentle and Glob Herman are attacking the Sentinel at one of his knee joints. Transonic and Oya are near Wolverine and Cyclops, who watch the young mutants fighting the Sentinel. Cyclops rushes to join the battle, while Wolverine looks at the detonator in his hand, before throwing it to the ground and joining the battle also.
Hope fires her weapon, while Cyclops unleashes an optic blast. Oya attacks the Sentinel with a beam of ice, while Wolverine lashes out with his claws. The Sentinel has Rockslide captured in one hand. Anole helps someone to safety, while the Stepford Cuckoos and Mercury join in the battle.
At that moment, across the harbor, four kids are watching the fiery display at Utopia from a hillside, and eating popcorn. ‘Senseless violence’ Kade Kilgore declares, while Baron Maximilian von Katzenelnbogen, Manuel Enduque and Wilhelmina Kengsington are with him. He loves being a kid.
Two X-jets streak towards Utopia. One has Rogue, Psylocke and Shadowcat inside it. The women quickly learn that telepathic lines are down and that nobody is answering the phone at Utopia. ‘Can’t this thing go any damn faster?’ Rogue mutters.
In the med-lab, ‘Thought you would never come off, you repulsive little creature’ the White Queen exclaims as she stands on the Badoon Brain Slug that was attached to her head. ‘My face and brain are my own again’ the White Queen tells herself, before telepathically announcing to all X-Men that Utopia is under attack. She steps out of a building, and finds that the Sentinel has fallen, and the young mutants, Wolverine and Cyclops are standing over it. Voices tart to calls out: ‘Oh my God…’ ‘Is it…’ ‘Did we really…’ ‘We did it’ ‘Yes!’ ‘Holy crap!’ ‘In your face, you giant robot piece of $#%!’ ‘We did it!’ ‘We won!’ ‘We won!’ ‘We saved the day’ the young mutants exclaim. Wolverine, his face now completely healed, and Cyclops just frown.
The next day, the sun rises over the smoldering Utopia. The Sentinel lies in the water, some of its body draped over the island, while Dr Nemesis examines it. Magneto, the Sub-Mariner and Rockslide start to remove pieces of debris, while in the med-lab, Colossus looks at two of the Badoon Brain Slugs, encased in jars. Rogue and Hope clasp hands, while Pixie and Rockslide hug. Sitting on a hill away from the others, Wolverine is with Oya, and tells the young mutant that she should get some sleep. Oya replies that she doesn’t feel much like sleeping, and tells Wolverine that she is glad it was her who killed them. ‘Those men at the museum. I’m glad it was me, because some of my friends, they wouldn’t have been able to live with themselves’ Oya declares. ‘And you can, huh?’ Logan asks. Oya replies that once you accept that you are a monster, being a murderer doesn’t bother you quite so much. ‘I know what I am…and now I know what it means to be an X-Man’ she adds.
Wolverine just looks at Oya, and gets up and walks away from her. He says nothing to her, and walks through a corridor, frowning. He suddenly pauses, and almost smiles, looking thoughtful, before carrying on. Why did he stop? To look at a photograph of five young mutants and the mentor taken many years ago. Cyclops. Marvel Girl. Beast. Iceman. Angel and Professor X. The original X-Men.
‘I’d rather not do this right now’ Cyclops sighs, his body wrapped in bandages as Wolverine finds him in a meeting room. Scott tells Logan that they should wait until the wounds - both figurative and literal - are not quite so raw. ‘I don’t need to wait’ Logan replies. ‘Okay. Fine. Then whenever you’re ready…feel free to start apologizing’ Cyclops tells him. He adds that the kids saved the day. ‘I was right. You were wrong. I’d like to hear you say it’ Scott announces. Wolverine points out that the kids beat one Sentinel, and that doesn’t change a damn thing. ‘How can you say -’ Cyclops begins, but Wolverine interrupts him: ‘What about the next time? Or the time after that? We keep using ‘em as soldiers, it ain’t a matter of if the casualties will pile up, but only when and how damn many’.
Wolverine points out that Oya became a killer this week and doesn’t seem nearly as bothered by as he would like her to be. ‘She seems to think it’s all just part of being an X-Man’ Wolverine declares. ‘That tells me we failed her, Scott. We failed all these kids’. But Cyclops replies that they cannot protect them forever. ‘We ain’t protecting them at all’ Wolverine snarls back. Cyclops states that nobody ever said it would be easy, pulling themselves back from the brink of extinction. ‘We’ve had to make tough choices, you and I both. But if we’d done anything less, we would have failed our entire species’. Wolverine just tells Cyclops that he cannot do this anymore, that he can’t keep going down this road. ‘What do you want? You want elections? Let me and you both make our cases and let everyone vote for who they want. I’ll do it’ Cyclops tells him, so long as Wolverine will get off his damn high horse and be reasonable. ‘I don’t want your job, Scott. I don’t want any part of what you’re doing here. Not anymore. I’m leaving’ Wolverine announces.
Later, on the airstrip at Utopia, Iceman stands beside an X-jet and tells Wolverine that the jet is fueled and ready whenever he is. ‘Anybody else on board?’ Logan asks. ‘See for yourself’ Iceman replies. Logan gets into the jet, and sees several X-students seated, waiting for him. Anole is there. As is Rockslide, Blindfold, Glob Herman, Oya, Dust and a gagged and tied-up Quentin Quire. Wolverine remembers the rest of his conversation with Cyclops, recalls telling him that he is leaving and that whoever wants to come with him is welcome. Scott stands inside one of the buildings and looks out at the X-jet which is readying to take off. He remembers saying to Wolverine ‘I know it’s pointless for me to say this, Logan, but I’m going to say it anyway…you’re making a huge mistake’.
The White Queen comes up to Cyclops and puts a hand on his shoulder, telling him that he should rest. Cyclops ignores his lover and uses telepathic communication to ask Warpath what his status is. ‘I want answers’ Scott declares. Elsewhere, Warpath, Domino and Gambit enter a building, and Warpath tells Cyclops that he has got good news and bad news. ‘We found the Hellfire Club…but we won’t be getting any answers out of them’ he remarks as the old men are sprawled over a table, dead after apparently drinking poisoned wine. Cyclops remembers telling Wolverine that he is making them all weaker at a time when they can least afford it. ‘You break us apart now, the whole world will see it. And they’ll come for us…like never before’.
Meantime, Kade and his friends are at a beach resort, and raise their drinks. ‘Yesterday, while the governments of the world were learning firsthand just how weak and outdated their bulky old Sentinels are…we showed them something that came out of a suitcase and very nearly destroyed the most fiercely protected stronghold in all of mutantdom’. Kade informs his friends that the orders, as they might expect, are pouring in by the thousands. ‘Here’s to the future, my friends. The Hellfire Club is dead. Long live the Hellfire Club!’ Kade shouts.
‘You mind your store, Scott. I’ll mind mine’ Wolverine remembers telling Cyclops. Sitting at the helm of the X-jet, Iceman tells Wolverine that this is his last chance to back out. ‘Let’s get outta here’ Wolverine replies. ‘I won’t try and stop anything you’re doing here…just don’t ever try and stop me’ Wolverine recalls saying to Cyclops, while Cyclops, the White Queen, Magneto, the Sub-Mariner and Hope stand at a window and watch the jet as it prepares to take off. ‘You may think you know what you’re doing, Logan, but trust me, you don’t. Maybe you figure it’s easy being the one who makes all the decisions…if so, you’re in for a rude awakening. If you ever happen to come to your senses again…we’ll still be right here. Protecting a world that hates and fears us. Which I guess includes you now, too’ Scott recalls telling Logan.
Cyclops turns to his companions and uses the telepathic channel to announce that he needs after-action reports from all combat teams ASAP. ‘And has anyone seen Quentin Quire?’ Scott asks. He then remembers his and Wolverine’s final words. ‘I hope this isn’t just about what I said back when we were…’ his voice trails off, as Wolverine told him that he could use a Blackbird. ‘Take it. Just tell me…where do you plan on going?’ Scott asked. Logan told him that he has a few ideas, before bidding him goodbye. ‘Goodbye, Logan’ Scott replied.
Sometime later, the X-jet descends over a grassy field. Trees and blue sky all around. The jet opens, and Oya hangs her head as she leaves the jet, remarking ‘This was all my fault, wasn’t it? I’m the girl who broke up the X-Men’. Wolverine smiles and tells her ‘No darling. Not at all. You helped lead us home’ he explains, motioning to the ruins of the Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters….