Imprisoned in Neverland,Danielle Moonstar dreams, the only freedom left to her.
She sees the face of her friends as her spirit rises to meet her ancestors’ hanging road, but it is at the same time the Rainbow bridge of Asgard. The Norse death goddess Hela appears before her, telling her that her spirit is bound to two worlds. The one she was born into and the one she chose.
Neverland containment center:
The director is alerted, as the guards tell her that Moonstar’s telemetry is off the scales again. Angrily, the director orders them to gas her.
Moonstar cries out at Hela, who urges her to remember that she is Valkyrie and as a chooser of the slain is cherished by the goddess of death. Therein lies her salvation.
The grounds of the Xavier Institute:
Rahne Sinclair howls at the moon, despairing at the X-Men’s inability to find her friend. She vows to bring Dani home. As she turns to the Mansion, Carter Ghazikanian waves at her from the window of the crystal palace outside the mansion and asks her if she wants to come over and play. Rahne hesitates and the boy tells her that everyone is too busy for him. Nobody has come to visit in ages. With a sigh, Rahne informs the telepathic Martha that she is at the crystal palace. Have fun playing with the dead, the telepath replies, and Rahne steps inside the palace, where she suddenly changes her appearance to the way she looked in her late teens when Carter first met her.
Valle Soleada, California:
On the beach, a blindfolded Gambit shows his son and Emma’s eldest, Meggan, that even blind he is still too agile for them to hit him.
Inside, Emma’s twins build a holographic city watched by Rogue and Gambit’s daughter. They are guarded by Vargas’s servants Thais and Thaiis who are also taking care of baby Alex. In the meantime, their mothers are out shopping.
The X.S.E. HQ Washington DC, where Iceman urges the bound Sage to cooperate with them. Sage coolly replies that they need no cooperation of her, as David Alleyne is able to absorb the knowledge of all those in his vicinity.
Watching from the next room are Monet, X-23 and a holographic transmission of Storm. They notice that David doesn’t look so good and Storm explains that the sheer volume of data he has to process is giving him trouble. It also gives Sage opportunity to analyze what David finds.
As a woman enters the interrogation room, Monet reminds Storm that her determination to defend Sage is what got her removed as head of the X.S.E. And here she thought it was her near total paralysis, Storm remarks.
David suddenly jumps up, shouting that the newcomer isn’t Val Cooper. In response, the woman transforms her arms, becoming impossibly long and sharp, as she impales David, as well as several guards. Then she grabs Iceman and slams him into the wall with inhuman strength. Grinning sadistically, “Val” turns to the utterly motionless stone-faced Sage.
Back in Africa, floating in a pool, Storm cries out Wolverine’s name, shouting that the others are in danger. Logan suddenly comes crashing out of the window. He is followed by his attacker, a scantily clad Yukio, who announces that the runt can’t answer now. He’s too busy dying.
Ororo tries to float over to her wheelchair, while Yukio mocks her. However, before she can reach it, Yukio destroys the vehicle. Mocking Storm’s helplessness, Yukio steps on her forcing her under water.
Chicago, “the Belles of Hell” saloon:
Out of nothing, Ahab, the mutant hunter from the future, appears and hurls one of his harpoons at his long time enemy, Rachel. Kitty phases her friend away, but finds herself injured by the harpoon as well. Ahab came prepared for her powers.
Most of the Belle’s clientele are firemen and cops and they don’t take kindly to attacks. The men and women fire their guns at him, but Ahab repels them with another lance. Enter Karma, intent on possessing the villain. He smirks, telling her that her Karma has gone bad as he repels and shakes off her attack.
Valle Soleada, Mount D’Ancanto, an inactive volcano and one of the most spectacular nightspots on the California coast, where Emma Frost and Rogue are welcomed by a waiting Roberto Dacosta, who pours all his charm at the ladies. Emma finally relaxes, though she expresses her regret at her husband, Scott, not being there. She points out, though, that at least Gambit is coming.
Gambit reaches for Rogue, telling her couldn’t spend a night like this without her. With a dazzling smile, Rogue thanks him for the compliment. A moment later, she hits him with all her super-strength. Before he ends up within the volcano, she flies after him and demands to know who he really is and what he has done to her husband. The impostor refuses to talk and Rogue snaps his neck. She explains to the others that she grew up with a shapeshifter. She learned a long time ago how to spot one. You don’t take chances with a Warskrull. Indeed, the corpse turns to that of a Skrull.
In Africa, Storm is running out of air. She suddenly finds that it is not Yukio holding her down, but a Warskrull that had taken her friend’s shape. Suddenly, Ororo’s eyes go white an glow as the sky turns dark. The Warskrull mocks that lightning cannot hurt him. Storm smirks. She has something better and with that the entire pool freezes. Logan regain consciousness to find a frozen pool, a frozen Skrull and a stuck Storm who asks him to help her out.
Back at the X.S.E headquarters, X-23 and Monet are still battling the ‘Val Cooper’ Warskrull. They divert him long enough for Iceman to freeze him. Worried, Bobby runs to his teammates’ side, as, behind him, the Skrull adapts and shakes off the ice veneer. He grabs Iceman, but suddenly is shot down by Sage, who has managed to free herself. She tells Iceman that they need to sound a global alert. This is only the beginning.
Back in Chicago, Ahab has finally felled all of Kitty and Rachel’s would-be defenders. With the two women still down and hurt, his success is imminent. Triumphantly, he tells them they are done. You first, bub, Kitty replies. A moment later, he finds himself scorched by Kitty’s pet dragon Lockheed.
Emma, Rogue and Roberto return to Gambit and Rogue’s home to find it in shambles, all the children are gone. Emma exclaims in horror that she cannot contact either the children or Scott telepathically. They find the badly injured Thais, who tells them they were attacked by shapeshifters. Gambit turned on them. At the last, he told Thais that Sinister called in a debt from long ago. In payment, Gambit was taking him the children.
Outside the Xavier Institute:
In a small security booth sits a young man called Bulwark. He checks in with the telepathic Martha to tell her all is well. At that moment, he sees a light. A moment later, he is consumed by it, as three smiling villains – Madelyne Pryor in her Goblyn Queen guise, Stryfe and Genesis, all enter the grounds. Genesis informs the others that the guard was calling Cerebra. Stryfe assures him that Martha heard nothing, he made sure of that. And Madelyne decides, with a wicked smile, that they should get down to business. Cyclops will be overjoyed to host a Summers family reunion.