The Brotherhood hideout, at an unknown location…
Cyclops, Angel and Candy are still trapped in the circus. While Scott fights their enemies, he orders Angel to get Candy to a safe location. Warren flies Candy up to a high platform. Warren is glad that Mastermind can’t make his illusions solid, so it’s a safe bet that the platform Candy is now standing on, is real and safe.
Candy doesn’t want to be left behind like this, but Warren explains to her that there’s no other choice. As she watches Warren head back into the battle, Candy mentions to herself that she sure has gotten herself into a whole lot of trouble. She only came to the X-Men to inform Warren that his mother was in trouble, and now she finds herself stuck trying to play “super-hero.” She’s certain that this isn’t what her dad had in mind when he sent her to finishing school!
Meanwhile, the Blob mentions to his teammates, Unus and Mastermind, that this isn’t what they had planned. He thought that Wyngarde’s illusions were better than this. Mastermind defends that his illusions are good enough to have satisfied Blob’s own decadent needs. Unus reminds Mastermind that his illusions don’t seem to affect the X-Men much.
As the villains try to escape, Mastermind reminds his teammates that he told them his illusions work only for as long as their targets aren’t aware that they aren’t real. And somehow, Jason adds, Cyclops managed to discover the truth. Blob wonders if Jean might have informed Cyclops about their tricks somehow. Mastermind doesn’t think Marvel Girl would have gotten the chance to use her telepathic powers, not where she was locked up.
Below the battle, Kreuger and his men triumph over a fallen Marvel Girl. Blunt asks his master if she is dead. Kreuger denies that, explaining that he merely used his powers to damp down other mutant’s powers, so that he could shut her mind down. He orders his men to pick Jean up, and they do so. Kreuger also orders his men to follow him, as the ones who cheated him are nearby, and he has planned something very special for them!
Beast holds the Professor in his arms and Xavier what did to Ashley, who is now being taken care of by her mother. Xavier explains to his student that he used his telepathy to reach deep into the mind of young Ashley. He severed her consciousness from those parts of her brain that govern her mutation. Ashley wakes up, and asks her mom what happened. Hank notices that the police have arrived, and wonders what they are going to tell them. Xavier instructs Hank to let him handle it.
The officers can’t believe their eyes. They received many calls about a giant robot attack, and they didn’t expect them to be true. Introducing himself to the officers, Xavier ask the two if they have heard about him. One of the officers has, and mentions that Xavier is that mutant expert he has seen on TV a couple of years ago, when Trask was talking about letting his Sentinel robots on the loose. The officers realize that the broken robot parts they see hanging around the yard, actually belong to a Sentinel. Xavier compliments the officers on their memories, and confirms that he, as an expert on human mutation, indeed attempted to introduce a note of sanity into what he saw as a growing hysteria. He explains that Bolivar Trask’s plan to capture and to possibly kill all mutants failed. And, he adds, the destroyed Sentinels the officers can see now is a brand new unit, created by Trask’s son, Lawrence.
The officers want to know what caused the destruction of the Sentinels. Xavier fakes that he believes a malfunction in the cybernetic systems must have been the cause. The officers think Xavier and the others got lucky, realizing that the Sentinels were bad news. They ask Ashley and her mom if they are okay. Hesitating, Ashley’s mom confirms they are.
Iceman’s finally managed to locate Scott and Warren. Lorna admits how impressed she is with the way Cerebro works. First, the machine helped her and Alex find Bobby when he was trapped in the Savage Land, and now it’s detecting another new mutant somewhere in the Himalayas. And Cyclops and Angel are in Florida, of all places.
Alex believes they better go after them, and is ready to leave. Iceman asks him to wait a minute, as they can’t possibly know if Scott and Warren are in danger or not. And, they found their home in a mess, so they should probably check that out first. Lorna agrees with Bobby that they better make sure everything is secure around the mansion first, before they go off on another chase. So, the three young X-Men split up and check out their home, hoping everything is alright in it.
Florida, at the Brotherhood’s hideout…
Mastermind’s illusions suddenly start to fade away and Scott wonders what the reason could be. Angel starts to head back to the floor, when suddenly something seems to be sapping his strenth. He can’t stay airborne! Scott can’t use his powers either, and feels that it’s the same effect he felt when they were on the Teratos ship. He realizes that Kreuger must be nearby!
Nearby, Blob, Unus and Mastermind find themselves surrounded by Kreuger and his men. Unus realizes that Kreuger must have discovered that they tricked him earlier. Kreuger confirms this, and smiles he finds it only natural that he discovered the truth. He wonders how long Unus would think before he discovered that the money he gave him was nothing more than another part of Mastermind’s illusions. Blob is ready to fight Kreuger, but the mysterious men instead uses his powers to knock Dukes down with a single push. Kreuger informs him that, with his powers, the Blob if merely one more fat man. Kreuger uses his powers on Unus, causing his force field to go off and his men capture the former untouchable man. Mastermind reminds Kreuger that, if he’s shutting down their powers, the X-Men will know he’s here as well.
With all of Mastermind’s illusions fading away, Warren and Scott discover that a few of the villains they were facing were real, and are really dressed up like circus performers. Scott thinks that the clowns are probably victims to Mastermind’s powers as well. The clowns confirm this, explaining that they thought they were working for somebody who’s bigger than Barnum and Bailey, but this place is nothing but sawdust and old canvas! Once the clowns realize they probably won’t get paid as well, they start running away, not wanting to let the X-Men capture them.
Warren thinks that this was almost too easy, and can’t help but wonder where their hosts are. Scott suddenly sees Kreuger in a door opening, and holds Jean as his hostage! Kreuger warns the X-Men not to come any closer, revealing that his power can as easily kill as it can disable.
Candy comes flying down, using the trapeze, and kicks Kreuger into his face! Kreuger is now unconscious, and Warren notices that Kreuger’s men have also knocked out the Blob and Unus. Scott notices Mastermind and wants to take him out as well, but Mastermind promises that he’ll surrender. Candy sets Jean free from her chains, and Jean thanks Candy for the help. But she notices that Kreuger’s men don’t seem too happy about how the events have turned out.
Remiped doesn’t see the reason why they should be happy, as Kreuger was the only man who ever treated them with respect. To everyone else, they were just freaks. Candy reminds the mutants that Kreuger used to call them freaks as well. Jean tries to explain to the many mutants that Kreuger isn’t their friend, and just another evil mutant looking to turn a profit on the hardship of others.
Blunt doesn’t believe that, as Kreuger treated them with dignity. Jean doesn’t really believe that. They were living on a garbage scow! They were buying and selling human misery. Kreuger tricked them, and made them hide away from the world. He played them by their fears. The mutants think that Jean is right. They realize that’s the way Kreuger treated the X-Men and Avia. Kreuger talked the talk, but he was no better than the people who mocked them. Blunt still isn’t sure about it. Jean promises Blunt that they won’t cause any more problems for them. They’ve got the bad guys. If they hand over Avia to them, the X-Men will leave them alone. They have to go find a real life for them. Blunt thinks that makes sense.
A while later, the X-Men hand over the Brotherhood members to the local police. However the authorities aren’t sure what to do about Blob and Mastermind once they wake up. Scott mentions that the officers could contact the Avengers or the Fantastic Four about that, as they are equipped for these kind of situations. Jean also reminds the officers to be careful about Mastermind’s illusion powers. One of the officers believes that they should be arresting the X-Men as well, but the sergeant doesn’t think so, because there are no current warrants on the X-Men. Still, they aren’t exactly welcome in Florida either. Scott understands and promises they’ll leave.
Later, at Kreuger’s freighter ship…
Candy and Angel walk to the ship together, with Warren holding his arm over her shoulders. Candy found all of this to be unpleasant, and wonders if the X-Men run into that kind of anti-mutant prejudice all the time. Jean confirms that. Scott can only hope that wasn’t a realistic touch. Warren just remembers something. They have no way of knowing if those cops they just faced were real, or just another trick of Mastermind. But at least they managed to hoist their strato-ship. Scott thinks that Kreuger must have kept it because he thought he could sell it to someone. Blunt confirms that, and mentions that Kreuger already got some pretty good offers as well.
He releases Avia, and she quickly hugs Warren! However, Candy isn’t so pleased with that, and Warren is speechless. Candy tells him to save it, as right now she just wants to leave. Jean agrees, and so the X-Men head back home into their ship. Warren notices how beat Avia is. Jean doesn’t think that’s a surprise, given what Avia has been through since she left the Savage Land. Warren guesses they should take her back there and better head back to Antarctica.
Candy asks Warren to wait with that. She reminds Warren that, in case had forgotten, she’s not just tagging along with the X-Men because she looks hot in green. She came there looking for Warren himself, because she has something important to tell him. Scott offers some privacy, but Candy thinks that Scott and Jean should probably hear about it, too. See, her news involves about someone who could be described as a super-villain. It’s one she and Warren faced not too long ago. And, that villain is about to marry Warren’s mother!
Later, at Xavier’s…
The X-Men are finally reunited. Warren asks Beast what he can do, because both he and Candy thought that his uncle was dead. That’s why he never mentioned any of this to the team before. Scott reminds Warren that he also didn’t inform the team about the fact that Burtram Worthington murdered his own brother, who is Warren’s father!
Iceman wonders how Warren could keep such a thing from them, because they are all his friends. Warren smiles that his family have never been the kind of people to talk about their private affairs. Warren admits that he has never even told his mother that he is secretly Angel. Beast thinks that is also part of the reason why this disaster is taking place. Warren also neglected to inform his mother that it was her own brother-in-law who killed her first husband.
Warren defends that he thought his father’s death was enough for his mother to handle. And with Burtram dead as well, Warren didn’t see the need to add anything more on the suffer plate. Scott thinks that brings them back to Hank’s original question: what are they going to do about this? Warren doesn’t understand what Scott means by “we.” Scott reminds Warren that they aren’t just his teammates. They are his family too, and they want to help him. Hank goes to prepare their strato-jet for take-off, and afterwards the X-Men head to Long Island!
However, the X-Men decide to leave Alex and Lorna at home. Bobby admits that he doesn’t like Alex much, but he thought that to be a little rude. Jean thinks Bobby is just interested in Lorna’s feelings, because she offered to help as well and they neglected it. Candy defends that, in this case, Warren gets to make the calls. If he wants only the original members of the X-Men aboard on this trip, so be it. Bobby understands. Jean thinks that there’s something else on Scott’s mind. She doesn’t mean to probe his mind without his permission, but she can feel something is wrong.
Scott explains that it was just a little too quick and easy to how Jean and Candy let Kreuger’s mutants get away with it all. He wonders if Jean “helped” the mutants make that decision. Jean guesses that she might have done something like give the mutants a telepathic nudge. It just seemed that’s how Professor X would have handled things. Scott realizes that. And he reminds the team that Professor X has stayed back in Illinois to monitor the recovery of Ashley. Scott also confesses that he finds it odd how Xavier has been acting lately, and he would prefer it if Jean didn’t act like he would do. As Warren activates the stealth mode of the plane, Beast informs everyone that they have arrived at the Worthington estate.
They land in the woods, as this will be the perfect hiding place for their plane, and they can travel the rest on foot. As the team walks out, Candy is amazed by the way Warren has folded his wings under that harness so that he can wear his street clothes. She wants to know if it hurts him. Warren mentions to Candy that he got used to it. Beast apologizes for interrupting, but thinks it’s for the best that Warren brings them all up to speed about his uncle’s situation. Warren agrees, but only wishes there was something substantial he could tell. His uncle tricked him into a diamond smuggling operation and, when Warren’s father found out about this, Burtram had him killed. When Warren tracked his uncle down, Burt had already kidnapped Candy, and during a battle with Burtram’s goons, Angel was unmasked.
Angel’s uncle had set himself up to become the super-villain known as Dazzler. When Burtram saw who Angel was under his mask, Dazzler also revealed his secret identity to his nephew. Warren has to admit that he was probably more surprised by this revelation than his uncle was. Anyway, Dazzler was embarked on some harebrained scheme to take over the world by using a giant diamond laser.
Warren scuttled his uncle’s mad plans, and only just in time managed to fly himself, Candy and Burtram into safety when his uncle’s hideout exploded. But Dazzler punched Warren into his face along the way, causing Warren to drop both his uncle and Candy. He couldn’t save the both of them, so he decided to let his villainous uncle fall and saved Candy instead.
Candy tells Warren not to beat himself up over this, because his uncle was a murderer. Warren admits that he isn’t feeling guilty about it. He’s only wishing he had make sure his uncle was dead. Iceman sees the beautiful garden of the Worthington estate, and the lovely party tables that have been installed there. Bobby jokes to Angel that his family never knew how to stop spending money. Scott reminds Bobby to stop calling Warren “Angel.” They may technically be on duty there, but no codenames. Beast agrees and explains that, even though Warren’s uncle knows who his nephew is, he doesn’t know the other secret identities of the X-Men members.
Bobby is still impressed by the estate, and thinks that their mansion looks like nothing compared to this one. Suddenly, Warren spots a familiar face: Dr. Stuart. He wants to know what he’s doing there and wonders if there’s anything wrong with his mother. Stuart smiles that Kathryn is as fine as can be expected. Stuart is glad to see Warren, and wonders if his friends are the other X-Men. Beast is surprised that Stuart knows about their identities.
Scott introduces everyone and Warren informs Scott there’s no need to be careful, as Stuart knows who they are. He reveals that Stuart delivered him when he was a baby, and spotted his enlarged shoulder blades on birth. It was Stuart who Warren went to as first when his wings sprouted out. He was the only person Warren knew he could trust, because Stuart and his family have been friends for so long.
Scott understands. He asks Stuart what he meant when he said that Warren’s mother is as well as can be expected. Stuart explains that Kathryn has never been a strong woman, and it was him who advised Warren not to reveal to her, or his father, that he was a mutant. Warren explains that Stuart wasn’t certain how his dad would react, but knew that his mother’s reaction wouldn’t be a good one.
Beast thinks it would seem that there is a most attenuated string of dominoes toppling toward this moment. Scott agrees, and notices that a lot of choices have been made in that past that seemed right back then. Warren asks Hank what that Shakespeare line is he is trying to think of. Beast explains it’s the line from Hamlet Act One, Scene 2. “Married with my uncle, my father’s brother.” Concluding the lines, Warren recites the rest. “But no more like my father, than I to Hercules.”
Warren and his friends enter the house, and meet up with Burtram. He thinks this is a pleasant surprise, thinking his about to be new wife will be so pleased her son could join them. Warren wonders how pleased his mother will be when he kills his uncle again. Hank calms Warren down, reminding him that they need to know what Burtram is planning before they do anything. Burtram refuses to take that insult, and uses his bright light powers to demonstrate his powers to the X-Men, and they feel like their brains are on fire. He explains that he has greatly improved his light-manipulating abilities since he and Warren last met each other. With only the slightest power increase, he can now literally fry the X-Men’s nervous systems!
Burtram calms down when Kathryn and Stuart enter the room. Kathryn is so glad to see her son again. But, she wants to know what that strange light was she saw before coming here. Stuart cuts in, believing it was just strong sunlight. Warren’s mother kisses him, mentioning that Burtram tried to contact him and invite him to the wedding, but failed. Warren sarcastically says he’s certain his uncle did just that. Burtram tells his “son” that he keeps insisting on being occasionally elusive.
Warren angrily shouts at Burtram that he doesn’t have the right to calm him his son. Kathryn doesn’t understand that, because she and Burtram are going to get married. And Warren will be Burtram’s step-son. Warren doesn’t think so. He wants to explain to his mother who Burtram is, but Stuart cuts in, wanting to have a word with Warren first.
Burtram thinks it’s a good idea Stuart tries to calm his nephew down. He suggests that he and Kathryn leave and is certain Warren will act more friendly the next time they meet. Kathryn agrees, thinking Warren just has to absorb a lot all at once. She mentions that Warren can join them in the garden, if he wants. Warren demands to know why Stuart stopped him from telling his mother who she’s really marrying. Stuart reminds Warren that he told him his mother isn’t a strong woman. In the months since Warren’s father died, Stuart often feared Kathryn’s grief would ultimately consume her. After all, Warren wasn’t here to comfort her. Scott defends that’s not entirely Warren’s fault, because it’s been quite a while since the X-Men had a few moments off.
Stuart understands that. But he also thinks the X-Men need to understand that Kathryn was in a very vulnerable state when Burtram approached her. He provided the stability her life needed after the loss of her husband. Hank can appreciate what the doctor is saying, but they can’t do nothing. They can’t let this wedding proceed. Stuart wishes that he wasn’t suggesting they do that. He believes that if the X-Men reveal to Kathryn now that the man she now loves is a villain, the shock might break her heart. And, in Kathryn’s current delicate condition, that could kill her!