Meditating, Kitty Pryde thinks of her secret recurring nightmare. Some time ago, she was trapped in a giant space bullet. She had sacrificed herself to save her friends and her world. Instead of dying, she merged with the bullet and went into a kind of fugue state. She might very well have stayed conscious and alive until the end of time. But then she was rescued and her life as an X-Man went on. Except she finds herself haunted by the fear that she never escaped and is still stuck inside the bullet. Forever lost in space. Alone.
But then, she is never alone – she has memories. Of her childhood, growing up in Deerfield, a suburb of Chicago. A normal life, except for her being exceptionally smart. She was going to go to the University of Chicago, meet a guy, save the world. That was before she learned she could walk through walls.
She met the X-Men when Professor Xavier invited her to join his school. But the same day, they were attacked by the Hellfire Club, a group of billionaires wanting to use their fellow mutants as assets. The X-Men stand for something better. That day, they fought for her and became her lifelong friends.
She enrolled at Xavier’s school as a member in training of the X-Men. She had no idea what was in store for her. She was still a kid when she fought a demon single-handedly, helped the X-Men save the world, a whole alien galaxy, and almost lost her soul to the ninja Ogun. Wolverine drove her farther than ever before to toughen her up. Kitty won that battle but there was worse to come.
Kitty’s parents went into witness protection after Carmen’s dealing with the Yakuza. Next, she knew her parents were getting divorced. She still had her boyfriend Colossus. But he dumped her after having fallen for the alien healer Zsaji, who sacrificed her life for him. That hurt more than her parents’ break-up. At least she knew they both still loved her.
But she is an X-Man, and what they do best is survive. At least until the mutant massacre almost wiped them out. Nightcrawler and Kitty ended up in England, where along with Captain Britain, his girlfriend Meggan and Rachel Summers they founded a new team – Excalibur.
Ultimately, Kitty came home to school just in time to save the planet from a giant space bullet. That’s where she thought her story would end. Being an X-Man, she should have known better. Afterwards, she felt done with the superhero life and needed a break. She enrolled at the University of Chicago. That was so fun. Until duty called. She’d started at the Xavier School as the youngest student. Now she was taking over as head of both the school and the team. Not quite the life or fate she’d dreamed of.
24 hours over, her clock beeps. She gets up replaces the sword she was holding and looks at some photos of Wolverine. She figures they are an interesting pair. His bones can’t be broken because they are laced with adamantium, hers because she is intangible. In martial arts skills, they are nearly the same. In terms of their humanity, they both know how precious life is.
She takes a shower and dresses in a leather outfit while musing that mutants often seem to come back from death. Too bad that doesn’t hold for normal folks. She met Alasdhair Kinross when she got bounced back in time to 1936. The adventure started out with her just trying to find her way home. How could she know the cousin they were trying to save would grow up to become the Queen of England? Or that she’d fall in love? She was ready to give up everything for him and was sure he felt the same. But fate had other ideas.
Losing Alasdhair broke her heart. Her father’s death nearly finished her. That’s why she came back to Chicago to attend school. That was the life he’d wanted for her, the one they dreamed of together. She’d go to school and help save the world as a scientist. So now she’s Dr. Pryde. Only he didn’t live to see it. He won’t be there to give here away at her wedding. He died on Genosha, along with seventeen million other people.
She gets to her job as a barkeeper at the Bar Belles of Hell, with Lockheed slumbering behind her. A drunken customer asks her if the dragon is real. She suggests he ask him himself. Lockheed stretches and yawns. She offers the customer a drink on the house but tells him it is the last one.
Her boss Dylan asks if everything is okay. She admits she doesn’t know. She is getting married. Back home, her best friends are about to throw her a bachelorette party, and she just wants to run away.
That moment, Nightcrawler teleports in and remarks it’s hard to be a grown-up. She hugs him happily. Getting a beer, he tells her Logan has watched out for her since before she was born. In his absence and as one of his and her best friends, he stands in.
The previous drunk guest asks if he is for real. Dylan tells him he is a regular. And a friend, a priest adds. Does he have a problem with that?
Kitty tells Kurt she just wishes… She could run away, he repeats. Kitty admits she’s scared then gasps as she sees the ghost of Alasdhair. She tells Kurt that the love and commitment of marriage and their lifestyle don’t go well together.
She sees Logan next to Alasdhair. Kurt suggests she walk away then. All of her friends would understand, probably even Peter. She tells him he sounds like Logan He replies they are what God made them. Whatever they make of it rests on their shoulders. It’s easy to play life safe, never take a risk, not to love or be loved.
Next, she sees her father who asks her if that is what she wants. Kitty realizes they are her memories. A part of her for now and always. But life doesn’t care. Life moves on. That’s life, her father tells her. Is that such a bad thing? Kurt asks. Having been to Heaven himself, there are two things he is sure of: Heaven like, he prays, God’s mercy is infinite. They are not, which makes life all the more precious. The choices they make, the chances they take define them. Because of what she has lost, this commitment matters all the more.
Kitty smiles and cries as her memories tell her to trust her heart. Not to fear the man or the moment. To embrace them both. Kitty promises that she will.
Months ago, during when the Secret Empire isolated New York, Old Man Logan and Storm battled the demon Krelluck that ran amok in Manhattan.
Today in Las Vegas, Hotel Inferno, its owner Wong tells Krelluck he has to let him go. The casino just opened and he managed to drive off dozens of customers. He attacks and berates anyone he suspects of cheating. It scares the clientele.
Krelluck retorts that the clientele come to be scared. Everyone working here is a demon! Wong points out that Krelluck seems to be the only one broadcasting his hatred of humans. They are rude and entitled, not to mention weak, Krelluck huffs, proving Wong’s point.
Wong gives him one month’s severance and again apologizes. Grimly, Krelluck leaves the office and plays roulette with his money.
Elsewhere in Las Vegas ,several male X-Men are there for Colossus’ stag night. Nightcrawler happily wonders why couldn’t Kitty relocate the mansion here. Bobby Drake notes Peter Rasputin looks like he is going to his funeral. Nightcrawer suggests a casino. Of course, they end up in Hotel Inferno.
Bobby urges Peter to celebrate a little more. Peter points out he is about to be married to the love of his life. Why would he celebrate that with a night of debauchery? How would he celebrate? Bobby asks. With her, he admits. Bobby laughs; he really doesn’t understand how this whole bachelor party thing is supposed to work. It’s a celebration of independence and manhood, and even if it weren’t, he should use the opportunity not to be an X-Man and relax.
Krelluck overhears and turns to Bobby asking if he said he is an X-Man. They both are, is that a problem? With a cry of rage, Krelluck attacks.
With a sigh, Colossus asks why Iceman had to ask him that. While Colossus and the demon fight, Nightcrawler tries to get the attention of Gambit, who is more interested in the roulette table.
Kurt scolds Colossus that he is jumping the itinerary. A barroom brawl was scheduled after the nightclub and the stripclub. Struggling, Peter retorts he doesn’t want to go to a strip club.
Bobby wonders why the demon is so pissed at them. Like anybody ever needed a reason, Gambit sensibly points out.
Iceman wants to freeze their foe but Kurt suggests this might just be what they need to loosen Peter up. So, the others watch as Peter slowly but surely gains the upper hand.
Suddenly, Wong casts a spell that separates the two combatants. He demands what kind of madness this is. Krelluck states that these are X-Men from the same group of humans who attacked him months ago. Colossus protests he has never seen him in his life!
Wong asks Krelluck which X-Men attacked him. He admits that the two – the woman who throws lightning and the old man – aren’t here, but they are allied with them. Wong turns to Colossus, asking if Krelluck attacked him He replies with a terse ‘yes’. Kurt adds it was wunderbar.
One bill for property damage later, the X-Men have left the club. Remy asks if Peter is feeling better. Peter muses that Wolverine set something like this up once to punish him for breaking Kitty’s heart.
Kurt remembers. Simon asks if it worked. Does he feel better? He feels like he is ready to go to bed, Peter replies. Nightcrawler agrees enthusiastically… right after the nightclub. The others suggest Peter just roll with it.
The Xavier Institute:
As Kitty is getting ready dressing up, Peter Rasputin asks her if she really needs to have a bachelorette party She tells him she must, then adds a whole bunch of X-ladies have threatened mutiny if they don’t have one. She reminds him that he went to Vegas for his bachelor party. And look at how well that went, he sighs. Kitty calms him: they are just going downtown for a few hours. It will be fine.
Someone shouts at her to hurry up. Colossus asks who planned this. If it’s Rogue, she can’t go. If it’s Ororo, then maybe it’s fine. She laughs he may be underestimating Ororo, then adds he has nothing to worry about. It’s just karaoke.
At the club, she learns it’s actually stripperoke and shouts what that is. Psylocke explains, it’s what it sounds like: Karaoke plus strippers. Rogue points out it was Ororo’s idea. Storm adds Kitty will love it.
Rogue drags her inside and Kitty sighs now she knows why Illyana bailed. Rogue points out she has that option. As the bride, Kitty doesn’t. Kitty prays for a villain attack. She is a bit more relaxed when she finds there are strippers of both genders.
Meggan suggests they do a karaoke number together. Kitty excuses herself and heads for the ladies’ room. She doesn’t know whether to pray for a Brood attack or wish herself back into the Bullet.
She finds Rogue inside the ladies’ room. She knows Rogue already tried to talk sense to her once, but a case of cold feet is normal, right? She’d be worried if Kitty wasn’t nervous, Rogue replies. Kitty observes that Rogue is radiant. Rogue agrees she is insanely happy and she has Kitty to thank for it. That mission she sent her and Gambit on really enabled them to break down a lot of walls. So it’s going well with them. Rogue admits her power is still a problem but, apart from that, they are the best they’ve ever been. Kitty asks what changed. Rogue figures she stopped being afraid. Nothing in their lives goes the way it’s supposed to. She just decided to snatch up what happiness she could find for as long as she can. Just like Kitty, she expects. Kitty agrees, snatching up happiness doesn’t sound bad.
Rogue’s phone rings and she takes the call. Kitty figures she has to face the music - literally - and leaves. While musing on planning a revenge party for Ororo, she is suddenly hit by an energy blast.
She finds herself transported to the sewers. Imagine her surprise, Callisto sarcastically states. Kitty fumes that Callisto kidnapped her again and dragged her into a sewer again. Not much surprise at this point. Maybe she’s been missing old times, Callisto muses. Kitty doesn’t share the feeling and she doesn’t understand why Cal thinks kidnappings and duels solve all her problems. It never seems to work out for Callisto, so she might want to change her approach. Besides, Kitty is hardly the child she was the last time Cal pulled this nonsense with her. This time she can expect to lose.
She slugs Callisto and tells her to consider this a thank you for all the help Callisto gave them when they were sharing a prison cell.
Cal grabs a metal pipe and points out she didn’t kill Kitty. That was helpful. Kitty phases through her attack and tells her not to flatter herself. How did she get out anyway? Kitty asks, as she tries to hit her. Girl’s got to keep her secrets, is Cal reply. Kitty slugs her again and chides her for not thinking this through. There’s a lot of firepower in the club above. One telepathic shout and this kidnapping nonsense is over.
This isn’t a kidnapping! Callisto shouts. It’s a warning! Nonplussed, Kitty asks about what. Cal replies if she hurts Peter, Callisto is gonna personally make sure Kitty will regret it. He loves Kitty, so she won’t hurt her, as that would hurt him. He’s a good man, and though he is not quite the same man he was when they were together, he still deserves better than either of them.
Why would she hurt him? Kitty bursts out. She loves him! Unconvinced, Cal gets up and points out they save the most hurt for those they love. She walks away and warns Kitty that, if she hurts him, she will be answering to her. Fair enough, Kitty replies.
A few minutes later, Kitty walks out of the bathroom and finds Illyana came after all. Illyana points out she is a mess. Did she roll around in the alley? Kitty promises to tell her later. They are inside the club where Storm’s karaoke number is already heating everyone up.
There’s an anonymous giant champagne bottle for Kitty. The card attached says: “Have an astonishing day, Ms. Pryde – E.F.”
Kitty decides she’ll need some before she goes up there for Islands in the Stream with Meggan. Meggan cheers, while the others consider what other songs they can torture Kitty with.