He’s a dead man, Anole decides, and he kind of always figured Rockslide would be the death of him… But not like this. Rockslide is currently possessed by Mr. Negative and tries to kill Victor.
Anole tries to get through to Santo. He never figured he’d get possessed by Mr. Negative in the middle of a supervillain fight. Also, he has no idea who Mr. Negative is. But Santo is an X-Man and X-Men beat this kind of thing all the time, right?
He urges Santo to remember who he is. How awesome he is. He figures he can get through to Rockslide with the sheer power of his mind. And then he remembers who he is talking about and he is back to square one.
But instead of Rockslide hurting him with his usual horribleness, he is now trying to crush Anole’s body with his massive fists. He is a dead man.
Dodging the blows, Anole muses that he saw Negative touch Santo, so he must establish physical contact to take someone over. Santo has never been so focused on anything as on killing him right now, he figures.
He sees the Serpent Society watching the fight. He grabs Anaconda and holds her in front of him. Trying to get at Anole, Rockslide hits her instead. Clever boy, Mr. Negative admits impressed.
Anole continues this tactic, hoping that Mr. Negative will let Santo go eventually. Instead, the villain orders Cobra to deal with this. Cobra replies that the Serpent Society is terminating this contract. Client interference. Read the fine print.
Anole lands in front of Mr. Negative, suggesting he let Rockslide go before he gets hurt. Rockslide tries to hit him. Anole dodges and Negative is hit instead. See what he means? Anole deadpans.
Anole continues he knows what he is thinking; he thinks he can get Anole before Rockslide gets Negative. Maybe he can. But is he willing to bet his life on it? Rockslide attacks again.
Angrily, Negative predicts this city will belong to him. It is inevitable. There’s only one thing he’s seeing as inevitable here, Anole gloats. He’s about to get rocked!
Mr. Negative relinquishes his mental control. Confused, Rockslide asks who beat up all the snake people (hoping it was him).
One of Mr. Negative’s servants throws a grenade at them. Rockslide throws himself in front of Anole to save him. Anole panics that the weird energy might have killed him when Santo is blown apart. He shouts at him not to be dead. He’s his best friend! He knew it! Santo shouts as he reconfigures. He is his best friend and Anole admitted it! Is he kidding him? Anole asks. Santo reminds him he tells everyone all the time how much he hates him. He had to make him say it? Why would he even care? Anole asks confused. Because he is his best friend! Rockslide replies.
At that moment, the X-Men led by Cyclops show up. Cyclops summarizes they’ve been sneaking off Utopia for weeks, putting themselves in danger to stop muggers and robbers. They were both almost killed just now fighting super-villains. Is there anything they have to say for themselves?
He thought Jean Grey was totally hot, Rockslide announces. More sensibly, Anole points out they just wanted to help.
Keep up the good work, Cyclops tells them.
That was… Anole sputters. Awesome! Rockslide finishes the sentence. They are awesome. Does he know what they should do? Fight more crime? Anole asks. Get breakfast, and then fight crime.
New Orleans, the French Quarter:
Patsy Walker aka Hellcat sits at the counter of a bar called Brian’s and is in a phone conversation with Emma Frost. Patsy complains she is the only girl in there and he’s not… no not a girl, not here. And why he chose a place called “Brains”… What? Apparently informed that the place is called Brian’s, Patsy admits that makes more sense.
That moment, the late Remy LeBeau aka Gambit comes in, muttering “oh no” when he recognizes her. Have they actually met? Patsy asks in a huff, because he sure acts like they have.
Gambit explains her reputation precedes her. But Scott calls. He says: “there’s someone important I need you to meet.” He’s happy to help. But what did he do to deserve this?
Joke’s on them, Patsy agrees as he sits down. Emma Frost must have an alphabetical payback list. She was bound to get to her some time. Someone should call Warlock, unless she’s going by first names. Isn’t Warlock his first name? Gambit asks while ordering a drink. Like Meatloaf or Saki?
Meatloaf is not his real name, Patsy informs him. Second, people do call him Mr. Loaf, and Saki is a pen name. Doesn’t count either.
Whatever you say, Hellcat, he replies. She can call him Remy. Rene? she misunderstands, then Ronny, then Kenny. Exasperated, he offers to buy her a drink, hoping that will help.
Pointing to her glass, Patsy remarks someone beat him to it. She calls it a party piece. Like naming all the czars in order or being able to pretend you like football. Everybody can do something, so spill! she challenges him. Nobody beats him at cards, he smirks. That must make him very popular, she smirks back.
Hours later, they are playing cards and Patsy isn’t doing too well. She complains she doesn’t have any money and what the hell cheap kind of date is he that he can’t place a bet for lady? They are not at the race track, he sighs. She grabs around in her bag and finds something to bet. She puts a small jar with a strange ugly creature inside on the table. A Fiji mermaid, she explains. This is what she gets for taking jobs on the side. And now he has a chance to win it. Why was it in her valise? he asks. In case they needed a conversation starter, Patsy explains sensibly. Apparently it comes with three wishes. She asks him to play along.
In a typical non sequitur, Patsy muses if they teamed up they could be Gamcat and Hellbit, then she is entranced by the jukebox. Maybe they have Motorhead or Dazzler. Frustrated, Gambit tells her to sit still for ten minutes. Angrily, he charges up the table, freeing the mermaid. She is making him crazy!
Annoyed, Patsy wishes he’d stop complaining about everything. Wish one, the mermaid thinks. Gambit retorts he isn’t complaining but stating facts. She is driving everyone around her insane.
Angrily, she wishes he could hear himself, which he suddenly does. Wish two.
As the mermaid tries to flee, Patsy grabs it and stores it back, content they still have one wish left. After handing the barkeeper some money for his trouble, they leave.
She tears a phonebook off a phone booth, much to Gambit’s displeasure. She is the reason no one can ever find a phonebook. Who uses phone booths anymore, anyway? she asks and looks through it, deciding on the Banana Fish Palace. That’s where they are going for dinner next week, she informs him. And he should see her again, because? Because he had a good time, she replies. He would have had a better time if he was currently the owner of three wishes, Gambit pouts. She doesn’t think it worked anyway, Patsy replies. Because he is still complaining.
Dazzler and her bodyguards, Misty Knight and Colleen Wing, are in the unlikely situation of having been abducted by the Cosmic Grandmaster and forced into a Roller Derby Contest of Champions against several villains, among them Paste-Pot-Pete, Stilt-Man and Klaw (also equipped with rollerblades). At stake is some poorly defined cosmic prize offered by the Grandmaster, who has apparently been reborn younger and even more irritating.
Dazzler isn’t worried. She is the best at what she does. And what she does is rollerskate! Also skating and fighting alongside her are her security guards Misty Knight and Colleen Wing. Security work, like vacation, she said! an annoyed Misty shouts at Colleen. Whatever, dude, is Colleen’s reply. She just cut off Stilt-Man’s legs! The samurai laughs manically.
Dazzler reminds them to keep the eyes on the prize. Annoyed the two follow. Dazzler is sure they got this in the bag. What are they up against – Stilt-Man and Paste Pot Pete. She wonders why the two women are so good at skating. Not telling her about their past as Hell’s Kitchen Roller Disco Queens of 1996, they just reply they’re just good like that.
As MODOK attacks (or MODORD – Mental Organism Designed Only For Roller Derby) and overtakes them, they realize he might win this. Dazzler and her radical all girl roller death squad try to catch up.
Can’t she zap him with her mutant power? Colleen asks impatiently. She turns sound into laser, Dazzler replies. She needs more volume. He is bulletproof. Misty draws her gun and shoots one Dr. Bong (who is busy tying his shoelaces). The sound the bullet makes against the gong-head is enough for Dazzler to zap MODOK.
The women win and are congratulated by the Grandmaster, who offers the ultimate prize: himself. Is he kidding her? Dazzler asks. He set the whole thing up for her, he explains. Why else could no one else skate (except for the bug guy). He thought his name stood for mental organism designed only for routine diagnostics. His bad.
Misty hits him with her bionic arm and once he’s down all three ladies kick him repeatedly. He must be out of his damn mind! Dazzler shouts. But he’s offering everything she could want! he protests. Cosmic powers… She’s the world’s greatest rollerskating mutant pop star! she shouts. What more could she want?!
Somewhere on the streets both Hercules and Psylocke attack the Chimera, who has just robbed a bank. Even though he offers to return the money, Hercules takes him into a headlock and offers him the gift of battle. Oh God, he doesn’t want it! the Chimera shouts. Shame, Psylocke sighs and takes him out with a psi-knife.
As Betsy turns to leave Hercules stops her. Between them, their might made quite a union…
He wonders what other union might be held between them? Psylocke asks sharply. Did she read his mind? he asks with a broad grin.
London, years earlier:
Another battle just finished. Their might made quite a union, Hercules tells Psylocke. He wonders what other union might be held between them. She only just met him, she replies, shocked. Surely she has heard the legends of him, Herc replies. And a beauty such as hers should be legend. Therefore, let them spread their legends together!
Betsy is flattered at being wooed by a god. That moment, their foe, the Crimson Dynamo, gets up again, ready to attack. Displeased, Hercules hits him and he stays down. Betsy is duly impressed. He really is a god, isn’t he? Why not discover for herself? he challenges.
And a beauty such as hers should be legend, Hercules continues his spiel. Stop right there! Betsy orders, putting her finger to his mouth. Before she chooses to aim the world’s pain into his nervous system. He does remember feeding her those lines the first time they met, right?
Hercules looks sheepish.
The day after:
Betsy wishes she didn’t have to go, but she has to. Still, that was a great… team-up. Herc agrees and assures her she was unforgettable.
Hercules grins. So… did they? Psylocke belts him. Un&%$* believable! she swears as she storms off.