At a boardwalk club named the Mermaid in Valle Soleada, California, the X-Treme team has joined Rogue to hear Sam’s lover, Lila Cheney’s, concert. The team is listening to the music of their friend, when an unidentified woman enters the Club. Bishop notices that she carries enough plastic explosives around her waist to destroy the entire building. Quickly, Rogue’s training takes control and she stops her from pressing the detonator. This distraction gives Cannonball enough time to order Lila to teleport as many guests as she can to safety and he blasts off into the air with the assailant in-tow, with Rogue at the last minute tagging along too.
In the air, Sam questions Rogue’s decision to tag along and she informs him that, if it weren’t for her, the girl would have already detonated the bomb. The girl screams at the two X-men that they should just kill her, because that’s what mutants like them want! Rogue pulls a knife out of her holster and cuts the bomb from around the girl’s waist, sending her and the young girl falling to the Earth. Cannonball continues speeding into the atmosphere, holding the bomb in his hands. He thinks about Rogue’s intelligence and how behind all her attitude she truly is a great fighter.
Rogue tries to fight the detonator out of the girl’s hand but to no avail, as she presses the button, sending panic throughout Rogue’s body. Rogue cries out “NO!!!” as she sees the nearby blast and wonders if her friend survived. The girl asks Rogue if the mutant was her friend? Rogue, in wonderment, asks the girl what her problem is. She tells Rogue that she hated Sam because he was a mutant and, if she is a Mutie lover, she thinks Rogue deserves to die as well. Rogue tells the girl that she has more important things to do with her life than to die now. Rogue does get worried, though, as she gets closer and closer to the ground. She cries out that she could really use a flyer right now! Luckily, Cannonball reaches Rogue and he asks her if she missed him.
Sam and his charges land on the dock near the Club and Lila quickly runs to Sam’s side, telling him how much she feared for his safety. He tells her that he wasn’t ever in any real danger but Lila, transporting them to parts unknown, finishes his words. Sage, with a trickle of blood running down her forehead, tells Bishop that Lila truly was scared for Sam’s safety. Bishop comments that they should all be so young, lucky and in love. Rogue sits on the dock with the young girl unconscious in her arms and the three of them talk about Sam and Lila’s great relationship. Bishop asks Rogue if she was able to fly and she informs him that she was not. Bishop and Rogue talk about the awkwardness of how there is no police involvement, even with all the commotion. Both agree that it is because mutants are involved. Their conversation is cut short as Jake and Paint Freestone approach them. Jake recognizes the unconscious girl as Marie D’Ancanto and tells the others that she baby-sits his kids! Just then, Marie wakes up and attacks Rogue, but Bishop is quick to respond and he bear hugs her, deflecting her blows with his body as she wails she screams that she wishes they were all dead!
At the Presidential Ranch in Crawford, Texas, a black funnel cloud approaches the complex. Flashes of different areas all say the same thing, that an unpredicted storm is approaching Texas and everyone should be advised that it is dangerous!
At the Ranch in Texas, the security of the complex is set into motion and they inform the high-ranking officials around the Ranch that a recess is advised. Outside the Ranch a female pilot named Major Stanchek informs the security officer that she cannot fly her helicopter in the weather that they are facing. Stopping their conversation, the major starts to pray, as she sees a huge tornado forming in front of them. The security official tells the guard on the other end of his radio that he should forget the First Family and get the president into the Bunker! Shockingly, a face emerges from the tornado and, just as suddenly as it appeared, the tornado fades away to nothing.
Much later, Storm lies in Gambit’s lap, as if she has no energy to stand. He tells her that she is a showoff and she tells him that she finally realizes what its like for Logan when his healing factor resurrects him. With that said, she stands to her feet, showing that her clothes have been ripped. Remy tells Storm that Logan is supposed to be so dumb he doesn’t know to not walk into a buzz-saw. She tells him, as she removes her clothes and begins to skinny-dip in a nearby river, that she must be too damned dumb as well. He calls her a liar, telling her that she should be at the top of her game if she is to take control of the events that are transpiring around her; but she is not. Storm comes up out of the water and Remy kisses her, telling her that his kiss should help begin her healing. Storm leans her head back from his and tells him that Rogue is going to kill them for that. He leans his head on hers and tells her that she just got a kiss, but Rogue has his heart. Remy helps Ororo to her feet and she tells him that, for the first time, she may envy his and Rogue’s relationship.
Suddenly, a man clearing his throat from behind them meets the two of them. Remy holds Ororo’s naked body and she causes the two of them to hover over the nearby pond. Valerie Cooper is among the people that stand near the two friends and she asks Ororo if they have come at a bad time. Colonel Vazhin is another person that has met them and he apologizes for their interruption. Storm tells Vazhin that he shouldn’t feel apologetic and she asks them to wait as she changes. A bolt of lightning comes from her body and she suddenly makes clothes out of that electricity. She hovers Gambit and herself to the ground and listens to Valerie Cooper, who ask her about the earlier tornado and if she saved their lives or was responsible for the tornado’s occurrence. Behind Storm, Gambit skips rocks on the nearby pond, as Storm continues her conversation with the officials that surround her. Ororo tells Val that if she even has to ask the question than her and Remy’s presence at the meeting was for nothing. She tells the officials that she knows what the discussion was about at the Ranch. The colonel speaks up and asks Ororo if she is the solution to their problem or the problem itself? She tells the Colonel that she is both just like them!
The next day and back at Rogue’s house in Valle Soleada, Marie sits at the kitchen table as Rogue gets her a can of soda. Marie asks Rogue if she is under arrest and Rogue replies that she is just there so Rogue can get to know why she was trying to kill her. Marie knocks the soda from the table and she screams that she wants a lawyer, because she cannot keep her there! Cleaning up the spilt drink, Rogue leans over the table and tells Marie that she can leave any time she wants.
Rogue holds out her hand and stops Marie from leaving. She tells Marie that, before she can go, she must meet a few people. Rogue picks up a nearby flashlight that projects images of people from the Mermaid club on the wall. Rogue introduces Marie to a pregnant woman by the name of Adele Massey, who isn’t a mutant but would have been killed in the blast. She shows another picture of a young boy holding a soccer ball. He is named Rudy Soars and would have become an orphan if her bomb had gone off. Rogue shows Marie an image of hundreds of people and tells Marie that they all would have been killed or maimed with her bomb. Lastly, she shows Marie Jake Freestone and his family and tells Marie that Jake is a mutant, but Marie was his kid’s baby sitter.
Marie kneels down to the young girl in Jake’s image and tries to touch her face. Tears pouring down her face, she pulls the patch off her eye and tells Rogue that it was her people that did that to her face. Marie reveals a gaping hole where her eye used to be. In place of her eye are scars coming off of the wound. Changing the subject abruptly, Marie is startled by a movie that is playing in a nearby room and she tells Rogue that it is one of her favorites.
Marie tells Rogue about her past, just before the accident when she was yelling at her brother for singing a song that annoyed her and how she threatened to kill him if he didn’t stop. She tells Rogue about how her father built gardens and her mother was a teacher and what good people they were.
She continues her story and tells Rogue that she can remember blood and fire. Sadly, she recalls that the flames were hers, because she was the one on fire, and she remembers pulling the body of her brother from the wreckage. Behind Marie, Rogue seems to finally understand Marie’s pain and pity comes on her face.
Marie walks out onto Rogue’s balcony and tells her about how her uncle sought to find the gang that led to the accident. She also tells Rogue about how a couple of people in suits came from the X-Corp building and told her uncle that what he was doing could be considered species harassment and maybe even a hate crime. Tears rolling down her eyes, she tells Rogue that she just wanted the horror to end and her life to be returned to her, not the one she has now, but the one she should have had. Angered by the fact that she can never show her body off again, she lashes out once again at Rogue, telling her that the pain doesn’t end there.
Marie tells Rogue that, while she was in the hospital, a guy came to her uncle and offered to buy her house. She denied him his request, but later both she and her uncle began to have terrible nightmares, until finally her uncle broke and signed over the house to the mysterious man. Strangely, after the house was sold, the dreams stopped. As the mysterious man walked out of the D’Ancanto house, a shadowed figure stands near the back porch with a huge smile on its face.
present and past:
Marie explains that, after the house was sold, she found out that her entire neighborhood was the site of a new Mutant community. She explains that she found a website and, on that site named Purity, she found an entire group of people that had the same problem with mutants as she does. She goes on to say that she found out how to make the weapons she needed and even the information that Roberto Dacosta, the leader of the L.A. branch of X-Corp, was supposed to be at the Mermaid Club that night. She tells Rogue that she went to the grave of her parents that morning and told them she was going to see them soon. Shockingly, when she got there, she saw that their graves were desecrated and tagged by “muties.” Standing so the wind blows in her face, Marie tells Rogue and the now-present Bishop and Sage that she is not sorry for what she did and, if she ever has the chance, she will do it again!