‘NO MORE MUTANTS!’ ‘NO MORE MUTANTS!’ ‘NO MORE MUTANTS’ is the chant that echoes loudly in a country far away from the United States of America, and, more importantly, the island nation of Utopia. A leader stands on a rooftop and speaks to the aggressive crowd below, announcing that mutants want to steal their minds. ‘You saw it for yourselves! You saw how they attacked me! How they stole into my very brain and forced me to utter their lies!’ the leader exclaims. ‘NO MORE, we must say to these genetic infidels!’ he shouts, announcing that mutants are unholy abominations, deviations from the true right path. ‘Let them remain an American problem! We have never had them here…and now we never will!’ he boasts as he motions to the stoic Sentinel, standing behind him.
The leader declares that this holiest of machines, built by their greatest scientists, was designed to defend them against mutant crusaders. He boasts that it is the finest mutant-hunting machine the world has ever seen. But, covering his megaphone so no one on the street below hears him, he turns to a man standing nearby at a laptop and asks ‘Why isn’t it moving?’ he other man replies that they are trying, but points out the machine has been in storage for so long. ‘This is the first time in years anyone’s tried to -’ he begins, but his leader interrupts, declaring that he does not want to hear that. ‘Make it fly. Make it do something’ he orders. ‘Sir, we…we…’ the other man utters, before the leader notices that the computer has smoke pouring from it. ‘Is it supposed to be smoking like that?’ he asks.
Suddenly, the Sentinel’s eyes light up, and it begins unleashing beams of energy, setting buildings on fire and destroying vehicles, while the civilians run for their lives.
On Utopia, a news report is being listened to, in which the top story tonight, in light of the startling revelations stemming from yesterday’s international arms conference fiasco: ‘Which world leaders are being asked to step down? Could Sentinel robots pose a threat to humans as well as mutants? And just who and where is Quentin Quire, the young militant responsible for all this unrest? But first, Lindsay Lohan in the news again…’.
Several young mutants - Anole, Dust, Trance and Transonic - are walking down a corridor, as Trance announces that “Death to mutants” is trending on Twitter. ‘That can’t be good’ she points out. Anole points out that so is Quentin Quire, as lots of people are calling him a hero for what he did.
‘Who the hell is Quentin Quire?’ Transonic asks Dust explains that he was a student at the Xavier School, a gifted telepath, but a troubled man, who once stated a riot at the school and battled several of the teachers. ‘He even managed to take down -’ Dust begins, before stopping herself, as Wolverine a.k.a. Logan appears before them, with the young mutant Idie Okonkwo aka Oya behind him. Logan snarls at the mutants and orders them to get to class. Trance informs him that there is no school today, that classes were canceled. ‘On account of, you know, the whole world wanting to kill us and all’ she explains. ‘Then go to your rooms’ Logan orders. Logan turns to Oya and tells her to get to her room as well, that it is best to stay inside until this trouble dies down.
‘It’s because we’re monsters’ Idie calls out as Wolverine walks away from her. ‘What?’ Logan asks as he turns back to her. ‘That’s why they want to kill us. You can’t blame them really. They have every right to be afraid’ she points out. Wolverine assures her that she is not a monster, Oya replies that it is okay, that it doesn’t bother her. ‘I’ve made peace with who I am’ she explains as she turns and walks away. Wolverine just looks at her.
Elsewhere on Utopia, Scott “Cyclops” Summers and Emma Frost a.k.a. the White Queen are monitoring the various events around the world, while the Stepford Cuckoos - Mindee, Phoebe and Celeste - assist, keeping in contact with various X-Men and allies around the world. One of the Cuckoos announces telepathically that Gambit is online in Tokoyo, uploading the Samurai Sentinel schematics. Another of the Cuckoos contacts the twins Northstar and Aurora, informing them that their targets have just sunk a fishing boat in the Red Sea, as she sends them the coordinates. The third Cuckoo tells Fantomex that he does not have clearance to crash a flying Sentinel into an Italian football stadium.
‘Got another one. Iran this time. It’s running wild in the streets’ Emma announces. Examining the situation, Cyclops replies that the teleporter are taxed, and asks who they have in the area. ‘Slim’ Wolverine calls out as he enters the room. ‘Send me someplace where I can stab something’ Logan declares. ‘Something that bleeds would be best. But I’ll settle for a damn robot’ Logan adds. But Cyclops tells Logan that he needs him here on Utopia, just in case any of those things actually prove to be operational. ‘What are you talking about?’ Logan replies. ‘You haven’t seen the latest news reports? The Sentinels, they’re -’ Scott begins.
‘Defective’ young Kade Kilgore announces inside the Hellfire Club, New York City. ‘At least 75% of them. Old and outdated. Improperly maintained. Useless. Just as I promised’ the young billionaire tells two old men dressed in robes. One of the old men replies that the Hellfire Club remains impressed with its newest Black King. ‘As you may know, young master Kilgore, the Inner Circle of this very club was once infested with mutants. We have since eradicated that infestation and in these seats you will once again find only those of the most extravagant wealth, refined lineage and impeccable genetic purity’. The old man smiles and announces that which was the era of the mutant has passed, and thus begins the new Age of Hellfire.
The old man continues, explaining that their previous plan was to exterminate the mutant race and, perhaps throw an orgy every year on the anniversary of their demise. ‘But you, Mr Kilgore, have found a rather useful new purpose for them, have you not?’ Hands in his pockets, Kade replies ‘Yes. Assuming all goes according to plan. Which, it will of course, since it’s my plan’. He announces that his team is assembled and awaiting orders, and that he expects confirmation on their target any moment. The old man asks Kade what he needs from them. ‘Four billion dollars in cash. And a dozen of your best men. Of the particularly violent variety’ Kade replies. ‘Already done. Waiting for you outside’ the old man replies. Kade adds that he also needs someone to record the next 24 hours of news broadcasts, as he forgot to set his DVR before he left home this morning. ‘And I wouldn’t want to miss my TV debut’ he declares.
Outside, ‘This is four billion in cash?’ Bessy, Kade’s driver, asks as she holds a small case in her hand.3’It will be once we un-shrink it’ Kade replies, before talking to someone on his mobile phone: ‘I have the money. Make the deal’ he declares. ‘Will do’ a boy about the same age as Kade replies at another location. With him are another boy and a girl, and they stand before several dog-faced aliens known as the Badoon. ‘Money’s on the way, fellas. Let’s talk business’ the boy suggests.
Back on Utopia, ‘The Sentinels are defective? Logan asks. ‘Some of them. Some of them just fell apart when they tried to turn them on. But several have gone haywire and are running amok’. Logan listens to Scott and asks him who is dealing with those.
Rogue, for one, has arrived in Iran, and bursts through the head of the defected Sentinel. ‘Don’t mind us, folks. Go on with yer whole “no more mutants” party. We’re just here to save y’all’s asses is all’ she shouts. The leader crouches down on the rooftop and watches Rogue as he gasps ‘What is this? The X-Men have sent their women here, just to humiliate us’. The Sentinel begins to fall, as a voice calls out from behind the leader ‘Oh we’re not looking to humiliate anybody. We’re just here to help’. Shadowcat steps into view, announcing that the fact they are all women is just a coincidence. ‘Did I happen to mention I’m also Jewish?’ she asks, smiling.
Around the world, more of the X-Men and their allies are dealing with the active Sentinels. The snow falls down as Archangel and Psylocke take on their opponent, while elsewhere, a Spider-Sentinel races across the ground in pursuit of Domino. In a desert wasteland, Storm and Dazzler have easily defeated their opponents, while elsewhere, Northstar and his sister of Aurora of Alpha Flight speed past their Sentinel opponent in a haze of brilliant luminosity.
‘Get me out there, Scott’ Wolverine asks, back on Utopia. Scott replies that not every Sentinel is defective, and that he needs his A-team here in reserve, just in case any show up on their doorstep. Emma watches Scott and Logan, while the Cuckoos continue monitoring the situations. One of the girls announces that Spider Sentinels appear to be breeding in the Berlin subways, she dispatches Chamber and Warpath to deal to them. The next Cuckoo reveals that Sentinel Birds of Prey have collided with airliner over Mogadishu, but that Captain Britain and Thor are responding. The third Cuckoo exclaims that Moonstar’s team is in a standoff at the Pakistani border, being denied access, but Iron Man is attempting to intervene.
Logan tells Scott that if he doesn’t want him fighting robots, then he is going to go after Quire. ‘Logan…’ Scott begins. Motioning to the door, Logan declares that the kids out there oughtta be in school, not having to worry about no mess like this, which is Quire’s doing. ‘When I find him I’m gonna stick my claws so far up his -’ Logan begins, while Emma telepathically calls out ‘Scott’, while Scott interrupts Logan: ‘You wanna go after Quire, fine, go after Quire. But I can’t have you going out half-berserk, not at a time like this’ Cyclops declares, while his thoughts respond to Emma: ‘Not now’ he tells her. Cyclops tells Wolverine to talk to him, to tell him what is really bothering him. ‘Quire’s gotta answer for what he’s done, Scott’ Logan replies. ‘To hell with Quentin Quire! Just tell me -’ Cyclops shouts. ‘SCOTT!’ Emma calls out once more, urgently. ‘A-hem’ a voice announces. Scott and Logan turn around to the door where Emma is already looking. ‘Is this a bad time?’ Quentin Quire asks as stands in the doorway.
Meanwhile, the aliens stand near their ship, while the girl goes over to something that is covered by a blanket and lifts the blanket up. ‘Where is money? Four billion in untraceable intergalactic credits! That is what was agreed upon!’ one of the aliens calls out. ‘We told you, it’s on the way’ the boy with the longish hair replies. The alien warns the kids not to cross them, boasting that the moons of Jupiter are pockmarked with the graves of rotting Earthlings who tried to cross them. ‘Right. We get it’ the first boy replies, unimpressed. ‘Hi there, kitty. Hi there’ the girl calls out as she peers under the blanket, where some sort of creature is being held in a stasis tube. ‘Not kitty, stupid girl! Is Badoon brain slug! Very dangerous! Do not touch!’ one of the aliens calls out.
The girl ignores him, ‘Hi, pretty kitty’ she exclaims. ‘Children. And now I am thinking you children are wasting out time! I am thinking there is no money’ one of the aliens declares, before holding up a knife and suggesting they take the childrens’ organs instead. ‘Sell them to Dire Wraiths. At least make back our fuel costs’. One of the aliens grabs the girl by her hair and announces that they will carve them up here. ‘Get the cooler’ he orders. ‘Earth children. Always so frail and whiny’ the alien adds as he holds the girl up to him. ‘You give me back my kitty!’ the girl shouts, as she reaches into her purse - and pulls from it a laser-like sword - which she uses to slice off the alien’s hand.
‘You…you cut off my stabbing hand…you little…’ the alien utters as he holds his severed arm - before the girl lashes out once more and slices off both of his legs, at the knee. The alien falls the ground, and just stares at wounds, oozing green blood. ‘Your face is stupid and ugly and I hate it!’ the girl shrieks as she lunges at the alien with her laser sword and another weapon. Two of the other aliens ready their weapons, and growl as they move towards the girl - only to have their brains blown out as the two boys shoot them in the head. As the girl shoves the weapon into the other alien’s face, one of the boys remarks ‘She wasn’t kidding about hating his face, was she?’. ‘Sure not’ the other replies, before motioning to the approaching flying car. ‘Here he comes’ he remarks.
Bessy stands guard by the car as Kade approaches his young companions. ‘So…I suppose we’ll just keep the four billion for ourselves. They deliver everything we asked for?’ Kade asks. ‘See for yourself’ one of the boys remarks as he motions to the girl, who is holding the stasis tube that the Badoon brain slug resides in. ‘Kitty’ she exclaims. Kade looks at her, wide-eyed, before ordering the boys to shrink everything down and load it into the car, and to vaporize the bodies. ‘Time to get suited up!’ he announces.
On Utopia, ‘Well…don’t all thank me at once’ Quire remarks. ‘You’re going to make me say it, aren’t you? All right. My name is Quentin Quire, the most wanted mutant in the world, and I am officially requesting sanctuary on Utopia’ he smirks. ‘C’mere, you!’ Logan declares as grabs Quire by his pink hair. ‘AAAH!’ Quire gasps as he is pulled towards Wolverine, who then puts him in a head-lock and drags him towards the computer console. ‘Show me how to call Steve Rogers on this thing’ Logan asks. Scott tells him to hold on, but Logan declares that he is ending this right now. ‘We’re not turning him over’ Cyclops announces. ‘Are you insane?’ Wolverine asks. Scott assures Logan that Quentin will be tried - but here, on Utopia, by the X-Men. ‘You’re talking about harboring a global fugitive’ Logan points out. ‘I’m talking about a man being tried by a jury of his peers’ Scott explains.
‘This piece of $%#* don’t have no peers’ Wolverine replies, before asking someone to get him Rogers. ‘Belay that order’ Cyclops announces, asking Wolverine to think about this. ‘I am, Scott. You think about it!’ Wolverine replies. ‘Calling Rogers won’t be necessary’ Emma announces. ‘And why the hell is that?’ Logan asks as he and Scott stare each other down. ‘Because he’s already calling us’ Emma replies. Commander Steve Rogers appears on the monitor, and announces that it is a real mess out there. He assures Scott and Emma that the Avengers are doing all they can to keep these Sentinels under control, but they are stretched thin. ‘If we can just make it through the night, I’m hoping the morning may bring an ease in tensions’ Steve adds.
Commander Rogers continues, telling Scott and Emma that he appreciates their people’s help with everything. ‘I know this must be trying, but I thank you for keeping a level head’ Steve adds. Cyclops replies that it hasn’t been easy, but that at the end of the day, they are still committed to doing what they have always done. ‘Still no sign of this Quentin Quire fellow who started this whole nonsense?’ Steve asks. ‘No, Sir. Not yet’ Cyclops replies, while around the corner, out of the camera range, Wolverine listens to the conversation, while holding Quire down, and covering his mouth. ‘Just keep me informed then. Rogers out’ Steve replies, before the communication ends.
Logan throws Quire towards Cyclops. ‘Nice bit of acting, Slim. Here’ your prize’ he tells him. ‘I hope he was worth it’ Logan adds. Scott announces that they cannot afford a confrontation with the Avengers, before asking Logan where he is going. As he walks away, Logan replies that there are times he likes it when Scott shows some backbone and stands up to them - but this has not been one of them. ‘Bye now. See ya around, Professor!’ Quire calls out as he waves at Wolverine. ‘Quire!’ Cyclops mutters. Quire declares that Wolverine may be good for stabbing things, but that mouth-breathing knuckle-dragger of a troll doesn’t have the mental capacity to appreciate what he has done for mutant kind today. ‘But I knew you would, Summers’ Quire adds, but Scott tells him to shut up again.
Quentin blows something out of his nose, while Cyclops decides that Wolverine is right - Quire is not worth it. ‘You’re a child playing at revolution. You needlessly put lives in danger. You made the world less safe for all of us today and you will answer for what you’ve done, I assure you’ Scott warns him. ‘I exposed the truth! The truth you were all too afraid to even -’ Quire replies, before Scott grabs him by his collar, and shouts ‘If I have to tell you again to shut up, I’ll have you transferred to a cell in Atlantis where I assure you their definition of “cruel and unusual” is significantly more lax than ours!’ Scott leans in closer to Quire and warns him that if he ever hears him belittling Wolverine again, he will personally break him in half. ‘Pray, every day, Quentin, that you will someday be half the man he is. Because as it stands now, I wouldn’t take six of you on your best day for one of him on his worst! Now get the hell out of my sight!’ Scott orders.
Telepathically, Emma orders Quire to confine himself to his quarters and calls him a “wretched little cretin”. Quire frown as he leaves the room and mutters that genius is never appreciated. ‘I just poked your brain and made you soil yourself. Next time there’ll be blood involved. Begone!’ Emma commands. ‘GAH!’ Quire utters as he looks down. Cyclops turns to the Stepford Cuckoos and asks them for a sit-rep. One of the girls announces that Sentinels are now coming online in New Delhi, while the next reveals that a submarine Sentinel has been spotted in international waters off the coast of Hawaii, and the third reports that malfunctioning Sentinels are still at large in Islamabad. Scott orders the girls to have Pixie reroute Rogue and Kitty to India, and Fantomex make EVA submersible and go prowl the Pacific. ‘And where the hell is Moonstar’s team?’ Scott asks.
The White Queen informs Cyclops that the Mayor keeps calling for him, to which Scott replies ‘Tell her I’m busy’ as he continues to look at the various monitors before him. ‘Right. Let me do that. As I am of course your secretary’ Emma mutters, before reminding Scott that the grand opening of the new Mutant Rights Museum downtown was not scheduled for another week, but the Mayor is now considering holding it tonight, in the hopes the festivities will help calm the current tide of anti-mutant hysteria. ‘She was hoping you might send a few X-Men along’ Emma adds, before announcing that she, for one, would like to go, as the testosterone in this place is becoming a tad bit suffocating. ‘Are you watching this, Emma?’ Scott asks as he motions to the screens. ‘The whole world is sending us a message. And we need everyone we have just to…’ his voice trails off. ‘What?’ Emma asks. ‘I know that look. Why am I suddenly worried?’ Emma exclaims, to which Scott asks whether the opening tonight will be televised.
Later, a reporter stands in front of the San Francisco Museum of Mutant History, which is indeed being televised. In a bar, a haggard hold woman leans against the counter while Logan approaches the barman, who asks him what he will have, while looking up at the TV above the bar. ‘Beer’ Logan replies. ‘And keep ‘em coming’ he adds, The reporter announces that tonight’s guests of honor are arriving - a special peace delegation of X-Men. ‘Oh what the hell, Slim, Peace delegation my ass’ Logan mutters. ‘That’s a damn show of force’ he decides as he watches the White Queen, Colossus, Iceman, Magneto and the Sub-Mariner stride (or in Iceman’s case slide) down the red carpet, while photographers take as many pictures as they can. The reporter adds that tonight is a special night for human and mutants both, as tonight is about facing the fears of the present, and shepherding the prospects of the future. Cyclops watches the report intently, while further down the red carpet, Anole, Transonic, Dust and Trance smile for the cameras, while Oya walks a few feet behind them, frowning.
Elsewhere, ‘Just look at it…have you ever seen anything so pretty in all your life?’ the girl asks as she holds up the Badoon brain slug, still in its stasis tube. Kade and the two boys stand next to her, while several Hellfire Club foot soldiers stand nearby. Kade and his young friends are also wearing Hellfire Club soldier costumes, but of blue, green and yellow coloring instead of red. ‘Yes. My father’s brains, splattered across the Alps. But this is a close second’ Kade replies, before announcing that they have arrived. Kade, his friends and the soldiers are inside a large truck, which has just pulled up at the back of the museum, into the loading bay. ‘How’d you guess they’d move the date for the grand opening to tonight?’ one of the kids asks. Kade replies that liberals are nothing if not predictable ‘Did we get a look inside? Who did the X-Men send?’ Kade asks. ‘All the heavy hitters. And some other guy made of ice. Just like you expected’ one of his friends informs him.
As they put their masks on, one of Kade’s friends asks him if he has any last words of wisdom for the troops. ‘Yes. Any of you morons #%$@ this up and I will hack your entire family tree into kindling and burn you atop the pile’ Kade warns them, before announcing that it is time to carve their names on the face of history. The truck doors swing open, and Kade, his friends and the foot soldiers burst forth, as Kade shouts ‘Thus begins the new Age of Hellfire!’