Excited and incredulous, a group of Japanese school children look up at the sky. It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s… a dragon!
One of the boys, Akira, asks his friend Jiro to look up in their monster guide which monster it is. Jiro rifles through his guide: Gojira… Space Cruiser Yamato… Astro Boy… Red Ronin… the Hulk. Excited, he closes the book and announces the dragon is a new monster. They’ve discovered a brand-new monster. Everyone at school will be so jealous!
Another kid is worried that the monster might eat them, a concern Jiro doesn’t share when suddenly he points up that people are popping up beneath the giant dragon and they are falling onto the hill top close to them. The kids race towards them, wondering if the people were in a fight. Was it with the dragon?
Jiro recognizes them from their book: they are the X-Men, he announces. Suddenly, a strong gust of wind almost blows them away. It’s the result of the dragon flapping its wind as it flies off.
While the X-Men are still gathering their wits, Wolverine wryly observes this isn’t Central Park. Three kids try to help and Jiro offers Professor X his thermos of tea. The X-Men gather and wonder where they are. Wolverine suggests they look and listen to the kids. Should be obvious. He addresses the kids in Japanese, asking where precisely they are. Kanagawa, on the main island of Honshu, comes the reply. The nearest town is Yamato. Can’t seem to stay out of the flamin’ country, even when he wants to, Wolverine mutters. They’re south of Tokyo, about twenty klicks inland, he informs the others.
Storm voices her concerns. They were told they’d be returned to where they were taken from. She remembers them materializing in New York, then there was a blinding flash, their world turned inside-out and they woke up on this hilltop. What went wrong and what happened to Cyclops? Why is he no longer with them?
The kids ask if the little dragon with them is related to the giant one that just flew away. What dragon? the X-Men marvel and Lockheed just sighs at their obtuseness. Xavier reminds them of the creature that became involved with Lockheed when they were off-Earth. But they were the same size. Colossus asks Xavier what they should do. Xavier announces he can see from the children’s thoughts they’ve been gone over a week. They are too far from home. There’s little chance of his contacting Kitty Pryde telepathically.
Storm summarizes that, when they were snatched from Earth by the Beyonder, Kitty had just flown off to the Massachusetts Academy with her friend Doug Ramsey. Since the school is affiliated with the Hellfire Club, she was depending on them to back her up in case of trouble.
Xavier order Rogue to fly ahead home, as she is faster than any of them, save perhaps Storm, and has sufficient power to aid Kitty, should she need it. The other X-Men will follow as soon as they’ve dealt with the dragon. Rogue pointedly turns to Storm, asking if she should go. Storm decides to agree with Xavier, who calls after Rogue to make sure Cyclops and the New Mutants are all right as well.
He realizes that the others are confused and angry, as they don’t know who is in charge but what is he to do? After years of being forced to sit on the sidelines, he is at last able to truly be a part of the team. He can’t help leading in the field as he does in the classroom. The role comes naturally to him. He’s not sure if he should give it up or even if he wants to.
Wolverine silently hopes Charley knows what he’s doing. Conflict of command is never good. He had his fill of it when Ororo took over and Cyke kept horning in, meaning and doing well, but always undercutting Storm’s authority and confidence. That was when she started getting tough inside. He wonders if she was overcompensating, trying to be better than Cyke at the job he did better than anyone. Storm tore out her soul to do this job, and Xavier’s pulling rank as much as tells her it was for nothing, that he thinks she can’t cut it. And that’s wrong!
The war room of the National Command Center, Japanese Combined Self Defense Forces. An alert and the announcement that a giant dragon is heading for Tokyo. It can’t be, comes the protest, this is the off-season. Monster Island reports all their creatures present and accounted for, someone mentions. Just what the world needs, one official sighs. Why couldn’t it have attacked San Francisco?
The general sounds a stage one alert. Another sighting, he is told, of the X-Men; they are pursuing the dragon. The general is glad to hear that his troops are getting help and tells the visitor, Lady Mariko Yashida so. Mariko immediately thinks of her fiancée Wolverine and turns to her cousin, Shiro, hinting he might also be of use. Is her concern for her homeland or for her gaijin lover, he asks derogatively. She reminds him that she is lord of Clan Yashida. It is not his place to question her will, only to obey!
Meanwhile in downtown Tokyo, the dragon makes its presence felt as its claws destroy the top of a skyscraper. Girders and debris tumble to the streets, as it tears the skyscraper apart with ease.
Storm flies herself and the others close with her winds and wonders why the dragon is doing this. It was always a gentle beast, their and Lockheed’s friend. Could its size change and this alien environment have so disoriented it that the poor creature has been driven mad?
She decides that their first priority is to safeguard innocent lives. Colossus is to take care of the falling debris. Colossus lands, glad of some action to take his mind off the love and happiness he has lost forever. He grabs a girder and uses it to pulverize huge chunks of glass, steel and masonry before they hit the ground. Simultaneously Storm’s elemental powers create a tornado that scoops up the rubble and hurls it out to the sea.
Nightcrawler’s job is to teleport people out of harm’s way while Xavier and Wolverine see to those less fortunate. Xavier uses his telepathy to point Wolverine to people buried in the wreckage.
Storm suggests to Xavier he try and forge a psi-link with the dragon, as it trusts the X-Men. Perhaps he can calm it. He tries and finds the creature’s thought processes normal and orderly. What she’s doing makes perfect sense to her and she can’t understand why everyone’s upset. He tries to prove deeper, which the dragon interprets as an attack. She topples a building on Xavier but, in the last moment, the debris is evaporated by newcomer and ally Sunfire.
His nuclear blast incinerates most of the wreckage but there’s still more, enough raining down on Xavier.
In Sunfire’s wake come wave after wave of fighter bombers, pressing their attack on the dragon. While on the streets, the tanks lay down a complementary barrage of cannon shells and ultra-electricity energy beams. The X-Men are impressed by their professionalism but, as Wolverine points out, they are not doing the dragon any damage.
Meanwhile, Madelyne Pryor sits on the steps of her bungalow in Tahiti, fearing that she may have become a widow on her honeymoon. But then, without warning, Scott lands in the shrubbery next to her. First she is relieved, but turns angry the next moment. He disappeared right out of her arms!
It wasn’t his idea, Scott defends himself. He was kidnapped. That’s supposed to make her feel better? He’s been gone over a week, does he eave any idea what that was like, not knowing if he was alive or dead? She turns away and begins to cry. Scott goes after her. He thought she understood. He can’t change who or what he is. His powers as Cyclops give him a special responsibility. They also make him a target. He’d give anything to live a normal, ordinary life with her, but he doesn’t think they’ll ever be that lucky. He’s sorry. They hug and make up.
In Tokyo, the Japanese forces throw everything they have at the dragon. She doesn’t even notice. Grabbing girders and building parts, she bears them skyward, wings generating gusts of such force that skyscrapers designed to withstand the worst earthquakes imaginable begin to sway ominously.
Storm tries her best to contain the dragon’s winds. However, unwillingly she creates a tornado that hurls her up high and fast. The effort and the sudden acceleration make her lose consciousness.
Meanwhile, Xavier wakes up, covered by rubble. His first semiconscious thought is that Sunfire needs some training. He should have pulverized that debris. His second is that he can’t move his legs. Can’t feel anything. He panics. He’s only just begun to walk again. This can’t be taken from him!
Wolverine reaches him mentally, telling him to cut it out. He’s screaming in their heads. Xavier replies he’s trapped. He ain’t alone, comes the gruff reply. He’s already looking for someone. How bad is he hurt?
Colossus comes running toward Xavier, who informs Wolverine of that. He adds that he senses thought patterns near Wolverine, to his left.
Xavier is ashamed of himself. He’s not seriously injured but when he thought his legs had been crushed, he panicked. His body may be whole but the psychic scars remain. What right has he then to lead the X-Men or even be part of team, if he cannot master himself? Colossus frees. him.
Elsewhere, Wolverine muses that Charles was really spooked. Do him good to act human once in a while. He’s close enough now that his senses can lead him to the trapped people. He finds a mother buried in the debris holding and shielding her young daughter. The child cries but is relatively unhurt, since her mother shielded her with her body when the roof collapsed.
Wolverine tries to calm the child, but finds the mother is dying. In Japanese, Wolverine tells her the truth and comforts her that he is with her. The young woman asks who will take care of her daughter Amiko and he promises he’ll see to it that she’s raised as if she were his own. The woman weakly thanks him before she dies.
Elsewhere, Storm falls almost into the dragon’s mouth. Sunfire catches her and blasts at the dragon, which seems impervious to his blasts. Fortunately, it has no fire breath itself, he thinks, but that moment it strikes him with its wing. Now both he and Storm are falling.
The young samurai does his best to slow down their fall and to an extent succeeds, nobly bearing the brunt of the impact himself. They land near the kids who are excited to see Japan’s own superhero has joined the X-Men in the fight. Recognizing the kids, Storm realizes her winds have blown her back to the hill. At that moment, the dragon is about to close in for the kill.
But then Lockheed flies up to it. The dragon’s roars shake the countryside while Lockheed’s voice can barely be heard. With a fireblast at the other dragon, he still manages to make his point. She reels away, more in shock than in actual pain. She can’t believe this is happening. How could Lockheed treat her so, when she had given him her hearts? She never realized that was a gift he neither asked for nor desired.
In the war room, the men see the dragons as two blips heading across the sea of Japan toward Soviet airspace. Suddenly, there is a massive energy discharge and the dragons are gone.
In Tokyo, the X-Men and the rescue forces are still doing their work. Wolverine announces they’ll have to trace the kid’s family. And if she has none? Nightcrawler asks. He gave his word, Logan replies simply.
In the war room, Mariko is grateful to see that Wolverine, Shiro and the X-Men are unhurt, and is surprised to see Professor X walking. She wishes she could be at her love’s side. Seeing Logan, only reminds her how much she misses him. Does he still feel the same? She wishes him well, though they may never meet again, nor gain the happiness they deserve. The path of duty is as hard for her and fraught with peril, as it’s for him. She prays she can walk it with his courage and honor.
Much later, at the close of this very busy day, back on the hill, Lockheed has returned. Sunfire explains radar was tracking them both when they vanished. Colossus suggests Xavier may learn where they went and why Lockheed’s lady friend has not returned.
Assessing his thoughts is one thing, Xavier replies, understanding them is another. Lockheed is truly alien and, he suspects, far more than a simple animal. Yah! Lockheed agrees. He has a feeling that only Kitty has a hope of truly understanding him. Lockheed coos. And therein lies part of the answer to Colossus’ question. The dragon’s love was unrequited.
That doesn’t explain why she tore apart Tokyo, Kurt points out. Love makes you crazy, Wolverine remarks. He points at a pile of rubble the dragon built, the start of a nest. You find yourself thinking about settling down, raising a family, building a house… or a nest. It’s a nice dream, when it works.
The Capitol in Washington D.C. Senator Kelly is proposing a bill to an elderly colleague, whom he addresses as Phil. Said colleague is calling the bill an obscenity. Does he deny the facts? Kelly asks. No, merely his conclusions, Phil shoots back, and the methods he proposes to deal with them.
Kelly points out that it takes sophisticated technology and expertise to build a nuclear bomb, none at all to create mutants. He can name a half dozen, already extant – with sufficient power to ravage the world. Who can say how many others exist that they don’t know about? They have to be able to defend themselves.
Granted, Phil replies, but what Kelly proposes will only make matters worse. It isn’t that far removed from legalized slavery. He respects him as a friend and colleague, but he won’t support Kelly. Indeed, he will do everything possible to stop him.
He’s making a terrible mistake, Kelly replies. One of them is, Phil replies darkly. He only hopes it isn’t irrevocable. He looks at the bill called the Mutant Affairs Control Act.