In a nightclub, bright lights flash and music pounds as people fill up the dance floor. A savage looking young man known only as Teon moves about amongst some scantily clad young women. ‘Mate’ he thinks to himself. He sniffs the surprised women, ‘Mate mate mate mate’ he thinks to himself. ‘Maaaaaate -’ and an instant later, he and one of the women are outside. He sniffs her again. ‘Heh’ he mutters, while thinking ‘Mate’ once again. ‘Girl’ Teon growls. ‘Oh…my…’ the girl utters as Teon bears down upon her. ‘HEY!’ a voice suddenly shouts. ‘Mate’ Teon thinks, with his arms around the girl. Three young men step forward and one of them shouts ‘What the hell do you think you’re doing, man?’ and another one calls him a hippie freak and tells him to find his own girls.
‘Fight / flight?’ Teon thinks to himself. The men shout more things - but he doesn’t hear what they are saying - he just interprets their actions as ‘Fight. Fight. Fight’ he thinks to himself, before growling ‘Fight’. He lunges at the mmen, and begins attacking all three of them at once. However, Sam “Cannonball” Guthrie blasts forward. ‘Hey! HEY!’ he shouts. Teon suddenly spins around - ‘Flight’ he tells himself, before leaping off the rooftop. ‘Flight. Flight. Flight. Flight’ he tells himself over and over as he races away from Cannonball. ‘Oh, come on, not again -’ Sam mutters as Teon lands in a crowd below.
Cannonball contacts Rogue and tells her that he blew it, that Teon ducked him again. Piloting a Blackbird nearby, Rogue tells Sam to stay close to the area, as they are inbound as fast as they can. Next stop, Miami Beach’ Rogue tells her young companions - Hope, Laurie, Gabriel and Idie. ‘The beach, yesss!’ Gabriel exclaims throwing his arms into the air. ‘Bathing suits. I don’t know’ young Idie remarks, while the blue-skinned Laurie exclaims that she definitely did not pack for that, and asks if there will be time for shopping. Hope turns to the other three and tells them that she knows they have all been cooped up in here a long time, as it is a long flight from Kiev. ‘But we’ll have boots on the ground soon and get some optics on the situation. This’ll all be wrapped up soon. I can just feel it’ Hope smiles. ‘But no swimming’ Idie exclaims. ‘The hell we’re not’ Gabriel declares. ‘Shopping and swimming’ Laurie states.
Meanwhile, on Utopia, at Fantomex’s sensory-deprivation tank, the mercenary lies in the tank, when he suddenly feels someone standing over him. ‘Fantomex’ exclaims Emma Frost a.k.a. the White Queen. Fantomex sits up. ‘Ms Frost. I was just trying to ganzfeld myself into your dreams tonight. That you came early is a sign of my colossal success’ Fantomex exclaims. Emma assures Fantomex that he will be getting action tonight, just not the kind he was fantasizing about. ‘I came to gauge your interest in doing a little crime’ Emma reveals. ‘Color me intrigued’ Fantomex replies, standing up in the tank, Emma watches him as the water pours off his body.
‘Kidnapping’ Emma explains. ‘Color me very intrigued’ Fantomex tells her. Emma informs Fantomex that there is someone here in the brig, a secret prisoner, that she needs to disappear them without anyone knowing. ‘Who knows now?’ Fantomex asks. ‘Ms Pryde. You’ Emma replies, adding that Danger knows the prisoner is here, but obviously she cannot trust Danger would permit her to take him. ‘Once he’s gone, her culpability in my ruse will insure her silence’ Emma adds. Fantomex puts his shirt on and exclaims ‘So we need to kidnap a secret prisoner and spirit him away without the world’s most perfect warden or Scott Summers figuring out what we’re up to’.
‘Yes’ Emma replies. Fantomex tells her that is pretty brazen, to which Emma tells him it is downright audacious. ‘Brazen doesn’t even begin to cover it’ she exclaims. ‘I’m in’ Fantomex tells her. ‘I know. So…’ Emma replies.
Soon, in the X-Club lab, Fantomex enters and greets former Alphan Madison Jeffries in French. ‘Tch’ Jeffries mutters, while sitting in front of a small construction. ‘I came to ask you about borrowing some diagnostic equipment for EVA, but…say, what’s that?’ Fantomex calls out. ‘What? This? Nothing’ Jeffries replies, turning away from the construction of Danger. ‘It looks like a girl’ Fantomex points out. ‘It’s not’ Jeffries tells him. ‘It looks like that girl, Danger. The warden’ Fantomex tells him. Jeffries admits that it is. ‘Whenever I think - I don’t know, I think about her and it starts to happen. But it’s not quite right’ Jeffries explains.
Fantomex suggests to Jeffries that he should go talk to her, go do something off-site with her, spend some time alone and get to know each other outside of the job. ‘You think I should?’ Madison asks, smiling. ‘Yes. Yes I do’ Fantomex replies, his eyes glowing - power of hypnosis working.
Meanwhile, in Chinatown, a bus stops and give identical men step from it. ‘Excellent. We can do business here’ one of them remarks, before they merge into one being, and walk into the crowd.
At Miami Beach, Rogue and the kids are settled into the room, and Hope sits at the window and suggests that they talk about what they do now, and calls out to Laurie, who remarks that he started in Kiev, he marauded his way through numerous restaurants, taking food and nearly assaulting women. She adds that one woman’s boyfriend got between them and Teon broke his ribs. Gabriel darts around the room and declares that Teon probably climbed inside of the wheel--well of a plane to explain how quickly he got from Kiev, to Paris or London or New York, and finally to here.
Idie remarks that Teon goes to high-end establishments exclusively, as the women he absconds with are all high-profile - as they have money, education and are all beautiful. ‘Alpha women. He’s going after alpha women’ Hope exclaims, and suddenly, ‘Watch out -’ Rogue exclaims, as Teon climbs up the wall of the hotel, and reaches the window where Hope is sitting. ‘Ahh. So you’re Teon’ Hope exclaims. ‘Mate? Fight?’ Teon thinks to himself, before deciding ‘Mate’ and leaping into the hotel room, where Rogue stands ready.
Back in the brig on Utopia, Danger monitors the virtual reality programme where Scalphunter finds himself - kneeling before the Morlocks as the one called Tommy tells him that it is going to be okay. ‘Don’t understand. That’s worse, that just makes it worse and - it’ll never stop unless you hate me as much as I hate -’, suddenly, Danger is interrupted by a voice who calls out ‘Um. Excuse me? Miss…Danger?’ Danger looks up and replies ‘Danger. It’s just Danger’. She looks at Madison Jeffries who stands on a balcony who greets her and holds up a picnic basket, claiming that he found it in the woods, he asks Danger if she will help him eat the picnic basket. Danger replies that the session with Scalphunter has begun going around in circles. ‘And I don’t precisely “eat” as you understand it’ she adds. ‘That wasn’t a “no”’ Jeffries smiles.
Back in Miami Beach, Teon thinks to himself ‘Fight. Fight. Mate’ as he looks at the others in the room, then back to Hope. ‘God. He stinks!’ Hope exclaims as he Teon crashes through the window and lunges at her. ‘Get the hell -’ Hope exclaims, punching Teon, when suddenly, Gabriel speeds by. ‘Gabriel, no -’ Hope begins, but Gabriel attacks Teon, ‘Lady said no, pal’ Gabriel exclaims, while Teon thinks to himself ‘Fight. Fight. Fight’ over and over again, before laughing as he knees Gabriel in the crotch.
Gabriel falls against the wall and Teon moves towards Hope once again. ‘Mate? Mate!’ he tells himself, while nearby, Idie crouches on the ground. ‘Stop it. Stop -’ she exclaims, ice all around her, before she engulfs Teon in flame. Teon screeches, while Rogue tells Idie to be careful that she doesn’t burn down the hotel. Laurie grabs Teon’s burning jacket, while Rogue tells Hope to get ready, and she grabs Teon, holding him back, she exclaims that he is stronger than a horse. Power glows around Hope as she approaches Teon and places her hand on his chest, ‘Just a second more, Rogue…’ Hope exclaims.
Teon glances back and forth between Rogue and Hope. ‘M - M!!!’ he thinks to himself. ‘Okay? Teon. Are you okay?’ Hope asks him. ‘M…’ Teon thinks as he drops to the ground at Hope’s feet. ‘What’s he doing?’ Laurie asks. ‘Master’ Teon thinks to himself as crouches like an animal. Hope smiles and replies ‘What’s it look like? He’s heeling’, before asking when they get to go to Tokyo.
On Utopia, Dr Cecilia Reyes and Dr Kavita Rao are in the medical facility. ‘What does a pandemic look like? On day one, I mean. Would you recognize it?’ Kavita asks. ‘Excuse me?’ Cecilia asks, busying herself in a cabinet. ‘Pandemic. Outbreak. On day one, what would it look like? Day two. Day ten’ Kavita asks. ‘When would you know?’. ‘Why…? Do you think we’re in the middle of an outbreak?’ Reyes replies. Kavita replies that she thinks they have got a seemingly spontaneous flu, and tells Cecilia that it worries her.
Reyes, a former X-Man herself, mutters that illness gets passed around this bunch all the time. ‘Colds, flu. Thank God it’s not bedbugs’, but Rao points out that it is off-season. ‘Where’s it coming from and why now?’ she asks, looking into a room where Dust, Surge and Rockslide are waiting. ‘When does the crisis start? Will we see it?’ Rao remarks.
Elsewhere on Utopia, Kitty “Shadowcat” Pryde is out of the containment tube and into a suit, she exclaims ‘Here’s the weird thing: How do my eyes work when I’m phased like this? What is the light bouncing off against if I’m completely transparent?’ She adds that her retinas are phased too, to which the White Queen asks her if she ever shuts up. ‘I haven’t said a word since - since I left - since I was trapped in the bullet’ Kitty exclaims. ‘I know’ Emma mutters as she reads a magazine, adding that she didn’t know the phase suit that the X-Club whipped up for her didn’t have an off switch. ‘Well, it doesn’t, and now you have to deal with it’ Shadowcat retorts.
‘Here’s a segue for you’ Kitty remarks, changing the subject, she asks how are they dealing with Sebastian Shaw. ‘Do you know your boyfriend calls me “Ms Frost” when he wants something? You both make me feel so cynical and old. As such, I am unapologetic that I’m about to split you two apart for a time…’ Emma remarks, before Fantomex contacts her. Carrying Sebastian Shaw’s motionless body through the corridors of Utopia, Fantomex tells her to get to EVA now, as they won’t get a second chance. He assures Emma that the EVA clone of Sebastian Shaw is in place, but points out that if it doesn’t fool Danger, then they are screwed. Standing on a rooftop, with Kitty, and EVA nearby, Emma suggests to Fantomex that he get here quickly, or she will have gotten them in quite a fix for nothing.
Meanwhile, as the sunsets, Danger and Jeffries are on a hillside, and look out over the ocean as EVA takes off into the air. ‘They’ve taken Shaw’ Danger remarks. ‘Excuse me?’ Madison asks. ‘Frost. And Fantomex, obviously. They’ve absconded with one of my wards, Sebastian Shaw’ Danger explains. ‘You let them take him? Should, um, we stop them?’ Jeffries asks. But Danger tells him that this is a case study, and explains that ever since she agreed to take charge of the X-Men’s rehabilitation program, she has been fascinated by the notion of humans being inherently good or evil. She tells Jeffries that some of her wards are warped, vicious men wholly incapable of feeling anything but rage and contempt. Danger adds that others she has come to believe can be redeemed. ‘So which one is Emma Frost?’ Madison asks. ‘I don’t know yet’ Danger replies. ‘But I look forward to find out’.
Inside EVA, Fantomex stands over Shaw and tells Emma and Kitty that the replica-Shaw is in place and is transmitting his neurofeeds live from the real Shaw here with them to the doppelganger in the brig. Fantomex explains that any kind of psi-ops that Danger does with the fake Shaw will not register as being anything amiss. ‘And what would?’ the White Queen asks. ‘Oh, if she - say - touches it. In any way’ Fantomex explains. ‘Great. We’re doomed’ Kitty mutters, to which Emma replies ‘Not so much’ and asks who Danger can tell, as the secret of Shaw on Utopia was between the two of them.
Emma exclaims that if Danger discovers their ruse, she cannot draw attention to it without compromising her already-flimsy credibility. ‘Believe it or not, I’m trying to shield her from taking any heat that is rightfully mine’ Emma announces, to which Kitty asks ‘And why are we taking this heat of yours, Emma?’ The White Queen does not look at Kitty as she pauses, and exclaims ‘I owe you an apology, Pryde. I owe you - I owe you so many apologies’. Emma admits that she may not be tremendously good at her job, but assures them that she believes in it, and points out that it is all she has done her whole life.
The White Queen exclaims that there are none stranger than her bedfellows, surely, but that she has protected mutantkind from a world that would kill them, and she has trained mutantkind to defend themselves time and time again. ‘Men like Shaw keep me in business. They keep spewing darkness into the world. That’s why. The end’ Emma exclaims. Examining her hair, she reveals that she has started to go gray this year, and assures Kitty that she is not lying. ‘The other night, Scott reached over and found two gray hairs on top of my head. It was supposed to be sweet’ Emma remarks.
‘He was trying to say - look at these things we’re enduring together. Look at us surviving. But that’s not what I thought at all’ Emma declares, before remarking that she knew a girl once - a girl called Jaye - whom she spent some time with in New York. ‘She had come out here, but I didn’t know until - I saw her obituary in the paper after we beat Bastion. Died in the attack’ Emma exclaims that she then thought of poor Nightcrawler. ‘No matter how sad he seemed to get, I always saw a smiling swashbuckler. Kurt, who was always my favorite. Who I could never shock. Kurt, who I miss more than anyone would ever believe’.
Kitty hangs her head at the mention of Nightcrawler, while the White Queen declares that Scott was trying to be sweet, while she felt cold and alone, because so many wonderful lights had gone out, and she is tired from fighting against all this darkness. ‘And I thought, I’ll name them Jay and Kurt”. I name my gray hairs after dead friends. Dead friends and X-Men’.