Muir Island, where an eclectic band of mutants are now fighting for their lives. A series of BAMF’s are seen through a forest, while Elisabeth “Psylocke” Braddock, Magneto, Hope “Trance” Abbott and Paige “Husk” Guthrie have sought refuge on a hill overlooking the rest of the Island. ‘Another survivor. Down in the valley’ Psylocke remarks. ‘Don’t - don’t break - silence’ Magneto utters, exhausted. Betsy addresses him as Magnus and tells him that if they cannot trust each other then they are already dead. Betsy telepathically contacts Kurt, telling him that she cannot open her mind fully, as Proteus can track back along her channel and touch her through it, before revealing to him that they are up by the cairn, and asks him to join them.
Instantly, Rogue arrives in a BAMF of brimstone. ‘Kurt’s dead, Psylocke. Ah was there when Proteus took him’ Rogue reveals. Rogue stares out over Muir Island as strange colored clouds hang low over the Island. ‘And Ah don’t see the five of us holding out long against this’ Rogue exclaims. ‘So you think we should just lie down and die?’ Betsy asks. Rogue replies that is not a habit she ever got into, but points out that Proteus is insanely powerful. ‘He can change the world just by thinking about it!’ she points out, adding that she is talking about sending a warning. ‘If we lose here, Cyclops has to know about it’ she exclaims.
Paige agrees, but points out that they cannot leave without Colossus. ‘I - I think he might be - he might not be coming back down again. Like, ever. I mean, you saw, right?’ Trance mumbles. ‘Psylocke - you were in Proteus’ mind. What does he want? Why has he - returned? Is there anything we can - use against him?’ Magneto remarks, still hunched over. Betsy replies that Proteus wants to eat, and he wants to live. ‘He tried death, and it didn’t work out for him. He’s not going back’ she exclaims. Husk asks if Proteus is with Selene, if this is all part of one big plan. Psylocke replies that she doesn’t think anybody planned this, that it is fall out. ‘Uh - I don’t want to worry anyone, but did you take a look at the clouds?’ Trance asks. Husk points out that they are getting lower, and remarks that once the clouds cover this ledge, they will be fighting blind. ‘We have to move now’ she exclaims. ‘Move where?’ Trance asks.
Psylocke declares that they will go to the Blackbird and use the radio to raise Utopia and tell them what has happened. She points out that they will need to walk as Magneto is too weak to survive another teleport jump. Rogue and Psylocke help the Master of Magnetism to his feet, as he tells them that there is no time, that Rogue has to teleport them. Rogue tells Magneto that he is dying, that his blood is turning to slurry and his brain is shutting down due to lack of oxygen. ‘You’re out of fight!’ she tells him. But Magneto replies that he is not out of fight until his heart stops beating. ‘And things being what they are - probably not even then’ he adds. ‘Sure about this?’ Rogue asks. ‘You’re wasting time’ Magneto replies. ‘Better than wasting you’ Rogue tells him. ‘I’m touched by - your concern. Just do it’ Magnus responds, and a moment later, there is a large BAMF.
Three hours ago…
‘YES!’ booms Proteus who has taken over the body of Ruth “Blindfold” Aldine. Proteus exclaims ‘At last’ as he explains that he could not feed on the older one, as something inside her made her indigestible. ‘I was so long in the dark, I’d almost forgotten what this felt like!’ he exclaims, while Rogue, tied up with a steel pipe, calls out to Ruth, telling her that she has to fight Proteus, that she must not give in. Proteus tells Rogue not to be absurd, as what he does is not mind control, but full physical possession. ‘This is my body now’ he boasts, ‘Or, rather, one of my bodies. I’m still anchored in this ruined flesh, too’ he adds, kicking the unmoving body of Irene Adler a.k.a. Destiny. ‘Perhaps death changed me more than I knew’ Proteus remarks.
‘Change - change is what finally kills you’ Destiny whispers. ‘No. Change is where I flourish. That’s why I can never die. Everything changes and everything that changes is mine’ Proteus replies, declaring that this pattern is his essence, his immutable self. ‘Everything else is perishable’. He adds that there is no point to any of the others. ‘How can you even call yourselves alive when life only flickers in you for a moment?’ he asks. Suddenly, Magneto, Piotr “Colossus” Rasputin, Psylocke, Trance and Husk appear, with Magneto warning Proteus to release his hold on Blindfold. ‘Or I’ll send you scampering back to your grave like a god to kennel’ he warns him.
‘But how did you know -? Ah. Of course. A telepath. Dirty, greasy little fingers, grubbing in my mind’ Proteus exclaims, telling Psylocke that he has to teach her manners, he proceeds to harm Betsy, causing her to scream. Proteus warps the floor, causing it to crumble into a series of blocks, and exclaims that it all comes back to him now - the desperate improvising, trying to win by strength of numbers, because every one of them is so weak and helpless alone. ‘But this is one of your own, X-Men. You can’t hurt me without hurting her!’
Magneto responds by exclaiming ’If you are counting on that to save you, creature - allow me to disabuse you!’. Proteus, manipulating Blindfold’s movements of course, smiles, in a way as he exclaims ’The iron in the blood. That’s what your power depends on isn’t it. Cold iron. You make it dance’ Proteus exclaims, before Magneto keels over. ‘See if you can do that when most of the iron in your own blood has turned to lead!’ Proteus exclaims.
Colossus sneaks up behind Proteus, ‘Enough! Blindfold, forgive me - but this monster must be made to let go!’ he exclaims, smacking Blindfold across the face. Blindfold / Proteus falls to the ground. ‘C-Colossus! Don’t - don’t -’ Blindfold exclaims, ‘Don’t touch me. Murderer!’ Proteus declares, before smashing Colossus through the laboratory and out into the open. ‘Wind-up toy. I see him broken. The spring - bent out of shape -’ Destiny remarks, while Magneto is still on the ground near her.
Trance and Husk rush towards Proteus, ‘Little children, little children, this just won’t do!’ Proteus exclaims, telling them that they will all get their turn, but that he needs to get used to being alive again. ‘So go play outside’ he exclaims, and with that, the two young women vanish. ‘Much better. Now I can hear myself -’ Proteus begins, before Kurt “Nightcrawler” Wagner arrives, and teleports repeatedly as he punches Blindfold / Proteus, who falls to the floor, motionless. ‘Unglaublich! Every friend we ever lost, and every enemy we ever killed. How can we win this?’ Kurt exclaims. Rogue, still tied up, tells Kurt to get out of here quickly, explaining that it is only Blindfold who is unconscious, not Proteus.
Too late, as Proteus’ essence takes over Nightcrawler as well. ‘Kurt! Oh, no!’ Rogue gasps. ‘This is incredible! I can possess multiple hosts at the same time. I knew I wasn’t the same as I had been!’ Proteus exclaims, interchanging between Nightcrawler and Blindfold. ‘No. Me neither’ Rogue remarks, as she reaches to Nightcrawler, and touches his face, absorbing his power, she teleports away. ‘It doesn’t matter. You can’t escape me, Rogue. Nothing can escape me now. And I’m not going back to that emptiness. Not ever!’ Proteus declares, exclaiming that death will have no dominion and life no lease. There’ll just be me forever and ever!’
A BAMF signals the arrival of Rogue, Betsy, Magnus, Husk and Trance at another location on Muir Island, and while Betsy helps Magneto, Rogue tells Trance to get them some recon, to see if anything is between them and the Blackbird. Trance agrees, and shifts into her “Trance” astral form, while Rogue tells the others to be ready, as when they move, it will be fast. Psylocke sees Husk removing some of her costume and asks her if she is stripping for action. Revealing a solid rock-like skin, Paige replies that she is slipping into something more comfortable, adding that it is a good thing about carrying your wardrobe on the inside, is that she always has something that fit’s the occasion. ‘How about it, Betsy? You feel like spilling the rest of the beans now?’ Paige asks.
Betsy replies that she is not hiding anything, but it is hard to describe what she saw in Proteus’ mind. Psylocke explains that Proteus is not made of flesh and blood like the rest of them, but a lattice of energy. ‘He inhabits bodies briefly, uses them as storage batteries, then moves on when they’re empty. Referring to the events where Proteus was merged with the being Piecemeal, Betsy tells her companions that they should have considered the implications of that, and when he dispersed his being and seemed to die, he instead entered a low-energy resting state - dead and alive at the same time.
‘He remained like that for years. Then something moved in those borderlands. Moved in the wrong direction. Something came back from life, and a little piece of Proteus was carried with it’ Psylocke explains, referring to Eli Bard infecting Destiny’s body with the TO Virus. ‘Destiny’ Rogue exclaims. Psylocke replies that it was bigger than that, but that Destiny was part of it. ‘Maybe the fact that she died here, in a place saturated with his energy, created a link Proteus could use’. Psylocke continues, revealing that Proteus knew he could not die, and he wanted to be free from the prison he had created for himself, to reassemble the pieces of his being, so he distorted Destiny’s visions of the future, made her think she was passing on a warning, when in fact she was triggering all this by contacting Blindfold.
Psylocke points out that Blindfold is a sensitive, and that might have been enough, or perhaps when he was right up close he did something to Ruth’s mind, made her into a psychic magnet so she could collect up the rest of his fragments, then she got the final piece from Destiny and went critical. Suddenly, Trance’s astral form returns and merges with her body as she announces that the Blackbird is exactly where they left it, with no enemies in sight. ‘Good. We get Magneto on board and we get airborne. Soon as we’re off the ground, we raise Scott. Let’s move’ Rogue exclaims.
Soon, the five mutants have made it to the edge of the Island, the beach where the Blackbird landed. ‘Helm on defenses red. Authorization Rogue Alpha - No! Oh no!’ Rogue exclaims as she sees Colossus’ motionless body strewn about the Blackbird. Rogue puts Magneto down and rushes over to Colossus: ‘Peter! Peter, talk to me!’ she exclaims, while Betsy contacts her telepathically, asking her what is happening. ‘Nothing good, Betsy. The radio’s out and the ship’s not going anywhere. We just lost our exit strategy’ Rogue exclaims. Suddenly, Psylocke tells Rogue that she best get on outside. ‘Night not be all we’ve lost’ she tells her as she readies her psychic knife: ‘I think things are about to get ugly’ Betsy declares as Nightcrawler, Blindfold and Destiny approach her.
‘You weren’t going to leave, where you? Things are just getting interesting’ Proteus exclaims. ‘You don’t scare me’ Betsy tells him. ‘Really? Then maybe you just haven thought this through. I control reality you imbecile. What I think becomes real’ Proteus exclaims. ‘And I think you’re dead. Again’ he tells Betsy, who moans as her right arm is stripped to the bone. ‘Just messing with your head, Betsy my love. You see Kurt Wagner knew all your worst nightmares. And they gave me a lot of material to play with’ Proteus tells her, while Husk rushes over to Blindfold, and grabs her by the throat while telling Psylocke to snap out of it. ‘That’s not Kurt. It’s the thing that killed him!’ Husk exclaims, telling Betsy that she will kill her too if she doesn’t fight back.
‘Actually, I’m going to kill you whether you fight back or not’ Proteus replies through Blindfold. ‘Kill you. And eat you. And spit out the bones!’ he exclaims, knocking Husk backwards. Trance releases her astral form, which passes through the Proteus-possessed Destiny. ‘This is your new ghost girl is it? The old one had a dragon if I remember rightly’. Proteus tells the three women that they are all equally irrelevant, and surrounds them with an energy field - taking possession of them all!. ‘And you’re all equally me!’
Rogue and Magneto have made their way out of the Blackbird and see the desperate situation awaiting them. ‘Magnus, Ah wish Ah could say it’s been a pleasure’ Rogue tells him. ‘It will be, Rogue, when - it finally comes. And all the sweeter for being deferred’ Magneto replies, before telling Rogue that, in the meantime, he suggests she ducks, as he has used his powers to take control of Colossus’ metallic body. ‘Borrowed - for the occasion. And I trust he’ll forgive the indignity’ Magneto remarks as he uses Colossus to knock aside Husk, Nightcrawler and Psylocke.
‘He might, Magneto. I won’t!’ Proteus declares, through Trance, he blasts Rogue and Magneto with an energy bolt. ‘Why aren’t you dead yet? Do you need another push?’ Proteus asks. ‘Trance!’ Rogue calls out as she touches Psylocke’s leg, absorbing her power, while the surf splashes up around her. ‘En garde, shugah!’ Rogue exclaims, reading her newfound psionic abilities. ‘This sword cuts spirit, not flesh!’ Rogue declares as she shoves the psychic knife through Trance. Proteus screams, to which Rogue tells hi that she hopes this means he is feeling this somewhere where it really hurts. Trance falls to the ground, as Destiny approaches Rogue, and Proteus asks her if she can do the same to her dear, dead Irene.
‘No. Thought not’ Proteus exclaims as Nightcrawler teleports towards rogue and punches her in the face, before he, Blindfold, Husk and Destiny surround the fallen Rogue. ‘Proteus. Stop this!’ Magneto calls out. ‘Let the final battle be between us. As it was always going to be!’ Magneto exclaims. Blindfold approaches Magneto as Proteus tells him that the battle is already over. ‘And you’re dying’ he adds. ‘True. And yet - you haven’t tried to possess me. You threw me across the Island to die at a safe distance from you. That has the smell of fear about it’ Magneto points out. ‘Fear? You think - you seriously believe -?’ Proteus begins, boasting that he controls the elements. ‘The world is wet clay in my hands!’ he exclaims as he rips the earth up from under Magneto, causing the Master of Magnetism to fall to the ground.
‘What are you compared to me?’ Proteus booms. ‘A distraction. And a thief - of other people’s good ideas’ Magneto replies. ‘You say you control the world? Then let’s conclude our business somewhere else!’ he exclaims as he uses his power to rip a small piece of the earth up off Muir Island, and into the sky, high above Earth - with just Magneto and the Proteus possessed Blindfold on it….