Queens, New York, where the rain pours down over a cemetery in which Magneto, Monet St Croix and Victor Creed a.k.a. Sabretooth stand over a now empty grave. 'So... it's true' one of them remarks. 'He's still alive. Or alive again. Whichever... both... take your pick' Monet tells the others. 'Either way, he's back' Magneto declares. Creed examines the grave and reports that he dragged himself up, tore open the casket and dug through the dirt. 'There are a lot of bad ways to go out. This is a helluva way to come back' Creed adds. 'And he's out there in the world...alone. Before his death, he displayed greater power than ever before. His gifts were evolving' Magneto remarks, adding that they have likely continued to evolve, perhaps in dangerous ways. 'Dangerous, Magneto? Or useful?' Monet frowns. 'Equal measure of both... equal enough that he needs guidance' Magneto points out, before asking Monet if she can track him. Monet replies that it shouldn't be that difficult, and looking down at the grave marking of Joshua Foley, she adds that she will calibrate Cerebro to hone in on his power levels – as there aren't that many omega mutants left in the world.
The ruins of Genosha:
'All right. We're not done just yet. Again' a voice calls out as a golden hand points at some rubble, which starts to glow. 'Rise up' the voice declares, and the Dark Rider called Gauntlet emerges from the rubble, his decayed form slowly repairing. 'You know, I never thought of using healing as a weapon...as an implement of torture... not until you and your Dark Riders came along, Gauntlet. Now, though, I can't help but think of the pain that comes with healing' the voice calls out, as Gauntlet cries out in agony. 'Bones mending... flesh stitching itself back together...nerves firing back up...healing is pain. And coming back from the dead...that was agony'. Gauntlet walks towards the figure standing before him, whose gold hand suddenly turns black: 'You taught me that, Gauntlet. And now I want you to experience it. Again and again' the voice declares as Gauntlet suddenly drops to the ground, dead.
Up above, the X-Men's Blackbird jet appears, and from it the X-Men descend. Magneto, Warren Worthington III a.k.a. Archangel and Monet who carries Sabretooth, fly down towards Joshua Foley a.k.a. Elixir, who looks up at them, his body switching back from black to gold. 'Let me guess. You've come to help me. And, just like always, you're too late to do any good' he tells them. He quotes “Welcome to the X-Men. Hope you survive the experience” and asks if it is a joke. Josh points out that he didn't survive, and tells the X-Men that it is all right, it's cool, as he is better now – better than better, in fact. 'Here, let me show you' he offers, before turning to the remains of Gauntlet: 'Once more for the late arrivals, huh, Gauntlet?' Josh asks. 'Drag your pathetic carcass back out here' he tells Gauntlet, using his power to revive the horrid remains of the Dark Rider once again.
'Josh... what are you doing here?' Monet asks. Josh turns to her and tells Monet that it is pretty obvious. 'After all you've been through, you need -' Monet begins, before Josh reminds her that she held him as he died. 'You cradled me in your arms. I think you might have cried'. Josh turns dark and looks away from Monet: 'I bet you saw that as weakness, didn't you?' he asks, telling her that he can see now the true sickness, the true frailty, embedded deep in Monet's cells. 'Your tears were comforting, though' Josh admits, adding that it made him feel like he would be missed after the Dark Riders killed him. 'Remember when that happened? You were trying to help me then, too' he adds, as he destroys Gauntlet once again.
Magneto informs Elixir that he could be putting himself and others at risk, as they do not know how his transition might have affected his physiology. 'Your abilities are changing in -' Magneto begins, but Elixir interrupts him, asking 'Why now? Why didn't you check on me sooner? Why'd you leave me to claw my way through the mud?' Angrily, Elixir spins around, reverting back to his golden form, he tells Magneto 'You should have known! You should have known I'd come back!' and frowns as he points out that nothing stays dead in this world.
'Sometimes, death is as it should be. Sometimes, death is forever' Magneto replies, but Elixir declares that Magneto is wrong, so wrong. 'I'll prove it to you! I'll bring them back! Everyone who died here! I'll bring them all back!' Elixir boasts, releasing his power over the ground in front of him, to the shock of Magneto, Sabretooth and Monet who asks 'He...can't do that, can he?' Magneto tells her that they don't know, as they have no idea what he is capable of. 'Ah...I can...' Elixir utters, before collapsing to the ground, his healing power fading from where he cast it.
Monet rushes over to Elixir and announces that he has passed out, that the strain of what he was attempting was too much for him. 'Whatever he was calling up...it's subsiding...back beneath the waves' Sabretooth reports, asking if that is a good thing or a bad thing. 'He was raising them...the mutants who died here. He was bringing them back' Magneto announces. 'Maybe. Maybe he was raising the dead. We don't know. But he was trying to prove a point. And that's no reason to thumb your nose at the laws of nature and morality' Monet tells the others. She adds: 'I know what you're thinking...because I'm thinking it, too. What if he could bring back everyone we've lost, just like that? But what if he raised 16 million mutants as flesh-eating zombies?' Monet asks, suggesting that they could come back and their powers were wildly out of control.
Monet picks Elixir up and carries him in her arms, telling her teammates to forget the “what ifs” altogether for a moment: 'You're talking about Elixir like he's some power tool you're not sure if you should switch on or not because you haven't studied all the safety features. But he's a person – a person we failed who has been given another shot at life'. Magneto tells Monet that she is right, and agrees that if they are going to understand Elixir's powers, then they will need to start small. 'God help me, I'm starting to realize how Psylocke felt. Damn you, Magneto...' Monet utters to herself. '...you aren't listening to a word I'm saying'.
Shortly, the team is back on the Blackbird, and Josh is awake, but drowsy. 'Can't just leave them... leave my friends. I can heal -' he begins, but Monet tells him to relax, and that he is safe now. 'Where am I? Where are you taking me?' Josh asks. Magneto turns to the young mutant, and asks him where he would like them to take him. 'I don't even know...what I am anymore' Josh replies. '...what I can do... what I should do...' his voice trails off, as Magneto remarks that those are questions they should all ask themselves. 'I guess...if you want to help me...if I'm ever going to figure this out... take me... where I can do some good' Josh asks.
Soon, the Blackbird arrives in Kansas City, Missouri, where tents are lined up behind wire fences, and people in rags huddle about. 'What is this place? A hospital?' one of the X-Men asks. Magneto announces that it is a crisis medical centre, dedicated to treating mutants who are suffering from the effects of the Terrigen Mists – one of three in the continental United States, and eleven in the world. Magneto informs Josh that this is why the Dark riders came for him, they feared that he could heal the victims, that he could cure M-Pox. 'I tried, back before I went off on my own. I can't' Josh reveals. 'You couldn't' Magneto states, as a mutant ravaged with the disease looks up at them. 'Hey! I know you! You're Magneto! You blow up buildings... attack people...to help mutants' the mutant remarks, adding 'But I ain't seen you help me at all, man! Everything you've done, and I'm still dying!'
Magneto pulls back the entrance to one of the tents and reminds Elixir that his powers have grown significantly, and suggests that it is possible the Dark Riders unlocked the very power they feared. They walk through the makeshift hospital, where beds are covered with seals to protect the mutants, and a small group of doctors do what they can for their patients. Magneto announces that every bed is filled and more mutants wait outside, for one of these victims to die, so that they may be made comfortable in their final moments. One of the doctors sees Magneto and is not happy: 'No! No! I don't know why you're here, but this is not a hospital, not some arena for your antics!' he exclaims, before asking Magneto to leave. Sabretooth growls at the doctor and suggests he give them a little space. 'The Terrigen cloud poisons us...robs us of our life..our dignity' Magneto declares. They look at an unfortunate mutant behind one of the sealed beds as Magneto remarks that some say the mists are like an act of nature, that they have no intellect, so they cannot know malice, they do not recognize their prey – and that frightens him. 'I prefer having an adversary I can kill' Magneto explains.
'And you think I could heal these people?' Josh asks. 'You could use me against M-Pox...strike a blow against the disease...against the mists...treat them the way you treat all your enemies. You see healing as a weapon, too' Josh declares. He looks at his hands, and recalls that when Monet and Sabretooth came to protect him from the Dark Riders, he was in hiding – not that he realized anyone was coming after him, he just didn't know how he could be of use in the world. 'If the only thing I'm good at is healing...and that didn't help...what good am I?' Josh asks. He looks at the infected mutants, and decides that, if nothing else, he could have made it easier for the people who were suffering. Monet tells Josh that he can see what they are up against, and adds that maybe now he can see why he became such an easy target in the first place. She assures him that they are not expecting anything from him today. 'No?' Elixir asks. 'You don't even believe that yourself, M. You might not have expectations... but what about him?' Elixir adds, turning to Magneto.
Suddenly, Elixir throws his arms into the air and releases his healing power throughout the tent. 'All right. Whatever. You want a show? I'll give you one!' he exclaims as healing power flows over the dying mutants. 'I've got a lot to make up for' Elixir declares, while Magneto, Monet and Sabretooth watch closely. 'If the kid does this...it changes everything' Sabretooth points out. Elixir announces that he can feel it, so different than before – the diease, M-Pox, it is retreating, receding from his light! 'It's afraid! Afraid of me!' Elixir calls out as the doctor watches in awe and announces that the symptoms are being eliminated. The healed mutants get to their feet and throw their arms up into the air. Monet smiles at Magneto and tells him that it worked. 'I didn't think it was possible, but he's cured them' Monet remarks, adding that if Elixir can do that, then perhaps he can raise the dead – maybe he can return those they have lost?
'It's afraid! I can feel it... scared... dying!' Elixir calls out, tears falling down his face. 'It feels good!' Elixir exclaims, when suddenly, he switches to his black form: 'It feels good to kill it! I -' Elixir begins as his death touch flows out to the mutants. 'What's happening to me?' one of them screams, while the doctor coughs, then throws up. '...life...death... spilling back and forth, from one cup to the other...and I'm caught...in the undertow!' Elixir frowns. 'No...please no...' the doctor pleads as he drops to his knees. 'He's losing it! Some sort of psychic backlash!' Sabretooth exclaims, pointing out that Elixir is sapping the life out of the doctors and nurses. Monet goes up behind Elixir and reports that she can put him to sleep, stop him – but then she discovers that his mind is a mess, that there are waves of confusion and rage smashing against crumbling breakers of rationality. Angrily, Elixir spins around and confronts Monet, asking her what she is doing in his head. He boasts that he is saving these people, and that he won't let her snuff his light. 'You'r not going to stop me – not now! Not like the Dark Riders!' Elixir snaps as he reaches out and grabs Monet's face.
'I wonder... that nasty little parasite that's rooted to your system, Monet...should I burn it away? I could -' Elixir begins, when suddenly, he screams as Sabretooth slashes his claws across his back. 'Sorry about this, kid. Sorry I couldn't save you before...sorry I can't save you now' Creed tells Elixir, pointing out that Elixir has a darkness in him that can't be controlled. 'I know a little about that' Creed reminds everyone. Elixir moves away from Sabretooth, who sees that the cuts are healing almost as soon as he makes them. Elixir announces that he can see Sabretooth's ailments, too. 'But I don't think you'd like what you'd become if I cured you!' Elixir exclaims as he releases his death power against Sabretooth, who roars. Magneto levitates scraps of metal and tells Elixir to stop this, as they are not his enemies. 'We need you. Mutants need you. I can train you...guide you...' Magneto offers.
But Elixir asks Magneto what he knows about healing: 'The only thing you know how to do is destroy! You can't teach me anything!' Magneto suddenly loses control over the metal scraps, which clang to the floor, as Elixir's death power starts to overwhelm Magneto. 'No...not like this...there is still...so much to be done...' Magneto utters as he falls to the ground near Sabretooth and Monet. 'The world doesn't need you, Magneto! I can feel it...feel its faint pulse...its labored breath! I have it right in my hands' Elixir exclaims. 'Weak...sick...and I can heal the entire -' he begins, when suddenly, he reverts to his golden form. 'Oh...God! Oh, no...I didn't...what did I do?' Elixir asks as he looks over at a mutant, struggling for live under one of the sheets covering the bed. 'One cup filling the other...' Elixir mumbles, before releasing his healing power and announcing that he didn't mean for this to happen, and didn't want it to happen. 'Please – let there be time' he hopes, as Magneto, Monet and Sabretooth start to heal.
Elixir turns away from the X-Men and tells them that they have to believe him, he never wanted this. He apologizes to them, and Magneto remarks that there have always been two facets to Elixir's powers, each side balancing the other – life and death. Magneto explains that Elixir controlled these forces on such a small level, healing a person here and there, but now, with so much power at his disposal, the output was too much to handle, the scales tilted too fast, and the repercussions might have been catastrophic. 'What happens if he raises 16 million people from the dead? How will the scales be balanced?' A mutant sitting nearby points out that Elixir did cure some of these mutants of Terrigen poisoning, so he should feel proud of what he accomplished. 'Any good he might have done is outweighed by the guilt he feels for the damage he might have inflicted. Believe me, I know' Magneto declares.
Magneto continues, pointing out that Elixir's vast powers and his overwhelming guilt wil ltake some adjustment. 'So, what do we do about him?' Monet asks. Magneto replies that he is unwilling to give up on Mr Foley's potential, and that he can still be of great use to them – but he cannot be the one to guide him.
Later, at Xorn's temple in Tibet:
The mutants who reside there go about their peaceful business, while Elixir sits before Xorn, and tells him that they should have killed him, and definitely should not have brought him here, among all these people. 'I'm too dangerous' Josh exclaims. Xorn informs Josh that he is in one of the most remote places in the world, and that he is here to help, should he have another “episode”. Hanging his head, Josh utters that he came back as something worse than he was before. 'Not worse. Not better. Only different' Xorn points out, adding that the differences, and how Josh chooses to use them, make him who he is. 'You have been reborn, Elixir, and the slate is clean. Consider what a gift you've been given' Xorn suggests, adding that Josh should consider, once he has honed his powers, how many others he can bless with the same gift. 'Let's begin, shall we?' Xorn asks.
Ecuador, 350 miles south of the Colombian Border, where Neena Thurman a.k.a. Domino is inside a chopper, heading towards a facility located within a jungle. Domino thinks to herself that people usually sum up her mutant abilities as luck, but she knows that it is a little more complicated than that, as she is basically telekinetic, and can move “small” things with her mind – the only problem is she can't control it, as it is all subconscious and she is not even aware of when she is doing it, and it only seems to work when she is in near-death situations. 'So I guess you're using AIM to spy on the good guys now?' Domino asks Roberto DaCosta a.k.a. Sunspot, the owner of Avengers Ideas Mechanics, and, like Domino, a former member of X-Force. 'Normally, not the case, but I just received intel in regard to the location of a criminal we've been trying to catch for a while' Sunspot explains via monitor. He adds that he had satellites surveying the area, and, to his surprise, the one person he needed for a situation like this just happened to be 80 miles east of those exact coordinates.
Domino can't recall how many times she has had some idiot point a gun at her head and it suddenly jammed when they pulled the trigger, and her powers have gotten her out of some tough situations, but the game of life has taught her to never bet on “luck” alone, and in any game, it is always best to have a good strategy. 'Yay. Lucky me' Domino mutters, looking out the window. 'Hopefully vacationing and not robbing anyone' Sunspot remarks. 'No comment' Domino tells him, before asking if Sunspot is keeping track of her because of those weapons he lent her. 'I promised I'd pay you back. Did you get those checks I mailed?' Domino asks. 'Yeah, both of them. That $15.75 put a real dent in the $260,000 you still owe me' Sunspot replies, before assuring Domino that is not why he requested her. 'I really need your help on this one' he admits.
From his office, Sunspot reports that the intel he has regards a guy named Danilo “Bones” Rojas, and explains that because of his military training, he is a very difficult man to track, but than an hour ago an encrypted comm log was anonymously leaked into their internal network, and once they were able to decode it, they discovered Rojas and his men were stationed at an abandoned military facility in Ecuador. 'So, what's the deal with this guy?' domino asks. An image of Rojas appears on Domino's monitor as Sunspot informs her that he was an officer in the Colombian army, and that he and his soldiers were last seen massacring the sick mutant population in the country after the Terrigen cloud hit, and then, before they could be arrested for their crimes, they went AWOL – and since then, even more mutants have been coming up murdered.
'You think it's him?' Domino asks. Sunspot informs her that Rojas supposedly believed the Terrigen was a gift from God – a way to help man purge the mutant species from the planet – so yes, he does. 'He needs to be taken care of' Sunspot declares. 'Assassination? That's a new one for you' Domino points out. Sunspot reports that the Colombian government doesnt seem to be making him a priority, so he has. Domino asks Sunspot why he doesn't get his Avengers on this one, to which Sunspot explains that he wants it off the record, as the last thing he needs is SHIELD up his ass because AIM was caught interfering in foreign government affairs. 'Hence, the perfect person' he adds. 'Naturally' Domino replies, arms folded. Sunspot tells her that this is right up her alley, to which Domino reminds Sunspot that for something like this, though, she usually charges. 'Do this for me, consider your debt cancelled' Sunspot announces. 'Fair' Domino agrees, before asking how many men they are talking.
Sunspot reveals that gthere are 42, and adds that he also has a live video feed of activity within the compound via satellite, and he can relay the soldier's positions inside. 'Unless, of course, you planned on going in guns blazing...' Sunspot adds. 'Tempting, but 42 versus 1 aren't odds I'm fond of' Domino replies, before telling the chopper pilot that this is her stop. Domino stands at the door of the chopper as Sunspot informs her that AIM can only block military surveillance satellites from detecting the video signal for another ten minutes. 'If AIM is discovered spying on foreign territory...' his voice trails off. 'I gotcha. Get it done fast' Domino replies, before leaping from the chopper. She free-falls downwards, then pulls her parachute. But as she continues to fall, a clip holding several bullets falls from her belt. Domino curses as the clip drops into a large extractor fan within the facility. 'Guess that's fewer bullets to work with' she remarks. 'So your “luck” powers don't work in the air?' Sunspot grins. 'Don't start' Domino replies
There are two guards on the outside of the facility. Domino throws a stone against the facility, which gets their attention – until bullets are fired through their heads. Domino is in radio contact with Sunspot and informs him that she got the two patrolling near the main entrance, before asking if there are any more on the outer perimeter. 'No, you're good' Sunspot confirms, before informing Domino that once she enters the compound, there are four armed, two at 9 and 1 o'clock, 18 meters from the entry, the other two are 7 o'clock, 16 meters in. 'I see playing those online shooter games has really been helping with this whole “Supreme leader of AIM” thing, huh?' Domino jokes. 'Ha. Funny' Sunspot replies. Domino opens the door and shoots the first two soldiers, before diving towards the ground and shooting the other two. She informs Sunspot that the main entrance is cleared, and asks him how many there are next. 'You got another four in hall A2' Sunspot reports.
Shortly, 'A2 cleared' Domino declares as she fires a bullet into a soldier, and asks Sunspot how many there are next. Sunspot informs her that she is going to cross over to the east corridor and enter hall C1, where there will be two, luckily, unarmed. In the corridor, two men are sitting on boxes. 'Yeah, man. So anyway, after I managed to shoot him in the leg, I'm standing there, aboutto finish the dirtbag off, and dude just starts yelling “Martha! Martha!”' to which the other soldier asks 'Whoa, dude! Isn't that your Mom's name?' the first soldier replies 'Exactly', and explains that he asked him why he was yelling it out, and he comes to find out that it was this guy's Mom's name, too. 'And I was like, damn...no way I can kill this dude now'. An instant later, Domino shoots them both in their heads.
Sunspot informs Domino that she has two armed in hall D4. 'Cleared' Domino replies moments later, when suddenly, Sunspot warns her that she must have been heard because there are three armed and headed for her way fast, from the hallway to the left. 'Good. I was getting tired of this stealth thing' Domino exclaims, as she fires bullets at her approaching enemies. Domino then reports that she is running low on ammo, and asks Sunspot how many there are left. Looking at his map, Sunspot reports that there seems to be a 30-second delay in the video feed, but that he is counting three. Sunspot adds that they are pretty spread apart though, and he is not sure how she can take them all out before at least one sees her. 'Key word “see”' Domino points out as she throws a smoke grenade down the corridor. The soldiers all start to cough, and a moment later, three bullets are fired at them.
Domino continues through the facility: 'All right, that's all of them' she tells Sunspot, before asking Sunspot where Rojas is. Sunspot tells his ex-teammate to hold on, as the video signal is going in and out, and he needs a few minutes for it to reset. Suddenly, one of the soldiers Domino just shot raises his gun and calls out 'Before you turn you back on your enemy, make sure they are...' but as he pulls the trigger on his gun, it doesn't fire. He curses, before Domino stands over him and tells him that before he opens his mouth, he should make sure the safety is off. 'Idiot just made me use my last...' Domino mutters as she shoots the soldier again. '...bullet' Domino finishes her sentence as she feels a gun pressed to her head. 'Damn' Domino remarks as she spins around and points her gun at her opponent – Rojas.
'Damn mutant scum. You pestilent creatures' souls are just as empty as that gun you point in my face' Rojas tells Domino, adding that she murdered good men who were carrying out the will of God. Up above Domino is a grate in the ceiling, where her clip has landed. One of the bullets has come loose from the clip, and it suddenly falls through the grate as Rojas tells her that it must be disheartening to have gotten this far, only to find her luck has run out at the last minute. 'Has it?' Domino asks as the bullet falls into the opening at the top of her gun, and she squeezes the trigger, shooting Rojas square in the head.
'Whoa! I'm so glad the camera reset in time to see that! Talk about close! There's no way you can't control your powers' Sunspot remarks. Domino tells him that if she had control, the bullet would have fallen 45 seconds earlier so she didn't have to listen to that idiot. 'I don't know. I think that goes beyond random luck' Sunspot remarks. Domino walks away from Rojas's body and tells Sunspot that luck is simply when preparation meets opportunity, before asking if this means her debt is repaid. 'Yeah. I guess we're even' Sunspot responds. 'Good. I guess that means I can tell you about that li'l security issue with your network now' Domino replies. 'What security issue?' Sunspot asks. 'The one that lets me bypass your security algorithms in order to “anonymously” leak intel into AIM's private network' Domino reveals, suggesting to Sunspt that he might wana get someone on that.
Wide-eyed, Sunspot gasps 'Wait...you're saying you were conveniently in Ecuador because you knew about Rojas this whole time?' to which Domino confirms she was. 'And you played this entire thing out just so I would excuse the money you owed?' Sunspot asks. 'Yep' Domino tells him. Sunspot tells Domino that there is no way she could have known it was going to play out exactly like this, to which Domino announces that iit was part strategy – but mostly luck.