The team teleports to the Shi'ar Empire to retrieve the M'Kraan Crystal but run into the Imperial Guard and the Starjammers.
Gambit and his X-Ternals land in front of the Imperial Guard on the planet Ch'reesharaa in the Shi'ar Galaxy, courtesy of Lila Cheney's long dormant and suppressed powers of spacial teleportation. The results are not good. Not only does Lila pass out, but Gladiator demands the new arrivals to give themselves up while being backed by twenty or so warriors. Rictor, the Apocalyptic cop, has no problem surrendering. Those following Gambit's lead: scramble. The Imperial Guard chases the fleeing X-Ternals. The first to reach them is Starbolt. Sunspot, who derives his power from solar absorption, easily defeats Starbolt and the chase continues. Gladiator is next to challenge the X-Ternals. He attempts to crush Guido, but Guido simply rechannels the kinetic energy from the hit in order to knock Gladiator out of commission. The team then strategizes to lose their pursuers in a nearby forest.
Having reached the forest, Lila awakens. Spirits are low. Suddenly, the plant life in the jungle springs to life and ensnares the X-Ternals. The Imperial Guard catches up but can't find a trace of Gambit's team. Reporting back to Gladiator, the Imperial Guard is upset about the obvious reaction their foibles will get from their superiors. Oracle, however, feels she has an ace up her sleeve. Rictor, having surrendered, promises that he can be used to find the X-Ternals. He has a tracking device planted on one of the X-Ternals and exchanges his services for the promise that he'll be able to take Gambit's squad back to earth to be punished for their Earth crimes.
Meanwhile, Gambit begins to charge his throwing knives to free his troop from the plants when he is stopped by a mysterious group. A man tells the X-Ternals that the plant-life is sentient. Lila knows this makes sense because when she opened her portal she felt as if the planet were calling to her. The leader of the group introduces himself as Jonath once the X-Ternals are let down from the foliage. He explains that he and his men were banished after failing to protect the life of their ruler from assassination by its children. The next ruler, D'Ken, found the M'Kraan Crystal, the nexus of all realities. He used its powers to steal the throne from his sister, Deathbird. He then killed his younger sister Lilandra and, by so doing, ensured complete control over the kingdom. D'Ken then learned that the crystal was too powerful for one person to wield. One consequence is that the various sectors of space are falling to the power of the crystal.
Just before this background is given by Jonath, both the X-Ternals and the Imperial Guard feels a blink in their existence. Jonath explains that this blink is an indication that their part of space is next to fall. The X-Ternals begin to see why the planet would call to them. At this moment, the Imperial Guard attacks; Rictor is with them. Among the fray, Gambit and Guido argue over the use of Lila's powers. Before the fight gets too heated, however, a crystal wave engulfs Jonath's men. The end of Ch'reesharaa begins. Before the X-Ternals are hit, though, they are transported to a ship by the Starjammers, a group led by the former ruler Deathbird. They depart the planet in time to see the entire thing consumed by the crystal wave. Deathbird explains that the M'Kraan Crystal wanted the X-Ternals to see the elimination of that planet in order for the team to fully realize their mission. The message is clear enough and Gambit commits his team to the task of saving the universe from being destroyed.