The world's end!
While Psylocke waits imprisoned in the X-plane and has a strange encounter with her mad brother on the Astral Plane, the X-Men are ambushed and do battle with a band of costumed humanoid dinosaurs. The dinosaurs use their superhuman abilities to usurp Rachel’s mind causing her to think she is a dino-mutant. Rachel turns her telepathy against her teammates and helps the dinosaurs defeat the team. The X-Men are taken captive and carried through a glowing portal. X-23 alone escapes and frees Psylocke from the X-plane who single-handedly defeats the remaining dino-humanoids; together, she and X-23 enter an open portal to rescue the kidnapped X-Men including Wolverine.
As the X-Men try to calm X-23 and learn from her what happened to Wolverine, strange dinosaur looking creatures, approach from the rear. The creatures’ scanners are locking on each of the X-Men and evaluating the threat level that each of them presents. The creatures close in on the X-Men thinking that they possess the element of surprise. They are surprised, however, when a snowburst kicks up and they are temporarily blinded. When the snow calms down, the X-Men are gone!
Marvel Girl has interrupted the lizards’ synapse pathways so that they do not see the mutants with the telepathic cloaking trick she learned from Emma Frost. X-23 becomes restless and growls at the lizards. While Rachel is linked with them she discovers that they are evolved dinosaurs that call themselves Hauk’ka. She also picks up on memories of a savage battle with Wolverine.
X-23 informs the X-Men that she lost Woverine during the fight as did the Hauk’ka; now she can’t pick up his scent. Rachel echoes X’s concern: Logan is not answering her psi-calls. Storm interrupts their conversation to inform them that the Hauk’ka are getting suspicious and may soon realize that they are standing right next to the “mind-cloaked” X-Men. The team realizes that she is right as one of the lizards decides to call for backup.
Inside the jet, Betsy sits cuffed into one of the seats. Although she is a prisoner, she understands the X-Men’s caution about her recent return from the dead. She understands that they cannot afford to take chances. Actually, she rather enjoys sitting in the plane, taking in the smell and feel of the Blackbird and the standard black and yellow uniform she is wearing. It’s all home to her. She rests and her mind wanders inward.
(the Astral Plane)
Betsy cries as she sees her mind come up before her like a grand Asian fortress crystalline and glowing. This does not surprise her. Clothed in a flowing silk robe (though she prefers armor), Betsy looks at her reflection in a fortress wall. She watches as the image changes from a Caucasian Betsy to an Asian Betsy. She is confused by the former face, but turns away when she sees her Asian reflection. She protests to herself that she knows who she is…but what has she become? She knows that something is not right.
St. William’s Tower, a very British structure, rises suddenly in the midst of her Asian fortress. This was where she played as a child. Why has this part of her mind been gone for so long? She drops her robe to reveal her purple assassin’s costume. As she charges into the tower with her telekinetic katana blazing, she hears laughter and the floor beneath her shatters sending her falling down.
The crystal shards, she says, represent not only the lost part of her that was a telepath but much, much more. Betsy picks up a shard and looks into it.
In the crystal she sees her family when they were younger: teenage Brian Braddock (her twin), dashing Jamie Braddock (her older brother), and herself, still a blond Caucasian teenager. All are young and untouched by the scars of superhero life. She recalls idolizing her older brother Jamie. The picture begins to change: Betsy reverts to her Asian form with purple hair instead of blond, and Jamie turns to his madman look and begins to speak to her:
Gone forever, honey-bun. But not to worry. You’ll never miss what you don’t remember. Time for a reboot!
The crystal shard explodes in Betsy’s hand ending her dream and snapping her back to the reality of the X-Plane.
Not quite recalling what happened she wonders what made her think of her mad brother, Jamie who has the ability to control the strings of reality itself.
Her thoughts are interrupted by a low and repetitive rumbling of the earth. Something is approaching. She struggles to free herself, but cannot.
Outside of the plane, the X-Men also hear the thunderous approach of something huge. They gape in astonishment as two cyborg dinosaurs come crashing from the nearby forest. They are accompanied by three costumed humanoid dinosaurs. The female, Raina, is accompanied by Kaidan (a telepath) and Masado (a flyer). The emblems on their costumes suggest that they are part of a team of some sort.
Kaidan immediately sees that the X-Men are standing in plain view of the dino’s fire-team but are evidently cloaked. He mentally connects the foot soldiers to his own mind allowing them to now see the X-Men. The X-Men realize too late that their cover is blown as Rachel is taken down from behind by one of the dino-soldiers. Kaidan instructs them to take her out first since she is the most dangerous.
Bishop and Storm attack, and Storm tells X to get away. X refuses protesting that she can help fight, but Nightcrawler grabs X and runs. He informs her that Storm has a plan and X needs to get away in order to accomplish it. In an instant he teleports himself and X away.
Storm grabs the unconscious Rachel and takes to the air. The dinos are surprised by the mutants’ abilities. When everyone is clear, Bishop unloads his energy store right into the side of Raina’s dinosaur sending her flying to the ground and her dino crashing into Kaidan and his T-Rex. Raina lands on her feet and begins a hand-to-hand battle with Bishop.
While Nightcrawler battles a group of the foot soldiers, Storm uses her lightning to attack the electronics of the cyborg T-Rex. She is about to bring the beast down when Masado flies from behind and attacks her.
On the ground, Rachel comes to and although still groggy makes an attempt to assess the situation. She is surprised by Kaidan, who takes advantage of her grogginess to usurp control of her mind. He informs Rachel that she is not the only one gifted with powers of the mind. He clouds her perceptions making her think that she is a dino-mutant like them. He thanks the “maker” that his trick worked and names his new teammate “R’Chel”.
Kaidan continues to use the delusional Rachel to gain information on the X-Men. He commands Rachel to take Storm down which Rachel does her best to do. Storm is surprised by Rachel’s mental attack. She knows that it is Rachel, but her though patterns are distorted by the reptilian influence in her mind. Storm fights the mental invasion and in the process shocks Masado out of the sky. As she struggles to remain free, Storm kicks up a powerful snowstorm which begins to tear Wolverine’s plane apart as well as knock everyone including her teammates down to the snowy ground.
The fight between R’Chel and Storm sends everyone running for cover. Raina and R’Chel hide from the snowstorm behind one of the dinosaurs. Raina begs R’Chel to save them all from this storm. R’Chel doubles her efforts, and Storm doubles hers.
The snowstorm becomes a horrific blizzard. As X is blown from her feet and lifted into the air, she calls out to the ‘trickster’. Nightcrawler appears and teleports her away from the worst of the storm. He asks her why she keeps calling him that. She replies because that is the name that suits him best. He tells her to run back to the plane and get Betsy. He challenges her to think past the moment and to avoid simple reaction. X scowls at him as he teleports away.
Nightcrawler reappears in the air next to Storm and tries to get her to calm the blizzard. She maintains that this is the only way that she can prevent being controlled by the delusional Rachel. Storm maintains that she cannot defeat Rachel without killing her, but that she does not want to calm the raging blizzard. Nightcrawler acts quickly. By teleporting Storm several times, he renders her unconscious thus calming the snowstorm. Just as he lands with the silent Storm, Masado attacks and knocks him out. Masado admits that this is a strange way to thank them for saving their lives.
Kaidan commands Raina and the others to be careful with Storm. The foot soldiers grumble about the mutants looking more like meat than prisoners, but Raina chides them and orders them to treat the unconscious X-Men with respect. Masado notices that one of the team is missing. R’Chel informs him that it is X-23 and that she is blocking her telepathy. Raina gives the foot soldiers a device that will allow them to track X-23, commands the soldiers to do away with her, and then departs with the X-Men and her teammates through a crackling energy portal. The foot soldiers grin with sadistic glee at the thought of fresh meat.
Back at the X-Plane, X-23 frees Psylocke and rushes her out of the plane. Betsy suggests using the plane, but X tells her that “they” will just shoot it down. Before any explanation can be given, X is taken down by an energy blast, and the dino foot soldiers surround the two women. The reptiles move in to feed. Betsy smiles and turns on the dinos. Without even thinking, Betsy is fighting. Her psychic blade appears and she cuts through the enemies effortlessly. She smiles the whole time, enjoying the short-lived battle.
Later, X-23 regains consciousness and is ready to do battle. She is impressed to see that Betsy has handled the lizards. She asks where they are and Betsy replies that she was hungry. Her response to the idea of Betsy eating the dinosaurs is “Cool!” Betsy was only kidding, and she tells X that the dinos are imprisoned in the Blackbird. Now, she is working on the transportation module that the lizards carried. Betsy is going after her friends, but she’s got to figure out how to get to them. Betsy introduces herself to X. She takes an instant shine to the girl and is disappointed to learn that X-23 has no name.
X-23 volunteers to go along with her to rescue the team. The dinos took away “the Wolverine,” she won’t let them take the X-Men too. Betsy activates the energy portal and the two women jump in. “Let’s go hunting,” Psylocke says as they skid into the light.