Madripoor, where from the window to her quarters in the time-displaced X-Men's secret hideout, Jean Grey a.k.a. Marvel Girl is marvelously bored. She stares out the window at the colorful fireworks that are exploding across the night time sky. She stands up and stretches her arms, deciding that she has cabin fever, and that it is a real killer. Jean thinks that she needs a change of scenery. She walks through the complex and comes to a large closed door. She thinks to herself “Come on, Scott. We're young and we live in one of the most exciting cities in the world. They're throwing the biggest party I've ever seen. Why don't we hit the town. I'm sure I could show you – a good time”. But as Jean keys a code into the door, it opens and she sees her fellow time-displaced teammate, Scott Summers a.k.a. Cyclops blasting some debris that their benefactor, Magneto, levitates with his magnetic power, causing large explosions above them.
'That's three shots, Cyclops. Per the rules of this exercise, you have but two attempts remaining... and five more targets' Magneto announces. Cyclops doesn't see Jean in the doorway and tells Magneto 'Guess you've never heard of a ricochet shot. Funny, because I think I used one to know you on your rear the first time we fought'. Cyclops releases another optic blast that bounces around the room, and Jean leaves, closing the door behind her, she passes some lanterns and, forlorn, tells herself that maybe that won't work, so it is time for plan B.
Jean walks into the recreation room, where Hank McCoy a.k.a. the Beast sits on a sofa reading, and the reality-displaced Jimmy Hudson is playing pool. Jean walks over to him and asks him if he has any interest in getting out of here. Jimmy puts the pool cue down and asks Jean if everything is okay. Jean tells him that it is, and that she was just thinking they could use some time away from the mansion. 'There's a festival taking place, so -' Jean begins, as Jimmy interrupts her, asking if Summers is still training with Magneto. 'Uh... I guess... I didn't really check' Jean replies, glancing sideways. 'It's cool. I swear, I don't know if those two hate each other... or if they both want the other's approval' Jimmy remarks. 'Look... I didn't really mean to...' Jean begins, before Hank looks up from his book, and as Jean and Jimmy look into each other's eyes, he tells them 'Far be it from me to interrupt this painfully awkward moment... but if the two of you are stepping out – count me in'.
Soon, the three young mutants make their way through the crowded streets of Madripoor amongst bright lights and colorful street performances and parades. 'Oh my stars and garters!' Hank grins as he looks around. 'It's...it's amazing!' Jean gasps as she takes in her surroundings. 'Just look at it all! The othe rs are going to be sorry they missed this!' she exclaims. Hank raises his smart phone and takes some photos as he remarks that Scott is training, Bobby is moping and who knows where Warren has flown off to, so they will have to settle for photographic evidence of life passing them by. 'Isn't this awesome?' Jean smiles at Jimmy, who points out that this looks like a good place to get your throat cut. Jean tells him to lighten up and relax a little. Jimmy hangs his head and tells her that he will try, and supposes it is sensory overload. The Beast tells Jimmy that a little “overload” might be just what he needs, and suggests that it might fire up some of his neurons and trigger a restoration of his memories.
Jimmy motions to the party around them and replies 'Yeah – I'm sure this is the kind of thing I saw all the time back home'. He then thinks to himself 'Home – wherever that is'. As the locals dance and move about around the young mutants, Jean tells Jimmy that this doesn't need to be some life-changing experience. 'We have those all the time. Just enjoy it for what it is' she suggests to him. 'It's just... fun' Jean adds. 'Dumplings!' Hank exclaims as he throws one into his mouth, holding several others. Jimmy holds some skewers and remarks that he thinks his healing factor will spare him any real damage that this food will cause, but suggests to Jean and Hank that they proceed with caution. Jimmy does not look happy when several women approach him and try to put wreaths around his neck. 'This is for you!' one of them exclaims. 'This is no time for scowling' another tells him, while a third calls out 'Celebrate with us!' Jean and Hank look on and laugh.
Shortly, the Beast sings through a microphone during the festival parade, while women dance around him. 'I can't believe you did that!' Jean tells her friend once he finishes. 'See? The old fun-loving Hank McCoy isn't dead yet' Hank points out, while Jimmy glances behind himself and looks concerned. He observes two figures down an alleyway and watches as one of them hands the other some green liquid inside a small vial. 'Something familiar...' Jimmy tells himself, before sniffing a scent, and pushing past two locals as he move towards the alleyway. 'Watch it! Worthless tourist!' one of the locals exclaims. Jimmy reaches the alleyway, but the two figures are nowhere to be seen. He tells himself that he isn't sure this is what Hank had in mind when he mentioned triggering memories, but that vial smells strange, like he should know it. At that moment, Jean realizes Jimmy has vanished.
Jimmy has found the two figures, and watches them from behind some crates. 'If you like the product, there's plenty more where that came from' one of them tells the other. 'You know I like the product. That's not in question. It's the price I don't like' the man with the ponytail replies. 'I'm sure we can work something out. Quality Mutant Growth Hormone is hard to come by these days. And – hey – the more you buy, the cheaper it gets' the seller of the MGH grins. 'Hhn?' Jimmy utters as he watches the exchange play out before him. Suddenly, the ground beneath everyone rocks and rolls, and some of the gangsters are knocked over. 'It's them! The Raksha!' one of the gangsters exclaims, raising two guns. 'They've found us!' another shouts. Suddenly, the first gangster's hands are sliced off, and the hands, still holding the guns, fall to the ground near where a robotic scorpion scuttles by. 'What have I done? I...deserve this!' another gangster exclaims, clutching his head. '...so sorry' another calls out, falling to the ground, clutching his head and crying. One of the thugs has dropped the vial of MGH and it rolls towards Jimmy, who wonders what it is and how he knows it.
Suddenly, four individuals enter the alleyway and start to attack the gang members. A man in dark clothes with a patch over one of his eyes kicks one thug over while shoving his hand into another thug's neck. 'These men peddle poison in our streets. Teach them a lesson, Raksha! Punish them!' he shouts. A woman whose eyes appear covered by bandages slams her fist into one of the thugs, while a man with a large mowhawk seems to control the robot scorpions, which he sets onto one of the thugs, and a woman with long braided hair who holds a sword in one hand kicks over her opponent. Speaking Mandarin, the woman with bandaged eyes leaps over two more gang members who hold up guns and tells them 'The Raksha have come for you. And that means the end of the line'. The woman with braided hair kicks her opponent hard in his face and asks 'How many mutants suffered so you could profit?', while the man with the mohawk laughs as his scorpions climb over their quarry, who screams 'Get them off! Get them off!'
The man with the patch forces the gang member with the yellow jacket who was selling the MGH and tells him to consider himself lucky that they will let him live. 'But we will leave our mark. Your eye is ours!' he announces, raising two fingers, he is about to strike the drug dealer, when suddenly, 'He's had enough' Jimmy declares as he grabs the Raksha member's arm. The Raksha member is surprised, and turns to Jimmy, telling him that this is none of his concern. 'I get it. He's a bad guy. But I'm not gonna let you kill him' Jimmy tells the Raksha. 'Thinking you have some say in the matter – was a terrible mistake!' the Raksha shouts as he removes his patch, and dark matter spews from his eye, engulfing Jimmy and knocking him backwards into the alley wall.
Just then: 'Leave him alone!' a telepathic voice calls out, and the Raksha member falls backwards, clutching his head in agony. Jean Grey appears and stands over him, offering him a piece of advice, she tells him he is going to want to stay down. 'Does the term “buzzkill” mean anything to you?' the Beast asks Jimmy as he helps him up. 'Busted ribs...healing now' Jimmy replies. 'Yes. That's exactly what “buzzkill” means' the Beast mutters. The other members of the Raksha turn to Marvel Girl, and the man who controls the robot scorpions exclaims 'She put some sort of psi-whammy on Norio. Tale her down before she does the same to us!' The two women then attempt to physically strike Jean with punches and kicks, but she blocks them with telekinetic force fields. 'Hank! Jimmy! A little help!' Jean calls out to her teammates.
'Friends! Ninjas! Countrymen! Is it too late to talk this out peacefully?' Hank asks as he leaps onto the shoulders of the woman with bandages over her eyes. The woman with braided hair attacks Jean with her sword, but once again Jean deflects the attack. Jimmy approaches the man controlling the robot scorpions from behind, but suddenly, the Raksha member turns around and exclaims 'What kind of engine you think this thing's got under the hood? Let's find out!' and the engine of the car parked the alley suddenly bursts from the car as if it was a large serpent. Norio then trips Jean up, and she falls backwards. He tells his teammates that these are children, and they don't fight children. 'They don't look any younger than us, Norio' the woman with braids replies. Norio calls her Whisper and tells her to be quiet.
'You shouldn't have interfered. Now you must face Gazing Nightshade's judgment!' the woman with the bandages exclaims, removing her bandages and revealing blood-soaked eyes. The Beast looks up at her and blood pours from his eyes as he tries to move away from Gazing Nightshade. 'Ah... what have I... can't tell them... they'll never trust me... if they know what I've done!' he utters. Jean sees this and tells Hank to snap out of it. Before she can help him though, Jean finds a blade put to her neck, as the woman called Whisper Doll holds her sword against Jean's neck. She suggests to Jean that she doesn't try her telepathy on her, as it will not work.
Nearby, Jimmy pops his claws and starts to hack away at the serpent-like robot that emerged from their car engine. 'Lady, I believe you when you say you're immune to telepathy. So I'll cut straight to telekinesis!' Jean exclaims as she uses her telekinesis to slam Whisper Doll backwards, knocking her into Gazing Nightshade, while the Beast still has blood pouring from his eyes and utters '...the pressure...the weight of it... the forces I've tampered with... have a terrible price...'
Norio meanwhile controls the black muck that emerges from his eye, but Jimmy slices it with his claws. 'You used those shadows of yours to sucker punch me before. It won't be so easy this time around' he warns Norio. Jimmy moves forward and grabs Norio by his collar, and Norio looks down at Jimmy's claws. 'You – your claws!' he exclaims, before calling out to the rest of the Raksha and ordering them to stand down.
'You are not our enemy. We will fight you no longer' Norio announces. The other Raksha stand down, and Gazing Nightshade puts the bandages back over her eyes. Jean and Hank gather themselves, and Jean wonders what happened and why they stopped attacking. 'Let's not question it' Hank suggests, rubbing his eyes. Norio introduces himself to Jimmy, Jean and Hank, and then his companions, Gazing Nightshade, Whisper Doll, and the man with the mohawk as Hexadecimal. 'We are the Raksha' Norio announces. Jean introduces herself, Jimmy and Hank as the X-Men, before asking Norio if he and the Raksha are mutants. 'You stopped fighting... when you saw my claws' Jimmy points out. Norio reveals that Jimmy's claws reminded him of the reason they fight – they honor the legacy of one with claws like his. 'We knew him as Patch. But you would have called him Wolverine' Norio states.
'Wolverine is Jimmy's dad' Jean smiles. 'Jean -' Jimmy frowns. 'Well, it's true. Sort of' Jean adds. Hank looks down at the gang members and tells Norio that his methods are brutal. 'In case you haven't noticed this is not a game. We face the cruelty and violence of our adversaries in kind' Norio remarks. He tells the X-Men that surely they can understand such necessity. 'You mutants are the X-Men. Your enemies rank among the most ruthless this world has to offer'. He reminds the X-Men that their foes lurk in the shadows, waiting to strike. Plot against them and prepare for their moment – and that the worst among them believe they are right. As he says this, Bastion is in a high-tech facility, plotting out his next move, while in what appears to be a child's bedroom, a woman sits in the shadows, her eyes glowing red. Miss Sinister is in her lab, while the Ultimate Universe's Quicksilver is laid out on a table before her, and Emma Frost sits by a fireplace, sipping a glass of red wine.
Hexadecimal holds out a case containing more vials of MGH, which Norio begins to put the vial recovered from the gangsters into. 'if you hope to triumph over them... you must be willing to take whatever measures are necessary' he tells the X-Men, before explaining that Mutant Growth Hormone has been a dangerous trade in Madripoor in recent years, and they have dedicated themselves to stamping it out once and for all. 'Mutant Growth Hormon? What's that got to do with me?' Jimmy wonders. Norio asks the X-Men if they judge the Raksha for the steps they have taken. 'I dunno...maybe. I mean, if you're gonna be a super-team...even one in Madripoor, you've gotta have standards' Jean points out. Norio announces that he does not like the term “super-team”.
'But you followed the teachings of Wolverine or Patch or whoever... and we were taught by Charles Xavier. Maybe we can help each other' Jean suggests. 'We can help you understand Xavier's dream...and you guys...well...you said yourself that we need to be better prepared for what's ahead of us'. Jean smiles as she asks the Raksha if they can teach them to be ninjas?