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Kieron Gillen (writer), Scot Eaton (penciler), Andrew Hennessy (inker), Jim Charalampidis (colors), VC’s Clayton Cowles (letterer), Ron Garney & Jason Keith (cover), Adi Granov (variant cover), Jordan D. White (assistant editor), Daniel Ketchum (associate editor), Nick Lowe (editor), Axel Alonso (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (Exec. Publisher)
Cyclops easily takes out the mutant-hating prisoners with his martial arts training. He fears that he and Jake are targets, though. He tells Jake of the Jean Grey School and suggests he should go there after his release. With some iron filings, he starts communicating with Magneto but insists that he doesn’t want to be freed. Kitty Pryde visits Emma Frost in another prison, but Emmsa is hostile and not interested in talking. Wolverine tells Captain America that Cyclops won’t cooperate and of his fear that he is being set up. Abby Brand wonders if there is a traitor among Wolverine’s crew. Magik secretly contacts Storm at the Jean Grey School to inform her where her brother Colossus is. Iron Man offers his company’s help to rebuild K’un-Lun, but is gently refused.
The mystic city of K’un-Lun, which is busy rebuilding after their brush with the Phoenix. Lei Kung, the Thunderer, nevertheless assures Tony Stark aka Iron Man that he can do nothing to help here. Stark refuses to believe that. He doesn’t want to hurt Lei Kung’s feelings but this wouldn’t be the first magical city that his company Resilient has put back together. He seems sure his science is what they need, Lei Kung remarks. It was not the answer here before. Why is Stark so sure it is now? That was in understanding the Phoenix, Tony replies. This is putting brick on top of other bricks.
He keeps the two so smoothly separate in that mind of his, Lei Kung mocks gently. That’s impressive. So impressive that he doesn’t believe it. Stark is shaken and in doubt, he believes. He hides it, even though it drives him. But the answer to the question he now asks cannot be found in one place, even such a place as K’un-Lun. He suggests Stark tend to his damage and leave them to tend to theirs. And be careful, he warns, matters of belief may lead him into dangerous territory…
In the prison’s machine shop, Scott Summers and fellow mutant inmate Jake have been working when they are approached by a trio of armed mutant-hating strongmen. Time to bleed, gene scum, their leader announces.
Coolly, Scott tells them to let Jake go. They only want him. They want everyone with perverted genes, comes the reply. Scott looks down, then grabs the man’s knife arm and elbows his back. When the second man tries to stab him, Scott blocks his attack, then kayos him. The third man comes charging right at him. Scott claws at his face, throws him down and knocks his head against the floor. Soon everyone is finished and Scott hasn’t even broken a sweat.
He thought his power was eye beams, not kung fu, the boy states. That’s not his power, Cyclops replies. That’s his training. He was taught it. He grabs some iron filings and stores them away. That must have been one hell of a school! It had its moments, Scott admits.
In another prison, Kitty Pryde visits Emma Frost, who turns away, unwilling to talk. Kitty isn’t surprised but offers that she could pass on a message for Scott. She has no message for Scott, Emma scoffs, that she’d wish to dirty Kitty’s perfect mouth with. She tells her to go. She can’t stand how insufferably smug Kitty looks.
She’s not just smug, Kitty clarifies. She’s sad too. Sad for everyone Emma dragged down. Oh please! She dragged them down? In all her years as a so-called villain, she was never in jail! She’s never worn a polyester jump suit! She’s never been without heels! She’s been dragged down like no one else!
Feeling sorry for herself? Kitty mocks. No, she feels sorry for all those mutant children who’ve been denied her glorious influence in favor of a frumpish little phasing girl, Emma retorts.
She tries to make out there is this big difference between them, Kitty points out calmly. But she’s wrong. They’ve got so much in common. Both their men turned out to be idiots. The only difference is that Kitty was smart enough to know when to leave.
Cyclops and Jake are back in the cells. Nervously, Jake wonders why they aren’t in solitary. They know it was them, he means Scott. Because solitary would keep them safe, Scott mutters. He warns Jake to be careful. He is a mutant now, being careful has to be a big part of his life now.
Jake tells him he was never good at careful. That’s why he’s here. Stupid burglary, didn’t even plan it. His life is going to be so different when he gets out. He never had anything that could pass for a talent. And now he’s got a gift.
After a moment, Scott tells him there is a school. It will take older students. The one he went to? Jake asks. Not exactly. Teachers good? At what they do? The best! That’s why he did everything, Scott explains. To let there be people like him. Give people like him a future. Jake thanks him sarcastically. Too bad Scott doesn’t have one.
At night in the cell, Scott gets up and takes out the iron fillings from his shoes. He drops them on the ground in a circle, then goes to sleep.
Elsewhere, Wolverine informs Captain America, SHIELD and Abigail Brand of SWORD that Cyclops has a death wish. He’d have been happier if Wolverine had offed him. But he is still playing some kind of game. He knows more than he is saying. Captain America decides they’ll get it out of his head. They’ve got personnel. SHIELD director Maria Hill points out all the telepaths were on Cyclops’ side during his insurrection. They have to be careful. The only psychic they’d trust entirely is dead.
If they are so careful, why is Cyclops in that two bit prison? Logan demands. He should be somewhere like Frost. It wasn’t their call to make, Cap replies. They aren’t the highest power in this land. And thinking they are is what leads to people like Cyclops, Hill adds. Wolverine remarks she is very different from Nick Fury.
So is he sure there’s no one in his outfit playing both sides, Abby Brand asks. Angrily, Logan asks if she doesn’t trust mutants. She’s fine with mutants. She doesn’t trust him. She calls SWORD’s empath Sydren in.
Hill angrily states she didn’t say she was bringing an empath in here. Reprimand her, Brand suggests. Oh yeah, she isn’t her boss. And her boss isn’t Brand’s boss!
Sidren scans Logan and affirms he is telling the truth, as far as he knows.
At the Jean Grey School, Storm enters her room to find Magik waiting for her. Illyana shushes her. They are searching for her brother, she states. Where can he be? She hands Storm an envelope. It will tell her. She should turn him in, Magik suggests before teleporting away. Yes, she should, Storm ponders.
Hope Summers writes her friend Laurie a letter, describing her current life at a school and how much knowing the Lights helps her now fitting in, whether it is about learning, socializing or even taking a stand. However, at night she secretly prowls the streets, trying to find Cable.
In his cell, Cyclops awakes. The iron fillings have reformed into letters. “Hello Scott.” He swishes them away. “Break you out?” “No,” he replies. “Understood comes the reply.
Scott stores the filings away. He’s a prisoner, he tells himself. He has to be a prisoner. He’s a political prisoner. He’s not going to let them turn him into a criminal.
Cyclops, Emma Frost, Magik, Magneto (off-panel) (former Extinction Team)Kitty Pryde, Storm, Wolverine (X-Men at the Jean Grey School)Hope
Captain America, Iron Man (Avengers)Maria Hill (commander of SHIELD)
Abigail Brand (commander of SWORD)Sydren (empathy working for SWORD)
K’un-Lun was damaged by Cyclops in Avengers versus X-Men #11.
Kitty broke up with Colossus in Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #543 when he became the Juggernaut.