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Peter David (writer), Todd Nauck (artist), Rachelle Rosenberg (color), VC’s Joe Caramagna (letterer), Nauck & Rosenberg (cover), Christopher, Nauck & Rosenberg (variant covers) Mark Basso (editor), Jordan D. White (senior editor), C.B. Cebulski (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)
Havok tries to reason with the Latverians and gets them to allow him entry to the embassy, where he tries to deal with three of them. In the meantime, Polaris flies up to the roof to free Wolfsbane. Beltane hits Polaris with a vision of her dead mother, blaming Lorna for her death. Wolfsbane tears herself free when she sees this and ravages Beltane. Inside, Havok attacks the group. They flee and run into the real Dr. Doom whom Quicksilver has found and brought here. Havok blasts Doom because he wants this to be over and tells the Latverians to flee. Only the injured Beltane is left behind. Later, Wolfsbane prays at Beltane’s bedside in the hospital until the other three Latverians enter and order her to leave. They are joined by Dr. Doom ad nobody knows what happens inside the room.
A Congressional hearing:A senator tells Havok the American people have a right to know… They have a right to know nothing! Havok replies sharply. They did their best under the circumstances, and no one could have done better! The senator sharply interjects they destroyed a police car. That was not his intention, Havok replies. It just happened. And the police provoked it, after Havok had attempted to calm the situation, once they’d learned of Wolfsbane’s situation.
Flashback:Wolfsbane has been captured by the four Latverian mutants and hoisted on an X-shaped cross on the roof of the Latverian embassy. On the ground, Havok asks Polaris if she can get Wolfsbane down but she can’t, as the cross is made of wood and she is tied by rope.
Havok steps forward toward the embassy and introduces himself. Samhain fires some energy at his feet. Very impressive, Alex comments and his own energy flares. He could return the favor and bring the building down. Kill them and everyone in there. He’d rather not as it would be a ton of paperwork.
Imbolc asks from inside: how do they know if they open the door, that the police won’t open fire? They’ll have to take his word for it, Alex replies. She lets down her energy shield for Havok to enter.
A cop behind the car has a clear shot and is ordered to take it. He fires at Imbolc but she raises her shield again. A furious Havok whirls around and fires a blast at the police car.
Present:He was pissed, Havok explains. That’s his explanation? an elderly senator asks. He melted a police car! Havok retorts he had promised she’d be safe if she opened the door. The police then undercut him. It was a miscommunication, the senator points out. It was a stupid decision Havok retorts. It angered him and he retaliated. They should thank him. Thank him? the senator echoes. He is welcome, Alex replies. Why should they thank him? the senator clarifies. Because his raw and angry reaction convinced the Latverians that he was legit. That if he gave his word, it could be trusted. And if his word was violated, there would be consequences. So she let him in.
Flashback:Inside the embassy, Havok now faces Samhain, Imbolc and Lughnasa. He asks for their group’s name. The Latverian Liberation Front? Mutants against Doom? Samhain replies they don’t have a name and how does he know they are mutants? Alex explains they have a swarm of nanobots permeating the air through DC. If a mutant enters, they get tipped off.
Present:How did he know they were mutants? a senator asks. Reed Richards told him.
Flashback:So they are from Latveria? he asks. Samhain replies he may have heard of one of the former members of his tribe, young Victor. He goes by Doctor Doom now. So this is personal? Havok asks. Oh yes, is the reply.
Outside the embassy are protesters. Val Cooper fights her way through the crowd shouting for Multiple Man. Madrox asks the officer to let her through. He brings Val up to speed. She is shocked when she sees Rahne tied up on the roof, guarded by Beltane.
Polaris flies up to attack her. Beltane creates a projection from Lorna’s subdued memories. It’s Lorna’s mother as a zombie blaming Lorna for killing her. Lorna is shocked and argues when her “mother” blames her for the airplane crash.
Rahne awakens, turns to her wolf form and tears free and attacks Beltane. When the projection disappears, Lorna shouts at Rahne to stop. Rahne shifts back and is horrified to see how she has savaged the other woman. Then she claims she had it coming.
Inside the building, Samhain has noticed the noise. Havok suggests that would be Polaris freeing Wolfsbane. When Samhain asks if that is a joke, Havok counts down correctly to the moment when Wolfsbane comes tearing through the wall. Furious, she dares the Latverians to fight her. Samhain fires an energy blast which she easily dodges. She is stopped from injuring him by Imbolc’s shield. Havok blasts her from another direction.
Samhain, Lughnasa and Imbolc run through a door, which they shut in Havok’s face. Lughnasa blocks the door from outside with a mystic shield but it will only hold a few minutes. As they run down the stairs, Samhain announces they’ll blow the place up. He wants to get back to the main foyer. Their people should have set up the explosives by now. He’s really going to do it? Imbolc asks. How are they better than Doom then? Samhain retorts they have to show the world they are serious. Imbolc protests, noting that they have to set an example! Killing them is what Victor would do! That’s how he will learn! Samhain insists. He asks if the explosives are prepared.
Instead, they find their flunkies in the foyer, unconscious. What the hell happened? he shouts. He happened, Victor von Doom announces. Genuflection might be appropriate now.
Samhain fires a blast at him. Another doombot, he figures. This is getting tiresome. Easily deflecting the blast, Doom agrees, it is. Samhain doubles down with his attacks, admitting this ‘bot is more powerful. Doom sighs, the obvious answer hasn’t occurred to him yet. He orders Maximoff to explain it to him. Quicksilver appears to explain that this is indeed the genuine article.
Present:Quicksilver explains to a disbelieving senator how he found Doom. The Fantastic Four told them he was probably still in New York. They had just defeated some plan of his about drug-addicted youths.
The senator points out there are ten million people in New York City. Pietro explains it wasn’t ‘that hard. Everyone has to stay somewhere and Doom’s tastes tend to run toward the luxurious. So he checked the fanciest hotels in Manhattan…
Flashback:…and finally found Doom in a luxurious suite playing the piano. “In the Hall of the Mountain King,” good choice, Pietro opines. Doom coolly identifies him as “Lehnsherr’s boy.” Correct, is Pietro’s curt reply. He’s needed. Indeed, where and for what? Doom asks.
Present:A senator asks how he couldn’t know. It was all over the papers and TV. Pietro shrugs that Doom doesn’t see it as his responsibility to stay abreast of current events. He is asked how Doom reacted. Not well, he begins to narrate…
Flashback:Doom orders Quicksilver to get him there immediately. Quicksilver warns him not to say that unless he means it. Of course, he means it. When Doom becomes insulting, Quicksilver takes him to Washington at full speed. When they’ve arrived, Quicksilver asks if he is ok. Does he need anything? Doom orders him to stand aside and regally vomits into the snow.
Later, Doom reflects Samhain’s power back at him and the young man falls. Imbolc warns him to stay back while trying to hold up a shield. She dares bark orders at him? he shouts. Do they still not understand the gravity of their situation?
Unexpectedly, Havok blasts him and orders Imbolc to get her friends and get out. Is he on their side now? she asks. He just wants this to be over!
Present:One senator asks Val what about the one on the roof, Beltane? Val replies she is still in the hospital under guard. He asks if she has no problem with X-Factor enlisting the help of Dr. Doom. Val points out they saved the people in the building. That was their job. And Doom? Val replies he is a supervillain. At some point he will be brought down. They always are.
The hospital:Wolfsbane sits at the bedside of the sedated Beltane, praying. Samhain enters and orders her out. So he is recovered? she asks. The three Latverians in civilian clothing repeat his order. Rahne points out this was a mistake but they clearly don’t believe her.
She steps outside the room and sees Dr. Doom. They are all his, she remarks. He enters the room and a green energy field rises. A nurse asks Rahne what is going on in there. The Doctor is in, she replies.
Flashback:Havok, Multiple Man, Polaris, Quicksilver, Strong Guy, Wolfsbane (all X-Factor)Dr. Valerie Cooper
Beltane, Imbolc, Lughnasa, SamhainEmbassy staff
In the present:Havok, Multiple Man, Polaris, Quicksilver, Strong Guy, Wolfsbane (all X-Factor)Dr. Valerie Cooper
The story takes place after X-Factor (1st series) #75-76.
At this point Polaris doesn’t remember that she crashed her mother and stepfather’s plane as a toddler. She will learn in X-Factor (1st series) #243.
“In the Hall of the Mountain King" is a piece of orchestral music composed by Edward Grieg in 1875 based on Ibsen’s play Peer Gynt.