The X-Ternals finally get a piece of the M'Kraan Crystal. In order to do so, however, Gambit must leave something behind, and it's not just one of his teammates.
The Starjammers take Gambit’s X-Ternals to the heart of the Shi’ar Imporium. The planet is surrounded by a fleet protecting the planet, as well as a newly introduced fusion-energy absorption system (designed to attempt to contain the ever expanding pulses of the M’Kraan Crystal). The Starjammers plan to engage the fleet while Gambit’s team, accompanied by Deathbird, beam to the planet below in order to steal the crystal from Deathbird’s deranged brother, the emperor D’Ken. Once on the planet, the six meet with Imperium troopers. Jubilee, Guido, and Sunspot engage the troops while Gambit, Lila, and Deathbird head off to find and steal the crystal. Jubilee is concerned about her squad’s ability to stay alive; Sunspot confirms that they should be willing to die for this cause.
Gambit’s squad finds that the D’Ken had employed too many troops to the ground fight. There is very little resistance as they make their way to the three-story tall crystal. Wondering how they’ll steal the whole crystal, Deathbird explains that doing so won’t be necessary since a shard of the crystal could hold as much of infinity as the whole crystal. Lila doesn’t get it. Before anything can be explained further, Lila is pulled into the crystal by a blue hand. Gambit argues with Deathbird about following Lila and finally just takes the plunge. Deathbird follows. Inside the crystal, a being named Jahf introduces himself as their host while the universe is destroyed.
Back at the fight, Guido expresses his concern about their chances of success. Sunspot figures it won’t matter either way since the crystal appears to be cracking even more. They experience yet another “blink” in reality and Sunspot notices that his hand turns from its charged state of black to an odd white color. To make matters worse, Gladiator has just joined the fight and he’s brought Rictor with him.
Inside the crystal, Jahf takes Gambit and Deathbird on a stroll through the crystal. The find Lila and D’Ken, oddly transfixed by some red beam of light. When Deathbird tries to kill D’Ken for the wrongs he’s committed, a red beam takes her, as well. Gambit then learns from Jahf the truth of the M’Kraan Crystal. Jahf explains that it is a doorway into all realities; that doorway being the core, the neutron sun. When a door is left open in one reality, other realities cannot help but be affected in one way or another. For example, in what Jahf calls the “actual reality,” Professor Xavier is killed and cannot train Jean in her powers, which means she never became the Phoenix and never fixed the M’Kraan Crystal. Since the crystal was never repaired, all realities are being destroyed by the busted crystal. Gambit is then given the heavy news that his reality was never to have existed in the first place, but he can still save lives by stealing part of the crystal to send Bishop back in time in order to stop the death of Xavier. One catch: Gambit cannot simply take from the crystal – he must leave something behind.
Outside the crystal, Gladiator takes on Sunspot and is surprised when Sunspot turns a fiery white. Another “blink” occurs and Sunspot realizes that he is absorbing power from the M’Kraan Crystal. The troops the squad had been fighting turns to glass and Sunspot orders everyone into the crystal. He even throws Rictor in for a front-row seat. The group sees Gambit and Jahf. Gambit has made his decision about what he’ll leave behind. The only thing anyone hears deals with Rogue. Jahf explains to Gambit that it was because of her that Gambit was sent for the crystal. Gambit strikes out at the crystal and receives a shard. As the group prepares to return to Earth, Sunspot informs them that he’s gathered too much energy. He sacrifices himself by staying behind so as not to jeopardize their plans back on Earth. Realizing that he is right, Lila prepares the X-Ternals for their jump.