Penance continues to attack the different factions of Generation X when they are least prepared. One of the members is severely injured and needs medical attention while the key to calming the savage creature known as Penance lies in an unexpected source.
Plus, the debut of Mondo and Cordelia Frost on a beautiful tropical location.
Continued from last issue, Penance has her razor sharp claws within Banshee's mouth, preventing him from using his mutant powers to unleash a sonic scream as his only effective offense or to fly away as his only effective defense.
Without his powers at his disposal, Banshee uses his other strengths and kicks Penance off of him. Penance recoils from the attack and prepares to fight--even kill--anyone who stands in the way of her freedom.
Banshee is greeted with a familiar, but disgusting sound and notices Husk plunge towards Penance in a new, rock textured form.
Husk, confident over handling her opponent, is blindsided by another laceration to her chest. More durable than she was in her regular human form, Husk continues with the battle and forces Penance into a pool of mud. Penance perseveres and grabs Husk with her clawed feet and drags her into the same puddle. Banshee intervenes and unleashes a large sonic scream towards Penance, but she uses the force of his voice towards her own advantage to help her escape once again through the muddied grounds of the rained forest of the Generation X home base. Banshee is quite rightly concerned with the injuries Husk sustained during the battle, unsure of whether those wounds will remain when her regular form returns without the same durability her rock textured skin granted her.
A young woman named Cordelia rushes from the ocean towards a large Samoan man named Mondo after searching for him. She learns about his brave act of heroism when he used his abilities to save two children. He rather nonchalantly acknowledges his actions as what anyone else would've done, but Cordelia excitedly proposes they leave for the United States to become superheroes to save the world, one villain at a time.
Mondo very calmly protests that his world--the beautiful beach island they reside in--seems to be safe and he is content staying where he is. Cordelia is determined to open him up to a larger picture.
End of Interlude
Back at Xavier's, Skin worries Jubilee and Synch after losing contact with them several minutes ago. The pair rush to their aid, not knowing their whereabouts. Penance watches from afar as Skin alerts the team that readings indicate they are standing right on top of Husk and Banshee. Jubilee uses her powers to ignite a pyrokinetic burst of energy to light up the perimeter. The bright lights unveil a cowering Penance who responds with the only way she knows who: attack.
Synch's mutant aura mimics Penance's invulnerable skin, providing the pair with a near-indestructible force field that should protect them from her blows. Banshee emerges with Paige in his arms, unconscious from shock. He instructs Jubilee and Synch to take Husk to the infirmary. As they leave, Jubilee decides to stay behind.
Elsewhere, the armored man from the shadows of last issue's interlude converses with his benefactor. He explains about what happened when his armor seemingly fell off on its own. Nanny the Orphan Maker, silhouetted in the shadows of the room, remarks that her "little boy is growing up".
Back at the forest, Monet slams right into Penance, ambushing her when her guard was down. Monet feels unpleasant about attacking her like that, sympathizing with her trials as a prisoner of Emplate's.
*Monet St. Croix: "I can only...imagine...what it must have been like."*
While Penance lays helplessly on the ground, Emma decides to give another mental probing a shot. Emma falls back, alarmed at Penance's defenses and the lack of human thought she could decipher from the creature's brain.
The mental interference awakes Penance back into consciousness and she begins to flee. Banshee uses his powers to drive Penance away, angering and confusing M who believed she had the upper hand.
Banshee intends to wear Penance out until she no longer has the energy to run. Her will does not control the destruction the mere touch of her skin brings and Banshee wishes to approach her capture more strategically.
Elsewhere, Jubilee begins to realize that Gateway, as mysterious as he is, probably had pure intentions in recruiting Penance to their doorstep. She wanders in the forest until she notices a swirling fire emanating nearby. Jubilee watches from afar as Chamber tries to reason with the seemingly mute creature named Penance, telepathically trying to relate to her with words that she may or may not be able to understand. Chamber tries to convince Penance that she can prove she is not a threat to anyone, but she attacks anyway with her claws lunged towards his face, still emitting a bright force of unbridled psionic energy.
But she does not attack, she only holds his face unharmed. She backs down and sits calmly as the rest of the team arrived, warmed by the trust she had for young Chamber.
*Chamber: "Nobody...wants to be alone. Not even we monsters."*
Three days later, Husk finds herself recovering in the infirmary with her head firmly planted in a book about the bio-sphere parameters, written by the X-Men's Forge.
She is greeted by Skin, who tosses a Scrabble piece at her. She welcomes him into her room where he emerges with a cart of their unfinished game. Husk asks Skin if he volunteered to stay behind because he was worried about his skin being harmed, but he denies her accusation ashamedly. The pair continue to banter until the end of the story.