Pietro Maximoff, formerly known as Quicksilver, betrayer of mutantkind, is at his lowest ebb. Crushed and defeated, his only hope and refuge lies with the Inhumans. Re-united with his wife Crystal, will his desperate ambitions lead him to an even greater betrayal?
It’s dark out there... but Pietro can hear voices discussing his fate...
A familiar voice to Pietro asks Spider-Man what he did to him. Spider-Man tells Crystal he knows how this looks, but explains that he’s one of the good guys. Pietro starts to wake up, and is surprised to hear Crystal’s voice. Crystal again asks Spider-Man what he did to Pietro. Spidey promises he didn’t do anything, and that they were just talking. Crystal doesn’t believe that. Spidey points out they were standing on the roof, and Pietro just... fell.
Crystal gets even angrier hearing this, finding Spider-Man’s explanation hard to believe. Spider-Man knows how that sounds, but... Crystal doesn’t let the webslinger finish his sentence, thinking he is lying. She powers up and attacks Spider-Man with her elemental powers. Pietro calls out to Crystal, who is relieved he’s alive and thanks her god, Randac. Almost with no breath left, Pietro confirms to his estranged wife Spider-Man didn’t do anything. He also didn’t fall... he jumped. Spidey adds that he tried to save Pietro. His web even slowed him down some but the guy still hit the ground pretty hard. Crystal asks Pietro why he would jump.
Pietro faints again. Crystal takes a look at his neck, thinking his spine is broken. Spider-Man tells Crystal they need to bring Pietro to a hospital, and asks if Lockjaw can take him. Crystal is certain that Earth’s hospitals won’t save Pietro, and asks Lockjaw to stand behind her. Lockjaw does and starts growling at Spider-Man, who is a bit scared by it. Crystal asks her loyal dog to taker her and Quicksilver home, and Lockjaw teleports them all away! Spider-Man tries to ask them to wait, but is too late... the Inhumans and Pietro are already gone. Peter wonders where Crystal’s “home” is.
Crystal, arriving home holding her former lover in her arms, demands to be brought to a healer!
A short while later, the rest of Crystal’s loyal family has brought Quicksilver to the care of the healer Kalikya. Standing behind a window and looking as Kalikya places her hands on Pietro to patch him up, Medusa promises her sister she doesn’t need to worry, as Kalikya is one of the Inhumans’ finest healers. Gorgon thinks Pietro shouldn’t be here. He knows Black Bolt gave Crystal permission to answer Pietro’s distress signal, but didn’t gave permission to bring him back here. Crystal explains to her cousin that Pietro was dying. Should she have left him to die instead?
“Of course not,” Medusa adds. Pietro may remain with the Inhumans until he is fully recovered. Gorgon still doesn’t like it, remembering that trouble follows at Crystal’s husband’s heel like a sick dog. Medusa, a bit angry, asks Gorgon if he’s questioning his monarch’s decision. Gorgon promises he would never do that, but he is curious as to how Maximoff came by his injuries. Crystal confirms that what they heard is true. Many of the human mutants have lost their abilities, and Pietro is one of them. Gorgon hopes that perhaps this will teach Pietro humility. Crystal rather believes that Pietro would find it... difficult... to live as a normal human, and it seems that his injuries were self-inflicted.
Crystal touches the window with her hands and can’t keep her eyes off her husband. She keeps staring at Quicksilver, before she realizes that Black Bolt gives her a questioning look. Medusa mentions they will talk about Pietro’s future when he is well. As Medusa and Black Bolt leave, Crystal and Gorgon stay behind. Crystal knows Gorgon never approved of her marriage with Quicksilver. Gorgon adds that Crystal’s marriage was the first between Inhuman and human, and now, looking at Pietro being healed up by one of their own, they can look at the result. Crystal disagrees. The result of their marriage was Luna.
Days later, when Pietro is as good as healed...
A happy Luna meets up with her father in his room, who is surprised to see her so big. Luna smiles she knows she has grown, as she’s six years old now. She also brought her dad a present. She had her friend, San, make it especially for him, and it’s the only one like it. She hands Pietro a box. He opens it and finds a red stone inside it. He smiles it’s beautiful and Luna smiles hearing that. She goes to sit next to Pietro on his bed, and asks why he never comes to see him. She wonders if it is because her dad is human and that humans don’t get along with Inhumans.
Pietro promises that isn’t the reason. He confirms some humans... many humans, actually, distrust anyone who appears superior to them. “But I’m not”.... Pietro says, but he doesn’t finish his sentence. Luna mentions that some of her friends hate humans too, because they attacked them so the Inhumans had to come live here on the moon. Pietro gives her a sad look, but Luna tells him not to. After all, she doesn’t hate him! Pietro and Luna laugh together, not realizing that a smiling Crystal watches them around the corner.
Again some time later... BR> Wearing his costume again, Quicksilver and Luna walk through the big city of Atillan together, holding each other’s hand. Pietro asks his daughter where he is taking him today. Luna wants her dad to meet Videmus, who is a communicator. They enter a big house and meet Videmus on a balcony, and Luna introduces the two to each other. Videmus welcomes Pietro and sees it as a big honor to be of service to him. Pietro isn’t entirely sure what service Videmus intends to provide. Luna explains that Videmus can make her see what her dad is thinking. All Pietro has to do is think of a picture and she’ll see it, too.
Videmus reminds his honored guest he has no sight of his own. He depends on others for his vision of the world and hopes Pietro will show him something splendid. Videmus stretches his eyes onto the minds of Pietro and Luna. Seeing lots of colors, Videmus mentions to Pietro that his mind is a vortex. He must focus on a single image. Pietro asks Luna what she would like to see. Luna wants to see the ocean, so Pietro thinks of an image of the ocean, with lots of fish in it. Luna is amazed. Luna asks Pietro if it’s true that, when she looks up at the Earth, all the blue is water.
Not far away from the moon, the Earth can be seen in its full glory, but a mysterious, red energy light is orbiting it.
Quicksilver has been brought to the throne room, and asks Black Bolt for permission to undergo Terrigenesis. Medusa explains to Pietro that isn’t possible. The genetic council has forbidden humans from exposure to the Terrigen mists, and that this ruling stands for all time. To this, Pietro proclaims that he is not human! All he wants is to have his mutant status restored, and he believes the mists would do that.
Medusa calmly tells Pietro he is... he was... a human mutant. She reveals that, long ago, the process of Terrigenesis was opened to all Inhumans without regulation. The resulting mutations were often radical... monstrous. The damage to the Inhuman gene pool was disastrous. It has taken many millennia to restore the balance. Now every Inhuman must undergo rigorous genetic screening before being allowed to transform. That screening automatically blocks persons of human descent.
Pietro wants to know what that means for his daughter. Medusa says Luna is excluded from the mists, as it would be unsafe for her ever to be exposed to them. Pietro angrily states he doesn’t accept that! Medusa apologizes, but this isn’t open to discussion. Quicksilver disappointed leaves the room, leaving Black Bolt wondering.
Later that night...
Pietro visits Videmus at his home, and overlook the city from it. Videmus knows for sure that must be a wonderful view, though Pietro replies Videmus can’t really see it. Videmus rejoins that he can, if Pietro allows him. He attaches his eyes on Pietro’s mind again, and asks him to turn a little to his right. Videmus is impressed to see the Earth rising. Videmus asks Pietro to what he owes this visit.
Quicksilver explains Luna told him Videmus is revered as an educator. That he retains images and information from his mind links. Videmus can imagine it’s rather like the computers the humans are so found of. He asks Pietro if he seeks knowledge. Pietro wishes to learn of the Mists of Terrigen. Videmus tells Pietro to clear his thoughts. He has to make his mind a palimpsest upon which he may inscribe his histories.
Videmus reveals it is now almost 25,000 years ago since the Inhuman geneticist Randac isolated the catalyst for human evolution. It is an incredibly rare mineral, which exists in crystal form. Randac named the crystals “Terrigen.” At the correct temperature, when exposed to water, the crystals react to produce a vapor, known as the Mists of Terrigen. These mists are pumped into the flux chambers during the process of Terrigenesis. The crystals themselves are kept in a sealed cavern below the surface of Attilan, where they are constantly exposed to the heat and saline water. It is from this source that the Mists are collected.
This cavern is guarded by the Maledicta siblings, a tradition which has continued in their family for millennia. Their duties are largely ceremonial. No Inhuman would ever dare to enter the chamber without authority of the council. Videmus doesn’t envy the guards, believing their minds must scream with boredom. He further explains that at the entrance to the cavern is an airtight chamber, which serves as a barrier to prevent the escape of vapors from the lower levels. Only those who are appointed by the council to maintain the crystals may enter. And they must wear protective suits to avoid exposure to the Mists. To enter without protection would be to risk irreversible genetic trauma. No more than a dozen honored members of the Inhuman race enter the cavern each century. It is the holiest, most sacred place imaginable... the living heart and soul of the Inhuman culture. To desecrate those hallowed grounds would be unthinkable.
Not long after hearing the story...
Pietro walks toward the room where the Mists are stored. He spots one of the guarding Maledicta siblings, and quickly knocks him out. He drags them to a safe spot so they won’t be seen by anyone. Pietro presses a button, and a door opens, allowing him to enter the chamber. He bathes into a pool where the Mists are stored... and is exposed to them! Pietro feels his hands shaking. He looks at them, and can’t control it anymore! Suddenly, his entire body seems to fall apart!
Eventually, Pietro manages to control himself. His body is restored back to normal, and Pietro feels he failed. He doesn’t feel any different now, and did everything for nothing. He leaves the room, noticing the other Maledicta sibling. Pietro realizes that, when the other guard is discovered, the Inhumans will have no doubt who attacked him. At best, Pietro thinks, he will be expelled from Attilan and sent back to Earth. But that means he will never see Luna again, and wonders what Crystal will think of this.
Pietro goes back to his room, where he is shocked to discover he isn’t alone. He looks at an older version of himself, holding the glowing red stone Luna gave him earlier! This version, remaining calm and sitting in a chair, says “hello” to Pietro...