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While visiting his sick mother in his hometown of Cumberland, Kentucky, Sam Guthrie (Cannonball) has encountered Ulysses Bloodstone (a Deviant) and Arcadia, two super-powered individuals who are on the run from a Deviant team of hunters called the Sword. As Sam, Ulysses and Arcadia hide in an abandoned house, their pursuers (Argos, Pyre Stranglehold and Zona) close in on them. The trio prepare to defend themselves, but Arcadia has lifted Sam's wallet, within which she finds a photo of his friends in X-Force. She asks if they're mutants like he is and why isn't he summoning them.

In the San Francisco warehouse headquarters of X-Force, the team express their wariness about allowing Jesse Aronson to stay with them, his former caretakers from the mutant protection agency called M.U.S.E. having accepted the boy's decision not to return. As the discussion gets heated, Siryn, Sunspot, Meltdown, Moonstar and James Proudstar suddenly disappear, as the startled Jesse and Domino look on.

To Ulysses' dismay, Arcadia has used her reality-warping powers to teleport X-Force to Cumberland to back Cannonball up against the Sword. The battle is joined; Zona zaps James and when Moonstar comes to his aid, she feels the backlash of the Psi-War that had debilitated Earth's psi-sensitive individuals. Cannonball saves Meltdown from Stranglehold, but then they're taken out by Pyre. Argos disables Siryn, and Zona knocks out Sunspot. Having won the battle, the hunters resume their pursuit of Arcadia. Zona enters the shack where Ulysses grabs her by the neck. Pyre enters and blasts Ulysses' arm off to free her.

Outside, Cannonball and Meltdown recover, and she generates an explosive sphere which she tosses at Argos and Stranglehold's feet. It causes an underground septic tank to erupt, stunning the two hunters. They then enter the shack, Cannonball knocking Pyre out with Argos' staff and Meltdown taking out Zona. Arcadia uses her powers to crystalize Argos and Zona's bodies, intending to shatter them to end their threat. Moonstar steps up to stop her, but Arcadia alters Moonstar, making her sparkly and blue. The conflict ends when Ulysses uses his power to sedate Arcadia. Moonstar returns to normal.

The group puts the unconscious hunters aboard the Sword's own aircraft, then Ulysses and Arcadia take their leave. Sam and his teammates head toward his home.

Later, in New Mexico, Dr. Chandra of the Damocles Foundation reports to the apparent Deviant leader of the Sword. Upon hearing that his quarry have escaped with the help of X-Force, he states they should either recruit the team or eliminate them.

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