Atlanta, GA: Three Years Ago
In a bar, John and Lorna play pool as Marcos looks on. John asks if they have anything they want to tell him, and reveals that he knows they're together. Lorna jokingly says that she felt sorry for Marcos, and John warns that the day will come when their lives are on the line and they can't keep secrets. Lorna and Marcos agree and they share a toast to them.
Andy goes to an apartment building and knocks at a door. Lauren answers the door and Andy tells his sister that he just came to talk. She tells him that he made a choice and points out that she can feel that he's sad. Lauren asks him to come home, and when Andy refuses Lauren says that there's nothing to talk about.
Lauren wakes up from her dream as Andy unleashes his powers. She tells her parents what happened and says that Andy is really hurt, and Caitlin wonders if Andy is having second thoughts. Lauren figures that Andy is mostly just lost and wants to drag him into the darkness with him, and Caitlin suggests that the dreams might be his path out of the darkness. She tells her daughter that she has to be stronger than Andy. Marcos calls to tell Reed that the Purifiers he captured John.
The next day when the Struckers return, Marcos tells them that they've reached out but no one knows anything. They have Fade, and Marcos figures that the Inner Circle is the only group that can help them. Caitlin agrees that they're the only chance to get John back, and Marcos asks Clarice what she thinks.
Lorna and Andy watch a newscast about the breakout, which portrays all of the escaped mutants as killers. Andy is angry and thinks that they should make the news tell the truth. Lorna gets a call from Fade's phone. Marcos comes on the line and tells her that they need to talk, and asks for a meeting with her alone if she wants to get Fade back.
Marcos tosses Fade in the trunk of a car, and Clarice insists on going with her teammate. She says that she's the one who yelled at him and bailed, and Marcos assures her that it isn't her fault. Marcos figures that either they can trust Lorna or he's walking into a trap and Clarice needs to be free, and Clarice agrees.
Lorna arrives at the abandoned mall and finds Marcos waiting. She says that she had no idea Reeva sent Fade, and Marcos says that he needs the Inner Circle's help top find John because the Purifiers will kill him once he refuses to talk. When Lorna hesitates, Marcos reminds him of the promise they made years ago.
The Purifiers take John to their compound and Jace questions him. John asks what they're going to do now, glancing over at a table with torture instruments. Jace reveals that he knows all about John's past, and says that there's a new war going on and John is on the wrong side, and he's there to offer John a chance to save his souls. John insists that they're fighting for their freedom, and Jace warns that the human-versus-mutant warfare is tearing the country apart. Ted looks on and beats John, and Jace points out that the mutants killed 37 people at Creed Financial. John insists that the underground had nothing to do with that, and Jace says that he'll give him a chance to think it over. Before he goes, he puts headphones playing heavy metal music on John.
In the next room, Jace tells Ted that he'll break John down. Ted says that they should torture him, but Jace refuses and insists that they'll get what they're looking for.
Clarice goes up on the roof and finds Lauren there. Lauren says that she knows Clarice hates Marcos going to the Inner Ci5rcle, and Clarice admits that she hates the idea but it's their only chance. Lauren wonders where it stops if their power and money is the answer to everything, and figures that they'll never get Andy back because of it. Clarice agrees but says that they'll go back to fighting the Inner Circle once they get John home.
Back at the Inner Circle HQ, Lorna tells Andy that Sage found a compound in Virginia where a convoy showed up an hour after John was abducted. Andy wants to help the Underground break in, but Lorna warns that Reeva won't like it. He says that they're there to help mutants against mutant-haters, and reminds her of what John did for Lorna and the Struckers in the past.
Later, Andy and Lorna go to the apartment building and Andy says that he wants to make his family understand. Lorna tells him that it's only about John, and that the others will never agree with what they believe. The two mutants go inside and meet with Marcos and the others, and Caitlin hugs Andy. Reed comes over and hugs him as well, and Lauren says that she's surprised to see him in real life. Lorna says that they found John and it's just her and Andy there. Andy offers to give them the compound address and leave, and Lorna warns Clarice that they'll need all of the help they need.
The group goes to the hummers that Andy and Lorna brought, and show them the weapons and flak jackets that they also brought.
Jace asks John where the Underground is hitting next, and John insists that they're not hitting anywhere and had nothing to do with the Inner Circle attacks. Ted doesn't believe it, and John insists that they don’t make hostage videos and kill people. Jace suggests that they're getting desperate, and John tells him that the Inner Circle is responsible. Jace points out that the reports show that Lorna and Andy were involved, and figures that John is lying. John insists that he's telling the truth, but Jace puts the headphones back on him.
As the mutants drive to the compound, Lorna asks Marcos if he got the picture of Dawn. He says that he did and thanks her, and they start arguing. Clarice tells them to stop fighting and tells them to set aside their issues for a few hours so that they can rescue John. Marcos and Lorna agree and Clarice thanks them.
In the other hummer, Andy drives and talks about his says that out how they taught him to drive. Reed says that his X-Gene manifested, and explains that his powers were out of control and they found some medication to let him control them for all. He says that he knows what Andy is going through, and Caitlin says that they could be a family again if he comes back. Andy tells her not to ask that of him.
Jace removes the headphones from John and says that Ted is outside thinking about torturing John. He says that it's John's last chance to give him something, but John refuses to talk. Jace admits that John was right about how things have been rough for him since he lost everything that he had for the cause. He figures that he's a lot like John, and John says that he didn't give in to hate. Jace points out that they're both losing everything they care for, and Jace wonders if Andy and Lorna have left the Underground. He realizes that's the truth, and John says that they joined the Inner Circle and the Underground is trying to stop them. He admits that he failed making them believe in the X-Men's dream.
The group arrive outside the compound, and Reed warns that the Purifiers have armed guards, an electrified fence, and minefields. Marcos asks Lorna if she can attack the other side of the compound and a distraction, and Lauren and Andy go with Clarice while Caitlin and Reed drive the cars around and keep them out of sight. The three groups go on their separate missions.
Jace tells Ted what John told him, and figures that a lot of things are starting to line up.
Andy and Lauren circle around to the back of the compound, and Lauren admits that it's weird having Andy there in person. She tells him that he's the one who wanted to talk to him in the dream. Andy says that the Inner Circle is doing important things, and that Rebecca killed the people by accident, but Lauren doesn't believe it. He tells his sister that her parents turned her into Sentinel Services and broke her, and the Inner Circle is fighting the people who made her that way. Andy says that Rebecca died and refuses to discuss it further. Clarice joins them and says that it's the best place to teleport in, and sends a text message to the others.
Lorna dons her headpiece and tells Marcos that she made it from the medallion. He says that it looks badass, and they blast their way in, creating a distraction. The Purifiers mobilize to fight back, and Clarice teleports herself, Andy, and Lauren in while the guards head to the other side of the compound.
Jace learns that Marcos and Lorna are attacking, grabs a gun, and goes to John. He says that Lorna is attacking the compound with Marcos, and figures that John played him. he shoots Marcos in the side with a shotgun and screams that the mutants took everything from him. Ted comes in and says that the mutants are through the perimeter, and Jace shoots John repeatedly.
When Clarice's group teleports in, they smash their way through the compound. One man tries to shoot Clarice, and she opens two portals to send the bullet back at him.
Ted tells Jace that they have to leave, and Jace promises John that he's going to hunt down and kill the entire Mutant Underground. He tries to shoot John in the head, but discovers that his shotgun is empty. Ted says that they have to go, and Jace walks out. Andy and Lauren blast through the door, knocking out Ted, and come in with Clarice . Clarice asks John if he's ready to go home and Lauren frees him while Andy looks at the torture implements.
The group heads out with John, and one Purifier shoots at Lauren but misses. Andy knocks him away and then screams at him, calling him a coward for trying to shoot Lauren in the back. He knocks him around repeatedly, ignoring Lauren when she tells him to stop. Andy breaks the Purifier's limbs, and Lauren finally gets through to him and tells him that they should go. Clarice opens a portal and they teleport to the others, and the Struckers look at Andy in shock. After a moment they get into the hummers and drive off.
Jace goes back and finds the badly injured Ted. Another Purifier reports that they have two dead and two dozen hurt, and Jace promises that it's nothing compared to what they're going to do to the mutants.
Clarice tends to John's wounds, and she apologizes for not being there when he was captured. John says that he saved her and they hug.
Andy tells his family that he saw how they looked at him. Caitlin insists that they love him and have been trying to bring him home, but Andy insists that he's not leaving the Inner Circle. He says that the Purifiers are monsters and the only thing to do is wipe them out. When Lauren objects, Andy says that she's not better than him and he's just doing what has to be done. Andy walks off and Caitlin realizes that the only way to get him back is to destroy the Inner Circle.
Marcos goes over to Lorna, and she sees Andy walking away. She tells Marcos that she should go and they can go back to hating each other. Marcos agrees but as Lorna goes, she turns and kisses him and then says that it doesn't change a thing.
That night, Caitlin administers more of the medication to John. When she's alone, she takes a gun out.
At the Inner Circle headquarters, Lorna puts away the headpiece.
Marcos sees Clarice sitting at John's bedside as he sleeps.
The next morning, Andy goes to the training room and practices with his powers.
In the junkyard outside the HQ, Lorna mimics his actions.
Written by Gadfly on Jan 2, 2019