Walter Langkowski is tired but can't sleep at the new Department H complex. After the brush with Lord's Hardliners and Director Brown's assessment meeting he is restless. He goes to the roof on the fourth story and spies Nemesis, who appears to be making notes

Langkowski: Having a hard time sleeping too?

Nemesis: I don't sleep. Or eat, or drink. I am the Mistress of Fate, that is all.

Langkowski: I'm glad Fate is with us. You did well messing up what Earmover and Witchfire were doing before Talisman arrived.

Langkowski looks at what Nemesis has been writing. He sees names: Jean Grey, Jean-Paul Beaubier, Peter Rasputin, Illyana Rasputin, Betsy Braddock....)

Nemesis: It's a 'to do' list, of sorts.

Langkowski: I think I'll ignore that.

Nemesis: Good plan. Deniability will come in handy.

Langkowski: Anyway, I've been thinking a lot about what we've been dealing with; we've got to get Elizabeth back on board full time.

Nemesis: Agreed. Lord's Hardliners outnumber us and with Pointer, Earthmover and Witchfire by his side we'll have our hands full simply defending ourselves without her. We all have our strengths, Guardian, Arachne and Box included, but we need to fight fire with fire. Fate has cost us Snowbird's allegiance for now.

Langkowski: And no mutant will sign up with us after the past year, Pointer, Genosha, Lord's propaganda...

Nemesis: Do you think he's the Master reincarnated, as Arachne suspects?

Langkowski: No, I don't. She doesn't really know what the Master was. Lord has his own utopian vision, there's no need to call on Eshu's spirit. I'm more worried about Dream Queen's part in all this.

Nemesis: The signs are worrisome. But would such a man deal with that devil?

Langkowski: He's young and a growing megalomaniac but he's cunning too, he'd have to be deft to get the Hardliners up and running without drawing anyone's ire. Dream Queen is definitely looking for an opening, both you and Talisman know that; I hardly think Earthmover is unaware, given his prowess.

Nemesis: So what's our next move?

Langkowski: Guardian and Director Brown are certain that the ISL rumours are true, that Lord is drawing them into a fight as a feint to prove his forces are required and we're superfluous. We need to get one step ahead for once.

A whine sounds. Langkowski and Nemesis go downstairs and join Guardian, Talisman, Box, Arachne, and Director Brown. Seems a plan to put Lord to rest, temporarily, has been hatched....