The lava men start attacking the X-Men without hesitate. The X-Men are having trouble fending them off because they keep regenerating and can burn through Iceman’s ice walls. Xavier is unable to telepathically control their minds. Aaron merely observes from above until Dr Stack clears his “cache” and commands him to attack with full force.
After Aaron “puree[s]” the lava men, they retreated through the ground. Trekking deeper into the forest, the X-Men discover tracks indicating the lava men “reassembled their bodies” and continued on foot.
The tracks “converge” in front of a cave. Cyclops commands the team to proceed with their investigation, despite being at a disadvantage for another ambush.
Into the cave, the X-Men receive a warning from Xavier. He relays the warning of Dr Stack’s robots becoming rogue at the army base. Dr Stack wants to examine Aaron and the X-Men are told to “wrap up [their] inspection” as soon as possible.
The X-Men start to get anxious around Aaron when answering his questions, careful not to provoke him. Suddenly, the lava men appear from the walls. They immobilise Aaron as he is perceived as the most powerful. Marvel Girl is unable telekinetically pry Aaron from the stronger lava men. Iceman creates an ice storm to try and lower the temperature in the cave and hopefully solidify the lava men. It worked and Aaron is able to break free, but he rips his facial skin off in the process. The X-Men attack full force and the lava men retreat further into the cave.
The X-Men are about to seal the cave off when Aaron catches his reflection in the icy walls and is reminded of his true nature: that he is not human despite thinking himself as one. Outraged at the lava men for taking away his “humanity”, he runs into the cave in full attack mode. The lava men drag him into a river of lava. They are too strong for the X-Men, and Marvel Girl only manages to save Aaron's brain. They seal off the tunnel and retreat to the surface.
The X-Men finally rejoin Xavier and Dr Stack. Marvel Girl sadly hands Dr Stack Aaron’s brain, disappointed that she could not save more of him. Dr Stack is grateful that she saved the most integral part of Aaron and with that, he will be able to improve on his next model.
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