Lower Egypt, far in the past:
Hank McCoy finds himself surrounded by masked warriors dressed in red. On his chest sits a female warrior, the lower half of whose face is veiled. She holds a knife to his throat and speaks to him in what he figures is an ancient Egyptian dialect.
An old blind man, also dressed in red, asks if they have really decided to kill the mystery man who fell from the sky. Far be it from him to question the murdering tactics of the famous Sandstormers, but knowing their master, Baal, might it not make more sense to question the gentleman before they bleed him dry? The warriors answer rudely they don’t take orders from him and point out the stranger got himself cut, trying to escape. He is already dead.
A shame, the mystic tuts. Now they have to tell Baal they not only lost his son but also a valuable resource who might have helped get him back. If only they knew a mystic with the skills to tend to a deadly wound, he smirks. Perhaps they will be taking orders from him, after all.
Quickly, he has them tie Hank on a horse to transport him away. One of the warriors mutters why someone doesn’t slip a cobra into the mystic’s tent. Another informs him they did. He made the thing his pet!
The city of Perunefer:
Walking through the throngs of people are a disguised Evan and a teenage En Sabah Nur, who informs Evan the city gates open at dawn. His father’s Sandstormers could be back any moment. If they want to escape, now is the time. Evan refuses to go without Hank and notes En Sabah Nur keeps changing the subject. The other boy retorts that Evan is dodging his original question. He points at the ships in the harbor: he has enough gold to book them passage. He repeats his question: why do they look alike? He asks how he can get them home.
Evan grimly thinks how the other boy will grow up to become Apocalypse and, 3000 years in the future, after he is finally dead, mad cultists will create a new one. They aren’t cousins from faraway lands. He is just En Sabah’s clone and En Sabah is the monster that stares at him from the mirror.
In the market, a young woman, Erika of Aminsos, draws everyone’s stares and soon starts a fight when a merchant believes she wants to steal from him. En Sabah Nur is surprised. He clearly knows her. He orders Evan to stay out of sight. He will handle this.
He joins the melee, his cowl down. The men recognize him as the son of Baal. They know his father - good. He offers this blade as payment for his friend’s mistake. He apologizes and the frightened vendor accepts.
Erika fumes while Evan is astonished. He just watched En Sabah Nur defuse a conflict with kindness.
En Sabah worries that his father or his enemies will now know where they are. Erika suggest they go swimming like they used to, then sneak aboard her father’s ship. En Sabah accepts.
The Sandstormers’ encampment:
Their mystic examines Hank and remarks that he spent ten years in Rama Tut’s employ listening to his wild tales. Stories of a far-flung future, where machines think and men kiss the sky wearing a suit of iron. Alien life. World wars. Armies of teenagers dressed in yellow. The man loves to talk. But one thing was clear. There are men who travel through time. The pharaoh is such a man and he suspects Hank is another. Apart from his strange clothes and language, there is the Eye of Horus, which is in the ownership of Rama Tut and guarded. Yet he found it lying in the sand. So this is a great forgery. Hank is quite a thief or – he puts on the Eye and laughs – the future has come for a visit.
Hank awakes as the mystic continues that one story always stood out from the rest. He told of Clan Akkaba and their blue-skinned king. An immortal Egyptian boy grows up to cleanse the Earth of all mankind… to replace them with something better. He’d very much like to hear more about that. He sprays some green dust on Hank and expects him to speak his language now.
Outside the city:
En Sabah, Erika and her friends are swimming. Evan sits watching them, trying to make sense of what he knows and sees. The gentle boy and the monster he will eventually become.
Erika joins him. The day they met, En Sabah told her a tall tale about his father, the benevolent blue-skinned pharaoh of some other Egypt. And his warrior queen mother who commanded all twelve of their armies. He said they’d come for him one day and take him back there. They were six or seven and his father, Baal, was already trying to turn him into s something he was not. She always said that was the only lie she’d ever heard him tell… but here Evan sits, blue as the day is long.
What does she mean, turn him into something he’s not? Evan asks. Erika explains that the Sandstormers are the most ruthless raider in Egypt. En Sabah’s father Baal is the hardest of them all, their leader. Until today, they hadn’t seen En Sabah for a year. Baal decided his son spent too much time on childish things. Or things that weren’t murder. They watch him having fun with the boys as she continues he loves to cliff dive and spearfish. He’ll get up and dance when there isn’t any music playing. Kind, thoughtful. Generous to a fault. Does that sound like a future killer to him? She returns to the water. Evan doesn’t know.
In the Sandstormers’ camp, the mystic tries to converse with Beast, explaining he is different from the other Sandstormers. He continues that the others saw him falling from the sky with a boy who looked like their En Sabah Nur. He can only assume he is one of his servants. Clan Akkaba or one of the four. Happy to die and further his cause. But from when does he come and why? Is it knowledge he seeks? He can help. Baal think he is on his side. But it is all a ruse. He only serves one master… Apocalypse.
That moment, he is hit, courtesy of Baal whose patience has run out. The mystic explains he has cured the outlander and believes he can help them find En Sabah. If he can talk to him some more. Baal grabs him by the throat. He has a better idea...
In the city, Erika urges the boys to hurry. They will be leaving in five minutes. En Sabah tells Evan that Erika’s father can take them to the next port, but from there they will need a destination. What must he do to earn Evan’s trust? Evan replies it’s very hard to trust him. Though he sees he is obviously a good person. He can’t leave without his friend. En Sabah apologizes but his father’s men don’t take prisoners. His friend is dead. If they return for him, they will kill Evan too!
That moment, they are threatened by another group, the Golden Raiders, who intend to take En Sabah hostage. Erika and her friends want to join the battle. En Sabah tells Evan to protect them and get them to the ship; he will meet them there. After some hesitation, Evan obeys and grabs Erika and the boys.
When he has reached the ship, Evan looks back at En Sabah fighting the men. He realizes that all his life he’s been trying to stave off this dark destiny by being good, convinced that he could keep Apocalypse at bay with kindness, friendship and heroism. Hoping he could be better. But here he is, face to face with the original article and he is everything Evan is trying to be. Maybe there is no saving them from their shared fate. Maybe Apocalypse is coming for them, no matter what they do.
En Sabah is about to be overwhelmed and Evan joins the battle to save him. They run for it and see the ship has taken off. Evan stretches his arm and manages to hurl them both aboard.
Barely a moment later, they receive a magical message from Baal, who tells them he knows his son and how much it upsets him to see his father torture secrets out of innocent men. They are shown an image of a tortured Beast hanging from a cross. See them soon, Baal laughs.