(China, many years ago)
The the Traveler – a young Cable – is taken by Ozymandias to a gigantic stronghold of highly advanced technology. Ozymandias remembers that the local warlords protected the Stronghold, until En Sabah Nur, the Apocalypse, bested them all and entered it. He left again, because he was unable to understand most of what he saw within the Ship and searched the world to find anything that could unlock the secrets of the alien construct. When the Traveler killed Nur, Ozymandias brought him back to the stronghold, hoping that it could revive him.
The Traveler tells Ozymandias that the stronghold is in fact a Celestial Ship. When Ozymandias says he doesn’t understand those terms, the Traveler explains that it’s a transport for a highly advanced alien race, a sentient exploratory device. Ozymandias wants to know how the he knows this, so the Traveler simply replies: “Let’s just say that the knowledge is a part of me, Ozymandias.”
The Traveler then asks if Ozymandias took Apocalypse inside. Ozymandias confirms this, saying that it was years ago. Changing the subject, he notes that the Traveler hasn’t aged a day in all those years. As the Traveler jokes that it must be his moisturizer, he races towards the Ship. Using his axe, which is made of metals unseen by mankind, he creates a hole in the side of the ship and enters. Ozymandias stays behind, as the first time he entered the ship, it changed him so that he could protect En Sabah Nur. He then swore never to enter it again. He hopes that Nur will prove himself fit to survive.
Inside the ship, the Traveler finds En Sabah Nur, now connected through various tubes and wires to the rest of the vessel. His face and body are desiccated and he has been bonded to cybernetics armor. Still, Nur grins and thanks him the Traevler; some of his techno-organic blood mixed with Nur’s when the Traveler killed him years ago. This techno-organic blood revived him and allowed him to communicate with the ship. Demonstrating this, Nur commands the Ship to attack the Traveler, but he uses his axe to cut away the mechanical devices that reach for him. He then reminds Nur that the very thing that allows him to talk to the ship, his techno-organics, will let the Traveler talk to the ship as well. He forms a spike out off his techno-organic arm.
In Akkaba, Irene and Deadpool are talking to Cable who has just said that he has no intention of stopping the return of Apocalypse. Deadpool thinks that Cable is either mind-controlled, a clone or a future evil version, but takes back the last suggestion when he realises that Cable has no goatee. Cable assures Deadpool and Irene that he is himself and perfectly sane.
Irene wants to know how not wanting to stop the rebirth of Apocalypse, “a genocidal force of nature,” is exactly sane. Cable tells her that Apocalypse’s return will ensure Cable’s ability to save the world. To this, Ozymandias thinks to himself that Cable has always been an odd man. Irene thinks the best part is that Cable believes he’s right. Deadpool thinks that the best part is that Cable probably is right. Ozymandias cryptically comments that “the Askani’Son knows that time moves from yesterday to the future. Today is only a minor obstacle.”
Deadpool draws his sword and tells Ozymandias that he can be a major obstacle today. Cable tells Deadpool that Ozymandias merely meant “Trust me, I know what he’s doing.” With this, he walks inside the smaller Sphinx made from alien technology. That’s good enough for Deadpool and he follows. Irene remains unconvinced, but follows them, because she doesn’t want to remain outside with the Dark Riders.
Inside the Sphinx, Deadpool sees a pool out of blood and notes that it is like Willy Wonka… if Willy Wonka was Dracula and the chocolate factory an abattoir. Irene changes the subject: didn’t Cable kill Apocalypse, eradicating his soul? Deadpool jokes that expository dialogue is informative and fun. Ozymandias continues his cryptic comments. Irene guesses that Ozymandias clones Apocalypse from a single cell, again and again. Ozymandias tells her that Apocalypse has survived the ages through various means, taking on new host bodies with his sentient essence and at other times regenerating his corpse in special chambers.
When Irene points out that there was no body and no essence this time, Cable tells her that his blood was spilled, blood that Ozymandias had saved… And, he continues, thanks to him… He doesn’t finish the sentence, but Ozymandias tells them, as long as a single drop of blood remains, Apocalypse will live. Deadpool figures it out: the techno-organic virus in Apocalypse’s blood will rewrite all organic matter it comes into contact with, so… he dumps a bunch of “flesh n’ guts n’ dark meats n’ celery into a big stew...” and create a new body for Apocalypse.
The Traveler uses his techno-organic arm to hack into the Celestial Ship and tells Nur that if he was responsible for Nur’s immortality, he will make Nur spend eternity far away from there. When Nur doesn’t understand what the Traveler is doing, the Traveler explains that he understands “the language of tomorrow” far better and bodyslides out of the ship.
Back outside, the Traveler tells Ozymandias that his master is going to take a long trip. Suddenly, the ship’s engines start and blasts off, leaving Earth. The Traveler tells Ozymandias that it’s his fault. He never knew… Never could have known… He was traveling through time to find out all about Nur, hoping to find a weakness, but his travels actually were the exact thing that brought Nur into power. Ozymandias asks if this means that En Sabah Nur will return. The Traveler replies “No, Apocalypse will.”
Cable confesses that his big secret it out. He is responsible for Apocalypse returning again and again... Deadpool wonders how helping Apocalypse to return is making up for that. He wants to kill Apocalypse before he wakes up, despite Cable’s warnings that Apocalypse has to live again so that he can die again. The discussion is moot though, as Apocalypse awakens and grabs Deadpool. Apocalypse emerges, a walking corpse made out of fresh meat and blood.
Apocalypse looks at Deadpool and tells Cable that he allies himself with lesser and lesser beings every time he sees him. Deadpool congratulates Apocalypse on looking worse than him. Apocalypse asks Cable why he lets Deadpool talk. Deadpool tells Apocalypse that nobody can stop him talking, but fifty bullets to the face should shut Apocalypse up. However, though firepower knocks him off of his feet, Apocalypse lives.
Nevertheless, Ozymandias warns Apocalypse: the Dark Riders will obey Cable as long as he has proven to be the fittest. Cable sums it up for Apocalypse: he can barely stand and Cable can tell his own legions to cut down their former master. Apocalypse stands up and tells them that he has not weakened. The Dark Riders, apparently convinced by Apocalypse, now turn on Cable and Deadpool. Cable generates a forcefield around Irene to protect her and attacks Apocalypse. Apocalypse notices that Cable has lost his powers, but found technological replacements, admiring his ability to adapt.
Meanwhile Deadpool fights off the Dark Riders, but the Dark Riders suddenly stop. They turn towards the fight between Cable and Apocalypse to see who is winning and, by extension, whom they should follow. While fighting, Cable tells Wade that Apocalypse is the second most dangerous being on Earth, but it just so happens that Cable is the first. Irene asks Ozymandias why he doesn’t interfere; after all he did to ensure Apocalypse’s return, why does Ozymandias risk Cable killing Apocalypse now? Ozymandias thinks to himself that Apocalypse must prove himself fit to survive, otherwise he would be useless.
Cable explains to Apocalypse why he didn’t kill him; Homo superior, the mutants, have been decimated and the remaining mutants need something dramatic to unite them: Apocalypse. Apocalypse asks Cable if he realizes what he could do to the world. Cable isn’t thinking about the risks, though, he’s considering the reward; Apocalypse will fail, but his struggle will reunite the mutants. Apocalypse points out that, even if he fails, he will return, again and again. Cable accepts that, but he will battle what Apocalypse stands for, rendering Apocalypse himself meaningless. Cutting his own hand, Cable points out that, with his own blood, he can turn everybody fit and strong and Apocalypse’s creed of “survival of the fittest” will be meaningless.
Irene tells Deadpool that this is not good. Deadpool agrees, but he’s afraid that if he does something, he will be turned into the spleen of Apocalypse. Cable, Deadpool and Irene start to leave, but Apocalypse shouts that he will grow strong again and that Cable will regret these insults. Cable turns around and tells Apocalypse that the world needs him strong; it always made the rest of the world stronger. The three leave, while Irene asks Cable if this was smart; every death Apocalypse is going to cause will be Cable’s fault. Cable tells her that Apocalypse has killed billions in his time and that they are all Cable’s fault, so he has no choice but to look forward.
Inside the Sphinx, the Dark Riders kneel before Apocalypse, who rants that humanity will suffer when Homo superior rises from the ashes. Ozymandias suggests to Apocalypse that he may prove even more fit than Cable could ever suspect. With the recent decimation, mutants don’t need a culling, but a leader. Apocalypse smiles.
Ozymandias opens a nutrient bath that will restore Apocalypse to full strength. Entering the bath, Apocalypse tells Ozymandias that it will only be a matter of weeks before he’s reborn. Ozymandias wanders away and says to himself that the Traveler will always prove to be one step ahead of Apocalypse.
(several weeks later)
A man in a trenchcoat walks into a bar in Mexico City. It is the Thin Man, formerly of the New Invaders. Inside, he tells G.W. Bridge that he has been slowly taking control of Rumekistan and shows various pictures, including one of Flag Smasher. Bridge notices Deadpool on one of the pictures and says that Deadpool being involved is never good. The Thin Man agrees and tells Bridge that “it would be in the best interest of those of us who have best interests to see this incursion end now.”
Bridge is willing, if the price is right. When the Thin Man asks what would be “right,” Domino tells the man that if they get a chance to nail Deadpool and stop Cable, they would be willing to pay him.