Hyperion stands over the body of the dead Holocaust and tells the Exiles that he knows what they are thinking. How can Hyperion be in charge? They saw him die, didn’t they? Hyperion scoffs at the Exiles and at the idea that death would ever keep him down. Holocaust, however, is going to stay dead. He hopes, though, that the rest of them put up more of a fight.
Morph is left in shock that Hyperion just killed Holocaust with his nose. Arrogantly, Namora calls out to Hyperion and tells him that he may fear Morph, but the queen of Atlantis knows no fear. Sabretooth cracks his knuckles and agrees with Namora. He wants to take the fight to Hyperion. Blink, worried, tells Sabretooth that he wasn’t there last time when they fought Hyperion. He has no idea what the man is capable of. With that said, Blink teleports the group away to safety.
When they remerge elsewhere in the control room, Blink tells Sabretooth that he does not lead this team. She does. Going to-to-toe with Hyperion is suicide. They have to retreat and buy themselves some time. Does Sabretooth understand? Sabretooth pauses for a moment, and then tells Blink that she is the boss. Blink is happy to hear this and tells the group that she thinks she saw a place they could hide when they first got there. She then teleports the Exiles away again, as Hyperion smashes through a door in search of the heroes.
In a rage, Hyperion asks the sovereign caste where the Exiles are. He then threatens to hurt them if they helped any of the mutants escape. One of the sovereigns insists that they did not help the Exiles. In fact, the heroes teleported past the blast doors and are in search of a place to hide. Hyperion calms down, as he knows that there is only so far that the Exiles can hide in this place. He orders the sovereigns to stay put and to keep their hands off all the equipment. Hyperion then slams through the door, knocking over the worker caste bug that aided the Exiles earlier.
The sovereign peers through the hole in the door and asks the worker techdrone if Hyperion is gone. The techdrone confirms this and adds that he seemed eager to catch the Exiles. The sovereign helps the techdrone up and tells him to get closer, as he has important instructions for him. Hyperion has forbidden the sovereign caste from interfering with his hunt for the Exiles. However, he said nothing to the worker caste. The sovereign then tells the techdrone to go to the stasis gallery and awaken the operative who can save all the multiverse. Does the techdrone know who it is? “Yes, sovereign,” replies the techdrone, in awe of what soon will happen, “I know.” The sovereign tells the techdrone to hurry, as the Exiles cannot occupy Hyperion long before he kills them all.
Elsewhere in the Panoptichron, Mimic asks Blink where she is leading them. Sabretooth asks if she is trying to get them back to the room they arrived in. Blink tells them all to shut up, so she can concentrate. Everything in this place looks the same to her. Suddenly, Hyperion catches up behind the Exiles and overhears Blink. He tells her that it is a pain. He got lost all the time his first couple of weeks there. Sabretooth stops and turns and orders the Exiles to fight. Blink, however, orders everyone to gather around her. Hyperion flies straight towards the Exiles, ready to kill them all. Blink, however, teleports the team at the last second, causing Hyperion to crash into a wall.
Hyperion pulls himself out of the wall and screams that Blink is seriously getting on his nerves. The Exiles reappear not too far behind Hyperion. Blink whispers to the others to maintain formation. Sabretooth asks Blink if this is her great plan. Does she really want them to just keep on teleporting away from Hyperion? Blink tells Sabretooth that it isn’t the plan. They are almost where they need to be. Namora’s attention is called to a doorway, though, which leads to an ocean.
Namora wonders what the place is. Sabretooth recognizes it as the place where he and Weapon X first met the Timebroker. Blink admits that this is not what she is looking for, but perhaps Namora should stay here for her safety. Morph becomes sad and transforms part of his head into a sign saying, “Don’t Desert Us.” Namora tells Blink that she does not abandon her friends. Blink accepts this, but informs Namora that she won’t like where they are going next. Blink then teleports the group.
The Exiles emerge in a desert. Namora is horrified and tells Blink that she could have least have warned her. Blink apologizes, but this was the only place she has seen since they arrived there. They have room to operate in this desert, as well as to hide and think. Sabretooth turns to Blink and asks her what she means by “hide and think.” He thought she had a master plan. Blink tells Sabretooth that he has never faced anyone like Hyperion before. He can beat the Hulk without breaking a sweat, and she thinks he could probably beat Apocalypse. The fact that they still live is a major victory.
Sabretooth tells Blink that all this may be true, but all she has done is delay the inevitable. Blink asks him what other options she had. They cannot stand fight the man and they cannot leave him running this place. No one in any reality would be safe. Morph turns into an ostrich and sticks his had into the sand. He asks Blink what their next move is. Blink spots Hyperion pass by the doorway and tells Morph that they will think of a strategy to take down Hyperion, while she distracts him.
Hyperion spots the Exiles through the doorway and approaches them. Mimic asks Blink to allow him at least to stay and help her. Blink, however, turns around and teleports all the other Exiles away, telling Mimic that she wants him to live. Hyperion calls Blink clever, but reveals that he read her file and knows her limits. She doesn’t know her way around the crystal palace yet, and thus she couldn’t have transported her friends there. The Exiles must be scattered around the desert. That isn’t much of a long-term strategy.
Blink tells Hyperion that a stalemate is the best she can do, since the only thing she can match is his speed. Hyperion asks Blink if she thinks she is really faster than his flash-vision. Blink, however, is confident that if Hyperion could use his powers on her he would have already. He knows she would just turn them back on him. Hyperion smiles and recalls how that went down last time he fought her. He congratulates Blink, for in five separate realities, she was the only who managed to beat him.
He killed every hero who stood up to him. Why would he think a girl with a pointy rock to fare any better? He should have done his homework on her, but after conquering two worlds he was a bit cocky. She then added insult to injury when she let Gambit deliver the killing blow. The blast took him out too at least. Hyperion tells Blink that he always hated Gambit.
After their last fight, the Exiles went on their way to another reality. The cleanup soon began in the destroyed area where the battle was. That should have been the last that anyone would hear from him. Some folks, however, don’t know when to leave well enough alone. It turns out that the sovereign caste has to retrieve any bodies left behind once a world is fixed. They mentioned something about the bodies being a risk to further damaging the time stream. All the dead Exiles and Weapon X members were taken back to the crystal palace. The bugs might feel guilty or perhaps sentimental, but for whatever reason they display every recruit that did not make it to the next mission. It’s their hall of shame.
However, Hyperion continues, they never had a recruit like him. They didn’t understand how his body worked. Hyperion admits that he does not fully understand his body either. He was truly dead when the bugs sealed him up in the stasis gallery. However, every cell in his body is like a battery. He probably soaked up all the daylight that was being emitted by the walls of the palace, and whatever pieces of him that were missing began to grow back.
The worker caste was alerted that he was regenerating and informed the sovereigns. Unfortunately, he was recovering at an exponential rate. By the time the bugs realized what was occurring, it was too late. He broke free from the stasis gallery and went on search for the Timebroker. However, one of the sovereigns revealed that there was no Timebroker at all. Hyperion did not believe the bug at first, but the bug insisted that the Timebroker was only a simulacrum. The Timebroker is only something they use to interface with the Exiles and Weapon X members. He may look real to them, but he is no more real than the desktop on a computer.
Blink stands bewildered at Hyperion as she takes this all in. She tells her foe that the story was fascinating, but why is he telling her all this. Hyperion tells her that the first Earth he lived on was a bad place to be when he was taken. He conquered that world, but the humans who lived there didn’t give up without a fight. They nuked the entire planet. When it all ended, he ruled a planet of dust. There was no one to rule or kill. He does not want to be alone like that again. The bugs in the crystal palace are lousy for a conversation. In fact, this talk with Blink is the best conversation he has had in a while. Should they keep talking… or does he have to kill her now? Blink tells Hyperion to keep on talking.
Elsewhere, the techdrone reaches the stasis gallery and begins snoop around for the one he needs. He spots several fallen members such as Mesmero, Wolverine, Thunderbird and Sunfire. He then finds the savior. The techdrone presses a few buttons on his handheld device and the stasis gallery opens and releases… Beak!
Beak falls to the ground, weak but alive. He asks the drone what happened to him. The techdrone apologizes to “Exiles-casualty-six,” but he has no time to recuperate. He must depart immediately. Beak is confused and asks the bug what he wants him to do. The techdrone announces to Beak that he must fulfill his destiny of course. He is Beak! It falls to him to save the multiverse!
Back at the desert, Hyperion tells Blink that the area goes on for miles. In the end, though, it’s just a big room. More like a pocket dimension in the crystal palace. There is another room down the hall with an ocean in it. He figured the bugs could not have built this place and sure enough they admitted that they did not.
The bugs are explorers who found this place sitting outside space-time itself, abandoned. The palace is an observatory that looks out at all other realities. It is called the Panoptichron; however, he just calls it the crystal palace. The bugs were born scientists. They learned how to use the equipment and soon explored other realities. They only wanted to map the worlds, though. The bugs are genetically non-violent and couldn’t hurt another thing if they wanted. In other words, they are pathetic.
It turned out to be a cosmic joke that, just as their travels became routine, they did something that cracked up all of creation. He isn’t sure how the bugs ruined things, but they apparently didn’t understand the equipment like they thought they did. Fixing the realities they damaged was going to be nasty. They could not do it themselves, so they chose six individuals from other realities to do it themselves. They concocted a story about the broken realities being naturally flawed and they even invented the Timebroker to sell the story. In truth, though, the Exiles and Weapon X were just cleaning up the mess of the bugs.
Blink then realizes that was what the Celestials had meant earlier when they warned her to watch out for the Timebreakers. Hyperion hears this and laughs at the name, calling the Celestials brilliant. He tells Blink that the bugs had whatever was coming to them. Now he has reached the real point of his story. Once he knew what this place was he knew he had hit the jackpot. He will dominate any reality worth bothering with. However, he does not want to do it alone. The Exiles know what is at stake. They know the grandeur of his accomplishments. That is why he is offering them this chance one last time.
Blink scoffs at Hyperion and is surprised that he would even ask them to join his side. Hyperion smiles and tells her that he is not asking her to join him. He knows what her answer would be ever since he read her file. He is asking her teammates, who have been sneaking closer to them through the dunes ever since she teleported them away. His ears don’t miss much.
Hyperion calls out to Namora, who conquered her own world before joining the Exiles, to join her. He calls out to Sabretooth, who knows the satisfaction of a good kill better than most. He calls out to Mimic, who started out as a criminal. It is not too late for them to learn what fictions “good” and “evil” really are. Suddenly, Namora rises from the dunes and agrees to join Hyperion. She refuses to be a slave any longer. If he swears to leave her home reality untouched then she will stand by him.
Blink screams at Namora and tells her that it won’t work. Angered, Hyperion agrees and tells Namora that his offer was genuine. However, she treats him like an idiot. He then tells “Namora” that he can see “her” insides. Morph doesn’t even have time to morph back into his true shape before Hyperion blasts him into a pile of mush with his flash-vision. Namora, horrified and enraged, leaps out of the sand dunes and punches Hyperion in the face, calling him a murderer.