Reed Richard’s Inner Sanctum
Madame Hydra and Reed Richards continue discussing the details of their cease-fire agreement. Reed will give her access to an infinite number of parallel dimensions and in return she and her cohorts must leave this Earth and never come back. Susan asks Reed what he gets out of it. The chance to grow old in peace, he replies.
A cylindrical object goes flying through the air and connects with the encroaching, and invisible, Wolverine. Wolverine smashes his head into a wall, his invisible field disappearing. Susan freaks out and tosses a wide force field that knocks Reed crashing into a bunch of equipment. She accuses him of treachery. He asks her what Wolverine was doing behind him, invisible and with claws extended.
She doesn’t relent on the force field and Richards is pressed up tightly against a wall. He tells Susan to calm down and remember the offer he just made her. She says she does, and that she’ll just take the teleportation device from his hand. She tells Reed she doesn’t like sharing.
Madame Hydra unearths Psylocke, who was hiding, while throwing her force fields around. Psylocke gets tossed into the air and smashes into a wall. This surprises Susan and she suggests this new addition keep Richards company in his grave.
Madame Hydra approaches Psylocke and grabs a fistful of her hair. She peers into the Exile’s face and remarks on how pretty she is. Then she tosses her to Wolverine. Reed tries reaching out to her, but his hands get pinned down with invisible fields. Unbeknownst to any of them Psylocke is conscious and playing possum. She maneuvers around Wolverine’s slash, grabs him by the back of his costume and flips him down onto the floor.
Wolverine gets right up and starts slicing away. Psylocke nimbly dodges each attack and then kicks him into some equipment. She thinks to herself this Wolverine is well trained, but too used to winning, which makes him sloppy.
Wolverine dives for her, but she dodges it with ease. She thinks she’s actually starting to enjoy this. However, a new guest arrives, which wipes the smile off her face: Slaymaster. Psylocke looks upon him in fear and tears begin streaming down her face.
Sabretooth is dealing with the after affects of the Slaymaster battle. He remarks on how badly hurt he is and how he’s had it that bad before. He puts the final touches on Spider-Man’s restraints and wonders aloud where Morph and Longshot are with Psylocke.
Creed hears someone coming and looks up. He falls over in his weakened state. Valeria approaches and asks if he’s all right. Elektra follows behind and introduces Reed’s daughter as the salvation of this world. Sabretooth says he’s pleased to meet her.
Elektra asks where Sabretooth’s other friends are. He explains they’re doing what comes naturally, trying to save a friend and the world. Valeria remarks she thought that was her job, to save the world. Creed asks how she plans on accomplishing that.
They’re interrupted by a transmission from Heather. She tells Sabretooth they are out of time and need to go. Sabretooth updates her that half the team is missing. Heather tells him it’s now or never.
Elektra warns Sabretooth that if Spider-Man and Blink are taken away they’ll never be free of the Hand’s control. Creed doesn’t believe her, but Elektra assures him she’s right. He argues that at least they’ll be alive, but as monsters Elektra points out. Creed grows agitated and asks Elektra if she’s been listening. Yelling right in her face he says quite pointedly that in a few minutes their whole dimension is going to die.
Elektra just smiles telling him they’ve heard that before. Valeria adds that her dad will free his friends from their mind control if Creed will trust them. Sabretooth scoops up Blink and cradles her in his arms. He reflects on how they’ve spent their lives fighting to be free, to make their own choices about the future. He says he’s not about to quit that now.
Heather’s hologram tells him to stop. Sabretooth says he’s doing it for Clarice. Heather yells at him not to break contact.
Reed Richard’s Inner Sanctum
Slaymaster approaches Psylocke. He tells her she fights well. Slaymaster notices the tears in Psylocke’s eyes and says that must know of him and her fate. Madame Hydra yells at him to stop talking and kill her. She places a force field around Psylocke’s head and hand.
Reed morphs into a giant ball and bowls over Susan. He tells her to let the girl go. Susan says she will, when she’s dead. It all becomes a moot point as Wolverine sneaks up from behind and jabs his three blades into Psylocke’s back. The Exile’s resident ninja collapses to the ground.
Slaymaster and Wolverine bicker about the kill. Slaymaster wanted the battle, but Wolverine argues that it doesn’t matter. Madame Hydra orders them to stop fighting as she cuffs Reed’s hands and legs together with one force field and wraps a noose around his neck with another. She tells Richards to savor his last moments.
That’s when Morph (in Juggernaut form) enters and wallops her in the back of the head. Madame Hydra goes flying. Morph continues his rampage smashing through Slaymaster and Wolverine. Longshot tells Morph he found Psylocke. They both rush to her side. Morph asks how bad it is. Longshot says he found a pulse, but it’s weak.
Madame Hydra is back on her feet. She catches both Wolverine and Slaymaster midair with a force field. With her hold on Richards remaining she slams him up into the ceiling, finally knocking him unconscious. She leaves him dangling and turns her attention to the Exiles.
She tosses a long cylindrical force field at them, knocking Longshot down. Morph isn’t affected as it passes right through his chest. She smiles and asks if he thinks he’s really a match for her. “Actually, I figured that was my line.” Morph replies.
This angers Susan and she throws everything she has at him. She tells Morph her empire was built on the bodies of the Avengers and the X-Corps.
Wolverine, meanwhile, goes after Longshot. Longshot deftly avoids all of his attacks and manages to get in a nice shot at Wolverine’s throat, sending him to his knees. Slaymaster watches this with mild astonishment. He recognizes seemingly random movements always work out for the blond-haired Exile. Slaymaster pulls Madame Hydra aside for a quick word.
When they finish speaking Longshot falls to the ground. Madame Hydra laughs and guesses he didn’t see that invisible field coming. Then Susan holds up the teleportation device in her hand for all to see. She asks Reed if he thought banishing her would save this world, or if he had something better planned. She pushes the button, activating the mechanism. It’s a pity they’ll never know, she adds. The three baddies disappear in a flash of bright light.
And just like that reality #1720 is wiped off the grid. In an instant all of its planets, stars and galaxies are erased.
All Heather can do is watch as the whole dimension disappears off her screens. She starts crying, thinking of the friends she lost. She enters the first stage of grief, “denial.” Heather refuses to give up and hopes the systems have messed up like they’ve been known to do in the past. She decides she’ll just keep sending messages until they answer.
Several hours later and Heather has heard nothing but static. She covers her face with her hands and declares, “My friends—are dead!” Some of the Timebreakers have been watching her from a distance. One of their brethren approaches and asks what’s happened. He is told that dimension #1720 has been erased and with it the Exiles.
Time passes and eventually the darkness is broken by light. From that light comes a rebirth and so the dimension is once more.
Creed stares up at the sun shining over the city landscape. He can’t believe everything is back to the way it was. The world came to an end and he actually felt his own death. Valeria tells him to thank her dad. He made them a miracle.
Reed Richard’s Inner Sanctum
Reed pulls himself together off the wrecked floor of his hideout. He is very excited that his plan worked. Richards tells Longshot and Morph to get Psylocke upstairs and into the open air. He tells them they have a lot of work to do.
A short time later, Psylocke is strapped to a gurney, awake and talking. Spider-Man and Blink are still unconscious lying on a mattress. Richards thanks the Exiles for their timely arrival for if it weren’t for them he wouldn’t have known about his dimension’s imminent demise. He explains that after intercepting Heather’s comlink transmissions he realized what had to be done.
Sabretooth means know offense, but asks why he would save a world just for three people. Morph jokes that with the Exiles there the population almost reaches double-digits. Reed tells Sabretooth he’s not that arrogant. He wraps his fingers around Valeria’s necklace and tells Creed he always has a plan.
Richards lets the Exiles in on a plan he devised a while ago to save the Earth’s population from their impending enslavement, or worse, annihilation. He had organized a mass exodus of the remaining civilians aboard Giant Sentinels. While Hydra was busy knocking them back down to Earth, Reed “bounced a teleportation field off an orbital satellite and essentially made everyone on Earth who wasn’t Hydra disappear. They were reduced to their digital essence and stored in a pan-dimensional pocket.” This dimensional pocket, he explains, can be accessed through Valeria’s necklace. Reed estimates they saved a billion, maybe two.
Time passes and Psylocke heals faster than expected, as does the city and the world itself thanks to Earth’s resurgent population. Elektra isn’t around as much during this time. She wonders how she’ll fit in with this new world and fears she may lose the man she loves. Also during this time Blink and Spider-Man are healed of their conditioning. Creed visits the newly healed Clarice and she apologizes to him for what she did. She remembers everything.
As for Reed Richards, people suspect he is more injured than he admits from his battle with Madame Hydra. However, he takes no time for himself, as there’s too much work for him yet to do.
And so Psylocke sits alone thinking of these things and also of what the future holds for her. From out of nowhere Longshot comes riding in on the back of a giant Morph frog. Longshot comments that she looked lonely. Morph offers her to spend the day with friends. Psylocke smiles and takes both of them by the hand, “How can a lady refuse?” Is this the start of a new beginning in her life, she wonders.
Garbed in a white tunic, this universe’s Betsy Braddock has just received a compliment on her beauty. She tells the stranger he is very kind. The man brushes it off, telling her a woman should always hear the truth “at the moment of her death.” The man bends down and starts pounding her in the face. Blood splatters everywhere. Upon closer inspection, the face of the attacker bears a striking resemblance to Slaymaster.