Searebro, 3,000 feet under the Atlantic ocean, where the time-displaced Iceman, Angel and Marvel Girl and the time-lost young Cable help the time-displaced Cyclops down from where he had been harpooned against a wall. 'Scotty?' No...' Iceman utters. 'Did I get him?' Cyclops asks wearily. 'This isn't...' Cable begins, while X-23, Boom-Boom, Domino and Warpath turn their attention to their attacks, 'That's it. I'm gonna take Ahab's head and mount it on a wall in my living room' X-23 snarls. Ahab stands before her and asks her if she doesn't realize that they have already lost, adding that he is more than happy to stick around and kill a few more mutants for the spot of it. 'Feast, my Hounds!' Ahab declares, as his Hounds, including the possessed Old Man Logan, Honey Badger and Trinary move forward. 'Why?' the time-lost Cable asks. 'I just wanted to help...I just wanted to...' Cyclops utters, to which Cable tells him that he did good, and removes his visor. 'Mimic?' Iceman asks, surprised to discover that he is holding Mimic in his arms. 'This wasn't even his fight' Iceman points out, to which Cable tells him that it is every mutant's fight. The time-displaced Beast goes over and joins his teammates as Angel asks if that wasn't Cyclops, then where is he.
'Kill the mutants!' Honey Badger screeches as she lunges at Domino, her claws at the ready. 'They turned Honey Badger? Are you kidding me? I'm not going to be the one to kill Honey Badger!' Domino exclaims, as the Beast goes over to the bed where Cyclops was recuperating, and finds it empty. 'Over there...' Marvel Girl remarks as she points to the other side of the room where the time-displaced Cyclops is sitting slumped over on the ground, covering his eyes, he asks the Beast what is going on, as Mimic took his visor. 'Did he... is he okay?' Cyclops asks. Cable hands Cyclops his visor and informs him that Mimic is gone, that Ahab killed him, thinking he was him. 'He bought us extra time. We need to go now -' Cable begins, but the shirtless Cyclops stands up and clenches his fists, 'No. I won't leave the X-Men. We won't leave the X-Men' Cyclops declares. This reality's Jean Grey announces that Cable is right, and watches as the strange twins Manon and Maxime attack Gentle, while Boom-Boom throws a time-bomb into the room, creating an explosion, near where the time-displaced Cyclops stands with Jean Grey and the time-lost Cable. 'I...I can't stop this. Those twins are turning everyone they touch into Hounds' Jean exclaims.
Jean turns to Cable and tells him that they have already lost enough, that he needs to take the kids from here and fix this. Cable tells her that he can't, that if he tries to bodyslide out of here at this close of a range, Ahab can still track him. 'Then we fight! We fight for Bloodstorm and for Mimic!' Cyclops shouts as he rushes into battle, while X-23 tells him that she loves this side of him. Angel, Beast and Marvel Girl join the battle as well, while Cable asks Jean if she can get in the Hounds' heads and shut them down.
Jean informs him that she has been trying, but everything is a tumble. 'Keep trying' Cable calls back, warning her that otherwise none of them are going to walk away from here – and if that happens, mutantkind is doomed. 'Yeah, no pressure' Jean Grey replies, biting her lip.
The strange French twins have attacked Boom-Boom, 'I... I... why does this feel... so... good?' Boom-Boom asks as the young mutants use their powers on her. 'It's okay. You are safe now'. 'Go and kill those evil mutants' the twins tell her in their native French, and once Boom-Boom has been transformed, she leaps towards Warpath and Domino, powerful time-bombs ready to strike, she screams 'KILLLLL!' while Domino mutters that this keeps getting better. 'I have her, Dom' Warpath calls out as he grabs Boom-Boom and slams her to the ground. 'Boom-Boom, you don't want to -' Warpath starts to say, before the French twins lunge at him, 'Oooh...this one looks so strong' Maxime remarks as she touches Warpath's head and transforms him into a Hound as well. Ahab watches as his latest Hound rushes back into the fight, and tells Manon that she is doing great. 'You make me proud to be -' Ahab starts to say, before some rocks are thrown at his head.
'Sorry we're late! Would you believe we had to take the service elevator?' this reality's Iceman asks as he and this reality's Angel, along with Storm, Kitty Pryde, Cannonball, Rockslide, Armor and Glob Herman rush into the room and join the battle. Kitty calls out to Jean, asking her if the kids are okay, and as she telekinetically knocks back several Hounds, Jean warns Kitty to stay away from the twins, that she doesn't know how, but they are turning the X-Men into Hounds. 'We're being overwhelmed' Jean adds. 'All right. You heard her, everyone! The twins are toxic! Focus on taking down Ahab!' Kitty orders the others.
'You X-Men may have fooled me once. But, rest assured, I shall have my victory. Hounds! Focus your sights on the original five X-Men!' Ahab booms as Storm attempts to blast him with a surge of lightning, but Ahab responds by slicing her right side with his harpoon. Both Angels swoop in and pull some Hounds out of the battle, while the Beast flips one over his head. X-23 battles Old Man Logan, while Domino puts her gun to Warpath's head. The present-day and time-displaced Iceman fight alongside each other, freezing several Hounds, while both Jean Greys also fight alongside each other, keeping the transformed Prestige at bay. Armor increases her psionic armor to match the strength of Gentle as she holds him back, while Cable shoots a Hound in the head, Glob finds himself attacked by Honey Badger, Cannonball blasts a Hound upwards above the battle, Cyclops blasts one of the Hounds at close range, and Rockslide falls to the touch of Manon and Maxime.
Suddenly, Storm finds herself under attack from Manon, who leaps on her shoulders. 'Maxime! Get over here, you coward and calm this one!' Manon snaps at her brother, 'Sorry, sorry, sorry!' Maxime responds as he rushes forward, while Storm struggles to throw Manon off of her shoulders. 'Get off, child, or I will be forced to hurt you' Storm warns Manon, but it doesn't matter, as Maxime leaps at her, 'Got her!' he calls out, as Manon uses her powers to put Storm under her control. 'There we are' Manon remarks as Storm falls under her control. 'Destroy the mutants for Ahab, Master of the Hounds!' Maxime tells Storm who unleashes a powerful frenzy of lightning which ripples through the battle and fells Armor, who topples to the ground. 'I... I can't get to them...' Jean calls out as she throws a force field around herself, Cable, Marvel Girl and Cyclops, as the Hounds scamper towards her. Jean reports that she can't get inside and telepathically shut them down, while Marvel Girl remarks that she has been trying to get into the twins' heads and can't do that, either.
'Of course not. I trained my children in how to defend themselves against the “great” Jean Grey. So much of your life you spent turning young mutants into weapons against humanity, and yet it is those very weapons that will prove your undoing' Ahab declares, adding 'I believe they call that.. poetic justice'.
Inside the telekinetic force field, Cable turns to Marvel Girl and Cyclops and tells them that there is no way to win this – they are being swarmed by the kids, the Hounds – it's time to go. Marvel Girl tells him that they are not leaving the X-Men to die here, or worse, to live out the rest of their lives as Hounds under Ahab's control. Cable scowls as he asks Marvel Girl to remember when she asked him “why” - why he didn't ask her to willingly go back to her own time – why he has been trying to force her back – this is why. Because the future depends on them – yet they can't see past what is right in front of them. 'You looked inside my mind, you saw what the future looks like if you stay. You know how serious this is' Cable adds.
'And if we leave the X-Men to die? What sort of ramifications will that have?' Marvel Girls asks, arms folded. She tells Cable that he can't clean up one mess by creating another. 'The real Cable understood that' she adds. Before Cable can respond, Cyclops comes between them 'Kid Cable's right' Cyclops tells Marvel Girl. 'Don't call me Kid Cable!' Cable snaps, folding his arms. Cyclops suggests to Marvel Girl that if them being here caused all of this, then they have to go back – that is the only way. 'Are you sure?' Marvel Girl asks him. 'Yes' Cyclops declares. Marvel Girls' telepathic voice echoes out, 'Bobby. We're going back' she announces. 'Back where?' the time-displaced Iceman asks as he freezes another Hound. 'Who're you talking to?' the present-day Iceman asks. 'Out home. Our time. We're going to stop this' Marvel Girl remarks, while the young Iceman informs his other self that Marvel Girl is saying he has to go back to his own time. 'Now?' Iceman asks, surprised. 'Apparently it's the only way to fix this' the young Iceman tells him. 'We're in the middle of a fight!' the present day Iceman shouts. His younger self tells him that he nows, and he doesn't know if he can go – not now.
Young Iceman throws his hands to his face and tells his older self that he isn't sure if he can go back to before, as he isn't the same person and doesn't want to go back to pretending that he's something he is not. The older Iceman moves closer to his younger self and puts his hands on his shoulders, 'Look... if you hadn't come here and been able to embrace who you really are...then I'd still be living a lie, too' he points out, adding 'So, no matter what happens when you go back... you finally let me be honest with myself. And no one can take that from us', as he leans in and hugs his younger self.
Jean Grey releases the telekinetic force field, and Cyclops fires an optic blast into the battle, 'Before we go back...you need to promise me one thing' he calls out to Cable. 'No negotiating!' Cable retorts. 'We need to help them defeat Ahab. Need to find a way to change our friends back from Hounds' Cyclops remarks, while up above, 'guess this is it' the past Angel remarks. 'It's been a pleasure. Do me proud' the shirtless present-day Angel responds, before the young Angel drops down to where his teammates are gathering. 'We doing this or what?' Iceman asks. Cyclops tells Cable that the ball is in his court, before Old Man Logan roars 'DIEEE!' as he leaps at Iceman, who falls backwards, before Cable shoots Old Man Logan at close range with a weapon, causing him to be blasted away from them. 'Oath, that was too close. No more playing around' Cable declares, before calling out 'Timeslide by six' then he and the time-displaced original X-Men suddenly vanish. 'Dammit. He's taken them' Ahab frowns, before telling Maxime and Manon to finish the X-Men, while he takes care of those damn kids, and teleports away.
Cable and the time-displaced X-Men suddenly re-materialize in front of a mansion, tall structures surround it, and the young mutants look around, confused as to where they are. 'This doesn't look like the past. I thought you were taking us back' Angel declares. 'Yeah, what gives? Is this some sort of -' Iceman begins, while Cyclops asks him to when did he bring them. Cable informs them that Manon and Maxime, before Ahab got to them, were students at Xavier's, just like their parents, and where they are in town is about five years before the end, they are still students and still good. 'Um, guys...' Iceman calls out as he stands away from the others, looking at something. Cyclops asks Marvel Girl if she can find them, to which she tells him that she thinks she can. 'Are you guys seeing this?' Iceman asks, while Cyclops tells Marvel Girl that they will buy her the time she needs. 'Time from what?' Marvel Girls asks. 'From that' Cyclops declares as everyone turns to look at what Iceman was watching – Ahab's floating warship has appeared overhead. 'Ahab's tracked us' Cable declares as they look up at the darkened sky above them, the horrid ship looming above. Cyclops tells Jean to hurry, to find the twins, as they are the ones creating the Hounds, so they should be able to tell her how to undo it.
'Jean? I... wait...' Rockslide remarks as Marvel Girl rushes into the Mansion, she finds Kitty, Glob and Rockslide and asks them where Maxime and Manon are. 'Uh...kitchen? I think? Aren't you supposed to be -' Glob begins, to which Marvel Girl tells them that she was never here. Marvel Girl finds the kitchen, where Manon and Maxime are sitting at a table, eating. Marvel Girl calls out to the pale-skinned children, and Maxime remarks that she looks like Ms Grey. 'Are you her sister?' he asks her. 'Something like that' Marvel Girl replies, before asking them if they can speak English. 'And French. Mostly French, but Mr Glob is making us practice our English' Manon tells her. Marvel Girl sits at the table with them and points out that they seem pretty young to be students here. Maxime tells her that they are, and that Ms Grey thinks their powers came on early because of their parents. 'They're both mutants, too!' Manon remarks. 'Oh? And what are your powers?' Marvel Girl asks them.
As Manon drinks the milk from her cereal bowl, Maxime informs Marvel Girl that he is an empath, he can make people feel what he wants them to – happy, sad, angry, but he prefers it when people are happy, and Manon can give people memories, and then controls them when they remember. 'That sounds very interesting' Marvel Girl replies, before asking Manon if she can show her how she does that.
Back outside, Beast kicks several Hounds over, while Angel flies Cyclops above the ground so that he can fire his optic blast down at several more Hounds, and Iceman speeds along on an ice-sled, pulling Cable with him, as Cable fires his weapon at another group of Hounds. Suddenly, Ahab hurls his harpoon through Iceman's ice-sled, knocking Iceman and Cable into the air. 'Look at little Kid Cable. Trying to play with the big boys. You're not half the man you'll grow to be and even then, not half the man as me' Ahab declares, adding that, given some years, Cable would realize that running is a fool's errand, because now he has him in his sights, he will follow him to the edge of time and keep pressing until he kills one of those sweet young X-Men. 'How did you follow us?' Cyclops enquires as Cable lands on the ground. Cable explains that they were too close to Ahab, that at that proximity, he can track his jumps. Cable instructs Cyclops to focus on Ahab's ship, as without it, he can't jump through time. Cyclops begins firing his optic blasts upwards at the ship, while Cable fires his weapon, too.
'All right! Let's take his legs out from under him then!' Cyclops shouts as their blasts strike Ahab's ship, causing an explosion. 'Reverse course! Reverse course!' Ahab calls out to his Hounds aboard the ship. 'Can you morons see what they're trying to do?' Ahab asks. 'Reverse course -' one of gthe Hounds on the ship begins to instruct the others, when suddenly, there is a massive explosion, and the large warship is blown apart, its shrapnel plummeting to the ground. 'NOOOOO!' Ahab booms as the remains of his ship lands around him. 'Holy crap' Iceman utters. 'We did it' Angel remarks. Cable tells them that the fight is far from over, and as Marvel Girl returns to the group, Cyclops asks her if she found out what she needed. 'I think so' Marvel Girl responds. She tells Cable that those kids were so sweet, to which Cable points out that this is before Ahab got his claws into them. 'It's time for you to go...I'll deal with Ahab' Cable remarks, adding that without his ship, he can't follow them. 'Jean, you know what you have to do, right?' Cable asks. 'Yes. Thank you' Jean responds. Beast asks Cable to thank the other Beast for saving his life, and to tell him to stop messing around with him. 'Will do' Cable responds. 'Timeslide by five' he declares, before the original X-Men vanish.
'Don't let me down, Jean' Cable utters, watching as Ahab rushes towards him, 'What have you done, you petulant child?' he asks, harpoon at the ready. 'Oh, you're mad?' Cable asks as he opens fire at Ahab. 'How do you think I feel?' Cable asks, dodging the harpoon which Ahab hurls towards him. 'I'm the one who has to come back and clean up this mess!' Cable shouts as he shoves his weapon towards Ahab, 'Timeslide by two' Cable declares, before he and Ahab vanish.
Back in the present day,:
'Cable! Did you -' Jean calls out as Cable re-materializes, with Ahab. 'They've gone back' Cable announces, before firing his gun at close range, shooting off part of Ahab's body and knocking the diabolical madman backwards. 'I thought them going back was supposed to stop this! You lied to us!' Angel calls out as Domino and X-23, both now Hounds, try to grab him. 'No. I didn't. They just need to close the loop' Cable explains as he, Jean, Iceman and Cannonball, the only X-Men not transformed into Hounds, find themselves surrounded by all of the others, who close in on them.
Meantime, at Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters. 'So we understand each other. If this is a trap I blow off your head' Cyclops remarks. 'I know, Scott' the present-day Beast replied as the original X-Men vanish – then re-appear. 'Oh, my. We're home, guys' Angel points out as they look up at the Mansion. 'We're finally home' Marvel Girl remarks.
Shortly, they go inside and begin changing back into their clothes from this time period. 'This seems pretty silly' Iceman remarks, but Cyclops tells him that for this to work, they have to wipe their memories and everything has to be just as it was when Beast appeared. 'We can't suspect anything's changed' Marvel Girl points out. The Beast reminds his friends that when the other Beast appeared to them, he was about to quit the X-Men. 'You need us as much as we need you' Cyclops tells him, before telling him that his suit was ruffled and his tie was loose. Marvel Girl asks the others if they all remember their places – Hank and Bobby were in here with her, while Scott and Warren were just coming in from the hall to see what the arguing was about.
Cyclops asks Marvel Girl if she is sure they are doing the right thing – wiping their minds and forgetting everything? Marvel Girl tells him that she is, that Cable showed her the future and what would happen if they stayed, so they need to do this, they need everything to be as it was. She adds that they won't forget, not forever, as Manon taught her how to lock their memories away so they can be sprung later – as soon as the time loop is closed, their older selves will inherit their memories. 'But what if it was a lie? What if Cable...' Cyclops begins, to which Marvel Girl tells him that Cable wouldn't lie, not to them, and that he didn't do this just to save the future, he did it for them. 'He did this for you' she adds. 'He's just a young boy... who misses his father' Marvel Girl whispers into Cyclops' ear.
'Through all of it... we never made a difference. Did we?' Cyclops asks. 'There wasn't a mutant apocalypse' Beast points out. 'Almost, though. Almost, like really close. And like... more than once...' Iceman declares. 'Bobby' Marvel Girl remarks, before telling her friends that she thinks they made a difference, perhaps more than they realized. 'See you guys on the other side' she utters, as psychic energy whips around them, they appear in a trance. 'What...?' Iceman suddenly utters, before the Beast shouts 'Don't worry about me, fella. I'll get along! If the human race is gonna be my enemy – fine! But I'll make the rules for my next fight!' as he storms off down the corridor. 'Hank... keep in touch with us! Call me if you need me!' Iceman calls out after his friend, while the others watch him leave.
Back in the present day:
'Don't you want to join your friends?' Manon asks as Jean Grey falls to the ground, her te
ground, her telekinetic force field under a barrage of punches courtesy of Rockslide. 'Get her, Manon!' Maxime calls out as they run towards Jean. Suddenly, 'Whoa! You guys feel that, right? Like...I just got hit with a flood of memories. Young Bobby's memories. It's...weird. I can't believe he went to see Jefferson with me!' Iceman remarks as he surrounds himself with a force field of ice. Manon presses a finger to Jean's head, 'We've... I met you...' Jean remarks 'That was our old life' Manon responds. 'You were good. Innocent' Jean points out. 'We were young and foolish' Manon replies. 'You... you told me how to beat you' Jean reveals as she pushes Manon and Maxime back with a surge of telekinetic energy.
Angel drops down next to Jean and tells her that he can't believe she found a way to shut them down. 'I didn't' Jean responds as she looks at all of the unconscious X-Men, who no longer have Hound markings. 'She did...my younger self' Jean explains 'How?' Angel asks her as they and Iceman look down at the fallen twins. 'She talked to them' Jean reveals. Nearby, Ahab's semi-destroyed body is on the ground, her calls out to his Hounds, telling them to get him away from this place. Two generic Hounds as well as Prestige rush over to him, 'Rachel!' Cable calls out, but too late as she disappears with Ahab and the Hounds. Iceman is confused and wonders why Rachel was still a Hound, why this didn't work on her. Jean explains that Rachel wasn't like the others, that her pain was real and she couldn't undo it. Some of the X-Men stir, and Domino struggles to sit up, muttering that it feels like the day after a couple hundred shots of tequila, without the fun of a couple hundred shots of tequila.
Kid Cable remarks that Ahab doesn't have his ship anymore so he is stuck in this time. 'In his condition...he won't get far. I'll find him' he boasts. Jean goes over and touches Cable's face, 'You're really him. You're really Nathan. My son' she utters. Cable turns and walks away, 'Take care of Manon and Maxime. They were good kids before Ahab. And now their future doesn't exist. They're out of time and need a home' he remarks. Jean smiles and tells him that they will give them a home and make sure they are cared for. 'I know you will' Cable responds. 'I'll be seeing you, Redd' Cable smiles at Jean, before he bodyslides by one and vanishes. 'You just let that twerp go? He has a lot to answer for!' Domino shouts. Jean turns to Domino and tells her that she is not condoning what Cable did, but that he still has much ahead of him, and she has faith he will set things right.
Several days later, three coffins are laid out in a cemetery. Nightcrawler addresses those attending the funeral of Cable, Bloodstorm and Mimic. Other than those X-Men who took part in the final battle against Ahab, Beast can also be seen amongst the mourners, and Shatterstar stands with his fellow former X-Force teammates. 'I'm so sorry, Hope' Jean tells Hope Summers as they embrace. The mourners start to leave the cemetery, with Jean, Iceman, Angel and Beast heading off together.
Shortly, in a diner, Jean, Bobby, Warren and Hank sit around a table and Bobby tells his friends that he can't get over it – all of Bobby's memories in his head. He adds that it is really bizarre, he has so many questions. 'Yeah, I know what you mean' Warren agrees, before Hank tells the others that this feels good, staying together, having shakes like they used to – back when the world felt so much more innocent. 'And to think that I almost robbed them... us of it' he adds. Jean suggests that they don't think about that now, that they just enjoy this moment together. Bobby points out that it feels a little empty without Scott here, that it doesn't feel quite right. Jean raises her milkshake and proposes a toast – to friends, both past and present, both here and gone. 'May they be with us always' she adds. The others raise their milkshakes, too. 'To Scott' they all call out.
Meanwhile, inside Cable's safe house in a undisclosed location. Kid Cable walks over to a small fridge and takes two bottles of root beer from it. 'It's done' he calls out as he walks through an area with various machinery. 'The young X-Men are back in their own time. Ahab's mutant murder future isn't happening. Everything is the way it should be' her remarks, before handing one of the bottles of root beer over to someone, 'It's finally time for you to come back... Dad' Kid Cable remarks as Scott Summers a.k.a. Cyclops smiles at him!