Hovering outside the burning Chrysler Building, Lord Chronok is surprised at the news his assistant is giving him. All that his soldiers have found of the ‘League of Losers,’ as he calls them, are the remains of a female minus her arm and lots of chronal displacement particles. Chronok checks his pockets and discovers his chronometer has gone. His assistant asks how they’ll return to their own time without it. Chronok responds by asking why they would want to go back. They’ve won. This entire planet is theirs to do with as they please.
Someone who appears to be the Thing is lifting a large and heavy piece of equipment. Chad Channing returns and he has brought company. The Thing isn’t happy about this, but Chad asks him to relax. He explains that his companions are from the past. They’d have gotten themselves killed if he hadn’t brought them home. The League of Losers checks out the place. The Thing feels that Chad has been a little naïve in trusting them so easily, and reckons he has a lot to learn about being a super hero.
He then relaxes and smiles at Chad. He says that he actually recognizes some of these people. Speedball asks if he’s really Ben Grimm. Several mechanical arms appear and start to dismantle the Thing’s head. The sides pop open and a brain is removed. It’s just a shell. The brain informs them that what they see is just a robot body encased in a cloned replica of Ben Grimm’s organic rock skin. It’s probably more durable than he ever was. It’s often used for heavy lifting, among other things.
He announces that he is, in fact, Reed Richards As they can see, there isn’t very much left of him. However, he adds that it’s the most important part, so he guesses he lucked out. Gravity tries to joke about how things would have turned out if he was just a foot or something. His new friends can’t believe he’s making jokes.
Reed asks him not to worry about it. He’s comfortable with his current status. The brain is lowered into a more conventional-looking robot body, and Reed looks at the new arrivals. He recognizes Darkhawk, Dagger, Speedball, Sleepwalker and Gravity, but he isn’t sure about the others. She asks Laura if she’s X-23. He doesn’t recognize her out of costume. He has no clue whatsoever who Terror might be. Terror introduces himself, adding that anonymity is a plus in his line of work.
Gravity gushes. He can’t believe the great Reed Richards actually knows who he is. Reed replies, “Of course I know who you are. You single-handedly defeated Apocalypse some years back, saved the world and every super hero in it.” Gravity gushes even more upon hearing this. “Oh, my God?! Really?!” No, of course not, replies Reed. Just because he’s a disembodied brain doesn’t mean he has no sense of humor. Speedball points and says that was funny.
Reed asks why they are there. He doesn’t recall them ever forming a team. He wonders if they might be the New Warriors, as he never really kept track of them near the end. Their rapid roster changes were worse than the Avengers. Darkhawk says he’ll explain. He switches off his armor, and is relieved when he returns to his normal human form. He was worried about how that the satellite holding the Darkhawk armor would handle the transformation with time travel involved. It looks like his Chris Powell body has been kept safely in stasis.
He then explains what happened with Chronok, and how they figured they might be able to stop him in this time. He asks Reed if Chronok is a well-known villain. Reed doesn’t recall him. There aren’t many well-known heroes or villains these days. Everything is very much underground, what with the Sentinel program in place.
Speedball brings the conversation back to what Reed mentioned a moment ago, asking what he means by “toward the end.” Did they all die? Reed replies that when the mutant registration act was reinstated years ago, the X-Men rebelled. Eventually, the Avengers, the Fantastic Four and many other heroes sided against the military. They lost. Those who weren’t dead went into hiding, and now the country is protected by an army of Sentinels, controlled by a corrupt government.
Chad takes up the story. He tells his new friends that this is why he had to get them off the street. Super heroes are outlawed these days. If they so much as look at a Sentinel the wrong way, they’re authorized to use force. Chris assumes that super-villains are as threatened by the Sentinels as they are, so they won’t find Chronok robbing banks every week. He wonders how the hell they’re going to find this guy before he travels back in time.
Reed remembers that they stole Chronok’s time machine. He asks to see it. Off the top of his head, he can only think of three working time machines across the world. There’s a good chance he might recognize it. Chris hands the device over, explaining that they set it for a month before he left. They didn’t count on the Sentinels. Reed tells him that it’s actually his chronometer. He invented the machine and it’s there in his lab. Chronok must have stolen it from him. At least they know where he’ll be at some point in the next month.
Sleepwalker asks if they could just not destroy it. Would that not prevent Chronok from traveling back in time? Reed figures he’d just go after the others if he couldn’t get his hands on this one. Chris wants to prepare for his attack. Dagger asks how Chronok would know about the device if Reed has been in hiding since the Sentinel program. Reed explains that the Fantastic Four always had a good relationship with the U.S. government. As a show of good faith, he allowed them to catalogue his inventions. Those records no doubt still exist, but that won’t help them from discovering the villain’s identity. He could be anyone from a nosey file clerk to the president himself. Chris figures they should use their time wisely.
(some time later)
Chris finds Tandy sitting alone with tears in her eyes. He asks if she’s okay. Tandy tells him she just needs some time. She hasn’t had much time to reflect on the fact that she’s lost Cloak and, what with everyone dying including Arana, it’s a lot for her to deal with. Now things have quietened down, she can’t ignore what they’ve been through. Chris places a reassuring hand on her shoulder, and asks her to hang on in there. All this will be undone.
(more time later)
X-23 and Gravity are relaxing at McFarlane’s restaurant with Chad and his girlfriend, Keshia. She asks them how they’re adjusting to life in this era. Greg says that after a week, they’re almost getting used to it. Things are so much different, but it’s really cool for him to see the future. They have some cool stuff… and some not so cool stuff. Chad shows him his arm and says he knows what he’s talking about. His arm has a number tattooed onto it. 00-2099. Laura asks what it is, a little too loudly. Chad asks her to keep it quiet. It’s not wise to draw attention to ones self. He explains that it’s his mutant registration number. He is Mutant 2099. They keep them all catalogued, as he’s mentioned before. Laura didn’t know they branded him. She asks Gravity if he saw his tattoo. He smiles and asks her to call him Greg. Laura smiles back at him.
She asks Keshia how long she and Chad have been going out. She says it’s longer than she should have by a long shot. They’ve been together almost two years now: longer than he’s been a super hero. She jokes about how they didn’t speak for ages when she found out about that, but Chad doesn’t think she should be speaking about these things so freely. A beep goes off, and Chad tells the others that it’s his special number. They have to leave, quickly, leaving the unfortunate Keshia to pick up the check.
Outside they find Sleepwalker, Dagger, Darkhawk, Speedball and Reed Richards facing the giant lizard, Fin Fang Foom. Terror is also there, utilizing the armor that comes from Arana’s tattoo. Gravity thinks that on top of everything they get Fin Fang Foom. Cool! He remarks. “Really?” replies Chad.
(later that night)
Terror visits Sleepwalker, who’s recovering from injuries sustained against Fin Fang Foom. Sleepwalker is well, but he’s concerned that despite having spent time away from Rick Sheridan before, he’s never spent this long. He now exists in the waking world constantly. His days are not confined to the confines of Rick’s mind. He never has to shower or change clothes or suffer such injuries. He always returns to the mindscape. He’s never been as tired as he is now. Terror welcomes him to the land of the living. He thinks he fits in even less than his friend. Sleepwalker replies that he doesn’t exactly help himself in that respect.
Terror looks at his new arm. He grins, and asks if they’re still hung up about that. The poor girl wasn’t using it, and he couldn’t just let it go to waste. Besides, he adds, the magic armored crap that comes out of this tattoo thing comes in handy. More than Sleepwalker’s arm could be broken if he hadn’t helped him out during the big fight.
(life in the future, day 9)
Life is relaxed now and the youngsters manage to play a few hi-tech console games.
(life in the future, day 13)
Sleepwalker and Mutant 2099 assist Daredevil in taking down a group of attacking Sentinels.
(life in the future, day 17)
Reed Richards repairs Terror’s new arm which is beginning to decay.
(life in the future, day 20)
X-23 and Gravity’s blossoming relationship is now at the making out stage.
(life in the future, day 22)
Almost a month has passed since the heroes arrived in the future. Reed Richards and Mutant 2099 are out at night, flying over the city in a small craft once used by the Fantastic Four. Chad wonders if this guy is ever going to attack and asks whether he could have stolen the chronometer and immediately gone back in time. Reed doesn’t think so, not with the army they say he amassed. With the chronometer he used, it would have taken several trips to get them to the past.
Reed lands the craft on his roof and they head down to find the League of Losers spending some time training. Chris Powell has organized the session, and has the team fighting it in some kind of Danger Room against a large green robot. He asks for each to use their powers wisely in order to disable it. The robot falls under their combined strength, and Reed is impressed. Chad tells Chris that Reed’s never impressed, so Chris smiles. He knows they have to be ready for anything, as they don’t know what kind of forces Chronok will bring with him. He hopes he’ll try to steal it by himself, but they can’t count on that.
Reed never really pegged Chris as leader material back in the old days, but he says Chris wears the hat well. Chris admits he was never really forced into the role until now. He calls to his team from their observation booth and informs them he’ll reset the program. This time he wants it done faster. Gravity is tired, but Speedball is more interested in what they should call themselves. He figures nobody will be using the Avengers name in this timeline.
Suddenly, Chad notices that a nearby wall is smoking as blue energy slices through it. He asks Chris if he wrote this into the program. Chris activates his armor as soon as he sees it. It’s nothing to do with him. The hole begins to grow and the team prepares for action.
Within moments, Lord Chronok slides through the hole on a hover disc, flanked by several soldiers. He calls for no corner to be unturned until the chronometer is found, and for them to kill anything that moves. “Oh great,” remarks Speedball, “He’s brought his army with him.”