The Baxter Building:
Okay, listen up, Valeria Richards announces to the rest of the Future Foundation. They know she doesn’t like to be dramatic, but they have to talk about this. And she could use terms like “countdown” and “timetable,” but she doesn’t want to do that. Because, one, she doesn’t like to cause panic. They all know studies have shown that people reason unpredictably in high pressure situations. And they need as few variables as possible right now. And, two: they’re a bunch of giant freaking babies!
But since they are also friends… and keeping the aforementioned timetable in mind, they ought to know that from this point forward she is ascribing to the theory of tough love. Like, she’s transferred the money and the package is in the mail. So, listen up dummies. She points behind her: see this clock? It says that in four days the world is ending. And the clock don’t lie. The good news is they are also done with their build… and they can finish what they are working on. Her dad, Black Panther and their other sort of smart friends will help out but they should plan on that not happening… as things are going to get pretty crazy out there in the next few days.. That’s it for the pep talk, worker bees. Any questions?
Dragon Man raises his hand. He doesn’t have to do that, Bentley-13 admonishes him. In times of stress, an orderly mind is a fortress, he is informed. Dragon Man explains that at first none of them noticed because they were all working on separate systems. For example, he was working on long time stasis, while Onome was fabricating the Vibranium tribunal hull plating, but now that they’ve started piecing everything together, it’s still a little ambiguous on what exactly they are building. It’s a ship, Val explains.
Alex Power has a question and raises his hand, causing Bentley to scoff again. It’s not just a ship, he asks. Not any kind of salvation machine or anything remotely hopeful like that. It’s a life raft. Yes, she agrees curtly. So the world is going to end in four days, he summarizes, and they are going to run. That’s the brilliant plan? And also there is only seating in that thing for maybe sixty. The Earth is gonna die and their big move is to save a few dozen people? Only the strong survive, Bentley gloats. He is taking the Bentley show on the road.
Franklin Richards’ eyes are downcast as he tries to explain that they tried.
It started in secret with the Illuminati. When they discovered that universes were colliding, the smartest and very best of them attempted to save everyone. They tried everything to stop the incursions, like using the Infinity Gauntlet, the improbable, the impossible and eventually the unthinkable, when Namor destroyed another world to save their Earth.
It was too much and those men broke. They splintered and in their absence something worse took their place, the Cabal, led by Thanos. Everything turned upside down and inside out, including those people who had once been colleagues and friends. Instead now heroes hunted heroes. They tried as hard as they could, as anybody would. But it wasn’t enough.
End of narration
The others look down, not knowing what to say. Valeria interrupts the silence. That’s right, they can’t win, so they came up with the only solution left: not losing. Which is what the raft is for. So get back to work! Or else the specially cultivated collection of scientists, engineers and builders handpicked to restart the human race won’t have a life raft to escape on. After all, it’s the only hope they have left.
Four days later:
Incursion event imminent:
They have only just finished but there is a new problem. They predicted that two Earths from different universes were going to collide. Which is bad enough. But the other side came to the same conclusion. Val thinks they are going to have to fight their way out of this.
The other side’s heli-carriers are in the sky and the heroes fly to fight them.