Outside the PEAK:
Eden Fezi aka Manifold uses his powers to take a walk. Via comm, he calls Lila Cheney and asks her to run logistics for a bit. He will be out of signal range. She seems to protest. Ask Gates? he asks, referring to Gateway. He is not his mentor; he is a pain in the… What has he been telling her? Of course, he can speak he is just being… He repeats that she is in charge. Where is he going? he anticipates her question. He opens gateways between dimensions, each step taking him somewhere else. Where he always goes. Everywhere.
He ends up in Australia.
Two indigenous men sit around a campfire and greet him, razzing him about his spacesuit. One of them, Sammy, blames his mob for the darkness. What, Krakoa? Eden asks. Actually, it turns out Australia loves the X-Men. Sammy was referring to the Avengers. Sammy asks him to tell Iron Man he is a drongo. Eden points out he never sees him. King T’Challa is the only Avenger he sees these days. The other man, Baz asks, didn’t he say he got kidnapped helping him with his space business? That was bad, Eden admits and adds in a small voice he killed a lot of people.
After some silence, Sammy asks if he is doing better now. Eden agrees. Baz tells him to be careful with Krakoa. If they put him somewhere dangerous like that. Eden retorts that Earth is the most dangerous place today. He came to check on them. They holding up? Seen any space dragons? Nah, they tell him. Eden smiles relieved and tells them he has to see a big lizard guy, then talk to his opposite number, then it’s back to the PEAK. All safer than here, he promises.
Baz puts his hand on Eden’s shoulder. He still worries. He admonishes him to listen to Gates. Gates is… Eden begins. He is his elder, Baz cuts him off. Remember what he said. You wanna go somewhere, remember where you started from. Calling him “uncle,” Eden replies he knows. He knows where he started from. Sammy asks if he is gonna be alright without the stars to guide him. He knows he‘s got problems indoors. And with that, up there everywhere is indoors. Not this where, Eden replies. This is where he was born.
He creates a doorway. He tells them not to worry about Krakoa. Krakoa is okay. They made up three laws. Do they know what the third law is? “Respect this sacred land.” They are okay, he promises, as he leaves through the portal. Baz mutters they still had to make it a law.
Deep space, the ship of the Zn’rx prince Djagyar:
The prince is surprised that Manifold found him. He is in deep space. He is right here, Manifold replies. He supposes so but, given the situation, he has heard that Earth has fallen to Knull. How have they fared against the void god? They are still working on it, Eden replies. Matter of fact, that’s why he kept the appointment. They do a lot of stealing power right?
Prince Djagyar replies that Snarkwar requires weapons. Inborn weapons are the best - and so they acquire them. He appreciates that Earth mutants value their powers highly. Right, Eden agrees. Depowering mutants is a big no-no on Krakoa. They must be desperate. Meet Burner and Lifter: they are volunteers. He shows him holograms of two mutants and describes their powersets: Pyrokinesis, gravikinesis, enhanced strength and durability.
The prince is interested. With such talents, he could enter the fray directly. Do the volunteers understand the transfer process can be fatal? They are hoping for that, Manifold replies. It will save a lot of bother. The prince doesn’t understand. Eden tells him he doesn’t have to. Will he take the deal? They need his fleet to destroy the shell around Earth. Together they and Krakoa can finish Knull.
Pricne Djagyar hesitates, then asks if he has heard of the planet Ortuua. A peaceful, sparsely populated world but with vast mineral reserves and close to a strategic binary wormhole. His sister Kuga was planning to conquer it. Had she established a staging area and a weapon factory there, the war would be over. But she did not conquer Ortuua. Knull had already destroyed it. Kuga had committed her troops to a world that no longer existed. Terror gave her brother a rare chance to outflank her. Her losses were… severe. His most powerful opponent has been removed because of Knull. Now ask him again to destroy Knull.
Eden bristles that Knull is a monster. The prince agrees. A monster that destroys worlds. But he has no world. And his enemies do. So let Knull come! he shouts raising his fist. Let him tear the very stars apart. He will build new stars from their wreckage and his children will make sweet war by their light. There will be no deal, he finishes and tells Manifold to go.
Once Eden is gone, someone tells the prince it is time to die… and he does…
Eden teleports onto the Alpha Flight space station, home of Henry Peter Gyrich. He calls out but then hears that Gyrich is in a conversation with someone regarding the “Krakoa problem.” Gyrich assures the other person that he is dealing with it. As head of Alpha Flight, he also heads Gamma Flight.
Eden sneaks out and teleport elsewhere in the station, while creating a small portal to eavesdrop on Gyrich’s conversation safely. Gyrich tells the other person that the mutants are organized now. They need to organize in a similar fashion. He’d like to see the full schematics. He is interrupted and listens, then angrily protests he hasn’t printed it out. What does he take him for (while holding the printout in his hand)? He listens again, then opines he’d be lying if he was saying Knull wasn’t a factor. They are completely blind but have to assume the superheroes do what they always do. The alternative would be unthinkable. If the worst happens, who would be the survivors? Mutants, Gamma beings… nobody human. Not on their watch!
While Gyrich is focusing on the call, Eden looks at the Orchis file Gyrich had printed out. Crap! he mutters, then disappears again. Too late to hear Gyrich mentioning a mole in SWORD…
Eden returns to the PEAK to inform Brand that Gyrich is involved with Orchis. Brand tells him Gyrich will have to wait. They have enough problems. Comms are still down and nobody’s returned from Krakoa, even to check in. She doesn’t like it. They might need extraction.
Manifold leaves for Krakoa. What he finds is his friends strung up, hanging from a tree like the victims of a spider and Knull leering at him…