Cairo, Egypt. A sand storm blows through the city, leaving it a dusky brown color. A stone-like figure moves through the streets, his cloak covering him from the sand, he rushes in front of traffic, and down some stairs into a building, where he cautiously starts to round a corner. Someone else thinks ‘Steve Rogers. War hero. Leader of the Avengers. With an arrogance that outmatches my stepmom Mystique’s’. It is Rogue, who adds ‘Damn hypocrite. Antique with a god complex. Has no idea what we’ve been up against. The dangers mutants face in a world intent on ending us. Danger we faced alone, since I was just a girl. Where was Captain America? Where was the self-appointed bastion of morality? Same fraud just put his prehistoric morality ahead of saving the world. Same hypocrite just broke up the Unity squad he put together. You know what that says? What matters more to Captain America than saving lives? Being right’.
A large hammer suddenly crashes into the man’s face, and he galls to the ground, looking up, he sees Wolverine a.k.a. Logan, Thor, Rogue and Shiro “Sunfire” Yoshida standing over him. ‘Get up. You need to sign that you received it’ Thor tells the man. ‘He received it’ Sunfire replies. Hands engulfed in flames, he asks the man, Ozymandias, what he is running from, and adds that rumor has it, the new kings of Apocalypse cast him aside. ‘Sad news. Do you fear for your life?’ Sunfire asks. ‘P-please…’ Ozymandias pleads from where he lies, dizzy, among bottles and lamps on the ground. ‘No friends left, Pecan Sandy. New breed wants the old men out of the office. Way the world works. Still, I bet it stung’ Wolverine remarks, while Rogue asks ‘Why not make new friends? Like us. We’re good people to know. Have connections. Fun at parties’. ‘Except for Shiro. But he owns his cranky aloofness, which is endearing to me anyway’ Wolverine remarks as he grabs Ozymandias and holds a fist to his face.
‘What do you want?’ Ozymandias inquires. ‘The new Akkaba palace location. Quick’ Wolverine replies. But, Ozymandias tells the heroes that there is nothing they can do to make him tell them anything. ‘Cut me up, smash me, blow me into the wind - I will re-form over time’ he points out. ‘Sure. And normally, you’d have me’ Wolverine replies, ‘But I got a pal, victim of your tampering, got a mess of terrific fun ideas’ he remarks. ‘Sunfire? Traitor to his own people?’ Ozymandias asks.
‘I recommend you refrain from insulting him just now. He’s a hot reactor’ Thor states calmly, before holding Ozymandias’s arm up, while the servant of Apocalypse asks Sunfire, a former Horseman of Apocalypse, ‘Why do you aid these pigs?’, to which Sunfire casually replies that the Avengers offer dental, and casts a small surge of flame at Ozymandias’s arm that Thor is holding up, and Ozymandias screams. ‘What have you done?’ he gasps, looking at his arm, which has turned from stone to glass. ‘Bonded all those freethinking little particles that make you up’ Logan grins at the shocked Ozymandias, adding that it gives him something solid to cut at, as he pops his claws.
Meanwhile, Alex “Havok” Summers and Wanda Maximoff a.k.a. the Scarlet Witch have arrived at the Guatemalan Akkaba temple, and report in to Wonder Man back at Avengers Mansion. Havok and Wanda make their way through the temple, skeletons strewn across the floor, strange lights flashing throughout, as Havok reports that the twins got here first. Wanda explains that the twins have been killing off all the former mutant acolytes of Akkaba- ‘Mutants I de-powered’ she adds.
The voice of Simon “Wonder Man” Williams comes over the communicator, as he tells his dear friend that she mustn’t take responsibility for the actions of mad man, as that is insanity. ‘If we follow the trail of logic, this falls at the feet of Magneto for fathering you’ he points out.
Alex agrees with Simon, and tells Wanda that she didn’t murder those people, that the Apocalypse Twins did. ‘If they could kill this many with no sign of a struggle, the power they wield must be incredible’ Wanda remarks, while asking if they have the strength to deal with them. Havok replies that they would be in better shape if Simon would help them. Wonder Man replies that he is. And, from the meeting room where he sits in Avengers Mansion, and with holograms of Wanda and Havok projected before him, he replies that his pacifism is not up for debate. ‘You wouldn’t browbeat Gandhi over his tactics’. ‘Gandhi didn’t have the power to move worlds with his fists’ Havok replies, while Wonder Man states that, through his pacifism, Gandhi had the power to change the world. ‘I won’t die with a rifle in my hand’ he declares.
‘I know you want this team to work, Alex. We all saw just how much when your fellow X-Men left and you stayed behind with us’ Wonder Man announces, adding that he is here to serve in whatever way needed, except for throwing punches. ‘Understood and respected, Simon’ Alex replies, before telling his teammate that he will see him back at the Mansion.
Alex and Wanda walk side-by-side down a swing-bridge, then onto a platform, as Wanda tells Alex that they are all behind him, and that he should have seen the pride on Steve’s face when he stayed. Alex replies that he won’t let this team break apart. ‘We have to make this work’ he exclaims, adding that their species has nowhere else to go. ‘If only we did’ Wanda replies. Alex tells her that it wouldn’t be the right option if they did, as Charles’s dream was that they live together, in peace and unity.
Alex continues, assuring Wanda that Xavier’s dream is not something he is doing to stop fighting for, and that this team’s success has never been more important, that they have to overcome their differences and work together. ‘I know… but -’ Wanda stops herself, before she and Havok walk over some glass flooring, and she asks him how they maneuver between extreme factions, like the Red Skull, Cyclops and Apocalypse? She points out that with so many factions taking such extreme positions, so willing to kill, how will they ever find an end to this? Wanda admits that she is losing hope that man and mutant will ever peaceful cohabitate. ‘This team -’ Alex begins, but Wanda interrupts, telling Alex that the team has only reinforced that fear. ‘If the best amongst us can’t hold it together… we are doomed. Doomed to bloodshed. Doomed to endless war’. Wanda folds her arms and hangs her head, ‘Dear God, Alex, the Red Skull, he used humans as weapons, killed mutants in the street… and no one was all that surprised. The Red Riot made two news cycles - and then it just disappeared’.
Wanda continues, ‘That many dead, torn apart - people have become desensitized to the death and horror’. Wide-eyed, Wanda states that the sad truth is, they just don’t care anymore. She puts a hand on Alex’s chest, ‘But I’m glad you do, Alex. You stood to keep this team together. Even when it meant going against your friends. Steve was right about you… I’m sorry I doubted you’ Wanda tells him, as she puts her arms around him and presses her head against Alex’s chest. Wanda smiles, and Alex smiles, looking down at her, when suddenly: ‘Ah, poor, misguided lass -’ a voice calls out, before there is a high-pitched scream, and the glass floor that Alex and Wanda are standing on shatters into thousands of shards, and the powerful mutants start to plummet downwards.
Hovering above them, as Sean Cassidy a.k.a. Banshee, who screams again and tells the Scarlet Witch that he doubts a Summers brother is the wisest choice one could make. His scream slams into Alex and Wanda, forcing them against a wall. Alex releases a plasma energy blast, while Wanda is knocked unconscious. ‘Banshee? You - you’re -’ Havok begins, as he collapses to his knees. ‘I was. And I still am’ Banshee answers Havok’s question, before picking up Wanda. He adds ‘If they hadn’t told me not to kill ye, I would, Alex. Right now. I truly would’. Banshee’s eyes narrow, and he continues: ‘Same as yer brother, Vulcan, murdered me. Same as yer other brother killed my very good friend, Charles Xavier’. Banshee adds that not all of them are sure Havok is going to do the right thing when the time comes. ‘But the twins got some faith in you, boyo’ Banshee reveals, kicking his former teammate in the head, Alex collapses, before Banshee flies off with the Scarlet Witch, and calls back ‘They thing ya might still be one of us yet. Deep down, I think you know the X-Men were wrong. Wanda has it right… there’llnever be peaceful cohabitation’.
At Avengers Mansion, a storm has arrived outside, unannounced. It mirrors Simon Williams’s mood inside the famous Avengers Mansion. The thunder punctuates his depression like a bad soap opera. Still reeling, in quiet, from the loss of his brother, Eric, the notorious criminal known as the Grim Reaper. As children, Simon idolized Eric, no matter his behavior. Even Eric’s cruelty to small animals seemed somehow mature and impressive. Simon sits in his quarters, his old costumes on display in glass boxes. He checks some reports on his monitor, recalling that Eric sold his cruelty to his younger brother as a rite of passage - one that Simon lacked the courage to follow through on - that is the strength that his older sibling had. Suddenly, his room is plunged into darkness. ‘What the hell?’ Simon calls out. He stands up, as the back up generators kick in.
Despite the deep sadness and guilt in his heart, Simon never told his parents. He never alerted them to the budding sociopath’s increasingly vicious experiments in the shed. ‘C’mon, you gotta be kidding me’ Simon frowns as the lights go out once again. On nights like this, Simon remembers his departed brother’s ruinous life, he can’t help but wonder, if he’d only had the strength to speak up those many years ago - could he have prevented it all? Suddenly, the lights return, and a voice calls out ‘This new pacifism you’ve found - I think it’s great. Proves I was right’ It is Eric - the Grim Reaper. His scythe charged with energy. Simon turns to his brother, ‘Eric?’ he asks, confused. ‘Even as a kid, I always knew you’d turn out to be an ineffectual puddle’ the Grim Reaper declares, firing energy from his scythe at Simon, who is knocked back through the wall into another room.
The Grim Reaper enters the room, ‘Such a soft boy. Least likely to leave an impression on anyone. Look at you now, changing the world by sitting on your ass’ the Grim Reaper declares as he stands over Simon. ‘Listen…listen to me…’ Simon calls out, but the Grim Reaper just punches his brother, ‘It’s shocking Wanda isn’t all that turned on by you’ the Grim Reaper snarls. He raises his scythe overhead and admits that he loves Wanda and Simon together - star crossed lovers, like one of those sitcoms they watched as kis. ‘So, I’m going to be a helpful big brother - I’m gonna get Sam and Diane back together’ he declares as he brings his scythe down, shoving it into Simon’s chest, as energy spills forth.
The Himalayas, where Janet van Dne a.k.a. the Wasp, in a new costume, flies alongside Captain America a.k.a. Steve Rogers, and tells him that he can’t begin to know how good it is to be out in the field with him again. ‘Like old times’ she adds. Cap tells Janet that he feels the same, as he has missed her. ‘All those months away from home, it was ridiculous. You can’t imagine’ the Wasp remarks. ‘You’d be surprised what I can imagine’ Cap tells her. In her shrunken-down size, the Wasp turns to Cap, ‘Wow. I’ve upset you. I didn’t know that was a thing that could happen…’ her voice trails off, as she asks Steve what it is. ‘Spill. Don’t make me sting it out of you’ she tells him as they make their way through a series of rooms inside a large building. ‘It’s nothing’ Cap frowns. ‘Last warning’ Janet tells him.
‘I haven’t talked about it with many people. It’s not easy, you see’ Cap explains. Janet points out that she is not most people, but one of his oldest friends. ‘Now - what is it?’ she asks again. Cap points out that he has been away as well, that he was stranded in another dimension by Arnim Zola, and there, time passed differently. ‘I’ve only been back for a few days…but I haven’t seen you for over a decade’ he reveals. ‘My God…’ Jan utters as they wind their way down a spiral staircase. ‘What happened there…it led to my outburst at Logan. I’m afraid personal issues colored my judgment’ Cap admits. ‘Welcome to being human, Steve’ Janet replies. She is about to offer some advice, when suddenly, they enter another part of the complex, and find bodies scattered everywhere.
‘Simon, it’s a graveyard here. Same scene as Havok reported in Guatemala’ Cap reports, but gets no response from Simon back at Avengers Mansion. The Wasp suggests that this place must have a dampening field, before asking Steve how he was holding up. ‘I was only stranded in the Microverse for months and I nearly lost my mind from the loneliness. How did you get by for so long?’ the Wasp asks. ‘We had friends who looked after us’ Cap replies. ‘We?’ Jan asks. Cap hangs his head and frowns, before telling Janet that this is a conversation for another time. ‘Yeah, sure, whenever you’re ready’ the Wasp replies. She tells Steve that she is sorry, as she had no idea. ‘No one does. Top secret’ Cap replies, adding that he can’t let the bad guys get wind that he is off his game.
The Wasp tells Cap that even when he is off his game, no one can tell. ‘You’re unique like that, Steve’ she adds. ‘I don’t know if unique -’ Cap begins, before remembering the world “unique”. ‘What did Immortus say… “A unique, evolutionary island”!’ he remembers. He then tells the Wasp that he thinks he knows where the twins are.
Socoira, where lightning crackles in the dark skies. Logan, Thor, Rogue and Sunfire stand on a cliffside overlooking a city. Using high-tech goggles, Logan scans the city, and reports that the people are holograms, that their signatures are flat, there is no heat .’That café’s a hot point’ he announces, suggesting that it is s way in. ‘Into what?’ Sunfire asks, his mask pulled back off his face. ‘The fight of your life, Shiro - count on that much’ Logan replies. ‘Or we manage to sneak up on ‘em and then… well…’ his voice trails off. ‘Against such a powerful and malevolent force - if there is no other way - are we papered to kill them?’ Sunfire enquires. Logan scowls as he replies that the problem is not that he is afraid of killing, but that he is afraid he doesn’t know any other way.
Rogue tells Thor that she knows she has exactly been his best friend over the years, but points out that he stood up for her, even after she has been such an ass. ‘That was big of you’ she points out. Thor tells Rogue that there is no need to thank him, and that she is an Avenger now, so he will always watch over her. They smile at each other, and Rogue tells Thor that it means the world to hear, all things considered, it is very sweet. ‘Uhhm’ Logan mutters. ‘If you two are done ass grabbing we’re ready - time to go in’ he reports. Sunfire puts his mask on, and asks if it is too much to hope that they can just simply take them and be done. ‘Put the monsters on trial, show the world who brought down Peak Station and defuse this situation?’ he suggests.
The quartet make their way through the town, and Thor reports that he has done battle with their ilk in the past, and he would not expect a simple resolution. ‘Yeah, but for the sake of easing up the tension, couldn’t you just lie a bit?’ Rogue asks. ‘For you, Rogue? Certainly’ Thor replies, announcing that they will have no difficulty, that they will soundly defeat their opponents in time for an early supper. ‘You paint a pretty picture, Fabio…’ Wolverine remarks as the quartet enter the café, and find themselves standing on some sort of platform, leading to a sprawling space ship, energy crackling around it. ‘…this doesn’t help sell it any’ Logan points out, while reporting that his readout says this place is filthy with advanced Pym Particles. ‘Impossible! They couldn’t have shrunk down an entire galaxy!’ Sunfire gasps.
Thor reminds the others that they managed to obtain Janbjorn, so who can say what other treasures these monsters may have acquired. ‘You hear that?’ Logan asks his teammates, as his heightened hearing picks up a sonic boom hundreds of miles away, but by the time it registers, it is too late, as terrible power, and raw strength of the most powerful being he has ever met strikes swiftly - bursting through the energy platform, breaking it, and sending Wolverine, Rogue and Sunfire floating through the strange space with rubble around them, while the Sentry’s attention is directed towards their Asgardian companion - ‘You should have murdered me more completely, God of Thunder!’ the blackened Sentry declares, arms wrapped around Thor’s neck as he forces Thor upwards.
The Sentry’s velocity bends space and time. Their atoms are hurled forward at many times the speed of light. The Sentry tells Thor to be balm, and claims that he is not going to kill him. ‘You have much to do still in the service to Sentry, future Apocalypse, and caretaker of humanity’ Sentry reveals. The incredible process disorients Thor, even a god of Asgard is incapable of such velocity. While back below, on the Akkaba world, Rogue is wishing she still possessed Ms Marvel’s Kree-born powers, or her power of flight, at the very least, as she continues to plummet downwards amongst rubble. ‘Dammit!’ Rogue calls out, when suddenly, ‘Easy, I’ve got you’ Sunfire tells her as he swoops down and grabs her in his arms. ‘Don’t “easy” me, Shiro. Did you see who the hell that was? We can mark one of the Horsemen off our mystery list - we’re up against the Sentry!’ Rogue exclaims.
Wolverine thinks to himself that the bad news gets worse, that the twins aren’t content to play in the land of the living, that they have taken a cue from En Sabah Nur - they are bringing back the dead. He lands with on the sand-covered ground below, He gets up, strange crystal formations growing out of the ground, and decides ‘Not just the dead. Dead with scores to settle. They knew Thor’d be a problem, Sentry was o deal with him’. There is a rumbling, and Logan is knocked off his face, while wondering who the twins picked to deal with him. ‘What ghost am I gonna face?’ he wonders, before a huge giant worm bursts forth from the ground, tossing Logan into the air. ‘Perfect’ he mutters, as the giant worm’s jaw clamps shut, trapping Wolverine within its impenetrable shell. The worms of the Harkep are the sturdiest creatures known in its galaxy. There will be no escape.
Many light years away, the Sentry arrives at a world known as Tyconria. It is a planet with a population of nineteen billion sentient creatures. The Tyconrians have harnessed the green gamma lava flowing deep under the world’s crust. The same green gamma lava the Sentry will use to ensure Thor, God of Thunder, not interfere with his, or his master’s plans!’ They land in the gamma lava with a splash, and the Sentry stands up, holding Thor up by the neck, tells him that he is not upset with him. ‘I’m well beyond emotion. I remember the truth. The Void murdered your brother, you were angry. And rightfully so’ the Sentry states.
The Sentry continues to strangle Thor, and explains that although he must kill those who would stop the mutant rapture, Thor must survive the coming ordeal. ‘I can see how important you will be - you must trust me. It’s better for humanity’. Thor asks Sentry if he is insane, if the madness of the Void has taken him. ‘There is no Void within me - in its place is only death’ the Sentry replies, before smashing Thor up through the crust of the planet, and into the futuristic looking city above. The impact is felt around the world of Tyconria, a warning to its inhabitants, that gods of war have befallen their unsuspecting world.
At that moment, a figure sits in shadows on a throne, as the giant worm slides up behind the throne. ‘Thank you, my love. You have done well’ the man sitting on the throne tells the giant worm, who opens its mouth, and spits out a golden pod, Wolverine can be seen trapped inside - but not for long, as he uses his claws to slash the pod open, and gunk spills out around him. The figure gets off the throne and walks towards Wolverine, ‘There he is - just like the twins promised. Man, these Apocalypse kids, they make that boy Evan I was trying to turn look like a chump’ the figure calls out, as Wolverine stands ready to fight. ‘and thanks to them, your hero pals know what you did’ the figure tells him, adding that now they all know Wolverine is a savage at heart. ‘You might not see it yet - but you personally crushed any hope of Xavier’s dream ever coming true, Dad’.
‘Daken’ Logan gasps as he sees his son standing before him. ‘Look at that. Just seeing me hurt you a little bit. I’m touched’ Daken grins. He tells his father that he will be honest with him, and reveals that those twins have seen the future, that everything is planned perfectly. ‘Your friends, they’ll try and stop us - but it’s useless. And I know you hear that a lot - but this time, it really is’. Daken then pops his claws, energy buzzing around them, as the familiar sound fills the chamber… SNIKT.