Alex Summers liked Sean Cassidy from the first time he met him. Sean was calm, smart, a friendly joker who didn’t take it all too seriously. But life as an X-Man has a way of changing that in a person, as right now, Sean “Banshee” Cassidy, one of the Horsemen of Death, screams across the sky, carrying Alex “Havok” Summers with him. Banshee tells Havok that they are going to do what Xavier couldn’t - save their people from the humans. ‘Ye shouldn’t stand in our way’. Banshee then drops Havok from a great height, and the leader of the Avengers Unity team falls through a building below. He thinks to himself that Colossus, Storm, Kitty, they are the kindest people he has known, but they have all been corrupted at one point or another, and it was just Banshee’s turn.
Havok has been pleading with Banshee for fifteen minutes, staying alive, hoping to God that he can get through to the man he once knew. Alex rushes to the hole in the building that was created when he fell through, but Banshee appears, ‘Enough cheek, Summers. Do the right thing, or ye’ll regret it!’ Banshee warns his former teammates. Havok knows that he has once chance to get close enough, to stun Banshee and throw off his aim. He leaps out of the hole in the building into open air, throwing himself at Banshee, he lands against his old friend, and punches him in the face. Banshee’s face is like iron, and Havok’s hand is shattered. But it buys him an opening to Banshee’s throat - an opening to turn off his horrible damned scream. But despite emitting enough energy to melt an engine block, Havok doesn’t even singe Banshee’s armor. Havok does force Banshee back to the ground though, where Banshee gets in a punch, slamming his fist into Havok’s face and shouting ‘Why’re ye holding back, Summers?’
Banshee stands up, and tells Havok that part of him knows that he is right. ‘Some part of ya knows the X-Men’ve failed. Yuir man, Scott - face o’ our people - murdered Charles Xavier in front o’ the entire world. They’ll never trust ya. Never see ya as a hero. So we’re taking the poor mutant bastards off o’ Earth before this lot o’ nonsense gets ‘em killed!’ Banshee declares, while Janet van Dyne a.k.a. the Wasp flits nearby. Banshee starts to boast that he will murder anyone who can’t see this way, when suddenly, he starts choking. Havok realizes that the Wasp detected Banshee’s armor was too thick to pierce from outside, so she has flown into his mouth, and unleashes her wasp’s sting in his throat. Banshee drops to his knees, and clutches at his bleeding throat, but Sean’s pain brings Alex no relief - just another kind soul, twisted and fallen to rage. The Wasp flies out of Banshee’s throat and tells him that she never wanted to destroy anyone’s vocal cords. Alex knows that the worst is yet to come. He stands up, fists charged with energy, while Banshee struggles to speak.
Havok tells Banshee that he is sorry. ‘We know you think what you’re doing is right. But we’re not giving up on peaceful coexistence - some of us still believe in Xavier’s dream!’ Havok shouts as release a stream of energy close range at Banshee, sending the Horseman of Death careening backwards. ‘Is he…’ the Wasp begins as she returns to her true size and stands next to Havok, who assures her that he will live, while adding he used nearly all the cosmic energy he had stored up. They hear someone cough, and the Wasp spins around to see Steve Rogers a.k.a. Captain America leaning against a wall in the alleyway. ‘Are you okay?’ the Wasp calls out to her friend. ‘Are you talk to me, Wasp? I don’t…can’t hear a thing’ Captain America shouts back. The Wasp goes over to him and helps him walk towards a building where there is a glow inside.
The Wasp explains to Steve that he took a direct blast, and has extensive hearing damage. ‘WHAT?’ Cap shouts back. Alex tells the others to come with him, as the guards came out of the building with the glow inside. ‘I think the guards came out of that room’ Captain America calls out. ‘You’re telling, Steve’ the Wasp remarks. And, as the three heroes pass through the door, they are transported to the location of the Apocalypse ship. ‘Mother of God…’ Cap utters as he, Havok and the Wasp examine their new surroundings. ‘Look at the size of that ship’ Havok remarks. ‘Compared to that behemoth, Apocalypse’s old ship looks like a an…’ the Wasp’s voice trails off, as Havok remarks that it is hard for her to even say “ant”. Havok then motions to a glowing spiral of “bad guy energy” as he calls it, explaining that it is probably the tachyon dam that Immortus was talking about. He suggests that they do some dismantling and let in their suspicious friends from the far future.
‘I’ll go’ the Wasp announces, but Havok tells her that they are not splitting up. ‘Cap’s deaf. The dam will be guarded - I’m small, hard to see’ the Wasp points out. She kisses Havok on his cheek and tells him that he knows this is smarter. ‘But you’re soft on me, Alex. Clouds your judgment’ Jan adds, before taking flight, and calling back ‘Oh, the fun you and I are going to have when this is over. Pray I survive!’, to which Alex replies ‘O-okay’. ‘She likes you!’ Captain America shouts at Alex. ‘You’re telling’ Alex mutters.
Meantime, in the Tyconria, in the Akkaba Nebula, this is an alien metropolis populated by billions. A world impelired by the Sentry of Death. The green gamma lava the alien inhabitants use to fuel their cities set free, consuming all in its path. The skyscrapers tower high as the green gamma lava flows around them. Thor is here, and he focuses his mind’s eye, not merely on another world, but one in a galaxy from the microscopic universe in which he is trapped. He knows the risks should he misremember - should the portal he is creating open to a sun or a star - this world would perish. He swings his hammer overhead, and an instant later, the sky open, and rain pours forth. This world will nor perish, not while under his care. The rain is actually the ocean of a far-off world. Smoke rises from the city from the impact of the water on the gamma lava. Lives are saved - normally the hallmark of a good day. But today holds ill omens - a weight on the God of Thunder’s chest masks any joy for his victory. He knows that this is only the beginning of what awaits him, for he can feel the presence of death.
Elsewhere again, Wanda Maximoff and Simon Williams, a.k.a. the Scarlet Witch and Wonder Man, respectively, sit at a low table across from the Apocalypse Twins, Uriel and Eimin. A traditional Japanese feast is laid out before them. Uriel thanks Wanda and Simon for joining he and his sister, and remarks that civility is important. ‘Where applicable’ Eimin adds. ‘You’ve been quite accommodating’ Wanda replies. Uriel tells her that they understand there is no simple right and wrong, that this is difficult, nuanced. Eimin declares that the Red Skull’s onslaught is unstoppable, and the only way to save the mutant race is to remove it from Earth.
Simon puts a hand on Wanda’s leg and tells the Apocalypse Twins that they can drop the hard sell. ‘I get it. I’ve made the decision to help you’ he adds. Uriel replies that that makes him very happy, and declares that, together, they will save a species. Eimin asks Wanda if she is certain, with Simon’s energies, that she can cast such a spell? Sipping some wine, Eimin points out that the spell demands the mutants not only rise, but rise within their chambers. Calmly, Wanda replies that she understands what needs to be done, and announces that she is ready to do it.
Meanwhile, Wolverine a.k.a. Logan is chained to a wall, while his son, another of the Four Horsemen of Death, Daken, has been beating him consistently for longer than Logan can remember. His blood is poisoned, mind friend and body broken. Another crack of Logan’s jaw, but still, Daken does not tire of this torture. ‘Want to hear something funny?’ Daken asks, before revealing that Sabretooth set Wolverine up to kill him. ‘Wait - it gets worse - what could be worse than being duped into killing your own son? Turns out he filmed it. I knew he was going to try, but…’ Daken’s voice trails off with more punches to Wolverine’s bloodied and broken face, as another voice calls out ‘You never believed your father would actually murder you’ Uriel points out as he and Eimin approach. ‘So you went along with it all, assuming it would backfire in Sabretooth’s face’ Uriel adds. ‘Daken died betting on you, Logan’ Eimin reveals.
Uriel holds up Wolverine’s face and explains that Sabretooth’s video found its way into the hands of the Red Skull. ‘Do the consequences of this sink in, you calloused sociopath? The Skull will distribute copies of it to the world’ Uriel declares. Daken points to a projection of Wolverine drowning him, and exclaims ‘Wolverine, the Avenger, killing his own son! What will they say? “These costumed police have gone too far”. “Taken things into their own hands”’. “The mutants are savages who kill their own children” Eimin quotes, announcing that she has seen it. Uriel adds that the Red Skull won’t even need his newfound telepathy to convince the humans to strike. ‘He will discredit the Avengers and rally mankind to imprison all mutants in one swift blow’ Eimin announces. Uriel points out that without their intervention, the Skull’s attack would have happened tomorrow. ‘Within a week they begin work on the camps we were raised in’ Eimin adds. ‘What do you want from me?’ Wolverine is able to utter.
Uriel clenches a fist and tells him that they want for him to see all of this horror, adding that everything they endevour to save the mutants from stems from his decisions - from his killing. ‘And me - well, I know how important it is for you to live up to Xavier in a way that Scott didn’t. It’s cute. Like kids vying for the approval of a ghost’ Daken remarks, adding ‘Even though you failed him, failed them all - we’re going to save the mutants from the storm you brought down. Take them to an all-mutant world’. Daken smiles as he tells his father that he will keep the school going, even run it, as he sees how important the students are. ‘The children are our future. Whitney Houston got that much right’. Daken moves closer to his father and tells him not to fret, assuring him that he will teach the children all about him. ‘Make sure they remember that the failure of man and mutant to live together rests on your bloodthirsty shoulders’ he declares as he shoves a finger into his father’s eye.
A projection of the Scarlet Witch examining a machine appears, as Uriel announces that they will name it the Wanda Maximoff School for Gifted Youngsters, in respect to the woman who made their gift possible. He adds that Wanda will be remembered as a hero to their people - a goddess who saved them from certain doom. ‘Never happen… Wanda… never… help you…’ Wolverine utters. ‘Oh? Really?’ Daken replies, before walking back over to his father, and staring him in the face as he reveals that Wanda has already begun the spell. Daken walks away with the Apocalypse Twins, leaving Wolverine chained to the wall, he tells his father to get working on that apology letter, warning him that he is about to be very unpopular.
The Wasp flies forward, dodging the energy spears that Clan Akkaba warriors throw towards her as they ride flying beasts in their pursuit of her. Janet is not entirely sure that trusting Immortus is the right choice, but she knows that the Apocalypse Twins hold the power to kill a Celestial, so if Immortus can come imprison them, they are in no situation to turn down the help. She recalls that the Unity team has split up, with Havok relegated to a backseat, overshadowed by Cap. ‘Poor Alex - trapped between two worlds. With no real influence on either’ Jan thinks to herself. She shrinks herself down so that the warriors cannot see her - before she releases a sting at both of them, enabling her to carry on towards the blue energy. ‘X-Men and Avengers living together in the Mansion - solid plan, in theory.
But nothing’s worked out. Everything’s only getting worse’ Jan tells herself, while deciding that naming this unit “Unity” is the definition of a misnomer. Janet enters the ship, thinking that the walls between man and mutant are built up so high that even Alex suggesting that they see themselves as one people ignites hatred. ‘Okay, bad guy’s giant beam of doom energy - time for destruction’ the Wasp declares as she shifts to her full size and approaches the energy. But, a voice calls out ‘There is a better option before you, Wasp…turn back. Go home’. The Wasp looks up and sees another of the Horsemen of Death - the Sentry, who adds ‘And live to see tomorrow’.
Havok and Captain America find themselves under attack by an Akkaba warrior riding a very large crab. ‘Trespassers in the Holy Akkaba Ark - suffer the wrath of the Pale Rider!’ the warrior calls out, while the crab grabs Havok in one of its pincers. ‘What did he say?’ Captain America shouts. ‘He thinks your new costume’s cute’ Havok mutters as he fires a blast of energy at the Pale Rider, knocking him back. Havok frees himself from the crab’s pincer and drops to the floor, adding ‘He invited us to the mother of all crab bakes later’. The men start to run down the corridor, ‘BYOB’ Havok jokes, while Cap shouts ‘They’ll know we’re here soon’. ‘Especially if you keep screaming’ Havok mutters. ‘Keep dreaming? I don’t follow you, Alex’ Cap calls back.
They soon come to a stop near two large statues of the Apocalypse Twins. Havok suggests they focus on finding Simon and Wanda, as he has a feeling they are going to need them. ‘We need to find Simon and Wanda. The Twins took them for a reason’ Cap shouts. ‘That’s just what…never mind’ Alex mutters, before Cap asks him what he makes of this. He adds ‘Something Immortus said. “Once divided, all is lost…”’. Havok tells Cap that he could not get that out his head when the team split up. ‘I assumed he was referring to our Unity squad’ Alex adds. ‘I assumed he meant the Unity squad’ Cap shouts, before motioning to the statues. ‘Yeah, their hands clasped. That light glowing from behind the connection - what if Immortus wasn’t talking about our team… what if he was telling us how to defeat the Twins?’ Havok suggests, looking at the statue of the Twins.
Elsewhere on the Ark, ‘We need to talk, Simon’ Wanda calls out as she gazes out a large window in the chambers set aside for her. Simon approaches her. He is only wearing a pair of briefs and rubs a towel through his hair. Wet footprints are left as he walks towards Wanda. ‘Yeah…but they’re listening’ he tells Wanda, who replies that she knows, and asks him to come closer. Wanda puts a land on Simon, who asks her ‘What are we doing, Wanda? Really?’ to which Wanda tells him that they are going to do what they want. They pull closer together, and Wanda announces that she will bring the mutants here - but not the way they think - not into those chambers. ‘As a free army. An army of mutants, banded as one…and together, we’re all going to take these monsters down’ she whispers to Simon. Wanda and Simon press their heads together, as Simon smiles and tells Wanda that he knew it - that he knew she had another plan. ‘But you trusted me’ Wanda utters, before they kiss passionately. They move over to the bed, Wanda lies down and Simon is on top of her, locked in embrace.
Meantime, ‘Here, Sunfire! Logan’s in -’ Rogue calls out as she and Shiro “Sunfire” Yoshida enter the room where Daken has been torturing Wolverine. Rogue stops in her tracks, shocked at seeing Wolverine like this. Rogue and Sunfire rush over and start to free Wolverine from the bonds through his hands. ‘It…it’s my fault…all of it…’ Logan utters. Rogue tells him that it is okay, that she is here now. ‘Killed my own son…killed Warren…killed that boy Apocalypse…failed Chuck…’ he tells Rogue, who replies ‘None of that is true. None of it’. Rogue assures Wolverine that Charles loved him, that Logan gave him a hope that a man could change. ‘But I didn’t…never stopped…never stopped the killing, Rogue…just kept it secret…and now…the Twins…’. Wolverine reveals to Rogue that the Twins have Wanda casting a new spell, to undo everything they worked for. ‘Stop her…please, Rogue…stop…’ Wolverine utters, before he goes silent.
Rogue holds Logan, while Sunfire stands motionless over them. Rogue removes a glove and puts her bare hand to Logan’s face, promising him that she will stop Wanda. Rogue then rushes out of the room, popping her own claws, she leads the way down the corridor, as Sunfire flies overhead after melting their way through the wall. Rogue looks determined, and she declares ‘Once and for all’.