Flashback / in Wanda's memory
She can still taste the bile – she wept, terrified more so for Pietro's sake than her own – for once again, it was her own fault. 'Burn the witch!' one of the weapon-carrying angry mobsters exclaims as Wanda is backed up against a tree, Pietro lying motionless at her feet. 'Kill her before -' another of the angry mob shouts.
'Before what, Homo Sapiens?' a voice from above asks. Wanda decides that he came as if she conjured him – a devil offering a Faustian hope. 'She is no witch!' Magneto declares as he uses his power to pull the metal weapons from the angry mob. If Wanda knew then what Magneto had in mind for them – the hell they would endure for the sake of his crusade – she would have let the mob have its way. At least then she would have been free. 'She is a mutant. One of the chosen. The first of many to supplant you all' Magneto declares while the townspeople look up at their weapons, hovering above them.
'Free from the nightmares and regrets he shackled to my soul' Wanda tells herself, as she and Pietro a.k.a. the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, respectively, are held in suspension above the High Evolutionary in his citadel on Counter-Earth. His technology reads their life-signs: elevated heart rate; caffeine addiction; insomnia; neurosis; self-doubt. 'Must my failures put themselves on parade?' he mutters. 'Your failures?' Quicksilver asks. The High Evolutionary replies that there are evolutionary missteps on the way to greatness – missteps like the both of them. 'You... you're our father?' Wanda asks, horrified. 'Don't be ridiculous' the High Evolutionary replies. 'Is the carpenter beholden to every chair, the baker to his morning bread?' he asks, informing the twins that they are nothing more than an attempt to answer a question – a poor attempt. He recalls taking them from their true parents, making his alterations, and upon his disappointment, returning them to their care, disguised as common mutants. The High Evolutionary declares that the question is, was it Django and Marya Maximoff's influence that ruined them – or did he so completely fail in their creation.
Quicksilver turns to Wanda and tells her that the High Evolutionary is lying, but a concerned Wanda tells her brother that she doesn't think he is. Quicksilver clenches his fists, 'Half-truths and misdirection! What kind of an answer is this?' he shouts. The High Evolutionary turns and starts to walk away from the twins: 'An honest one' he tells them. 'In truth, you are no lost prince. She is no fairytale heroine. And there is no long lost family here who loves you'. The High Evolutionary suggests they take solace knowing that their lives had some meaning – for without their failings he could not have achieved the perfection of the daughter he wanted all these years.
That daughter is Luminous, who is leading her father's army of New Men as they rampage through the lowtown area of this world. 'Lowborn scum! You dare draw breath against the High Evolutionary's laws!' she screeches, firing a blast of energy that strikes two Lowtown warriors, while other New Men fire their weapons and ravage the already partly-demolished area. Luminous tells the Lowtown freedom fighters that they have earned a much less merciful final hour bathed in her perfectly orchestrated chaos. 'Splitting your atoms!' she shouts as her blasts of power do their work, and the freedom fighters scream in pain. There is an explosion, knocking several New Men aisde, and Luminous turns to the Low Evolutionary and tells him that his only value was to offer insight through his failings – and he outlived even that. The Low Evolutionary points at Luminous and tells her that if life's value was merely defined by its genetic perfection, then how could it result in such a cold monster as she? 'Says the rejected son, cast down from father's grace' Luminous retorts. 'Says someone with a damned soul!' the Low Evolutionary booms as he and his freedom fighters open fire at the powerful being.
But Luminous deflects the attack and asks her brother if his soul will protect him from the Evolutionary war that is coming? 'Your ideology certainly won't' she remarks as she knocks the Low Eveolutionary and his forces back with a powerful surge of energy. As she continues to cast energy about, Luminous tells Victor “Sabretooth” Creed who is under her control to rend the tainted flesh from their bones. Sabretooth knows that he has to protect the alpha – find prey – preserve the tribe. Suddnely, the collar around his neck is switched off. 'Where in the hell?' Creed exclaims as he examines his surroundings. His senses tell him that the aiir is filthy with the stink of death, he is deafened from screams. With tastes like his, the body tends to wake in plenty of strange places – but this war – is welcomed. 'You rotten piece of -' one of the freedom fighters shouts as he holds a large sword overhead and rushes towards Sabretooth, who stands his ground and roars at the approaching warrior, who falls backwards and drops his weapon. The monkey in the armor holds an arm up across his face 'Please, please, no!' he pleads. Sabretooth looks down and sees that his foe is just a boy. He can barely smell his muddied britches through the fear.
'That's right you lowborn freaks! Run!' a rhino amongst the New Men shouts as he fires a flame-thrower towards his opponents. 'More sport in a moving target!' another of the New Men declares. Sabretooth realizes this settles what side of this tussle he is on. 'Feast upon the destruction of chaos mastered by pure order!' Luminous shouts as she casts her powers about, destroying more infrastructure. Sabretooth realizes that he needed this – a good excuse to let the feral out – since his heart went all sunshine like, he has been afraid that he wouldn't have it in him when the time came- that he would choke, get good people killed. He moves swiftly towards Luminous as she grins 'Rot and crumble!' while unleashing more destruction. Suddenly, she screams as Sabretooth shoves his claws into her lower back, deciding that he manages just fine. The thought of protecting the flock of frails helps him, and recalls how Logan always said he could control the beast, use it for the ugly work that keeps people safe. It was Wolverine's personal penance. 'No – wait –' a dog-like New Man asks as Sabretooth wraps his hands around his throat.
Sabretooth decides that Wolverine had some rationale – but he knew deep down, like they all do – there isn't any redeeming the blood on their hands. He tightens his grip around the New Man's throat, while pulling the collar off of his own. 'But at least the man tried' Creed tells himself, while nearby a boar-like New Man holds a knife to the Low Evolutionary's throat. 'Master will be pleased with us, killing the low son himself!' the New Man declares. Suddenly, someone taps the New Man's shoulder. 'Wha -?' he begns, while Sabretooth thinks 'Which was a damned sight moreb than I ever did' as he grabs the New Man and holds him overhead, deciding that he wasted all of those years, wallowing in his hate like a pig. 'No, please listen!' the New Man pleads, before Creed brings the creature downwards, slamming it into his shoulders and breaking the creature's back. 'Now Logan's gone – but the ugly's still out there' Creed thinks. Creed helps the Low Evolutionary to his feet. 'Ain't no time for a siest, Pippi Long-Stocking – seems you bosy need every hand you can get' Sabretooth remarks, claws ready, he rushes back off into battle. 'Thank you?' the Low Evolutionary calls out, slightly confused.
Meanwhile, in the Ghost Town temple, Doctor Voodoo stands in the temple, spirits of the dead – the Council of Anguish – hover around him. 'Rage, malice, unrequited love and regret – places of great death, where these and more emotions pool, are places of great power. Power I can give form and purpose to – but only if you open yourselves to me, with a single focus' Brother Voodoo tells the Council of Anguish. Symbols appear on the floor around Doctor Voodoo and he declares that within the chorus he hears two separate needs – deliverance and vengeance. Green mists rise around him, and Doctor Voodoo tells the council that if they can rid themselves of rage and regret, he can open their door and ferry them to the realms beyond where their rest and paradise await. 'Or I can free you from this place, and grant you the form necessary to affect the physical world' Doctor Voodoo offers, but warning that there can only be one spell. 'Only one?' Doniva, spokesperson for the council asks. 'I am but the conduit – life or death, the choice must be yours' Doctor Voodoo declares.
In the laboratory of the Master Scientist, the strange being approaches Rogue, who is suspended upside down on a strange table. He apologizes to her, and assures her that it brings him no joy to see her uncomfortable. He adds that it needs only a moment longer, and then it will be time for feedings. 'Today I have made pear and berry pies with -' the Master Scientist begins, when suddenly, 'Rogue!' a voice calls out. The Master Scientist turns to see the twins several feet away, held captive by two large robots. 'Always with the interruptions!' the Master Scientist mutters. 'What does he want now? Another dog to fetch? He knows I have work to do!' the Master Scientist exclaims. 'What are you doing to her?' Wanda demands. 'Only what is best for the all. Soon I will extract what tastes good within your soul as well, my little -' the Master Scientist begins, grinning, but Quicksilver interrupts him: 'Hey, cool speech! But I'm gonna take a rain check on Creepy McAlister Senior's longwinded explanation. Ladies First' Pietro turns to Wanda, 'Is this you being chivalrous – or too prideful to ask for my help?' Wanda replies as she fires a hex bolt that knocks the robot restraining her backwards. 'Oh, how dare you' Pietro tells his sister as he starts to run on the spot, the vibrations rattling the robot until it short-circuits and falls backwards, freeing Quicksilver.
Quicksilver speeds behind the fallen robot, 'To call my abilities to question – against a fodder death robot?' he asks Wanda, pulling something from the robot's remains, he tells Rogue to think fast, as the object slams against a control panel next to the table holding Rogue in stasis. 'Fool! You missed me! And you could have injured my darling girl!' the Master Scientist snaps. The electronic restraints holding Rogue in place switch off after the control panel was struck, 'She's worth more than your pathetic mind could ever – oh! Oh, bother...' the Master Scientist mutters as Rogue reaches down and grabs his ankle. 'Thing you don't know about your “darling girl” - nasty temper!' Rogue tells her captor. 'Avenging heroes still must be kind and merciful, yes – yes?' the Master Scientist asks as he backs up against a control panel, the three Avengers surround him. Rogue tells him that it depends entirely on him and how quickly he tells her what he did to Wonder Man – as she can't hear his voice in her mind anymore. 'This is not a thing I can be doing! He held the ionic powers back – kept you weak! He was poison, he was -' the Master Scientist begins, before Rogue puts her hands around his neck, 'He was my friend!' she shouts.
Quicksilver comes between the two and tells Rogue that this guy is not worth the stain in her ledger. 'No matter what he's done' Pietro adds as he slams his hand into the Master Scientist, knocking the strange being out. Pietro reminds Rogue that as far as Simon is concerned, Wanda has brought him back before – so she can do it again. 'It's like her secondary power' he jokes. Quicksilver tells Rogue that he knows Sabretooth is here, and asks her who else she brought, while Wanda stands back from the other two, arms folded. Rogue explains that she brought Cap, Voodoo and Vision – a stopgap Unity squad, and now they are scattered – as usual. 'We have to move quickly' Wanda declares. 'I've always tried' her brother replies, before pointing out that they need to deal with the immediate fires – Lowtown is under attack. 'I don't know what that means, and I don't care – so long as there' someone bad I can swat!' Rogue exclaims as she punches a control panel on a door. It doesn't open and Rogue rubs her fist, 'Yeah, this thing kicked right back – musst be attuned to my energy' she supposes, adding that it isn't going to be easy to get through it. The door suddenly slides open, 'Who would help us?' Quicksilver wonders as the trio rush through it. 'I used to have moments like this quite often...I sense a familiar ghost in the machine' Wanda remarks.
Indeed, elsewhere, the Vision is with Eve, amongst various computer monitors in a sterile facility. Eve tells the Vision that he has been closing herself off to him and asks him if he is unwell. The Vision tells Eve that he is fine. 'Lie to yourself if you must, dear, but never to me' Eve replies, telling the Vision that she has walked alongside his soul and she knows and cherishes its every contour and divot. The Vision starts to walk away from Eve, who follows him, remarking that she knows he is distraught, she knows the terrible chasm, the loyalties that pull him apart. She declares that she loves him all the more for them, even if she does not understand. The Vision turns back to Eve and asks her what she is insinuating. 'Were he not preoccupied with his errant children, the High Evolutionary would be on his way here. Your excursions into father's network were hasty' Eve states. 'I never -' the Vision begins, but Eve tells him that it is okay, truly, and that they were her markers that he followed through the security, she slipped in the moment they conceived – a curious instinct to protect their progeny.
Eve tells the Vision that she is not upset, how could she ever chastise his kindness? But she remarks that his loyalty for those creatures is what wears at his soul – and any debts he owed them he has frepaid a thousand-fold. 'They could never understand the depth of your devotion. But they no longer need you' Eve adds, before walking to a large monitor, 'And we do' she tells the Vision, adding that she will not risk the lives of their children to the High Evolutionary's madness. She turns the screen on which depicts pods of their children, and Eve points out that they cannot fight him, which leaves only one option. 'And I'm sorry for the pain this will cause you, my love' Eve adds, telling the Vision that he has to make a choice – stay here and suffer for those who will never understand him – or come with her to a new world and help raise their offpsring.
Back in Lowtown, the battle rages on, 'Good thing ya animals still see the sport in all this!' Sabretooth exclaims as he slashes his claws against one of the New Men, drawing blood. 'Makes this little turnabout all the sweeter!' Sabretooth adds. 'I'm glad you think so – I also savor the combat!' a voice calls out as a blast of energy strikes Sabretooth – courtesy of Luminous. Creed falls at her feet, and Luminous tells him that he hurt her – an unfamiliar sensation. 'And since we're sharing new experiences...how does it feel to have a thousand years ripped from your soul? Or ten thousand? You see that light, freak? That's your brain dying. Your body rotting' Luminous exclaims as Creed's form begins to age, withering amongst the energy she casts around him. 'That is enough, Luminous!' the High Evolutionary exclaims as he appears behind his surprised daughter. He remarks that he quite approves of her zeal, but that the creature's resilience mustn't go to waste. He instructs her to join their forces in the purge, as this ground must be swept keen. 'Mustn't it' Luminous agrees as she fires a blast of energy towards the freedom fighters.
Watching his forces engage in battle, the High Evolutionary decides that the rhino breed is too bulky and doesn't react quickly enough. 'Maybe if I -' he begins, when suddenly, 'I'm surprised you're doing your own dirty work' a voice calls out. The High Evolutionary looks over to see the Low Evolutionary firing a weapon towards him. 'Have you realized your inability to kill me diminishes your own perfection?' the Low Evolutionary asks. 'Perfection isn't the absence of failures, child – it's correcting them' the High Evolutionary replies, as energy starts to charge from his clenched hand – but he cannot release the energy as Quicksilver speeds over and grabs his hand. 'Sorry about this! Real faux pas interrupting your grand evil overlord moment here – totally get it – but I've got a pal here who's real keen to meet you' Quicksilver exclaims. 'And I just can't wait to get acquainted, tin man!' Rogue declares as she and Wanda leap towards him.
'How fascinating' the High Evolutionary remarks, as the tree-like beings known as the Green Ones start to rise from the ground behind him. 'A mobile ionic battery suffering from mild trauma and insanity...she may be worth my time!' the High Evolutionary remarks as he looks at Rogue. He tells the Green Ones to go and reclaim this filth so that he can grow anew, but to leave the regenerator and siphon unspoiled. The Green Ones make their way amongst the New Men and rebel fighgters, while Luminous turns to Quicksilver, 'Are you ready for me to embarrass you in front of your friends, lead foot?' she asks, suggesting that he run, but telling him that they both know he won't get far. 'What are you waiting for? Do what needs to be done!' the High Evolutionary shouts at the Green Ones – who starts to surround Wanda, Pietro, Rogue and the Low Evolutionary. They don't act, when suddenly, Captain America's shield rises from the ground, 'Yesssss...' one of the Green Ones utters, as Sam Wilson a.k.a. Captain America – transformed into one of the Green Ones – grabs his shield and shouts 'Avengers Assemble!