The Age of Apocalypse reality, specifically down under the ocean, in New Atlantis. Wolverine a.k.a. Logan, not of this reality, stands on an observation deck and looks out at the water and recalls that when he first joined up with the X-Men, the entire squad gave him the pariah treatment, as to them, he was a killer, an animal. But not to Jean, as she saw something in him, a piece of herself she had kept hidden, a piece she could not hide with Logan around - and everybody noticed.
Logan drinks from a bottle of alcohol as he remembers that Cyclops definitely noticed, as he was with Jean - that was just how it was. How it always was. If Wolverine got too close to her, Cyclops or Archangel would make sure he knew that Jean was too good for him. ‘And she was’ Logan tells himself, but he knows that didn’t change the looks Jean would give him- sent him a different kind of feral. Logan remembers that Jean died in his arms, and tells himself that he misses her every single day since.
‘As I miss my husband, Logan’ a voice inside Wolverine’s head calls out. Logan glances sideways to the Jean Grey of this reality and tells her that his Jean was not so casual about strolling through other people’s heads. ‘How did things turn out for her?’ Jean asks. Logan detects an electric charge between the two of them, but realizes this Jean is hiding it. ‘Handmade by God to afflict me’ Logan tells himself. Jean Grey leans against the railing next to Wolverine and tells him that her husband has been dead for nearly ten years now, and that it never got easier, losing him. ‘Get’s harder every day’ she explains. They both stare out into the water before them as Jean explains that before Cyclops died, they both made a promise to Erik, to help his resistance - no matter the price. ‘Our world collapsed. Erik’s spine was crushed when he failed to save his son’s life. I was left to prop up the remaining X-Men’ Jean reveals.
‘And now, in our darkest hour - in you walk’ Jean remarks. Logan tells her that it is not any easier for him, seeing her, or seeing what has gone on here for her. Logan turns and looks at her as he tells that she may not be his Jeannie, but that she has her heart. ‘I’m sorry for this. Sorry you’ve had to live through it’ Logan adds. ‘Sorry. Yes’ Jean remarks, adding that she combed through his thoughts and saw Charles Xavier, saw how he helped him. ‘Yeah. Chuck did right by me’ Logan replies. Jean glances sideways as she tells Logan that she saw how much Charles cared, and what a different world it is with him in it. ‘Without Xavier, Apocalypse was free to spread his darkness, free to propel our world into endless conflict’ Jean tells Logan, before revealing that they defeated Apocalypse, and almost negated their entire world, but they did it, and Mr Sinister after him. ‘We never gave an inch’ she exclaims.
‘Who caused all of this then?’ Wolverine asks. Jean hesitates and remains silent, before replying ‘Something worse’. Jean explains that things were better for a time, before that ship landed in the middle of Manhattan. She tells Wolverine that Logan - her Logan - and a squad of X-Men gathered to go kill whoever was inside it. She begins to cry as she explains that she did not go with him, as she thought it was a mistake, their number too few. ‘None returned’ she announces. ‘He should’ve waited till he had manpower. That ain’t on you, Jeannie’ Logan tells her, but Jean replies that it is, and tells him that she has been in his head, seen his memories. ‘You know what the Dark Phoenix can do’ she declares. Jean hangs her head and remarks that she has that inside her - the Phoenix Force - that she could have helped save her Wolverine.
‘You go on, sit there thinking that way - see what it’ll get you’ Wolverine tells Jean, while telling himself that he wants to hold her - to comfort her - but he knows it is not appropriate, as he is promised to another woman. Logan tells Jean that he is sorry for her lot, but that he has his own problems. ‘I need to get back home, darling’ he adds. But Jean’s scent is like morphine to him, and it surges through him, dominating his senses. Logan explains to Jean that it is his squad’s responsibility to make sure none of this happens back home. ‘Here we are stuck, no way back….’ he begins. Jean touches his arm and asks ‘How bad would that be? If you were stuck here…with me’. But Logan brushes her hands away, ‘Jeannie - I ain’t your Logan…’ he remarks.
Jean replies that she doesn’t care. ‘My God’ Logan tells himself, as Jean touches his face - they move closer together, their faces near each other, ‘Jean Grey’ Wolverine thinks to himself as they kiss. Suddenly though, Jean goes wide-eyed and pulls away. ‘Oh - oh God’ she utters. ‘You’re right. We shouldn’t’ Wolverine declares. ‘Million reasons we shouldn’t -’ Wolverine begins, but Jean replies ‘No…just one’ Jean utters as she looks upwards, behind Wolverine, to where a massive Sentinel stands in the water, next to the observation booth. ‘Sort of thing you see a lot of in my line of work’ Wolverine thinks to himself, although he cannot remember one showing up at a less opportune moment. ‘Stand still!’ Jean tells Logan as the Sentinel smashes through the observation booth, which begins to fill with water. ‘I’ll protect you!’ Jean tells Logan as she telekinetically lifts herself into the air, while the Sentinel announces ‘Target designate: Jean Grey, resistance leader. Affiliation: X-Men’.
Logan tells himself that there is not a hint of irony in Jean’s voice, realizing that she has seen ugliness, and is used to throwing herself in front of it to protect those she loves. Logan calls out to Jean, informing her that it is not usual for him to let other people tussle in his stead. ‘It isn’t for concern of your competency…’ Jean replies, while the Sentinel attempts to apprehend her. ‘I can simply get it done faster’ Jean boasts as she casts forth energy at the Sentinel, knocking it backwards. Jean drops back down onto the platform and tells Wolverine that they have to close off the atrium or it will flood the city. ‘Get a lot of those?’ Wolverine asks. Jean replies that this is the first and that it is likely to be a scout. ‘Meaning…?’ Wolverine asks. ‘They know we’re here’ Jean declares.
Soon, Wolverine follows Jean and this reality’s Nightcrawler down a corridor, as Nightcrawler asks ‘So, after years of being safely hidden here, Sentinels have discovered us, confidentially, right after the arrival of these strangers?’ ‘I’d be thinking the same thing, Elf’ Wolverine remarks, to which Jean assures Nightcrawler that she has scoured his mind, and that Wolverine is not the threat. Nightcrawler suggests that it could be false memories, pointing out that they don’t know what they are up against. Jean stands in front of a door and replies ‘No, but we know they’re on their way here. We have no time for internal strife’ before asking Nightcrawler if he called for the meeting. ‘They’re waiting inside’ Nightcrawler replies, and as the doors slide open, a dozen others are waiting in the room.
From Wolverine’s world, Betsy “Psylocke” Braddock, Wade “Deadpool” Wilson and the enigmatic Fantomex, while natives to this reality include Gambit, Magneto, Rogue, Sabretooth, Wild Child, Sunfire, Iceman, the Silver Samurai and a young woman with dark hair and exotic features. Everyone stares at Wolverine, while the mysterious young woman announces’ Thank you for gracing us with your presence’. A strange being in red and purple armor with short arms and legs and a massive head sits near her, as she reports that at 0800 hours today their home was scouted by a Sentinel. She announces that soon an army of Sentinels, likely accompanied by the Black Legion, will come to annihilate them, and remarks that they are left with only one option - to attack them first.
The young woman continues, revealing that the Akkaba chatter they have intercepted has referred to their enemy as the “Heir of Apocalypse”, and explains that the object their new companions sought may hold the key to their salvation. ’A Life Seed may be our only solution’ she announces, before motioning to the strange being behind her and introducing him as MODOK, and revealing that he has tested samples of the Seed that was destroyed. ‘The DNA strands are inversely disproportionate to those of Apocalypse - the seed of his antithesis’ she adds. Fantomex explains that McCoy said that he acquired the Life Seed from a Celestial gardener that came to Earth and was killed by Apocalypse. Motioning to a monitor, which depicts a massive being lying motionless in a jungle, the young woman reports that MODOK has discovered the Celestial and detected Life Seeds within it.
Fantomex announces that they will take a team in EVA, borrow two Life Seeds from the not-so-jolly giant and be home in time for tea. ‘Or post-Apocalypse rations or whatever you have lying around. Rancid Folgers, whatever’ Fantomex adds. The young woman continues, remarking that McCoy, knowing that Psylocke would detect if he were lying, told them the truth about the seed, though he clearly desired it for his own purposes and had plans of a double-cross upon its acquisition, the Life Seed is the key to killing Apocalypse. Logan waves a hand in front of the blank-looking MODOK and remarks ‘Sounds like a lot of conjecture’ before asking if they trust MODOK with their lives. Sitting in his wheelchair, Magneto replies that the MODOK has no free will of its own, that it is merely a flawed clone of Charles Xavier’s brain connected to Cerebro and housed in a vessel that can protect itself - in this case, a MODOK. ‘Yeah…that ain’t helping set my mind at ease’ Wolverine replies.
‘We sort of glazed over something here…this Life Seed, it’ll kill him?’ Deadpool asks. ‘Are we talking about killing Warren?’ he enquires, referring to Archangel. Wolverine and Betsy look at each other in silence. Sunfire asks how, once they have gathered the seeds, they get the doppelgangers back to their home. The young woman points to Iceman and announces that he has that covered. Reclining on a bed of ice, Iceman explains that he had MODOK locate a dude named Gateway, and that is file indicates he has the power, with the right push, to jump them back home. Betsy announces that she can inform Gateway where to send them, as she has given him locations via telepathy for years. ‘He’s your only chance…but you’re not going to like where he is. He’s locked within the Akkaba prison known as The Sky’ the young woman announces.
An image of the floating prison, The Sky, appears on a monitor, and Jean Grey declares ‘Then that’s where we’re going’, and announces that Fantomex will take one team to get the seeds, while she leads another to the black tower to rescue Gateway. ‘The Sentinels will soon be upon us. Say goodbye to this place - we leave in an hour’ Jean tells her team, before turning to leave the room, ordering everyone to reconvene tomorrow at the remains of the Mansion. ‘Just another day in hell’ Wolverine thinks to himself as he watches Jean leave, while the mysterious young woman approaches him, pointing out that they had not been introduced. ‘Hmmm?’ Wolverine replies, before extending his hand, they shake hands as he introduces himself, and the young woman calls herself Kirika.
‘You look familiar…your scent…’ Logan replies, to which Kirika suggests he may have known her mother, Mariko Yashida. ‘And my father…’ her voice trails off, as she turns from Wolverine, telling him that it is good to have him with them. ‘See there, Mariko? The daughter we never had. Too much to process’ Wolverine thinks to himself, frowning. Sabretooth sneaks up behind Wolverine and declares that he doesn’t care what the others say. ‘You better hope I don’t find out Sentinels tracked you here, frail’ he warns him. ‘Don’t matter what world you’re from, Creed. You’ll always be an idiot’ Logan replies before he walks away.
‘Elisabeth. Given the desperate situation we now find ourselves in, perhaps…’ Fantomex calls out to Betsy as he follows her down a corridor. ‘Another time’ Betsy calls back. But Fantomex replies that he doesn’t feel like being avoided or barked at anymore. ‘You’re being rude’ he tells Betsy, grabbing her by the arm. ‘With good reason’ Betsy replies. ‘Really? This? Still?’ Fantomex asks, declaring that he did the right thing, that the boy had been indoctrinated and would have grown into the monster Apocalypse. ‘We’ll never know’ Betsy points out.
‘What we do know is that Archangel, the creature under your way, has’ Fantomex declares. Wide-eyed, Betsy replies ‘You can’t possibly blame me -’, to which Fantomex asks her what it is that they are doing here, and answers his own question by telling Betsy that they are trying to undo her mess. ‘We are trying to save your beau, because under your ever-so-diligent watch it appears that death has taken him over’ Fantomex declares. This angers Betsy, who shouts ‘How dare you?’ and calls Fantomex an insensitive bastard. ‘The man I love is in desperate need of help and you blame me?’
Narrowing his eyes, Fantomex tells Betsy that is all Archangel has ever needed from her - help. Fantomex apologizes to Betsy if this is an inconvenient moment for her to hear the truth, and tells her that she doesn’t love Warren Worthington. ‘You love being needed’ he tells her, before walking away. However the conversation is not over, as Betsy calls out to him, ‘Come back here - we’re not through!’ she calls after him, telling Fantomex that he has no idea what she and Warren have been through. ‘You smug son of a bitch - look at me when I talk to you!’ Betsy shrieks as she punches Fantomex, knocking him backwards, and drawing blood.
Fantomex rubs his face while Betsy declares that she and Warren have fought through these incredible circumstances because of their love. ‘He’s everything to me!’ she shouts. ‘Punch and scream - you cannot deny there is fire between us, Elisabeth’ Fantomex tells her. Fantomex turns to Betsy and tells her that she sees the hollowness in Warren’s eyes. ‘There is no warmth’ he remarks, but Betsy just tells him to shut up. Fantomex’s mask is raised up over his nose and he looks at Betsy, ‘The man you loved is long gone…’ he begins. ‘Don’t…’ Betsy replies. ‘But I am here’ Fantomex tells her - and an instant later, they kiss. But Betsy pulls away, desperately tortured, she turns from Fantomex and announces that she will not give up on Warren.
Later, EVA and a Sentinel-turned-transport fly side by side across the water, and inside EVA, Fantomex asks his companions - Rogue, Gambit and Sunfire - if they are 100% on this plan. ‘I still have misgivings, but it appears I am not to be heard’ EVA replies. Inside the Sentinel, Wolverine, Betsy, Deadpool and the others listen to Fantomex via a communicator, as Fantomex remarks ‘Should evens conspire against our return…everyone knows how much we care for one another’. Betsy doesn’t look at the monitor, wanting to avoid Fantomex, while Wolverine calls back ‘Happy hunting, LePew. Don’t botch it’. Wolverine then turns to Kirika, who is strapping up her wrists and tells her that she is making it too tight. ‘Hand it over, kiddo’ he tells her, before declaring ‘You’re a vision. Got a strong spirit, like your mother. Awful glad we got to meet, Kirika. You just can’t know how much’.
‘In your world…did you love her…my mother?’ Kirika asks. Wolverine replies that he loved her to the heavens, adding that she was one of the great loves in a long line. ‘You got all the stuff that made her shine’ Wolverine tells Kirika, before the Silver Samurai tells them to be quiet and be prepared, as they have arrived. The Sentinel descends on a platform atop The Sky. Magneto announces that he is misaligning the processors of these Sentinels, who will see them all as sentry guards. ’It is a demanding undertaking. Your haste would be appreciated’ Magneto informs everyone, while the Sentinels manning the towers on The Sky go about their business.
Jean Grey leaves the Sentinel in a blaze of flaming power, her costume transformed from green to red, while she carries her teammates Iceman, Nightcrawler, Sabretooth, Wild Child and Kirika, as well as Wolverine, Betsy and Deadpool, down onto the platform. Logan reminds himself that Warren is back home in a jail cell, waiting, transforming. ‘Even if we pull this off - get what we need - get home - I don’t know if any of us has what it takes to pull the trigger on him’. Jean telepathically informs everyone that Silver Samurai will guard Magneto, who is vulnerable while concentrating. As they enter the building, she warns everyone that they must be swift, and most of all quiet. Jean adds that Gateway is housed deep within and that they do not want to upset the monsters housed in this foul place.
Logan tells himself that he doesn’t know what they are walking into. ‘Too much on the line for spotty vision’ he adds. Deadpool apologizes to everyone in advance, explaining that he gets a little gassy before suicide missions. The team’s silence tells Wolverine that this is not good. ‘No guards’ he points out. Jean explains that none are needed, as the cages which line the corridors are impregnable - the prison itself is a Mastermold Sentinel. The mutants walk along a corridor, and Deadpool asks the natives of this reality if they get Axe Body Spray here. ‘What about ABBA? Jay Leno? Man, if you were spared that guy, I’d say you got the better end of the dimension stick’ Deadpool adds, while Nightcrawler tells him to stop.
Walking slightly ahead of the others, Wolverine calls out to Jean and remarks ‘I was thinking. This world…it’s lost. There ain’t no turning it back around’. Jean tells Wolverine that she is not sure she shares his pessimistic appraisal. ‘Share it or not, it’s the truth’ Logan replies, before declaring that if they pull this mission off, there is no reason for her to stay here. ‘You and yours can just come back with us’ Wolverine announces. Jean looks at Logan and tells him that she has seen it in his head and that it is a much nicer place. Suddenly, ‘I’m about to put somebody’s head in a much nicer place!’ a voice from above booms as a massive being drops down towards the mutants.
‘No…’ Iceman whispers as they look up, but it is too late to move, ‘Looks like it’s your lucky day, Drake!’ the obese, being laughs as he lands on Iceman, the others are knocked back by the resulting force of the landing. ‘Black Legion is here. Which means this is likely a trap, some sort of real bad luck fer you donkeys’ the Blob snarls, as he is flanked by his teammates - Grimm Chamber, White Cloak, Zombie Sentry, Iron Ghost, Orange Hulk, Demon-Ock, Manphibian and Beta Red. ‘We cannot win - they are beyond us! Run!’ Nightcrawler urges everyone. They do so, and run from the Black Legion, while Wolverine picks up another scent. ‘Can’t be right…’ he tells himself.
‘We’ll never make it out f here!’ Kirika calls out, but Wolverine tells her that Gateway can jump them all out, once they get to him everything will be fine. Suddenly, a massive flare of energy strikes Kirika, and a voice calls out ‘He’s lying’. The blast of energy subsides and Kirika’s body is lying on the floor - or what is left of it, that is. Adamantium claws stick up from her remains, as this reality’s Logan - Weapon X - stands over her. Gateway is hanging behind him, and Weapon X, with a large “A” on his belt shouts ‘Things’re gonna be awful, pumpkin!’