30 years in the future:
Everything begins to shake. In X-Force’s headquarters, Warpath and Logan (of that time) run towards Magistrate Braddock’s office. Logan explains that Pym called it a timequake. One big boot to the timeline’s ass. Warpath wonders if one of the travelers died. They enter Elizabeth’s office. She lies moaning on the ground. She explains her younger self is dying and so is she. She seems to be fading.
Logan asks her where the other Betsy is. She can’t see, she moans. Minutes left, maybe less. She pleads that he must find her and save her or she will assassinate their entire universe!
Elsewhere, Betsy Braddock has rammed her Katana into her stomach, in effect trying to commit suicide. As she sees reality breaking up, she marvels, detached, at how spectacular it looks. The blade missed her spine, but it’s working. She’s dying and this place dies with her.
This future – a peace bought through murder and fascism. A methodology she accepted when she joined Logan’s killers. And she lost everything! Everyone she loves, dominoes falling one after another. But she’ll erase it. She tries to shift the sword and sever the spinal cord.
That moment, Frank Castle finds her and announces she is under arrest. Her savior, the Punisher, she coughs, the irony totally lost on him. He pulls out the blade. She kicks him. As she gets up, he threatens h r with a gun. Almost funny, Betsy announces. Violence as first instinct. Hard habit to break. She gets it. She staggers to the roof’s edge. Stop! he shouts. Or he’ll shoot her? she asks as she jumps.
Cable in his flyer catches her. Can’t she see what she’s destroying? A world where no innocent ever suffers! Because they murder anyone with impure thoughts, Betsy retorts. He accuses her of oversimplifying things. They are the fist humanity needs to protect itself. She head-butts him. Who will kill them for their murderous thoughts? Perhaps she is the fist humanity needs to cleanse all of them.
She tries to steer the flyer towards a building. Cable jumps off with her first and uses a hook and line to save them. She just needs to see what they’ve accomplished. She’s seen enough! she tells him. Seen enough death and terror, enough to know they were wrong!
Nightcrawler teleports them onto the roof. Panicked, Wolverine shouts she’s dying. Older Logan on another flyer orders him to give her to him. He promises not to let her die.
Betsy grabs Deadpool’s gun and holds it under her chin, preparing to shoot herself. Magistrate Braddock telepathically stops her, ordering her to sleep. “Your fault, all yours,” Betsy tells Logan before she goes under. Both Wolverines shout at her not close her eyes.
“Elizabeth?” a voice asks from the blackness. Betsy, in her old body again, awakes in a fountain in an idyllic place. Warren Worthington takes her hand. Dead again so soon? he scolds. She is not supposed to be here. There is a way these things are intended to go. He knew once he left that things would be bad for a time, but this. Suicide?
She had nothing left to give to it, Betsy states. Any of it. She had to save the world from what she’d become. He of all people has to understand. She shouldn’t have quit, Warren admonishes her. Betsy refuses to carry it anymore. There is nothing for her. There--
She couldn’t be more wrong, he promises. Then she doesn’t deserve it, Betsy insists. Warren admits there are evils that are deserving of destruction but not Betsy, and not Logan. There are new lives awaiting them both. New loves.
They have blood on their hands, Betsy points out. Warren takes her hand as he flies upward with her. Has it never occurred to her that what Fantomex did might be right? That boy Apocalypse was indoctrinated, grown in artificial time. Trained to take over the world, to kill off mankind. Fantomex saved hundreds of millions lives.
And what she did to Warren… Betsy stammers. Was done years before they met, he replies. Yet still when they fell in love Betsy took on the responsibility of his curse – never a thought to the future price she might pay. He would have killed everyone on Earth if she hadn’t stopped him. She stuck by him until it was clear there was nothing more to be done, and then she set him free.
She cries and complains that she can’t even mourn him. Life is hard enough, he tells her. Why long for sorrow! She’s met her challenges well, her beauty and integrity undiminished, Betsy cries she only ever wanted to help protect her friends and family and make the world better. She has and will, Warren promises and tells her to forgive herself. Find new loves. Allow herself joy. Enjoy her life. Glad for every day of it. And in the blink of an eye they will be together again. They kiss.
“Warren!” Betsy stammers as she awakes in a healing tank, Magistrate Braddock at her side, who tries to sooth her. Betsy accuses her of causing this dream. How dare she?
Magistrate Braddock promises she did nothing. But she sees Warren in her dreams as well. Great loves leave a mark on the soul. What could she know about love? Betsy snarls. More than she can know, the older woman replies patiently. Much more. She knows where Betsy’s true love lies. What they felt for Jean-Philippe was true. But she knows his love would have corrupted them in the end.
She loved Warren, Betsy replies stubbornly. Of course they did, Braddock agrees. But they know it wasn’t the same. What they felt for Jean-Philippe was chemical. She felt it in her cells. She often wondered if father had fated it for some reason. Brian and Jamie hated and feared the man so. Regardless, it is an incentive high when you feel so deeply. Fortunately, the Skinless Man stole his heart away from them.
Betsy shouts he died to save them. How can she be so callous? The benefit of time and distance, is the reply. She’ll get over both of them and find fulfillment elsewhere.
She offers Betsy a cup of tea, which the other woman declines. She continues that when no one else can do what is necessary to protect mankind – she will. She will save the world because of what she’s become. Over the years she will transform into her. Still, got her figure. Not so bad.
She’s a mass murderer, Betsy accuses her. And the world is perfect because of it, her older self points out. Betsy refuses to believe she will ever be convinced this is the solution. Calmly, older Elizabeth replies she already has or they wouldn’t still be here.
In the meantime, the rest of the team is talking to older X-Force. Old Logan refuses to tell them anything, not wishing to risk the timestream any more. Ant-Man points out there are terrible dangers in the small things they have learned already. Deadpool assures them he hasn’t learned anything so far, if that helps.
Old Logan tells the younger one that he know what he did. Knows he’ll find his way to it. He knows that look, his younger self replies. He is running a con. He knows what he expects he’ll do. But it ain’t gonna go down that way. Let’s just get them home and see, his older self replies.
Frank Castle tells them he doesn’t care what the geeks say. They want to save themselves a world war? Kill that Kid Apocalypse when they find him. Logan’s bastard too. Then go find that son of Archangel and –Frank, enough! Ant-Man warns.
Kill this kid, kill that kid! Deadpool imitates him. Bang Bang Pow! Take that, Webster! Hasta la vista, Beaver! Look out, cute kid from ‘Jerry Maguire’! He forces Castle’s features into a smile and tells him to lighten up. For what it’s worth, he always hated the Punisher. He is a boring two-dimensional self-serious relic from the70ies. Oh, and Chuck Bronson called – he wants everything he did back!
Furious, Castle points a gun at him. Calm blue ocean, Wade advises him, remember who he is. Past Deadpool. He can’t kill him without screwing up the timestream.
How important is Wade to history? the Punisher ask. Remember that thing with Zombie Nixon? Ant-Man reminds him. Deadpool adds he will play a role in the next round of cola-wars. He supports the other cola, the one you only ever find in depressing places. What’s that stuff called?
Nightcrawler reminisces that they haven’t had soda in his world for years. Does he ever miss any opportunity to remind them of how bad things are in the Age of Apocalypse? Wade asks. They get it already.
Nightcrawler asks Ant-Man what would happen if he killed Wade. Might not be that far from how it goes down, Ant-Man concedes.
Later, X-Force is standing on the time platform. Older Logan tells them he knows what they are up against. Knows what they are thinking but it’ll change. It’ll be hard but they can hack it. Sure, younger Logan agrees. Ain’t like he has his very existence hinge on it. Old Logan offers to tell him one thing. Do with it what he will. He whispers something in his younger self’s ear.
Be safe, older Elizabeth tells her glaring younger self. Ant-Man activates the platform and they are gone.
Think he’ll do it? older Logan ask Elizabeth. With a kiss, she replies they are still here, aren’t they?