Three hours from now:
Surrounded by utter devastation, a badly burned Wolverine cradles a corpse, berating himself that he should have known. He should have protected that person better! He shouldn’t blame himself, Genesis, now in Apocalypse armor, tells him. This was the only way it could have ended.
X-Force returns after their horrible adventures in the future. Deathlok is expecting them and welcomes them home. Wolverine belligerently points out that, the last time Deathlok said that, he was trying to kill them within the hour. He is not who he will become, Deathlok replies calmly. Neither are they. There are two things they must discuss.
Wolverine unsheathes his claws, ready for a fight. Psylocke orders him to hear Deathlok out. Deathlok announces he will track down Ultimaton and the World within him. He will ensure they are destroyed. They must see now that barring his last attempt was an error. He’s here for an “I told you so?” Logan snarls. Fine, Ultimaton is his to deal with. They done here? Important business waiting!
Calmly, Deathlok continues that there are important things they must know. They have taken Evan to Genosha. They will corrupt him. It is the choices X-Force makes next that will eternally define them, he warns. Choices that will also shape the future of man and mutant alike.
That’s a big help, Deadpool mocks. Not a bit cryptic. They could use his help, Logan offers. Deathlok turns away. He knows too much to risk involvement. With love in his heart, he would risk greater suffering. He leaves them with a final warning – beware revenge! For it corrupts all who live to enact it.
They leave in EVA’s ship form. Deadpool muses aloud he’s glad that’s over. He hates time travel stories. They confuse his stupid brains. The mood was somber, he begins to narrate. The question hung in the air like a giant vampire bat with neon nipples. “Would we kill the kid again?” He’s thinking out loud again, Betsy chastises him.
EVA informs Logan that she’s made contact with a very unhappy Beast. A furious Beast informs them Sabretooth and Blob took Evan. Where the hell has he— No time for explanations, Logan interrupts. X-Force is taking care of it. That’s what Hank is afraid of. He demands to be told. He refuses to sit by while a student is in the hands of these monsters. Especially this student.
Logan tells him to stay put and protect the other kids until he hears from them. This new Brotherhood could have plans to attack the school. If things go sour, he’ll get the call first. Fine, Hank replies but warns him that, if any harm befalls the boy, he will personally see to it they pay this time. All of them!
Meanwhile in the Brotherhood’s headquarters:
Sabretooth is in bed with Mystique, complaining she has that French monkey’s stench all over her. She mocks him for being jealous. Primal, is all, he replies as he gets up. Smell of another man hinders his enjoyment. Amused, Mystique informs him that sex is a tool she uses so often, he’ll have to get used to the pain. What happened to his post-coital cigar? she asks as he takes out a dripping sandwich instead. Quit. Bloody Wagyu is a better aphrodisiac.
Still no sign of Logan, Mystique remarks and wonders if Ultimaton actually killed that cockroach. Nah, he’ll be here, Creed believes. He never stuck a blow to the little lady like this. Not since Silver Fox. His “true love,” he laughs. He did some howling over that one. He feeds Mystique a piece of bloody meat. But this is different. Lots of his chump friends were in the cave when it went up. Braddock is dead. Maybe Wade too. And old Logan got that Samurai honor, remember?
Nevertheless, Mystique is sure he can’t hurt them. Not this Brotherhood, not this time. Once Farouk cracks him, that kid’s gonna be a real firecracker, Sabretooth muses. And then she kills Farouk for what he did to Destiny, she smiles. He warns her to be quiet. He could be in her head.
He relishes the irony. Logan’s gonna die at the hands of a kid he once killed. Sitting astride atop him, Mystique remarks he seems awfully… enthusiastic about the idea. Enthusiasm like this is too hard to hide, he agrees.
Evan sits locked in a bloody room, still trying to work through the shock that his family and life aren’t real. And Uncle Cluster and headmaster Logan lied to him. Could good people lie about something so important? Good people couldn’t. Daken and Sabretooth told him the truth. He is nothing but a science experiment cloned from a boy Cluster murdered. So many lies, and the liars who hurt him. He looks at the Apocalypse armor hanging on the wall. Maybe someone should hurt them…
Suddenly, Fantomex comes stumbling in. Relieved, the boy hugs him, until he realizes he is hugging a corpse animated by the Skinless Man. “Surprise, still dead!” he shouts cheerfully.
That was screwed up, Daken marvels. Listen, he tells Evan, if he’s pissed, see that suit right there? It’s the real deal, Celestial made, one of Apocalypse’s orginals. It’ll amplify Evan’s powers, make him a god. Put it on and Shadow King can’t keep him cut off from his powers. Get revenge!
Evan refuses to look at him. He needs to think some more? That’s okay. They’ll leave him with his good uncle Cluster. Maybe he can offer some direction.
As he and Skinless Man leave the room, Daken remarks that he loves that they left the body in there with him. Skinless Man agrees; they need to make him upset enough to take the first step. Once he does, Daken continues, Farouk can push the punk’s mind the rest of the way.
Sabretooth joins them. He playfully hits Daken’s upper arm. He knew Daken was the man for the job. Look at him glowing! He told him this was the life for him. He ain’t Pan, he’s a pirate! And this slimy limey, when they ran together, he had skin! And Sabretooth had a toothbrush he must have abandoned since then, Skinless Man shoots back.
He minds if he steals their fearless leader for a bit? Sabretooth asks. Not at all, Skinless chuckles, they’ve just been incredibly nasty to a child. He’s due for a cry in his guilt bucket.
So where are they at with the kid? Creed asks. Stronger than he looks, Daken describes. Thinks he’s a comic book hero. Still, just a matter of time. And how’s he feelin’? Sabretooth presses. Still got the fire to do this? Daken agrees. Old man never respected him, Sabretooth states. He will now. He’s hard to kill. No one’s ever gotten very close. Plan’s in place. Daken will succeed where the rest of them failed. He sees it in him. He’s got heart!
Daken hopes Creed is right. Wolverine will be awfully pissed. And aren’t they pissed? Sabretooth asks. What about the fire in their bellies? How many years has Daken watched him be embraced by the world while folks like them are labeled criminals and hunted? And who the hell is he? Just another killer! He just fancies it up. But he ain’t gonna stop killin’. He’s a savage like them, but worse – a damn hypocrite!
They walk through a room where the AOA Blob, surrounded by trash, watches TV. Sabretooth continues his tirade: Wolverine judges them because he sees in them what he hates in himself. Don’t take a smart man to see that. How is Daken really any different?
He probably likes to think that school makes him a better man, Daken points out. Running around with those goons in the Avengers. Like somehow that will erase all the blood on his hands. Sabretooth reminds Daken that Wolverine never thought of inviting Daken to join the school, to teach, to help him become a better man, to just get to know about his son, anything. He ever acknowledge Daken’s place as his heir? No, he wants him tucked in the shadows. A dirty secret he doesn’t want to mess up his name with.
As they enter the code to get into the command center, Creed points out that this boy Evan got the red carpet, the headmaster’s time and love. Even though he’s a walking talking WMD. And he’s sure got time to help terrorists like Quentin Quire, just none for his own boy!
They enter the center where the Shadow King is sitting with the Omega Clan. He is pleased he could help them unlock all those other repressed memories, the evil telepath assures the Omegas. These fiends have harmed them all. It is better they know everything, as fuel for the upcoming battle. The Omegas are eager for a fight.
Sabretooth continues that Evan is just another slap in Daken’s face. A reminder it’s not Daken, but Wolverine. He deserves better! He’s tough, tougher than Logan. He puts his hand on Daken’s shoulder. He deserves a father who loves him.
Mystique exits the shower. She feels in her bones that Wolverine isn’t dead. She prays he isn’t. She’d rather be close when he pays for the grave injuries he‘s dealt her. When the smoke has cleared, she plans to turn Evan against Farouk. Then they will all learn who to fear, the true leader of the Broterhood of Evil Mutants.
She opens the door when she hears a noise. Sabretooth tells her he needs to talk to her. Away from Shadow King and the others. When she begins to ask something, he shushes her, warning he might be listening. She follows him through the ruined building. Sabretooth warns that Farouk may have picked up on her murderous thoughts towards him. As they walk the streets of Genohsa, she wants to know about his angle. What the hell does he really want?
It’s more about what they want, he replies. The telepathic illusion dissolves and she faces X-Force and Psylocke, who tells her they want a few minutes of her time.
A psi-scan later, Betsy announces that they may be too late. Creed seems sure Evan will crack. Wolverine tells her not to count Evan out. He is strong. Betsy pragmatically asks what do they do if he’s become the thing they feared in the first place. Logan insists Evan’s a good kid. He ain’t gonna go dark on them.
Nightcrawler reminds them that Farouk has tortured the boy. They haven’t seen what an Apocalypse can do grown into full powers. They have to be ready to do this! Be prepared to kill the child, he warns, or they will lose their world!