Having absorbed Emma Frost’s part of the Phoenix, Scott Summers is blasted with impressions.
Hank McCoy is thinking “I told you so” for the thirty-fourth time today.
Captain America’s DNA reads A-T-C-G-G-C-A-T…
Dust motes dance high above Utopia.
Erik Lehnsherr’s heart is beating at 50 B.P.M.
He is still Scott Summers.
Emma Frost weighs 144 lbs and has four gray hairs.
The blood smear on the ground is type 0 rhesus negative. It’s Logan’s.
Iron Man’s last meal consisted of 231 grams of vegetable matter.
Charles Xavier thinks it isn’t too late.
Charles Xavier is incorrect, Scott thinks, the Phoenix flaring around him. Charles made him everything he is. He makes him nothing. With one gesture, Scott kills him.
Wolverine attacks as Scott succumbs to the power and becomes Dark Phoenix.
Aflame, whatever he is races across Utopia. He moves between moments; all happening at once. In the present, a volcano rises below him. In the past, Scott and Alex Summers fall from their parents’ plane, sharing one parachute. As an old man, Scott sees a boy walking away from him.
Teenage Scott follows a bald man who tells him he can help. He says ‘hello’ to a redheaded girl. The universe adjusts forever to her slight presence.
He is fighting a man with claws.
He is watching the redheaded girl be atomized on the moon. He is crying.
He is cheating on the redheaded girl with a blonde woman who is everything she is not and everything he needs.
He is fighting a man with claws.
He is betraying the blonde, taking her share of the Phoenix power. He is betraying everything as he kills Charles Xavier.
He is destroying Paris. He is destroying another city. He thinks it’s Sidney.
Now in the present, he is fighting Wolverine.
Detached, he thinks he is destroying Paris again, then realizes it is actually Beijing.
Hank is shouting at him. Is there nothing that will shut him up? Yes, there is something. Scott takes him apart telekinetically. Who’s the clever one now, eh? Scott realizes he doesn’t do that. Henry is still whole. Or did he do it and then undo it? Can he do that? Could he make this all right even now?
What has he done? What could he do? Anything? The darker parts of everything? He finds himself high in the air, wondering where he is. As he is attacked by Nova. He finds he is in Tibet.
Hope and the Scarlet Witch both attack him in tandem.
Scott feels words in his mouth. They sound like him. They sound like him if he were an angel. And what remains of him thinks Lucifer was an angel too. He smiles as he thinks they are so small and the Phoenix rises.
He transcends Earth, feeling infinite, boundless. But suddenly he confronts a white border. A white wall, and a familiar voice speaks through it to him. It’s a whisper, a shout and a choir. Every eternal syllable dances through him. “You’re an idiot,” it says. “Tell Logan I love the school’s name,” it says as Scott drifts away.
He is back in his body and Hope attacks him. He feels like every breath anyone has every breathed explode from his chest. The Phoenix bursts out of him and into Hope.
As he passes out, he realizes it was all about Hope. It was always about Hope.
Later, with the battle over, Cyclops is a prisoner, shackled and his powers suppressed. Beast visits him, stating he imagines Scott is perfectly happy with himself. Smiling, Scott is glad to see Hank is alive. He was lost… he thought he killed him… Startled, he realizes that he did kill someone – Professor Xavier. Amongst others, Henry agrees coldly. Cities burned, the land was torn asunder, Yes, Hope cleaned up after him, but he made a terrible mess. Does he want him to show him the evidence? He could quote a little Shelley as he beholds his works and despairs appropriately…
Scott looks downward silently. It’s such a damned mess, Henry bursts out. Mutants were hated before? Scott’s legacy to all these new mutants is to be hated more than ever… What? Scott bursts out. What did he say? Are there new mutants? Henry tells him he is hysterical. Are there new mutants? Scott repeats and finally shouts. Yes, Beast admits.
Heh, Scott grins. Hope. He’s done abominable things, he tells Henry. He doesn’t ask for forgiveness. He doesn’t deserve it. He’s happy to spend what remains of his life paying for his crimes. But he’d do it all again.
Henry accompanies him outside to the transport. As Scott steps outside, he raises his arms and crosses them in front of his head in an X-shaped symbol.