Six Months Ago:
Max Eisenhardt a.k.a. Erik Lehnsherr a.k.a. Magneto walks through a forest, hood covering his face, he thinks to himself that the world has turned against his people – not just the simple-minded, frightened, hate-filled populace – but the earth itself. He is helpless to do naught but watch, for he has lost his will to fight – survival has lost its luster. He wonders why he doesn't give up, why not find one of his many enemies and present his throat for the cutting? 'My continued existence – for now – is not an act of determination, but desperation' Magneto thinks to himself, realizing that he keeps moving, keeps looking to the sky, hoping for – 'A sign!' Magneto declares as he sees someone fall from the sky, into the woods ahead.
Magneto runs to the area where the mysterious person has fallen, 'My faith...my spirituality...has worn thin over the years... replaced by rage... and that, too, has failed me' Magneto tells himself. He sees a barn with a hole in the roof and enters it, deciding that if God has a message for him in this time of crisis – he is ready to bear witness.
Magneto looks up to the rafters, and sees Warren Worthington III a.k.a. Archangel tangled amongst broken planks of wood and tangled cables. 'Archangel? Warren? What... has happened to you?' Magneto wonders as he raises a hand untangling the cables, Archangel drops to the ground, 'I... I'm here, Warren. We've found each other. We can help each other' Magneto tells him, holding Archangel's face, as the winged mutant utters something. 'What? Did you say something?' Magneto asks.
Green Ridge, Colorado, where Magneto now stands alongside Elizabeth “Betsy” Braddock a.k.a. Psylocke and the local citizens as a very human looking Warren Worthington stands on a stage before them, announcing that it does his heart good to see them all here before him today, and that it strengthens his spirit to share the good word. Warren declares that he knows there are those among them who are burdened with sin, fraught with impurity, and he wants them to know that this inequity is not natural, it is, indeed an aberration.
'I've heard enough. I'm going -' Betsy begins, but Magneto tells her to stay her hand, for now is not the time. Warren smiles, 'You are not alone. I, too, have known the painful encumbrance of sin. But, my friends, if there's one thing I've learned, it is this – if your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out and throw it away!' Blood seeps from Warren's back, and he tells his listeners that it is better for them to live in this world with one eye than to have two eyes and be cast forever into the fires of perdition.
The civilians in the tent clasp their hands as Warren utters 'Let the spoiled flesh – the rotted flesh – be cut away...so that we may be made whole...and reside in the pure, beautiful forms that we are meant to have... if only we follow his teachings!' Outside the tent in the park where everyone has gathered, a strange being watches the tent from among the trees, while Warren continues his talk: 'And – yes – you are beautiful! You are radiant!' he exclaims.
Betsy quietly tells Magneto that everyone's thoughts are still blocked to her – there is only Warren's words reverberating through their minds. 'I see it when I look upon you!' Warren declares. Betsy tells Magneto that this is wrong, he must realize that something is dodgy at best, and suggests that they need to talk to Warren. 'We'll have our chance soon enough' Magneto replies. 'He's seen us'.
Meanwhile, beneath New York City, the Morlock leader Callisto trudges through the muck as she leads Monet St Croix and Victor “Sabretooth” Creed who follow her. Callisto remarks that she knows Sabretooth can see just fine down here, and tells Monet to let her know if she needs a light. 'It gets pretty dark down here. No spotlights to stand in' Callisto explains. Monet tells her that she will be fine, as her vision is better than perfect. Monet adds that she can use a low-level telepathic sweep on her and Creed, letting their eyesight bolster her own. 'I'd imagine you won't even feel a tickle' Monet tells them. Callisto gives Monet and evil grin and replies 'Not bad, pretty pretty. I bet Xavier just loved you. Probably saw you as the best and the brightest. The poster child for mutant pride'. Calliso adds that on the other hand, she doubt Chuck would have been too pleased with Sabretooth joining their ranks. 'Beggars can't be choosers, Callisto. And in this case, you are literally a beggar' Monet points out, reminding Callisto that she pleaded with her to come here, to come to her aid.
'Speaking of which, why did you contact me? Why me specifically?' Monet enquires. 'You'll see soon enough, I suppose' Callisto replies, cryptically, before telling Monet and Sabretooth to come on, as they are not far.
The trio make their way down a narrow, jagged path, while Callisto remarks that you have to give Xavier credit, for he pursued that dream of his – the dream of mutants and humans living together in peace – until the bitter end. 'Cost him his life' Callisto adds, as she approaches two Morlocks who are carrying rifles. 'New recruits, Callisto? They look a little too pampered to me. Gonna be a tough adjustment for 'em' one of the Morlocks points out. 'If Xavier had just waited a little longer...if he had more than a passing thought to me and mine...he might have seen those fantasies become reality' Callisto announces as she ignores the comments of the Morlock and leads Monet and Sabretooth deeper into the underground, declaring that the X-Men might fill their ranks with smug debutantes and vicious killers, but she honors Xavier's dream. Monet and Sabretooth come to the end of a tunnel and looks out into a large area where mutants and humans are going about their business in the cramped, squalor, and Callisto announces that mutants and humans are all living here together, working together, coexisting in peace – as the New Morlocks!
Callisto leads M and Sabretooth down some stairs into the crowded area, explaining that it was the cloud that drove them down here – that brought the Morlocks together, where they are safe. 'Makes sense. This far underground, the Terrigen Mists are a non-issue' Sabretooth points out. 'We don't take it for granted. We were safe once before' Callisto replies. Sabretooth watches mutant children playing, as Callisto declares that the Terrigen cloud drove mutants underground, but that more than a few humans are scared out of their minds, too. She supposes that fear works to unify the two species as well as anything. 'Whatever works' Sabretooth replies, while Monet asks 'But it's not perfect, is it? You said the Morlocks were in trouble. Dying'. 'That's right. Come – I'll show you'.
Back in Green Ridge, 'My friends!' Warren calls out as he approaches Magneto and Betsy, telling them that it has been far too long, and that he has truly missed them. 'Elizabeth!' Warren exclaims as he embraces the surprised Betsy. 'And -' Warren begins as he turns to Magneto, arms open. 'A hug is not necessary' Magneto tells him, raising a hand. Betsy tells Warren that so many of them believed he was dead, and asks why he isn't at the Xavier School. 'What are you going here?' she enquires. 'That's a silly question, Elizabeth. This is my home' Warren replies. 'But Warren...your wings...' Magneto remarks as he sees the blood on Warren's back. Warren clasps his hands together and claims that the Lord has seen fit to heal him, that his sickness is cured – the tainted flesh has been removed and he has been made pure. Two priests look angry, and stand on the stage, watching the trio. 'You are a mutant. Your wings are part of you' Magneto tells Warren. 'You speak of them as if they were evil' he points out. 'But...are they not?' Warren asks. 'The metal feathers of my wings dripped with innocent blood. I am blessed to be rid of them' Warren declares. Betsy tells Warren that she wants to understand, and asks Warren if it would be all right for her to read her mind. 'Of course. I have nothing to hide' Warren responds, as Betsy puts a hand on his head, and enters his mind.
Betsy sees Warren, in his human appearance but with metal wings, trapped, prodded with devices, watched over by a hooded figure as his metal wings are removed. Betsy suddenly falls backwards. 'Elizabeth? Are you all right?' Magneto asks. 'Amen' Warren utters as a tear falls down his face.
The priests go over to Warren, who tells Betsy and Magneto that it has been wonderful to see them, but that he must take his leave now. 'These services take so much out of me. And I must commune before I can rest' Warren explains. The priests lead Warren out of the tent, and Magneto remarks 'I suppose you want to follow him' to which Betsy declares 'That man... is not Warren. And after what I saw in his mind... you're bloody well right I'm following him!'
They exit the tent and watch the priests and Warren walk into the park, to an area shrouded by trees. Betsy and Magneto stand back and watch as a large metal door built into the side of a bank opens, and Warren and the priests step into it. 'A vault... and you can bet it's sealed up tight' Betsy points out, adding that with a little time, she might be able to use her telekinesis to pick the lock.
Magneto uses his power to open the round door, telling Betsy that he imagines that whoever awaits within already knows they are here – so there is little need for subtlety now.
They step into the dimly let chamber and walk along a gangway, as Magneto tells Betsy to stay alert, as they cannot be sure what they will find inside. 'But we can, can't we. I can feel it, and I'm certain you can as well. I think we both already know' Betsy responds. 'Apocalypse' Betsy exclaims as they gangway leads them to a pyramid in the center of the chamber, and large statues of Apocalypse and Archangel either side of the pyramid. A smaller diamond-shaped object hovers at the ceiling of the chamber, while in the chamber itself, Clan Akkaba members go about their duties. Betsy decides that they can dispense with the image inducers. 'If we weren't before, we're on the clock now' she adds as their civilian clothing vanishes, replaced by their costumes. 'Steady' Magneto tells Psylocke. 'Our enemies are more prepared than we are. It might be judicious to with draw and -' he begins, when suddenly, a voice calls out 'Too late for that, old man'.
Betsy and Magneto look up to another gangway where someone in a large suit declares that Clan Akkaba demands their blood. 'Genocide!' Betsy exclaims as she recognizes the villain. Betsy warns Magneto to be careful, and informs him that Genocide is the son of Apocalypse, and just as dangerous as he looks. Several Akkaba Clan members armed with swords are with Genocide, and Warren is behind them. 'I... am sorry' he utters, forlorn. Magneto tells Psylocke to go, that he will hold them off. 'Seek help' Magneto tells Betsy, as Genocide declares that he hates to be a party pooper, but again, no – neither of them are getting out of here – not alive.
Back in the New Morlock tunnels, Callisto takes M and Sabretooth to a tented area, where several New Morlocks lay on mattresses on the floor. Callisto reports that a dozen have fallen just like this in the past couple of weeks. 'This isn't M-Pox' Monet announces, asking Callisto what it is. 'We were hoping you could tell us' Callisto replies. Sabretooth looks at the ill and remarks that whatever it is, it is only affecting the mutant population. 'Times like this... makes me hate that we just handed Triage over to -' Sabretooth begins, but Monet interrupts him, 'That was the right call' she snaps. Monet crouches beside one of the victims, 'Please...don't let this be another disease targeting our people... we've got both feet in the grave already...and we're sinking so fast' Monet utters. Monet points out that she isn't a doctor, but could make some examinations and an initial diagnosis. Suddenly, the victim she is examining reaches out for Monet, and a mouth appears on his hand, a tongue flicks out at Monet, as the mouth on the victim's hand hisses at her.
'What the hell? None of them have done that before!' Callisto exclaims as the Morlock falls back to the ground. Creed asks Monet if she is all right. 'That thing didn't bite you, did it?' he adds. Wide-eyed, Monet assures him that she is fine, but that she thinks she knows why she is here. 'I know who we're dealing with' Monet announces. As the other sick New Morlocks all rise and turn to face Monet, Sabretooth and Callisto, Monet declares that she should have seen it sooner – the Morlocks – they have been changed by his influence. 'They're his servants now' Monet adds. 'Who're you talking about, Monet?' Sabretooth calls out. 'My brother... and he sent a welcoming committee for us!' Monet declares.
Back in the Clan Akkaba hideout, Warren turns from the battle as Magneto and Psylocke engage Genocide and the Akkaba warriors. Magneto tells Betsy to get clear if she can – to take Warren and get clear. But as Betsy knocks one of the warriors back, she tells Magneto that she is not leaving him. Shoving a psi-knife into another of the warriors, Betsy declares that they can cut a path through them. Magneto knocks Genocide back, while Warren announces that he is so sorry, but that this is how it must be – the world must be purged, cleared off in order to ensure mutants survive – to ensure they rule. 'WHAT? What did you just say? After everything... you dare?' Magneto asks. He raises shards of metal behind him and aims them at Warren. 'I won't – won't let you twist your words now!' Magneto declares. Betsy moves in between Warren and Magneto and asks Magneto what he is doing. 'Stop this! Warren's not one of them! We should be helping him!' Betsy calls out. Magneto tells Betsy to get out of his way, and reminds her that she said it herself – this is not Warren. 'And now, as I looke upon him, I realize he is a traitor and an abomination -' Magneto begins, before he and Betsy are struck down by a surge of energy fired at them by Genocide. 'Head in the game, X-Men! I don't like being ignored! It hurts my feelings!' Genocide declares, before he and Warren turn and walk away. 'Was it all a lie? A trick? Was I misled? Did...' Magneto utters.
Six Months Ago:
'...you say something?' Magneto asks Warren, who utters '... ensure... mutants survive...'. Magneto took that as a sign, a guiding principle, uttered by an angel, reminding him of his purpose. 'I will' Magneto assured Warren, whose limp body falls to the ground. Magneto is reminded of the mission he serves – and the barn explodes around him as he rises into the air, magnetically lifting Warren with him. 'The Earth itself has turned against mutantkind' Magneto realizes. He announces that he will find help, will find others to stand at their side, as he rises higher into the air. He knows that he has been given a sign – a harbinger has brought him a message – a reminder to stand against the Apocalypse!