The Xavier Institute for Mutant Education and Outreach, New York, New York:
The home of the X-Men in Central Park lies in ruin – destroyed. The bodies of several X-Men are strewn about the rubble. Jean Grey. Storm. Psylocke. Armor. Glob Herman. Nightcrawler. Bishop. Polaris. Iceman. Cannonball. Hovering over the ruins are the Horsemen of Salvation – Magneto. Blob. Angel. Omega Red. 'His will be done' Magneto, the Horseman of Peace, utters as he looks down at the bodies of the mutant heroes.
But in reality, the heroes are protected behind the forcefield of Hisako Ichiki a.k.a Armor, who has extended her shield around the others, amplified by Betsy Braddock a.k.a. Psylocke and Jean Grey, who use their psychic powers to mask themselves from the Horsemen. 'I'm losing it!' Betsy exclaims. Jean tells her to hang in another minute, that she has to keep them hidden.
'He calls us home' Angel, the Horseman of Life, announces as he looks down at the X-Men, before he and the other Horsemen disappear.
'We're clear' Jean declares, as she and Betsy drop the disguise and Armor releases her force field. Ororo Munroe a.k.a. Storm asks Armor if she is all right. 'Yes. Maybe? No? I don't know...' Armor responds. Storm tells her that without her armor, Betsy and Jean would not have managed the illusion of their deaths. 'We are alive when we should be dead. And it is thanks to you' Storm adds. Betsy and Jean continue to look up to the sky, concerned, Betsy asks 'Jean? Did you see?' and Jean tells her that she did. 'Warren... he saw us here dead and he didn't even blink. I fear we have truly lost him, Jean'.
Quadra Island, British Columbia, Canada.
A peaceful inlet at the edge of the island, where a small cabin stands on the shore. Beach and water in front of it, a dense forest behind it. The Horsemen of Salvation suddenly touch down on the island, and Angel remarks 'It is done, Lord. The first obstacles have been removed'.
Nate Grey a.k.a. X-Man stands on the front porch of the cabin, he wears a long open robe and a flowing garment around his hips. 'Well done, my Horsemen' X-Man remarks, adding that these early moves are some of the most painful, but that their trials and tribulations will all be worth it in the end. 'This I promise you' he declares. X-Man then informs his Horsemen that phase three begins now, and that they need to prepare themselves.
'Phase three? So what phase was kidnapping us?' Kitty Pryde asks from inside the cabin where she is chained to a chair with bonds that repress her powers.
'Phase two. Not that it matters to you' Nate replies, turning to Kitty. She isn't alone, as Senator Ashton Allen is also chained to a chair, and the uber-mutant Apocalypse is chained to a cross. Kitty tells Nate that she still doesn't understand why they are here. Nate tells that all will become clear in time. 'Why? Why abduct us and then just leave us sitting here?' Kitty asks, suggesting to Nate that he let the Senator go at least, and to let her help him. Nate goes over to Kitty and touches her face, telling her that she is going to help him – just not in the way she might imagine. He assures her that her voice will be an important one – just not yet.
'And the rest of us, boy? Will our voices be heard as well?' Apocalypse enquires. Nate's eyes glow red as he turns to Apocalypse and tells him that he is not here for his voice. 'You're here to remind me what hell is'.
Nate's eyes revert to normal and he calmly asks everyone to be silent as he shares his vision for the world and with every mind on the planet. He explains that it is quite a thing to connect with people on such a level – almost a religious experience. 'Treat it as such' he suggests.
Nate levitates off the ground and Kitty looks at him, telling Apocalypse and the senator that he must be bluffing, that he can't possibly be powerful enough to project his message to every mind on the planet. 'Child, he has Magneto on a leash like a dog. Has turned off your powers without a word and has Apocalypse bound in chains. And still you doubt his power?' Apocalypse remarks.
Nate Grey then reaches out, his mind extending across the globe and touching the minds of the world. He introduces himself to the people of Earth as X-Man and informs them that he brings a message of peace and love – but also the truths they have so long ignored at their peril. His mind reaches a civilian in Paris, and another in Cairo. A woman with her baby near a castle, and a man on a surfboard in the ocean. His mind reaches heroes, too – Captain America, Shang-Chi, the Black Panther, and even Captain Marvel who is hovering in space. Nate declares that things have never been worse – that they are a world divided, a people at war with both themselves and nature – that Earth is doomed unless drastic measures are taken. 'I am those drastic measures' Nate claims, announcing himself as the Second Coming that the world has waited for – prayed for. He explains that he will reshape this world, that his Horsemen of Salvation will traverse the whole of the Earth, remaking it in his image. He adds that there will be painful days ahead, but their rewards will be great. 'Today is the first day. By the seventh all will be done. A new world order. Peace in our time'. '... Nate?' Jean gasps as she and the other X-Men receive his telepathic message as well.
Shortly, several X-Men gather in sub-basement level 8 of the Xavier Institute for Mutant Education and Outreach. Jean, Storm, Betsy, Lucas Bishop, Bobby Drake a.k.a. Iceman, Jean-Paul Beaubier a.k.a. Northstar, Armor and Hank McCoy a.k.a. Beast gather in front of a monitor as a news announcer reports that information continues to pour in about the message, that it appears that it may have truly been broadcast worldwide. 'It just, well, it boggles the mind to think of what kind of power could manage -' the announcer remarks, before the Beast switches the monitor off. 'So a guy called X-Man telling the whole world he's gonna bring about the apocalypse to “make things better”... that's bad for X-Men PR, right?' Bobby asks. 'Ever the master of understatement, Bobby' the Beast mutters.
Jean tells the others that she doesn't understand, that Nate was always powerful, but this is unheard of – she doesn't even know if the Professor could have done that at his most powerful. Bishop points out that they are all thinking this is obviously connected to the strange phenomena they are seeing worldwide like the lakes appearing overnight and extinct creatures everywhere suddenly very much alive. Storm reminds the others that X-Man has Magneto, Warren, Omega Red and the Blob under his thumb as if they were his pets, and he probably abducted Kitty and Senator Allen.
'And Apocalypse' a voice calls out. 'What?' Bishop asks, wide-eyed. 'He took Apocalypse first. We were too late to stop that one, too' David Haller a.k.a. Legion announces. 'I sent you visions, I tried to save Pryde and the senator, I made my own Weapon M to save the world, and yet you refuse to see! Why don't you stupid X-Men ever listen to me?' Legion declares that now they are all doomed, and it is all his fault – except that it is the X-Men's fault.
Jean looks at David and asks him if he can blame them, as when he has tried to help, things have gone poorly. 'And why blame yourself for this? I know you're pretty crazy, but how does this have anything to do with you?' Iceman asks. 'Because he created X-Man' Bishop snarls, reminding Iceman that Nate Grey came to this world from the alternate reality called the Age of Apocalypse. 'Legion created the Age of Apocalypse. Therefore...' his voice trails off, as wide-eyed and looking quite deranged, Legion shouts 'Therefore I created him! I am his father! And also Cyclops is... and Jean is! Well, not his father, but his mother... but different version of them! And I am their fathers too! And it makes my head hurt to think about it but I definitely feel responsible and now the world is over all because I tried to make my Dad happy. Don't make your Dad happy, kids, at home. It just ends in tragedy! Save the world by being disappointing!' Legion babbles, before Jean and Betsy use their telepathic powers to put him to sleep.
Glob turns to Jean and asks if she is going to knock out the dude who came to warn them that something bad was coming, and not the dudes who blew up their house. 'It's complicated, Robert' Jean replies. 'Not really' Armor snaps. Megan Gwynn a.k.a. Pixie and Santo Vaccarro a.k.a. Rockslide gather around as Jean explains that Legion is one of the most dangerous people on the planet, and they can't just allow him to run wild. 'But he wasn't. He was trying to help. We don't punish people for trying to help, do we?' Glob asks. 'We're not supposed to, dude' Rockslide remarks. 'I didn't think so' Glob replies. Jean tells the young mutants that she appreciates their input, that they have listened to them, but the matter is settled. 'You listened to us? Like you listened to Legion when he tried to warn you?' Armor exclaims, throwing her arms into the air. Jean tells Hisako that she isn't being fair, to which Hisako declares that if she was being fair, she would say maybe the people who ignored Legion's warnings and got their house blown up shouldn't get to make this call.
Pixie asks if everyone can calm down for a second, and tells her teammates that she thinks Ms Grey is right. 'She knows this stuff. And we did just fight with this guy. And he is definitely a super creep'. 'So what? People say I'm a creep' Glob reminds Pixie. 'You are a creep' Rockslide agrees, while Armor tells Pixie that they shouldn't be attacking people who want to help them. 'We should if they are gonna get a lot of people hurt! I mean it's not that complicated' Pixie replies, while an exasperated Jean looks upwards.
In his lab within the remains of the Xavier Institute for Mutant Education and Outreach, the Beast sits at a work station. 'All right, little vaccine...' he remarks to himself as he examines the supposed vaccine that prevents mutants passing on the X-gene to their children. 'Your structure is very complicated, but do you actually work? Uncle Hank says not likely... but curiosity always gets the best of him. Suddenly, 'That's... hmmm... oh. Oh... oh no. No no no no no' the Beast utters as he rushes over to a fridge, and opens it. 'No! He shouts as he sees that one vial of the vaccine is missing. 'Where -? What have I done?' he asks.
'I won't say I don't have regrets... but that's the job, I guess. All this business with Legion... the X-Men were becoming a nuisance. If we're going to save the world, there are people who will stand in our way' Nate Grey remarks as he walks to the shore of Quandra Island. Nate adds that it is a tragedy, but that they can't let them stop him – and he will have to live with that. It's on him. He then asks if the X-Men suffered. 'No. It was mercifully quick' Magneto responds.
Nate thanks him, before announcing that they must go forward. He tells Magneto and Angel that he has a task for them. He remarks that all across this small globe, they find themselves on the brink of war – and he can't have that, as war is a disease, and hatred is the cause. He claims that he is working on a cure, but that takes time, so for now, he wants them to treat the symptoms. Nate turns to Blob and Omega Red and tells his faithful Horsemen that he has not forgotten about them. He states that this planet has so much to give them, but when they take too much, it hurts – so now, the time for taking from planet Earth has passed. 'Will you boys help me give back?' Nate asks. 'Sure' Blob mutters. 'Of course' Omega Red replies.
The X-Men have reconvened, with Storm and Jean standing before Bishop, Northstar, Iceman, Armor, Betsy, Lorna Dane a.k.a. Polaris, Nightcrawler, Glob, Pixie, Laura Kinney a.k.a. X-23, Rockslide, Sam Guthrie a.k.a. Cannonball and Jubilee. Storm declares that she appreciates everyone's spirit in the discussion of Legion, but that they have to shelve it for now, as reports of catastrophic incidents are coming in from around the world. Jean points out that with the Avengers, Fantastic Four and just about every other super hero team being stretched thin by these events, they can't just sit on the sidelines. Jean reports that they are sending out two teams – Bishop, X-23, Northstar, Bobby and Armor are with her, while Storm will take Betsy, Polaris, Jubilee, Nightcrawler and Cannonball. Storm adds that everyone else will aid in the clean-up of the Mansion for now.
'Excuse me? I'm on garbage duty? How's that make sense?' Rockslide asks. 'This suuuuucks' Glob complains. Jean tells the younger mutants that this clean-up is important, so they can start building again. 'We're trusting you to do your job as X-Men and not act like children. That's how it make sense' Jean adds.
Armor is standing with the other X-Men students and Jean tells her that it is time to go – but Armor tells her that she isn't leaving, and that her team has been in this fight the whole time. 'Your team?' Jean asks. Armor reminds Jean that she has had two members hurt because Kitty vanished on them, then they had to fight for their lives because the older X-Men didn't listen to Legion. 'We've done nothing but be the X-Men we were supposed to and you all treat us like kids' Armor exclaims. 'Maybe we do treat you like children...' Jean begins. 'You do. And now you want me to leave me team -' Armor starts, as Jean interrupts her this time, pointing out that they are children, or perhaps it is because she pulls things like this when given orders. 'So be it. Go. Stay. Do whatever you feel is right, Armor. Either way, we don't have time for your tantrums' Jean declares. Armor then bids Jean good luck.
Twenty miles outside Ukistoval, Chernaya, a Blackbird jet descends into a gof-covered land. Storm's team are in the jet, and someone reports that this country has been on the verge of an all-out civil war for months, and whatever is triggering the conflicts today could quickly push the whole country over the edge – but they are here to make sure that doesn't happen. The X-Men emerge from the jet in the bleak landscape. Hundreds of soldiers are standing nearby, opposite hundreds of civilians, and Polaris informs her teammates that Magneto has been here. Storm asks her if she is sure, to which Polaris explains that every person disturbs the planet's magnetic fields as they move through it, subtly, like tiny ripples on the surface of a pond. 'He's a tidal wave' Lorna adds. Betsy picks up on the thoughts of the soldiers and civilians who edge closer to them. She informs the others that the civilians want them to make the soldiers leave, while the soldiers want the six of them gone – not to mention everyone is mad about Angel and Magneto, who were here – and took all their guns. 'What? Why would they do that?' Nightcrawler wonders, before Betsy motions to an enormous monument of X-Man that stands over the barren land – Magneto turned the weapons into this statue.
'His art leaves something to be desired, ja?' Nightcrawler suggests, while Storm asks Betsy to calm the soldiers and civilians down. Betsy explains that it is a little more complicated than that, as the soldiers think the villagers made Magneto take their guns – and those guns were the only thing keeping the villagers at bay. 'Whole thing was a powder keg and Lorna's dad just lit the fuse and ran' Betsy adds – when suddenly, a brick is thrown at a soldier, striking him in the face. 'X-Men! We end this now!' Storm shouts as she takes to the air. Cannonball blasts upwards as Polaris, Betsy and Jubilee ready their own powers. Jubilee shoots her fireworks at some civilians, while telling the others that she doesn't want to hurt them, but these folks aren't stopping. Betsy telepathically instructs Nightcrawler to get them out of here, and Nightcrawler teleports down to them.
Up above, Polaris hovers alongside Storm, who has created a powerful weather pattern around her. 'This is chaos. There's too many of them and they just want to beat the hell out of each other' Polaris declares. Storm remarks that it breaks her heart that the threat of death from those guns was all that kept them from killing each other. 'If fear is all that kept them alive... I will give them something to fear' Storm boasts as she fires a powerful lightning blast in between the two factions, keeping them apart.
Back at the Mansion:
'Armor, we shouldn't be in here. What are you doing?' Glob asks as he, Pixie and Rockslide follow Armor as she tells them that Jean told her she should do what she feels is right. '... and that's exactly what I'm going to do' Armor boasts as she approaches Legion. She informs her teammates that they are going to hear him out, as he is the only one who actually seems to know anything, and it is stupid that the others are not listening. 'Okay, tough guy...start talking' Armor tells Legion, who looks up at her and tells Armor that he likes her. 'The children really are the future. I mean, if there even is a future' he adds. Legion looks slightly crazed as he asks 'Where to start... where to start... so, yes, I created this bad Age of Apocalypse world. We don't really need to get into that. It was a mistake, we all make them'. He continues, explaining that X-Man came from there, and he is something very powerful – omega level. 'More than. Is there something above that yet? If there is, he's it' Legion remarks, before revealing that X-Man is trying to fix the world, to make it perfect.
Legion points out that that is not possible, as one person's perfect is not another person's, but that a lot of people are going to die. 'A lot a lot' Legion adds, before Rockslide asks him if knows how to stop him. 'Maybe... possibly? Hard to say...' Legion replies, before grinning wildly as he reveals that at the very least, he knows where to find him. Suddenly, Pixie storms out of the room where Legion is being held: 'Time out!' she shouts, telling the others that they need to have a meeting in the medical center – now.
Shortly, 'This is crazy!' Pixie exclaims, adding that Legion is 150 percent crazy – and the fact that they are even listening to him makes them even crazier. Rockslide agrees that this is seriously dumb, and reminds Armor that the other X-Men are already pissed enough at them as it is. 'Yeah, well, I'm not too happy with them right now, either' Armor mutters, before telling her teammates that if they asked her earlier today if they would be springing Charles Xavier's omega-level lunatic son from the X-Men so that he could save the world, she wouldn't have believed them – but everything he said makes sense. 'I believe him' Armor announces, and Glob agrees with her. 'Are you crazy? If Storm and Jean find out that we let that maniac loose, they'll -' Pixie begins, as Armor interrupts her: 'What? Bench us?' she asks, pointing out that the X-Men haven't listened to them at all – haven't listened to them and haven't listened to the one person they know of who knows what the hell is going on around here.
Armor tells Pixie that sometimes doing the right thing isn't easy – sometimes you have to take a risk, and she thinks this is a risk worth taking. 'We put it to a vote' Pixie suggests. Armor and Glob raise their hands, while Pixie and Rockslide don't. 'A tie. Figures' Armor mutters, when suddenly, 'Hey... don't I get a vote?' Anole asks as he sits up on one of the beds in the infirmary.
The Gulf of Mexico, fifty miles off the Louisiana Coast, an oil rig is ablaze. Omega Red and the Blob are on the oil rig, and Omega Red tells the frantic workers trying to escape that for years they were warned of the ill effects that oil brought to this Earth – millions of gallons spilled in the sea and gigaton upon gigaton of carbon released into the atmosphere every year. 'Where they hell did they come from?' one of the oil rig workers asks as he jumps into the water, where several other workers are floating. 'No idea' someone replies, when suddenly, a Megalodon bursts out from the water and catches several of the workers in its mouth. At that moment, Bishop, X-23, Northstar, Jean Grey and Iceman drop from a Blackbird straight towards the oil rig. 'That was a Megalodon? It was, right? It was totally a Megalodon. Do I get to stab it?' X-23 asks. 'No' Jean tells her. 'Just a little?' X-23 asks, before the team lands on the oil rig.
Jean instructs Bobby and Northstar to get the men out of the water, while she, X-23 and Bishop deal with Omega Red and the Blob. 'We're on it' Northstar replies as he swoops down to the water and pulls a man to safety. I've got you' Northstar tells him. 'Why is this happening?' the petrified man asks. 'Did you see that?' Bobby asks as he freezes the Megalodon, and pulls two men onto an ice-sled, boasting that he just sent that thing back to the Ice Age. 'Please, spare me. I've already heard your weak ice puns' Northstar replies. 'Not this one! I'm work-shopping the joke' Bobby adds. Northstar tells him to workshop it on someone else at a more opportune time, as they have people to save.
Back on the rig, Jean instructs some workers to make their way to the helipad, as there are some men who will help them. 'Thank you. Thank you. Thank you' one of the workers utters, when suddenly, 'I thought you were dead' the Blob calls out. 'We should know better than to trust a telepath, I guess' Blob adds. Jean tells him to stand down, to which the Blob announces that he does not want to fight the X-Men, that they are here to bring peace. 'You are forcing people off this platform to their death. I fail to see how that's “bringing peace”' Jean replies. Blob admits that a few lives will be lost here today, but that millions will be saved. 'Man created this ecological disaster. They knew the risks, the damage, and yet they persisted. Everything that happens here is because they did not heed their own warnings' Omega Red remarks. 'If you want to save them from the mess that they've made, then by all means. We will not stand in your way. We simply ask that you do not stand in ours' Omega Red states.
Blob asks Jean if she is going to stop them from saving the planet from ecological disaster – or if she is going to prove that the X-Men are indeed about helping the people. Bishop turns to Jean and tells her that the call is hers. 'Get the ship...start saving as many workers as you can' Jean instructs Bishop, as another worker in the water reaches their hands up waiting to be rescued.
Meanwhile, in Darien's Pub, Hell's Kitchen:
Jamie Madrox the Multiple Man sits at the bar as Glob enters and calls out to him. 'How'd you find me?' Madrox asks. Glob explains that he just started searching bars close to the Mansion and it didn't take long. 'This is only my third stop' Glob adds. Jamie tells him that he may as well turn around, because he isn't buying whatever he is selling. Glob stands next to Jamie and tells him that they need his help. 'No' Jamie replies. 'It's Legion, he -' Glob begins. 'No' Jamie interrupts him. '- he's got a plan to stop X-Man' Glob adds. 'Good for him' Jamie replies. 'But he needs you' Glob reveals. 'No' Jamie declares as he knocks back another drink, and asks the bartender for another, and to make it a triple this time. Jamie then asks Glob if he has any idea what Legion did to him, keeping him tied up and locked away for days, forcing dupes out of him. 'He was in my head, I couldn't get him out'. Jamie adds that the dude is crazy with a capital C. 'You know what it's like to have someone living inside your head? It sucks big time' Jamie frowns.
Jamie tells Glob that he will have to forgive him if he is not ready to run and jump back in bed with Legion at the moment. Glob tells Jamie that he can't imagine the pain he must have gone through, but that right now they have a world to save – and he is the only one who can help. Jamie knocks back the next drink: 'Well, when you put it like that. No' Jamie responds. 'Jamie!' Glob exclaims, to which Jamie agrees: 'But if I die, that's on you!'