Observing Wolverine strapped to wires and tubes, Genesis muses that he is transported to a universe consisting wholly of pain. It is suffering beyond comprehension – agony on a molecular level – but he will endure. He is certain of it, it is his destiny. Wolverine is, after all a survivor.
Looking at Wolverine upside down, Genesis says see how he glares at him. Through the hurt gleams the fearsome intensity of his fury. Despite the mind-numbing torment, he knows what is being done to him and he is aware that he is the architect of his excruciation. He then asks Lifeforce how the bonding process goes, to which Lifeforce informs him it’s too early to tell. They do have a positive flow of adamantium molecules through the saline/electrolyte solution but the adamantium is destroying living tissue almost as fast as Wolverine’s mutant factor is replacing it. Genesis replies that he knew that would be the case. His only concern was that the adamantium they harvested from Cyber’s body might be of an inferior grade. They have molecular flow, but do they have bonding? Lifeforce says that she is running a tissue scan and that the readings are fluctuating, then stabilizing. She then exclaims they have ossial bonding, the adamantium isn’t being rejected.
Upon hearing that, Genesis turns around to his Dark Riders Gauntlet, Hurricane, Spyne and Deadbolt and asks if they heard that. He will make this one whole again and he shall be the first horsemen. He tells Logan that unbeknownst to him, his fate was sealed the moment Magneto drew the mythic metal from his body. Without the adamantium, he was doomed to degenerate into a howling beast, some mindless gibbering thing with fell appetites and sanguine passions. But by this metal, he shall be transformed again. He is the only mutant on the face of the planet who could survive the bonding process. Walking up the stairs, Genesis says survival – that is the key word there. Who but the ultimate survivor is fit to be a paladin to he who shall return?
Once Genesis has left, Hurricane asks Deadbolt how Genesis thinks he’s going to control this one after he’s put the metal back in him. Deadbolt tells him brain-wipe and implants. Spyne laughs and says that Genesis is not taking into consideration that the healing factor might negate the brain-wipe and eventually erode the implant. As they talk, Logan grits his teeth and sneers inside the tube.
Up above, Cannonball says to Zoe Culloden that they should jump down and wail into Genesis right now. Then they can get Wolverine out of the contraption and… Zoe cuts him off and tells him no. They bide their time and they observe. Then, they act when circumstances are in their favor. She then tells him that it’s a good thing she came along and found him. Sam asks her how she knew who he is and why she should trust her. He then asks her who in the blue blazes she is anyhow. Zoe tells him she is the Expediter, but he can call her Zoe. She adds that she really is on his side; he’s going to have to take her word on that. Sam says okay, he guesses he won’t make her cross her heart and hope to die.
Looking down into a large room filled with thousands of anonymous coffins and one gigantic one that resembles Apocalypse, Sam asks Zoe what she reckons the set-up is down there and what’s up with the “mummy-boxes.” Zoe informs him they are sarcophagi. The smaller ones containing living prisoners of Genesis – peasants and laborers, men, women and children abducted by the Dark Riders and connected in a psychic ring series to be sapped of their life-energies so that a single entity can be restored to a horrible semblance of life. Sam asks that all those sarco – sarchopho – coffins have got live people in them? They’re all hooked up to that big one that looks like… Oh sweet lord, he’s gonna bring Apocalypse back to life!
Zoe tells him to shhhhh and control himself. Sam replies that they gotta do something. He then asks why Logan isn’t trying to bust out of there. Isn’t there anything left of what used to be him inside his head? Zoe replies that it’s impossible to tell. She’s been monitoring his feral regression and studying all the research papers pertinent to his condition in three different time continuums and seven special dimensions. Hearing that, Sam tells her to backtrack just a bit. He asks her where and when is she from. Zoe tells him they are irrelevant questions. Suffice to say that she is an agent of Landau, Luckman and Lake (LL&L). The firm deals in inter-reality finance. As to Logan’s present mental state, he could be operating on a very primal level. Simple reaction to stimuli, impulsive survival reflexes, the lizard brain at work or the predator might be alive in there.
As Wolverine struggles inside his containment tube, a rush of energy emits from outside the chamber. Immediately, Genesis recognizes it as backflow and orders Lifeforce to increase the power and give him a higher electrolyte saturation. Manipulating the levers, Lifeforce says that the equipment wasn’t designed to cope with a backflow and that Wolverine’s body is rejecting the adamantium. Up above, Sam says that he knew it, Logan’s tryin’ to fight back – they have to help him. Zoe tells him no, they can’t interfere just yet.
Below, Genesis declares to Lifeforce he shall not be denied. The will of Apocalypse shall not be denied. Triple the power; divert all power from the entire citadel to the bonding unit! Watching from the sidelines, Gauntlet asks what the consequences are of an overload. Hurricane replies disaster – they are talking meltdown and explosive energy discharge.
Intently watching Logan, Sam asks Zoe what is happening to him; what’s that popping out of him? Zoe tells him it’s the adamantium. Logan’s extruding it out through his pores. They’re pumping more into him than his system can take. Hurricane sees it too and says to Deadbolt no way he can survive this. Deadbolt replies that he wouldn’t be too sure of that. Meanwhile, Genesis calls out that he shall survive. Apocalypse shall walk the earth again and Wolverine shall be at his right hand to serve him as his first horsemen – as the new Lord Death!!
From their vantage point, Sam tells Zoe this is crazy, she has to help him. He saw her transport herself into there. He tells her she has some dimensional zapper on her wrist – use it on Wolverine and get him outta this place. Zoe says she can’t interrupt the process. Logan has to purge himself of the adamantium before he does what he has to do. At that moment, Sam grabs Zoe and pushes her up against the wall. He asks what’s that? She’s talking like it’s all pre-ordained. Just then, Zoe starts to fade out, much to the chagrin of Sam. She tells him that she has to cover the other bases and that, when Logan defeats the bonding process, that is when he must strike. Sam asks defeat it; how’s he gonna do that?
At that moment, Lifeforce calls out that it’s sticking. The adamantium is bonding to Logan’s skeleton on a true molecular level. Genesis asks if he is rejecting the brain implants. It would be insanity to have an adamantium-enhanced mutant running amok in the citadel without proper restraints. From the side, Dirt Nap quips “no kidding Sherlock,” to which Hurricane tells him to cool it. Lifeforce responds to Genesis that the brain tissue is not rejecting the implants. Pleased, Genesis raises his hands in victory. He exclaims that he’s succeeded. Is he not truly worthy of the mantle? Is he not the singular undisputed heir of Apocalypse?
Without warning, Sam blasts from his perch and knocks Lifeforce away from the bonding machine and then proceeds to knock Genesis down before he then knocks over the Dark Riders. As he does, he tells Genesis what he is is short a quart in the oil pan. He adds that Cannonball ain’t about to sit around doin’ zip while they do a number on Wolverine and bring Apocalypse back to life. Genesis screams to his Dark Riders to stop him; he is destroying the bonding apparatus!
Hurricane strikes first and does so with a force-ten gale which slams Sam into a wall. Once he hits the wall, the other Dark Riders converge on him and proceed to beat him unmercifully. As they do, they tells him that they’re going to put him in his place before they rip out his heart and sends it to his fellow X-Men. Sam calls out to Logan that he’s sorry. He gave it his best shot and asks that Logan forgive him. Lifeforce concentrates on putting out the fire on the control panel.
Once that is complete, she looks at the status board and sees that there is another backflow. She calls out that Logan is rejecting the adamantium. What’s worse, he’s rejecting the brain implants. It’s a conscious rejection; he’s willing it out of his system. Upon hearing that, Spyne calls out to his fellow Dark Riders to evacuate, the machinery is exceeding its redline parameters. Hurricane asks, “Huh?” to which Genesis tells him it’s going to blow dummy.
When it does, Hurricane’s body is riddled with shrapnel of adamantium shards, killing him instantly. Wolverine, now free, appears more feral than ever. Forcing himself up, Sam blasts off in the direction of Logan and decides that he has to get him outta there and wrap up unfinished business. When he reaches Wolverine, he asks him if it is him. He then says to him if there’s still anything left inside o’ him that’s still him, he has to stop Apocalypse from comin’ back. He has to.
Genesis tells Sypne, Gauntlet, Deadbolt and Dirt Nap that they are desecrating the resurrection chamber of Apocalypse and that he wants their torn, lifeless bodies brought back and laid at his feet. Once they have gone off to do his bidding, Genesis says that Lord En Sabah Nur will have to do without a paladin for the Dark Riders. He then tells Lifeforce to stop staring at the useless bonding controls and help the others chase down the mutants. When he heads over towards her, he yells at her and asks her if she has been deafened by the explosion. He ordered her to… Just then, he discovers why she’s not answering, she has been killed by the adamantium shrapnel. Genesis laments there is come a doom by his own hand.
Meanwhile, atop a mountain halfway ‘round the world, an old man carrying a staff asks his female assistant if she senses it yet. When the lady replies nothing, the man smacks her in the head with his staff and tells her that there’s somebody out there, a warrior. He walked the path, but didn’t even know it. He’s the enemy of their enemies. He could have climbed the mountain if he had wanted to and he would have been welcome. The lady responds he has fallen. The man confirms yeah, he has fallen.
Back in Genesis’ citadel, Sam is slumped against a post. As he calls out to Wolverine that he knows he’s out there, an’ that he knows he’s hurtin’, Spyne begins to stalk him and gets ready to grab hold of him. Sam asks that Logan reach down inside himself and remember who he used to be. Just before, Spyne can grab hold of Sam, a hairy hand reaches out, grabs Spyne’s tail and jerks him upwards.
In another location, Deadbolt hears some screams and calls out to Spyne. When he sees his tail, he says there you are, he could have sworn that was him screaming… Before he can utter anything else, the tail is wrapped around his neck and he is jerked upwards as well. Perched on top of a column, Wolverine, holding Spyne’s severed tail tells him it was.
Shortly, Gauntlet happens upon the location and notices fresh blood but wonders whom it belongs to. Dirt Nap tells him that there is somebody behind him and proceeds to promptly run off. Gauntlet raises his weapon and tells Dirt Nap that he’ll be worm food before he needs his help. Just then, he sees what he thinks is Deadbolt. In reality, it is Wolverine holding Deadbolt’s severed head in his hand. As Gauntlet puts his gun away he says to “Deadbolt” that they should find Spyne and run a systematic sweep of…
He too, is unable to utter anything further before Wolverine attacks him and kills him. Seeing it happen, Dirt Nap quips that he has to do some serious re-thinking about his allegiances around there.
Genesis, fed up with the inactivity, grabs Sam by the collar and demands to know where his furry clawed friend stripling… He stops mid-sentence when he hears screams coming from Gauntlet. Sam tells him he’s next and that Wolverine’s gonna put a whuppin’ on him to write home about. Dragging Sam over towards the enormous coffin of Apocalypse, Genesis tells him indeed and that he’ll have to come to him there then to the revival crèche of Apocalypse. There, to the nexus of genetic fulfillment wherein are harvested the fruits of natural selection.
With that, he tosses Sam to the ground. Sam then says to him survival o’ the fittest, right and tells Genesis that he don’t think his Dark Riders made the cut. He adds that he don’t think he’s gonna make the cut either. Genesis looks up in shock to see Wolverine perched on top of Apocalypse’s coffin. He is more feral than he’s ever been, more animal than man, with long fingernails and toenails and a pug-like nose. Sam mentions to Genesis that whatever he did to Wolverine has pushed him over the edge and into a place he don’t even wanna know about. He informs Genesis that his chickens are coming home to roost and they got some big powerful claws.
When Wolverine leaps towards Genesis, Sam works on prying Apocalypse’s coffin open with his bare hands. While he does, he informs Genesis that as much as he would love to stand around and see him get his just deserts, he’s fixin’ to rain on Apocalypse’s homecoming.
Near Sam, Wolverine unmercifully swipes and attacks Genesis like a tiger would a gazelle. As Wolverine continues to slash away at him, Genesis thinks to himself how was he to know that to resist the influx of adamantium, Logan would go so far? That to escape enslavement to his will, he would jettison the last vestiges of his humanity. That he would succumb to the dark, red hunger that lurks in the core of all living things. How was he, Genesis, heir-apparent of Apocalypse, to know that in the survival of the fittest, the apex of the pyramid was occupied by some shambling, devolved brute who just happened to be the best there is at what he does?!?
Once Sam gets Apocalypse’s coffin open, he finds it empty. But, but that means Genesis was lying or totally outta his gourd and delusional or Apocalypse got up and left by himself. Just then, Sam hears Logan call out to him. When he turns around and sees Genesis, lying on the ground, shredded, Logan asks him to tell Cable that he’s sorry about his kid. He didn’t have a choice. A bruised, battered Sam asks Logan where he’s goin’, why can’t he tell him himself? Logan doesn’t answer and just turns and leaves without another sound. Noticing that, Sam laments that he’s gone… in more ways than one…
On the mountaintop, many miles away, the old man calls out that he is fallen. He asks the lady if they turn their backs on a guy like that or do they help him to his feet and set him on the path again. Preparing to leave the cabin, Elektra tells the old man, Stick, that she’ll find him. Stick tells her to do just that.