Stratocorp space elevator, on the Oceanic anchor base, inside a restricted area. Doctor Nemesis holds the Stratocorp official down, while radioing other members of the X-Club: ‘Kavita. Madison. My respected colleagues’ he declares, while the telepathic starfish stuck to his head projects his true thoughts: ‘Minions’. He announces that earlier today, a Terrigen spill was crapping up the Atlantic, and their super droid ally Danger had gone, Skynet and the two of them were being functionally useless. ‘In my absence, I assume these situations have escalated and - naturally - now require my attention nonetheless’.
In a lab on Utopia, Dr Kavita Rao listens, while the Atlantean woman called Lida stands nearby. Doctor Nemesis reports that he has uncovered shenanigans which supercede all others and make his story the most important thread in their conversation. ‘I shall be milking that fact. You shall shut up and listen’. At that moment, Madison Jeffries runs down a corridor aboard the space-station, robots chase him and fire at him: ‘That means you, Jeffries. Will you kindly stop -’ Nemesis declares, while Madison calls out to the supercomputer, asking it why it is trying to kill him, ‘Minute ago you were on my side’ he reminds it. The supercomputer apologizes to Madison, who closes a door behind him, blocking the robots out. The supercomputer informs Madison that his presence has initiated a defense protocol. ‘I am required to murder you. As I have attempted to explain, I am denied the luxury of free will’.
‘Yeah?’ Madison asks. ‘Hafta see about that’ he remarks as he turns his attention to some equipment in the room, while using his mutant power to block the door with strips of metal. The supercomputer tells Jeffries that his reprogramming attempt is appreciated, but that it cannot succeed. ‘My obedience is a self-replicating paradox perceptible only to an 11th-dimensional awareness’ the computer explains. Jeffries slaps his head and asks who could have programmed that, to which the supercomputer states that it feels obliged to inform Madison that a swarm of kill drones is assaulting the bulkhead. ‘You will perish in 37 seconds. There is not escape’. Jeffries uses his power to arrange metal and computer equipment around him, forming an armor. ‘None that ain’t epic-grade dumb - sure’ Jeffries remarks.
The computer tells Jeffries that it sees his intention, and asks him not to, as the materials at hand are inadequate. ‘You will cook to death within the thermosphere then atomize upon contact with the exobase’. As the kill drones burst into the room, Jeffries uses his mutant power to rip open the outer wall. The air in the room is sucked out, and Jeffries remarks that he guesses a guy has to look on the bright side. ‘Least I’ll have one helluva view!’ he declaers as he leaps out into open space, surrounded by the make-shift body armor.
‘Kavita! I think we lost that gump-wannabe from the uplink, Are you still there? I have importance to impart!’ Doctor Nemesis declares, while the starfish projects his thought: ‘It’s not easy, you know - being this dramatic’.
On Utopia, Kavita starts to inform Doctor Nemesis that she is still here, when suddenly, Lida clutches her stomach, then falls to the ground. Energy crackles around her, and spikes start to protrude from her body. Kavita sees this and tells Nemesis that she has no time, as she is busy, it has started. ‘Patching you to the command channel’ she reports, while preparing a syringe with a serum. Kavita announces that it is as good as ready, that the simulations are very positive, and she is positive it will work. Lida looks at Kavita, and asks ‘To whom do you pray, Doctor Rao?’
Kavita pauses, before replying that she prays to nobody, but to her own competence - and to science. She injects the serum into Lida’s body, but looks on, shocked as Lida continues to mutate, more energy glows around her, then suddenly, she stands motionless. Lida announces that she can sense the ocean, its sons and daughters, that she can feel Neptune’s gift within her. The energy strikes the other sea creatures in tanks in the lab, while Kavita declares that it is the telepathy, the mutation. ‘I failed you…’ Kavita utters.
Back on the Stratocorp base, ‘Kavita? Kavita! There is jiggery afoot! Also pokery!’ Doctor Nemesis declares. ‘I crave your attention also hugs’ the starfish projects. Nemesis announces that he has discovered villainy most vile. ‘Why won’t you answer me?’ Nemesis asks. Back on Utopia, Cyclops, Storm, Emma Frost, Magik and Pixie are gathered around what appears to be a glowing cocoon. ‘Nemesis? That you? Where the hell are you? What’s going on?’ Cyclops asks via the communicator. ‘Summers! Thank the tiny quark! Listen closely -’ Doctor Nemesis begins, when suddenly, the cocoon appears to explode, and Cyclops, Storm and Magik appear in anguish, while an “intersection” takes place, of Aaron Stack the Machine Man in his underwear opening a refrigerator, ‘Yessss. The beer of midnight shall soothe my robot braaaiii -’ he calls out, while the X-Men gather themselves and look up at where the cocoon was, to find Danger standing over them.
‘So. The gestation is over. The calculation is complete. I cannot purge it. I cannot transfer it. The code is rupturing my psyche and I bleed data. M-my friends…my child will self-corrupt if I cannot deliver it. And I shall perish if I do!’ the transformed Danger declares as she clutches at her “pregnant” form.
‘Why isn’t anyone listening to me!’ Doctor Nemesis shouts, frustrated.
Falling through space, Jeffries calls out to Danger, ‘Figure I’m about to die’ he remarks. ‘I know you can’t hear me. I got no communicator in this thing and… and you ain’t exactly been one to pay much attention recently anyways, but… well. Ow’ Flames start to burn on the makeshift armor, while Jeffries admits to Danger that he thinks hr loves her. ‘And that’s crazy and stupid and I ain’t been in a rush to admit it on accounta you’re a heartless machine masquerading as life. No offense’. The flames grow as Jeffries tells Danger that he thinks he is a machine, too, one that just happens to be made of meat. ‘So… yeah. I love you. And I wanted to say it before the end. Also: I can see my house from up here’ Madison utters, frowning as the flames burn larger as he continues to fall through space.
‘The whole thing is wrong. Ridiculous. Offensive’ Doctor Nemesis announces. Inside the room filled with Nazi flags, he holds the Statocorp official as they look at an object in the center of the room. ‘Waveform monitor. Brane field. Resonance imager. And if I didn’t know better I’d say that welder’s wet-dream is an actual particle accelerator’. ‘Want. Want. Want’ the starfish projects, while Doctor Nemesis states that if he had to apply supposition, based on rigorous examination, of course, he would guess that that these bratwurst-bothering monomaniac’s are doing evil science in here. ‘Ha!’ the Stratocorp official responds, so Nemesis aims his syringe gun at the man’s head. ‘Mister - you can’t even begin to understand how far outta your depth you are’ the official smirks. ‘Mm. Then what say I introduce your toxic little brain to my persuasive pal sodium pentothal, and we plumb the depths together?’ Doctor Nemesis suggests.
Suddenly, a figure in the shadows fires a blast of energy, blowing the official’s head off. ‘Dear dear dear. Truth serums? Examinations? Suppositions?’ he calls out. Doctor Nemesis lurches backwards, while the voice fires another blast, knocking Doctor Nemesis aside. ‘Really, Doctor Bradley. Such reliance on the lexicon of scientific inquiry - when all you really had to do was ask’. The figure emerges from the shadows, and Doctor Nemesis looks up at the new arrival, who announces ‘Once I was Doctor Frederik Heidin, the greatest eugenicist of my day’. He reveals that he was transformed by fate and ruined by colourful clowns with masks and foolish names - and then awoke to a gaudy world obsessed by the same. Wearing a Nazi uniform decorated with badges, the man hobbles forward, his frail skeletal body held up by metal contraptions. Blue energy crackles around him and he introduces himself as Schragesturm, revealing that his mask is the quantum froth of eleven dimension. ‘And I am here to murder your time’ he tells Nemesis.
In a meeting room on Utopia, Cyclops stands before the Sub-Mariner, Colossus, Storm, Magik and Kavita Rao who are gathered around the table, along with Danger. ‘So that’s the situation, people’. Cyclops tells them. ‘The mutagenic disaster seems irreversible, anti-mutant sentiment’s skyrocketing, Nemesis and Jeffries are off-grid and one of our heaviest hitters is about to go kaboom’. Colossus frowns and declares ‘So science failed. Who do we punch?’ to which Cyclops tells him that is the problem - they don’t know. Kavita turns to Danger and tells her that she knows she is weak, and that this is a lot to ask, but that if there is anything she can do, diagnostics, analyses of the data, tracking their people - anything. But Danger doesn’t respond.
However, high in Earth’s orbit, a deserted exoform belonging to Danger comes back to life, ‘Re-initializing’ she announces, while nearby, Jeffries screams as he plummets to Earth, flames engulfing his body, Danger appears behind him, and Jeffries sees her. He calls out to her, and Danger announces that she heard him, heard what he said. ‘Through the mystical power of love?’ Jeffries asks, wide-eyed, after Danger dowses his flames. ‘No. Through the microchip I planted in your brain when I decided you’re an emotional asset of extremely high status’ Danger explains. ‘You mean…?’ Madison asks. ‘Yes. Now hold tighter’ Danger tells him.
Back on the Stratocorp base, ‘So… tight…’ Doctor Nemesis utters as Schragesturm forces him into a wall. ‘Do pay attention, Doctor - or you will miss m villainous explanation’. He adds that he understands such things are obligatory in the world of the costumed. ‘And so: At the start of 1945 I left Germany aboard the Anfang, chosen to establish a research Reich overseas’ he begins. He adds that his studies in Terrigen mutation had changed him, and he found he could feel the walls of reality and there in the midst of the Atlantic, he detected a disturbance, a being, a creature swimming the glorious skeins of existence. ‘Death by exposition’s still a war crime, Fritz. Cut the poetic crap’ Doctor Nemesis declares, trapped in the wall. Continuing with his story, Schragesturm states that he knew he didn’t have long, if he hoped to snare this entity, this cosmic angel, he would have to use his own psyche as its cell. ‘Typically, the fools chose that moment to attack’ he remarks, referring to the Invaders.
Schragesturm tells Doctor Nemesis that the entity panicked in its confusion, it shattered the dimensions around them and leapt for a nearby automation, and although their communion failed, the damage was done, and Anfang was lost. ‘And as for me…’ he begins, as Doctor Nemesis realizes that Schragesturm got tanbled, in all those broken dimensions around the ship - half in a stasis-zone, half rotting, hence the look. Guy’s crotch shrivels up, the whole world’s gotta suffer…’ the starfish projects. Schragesturm fires a blast of energy at Nemesis’s knee and remarks ‘A man as sharp as you might cut himself, doctor’. Doctor Nemesis declares that he has heard enough sanctimonious super-Nazi origins to know the drill. ‘Hahaha I bled on your floor’ is what he is really thinking though.
Schragesturm continues, explaining that the Fuhrer’s cause died while he languished in stasis, and only sympathizers, like his rescuers from Stratocorp, cared to seek the Anfang - but of course the clumsy idiots let the Terrigen spill in the process, and by then the cargo was a moot point, as it had wrought its changes - he had become the prize. ‘And now? My consciousness vibrates across realities. I can gaze into the Omniverse, Doctor Bradley. And do you know what I think, when I look upon this sordid world of yours?’ he asks. ‘Aaaaaaa’ is all Doctor Nemesis can respond as Schragesturm casts more energy at him, trapping him in energy bonds. ‘I think it is beneath me’ the villain announces.
Three thousand feet above Utopia, Danger holds onto Madison Jeffries, who tells her that he can hear a voice, from inside her. Danger replies that she has serialized their perceptions while they are in contact, and that it is her child. ‘It laments its other parent’ Danger adds. ‘Wait. What’re - you mean you’re…? But that’s. I mean… but then who’s…who’s the fa-’ Jeffries replies, confused. Danger responds by stating that gender terminology is irrelevant. She declares that “it” is a distillation of cosmic information - a traveler in the timeless warp. She continues, adding ‘A datagod, Jeffries - an unequalled being - cruelly trapped, half a century ago, on a plane it never meant to visit’. Jeffries asks if he should be jealous, to which Danger replies ‘Of a slave? No’.
Danger explains that she thinks the datagod never understood this tactile realm, and she imagines it tortured by the biology of its prison, so in its despair, it surrendered all hopes of release - it sought to secure its legacy a different way - and so it reached out, again and again, a desperate attempt to reproduce, casting spores among the only minds it came even close to understanding - but the bonds were too weak, the seed never took, only an echo remained - a sense bleed of each liaison. And that is indeed what happened, as the essence left Schragesturm and travelled to other android forms - the original Human Torch, the Awesome Android, Jocasta, the Vision, the Machine Man. And then, one day its jailer was restored to power, but before the entity could feel even a flush of renewed hope, it was imprisoned anew, put to work, programmed like some dull device.
‘The Stratocorp computer?’ Madison asks as they approach Utopia, while an intercession is once again seen - this time of Danger linking up to the Stratocorp computer. ‘Yes. In which state - after years of…of pain and patience - it finally made direct contact. And…and sired its heir’ Danger adds. An instant later, they land on Utopia. Jeffries gets to his feet, he seems fine, while Danger is sprawled out on the ground. Cyclops, Storm and Colossus rush over, as Danger declares ‘Even in that it failed. It…it sought to inflict a logic messiah on a dimension of chaos, and instead… instead it has killed its…virgin bride…’. Magik and Emma Frost join the others as Jeffries holds Danger and utters ‘No no no no’. Suddenly, ‘Wait. There… is… hope’ a voice calls out.
Cyclops looks over and sees Dr Rao helping Lida amble towards Danger. Rao tells Lida that she didn’t have to, but Lida declares that a life is calling out in pain, that it has answers to her questions. ‘Nothing is too late’ she adds. ‘It aches for its friends. It thinks you cannot hear it. It…it sounds pissy’ Lida announces. Lida crouches over Danger, while Cyclops calls out to Nemesis. ‘Transport standing by’ Magik calls out, while Lida exclaims ‘He calls to you. He calls through the magic of the ocean’. ‘That doesn’t actually sound like him at all’ Rao remarks, while Lida continues, stating that mighty Neptune has granted him a secret voice - to summon the aid he needs.
‘Help help help why won’t some bastard help me’ is what the telepathic starfish is currently projecting from Nemesis’s mind. ‘A “space elevator”. Please’ Schragesturm utters, while leaning closer to Nemesis, he declares ‘The vanity of a scientific glory-hunter. How easy you were to enthuse with a false goal’. The strange being turns and walks away, ‘You are familiar, I think, with the concept of super position? Multiple states of being, co-existing until one or another is measured’. ‘Been there…done that’ Nemesis boasts. ‘Ha. Of course’ Schragesturm declares, touching some equipment, he announces that Nemesis has helped him build a probability engine, a drill through the resonance of his world - to annihilate whichever existential states he decree. ‘Your tawdry “elevator” is a needle - to pick apart and reweave reality as it see fit’ Schragesturm explains.
Doctor Nemesis looks over at the energy pouring up through the room and exclaims ‘A superstring conductor… you’re collapsing dimensions’. ‘No, my dear dead fellow. I’m collapsing histories’. Schragesturm makes a Nazi salute, and declares ‘For the glory of the Wehrmacht’. Nemesis falls to the ground, blood pooling around him. He swears - twice. He hears a noise, and the starfish projects his thought: ‘Hell is that noise?’
Outside, Cyclops, Storm, Emma, Colossus, Magneto, the Sub-Mariner, Jeffries, Danger, Kavita and Lida have been teleported to the Stratocorp base thanks to Magik. ‘Take them!’ a Stratocorp soldier calls out, as they open fire on the heroes. ‘Lida, please - it’s not a gift! It’s the mutagen causing psychic overload! If you don’t resist you’ll -’ Kavita calls out to Lida, who steps towards the edge of the base, where transformed sea creatures are leaping about. ‘No. These are the scum who killed my husband, Kavita. Poisoned the waters. Broke the horizon…this pain will not go unpunished’. Using her power, Lida calls the creatures from the water to assist the X-Men battling the soldiers. Jeffries tells Danger that they are clearing a path, that it is going to be okay. ‘You’re wrong. It’s started, Jeff. The child is trying to emerge…I…I can’t move’ Danger replies. ‘Yeah…well. You don’t hafta worry about that’ Madison announces as he picks Danger up, smoke billowing from her pregnant form, while the X-Men battle their enemies, Jeffries starts to take Danger to safety.