outside Scorpius City
The majority of the Scorpius army is on the move. Infantry intermixed with spider vehicles march toward the location of the FF submersible. In the middle of the movement is a larger spider vehicle, one that has Doom, Stanislaus and the emperor as its occupants.
The emperor takes note of Doom’s impatience and asks about it. He points out that entire armies move more slowly than smaller, mobile attack forces. Doom holds his tongue from a more biting remark and tells the emperor he is an experienced campaigner, though cautions if they arrive too soon Richards may not have completed the construction of the gateway.
In addition, Doom continues, the gateway will be useless without a significant power source, and he’s seen nothing in his flights of the area that resembles a generator or other power-supplying device. Stanislaus interrupts and tells Doom to have some faith in the emperor who has some pretty good tricks up his sleeve, literally. The emperor strokes his chin in contemplation and suggests to Stanislaus he give Doom a good demonstration.
The commander’s ship halts and the three would-be conquerors disembark. The emperor says since Doom has helped them capture his former allies and promises them the dimensional warp gate he will show Doom that he is one with the land. The emperor explains their ancient technology has bonded him to this world.
The Scorpius’ leader slams his wooden fist into the ground and almost instantly the trees begin to part in front of them. Such a feat of strength can be a bit draining, he admits, but soon all vegetation has cleared them a way. “Gentlemen, our path to glory!” the emperor cries.
Lee stands over her “saviors” as they recover from the psi-attack from the Kaddak. She sarcastically thanks them for the rescue attempt, but chastises them for almost costing them their new allies. Rubbing the back of his neck, Scully reminds her how much he worries. “Fortunately, I’m just charming enough to talk the Kaddak out of frying your brains,” she remarks.
The other three are standing together off to the side. Thing agrees Lee’s loaded with “charm.” Logan says he’s got a girlfriend, but Thing tells him he can still look. I don’t have heightened senses for nothing, Logan replies. Pixie throws up her hands, “so predictable.”
Lee makes her way over to the rest of her rescue party and thanks them for coming. As she shakes Wolverine’s hand she questions why Scott isn’t with them. Wolverine says they’re actually wondering where he is too. Thing tells Lee they have a telepath that keeps them connected, but she’s gone silent and they don’t know why.
One of the Kaddak interrupts them, and says he might have his answer. He talks of the first time the Scorpius arrived, mere explorers it seemed. Then they moved the bulk of their population to the planet and became its conquerors. They, the Kaddak, were best-suited to oppose them with their great mental powers, but the ever-evolving technology of the Scorpius provided them with a psi-barrier their powers couldn’t penetrate, so they retreated to the mountains to observe the goings-on from afar.
Pixie supposes the psi-barrier is what’s preventing them from contact Miss Frost. Wolverine slams his fist into his hand and wants to know where these Scorpius guys are. Skull loves what he’s hearing, having been pushed around by these guys for three years. With the X-Men and FF they have a chance, and he thinks it’s high time they knock on their front door.
The voice of reason, Lee, tells him to tone it down a bit and explains she and the Kaddak came up with a plan that might work for everyone. They had discussed running a scouting mission to get a lay of the land. One of the Kaddak adds that if someone were to disable the psi-barrier emitters his people would be ready to launch a full assault.
“Scout the bad guys, put the kibosh on the brain blocker, rescue some super heroes and kickstart a war. I’m not seein’ the problem,” Thing exclaims. Pixie takes to the air and jokes they should be happy she doesn’t charge by the mile. And with a little Sihal Novarum Chinoth! they all teleport away.
Scorpius holding cells
The prisoners remain where they were. Emma transforms into her diamond form and tries breaking free of the restraints, but it proves impossible. The exertion puts quite a strain on her. Scott can hear the discomfort in her voice and tells her to stop before she hurts herself.
Trying to catch her breath Emma says the chains are some sort of reinforced metal, while her psi-damping collar is quite advanced, saying Nemesis would probably like to talk shop with the inventor.
Mulling over his options Scott says he could probably blast the black gunk of his visor at full power, but the blowback would probably take off his head. He then asks if Sue is still out cold. Emma looks over at Sue in the holding tank and says there’s no change. She tells Scott to earn his leader salary and come up with a way out. Seeing no way of escape he’s hoping instead for a rescue. Emma hopes Nemesis isn’t part of the group. Scott agrees, saying he would be very insufferable about it.
near the warp gate
Despite their power problems Mr. Fantastic is still tinkering with the gateway. Nemesis finds this annoying and asks Reed why he’s messing around with something they can’t get powered. Reed tells him the gate needs near perfect conductivity to work right, and secondly asks Nemesis if he’s giving up, because Reed isn’t and he wants everything ready for when they do solve their power problem.
As Nemesis prepares to rebut, Magneto clears his throat to get their attention. He asks them to stop “comparing their slide-rules” for a moment as they haven’t even noticed they have a phone call. Sure enough the communicator on Reed’s hip has been beeping. Reed answers and asks Ben what’s going on.
near Scorpius City
Grimm says his team is on their way to scout the Scorpius City. Reed tells him to be careful and keep them informed. As Ben hangs up with his buddy the group stops at the edge of a cliff. Below them is Scorpius city, but what they didn’t expect are the thousands of troops marching out of its gate.
The Kaddak with them says the psi-barrier is near and he can go no further. But right at that moment he senses a nearby scouting party. Sure enough there are a few aliens on tiny spider vehicles not far off. Scully is first to strike tossing his axe at one of the machines. He scores a direct hit and the explosion cripples the vehicle and throws its rider to the ground.
The Kaddak flies overhead and enters the mind of the other, freezing him in his spot. He lets everyone know a distress signal was not sent out so they should be safe. Then he digs further to get some intel, though warns this will cause the Scorpius some discomfort. Logan smiles and calls it a bonus.
near the warp gate
The mystery as to Emma’s lack of contact has been solidified to two possibilities. Either they are out of range or they are in trouble. Magneto ponders these possibilities as Reed tells him Ben’s going to check things out. Magneto lifts off into the air and says he doesn’t have that kind of patience.
This leaves the two bickering scientists by themselves. Nemesis asks Reed why he’s not charging off after his wife like Magneto just did. Reed furrows his brow and rubs it in annoyance. He tells Nemesis he’s trying to be logical about this and get this gate working, plus his wife is usually more capable than he is at that sort of stuff.
Sensing the altruism in his partner, Nemesis gives what must be an extremely rare apology. Picking up on their conversation earlier he says he’s not giving up on their energy problem and will get back to work on it inside the ship. After Nemesis heads down below Reed can’t help but smile.
Grimm counts to three before punching down the Scorpius City gate. It collapses on a few of the aliens, but there are more nearby. The entire strike team comes rushing in soon after and the aliens left behind in the city provide no challenge.
Find our people or find whatever looks like a psi-barrier, Logan tells the girls as he slices up a few aliens. “Into the breach, oh, hairy leader!” Megan replies, as she karate kicks an alien in her way. The men continue to lay waste to the Scorpius that oppose them, but one of them nearby signals the alarm.
bulk of the invasion forces
Word gets quickly to the emperor who scowls at Doom and asks what he knows of this. Doom reminds him he told him there were others he came with who weren’t captured. He guesses they are attempting to rescue their friends. The emperor orders his army to continue the march. He then tells his partners he’ll take care of the intruders himself. The emperor then uses his powers over the planet to open the ground below him. The vegetation sucks him straight down.
Logan, Thing and Scully continue to beat back the forces to buy time for Lee and Pixie to find the psi-damper generator(s). Although it proves tiresome, it’s going pretty well for them. That is until the emperor appears out of the ground and wraps them all up with thick roots. He is absolutely furious at them and questions how they could dare to think they could defeat the Scorpius.
Jack Scully is pinned to a nearby wall. Wolverine tries slicing the roots as they wrap themselves around him and manages to break free. He leaps toward the emperor with a savage growl just as Grimm gets taken out of the fight. Before Logan can test his adamantium claws against the emperor’s armor the wooden, right fist of the Scorpius leader connects with Logan’s face and puts him down for the count.
outskirts of the invasion forces
Magneto comes across the Scorpius’ army during his search. A nearby gunner asks Dr. Doom what he should do. Doom says he’ll handle it. Magneto lands next to him and asks what the hell he’s doing with these people. Doom casually tells him they’re of no consequence and then opens fire with his gauntlets destroying two nearby ships.
Magneto gets in his face and tells him to start explaining. Doom tells him if he wants to save his teammates and escape this dimension he must do what he’s told immediately. He asks Magneto if he can put his trust in Victor Von Doom.
Pixie and Lee watch in horror as the emperor defeats their three friends. Pixie wants to help, but Lee tells her to be quiet, and that getting herself captured or killed won’t help because the two of them will definitely not be able to stop him. Pixie reluctantly agrees and says after they find Cyclops and the others and turn off the psi-blockers she’s coming back to kick the ugly guy’s butt.
On the ground below, the emperor braces himself on the ground. He’s severely weakened from the fight, but it was worth it. He gets up on his feet and tells one of his subordinates he’s going to need a good space to display his growing collection. He says when they conquer Doom’s world it will be important to show their new subjects how meaningless their heroes are.