The Sentinel Exhibit at the X-Museum in Westchester, where two teenage boys are looking at the various Sentinels before them. “...were created by anth... anthor-” the boy wearing the cap reads off the plaque. 'Anthropologist' the boy with blond hair corrects his friend. “Anthropologist Bolivar Trask to protect the human race from the growing mutant population” the boy wearing the cap reads. 'Told you. Pretty scary, huh?' the blond boy remarks. 'Pretty lame y'ask me. C'mon, dude. Let's check out the Goblin Queen Exhibit before they close -' the boy in the cap suggests, interrupted by a loud THROOOM. 'What was that?' the wide-eyed blond boy asks. 'Bogus!' the boy wearing the cap exclaims, when suddenly, they look up to see rubble falling towards them. The boy in the cap screams!
'Go limp, boys – I've got ya!' Wolverine exclaims as he leaps forward and pushes the boys to safety. 'Y-you're Wolverine!' the boy wearing the cap gasps. 'Call me Logan, kid. Hope this ordeal hasn't soured you boys on museums' Logan adds, telling the boys that there is a world of culture in these halls, and that they don't have to be a mutant to possess the power of knowledge. 'Uh, okay...?' the boy in the cap responds, confused. 'Attaboy' Logan tells him, before turning and racing away. 'Duty calls!' he exclaims. 'Go kick some butt!' the blond boy shouts out. 'Yeah, slive an' dice 'em, Wolvie!' the boy wearing the cap exclaims.
Wearing his white and gold New X-Men uniform, Logan turns back to them and smiles, 'Not likely. I traded in my claws – for these two fingers. Peace out, kids, and take it from me... violence is never as cool as it looks' Wolverine declares, making a peace sign with two fingers.
Outside, a multi-headed, multi-limbed Sentinel is blasting at the X-Museum and surrounding area. Civilians flee in terror, as the multi-headed behemoth announces 'Target identified: Baron Robert Kelly. Imperative: Destroy!' The guards surround Baron Kelly, 'Stay close, Baron! We'll get you to safety!' one of them assures him. 'Don't worry about me, solider – stop the X-Men! They're – saving people?' the Baron exclaims, looking confused as he sees Rogue flying above, holding a boy and carrying him to safety. 'Well, I wish she'd save us!' one of the guards exclaims.
'Never fear, mes amis! Remy has arrived!' Gambit smiles as he leaps towards Baron Kelly and the soldier, pushing the soldier to the ground. 'Gambit! Wha -' the Baron calls out, confused, as Gambit tells the soldier to get down, as it is very dangerous out here. The Sentinel suddenly locks onto its target, while Baron Kelly calls out 'Gambit? Rogue... anybody?'
Nearby, the Warwolves are chained to the Baron's chariot, while the Sentinel tells Baron Kelly 'No oone will save you'. Suddenly, the chains to the chariot are sliced free, 'Bite' Betsy Braddock of X-Force instructs the Warwolves, who lunge at the Sentinel. 'We are under attack!' the Sentinel announces, identifying the aggressors, the Sentinel states that it will take action to destroy them.
'Don't just stand there' Betsy tells the Baron, grabbing him by his arm and pulling him towards her. 'What're you doing?' the Baron asks. 'Trying to save your life' Betsy points out. 'That mutie's got the Baron!' one of the guards declares. 'Shoot to kill!' he exclaims, raising his weapon and aiming it at Betsy, 'Have you lost your tiny minds? We're trying to save this man!' Betsy points out. 'Fire!' the guard shouts, but as he opens fire, the bullets don't strike Betsy, they ping against the metal wings of her X-Force teammate, Archangel, as he swoops down in front of Betsy. 'Watch yourself!' he calls out to her. 'Stop firing! We're here to help – and we didn't bring that monster!' Betsy explains to the guards. Archangel tells the guards to listen to her and suggests they put down their guns and talk. 'You wanna talk, muties? Start with these two words: “I surrender”!' the guard tells them, but Cable appears, holding his enormous weapon to the guard's head, 'I got a better idea. How about “you first”?' he suggests to the guard. Deadpool raises a weapon to another guard, 'Please tell me we can just shoot them. You've all be talking way too much. And that's me saying that. Me!' Deadpool calls out. Cable tells Deadpool to save his ammo for the robot, when suddenly, Shatterstar exclaims 'Incoming! And as two Warwolves are thrown towards him he gasps 'Za's Vid!' before Feral points out that the cavalry's here.
'To me, my X-Men!' Storm shouts as she, Beast and Jubilee appear, running towards the battle with Archangel and Bishop of X-Force, Chamber, Caliban and Maggott of the Rej-X and Iceman, Colossus, Blob, Avalanche, Toad and Pyro who were all at the Clear Mountain Institute. Storm declares that Cable's team will ensure the Baron's safety, before instructing Beast and Jubilee, along with their new friends, to oversee the rescue efforts, while she and the others lead the assault on Nova's infernal machine. 'What? Caliban on rescue team? But, we scare people! They call me monster!' Caliban calls out. 'No, my friend. Today, they will call you hero!' Storm tells him. 'Godspeed, Storm!' the Beast tells his teammate.
Nearby, a car has been flipped upside down amongst some rubble, and a woman is trapped inside. 'Help! Can anybody hear me?' she calls out. Wolverine approaches the car, 'I hear you, darlin'. I'll get you out of there in two shakes!' he tells her. 'Just stay calm. Ol' Logan's on the job!' the woman tells him that she thinks something is burning and that she can smell gas. Logan reaches towards her, but his arm isn't quite long enough. 'Just use your claws!' the woman tells him. Logan looks at his hand in shock: 'Claws? But...they're dangerous!' he exclaims.
'Allow me!' the Beast exclaims as he bounds in front of an explosion and grabs two people, pulling them to safety. As civilians run for cover from falling debris, Rogue goes over to Gambit and tells him that she had the most wonderful idea: 'Let's have an outdoor wedding!' she exclaims. The Beast looks over to them and tells them that while he is typically in favor of planing ahead, he suuggests they might table their conversation for a more appropriate time. 'Oh, the table arrangements!' Rogue exclaims. 'Between the Guilds, the X-Men and my mama, who's gonna sit where, Remy? How we gonna afford it all?' Rogue asks. Gambit holds up a kinetically charged playing card and smiles, telling Rogue that they will do what everybody else wants. 'We charge it!'
Jubilee looks up to see the Sentinel looming over her and mutters 'What good's a rescue if Frankensteinzilla's just gonna stomp on us?' she then declares that somebody has gotta do something, annd Chamber tells her to wait a second. 'You're gonna -' he calls out, but Jubilee is already charging ahead, 'Don't sweat it, Jono – I've got a plan!' she tells him. 'Jubilee!' the Beast exclaims. Up above, Storm fires a surge of lightning into the Sentinel, and commands everyone to press the attack. 'I shall aid you with the forces of nature!' she declares. Archangel darts about, while Bishop fires a cannon-gun towards the Sentinel. 'Target the joints! Armor's not as thick there!' he tells everyone. 'Da, comrade! Just like breaking up rocks back on farm, yes!' Colossus exclaims as he slams his fist into the Sentinel. 'Cease resistance, mutants!' the Sentinel commands, bringing a fist down to flatten Colossus, who braces himself, 'Bozhe moi! In America, rocks hit back!' he exclaims as he holds his ground, and warns Iceman to keep his distance. Nearby on an ice-sled, Iceman tells Colossus that he can't do that. 'You hold him and I'll put him on ice!' Iceman suggests. But the Sentinel fires a surge of energy at Iceman, knocking him off balance. 'Threat neutralized' the Sentinel states. 'Aww, not cool!' Iceman complains. Archangel informs Storm that Iceman is down, and asks her how long they can keep this up. 'As long as it takes!' Storm replies, firing another surge of lightning into the Sentinel.
Wolverine continues to reach for the woman trapped in the car. 'Stay with me, miss. I can almost...' he begins. Still hanging upside down, the woman utters 'If you won't save me, then... please... would you get...' she begins. 'What can I do?' Wolverine asks her. 'Get...' she begins. 'Yes?' Wolverine asks. 'Get Cyclops' the woman smiles, and suddenly, Wolverine's claws pop out, and the woman gasps. Wolverine growls and starts to shred the car to pieces, freeing the woman. 'You're all right now. I gotcha' he tells her as he pulls her to safety. 'Oh, thank you. Thank you' the woman exclaims. 'No, darlin'...thank you. I needed that. Now get outta here. Find safety...' Wolverine tells her, and glancing back at the X-Gift Shop, which has a broken window, he sees small plush toys of himself, Jubilee and Cyclops, and he declares that things are about to get a whole lot uglier.
Cable and Betsy lead Baron Kelly towards the Blackbird jet that is stationed nearby. 'That thing's right behind us' Betsy calls out. 'Let Storm's team worry about the Sentinel, Psylocke. Just get to the Blackbird!' Cable tells her. They run towards the jet, and Baron Kelly glances over his shoulder.
'I don't understand! If you're helping me, then who -' he asks, when suddenly, Cassandra Nova steps out of the shadows and tugs on Kelly's cloak, causing him to fall to the ground. 'Ah, Robert. You certainly have a hard time seeing what's right in front of your face' Cassandra remarks. She puts the cloak over her shoulders and fastens the broach resembling Doom's mask. 'Isn't it time Westchester was led by someone with a vision?' she asks. 'Nova!' Betsy gasps. 'Get Kelly!' Cable calls out as Cyclops and Jean join them outside the Blackbird. 'Oh, don't waste your time!' Nova exclaims, firing a surge of energy that knocks Cable, Betsy and Cyclops back, and the Blackbird into the air. 'Nova... we're not in the Mind Field anymore' Jean points out, surrounded by energy, a Phoenix emblem glows on her headpiece. 'Oh, Jean...you think I'm less powerful in the real world?' Cassandra asks, grinning. 'Think again, dear' Cassandra declares, as a energy form of the Shadow King appears above her. 'You've just given me a bigger target!' Jean responds, as the Phoenix Force rises over her.
Rogue flies into the air, holding Gambit's hand, they hover in front of the Sentinel. Gambit asks Rogue where she wants to honeymoon. 'Mountains? Maybe do a little skiing?' he suggests. 'Aw, but it's swimsuit season, sugah! I was hopin' for somethin' a little more hot!' Rogue replies, when suddenly, the Sentinel raises an arm and blasts them both with energy. 'Threat neutralized' the Sentinel states, sending Rogue and Gambit crashing into a large wall painting featuring the X-Men battling Magneto. 'Remy? Remy, no!' Rogue exclaims as she pulls some rubble off of Gambit. 'He ain't breathing... and I can't touch him!' Rogue calls out. Caliban steps towards Rogue and tells her 'Maybe Caliban can help, Miss?'
Up above, the Shadow King energy form starts to choke the Phoenix Force. 'You don't deserve the Phoenix!' Cassandra / Shadow King calls out. Cassandra's physical form then grabs Jean and tells her to rest her sad little brain. 'Dream of somewhere safe' Cassandra adds, while Jean telepathically calls out to the Professor: 'I softened her up for you... Professor'. Cassandra tosses Jean's unmoving form aside and shouts 'You! Did you finally run out of broken toys to throw at me in this little tantrum, Charles?' Xavier ignores her comment and tells her 'You ambushed me. You attacked me. And you hurt my students. And now, you will suffer the consequences'. 'Really? Now what will it take to -' Cassandra begins, but Charles, clearly furious and with blood trickling from his eyes and mouth interrupts her: 'I wasn't talking to you, Cassandra' he declares, as he releases Onslaught from his own mind, and Onslaught strikes Cassandra, who screams, releasing the Shadow King from inside her. 'You've – you've separated us!' the Shadow King remarks, surprised. 'It ends here, Shadow King!' Onslaught warns him. 'I've been waiting for this a long time' the Shadow King replies. 'To the death' Onslaught tells him.
In the shattered ruins of the X-Museum, Gambit clings desperately to life. As Caliban performs mouth-to-mouth on Gambit, Rogue starts to remove her engagement ring, 'Curse you, Cassandra Nova. Y'blinded me. Made me forget all about how there was more t'touching somebody than just romance n'such. Worked me up into believing we could be like everyone else...' Rogue utters. 'Miss! He's waking up!' Caliban announces. 'Ain't how I imagined our first kiss... chere?' Gambit calls out. Forlorn, Rogue tosses Gambit the engagement ring and tells him to keep dreaming, because that is all they are ever gonna get to do. With that, Rogue takes flight, directly towards the Sentinel, where she rips one of its hands off. 'Rogue!' Gambit calls out. But he knows she is right, and remarks that promise rings and wedding dates ain't gonna help them none. 'It ain't supposed to be like that for us, I reckon. Never was'. Gambit looks over to the wall painting of the X-Men fighting Magneto and says 'Guess we know how it's supposed to be -', to which Caliban interrupts him, asking if he is feeling better. Gambit smiles, 'Oh, you still here, Hot Lips? Well c'mon then, help me get this shirt off. Gambit gonna teach you a little something about doin' things in style' Gambit smiles as he removes his shirt.
On the Astral Plane, a battle rages. The Shadow King takes the form of a monster and tries to clamp his large mouth down on Onslaught's arm. 'This pathetic construct, hiding your weakness under a suit of garish armor? You merely play at defeating me, Xavier!' the Shadow King exclaims. But Xavier tells the Shadow King that he plays at nothing, and warns him that he will rid this world of his evil once and for all. 'Or die trying!' the Shadow King exclaims as he slashes at Onslaught's armor. At that moment, Xavier starts to cough up blood, 'Shadow King... he's too... powerful!' he utters. 'No, Professor. He's alone' Jean states as she, Cable and Betsy gather around him and put their hands on his shoulders. 'You have us!' they cry, as Onslaught returns to the Astral Plane, armed with a sword, a large gun and the Phoenix Force.
'Move it, people! It's not safe for us here' Cyclops calls out as he drags Cassandra Nova away from the large Sentinel, with Baron Kelly walking alongside him. 'It's not safe for Kelly anywhere, Captain Summers – not so long as the X-Sentinel stands' Cassandra remarks. 'And what about you – you're the one who send that murder machine here to kill me!' Kelly retorts. 'Not me, you simpleton – the Shadow King! I was possessed!' Cassandra declares. Cyclops tells them to play the blame game later, as right now his friends are getting pummelled. 'You both had a hand in making that thing – let's hear some ideas' Cyclops declares. Cassandra remarks that Sentinel overrides are embarrassingly simplistic, and explains that the Baron already has the shutdown codes, all he needs is a tight-band laser beam to deliver it to the receiver on the X-Sentinel's chest. 'You could've said something before' Cyclops frowns at Baron Kelly, who replies that he knows how to stop one of those things, but not ten. 'But go on, hot shot – you think it's so simple, blast it with your laser eyes!' Kelly tells Cyclops. 'Not lasers, Baron – concussive-force beams!' Cyclops mutters, asking Nova if there is any other way – but when he turns to her, he sees that she has vanished. 'Where'd -' Cyclops begins, but the Baron exclaims 'Who cares? We're out of options. If you're listening, Doom, now would be a great time for a miracle!' Suddenly: 'Hey boss! Did I hear something about a laser?' Jubilee grins as she appears nearby, holding a very large weapon.
'Hold your ground! We will not fail!' Storm cries out as she flies between the X-Sentinel's many hands. 'Speak for yourself, lady! This thing's about to be a collector's item – the death of Deadpool!' Deadpool cries out as the X-Sentinel's foot is about to slam down on him. 'Might want to lay off the tacos, Wilson!' Wolverine suggests as he leaps beneath the Sentinel's foot and pulls Deadpool to safety, just as the Sentinel's foot touches the ground. 'Hey, that's rude. Aren't you supposed to be nice now, or something?' Deadpool asks. 'Broke free of Nova's brainwashing' Wolverine explains. He has ditched the white and gold New X-Men uniform and is wearing Jeans and a Wolverine t-shirt from the gift store. 'Yeah, I read that one, but, I mean, I'm just not sure how -' Deadpool calls out, as Wolverine interrupts him, 'Don't know, don't much care. Not get off your duff and cut something!' 'Oh, man. They're gonna sell so many of those shirts!' Deadpool mutters. At that moment, the X-Sentinel releases a powerful blast, striking Storm and Iceman, while telling the mutants to cease their assault, as Baron Kelly must die!
Back on the Astral Plane, Xavier / Onslaught tells the Shadow King that his miserable existence has been defined by stealing from others – their power, their bodies, even their minds. 'With Nova, you had a chance at being something greater – but you allowed your own thirst for power and control to poison the both of you' he adds as he raises the sword and brings it down, striking the Shadow King monster's head. 'You fail to understand that power stolen is never as strong as power shared' Xavier adds as he lands on the back of the Shadow King's monster form, and pulls his arms back. 'My first lesson to my X-Men was how to work as a team. Perhaps it's time I take you to school' Xavier suggests, but the Shadow King takes another form, and laughs as he traps Onslaught in his new form, 'You think you can destroy me with swords and bullets?' he asks. Onslaught re-appears, holding the weapon, which the Shadow King now appears to be trapped within. 'This gun doesn't shoot bullets, Shadow King. It shoots you' Charles announces, before psi-slamming the Shadow King out of the weapon. 'NOOOOO!' the Shadow King shouts. 'Xavier! I will return! I will haunt you to the end of your -' he cries, before vanishing.
In the real world, Jean, Betsy, Cable and Xavier are all shunted backwards from the psi-backlash, while up above, 'Aagh! No... more. We're finished' Archangel calls out as the X-Sentinel opens fire at him. 'Back off, loser!' Jubilee shouts as she fires the laser gun towards the X-Sentinel's chest. 'Don't stop now, you have to hit all of them!' Baron Kelly urges the young mutant. 'Look, I know what I'm doing, okay? You put in the shutdown codes, right? I'll have that thing on the ground in, like, five minutes -' Jubilee calls out, but the X-Sentinel stands its ground and announces that the override protocols are denied due to insufficient command. Jubilee continues to fire the laser, but the Sentinel starts to block the shots. 'If I can just get an opening. And right now, that's a big “if”!' Jubilee exclaims. Suddenly though, a shirtless Gambit rides on a kinetically-charged motorcycle, 'Wrong, petite – that's a big “easy!” And this gonna be a big boom. If I don't make it – tell Wolverine he gonna need a new bike!' Gambit shouts as he rides the bike right up to the X-Sentinel, where it explodes, destroying the Sentinels' many hands.
Gambit is tossed backwards, 'Y'ain't getting off that ewasy, Cajun!' Rogue calls out as she flies over and grabs Gambit. 'Says you!' Gambit replies as Rogue takes him in her arms, and he kisses her on the lips. He falls backwards, 'Worth... it' he utters as he goes limp. Rogue sighs and tells him that next time she is letting him fall. 'Thanks for the opening, Gambit, but there's no more time. Gotta go full auto!' Jubilee shouts as she starts to fire the laser cannon once more, striking the X-Sentinel in the centre of its chest, the Sentinel states that the command has been received, and that the shutdown protocol has been initiated. Jubilee golds her ground and continues to fire the weapon as the Sentinel begins the countdown. 'One of ten. Two of ten' and so on. More energy is poured from the weapon, until Jubilee falls backwards, 'Shutdown of subject unit... Jubilee wins. Jubilee wins again... Jubilee....' the Sentinel utters.
'Jubilee!' someone calls. 'Jubilee!' the voice shouts again, and Jubilee opens her eyes. 'Whoa. Am I – alive! I'm alive!' Jubilee exclaims, sitting up in bed. 'Well...obviously. You had me as a doctor' the Beast remarks, while Jean, Wolverine and Rogue are gathered nearby. 'But the X-Sentinel?' Jubilee asks. 'Dismantled – Wolverine saw to it himself' Jean smiles. 'Tiny little pieces. Like it never existed' Wolverine reports. 'How are you feeling?' the Beast asks. 'Like an X-Man, Beast!' Jubilee exclaims, wrapping her arms around his neck. 'I'd say she's doing all right, Doc' Rogue remarks. Jean uses her telekinesis to lift some luggage and announces that it is time for her to be off. 'You're gonna be missed, Jeanie' Wolverine tells her. 'Oh, Logan. Don't worry, it's not forever. It's just a vacation' Jean reminds him, putting a hand on his shoulder.
'So, uh... where's my jacket? Who's got my shades?' Jubilee asks. 'Uh, about that...' the Beast begins. Rogue takes Jubilee over to a window, and tells her that what the Beast is trying to say is that she might like to consider a new wardrobe. Jubilee sees Husk, Skin, M and Chamber outside wearing red uniforms, with Gambit in a car, talking to them. 'No way! Are those students? You guys opened the school?' Jubilee asks. 'And more on the way' Rogue tells her. 'Okay, I guess I can wear a uniform. I mean, I'm a full-fledged X-Man now... gotta set a good example for the new kids' Jubilee declares. 'Look, some people tell you t'start with the wiring underneath da dash, but... Monet, gimme dat screwdriver' Gambit begins, before looking up and winking at Rogue who is still standing at the window. Rogue sighs, and Jubilee asks her if that is romance she smells, before making smooching sounds. Chamber looks at Jubilee and telepathically tells her that it is good to see her up and about. 'I don't know, girl. You tell me!' Rogue replies. 'Eep!' Jubilee exclaims.
Elsewhere, Xavier, Cyclops and Storm meet with X-Force – Cable, Archangel, Psylocke, Deadpool, Bishop, Domino, Shatterstar and Feral. Xavier remarks that the separation of Nova and the Shadow King will likely undo the positive effects achieved through her psychic manipulation, so imagines they will have their work cut out for them. He tells X-Force that they would all be welcome here, adding that if they choose to stay, they will truly be stronger together. Bishop announces that he would like to, pointing out that with all these new students running around, it wouldn't hurt to have some extra security to keep things in line. Psylocke adds that without Jean, they will need someone who knows their way around the psychic plane. 'Just a shame Scott won't be staying' Psylocke remarks. 'All right, enough of that. Let’s get out of here, X-Force. While I still have a team' Cable orders, telling the Professor to take care.
'Some things never change' Storm remarks. 'True...and some do' Cyclops tells her, adding that turning this place into a proper school is something he could never do. 'You never had the luxury' Storm points out. Cyclops tells her to stop making excuses for him, and declares that he was so busy watching their backs he forgot to look ahead. 'You're the future of the X-Men, Ororo. You're what this team needs' Cyclops tells her. 'Scott, I...thank you, my friend. Know that the X-Men are in good hands' Storm replies. “Good hands” Scott quotes her as he starts to walk away. 'Lady, they've never been in better'.
'One coffee with extra sugar, Miss. So... anything good in the news today?' a man with white hair pulled back in a ponytail asks. 'Yes, it seems Xavier's School is reopening to take on new students. Says here he was “inspired by the idea of Clear Mountain, if not the execution” a woman obscured by shadows replies, reading from a newspaper. 'Hey good to hear. Mutants have had it pretty rough around here. Nice to know they'll have a place to call their own' the man remarks. 'Quite right' the woman replies before dropping a spoon – 'Oh, I'm so clumsy!' she utters. 'Hang on, I've – oh' the man begins as he suddenly holds the spoon in a magnetic grasp. 'Uh, the cat's out of the bag, huh?' he remarks, turning to the woman, who is no longer obscured by shadows. 'Oh, don't worry, Joseph. I can keep a secret' Cassandra Nova smiles.
Baron Kelly descends some stairs in a darkened facility. He opens some doors with an unusual face marked on them. 'Sorry I'm late. Had to reset those blasted override codes' he calls out. A figure moves forward from the darkness, 'Your tardiness reflects poorly on you, Baron Kelly. As does your failure to survive on tour own against my failed project' declares Apocalypse as he comes into view. 'But no matter. Take your place at my table. We have much to discuss' Apocalypse declares. At his side are Exodus, Mystique and Bastion, who declares 'Those obsolete Sentinels wouldn't hae been a problem if you'd followed my instructions', while Mystique tells Robert that he is looking a little pale. 'I was going to say “human”' Exodus smirks. 'Enough!' Apocalypse booms. 'Now, my horsemen, let us plan the future of Westchester! A future where both mutant annd human alike tremble at the sound of my name – APOCALYPSE!'