Paris, ‘So what, we search the whole damn city?’ Joanna Cargill a.k.a. Frenzy asks as she walks alongside the Master of Magnetism, Magneto, who tells his former Acolyte ‘Exactly’. ‘For one man?’ Joanna asks. ‘Part of a man’ Magneto corrects her. Elsewhere in Paris, Remy “Gambit” LeBeau and David “Legion” Haller walk side-by-side as Gambit asks if they even know for sure that Styx is here. Legion nervously replies that the coordinates were on the Blackbird’s flight computer, that Styx put them there for them to find. Gambit points out that this is still a very big haystack, adding that it is a very sharp and very dangerous needle, while, elsewhere in Paris, Rogue searches on her own.
Magneto tells Frenzy that they work with the tools they have, explaining that Legion is using Time-Sink’s power to freeze the city in a single moment, at some considerable cost to himself. At that moment, Legion tells Gambit that he left them with full freedom of action, which means his escaped personas have that freedom, too. ‘So anything that moves is either us - or the enemy’ Gambit remarks, pleased, adding that it is a plan with no drawbacks, unless the enemy moves first. ‘Well, now. Who might you be?’ Rogue asks as she comes across someone in the city who is moving. An unattractive man rushes towards her, declaring ‘What I might be is unknown. What I am - the Bleeding Image. The image that bleeds’ he replies, adding that he shall bleed for Rogue.
Rogue stands her ground and the Bleeding Image comes to a halt, as Rogue tells him that she doesn’t care what he does, ‘We came for Styx’ she tells him. ‘You tell us where to find him, we’re done’. But the Bleeding Image announces that Styx is not ready yet. ‘He told me that’ he adds, before suddenly slicing himself with his knife, and declaring that the timing is everything. Rogue suddenly clutches her shoulder - in the same places as where the Bleeding Image sliced himself. ‘There, you see? That’s my power. I’m a living voodoo doll’ Bleeding Image announces. He explains that he sticks pins in his own flesh and others feel the pain. ‘How much must David hate himself, to have imagined me!’ the persona declares. The Bleeding Images pulls his shirt away, revealing a series of explosive strapped to him. ‘Styx set me free. And he’ll do the same for you. Once he touches you, nothing matters anymore’ the Bleeding Image declares, before remarking something in a foreign language. ‘If you get my meaning’ he smirks, before pushing the detonator.
There is an explosion, and Rogue is blasted across the area, landing in agony, her costume tattered and torn, she is in serious pain. Soon though, Magneto, Gambit, Frenzy and Legion arrive on scene. ‘Here!’ Legion calls out. ‘She’s wounded!’ Gambit gasps. ‘Looks like she met the enemy and blew him the hell up’ Frenzy points out. But Magneto announces that the enemy destroyed himself, explaining that the volatized iron in the air is the by-product of a thermite explosion, before he asks how badly Rogue is hurt. Gambit and Legion stand over Rogue as Legion announces that her physical wounds are not serious, but that this was the Bleeding Image, and he amplifies pain. Legion explains that the shock to rogue’s nervous system would have been immense.
‘Stop babbling and get out of my way, Haller!’ Frenzy orders as she pushes Legion aside and crouches beside Rogue, grabbing Rogue’s hand, Joanna remarks that she doesn’t know if her invulnerability works against shock, but that it cannot hurt to try. ‘Take what you need’ she tells Rogue, who tries to say “thank you”, but Frenzy snaps back ‘I didn’t say we had to talk about it’. Gambit soon picks Rogue up and follows the others onwards, and he remarks that this is insane, as they don’t even know for sure that the Professor is still alive. ‘It’s been twelve hours now since Styx took him’ Remy points out. Frenzy agrees, and suggests that it feels like they have lost the initiative, and that unless they can get it back, she has a feeling that they are going to lose a hell of a lot more.
Soon, the mutants are gathered inside a building, and Gambit informs the others that Rogue is resting, that Frenzy’s intervention saved her. ‘Doesn’t matter squat if we don’t have a plan’ Joanna mutters in reply. ‘And that, in turn, depends on a full knowledge of what we’re fighting’ Magneto points out, before asking Legion for a repeat in what he has told them. Cringing, Legion explains that Styx calls what he does “the death touch”, but that it is more complicated than that. Legion tells his companions that if Styx touches them, he absorbs their spirit, their consciousness, and controls the empty shell of their body. ‘You become his slave’ Legion adds. ‘Great. So we take him down without touching him’ Frenzy suggests. Gambit points out that they treat everyone else they meet as a potential enemy. ‘I do that anyway’ Frenzy mutters. Magneto suggests that, in the meantime, they all rest, and stay with Rogue until she is well enough to move. ‘Then we’ll go back into the field’ he announces.
Soon, darkness has fallen across the city, and Magneto absorbs the city night view from a balcony. ‘You like the view?’ Joanna asks him as she walks into the balcony. ‘No’ Magnus replies. ‘Can’t take your eyes off it, all the same’ Frenzy points out. Magneto explains that it evokes memories, as the last time he was in this city, he was on a trial - for crimes against humanity. ‘The great Magneto in chains. Yeah, I remember that, too’ Frenzy tells him, explaining that it was why she joined Apocalypse back in the day, because the flatscans did that to Magneto. ‘What they called crimes - well, that was what made you our voice. Made us want to follow you’. Frenzy asks Magneto what happened to that, and Magnus explains that they outgrew each other. ‘I want no followers now, and you want no leader’ he tells her. ‘Can’t always get what you want’ Frenzy points out. ‘I find that I do, for the most part’ Magneto tells her. ‘Speaking of which - how come you’re not mopping her fevered brow?’ Joanna asks. ‘Because it would demean both of us. The strong prefer to have no witnesses to their weakness’ Magneto explains, telling Joanna that she should know that better than anyone.
Lying in a bed in the nearby room, ‘Ah was expecting you sooner. Come on in’ Rogue calls out to Legion, who sits down on the bed and asks if she is sure, remarking that she seems troubled. Rogue replies that she was thinking about Havok, Polaris and Marvel Girl, wondering if Cyclops managed to pinpoint where they are, before asking Legion what he needs. Legion rubs his forehead and replies that he was wondering if Bleeding Image said anything before he died - a clue to where Styx might be hiding. Legion explains that he cannot do this much longer, as the more he draws on Time-Sink’s powers, the stronger his personality - suddenly, Legion stops himself and goes wide-eyed, his complexion garish, Time-Sink’s voice calls out ‘Going to keep me in here forever? Not a chance. I’m climbing up your throat like a bad taste, Haller, and this time -’.
‘David?’ Rogue calls out, sitting up. Legion looks away and assures Rogue that he is still here, but afraid of this fight. He tells Rogue that Styx planned it out to the last detail, and knows the whole team as well as he does. ‘Well, like Remy always says: ‘If you don’t have any good cards left in your hand…play a wild card’.
In the other room, Magneto announces that it is time. ‘A gun you borrowed out of a dream. Cute’ Frenzy remarks to Gambit who holds up a shotgun. Gambit tells Joanna that this is not the rifle he used in Fortress X, as that gun was destroyed, this is simply a replica that he made for himself. ‘A toy, in other words. Or is it real enough to do some damage?’ Frenzy asks. Gambit tells Frenzy that he believes he could hurt her if he tried. ‘Now how could I turn down a challenge like that?’ Frenzy smirks. When Legion re-enters the room, Gambit asks him where Rogue is. Legion replies that Rogue is not back to full strength yet, but they cannot wait. ‘Seriously. We can’t’ Legion declares.
Legion explains that the time-envelope was meant to keep civilians out of this fight, but that Time-Sink is fighting him from the inside. ‘If he wins, you - you’ll have to face him all over again’ Legion tells his companions. ‘So?’ Joanna asks. ‘So I’m thinking - I should let the envelope fall. We know Styx wants us to come to him. Makes sense to let him do the work’ Legion announces. ‘It sounds as though you’re asking our permission’ Gambit points out. Legion supposes that he is, as the risk is very high. ‘We’ll be meeting Styx on his home ground, and on his own terms’ David explains. ‘Well, we didn’t come here for the fine dining’ Frenzy mutters, while Gambit remarks that the longer they wait, the more harm Styx can do. ‘I’d say we need to end this’ Gambit remarks. ‘Then we’re agreed. Legion. Drop your barrier’ Magneto orders.
Down on the city street, Legion releases the Time-Sink persona. ‘Okay. Okay. It’s done’ Legion announces. A massive swarm of insects appears overhead, and Magneto presumes this to be Styx’s reply. Joanna looks up and sees the swarm as she asks ‘What’s that sound? Like the whine of a drill or -’, but an instant later, the four mutants are engulfed by the swarm. The flies continue to swarm past the mutants, who begin to rush after them. ‘Flies. We’re following flies’ Joanna mutters. Magneto points out that for the self-styled lord of the dead, this is a banal and obvious touch.
The mutants come to a halt when they reach Denfert-Rochereau, the entrance to the Paris Catacombs, which the flies swarm into. Legion announces that he will lead the way, to which Frenzy asks him if he even knows the way. ‘No. But it’s me he wants’ Legion replies as he enters the Catacombs. The four mutants walk along a ridge, below them naked people are pulled into a pool of lava by large tentacles. ‘I thought this was just the basement to a church?’ Gambit asks. Magneto points out that it appears Styx has redecorated, and that he has delusions of grandeur. ‘Pity! Show us some pity!’ someone strapped to a wall calls out. ‘For God’s sake - save us!’ another exclaims. Magneto orders his companions to just ignore them, explaining that all of this is an illusion designed to make them falter and hesitate.
‘The less attention you pay to it, the better’ Magneto remarks. ‘So the lousy little runt can mess with our heads, too’ Joanna mutters. Legion replies ‘No. But my father can. At Styx’s command’ and suggests that they maybe too late. Suddenly, they come to a stop. ‘Hey! That’s -’ Frenzy begins. ‘- that’s us!’ she declares as they stand before skeletons of themselves strewn against the landscape. ‘It’s meant to be’ Legion explains, and Frenzy realizes that it is another illusion. But Gambit remarks that he disagrees, pointing out that this place was an ossuary, and the one thing Styx had plenty of was bones. ‘These are real’ he remarks as he touches the bones.
Suddenly, several people appear up ahead, carrying candles, they approach the mutants. Gambit remarks that they are real too, and one of them steps forward, announcing that they are the sacrifices. ‘Do I look like I give a damn? Get the hell out of my way’ Frenzy declares, before suddenly picking the sacrifice up by his throat, and suggests that she wads him up into a ball and punts him out of her way. ‘Frenzy! No!’ Legion calls out. Frenzy drops the man to the ground as Legion explains that Styx has enslaved them, that they are not in control of their actions. Frenzy replies that she is getting that way herself. ‘Where’s the boss man, pukestain?’ she asks the sacrifice, telling him that he doesn’t need to talk, just point.
The sacrifice replies that the master will speak to David Haller and to none other. ‘Only he may pass’ the man explains. ‘You really think you can keep us out?’ Frenzy asks him. ‘Yes. We can. If you care about the loss of innocent lives, you will stop here’ the sacrifice replies, as Frenzy moves back from him. The sacrifices all pull back their cloaks, revealing bombs strapped to each of them. The man whom Frenzy had pinned down announces that if they don’t stop here, the master will detonate every last one of them. Legion announces that he will go, but Magneto tells him that they stay together. ‘He has my father. We can’t fight him in any case’ David points out. Magneto stands in Legion’s way, pointing out that if Styx touches him, he will have access to the whole spectrum of his powers and they will have lost their best weapon against Styx. Legion frowns and replies that he doesn’t need Magneto’s blessing.
‘And I’m not going to let you stop me!’ Legion exclaims as he releases a powerful punch, knocking Magneto back. David walks towards the sacrifices, but Frenzy calls out to him, only he interrupts her, ‘Enough. Let me through. It was always going to come to this’. David remarks that he was stupid to think it could end any other way. He comes. Make way!’ one of the sacrifices shouts. They part to form an aisle which Legion walks down - and at the end of the long line of sacrifices, Legion frowns as he comes to Styx, who sits on his throne, while Professor Charles Xavier stands motionless at his side. ‘I’ve waited for this moment for a long time, David Haller. You may abase yourself before me’ Styx declares.
‘Thanks, I’ll pass’ Legion replies. Styx remarks that Legion is straining every nerve, trying to drag him back into that fetid oubliette that he calls a brain. ‘Trust me, that’s not going to happen’ Styx declares. Styx explains that one of the reasons he delayed Legion as long as he did was to allow his father to weave a matrix of inhibitions into Legion’s mind. ‘You can’t absorb me. Or harm me. Or use any of your thousands of powers against me’ Styx declares. Legion asks Styx to let his father and the others go, and then he will surrender himself to him. ‘That’s what you want, isn’t it? Because you’re not sure whether you could consume me if I actually fought you’.
Styx ignores the comment and asks Legion to come closer. ‘Show me from here. I’m not blind’ Legion replies. Styx remarks that all men are blind until their eyes are opened for them. Styx points out that Legion’s father’s body stands at his side, but that it is no more than a husk. ‘Here is his spirit - locked within me, along with so many others’ Styx explains, holding up Xavier’s spirit. ‘And this is why you will come to me. Because if you don’t, he will be like this forever. His being sundered, into the shell and the screaming ghost. The choice is lies with you’ Styx tells Legion. David replies that he has already chosen. ‘You win’ he tells Styx. ‘Of course I do. Take my hand’ Styx replies.
Styx’s long, spindly arm reaches out to Legion, whose fingers brush through Styx’s long claw-like finger nails. Their hands clasp together, and Legion keels over at Styx’s feet. ‘And now - Endgame!’ Styx calls out, as the Endgame persona appears over Magneto, Gambit and Frenzy, tearing the landscape apart….