“Fall down Magnus”, Holocaust commands Magneto, who stands bleeding and is trying to defend himself. Magneto tells him “never” and explains to Holocaust the promise that he had made years ago as Charles Xavier died in his arms that he would fight for Xavier’s dream. Holocaust lashes out and then lifts Magneto’s bleeding body off the ground and causes him to kneel in front of the throne that Apocalypse sits upon. Holocaust tells Magneto that his dream is dead and that the Age of Apocalypse is finally absolutely true! Apocalypse sits on his throne and tells Holocaust that Magneto knows he is telling the truth because Magneto has lost the fire of defiance in his eyes. Apocalypse next asks Rex about the trap they were preparing for the rest of Magneto’s X-Men and Rex confirms that the trap is set. Magneto smiles, still bleeding, and tells Apocalypse that his X-Men are not foolish enough to risk everything on just saving him. Apocalypse smiles back and tells Magneto that everything is not centered around him - it’s not Magneto who is the bait. Apocalypse reveals that from the Shadow King’s siphoning of Bishop’s memories he guessed the Magneto’s plan to undo history and then Apocalypse shows Magneto the M’Kraan crystal. The X-Men will not come for him but they will come for that, he tells Magneto. Shocked by Apocalypse’s knowledge of the plan Magneto feels somewhat defeated which gives Apocalypse enough of an opening to knock Magneto to the ground. “Apocalypse rules all he surveys”, he tells Magneto as he knocks him to the ground, but Magneto just smiles once more because he knows that Apocalypse’s palace may stand but his empire is crumbling.
Outside the palace a guard asks the approaching Angel to “halt” because Apocalypse has ordered all outside visitors banned from the palace for the moment. However the Angel was not asking permission and quickly deals with the two guards to go on and roam through the pens looking for his employee and friend Karma. Sadly, Warren is angry and mad at the time an Infinite guard screams out to him if there is a problem and Warren before recognizing the voice till it is to late kills the guard with his gun. To late though he realizes the Infinite guard was Karma. As he pulls her dying body from the suit of armor, she apologizes for having let him down. After all she learned from him about wheeling and dealing; she helped Apocalypse for free. “No, not for free“, the Angel thinks, there is always a price and Apocalypse will pay for Karma’s death dearly!
Elsewhere in Apocalypse’s pens one of Blink’s teleportation gates opens and the X-Men and their friends arrive in hopes of finding the M’Kraan crystal and fixing reality. Rogue shouts out her orders for the X-Men to be ready for anything and to hit hard and fast. She is surprised though to find no one guarding the pens and no fight to get into in Apocalypse’s pens. “What’s the scam?” Jubilee asks, as she uses her powers to shed some light for the team to see through the rubble. Rogue tells Jubilee to ask questions later and to be glad that “luck” is shining on them right at this moment. “LUCK?!” Colossus asks, because he worries for his sister since he does not want to risk her life on a foolish quest that may be a suicide run for them all. Colossus angrily demands to know why the pens look so empty. Gambit believes he may have found the person to answer Colossus’ worries as he pulls a gray furred mutant out of the shadows. Shocked at his appearance Rogue asks if it is a man and Colossus finishes her sentence by saying or is it a “beast”. A little of both McCoy replies, it is him who Gambit pulled from the shadows, he is bleeding and heavily injured. The Beast explains to them that he was “blind” for believing that he was the king of the pens because in the land of the “blind” the one eyed man is king, the dark Beast mutters through a bloody mouth.
Outside of the pens Cyclops and Jean Grey hold hands as they both blast their way to freedom, followed by hundreds of prisoners. They are trying to cross the river to New Jersey because they believe once there they will have a better chance to escape Apocalypse’s hellish domain. “Follow us! ” Cyclops screams to the prisoners behind him as he and Jean clear the way. Unknown to the two would-be heroes though a silent hooded figure follows them, hidden among the crowd. He never takes his eyes off of the pair – it’s Havok, and he plans to kill his brother for his betrayal.
In the tunnels below the palace, the X-Men look up and stare with amazement as the Angel flies high above them with bombs strapped to his waist. The Angel has had enough of Apocalypse and even though the Infinites on the ground number in the hundreds and every one of them fires their plasma blasts towards him. For too long the Angel has been playing on both sides of the fence, and now he is seeking final redemption. Warren whispers a last prayer of forgiveness as he dives towards the force field generator that protects Apocalypse’s palace from outside interference. As Warren hits the ground the bombs go off and the generator is destroyed by the detonation. The Angel will not be mourned but his death allows another player to enter the fight. With a look of being pissed off, Nate Grey climbs the palace wall seeking vengeance!
Meanwhile Apocalypse taunts Magneto telling him of how only hours ago he learned from the Madri of the M’Kraan crystal’s powers. Laughingly he talks of how the world always turns to his vision and everything moves to his … Apocalypse is suddenly interrupted by one of the Shadow King’s hosts ranting of how the Southwest Kingdom is gone! “What?” whispers Apocalypse as he turns to Rex and asks him to explain what the Shadow King is ranting about. Rex confirms it; the Eurasian High Council managed to set their radioactive bombs off in the Mid-West from with in North America! “ What Have You Done? ” screams Magneto as the blood flows from his open wounds and he realizes that the death toll from such an attack would have casualties in the millions. Apocalypse ponders for a moment, then sends Rex to expand the Sea Wall Defense Grid across the Atlantic Ocean. While running to do his master’s bidding Rex asks to consider the consequences. Apocalypse answers Rex by telling him that it will be all the part of a greater design and commands Rex to “Go!” As Apocalypse prepares to fire a blast towards Magneto to kill him he apologizes for not having more time to torture him.
Without any sign of attack Apocalypse is thrown backwards into Holocaust who has been watching Magneto’s torture all along. Holocaust, shocked at his master being taken by a sneak attack so easily asks who the man is that is now standing in front of him, who also was the one to attack Apocalypse? “The nail in your coffin” Nate Grey replies, and he tells the two mutants that he is there to destroy them. Standing up Magneto asks if Nate is “the very mutant Forge promised he would someday deliver” to him? Nate requests him to stay out of the fight but Magneto places his trademark helmet on his head and tells him to think again. Magneto explains that Nate has bought the universe a few more seconds and that together they will make the most of them.
Meanwhile in the crystal chamber below a few guards stand by and are shocked to see blinking holes in the atmosphere around them. Shocked at the unknown occurrence they are ill prepared for the kinetically charged cards that come flying through the holes and explode in their faces. Colossus busts through the wall, explains to the dead or unconscious guards, that the blinking holes were what he calls a “distraction”. The rest of the X-Men follow behind him and Iceman wonders out loud why the Dark Beast has to travel with them. Jubilee and Shadowcat explain to Iceman that it is because they can keep a better eye on him if he is with them.
As they proceed towards the crystal, Destiny’s second sight is bombarded with visions of another reality. With the vision she collapses holding her head and mutters that every word of Bishop’s story is true. Time is broken and this reality was never meant to be. Her and Illyana have no choice but to help facilitate Bishop’s journey to the past so that he might repair the continuum and restore the timeline to what it should be. Quicksilver quickly assures her that he will assemble a team to escort them through the M’Kraan crystal, but Destiny declines – only she Bishop and Illyana can enter the M’Kraan crystal, because they no longer have counterparts in the other reality. Quicksilver asks why that would be, but suddenly he and all present realize that it can only mean that in the “correct“ timeline, Destiny and Illyana are dead. As the team stands in shock, Destiny reminds them “We haven’t time to minimize losses” as she knows they have little time left for this world.
Suddenly, Nate Grey and Holocaust burst through the wall above the X-Men. They are still fighting as they fall. Rogue immediately flies up and commands Nate to pull back because she is unaware of Nate’s full powers and believes Holocaust is too much for him to handle. Magneto flies down from the hole that Holocaust and Nate fell through and he tells Rogue to leave Nate alone since he is fighting for a cause and that him and the X-Men should do the same. As he reaches the ground he stands in front of his X-Men who await his instructions. However Magneto says that there will be no more orders, reality is crumbling and they only have one chance at saving the other true reality. He next bends on one knee and places his large hand under Illyana’s chin. He tells her that he is not commanding her but asking her to travel into the M’Kraan crystal and help Bishop restore the true reality. Illyana, head hidden in shadows, asks Magneto if the other reality has no Sugar Man and if little girls can walk around unafraid? Unknowing of what to say, Magneto tells the girl that he does believe with all his heart that this world is a better place. Head bowed she asks if Magneto promises? Colossus interrupts, saying that he can’t promise, but Bishop steps in front of the girl and tells her about the other world. Although he can not promise her that there will be no bad people in this other reality, he knows that there at least is hope. Illyana makes a decision and says that she would rather have hope than nothing at all.
Finishing her sentence, a laser blast blows up chunks of debris behind Bishop giving Destiny, Bishop, and Illyana enough of a warning for them to run to the crystal. While they enter the M’Kraan crystal Colossus confronts Magneto and warns him that if he is wrong and his sister dies for nothing that, no matter in what reality, the two of them will be enemies forever! Magneto responds if he is wrong the penance Colossus speaks of will be the least of all their concerns. As more guards storm into the room, Magneto commands the X-Men to protect the crystal before it is too late!
Speaking the same words “too late!” Jean Grey stands on the bridge connecting New York to New Jersey as she realizes that nuclear bombs have destroyed half of the West Coast of America. Cyclops stands behind her as she tries to inform him on what she has just felt and he, trying not to believe she is telling the truth, asks her if she is sure because the sky is clear. However Jean knows what she is talking about. Like the Shadow King she felt the psychic backlash of a million victims, and she senses that the next wave of bombs will hit them. In a last attempt she creates a telekinetic shield in the sky to hold back the bombs. Unknown to the pair Weapon X parachutes down behind them looking to make peace with Jean.
Back in the heart of the stronghold, Holocaust blasts his fists into Nate trying to take him out of the fight. Holocaust asks Nate about why he thought he was powerful enough to contend with his father? In answer Nate blasts thousands of psionic spikes into Holocaust and tells Holocaust that he comes with good references and calling Holocaust a loser he walks off to face Apocalypse himself.
(Armageddon minus thirty minutes)
While the X-Men are battling the incoming hordes, no one notices the tiny Sugar Man leaping out of his hiding space in Colossus’ boot and although he does not look to be very intelligent he knows that this reality is doomed and dives into the M’Kraan crystal. While the X-Men keep on fighting against incredible odds Colossus decides that he wants to be beside his sister at the end of his reality. So he runs towards the crystal but Iceman tries to stop him, though Colossus shatters his body with ease. Since Destiny told them that none of the others were allowed to enter the crystal since it could affect the other reality, Gambit blasts Colossus in the back knocking him down.
Inside the M’Kraan crystal Destiny shows Illyana facets of the true reality that is shown in many reflections on the crystal surface. Looking into the future, Destiny knows what powers Illyana would one day develop and she says that the next step is up to little Illyana. Illyana is unsure what to do, but Destiny advises her to just open her mind and imagine her powers manifested and so it will be. Illyana does as she is asked and is surprised as a dimensional doorway appears in front of them. Destiny and Illyana say farewell to Bishop and wish him good luck in his mission as he walks through the portal alone.
(Armageddon minus twenty-five minutes)
The Human High Council knows that the end is near. Apocalypse has upgraded his defense grid and it is no longer limited to defense. Within moments the Council and all of England will be dust. Moira and her husband Bolivar Trask hold one another for a final time, as they await the end.
Half a world away, Apocalypse watches on his screens as his defense grid gets larger and larger and he smiles because he now realizes that man and mutant will probably kill each other in this final war. Perhaps his centuries old machinations have strengthened wolves and sheep equally he thinks to himself and smiles.
(Armageddon minus twenty minutes)
Apocalypse is knocked to the ground by a magnetic explosion and as he gets up he is surprised to see Magneto and Rogue standing in front of him. Apocalypse says that he thought Magneto had ran away because he was a coward. Striking back at Apocalypse’s comment, Magneto tells him that he is as much a coward as Apocalypse is a genius. Magneto takes to the air and draws metal from the nearby machinery and rubble to make himself a giant suit of armor. Completing his powerful combat suit, Magneto taunts Apocalypse asking if he realizes he is not the first dictator to discover the concept of “survival of the fittest”? Magneto talks of how as a child he had to hear Hitler rant and rave similar propaganda, and like back then the so called weak overthrew the strong. Magneto charges towards Apocalypse and hits him in the face-knocking Apocalypse to the ground. As Magneto prepares to strike Apocalypse for the final time, Rogue reaches up and stops him by asking him to wait. Confused Magneto looks up to see Guido carrying Charles Lehnsherr in and Charles begs his mother and father to save him. With a smirk on his face Apocalypse rises to his feet and asks Magneto “You were saying?”
(Armageddon minus fifteen minutes)
Weapon X ends his descent to the bridge below and he runs towards the spot where Jean is, thinking that although they will all die, he won’t be alone in the end. Yet before he is able to reach his love, he witnesses Havok blasting Jean in the back, fatally wounding her. Turning to Cyclops, Havok mentions the irony of the situation as apparently both brothers had a thing for traitorous redheads. Havok asks Cyclops to not hurry and get up because he wants to take his time killing him. “Time?” Cyclops screams back at Havok as he tells him that Jean was going to be the only person able to stop the bombs from raining down on them. He asks Havok if dying is the only thing they will do together. “Not even, Judas.” Havok dryly replies as he kills Cyclops. As Cyclops’ corpse lays on top of Jean’s dying body Havok gloats of how after being in Cyclops’ shadow all of his life he has now succeeded in surpassing his brother. Though Havok does not have long to gloat as Weapon X sneaks up behind him and kills him calling him a murderer. Logan comes close to Jean as she speaks her last words about how he was always with her in her heart and finally she succumbs to her injuries. Weapon X leans over her body and he thinks of a mystical bird called Phoenix, that would rise from it’s own ashes, but sadly he thinks Jean is not that bird.
(Armageddon minus ten minutes / ca. 20 years in the past)
Bishop arrives at a familiar scene as he watches Legion preparing to stab Magneto with his psi-knife. Bishop knows that within the next seconds Charles Xavier will jump in front of the psi-blade in order to save his friend, and he intends to stop this initial event from happening. However before he can do anything, Bishop faces himself, or actually the twenty years younger version of himself who demands to know who he is.
(Armageddon minus eight minutes / present)
Back in Apocalypse’s tower the Dark Beast watches as Morph is nailed by a stray blast and he jokingly says he will get some ice to put on Morph’s wounds. What he is really doing is setting a transporter to send him directly into the heart of the M’Kraan crystal. Seeing the Dark Beast dematerializing, Quicksilver rushes to the control panel and tries to scatter the Beasts atoms by quickly changing the coordinates of the transporter. Blink congratulates Quicksilver for his actions but when they check the coordinates that the Dark Beast had programmed, they can only hope that Pietro’s stunt worked and the Dark Beast does not interfere with their plan.
(Armageddon minus five minutes)
Shadowcat stands between Colossus and Gambit, who begs her to run because Colossus has gone insane over the loss of Illyana. However Shadowcat loves her husband and believing that he would never hurt her, she stands in his way without phasing. She is wrong, as Colossus charges forward; he accidentally hits his wife and kills her. Realizing what he has just done, Colossus screams in agony and Gambit takes the opportunity to explode a piece of debris in Colossus’ back, fatally wounding him. As he sinks to the ground, Piotr’s body turns from hard steal to flesh and when he looks up to see his sister Illyana emerging back from the M'Kraan crystal. With his dying breath Colossus asks Illyana to hold him as he goes. Illyana has no time for good-byes though as Quicksilver picks her up and saves her from a couple of Apocalypse’s guards. Quicksilver apologizes for her loss and asks her what Colossus said and she replies that he said he was scared and now she tells him she is scared also.
(Armageddon minus four minutes)
Guido screams in pain as an angry mother named Rogue absorbs all of his power from him. She next asks if he wants it back and as he begs her to return him his power, she punches Guido through the nearest wall probably killing him. Standing over little Charles she tells Guido that this is for toughing her son. Meanwhile Magneto and Apocalypse oppose each other and when Charles asks what his Daddy is fighting for, Rogue tells him “for us all“.
For a heartbeat Magneto goes down giving Apocalypse enough time to run down a hallway holding onto the original piece of the M’Kraan crystal. He talks to himself of how he knows this world is lost to him but he says he is going to use the M’Kraan crystal to send him to a different reality where he will be able to conquer that reality. “Yadda, Yadda, Yadda,” Nate Grey says as he knocks Apocalypse to the ground from behind. Nate Grey picks up the M’Kraan crystal shard and tells Apocalypse that the only way he will leave this reality is by prying the M’Kraan crystal out of his lifeless fingers. Apocalypse asks if Nate does have any last words. “Four in fact. This One’s For Forge!” Nate tells Apocalypse as he kicks Apocalypse in the jaw knocking him back once more.
(Armageddon minus three minutes / ca. 20 years in the past)
The old Bishop strikes his younger self in the stomach and tells him, no matter what will happen to him, to not forget this very moment. Legion prepares to strike Magneto and Xavier screams “No!” while Legion tells Magneto that he hopes he will find peace in death. The older Bishop screams for David to stop and shocked that someone knows his real name Legion turns to see Bishop lunging for him. Before he can defend himself Bishop pushes Legion away from both Magnus and Xavier. Holding Legion to the ground Bishop orders him to give up, but Legion begs Bishop to let him up because he is trying to make the future better. With that said, Bishop plunges Legion’s psi-blade into his own chest and absorbing and releasing the psi-energy back into Legion, Bishop creates a feedback that only one of them can survive. While Legion is dying, he gets to see the images of the Age of Apocalypse in Bishop’s mind and understands that instead of creating a glorious future he caused a nightmare. Bishop comforts Legion, as he now gets consumed by his own energies and he too already starts to fade, and with him all memory of Legion’s crime. Before both of them are fully gone, Bishop lectures Legion that out of all the mutants in the world he had the most potential, but he squandered it and Xavier would not be proud. Then both of them fade away into nothingness.
The four X-Men (Bishop, Iceman, Storm and Psylocke) that followed Legion to the past are left wondering what just happened. Iceman asks Storm if what he saw was actually real and if they won without even having to lift a finger. Storm turns to Iceman and tells him that she has a feeling that the war was fought on a battlefield unknown to them, and she wonders out loud if their very future will change because of the war fought without even their knowledge. Suddenly a vortex opens and Iceman and the rest of the team begin to get sucked back into their true time since Legion is no longer there to anchor them in the past.
Magnus and Xavier also feel the tug of the time stream and Xavier explains to his friend that it must be the time stream somehow fixing itself. Next, Gabrielle stands in front of Xavier and Magnus and asks whom the young man she can barely remember was and why he said he was her son. “Do you remember being in danger?” Xavier asks Gabrielle and she tells him that she does not but she feels an almost loss like something maternal she can’t explain.
(Armageddon minus two minutes / present)
Apocalypse is reeling in pain as Magneto and Nate Grey use all their force of their mutant powers together against him. However Holocaust sneaks in behind Nate Grey and tries to take him out of the fight, giving Apocalypse the slightest chance to fight back against Magneto, whose attention was averted for just a moment to check on Nate’s well being. As Apocalypse attacks Magneto, Nate Grey battles Holocaust and with the only weapon at his disposal being the M’Kraan Crystal shard, he jabs it deep into Holocaust’s chest hoping to damage his armor. Yet instead, it causes a backlash of energy that engulfs both Nate and Holocaust, who then vanish without a trace. Meanwhile Apocalypse has his hands around Magneto’s neck, choking him and he asks Magneto why he has decided to apparently give up since he no longer fights back. Magneto smirks as he tells Apocalypse the reason he has not been fighting is because he has been concentrating. As electricity crackles around Magneto’s hands, Apocalypse is ripped in half by Magneto’s power’s finally killing Apocalypse. Apocalypse’s head lies on the ground and Magneto taunts Apocalypse one last time telling him that after twenty years of posturing about how only the strong will survive what does that make him now? Magneto walks away thinking out loud that if the two of them had worked on the same side what a world that would have been.
(Armageddon minus one minute)
Magneto stands on a cliff looking over Apocalypse’s city and he sees the bombs coming closer to him and his family. Magneto asks Rogue and Charles to come close to him so he could hold them one last time. Magneto explains to Rogue that if Bishop completed his mission and he saved the other reality then hopefully they will all be just memories when the bombs fall. Rogue asks Magneto if he really thinks Bishop was able to set the timelines right. Magneto tells her that they can hope, and if they only deserve one thing, it’s that – hope. Magneto next tells her that only because he met her, he knows how much hope means. As the bombs fall and a white light engulfs the two mutants and their son, Magneto talks about Xavier’s dream one last time about how that no matter what he never gave up on the dream and with his last breath he thanks Xavier for changing his life.