First Story :
This story takes place in the near future. The X-Men are on the blue area of the moon fighting against a group of Shi’ar warriors. The Shi’ar want to take over the Earth and if the X-Men fail in their battle today humans and mutants alike will be conquered.
Already in the heat of the battle, Cable yells out to Iceman to watch his back. Iceman defends himself by erecting a twenty-foot wall of ice. Rogue busts through the wall and it collapses on top of the soldiers. Flying above the moon’s surface, Phoenix and Storm dodge enemy gunfire. For some reason Jean cannot sense their thoughts. Storm believes that due to the X-Men’s history with the Shi’ar they were able to construct some kind of defense against her.
Back on the ground a rank of Shi’ar are waylaid from behind. They have no idea who their attacker is. It’s the newest X-Man, Siphon. She emits force beams from her eyes. She takes out a few more grunts. Jean watches as Siphon takes care of the opposition. It bothers her to see her use her mutant power. It reminds her too much of Scott. She is still bothered by Scott’s death to this day.
An explosion occurs on the ground. Cable, Iceman and Rogue are knocked aside. Phoenix, Siphon, Storm and Wolverine look up and see the Horsemen of Apocalypse approaching. Deathbird (aka War) is now empress of the Shi’ar Empire. She assassinated Lilandra and took over her throne. She yells for the Horsemen to destroy the X-Men. Eric the Red goes straight for Wolverine. He wants Wolverine because he was the previous Horseman of Death and traitor to Apocalypse. Deathbird lands near the fallen Iceman. She asks the X-Men to surrender and she’ll kill them quickly. Storm blasts her away from Bobby with a strong wind gust. Storm says they’ll never give in to her. Deathbird smiles widely. She was hoping they would say that.
Nearby, the X-Men have setup a hasty infirmary. Marrow lies in one of the patient beds next to an unidentified person. Gambit is near her and asks Moira if she’ll be all right. Moira says she’s doing fine, but they’ll know more when the transport comes and picks them up. An explosion rocks the infirmary and Ahab and Pestilence enter the area. A host of Shi’ar soldiers accompany them. Ahab gives the kill order and laser blasts come from everywhere. Cecilia uses her force field power to protect everyone for as long as she can.
In comes Excalibur to the rescue. Colossus goes for Ahab while Nightcrawler, Banshee and Captain Britain go for the Shi’ar brigade. Nate and Mastermind protect the doctors and the injured. Colossus pounds on Ahab. Apparently he killed Meggan and Rahne previous to this encounter. Kitty tries to stop Caliban from attacking them. She brings up the feelings he once had for her. He won’t listen. He was once weak like the Morlocks. Now he is strong and will kill the weak. Captain Britain comes over and knocks him out. He tells Kitty that words won’t work against him. He’s too far under Apocalypse’s control.
Kitty looks around at everything that’s going on. Thoughts of what it means to be an X-Man run through her mind. She realizes that if she died in the line of duty she would be happy. She would die a hero, an X-Man.
The battle between Wolverine and Eric the Red continues. Wolverine lunges at him with claws forward. He misses and Eric the Red makes him pay. Force beams from his hand knock Wolvie down. He picks Wolverine up by the head. Iceman comes over and starts encasing him in a block of ice. Eric’s not too worried until he sees Rogue and Siphon heading in fast. Rogue decks him and Siphon fires her optic beams at him. He falls to the ground.
Above, Banshee joins Storm and suggests they should retreat. Storm tells him that it is not an option. Banshee flies away intent on doing whatever he can to overcome the impossible odds. Storm yells after him, but to no avail. He heads up to where the Shi’ar aircraft are located. He uses his sonic scream to destroy all the ships in the area. Having fully exhausted his mutant power, he falls lifeless to the ground below. Storm catches him before he hits. She lands on the surface and Kitty runs over in fear of Sean’s life.
Nightcrawler comes over and the three of them discuss the situation. Kurt doesn’t think they’ll last too much longer with the ground battle. Kitty remains optimistic. The rest of the X-Men are near the infirmary. Wolverine’s body comes flying by them. The Horsemen are quick to follow. Now the X-Men are trapped. A horde of Shi’ar warriors is with them as well. Storm points up at the sky. Everyone looks up and sees Charles Xavier flying towards them with a large contingent of Skrulls.
Professor X flies towards Deathbird. He accuses her of killing his love, Lilandra. He is very angry with her. Deathbird scoffs at him. Xavier uses his mutant power to its full extent to punish her. He hasn’t done that since he mind-wiped Magneto. She goes down hard, but she’s not out. Eric the Red starts in on Charles. He gets Snikt’d from behind. He falls over and we see Wolverine standing there. Ahab is worried now that two of the Horsemen are temporarily out. He fires at Moira, Marrow and Banshee. Kitty dives in the way and takes the hit in the shoulder. After seeing this, Caliban goes nuts. He grabs Ahab and lifts him in the air. He’s about to throw him when the newly recovered Deathbird hits him with an energy blast.
More Shi’ar war cruisers enter the scene. It looks like the end of the X-Men. Jean can think of only one way to stop them. She tells Mastermind to open her mind to her. Suddenly, Jean lights up with fire. She ascends into the air with the Phoenix fire behind her. She claims she is the Phoenix and that she has been reborn again. The Shi’ar warships flee in fear. Deathbird sees the odds are against her and retreats with the Horsemen. They teleport away with Deathbird claiming they’ll be back.
Jean lands and the illusion dissipates. Professor X commends her for her quick thinking. She played on the only thing the Shi’ar fears, the Dark Phoenix. Professor congratulates his people on their performance. He knows there will be many battles ahead. He warns them of adversity and death. He doesn’t think this war will be won without casualties. He reminds them that the Earth’s future is in their hands. They must succeed. He swears victory. Death is the only thing that can stop them.
Second Story :
Wolverine drives on his bike to a dark area of the lower east side of Manhattan. Tonight he is not out to fight; he wants to do something good, so he practises charity to make up for many ugly things he did in his life. Logan walks around and offers the homeless people food and coffee and sits with them to listen to their problems.
Logan recognizes a young woman who seems out of place. She looks frightened and lost, so he offers her to point her in the right direction. The woman replies that she has to find her son Charlie first, and in her hand is the boy’s baseball cap. Logan asks if Charlie has ran away, but she answers that the police told her the same, and they wouldn’t do anything until he is missing for twenty-four hours. Yet she knows that something has happened, Charlie is a quiet kid, always on the computer, he would not run away. She has been searching for him the whole night, showing his picture to everyone, but nobody could help. Logan takes in the scent of the cap and promises to help, before telling the woman to rest in a nearby coffeshop.
Logan drives on his harley through the city and finds the boy’s trail leading to Harlem. It löeads to an abandonedhotel, and Logan enters. Dozens of rooms and Logan checks them all out, but finds them empty. However he finds a hole in the celeing, leading to the next floor, and the scent trail confirms that litlle Charlie is up there.
Logan takes a peek, and sees a man talking to himself. It’s a mad scientist scenario, and this Professor Gibbon is congratulating himnself on his invention. Next he is pulling a chest from the next room, inside is Charlie tied up and gagged. Logan has seen enough and pops his claws. He storms in, but the weirdo recognizes the opponent and uses a chair to defend himself. Logan gets hit on the head, he stumbles and winds up in the corner. He starts threatening Professor Gibbon, but suddenly he holds a knife to the kids neck and tells him to stay back where he is. He then claims that the boy came with him of his own free will, but naturally Logan doesn’t believe him. Giffon goes on that the bonds are only temporary till the neurotoxin he gave Charlie will kick in. Then both off them will departs into cyberspace with his new invention and their bodies will have no longer any function.
Hearing that the weirdo drugged the boy, Logan gets even more annoyed than before. He leaps ahead and quickly disarms Gibbon. He then tells Charlie to look the other way before gutting the kidnapper. Later on Charlie is happily reunited with his mom, while Gibbon is in police custody with a bandage around his gut.