Egypt, 330 B.C.
Alexander the Great’s army is in the midst of a full-frenzied battle with the Persians. Sword meets sword and spear meets flesh as the two great forces collide. In one particular encounter a large Persian disarms an Egyptian soldier, sending him reeling backwards. The Persian soldier decrees the age of empires and glory is over and their new place is beneath Persia’s boot heel. He moves to stab the man with his sword, but another Egyptian, calling the Persian a Saracen, snatches his attention. When the Persian turns the Egyptian soldier slices him across the gut, spilling his guts to the sandy ground.
Persian arrows fall down like rain, but that doesn’t deter the Egyptians. They press forward and continue their assault. One of their larger brethren steps forward, sword in hand. A soldier next to him urges him to continue the assault as the Greeks have come to aid them to be free. The large Egyptian disagrees with him. He points out their fighting one conqueror with the aid of another. He calls them fools, not fit to rule themselves, let alone live.
The large Egyptian draws his sword up as if to strike. “B-but… you are one of us!” the young man cries. Calling him a weakling, he says he’s not like them, he’s far more. And with that he cuts them down, his allies, his brethren. He tells the dead and dying that he fights only to fight and where there is death there he will be. “Where men suffer, where they bleed and cry and return to the earth in pain and blood, I wait… and I feed!”
The large Egyptian steps forward and gazes at his reflection in one of the soldiers’ shields, which reveals the face of En Sabah Nur.
Scott Summers awakens from his nightmare, sweat pouring off his face. He lets out a shocked cry and sits upward in his hammock. The man sleeping below him, Achmed, awakens as well. He gets out of his hammock, and calling Scott “Ãuçäi”, asks if the dreams continue.
Scott, eyes sunken, rubs his head and apologizes for waking his friend. Achmed asks if the dreams are getting worse. Scott admits they are, explaining they almost feel like memories he doesn’t remember having. Scott feels as if the memories are chasing him, trying to pull him down with them. Achmed agrees it’s just as much a mystery as Ãuçäi is.
A muscle-bround brute named Sallah marches over and starts complaining about the sleeplessness he and his friends have been facing for the past three weeks thanks to Ãuçäi ‘s crying out in the dark. Sallah tells Scott mystery men like him tend to be dangerous and asks if Scott is dangerous enough to slit a man’s belly while he sleeps. Scott doesn’t reply, but Sallah makes mention that one night when Achmed isn’t around he’ll show Scott how. “It works on those with trouble sleeping, just as well!” he finishes.
Scott leaps down from his hammock and gets into Sallah’s face. Looking upward into the tall thug’s face Scot says he’s not afraid of him. Sallah, mockingly calling him a Westerner, smirks as he tells him it’s not he whom he needs to fear. Scott looks around as all the other men on the ship are staring at him, most out of their hammocks. Achmed whispers, pleading with Scott to not make things worse.
Achmed asks everyone to go back to sleep as they’ll be arriving in El Jadida in the morning and will be able to drink and enjoy themselves. Achmed also promises Sallah there will be no more disruptions.
Unfortunately, Achmed’s promises of happiness might fall short as a menacing figure bearing a flowing cape can be seen not far off in some sort of jet boat. He stares at the ship containing Scott and his “friends” with a pair of hi-tech binoculars.
Cyclops stands in muted anger, his powers drained, unable to intercede in what could be the worst catastrophe ever. Apocalypse had just begun transferring his essence into Nate Grey and was about to become the most powerful being on the planet, most assuredly resulting in the deaths of millions.
Scott comes up with a plan, but before he can act on it Jean calls out to him, begging him not to do it. Scott turns and sees Jean huddled on the ground, pleading with him not to leave her. Jean says she can stop him, after all she’s Phoenix. The Phoenix form coalesces around her as she blasts Ahab, Caliban and Deathbird away.
Jean tells Scott they have so much to do and their lives ahead of them. She can’t imagine living hers without him. She asks him again not leave. Scott tells her she’s always shown him the best they were capable of and has always been the beacon lighting his soul with hopes and dreams. He finishes by saying that whatever happens, he loves her.
Jean remembers that’s what Scott said through his psychic rapport, which was severed when he sacrificed himself during the energy transference. Sure enough, Scott leaps at Nate, knocking him out of the way and taking Apocalypse’s essence unto himself, severing the rapport between he and Jean.
Jean stares helplessly as Apocalypse uses Cyclops as his new vessel and Cyclopalypse is born. Head sunken, hands between her knees, sitting limply on the floor Jean terminates the Danger Room simulation revealing the drab grey background of the Danger Room’s walls.
Cable’s safehouse, NYC
Cable stands in front of his own holographic projector and has the computer create an image of Apocalypse. Once Cable is satisfied with the image he takes his scimitar and strikes, slicing it from the stomach to the neck.
Blaquesmith sarcastically comments on Cable facing his greatest enemy once again. Blaquesmith then tells his prodigy that when he built that projector it wasn’t so that he could destroy it. Cable apologizes for disturbing his friend.
Blaquesmith asks why Cable can’t get past this, why he stays in the safehouse reliving the past. Cable stares at the projector image as it transforms into Cyclops. “Because Apocalypse took my father from me.” Cable places his hand on the image of his dad and tells Blaquesmith it should have been him. Blaquesmith looks disgruntled when he tells Cable he must move on now and let go for he knows not what he grieves for.
El Jadida, Morocco
Achmed gives Scott the tour of El Jadida, which he lovingly refers to as the finest port in all Morocco. As they make their way through the bustling marketplace Achmed goes back to the episode with Sallah last night and tells Ãuçäi though Sallah may be the size of two men he’s hardly as smart.
Scott says he’s not worried about that, it’s just when he’s alone he feels like he should be somewhere else and during the day he tries to remember who he is and where he’s from, what he’s doing, but he never gets anything, and at night he has the dreams.
Scott compares his problems to that of a time bomb inside of him waiting to explode. Scott says he has impulses, desires that he’s constantly fighting to keep back. Achmed points out he’s working with men of similar substance, men without homes or for that matter people waiting for them.
Scott finally asks Achmed why he keeps calling him Ãuçäi. Achmed laughs and tells Scott he’s skinny as a pole and Ãuçäi is loosely translated to mean “slim.” He then says Scott makes the rest of them look good.
A monkey dressed in Arabian garb leaps onto Scott’s shoulders. Achmed suggests the monkey must think he looks good too. Scott tells Achmed he isn’t too keen on the monkey, but he stops short as he eyes a woman in a red sarong staring at him from the middle of a nearby crowd.
Achmed asks Scott if he’s ok, he’s white as a sheet. Scott asks if he sees that beautiful woman. Achmed jokes that all women look beautiful after weeks at sea. Scott looks again, but the woman is gone.
A shopkeeper overhears the lovelorn Scott and offers to sell him something to help him woo the lady. Achmed jokes about their poor pay rate and urges Scott to head back to the ship before Sallah gets on his case about not pulling his own weight.
The monkey leaps off of Scott’s shoulders and returns to the vendor who is trying to make a deal with Scott. Scott picks up a hand held mirror and looks at his reflection. The shopkeeper is pleased with the possible sale, but Scott is just the opposite. An uneasy feeling crosses over Scott and suddenly the image of his face distorts, his eyes widen and a blue stripe appears around his jaw and lips.
Scott tosses the mirror back onto the table and clutching his face runs off in horror. He’s seen that face before, in his nightmares. He can feel that face want to be released.
Achmed tries going after Scott, but loses him in the crowd. Scott dips down an alley, frustrated, not knowing what’s happening to him. A voice from behind tells him she knows what he is. Scott turns around and is shocked to see the same lovely woman from earlier. The woman tells Scott she knows what’s inside him struggling to get out. Scott asks who she is and how she knows so much.
The woman introduces herself as Anais and tells Scott it’s not safe out in the open. Scott argues he doesn’t want to go with her and asks what she wants. Anais says she wants to keep him alive for he is a dangerous man, dangerous to everyone around him. Scott asks about his friends. Anais says they’re already dead.
Scott takes off like a bat out of hell, pushing the late afternoon shoppers out of his way. He yells for Achmed, but gets no response. He continues running, scaring women and children, and causing men to curse him. Scott doesn’t care for there is a raging fire inside of him and a fear of what he really is.
Sallah and other crewmembers are hoisting the sail on their ship. One of the men watching out over the water asks Sallah if he heard something, he could have sworn he heard something moving below. Sallah laughs at him and suggests he bunk with the frail American instead of Achmed. He smiles thinking what a duo they would make. The crewman won’t give up imploring Sallah to listen to him. He heard sounds as if someone was walking along the very walls of the ship.
Suddenly, a hand reaches up over the side and grips the crewman by the shirt and tosses him overboard into the freezing cold water. Sallah hears the splash and turns to find the crewman missing. Sallah wonders aloud where the lazy guy went. The man next to him tugging on the rope says he doesn’t know. Sallah tells him to be quiet and keep working.
Scott finally climbs on board and is relieved to see everyone is all right. Achmed calls out to Ãuçäi, relieved to see his friend is ok. He asks Scott what happened. Scott says he’s in trouble. Achmed tries calming him down, but Scott tells Achmed his life’s in danger.
Up on the mast, the shrouded figure from earlier has Scott in the sights of his rifle and a red dot appears suddenly on his forehead. Achmed gets in the way, the red dot now resting along his black hair. Scott spots the sniper and yells, pushing Achmed to the ground.
Another crewmember spots the sniper and draws everyone’s attention to the mast. The sniper mumbles something about the target standing still and taking it like a man firing three more rounds at the former X-Man.
Scott tells everyone else to get down and takes cover behind some cargo boxes. Scott knows he needs to draw the sniper’s fire away from the innocents, but doesn’t know what to do. While he’s thinking the sniper targets the box he’s hiding behind and blows it up.
A huge explosion rocks the ship, but Scott had already leaped onto a rope. While the crewmembers below try putting out the fire, Scott climbs up to the mast. Scott tells his attacker that he won’t be harming anyone else and stands still for the kill shot.
The red dot appears once again in the middle of Scott’s forehead. The sniper’s cowl draws back revealing his true identity as the former Dark Rider, Gauntlet. He smiles wickedly and says, “Top O’ the morning to ya.” Scott ducks just in time and Gauntlet’s round goes through the rigging.
Scott jumps onto the newly released mast and uses it to swing down to the deck. Meanwhile, the released boom pole comes swinging around and nails Gauntlet in the chest and sends him into the water. The crowd cheers, though Scott’s not really sure where these instincts he had came from.
Achmed and Sallah rush over to Scott’s side. Sallah tells Scott he’s a good man for saving the ship and its crew. Scott tells Sallah he’s wrong, that there’s darkness inside him. Sallah says all men have two sides, and it’s their ability to wrestle with the darker urges that makes them strong… or weak.
Scott says he needs to figure himself out, that he’s been running for too long. He needs to find out why people are after him. Achmed urges him to stay and let them help. Scott’s not too keen on the idea, seeing as how Achmed is his only friend and doesn’t want to place him in any more danger.
So Scott says goodbye to the people he’s worked with over the past few months and debarks. Knowing that someone is after him and someone else has found him, Scott must find out who he is and what he’s capable of. Scott runs down the dock and is not that surprised to find Anais there waiting for him.
Out in the sea Gauntlet’s head emerges from the water. He sees what he needs to see and then ducks back under.
Sanctuary beneath the Moroccan sands
Ozymandias walks down an ancient hallway, rubbing his hand across the stone carvings on the wall. The first one is an image of Cyclopalypse, then of Phoenix and finally of Cable. Ozymandias reflects on all the time he’s served Apocalypse and although his master is lost knows he will rise once more. However, Ozymandias recognizes that certain searchers must take up this task and knows who these exact searchers must be.