A jet streaks towards New York City. Inside it are two long-time Avengers, Janet van Dyne a.k.a. the Wasp and Wanda Maximoff a.k.a. the Scarlet Witch. The Wasp thinks to herself that after so many weeks away, the sight of Manhattan should bring joy - not just to be home, but to the coming reunion as well. But instead, she feels anxious. She knows she should be happy, but the fact that she is not only makes everything else feel that much worse. Wanda tells Janet that they could turn around, go back to her father’s cabin and hide out forever. ‘A beautiful fantasy, Wanda. It’s been a much-needed sabbatical, but it’s time to come home’ Janet replies. Wanda looks at her friend and asks ‘Tony’s sure they’re all ready to come out of stasis?’ ‘Yes. And while I’ve had this time with you to heal… Alex won’t have had any time to process the loss of…’ Jan begins, but stops herself mid-sentence. She turns away from Wanda and looks out the window. ‘I can’t even say her name’ Jan utters.
Wanda tells Janet that there are no words yet. ‘Just know… you won’t go through this alone’ she adds, before Janet lands the jet on top of Avengers Mansion. As they exit the jet, they are greeted by an elderly Steve Rogers and Wolverine a.k.a. Logan. ‘Welcome home’ Steve, propped up with a cane, greets his friends. ‘Steven… you look… great’ Wanda exclaims as they embrace. ‘You’re a wonderful liar, Wanda’ Cap tells his dear friend. Wanda asks if there has been any news in regard to his condition. ‘Am I going to stay old? Afraid so. But don’t worry… I’ve still got some fight left’ Cap replies. Wolverine and the Wasp shake hands. ‘Janet’ Wolverine remarks. ‘Logan’ Janet replies. The Wasp’s eyes go downcast, as Logan tells her that he knows it’s hard. ‘But you’re a tough bird… you can do this’.
In a laboratory, Thor stands watch over his fellow Avengers Unity Squad members who are held in stasis tanks, as the Beast, Iron Man and Vision go about their scientific business. Iron Man announces that it is game day, and reports that he is still getting ionic readings from Rogue. The Vision states that with the control Rogue now has over her mutant abilities, she will let loose Wonder Man with no trouble. He adds that Banshee’s death seed is another story, as the cosmic energies are ingrained on a molecular level - no system he has access to can separate them. The Beast suggests that nanotech might be capable of expunging the death energy, but that the cleansing process could take years. ‘What of Alex? ‘Thor enquires as he goes over to the stasis tube where Alex “Havok” Summers is being held. The Beast walks over to the tube and looks up at Havok’s bandaged face and tells Thor that Havok’s body processes cosmic radiation like a generator, unlike anything else he has ever encountered, but his immune system absolutely rejects skin grafts, making plastic surgery all but impossible. ‘I’m afraid he will remain horribly disfigured’ the Beast announces.
At that moment, Wolverine, Cap, Wanda and the Wasp enter. ‘Well, it’s a good thing for Alex… he’s got a wife who loves him, no matter how horrible it looks’ the Wasp states. The Beast asks Janet to forgive him, as he didn’t see her there. ‘I should have selected my words more carefully -’ he begins, but Jan tells the Beast that softer phrasing isn’t going to make Alex better. ‘We both know how you’ve tried’ she assures him, before stating that she is ready to see him. ‘Fingers crossed’ Wanda smiles.
The Wasp watches as the doors creak open, and she realizes why she was dreading this moment - wondering what if some part of her blames Alex for what happened - what if she can’t forgive him for doing what anyone would have done? The impossible choice that he was faced with. But Janet decides that grief doesn’t understand logic, and with her despair being so great, what if, after all they have been through, she can’t face him? She wonders if her feelings have changed. Alex steps out of the tube and walks towards the Wasp, who takes a long look into the face of the man she loves, waiting to see if she still loves him. The answer doesn’t take but a second, as they embrace and Janet smiles.
Wolverine and the Beast stand near Shiro “Sunfire” Yoshida as he steps out of his stasis tube, his body - all of him - transformed. ‘Shiro. How ya feeling, savior of the universe?’ Wolverine asks. ‘I feel… nothing’ Shiro replies. He looks at his hands and adds ‘As if I have no body. Merely a vague sense of the space I inhabit’. Shiro turns to Logan, ‘And you?’ he asks. ‘Years burning at my hand, as Eimin’s trophy… I admit, I’m surprised to see you sane enough to speak’. Wolverine replies that life doesn’t tend to go easy on him. ‘But I always survive’ Wolverine smiles. Logan adds that the world won’t wait on his pain, even if old lady fate loves dishing out a healthy serving.
Rogue emerges from the stasis tube next, and Wanda stands nearby, telling her to take her time. ‘How long…? How long have I been out?’ Rogue enquires. Wanda informs her that it has been several weeks. Rogue touches her own face, as Wanda removes one of her scarlet gloves, and tells Rogue that she needs her to give her her hand. ‘I’m going to use chaos energies to reverse your gifts… we’re going to get Simon out of you’ But as Wanda and Rogue touch hands, there is a snap of energy, and Wanda screams, falling backwards, Steve catches her. A confused Rogue looks at her hand. ‘That shouldn’t happen! I’ve learned to control it - I’ve learned to control it! What do you mean you can’t? We’ll figure it out! I won’t live like this again! Shut up!’ Rogue shouts, as everyone quickly gathers around her. ‘Easy now. Just take it -’ Logan begins.
The Wasp tells Rogue that she has to calm down. ‘Let them help you -’ she begins. But Rogue picks up a large piece of equipment. ‘Just shut up!’ she roars. ‘Get him out of my head!’ Rogue screams, as she tosses the large piece of lab equipment through the wall, sending it careening over the fence surrounding Avengers Mansion. Rogue drops to her knees and throws her hands to her head. ‘I can’t - I won’t -’ Rogue screams. Wanda tells her teammate to calm down, to take a breath and get a hold of herself. ‘We’ll find a way -’ Wanda begins, before a distraught Rogue flies out the gaping hole in the mansion wall, ‘I won’t do this again!’ she screams, flying across a busy street, she hears Simon’s voice in her head: ‘Rogue, it’s Simon, listen to me’ Wonder Man calls out. ‘No, Simon - you have no idea what this is like - every intimate thought! I can’t do it again - not for a single hour!’ Rogue exclaims.
Civilians on the sidewalk going about their business look up as Rogue speeds through the air above them, causing newspapers to be scattered. ‘We have to calm down - you’re scaring these people, Anna-Marie’ Simon tells Rogue. ‘GET OUT OF MY HEAD!’ Rogue screams. ‘You don’t think I want to? This isn’t exactly ideal for me, either’ Simon replies. ‘Shut up!’ Rogue tells him. Simon once again starts to tell Rogue that they need to calm down, when suddenly, Rogue crashes into the ground, causing a cab to swerve into a power pole, and sending civilians running for their lives. Someone goes over to Rogue and asks her if she is okay. ‘I can’t…can’t do this again’ Rogue declares. Wonder Man’s consciousness points out that they are not exactly being given a choice. ‘No! You can’t be there, Simon - Xavier fixed me!’ Rogue shouts, getting to her feet, she grabs the front of a car and rips it open. ‘It’s out of my hands! Violence isn’t going to -’ Simon begins. ‘Get out!’ Rogue screams again.
Rogue throws her hands to her head, ‘Please, God - don’t make me live through this again!’ she shouts. ‘I know you’re scared… but this isn’t doing anybody any good’ Wanda points out as she levitates above Rogue. ‘I trusted you!’ Rogue screams at the Scarlet Witch. ‘You said you could get the power out of me - said you could make it right!’ Rogue declares. ‘And I did!’ Wanda replies, pointing out that whatever happened short-circuited Rogue’s powers. ‘I couldn’t have predicted it’ Wanda assures Rogue. She adds that she doesn’t know how Simon got stuck, but that they will get him out. ‘Do you have any idea what I went through? Do you have any idea what my life has been like?’ Rogue shouts. Tears stream down her face, as she continues: ‘How many years I went without being able to touch another person, to feel a kiss - to hold a hand?’ Rogue moves closer to the Scarlet witch and starts shaking her fists, ‘Do you have any idea what you’ve done to me?’ she screams.
Wanda stand her ground, and hands on hips asks ‘Do you think I could have foreseen this? That I would intentionally torture you? You’re not the only one who’s paid a price’ Wanda points out, reminding Rogue that the man she loves is trapped inside her head. ‘But this can be fixed’ Wanda declares, promising not to leave Rogue’s side until they set this right. ‘To be with you to help you in any way I can’. Rogue starts to cry, and Wanda puts her gloved hand to her face - but Rogue retracts backwards, ‘Okay. But you’ll have to start by remembering not to touch me… the same as everyone else’ Rogue points out.
Back at Avengers Mansion, the hole in the wall has been boarded up, while in the living quarters of the Wasp, she and Havok sit on the edge of the bed. Havok’s face is covered in bandages. ‘It was all just a dream…all those years on Planet X raising Katie with you. All of it, just gone in the blink of an eye’ Jan remarks. ‘Not gone - taken by Kang’ Alex replies, adding that it wasn’t a dream - it was real. Alex tells Jan that he doesn’t want to forget what happened - he doesn’t want to forget their life together. ‘But we have to find a way to move forward’ he points out. They hold hands as Jan tells Alex that she can’t. She informs him that she spent the past several weeks in a sanctuary with Wanda, trying to come to terms with this. ‘I can’t forget Katie. I can’t forget any of it. And I can’t go on without her’ Jan tells Alex, leaning into him. ‘Fortunately, you do not have to’ a voice announces. ‘There are ways to undo the damage caused by Kang’ the voice adds. ‘Immortus?!’ Havok exclaims as he and the Wasp look up to see Immortus hovering above them.
Alex and Jan get to their feet, but Immortus tells them to be calm, as he comes as a friend, his reasons his own. Immortus tells them that for the past several weeks, he has scoured the future, but that it is formless and chaotic. Immortus reveals that the seven most likely futures were unwritten, leaving only one future in its place - one being written moment by moment - a new prime timeline with untold potential. Immortus adds that Kang may be a distant version of himself, but that he holds no memory of this incarnation’s actions. ‘He is completely unknown to me, and I cannot say where he now hides with his Chronos Corps’ Immortus announces, before reporting that his Infinity Watch will guard over the timeline, and as the futures coalesce, they will ensure nothing like this ever happens again. The Wasp tells Immortus that she is glad everything they went through wasn’t in vain, before asking him why she feels like this is one of his plots? Immortus tells Janet that he understands her lack of trust, but that none of their goals are achieved in a shattered timeline with a dark, unwritten future.
‘But this is unimportant. It is beyond you to police time’ Immortus points out. Immortus announces that what is important is the news he comes bearing. ‘You can have your daughter back. The same child, the same spirit that you loved so dearly’. Immortus declares, informing Havok and the Wasp that he will leave them the date and time at which they must conceive in order to hold her again - but that in order for this to be accomplished, they must overcome their grief, comfort one another and nurture their love. ‘For love is the only thing that will see you through and see Kate returned to you’. Immortus informs Alex and Jan that the future remains unwritten, but he has seen glimpses of Katie with them, he has seen them happy and together.
Immortus shows them a vision of such an occasion, and adds that the future shifts as events unfold and choices are made. And illusion - skeletons littered across the ground. Immortus reports that he has also seen great darkness, he has seen a plague spread over the world - a red shadow cast by the vilest of creatures. Another illusion, of the Red Skull and his S-Men, with what appear to be red-faced Sentinel-like robots flying across the sky. Immortus tells Havok and the Wasp that they must find the Red Skull and put an end to him - at any cost - or all is lost. ‘For while that creature moves forward his plot… there is no love great enough to save tomorrow’.
Elsewhere, The Red Skull sits in a chair and looks at several monitors depicting various mutants and other heroes. A dog sits at his feet, while Ahab stands alongside him. ‘You’ve spoken to Zola? He is set to begin the cleansing?’ the Red Skull asks. ‘Tomorrow afternoon’ Ahab announces, adding that Zola’s mutate army is gathered, and the Avengers will step into his trap. ‘While the X-Men fall into mine. Everything is in place’ the Red Skull grins, before turning to six members of his S-Men who are waiting nearby - Dancing Water, Dangerous Jinn, Mzee, Fei Lian and Tsar Sultan. He tells them that it is time to collect the prime targets. ‘Do not deviate from the order I have instructed. Do not fail me, my S-Men’ the Red Skull warns them. Courtesy of Dancing Water, energy swirls around them, and Dancing Water tells the Red Skull that on their lives they serve him, before they vanish.
The Red Skull reminds Ahab that he was left behind by Kang to aid him. ‘Knowing that I could see your thoughts and memories as I do. I wonder if I’m being manipulated’ the Red Skull remarks. ‘I’m his revenge. A punishment for the Avengers and X-Men’ Ahab replies. ‘And he imagines I will do the heavy lifting for him’ the Red Skull remarks. ‘Secure a simple tomorrow for him to rule’. The two men walk down a corridor, ‘But that’s not what you want?’ the Red Skull asks. ‘As you well know’ Ahab replies. The Red Skull tells Ahab that the future he comes from, what they did there, was quite wonderful. He admits to Ahab that he had some fantastic ideas on how to deal with the superhuman population of their suffering world. He opens a door, and they step out onto an observation platform, looking down on a series of bunkers enclosed within a high prison fence, and the Red Skull exclaims that he can’t believe he didn’t think of it first!