Logan stands in a forest, the ground covered in snow, the trees barren of leaves. He is lost here - for years now. There is no smell, no sound. The woods are silent, simply full of regret and confusion. They hold no life - only memories and death. The ugly things you can’t let in by day. People might see how it haunts, cuts you down weak and breaks your soul. The body of his son, Daken, lies in a pool of blood. ‘Family can be inconvenient’ a voice calls out. Logan turns around and sees a transformed Archangel behind him, with the boy, Evan, Apocalypse’s clone, at his side. ‘They need us sometimes. Need us to be good people, to take the higher ground and be there’ Archangel explains. ‘To care for them when they’re sick’ Evan adds.
Archangel kneels down and picks up Daken’s body, ‘But this… this is certainly another way to deal with a wayward child, Logan’ he tells him. ‘A sad boy looking for his father’s attention’ Evan remarks. Archangel tells Wolverine that Daken never dreamed he had given up on him. ‘None of us did’ Evan adds, sullenly. ‘Wasn’t there any other way, Logan?’ Archangel asks. ‘Or is this your solution to everything?’
‘GHRAGH!’ Logan a.k.a. Wolverine screams as he sits up in a bed in the infirmary of Avengers Mansion. Simon “Wonder Man” Williams is nearby and tells his teammate to take it easy. ‘Don’t go all feral clawtown, buddy’ he jokes. Logan starts removing the various tubes connected to his body and asks Simon what happened. Simon explains that the twins nuked the Akkaba City, then Wanda threw up a protection hex, saving the Avengers from the detonation. He adds that SHIELD has the area on lockdown, but they found bodies - thousands of them. ‘The twins?’ Wolverine asks. Simon tells him that they are long gone, but Alex is hunting leads. As Logan gets out of bed, Simon asks him where he is going.
Logan replies that some of them have got fighting to do. ‘I know my pacifism is a joke to you, but I think what I’m doing here is important enough to warrant -’ Simon starts to reply, but Logan interrupts him, ‘That’ wasn’t a jab at you, Hollywood’. Simon follows Logan down a corridor, as Logan tells him that he respects his choice, and admits that it might even be the right one, adding that he is leaning towards the Gandhi direction more and more himself of late. ‘I’ve found peace in it’ Simon tells Logan, who declares that now isn’t the time for him to experiment with softer resolutions. ‘Apocalypse…’ Simon begins. ‘Yeah’ Logan replies, adding that there is a heavy storm brewing, and they have to be ready for the big war.
Logan and Simon stop at communications console, and Wolverine dials up the Jean Grey School, ‘Hank, good, you’re up -’ he remarks as Dr Hank McCoy a.k.a. the Beast appears on the monitor. ‘Is that Simon? The call ID didn’t come up “Washed up Actor” Hank jokes when he sees his old friend. ‘Ha! Better a washed-up actor than a furry blue monkey… or whatever it is you’ve mutated into this time…’ Simon replies, before Wolverine tells them to pack it in. He then asks Hank if Evan and Warren are there. Evan a.k.a. Genesis comes to the monitor beside Hank as Hank assures Logan that Evan is here, while Warren is in training. Logan instructs Hank to put both Warren and Evan in the Danger Room, and seal it - total lockdown on the school. He instructs Hank to tell Rachel Summers to keep a telepathic scan on the perimeter. ‘Can’t say any more… but be ready for the big ugly’.
In a meeting room, Alex “Havok” Summers and Wanda Maximoff a.k.a. the Scarlet Witch sit around a table, while holograms of SHIELD’s Director, Maria Hill, and Abigail Brand of SWORD appear before them. Brand reports that the SWORD agent they apprehended shot himself. ‘You’re sure he sabotaged Cap’s escape pod?’ Wanda inquires. Brand tells her that they are, and that somehow he cloaked it, but they have a few teams hunting for him now. Wanda reports that Cap’s ID card is not responding to location requests, either. Maria Hill points out that if the Peak Station had crashed into Rio, it would have plunged Earth into a nuclear winter. ‘It was a clear attempt at an extinction level’ Brand adds.
‘I think they knew we’d stop it. It was intended to gauge our response’ Havok remarks. ‘Or keep us distracted while they focus on their true objective’ Wanda suggests. Brand replies that, either way, Earth’s first line of defense is down, the Apocalypse Twins just nuked their acolytes and it appears that there are moles in their organizations. ‘Our response needs to go dead silent as of tight now’ she announces. Hill tells everyone that they can’t know how deep the Akkaba infiltration goes, and that she and Brand both agree the Unity Avengers are deep in it and should take command. ‘Agreed’ Wanda replies. ‘God only knows how far ahead of us they are. There could be Akkaba spies anywhere’. Havok adds that the thing no one seems too eager to bring up - the thing worse than just Akkaba spies - the Four Horsemen have yet to reveal themselves.
Elsewhere, or, perhaps, Elsewhen:‘You ladies have no idea how amazing this era is… or how ugly things will soon become’ Uriel, one of the Apocalypse Twins, remarks to two women with bird heads as they stand to attend to his needs. One of them fans him as he reclines on a balcony, propped up by his wings. He stares out at the strange landscape around him, and states that he could be happy here - an abundance of scotch, gorgeous sunsets, clean air and most importantly, no Kang. ‘Perhaps we three could become more acquainted while we await my sister’s return…’ he suggests, but gets no response, as his sister, Eimin, wielding the axe Janbjorn, appears above him. ‘No time for carnal endeavors, brother’ she calls out, announcing that the work is done, that the last seed has been pried from the space god’s dead chest.
‘Bravo, Eimin’ Uriel replies, raising his glass to his sister, adding that he wished she had taken another few hours to accomplish it. Eimin tells Uriel that there is time for repose later, after the rapture is done. ‘All business and no play…’ Uriel mutters as he gets to his feet. The balcony that they are standing on is drawn back into a sprawling ship, as Uriel asks his sister if the cosmic pigs knew that she was of Earth. ‘They did’ Eimin confirms. ‘That’s sure to have the schemers buzzing’ Uriel points out. The huge ship flies low over a barren landscape where crystal clusters grow from the ground. Stars and cosmic wonders glow in the sky, while strange dinosaur-like creatures fly through the air.
As the Apocalypse Twins walk along a platform towards the ship, Uriel informs Eimin that he did his part, that he gathered the final body while she was away, and that they await them within the arc. He asks his sister if she is absolutely sure no one can find them within their Akkaba Nebula. ’I can’t imagine how’ Eimin replies, adding that she shrunk this solar system using hyper-augmented Pym Particles taken from Kang’s favorite Ant-Men pets. She adds that the Akkaba Nebula is no bigger than a child’s ball and the energy will be undetectable. Eimin points out that still, even after these many years of laborious preparations, she worries Kang will find a way in. ‘Fearing the Devil doesn’t stop when one arrives in Heaven. But we are finally safe from him now, sister. Truly’ Uriel replies.
Uriel points ahead and tells Eimin that she has but to look, as the tachyon dam is at full strength, meaning no time jumper can come in or out of this era. ‘Fear is an awkward instinct to unlearn’ Eimin replies, adding that it is outweighed only by the joy she feels at having bested Kang in this manner. ‘To have outwitted the great egotist -’ she begins, as Uriel interrupts, boasting that he would give anything to see Kang’s face when the time storms ravage his world. Uriel decides that they must forget Kang, that he is no longer a concern, and their focus must be tending to the future of the mutants, to the future of Akkaba. He adds that the new Dark Riders have asked of the clone, and his right to the throne. ‘The fraud has no right to the mantle’ Eimin replies.
‘And our true father?’ Uriel inquires. ‘When the time is right we will awaken him from his sleep. When we are on the new world’ Eimin replies. Uriel greets two strange warriors riding on large crustaceans as Dark Riders. ‘Lords’ one of them replies as they guard one of the entrances. Uriel and Eimin fly up through the ship, strange caskets throughout a very large chamber, and attendants going about their business. ‘Spectacular, isn’t it? So many years of toil and planning… the hibernation sarcophagi are a miracle to behold’ Uriel declares, adding that they are all perfectly equipped for each of the chosen to sleep through the arc’s journey away from these flood lands. ‘You should be proud to succeed where so many others have failed’ Eimin remarks. The Apocalypse Twins drop down on a floating platform where four caskets have been opened, and mummified bodies are inside them.
Their mother, Famine of the Final Horsemen stands on the platform, as Uriel asks her if the chosen have been prepared. Famine replies that they have, and warns her children that to create so many heirs, and so few servants, the Celestials must take notice. ‘It is incredibly unorthodox and dangerous, this path you chose, my children’ Famine explains. Several Celestial seeds sit on a podium, as Eimin tells her mother that she must trust them. ‘We have spent our lives gathering the seeds with Jarnbjorn’ she points out. Several attendants hold the Life Seeds, as Eimin announces that the Life Seeds are used to plant life on new worlds by Celestial Gardeners, and the Death Seeds intended to grow new Apocalypse servants to shepherd their evolution. ‘Such incredibly difficult little items to acquire’ she adds.
Uriel motions to the caskets and declares that the result they deliver will prove worth great effort. He instructs the attendants, whom he addresses as Dark Riders, to prepare the gems. The Dark Riders stand before the four caskets, ‘Your rest in the shaded kingdom has come to an end - rise and live again!’ they chant as they shove the Life Seeds into the chests of the mummified bodies. Red energy pours from the mouth and eyes of the mummified bodies, who start to slowly move towards Uriel and Eimin. Eimin welcomes them back to this land of toil and suffering. She adds that though they walk again in the light, they should make no mistake - as they will serve death. She grins as she holds up a Death Seed.
Meanwhile, in South Sudan, Steve Rogers a.k.a. Captain America is in the ruins of a building, a mysterious device before him, which projects the image of Immortus. Immortus instructs Captain America to listen carefully, as he has little time. ‘You stand on the threshold of the most historically important day of your era. The day the prime timeline splits, giving birth to seven new lines, each of equal relevance, each prime’ he states. Immortus explains that, historically, this fork, this divergence of seven, was created by a mysterious event, but now, with the arrival of the Apocalypse Twins, that has changed. He adds that, as he records this, a time storm approaches, a swirling pool of white nullification gently erasing all there is.
Captain America listens intently as Immortus explains that, as Kang, he manipulated these Apocalypse Twins, lest they eventually rule Earth, however the twins eventually discovered his schemes, with they having their own plan ending in the assassination of all seven lines. Holographic images appear before Captain America, as Immortus reveals to him that, as Rama-Tut he was “Lord of the Seven Suns”, and the seven represented the timelines he saw born on this day. He adds that En Sabah-Nur translates to “The Seven Lights”, and he took this to mean that one day Apocalypse would supplant him, not just in Egypt, but as the eventual conqueror of Earth, so, he set Apocalypse on a path to ruin, and only once he was rid of Apocalypse, the twins ascended to claim his throne, while Kang attempted to change their path, but failed.
Immortus explains to Captain America that if he does not find the Apocalypse Twins, and stop whatever it is they will do, they will destroy the Earth and seven futures. Immortus motions to a device and informs Captain America that the twins’ tachyon field generator makes time travel into or out of his era impossible. ‘Destroy it and I will come with a great army to aid in the battle’ he reveals, adding that through great effort, he has stolen glimpses of where the twins hide, an isolated isle, and evolutionary offshoot. ‘Take this device. It will lead you to them’ Immortus claims, while Cap reaches for the device. ‘But heed my words, Steve Rogers - your era is shrouded in darkness, history now unwritten: there is but one consistent truth. Once divided, all is lo -’ Immortus’s words are cut off by an explosion, which seemingly destroys the device, as militants have tracked Cap down. ‘He’s down here!’ one of them shouts to others.
Cap turns to the militants, he thinks that he doesn’t normally trust Immortus, but he believes this, and that he needed that device. He leaps forward, punches one of the militants with a fist, and slams his shield into the other. As he makes his way out of the ruined building, he finds a Hydra agent and more militants waiting. Cap believes that this is going to be a bad day without that device. ‘Well, holy crap - the locals were right! What an incredible happy surprise for Hydra!’ the agent exclaims. Suddenly, ‘You like surprises? Surprise number one, I’m not going to hurt you’ Wonder Man declares as he drops down between Captain America, the Hydra agent and the militants, who open fire. Cap’s shield protects himself from the bullets, while the bullets just bounce off Wonder Man’s indestructible body.
Wonder Man strides towards the militants, ‘See, if I wasn’t at peace, you gentlemen could be in for a real trouncing. There’s a Martin Luther King quote I like to remember in moments like this: “Non-violence means avoiding not only external physical violence, but also internal violence of spirit. You not only refuse to shoot a man… but you refuse to hate them”’ he quotes, while taking the weapons from the militants, bending them so that they are unusable. The Hydra agent and the militants then turn and run. Simon smiles at Cap, ‘Huh, they didn’t want to stick around to learn more. Too preachy?’ he asks.
At Avengers Mansion, Rogue and Wolverine are in the kitchen, and Rogue suggests to Logan that they ought to call in some X-Men. ‘These Avengers aren’t our people’ she tells him, adding that she doesn’t trust them, now with this. She pours something into a frying pan, while Logan sits at the kitchen table and tells Rogue that she is wrong, as they are good people, that they aren’t perfect, but are committed to trying to be. ‘You’re just being bull-headed and adversarial. I’m an expert. Trust me’ Logan points out. He cuts into his food using a fork and one of his adamantium claws, and tells Rogue that she needs to be flexible in her thinking, as the Avengers way of dealing with this might be the best solution. ‘Lord knows none of the sacrifices I’ve made has stopped them in any permanent way’ he adds.
Logan continues, explaining that once his sources get them a lead on Apocalypse’s errand boy, Ozymandias, they can track him and crack him, then they deal with the consequences of the truth that they tell. ‘There it is again. That tone in your voice. Like you’re lost someplace else’ Rogue tells Logan, adding that she can’t help but think it has to do with whatever happened to Warren. ‘What’re you hiding, Sugah?’ she asks. Logan ignores the question and asks Rogue if she is due for a training session. He tells her to get going, as it will be good for her. ‘Stop being so damned disagreeable… go make some friends’ he adds
Shortly, Rogue finds Wonder Man, the Scarlet Witch, Janet van Dyne a.k.a. the Wasp and Shiro “Sunfire” Yoshida in the training room, surrounded by villains commonly associated with Spider-Man. ‘Listen to you, Sunfire. “Mutants” this, “Humans” that - “us versus them”. This is exactly what Alex was talking about before my brother attacked - exactly why we can’t find a common ground’ Wonder Man remarks. ‘We’ll always be humans to you. Always be something different’. ‘Your thinking is far more evolved? Is that right, Simon? You don’t see me as a mutant?’ Sunfire replies. ‘I see you as a man… a rude man, but a man’ Simon announces.
The Wasp flutters in the air and points out that Alex was asking them to consider seeing one another as the same thing - people. ‘Garbage! I love him to death, but Alex went in public and told mutants to hide, to be ashamed of who they are’ Rogue snaps. ‘Alex is not ashamed!’ the Wasp retorts, pointing out that he was asking people to judge him based on how he uses his powers, not how he got them. ‘And I get it’ the Wasp claims. ‘I’ll never understand why your gifts frighten people more than mine, or Reed Richards’s, or Spider-Man’s’.
Rogue turns to the Scarlet Witch and asks her what she thinks. ‘You’re such a devoted student of Xavier all of a sudden - how’d you have reacted if Alex asked you to hide your Romani background?’ Rogue inquires, mockingly.
The Scarlet Witch throws a hex bolt towards one of the training room foes, and it explodes upon contact, as Wanda replies ‘That theory overlooks the major differences between being born a mutant and being born into a religion’. She continues, explaining that religion is studied in cultural tradition, shared ancestry, shared values, and, most importantly, shared faith. Wanda states that being a mutant doesn’t, it is merely the delivery system of a super-power, and really, that is the only thing that any of them universally share in common. ‘But beyond that distinction, no, I don’t think that conditions of birth, that a person has no control over, should be what we use to categorize one another’.
Rogue tells Wanda that she overlooked the one thing all mutants share - persecution, but Wanda points out that no one group owns persecution. ’But telling any group not to be proud of who they are -’ Rogue begins. Wanda interrupts, casting another hex spell, she declares that Alex didn’t tell anyone not to be proud of whom he or she is. ’Don’t extrapolate your own version - listen, and speak to, what the man actually said’ Wanda suggests to Rogue, who scowls beneath her hood. Wanda continues, explaining that Alex was asking people to see a person first, and not to judge anyone based on any one trait, wanting to be evaluated by what one does rather than how one was born - and that includes being white, being straight, being blond, and being right-handed as much as it does being a mutant. ‘And though it kills me to say it - I totally agree with him’ Wanda adds, while her hex sphere causes her training room opponent’s glider to come to a halt.
As Wonder Man battles a foe above them, Wanda and Rogue come to a stand-off in the training room, with Rogue declaring that Alex is asking people to forget their history, to assimilate. ‘What history? Assimilate into what?’ Wanda asks. ‘“Normal” human culture’ Rogue replies. Wanda narrows her eyes and reminds Rogue that mutants come from all races, all religions and all sexual orientations, that having powers born into them is the only thing they inherently share. .
‘An evolutionary distinction that feeds mankind’s fear we’ll take them over’ Rogue points out. As Wonder Man and Sunfire continue to battle the training room constructs, Wanda continues to talk to Rogue, ‘Exactly. Fear and labels breed stereotypes, which enable strangers to boil you down to a generalization without knowing anything about who you actually are’. Wanda then tells Rogue ‘People should meet you before seeing what an unpleasant woman you are’. She adds that people hear “mutant” and the first thing they remember is her father destroying New York, or Cyclops, with the power of a god, taking it upon himself to change the entire planet without consultation. ‘All associations I’d rather not have people make when they meet me’ Wanda explains. .
Wanda and Rogue stand close, and Wanda points at Rogue as she reminds her that the Apocalypse Twins, protectors of their “people” just murdered thousands of innocents, because they weren’t mutants. Wanda states that all of these crimes began with people taking a side, picking “human” or “mutant” because they couldn’t just see them all as “people”. Rogue starts shaking a finger at Wand, and angrily shouts ‘All I hear is rationalizing from the witch who tried to wipe us all out. You ask me, deep down, in the center of your belly, you’re ashamed of what you are - maybe you do think things would be better if there were no more mutants!?’ Rogue suggests. .
Wanda remains silent and stoic, when suddenly, Havok and Captain America’s images appear on a monitor, ‘Enough debate’ Havok tells the women, instructing everyone to come to the living room for a meeting. ‘Right now…we’ve got a situation on our hands’ Cap adds, as the training room scenario is ended. .
Shortly, Sunfire, Rogue, the Wasp, Wonder Man, Havok and Cap all stand before Wolverine, while Wanda sits on a sofa. ‘So, what is this? What’re you glaring at me like that for, Rogers?’ Logan asks. ‘Thor’s report, his interaction with the twins unearthed some ugliness I’m hoping to hear you dispel, Logan’ Cap explains. He moves closer to Wolverine, and suggests that if he has any respect for him, for their time serving together, then he should tell him straight. ‘Did you kill Warren Worthington? Did you kill a child Apocalypse?’ Cap demands to know, his face red, furious. Logan hangs his head, before looking straight up at Cap and confirming that he did. ‘I led the X-Force squad that did. Did what we had to. There was no other solution -’ Logan begins, before Cap grabs him by his shirt, and shakes him, ‘No other solution than to murder a child? I made you an Avenger! Put the reputation of this team on the line -!’ Cap shouts. .
Rogue moves forward, and pushes Cap away from Logan as Cap reminds Logan that he promised him this sort of garbage was in his past. ‘Logan might respect you too much to hit back, but I assure you - I do not’ Rogue snarls. ‘You try that again, Apple Pie, I dare ya’ she adds. ‘Perfect. Exactly the attitude I’ve come to expect from you, Rogue’ Cap announces. ‘And you - my friend - these twins are out for some revenge because of some secret murder spree you led!’ Cap tells Logan, while the Wasp scowls and points out that the Earth is under attack, and Logan didn’t deem them worthy of this information. Thor enters the room, ‘Please, Janet. There is guilt enough to go around’ Thor tells his long-time teammate, explaining that the power the monstrous twins wield, it is his blame to carry. .
Thor continues, announcing that the axe the twins used to kill the Celestial was his own - enchanted to crack Celestial armor, enchanted against the All-Father’s will, and lost to him centuries ago. ‘This is as much my fault, and my past mistakes, as Wolverine’ Thor announces. ‘Bull!’ the Wasp shouts. ‘He led a covert team of assassins to kill a child! We’re Avengers! We should be putting him in jail to stand trial!’ she declares. Wasp continues, announcing that she won’t compromise her ethics for another minute. ‘I won’t serve with him. He’s a killer and never should have been an Avenger!’ the Wasp exclaims. Thor states that he has known Logan long enough to know that he is an honorable man, and that if he did those things, he did them with just cause. .
Thor tells his teammates that they are warriors, and that warriors, in time of conflict, must kill an opponent when there are innocents at risk and no other options. ‘The one Avenger who makes any sense!’ Rogue mutters as she and Sunfire stand with Thor and Wolverine. The Wasp, Wonder Man and Wanda stand behind Captain America, as Wasp snaps ‘Call it what you want - I’m done ignoring his killing’. Havok stands between both groups while Cap tells Thor to do what he needs to, but that Janet is right - allowing Wolverine membership was a mistake, and not one he plans to continue making. ‘We’re not going to go off and kill these twins, no matter what they’ve done. That’s not the Avengers - not ever’.
‘You got my number, Steve. I’m just a killer. All I’m good for. My solution to everything’ Logan replies calmly, before turning and announcing that he is leaving, so if anyone else wants to come hunt the twins, they can follow. ‘I will not debate while Janbjorn is in the hands of evil’ Thor states, as he and Rogue follow Wolverine. ‘Come, Alex’ Sunfire calls out to Havpk, who suddenly asks ‘Why did the Apocalypse Twins tell Thor about this? Why now? This is how they divide us!’ he tells everyone that they have to hold this together, no matter their differences of opinion. ‘Stay - sit down - we can talk this through’ Havok calls out, but Wolverine, Thor, Rogue and Sunfire continue walking, as Wolverine calls back ‘The real leaders of the Avengers already made that call for you, “boss”. Too late for talk, Summers…’. ‘If that’s true… then we’re all doomed’ Havok fears.
Meanwhile, Famine follows her children down a tunnel, as Eimin states that she cannot find the words to express her joy at seeing so many years of planning come together. ‘Yes…still, what happens now should you perish?’ Famine asks. ‘Which will ascend to the throne? And to choose two humans…’ her voice trails off. ‘Mother, please, we have seen the future, we have studied all seven prime timelines. We selected each of our servants for a specific purpose’ he explains. They enter a chamber, as Eimin reports that rapture demands precise action, that every move is planned to perfection. She adds that the forces of man and mutant that would undo their labours must be devastated in specific format. ‘They are mighty, and their unity must be completely shattered’ Uriel adds.
Inside the darkened chamber, the trio approach the four beings from the caskets, restored to life. They wear re-designed costumes, and look none-too happy. They are the Grim Reaper! Banshee! Daken! And the Sentry! Uriel tells his mother to fear not, and boasts that the Four Horsemen of Death will safely guide them to the new mutant home-world….