- Unnamed warriors
- Unnamed Dallas citizens
- "Bright Lady"
- The Galleria
Continues from last issue...
Going to Dallas, Texas to learn what force there might bring about their deaths, the X-Men have clashed with the Freedom Force outside Forge's old home Eagle Plaza. They had retreated inside the building to regroup unaware of the fact that in doing so, they had completed a spell by the Adversary that tore a hole in the fabric of reality over the city. Inside the ruins of Eagle Plaza, Wolverine recovers from his injuries sustained battling the Freedom Force, knowing that his teammates need him since Storm designated him, leader of the X-Men while she pursued her own private mission. With Mystique as a hostage, the X-Men prepare to for a counter attack while Havok stands watch. Havok is surprised to see that Mystiques comrades are only standing about. As he thinks about how mad the world has become -- a world where the X-Men are treated like outlaws and their old foes the former Brotherhood of Evil Mutants are heroes. Looking outside he sees that the force has Psylocke Dazzler and Rogue hostage and wonders if they can trade Mystique for them before noticing that something has Destiny upset.
Destiny is in a panic due to the fact that the sudden appearance of the tear in time and space has negated her mutant powers, making her truly blind and believe that her prophetic vision of the of their and X-Men's impending doom is close as neigh, that the entire planet will soon all be destroyed. When Havok notices Super Saber running off, possibly to find a back door into the building, Havok notices falling debris and blasts it away. By this point, Wolverine has almost completely recovered and tells Madelyne, Colossus, Havok that they have to retreat before Eagle Tower falls on their heads, even if it means leaving their comrades with the Freedom Force. When Mystique tells them to surrender, they balk at the idea. It's then that Longshot notices and points out to his comrades that there appears to be sunlight outside even though it's the middle of the night, turning the free X-Men's attention to the rift in the sky.
Elsewhere in the city, NPR reporters Manoli Wethere and Neal Conan are rushing through the sudden freak snow to get the story of the weird happening in Dallas when their car skids out. When they come to the border of the shining light and notice it is summer on the light side and "winter" outside, they decide to cross over to investigate further, even though they might die.
While outside, on the Eagle Plaza, Dazzler revives from being knocked out during the initial assault, having absorbed the brunt of Super Saber's sonic assault and decides to make a move to try and pull Psylocke and Rogue out of the battle. Blasting their opponents with a blast of light, Dazzler begins trying to pick up Psylocke when Spiral -- unaffected by the light -- casts a spell using Destiny's mask and one of her swords to fuse the mask to Dazzler's face effectively and painfully blinding her. Psylocke, having revived herself tries to attack Spiral physically and psychically however neither works and easily subdues Betsy warning her that she can remove the eyes that Mojo gave her. Rogue, having also awoken, attacks Spiral, but before she can land a blow Spiral teleports behind her. But before the spell-spinner can attack something catches her by surprise.
Elsewhere, Storm and Forge have found themselves transported to another Earth -- one where human beings never existed and nature grows in beautiful splendor. Since realizing that she had been tricked into attempting to slay Forge by the Adversary (posing as Forge's deceased shaman Naze), she has been nursing Forge back to health. When Forge awakens, Storm apologizes for being tricked so easily, but Forge not only forgives her but understands how she could have been so easily tricked. Storm, however, does not feel the same way. When coming to terms with their situation and considering the scope of the Adversary's powers, Storm wonders why when they were at his mercy that the Adversary let them live. Her thoughts are cut short when Forge screams out in pain from moving, Storm goes to his side and promises to stay by his side that night. This request puts a smile on her face.
While back in Dallas, the rift over the city has also caused time to go crazy. Some parts of the city there are dinosaurs while others futuristic cities and primitive barbarians stand side by side as the fabric of reality begins to unravel. Witnessing this, Logan realizes that whatever they are facing is bigger than both the X-Men and the Freedom Force and frees Mystique suggesting that the two teams work together until the crisis has been sorted out. Mystique agrees, but when she asks Wolverine for ideas, he has none. Colossus left to his thoughts considers how he had a desire to be reunited with his fellow X-Men after meeting the strange woman in Edinburgh. Remembering her fortune that the fate of everything rests on him makes him wonder if coming here was really his choice. When Madelyne asks him if he sees something, Colossus tells her he sees nothing and suggests they go back to help the others save the world. When she wonders how he can joke instead of wanting to run away and tells her that he stands by those he loves, much like she is.
While nearby, Manoli and Conan find a crashed futuristic news van and decide to try to use it to record the events happening in the area. They are then attacked by a barbarian which nearly takes Neal's head clean off until it's shot dead by Manoli. Shocked by the encounter, Neal tells his partner to get her camera feed set up so they can get rolling.
Meanwhile, the X-Men and Freedom Force begin working together to help those caught in the chaos. In the Galleria, Pyro and Longshot save a crowd from a Tyrannosaurus Rex. When Pyro introduces them, some children are shocked that "Muties" would save them, leaving Longshot to question them if being a mutant doesn't mean they can't be human beings or heroes. While on I-35 the police are trying their best to hold back an invading army of barbarians when they are lent a helping hand by Super Saber and Wolverine who fight their way through the horde. Their fight is being televised by Manoli and Neal. Watching Wolverine as he slaughters the warriors, Manoli wonders aloud what difference there is between Wolverine and the barbarians. Neal points out that Wolverine is on their side and asks her why he should be treated as an outlaw or different from others solely because he is a mutant. When he questions how the whole world could persecute mutants, Manoli -- noticing that their camera is piping into every major television network tells Neal that at least this time the whole world is watching and will see the truth.
While on the other world that Storm and Forge have been transported too, it has been many months that have passed and they have traveled to the location that would be Yellowstone Wyoming on their world. There they find a large patch of black earth where Forge's Aerie would have been. Taking a flower and tossing it on the charred ground it is instantly incinerated leaving Forge to properly deduce that the Aerie has been destroyed and the ground tainted by the Adversary, the magical powers in the location twisted by their foe. When once more considering the scope of their situation, Forge seems content to stay on this world even though their home world stands to be destroyed. When Storm asks him about the fate of their native home. Forge tells her home is where the heart is and his heart is with her. When he asks her where hers is, she tells him that she doesn't know and walks off, confused after all the manipulation she went through with "Naze". Forge smiles, understanding full that this "sanctuary" may be a trap by the Adversary. However in this game of "chess" these two mere "pawns" may become queens.
Back in Dallas, the X-Men and Freedom Force have gathered all the humans trapped in the location to Eagle Plaza which has been converted into a refugee area. There Manoli begins interviewing Mystique about the situation. When Manoli begins asking Mystique what it's like working with the outlaw X-Men, Havok pipes up and tells Havok that if the X-Men were the villains humans paint them to be they wouldn't be here and that they have been heroes since the days of their foundations. He tells the camera that every day they have spent risking their lives but too often paid the ultimate price for saving the world. He tells the camera that he is glad that this time around there is a camera to catch the truth and hopes that the people at home can enjoy the show. This statement earns Neal's respect. While elsewhere, Spiral tries to undo the spell that has bound Destiny's mask to Dazzler's face so that she can help with the relief efforts, however, some outside force is affecting her magics and she cannot reverse the spell due to the growing chaos. Colossus angrily grabs her by the throat and demands her to try harder until Psylcoke tells him to stand down, pointing out that she is as shocked as they are. When Colossus warns her against threatening another X-Man, she teleports away telling him that one day they will test each others powers against one another. Colossus, looking at the small statuette given to him by the strange girl in Scotland wonders if that won't happen sooner than either any of them suspect.
While back on the world created by the Adversary, Storm has traveled to this worlds version of Africa to call upon the Bright Lady for guidance much like she did as a child. However when her pleas are unheard, she realizes the horrible truth about this world: as idealistic as it is meant to be it has no soul and wonders if she is meant to be this worlds version of the Bright Lady.
Back on Earth, the Crimson Commando and Stonewall are leading officers to Eagle Plaza when they spot an party of Native Americans riding towards them in traditional Cheyenne outfits and on horseback. Approaching them the Commando is told by their chief that the chaos has been created by the Adversary and that only Forge -- who has been trained his entire life to face the old trickster -- can stop the creature. The Commando is inclined to agree, however before any more information can be gleaned, one trigger happy police officer shoots the chief, thinking him a threat. This causes his fellow officers to react in kind gunning down the Native Americans in cold blood, despite the Commando's orders to stop firing. In the aftermath of the senseless slaughter, Commando mourns the dead telling his comrade that these people came as friends and were murdered, making him wonder if the world even deserves to be saved.
On the other world, an entire year has passed and Storm has returned to where she has left Forge. She is surprised to see that he has not only built a home, but found a means to create a solar power system. When she greets him, she sees that he had cannibalized much of his bionic leg. The two are reunited and share a kiss and the two begin considering their options on what to do about their situation. Forge tells them that it is their job to decide what their nature is on this world.
While back in Dallas, barbarians are attacking the sanctuary leading to a full out battle. When Wolverine asks Neal what is going on outside, Neal tells him that there is a massive battle happening in New York involving X-Factor and that the Avengers and Fantastic Four are being held in reserve there. Wolverine is hardly surprised that they are left to fend for themselves. As Logan and Mystique consider what to do next, Colossus takes notice of Destiny and goes to her side, asking the precognitive what she can see. Destiny tells him that all she sees is an ultimate void of oblivion and unending chaos.. But now sees a faint glimmer, for Freedom Force and the rest of the world. But breaks into tears and tells Colossus that this comes at the cost of the lives of the X-Men, who's fate she says are sealed. A fate that will happen if the X-Men enter Eagle Plaza again. When Colossus walks towards the plaza, Madelyne asks Colossus what he is doing. Colossus tells her that if salvation is within Eagle Plaza, then sacrificing himself to save the entire world is a fair exchange.
As he does so reality continues to warp and when Psylocke sees him heading toward the building she stops him. When he cannot explain to her his plan in words, Psylocke scans his mind and recognizes the woman who told his fortune in Scotland was Roma the Omniversal Guardian. Realizing that they need to get up to Forge's penthouse, Wolverine sends Rouge to fly out and investigate first. As she does, Spiral is blasted from the roof and is sent falling down. She crashes into Rogue and their fall is blunted by the Blob. While Rogue is no worse for wear, Spiral has been knocked out. This makes up Logan's mind that the penthouse is just where they need to go, and they will have to go up the stairs. Havok tells them they're going to have some more problems as the lobby of Eagle Plaza has been transformed into a jungle. Taking a closer look, Logan recognizes it very well, it resembles Vietnam.
While back on the world that Forge and Storm have been sent to, the two realize that they have a choice: Either they stay and foster the human race on this empty world, being it's gods and let their home world perish, or return home and let this nubile world end before it could truly begin. Forge tells Storm that if they stay they will be spared the fate of everyone back home, but if they go back they will share the same fate as the world. Storm questions if Forge has a way they could get back home. Forge explains that while she was gone seeking answers, he was working to accomplish that possibility and shows her the new Aerie that he has created.
Back in Dallas, the X-Men and Freedom Force -- accompanied by a State Trooper -- enter the jungle that appeared inside Eagle Plaza. To their surprise, they are attacked by a Viet Cong soldier which the trooper easily dispatches. Logan's enhanced senses detect something wrong with the man, and when he begins spouting anti-mutant rhetoric, Mystique reminds him that mutants are the ones trying to save the world. When Mystique decides to have Freedom Force press on, Logan disagrees. He tells her to keep Freedom Force back so that if it's a trap not all of them are captured and tells her (while being filmed by Neal) that the X-Men are outlaws that nobody will miss if they sacrifice their lives to save the world. He then turns to his fellow X-Men and tells them that it's a volunteer mission and any one of them can back out. The X-Men all agree to tag along, even the blinded Dazzler and Madelyne Pryor who refuse to stay behind when Logan suggests it. When all is said and done, Neal Conan approaches Logan and shakes his hand. Logan turns and tells all gathered that no matter what happens, to always remember them.
As the X-Men venture into the forest a universe away Storm and Forge are atop the new Aerie. Here Forge has created a ring that can channel the mystic energies needed to send them back home. He explains that it will require the use of Storm's powers, telling her that while she was gone he built a device that -- he hopes -- will restore her lost mutant powers. Storm agrees to test the weapon out and when Forge blasts her with the newly created device he tells Storm to summon the elements. At first it doesn't work but after some concentration Storm is delighted to see that her powers have returned. Calling lightning, the restored wind-rider blasts the mystical posts creating the elemental pentagram needed for Forge to cast his spell to send them back home.
Back in Dallas, the Freedom Force and the state trooper flee from the lobby of Eagle Plaza as the weather takes a turn for the worse. The trooper stops and reveals his true form: that of the Adversary, who is surprised to sense that Storm and Forge are returning to Earth. Finding them worthy adversaries, he calls out to them telling all that he welcomes their sacrifice and will enjoy bringing the world into chaos. Seeing this transformation, the Blob freaks out and grabs Mystique and flees. Just then, the top floor of Eagle Plaza suddenly explodes...
This story is concluded next issue...
- The Official Marvel Index to the X-Men (Vol. 2) #4 - See for further referencing