(watcher’s note: this storyline takes place after the events of “ Night of The Zodiac!”)
Issue One (double sized issue!)
- As Brett Cool passes through the ionic artery wall that separates parallel realities, he thinks he notices, off in the far distance, what appears to be a floating island city surround by crackling ionic energy. 1
- After seeing this, everything goes white and there’s a massive ionic energy explosion as Brett Cool reappears inside Earth-626’s Project: Pegasus!
- Brett Cool has returned home!
- As Cool returns to his senses he sees that his prisoners, the unbrainwashed Lady Graviton, Count Nefaria, the Black Queen, and 717-Dwayne Taylor are all still unconscious and trying to recover from passing through parallel realities and being secured by SHIELD and Project: Pegasus security agents.
- As Mr. Fantastic (who was there trying to help track down what happened to Cool) and Project: Pegasus Security Chief Wendell Vaughn help Cool to his feet the Black Queen makes her move! She was only pretending to be unconscious! She will not allow herself to be taken prisoner by SHIELD!
- She starts to attack with all the dark mystic powers at her command while Cool and Reed move to contain her.
- Her initial attack damages the protection systems of the Projects Dimensional Gateway and Reed has to break off attacking to try and make sure there isn’t an overload. (at which point i start a Timer complication)
- After some initial difficulties, Cool manages to secure the Black Queen and he leaves her for the SHIELD tactical unit while he turns his attention to helping Reed prevent an overload.
- The combination of Cool’s and Reed’s genius easily prevents a meltdown and, afterwhich, SHIELD tells Cool that they’re taking Nefaria to the Vault and, since Cool says Lady Graviton may have been brainwashed, they’ll take her to the Ravencroft Institute for the Criminally Insane to be checked out, but she has to be taken into custody for her previous crimes. 717-Dwayne introduces himself as Cool’s “assistant.”
- After all that is handled, Wendell leads Cool and Reed to his private office and Cool gives them all the rundown of his World’s Collide adventure and how the entire thing took place over only 8 hours. At which point Reed tells him that, on this Earth, 7 days have passed since he disappeared in the initial ionic energy explosion and they fill him in on everything he’s missed
(the Vampire Siege of NYC, the attacks on London, etc)
- Cool decides he needs to check on the status of his Earth’s Siege Perilous and asks if Reed wants to go with him and 717-Dwyane to check it out. Reed agrees and they all travel at lightspeed to the Outback Ghost Town.
- As they make their way down to the underground catacombs they hear a high pitch whine of machinery and lights coming from the bottom of the steps and around the corner.
- When they turn the corner they see a team of Rigellians disassembling all the machinery of the hidden catacomb and securing the Siege. Once the Siege was activated it set off an alarm on the Rigellian homeworld and they immediately sent a member of their Science Police and a squad of techs to Earth to secure it.
- Seeing that things are in good hands here, Cool leaves Reed and 717-Dwayne because he wants to go to Count Nefaria’s mountain estate in Italy to take away his ionic machine that he uses to make his Ionic Supermen legions and the Rigellian science team tells him it will take them at least an hour and a half to finish the job. (during the “World’s Collide” crossover, he had taken this info from Nefaria’s mind)
- When he gets to his estate, he goes invisible and makes his way to the underground chamber that Nefaria keeps the machine at. After he breaks through the security lock of the huge doors that lead inside the inner chambers he sees that the machine is huge and fills the chamber and there are science staff maintaining the machine and they’re being overseen by Manchester Black.
(Manchester Black is a DC comics villain. but i always thought he was cool so i made him up for my game)
- When the doors cycle open they make a loud sound and when Manchester turns to see who’s walking in, and sees no one, he does a TK scan of the area and he detects that Cool is there. But before he can act against Cool, Cool uses his powers to transform the ionic machine to pure light and takes it away with him and puts it in his secret underground bunker on the abandoned Cool Island.
- After securing the device there, Cool decides he wants to take care of Manchester and secure him in the Vault too so he goes back, completely visible this time, and the shit talking and fighting starts!
- Even though Black calls in Ionic Supermen reinforcements, Cool manages to defeat all of them, and takes Black to the Vault at light speed, drops him off there, and tells the Warden that he should expect more as he goes back to Nefaria’s estate to continue to search it.
- But when he gets back, there are no ionic supermen to be seen and he’s then met but the head butler who tells him that all the security forces are gone and asks him what his business there is.
- Cool decides there’s nothing more to do here and he heads back to meet up with Reed and Dwayne.
- Once the Rigellians are done and leave, he takes Reed back to the Baxter Building. He leaves 717-Dwayne there as he goes to a meeting with Captain America on the flight deck of the SHIELD Helicarrier. He gives his Cap the letter that President Rogers wrote to his double. Cap reads the letter and thanks Cool for it. It helps him make the decision to trust Cool to tell him a secret…he has Cool establish a telepathic link and Cool sees that Nick Fury personally asked Cap to not reform the Avengers yet! He tells Cap that it’s important for the safety of the planet and to trust him, which Cap does.
- After that, Cool returns to the Baxter Building to pick up 717-Dwayne and then the two of them head home; to the west coast branch of the Xavier-Lehnsherr School of Higher Learning.
- A week passes. A week of peace and relaxation and getting back into “regular” life.
- During that week Cool figures out that the Pym Particles formula that he got from 717-Pym was his beginning formula. So it can only make the Pill form and not the more advanced Pym Particles that Cool was hoping for. He also see disturbing news reports about mutant killings, and those responsible call themselves the Stryker Crusade. But Rev. William Stryker, of the Stryker Ministries claims to have no connection with this violent movement and condemns them. Cool also learns about “Mutant Francisco” in San Fran and “M-Town” in NYC.
- The start of the next week brings unexpected bad news. Cool gets served with a summons. He’s being sued by Count Nefaria for breaking and entering, assault on his security personnel, destruction of private property, and grand theft!
- Cool goes to the law offices of Nelson, Murdock, and Walters to talk to his lawyer Matt Murdock about it. Cool tells Matt everything and admits they have him dead to rights.
- Well, let’s just say, when they go to settle it through Arbitration, it’s pretty much all goes Neferia’s way. Cool ends up having to take the machine back to Neferia’s estate so they can watch him destroy it, has to sign off promising to never use what he’s learned to build another one, has to give back Neferia’s psi-blocking helmet, has to fund the reconstruction of Neferia’s estate, and has to give a public apology to Neferia. (heh, which Cool does over twitter)
- After all that is taken care of, another week passes and things seem to calm back down and settle back into a routine.
- And then, while Cool is just about to start teaching his 9am Space Sciences class, the lights go dead and then a 12 foot tall hologram of Dr. Doom appears!
- It tells Cool that Latveria is under attack by unknown forces and people will die if Cool doesn’t come help.
“So speaks Doom!”
- to be continued! -
- Cool’s class erupts in sheer amazement and shock. That was Dr. Doom! The greatest super-villain the world has ever known! And he knows their teacher by name!
- After Cool gets his class settled, he goes to Emma and he learns that, from the news program Emma was in the middle of watching, that Latveria is under attack by unknown forces. He asks Jefferies to watch his class and then goes to his campus villa to ask The Recorder to come with him. The Recorder agrees and teleports itself and Cool to the skies above Latveria.
- Cool manages to locate where Doom is inside Castle Doom and has the Recorder teleport him straight there.
- When he appears, he sees Doom in a large chamber, in battle with four people, all four are dressed in black, with black masks, hoods, and cloaks. They call themselves The Dark Riders, the elite soldiers of Clan Akkaba, and they’ve come to free their dark lord; Apocalypse, from Doom.
- Doom tells Cool to keep them busy and he turns his back on Cool and the fight in order to cast a spell of protection on the massive door he was fighting to defend.
- Cool tries to reason with the Dark Riders, to no avail, and the fight begins!
- As the fight rages, with Cool being hard pressed, Doom reasons Cool should be able to hold his own, tells Cool “Don’t fail me.” and teleports away!
- Cool can’t believe it! He came here to help and Doom just leaves him to handle his “light work?!”
- Cool actually tells the Dark Riders “oh screw him!” and leaves the scene to go meet up with the Recorder, who’s still hovering high in the skies over Latveria. He takes the time to heal while he’s up there, before heading back. Which was his main reason for leaving the fight, besides his anger at Doom.
(for their actions, while he’s doing that, i have the Dark Riders spend each of their actions to Grandstand (so i can get the Doom Pool built up some more) and after they do that, i start a Timer Complication, representing how much time they have before they break through that massive door.)
- Having fully healed himself, Cool has the Recorder teleport him back down and the last battle begins!
- The battle is furious, with no quarter being asked and none given! It gets to the point where everyone fighting gets taken down to D12 physical stress, and both sides make their last, desperate moves to be the last man standing!
- In the end, Cool prevails as War, the leader of the four Dark Riders, finally succumbs to his injuries.
- When the last of the Dark Riders falls, Doom teleports their bodies away for further…interrogation…before Cool can react. (i spend 2D12 to end the Action Scene like that)
- The door that Cool fought so hard to defend opens and Doom bids Cool welcome. In the room, looks like a, very ornate room, of a typical young boy.
- That young boy is Doom’s future heir, Genesis! The Dark Lord Apocalypse, reborn as a 10 year old boy! With no memory of who or what he was before.
- Doom reveals that this is what Cool was fighting for and that Doom wishes for him to be the newest student at Cool’s school of higher learning.
- Cool says he’ll get back to him, after he checks “with my boss,” goes to collect the Recorder, and then blinks back to the School to give Emma the rundown.
- Emma says that, if they want to live up to the school charter, they can’t turn away Genesis. In fact, this could be their chance to show him a different viewpoint on life then he can learn from Doom and that can only help the world. Cool agrees and him and Jefferies, taking the Blackbird this time, fly back to Latveria to get Genesis and bring him back to America and the school. Genesis’s room mate ends up being Kid Omega (which Emma setup).
- And as day turns to night, Cool tells Susie, 717-Dwayne, and the Recorder about his day/adventure and then they all go their rooms to get some sleep.
- A few hours later, before dawn, 717-Dwayne is in Cool’s room, telling him to wake up and turn on the news. Something major has happened in cities around the world.
- As the tv comes on, Cool, Susie, and 717-Dwayne watch a breaking news report from GNN’s Trish Tilby. An hour ago, four world cities came under attack. As she continues her voice over it cuts to various shaky cam footage from cell phones and they see the National Mall in DC has been devastated by Holocaust, it cuts to more footage and we see that Tokyo is ablaze thanks to Inferno, cuts to London being swallowed by darkness as Abyss uses his darkforce to lay havok to it, cuts to Genocide as she lays waste to Berlin using her destructive strength. Then the terrorists release a statement, which GNN plays over the shaky cam footage:
“We are the Horsemen of Apocalypse. We will not stop until our reborn Dark Lord has been returned to us. We. Will. Not. Stop.”
- to be concluded! -
- The sense shattering conclusion to Apocalypse Now!
- The issues opens with both teams, east and west coast, gathered in their respective War Rooms. On the west coast, it’s Cool, Emma, Kitty, and Mirage talking to full body holo-avatars of Jean, Scott, Logan, Warren, and Beast of the east coast branch.
- They’re reviewing the GNN footage that was shot over an hour ago of these new Four Horsemen attacking world cities around the globe.
- They decide on a two pronged plan. Cool will leave and use his Mutant Detection powers to try and track down Clan Akkaba’s HQ, so they can try to stop the Horsemen before they attack again. At the same time, Wolverine will lead a team of Nightcrawler, Angel, and Bishop to Egypt to see if Clan Akkaba is still using one of Apocalypse’s old bases. Angel says it’s a long shot but they should at least rule it out.
- Cool circles the globe at lightspeed but after an hour, he can’t detect any of the Horsemen. He uses his power to travel over communication lines to meet up with the Egypt team and discover that the old base is empty and abandoned. They search for an extra hour before making their way out and back to the surface. As they discuss other plans, Emma sends a telepathic emergency alert! The Four Horsemen are attacking the city of Chicago!
- Moving fast, Cool transports himself, Bishop, and Angel to the city to engage the Horsemen while Nightcrawler teleports himself and Wolverine into the fight. (Cool can’t break down logan’s bones, so he can’t take him in lightspeed anywhere)
- The X-Men vs. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse! Fight!
- As the battle rages, it starts to become very apparent…the X-Men assembled here are totally outclassed by these new Horsemen. Holocaust lays waste with his anti-plasma blasts! Genocide uses her godlike strength to cause massive property destruction. Inferno sets the very sky ablaze and rains down atomic fire over the city. Abyss uses his darkforce control and starts to pull people into the abyss, to feed on their emotional energies. They can’t be contained. They can’t be stopped!
- In the end; Angel, Nightcrawler, and Wolverine fall to the onslaught of the Horsemen, as the battle rages and their broken bodies are dragged, by Abyss, into the Darkforce Dimension to feed his dark hunger.
- The last two X-Men standing are Cool and Bishop and they’re being hard pressed as, all around them, Chicago burns.
- In the end, Cool settles on a desperate plan; as Bishop fights to not be pulled inside Abyss and Cool barely manages to withstand a devastating attack by Genocide, he manages to transform Bishop and Abyss into light energy and he blinks all three of them back to the east coast branch War Room.
- Between Cool, Bishop, Jean, Cyclops, and Beast they finally manage to subdue Abyss only to discover, as his broken body passes out, that Abyss was a brainwashed Cloak!
- With Cloak passed out, they have no way to get their people of the Darkforce Dimension. Cool attempts to use his psi-powers to access Cloaks mind, but can’t get through the mental brainwashing of Apocalypse.
- As they consider their options, Cyclops has Cool call the Recorder so Cyclops can go lead the rest of the X-Men in a desperate last stand to save the city of Chicago from the other three Horsemen.
- After Cyclops leaves, Cool remembers that Gateway should be able to get them access to the Darkforce Dimension, if he chooses to. So they go to the Outback to meet up with Gateway and he opens a gateway to the Darkforce. Beast stays behind to monitor the (very) injured Cloak and Cool and Jean jump into the Darkforce Dimension to try and find their friends.
- As they plunge deeper and deeper into the Darkforce, they start to suffer under the effects of being in this horrible dimension. They start to become more and more disoriented. They start to suffer from greater and greater emotional damage. A coldness falls over their very souls. They start to hear voices…the Darkness has many aspects…and it hungers for them!
- In the end, they both have to abandon the rescue mission. It’s gonna take everything they have to escape from the Darkforce Dimension before they totally succumb to it. They barely escape with their lives and sanity intact! (both cool and jean suffer from D4 Emotional Trauma)
- As Cool and Jean try to recover from their ordeal, the Beast refuses to give up! He has the Recorder send them back to the east coast War Room and after Cool recovers some more, he resolves, once again, to try and get inside of Cloak’s mind. Cool kit-bashes a temporary psi-booster and Beast hooks it up to his computers in the Med-Lab and this time they succeed! (holy crap, was that a great Asset creation roll!)
- Cool frees Cloak’s mind from the mental control of Apocalypse and Cloak uses his powers to retrieve Wolverine, Angel, and Nightcrawler from the Darkforce. But all three seem to be totally soul-drained. Time will tell…
- The team here knows that Cyclops and his team can only hold out for so long against the Horsemen in Chicago and they settle on a desperate plan. They’re going to take the fight right to Clan Akkaba; into the very Metropolis of Apocalypse, deep underneath the North Pool in a tesseract city. Beast sends an open signal to Chicago saying that they have Apocalypse and they’re going directly to the Hidden City with him.
- Cloak teleports them there and Cool uses his powers to make himself look like Apocalypse himself and Cloak uses the Darkforce to make himself look like Abyss again.
- In the end, the leader of Clan Akkaba, Ozymandias, uses his future sight to see through their ruse but, between Cool, Beast, and Ozymandias, they come to an arranged truce. In order to prove their reborn dark lord is fight to survive in both mind and body they let him stay with the X-Men, so he can learn other viewpoints besides their own. To prove that, even with them, he’ll still become Apocalypse. Or it could prove that the X-Men ways are the true way. Deal!
- And with that deal, it’s all over. And it is a very emotional shaken Cool that makes his way to Chicago to help with the clean up and to give Maria Hill of SHIELD a debrief 2 and then he makes his way back home where, after giving Emma a rundown and hugging Susie, he passes out in his bed, surrounded by his force-field belt, as he hears the Darkforce whisper dark things to him…
- end -
Emma tells Cool that mutants from all around the world will be suffering because of this. and since they no longer have Cerebro tech, they need to start a World Tour to find these mutants and offer them help.
[5 XP] There Is A Traitor In The Clan: Unlocking this gives you access to a mutant who is a double agent in Clan Akkaba. This mutant is actually a member of Xavier’s Mutant Underground and will funnel information to Cool about any future plans of Clan Akkaba. But be careful. If this double agent is discovered, well, Clan Akkaba has ways of dealing with traitors. (in game terms, gives a D8 Resource to any Covert role when trying to learn anything about Clan Akkaba.)
[10 XP] A Secret City With Secret Doors: Unlocking this gives you access to a secret entrance into the Metropolis of Apocalypse, unknown to everyone else except you and the member of Clan Akkaba that gave the information to you. But be warned, a secret is hard to keep if used too many times. (this unlockable can only be bought if the 5 XP “There Is A Traitor In The Clan” is unlocked first.)
[15 XP] The Redemption of Lady Graviton: Unlocking this insures that, with time & proper therapy from Doc Sampson, Lady Graviton can be redeemed & she will work to make amends for all the horror she caused when she was an insane super-villain. And since she’s a mutant, she will be transferred from the Ravencroft Institute to either the east coast or west coast branch of the Xavier-Lehnsherr School of Higher Learning. (in game terms, she becomes a minor supporting character.)