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After Xavier: The Age of Apocalypse

The X-Ternals are back on Earth with the M'Kraan Crystal, but Rictor is still on their tale and one member has switched sides. Not only does the shard end up in peril, but so does Magneto's son.

Synopsis

In the Morlock Tunnels, lovers Dazzler and Exodus find the remains of Nanny, the mobile, mechanical construct that was in charge of watching over Magneto's son, Charles. They find the boy is missing. Elsewhere, Apocalypse interrogates Rictor about recent events in the Morlock Tunnels while a child sleeps in the background.

Those events: Gambit and Lila run through the tunnels in an attempt to get away from Rictor. They are unaware that Rictor has a plan that enables him to track Guido and Jubilee, the others in the X-Ternals (Sunspot had sacrificed himself in the last issue). He is bound and determined to bring Gambit to the feet of Apocalypse. At this point in Rictor's narration to Apocalypse, Apocalypse asks if Rictor ever contemplated being set up since Jubilee was the one with the shard from the M'Kraan Crystal. Rictor sees his lust for bringing in Gambit could have destroyed everything Apocalypse had worked for.

Apocalypse begins to reveal a bit more of the story: Jubilee is on the run from Guido. She has no idea what's going on, only that he no longer appears to be an X-Ternal. Oddly enough, she not only carries the shard of the M'Kraan Crystal but also Charles Lehnsherr, Magneto's son. She reflects on what the plan had been: She and Guido take the shard to Magneto at the mansion in Westchester. As they were on their way, they meet the Nanny, the protector of young Charles. For some reason, Guido smashed the Nanny and turned on Jubilee. She'd been running since and, since Guido was the one who knew where Magneto was, she's running blind with a crying boy. Guido causes a flood which makes Jubilee have to stop and wait it out. By then, Guido has caught up. He takes the shard and explains that he has no choice in betraying the team. He'd been caught two months prior and a chip was placed in his body that helped the Infinite guards track his movements. Ultimately, Gambit is all that was wanted. The Infinites thought Gambit would lead to Rogue and Rogue would lead to Magneto. Guido went with it because he thought if Gambit was gone then he'd get Lila all to himself. And when he and Jubilee ran into the Nanny, Guido knew it would lead them right to Magneto, so he smashed the Nanny. He then takes the shard and the kid and leaves Jubilee.

Having heard Rictor mention that Guido could be tracked, Gambit doubles back in hopes of reaching the X-Men first. Instead, Gambit and Lila run into Guido. They notice he has Charles. Rictor then catches up and informs everyone that Guido has been on the wrong side the whole time. He then decides to do more than simply take Gambit prisoner; he attempts to kill the three of them. Guido catches a support beam and buys Gambit enough time to get Lila and get out. Guido then lets the support beam fall. Gambit hopes that Guido won't pull the ultimate sell-out and deliver the shard to Apocalypse.

The reason Rictor has been with Apocalypse comes to light. Rictor informs him that the X-Ternals are all dead, caught in the earthquake he caused. He realizes that things didn't quite go as planned, but the goal was still achieved. Apocalypse then tells Rictor that he is wrong. He hefts the child and Rictor realizes that the boy is the same that Guido had been carrying. Apocalypse informs Rictor that the child is Magneto's son. The man who brought the boy, Guido, knew exactly what would please Apocalypse. Rictor is chastened for his foolishness. Apocalypse then reveals that he also has the shard of the M'Kraan Crystal. Rictor's service has paled in comparison to Guido's and, for that, Rictor is killed.

In the rubble of the Morlock Tunnels, Dazzler and Exodus find Gambit and Lila. They take the two to see Magneto with their bad news.

This story concludes in X-Men Omega.

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