The Adventures of Cyclops and Phoenix #3: Through the Years

Eight years since Redd has arrived in the future, she stands on the rooftop in the evening coaching Nathan on the use of his mutant powers. She reflects on how frustrating Professor Xavier would have been in this similar situation. Nathan asks why can’t she do it for him, Redd replies that he is “fully capable of using [his] own mind to morph [his] own body”.

Nathan: “Here you...go -- one normal lookin’ Nathan Dayspring. Satisfied?”
Redd: “Proud, Nathan.”

She tells him that he was born with special abilities that made him different, she and Slym hoped that he could fully develop his powers. Nathan tells her that he doesn’t want to keep passing for a normal human and hiding from Apocalypse “for no reason”. Redd tells him whether he’s a human or mutant, “nothing changes what [he is] on the inside”.

Nathan: “And what’s that, Red? What am I...on the inside”?

Redd remains silent, not knowing how to break the news to him that his is destined to “spend the rest of his life leading a rebellion against Apocalypse...constantly sacrificing his own personal happiness on behalf of a dream which began in the mind of Charles Xavier” long before he was born. She doesn’t dare reveal that his parents are actually Scott and Jean Summers under the guise of Slym and Redd. She changes the subject, that it was necessary they hid from Apocalypse. Nathan rebuts that why isn’t it Apocalypse hiding from them instead? Why don’t they go after him? Redd replies that “someday [they] may”. Redd takes an exhausted Nathan in her arms and lulls him to sleep.

Several miles away, Apocalypse and Ch’vayre witness Styfe showing off his latest manifestation of his psionic powers. Ch’vayre watches on in mild disgust.

Ch’vayre: Is this what Apocalypse’s goal for survival of the fittest has come to? Is pain and suffering and cruelty...The slaughter of innocents for no other reason than amusement...All that our “master race” of Homo Superior has to offer the rest of the world?

Satisfied with his performance, Apocalypse dismisses Stryfe. Ch’vayre confronts Apocalypse that by accelerating Styfe’s powers and forcing him to constantly work on his powers is robbing him of his childhood, running the risk of nurturing an incompassionate ruler. Apocalypse firmly reminds Ch’vayre (by slamming him into a wall) that the boy’s only function is to serve as his vessel for his “ageless power”. The battle that the Clan Askani had been fighting isn’t over. Apocalypse mentions he implanted the techno-organic virus on the child of Scott and Jean Summers to see if he could survive to be worthy. Ch’vayre makes the connection of the virus with the “diseased ravaged body” of Nathan whom he lost to Slym and Redd in the Askani hold. Does Apocalypse have the wrong child?

Back in Crestcoast, Slym and Redd prepare for another secret raid. Redd finds a moment to talk to Slym regarding Nathan. Nathan’s “going through a tough time” and “needs his father to spend some time with him”. Slym reflects on his youth spend in an orphanage, he knows all too well the “same feelings of confusion and alienation”; he’d go talk to Nathan now. Redd tells him there’s no need to hurry, they can talk in the morning. Unbeknownst to the team of raiders, Nathan overhears them and follows them to a forgotten metropolis. The purpose of the raid was to retrieve data of a virus with the ability to “retard production of human DNA” and hence result in “species...extinction”. A stunned Slym and Redd recognize the virus as the “Legacy Virus” from Xavier’s files which Stryfe released in their present time.

The raid is interrupted by Apocalypse’s men lead by Ch’vayre. Nathan attempts to jump in to help, but he has been discovered by Redd, who orders him to stay put. As the adults battle, Slym and Redd reveal their mutant powers to their human friends. But they’ve pledged their loyalty to the humans for they have a “common enemy”, choosing not to expose themselves, feeling they’d be safer without anyone knowing. Nathan makes his way to the computer in the building up above, guided by the feminine voice in his head. The voice tells him how to operate the complex machinery. Stryfe notices Nathan while the adults battle on.

Stryfe interrupts Nathan. Both boys find they have a telepathic connection between them, and that they resemble each other, apart from minor differences. Stryfe is outraged.

Stryfe: “There is a certain similarity between us, no? To your eternal misfortune, ‘Nate’. For I cannot bear to be anything less than...Unique”.

Stryfe assaults Nathan with his powers. With the voice in his head guiding him, Nathan manifests his powers, showing “there is much more to the psionic abilities [he] possess[es]”, stunning Stryfe. Unfortunately, his display of power has cost Nathan to lose control of the techno-organic virus, letting it ravage his body.

Seeing that the fight has no end, Ch’vayre and his men retreat with an unconscious Stryfe. Having met Stryfe for the first time, Slym and Redd realise that he must be the clone Mother Askani had told them about. They fetch Nathan and escape the building as it explodes and collapses. Nathan tells Slym and Redd of the voice in his head -- Rachel. Later, amidst the celebrations on the streets of Crestcoast, Slym pays a visit to a comatose Mother Askani, Rachel Summers. He expresses his gratitude towards her for bringing Jean and him to the future, and reuniting them with Nathan as a family. He tells Rachel he’s proud of his daughter, and that he loves her.

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