The Further Adventures of Cyclops and Phoenix #4: Beginnings

Through his wife’s eyes, Scott sees Sinister walk out of the chamber. An enraged Scott lets out an optic blast, wanting to kill Sinister before he spends “the next century manipulating bloodlines”. But Scott finds he can’t bring himself to kill Sinister.

Scott: “I don’t know what’s worse, Jean -- The fact that I almost slaughtered a man -- Or the fact that I couldn’t do it!”
Jean: “I know what he’s destined to do to your family, Scott -- But you know that’s not the answer.”
Scott: “But when Sanctity pulled us into this era, she told us that we had to save this present...Or the future will be doomed. Surely that means we have to stop the unholy alliance between Sinister and Apocalypse...Doesn’t it?”
Jean: “We were sent here to prevent Apocalypse from taking over the world -- we can’t concern ourselves with maybes. If he wins, there is no tomorrow. No you...No me...No us.”

Sinister tells Scott the probable reason that he is unable to kill is because he is “tainted by...sentimental poison”. Scott replies that it is Sinister who is “tainted”, willing to sacrifice everything for the sake of Science, which is “insane”. Sinister proceeds to attack the couple. The stronghold crumbles. As Jean telekinetically keeps the place from caving in to allow those trapped to escape, Scott attempts one last shot at Sinister. But Apocalypse’s alien technology metamorphoses into an escape carrier for Sinister. Scott tries again to dissuade Sinister that Apocalypse is only interested in destruction, not knowledge. Telekinetically, Jean drags Scott out of the crumbling area. Safety is their first concern if they are to stop Apocalypse.

At the other end of Apocalypse’s stronghold to where Sinister has escaped, he sets off to test the extent of the “transfiguration” of him, putting Apocalypse’s orders on hold. He finds on himself a music box he bought for Rebecca. The memory of her brings neither pain, remorse nor love. He is truly free to pursue his scientific work without any “moral restraints”.

Meanwhile, Apocalypse infiltrates Buckingham Palace.

Apocalypse: Let me ignite the flames of global conflict by snuffing out this false royalty!

In the sewers, Oscar, Daniel, Scott and Jean make their escape, only to be stopped in their tracks by the transfigured Cootie Tremble. Jean reaches out telepathically, finding Tremble to be suffering from a quick and careless transfiguration. Jean tries to mentally ease his suffering, but she can’t get a hold on the mutating brain cells. Sinister steps in and kills Tremble by breaking his neck. Jean holds back Scott from attacking Sinister, believing “some vestige of humanity” may be left within him.

Sinister explains that the transfiguration is a “travesty”. The new and racially supreme species must be “breed naturally” with the correct bloodlines.

Sinister: “One must be willing to be cruel in the search for truth...But cruelty for no purpose is ignorance -- and ignorance is the greatest enemy of Science.”
Scott: “Don’t you see? This is the way of Apocalypse! Cruelty isn’t a means to him...It’s an end!”
Sinister: “Why should I help you? When I was Essex the world mocked me! Now it begs for my assistance?! What pleasing irony!”
Scott: “I don’t call wholesale slaughter irony, Sinister. I call it evil. You have a chance to stop that evil.”

Sinister disappears with a hint that his destination is Buckingham Palace.

Apocalypse comes face to face with the Queen and the Prime Minister after the banquet has ended. Apocalypse demonstrates his power by taking out the guards easily, and transforms from his disguise into his true shape before their eyes. Jean throws up a telekinetic shield over Apocalypse’s victims just in time to deflect the lethal blast that was meant to kill. A weakened Jean tends to the civilians while Scott goes for Apocalypse. The couple is momentarily taken down, but suddenly, Apocalypse falls to his feet, weakened (at the hands of Sinister). Scott and Jean seize the chance to take Apocalypse out.

As the couple ponder over why Sinister sought to help them, they feel their bodies beginning to “timeshift” as Sinister disappears with a weakened Apocalypse back to the stronghold. Scott blames himself for Essex’s transformation into Sinister and the suffering the latter has caused. Jean reassures him that in spite of letting Sinister go, they have prevented a global war. Before they take their leave, Jean mindwashes all the eyewitnesses to the battle.

Back at Apocalypse’s stronghold, Sinister reveals that he manipulated the plague to affect only Apocalypse. Otherwise the plague would have “polluted and deformed the evolution of the species”. Apocalypse lets Sinister off on the account that Sinister doesn’t defy him ever again.

Sanctity appears before Scott and Jean only after the accomplishment of their mission to stop Apocalypse from destroying the world. While Scott is still upset that he didn’t try to take out Sinister, Sanctity in turn tells him that if not for Sinister, Scott’s son and the future’s savior, will cease to exist.

Sanctity: “We all serve a function...Make sacrifices...and hope, in the end, we made a difference...Perhaps sometimes lesser evils are necessary if greater evils are to be overcome.”

Hearing her words, Scott can’t help thinking that there was “something else....something [they] did without even knowing it”.

New York Harbour, 1860. Oscar and Daniel, immigrants from London travel under the guise of father and son. At the immigration office, they give their name as Summers.

Westminister Abbey, 1882. Sinister watches as the remains of Charles Darwin is carried out in a coffin. He is recognized by a member of the Royal Society as Nathaniel Essex, who promptly apologises for his “mistake”. Sinister tells him that Nathaniel Essex died years ago. Sinister then finds himself asking why has he kept Rebecca’s music box all these years? He discards of the trinket.

Sinister: Today, finally, I let go of you all. I remember, Charles [Darwin], long, long ago. The night Rebecca died. I burst into your house ranting like a madman. I told you...That I leave the future to you. Well, it seems...It is you...who has left the future to me.

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