The Search for Cyclops #2: Hunted

Aucai and Anais stowaway in a truck across the Libyan border. Aucai has visions of a mob chasing him through an ancient city. Cornered, he awakens abruptly to a bright light shining in his eye. The travelling pair have been stopped by the Libyan army to check vehicles for refugees (who are not permitted to enter their borders). The army threatens to take the pair captive. Anais seduces the men with sexual favours in exchange for their freedom.

Back in New York, Cable has a conversation with Blaquesmith. Cable feels he has failed his father, Cyclops, because he came back to this timeline but did not succeed in stopping Apocalypse. Blaquesmith tells him his father sacrificed his life for Cable and “all [he] fought for against Apocalypse”, and so he should “fight in [his] father’s place”. Blaquesmith hands Cable his psimitar with a few modifications and tells him to live what’s left of his life to the fullest.

Late in the night, Cable secretly makes his way into the Danger Room of the Xavier Institute. He calls up a Danger Room session, in which he engages Apocalypse in a fierce battle. Unexpectedly, the holographic image starts talking to him. Distracted by Apocalypse’s accusations that Cable involved his family and friends in his battle and left his father to die, Cable was tackled by Apocalypse. Regaining his bearings, Cable finds himself face to face with the image of Apocalypse merged with Cyclops. Cable senses someone has been tampering with his session. Jean makes her way down from the control booth. She tells him she knows of this secret obsession of his. She shares his pain of losing a loved one. Jean questions Cable if Apocalypse had merged with Cyclops, could he still kill Apocalypse?

Suddenly, a portal opens and a man known as Ozymandias, one of Apocalypse’s servants, appears before them. Jean and Cable strategize an attack on Ozymandias, but the latter has come to deliver the news that Cyclops is still alive.

Ozymandias: “Follow me, however...And learn the true fate of the man thought lost to you both.”

Back at the Libyan border, Anais, a devoted pupil of Apocalypse, manifests her true form and proceeds to decapitate the Libyan army men.

Ozymandias’ portal brings them to an ancient temple. He tells Jean and Cable that he sent the most devoted, Anais, to search for his master, Apocalypse. Anais never returned, which means either the search has been futile, or “they are no longer who they were”. Apocalypse resides in “the vessel that was Scott Summers”, biding time for his rebirth, when which Cyclops will cease to exist.

Ozymandias: “I know not Anais’ intentions. Though you must realise that a battle rages within that merged form. In truth, I fear for the survival of both those lost to us...I want you to find him.”

A lone soldier guards Aucai. The former explains they have been following the latter’s trail, and keeps his firearms pointed in Aucai’s direction. Feeling threatened, Aucai gets another vision, of him being attacked again by a mob. He attacks and tackles the soldier.

Just as Anais is finishing off the last soldier she is confronting, she hears the gunshots fired blindly by that soldier and his cries for help. With Anais distracted, the soldier confronting her tries to make a run, but she kills him anyway. Drawn to the great power of Apocalypse “about to be reborn”, Anais rushes back to the truck. Aucai is strangling the soldier to death, but suddenly manifests Cyclops’ optic blasts from his eyes, giving the soldier the opportunity to escape.

Anais: “You are only beginning to see what you truly are. And how the world reacts toward those like you. Those different than them. Those superior to them.”
Aucai: “I...We’ll keep moving. I don’t trust you, Anais -- But I’ll follow you. There’s something inside of me -- I can feel it. It makes me do things...Dark things. And...I need you to guide me.”
Anais: “And why is that?”
Aucai: “Because...I’m afraid I like it.”

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