The Search for Cyclops #3: Am I Evil?

Aucai wakens from another nightmare in an inn in Farafirah. He saw himself being chased by Apocalypse in the desert. He tells Anais that he can feel the evil inside of him wanting out. Anais tells him not to fight it, but Aucai’s conscience tells him that “many will suffer” if he let it out. He presses her for the answers she promised she’d deliver. She sidesteps his questions and speaks of the great power he plays host to, that is Apocalypse’s essence. She tells him they have to leave that night and make their way to Akkaba, “where all of [his] questions will be answered”.

A mysterious plague spreads through the village of Farafirah. Half the population died in the matter of days, with the rest of the infected village placed under quarantine. Two cloaked figures (of Jean and Cable) make their way through the crowd trying to find Cyclops. Cable throws a telekinetic shield around them to seal them from infection while Jean scans the area mentally. Cable doesn’t trust the mission they have been sent on. He thinks that Anais that was sent previously by Ozymandias could have perished trying to find Apocalypse or at the hands of Apocalypse himself. They have to be careful. Unbeknownst to them, they are being watched by another cloaked figure.

Anais tries to purchase train tickets, but the ticket agent tells her with the quarantine orders, no one is allowed to leave the village. She threatens him with the menacing appearance of her true form and secures two tickets for a train to Akkaba.

Jean and Cable tracks Aucai (Scott) to the inn which he and Anais had recently vacated. The innkeeper confirms the occupants were the ones Jean and Cable are looking for. Jean reaches out with her mind through the psychic rapport she shared with Scott in hopes of reaching him. She finds him in an alley and dashes out of the inn, Cable hot on her heels.

Back in the alley, Aucai is being dragged down into a manhole by Pestilence (Caliban), one of his former horseman. Jean and Cable trail him down to the sewers. Cable tells her to be careful not to fall into Apocalypse’s trap; he could just be luring her with Scott’s biosignature. They are followed by Anais, who is in turn trailed by the mysterious cloaked hunter.

Aucai tells Caliban he is not Apocalypse and doesn’t know him. Caliban tells Aucai he is indeed Apocalypse, who’s scent he has been tracking, despite another scent on him. Anais takes out Caliban, fearful that “he wants what [Aucai] has”, the essense of Apocalypse which she intends to keep for herself when Apocalypse is reborn.

Jean and Cable make their presence felt and heard. Aucai finds Jean’s voice very familiar. Caliban remember Cable as his friend. The hunter waiting in the shadows seizes the moment to strike, but he misses and hits the tunnel wall instead, causing a cave in. Caliban grabs the hunter (revealed to be Gauntlet), who confesses that he was sent here by someone to kill Apocalypse. Cable suspects Ozymandias sent him, but Gauntlet tells Cable “it was someone a lot closer”. Jean tells Cable to hold up the tunnel with his telekinesis; she needs time to get through to Scott.

Meanwhile, Aucai returns to the collapsing tunnel to free Caliban from his obligation to serve Apocalypse irregardless. He picks up a ticket and looks straight into Jean’s eyes before the crumbling walls separate them. cable picks up the other ticket, and realisation dawns upon him that Aucai is headed for Apocalypse’s birthplace.

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