Chapter 7: Seeking Answers
Ellie blinked, staring at the structure before herself with wide eyes for a moment before she caught herself and looked around for the others. "Where... did it bring me to? Where'd they go?"
Jean's voice could be heard in her mind Jean: Ellie? are you okay?
Ellie answered her with a nod. "I'm alright..but did we get separated?"
She spoke once more Jean: Yes, but I assume you can see the opening up ahead right? Same for you, Emma?
Emma's voice came forth Emma: I can, I'm already here at the entrance, I suggest the two of you get here, too.
Ellie spoke up. "I'll start heading over there then. " She began making her way towards it, heading up the stairs before her.
Around her, were destroyed statues and faceless giant pillars. Sandstorms whipped around the area but the relics of the past stood tall looming over them almost with a foreboding atmosphere. As she passed the statues that were still standing, it was as if they were watching her. She finally made her way over as Emma waved a bit, Jean was next arriving at the front entrance. Once they had gathered up Emma nodded Emma: looks like you haven't mastered power manipulation yet kiddo. still, you kept the portal on track.. least we didn't end up stuck in limbo.
Jean scowled a bit at Emma Jean: I thought you were going to be quiet, Emma. She looked to Ellie what's important is we made it here safely thanks to you.
Ellie thought for a moment. "We did, but I guess we'll need to be careful too when trying to get back."
Jean nodded Jean: don't worry, you'll do fine, for now, let us take care of things while you recharge. Emma if you would go first.
Emma nodded Emma: alright. She started forward into the temple.
Jean followed closely with Ellie following next. Inside the temple it was dusty with a heavy musk in the air, nothing was seen around and many passages were collapsed leaving only one way ahead. Jean shivered a bit Jean: ...as far as these temples go.. they give me the creeps..
Emma shook her head Emma: never thought I'd hear that from you, the all-powerful Phoenix.. but your right... I've always hated these places.. why can't Apocalypse sleep in a shopping mall or something I WANT to go to.. sheesh!
Ellie tried to lighten the feeling a bit. "Too crowded at a mall. They probably prefer the quiet."
Jean smirked a bit. Emma nodded and sighed Emma: you are probably right.. besides Ancient dead Egyptians don't really scream fashion. They're all dead anyway so we won't hear any screaming..... wait... do you feel that?
she stopped the group. Ahead of them, a long cold chill air came from the room. Jean blinked Jean: it's cold.. why?
Emma nodded Emma: it must be ninety degrees outside.. but it's cold in here.. especially up ahead.. be ready..
Ellie gave a small nod, trying to ready herself in case they needed to defend.
Emma moved ahead forming her body into a hardened diamond as Jean readied herself and followed. They soon arrived at a large chamber with a huge drop below. Ahead was a tomb nearly frozen over and the entire area had icicles around it. Surrounding the tomb was a widened chamber filled with frozen water at the bottom. Emma stopped halfway towards a bridge leading to the center and looked around Emma: ....woah.. this is.... very different... and what's more... I don't remember this place.. it wasn't like this last time...
Jean blinked surprised at the area Jean: what is this...
Ellie took a look around. "Wonder what froze it like this.."
Emma closed her eyes focusing a bit Emma: It... feels like there was a battle here.. but...
Jean nodded Jean: it was over a thousand years ago.. during the first age of the Apocalypse...
Emma nodded Emma: whoever fought him sent this entire area into... space?
Ellie blinked. "How is that even possible??"
Jean shook her head Jean: there's no mutant powerful enough to do that.. but then where is Apocalypse?
Emma moved towards the coffin in the middle Emma: i can bet in here..
She used her powers to shatter the ice around the coffin and slowly pushed it open. She gasped seeing the inside and coughed pulling away with a gag. Emma: nngh! ahgh! ....oh man... that's terrible!
Jean moved forward looking into the coffin and gasped shocked Jean:...I don't believe it... It's Apocalypse.. but.. he's...
Ellie blinked, moving forward next to look.
Emma nodded Emma: dead. His skin is completely iced and black..
Inside the coffin, a corpse was pure black, burned by ice, and parts of the body were frozen over.
Jean shook her head Jean: ....he must have fought someone that was able to send him and this place to a void that even the sun could not reach.
Emma noddedEmma: makes sense, Apocalypse rises every so year and uses the sun's warmth as a conduit to regenerate in his resting chambers but... what happens when you send him and everything to nothing?
Jean shook her head Jean: he's really dead... the ice here is too hard to melt.. it seems like he was sent to Pluto..
Emma shivered Emma: the coldest place in the solar system... then brought back here...
Jean shivered Jean: I think I understand a bit now.. look. she pointed to scratch marks all along the inside of the coffin Apocalypse was sealed in his chamber and tried to get out.. but he couldn't escape fast enough, then he was sent away.
Emma blinked wide-eyed Emma: ...we sure about this?... Whatever the hell did this is something we don't want to see... you know that, right?
Jean closed her eyes Jean: wait... I can feel something... it is like a signal... it's calling.. further ahead..
Ellie blinked but shook her head. "There's no telling what it was, and we need to know more.." She ventured forward on ahead, heading deeper in.
Jean nodded and began to follow Emma as well. They began to make their way down a pathway leading straight, all around them parts of the area were cold or destroyed. Soon a huge doorway stood before them, black on the other side It was dark and nothing could be seen ahead of them. Jean moved forward stopping the group Jean: ...wait.. we can't see a thing ahead of us.. hold on. I know I had a light somewhere..
Emma looked for a wall and placed her hand on it. Suddenly it glowed with one part of it sending light through the entire area a vast space surrounded a glowing stone in the middle that had energy flowing around it. It fluctuated wildly in front of them as if unstable shifting in and out of phase. The prism seemed to exude power. The three of them could only stare in awe. Jean soon shivered and kneeled holding her head Jean: oh my.... oh my god... there's someone... in there...
Ellie looked wide-eyed. "Someone is...? Can you tell who?"
A voice spoke from behind them ???: at last... I found him again...
Ellie shivered, jumping at the sound of the voice. "Who's there?"
Jean and Emma gasped as the two moved next to Ellie and readied to fight. Behind them, Mister Sinister smiled looking at the pillar. Jean blinked Jean: Sinister?! here?
He grinned looking at them Sinister: hello ladies, I must congratulate you for finding him. The Key to the mutant race is within my grasp once more.
Ellie shuddered. "The key..? That means you know who is in there.."
a voice came from behind him walking out from the shadows ???: The life Trinity is here, Sinister? the Key to Immortal Time..
Ellie backed away from them, hearing the second voice. "Now who.."
Jean blinked as the figure got closer. Emma shivered and pulled away terrified. Soon in dark clothes, a figure appeared from the shadows in full view. Sinister smiled and kneeled with a nod Sinister: Yes, Lord Magneto.
Ellie stared at him in surprise. "I thought he was dead?!"
Jean nodded Jean: he's dead.. what have you done Sinister?!
He smiled as Magneto looked at the others confused Magneto: Sinister? Who are these mutants?
the group looked surprised at his words. Mister Sinister answered with a slight chuckle Sinister: my master, they are here to stop us. They do not want us to free your servant.
He looked at the group then shook his head Magneto: is that so.. mutants who defy me? the ground shook a bit as Magneto began to levitate only death awaits those who stop freedom.
Ellie growled. "He is not your servant! And, I don't even know who you are to defy you!"
Jean shook her head Jean: Stop him, Sinister, we won't fight him. Everyone, here knows we're no match for him.
Mister Sinister smiled as Magneto stared at them and ended the shaking Magneto: you are wise mutant, now move aside.
Jean growled and looked to the others Jean: we don't stand a chance.. but I feel like Sinister doesn't have full control over him either.. let us move aside for now.
Emma snarled Emma: damn... what is this situation? ...she moved aside slowly along with Jean.
Ellie hesitated but spoke up. "I know not to fight you...But what do you want with him? Do you even know his name?" She asked Magneto directly even as she reluctantly stepped aside.
as soon as the group moved aside Magneto floated by while Sinister watched near the doorway. Magneto then rose his hands to the pillar and began tearing at it with force piece by piece. The energy shockwaves hit him but were blocked by his magnetic shield. Soon he tore away most of the pillar to reveal a figure inside. Jean shivered and looked at Magneto Jean: stop! no, stop! its Nalm!
finally, Magneto pulled away the last of the pillar as the energy exploded out, Jean blocked the shockwave forming a shield around the group with Emma while Sinister took the brunt of it and was torn in half, he soon reformed however smiling with a fiendish glee. Magneto himself looked on with a smile as Nalm in his original state sat on the flat part of the pillar that was left lifelessly looking down. Magneto: you are free at last. The one mutant I can use to bring mutants back to our rightful place as masters.
Ellie shivered, but called out to Nalm worriedly, rushing forward toward them. "Nalm! Why.. isn't he moving?"
Sinister blinked Sinister: could it be... yes! his body has returned but his soul is still gone... now I must act! he moved towards Nalm and pulled out a small bug from his wrist if I can implant his mind with this controller...
Ellie waved her hand at the device Sinister was holding, intent on releasing the charge from her gauntlet and aiming it at it while getting between Sinister and Nalm.
A blast of electricity shot out from her hand and soon hit Sinister. He staggered stopping but now Magneto approached her and grabbed her arms by her gauntlets pulling her up Magneto: Fool! you will not attack my servant!
Jean moved pulling her away from his grasp as Sinister struggled to move closer Jean: stop! it is not over yet... if you awaken him in this kind of madness..!!
Sinister growled crawling towards Nalm. Magneto released Ellie but looked to Sinister Magneto: what? what are you doing?
Ellie rushed towards Nalm once released, running between the two and holding out her arms defensively before Nalm, stopping Sinister from reaching him. "I won't let you put that on my friend! You're not going to hurt him again, Sinister!"
He growled and stopped, moving back with a snarl. Magneto soon raised his hand towards Sinister pulling him up by his neck with his power Magneto: What does she mean? what are you planning behind my back, Sinister?
He grinned Sinister: hehe... foolish mutants... do you think I'm the only sinister here?!
Behind them, near Nalm another Sinister successfully placed a control bug on Nalms head. The group looked as he laughed in victory Sinister: hehehe the trinity belongs to me now!
Suddenly however the bug sizzled and died turning pure white and falling to dust.
Ellie sighed in relief. "Thank goodness!"
Both Sinister's eyes went wide as he looked on in disbelief Sinister: impossible! this can only mean he is....nnngh!!! auuuuuugghh!!!!!!!! soon he yelled out holding his hand towards the other sinister as he turned to dust. Beside him, Nalm started to rise up.
Magneto pulled back as Jean quickly grabbed Ellie away from him pulling her next to her before he could reach out to her. Emma shook her head Emma: crap! he's waking up... HE is waking up...
Ellie shook her head. "Nalm?!"
Soon a voice could be heard from him Nalm: ...there is no Nalm... the fool is lost to time.. the one who exists now.. is Apocalypse once more!
Ellie shuddered. "Apocalypse?! What did you do to him?!"
Jean shook her head Jean: he's still in there, I know it... we need to free him from Apocalypse's control!
Ellie looked at her. "How?"
Sinister growled and retreated away as Nalm rose up glowing with a shield of energy. Emma looked to Jean Emma: that energy shield around him.. it was Apocalypse's power! if we can break that we can get in his mind and seal him from Nalm.
Ellie focused on the shield, forming the purple sword from the mutant she'd used the powers of in training in her right hand, and tried to slash at the shield with it.
Nalm rose his hand blocking the attack but his shield around him cracked. This caused him to stagger a bit Nalm: ngh! you pest! he floated upward away and tossed a large rock towards her from the pillar with a wave of his hand. Before it could hit her though Magneto stopped it sending it flying away from the group.
the group looked at him a bit as he stared at Nalm Magneto: you will not harm any mutants Apocalypse!
Emma and Jean looked surprised at him Jean: wait.. did he get his memory...
Before they could speak more Nalm raised his hand forming a black sphere of energy Nalm: foolish mutants, the coming of a new age awaits you, face obliteration with fear! he sent out the sphere towards the group as they prepared to counter it but it became larger as it approached sucking them all into a void. The group suddenly became pulled into a new realm falling to the ground. Magneto was able to catch them before they fell and set them down carefully staring at the sky as Nalm floated down with a smirk all that exist for the old race is a cold empty demise. One I shall bring down with this new body in earnest!
Emma and Jean readied themselves moving next to Ellie Jean: Apocalypse cannot control Nalm's power as easily as he wants!
Emma nodded Emma: if he could we would be dead by now.. but I feel like if we get too close we will be.. the only thing we can do is hit him with long-range attacks.. only Ellie can get close to him.. that power of Psylocke can cut right through that barrier.
Magneto looked at them Magneto: X men! Follow my lead, I will create platforms for you to get close, distract him with your attacks so the girl may strike him down!
Jean nodded as she focused her palms and sent out telekinetic blasts toward Nalm. He waved his hand dispersing the attacks with his barrier while Emma moved around to his back and sent out blasts at him from behind. He raised his hands out and continuously dispersed them focused on defense.
Magneto soon created a floating stepping way towards him from the side.
Ellie ran up the floating steps, hopping on them each quickly, one after another. As she did so, she focused her energy on forming the sword again, aiming to reach him from the side and try to attack the shield again.
he growled and twisted his head towards her spitting out a blast of dark energy at her still blocking the others' attacks, however, Jean was able to turn his head with her powers slightly as the energy slid past Ellie at her side. Reacting quickly Nalm tried to pull away from Ellie as she drew closer but was held in place by Magneto who used one hand to hold the platform up and contain Nalm. Nalm: wretched curs! Away with you! do not come close!
Ellie jumped off the platform as he was held in place, slashing at the shield from above with the sword in a downward strike this time.
Nalm looked at her with shock as the blade pierced the shield and passed through his head. He yelled out pushing her away and fell to the ground as the psychic energy sword faded. He snarled in pain holding his head Nalm: You cannot stop the coming of Apocalypse! your attacks will not steal away this body! I will not be defeated! Apocalypse can never be defea- soon he froze in place as Emma and Jean sent their hands at him entering Nalm's mind.
Magneto caught Ellie on a platform and sent it down to the ground as he looked on Magneto: now Apocalypse will have to choose to let the boy go or be sealed away.
Jean struggled a bit Jean: nngh... Apocalypse.. is strong.. even like this.. .I don't... know if..
Emma shook her head Emma: we got this, Jean. we need to get rid of him completely from this boy.. focus on that.
Apocalypse struggled to keep control as he tried to break free moving bit by bit Nalm: worm.... etching away... at my ....new.. skin.. the...power...of time.. is mine.. and mine alone!....
Ellie called out to him. "We're here! We're trying to help! Fight him, Nalm! Don't let anyone use you or your power! It's yours! And it's your body, not his!"
Ellie's own energy started to grow weaker as the toll of the battle began to show but she held on. Jean growled Jean: Apocalypse.. you will never harm another being again!! her eyes glowed with flames as she sent out a fiery phoenix from her body at Nalm made of psychic energy. He gasped as it hit Nalm and pulled out a black pile of ash crashing into the ground behind him. Emma and Jean huffed as they released their hold on Nalm. He fell over dazed.
Emma blinked pointing to the pile Emma: it's not over yet... look..
soon the pile of ash became large and soon started to grow into a gigantic form of apocalypse looming over the group with a huge blade as he rose it up to strike down at them Apocalypse: you cannot destroy me X men! The world will know the age of extinction, the age of apocalypse will come forth and from the burning ruins of your pathetic world i shall create a new one and both immortality and time shall kneel to the one true king once more!!
Jean and Emma were exhausted, and Ellie's power had now been drained, Magneto moved to block the attack but his hand soon began to melt. He looked at it in shock as the attack started down at them. Before it could hit though Nalm was able to block the blade with just his hands. He stopped it from crashing down at them with a snarl as he stared at a shocked Apocalypse Nalm: your time is over Apocalypse!! I won't be your puppet ever again!
Apocalypse pushed further on the blade roaring out Apocalypse: your will may have returned, but the end will all be the same, just as it was years ago Nal'im Sabah Nur! you were created to be my new body! You will not avoid fate! Avoiding time is pointless!
Nalm snarled Nalm: you infected my body with that virus, destroyed my kingdom, and forced me to kill all those that cared for me for a thousand years! I should have left you on Pluto!! I won't make the same mistake twice!!
Nalm pushed Apocalypse's blade bit by bit but now Apocalypse with his other hand transformed it into a spear and aimed it towards Nalm Apocalypse: you are weak, Nalim. You are not worthy of that body, Your constant want for affection drove you to return me, but you are nothing more than a pawn! And pawns will never be kings! Nalm saw the spear but before it could hit, Magneto using his powers magnetically pulled the spear towards him as it pierced his chest but caused Apocalypse to be stuck. Apocalypse looked on shocked what?!?
Nalm took advantage and with full power sent a shockwave through Apocalypse's blade breaking it then grabbed his spear hand and used his time powers to accelerate through Apocalypse. Soon Apocalypse gasped as the spear crumbled and his body began to crumble as well. Nalm staggered and kneeled down looking to Apocalypse Nalm: for all my people you killed... I won't send you away... your existence will be erased from time itself!...
Apocalypse pulled back stumbling as his legs turned to dust crumbling and he fell. He glared at Nalm in a fury Apocalypse: You are... never going to find peace.. he smirked my age may be done... but you will find that my will has ingrained itself into your very soul... you shall never find peace.. you will be compelled to change the world for yourself.. this is the will I leave to you Nal'im Sabah Nur, my so-called spawn... the curse of my will shall bathe you in never-ending despair.... despair....he laughed as he faded away into nothingness.
Jean stood up a bit and headed over to the group as Emma stayed put to regain her energy. Magneto lay weakened facing his demise as he smiled a bit and looked to Nalm Magneto: ...so... I was never real, to begin with..
Ellie blinked, making her way toward them. "That'..s.. You were real. You are real. It doesn't matter how you came to be, it's who you choose to be that matters.. and thank you for saving us.."
Jean moved next to him and nodded Jean: the professor would have been proud of you Magneto.. you saved the world once more.. just as you did long ago.
Magneto smirked a bit Magneto: the world.. was never what I cared for.. mutant kind must never die.. that is my wish.. that is my legacy.. one that Charles and his X men will see through.. no.. not only the X men.. but all mutants.. then.. I can die in peace.. knowing our dream will be fulfilled by all our children... I only wish I could have seen my old friend one last time..
Emma moved over a bit looking as Magneto began to melt away Emma: Magneto... Eric.. what was Sinister's plan?.. please tell us something before you go!
He nodded raising his hand as it melted away Magneto: Cristina... was... his goal.. MINCE... has her.. you.. must save her.. that girl... with the power.. to bring back the souls of the dead... from the other side...
Before he could say anymore he faded away melting into dust.
Ellie shivered. "That..makes sense.."
Emma shook her head Emma: MINCE... damn them! Working with Sinister... but now we also have a valuable part of the Trinity. Two in fact.. they will have to come to us.
Jean shook her head Jean: we can worry about that later.. how about now we get out of here.. if there's a way.
Nalm stood up a bit Nalm: I can get us out of the void space.. ask for wherever else..
Ellie's energy had returned enough for another portal jump.
Ellie nodded. "I can handle that."
Nalm smiled Nalm: I'm glad...to be back.. let's go then. he waved his hand forming a black void of energy around the group and returned them to the front of the ruins. With that he kneeled and sat down huffing .... that's all I can do... I'm sorry..
Ellie shook her head. "I'm sorry about last time.. and for taking so long to find you. Glad to have you back though!.. I'll get us to the island." She focused on picturing the island and opened the portal to it with her borrowed power.
Nalm smiled as he slowly laid down falling asleep. Jean carefully used her power to lift him up and carry him through the portal as Emma followed. The group reappeared with Ellie but not on the island but in the missing mansion which apparently appeared in front of the building. The group appeared in front of Storm, Beast, Moira, and the professor in the living room. Emma blinked looking around with Jean confused at their surroundings as the portal closed once everyone was in. Emma: oh.. looks like we made it.. but wasn't the mansion destroyed?...
Jean shook her head Jean: it's.. perfectly in place.. down to the last plank of wood.. did Nalm preserve it for over a thousand years?
the professor looked at them Professor X: seems you've all had an eventful time.. let's talk about that after we get everyone healed up.
Beast nodded Beast: Fascinating. I am greatly intrigued to hear about your adventure.