Location: The Hellfire Club, New York Branch
"Are you sure you don't want anything else to drink?"
Despite the lavishness of the dining room, the real draw of this branch of the Club is the food. No expense is ever spared in order for its members to enjoy the finest delicacies from across the globe. The finest chefs are brought in to cook the rarest meats that even the Savage Land has to offer. And yet, even with the pleasurable company and finest wine in front of him, the mighty Stryfe has one, single question.
"No more wasting time. Are you really my mother?"
The new Lord Imperial of the Hellfire Club put down her drink to observe her strange guest. She attempted to read his mind, but found her attempts countered in every way possible. This man was not her son, Cable, but Madelyne Pryor could feel the connection between them.
"You look like Nathan... but no, I didn't give birth to another child," she said.
Stryfe glared at her with that statement. "How are you certain? How do you that he isn't the clone and I'm not your true son?"
"Apocalypse and Scott," she said. "Nathan as a baby was infected with the techno virus by Apocalypse in our time. He was going to die unless he was sent to the future. That's where you were born. I know as much since I've last been in Scott's head. The metal arm was always the proof."
Once she responded, every piece of glass in a five mile radius cracked. Stryfe was beside himself when he heard this truth. Every guest around noticed this and waited to see what would come next. Stryfe needed to lay low for the time being, so he gritted his teeth and forced down his emotions. He reminded himself that emotion is weakness and hastily finished his liquor.
"I came to you seeking an alliance, but that hardly seems fruitful now," Stryfe said as he rose out of his seat.
"Before you go," Madelyne interrupted. "Let me see it. Your life."
"That isn't a good idea," he said.
"I'm a clone, too. I understand what you're going through better than anyone. Let me see it," she said.
Stryfe turned to face her and simply said, "Go ahead, but only if you allow me to do the same."
As Madelyne nodded in agreement, their eyes glowed with light. Only a moment later, they were finished.
"You poor man...," she said. unable to look at him for a moment. Stryfe, on the other hand, was in shock.
"I died?" Stryfe stammered.
Everything that Cyclop's had known was gathered by his ex-wife, including Stryfe and how he has died three different times. Twice in battle against Cable, once in sacrifice to save him. And yet, he had no memory of any of this. "Alternate timelines. That's the only way this is possible."
"But, something is wrong. Every single time, it was confirmed to be you. The same you standing in front of me right now," she said while observing his reactions. "Time travel is a headache, but I know someone who can answer these questions. Follow me."
In a few moments, their astral forms were in New Attilan, inside the mind of Hank McCoy. They were careful in posing the scenario to him without him knowing it, but he soon had the answer. He was one of the few minds that could answer how the same man can die so many times.
"Temporal paradoxes due to shifting timelines?" Stryfe wasn't ignorant to the concept, but didn't think that he was involved.
"It makes sense," Pryor chimed in. "There was that whole Civil War over the inhuman who could see all kinds of different futures. Maybe that's connected."
"But, this part of his memory. He brought X-Men from the past and now they live in this time. And Rachel Grey and Bishop are from two different futures, but are also here now. He's even confirmed a Spider-Man from yet another future! But, they shouldn't be here! They have no idea what their presence may be doing to the timeline!" Stryfe said with visible rage.
"I'll take that all these people being here is bad," Pryor said sarcastically.
"Indeed... All of time has been in chaos. I am the proof and these... paradoxes may be the cause." Saying this, Stryfe cut the connection to McCoy and took his leave of the Club.
"Take care of yourself... Christopher," Pryor said.
Stryfe stopped dead in his tracks. "What did you just say?"
"For all your torment and as someone who is like you, you should at least have a proper family name. But, know this. If I need to protect Nathan from you, I will do so with only some hesitation," she said.
"Understood... mother. Rest assured... Nathan is the least of my problems. " With that, Stryfe walked out of the Club with a clear mission in mind. Pushing a button on his wrist, he vanished.
"Master... please help us!!"
Soldiers who looked more animal than man were spread out on the marble ceiling. Under them was a throne with the creator, the High Evolutionary, watching with little interest.
"You couldn't stop a single intruder. What use would I have to keep any of you alive?" With that, he watch as they were crushed one by one. Stryfe walked through the hailstorm of blood and bone without even a spec landing on him as the Evolutionary addressed this odd visitor. "You wish an audience with me, mutant?"
"Very much so, your lordship. I am Stryfe and I'll try not to bore you with the details. I'm here because I require the services of your daughter," Stryfe said as he stared at one at the one other person in the room. Her name was Luminous.
"Excuse me?" she said with confusion.
"You heard me. You have the power to bend reality with even greater precision than your sister, the Scarlet With. That ability is something that I greatly need," said Stryfe.
"And why would I allow my daughter to assist you?" asked the Evolutionary.
"Apocalypse," Stryfe replied.
That single word rendered the High Evolutionary silent. He remembered that monster well.
"He has reawakened once more with even more power than when you last encountered him," Stryfe continued. "To make matters worse, even if he were killed, he would simple rise again later. Look into my mind and you'll see a growing number of futures with him as ruler while you have long since been killed."
The Evolutionary looked into Stryfe's memories and saw it. His dead body with Apocalypse standing over it. There were also memories of worlds where the Evolutionary was the victor, but only a handful.
"And you wish to wipe him from existence?" the Evolutionary questioned.
"From history. From every timeline. The Witch brought about the M-day event, so it is possible for Luminous to the same with a specific enhancement."
"Which is?" she asked.
"The M'Kraan Crystal," Stryfe replied.
"The what?" she asked.
"Unspeakable power and a door to all timelines and realities through a single gemstone." As he said this, he displayed a hologram of the jewel in question. "I've already begun work on taking the crystal from the Shi'ar. I need you for what comes after."
Luminous observed the Crystal, but had one more question. "I get why we would need this Apocalypse person removed, but what do you want out of this arrangement?"
Stryfe cut off the hologram and stated, "It's a long story. Those short version is that the timeline is at stake with every passing second. Those who are not from this time are causing chaos to the future with their very presence. In order to safeguard this universe... no more time travelers."