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Continued from X-Men #15. Stryfe finds and defeats Apocalypse. The Dark Riders bow to him and swear allegiance to Stryfe.

Bishop and Wolverine are briefed on Graymalkin about Stryfe and the MLF and the events so far since the attempt on Xavier's life. Cable tells them about the Clan Chosen, his time traveling, and the fact that he and Stryfe are mysteriously identical.

Meanwhile, X-Force is locked up in the Danger Room. Siryn learns she was in love with one of Madrox's dupes, not the real one.

Jean Grey and Cyclops escape from the cell Stryfe had them detained in after learning he was dampening their powers.

Beast is trying to find a way to eliminate the T-O virus from Xavier when a beat up Apocalypse shows up at the X-Mansion offering his services. Story continues in Uncanny X-Men #296.


In the Egyptian home of Apocalypse, Stryfe has called forth the forever walker to have him reckon for deeds he will do to Stryfe int he future. Apocalypse has no idea who Stryfe is; this does not prevent Stryfe from striking swiftly and for a cause that has caused (or will cause) millions to suffer. Still unsure of what is happening, Apocalypse crawls to his teleporter only to be waylaid and fallen upon by Stryfe. He tries to fight back but Stryfe far too strong. Stryfe then removes his helmet and Apocalypse thinks he recognizes the face of Cable. Stryfe then stabs Apocalypse with a sword that Apocalypse thinks he's used the same sword to kill Stryfe. Apocalypse stumbles backwards and is able to trigger his teleporter. Stryfe is furious and puts on his mask. He turns to the Dark Riders and ask if they will follow the man who has bested their master. They will.

On Graymalkin, Cable, Wolverine, and Bishop have a little pow-wow to figure out the story of Stryfe. Wolverine tries to smoke but the base computer systems extinguish the cigarette. Cable then shows a brief history of Stryfe. Stryfe is from the future and had acted as a liaison of anarchy and chaos. He fought both the ruling class of New Canaanites and the official opposers of the New Canaanites, the Clan Chosen. At some point, he and Zero flee to the past - 1983, to be exact. Wolverine wonders how Cable has access to this type of information and Cable responds that he is also from the future; Stryfe's time. To complicate things, Cable reveals that in their last encounter, Stryfe revealed his face and it looked identical to Cable's. Cable still doesn't know how this is possible and Bishop and Wolverine are able to buy into the idea that Stryfe really shot Professor Xavier. Wolverine then lights up another cigarette and chops up the extinguisher that responds to the smoke.

At the X-Mansion, the infirmary is full due to the recent fight in which the X-Teams took down the Mutant Liberation Front. Boomer has a broken jaw, Quicksilver has a lacerated calf, Gambit is unconscious, and Rogue has retinal damage from an attack by Strobe. Havok enters and addresses Cannonball who is attending to Boomer. Havok asks that Cannonball go talk to his team in the Danger Room, as they are starting to get a little antsy. Havok then goes to the observation room over Professor Xavier's room. Valerie Cooper informs him that the Beast is going to attack the virus at the point of entry. Havok can't believe that they could rationally take this chance, as the virus went through his head. Really though, what choices do they have left?

Downstairs, Cannonball walks in on a couple conversations. Rictor and Sunspot, the newest members of X-Force, tell Wolfsbane that things aren't always as they appear. Siryn confronts Madrox about the time they spent together but he has no feelings for her, as she had spent time with one of his dupes. Dejected, she draws away from him. Cannonball simply asks how everyone is doing. A sea of straight faces give him his answer.

In his secret base, Stryfe checks on his captives. Cyclops and Jean Grey are still there. He leaves. Jean informs Cyclops that Stryfe has gone and they make an escape. They realize that their powers haven't been dampened by some device but that Stryfe is a powerful enough telekinetic mutant that he can suppress even Jean's powers. Hand in hand, the two make a run for it.

Back at the X-Mansion, a blast rocks the house. Archangel, Iceman, Polaris, and Colossus go to investigate. Oddly enough, they find Apocalypse has entered their home. The mutants advance but Apocalypse states that he is there to help them fight Stryfe.


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Picking up Speed 0

Part of the impressive and enjoyable aspect of this crossover is that the "big battles" come in a progressive series: the story presents the one that is about to happen as the real climactic battle, but when it's over, we know the next one is going to be even more significant.  Such development does not happen as successfully in many crossovers.  The battle between Stryfe and Apocalypse seems like it should be bigger, even though it occurs at the beginning of the issue.  When it ends, we know th...

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