Chapter Twenty

Nick Fury and Jamie Madrox left soon after Erik departed, saying their goodbyes to the gathered Fantastic Four members and the rest of their team. Remaining at the table were Logan, Steve, Danny, and Reed. The door to the living room opened and a youthful looking teenager walked in. He was carrying a few duffel bags in each arm.

"Hey Stretch, hey sis, did anything interesting happen while I was on vacation?" Johnny Storm asked, dropping his bags to the floor. The gathered crowd laughed in unison at the private joke.

"No Johnny, nothing major, just the usual," Sue said, walking over and kissing her brother on the cheek. Johnny headed into the fridge to grab a drink after saying hello to the visitors to the Baxter building.

"Well, I guess that is everything. I'm going to get back now, to what I don't know," Danny said standing up.

"You handled yourself well out there kid. You might look into maybe hanging with us some time," Steve said as he too stood up from the table.

"The Avengers?" Danny said with a smile. "I don't know Steve, a hellfire wielding, cursed demon might bring the prestige of the team down."

"Shit, if they let me in and freakin' Parker, they'll let anyone in," Logan said

sarcastically. "Speaking of which, no offense Cap, but after we figure out this prison escape nonsense, you realize I'm outta this gig?"

"Of course Logan, and again, I appreciate everything you're doing for us," said Steve. The three said their goodbyes to Reed and the rest of the Fantastic Four and left the Baxter building. Sue walked over to her husband and sat on his lap, giving him an intimate kiss on the lips. As she slowly pulled away, Sue could tell that Reed had a worried look on his face.

"What is it honey?" Sue asked. Reed rubbed his temples with his hands and sighed.

"I don't know. Something about what Nick said before, about not picking Ghost Rider for that mission. Why would Mephisto lure him into this and then be defeated, seemingly so easily? It just doesn't sit well. And another thing, the power that Wanda accumulated, there was a reason I didn't suggest it before Fury did, because obviously, I had already thought of that option. With all of that power, there's no way even she could have dissipated all of it. I fear there could be some serious consequences from that action." Sue hugged her husband close and sighed to herself. It really never ended when you were a superhero. That's what made them Fantastic.

A man dressed in a drab brown business suit walked out of a Manhattan office building and headed into an alley off of Main Street. He walked deeper into the alley, and then, after rounding a corner, his body morphed and changed, revealing his true identity: Mephisto. The demon continued to walk around towards the back of the alley to an area that was not illuminated at all. He stopped short before reaching the darkened end of the alley.

"It is done. Although I must say, if I wasn't so very fond of chaos, I don't know if I would have completed your little task once you gave it to me," Mephisto said flatly.

"You've done everything as planned?" a cold, hollow voice said from the shadows.

"Of course. Exactly as you told me to. I've captured both the genetic material of the Hulk and the exact energy signature of the Spirit of Vengeance. Cost me dearly too, they actually had the gall to summon Galactus somehow. And the Brood, well, let's just say, it'll be awhile before any more of their nests originate," Mephisto said.

"I care nothing for a species of insects or for the world devourer. My only goal, as it has ever been, is this world," the cold, metallic voice said.

"Whatever. I just helped you because I had nothing better to do, and whatever you're planning on doing with the material I gave you will most likely result in lots of chaos and death, all of which I'm grateful for," Mephisto said as he began to walk away. "Just remember to let me have my fun once you do what you're gonna do."

"Trust me demon, you'll know when I act," the source of the voice emerged from the shadows and watched Mephisto depart. He was seven feet tall and clad in purple and dark blue armor. "Because En Saba Nuhr has returned, and I will make this world believe in Apocalypse once more," Apocalypse said coldly. He teleported away from the alley and even Mephisto felt a small chill crawl up his spine.

"This should be interesting," Mephisto said coyly. He, too, vanished with a swirl of black smoke.

-The End……….For Now-