Chapter 89: Epilogue

The 'Free' Republic of Genosha...

At the Shaw Industries' factory Cameron Hodge was trying to clear up the mess his 'good' friend Lionel Luthor has caused. The factory has been seized in the name of national security and trying to keep on good terms with the President, Cameron was personally taking charge of the situation.

In fact he was on the phone to the President right now explaining things. "Yes Mr President I know if it is found out Lionel was here, on Genosha, it won't look good but you have to take the positive here. Everything we need to understand how he built his robots is here. I have been assured by the scientists and engineers we can recreate them no problem. This will significantly strengthen our nation's armed forces."

Cameron waits for a response. The President is obviously taking a moment to let that sink in and consider the possible ramifications. All positive in Cameron's view.

The President gives a pleased sounding response.

"Also a plus we managed to retrieve Lionel's research into the mutant power inhibition technology. It should be possible to finish the work so we don't have to go cap in hand to the Americans," Cameron says distastefully, more so because the man who has the technology, Xavier, is a filthy mutie himself. "Yes Mr President, we should be able to create our own version of it and use it to harness the mutant resource to benefit our nation as we have previously discussed. One issue will be Sebastian Shaw. He's not bound to be happy about us taking his factory...Yes, of course this is the sovereign territory of Genosha...and yes his son helped a known terrorist...and yes, we knew nothing of his presence here. There are no records..." Mainly because Cameron is having every record of Lionel's presence destroyed as we speak. "So yes we are perfectly justified in doing what we must to discover what potential threat to our nation's security Lionel and Shinobi were working on," he agrees to every line the President is speaking as to how this will be spun.

"May I say again how much I regret this whole incident Mr President," Cameron apologises again because it was his idea, his suggestion to let Lionel onto the island. He's lucky he still his head attached to his neck frankly. He's seen people killed for less. That means he has to do a lot of ass kissing. Distasteful but necessary as he would like his head to remain attached to his neck.

Cameron swallows hard at the President's response. "Of course Mr President there will never be any repeat. Thank you for allowing me a second chance. I cannot say how much I appreciate it. If I may, one last point to raise. The cybernetic specialists Lionel brought are also in our custody. I'm not sure how you feel on such technology?" he queries after what the President wants done.

Another pause as the President thinks it over.

"You want to meet them and have a briefing over what they can do before you decide. I understand. Very wise, Mr President," Cameron sucks up like there is no tomorrow as you do when you're dealing with a military dictator. It only takes a single order from the man to have you 'disappeared'. You have to suck up more when you're on your second and last chance with the man. Cameron is going to be cursing Lionel for months, years for this débâcle. The man's clearly lost his mind. He hopes the Americans lock Lionel up and throw away the key.

The phone call ends and Cameron blows out a breath.

There is then a loud crashing sound and the ground shakes, almost making Cameron fall over. By the time he looks to find where it came from a hole has appeared in the factory roof and one through the floor into the sub-level. "What the hell?" he asks anyone.

Then there are sounds from below, tearing sounds and then creaking from the floor of the factory as it bulges and breaks and bursting through comes it a large metal box...the lead lined vault Cameron recognises it as that contained the meteor rock used for the power cells.

And underneath the vault, lifting it, flying away with it is a figure in red and blue with a stylised S on his chest. The...Cameron won't call it a man, barely gives him a glance but keeps going smashing through the roof and making Cameron and the others present dive for cover from the falling debris.

Cameron looks up through the hole as the figure rises higher and higher and vanishes from sight amazingly quickly. So quick no-one has a chance to respond.

Well that just goes to prove what Cameron knew all along. That mutants are a dangerous threat to humanity's way of life and they have to be brought under control. The quicker the better.

At the Xavier Institute...

It was the day...night...early morning of the day after the day they almost died yesterday and one figure was trying to sneak back in, her hair completely ruffled, one might call it sex head, the look of someone who has had hands brushing through their hair during the fervour of love making.

It would be an accurate and truthful description. Plus you have just to have look at them. Their clothes not quite straight, a glow deep onto their cheeks, a contented radiant smile on their lips, marks on their skin at sensitive places, a certain gingerness in their walk. They're someone who practically screams that after-sex aura.

To be truthful she hadn't intended to do it. She was just catching up with her boyfriend after the near disaster of the other day in Smallville. Her first chance to do so and obviously he was very, very concerned about her and so kissed her silly just to reaffirm she was still alive and ok...and the kisses got hotter and hotter and it led to some making out which led to heavier and hotter making out which led to clothes being discarded all over her boyfriend's house.

Next thing either know is them lying in bed, making glorious love, her for the very first time in her life and then repeat...several times. Anyway it continued until she was lying there a sweaty, naked, exhausted lump, limbs tangled around her boyfriend...and boy does he have stamina like you would not believe.

So there she was deflowered but unbelievably happy...and he was so gentle and passionate. Where did he learn to do half those things she has no idea. All she does know if that was a first time and it only gets better than she'll die a very happy woman when her body expires from pleasure overload.

And hey her boyfriend also happens to be a cuddler and a great listener and they talked. Talked about how they let themselves get into this position and really all they could come up with is that the almost dying in a nuclear holocaust overrode their good sense...but you know what, as she thinks about it now, her body coming down off its high, her brain starting to let it sink in, she has no regrets. She loves him. He loves her. They're both of legal age. They did nothing but physically express their love for each other...and if she has any say in it they'll be doing a lot more of that.

But thank God her boyfriend's aunt was out of town. Otherwise that would have been very embarrassing with her screaming to the heavens in bliss and all.

Now she's almost at the front door, almost home unseen...

"Evening Kitty."

"ARRRHHHH!" Kitty yelps, almost jumping out of her skin.

She spins round, looking for that voice.

"Up here."

She looks up as Clark descends to the ground, landing quite heavily. He hasn't quite got a handle on the landings yet but the flying's like someone smacked him in the head and shook loose the memories of Kal-El flying so he's actually more or less got it.

"Or should I say morning Kitty," Clark corrects himself since it is about 5 in the morning.

Kitty has her hand on her chest over her pounding heart. "H-hey Clark. You not asleep?"

"Haven't been tired since Ali recharged my powers. I think she overdid it and overcharged me. I have to wait until it wears off."

Kitty nods, taking a moment to regather herself. "S-so you've just been out, like, saving the day more?"

Clark shrugs a single shoulder. He's not about to tell her he was just back from Genosha, getting rid of the kryptonite Lionel stole. It was the last thing on his list of places to go from what he learned from the back of that truck. He had left it a couple of days so he could practise his flying a bit more before he flew halfway around the world just to be certain he had a good enough handle on his new skill. "More or less," he says vaguely...and it's not a complete lie. Part of Clark does think that getting rid of as much of the rock as possible is helping. "It helps burn off some energy," he explains, again not a lie. "So you were out late?" he questions.

Kitty plasters a smile on her face. "Yeah. Just catching up with Peter and we slept...I-I mean I fell asleep on his couch so he let me sleep," she lies. "I...uh, got a taxi home," she explains which is true.

Clark doesn't seem to notice her deception and accepts her explanation. "Well you should try and get a couple of hours more sleep before school."

"Y-yeah. Good idea. Well night Clark," Kitty says as she strides off, secretly proud of herself for keeping calm and not giving it away.

"Night Kitty," Clark says pleasantly watching her phase through the mansion door, chuckling as she vanishes from sight. She must have forgotten his super sense of smell so he knows exactly what she and Peter got up...though he will be trying to forget as best he can. He doesn't need those images in his head. He chuckles some more as a thought occurs to him. "Logan is going to kill him," he says, amused silly by the thought of what Logan will do to Peter the second he gets a whiff of Kitty.

SHIELD Hellicarrier...

"You're certain?" Fury asks the doctor, as they look through a two-way mirror at Lionel lying in bed, pale and sickly. Shortly after they brought him back to the Hellicarrier after Smallville Lionel had collapsed. That was a couple of days ago. Fury had only found the time now to bother to get around to investigating it. His dislike of Lionel is that strong.

"Quite certain," the doctor assures the Colonel.

"He's dying," Fury states it.

"Of radiation poisoning. Must have happened when the power core of his suit ruptured," the doctor speculates as to when Lionel was exposed to the lethal radiation dose.

"How long?" Fury wants to know how long Lionel has left.

"Hard to say. He might have a few weeks yet."

"Will he suffer?"

"I don't need to tell you what radiation sickness is like I think, Colonel."

"Good," Fury says uncharitably. "Let me know when he's dead," he requests before turning and leaving, his concern only stretching to wanting to know when Lionel Luthor has departed from this world. A day Fury thinks will make the world a whole lot better off.

Luthor Mansion, Smallville...

Lex was sitting in front of his fire, the flames illuminating his brooding form. A strong drink is in a glass in his hand. This is only a momentary break from trying to save his company. One thing in his favour. That override Fury threatened to roast him over, well the only evidence Fury has is his father's word. For any investigation there is no hard evidence, since every single one of the Mandroids was utterly wrecked. So basically they have the ramblings of a madman who tried to blow up a town as proof against Lex.

Yeah, that'll stick.

Other thing in Lex's favour. Only he currently has the technology to build the Mandroids. Plus he proved they worked...not quite the way he would have desired to test them but it was an effective-ish demonstration. Sure they were all destroyed but Lex could argue that's because they were lacking the human element. His father was essentially using them as mindless drones which does severely limit their potential. They were designed to have a human being inside them, an expertly trained man or woman, who can think imaginatively, improvise.

Lex had already been making his case to those on the important Committees in Washington who will be investigating this...incident.

Point is if they still want their weapons, which Lex knows they do, they have to get him to build them. Simple as that. That being the case they'll cook up some way where Lex gets a public rap on the knuckles, he apologises in some manner, sometimes you just have to do so even when you're not at fault...which Lex isn't.

No. He really isn't. If his father hadn't chosen to go nuts and try and blow up the town Lex would have made his delivery to SHIELD and his weapons would be being used to defend this great nation. Huh, he must remember to use that in a speech sometime.

Lex's final point is they'll rap his knuckles, he'll apologise and then they'll sign a brand new contract for a new army of suits and that money will be enough to keep his company afloat long enough for Lex to fix the problems and restructure.

That's not Lex's only problem that has him brooding. The other one is Superman who systematically tore into every meteor rock storage facility and stole all the vaults. Some hero, huh?

Lex would report the superpowered vigilante to the authorities...except the facilities he broke into were sorta off the books and Lex can't risk the police looking into those places...and Lex thinks Superman knew that. It's like the man is taunting him.

Lex is not a big fan of a lot of these superpowered so called heroes but there is something about's hard to place or describe. There's something in particular that bothers him,'s hard to say. Lex feels like he should know who Superman is when he can't. It's irritating this feeling of something just beyond his grasp.

What he does know is Superman and that Nightwing character keep sticking their nose in his business and it has to stop...and it will stop.

Not right now. Lex has to deal with the fallout of the disaster his father has caused but as soon as Lex has dealt with this he's going to prove that these heroes aren't what they claim and once he has done that the public will demand something is done and when they do Lex will be there, waiting and ready with the tools to take these people down.

Oscorp, New York...

It's not easy you know. Running a huge multinational company by day and a criminal empire by night. Especially when you're in a power struggle with the Kingpin. Not to mention Spider-Man's continual, irritating interference in your plans.

Plus there's the you know...the 'friend' in Norman Osborn's head.

"I'm not feeling the love there, Norm," the split personality known as the Green Goblin pouts...mentally pouts.

Norman rubs his head as he wanders through the secret part of his facility, the lab where he's been working on his secret projects. The last few days had been...interesting. The Goblin had snorted derisively at Lionel's 'amateurish' attempt at mass murder but in the end, as far as Norman and the Goblin went, it didn't really alter their plans.

In four liquid filled tubes Spider-Man's clones continue their accelerated growth. They were infant age now. 4-5 years old equivalence roughly. Still at that rate it would be the 2nd half of the year at the very least before they would be able to use them. They must devise a way to speed up the growth.

As Dr Warren had pointed out 2 of the clones were now visibly physically showing signs of the genetic degradation. They were deformed but still alive and viable. Although what they would do with the one with 6 arms neither Norman or the Goblin were quite sure yet...but the Goblin was confident they would think of something. The other's face was badly deformed but still put a mask over him and no-one would be able to tell the difference so definitely possibilities there.

The last 2 were still progressing well, no obvious signs of genetic degradation like the other 2. The surprise female clone was perfectly healthy as far as they could tell and her arachnid DNA seemed to be quite stable. She may very well copy perfectly Spider-Man's powers. They couldn't be 100% sure of that until she was older and they woke her up and tested her powers.

The other male too was on the surface a perfect copy...though the Goblin had a few rather twisted ideas what to do with him. Probably came after watching the wildlife documentary about scorpions. Well they'll get around to that.

Norman walks across the lab to another liquid filled tube where the black tar like creature that is the Venom symbiote resides, subdued by periodic hypersonic blasts.

That was a complete disaster. Venom betrayed them and on top on that failed to destroy Spider-Man. It was only the Green Goblin's quickness that allowed them to retrieve the symbiote from the church before it died.

"Oh I wouldn't say a complete disaster," the Goblin argues in Norm's head.

"Why is that?" Norman asks back, not seeing what the Goblin means.

"From what we do know this Venom was more aggressive, ruthless and violent...just as we intended when we altered the symbiote's genetic make-up."

"He murdered good loyal men," Norman grinds out angrily.

"Ah there's always more where they came from," the Goblin says coldly, dismissing the fact those men died as anything important. "Plus there was that blood sample we found."

"Of the unidentified female mutant," Norman relays what they discovered when they examined the said blood sample.

"Exactly!" the Goblin cheers.

"We don't know what that means!" Norman points out, not sure why the Goblin is cheering.

The Goblin sighs painfully. For two sides of the same person you'd think Norman could just open his mind more and see it. It seems he will have to explain it and possibly use small words. "Last communiqué from our men before Venom ate their brains was that they had captured 4 people to use as bait in Venom's trap. Two older women, one man and a younger woman, yes?"

"Yes," Norman confirms.

"Well if we assume Spider-Man is a fairly young man then that sounds like somebody meeting his girlfriend's parents and therefore the unidentified blood sample has a fair chance of being..."

"A 1 in 3 chance," Norman corrects.

"Oh Norm, you're so defeatist," the Goblin complains. "What would you do without me?" he asks, his tone making clear he thinks Norman wouldn't amount to much...or at least not as much as he has done. "Have some belief Norm that the sample we have is of Spider-Man's girl and now just imagine what we can do with it."


"The blood sample of one mutant plus one new symbiote altered to make its aggressive nature even more pronounced and you know what that adds up to, Norm?"


"Carnage. Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha!"

Fortress of Solitude...

It had now been 5 days since Smallville and Clark was taking a chance he finally had found to come to the remnant of his home. Only this time he is floating down through the interlocking crystals and landing not softly within.

"Dammit," he cruses. "Still can't get those landings right," he grumbles at himself. He sighs before speaking out. "Jor-El!"

"I am here my son, as always," Jor-El responds.

"I finally did it! I finally figured out how to fly!" Clark cheers proudly.

"Well done, my son," Jor-El praises him...and believe Clark despite the slight thawing in the father/son relationship real, genuine praise still comes extremely rarely. "However..."

"I knew it," Clark complains that some sort of caution or catch was coming.

Jor-El ignores his son's complaints and continues. "However, there are still many trials you face before you fulfil your destiny. There is still one more chance for you to take your role as the leader and salvation of humanity."

Clark makes a face at hearing this again. He doesn't know what Jor-El wants from him but he's pretty sure he doesn't agree with it. "Yeah I remember you mentioning that. You said the reveal of mutants was one chance and that another would come."

"Come soon when the First One rises and the sky turns to black."

"Care to explain what the hell that means?!"

"It is not my place to give you all the answers, my son. Growth comes from learning them by yourself."

"Ok I'm fine with that and all except the part where it puts innocent people at risk which lets face facts you have no problem doing. Shall we mention Lindsey Harrison again?" Clark reminds Jor-El of the poor girl Jor-El used, claiming her to be his cousin Kara and then disposed of her when she had outlived her usefulness. Side Note, as it turns out Clark really once did have an older cousin called Kara he has since discovered. Though, of course, sadly she must have died with the rest of them when Krypton exploded.

"I have repeatedly explained myself in that regard," Jor-El reminds his son, his voice stern and stating how he will not debate this again because in his mind he did what had to be done.

"Yeah, well, your argument's crap. Nothing can justify what you did," Clark says, not willing, never willing to forget or forgive Jor-El's actions. He just tries to push it aside and concentrate on learning about his people since only Jor-El can do that. It's not a perfect solution but even Clark will concede that the world is very far from perfect.

"You must stop letting your emotions guide you, Kal-El. She was one person. You were sent here to save an entire world," Jor-El essentially lectures his son.

"And I told you how I believe that every single person's life matters. Who are you to judge the worthiness of one life over another?"

"Your father," Jor-El states, his voice booming around with authority.

"Oh don't give me that. First off Jor-El's dead and you're nothing but a computer program. Second off you argued with your father all the damn time."

"In a time and situation where our planet and people still existed. You are all that is left Kal-El. I think that more than justifies the difficult decisions I must make to ensure your survival."

"Justifies it to you. Not to me. Survival means nothing if I sacrifice what I believe in, if I sacrifice what our people stood for. If I am Krypton's legacy, as you claim, then I want us to be remembered for standing for something great and good. Truth, Justice, Integrity, Compassion, standing up for what is right!"

"Not exactly an accurate portrayal of what we had become," Jor-El points out. The Kryptonian people...weren't who they use to be. So old, tried and set in their ways. So arrogant and prideful and it was their downfall.

"Maybe," Clark might concede. "But that doesn't mean that possibility wasn't there."

"You sound like me when I was young, before time and experience wore me down," Jor-El says, sounding nostalgic. "I tried to change them Kal-El but they were too arrogant and prideful to listen to me. Too convinced they had achieved a form of perfection for our society that never really existed. If it was true Zod would never have had the opportunity he did to rise to power and convince so many of our people to follow him. The War exposed many divisions within our people that had been forgotten or ignored for too long."

Clark pauses before he goes and sits down on a raised platform. He lets out a sad sigh. "I'll never really know first hand will I," he reflects sadly he can never know what Jor-El says is true because he'll never meet them, his people are gone...apart from the criminals in the Phantom Zone and after learning of the scale of their crimes even Clark isn't so naïve to release them. No. Despite his loneliness they have to stay put. "I don't want to keep arguing with you Jor-El," he says, a little tired of the fact they disagree so often. It's wearisome.

"Nor I you, Kal-El," Jor-El shares the sentiment. "We have made much progress these last few months. Is your mind not so much calmer?"

"Yeah. Yes it is," Clark confirms that with Jor-El's help the voices in his head are much quieter, he feels much more integrated with himself...if that makes any sense. "And I like learning all about our planet, our people, the universe in general."

"You have barely scratched the surface of that."

"And yet I could completely rewrite human science as they know it inside an hour," Clark makes the point that from Jor-El's perspective he knows little but from the human perspective he has already surpassed their current level of technological and scientific understanding.

"They are a very young race," Jor-El repeats a point he makes often. "And I hope you haven't been helping them Kal-El. They must progress at their own pace."

"Yet you want me to lead them," he argues, making a case that that doesn't quite add up in Clark's view.

"They're not the same thing. I wish for you to lead them away from their own self-destruction, to help them steer away from their destructive impulses. Not help them cheat on their development. Technological development must go hand in hand with the maturity to handle it wisely."

"Yeah because that worked out so well for Krypton," Clark sarcastically makes his point.

"Exactly, Kal-El," Jor-El says as if his son is finally seeing the point. "What happened to our people can be an example of the path not to follow."

"I could only do that if I let the world see what I truly am. Not sure either myself or the world is ready for that."

"Soon neither of you will have a choice but to be ready," Jor-El darkly foreshadows.

"Well you're just a bundle of joy aren't you," Clark complains sarcastically with a roll of his eyes. With all of Jor-El's dark warnings and complaining the question is why does Clark keep coming here again?

HYDRA Island...

Yes. Really. HYDRA had an entire island it used as its main base. It had many other smaller satellite bases scattered around the world but this was the centre.

At the head of a long table Madame Hydra sat, listening to her lieutenants who were sat around the table as they gave her the latest updates on whatever Hydra projects they were responsible for.

Truthfully it was as she expected. Progress where she expected. SHIELD's continual interference as expected. She really must try and kill Fury. She has tried before but her assassins keep failing.

Maybe X-23...she ponders the possibilities. Well it would have to wait. X-23 was on assignment at the moment in Mexico. A drug baron who swore loyalty to HYDRA had gotten too big for his boots so Madame Hydra had sent X-23 to 'deal' with him. It would be a good example for anyone else who gets ideas above their station.

Just then a HYDRA agent, a foot soldier, a grunt, dressed in the green uniform of HYDRA, lets call him Bob, runs in, almost tripping over his feet before he reaches the head of the table and salutes. "F-forgive my interruption but there's an urgent message for you from Kimura."

Madame Hydra's eyes narrow. Kimura was X-23's handler. When on assignment Kimura escorted X-23 there and made sure X-23 came back. Kimura was also someone not to panic easily or make urgent calls unless it was a true emergency.

Madame Hydra rises to her feet. "Meeting adjourned," she abruptly ends it before striding quickly for what you could call her office. She slides down in the chair behind the desk and links to Kimura. "Report, Kimura," she orders.

"Madame Hydra," comes the first response. "I have...unfortunate news."

"Unfortunate for me...or for you," comes the not so subtle threat. "Remember Kimura I know exactly how to circumvent your invulnerability," she cautions her operative to choose her next words carefully.

"I remember," comes the ground out from between teeth response. "It's X-23."

"What about it?"

"It failed to carry out the assassination as ordered and it has not shown up at the rendezvous point. It's gone AWOL. I can't find it anywhere. I think it might already be out the country."

Failed? It has never failed before. So far it has been the perfect weapon of death as was intended. This makes no sense...and now just to vanish. Something is wrong and Madame Hydra is beyond not happy as her temper rises quickly. Her hands clench into fists which she slams down on her desk in a peak of fury. "I want it found, Kimura! Do you have any idea how much I have invested in it?! Listen to me carefully. You are not to dare step back into my presence unless you have X-23 with you. Am I clear?"

"Yes, Madame Hydra."

"Then get to it!" Madame Hydra snaps furiously.

Bayville Sewers...

Callisto, Leader of the Morlocks, looks on at her charges with growing concern. Every day more and more of them were growing sick. A third of them were lying in bed. Healer was doing what he could but he was only slowing the sickness down. Soon they would start dying and she couldn't do anything to prevent it it seemed. She was helpless and she hates it. She hates the feeling.

The older man who is Healer comes up to her. He himself is looking pale and tired from overuse of his powers. He can't keep this up for much longer. "Callisto, maybe it's time to ask for help," he suggests, his voice strained and tired.

"No," Callisto refuses. Morlocks don't ask for help. They look after themselves. She just didn't understand where this came from all of a sudden. It was so quick. It was...wrong.

Callisto can't bear to look at the sick people and be reminded of her failures. Especially the younger ones. She marches out of their home into the sewer pipes and walks, hoping to clear her head and concoct some sort of plan.

She ends up leaning against the wall opposite where another pipe sticks out joining the main sewer when suddenly that pipe discharges an odd wine coloured liquid. She frowns. What the hell? People dump a lot of stuff down here but she's never seen that before. That's new. Then again she hasn't been in this part of the sewers for ages but her wanderings randomly brought her here so it might not be as new as she thinks. She uses her memory to work out where that pipe goes and marches off, her stride broad and determined.

Callisto reaches and climbs a ladder and pushes up the manhole cover to peer out. It's some sort of new factory. Pow-R8? What is that? A drink of some kind she thinks if the sign is any indication. So a new factory opens, dumping strange coloured liquid into the sewers and now her Morlocks are sick.

Yeah. That's not a coincidence. Bastards! Why can't the topworlders leave them alone? The Morlocks harm no-one, cause no trouble, she makes sure of it. Oh they are going to pay for this! Mark Callisto's words because she swears the following. They will pay for this!


The man known as Mesmero, the loyal servant of the Great Apocalypse, has no time or much interest in the machinations of others so recent events don't concern him. His sole task is to free his Master. To do this he has to find the 3 keys to the 3 doors which were used to seal his Master away all those many, many centuries ago.

Mesmero has already found and used the first key and now he knows where the 2 halves of the 2nd key are. One is in the British Museum and after much research he discovered the 2nd half is in possession of the Worthington family.

Now, exactly where that half is Mesmero is still in the process of determining but that's only the start of his problems. To use this key to free his Master needs a specific plan to get a specific mutant to use his powers in a certain way...and unfortunately Mesmero can't force this mutant to do it no matter he possesses immense telepathic abilities. This mutant is shielded against telepathy

Mesmero considered using this mutant's daughter but at her young age she won't be powerful enough. No. He has to do this the hard way.

If that is what he must do to free Apocalypse then that is what he will do.

Nothing will stop Apocalypse's rise. It is destiny. A destiny coming closer and closer over a Dark Horizon.

To Be Continued in SmallvilleX: Evolution Year 2.3: Dark Horizons.

Author's Note: Yes. I do fully intend just to let Lionel die this time unless anyone can give me a reason not to do so. It was always my intention to end this by catching up with various people like Mesmero and the Green Goblin and so forth. Plus set up X-23's début by having her go AWOL from Hydra as she did on the show. That'll be relatively soon but I'll be starting my next story with that bit with the Morlocks which is the evo episode X-treme Measures. Thanks to everyone who has written reviews for this story and hope to see you back on my next one.