Chapter One: City of Shade

It has only been a few hours since Quicksilver, Illyana, Morph, and Sunfire were released from the bowels of the Core. His flames extinguished to better hide his identity; a thick stolen piece of cloth covers Sunfire’s body. Pietro had done the same, hiding his grey-blue running suit and his tell-tale X’s. Morph simply stayed as a normal human and Illyana…well, she was still dressed in her Core-wear. She looked the part already in beaten, stained, and torn jean overalls, a green shirt underneath.

They made their way from the Core quickly, descending into the shantytown that surrounds it; the aptly named Shadowtown. The perpetual clouds that cover the sky are aided by a constant river of smoke that rises from the Core, keeping the city covered in shadows. The inhabitants fought back against the darkness with neon. Bright signs litter the buildings, light poles just from every street corner. Thanks to its proximity to the Core, Shadowtown doesn’t lack in electricity. Even now, as the world somehow gets darker with the setting of the sun, dozens of people fill the streets. Like the buildings themselves, the people come in every shape and size – mutant, beaten humans, worn out Infinity’s, and everything in between. It’s a fantastic place to lose yourself.

And it’s a great place to hide.

Between Morph’s ability to shapeshift and Quicksilver’s speed, the small group stole enough money to stay at a beaten-up, worn-down, rather filthy inn. They had received little attention upon entering; most mutants varied in appearance, although the inn keeper was adamant about them not causing trouble. They ordered food, which was brought to their one room, and they took turns eating and sleeping as Quicksilver suggested. The night passed quickly and without incident.

The same cannot be said of elsewhere. Across the Atlantic, a small squad of X-Men fight against Apocalypse’s Seawall as it lays siege to London, home of the human resistance. Below the fighting, an amnesiac Man works his way through the streets and carnage, fighting for a purpose. And on the other end of the America continent, Storm and her own group of survivors prepare to leave the safety of their Mansion for the ruins of Apocalypse Island. They go in the hope of finding their friends and family – any kind of life that they can really.

They manage to find life.

Too bad it’s hostile.