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A Betray of Hope.
They’re known as the Mutant Liberation Force – and they’re trying to make a difference. The team consists of Cannonball, Juggernaut, Beast, Sebastian Shaw, Firestar, Justice and Beast.
They’re wanted by the local authorities. They’d probably be killed right on the spot for that matter. That’s why they’re underground… and that’s where the story begins.
Forever Yesterday, part 2.
Juggernaut shatters the side of the wall once they reach the softly humming force field. Vance puts the scrambler on the wall informing everyone else that they only have a few seconds before the force field kicks back on. Making a mad bolt for the door, only Juggernaut is not fast enough… the shield kicks back in and the green light covers Juggernaut… after a scream, he steps through, then falls all too silently to the ground. Fearing the worse, they pause a moment – only to have Juggernaut slowly stand once again, his voice whispering and broken.
Several guards react to the breach in the shield, but quickly find themselves on the recieving end of Cannonball’s fists of fury. Slowly climbing the stairs, the MLF finds themselves at their goal… the Maqaman Island… formerly known as New York.
Meanwhile, within Avengers Mansion in downtown Maqaman Island, Captain Assyria and Lady Sphinx speak when suddenly an message comes through informing them that the MLF has broken into the city walls. Captain Assyria learns of this and summons the other Avengers to put a stop to them before they shut down the field generator on the west side, which would allow the MLF entrance into the city with their armed forces.
Storm, Iron Man (carrying Captain Assyria), Spectre, and Horus all quickly respond, while trying to summon their last member, Nova…
Meanwhile, with Nova, Sayge – the embodiment of Truth – speaks to him when suddenly his Avengers Beacon goes off. Before Nova can respond to it, Sayge removes his hood and a bright light fills the entire room…
That’s when the world melted away and new images formed…
A man known as the Sphinx entered the Temple of Ka and placed the Ka Stone upon his head… a mortal man now found himself with the mantle of… The Sphinx. After learning he was immortal, he sought out his own death – and that death came in the form of the cosmic being known as… Galactus. Galactus defeated the Sphinx but played a cruel trick on the man that dared challenge him. He sent him back in time to relive his past over and over again. (Please see Nova [volume one] # 1 – 25 as well as Fantastic Four #212, for more details). The Sphinx would eventually be found by a lonely woman who nursed the Sphinx back to health. The man she had nursed back to health had been the man she fell in love with. However, once at full health, the Sphinx left her as she was before – alone and frightened. She grew old. Time passed. She died.
It should have been it for her… but she found herself awakening in the young body of an egyptian boy, with all her memories wholly intact. As this boy, she rose to power quickly, becoming one of the Pharaoh’s Architectural Team. She learned the secrets of the Ka Stone, and eventually died… reborn once again as a woman, with her memories still intact. She moved into a position to marry the Pharaoh himself. She learned that she had absorbed a great amount of energy from the Ka Stone and was now able to be reborn. So she lived and died, time and time again, living different lives of different people, waiting for the man she loved, The Sphinx, to emerge to prominence. That time came, Sayge had explained to Nova, when Sphinx had fougt him. Sayge explained that this was not the “real world” – that the woman, in an attempt to love the Sphinx once again, to be by his side – she unleashed the power of the Ka stone – which suddenly altered reality… forming the reality which Nova found himself in now.
Taylor Foundation, Maqaman Island… another life is about to drastically change. His name is Dwayne. He is an innocent child – but that innocense is about to be stripped of him. As he talks to Franklin, another child visiting his home – there is a large explosive sound just outside – then the doors fall. What happens next is only a second in time. Machine gun fire goes off and in it’s wake, Dwayne’s mother and father are killed. So is Franklin and his parents… only Dwayne escapes, and through his tears… he makes a vow to get revenge for the murder…
Meanwhile, with the MLF – Juggernaut rips open an electrical fence with no effort – but finds himself being hit by a larger charge than what the fence could produce!
When the dust clears, an all too familiar battle cry sounds… “Avengers Assemble!”
Captain Assyria quickly tackles Sebastian Shaw, while Horace takes on Juggernaut and Firestar takes on Spectre. However, Spectre breaks off her attack to go after Beast, who throws Iron through her electro-magnetic form, causing her so much pain that she falls to the ground. Captain Assyria pummels Sebastian time and time again, but when Sebastian has had enough, he smiles at Captain Assyria and falls him with one simple backhand.
Vance sneaks past the battle, his goal the only thing on his mind – when suddenly he finds himself tackled by Nova. Nova raises his fist in the air and shakes his head, saying, “I’m sorry, Vance — But I have to stop you.”
Both are surprised as to how Nova knew Vance’s real name… and after briefly talking, Vance pleads with Nova to help the MLF. After a moment, Nova helps Vance up and takes off into battle, striking his own team mate, Storm, from behind. With Storm no longer occupied, Nova tells Firestar to go and help Marvel Man (Vance). Horace and Iron Man see the attack and immediately turn their attention on Nova… Nova reaches within himself, heaving a deep breath – he releases a “super nova charge” that renders Iron Man and Horace unconscious… the tides seemed to be turning in the favor… but things are rarely what they seem.
The earth rumbled and the temple where the Lady Sphinx lay waiting suddenly exploded… standing over fifty feet tall, Lady Sphinx made one simple threat, “A final confrontation with me could very well mean the destruction of this entire planet!”