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This issue is a part of REALM OF KINGS.
The issue begins with Namorita flying out of the water, with a shocked Nova and Darkhawk looking on. Namorita flies and tackles Nova, asking if he has missed her. Namorita can tell that there’s something wrong, and even goes so far as to tell Nova, “What’s wrong with you? It’s as if you have seen a ghost!” Darkhawk greets her, and Namorita notes how both Darkhawk and Nova look different in several regards; not just in costume. Reed Richards approaches Nova while Namorita is speaking with Darkhawk and informs Nova that he must not tell Namorita what he knows. While Reed does not know what it is; he suspects that it has to do with the death of Namorita. Reed insists that Nova be strong and not tell her anything, for fear it could unravel the temporal continuity. Nova agrees, claiming he understands, despite the difficult choice, because she is so full of life.
As Namorita explains how she came to be there as well, she explains she almost died of dehydration, had it not been for the timely arrival of Black Bolt as well. As Namorita explains her tale, Nova hears the locals shouting; as they turn, they see the Djinn have arrived once more, along with humanoid insects, and in the middle of it all; the Sphinx who appears to have his chariot pulled by the fabled sphinx creatures (lions with bat like wings). The heroes engage in combat, and Namorita notices that Nova is able to do a number of things that she’s never seen him do before. Finally, it’s Black Bolt who manages to hold them back while the heroes retreat into the pyramid, per Reed’s suggestion. Within the pyramid, they find a passage, but the door appears blocked. When Reed tries to decipher the glyphs he is electrocuted, but only discombobulated from the shock. The gem in Darkhawk’s chest seems to respond to the glyphs, and causes an energy pulse that sends them all spinning.
Nova sees another life. One where he and Namorita love one another forever. One where he can stop her from being a part of the reality show that leads to the confrontation with Nitro; who ignites himself, killing over six hundred people, including Namorita. Since he prevents the reality show from ever happening, Nitro never ignites, never kills Namorita, never kills six hundred other innocent people, which never triggers Civil War, so that heroes are not at each other’s throat. Then Nova is able to warn Reed about the Skrull Invasion, and with Reed’s help they are able to stop the Skrulls, prevent Black Bolt from being replaced by a Skrull, which prevents the Inhumans from leading the Kree into a war against the Shi’ar.
Darkhawk awakens and finds he is not bound in the energy that holds the others and prevents them from awakening. Darkhawk uses the gem in his chest, which is responding to the “Data Song” once again to awaken the others. They see for themselves what Darkhawk sees; two massive temples of the Sphinx facing off against each other, adrift in space and time…Nova finds Sphinx, who appears older than the one that had greeted him and Darkhawk originally; as tubes course throughout he Sphinx’s body. The Sphinx explains that he had been dying for a long time; that being trapped in time, he had cursed himself with a form of temporal cancer. So while he was dying, the Fault opened and allowed him to step outside of his own time and space; so he was free for a moment to summon a younger version of himself, to convince himself to make different choices, for if he did not, he would end up where he was now. The young Sphinx shows up, claiming to be called ‘Capricious’ – and explains that there is ever only one Ka Stone; except in the Fault, where time and space do not apply and he will take the Ka Stone from Sphinx and ascend as a shining god. Sphinx refuses, so the younger Sphinx calls on aid to assist him against Sphinx’s aids. He calls forth: Moonwolf, Moonsotone, Bloodstone, Basilisk and another Raptor, much like Darkhawk!