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Note: This issue is Part 3 of 8 of TIME AND TIME AGAIN.
The issue begins with Sphinx examining where he has scattered the various members of the New Warriors; Night Thrasher branded an escaped slave, and about to be hung; Silhouette, the sacrifice for the Dragon’s Breadth; Namorita, the leader of the Atlanteans, against a brutal strike force; and Nova… he home. In Manhattan. Or what remains of it.
Earth, for Nova is a barren wasteland, with far and few survivors – most of them horribly disfigured or mutated – yet they all seem to know him – and upon him, they place the blame of the Earth’s demise.
Nova tries to figure out what’s happening when he encounters the Nova of the world he is on; explaining that Rich is not on his own Earth, but an alternate one. The alternate reality Nova explains that he was away, helping the Shi’ar with some troublesome Kree, when the Black Storm swept through his world. When Rich asks to see it through a holographic projection – he sees the world consumed by blackness, and the time stops on 0:0 – much like the previous Nova he had fought from an alternate world, not so long ago.
In another time, another place – Rage stumbles upon some white men beating on black slaves. Leaping out, he allows his namesake to consume him – the burning rage that makes him the hero he is. He doesn’t stop at anything – their screams of fear, pain, it doesn’t matter to him – all that matters is his rage. But his rage blinds him as the very people who he hopes to save, begin to back away in the same fear that the slave owners feel.
Realizing what he’s done he seeks an alternative way of freeing the slaves. Approaching the slave traders on a dock, Rage delivers an eloquent, heartfelt speech – however, the slave trader informs Rage that they did not take the people against their will – the chief of the slave people traded their own family to the slavers!
Elsewhere, perhaps close, perhaps timelines apart, Firestar finds herself a victim of a witch hunt. When they tie her to the stake and try to burn her, she consumes the flames and burns the ropes that bind her.
She is then contacted telepathically and follows the voice to a small hut where she is greeted by a practicing witch, who informs her that if Firestar does not help her, she will not allow her to return to her proper time.
The scene shifts to Sprocket, Chord and Hindsight Lad trying to pin point the location of the New Warriors, and discovering the energy signature is that of the Ka Stone, which had belonged to Sphinx.