Ultimate Crisis

Final Night
by Chip Caroon

Victor Cranston
Natalie Casswell
Peter Parker
Mary Jane Watson
Jean Grey
Detective Chimp

Victor Cranston stood in his room, staring out to the New York sky. Evening was falling, and he knew that the world could very well be in its final hours. He could not help fight a space god, so he opted to stay on the homefront, but there was nothing to take care of there, since most of the action had moved to London.

So, he did what any sensible male would do on what could be the final night of his life. He spent it with his girlfriend.

Natalie Casswell was sitting on Victor's bed. "C'mon, Vic, you've been looking out there all night."

"I just feel like there's so much more to be said, to be done."

"And the JLA and everyone will pull through again, just like they've always done."

Victor turned from the window. "I don't know, Nat. I mean, the guys that I saw them fight . . . they were bad. And those were supposed to be the lackeys."

"They've done it before. Probably plenty of times that none of us remember. And you might have even helped," she added with a smile.

Victor walked over and sat on his bed beside Natalie, who then in turn laid her head down on Victor's lap. Victor stroked her hair. "At least if the world ends, you won't be leaving me for LA."

Natalie sat up. It bothered her every time Victor mentioned the impending long distance relationship they were going to be having. Mostly because a lot of times, he sounded like he was guilting her.

"Can we not think about that for once? Just live in the moment?" she said.

"It's that whole carpe diem thing, isn't it?"

Natalie nodded.

Victor leaned his head and kissed her. Natalie kissed back, and eventually they had collapsed back on the bed, and gotten under the sheets.

"I love you," Natalie whispered.

Victor held her tighter. "I know," he whispered back.

"I want you," Natalie whispered, softer.

"You have me."

And that night, Victor Cranston was able to put all of his worries aside. His girl was there, and even though she was the cause of a lot of his worries, whenever he held her in his arms, he felt relaxed. He lost his problems in her. And for a brief moment, all was right in the world.

Over in Queens, Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson were staying up with Aunt May watching events unfold on the news.

"This is so horrible," Aunt May said, standing up. "I just can't watch anymore of this. I'm heading to bed. You kids behave."

"Yes, Aunt May," Peter replied, his arm still around Mary Jane, who was almost asleep.

"And I hope I will be around to see you in the morning."

"Same to you, Aunt May."

After Aunt May had walked upstairs, Peter kept watching the television. The images were not that great, because they could not capture the true essence of what was occurring. The battles were too quick, and too dangerous to get close to.

He kissed Mary Jane on the head. Her eyes fluttered open.

"Huh? Did I fall asleep again?"

Peter nodded. "It's okay. I've been keeping tabs on my buddies."

"Victor out there?"

Peter shook his head. "When he saw me getting my ass handed to me by those guys, he knew that he'd definitely be out of his league. I'm sure he's at home with Natalie."

"That's so sad," Mary Jane said. "Right now, either the world ends, or it gets saved and she heads to the west coast."

"Yeah, just doesn't seem right," Peter replied. "In fact, I'm not sure I completely understand her reasoning."

"I think I do a bit. But I think they're both worrying too much about it."

"Perhaps." Peter leaned his head against the back of the sofa.

"You okay?" Mary Jane asked, sitting up a bit.

"Yeah, still a bit sore from that beating."

"Oh, babe, let me take care of you," Mary Jane said, sitting up all the way and placing her hands on Peter's shoulders, starting a massage.

Peter closed his eyes and enjoyed the massage. "Ah . . . You really know how to treat a superhero."

MJ pecked him on the cheek. "Just don't make it a habit of getting your ass kicked by galactic beings."

"Not a problem. I definitely checked that off of my list of things I gotta do before I die today."

The X-Men were on a jet, making their way towards London. Jean Grey and Scott Summers had found their own private corner of the jet to talk.

"So, you've been a captive your whole life?" Jean asked.

"It feels like it," Scott replied. "But believe it or not, I did have a life on Earth for a while. But I think I have been gone just as long as I was here."

Jean shook her head. "I'm so sorry."

"There was nothing you could do. I was twelve when they abducted me. They took me and killed my parents. I have a brother, probably somewhere in the world still. I haven't seen him since that day."

"What's his name?"

"Alex. Alex Summers."

Jean thought for a moment. She remembered most everything clear as day, and she remembered Iceman telling her that one of his partners while he was undercover in Magneto's camp was a mutant named Alex Summers. "Well . . . we might be able to locate him when we get back to our mansion. We do have a mutant detector."

"But there's no way to be certain he is a mutant," Scott said.

"I think it's a very good chance. Besides, it's our only lead."

Even with the visor that covered his eyes, Jean could see the happiness on Scott's face. But it was also tinged with pain, from what she assumed was the sudden reminder of that visor.

"You okay?" she asked.

"Yeah," Scott nodded. "I . . . I just never even expected to get back to Earth."

"How did you get back?"

"I don't know exactly. Much of the last week or so is all hazy and vague."


"But I do think I'm glad of who found me when I landed," Scott said with a smile.

Jean blushed. "Too bad it's probably the end of the world."

"Oh well," Scott sighed.

"So, that visor's attached?"

"Yeah, punishment for leveling a mountain at age thirteen. At least one of my fellow pirates found a control button. Of course, now I'm wondering why they went to all that trouble, but didn't kill me."

"I'm sure Hank could probably remove it for you."

Scott sighed again. "Sorry, I've just had too many promises to get it off broken. I've dealt with it this long."

Then, without warning, Jean stood up and leaned over, kissing Scott on the forehead.

"What was that for?"

"You looked like you needed it. Someone that cared."

"And you . . . care?"

Jean nodded.

Up in the front part of the jet, Hank McCoy was piloting the jet, as Bobby Drake sat in the co-pilot's seat.

"So, what's up with this ‘mutant messiah' business?" Bobby asked. "Is it real?"

"The Morlocks seem to think so," Hank replied.

"But you already said they're highly prone to myth."

Hank nodded. "But someone had to tell them that. So, who knows where it all started?"

Bobby was silent for a moment. "But Scott? The guy's so unassuming."

"You forget your New Testament. Christ was a carpenter's son."

"Stepson, actually," Wolverine said, stepping into the cockpit, popping open a beer. "But I don't remember any stories about him getting it on with the resident redhead."

"Jealous?" Bobby asked.

"Of what? I just don't wanna see what happens when the whole thing explodes because Jeannie's on the rebound."

"Jean doesn't rebound," Hank said. "If she's truly interested in the guy, she's interested. Not because Clark went off gallivanting in space for whatever reason."

"You're just pissed because it was a rock from his planet that gave you blue fur," Bobby chuckled.

"No. I actually sort of like the blue look."

"It's because he's got a crush on her," Wolverine said.

"No, I don't. She's a very dear and trusted friend. Completely platonic."

"It's okay, Hank," Bobby replied. "We all have a crush on her. Besides, the only girl in a group of guys, I think she expects it."

"I don't think she expects anything," Wolverine said. "Girl's a telepath, remember?" he added, sipping his beer.

Bobby put his head in his hand. "Why do I keep forgetting that?"

Wolverine handed him the rest of the six-pack. "Here, have a beer."

Bobo T. Chimpanzee was sitting in his office, behind his desk. He grew tired of the continuous news coverage of the end of the world. Instead, he opted to send messages to many of his friends back home in Gorilla City that he may or may not ever see again. Even if the world didn't end, he was long overdue.

He heard a knock at the door. "Come in!" he shouted. "It's open!"

The door opened, ringing a bell at the top. Bobo rolled his eyes. He always meant to rip that bell off. Then he got an idea.

His visitor opened the door to see Bobo aiming a shotgun seemingly at him. He put his hands up in the air. "Wait a minute, there, Bobo. It's just me, Burbank."

"I know it's you. The gun's not for you. Close the door and move out of the way."

Burbank did as he was told. Bobo fired the gun and shot the bell off. "Bullseye," he said with a smile. Placing the gun down, he turned to Burbank. "What can I do for you?"

"I just came over for a drink. End of the world and all."

"Why me? Don't you have plenty of other agent friends you can hang out with?"

Burbank hung his head. "Actually, most of them have either disappeared or died. I mean, the boss had his accident nearly twenty years ago."

"Has it been that long?" Bobo asked, opening his desk drawer. "Well, sit down." He gestured to the chair in front of his desk with his left hand, while pulling out a bottle and two shot glasses from his desk and setting them on the table with his right hand.

"What do we have?" Burbank asked as he sat.

"You wanna get really trashed and actually enjoy doing it, there's only one thing: Southern Comfort."

"Good man," Burbank said, reaching out to hold his shot glass as Bobo poured.

"Monkey. Or chimp, actually."


"Don't be," Bobo said, putting the bottle down, and raising his shot glass. "Life's too short to be sorry. To many more days and hoping the JLA can kick Galactus's ass back to whatever planet he came from."

To be continued!