Black Rose

It hadn’t been an easy upbringing, not born, but created in a future ruled by all the wrong sorts - the same sorts that he had found himself the adopted progeny from - and never quite sure of his place, of his identity, until it had hit him so strongly in blinding rejection. All the years of torture, all the pain and all the agony, all the strife he had endured to become strong - to become something more - at the behest of that who only cared to make him strong enough to become a vessel had been for nothing if only for one fact.

He wasn’t Nathaniel Christopher Charles Summers.

He was a contingency plan, not his own being, that served as a replacement in the likelihood that the Askani’son, the Chosen One, wouldn’t see to his future potential - something that had become so close to fruition when the Riders of the Storm had attacked the Askani, had killed the Bright Lady and her followers, and snatched the baby from his chambers - the wrong baby. Nathan had lived, shielded and protected from those who had come for him, while he had been taken, pulled into such great expectations of arrogance and cruelty and malevolence to become what Apocalypse had always wanted: A shell.

And that shell had been given a name, the only one that he would ever know, bestowed upon him for all that he would bring to the weak in the world who were unfitting of mutant superiority: Stryfe.

He had wanted it - that power - and it had been taken from him in no small part due to the interference of the Summers, of Redd and Slym and Dayspring, the ever-protected child sent from the past to a future he would free from the clutches of Apocalypse as their connection, would-be father and adopted son, had been severed and severely. He had been outed, cast aside by the great ruler that had raised him, the clone of the one he had intended to be the best and Apocalypse - Apocalypse had died at last, old and frail and no longer able to maintain his presence in the world if there wasn’t another shell to transfer his essence, his very mind and all its intent, into - not once, but twice as a new government rose in his place that was quick to forget all the Apocalypse had stood for.

But he would never let them forget.

The Chaos-Bringer would go to war and no one - not Ch'vayre, not Clan Chosen, not those that rallied to their cause - would stand in his way. He would be mean. He would be vile, malevolent, and cruel, forging traps baited by daughters and twisting the minds of sons against their fathers, and stealing the very sanctity of lovingly laid vows if it mean breaking the very person that stood in his way and always did seem to stand in his way.


He just needed the right means of doing it, once thought to be tucked away in the confines of the C.S.A. and now gone, vanished from their archives, and with it any trail there was to be found that wasn’t tied directly with the woman that had created him - not the great Mother Askani, dead in one universe, but transcendent throughout time and existing in all, but the mother, trapped in Limbo and stripped of her crown with nowhere to go except the undertow of rebellion, and the Phoenix that guarded it.

Destroy it and all would collapse and with it, sucked into the vortex that was the nexus like a back hole, endless and merciless no matter who wore the title of chosen and who didn’t; and what spoke of strife more than the destruction of the very fabric of reality?

If only he could find it.

"Arcana," was the lone word that fell from his lips as he stepped up to the magic shop, eyes gleaming with only malicious intent for whatever might have been found inside and for whoever might have been there to stand in his way.