The flaming sword had descended still lower, and now the heat of its flames was uncomfortable for the humans on the plain. Worse, its presence was now causing fissures to form in the earth of the plain, fissures that seemed to go down to the center of the planet. Unbeknownst to the beings on the plain, the edge of the flaming sword, designed to cut anything, was beginning to sever the tectonic plates miles beneath the plain's surface. Unchecked, the sword would cut right through the world in only an hour.

None of the beings on the plain realised this or had the time or inclination to think about what the earthquake might mean. The return of the familiar and ungrateful dead occupied everyone's attention, and between their attacks and those of the armies summoned to the plain the beings who'd come to the M'krann to claim ultimate power found themselves fighting for their lives.

For some, the situation spawned unlikely pairings. Jenny Sparks, temporarily cut off from the rest of the Authority, fought back to back with Stryfe, holding off wave upon wave of Sliding Albion shock troops and X-Force mutants. Appalla of the Avengers of Earth-666 flew in orbit around Life's Blood of the Aerie, together holding off incoming attacks of sentient asteroids and evil sorceries. The Over-Meme, sensing that it needed momentary support, merged with the armor of the Conqueror, who let it, knowing that he needed the Over-Meme's power to stop the attacks of the mathematical constants and galactic guardians that were coming at them.

Some, though, refused offers of help, pretending not to need assistance and refusing to concede any weaknesses. The Nahal used its battle-sphere to project a ring of disintegration around it, and when Mighty Man of the Allies of Earth-881 tried to aid the Nahal against the Paladins who had pursued the Nahal to their deaths, the Nahal tried to kill Mighty Man. Kal-El of the League of Conquerors of Earth-879 used his heat vision on anything that moved too close to him, including Super Rabbit. And Der Zauberer and Izushi ignored the threats posed to them by their resurrected enemies and spent their magical energies on each other.

Meanwhile, above the plain, blocked from view by the clouds of brown and black smoke and the opaque bodies of the gas creatures and Vacuum Ghosts flying through the skies, Apocalypse continued his assault on the Shining City. Finally realising that his direct assault was not working, he began using more powerful attacks designed to destroy entire areas, not just what he was focussing on. A sonic blast shattered the walls around the Shining City. An eruption of white-hot flames from Apocalypse's face, shooting away in every direction, melted untold miles of City territory. And worst of all, Apocalypse reached out with his mind and began rending enormous hunks of matter from what he thought was the core of the Shining City, causing the damaged parts of the City to reform at a notably slower pace.

But he still found no souls and no God, and his anger grew....

Go back to Liberators Annual