As Emma, Mystique, Wolverine, Cyclops and I were were doing our best to determine whether Jean had returned us to our correct universe, Gaia burst into my office. Under her arms was a drunken talking fox named Fred. Such is my life.
"Oh, isn't Beast here?" Gaia asked, as the Scarlet Witch entered after her.
"No, I haven't seen him," I told her. "But we've only been back a few minutes."
"Well, we had something really important to tell you. He raced out of the lab ahead of me and I thought he was coming here."
"Why don't you just tell me what the problem is."
"Okay. It's like this. There are all these, um, rips in space and - "
Just then Beast came crashing through the door, tumbling into the center of the room. He had a large hoagie in his hand and a rather sheepish look on his face.
"Sorry I'm late. I just stopped for a quick dose of nourishment." Beast lifted his sandwich as if to confirm that he did indeed make a deter to the kitchen.
"That's fine, Hank," I told him. "Now what's this about rips in space?"
Beast took in a deep breath and squared his shoulders. "I don't want to sound melodramatic, Professor, but we may very well be facing the most serious and dangerous threat to all life in the universe that we have ever known."
"Okay, got it. This is important. Get to it already."
"Yes, Professor. Gaia and Wanda have detected disruptions within the dimensional barriers that separate our universe from other planes of existence. These rips are creating a fundamental disruption in the space/time continuum. But that's not the worst part."
"Really? So what is the worst part?" I asked.
"These rips seem to be opening holes to the basic underlayer of reality. This is the plane that links to all others. Reed Richards has hypothesized that this is the source of the matter and energy of the big bang. Each big bang from each universe. This is a realm of such incredible power and destructive force that nothing could escape from it or survive it. Basically, when the rips touch on the fundamental realm, the effect is the same as that of a localized black hole. Each rip then has the potential of destroying our entire solar system, and they are opening up all across the planet. According to the laws of quantum mechanics, analogous holes are going to be opening up all throughout the galaxy. This inherent instability will inevitably lead to the total annihilation of all of reality, across the entire multi-verse."
"Hmmm. Well, as far as your original concern goes, I don't think you were being melodramatic. This doesn't sound very good at all. What do we do about it?"
"That part I'm still working on," Beast replied.
"How long have we got?" Logan asked.
"Based on my rudimentary calculations . . less that 24 hours."