After an incredible alien beast attacks the metropolitan museum of art from the inside, (narrowly foiled by the ever-loving blue-eyed Thing, who is assisting Alicia Masters as she escorts a group of schoolchildren around the museum) the Fantastic Four find that the paintings of Jackson Pollack are in fact portals to a separate reality called the 'Omnistructure', portals which are now being flung open!
Reed wants the portals shut down, but that can only be done from inside the strange, dying reality to which they lead. On top of that, Ben Grimm has lost an entire class of children to an alien dimension, something he specifically promised their headmaster would not happen.
Reed tells Ben that *whatever happens* the protection of the earth must come first, even if it means the children are not rescued, even if it means the Fantastic Four themselves are trapped within this alien reality as the portals close. Ben agrees but later swears to Alicia that he will recover the children, no matter what.
On penetrating the Omnistructure, the FF are enfolded in consuming darkness and grope their way towards the only dim light they can make out, flickering signals of a gigastructure of trans-carbon, a highway of pure diamond transmitting the final thoughts of a dying intelligent star. Reed attempts to communicate but his logic-bound arguments have no affect on a doomed stellar intelligence, last of its kind, bound within the sarcophagus of its once-teeming city hive of thinking stars and knowing that its fate will be to watch the inevitable extinction of its own reality.
Johnny Storm takes rashly matters into his own hands and, against the advice of Sue and Ben, hurls himself boldly into the dark, before igniting his Nova flame!
For a moment, Johnny burns with the brightness of a miniature sun, and like a candle flickering in a haunted house, he illuminates a tiny volume of this failing cosmos. The Fantastic Four look 'down' to observe the spiralling strands of the linear lagrange cities hanging in mid air beneath the darkened highways of light, and beyond them the fernlike surface of the fractal worlds, flexed bands of ultradense matter springing from a central neutronium trunk and weaving through the cosmos, ivy-like traceries whose leaves as they bend flex the sliding continents upon their gigantic surfaces, producing alien tectonics and imponderable alien life.
Yet in this brief spark of light, no life do they see, as the fantasticar dives to recover the falling Johnny Storm, now utterly drained, the Fantastic Four observe 'below' them only ruined continents and the empty shells of cities larger than all the cultures of earth.
But. On seeing this final spark of light and the brave but futile sacrifice of a form of life itself doomed to die in only a handful of decades, the failing stellar intelligence observing from the darkness of its dead and blackened home takes heart and, with a roar of defiance, directs the last of its vital energies into the webwork of cosmic fibre optics around the Fantastic Four!
The Omnistructure explodes into light, the vast tangled spirals of the lagrange civilisation gleam like a scatter of shells and the 'leaves' of the fernlike world fractals glow like emeralds and sapphires streaked with atmospheric white.
The FF may have only hours to accomplish their mission before darkness falls again, and this time it will be a night without an end. Spotting the disordered vectors of the nearby city fragments, Sue Storm leads the FF on the trail of something that must have moved away from their current position not long ago, something large and powerful enough to brush the pieces of a city out of its way like a man swatting at flies, something that almost certainly has their missing children, something heading, not for the surface of the tendriling worlds, but to their dark underbelly and the pale orb-like environments of the decay-based civilisation that is revealed below the surface of the curling worlds.
(I took almost all the exclamation marks out! But really! They should end! Every! Other! Sentance!"