Official SolicitationIn the Age Of X, there are no X-Men. There are no heroes to stand in the way of the anti-mutant aggression that has run rampant for years. And when the world's most dangerous mutant is set loose in this Age, everything will come crashing down...
As the Age of X is set in an alternate universe, many familiar characters have different names. Keeping with the continuity of the story, all characters will be referred to by their new names. The most notable changes in this issue are:
- Basilisk = Cyclops
- Eclipse = Sunspot
- Legacy (or "Reaper") = Rogue
- Nightmare = Pixie
- Revenant = Phoenix
This issue starts following the events of New Mutants #23
Dawn begins to light up Fortress X and the mutants all gather ready for the daily attack of the human forces. Deep inside the Fortress, Gambit holds Legacy as she stares into a small box that contains the universe. Professor X recalled the argument he had with Dr Nemesis regarding his son's treatment, while Magneto remained on the floor unconscious from Legion's attack.
The Force Warriors continue their descent into the room declaring that they will eradicate anyone who opposes their coup. Their tactics cause a debate about the morality of the situation with the Moonstar Cadre & Katherine Pryde, who uses her powers to protect the Professor.
Meanwhile, Gambit & Legacy have picked themselves & the box off the floor. Just as Legacy reveals her theory that there is no universe outside the Force Walls (hence the contents of the box), X interjects explaining that the universe was placed there for safe keeping. X then reveals her true identity; Moira emerges from the shadows and points Gambit's rifle at them demanding the safe return of the box.
Back outside the Fortress, the mutants grow restless. The humans didn't appear as usual, but Cannonball is determined that they stay in line just in case it's some sort of ruse. Basilisk begins to unveil his own theories about the war, but Cannonball continues to treat him as a disrespectful soldier. However, Basilisk reveals the identical dogtags & brings in to question Box's discovery about the static positioning of the stars. This makes the others take notice so they all follow him back inside the Fortress, leaving Cannonball stood on the battleless front line all alone.
Inside the semi-destroyed room, the Force Warriors & Moonstar Cadre stand facing each other exchanging threats. The tension is suddenly broken as Legion painfully screams out, clutching his hands to his head. His rant reveals that 'she' had warned him that Professor X would turn them all against each other. This prompts the Professor to invite Legion to disclose who is really controlling everything.
Meanwhile, 'Moira' continues to hold Gambit & Legacy hostage, addressing Legacy as 'Rogue'. Following instructions, Legacy places the box on the floor. Gambit then takes a moment of distraction to attack 'Moira' with a charged up Queen of Hearts card. She flinches off the attack, and swings the damaged rifle across Gambit's face. Seeing the opportunity, Legacy grabs the box & runs, but 'Moira' instantly appears in front of her claiming to be an omnipresent God before knocking Legacy unconscious.
The Moonstar Cadre & Force Warriors surrounded Legion & Professor X. Legion demands to know who the Professor is, but vehemently denies being his son recalling the terrorist attack in Israel that killed his father. Seeing the moments confusion in his son, Professor X takes the opportunity to show Legion one of his true memories that have been deeply hidden; the moment when the Professor promised never to 'lose' Legion as they first embraced as father & son. Even more confused, the Professor promises to explain everything if they gather with 'Cyclops' & the other mutants in Magneto's Command Room. Pryde re-affirms her preference of the name 'Katherine' (instead of Kitty) and tentatively takes the Professor's hand, even though she states that she has no idea who 'Cyclops' is. Stunned, the Force Warriors & Moonstar Cadre wonder what to do. Eclipse admits that he'd rather smash something, but Unuscione confesses that they should listen to what the Professor has to say. Moonstar then follows the Professor, commanding the remaining Force Warriors to carry Magneto's body as they were the one's who rendered him unconscious.
Professor Xavier & Katherine Pryde phase through walls as they race to the Command Room. Iceman observes their movement and questions if they're ghosts. Meanwhile, the Professor begins to greet Basilisk telepathically. Once the mutants have fully assembled inside the great room, Professor X begins his speach. He explains that they were all born in a different world, but their world has been stolen from them and replaced with a fantasy which was created by a mind that was at war with itself. Realising that words could only explain so much, he telepathically showed them all his memories.
A week ago they were on Utopia. He continued to dispute Doctor Nemesis' treatment of Legion. The Professor took Nemesis into Legion's mind, which the Professor compared to a Prison Camp. However, they were both surprised to find that most of the cages contained desiccated corpses & skeletons. Nemesis admitted that it wasn't part of the treatment and advised the Professor to break the telepathic contact. Stubborn with over-confidence at a life-time's worth of telepathic experience, the Professor remained in Legion's mind until he was ambushed by the entire landscape. A monster grew out of the land confessing that it had eaten the personalities that were in the cages. It screamed that Legion's mind just needed to be left alone, but they wouldn't leave him alone. Therefore the Professor deduced that it was born as a psychic antibody to help cure Legion. However, when he began to fight back the creature produced the face of Moira MacTaggert to throw him off balance. Keeping Moira's face, the monster in Legion's mind then demonstrated the ultimate extent of it's powers; it transformed Utopia into Fortress X.
Reeling from the revelation, Basilisk is shocked that it has only been seven days instead of three years. Legion cries out in denial, to which X voices in agreement with him that Professor X is lying to them all. However, hearing X's voice the Professor demands to see the monster whether it's as a computerised voice or the woman he loved. 'Moira' appears to them all, carrying the box that Legacy had discovered. She describes the Fortress as their Shelter, but the Professor rebukes her calling it a dollhouse to play in. Legion runs to his adopted mother who embraces him. Yet the Professor continued to point out that more cracks were showing in 'Moira's' reality; the human forces didn't appear because she had been too distracted. Angered and invoked, 'Moira' holds the box aloft and the glass windows shatter inwards. Nightmare peeks through the broken window and is greeted with the oncoming storm of thousands of Sentinels opening fire on the Fortress.
This issue if followed by New Mutants #24