Epic X-Men #14

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Epic X-Men #14: Our Brotherhood

*In front of the U.N. Security Council Building*

No Caption Provided

“Angel, I sense some injured over there. Go! I will handle the crowd.”

With no further argument, Angel soars over to a couple of men trapped under some rubble while Jean uses her telepathy to gently direct the crowd to an area open enough, and hidden by foliage, to get away to.

“Hey, Miss Super”, a little girl says as she pulls on Jean’s leg.

”Sweetheart, it’s not safe here. You gotta get to safety with them”, Jean gestures to the crowd.

”Okay, but your friend- h-he‘s in trouble“, she says pointing over to Angel twisting and turning in mid-air as he tries to stabilize himself. Looking downwards, she sees the culprit for Warren’s troubles is from Quicksilver, who is turning his arms in a circular motion to blow Angel away with civilians still in hand.

“Angel!”, Jean exclaims before using her telekinesis to completely stop Quicksilver’s limbs.

“Thanks, Je- I mean, Marvel Girl!”, Warren says as he flies overhead.

”Just get them and this little girl away from danger”, Jean tells Warren telepathically. Before she could concentrate on putting Quicksilver to sleep, she is suddenly transported to what looked to be a tavern of some sort within the blink of an eye. What was she doing again? Where was she?

”For crying out loud, snap out of it!”

Jean winced at the pain in her head from Emma’s scolding before it all came back to her. They were in New York City, fighting a group of evil mutants under Magneto’s orders. This...this isn’t real.

Feeling irritable about being tricked, Jean unleashed a a wave of psychic energy that disrupts the illusion in front of her. Before she could properly get her bearings though, she is all of a sudden hit from the back and sent flying into the pavement.

“Now, Pietro. That is no way to treat a lady”, Mastermind jokes to Quicksilver, who doesn’t look amused.

”Get your mind out of the gutter. We have a job to do!”, Quicksilver says before taking off once more for another round. Before he can reach Jean though, Angel swoops down and grabs Jean and takes off into the air.

Meanwhile, Toad is hopping along the roof’s of the cars as he spits more and more slime-like saliva at the officers. As he chases one, the officer slips on the gooey substance and falls on the ground helplessly. Before the officer could get covered though, Beast pounces on the Toad from side and pulls the officer to his feet.

”Get away! I will handle this joker!”

As Beast turns to face his opponent, he is pounced on his head from above by the Toad, who laughs at Beasts annoyance.

”Come on, bigfoot! I am right here waiting to be handled by your stupid, over-sized hands!”

Hank took chase for the little runt, not keeping allowing Toad to leave his sight. Hank was massively faster than the little dude, but Toad seemed to have the advantage of leaping over Hank whenever he would get too close. Not just high enough, but far enough to keep his distance. Hank thought could leap with the best of them, but this guy was outdoing Hank, no matter what maneuver Hank thought to come up with and it Toad looked nowhere near tired. Just as Hank was starting to gain some distance, Toad twists his position mid-air and squirts the ground in front of Hank’s feat with saliva. It was too late, Hank stepped right into the goop. Hank pulled at the stretchy substance every angle he could, but at the moment, it seemed to be no good. Hank was stuck.

”Why couldn’t I have taken the better-looking one in red?”, Hank grumbled as he kept pulling to free himself while Toad hops around and laughs at his torment.

Speaking of which, who was watching Hank but the very Scarlet Witch he was thinking of, though it wasn’t in any admiration. Quite contrary, she was about to take advantage of his situation, powering up the energy for a hex. Before she could shoot though, the area started to darken as lightning flashed from the clouds above.

“Fret not, Beast! Let the rains above wash your pain and free you from your sticky situation!”, Storm called as it began to pour down, doing exactly as she had predicted and loosening the sticky goop enough to free Beast.

”Thanks, Storm!”, Beast called before continuing chase with Toad.

She hasn’t noticed me. I think it’s time to show this Weather Witch which witch has a right to be here, Wanda thinks as she changes targets from Beast to Storm. Sure of her aim, Wanda casts her hex to the sky towards the mutant. When the hex hit Storm, she found herself cut off from her connection to the Earth, now plummeting to the Earth with no winds to catch her.

“Marvel Girl! Catch Storm with your Tk!”

”Wha?”

Jean picks her head up as she comes out of unconscious state from Emma’s call. When she looks around, she sees a falling Storm and feels a sense of panic as she realizes what is going on.

”Holy-!”, is Jean exclaims before she reaches out to catch Storm like Emma asked. “Emma, what happened?”

“It was the Scarlet Witch. She somehow cut Storm off from her power when she hit her. She’s more deadly than she appears and we can’t spend another moment with her on the field. Hopefully, Storm’s powers come back after some time to recover. Given the situation, I have taken the liberty to mind-control different crowds of people I can reach. It is still difficult to get a lock on anyone stably, but hopefully we-“

Before Emma can finish her thought, Cerebro‘s alert notifies Emma of new information that it had just received from its scans.

”Oh, it looks like we’ve a scaling of these mutants. Mutant Class 4: Alpha, not surprising......Oh god”, Emma exclaims before turning her attention back to the group. “X-Men! I just received the results on the scaling of these mutants.”

”The what?”, Warren asks confused.

“Professor established a system to identify the kind of mutant and the threat they pose. There are five classes. Warren you would qualify as a Class 2 Delta mutant. A mutant with notable physical changes that are permanent features of the mutant, where they can range from extra limbs, scales, or some form of shapeshifting. Hank would also classify as a Class 2 Delta”, Emma explains to the group.

“Give us the details, Emma. What are we dealing with?”, Scott says as he watches Alex from a distance.

“Toad, Mutant Class 2: Delta”, Emma starts.

”Obviously“, Beast grumbles as he glares at the bouncing nuissance.

”Mastermind, Mutant Class 4: Alpha. Second most powerful class of mutants, where they can generate their own energy, with some limits“, Emma says. “Quicksilver. Mutant Class 1: Epsilon. Mutants with no major differences physically in comparison to normal humans aesthetically, but will have superhuman attributes of some sort.“

BOOM! Scott looks back and sees Alex blowing up another police car. He had to face him at some point, Scott knew that. He just couldn’t seem to bring himself to do it just yet.

“Havok. Mutant Class 3: Gamma. Mutants who use an outside source to power themselves. Cut off the power source, they are either greatly weakened or completely powerless”, Emma says. Scott couldn’t figure what the urgency in Emma’s voice was about given that these mutants seemed no more of a threat than they did when the X-Men had arrived to begin with. “Last, but not least, Scarlet Witch. Mutant Class 5: Omega. The most powerful mutant class that the Professor has on record. Granted, she is actually 5-3, meaning there seems to be a source to her power, but it is nigh-limitless, if not completely limitless, is what the five means. Charles specifically named this class to be the number one priority since mutants of this class could very well be on par with Magneto, who shares this class with her.”

Fantastic. Not only was Storm down and Alex is out there putting innocent lives in danger, but now we have a mutant potentially as powerful as Magneto.

“Marvel Girl, you will be switching targets from Mastermind to Scarlet Witch while Storm is down. Angel scout the area one more time before helping Beast. Storm, stay low until you think your powers have returned. I will deal with Alex”, Scott says to the team through the link.

”Are you sure, Scott?”, Emma asks him.

”What choice do I have? Alex deserves a chance at a better life than this, but if he doesn’t stop what he is doing, then I am gonna have to do what I gotta do”, Scott says determinedly as he pushes back his doubts. Without allowing another moment to second-guess himself, Scott walks out to meet Havok, face-to-face.

”Alex!”

The young man turns around, shocked at someone using his original name, or even recognizing him behind the mask.

”Who the hell are you? How do you know my name?”

Scott takes a deep breath before pulling his cowl down, exposing the rest of his face as best he can. “I know you because I am your brother, Alex. I am Scott Summers, Alex.”

”Scott.......”

****************************

*inside the meeting chamber*

“So, Fury. What is the overall consensus?”, Magneto haughtily asks the director, bound in metal coils.

“It’s unanimous, Erik Lenshurr. Genosha is officially recognized as its own sovereign nation under your authority”, Fury begrudgingly answers the Master of Magnetism.

Suddenly, the coils tighten around Fury’s body as he is lifted up to Magneto.

“You have no right to use that name, human. If you value your life, you will refer to me as Magneto”, Magneto says in a menacing tone.

“You may think you have won, but it’s not over. You will pay, one day, Magneto”, Fury says with teeth clenched.

“Perhaps I will, but it will be too late by then. Before that time comes, Mutants will have already won“, Magneto smugly says as he tightens his grip before releasing Fury from his restraints.

“Magneto”, Exodus says lowly. “It would seem there are super-heroes opposing our brotherhood. Mutants, according to Caliban.”

“Is that so......Charles. This has to be his doing. I should have anticipated something like this from Xavier, but it is not the biggest issue. They will meet the same fate as the rest who would oppose us. Come, let us have a look at these young ones. And bring Xavier“, Magneto commands as he lifts the group of mutants through the hole he had created, leaving the rest of the humans in the room.

************************

*Back out in the battlefield*

“Scott, what are you doing here? Where were you? What-“

”Alex, I know you have a lot of questions”, Scott begins. “I promise I can tell you whatever you want to know, but I want you to come with me.”

”Go with you? Where?”, Alex says suspicion.

“To a place that’s safe and away from all this. What you’re doing is dangerous and can get you in serious trouble”, Scott says worriedly, hoping to help Alex see the error in his decisions.

“Trouble? I am already in trouble. All of us are. They treat us like garbage, Scott. That’s how it’s been ever since I got my powers. Magneto promises something better for everyone”, Alex argues.

”Magneto is deranged, Alex. He wants to start a war between two species that will end with both sides losing if he has his way”, Scott retorts to Alex.

“Scott, open your eyes. Look around you! They already are getting ready to war with us!”, Alex says as he gestured to the different police with guns trained onto all the mutants.

“Alex, that will only happen if Magneto continues down this road. These people aren’t declaring war, this brotherhood of Magneto’s is. These people are scared and are trying to defend others who don’t have the protection necessary to defend against people like us”, Scott calmly explains.

“Well.....Perhaps then it was necessary to make the first move. Before, mutants had no safe haven. Now, they will have no choice but to see our importance”, Alex says shakily, angry and uncertain.

“Alex-“

”No”, Havok says as he shoots a blast of plasma energy at Scott. “I am done talking.”

Scott was both shocked and relieved of his apparent survival of Havok’s attack. Somehow, the force of the blast didn’t kill him, though it did toss him a good distance. By the feel of the heat on his insulated suit, Scot figures he should be dead from a blast like that, but maybe he is more qualified to handle his brother than he had previously thought.

“Alex, I want you to come with me. You aren’t going to continue this either way, so I would much rather you simply come with me. Don’t make me do this”, Scott warned a last time with a hand on the dial of his visor, ready to attack.

“You aren’t my keeper, Scott, and I am not backing down”, Alex says as he shoots another blast. Before it could reach Scott though, he unleashes his optic blast to meet up with Havok’s plasma blast.

Meanwhile, on another part of the battlefield, Jean and Wanda are standing still, waiting for the other to make the first move. As they do, Jean reaches out to Wanda’s mind in an effort to shut it down, but then suddenly, she is blocked.

“Ah-Ah, girlie. You are gonna have to try harder than that to get into her head”, a male voice that the brotherhood knows as Exodus says.

“Wha-”, is all Jean says before Wanda blasts Jean with a hex bolt. Unlike what happened to Orroro though, Jean’s mind begins to unravel as her she unleashes psychic wave upon psychic wave. Soon, all mutants are on the ground clutching their heads in agony, with exception of Magneto, Exodus, and Kwannon, who have shields up to keep out the onslaught.

“You idiots”, Emma mumbles before reaching into Jean’s head and installing temporary barriers for Jean. Though it cuts her power, Jean regained control of herself. “Be careful! She is not to be taken lightly.”

“Thanks, Em’”, Jean says in her head before she starts hurling different objects at Scarlet Witch as she is regaining her bearings from Jean’s psychic waves earlier. Before any could hit her, Quicksilver rushes in from nowhere and takes Scarlet Witch away. “Great.”

”Help! Please, hero! Help!”

Turning around, Jean sees an elderly woman on the ground calling to her for help.

“Not this time!”, Jean cries out as she hurls a psychic bolt. The woman shatters upon contact with the psychic bolt. Another illusion. “This has gotten ridiculous and I have had enough.”

It was then that Jean encased the area in a blanket of psionic energy, not powerful enough to harm anyone......

”There you are!”

.....But enough to reveal any illusionary screenings from her view. Once Mastermind is revealed, Jean girls another bolt of pure telepathic energy that knocks him out.

“Finally”, Jean sighs. Suddenly, Jean senses incoming danger, and throws up a telekinetics shield as Quicksilver comes running. Quicksilver is recoiled back from the invisible psionic barrier Jean has erected, landing hard on the concrete.

Before Quicksilver could get back up, Jean grabs hold of him with her telekinesis. As she raises him off the ground she suddenly drops him due to the Scarlet Witch coming to his aid with another hex that throws Jean across the battlefield.

“Pietro, are you, alright?”, Wanda asks her twin brother worriedly.

“I‘m fine. She’s a lot tougher than she looks”, Pietro says as he is rubbing the back of his head.

“So, am I”, Wanda says confidently as she begins to strut over to dazed Jean. Wanda then starts conjuring a powerful hex and takes aim for Jean. “You idiots need to back off and mind your own damn business.”

Before she could cast her hex, the sky thunders and the clouds swirl in warning of Storm’s return to battle.

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“Witch! You got a lucky shot last time. Now, you have my undivided attention”, Storm utters as she casts down a powerful lightning bolt. Instead of hitting her though, Wanda’s sending danger instinctively makes her powers take defensive measures as it forms a red shield to block Storm’s lightning assault. As Storm calls down more lightning, Wanda’s shield reflects them back up at Storm.

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As this stalemate takes place, Toad finds himself dodging streaks of stray lightning bolts.

“Someone should really-whoa! Sue that smarmy weather forecaster! I can’t go to the beach in this kind of weather!”

As Toad is distracted, Beast manages to grab hold of an ankle.

“Gotcha!”, Beast shouts before throwing Toad in mid-air, allowing Angel to grab him and take him high into the sky.

“Hey! Take me back! I’m afraid of heights!”

“Your powers literally allow you to jump around two stories high”, Angel says.

“Yeah, and it took me months to get over that fear!”, Toad says as he wriggles and struggles to slip of Angel’s grip.

“We are pretty high. You sure your legs can absorb the impact from this height if you wriggle out?”, Angel asks Toad.

“.......On second thought, it would be better if you held on tight”, Toad says nervously.

With a chuckle, Angel takes Toad over to a group of S.H.I.E.L.D agents stationed outside the perimeter of the battle.

“Keep an eye on this one for me? Thanks”, Angel winks before taking off back to the battlefield.

As Angel flies overhead, he jerks suddenly to the side in effort to dodge an oncoming car flying across the air. Looking out, he sees Scott and his brother taking multiple shots at one another.

“Beast! Scott needs our help!”, Angel says as he swoops down to his teammate to carry him over to Scott.

”No, don’t!”, Scott tries to warn his teammates.

“Stay our of this!”, Havok screams as he bursts with energy, encompassing the battlefield with a dome of plasma energy.

Seeing this, Jean manages to block the dome of energy with her telekinesis from hitting the surrounding buildings. Beast and Angel, unfortunately, are not so lucky as they are knocked away by the blast.

“Alex, please, stop! You’re hurting innocent people”, Scott pleads to his younger brother.

“Innocent people? You mean these innocents? A bunch of nosy-bodies and looky-loos who want a spectacle? A good story about how the wretched mutant scum have attacked their great nation once more?”, Alex says as he gestures at the crowd.

“Alex, what would your foster parents have thought of this? What would our parents think?! Our grandparents?!”, Scott says.

“You think you know everything? You know nothing! Don’t you get it! My foster parents abandoned me the minute they found out I was a mutant. Our parents are dead and our grandparents never came looking for us, Scott! They never came for me like you never did, despite you telling me how we would stick together, ’big brother’”, Alex says with a quotations gesture.

“Alex, I-“

”You’re sorry? You can make it up to me by staying out of my way, and my life for that matter”, Alex says before unleashing a blast of plasma energy that Scott meets with at the same time.

”I am not giving up on you, Alex. I never will!”, Scott yells as he his optic beams clash with his brothers plasma blasts.

Before Alex could respond, he suddenly falls unconscious. Seeing his brother fall suddenly, Scott runs over to him to check if he is alive.

”Scott...”

Scott looks up to see Jean nervously standing there with a guilty look, implying she had ko’d Alex telepathically. Scott gives her a reassuring smile that told her she did the right thing.

”I will keep an eye on Havok and check on Beast and Angel, Marvel Girl. You go assist Storm”, Cyclops tells her as he carries his brother over to his teammates, who are starting to come to. Thankfully, the distance between the blast was far enough to not hit them with too much force and their suits handled the heat. They would be okay.

Back to the battle between two witches, it would seem as one would call more power, the other would call just as much. A battle of will and stamina, which witch would go down first? Perhaps Quicksilver can give his sister a hand as he goes to the top of the building and jumps. The crowd gasps as they watch Pietro fall seemingly to his doom....but never underestimate the power of a mutant.

“Get away from my sister, b**ch!”

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Quicksilver turns his wrists in a circular motion, this time to propel himself through the air, aiming for the weather goddess concentrating on still trying overpower his sister. Just as he was starting to get close, he is suddenly yanked by an unseen force and thrown into a wall, ko’d for good. Jean had made it just in time.

“Pietro!”

Scarlet Witch yells, seeing the entire thing unfold. That momentary distraction is just what Storm needed. Rather than aiming for Wanda, she summons a downpour that soaks Wanda and the ground beneath her feet. Then, aiming at the ground, Storm summons lightning that threatens to electrocute Scarlet Witch where she stands. Wanda only has enough time to flinch before she is electrocuted.

“ENOUGH!”

When Wanda opens an eye, she sees a dome made of electromagnetic energy encasing her, protecting her from Storm’s lightning assault completely. Looking up, she sees her father lower himself near to Storm’s position, with Exodus, Kwannon, and an unconscious bald-headed man in a suit following closely behind.

“That is quite enough of this. You and your brother has done well, Wanda, though I wish I could say the same for my brotherhood”, Magneto says to his daughter. “Blink, transport them to safety please.”

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Following Magneto’s command, a purple mutant girl suddenly appears from nowhere. In her hands, she conjures pink dart constructs and girls them at the brotherhood, including Havok in Scott’s arms. Disappearing from his arms, Scott panics suddenly as he frantically looks around for sign of his brother.

“Alex?! What did you do with him you, maniac?!!”, Scott yells at Magneto.

“And who might you be to have the gall to question me, young man?”, Magneto says as he hovers a little lower in the air, but still too far for anyone to reach.

“I am Cyclops, leader of the X-Men and representative of a dream of bringing humanity and mutantkind together”, Scott yells aloud for all to hear.

“Well, Cyclops, you and your X-Men are a bunch of fools. Can you not see how these insects are driving us apart when we mutants should be coming together in the face of our common enemy?”, Magneto says to the young mutant.

“What we all see is a psycho giving mutant’s a bad name! Some of us just want to be accepted for what we are!”, Angel yells before Scott could get another word in.

“And you believe humans will accept you? Dear naive boy, you will find that those kinds of people either don’t exist or are to cowardly to stick up for you. We must fight for the simple right to breathe amongst these infidels? Basic rights and human decency is not what you will get from humanity.”

“You’re wrong, Magneto”, Jean says. ”Look at super-powered individuals like Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, and the Avengers. Humanity doesn’t fear them, but they praise them because of their good deeds, as they should be. Humans know they can count on them to not only never use their powers against an innocent, but use them to protect mankind as a whole. If we can show that same thing to everyone, they will accept the truth, that we are no different from everyone else.”

“Excuse me, ma’am, but we are very different”, Exodus chimes arrogantly in. “In fact, we are their superiors and Magneto knows this! We should not have to go to such lengths to begin with to earn simple manners.”

“True, we ‘homo superior’s’ have our advantages“, Beast says before gesturing to the crowd. “But do you mean to tell me you don’t feel the same way they do? Do you mean to say that if a blade were not to come in contact with your skin that you wouldn’t bleed? Do you mean to say that mutants don’t wish for lives like having a stable income, bear children, and fall in love like normal Homo sapiens?”

“That is not the point and you know it?!”, Exodus yells.

”It’s exactly the point”, Storm cuts him off. “They are the people who birthed us and share this planet with us. It is up to us to learn from there mistakes instead of repeating and adding to the ongoing cycle.”

“Enough, Exodus. They have made their choice. Such a shame to. With your performances against my brotherhood and your determination, you all could have been our most prized members of our brotherhood. Still, I will not allow anyone interfere with our plans, not even our fellow mutants. For the sake of all mutantkind, your lives will be kaputt”, Magneto says as he raises the cars with the motion of his hand.

“X-Men, evasive maneuvers!”, Scott calls out before running away from the falling vehicles threatening to crush him and his team. “Marvel Girl, get Xavier. The rest of you, hit Magneto with everything you got!”

With Cyclops orders made, the team batter Magneto’s shields with their array of abilities. Cyclops hits him with his full-powered optic beams, Storm her lightning bolts one after the other, and Beast throwing large debris wherever he can find them.

“Excuse me, gonna borrow these! Thanks”, Angel says as he swoops in on a SHIELD agent and takes their gear. He finds a circular device of sort and presses a button on it. The device whirs to a higher and higher pitch frequency, causing Warren to panic and throw the device at Magneto. With a wave of his hand though, Magneto throws the device back at Warren before it explodes into a loud blast of sound that incapacitated Warren briefly.

“Beast, get Angel! Storm, keep up the assault”, Scott orders as he doesn’t let up on his attack.

As the battle rages on though, Jean runs past Magneto towards the purple dressed-woman, aiming to free the Professor from being held hostage. Before she could reach them though, the red-skinned mutant called Exodus hovers in her way.

“You X-Men are traitors of your kind. A crime worse than the persecution these filth have committed. You will get no mercy from the night of Exodus!”

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He then hits her with multiple concentrated telepathic bolts of energy, which Jean promptly blocks with her her own shields. As he does though, he throws a trash bin behind Jean at her while she is distracted. With her caught off-balance, Exodus suspends the young red-head in mid-air, fully restraining her movements.

“This is the power you face when you oppose Magneto! Fear it, for perhaps if you live through this, you will have the sense to think twice before opposing us”, Exodus taunts as he telepathically batters at Jean’s defenses more and more.

“You know what? I have just had about enough of your boasting. Just shit the heck up for one second”, Jean says before unleashing a blast of telekinetic energy and then shooting her own psychic bolts mixed with both her telepathy and telekinesis in a concentrated shot. Not seeing this combination coming, Exodus only manages to block either her telekinetics or her telepathy with each shot, taking the full hit of multiple strikes before erecting shields for both powers.

Meanwhile, Warren has finally snapped from his confusion and is about to take off for the battle.

“Wait, Angel, let me have a look at these”, Beast says as he takes the pack filled with SHIELD technology. “I might be able to come up with something out of this.”

“You got it, Beastie. I am gonna head into the battle, you do your smart biz or whatever”, Angel says as he bypassed Magneto and heads for Kwannon, who without Exodus has to devote all her concentration on Xavier. He then swings with all his might at her head with his fist. “Sorry, cutie, but it doesn’t look like you’re one of the good guys, so I am gonna have to take you out in a different way Han how I usually do for gorgeous woman like yourself.”

Thoroughly ko’d, Angel takes Xavier with him away from the battlefield. As Angel carries him, he hears Xavier groan as he regains consciousness.

“War-“

”Angel, sir. We came to rescue you and get civilians out.”

”Yes....I can see it in all your minds. I...am so proud of you all. Please, take me to Magneto, now.”

”But-“

”No arguments, please, Warren. Just take me to him”, Xavier says.

Seeing no way around it, Angel turns from his original course back over to Magneto.

Meanwhile, Jean and Exodus are still battling both psychically and physically, neither backing down.

“You have been an admirable opponent, but you will never surpass me. My psi-powers are unmatched”, Exodus says as he puts more power in his attack.

“You WERE unmatched. Now I am here and you were too distracted to notice my friend having snuck her way in your brain”, Jean says with a smirk.

“What?! NO!”

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Exodus then turns his attention to his mind to find that it had indeed been infiltrated. It was too late.

“Whoever told you that you were impressive was lying. You will get over it though after a good nap”, Emma says before putting him to sleep. “Jean! Go help the professor! He is planning on facing Magneto.”

Jean turns back to Magneto to see Warren setting Xavier behind Scott and Storm.

“What are you doing? Get the professor out?!”, Scott yells Warren.

“He is following my orders, Cyclops. Magneto is my responsibility and I intend to fulfill that responsibility”, Xavier says.

”I highly advise against that, Charles. Magneto had you captured previously and had only just reawakened from your slumber”, Beast says calmly.

“I wasn’t prepared for him before. Now, there should be no surprises in store. Just me and Erik. Stand aside. I intend to finish this, once and for all”, Xavier says with full determination.

“So you say, Charles. I have bod out you could fulfill your threat, as could I do the same to you. A match between the two of us would surely end in our deaths. Perhaps some other day, but for now my empire has only begun, so I will have to leave you all. Know, children, that next time you cross me, I will not be so merciful”, Magneto says before blasting a burst of electromagnetic energy at the group to send them flying back. Taking the time to escape, Magneto flies off into the clouds where is no longer seen.

“Damn it!”, Xavier says as he slams his fist on the wet pavement.

“You’ll get him next time, Charles”, Fury’s voice says as he walks up to the group of mutants. “Your students were mighty impressive today. Without them, we certainly would have lost many lives to this mutant invasion. If it’s all the same to you, kids, I would rather your identities and your association with Charles be kept secret, so you should perhaps take your leave before you are questioned by authorities.”

“What about Exodus?”, Warren asks as he looks around.

The group looks to the place where Jean has fought Exodus to find that he was gone.

“I can’t locate him anywhere. He’s gone”, Emma says in their heads.

”I just received word from my agents. Cameras seem to have caught the young woman named Kwannon carry his body away as you all were focusing on Magneto. Then a purple girl pops takes them away. They can be anywhere at this point in time. We will deal with them another day. For now, you all need to head out”, Fury urges on.

With nothing left to do, the X-Men flee the scene, with Charles making a telepathic nudges that cause law enforcement to ignore their presence. They head back to the airport where they left their plane and head for home.

*******************

*Xavier’s School for Higher Learning*

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”You all did wonderfully! I was watchin‘ ya all on the tellie. You all had me on the edge of my seat as ya battled those brotherhood members”, Moira says happily as she serves them all hot cocoa to relax with in the sitting room.

“I agree with, Moira. Reviewing the tapes, I got a better understanding of what you were up against and I honestly have never been more proud of you all than when I saw that you managed to not only save the civilians, but speak in the name of my dream”, Xavier expresses gratefully to the six.

“We couldn’t just stand by when this happened, Professor”, Jean says as she goes to hug him. “You taught us so much the duration of our living here. We couldn’t stand by and let you and those other people get hurt.”

“All the more reason to be proud of you students. Thanks to you, not only will they be going back home to their families, but now they see that there are mutants out there who don’t share those same ideals that Magneto swears do”, Xavier says to the group.

“Speaking of which, Charles, I think it’s time ya all had a talk about it. It would explain to them your behavior back there”, Moira says with a hand on his shoulder.

“Right....”

“Sir, I don’t wish to assume anything, but observing your behavior demonstrates to me that there is more than a difference of ideals going on with you and Magneto. Do you to have a history of sorts?”, Hank asks after Xavier takes a moment to figure out how to approach this subject.

“....Yes, Hank. Your prudence has served you in that regard. Magneto used to be my dearest friend. Moira, Magneto, and I were great friends during a time of war. But, where Magneto was a soldier, Moira and I were nurses who were excited to learn of someone else like me”, Charles said with his eyes closed as he remembers that time vividly.

“He was a such a troubled soul. The poor lad had gone through so much that had gotten him to the place he is at now. First, he used to be known as a young lad named Max Eisenhardt, but after he lost his mother to the horrors of the Holocaust, introducing him to the darkest era of humanity. He grew up a mistrusting man until he met a woman by the name of Magda. She bore him twin children, whom you would recognize as Wanda and Pietro Maximoff, Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver”, Moira explains as she remembered the story he told them when they had encamped.

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”He had a rather good life with Magda, but it would be ruined by humanity’s fear when they gunned down his wife for being a witch”, Xavier recalls.

“Was Magda-“

“A mutant? Yes, Orroro, she was. That in turn was also a contribution to Max‘ downward spiral to madness. His children, still infants at the time, we’re taken away before Magda’s death and Max had left with a new identity, now called Erik Lenshurr. Then the war came where Moira and I had met him. We has seen so many horrors, yet it only drew the three of us closer.One day though, Erik’s group had become a firing squad for what they suspected was a town with enemies. He had run into a family similar to his own, with mutant father, mother, and children. He had promised to spare them, but one of the soldiers from his troop, despite Erik’s calls, shot down the family. The man was a bastard and held no remorse for his merciless nature, the final nail in the coffin. Erik was convinced humanity was a thorn in the side of mutantkind that need to be pulled and crushed. I begged him to see reason, but he left one day. When he came back though, he had become the mutant you know as Magneto, wreaking havoc on and killing soldiers left and right. None of their weapons could phase him because all metal under the sun bent to the whim of the Master of Magnetism”, Xavier said with a sigh.

“Charles had no choice but to face his old friend in battle. He tried to shut down his powers, but Magneto’s electromagnetic abilities seem to have some scrambling effect on telepathy. Xavier was not yet powerful enough to fully break through. Magneto fled after Xavier failed to take away his powers. Now, it seems that he has come back with an army like he swore he would build”, Moira says with her arms crossed.

“Charles”, Emma says after the group took a moment of silence to let the information sink in. “When I got reading on the rest of the mutants, Scarlet Witch, Exodus, and Magneto all registered as Omega Level Mutants. Is Magneto the reason you created Cerebro and this classification system?”

“Sort of. I have always wanted to make a school to guide my student a on a path to learn to use their powers in a way that would help them live normal lives. Erik at one point fiddled with idea of joining me in this same dream. After his becoming Magneto, I sought to locate him. Using whatever money and contacts I had, I had Cerebro built with Moira’s guidance when it came to monitoring a telepathic mind and identifying Mutant DNA. With the two of us and my money, we developed a machine powerful enough to reach across the planet to find those like us. Because there are so many of us on the planet, I could only manage to bring an estimation of mutants powers, so I developed a classification system to easily sort through the numbers, just in case I ever succeeded in finding Magneto”, Xavier says.

“If I may, this brings up a rather important question Professor....what was your plan to put a halt to Magneto‘s activities exactly, once you’ve located him?”, Hank asked. Charles was silent for a moment, debating whether he should tell them the truth.

”Erik and I have had the same argument over and over regarding human-mutant relations. When he turned to Magneto, it was the spelling of his decision about what was to be done about it. Had I found Magneto before this, I would have gone to end his life”, Xavier says without flinching.

“For disagreeing with you? That is rather extreme, Charles, don’t you think?”, Emma says after what was one of many awkward silences.

“No, lass’. If ya had not heard Charles before, the old friend we knew as Erik was gone after that incident. Magneto is a violent man who has killed many in seeking of prominence for mutants. We have tried reasoning with him, but the outcome always remained the same in our arguments, with our final one ending with Charles and Magneto attacking each other”, Moira intervenes on Charles behalf.

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“If there was any sign that the same man I had known still existed, I would have fought harder than ever to reach him. But he made his stance clear and....if I were to stand by and allow his plans to go forward, it would spell the end of mankind. I cannot....I will not let that happen”, Xavier says with full resolve.

“Neither will we”, Scott says confidently after listening to the entire story. “At least I know I am with you all the way, Professor.”

“We all are”, Jean says. “I can feel all your emotions. They for the most part match mine and Scott’s.”

“Thank you, children. With our newfound experiences today, we will grow stronger and train to surpass that same strength. Then, when we face Magneto again, we will be ready. Now, get some rest you all. You will need it after todays excursion”, Xavier says. With everyone giving good-nights to each other, only Scott is left behind with Xavier.

“Sir....”

”Yes, Scott?”

Scott knew that Xavier probably could tell what was on his mind. Yet, even still, Xavier allowed him to speak, a minor detail Scott always felt thankful for, knowing that he still had his own thoughts and decisions to make.

”I wanted to ask you about one of the brotherhood of mutants....Havok. He is my brother, Alex Summers. I want to know if I we will have to....kill him...or take him to a prison for supers or whatever.”

The thought of his brother being locked with a group of high profile criminals made his stomach drop. Despite his declaration earlier, Scott knew he would not continue this if he had to murder his own brother. He wouldn’t if he could help it. He was supposed to protect him and he failed in that regard years ago. He wouldn’t allow it, again.

“I understand your worry, Scott. I am sorry to hear of what your younger brother is involved in. I....cannot promise you that we will not have to hand him over to the authorities under circumstances where people are severely hurt, but given the report I got from Fury, it would seem only property was damaged....and I managed to convince Fury to wipe that from the record. I want to give him a chance as much as you do, but that is only if he makes the correct decision. I can’t promise of his fate to be a good one if he stays on this same path”, Xavier explains calmly.

Scott mulls over what Xavier said multiple times. As much as he wanted a guarantee Alex would be alright, for Xavier to use his all-powerful brain to force everyone‘s decisions so that he get his brother back, he knew Xavier was right.

“That is fair, sir. And I...thank you.”

“I’m sorry I couldn’t reassure you further, son. But rest assured that neither you or I have given up yet. There is always hope that he will see the light. If he does, I will welcome him to this school with open arms. If he does not choose this, I will see to it that he is sent somewhere to be cared for properly in a way he never got to before. You as well if you choose to stick with him”, Xavier assures the young man.

At the sound of that promise, Scott couldn’t help but pull Xavier into a huge hug. Most of the anxiety and worry rolling off of him finally after today’s events.

”Thank you, so much”, he says with tears rolling down.

”Everything will be alright, Scott. You have my word. Now get some rest. We have a lot of work from tomorrow onwards”, Xavier says.

”Yes, sir. Good-night, Professor.”

”Goodnight, Scott.”

********************

End if Chapter