While Magneto keeps Xavier hostage, Jean and the X-Men race to Genosha to prevent full-scale war.
Magneto is the sovereign of the nation of Genosha, as well as the sole member of mutantkind who is willing to destroy anyone who would seek to exterminate the mutant race from the Earth. However, at one point in time, a person would have difficulty recognizing him. Shortly after defeating the X-Men, Magneto had ripped out the adamantium from Wolverine’s skeleton. What Magneto did not realize, however, was that Xavier would be willing to turn off his mind. The Acolytes brought him back to Avalon and, for weeks, he remained catatonic and under the care of the former X-Man, Colossus. In Magneto’s chamber, Colossus would always feed him and, at the end of every meal, he would turn Magneto’s throne so that it faced the Earth.
Colossus once explained that he left the X-Men, because he lost faith. He didn’t lose faith in the dream, but the idea that he could actually make a difference. A man so powerful that he could move mountains was unable to save his sister. The man then told Magneto that he does not knows much about his old life, before he became bent on realizing his dream for mutants, but Colossus knows that he lost his family and that there is a bond between them. That is a connection Colossus will never have with Xavier, no matter how much he loves and respects him. Before Colossus left the chamber that day, he told Magneto that he did not know why he left but hopes that the time the two spend together and restart the fire and faith inside of them again.
In the present, Colossus is dead and Magneto is once again bent on mutantkind’s survival. To realize his dream, he has rallied the island of Genosha to begin a genetic war, with Charles Xavier bound to a cross to act as his rallying symbol. Magneto lifts up Xavier’s head and tells him that Colossus’ dream never mattered to him. Let the humans kill them with Sentinels and let them be killed by the Legacy Virus. Let the humans incarcerate them in death camps, so long as it serves the dream of Charles Xavier, who refused to allow mutants to rise above their inferiors. However, Xavier does not respond. More accurately, he cannot, for Magneto uses his magnetic powers to stem the flow of iron to Xavier’s brain, preventing him from uttering a word or using his powers.
Magneto steps back and asks Xavier to imagine how he felt when he learned that Peter died to save mutants around the world. Magneto uses his powers to rip up some metal tiles in the floor and molds the pieces in the effigy of Colossus. Magneto continues and recounts the tale of how Colossus sacrificed himself to cure the Legacy Virus. Colossus died at night and, by morning, Magneto had an army at his disposal. In many ways, Colossus achieved more in death than Xavier and Magneto have achieved in their lives.
Magneto dissolves the effigy of Colossus and tells Xavier that he has the power to influence minds, but he still refuses to solve that problem that which Magneto plans to solve with war. Some believed that he has become what he hates. Maybe it is true, or maybe he is tired of waiting for evolution to run its course. Since Xavier has refused to change minds, any blood spilled will be on his conscience, not Magneto’s. Magneto walks away and tells Xavier to enjoy the view, for he has earned it.
However, what Magneto does not notice is that, in the shadows to the side of Xavier’s cross, is Amelia Voght, formally Magneto’s most trusted Acolyte. Amelia watches the conversation and waits for Magneto to leave. She pulls her hood closer around her head and wonders how it has come to this; how has a world come upon the eve of destruction. More importantly, though, does she have the strength to stop it?
Several hundred miles away, the Blackbird streaks across the night sky but there is only one X-Man aboard. Frenzy and Northstar, who pilot the jet, are only interim X-Men. With an unnaturally happy smile on her face, Frenzy tells Northstar that she is grateful for the chance to help out. With most of the others engaged elsewhere, someone had to help free Xavier and stop Magneto from cleansing the human race. Slightly perplexed, Northstar tells her that he saw her two days ago on television, addressing the United Nations. He remembers her putting the world on notice to “accept Magneto’s undisputed rule or face total obliteration.” Frenzy chuckles and tells Northstar that he is correct but, soon after, she had an enlightening conversation with Phoenix, who made her see things in a new light. “Why don’t I doubt that?” says Northstar, as he looks back at Phoenix suspiciously.
In the back, Phoenix finishes mentally prepping Paulie Provenzano and tells him, with disgust, that this is the first time that she has ever wanted to take a bath after reading a person’s mind. Defending himself, Paulie tells her that it was her idea to give them all a telepathic cram course on their powers. Phoenix tells him that she has no idea what that has to do with a bathtub of tapioca pudding. Nearby, Wraith leans over to Sunpyre and tells her that the last thing he expected this morning was to wake up with the X-Men. He asks Sunpyre if she is nervous but she tells him that she is only nervous about the rest of the X-Men getting in her way. Wraith, who clearly has a crush on the uninterested Sunpyre, asks her how many missions has she been on. “Counting this one?” asks Sunpyre, “One.”
Phoenix heads to the back to Dazzler but Paulie stops her and asks where she is going. He thought that they could go down to the cargo hold for a private session. Phoenix tells Paulie that she is glad there she can finally be herself with someone. She then uses her telepathy to make Paulie think that she is an old overly obese woman. Paulie gets away from her and tells her that he just remembered that his seatbelt is on. While Paulie clams himself down, Phoenix sits beside Dazzler, who tells Jean that, if she weren’t so depressed, she would have thought that the act was be a riot.
Phoenix takes Dazzler’s hand and tells her that the two of them have not been particularly close, since they served as X-Men separate times. Dazzler understands Jean’s train of thought and realizes that she wants to do a psychic Danger Room session with the team in a mental landscape. Dazzler invited Jean in but warns her to be wary of what she sees.
Suddenly, the entire team, minus Frenzy, is linked into Dazzler’s mind. However, the setting is a desolate mess of barren wasteland and trashed structures, littered with dead people; clearly, this is not what Jean was expecting. Wraith freaks out but Northstar calms his down and tells him that their perception of reality has changed, though they are still in the Blackbird. Paulie is surprised that they are in Dazzler’s head and realizes that she has issues. Just as surprised, but for different reasons, Phoenix asks Dazzler if this is really the Mojoverse, where she and Longshot live. Dazzler corrects Jean and tells her that they lived there. Still scared, Wraith asks if they can leave and Northstar agrees, for he finds the exercise pointless. Phoenix ignores them and tells Dazzler that she does not understand. This is where she took the X-Babies, but what happened? Saddened, Dazzler tells Jean that she wouldn’t believe her even if she told her.
Suddenly, a childish voice tells the X-Men that he shall display his power on them and blasts Paulie and Northstar. Paulie lands on the homophobic Northstar and thinks that the former Alpha Flight member is enjoying this, but Northstar tells him not to flatter himself. The others turn around to see four villains, familiar to Phoenix and Dazzler. However, they are child versions of the villains; in other words, they are evil X-Babies!
Apocalypse sits upon his throne and tells his friends that they have found another word to prepare to suffer the “Age of Apocalypthe.” A baby version of Dark Beast tells his friends that this must be the world where Mojo based his “Age of Apocalypse” production on. Baby Holocaust asks if there is a Longshot on this world that they can kill too. Phoenix asks Dazzler again what happened. Dazzler tells her that Mojo wanted to launch a mini series on something he called the “Age of Apocalypse.” The production got away from him and took on its own life.
Phoenix brings everyone back to the Blackbird and tells them that they are safe. Dazzler tells them that maybe they are for now, but those children are as dangerous as the people they were named after. They are worse, though, as they have no inhibitions. Phoenix asks Dazzler if they really killed Longshot. Dazzler starts to cry and tells Jean that she does not know. That is why she came to the X-Men for help. Paulie tells Dazzler that of course they will help. The X-Men take care of their own. Northstar tells them that aren’t really X-Men, then sighs. Dazzler thanks Paulie.
Suddenly, everyone except Northstar is thrust to the back of the jet. Northstar realizes that the jet has lurched forward but his super speed has automatically compensated for the speed difference. Paulie sarcastically tells someone to get Northstar a “Mr. Science” award. Dazzler asks Northstar to find out what is going on. Northstar heads to the front of the plane and asks Frenzy if she has switched alliances again and is attempting to kill them all. A terrified Frenzy says no and tells him that the plane has taken a life of its own. Phoenix backs Frenzy and tells them that they are no longer in control of the plane. At this speed, though, it is going to tear itself up.
The jet does tear up and everyone is in a free-fall above Genosha. Northstar tells Phoenix that, if it weren’t for her telekinesis, he would be worried right now. Phoenix tells Northstar that she doesn’t have telekinesis anymore. “Then this might be a problem,” says Northstar. Jean telepathically tells Northstar and Sunpyre to grab two X-Men and head to the ground. Northstar goes for Paulie, but the man tells him that he can get down on his own and tells him to grab Frenzy or Jean. Thinking that Paulie is acting out of his homophobic tendencies, Northstar tells him not to be a fool, but Jean tells Northstar not to argue and again tells Northstar and Sunpyre to grab two and go.
Suddenly, the X-Men find themselves landing on the ground instead of falling. Frenzy tells Phoenix that the electromagnetic embrace is familiar and Northstar tells the others that someone wants them to land safely. The group lands uninjured. Jean tells them that the good news is that they have landed in Magda Square in the heart of Genosha. The bad news is that they have landed in Magda Square in the heart of Genosha. The team gets up and find themselves surrounded by flying troops, all bearing war flags.
Northstar comments to Jean on her plan to take a group of novice X-Men and drop them in the middle of a crisis. Jean tells him that it was worked before. Frenzy comments that the thousands of mutates were less intimidating when they were her countrymen. Paulie tells them that he doesn’t mean to whine, but they are toast. Wraith tries to cheer everyone up and reminds them that things cannot get worse. On cue, a voice from behind tells the team otherwise.
Everyone turns to see Magneto land in front of them, the crowd cheering his name. Magneto explains that anyone opposing him will get much worse. The mutant population has increased drastically and, during that time, they have been hunted and killed. Just as the Neanderthal gave way to the Cro-Magnon, so will humanity give way to mutants. Magneto tells them to choose to follow him or suffer the fate of all race-traitors. Wraith stutters that Magneto looks scarier in person than in the papers. Paulie tells Wraith to calm down, for, as his aunt Tony, used to say, “They can only kill you once.”
Nearby, the roar of the crowd is heard in the tunnels beneath Genosha, where Cyclops, Wolverine and Polaris have been helping human refugees escape to Wakanda. When Wolverine wonders what is going on, Cyclops tells him that it is Jean and that she somehow contacted the others. Wolverine asks Cyclops how he knows, since the psychic link between them was severed. Cyclops runs off into the tunnels and tells Logan that it was, but Jean is still his wife. Wolverine pulls down his mask and follows Cyclops, thinking that Jean got the heavy hitters like Storm, Rogue and Bishop. Polaris is about to follow them but Wolverine tells her to stay behind to use her powers to help the refugees. He pops out a single claw and assures her that he is going to take care of Magneto once and for all.
Above, Magneto tells Phoenix that he takes it that they are here for Xavier. He supposes that it is fair to let them see him before they die. Jean turns around and sees Xavier bound to the cross. Telepathically, Jean asks Xavier about what Magneto has done to him, but realizes that she is getting no reading from him. Magneto has turned off his mind.
In a horrible rage, Dazzler calls Magneto a filthy animal. When she thinks of everything that Xavier has done for them all and has stood for, it is painful to see him like that. Dazzler begins to collect a blinding ball of light in her hands and tells Magneto that he has taken too many lives in his self-ordained quest. In words that he will understand…”NEVER AGAIN!” Dazzler blasts Magneto with her powers but Magneto easy shields himself against it. He explains that he knows that she is using the roar of the crows to boost her sound-based powers. However, he controls electromagnetic energy, to which even photons must yield. Simply put, he can turn her powers against her. Magneto does just this and raises one hand to Dazzler. Alison Blaire has not time to scream, as a blaze of light escapes all around her.
The team is blinded by the light but, when it dies out, Wraith wishes that he had eyelids. Jean calls out to Dazzler, but does not get a response. When the light fades, the X-Men find a crater and in the middle is a pile of ash, where Dazzler once stood. Sunpyre is stunned and asks if Magneto really killed her. Wraith, however, is more worried over who is next. Sarcastically, Northstar tells his teammates that, though he is not one to complain, they should have thought of a strategy before arriving. Magneto tells Northstar that it would not have mattered. Dazzler’s is the fate that will befall all who refuse to stand by him. This is war.
Now, says Magneto, let them get this over with. He has a world to conquer. Paulie tells Phoenix, who is on her knees in front of the ashes, that this would be a good time to lead. However, Jean can only stare at the still steaming ashes of Dazzler and apologize to Alison.