LEGION: Page 6 of 6


The loss of his mother brought into sharp contrast the unfinished business David had with his father's killer. Legion decided it was time to confront Cyclops. However, he also put his own spin on the revenge scheme. David and Ruth knew Luca was still out there, waiting for the Worldworm apocalypse from his visions in which David would either kill all the mutants or would be killed by Ruth before it happened. They concocted a scenario which would draw Luca out so that he could be dealt with. David released one of the cooperating personalities in his head, the Delusionaut, to possess one of the vegetative patients from IBSS and pretend to be a newly developed mutant. The Delusionaut used his illusion powers to make it appear as if the girl hosting him had an uncontrollable power to absorb the flesh of other people into herself, creating a growing bio-mass.

Cyclops and his school of X-Men appeared on the scene to contain the new mutant and promote Scott's new "mutant revolution" before the cameras. While one of the new students was containing the apparent new mutant in a temporal stasis field, Legion teleported in with much show and fanfare to call out Cyclops for killing his father. Legion's confidence and focus on this mission allowed him to use his array of powers to fight off Scott's X-Men. After showing off for a bit, however, David made his intentions clear. He challenged Scott Summers, and Scott alone, to fight man-to-man and without their powers.

This grudge match drew enormous media attention, as Charles Xavier's son and his heir fought to the death. The fight got bloody and personal, but David refused to give up, despite Cyclops's superior martial skills. In the end, Legion cheated and used one of his powers, prompting Cyclops to do the same. This exchange rocked Cyclops' student and cancelled out her stasis field. The new mutant mixed with Legion and began growing at an exponential rate, creating a flesh-mass like the Worldworm prophesized by Luca Aldine.

Luca arrived on the scene to kill his sister and stop her from killing Legion before the apocalypse came about. Which, of course, had been the plan all along. The Worldworm projection and the new mutant were all creations of the Delusionaut, formed specifically to draw Cyclops and his current addiction to media attention, allowing Legion to arrive and create an even bigger spectacle that Luca would surely see. The apocalypse was a fake, designed to draw Luca out so David and Ruth could neutralize him.

In the aftermath, a cocky David told off Cyclops for thinking it was all about him. His bragging was short-lived, however. Emma Frost and the Stepford Cuckoos had infected Legion with a psychic virus as a failsafe at the start of the fight. Slow burning, but virtually impossible to fight once it got going. When Legion was overcome by the virus' effect, the Beast Xavier took the opportunity to abandon David's mind and possess what remained of Luca Aldine. Luca and the Beast formed together into a deadly new threat in the material world, one which Legion was no longer in any condition to fight. [X-Men Legacy (2nd series) #16-18]

A creature of pure hate and rage, the Beast Xavier started causing mayhem around the world until he settled in the psychosphere, a psychic plane composed of the background thoughts and ideas of the entire human species. He began to corrupt humanity from the inside out, adding an undercurrent of hatred to everyone on Earth. As tensions increased worldwide, David was in the custody of SWORD until the psychic virus was purged from his system. Abigail Brand and a newly sane Aarkus the Aetheric tested David once he awoke to make sure he was in his right mind to fight the Beast. Through their manipulation, David came around to a new way of thinking. Instead of conquering and controlling his personalities, he merged with them, willingly re-accepting those aspects to create a larger, more cohesive whole. This gestalt Legion was released to battle his renegade personality, but Blindfold and all the psychics agreed that, even if he won, this was the beginning of the Worldworm prophecy. David and Ruth would not both survive the battle to come. [X-Men Legacy (2nd series) #19-20]

Though Legion continued to grow stronger as he assimilated more personalities and powers into his gestalt, he still failed in his first assault on the Beast. Before trying again, he met with Ruth in order to say good-bye and draw strength from their connection, as he had in the past. All but the most powerful personalities, like the Weaver and the Chronodon, joined with David before the next strike. Legion was still unable to best the Beast Xavier alone, but soon the X-Men, SWORD and all his other allies and foils came to his aid. Hearing Cyclops, Wolverine and Magneto asking him for a plan of attack, deferring to him, was the confidence boost David needed to assimilate more and more power from his personas. Although Brand, Chamber and Karasu Tengu fell in the battle that followed, David remained centered and focused on his victory. He succeeded in breaking apart the Beast Xavier's material body and conquering its psychic frame, reabsorbing it into his mind. Unfortunately, the Beast then allowed itself to be assimilated into David's psychic avatar as well, joining the gestalt and throwing off David's delicate balance of personalities. The rush of power and hatred from the Beast and its stolen abilities triggered the Worldworm scenario. David's powers were now completely out of his control. [X-Men Legacy (2nd series) #21-22]

In reality, the Worldworm was not a growing mass of flesh, like the Delusionaut's creation. It was a growing mass of mind. Legion's hungry, splintered consciousness began uncontrollably absorbing the minds of other mutants into itself, just as it had been absorbing personalities into the gestalt. He became an astral cancer, a malignancy of the massmind, impervious to nuclear weapons and Earth's Mightiest Heroes alike. The Worldworm phenomena grew till it was visible from orbit, while Legion's own Qortex dissolved and melted under the strain.

David was unable to stop his mind from expanding. True to their visions, Ruth became the only one able to stop David. The death of Luca, along with the Beast Xavier, restored to her all the powers her brother stole, making her immensely powerful and capable of resisting the call of the Worldworm. Ruth became Destiny incarnate and, as her body battled with the Worldworm on the outside, her mind reached out to David in the Qortex for one last good-bye. Ruth's love for him gave David the boost he needed to absorb the Chronodon, leaving the Weaver as the sole remaining splinter personality. With the power of the Chronodon, David slowed time outside his mind, allowing him and Ruth to make love in the astral chambers of the Qortex, while their physical selves struggled out in the real world. [X-Men Legacy (2nd series) #23]

Even slow time couldn't last forever, though, and Ruth's mind soon returned to her body and the fight in progress against the Worldworm. The number of possible futures narrowed from two to only one when it became clear even the supercharged Blindfold was not strong enough to stop Legion's mind from expanding over the entire planet. Ruth would die and David would take all of mutantkind with them. David came to bitterly accept his fate, going over his regrets and ultimately wondering why the Weaver, of all personalities, continued to remain separate from him.

As she was on the verge of death against the Worldworm, Blindfold felt a psychic message reach her, seemingly from the other side of the afterlife. A message for David, from his father... "I'm proud of you, son." Real or not, sincere or not, this one moment of acceptance from Charles Xavier gave David what he needed to confront the Weaver. The Weaver, the Spinner of Tales, the Reality-Warper, a giant persona standing so high atop spidery legs that its features were never in view. The Weaver... who David found had his face and his voice after all. In a moment of true self-acceptance, Legion stopped seeing any of his personalities as "other" or "separate," becoming one with the Weaver and becoming one mind, one voice for David Haller.

With the power to bend reality at his fingertips, David undid the harm caused by the Worldworm. He undid the deaths caused by the Beast Xavier. However, as he delved further into events, he resisted the urge and the arrogance pushing him to play God. He scanned his timeline again and again, trying to find the perfect path for his life, and the lives of those he touched. Better parents? Better childhood? Less power? More? Even viewed from the outside, David saw his lifeline was that of constant struggle and potential threats to himself and others. Finding no path of choices and events where he could ultimately stay in control of himself, David chose to end his own life rather that live one he couldn't manage. Legion severed his lifeline from its source, making it as if he had never been born in the first place.

Or did he? As reality reorganized itself around the disappearance of David Haller from its threads, Ruth awakened in the edited timeline shortly after the death of Charles Xavier. Although no one she spoke to remembered Legion, she could still hear his voice in her head. David lived on in her thoughts, perhaps literally, perhaps only metaphorically.

And so they danced. [X-Men Legacy (2nd series) #24]