Briar Raleigh enters a secret market attended by all kinds of people, many of them with injuries or scars. Mostly the material offered is about super-villain attacks. She finds a vendor with a scarred eye and a Magneto shirt. Addressing him as Henry, she asks how’s tricks. Same as always, he supposes and asks if she heard about Nebraska. Magneto attacked a pharmaceutical company there. Place must have been making some anti-mutant drug or something. He would have loved to see that. Looking through his wares, she replies she might have heard something about that.
She holds up a disk with the writing Seattle attack and asks if he is kidding. People spend good money, he replies, and she doesn’t have the monopoly on Seattle. Like hell she doesn’t! she retorts and touches her brace. Is he telling her he doesn’t feel some ownership over what happened to him? She doesn’t see him peddling any footage from Sacramento. There ain’t no footage from Sacramento, he replies. You don’t watch that story on your TV. You see it firsthand or not at all.
Henry was a cameraman of a news crew covering Magneto’s attack on Sacramento. Magneto noticed them. The anchorman announced they are with “Mutants Among Us,” GNN television. He’s heard of this program, Magneto replied grimly. It’s tabloid television, focusing only on the sensational aspects of mutantkind, but never on the truth of the hardship they endure.
The anchorman tells him that, whatever he wants the world to know, this is his chance. They want to share his message. Stoking the fire of propaganda, Magneto scoffs. They do more to terrorize their kind than he ever has. They want to record their fear. To remember it. He’ll never forget, the cameraman promises. Magneto makes the camera explode in his face. He finds scars are far more vivid reminders than memories, he states and flies away.
He was wrong though, Henry states. Scars fade like memories. And some of them look for new way to remember. Then he rants that nobody buys DVDs anymore. People download everything. That well’s run nearly dry.
Two young girls admire Briar’s brace and ask if it is real or for show. The constant nagging pain tells her it’s real, Briar replies. The pink-haired girl replies admiringly that wound has Magneto’s sig all over it. And Briar just made it all the more ballsy by wearing a metal brace.
Admiringly, she asks if she can touch it. Briar would rather she didn’t. They offer to show their wounds in return. The brunette pulls down the other girl’s scarf to show a scar. They ask for Briar’s Magneto story. Briar looks at Henry who shrugs. Briar pretends to be impressed by the scar and asks how it happened. Magneto did it, they boast.
The girls’ story:
They and some friends were printing a Magneto Was Right underground newsletter when Magneto slammed, booming this den of deceit has been cast asunder. Their lies silenced! No longer shall the master of magnetism be troubled by their meddling!
But why? a boy asked. They were trying to help his cause! He doesn’t require their help, Magneto scoffed. Righteousness is on his side. What more could humans do? His legacy will not be documented by them. But it will be written in their blood. He tore the boy apart. And the blood of ignorant fools like them. So swears Magneto!
What does he want from them? The pink-haired girl asked fearfully. What do they have to do? The cables of her headphones wind around her throat. She didn’t know! And now she does, he replies. And if he decides to let her live, it’s only so she can share her newfound knowledge with others.
Proudly the girl presents her scar. And what about the sensation she described? Briar asks. It was weird but kind of not awful. Like Magneto was controlling vibrations or something. Made her weak in the knees. Maybe that shows how he can control so many. He controls that power. Curiously, the girls ask about Briar’s injury. Curtly, she tells them Magneto dropped a car on her. She hands them the Seattle attack DVD.
After the girls have walked on Henry asks why she played along. They both know that story’s bunk. Maybe, she replies and laughs at the corny dialogue from the story. But maybe not to them. Yeah, those wounds were self-inflicted. But it’s almost like they’ve convinced themselves Magneto hurt them personally. Don’t they all do that to some degree? And that idea about Magneto somehow manipulating people via magnetic waves… it’s not bad.
He tells her she owes him 20 bucks for that DVD. She hands him a wad of cash and wants all his stuff.
Just look at them all, she muses, thinking their scars, their poorly mended bones, connect them all in some cosmic way. Out of all the people Magneto has hurt and killed, they want to believe he singled them out in some way. That they were important and that they meant something to him.
He hands her an USB drive hidden in her change. With a smile, Briar tells him if she catches him selling that Seattle footage again, she’ll take his other eye.
Briar Raleigh! a voice announces. She turns around and sees several SHIELD agents led by Agent Haines. They’d like a word with her, Haines continues. She’s been a busy woman. But mixing business with pleasure the way she does, they thought she might be useful to them.
Briar smirks and asks if Haines realizes that, with SHIELD crashing this place she’s given these people the thrill of a lifetime. Haines is sure Briar’s celebrity among these degenerates went up as well. She’s welcome. She noticed none of them stuck around to help though. What makes her think she needs their help? Briar asks. If anything, Haines does. And she is so desperate for it she barged in here with an overwhelming and unnecessary show of force. So why doesn’t she ask Briar the question she is so breathless to utter? Where can she find Magneto? Haines asks.
Magneto walks the empty streets, thinking about ghosts and what vengeance the future holds.