Magneto waits in his room, staring at the fireplace. Wolverine enters and informs him it is done. Magneto thanks him. Turning away, Wolverine tells him not to thank him. It’s not Magneto’s style. He wants to show gratitude? Just forget any of this happened. And forget X-Force!
Uncharacteristically, Magneto demands to see the body. He really is a piece of work, Wolverine bristles. It’s over. He got what he wanted. Can’t he just accept it? Just this once? Magneto just stares. Of course he can’t, Wolverine sighs.
Standing in the ruins, Magneto muses this island has been many things. A breeding ground for prejudice and subjugation. A paradise where mutants could live in peace. A charnel house. A madman’s dream. For all the things Genosha might have once been, it is now a place of rebirth, and that terrifies him.
Several trailers and quickly erected buildings stand there, built by the Marauders and others. Newcomers flow in.
In one trailer, Magneto muses to Briar Raleigh that more mutants come every day, seeking sanctuary from the rest of the world. And there is still so much work to be done. Good news travels fast, Briar points out. It doesn’t wait for sufficient generators and indoors plumbing. Good news? he repeats. Briar explains he is giving these people a place where they can fit in, feel safe, a home. She guesses it’s her home now, too. She helped him set SHIELD up, helped him draw a line in the sand. She peeks her head out; they’ll lock her up and throw away the key. She smiles as she points out he has turned her into a race traitor. Lucky for him, her finances are both diversified and well-protected, so she can fund this little operation of his.
She has never told him why she is helping, Magneto muses. She isn’t a mutant. She has no reason to—
She points out he gets uncomfortable when a human surprises him. Would it make him feel better if she had powers, too? She lowers the blinds and jokes: Look at that, he is not the only master of magnetism in these parts. They kiss.
A young man grabs some supplies and takes them to some other mutants living in one of the ruins of Hammer Bay. One of the others greets him by remarking they thought he’d forgotten them. He hands them the supplies. He grabbed what he could. If they came back to camp, he wouldn’t have to smuggle these. There’s plenty to go around. But it’s tough with them being so secretive. They reply they are comfortable here and free. They don’t want to live under Magneto’s rule. Not until they’ve seen what he is about. Don’t forget: the guy was a terrorist and—
Isn’t this interesting! A new voice interrupts. A man holding a blade stands in the shadowed entrance. They came to Genosha to hide. But even in this place of sanctuary, they find themselves hiding like vermin. And vermin should be exterminated!
In bed, holding Briar, Magneto muses about new beginnings. What is it about the idea of a fresh start that fills him with such dread? Perhaps it is a defense mechanism… a warning system, after all, new beginnings so often serve as a preamble to disaster.
There is frantic knocking on his door and his name is called. An anxious mutant apologizes, but they need him. He asks for a moment to get dressed.
Briar asks what’s going on. If he’s reading his visitor’s excitement correctly, the sky is falling. Is he so calm because he doesn’t believe there is anything to worry about or because he has been expecting something? He will tell her when he returns. “Suit yourself,” she calls after him. He always does.
Magneto and the Marauders soon find the corpse of the young man who helped the others, a can stuffed into his mouth. Magneto realizes the body has been here for less than two hours. From the lack of blood, it is clear he wasn’t killed here. Someone brought the body here. Put it on display. Someone wanted to send a message.
He orders Scalphunter to start a sweep but stay close. Magneto kneels down next to the corpse, musing that once again death has found Genosha. This time it could barely wait to get started. But death and he know each other. They’ve been caught in each other’s orbit since he was a child.
He realizes from marks on the body’s hands that he tried to fight his killer. The weapon that killed him was makeshift and crude, small slivers are embedded in the wounds. But the cuts themselves were precise. Whoever did this relished the act.
He follows a trace of blood drops to a dark entrance. Scalphunter offers that he and Riptide can walk in first. Make sure it’s clear. Magneto orders them to stay behind and keep a watchful eye, as he enters.
The smell of death hangs in the air and he finds the rest of the victims, dismembered. He realizes the murderer is far from finished, as he looks at the giant swastika painted on the wall with the victims’ blood.
Rio de Janeiro:
Magneto lands in front of an unmarked grave. He turns away but then looks back curiously. He uses his powers to unearth the body inside that is wrapped in bandages. Magneto takes off his helmet and looks. Then he sinks to his knees, his face buried in his hands.
In certain parts of the world, the Swastika represents life, good fortune and well-being. In Hinduism, it represents God. In ancient Tibet, it was the symbol of eternity. Navajo used the “whirling logs” in healing rites. For more than 3000 years, the symbol stood for peace. And then the Nazi party adopted it as an emblem for their hatred and cruelty. Now someone has brought the symbol to Genosha as a mark of death, that the peace of Genosha will be despoiled once more.
Magneto and the Marauders return to the settlement. Magneto enters his trailer to find Briar still waiting inside the bedroom, though she is dressed and looks to the ground shocked. He asks what happened. She points to the bathroom. Inside he finds written in blood on the mirror: Keep the furnaces warm, Erik.
Unsettled, Briar asks how it got there. It wasn’t there last night. And she hasn’t left his quarters. There is no other way into the bathroom. And that means whoever wrote that message did so while they were here. While they were asleep. They were in the room the whole time watching them…