In Westport, Connecticut, specifically at the elementary school, a boy and a girl named Mark and Jill run from some unseen attackers. Jill, who is barely nine, and Mark, who is eleven, are scared to death of the people who follow them. Jill begs Mark to allow them to rest, but he tells her they can't.
Running close to a swing set, Mark is shot from behind. Falling to the ground, Mark tells Jill to run! She cries that she won't leave him and he tells her that they'll catch her if she doesn't run. Shadowing over the two children, one of the men tells them that it's too late! Mark asks who they are and what they want? The woman in the middle, who appears to be in charge, tells them that they are Purifiers. The woman pulls a gun from her holster and tells them that by now their intentions should be obvious. With a pistol pointing at the children the woman tells them a cry, because she is sending them to their parents!
Electricity coming from the boy’s eyes, he screams, “you killed them!” The woman, pulling the trigger, tells him, “them and you.” Jill, holding up a bloodstained hand, whispers Mark's name, then, turning to the woman, asks why? The pistol blasts one last time and the Purifier places her gun back in its holster. Answering the now dead girl’s question, the Purifier says that the reason they died is because they do not have the right to live. Pointing to the swing set, the woman tells the men with her to hoist the children's bodies up, because their mission is taking too long.
Later that night, Mark hangs dead from the swing set with a signed that says “Mutie” hanging from his neck. Jill hangs next to him, as the swing set begins to move. Magnetic energy surrounds the metal structure and the man called Magneto lowers the children onto the swing set that he has now made into an alter. Magneto, without his helmet, very solemnly closes the children's eyes. He says aloud that he is witnessing another execution, but this time it’s children! Magneto taking the plaque with the words “Mutie” written upon it, crunches it in his hand, swearing he will get revenge.
In New York City, at the Stryker building, headquarters of the worldwide evangelical Stryker Crusade, a man begins to read passages from the Bible. The man is none other than William Stryker himself. He reads the passage in the Bible that talks about wickedness among men and women and how, if it is found, it should be brought out from among the people and should be stoned, till they die. Closing the Bible, William Stryker stands to his feet and says a small prayer. He prays, “Thy kingdom come, Lord, Thy will be done. On Earth, as it is in heaven.” Interrupting him, his secretary pages that his briefing tapes are ready. Stryker tells his secretary to begin playing the tapes and to also send some sandwiches to his office, because he had gotten so involved writing his Sunday sermon he had forgotten to eat.
Now playing, the briefing tape shows the X-Men and a narrator explains their powers. The tape shows Cyclops, Storm, Wolverine, Colossus, Ariel, and Nightcrawler. Outside the door to Stryker’s office, the sound of the tape can be heard and the narrator explains Xavier, where he lives and his involvement in the X-Men. Knocking on the office door, Stryker’s secretary, Bess, enters and tells him that she is sorry to interrupt, but he is due at the ABC studios for the taping of tonight’s sermon. Bess helps Stryker put on his jacket and asks if the tape is showing the X-Men. Stryker tells Bess that the tape is showing the X-Men but, if God is willing and all goes well, not for much longer.
At 73 Willington Road, in the suburban town of Salem Center, where former prima ballerina Stevie Hunter maintains both home and dance studio, two of her students bust out the door in a brawl. One of her student’s name is Kitty Pryde and she is on top of a boy, screaming that he needs to take back his rude comments. Another one of Stevie’s students and Kitty’s best friend, Illyana Rasputin, tries to separate the two teens, but is having no luck. Kitty tells Illyana to leave her alone because the boy, Danny, has been bugging her all week and right now he is going to pay for his rudeness.
Down the street, another one of Kitty’s friends, Peter Rasputin, screams out in wonderment. What is his Katya doing? Kitty looks up, shocked by Peter’s voice, and Danny takes the chance to strike back, knocking Kitty in the face. By that time, Peter has made it between the two combatants and blocks them from hurting one another. Danny tells Illyana to let Kitty go, so he can blacken her eye, but Peter tells Danny that it will not happen. Kitty, looking obviously hurt, asks Peter to stay out of their fight, because he will not understand the pain that Danny’s words caused her. Illyana, holding onto Kitty, notices that she is about to phase and she warns Kitty to calm down before her secret is revealed.
Stevie Hunter, now realizing that something is going on outside, comes to the door, asking what is going on. Danny tells Ms. Hunter that Kitty started the fight and everything is her fault. Stevie questions Kitty, who explains that she did swing first, but it was because Danny ran his mouth once too many times. Stevie turns to question Danny and he explains that he was telling Kitty about how his family follows a man named William Stryker and she just went off. Finishing Danny’s story, Kitty tells the others that Danny also explained how Stryker hates mutants and he is determined to see them all dead. Peter, quieting the teen’s argument, tells them that they both have points, but their argument ends now! Danny tells them that next time “King Kong” isn’t there to protect her; she’ll be his.
Kitty, looking to Peter, sarcastically thanks him for stopping their fight. Peter explains that he did not want to see the boy hurt and that’s the reason he stopped their fight. Stevie, coming to Kitty’s side, tells her that with her training she could have crippled Danny. Kitty, holding back her tears, tells Stevie that Danny would have done the same thing to her if given the chance. Stevie, offering Kitty a towel, tells her that they need to get her inside to get her cleaned up.
Kitty turns to Stevie and asks her how they can all be so calm? Stevie, smiling back at Kitty, tells her that they’re only words. Jumping in Stevie’s face, Kitty screams, “suppose he’d called me a nigger lover” and she wonders how Stevie would have felt then? After her tantrum, Kitty runs away, leaving her friends behind. Stevie, Peter and Illyana look towards Kitty as she runs away and Stevie tells the Rasputins that they had better go after her to see she gets home safe. Peter tries to explain that Kitty did not mean the words she said and he apologizes if it hurt her.
The two Rasputins walk away and Stevie thinks to herself that Kitty did mean what she said. As she clenches her fist, Stevie thinks that Kitty was right. Stevie enters her studio and, outside the building, in a van, two Purifiers sit and stare at the departing friends. The driver explains that, if he were allowed to, one good shot would kill Stevie where she stands. The passenger explains that Stevie isn’t a mutant so they cannot kill her. The passenger calls the driver George and tells him to be patient, because, after they deal with the mutants, there will be plenty of time for traitors like her. George radios to his headquarters and tells them that the three mutants have left and they can now proceed with Operation: Headhunter.
Driving onto the Xavier Estate, the mutants are greeted by Nightcrawler’s sudden appearance, as he bamfs onto the hood of their car. Peter tells Nightcrawler that they need to hurry into the mansion, because the show is starting.
In the mansion, Kitty strolls past Logan and he comments about her black eye. She tells him that she got it in a scrap. Logan asks if it was a fair fight. Kitty comments that she guesses it was, but tells him that she didn’t win the fight. Logan asks why? Kitty tells him, as she holds her head down in shame, that she doesn’t have his killer instincts. Leaving the room, Kitty floats up the stairs, telling the others that she is going to change her clothes and she will not be long.
The time that Kitty is gone gives Illyana the chance to explain what happened at the studio. Though now, Kitty is in the living room as they all watch Stryker’s television show begin. Illyana asks Kitty if she wants some popcorn and, behind the two friends, Kurt wonders how such bigotry can still exist on their planet? Peter hushes the two girls, warning them that the show is about to begin.
the ABC Special:
The announcer, John Cheever, introduces his topic, Mutants, and he introduces his two guests, Stryker and Charles Xavier. The topic opens with Xavier’s comments and he explains that mutants are individuals like everyone and should be treated as such. Stryker interrupts Xavier quoting an article from one of Senator Robert Kelly’s aides. It says that the mutants are increasing and pose a substantial danger to the world.
At Xavier’s mansion, the X-Men scoff at Stryker’s comments and the way that ABC is handling the topic. At the ABC studio, the camera room has two men seated and they talk about how Xavier is making a convincing case but, thanks to Stryker’s expertise on television, the audience is listening to him.
Finally, the ABC special is over and the X-Men at the mansion continue to think about what they just saw on television. Kitty decides to go to the Danger Room and asks the others if they want to join her. Nightcrawler agrees and bamfs off and the others follow as well. Each one of them goes to their separate quarters to change. Each one of them thinks, as they change into uniform, about how their world would change if all humans believed in Stryker’s philosophy.
Meanwhile, on the Westside of Manhattan, Mr. Cheever congratulates Xavier on his superb discussion. Xavier thanks Cheever for his comments, but tells him that he thinks Stryker still got his message across far better than he did. Ororo and Scott stand a few feet away from their mentor and the two of them discuss the show and how Stryker was able to win by striking fear in the hearts of humans everywhere. Interrupting the two X-Men’s conversation, a young woman bumps into them, seemingly by accident, and she apologizes for her clumsiness. Scott accepts her apology and tells her that there was no harm done. The woman walks up to Stryker and he, calling her Anne, asks if everything is ready. She tells him that they will take them in Central Park. Stryker comments that their psi-screens worked perfectly, helping them hide their true intentions from Xavier.
In the Danger Room at the Xavier Estate, the X-Men prepare to practice using their powers in a scenario that Illyana has prepared for them. Hitting the engage button, the scenario starts and the X-Men try as best they can to complete their mission quickly. Finally, Kitty understands what they need to do to win the mission and directs the others on what they should do causing them to be successful.
At West 67th street, right on the skirts of Columbus Avenue, Xavier, Scott, and Ororo drive towards the mansion. The two pupils ask Xavier how he feels about Stryker. Xavier explains that Stryker had a psi-screen up, protecting his thoughts, but Xavier doesn’t know if it’s because he knows their secret or if it’s just to protect himself from other mutants. Behind them, a car follows and a voice tells the driver, Rocco, to follow the mutants. Xavier, continuing to talk, is interrupted when he senses an ambush up ahead. It is too late for them, as the car explodes, sending the car spiraling, knocking Xavier out. Scott blasts out the door and tells Storm to carry the Professor away and create a fog to disguise their departure. The three mutants, getting out of the car, are shot, seemingly dead, in the streets. One of the Purifiers takes a missile launcher and destroys the remains of Xavier’s car. Anne, the woman from earlier, tells Rocco to radio headquarters and inform Stryker that their mission is accomplished.
In the Danger Room, Kitty wonders why Wolverine seems so in a grouchy mood. The team looks at their scores from their recent Danger Room scenario, noticing that Wolverine has the higher portion of all the scores. Wolverine, lighting one of his cigars, tells the others that the scenario was just a game. As Wolverine walks out of the room, he tells the others that the game is for kids and he uses his claws to severe the head of one of the dummy actors.
Walking from the room, Kitty tells the group that there are sometimes when Wolverine scares her silly. With that said, the phone in the study they are walking by rings. Nightcrawler answers it, saying that it is probably Scott calling from New York after the recent broadcast. Picking up the phone, Kurt is shocked to hear the news on the other end. Placing the phone down, with a confused look on his face, Kurt tells the others that the caller was the police and they said Xavier, Scott and Ororo are dead!
The next day, Kitty sits alone on the estate grounds, burying her face in her lap, thinking of yesterday’s disturbing news. Her best friend, Illyana, deciding to check on Kitty, approaches her, telling her that the others are headed to New York to check out the accident scene, but she is worried how Kitty feels now. Raising her head up, Kitty tells Illyana that she is alive. Illyana tells Kitty that she has been up her for ages now and she wonders if she needs company?
Angered, Kitty stands to her feet, brushing off Illyana’s words. She screams at her, telling her if she wanted company she would have stayed in the damn house. Walking away, Kitty hears Illyana scream her name and, stopping, Kitty holds her head screaming back, WHAT!?! Illyana tenderly places her hand on Kitty’s shoulder and tells her that they were her friends too. The two friends embrace and Kitty tells Illyana that the reality is that she should be accepting their death as a result of the life they lead, but since they died in a lousy car crash she can’t come to believe their death is real. The two friends walk along the estate’s pond and Illyana reminds Kitty of the time that Peter told her about death and how, if it wasn’t for the pain of death, they wouldn’t appreciate the heights of joy. Kitty tells Illyana that the statement cuts two ways and Illyana asks Kitty if she cares for her brother. Kitty, turning red, says that they are just friends and Illyana points out to Kitty her complexion. Kitty tells Illyana that her parents would never allow her and Peter to be together, because Peter is so much older than her. Illyana, just remembering why she had come to find Kitty, tells her that there is a strange contraption on near the mansion and she wants Kitty to take a look at it.
The two friends approach the device and Kitty wonders why it is facing the mansion. Kitty phases into the machine, disabling it, and tells Illyana that she doesn’t know what it is for, but she plans on finding out. Hiding behind some bushes, Kitty tells Illyana that they will wait there to see who comes to fix it. She also tells Illyana that she shouldn’t worry, because whomever comes, she will protect her from them. Looking through a small hole in the bush, Illyana whispers, wonderful.
At Central Park in Manhattan, Logan tells Peter that the car incident was no accident. Peter tells Logan that his findings don’t really matter, because no matter the outcome their three friends are dead. Logan tells Peter, as he sniffs the ground, that three bodies were found but they weren’t their friends. Logan tells Peter, as Peter questions his facts, that he has staged more than his share of ‘accidents” in his day and this has all the markings of one. Peter, confused, asks Logan if they should tell the police? Logan tells Peter no.
Near the street corner, Nightcrawler sits perched on one of the near lampposts. Logan radios Kurt and asks him his status. Kurt tells Logan that his hunch paid off and a vehicle is monitoring their every move, parked next to their limo. Kurt questions Logan what their next move should be and he answers that they will nail the bastards.
In the car next to the team’s limo, two people are heard talking about their excitement just waiting for something to happen. A woman is seen in the vehicle with binoculars and she tells the other that he may get his wish, because Colossus is nearing them and he is in his costume. Suddenly, her binoculars are blurred and she finds Nightcrawler staring back at her. He tells her “Boo!” as the woman screams his name in recognition. The male driver reaches for his gun, but Wolverine, now in costume, claws up his door telling the driver to hit the floor. Logan tells the driver, as he pulls him from the vehicle, that the driver and the woman are fixing to have a serious heart-to-heart with him.
The woman in the car is seen thinking to herself about how she can’t be captured, so it’s better to die taking mutants with her. The woman floors the vehicle with Nightcrawler still on the car. The car is heading straight towards Peter, who, without hesitation, transforms into organic steel and strikes the car dead in it’s tracks, in fear that the rampage may hurt innocent lives. Luckily for the woman inside, Nightcrawler teleports himself and her out of harms way, just before Colossus deals his stopping blow.
Colossus looks behind him, as he holds the cars engine in his arms, to see the devastation he has just caused. Behind Colossus, as he talks about the cheaply made cars, two armored Purifiers step out from the ashes of the vehicle. Nightcrawler tries to warn Peter of his soon-to-be assailants, but Peter doesn’t hear him. Logan, standing behind Kurt, commands him to teleport over to them and tackle them, for Peter’s sake. One of the Purifiers taunts Kurt and he tells them to do as he boss commands, just as he strikes Colossus from behind with a crippling laser blast. One of the Purifiers notices that Peter is still moving and tells the other X-Men that one last shot should kill the armored companion. Suddenly, the two Purifiers are picked off their feet and in the air their metal is ripped off them, wrapping the two in a cocoon of their once fancy and powerful armor. Nightcrawler wonders aloud if they should be grateful or run for their lives. Logan, turning to see their savior, notices that it is Magneto who rescued them. Magneto tells Logan to sheath his claws, because he came there to be their friend and, if they’ll have him, their ally!
Upstate New York, specifically Xavier’s estate, Illyana complains that she is bored of waiting for whomever is coming to fix the contraption the two friends ran across and dismantled earlier. Kitty begins to agree, as she is startled to hear voices coming closer to them. Illyana says that the spies look like them mean business and she would just rather go back to the mansion before they are seen. Kitty tells Illyana that if they were to make a run for it now they would be spotted, so they’re stuck there for now.
Kitty tells Illyana that she wants to do some scouting and she phases into the ground below her to travel on the opposite side of the intruders. Inside the ground, Kitty realizes how it seems a lot like water, only a little more solid and she hopes she doesn’t run out of air before she reaches cover. Above Kitty, Anne, Rocco and an armored Purifier stand guard over their spying equipment and Anne turns the machine on. The machine is able to detect mutants and instantly it detects the presence of Illyana only a few feet away from them. Illyana begins to run and she thinks to herself that she wishes Kitty was there to help. Suddenly, Anne appears above Illyana with a gun and she tells her that it is the end of the line. With that said, Anne pulls the trigger.
Above Anne, Kitty sits perched on a tree and she looks down to see what all the commotion was about. Screaming, NO, in her mind, Kitty hears as Anne tells the other Purifiers that Illyana is only stunned and not dead. Relieved, Kitty watches as the armored Purifier places Illyana in the back of a car. Kitty watches as they prepare to leave. She thinks to herself that, if she wastes time to write the other X-Men a note, she’ll lose Illyana. Kitty runs to the back of the car and phases into its trunk. Inside the car, Anne holds onto Illyana and she notices that the cars security has been breached. Anne flips a switch on the security board, realizing whom their intruder is she uses nerve gas to capture her in the trunk.
While the Purifiers leave the estate, the X-Men, Magneto and their hostages approach. The X-Men take their hostages to the study, where Logan tries less than cordial ways of coercing info from them. Wolverine takes one of the cocooned Purifiers and uses his claws, popping out one at a time, to try to scare information out of them. Magneto asks Logan to stop so he can try his own alternative to getting the information they desire. Wolverine tells the soldier that it seems to be his lucky day and Magneto replies that he doesn’t know about that. Magneto uses his powers to torture and pry the information from the Purifiers and one by one each one of them tell everything they know.
In the questioning the Purifiers reveal that they work for William Stryker and that Stryker plans on using Xavier to eradicate all mutant life on Earth. After the questioning, Magneto tells the others that he isn’t shocked to once more hear that a man wants to commit genocide of a whole race of people. Smoking his cigar, Logan answers Peter’s question; was the torture necessary? Logan answers, “yup.” Kurt, perched upon a nearby chair, tells the others that if they use their foes’ methods, how much better are they than them?
(a hallucination of Charles Xavier)
At the World Trade Center, Xavier’s X-Men crucify him on top of the building. With their monstrous faces contorted and angered, the man named Xavier knows that his dream isn’t real, but that still does not save him. In turn, each of his X-Men come to pay their respects and bid their mentor farewell. Kurt pounces on Xavier’s crucified body and sinks his fangs into his neck. Ariel phases through her Professor’s body, ripping the heart from his chest and departing him with a kiss.
Wolverine approaches his friend, Xavier, and begins to claw at his chest and watches as the blood runs from his feet. Storm chars Xavier’s body with a lightning bolt, as Cyclops removes his optic visor to allow a dark mist to enshroud Xavier’s body. The twisted form of Cyclops tells Xavier that they are just paying him back, a debt that is far overdue. Then, when all seems lost, a light appears from the heavens and the light destroys all the contorted X-Men, leaving only the angel that sent the light and Xavier alive. Xavier looks up to notice the angel is just a man and, as the man sticks out his hand, Xavier reaches back. For a brief second, Xavier has doubts about this man’s intentions and that second sends Xavier back into the abyss from which he came.
(the real world)
Phillip Ramsey watches as Xavier is held in suspended animation in a tank full of fluids. Xavier is strapped in a helmet, hooked up be hundreds of wires. Phillip tells a shadowed figure behind him that Xavier is responding better to his mind washes, but it will take time to fully break him to their will. Phillip tries lighting his cigarette but, when he is unsuccessful, Stryker reaches out and offers him a light of his own. Phillip accepts and asks Stryker if he wants to see his two other guests. Not waiting for a reply, Phillip opens a hatch, revealing two containment pods and, flipping two more switches, he reveals its occupants. The two X-Men, Storm and Cyclops, appear sweaty and confused. Phillip tells Stryker that he is torturing these two and the pain they feel is then directed back at Xavier. He believes they are doing it on purpose. Storm asks Stryker why he is trying to hurt them when they have done nothing to him? Stryker tells Storm that the reason he wants them to die is because they are an affront to nature.
Stryker looks at the two X-Men and he remembers thirty years ago, when he was in love. He remembers how he was a sergeant in the army and was stationed at a nuclear testing facility. He remembers that his wife, Marcy, became pregnant and, after their tour, was over he wanted to go visit his family in Phoenix, Arizona. An accident while traveling there placed them alone in the Nevada Desert. Alone, in the desert, he was forced to deliver his own child. Shocked and horrified, he realized the child was a monster, so, taking a knife, he stabbed the aberration.
After his wife awoke and asked about the baby, he took her in his arms and snapped her neck. The car near them had been leaking gas the entire time, so he planned an explosion. Stryker took his wife and set her in the car with the baby on her lap and he set down next to her. Lighting a match the car exploded. Shockingly, Stryker survived but the baby and his wife were burnt beyond recognition. This hid Stryker’s shame but, because of his actions afterwards with the drinking and the fighting, he was given an honorable discharge from the army. Months after the accident, Stryker was reading a new article written by Charles Xavier and, in it, he realized that his child was a mutant. That day, Stryker came to the realization that he was saved from the explosion to do God’s work, in destroying the monsters that Satan created: Mutants!
Stryker thinks to himself that, for a quarter of a century, he has preached his philosophy and, now, it is time for him to finish his crusade. Scott asks Stryker how he learned of the X-Men in the first place. Stryker tells Scott that one of his followers stole the files from Xavier’s one time ally, Fred Duncan, and, the more he read about he school, the more he was convinced that Xavier is the Anti-Christ. Scott, questioning Stryker’s logic, asks why if he wants them dead has he not killed them yet? Drinking his coffee, Stryker tells Scott that they will learn soon enough their plans.
Hearing the phone ring, Stryker picks up the call. It is Anne on the other end and she asks instructions on what to do with her prisoners. Stryker tells Anne to do whatever she wants to with Colossus’ sister, but she needs to kill the Pryde girl! Hearing those words, Storm tells Stryker not to kill Kitty, because she is only a child. Stryker quotes the Bible; he tells Storm that when the lord God delivers the evildoers to you, you should smite them and give them no mercy. Finishing his quote, Stryker tells Phillip that it is time for them to continue, because it is getting late. The containment pods begin to shut again and Storm screams out, “KITTY!” Near the World Trade Center, lightning flashes across the sky, revealing Storm’s panic.
At the back of Anne’s car, the license plate reads “Mutie.” The Purifiers stand behind the trunk as Anne gives the command to blast the trunk full of bullets. The men do as they are commanded and the trunk flies, open revealing that Kitty wasn’t there. Anne pulls up her scanner, commenting that the brat is smarter than she thought. Pointing in the direction Kitty is running, Anne commands the others to follow her.
Kitty runs through a back alleyway, scared and a little nauseous. She thinks of how she was able to phase the minute she heard the gas jets go off, but some of it had to have affected her thinking and powers. Kitty can’t seem to phase, because of her inability to concentrate, thanks to the gas. Running down the alley, Kitty meets up with a gang. She asks for their help and they agree only if she will do them favors in return. Before kitty can answer, Anne stands above them. She is holding a gun and threatens to fire on any of the gang members if they do not allow her to take Kitty from them.
The gang tells her that she is standing on their turf and nobody commands on their turf, except them. Anne tells them to back off and a gang member tells her that it’s six verses one. He asks her if she can smoke them all, calling her a bitch. Kitty uses the distraction to make a run for it. Anne, seeing Kitty flee, shoots but it is too late. Kitty is able to phase through a nearby wall. The leader of the gang uses the opportunity to throw a knife at Anne, striking he in the left shoulder blade. Anne retaliates by shooting the leader named Martin in the head. The other members, shocked to see their leader fallen, converge on Anne for the killing blow.
A few minutes later, Rocco stands above Anne and tells her that they heard gunfire, but it looks like she is okay. Anne tells Rocco that she had Pryde, but the gang members distracted her, causing her to loose Kitty. The gang members all lay dead at Anne’s feet and she tells Rocco that the gang will not make that mistake ever again.
While the skirmish raged, Kitty found herself on Rusher Street. Now knowing where she is, Kitty breaks into a safe and steals quarters to call the mansion. Kitty uses the money on a nearby telephone. Hearing the phone ring, she begins to worry and panic. Kitty, still getting no answer, screams for someone to pick up the damn phone. Finally, Kurt answers the phone and Kitty is just able to get out where she is located when the store she is standing in explodes.
Kitty comes stumbling out of the flames, thankful that she was able to phase before the explosion occurred. She runs towards the subway station, with Rocco and the other Purifiers right on her tail. Kitty notices a moving train and figures if she can just get on board she can escape them for good. Walking on air, Kitty pushes herself through the train, giving shock to the occupants. A police officer arrives, wondering why everyone seems so scared. Kitty tells him that some bad men are following her and he tells her not to worry and to get behind him. Rocco and the others enter the train, shooting the officer and commanding the other bystanders to run if they value their lives. Kitty, cowering over the body of the police officer, tells Rocco that they can have her just as long as they get the police officer medical assistance and fast. Rocco tells Kitty that the officer’s death will serve as a reminder to humans about the evil of mutants.
Suddenly, the train car begins to hover in mid-air and the occupants are thrown around. Magneto is holding up the car and he tells the Purifiers that they need to drop their weapons. Not heeding his warning, the Purifiers begin shooting at Magneto. He turns their bullets away from him and quickly removes them of all their weaponry and armor. The other X-Men are not far behind as Kurt bamfs Rocco to Riker’s Island Prison, Colossus strips his charge of his armor and Wolverine nocks the other Purifier unconscious. Kitty screams at the others that they have to help the officer and Magneto uses his powers to draw the bullet from his chest. Leaving the remaining Purifiers for the police, Magneto makes a flying carpet out of the train’s wreckage and the X-Men, Magneto and the officer fly off. The officer asks the mutants who they are. Magneto answers him that his companions are the X-Men and as to why the Purifiers were after Kitty would be best answered by the Reverend William Stryker.
Charles Xavier sits in his wheel chair in a robe. A man walks into the darkened room Xavier is in and asks if he is ready to be found. Xavier answers yes. The shadowed man quotes the Bible, about how a man that believes is not condemned but, if a man believeth not, he is condemned already. After his quote, Xavier tells Stryker that he does believe. The man asks Charles if he embraces the word? Xavier answers yes. Seeing Stryker’s features, he asks Xavier if he believes that Stryker is the messenger of that word? Xavier answers yes. Nearby Scott and Ororo’s containment pods open and Stryker tells Xavier to prove it.
Xavier tells Stryker that he cannot kill them because they are his children. Stryker quotes another verse from the Bible that states, he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Questioning Xavier, Stryker asks him if he is worthy of him? Answering yes, Xavier psi-blasts his two pupils. Blood dripping from both their faces Phillip confirms that his machine reads their vitals as dead!
In a limousine, outside the building where Xavier is being held, Phillip Ramsey tells his driver to take him home, so he can prepare for the night’s party. After their conversation and the limousine drives off, Ariel phases through the ceiling. Phillip is pushed through the car by Kitty, who herself is shocked that she is able to do such a feat. On the ground, Ramsey pushes Ariel off of him and is shocked to see the girl he thought killed alive. While he talks, Kurt uses his tail to lift Phillip off the ground by the neck. Kurt, using his fangs for persuasion, tells the doctor that he needs to tell them what they want to know.
In the Stryker building, sometime later, two Purifiers pick up the dead bodies of Scott and Jean to carry them away. Anne, who has just come back from her abduction of Illyana, tells the two that she will follow them, while they get rid of the evidence. Going into an elevator, Anne notices another Purifier with Illyana in tow. The Purifier tells Anne that she is needed for examination elsewhere. One of the Purifier’s presses the down button but, shockingly, the elevator begins to go up. Anne quickly pulls her gun from her holster, but notices that the elevator is magnetized when the gun flies from her hand and clings to a nearby wall. Anne becoming scared, realizing the X-Men are attacking them. She jumps from the elevator, landing on the rooftop, narrowly missing a fall to her death. Walking from the roof, she thinks that the X-Men must have thought her unworthy of capture and that mistake will cost them dearly.
On another nearby rooftop, Logan investigates the bodies of Cyclops and Storm. He finds that the two of them are not dead, just merely under a great stasis of their minds. He tells Magneto that the beliefs a tremendous bolt of electricity may bring them back to life. Magneto uses his powers to do just that and the two suddenly begin to arise. Shocked at the appearance of Magneto, Scott questions the others. Colossus tells Scott that Magneto just saved their lives so he should be grateful.
Scott turns his question to Magneto and asks why he would want to help them? Magneto tells Scott that he realizes that, in the past, they have fought against each other but the time to join forces is now. He tells Scott that they are facing an enemy that doesn’t want to see just one mutant dead, but the entire mutant race obliterated. Magneto goes on to explain that his world is where mutants can rule over humans, not destroy them. Scott asks Magneto who will preserve his legacy after he is gone? Magneto tells Scott that he hopes he and the X-Men will, but the time for that talk will come later. Now, he says, they have to defeat Stryker or there will be no tomorrow for mutants.
John Cheever, a news anchor for ABC news, stands outside Madison Square Gardens and reports on the upcoming sermon by William Stryker. He says that some view Stryker as a Hitler in today’s era, while some view him as a savior. He tells the audience that Stryker has stated tonight will be the sermon that will make everyone’s doubts in him disappear.
Backstage, two Purifiers strap Xavier into a chair in front of a machine that is supposed to be like Cerebro. Stryker tells Xavier, as Xavier continues to smile, to destroy every mutant his mind comes in contact with. Suddenly, Anne runs in and tells Stryker about the abduction of Illyana from them and the capture of Scott and Ororo’s bodies. Anne tells Stryker that she has also found out Ramsey is missing and, if he talks, their mission will be in jeopardy. Stryker calms Anne down. He tells her that they are a handful of children and he is serving the Lord. They can do nothing to harm him.
On a platform in front of thousands of people, William Stryker addresses his congregation. Quoting scripture, William finishes, saying that their race was born by Adam and Eve, until today. In the Garden, a senator asks his assistant if the president supports the views of Stryker. The aide tells him that the president wants to be fair, so he will allow Stryker to speak his mind.
On the platform, Stryker tells his audience that they are beings of divine creation, but there are some among them that are an affront to that divinity. He explains that God created man and in the Bible there is no mention of mutants.
On the floor of the Garden, two police officers discuss how Reverend Stryker’s words are scary to think about. On the platform, once again, Stryker tells the audience that they are from God and any deviation from that comes from Hell. While the speech goes on a switch is thrown behind the podium activating the psi-scan device.
Results do not take long to happen, because on the roof of the post office, across 8th Avenue, the X-Men are psi-blasted by their mentor. On the streets, a boy falls to the ground in pain. Kurt rushes to his side only to be accused of hurting the boy himself. Before Kurt leaves, he notices the boy’s ear bleeding, telling Kurt that the boy is internally bleeding. Kurt bamfs to the rooftop with all the other X-Men and Kitty is worried to notice the same blood is coming from Kurt’s ears. Logan wonders aloud what Stryker could be thinking, because they cannot attack him and ruin the reputation for mutants everywhere.
While the X-Men are becoming indecisive, Magneto is taking action to stop Stryker’s Crusade. In Madison Square Garden, Magneto rips the top of the dome off the building to allow him passage and places it back on with the same ease. He tells Stryker that if he is going to claim war against mutants it’s only fitting he should meet his chief adversary, face-to-face. Stryker points to his oncoming assailant and his silent command his heard, as the psi-scan device is directed in its full intensity towards Magneto. It takes the entire psychic shielding Magneto has to withstand the onslaught but he does, just barely. Magneto is pushed back into the crowd and is shocked to feel Xavier’s full psi-blast for the first time. Barely having enough energy, Magneto repels the oncoming crowd that looks bent on killing him.
In the senator’s box, the senator is shocked by the blood lust of the crowd. The aide is shocked too to see the Senator start to pour blood from his ear. On the floor, the two cops from earlier try to regain peace, as they tell the crowd to stay back from Magneto. Behind the scenes, at the back of the building, the X-Men enter and are all caught by psi-blasts, making their fight with the Purifiers harder than it should be.
Back on stage, Anne races to the protection of Stryker, when, all of a sudden, she is dropped to her feet by a pain cursing through her head. It is the fact she is a mutant that debilitates her and she is shocked to see that Stryker had no love for her now. Begging for his acceptance, she is thrown off the stage by Stryker, onto the ground below. A nearby camera captures it all, up until her death.
Back on the floor of the Garden, Magneto tries to rise to his feet. Still, the crowd of rioters confronts him. His only protection is the two police officers that stand by his side. On the stage, smoke rises from behind the curtains. The producer tells the cameraman to keep filming, while he tells the police to evacuate the Garden.
Behind the curtain, Wolverine tells Scott that it is time they do his plan. Cyclops agrees and Wolverine and Nightcrawler attack the Professor. Xavier deals with the obvious threat but, on their attack, Wolverine repositioned a mirror, which reflected Cyclops’ optic blast striking Xavier unconscious. Wolverine congratulates Scott on his shot, but asks him what he would have done if he had to let Logan kill Xavier? Scott says that he realizes if he missed Logan would have had to finish the job. Using his optic blast, Cyclops destroys the machinery around him, freeing Xavier from his enslavement. Colossus asks Scott if they are ready to leave. Scott replies that they still need to face off against Stryker because, one way or another, their fight ends tonight. The other X-Men agree to go along and they head for the stage.
Cyclops, along with the others, enters the stage and greets Stryker. They tell him that his machine is defeated, so now it’s just their words verses his. Cyclops tells the audience of two children in Connecticut that were recently killed by Stryker’s men, because of the fact they were mutants. Scott asks if Stryker next might kill someone just because the color of their skin? Stryker answers that the color of the skin doesn’t matter because, no matter the color, they are all human. Cyclops speaks into the microphone and says that, as far as mutants are concerned, what if humans were the real mutants and they the humans?
Pointing towards Nightcrawler, Stryker asks Scott if he can call that human? Ariel, angered by Stryker’s comments towards her friend tells him that Kurt is more human than he’ll ever be. Kitty tells Stryker that if she had to choose between her friends and the God he serves, she will choose her friends. Pulling a gun from his pocket, Stryker tells her that her words can be her epitaph. The X-Men, standing resolute, watch as Stryker begins to pull the trigger. Suddenly, a shot is heard and Stryker hits the floor dead. The shot came from Jeff, the officer from before.
On the ground, a rioter complains about the shooting and another officer says that Jeff was just doing his job. The rioter asks if the cop is going to let the muties get away? The officer answers him, “yes,” and wishes them good luck.
A few days later, at Xavier’s school, John Cheever is on the news, reporting how Stryker was arraigned and quoted as saying that he predicted the eventual vindication of himself and his crusade. Magneto suddenly appears and tells the X-Men that there are many people that believe in Stryker’s words, just not his methods. Xavier, bowing his head, tells Magneto that he fears he is correct. The other X-Men stand shocked as Peter asks Xavier if he wants them to join Magneto’s cause. Xavier tells the others that he has spent his life smashing his head against a brick wall. He goes on to say that Stryker tried to make him a killer and he has sworn to never see another X-Men die, so if Magneto’s way is the only way so be it!
Cyclops tells Xavier that he will not accept his words. He says that Xavier brought them together so that the world could one day know harmony, not tyranny under a madman’s rule. Scott then says he aims to see Xavier’s dream become reality. Magneto looks at the others and asks them if they believe the same. Seeing their reaction, he asks Xavier to join him in his dream. Magneto reaches out his hand and Xavier reaches out his but, before they touch, Xavier tells Magneto that he cannot leave his students. He reminds Magneto that he taught them and he will not desert them in their quest to fulfill his dream.
Magneto turns around and calls Xavier and his team fools. Magneto begins to step out the door and Kitty begs Magneto to stay with them. Magneto tells Kitty that he hopes the X-Men will one day give the Earth piece but, when they finally fail, it will be his turn. Magneto, with that said, floats off into the sky. After Magneto leaves, Xavier begins to cry and he tells the others how ashamed he feels of himself. Scott tells Xavier that he shouldn’t feel ashamed to be human. Kurt hands Xavier a tissue and Xavier tells the others that, if ever there was a reason for his creation of the X-Men, it is now.
Outside the mansion, Cyclops and Storm meet to discuss the past events. The two hold hands, talking about how bad labels are and how Xavier just needed a little encouragement to set him right again. The two hold one another as they look out towards the sky. Scott tells Ororo that, from caring, comes love and that’s what makes the world go around. The other X-Men join the two friends and, finishing the conversation, Storm tells Scott she wishes his words were truly so.