‘So this is what it comes down to. Seven days of madness, and then the end of the world. And it’s…strange, I know. But I thought it would end with a whimper’ Charles Xavier thinks to himself. Moira MacTaggert - or rather “X” - the persona within Legion - exclaims ‘They’re coming! They’re coming! Because you listened to him! You did this! You brought the walls down!’ she calls out. Indeed, outside, Fortress X is under attack from a large human army, whose tanks and flying vessels open fire on the fortress.
Inside the command room, dozens of mutants are gathered. Cannonball turns to Psylocke, Hellion and Carmella Unuscione, three of the Force Warriors, and tells them that they are going to need a miracle. ‘What can you give me?’ he asks. Psylocke replies that they have tanks, air support and a million troops all coming through. ‘I think it’s too late for miracles, Sam’ Betsy replies. Cannonball tells the Force Warriors that they are on the front line with everybody else. ‘Go to standing orders, people. Protect the fortress at any cost. Do whatever you’ve got to do to keep it intact’ Cannonball orders. He takes flight, the others follow him, either in the air or running along the ground, as Cannonball declares that they will see who’s standing when the all-clear sounds.
Legion turns to Moira and tells her that he doesn’t understand. ‘Did you do this?’ he asks. Moira replies that she had to, but that it doesn’t matter. ‘It doesn’t matter if they die. It’s only you who matters. When it’s over…we’ll build a new world. Just the two of us’ she exclaims as she starts to vanish.
Outside, the battle has begun. ‘This is insane! How do we fight against these odds?’ Iceman asks. ‘Couple of hundred thousand to one? Look on the bright side, Drake…it’s going to be really hard to miss’ Basilisk exclaims as he prepares to unleash a powerful optic blast.
Back inside, Xavier tells Legion that he has to face “Moira”, that he is the only one who can. ‘When I tried -’ Charles begins, but Legion tells him to shut up. ‘You expect me to just tear all this down? I had a life here. A life you weren’t ever a part of!’ he declares. ‘I wasn’t sick. I wasn’t an object of pity, or contempt!’ Suddenly, Magneto appears, and tells Charles to leave Legion, as he has been through enough. ‘I think it’s our turn to do something for the cause’ Magneto remarks, with Katherine Pryde at his side.
The battle rage on still. Avalanche breaks the ground up, while Iceman and Magma attack with ice and fire, respectively. Frenzy tips over a tank, while Scalphunter fires weapons at the soldiers, and Dazzler and Jubilee both unleash sparkling light displays. Basilisk fires more optic blasts, Northstar darts about, and Berserker is about to strike down with his hammer. Up in the air, Cannonball, Angel and the Sub-Mariner gather, with Cannonball declaring that they have to take out the gunships, or this is over already. ‘Copy that. But these things are shielded against anything we can throw’ Angel replies. ‘Are they shielded - against each other?’ Sub-Mariner asks as he grabs one of the air vessels and throws it into another, both of which explode. ‘Guess that’s a no’ Cannonball remarks, while telling everyone to fight like there is no tomorrow. ‘Far as I can figure it - there ain’t even a today!’
A soldier is operating a large armored vessel, and forces Frenzy to the ground. ‘This food for you, mutie? Invulnerable armor, self-repairing. Doesn’t matter how many times you hit me. I’ll still keep coming at you’ the soldier boasts. ‘Get - LOST!’ Frenzy shouts as she manages to force the armor upwards and throw it away from her. ‘Gotta love that woman’ Basilisk exclaims as he fights alongside Chamber, who replies ‘From a safe distance, mate!’ Basilisk points out that they are talking about Frenzy, and that there is no safe distance when it comes to her. Moonstar and her Cadre - Eclipse, Warlock, Magma, Karma and Dust stand to the back of the battle, with Moonstar ordering her Cadre to hold the gap, that nothing is to get to the fortress. ‘Nothing except ash’ Magma points out. But Eclipse tells Magma that if there is ash, she is not burning hot enough.
Nearby, Logan watches the tide of the battle go on past him. Charles Xavier would know his thoughts even if he could not read them. But the x-gene cure is silting up Wolverine’s veins, leaving him at the mercy of the adamantium in his bones. The poison weakening his heart to the point where a single exertion could kill him. Wolverine weighs his life against the instinct screaming in his brain - the others need him. They are dying out there. And id something doesn’t skew the odds, none of them will see another sunrise. Suddenly, there is a SNIKT! as Wolverine pops his claws. The choice was logical, in the end. And he leaps down to engage some soldiers in battle.
Inside, “Moira” materializes in a room. ‘Asked for this! Begged for it! Begged and pleased!’ she tells herself. ‘You shouldn’t have pushed me, Xavier. You shouldn’t have twisted my arm. I tried to be reasonable. I tried to be humane’ she exclaims, before opening the box and staring at the universe. ‘This…this is what comes from half-measures. Compromises. Playing nice’. She declares that she built David a home, the only one he could ever, possibly need. She flicks a switch, and a fire ignites in the fireplace. ‘The only one you’ll remember’ “Moira” remarks as she throws the box towards the fire - but she is surprised, as Katherine Pryde phases through the fire and catches the box.
‘Sorry. Coming through!’ Pryde calls out as she holds onto the box. ‘Give that to me! It’s mine!’ “Moira” shouts. ‘Right. Sure. Someone died and left you the whole universe’ Pryde mutters, before telling “Moira” to face it, that she lost. ‘What are you going to do to a ghost?’ Pryde asks. ‘Bind her!’ “Moira screams, and Pryde falls to the ground. “Moira” approaches her and states that this is her world, that she made it, and all the basic forces are here - mass, momentum, gravity, light, and they do exactly what she tells them to. Suddenly, there is an explosion, ‘ENOUGH!’ booms Magneto as he flies into the room.
“Moira” surrounds herself with a force field and asks Magneto if he missed her speech about elemental forces. ‘Or are you the pretty light show that distracts me?’ she asks. Charles sneaks up to “Moira” from behind, but she spins around ‘While this filthy little pickpocket rifles though my mind?’ “Moira” asks as she causes Charles to fall over. She does the same to Magnus, who falls to the floor, and she strides past them, ‘Are you really this stupid? This world only exists because of me! If you did manage to take me down, who do you think would hold it together?’ she asks. Nervously, Legion watches from the side-lines and utters ‘Look around you, Moira. And tell me what’s left to save’.
Back outside, the battle continues, Cannonball blasts across the battlefield, giving out orders: ‘Dazzler! Battle wagon to your right!’ he exclaims. ‘Got it!’ Dazzler replies, before Cannonball informs Northstar that Storm’s Cadre needs support. ‘Get over there and -’ Cannonball doesn’t finish his sentence as a soldier shoots him out of the sky. The soldier, wearing large armor, stands over Cannonball’s body, and informs command that he has a confirmed kill. ‘It’s Cannonball! It’s target ought-ought-two’ the soldier reports, when suddenly, Gambit appears. ‘I’m out of cards, but you can take this instead’ Remy remarks as he places a kinetically-charged advert for a taxi company onto the soldier. ‘Best I could do in these troubled times’ Gambit declares that the soldier galls backwards.
Several soldiers rush towards Cannonball, as Legacy crouches beside him and asks him if he can move. ‘Legacy! Thought you were…dead’ Cannonball replies. ‘A lot of people think that. But Ah almost never am’ Legacy replies. Sam tells Legacy that he has a head full of fuzz and is seeing double. ‘Here, see what you can do’ he tells her as he grabs her hand and places it on his face. An instant later, Legacy has absorbed Canonball’s power and begins blasting through the approaching soldiers. ‘And right there, Sam, I would’ve known you were a southern gentleman. Even if you didn’t have the accent’ Legacy remarks.
Massive tanks appear, with one soldier announcing that the fortress is in missile range. ‘You have open window! Repeat, open window!’ another soldier declares. ‘Empty the piggy bank, boys!’ ‘That thing been flippin’ us the bird for way too long!’ another solder exclaims as Fortress X is hit with several missiles.
‘Son of a -!’ Iceman gasps, as the massive fortress topples over, although everyone seems to escape the ground where it lands. Hovering nearby, Hellion remarks that he cannot believe they would make such an obvious mistake. Jubilee asks him what he means, to which Hellion replies ‘We got nowhere to retreat to now. Makes things a lot simpler’. Bodies of soldiers pile up around Basilisk and Wolverine, who exclaims 3’Hell of a fight, Summers’ as he shoves his claws through a soldier. ‘Yeah. Glad you could make it’ Basilisk replies.
Inside, “Moira” reminds Legion that she told him not to listen, that Xavier has poisoned his mind against her, filled his head with lies. ‘He showed me, Moira. I can’t pretend I didn’t see. And I hate that this is all my fault’ Legion replies. ‘Fault? What fault? Whose fault?’ “Moira” asks, reminding Legion that they were ripping pieces out of his mind, they were killing him by inches. Legion tells her that this still doesn’t make any of it bearable. Legion tells “Moira” that she took away the whole world, and left this for them. A few square miles of rubble, a tower, and a war that never ends. ‘Did you really think that would be enough?’ he asks.
“Moira” wraps her arms around Legion and tells him that she will do better, that making worlds is the only power she as and she has never used it before. ‘Of course I made mistakes. But next time will be perfect’. Charles and Magneto get up as Legion tells “Moira” that it is okay. ‘I…I’ll make things right. I promise’ Legion tells her. ‘We both will. It’s down to both of us’ “Moira” replies, but suddenly, Legion absorbs “Moira” into him. ‘D-David! No! Don’t! I want to -’ “Moira” calls out, before vanishing, dropping the box in the process. Magneto asks Legion what he just did, to which Legion explains that he called her home, and now he is going to end this.
Legion flies out to the battlefield, where the mutants are surrounding by a sprawling army. The mutants continue to battle on, doing everything they can on the rubble of Fortress X. ‘Who cares about you? You’re nothing but a pack of cards’ Legion remarks, and an instant later, the soldiers and all their tanks and vessels vanish. Wolverine, badly wounded, and Basilisk look at each other confused.
Legion flies down to the other mutants, telling them all that he is sorry for the inconvenience. He assures them that he will get them home presently, as soon as he can figure out how this works. ‘Legion? Legion did that?’ Moonstar asks. Basilisk helps Wolverine up, telling him that they made it, that it is over. Legacy asks Legion if he knows what he is doing. Legion holds the box and explains that he absorbed Moira back into his mind, so in theory, he can do anything she could have done. ‘No offense, but you’re holding the whole of creation in your hands. So “in theory” doesn’t inspire a whole lot of confidence’ Gambit declares.
Legion points out that they could stay here, that is the only alternative, but he doesn’t think this reality is even stable anymore, adding it was not very well made to begin with. He holds the box open ‘So I have to do this. And the way it works…there isn’t any way to take a practice run’. And suddenly, everything glows white.
‘This is my son’ Charles Xavier thinks to himself. ‘And I’ve never been prouder of him than I am now. As he gathers the raw stuff of universes in his mind. The same mind that has been either a battlefield or a torture chamber for most of his adult life’. Charles tells himself that although this world is crumbling into dust and despair, although it was founded on contradictions and sustained on lies and atrocities, Legion twists it like a puzzle box into the one configuration out of billions that corresponds with what they all think of as reality. And the ruins of Fortress X are soon replaced by the island of Utopia.
616 reality, present:
‘OMG! I remember this place!’ gasps Pixie, no longer Nightmare. ‘It’s…it’s called Utopia!’ Rogue declares as she and the others all gather around, once again wearing the costumes of their true lives. ‘And we lived here. I know we did. I just…don’t know when exactly. Or how’ Karma remarks. Charles tells them all that their real memories will start to return soon, and he will do his best to root out the false ones. Angel steps forward: ‘No offense, Professor…Xavier? But there are hundreds of us! Whole centuries of memories!’ Angel exclaims, while Shadowcat approaches Colossus. Suddenly, telepathic voices are heard all around, as the White Queen declares ‘He can’t. Not by himself’, and the Stepford Cuckoos announce that Professor X won’t be by himself, as he will have them.
Xavier turns to the White Queen, and introduces her and her Stepford Cuckoos. He explains to everyone that in the other world, they were imprisoned and drugged, like he was, because their psi-powers would have seen through “Moira’s” disguises in an instant. Charles tells everyone that they will be their “midwives” as they are all reborn back into their real lives. ‘But…this isn’t right! Gordon Bennett! Something’s bloody iffy here!’ Chamber exclaims, while Revenant tells him that they are pieces who don’t fit into this configuration, and there will be others.
Frenzy rushes over to Cyclops: ‘Scott! You made it!’ she exclaims. ‘Frenzy. Jo -’ Cyclops begins, while Frenzy declares ‘Come here, lover’ and pulls Cyclops towards her. They kiss, until the White interrupts, remarking that she is sure there is a perfectly innocent explanation for this. ‘And that nobody’s brain will need to be reduced to a runny puddle’ she adds. ‘Emma! I - my God! It’s starting to come back now!’ Cyclops announces. ‘That’s wonderful, Scott. Not to be completely forgettable has always been an ambition of mine’ the White Queen replies, while announcing that she is picking up edited highlights from Cyclops’s mind, so there is no need to explain. Emma and Scott walk away, ‘And I’ll give your skank a five-minute running start’ Emma tells Scott, causing Frenzy to clench her fist and frown.
Charles watches are reunions are made and repairs begin, not to mention revisions. Angel and Psylocke kiss, while Gentle goes over to console an upset Pixie. Wolverine and Northstar talk to each other, as do Gambit and Rogue. ‘And anomalies. There are always anomalies’ Charles tells himself as Storm and the Sub-Mariner eye each other up.
Charles finds Blindfold, sitting on her own and asks her what she is doing by herself. ‘Thank you. I’m mourning the dead’ Blindfold replies. ‘But…the exonim armies were imaginary. There were no dead’ Charles tells her. ‘If God, excuse me, only imagined us, we’d still think we were real, yes. They thought they were real. They lived for a day, like butterflies. They died not knowing’ Blindfold remarks. The young mutant gets up and begs Xavier’s pardon, ‘There should be a reckoning. A holding to account. It’s not as though this was his first offense’ she points out.
Xavier hangs his head, while Cyclops approaches him, telling him that they need to talk about all this, now, while they still have some kind of handle on it. ‘It’s already starting to feel like a bad ream’ Cyclops adds. ‘Yes, Scott. We do need to talk’ Charles replies, before pointing out that there is one person still missing, and they cannot very well hold a conversation without him.
Elsewhere, a voice calls out: ‘For you, David. All of it was for you. And you can have it whenever you want it. Only better. I’ll make it better. I’ll -’ the voice exclaims, the ruins of Fortress X held in Legion’s hand - but he closes his hand, then re-opens it, and the ruins are gone.