Powers of X #2

Issue Date: 
October 2019
Story Title: 
We Are Together Now, You And I

Jonathan Hickman (writer), R.B. Silva (artist), R.B. Silva & Adriano di Benedetto (inkers), Marte Gracia (colorist), VC’s Clayton Cowles (letterer), Tom Muller (Design), R.B. Silva & Marte Gracia (cover artists), Mike Huddleston; Yasmine Putri / Dustin Weaver( Patrick Zircher & edgar Delgado /Skottie Young / John Tyler Chrtistopher(variant cover artists), Annalise Bissa (assistant editor), Jordan D. White (editor), C.B. Cebulski (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)
X-Men created by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby

Brief Description: 

Some years ago, Moira Mac Taggart and Professor X revealed the truth of Moira’s lives and their doomed future to Magneto. They made a pact to secretly work together. In the present, Professor X and Magneto inform Cyclops of the threat the Orchis Forge and its Mother Mold poses and ask him to gather a team to stop this. Hundred years in the future, Earth’s last mutants led by Apocalypse have stolen an index machine which is meant to help them find the information they desperately need – though getting it is likely to be a suicide mission. Thousand years in the future, the Librarian and his people await the coming of the Phalanx, which seem to prove a chance for ascension.

Full Summary: 

There’s a chasm between you and I, Charles. A gap that cannot be crossed. With each passing day, I fear it never will be.”

X0: The X-Men year one.
Island M, in the Bermuda Triangle:
A strange island, previously inhabited by an unfamiliar species and which Magneto recently raised from the bottom of the sea and turned into his new headquarters.

Professor X and Moira MacTaggert have just arrived. Magneto, who expects them, muses that they say it is easy to get lost in this part of the world. That those who set sail in these waters are often never heard from again. But Charles is beyond the superstition of man. And though lost, he knows Charles has never lost his way. Becoming more forceful, he demands what he is doing here!

Calling him “old friend,” Charles announces he is here for him. Magneto replies that it would please him to have Charles at his side in the coming days, but he has learned hard lessons and doubts there is a place in the world for both their dreams. He adds “old friend” as an afterthought.

What if they were both wrong? Xavier suggests that both their dreams were too small and fleeting for the coming days. Magneto doubts he has lost his faith. He addresses Moira, as a specialist of mutant behavior, does she have any keen insight into what ails the professor this day?

Moira replies, she may be the only person on the planet who understands what ails them both, but she has to warn him: her truth is profound and lifechanging. It’s primal and she wonders if he is capable of bearing he weight of it. It really all comes down to one thing: In this world, who determines what is truly good and evil? He does, Magneto announces. He decides.

Xavier asks him to open his mind to them and together they will decide what to do about tomorrow. Magneto is understandably suspicious, fearing a ploy by Xavier - to tamper with his mind. Xavier asks him to trust him this once. Magneto takes off his helmet that protects him from telepathy.

Xavier establishes telepathic contact, and Magneto is brought down by Moira’s memories. Memories that include him, standing as a defendant before the Court in Paris, a prisoner of SHIELD, battling the Shadow King…

She’s a mutant? he weakly asks Moira. All those lives, they were real? As real as it gets, Moira replies, as she hands him his helmet. He asks why she showed him that, all those failures, those falls. Because her truth is profound and life-changing, Xavier repeats. And apart, they always lose. They believe that only if they work together they – that all their people – can survive.

He knows him better than this! Magneto scoffs. He is not interested in survival. Neither is she, Moira replies forcefully. She believes that the one thing she hasn’t tried – all of mutantdom as one – is the one thing that means more than surviving but thriving and assuming their rightful place on Earth.

Xavier adds they have a plan. It is ambitious and long-term. He asks him to join them. Magneto announces he won’t acquiesce to sympathy or doubt. He won’t give an inch. He will check him at every moment of weakness. And if Charles falters, know that he will not. He would expect nothing less, Xavier replies and offers his hand. Magneto takes it.

X1 – the X-Men Year Ten:
So what is he looking at here? Cyclops asks as he looks a several displayed holofiles. A waking nightmare, Charles Xavier replies and, unless he is mistaken – the beginning of the end. These are plans for a Mother Mold, a Master Mold that makes other Master Molds – in orbit around the sun.

Cyclops asks him to specify. Plans for something that is scheduled to be built or something that already exists? As far as they can tell, construction has been completed. It’s just been in a dormant phase… waiting for the right catalyst. Let him guess, Cyclops ventures, a mutant whose reach exceeded his grasp.

They call themselves Orchis, Magneto interjects. A collection of human scientists who are normally ideologically opposed to one another but in mutantdom see a threat so great that they have banded together in order to stop them.

Xavier adds that, according to the information Mystique stole, it’s mostly ex-SHIELD and AIM agents with some remnant SWORD and HAMMER operators sprinkled in. Magneto adds if he is wondering about their level of conviction, they’ve also held their noses long enough to Operation Paperclip a few ex-Hydra in as well.

Scott asks about the plan and Xavier stresses they cannot let the Mother Mold come online. Sure, Scott uncharacteristically jokes, because weather is always a sketchy proposition. You never know when it’s gonna start raining Sentinels. Xavier agrees, but they have dealt with that before. Their urgency comes from projections where their stratagem leads. Magneto states they think Orchis’ scale and resources imply a paradigm shift in technology. They think this is where NIMROD becomes operational.

Scott swears softly. Xavier stresses they have to be stopped. Magneto points out this will be a frontal attack on an orbital station, tens of millions of miles away, built by a secret organization whose sole purpose is the extinction of mutants. Can such a thing even be done? Does it need doing? Scott asks. Yes, is the reply Then it will be done, he promises.

X2: X-Men the year hundred:
Asteroid K:
Wolverine informs their leader that Cardinal and Rasputin succeeded, which is good news. But the bad news is Cylobel and Perceval aren’t making it home. And without Perceval’s blackout abilities, he’s not exactly sure if the information still benefits them. He doesn’t see how they can make it back into the city.

Their leader addresses the younger mutants, asking them to forgive him. War has a way of limiting perspective. It’s a shortcoming of that seed, but the benefits… well, what do they have that is not a product of its spoils? Do they really have it? Cardinal hands him the file.

Apocalypse studies it. Reduced to their essence, the machines are composed of pure information, he states, a repository of knowledge. Which is such a precarious thing in the hands of the living. Too much knowledge and the weak are paralyzed by choice, too little and the foolish jump boldly into the gaping maw of a hungry enemy. But just enough – a little fire from the gods – and it is the great sword of victory and worth everything to have. Give him their eyes, he orders Cardinal and Rasputin. For this, he would have sacrificed all of them. It is worth this much.

The Tower of Nimrod the Lesser:
Nimrod informs the two human hunters that the mutants stole an indexing machine. He admits this is disturbing then continues he tells them that because contrary to what their kind believes he hasn’t been programmed for truth. He could lie all day if he wanted to. Just for the pleasure of it. But here he is, denying himself the joy of a half-truth, the bliss of fiction and the pure delight of falsehood, and why? He’ll tell them.

One of the humans mutters nervously, he’d rather Nimrod keep taking to himself.

Nimrod grows silent and studies them. The human stammers an apology. It’s been a costly day… and he’s tired. Nimrod turns to the other man and asks if he is weary as well. He quickly assures Nimrod he is not. Nimrod doesn’t believe him. With an energy blast, he kills them both. Now, where were they? he asks as he takes one of the skulls. Oh yes. Truth. He pretends to be one of the men as he begs Nimrod to give them the truth, so they know the difference between darkness and light. Well, since they ask so nicely, here it is: He reviews the footage of the break-in. The mutants’ very existence was encrypted, invisible to their machine eyes. They came here in secret, looking for something and it seems they found it.

He sees them, he addresses the mutants, though they are not here. He knows their ways. What were they looking for?

On Asteroid K, Krakoa grows a device to play the file. The problem with machine history is the way in which it is collected, one of the mutants states. North (the green-dressed Magneto lookalike) agrees. They archive every moment of everything, so even if they did have access to all their historical records, the machine would still return with a result of billions.

Rasputin summarizes that’s why they broke into the place where that information gets indexed. They didn’t get exactly what they need but, if Krakoa can decrypt it, they will know where to look.

Krakoa explains his body once belonged to a mutant who could communicate with everything. He maintains all that he was, although he has long left this existence. They will find a way.

Xorn states that is all that really matters; that they leave behind something that resonates long after their passing. For most, there is nothing. Just the pointless march toward oblivion. It’s sleep, fight, die, just as it has always been and always will be until the sun swallows them all. With a glare, Rasputin calls him fantastically depressive. The perfect teammate for the end times. Ignoring her sarcasm, he thanks her.

Krakoa announces success. The file is unlocked. They find the node they are looking for. Wolverine grimly warns them there won’t be anyone left to see this. They only came this far because Perceval made them invisible to machines, and now they won’t have that. They’ll have to fight their way in, hold them off and fight their way out again. They understand this is a suicide mission, right?

Xorn opines he has never been more excited for anything in his entire life. Apocalypse muses he knows they are never going to stop the machines. The technology… the future is unavoidable. The question is why is it always aimed at mutants. To test them? To see if they are fit to survive? They will go and take what they need. And then they will return. This is a promise whose guarantee is assured. For he will lead them.

X3: The X-Men year one thousand:
The Librarian stands in a crowd of similar blue-skinned humanoids and asks the small flying Nimrod if it worked. Nimrod explains that normal civilizations of their maturity only attract universal predators. The perceived value of this system is found in its Celestial resources and not its living culture. Their system is a place to be mined and not preserved. Now, after hundreds of years of ugly skirmishes and quiet wars, they decided to convert Nimbus into a replicant worldmind and show the universe what they are capable of. And it seems they have snared a giant. So, did it work? It thinks they are about to find out.

The Nimbus is engulfed by something. Three humanoid shapes appear and announce that they (Phalanx) ate their worldmind. They fought for sovereignty and they lost, but the Phalanx saw the whispering gods behind it. The Phalanx have heard their message. Now hear theirs: What do they see? Ascension, an old bues-kinned man replies.

Characters Involved: 

Professor X
Moira MacTaggert

Professor X

Cypher / Krakoa (Famine), Kuan-Yin Xorn (Death), North (Pestilence), Wolverine (War) (Last Horsemen)
Cardinal, Rasputin

Nimrod the Lesser

Nimrod the greater
Unnamed elders

Story Notes: 

Text pages:
One page describes the creation and location of Nimbus (referring to X3) and another the types of planetary societies

Further Notes:
Year 0 here should actually be around the 140ies of Uncanny X-Men, as Magneto raised the island at that time and left it in the X-Men’s hands in #150. This also coincides with his change of heart, since afterwards he and the X-Men had a truce and eventually started working together.

Operation Paperclip was a secret program of the Joint Intelligence Objectives Agency in which more than 1,600 German scientists, engineers and technicians, such as Wernher von Braun and his V-2 rocket team, were taken from Germany to America for U.S. government employment, primarily between 1945 and 1959.

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