Opening correspondence file Crys-207, Quicksilver stands on the long stairway leading to Wundagore’s still battered scientific citadel, leaving behind a prolonged war that has taken a heavy toll upon him. However, the war is finally over; the High Evolutionary and the Knights of Wundagore have reclaimed the citadel but, to save the day, Pietro had to claim his heritage as Magneto’s son and assume leadership of the Acolytes. He never wanted to be a leader and certainly not of the Acolytes and he has walked away from both. The question now is; where does he go now?
He stands beside a derelict cottage, holding his face in the palm of his hand, relieved to be finally leaving. However, behind him, he hears a voice saying that the war is over and, rather than feeling joy, he responds by feeling sorry for himself. Quicksilver turns and sees the mysterious, robed stranger standing there. He first visited Pietro in the basement of the haven where he and the Knights had made their home and again when he was Exodus’s captive. Pietro asks him who he is and the stranger replies that is a question he should ask himself.
Pietro replies that he knows who he is; he is Pietro Maximoff, Quicksilver. The stranger tells him that those are merely names and asks what meaning they truly have. For example, he continues, he could tell Pietro that his name is Nestor but asks what that tells him. He must go beyond a name to find out who a person is. Again, he asks Quicksilver who he is and Pietro is at a loss to respond having never really thought about it. Unseen by Quicksilver, the helmet of Magneto lies underneath the cloak’s hood.
With no response forthcoming, Nestor asks what the place is that they are in and why he has gone there. He informs Nestor that the building is a cottage and, as he flings the old wooden door wide open, he tells him that it is the place where he and his sister Wanda were born.
On a cold and wintry night, a heavily pregnant woman, Magda calls at the cottage and is greeted by Bova, which must have been a very strange experience for the mother to be. Bova acted as midwife and Magda gave birth to twins, one boy and one girl. She asked Magda to rest while she tended to the babies but Magda feared what would happen if her husband, Erik Lensherr, were to find them. As soon as she was strong enough, she fled the cottage, leaving the twins to Bova’s tender care.
Quicksilver wonders how much Magda must have loved him and his sister to sacrifice her own life to protect them from a man she came to think of as a monster. He also wonders if that is to be his fate; to become as hated and feared as his own father, Magneto. He tells Nestor that, when he absorbed the energy from Isotope E, he finally came to understand what it felt like to wield power such as his. Nestor then says that who he becomes is up to him and asks Pietro who he was when he lived there. Pietro replies that he was an infant and has no memories of what happened there, only of the stories Bova told him. Nestor asks what happened next.
Bova, upon realizing that Magda was never coming back, took the twins to her creator, the High Evolutionary. She told him that, as much as she adored the children, they were humans and should be raised by their own kind, asking for his thoughts. He told her not to fear, as he would let no harm come to them. From that day forward they were under his protection. He brought the twins to a gypsy camp at the foot of Wundagore Mountain, where he spoke with a couple, Django and Marya Maximoff, who he knew had lost their own children, Ana and Mateo. He offered them a chance to fill the void in their lives, telling them that the babies had lost their mother and he charged them with raising the twins as their own. Pleased with this good fortune, they readily accepted and gave their word that they would. They kept their word, Pietro and Wanda growing up much loved by their adoptive parents.
Nestor asks who he was then. Pietro replies, “Boy. Son. Brother.” Nestor asks if that is who he is now but Quicksilver replies that of course it isn’t, things were simpler then. Nestor asks him what changed.
He tells him that, during their teens, he and Wanda discovered they were different. They didn’t know the word ‘mutant’ but they knew that they had special abilities. Wanda could alter probabilities with a gesture and he could run as swiftly as the wind. One day, Wanda used her powers publicly to save the life of a child. The people of the town condemned her as a witch. With an angry mob chasing them, they were forced to leave Transia to cries of, “Burn the witch, burn the witch!” Nestor asks Pietro that now he had stopped being a boy, who did he become next? Pietro tells him that he became his sister’s protector. They lived on the streets, stealing food to survive (easy with super-speed) until, one day, they were confronted by Magneto, who informed them that they were mutants and offered them the chance to live unmolested with others like them. He asked them to join him and, as they didn’t know Magneto was their father at the time and he had offered them a home, they accepted his invitation.
Nestor asks him to show him this place but Quicksilver tells him that he isn’t going to carry him all that way. Nestor turns and informs him that there’s no need; he’ll be waiting for him there. Using a unique method, whereby he runs across the Atlantic Ocean, barely making an impact on the water, Quicksilver heads for the castle that his father used as a hiding place many years ago. Running across water is something he could never do before being exposed to Isotope E and he wonders how long its effects will last. The castle is in a state of disrepair. Unsurprising, Pietro thinks, as his father abandoned it in order to move to Asteroid E before he ‘changed’ and became Joseph. He enters the castle’s ruins and looks around, not surprised to find he has arrived there first. However, looking over into a courtyard, he finds Nestor, who says that he was wondering when he’d get there. He tells Pietro that he is faster than he used to be but is still not as fast as he could be.
Quicksilver makes his way to him and Nestor once again asks him the same question; “Who were you when you dwelled here?” He replies that he was a soldier in the war for Homo superior’s equality with Homo sapiens; a hero by his father’s definition, a villain in the eyes of the world. Nestor asks if they expected to be treated as heroes when they called themselves the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants? Pietro bows his head and says that he isn’t proud of the crimes he and his sister committed whilst under their father’s influence. He is grateful for their defeat at the hands of Professor X’s mutant heroes, the X-Men, and is reminded of his time with the Brotherhood and his teammates, Mastermind and the Toad. He tells Nestor that all he and Wanda wanted was a place to belong, a place to call home. Nestor opens his hand and asks if the place feels like home now, to which Pietro replies no. “Good,“ replies Nestor, “This is part of who you were, not who you are.”
Quicksilver, quite agitated, asks why he is making him relive all this, to which Nestor replies that, for him to understand who he is, he must understand what he has been. Pietro says he knows who he is but Nestor presses him further and asks him to recall what happened after he and his sister left the castle.
Continuing his correspondence file, he tells Crystal that he does not understand what he is feeling or why he feels compelled to justify himself to this stranger. He tells Nestor that, once he left, he and Wanda joined the Avengers alongside Captain America and Hawkeye, another reformed criminal. They wanted to change the world’s opinions of mutants. He recalls a battle against the Minotaur, who attacked them at the behest of the Mole Man. Quicksilver was amazed something that horrible could exist but Captain America had told him to pull himself together, as, whatever it was, they could handle it.
Nestor asks Quicksilver if he became an Avenger because he wished to, or because he felt he had to. Pietro replies that he and Wanda felt they had an obligation to right some of the wrongs they committed whilst following Magneto. “So," Nestor replies with a scowl, “You went from helpless infant, to adopted child, to your sister’s protector, to evil mutant to Avenger. All of which were roles thrust upon you by circumstance. What have you ever done for yourself?”
Pietro recalls that, while he was on the Blue Area of the Moon, recovering from injuries, he fell in love with the Inhuman, Crystal, who nursed him back to health. He married her as soon as he was well enough to do so.
Nestor asks him why he married a woman he hardly knew and Pietro replies that she was the first person to accept him as he really is. Interesting, says Nestor and wonders how she could do that if he doesn’t know who he is. Pietro wanders off, once again saying that he does know. Nestor asks for some convincing. He tells Nestor that he is Pietro Maximoff. He is an Avenger, and he’s reminded of his time with the team. Nestor reminds him that he was an Avenger but is not a member of the current team.
“Who are you?” A hero, Quicksilver says. Nestor says he is a hero who abandons his allies. He left X-Factor and walked away repeatedly from his obligation to the Knights of Wundagore after the High Evolutionary charged him with their care. “Who are you?” Pietro says he is a husband. This is an easy one for Nestor, who replies that he is a husband whose wife is never sure of her own affections; a husband whose wife has walked out of his life once again. “Who are you?” A Father, Pietro replies. Nestor tells him that he endangered his daughter’s life by exposing her to the mutagenic Terrigen Mists, when he could not bear the fact that she was born merely human, and asks him what kind of a father is that?
Quicksilver’s patience is at an end and he grabs Nestor’s cloak, raising his other fist aggressively. He is angry, telling Nestor that he has made mistakes in his life and is the first to admit it, but he’ll not allow him or anyone else to question his devotion to Luna. He flings Nestor away and runs off into the castle. Nestor picks himself up and tells Pietro that they are not finished yet; he still does not understand.
As Quicksilver sprints across the water again, past the Statue of Liberty, he tells Crystal that Nestor was right. He doesn’t know who he is anymore. He’s let everything he has used to define himself go; Crystal, the Avengers, the Knights, Luna. He is doing what he always does; run away. The frustrating thing is that he always runs away, but never to anywhere. Where does he belong? Where is home?
When he finally slows down, he finds himself at the haven, the castle on the Hudson River and the closest thing he’s had to a home since believing Crystal had died in the battle with Onslaught. The day is calm and the sun is low, as he enters the building and walks through the remains of the recent battle. He sees the broken painting of the High Evolutionary on the wall and makes a painful realization. Through his life, he has been searching for a father figure; Django Maximoff, the High Evolutionary, Captain America, Professor X and, lord help himself, Magneto himself. Perhaps, he thinks, it is time for him to become his own man, to stop trying to define himself through the eyes of a father he’ll never have. In the control room, he finds the letters he has recorded for Crystal and picks up the disks. He recorded them after she vanished in battle and has continued to record them despite her reappearance.
He wonders if he should try and reclaim and rebuild the castle when Nestor’s voice behind him tells him that this has never been his home and he should move on. He tells Pietro that he stayed here with the Knights of Wundagore, only because he was desperate for a family. The irony is that, in serving his obligation to the Knights and the High Evolutionary, he drove his real family away. Pietro retorts by saying that isn’t true. He has the letters, which he will give to Crystal. She will understand and, perhaps, he will have his family back. In the blink of an eye, the disks appear in Nestor’s hand and he tells Quicksilver that, to become the man he must be, he must do it alone and forget the people who have held him back. Forget Crystal. Forget Luna.
Quicksilver leaps at him, about to strike and demanding he return the disks, else he pry them from his dead fingers. With a subtle shift to the left, Nestor avoids Pietro’s lunge and asks if he really thought he’d be defenseless against him. A miffed Pietro says that he doesn’t know how he evaded him, but it won’t happen again. “Really,” replies Nestor, “You shall have to find me first!” Again, in an instant, he vanishes, leaving Quicksilver to search the castle, telling him he can’t hide from him forever.
An instant later, Quicksilver finds him in Lord Delphis’ lab, telling Pietro he had no intention of hiding. He just wants to finish their conversation there. Quicksilver again demands the disks but Nestor tells him that if he wants them, he’ll have to take them. If he does and he gives them to Crystal, it could mean his undoing. Pietro replies by saying that is his opinion and, frankly, he doesn’t care about his opinion any longer. He reaches out and manages to catch Nestor with a right cross, knocking his helmet off from under his hood, though still unseen by Pietro.
Pietro catches the disks, as Nestor releases them and collides with the power cells. Pietro dashes out of the castle, thinking only of getting the disks to his wife. Inside, Magneto, now having no more need for the disguise, picks up his helmet, as the power cells spark around him. It is done, he thinks, as it had to be done. Amongst increasing flames, which engulf the control room, he places his helmet on, just as the entire castle explodes, throwing masonry and debris far and wide.
Quicksilver tells Crystal that he heard the explosion and ran back to find it destroyed. There was no sign of Nestor and he doesn’t know if he survived. However, his encounters with him have given him much to think about. He also realizes that he owes it to Crystal, to them both to allow her to hear the letters for herself. He runs across the ocean, all the way to the continent of New Attilan, to deliver the letters by hand, stopping only to record this final letter to her. On the beach, Lockjaw sees the blurred figure of Quicksilver approach, creating a wake as he tears across the water. Gorgon is with him and tells Lockjaw that it appears that Pietro is returning to where he belongs.
Pietro makes his way to Crystal’s quarters and watches her through the open doorway as she reads to Luna. Luna wants another story but Pietro says his hellos and Luna rushes to greet him, giving him a big hug. Crystal also embraces him and Luna asks if he is staying.
Much later, Luna is asleep as her proud parents look on. “She is beautiful is she not?” asks Pietro to which Crystal replies, “She is the best of both of us.” She asks why he has come, as she asked to be left alone. Pietro replies that he could not stay away from their daughter, nor is it fair of her to ask him to. Crystal says this is true, but she is not ready to have him back in her life. Pietro explains that this is not why he is here. He tells her that they both have decisions to make about their separate lives before they can contemplate a life together. However, they cannot allow Luna to suffer because of it. She needs both her parents and he doesn’t want to be cut out from her life. Crystal tells Pietro that he is welcome anytime he likes and he replies that this is all he asks. He then shows her the disks that he recorded for her. He says that he doesn’t expect them to change anything, but they might help her to understand. He asks her to listen to them after he has left.
Sometime later, Crystal plays the disks on her computer and, as she listens to his voice, every thought he has had and the emotions, angst and feelings he has experienced, she cries; hope springing from where there was little before. His final message says, “I don’t know where our lives will lead us, but I do know this much: I’m ready to grow up. I’m ready to learn who I am and what I want to do with my life. I hope that it will bring us closer together, but, if it doesn’t, please believe me when I say I love you. Your husband, Pietro.”
Sometime later, in San Francisco, Quicksilver anticipates an uncertain future, watched from high on a building by his father.