(in flashback images)
Ninety-eight percent of humanity spends their time in the womb alone. But not Pietro Maximoff. He is a twin, which meant that his sister and he knew each other before they were born – in the beginning, it was just them. Every baby is born into a hostile world – cold, loud, full of frightening creatures – but for Pietro and Wanda, it was more than that. They were taken from their parents, experimented upon by a madman called the High Evolutionary who turned animals into people, like Bova, the cow who cared for the twins. Their parents were poor and Roma – what could they do against such a monster. And when the twins didn't show the desired results, the High Evolutionary returned them to their village as infants, were they lived a hard but mostly happy childhood.
But somehow, monsters keep finding the twins, like right now, as Wanda Maximoff a.k.a. Scarlet Witch, frozen in time as she leans over a garden, is about to become the victim of a large, strange energy creature that looms over her. Pietro Maximoff a.k.a. Quicksilver is trapped between moments, the only man moving in frozen time, but he isn't alone, there are many of these vicious things here trying to kill people who matter to him. Quicksilver darts around the garden, concerned that the creature has found his sister, whose presence he has known longer than he has lived in this world – the person who matters more to him than any other. Wanda is a witch, and Pietro knows that she is working on some sort of spell to save him – she is always trying to save him, even when he doesn't deserve it, Pietro admits as he speeds to his sister, picks up her frozen body and darts away from the energy creature as it slams its fist down. 'Now it's my turn to save her' Pietro tells himself as he places his sister into a bedroom within Avengers Mansion, alongside the frozen turtle, Mister Dibbles. 'Wait here, sis' Pietro remarks, boasting that he is going to kick that thing's butt.
Pietro speeds back out of Avengers Mansion, and stares up at the creature, 'Hey! I still don't know what the hell you are. But if you don't leave my sister alone, I'm going to kill you. Last chance' Pietro warns the creature, who offers no response. 'Fine, then. Your funeral' Pietro remarks as he speeds into thr creature, but despite his bravado, he fails as the creature knocks him aside with ease, and Pietro wonders how often he has shouted bold words as he tried to protect his sister and failed?
'Pietro! Look how high I am!' a young Wanda calls out as she sits perched on a tree branch. 'Wanda! You shouldn't go up there – it's dangerous!' Pietro responds as he climbs up the tree, while Wanda reminds him that he climbed up to this branch yesterday. 'That's different! You're a girl!' Pietro responds, to which Wanda asks him 'How is that different?' Pietro ignores the question and tells his sister that he will help her down. 'I don't need -' Wanda frowns, before Pietro screams as the side of the tree he is clinging to breaks awa from the tree and he falls to the ground. This results in Pietro needing a cast for his broken legs. Their parents, Django and Marya, were angry, and because Wanda is a girl, and that's how things were, they blamed her.
'How many times has my “protection” harmed her?' Pietro asks himself as he darts behind the large energy creature, and remarks that even if he can't beat this, this is Avengers Mansion, one of the most secure buildings on Earth, so no matter how powerful the creature is, the Mansion’s defenses will come to his assistance. But, they are stuck in time, an nothing does what it ought to, no electrified nets, no security drones – the defenses don't defend. The large energy creature lumbers towards the front door, he moves swiftly, speeding around the creature and striking it from every direction. 'I must have hit you ten thousand times! Why won't you fall?' Pietro calls out, before noticing the energy creature smile. 'Are you enjoying this?' Pietro asks. 'I don't like kink-shaming giant energy creatures, but this is getting really creepy' Pietro remarks.
Unable to fight the large energy creature, Quicksilver speeds into the bedroom, grabs his sister, and then runs – it's always what he has done, he's good at it, the best. He runs, with Wanda beside him, like he has done for years. The monster keeps pace, for although Quicksilver is the fastest man in the world, the creature is as fast as he is. So Pietro keeps running – this thing is trying to hurt his sister, who he himself has hurt so many times. Pietro runs now to keep Wanda safe, and will keep running until his heart explodes and he falls over dead.
Wanda and Pietro were teenagers when they first became aware the High Evolutionary's mad experiments hadn't failed after all, as Pietro sped through the forest, and Wanda's hands glow with energy. Though they had hints of their gifts before then, their powers came to full flower the night their neighbors tried to kill their parents – the villagers called the criminals, they called them trash and tried to burn them – so Pietro picked up Wanda and ran.
They wandered for months, frightened children who were terrorized by hate and ripped from the only home they had ever known. It wasn't always bad, though, as for two years in a row they used their powers to sneak into the crowd to watch Eurovision. But more than anything, they grew tired.
Quicksilver has lived on the street, on the moon and in Avengers Mansion. But nothing makes you so tired as not having a home. As he speeds on, Quicksilver isn't sure how long he has been running when he realizes that the monster has finally fallen back. He only knows that his breath is ragged and his lungs burn and his sides ache. He can run no further – but he has bought them a moment. He places Wanda upright, and leans over, resting his hands on his knees as he catches his breath. Quicksilver looks up and examines his surroundings, realizing that they are near Taos Pueblo in New Mexico. He visited here with Crystal once when they were married, when he thought he knew how to live with another person. He remembers that the story of the people here spoke to him, like the Romani, they have held on as history tried to erase them. Pietro finds a cave to keep Wanda safe, and catches as many breaths as he can before the thing that is hunting them arrives. Pietro waits and he tries to draw on something his father once said about their people - “They have killed us so many times, Pietro. And yet we refuse to die”.
Quicksilver stands his ground as a blur of energy manifests in the distance. The energy creature speeds towards him, so Quicksilver races forward – they collide and they fight. For what feels like forever, they fight. But if Pietro keeps fighting, he knows that this thing that doesn't seem to tire will win. Pietro punches the creature hard in the face, and with the space he needed, Pietro does what he does best – he keeps running, grabbing his frozen sister, and speeding away.
Wanda and Pietro spent months more wandering, running from their pain – but before long they again became targets, this time not only for being Roma, but for being “monsters” - a mob surrounded them, trapped them – which is when Magneto found them. He had been through everything they had. He said everything he knew they needed to hear. Everything that no one else was saying to them, and as the angry mob dispersed, and Magneto extended a hand to the twins.
But, Magneto used their every fear, their every hope. They were little more than children, but he put them into uniforms and he turned them into soldiers, alongside Mastermind and the Toad, they formed his Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. But though they were foolish, they were young, they came to see his cruelty, his manipulation, making game pieces of living beings – they left, and then again, they were alone.
Quicksilver tells himself that being alone with his sister now, on the run, with death close behind them, it is the same way they have lived half their lives – only now, Pietro's legs are about to collapse – he has to stop. If they are going to die, he would rather they did it among the closest thing he has to friends – so he decides where they will make their last stand, even without the electronic traps – Avengers Mansion is still one of the safest places in the world. Pietro speeds around the Mansion, gathering his fellow Avengers – Captain America, Hawkeye, Synapse and Doctor Voodoo – and placing them in a secure subbasement with Wanda and Jarvis. Pietro tells their frozen forms that they should be safe here while he tries to stop that thing. 'Don't say I never did anything for you' Pietro mutters.
After the Brotherhood, Wanda and Pietro found their way to America. He had seen a man fly, and a woman move things with her mind – but those first days in New York still amazed Pietro – so many people. It was here, in their youthful temerity, dared to try and become Avengers. To their amazement, they were accepted into the ranks of Earth's Mightiest Heroes, or at least, they tried to. Despite serving alongside Captain America and Hawkeye and battling Kang, things haven't always gone well – whether it was Pietro arguing with the Wasp, or disgusted by Wanda's relationship with the android Vision. Wanda always fit in better with the Avengers than Pietro, and he always gave her hell for it. But still, she helped repair what he broke, always reached out to him when he deserved no forgiveness.
Pietro knows that the room the Avengers are in could withstand a bomb blast, but the entrance still needs to be defended. He finds what he needs in a dusty corner of Starks' workroom, equipment and toold. The Mansion's machines don't seem to work in this in-between time. So he goes low-tech. He takes several of Hawkeye's bows and arrows. He caught remembers catching game in the Transian woods more than once when they were young and hungry. As he hastily speeds about, building the trap in front of the doors to the subbasement where his loved ones are inside, he admits that his efforts are laughable – he is no Stark, no super-engineer, but he has to try something. So he does his best to fortify this place, then goes to be with his sister and their almost-family after finishing rigging up some sort of trip wire.
Once inside the subbasement, Quicksilver tells the frozen Avengers that there is a monster on its way. 'I guess I'm the only one who's any use around here, but what else is new?' Pietro mutters, before telling the frozen Avengers not to worry, because today isn't the end of the world. 'Today we are canceling the ap-' Pietro begins, interrupted by the sound of a loud BOOM. He knows the energy creature is here, and he has nowhere left to run. The monster trips the wire, which causes several arrows to streak towards it, striking it. But the energy monster is relentless, and the childish traps Pietro has set barely faze it. The barriers he has built only slow it for a moment. Quicksilver has failed.
Pietro leans against the wall of the subbasement and tells the monster 'You want me, monster? Take me, then! But leave my sister alone!' he calls out, while the monster slams its fist against the wall. 'DO YOU HEAR ME? LEAVE HER ALONE!' Pietro shouts, before the monster bursts through the wall to the subbasement. 'I'm sorry, sister. I tried' Pietro utters, when suddenly, he looks over at Wanda – she is no longer frozen in time, and is casting a spell.
Pietro and Wanda have been together since before they were born. Arguing as children. Arguing as teenagers in the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. They are each other's only real family. Serving on the same teams for years, saving each other’s lives. They argued as Avengers, too. But so often, their livers have felt so far apart – and so often, it has been Pietro's fault. He remembers being thrown out of the Avengers Unity team. He is the fastest man in the world, but he has run out of time to fix things with the only person who ever really cared about him – or has he?
'Pietro! I'm here!' Wanda calls out as she releases the energy from her spell increases around her. 'Wanda! Oh, thank God. You wouldn't believe what -' Pietro begins, to which Wanda interrupts him and tells him that she would, as she has been able to see it this whole time, chasing them. 'Thank you for saving me' Wanda utters. They hold hands as Pietro tells Wanda that he loves her. Wanda frowns as she tells Pietro that she loves him, too. 'Now, let's destroy this thing' she utters, as she releases her hex against the creature, weakening it. 'Strike now!' Wanda exclaims as Quicksilver speeds forward, and lunges at the energy creature, 'THIS IS WHAT YOU GET WHEN YOU MESS WITH MY SISTER!' Quicksilver shouts as he slams against the energy creature, destroying it.
'Pietro!' Wanda exclaims, throwing her arms around her brother. 'Can you really see me?' Pietro asks his sister, who tells him that she can, and that they won. She informs Pietro that when he destroyed the Grandmaster's beacon, he freed everyone, only it did something to him, that he is not part of their world anymore – not in the same way. 'Yeah, I noticed' Quicksilver mutters. The twins leave the subbasement, and Wanda comments on her brother's hostility, informing him that they have been trying to reach him, to pull him back, that she, Doctor Voodoo and Synapse are doing all they can – but magic and telepathic powers use the heart and the mind – and Pietro is so hard to reach, so distant and volatile. Pietro folds his arms and hangs his head as Wanda explains that these creatures are using that somehow to keep Pietro here, using his fury, his motion – meaning he has to calm himself.
Pietro reminds Wanda that he has been trying to do that his whole life. 'But how do I stop being angry? How do I stop my mind from moving?' he wonders, before admitting to Wanda that he has done much wrong to her, that he owes her so many apologies, and he thought he was going to be stuck here without being able to say them. 'I just want you to hear...' Pietro begins, before turning to his sister and discovering that she has becomec frozen in time once more. 'Wanda?' Pietro utters, unsure if his sister heard him, he doesn't know if it matters – he is all alone again in a world where the only living things are monsters. Suddenly, Pietro notices the residue of one of Wanda's hexes, a tiny bit of magic she was able to work before being snatched away from him. Pietro follows the magic as it streaks upstairs – and into the bedroom where Mister Dibbles was placed.
'Mister Dibbles! You're alive!' Pietro smiles as he picks up the turtle, now restored to its green colour. Pietro stands, staring into those stupid little eyes, and he almost cries. A turtle, a disposable little life that you can buy for a few dollars – he thinks this is pathetic but it is a bit of live, of life, sent from his sister, and right now, it matters more than he can say. 'Thanks, sis' Pietro utters.