Run Down Apartment in NYC:
Pietro Maximoff lays in bed, sleeping in his underwear and dirty ragged shirt. He was the fastest living creature on the planet. He was so fast he was a blur to human eyes. Bullets could not touch him. He could run up the sides of buildings and snatch arrows out of the air. He was built for speed; running zero to sixty in seven seconds. His top speed was almost 220 miles per hour. His body adapted to withstand the accelerated impact of his feet hitting the ground thirty times per second.
As morning comes, Pietro, who hasn’t shaven in days, is bothered by a fly that buzzes right into his face. He curls up the newspaper, with an image of Purity activist William Stryker on its front, and tries to bat away the fly. Instead, he is too slow, and ends up knocking over his cup, spilling its contents. Pietro sits up in bed and looks down at the liquid on the floor, thinking. As the uninjured fly lands on the newspaper, Pietro gets up and, undresses so he can shower. When he is done, Pietro looks at himself in the mirror, and then proceeds to dress and pull out a bottle of liquor from his nightstand. The bottle is empty.
The man walks down to the store, and thinks to himself that his bones could absorb shocks that would shatter those of normal men. His tendons had the resilience of high tensile steel. His body metabolized food so efficiently that there was virtually no waste. He never carried an ounce of excess fat. He processes information at five times the speed of the average college student, as the data leaped from synapse to synapse. Today, it takes him much too long to read the nutrition facts on the back of a jar.
Pietro gets into the express checkout lane, but he is not as fast moving as he once was. Annoyed, a customer behind him tells Pietro to hurry up as he reaches into his pocket to pay. This is the express checkout, reminds the disgruntled customer. Like, for people in a hurry. Duh.
Pietro leaves the store, along with another bottle of liquor, without saying a word to the other man. Outside, he sees his bus speed by and runs after it. Once, he could have run across the surface of the water. However, this time Pietro slips and falls, spilling his groceries all over in the rain, as pedestrians hurry by and do not help him.
He was like the wind or a lightning bolt. He was superb; he was perfection; he was Quicksilver!
Peter Parker stands in his Spider-Man costume, sans mask, and looks despondently out the window at the rain pouring outside. Peter, asks his wife Mary Jane as she walks into the room. Didn’t he hear her calling him? How long has be just been standing there? Peter does not respond, so Mary Jane tells him that they have to talk about this. Something is wrong.
Silently, Peter begins to put his mask on, so Mary Jane tells him not to do it. She can’t talk to him when he has the mask on. Peter puts it on anyway and turns to his wife, telling her that he is ok. He just has to go out. You are not ok, says Mary Jane firmly. I’m ok, reiterates Peter.
Spider-Man swings out of Avengers Tower and through the streets of the city. He doesn’t think Mary Jane would understand what he is feeling right now. For her, the world is as it always was, but for him it will never be the same. For a while he had everything he ever wanted in life. He had the woman he wanted – and it wasn’t her.
Spider-Man stops on a rooftop and looks at a high-rise deck, with a family enjoying time in the rain. Peter then thinks about his time in the House of M world, and his wife Gwen and his son Ritchie.
As the rain stops, Spider-Man gets up and takes off his mask. Tears begin to fall from his eyes as he mourns.
Pietro returns to his apartment drenched. How can they live like this? How can they stand to be human? Pietro takes off his long jacket and sits in bed with a drink and a photo of him, his sister, Hawkeye, Captain America, Iron Man and Thor. He and Wanda came so close to creating an almost perfect world. If it weren’t for a few imperfections that brought it all down, it would have worked. If they could start all over again he knows they’d get it right. However, now he doesn’t even know where Wanda is. She is gone and she has taken away his birthright. ‘No more mutants’ is what she said. She got it wrong again. There are mutants out there. Not too many though; not him.
Pietro takes out his uniform from his closet and puts it on. He pours another drink and looks out to the night sky. What has his perfect sister done to him? She was always the strong one. She told him never to give up hope. Where on Earth does he go from here?
Suddenly, Pietro gets up and stares long and hard at the full moon. He then puts down his shot glass and rummages through his things. It must be here. He knows he kept it. Finally, Pietro finds what he was looking for – a small bronze signaling device of design not reminiscent of any human architecture.
Quicksilver goes out onto the fire escape and activates the device. He then says out loud that, if she has any feelings left for him at all, she will answer. He looks back up at the moon and mutters that she must tell him that there is a place where he can be more than human again.
Suddenly, Pietro’s attention is called to the alley below, where three men are harassing another. One man, Bodie, tells Johnny to stay cool and he isn’t going to get hurt – if Johnny has been straight with Bodie and his crew. There is a whisper going around that Johnny is a mutant. I used to be, replies Johnny, but not anymore. Didn’t Bodie hear? Yeah, replies Bodie. They aren’t morons. They watch television. However, they hear that a few mutants have immunity or something. So they are going to check Johnny out. Their common friend, Sally – Johnny remembers Sally right? – well, she said there was something weird about Johnny. As the men begin to push Johnny around, he tells Bodie that he was drunk. Bodies feels something under Johnny’s shirt and begins to rip it off, but what the three men find underneath is not what they expected.
Johnny looks down at his chest and abdomen, which is covered in tentacles. More than that, a pair of red eyes stare back, as well as a mouth! Please, says Johnny, he cannot help it. The three men back away slowly, wondering what that thing is. Bodie comes close to touch it, but his friends tell him not to. At that moment, the creature on Johnny’s chest reaches out with its tentacles and grabs Bodie! One of the other men tells Johnny to let Bodie go, but Johnny explains that the creature has its own nervous system. It just reacts.
The men take out a blade, and chop off a tentacle, causing the creature to spasm and shriek in pain. Blood pours out of the creature, weakening Johnny, who falls back against a wall in pain. However, Bodie is released. As the men surround for the kill, Quicksilver comes down and tells them to leave Johnny alone.
Unimpressed, Bodie asks the man who he is supposed to be. I’ll give you a second chance to walk away, says Pietro. Neh, says Bodie. He will just punch Quicksilver instead. Pietro calls Bodie pathetic, but Bodie is much faster than Pietro and punches him square across the face! Pietro falls into some trash defeated, and the three men turn back to Johnny. It seems some radical surgery is called for.
Before Bodie can do anything, a web grabs the knife out of his hand. Spider-Man descends and tells the men, as he beats them up, that this is what he loves about the city. Every time he needs to hit someone really hard, some jerk steps up and volunteers. He can feel all the stress flowing right out of him. He has friends who swear by yoga Tibetan chanting, but the crunch of knuckles in a bad guy’s face always does it for him.
As Spider-Man beats up the men, Quicksilver quickly sneaks away.
Spider-Man turns to Johnny, who is in bad shape. Johnny is not sure how he is. He cannot feel the wound, and he thinks he is going to pass out. Spider-Man makes a tourniquet for the injured creature and tells Johnny that he is losing a lot of blood. Does he have a cell phone? Inside pocket, stammers the weak Johnny.
Spider-Man gets the phone and dials for an ambulance. Johnny, who can’t even keep his head up, mutters that they say less than one percent of mutants stayed mutants - one in a hundred; that is him. You convinced me, says Spider-Man when he gets off the phone, life sucks. The good news, though, is that help is on the way, so Johnny should sit tight and think happy thoughts. Spider-Man then looks up at the fire escape to see Quicksilver quietly skulk away, and tells Johnny that he thinks he just spotted another bad guy.
Spider-Man sneaks to the top of the roof before Pietro can get there, and then uses his webs to grab Pietro and pull him up. Before Quicksilver can say anything, Spider-Man holds the man by the collar and tells him that the last time Parker saw hi, Pietro was being crushed to a pulp by his dad. Peter cannot blame Magneto for that. Spider-Man then throws Quicksilver against the doorway from the room to the apartment, and demands to know why Pietro did it. Why did Quicksilver wreck his life?!
Angry, Quicksilver asks Spider-Man if he thinks he wanted this. Look at him! He is living like a fugitive. He has earned the hatred of his father. His sister is gone. He doesn’t even know if Wanda is alive. Pietro swings at Spider-Man, yelling that he has lost everything. Spider-Man sidesteps the blow easily. You see, asks Pietro, he has even lost his speed. Spider-Man cannot imagine what it is like to be so slow.
Spider-Man pushes Quicksilver up against the wall and laughs sarcastically in his face. He then pulls him to the roof’s edge to show him the ambulance takes Johnny away. What does Pietro think about Johnny? Does Pietro think that would have happened if he and his sister hadn’t screwed with the world? How about the thousands of lives destroyed – all the mutants who aren’t mutants anymore? How do they feel?
Spider-Man then lifts Pietro off the ground by his throat, and in a rage asks the former mutant about himself. He had a perfect little boy in a perfect world that Pietro and Wanda made. The woman he loved, who was dead, was alive again. They had a baby! He has lost his son!
Spider-Man lets Pietro go, and tells him that people say the worst thing that can happen to anyone is to bury your own child. However, Spider-Man feels that there is something worse. His son is dead, and Peter cannot bury him, because he never existed.
Spider-Man sits and holds his head. He cannot even tell his wife. This morning he is sitting there with all these memories swirling around. He is grieving for his dead son, and she is telling him a joke she heard on Letterman. Then she wonders why Peter isn’t laughing!
Pietro, who stands on the ledge, apologizes to Spider-Man. If he could do anything to make things right, he would. However, he cannot. Spider-Man, looking down at the roof, figures that makes Pietro a waste of space, doesn’t it? It does, says Pietro as he stares off into the night sky. Can Spider-Man think of a single reason why he should go on living? No, Pietro, says Spider-Man as he looks away, truthfully he cannot.
Spider-Man looks back – and Pietro is gone! Spider-Man quickly looks over the edge to see Quicksilver plummeting to the ground. Horrified, Spider-Man shoots a web, but it is not fast enough to stop the fall, and Pietro lands hard.
Spider-Man leaps down. He didn’t mean for Pietro to kill himself! As he bends down to check on the still man, there is a surge of energy, as two beings teleport into the alley. “Spider-Man?” asks the woman.
Spider-Man looks up to see Quicksilver’s estranged wife, Crystal of the Inhumans, and the beast known as Lockjaw, standing before him.
“What have you done to my husband?” demands a horrified Crystal.