New York City, the day of Magneto’s attack:
William Stryker dives downward into his apartment, looking for his family. He finds his wife and son drowned.
Later, he preaches, gets his hands on Sentinel tech and creates Sentinel suits for himself and his followers for attacking the X-Men. When he does, Rogue fights back viciously.
Stryker alone manages to flee and sinks down to his knees in the forest. “Oh, for God’s sake!” he hears a voice and turns around. “Get up, boy!” his father, Admiral Stryker, orders him. He tells his son he looks like he’s seen better days. William babbles that they killed John, killed Kate, took everything! That right? his father asks. William hugs his father’s leg. He doesn’t know what to do… They’re gone, it hurts too much… Please tell him what to do!
What should he do? His father asks disgusted and slaps him. Man up, soldier! He kicks him in the stomach. He almost had him impressed for a second. Getting together with them other fellas, putting on that armor, taking the fight to this place. He thought to himself: “Hell, there’s that son of mine.” Look at him now. Some little girl punched him back and he comes crying home. Surprised they didn’t send his mother, so he could get his damn feeding.
“What do you do?” He finds their wives, their sons and daughters, and gives them some of what they gave him! And then some! Damn shame he ain’t got the spine to lay down something like that, right? But don’t worry, God sent him here with a mission and he aims to follow his instructions to the letter. No, don’t worry one bit, Willy-boy. He’ll make a man of him yet!
And as Stryker lashes himself with his father sitting in a chair watching, one of Stryker’s men calls him, announcing they are ready. He announces they are all real exited to hear him speak. Some of the folk here are like him… lost loved ones in the flood. But then Strkyer and those other men hitting the Xavier school the same night… it was inspiring the groups to get back.
How many are they? Stryker asks. Most places saw a big increase after the last election and a bigger one after Magneto’s attack. Total membership these days is around four hundred. But he’d say only about two hundred are real believers. They’ve got all the families living at the compound and you’d rather give some of the wives the guns. It’s complicated.
Stryker asks about the arms situation. They protect their arms pretty damn well, he is told. Got plenty of guys with all the way clean records. Some good chemists too. He can take Stryker over to see the armory after the sermon, if he wants. But they have heard rumors about Abilene. The miracle. Is it true? That he can heal them? Stryker asks. Yes, it’s true, but songs and wonders are not what matters.
Standing amidst the conflagration on Times Square, Stryker announces that He has called him to a higher purpose than that!
The White House:
An incredulous Valerie Cooper asks Quicksilver if he is trying to sell them arms. He doesn’t want to sell them anything, he clarifies. He was offering it as a gift. She’s sure that doesn’t come with any strings attached, Val mocks. Is she questioning his integrity? he smiles. If she could confirm its existence, Val shoots back.
She reminds the president they don’t need Cerebro. SHIELD has its own mutant tracking technology. Pietro points out it’s horrendously outdated and obviously quite useless, given this government’s complete inability to locate most of them. They are talking about finding needles in haystacks, Val points out. Invisible, telepathic needles. Which is precisely what his technology can empower them to do, Pietro replies smugly. His Cerebra upgrade provides comprehensive global coverage.
They are interrupted by a White House employee bursting in to inform the president about what’s going on at Times Square. Val suggests they reschedule with Quicksilver while Pietro points out this is exactly the time for this discussion to take place. The president orders him to stay.
Philip, the employee, explains that six minutes ago snipers took out every cop and National Guardsman working downtown. Then a series of bombings all down Broadway between Forty and Forty-fifth! And before the glass has even hit the ground William Stryker Jr. steps up on top of a NYPD van and starts rallying what’s left of the crowd!
In Times Square, Stryker shouts he does not hate mutants. God taught him to love. To love all of his creation, even the ones that would harm him and his family, even the ones that would destroy this once great country! But what he does hate is the sin that made them. The sin of arrogance! The sin of conceit! When man built his tower reaching high unto the heavens, God scattered his children to all the ends of the earth and divided them in language… and yet he still builds! They always want what they should not have. They always demand what they never earned!
But God has given him a message to deliver. He has seen their transgression. All they have done in their hubris. As they tried to make themselves high and placed their idols into the temple. On this day, he will judge them for what they have done!
Stryker’s men open the vans with the imprisoned mutant children inside.
In the Morlock tunnels, Kitty, Johnny and Bobby watch the news on their tablets. Jimmy Hudson announces he is going there. Are they coming? The boys agree, Kitty does not. Bobby reminds her there are about a hundred mutants in those trucks. Stryker’s gonna kill them.
She agrees it’s awful. But there is nothing they can do about it. They can kick his… Johnny begins. No, they can’t! Kitty retorts. Or maybe they can win this one, but not the next one or the one after that! Eventually, this stupid game where they pretend the hero always wins and gets to walk away? It ends!! And when it does, they have to bury someone! “Just like we did with Peter!”
Did she say, “we”? Johnny asks. Bobby tries to calm him down. But Johnny is sick to death of getting lectured by Kitty. Like she’s the only one who cares Peter’s gone?
Kitty shouts back she noticed how the boys were goofing around during the fight like he wasn’t… Like he wasn’t gone? Johnny asks. Yeah, she’s right, because that’s what he would want them to do. He’d want them to stay alive! Kitty cuts him off. End of story!
And she knows so well? he shouts. Well, how does he know so well what Peter wanted when he died? Kitty asks. Johnny points out that he remembers fighting Osborn that night with Peter. He remembers Bobby being there. But where the hell was Kitty?
Kitty hits him hard with her super-dense strength. Without a word the others, including Rogue, leave.
The boy has awakened from the noise and asks where everyone went. To get his friends back, she replies. Can he go with them to help? he asks. Kitty tell him to let the older kids handle this. Why doesn’t she go with them? he asks. Because she’s scared, Kitty admits.
She shouldn’t be, he tells her. Jimmy can beat the guy up! And besides the bad man would never hurt that white-haired girl. He thinks she’s his friend. He saw them talking back at the place where they kept them. He likes her. What?! Kitty shouts.
Stryker preaches to a hopeful crowd. Who would like to be saved? he asks. A young woman with a hood drawn into her face gets up and walks towards him. Rogue takes off the hood, and begs that she wants to be forgiven.…
Unaware of all of this, the X-Men run into battle, Rogue at their side…