The White House:
This is insane, US President George Bush exclaims. One of his advisors tries to calm him, introducing the young Asian woman besides him as Xi’an Coy Mahn, adding that she is going to work with the president for a little while. She isn’t even American, the President points out and Xi’an protests that she was born here. What, like four days ago? The president shoots back incredulously. The advisor explains that Xi’an is one of their BlackOps trainees, who’s enrolling in Fury’s beta team soon. The First Lady interjects, stating that she is against this. If she wants any hope if a second term, the advisor sternly explains, she’ll have to settle down. As she won’t stop protesting, he tells her to leave. The president says that he’s going to have to pay for this later and adds that he’d like for this to take as little time as possible. Xi’an tells him to relax and look at her. Her eyes begin to glow.
Xavier’s School for Gifted Children
Scott Summers and Jean Grey are sitting on the lawn. Jean addresses the silent Scott, complaining that he is screaming at her … in his head. He asks her if they are ever going to talk about it. It’s been a week. Jean doesn’t know what to say. He reminds her that she lost control of her powers and killed two people. Two anti-mutant terrorists, she corrects him. And it was an accident and they wanted to kill the X-Men. He repeats his accusation. Jean tells him hat she’s not taking this lightly but she doesn’t know how to react. They’re being trained as soldiers. They fight and this time they were causalities. She’s not happy about this, but she doesn’t know what else she should do right now. Scott repeats his point. She can’t control her powers. She can, Jean protests feebly. Most of the time.
Scott asks what the Professor did to her. She was about to lose it and now she’s just—he’s helping her and all of them, she states. That’s why they’re here after all. He can’t be jealous of everyone, she adds. He’s not, Scott protests and then adds that he can’t help what he thinks. Neither can she, Jean agrees. Scott tells her that he loves her. So does she, she replies and hugs him. Telepathically, he tells her that he will always be there for her. So will she, she replies, but she doesn’t meet his eyes.
Later, Xavier calls his students into his office and informs them about a mutant about to go public. She’s a performer who wants to out herself to the media for the attention. He wonders if any of them felt like taking a trip to meet this person and talk to her to get a sense of how she intends to present herself. Maybe coach her a little. He suggests Scott go, as he is very good at this kind of thing. He asks him to take a couple of classmates of his choice. Is it someone famous, Kitty asks curiously. Not yet, Xavier replies and shows her the announcement of Dazzler’s gig. What kind of music does she play, Kitty inquires.
Very, very loud and trashy music, it turns out later, as Scott, Kitty and Peter witness Dazzler’s show. Kitty, at least, enjoys the show. Afterwards, the three mutant look up the punkish Dazzler and her band, who are sitting on the stair outside the rundown building where they performed. Cool show, Kitty enthuses and asks for an autograph. Dazzler spits on her paper. Somewhat taken aback, Scott introduces them as X-Men and asks her about her future plans. Dazzler is annoyed. Another mutant group? She’d already said no. She doesn’t need this mutant crap. She needs distribution for her album. Not giving Scott a chance to continue, she tells them what she told the other group. Get her a record deal and she’ll sign with them. Who else did she talk to Scott wonders. She has no idea, doesn’t care and tells them to leave.
Back at Xavier’s, Ororo sits on the lawn, focussing on her physics book. Finally, she succeeds in creating a micro storm cloud, above which a tiny bolt of lightning appears and bores a small hole into the book. Happily, Storm calls out for Hank, wanting to tell him about her success. She flies up to his room to find that it is totally empty, as if he had moved out. A moment later, the sky goes black and thunder can be hard.
The Situation Room of the White House: The director of intelligence explains to the president that they are here because this is the only guaranteed psi-proof room they have. Even Xavier or Jean Grey couldn’t hear them in here. Bush asks why Nick Fury isn’t present. Because this is in part about Fury, the other man explains and continues that recent anti-mutant attacks in New York and on the X-Mansion have bought to light the possibility that there are powerful people in the administration who believe that the president is under Charles Xavier’s control and that his new pro-mutant policies are a direct result of Xavier’s influence.
This morning, they had one of the BlackOps mutants psychically analyze the president’s recent brain activates, followed up by a series of MRI-type scans. There is no evidence of any prior psychic manipulation. Then everything is hunky-dory, Bush states. No, the chief of intelligence replies, because there is nothing they can say to convince some people. The problem is the president’s relationship to Xavier. Though his idea of peaceful coexistence is a noble one, the very nature of his abilities makes him untrustworthy. And the anti-mutant factions in his country are going to suse this to take down any pro-mutant agenda – and maybe even this administration.
First, Xavier’s misjudgement regarding the Magneto situation and now his increasingly erratic choice of students, especially the growing problem of codename: Wolverine. Here was another incident last week: The President is informed about the 387 people that died in a what seemed to be an chemical accident last week in Bromelt, South Carolina and is shown a picture of Wolverine at the place that was picked up via satellite. Intel analysis believes it was a mutant-related problem and Wolverine may have been sent there to “clean it up,” presumably by Nick Fury.
It all adds p to the point that Xavier’s mutants may not be the mutants this administration should be in bed with. The president admits that he is very uncomfortable with this entire situation. Right, the other man agrees. He cannot turn tail on the mutant issue but should distance himself from the X-Men, while, at the same time, strengthening his mutant stance. They need some new mutants.
The president asks for suggestions. The chief of intelligence asks for someone to be sent in. A moment later, a cool blonde appears, introducing herself as Emma Frost and adding that she has put something together that might interest the President.