Stuyvesant High School, New York City.
A crying dark-haired teenager stands on the building’s roof. Suddenly, he hears a bamf sound. He turns around asking who’s there. Step away from the ledge, Herr Beaubier, Nightcrawler tells him. Jean-Paul shouts out in terror at the demon-like sight of Nightcrawler. He steps back, stumbles and falls off the roof—
Right into Angel’s arms. Calling him a freak, Jean-Paul orders him to let him go. Nice thanks for saving his life, Angel comments, as he brings Jean-Paul back to the roof. What is he talking about? That…thing made him fall, the boy shouts, pointing at Nightcrawler. He was not trying to commit suicide? Nightcrawler asks in a heavy German accent. He came up here to think, Jean-Paul angrily protests.
Angel apologizes and introduces them as Warren and Kurt. They are mutants, he states and starts explaining what mutants are. Jean-Paul interrupts him impatiently and calls him a tool. He knows all that. What do they want with him? Nightcrawler explains that, at yesterday’s track and field invitational, Jean-Paul ran the mile in just under three minutes. He’s already been kicked off the team. Jean-Paul protests, stating that he doesn’t take steroids and… He suddenly understands. He can’t be one of them. Actually he kind of is, Angel says apologetically. Their professor has a machine that detects—
Great, Jean-Paul rants. Sophomore year he realizes he’s gay and now he’s a mutie?
He may want to live the life for a bit before starting to sling derogatory terms like that, even if he is trying to reappropriate them or whatever, Angel suggests. “Gay?” Nightcrawler repeats, taken aback.
Angel invites Jean-Paul to their School for Gifted Children – a haven for their kind. “Our Kind,” Jean Paul repeats dramatically - they are worse than his mom. When he came out of the closet, she tried to make him enrol at Harvey Milk. The boys don’t understand. It’s this “special” high school, Jean-Paul explains, making quote signs with his fingers, just for gay kids, where they can supposedly get an education without being harassed by idiots.
But he’d rather get called a homo ten times a day than segregate himself from the rest of society.
This is different, Nightcrawler protests. It may not be safe for him there. And their school is? Jean-Paul asks sarcastically. Didn’t one of their classmates just get murdered? How does he know about Hank, they ask. His dad is the Canadian ambassador. He plays Canasta with Nick Fury. He warned Jean-Paul about their little cult. Even as the boys protest Jean-Paul runs off, telling them to leave him alone. This city is dangerous, Kurt protest helplessly. He would be better of with them. Wouldn’t he?
Back at Xavier’s, Wolverine and Colossus take out their frustration on some Danger Room robots. Colossus is dissatisfied with their exercise. As Wolverine suggests they move up to the expert level, Colossus replies that he wants a real workout. He wants Wolverine to cut him. He’s to come at him with his claws. Logan extends his claws and tells him not to be dense. He’d poke though him like a big dumb voodoo doll. Theses things are made of hundred percent –
Colossus hits him with an armored fist. Has he gone blood simple? Logan angrily demands.
They have a word for men like him, Colossus goads him. Sobaka. Wolverine attacks with extended claws.
An agitated Emma Frost and an uncharacteristically dispassionate Xavier watch the display from the observation booth. Emma tells Charles to stop his. Combat lessons may be necessary, but this is barbaric. They are dealing with the loss of their friend, Xavier replies Young people often struggle for ways to –
Wolverine isn’t a “young person” Emma points out. He’s a grown man and a killer. The Rasputin boy has no idea what… His mutant name is Colossus, Xavier interrupts. “Mutant name?” What is wrong with him? Emma demands. When he was her professor, he had told her that mutant had to find ways to connectwith humanity, not to distance themselves from them. His curriculum has… evolved of recent, Xavier retorts coolly. As has he. Emma forcefully tells him to drop the Ming the Merciless crap. They both know he’s a candidate for sainthood, so he can quit hiding behind the ridiculous facade of vague menace.
She doesn’t know him as well as she used to, he hints. She knows him better, she replies, undeterred. And she knows this is his way of not dealing with the death of his pupil. Until he’s ready to grow up, she can’ help him or his school. They need some space and his students need a more healthy environment. She’s going back to Chicago for a few weeks and taking whichever children want to come with her. He wishes her luck finding volunteers, Xavier states coldly. Emma reminds him that he promised her not to push her away again. She’s holding him to that. She will be back. All he has to do is wake up and start dreaming again.
A little later, Alex Summer loads his luggage into Emma’s car. He’s the only one she could persuade into coming with her. She can’t wait to introduce him to some of her other little hellions, she tells him.
From some distance, Scott and Jean watch. Doesn’t he want to say goodbye to his brother, Jean asks. Why should he? Xavier and he welcomed Alex with open arms and he’d rather run off to play teacher’s pet with some substitute. Sibling rivalry really brings out the color in his cheeks, Jean teases. Does he want to go for a walk somewhere, she asks. What does she have in mind, he asks. The Phoenix burns in Jean’s eyes and, suddenly, they find themselves dressed in their uniforms and somewhere else.
Where are they, he demands. It’s his brain they’re taking a stroll through, she explains. He looks at the madcap science fiction world around him. Skyscraper, fighter planes battling robots. This is Corsair, he exclaims. Scott explains that Corsair is a make-believe world he created after his dad got him a tape of the Empire Strikes Back when he was seven. He’d imagine these complex military campaigns, month-long battles with monster and … space pirates. Were did she get the power to…
Jean tells him she just wanted him to see what an incredible leader he is and has always been. He couldn’t have crammed more strategies and maneuvers into his head if he tried. She knows he still feels responsible for what happened to Hank, but it wasn’t his-- Shh, Scott tells her and puts a finger to her lips. Engulfed by Phoenix energy, they kiss.
What once was Xavier’s indoor pool is now ice and Bobby Drake is trying to teach Rogue how to skate. Does she know how old Kurt Cobain was when he died, he asks, while telling her to keep her feet under her hips. Forty, she guesses. Twenty-seven, he corrects her, while he elegantly skates around her. How about Jimi Hendrix? Twenty-nine, she guesses. Twenty-seven as well, he informs her. Rogue falls, while he asks about some other performers some of which she’s not even aware of: Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison… All of them died at twenty-seven. What’s his point, she asks. Isn’t that messed up, he wonders. That the most talented people are always the ones that die super young. Twenty-seven doesn’t sound young to her, Rogue states sadly. Seventeen, that’s young. Glumly, he agrees.
“Bobby Drake,” an angry voice exclaims. Kitty Pryde stands before them, dressed only in a skimpy bikini. Has he frozen the pool again? she asks exasperated. He was just teaching Rogue, he explains, as his protégé takes another fall. Bobby offers her his hand and Rogue hysterically shouts at him no to touch her. He’s wearing, a glove he calms her. It’s safe. Kitty rolls her eyes, announcing this is starting to sound like a bad sex-ed video.
She phases through the pool and ends up in the hall in front of her and Ororo’s room. The door’s locked. She shouts at Ororo to open. She’s standing there in her itsy-bitsies. She has nowhere else to go.
Suddenly, there’s a crashing sound from inside. Worried, Kitty phases into the room.
It’s dark inside. Nevertheless, Kitty sees the mess. The object that was hurled against the door was a framed picture of Ororo and Hank. Get out, a voice suddenly announces. Is she okay, Kitty asks. What does she think, Ororo, who has cut off most of her long tresses and now wears a low-cut mini, asks her.
Jean_Paul Beaubier wanders the streets at night. Evening, Jean Paul a voice greets him. He already told them to leave him alone, Jean-Paul announces, only to see that it’s not the X-Men but a powerfully-built tattooed man with dark hair, dressed in jeans and a wifebeater shirt. C’mere, the man orders him. He’s not into older dudes, Jean-Paul replies. The man repeats his order, as his eyes start to glow red and a white-red glowing diamond shaped symbol appears on his brow.
Despite himself, Jean-Paul joins the man in the back alley. The man tells him to get up against the wall. What is he staring at? Jean-Paul reads the word tattooed on his right arm in old-fashioned letters. Sinister? he asks. The man draws his gun, telling him to be careful. He shoots. That’s Minister Sinister to you.