Newberry, South Carolina:
'Scott Summers, NO!' shouts Commander Maria hill of SHIELD as she and several other SHIELD officers stand near the rubble of a SHIELD Helicarrier that lies broken and scattered across the barren landscape. Matthew Malloy hovers nearby, and Scott “Cyclops” Summers and Illyana “Magik” Rasputin stand on a slope near Matthew.
'You mean we leave right now?' Matthew asks, rubble floating around him. Cyclops informs Matthew that Magik is a mutant just like them, and she can take them anywhere in the world. 'But again, this is your choice' Cyclops adds, assuring Matthew that nothing is more important to him than Matthew knowing that this is his own choice. 'Oh, God' Maria utters as she looks on, horrified. 'They hate me' Matthew remarks. 'They hate what they don't understand' Cyclops tells him, suggesting he breathe deeply, as they are about to teleport, which is a sensation.
'Um, where are we going?' Matthew enquires. 'I told you – breakfast' Cyclops reminds him. 'Where?' Matthew enquires. Cyclops asks Magik where the best place to get breakfast is, and Magik reports that she knows a place. Her teleportation power activates around them, and Cyclops tells Matthew that he will want to trust Magik when it comes to this. 'Okay' Matthew replies. Cyclops suggests he take a deep breath, and promises that this doesn't hurt, not even a bit. 'We're doing it together' he assures him.
'What should we do, Commander Hill?' an agent enquires. 'The mutant that declared a revolution against man just walked off with the most powerful mutant in the world' Maria replies, before answering her officer's question: 'What do we do? I have no idea'.
The Jean Grey School in Westchester County, where Dr Henry McCoy a.k.a. The Beast sits at a desk in his lab, several monitors on in front of him. 'Most of you know me... or at the very least you know my work and reputation' he remarks, before reporting that the X-Men have a serious and immediate situation and they need help. 'We have discovered and are in pursuit of an omega-level new mutant. SHIELD will confirm the immediacy of the situation. We have a mutant whose powers, by definition, disregard the laws of time, space and physics. Both humans and mutants are in grave danger'. The Beast looks forlorn, and remarks that they have to work together to quickly find a way to either temper the mutant's power level, send it somewhere it cannot hurt any other living creature, or destroy it. He adds that what they cannot do is allow this mutant out in the open for one second longer. 'Be advised – attacking this mutant head on is a fatal error. What we must do is study the overall -' the Beast's comments are interrupted when Ororo “Storm” Munroe enters the lab. She calls out to her friend, who is wiping tears from his eyes.
Without turning to look at her, the Beast informs Storm that he needs to examine her, to measure the effects the new mutant had on her physiology. 'Are you all right?' Storm interrupts him. 'Am I all right?' the Beast asks, before explaining that he reached out to the world powers and governments about their new mutant. 'And?' Storm enquires. 'And they are choosing not to respond' the Beast reports as he looks at Storm. 'Not one government. Not the United Nations. No one will help us' he explains. 'The Avengers?' Storm asks, wide-eyed. “The Avengers” Hank quotes her, before informing her that they are off planet, or so he is told. 'And, to be frank, I'm not sure I believe it. Everyone else is pretending they can't hear me' he adds. 'What does this mean?' Storm asks. 'IT MEANS SCOTT SUMMERS WAS RIGHT!' the Beast roars as he slams his fists down onto the table. 'These short-sighted humans care more about distancing themselves from us than working together to solve this problem that affects us all' the Beast exclaims. Storm tells him that he can examine her later, but that right now they need to find Scott Summers. She asks him if he can see Scott with Cerebro. 'Why? What happened? What did he do now?' the Beast asks.
Storm informs Hank that Cyclops took the new mutant. 'He took him?' the Beast asks. Storm explains that they received this information from SHIELD – the mutant crashed a Helicarrier and for some reason spared all of the X-Men. The Beast covers his head, 'And then Scott Summers scooped him up while everyone else was running around in a panic' he surmises. 'Pretty much' Storm confirms. 'You and I...we've known each other for a long time' the Beast tells Storm. 'Absolutely' Storm agrees. 'And I don't believe you've ever heard me say this, but... I don't know what to do' the Beast announces. He admits that any next move he can conceive of could bring death and destruction. 'This is... beyond us' he declares. Storm looks concerned, and turns to a holographic projection of Matthew Malloy, with an arrow pointing to his heart.
Elsewhere, Cyclops and Matthew stand atop a mountain. 'Oh my' Matthew remarks. 'It's something, right?' Cyclops asks as they look at their surroundings. 'I forgot this was a real place' Matthew admits. Cyclops tells Matthew that it is one of the absolute best perks about being who they are – if you know the right mutants, the entire world is yours to experience. 'All of this is ours because we have the power to make it ours' Cyclops exclaims, adding 'And if we are being completely honest with each other...' his voice trails off. 'Putting me here gets me away from innocent civilians' Matthew remarks. 'Absolutely' Cyclops confirms. He tells Matthew that while they wait for Magik to get back with breakfast, he wants him to do something. 'I want to share my mind with you. I want to open myself to you so you can understand who I am and where I am coming from... and how it all comes back around to you and your situation' Cyclops explains, adding that he understands what Matthew is going through completely. Come see, Matthew... read my mind' Cyclops offers.
Matthew enters Cyclops's mind and sees an image of a young Scott Summers unable to control his powers. 'You and I have a lot in common. I, too, was born with a destructive power I did not understand and could not control' Cyclops tells Matthew, adding that at a very young age he was sure that his life had been ruined, that he would never have happiness and that his birthright was a curse. He was also an orphan, there was no one to help him, no one to help him understand how the world worked or what was happening to him – until Charles Xavier found him. Scott was transformed from a boy cowering in the darkness covering his eyes, to a smiling boy wearing his optic visor to control his abilities. Cyclops tells Matthew that he doesn't know what he would have done if Charles Xavier had not come along. 'I can honestly say he saved my life. He saved it and he gave it purpose. And then... not long after that he created the X-Men' Cyclops explains. He remembers the original team, and announces that for the first time, he had a family.
Cyclops remarks that the team kept evolving as members came and went, and remembers the All-New, All-Different team, while stating that the message remained the same – they would fight for their rights as mutants, they would fight for the ideal of humans and mutants living together in harmony – and they would fight anyone who opposed that ideal. Cyclops recalls the X-Men Blue Team, and explains that with every new member, with every new challenge, the X-Men evolved. That was Xavier's genius at work – he created something that could survive no matter what happened to them or the world.
'But here's the thing... no matter what we did, no matter how many times we actively saved the world from absolute destruction... (and we did) they hated us' Cyclops tells Matthew. In Cyclops's mind, images of anti-mutant protestors appear, as Cyclops explains that on a cellular level, they hate mutants. Cyclops continues: 'When, let's say, the Avengers saved the world, everybody applauded... but if the X-Men did the exact same thing with the exact same outcome... they actively chose to hate us for it. And we were taught, most of us, to rise above it. To teach them through example'. The protesters' in Cyclops's mind are attacked by Magneto, but a squad of X-Men are on hand to fight back. 'We were taught not only to rise above their irrational hatred of us... but we would fight for them. We would defend them with our lives'. Scott adds that sometimes this would pit mutant against mutant, but he thinks, at the end of the day, Charles Xavier may have been wrong.
The memories end, and Cyclops tells Matthew that if Xavier was right, things would be better – if Xavier was right, the humans would trust them to help make the world better. 'But they don't and it's not' he declares. 'What – what do we do, then?' Matthew asks. 'We rise up' Cyclops responds. 'And do what?' Matthew enquires. 'Take our place' Cyclops tells him. 'We asked for our place, we begged for it, we fought for it... but they refuse to give it to us. We have to take it because nothing else works'.
But Matthew announces that he doesn't know what Cyclops wants from him. 'I don't understand what you want to take!' he exclaims. 'Matthew...' Cyclops begins, but Matthew once again declares that he doesn't understand. Cyclops puts a hand on Matthew's shoulder and tells him that he has to control himself, that he needs to be able to talk about things without ripping the environment around him apart when a bad thought enters his head. 'I – I can't Matthew replies, gritting his teeth. 'You can! You have to!' Cyclops urges him. 'You can control your breathing, your heart, you can control every part of yourself!' he declares.
Cyclops tells Matthew that he can't help him if he accidentally kills him. 'I'm putting my life in your hands. You don't want what happens next, Matthew!' Cyclops declares. Matthew starts clutching his head and shaking, 'Run – run away!' he exclaims as he closes his eyes. Cyclops looks worried, but he grabs Matthew, who utters 'No. I k-k-killed all those people!' Cyclops tells him that his heart breaks for every single life that Matthew accidentally took, and assures him he can help him with that. 'No one can help me!' Matthew shouts as energy starts to crackle around him. 'Where we're going... you will save fifty times as many lives! At least!' Cyclops declares. The mountain they are standing on top of starts to break apart, and Cyclops tells Matthew that the two of them are going to balance Matthew's karmic debt. 'I am going to help you!' he assures him. 'I'm going to save lives as part of your revolution?' Matthew asks. 'Absolutely. You might save an entire species' Cyclops adds. 'No! No! You're going to use me to scare them!' Matthew exclaims. 'They're going to be scared of you no matter what I do' Cyclops points out. Matthew struggles as he releases more power, while Cyclops urges him to look into his mind. 'You're not the first mutant to be in this position!' Cyclops tells him. 'You're not the first!' he calls out, as Matthew goes wide-eyed and looks into Cyclops's mind, where he sees image of other powerful beings.
'You're not the first mutant to be in this position. You're not the first one of us to be tested and challenged by the very nature of your power' Cyclops tells Matthew as he sees the images of Apocalypse and Dark Phoenix, then Franklin Richards and Onslaught. Cyclops remarks that there have been many of them holding power that consumes them, that consumes everything around them. 'And more times than not those poor souls were destroyed from inside and out' Cyclops adds. 'Each and every one a cautionary tale' he remarks, as an image of Madelyne Pryor is seen, and then Legion. 'That doesn't have to happen to you. Every single tragedy that has befallen our people has been something that could've been avoided'. Images of Magneto and the Scarlet Witch appear, as Cyclops tells Matthew that they can learn from their mistakes, that they have to. 'I'm telling you... you can beat this. I'm telling you... you can be one of the greats. Don't repeat the same mistakes I have made. Don't let the power consume you' Cyclops offers, as an image of a cosmically-powered Cyclops shows up next.
Cyclops assures Matthew that he can control this, and instructs him to empty his mind and control his breathing. 'What are you?' Matthew asks. 'I am your friend' Cyclops responds. 'Why is this happening to me?' Matthew cries as more energy ripples around him. 'I am your brother' Cyclops tells Matthew, who drops to his knees as the dirt and rocks around him rise up to consume him. 'I don't want any of this!' Matthew declares, while Cyclops calls out to Magik. 'Boomerang!' he exclaims. 'GO!' Cyclops shouts as Magik appears, and Matthew screams as more of the mountain starts to rise upwards, dirt and rock, while it collapses inwards. Magik and Cyclops are now safely away from the mountain, but look up at it. 'That was close. Thank you Illyana' Cyclops tells Magik, who asks 'Tell me again how you don't have a death wish?' Cyclops declares that he is not going to abandon Matthew, and that they can save him. 'How?' Illyana asks. Cyclops tells her that they have to, that they save him because if they don't, then what was the point of all of this? 'He is one of us' Cyclops points out. 'I didn't ask why, I asked how' Magik reminds Cyclops, before announcing that she thinks it is time to get Emma. 'Not yet. Put me back up there' Cyclops instructs her. 'No' Magik replies.
'Put me back up there' Cyclops instructs Magik once again. 'Absolutely not' Magik replies. 'Not without a plan' she states. 'In this secret sorceress training that you're working on in your spare time... have you learned anything that could help us with this?' Cyclops asks. 'You're trying to get rid of me' Magik tells him. But Cyclops tells Illyana that after all they have been through, she needs to trust him. 'Put me back up there and go find a way to heal our new brother' he asks. 'You keep using the word “brother”. It reminds me of the word “Brotherhood”' Magik remarks. 'Illyana' Cyclops declares. 'One more chance' Illyana tells him, announcing that after that, if she comes back and doesn't like what she sees, then it won't be Scott's call anymore. 'If you come back and don't like what you see... I probably won't be part of the equation anymore' Cyclops points out. Magik remarks that she believes she will regret this, and as she casts the teleport spell, Cyclops asks her what happened to the breakfast. 'I'm not a waitress' Magik responds. 'I thought you were getting those $30 pancakes from New Orleans that we love' Cyclops reminds her. 'You're hungry?' Magik asks, and as they vanish, she adds 'Scott... what if Charles Xavier was right about Matthew?'
On the ruins of the mountain, Matthew sits slumped over, before Magik drops Cyclops off and teleports away. Cyclops tells Matthew that they are going to help him, train him, give him purpose and focus, then he will be able to use his powers to make up for the accidents. 'And it will feel good. You will feel whole again' Cyclops assures Matthew, who asks 'And what do you want in return?' Cyclops moves closer to Matthew and reminds him that he has dedicated his whole life to helping his people. 'You are one of my people' he tells Matthew. 'But I will not lie to you. A mutant as powerful as you, once you are up on your feet, is going to make the right people rethink the way they treat our people'. Cyclops kneels down beside Matthew and explains that he is in a place in his life where he doesn't mind scaring the hell out of those who would take their rights away. 'But how far are you willing to – to take that?' Matthew asks. 'As far as we have to' Cyclops assures him. 'But, with you, we won't have to...' Cyclops begins. 'But what if we do?' Matthew asks. Suddenly, a voice calls out, 'Yes, Scott, what if?', and Cyclops looks up to see Magneto hovering over him. The Master od Magnetism declares that he has heard enough, and tells Cyclops that he has gone too far. He introduces himself to Matthew and declares that he will not let this go one step further!