In the Oval Office of the White House, the president sits in his chair talking to Boris Yelstin, the president of Russia. The president of the USA tells Boris that the United Nations Security Council has decided to “initiate the Alpha and Beta parameters of the Magneto Protocols”. On the other side of the world in Russia, a frightened Boris Yelstin wonders if his country can survive one more dramatic change like the other one they just experienced recently.
Meanwhile, at an unknown facility, Nick Fury stands, smoking his cigar, and wondering whether after three wars, across four decades, if this war will be his last. Fury is leaning against a nearby wall, watching Forge make adjustments to the program. As Forge presses the button to begin the Magneto Protocols, Nick Fury asks him if he really thinks the Protocols will even work. Forge replies that there is only one way to find out.
Far above the Earth in outer space, Magneto watches a laser beam travel from one satellite to another, until the whole world is covered in a mesh of electromagnetic fire. Magneto very angrily talks to his Acolytes, saying how he had warned the Earth not to do this. He tells them that he did not bring them to Avalon to see all of them slaughtered. So it is time, he tells them, that he become the one thing he had hoped he would never have to become; a tyrant, a Hitler! As Magneto begins to charge himself up for a trip through space, he tells the Acolytes that it is time that his actions speak louder then his words.
Silently, Magneto leaves his haven called Avalon, disturbed by the electromagnetic field which he now realizes was put there as a buffer to not allow Magneto’s power to be used in the Earth’s atmosphere. With his head bowed and a sad look on his face, he creates a swath across the field to destroy it, which, in turn, temporarily knocks out power grids all across the world and also causes thousands of innocents to die in the resulting shock wave.
In Manhattan, New York, ten seconds after Magneto’s detonation, the Thing angrily walks from a bath he was taking towards the lab where he thinks that Mr. Fantastic has caused the lights to go off because one of his many experiments. When the Thing arrives, though, he sees the puzzled look on his leader’s face and asks Mr. Fantastic if the blackout is real. Baffled, Mr. Fantastic replies that in all his years he has never seen a shock wave so powerful and so shocking.
In Los Angeles, California, two minutes after detonation, cars fly across the streets killing and injuring many of its citizens. In Tokyo, Japan Sunfire flies high above the city, looking for trouble. Little does he know, the trouble has just found him. Sunfire is shocked to turn around and, just in time, to see the magnetic wave race across his city and giving him no time to seek shelter. As the bright light engulfs him, Sunfire tries to protect himself from the wave’s energy.
At Braddock Manor, England, eight minutes after detonation, Nightcrawler asks Captain Britain why the lights went out? Captain Britain tells Nightcrawler not to worry, because the secondary generators will kick in, in just a moment.
Eight minutes after the detonation occurred, the entire world is blanketed in darkness. While at Xavier’s mansion thirteen minutes after detonation, Beast and Banshee try to reroute the electronic system to work through the Shi’ar technology. They are successful and the mansion’s power comes back on line. Beast tells Banshee that, though they have power, he does not believe that anyone else in the world does. Banshee sighs and tells Beast that they need to report what they have found to Charles Xavier.
Behind Xavier in the war room, all his X-Men, plus Banshee and Moira Mactaggert, stand ready to listen to any advice Xavier may have, so as they can help in this current crisis. Xavier tells the fourteen mutants and Moira that they have a problem and then informs them that Cyclops will brief them on what they know so far. Cyclops, while standing above a hologram of Earth, says that at ten-thirty three in the morning, Eastern Standard time, the United Nations initiated a fail-safe program called the Magneto Protocols in order to try to stop Magneto’s mad schemes. Sadly though, at eleven-fifty five an electromagnetic pulse explosion crossed over all the Earth, knocking all electronic systems temporarily out. The pulse wave also, the Professor says, was devastating also to civilian life and he believes that thousands of people have died because of Magneto’s retaliation.
Rogue wonders out loud why Magneto did not warn everyone first? Xavier tells her that Magneto would argue that his whole life was a warning. Xavier also says that the attack just done by Magneto was meant as a devastating assault on the entire world also. Though Magneto made one mistake and that was he did not kill them when he had the chance. Xavier, very emotionally, speaks to the X-Men, telling them that today they will not fight for their dream, but they will fight for their very own survival.
Later that day, Cyclops, Beast, and Jean Grey talk to each other about how Xavier has changed of late and Cyclops wonders out loud if Xavier’s dream is outmoded. Beast asks Cyclops if he is mad because Xavier’s plan is unsound or because he was not included on Xavier’s strike force. Cyclops tells him, maybe a little bit of both. The three next talk about Xavier’s dream and all three come to the conclusion that maybe the dream is not so outmoded after all. With that said, Xavier comes into the room, asking them, in all the years, has it never occurred to them that he might be wrong?
The three turn to see that Xavier is walking. Shocked, the three members ask him what is he doing? Xavier explains to them that the exoskeleton he is wearing was given to him by the Shi’ar and only because of the great strain it causes on his mutant powers, because it is powered by his mind, has he not worn it before. Xavier tells the Beast that he is wearing the exoskeleton because he is going to lead the strike force against Magneto. The three comments to Xavier that, although they do not mean any disrespect, they all agree he is not that great of a battlefield leader. Xavier, not affected by the remarks, explains to the three that, because he knows that Cyclops is right, that is why he chose the members of the team as he did.
Xavier shows the three X-Men a video monitor of Gambit and Wolverine standing back to back and explains that those two were chosen because of their stealth, subterfuge, and guile. On the next monitor it shows Xavier and Jean Grey, back to back, and Xavier explains that they will go to attack Magneto at his weakest point; his tortured soul. The last monitor shows Rogue and Quicksilver and Xavier explains that these two will provide strength and speed. Cyclops, seeing Xavier’s logic in not having him go, because his optic blasts would not be very useful on a space station. Beast realizes, though, the reason Xavier did not choose any of his original students; because Xavier believes that they might not survive the fight and Xavier wants his original X-Men to continue on with his dream. Xavier, with that said, shows the three what Xavier has planned for Magneto’s downfall.
Gambit, as he puts on his armor and space suit, tries to think to himself that the mission he is going on is just like any other mission. As he knows in his heart, though, he is going to try to save the entire planet and everyone is counting on he and his friends to win. Gambit finishes getting ready and sticks his head around the other side of the lockers to ask Rogue if she is ready. Rogue tells Gambit she is, but Gambit can tell that Rogue is not mentally ready yet as much as she is physically ready. Gambit tells her to not worry about Magneto as much, because, in the end, she will choose the side that is right.
Xavier walks down the stairs leading to the transporter in the mansion that will lead to him to Avalon. As he walks, Storm tries to tell him of the other X-Men’s agreement on Charles’ wrong assumptions that his mission will be a success. Xavier interrupts Storm, though. Xavier tells her that he knows how she feels, but in their last meeting with Magneto he told him that his dream was dying. Xavier believes, though, that his dream has not died but it has grown. He has hardened over the years and so has a lot of the X-Men, but he will not allow Magneto the opportunity to harden them anymore. Lastly, he places his hand on Cyclops’ shoulder and tells them that “dreams fade and dreamers come an go, but the hope, which fuels the fires of our passion, our goal, must not die out!” Xavier seems to be telling the X-Men in his speech that if he does not come back they must continue on without him. Xavier steps on the transporter with the other five members of his group. After he tells his X-Men goodbye. Xavier commands the Shi’ar technology to transport them to Avalon.
As the Beast, Cyclops, and Storm stand watching after the team’s departure, Beast quotes a passage in “Prometheus Unbound”. The passage is about how Prometheus talks to another God on how can they trust him, being a God who betrayed the other Gods. As Storm walks up the stairs she finishes the passage by passage, “our kinship has strange power; that and our life together.”
As the gates of Avalon open, six unwanted visitors arrive to cleanse and redeem Magneto’s devils that haunt him. As they arrive Xavier comments on how that they need to be careful because none of them knows what kind of security that Avalon may have. Elsewhere on Avalon, Colossus watches from a security monitor the X-men’s arrival and, as one last show of gratitude towards Xavier, he overrides the security alert, making the X-Men appear as allies to the security scanners.
The X-men race down the corridors of Avalon and Xavier is shocked to see that half of the ship is made up of Shi’ar equipment, most likely stolen from the school when Magneto was Headmaster. Quicksilver comments that his father has never been able to contribute to anything out of his own creativity except the bitterness of his power and the bleak outlook of his vision. Gambit angered by the others loud rambling down the hall as they are trying to be discreet, tells the others that if they survive this battle he will have to teach them a lesson in silent subterfuge. Gambit, peeking around a corner, notices Rusty and Skids walking nearby. Surprising the two, Gambit cracks a joke towards Rusty telling him that he may need makeup for the black eye is about to receive. The entire members of the team then appear from around the corner and Rusty tells them that the two of them have chosen Magneto’s way out of their own choice. Xavier steps in front of the two, as Rusty talks and psi-blasts them making the two of them fall asleep. Jean, wondering aloud, tells Xavier that he acted just like Stryfe and Magneto did by controlling their minds. Xavier, turning to Quicksilver, tells him, as he hands him a disc, to continue on without them. Just as they has planned before and he will stay in mental contact with him along the way.
Quicksilver runs off down the corridors, faster then the eye can see, passing the Acolyte named Milan. Finding the data-port, Quicksilver loads the disc Xavier had given him in an input outlet and returns to the X-Men’s position. As Quicksilver passes Milan again, too fast to be seen, he leaves the Acolyte wondering what has caused the wind in the hallway?
Quicksilver, confused about what he had just done, asks Xavier why, if there were hundreds of other input devices on the ship, was that the one he decided to use? As the X-men remove their space suits, Rogue explains that the input device he used was the main one on the ship causing all other programs to follow the preprogrammed commands on the disk. Worried, Jean tells the others that the mission seems almost too easy, so far. Wolverine asks Jean, after her comments, if she is worried about an ambush? Jean tells Logan that it is just the opposite thing. She believes that they have ambushed the Acolytes and they don’t even know it. But the simplicity of the mission is beginning to frighten her.
Xavier tries to quiet Jean’s worries by telling her that he is quite satisfied with their progress so far. With that said, Xavier commands the computer to transport the Acolytes from the station onto an air-lock hatch and then send them to a distance of five hundred meters from the station.
The computer complies with his commands. All around the station the Acolytes are surprised to see their bodies being teleported away. Next to Magneto, he watches Exodus being teleported away and is shocked to find that he is under attack.
In the control room, Xavier comments that he blames none of the Acolytes for their actions, because Magneto could be… Interrupting Xavier, Magneto bursts through the wall behind the X-Men, knocking them all off their feet. Magneto tells Xavier that he only offers the Acolytes a better option, though he will not allow the X-Men to stop him from his dream again!
Wolverine, with his uniform torn and the other X-men still on the ground from Magneto’s attack, takes his opportunity to strike at Magneto. Rogue complains, in the background, that the plan was not to attack Magneto head on, but Wolverine replies back that the plan has been slightly changed and they must improvise to win. Magneto, with no emotion in his eyes, easily throws Wolverine back at the X-Men by using the metal in Logan’s body. Rogue tries to be the voice of reason and reminds him of his promise that he would never kill another innocent human again, which he broke by killing the innocent humans, hours before. Magneto turns towards Rogue, sending metal bonds at her to capture her and also shutting her mouth. Jean throws metal towards Magneto, fighting back also with words, asking Magneto if he chose to slaughter innocent humans just because they were alive? Xavier, interrupting, tells Jean that she should not waste her energy on Magneto attacking him physically when he needs her help in attacking Magneto’s mind. The two of them clasp hands and Xavier sends them both to the astral plane. Gambit, nearby, throws three ace cards towards Magneto, catching him unaware and striking him between the eyes.
(in Magneto’s mind)
Magneto sees in his mind, as so does Xavier and Jean, his loss of his family by the hands of the Nazis. Jean begs for the Professor to stop torturing Magneto, but Xavier relentlessly makes him relive the losses and pains of his life.
(back in the control room)
Magneto tries to break Xavier’s mind contact, as he continues his fight with the other X-Men. Gambit narrowly misses his attacks, telling Magneto, as he jumps the obstacles sent towards him, that he only wants people to follow his dream and, if they do not, he kills them for their disobedience. Quieting Gambit, Magneto sends a sharp projectile slashing Gambit’s mouth, injuring him from being able to talk. Rogue, only a few feet away from her injured friend, finally breaks free of her metal bonds and, as she attacks Magneto, knocking him to the ground, she tells him that he only injured Gambit because he could no longer handle the truth.
(in Magneto’s mind)
Xavier, given another chance to hurt Magneto mentally, takes him to the gravesite where Doug Ramsey is buried. Jean comments that losing Douglas was a very traumatic event for Magneto at that time in his life.
(back in the control room)
Magneto asks what Xavier is doing, as Quicksilver seizes the opportunity to strike at his father and send him flying backwards from his quick punch. Magneto stands to his feet, angrily telling Quicksilver that his betrayal is the most bitter because it strikes his heart like a serpent’s tooth. Magneto tells Quicksilver that he has given his sister and he many opportunities to stand by his side and neither of them has joined his cause. As Magneto bends him to the ground, Quicksilver taunts Magneto by telling him that he would not have been a good father, because he would have just controlled their minds if they would not listen to him.
(in Magneto’s mind)
Xavier goes to another one of Magneto’s memories, but he and Jean find an untrue memory depicting Magda running away from him holding her two children in her arms, which cannot be true considering Magda was pregnant with Pietro and Wanda when she ran from Magneto’s side. Jean wonders what they are seeing, when Xavier interrupts telling her that the memory means that they are finally forcing Magneto to consider his past judgments.
(the control room)
A few seconds ago, Magneto was crushing Pietro and now he lays at his feet, talking of how Xavier has not won yet because he will be triumphant in the end. Not allowing Magneto the chance, Quicksilver pounds his fists into his head trying to stop his madness. As he hits his father he tells him that he is tired of running away from Magneto and that he will finally face the person he hates. Magneto uses his powers to throw Quicksilver back, giving him time to gain strength. Magneto apologizes to Quicksilver for his wronging of his life, but he explains that if he will not be by his side he will regretfully have to kill his own son. As Magneto prepares to strike a killing blow to his own son, Wolverine throws his body in front of Magneto. With claws open and death in his eyes Wolverine…
(in Magneto’s mind)
Xavier commands Jean to seize the moment and focus on how he feels betrayed by his children and even, as they see Fabian Cortez toying with Magneto’s body, Fabian Cortez’s betrayal.
(in the control room)
Wolverine slices into Magneto with his claws, causing Magneto to lose strength and fall to his knees. A few feet away, Jean severs the mind-probe of Magneto, as Xavier screams his frustration at her hesitance in acting against Magneto. Jean explains that if she were to continue like he wants, then it would make them no different the Magneto himself.
Logan stares down at Magneto, as Magneto mutters that he and Logan have fought on many occasions, but this battle will be their last. Magneto picks Wolverine off the ground using his power over the adamantium in his body and begins to remove every sliver of the metal in Logan’s body through his pores. Wolverine does not even scream as the adamantium that has been bonded to his body for years is ripped out of him. Jean and Xavier stand in shock as they watch their friend being ripped apart.
Magneto continues to hold onto Logan as he finishes telling him that life is a tragedy play and his play has just now ended. Logan, barely alive, only hears, as he slips away, the voice of someone who has loved him for a long time and that voice comes from Jean Grey. As Jean cries, “LOGAN!!” Rogue notices that at least he is still breathing.
Magneto hears Rogue’s words and, as he falls to the ground, he comments on how Wolverine would be stubborn to the last. Magneto turns to see Xavier nearing him and he asks what is Xavier’s part in the play? “Mine is the denouement, old friend”, Xavier replies as he also tells him that he has hidden behind their two dreams for so long and it is now time for him to stop hiding and to finish their fight. Xavier causes magneto to remember his failures all at once, of how he was not able to forget his past and to not blame all humans on the faults of a few.
Xavier lifts Magneto off the ground, as his X-Men stand in front of him. Jean tells Xavier that Wolverine is barely alive and they need to get out of there quickly in order to try and save him. Magneto taunts Xavier by telling him that, like always, a life needs to be saved and he must go off to save it. Xavier never takes his eyes off of Magneto as he tells him that billions of lives on Earth need to be saved from his madness, so he will save them today, even at the sacrifice of Logan’s life. Magneto asks how Xavier how he can control peoples’ lives by acting for them and not realize that he is acting the same way Magneto does. Xavier seems to charge his telepathic powers, as he does he tells Magneto that the differences between the two of them is like “light and dark, love and hate, and life and death.” Xavier psi-blasts Magneto telling him that Logan was the last one to be hurt by him and that he will make sure Magneto never kills anyone again. As Xavier falls to the ground from exhaustion, Magneto’s last words are “Charles…I never thought…you would…” and Magneto collapses to the ground as well.
Rogue screams to Xavier, what he has done to Magnus? As Rogue reaches him, Xavier tells her that he took away Magneto’s greatest weapon; his mind. Rogue screams to Jean that Xavier is barely breathing, but Jean tells Rogue that she is having enough problem keeping Wolverine together to help Xavier now. Confused, Rogue asks if the teleporters are still working, because Logan, Xavier, and even Magneto need their help now. Colossus interrupts Rogue, telling her that the teleporters were destroyed in their fight, so they will not be able to leave that way. He tells them that he has contacted Bishop and he is on his way to pick the six of them up. Rogue asks if Peter will be joining them, but he declines her offer saying that his place, for now is next to Magneto. He tells them that he was the one that masked their presence earlier and so Logan’s injuries and Magneto’s condition is in part his fault as well as all of theirs.
Jean tells Peter that he does not need to stay there because of what Avalon stands for, but, as Peter picks Magneto up to carry him away, he tells them he has made up his mind. So, as the X-Men walk away, Pietro turns to give Colossus one last piece of advice: he tells him that doing the right thing will always carry a heavy burden. The X-Men leave Avalon, but as they go they leave behind a friend and, in the distance, if you listen closely, you could hear the fading of a dream.