I wanted you to see this, Charles, says the maniacal Bastion. However, more than that, he wants Xavier to understand. Xavier’s goal? His crusade? His dream? It’s over.
The “Real” World:
“Over?” asks the incredulous Stan Lee. This is Marvel! Nothing is over so long as they can pull out another idea out of their heads. Now he has a surprise for the readers!
Stan Lee walks the readers through the halls of Marvel’s offices. He finds artist Carlos Pacheco hard at work and introduces him to the fans. However, Carlos doesn’t even know who Stan is! Stan introduces himself, and Carlos is shocked to discover that Stan Lee is an actual person. As Stan walks past some staff members being attacked by Spider-Man, he thinks it is scary what he started. How could he have known that Xavier’s five loveable mutants would be the greatest team ever?
Stan finds the original X-Men and introduces them. The theme was so simple then that he understood it. Who would know that it would multiply? The original X-Men are then overrun by other X-Men, Generation X, X-Force and X-Factor members. Stan laments that he might as well as created a bunch of rabbits. They have new mutants, old mutants, generations of mutants, good mutants, bad mutants, good mutants that used to be bad, bad mutants that used to be good, and mutants that even he doesn’t know about. However, there is one quintessential X-Man, and he isn’t talking about himself!
The Past; Xavier Institute:
Charles Xavier lies in his pool at night and stares up at the sky. There were moments in the night when the world slept that Xavier could hear them; the voices of billions of people in the world. He knew their hopes and dreams, and knew their voices. He tasted their successes and drank for the cups of bitterness that they had. He would have gone mad experiencing this at the age of thirteen, but he discovered a sanctum in his own mind, in his own backyard – literally.
He came back to his mansion after suffering injuries which shattered his legs. It was there he chose to evaluate the course of action to take to create peaceful coexistence between man and mutant. At his home, he realized that he could not do it alone. That is one of the reasons why she joined him there; also, because Amelia Voigt genuinely loves Charles.
Amelia, dressed in her night lingerie, stands at the edge of the pool and tells Charles that they should leave soon. Amelia loves Charles and fears him. She is inspired by his will, but confounded by his singular vision. Though they have decided to live their lives together, from the moment they met in India, Amelia knew that there were parts of his life she would never understand.
Amelia puts her legs into the pool and decides to call out to Charles one more time. She sings his name and asks if he can hear her. Xavier, still looking at the sky, tells Amelia that he is probably the world’s most powerful telepath. Of course he can hear her. Oh, says Amelia. He’s in one of those moods again. What mood is that, asks Charles. “Me, big chief mutant,” jokes Amelia.
Charles, startled, moves and asks Amelia if that is how he really seems to her. Sometimes, admits Amelia, as she lets herself into the water. However, she knows he doesn’t mean to come across that way. She knows his heart is in the right place, or she would never have left her job at the hospital overseas. She would still be Amelia Voght of the Red Cross. “But…?” asks Charles.
But sometimes, admits Amelia, he scares her. She came partially because she loves him, but also to convince him to give up his nonsense idea. Xavier tells Amelia that trying to prevent the coming conflict between man and mutant is not a nonsense idea. You’re right, says Amelia, it is insane. No, says Charles. Insane would be if they stayed in this mansion in safety and ignored the rest of the world and waited. For what, asks Amelia. Him, says Charles, as he turns and stares to the sky.
As a child, Erik Lehnsherr could also hear voices in the night. However, the voices he heard were heard through the walls beside his “bed.” Examples would be cries in the distance, angry defiant cries, hushed prayers, shouts of final fatal commands, and then nothing. However, unlike Xavier, Erik had no where to go. He had no choice but to keep the feelings within him until there was no “him” anymore. Now he is Magneto. Now his home is Asteroid M, nestled in the shadow of the moon.
Inside, Pietro and Wanda Maximoff watch the powerful master of magnetism unleash his power outside. Wanda stares and tells her brother that Magneto is amazing. Not only did he choose to live high above the Earth, but he had to forge this place with his own hands. Yet, despite all the power and confidence, he seems so tragically alone. A sentiment that they will never have to share, says Pietro. While he admits this is partly due to Magneto, who rescued them from a mob of ignorant humans, he still does think that Magneto is quite mad. Wanda disagrees, however. He is not mad. He is sullen and haunted. For all he has done, it seems like a sane response to an insane world.
Magneto enters and overhears the two speak. In some ways, they are wiser than their years, says Magneto. Mad is he? If only it were that simple. He is more than just lashing out at the world and grappling with the ghosts of his past. Everything he is doing is for their future for the good of all mutants. If there is any pain to be felt it will be shared by the ignorant humans on Earth. He then tells the twins to prepare for departure. They will leave for Earth in 10 minutes.
However, Pietro runs past Magneto to cut him off from leaving the room, much to Magneto’s surprise. Pietro has had enough of Magneto’s posturing. He has been using his speed with his sister’s powers in good conjunction for years, so he will not kowtow to Magneto’s arrogance and attitude. Is he clear? Crystal, says Magneto. Now he will be clear. Ten. Minutes.
Pietro is tired of Magneto talking down to them as if he is some disapproving father. If he is determined to make his “Brotherhood,” then he should remember that they are there because they choose to be there. Magneto walks past Pietro and tells him that if that is what he chooses to believe then so be it. However, so long as he and Wanda choose to live in sanctuary they will do as he says. They will not have this conversation again.
Somewhere in Europe:
It is a place the world would like to forget, but cannot, should not and dare not. It was there and many other places along Eastern Europe that one nation attempted to eliminate anyone they deemed inferior. The most frightening part is that this occurred half way through the twentieth century, known as the age of “civilization.” The madmen came close to accomplishing their goals. This concentration camp stands as a reminder and a warning.
Amelia Voght pushes Charles’ wheelchair through the camp and is sick at being there. Why did he have her teleport them there? Charles tells Amelia that he must speak to Erik, who will be here. Confused, Amelia asks Charles how he is sure, since he hasn’t spoken to Erik in years. Xavier answers that he knows Erik well; almost like how he knows himself. This place and day is special for Erik. In a way, he never escaped the death camps that claimed his family during World War II. He fled, but the conditions here retarded the natural manifestation of his powers, meaning he was unable to save the ones he held dear.
Xavier continues to speak, but is cut off by a booming voice that tells him that this is neither the place nor the time for this discussion. Amelia and Charles look up to see Magneto descend on a disc with Pietro and Wanda. Pietro asks if he should do anything, but Magneto tells him to do nothing. This is between himself and Xavier. Amelia is scared, as Magneto is radiating with energy. How powerful is he? As powerful as he needs to be, replies Xavier. He tells Amelia to stay put as he pushes his chair towards Magneto.
Charles welcomes Magneto and compliments him on his new helmet. Don’t change the subject, says Magneto. He doesn’t belong there. Charles tells him that no one belongs there and Magneto knows that better than anyone. This place should not have been built. It is a scar to humanity. The truth of its existence should be enough to steer Magneto away from the course he has chosen.
Angered, Magneto tells Xavier not to pretend like he knew what happened there. He doesn’t know how much they suffered and how much they lost. Charles reminds Erik that he is a telepath and, even if he wanted to protect his mind from the pain and suffering of others, he cannot. Every emotion once there echoes in his head. Magneto then asks Charles why he doesn’t understand why he has chosen to do this. Charles tells Erik that he may not realize that he has gone down the road to becoming what he hates. Cannot he see what has happened to him? The path of having mutants be superior will lead to more places such as this.
Magneto stays silent for a moment, and then laughs. What about Xavier; what has he become? He puts his hands on Charles’ shoulders and tells him that he was the man who was supposed to lead them all, but now he is confined to a wheelchair, unable to perform simple mundane actions. Charles pauses, then answers that he may have lost the use of his legs, but he still has his heart. That is not something Erik can say.
Enough, says Magneto, who walks away claiming that they are wasting each other’s time. Magneto bends down to lift up some dirt, thinking that they could agree to disagree, but he knows that won’t happen. He should kill Charles here and now. Charles understands that he can, correct? Of course, replies Xavier. Charles, however, should reach into Erik’s mind and change it or turn it off – even shut it down. However, he won’t.
Magneto stands outside his complex on the surface of the Asteroid and clutches the dirt in his hand, with anguish in his face.
The “Real” World:
Stan asks the readers if they were surprised. They probably expected guys in tights beating each other, but Marvel likes to do things that aren’t obvious. Besides, all the emotion that came from that story has made Carlos Pacheco tired. That is one of the perks of Marvel – Carlos can sleep on the drawing board!
Stan gets his coat and turns off the lights. He wishes he had a drawing board. Now the readers know why they are called the House of Ideas.