Davos, Switzerland, where, this week, thousands of world leaders, economic titans, celebrities and philanthropists have gathered for the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum. The theme of this year's conference is “Globalization for a New Age: How to Secure and Maintain a Cohesive and Sustainable World”. This seems fitting, as the meeting occurs only one month after the revelation – and previously unknown influence – of the mutant nation of Krakoa. The resulting economic and political upheavel almost certainly ensure that this topic will dominate conversation. It has only been confirmed in the last few days that an olive branch in the form of an invitation to Davos had been extended to the mutant nation... and the rumors of their possible acceptance and attendance have spread rapidly throughout the assembled media covering the conference. Everyone waits with bated breath to see if the rumors are true – and more than that, what it might mean for the world at large.
A high-tech chopper arrives at the snow-covered Davos, and once it settles down on the landing pad, Scott Summers a.k.a. Cyclops and Tomi Shishido a.k.a. Gorgon emerge from it, dressed in suits, they stand on either side of the hatch into the chopper, as the suited Apocalypse, Magneto and Professor Charles Xavier, wearing his Cerebro helmet, emerge from it.
Once inside the conference venue, a man in a suit welcomes them all, before motioning to Cyclops and Gorgon and stating that while many of their guests require a heightened level of security, they cannot allow such personnel inside any meetings. 'It's the same for everyone. I hope you understand' he adds. Cyclops looks over to Xavier, Magneto and Apocalypse, 'We're fine waiting here if you are' he tells them, adding that they can just yell if they need him. 'You'll come running?' Magneto asks. 'I might take my time' Scott tells him, before suggesting they enjoy the sights and rub elbows with his betters.
The official leads Xavier, Magneto and Apocalypse through a door, 'This way, gentlemen. Your party is waiting for you' he tells them. The security official tells Cyclops and Gorgon that they can stay here with him, but that Gorgon is going to have to surrender his swords. He adds that, obviously, they allow security to carry weapons, but something as overt as his sword is going to be a problem. Gorgon smirks and tells the officials that the problem is that he looks at him and thinks the blade is the weapon. 'A bit of advice, friend: I'd let this go' Cyclops tells the security official, before telling him not to worry, and that they will be on their best behavior.
Down a corridor, the other official leads the three mutant leaders towards a door and informs them that there was some concern regarding the hour of the day and exactly how long their party would be available for, so they took the liberty of arranging a meal for them. He tells the three that the hope was that a free and fair discussion while breaking bread would present both a more casual and straightforward exchange of ideas. 'After all, what is dinner but elevated conversation among friends?' he asks. Inside the room, the table is set for ten and the seven currently at the table turn to look at the new arrivals. A waiter stands in the corner of the room, while a fireplace glows at the other end.
The guests inside the room are three political representatives – Hodari from Wakanda, Ma Mingyu from China and Reilly Marshall from the United States, and four international guests – Frederico Joao de Cezare from Brazil, Daniela Gentile from Italy, Ludovic von Bergen from Switzerland and Banhi Gahlot from India. 'Charles, thank you for coming' Ludovic von Bergen remarks as he shakes Xavier's hand. 'Erik, you as well' Ludovic adds, turning to Magneto and shaking his hand. Magneto looks around the room and thanks the others for having them. 'This all looks very nice' he adds. Ludovic declares that they are happy to have them, and even happier they accepted the invitation. 'And, uh, thanks to you as well, uh...should I call you En Sabah? Or Mister Nur, perhaps?' Ludovic asks, looking up at Apocalypse, who has picked up a glass of water and smirks as he replies 'I am Apocalypse. My other names are not fit for you to utter'. 'Apocalypse it is, then. Regardless... welcome' Ludovic replies.
Everyone stands at their seats around the table, and Ludovic raises his glass. 'We have an amazing meal prepared and much to talk about, but before we get started, I'd like to offer a toast. To peace' he declares. 'To peace' the others respond, raising their glasses, too.
Elsewhere, several men wear military style clothing and carry large weapons. They have a strange circular tech placed around the sides of their heads, 'This thing itches' one of them complains, scratching the device. 'What the hell are you doing? Don't touch that. It's the only thing keeping them outta your head' another explains, before asking 'You didn't break contact with your skin, did you?' to which the soldier replies that he doesn't think so.
Back in the dining room, the waiter places a watermelon gazpacho infused with habenaro and poblano chiles. Xavier thanks the waiter, before telepathically contacting Cyclops and informs him that there are two assault teams waiting to converge on their position – one is located on the floor above, the other on the floor below. 'They're shielded again, so that's all I can offer...but be good boys and take care of them for me' Xavier asks. Cyclops touches the side of his head, 'Not a problem, sir. Consider it done' Cyclops responds via his thoughts. The security official looks at Cyclops and Gorgon somewhat anxiously, 'Why are you both looking at me like that?' he asks. 'I have bad news on the mutant good behavior front. Friend' Cyclops announces.
At that moment in the dining room, one of the mutant leaders tells the other officials that what they are hoping for is a better understanding of what it is they are aiming for. Ludovig von Bergen explains that it is still early days, but the level of destabilization that has already occurred is staggering. Banhi Gahlot smiles as she remarks that she agrees, and informs the mutants that their question is what does this look like years from now – what's the end game? As some food is placed in front of Magneto, the Master of Magnetism remarks that they have been very clear about all of that, and adds that there is no subterfuge going on here, no lack of clarity. 'And if that eventually becomes untenable? The effect the existence of Krakoa has on the rest of the world?' Daniela Gentile asks as she sips some wine. 'Well... I believe in adaptation. You might even say it's my religion' Magneto responds, adding that if that is not enough, he honestly doesn't know what comfort he can provide – everyone needs to accept the new normal of Krakoa.
Hodari tells the others that they shouldn't act surprised, as a nation will act in its own best interest – this is neither new behavior nor unexpected, they have seen it before. He adds that it would be dishonest to pretend that their countries don't do the same, and that they find ways around it – they always do. 'Call it common ground, if you will' he suggests. Magneto smiles and tells Hodari that if that is his position, then would Wakanda be interested in a more formal trade relationship with Krakoa? Hodari smiles as he replies 'On that, I'm afraid not... our countries will have to continue to settle for the more familiar relationship of kings and queens. 'Ms Frost will be disappointed, but it's more than enough for now' Magneto smiles. 'Speaking of disappointments, trade relationships often yield a deeper relationship with a nation's people... yet your border continues to be closed to most of us' Banhi Gahlot points out, asking how the deeper lure of trust can be formed in isolation. 'To put it more bluntly. How can we trust you to be part of the world if you spend your time hiding from us on your island' Reilly Marshall asks, touching his ear. 'Does it feel like we're hiding?' Apocalypse asks, smirking.
At that moment, an official steps out into a corridor somewhere in the conference center – only the corridor is overrun with the armed mercenaries.
'Can we talk more about the drugs?' one of the international delegation asks. 'Of course' Magneto tells them, wiping his mouth with a napkin. Ludovig von Bergen tells the mutants that they are going to have to forgive their curiosity, but they have all had their best scientists looking at the drugs. Ma Mingyu announces that they are not sure how to say this without sounding accusatory, but they are not sure that, for some of the drugs, the weekly regimen is necessary. Magneto smiles as he replies 'I'm not an expert, but I do know enough about them to say that you're wrong'. He explains that there is a cascading effect over time, and the way they have structured it mitigates the negative effects. He adds that, even if this were not true, if they chose to deliver the medicine in the most profitable manner possible, it would just be a lesson they have taught them. “Armaments, universal debt and planned obsolescence – are these not the three pillars of Western prosperity?” Magneto quotes.
At that moment, in a corridor, Cyclops's optic blast knocks back several mercenaries, but as he turns around, he finds himself confronted by two more, who aim their machine guns at him.
'That's Huxley, right?' Hodari asks. 'It's not just Huxley. He's quoting The Island' Banhi Gahlot explains. 'Which, all things considered, is just perfect. Well done' she adds. Magneto raises his glass to Banhi as he thanks her. Frederico Joao de Cezare tells Magneto that he finds it mildly amusing that to make his point he has to quote a human author. 'Then again, there aren't any famous mutant authors, are there?' he asks. 'Not yet. But there will be. I'm sure of it' Magneto scowls. 'Well, that sounds ominous' Reilly Marshall remarks, touching his earpiece again. 'It's the truth' Magneto declares. 'You cannot blame us for the long history of man. Nor can you blame us for the circular nature of it' Magneto adds. He tells the international delegation that right now, they are institutionally teaching their children to rewrite and unlearn history. He promises them one thing, that mutants will never forget where they came from. 'But you will, you always do'.
In another corridor, Cyclops fires another blast, knocking back a mercenary, as another merc approaches him from behind.
'That's quite a bold claim. Any way to back it up' Banhi Gahlot asks. As more food is brought towards him, Magneto replies 'Do you know how medieval societies got lead? They had to mine it from Roman ruins because the technology – the knowledge of how to do it was lost during the Dark Ages' Magneto tells the international guests.
In the corridor, a mercenary grabs Cyclops from behind, and wraps an arm around his neck.
Magneto continues, telling the others that this wasn't an aberration – that humans, through war, short-sightedness or pure ignorance – tend to destroy themselves every few thousand years. 'Look at the end of the Bronze Age. A dark age before the Dark Ages. You don't even know what caused the end of it, but there it is...yet another hole in the collective memory of man' Magneto remarks. 'Who cares what caused the end of the Bronze Age?' Reilly Marshall asks, looking at his watch. 'I was alive then... and you should care' Apocalypse declares, as the other guests all turn to him. 'Is that so? Then tell us... what caused the collapse?' Ma Mingyu enquires. 'Me' Apocalypse claims. Daniela Gentile assures the others that she has not forgotten her history, and tells them that she knows where this kind of posturing leads – to the same place it always does – to war. 'Yet another conflict between mutant and man, except this time it has the potential to dwarf all that has preceded it' she points out.
But Magneto tells the group that there will be no war. 'Is that so?' Frederico Joao de Cezare asks. 'It is' Magneto replies. 'Surely you can see that our methods are changing – that they have changed' Magneto adds. Magneto begins to cut into his meal as he adds, 'Take me, for example. In the past, I would have seized your country's weapons of war and turned them on you...I would have tried to show you how strong I was. How strong I am'. Magneto remarks that the mutants have learned, the humans have showed them the ways with their quiet weapons of finance and their silent wars of influence.
Cyclops manages to break loose from the mercenary's grasp and flips his opponent to the ground. But as he looks up, another appears before him and aims his gun at him. 'A little help please?' Cyclops asks with his thoughts. 'I've seen what you do here' Magneto tells the international guests, while looking at his fork. At that moment, the mercenary's weapon disintegrates. 'Thanks' Cyclops tells Magneto, as he opens fire, blasting the mercenary with his optic power. Magneto tells the guests that they leverage people with debt, make them pay to be healthy and whole, make them pay to become educated, make them pay interest so they can have a nice place to live. 'Then when you own them, you control them. I have seen what you do. And now we will do the same...' Magneto declares. '... but better' he boasts.
'Better versions of a better life. Better drugs for a longer, healthier existence' Magneto claims as he bites into his meal. Magneto cuts into the food before him as he adds that they will take human kind's money, the outrageous amounts of money they will give to them because it also means more wealth for them, and then invest it. He boasts that they will buy the humans' banks, buy their schools and buy their media – buy their politicians He continues to cut into the wagyu as he exclaims that when they have bought all the rest, they will buy the humans themselves, because they have taught mutants that everything has a price – and the mutants will be happy to pay. He bites into the meat as he explains that when they have this influence, they will use it, make sure that the wrong sort of people – and they all know who – no longer have any economic power. Magneto explains that they will not allow humans inside their institutions because it is important they do not have anywhere to peddle their dangerous, outdated ideas.
'And that is how it will end. Like a fire with no oxygen' Magneto remarks, eating more of the wagyu, he acknowledges that there will still be people who hate and fear them, but they simply won't be able to do anything about it any longer. 'So as I said...there will be no war. Oh, and by the way. This really was fantastic. My compliments to the chef' Magneto smiles as he holds up his fork with a piece of the meat on it. All of the international delegation stare back uncomfortably and silent.
At that moment, in the corridor, Cyclops stands among the bodies of mercenaries which litter the floor. 'All clear on the second floor' he reports to the Professor. 'Good. We're almost done here' Xavier replies, suggesting that Cyclops head his way. Cyclops contacts Gorgon and suggests they wrap things up. 'Time to go' he tells him. 'I'll be right there' Gorgon replies. In the corridor where Gorgon has been taking out the other mercenaries, severed arms lay scattered across the floor, amongst weapons and blood. Gorgon holds one blood-streaked sword to the head of the merc who was touching the tech on his head earlier. The merc's arms have been severed, but he is still alive. 'This was your greatest mistake... thinking you were a warrior. Yes, you studied, you trained, you tested yourself against your fellow man...but now you know what you are...and what a true warrior looks like.
Gorgon wipes blood from his blade, and tells the merc that, in the past, his contempt for him would have manifested itself in an uncomplicated manner. 'I simply would have taken your head' Gorgon explains, putting a hand on the merc's face. Gorgon announces that these are new days – and he is led by brilliant mutants who understand war better than he ever could. Gorgon places his sword back into the holster on his back and remarks that he has seen the error of his ways, and now he understands – he is enlightened, and knows it is better that this mercenary lives, like this, with the shame of what he is. 'Embrace this mercy, human. And never test my kind again' Gorgon declares as he walks away, past other mercs with no arms that he hs left alive, too.
In the dining room, Magneto looks over at Reilly Marshall and tells him that he has noticed he keeps touching his ear. 'Everything all right?' Magneto asks. 'I'm not sure, to be honest. Hard to tell' Reilly responds. Magneto grits his teeth as he snaps 'Let me clear things up for you. They're not coming'. Hodari asks what Magneto is talking about, to which Magneto sips his drink and reports that Reilly Marshall had two weapons teams spirited away on the floors above and below them in case things didn't go the way he wanted. 'And they didn't. In either case' Magneto adds. 'At some point it would behoove you to recognize that this situation is not one that can be handled unilaterally' Ma Mingyu remarks.
Reilly Marshall scowls and declares that it is not lost on him that he is the one arguing the money isn't worth it. 'But believe me – it's not worth it' he adds, before asking 'Do you think they are lying to you? You heard them. They're not hiding what they want or what they are. We cannot trust them. How long do you think until someone blinks and this peaceful detente disappears?' Reilly Marshall asks. 'A month' Xavier remarks, turning to face the aggressive man. 'What?' Reilly Marshall asks. 'One month. That's all it took for you to send someone to Krakoa to kill me. It was unsuccessful, obviously' Xavier explains, adding that he cannot be killed – not like that, and not by the likes of them.
'We didn't send anyone to kill you' Reilly Marshall claims. 'It wasn't us, they say... it was them, the bad humans, they always say... yet here they come to kill us all, Charles. And all we've done to earn it is to promise not to kill them. We even made it a law' Magneto remarks.
Xavier begins to remove the Cerebro helmet covering his face as he asks 'Do you think I've completely given up on my dream of mutants and humans coexisting peacefully?' Xavier reveals his face as he asks 'Do you think I didn't love you? Because I do. I do... and I want you to always remember that'. Xavier puts his hands on his Cerebro helmet and states that someone once told him that he has spent his whole life dreaming the wrong dream – and admits that the last month has been something of an education – but there is a small part of him that will never stop believing in that dream, a part of him that will never stop believing in humanity.
'But it only took a month before you tried to kill me. And you were going to try again today, weren't you?' Charles smiles sadly.
Reilly Marshall falls silent, before he exclaims 'You've basically admitted to everyone here today that you see the world as yours. What did you think we would do?' 'Learn the lesson. Evolve. Adapt. Become something more' Xavier suggests. 'The same way I always have' he adds. He starts to put his helmet back on and tells the humans that if they want to be angry, if they want to lash out, because mutants are claiming what is rightfully theirs, then so be it. 'Just know it's the last time it ends like this' Xavier announces as his face disappears beneath the helmet.
'What is that supposed to mean?' Ma Mingyu asks, frowning. Magneto tells him that there should not be any confusion, that it seemed rather clear to him. 'Mutants have never been in this position before – being part of a brotherhood of nations – so admittedly, we have a bit of a learning curve to overcome... but we have good teachers in all of you. And we learn quickly'. Magneto, Xavier and Apocalypse get to their feet and start to leave the room. Cyclops and Gorgon are standing at the door as Magneto turns back to the international guests and tells them 'Try us again, if you will. But if you do... expect a response'. And a short time later, the mutant delegation departs Davos.