'Let mankind BEWARE!' Magneto the Master of Magnetism shouts as he rises majestically in a bubble of pure magnetic force. For years he has worked clandestinely to unseat humanity as the planet's ruler, encouraging acts of destruction and terrorism. Now he takes an active personal hand in the campaign to replace man with mutant, wreaking havoc at this upstate New York chemical plant, which is now in ruins. Pipes and vats of chemicals have been broken, causing the chemicals to gush into the plant, killing workers and laying waste to the facility. Not even a band of mankind's secret defenders – the X-Men – mutants under the tutelage of the benevolent Professor Charles Xavier could withstand his awful assault, as Scott “Cyclops” Summers, Rogue and Ororo “Storm” Munroe lay strewn about the rubble. Yet, hope lives, for in the rubble, a stirring.
Rogue wakes to find rubble covering her body. She tells herself that she has to get on her feet, that she can't let that scoundrel just fly off without her getting a shot in. 'Ah got more strength than Ah know what to do with... and Ah need it all now. C'mon girl – push!' Rogue thinks to herself, as she finally frees herself from the rubble. She goes over to Storm and sees that her friend is breathing. 'Ah'm gonna help yuh!' Rogue declares, and as she pulls the debris from her, tells her that she looks shaky on her legs, but alive. Rogue adds that they got their clocks cleaned good, but they can't let him slip town. 'No' Storm agrees. 'No. We are not. We are X-Men' Storm announces, before asking how Cyclops is faring. Rogue goes over to Cyclops and reports that she will give him mouth to mouth because those toxic fumes did a job on him. Rogue admits that she isn't sure what will happen to him, because they all know that she absorbs the power of anybody she is in contact with – even if she doesn't want it to happen. Rogue places her lips to Cyclops's and thinks to herself 'Don't die on me, Scottie boy. Ah couldn't take it if I had to face the Professor – and tell him his shinning boy didn't make it. Don't die'.
Cyclops suddenly coughs and sits up. He thanks Rogue and remarks that he is starting to come around, as the gas hit hard, he just needs some deep breaths. Rogue tells Cyclops that he is going to make it, but announces that her eyes are starting to feel funny, that they are tingling. As if on cue, optic beams shoot uncontrollably from Rogue's eyes. 'Can't stop 'em, Scottie!' Rogue calls out. Cyclops tells Rogue to shut her eyes, and she does so, with Scott warning her not to open her eyes no matter what. He points out that Rogue must have absorbed a fraction of his power to project optic blasts, before asking her how long she was in physical contact with him. Rogue, eyes closed, replies that it wasn't long, about a minute, she thinks, adding that she didn't think that was enough time for her to have permanently taken on his powers. Rogue then slowly opens her eyes and remarks that it seems to have all drained out of her. Cyclops tells her to take it easy for a moment, but Rogue replies that there is no time for that, as she has got a flying bug to squash. 'A big red one!' Rogue exclaims as she takes flight after Magneto. 'Love your spunk, Rogue. Despite living in an isolation the rest of us can only imagine... you always keep your chin up – never let on about the pain you suffer' Cyclops thinks to himself as he watches Rogue fly after Magneto.
'Stay back, child! My work here is done. The damage is complete!' Magneto calls out as Rogue reaches him. 'That's where yuh got it wrong, rivet-head! The damage hear is just commencing! Watch!' Rogue exclaims as she continues to fly after him. 'Come forth, then – and learn' Magneto replies, as he readies some magnetic force.
'That the best yuh got? Might as well be waving bye to yuh grandpappy for all the good that... that's gonna... do... yuh' Rogue replies, as she is suddenly struck by the magnetic force. 'Lost your tongue, girl? Or is it perhaps your motor functions which have deserted you?' Magneto asks as Rogue falls backwards and plummets to the ground. Magneto hovers over her as Storm looks up at him. Magneto remarks that it is so simple to control the metallic elements within one's brain, allowing him to dominate their every movement and direct Rogue's aborted flight. 'Like so!' he calls out.
'Turn, monster! When you attack one X-Man – you attack us all!' Storm shouts as she casts lightning towards Magneto, who remarks 'So, electrical projection is your forte! A thrust easily parried – as are all your feeble assaults!' With that, Magneti uses his control over metal to raise several pieces of scrap metal up to protect him from the lightning. But Storm tells Magneto that he speaks too soon. 'Metal can be melted with the proper heat – melted to surround you in the fashion I desire!' Storm exclaims as the metal is melted around Magneto, Storm then creates a gale force wind to harden the metal into an inescapable trap.
'Is this assault still feeble, Master of Magnetism?' Storm asks. 'A clever move, witch!' Magneto declares, before he is completely encased in a solid sphere of melted scrap metal. 'Silent in defeat, Magneto? Or do you scream within the walls of your improvised cage?' Storm asks. 'Prisoner of your blind arrogance?' Storm suggests, as she causes the sphere to drop down into the chemicals below.
'ENOUGH OF THIS!' Magneto roars as he bursts from the scrap metal, sending shards of it flying around the area, one of which strikes Storm in the head, causing her to fall to the ground. Magneto stands over her and tells her that her death will be swift. 'A lesson to those who -' Magneto begins, before 'NO!' Cyclops shouts. 'You'll never threaten another one of us again!' Cyclops exclaims as he moves towards Magneto. 'Ahh – the Xavier student whose eyes are his weapon' Magneto remarks. 'Throw all the tin cans in front of you that you want, Magneto! But nothing's going to stop me from getting through!' Cyclops boasts as he fires a powerful optic blast through his visor towards Magneto, who protects himself with a magnetic force field. 'NOTHING!' Cyclops shouts as he continues to pour the power on.
'Feel my power, madman! Feel the might of a mutant who doesn't believe in destruction or domination!' Cyclops declares. 'FEEL IT!' he shouts. Magneto watches Cyclops closely and sees that he has narrowed his beam to a laser-like intensity. 'I must reinforce -' he starts to tell himself, when suddenly, the attack lessens. 'Too much energy exerted, or...' Magneto wonders, as Cyclops stumbles, realizing that the gas took too much out of him and he is not fully recovered yet.
Cyclops drops to his knees, and Magneto tells him to practice the pose he will one day assume permanently to him he shall call master! 'Keep ranting, mister! Just makes me angrier!' Cyclops remarks quietly, while Magneto starts to continue: 'See what -' he begins, before he is suddenly struck with pain, 'My brain – on fire!' he shouts, clutching at his helmet. 'Who would dare assault my person thus?' Magneto wonders, when Professor Charles Xavier appears in his hoverchair, several feet away. 'I... Xavier. One who truly came to know your mind in the past – before it was poisoned' Charles calls out.
Charles tells Magneto to surrender, as no man can withstand such a telepathic barrage for long. 'I've no desire to injure you irrevocably' Charles assures Magneto, who drops to his knees. 'I – am – no – man – Xavier. I am a mutant!' Magneto replies, turning around he casts a magnetic wave back at Charles, 'And I will survive!' he booms, as Charles galls out of his hoverchair. Cyclops, Storm and Rogue surround Magneto, and Rogue warns him that was the biggest mistake he could have made. 'I'm gonna -' she begins, but Magneto tells her that she will do nothing, for battling him will gain them naught. 'Or are you so self-absorbed... that you will seek vengeance before aiding your stricken tutor with but moments before this factory becomes an inferno?' Magneto asks, pointing to Charles who is struggling in the chemical waste around them all. 'Have you learned nothing from him?' Magneto enquires. He then takes flight up through the hole in the roof, 'Now I leave you to your pursuits. Our paths will one day cross again' Magneto calls out to the X-Men, as Cyclops helps Charles up. 'Quickly, Professor. With all these volatile chemicals mixing – this place is a bomb!' The X-Men rush from the factory, 'Let's move, X-Men! Now!' Cyclops shouts as the factory explodes behind them. The four watch as the flames engulf the factory, and Charles remarks 'Look, my X-Men. See what that force of evil will one day make of this world if he is not stopped' Charles utters. 'But we'll stop him, Professor' Cyclops replies.
The Capitol Building, Washington DC, Senator Kelly stands at a podium before a gathering of reports and camera crew. 'Thank you for assembling, ladies and gentlemen of the press. I'll keep this brief' the Senator begins, before stating that since their country's leaders recklessly rescinded the Mutant Registration Act, the mutant criminal element has run wild, and the recent attacks at the Flemington Missile Basde and the Metro Chemical Plant are just the beginning. 'Senator Kelly, what do you plan to do about this?' one of the reporters asks. Senator Kelly announces that he intends, in this chamber tonight, to declare his candidacy for the President of the United States, adding that it is obvious the current administration has given the green light to mutant law-breaking. Senator Kelly announces that, as President, he intends to place every mutant in the nation in specially-designed internment camps under military supervision, and he will use this issue as a basis for running for this nation's highest office. Towards the back of the room, Henry Peter Gyrich stands and listens, and thinks to himself 'You're the perfect tool, Kelly. Glib and facile with words. Just what Peter Gyrich needs in the coming months'.
Back at the X-Mansion, where Jubilee is watching over Sabretooth, held in a chair with restraints, she reclines in a chair, eating some popcorn and watching the media report on Senator Kelly. 'Make me puke, Senator Slimeball! I wouldn't vote for that dweeb if he ran against Pee-Wee Herman!' she exclaims, while Sabretooth growls and declares 'Just lemme get my claws on his throat and he won't be making any more fancy speeches!' Jubilee frowns at Sabretooth, and he tells her that it is tough for him to control his anger, but that the Professor's treatments are working and it is getting easier. 'Great. And I'm the one's gotta stay here and watch you, lame-o' Jubilee mutters. Jubilee then asks Sabretooth where he is from, remarking that he showed up here all bleeding and half-dead, then the Professor tried to help him and that made Wolverine flip out. 'He said you were a killer and stuff so you gotta stay strapped in that hoverchair while you get treated' Jubilee adds. 'How much more you know about Wolverine than me, huh? He's got a temper makes me look like a boy scout!' Sabretooth replies, before asking why Wolverine isn't strapped in here getting some special treatment to help change him?'
Jubilee decides that Sabretooth has a point, and admits that Wolverine is kind of creepy, before noticing that Sabretooth's wrist is bleeding from the restraints. 'Can't let it get infected' Jubilee declares, asking Sabretooth to promise he will stay calm while she tries to bandage it. 'No sweat. Been stuck in this flying rocking chair so long I can barely move a muscle, anyway' Sabretooth points out. 'Okay. Here goes. Just remember the wrist thingy' Jubilee tells Sabretooth as the restraint around his wrist opens, 'Ahh, that's much better' Sabretooth grins. 'I owe ya one, girlie!' Sabretooth declares as he slaps Jubilee, knocking her across the floor and away from the hoverchair. He reaches down and presses the release button, which then frees him from the hoverchair. 'And I been known to pay my debts!' Sabretooth calls out as he looms over Jubilee, assuring her that he isn't going to torture her, instead he will rip her throat out fast, then trash this dump like Magneto sent him to do! 'But the treatments -?' Jubilee gasps. Sabretooth reveals that he has been faking it, and explains that his system doesn't react to drugs – or kind words – so he just went along with baldy until he got his chance.
'Too bad you're the first -' Sabretooth begins, before picking up a familiar scent. 'I know that stench' he remarks, turning to a doorway, he sees Wolverine standing there. 'I thought you split!' Sabretooth exclaims. 'You ready to pick up where we left off?' Wolverine asks, popping his claws, he lunges at Sabretooth and slashes across his enemy's chest, announcing that he has been waiting for this dance for a long time. Sabretooth falls back, and admits that Wolverine still has good moves – he always did. 'But I'm leading this waltz – like always!' Sabretooth exclaims as he grabs Wolverine and throws him overhead. 'I like throwing in a few new steps – just to keep ya on yer toes, of course!' Sabretooth jokes. 'You got everybody else faked out with the growling and the shiny claws, but not me, sweet pea! I still got your number!' Sabretooth tells Wolverine. 'You murdered friends of mine' Wolverine reminds his enemy as he gets up. But Sabretooth grabs Wolverine's wrists and declares 'That was years ago – and yer still carrying a torch for 'em, ain'tcha? Touching!' Sabretooth exclaims that he has got a new gig now, carving up mutants that get in Magneto's way! 'And yer high on the list, stumpy!' Sabretooth adds, before boasting that he is going to ram Wolverine's claws down his throat and pull out his bloody heart.
'Talking trash, that's yer style' Wolverine replies as he kicks Sabretooth, knocking the larger mutant backwards. Wolverine leans over Sabretooth, claws ready, and points out that taking up with a loser like Magneto's is not tough, just somebody's lapdog. Wolverine boasts that he is going to ship Sabretooth back to his master in pieces. 'Hear that scumbucket? Pieces!' Wolverine snarls. He grabs his enemy by the back of his head and remarks that first he will take out his lying tongue. 'Then you can try screaming when I cut out them baby blues! It'll be sweet!' Wolverine snarls. Sabretooth calls Wolverine “Logan” and tells him that he is a wimp. 'You ain't got no guts to drown a kitten! Spit on ya!' Sabretooth exclaims, when, suddenly, 'Wolverine!' a voice calls out.
Wolverine turns to see Xavier has returned with Cyclops, Storm and Rogue. 'Mind yer own business, Charlie! This little tete-a-tete is between me – and him!' Wolverine declares. 'Got it?' he asks. But Charles grabs Wolverine's wrist and tells him that what occurs in this house is his business. 'You joined us to control your bestial nature – not free it!' Charles points out, adding that he won't believe his teachings fell on deaf ears. 'This is your test, Logan. Show me I'm right. Don't fail' Charles asks.
Wolverine stands up and turns away from Sabretooth. 'I'm a man, Chuck. Was before I showed up here. You remember that. This bag of barf is working for your old chum, Magneto. He had orders to rip the place apart – and anybody in his way' Wolverine announces, adding that he knew Sabretooth was up to something, so he stuck around, waiting for him to make his move, and he did. 'It wouldn't have been a pretty scene if I wasn't here' Wolverine points out. Charles tells Logan that he did well, admitting that he assumed Sabretooth was secure and therefore could be left for Jubilee. 'But there is no room for vengeance in this school. It's the betterment of mankind that is our concern. We must never descend to the level of our enemies' Charles tells Wolverine. Blood splattered on the floor, Sabretooth sits up and grumbles, before suddenly leaping upwards and raking his sharp claws up Wolverine's back, 'Don't listen to chrome-dome, pal! Look at all the fun ya'd miss if you wasn't like me!' Sabretooth declares. 'Don't you touch him again! It's cause you tricked me that he's hurt! And you're gonna pay for it, creep!' Jubilee shouts as she fires her plasma light blasts at Sabretooth, knocking him backwards, while Wolverine lies on the floor, blood seeping out of the wounds on his back. 'Gawd! Professor, he's all cut tuh ribbons! His back...it's awful!' Rogue exclaims as she and the others gather around their teammate. Charles instructs the X-Men to get Wolverine to the infirmary, quickly, adding that there is no telling if even his healing factor can handle a wound like this. Wolverine tries to speak, but Jubilee tells him to take it easy and that they are going to help him. 'Just lie still. We'll never let you die. I promise'.
Storm turns to the Professor and asks what this means, 'What have we gotten into?' she wonders. The Professor reports that the most dangerous mutant of all time is out there somewhere – planning and scheming like a confident terrorist. Charles admits that he let his passions for an ideal blind him to Sabretooth's evil intentions. 'We must be ever vigilant, my X-Men, for it is not only a frightened humanity which seeks our demise...it is one of our own'.
Aboard Asteroid M, Magneto's orbiting retreat at the threshold of space, the powerful mutant looks down at the Earth and thinks that the opening hand has been played – mankind now has another demon to plague its troubled sleep. 'How like sheep they are. Their lives consumed by petty squabbles and struggles for miniscule pieces of turf. What an abomination of nature that man dominates below' Mangeto thinks to himself. He frowns and decides that is all coming to an ignominous end, for the age of man is over – it is the coming dawn of Homo Sapiens Superior. He tells himself that blood will be shed and casualties will mount – Xavier and his pathetic charges will preach the pallid path of peace. They will be crushed underfoot with the rest. Magneto boasts that he will hold this planet in the palm of his hand and bend it to his will – mold it in the image he desires. He believes that he will be worshipped, revered and idolized by those who survive the holocaust that will soon be the way of the world – for it is the way of Magneto!