Moira MacTaggert panics when the Professor wakes her up telepathically. He’s pulling up outside her house as they speak. Moira wants to know what’s wrong, as it’s in the middle of the night. Charles knows that, but he couldn’t wait any longer. He tips his cab driver and Moira welcomes Charles into her home, not wanting her to catch his death in the pouring rain. But right now, Charles thinks he deserves to die. Moira demands to know what’s going on, since she hasn’t seen Charles like this ever since he and Erik had a falling out.
Charles admits he made a terrible mistake and doesn’t know how he could have made it happen. Disappointed, he explains that he has lost his X-Men. They are missing and it’s all his fault. Moira tries to calm Xavier down, asking how that could happen. Xavier explains that the X-Men were on a mission. He didn’t think it was that dangerous, at least not more than usual. But now he realizes he should have monitored them more closely. He was working in the Danger Room at the time when, suddenly, his link to Jean cut out. He had never experienced anything like it. It was like someone cut a string into his mind, that he didn’t knew had been holding everything together. And now, he needs Moira’s help to save them.
Beast and Wolverine are watching Moira’s video-tape they received from Banshee. Moira revealed to them what happened years ago. She didn’t knew what other choice she had but to help Xavier. Beast finds this disturbing. Wolverine thinks that’s an understatement. Hank defends he’s just being succinct, because honestly, he’s not sure what to think. Kurt reveals himself, realizing that Moira was talking about the Krakoa incident.
Hank is surprised that Kurt was there the whole time they listened to the tape. Kurt admits that, as he wanted to know what was so important Sean felt he needed to hand-deliver it to them. Wolverine thinks it’s just more bad news. And they already killed the messenger away. Beast wants to know what further information is on that tape that’s worth killing someone for. Logan thinks there’s only one way to find that out, namely by keep watching the tape until its end.
Sitting in her kitchen, Xavier is ready to use his telepathic powers on Moira so she can see what happened to the X-Men. But he warns her the experience can be disorienting. Moira is confident she’ll survive it, as she has felt disoriented before. She just wants to learn what happened. Xavier shows her the battle the X-Men had against Krakoa, the living island.
Cyclops warns Iceman to run away, telling him to stop using his powers on the creature, realizing it can’t be hurt by them. Krakoa punches Bobby out of his way! Moira panics. Cyclops fires his optic blast against Krakoa’s creatures, and wants to hear from Jean where Angel is. Warren finds himself attacked by birds that are under Krakoa’s influence. He cries out to help from Havok and Scott, as he needs ground support. Krakoa slams Angel down as well. Moira feels his pain.
Krakoa captures Jean. Cyclops tries to rescue her, but it’s no use. Jean warns that she can’t touch Krakoa as it has no mind. There’s something weird about it. Krakoa roars, and attacks Cyclops as well.
Xavier stops the communication. Moira wants to know what that was, as it felt weird. Xavier thinks it probably felt like a nightmare. Moira admits that. Xavier explains that those were the last mental images he got before he lost his link with Jean, and that Krakoa now has his X-Men captured. Moira asks Charles if he’s certain his students aren’t dead. Cerebro told him that the X-Men are still alive, but still on that island. Moira wants to know what she can to do help. Charles is afraid there is no good way to put what he’s about to say, but… he needs Moira’s students.
Present time, at an unknown location…
Cyclops and Rachel have been released from the walls they were trapped on, but unconscious. Rachel wakes up, and is surprised they are actually free. She tries to wake Scott up and tells him it’s time to go. Rachel thinks their captor must be asleep or something. Scott doesn’t understand. Rachel thinks the guy doesn’t know what he’s doing, or can fully control his powers yet. Scott wants to know how Rachel could possibly know that.
Rachel explains she’s still getting pieces from when he was in his head. She knows this guy didn’t used to be so powerful. Something happened to him, which bumped up way past the Omega level, but she is certain he isn’t ready for it yet. And he’s finally starting to make some mistakes. They walk up flight of stairs, on which Cyclops’ visor hangs on. Rachel hands it back to him and he puts it on. She feels she’s slowly starting to get her powers back and is confident Scott should get them back soon enough as well.
Scott can’t wait for that to happen, as he hasn’t felt this helpless since… he stops talking when he notices something. He takes a look at the room they arrive in, and notices he has been in this place before! Rachel remembers that’s what the guy said too. She wants to know where they are, but Scott isn’t sure. He has been into this place before, but it was such a long time ago. Scott points to a door and thinks they have to go through that. She asks Rachel who their enemy is, since she has been into his head.
Rachel explains that she told Scott about their foes’ mental link with the Professor, and there’s something else. It’s a bit weird to say. She asks Scott if he’s sure he has never seen this guy before. Scott is positively sure. Rachel thinks that’s weird, because she thinks their captor used to be a member of the X-Men!
Wolverine, Nightcrawler and Beast continue watching Moira’s tape. Moira reveals that her students weren’t exactly that. They were just a few kids she was trying to help. And in return, they helped her genetic research. Charles had met them all, of course. He helps devise their training sessions. One of the students was named Sway. She had the power to control time.
Moira and Xavier help Sway in her training session at the Danger Room. Moira tells Suzanne she’s doing a good job so far. Now, she wants her to try to stop only the big projectiles and dodge the smaller ones. Sway promises she’ll try it, but she’s feeling pretty tapped-out. Moira is confident she can do it. She fires the projectiles, and Suzanne successfully concludes the exercise.
Sway’s mutant powers allowed her to slow down or even stop time in minute radiuses, but her control wasn’t very advanced. She could also replay the recent past in short bursts. She could see events that happened before walk by like phantoms.
A girl more advanced than Sway, due to her living on the streets for years, was the runaway named Petra. During her training session, Petra used her rock powers to destroy some robots. She smiles and tells Moira she’ll have to do better than that if she wants to defeat her. Moira doesn’t think that will be a problem, and has a wall come out of the floor and causes Petra to lose balance!
Moira explains that Petra was a geo-morph with amazing potential. She once saw Petra turn a piece of rock coal into a diamond. She could make rocks and earth dance to the beat of her drum, which was practically a second nature by the time they had originally met.
There was also Darwin, the evolving boy. Even Charles was amazed by this one. They throw hot lava on the boy, and nothing seemed to harm him. Darwin smiled that it just felt like a warm breeze to him. Moira explains that Darwin could be put in total darkness and his eyes learn how to see in it. He can be put underwater and he grows actual, functioning gills. Darwin is even fireproof when he needs to be. Charles admits that Darwin’s potential is like he’s in a state of continually reactive mutation. He believes that if Darwin could control it all at will, the possibilities would be endless.
Finally, there was the boy who called himself Kid Vulcan. He was an energy manipulator with great potential. The boy was an odd one and a bit rougher than the rest. Moira knew little of Vulcan’s life before he came to him, but suspected he lived much in it in fear. From the first time she met him though, Charles showed more interest in Vulcan than all the others combined.
Charles asks Moira about Kid Vulcan’s background, suspecting he’s an orphan as well. Moira can’t be sure about that, as Vulcan never talks much about his past to her. All he wants to do is learn how to use his mutant abilities. She thinks he has been hurt a lot of times in his young life. He’s got that way around him. Charles thinks Moira is right about that. He wants to know his real name. Moira reveals that the only other name Vulcan has given to her is Gabriel. But he prefers to be called Kid Vulcan, or simply Vulcan. Charles thinks Gabriel named himself after Vulcan, the Roman god of fire. Moira confirms. She reveals that the only thing Gabriel had with him when people found him was a book on the mythology of Ancient Rome, which looked like it had been read for a hundred times.
Present time, Xavier’s…
Kurt, Logan and Hank aren’t sure what to think. Moira admits that, today, she doesn’t know what she was thinking in those days. This man she loved was asking her to let these kids risk their lives the same way he had let his own students do. All she could respond was “it’s up to them.”
Xavier has gathered Darwin, Petra, Suzanne and Vulcan around him. He introduces himself, in case they have forgotten his name. Gabriel remembers that Xavier is from the X-Men. Xavier confirms that. He also mentions that he’s here because both he and the X-Men need their help. Darwin wants to know how they could possibly help the X-Men. Xavier explains to the young students that the X-Men are missing, and he needs help in order to save them. He won’t lie and admits that the mission will be dangerous. But Charles promises he will be with them, inside their heads, helping them the whole time. And if the students agree to help, they’ll get a crash course in the use of their powers beyond anything they’ve been through so far, which will start as soon as possible.
Petra asks if this mission will make them X-Men. Charles confirms that. And, he adds, if the students help him, they would be showing courage to prove the honor they deserve. Gabriel agrees that he and the other students will help. Moira wants to discuss things first, but Gabriel’s mind is made up. Things don’t need to be discussed, as the Professor is asking them to become X-Men. They will be glad to do it. Petra, Suzanne and Darwin agree.
Present time, Xavier’s…
Moira explains that the problem was that time was in short supply. So, once Charles got his new students to his school, he gave them the basic black-and-gold X-Men uniforms and started the crash course.
Xavier explains that he placed everyone in Mindscape. This is the only way to prepare the students quickly enough. While only a few hours will pass in the real world, this team will experience months of intensive Danger Room training created solely by his thoughts. Moira wants to know if any of the students know that none of this is real. Charles denies that, thinking there’s no point in telling it to them. It would only have them doubt what he was teaching them.
Moira doesn’t know how Xavier can do this. Xavier explains that this is something he has been testing for a few years now. He explains that the thought is far more elastic than real time, and the key was studying in real time. In a dream, years can pass in mere seconds.
Moira didn’t mean that. She wanted to know how Charles can risk these children’s lives like this. She reminds Charles that she has known him for a long time now, but she never understood how he puts children in harm’s way the way he does. Charles explains that these students won’t be children for long and he defends they need to be prepared. He believes that the world doesn’t want them, and unless the kids are prepared to stand and fight against that, they will die.
Moira notices that Charles is talking like Erik now. Charles admits that his old friend isn’t wrong about everything. He explains that all of these mutant children are the future. And if he can help them mold in becoming good people, to become good examples for the ones that come after them, he’ll do it. Moira wants to know what Charles is going to do if the kids don’t want to become “examples.” Charles doesn’t think the kids have that luxury, and defends that living in denial won’t help them or the world. Moira asks if the X-Men will help the world. Charles admits that. And they will also help the world understand what mutantkind is all about.
Vulcan, Darwin, Petra and Suzanne all learn how to work together, not realizing the time that is passing. As they grow closer to another, they also learn a bit more about the X-Men they’ve got to rescue. After the proper training, Xavier gives his new students the proper uniforms. Gabriel smiles and is happy about them, asking if they’ve get to meet the Fantastic Four as well. Darwin isn’t so sure about the costumes though, because they don’t leave much to the imagination.
Present time, Xavier’s…
Moira reveals that, before she had time to question it, her charges had become Charles’. She began to believe they had always been. Before they left, Charles took Kid Vulcan to his side. Moire thought at first they were going over the mission one last time, while she talked courage into the others. The students were proud to fly into action in her jet, as they were X-Men now. Moira admits that if she had known then what the kids were getting themselves into, she wouldn’t have let them. The video of the tape goes blurry.
Wolverine asks Beast why that’s happening. Beast reminds Logan that he already told him the tape got damaged and he salvaged everything he could. He feels lucky they already got as much as they did. Kurt doesn’t feel so lucky after everything they just heard. Hank guesses not. But he does think it’s clear that Logan and Kurt weren’t the first new mutants the Professor sent to rescue the original team. Logan wants to know why they have never heard from these kids before. Kurt thinks the more important question is: what happened to them?
At an unknown location…
Rachel finds a sign behind some leaves, which reads “Muir-MacTaggert Research Department?!” Rachel asks Scott if Moira ever run a facility in the States. Scott hesitates. He thinks so, remembering he met Moira for the first time when they found Alex. She helped the Professor do some tests on him. Scott remembers this place. This was where they run those tests. Xavier even helped Moira design it. Scott recalls that the place even isn’t that far from the school, just a few hours. And Scott remembers coming here with the Professor, but can’t remember for what. He wants to know why he can’t remember.
A voice reveals to Scott he can’t remember because the Professor doesn’t want him to. It’s Vulcan! He reveals that this is the place where he and Scott first met each other, before they saved him from Krakoa. Scott recognizes Vulcan but doesn’t understand what he’s saying. Vulcan claims that Scott’s mentor, old Charles Xavier, didn’t want Scott to know he had sacrificed the live of his long-lost baby brother! So, the good Professor messed with Scott’s head, like he has done with so many people. And on that moment, Scott and all of the other X-Men left Vulcan and his friends for dead!
For the last few weeks, Gabriel has been having the same kind of dream he has every night: bad dreams. They feel like missing fragments of his life that are coming back to him, but because the dreams are in his head, they don’t feel like they are making much sense. He remembers a cold steel womb he floated in when he was a baby, and the face of a scientist checking on him. And every night, when the pincers reach for him, Gabriel gets filled with fear, and wakes up screaming!
And once Gabriel is awake, other missing pieces begin falling into their place. He remembers scattered details of his early lives, things that have been buried into his mind for many years now. He remembers being a servant, which was more like acting like a slave. And he remembers the many other people that lived with him during those days, in a place that looks like either a fortress or a mansion. Some of these people, Gabriel remembers, had strange hair, which almost look like feathers.
Gabriel remembers one of these people, an older woman, being very kind to him. But he can’t remember her name. It was this woman who snuck him the book that he read over and over again, after lights-out, the book about the myths of ancient Rome where he eventually found his name. It’s only these new memories that make the fear he feels each night bearable.
Gabriel wanders through Moira’s research center, and gets approached by her. Moira jokes that he’s apparently becoming an insomniac, since she finds him awake again. Gabriel jokes that he maybe is becoming an insomniac, and would be glad to become one with the kinds of dreams he’s having. Moira apologizes, as she thought Xavier’s help would help him or else she wouldn’t have allowed it. Gabriel admits that’s okay, since he wanted the help. And at least bad memories are better than having none. Moira asks Gabriel if he’s remembering anything specific, or all just shattered pieces.
But even though he trusts Dr. MacTaggert, Gabriel lies. He claims he remembers nothing but bits and pieces. He lies because this night, for the first time, he remembers the day his mutant powers manifested themselves. And this is not a memory he plans on sharing with anyone. Because on that day, Gabriel accidentally used his powers to kill Dai’andral, the woman that had been so kind to him! When getting back to bed, Gabriel remembers the old woman’s name.
There are a few other flashes of that day, with none of them being pleasant, as he kept using his powers to kill some Shi’Ar guards. And the next thing Gabriel remembers, is that he finds himself in a forest, carrying the only thing he cares about him, and finds himself running for his life. And then, it’s a year later, and he’s living in a sewer in New York City until police officers find him. And he remembers trying really hard not to hurt them. And then, it’s another month later, and he’s put into a room and introduced to Moira. She offered help.
Gabriel felt something about this woman. From the moment they met, he knew he could trust her. And she never asked too many questions, which he likes. After getting a personal training uniform, Gabriel tests his powers in her lab. Not long after that, Gabriel meets Moira’s friend, Professor Xavier, a guy from the X-Men. Gabriel and the other kids at Moira’s research facility have all heard of the X-Men, and seen their exploits on TV. Gabriel learned that the X-Men are mutant super heroes. The rest of the world may not always agree with that statement, but Gabe and his friends know what they are all about, since they saw them fighting against horrors such as the Sentinels.
Professor Xavier takes a special interest in Gabriel. He helped him control his powers, and his fire skills can now merge through his eyes and not only from his hands. But the nightmares start almost immediately. Xavier admits to Gabriel that he knows this is unpleasant, but he wants him to understand that things have happened to him that his mind locked away. And, until they know what those things are, until Gabriel lets them go, he may never have complete control over his mutant abilities.
Gabriel senses that there’s more behind the Professor’s reasons for waiting to get into his head, but he doesn’t push it. Gabriel realizes that Xavier wants him to master his powers, and Gabriel remembers that the day before that conversation, Xavier brought one of the X-Men over to meet him. It was their leader, Cyclops. Gabriel was fairly impressed to meet Scott Summers. Scott was happy too, as the Professor had told him Gabriel is really something to see in action.
And what was even better than meeting Cyclops, Gabriel got to train with him for an hour. It was the biggest rush of his entire life, sparring with the leader of the X-Men. There was even one moment where Gabe had such control of his powers that he turned Cyclops’ optic beam away from its target. Even Cyclops seemed shocked by that. Scott asks Gabe how he could do that. Gabe explained that he just sort of felt the beam with his mind and twisted it. It’s like putting your hand in front of a light and making a shadow puppet.
Later, after Cyclops left, Gabe heard Dr. MacTaggert and the Professor talk. Moira thought that Xavier was pushing him too hard. Xavier thought he could be the judge of that. He defended that Gabriel is stronger than Moira thinks he is, having great potential to be one of the strongest manipulators of Earth. Moira thought there is more to it than that. She knows Charles has been interested in Gabe since he met him, more than any of her other fosters. Xavier admits there’s more, but he’s not sure what it is just yet. He thinks his age is wrong, somehow. But he does know one thing: if Gabriel is given the proper training, and learns proper control about his powers, Gabriel could soon be ready to join the X-Men, assuming he wants that.
That’s all Gabriel could think about that night, until his dreams woke him, and he remembered the day he escaped his masters, whoever they were. But Moira and the Professor can never know about that day and how badly he lost control. Not now, with so much ahead of him. Gabriel smiles that, one day, he could become Kid Vulcan… of the X-Men.