As the X-Men and news reporters watch Cyclops and David fist fight, David asks the question as to whether they have been in a real fight. You would imagine there would be a sense of grace and coordination and maybe some choreography but Hollywood is to thank for that belief. You imagine that whatever happens, you will emerge with your dignity and people will congratulate you. You imagine that no matter how outclassed you are, you still have a chance. You’ll pull something out the bag; a magic move or a golden punch. Nobody ever imagines them losing and nobody ever expects humiliation. The truth is that there is no grace or art. Once you take superpowers out of the equation, you are left with a mess.
Inside David’s mind, his personalities look on the writhes and struggles, fighting an invisible adversary. The inside of the brain is pure chaos, a thing of panic and pure thoughtless reaction.
You’re thinking about the training though. What if one or the other of you is a martial artist? Surely then it would be an open-and-shut surgical dissection. Beyond rules, referees and respect that isn’t how it goes. After the first touch, contact or touching of skin, it all goes. You don’t have time to plan and you don’t have room for your Vulcan death-grip. All the planning and expectations are gone. What’s left is the clenching of teeth, sinew, blood like a bass drum and instinct. The only thing you have left that will keep you fighting is hate.
As the rain pours down, a shirtless David and Cyclops, lunge at each other in a vengeance-filled fight. On TV, the news reports manage to identify David and start talking about a fight that represents an ideological clash of epic proportions. One reporter in the studio tells the viewers that they have to see this fight in the light of recent events within the mutant sphere. Tensions between rival groups are at an all-time low and the spate of “X-beast” atrocities is still on the front page. With pro-mutant individuals being found murdered in front of enigmatic graffiti, these episodes of internal disharmony take destructive aspects. The reporter continues to describe the ramifications of the fight but his co-anchor cuts him off and tells him they should probably get back to watching the fight.
As David and Cyclops continue to fight, David knows that his enemy is stronger, bigger and quicker. He has been tutored and he’s got the moves. David is outclassed but Cyclops is off his own map too. He’s used to superdupers letting rip from their cosmic armpits. He’s no brawler and he is also full to the brim with honor. As Cyclops grabs David in a chokehold, he tells him he doesn’t want to hurt him. David knows that Cyclops is no brawler and he isn’t broken. As he bites down on the X-Man’s arm, he is fuelled by the simple thought that he killed his father.
The newsmen are right in that there is more going on here. It’s more that meat, bone and split skin. It’s not just two people having a scrap. There is myth and power here. This is a war for succession and a fight for the mutant crown. David is the king’s heir, whom was acknowledged as his son. And Cyclops was the king’s protégé, the one he treated like a son. Beneath it all, what it comes down to is envy. The two gladiators continue to swing their arms and grapple with each other, neither one giving an inch.
David looks at Cyclops and ponders the future he could give their people. Him, with his costumes, easy limelight, sound bites and the seductive propaganda of a revolution. Him, with his students, child soldiers and preparations for war. David then wonders what future he could give the mutant race but finds it hard to think of anything. His brand is proactivity, preemptive and he-rules-him et cetera. But what would he give the future of mankind?
There’s always a woman in the crowd who can answer that for free. Blindfold’s precognitions aren’t so hot since her brother stole half her powers. But if either of them is asked what the future holds, they can paint a not-so-pretty picture. The old king is dead. Long like the bork-brained liability that will devour all of mutant kind.
David is no messiah for mutant kind. Luca Aldine knew that and he all but jiggled his eyeballs in glee when he saw a future without them. He made it his mission to kill his sister Blindfold, who was the one person who could prevent the horror. Luca’s gone now but Blindfold remains. Their fate is tangled liked barbed wire around their hearts and futures. One of them will end up killing the other. It’s a vicious world where love isn’t enough.
As David struggles against Cyclops, he looks out to the crowd to see Blindfold watching him. It was only a moment of hesitation but it was enough for Cyclops to land a powerful punch across David’s face. David wants to blame it on a moment of romantic distraction but that would be too easy. The truth is, once you take away all the hadoukens, fus-ro-dahs and super-bloody-saiyans, nine-times-out-of-ten it’s the guy with the bigger muscles and greater stamina who will kick your ass.
With David on the defense, Cyclops quickly overwhelms him and knocks him to the floor. Cyclops stands over him and asks him to stop again, but David tells him he will never do that. As everyone else looks on, Cyclops pummels David over and over again.
Inside David’s mindscape, the Xavier personality shouts out that Cyclops could kill him. After more of Cyclops’ punishment, David eventually uses his abilities and grabs a small electronic personality to use.
In the real world, a small bolt of energy shoots out of David’s arms and knocks Cyclops off him. Morph yells that David cheated but Blindfold is just relieved. A battered and bruised David stands up and Cyclops tells him the apple fell very far from the tree. He asks David if he really thinks mutant kind wants him in their corner but David replies that he thinks mutant kind needs whatever it takes. Cyclops starts to charge up his eye beams and he tells David he thinks he can handle it. Realizing what is about to happen, David prepares for the pain. But he also smiles and tells Cyclops he loses.
Cyclops lets loose a huge optic attack that slams into David and propels him backwards. Unfortunately, he is thrown into Tempus, who has trying to contain the newly emerged mutant the X-Men had come to help. Cyclops realizes what he has done but it’s too late. Tempus’ time bubble dissipates and the young mutant inside it subconsciously unleashes her powers. Tendrils start to whip out of her and David is caught in them. In the newsroom, one of the anchors explains that the newly emerged mutant girl has powers that can fuse living things together. She is now absorbing the colossal psychic powers of the long haired man. The other anchor angrily cuts him off and yells to go back to the live feed.
Cyclops is stunned but then yells for everyone to get out of the area. Blindfold asks about David but he yells for her to move too. The news crews and various bystanders get caught up in the twisting mass, causing it to grow bigger and bigger. A shocked Blindfold stares at the scene and realizes that this is the future she saw. As David writhes in the mass, he knows that this is the world worm. It was never about the girl underneath it all, it was about him and his greed for power and control. He knows that both he and Blindfold circled about this but ignored it all. But they can’t cheat their fate anymore. They both know, just as Luca did, that only one person can stop this.
Blindfold stands before the mass and speaks to David, whose head is just about visible in the gestalt. Straining to speak he tells her that it wants more control, and more mutant minds. He points out it isn’t affecting her but she refuses to listen. He tells her she must kill him. The mass absorbs Magik into it and she drops her soulsword, which falls a little way off.
Elsewhere, the whole scene is being broadcast on a TV in a bar. As a barman pours a beer, he mutters that there is never a dull day with mutie types. He turns back to the customer he was serving but the man has vanished.
David begs Blindfold to kill him and save their race, but she refuses. Something suddenly whisks past the watching news crews and a voice tells them he needs to borrow some parts. Blindfold reluctantly picks up Magik’s soulsword and goes to strike the mass containing David and everyone else. However, a hand suddenly grabs her arm and stops her. Her brother, Luca, takes the soul sword off her and restrains her. He has used the various metal devices to create a new body for himself so he can stop Blindfold from saving David.