In his mind, David asks Ruth if she knows about the superorganism and if she understands evolution. Any individual better suited to life, whether they are stronger or more aggressive, are more likely to pass those traits on than one who doesn’t make the grade. There is an upgrade though in hive life, such as that of wasps, ants and all that. Their competition is between groups rather than individuals and their only rule is sacrifice. Bees sting even though it kills them and termites self-explode to release poison, all for the greater good. In a situation where an individual is more interested in saving the hive than itself, scientifically speaking, it makes sense to regard the group as a single entity.
Humans have been working towards it forever, even though it’s not exactly perfect. Their factions are as xenophobic and exclusionary as any of nature’s hives but, in their minds, dreams, cultures and ideas, humanity is connected. Call it the psychosphere, massmind, idea-space or whatever… It is a superorganism.
That thing seems a good idea as there is strength in numbers, shared expertise and creativity. There is a weakness though, because if one wrong ‘un… a spider disguised as a queen… a cuckoo in the nest… a cancer cell in the healthy tissue… a single note of selfishness amidst the altruism, then it has the whole hive by the crown jewels. Try as you might, the bugger is almost impossible to dislodge. It turns the gestalt to its own ends and defense, and it begins to spread its influence. If you think help will come from the outside, you are wrong because the parasite has dug in. If you think it will stop because it’s tearing apart its own lair, it won’t. It doesn’t care as it’s a greedy, well-hidden little tumor.
The rest of the world, all the other groups, won’t notice because it’s not their remit and it isn’t their trade. It’s too slow, subtle and complete to punch away. The superorganism is corrupted but it is still super, which means it’s stronger than before, regardless of all the gluttony and focus. By the time the cancer has been identified, it has already spread too far. The only chance of ripping it out, of expunging every trace, of tearing down the towers, of razing the roof and salting the Earth is to be more vicious than it.
All the time David has been talking, in his mind he has been engaged in a battle with the gold-skinned Xavier on the psychosphere. In the real world, the negative effects of Xavier’s powers can be felt as people start lashing out at those around them whilst being completely overlooked by the rest of Earth’s heroes.
Blindfold is inside David’s mind and she is unimpressed with the lecture he just gave her. He is floating in front of her with his new psychedelic form but she asks who he is and what he has done with her boyfriend. He begins to tell her it is still him but she angrily cuts him off and tells him it’s just a lot to take in. One minute she has lost him along with a bunch of her memories and the next he has squid for hair.
He tells her he thought she would be pleased as he is sealing himself together. He can’t beat Xavier if he is in pieces. His mind was a prison but now it’s changed. Blindfold looks around her at the new open landscape with the various uncaged personalities roaming free. She tells David that she especially likes the giant monsters who are still ignoring him and then asks how the collective life is working out.
As David fights with the Xavier personality, he tells Blindfold that he is lulling him into a false sense of security. Blindfold becomes worried and asks David to listen to someone who loves the imperfect David. She then pleads with him to stop before it’s too late, as he knows where it all leads to. They have both seen what happens if he gets stronger. The shrieking sky, the world beast and both of them transformed. It’s one of them, either him or her. One of them kills the other.
David asks if he has to stay weak and he is not obligated to clear up his own mess, to destroy the devil he set free. David tells Blindfold that the Xavier personality was inside his mind for months, eating other personalities and festering away. He is stronger and sicker than David. He doesn’t know what Xavier is but he knows he will kill millions. He asks how he can just stand by and stay broken. How can he hide from one evil outcome if it just enables another?
Saddened, Blindfold says that David told her they could overcome anything the universe had in store for them and that they could beat destiny. He told her that he ruled himself. David is quiet for a few seconds as tears run down his face. Eventually, he holds out his hand and tells her to dance. Stuttering, she tries to tell him it isn’t the time and that she can’t dance, but she takes his hand regardless. He places a hand on her face and tells her they are inside his mind and it is a dream. They were always a dream, and of course she can dance. As they slowly dance in each other’s arms, their clothes change so that David is in a suit and Blindfold is in an elegant dress.
After dancing for a short while, Blindfold then pushes David away and tells him to stop, her normal broken speech pattern returning as well. She tells him he is hers and she has barely had time to have him. She will tell the X-Men and everyone else and she won’t let him do it. She trails off as she looks at David, who is now absorbing more personalities into him. She kneels down and asks why they are merging with him. He replies that they are drawn to his need like a vacuum waiting to be filled. She always makes him less broken.
She stands up, with tears streaming down her face, and angrily asks if that is why he brought her there. So he can level up and trigger the very thing that will tear them apart. He grabs her shaking hands and tells her to stop trying to be angry with him and listen. He brought her there to tell her that he cannot stop loving her and that wishes he had more time. Also to say he is sorry. Blindfold doesn’t understand what he is apologizing for but his hand starts glowing as it holds her face. She collapses on the floor and he tells her he is sorry for needing her to let him do that.
In the real world, Pixie knocks on Blindfold’s bedroom door at the Jean Grey School. She says the astral dating business looks a lot like laziness from where she is stood. She won’t cover classes for her again. Inside the room, Blindfold is asleep in bed with David sat on a chair next to her. He leaves Blindfold and phases through the wall and floats to his father’s grave outside. He muses that pretty speeches and sappy words are all well and good but his father has taught him something without really meaning to… Sentimentality and strength do not mix. As David approaches his father’s statue, he asks what the cold-hearted sod would do.
As David looks around his mindscape, he sees that only remaining personalities are the big bastards who are not ready for war yet. But war doesn’t care if you are ready for not and you cannot fight destiny.
David continues to fight the Xavier personality on the psychosphere as the corrupt entity’s effects continue to rage on in the real world. David knows he has explained the grime and grit of real world fighting isn’t like the movies. At this level, there aren’t any physics involved and there are worlds up for the struggle. He and Xavier grapple between planes of existence and they war beyond geography and thought. The ghostly body Xavier stole and the feeble flesh of David continue to fight from the real to the fictional and the solid to the spirit. They are jousting demigods of light and shadow of the psychosphere. As they rage across worlds without shape, the human race howls in its shared soul
Finally, the monster hisses and asks David why he wants to save them, as they are not his species. They hate him and they spent their lives despising and fearing him. On the psychosphere, Xavier grabs David by the throat and asks if he has ever considered leaving him to it. Let him push them past the brink of destruction and collapse their little hive before it has begun. The world would belong to the mutants and David’s wretched future with Blindfold does not need to occur. David is thrown to the floor and, as he looks up, he replies that he fights because it is the right thing to do. He will find a way to beat him and it is what his dad would have wanted. Xavier punches him and calls him pathetic.
Inside David’s mind, he calls out to the few remaining personalities to merge with him, as it will take all of them.
Back in the psychosphere, Xavier morphs his hands into long talons and slashes David across the chest. David, reeling backwards as multi-colored energy sprays out like blood, asks what he is. Xavier stands over him and tells him it doesn’t matter. Maybe he is the darkness, maybe he is a psychic entity from beyond the stars or maybe he is the conjured twin he never knew he had living inside his mind. Maybe David is crazier than he thought and Xavier doesn’t exist at all. It doesn’t matter a jot though, as it’s what he represents that David should be concerned with. He leans down close to David and tells him he came from him. He grew within him and took those things he needed and wanted and then he left. He asks David what that makes him but the boy cannot reply.
In the real world, David is fighting a metallic construct house the Xavier’s personality. He slaps David hard, declaring that he is David’s son.
In the psychosphere, Xavier stands with his foot on David’s head. He says that David is his father on any plane and in any world. But unlike David, he’s frankly not bothered whether his father approves of him or not. So maybe he is just who David wishes he could be. As he kicks David, he tells him it reminds him of a joke that he might have heard. He grabs him by the hair and says that he can complain as much as he likes about the voices in his head but at least he is never alone.
As Xavier tortures David, Blindfold lies in bed. She hears faint whispers but is unable to decipher what they are saying. Eventually, the voices get louder and she realizes they are asking her to please hear them.
Xavier continues and lifts David up by the hair, telling him that the funny thing is that in his case he is actually alone. With that, he plunges his hand into the back of David’s head, causing energy to blast out of his eyes and mouth.
In David’s mind, he realizes that Xavier is right and he is alone. He is a legion of one. He thinks about all the people he has met on his journey and that he never had an ally he didn’t push away. He never had a friend he didn’t use. Even in the heart of his head, he is alone and now he has nothing to lose. As David lies defeated in the floor, Xavier stands over him and tells him he is impressed. He has fixed himself right up but it’s not enough as he was always the strongest part of him. He tells David to take a look to see what his sickness has caused. He grabs David and inundates his mind with all the violent acts that he has been causing around the world. Xavier picks up on a particular one of a young staff sergeant on a Russian, which is armed with nuclear missiles. He shows David an image of the man, telling him that he is angry at the world for no reason. David watches as the man opens fire on his fellow soldiers, killing them.
David tells Xavier he doesn’t understand why, to which he replies there doesn’t have to be a master-plan or motive. Just because, that’s all. He will kill the world just because, David of all people should understand that. His son, his father, his maker, his love, his poor broken brother. David and his poor brain and his poor infected world. You don’t have to be crazy to work here but it helps.
On the submarine, the staff sergeant flips a switch and then shoots himself in the head. The submarine fires one of its nuclear missiles as David watches on in horror.