(The Qortex Complex. Inside Legion’s mind)
David says that these days he dreams of colonies… ants, bees and things much stranger. Gestalt mind… billions pulling together. It’s not the subtlest of dreams, especially when there are two hundred split personalities mobbing his subconscious. Each possesses a different power and each one is hungry to control his body.
Inside his mind, David’s numerous personalities continue their riot, fighting amongst themselves. David sits in an air vent above them watching the scene. His every thought broadcast aloud through a system of loud speakers.
He muses on the phrase “billions, pulling together” and thinks it’s still a dream. Thanks to the mental monsters in his mind, the numpties on the outside world still call him legion. He asks if an epileptic hero would like being called Spasmo. It’s plain bloody insensitive.
(Raleigh, North Carolina)
David sits on a park bench, with a baseball cap placed next to him and pigeons all around. He holds out his hand and a pigeon drops a pretzel into it. He says he’s David Haller and only that. Sure, there’s a decent chance he’s the most powerful mutant in the world and, if he weren’t buggered in the brain, then there would be no feat of godlike magnificence beyond him. But instead he’s mind controlling pigeons into stealing stale pretzels for his lunch. Welcome to the exciting world of him.
The sad part is he was winning for a while, he’d figured it all out. Having a purpose was the key… focus, confidence and an obsession giving him the inner strength to beat the biggest beasties within his mind. To use the powers for himself. But then his father somehow appeared in his mind and beat him down. David decides not to think about that right now but he can’t help recalling how his father called him a disappointment. David forces himself to think about something else.
As he eats a pretzel, a small metal orb floats up to him and says that a psychic guilt-trace has been located. David is alarmed at seeing the orb he thought he lost back in Charlotte. The orb says that he cannot elude space justice. It tells David that he is suspected of unlicensed cosmic transportation. It orders him to remain there to await arrest. David swats at it and tells it he doesn’t know who sent it but, whatever he’s meant to have done, he didn’t. The orb yells for him to be quiet.
David tries to continue with the point he was making. The point is that his “father” is still in his mind somewhere. The David Haller personality in his mind is hunched up in a ball in the air vent trying not to think about it all. On the outside, David says that it comes as to no great surprise that his confidence would take a knock. Hence the temporary lack of dimension-smashing, cosmic mega-powers to rely on. As David sits on the park bench, passersby are staring at the metal orb that continues to intimidate him. He decides to make use of what he’s got and, inside his mind, he grabs Tyrannix the Abominoid and injects him. He uses the telepathy from Tyrannix to mentally control the pigeons around him into attacking the orb.
David puts the baseball cap on and gets off the bench. He says that a couple of weeks ago he made it his purpose to gently inform the X-Men that he would be taking matters into his own, due to them being useless, spandex tosspots. He should probably be in hiding now. Instead, he’s come to pick a fight when he’s his most weakest. There’s a reason folks call him crazy. As the pigeons destroy the orb, he walks across a street to a small wooden building with the sign “Welcome to the Church of the Happy Host” on it.
For full disclosure, he says that the floating orb has been trailing him since he dropped a pack of Dire Wraiths outside the X-mansion. And despite what he said earlier, he does have a few ideas about the who and the why. David admits that right now, though, he is more interested in his other stalker. As David walks towards the door of the church, Blindfold appears behind him. He says she doesn’t know that he can see her astral projection and it’s a teensy bit possible that he is doing all this to impress his voyeur. Girls just love a romantic gesture. With that, he flings the door of the church open and goes in. Once inside, he drops to his knees and pleads for the people on the inside to save him.
The church is full of civilians who are being led by three men. The leaders are dressed in bright colors with motifs of the cross and the American flag on them. They are wearing bicycle helmets that have stickers and lights on. One of the leaders, dressed all in yellow, goes up to David and tells him he’s safe. He asks him what brought him to the Church of the Happy Host. David stutters as he tells them he can barely say because it’s so shameful. The man says that alls that maters inside these walls is celebrating the purity of creation and praising the power of the heavens. Part of which is the power to forgive and the power to not stand-in-judgment. As he says all this, his fellow worshipers shout out in praise. David quietly says that he is in love with a mutant. The worshippers suddenly turn and start spitting at him. The man in yellow slaps him down and calls him a deviant.
David says that for three years he lived in sin with a freak. He knew it was wrong but her eyes… her lips… her tentacles. But now she’s started talking about marriage and kids… and what if his parents find out. As he “confesses” everything, he thinks that Brando can eat his heart out. The man in yellow starts to pick David up off the floor. He says he doesn’t need to be told how serious this all is. Mutants aren’t part of the holy plan; in fact they’re not even human. He says that loving a mutant is a choice and now the devil has him. One of the other men, dressed all in red, says they have a cure. The man in yellow says that mutation is the devil’s work but what most people don’t realize is that it’s infectious. The man says that basically too much time around them and you will become one. This is why they are all wearing their holy helmets to protect them from psychic contamination.
The men around David hold him firmly as the man in yellow continues. He says that, before they can save whatever goodness is left, they have to burn out the bad. He pulls out a bag of pills and says that the happy host reacts in the presence of the X-gene. Another man, dressed all in blue, says he means it explodes. They hold David down as he says it all sounds like science and he thought they were men of faith. The man in yellow says he shares David’s concerns but he needn’t worry. It was made by a charity that hates mutants even more than they do. The men around David force his mouth open and the man holds out the pill. David starts to struggle as he is unable to use any of his powers to help him. As the man drops the pill in David’s mouth, Blindfold’s astral projection suddenly swoops down and catches it. David pretends to eat the pill as Blindfold spits it out in an urn behind the men.
The men let David go and he thanks them for cleansing him. The man dressed in red escorts David away from the worshippers. David asks if they ever failed to save someone. The man says just once… one of their own. He went away for six years and, when he came back, he was all different in body and soul. He claimed he could see the future and so he wrote it all down. The man says that he got infected with mutantism like the bishop said. He was too far gone to be forgiven and this was before they started using the happy host. They couldn’t do anything else than cast him out. As they walk up the stairs, they see a picture hanging on the wall with a book in a glass case beneath it. David recognizes the man in the picture as Luca. The man in red says they keep his prophesies… lies from the devil… as a reminder.
David is shown to a small room with nothing but a bed in it. The man says even the best can stray down a dark path. He tells David to ponder that until they are ready for him. The man leaves and David sits on the bed. After a few seconds, he coughs and says he can see her by the way. Blindfold floats up to him and calls him a bastard. David is a little taken aback and he tries to speak but she doesn’t let him. She shouts at him and says he knew these were the people that corrupted her brother. She asks why he came here but, before he can finish, she says they nearly killed him. She guesses that he’s after the prophecy. He figured Luca was playing him for a fool and he wanted to know why.
Without looking at her, David says that it’s good that she loses the whole “pardon-sorry” thing when she’s in a mood. She tells him it’s dangerous and he shouldn’t meddle… the future should be left to happen naturally. David tries to speak but she cuts him off again and says these are bad people. David loses his temper and tells her to shut up. She does so but he immediately apologizes. He tells her it’s a weird venue for a date but he knows what he’s doing. It’s not about Luca’s predictions… it’s about the halo-bothering bozos here. Nutters in silly hats may be entitled to their own opinions but there is also hate here. And there’s nothing more infectious than hate. Sooner or later these pointy headed crazies... or some vulnerable soul they’ve twister up… will become deadly to mutants. David says they’ve seen it before and he will not be like the reactive X-Men, who only do something when the sword has fallen. He says he will knock them off the board before they figure out they’re in a game. And the same goes for anyone who…
David suddenly stops and asks Blindfold why she is looking at him like that. Blindfold had picked up on the word “date.” Before David can respond, the man in red enters and tells him it’s time. As he leaves, Blindfold tells him not to hurt them and kisses him on the cheek. David walks away with a big grin on his face and the man in red asks if he is okay. David tells him he is overwhelmed with divine purpose. He thinks to himself that a bit of purpose, focus and obsession is great for giving him inner strength to defeat the beasties.
As he walks down a corridor, an orb appears at the window and shouts “space justice” at him. He holds out his hand and telekinetically crushes it before anyone else spots it. David goes to another room and lies down on a table. The members of the church gather around him and place their hands on his body. David says that the cure to mutophilia is a laying-on of hands that cleanses the sufferer through prayer alone. He Googled these guys before he came here. That’s why it doesn’t matter that they’ve shielded their brains. It doesn’t matter that he can’t get into their minds the airy-fairy way. He’s psi-punching these guys through their fingers.
The worshipers touch David and the procedure begins. David says that the first thing to get past is the outflow. All the muddled ejecta they think they are pumping into him is like swimming upstream. He says they truly believe what they are doing… but he’s not sure if that makes it better or worse. Behind that is their true selves and their ugly, vicious, twister desires. David sees the hate in their minds and realizes if the was ever unsure then this settles it. He sees the worshiper’s desires of strapping the X-Men to stakes and burning them alive. These happy, upright, faithful folk cleanse the world of thousands of mutants in every dream. They do it in the name of a purer, holier world and they do it with relish, pride and glee. But the real key is the fact they won’t stop until their dreams come to fact. David decides to take one small step to see they’re right… He will show them how infectious a mutant can really be. He takes control of the worshipers and pushes his thoughts of the Dire Wraiths into their minds.
The worshipers fall to their knees and clutch at their heads. As David sits up, Blindfold comes up to him. She says he changed the flow and then asks what he imprinted on their memories. Before she gets her answer, three of the metal orbs burst into the room and announce psychic guilt has been detected. David tells Ruth that he put spacecrimes in their minds. One of the walls to the room suddenly explodes and Abigail Brand and a squadron of SWORD agents enter. She announces that she has two salient facts. First one is that she has a portable quark-annihilation device in her hands. And secondly her service record is tainted by a recurring weakness to suffer fools. The last dirtbag to lose their headgear will find out what links the two facts.
The worshipers remove their helmets and the leader in yellow asks what the meaning of it is. As one agent creates a holographic image of the Dire Wraith attack on the X-Men, Agent Brand explains. She says that two weeks ago a group of Dire Wraiths were dumped on the lawn of a mutant sanctuary by unknown means. Their teletracers have been sniffing for guilt ever since. They’ve had a hell of a time doing it but now they find a group of shower-dodging mutant haters in psi-helmets.
Brand calls to Sydren, a telepathic alien. He goes up to the man in yellow and concentrates hard. He says that it’s muddled but he can see the crime in his head. Plus, there may be religious elements to it. She asks the man if he feels like confessing. The leaders of the group happily confess but they say Brand is mistaken for saying there is such things as aliens. It’s all sci-fi nonsense and illusions from the satanic mind of mutants. Sydren points out that he standing right there. The man in yellow, stuttering as he speaks, says all they did was to evoke heaven’s wrath. He asked the angels to send demons from hell to drag the mutants back to where they belong. Still concentrating hard, Sydren says he senses the humans wish to confess. The agent with the holographic device sarcastically asks if he’s sure and he wouldn’t like a second opinion. Sydren replies that he is now completely certain they are priests. Brand tells everyone to shut up and says that something reeks of a rat.
She points to David and asks who he is. Keeping his head low and face covered by his cap, he says he is just a sinner and he doesn’t know anything about aliens. Brand isn’t buying it and says today isn’t the day for unconvincing hats. One of the agents whips David’s cap off and Brand recognizes him. She calls for Sydren to read him and adds that if he says anything like he has big hair then she will fillet him with a teaspoon. Sydren says that David tastes of nothing but there is something else… another entity in the room. The man in yellow speaks up and says the Holy Ghost is there to exult in their religious act. The other worshipers start praising but Brand asks how they managed to summon the Dire Wraiths. The worshippers stop and have trouble answering her.
David becomes worried and telepathically tells Ruth it’s all going wrong. She quotes him a line he told her earlier… “I know what I’m doing.” David apologizes and asks if she has any ideas. Sydren says he can hear whispering but, before he can pinpoint it, David jumps off the table and rushes over to Brand. He asks her if she is still dating the famous Doctor Hank McCoy. She grabs him by the throats and slams him against the wall with a gun in his face. She asks him if he thinks her personal association with a mutant makes her biased in the matters of spacecrime. David says he doesn’t but, before Brand can do anything else, the worshipers all start spitting at her and calling her names.
A short while later, Brand is wiping the saliva off her glasses as the worshipers are being led into a spacecraft. She angrily orders her agents to put them in the deepest, darkest space dungeon crawling with galactic scum. One of the agents points out that their brig cells are deliberately kept lit but Sydren grabs him by the collar and tells him to shut up.
David is pleased with himself but Brand makes it clear she’s watching him. She gets in her craft and flies back to base.
Blindfold comes up to David and asks if he thinks it’ll stick. He says he doesn’t know but, even if it doesn’t, he would like to think they will come back knowing there are worse things than mutants in all of creation. Either way, they’ll not be doing any infecting for a while. Blindfold thanks him and then says she’s got to go to class. Her astral form starts to drift away but, as it does so, she tells him to call her. David smiles after she’s gone and then turns his attention to Luca’s prophecy book, which is now lying on the floor.