Jean Grey aka Marvel Girl, new among the X-Men, finds herself in a fight along with her fellow X-Men. As she uses her telekinesis to stop several fighter planes and helicopters, she muses that this summer heading into her senior year she was worried about A.P. and Calculus. Do they have any idea what she’d give to be doing Calculus right now?! she screams in frustration.
Three weeks ago:
Getting her luggage at the airport, Jean is in a heated discussion with her parents on the phone, as she still doesn’t see the sense of shipping her to Xavier’s, or as she calls it, some psychic bald guy’s freak show. Her mother carefully states she’ll be better off with more people like her. Mutants, Jean spells out and asks why they won’t just let her finish out high school with her friends. Her parents point out it isn’t safe. What if she reveals her powers the next time she has a nightmare and brings down the roof on them? Jean gives in as the taxi arrives at Xavier’s School.
Without any doorbell, she just lets herself in. As she looks around, a boy with red glasses and a stange black and gold uniform comes running. He stumbles over her suitcase and falls onto her, losing his glasses in the process.
The two kinds of jokes she can think of right now are lame and dirty, Jean announces. “Pick your poison.” Keeping his eyes shut, the boy demands his glasses. Jean is taken aback but hands them over. The boy gets up. Belated he thanks her and leaves.
A blond handsome boy informs her that was Scott Summers. He’s always like that. He offers her a hand and introduces himself as Warren Worthington. Jean asks what Scott was wearing. Warren tells her she’ll get used to the spandex.
Cape Citadel naval base – today:
Amidst the chaos of all kinds of vehicles and weapons flying around, Marvel Girl tries to telepathically contact Professor X and informs him the soldiers think that one guy alone is causing all this damage. A mutant. She stops a jeep from falling on soldiers. They say he walked in a couple of hours ago dressed in what they called a “red and purple clown suit.” He barricaded himself in the command center, and that’s when all the crazy jumped off.
Xavier compliments her on the telekinetic catch and she points out this is dumb. They are so not prepared for this, and if someone gets hurt… Duly noted, he cuts her off sourly. She wonders if he really can’t see the difference between this and fighting video games in the Danger Room.
The Danger Room, three weeks ago:
In what looks like a jungle landscape, Cyclops uses his concussive optic blast to level a foe. Sitting in the observation booth, Xavier congratulates him on his control and suggests to keep in mind always plot his next move ahead. He starts a higher threat, several foes together. Scott believes he can’t do that. He won’t know until he tries, Xavier tells him sternly.
All the foes attack. Scott is about to be overwhelmed. Xavier stops the program. After the lesson, Xavier announces he needs to know why Scott is holding back in there. Yessir, Scott replies. Xavier explains he needs Scott to tell him-- Scott admits when it gets to be so much, he is stuck. He can’t see the next move. The next move is to blast them with everything he has, Xavier points out. Scott saw it just like him! Scott admits he’s still kind of afraid. He still remembers what opening his eyes used to mean. Before his special glasses and his visor. When he couldn’t control anything. He hates that feeling!
Xavier assures him he understands. He has such potential and until he lets go of this fear… Mutantkind needs the man Scott is capable of becoming. One day the heroism of the X-Men will show the world that mutants aren’t to be feared. The X-Men will prove that mutants can co-exist with ordinary humans because that’s exactly what they are. He sees Scott leading the X-Men on that day. And a leader mustn’t… Well, they’ll keep at it.
Cape Citadel naval base. Today:
Cyclops looks at the command center which has been strengthened with a huge pile of metal. He informs Xavier their foe barricaded himself in there pretty good under tons of armored metal. He tries to blast his way in, but sees it’s gonna take more than that. Xavier said “no holding back” and he uses his optic blast at full strength. The metal blasts apart and some of the debris hits him. His blast goes wide. Jean catches the debris and wonders what Cyclops is doing.
Xaviers school, three weeks ago:
Warren tells Jean of how Xavier recruited him. His dad kept calling him”Captain Eyebrows” and tried to get their maid Lucinda to forcibly wheel him out. Then the prof did the whole empathy thing. Ten minutes later Dad’s booking the jet while Lucinda is packing Warren’s socks.
Isn’t he a little skeeved that this guy brainwashed his parents to get him to stay here? Jean wonders. At first, Warren smiles. But it doesn’t take long to figure out that everything he does he does for them, for mutants. Plus, it’s pretty great here, all things considered.
That moment, another stocky teenager comes in bouncing off the walls. Time to get those feathers out! he tells Warren. “Oh my stars and garters!” he exclaims when he sees Jean. He’s seen a vision in scarlet and must know her name! Warren introduces him as Hank McCoy, the Beast.
Beast hurries ahead of them and Jean is amazed by the way he talks. Warren agrees, nicest guy in the world and crazy smart, but he does struggle with normal.
She is about to witness something truly special, Hank promises. She hearts him already, Jean announces. Hank leads them to a strange empty room which Hank introdudes as the technological marvel and masterpiece of science that is the Danger Room.
That moment, a young boy joins them, naked expect for boots and a giant iceblock that surrounds his groin. Cheek chillers by Drake! he calls it. When Bobby Drake aka Iceman sees Jean, he blushes and turns away. He quickly ices up completely. They couldn’t tell him new girl was already in the house? Jean looks at Warren who has dressed in uniform and now displays his wings as the Angel.
Cape Citadel naval base, today:
Xavier asks Angel to report. Warren points out he is a little busy being chased by planes. He informs Xavier that the missiles blew up. Now he’s seeing more indestructible zombie fighter jets. No fighter pilots though, which seems odd to him. Are the planes being flown? Xavier asks. Not flown, more thrown, Angel clarifies.
Xavier’s school, three weeks ago:
Jean watches her four male teammates battling robots in the Danger Room. Are they making a good first impression? Professor Xavier asks her. Sure, lots of cool toys and weird outfits. Still kind of unclear when and where the school part happens, Jean remarks. Xavier suggests she look at it this way: The purpose of a school is to prepare one for the challenges that lie ahead. As mutants, they have rather unique challenges to think about, so their school has to be different.
How come he didn’t tell her parents what really goes on here? Jean demands. She doesn’t think Mom mentioned co-ed mutant Fight Club. Xavier replies if her parents had any idea they would have never let her come here.
Their mutations are genetic. They didn’t ask for this. They are human like everybody else but different in rather obvious ways. People have always feared difference. He believes that in the future mutants won’t have to hide. People will learn to appreciate them… that world doesn’t yet exist. And creating it will be a battle. That’s why he’s training the X-Men. He can’t protect them from life as a mutant. He can do his vest to prepare them for what’s coming.
Cape Citadel naval base, today:
Cyclops tries to enter the command center. He’s gotten here himself? the man inside states. For that at least, he is impressed. Do his worst! he goads Cyclops. He’s earned one shot. Cyclops refuses. Magneto blasts him away with a flying desk.
Magneto elevates himself in the air, introducing himself. He’s a mutant like them. Quite a mess they’ve made here together. Iceman goads him to come down, so they can make another one.
Magneto explains he came her today to show the world what mutants can do. To introduce them to their future masters. He thanks them for their help as he rises upwards along with an ocean liner. Angel and Iceman try to follow. Jean shouts after them not to be stupid. He’s left! It’s over!
Later at the school:
Jean isn’t sure about her feelings. She doesn’t agree with any of this. Teenage mutant X-Men is a bad idea, but she likes it here. Seeing Cyclops training in the Danger Room, she figures the guys are messed up.
She spies into Angel’s room, where he tries to cover his wings under the harness. Messed up bad, like her. She admits it feels like home.
She is unaware that, in his office, Xavier is telepathically speaking to Magneto, who tells him he let his children live today out of respect for Charles. Xavier retorts he never expected Erik to commit acts of terrorism. Is that really what he thinks the world needs? What mutants need?
If they could agree on what mutants need, Erik retorts, they’d be standing side by side on the bones of hateful men, the same men Charles has sworn to protect.
How did he fail him? Charles wonders. Charles didn’t fail, he closed his eyes, Erik replies. He’s simply given up trying to force them back open. Now get out of his head! He puts on his helmet, breaking off the telepathic communication. Charles is left alone with his thoughts in his office.
Warren returns from a date. Angrily, he slams the door of his car. Date went well then? Jean sitting on the stairs assumes. Hate, he replies curtly. The first part went great. He went all dinner without having to fake laugh or pretend interest. That never happens with society girls. Afte dinner, she snuck them into her parents’ summerhouse and wanted to go swimming. What did he do? Jean asks. He showed her his giant freakazoid bird wings, then they made out in the pool! Wait. No. He ran away with a stomach ache and left her standing there in her underwear!
Jean admits that sucks, then decides he is going to take her to the carnival. It was setting up earlier in town. When he tries to make an excuse she tells him she refuses to let someone sulk whose biggest problem is that rich girls want him to take his clothes off on a first date! She drags him upward, promising they’ll eat fried things and ride rides and he’s going to win her cute stuffed animals. It’ll cheer him up. He finally agrees, then decides to invite Hank and Bobby. Not quite what Jean had intended, who then figures she might as well invite Scott, who as usual is practicing in the Danger Room.
When she enters, the robotic dragon he’s been fighting attacks her. Scott breaks off the sequence. However, since he is sitting on the dragon’s back when that happens, he suddenly falls hard. He berates her, then asks what she wants. Fuming, she leaves, figuring he is a jerk.
The others head to the carnival. Jean confides to Warren how her friends back home never knew about her telekinetic episodes, but they were terrifying. She’d been asleep and woke up to screaming and cracking. It was like a movie earthquake but the shaking started under her skin. If her parents hadn’t been so great about it… It almost broke her. She guesses she’s lucky.
Warren tells her her parents still don’t know. His wings sprouted at boarding school. It’s surpsingly easy to hide amongst the rich and narcissistic. His friends were so self-involved. If they noticed anything at all, it was Warren going through a designer overcoat phase. He didn’t tell his folks? Jean wonders. Never came up, he replies. They try some of the rides.
In some other part of the carnival, Bobby states he used to be into spinning rides. But now he’s thinking fried foods and pretty girls is where it’s at. Does that mean he‘s more mature or something? Or something, to be sure, Hank decides. Such a fascinating slice of Americana, he muses. Early mutants found refuge here. Travelling the countryside fifty or sixty years ago, naming themselves freaks and sideshow oddities.
That’s disgusting, Bobby, who’s moved from corndogs, to a burger and shake, decides. Hank agrees but what choice did they have? Progress may be slow but, as modern mutants, they are lucky. Yeah? Bobby, now eating a pie, doubts. They’ll never have to stay in cages or charge children to poke them with a stick.
Nothing but a bunch of freaks! somebody shouts. The two boys turn around to see a woman with striped skin on the stage. The cries come from the audience, who hurl both insults and bottles at her. He was saying? Bobby asks.
Some young men in the first row call her a freak. Hank and Bobby tell them to show some respect or leave. Does he even know what a mutant is? one of the angry young men asks Hank. It’s freaks like that one up there attacked that naval base a few weeks back. Godless mutants tried to kill a bunch’a troops just to show off their powers. That thing’s no better than a terrorist!
The girl on the stage calls that there is trouble. The man continues he paid good money to sit here and give all the respect she deserves. A reptile-like carny tries to break it off and tells them to enjoy the rest of the show. The angry young man hits him.
Hank tells Bobby they need to end this quickly. The easy way? Bobby asks and begins to ice up. Not here, Hank orders. However, one of the men saw that and grabs Bobby’s iced-up hands. Freak this! Bobby tells him and hits him with the icehand.
Another mutant girl shouts that Billy didn’t do anything as one of the haters kicks him in the face. For the record, this is them winning, Bobby announces as they gain the upper hand.
A young mother from the audience shoots her gun in the air, telling them to stop right there, calling them monsters!
Elsewhere at the carnival, Warren is trying to win Jean a green hippo. Jean suggests an easy solution to his girl trouble. Date one of them. A mutant! Warren point out he knows six of them. And of them she is his only… Is she asking him to…? Jean stammers. Saved by the gunshot. They hurry to join the fracas.
Slamming two heads together, Hank reminds Bobby not to hurt those people. Can someone tell them not to hurt him? Bobby protests.
The mutant girl from the stage calls for someone named Freddie. When someone grabs her, Angel flies into her attackers and gathers her up into the air. She admits that was super and he is flattered. Jean levitates a few attackers. Suddenly, the ground shakes and she loses concentration.
The mini-quake was due to “Freddie” (aka Fred Dukes, the Blob), a giant of a man stomping down. This ends now! he orders and swats several attackers aside.
Impressed, Hank offers his hand, only to be hit in the face. Dukes calls them a bunch of pretty-pretty mutants coming down here to mix it up with their customers. They should run back to their hidey hole to play pretend. Leaving behind those of them who look mutant to pick up the pieces. He grabs the Angel. The rescued girl shouts they’ve been trying to help. She doesn’t like hearing what people think of mutants? Fred asks her. How much they hate them? Tough! Those idiots pay for that privilege! That’s their livelihood!
Cyclops fires an optic blast at him from a distance. Do that again! the Blob challenges him. Enough! Charles Xavier who has come with him orders telepathically and all the combatants walk away, their memories of the fight erased. He explains he tried to defuse the situation and hopes he can help them more later.
Jean is still worrying about her non-date with Angel. The relationship seems a bit clearer defined when Angel brings along the mutant girl he saved – Ginny. She’s one of them, Angel tells Jean, then throws her his car keys. She can drive the boys home. He and Ginny are gonna fly around some before he heads back.
Cyclops tries to apologize to Jean for the way he acted earlier. She tells him it’s okay and brushes him off when he asks for the full story on what happened.
Still confused about what happened, the Blob enters his caravan. Weird night, he mutters. Magneto, who is waiting for him, tells him he quite literally doesn’t know half of it…
Some time later, Jean sits in Xavier’s office and he asks if there is something going on between her and Warren. That’s totally none of his business, she retorts. He apologizes for phrasing this wrong. He only meant that until recently they had seemd good close friends. Jean claims she has just been kinda busy. They are still friends.
Xavier is relieved to hear that, then wants to talk about Scott. The two of them were tripping all over each other in the Danger Room that morning, not communicating at all. He knows Scott can be difficult in there. He takes it very seriously, but it’s important she make an effort to get along with him. Relieved he hasn’t read her mind, she agrees. Was that all?
He tells her he is worried about her. She hasn’t been herself lately. Not since her ordeal in the Savage Land. He was hoping she’d be willing to talk about it. Jean silently figures her “ordeal” consisted of a crazy bald man thinking it a good idea to send five teenager to investigate a sabertooth tiger attack in Antarctica…
Two weeks ago in the Savage Land:
Marvel Girl and Angel found themselves captured and tied up on a mountain. Warren tries to tell her while this is not fun, how many people get to see a real life Jurassic Park? Only them lucky folks, Jean agrees. He muses that Ginny and him were supposed to go out tonight. What is she gonna say when he explains why he stood her up. “Sorry babe, Jean and I got captured by these Neanderthals and had to spend the night on a dinosaur mountain.” She will punch him right up the nose.
Annoyed, Jean shouts at him to stop talking. She doesn’t want to hear about his girlfriend. She admits she’s scared and tired of pretending this stuff isn’t crazy. They don’t know who took them, where they went or why they left them up here.They don’t know anything and that’s terrifying! What’s the big hole in the middle for? He tells her they’ll be all right, they are X-Men. The guys are coming to get them. She’s seen all the nutso simulations Scott runs in the Danger Room. He probably has a dinosaur mountain rescue contingency plan. Looking at the hole, she shouts his name as a dinosaur comes forth to attack.
Was there anything she wanted to talk about? Xavier repeats. No, she’s fine, she assures him.
Bobby runs past the offce and into Hank’s room. He will not believe what he just saw! Hank isn’t interested but Bobby gushes forth his story. About how he went to the city. He was standing in line for a sausage…
… when that familiar looking brunette in a scarlet dress walks by. Gorgeous and about Hank’s age, wearing almost like a ren fair sort of red pointy thing in her hair. Weird look but she’s pulling it off. It’s Manhattan. People wear things. He’s not gonna lose his place in line to talk to the girl but he kinda keeps his eye on her as she crosses the street… and the chick meets up with Magneto and his goon squad. Brutus from the carneval (the Blob) that speedy delivery Russian kid (Quicksilver), even the creepy Toad guy with the tongue. It’s like every evil mutant known to man.
They hang around a couple of minutes, then trot into an office front building. He doesn’t like to brag, but he’s pretty sure he just found the Manhttan headquarters of the Broterhood of Evil Mutants.
End of story.
Hank seems disbelieving, or rather believes Bobby saw a pretty girl, a man with white hair and a heavy set fellow across the street. About the more colourful details he is sceptical. Bobby asks him to go back there with him. Hank tells him he is busy. If he is convinced he saw mutant terrorists, take it to the professor!
Only way the professor will believe him is with Hank backing him up. He’ll buy lunch. No street meat in the world is worth a seventy minute trainride, is the reply. Bobby ups the ante with a Katz’s deli pastrami sandwich.Throw in an egg cream and Hank is in.
Nearby, Scott holds up Warren, needing advice on how to ask a girl out. You just ask, is the reply. Getting her to say yes is trickier. You gotta kinda bounce back and forth between charm and disinterest. Or make it seem like you got other places to be, so she keeps being interested.
Jean walks by. Warren whispers that none of that’s gonna help Scott because Jeannie’s not a girl. Jeannie’s Jeannie. How did he--? Scott asks. Eyeballs, Slim, he has eyeballs, Warren replies.
Two weeks ago in the Savage Land:
Angel suggests Marvel Girl telekinetically break his ropes. It would rip his arms out of the sockets, she points out. She doesn’t have that kind of control. Doesn’t he think she would have done it before otherwise?! He suggests she lift up the dino then. Jean tries but can’t. They both run. He’s seen her toss around fighter jets before, he points out. They’ve been awake for two days! she shouts. And she’s sorry she can’t throw a dinosaur for him!
Hank and Bobby stand in front of the brownstone Bobby believes to be the HQ of the Brotherhood. Looks ominous, Hank mocks. Bobby wonders nervously what to do if evil mutants come out looking for a fight. There is only the two of them. On the off chance that building is in fact full of evil mutants, he’ll stand stunned in silence for a while, then they’ll take the next train back to tell the professor, Hank decides.
Bobby sees his favorite street vendor and tells Hank he’ll be right back to get lunch. Hank sighs, then sees a huge sign announcing the mutant menace. Saddened, he looks down. On the other side of the street, he sees Professor Xavier entering the building. Hank decides to crawl up the wall and look inside where indeed Xavier is meeting the Brotherhood.
What does he want? Magneto asks. He wanted a chance to speak, Xavier replies. The Blob threatens to throw him out of the window, but Magneto orders him to stop threatening his betters. Xavier could liquefy his brain just to watch it drip out of his eyes. He tells Charles this is a waste of time. But he’ll always admire his tenacity. Come on back, he suggests. The least he can do is beat him at chess. Doesn’t it usually work the other way round? Charles smiles. They leave the room.
A moment later, Toad discovers Hank and Blob smashes the wall. He and Toad jumo after Beast while Quicksilver already arrives downstairs followed by the Scarlet Witch. Hank admits they have him at a disadvantage.
On the other side of the street, Bobby calls his name, but a moment later a kid is about to be flattened by a truck. Bobby pushes him aside with an iceslide. Incoming! he warns Hank who catches the boy as he falls. Scared, the boy shoves him away and calls him a mutie freak. By now, a crowd of youngsters has gathered and throws things at the two X-Men, believing they attacked the boy.
Amused at their humiliation, the Brotherhood members leave. The police come and the boy points at the X-Men who decide to run. Bobby mumbles about their lack of gratitude but points out to Hank that he was right: Evil mutant headquarters! Stick a pin in the map!
Back at Xavier’s, Bobby tells Jean it’s still weird to him that she lives down the hall. Being in a girl’s bedroom makes a guy tingly. Gotta keep some of those creepier thoughts locked up in his head, Jean agrees, while playing with her cell phone. He asks if she has seen Hank tonight. He insisted on taking a later train in from the city, but hasn’t come home yet.
Jean recalls the professor was complaining Hank missed one-on-ones, but that was a couple of hours ago. She heard they found Magneto’s hideout. Bobby suggests they call it a lair instead of a hideout.
Two weeks ago in the Savage Land:
Marvel Girl is trying to distract the dinosaur with some rocks she floats at him. Angel suggests she whack him in the head a couple of times. She tells him to shut up. Unfortunately that moment, the dinosaur swats her with his tail. He’s about to chomp down on her when he is hit by an optic blast. The cavalry in the form of Beast and Cyclops has arrived.
Cyclops orders Jean to stay down and blasts away at the dino. When he’s down Hank frees them. Jean walks past Angel and hugs Scott, then kisses him.
Three weeks after Hank left, Iceman slides on a chair on an inceramp he created in the hallway, depressed at the loss of his best friend. He slides past the Danger Room when he hears Cyclops give the order “Iceman, left flank!” Surprised, Bobby looks inside the Danger Room to see Cyclops has created an X-Men team of Danger Room dupes to help him fight zombie Nazis.
Bobby orders the programn to pause. He’s kind of in the middle of soemthing here, Cyclops tells him. Yeah, something weird, Bobby agrees. Fake Jean, fake Hank and fake Warren, even fake him freezing Nazi zombies. Here’s a real him who likes freezing zombies.
Cyclops tries to explain it’s a command exercise. It helps him see— Bobby shouts this is frigging awesome! He points at the frozen images of Beast hanging down headfirst from Angel, decapitating two Nazi zombies. Hank and Warren should totally do this stuff in real life! he gushes. It makes both of their powers so much cooler! If Hank ever comes back…
Scott is flattered. Bobby decides he wants in. This isn’t group training, Scott protests. It only works because the virtual X-Men do exactly what he tells them. It’s teaching him—
Does he have any idea how much suck there is in his life right now? Bobby asks. He hasn’t talked to his best friend in weeks. Not since he quit the team by ditching him in the city. The only girl in a three square mile radius thinks of him as her annoying little brother. They haven’t had a real mission in a month and he’s beaten every single video game in the mansion. He ices up. He can be Scott’s Iceman. He’ll do whatever he says!
Another day. Outside the grounds, Jean is supposed to levitate the man-sized pieces of a huge chess game. She doesn’t understand the point of this, she tells Xavier. She couldn’t even beat him at regular chess. It’s not about winning the game, he informs her. They are working on mental concentration while using her telekinesis. She possesses a very powerful abilty even among other mutants. But in order to take full advantage of that near limitless potental, she’ll need to learn to multi-task. Pawn to queen’s bishop two.
Jean moves the pieces accordingly. It would be a lot more fun if they were playing giant floating scrabble.
Her move is interrupted by Hank, who asks Xavier if he could have a word. Jean is happily surprised but loses concentration, dropping all the pieces.
Hank explains the way he quit wasn’t dignified. At the very least, he owes Xavier an explanation in person. Also, he wanted to get his laptop. Hank continues that figihting is part of who he is. The X-Men gave him an outlet for this, soemthng to fight for. But the more he sees of the world and how it currently works, he can’t go on fighting for Xavier’s beliefs. Humans don’t accept this. They hate them. He is done fighting for them!
What does he expect him to say? Xavier asks. That he understands and respects… Hank begins.Oh, he understands, Xavier interrupts him, and obviously he is free to do as he likes. But don’t ever expect him to respect his giving up. To condone walking away from something important because it’s harder than expected. That’s beneath both of them!
In a huff, Hank stomps off before getting the parting shot that he saw Xavier and Magneto together. He sent them out to die at that sociopath’s hands and the two of them run off and have high tea together! That’s why he quit! The professor disappoints him! He slams the door.
Xavier turns to Jean, beginning that Magneto was once called Erik. He doesn’t have to explain to her, she begins. They both know he does, Xavier replies. Erik was like a brother to him once. Always misguided. Always too quick to react. Too angry by half. But a good man whose only sin was wanting the best for mutantkind. Somewhere along the way, he became this villain. His old friend is a terrorist now. He stands firmly in the way of the future they are trying so hard to build. He’ll fight Magneto at every turn but he doesn’t know how to give up on him.
Jean sighs she’s been waiting for months for someone to call him on his crap. She finally gets it and he goes all honest and ruins it for her.
A bit later, Jean meets Warren in the kitchen and wants to tell him about what just happened. But she knows it’s been weird between them lately and wants to make sure this won’t be that. Okay, he agrees, just tell him why she hasn’t wanted to talk to him for about a month and they’ll shoot right past that. Jean warns him that would make them both super uncomfortable. She gives in, admitting she had a stupid crush on him, her rich, charming pretty-boy best friend. Of course she did! She’s an idiot. But she’s completely over it now. She swipes his chocolate milk.
She was into him? he asks and suddenly kisses her. That was mean! she announces. He made it weird again! She stalks off. Smooth, he sighs, then notices Scott has seen them. Without a word, Scott turns around. Real smooth, Warren sighs.
Jean visits Hank in his apartment, which Bobby has sussed out. Jean instantly tells him Bobby misses him. He hasn’t come because Hank hurt his feelings. Beast replies he needs some distance between himself and all things X-Men right now. Focus on his real life getting off the ground. Bobby will be fine without him, so if she came over to—
She interrupts that she came here because Warren kissed her and she is in no way ready to deal with this. He thought she and Scott were… Jean suggests she won’t make him feel bad about Bobby if he doesn’t bring up the other two. Fair enough, Hank agrees. The odd jobs he’s procured don’t exactly allow for great hosptiality but he can offer her one of two tasty variants of granola bars. Jean asks him why he quit.
Whe he was young everyone thought of him as a brain. He spoke oddly, always had his head in a book or his hand raised with the correct answer. There’s not a lot of respect for that sort of thing in grammar school. But he liked being smart. So he learned to ignore the ridicule.
Then one day his mutation manifested. All of a sudden he was stronger and faster than his classmates. An athlete overnight. Everyone forgot all about his brain and branded him a jock. He didn’t understand it but he liked sports and the popularity that came with them, so he learned to play.
Eventually, when people began to guess why he might be stronger and faster, they changed their minds again. He joined the X-Men because the professor convinced him he could be all of those things. The brain, the beast and the mutant. That he could help open minds. Help show the world they are more than what they’ve labelled them.
End of story.
And now… Hank returns to his device. He quit because the professor lied. Jean explains the professor drives her nuts as well, but he told her about the Magneto thing. They used to be friends. Hes not working with the enemy.
Hank interrupts that he’s sure Xavier has reasons for colluding with a known terrorist. But that’s not the lie to which he was referring. He lies to them and likely to himself every time he talks about how the X-Men will change the world with a group of naïve kids dressed like superheroes punching things. If anything, they prove to the already frightened masses that mutants truly are scary and different. Humans hate them and that will never change. And he is too smart to go on pretending differently. If he is going to change the world, it will be as a scientist or an engineer, not a superhero. Not as the Beast!
Jean remarks that she’d be stupid to jump in the middle of an argument between two people way smarter than her. But one of those guys told her today that no matter what he will never give up on his friend. The other said his best friend can do without him. And that he’s pretty much given up on the world. She can hardly believe it, but he just made her proud to be an X-Man!
Some time later.
Unus the Untouchable is robbing a bank. The four remaining X-Men are on the scene. A bankrobbing professional wrestler, Iceman mocks his costume. Cyclops reminds him that Unus just took out a SWAT team unarmed.
Iceman creates a spiky icefist and tries to attack Unus who deflects him with his forcfield. Cyclops sighs and asks Angel to catch him. Jean suggests she grab Unus and Scott blasts him. Jean tries to and tells Cyclops to blast him when Unus comes on to her. However, the blast is deflectd at Jean, who is thrown against a police car.
Someone needs to tell the guy wrestling is fake! Bobby shouts. When Angel sees Jean hurt, he wants to attack, but Cyclops orders him to stop. When Angel ignores him, Cyclops blasts him down. What’s wrong with him? Angel shouts. He was acting like an idiot! Cyclops retorts. Rushing Unus didn’t work when Bobby did it and –“You don’t fire at me! Ever!” Angel shouts. They both know what this is really about. And Scott is the diot who just blasted her into a cop car!
Unus laughs at the show, but now he thinks he will beat them, take the money and go.
Iceman nervously points out Unus was doing a good job beating them when he was just standing there. Think Danger Room! he tells Cyclops. He’s got this. What would he do there? Cyclops stammers he doesn’t know. Yes, he does, Iceman insists. He does this every day! Worse stuff than this guy. They need him to lead right now!
Okay, Scott decides. They can’t touch him. Attacking him directly doesn’t work. Unus is about to hit him as Scott wants to announce his plan. The next moment, Unus is captured by a forcefield, courtesy of a weapon Beast is holding.
Beast apologizes for his tardiness. They wouldn’t allow his weapon on the train. Jean hugs him in relief. They were about to get wrestled to death by that guy! What did he do to him? Well, he developed this alternating ion ray and… she’s not going to care about any of this. She tells him she’s so glad he’s back. Hank admits he was behaving like a big selfish fool. Is that so? Jean asks. Besides when you look this good in yellow—
They didn’t need his help! a hostile Iceman announces. He quit and that’s just fine, because they were doing great without him. So don’t stand there thinking he’s saved the day or whatever. He doesn’t, Hank begins to stammer. Get over himself! Bobby tells him and walks away. Welcome back, Jean sighs.
Some time later, Jean and Hank eat in the kitchen where Scott is already having soup like he’s had for every day for a week. Jean figures he hates her. Jean tries to begin a conversation. She saw Bobby this morning on his way out. He seemed pretty excited about Scott’s new Danger Room program. That’s about all he’d say, since he flat out refuses to tell them what it is. Fascinating, is all Scott says. Jean winces.
Warren comes in, bringing pizza. He suggests they eat it, forget all the crap and blammo, friends again! Jean and Hank roll their eyes. Scott just glares, then gets up, announcing he has practice.
What about her? Warren hopefully asks Jean. Accept a guy’s peace offering? Nobody wants his pizza! she shoots back and walks off.
He thought that might work, Warren sighs. It might have, if they were both toddlers, Hank remarks.
Entitled moron! Cyclops mutters in the Danger Room as he starts a dystopian sequence. Gve him six Trask Sentinels! he orders. Safety mode off! Bring on the X-Men avatars! With Iceman not present, that includes his avatar.
Bobby is stuck in the subway, trying to phone Scott who doesn’t pick up. He apologizes for being late and asks him not to start without him. It’s Sentinel day!
However, Cyclops and his fake X-Men are starting the exercise. Suddenly, the roof plates hit Cyclops and the illusion stops. The plates float around and form a cage around Cyclops. Trapped in the darkness, Scott tries to reach the professor for help.
In his study, Xavier “hears” him and asks what’s wrong. Suddenly, a very familiar floating helmet hits Xavier. His wheelchair transforms into metal bonds holding himfast while the Magneto helmet covers Xavier’s head. “Erik… no…” he mutters.
Unaware of all this, Hank finds Jean in his lab. She is unsure if she was waiting for him or hiding. Somersaulting to the ceiling, he informs her Warren stress-ate the entire pizza by himself. Good, she agrees. She has these two boys in quite a state, Hank points out. Has it occurred to her that all of their future lunches might be more pleasant if she would simply—New subject! Jean orders.
Touching a device, Jean remarks that it’s cool that the professor sold all his wines and let him build a lab down here. Hank agrees though it wasn’t entirely his idea. Seems someone mentioned to Xavier that Hank might benefit fom a bit more intellctual stimulation. Somebody awesome, she bets, Jean agrees.
Are they sure it’s safe for them to be playing down here? comes the voice of Magneto. He gestures and the metal flies around, metal cables ensnaring Hank.
Jean orders him to stop and levitates several heavy obejcts. Magneto remarks he’s sure one of these days the world will take her very seriously. But today is not that day. Today they’ve already lost!
Bobby finally reaches the mansion. He runs inside. Warren comes flying forward shouting at him to go. Magneto’s here! Cables burst from the ground and ensnare Angel, who shouts he has the professor, before he is dragged down.
In the darkness, Cyclops hears Magneto addressing him. Magneto informs him he is sorry. He takes no joy in embarassing mutant teenagers. But he has tolerated the X-Men’s interference long enough. That part of their relationship is done. This is a war! Mutant versus human. They are the superior race and it is time to fight for their people. It is time they chose a side.
They are on the professor’s side, Scott replies. Magneto agrees that Xavier is a great man. But he took him out of this fight in seven seconds, because Xavier doesn’t know the difference between a philosophical debate and war. The professor’s side is no longer an option! He doesn’t expect to convince Scott at once. Trust takes time. He is going to open up his cell now and give him a present. He trusts Scott is smart enough to keep those red eyes closed while he does it. Should be an interesting exercise.
Scott agrees, but touches his visor. Luckily, he doesn’t fire, as Magneto is holding Jean in front of him. Magneto congratulates him for not killing his friend, as he pushes Jean inside the cell and then closes it up again.
Scott worries if he hurt Jean. She’s fine, she tells him, but he was choking Hank! What are they going to do? Magneto could kill everybody!
Scott agrees, but this is not what this is about. Magneto is flexing, trying to rattle them or maybe impress them. He doesn’t want to kill mutants but recruit them. He thinks if he shows up and shames the professor, they will switch side.
He didn’t see what he was doing to Hank, Jean points out. Scott replies that was for Jean’s benefit. Because her biggest weakness – her only weakness – is self-doubt. She doesn’t see it, but Marvel Girl is a hundred times more powerful than Beast. Magneto wanted this doen quickly and fighting her would have been messy. He’s betting Hank is fine.
Jean admits he is really good at this stuff. Sarcastically, he replies he’s amazing at getting his butt handed to him, see all the angles and choking when it counts. Freezing up and missing an opportunity! She asks him not to do this.
Magneto walks through the hallway, figuring Iceman shoud have returned by now. Bobby attacks him with a snowball from behind. Magneto fires a metal piece at him and the artificial iceform breaks apart. While Magneto looks at it in confusion, the real Iceman sneaks up and freezez him in a glacier and runs off. Angrily, Magneto uses all metal objects in the house to begin chipping away at his iceprison.
In their prison, Jean announces they are going to have this conversation now because he’s has to get over this. Cyclops interrupts that he gets it - Warren is the kind of guy who gets the girl. It sucks, but it makes sense. She tells him he sounds like an idiot. She couldn’t have expressed more interest with a billboard on the freeway! Scott is the kind of guy who gets her. He’s smart and loyal. He doesn’t ever talk, unless he has something to say. He’s the most dedicated guy she’s ever met in her life. A life he’s saved about a million times at this point! He’s her stupid hero!
What about Warren? he asks. He s almost as dumb as Scott is, she replies. He kissed her because he misunderstood something she shouldn’t have told him. But it’s not Warren’s fault Scott never asked her out. She will make this easy for him. Yes, she will totally go out with him! But only if he blasts them the hell out of this thing. “Your X-Men are in trouble, Cyclops. It’s time to be the leader. Time to step up!” Cyclops blasts upwards.
Further up in the mansion, Iceman and Beast whom he has freed have heard. Hank tries to thank him. He was suffocating there and Bobby-- If he tries to hug him again, Bobby warns, he’s going to freeze his monkey hands together. They’re cool. He is welcome! They find Angel tied up by metal cables. Bobby begins freeing him.
Jean and Scott are in the study and have found the professos. Xavier explains the helmet blocks psychic trespasses. Seems it works the other way as well.
The others join them and Bobby suggests they yank this sucker off. Cyclops states they can’t budge Xavier’s restraints, so they need to move the wall. He orders Bobby to freeze the plaster around Xavier. Hank is to handle the helmet. He’s going to blast the wall and Jean is to lift the professor out on his mark.
Warren asks if Jean fixed Scott. The two of them are going to be great. Jean rolls her eyes and tells him he is an idiot. Warren apologizes about the kiss and before that, about everytihng. Can they forget it and go back to being besties?
That moment, metal explodes in the room. Magneto grabs Xavier, asking how may ways must he prove that they cannot defeat him. Jean notices the professor is smiling in spite of it all. Magneto came here to teach them a lesson, she figures. And the professor is smiling because that’s exactly what happened.
Jean announces that she thinks they got this. Magneto wants them to believe this is the fight of their lives and that they’ve already lost. But he’s been here all day and they’ve taken everything he’s got. This isn’t the fight of their lives. This is their fight of right now! There’s gonna be another one tomorrow and probably the day after that. But this is Xavier’s school. They’ve been taught how to fight. They are X-Men!
And so, the X-Men attack Magneto while Jean figures that punching bad guys in the teeth and changing the world beats the hell out of calculus…