The Baxter Building…
Crystal spots danger on the Fantastic Four’s monitors. She informs Reed that he was right, and that their enemies have entered the building! Reed panics, as this is too soon. He must have more time to finish his plan. He orders Johnny to defend the roof, and Crystal has to stay on the monitors. Johnny does as told. He flames on and heads to the roof. Reed orders Ben to go to the elevator and stop the Atlantean soldiers.
Ben leaves, but thinks that the whole world has gone bananas. An attacking army… coming up by the elevator! He jokes that if the blasted thing would have been out of order, the Atlanteans would probably call of the war! Ben uses his massive arms to burst the elevator door open, not thinking there’s sense to just wait for the soldiers to attack. He starts pulling the elevator coils up, thinking he can get them much faster to him than the elevator can.
On her monitors, Crystal sees how Ben has already been hit by an Atlantean stun gun. Reed asks Crystal whether she can hold the soldiers back for long, if she uses her elemental powers. Crystal pupils turn completely yellow, and she starts using her powers, promising Reed that she won’t fail. Reed silently worries that Crystal and the others can only hold back those troops for a few seconds, while he may need a few hours to complete the weapon he’s certain will defeat Magneto.
Suddenly, Xavier’s astral form appears in front of Reed, telling his old friend that may be able to assist him. Reed is surprised to see Xavier, and asks if the X-Men have come to help fight this invasion as well. Xavier admits that the X-Men are too far away to give any kind of help. But he has made a close study of Magneto’s attack plan and believes to have discovered his weakness. However, it does depend on Reed’s genius to find a way to exploit this.
The Mole Man has the X-Men all tied up against a chain, and dangles them over a pit. The villain also promises that their deaths will be only the first leading into his quest to conquer the world. That does it for Beast, and he uses his great strength to break through the chains, surprising Mole Man, as he thought the chains would be strong enough to hold ten men! Beast jokes that he’s more something of a dozen Schwarzeneggers. He jumps towards Scott and frees him. Scott compliments Hank on a fine job. As he fires an optic beam, Scott tells Hank to free Jean and Bobby, while he demolishes the balcony their enemy stands on.
Once freed, Iceman glides towards the floor and tries to freeze Mole Man up. But instead Mole Man fires a beam from his staff, and hits Bobby with it! He declares that the X-Men’s eyes are still blind to the thousand dangers of his underground kingdom. He fires a beam on the ceiling, causing the ceiling to collapse in a rain of rocks, almost like an avalanche!
With Jean freed, Beast quickly grabs his fallen friend Bobby up, who has already turned back into human form. Cyclops orders his team to go stand behind him, as his eyebeams can powder the rocks before they get anywhere near them. Beast notices that Scott’s beams aren’t enough to destroy all of the rocks, as the entire ceiling is now threatening to collapse! Scott orders his team to get out, as he’ll keep using his powers until they get out. Jean disagrees, not understand how Scott will get out if they do that.
Nearby, Angel finally wakes up. He wonders what just happened, as he remembers flying down a huge underground tunnel when he suddenly noticed a cloud of dust. But after that, he doesn’t remember a thing. He looks down, and spots the rest of his teammates, with Cyclops trying to protect them.
Scott tells Jean there’s no time to debate, as the three of them have to get out and finish the business they have with Mole Man. Jean refuses to escape at the expense of Scott’s life. Warren flies down to Scott and quickly grabs him into his arms, telling the beautiful Jean that they don’t have to do that. He tells Scott to keep firing his blast, and the others can follow him as he, Air Angel, brings them all into safety.
The Baxter Building…
Reed’s weapon is finished. But, there is no time to test it. It has to work though, or else the Earth will become a bloodbath. Xavier tells Reed that the weapon will work: he can trust him on that. He explains that Magneto is using some kind of harness to tap into the electro-magnetic fields of the Earth itself. And only in that way he can bolster his failing mutant energy. Reed adds that, if he’s done his job right, this device will finish Magneto and his threat. Ben wonders how just a gizmo can take down someone like Magneto. Reed tells Ben there’s no time to properly explain it. He, Ben and Crystal have to get to the roof, as Johnny is already warming up the Fantasti-Car. Xavier’s astral form follows the heroes as well.
The countdown has begun…
At Battery Park, Magneto has gained the unsettling word that the Fantastic Four dared to resist the Atlantean troops. One of the soldiers defends that they felled the mighty Thing with their first assault, but he recovered and his partners took down the rest of the soldiers. Magneto angrily pushes the soldier aside, wanting to deal with the FF himself. Namor points out that Magneto will get his chance, as he notices the heroes arriving.
Magneto orders the soldiers to hold their fire, thinking that his magnetic powers will stop the heroes from crashing into them. Reed corrects Magneto that they’ve got no intention of crashing into him. One of the soldiers warns Magneto about the weapon Richards is carrying with him. Magneto is unimpressed by it, wondering if he hasn’t demonstrated enough that no weapon can harm him. Calling the heroes doomed, Magneto lets them come to him.
Namor thinks that the time has come, and orders his Atlantean warriors to only once again obey him. He orders all of the soldiers to hold their fire until he says otherwise. Crystals eyes turn blank, and uses her elemental powers to let the skies turn dark, and to let lightning flash!
This is perfect. This gave Reed the split-second he needed. He stretches his body closer to Magneto and fires his weapon at him, telling the master of magnetism to do his worst. Magneto calls Reed mad, thinking that one magnetic blast will destroy his gun. Reed disagrees with that. He explains that this isn’t an ordinary weapon: it’s an electro-magnetic converter! The more energy Magneto emits, the more is directed back against him! Magneto starts to panic, feeling that the magnetic force he hurls causes him to get trapped in a magnetic cone!
Reed tells the others to free Magneto’s captives, as he cannot stop them now. Xavier, still in his astral form, mocks that Magneto is now defeated by the same ones he tried to master. But he does wonder about the Sub-Mariner, who has been betrayed by Magneto. Xavier wonders if he will call of his attack now that he know he has been duped.
Namor, with a proud Lady Dorma at his side, speaks to his soldiers that they’ve conducted themselves with honor, but the invasion is ended. Now, they will return to Atlantis. Reed and Sue share a kiss, with Sue congratulating him that he defeated Magneto without a single casualty! Reed thanks Namor for trusting them, and for buying them time. Namor claims that he has no need for gratitude, declaring that there can never be an alliance between them – not so long as the air-breathers hate and fear all that is different. He picks Dorma up in his arms and flies to his ship, leaving the Fantastic Four in their world of strife and never-ending war.
Ben thinks this is something: Namor, one of the world’s biggest scrappers, dissin’ them for being warlike. He looks at a disappointed Magneto trapped in his cone, and asks if he can clobber him a little. Reed holds Ben back, explaining that the cone is self-maintaining and will hold until the military has arrived. Ben thinks this wraps everything up, and that their job is finished now. The Fantastic Four get back into their Fantasti-Car and head home.
Xavier, watching the heroes leave, doesn’t agree with Benjamin. He fears there is but small truth in his words, and that the Sub-Mariner is right. As a mutant himself, Namor knows too well the sting of senseless prejudice. From the days of Hitler’s Reich to the world’s own current troubled times, Namor has known it to be an outcast from all the world.
The X-Men are trapped behind some rocks, and Beast can’t find a way back in. That cave-in filled the whole chamber, with the Mole Man on the other side. Bobby doesn’t think they can just walk away from this. They’ve got to go back to kick the villain’s butt. Jean tells Bobby to calm down, as Angel has something to tell them. Warren thinks Jean read his mind just now. But she is right about what she said. He explains that Professor X sent him to find them all because there are lots of troubles topside.
Scott asks Warren how he found them in this maze of tunnels, as they’re miles from when they entered the subterranean world. Meanwhile, Beast also can’t help but notice how Bobby defended the Professor, when Messenger was talking to them. Angel thought that Bobby was still mad at Xavier. As the mutants climb their way out of the tunnels, Bobby guesses that he’s not ready to come back to the fold. But, he is thinking about it, and now realizes that Xavier didn’t want to fake his own death and had no way of knowing the Changeling would be killed by Grotesk.
Jean compliments Bobby on that way of thinking. She explains that Xavier enlisted the help of the Changeling so he could work undistracted on a defense against the alien Z’Nox. But the Professor never intended to trick his students into thinking he was dead. Beast interrupts, noticing light above them. But the way out is still blocked. Scott has a plan for that. He warns everyone to stand back, as he fires his optic beam against the rocks, creating an opening for them to get out!
The X-Men climb out and it seems they have reached the surface. Scott wonders where they are. The rocks around them are all fused, as if by a tremendous heat. Beast thinks therein lies the clue to their locale. He explains that what they saw below, and what they see there now, leads to the inevitable conclusion that they have come to the spot on which the Fantastic Four first battled the Mole Man. And this blasted landscape is torn by the nuclear blast the Mole Man himself unleashed at the end of that encounter, meaning they are now at all that remains of the once fabled Monster Island! The X-Men descend a hill, and look in front of them, only to find a red-tanned, rocky landscape with a lake in the middle.
Havok has finally lost the angry crowd and hides in another alley. He was already getting afraid he would have to kill some people to make them stop chasing him. Xavier, floating above Alex, reminds the boy killing is never an option. Surprised, Havok looks up and admits he knows only the bad guys kill. Speaking of which, he wants to know what’s going on with Magneto. Xavier explains that Magneto has already been defeated by the Fantastic Four. Xavier also admits that this is the first time he has seen Magneto fall in a true defeat, and that it will be some while before they need to concern themselves about Magneto again.
Xavier tells Alex he can follow him, as he noticed the way is clear. And in any case, Xavier adds, now that he is with Alex he can use his telepathic powers to prevent further attacks. Alex agrees that may be true, but he just had his first in-your-face taste of anti-mutant hysteria – and it’s going to take him a while to forget it. He noticed that any one of those “normal, decent, upright American citizens” would have cheerfully killed him for no more reason that his genes got linked up differently than theirs. Xavier, guiding Alex to follow him, reminds the boy that is a lesson many learn. And not only mutants learn that lesson: sometimes, no more than a slight difference of faith is enough. Such is the yoke humanity, it seems, ever wear.
Later, at the remains of the Promise headquarters…
Lorna is out of her pod. She wakes up and asks for Alex. Alex is there for her, and asks the girl how she’s feeling. Lorna, having a headache, jokes that she feels like somebody rented out parts of her head to a lot of very noisy conventions! She wants to know what happened, and if it’s really ten years later. Lucy denies that. She explains that Professor X found a way to release her from hibernation ahead of schedule. She has also woken up the other members of the Promise.
When Tad asks where Messenger is, Craig replies that he’s still in his tube. Standing closer, Grace announces to the others that Tobias is dead! She goes to a computer and sees that their last read-outs on Tobias’ bio-stats show all normal. Gene thinks it’s just like Tobias… stopped living. As if he was… switched off! He asks Lucy if she noticed anything unusual, which she innocently denies.
Xavier gives his condolences to Tad, knowing that Tobias Messenger was important to the Promise. Tad thinks it’s funny – Tobias really has been important to them all. And yet, he realizes, because of the years in suspended animation, none of them have known the guy more than a few weeks, their time.
Lorna asks what the Promise is going to do now. Repair their pods and go back into suspended animation? Tad doesn’t think so. He thinks they’ve all seen Messenger’s approach doesn’t work. He thinks that for mutants to have any say in how the world threats them, they have to be out there and make it happen. Gene also doesn’t think that sleeping the years away will help. Xavier thinks that’s good, and offers the X-Men’s help if needed.
Tad doesn’t think so. He thanks the Professor for it, but he thinks they need to go their separate ways for a while. Simon thinks that’s easy for Tad to say: he doesn’t look ten years old! Grace thinks that’s no problem: Simon can come hang out with her and Craig, and that they can keep each other out of trouble. Craig agrees with that.
Xavier says that’s fine, and mentions that he left his physical body unattended too long as it is and must return to it now. He tells Havok that he can take Lorna back to the X-Men’s headquarters. He wishes the Promise good luck, and leaves.
A short while later…
When everyone is gone, Lucy is left alone at the ruined base. She looks over Tobias’ body, which is on a table in a separate room. She talks to him. Lucy guesses that this is the end, but not quite the end Tobias had in mind all those years ago. She believes that maybe he should have thought it through a little more. Maybe he should have given some consideration to the price he was asking people to give up. Whole lives were abandoned, gambling on a future Tobias only thought would happen.
Lucy thinks the future is going to be better than Tobias thought, as the world has changed a lot in the last thirty years or so. There’s still prejudice, but people are working hard to get rid of it. And maybe – maybe with someone like her out there, someone with her powers, can sort of nudge people in the right direction. And Tobias taught her how to do it. And right now, better than anyone, Tobias know how irresistible she can be when she makes a suggestion. She picks up her backpack, turns off the lights, and looks at Tobias one last time, but with a sinister look in her eyes.
Teri has watched on the news that the war is over. The Fantastic Four have beaten another attack from Atlantis, but she wonders how long it will take before the Sub-Mariner gets ticked off again. Xavier’s astral form floats back into his body, and has heard what Teri thought. He believes that it is not likely to occur for some time. When Teri asks Charles if he had to do something with the FF’s victory, he admits that he was instrumental, where circumstances allowed it. He watches the news, where the Fantastic Four are being interviewed. He also mentions that now, for the present at least, his job is done here. Teri isn’t so glad about that.
The next morning…
Ashley asks the Professor if he’s really leaving. Xavier, sitting in his car, tells Ashley it’s time for him to return to his school in New York. Teri asks Charles if he’s really going to drive there all by himself and, if he needs someone to join him, she can come. Xavier smiles that his vehicle is fully equipped with hand controls and can manage quite well, but thanks her for the offer. Ashley waves Xavier goodbye, wanting to go play, mentioning she’ll maybe see him again some day.
Teri asks Charles if they will see him again someday. The Professor says of course they will. He has finished monitoring Ashley’s recovery but, in a few years, it will be time to remove the block he placed in her mind, and let Ashley’s power manifest naturally. Teri’s face turns grim, not really pleased it will take a few years before she gets to see Charles again.
Xavier gently touches her shoulder, mentioning he doesn’t need his telepathic powers to know what’s on her mind. He also admits it is not unreciprocated. And he’s deeply flattered that Teri believes herself to have such feelings for him. But time has taught him a bitter lesson, and that there is no place in his life for romance. Not any more. Not until his dream has been through to its fulfillment.
One week later, Xavier’s…
Beast and Angel, sitting in the X-Men’s plane, return back to the school. Warren admits that he’s sad to see Avia go, but she belongs in the Savage Land with her own people. Hank noticed that it seemed Avia was glad to go home again. He adds that, though she lacked the power of speech, Avia was still able to express her feelings for Warren. Warren, smiling, is certain that they’ll all see Avia again some day. He even jokes that sometimes it seems they need a second headquarters in the Savage Land, because they visit it so often.
Hank agrees with that. They walk down the hallways, and he wonders where the other X-Men are, as the mansion seems disturbingly still and silent to him. Warren opens a door, thinking the X-Men might be in there. Hank recognizes the door as the entrance of the Danger Room, and wonders why the X-Men would be in there, as no exercises were scheduled for today. Warren tells Hank to follow him inside, and as Hank does, the X-Men and Candy all loudly say…
Surprise! Hank notices a big cake saying “Happy birthday, Hank.” He is surprised by it, admitting that he had completely forgotten today was the jubilee of his genesis. With a hard breath, he blows out all of the candles. Xavier tells Hank he knows Jean would never forget a thing like that. Bobby asks Hank how it feels on the other side. While eating a slice of cake, Hank asks Bobby what he means by that.
Warren interrupts, smiling that Hank is twenty years old now! He and Scott are nipping at Hank’s heels, but Hank is the first of them to cross over from being a teenager. Hank agrees with that, but must also confess a small degree of sadness. When Candy asks why, Hank explains that, for all their time together, the press referred to the X-Men as “the strangest teens of all.” Now, that nomenclature can no longer apply.
Jean tells Hank not to worry about that too much. After all, they are not all X-Men, she jokes.
And as Cyclops uses his eyebeams to slice Jean a piece of the pie, the X-Men would all fight happily ever after!