(Upstate New York)
Wolverine sneaks through the woods and comes across Dr. Cecelia Reyes’ car, empty and in a battered state. It’s quiet - too quiet. There are no fingerprints, no sign of forced entry and he catches no familiar scents on the breeze. Everything is quiet; too quiet. This translates in his mind to mean he should run and he heads off at full sprint, leaping to the ground as an explosion destroys the vehicle.
As he lies on the ground, thankful to have avoided the brunt of the blast, his fellow X-man, Dr. Cecelia Reyes, runs towards him and makes sure he’s okay. She looks at her wrecked car but Logan informs her that she has more important things to worry about. An attack helicopter appears, lights shining in the early evening sky. He notices that it has armored plating and enough weaponry to make sure even their mommas couldn’t recognize their corpses. Cecelia asks why he always has to be right. “It’s a curse I’ve learned to live with,” comes the reply. Logan sees no visible insignia but knows the craft is Japanese; not normal military though; covert. And to think this started over a normal visit to De Cecelia Reyes’s office.
Cecelia treats Wolverine, who lies in her office, checking his eyes and taking a blood sample. Like Wolverine, she is a mutant, only with her own personal psioplasmic bio-field. She’s also an M.D. with a practice set up in Salem Center. They chat amiably until two men enter the office carrying a patient in urgent need of assistance. It’s a little girl who needs medical attention. They found her about three miles away and there’s no telling how long she’ been exposed. They lay her down where Logan was and Cecelia asks them to give her some breathing space, as she checks the girl. She’s warm and may be running a fever. Cecelia would also like to get an x-ray of her left arm, which she thinks might be broken. Her vital signs, though, are normal and her eyes aren’t dilated.
The girl is well enough to utter a few words in her native tongue; Japanese. She mentions her father and a plane crash and Logan, being a fluent Japanese speaker, understands. He pulls on his shirt and assures the girl that everything’s gonna be all right; Cecelia’s as good as a doc as you can get and will take care of her. He asks her to explain what happened. She tells him everything and Logan informs Cecelia and the two rescuers that something happened to the plane and it went down. Her dad strapped her to a parachute and she wandered around a while before the two men found her. One of them asks if maybe they should round up a rescue party and see if they can find them. His partner says that Trent Vann has some night goggles which could be of use.
Wolverine says that as near as he can tell from what the girl told him; the plane’s been down at least fourteen hours and a search party will spend more time tripping over each other than finding survivors. It’ll be best if he does this alone. Cecelia tells him she’s going but he tells her that he has no time for a city girl who’d only slow him down. She reminds him in no uncertain terms that she’s the doctor, not he, and any survivors will need immediate medical attention. He accepts his and tells her to get her bag. Cecelia asks the ageing nurse to keep the girl’s bandages fresh. She wants someone with her round the clock and Dr. Ringhold is on call if her situation changes.
Out in the woods, Logan thinks about how people tend to forget how beautiful upstate New York is. However, he hasn’t got time to think about that, as people’s lives are at stake. The girl was able to point them in the right direction and, judging by the amount of time she walked around, they have a good start. Logan’s counting on his heightened senses to do the rest. After an hour or so searching, Cecelia asks for a break as her medical bag isn’t exactly light.
He says that he didn’t think she went in for the spandex look, not that it doesn’t suit her. Had a change of heart about it? Hardly, replies Cecelia. She says that one, the suit is insulated, two, mysterious circumstances are involved and three, whenever she’s with any of the X-Men, she finds herself in some bizarre situation not of her making. It’s better to be prepared than not. Wolverine toys with her, telling her that she’s in denial; once you have the superhero bug, you always get the craving. She wants this; she just doesn’t know it yet. He picks up her bag and tells her that their break is over but she grabs it off him, insisting that she can manage and is perfectly capable of keeping up. She then walks off, asking him to get a move on as there are people to save. Logan smiles, as he says he’s right behind her.
They continue their search and know that, as darkness approaches, their chances of a successful rescue begin to diminish. Wolverine uses all his senses and smells something to his left and believes it could be what they’re looking for. They come to a precipice and look down to see a light aircraft, crumpled and battered with its wings smashed beyond repair. Cecelia wonders how anyone could survive that. Making their way down the slope, Wolverine thinks that the pilot did a remarkable job of getting the plane down. He peers through the cockpit window and finds the dead body of the pilot, still at the controls. Cecelia expects to find the girl’s father in the same condition but, happily, she shines a torch inside and finds a man standing inside. Unfortunately, he has a pistol and is aiming it at her.
She sees another man behind him and believes he is injured. She calmly asks the man wielding the pistol to put the gun down as she is a doctor, also asking if he speaks English. He replies that he does and apologizes to her. He introduces his business partner behind him as Tokitoshi and says he needs medical attention. Wolverine pops his head inside and asks if she’s okay. The man squeals and points the pistol at him but, again, Cecelia calmly assures him that he is with her. Speaking in Japanese, Wolverine says he must be the girl’s father. “Tamika? She’s safe?” he asks.
Cecelia turns and asks if everyone could speak English, as she doesn’t like being left out of a conversation. Wolverine tells him she’s fine; a tough little kid who sent them out to find him. Her father had feared the worst but is pleased to know she’s safe; Tamika is his reason for being. He shakes Wolverine by the hand, as Cecelia informs them that his partner needs the kind of attention she is incapable of administering out of a bag. He must be taken to a hospital as soon as possible.
Wolverine grabs Tokitoshi and carries him out of the plane but, as they walk, he warns the others to hang behind him, as things are about to hit the fan. He caught some scents and they ain’t theirs. As a light is shone at them, he asks Cecelia to get between him and the Japanese men and to use her protective shield if necessary; he’ll take care of everything else. He unsheathes his claws and looks into the light. “You can dim the lights now. I might not be able to see you, but I can smell ya, Keniuchio, the Silver Samurai!”
He faces the Samurai, who is backed up by several gun-toting soldiers in yellow outfits. His sword is sheathed for the moment, as he simply wishes to speak with Logan. He tells him that the man he wrongly seeks to protect is Inazo Uehera, a traitor and a thief who has compromised military intelligence and who will be punished accordingly. The Samurai has been charged with assuring his return to Japan, where he will stand trial for treason. Logan, for the moment, appears to go along with this, telling the Samurai that the man is his, which astonishes Cecelia.
Logan then remarks that his buddy still needs medical attention and asks Cecelia to give them what they’ll need in case his symptoms start to flare up again. Cecelia cottons on fast and reaches into her bag in the back of the plane, saying that the first thing they teach you in med school, especially when making house calls in the middle of nowhere, is to always pack for any contingency that may arise.
She reaches into the bag and pulls out three flares, activates them and then tosses them in the direction of the Samurai’s goons, which temporarily blinds them. Wolverine thinks to himself that she has spunk; catching on to his game like a pro. He makes short shrift of the soldiers with his lightning-fast attack, telling her to run while she can. She takes the men into the forest, calling back that she needs his help getting them back to town. Wolverine realizes that she has a point. He warns two remaining soldiers to tell their boss to play it smart, forget about their guests and go home to Japan. If Inazo is a spy, they should go through proper diplomatic channels. Coming after them will only end in pain.
He heads into the woods and catches the group up quickly. He tells her that they can’t hang about and bird watch; they have their chance to escape and should get into a nearby ditch immediately. Keeping still and quiet, the group goes unnoticed by the soldiers on their trail again. Wolverine removes his mask and tells them to listen and listen good. He isn’t kidding around; it’s going to be a fight to get back and he needs them to listen to whatever he tells them. If they do then they may survive the night.
That was two hours ago. Up to now, things have gone smoothly, too smoothly. For Logan, things are never easy. The attack helicopter begins to fire at them and Cecelia stands between it and her companions, using her force field to deflect the bullets away harmlessly. It is an involuntary action, which he has no control over, but, in situations like this, it’s particularly useful. She has hated it from the moment it manifested itself, this moment being a rare exception. Logan asks if she’s holding out and she replies that she is, barely. He decides to take things from here and leaps forward and upward, grabbing the helicopter by the wheel. Tokitoshi asks her if he’s insane; she replies, “I’m afraid so.”
The pilot sees a hand reach onto the side of his cockpit window and thinks this is impossible. The claws appear and Wolverine smashes through it and into the control panel, causing the helicopter to lose control. With his work completed, he jumps back to the ground, as the pilot heads off to land and make repairs. He then tells Cecelia that he’s tried it her way but now they don’t have a choice but to do it his. There’ll be no more running. The Samurai wanted a fight and he reckons it’s only fair they give it to him.
The full moon hangs majestically in the sky on this cool, summer evening. Hiding in the canopy of leaves, Wolverine stalks a couple of the soldiers; one of whom is unnerved by seeing Wolverine’s claws earlier, the other confident that their weapons will serve them well. ‘Dog food,’ thinks Wolverine. Elsewhere in the forest, Cecelia, Inazo and Tokitoshi rest, as Cecilia tends to Tokitoshi’s wounds. She asks Inazo if it’s true that he is a spy but he replies that he would rather commit seppuku by throwing himself on a sword than dishonor his family in such a manner.
Suddenly, nearby, a twig snaps under the heavy foot of the Silver Samurai, as he steps into the clearing where they sit. His sword is now unsheathed and he tells Inazo that his day of reckoning is at hand. Wolverine, meanwhile, easily takes out his prey, removing one of the soldier’s face masks and demanding to know why the Samurai hasn’t shown his face, unless…. He realizes that he has followed the decoys, while the hunter went right for his prey.
Keniuchio tells Cecelia to stand aside and allow him to complete his duty; no harm shall befall her. He recognizes her uniform as being an X-Man’s but arrogantly appears to dismiss her as a threat in her own right. “Gee, thanks,” she replies sarcastically. She says that he’s the Silver Samurai right, some sort of Japanese hero? What kind of hero denies medical assistance to the injured? The Samurai holds his sword out in front of him, replying that Inazo forfeited his rights when he betrayed his homeland. Cecelia points her finger at him and looks up to his grimacing face, half hidden under his helmet. She tells him straight that she doesn’t care what they may or may not have done, as that doesn’t concern her. What concerns her is that they are in need of medical help and she is a doctor. She’ll perform that duty and only then can he perform his. He understands.
Wolverine then appears through the bushes and pops his claws, warning the Samurai to step back away from the lady and he can see if he still knows how to use his sword. Inazo points at the Samurai, shouting that it was him that shot their plane out of the sky, not only endangering his life, but innocents aboard like Tokitoshi and his daughter. Kenuichio says that the traitor lies. The pilot was an agent of theirs who alerted them to the plane’s flight path, but it crash landed before they could intercept it. Inazo is angry, asking why he falsely accuses him so. The Samurai replies that all compromised data and information have been traced to his own personal security codes and asks how he can deny his guilt. “My codes,” replies Inazo, “But those are classified. The only other with access is…Tokitoshi.
A bullet appears out of nowhere and strikes the Silver Samurai square in the chest, hitting his armor and causing him to fall backwards in pain. Holding the smoking gun is Tokitoshi, still pointing it at the assembled party. “Coward!” screams the Samurai, as he clutches his chest. Wolverine tells him to stand down and let him handle this but the Samurai replies that it is his duty. Cecelia holds him back, asking to look at his wound. Tokitoshi grins, not knowing whether to pity or admire him. He says they’ll all be dead within a matter of moments, yet Cecelia continues to play the role of doctor. She turns to him, asking how he can hold human life in such low regard. Wolverine prepares to gut him but Cecelia holds him back and begins to walk towards him. He raises the pistol and fires shot after shot after shot, yet Cecelia remains unharmed.
“It’s called a psioplasmic field,” she tells him, as she approaches the nervous gunman. “When something threatens my person, my body generates a field that protrudes six inches from the point of impact. It’s an extension of my body, really. It still sends signals to my brain to alert me to the pain, but it does protect me from bodily harm.” Tokitoshi begins to sweat as she stands within inches of him. She grabs his gun and tells him that she’s learned to deal with the pain, and can even deal with the fact that she’s a mutant; but what she will never learn to deal with are morons like him.
She smacks him across the face and he falls to the ground. She tells him that she should leave him here to suffer, but he is still a patient and she has sworn an oath to save his life, regardless of how offensive and despicable she may find him. After this display of contempt, she tells the Samurai that he has helicopters and should go and fetch one. All the injured, including the Silver Samurai himself, have an appointment with her in her office as soon as they get back to Salem Center. She also asks for reimbursement for her car, which he so casually destroyed earlier. It was hers and, if she doesn’t have a new one by tomorrow, he’s going to wish he’d never left Japan. Wolverine, standing behind Kenuichio, says he better do as the lady says; she ain’t no lady to go messing with. The Samurai grins, “So I’ve noticed.”
Sometime later, at Cecelia’s medical practice in Salem Center, Inazo sits beside his daughter, as she recovers in bed from her injuries. He holds her hand as she tells him how they gave her ice cream and she got to watch movies. He expresses his gratitude to Dr. Reyes, grateful for all she has done for them but she smiles and says it’s all part of the service. He then asks Cecelia and Logan to join him in the hallway to allow his daughter to rest. There, he tells them that it’s funny how things work out. Yesterday, Tokitoshi was his business partner; a man he would trust with his life. Today, he almost succeeded in killing both himself and his daughter. What would drive a man as close to him as his brother to steal military secrets and set him up to take the fall? Greed, usually, replies Logan. He asks Inazo if Tokitoshi ever told him why the plane crashed. He had, and Inazo explains.
Apparently, Tokitoshi overheard their pilot alerting the Samurai to their flight pattern and knew he couldn’t afford to take the chance that the Samurai was after Inazo and not himself. He took matters into his own hands and killed the pilot, his body collapsing upon the steering column, plunging the craft into a tailspin. Inazo awoke from his slumber to find Tokitoshi at the controls, violently trying to right the plane. He had told him that the pilot had suffered a heart attack. Inazo strapped Tamika to a parachute and shoved her out the plane, pulling her ripcord as he did so. Tokitoshi actually managed to land the aircraft with the pair of them escaping relatively unscathed.
Inazo bows to them, thanking them again for helping him clear his name and saving their lives. If they’ll excuse him, he would like to spend some personal time with his daughter. He has learned a valuable lesson from this experience; he has always devoted his life to his business and work, but now he has come to realize that what is truly important is your family, especially your children. “Right,” says Wolverine. “Family,” adds Cecelia. The pair share a glance as they leave Inazo and Tamika alone.
Hammer Bay, capital city of Genosha, an East African island nation that once stood amongst the most technologically advanced societies on the planet. The island has been devastated by a genetic civil war which many believe is only the first struggle of its kind to come between man and mutant kind. The UN stood by and watched in shame as the proud country became a mockery of its former self; a shell without a pearl. None wanted to acknowledge its existence, none desired to confront its pain and so it was bartered to Magneto.
Magneto stands proud in his full costume, thinking about how the United Nations had hoped to drown him in a sea of misery in dumping the island state of Genosha upon him. But, actually, they gave him exactly what he wanted; a means to at last achieve his dream. His robotic assistant, Ferris, approaches, holding a list, telling his creator that he has a list of his appointments, which he asked to be kept abreast of. He thanks Ferris, who as always has by far exceeded the expectations of his programming.
Ferris points out that Magneto seems pleased and asks for what reason. “Simple, my most loyal servant,” he replies, “I have won.” He tells Ferris that, for far too long, mutant kind has been passive and submissive in its attempts to live amongst man, allowing mankind to keep mutants under the heel of oppression. He has shown his former colleague, Professor Charles Xavier that a proactive agenda will succeed, while a compliant path only leads to a bitter future. He is proud of his achievements and adds that he has survived one genocidal purge in his lifetime and has no plans to suffer through another. Genosha will all but assure that this possibility never comes to pass.
He turns to find standing behind him, Amelia Voght, one of his most trustworthy Acolytes, who, ironically, enough is a former lover of Xavier. Beside her is Quicksilver, Magneto’s son, who was brought to Genosha through Amelia’s manipulative efforts. Pietro is keen for his father to continue his speech, asking if it is perhaps too difficult a challenge to converse with beings he hasn’t constructed out of metal. Magneto removes his helmet and asks if he must always play the insolent son. He replies that there is no role-playing, that’s for sure. Amelia asks Magneto if they can have a word with them and they head indoors.
Pietro informs him that, when he agreed to remain in Genosha, it was for the sole purpose of assuring its citizens would not suffer under his father’s corruptive influence. The Legacy Virus camps are horrific, an atrocity against human life. He tells his father that a person cannot be discarded or ignored simply because he has become infected by a virus. He insists that this practice will end, and the detainees will be set free and given their lives back. Magneto sits himself upon his throne, a large contraption that looks like it was created to somehow tie-in to his power.
He asks Quicksilver if he feels that his detainment centers are inhumane and unnecessary. Has he paused to consider that perhaps these diseased carriers want to be isolated, so as not to risk infecting others around them? Pietro tells him that whatever justification he uses to convince himself of his wisdom cannot change the fact that these unfortunate souls are human beings. They have already spent most of their lives in the chains of slavery. If they are to die, then he should let them die without cages. Magneto furrows his brow and contemplates his son’s words. He then tells him that he wants no discontent amongst his cabinet. Pietro can free the diseased, but should be aware that they are his responsibility from this day forth.
Pietro points at his father, warning him that this had better not be yet another of his false promises. He is no longer the naïve youth from his memories of the Brotherhood and will not tolerate his lies. Magneto assures him that the decision is now his. As Quicksilver sprints away, he says it had better be. Amelia watches him vanish, pointing out that he is as strong-willed and determined as his father. “Both of my children possess that quality,” Magneto replies. He says that one day, he promises that his daughter, Wanda, the Scarlet Witch, will also join him here in Genosha. But, for now, he is content that her fellow Avengers will watch over her and keep her from harm. Amelia adds that thanks to the world media, they will always know her whereabouts.
Magneto stands and says that Pietro was a wild card that needed to be brought into the fold sooner than anticipated. His recklessness would only have gotten him killed. Magneto has learned from his past mistakes and it is wise to only attempt to assimilate one of his offspring at a time to his dream. Once Pietro is convinced of the righteousness of his cause, then he shall turn his attention to his sister.
Through a doorway steps Dr. Alda Huxley, Genosha’s ambassador to the UN. She asks him what he is trying to achieve; the dysfunctional family of the year award? If he has finished playing house, she has important issues to discuss. Magneto likes Dr. Huxley and tolerates, indeed admires, her forthright attitude. He asks her to what he owes the pleasure of her company. She tells him that she is a lifelong politician and knows insincerity when she hears it. She is on her way to meet with foreign delegations regarding mutual trade and commerce. Strangely enough, she is finding it quite a challenge to identify foreign countries willing to establish ties with a mutant dictatorship. She tells him that Genosha’s history of isolationism has, in fact, not become self-induced. They are in effect, completely alone.
Magneto produces a Kinizasa plant from nowhere and uses it as a metaphor to explain his ideas. He says that it is native only to Genosha. Once, it was part of a greater whole, then it was clipped and relocated to this pot of soil, where it blossomed and thrived. Genosha may have been left to fend for itself, but it will ultimately adapt and prosper of its own accord. Huxley as always has a response, saying that its fine for the Kinizasa plant, but until Genosha is able to repair its devastated agricultural industry, then it’s either import the essentials of life, of they’ll be facing a famine similar to the African mainland. Neither of them wants that to happen, do they?
Magneto smiles to himself. Alda Huxley is a woman after his own heart. She yearns for power and recognition with a drive and desire that mirrors his own. She is a survivor, like he, who will do whatever is necessary to achieve the desired result. He finds her exhausting, yet captivating. A helicopter arrives and she climbs aboard, telling Magneto that she will be back in three days, asking him not to start any wars before she gets back; it might hurt their trade situation.
As the helicopter ascends, without even looking behind him, Magneto feels the presence of three familiar faces. It is time for his next appointment. Turning, he finds Jenny Ransome, her boyfriend, Phillip Moreau, and Pipeline. Ransome is a mutate, Moreau, a son of aristocracy, his father being the former Genegineer David Moreau, and Pipeline is a former magistrate. The three do indeed make for strange bedfellows; three former enemies, striving to restore their homeland to its former stature. He folds his arms and tells them that they have five minutes.
Phillip informs Magneto that there is a potential threat that involves an underground movement, involving former magistrates. He replies that they are insignificant; after all, they are only human. Pipeline erupts, reminding Magneto that, until a few months ago, the magistrates were the dominant force in this country. “Only human…?! Who do you think kept the mutates in check for all of these years.” Magneto says that the thought has never left his mind and he often wonders how deep old allegiances run. After all, once a murdering racist magistrate…
Pipeline tells him that he has a lot of nerve. Pointing to Magneto, he tells him that he has forsaken his past, his family and his friends. How dare he question his loyalty? He continues to point out that as long as Magneto’s goal is restoring Genosha to its rightful position, then he is at his command, even if it means separating himself from all he’s held dear. Moreau cuts in. He tells Magneto that, before he starts a rebellion, perhaps he should remember who stood with him against the Zealot’s mutate rebellion. “Ah, yes, the Zealot. Have you forgiven me yet for the death of your long lost brother?” Moreau says he’s forgotten, for now, but never forgiven.
Magneto turns away, telling Moreau that he admires his brashness, if not his bloodline. He tells them to seek out the nerve center of the magistrate insurrection and destroy it. It’s always best to end a potential threat before it actually becomes one. He leaves them to their task and returns to his throne room, where he finds Fabian Cortez watching the monitors, remote control in hand. On screen are pictures of an earlier confrontation between Magneto and the X-Men. He notices that he has set the monitors to replay his initial appearance in Genosha, an unnecessary battle initiated by the very man who now invades his sanctuary. Cortez is a mutant whose maniacal thirst for power led to his nearly successful attempt on his life. He calls his name and Cortez jumps out of his skin, leaping out of the throne. He tries to explain but Magneto has little time for his lame excuses. He warns Cortez that should he enter the room of his own volition again, it will be his last time.
With Cortez gone, Magneto sits down and commands the computer orally to replay sequence #G203. The request takes a couple of seconds and Magneto tells it to freeze the frame. He looks at Rogue, in another time, another place, thinking that their past might have been much different together if not for the fact that he needs his dream to reach its ultimate conclusion before he allows matters of the heart to cloud his judgement, as it is wont to do. He tells the computer to end the sequence and activate the archival library. Numerous images appear on screen. He sees himself as leader of the New Mutants, as leader of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, in battle with the Avengers, meeting the ultimate mutant and the Defenders, his trial and another shot of his battle with the X-Men in Genosha. He thinks to himself that, with each passing defeat, he has catalogued away all that he has learned. A lesser man would have allowed himself to slip away into a chasm of pity, but that is not his way. The passion of his dream fuels his ambition.
He stares at the screen and contemplates his life. He is Magneto, arguably the most powerful and influential mutant on the planet. He has taken on the world and won. He knows that next time he adds and archive to the display, it will not be a reminder of another humiliating defeat, but of his penultimate achievement. First comes the stabilization of Genosha, its economy and culture; then…
He is disturbed in his thoughts by Ferris who asks him whether he might be of service. He orders the computer to switch off the archival library and switch to satellite transmission. Faces from around the world appear on the screen and he asks Ferris what he sees. The robot isn’t sure he understands the question. Magneto tells him it is the world, as seen through the eyes of perspectives and ideologies, each one with a common phobia, an intense fear of mutants. He commands Ferris to leave him with his thoughts, as he has much to consider and contemplate. The robot may retire for the remainder of the day. It departs and Magneto leans forward, doubling himself over and stretching his arms down to wads his feet. He has much to consider.