Hong Kong China:
Dressed in civvies, Magneto sits in a cell and waits, musing that once such a room wouldn’t have held him for a second. Even now, with his power crippled, it holds him only as long as he allows it.
On his feet, genefreak! several guards order him and walk him out of the cell. Not a term he hears often, he muses. They probably heard it on some old TV broadcast and think it makes them sound edgy. If they knew who they were really dealing with…
One of them addresses him. He can’t wait to see what he does in the pit. Not only do they bet on how long he lasts in the ring, but also what his powers are. His money is on wetting his pants, another guard laughs. He better hope he can fight! the first one remarks.
Magneto is ushered through a door into a gladiatorial pit. The floor is littered with bones… walls stained with old blood… the blood of mutants… forced to fight… to kill… to die! He looks at the spectators above, cheering and making bets, playing with lives of those who cannot protect themselves…
Magneto and Briar Raleigh sit in a diner. Ever been to Hong Kong? Briar asks him. Because something’s happening there. Mutants vanishing off the street, never to be seen again. Not just those with obvious mutant traits either. Whoever’s behind those kidnappings seems to be using Sentinel tech. Reverse-engineered to create some tool to ID mutants.
For what purpose? he asks. Intel only goes so far, she smiles. Then he’ll find out for himself. How does he plan to do that? Briar asks. Levitate himself to China? Good thing he’s got her. She tells him to pay the check. She’ll show him.
A little later, Magneto is shown that Briar owns a private jet. She jokes she wanted to make sure he liked her for more than her money. She asks how he is going to find them. He points out they are looking for mutants. They’ll come to him.
Magneto looks up at the spectators, recalling Briar’s doubt. He glares as he thinks it is a common misconception that mutants are defined by their powers. Mutation is adaptation. He was born with magnetic powers but he was forges into the man he is today. It is his convictions, not his abilities that make him who he is.
A steel door opens and a huge, fierce creature rushes in. Magneto identifies it as a Predator X, a creature genetically engineered to hunt and kill mutants. Strong, fast, ruthless and these fools are using them for sports.
Magneto dodges the attack and wonders about the mutants before him; did they feel powerless? For all their gifts, were they defenseless in the face of such hate?
He kicks the creature to find his foot almost shatters. When last he faced one, he was at the height of his powers. But even such powers would pale in comparison with such malice. He dodges another blow but is then caught in the back.
He recalls when a Predator X tastes its victim’s blood they forge a psychic link.
Memories flood the animal’s mind. The beast sees traumatic events of Magneto’s past. The beast withdraws and Magneto wonders if there are some memories not even a killer wants in its head.
Magneto grabs a shard from the ground, uses his power to distract the beast and lodges the shard inside the wound on its head, killing it.
The crowd is shocked. Magneto addresses them. Some of them may have realized who he is. He suggests they warn the others. Because anyone who is still here in five minutes will die screaming his name. People whisper his name as the crowd storms out.
Guards enter the arena and order him to put his hands on his head, genefreak! Despite his pain, Magneto takes them out physically and enjoys inflicting on them the pain they inflicted on others.
Finished with them, he walks out of the pit to get a better look at the operation. He finds two more caged Predators X. These creatures and the Sentinel tech… Someone’s been supplying these people with resources that should be beyond their reach.
In a cell block, he finds two mutant prisoners. With a gesture, he tears out the bars and assures them he is here to help. Are there other survivors? Panicked, the one man begs him to get them out. If they can’t fight, he sells them off to God knows who and for God knows why!
In an office, the audience member who seemed cool and collected is now anything but as he tries to inject a substance from a syringe.
Magneto bursts into his office, grabs him by the throat and demands the name of his supplier. The man claims there is no supplier.
Magneto sees the syringe and realizes this is mutant growth hormone. Harvested from the cells of mutants, capable of granting power to the powerless. They hate, they imprison and torture! They murder. And still want to be like them.
Magneto rams the syringe with MGH into the man’s arm, then throws him down to the Predators X. The gift of power, however fleeting, ensures he becomes prey.
Pensive, Magneto looks at the rest of the MGH…