“I fear our needs will far outlast out desires. We have many hard choices ahead of us.”
X0 – The X-Men: year one
A very unique island: Bar Sinister
Two unexpected visitors – Professor X and Magneto – step through a teleportation gate and are stopped by an armored, helmeted guard. He orders them to state their business and adds (annoyed) to please not ask for help or a handout. Because, while, yes, they have much, they really can’t be bothered with the sad problems of sad people… and oh look, he’s wearing a cape! He refers to Magneto. How. Perfect. Long suffering, he states he doesn’t suppose they have an appointment. Because who wears that having the other?
Xavier stoically replies they do not have an appointment but it is essential that they see Nathaniel Essex.
The guard takes off his helmet, revealing himself to be a clone of Mr. Sinister. Which one? he asks. There are so many of them. They’ll settle for the one in charge, Magneto replies drolly. The guard muses that, while Magneto’s outfit is ridiculous, he does have an air of something about him. The other, however… It just won’t do, he decides. It won’t play well at court. A sad little man in his sad peasant suit stuck in his sad ch… Magneto smashes him into the wall. Xavier mildly points out they need the man. No, Magneto replies. This man needs to decide if he wants to escort them inside or continue thusly and reap the consequences.
Two minutes later, the guard has made the smart choice and led them inside the throne room, filled with people in Victorian clothes. He bows before the Sinister on the throne and introduces the two guests.
Xavier begins talking but Mr. Sinister interrupts imperiously. Before either of them says another word, he must make one thing perfectly clear: He. Loves. That. Cape. Amazing. Why does he not have a cape? How does he not have a cape?
His advisor obsequiously agrees, adding he has always thought he should wear one. In a huff, Sinister asks why he didn’t tell him then. It slipped his mind the other stammers and Sinister shouts an order to have him executed. The guards immediately comply.
With a smile, Mr. Sinister turns to Charles and Magneto. Now, how can he help them? Xavier replies that they were hoping they could help each other, as they know about his original endeavor into the world of genetics. And how would they know about that? Sinister demands. Xavier plays coy. Somewhat flattered, Sinister admits he is not surprised word is getting out. He does amazing work.
Magneto adds they also know about the library he is building. Cataloguing the world’s DNA.
Don’t judge, Sinister orders. He can’t be shamed into changing who he is. Xavier assures him they don’t want him to. What they want to suggest is a small deviation of focus. Continue with his broad indexing if he wants to, but they need him to prioritize making a comprehensive database of all mutant DNA. Safe. Secure. Redundant. They can help him with getting samples he might have trouble procuring, including theirs.
Haughtily, Sinister replies the point of one collecting is found in the value of the collection, so why would he take such a special interest in the mutant gene? Magneto replies he has seen the future and mutantdom’s cause is his. Mr. Sinister scoffs at this. He has played around with introducing that aberrant gene into his superior genetic structure… and let him tell them he did not like the results and he won’t tolerate such a...
Suddenly, a gunshot in his head ends the rant and his life.
“But I will!” the culprit, another Sinister – wearing a glorious cape – announces. Settling himself on the throne, he mock-whispers that he is the Sinister with the mutant gene. And if they must know, his mutant power is overthrowing tyrants and being absolutely fabulous. He can see that, Magneto agrees with a slight smile. So, they are in this together, the new Sinister decides. He loves the ambition. He loves every bit of it. So, tell him, partners, what’s next for their secret sinful confederacy?
Xavier replies first they need him to start the good work and then they need him to forget, why he’s doing this and that they were ever here… until Xavier tells him to remember.
X1 – the X-Men: months ago
Professor X has taken Doug Ramsey aka Cypher to Krakoa. Looking at the tropical paradise, Doug wishes Xavier had told him they were going on vacation. He would have packed a bathing suit and some sunscreen.
Xavier laments that the world doesn’t allow them any respite from the toil of everyday life. He’s sorry to say this is not a vacation. This is Krakoa. Oh cool! Doug snarks. The secret island where mutants come to die. Excellent choice.
Xavier mildly asks whether it’s wrong to expect more than sarcasm from someone whose mutant power is understanding and deciphering the nuances of any language. Doug laughs sheepishly and Xavier assures him the days of Krakoa being their adversary are long in the past. It took some effort to understand the island but eventually he was able to telepathically make a connection. From there, the relationship between mutant island and mutant man has grown. He tells Doug to follow him, he wants the two of them to meet. Unnoticed, Doug touches a flower with his techno-organic arm and it is infected with the Techno-organic Virus.
Xavier leads Cypher to a clearing and they see a humanoid face in a giant tree. Xavier tells him to say ‘hello.’ Doug greets the face and it answers. He begins analyzing its language and asks Xavier to have Krakoa say some more. Xavier asks Krakoa how it is feeling today and it answers. He tells Douglas Krakoa says it’s sad. Doug ventures it’s more empathic than actual language. They are talking but not at a complex nuanced level. “Xavier, friend. Island, friend. Friends happy. Friends, many years.” That kind of thing, yeah? Is he saying Krakoa isn’t sad? Xavier asks. No, he is, Doug replies, but it goes deeper than that. Xavier asks what the island said.
Doug narrates Krakoa’s story:
They were Okkara, the one land. The Twilight Sword tore them asunder and what was one became two. Arakko and Krakoa. And from the chasms between them the enemy poured into the world. If not for the first mutant – the warrior god in blue (he refers to Apocalypse) the world would have fallen to them. But using all his power, he pushed Arakko though the gap, set his Four to be guardians to that land and sealed the gap shut. It had to happen, but now Krakoa is alone, now and forever.
Doug admits it’s beautiful here. Xavier asks him if he wouldn’t mind spending some time here on his own. When Doug chuckles that Professor X has plans, Xavier decides to show him and telepathically does so. Cypher is shocked, then he admits that’s ambitious. Xavier asks how long it will take. Months, maybe a year if he is terrible at this. How does that sound? Like he’s got quite a bit of work ahead of him, Xavier replies and throws him his bag from the X-jet. Best get to it.
X3 – the X-Men one thousand:
The old, blue man introduces himself as an elder to the messengers of the Phalanx and tells them they hope for ascension. They have to try, don’t they? Isn’t that what’s next? The idea of the Phalanx’s great union existing just beyond their reach is something they cannot tolerate. The Phalanx take the flying robot and convert it into dust. A mysterious exchange between him and the leader follows.
The Librarian asks what just happened and is told by a female the Phalanx are the forerunners of a galactic empire that they believe has dominion over the entire known universe. The Phalanx have the ability to convert any machine intelligence into their collective – which after an amount of time if the intelligence has been found worthy will eventually ascend and become part of the greater collective.
The Librarian remarks that the Phalanx find them useful. Clearly, that should be celebrated. But she isn’t celebrating.
She replies it always comes down to cost and the method doesn’t work with biological entities. So, the elder made a host machine, an empty vessel, and copied himself over to it before the Phalanx absorbed it. They just confirmed that he was in there somewhere.
Nimrod the Greater remarks to the Librarian that it is foreboding that the Phalanx want machines and not them. So, they are trying to trick the Phalanx? the Librarian asks. The woman replies they are just trying to find a way around the problem. Now they wait to see if the Phalanx find it acceptable.
“I’m not afraid of what I’ve done, but I do fear what it will one day cost.”