Scott took the podium and cleared his throat before beginning. Paige stood next to Bobby in the crowd; she had, out of necessity of the events, kind of latched onto him.
“Bobby, I hate to be the one to say this, but why aren’t we having a viewing?”
“We never recovered the body,” he said with his head low, grimly.
“What? How’s that possible?”
“Alex….was protecting Lorna from her own father and he….started…”
“Well, he started an explosion. Like I’d never seen before. He had a plasma shield over the whole team, protecting us from what he must have known was about to come. Magneto was out of control and somehow Alex started draining energy from him, but his suit was ripped and torn, and I guess he couldn’t contain it all. Long story short, he kinda blew up.”
Paige held her hand over her mouth, speechless.
“Oh my god in heaven. I had no idea. So, Magneto…..is dead too?”
“No. He survived somehow. The Prof. has him on Muir Island. Running tests or something. This is one of the hardest days we’ve ever had here. But, it’s cool you showed up.”
“Thanks, I guess. How is Scott not balling his eyes out/” They’re brothers, right?”
“Trust me, he is inside. But, he’s a leader, and he’s probably got more on his mind than crying ,knowing Slim. If I know him as well as I think I do, he’s probably planning the next step. A strategy.”
“Strategy? for what?”
“Revenge,” Bobby said, looking at Paige matter-of-factly.
Jean could feel the anger in Scott’s mind as he delivered his speech. She suppressed it as well as she could, to help him stay composed. She could even feel Betsy’s presence in Scott’s mind trying to subdue his rage. Jean was probably doing just fine, but she can’t help if his teammates are concerned and want to help. Jean could also feel Lorna’s grief. Her sadness was so huge, she could barely concentrate on Scott.
Kurt walked up to Bobby and stuck out his leathery hand to Paige.
“Kurt Wagner, mein fraulin. Nice to meet you.”
Paige extended her hand to his, “My pleasure. I heard you are a tremendous inspiration around here.”
“Thank you , lipschen. That means a lot. Scott is going to need help in the state he’s in. Help and faith.”
“I can help you in that regard. I have plenty of faith; you almost have to , being a mutant and all.”
“I couldn’t agree more.”
Rain started coming down heavier now, and umbrellas were popping up over the grounds.
“Too bad Ororo’s not here,” stated Bobby.
“Perhaps she is,” Kurt replied.
Bobby noticed Kurt staring far off into the distance. “Yeah. How’s Forge?”
“Still breathing, just not moving. I pray for him. That is all we of faith can do. It’s ni God’s hands now.”
“More like it was Magneto’s hands. I can’t believe Professor is treating him. He’s a murderer.”
“That he is, but he’s also one of us. That’s why we are here. Look at Logan. How many times has he killed, yet he belongs here. His place is here.”
“Yeah, but his place is empty. He doesn’t exactly make everyone comfortable either.”
Scott led a prayer and the service commenced. everyone milled into the mess hall where food was being served. Hank gathered up a bag and made his way to the jet hangar. Hank stepped into the cockpit of a jet and fired the engine on.
Music began playing over the speakers, the soft soothing tones of Hank’s favorite conductor. He was on his way to Muir Island, a research facility leased in the name of Charles Xavier. It’s off the map aways, an island near Scotland, and perfect for solitude. It’s run by Dr. Moira McTaggart, a brilliant geneticist and impeccable nurse. Her husband, SeanCassidy (codename: Banshee) is also a mutant, who has the ability to emit “sonic screams” from his vocal chords that break the sound barrier. He’s a hell of a drinker too.
Hank could see the clouds part as he came into view of the lush, green landscape on the shores of the island. A small, golden blip was waiting for him at the landing pad: the Professor. Here, he as probing into the why of Magneto’s vicious actions, and why what happened to Alex put him in a vegetative state. Hank has his theories, but he knew anything was possible.
He land on the air strip, docking the jet and turning of the engine. He unboarded the plane and found Moira, in her lab coat, waiting for him. Her smilin’ Irish eyes were always a welcome sight. She embraced him with a tight hug.
“Ah, Moira, it’s been far too long since I’ve seen you.”
“Hello, Hank. Yu’re a sight for sore eyes too.”
“How are things here on Muir?”
“Gloomy, but quiet.”
“Quiet did ya say?” boomed a thick Irish accent as Sean came walking up.
“Don’t lie to the fella! It’s never quiet when I”m around.”
He hugged his wife from behind and planted a kiss on her cheek. Hank shoo k his hand
“So, where’s the Professor?”
“This way, Hank, if I can pry this sweet slug from of me!”
“Aye, dear, I get the hint. Hank, let’s throw some back later!”
“Agreed. That would be a nice way to wind down after today.”
Moira led Hank down a series of hallways until they reached a dead-end and entered the room to the right of it. Professor was sitting in his custom chair, looking down at a motionless body.
“Ah, he so powerful in the day night peaceful as a babe in the night. What’s his condition?” said Hank
“Physically, he’s healing from his battle wounds. Mentally, I can find no traces of anger, hate, resentment, nothing. In fact, I can’t find any memories of the battle at all and only blank space in the days leading up to it. ”
Hank loomed closer over the body; “Most interesting. I see some burn marks on his chest. Alex, I presume?”
Moira & Charles both nodded yes. Then, Hank noticed three deep punctures in his both shoulders.
Again, they both nodded.
“Are you thinking someone has tampered with his mind, Professor?”
“Anything’s possible. In the past, he’s been nearly invulnerable to mental suggestion due to his helmet, plus he’s so powerful, he could fight off attacks from most psychics. I’m even finding memories that Im’ in, that are changed, distorted. Something or someone has tampered with his mind but I can’t find…….
The wall closest to Magneto’s bed burst open, a ripple rips through the granite like tissue paper. A large shadow bursts through the opening and four men step into the carnage.
Professor Xavier stares ahead and states, out loud, “The Brotherhood.”