In front of them, in the remains of a solid brick wall reinforced with steel, stood the same rogue mutants the X-Men had battled at Hoover Dam: Avalanche, Pyro, Blob and Toad. The Blob, a mass of fat disguised as a human , was holding a lifeless figure in his arms.
“Who is that, Dukes?” Banshee screamed
“That’s a mutant named Vertigo, my dear friend. She’s one of them. Why have you brought her here?” Hank retorted.
“To lay at the master’s feet! We aims to take out our revenge on this murderer!” the slimy mutant named Toad said. He sat on the ground on all fours, whipping back and forth his disgusting tongue, with a strange green slime covering it.
The Brotherhood let out a scream, almost simultaneously and Pyro shot off a burst of flame over their heads
“How did you find Magneto?” asked the Professor
“He told us where he was. Didn’t expect to find him laid up when we got here though. And didn’t expect to find you X-muties either. But, now we can get two flies with one flick!”
“We’ll not let you have him,” Hank shouted.
“How did he tell you his location?” the Professor asked.
“Like you do! Through the head. Never knew he was one of those brain scanners too. Maybe it’s his second mutation or something.”
“This is impossible. I know Erik; he doesn’t have that ability.”
Suddenly, Charles Xavier , the world’s most powerful telepath, heard a voice in his head, one he was most familiar with
“YEs I do, Charles. Now.”
Xavier responded mentally, “How is this possible?”
“I’m no sure, but we are the superior race, Charles. Anything is possible for us.”
“Then, why did you inform the Brotherhood of your location? You killed one of their own. They are not as merciless as we are.”
“Precisely why. They deserve their revenge. Let them kill me, Charles. I’ve failed. I took mutant lives. I have spit in the face of every mutant that has followed me. It’s over.”
“No, not yet. Sean, we need you!” Charles sent out his message mentally to the mutant known as the Banshee.
Sean Cassidy came sailing in behind the Brotherhood, wailing his Banshee scream as loud as possible. Xavier was blocking the sound waves out of Hank, Moira and his own eardrums and perception. Toad bounced up high and landed atop Magneto’s prone body. He brandished a knife in his hand, and Hank saw it and shot forward, tackling the quick mutant across the rom. Banshee’s screams knocked over Avalanche and Pyro, but nothing could move the Blob. He swiped at the flying mutant several times until Toad was thrown forcefully into the bulging behemoth’s stomach. Toad bounced like a rubber ball and landed on his feet. Xavier was putting up a mental shield around himself and Erik’s body, just as Pyro loaded up another blast of flame. He let loose but Xavier’s tricks were impeding his progress in their mission.
The Blob swung again at Banshee as he swooped by, but Toad was backing him up and had shot out his tongue, attaching itself to Banshee’s left leg. Beast came to his friend’s aid and took a handful of powerful shot at Blob, but he couldn’t budge the massive mutant. Avalanche was recovering and upended the ground underneath Magneto’s bed and pushed it on a tidal wave of earth out of the gaping hole they had created in the wall. Beast re-directed his attacks and turned himself into a human basketball and shot into Avalanche’s chest, Banshee now took to the skies, with his slippery traveler still stuck to him. He dove down into the waiting sea below them.
“Have a drink, love!” he shouted to Toad.
“No, thanks, I have to drive home still!” Toad released his grip from Banshee but he was ready for it. As soon as he was free, Banshee turned around and let out a scream, blasting Toad into the wall of the research center. Xavier was using his mental grip to pull Erik’s body from the hole in the ground but Blob reached out and snagged onto it. He started squeezing the frame, bending the metal inwards. Xavier quickly plugged into Avalanche’s mind and told him to send a granite tidal wave under the Blob’s feet. The mutant did as was suggested and ripped the ground from underneath Blob and he toppled over a shallow ravine and into the sea, half the floor breaking away with him from so much destruction and weight. As he fell, Magneto’s prone body did as well, with Charles watching in horror as his friend and enemy fell to his certain death. But, only a split second later, the magnetic bed he lie on shot into the sky like a crumpled rocket and the magnetic mutant rose into the air, flying. He gave Charles a stare and floated away like an angel.
“I think the Master of Magnetism is awake,” Hank stated.
As gentle as a summer breeze, silent as a tomb, brimming with life, Erik Lensherr (codename: Magneto) glided through the under current of the vast sea, the Atlantic Ocean to be exact. His mind was still weary from whatever Charles had done to it. He could hear him now, subduing Magnet’s wayward children, the Brotherhood, into submission. Their mission to kill him had failed. Although, he could not hear the youngest, Vertigo’s, voice. Perhaps it had been silenced, as he feared.
It had been an accident; he saw himself impale her with a rebar pipe, while struggling to stop himself, yet he could not. He hoped it had been a waking dream, yet it wasn’t. Mutant blood was now on his hands. That would be extremely hard to live with. He did not know his next step as a long tentacle creature reached out to him under the water, but he rebuffed at the touch of Lensherr’s protective magnetic shield, the only thing allowing him to move underwater like this. He stopped and studied the creature as it seemed aware that it could not penetrate this invisible shield, and the creature seemed intrigued. Magneto had neither the will to simply pass by the creature or to kill it. But, he felt something below it; a magnetic energy that he couldn’t not pass up…..
1st day of classes at the X-Mansion:
4 large buses pull up at the corner of Graymalkin Lane and thirty-two students pile out of the vehicles as quickly as they could, scurrying up the long pathways to the front of the mansion doors. Scott, Bobby , Paige & Betty await the arriving pupils on the porch in front of the Main Hall.
“How old students are we taking now?” Bobby asked.
“Don’t get any ideas,” replied Scott. “Underage, put it that way.”
“Age is just a number, like sixte…”
“Bobby!” Scott retorted.
“Shouldn’t you be at least 60 years old Bobby,” quipped Betsy. “Still thinking like a libido-driven teen.” She looked over at Scott, ” of course, sometimes there’s nothing wrong with the carnal desires inside to take over>”
Scott pulled at his collar, feeling a bit hot.
“Thinking like a teenager is one of my better qualities,” replied Bobby. “It’s helped me so…”
“Scott!” Jean was in her husband’s mind.
“Yes,” he thought back
“Hank just messaged; they’re sitting in wreckage on Muir Island. The Brotherhood attacked and Magneto is gone!”
“Is anyone hurt?”
“Not seriously; just bruised. Hank says they could use some help getting the transport back with the Brotherhood members; not sure what to do with them.”
“I can help,Scott,” suddenly, Betsy was in his head too. He could feel Jean fuming. This wouldn’t be the first time these two women trapped Scott in the middle.
“Betsy, stand down and focus on the new students. Jean, I’ll take Bobby, Pete and Kitty to Muir Island and help Hank.”
Two of the new students walked in nervous, and bumped into each other.
Wilbur Pattersly, a country boy still wearing overalls, and large ones at that, apologized to a tiny young girl with thin dark hair,
“I’m sincerely sorry missie; I didn’t see ya there,” he tried bending over but it was a strain for Wilbur; he was pushing 400 pounds and didn’t have the muscle mobility of most people.
“It’s okay; I was hoping not to start the first day without an embarrassing situation occurring,” she replied.
“Oh, I get it. Take a jab at the portly boy. School never changes,” he said, red in the face.
“It’s not that way. I….deflect. I didn’t have many friends at my last school. But, I guess that’s why we’re here?” she said, as her hand turned into a dark cloudy substance. Wilbur looked astonished; he was the only mutant he’d ever seen up close.
“Well if pigs could fly….”
“I’m sure if they had mutant powers they could.”
“Well, I’m Wilbur, by the way. Nice to meet your acquaintance….” He paused waiting for her to give her name.
“Just call me Wisp. I came code-named prepared.” Wilbur seemed satisfied and they both stood looking around at all the mutants they would be spending their next 2 years with, in an awkward but excited silence.
“What do you think we’ll see here?” Wilbur asked. Just then, overhead, in the sky, a jet, nearly invisible, burst through the cloud, leaving a sonic burst behind it that hurt the students eardrums.
“Well….that’s probably just the appetizer,” said a person they did not notice before; a small, purple elf with the tail of the devil.
“Welcome to Xavier Academy,” he said.