Previously Spoiler Two Days Later Washington DC Henry Gyrich and Amanda Waller stood as the collection of US Senators walked into the closed room. Together, the men and women made up the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Along with Stryker and the Joint Chiefs, these were the people Gyrich and Waller had to answer to. The senators sat and the two agents followed suit. "Now," the senator from Arizona said, looking at the two agents. "State your names and titles for the record, please." "Henry Peter Gyrich, Special Agent, Department of Defense." "Amanda Blake Waller, Special Agent, Department of Defense." "Mister Gyrich, Mrs. Waller," the female senator from Georgia said in a slow southern drawl. "The reason y'all are here is because of this Project Darwin. Ten billion dollars worth of funding went into this. And our question is... what is it? There seems to no longer be any record of it at all in the government's files." Both Waller and Gyrich exchanged uneasy looks. After a long pause, Waller leaned forward and spoke into the mike. "Madam Senator... we don't know. Nobody knows." "Explain yourself," said the chairman, a senator from Minnesota, named Kelly. "What do you mean you don't know?" "Two days ago, Mrs. Waller and I, along with Admiral Stryker and the entire staff at Utopia woke up... and we had no idea how we got there. By our estimation, six months had went by. And we had no memory of anything that happened. Whatever Project Darwin was, whatever happened on that island, we have no record of it." "We found some DNA samples in a sweep. Hair, skin cells, things like that. It's been confirmed that they're mutant in nature." "Well," Kelly said, leaning forward. "I think we've heard enough from the two of you. With this latest piece of information, it's clear that you two would be better served elsewhere. Admiral Stryker will now oversee the Utopia and Alcatraz operations. You'll both be reassigned to other positions. You're dismissed." ***** Utopia San Francisco Bay "Admiral on deckt," the commander said, drawing the fifty soldiers in front of him at attention. He was gray-haired and had an eyepatch covering his right eye. The commander saluted as Stryker came out of the barracks to inspect the men. He returned the salute and turned to the men. "At ease," he said with a nod. "Welcome to Utopia. I'm sure that you're all wondering why you were called here. I mean, look at you. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines. You all come from different branches, but you each have a few things in common. Number one, you're all the best men the armed services have at their disposal. Number two, each and every one of you are religious in some way. Which is important for our upcoming cause." Stryker began to pace in front of the soldiers, his hands behind his back as he spoke. "I am a religious man myself. I was originally going to be a naval chaplain, but the powers that be thought I would be better suited elsewhere. While I wear these stars on my shoulder, I am still as committed to God and His teachings today as I was all those years ago. Despite what the scientist and secular heathens say, God is very real. And He is testing us. For the past century, humanity has not given glory to Him. We ignore His word, we praise wickedness and glorify those who would besmirch God and His works. We are being punished. And mutants are our punishment." Stryker stopped pacing and looked at his men, a glint in his eye. To some, it could be taken as passion. But to the right person, he had the look of a mad man. "Mutants are born into this world, twisted and deformed by Him. His cruel commentary on what humans have become. Mutants are evil, untrustworthy, and all of them without His love. He is reminding us that we are lost, and that it is only through Him that we can achieve true salvation. Not in science, not in Godless pursuits that mock Him. But only in His glory. We can only be saved in meeting His challenge head on. Salvation -- true salvation -- will not come until each and every last mutant has been wiped off the face of the earth. That is what we strive to do here. We trusted the mutants, and they showed us their true nature. The politicians had their chance, now it is our turn. I declare that Project Darwin is officially decommissioned. In its place, a new mission. Not a mission, but a crusade. Like our forefathers, we will strike out and wage holy war against a Godless foe, an enemy that will strike without mercy or remorse. Christian, Muslim, or Jew. It doesn't matter. We all united under the banner of humanity. The human races is under attack, and we are its Sentinels. God bless each and every one of you, God bless our holy endeavor, and God bless Project Sentinel." "Ten-hut,"the commander barked out. All the men stood at attention, saluting Stryker. Each of them impassioned and motivated by his speech. ***** West Chester County New York "Welcome," Charles said to his students. The six of them were standing at the front steps of a large mansion. The house appeared to have been out of use for several years. The windows were boarded up, the siding in dire need of paint. "Nice crib," Jefferson said. "You grow up rich or something?" "Very much so. Up until two days ago, all my accounts had been frozen by the government. So, I now have quite a lot of money to play with thanks to Hank's little computer virus." "I should thank you, professor," the furry mutant said, taking off his glasses. "That virus wouldn't have been as potent had you not gleaned the good Admiral's password from his mind." "That's all it took? A couple of clicks of the mouse and we're off the grid?" "Well, I did have to wipe the minds of everyone on Utopia as well. But yes. As far as the government is concerned, the six of us never worked for them. Nothing on paper, in the computer, or in their minds. Speaking of computers... Hank?" With a toothy grin, Hank held up a large binder he had nabbed from Gyrich's office. It detailed the exact goings on of Alcatraz, along with a few other "interesting" side projects the government were currently doing with mutants. "God, I can't wait to get out there and give it back to those government jerks," Rex said, his fist shifting from flesh to iron. "Who says we'll continue operations? That was the whole reason I left the government. We can't be out there, fighting. You're just children." "Dude, we kicked the asses of Navy SEALs. We may be lots of things, but we sure as hell aren't kids." "We need to do something," Jean said. "We can't hide in this big house day and night. People out there... they need to see us. In action. Fighting, not just for mutants, but for humans." "She's right. We can be a powerful force, that's true. But we can be a powerful force for good. Show them that mutants are willing to fight for everyone's rights. Regardless if they're mutant or not." "'In the practice of tolerance, one's enemy is the best teacher.' The Dalai Lama" "'Gunga galunga' Bill Murray." Charles looked around at his students. When he had first started, they had just been kids scared of their own abilities. Now, he saw five confident and eager young adults. Each of them either fully-versed in their powers, or on the way to being that shortly. They had been tested in the fires, they had already seen the way the world work. And still, they wanted more. And, truth be told, so did Charles. "Alright," he said with a quiet sigh. "We stole that jet, we might as well do something with it." He looked over to the side of the house. The Blackbird was resting on the lawn. "We need a name. A team name, you know? It's all about the PR, gotta brand ourselves." "How about the Quixote Crusaders? Our task is indeed a Quixotian one in many ways." "NEEEERD!" "What about the Mutant Boyz? With a z." "Hello? Girl standing right here, can't call me a boy. Even with a z." "I got it! The Metamorpho Experience Featuring Four Losers!" "What about the X-Men?" "The Axe Men? Isn't that a show on History Channel or something?" "I thought they renamed the History Channel to the Nazi-Alien-Pawn Guys Channel?" "Not Axe Men. X-Men. Think about it. The X-Gene, X-Force, Xavier. Lots of X's everywhere. I like the symmetry." "Why X-Men? Why not X-People?" "We can discuss the details later," Charles said, holding his hands up. "For now, let me give you the tour." The teens followed him up the steps towards the front door. They chatted amongst themselves while Charles opened the door and showed them inside. Five hundred thousand years ago, the Neanderthal was the dominant life form on the planet. Then, something happened. A new species emerged that threatened the Neanderthal and its way of life. There has been much theory and speculation upon its true origin, but the fact remains that out of the ashes of the Neanderthal, Homo Sapien rose. Homo Sapien did not take over the planet because of spite, or because of anything other than the hard truth. They were better equipped to survive, more evolved. Now, the cycle has begun to repeat itself. A new species some have called Homo Superior, but I have dubbed Homo Mutata. They -- we -- are the next phase of evolution. And, like the Neanderthal, the Homo Sapien reaction is that of fear and uncertainty. We have it in us to break the cycle of needless violence. There will come a day that mutants will be the majority, but that day has not yet come. We will inherit the Earth, but we must first earn it. We need to show those that would harm us, and even those that would hurt humans, that we are evolved in our compassion, as well as our genes. We may be the Tomorrow People, but tomorrow is still tomorrow. We must stay in the present and strive for tomorrow as we fight the battles of today. My name is Charles Xavier. I am a mutant. And I am an X-Man.