March 10, 2015: The X-Men are gathered together, and Scott gives them new direction.

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Jamie, you are needed at the Institute. Come quickly.

Billions of signatures; the life energy unique to those sentient in nature.

Illyana, you are needed at the Institute. Come quickly.

Thousands who possess the X-Gene, swimming about the globe; many conglomerating in packs.

Logan, you are needed at the Institute. Come quickly.

Banded together like wild dogs.

Pietro, you are needed at the Institute. Come quickly.

And yet, amongst the many thousands, only a handful were collected. Summoned by a voice both calm and demanding, the call backed by a subtle, yet inescapable telepathic urging.

This was how the X-Men, by and large, both active member, reservist, and rogue, were brought together under one roof, for one evening, for one purpose.


It was 9:30 in the evening. Most of the students at the Xavier Institute had gone to sleep; those who hadn't were urged through telepathic mastery to simply avoid the great hall. Within that hall were gathered the many mutants who had come to call themselves X-Men. Members of the past and present, prospects who had only recently been brought into the fold, even those wayward souls who've yet to truly take up the banner for mutant kind. Anyone who had ever worn the X and could still be considered friendly was there.

For a long while, people made friends. Old colleagues caught up with each other. There was laughter, jokes, perhaps a few embarrassed faces, but when the clock struck 9:45, Scott Summers stepped up to a podium at the head of the great hall. He didn't introduce himself, he didn't ask for everyone to quiet down, he merely waited. It wasn't until the quiet sound of breathing filled the hall; when all eyes and ears were upon him, that he spoke.

"My friends. We, all of us, find ourselves tonight at a crossroads."

The reaction was varied. There were some who looked up to Scott, others who were indifferent, and some who found his particular brand of leadership bothersome. The differences in the room were palpable, and for a moment, Scott reveled in it. They were the differences that made them unique.

"Our worst fears have been realized. A student found dead, possibly murdered, within the walls we hold most dear; and a weapon had been designed with one goal in mind - to kill us."

The silence was broken. There were gasps, sounds of fear, grumbles of anger. Scott waited until the noise died down once more.

"The project is called, 'Centurion'. We have seen what they have created, witnessed the destructive power of their weaponry. Worse yet, this time the weapon has not been created by some criminal organization, or some enemy of the state. This time, it was created by our own sovereign, the United States government. My friends, there are people in power who want a way to control, even kill us."

He paused, allowing those gathered to digest his words.

"We can choose to go to war. We have the technology. We've trained. We certainly have the power, and the decision is in our hands. We could wipe out Project Centurion in a matter of minutes, and believe me, we will. But the moment we choose that road, we are at war. I don't want us to be at war. Not now, not then, not ever."

Scott stepped out from behind the podium, emotion entering his words, a thing that doesn't often happen. "Some of us have seen into the future, some of many possible futures, and we know what horrors a war been human and metahuman can bring. If we choose to exist simply as people who respond to threats, then war is what we will have. We are better than that. This vision we have is stronger than that. It must be."

Finding himself back at the podium, Scott rested his hands upon the surface and leaned forward, looking out among the crowd. He certainly had their attention, even those who didn't always agree with him or enjoy his particularly smug demeanor.

He intended to use that to his advantage.

"We can't sit in the shadows and wait for the next threat any longer."

Scott stepped out from behind the podium again. "We will no longer be the fist that only blocks the first punch. Yes, we will investigate threats as we always have. Yes, there will continue to be those of us who operate in secrecy. Yes, the secrecy and protection of this Institute is our highest calling. But now, the X-Men need to be more than what we are today.

"Following in the steps of the Red Team, I need some of you to consider something beyond us, beyond the scope of the X-Men as we exist today. Social activism. Politics. Lawmaking. The voice and the pen can be far more powerful than our fists. The world needs a team that doesn't simply stand up to protect in battle, but a team who will stand up and protect in word and deed. Mutants, humans, everyone who lives and breathes and might be considered intelligent life."

By this point, the leader is walking amongst his peers, looking at them as he goes. "I wish I could look each of you in the eye when I say these things. I wish you could see my compassion. I want the world to understand that I wear these glasses so that I don't demolish neighborhoods or hurt people; that someone designed these so that I didn't need to live behind closed eyes. I do it so that evolution goes beyond science. If we live in a world where people reconsider their definition of marriage, where people strive to heal the inequalities of our past, then we can live in a world where laws govern our powers like they do the owner of a gun, or an automobile, or the capacity to strangle."

Scott stops, coming back to the podium so that he might look at everyone who has gathered. They were, in fact, the orphan's family.

"Not just with our fists, our optic blasts, our teleportation; but through our actions, our voices, the choices we make. We are the X-Men. And we will show the world, in secret and in public, that we are the future. Not war, not hate, but equality and justice. Remember that well when you wear the uniform, and remember it well when you curl your hand. I'm not asking you, friends… for your sake, for my sake, for the sake of mankind…

"I demand it of you."

Ruby quartz glasses do one final pan amongst the crowd, before he turns to walk away, leaving the X-Men to consider the future of themselves, the team, and the future of history itself.

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