Prologue: And So It Begins

"Have you read the papers?" Jean-Luc asked his older son, Henri.

"Oui, Papa. I don't want to do that to him."

"If we don't the police will and that will be worse. It isn't the end of the world to have his fingerprints on file. And if we're lucky, they won't find out all of his secrets."

"Where's the boy gotten to anyway?"

"He's gone to see his girlfriend."

"Belle's going to want to be there."

"She's not a mutant. Let them choose. They are engaged."


"Damn it! It was all for nothing!" Scott Summers slammed the paper down on his mentor's desk. "We've spent years crusading against this and a fucking flatscan plays on the fears of the Congress and gets this… this branding passed!"

"Scott, we will have to redouble our efforts. There will be no restrictions and we will make sure that there are no incidents until the main push of registration ends. After that, there are no guaranties. And as my right hand, you will be the first in the state to register. To show the government that we can be reasonable."


"I warned them," Eric Lensherr stated. "It's beginning. Lee, let's get to work. Get that island purchased. And print up the press releases. We'll have an influx of new people coming. We need food supplies laid in until we get this place functional. Each to their powers, Charles," Magneto muttered staring out the window of his study.


"Rogue, what does this say to you?" Mystique tapped the front page headline.

"That we need a plan, Mama. Ah ain' gonna sit still fah any fed ta fingerprint me."

"I wish the future were not so blurred," Destiny stated. "Something has gone terribly wrong."

"Yes, we didn't assassinate Kelly and Bastion when we had the chance."

"We still could," Rogue pointed out.

"But not with the same effect. We will just have to scale up our attacks. We'll hit the military as often as we can. Make ourselves strictly political."


"Oh, Remy," Belle said as she wrapped her arms around her fiancée and best friend. He didn't show it, but she knew he was afraid. He wouldn't have come tapping on her window at six in the morning if he hadn't been upset. They'd gone over the papers until they could glean no more information from the articles. They knew the procedure backwards and forwards.

Mutants would meet at the local schools. They would be signed in, fingerprinted, photographed, given an ID number and a powers classification. Those things would be on record and open to any employer, school, or citizen who asked. And there was no way for Remy to change his eyes, so there was no question of passing.

Those mutants who did not voluntarily register, would be registered as they were discovered and fined. Mutants who forged new identities would be arrested.

There was also a press release saying that a new nation had been established in the Caribbean. Only mutants would live there. Belle's eyes narrowed as she got the beginnings of an idea. She tightened her grip. First, the registration. Second, a legal wedding. Then, they could plot.


Scott patiently explained again that he couldn't remove his sunglasses for the photograph. "But why not?" the photographer asked. He fiddled with the piercing in his lip as he lined up the shot. "I've seen plenty of freaky things."

"Because if I remove my sunglasses, my powers will take out the wall behind you and probably destroy your equipment in the process."

"Cool. Okay, like, leave them on and I'll make a note."

"Thank you." Don't get upset. Don’t reflect badly on the Cause.


"The first applications for admission have come in, Sir," Lee reported. She set them on Lensherr's desk.

"Make sure they are mutants and make arrangements to transport them here. Don't worry about money. Tell them to bring only what they are sure they will need and arrange to have the rest of their belongings brought by ship to the island."

"Yes, sir. If I can? Where are we getting the money?"

"I have resources, Lee. Don't worry. And once we have the nation self-sufficient, we can run the only country with a balanced budget."


"Where to begin? There are so many choices," Mystique mused over her coffee. There was no way that any of her people were getting registered. Most of them were wanted already. The police would have a field day catching them at something innocuous as a registration.

Her foster-daughter was painting her nails. It was an interesting shade of ice blue. "Ah think we should kill some of tha registration guards."

"That would be satisfying, but I don't know if it would accomplish anything."

"We just have ta make sure that tha ones we kill are from tha government. Not one of those damned civilian black shirt thugs." Rogue placed a gold flower on the tip of her pinkie. Destiny was making breakfast. She liked cooking. She claimed it let her think.

"I believe we should hold off our first strike until we know where to hit. There are much darker things coming. Harsher, darker, clouds of hate that will clutter up the picture. We must remain clear in our objectives," Destiny told them as she scrambled the eggs and put in the toast. "We must remain focussed. There will be many things clamoring for our attention. We must not allow them to bother us. The government is still split. We must remember to limit ourselves to the most dangerous normals, not the moderates that still support mutants."

"But the message must be strong, Darling. We can't allow them to get the upper hand. Victor will be here in the morning."

"Oh, goodie. Do ya think he'll let me do his hair?" Rogue asked with a wicked grin. Mystique laughed. It was good to have perspective these days.