Episode Eleven

'This isn't bad.' The Doctor sipped at his wine. 'Not bad at all.'

'Glad you like it,' Lila said.

'Of course, the alcohol's not going to have any effect on me, if that's what you were intending,' the Doctor continued. 'Alien metabolism.'

'Right,' Lila replied. 'So, you were going to tell me about Victoria Gallagher.'

'Yes, I was, wasn't I? Victoria Gallagher was a teenage girl I met when Mina and I landed in Newcastle recently.'

'Mina?'

'Mina Harker,' the Doctor explained. 'My travelling companion.'

'Girlfriend?'

'No.'

'Mmhmm. Go on.'

'I don't think Tori had had a very happy childhood,' the Doctor said. 'I think maybe her father beat her. Or worse. I'm not certain. There wasn't time for me to get to know her that well.'

'Poor kid.'

'You don't know the half of it.'

'So how did you know her?' Lila asked.

'We had ice-cream in the park,' he said, smiling slightly at the memory.

'Really? What flavour?'

'Raspberry Ripple and Mint Choc Chip. We sat on the swings and talked about life, the universe and everything. I hope she enjoyed it. I guess it doesn't seem like much as a last meal. This was all after she died, by the way.'

'After she… I'm sorry, Doctor, but you've lost me.'

'As I said, Tori had a difficult childhood,' the Doctor explained. 'She wanted to get out and had pinned her hopes on getting into college.'

'She didn't, did she?' Lila deduced.

The Doctor shook his head.

'Her grades weren't quite good enough,' he said. 'She could have applied elsewhere, of course, or maybe reapplied to the same college the following year, but I think it was all just too much for her. Or maybe something else happened on her way home from school. I'm not entirely sure. My memories aren't too clear.'

'I see she made a real impression.'

'She did,' the Doctor replied, ignoring the sarcasm, 'but something was playing games with my mind at the time. I think. The point is that when Tori got home, she locked herself in her room and overdosed on her mother's sleeping pills.'

---

'I was in the US Army,' Xavier said. 'It had been my stepfather's idea to enlist and I hadn't argued because it gave me an opportunity to see the back of him. I guess I wasn't cut out to be a soldier, though, because I was injured and hospitalised during by first tour of duty abroad. Bed rest had its advantages, though, because it was in the hospital that I met a nurse named Amelia Voght. I used to make up stories of my heroics to try and impress her, but she saw right through me. I guess she must have appreciated the effort though because whatever I was feeling for her, she felt the same way.

'I quit the army and trained to be a medic. Amy was with the Red Cross and used to travel the world helping victims caught up in war and violence. I'd like to say I joined them because I could see the merit in what they were doing, but mainly it was so I could be close to Amy. We still weren't sure what exactly we felt for each other, but the more time we spent together, the stronger our feelings grew until there could be no doubt that we were deeply in love. One night I broached the subject of marriage, but Amy shot me down. She felt the concept was antiquated and confining. But she also told me that, married or not, she had every intention of spending the rest of her life with me.

'Shortly after that, we were sent to Bosnia. We were sent to a town that had suffered heavy shelling and Amy, Eric and I were searching the ruins for survivors.'

'Who's Eric?' Mina interrupted.

'Eric was my best friend,' Xavier replied. 'He's not important to the story.' He coughed. 'Do you mind if I get a glass of water. This is difficult for me.'

Mina shook her head and Xavier opened a fridge. Mina had not noticed it before because it was built into one of the wood-panelled cabinets so as not to disrupt the aesthetic of the room. Xavier removed a bottle of water, broke the seal on the cap and filled a glass.

'Would you like something?' Xavier asked.

'No, thank you,' she replied.

Xavier drained half the glass in one go and refilled it from the bottle before continuing with his story.

'We came across one house were three of the four walls had been reduced to rubble. We were about to move on when we heard sobbing. It was Eric who located the door down to the basement. Whoever it was must have retreated down there when the shelling began, but the debris had cover up the hatch preventing them from getting back out. The three of us cleared the door and then descended into the basement via a rickety ladder.

'By the light of my torch, I could make out three figures in the darkness: a man, a woman and a baby. The man was rocking back and forth. It was his sobbing we had heard from outside. Neither the woman nor the child was moving and, as we approached, I was able to see why. They had both been shot, presumably by the gun at the man's feet. Amy examined the mother while I went to the child. There was nothing I could do. Most of the child's head had been destroyed by the gunshot. There was blood everywhere and it was seeping into my pants as I knelt in the dirt. But there was something strange about the child and it took me a moment to realise that it had an extra set of arms.

'The man started speaking rapidly.

''He says that the girl was a monster,' Eric translated for Amy's and my benefit. We both had a smattering of the local language, but he was fluent. 'She was a…a crime against nature. He had to destroy her and the woman that gave birth to her, his wife.'

''That's horrible,' Amy said. I put an arm around her and she leaned into me.

''He says that he was going to kill himself as well,' Eric continued to translate, 'but he ran out of bullets.' I picked up the gun and checked it. The magazine was indeed empty. 'He says that until we showed up, he was planning to stay down here until he starved to death. He doesn't want to go on living without his wife.'

'Eric spat out the last remark. He grabbed the man by the collar of his shirt and dragged him to his feet. He was furious. He said that if the man was so keen to die then he would be happy to arrange it himself. I was too stunned to do anything at first and it wasn't until I saw Amy struggling to pull Eric away from the other man that I was spurred into any kind of action. Together, we were able to force them apart and then Amy took the man away to get medical attention while I stayed with Eric to make sure that he didn't do anything that he would later regret.'

---

'She committed suicide? And this was before you met her?' Lila asked. 'Did you see a ghost or something?'

'No, no,' the Doctor replied. 'That was earlier. There was this child. He looked like a boy, but that was just the costume it chose to wear. It was some kind of alien. I'd encountered another of its kind in Whitby some time previously. Well, the remains of one of its kind. Despite being dead, the creature still affected the land around it, bringing to life people's memories. It brought our loved ones back to life for us. They were just illusions, but the boy, the living example of their race, he could make it happen for real.'

'You're not serious,' Lila said. 'I mean, this is all a bit far-fetched.'

'That's what I thought at the time, too,' the Doctor agreed, 'but it's difficult to argue the existence of something when you get to perceive it with your own senses. I'm telling you what happened as I saw it. Whether you choose to believe me or not is up to you.'

'Okay,' Lila replied, 'let's assume for now that I'm buying into this. What did this boy do?'

'He brought Tori back to life.'

'I'm not seeing how that's a bad thing.'

'You think this…this monster did it out of the kindness of its heart?' the Doctor snapped. 'There was a price to pay.'

'What kind of price?'

'Tori's mother sold her soul to the boy in order to have her daughter back.'

'She sold her soul?'

'Yes, I suppose that isn't a terribly scientific way of putting things, is it?' the Doctor said. 'Unfortunately, a lot of what happened defied strict scientific explanation.'

'Did that make you uncomfortable?' Lila asked.

'I'm sorry?'

'We're trying to get to the root of what's bothering you,' Lila explained. 'You said this story was part of it and, well, what with you being a doctor, I just thought…'

'That maybe I'd want everything explained away neatly by science? I try to keep an open mind about things, but yes, I suppose there is a part of me that wants everything to make some kind of logical sense.'

'Where were you while this was going on?' Lila asked.

'I was in hospital,' the Doctor replied. 'I'd been stabbed through the heart.'

---

'The child was a mutant, wasn't she?' Mina asked.

'Yes, she was.' Xavier paused while he poured himself some more water. 'You have to understand that, back then, nobody knew very much about mutants as a species. There had been plenty of studies on mutation, of course, but the discovery of the x-factor gene was still years away. From my own personal point of view, I knew about my own gifts. The flood of voices into my skull when my telepathy had first manifested had nearly driven me insane. Fortunately, we lived out in the country so I was able to escape from the pressure of everyone else's thoughts until I had learned to control my power. However, while I knew that I was special, I was unaware that there were others like me. Then I saw the child.

'I read up on the subject and started to come across other cases. No one had thought to connect them before, but I knew. I couldn't tell you how I knew, but I was certain that a connection was there and Amy agreed with me. The sight of that girl had affected us both and we used to stay awake long into the night talking about her and what she might mean. Eventually, we decided that we had to do something about it. Mutants existed, but most of the articles I read ended tragically. No one was doing anything on their behalf so Amy and I returned to America to champion their cause.

'I said that it was our decision, but I'm not entirely sure it was, not anymore. This was my crusade and, while at the time I was convinced that Amy was as behind it as I was, I now wonder if she only came along to be with me. Perhaps my zeal was blinding me even then. I used my telepathy to trace mutants and then Amy and I would see if they needed our help. Many just wanted to be left alone to get on with their lives peacefully and we were happy to oblige. Some needed guidance to understand who and what they were or to control their new gifts. I remember one girl, a pyrokinetic, would have burned down her family farm and herself in the process if Amy had not talked her down. We weren't making much of a difference, just helping one mutant at a time, but that was okay with us.

'Time rolled by and the first papers on the x-factor gene and the species now dubbed Homo sapiens superior were published. Mutants started to creep into the public consciousness. It was, perhaps, the worse thing that could have happened. People fear things they do not understand and, back then when the research was fresh, there was much that we did not understand about mutants. People feared them and it's human nature to hate what we fear.

'Amy and I had made a number of contacts during our cross-country travels and now, as the first signs of an anti-mutant sentiment began to appear, we used these contacts to set up a number of safe houses to which we could transfer mutants who believed themselves to be in danger. If things became to much, I knew someone who could ferry them out of the country and, where necessary, Amy and I would drive groups of mutants to meet him. It was during one such drive that I lost Amy for good.

'We had stopped to pick up supplies and Amy and I had an argument. She had finally had enough of that life. She believed in what we were doing, but not to the same extent that I did and she wanted me to stop. I couldn't do that. The mission was too important to me. I guess Amy didn't want to share me with the mutants anymore so she walked away. I hesitated, torn between helping my charges in the van or going after the woman I loved - because, no matter what else had happened, I did still love her - and by the time I made up my mind to pursue Amy, she was out of sight. I ran after her, bumping into people, mistaking just about every redheaded woman I passed for Amy. Then there was an explosion. I ran back to the car park only to find that someone had blown up my van. They had blown it up while the mutants in my care, the mutants who were counting on me to save them from this kind of violence, were still inside.

'If I had been there, perhaps I could have done something.'

'You don't know that,' Mina said.

'Yes, I do,' Xavier replied. 'With my mental powers, I would have known what the attacker was planning as soon as he thought of it and I could have removed the idea from his head. But I couldn't make up my mind as to which was most important to me, Amy or the mutants, and my indecision lost me both.'

---

'For someone who's been stabbed in the chest, you're looking a lot better now,' Lila remarked.

'The boy offered Mina the same choice he gave to Tori's mother,' the Doctor explained. 'He would save me if she gave up her soul.'

'And she did?'

'She did.'

'She must care for you very much.'

The Doctor changed the subject.

'I went looking for Tori because she was one of the last things I remembered seeing before I was stabbed. We talked. We shared ice cream. She wanted me to take her away with me when I left. I think perhaps I might have done if things hadn't turned out the way they did.'

'She meant a lot to you?'

'Yes. No. Perhaps. She had tried so hard to make something of her life, but everything and everyone else had just pressed down on her so hard that she snapped under the strain. That's not fair. That's not right.'

'Life isn't fair and right, Doctor, you know that.'

'That's why there are people like me,' the Doctor replied, 'people who try and make the universe a little more like the way it should be. Tori had been given a second chance and I didn't want her to waste it. That's all.'

'If you say so,' Lila said, 'but I think maybe there's more to it than that.'

'It doesn't matter,' the Doctor said. 'It wasn't meant to be. I found out what the boy had done to Mina and to Tori's mother, what he had made them do.'

'Go on.'

'Tori had a baby brother. Tori's mother didn't want him to suffer in the same way Tori had, so she killed him. The boy had distorted her sense of morality. She didn't see killing has being wrong anymore. And the boy just thought it was funny. I remember his laughter echoing around the church. So much else is unclear, but that I'll never forget.'

'I didn't do much for a while,' Xavier said, 'just hopped from one motel to another. I didn't sleep because I couldn't face my dreams. Even my waking hours were haunted by the smell of burning flesh. I was lost, but, to cut a long story short, a chance encounter with Eric led me to found this school and I realised I had a second chance to get it right. The problem, as I saw it, was that I hadn't been able to give my full attention to the mutant issue because of my feelings for Amy. So I buried my emotions deep inside and set about giving all of my attention to mutants.

'Everything went well at first. I started small, with a core group of five students: Scott, Hank, Warren, Bobby and Jean. No matter what might be going on out there, I could keep those five safe within these walls and together we could offer aid to other mutants in distress.'

'What went wrong?' Mina asked.

'They grew up,' Xavier replied. 'I wanted them to stay with me, to help train the next generation of students, but no child wants to stay in school forever. They were going to leave me and I…I couldn't let that happen. Not after all the work I had put into the project. When I couldn't convince them to stay by reasoned argument, I applied my mental powers instead.'

'You kept them here against their will?'

'It was the best thing for them,' Xavier said. 'They hadn't seen the things that I had seen, the child shot by her own father, the mutants burning to death in the back of a bus. They didn't understand the world they wanted to be a part of. I just wanted to keep them safe. In the end, it didn't matter. I couldn't do it.'

'Your conscience got the better of you?'

'I wish that were the case, but no. I wasn't powerful enough to do it. Jean had mental powers similar to mine, but with much greater potential. Maybe she sensed what I was doing or perhaps she was unaware that she was mentally pressuring the others to leave with her. In any event, her powers blocked mine and Hank, Bobby and Warren left with her.'

There was one student missing from that list, Mina realised.

'What about Scott?'

'Scott was more important to me that any other student,' Xavier said. 'I sensed right from the first that he believed in my dream almost as much as I did. I am under no illusions that the dream will come to fruition in my lifetime so I will need someone to carry on the fight when I am gone. I was grooming Scott to be my successor. If this school is my Camelot then Scott is the Arthur to my Merlin.'

'Camelot?' Mina repeated. 'You have a very high opinion of this place.'

'And why not?' Xavier asked. 'This is the place where my dreams can become a reality, where mutants can live and grow up in safety. And if I sound overly proud of my work here it's because I still dream of what it may yet be. Maybe it isn't yet, but one day I truly believe that this school will be a shining example to the rest of the world.'

'And should Camelot be built on lies and manipulation,' Mina asked, 'by a teacher who clouds the minds of his pupils?'

'That's what Scott said. I couldn't lose him, you understand, and I couldn't put enough pressure on him with my telepathy so I took the only option left to me. I told him the truth. All of it. No more secrets, no more lies. I explained what I had done and my reasons for doing it and we argued long into the night. Scott was…is an idealist. He didn't want to believe that the end justified the means, so I showed him my files, the press cuttings, the photographs, the autopsy reports. I showed him what we were really fighting for and, in the morning, he said goodbye to Jean, choosing the dream over her just as I had chosen it over Amelia all those years before. He remained an idealist, though, and he fought with me over many of my decisions. I think he stayed to play the role of my conscience.

'Unfortunately, nothing lasts forever. Jean still loved Scott and she returned to the school to be closer to him. At first I was grateful. She had always been one of my best students. However, she knew what I had done and, unlike Scott, she was not prepared to forgive me. But perhaps I am being unfair. You see, despite what I said, I hadn't told Scott everything. There was one thing, one small act that I had kept secret because, in my heart, I think I knew that that would push him irrevocably away. But Jean knew. Yes, she knew.'

---

'What did you do?' Lila asked.

'I hunted him down and I stopped him,' the Doctor said. 'That's what I always do to the monsters. I tried to reason with him, but he wouldn't listen. He mocked me. He was delusional. He saw himself as the devil, as the very embodiment of evil. Perhaps unsurprisingly, we found him waiting for us in a church. And when we arrived he laughed at us. He knew that I was there to try and save the day, again, but he said that this time I was doomed to fail. He sounded so sure, so convincing. He said that the only way to undo what he had done was to kill him, but that I wouldn't be able to go through with it. I stabbed him, Lila. I stabbed him through the heart just as I had been stabbed and I killed him.'

'From the sounds of it, Doctor, I'd say he deserved to die.'

'I don't want to agree with you, Lila,' the Doctor replied. 'I find killing morally repugnant. But that boy had twisted and manipulated people, turned them into monsters and killers and he had revelled in it, showing no remorse whatsoever. If ever there was a creature who deserved to die for what he had done then yes, I believe that boy was it.

'Well, if that's the case then why do you keep beating yourself up over it?'

'When the boy died, everything he had done was undone. Everything. By killing him, I had killed Tori.'

'I'm not sure you had much of a choice,' Lila said when she had overcome her shock. 'From the way you tell it, it was the only way to stop this…boy. And Tori had already chosen to kill herself. You couldn't have changed that.'

'I'm the Doctor. I save people. That's it, that's what I do. So what am I supposed to do when I can't get that right anymore?'

'Well, I don't want to trivialise Tori's death or anything, but it was just the one person you failed, wasn't it?'

'But what if it's symptomatic of something deeper?' the Doctor asked. 'When the boy brought me back to life, I was…changed. I was angrier, more violent. I thought it was something the boy had done to me, but he said not.'

'And you believed him?'

'I know he had every reason to lie,' the Doctor admitted, 'but his words felt true, if you know what I mean. And that scares me. I'm supposed to be the hero. I'm supposed to be the one who always saves the day, but if that dark side's really inside of me… Maybe I can't do this sort of thing anymore.'

---

Xavier trailed off, his eyes focussed on empty space, his mind playing back his memories in his head.

'What did Jean know, Charles?' Mina prompted.

'If you'll allow me to continue the Arthur metaphor for a moment,' Xavier continued, 'then Jean is Guinevere to Scott. All the metaphor needs now is a Lancelot to come between them. A Lancelot I provided. I saw a lot of myself in Scott and I feared him making the same mistakes I had. His love for Jean, like my love for Amelia, could end up costing lives.'

'In your opinion,' Mina pointed out.

'Based on my own experience,' Xavier responded. 'I felt I had to drive a wedge between them for his own sake and, to that end, I introduced an affection for Jean in Warren's mind in the hope that his interference would break up their relationship. Perhaps he would have fallen in love with her without my influence - Jean was a wonderful girl, after all - but I couldn't afford to take that chance. When Jean returned and Warren did not, I tried again using Logan. But I had miscalculated.'

'Miscalculated? How?'

'It's true when they say that love conquers all. The love that Scott and Jean shared was proof against my manipulations. To this day, I'm still uncertain as to why she did not tell Scott the truth as soon as she returned. She could have taken him away from me, but instead she chose to join him in working with me.'

'It's because she still cared for you, Charles,' Mina said. 'Despite everything you had done to her, she still cared for you and wanted to find a way everyone could get what they wanted. You don't deserve that kind of faith.'

'No,' Xavier replied, 'you're right. I don't. As I said, Jean stayed and helped us in our efforts to aid other mutants. During one such mission, she died, but not before she had finally told both Warren and Scott the truth. Scott never forgave me. He blames me for Jean's death, you know. He believes that had I not interfered then Jean would never have come back and put herself in harm's way.'

'He's right,' Mina said.

'Perhaps. In any case, what was one more life on my conscience by that point? Scott left me and my dreams of passing my work on to a successor evaporated. I had to achieve my goal within my lifetime or it would never come to fruition. I hadn't been firm enough with Scott and Jean. I had thought that I had locked my emotions away, but it was my feelings for my students that had prevented me from forcing them to act as they needed, or so I believed. I began to exercise my mental powers more and more. I have lost count of the number of parents I have had to 'persuade' that this school is the best place for their children.'

'You can't make that kind of decision.'

'If I don't, who will? There's a war going on, but most people can't see it. I've seen too many of our kind die already. I will do whatever I have to do to get our people through this. Whatever I have to do.'

---

'If that's what you really think,' Lila asked, 'then why are you trying to help Sam?'

'Maybe I'm just trying to prove myself wrong.'

'Or maybe it's just because you're still the person you always were and not the one you're afraid of becoming.'

'Then tell me this, Lila,' the Doctor said, 'if I'm this great hero then why can't I bear the sight of Mina anymore.'

Lila refilled their glasses.

'You tell me, Doctor,' she said.

'Mina's a vampire. Yes, I know it's difficult to believe, but please just take my word for it and lets move on. It was another little detail that came to light during our time in Newcastle. I suppose that technically she isn't a vampire, but whatever she is it's close enough to make no odds. You see, to my people, the vampires are mortal enemies. We fought a war with them back in the mists of time and each Gallifreyan is charged with eliminating vampires wherever he finds them.'

'Then why haven't you killed her then,' Lila asked, 'if you're charged with eliminating her and so on and so forth?'

'Because she's my friend,' the Doctor said. 'She must have been a vampire when I first met her. She's still the person I invited aboard the TARDIS, the person I've enjoyed sharing the wonders of the universe with. I couldn't kill her. But…'

'You know, Doctor,' Lila remarked, 'you really need to get over yourself.'

The Doctor raised an eyebrow.

'You've been ranting at Kitty about how bigoted we mere humans are, but here's the great Doctor being just as prejudiced.'

'That's different,' the Doctor replied.

'Is it? Admit it, Doctor, your problems with Mina stem from what she is, not who she is and until you find a way to look past that, well, you're no better than Campbell and his ilk.'

'You see?' the Doctor said, waving a finger demonstrably. 'You see my point? Neither cruel nor cowardly. That's how it should be, but the truth is, I'm not that person anymore.'

'Will you listen to yourself?' Lila said. 'You're not perfect, Doctor, and you never were. You hold yourself to this really high standard and it's admirably, but it's also unrealistic. So you have a problem with vampires. Given your upbringing, I'm not surprised. But what separates your prejudice from Campbell is that you chose not to act on it. So you think bad thoughts from time to time. Who doesn't? Just because you think something doesn't make you any less of a person. When it comes down to it, you went out of your way to try and help Sam and the others. That has to count for something.'

'And look at the mess I've made of it,' the Doctor complained. 'Xavier was right, I should have left well enough alone. My interference has only made things worse.'

'At least you tried. So you made a mistake. You're only human.'

'Well, actually…'

'People make mistakes, Doctor,' Lila said. 'You have to deal with it and move on. This boy you met, he severely damaged your self-confidence, but that is all he did. You're still the same person you always were.'

'I could argue that point…' The Doctor offered Lila a half-smile to show that he was joking. 'Why are you so interested in rebuilding my self-esteem?'

'You're trying to help Sam,' Lila replied. 'At least, you were. Xavier, who should be looking out for him, can't be bothered, and, from the way Kitty talks about you, I reckon you're his last best shot. I need you to go back out there and find him for me before…'

The Doctor put a hand on her shoulder as Lila trailed off, unable to continue.

'He's still alive,' he said. 'I'm sure of it.'

'How can you possibly know that?'

'If those people had wanted to kill him then they would have done so at the station while they were being filmed. They would have wanted people to know about it, so they could make some kind of statement.'

'Thank you, Doctor,' Lila said. She reached up to her shoulder and put her hand over the Doctor's. 'I will do whatever I have to to get Sam back. The question is: what are you prepared to do?'

---

Mina stood up and crossed quietly to the window, looking out over the snow-covered grounds. Three children were working together to build a snowman.

'You are a hypocrite, Charles,' she said.

'What?'

'I said, you are a hypocrite. You happily preach about peaceful coexistence, but you yourself are a racist.'

'I am not.'

'Aren't you? I've listened to your story, heard you talk about making the world safe for mutants. I haven't once heard you say you want to make it safe for humans too. You've built your little fortress here where only mutants are welcome. Your Camelot, your dream, doesn't feature humans at all, does it?'

'That's not true,' Xavier replied. 'Yes, this school is a sanctuary, but it's a sanctuary because it has to be, not because I want to make one. Humans fear mutants and will harm them given half the chance.'

'No, you're wrong, Charles. Yes, some humans are prejudiced against mutants simply because they are different, in much the same way that some humans are prejudiced against those of another race. However, the truth is that most humans are frightened of mutants because you are dangerous.'

'No.'

'No? In my short stay here, I've seen people with metal clears and people who can fire death rays from their eyes. I've seen people with metal skin and others who can lift heavy objects just by thinking about it. And I have seen people who use their powers to make sure that they always get their way, no matter the cost. You think that you are at war here, Charles? Tell me, which side has more right to feel threatened?'

'We don't want to hurt the humans,' Xavier insisted. 'I suppose you're right, we could if we want to, but the vast majority of mutants just want to live in peace.'

'Then tell them that,' Mina replied. 'Show them. Hiding away in your private utopia is not going to do anything to allay their perfectly justifiable fears. Is your brave new world going to be built on a foundation of deceit and betrayal, Charles?'

'I was just trying to do what I thought was right,' Xavier said.

'And by doing so, you became part of the problem, Charles,' Mina said. 'We can't all work together if you insist on making us pick sides.'

'I guess part of me is still a soldier. I see everything in terms of a battle.'

'It's still a battle, Charles,' Mina replied, 'but the enemy is neither human nor mutant, it's ignorance.'

'So, what do we do now?' Xavier asked.

What Mina wanted to do was to hit him again. He had abused those who placed their trust in him. Not physically, admittedly, but Mina felt that this was probably worse. Simply being in the room with him made her angry, but she contained it. There was more at stake than just the two of them. And, despite herself, Mina had to admit that, although she despised his actions, she agreed with his motives for taking them. The ends may not have justified the means, but the ends themselves were still noble.

She thought of Rachel, of all she had done in her past. She had also betrayed those who had placed their trust in her, but she had been given a second chance here, in her own past and, as far as Mina could tell, she was making good of it. Did Xavier deserve the same second chance? The Doctor would say yes, Mina knew, but she was not the Doctor…

'What you are going to do,' she said to Xavier, 'is go to your students and tell them what you have done. They're the ones that you betrayed so it should be their decision as to whether or not you deserve a second chance.'

'And then?'

'I have a few ideas,' Mina admitted. 'If we want to build this dream, perhaps we should try living it.'