Prologue: The Cauldron Boils Over

"You still teach well, my old professor." A man said as he watched a jet in the cold, white arctic take off. "But you must realize what this means..."

He stood at just less than six foot three and maintained a muscular build that even his white snow suit with the fur trim couldn't hide. His face was obscured by the snow goggles over his eyes and the hood hid the rest of his face and head save his strong jaw. His breath hung in the air, the vapour visible as he saw the Blackbird take flight and leave southwards.

"What has it been? Almost fifteen years since I sat at your feet?" He mused to himself as he started to walk towards where the plane once rested. The massive asteroid had been completely demolished by two streams of power cascading upwards and only but moments before had the rocks and debris stopped falling. "But now I have to take control of this situation. I must prevent a war between human and mutant before it can start. Magneto will only go into hiding until he's ready to move once again. We must move first..."

He bit his lip at that. He knew that mutants couldn't hide forever. Sooner or later someone would learn of them or expose them to the world, or Magneto would launch an attack and make it seem as if they were all hell bent on conquering humanity. He couldn't blame the man of his fear of humankind, but he wouldn't let him doom one race or the other, or let him destroy the planet in such a war. For almost nine years he had planned for the moment he would take control of mutant/human relations, starting with the word 'mutant'.

God he hoped that Xavier didn't choose that word and he picked it up from someone else. Sure, it was for all purposes what they were, but the word conjured images of green, scaled beasts coming out of a swamp or a deformed and disfigured man who had no empathy, crawling out of a wasteland.

Yeah, that had to go. It was a small thing, but he had public relations to worry about.

Then there was Magneto himself. He had to be stopped and contained before humanity learned of him. His ideology would not be easily changed and he was simply too powerful a being. If he launched his attack, and he knew the man would, humanity would see mutants as demigods with a superiority complex, not as people with abilities that they needed help with. But even if he couldn't find him, he could disrupt him by taking control of the relations of the two races.

Then there was his old teacher, Professor Charles Xavier. He was content to hide and bide his time, training his students in paramilitary tactics. The man could be shrewd however, but if ever discovered, along with all the training equipment he used, fears that he was training an army of super powered beings might erupt.

So the best solution, in his own mind, was at the same time the most risky; introduce mutants, or rather metahumans as he would rename them upon introduction, to humanity before anyone else could.

It was risky, but if he could control the first impressions humans had of them then he could make sure the war was not one of aggression but of public relations. He could make them out to be a minority, like they actually were, much like the Jews. He could paint themselves to be as human as humans were; functionally good with flaws.

He had over the past three years recruited a team of six metahuman youths, along with needed support, who would be the ones waging this war. But exposing them directly wouldn't work; it would give any foes they had, Magneto especially, something to attack. He had to obscure their identities and expose them another way; as superheroes.

The idea sounded ludicrous when he first brainstormed it. But as other ideas and plans were tossed aside as unworkable he found that this one, this one plan, had merit. He could try and capture people's hearts and imaginations with this, with a team of superheroes who went out and fought the good fight. A group who righted wrongs, and defeated villains, saved lives and stood for justice. It would be a hard sell to the public, but he was sure he could do it.

For three years he had trained the first member of this team, Reese Guarder, alias Spartan, to lead this team and take them through the hard battles. The other five members he had assembled just over a half year ago, training each of them to use their powers, abilities, and how to fight for the side of good. Reese was ready, but he wanted another six months to finish the rest of the team's training. As it was he didn't know if they were prepared for what they would or could face.

He stepped up to a small frozen pond, created by the two powered beings. He knew one was Scott Summers; he had kept tabs on Xavier since they parted after all, but the other one was a mystery. He looked around at the boulders and debris that had fallen onto the field of white around him. "It does not matter if they are ready or not." He eventually said with a sigh, kneeling down as he pulled a laminated business card from his pocket.

The card was white on the back side and on the front was a blue normally associated with sapphires. The bulk of one face of it was covered with the word 'MAX' in large golden, rectangular letters with lines making the top of the letters look slightly thinner than the bottom. A stripe, the same rectangular gold, underlined the word. In the same font the word 'FORCE', in ruby red and half the size of 'MAX' was set right on top of the line. Lastly under 'FORCE' in smaller white letters was the phrase 'METAHUMAN ACTION XTREME'. He set the card on the frozen pond before stepping back off of it. "Magneto... You forced my hand. God help me if they are not ready." He said as he held a hand out.

As if summoned by the gesture a flat vortex appeared before him like a door. He strode through it, vanishing from the arctic and reappearing in an office in downtown Bayville. It was furnished with oak chairs and shelves, a large matching desk, stained a dark tone in the back near a wall spanning window, a label reading 'Richard Maxwell, CEO' on the front of it. He walked over to the desk, pressing a button on a machine. "Parson."

"Yes, Mr. Maxwell?" A cultured voice answered as the Richard stripped off the snow suit, tossing it aside and finally baring his handsome face with strong features and short brown hair that hung down no further than an inch over his forehead.

"Tell the team to meet me in the war room at four. I have an announcement to make." Richard replied, seating himself at the desk.

"Yes sir. I shall have them ready, as well as some refreshments."

"Thank you Parson." He said as he pressed the button again before leaning back into his seat. "I hope we're ready for this..."