Chapter 1

"If a new species is being discovered it should be by it's own kind. Charles and I will go. No suits."

The director of the newly formed mutant division of the CIA looked at the man standing in the doorway. It was obvious that he was trying is damnedest not to be intimidated by the other man's harsh and decisive tone. The director slowly him over, as if sizing him up before speaking carefully.

"That's my machine out there, but more importantly it's Charles' decision."

Both the director and the man in the doorway shifted their gaze to the third man in the room who was seated in a chair opposite the director. Up until this point, Charles had been watching the exchange with an expression of delight. However, now he was gazing intently at the director with his index finger lightly pressed to his temple. After a few tense moments in which the director was glancing nervously between Charles and the man in the doorway, Charles finally spoke.

"I'm with Erik. I don't want any agents involved."

Erik immediately smirked and glanced at the director with a look of immense triumph. The director, however, did not notice as he was looking at Charles, his expression unreadable. Charles once again reached up to touch his temple and his expression instantaneously changed to one of disgust and horror. He licked his lips before speaking slowly and deliberately as if he was weighing the impact of every word.

"Erik, I'm afraid that we have no choice but to cooperate with the director's wishes."

"Why? What do we have to gain by working with these...these humans?"

Charles gave Erik a pleading look that was begging him to understand, but Erik was just getting started.

"Their installation, it's totally useless without you. We have nothing to lose by walking away, but if we leave they lose everything! Why should we do their bidding when they are the ones that should be-"

His rant was cut short as Charles once again touched his temple and gazed at Erik with a piercing stare. Erik's expression became totally blank for a few seconds before Charles broke his gaze. The room became totally silent for a few seconds before Erik exploded into a storm of rage. His fists clenched and unclenched, his eyes became cold and violent like an icy ocean during a storm. His voice was hardly more than a growl when it issued from between his clenched teeth.

"They. Wouldn't. Dare."

The director laced his fingers behind his head and reclined back in his desk chair with a look of supreme smugness etched into every line on his face. He smiled at Erik who was still fuming in the doorway.

"And why wouldn't we?"

Erik rushed into the room and stopped inches from the directors desk. He looked as if he was on the brink of a murdering rampage. Charles leaned forward in his chair, his hand on his temple, ready to act if necessary. The director who was beginning to t realize the danger that he was in, sat upright and glanced nervously towards the door before speaking.

"Don't try anything funny. I have armed guards standing outside who are ready to come in at a moment's notice"

Erik let out a cold, humorless chuckle.

"What exactly do you think their guns could do to me?"

He slammed both hands down on the director's metal desk and it immediately bent down the middle, straight to the floor. Charles jumped up from his seat and looked desperately at Erik.

"Erik, for God's sake please think before you act further."

Erik slowly turned his head from the terrified director who was cowering in his seat, to look at Charles over his shoulder. Charles spoke again.

"Truly, Erik, he is not worth it."

Erik considered his words for a moment before turning back to the director. His expression was no longer ferocious and full of hate, but had been schooled back into his normal cold expression that was as hard as tempered steel. When he spoke his voice was heartless and totally devoid of all emotion.

"You wouldn't dare, because there is no prison that can hold me, that could keep me from coming after you."

The room was once again filled with silence before Charles seized an opportunity to escape. He seized Erik by the shoulders and attempted to propel him out the door.

"Come on Erik, I think we've overstayed our welcome."

Erik gave the director one last menacing look before allowing himself to be steered out of the room by the much slighter man.

Once Charles had gotten Erik out of the building and a safe distance from the director, he stopped and released Erik's shoulders. Charles stared at Erik, looking for some indication of his mental state after the rather eventful meeting with the director. Erik, who found Charles' gaze disconcerting looked away before speaking.

"He doesn't honestly think he can use his plan and get away with it does he?

"Well...lets just say that your little display in his office has given him plenty of food for thought."

Erik let out a breath that might have contained a small laugh, and the tension in his shoulders sagged slightly. Charles clasped his hands behind his back and began walking in the direction of a large golf ball shaped structure in the middle of the lawn. Erik followed, his eyebrows furrowed in deep thought. After a few moments of amiable silence Erik spoke.

"You saw into his mind. What are his plans?"

Charles gazed up into the sky before sighing.

"I don't know because he does not know himself."

They walked a few more steps in silence before Charles spoke again.

"They're not all like him you know..."

"Like who?"

"You know who Erik."

Erik's expression immediately hardened as he crossed his arms in front of his chest before walking ahead. Charles followed and placed a hand on Erik's shoulder. Erik turned to look at him and was met with Charles' sympathetic gaze.

"Give them a chance Erik. They will make the right decision."

Erik rolled his eyes.

"And what if they don't? Are we supposed to support and aid them? Are we supposed to go willingly like lambs to the slaughter?"

Charles ran a hand through his hair and then took a deep breath.


"So you agree with me?"

"I didn't say that either."

Erik's eyebrows rose.

"Well then what are you saying Charles?"

"I'm saying that if they do make the wrong decision we need to be there to protect and shield those that might be affected."

By this point they had reached the golf ball shaped building. Erik pointed at it as he spoke.

"Do you see this? This is the first step!"

Charles spoke softly and carefully so as not to incite Erik's anger any further.

"Give them a chance Erik. Have a little faith in people."

"What would you know about people?"

Erik pointed at himself as he continued.

"I've seen what people will do to things they don't understand and I'll be damned if I stand by and watch these people destroy the lives of those like us."

"I know quite a lot more than you think Erik. I'm in people's heads every day and I have yet to meet anyone who only wishes to hurt others."

The two men stared at each other before Erik began to speak, this time softly.

"I will stay, but only because you might be able to help me locate Shaw. I will not work for or with these people."

With that Erik turned on his heel and strode away. Charles watched him leave with a stricken look. Just before Erik reached the entrance to the building he stopped and turned to look at the conflicted man behind him.

"You're naive Charles."

He then turned and opened the steel door with a flick of his wrist before slamming it shut behind him. Charles put his hands in his pockets and strolled towards the building determined to find Raven and the biggest bottle of wine in the complex.

Erik Lensherr was an insomniac. Sleep evaded him nearly every night, and on the rare occasions in which he was able to drift off, his rest was always disturbed by dark dreams. After the earlier events of the day, Erik was too tense to even consider sleep. So instead he stood on the small balcony attached to his room and chain smoked his way through a pack of cigarettes. Charles' belief in the absolute goodness of the human spirit made Erik's skin crawl. He leaned over the railing to watch two guards talking in the courtyard below. He then let his half smoked cigarette fall from his fingers towards one of the guards. Just before it landed on the back of his neck, Erik moved the man out of the way via his metal helmet. He then watched with great interest as the two men got into an argument when the man he had moved accused the other guard of pushing him. It truly was pathetic how easy it was to get two humans to fight. Eventually both men left when their shift ended and Erik began pacing. Images of mutants drug from their homes and forced into cooperation with the government plagued his mind. Perhaps most disturbing was the image of Charles being forced, through any means necessary into the machine that Hand had built. It wouldn't take much to get him to comply. One well executed death threat to his sister Raven would turn Charles into an obedient servant. This left Erik with two options: leave and potentially allow others to decide his fate, or stay and be forced to work with the CIA. Both of the options were unappealing, but he had always loved a good fight.

"Verdammen sie es alle zue Holle! I'll stay."