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Location:Israeli Desert
Year: 1950s

The stark white hospital building rose out of the Israeli sands: a piece of the modern world set against the ancient biblical skyline. The air was hot, still. There was no breeze to stir the sands; there was only a pervading sense of peace, until it was broken by the approach of a small fast-moving red cloud.

The jeep that Charles Francis Xavier, M.D. drove kicked up the silent red sands, and its roar would not permit Charles to appreciate the grand silent beauty of the desert spread before his eyes.

He felt a sense of disappointment.

To think that these sands have been here from the very beginning, through the time when Moses led the people of Israel out of Egypt, all the way to...

If only the sands could speak. They would answer many questions, many mysteries...

Charles Xavier, in his twenties, was a romantic.

But he appreciated the desert, for another reason as well.

Ever since his early youth, when he had discovered his ' gift' of bridging the gap between men's minds, he had found it difficult to control his growing power. Minds would be read, without intention; other minds would intrude upon his own, without any intention. He had begun to forget what it was like, to have his mind to himself - to be alone.

But in the desert, even with the roar of the jeep's engine intruding upon his ears, he had felt, for the first time in many long years… peace.

It was a precious feeling.

Every day of his life, he faced the constant white noise of nearly a million minds intruding upon his own; ' heard' their thoughts. It resembled the hum of a large crowd talking. It taxed him to ignore it, made him edgy and tense.

In the desert, that edginess faded. He was alone again. And there was a silent peace in his mind.

He began to relax.

He promised himself that he would allow himself to experience this feeling more often. He would come out into the desert more often from now on. For him, it would always be the oasis of peace in an ongoing war. He would come often. Alone perhaps.

Or perhaps, with someone else.


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