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" Well now, and how are our two mutants doing?"

Graydon Creed's failed attempt at humor served only to make Charles feel sick. The man was incorrigible, to even attempt a joke in a situation such as this.

Knowing that Xavier and Magneto were both sickened by his words and presence, and enjoying every minute of it, he continued.

" I see the both of you don't really get along. I'm sorry... I thought you might know each other."

He doesn't know about Magnus and myself... I wonder how much research he actually did...

Charles did not answer him, though. Neither did Magneto.

Apparently angered by their silence, Creed's pretence at amiability was replaced by a sneer.

" Very well, if you don't want to talk, then we won't." He motioned with his hand, and several men approached from behind him.

"... hmmm... let us try Magneto first."

The cell was unlocked, and Magneto was led out. He kept his head down, facing the floor, but Charles noticed the steely look that was in his eyes. He knew that such a look boded ill for Creed and his men.

Creed suddenly turned, and began to shout.

" Dr. Vasir, Dr. Vasir... where have you hidden yourself, you coward?"

" I... I am here, sir."

The weak, trembling voice came from a doorway, which no doubt led to an inner sanctum. Turning to face the direction from which it came, Charles saw the man whom he knew was to be credited with the design and construction of the gigantic machine before him.

It was a man who was clearly a scientist - an intellectual. A long, white, crumpled lab coat hung on a frail and reduced frame. The dark rings around his eyes, and the long drawn face spoke of exhaustion and a lack of sleep. His blond hair was disheveled, his glasses carelessly placed on his nose, where they continuously slipped down.

In the few minutes of his first appearance, Charles noticed him push his glasses up onto his nose several times.

" Come along, Doctor. Destiny does not wait for those who do not catch up with it."

" Y-yes sir."

Dr. Visar shuffled over to a control panel on the machine. Charles could not see clearly what he did from where he was, but he seemed to be typing in commands into the machine's central computing system.

The seconds, and then the minutes passed. Creed, Xavier could tell, was beginning to feel impatient. He tapped his foot on the floor continuously, and glanced at his watch at short intervals.

" Is something wrong, Doctor?"

"N-no... actually, it's just that the programming is complicated, and..."

" Fine," Creed dismissed his explanation, " just get it done..."

Before he could finish his sentence, Magneto had jammed his elbow into one of his captor's stomachs, and punched the other in the face.


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