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Location: Israeli Desert
Time: 1950s

It was a cold morning.

The still atmosphere, icy to the touch and unpolluted and natural as it was, allowed for a ever-growing brilliant and detailed view of the grand mountains in the distance, as the dim lighting of the dawn was gradually replaced by the strong rays of the rising sun.

The desert itself, was a paradox in this sense. Scorching in the daytime sunlight, and frigid in the night's darkness - in no other place on the earth, could one find this constant succession of two so very different elements. In that sense, the desert stood unchallenged.

Charles was very aware of this paradox of nature, as he strolled within the hospital grounds.

And to him, the nature of the desert was too, an analogy to an issue that had become very close to his heart these past years.

For Charles Xavier had seen, in his short lifetime, what he now realised to be the evil in men's hearts.

As a youth, he had faced the constant bullying of his stepbrother, known the fear and hatred of others towards his strange powers. He had seen the horror of the war front, had killed ' enemy' soldiers himself; had met a man who, driven mad by his own power, had turned it towards his own evil goals. He knew evil for what it was, and this knowledge only served to grieve him.

The ' cold' that was the darkness in men's hearts, though, might be countered by the ' heat', that was the goodness that each man did (... must!) possess as well.

He believed, too, that for all those who succumb to the evil of tyranny, there would be those who would take the path of peace. By coming to Israel, he had hoped to set himself upon that same path, lest he allow the darkness to overcome his soul.

He let the wind's icy fingers caress his face, his bald plate. It refreshed him, made him forget the strain of having to deal with the lofty arrogance of the hospital staff, the cold unfriendly atmosphere, the burden of the responsibility that came with his great power.

He felt young again. And as carefree as youth does when in its prime.

Early morning was a quiet time. No patients were allowed out at this time, and few of the hospital staff would willingly sacrifice what little rest they could during the wee hours of the morning. The night staff did not particularly enjoy strolls in the desert night.

He was utterly alone, for as far as he could see on all sides. Again, he sensed the precious feeling of being alone. Amidst the hush of his environment, he was able to truly appreciate and take pleasure in that feeling.


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