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Location: Unknown

Xavier agonised in his dark cell. The monstrous bulk of the machine cast its invisible shadow over him - a nemesis awaiting its victim's downfall. And there was no way to escape that dreadful fate.

It had been a long ' night'. Deprived of any timepieces, the hours Xavier spent alone dragged into a long eternity, where every moment brought him fresh torture and pain about the evil he had been party to. He was but Creed's tool - a toy for Creed to manipulate as he wished. But he was a guilty tool as well, as guilty of the crime committed as Creed was, for no tool can ever be truly innocent when it causes death.

No innocence.

A gun can be removed from the criminal's hands, thus rendering him powerless to carry out his crimes. It is the tool - the gun - that allows him that sense of power. In the same way, there could only be one way to stop Creed and this madness. And that was to remove the tool. Perhaps permanently.

For many long hours now, he had seriously contemplated killing himself. There seemed to be no other way out of this nightmare. For, in his crippled and powerless state, Creed himself was untouchable. But the tool could be removed.

Xavier was no hero in his own eyes. But he believed that every man should try to live justly, and also, do right by his works. Was, in this case, the taking of his own life justified?

Atonement was a key word. One life was surely a measly price to pay for the perhaps hundreds he had taken. An eye for an eye, and a life for a life, if one was willing to think in those terms. It would be his self-imposed death sentence.

But heroics was not something he considered a part of Charles Xavier.

Perhaps these circumstances revealed who he truly was, in the end. Perhaps, by remaining alive, he was partaking in the age-old disdainful ways of cowardice. Perhaps... I am afraid to die.

It was a doubt that had haunted him all his life, from Korea to the present. Sometimes he wondered if his insistence on saving innocent lives was only a manifestation of a fear of death. In a way, the duality that personified his public and private personas was also a part of him, deep within his heart.

Turn the page...