Xavier visits Hank, who has become a recluse. Hank feels responsible for the accidental death of a fellow student, and has since then stopped going to school. Over a game of chess, Xavier tries to talk Hank out of his guilt. Xavier then makes a “bet” with Hank: If he wins the match, Hank will enrol in the Institute.
Metzger plans his next move: the capture of Jean Grey and Starkey.
Meanwhile at the Institute, an envious Warren watches the birds flying freely outside his window. Hank has enrolled in the Institute and meets Bobby for the first time. Bobby was the student Hank saved from the bullies at Freeport High School. Scott is perusing books in the library when Xavier calls for his students to assemble in the “lecture hall”.
Xavier intends to train his students to “learn to use [their] abilities” to “[defend]” themselves. Warren asks if Xavier was preparing them for “war”. Hank envisioned they were going to “educate the general public”; neither were they going to “hide” nor “instigate conflict”. Bobby was more concerned if girls were invited to join the Institute. While the three boys talked amongst themselves, Scott remained quiet.
That night, Xavier is having a quiet drink at Harry’s Tavern when he is interrupted by Magneto. Magneto wants Xavier to join him in waging a war against humankind. Magnus refuses to stand by and watch mutants get oppressed by “the world of the ordinary”, while Xavier refuses to let “innocent bystanders” get caught in the crossfire. Magneto declares then “the lines have been drawn” and they are now enemies.
Metzger’s men invade the Grey household and take Jean by force. Chad tracks down Starkey. Metzger’s television appearance fuels mutant hatred in the general public.
Back at the Institute, Xavier commences “physical training” for his students. They will face dangerous obstacles, and must use their powers to defend themselves. The training session soon proves too much for them to handle. Scott screams at Xavier to stop the training. Just then, the security alarm goes off, alerting them to an intruder.
The intruder turns out to be Agent Duncan. Duncan had stumbled upon classified information concerning the capture of Jean Grey, and has rushed to inform Xavier of the grave news.
As the students regroup, they realise that in order to survive, they need to work together as a team. Xavier calls for an emergency meeting in his office. Xavier is leaving immediately to save Jean. The other students offer to help but Xavier commands them to stay because they are “too inexperienced to be involved in this crisis”. Scott tries to calm an angry Warren when he lashes out at Xavier.
Refusing to sit back and be idle, the students go after Xavier.