|Dates run:||August 18, 2007|
|Read the logs:||Alexander's Wall|
All you need to do is step aside. You've accomplished what you set out to do, gentlemen. Been the heroes of the day and saved the defenseless civilians. You can't want to see him returned to the hands of the people who brought this about.
Nathan and Haller's trip to Dagestan to investigate a reintegration program for mutant child soldiers turns disastrous when Ilyas Saidullayev breaks out of a high-security prison facility for mutants on the outskirts of the city of Derbent. To further complicate matters, the Master of Magnetism is in town.
In Dagestan, a DDR (Disarmament, Demobilisation, and Reintegration) program helping child soldiers from Chechnya found itself dealing with a number of special cases - young mutants who had been conscripted into the guerilla war. Gabrielle Haller, still deeply interested in war-related trauma treatment and related policy issues, heard of it through her contacts. Needing an 'in' to take a look at the program, she spoke to Charles, who suggested she talk to Elpis. Nathan was very agreeable to the idea of taking a trip to Dagestan to take a look, and invited Haller to accompany them, given Haller's own specialty.
Arriving in Derbent, a city in the south of Dagestan (well away from the Chechnyan border), they found out that the program was indeed doing very good work, but needed more resources and support. In other words, it was a perfect candidate for help from Elpis and advice from Gabrielle. Unfortunately, their planning meeting was disrupted by explosions on the outskirts of the city. Though the first assumption was a terrorist attack, it quickly became clear that it was something altogether more serious when Nathan identified the center of the disturbance as Ilyas Saidullayev.
Nathan and Haller called the X-Men for backup, but upon hearing that it would take them twelve hours to get there, went down into the city themselves to see what could be done. Haller discerned that Saidullayev had suffered a schizophrenic break, from his treatment over the several months of imprisonment since the incident in Moscow. While Nathan engaged Saidullayev head-to-head, Haller raised a shield to protect the troops and emergency crews trying to evacuate civilians from a city being torn apart. Meanwhile, watching from a distance, Gabrielle was shocked and disturbed when Magneto appeared, revealing the truth behind the prison break and making it clear that he had come to liberate the mutant prisoners. He then headed down into city to intercept the battling psis, leaving Gabrielle to call and warn the mansion.
Nathan soon found himself at the losing end of his fight with Saidullayev, but Haller's alters cooperated on a strategy. Telling Nathan to raise a shield around Saidullayev, Jack gave way to Cyndi, who created an explosion inside the shield, knocking Saidullayev unconscious. Their victory was short-lived, however, as Magneto appeared, pointing out that they now had a choice to make as to Saidullayev's fate, and asking them to step aside. An exhausted Nathan refused and attacked Magneto, who knocked him out easily. He then did the same to Haller, but only after telling him that he would give Saidullayev an opportunity to strike back against his tormentors. Magneto then left with Saidullayev, before the Russian military could move in to stop him.
Nathan and Haller woke up in Russian custody and were interrogated as to their involvement. Things got very heated before Gabrielle's diplomatic efforts bore fruit and the two were released. The three of them went to meet the Blackbird, which had finally arrived. On the way back, a frustrated Nathan vented to Cain, while Pietro and Jean had a rather grim discussion about how well the situation had turned out - for Pietro's father. Meanwhile, in contrast, Haller and Gabrielle shared what might be termed one of their first mother-son moments.
Trivia and Meta
This was Nathan's second Elpis-trip-gone-wrong during the summer of 2007.
The title for the plot is a reference to Derbent, the city where it's set. Alexander's Wall, or the Gates of Alexander, were supposedly built by Alexander the Great to keep the 'uncivilized' people of the north from invading. Though the Caspian Gates of Derbent are only fifteen hundred years old, over time they were credited to Alexander, and some archaeologists suggest that there were earlier fortifications at the site.