was a competition between Alex’s acid
-induced conviction that he was in fact Magneto
, arch-enemy of the X-Men
, and Newton
’s conviction that gravity-induced decceleration trauma would occur upon the termination of the fall
. It didn’t really help Alex’s side that nothing metallic was in the immediate vicinity, but given a few seconds of falling, he was sure he would think of something. After all, he was an evil genius
Even Newton agreed that Alex would get his few moments. The plane had been several miles in the air, and Alex/Magneto’s plummet could only accelerate at 9.8 meters per second. What Newton really took issue with was the idea that certain people (namely, villains whose presence was necessary for a story arc) were immune to universal gravitation. Not that Newton didn’t enjoy the X-Men as much as any other physics- and math-loving nerd, but he’d spent years thinking up his positions on gravity, and he was damned if he was going to have thought up merely a Law of Not-So-Universal Gravitation.
Alex, on the other hand, was perfectly sure he would not make a sound resembling the onomatopoeic word “splat” upon the conclusion of the fall. Not only that, he rather thought he might not reach the ground at all. After all, 1000 feet into the descent, he felt weightless, and really didn’t even think he was falling. Surely, he thought, the ground’s seeming to get closer was only an optical illusion. It was at this point that he started to try to figure out if there was anything metal nearby. Not that he was really worried that anything could happen to him, but he wanted to be sure. Maybe, he thought, he could work it into some sort of gigantic safety net or some other bizarre, life-saving thing.
Newton would have liked to have pointed out to Alex at this point that Alex had not in actuality manipulated any objects with his mind in the 22 years of his life, but Alex had considered this objection before ever jumping out of the plane and discarding the parachute. He was just beginning to realize his powers, and the fact that this realization had occurred only after he had dropped that acid was purely coincidental. His eyes started darting around a little more quickly now, looking for a way to stop the fall that was by now obviously bringing him closer to the cornfields of eastern Nebraska with every passing second.
5000 feet to go.
Alex put his arms above his head, feeling all of his power surging through him. He hadn’t realized until now how absolutely great it was to know that if you’re needed for plot development, no one will let you die in a manner completely irrelevant to the rest of the story line. However, at this point, he realized that he might not be able to stop his fall, and he wondered vaguely what would save him.
4000 feet to go.
He wasn’t accelerating any more. Newton could have told him that. He had reached a point known as terminal velocity many feet before. Because of this, the ground was approaching at a constant rate. His mild curiosity was beginning to wane, as he had just experienced his very first flicker of doubt as to his own invincibility. Oh, come on, his brain had reminded him upon this faltering, No writer worth his salt would kill you like this. That was a comfort, anyhow.
It was kind of odd, thought Alex, but once you’d experienced a few thousand feet of freefall, it’s pretty much all the same. His doubt vanished. Not only was the fall not worrisome, it was becoming boring. He began to think of how he would miraculously land - yeah, that’d maybe be an acceptable thing for the writers to do. He decided he’d try to land straight up, on his feet.
Alex began to notice the people on the ground below. He conjectured that perhaps one of them would save him from the little problem with the sudden stop and all. But all he saw were a couple of farmers in the fields and a little kid walking down a two-lane highway. Surely not anyone he knew, and unless the writers were about to introduce a new character, these people below him weren’t going to help.
Which is why he began to panic. His brain was racing. Of course he didn't have to think of physics, of course he was immune to it all. Weren't all comic book characters? He was starting to think, though, that maybe it would have been a much, much better thing not to have jumped out of the plane in the first place.
Well, now would be a good time for a dramatic rescue, he thought.
Alex's fall was stopped in less than .1 seconds, and sure enough, it turned out it wasn't the fall that killed him, it was the sudden stop. He made quite a dent in the ground before the flattening effect caused his body to become scattered for a radius of a hundred feet or so. Newton observed the mess on the ground and smiled faintly. How many times did he have to tell people? Gravity's not just a good idea; It's the law.