Westchester County, NY
10 Minutes Earlier
"Alright, what did you get for number six?"
Scott asked Jean. They were both sitting on his bed, cross-legged with their study guides in front of them.
Jean said, glancing around Scott's room. She had only been in here a few times. It always struck her odd that his room was so spartan. Just a few books, most of them history books, and a few odds and ends tacked to the wall. One of the items on the wall caught her eye. "Is that your brother?"
Scott turned and looked at the photo. He and Alex were smiling into the camera, their arms around each others shoulders.
"That's my brother. I'm going to go back out and see him for Christmas. Can't wait."
"Must be nice,"
Jean said with a hint of wistfulness. "Actually looking forward to seeing family."
"Well, it is a new experience for me. I thought I was alone for all these years, but now I got a brother... and he's a pretty cool guy, too."
"I'm just wondering what my family's doing right now. I haven't seen them since the Professor and Mrs. Waller recruited me. I don't know why I care,"
she said with a sigh. "As soon as Waller mentioned paying them, they couldn't get rid of me fast enough."
"Well, you know what? Their lose is our gain."
Jean looked at Scott in the eye before she averted his gaze by lookign down.
"Totally. You're smart, funny, can kick major ass with your powers... plus, you know, you keep this place from being a total sausage fest."
Jean chortled and rolled her eyes. "Thanks, I guess..."
A prolonged, awkward silence fell between the two teens. To compensate, Scott looked back at his study guide and broke the silence.
"So, uhh, what'd you get for number seven?"
"One hundred and fifteen."
"Good. And for eight?"
"Scott... can I ask you something?"
he said without looking up.
"What do you think of me, I mean really?"
Scott looked up from his sheet and cleared his throat.
"Well, uhh... I mean... I thought I just told you..."
"I know, but I just wanted to know if that's how you felt."
"I mean, yeah. It's just... hard to say, really."
Jean reached out and placed her hand on Scott's right temple.
"Then, let me see."
Scott gulped and nodded. A chill ran down his spine as Jean entered his mind. Jean pulled her hand away and looked at him with a slight smile on her face.
he said with a nod.
Jean reached out and took Scott by the hands.
"Well, let's say just say that the feeling is mutual..."
A high-pitched, nervous laugh escape Scott's lips. He cleared his throat and rubbed his head. "That... uhh, that was a funny noise to make."
Chuckling, Jean began to lean towards Scott. His heart beating fast, Scott leaned forward as well to meet her halfway. Their lips began to brush together when Jean suddenly pulled back.
The sound of a distant rotor engine began to grow steadily louder. The two teens leaped off the bed and rushed forward to the window. A military chopper was hovering above the mansion's front lawn and dipping down towards the ground.
Scott said, taking Jean's hand. He grabbed an item off his nightstand and opened the door to his room. Hank, Jefferson, and Rex were all in the hall as well.
"What's that noise?"
"A chopper. I saw it outside my window."
"I can feel a dozen minds inside the chopper. They're closed off to me, but I know they're not friendly."
"Fearless leader? Plan?"
"What do you think,"
Scott asked, slipping his visor on to his face. "We fight."
The Osprey landed on the front lawn. The armored soldiers marched out of the open ramp, their assault rifles at the ready. They crossed the lawn quickly and bunched up against the front door of the mansion.
"Peters," Sergeant Bolivar Trask said to the soldier at his right. "Breach."
Peters nodded and stepped forward. The former Army Ranger slung his rifle on his shoulder and reared his fist back. Peters punched forward, his dense bone structure and amplified strength knocked the heavy wooden door off its hinges. The door fell on the ground with a loud thud. Peters stepped back and the rest of the Sentinels rushed into the house.
They moved through the foyer rapidly and efficiently. The foyer cleared, they proceeded further into the mansion. As the squad approached the stairs, a figured jumped from the top of the stairs and crashed into the lead soldier.
Hank said, slashing at the soldier's body armor. "Either you gentlemen are military pawns, or the Jehovah's Witnesses have stepped up their aggressiveness."
Jumping up into the air, Hank dodge gunfire by landing at the foot of the stairs and disappearing down into it.
"Jones?" Trask asked the soldier who had been attacked. "How are you?"
"Good," the man said. "He didn't penetrate past the outer shell."
"Roger that," Trask said. Surveying the situation, he knew the mutants next move. "Move out up the stairs. Phalanx form. They're gonna bottleneck us."
Moving up the stairs, the ten soldiers packed themselves shoulder to shoulder as they went up. They came up to the top of the stairs and found Scott waiting for them at the end of the hall.
"Optic blaster!" Trask shouted. "Roark, shields!"
Roark, a former SEAL, stepped forward as the ruby red blast shot towards them. He held his hands out and activated his kinetic charged implants. Plasma shields shot from his hands and spread out on both sides of the hall. The red optic blast was absorbed by the shield and disappeared.
"Covered!" Roark said to the squad.
"Open fire," Trask ordered.
The rest of the Sentinels opened fire at Scott. He fell to the ground as the rounds struck his body. After making sure he stayed down, Trask ordered the Sentinels to move forward. They stood over Scott and looked down at his dart-covered body.
"Roark, take him back to the Osprey. The rest of us are moving forward."
Roark slung Scott's unconscious body over his shoulder and headed back outside while the rest of the unit moved forward.
Hank shouted, leaping from the light suspended above the hallway. "We meet again!"
Roaring, he tried to bat one of the Sentinel soldiers away. Flexing the enhanced muscles in his legs, the soldier stood his ground and struck back at Hank. His armor-covered fist, combined with his improved strength, knocked Hank back against a wall. He slammed hard into it and slid down. He was covered in tranquilizer darts before he hit the floor.
"That's two," Trask said.
Two Sentinels carted Hank back to the waiting aircraft while the others kept moving. As they began to move up to the third floor, the stairs began to fill with dense smoke.
"Switch to tanks," Trask ordered. The soldier's suits sealed themselves and began pumping oxygen through air tanks mounted around their waist. The smoke began to move and solidify, taking the shape of a person.
"Smoke monster, *****es!"
Rex shouted, shifting his body from carbon-dioxide to steel. The Sentinels opened fire, the darts harmlessly bouncing off of him. "Not LOST fans? Huh. Don't blame you."
Rex punched the Sentinel closest to him with a hard fist, knocking the soldier down. As he swung away, Trask took advantage of the teenage mutant's distraction. The implant in his palm warmed up and discharged. He fired a blue sliver of energy from his hand that struck Rex in the chest. The energy coursed through Rex's body, destabilizing his molecules. He yelled out in pain as the energy kept his body in a constant shift. The rapid change overwhelmed him and he collapsed to the ground, unconscious and back in his flesh and blood form.
"Shoot him in the neck with a tranq," Trask said. Three of the Sentinels opened fire and struck Rex in the neck and chest with the darts.
Stepping up onto the third floor, they were met by Jefferson, his hands crackling and sparking with pure electricity. Barring his teeth, he let loose an awesome volley of lightning. The bolts hit the Sentinels and coursed through their armor before it faded out. The soldiers were not phased by the electricity.
"Rubber insulation, kid," Peters said, hitting Jefferson with a few darts. "Look into it."
Peters picked Jefferson's unconscious body up and fell back as the other Sentinels moved forward. Trask looked at the rest of the soldiers and nodded. They all activated a button on their wrists and moved out. Staying tight, they came around a corner. The soldier on point was knocked sideways by a flying china cabinet.
Jean said, walking towards the soldiers. "Try to hit me."
They opened fire and she simply waved the darts away. The darts went sideways and buried themselves into the walls on both sides of Jean. As she got closer, she begin to hear the whispers of thoughts coming from their minds. She entered the mind of the squad leader, but recoiled backwards in pain as psychic reverb filled her head. The loud feedback filled Jean's ears and made her head feel like it had a crack in it. Screaming, she fell to her knees and grabbed her hair. Darts hit her in the chest and stomach. She felt her body losing consciousness. Fighting against the backlash, she did the only thing she thought might work. She asked for help.
~PROFESSOR! THEY'RE HERE!~
With that, Jean fell forward and hit the ground. A Sentinel rushed forward and, making sure she was out, picked her up and began to carry her towards the Osprey.
"Sentinel Prime to Purifier," Trask said to the open line. "Mission accomplished."
Stryker said through the line. "Saw it all on your cams. Proud as heck of you, son. You know the next part. Dose all five of them with the serum and head out to Krakoa."
"Roger that," Trask asked. "And what about the secondary objective?"
"The telepath is being taken care of as we speak. Now, move out."
"Roger that. Sentinel Prime, out."
Trask severed the line and looked at his remaining squad members.
"That's a wrap. Pack it in, fellas. We're headed home."
The other Sentinels pumped their fists and celebrated. Five minutes later, the Osprey was flying above the mansion and heading west, their mutant quarry unconscious and secure in the Osprey's hold.