X-Men: Reimagined

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction & Films' started by bored, Nov 29, 2004.

  1. bored One Sexy Lemur

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    The Professor flinched, but felt nothing. There was a surprised yelp, and when he opened up his eyes, he saw Sinister on his knees.

    "That was for Ahmoul," growled Gateway. He had thought quickly, opening up a portal between Xavier and the beam, and opening another one behind Mr. Sinister, getting him hit by his own attack.

    "Ah, your treacherous little friend," Sinister mocked, getting up. A lightning bolt struck him in the head. Sinister fell to the ground, stunned. Storm, her eyes full of rage, landed next to Gateway. She procured another lightning bolt, hitting Sinister on the ground. He writhed, but didn't die. Storm prepared another bolt when she was tackled from behind.

    "Sugarman's still hungry!" cried the six-armed beast on top of her. Blood dripped from his jaws down onto her face.

    "You like airline food?" Storm asked. A whirlwind formed over them, sucking Sugarman up into the air. Storm rode it up. Sinister's legions of dragon-like creatures stirred, many flying away to avoid the winds. A few swooped to the ground, trying to grab Sinister.

    "No touchy, boys!" shouted Wolverine, hacking at them with his claws as they tried to come close. One opened its mouth, and bathed Logan in flame. He fell to the ground, screaming. The dragons grabbed Sinister, and lifted him up. They flew away, fast.

    "Aurora!" Professor Xavier shouted, "go after them!"

    Jeanne-Marie complied, and chased them into the sky. As she neared them, they disappeared.

    "Dammit," Xavier muttered.

    Show yourself, En Sabbah Nur, he broadcast. I know you're watching.

    How little you know, came the reply. I'm watching, yet I'm so far from you. And despite Essex's actions, I'm not concerned with you just yet. I have much bigger plans in store for the world. I think your friend Magneto will be quite interested, especially since I've comandeered a few of his minions. Now, I'll be taking the Sugarman before your step-brother can smash him further into the ground than the fall he just took sent him. I hope you enjoy the swarm I sent you. I'm sure they'll keep you occupied for some time. I wonder if your reinforcements know about them yet. I'm sure they will soon enough. Now, Charles Xavier, I bid you good day.

    Reinforcements?

    "Sugarman's gone!" Juggernaut shouted.

    "Don't worry about him, Cain!" Xavier replied. "Focus on these creatures above us!"

    The dragons had already started their assault. Wolverine, who had struggled to his feet, swiped it any who came close, as his singed skin slowly began to repair itself. Storm, Angel, and Aurora were chasing some around the sky. On the ground, those who could attack from a distance struggled to keep them far away, and those who couldn't guided the Morlocks inside. More dragons came every minute, and they began to surround everyone outside. The air grew hot as several started producing fire from their mouths. From not too far off, a few people could hear a helicopter approaching.

    "Who is it?" Iceman asked, knowing that the Professor had sensed them.

    "The 'reinforcements' En Sabbah Nur told me about," Xavier replied.

    "What?"

    "Not now, Bobby." The Professor scanned the field, darkened by the swarm.

    Everyone cover your ears! He ordered.

    Moments later, there was a sound which seemed to rattle the teeth of everyone present. Windows shattered, and several dragons, disturbed by the noise, plummeted to the ground. Most got up, but were suddenly wary. Xavier looked to the sky. A red-haired woman hovered high above them. Someone landed a helicopter close by.

    "Tom," Xavier said, looking at Black Tom, "Your niece is here."
     
  2. bored One Sexy Lemur

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    Encouraged, the X-Men spread out, keeping the dragons down. The woman who had just arrived landed on the ground.

    "Theresa!" Xavier called. "A pleasure to see you."

    "And you, Professor Xavier," said Theresa Cassidy, shaking his hand. "Tom?"

    Her uncle hung back.

    "Uncle Tom?"

    "Hello, Theresa," Black Tom said. The Irish mutant was embraced by his niece.

    "It's been a long time, Uncle," Theresa said. "Da' sends his best regards."

    "That's good," said Tom, weakly. "Who's your friend?"

    "Name's Wilson," said a man in a red and black uniform which covered his entire body, including his head. "Wade Wilson."

    Angel, seeing Wilson, moved in behind Professor Xavier, eyeing the newcomer suspiciously.

    "Hey, Worthington," said Wilson. "Long time, no see. You remember me, right?"

    "Yeah, Deadpool, I remember you," said Warren.

    "Deadpool?" Xavier asked. "I've heard that name."

    "Pretty well known, or I'd like to think so at least," said Deadpool. "Most usually just call me Dead, or Mr. Pool, or occasionally La Piscina del Muerte."

    "He's my chaperone," said Theresa, sweetly. "My father sent 'im."

    "I'm such good company," Deadpool chirped. He pulled a sword from a sheathe on his back. "I'm gonna go play with some of those iguanas."

    "Have fun, Wade," Theresa said. "He's quite the character. So, if you don't mind my being discourtious, Professor, I'd like to catch up with my uncle."


    Meanwhile, Deadpool hopped around from place to place, slicing at incapacitated, or otherwise lame dragons, and shooting them with a small gun he'd somehow procured when they tried to get away. He was enjoying himself.

    "Deadpool!" Wolverine shouted. He tackled Theresa's companion.

    "Always rough-housing, eh, Patch?" Deadpool asked.

    "Why did you go by 'Patch'?" Storm asked, pulling Wolverine up.

    "He wore an eye-patch for a while, as part of a disguise," said Deadpool. "It sucked."

    "Says you," Logan snorted. "Ororo, this is Wade. We go back."

    "You know alot of people," said Storm.

    "Yeah, he gets around," said Deadpool. "Hey, another one of 'em's moving! I'll be back!"
     
  3. bored One Sexy Lemur

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    Tom Cassidy and his niece sat in one of the Xavier Institute's many studies, catching up. Theresa's friend, the half-crazed Deadpool, was still exterminating the dragons, or whatever they were supposed to be, outside.

    "So then, Sean's got you workin' to follow his steps then, eh?" Black Tom asked.

    "It was my choice," said Theresa. "He's an icon, you know. The great Banshee, protector of the Emerald Isle. People don't even give him grief over banshee's bein' female, anymore."

    "I started that trend," laughed Tom. "That was when I was in a position to be like him. Before I was a bleedin' Ent, ya' know? Did ye' know I used to shoot energy beams? I can't no more, but I used to, and I was a damn good shot. Lucky Sean, though, could fly. He could fly, and I lost me hair in autumn." Theresa smiled. "Ye' think I'm joking? Ask your father sometime. Does he talk about me alot?"

    "He does, sometimes," Theresa replied. "On your birthday, he does. Sometimes he will, just when he's talking 'bout his childhood. I don't think he was surprised when he found out you were alive. Always told me the people who said you'd died somewhere were bull****tin'. Said 'I know my brother, and I'd know if he'd bitten it somewhere.' Guess he was right, eh?"

    "Heh, yeah, he was," Tom sighed. "He usually was. You know, this Professor Xavier says he'll consider lettin' me stay here and train with him and the X-Men."

    "Think you will?"

    "Of course!" Tom said. "I've wanted a way to walk from the Morlocks as long as I've been with 'em, this is just the first excuse I was ever really happy with. I almost went and joined that nutter Magneto. Kind of glad I didn't, now. Don't think you'd have been keen on visiting if I had. So, Terry, tell me about this friend of yours."

    "Wade?" asked Theresa. Tom knodded. "Wade's a merc. Da' asked him to deal with some shady people he himself couldn't get too close to. A couple of gangsters makin' trouble in Belfast. Now this job, it's something you'd think would take at least a few days, even for a good killer. Deadpool- he calls himself Deadpool- he did six people, all well-guarded crime bosses, in one ****in' night! Anyways, Da' was so impressed that he started using him to deal with all sorts of underworld types, and they've been kind of buddyin' it up. I can understand why, really. Wade's more than likely absolutely insane, but he's a fun guy. Always got a wisecrack on his tongue, and when he likes you, he lets you know it. Da' sent him with me because he was worried about some loon or another goin' after me, puttin' me in danger. Wade's good at keepin' those types away."



    Outside, Deadpool was having the time of his life.

    "I got this one!" he cried, hacking a dragon's head off with his sword. He proudly displayed it to the X-Men. "Who wants to whip up some Godzooky tempura?"

    Shadowcat held her mouth.

    "You okay, Kitty?" Marrow asked.

    "I'm just scared that he might find Lockheed. That's all."

    "Isn't he locked up in your room?"

    "Yeah, but if this creep finds out, I think there'll be trouble."

    "For my next illusion, I will magically seperate one of these things into three pieces, then consider putting it back together, remember that I can't, and fidn something else to do!" Deadpool shouted. A dragon, a slightly larger one, snuck up behind him. Deadpool, hearing it beating its wings, spun around, only to find Colossus clutching it by the tail. "Okay, I suppose the Tin Woodsman can have this one. How's finding a heart going?" Colossus looked at him, puzzled. "Never mind, Jolly Platinum Giant."




    Down in a low level of the Institute, Professor Xavier activated Cerebro. He braced himself for more of what he'd sensed earlier. He could tell that several mutants around the world were frightened of something. More Sentinels, he presumed. He searched, and started looking for Shiro Yashida, hoping to find his friend and be led to wherever the Sentinels seemd to be taking several mutants.

    Bobby, he called, mentally, Where are you?

    Whoah! Sorry, you took me by surprise, Professor. I'm outside. What's up?

    Those dragon things that Sinister brought, are they disposed of yet?

    Almost, Bobby replied. Deadpool, Theresa Cassidy's friend, he's having a grand ol' time with them.

    Excellent. I need you to turn on the news, and watch for any reports of Sentinel activity. I'm worried that we may be a target soon.



    Bastion led a large squadron through the skies. By pure chance, they had discovered the perfect location for a mass round-up. Bastion had hoped for something high-profile like this. He thought it would please his father, Bolivar Trask. He knew Trask would be absolutely giddy with the target he'd found. The Sentinels followed Bastion, getting closer and closer to the island Avalon.
     
  4. Visioncore18 Registered

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    you're such a tease dude... but for some reason you keep me coming back duder.. get to the goods already!
     
  5. bored One Sexy Lemur

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    Within hours, every mutant on Avalon had been found by the Sentinels. Most fought back ferociously, but almost all were captured. A few were killed, and an even smaller few, four, to be specific, escaped. The island complex lay in ruins, decimated by the Sentinel attack. In the very center, a large bubble collapsed soon after the Sentinels had left. Magneto rose into the air, surveying the destruction. Moments later, he plummeted to the ground. Mystique, shifting into a large form, grabbed him before he could hit the hard earth. Rogue and Avalanche came to her side.

    "Is he alright?" Rogue asked.

    "He's over-exerted," said Mystique. "It took all he had to keep the four of us protected. Fighting these things off seems to have been more difficult than he expected."

    "What did they shoot him with?" Avalanche asked.

    "I couldn't say," Mystique answered. She set him on the ground. "We can wait until he comes to, and ask him then. In the meantime, be on your guards. If those things come back, none of us will be capable of fighting them."



    The rain poured in Westchester, New York. Finally, the Morlocks were inclined to go inside.

    "Crowded here, nowadays, isn't it?" commented Cain Marko to Professor Xavier. The two sat in the Professor's private office.

    "I can tolerate it," said Professor Xavier. "Mind you, this is as much a school campus as it is a mansion."

    "Yeah, but you don't exactly have people in classrooms," the Juggernaut said. "Can't that one chick keep the skies clear?"

    "If she please, yes," said Xavier. "I discourage that kind of use of her powers, though. Tampering with nature when it isn't absolutely beneficial is reckless. Besides, time inside is usually good for my students, and I'm sure it will be for the Morlocks, too."

    "I guess," said Cain. "You know, I just thought of something."

    "What's that, Cain?"

    "Sammy, my step-son, he's only ten, but he knows what a 'Morlock' is. Not just those refugees you've got, but where the term comes from, and why they use it."

    "It's a reference to H.G. Wells," Xavier pointed out.

    "I know that, but I didn't when I was ten," Cain said. "Chuck, was I not well-read?"

    "To be brutally honest, Cain, no, you weren't," Professor Xavier said. "You didn't see it as much of an interest until puberty, and that was due to a certain publication that Mother believed until the day she died was actually about rabbits."

    "Ah, the good ol' days," Cain chuckled. "Still, you get what I'm sayin', right? I didn't know any of that when I was that young. Makes me realize how behind I was."

    "Cain, you weren't 'behind'," Xavier reassured, "your step-son is a fairly intelligent young boy, and you were always more interested in sports. You were quite the Left Tackle in high school, you remember?"

    "Yep. So, Chuck, how long until you tell everyone why they can't leave the grounds?"

    "Most know already," Xavier explained. "I told the X-Men, and I'm sure the word has gotten around by now. Why else would I keep that Deadpool character in here?"

    "Entertainment?" Cain guessed. "He's a nutty guy. Wait 'til you see his card tricks."

    "I think I'll pass," the Professor sighed. "Why does everything need to happen at the same time?"

    "Huh?"

    "We have to watch after the Morlocks; this Apocalypse person is some sort of threat; the Brotherhood is more angry at us than ever; and now the Sentinels are in operation again, and there doesn't seem to be a great deal of government action regarding it," Xavier explained. "I miss just sending the X-Men, back when there were between five and nine, to do something like keep Unus the Untouchable from disrupting a sporting event. Do you remember Unus?"

    "Heard of him," said Cain. "Never took him on. It's a shame. I could've had fun with that. Untouchable versus Unstoppable. Did he die, or what?"

    "Maybe," said Xavier. "He disappeared in Africa a long time ago. Probably went to discover himself among the wilderness, or something silly like that. Cain, did you often worry about the other Avengers being killed during your tenure with them?"

    "Huh? Well, yeah, of course," Cain answered. "I had alot of friends on that crew. Simon was the only one who died, but we never really got along. He was always kind of cocky, ya know?"

    "Yes, I've heard," Xavier answered. "And you weren't?"

    "Oh, I was, and still am," said Cain, the Juggernaut, proudly. "But hey, can only have so many people like that in one place, eh? Yeah, you know what I mean. So why do you bring it up?"

    "Morlocks died on my grounds," Xavier said. "This is supposed to be a safe place for all I welcome to it. When Sinister and Sugarman attacked, there were casualties. I didn't personally know them, but I felt every one of them. That monster the Sugarman, the same one who killed your colleague, crushed them in his jaws, and on my own lawn. I've never been so worried about the safety of my students. If just he can cause such horror here, imagine what hordes of Sentinels can do. But I'm probably just rambling, aren't I?"

    "I wouldn't be so sure," Cain said. "Look, Chuck, I get why you're scared, and it makes perfect sense. Just don't let any of them know how bad it is. They look up to you, ya' know?"

    "Yes," said Xavier, turning to face the window. "I know."
     
  6. bored One Sexy Lemur

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    A lone Sentinel ventured into an estate somewhere in England. Shortly after landing, flames burst from its eyes, and it toppled over. Apocalypse lifted it up and smashed it into a compact ball with his bare hands. His followers watched from inside Mr. Sinister's home.

    "I could've taken it," said British mutant Peter Wisdom. "I mean, this fella', he did a faster job than I could've, but I still could have brought that thing down."

    "Next time we encounter a Sentinel, I'll tell Lord En Sabbah Nur of this," groaned Sinister. "What do you even do?"

    Wisdom grinned, and flung out his arm. A red object appeared, and hit Sinister in the back, sending him to the ground.

    "'Ow was that?" Wisdom asked. Sinister got up, and grabbed the cocky mutant by the neck.

    "I would hope you knew I could recover from that," Sinister growled.

    "I... think... so," Wisdom strained out. Sinister let go. "But if you couldn't, I'd have done some real damage."

    "I bet so," Sinister growled. "Where's Sugarman? He isn't grafting another set of arms, is he?"

    "Better!" cried the familiar, somewhat childlike voice of the Sugarman. "Guess who's got two noses?!"



    Guns fired from the walls of the Danger Room. Deadpool expertly dodged every bullet by twisting, turning, jumping, and otherwise impressing those who watched.

    "Who trained him?" Professor Xavier asked.

    "Department H, same as me," Logan answered. He stood behind Forge, who operated the room. Ororo hung on his arm. Black Tom and Theresa Cassidy watched Deadpool closely.

    "That was fun!" Deadpool shouted. "Hey, aim at my forehead!"

    "Wade, don't," Theresa muttered.

    "Terry's protesting right now, isn't she?" Deadpool asked. He started doing some odd little dance where he stood. "Come on, this'll be cool! Logan, you've seen this before!"

    Forge aimed a single gun at Deadpool's head. It fired a bullet through him. Blood spattered on the ground, and Deadpool himself fell to the ground.

    "Holy ****!" Forge shouted. "I thought that was going to miss! Oh my God!"

    "Easy," Logan said. "Watch."

    Deadpool sprung to his feet. The bullet wound was nowhere to be seen.

    "Who's the man?!" Deadpool yelled.

    "That... what was that?" Ororo asked.

    "He's a healer, just like me," Logan said.

    "Better than you," Theresa said.



    "Have you seen the pens?" Henry Gyrich asked. He sat in Bolivar Trask's office.

    "I haven't been down," Trask replied. "What would they do if they saw me?"

    "How will they know who you are?" Trask asked. "You were a barely recognizable face in America several months ago. Many of those mutants we've apprehended are from other countries. You wanted them imprisoned, you've got them imprisoned. Go gloat a little. You've earned it."

    "You think I'd be safe?" Trask asked.

    "Absolutely," Gyrich said. "Go on. I'll go get lunch or something while you're surveying your accomplishments. Because that's what those prisoners are, Bolly, accomplishments."

    "I think I'll do that," Trask said. He hopped up, and hurried off to see the holding pens where the mutants captured by his Sentinels were.

    "Ahh, Trasky," Gyrich laughed. "Interesting ideas, but man, does he have problems."
     
  7. bored One Sexy Lemur

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    The X-Men met in Professor Xavier's office.

    "Know what's sad?" Warren Worthington said to whoever would listen. "This is the least crowded room I've been in outside the bathroom in days."

    "That's good to know," sighed Xavier, typing something into his computer. "I've gotten a message from Scott. The Sentinels are on the move again, and he says they've taken Polaris. I've told him to get himself and his family here as soon as he can."

    "How's Jean?" Bobby Drake asked.

    "About to burst, according to Scott. He's worried about her," Xavier said. "I do have some good news, though. I was just on Cerebro, and I've located the place the Sentinels have brought their captives. There is an island off the southeastern coast of Africa called Madripoor, near Madagascar. There have been several brief spikes in mutant activity. I believe mutants are being herded there, and then imprisoned someplace I can't reach them. Or, that's the most optimistic guess."

    "So what's on Madripoor that would appeal to mutant haters?" asked Forge.

    "It's remote, and governmental control over foreign activities on its soil is practically nonexistant," Xavier explained. "Anyone could set up a major operation there unmolested. One thing I am curious about is why I've heard nothing on the matter from Magneto. I figure he'd know about this by now. I'll be back on Cerebro shortly, seeing if I can find any traces of Brotherhood activity away from Avalon. I'll also be putting out a distress call to all mutants I have open communication with. I will be encouraging them to seek refuge immediately. I want them all here, if possible, but if not, I have organized a network of friends who will be able to guard them. Namor Mackenzie has already agreed to lend his compound to any mutants seeking refuge in the Mediterranean. I can only hope this isn't too little, too late."

    "If they're rounding us up, why don't we just go in and take the creeps down?" asked Logan.

    "Yeah," chirped Kurt Wagner. "We're capable of it, especially with the new allies we've gained lately."

    "I wouldn't be so sure," said Xavier. "We can not rule out the idea that this place is not only a holding pen, but also the Sentinel factory. If they are well defended, we have little to no chance of getting far into the island. Even if we do, perhaps with Gateway's assistance, the Sentinels will still be there, ready to go after us."

    "Won't they come here, though?" Betsy Braddock asked. A few others grumbled their affirmations.

    "Likely," said the Professor. "I'm counting on that, actually. Here, we have excellent defenses, as well as the ability to alert the authorities on short notice, if they haven't picked up on the presence of the Sentinels already. And if all that fails, I have faith in all of you, and yes, in our guests, to be able to defend the Institute."

    "And, in all likelihood, it will come to that," Bobby added. "Charles and I have discussed this, and we think it may be time to welcome a few more into our ranks. Everyone assembled will remain the core members of the group, but, at least for this, we've looked at a few who we'd like to allow into the X-Men. Gateway, Aurora, Siryn, and Deadpool are our first choices. Black Tom is likely, as well. Juggernaut is off looking for a few mutants who've hidden themselves in places we don't believe are safe. Hopefully, he'll have chaperoned them all here before we need to worry about a Sentinel attack."

    "In the meantime, I want everyone to stay in uniform unless they absolutely must change into civilian clothes," Professor Xavier ordered. "I'm not scared of panicking the Morlocks, as I can quell that myself with little trouble. Now, I am going to resume my scanning on Cerebro. Iceman will be in command while I'm working."

    "Everyone suit up," Iceman commanded. "I want a few of you at a time to meet me in the War Room. The rest of you carry on as you otherwise would, and try not to trouble the Morlocks. I don't want the Professor interrupted while he's searching for potentially endangered mutants. Forge, Bishop, Angel, and Psylocke, the four of you will meet with me first. Storm, Wolverine, find the people we mentioned, and give them our offer for temporary membership. When you meet with me, you can give me the results."

    Professor Xavier adjourned the meeting. When the X-Men had vacated the office, he wheeled himself out, and headed for the elevator.




    Magneto screamed in frustration.

    "How did we not see them coming?!" He shouted. "No stealth should have been that effective!"

    "Erik, please don't do this," Mystique pleaded. "Self-pity will change nothing. We need to focus on our plan to strike back at those things."

    "Can we, though?" asked Magneto. "I couldn't handle them as well as I thought, even with most of the Brotherhood at my side. I wonder if those blasted machines took the four that attacked the Xavier Institute, as well?"

    "Can we just sneak into wherever they took everyone, and take them back?" asked Rogue.

    "I don't know," said Magneto. He heaved a deep sigh. "I don't even know where they are. Even if I did, there would be no way we could succesfully invade. They'd likely be prepared. The best we could hope for would be Mystique sneaking a few out, but that would be nearly worthless. They'd detect a problem before many were freed." Magneto paused, and thought for a moment. "God, is this the only way?"

    "What?" asked Mystique.

    "This," said Magneto, lowering his head. He slowly lifted his arms, and removed his helmet.

    Charles? Charles, I know you're looking for me. I never thought I'd have to say this, but I need you.
     
  8. The Squirrel Le Rongeur

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    ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooh.....

    team up coming huh?
     
  9. bored One Sexy Lemur

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    Of sorts. Be assured, it won't be an easy alliance, but I figured that, since I'd taken the story to this scale, it was bound to happen at least once.


    I know other people are reading this. What does everyone else think?
     
  10. Visioncore18 Registered

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    its about time the story picks up dude!
     
  11. bored One Sexy Lemur

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    The next morning, a Blackbird jet landed on Avalon. Magneto looked sullen as he climbed aboard. None of the Brotherhood spoke as they followed him.

    "Erik," greeted Professor Xavier, "it's a pleasure to see you."

    "Don't patronize me, Charles," moaned Magneto, slumping back in his seat. "You know why I called for you. You also know I'm not happy with it. My followers need more than I can offer. I never thought I would have to say that."

    "Greatest good for the greatest number," said Xavier.

    "Milton, right?" asked Forge, who piloted the plane.

    "Mills," Magneto corrected. He considered removing his helmet, then decided against it.

    "Erik, you do realize that these Sentinels have captured several mutants around the world, do you not?" asked the Professor.

    "I can't say I'm surprised," answered Magneto. "Have you done anything about it?"

    "I've put out a distress call, and sent my step-brother to assist people who are making their ways to the Institute for safety," Xavier explained. "If I could predict exactly where the Sentinels are about to strike, I would send the X-Men in to stop them, but alas, I can't do that."

    "You should find General Stryker's wife," Magneto suggested, a little ruefully.

    "Irene is being guarded by the military, under William's request," said Xavier. "And I don't think her precognitave talents work that way. Irene tends to have sudden flashes, rather than willful seeing."

    "I can't believe that," Avalanche groaned. Mystique tried to shush him. "You're supposed to be about teaching mutants to improve their powers, right?"

    "Among other things, yes," answered Professor Xavier.

    "So why not work on her? I bet she could learn how to see whatever she wants in the future with a little work!"

    "Rest assured, I've offered Irene the chance to learn more about her mutation, and that she has politely declined," said Xavier. "Now, would you like to rest on the trip to Westchester, Erik? Or shall we begin formulating some sort of plan now?"

    "We'll wait," said Magneto. "I need time to think."




    "Unngghh," Mastermind moaned. Something jabbed him in the ribs. "Ah! Bloody hell!"

    "He's awake now!" exclaimed the Sugarman. "This means they all lived!"

    "What's going on?" he asked. After a moment, it all came back to him. He was in a laboratory, along with Toad, Sabretooth, and Lady Deathstrike. A multi-armed fiend calling himself Dr. Suge R. Man was, at different times, experimenting on them. He examined his arms, and found that they were covered in tattoos. Those had some purpose, but he couldn't remember what.

    "He's ready, then?" asked a hooded man. Sugarman nodded. "Good."

    "And you are?" Mastermind asked. The hooded man grabbed him by the throat.

    "You do not ask such questions. Not of me." He pulled back his hood. Mastermind gazed upon the gray features of En Sabbah Nur. He could see the gray man's eyes light up. Eb Sabbah Nur began speaking, but Mastermind didn't get more than the first few words. Though the grip on his neck was relaxed, it felt like he was blacking out. The last he remembered was a vision of him and his three compatriots from the Brotherhood, floating in the air. All were heavily tattooed like him, though none seemed like themselves.



    Bolivar Trask examined the Blob. He was the biggest mutant Trask had ever seen.

    "Bastion, you've done me proud," he beamed. Bastion nodded, and smiled. "How many did you say you'd taken in that raid?"

    "Forty-five," Bastion said.

    "And you may have killed Magneto?"

    "May have. I did not sense any remaining life forms before we left, but given the nature of Magneto's mutation, it is possible that he could have jammed my measurements."

    "That's unfortunate," Trask said.

    "You gonna take a picture of me, or just keep oglin'?" Blob snapped.

    "You love the attention, don't you, you fat freak?" Trask mocked. Blob tried to lash out, but his hands were effectively bound in place. "Now, now, don't be naughty, or you went get dessert."

    "Magneto's gonna turn you insides-out!" Blob shouted. "You just wait!"

    "I doubt I'll have much to worry about," gloated Trask. He laughed, and walked outside.

    Bastion moved, and stood a few feet in front of the Blob.

    "Watch how you speak, mutant," he growled. Blob spat on him.

    "I'll say what the hell I want."

    Bastion placed his hand on the Blob's face, and let a flow of electricty pass through his fingers. When he removed his hand, Blob couldn't move his face.

    "A fortunate thing about being a machine," said Bastion, "is that I'll never have to worry about having a stroke. You, on the other hand, are not so fortunate."

    He left the room, leaving the Blob silent and restrained.
     
  12. bored One Sexy Lemur

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    "Why hide us?" Magneto asked. The Brotherhood were in an underground bunker. "If the Morlocks hate me so much, let them come and get me. I'm in no danger, Charles."

    "From what I've been told, one of them put in a great deal of danger several weeks ago," Professor Xavier responded. "He will, by the way, be joining us later. I believe he will behave himself. He's looking for employment, you see-"

    "Enough!" Magneto snapped. "You have no idea how smug you come as, do you?"

    "On the contrary," said Xavier, "I take that as a point of pride."

    "This is the real reason we stopped getting along."

    "Most certainly. You take yourself entirely too seriously, Erik. Tell me, do you have ulcers?"

    "Charles, leave!"

    Professor Xavier obliged, with a smile on his face. It was true, he could be smug.


    Iceman sat down one of the groups of four in the War Room.

    "Logan, how many mutants were involved with Alpha Flight, besides yourself and Jeanne-Marie?" he asked.

    "Her brother, but he's not gonna be doing much anytime soon," Wolverine answered. He pulled out a lighter, flicked it, and lifted the flame to the cigarrette in his mouth. Iceman, from the far end of the table, exhaled, causing a puff of vapor to travel across the room. It extinguished the cigarrette.

    "No smoking inside, Logan. That still hasn't changed."

    "One of these days," Wolverine quipped. Around him were Nightcrawler, Storm, and Pyro. None of them bothered to comment. "So, Popsicle, have we got a new assignment, or you just like how we all smell together?"

    "That is mostly me," said Nightcrawler. "I switched shampoos."

    "Cut it out," Iceman ordered. "I'm doing this once a day for each group. This is your chance to tell me if anything has been going on around the Institute that I should know about."

    "Nope."

    "Not just you, Wolverine."

    "That Callisto woman doesn't like me," Storm said. "She keeps making fun of my hair."

    "Is that it? No threats, nothing like that? She just doesn't like your hair?"

    "I think so. She's quite rude about it," Storm added.

    Iceman sighed.

    "Pyro, do you have anything?"

    "I can't say I do."

    "You don't say much, in general."

    "What?"

    "Nothing," Iceman said. He dismissed them, and decided to stay and wait for the last group.

    "To think, I used to be the class clown," he lamented.



    What was practically an armada of Sentinels prepared to leave Madripoor.

    "One last big target!" cried Bolivar Trask. "If you take the mutants at the Xavier Institute, you'll have proven your worth ten-fold! Bastion, you know the rules, don't you?"

    "Of course," answered the head Sentinel. "Leave Xavier alive, do what we please with the others."

    "Try and bring a few others back alive. I don't care who, but I'd like more than just Charles Xavier to examine."

    "Acknowledged."

    Trask saw the Sentinels off, with Bastion at the head.

    "It is going to be a good week," he whispered.
     
  13. The Squirrel Le Rongeur

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    pretty cool. I like how it seems to be reaching the climax of the story. Or atleast the Sentinel part of the story.
     
  14. bored One Sexy Lemur

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    The Sentinel story-line leads into the overall climax.
     
  15. bored One Sexy Lemur

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    "Lights out!" cried a guard. Sure enough, the lights in one of the wings of the mutant prison on Madripoor went off. It would have been extremely cold, if not for Shiro Yashida.

    "If the guards discover you, you're dead," a woman who spoke with a gentle British accent said.

    "Don't worry about that," Shiro, aka the Japanese hero Sunfire, replied. "I can take care of myself, and the rest of you, if need be."

    "Then how were you caught?" the Brit asked.

    "Bad luck, I suppose," answered Sunfire. "I can proudly say that I did not fall easily."

    "Cut the blaze!" someone shouted. Sunfire extinguished the flame, and several mutants backed away from him.

    A guard with a flashlight walked past the pen.

    "I smell smoke," he said, standing outside. "Someone trying to light a fire?"

    Nobody said anything.

    "Don't make me call for back-up."

    'Back-up' meant a Sentinel, one of the few still on the island. Most of the mutants were still deathly afraid of them. One of the few that wasn't was Sunfire, but he didn't feel that it would be worth putting anyone else at risk.

    "I'll let you off this time," said the guard, "but no more of this bull****, you hear me? You can't touch me, but I can touch you."

    Few could see it, but he was fingering his gun.

    "Good night, then, you dirty freaks."

    Sunfire clenched his fists.

    "I don't need my powers to hurt him," he whispered.

    I doubt you would, being a former military man, came the British woman's voice, in Shiro's head.

    A telepath, Sunfire observed. I was getting curious as to your mutation. It clearly isn't anything physical. Or is it?

    You flatter me, answered the British woman, who blushed. I hope you don't mind me going into your head too much. It's an old habit, I'm afraid.

    I will let it slide, Sunfire replied. Tell me, then, since we have this rather intimate channel open, what is your name, madame?

    Emma Frost.

    I am honored to make your acquaintance, Ms. Frost.

    "Hey, mister, the guard's gone," a girl said. Sunfire nodded, and started the fire, again.

    In the cell, specially designed to contain mutants, several people gathered around one of their own, desperate for warmth, and comfort in a terrifying situation.



    "So what do you say?" asked Wolverine.

    "No," Deadpool replied, frankly. "I'm not a team player, Logan. And I'm not really X-Man material. I'm still going to help out with this mission, but I'm not joining your team."

    "Your friend might be," Wolverine pointed out. Deadpool hung his perpetually-masked head, and sighed.

    "Is she?" he asked, rhetorically. "I'll help you as long as Terry helps you. I'm still not joining."

    "So what if she does?"

    "Then I'll manage."

    "Wade, I don't know what it's like between you two, but-"

    "Don't think about it, Logan. It's a complicated issue."

    Deadpool started for the stairs, going to find his friend. Logan followed him, and the two both saw the creature at the top of the stair-case.

    "One of them got away from me!" Deadpool shouted, reaching for his gun.

    "Well then, let's do something about it," Wolverine snarled, popping his claws.

    "Wait!" came the voice of Shadowcat, who ran down the hall. "Wait, it's okay!"

    "Hey, never get between a killer and the feeding of his ego," said Deadpool.

    "Hold up, Wade," Wolverine said, retracting his claws. "Kitty, I thought you were keeping that thing in your room."

    "I was," said Shadowcat, racing up the stairs. Lockheed flew into her arms. "He's not one of the ones that attacked the mansion, Mr. Deadpool. I found him a few months ago. His name is Lockheed, like the planes."

    "I guessed as much," said Deadpool, holstering his gun. "I suppose there's some explanation as to why you have one as a pet, but who has time for that?" He hurried up the steps, and passed them. Lockheed lept from Shadowcat's arms, and followed him.

    "Lockheed, no!"

    The small dragon opened his mouth, and a large flame poured from his mouth, engulfing Deadpool.

    "Aw, dammit!" Deadpool shouted. "Okay, stop, drop, and roll!"

    He fell to the floor, and tried to smother the flames.

    "Bad boy, Lockheed!" Shadowcat yelled, grabbing her pet. The smoke detector went off. "John!"

    Pyro burst from his room, not wearing a shirt.

    "You're supposed to stay in uniform," Wolverine smirked. Pyro glared at him, and dispersed the flames covering Deadpool.

    "What in blazes happened to you?" Pyro asked. "Oh, eh, no pun intended, mate."

    "Falcore here decided he didn't like me," answered Deadpool. "Now, my suit's flame ******ent, but that still hurt like hell!" He pulled his sword out.

    "You watch it," said Pyro. "Little bugger was probably just scared."

    "For good reason," Deadpool responded. He stormed off, in a huff.

    "Like I said, stay in uniform," Wolverine said to Pyro. He sniffed the air, and smiled. "That goes for you too, Sarah!"

    Everyone looked to Pyro's room. Shadowcat tried to surpress a giggle.

    Marrow emerged, having clearly scrambled to dress herself. Pyro went back into his room to get his shirt.

    "Mum's the word," said Wolverine, as he walked away.

    Shadowcat and Marrow shared an awkward look. When Wolverine was out of sight, they both laughed.
     
  16. The Squirrel Le Rongeur

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    I like Deadpool.
     
  17. bored One Sexy Lemur

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    The first Sentinel landed on the lawn of the Institute at dawn. Three others joined it in moments. The outer defense systems sprang on, and several traps occupied the mammoth robots. Every few minutes, more Sentinels arrived, and the Institute's defenses were taxed to further limits. The guns hidden in various places were either blown up by Sentinels, or, more commonly, burnt out from over-use. After thirty minutes of mechanical chaos outside, the Sentinels stood victorious. Bastion joined them. He appeared pleased.



    "I can't get a response," said Forge, frustrated. "I've checked our comm. system, and it's in working order."

    "So they hit the military, first," lamented Professor Xavier. "How near is the nearest military base you can contact."

    Forge checked the massive computer that the War Room had been built around.

    "Tennesse," he replied. "Looks like they've deployed fighter jets, but to other bases around here. As far as I can tell, every military installation on the northern East coast is being attacked."

    "Ambitious," commented Magneto, who stood with his helmet under his arm. "So your precious human friends aren't going to help us, Charles. What do you say, other than we stand and fight?"

    "Wait, Erik," Xavier ordered. "Just wait."

    "I'm getting something!" Forge said, suddenly. The others quieted down. Forge activated a distress signal.

    Hello? This is... We've recieved..... Fuzz broke up the signal repeatedly.

    "This the Xavier Institute!" Forge shouted into the radio. "We're under attack!"

    Can't hear.... All bases und.... Unable.... We've barely survived.

    "I don't think we can exactly count on them, now can we?" said Magneto. He was almost gloating.

    "Erik, this is my establishment, and I will say when we confront the Sentinels. Forge, stay in contact with this base. Erik, come with me. We're going outside."

    Professor Xavier left the room. Magneto turned to Mystique.

    "Watch them closely," he said. Mystique nodded.



    "Bell, who the hell were you talking to?" A senior officer shouted. "We need communication with the other bases!"

    "I got a distress signal," the communications specialist said. "The Xavier Institute."

    "That mutant hole? That's what you were tying up a frequency for?!"

    "I'm sorry, Captain."

    "Well, stow it, and stay focused! Whatever that thing is out there, I don't trust it, even if it did smack the robots around."

    A last Sentinel fled from the base in Vermont. It was pursued by a glowing being. Some kind of tentacle flicked out, wrapped around the Sentinel's waist, and slammed it to the ground.



    Professor Xavier and Magneto faced the Sentinels who had arrived at the Institute.

    "Charles Xavier," said Bastion.

    "Professor Charles Xavier. What is your business here?"

    "Don't make me laugh, Charles. You know why I'm here. Magneto, it's lovely to see you again. Did I get to introduce myself last time? It's Bastion."

    "Trask's old pet got a new face?" Xavier asked. "Interesting. That doesn't give you the right to trespass on my property."

    "A mutant property owner?" Bastion asked. "Unfortunate. Surrender yourself, and all you house, to me this instant."

    "Leave these grounds, or be destroyed."

    "You've made your choice, then," Bastion said. "Destroy them all!"

    "Erik, you may do as you please," said the Professor. "I'll summon the X-Men."
     
  18. bored One Sexy Lemur

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    Sentinels fell to the ground. The glowing being landed, and seemed to form a humanoid shape. It grabbed the damaged head of a Sentinel, which began functioning as it was handled.

    "Harass me again, and all like you shall be crushed!" the being roared. It dropped the head, and disappeared.



    A Sentinel passed Bastion on the lawn. Magneto raised his arm, and propelled it backwards. More Sentinels arrived.

    "More back-up?" Magneto asked. "Why would you need that, Bastion? That was your name, correct? Bastion."

    "Your arrogance is your downfall," said Bastion.

    The X-Men began arriving on the scene, a few at a time. Magneto held up a hand, signaling for them to stay back.

    "Bastion," he said, with a sneer, "you intrigue me. You're no living being, are you? You're just one of these programmed monstrosities. I've already been told as much."

    Bastion's face tightened.

    "I am still more human than an abomination like you could ever be," he said.

    "Maybe," said Magneto, "in the sense that you are too easy to distract."

    The ground rumbled. Sentinels stumbled, and most took to the air. Avalance appeared behind many of them, causing tremors to force them into the air.

    "What does this matter?" Bastion asked, levitating.

    "It's more fun now, that's all," Magneto said, with a smirk. He rose into the air, and his face became very serious. "And the crashes will be so much more spectacular."

    He roared, spread his limbs out, and emmitted a tremendous blast of energy. The Sentinels around him plummeted to the earth.

    "Finish them!" Magneto screamed. "This one is mine."

    Suddenly worried, Bastion balled his fists, and charged Magneto. The two began an arial battle, where Bastion attempted physically harming the mutant, who was too quick in flight to be hit.

    On the ground, the X-Men and Brotherhood attacked the other Sentinels. Those who'd been damaged by Magneto's electro-magnetic pulse were pulverized first. Those who could fly joined Magneto in the air, keeping other, still intact Sentinels, from disrupting his fight with Bastion.

    Colossus, on the ground, ripped apart a Sentinel that had been flailing on the ground. Every piece he took off, he flung at another monsterous robot, knocking them off balance, or badly damaging them.

    Bishop encouraged several Sentinels to chase him. When they attacked at range, their blasts had no effect, and only did what the mutant had intended, they fed his power. After toying around for so long, he began firing back, obliterating his pursuers. As more closed around him, Wolverine and Deadpool lept into the fray, providing distractions so that he could have more shots.

    In the air, Magneto locked Bastion into place with his powers.

    "You will never win!" Bastion eeked out.

    "Will I?" asked Magneto. "How unfortunate." He forced Bastion's metallic insides to squeeze together. As he was about to make the finishing move, a Sentinel grabbed him by the torso.

    "No," said the freed Bastion, "you won't."

    He pulled back a fist, and punched Magneto in the gut.

    "This is much more fulfilling than simply incinerating you, I must admit."

    He pulled his fist back again. Something sharp hit it once, and then another time. Bastion saw several metal objects that looked like knives sticking out from his wrist.

    "How do you like them apples?!" cried Angel, swooping over Bastion's head, soaring past, and decapitating the Sentinel restraining Magneto with one of his wings. Magneto slammed Bastion to the ground.

    "I have had enough of you!" he screamed. He focused his energy, and prepared a final attack. As he was about to strike, something hit him hard in the back. Magneto plummeted to the ground, with somebody on top of him.

    "Sorry there, old boss," came a familiar, English voice.

    "Toad," Magneto gasped.

    "Yeah, it's me, and I've got a much better job now."

    Magneto felt himself get flipped over. His former lieutenant hovered over him. His face seemed to be covered in markings that Magneto couldn't identify.

    "How could you? You were my most loyal soldier!" Magneto moaned, trying to comprehend what was happening through the pain.

    "He's made quite the choice, hasn't he?" said Bastion, getting up.

    "Oh, bugger off!" Toad snapped. He turned, and flicked his tongue out. There was a loud crack as it whipped Bastion's neck, severing his head. Sparks flew from his neck.

    "How?" Magneto gasped. Toad pressed down on his chest.

    "Apocalypse gave me a better deal, and a lot more power," Toad said. "All I had to do was be one of his Horsemen. You're gonna see a lot of us soon."

    The X-Men and Brotherhood began closing in on Toad and Magneto. Toad opened his mouth, and his tongue shout out again, making a wide circle, which kept the mutants back.

    "I'll see you buggers later!" he shouted, leaping off of Magneto. "I've got places to be!"

    Toad lept far out of sight.

    "Erik!" cried Mystique, rushing to her leader's side. He moaned in pain.

    "Kurt, get him inside," ordered Iceman. Nightcrawler did as told. "Everyone else, let's finish the rest of these monsters off before something like that happens again."




    The glowing being was finally alone. He tried to reconcile the recent events that had transpired in his mind, but found that he couldn't. He couldn't even remember who he was. As he wandered through a field, three figures appeared in front of him.

    "This is him," said Sabretooth. Mastermind and Lady Deathstrike both nodded.

    "Apocalypse will be pleased," said Deathstrike.

    "Apocalypse?" asked the being.

    "The first and the last," said Mastermind. "En Sabbah Nur, the first mutant, and the greatest. He is our master, we are his Horsemen.

    The being seemed to be flooded with understanding.

    "Lies," he growled. "All lies!"

    The three Horsemen lept upon him, and he repelled thim with ease.

    "Return to your master, and tell him he will fail!" said the glowing being. "I know his deception, and I will not stand for it!"
     
  19. bored One Sexy Lemur

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    Magneto lay in the infirmary, his pride as damaged as his ribs.

    "Don't try and speak with him," Professor Xavier advised. Mystique glared at him.

    "Why should it be your choice?" she asked, angrily.

    "It isn't," Xavier replied. "He's not in the physical condition for conversation now. If he was, I'm sure he'd just give you the same thing about how foolish I am, or how evil the humans are, or Toad's betrayal, or something of that nature. He's not the most original speaker."

    "Watch what you say," Mystique growled. She moved directly in front of the Professor, and leaned over him.

    "I've known Erik for far longer than you," Xavier said. "Don't argue this with me."

    Iceman and Angel entered the infirmary. Bobby carried an envelope in his hand.

    "Got something for you," he said. Professor Xavier took the envelope, and examined the contents.

    "The Friends of Humanity," he muttered. "Interesting."

    "Henry Gyrich?" Mystique asked.

    "You've met him?"

    "I'm aware of him."

    "Well," said the Professor, "it seems that he and his group are the ones responsible for the Sentinels. And we even have a location."

    "Madripoor," Iceman said.

    "Another long plane ride, then?" asked Mystique.

    "What makes you think you're going there?" Angel asked.

    "Warren, please," interrupted Professor Xavier. "Mystique, you, Rogue, and Avalanche will in fact be joining us. I have a feeling any of your comrades from the Brotherhood whom we may encounter may be more receptive to your presence than ours, especially with Magneto so incapacitated. We'll leave in a day's time."

    "Every mutant that has been captured could be dead by then," Mystique said. "If we leave, we leave now!"

    "Silence!" Xavier snapped. "You do not make the decisions, Mystique. Not for me, not for my X-Men, and especially not at my Institute! You take orders, as long as you are here, just as you did from Magneto."

    "I'm not afraid of you," Mystique said, lowering herself over Professor Xavier. Iceman grabbed her, and threw her to the ground.

    "You should be," he said.

    Angel unfolded his metallic wings enough to look threatening, as Iceman's body changed into its namesake ice form. Mystique clenched her fists.

    "You do not ever touch me," she said, getting up.

    "Tell your two young charges of what is going to happen," said Xavier. "And remember, if you lie to anyone here, I'll know it."



    Logan sat on the side of the bed. Ororo tugged at his shoulder.

    "What's bothering you?" she asked.

    "Alot of things," Logan answered. "But what's new?"

    "Come on," Ororo prodded. Starlight filled part of the room, casting shadows of trees outside.

    "Something about all this feels wrong to me," Logan said. "We didn't have a lot of trouble against the Sentinels, did we?"

    "Some people did," Ororo pointed out. "Not everyone is a trained fighter. We've had experience, but we don't always know what we're doing."

    "You do," Logan said. "You may not admit it, but you're good at what you do."

    "There isn't a good way to argue when you put it like that," said Ororo. She got up and sat next to him. "I don't like being some kind of soldier."

    "Give it time," Logan said. "It grows on you. Besides, I don't think any of us would object to rescuing people."

    "No."

    Ororo leaned on Logan's side, and gazed out the window. Outside, clouds began forming.

    "You doin' that?" Logan asked. Ororo nodded.

    "It seems right," she said. "I'm not getting best feeling about tomorrow, either. You did mean tomorrow, right?"

    "Yeah. I get the idea that we don't know what we're in for tomorrow."

    "Well, good, then," said Ororo, sighing. "It'll be exciting."



    Outside, in the light rain, a single piece of a demolished Sentinel vanished, followed by another, and another. Every few seconds, another was gone, eventually leaving only the remains of Bastion. Finally, he was gone as well.
     
  20. bored One Sexy Lemur

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    Apocalypse stared into Sabretooth's eyes. His small legion of followers watched intently, trying to pick up on what he was doing. After several minutes, it was suggested that they leave, and give their master his space to work with. Spiral headed for the garden, followed by Omega Red.

    "What do you think he's doing?" she asked, sitting down. Red shrugged.

    "He is not happy," he said. "This, I can tell."

    "Red, what's your real name?" Spiral asked.

    "Arkady. Why?"

    "I wanted to know. I don't like all the nicknames. That British guy's got the right idea," Spiral explained. "I'd tell you mine, if I knew it."

    "You still have no memory of who you are?" Omega Red asked.

    "No." Spiral sighed, and gazed at the Russian mutant. He looked at her, and they inched closer together. "You're the only one here who's really been my friend, you know that?"

    "The others do keep their distance," said Omega Red.

    Spiral wrapped two of her arms around his neck and leaned in close.

    "Getting comfortable?" came the voice of Mr. Sinister.

    "Is there a problem?" asked Omega Red.

    "Don't get too close," said Sinister. "Our master does not look kindly on his followers being too... distracted."

    There was a roar inside. Sabretooth came flying through the door, and into the garden. He got up, snarled, and pounced on Spiral. She screamed as he dug his claws into her skin.

    "Stop this!" Omega Red screamed. He released the tentacles from his hands, and gripped Sabretooth with them, wrenching him away from Spiral. "I should kill you here!"

    "Put him down," said Apocalypse, standing in the doorway. "We have no more need of him, but that does not mean I want him dead."

    "I do," said Omega Red. "He has earned it many times over in my eyes."

    "I'll be okay, Arkady," said Spiral, who struggled to stand up.

    "He antagonized me before this," Omega Red seethed.

    "All in good time," said Apocalypse. With a motion of his hand, Sabretooth disappeared. "I doubt that will be the last you see of him."

    Omega Red turned to face Apocalypse.

    "I joined your followers with the guarantee that I could have revenge on someone for the murder of a friend," he said. "The murderer was him!"

    "The world is not mine, yet," said Apocalypse. "You have not earned that reward, and won't until it is. In the meantime, I don't want this to be a problem for you."

    "Lord Apocalypse," said Sinister, trying to change the subject. "What of your other Horsemen?"

    "They will still suffice," Apocalypse answered. "And I now have a new fourth. Sauron and Sugarman are currently preparing him. Come, Essex, and I'll show you."

    The two left the garden, which was now a mess. Omega Red took a deep breath, held it, and sat down.

    "Arkady-" Spiral started.

    "Arkady Rossovich is dead. I am only Omega Red now."



    Sabretooth awoke, surrounded by curious people.

    "What the hell?" he muttered.

    "He's awake!" someone yelled.

    "Out of the way!" came a familiar voice. Wolverine pushed his way through the crowd. Bishop followed.

    "That's just perfect," said Sabretooth.

    "Hey, Vic," Wolverine said. "Decide to join the party?"

    "Always the joker, Logan," Sabretooth replied. "Where the hell am I?"

    "Xavier Institute, where do you think?"

    "How'd I get here?"

    "Beats me. Word has it you just sort of... appeared."

    Sabretooth got to his feet.

    "How do I get out?"

    "You won't need to," somebody said.

    "Mystique? Okay, now I'm a little wierded out."

    "Come, Victor, we have much to discuss," said Mystique, grabbing him by the arm. She dragged him away from the crowd of mutants. As they were leaving, a girl shouted, and jumped on Sabretooth's back.

    "Do you know how many of my friends you killed?!" she screamed.

    Sabretooth dropped to his knees. He found his head to be in terrible pain. With all his will-power, he reached around, and grabbed the girl, ripping into her skin and tossing her across the room. The pain eased, and he stood up.

    "Who else wants it?" he asked.

    "Cut it out, Vic," said Logan. "Mystique, why don't you bring him to the infirmary?"

    Gravely, Mystique complied.

    Bishop hurried over to the injured girl, and lifted her up.

    "She's cut and banged up," he said to Wolverine, "but otherwise not seriously hurt."

    "Why's he here?" the girl asked.

    "We don't know," said Bishop. "Come on, let's get you bandaged up."

    He led her away, as several Morlocks stared.

    "Do any of you have anything better to do than stand around?" Wolverine snarled. They scattered, quickly.
     
  21. bored One Sexy Lemur

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    *bump* The glorious return of this damn story that I started a long-ass time ago!


    -----------------------


    Bishop led the young woman away from the crowd.

    "That was a hell of a stunt," he said. "What were you thinking?"

    "Why are you guys not punishing him?" she asked. "I didn't know many of those people he killed in the tunnels, but there a few that were friends of mine."

    "It's a funny time for everyone," Bishop said. "What's your name, kid?"

    "I'm not a kid, I'm seventeen," the girl said, "and it's Danielle."

    "Where you from?"

    "Colorado," Danielle answered. "I grew up on a Cheyenne reservation."

    "Cool," Bishop replied, trying to take her mind off of Sabretooth. "We've got a Cheyenne in the X-Men. He calls himself Forge. You know him?"

    "Why would I know him?" Danielle asked.

    "Oh, well, I just figured... Know what? Forget about it."

    "Sure," she said, grinning. The happy look faded as she turned her head to look behind her. "Where is he now?"

    "Forge?" Bishop asked. "Probably building a robot, or something. Technology's kind of his thing."

    "I meant Sabretooth."

    "Somewhere where he won't be a problem," Bishop said.



    The glowing being, slowly coming to resemble a person, sat on the rocks on the coast of West Virginia. Watching the waves, he wondered aloud.

    "Is it him?" he thought. "Who else could it be? But if he is free, and gathering forces, then that can only mean that-"

    An epiphany hit him, which made his blood run cold.

    "I have to hurry."



    Apocalypse studied a book Mr. Sinister provided him on the history of Madripoor with interest.

    "The machine-man said that this is where he came from, then?" he said. Sinister nodded. "Marvelous. Gather the Twelve. We must go there immediately."

    "What of the Horsemen?" Sinister asked.

    "They are no longer necessary. Let them have fun," Apocalypse ordered. "Let them loose in a major city, or throw them at those X-Men, I don't care."

    "Can I suggest, Lord En Sabbah Nur, that we bring them to Madripoor with us?" Sinister asked. "Whatever plan you have for the Twelve, it would be a shame for it to be interrupted."

    "I said to do as you please," said Apocalypse.
     
  22. bored One Sexy Lemur

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    Toad perched himself on a tree, hovering over Lady Deathstrike and Mastermind.

    "Your obedience will be rewarded," Mr. Sinister said to them. "We leave for a place called Madripoor shortly. Our master has need for the Ascended Twelve, so I will leave you, the Horsemen of Apocalypse, to your own devices."

    "What happened to Sabretooth?" asked Toad.

    "His insolence was noted, and we released him from service. He will suffer later. For now, his replacement is ready. Toad, I trust you remember Bastion?"

    The machine-man appeared next to Sinister.

    "He ain't got any hard feelings, does he?" Toad asked, glaring at the robot he'd destroyed.

    "Negative. My only concern is the will of En Sabbah Nur," said Bastion, any trace of personality gone from his voice.

    "That's good."

    "Are they ready?" came the voice of Apocalypse.

    "Yes, master," said Sinister.

    "Excellent," Apocalypse said. He waved his hand, and the Horsemen vanished. "I've changed my mind about them, Sinister."

    "What do you mean, Master?" Sinister asked.

    "I was so fond of the Horsemen idea, after what Sauron explained to me about Christian myth and the event called the apocalypse, but I've thought about it, and it seems so, so... trite."

    "I don't understand."

    "I've sent them to the island that the three mutants came from. They are, all four of them, free of my will now."

    "But Master-"

    "Do not question me!" Apocalypse roared. "Now, my Twelve, gather around your Lord and Master!"

    Eleven people walked into the yard of the Essex Estate. Sugarman, Omega Red, Spiral, Sauron, Peter Wisdom, Neal Shaara, Mesmero, and three others, a black-haired woman named Selene, a Spanish mutant named Vargas, and a grotesquely muscular mutant named Guido Carasella joined Apocalypse and Mr. Sinister.

    "It is time," Apocalypse said to his minions, the so-called 'Ascended Twelve'.



    On Avalon, the three former Horsemen of Apocalypse and the robot that was supposedly going to be their colleague landed, after being dropped out of thin air.

    "Suppress mutant activity," came a machine-like voice from the usually more articulate Bastion.

    "What the hell happened?" Mastermind asked. "Did that creep let us go?"

    "Desist," Bastion said.

    "Bugger off," Toad snapped, wipping his tongue at Bastion's neck. It had little effect. "Oh, ****."

    "Hostility noted," Bastion said. "Initiating defensive maneuvers."

    "It doesn't end," Lady Deathstrike moaned. Her finger-claws extended. "Very well. Let's dispose of this thing, and then find out where we are."

    "We're home, honey," said Mastermind. "Home's just rubble, though. God, what happened to everyone?"

    Deathstrike knocked Mastermind down, getting him out of the way of a small rocket.

    "Don't forget that!" she shrieked, leaping up from the ground, and pouncing on Bastion, plunging her claws into his chest and neck. Bastion grabbed her, and sent electricity through her adamantium-laced skeleton. She fell to the ground, convulsing.

    "Jason," Toad said.

    "Yeah, Mort?"

    "Run."

    "Agreed."
     
  23. bored One Sexy Lemur

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    It's 1:15 am where I am. I'm not tired. I just bowled the best game of my life. The girl I'm seeing is out of town. What do I do? I look through the archives, and find this unfinished project. I'm writing this installment to see if I can still do it, a serious super-hero fanfic, because I got to a point last year where I really just got tired of it. Enjoy.


    --------------------------


    Apocalypse gathered the Ascended Twelve around him.

    "Long have I waited for this moment," he said. "When I would truly be capable of taking my rightful place as ruler of this world.

    "We proudly serve you, Master," said Mister Sinister. "Now, what would you have us do."

    "I ask," replied Apocalypse, "that you give me your lives."



    The passengers of a cruise ship marveled at the site of a glowing object speeding across the Atlantic Ocean at astounding speed. Several took pictures, none of which came out correctly, and all had different ideas of what they saw. A test plane? An alien ship? Or just some showoff mutie? Nobody could agree.



    Wolverine held a guard to a wall.

    "Listen, bub, either you open that gate, or I've got friends who'll tear it down without breakin' a sweat," he growled.

    "Put me down, and I'll do it," the guard sobbed. "Just don't kill me."

    "Don't give me a reason to," Wolverine said, with a smirk.

    The guard pulled a key-card from his shirt, and used it to access a panel, on which there were several green and red buttons. He flicked the first three, and the main gate to the Madripoor complex opened.

    "'Atta boy," Wolverine said, before punching him in the forehead, knocking the guard out cold.

    "Good work, Logan," said Iceman, leading the X-Men into the compound.

    "Hey, not a problem," Logan responded. "I'm the best there is at what I do, bub."

    "And what would that be?"

    "Lookin' good," Wolverine laughed. "But I can rough someone up, too."

    Sirens blared around the team. Iceman sighed in relief, knowing that Deadpool was doing his job of disrupting the staff inside. Ahead, Magneto and the few members of his Brotherhood still free had begun wreaking havoc, while Juggernaut was rampaging through the other side of the compound.

    "Who's up for saving some mutants?" Iceman asked. "Okay, I know there's a lot of us, but can we have a hands-in-the-middle?"

    "No," Bishop said, getting chuckles from his team-mates.

    "Can't blame me for trying," Iceman said. "Follow me, everyone. Remember, alot of people are counting on us."

    Iceman clenched his fists, and his body turned to the ice form that was his trademark. He began running, then hopped into the air, and created an ice-slide, speeding towards his mission. He didn't even need to look back to know the X-Men were following. Above were the shadows of Angel and Aurora, and Storm was not far behind in the air. On the ground, Colossus bounded ahead of the pack, with Nightcrawler racing on all fours. Wolverine, Psylocke, and Pyro were behind him, with Forge, Marrow, and Shadowcat in the rear. Far back, Professor Xavier was in the Blackbird, with Siryn and Black Tom at his side.

    You're getting good at this, came the voice of Professor Xavier.

    What? Iceman asked. Someone began shooting at him, but he evaded with ease.

    Leadership. You're using your natural strengths to rally the team at a tense moment, Xavier said. They have not lost sight of the danger and the importance of this mission, but they are willing and motivated. Bobby, you've learned much in the last few months. Now, take that skill, and be a hero.

    I'll see what I can do.




    Apocalypse staggered.

    "Something is wrong," he muttered. He had put all the effort he could into tapping into all eleven of his disciples, but it did not feel like he'd siphoned off the energy he needed from them. Most lay on the ground, not moving. Apocalypse searched, and realized two were missing.

    "Show yourselves!" he roared.




    Spiral and Omega Red held each other tight.

    "It worked, Arkady," Spiral said. "I teleported us out."

    "Where are we?" Red asked.

    "Not alone."

    Both mutants jumped. The man in front of them seemed to radiate pure light, like a star. As they settled down, his light started to dim, and they could barely make out a form.

    "You-" Spiral stammered, "you found us?"

    "I found you escaping from him," said the stranger. He dimmed further. His face was eerily familiar. "You undoubtedly recognize this visage."

    "I do not understand," said Omega Red.

    "It's a trick!" Spiral yelled. She grabbed Red's arm. "Come on, we've got to get out of here!"

    "Wait!" shouted the stranger. "Please. It's taking all I can give to show you my original form. Let me explain as simply as I can."

    "You have little time," said Omega Red.

    "This form, seen when I dim my light, was my true self, stolen by an ancient rival, an evil the world has never, and will never truly see again in another," the stranger said. "It was thousands of years ago that we fought to a stalemate, and only through trickery did he position himself to be where he is now."

    "I don't understand," said Spiral, easing her grip on Omega Red's arm. "You're an enemy of Apocalypse?"

    "No," he answered. "What you must understand is this: I am the true En Sabbah Nur. I am Apocalypse."
     
  24. The Squirrel Le Rongeur

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