Title: X-Book 2: Shadows and Steel - Chapter 22: No Escape
Rating: PG-13 (violence, language)
Genre: Crossover, SPOILERS FOR X2
Summary: See Chpt 1
Disclaimer: I own nothing in regards to the Marvel characters or
any character from a previously published source portrayed in this
With the two strangers following her, Rebecca bolted through the
ruined kitchen, maneuvering around the appliances lying in twisted
almost unrecognizable shapes and the contents of the refrigerator
that had spilled out onto the floor. She reached the second
entrance to the room, when a strong hand grabbed her arm again.
"Wait," Toad hissed at her in a whisper and pulled her back.
She shook free of his hold and glared angrily.
Gambit walked up behind them, his eyes still glowing red but filled
with an amused confusion as he stepped over piles of leftover
Chinese food, donuts, pizza...and diet soda.
"We have to get out of here," she replied quietly,
"Before the rest of my house falls on us."
Rebecca began to move and Toad stood in her way, slamming on arm
against the doorway to block her exit. From the direction of the
Sentinel, they began to hear a bizarre combination of thunder and
explosions over the tearing of wood and glass as the X-Men began
their attack on the machine.
"You don't know what's out there," he argued in a low voice, "Orders
are to get out without gettin' caught."
Rebecca shook her head, and argued back, "Not my orders! I can
take care of anything that..."
"Magneto's orders!" he interrupted her, "And we're gonna follow
them! Got it?"
Rebecca looked at him with annoyance and mimicked his earlier
"Why are you whispering?" Gambit asked over another loud
crash. He struggled to keep from laughing as Toad and Rebecca
glared at him.
He supposed he should have been more frightened about his situation
(giant killer robot and all), but from the moment he met the X-Men
his life had not made sense. Why should his first mission with them
be any different?
Another explosion was then followed by a strange silence. Toad
frowned and stepped back toward the entrance to the dining room. He
pointed one finger at Rebecca and then looked at Gambit.
"You...don't let 'er go anywhere."
Gambit shrugged, draped his arm over her shoulder comically and gave
her a rough hug.
"Don't worry, mon ami," he replied with a two fingered
salute, "I'm very good at watching the ladies..."
Toad turned around and shook his head. This Cajun X-Man was either
a rookie or insane '¥Toad was not sure which one was worse.
Rebecca rolled her eyes and shrugged Gambit's arm away. She
headed towards Toad and heard Gambit chuckling, almost manically
behind her. As she approached, Toad crouched and peered carefully
out into the other room. The X-Men were circled around the machine,
which had changed shape again. His large eyes grew wider as the
mass of tentacles burst from the Sentinel's chest cavity.
Wolverine shouted a warning to his companions as the serpent-like
extensions of the machine reached for them. There were at least two
dozen, quick and agile, moving toward their targets with terrifying
Iceman held out both hands and formed a large wall of ice in front
of the machine. The tentacles impacted the frozen structure and, to
Bobby's horror, immediately began to tear it to pieces. The end
of each long strand was different, one for cutting, one for
gripping, one for heating.
Cyclops adjusted his visor to a pinpoint and began firing rapid
controlled shots at each writhing section. Almost with an
intelligence, the strands divided and began to reach for Cyclops as
well. Before he could react, they began to wind themselves around
his arms and legs, dragging him forward across the grass.
Storm went to his side, and held him firmly against the machine's
pull. One of the tentacles hit her in the neck and a sharp pain
made her cry out. Wolverine ran up to his teammates and began
slashing the tentacles, his adamantium blades easily cutting through
them. Storm and Cyclops fell to the ground, and Storm's head
lolled to one side, unconscious. Cyclops pulled the remaining
pieces from his limbs and called out her name anxiously. He touched
her neck and felt a pulse, slow but steady.
One tentacle had managed to grab Iceman by the neck, and its pointed
end jabbed into his shoulder. Bobby choked a call for help and then
his eyes closed. He fell limp and the tentacle loosed its hold and
dropped him to the ground. Wolverine ran toward the fallen boy and
the tentacle spun toward him. With a small swipe of his arm,
Wolverine cut the vicious device in two, the live half draw back
into the Sentinel and the dead end being crushed under the
X-Man's foot as he ran on.
The Sentinel began to step forward, crashing into the house and
resuming its destructive search. Wolverine grabbed Bobby by the
shoulders and pulled him out of the machine's way. Half way
across the lawn, he found Cyclops dragging Storm toward a
"What do we do now, fearless leader?" Logan asked sarcastically and
Scott glared at him.
"I'm open to any suggestions!" he shot back and then looked back
the machine, "It's looking for someone."
"Where's Magneto?" Logan asked, "He couldn't stop that thing
his power. Look," he held up one broken tentacle, "Means this shit
isn't metal. Means someone knew enough to build a robot out of
something he couldn't control."
"We have to get Bobby and Storm to the jet," Cyclops said.
Wolverine nodded and then sniffed the air, "Fast...whoever's
controllin' Mr. Roboto over there is close..."
Sid Malloy stared out at his house with horror. On the lawn, there
was a small black jet, half a dozen strange looking people, a pile
of ruined cars...and from behind the house, what looked like a
Oh, crap, Sebastian's gonna kill Becca, he thought and then his
mind continued, I shouldn't get out of the car. All normal people
would just speed off...
He then noticed in the dim light the naked blue woman on his lawn
and a hysterical giggle bubbled from his throat.
No...I should go see if Becca, and the naked chick, need my help.
He knew Rebecca's response without her even being near him,
You're so fucking chivalrous, Sid.
He waited another moment, and took a few deep breaths before opening
the car door.
A voice rang across the lawn and Sid squinted to see the speaker.
"Good evening, Mr. Malloy," Magneto called, "You may want to get out
of the road if you wish to live."
From either end of the street, groups of headlight began to surround
the block. From a short distance away, the thumping sounds of
helicopters filled the air.
"Who the hell are you?" he asked, and then jumped in surprise
as his car began to float into the air. He reached out one hand and
tried to pull it down by focusing on the glass windows and lights.
The car wavered, as if the force moving it had not expected
resistance, but the Mercedes continued to move across the front
yard. Sid focused on the glass and the windows shattered outward.
He gathered the pieces to him as his car was dropped rudely on the
barrier of automobiles.
"My name is Erik Lensherr," the voice called again, "And I'm
your sister is in great danger."
"So what else is new?" Sid replied sarcastically but moved
quickly toward the older man, "You're Magneto."
With a nod, he replied, "Yes. I'm afraid your home has been
attacked by a machine known as a Sentinel. I believe it has been
created to...collect mutants. I fear there are military forces
closing in on this vicinity. We will hold them off to give you time
Sid stared at the man with mistrust, shards of glass hovering around
him threateningly, "Why? Why would they attack us?"
Magneto's face filled with false sympathy, "Perhaps...because of
your mother is."
The younger man gaped at Magneto as he continued. A few pieces of
the broken glass fell to the ground as Sid's concentration
"I knew her," he continued, "Before you were born. There
are many who sought to capture her in the past. Considering the
temperament of certain parties towards mutants, say the SHOP for
example, they may try to use you and your sister to find her
From behind Sid's back, Mystique was staring wide-eyed at Magneto
as he spoke. The words were not entirely lies; however, Erik
Lensherr knew how to use the truth, in the right words, to his
advantage. He simply did not tell Sid that the Brotherhood had
initiated tonight's visit with the Malloy family.
"When we learned of the approaching danger," Magneto continued, "We
dispatched to warn you. I'm afraid, we were too late..."
Sid looked toward his ruined house and Magneto studied his
expression. It faded from angry, to concerned, to something quite
sad. Inwardly, Magneto knew the young man would not entire trust
them, but he believed them.
Mom, Sid thought sadly, I guess I'm not the only one who thinks
you're still alive...
Magneto allowed the young man a moment to take in the truth of the
situation and waited for him to reply.
"Where's my sister?" Sid finally said, and met Magneto's gaze
firmly, "If you mean to help us, we'll fight with you."
Magneto heard the screech of tires and turned to face the
"Go...now..." he said to Sid, "She is in the house, with another of
our people. Find them...and come back to me."
Sid nodded and ran toward the house, no longer doubting Magneto's
kind sincerity. He was not a demon or vampire, after all. He was
just another human being, threaten by the same people who drove
their mother into hiding. And, Sid would not let his mother...or
his sister...fall into the SHOP's hands again.
As Toad stepped backward into the kitchen, he bumped into Rebecca
sitting behind him and sneered at her viciously.
"Bloody hell!" he shouted, and then glared at Gambit, "I told you
not to let her go anywhere."
Gambit shrugged, "She didn't. She is here."
Rebecca raised her arms into the air exasperated, "Hello! My
house! Yet, NOW...more of an asylum than EVER! And that's
With a frustrated growl, Toad stood and began to drag Rebecca toward
the other door. Gambit followed after them and heard the growing
sound of metal scraping against metal.
"Stop it!" Rebecca shouted, and a wave of heat rolled down
her limbs. Toad hissed in pain as the heat reached his hand.
"We have to go...NOW!" he shouted, and the scraping noises
reached the inner walls of the house.
"What's going on out there?" she shouted again, and before Toad
could reply, the kitchen wall began to shake and splinter.
From the other side, the tentacles began to snake through the open
doorway and reach for them. Rebecca screamed as the giant hands of
the Sentinel tore apart the room and more tentacles poured from its
The three mutants ran toward the front hallway, and the writhing
appendages followed. Gambit felt something cold wrap around his
legs and he fell to the floor with a cry of surprise. He grabbed
the machine and focused his energy through his hands. The tentacle
began to glow with power and he released it. A moment later, the
result explosion destroyed several of the reaching limbs, but also
scorched one of his ankles.
At the same time, Rebecca was shoved forward out of one
path, and turned to see the machine wrap around Toad's waist. He
kicked at the machine futilely, unable to hit the writhing strand
with the full force of his legs. Rebecca ran up to him and pulled
him backward. The strand yanked at him and she lost her grip. A
new mass of tentacles crashed through the ceiling and wrapped around
Rebecc's lower arms.
Big mistake, she thought as the power leapt in defense against the
danger. She reached upward and a small ball of fire burst from her
palm. The tentacle holding her disintegrated and she directed her
outstretched hand toward Gambit and Toad.
Two more fireballs connected with the mass of machines and destroyed
most of them. Before she could draw it back, the remaining walls
began to burn and the front door blew off its hinges. Toad slammed
one powerful leg down on a remaining piece and it shattered.
"Becca!" Sid's voice called from outside and she felt relief wash
through her, dampening the fire within.
"Sid! In here!" she called, "We're coming out..."
Rebecca did not get to finish the statement. As her back was
turned, a new group of tentacles, twice as many as before, rushed up
the hall and attacked them.
Three snaking limbs wrapped around her shoulders and she screamed
again. Gambit was pushing himself up the hall with his unwounded
leg, and was also caught by the machines. A larger arm reached for
him and injected Gambit in the arm with the same substance that had
knocked out Iceman and Storm.
Toad leapt toward the front door and landed on one squirming arm.
Again, the machine did not snap or bend, but shattered. He felt new
tentacles wrapping around his legs and he tumbled next to Rebecca,
the wind knocked out of his lungs. He was pulled backward and
Rebecca grabbed him by one arm. He looked up in surprise before a
needle hit him in the back. Before closing his eyes, he felt her
holding his hand tightly and saw her reaching her other hand back
toward the front door.
Why doesn't the bloody woman just let me go? He thought before
passing into darkness.
Sid was running toward the house, and reached for his sister's
A sharp pain stabbed into Rebecca's neck and her arm dropped as
she fell unconscious.
Her brother's hand only grazed her fingers as she was pulled away.
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