Title: X-Book 3: Within the Storm - Chapter Ten: Shrieks
Rating: PG-13 (violence, language)
Genre: Crossover, SPOILERS FOR X2
Summary: see prologue for book 3
Disclaimer: I own nothing in regards to the Marvel characters or
any character from a previously published source portrayed in this
Reviews: Any feedback would be great and is appreciated!
Through the dark tunnels of the underground compound, a dark force
made its way towards the mutant cells at an incredible speed. It
moved on the air, and the scattered molecules of water turned to ice
as it passed. Frost gathered along the walls and floor, and
mechanical devices struggled to function as their wires and circuits
cracked in the cold.
Outside along the mountain, the snow had begun to fall heavily,
isolating the compound and preventing any other intrusion from the
outside world. There were other mutants here already, attempting in
vain to recover those taken by Stryker's machine.
As the force reached the final hallway before the cellblock, the
form of a man stepped out of its shadow. He was tall, wearing a
long dark coat and strolled along casually, his dark cane tapping
harshly against the cold floor.
When he reached the hall of cells, a dark frown fell across his
face. The door leading into the secured section was open, and an
unnatural warmth lingered in the air.
He paused before continuing on, and stared at the open door with
Stryker walked around the control room proudly, watching as his
months of planning began to unfold.
The Sentinel had functioned above expectations. Magneto was now
within the compound. Stryker's arsenal of mutant weapons was
set, ready to destroy the intruders, even if it meant destroying
themselves. His human soldiers were equipped with technology that
kept Xavier from interfering. The prisoners, the price for
Stryker's revenge, were boxed and ready for delivery to the
On the large monitor before him, Stryker watched the five mutants of
Systems Operations fall into place. On screens to the left and
right, he watched the X-Men and the Brotherhood approach the inner
sanctum where they would destroy each other.
"Sir?" a soldier below him called, "The two mutants from
the Brotherhood have turned around. They are heading in the
direction of Xavier's men instead of heading inward..."
Stryker smiled confidently, "Don't worry about them. If they
kill each other before our five boys get a chance to play, so be it.
Where is Magneto?"
"Still moving inward," the soldier replied, "The sentries
have stayed clear and he has met no resistance."
"Excellent," he said, "Contact the troops in the upper
levels, make sure the other mutants, his or Xavier's, are kept
"Yes, sir," the soldier replied and then activated a
communication channel, "Sector twelve...this is
Stryker walked over to a different control station and put a hand on
the back of the operator's chair.
"How is our other special boy doing?" Stryker asked. The
soldier in the chair glanced up at the general, and was slightly
unnerved by Stryker's expression, a wide grin and his eyes unseen
behind his glasses reflecting the light of the monitors.
"Weinberg is still in stasis," the soldier replied, "We
will deactivate the neuralizer cap as soon as Magneto is in
Stryker stood tall again, with his shoulders back in confident
satisfaction, a fallen man drawn up again to see his lost vision
"Sir?" the first soldier called again, and Stryker glanced
over at him, "There's no response from the guards in sector
"Then radio up to sector thirteen and tell them to get twelve off
their asses..." the general shot back angrily.
"I have, sir," the soldier replied, "They're not
Stryker sighed with frustration, "Bring both sectors up on the
A new image filled the large screen, and the bustling activity in
the room fell silent. The bodies of three soldiers lay in a heap on
a hallway floor. The images from the security cameras were quite
clear and in color, and the crimson stains on the floor could not be
confused as anything other than blood.
A moment later, the shot of the next sector appeared, and displayed
similar mayhem. The guards had been mauled and unceremoniously left
in a pile on the floor. Stryker ground his teeth together furiously.
"You see..." he growled, "This is what mutants do...This
is why we..."
He paused and narrowed his eyes.
"Zoom in..." he said, "Here..."
The solder glanced up at him with quiet dismay but did as he was
ordered. He focused the camera in on one of the bodies, which grew
before them on the screen.
"Right there..." Stryker said, tapping on gloved finger on
the screen, "Closer..."
The soldier swallowed a grimace and focused in again on his dead
compatriot. The image on the screen was gruesome, and the others in
the room shifted and glanced at each other in horror. But Stryker
was not concerned with the body in particular, but the wall just
There was a mark, sign of the struggle. Five claw marks, slashing
deeply into the wall. Stryker had assumed the soldiers had been
killed by the mutant Sabertooth, or possible the Wolverine, however,
he knew his creations when he saw them...and he knew what their
attacks looked like.
"Impossible," he breathed quietly. She could not have
survived...but of course, he had survived so why not the Lady. As
he knew first hand, there were other forces at work at Alkalai Lake
that day than just Xavier and Mutant 143.
A shriek rose through the compound then, an inhuman scream
reverberating through the walls, shaking the very foundations of the
Stryker's eyes grew wide, and the color drained from his face.
The men around him automatically went on guard and looked around the
shaking room with controlled fright.
The shriek came again, echoing as if the source of the noise was
"No..." Stryker said, and shoved his way to the control
With surprising strength, he lifted an operator from his seat and
shoved him out of the way as he sat down. His fingers pounded on
the keyboard, until he activating the camera in the control room for
the mutant cells. The image was blurred by a red stain on the
camera's lens, but the destruction in the room was obvious.
A few more taps on the keys, and a new shot appeared. The room
lacked the bloody mess of the previous sectors. It was dark and
completely empty. A mutant cell...without its mutant prisoners.
"No..." he growled again, slamming his fists down on the
controls and standing quickly.
"Assemble your men," he shouted at one commander, "Find
them! Take them alive!"
The commander nodded, but looked uncertain and he and several others
headed out of the room.
Stryker's hands were still clenched into fists, his own blood
dripping from his knuckles from cuts made by the broken control
"What about Magneto and the other mutants, sir?" another
Stryker seethed with fury and a mad smiled spread once again over
"We continue on as planned..." he said in a strangely calm
voice, "Prepare Weinberg for use. Get him to the front
chamber...keep out of sight of Xavier..."
"And..." Stryker said, "Tell the Systems Ops boys...they
can go play..."
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