X-Book 1: New Allies New Enemies - Chapter 21 - More Questions Than
Summary: (See Book 1: Prologue)
Disclaimer: I own nothing associated with characters from the Marvel
universe or any previously published work.
Author's Note: As I pull more crossovers into this story, I'll
restate that I own none of them. These are just my own ramblings
and expression in appreciation for stories and movies I've
I just want to see what happens when they're all thrown into the
blender and someone hits `purée.' Dammit...now I want a
"Systems Operations Incorporated," Xavier said as he stared
down at the aged document, "That is a name I have not heard in a
The Professor tapped his fingers on the armrest of his wheel chair.
He was examining the paper under a large projection lamp, which also
scanned the information into the computer for further analysis.
Logan stood to his left with his arms folded across his broad
chest. Scott and Storm were sitting at opposing consoles, tapping
quickly at their keyboards.
"So...you know what it is then?" Logan asked with a deep
frown, "That place I found, you've heard of it before..."
"Oh, yes," Xavier replied, "As would any stock market
investor from twenty-five or thirty years ago. It was a corporation
that specialized in chemical and plastics manufacturing...at least,
to the public. It was widely suspected that the company also
developed and sold weapons...and not only to the American
"What kind of weapons?" Logan asked, flexing one hand and
feeling the metal blades against the bones of his wrist. Xavier
turned his chair and glanced up at him.
"Human weapons..." he replied honestly, and then explained,
"Fifty years ago, the government created a new branch called the
Department of Scientific Investigations. Its primary purpose was
for the advancement of scientific research in all fields from
medical to aviation. However, as the `mutant phenomenon'
began to gain public interest, a new facility was built specifically
for studies of the human mind. Its nickname was the SHOP..."
Scott frowned and glanced at the Professor, "I thought that was
an urban legend...the only place I've ever heard about the SHOP
was on those late night `unexplained mysteries' shows..."
Xavier nodded knowingly, "A public perception that was
purposefully created. When the SHOP facilities were destroyed,
which was nearly forty years ago, the evidence of what had once been
happening there was quickly disposed of, and what better place to
hide the truth but in an `urban legend.' Common public
knowledge but not publicly believed."
"What did happen there, Professor?" Storm asked.
"Essentially," Xavier explained, "The scientists there
discovered a chemical that activated a dormant mutant gene,
typically enhancing it to a point that use of one's abilities
actually deteriorated the mind itself. They called it the `Lot
Program,' and began with twelve test subjects, all of which
eventually went mad or were killed..."
"And what does this `SHOP' have to do with the documents
I found?" Logan interrupted quickly.
"After the SHOP was destroyed," Xavier continued, "The
`Lot Program' was abandoned...until certain individuals
associated with Systems Operations realized how lucrative the
development of human weapons could be...especially considering how
quickly governments around the world were searching for ways to
control the `mutant problem.' What better way to deal with
mutants but with their own powerful mutant weapons."
Logan let out a disgusted and angry sigh and paced around the room.
The memories of his fight with the clawed woman at Alkalai Lake
floated through his mind. Mutant weapons...how many others were
"Why would they continue the program if all the original subjects
died?" Storm asked, a strange coldness filling her eyes.
"Because the `Lot Program' was not considered a
failure," Xavier said darkly, "The subjects did show enhanced
mental abilities and some did live past the original
"Is this still going on?" Logan interrupted again, and Xavier
was patient with the man's anger, "Is this company still
doing this `Lot' shit?"
Xavier shook his head, "No, not for at least twenty-five years,
as is evident by the facility you found, Logan. The Systems
Operations main offices were destroyed in a similar manner as the
SHOP facilities. After that, there were very few organizations,
whether through government or private funding, interested in
developing living mutant weapons."
"How was it destroyed?" Logan asked.
"By fire," Xavier replied, "A very controlled, very
"By a mutant..." Storm said quietly.
"Yes, I believe so..." Xavier said.
"Where did you learn all this, Professor?" Scott asked,
"How come you've never told us about this?"
Xavier smiled sadly, "I learned about the `Lot Program'
about thirty years ago...when I worked with an old friend of mine in
"Magneto?" Logan asked firmly, wanting to confirm who
Xavier's `old friend' was.
Xavier nodded, "Yes. When Erik and I were younger, we were
associated with a watch group of a sort, which was based in London.
There, we were able to monitor the increasing rate of mutant
activity around the world and locate those in danger. It was there
that we developed the first prototype for Cerebro."
Xavier glanced around at the others, who were watching him intently.
"With that prototype," he continued, "I located the
signature of a very powerful mutant traveling through the middle of
the United States. When Erik and I were sent to meet this young
woman, we began discovering the truth about the SHOP and the
`Lot' experiments. After she told us her story, she
disappeared, and I have never been able to locate her again. Erik
was so disturbed by her revelations that he tried to convince our
`Council' to take action against those organizations who were
using mutants unwillingly in such a horrific manner."
Xavier looked down sadly, "However, they refused to interfere
with anything associated with the `mutant phenomenon,'
considering it not to be of their concern or their
"I guess that didn't sit well with Magneto," Scott
"Indeed," Xavier agreed, "To say he was dissatisfied with
their response would be quite an understatement."
Storm frowned and shook her head, "But, you said you learned all
this from a young woman..."
"Yes," Xavier said, "She was barely twenty when I met
"So, say she's in her late-thirties or early forties
now," Storm continued, "How did she know so much about what
had happened at the SHOP? She would have only been a child when it
Xavier sighed, "Because her parents were two of the original test
subjects of the `Lot Program.' As far as I know, she is the
sole living product of those experiments...if she is still
"And she had her own gifts?" Scott asked and Xavier nodded.
"Oh, yes," he said, "Extremely powerful gifts...which she
was learning to repress due to their destructiveness."
"And they were after her..." Logan said, "Right?
That's why she ran again..."
Xavier nodded solemnly, "First, the SHOP, then Systems
Operations. She was a weathered traveler for one so young, and I
don't think even Erik could have kept her from running again."
"And you have no idea where she might be?" Logan asked.
"None," Xavier replied, "As I've said, the project
was abandoned by all those involved and it's been nearly
twenty-five years since our first and only meeting."
Logan frowned, "Could it be possible...that someone is looking
for her again?"
Xavier looked at Logan curiously, wondering what had prompted the
"Back at that compound," Logan continued, "It looked like
somebody had been there before me. Recently. Doors smashed in, the
file room had been torn apart, most of the equipment destroyed, but
by the way the rest of the place looked I don't think it was done
by the ones who worked there. Nothing else looked like it had been
Xavier frowned thoughtfully, "I suppose it is possible. Was
there any thing that could have given proof as to whom had been
"Yeah," Logan said, and then sighed (which sounded like a
quiet growl) before speaking again, "The walls...the metal
walls...looked like they had been clawed..."
He clenched his fists before continuing.
"...five clean marks...like Stryker's personal assistant back
at Alkalai Lake."
Scott raised his eyebrows but his face was grim, "You mean that
woman who attacked me at Magneto's cell? Do you think it could
Logan scoffed rudely, but spoke softly, "Only if it was a
Xavier gazed at him intently, knowing enough of what happened to
Logan in Stryker's base to understand what he meant. But, was it
possible she survived both the fight with Logan and the flood? It
did seem impossible. However, she had possessed the same healing
powers as Logan. Could it be her...or could there be still others
more who were also subjected to Stryker's experiments?
"How long ago would you say the previous break in had occurred?"
Logan shrugged, "Only a month or two, but the scent was
"Could it have been prior to the events of eight months ago?"
"No," Logan replied and then repeated thoughtfully, "No,
these marks were newer than that."
Xavier sat for a moment in silent thought, considering the
possibilities carefully. The others waited respectfully for his
"Well," he began, "Let's wait and see what we restore
from the video and what other information the computer can give us
about these documents. I won't make assumptions about any
possible threats this situation may incur without more solid facts.
However, I do believe, given the history behind that facility, this
does warrant our further investigation. If there is someone out
there looking to reinitiate the `Lot Program,' we must find
out who it is
"How long do you think that'll take?" Logan said and
"It's hard to tell," She replied, "There's not
much film here that hasn't been exposed or damaged. Give me a
few hours and then check back in
Logan nodded, and turned back to Xavier. A sudden change came over
Logan's face, the hard, angry glare fading into a calm, almost
The pair headed out into the hall and back towards the elevator,
leaving Scott and Storm to decipher Logan's discoveries.
"How's the kid been?" he asked and Xavier smiled.
"She's been doing very well," the Professor replied,
"She's become quite an active member of the team. She's
been working with Storm and Dr. McCoy regularly. I think the other
students have begun to see her as more of an adult instead of a
"Yeah," Logan said, "Well, she's been through more
than most adults."
"Very true," Xavier replied, "I think working with the
younger students has helped her recapture some of that lost
innocence. However, I believe she's permanently absorbed your
Logan chuckled, "I'm glad she got my best quality."
They reached the elevator, and, as Logan stepped inside, Xavier
threw him one last glance.
"By the way," he called with amusement, "When you see
Rogue or Bobby, let them know
their uniforms will be coming in
Logan grinned again and nodded, figuring both of the kids would be
glad to hear those were arriving sooner than he had predicted.
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