FIC: X-Book 2 Shadows and Steel, PG-13, Chpt 16
- Title: X-Book 2: Shadows and Steel - Chapter 16: The Guests Will Be
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
Author's note: Need to read X-Book Prologue in order to
understand the second part of this chapter since it is slightly
different from the end of X2. I know I've thrown a lot out there
lot of details which won't be addressed right away) and I hope it
doesn't become too confusing. PS- Feedback welcome!
"What the hell was that?" Cyclops said as a bright fiery
light shone at the edge of the dark city.
Cyclops was seated in the co-pilot's chair of the X-Jet, Storm to
his right, while Wolverine, Gambit and Iceman sat behind them. They
had just been approaching the Chicago city limits, flying silent and
low to avoid local radar.
Storm frowned and looked out towards the horizon. From behind her,
Wolverine stood and leaned forward to peer out the large front
"Looked like a small explosion," she replied, "There must
be a building fire somewhere."
The orange glow faded and the skyline once again shone only with the
twinkling lights of the metropolitan area. Wolverine narrowed his
eyes, and glanced at Storm.
"The Professor send us any coordinates yet?" he asked, and
"We're heading for a northern residential area," she said.
"The same direction as that blast," Cyclops replied.
Wolverine gave him a dark look, "I have a feeling we're a
little late to the party."
"Sir?" the soldier said quietly to the man behind the desk
and waited at attention for a reply.
Below several hundred feet of solid rock, General William Stryker
sat in a small dark room, lined with glass windows overlooking a
vast hanger filled with waiting machines.
The General did not seem to notice the young Major, he was reading a
document in his hand intently, a small crease of concentration on
his brow. On his face, several round scars marred his skin. They
had been caused by frostbite, given to him by an icy chain that had
once been tightly drawn around his body in the cold wastes of
By all rights (and by all measures of justice), he should have been
dead, his body left to eternally rot below the torrent from the
demolished dam. However, someone had been watching over him that
day, someone had protected him from the flood, so that he could
continue his work. For the stranger, the dark man in the
wilderness, had seen the purpose of Stryker's work, the
importance of annihilating mutants from the face of the earth.
And, that dark man had given Stryker all he needed to accomplish his
goals, for a price that had not yet been presented.
Whatever the stranger wanted, Stryker intended to pay the debt, no
matter the cost.
"Sir?" the soldier said again, more as a question, unsure if
the General had heard him.
Stryker held up a waiting hand, and finished reading the last
paragraph before looking up at the Major and smiling. It was not a
pleasant expression, and the soldier suppressed the urge to wince
under the other man's gaze.
"How can I help you, Major?" he asked, his voice oddly
friendly. After all, this was one of his own, one of his soldiers, a
good, wholesome, normal American citizen, serving his
"I just wanted to inform you that recon has identified possible
aberrant mutant activity in Chicago," the Major reported, and
Stryker quickly interrupted him.
"All mutant activity is aberrant, Major," he said, placing
the document on his desk and slamming his palm down on it, "That
what they are...aberrant, abnormal...wrong. You understand that,
The Major looked straight-ahead and nodded, "Of course, sir.
"So, tell me," Stryker said, "What activity has recon
detected that they found unusually abnormal?"
"There has been the report of a small explosion in the northern
part of the city," the Major explained, "Residents of the area
described it was a wave of flame, brief and controlled. Your orders
stated that any unusual fires in that area were to be reported
"I know what my orders were, Major," he snapped. His
expression had faded from the mock friendly smile to a dark
"Contact recon," Stryker said, "I want to know exactly
why they think this fire was caused by a mutant..."
"That's why they reported in so quickly, Sir," the
soldier interrupted, and Stryker shot him a vicious glare, "They
have positively identified the mutant Magneto in the vicinity."
Stryker stood quickly and leaned against his desk on his
"Yes, sir," the Major said, "The plastic tracking implant
from his prior incarceration is still functional, apparently he has
not discovered it in the time since his escap..."
"That would be the obvious conclusion, Major," Stryker said.
A dangerous anticipation filled his eyes and the soldier took a step
back at his vicious tone.
Stryker marched quickly around his desk and out the door. The Major
took a surprised step out of the General's way and then followed
him down the hall.
"Have our people in that area contact the local authorities and
intercept any approaching police or fire crews," Stryker barked,
"Then, have them take positions around the location of the fire
Magneto. It's time to test out our new toys..."
He said the last sentence with a fierce glee, and the Major paused
and looked startled. The General could not be talking about the
"But, sir," he said, "That's a highly populated area.
You aren't thinking of sending those machines right into
Stryker did not hesitate in pace or response.
"Mutants," he spat, "are in our backyards, soldier!
They're in our towns, our schools...even in some cases, our own
homes. And, it's time someone took action against those
or else it could be your house burning next time! Why do you think
I've been developing these machines, Major? To contain any
threat to our way of life! I think a mutant trying to burn down a
residential neighborhood is a threat, don't you?"
"Yes, sir," the Major agreed, but his face was lined with
"Good," Stryker said, "Have them prepare the prototype
for departure. Remember, I want them alive, especially Lensherr.
But, if they show any threat to our men or any one else, kill them
"Yes, sir," the Major repeated again. He wondered to
himself, a question he would never dare ask the fervent General, why
a man who hated mutants so much want them taken alive. The Major
decided, he would rather not know.
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