Title: X-Book 2: Shadows and Steel - Chapter 20: Waking Nightmares
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
After Cyclops blasted through the living room wall, he entered the
house just as Magneto and Pyro headed down the front hall. He moved
to follow them, and was met with the snarling obstacle known as
Sabertooth. As the large mutant reached for him, however, his arm
was coated to the elbow with a thick layer of ice.
Sabertooth turned toward Iceman and lunged at the much smaller
mutant. Iceman jumped back in surprise and hit the intact living
room wall. With quick skill he formed a large layer of ice between
himself and his attacker. Sabertooth swung the heavy ice-coated
fist and it slammed into the frozen wall.
Iceman gaped as a circular crack began to grow along the wall and he
could hear the large mutant growling behind it. There was a glow of
red and the hulk of a man was blown to the side. Iceman stepped out
from behind the ice wall just as Sabertooth recoiled and lunged at
On the other side of the room, Storm noticed a very much alive, very
familiar green mutant dragging a young woman she did not recognize
into the next room. She began to head in his direction, when
Mystique stood in her path. Storm's dark eyes suddenly became
ghostly white in the darkness. Rain and strong lightning were
useless indoors, so she created a focused tunnel of wind to shift
the blue mutant out of her way.
However, Mystique skillfully darted out of the way and morphed
quickly into an exact copy of her teammate. Storm faced a duplicate
of Sabertooth, equally as vicious and dangerous as the original.
Storm glanced back to Gambit and pointed in the direction of the
"Follow them!" she shouted, "Get the girl out!"
Gambit was staring wide eyed at the beautiful blue woman who just
changed into a large cat guy, and nodded to Storm before heading
Mystique charged toward Storm with heavy pounding steps. Storm felt
the power crackling in her hands and raised one up in a halting
gesture. Suddenly, Mystique morphed back into her much smaller and
agile self and slid skillfully beneath her attack. She kicked the
white haired mutant in the stomach and Storm stumbled backward.
She steadied herself against a charred piece of furniture and
reached out toward Mystique, electricity flowing up through her, up
from the ground and impacting a tall metal lamp on the far side of
the room. The white light blinded her opponent temporarily and she
met the blue mutant head on.
As his Brothers battled, Magneto headed quickly out the back of the
house followed by a very angry Pyro. He was glancing back as he
walked, toward the fighting mutants, and hated that he was being
forced to keep away.
"I can help them!" he shouted as his leader moved across the
Magneto ignored the boy's demands, focusing instead on finding
the Lady Deathstrike.
"I need you here, Pyro," Magneto said evenly, a contrast to
the fury in his eyes.
Charles, he thought, You just don't give up, do you? Not even
when one of your children has been killed by your foolish ideals
"I should be back there!" Pyro shouted again, "I want to
Magneto stopped suddenly in his pace and spun toward the boy. He
loomed over the youngest Brother, and Pyro froze and fell silent
when he looked into the older man's eyes. They seemed to be
filled with more than one life's share of shadows, and shone with
rage like steel on fire. Every argument ringing through Pyro's
a moment before disappeared and he recoiled as Magneto began to
said, enunciating every word
with specific intent, "And
not question my decisions.
Pyro stared at Magneto, for the first time, with real fear. Any
trace of the older man's simple grace and stateliness vanished
behind his fury. Magneto glared down at him for another moment,
then turned and continued to march around the house. Pyro did not
hesitate to keep step behind him, but inwardly was still quaking
from the dark warning. The rules of the Brotherhood were few, and
Pyro had broken the most important one. Right now, he was simply
thanking his maker that Magneto's reprimand had been so light.
From around one corner, the biting clash of steel on steel rang
through the darkness, and Magneto grinned broadly. As he and Pyro
walked, the Lady and the Wolverine came into view. In the heat of
battle, neither noticed as Magneto raised one hand and took control
of their adamantium bones.
Deathstrike grinned viciously as five long claws on one hand slashed
easily into Wolverine's arm. She twisted her fingers and watched
fresh blood pour from his wounds.
Logan roared from the sudden pain and swung his fist towards her
face. His three blades impacted one of the metal plates encasing
her skull and ripped through the skin. Deathstrike reeled from the
blow and stumbled backward. She glared ferociously at him and felt
her face begin to regenerate. At the same time, Wolverine's arm
stopped bleeding and the torn muscles returned to their perfect
"We don't need to do this," Wolverine said in between
Deathstrike growled at him, "Yes...we do."
"Why?" he asked and she stalked toward him again. They kept
an even distance apart, pacing in a slow circle as they spoke.
"Stryker was my enemy," she said angrily, "He made me, as
he made you. But, I was his puppet
I was his slave! Years of
torture, years of suffering his humiliations and not being able to
do anything but WATCH!"
She held up her hand and pointed her artificial claws toward him.
"And then you
the one other in the world who should have
known. Who should have understood! You are blind. You left me to
die in that lab
the fucking core of our
Wolverine stared at her with disbelief. At the time, he had not
thought of who she had been, at the time he had only been trying to
save his friends
his family. She had attacked him on
Stryker's order to kill, an order she could not disobey, and he
reacted in turn. Each of them, in that moment, had been what
Stryker had meant them to be
weapons who killed mutants.
Wolverine shook his head, "I didn't know
"Now you do," she replied immediately, "Think of
now. Think of
as you die
Deathstrike leapt toward him again, and Wolverine prepared to defend
himself, as she once again left him with no other choice.
As Wolverine tried to move, he found himself frozen in place.
Likewise, Deathstrike hung suspended in the air, fighting against
the invisible hold on her limbs. She glanced to her left and
noticed Magneto standing nearby.
"Let me go!" she screamed, and Magneto tilted his head
"Now, now, child," he chided with strange kindness,
"I'm afraid the time had come for us to depart."
Magneto made a soft motion with his hand and the Lady floated to the
ground. She glared at him in fury, but retracted her claws and
stood at attention. Unlike Pyro, she was a learned soldier and knew
better than to argue with her commander.
Magneto smiled, "Let your dear Wolverine...think," he said
the word with some doubt, "
about what you've told him
your memories haunt someone else tonight
Wolverine ground his teeth and fought against Magneto's power as
older man stared down at him condescendingly. He shifted his gaze
back to Deathstrike and her face had become blank and cold.
Think of me
he heard her words in his mind again.
Then, a low hum filled the air. The wind changed, the cool night
air displaced and drawn upward in an artificial vacuum. The four
mutants looked into the night sky and saw a new nightmare lowering
slowly to the earth.
The machine was round and narrow, nearly ten feet in diameter, and
hovered above the house. It seemed to be sectioned into a broken
spiral, and from the edges shone four dim spotlights. The beams
glowed green, meant to reveal the darkest hiding places.
"What the hell is that?" Pyro said and instinctively opened
his lighter at the sense of new danger.
Magneto and Wolverine exchanged glances, each searching the
other's eyes for some kind of explanation. When none was found,
Magneto released Wolverine from his power, who stumbled and turned
to better see the unusual aircraft.
Deathstrike glared at her freed enemy and waited for her commander
After a moment, the machine rotated and began to change. The
spiraled sections began to open, folding out upon each other, as it
lowered to the ground. It spread into a star shape, and its true
form became clear.
Magneto, if none of the other observers, realized what he was
seeing. Mystique, in one visit to Stryker's offices before
Alkalai Lake, had found blueprints for a machine, a giant machine,
created for one purpose.
To collect and detain so-called "mutant threats." To gather
and take them somewhere else
segregated into camps
"No," Magneto said quietly and raised his hand toward the
giant, humanoid shaped machine. He focused all of his significant
strength toward the robot
and willed it into his
But, nothing happened. Whatever the machine was constructed
from...it was not metal.
Before his horror could take hold of him, Magneto ran quickly toward
the house, and the three other mutants followed.
"What are you doing?" Wolverine shouted to his enemy,
"Stop the fucking thing!"
Wolverine then heard something in the other man's voice he had
never heard there before
Magneto's eyes darkened and filled with hate, "I
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