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FIC: X-Book 3: Within the Storm, PG-13, Chpt 15

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  • Kathleen
    Title: X-Book 3: Within the Storm - Chapter Fifteen: What Comes of Hate By: Kath713/Leen713 Rating: PG-13 (violence, language) Genre: Crossover, SPOILERS FOR
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 23, 2004
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      Title: X-Book 3: Within the Storm - Chapter Fifteen: What Comes of
      Hate

      By: Kath713/Leen713

      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
      story.

      Reviews: Any feedback would be great and is appreciated!

      ***

      Chapter 15:

      In a separate section of the compound, a solitary guard strolled
      casually down one long hallway. She was dressed in the same dark
      uniform as the rest of the soldiers, her dark hair pulled back in a
      proper manner away from her face. The name tag over her heart
      read, "Wilson," but, as she turned the corner, it changed
      to "Boulter," and she, morphed quickly into a `he.'

      This new form was taller, blond, and obviously male, but still
      walked with that confident swagger which belonged only to a woman
      called Mystique. The `soldier' glanced over `his'
      shoulder and nodded once before continuing on.

      As Mystique passed in between the security cameras, she would change
      forms so that the next shot would show someone entirely new. As
      much as it may be dangerous to her situation, she truly hoped one of
      the soldiers, maybe a young, wet-behind-the-ears private, was
      monitoring her progress and scratching his head in absolute
      confusion.

      From the shadows behind her, Magneto followed behind at a distance.
      They had not, as the others had not for a short while, encountered
      another living person in his place. So, Magneto took the quiet
      moments to enjoy Mystique at her best.

      They finally came upon a long hall, lined with sealed doors, each
      secured by a series of heavy locks. Mystique returned to her
      natural form and regarded the first door curiously.

      Removing one glove, Magneto walked up next to her and extended his
      hand to touch the door's surface. He frowned and she gave him a
      questioning glance. They spoke without words, subtle nuances of
      movement translated into their silent conversation.

      The door was like all else in this place, made of a substance other
      than metal. However, Magneto only pondered a short while before
      acting. From within one deep pocket beneath his cape, he withdrew a
      small gilded bag. He opened it, and smiled with satisfaction as
      thousands of small metallic shards flowed upward like smoke.

      At his command, the shards impacted the door, forcing their way into
      every opening, every seam, until they coated the bolts of the heavy
      locks. Magneto focused on them, forming them into a solid sheet of
      the most precious metal, adamantium. Unbreakable,
      unyielding...unlike the stone and glass forming the locks. The
      sheet of metal caused the bolts to whine in protest, but finally
      stretched solid, and the door opened.

      Magneto gathered the shards back to himself with utmost care, and
      they obediently flowed back into the small bag. Mystique matched
      his pleased grin and they entered the room.

      It was a records room of sort, lined (naturally) with computers and
      files. Mystique immediately set to work activating one terminal.
      It had been still active, as if the operator had left quickly, and
      had not expected anyone to be able to enter the room.

      Magneto leaned over next to her to read the monitor. He tapped one
      finger against the screen, over a small folder icon labeled, "Lot
      Program." Mystique nodded and held out a hand to him
      expectantly.

      Magneto gave her a coy grin and handed her a silver disk from
      another pocket of his uniform. She put the CD into the drive and
      began uploading the information from the "Lot Program"
      folder.

      Neither immediately noticed the growing chill around them.

      After a minute, the computer chimed when the upload was complete.
      Magneto handed Mystique another disk and tapped on a second icon,
      this one labeled, "SysOps." With quick skill, Mystique
      began gather information again.

      It was after the computer chimed for a second time, that she noticed
      the cold against her exposed blue skin. She could see her breath
      and glanced up at Magneto.

      He frowned deeply, and glanced around the room. There was a boy at
      Xavier's school who could make ice, he remembered. And of
      course, there was the lady Storm. But something about this cold
      seemed much more...dangerous.

      Suddenly, Mystique cried out in surprise as a layer of frost formed
      over the keyboard. She jumped from the seat and stepped back next
      to Erik. The icy crystals were spreading, and Magneto stared
      furiously at the fading light of the computer screen.

      There had been one more file he had wanted information from, the one
      labeled, "Sentinel" project. But, the unexpected ice and
      cold shorted out the system before they could get what they wanted.

      "Erik..." Mystique said firmly, watching the frost inched
      toward them across the floor. Magneto stared at the lost computer
      for another moment, before directing her out with a wave of his
      hand.

      The pair moved back quickly in the direction they had come from, as
      the frost began to spread slowly into the hall.

      ***

      William Stryker stomped down the corridor in a fury. Several of the
      guards were quick on his heels, and the general was barking orders
      to them over his shoulder.

      "I want those mutants found now!" Stryker shouted, filling
      his voice with anger to hide the panic growing in his chest, "I will
      not have them interfering again!"

      An echoing response of "Yes, sir," came from the soldiers
      behind him.

      "Deadly force is authorized, understand?" he continued,
      "Just keep them away from..."

      William...a soft, cold voice whispered in his mind.

      Stryker jerked to a stop, and the men behind him froze in their pace
      so not to run into the general. After a moment, Stryker began to
      walk forward again.

      "Away!" he said, glancing around manically, "Keep them
      away from the front hanger until..."

      William...the voice spoke again, still soft, but almost as a threat.

      Stryker stopped, and began to breathe heavily. The guards behind
      him exchanged confused frowns, awaiting orders from their oddly-
      acting commander.

      William...we need to talk...

      Stryker raised one shaking hand to his brow, and tried to regain his
      composure. He turned slowly to face the troops.

      "Get...Weinberg...in place...now..." he said slowly,
      "Nothing...is going to stop this mission from being completed..."

      The soldiers marched past him, a look of uncertainty on their faces
      as Stryker glanced uneasily at the ceiling.

      "Nothing..." he repeated and stepped into an empty side room,
      alone.

      ***

      Deathstrike watched the general separate from his troops, and she
      grinned. Her eyes were sparkling, and would have been quite
      beautiful, if the glow of the kill was not within them.

      Silently, she moved toward the open door to follow Stryker, and
      listened as the man began to talk loudly...to no one.

      ***

      "It wasn't my fault," Stryker hissed angrily, feeling
      fresh sweat break on his brow.

      The room was dark, it was better that way. It is easier to hide in
      the dark...

      They got out, William, the voice of the stranger rang in his head.

      Stryker growled, and began to stalk back and forth. His normally
      tall and proud stature bent in anger...and fear...a servant trying
      to look powerful before his own master. William Stryker may have
      come away from Alkalai Lake with his life, but his soul was another
      matter.

      "It wasn't my fault!" he said again, "Those cells were flawless!
      None of those dirty bastards could have escaped..."

      Your excuses don't concern me, William, the voice said, Just get
      them back to the cells. Get them under your control.

      Stryker shook his head wildly, "No time...no t
      ime...Magneto...he's here...the plan...everything is in place..."

      Not everything... the voice corrected, There is still my
      price...give me what I want and...

      "There still here, goddamn it!" Stryker shouted, "You so
      all fucking powerful, why don't you just take them!?"

      The temperature in the room dropped, so suddenly, that the unseen
      Lady Deathstrike inhaled sharply in surprise. Her lips grew quickly
      chapped, though the cracks healed immediately. The very tears
      seemed to freeze in her eyes.

      Stryker's head jerked backward, and he began to choke.

      From the dark beyond, the figure of a man appeared and walked toward
      the general. His face was unnaturally calm, but his eyes shone
      white with fury.

      Deathstrike stared at the creature with fear of her own...the man
      was not real...he had no scent...

      "Because...William," the stranger explained, "I
      cannot...just...take them. I have explained this to you...in much
      detail...at our previous meetings. I cannot take...they must be
      given...freely, by the one who controls them."

      The stranger strolled casually around the struggling man. His cane
      tapped against the ground harshly, and Deathstrike winced. Her
      enhanced auditory senses rang painfully at the sound.

      "There are rules, William," the stranger continued,
      "Rules that must be followed. For I am not, as you say, `all-f
      ucking-powerful.' And I cannot change the rules of the universe
      anymore than a pathetic waste like you could. We had an agreement,
      William. I give you what you want...Magneto, at your disposal...and
      you give me what I want. That being mutants, any sort, any number.
      You give them willingly, we've both agreed they serve no purpose to
      humanity, and you deliver on time."

      The stranger approached Stryker and glared at him.

      "If not," he explained, "Consider our
      agreement...over."

      Stryker felt a sick, painfully cold covering his limbs. Icy water
      bubbled up in his throat, and he felt as if he were drowning. This
      is what he would have felt under the water of Alkalai Lake, and this
      is what he would feel, if he failed the stranger.

      The general suddenly fell to the ground and choked as the sensation
      faded. In took great gasping breathes of air, and nodded weakly.

      "Alright..." he said, "Alright...whatever you
      want...just...just stop..."

      The stranger grinned and began to fade away into the shadows again.

      Very good, William, his voice rang in the man's head, You have
      one hour...otherwise, you will be joining your son...the one you
      left to die...

      The voice, and the cold, disappeared. All that was left was the
      ruined form of a man, and a torn woman watching from the shadows.

      Stryker covered his face in his hands and began to weep. His sobs
      shook his entire body, and Deathstrike watched him in quiet horror.
      In the growing dark, she heard menacing laughter roll through the
      room.

      Slowly, the general struggled to compose himself. He was on his
      knees, and took off his glasses so he could wipe his eyes. For a
      passing moment, the sorrow in his face spoke of the man he used to
      be. A good man, a soldier, a scientist, who was slowly twisted by
      his own hate into a crumpled form in this cold underground
      fortress.

      Stryker eventually stood, and straightened his uniform. He coughed
      once and inhaled deeply. His fear had not entire left his face, but
      a new angry determination overtook his sorrow.

      If the stranger wanted mutants, he would give him mutants. Once his
      troops had the mutant Cody Weinberg in place in the front hanger,
      Stryker would be able to give the stranger all the mutants now
      wandering this compound.

      They did not know what Weinberg could do, but they would find out.



      Stryker stormed out of the room, and headed up the hall. He passed
      within inches of the Lady Deathstrike, who did not make any attempt
      to move.

      She watched him go and then sat in the dark alone. She shivered
      once from the lingering chill, and felt her clenched fists loosen.
      She looked down at those hands, as she had in the front hanger, and
      suddenly wondered why she had not acted. He had been so close,
      walked right past her…and she had let him go.

      Yuriko looked up, the light of the predator gone from her eyes.
      What had she felt a moment ago? Pity? Pity for William Stryker?
      As he had cowered under the creature of the storm, Yuriko had seen
      her great enemy for what he was, a ruined man, pathetically lost in
      his own need for revenge. And what had Stryker made her? To be the
      same…

      "No…" Yuriko said almost inaudibly. She was not just the
      Lady Deathstrike anymore. She had been freed of that, free to be
      Yuriko Oyama again.

      Freed by Magneto.

      Stryker's after him, she thought and her face changed again, He
      plans to kill Erik…and send the others to that…that creature.

      "No…" the Lady Deathstrike said aloud and stood up. Despite
      her moment of pity, she would not allow anyone to destroy her
      leader…her Brothers.

      Deathstrike began, once again, to make her way through the long
      halls, but this time, she went in search of Magneto.

      ***
      Archived at www.fanfiction.net/leen713
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