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FIC: X-Book 3: Within the Storm, PG-13, Chpt 17

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  • Kathleen
    Title: X-Book 3: Within the Storm - Chapter Seventeen: Warring Minds By: Kath713/Leen713 Rating: PG-13 (violence, language) Genre: Crossover, SPOILERS FOR X2
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 26, 2004
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      Title: X-Book 3: Within the Storm - Chapter Seventeen: Warring Minds

      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!

      ***

      Author's note: This was a very complicated chapter to write.
      Xavier speaks through his mind as well as with his voice, and he'll
      be doing both in this chapter. The words in only <<>> are thoughts,
      and the words quotated are spoken aloud. I hope it isn't too
      confusing. Paragraphs have also been broken up for emphasis.

      ***

      Chapter Seventeen:

      Xavier lowered his hands from his temples and looked over at Sid
      confidently.

      "The prisoners have been located and are on their way here,"
      the Professor said with quiet pride, "Your sister is with two of the
      X-Men…and two of the Brotherhood…"

      Sid grinned for the first time since entering the compound, "God
      help them all. We'll probably hear her before we see them…"

      Xavier smiled and was about to speak again when another voice rang
      harshly through the hanger.

      "They will never again see the light of day…"

      The sound echoed from everywhere, and Xavier felt the words touch
      his mind as well as his ears. Sid glanced around in confusion, but
      Xavier's gaze fell solidly to the place where the dark form stood
      on the level above them.

      "I did warn you, Charles," the voice of the stranger said
      loudly, "Now those who followed will meet the same fate as those
      who were taken…"

      Xavier moved his wheelchair forward and stared up towards the dark
      second level. From within the shadows, a dim red light gave away
      the stranger's place on the grated overhang. But, Xavier felt
      the presence with more than his physical senses.



      "Who are you?" Xavier said aloud.

      Xavier continued in his mind, <<If you are the same individual who
      spoke to me on the jet previously…I also warned you…about
      threatening my people…>>



      A vicious laughter rumbled through the room. Sid was staring wide-
      eyed between the Professor and the darkness above, uncertain to what
      was happening. The Professor was also staring upward from his
      seated position, however, his presence made him seem to grow tall
      and powerful.



      <<Don't be a fool, Xavier>>, the stranger's voice ran in his
      mind, <<How do you intend to protect them?>>

      Xavier breathed deeply once, in order to focus his mind, and calm
      his quiet anger.

      "I asked you a question," Xavier said loudly, "I do
      expect an answer…"

      <<We have had many names, Charles>>, the stranger said in his mind,
      <<For I am one of many…>>

      "That is an answer that has no meaning", Xavier replied,
      "Words with no substance. You are defining yourself as nothing…so
      what reason is there to believe you are anything more?"

      <<Legion>>, rang in Xavier's mind, and he suppressed a wince as a
      strange twinge shot through his skull.

      The laughter sounded again, cruelly amused and aware of the
      Professor's pain.

      <<Don't play your games with me, Charles. I will take what I
      want…and you will watch as they are given to me.>>

      Xavier drew himself up, and began to speak telepathically to the
      unseen enemy.

      <<Perhaps…I have not been clear…>> the Professor thought
      calmly. It was time for the figure above to understand his power.

      Closing his eyes, Xavier began to focus on the vague form of the
      speaker. He did not need his sight to know where the danger was,
      and he concentrated.

      <<I may not know who you are...but that does not mean I fear
      you…>>



      The grated platform shuttered slightly, and the stranger glared down
      at him.

      <<What are you trying to do, Xavier? Harm me?>>



      A strange vibration filled the air again and flowed past the
      Professor. His wheelchair shook from the invisible force, but he
      did not draw his own power back.



      <<I have no interest in harming anyone…>>

      <<Now, Charles, that's not exactly true, is it? You certainly
      enjoyed your power at Alkalai Lake, did you not? The freedom…the
      forgotten need for boundaries and control…>>

      <<A need not forgotten…but torn from my control…>>

      <<Yes, that is what you tell yourself…it is a shame you cannot
      tell it to Jean Grey…>>

      <<I thought you said not to play games…yet, you try to overwhelm
      me with the memory of those lost…>>

      <<It haunts you, Charles...SHE haunts you...>>



      The room shook suddenly, as a wave of anger passed through the
      Professor. His concentration was increasing, and his mind was
      filled with the sense of the stranger.

      <<Is that the only power you have? To shame me into submission?
      Rather childish tactic…>>



      The room vibrated violently again. Sid stumbled and tried to move
      toward the Professor. However, Xavier had a strange smile on his
      face.

      This time, it was the anger of the enemy that rattled the compound.



      <<Go on; speak of your children, Charles. Speak of those you wish
      to save. They will be mine…>>

      <<Why do you want them?>>

      <<Would you like me to show you who they really are? Would you like
      to see what haunts their thoughts?>>



      Violent images began to fill Xavier's mind. They were the
      memories, fears, anger, of all those around them. Not simply the
      mutants, but also the soldiers, and their commander. William
      Stryker's face flashed past him, and Xavier inhaled sharply in
      surprise.

      The room began to rumble, as the Professor opened his mind. He
      allowed the images in, instead of fighting against them. He
      listened to those passing thoughts as he had in the jet. What would
      have easily overwhelmed those of a lesser strength, only forced the
      Professor to concentrate harder.

      Xavier took in all that was shown to him by the stranger, no matter
      how unpleasant or hateful…and focused on those minds from which
      the memories had been drawn.



      <<Do you hear them, Charles? All those you wish to protect? All
      those vile, evil deeds…all those wicked thoughts? In the end, do
      they deserve to be saved?>>



      Xavier's eyes were wide, and the images in his mind began to move
      faster.

      Soldiers in battle…

      Years of torture…

      Memories of torn childhoods…

      Hateful thoughts of revenge and murder…



      The Professor felt those minds, and concentrated.

      ***

      All around the compound, people stopped in their tracks as the
      strange vibrations roared through the walls. The reverberations of
      two powerful minds at war.

      The strange caps worn on the head of the soldiers began to vibrate
      as well. The sensation became painful against their skulls, and
      they began to remove the devices that divided their minds from the
      Professor…

      ***

      Charles Xavier began to sense all those minds being freed. He could
      feel the malice echoing from the stranger, as he continued to send
      images of anger and hate.

      The Professor listened, and used the minds around him to fight
      back…


      "Yes," Xavier said aloud, and his voice reflected the power
      within him, "They do deserve to be saved…"

      Psychically, he felt the dark force waver. Xavier sent images of
      his own then. Memories of his own, of the school, of the children,
      of his happiest moments…of his X-Men…of Jean…

      This time, instead of laughter, Xavier heard the stranger growl in
      fury.



      Xavier ground his teeth together as waves of pain rolled through his
      mind.

      The voice of the stranger echoed loudly in his thoughts.

      <<Don't pretend a few instances of peace make up for the pain you
      have caused.>>



      Xavier struggled to fight back, his hands gripping the silver arms
      of his wheelchair.


      <<Every moment is cherished…even after a loss is suffered…>>

      <<You almost murdered the world, Charles…do you ever expect that
      to be forgiven?>>


      The entire compound was now shaking violently. The power emanating
      from the two powerful minds was rocking the very mountain above
      them.

      All those within struggled to stay on their feet, as the battle
      raged in the hanger.

      ***

      Outside, Rogue was watching in horror as rocks and gathered snow
      tumbled down the mountainside. She ran up the platform of the jet
      as the wind blew violently and the snow became a blizzard. The cot
      on which Mary lay was still solid, but Rogue saw her head whipping
      back and forth feverishly.

      ***

      The stranger stood above Charles Xavier and held out one hand toward
      the powerful mutant. His fingers were curled into claws, and he
      grimaced as the Professor's attack on his mind rattled the air
      around him.

      It was impossible. Xavier was not supposed to be this powerful.
      But, it did not matter. If Xavier wished to stand in his way, he
      would die, and none of his X-Men would have the strength to save him.

      "I'm growing tired of this, Charles," the stranger said
      aloud, "Time for you to speak to your dead child again…"

      The stranger focused all of his power on Xavier's mind and began
      to tear it apart.


      Xavier leaned forward in pain as the stranger attacked. Underneath
      the violent shaking of his body, the Professor felt his own blood
      touch his lips…

      ***

      At the same moment, Mary opened her eyes and began to scream.

      "NO!"

      Rogue leapt back in surprise, and could only stare at her friend as
      she cried out.

      "No! No! No! No! Nononononononononono…" Mary screamed again
      and again.

      ***

      The stranger stumbled as the new sound interrupted his attack on
      Xavier.

      NO! the silent cry echoed in repetition.

      The scream came from a new voice, one he had not heard before, with
      a power unlike that of the Professor.

      The stranger felt his hold on all those around him falter and he
      staggered backward in agony.

      <<What is this?>> he thought loudly, <<What…is…this?>>

      He was losing form…his physical body fading under the power of
      the new cry.

      He had to find Stryker…there was still the mutant under his
      control…the one who could take the power of others…

      ***

      Below him, Xavier inhaled deeply as he was released from pain.

      He glanced upward and saw the darkness beginning to fade. Outside
      the hanger doors, the storm slowed, and the compound settled again
      to silence.

      Xavier blinked, coming back to himself, and saw Sid Malloy standing
      at his side. The young man's face was filled with terror, even
      though he had not been able to feel the stranger's attack beyond
      the physical shaking under his feet.

      "Professor Xavier?" Sid said, "What's happening? Are
      you alright?"

      Xavier was breathing heavily, but managed to nod. Sid drew a
      handkerchief from his breast pocket and handed it to the weary man.
      The Professor wiped the blood from his face and mouth, his hands
      shaking.

      His mind was calming and he could feel the frightened thoughts of
      all those in the compound, mutant and human alike.

      "I'm fine…" Xavier finally said, his voice hoarse and
      strained. He stared upward to where the dark presence had been and
      wondered whose voice had fended off the powerful attack.

      Xavier began to speak, and then paused. His mind wandered in
      thought for a moment, and then he met Sid's concerned gaze.

      "I'm not sure exactly what happened," he admitted,
      "That force was…not human…"

      Sid nodded, "What was it? A demon?"

      Xavier shook his head, "I don't know…"

      <<Legion>>, the word resurfaced in his mind and Xavier frowned.

      "We need to get everyone out…"


      "And they are coming…" a new voice added, but it was one
      Xavier recognized. He glanced over Sid's shoulder, and saw Erik
      Lensherr walking quickly toward them.

      Xavier actually smiled at his old friend, though it was not returned.

      "Mystique," Magneto began, gesturing to the woman at his
      side, "Heard your call, Charles…as did many others…not
      only mutants…who are now on their way to us as well…"

      Xavier's smiled faded as Magneto spoke again.

      "The next battle of this war…is upon us…"

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