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FIC: X-Book 3: Within the Storm, PG-13, Chpt 19

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  • Kathleen
    Title: X-Book 3: Within the Storm - Chapter Nineteen: The Pusher and the Voice By: Kath713/Leen713 Rating: PG-13 (violence, language) Genre: Crossover,
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 27, 2004
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      Title: X-Book 3: Within the Storm - Chapter Nineteen: The Pusher and
      the Voice

      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 Nineteen:

      Nightcrawler was on his feet first, crouching in a ready position to
      face the source of the noise. For a moment, he had the wild thought
      that the children from the mansion had somehow been brought to this
      place, and that he would see Siryn's bright Irish eyes greeting him
      from the corridor.

      However, when he saw the two figures approaching, he knew they were
      not students of Xavier. The shorter could have been confused as a
      child, but their movements were threatening.

      The others were slowly standing and taking their hands from their
      ears. A harsh giggle rang through the air, and the sound felt
      heavy, like it could be touched instead of simply heard.

      The taller mutant stepped forward. He looked at each of them in
      turn, and finally settled on Nightcrawler. The mutant, named Paul
      when he was a boy, narrowed his eyes slightly.

      A strange sensation came over the blue mutant, one he recognized
      from his past. Like someone else was taking control of his body…his
      mind…like when he had involuntarily attacked the President of the
      United States…

      He ground his sharp teeth together and fought against the `pusher's'
      control on his mind.

      Paul felt him fighting and grinned wickedly. Despite his earlier
      reservations, he always enjoyed making people do what he wanted them
      to do.

      "Leave…" Paul's voice echoed with a deep vibrato, "Just go away…"

      Then, he pointed to Gambit, because of his similar uniform, "And
      take him with you...go into the cold…"

      Nightcrawler closed his eyes tightly, trying not to listen to the
      attacking mutant's powerful commands.

      "No…" he said and then disappeared. The others looked at the fading
      smoke in surprise, and Gambit drew a card from his pocket. It
      charged quickly, and he threw it towards the new mutants. Eddie
      opened his mouth and screamed again. The card slowed in mid-air, as
      if it had impacted something soft, and grew blindingly bright right
      before it exploded.

      All the mutants were again thrown off their feet, except Toad who
      leapt toward the ceiling.



      Paul fell backward and hit the ground hard. As he did, the strange
      cap fell from his head. He stood quickly, and this time grabbed
      Pyro with his mind. The boy, unprepared for such an assault, was
      easily controlled.

      "Kill them…" Paul's voice commanded and Pyro fought with his right
      hand to keep it from opening his lighter. Paul gave a guttural
      grunt of effort and forced the boy to do what he wanted. His head
      pounded with pain, but he ignored it.

      Pyro panicked as the flame appeared in his hand, and he held it
      toward Gambit. He had done this earlier when he was fighting as
      part of the Brotherhood, but now, he struggled to keep the fire
      under his own control.

      The flames leapt toward the Cajun, who dodged them easily. He did
      not counter Pyro's attack, but turned again toward the two unknown
      mutants.

      Paul raised one hand toward Pyro and then the other at Gambit, who
      froze in his tracks. The strain of controlling two people at once
      caused white stars of pain to dance before his eyes.

      When Eddie stepped up beside him, Paul focused again on Pyro.

      "Kill her…" he said, nodding his head toward Rebecca. Pyro glanced
      at her, and their eyes locked. A smiled crossed Pyro's face and he
      allowed his fight with the `pushing' mutant to ease.

      Flames once again shot from his hand, but Rebecca stepped into them
      instead of away. The fire swirled around her like orange and yellow
      ribbon, and she held her hands out. The heat began to draw into her
      palms, and she closed her eyes serenely. After the fire was
      absorbed, she stepped toward the two new mutants.

      The power was all around her now, the air shimmering with heat, and
      she grinned as the flames burst to life at her feet.



      The fire began to trace a direct path toward Paul and Eddie. The
      smaller mutant's eyes widened considerably at her unexpected display
      of power, and then his mouth opened wider. The resulting shout
      knocked Rebecca to the side and she stumbled against the wall. The
      fire approaching them disappeared and the hall once again became
      dark.

      Paul heard a soft sound behind him, and yelped in surprise as
      Nightcrawler gripped his shoulders. There was a second soft sound,
      and they both disappeared. Gambit and Pyro felt the mental hold on
      them disappear as well.

      Eddie gaped at them and inhaled deeply for another shriek, when he
      was hit in the face with a sticky green substance. Toad leapt down
      from the ceiling and watched the small mutant try to tear the
      substance from his face. In one hand, Toad was carrying the strange
      cap the taller mutant had been wearing.

      At the same moment, Nightcrawler reappeared with the
      terrified `pusher' in tow. Paul collapsed to his knees, now on the
      other side of the crossing halls, and his mind spun from the
      sudden `jump.' His focus was lost, and he held his head in pain.



      Toad was crouching next to the shrieker, watching him reel in terror
      with quiet amusement. He heard a footstep behind him, and Rebecca
      began speak.

      "What did you do to him?" she asked, and when she saw Eddie could
      not breathe, she spoke again, "He's choking! How do you…"

      Toad ignored her and began to speak directly to the small mutant
      himself.

      "Right…" he began, feeling Rebecca's angry glare without having to
      look back, "Now, you listen, and you nod if you understand me. This
      shit I spit on you ain't goin' nowhere unless you do what I tell
      you, got it?"

      The small mutant was staring up at him with terror, and only
      continued to tear unsuccessfully at the substance filling his mouth
      and nose.

      Toad's face became vicious as he glared down, "You better nod before
      you suffocate…"

      The small mutant began to nod vehemently, his face losing color as
      the remaining oxygen in his lungs was spent.

      "Now, I'm gonna take that shit off of your face…if you'll stop the
      screamin'…got it?"

      Eddie nodded again urgently, the void in his chest becoming painful,
      screaming on its own for air. Toad looked satisfied, and then spit
      in Eddie's face again.

      Rebecca began to protest, before she realized it was not more of the
      green viscous stuff, only ordinary saliva. Almost at once, the
      solid mass began to get soft, and Toad had to spit one more time
      before the small mutant was able to spit the green substance out of
      his own mouth.

      Eddie breathed in great gasps of air, and never took his frightened
      eyes off of Toad.

      "Okay," Toad began again, "You just sit right there for now…don't
      talk, just nod or shake your head when someone asks you somethin',
      understand?"

      He could tell the small mutant desperately wanted to speak, but he
      just nodded again and sagged against the wall, defeated.

      "Good," Toad said, leaning forward slightly so the mutant would
      cringe, "But, one sound…one bloody peep…and you're done in…either by
      me, or Pyro there will char-broiled you…"

      "No, he won't," a very strong voice said, and Toad stood and glared
      at Rebecca.

      Her face was livid with fury and she met his vicious gaze without
      flinching. This time, he did grab her arm again, and drug her to
      the side toward where Gambit and Pyro were standing. Nightcrawler
      was keeping close watch on the `pusher' only a few feet away.

      "This," Toad said, gesturing to the two mutants, "…is the only
      resistance we've found since escaping that fucking cell. I doubt
      they're the only one's here, and I doubt there the ones in charge.
      They fucking attacked us…"

      "I don't care," Rebecca interrupted him, "We're not going to kill
      them…"

      "What the hell is wrong with you?" Toad hissed at her, "D'you think
      this is a game…"

      "Maybe," she said with slow emphasis, "Maybe it's all a game!
      Fucking killer robots…fucking good guys and bad guys…fucking cold,
      haunted hallways that change and…"



      "Enough," Nightcrawler said strongly, actually sounding angry
      himself. Rebecca and Toad, as well as Gambit and Pyro, stared at
      him for a moment in surprise. Nightcrawler was helping the
      fallen `pusher' sit up, handing him a small white cloth to sop the
      blood from his nose and face.

      "Fighting with words will get us no farther than fighting with our
      gifts," the blue mutant continued, his voice returning to its
      typically soft tone. Toad was glaring at him viciously, and turned
      it on Rebecca once more before turning with a disgusted scoff. He
      walked over toward the small mutant again and ordered him to go sit
      by the taller one.



      Eddie moved without protest, looking more like a child than ever,
      and curled up closely next to Paul. His bleeding nose was ebbing,
      but he knew the headache would last at least a few more hours.

      "You are ill," Nightcrawler said to him, and the `pusher' shook his
      head.

      "No," he said, glancing up at the blue mutant, "I'm pretty sure
      we're dying."

      "Who are you?" Rebecca asked, kneeling down close by. There was
      something eerily familiar about them, but she did not know why.

      "My name is Paul, and I'm a mutant," he said, announcing it like he
      was at a support meeting, "This is Eddie, and he's a mutant, too."

      "Yeah, we figured that out ourselves," Gambit chimed in with a
      strained grin. These two did indeed look like they were dying…maybe
      they even looked worse.

      "Beyond that…" Paul continued, "We're nothing."

      He looked up at Pyro with an almost nostalgic grin, "For a minute, I
      thought maybe you were a firestarter…but you've got a lighter, so
      you're just a pyretic, huh?"

      The tone was almost mocking and Pyro glared at him.

      "Doesn't make me any less dangerous, asshole," Pyro said and Paul
      began to laugh.

      "Oh, yes, it does…" he said, and then added in a diminishing
      voice, "Believe me…it does…"

      "Then, maybe you should be more nervous about me," Rebecca said,
      suddenly disliking this mutant a little. Paul glanced toward her
      doubtfully.

      "Just because of that little show you put on…please," he shot back,
      and then sneered, "There's only ever been one…Stryker said so…"

      Nightcrawler recoiled, "Stryker? Colonel Stryker?"

      Paul laughed again, "No…General Stryker…as it's been for nearly six
      months…"

      Nightcrawler fell into silent thought, and Rebecca spoke again.

      "Charlene McGee," Rebecca said and Paul winced as if he was struck.

      "How did you know that?" he said in a nasty tone.

      Rebecca frowned and held one hand toward his face. Behind her, she
      did not see Toad grin as the flames leapt from her palm. Eddie
      broke his vow of silence by yelping in shock, but Toad decided with
      inner amusement to overlook that slip of the tongue…so to speak.

      "She's my mother," Rebecca said coolly, a stark contrast to the
      burning mass in her hand.

      Paul did not flinch, but his eyes widened with wonder at this new,
      unexpected fact. His gaze shifted from the flame, to the young
      woman's shining blue eyes.

      "Charlie's…your mom…" Paul breathed softly, and then something
      changed in his face. What was it? Excitement…anticipation…a sudden
      peace washing away his wicked glare.

      "He'd seen it coming," he continued softly, "Our seer did…you should
      meet him…he said there'd be two…Charlie'll have two…and that's when…"

      Paul's mouth dropped and a desperate fear filled his eyes. He
      grabbed onto Rebecca's flaming hand, which she quickly extinguished
      as she fell backward in surprise.

      "You have to leave here," the older mutant said quickly, "All of you…
      but you, firestarter, have to leave most of all…"

      Before he could say another word, Toad landed solidly beside them
      and ripped the `pusher' away from Rebecca.

      "Keep your bloody hands off her," he growled, thinking Paul's sudden
      movement had been an attack.

      Paul was nodding but did not move his eyes from Rebecca, "Fine…
      fine. Just get out! For your mother's sake…"

      Rebecca frowned in confusion, and got to her knees again.

      "How do you know her?" she asked, and Paul began to shake his head.

      "No…no time…no time…you have to get out…"

      Toad stood up and pulled her with him reluctantly. Gambit was
      standing to their left and took a step forward.

      "Becca?" he asked with concern. Her eyes had not left the `pushing'
      mutant, and Gambit wanted to make sure Mr. Tall was not using his
      power on her.

      Rebecca glanced at him and nodded before returning to gaze to the
      two fallen subjects of the Lot Program.

      "What about you two?" she asked, "Why don't you…"

      "No," Paul said firmly, "I told you…we're dying…but none of you…have
      to die, too…"

      "We can't just leave you here," Rebecca said with honest concern.

      "Yes, we can," Toad said, glaring at the pair viciously, and Rebecca
      shot him a fiery look before he continued, "But…we won't…"

      Toad reached down and hauled the `pusher' to his feet. The small
      mutant jumped up without having to be asked.

      "You're gonna stay right where we can see you," he said, "If you're
      dying, then it doesn't matter if its here or a hundred feet down the
      tunnel. Pyro?"

      The younger Brotherhood member step forward, knowing what Toad was
      going to ask.

      "I still say it's this way," Pyro said, pointing to the right, "But
      now that light's gone…"

      Gambit inspected the newly darkened hall cautiously. It felt
      warmer, safer now somehow. Rebecca appeared at his side and nodded
      in acknowledgement.

      "I think you were right before," Rebecca said to Pyro, "And I think
      you're right now."

      Toad made the two mutants walk in front of him so he could keep an
      eye on them and the other's fell into their previous marching
      pattern as they headed down the final stretch of tunnel that lead to
      the outer hanger.

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