FIC: X-Book 3: Within the Storm, PG-13, Chpt 20
- Title: X-Book 3: Within the Storm - Chapter Twenty: Drawing Together
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
Reviews: Any feedback would be great and is appreciated!
Moments like this were the only times Xavier truly wished he had the
power to stand.
Magneto was next to him, his arms folded over his chest and a
triumphant smile on his face. He was looking down at Xavier, simply
because of the Professor's seated position in the wheelchair, but
the illusion of Magneto towering over his former colleague was
something Erik Lensherr had always used to his advantage.
"This does not need to be a battle, Erik," Xavier said calmly and
Magneto shook his head with disappointment.
"Still trying to be the great negotiator, Charles?" he chided, "Even
when enemies of mutant kind have lost all discretion...attacking our
people without regard for the public learning of their actions."
Xavier was about to speak, and then tilted his head in silent
concentration. There were others approaching the hanger...many
others, and not all mutants...
Magneto looked pleased, "You can hear them coming now...you
understand that this battle is no longer a choice. We were not
drawn here by accident, at least, not all of us..."
"Yet, you did begin this, Erik," Xavier said, watching the smile
slip from his old friend's face, "Had you not sought the children of
Charlene McGee in such a manner, the maker of the Sentinel would not
have sent it to collect them...and you..."
Sid, standing a few feet behind the Professor, frowned and looked
between him and Magneto.
"What does he mean?" Sid asked, but helmet-clad mutant leader
"In time," Magneto replied slowly, glaring at Xavier with waning
patience, "It would have been sent without provocation..."
"Provo...?" Sid began, and then shouted, "You said you came to our
house after the Sentinel began to attack!"
Magneto turned his gaze to the young man and smiled sadly. To Sid,
the look said, Now, Mr. Malloy, this is really not the time for that
discussion. The adults are speaking.
Suddenly, from one dark hallway, a pair of ragged looking men ran
toward them in terror. They were dressed in strange, white
uniforms, and if Sid were to guess their ages by their faces alone,
he would have thought they were children.
The pair paused, looking to the right and left in perfect time, and
finally spotted the small cluster of mutants with surprise. They
almost fled away from the new strangers, when the first twin, Max,
spotted Xavier's wheelchair. He grabbed his brother, Jack, and
pointed. Without words exchanged, Jack understood what Max meant.
They had heard the voice of Xavier when he called to those within
the compound, images of a gentleman in a silver chair had appeared
in both of their minds. Now, with strange relief, they ran towards
"It's you..." Max said, breathing heavily.
"You're him..." Jack added, also gasping.
Xavier only frowned at them for a moment in confusion. They must
have been nearly thirty, but they had the mannerisms of someone half
that age. Max took a few more quick breaths and then grinned
"We heard you!" he said with delight.
"You said you knew the way out!" Jack added after his brother with
A roar rumbled through the room, and the twins stared backward in
horror as Sabertooth pounded into the hanger. They turned their
desperate eyes to Xavier.
"Please, help us!" Max said quickly.
"We were only playing!" Jack added.
Xavier reached out and calmed them with his mind. The pair visibly
relaxed, but their eyes were still filled with fear. Xavier peered
over their shoulders, and spotted Sabertooth walking toward
Magneto. Whenever he glanced at the pair, his anger was obvious,
but he would not act again without Magneto's order.
"I won't let them harm you," Xavier said in a low, encouraging
voice, "Tell me who you are..."
"We're mutants," Max said simply, and Jack nodded in agreement.
"Alright," Xavier said, "But who are you?"
The pair exchanged confused looks, as if they did not fully
understand his question. They were mutants, and that was all. That
was all they had ever been told.
Magneto watched Xavier question the two mutants with growing
impatience. The soldiers were approaching, and they had no time for
interrogations. Magneto drew Sabertooth and Mystique aside for
"What happened?" he asked the large mutant, and Sabertooth glared at
the pair again before replying.
"Those two..." he began with a growl, "Attacked us after we found
the X-Men. They move things with their minds. But they don't seem
very good at it..."
Magneto followed Sabertooth's gaze toward the two young/old men and
pondered on their significance.
"Did they say to whom they answered?" he asked and Sabertooth shook
"They didn't give me a chance to ask before they tried to dice me
up," the large mutant replied with fury.
As Magneto pondered silently, two more mutants burst from the hall,
each of whom the Brotherhood knew quite well. Wolverine and
Cyclops, noticing the strange calm in the hanger, walked quickly
toward Xavier, keeping wary eyes on Magneto and his followers.
"Scott," Xavier asked quickly, "The others are not with you?"
Cyclops shook his head, "We were separated..."
Xavier nodded, "Yes, I know...I've spoken to Kurt. I hoped he and
Gambit would find you and follow to the exit."
"I can't speak for the Cajun," Wolverine said cynically, "But
Nightcrawler should be able to lead them back here..."
Xavier nodded, and then paused a moment before adding, "Pyro and
Toad are with them...as well as Mr. Malloy's sister..."
"Why don't you peek in and check on `em?" Wolverine asked, but there
was no amusement in his voice. Xavier nodded gravely and closed his
eyes, trying to reach out to Kurt again, when the sounds of many
heavy footsteps filled the hanger.
All the mutants turned and saw dozens of soldiers, dressed in black,
rush out around them. As they spread into position, Magneto could
not repress a dark smile. Mystique and Sabertooth stood ready to
his left and right. He glanced over at Xavier once, and even though
the Professor could not read the other man's mind, he read the words
in Magneto's expression clearly.
I told you, Charles...warned you. I hope your children are ready
for this war...
Trailing at the end of the line of troops, two other mutants, also
dressed in white, began to move toward the center of the hanger.
One wore dark glasses and carried a white cane in front of him.
Even though he had been blind his entire life, his own
special `sight' allowed him to walk forward and avoid most objects
without the aid of the cane. If asked he would have said his name
was Andrew...and he was a mutant...
To his left, the blind mutant was grasping the arm of the other just
above the elbow. The second mutant walked in a slow pace, his feet
barely lifting from the ground as he moved. His eyes were half-
lidded, and the expression on his pale face was lifeless. It was
difficult to tell if he was leading the blind mutant or if the blind
mutant was leading him.
In Xavier's mind, the pale mutant drew the memory of Jason Stryker's
wasted form from Alkalai Lake. But, he knew Jason was dead, he had
heard him die right after Kurt had teleported with him out of the
This mutant's name was Cody Weinberg, and out of the six from Lot 23
Project, he was the most dangerous.
The soldiers formed a half circle, staying a good distance away from
the cluster of mutants, and leveled their weapons, not at the
intruders, but at the one they knew as Weinberg. This did not
escape the attention of Xavier, who tried to reach the pale mutant's
The Professor exhaled with frustration, and instead, focused his
mind in another direction and took control of all those around him
in the hanger. The soldiers, the Brotherhood, the X-Men and any
others. The entire room fell into an eerie silence. The only ones
who remained free of his influence were Magneto, the pale
mutant...and the dark figure walking last out of the hall.
For a moment, Charles and Erik stared in shock as the man called
out. It was a voice they each knew very well, and one that
frequented their more recent nightmares.
"Charles Xavier..." Stryker began in a welcoming tone, which quickly
became vicious, "And Erik Lensherr."
The `dead' general stepped into the dim light from the open hanger
doors. His teeth gleamed like fangs as he grinned. On his head, he
wore one of the mechanical caps he had created to ward off the
Professor's powerful mind. During Xavier's exchange with the
stranger, Stryker had weathered the pain to keep the device on his
head, even when the blood began to flow from his ears and nose. A
few red stains lingered on his cheeks and chin.
"So...good...to see you both again..."
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