FIC: X-Book 3: Within the Storm, PG-13, Chpt 21
- Title: X-Book 3: Within the Storm - Chapter Twenty-One: Taking
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!
"William " Xavier said quietly, his eyes widening as Stryker took
slow, deliberate steps toward them.
The room was silent, except for the sound of the General's boots
impacting the floor of stone, and the howl of the wind. The snow
had begun to pile up just inside the open hanger doors, and any
light that had been coming from the outside began to fade to
Magneto struggled not to take a step backward as Stryker's eyes
shifted towards him. The mad grin never left the General's face,
and the expression was the same as it had been in Magneto's
"Impossible," Magneto said, his voice low and rumbling. There was
no trace of fear there, however. His time for fear had ended within
the cold fences of a Nazi work camp. What rose in its place was a
burning injustice. He could see now that the General had a scar
running diagonally across his face, from the icy chains that should
have held him beneath the waters of Alkalai Lake.
Stryker stared at Magneto for another moment, reveling in
anticipation for his revenge on the mutant leader. Then, he glanced
around the hanger, at all of the soldiers, mutant and human alike,
who stood now in a state of suspension, held in place by Xavier's
mind. It had not been the circumstance Stryker anticipated, but he
did not blame his troops for being unable to keep the protective
caps on their heads.
The pain caused by Xavier's earlier debate with the stranger still
echoed in Stryker's body, and the General would never know about the
dozens of hemorrhages now damaging his brain, but he did not feel
any of his pain anymore. His madness had driven him beyond pain,
and when he laughed, fresh blood began to stream from his nose.
Stryker held his hands out, motioning towards the humans on either
side of him. He turned once, rotating with a few slow steps, in
order to get a full view of the hanger. When he faced Xavier again,
there were streaks of tears etched down his blood stained cheeks.
"Take them," he said, keeping his hands extended, "Go on, Xavier.
Take them all! If you want them, take them! Kill them if you
want! What does it matter anymore?"
Stryker lowered his arms, and the mad smiled faded into a vacant
stare. Xavier wanted to speak, he needed to speak, but no words
"Just like you took my son " Stryker continued, "And you killed him
just like you killed my wife just like you tried to kill everyone in
The General began to shake his head, almost in disbelief, "Mutants
how to deal with mutants the mutant problem "
His expression changed again, back to the madding smile, "Before,
there was only one answer. Find a way to kill you all. Wipe your
dirty DNA from the world. But now I've found another way. So, go
ahead, Xavier. Take them all. You're just like him you're just
like the stranger. And he wants you all, take you somewhere if I
had killed you, I would have sent you to hell. But, maybe, the
stranger will take you somewhere worse."
Xavier turned his head quickly toward the place above them where the
creature in the darkness had been. Was that the stranger Stryker
"William," Xavier said again, in a voice he hoped was strong enough
to reach the insane man, "I don't know who this stranger is but I
will not take or kill anyone here, or anywhere else."
Stryker was approaching the pair of mutants in white, the one with
the dark glasses was still held by Xavier, and Cody Weinberg was
staring blankly toward his feet, his breathing strained and raspy.
Xavier did not lower his gaze from the General as he released his
hold on the others in the hanger. There was a moment of surprised
confusion, and the sound of weapons being aimed again from the half-
circle of soldiers.
Andrew gripped his cane protectively as he felt Stryker approaching
from behind. He turned his head toward the General, seeing more
without his eyes than most people did with them. Stryker put a hand
on Cody's shoulder and leaned forward, as if to whisper in the
mutant's ear, when Andrew spoke.
"This is your last chance to stop, General," the blind mutant said
Stryker glared at him, "I did not say you could speak, mutant."
Andrew sighed, "I did warn you, just as she warned them. She warned
Xavier about you. It's too bad I'll never get to meet her "
His voice sounded very tired, resigned to the fate he knew was upon
him. Stryker stepped toward him and sneered in his face.
"Speak again, mutant, and I'll make sure you're the first one Cody
Andrew shook his head sadly, "No, you won't. Magneto's the one you
want to kill with Cody. I'm the one you'll kill with "
He did not get to finish speaking when the General's hand struck his
face and knocked him to the floor. His dark glasses flew across the
ground, and Andrew made no motion to retrieve them. His eyelids
blinked over the white membranes where his pupils should have been.
Andrew knew he had one more thing to say before he died but this was
not the time.
Wolverine and Cyclops had taken protective positions in front of
Xavier, and Mystique and Sabertooth did the same in front of
Magneto. All had their eyes focused on Stryker.
"Charles, what the hell is going on?" Wolverine said
urgently, "Stryker that can't be "
"It is, Logan," Xavier said, "You know it is But, how, I don't know "
The twin mutants, who had been huddling behind Xavier's chair, began
to step backward, in perfect time, their eyes locked, not on
Stryker, but on Cody.
"No " Max said.
"No " Jack said, and then muttered, "Don't, Cody don't "
Magneto ground his teeth together and took a few steps forward.
Stryker glanced over at him and grinned, before leaning toward
Cody's ear again.
The mutant's eyes became alert as Stryker spoke three words, which
had been conditioned into Cody Weinberg since he was a child.
"Cody " Stryker whispered, "Go play."
The pale mutant lifted his chin and looked around the room. Cody's
face remained expressionless, and he began to walk forward. The X-
Men and the Brotherhood did not have time to react as Cody held his
hands out in front of him.
Wolverine jerked forward, and felt the pale mutant begin to drain
the powers from his body. All around him, the others were falling
to the ground as their own life energy was drained. He struggled to
breathe, and memories of Liberty Island flashed before his eyes.
He's like Rogue Wolverine thought, Oh, Christ, he's like Rogue he's
not even touching us
Xavier gripped with arms of his chair tightly as the pale mutant's
attack ripped the power from his mind. He fought to keep his eyes
open, and felt wave after wave of energy flowing out of him. As
more power left him, the pale mutant became more aware, more alive.
Magneto did not fall to the floor as his body's energy was drained.
He also was reminded of Liberty Island, but then he had given over
his powers willingly, he had been prepared for Rogue to take what
was his for a short time. This, however, was different, violent,
and out of all the mutants around him, Cody was drawing the most
from Magneto. Magneto was the only one Cody had been ordered to
"Mary!" Rogue said with relief, and then spoke quickly "You're
awake! Are you ok? How do you feel?"
With Rogue's support, Mary was able to sit up, holding one hand over
her closed eyes.
"Oh, God," Mary said softly, "Oh, God "
When she dropped her hand and looked up at Rogue, there were tears
running down her face.
"He's killing them," she said, and began to sob, "He's killing them "
Rogue glanced backward to the open hanger with fear, but when she
looked at Mary again, her face became hard and her eyes flashed
"Who's being killed?" she asked quickly, putting her hands on Mary's
shoulders, "D'you mean Logan and the others?"
Mary nodded, "Yes, he doesn't want to kill all of them because then
the monster will kill him, but he doesn't know Oh, God "
Rogue stood and pulled a heavy jacket around her. She tossed
another to Mary, who stared at it through her tears.
"Come on " Rogue said, firmly, "We're goin' in."
Mary took and deep breath and nodded, "Yeah, we are. We always do "
The two young women wrapped themselves against the blowing winds as
they began on the deep snowy path toward the open doors of the
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