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FIC: X-Book 3: Within the Storm, PG-13, Chpt 21

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  • Kathleen
    Title: X-Book 3: Within the Storm - Chapter Twenty-One: Taking By: Kath713/Leen713 Rating: PG-13 (violence, language) Genre: Crossover, SPOILERS FOR X2
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 28 1:51 PM
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      Title: X-Book 3: Within the Storm - Chapter Twenty-One: Taking

      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 Twenty-One:

      "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
      nothing.

      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
      nightmares.

      "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
      came.

      "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 world."

      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
      spoke of?

      "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
      without emotion.

      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
      kills."

      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
      kill.

      ***

      "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
      fiercely.

      "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
      compound.

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