Title: X-Book 3: Within the Storm - Chapter Twenty-Five: The Rage of
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!
Sid stood and stared down at his sister. The heat was building
around her now, and he took a few steps backward before looking over
"You have to leave...now," he said firmly, "All of you..."
Sid spun around and spotted the X-Men gathered near the feet of the
Sentinel. He glanced at his sister once more, and then raced toward
Magneto frowned, looking at Rebecca curiously as the orange glow of
around her body grew stronger. He moved a few cautious paces to his
right, until he found himself near Mystique.
Sabertooth and Deathstrike stood nearby, and he motioned toward them.
"Go to the helicopter and bring it to the hanger door," he
said, "Sabertooth...you know the way...be swift...our time grows
Deathstrike nodded, and awaited the larger mutant's direction.
Sabertooth held Magneto's gaze a moment longer, giving an
affirmative without words, and he and the Lady headed quickly in the
direction of the tunnel outward.
Magneto glanced at Mystique, and a smile crossed his features. It
was not pleasant...almost bitter...but still very pleased.
"This battle is over..." he glanced back at Rebecca, "And this time
our people are victorious..."
The Professor still had a comforting hand on Mary's shoulder when
Sid ran up beside them. Her sobs were fading, and Nightcrawler was
trying to reassure her that the danger was gone.
However, Sid's urgent expression spoke to the contrary.
"Professor Xavier," he said quickly, "You all need to get out of
here fast. Rebecca's been hurt and...," he shook his head, "There's
no time to explain...just get out!"
"If she's injured, we should get her back to Henry," Cyclops
said, "It will be quicker to get there then back to Chicago..."
Sid tried to look appreciative but shook his head, "No...No...you
can't take her...you have to leave before the fire takes her!"
Xavier fixed his eyes on the wounded young woman...and in her mind
he found so much rage it was blinding. He suddenly understood Sid
Malloy's insistence and turned to the X-Men.
"Let's get Rogue and Mary to the jet," he ordered, "We will wait
until Miss Malloy is ready to be transported and get her to..."
"No!" Sid shouted, "No, dammit you can't wait!"
"We can't just leave you here..." Cyclops said. The snow lying just
inside the open hanger doors was beginning to melt.
"Yes! You can!" Sid said, and pointed to the newly forming
puddles, "Don't you understand? Can't you feel that?"
Sid glanced back at his sister, and Xavier followed his gaze.
Rebecca looked like she was leaning forward on her hands, and then
she slowly began to stand. The remainders of the Brotherhood were
still lingering around her and Sid swore angrily.
"Shit," he said and then turned to Xavier one last time, "I'm
telling you, Professor. Just leave..."
Sid turned on his heal and sprinted back over to Magneto. Xavier
was staring at Rebecca, and reached out to her mind again. Such
fury...such rage...he wondered what could have possibly caused such
violent emotions in her?
Toad was still crouched next to Rebecca when she began to stand.
The motion was slow, but he did not dare try to help her. The air
around them was shimmering from the heat, and just being within a
few feet of her made his amphibious-like skin sting.
He barely noticed the discomfort, however. He was too focused, his
fascination of the image of her rage held him in place.
As she rose, he stood with her. He vaguely noticed Pyro's voice
"Whoa..." Pyro breathed, "What's happening to her?"
They could hear Rebecca's hoarse breathing and, when she spoke, her
voice shook with barely controlled fury.
"De...defense...defense...." she stammered, "Mech... mechanism...
that's what...they always said..."
As Sid ran up to her again, she glanced up at him.
The tears falling from her eyes hissed and evaporated as they
touched her face.
"Oh, please..." she said desperately, "Oh...please leave, Sid...I
can't stop it..."
Above the lingering X-Men, the Sentinel suddenly gave off a
deafening tone. It sounded three times, an internal warning alarm
triggered by the growing heat.
"WARNING..." a robotic voice shouted, "ENVIRONMENT HAS BECOME
UNSTABLE...INTERNAL SILICON COMPONENTS WILL BEGIN TO SHUT DOWN IF
TEMPERATURE RISES ABOVE FIVE HUNDRED DEGREES FAHRENHEIT...OUTER HULL
TEMPERATURE AT NINTY-TWO DEGRESS FAHRENHEIT AND INCREASING AT AN
UNACCEPTABLE RATE... AUTOMATIC PRECAUTIOUS WILL BE TAKEN IF MANUAL
INSTRUCTIONS ARE NOT PROGRAMMED IN... TWO... MINUTES...
WARNING...ENVIRONMENT HAS BECOME UNSTABLE..."
Sid winced as the loud voice rang in his ears. Rebecca stared at
the machine, and the floor beneath her bare feet began to glow as
heat poured into the stone surface. She gave her brother one last
warning glance...before she began to walk forward.
Toad tried to take a step after her, but Sid blocked his way.
"No, stay back..." Sid said, and then turned to Magneto, "Come
on...let's go...we have to leave!"
Magneto kept his eyes on Rebecca and shook his head.
"Not just yet," he said.
A moment later, the room began to explode.
The fire had her now.
It had her since the moment she saw Cody die.
It was not fair...even though he looked old, he had really only been
Just like she had been...just like she could have been...
The fire wanted out...the power wanted to be free...
Oh, God it was so much stronger...
She was so angry...she just wanted to break something...
But, the conscious part of her was still aware of the others ...
She would break anything she wanted...
She would burn this fucking place to the ground...
But she would be damned before she let the fire kill...
When the first ball of fire gathered in front of her, it hovered a
moment before it shot across the hanger. It impacted one of the
open halls leading into the empty base, and then exploded outward.
The grated level above crumbled under the impact, and the
temperature in the room increased quickly. In steady repetition,
the flames flew forth again and again, each time becoming more
powerful, more destructive.
Rebecca was grinning.
Xavier ordered the X-Men to retreat as the inferno began to spread.
They ran out into the snow, which had melted to the point that it
was more mud than ice.
When they reached the jet, Xavier saw Mary turn back and stare at
the fire within. Her vision, her dreamed prophecy, had come to
pass. It had been just as she had seen...except for her
confrontation with the Stranger's dark force. She had not known of
She heard Cyclops's voice urging her on, and she followed after him
into the jet.
Gambit had secured Rogue into the medical bed Mary had previously
occupied. Mary sat down in a passenger seat nearby. Her mind was
still hazy from her experience, and as the ramp closed, she noticed
the jet she and Rogue had arrived in sitting forgotten in the
"Oops..." she mumbled, and Nightcrawler frowned with concern.
"What?" he asked and Mary pointed one shaky hand toward the ramp.
"We forgot the little jet..." she said, her words slightly slurred.
"We'll come back for it..." Nightcrawler's soft voice said.
Mary shook her head, "No...we won't..."
"We must come back for Sid and..." he began but Mary cut him off.
"No," she said firmly, "We won't..."
Xavier listened to her next words, and stared out the front window
"...but Erik will."
The hanger's north end lay in ruins. Every possible entrance
leading back under the mountain had been destroyed. The flames made
the air in the hanger almost unbearable, but much of the heat was
escaping out the open doors.
Magneto had his arms folded over his chest, and he was immensely
The fires had not burned close enough to himself or the others to
cause injury, so he assumed this demonstration spoke to the true
limitations of her power. Was she as powerful as her mother
her paternal genes, dominant in mutants, diluted her maternal
Rebecca was breathing heavily as the fire abated. It was a lull,
not an end...and it would not last long.
Her focus was still the screaming Sentinel, which was reporting its
outer temperature was now at one hundred and twenty-five degrees
She did feel a measure of control, pulling the fire back, though it
was ready to take her again when commanded. It had been a long time
since she allowed this much of the fire out
she did not know how
much would make her lose control entirely.
Dumb ass machine, she thought, glaring up at the Sentinel, Why would
you tell everyone how to destroy you? Five hundred degrees...
"Sid..." Rebecca managed to say, her fists clenched painfully at her
"I know...I'll do what I can..." he replied and then went to Paul
and helped him to his feet. He aided the `pusher' as he walked, and
Paul tried not to think about the two bodies he was leaving behind.
Magneto walked up behind Rebecca before Mystique could stop him.
The power in the air made him smile again. No human being, no human
army, would dare stand up to this.
"What a gift you have, child," he said. He frowned as Rebecca began
to laugh. The sound was more terrified than amused.
"Gift?" she said without turning around, "Is that what you call it?"
The room trembled as the Sentinel began to step forward. The
booming message changed, and it now stated that automatic
precautions were being implemented...mutant source of instability
would be neutralized.
Mystique, unlike Magneto, decided to heed Sid's warning. She
grabbed Pyro and Toad by the arms and tried to drag them away. Toad
tore out of her grasp and she glared at him.
"Don't be a fool," she said, and then shouted, "Erik! We have to
leave! It's coming back!"
"We can't leave her here," Toad growled at her.
"Stay then," Mystique said back, and called to Magneto again, "Erik!"
"Leave," Rebecca said.
"No," Magneto replied.
"Why?" Rebecca asked, still keeping her back to him.
"Because your people need you...will need you beyond today, to
defend them against human beings who would rather see mutants dead,
like the boy you held today."
Rebecca shook her head, and her voice fell quiet, "I'm...not..."
"Not?" he asked.
"Not...just...mutant..." she said, "Oh, God...I'm a monster..."
The dozing fire suddenly grew again. Tendrils of fire curled up her
arms and flames leapt around her feet. The power in her mind was
like a rolling river
a torrent fighting to be freed
a breaking dam
The Sentinel shook the ground again with its footsteps.
Magneto took at step back when Rebecca finally spun to face him.
"I SAID GET OUT!" she screamed, and lines of fire burst from her
limbs. In her eyes, there was only rage. If he did not do as she
said, he would die...and his aspirations to lead mutants to their
proper place in the world would be burned to ash.
Magneto stepped backward, watching as Rebecca turned to face the
Sentinel, and then moved toward the Brotherhood.
"We're going," he commanded, and the others followed.
Toad did not hesitate in his pace, but glanced back once at
Rebecca. Her eyes, as she screamed at Magneto, had been alive with
flame. The same as the video, the moment of rage he had been
waiting for, fixated on for months...and they were leaving her
He wondered if they were leaving her to die.
As they reached the hanger doors, the sounds of helicopter blades
lead them to where Deathstrike had landed. They boarded, along with
Sid and Paul, and took off away from the base.
Sid stared out the window, without emotion on his face as the fire
Rebecca did not move as the Sentinel towered over her.
Its eyes, now green-searchlights again, moved in odd directions as
it narrowed in on her.
"SOURCE OF INSTABILITY LOCATED," the robot voice said with eerie
calmness, "IF MECHNICAL, ATTEMPT TO DISASSEMBLE
IF MUTANT, DESTROY
The arm of the Sentinel lifted, and one giant hand began to extend
toward her. The voice speaking from it was so calm, pleasant, the
look on the giant machine's face so vacant.
Rebecca looked upward at the hand reaching for her. It was dull
gray, like dirty silver, and the dull reflection of the flames
around her was intoxicating.
She lifted her own arm upward, a soft movement, as if to gently take
the machine's hand. The palm was almost touching her own, the
mechanical device groaning as it struggled to move in the heat.
"HULL TEMPERATURE REACHING THREE HUNDRED DEGREES FAHRENHEIT
The flames gathered in her palm, at a temperature far beyond what
was necessary to destroy the machine, and Rebecca released the fire
at the Sentinel.
The hand shattered, taking the full force of the blast. Repetitious
explosions continued up the machine's arm, until the subsequent
destruction of the right-chest cavity caused the upper shoulders and
head to collapse. The machine took a step backward, and wavered
Pieces of the hanger's ceiling were beginning to crumble as the fire
consumed it. One heavy section struck the teetering machine, and it
began to fall forward. Rebecca made no effort to move as the
Sentinel tumbled over.
As Rebecca watched the Sentinel burn, time seemed to stop.
Everything was moving slowly, the machine groaned and screeched as
it fell apart.
She saw the ceiling falling, and the Sentinel falling over her. It
was going to crush her, but she did not move.
I'm sorry, she thought, I promised I wouldn't
but it has
to be destroyed
I'm so sorry
Rebecca closed her eyes, as the stone and glass fell on top of her.
The helicopter was rocked as a giant explosion punctured through the
top of the mountain compound. Fire welled up like a miniature
volcano, and Deathstrike struggled to keep control of the aircraft
as the shockwave rolled through the air.
The light of the fire was blinding for a moment, and then dissipated
into a cloud of black smoke.
The sky and ground fell dark. When his vision cleared, Toad opened
one of the helicopters sliding doors and looked out over the carnage.
Sid held onto a belt over his head, and also stared out at the
Magneto regarded him closely, "When can we go back?
" Sid replied, "It depends on how long it takes the
fires to die down. I'll let you know."
" Magneto said and then called to Deathstrike, "Circle
around the immediate area for a few minutes
we will be landing to
retrieve Miss Malloy after it is deemed safe."
"Erik," Mystique said cynically, making no effort to lower her
voice, "You don't actually think she survived that, do you?'
Magneto did not reply, but Toad glanced back over his shoulder in
time to see a dark, confident smile form on his leader's face.
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