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  • Alisa Lindsay
    Title: Here There Be Monsters Authors: Stormwolfe and Tinhutlady E-mail: Stormwolfe@mindspring.com and
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 21, 2004
      Title: Here There Be Monsters

      Authors: Stormwolfe and Tinhutlady

      E-mail: <mailto:Stormwolfe@...> Stormwolfe@... and
      <mailto:Tinhutlady@...> Tinhutlady@...

      Rating: R, story contains violence, strong language, and suggested sexual

      Summary: As for a summary, let's see, we've got aliens, mutants, the
      military, and evil scientists. How on Earth are we going to peg this? I
      mean, what more could anyone ask for? (Grins)

      Story Notes: This story is based on the ending of the novelization of X-2,
      X-Men United. Therefore, Jean is not dead.

      Notes Stormwolfe: I realize that there are many Predator and Predator VS
      Alien novels on the market. I have not read them. Most of the basic
      information regarding Predator was taken from the two movies. The names,
      background on his culture and society, etc. were completely fabricated to
      suit this story.

      Notes from Tinhutlady: I'm so glad Stormwolfe offered me the chance to work
      with her on this. It has been a blast! I love action scenarios like this and
      she really let me have a go at it. Many, many thanks to you, lady, and to
      LaDonaJ_Rose (Rabbit); you two are wonderful.

      Category: Crossover/Alternate Universe. The X-Men characters are portrayed
      as closely to canon as set down by the various Marvel comic universes,
      cartoons, and movies. However, artistic license has been taken where needed.

      Disclaimer: The X-Men and the X-Men movies are the properties of Marvel
      Comics, Inc. and 20th Century Fox Studios. Predator belongs to 20th Century
      Fox. No copyright infringement intended in any way.

      Dedication from Stormwolfe: To LaDonaJ_Rose for superb beta'ing as always
      and just being a Rabbit. Wolverine6Claws (for help with a particular scene,
      thanks sugar) and X-MenLoganFan for test reading, input, general support,
      and just being friends. Last but far from least, Tinhutlady - for taking on
      this project and putting so very much into it! What a blessing to have such
      wonderful friends and writing companions.

      Here There Be Monsters

      Chapter 2

      The site known only as 'The Facility' was located far off the beaten path in
      upstate Maine, near the Canadian border. A vast underground complex, it had
      been a top security Bio-Weapons research laboratory and containment center
      for nearly twenty years. Massive pine and hardwood forests spread out around
      the few visible buildings on the surface. The road ended in front of a
      guardhouse that controlled access to the area beyond. Behind the guardhouse
      was a parking area for maybe fifty vehicles, mostly empty. To the far side
      of the parking area there was a large helicopter pad, empty for the moment.
      Set slightly apart, two three-story, concrete buildings that served as
      barracks, were currently lightly occupied. Behind and centered between the
      two barracks was a rather large, rambling stone cottage. Connected to it by
      a shaded walkway, sat a small, square concrete building, where two highly
      armed and proficient guards watched monitors and guarded the only access to
      the entrance of an elevator that was the only access to the main underground

      Augustus Stryker sat at the wrought iron and glass table in the morning room
      just off the stone cottage's kitchen. Outside the floor to ceiling windows,
      he could see the distant forest, dark and ominous. Closer in numerous bird
      feeders and small flowerbeds attracted both birds and butterflies. Overall,
      this was one of the better facilities he had been housed in, certainly
      superior to the stone and steel complex he had inhabited for years outside
      of London. He now reveled in the New England surroundings, fleetingly
      forgetting that the path his brother took with the American military had
      been his reason for embarking overseas in the first place. Stryker's
      thoughts moved from his surroundings to the work being conducted in the
      laboratories below.

      Predator, as he had mentally labeled the alien creature, was proving
      strong-willed and more resilient than he hoped. Certainly capable of
      intelligent thought, as evidenced by the complexity of the equipment found
      in his craft, the species had a primitive savagery Stryker found hard to
      grasp. Normally he equated aggression with a lack of mental faculties. The
      lack of communication and response from the creature led him to theorize
      that its primitive kind had stolen the technology and learned to utilize it
      for predatory purposes. He frowned. The military, not surprisingly, was not
      interested in his theories, only in the alien's power, ferocity, and
      resilience. Formidable in size, its strength was equally impressive and it
      seemed to have thermal visual abilities, spotting its captors even in total
      darkness. So far, no drugs seemed to affect it, no food to tempt it, and no
      punishments to phase it. From the beginning, it had been an enigma and he
      had asked McDaniel to restrain it for a physical examination. Judging from
      the external reproductive structure they found under its rudimentary
      clothing, it was male, but that was all he had been able to determine before
      it had begun to snap chains in an effort to kill him when he touched the
      genitalia. Blood, tissue, and waste samples would have to wait as cooling
      the room they kept it in was not enough to keep it safely immobilized.

      Stryker sighed in irritation and returned his gaze to the outdoors.
      Impatience was not a virtue; it was one of the few vices he acknowledged.
      Colonel McDaniel and the officer detailed to locate Weapon X and devise a
      capture plan would be joining him soon and he took comfort in that thought.
      He finished his coffee and walked through the large, well-appointed kitchen,
      down a short hall and into a large, comfortably furnished bedroom. Always
      prepared and meticulous, the suit he intended to wear was hanging just
      inside the dressing room, along with matching shirt and tie. Stryker brushed
      an imaginary speck of dust from the jacket's sleeve. The suit was a light
      shade of charcoal, a color chosen to show authority but not to intimidate.

      "You know," Augustus said as he exited the dressing room and walked over to
      the large mahogany dresser, "the chance to work on this project could be the
      highlight of my career." His clipped, British-tinged accent hung in the air
      as if awaiting an answer.

      "This project would go nowhere if it weren't for my work," a deep, masculine
      voice with a noticeable Southern drawl responded softly.

      "Nonsense!" Stryker was firm. "Your work is merely providing a 'launching
      point' for this project. You cannot compare apples to oranges. Weapon X
      cannot begin to touch the complexity of this alien creature. Once I have
      what I need from it, your 'creation' can be used for random experimentation
      and testing - if it is destroyed in the process, no loss. Since the thing
      cannot be controlled effectively, it is of very little use in the field. I
      intend to make sure Predator does exactly what I need it to."

      "Perhaps, but finding the way to break Weapon X would bring me peace as
      well," the other voice responded, sounding somewhat testy. Augustus stopped
      to look in the mirror hanging above the dresser as he adjusted his tie.

      "My work with the alien DNA and Weapon X will be groundbreaking - no -
      actually earth shattering." He stared directly into the mirror, "Yours will
      only be known as the beginning to my end. Rest easy, dearest William, I will
      bring you justice. I promised you that the night I found out what had
      happened to you at Alkali Lake. Your death." There was an ominous pause and
      Augustus' hand shook slightly on his tie. "We climbed out of that well of
      despair together, you and I, and reason prevailed as reason always should.
      Just remember, while I encourage your help, I will also be doing this my
      way.I ask that you respect that. Have patience; you'll see."

      Augustus smiled warmly. He really did not need his older brother's approval
      or assistance. It would be nice to have both but not mandatory.
      Encouragement never hurt, however and he decided to proceed as planned no
      matter what 'help' he received. Turning away from the mirror, he walked back
      toward the kitchen just as the door chime sounded. Rounding the corner of
      the hall, he opened the glass-paneled door and bowed slightly in welcome.

      "Ahhh, Colonel McDaniel, please - come in. I will make a fresh pot of
      coffee. Where is Major Dunst?"

      - - -

      The young man looked over as his superior officer emerged from the woods.
      "Major, good news. We have more information."

      Major Dunst took the clipboard from him and glanced at his partner. The
      other was scribbling down notes as fast as he could with one hand as he held
      the earphones from the audio surveillance device tightly to his ear with his
      other. She quickly read over the transcript and a gleam appeared in her eye.

      "They actually said this?" She watched him nod and her heart gave a leap.
      "Radio the others. I will need three snipers, a dart gun, the restraints,
      the SUV, and female civilian clothes for a disguise. Tell them to meet me."
      She grabbed a map and double-checked the location. "Meet me five miles down
      the road at that grocery store on the corner. Pronto!" Patricia tossed him
      the map even as she turned to double-time it back to her car. She would not
      need to mount a frontal assault on the mansion now. Luck was smiling on her.

      - - -

      Jean Grey could not resist going to Ororo's attic bedroom. The news that she
      and Logan had given them a few moments earlier had floored her. She and
      Scott had been having tea with the Professor on the balcony outside his
      private suite when Ororo and Logan had asked to speak to the three of them.
      All three had been surprised since there had been no previous hint of a
      relationship between the two team members. Surprise had quickly given way to
      delight and an impromptu 'baby news' party planned.

      Jean knocked on Ororo's door and pushed it open to find her friend trying to
      decide which of two blouses to wear with her floating peasant style skirt
      and sandals. Jean smiled, emerald eyes sparkling, "Either one, dear. You
      look dazzling no matter what you put on."

      Ororo smiled and for a moment looked almost shy, "I want to look my best.
      Logan was unimaginably supportive and even excited over the baby."

      Jean sat on the edge of the bed, running her hand over the gold colored silk
      blouse laying there. She hesitated because what she was about to ask was
      really none of her business. Logan and Ororo were dear friends, however, and
      she did not want either of them to be hurt.especially by each other.



      "Forgive me for intruding. But you and Logan? I mean, you've barely had
      anything to do with him for a couple of months now. Even Scott commented one
      day that he wondered if the two of you had had some sort of disagreement."

      "Nothing to forgive, sis," Ororo said with a twinkle in her eye. "I've
      thought of talking to you before now." She pushed both blouses out of her
      way and sat down on the bed, cross-legged and facing Jean. "This is
      embarrassing for me. I slept with Logan one night because I needed proof I
      was still an attractive and desirable woman. That was not fair and he did
      not deserve to be used in that manner. "

      Jean grinned, "So typical Ororo emerged. You were uncomfortable and you
      retreated to the cold, distant aloof goddess we've all come to know and

      Ororo laughed, the sound musical, "Oh yes. Then I felt worse for treating
      him that way since I was the one to seduce him. He even gave me several
      opportunities to walk away. So.as I felt even worse for treating him so
      poorly during the days afterward, I got even more distant. Admitting I'm
      wrong is not one of my strong suits."

      Jean laughed and stood up, "Understood. And now?"

      "Jean, he was wonderful and kind and caring. Quick to take responsibility
      and assure me that he wanted to be involved totally with our child. All
      things considered, I cannot make myself go on believing this child is an
      accident or mistake. No matter what happens in our future, the night this
      child was conceived involved more 'love' than I have experienced in a long
      time. We may not have been 'in love' but he was loving, caring, and
      considerate towards me. Then and now." And maybe I could love him, she
      thought. Ororo picked up the gold colored silk blouse, put it on, and tied
      the ends loosely around her waist, leaving the pretty tank top that matched
      the flowing peasant skirt peeking out. Looping her arm through Jean's she
      tugged the stately redhead toward the door.

      "Let's go. I am looking forward now to sharing my news with the rest of our
      family. And," she grinned in delight, "I'm starved."

      - - -

      Humans were dangerous, far more dangerous than he had anticipated.
      K'Ha'Lon-ka shivered, trying not to let them see his movement. When he
      escaped, he would make sure to take some of these creatures with him. He had
      been distracted on the landing and they had taken advantage of it. They had
      laughed at him; he knew what laughter was since the mate of his mother's
      mother had told him of Earth many times. Laughter meant lack of honor. There
      was certainly no honor here. They had tied him down and probed him. He
      growled softly at the thought of their touch, especially the one that
      dressed differently in a long cover, the quiet one that had come in after
      the others and probed him the most. K'Ha'Lon-Ka had tried to kill him for

      None of these creatures was intelligent enough to be dangerous, except maybe
      the Quiet One. Most were animals and he would gladly collect their pelts and
      skulls as the bounty to win back his love's affection. They may carry
      weapons but they would make easy prey. The only challenge he could
      anticipate was escaping and he knew with certainty he would be able to do
      that as soon as his limb healed. Slowly K'Ha'Lon-ka flexed the still-mending
      muscles of his upper arm. Soon he would be ready.

      The Quiet One, the one who softly commanded the others, that one was
      foremost in his mind. It had been the one smart enough to confiscate all of
      his armor. It had given him back his helmet and filter when he had feigned
      difficulty breathing but the remainder of his gear was still with it. Given
      enough time, this Quiet One might figure out the weaponry he had and use it
      against him.

      This was the individual who had finally determined cold was the one thing he
      could not overcome. K'Ha'Lon-ka shivered again. The confining space was kept
      at a temperature just on the edge of his ability to function and he did not
      like it. To protest too loudly was to draw attention to his weakness so he
      simply pretended to sleep when they took away life-giving heat. Food was of
      no importance; he could go for a long time without it. Those sharp stinging
      objects pushed fluids under his skin but none of them had been toxic, not to
      his blood. Without his medical kit, it had taken longer for the bone to heal
      but his physiology would prevail - his kind was supreme for a reason. Still,
      the fact that the Quiet One had figured out how to hurt him, probe him,
      control him, made K'Ha'Lon-ka as uneasy as the low temperature.

      The best he could do was bide his time until his limb returned to full
      function. As long as he played dumb, they would consider him less of a
      threat. He could fix his ship; the damage had not been severe. He just
      needed his computer to calculate some of the part adjustments and his
      computer was in his forearm bracer - with the Quiet One. A loathing crept
      through him quite unlike how he normally felt about prey. This one, this
      Quiet One, would be his ultimate prize.

      - - -

      Walking with Logan to the garage Ororo paused, the talk she had just had
      with Jean still fresh in her mind. They were going to meet with Jean and
      Scott before going to pick up supplies for the celebration, but her heart
      felt twinges of guilt so she tugged on Logan's hand, pulling him to a stop.

      "Logan, I wanted to apologize."

      He quickly put a hand up to stop her. "There's nothing to be sorry about.
      You've made me a very happy man."

      She felt him squeeze her hand and was startled to see adoration in his eyes.
      "I'm glad we're going to be parents. I'm glad you want me to be a part of
      your life." He softly kissed her, a quick brush of love against her lips.

      All the things she was going to say fled in the face of that short, honest
      speech. She did not remember feeling the floor under her feet as he walked
      with her the rest of the way towards the car.

      - - -

      "I can't get over it. This is just so." Scott threw the jeep into park and
      cut the engine. "I still can't believe it." His face lit up with a broad
      grin and Ororo laughed from the back seat.

      "Come, come, Scott. Next you'll say I'm already glowing." She cut her eyes
      to Logan, wondering if he was changing his mind about any of this. His
      facial expression matched Scott's to her relief and she grinned as her heart
      skipped a beat with pleasure as she remembered that last little kiss Logan
      had given her. He really wanted to be a part of her life.their life. "It's
      still a little new to me, too, you know."

      Logan climbed out the back and held the door for Ororo. "I wasn't paying
      attention or I could have told you a while ago." He reached for her hand and
      kissed it warmly as she stepped out.

      Jean exited the front and walked around to hold Scott's hand as they headed
      across the parking lot for the store. "Can you tell if a woman's pregnant?"

      Logan nodded as he wrapped his arm around Ororo and closed the door.
      "Scent's different."

      "So what's on the menu for the feast? We have to have." Scott began.

      "Watermelon," stated Ororo firmly. "I have a craving for fresh fruit."

      There was a general round of laughter. Jean's hand jerked a little in
      Scott's grip and he turned to look at her. To his surprise, she stopped
      walking and slowly sank to the asphalt, her eyes rolling back in her head as
      she fell.

      "Jean!" He slid his body between her and the hot pavement, patting her cheek
      to no avail. Then he noticed a tiny dart protruding from her neck. "What

      A nearby woman in a Laura Ashley floral print dress made an exclamation and
      trotted over. "What happened? Here, I'm a nurse. Let me look at her."

      Before the other three could protest, she stood over Scott and Jean,
      rummaging in her purse. She whipped a gun out and held it against Scott's

      "Look around, Wolverine."

      Logan's eyes flicked to the left and right. Two snipers, partially hidden by
      large vehicles, were positioned with crossfire on them, targets already
      acquired. He tensed his forearms but did not release the blades.

      "Step back toward the SUV behind you or your friends will die. It's as
      simple as that." The woman's voice was cold and brooked no argument. When he
      did not move, she added, "You're government property. I have no use for

      Slowly, angrily, Logan drew away from Ororo and began to step backwards. He
      knew what kind of people they were dealing with and knew the odds were not
      in his favor that some nasty surprise was not in store for them.

      "No!" Scott started to raise a hand but the gun moved from his skull to
      point at Jean's.

      "No." Logan growled out the word and tried to catch Scott's gaze. His eyes
      then flicked briefly toward Ororo and Scott gave a small nod.

      "I..." Ororo moved toward him, but the woman cocked the hammer and shoved
      the gun harder against Jean's temple so she stopped.

      Logan stood still as the men behind him put restraints on him, strapping his
      arms in place, forcing his hands to rest directly under his chin. If he
      popped the blades now, he would only harm himself. As they securely strapped
      his legs together, he glared at the bitch in the dress.

      She smiled. "You really shouldn't talk on an open balcony. There are many
      ears in the world. When I said we wanted our property back I meant all of
      it.Every little bit."

      Logan's eyes widened but before he could yell a warning to Ororo, the man
      behind him slipped a gag in his mouth. Another dart hit its mark and Ororo
      slumped to the ground. Four men grabbed him and threw him in the back of the
      SUV but not before the struggling Wolverine caught a glimpse of two men
      forcibly escorting Ororo to another car.

      A small crowd of people started to gather as the SUV and the car drove off.
      Seething, Scott watched the woman dig into her purse again and pull out a

      "National security," she stated crisply. "Everyone go about your business."
      When they had disbursed, she disarmed the hammer and put her gun back in her
      purse. "There's one more sniper on the roof of the store. I suggest you
      simply take your woman and go back to the mansion. Do not follow. Don't try
      anything or the white-haired woman dies."

      Scott watched her get into a nearby car and drive off. Slowly, deliberately,
      he stood with Jean in his arms, carefully making no threatening movements as
      he took her back to the jeep. He knew what the woman meant when she said
      'every little bit' and his mind readily grasped the danger his friends were
      in even as he racked his thoughts for ways to get them back.

      The End, Chapter 2

      Blessed be.... Alisa
      ( <mailto:stormwolfe@...> stormwolfe@...)

      An Eagle may soar, but a Wolverine will never get sucked into a jet engine.

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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