Fanfic Time: X-Wars, part 17

Continued from yesterday:

  Kurt watched Warren’s broadcast. He wondered if Warren was that naive or if he honestly thought that the Friends of Humanity would not attack a shelter for mutants that was run by a mutant. Xavier was only safe from their attacks due to his government backing, working as a puppet for humanity, and incredibly intense security program. The Humane Foundation would probably die within a week unless Warren had something up his sleeve. And Warren would probably die with it.


  Forge watched Warren’s broadcast. He wondered if Warren was that naive or if he honestly thought that the Friends of Humanity would not attack a shelter for mutants that was run by a mutant. Xavier was only safe from their attacks due to his government backing, working as a puppet for humanity, and incredibly intense security program. Of course, Forge could fix the security problem easily enough.

  First things first. Get a hold of the location of the Foundation. Rig up his mini-cams for that and the surrounding three blocks. Enter in a new hacking program on his computer. One that would alert him of any connection between the Foundation’s name and verious violent words, like kill, guns, attack, and the like. He’d also have to hack the Friends of Humanity files soon and find out what they nickname the foundation. Can’t have the foundation attacked because they call it by another name in their plans.

  When they attacked he would be ready. A mutant with his skills couldn’t go for a full-on attack, but simple frustrations would work just as well. In order to attack they had to get to the Foundation. He could hack the traffic lights and cause a traffic jam that lasted for miles, or create a fake advertisement that would tie up foot traffic. When all modern information went through mechanical processes at one point or another, he could change what he wished.


  Once again he remembered when he first started hacking the harder files, mostly from the government. It had all been a big game. He remembered finding video footage from Weapon X, and seeing some poor man tortured. The man’s wounds healed up quickly, but the memories remained. He had sworn that it would not happen again. He had failed. Forge turned back to his machinery and redoubled his attempts to safeguard the Foundation.


  Gunther and Wallace, leading Grand Poobahs of the Friends of Humanity, watched Warren’s announcement on the news.

  “What sort of naive idiot does he think he *is*?” Gunther scoffed. “He won’t last a week!”

  “He’s a naive idiot with *wings*, Gunther,” said Wallace. “You *know* that the press is gonna be on that mutie bastard’s side.”

  “He’s a mutie!”

  “He looks like a God-damn *angel*!” Wallace gesticulated at the screen. “We might have the right to say what the hell we please - but if we start shootin’ at *that*, they’ll roast us slowly on a *spit*.”

  Then the TV showed what the mutie’s father had done to other muties.

  “Geez… We’re in the wrong line of work.”

  “Them guv'mint sum'bitches make us look *good*…”


  “What do you *mean* all the accounts are frozen? You’re the fucking accountant! You should be able to *UN*freeze them!” Two men barged into his office. “Who the hell are you?” Warren Worthington II demanded.   “Warren Worthington II?” said the one in the trenchcoat.


  “We have a warrant to arrest you for suspicion of conspiracy to kidnap, conspiracy to murder, and anything else we can make fit,” said the latino-looking younger one[3]. He produced a piece of paper. “You have the right to remain silent. Should you waive that right, anything you say can be taken down and used against you in a court of law.”

  The older one produced a pair of cuffs. “Any mutant powers I aughta know about, Mister Worthington?”

  “You have the right to an attourney,” continued the younger. “If you cannot afford an attourney–”

  “Unlikely since this bastard’s worth a few billion,” said the older. “This guy could afford to buy Jonny Cochran’s undershorts.” He snapped the cuffs into place.

  “–one will be provided for you,” the younger one glared at the elder. “Do you understand these rights as they’ve been read to you?”

  Warren Worthington II glared venom at them both. “You won’t make anything stick.”

  “Maybe,” said the older one, escorting him, handcuffed, out the door. “But your reputation’s *mud* thanks to your little mutie boy.”

  “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Worthington lied.

  “Maybe you aughta watch the news more,” said the younger.

  “All yours, boys,” said the older one to the waiting forensics team. “Have fun.”

  They *swarmed*.


  Helicopters followed the heroes. “These heroic X-Men are now investigating a lead given to them by mutant millionaire and *angel*, Warren Worthington,” narrated the newscaster. Army-fatigued men shot at the X-Men. “There appears to be some resistance, but the rescuers are more than able to neautralise them.”

  Below, Collossus ‘love tapped’ several soldiers into unconsciousness, while Storm acted as a living taser and Gambit concussed them with his deck of cards. What guards there were were quickly overpowered. The cameras stayed live until they vanished into the bunker.

  Back to the studio.

  “Earlier, today, we were able to interview the X-Men’s field leader, Cyclops, who gave us these candid statements…”

  “The Legion?” said Cyclops’ recording. “They’re trying to eke out an existance in a world that hates them. They’re *all* visible mutants. Unable to hide or 'pass’ for normal… and most of them are kids.”

  Watching undreground, Nightcrawler began to swear.

  “All of them have been abandoned, cast off, by their real families… and because of anti-mutant hate - they have nowhere else to go.”

  “You *BASTARD*! I’m supposed to be the verdammt *villain*!”

  “You’re yelling at a recording, boss…” said Spiral.

  “And what of Nightcrawler?” said the TV.

  “Don’t you dare. Don’t you dare…”

  “He’s an honourable man, trying to protect his kind from hate.”



  Nightcrawler leaped forward, his fist raised, for a momment it looked like he was about to smash the TV in, but he restrained himself. Working TV’s could be hard to come by.

  Instead he satisfied himself by pacing angrily.

  'The… the… augh! How could he!’

  'Come on, boss,’ put in Spiral, 'it’s not that bad.’

  'Bad? Bad? You saw that! Next thing you know, they’ll be making cuddly toys out of me!’

  'Oh…’ said said Spiral.

  She and Tech looked at each other.

  'I suppose now would be a bad time to tell you about the teddybear then?’ asked Tech, drawing the soft blue toy out from behind him. 


  The thing was small - about the size for a child to cup in one arm - plush, and royal blue. It had a tiny plastic rapier attached to the belt at its rotund, cuddly waist, and instead of an imperious snarl, it wore an expression caught between 'loveable’ and 'rabbit-in-headlights’.

  It wore a powder blue heart for a spade on its tail, and around its neck was a thin gold collar with 'I’m gorgeous’ spelled out in mock diamonds.

  “It’s just a prototype, but the production company went into overdrive with all the media attention last night. They banged this thing together faster than anything they’ve ever made before to catch the wave, and reckon if they can get the test groups to like them enough, they can have them on the shelves within a week. Uh, Sluk[4] brought this back for us when we didn’t believe him.”

  Nightcrawler took one look at the toy and screamed fit to burst.


  When Nightcrawler had *quite* finished swearing - which took some time, given his multilingual background - he tore the head off the plush monstrosity, then ripped the rest of it into little pieces.

  “SPIRAL! Get the chemicals! We’re blowing something up!”


  “Um…” said Tech.

  “I am a *man*,” he said. “Not a child’s plaything.” Nightcrawler snarled and picked up the head. “Do I look like that?”

  Tech looked down. “No. You’ve got a body, boss.”

  Another growl, like a hungry tiger.

  “Well… you’re a lot thinner?”


  “They’re used to raise money for the kids?”


  “I’ll just -um–” Tech began to sidle from the room. “I’ll just -er- mix up some plastique, shall I?”


  Warren was working, trying to get things ready for the new arrivals that would be coming once the X-men got done with their work. So many things had to be gotten ready. Right now he was working alone. He couldn’t trust so many people, now that they knew he was a mutant. He would just have to work alone for now. Joy.

  He turned around and jumped when he saw someone silently watching him. It was a woman, who looked to be part Asian. She had the slanted eyes and coloring, though the rest of her build was caucasian. She had her hair in an extremely loose ponytail that managed to frame her face. Loose slacks and a kimono-esque shirt completed the look.

  “How did you get in here?”

  “Does it matter? I want to help. I know how to help. I’ve worked as management before. You know what you want to do. I know how to get it the fastest.”

  “You’ll excuse me if I’m somewhat wary of your motives, considering current sentiments about mutants.”

  She tucked a lock of hair behind her ear, revealing their pointed tips.

  Something in Warren wanted to trust her. He decided to let her help, but he would be keeping an eye on her for a while.

  “Who are you?”

  “Hakaze Yamasaki.”

  “Unusual name. What do you go by.?”

  “Kaze. My parents took one look at me when I was born and decided that was the only possible name for me.”

  “Welcome aboard, I guess.”

  He’d already doubled the workers on the project.


  Stacy strolled into the room, arching a brow as Spiral gleefully worked on adding to a very large pile of very high explosives.

  “What’s going on?” She asked. She was a little out of the loop, having spent the past several hours getting over her rejection by Warren and her…whatever it was…with Nightcrawler.

  “We finally get to blow something up!” The Shiva look-a-like grinned.

  “We do?” The brow arched higher.

  “Yep.” She confirmed. “About time too. Boss is way too soft on those norms. If you ask me…” She looked up, but Stacy was gone. She just shrugged her first set of shoulders and returned to her work.


  “Are you insane?” Stacy demanded as she marched up to her blue-skinned leader. “I thought we weren’t terrorists?”

  “We’re not.” Nightcrawler confirmed. “But I will not be made a laughing stock!”

  “And who exactly are you being made a laughing stock?” She frowned.

  “Well…there was this toy…” He glanced around, finding the ting'shead and tossed it to her.

  “And this is…?”

  “An itty, bitty Nightcrawler….damn adorable it was!” Tech grinned, a grin that immediately vanished when two golden slits turned on him.

  “You’re gonna blow up a factory…” Stacy began.

  “Damn straight.”

  “Risk lives…” She continued.

  “Um…well…” His tail flicked nervously.

  “Put hundreds of people out of work…” She folded her arms across her chest. “Because someone made a cuddly toy out of you?”

  “I will not be made fun of!” He growled.

  “Just go in there and tell them that!” She said. “We have laws in this country. You can’t go using an image of someone without their permission.”

  “Well…” Tech said. “It didn’t look exactly like him…but it did seriously piss him off…”

  “Why’d they make it anyway?” Stacy frowned. “They think they can make money out of a guy who everyone thinks is a totally psychopath?”

  “Thanks to pretty boy Cyclops and his loose lips now he’s seen as a saintly figure doing God’s work by taking in poor little homeless mutants…sorta like he does bad things for good reasons…”

  “Really…?” She sashayed over to Nightcrawler and leaned against his shoulder. “Knowing your taste in movies…I’d have thought you’d like being a modern day Robin Hood…”

  Nightcrawler considered this for a moment.

  “Okay…fine…” He conceded. “But those dolls have still gotta go!”


  “That was quick,” said Spiral. The subtext of her body language said, _And you can start thanking God - now._

  “What?” said Stacy. “All I had to do was talk to him and convince him that terrorism wasn’t the answer in this case.”

  Spiral made a tiny little noise. Like a mouse trying to roar.

  It was all the warning Stacy got before two hands were firmly clamped about her neck. “YOU FUCKING LITTLE BITCH! I WAS FINALLY GOING TO BLOW *UP* SOMETHING! YOU LITTLE FUCKING *BITCH*!”

  “Spiral. Put her down,” said Nightcrawler. “Don’t make me punish you.”

  Spiral startled, stared at him for a solid second, then dropped Stacy and immediately wrapped herself around his knees. “Oh, please. You wouldn’t tease me, would you?”

  “Lieber *Gott*…”

  “I’ve been a very bad girl. Very, *very* naughty. You could spank me?”

  Nightcrawler sighed. “Let go, Rita.”

  “Tease.” Reluctantly, she disengaged. “You *never* let me have any fun.”

  “How does pyromania strike you as a compromise?”

  “*KU-URT*,” Stacy hissed through gritted teeth. “*No*.”

  Nightcrawler just grinned. “I *am* the badguy. Just a little protest against putting a collar around my neck.”

  “Where *did* that little bit of glitter go?” wondered Tech.

  Spiral faked innocence rather well for someone adding a piece of jewellery to one wrist.


  It was the middle of the night so there was no risk to the staff, much to Spiral’s disappointment, though Nightcrawler had graciously allowed her to take out the security guard. But he’d been a plump, middle aged man who had embarrassed himself and passed out before she could even take a step towards him. She had gotten to tie him up real good though.

  They entered the main storage room and began searching the numerous vats of inventory. Line upon line of huge metal bins filled the room.

  “What you got?” Spiral hissed.

  “Piggies.” Stacy hissed back.

  “Got bears here.” Spiral told her.

  “Ladies?” Nightcrawler growled. “Minds on business, please.”

  Several minutes, and numerous bins later, Spiral grinned with delight when she uncovered a bin full of cute little Nightcrawlers. She flashed a glance at her companions, both were quite some distance away. She flipped back the lid with a resounding bang through the cavernous room, and dove in.

  Nightcrawler and Stacy were immediately alerted by the sound and were at the bin in an instant. Stacy couldn’t help but chuckle when they found Spiral 'swimming’ amid the Nightcrawlers.

  “Eeeeeeeee!!!!!!” She squealed as she hugged many of the offending adorable objects to herself. “Almost as good as the real thing!”

  Stacy arched a brow at her leader. “Is there something you want to tell me?”

  “Are you quite finished?” Nightcrawler enquired with a sigh.

  “Just give me a few more minutes.” Spiral grinned. All three winced at the sound of rending fabric. “Oops.” Spiral picked up the damaged toy, one of her many knives having sliced it from neck to navel…and beyond.

  “Ooooohhh…” Stacy sympathised. “Right through the crotch…”

  “Danke so much for that mental picture…” Nightcrawler grumbled. “Spiral! Get out of there! NOW! Or you go up in flames with them!”

  “Touchy.” She grumbled, quickly grabbing as many of the tiny things as she could, which, with six arms was quite a few, tossing them behind the bin while Nightcrawler and Stacy were readying the equipment.

  ’_You’re not ruining all my fun…_’ She smirked.


  Spiral timed it perfectly so that the flash of her teleporting several dozen Nightcrawler-dollies to a secret hide-away was masked by the rest of them igniting with a soft {WHOOOMPHF!}

  “Ah! I love the smell of petrochemicals in the morning.”

  “Truly beautiful,” Spiral lied as she re-joined the group. “So what’s going to stop them making more?”

  “The fact that the plans and designs are in there with them?” said Nightcrawler.

  Stacy re-joined the group, hiding a marker. “Just -uh- just checking to make sure they didn’t have any backups, boss.”

  “Graffitti?” he said.

  “Heh.” Stacy blushed. “Just a little message. Nothing vital.”

  Nightcrawler held out his hand, “Marker.”

  She handed it over. He wrote on the bin. _I am not a toy!_

  Stacy completely failed Looking Innocent 101 while he did so.

  Therefore, compelled by curiosity, Spiral had to go look at the message.

  It took her an hour to stop giggling. And by that time, she’d made a few 'fun adjustments’ to one of the blue teddies she’d 'liberated’.


  -God, this place is big-

  That was Alison’s thought for the day as she took yet another wander round the Mansion. She had been exploring it on and off since she came, but, what with the various crisises and her own private financial arrangements, had not had time to do a good, comprehensive trip round it until now. It was nearly five o'clock, and was finally coming to the end of her little treck. She’d started at the bottom, looking through all the basements she could get into, even the Dangeroom, and was now moving steadily upwards, to the top wings of the mansion.

  Now she was in the east wing, at the top turret, it was one of the older parts of the mansion, the walls were made of hard, thinck stone, the place seemed cold, but not unfriendly.

  She came to a door and was both suprised and delighted to find it unlocked. A lot of the doors on the higher levels seemed to have been barred and bolted, but this one was obviously open for the public.

  She could only just withold a gasp of shock as she glanced in the large room beyond.

  At first she took it to be a gallery, pictures, beautifully painted with a skilled hand adorned every wall. She entered the room and took a closer look, examining the portrates. Some were of unknown people, dressed in rustic clothes, but many, she was surpirsed to see, were of the X-men. There was one of Jean, semi naked, stretched out on a couch, the lighting used in such a way that it seemed purely beautiful, not lustful in anyway. Another picture showed Storm, tending her garden, another was of Xavier, looking pensivly out upon a white snowscape, the bright light from the window lighting and contrasting every wrinkle in his care lined face.

  She turned round, eyes scanning every wall of the room, untill she realized that this wasn’t a gallery, it was someone’s bedroom. A double bed, built of strong steel, dominated the center of the room. At the head of the bed hung the most beautiful picture of them all. This one of a girl with wide, innocent blue eyes, and long golden hair. She looked like a baby angel.

  'Beautiful,’ Alison murmered, her fingers coming up to touch the rough canvas.

  'She is, isn’t she,’ said a deep voice behind her. Alison nearly jumped out of her skin. It was Collossus, standing calm and still, for one so big he moved with surprising stealth.

  'I… I’m sorry,’ Dazzler stammered, 'I… I didn’t know-’

  'Ach, it’s alright,’ soothed the Russian in his deep, bass tones, 'I do not belive in locking my door much. It is not how it should be done, we should be able to to trust our comrades, yes? You like the picture?’

  Alision nodded, feeling somewhat awkard, she hadn’t ever taken time to talk to the Russian, he always seemed so grim, so… imposing.

  'Who is she?’ she asked at last.

  'My sister, Illyana,’ replied the Piotr, 'she is back home at the moment, I miss her very much.’

  Alison nodded, trying to look sympathetic.

  'Your pictures,’ she said, 'they are beautiful, very skilled. Um… ever thought of admitting them to a gallery?’

  Piotr sighed, 'ya,’ his said, 'I have. Three months ago I admitted some to the Tete.’

  'They weren’t accepted?’

  'No, they were accepted, but Dann did not want me to do it. He said it would ruin my image. I am the stong, stoic one, you see. The muscly one. I am not allowed to have any talent beyond that, painting does not suit my image.’

  Dazzler’s heart broke, Piotr spoke with such… sadness, but not anger or bitterness. It was as if he had long ago accepted his fate, had accepted a sort of despair.

  'I am sorry,’ she said.

  Piotr shrugged, and silence reigned in the room for a bit.

  'This isnt any place for me,’ Alison murmered at last.


  'This place… the mansion… It’s nice, I like it but… it’s not me. I can’t do anything here, and even if Dann let me I… I’m not sure I’d want to. I don’t belong here, I’m no X-man.’

  Piotr nodded, understanding.

  'Where shall you go?’ he asked.

  'Give you three guesses,’ grinned Dazzler, and her eyes strayed to one of the Russian’s most recent paintings. More of a sketch really, a sketch of a man with the wings of angels. 


  Cyclops led the charge into the actual bunker. They had to get the kids out before anyone decided to cut their losses and kill off the evidence. They went by row after row of cells. They didn’t have the time to search for keys, so they took the more direct approach. Collossus was ripping doors off thier hinges and Storm was using her lightning to short out their locks. After about a dozen cells, all the doors swung open. Cyclops noticed Gambit sitting next to an open panel in the wall.

  “What? You tink I could make a living as da theif wit'out learning how to open locked doors?”

  Collossus was set to work escorting the kids out. If anyone came around the corner he would act as a living shield. Storm brought up the back of that group while Cyclops, Gambit, Havok, and Jean continued in, searching for more kids.

  Soon enough they came upon a second block of cells. Once again Remy worked his magic. This time Cyclops was close enough to see that he truly didn’t know how to rewire the entire grid. He just uses his kinetic energies to blast the wires leading to the cells, thus setting off the electrical contact that opened the cells. This time Jean and Havok led the kids out while Cyclops and Gambit continued in.

  They ran by offices, labs, and more offices. Then they came to a lab that looked like it had been in use. They rushed in and saw a man holding a very large syringe to the throat of a very small girl. There was a plexiglass barrier between them an the men. It looked like they were in an observation room of some kind.

  “If you do not let me aned my men go I will kill the girl,” the man with the needle said.

  “Remy 'tinks we in biiiig trouble.”


  There was a slight movement behind the man.


  The man with the needle slumped and a man behind him grabbed the girl and rushed out to the X-men. He handed them the girl.

  “They’ve had her for so long that she forgot her name. Her name is Sarah. Please, I want to help. I’m only here because they’ll kill my sister if I don’t help. They wanted a top neurologist. My name is Jason. I can lead you to where the children are and show you the fastest ways out.”

  “An’ why should we trus’ you?”

  “Because I want to help. The mutants weren’t the only captives in this place.”

  “Lead on, mon ami.”

  Cyclops scowled at Gambit, but gestured his assent.

  Jason sat down at a conputer terminal and started calling up building schematics.

  “There’s ten blocks of mutants. Those in block eight will be safe for now. All but two of the scientists are on your side. We learned how to bring down the firewalls a long time ago. That will keep the security teams out. We’ve been waiting for someone to set us all free. The guards torture any scientist they find comforting a mutant, as well as the mutant they comforted. All we’ve been able to do for them is remember what they said before the guards broke them and took thier memories. We don’t even have names for them all… we don’t even have names…no names…”


  Neither Cyclops nor Gambit could tell quite when Jason had broken down, but there was no doubt as to his sincerity. Cyclops and Gambit studied the maps for a few minutes, then Cyclops gestured for them to leave.

  Gambit said, “We gotta take Jason too. If we get turned around he’ll know where to go, and he has the access codes to the building. 'Sides, if we leave him here the guards will probably kill him.”

  The three left together to free the rest of the kids, though Jason still seemed too shell shocked to be of much use. 


  “You’re really going to need some smaller furniture for this room,” said a new voice.

  Warren looked up.

  The speaker was - to put it politely - slightly rotund. She wore a grey power suit and a practical expression. “Sandra Mayberry.”

  “If I can ask–”

  “I’m not a mutant. I just got fired from a rather strict office, I have three kids in college, I *need* a job, and I figured someone like you could use someone like me. For a change.”

  “You saw the news.”

  “It’s hard not to. You’re on the big screen in central square. I used to be a second-class girl-friday in a powerful law firm. And I was inevitably fired because I didn’t look like Ally McBeal with a double-D cup. I have useful organisational skills, I know more law than my former CEO used to wipe his *butt* with - and I’d love to work with children.”

  Warren was stunned. But he thought about the little girl with numbers on her arm, who was afraid of uniforms. “Do you have any casual clothes?”

  “Hell yeah. I gotta warn you though - my taste is… *bright*.”

  “Brighter the better,” said Warren. “I suspect some of the kids won’t trust anyone in a uniform, mutie or not. And your current mode of dress– uh…”

  “Is gonna get 'em nervous, I get ya,” she smiled. “I’m gonna *like* working here. Want me to get some of the friendlier range of kiddies’ things for the rooms?”

  “Please,” said Warren. “And after that, we can *both* have a little chat with the plumbers-slash-teamsters up there,” Warren pointed at the ceiling.

  “I don’t hear any working.”

  “My point.”

  Sandra nodded. “Gimmie half an hour. I’ll be back with some things.”

  “Excellent,” said Warren. “I eagerly await seeing you come back.”

  “Charmer,” she said as she left.

  “Who was that?” said Kaze.

  “Our first Normal co-worker.” Warren grinned. “I feel so international.”