In a complicated world that hates and fears them, the Professor Charles Xavier and his X-men stand for peace and understanding. Their stand has faced major challenges from the likes of Magneto and his Brotherhood of mutants. Their recent clashes have caused tension both between the two teams and with the public at large. But the Brotherhood isn’t the only adversary they’re up against. Another, more mysterious, foe has emerged in a black project bent on turning mutants into weapons..
Not long ago, the X-men rescued a mysterious man named Logan, better known as Wolverine, from a shady group known as Weapon X who seemed bent on re-capturing him and finishing a program that was started years ago. Logan, having had his memories wiped and his mind warped, was very damaged from the experience. He was reluctant to abandon his fight against Weapon X, but the X-men persuaded him to stay at the institute and they have since helped him rebuild his humanity.
But Weapon X did not end their pursuit of their prized specimen. Led by General John Wraith and Dr. Abraham Cornelius, Weapon X planned a daring attack on Wolverine and the X-men in their own home. The attack succeeded, leading to the capture of not just Wolverine, but the entire team. They awoke to find themselves at the mercy of Weapon X’s agenda. Dr. Cornelius revealed that Wolverine wasn’t just their prized agent, but he contained in him a collection of substances that Weapon X needed to create more operatives. And they plan on using the X-men as their new generation of combatants.
But just as the experiments were beginning, the X-men broke free and fought back only to be trapped again. Now with no way out, they face the full wrath of Weapon X.
Weapon X Security Hub – Moments Ago
This was a crucial moment for Weapon X and they were taking no chances with security. They pulled out all the stops, bringing in every hired gun they could to patrol the complex and seal off every possible route of escape. Because of the sensitive nature of these experiments, they couldn’t use normal military forces. They had to be mercenaries and private security forces, that way the government could keep their hands clean. They were not always as skilled or as disciplined as regular military forces. They were also kept out of the loop many times. But that didn’t mean they were unaware of what was going on.
With the stakes this high, every square inch of the facility was monitored. The leaders of the various security units watched over their forces and stayed in constant contact through the main security hub. Here they could see everything in the facility through a vast network of cameras. Every screen was monitored, every sensor was live, and every exit was heavily reinforced. The primary focus was on the holding cells where the X-men were being contained, the psychic isolation chamber where Xavier was being held, and the main lab where Dr. Cornelius was about to begin his experiment with Wolverine. So far, everything was going accordingly.
“How much longer before they finish? These round-the-clock patrols are murder,” said one of the lead technicians.
“General Wraith said they would be done within an hour,” said one of the major unit leaders, “After that our contract is officially fulfilled. We can then collect our bonus and go back to residual forces.”
“With all the resources they’ve ordered, it better be a hell of a bonus. These mutant freaks have caused a lot of damage.”
“These aren’t just any mutant freaks. These are the X-men,” said another major, “I’ve heard of them from some friends. They may not look like much, but they’re no slouches. They are a serious force.”
“They barely look like they’re in college! How can they be all that bad?”
“Trust me, they’re bad,” said the major, “Rumor even has it they were trained by some ex Special Forces guy. So I wouldn’t underestimate them for a second! It could all go very bad very fast with these guys!”
“Hang in there, Major. It’ll all be worth it,” assured the unit leader.
The other unit leaders hoped he was right. With the promise of a fat bonus check, they could care less about what they were doing here. They just did what Weapon X paid and trained them to do. That didn’t ease some concerns regarding the X-men. Hopefully they wouldn’t have to face them if something went wrong.
As they huddled around the monitors, the main entrance opened and one of their high ranking officers entered. The whole room quickly tensed. None of the unit leaders were expecting to see him so they were taken by surprise.
“Colonel? What are you doing here?” asked one of the unit leaders.
“There’s been a change in plan,” said the Colonel, “I’ve just received new orders from General Wraith.”
“What new orders? I haven’t heard anything,” said another leader suspiciously.
“They just came in. He wants us to double up on the barriers outside the holding cells. Something about keeping as many able bodies in front of the X-men as possible.”
“So he wants us to just abandon the monitoring station?” said one of the Majors in confusion.
“That doesn’t make any sense,” said the unit leader, “They should have more than enough bodies on both ends.”
“Hey, I’m just telling you what he told me. If you don’t believe me, I’ll get him on the phone.”
The Colonel reached into his uniform. None of the other officers had any reason to believe that something was amiss. But to the shock of his subordinates, he didn’t pull out a phone. He pulled out a Colt 45 pistol with a silencer and before they could even think of reacting, he pointed it at them and started shooting.
“Colonel?!” exclaimed the leaders.
But it was too late. The Colonel fired three shots, all of which hit the three main unit commanders in the head and killed them instantly. Then with reflexes well beyond that of a man his age, the Colonel grabbed another Colt 45 from his uniform and started taking out every command officer and leader in the room. By the time the rest of the guards and technicians processed what was going on, it was too late.
“It’s an imposter! Take him out before-augh!” yelled one of the guards.
“Took you long enough,” said the Colonel in a strange, feminine tone.
The guards didn’t stand a chance. Before they could even raise their weapons, the imposter Colonel shot them all dead. A couple of guards managed to get off a few shots, but they missed wildly and were easy prey. By the time all the guards and unit commanders were taken out, there were only technicians and they weren’t combat trained. So when the Colonel started walking towards them, their first instinct was to run.
“Screw a bonus! I’m getting out of here!” said one of them.
“None of you are leaving!” said the imposter, his eyes flashing a mysterious yellow.
With a quick reload of his guns, the Colonel took out the technicians too. Some trembled while others braced themselves, but the outcome was the same. They met with a bloody end. Now the whole area was littered with bodies and the mysterious imposter was unopposed as he approached the command console. But as he did, he revealed his true form. It was Mystique and her shape shifting talents had once again paid off.
“Hold on, Rogue. Help is coming,” she said intently.
Mystique placed explosives on each end of the consoles. Then she placed a large wad of C4 plastique in the center. While she was setting the timer she looked at one of the screens and noticed the X-men were making their move. They had just broken out of their cells and began fighting their way to the main lab. It was just as Magneto had predicted. To her distaste Rogue was with them. That made the next step all the more vital to her.
Once the timer was set, she activated the communicator she had lodged in her ear.
“Magneto, it’s me. I’m ready to take out the security hub.”
“Excellent! I’ve taken the liberty of scrambling their radar and tracking sensors as well. These fools won’t know what hit them.”
“Well hurry up and make your move! Rogue is in there and I don’t want her to get hurt!”
“Take it easy, Raven. I promise you no harm will come to her. If all goes according to plan, she and the rest of the X-men will see the light and join us in the coming battle.”
“You better be right,” said Mystique.
The link went dead. With nothing but his word to go on, Mystique took one last look at an image of her daughter on the screen and made her leave. She hoped Rogue wouldn’t get caught up in this, but she chose her path. Now she and the rest of the X-men were about to see how wrong that path was. They would see humanity for the monsters they truly were.
Once she was a safe distance away, the shape shifter hit a small button on the remote control and a deafening bang erupted from the room behind her. Flames and smoke shot out, but she didn’t flinch for a second even as the heat from the flames hit her. Weapon X was about to pay the price for their crimes against mutants. She had done her part. Now it was up to Magneto to do his.
Outside Main Lab – Present
The X-men braced themselves for a difficult battle. Scott, Jean, Warren, Bobby, Rogue, Hank, and Ororo fought their way out of their holding cells. Now they were in the heart of the facility in search of Wolverine and the Professor. They had to get them out of here before these people could carry out whatever sick experiments they had planned. But their fight led them to a dead end. Now they were trapped, boxed in on all three sides by heavily armed Weapon X guards with energy grid defenses and high powered rifles. They clustered in the center of the three-way junction, staring down the guards intently. But as determined as they were, this didn’t look like a fight they could win.
“Well, it was nice knowing you guys,” said Bobby, not sounding too optimistic.
“Quiet Bobby! This isn’t over!” said Scott in a determined tone.
“Unless one of us has the mutant power to cast miracles, I’d say we’re out of luck,” said Warren.
“Then we’ll make our own luck!” said Ororo strongly.
“Can it, freaks!” said one of the guards from behind an energy barrier, “One more word and you’ll know what a pin cushion feels like! Now we can do this the easy way or the hard way, but one way or another you’re going back to your cells!”
“Bite me, rent-a-cop!” spat Rogue.
“Damn it Rogue!” groaned Jean, her comments not helping.
“Fine then! We’ll do this the hard way!”
The guards were just about to unleash a hail of gunfire on the young mutants. The X-men braced themselves, preparing for what was sure to be a difficult fight. It was a grim situation. If they were going to go down they were going to go down fighting. But before the first shots could be fired something unexpected happened.
Without warning, the whole area began shaking in a violent wave of tremors. At the same time, the lights and energy barriers flickered. It caught everyone off guard, even the X-men. It was as if the building itself was being moved from it’s foundation. Many of the Weapon X soldiers lost their balance and started looking around for a possible source of the shaking. The deafening sound of walls buckling and electronics shattering filled the area. It left everyone confused.
“What’s going on?!” exclaimed Iceman.
“Don’t look at me! I’m not causing this!” said Marvel Girl.
“Me neither!” said Storm, “An earthquake perhaps?”
Then Hank and Scott noticed some of the metal framing in the halls starting to warp on their own. They also noticed the weapons of the guards being yanked right out of their hands and bent beyond recognition. Some even exploded, knocking out some of the guards in the process. It didn’t take long for them to surmise what was going on.
“No…not an earthquake. But I believe our situation is about to become far more complicated,” said Beast ominously.
“Great…that’s exactly what we needed,” said Iceman dryly, “More complications!”
Before Beast could elaborate, another round of deafening bangs erupted from above them. When they looked up, they saw that an entire chunk of ceiling was literally being pried open like a tin can.
“Fall back!” ordered Scott.
The X-men scrambled to get out of the way as the ceiling above them collapsed in a shower of debris. It was then they realized that this hole didn’t just go through the ceiling on this level, it went through the ceiling on every level above them. Through this gaping hole a familiar presence descended into the area.
“Magneto?!” exclaimed Warren.
“Damn, I’m already starting to miss those Weapon X goons,” groaned Bobby.
“Hello X-men,” he said with a hardened expression, “Don’t be alarmed. I’m here to help.”
“Right…and we should believe you, why?” said Rogue skeptically.
To prove his point, Magneto raised his hand and ripped off sheets of metal from the walls around him. Then using his powers, he warped them into shards and flung them down each hall towards the guards, who were scrambling for their weapons. Along the way he altered the shape of the metal, turning them into large metal orbs. With these orbs, he hit the defenseless guards right in the head and knocked them out. In a further show of force, he guided the metal orbs around as if they were rubber bouncing balls and hit every surrounding guard even as they fled. Within a few seconds, they were all out cold.
“Satisfied?” said the master of magnetism in a stern tone.
“Okay, I admit that’s pretty convincing,” said a flabbergasted Iceman.
“Wait, why are you helping us?” said Scott, still suspicious.
“Do you want to ask questions? Or do you want to help me destroy these monsters?”
It was an odd predicament. Magneto was the last person they though they would ally themselves with. But this was a difficult situation and they still had to find Wolverine and the Professor.
“It’s your call, Cyclops,” said Marvel Girl.
“You gotta be kidding meh,” scoffed Rogue, “With the Brotherhood’s track record you ain’t seriously gonna give him a chance, are you?”
“It wouldn’t be the strangest thing that’s happened with us,” shrugged Warren.
Scott was silent for a moment. He looked at Magneto and then back at his team. Rogue had a point. Trusting Magneto was always dangerous, but it didn’t look like they had a choice. He had to do what was best tactically.
“Which way?” asked Scott assertively.
Magneto grinned at his decision. Charles’s students may be misguided, but they could always be trusted to do what was most reasonable in a difficult situation.
“A wise decision,” he said, “Come, I know where they’re keeping Charles and Wolverine. Do not worry about security. I’ve already taken care of it.”
“Wow, and it just keeps getting weirder and weirder,” said Warren in disbelief.
“Yeah…still a pretty average Wednesday though,” said Jean.
Despite lingering reservations, the X-men followed Magneto down the left hall. Rogue still hesitated though. She couldn’t believe that Scott chose to trust this man. After what happened with her mother, she had no confidence in anything the Brotherhood said. But the others were prepared to overlook that.
“Come on, Rogue! We must go!” urged Beast.
“You all know this guy better than Ah do and we’re just gonna trust him?!” she exclaimed.
“We do not have time to weigh our options! We must find Charles and Wolverine! I admit it is not a favorable situation, but we have no choice!”
“Beast is right, Rogue,” said Cyclops in a more assertive tone, “Whatever the risks, we’ll deal with it! Whatever they may be, stopping Weapon X is worth it!”
Rogue still didn’t like it, but with little time to argue she grunted in frustration and followed the others. Hank was right about Xavier and Wolverine. They saw the guards wheel them into the main lab earlier. They had to stop whatever it was they were doing to them at all costs, even if it meant going along with Magneto. Even if he did help them get out of this place, she still had a bad feeling about this.
Weapon X Lab – Main Lab
Just before the chaos erupted outside the lab, Dr. Cornelius commenced the next phase of his experiment. He was about to begin the painful process of extracting the unique biological material from Wolverine’s body. But just as the most critical part was about to began, a power surge shorted out many of the machines. At first it seemed like the generators were strained, which was to be expected when dealing with such vast amounts of power. It quickly grew worse. The elaborate systems were functioning left and right, almost as if someone put a powerful magnet on every terminal.
Then the shaking ensued and it threw everything off even more. The sensitive instruments and precise mechanisms that drove started to fail. It also caused the gurney restraining Wolverine to shake, loosening some of the restraints in the process. This was enough to make nearly every guard and subordinate panic. For Dr. Cornelius, it was more infuriating than shocking.
“No!” he cursed, “Not now! Not when I’m so close!”
“Doctor, what’s going on?!” exclaimed one of his fellow scientists.
“I don’t know! But stay at your posts! Get the backup systems online!” he ordered.
“Are you kidding?!” exclaimed another scientist, “I’m reading total grid failure and nearly all the servers are being shorted out by some magnetic interference! There’s no way we can continue like this!”
But Dr. Cornelius wouldn’t have it. He grabbed the nearest scientists and held him by the throat.
“I will not accept such cowardice! We’ve come too far to stop now!”
“With all due respect sir, you didn’t hire us for our bravery,” retorted the scientist.
He then broke free and ran off along with many of his other co-workers. Dr. Cornelius was forced to hold onto a nearby console to stay upright from the shaking. He watched as nearly every technician and scientist ran for the emergency exits. With them, he saw his last hope at completing this project leave as well. As he cursed their cowardice he looked back over at the screen to his console and saw something even more infuriating. The electronic locks keeping Logan restrained were starting to fail.
“Errrrrrrrrrrrrahhhhhhhhhh!” roared Logan as he thrashed more violently.
“No…not again!” exclaimed Dr. Cornelius, “Wolverine! You will not escape this time! You hear me?! You are mine! You are Weapon X!”
“I don’t think he’s listening doc,” growled Sabretooth, who emerged from behind the console, “And I’d step back if I were you.”
Dr. Cornelius refused to leave his specimen, but he had no choice. Another violent tremor sent him tumbling to the hard ground. He bumped his head in the process, nearly knocking him out. While he was dazed, the restraints on Wolverine failed. Sparks burst out from the metal shackles as he thrashed more violently. The veins in his neck and muscles bulged as growls of pure rage fueled his push for freedom. Then with a distinct snikt of his claws, the shackles broke and Wolverine burst free from his confines.
“RRRRAHHHHHHHHHHHH!” he howled in a rage.
“He’s out again! Shoot him! Take him down!” yelled the remaining guards.
“Here we go again,” snarled Sabretooth.
But with the tremors still going strong, the guards didn’t stand much of a chance. Logan pounced on the first armed guard he saw and tore into him with his adamantium claws. Pained cries quickly followed along with splatters of blood and mutilated flesh. He was in full berserker rage. Even as bullets ripped through his body, he raged on with merciless fury. Some guards wisely fled while others tried to defend themselves. One tried to shoot him in the face, blowing a good chunk of his skin off. Logan barely flinched, the bullet bouncing right off his forehead. Growling even louder, he literally decapitated the man where he stood. When two more tried to shoot him again, he ducked so they shot each other instead and finished them off by impaling them with his claws.
It was a bloody display. With feral rage and inhuman agility, he ripped through every guard in sight. He stabbed, slashed, and pummeled his way to vengeance. This wasn’t just about getting free. This was about making them pay. With the blood still dripping from his burly flesh, he set his sights on Dr. Cornelius, who lay helpless on the floor. This was the man who stole his life and tried to turn him into his personal meat puppet. For that he would be the focus of all his fury.
“YOU!!!” roared the Wolverine.
But just as he lunged towards Cornelius, Sabretooth came in from the side and tackled him back against the gurney. Then using his imposing strength, he pinned him by the wrists against the table and held him down.
“Not so fast, old buddy! We got unfinished business!” snarled the feral mutant.
“Back off, Creed! Standing in my way is a big mistake!”
“Oh yeah? Why is that?” said Sabretooth snidely.
“Because it really ticks me off! Rrrahhhhhhhh!”
With a forceful kick Logan knocked Sabretooth back against the console, shattering it in the process. Logan then lunged in for the kill, but Sabretooth nimbly leapt up and flipped over him. While in mid air he slashed away at both arms, ripping chunks of Logan’s flesh away in the process. Logan only growled briefly before pulling back attacking again. Sabretooth blocked his stabbing lunges, evading him by leaping off to the side. He then tried to flip over him again with the same attack, but Logan ducked this time and shot up with both claws and slashed at his body. He took a good chunk from his face and torso, causing blood to pour out. Now Sabretooth was falling into a feral rage, roaring as he lunged towards Logan with murderous intent.
More sparks flew from the failing machines and more lights flickered, but that was completely lost upon Wolverine and Sabretooth. Their sole focus now was each other. A deep seeding hatred between them fueled their bloody fight. It was a hatred fueled by various memories of anger and betrayal, pushing them to savage levels of brutality. There was no skill or strategy involved. It was battle instincts and pure rage.
While it was going on, Dr. Cornelius finally managed to pull himself together. He arose to see all his fellow workers had fled and many of the guards maimed. It was a page out of his most bitter memories. And when he saw Wolverine and Sabretooth fighting, he knew this experiment was over.
“No…I cannot fail again,” he said as he struggled to pick himself up.
He started stammering back towards the console near where the fight was raging. But before he got too far, a pair of hands grabbed him from behind and pulled him away.
“Don’t be stupid, Abraham!” yelled General Wraith, “This whole facility is compromised! We have to get out of here!”
“I can’t! I still haven’t extracted the information I need from Wolverine!”
“You’ll get another chance! He can survive this! We can’t! Now shut up and follow me! Weapon X can’t continue without you!”
Dr. Cornelius looked back at the feuding Wolverine and Sabretooth with a mix of bitterness and disappointment. He was so close to regaining what he worked so hard for. It was within his grasp, but something or someone denied him. He waited so long for his chance to finish what he started. It appeared he was going to have to wait longer.
“This isn’t over,” he mused, “We will meet again, Wolverine. Mark my words, you will be Weapon X once more. It is your fate.”
Clutching his injured side, Dr. Cornelius followed General Wraith. All Weapon X facilities had special means of escape. If this structure was coming down, they were going to make sure they weren’t inside it. Wraith rushed Cornelius into a narrow doorway built into the wall that led back to the transport pad. Their escape was already waiting for them and quickly prepared to seal themselves away from the carnage.
But before the door was closed and sealed, Logan got a brief glimpse of them while Sabretooth had him in a choke hold. He snarled at the sight of them escaping, but his battle with Sabretooth took precedence.
“Forget about ‘em, Logan! Now it’s just you and me!” growled Sabretooth as he tried to choke the life out of his hated enemy.
“I can’t believe you actually helped those assholes! After what they did to both of us?!” roared Logan.
“I know what they did. I hate em every bit as much as you do! But I hate you even more!”
“Damn it, Creed! You just find new ways to piss me off!”
“Guess that’s just one more thing I do better than you!” snarled Sabretooth.
With renewed rage, Wolverine delivered a hard knee to the gut to force his feral enemy to loosen his grip. Then he lunged forth and attacked with another barrage of slashes and stabs. Sabretooth countered with slashes of his own. Even though the lab was empty now and debris was falling everywhere, they kept fighting. None would let up until the other was no more. With their healing factors, that could take a long time.
Weapon X Lab – Psychic Isolation Chamber
“What in God’s name is going on out there?” mused the bound and restrained Charles Xavier, “Hello? Can anybody hear me?”
Still shackled to the gurney against the wall, Professor Charles Xavier braced himself as the structure around him shook and the lights flickered. It happened so suddenly and because of the psychic dampeners, he was unable to sense what was going on outside. All he could hear were the frantic footsteps of the guards outside the sealed door, but those quickly died down as the rumbling intensified. At times he even made out a few gunshots. Something was definitely going on out there. He struggled with his restraints, but it was no use. A part of him feared the worst, but he remained confident that his X-men would fight through this.
Suddenly, he heard a new commotion outside. It sounded like a couple of guards had returned to the area. He couldn’t sense their thoughts, but they sounded panicked.
“Fall back!” one of them said, “Those freaks are coming and we can’t let…”
But then they were cut off by the sound of a distinctive energy burst that Xavier knew all too well.
“Augh!” they cried out.
There was another brief silence as Xavier heard more footsteps in front of the door. Then in a blinding red flash, the metal door burst open in a powerful show of force. It forced Xavier to brace himself for a moment. Once the smoke and dust cleared he saw the source of the blast and smiled.
“Professor! Are you okay?” said Scott as he rushed in, the energy still glowing from his eyes.
“I’m fine, Scott,” he said with a sigh of relief, “Where are the others?”
“Holding off the guards,” said Cyclops as he undid some of the restraints, “Don’t worry, they’re okay. But we still haven’t found Wolverine.”
“I believe I may be able to help. My conversation with General Wraith provided some rather interesting revelations.”
“Can any of them give us an idea of how screwed we are?” grunted the X-leader as he struggled with the secondary restraints.
“Don’t be so quick to despair. Hopefully it’s not too late. But how did you break free? And what is causing this turbulence?”
“We uh…had help,” answered Cyclops.
Before Xavier could inquire further, the metal parts of the restraints were suddenly ripped apart by an unseen force. The Professor didn’t need any further inquiry to surmise what was causing this. Just as Scott helped him off the gurney, a new presence entered the room.
“Hello Charles,” said Magneto in his usual stoic tone, “Surprised to see me?”
“Not as much as you think,” said the Professor with a hardened gaze, “Where are the rest of my X-men?”
“Off doing what you’ve taught them to do,” said the master of magnetism, “Follow me. I will get you and your students out of this god-forsaken place.”
Xavier nodded in affirmation, but his expression didn’t change. He wasn’t as enthused about this rescue as Magneto hoped. But he still trusted his old friend’s word.
Leaning on Cyclops as support, Xavier was led back out into the halls. There he saw his X-men holding their own against the remnants of Weapon X forces. Iceman was using his ice powers to freeze their weapons and shatter them. Then he took them out by hitting them with a block of ice he formed around his fist. Beast fought close by, taking care of those lucky enough to escape an icy fate. He used his animal-like agility to leap over a couple of armed guards and slam their heads together to knock them out. It was a satisfying way to end the fight and even more satisfying when he saw the Professor.
“Charles! Good to see you free and unharmed!” he said.
“Likewise, Hank,” smiled Xavier, “But I don’t think this structure is going to hold much longer!”
“No thanks to Mr. I-have-to-blow-holes-through-whole-buildings here!” said Rogue, gesturing towards Magneto with a harsh scold.
“We’ll make our escape soon enough, Charles. It’s just a matter of cleaning up the remaining garbage,” said Magneto sternly.
While Cyclops took out a few nearby guards that tried to jump them, Magneto used his magnetic powers to form metallic shards that knocked out whatever guards were trying to wake up. Up ahead Jean, Rogue, Storm, and Warren finishing off the last wave. Angel used the wider halls to his advantage, taking to the air a bit and swooping down in a dive attack on a couple of guards before they could open fire. Those that still tried to shoot were disarmed by Marvel Girl and slammed against the wall with telekinetic force. Storm kicked up a wind storm to blow the bulk of the wave back and formed a miniature tornado to send them tumbling back down the halls in a heap of bodies. Rogue stuck to the direct approach, taking on the guards with hand to hand combat skills imparted onto her by her mother. She tried not to absorb too many of them. The last thing she needed were their twisted thoughts in her mind.
It wasn’t long before the final guards were knocked out. The hall was now littered with the unconscious bodies of Weapon X soldiers. The X-men were tired, battered, and bruised. They were ready to leave this place and not a moment too soon. If the buckling sounds of the surrounding structure were any indication, this place wasn’t going to be standing much longer.
“Whew, that’s the last of them,” said Rogue as she casually tossed aside the unconscious body of a guard, “Ah’m ready to get the heck out of this hell hole.”
“I second that!” said Angel, clutching his sore wings.
“No worries, X-men,” assured Magneto, “I believe we’re done here. And I’ve already made sure that there won’t be a trace of this facility left.”
“Wait! What about, Logan? We have to get him out too!” exclaimed Marvel Girl.
“Well technically we don’t have to,” argued Iceman, “I mean you know how tough Logan is. For all we know he could care less if we come after him.”
Marvel Girl turned towards Iceman and shot him a death glare.
“BOBBY!” she yelled angrily.
But before she could chew her friend out for suggesting such a notion, Xavier was already working on this very issue.
“Calm down, Marvel Girl. I’ve already located, Wolverine,” said the Professor as he clutched his temple, “He’s in the main lab, but so is Sabretooth. I don’t think escape is his primary concern at the moment.”
“Let me guess. They’re beating each other to a pulp?” Cyclops surmised.
“Yes, to say the very least,” affirmed Xavier.
“Then we’ll have to go after him!” said Jean with a determined grunt.
But before they could discuss this matter further, another round of violent tremors shook the structure. This time nearly all the lights went out, leaving only faint flickers to illuminate the area. Even for Magneto it was difficult to stay coordinated in such an environment. This facility wasn’t going to stay up much longer and it certainly wasn’t going to stay up long enough for them to chase after Wolverine.
“We do not have time!” said Magneto strongly, “We must leave now! Wolverine will have to catch up!”
“No way!” exclaimed Marvel Girl, “We’re not leaving Logan to…”
“He’ll be okay, Jean. I know he will,” assured Xavier calmly, “Erik is right. We cannot afford to stay any longer.”
She still showed some reservations, not wanting to leave her lover behind. Cyclops offered a reassuring gesture to urge her along.
“This is his fight, Jean. He knows what he’s doing,” he told her, “He also knows he has you to survive for. That more than anything should motivate him!”
“And besides, Logan can surviving anything!” said Rogue, getting impatient, “Have a little faith in the guy’s healin’ factor already!”
Jean still didn’t like the idea of leaving him behind. But Scott’s words certainly helped. Logan was tough, but there was no telling what Weapon X may have done to him. This may be too much. But as another round of tremors shook the area, there was no time to debate it. None of them had a healing factor so they had to leave and leave now. She just had to trust that he would remember the life he had outside of this horrible place.
“Fine…” said Marvel Girl with a twinge of pain, “But we still have to warn him!”
“We will,” assured Xavier, “Now gather in close! Take as many guards with you as possible!”
“Now is not the time to joke, Charles!” said Magneto angrily, “A building is falling around you and yet you insist on helping these monstrous humans?!”
“Sorry Magneto, but unlike you the X-men are not without compassion,” said Storm as she and Jean used their powers to gather as many unconscious bodies as possible, “Now do you wish to argue our methods further? Because we have a building falling on us!”
Magneto scowled at the sight of the X-men assisting the very people that attacked them. It did not bode well for any of them. But regardless of his disgust, he did promise he would get them out of this place and he was a man of his word.
Using the vast power of magnetism at his disposal, Magneto clenched his fists and literally ripped the metal flooring below them up and shaped it into a large disk. This violent act caused even more tremors to surge through the building. Entire sections of the hall started collapsing. Once they were all on the disk, he levitated them on a magnetic pulse of energy.
“Hold on,” said Magneto stoically.
“Here we go again!” groaned Iceman.
Then with a sharp burst of magnetic force Magneto plowed through the ceiling above and shot up through the various levels of the facility. The deafening sounds of rock and steel shattering echoed through the area. All around them they could see debris falling and fires breaking out. All the X-men could do was hold on for the ride. Floor by floor, Magneto burst through the structure until they shot out through the top floor into the cold Canadian air. As they flew out, a trail of unconscious Weapon X soldiers followed via Marvel Girl’s telekinetic guidance. It felt good to be free again. They could hear the facility collapsing beneath them, but there was still plenty of reason to be concerned. Their friend and fellow X-man, Wolverine, was still inside.
“Logan…” said Marvel Girl anxiously, “Please be okay.”
Weapon X Lab – Main Lab
Even as the facility around them was collapsing, Wolverine and Sabretooth kept fighting. They slashed and clawed at one another until they were bloodied and bruised all over. It got to a point where their healing factors struggled to keep up with them. But they were in such an enraged state that pain was just an afterthought. Whenever one of them clawed a gaping wound in the other’s flesh, there was only a brief growl before they fought back. The feral roars of the two former living weapons echoed through the collapsing structure as they continued to brawl with no signs of letting up.
Sabretooth, his upper body littered with claw wounds, howled as he grabbed Wolverine by the foot and wrist and threw him against a nearby console with all his might. Even before he impacted, he charged towards his nemesis with his cat-like claws ready to tear into him for the kill. Logan, only momentarily stunned despite his many wounds, was able to leap up and avoid the attack and land right on Sabretooth’s shoulder. There he plunged both claws into his neck, causing more blood to gush out. Logan seethed with rage while Sabretooth roared in a fury. Even as the blood was gushing, he slashed upwards and dug into Logan’s left thigh. He then clutched his whole leg and threw him back towards the gurney. This time Logan pulled off a nimble mid-air flip and landed right on his feet, his bloody claws still drawn and ready to fight.
“ERRRRRR WOLVERINE!” howled Sabretooth, “I SWEAR I WILL BREAK YOU!”
“Good luck with that, bub!” growled Logan, “I ain’t even caught my second wind yet! You wanna pick a fight with me? Go ahead! I got all the time in the world!”
“You think I just want to fight?!” scoffed Sabretooth, “You still don’t get it, do you? Those gaps in your memory must have made you stupid!”
“Oh yeah? What don’t I get, furball? That you’re as fucked up as me from Weapon X? Only you’re too weak to deal with it!”
“This has nothing to do with Weapon X! This started way before that! But at this point I could care less! All I want now is your dead rotting corpse!”
Sabretooth charged with another attack, relentlessly slashing and clawing at his nemesis. Logan, despite a bloody wound on his hip, evaded his moves and countered with slashes of his own. He got in two good cuts right on his left arm. But then Sabretooth kicked him back against the gurney and slugged him hard with a right cross to the jaw. And while Logan was momentarily stunned, he drove his claws right into his chest and held him in a bloody death grip.
“We may have lost our memories, Wolverine! But I’ll never forget how much I hate you! NEVER!”
“Augh!” choked Logan as he coughed up more blood, “Lucky…me!”
Logan grunted through the pain as he pushed back, trying to kick Sabretooth off him. Another round of tremors should the structure, causing more lights to go out so they were almost in total darkness. But Logan had no intention of being buried alive with this runt. He was going to take him out even if he had to tear every ounce of flesh off his body.
Then through his rage, he heard a voice in the back of his mind.
‘Logan! Logan, it’s me!’
‘Jeannie? Jeannie where are you?’
‘Logan please! The whole building is about to collapse! You have to get out of there! There isn’t much time!’
Despite his blind rage for Sabretooth, the sound of Jean Grey’s voice in his mind reminded him that he had something beyond this ongoing feud with Sabretooth. He had a life with the X-men that he was trying to rebuild. He had friends who actually cared about him. And he had a girl he was crazy about worried for him. Not long ago he could have easily brushed this aside as just another fight. But things had changed. He would be damned if he was going to let Sabretooth take that from him.
The structure shook more violently. Debris came crashing down and more sparks flew from the electronics and wires littered throughout the area. Sabretooth still had him in a choke hold, showing little aversion to fighting through this chaos.
“You hear that, Logan? It’s all gonna come crashing down on us!” growled Sabretooth, “Healing or no healing, I’ll make sure you never get out! I’ll follow you straight to hell!”
Logan coughed up more blood. But then he looked to the side of the gurney and saw his opportunity to end this.
“You first, bub!” snarled Wolverine.
Logan was then able to roughly knee Sabretooth right in gut, causing him to keel over slightly and loosen his grip. Then while he was stunned, Logan shoved him over towards the head of the gurney and lunged forth with his claws, driving them right into his neck.
“Rahhhhh!” roared Sabretooth as more blood shot out.
But Logan didn’t stop there. While Sabretooth was clutching his neck, he grabbed the helmet that Cornelius tried to use on him earlier and slammed it down onto his head. He then grabbed a nearby wire that had sparks coming out of it and shoved it into the first outlet he could find, sending a surge of electricity through the helmet and into Sabretooth. More sparks flew as his body contorted in agony as red hot pain followed.
“Ain’t karma a bitch?” said Logan with a triumphant grin, “This ain’t over, Creed! We’ll finish this another time! That is if you ain’t brain dead!”
With Sabretooth pained howls still echoing through the facility, Logan made his escape. Ignoring the bloody wounds on his body, he ran full speed towards one of the exits he saw the workers go through earlier. He had to avoid more falling debris on the way and run through small fires that had broken out. Once he was clear of the main lab he followed the faint trail of those who had already escaped. More shaking ensued as the bulk of the building started collapsing. Steel beams buckled and concrete ruptured. The deafening sounds of destruction filled the whole building. Logan could do nothing but fight through them, ignoring these grave signs and push forward to freedom.
But time had run out. The facility could no longer stay together. In one last tremor the lights went out completely and the whole structure came crashing down. All the while, Wolverine was still inside.
Now free from the Weapon X facility, Magneto floated Charles and his X-men on his metal disk and landed in a clearing not far from the base of the structure. They landed just in time to see the whole building collapse. The base supports buckled, the bottom two floors fell in on themselves, and from top to bottom the whole structure came apart. A number of explosions erupted from within and fires shot out from the windows, only to be put out quickly by the swarms of rubble. It lasted all but thirty seconds. By then there was nothing left but jagged piles of rock and steel. The secret Weapon X lab was destroyed. It was bittersweet for some, but others still had their concerns.
“Logan…” said Jean with worried eyes as she scanned the rubble for signs of her lover.
“I’m sure he’s okay, Jean,” said Scott, placing a comforting hand on her shoulder.
She appreciated the gesture, which drew some looks from Rogue. But Jean didn’t linger. Before the dust had even settled, she ran off back into the rubble.
“I have to find him!”
“Jean wait!” exclaimed Hank.
But it was too late. She was already gone. Scott was about to go after her. But Ororo and Rogue held him back. They didn’t need both of them running off into this mess.
“She’ll be fahne,” assured Rogue, “She’s dating the guy for crying out loud. She can handle it.”
Scott still protested. He had no doubt Jean could handle herself, but he couldn’t stop himself from worrying. For now, he and the others had plenty of other concerns so he stayed and let his friend do what she had to do.
With little guidance, Jean ran over piles of debris in search of Logan. There were still small fires burning and she could see sparks from exposed wires. But that did little to dissuade her. All she could think about was finding Logan. He had to have escaped. She sensed it in his mind when she warned him. It couldn’t end here. He wouldn’t let it. But as she looked, she could sense no trace of his mind. Either he was out cold or worse, but she wouldn’t even contemplate such a notion.
“Logan! Logan, where are you?” she called out.
Using her telekinesis she bore through piles of debris, searching for any signs of her lover. She grew increasingly anxious and frustrated, ripping through steel beams and shattering sections of building that were still standing.
She couldn’t believe these people. She had seen through their psychic sessions the horrors of Weapon X. It wasn’t enough to torture him just once. They had to finish the job, not caring about the new life he built with the X-men. But she couldn’t allow those monsters to succeed. Logan was an X-man now and no X-man was ever left behind. She kept moving piles of debris, looking for any sign of him. But she still couldn’t sense anything.
“Logan…” Jean cried, starting to lose hope.
Then she heard it. A distinct snikt rang out from a nearby pile. Jean rushed over to the source and just as she arrived she saw a clawed hand shoot out from the debris.
“Logan!” she exclaimed.
Rushing to his aid, she used her telekinesis to move some of the heavier debris. When it was cleared she saw the tired and bloodied body of Wolverine. He was a mess, but he was still conscious and moving. She quickly knelt down and helped him up, not caring about the blood and dirt. She got him out of the rubble and he could barely stand, but when he looked up at her with his gruff eyes she smiled.
“Hnn…hey Red,” he told her in a tired tone.
“Hey yourself,” she said with tears in her eyes, “Are you okay?”
“Ugh…I need a beer.”
Jean smiled and laughed. That was all the reassurance she needed.
“You’re okay,” she said.
He clung to her tightly as she used her telekinesis to fly them out of the rubble and back towards the others. He was on the verge of passing out. His tired and tattered body was already beyond its limits. Logan fought long and hard to break free from Weapon X again. But unlike last time, he fought into the arms of a beautiful woman. Something about that made this very personal struggle much more meaningful.
As Jean retrieved Logan from the rubble, Xavier and the X-men confronted Magneto in the clearing. They were all grateful to have escaped from Weapon X, but even with his help they all had reason to be skeptical. The Master of Magnetism maintained a serious demeanor. He hadn’t even been a prisoner and he looked more disgusted by Weapon X than they were. Behind him other members of the Brotherhood emerged. Pietro and Wanda joined him, apparently providing backup to their little rescue. Lance Alvers was there too, who was undoubtedly the source of the tremors. They all seemed ready to fight, but Magneto held them back.
“It’s good to see that you and your X-men are okay, Charles,” said Magneto, “Though I doubt it would have stayed that way much longer.”
“Yes, thank you for your assistance, Erik,” said Xavier, who was still leaning on Scott for support, “My team and I are both grateful.”
“Yeah…grateful,” said Bobby dryly, “Even if it doesn’t make up for all the other times he tried to kill us.”
That earned him a look from Hank and Ororo, but Bobby merely shrugged. Luckily, Magneto chose to ignore it.
“Gratuity aside, I hope this experience with Weapon X has enlightened you,” he went on.
“Enlighten us on what?” scoffed Warren as he shivered from the cold, “How much it sucks to be someone else’s personal science project?”
“Oh it goes much further than that, my boy,” said Magneto strongly, “Now do you see the futility of your cause? You X-men champion humanity and yet look what they’ve done. They are prepared to strip you of your will turn you into living weapons. And to kill your own kind no less! If ever there was a proof of human barbarism, surely this is it!”
For once, the X-men found it hard to disagree. They endured a great deal, living under the prospect of being turned into weapons. Weapon X was some of the worst humanity had to offer. It did not bode well for their efforts towards peace and understanding.
“Is that what this is about?” asked Hank, “Proving to us that humanity is beyond hope?”
“Hardly,” scoffed Magneto, “I don’t just offer proof. I offer opportunity! Join me again, Charles. With my Brotherhood and your X-men, think of what we could accomplish! Together, we can grant our kind the salvation it deserves!”
“But at what cost?” said Charles, “We’ve been over this before, Erik. I will not resort to such violent means.”
“Even after all this? Are you mad, Charles? Hasn’t Weapon X taught you anything?!”
“Oh I’ve learned much from this experience, old friend. Most notably, I’ve learned both humans and mutants are capable of resorting to great deception to further their goals.”
“Deception? What are you talking about, Professor?” asked Ororo curiously.
“Why don’t you ask, Erik? He should know,” said Xavier with an apprehensive glare.
Magneto’s expression hardened. He clearly knew what Xavier was hinting at. None of the other X-men seemed to pick up on it, but somehow he knew the truth.
“It was you, wasn’t it?” said the Professor sternly, “You were the one that tipped General Wraith off about the institute security system. How else would they have been able to get around our security system? You were the only one who knew enough about that system to know how to beat it.”
“You mean he set us up to be abducted?!” exclaimed Rogue with burning resentment.
“Not quite, but he did make it possible,” said Xavier, “Don’t bother denying it, Erik. I read General Wraith’s mind. Those anonymous tips you gave him and Cornelius were telling enough, but using the alias Magnus was a dead giveaway. Now you expect me and my team to join you? After you set us up and provoked these monsters? As far as I’m concerned, you’re no better than the forbearers of Weapon X.”
“That’s being generous,” said Scott, not hiding his resentment either.
“Remind me to tell my dad to scan our new equipment more thoroughly,” said Warren.
Magneto scowled at his former friend. He did not anticipate this. He gave too much credit to General Wraith. If that man had been remotely competent, he wouldn’t have let Xavier look into his mind. But the truth was out and the resentment on the faces of the X-men gave a clear answer. They were not going to take him up on his offer.
“Is this how you want it to be, X-men? Deception or no deception, you’ll be doomed to fight more monsters like these in your futile battles.”
“Better a cause by a dreamer than that of a hypocrite,” said Bobby, “Take your propaganda somewhere else, Magneto. The X-men aren’t buying it.”
“Watch your tongue, boy!” scorned Pietro, “You’re lucky we helped save your asses because we could just as easily…”
“Enough Pietro,” said Magneto, cutting him off, “They’ve clearly made their decision. Let them live with the consequences.”
Pietro fumed at his remarks. Bobby just shot him a snide look. Wanda had to hold him back to stop from picking a fight. Bobby was tempted as well, but he and the rest of the X-men had enough battle for none night. The two teams clearly weren’t going to be teaming up anytime soon. They stood by their mentors. With the decision final, Magneto backed off and turned away from his former friend, but not before giving him one final message.
“Bear in mind that if I leave, Charles, my offer leaves with me. And should you or your X-men interfere in any way with my future plans, I will show no mercy.”
“I’m sorry it has to be this way, Erik,” said Xavier with a touch of sorrow, “But if these are the paths we must walk, so be it.”
Magneto cast him one last stern look. But he didn’t say anything more as he used the metal disk from the escape to fly him and his Brotherhood away. There was nothing more to say. He did what he came here to do. But he and Charles Xavier remained rivals.
“Biggest mistakes of your lives, X-men!” Lance called out, “You’re gonna regret not joining us! Just you wait!”
“Bite me, Mount Jackass,” retorted Rogue.
Lance’s words quickly faded along with the rest of the Brotherhood, leaving the X-men to take in everything that happened. Jean and caught up with them, carrying Logan with her who had since passed out. They were all tired and jaded from this experience. Weapon X proved to be a tenacious foe. They were every bit as devious as Logan described. But they fought their way out with their free will and humanity still intact. And that was always a victory in their minds.
“What now, Professor?” asked Scott, “He definitely seems to be up to something. And I doubt this is the last we’ll see of Weapon X either.”
“I don’t know, Scott,” said Xavier distantly, “But whatever happens, we mustn’t forget what Magneto and Weapon X has shown us.”
“That madmen will always find new ways to screw with us?” said Bobby dryly.
“That we must never forget our humanity,” he stated strongly, “Because if we stray too far, we may become that which we hate most.”
“Considering the lengths Weapon X went through to use us, I’ll take that,” said Ororo.
“Me too, but it never hurts to squeeze in a little extra compensation,” said Rogue with a wry smile.
The others looked at her curiously and saw that she still had a few of the power suppressing collars Weapon X used on them earlier. In the heat of the escape, she still took time to swipe as many as she could. It was easy to see just how much such technology meant to Rogue and it offered any number of possibilities for her.
“Are those…” Scott began.
“They are, sugah,” she said with a grin, “Ah say with a little tweaking, we may be able to make these things work for us and not against us. Plus, Ah’m sure we can find other uses for them.”
“I’ll bet,” snickered Warren.
Scott She also couldn’t help but cast Scott a special look. It caused him to blush and Jean to stare, but with Logan still resting in her arms that was a matter for another time. It seemed fitting that this is how it would end. Once again, they saw Xavier’s dream in action and how Magneto’s tactics came up short. Something that could have destroyed the X-men only served to embolden them. Given Magneto’s ominous threats, it was something they were definitely going to need for future conflicts.
“We’ll discuss those matters later, Rogue,” said Xavier, managing a smile, “For now, let’s go home.”
Logan’s Room – Later
The deep groans of a tired and sore Wolverine escaped as he finally came to. Everything seemed like a daze. He didn’t remember the plane trip back or being moved to his room. The last thing remembered was clawing his way out of the rubble and flying away in Jean’s arms. The fight with Sabretooth and the building collapsing on him really did a number for him. Even with his healing, he couldn’t help but be sore. But when he opened his eyes and regained focus, he was greeted with a welcome sight.
“Hey,” said Jean smiling warmly as she hovered over him in a revealing black camisole with matching panties.
“Hey yourself, darlin’,” he said, grunting a bit as he rose up, “I must still be out of it. Because I could swear we’re in my bedroom and you’re half naked.”
Jean laughed and gave him an affectionate gesture, letting him know this was no dream.
“You’re not out of it, Logan. You’re awake and fully healed. Even that dirty mind of yours appears to be in once piece.”
“Lucky me,” he said, still grunting a bit as he tried to sit up, “I still feel like a tank ran me over.”
“Considering what you went through, I’m not surprised. But it’s over now. We’re back safe and sound in the mansion in your room,” said Jean, leaning in closer to him so he could feel her warmth, “I figured you would prefer waking up here as opposed to the infirmary.”
“You figured right, Jeannie,” he said, managing a half grin, “You really went out of your way for an animal like me?”
“That’s what you do for someone you love,” she said as she traced over his burly face.
Despite soreness and lingering bitterness over Weapon X and Sabretooth, Logan couldn’t help but take comfort in Jean’s warm presence. The care and concern in her eyes was genuine, without pity or disgust for what he nearly became. As he gazed into them he pulled her into a light embrace. He felt her shift her body so she was now lying on top of him, still tracing her soft hands down his burly flesh. Feeling her warmth was just what he needed after this mess.
It was still sinking in. Once again, Weapon X came back to haunt him and this time those bastards nearly succeeded. He was so close to losing it all again and even though they failed, Dr. Cornelius and a number of his goons got away. It was a given they would cross paths again. But more than that, what really struck him was the harsh reminder of what he was under Weapon X and what he still is in some ways. Like it or not, he was the product of their mad ambitions. He could never escape that. Even here with the X-men, the scars still lingered. And they left him full of doubt.
“It’s never gonna stop, you know?” he said in his gruff tone, “Those pricks will keep coming for me until they finish the job.”
“We’ll stop them,” assured Jean, “We’ll make sure they never succeed.”
“That’s just it, Jeannie. They already have,” he said distantly, “I could hunt down every last one of them and kill them one by one. But it still wouldn’t change what they did to me. I’ll still be a monster. And no matter what I do that monster will always be inside me, clawing away. It’s a part of me I can never escape, no matter how much I hate those pricks for what they did.”
“But that doesn’t mean you’re doomed to the fate they laid out for you,” said Jean.
“Maybe so, but it still makes me a dangerous guy to be around. That rage you and the Prof have been helping me deal with is never going away. I’m still Wolverine as much as I am Logan or whatever the hell my name was before all this. That Cornelius guy was right. I’ll never escape Weapon X. I’ll always be the same messed up thug because of it.”
There was a sense of sorrow mixed in with his anger. Weapon X had truly hurt him and this experience helped to open many of those old wounds. Jean leaned in closer to him, a look of compassion in her eyes as she caressed his burly face. While he may be tied to these people now and forever, that didn’t mean he had to be a slave to their whims.
“Logan…I won’t claim to know how you feel about all this,” she said tenderly, “Even a psychic can never understand your suffering. But I believe you’re wrong and so is Weapon X. You’re more than just an experiment. You’re a man…a man who has been lost and tormented for so long. And despite all your suffering, you still have your humanity.”
“My humanity?” he scoffed bitterly, “That’s the first thing they took when they did this to me.”
He started to look away, but Jean cupped his chin and turned him back towards her so he could look into her affectionate gaze.
“They tried to take it, Logan. But guess what? They failed,” she said strongly, “They hurt you, tortured you, and twisted your mind for their own sick means. They created the monster you see inside yourself. Even after everything they did, you’re still a man with a heart. You’ve shown me, and the rest of the X-men for that matter, that you’re strong enough to go beyond the anger and bitterness and do good in the world. You may still be a gruff, ill-mannered, short tempered old man, but you’re still a good man. Don’t ever forget that.”
Logan was silent for a moment as he took in her tender words. He remained lost in her gaze as he traced his hands up the elegant curves of her body. Then he caressed her face and smiled.
“I try not to forget. It’s hard as hell sometimes. Guess I just need a reminder every now and then, especially after shit like this.”
“Then I guess I’ll have to spend the rest of the night reminding you any way I can,” said Jean in a deep, sensual tone.
“Any way, huh?” said Logan with a husky grin, “You’re too damn good for me, Jeannie.”
“You’re good enough for anybody, Logan. Now kiss me.”
No more words were spoken as Jean and Logan came together in a kiss. He wrapped his powerful arms around her body as she sank into his embrace. The pain and bitterness from Weapon X gave way to comfort and love. The kiss deepened as they touched each other with affection and longing. Jean made sure her every gesture was thorough and passionate. And Logan made sure he returned each gesture with his own brand of special affection. They eventually lost themselves in the feeling, shedding their clothes and embracing the sensual spirit of the moment on through the night.
Weapon X had an impact on all the X-men. They saw first hand the kind of madness human kind was capable of. For Logan, the scars remained. This latest attempt to use him failed, but it was an indelible reminder that he could never escape this dark organization. It was the one part of his past he couldn’t forget. But it was also a reminder that he was not the monster they tried to turn him into. He was a man and an X-man. That was something they could never take from him.
Weapon X Lab Ruins – Later
All was silent as the sun rose over the ruins of the former Weapon X lab. What had once been the forefront of Weapon X’s mysterious agenda was now just a pile or rubble in a charred, desolate spot of earth. The dust had long since settled and the fires had gone out. The guards and workers that survived had long since fled under emergency orders issued by General Wraith. The once top secret facility was no longer viable and Weapon X had no choice but to move on. They had been delivered a serious blow, but they were far from defeated.
But through the silence, two ominous figures emerged not far from the ruins. One came from the rubble while another flew in from above. While Weapon X had their share of ambitions with this facility, they weren’t the only ones.
“Thanks for getting me out, Mags. It was starting to get cramped in there,” growled Sabretooth, still covered in dirt and debris.
“It was the least I could do, Sabretooth,” said Magneto in his usual deep tone, “The inside information you provided helped a great deal with this elaborate ruse. If only Charles hadn’t gotten wind of it things might have turned out differently.”
“Whatever,” shrugged the feral mutant, “I’m just glad to see Weapon X get screwed over for once. I still can’t believe they actually thought I was on their side! Did they seriously think I would go along with this shit?”
“Typical human foolishness,” scoffed Magneto, “They were going to betray you anyways once they had what they wanted.”
“Can’t say that would surprise me. Hell, it wouldn’t be the first time!”
Magneto rolled his eyes at his remark. But that didn’t bother Sabretooth. He understood this guy liked to think big. But that wasn’t his style. He preferred more personal battles. He only went along with this so he could get a shot at Wolverine. He delivered for the most part. He got to see Logan suffer, but that wasn’t enough. He still had plenty of scores to settle with him.
“So what happens now? You got what you wanted, but I didn’t get everything that I wanted. That means I’m entitled to a little extra compensation,” said Sabretooth.
“Don’t overestimate your worth, Victor. I may be a reasonable man, but I am not prone to intimidation,” said Magneto sternly.
“So says the guy who wears a bucket on his head.”
Magneto chose to ignore that comment. There were more important matters at hand than Sabretooth’s chronic lack of manners.
“But you’re in luck. I may need your skills again very soon. As it turns out this little ruse was just a precursor to a much bigger plan. And since the X-men foolishly rejected my offer, it’s likely they’ll interfere.”
“Sorry to burst your bubble, Mags, but I ain’t getting involved in anybody else’s plan!” said the feral mutant, “After Weapon X, I’m going solo. So just pay me a little extra cash and help me salvage some data bits from this mess and we’ll call it even.”
Magneto’s gaze narrowed. His choice was disappointing, but probably for the best. There was no way a man like Sabretooth could ever appreciate the grandeur of what he was working for. His plans ran much deeper than petty matters such as revenge or violence. His plan promised to reshape the world as they knew it. The current order could not be allowed to propagate any longer. It was a corrupt order where mutants were oppressed. Humans were the inferior ones, not mutants. And soon the whole world would be reminded of that.
“If that’s what you want, so be it. But be careful, Victor Creed. You will be affected. My plan promises to overthrow the corrupt order that has held our kind back for too long. This battle has been brewing for a long time. And I will see to it that mutants fire the first shot.”
“Blah, blah, blah spar me the Mel Gibson speech and let’s get this over with,” said Sabretooth dryly, “I got some places to go and people to maul.”
Magneto scorned the feral mutant for his crass attitude. But Sabretooth made his decision just as Charles and his X-men had done. They were destined to miss out on something truly grand. It was a pity not all mutants were as motivated to grasp what was rightfully theirs. But if they were content with being left behind, that was their problem.
“Very well,” he said with a harsh scold, “With or without you, our people will rise up. Mankind’s reign has gone on long enough. The time has come for a revolution!”
Next Issue: Bedazzled
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