Takes place 2 years after Apocalypse, 1 year after the Phoenix. The mutant problem has grown and a obscure general named William Stryker thinks he has a solution. Has Scott/Jean, Wanda/Kurt, Kitty/...
Chapter 34: Confrontation
The X-men had barely defeated one of the highly advanced sentinel X mutant slayers. But there were more...Hundreds more. They had not yet been activated, but once they were...It would be all over for mutants everywhere. The clock was ticking and it was a race against time to stop them before they became active. But the only way that they could accomplish this was by destroying them all before that happened.
"Come on everybody! Move!" urged Scott as he and the rest of the X-men worked their way through the lowest level of the facility that had cosnstructed these monstrosities.
"Keep your visor on Cyclops!" replied Pietro as she sped through the array of completed sentinels, pulling out cables and unplugging computer terminals along the way, "You're talking to a speedster here!"
"Don't get cocky Quicksilver! Time is still against us!" replied Scott as he shot the sprinkler systems along the ceiling, causing more electronics to short out while sending sparks flying across the area.
"When is it not comrade?" commented Colossus as she smashed his way through walls, exposing fuel and gas lines in the process.
With sparks already flying and propane tanks all over the area, it was a deadly mixture of sheer volatility. In addition, there were also barrels of gas and oil for fuel and lubrication scattered throughout the manufacturing area. With her powers at hand, Jean quickly dumped the contents of these barrels all throughout the lower level of the facility while levitating them up through holes blown in the ceiling by Scott, Alex, and Colossus to spread the flammable substances as much as possible.
Nobody knew how much time was left, but it was too little. Any moment now, just one of the sentinels could come online and it would be enough to kill them all. They had gotten lucky with the first one, but like all luck it was sure to run out. Noxious fumes soon began to permeate the area as small fires broke out, but none had hit the fuel as of yet. The X-men knew that they had to be thorough if they were to destroy all of these powerful robots.
Kitty used her phasing powers to make her way through as many of the hundreds of sentinels as possible, shorting out their power cells and making them unstable...And explosive. And because it took a lot of power to run these machines, the energy present in each of these cells was quite intense. Wanda also supplemented Kitty's abilities and used her powers to do the same, but it was more difficult for her because she couldn't move as fast or see inside of them. But never the less, she managed to short circuit as many as she could, causing even more sparks to fly and thus creating more explosive potential.
With time against them, X23 and Alex did their best to buy as much as possible by using their powers to tear through the power distribution lines and cutting the feed to the computer terminals. Whether or not this would delay the deployment wasn't their true aim, but further hindering this facility and destroying its capacity to create more machines of doom was good enough. X23 tore into as much machinery with her claws as possible, letting out her rage upon an area which all too resembled the setting that she was forced to live in throughout her early life. Animalistic growls and bursts of rage drove her destructive rampage while Alex used his powers to damage the structural supports strewn across the ceilings and halls so that the machines would be buried and destroyed. But as they both continued to carry out their tasks, Havok saw that X23 was starting to lose it again. Her rage and frustration was definitely getting the better of her and he knew that he had to stop her before she completely went into a berserker state all too similar to Logan's.
"X23! Stop!" urged Alex as he quickly made his way over to her through the debris and smoke.
She was still thrashing through the area wildly, but Alex knew that her human side was still there and needed to be brought out in order for her to take control.
"ERRAAHHH!" roared the former living weapon as she kept thrashing through the laboratory equipment with her claws.
"X...It's me!" urged Alex as he quickly grabbed her shoulders.
Instinctively, X23 quickly turned around and prepared to pounce upon the source of the voice...But she quickly stopped upon seeing Alex. His grip on her shoulders didn't let up despite her angry, threatening reaction. It helped X23 pull herself out of her rage and take control once again despite her innate inability to maintain it. The smoke was filling the area as she tried to catch her breath, but upon seeing her come out of her rage, Alex did the rest.
"I'm...I'm sorry," said X23.
"It's okay..." assured Alex, "Now come on! Let's go finish the job!"
The explosive potential of the situation continued to grow and the lights overhead began to flicker. Then, as Kurt teleported Colossus to the main generator that he had located on the lower most level, the Russian born mutant gave it an earth shattering blow, causing more sparks to fly and bringing the countdown ever closer to destruction.
"We are almost done here comrades!" said Colossus as he continued to mangle the generator.
"And not a moment too soon!" replied Jean as she continued to use her telekinetic powers to damage and mangle the wiring in the ceiling.
"But what about Stryker?!" reminded Wanda as she used her powers along with Scott's to damage several propane tanks.
"We just have to hope that Wolverine and Mystique will find them before they get away!" replied Scott, hoping that he was right.
Stryker and his comrades quickly made their way out of the main warehouse facility and back outside to the docks as he left the active sentinel X robot to destroy the survivors that had made it this far since the initial attacks he had instantiated three weeks ago. He, Magnum, Trask, and Senator Kelly had used one of his many subordinate plans to make their escape now that their names were known from Xavier and Magneto's congressional testimony. But despite this, Stryker didn't seem worried in the least...Even though the moment of truth back with the X-men was interrupted by that annoying jet of theirs. But he was a man of intelligence, not foolishness and he knew when he had to regroup. In his mind, he had still won...But in the back of his head, he knew it was still not over.
"William! Where are we going?" demanded Senator Kelly as he was hurried along by Magnum from behind.
"Washington is no longer the best place for us to be now senator," answered Stryker as they made their way out of a smaller warehouse and onto a central concrete platform, "So...We must put one of my many backup plans into effect."
"You fool! Didn't you see what happened back there?!" reminded the senator, not liking where this was going, "For all we know that sentinel could be in pieces now!"
"Even if it is, there are plenty more to finish the job in less than 10 minutes," said the general as he made sure that the senator followed close and did not lag behind.
"How can you be so damn calm about all this?!" yelled Kelly, which earned him another forceful shove from Magnum.
"You'll find that I am calm about most everything senator," replied the general as they arrived at their destination.
Before them now stood a single, multi seat black helicopter with US military logos from the marine core and air force along the side. It looked like an Apache, but without the wings on the side that carried the weapons. This aircraft looked modified so that its main purpose was to transport rather than partake in combat. As Trask quickly jumped into the pilot's seat, the engines soon began to start up and the senator quickly put two and two together and soon ascertained what they had in mind.
"No...No, no, no!" said the senator, shaking his head furiously, "Where in the hell are we going to go?! All of Congress knows of us now! I'll be hung out to dry if I flee! I'm NOT going!"
But as soon as he said this, he was once again faced with a silver 44 caliber magnum pointed directly at his head.
"Since when did you have a say in any of this senator?" said the strong, Russian woman in a stern, threatening voice.
The senator soon froze, unable to respond. However, William Stryker...The man that he had so eagerly partnered with over two years ago...Once again stepped in and brought him back to the reality of the situation that he helped create.
"Do as she says Senator," said Stryker with a grin, "If you value your life, you will. I can get you out of this country and to one of my safe quarters that I have located all over the world. If you stay here, you'll be tried for treason and you WILL be found guilty. Now do as the kind woman says and get in the goddamn helicopter."
Swallowing the lump in his throat, Senator Kelly did as he was told and got into the seat next to Trask. The scientist that had given rise to the sentinels shot him a snide glance, hinting at his disliking of the senator's actions.
"You are a real coward you know that Senator?" said Trask as he began to power up the flight controls in the helicopter, "And to think, I actually voted for you."
"Save your malice for later Trask," shot Kelly, "A vote from you I can do without."
Now, only Stryker and Magnum were left to board the aircraft, but for some reason the general hesitated as he looked back in the direction that they had come from. The puzzling look on his face was quickly noticed by his ever loyal associate, Magnum...Whom hadn't left his side during this whole ordeal.
"What is it William?" asked Magnum, knowing that it had to be something to get him to stop and hesitate like that.
"Some of them will try and follow us..." said Stryker, the look on his face not changing, "If they can survive three military strikes, then I'm sure they can manage to subdue one giant robot. And even if they cannot stop the final step...That will not stop them from coming after me."
"They will NOT get to you William! I'll see to it!" said Magnum in a determined tone.
"I know you would not allow that my dear," said the general as he gently cupped her face with his soft hands adoringly, "You are the one I trust the most out of everybody else on this big, unforgiving world. And for that, I would never ask of anything more from you other than having you by my side. However, given the determination of these genetic rejects, it is no longer very safe around me. But I know how much you wanted to fight them...So now in this late hour of the night, I give you the permission to finish what I know you wanted to do back at Watergate."
"Thank you William..." said Magnum gratefully.
"Always a pleasure Magnum..." said Stryker with a smile, "Now once you kill those that the sentinels don't...I'll meet you back at the escape boat in Baltimore."
"I shall be there..." said Magnum as she turned around and headed towards the warehouse where they had come through in order to get to the helicopter port.
"And I shall be waiting my dear...Godspeed."
And with that, Magnum made her way back into the facility while Stryker remained and watched her until she was out of sight.
"What is it with those two?" asked Senator Kelly from the seat in the helicopter as Trask went through the last few steps for takeoff.
"Your guess would be as good as mine Senator," said Trask, "I have not seen them part in all the years that I have known them. They are two different forces working together as one powerful unit. Stryker has the brains, Magnum has the muscle...They both bring the best of two worlds together...A pair that perfectly complements one another."
"That's not what I meant," muttered the Senator upon hearing Trask's response.
"Oh...Well for that, I guess you'll have to figure it out for yourself then," said Trask with a grin, knowing what he was probably implying.
As the side opened up into a small transport area behind the pilot and co-pilot, General William Stryker jumped in and signaled Trask to take off.
"Come Trask...I believe that we have seen enough of the sights in Washington for now."
"Too bad we won't be able to stay for the fireworks..." joked Trask as the engines of the helicopter roared and the aircraft slowly rose into the air.
With his powerful nose to guide him, Wolverine followed the fleeting scent of Stryker and his henchmen outside the main warehouse and along a winding path of smaller, subordinate facilities along the docks. The cool, crisp air of the summer night carried the scent through the soft wind as he felt himself drawing ever closer to the murderer that had brought so much pain and suffering to the innocent. Many of those victims were children that he vowed to protect, but because of the ruthless tactics used he had failed to save them...And it was all because of one man.
He was closely followed by Mystique, whom had lost her daughter to this man. The torment she suffered and the anguish that she felt upon recalling what Stryker's cruel soldiers did to Rogue hung in her mind like an unending nightmare. She wanted to make Stryker pay so badly...She wanted to do something to make up for all the things that she did to Rogue, but was never able to atone for. Wherever she was now, she was probably watching over both her and Kurt all throughout the tribulations that had led them both to this point. And there wasn't a single sacrifice that Raven Darkholm wasn't willing to give in order to see her one last time and say she was sorry. But now...Only the thought of retribution hung strong in her mind. Rogue's life had been taken away before she ever got the chance to learn what it was like to touch or feel. And for that...Mystique would make Stryker feel all the torment that he had caused her so that the daughter that she had failed to win back could rest in peace.
"Logan...Are we close? Is he near?" asked Raven eagerly as she followed him into one of the facilities located along the docks.
"He's near..." assured Logan as he continued to sniff the air, "The scent's getting stronger."
Both mutants picked up the pace as Logan followed his senses further, leading them both through a poorly lit warehouse that was many times smaller than the one that the sentinel had been in, yet almost equally as ominous.
With a loud 'snikt' that echoed through the rotting walls of the warehouse, Logan unleashed his claws in preparation. Mystique stayed close behind, using a lifetime of awareness to take in the surrounding environment and prepare herself for any surprises that may arise at a moment's notice.
Then as they both turned a corner towards the back central area of the facility...Logan suddenly stopped cold in his tracks.
"What is it Wolverine?" said Raven as she feverishly scanned the area.
"We've got company..." replied Logan as he suddenly smelled a familiar scent in his nose.
Stryker's trail had suddenly vanished...But a new smell quickly filled the area. It was not the smell of the man they had hoped to find, but for Logan it was equally as memorable as his. But before his mind could fully process this new scent...Something more sinister filled the air and the Wolverine quickly took action.
"Raven! Get down!" yelled Logan as he abruptly tackled her to the ground as a single shot just went off.
Logan let out a howl of pain as the bullet strongly grazed his shoulder, tearing his uniform in the process. They both quickly took cover behind a stack of crates and carefully scanned their surroundings as a lifetime of fighting experience soon took over. But before long, a voice rang out from where the shots had come from and it was one that Logan knew all too well.
"The famous weapon X...And a companion if my senses do not deceive me," said Magnum as she took slow steps forward into the room, casually twirling her gun on her finger, showing off her skill.
Her accent was thick and her tone was confident. She was a born killer with skill few humans ever attain. Her legacy of blood extended back her whole life from the days of the Russian mob to the days alongside Stryker. Her long, black trench coat gently swayed in the subtle wind. She looked like an angel of darkness ready to bring death to those who were unlucky enough to stand in her way. Stryker may have had the intelligence, but she had the muscle.
"Magnum..." grunted Logan as he slowly peaked over the crate.
But as soon as he did, another shot rang out from Magnum's lighting fast reflexes and the Wolverine was forced to take cover again.
"Damn...This bitch has got skill!" said Logan, who could still smell the burning path of the projectile as it passed so close to his face.
"I was raised to be a killer..." said Magnum as her gaze shifted to the area where she knew her enemies were hiding, "I can kill anything...All I need is a single gun and a single bullet. I spared your life back at Watergate Wolverine...But this time I will show you no mercy."
"Still Stryker's lap dog I see!" yelled Mystique as she and Logan remained behind the crates.
This evoked a humored laugh from the usually stoic woman. The thrill of this hunt had heightened her state of awareness...Knowing that this was where she truly belonged...On the battlefield.
"Partner, yes...Lap dog...Hardly," scoffed Magnum, "You freaks truly have no idea the situation that you have stumbled into."
"We never asked to be attacked lady!" bellowed Logan in response, "We never stumbled into anything!"
"Oh, but you did..." said Magnum, "You did because you wouldn't accept defeat. You have already lost this war...You know it, Stryker knows it, and I know it. This operation goes far beyond simply eradicating the mutant menace...It is the preservation of a new world harmony that shall be bought with your deaths! If you were to win this war...That peace would never come. Conflict, intolerance, power struggles, and bloodshed will only continue as long as your kind exists. It is an unfortunate part of human nature. And that is why your cause will NEVER succeed! You think that I am just some murder for higher, but rest assured I am not just a killer...I am a soldier. And the main duty of a soldier is to fight for something that they believe in...And I believe in my cause just as much as you believe in yours."
Three more shots rang out from her high caliber, high powered weapon and it quickly tore through the crates that Logan and Raven had taken cover behind. Staying low and acting fast, they both made their way behind a few concrete pillars in the eastern part of the facility. As they took a brief peak around the sides, they saw the confident Russian assassin slowly making her way around the area.
"Looks like we'll have to split up..." whispered Logan, "We have to take the advantage away from her."
"No kidding," whispered the shape shifter in response, "She's tough...But there's still only one of her."
"Right...But don't get cocky. Believe me...This woman is full of surprises."
As she reached the center of the vast room she finally stopped her slow advance. Logan and Mystique were careful not to make a single sound that would give away their position. But unknown to them, Magnum's keen senses from years of doing this had already given her a pretty good idea of their location. This was the battle that she had been waiting for...A showdown with some of the most powerful mutants around. Confident in her abilities...Magnum did something she hadn't done since the operation began.
In a slow, dramatic display of her readiness to fight and kill...She promptly removed the sunglasses that had shielded her eyes. If her enemies could see them...They would see a look of pure determination and bloodlust. And in addition...She swiftly removed her long, black trench coat so that now only the three holsters on her back, hip, and lower stomach area carrying her silver magnum and two other powerful, handmade colts...But not before removing two large ominous weapons that were safely contained in the thick garment. They were the still highly experimental MP6s from the arsenal of William Stryker's companies. The highly advanced weapons were light, powerful, and handheld. They utilized a new, high caliber 9.92 bullet with the use of a powerful, nitrogen based explosive that propelled the round with every bit the speed and power of a lower caliber bullet. There were many rounds in each clip that fed into the advanced weapon and Magnum was one of the best shots in the world...If not the best.
"You will both die..." said the lone woman sternly as she suddenly aimed the gun near the area where Logan and Mystique had been hiding and opened fire.
The shock of her knowledge of their position was quick to wear off as instinct took over and the two mutants were forced to avoid the hail of bullets that soon engulfed them. In an attempt to fight back, Logan and Raven quickly split up and went separate directions in preparation for a counter attack. But this did not go unnoticed by the skilled assassin as she simply aimed one gun at Mystique and the other at Wolverine. She was not like regular Friends of Humanity soldiers...Not by a long shot.
Staying low and staying fast, both mutants tried to get a better position on the strong woman as she continued firing her guns. Logan had made it behind a cluster of empty metal drums, but not before another bullet grazed his upper body again, causing him to let out another grunt of pain.
"Time to take action," said Mystique with determination as she prepared to fight back like she had done for so long.
While the bullets were still flying, she used her powers to shift into a black raven and quickly took to the air. While Logan remained behind the drums, Mystique used the flight abilities of her bird form to get closer to highly trained killer. But unfortunately...Her deception did not fool the Russian woman for a second.
"That won't help you...Raven," she said as she quickly turned her attention to the area above her.
Still armed with her MP6s, Magnum used one to open fire on the small, fast moving target. At first, Mystique was able to dodge the rounds in her nimble form, but after a mere three shots, a single round hit her wing and the shape shifter fell to the ground. As soon as she hit, she shifted back into her real form, clutching her arm in pain.
"Nice try...But utterly pitiful," scoffed Magnum as she prepared to fire one of her guns at the downed shape shifter.
However, before she could pull the trigger, a loud voice emerged from the area near the empty oil drums.
"Hey cowgirl! Over here!" yelled Logan as he used his strength to lift a heavy metal oil drum and throw it over at his aggressor.
The strong assassin was easily able to dodge with her nimble abilities that seemed quite impressive for a woman of her strength. Being both strong and agile was a dangerous mix for an enemy, especially one as determined as her. But that didn't cause Wolverine to let up.
"Not fast enough animal," taunted Magnum as she remained on her feet, still armed with her powerful guns.
She let out another burst of gunfire in Logan's direction, but at the same time it gave Raven enough of an opening to take cover. Magnum quickly saw this and pointed her other gun back at her.
"I won't let you get away!" she grunted as she kept firing.
Mystique managed to roll herself off to the side behind the cover of another stack of crates. The bullets were getting too close for comfort. The smell of the unique gunpowder and the heat from the high energy rounds filled the air around her. Add to that, the pain in her arm from the bullet that hit he while she was in raven form and the prospects didn't look to good against this woman.
'Damn!' thought Raven as she clutched the side of her arm, 'This bitch is tough!'
While Logan kept trying to draw her fire, his luck with avoiding the bullets was starting to falter. Another round soon grazed her shoulder as he tried to get a fix on her position by peaking around the side of the metal drums. Her aim was good...Too good. He would never be able to get close at this rate as he remained pinned down along with Raven.
Then finally, the bullets stopped as the clips of ammo in the guns were emptied. Casually tossing them aside, Magnum's confidence grew...Knowing that she still had the upper hand in this fight. She had showed them her skill...And they acknowledged its magnitude. In her mind, that would only make the fight easier and the victory all the greater.
"You two have proven to be quite disappointing," said Magnum as she clenched her fist in determination, "I certainly would have expected more from such prominent mutant soldiers."
"You're forgetting one thing Magnum...We ain't dead yet!" grunted Logan as he eagerly awaited an attack with his claws now that her MP6s were out of bullets.
With an animalistic roar, Logan emerged from behind the oil drums and quickly charged the lone assassin. However, Magnum was not daunted by this. Even before someone who was once a living weapon, she was not scared. She had already subdued him once before...She could do it again. Only this time...She would not simply stop, not until the job was done.
"Bring it on animal..." she said as she took a fighting stance from one of the many styles that she had mastered throughout her life.
Logan went in with a powerful lunge, hoping to be quick enough to get his claws to hit...But Magnum was faster and more nimble than he expected and she easily dodged the attack. In one swift, fluid motion the assassin grabbed his arm while he was still in the attack and twisted it behind him while delivering a fierce punch to the stomach coupled with a powerful kick to the face. This knocked Logan back, but he quickly retaliated and tried another attack. But like last time, Magnum was quick enough to dodge them and they soon found themselves locked within a bitter grabble. Logan thought that his strength was greater than her in terms of muscle since she didn't look like some crazy female body builder. But when he tried to push her back, he was completely surprised by her overwhelming strength.
"Damn! Yer pretty strong lady!" grunted Logan as the two opponents remained locked in battle.
"Black market steroids..." said Magnum in response, "Illegal...But effective."
Then, the Russian born killer swiftly broke the grapple and countered with a double kick combo. Logan tried to respond with a slash of his claws, but only got halfway before his face was once again met with her foot and he was driven back.
But in the process of this failed counter attack, Logan's sharp adamantium claw did make contact ever so briefly on Magnum's face...Causing a subtle, yet noticeable cut that began to drip with blood. The Russian didn't really seem to feel this and the look on her face did not change. Instead, she simply ran her finger along the cut and collected the blood with her finger.
"Finally...You draw first blood," said Magnum as she watched Wolverine struggle, "Now things are getting interesting."
But while her focus remained on Wolverine, Mystique used the opportunity to fight back with skills of her own. Blocking out the pain in her arm, the shape shifter let out an angry war cry and emerged from behind the crates to quickly rushed Magnum with a flying kick. The Russian killer was easily able to dodge it, but now she was met with another opponent to deal with. However, it only seemed to make her more eager and did not taint her confidence in the slightest.
"Ah...I was wondering if you had given up," said Magnum as she took a fighting stance.
"Bitch...I'm just getting started!" grunted Mystique as she called upon all her years of experience in hand to hand combat for this fight.
With a level of agility more speed greater than Logan's, Raven Darkholm fought with her all her heart against this killer that represented everything she hated about the world and herself. She tried a quick burst of punches, but Magnum was easily able to block them and counter with several blows of her own. It was here where Mystique learned of her far greater strength and found herself nearly completely unable to block against such force. She may have been faster, but she did not have Logan's strength and every hit from Magnum was wearing her down faster and faster.
"You know how to fight Raven...But you don't know how to win," taunted Magnum as she landed another devastating punch to her stomach, causing the shape shifter to cough and gasp for air.
It was hard to recover from such a blow, but Raven Darkholm had survived much worse in her life and this was no different. With Rogue still dominating her mind and driving her determination, she fought back.
"You're wrong Magnum..." quipped Raven in response, "The only way either of us can win this fight is if one of us stops breathing! And I've survived way worse than some lone killer whore from the mob!"
Before Magnum could respond to that, Mystique erupted into a fury of attacks. While Magnum was able to block them, she was unable to avoid some of the blows from the enraged mutant. However, this did little to stop her. It only strengthened her drive to carry out what William Stryker had ordered her to do.
"So...You finally decided to stop fucking around and fight," said Magnum as she wiped her mouth from the blood that had come as a result of one of Raven's blows, "It's about time..."
Magnum then countered and Mystique quickly fought back. Wolverine also decided to help out as he jumped into the fight and double teamed the born killer.
"You can't fight the both of us!" growled Logan as Magnum began using her skills to block the attacks of both fighters at the same time.
"Just watch me..." said the Russian ominously as she ducked to avoid a simultaneous attack from both mutants.
Magnum was agile, but it didn't stop the two X-men from preparing another attack. Mystique positioned herself behind her while Logan stood in front of her with his claws drawn and his will strong. It was a tense moment, but that tension was short lived as Logan lunged forward along with Mystique to launch what they hoped to be a devastating attack. However, Magnum was ready for them and quickly managed to move her body off to the side of the forward thrusts of Wolverine's claws with only millimeters to spare. While off to the side, the skilled assassin then chose to use the situation to turn her disadvantage into an edge.
With her lighting fast reflexes, she managed to grab one of Logan's arms while he was still in the motion of his attack...And with her powerful muscles, Magnum directed the thrust over towards Mystique while she was still attacking...Causing Logan's claws to slash across her neck.
"Ahh!" yelled Mystique in pain as she clutched her neck and fell to the ground.
"Raven!" yelled Logan upon seeing what he had just done.
But this temporary lapse in focus was all the time that Magnum needed in order to make her next move. Time was running out and she was getting tired of fooling around. William Stryker had ordered these freaks dead and as his most trusted associate, and she would not let anything short of death stop her from carrying that order out.
"Time to end this..." said the Russian killer as time itself seemed to slow down in the crucial seconds that were to come.
With her lightning fast reflexes, Magnum used a powerful back kick to hit the temporarily stunned Wolverine back and before he could even begin to respond, she proceeded to whip out her trusty silver 44 caliber magnum that she so affectionately named herself after and fired a single adamantium round into his chest. With a pained howl that echoed through the warehouse, Logan fell back as the powerful round impacted his chest and like before, the shockwave from the bullet did great damage to his insides even though his adamantium bones did not break. His healing factor would have to take over as he now lay in a helpless state of pain on the cold, hard floor of the warehouse completely at the mercy of this skilled assassin.
"My, my...Doesn't this situation look familiar?" taunted Magnum as she stood over him with her powerful gun pointed directly at his head.
"Fuck...You..." grunted Logan as he tried to get up, but an intense shot of pain kept him from doing so.
This response only seemed to make Magnum laugh as she took in triumph over the once feared living weapon.
"Fitting last words for such a barbaric creature," said Magnum as she cocked the trigger and prepared to fire, "The bullets in this gun are made out of the same material as your bones...And one well placed shot to the head is all it takes to kill you. Just one shot...And even you wouldn't be able to heal from it. I hope you enjoy hell Wolverine...Because when I come to join you some day, I'll make sure that it's every bit as painful as it should be for you and the rest of those freaks that are already there..."
Now, nothing was standing in Magnum's way from ending Wolverine's life. All it would take was the simple pull of a trigger and it would be over. Stryker wasn't there to call her off and there was no way that she would stand down. She never failed a hit before and she wouldn't start now. Wolverine's eyes were brimming with hatred for this woman after all that she had done to him and the Professor. She was as cold blooded as Stryker and every bit as ruthless. She had so much blood on her hands from countless others she killed for money, but none of that seemed to faze her in the slightest as she prepared to take yet another life. However, just she began to pull the trigger, a loud voice came from behind her.
"NOOO!" yelled Raven as she fought through the pain of the wound on her neck and lunged forth, tackling the lone assassin just as a single shot rang out that narrowly missed Wolverine's head by a fraction of an inch.
Magnum let out an angry, murderous growl as she quickly turned to face the angry shape shifter, only to take several heavy blows to the face and two hard kicks to the stomach. Even with the deep cuts on her neck, Mystique fought with a tenacity that allowed her to fight hard against this skilled killer. But Magnum was quick to regain her composure as she soon began blocking the shape shifter's attacks. Blood was trickling down her face, but that only seemed to fuel Magnum's rage as she let forth her own fury of counter attacks. Mystique didn't hold back this time and matched her every move, but with Magnums overwhelming strength and the pain of her cuts she was quickly worn down and was falling back fast. Mystique couldn't block against her powerful blows for much longer, but she also was unable to land any definitive blows on her. The shape shifter now had blood trickling down her face as well as the punishment continued. Then, as Raven tried one last two punch combo, Magnum saw and opening and fought back with one last devastating blow to the stomach, causing her to keel over in pain. But as she started to sink to the ground, Magnum grabbed her by the neck with her gloved hand and slowly rose her up off the ground and pinned her against a large crate.
"You stupid bitch! You should have stayed dead!" yelled Magnum as she now used both hands and began to choke the life out of the shape shifter.
Raven tried to respond, but Magnum's grip was too strong. She tried to fight back, but the strong Russian woman did not let up and Mystique soon found her strength failing her. Her lungs cried for air as her head began to spin and her thoughts became a jumbled mess. All that she could see now was the enraged killer standing before her, choking her with all her might until there was nothing left to choke. Mystique didn't want it to end like this...Not when she was finally seeing things so clearly now and was finally beginning to develop a relationship with her son. She actually had reasons for living now...She had friends. Her son had lost his sister...Now it seemed as though he was going to lose his mother as well. With the life quickly fleeting from her body, Raven Darkholm began to give into the darkness. Everything had been so painful for her. Her whole life had been so hard...And this was how it was going to end. Feeling as though this may be her last chance, she let out one last thought that she hoped would comfort her in the final moments to come.
'I'm sorry Kurt...I'm sorry Rogue...I failed you. Please forgive me.'
But just as Raven felt the final squeeze being put on her throat...Something happened that took Magnum by complete and utter surprise. She was so close to finishing off one of the targets that she had been ordered to kill by the man she trusted and respected the most...She could almost taste her death. But just as those final seconds came...The strong, Russian born killer felt an agonizing pain shoot through her stomach and up to her chest.
With a pained gasp, her grip on Mystique suddenly loosened, causing her to fall to the ground while she struggled to catch her breath. Magnum...The born and bred killer...Felt all her limbs weaken like never before. The strength that she had used to such devastating effect was fleeting her. Blood soon filled her lungs and began to seep out of her mouth. Through this intense pain, she looked down at the cause of this devastating blow...Only to see three long metal claws protruding from her abdomen. It was then she knew the mistake that she had made.
"Wolverine..." she struggled through the pain and the blood clogging up her throat.
"When you get to hell..." said Logan, still feeling the effects of the gunshot, "Tell em who sent ya..."
And with that, Wolverine withdrew his claws back into his hands, sealing her fate as the blood from the deadly killer began to flow freely out of the wounds. The once proud assassin then fell limp and dropped to the floor in a bloody heap. Logan took in the sight, his mind almost not willing to accept that this fight had finally ended. His healing factor was now in full swing as the damage that the bullet had done began to heal. And with renewed strength, he quickly made his way over to Raven, who was still coughing from nearly being choked to death by this deadly killer.
"Raven...Raven are you okay?" said Logan as he helped her up to her feet.
The shape shifter took deep breaths, trying to get her lungs working again. She coughed up one last round of blood until she finally rose to her feet.
"I'm fine...I'll be okay," said Raven as she leaned on Logan for support.
"Are ya sure Misty?"
The shape shifter couldn't help but laugh at the mention of the little nickname that he had given her. Like the rest of the people he spoke to, he had his own little way of referring to her. It made her feel glad to be alive...And grateful that she finally had friends.
"Don't worry Logan...You're not the only one who can heal," she responded with a reassuring smile as she began to stand under her own power.
As both mutants caught their breath, their attention soon drifted back towards the motionless body of Magnum. A small pool of blood formed around her as her mortal wounds continued to bleed. They didn't detect any signs of life in her. It had been a long, hard fight...But it was finally over.
"She was one stone cold killer..." said Logan as they stood before her body.
"No kidding..." said Raven as she bent down beside her and picked up the silver 44 caliber magnum that she had wielded with such skill.
Few words were left to be said as both mutants stood alive and well having survived a most deadly onslaught from a true killer. She had not been a mutant, yet she had fought with a determination and skill that would have rivaled any X-gene. In the end...It was not powers that drove her to madness, it was her own corrupt mind that did that. It gave her the determination, drive, and desire to carry out her bloody assignments. She had succeeded in every hit before her...Until now. Her appetite for combat was finally extinguished now that she lay dead and many of those who had perished by her hands could now rest easy.
"Come on...Let's get out of here," said Wolverine.
Not wanting to stick around any longer, the shape shifter and the former living weapon began to make their way out the door. Then suddenly...As they were close to tasting fresh air...A loud scream echoed from the body of the Russian killer.
"AHHHHHH!" screamed Magnum as she shot up from her dead state and whipped out two of the three guns she had in holsters strewn along her body, "DIE!!!"
In a scene reminiscent of a Hollywood horror movie, the Russian born killer shot up in a bloody rage and took aim with her guns as she lunged forth at the enemies she had vowed to kill. However, before she could pull the trigger...Raven Darkholm's instinct kicked in and she quickly took aim with the silver 44 magnum that she had taken from her and pointed it directly at her head. And with the sound of a single shot...A lone adamantium laced bullet was propelled through the air...Going straight through the head of Russian born killer.
Then, with the burst of a stream of blood and brain that burst out of the hole made in her head...Magnum fell to the ground dead. This time...There was no question. The shock of her sudden reawakening quickly wore off as Mystique and Wolverine walked back to make sure that she was truly dead this time. And from the looks of it...She was.
"Is she dead this time?" said Raven as they both stood over her body.
"I don't think she can get much deader than this..." responded Logan as he took in the sight of the bullet wound that went perfectly through her head.
This time, she didn't awake...She didn't turn into a zombie...And her ghost didn't return to fight. This was real life...And this time, she was truly dead.
"Killed by her own beloved gun...How ironic," said Raven as she dropped the silver magnum upon the dead woman's chest, leaving her with the one possession she treasured most.
"I'll bet she didn't see that one coming," added Logan, who couldn't help but grin at how this bloodthirsty woman had met her demise.
With one last final look upon the deadly killer, Wolverine and Mystique turned to make their exit. One part of this battle was done...But it was still far from over. Stryker was still alive and the Friends of Humanity were still fighting to eradicate all mutants. The final hour of the war that Stryker had so earnestly prepared was closing fast and the ultimate outcome was still in question. But for Logan and Raven Darkholm...There was still light at the end of the tunnel...Hope was still there. Every war must have a victor and a vanquished and with the stakes so high in this conflict they couldn't afford to be the latter. William Stryker had brought untold horrors to their already difficult lives. He had justified them with his intellect and logic. But now more than ever, they knew that they would have to fight against this man to the bitter end if they were to stop the carnage that he was fighting so hard for. He had murdered too many innocent people and had simply written them off as opposing soldiers for the enemy...And now, he would either pay for his crime on this night...Or he would keep fighting until he succeeded. And for the mutants that had survived his devastating initial attacks...Failure and defeat was not an option.
"Come on Raven...We better get back to the others!" said Logan as he began to pick up the pace and head back to the warehouse.
"Right behind you Logan...Let's end this war!"
AN: It's not over yet people! The final big battle is about to come to ahead! You won't want to miss the next chapter! Stryker is still alive and the sentinels have not been destroyed! Operation Extermination is about to end...Who will be victorious? It has been a long, hard road through the conflicts of this story. But the end is finally beginning to take shape! Every story must have a beginning and an end and this story is no exception. It's getting close and you won't want to miss it! By the way, what did you all think of my OC Magnum? Since she's dead now I feel I can finally ask. Was she a worthy enemy? Was she a good fit for this story? Please tell me! I urge you all to send me your comments on this story via email or post reviews on the fanfiction website! Please review! Thank you so much for reading this and I wish you all the best!