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 5: Chaos
"They're dead...They're all dead..."
Those words echoed through the air of a destroyed area deep in the countryside of Westchester, New York. It was the dreariest of nights for the surviving students of the now destroyed Xavier Institute for gifted youngsters. In the span of only a few seconds...Their world had come crashing down as bombs, bullets, and mortars fell upon and completely destroyed their home. Of all the residents that had been in the school at the time, only Scott Summers, Jean Grey, Kurt Wagner, and Kitty Pryde made it out. It was a truly devastating event...One that was now permanently engraved within their minds.
Upon escaping the initial blast, the four surviving X-men took cover in the woods off to the western part of the institute grounds. They were forced to stay silent and out of sight as hundreds of soldiers descended upon the rubble of the institute. Many of the troops present began sifting through the massive amounts of debris left by the explosions while others took pictures surveying the area. Planes and helicopters soon appeared overhead as well, bringing in specialized troupes for certain tasks. The four young mutants could only watch as events unfolded around them. Jean Grey, who had been greatly affected by sensing so much death through her psychic powers, spent the better part of the time crying her heart out in the arms of her boyfriend, Scott Summers as he repeatedly tried to console her. However, even the strong leader couldn't fight his tears as he felt her pain through the psychic link that they shared and mourned the loss of so many close friends that had been like a family to him. Kitty was almost completely unmoving since she and the others watched the institute explode. She was in too great of shock to do or say anything, but the tears in her eyes gave away the intense feelings of remorse that she was experiencing. Kurt had spent the better part of a half hour around his friends, trying to process what had just happened. He soon took it upon himself to find out what the soldiers were doing and began using his agility to observe their actions...But what he saw truly shocked him.
Using his teleportation powers, Kurt "Nightcrawler" Wagner appeared atop a rather large tree that was shielded with leaves to allow him cover from being sighted. He struggled to get a good view of what was happening as he watched a large number of troops gather around the central debris caused by the explosions. It was truly a ghastly sight, seeing the ruins of his home in such a twisted, mangled heap of rubble. He almost didn't want to look at it, but his gaze remained fixed on the grizzly sight and would not be torn away. Staying as silent and concealed as he possibly could, Kurt began to listen to some of the words being said by the soldiers as they sifted through the rubble.
"Any luck yet?" said one of the higher ranking soldiers as a small group of infantry used shovels to dig through the charred remains.
"Not yet sir!"
What they were looking for, Kurt didn't know...But something told him that he wouldn't like it when he found out. And in the end...It wasn't at all far from the truth.
"Hey captain! I think blue team found something!" said one of the soldiers.
"Good job soldier, I'll be right there! Let me just get the stuff!"
Kurt watched as the captain, who was wearing a strangely different uniform compared to the others, made his way over to the sight. Then, Kurt let out a gasp as he saw what the soldiers had found.
Kurt had to cover his mouth to keep himself from yelling as he saw at least two dozen soldiers carry out several large, blue body bags from the rubble...Some stained with charred blood. The horror of such a sight nearly caused Kurt to vomit as he watched the soldiers lay the bags out in a row along the grass. He couldn't take seeing this anymore...It was too hard for him to watch. Kurt shut his eyes and immediately tried to forget what he had just seen...But that was all too impossible at this point. Quickly, he teleported back to the area where Scott, Jean, and Kitty were. The German mutant was unsurprised to see that they hadn't moved much since he left. Kurt soon found himself sink to the ground against the tree as he let his tears out over what he had just seen.
"There's no vay...That anyone else could have survived, ja?" said Kurt in a deep monotone voice.
Jean just shook her head as she tried to wipe away her tears.
She leaned in closer to Scott's warmth as she let out another heart wrenching sob. Scott too seemed deeply hurt by all of this and now looked lost in thought...Contemplating their situation now. Then, Kitty finally spoke up for the first time in what seemed like forever.
"But why?!" sobbed Kitty, "Why did this happen? Who would do something like this?"
Kurt couldn't answer that as he simply buried his face in his hands, unable to forget the painful images of the last hour. Scott looked over at his younger friends and felt his head sink, knowing that there was nothing that anybody could do now to reverse what had happened.
"I don't know Kitty," answered Scott in a deep, distraught voice, "But...We're going to find out...And we're going to survive."
Applause broke out as images of the successful attack on the X-men, the Brotherhood, and Magneto blared on the main computer screens for all to see. A triumphant smile fell upon General William Stryker's face as many American men and women in uniform lauded him for his actions. Their praise only fueled the general's authority and prestige as he gratefully accepted their sentiment.
"Thank you...Thank you everybody both military and Friend's of Humanity alike," said Stryker over the applause.
Some of the officers had broken out the champaign bottles and were celebrating their triumph. In the eyes of William Stryker, it was exactly what he had planned for. Two years of hard work had led up to this moment. After countless resources and hundreds of man hours, he was finally reaping the rewards that he had worked so hard for. He then walked up the back stairways with Magnum by his side so he could look down at his grateful subordinates. As the applause finally died down, he began to speak.
"This is truly a great day...For it marks a new beginning for humanity," said Stryker as others continued to applaud, "Everything is happening exactly as I had foreseen...And you all have done a terrific job aiding me in accomplishing this task."
"Hail General Stryker!" yelled one of the officers as he held up his wine glass.
"Hail General Stryker!" yelled the rest of the crew present as another round of applause broke out.
The smile on the general's face only got bigger as the men and women around him kept on praising him...Almost as if he was a king rather than a general. But he wasn't done with his speech just yet...There was still more to say.
"Thank you...You're all too kind. But we mustn't forget...Our job is not done yet. Magneto is still at large, seven out of the many dozens of targets are still out there, and we have one more side operation that has yet to begin. The mission is still not complete...It will only be deemed a success when EVERY dangerous mutant on our list is slain. And I will not lie to you my soldiers, this task will not be easy. But rest assured...The hard part is now over!"
Another round of applause broke out upon hearing the general say these last few words. Stryker seemed to revel in the euphoria of the moment as the people before him now stood under his complete control. The omnipotent feeling of superhuman status now echoed in Stryker's mind as he prepared to put the next part of the plan in to action.
"We fought together and we triumphed my fellow soldiers. Humanity has never been so united against one common enemy before...An enemy that has the capability to destroy the whole world as we know it. But we have taken the first steps towards neutralizing this treat. Mutants are now without their base and without their leaders. We have severed the proverbial head...And now it is up to us to make sure that the body bleeds to death. So my fellow soldiers...Let us begin the next phase of Operation Extermination!"
The back roads of the countryside were bumpy and rugged, but there was no other way to go for Mystique, Wanda, and the severely wounded Pietro. They had been driving now for nearly ten minutes...But it seemed like forever to the three occupants of the vehicle as the shape shifter stepped on the acceleration, pushing the stolen military jeep to its limits.
This whole night had been a grave shock to the three mutants of the Brotherhood. It only took a single fraction of a second for their entire world to come crashing down as they narrowly escaped the complete and utter destruction of their home. While they made it out, their friends did not. Lance, Freddy, and Todd were fast asleep in their beds as bombs fell from the sky and bullets filled the air around them. They only hoped that none of them had suffered through any pain...And that they had died peacefully in their sleep. But this was not a whole lot of consolation for the three survivors. They had been forced to flee the area in a daring escape attempt that left Pietro with many bullet wounds as he was now fighting for his life. Mystique had also suffered a small wound from a bullet that had grazed her arm, but the pain didn't seem to register then or now for that matter as he mind was not totally focused on the well being of her two children, Kurt and Rogue, who were at the Xavier Institute. She had already been devastated upon finding out that Agatha and Destiny were also slain in the crossfire as she saw a group of soldiers carry out three body bags from a limo that had been pulled off to the side of he road. She had seen this as she drove along the back roads and it only worsened the prospects of finding her children alive and well. She had already lost her home and two very good friends...She didn't want to lose her family as well.
"Pietro...Pietro come on! Stay with me! Don't fall asleep!" begged Wanda with tears in her eyes as she remained focused on her dying twin brother.
Wanda watched as Pietro struggled to keep his eyes open and kept on choking every time he tried to breathe. Blood was beginning to seep into his lungs, for the damage that all the deadly bullets did was quite severe. Any ordinary man would have most certainly perished by now...But thanks to Pietro's speedy body chemistry, he was kept alive...And in a great deal of agony. Wanda winced at her brother's pain and tried not to stare at the agonizing expression on his face. But even though he was suffering a great deal...He kept trying to tell Wanda something.
"Don't try to talk Pietro..." said Wanda as she kept her hands over the blanket that was covering Pietro's extensive wounds along his torso.
But that's all the speed demon got out before another coughing fit caused blood to seep out of his mouth. Wanda's hands were now covered with her twin brother's blood...And the smell of his wounds hung thick in the air. Nothing was worse than smelling the blood of her dying twin as Wanda kept trying to stop the bleeding.
"Mystique!!!" yelled Wanda as Pietro threatened to slip into unconsciousness again, "I think he's getting worse! I can't stop the bleeding!"
Mystique heard Pietro let out another round of coughs as he desperately struggled to breathe. She could tell that the speed demon was fighting hard to stay alive...But he was also fighting hard to say something even though it was only causing him more pain. They were nearing the institute...But it looked as thought Pietro wouldn't last much longer. Not wanting to see any more death than she already had, Mystique was forced to improvise once again.
"Damn...The bleeding must be internal and the bullets must still be in him. Quickly, lift his chin to allow for easier airflow in to his lungs!" ordered Mystique, "We're almost there! But he may not last much longer..."
"NO! Don't say that!" yelled Wanda as she lifted her twin brother's chin and heard him start gasping for air, "I won't let him die! He can't die! He's my brother...He..."
"Wanda calm down!" said Mystique trying to keep the Scarlet Witch from losing control of her emotions, which given the nature of her powers was a bad mix, "You won't help him by becoming hysterical!"
Wanda Maximoff swallowed the lump in her throat that was forming as she looked back down at her dying twin. The blanket that she had used to cover his wounds was now soaked in his blood and the color was quickly draining from his already pale skin. She wanted to believe that this was just a nightmare...She wanted to think that this was just a dream that she would wake up from at any moment. But the smell, the sound, the sight, and lingering presence of death made everything all too real for her to handle. Wanda tried to fight her sobs as she kept wiping the blood way from her brother's face, but that was all but impossible at this point...For time was running out for her brother. It didn't help at all that the bullets that had hit him were originally meant for her. She felt as though she should be laying here like this...Not him. But Pietro hadn't allowed that. For all his self-centered arrogance and cocky personality...He still had some humility within him...And he still loved his sister even after everything that had happened. However, Pietro's time was quickly dwindling with each passing second. The red-hot bullets that had passed through his body were doing their damage. And if the institute had been hit just like them...Then there was pretty much no hope for Pietro Maximoff.
The balmy streets of the big city of New York were somewhat peaceful in the late hours of the night as the hour of midnight came and went. While certain parts of the city never slept, others were eerily quiet in the darkness of the night. Few stars shinned through the thick cloud cover overhead as the world went on as usual...Unaware of the events that had transpired back in Westchester and the mountains. However, in a small, isolated, improvised section of the city where much of the streets were now quiet...A large cluster of unmarked dump trucks surrounded a seemingly, unimportant certain section of the road. The contents of the trucks were covered by thick covers as the motors of the vehicles went silent and the men inside began to make their way out.
All seemed calm on the surface as the drivers and occupants of the group stepped out in to the street and began to unload the contents of the trucks. Most men were dressed in military uniform while others were in city worker outfits. With the quickness and efficiency of a military strike, the soldiers sealed off the area in case any curious locals decided to make an unexpected visit. Most of the buildings in this area were abandoned and some were scheduled for demolition. The soldiers and workers proceeded to set up central bases in some of the buildings while garrisoning others to keep a close eye on the situation that was taking shape below. As the level of activity continued to increase, one of the men in an elaborate uniform flaunting the letters FOH picked up a communicator and switched to an encrypted frequency.
"General Stryker...This is team Nighthawk checking in."
Over the line and spanning the distance between the site and Washington, the voice of William Styrker soon responded.
"Excellent captain...You're right on schedule. Have you cordoned off the area?"
"Affirmative sir...We're ready to deploy upon receiving your command!" replied the officer as large groups of his men began to gather around two specific trucks.
"I would expect nothing less," answered Stryker as he looked at a computer screen back at the Pentagon detailing the operation that the Nighthawk division was scheduled to undertake, "Now...Proceed with the plan as I have already instructed. Use all utility access to seal off every portion of the sewers in and around the area. And if some areas can't be sealed, send armed guards to make sure that NOTHING escapes."
"Sir, it will be done, sir," answered the officer.
"Captian, there is one more thing that I must say before you and your men go ahead with your task..." added Stryker, "Make sure that they are careful with that gas that I provided you. While it is not at all toxic to humans...It is quite expensive and very difficult to synthesize. You and your men have all the gas that we could produce...So make sure that it doesn't go to waste."
"Sir! It will be done, sir!"
And with that, the officer went back to work while Stryker continued to oversee the operation from Washington. Some groups of soldiers were still celebrating the success against the other three targets, while others remained preoccupied with Stryker's tasks. Gradually, all men and women in uniform were returning to their posts and continuing the search for the mutants that had escaped the attacks. However, the general didn't seem worried in the slightest. If anything...He actually seemed excited.
"Mutants think they can hide in the sewers or evade their fate in the shadows..." mused Stryker as he double checked all the procedures that his city based division was undergoing, "But their own foolish mentality will be their undoing...Once they get a taste of the 'surprise' that I have in store for them."
Back up in the streets of New York, a large group of soldiers began unloading several dozen metal drums from two of the dump trucks that had been used to transport them in to the area. The ominous black drums bore the universal symbol of toxicity and had the emblems of the Friends of Humanity. In several other dump trucks, large mechanical apparatuses were unloaded off of ramps and wheeled over towards sewer holes where a large, rubber hose was placed over the opening. The men and women of the division worked quickly and quietly, so as not to disturb those that dwelled below them. Drum after drum was loaded in to the machines, that resembled giant air compressors until each and every container was loaded in to the devices and ready for use. Upon the engineers giving the captain a thumbs up, he picked up his communicator and switched to a different channel.
"All guard units, check in..."
"This is guard group one at the north end checking in!" replied a voice over the line.
"Guard group two at the south end, checking in!"
"Guard group three at the west end, checking in!"
"Guard group four at the east end, checking in! Ain't no freaks gonna get past us!"
"Good! Keep your positions...We're about ready to deploy," said the officer as he switched channels once again, "Reconnaissance teams, check in! Are all the Morlocks still in the area?"
"Sir, we have finished our final scan. And we can confirm that all targeted mutants are now confined to the sealed area. They all seem to be unaware of our presence," answered the soldier on the other end.
"Then we best move fast before the element of surprise is lost," said the captain as he switched back to the channel linking him to the engineers, "Attention all units...Prepare the pumps and wait for the final command. Remember...We may not get a second chance with this one. Freaks like the Morlocks are a tricky bunch."
Activity around the area soon attained a level of great anticipation as they awaited the final order from the general. All soldiers and troops were taking every possible precaution as the monitored all the activities of the sleeping Morlocks below them. The engineers near the devices then began to work at a more accelerated pace as the worked the intricate controls on the devices. They knew that the noise from starting the machines might make it risky to turn them on, so they now stood waiting for the general's orders to begin the final deployment of the deadly gas.
"General Stryker," said the field captain into his communicator, "The pumps are now ready and the guard patrol is in position. We just need confirmation from you before we turn the machines on. Do you wish to deploy?"
Upon saying this, it didn't take long for the captain to get his response from William Stryker.
"On my order...Deploy."
"Sir, yes sir!"
Then, with one hand signal...The field captain ordered the engineers to turn on the pumps. Each operator of the large, elaborate devices didn't waste time as they quickly activated the motors that drove the components. Each soldier watching then stood silent as their orders had directed them and only the noise of the motors and the alternating sounds of the pumping apparatus could be heard. Then, shortly after the machines started...The deadly gas that was contained within the drums began to pour into the sewers.
In the lower levels of the city sewer system in what had once been a primary utility control hub, nearly two dozen mutant refugees slept soundly as the late hours of the night settled upon them. Life was never easy for the Morlocks. The surface world feared and hated them because of their inhuman appearance and unnatural powers. At first there weren't many of them and they were all living in the sewers of Bayville. But as the number of mutants began to swell, the membership of the subterranean dwelling Morlocks grew and they were all forced to relocate in New York City were it was easier to hide and the sewer systems were more vast. It was not a pleasant place to live in the slightest, for it was dirty, dingy, and smelly. However, it was the only place out there for them where they could hide from those whom would hurt them.
All seemed quiet as one of the leading members, Evan Danials, tossed and turned in his sleep. Evan was a former X-man and had since become somewhat of a guardian to the Morlocks even as their numbers grew. His appearance was dominated by an elaborate shell of bone-like plates that covered his body and had sharp, jagged spikes coming out of them. It was for this reason he went by the nickname, Spyke. Sleeping on the dirty ground of the sewers was never pleasant, but on this night in particular Evan was more restless than usual. He kept tossing and turning as the others slept soundly around him. Then...As he finally felt himself start to nod off...He heard a strange noise coming from the surface.
The noise was hard to hear and sounded quite unlike anything that he was used to hearing after living in the sewers for so long. Feeling curious, Evan got up to check it out. He was quiet so that he wouldn't wake the rest of the Morlocks as he walked down one of the paths leading to an opening. He took the time to adjust some of the covers on several young children that had recently joined the group who were somewhat traumatized by the hate that forced them down here. It pained Evan to see innocent children go through something like that, but he did the best he could in helping them cope. However, he tried to push that thought out of his mind as his focus shifted back towards his investigation of the strange sound. As he made his way down the narrow tunnel, he found that the further he walked the more clear the noise became. To him, it sounded like diesel engines, but a lot more powerful.
"Engines? Who in the hell would run a bunch of diesel engines at this time of night in this part of the city?" said Evan aloud as he curiosity grew.
He was about 12 feet from the manhole...When suddenly, a mysterious invisible gas filled the air and the young mutant keeled over in a massive coughing fit. He suddenly felt his eyes began to water and dry out and he tried to cover his mouth from whatever was causing this. However, this did no good, for the gas seemed to seep into his skin as well. Blood started coming out of his mouth, nose, and even his ears as he felt an intense constriction on his lungs. Every muscle in his body soon began to feel as if it was on fire as Evan Danials soon lost his balance and was unable to stand upright. His eyes soon became bloodshot as he kept bleeding through the opening in his face. His mind was starting to panic when suddenly it dawned upon him...
Fearing for the rest of his Morlock friends Evan tried to get up and make his way back down the corridor to warn everybody, but his legs were in too much agony and his body was beginning to fail him. He began to feel light-headed as he felt himself become all the more dizzy and disoriented. He kept on coughing and he was unable to get air in to his lungs, which felt as though they were filling up with blood. Evan was on the verge of complete asphyxiation...When he suddenly he sensed two new presences beside him that appeared to come from the other end of the corridor. His eyes were too blood shot, his face was now completely covered with blood, and he was now on his hands and knees in a fit of intense pain as he tried to look up to the shadowy figures.
"Please...Help," said Evan as he felt his vocal chords burn within his throat.
The two men, both wearing unique military uniforms with Friend's of Humanity logos on them simply looked at each other and let out a sickening laugh. The gas continued to pour in to the confined sewers as Evan Danials felt the world around him spinning fast and becoming black with darkness. The soldiers seemed to take a sick pleasure in watching this young man suffer as they both now stood before him and grinned as they both took out a couple of 9 millimeter pistols.
"I got your medicine, freak...Right here..."
BANG! A dozen shots then rang out from the guns of the man as they emptied their clips of ammo into the head of Evan Danials...Killing him instantly. Neither man was affected by the gas...Only the mutants felt its effects. Evan tried to warn everybody about the impending poison...But from the complications of such a situation, it seemed as thought that would not have made a difference.
Back in the area where all the Morlocks slept, many of them were suddenly jolted awake as a horrible bout of coughing soon overtook every one of them in a sudden instant of pain. Many of the children, teenagers, and young adults quickly keeled over as they started bleeding through their mouth, nose, and ears. Screams of agony soon echoed through the sewers as some tried to get up and run away, only to have their bodies fail them. Coughing soon turned into choking...And choking soon turned in to asphyxiation...And asphyxiation soon turned in to death. None of the Friends of Humanity soldiers seemed affected by their echoing cries...In fact, they seemed to relish in it as the agonizing please of the Morlocks went unanswered.
For an agonizing ten minutes, the Morlocks suffered a horrible death as each on of them soon succumbed to the gas. And as the cries from the depths of the sewers finally fell in to a deathly silence...The field captain on the surface picked up his communicator and radioed the general.
"General Stryker sir...We got em all this time!"
Mystique was finally able to turn the jeep that she was driving off the bumpy back roads that she had used to evade the pursuit of the military and now drove only normal paved roads as they neared the institute. The smoother roads benefited the wounded Pietro Maximoff, who was still lying in a bloody heap in the back with his twin sister, Wanda, by his side. With smoother roads, the many bullet wounds that the young man had suffered were less likely to tear and cause more bleeding...Which is what they desperately wanted to avoid if Pietro was to survive.
"Mystique, are we close?" asked Wanda anxiously as she kept trying to keep her brother awake and breathing.
"Yes...It should be coming up ahead!" answered Mystique as she turned another corner and sped up a steep hill, "We should be able to see it right after..."
But then, Mystique suddenly stopped in mid sentence as the jeep cleared the hill and the institute came into full view. A sudden feeling of dread then came over both her and Wanda as they saw a large column of smoke rise up from where the mansion once stood. A sinking feeling in the stomach of Raven Darkholm soon grew as her thoughts drifted back towards her children.
"Oh my god...No. Kurt...Rogue..." dreaded Mystique in a barely audible voice as they drove closer towards the institute grounds.
"This...This can't be happening!" said Wanda as she looked back down at her dying brother as his prospects for survival suddenly took a dramatic plunge.
It was all gone...Completely destroyed. A large group of military vehicles and soldiers crowded around the charred remains of the former school for mutants...Sifting through debris and examining the area. Mystique quickly turned the jeep off of the road and towards the west end of the wooded areas off to the side of the institute. The surrounding walls were all but destroyed by the vehicles that had rolled through them and the openings provided a way to drive closer to the structure. Mystique had to see if her kids were okay...But Wanda on the other hand, didn't want to linger.
"What are you doing?!" yelled Wanda, "The mansion is destroyed! We have to go someplace else!"
"There is no place else Wanda...This was it," said Mystique in a dazed tone as she drove over fragments of stone and brick, making her way on to institute grounds.
"NO! This is not it! We have to do something! We have to get Pietro to a hospital!"
"You know they won't help him Wanda..." said Mystique, whose focus no longer seemed to be on anything else other than her children.
"You don't know that!" bellowed the Scarlet Witch in response.
"Believe me Wanda...I know," mused Mystique as she the sheer devastation of the destroyed mansion grew larger as they got closer to it, "Even if we did get him there...They wouldn't help him. He's a mutant Wanda...A hospital will just report him to the military or they'll find out. And when they do..."
"I don't care! I'll risk it! I'll protect him from anybody who tries to hurt him! I'll make them help him! We just..."
But then, Wanda's words of desperation were suddenly cut off when Mystique stopped the jeep near a dead end blocked by trees and turned off the engine. The blue shape shifter then proceeded to jump out of the driver's seat and prepare to make her way closer to the mansion on foot.
"Wait! What the hell are you doing?!" yelled Wanda, confused by her actions.
"I have to find my kids!" said Mystique in a desperate tone, "You see if you can find any survivors...They might be able to help Pietro."
"But..." however Wanda wasn't allowed to respond as Mystique quickly used her agility to scale some of the large trees and make her way from branch to branch towards the institute ruins.
Wanda suddenly heard Pietro go into convulsions as if the air was being forced out of his lungs. A feeling of great dread then came over her as she watched his face twitch in agony. He looked as though he was in so much pain...And there seemed little that she could do about it.
"Oh God no...Pietro don't give up on me!" begged Wanda as she picked him up in her arms, "We'll get some help...I promise. Just don't pass out! Don't die...Please don't die..."
The sheer adrenalin rushing through her system made it feel as though Pietro weighed nothing. Wanda Maximoff had no idea where to go or even if anybody had managed to survive the attack...But she had to try even as her tired body threatened to give way to complete and utter exhaustion.
"Help me! Somebody! Anybody...Help me..."
Wanda was now begging for a miracle...For there seemed to be nobody out there...Nobody was listening to her pleas. She looked back down at her wounded brother and began to feel more tears welling up in her eyes. Her mind was telling her that there was little time left for her twin...And he was going to die right here in her arms. She didn't want that to happen...She couldn't let that happen. Wanda refused to give in to such hopelessness...She refused to let her brother die. Now, she could only hope that somebody would find and help them soon...Or else all would be lost for her twin.
The tall trees that led through the woods provided keen coverage for Mystique as she made her way closer to the mansion. In the distance, she could hear helicopters hovering in and around the area and a great jumbled mass of voices from the soldiers echoed through the air. The engines of the heavily armed machinery remained vigilant through the night and the presence of danger still lingered throughout the area. However, this did little to dissuade the shape shifter as she moved in closer to get a better view of the devastated mansion. Finally, she found herself perched on a rather large branch overlooking what had once been the southwestern side of the estate. It was now a smoking crater of ruins...The whole mansion was nothing more than a twisted and burnt mass of rubble now. Raven's hopes of finding her kids were quickly starting to falter, but she never once considered leaving. She had to find out...She had to know once and for all if the children that she had done so much to hurt were all right.
Then suddenly...She saw something strange out near the front of the mansion. Using her agility, she leaped across several branches until she was in full view of the front end of the mansion ruins from the side. Then she saw it...A terrifying sight that filled her with an awful feeling of dread unlike anything that she had felt before.
"Oh my God..." said Mystique as a look of sheer horror fell upon her face.
All along the front yard of the institute...Lines of body bags littered the ground. There were so many...Over a dozen from the looks of it. Some of them had charred blood stained on the outsides...Some of them were partially open. When she managed to catch a glimpse of one of the bodies inside...She almost vomited. It was the body of a young boy with blond hair that was now completely stained with blood. Half of his face had been blown off and the blackened bone could be seen from her view. It was the dead body of young Bobby Drake...And he wasn't the only one. There were so many others...Many of which she couldn't see. It was an awful sight...A sight that permanently engraved itself in Mystique's mind as she watched with unbridled terror at the dead bodies lying on the ground before her. Then, she saw something come up over the hill in the distance and quickly made out the faint voices.
"Well...I think this is the last one we could find," said one of the men to his comrade as they made their way to the end of the line of body bags that was closet to where Mystique was perched in the distance.
There were two men. Each of them wore a strange looking uniform with emblems that did not seem standard for the United States military. Each of them was carrying an end of an open body bag that was still smoking from the inside. Mystique couldn't make out the body just yet...But she suddenly sensed a horrible feeling of foreboding swell within her as every muscle in her body tensed at what she may find out.
"So which freak is this one?" asked the other soldier as they prepared to set the bag down.
"Not sure just yet...But according to the captain, we still have four freaks missing from the rubble," answered the other soldier.
"Damn! That many?! There are already too much of these freaks as it is!"
"No kidding...Well, as soon as we're done with em there won't be!"
"Amen to that brother!"
Then, the men proceeded to open the body bag up wider to inspect the remains inside. Unknown to them, Mystique was watching in the distance atop the trees holding her breath for what she was about to see. Then...The view became clear...And massive surge of uninhibited agony soon came over the soul of Raven Darkholm. The body...Was that of her daughter, Rogue. She could tell...The distinctive white streak in her hair was still visible, only now part of it was covered in dried blood. The majority of her body was still smoldering from the flames that had engulfed it. Her left arm was burnt all the way down to the bone and her pale skin was completely covered in charred flesh. Her eyes were closed and her mouth hung open with a small hint of dried blood trailing down from it. Gaping wounds dominated her face and the majority of her torso...And she was unmoving. But the soldiers weren't done yet...
"Is she dead?" said one of the soldiers.
"Only one way to be sure..."
Then, the other soldier proceeded to take out his small, semi-automatic Uzi sub machine gun and fired several rounds into the head of the already dead body of the young woman. But he didn't stop there...He went up and down the whole row of bodies...Shooting at the heads of what had once been the students and teachers of the Xavier institute for gifted youngsters. A sick, paralyzing feeling came over Mystique as she watched the heartless soldier further desecrate the dead bodies. Then, when he came back to Rogue...He emptied the rest of the clip into her head. It was then that it finally came crashing down upon Raven Darkholm. Her daughter...The daughter she had tried to win back...Was dead.
"No...Rogue..." said Mystique in a hoarse tone as she watched the dead body that had once been her daughter.
AN: Man, things don't look good for the survivors. Sorry to all you Rogue fans out there...I know that the last part was really depressing for you all, but please understand that I DON'T hate Rogue, the Morlocks, or any other of the characters for that matter. I don't like to bash any characters in my writing...So please don't take it the wrong way. But Rogue, and a lot of other characters for that matter are now dead in this story. But this is AU! This is only a story! Oh, and before I go any further, there is no Graydon Creed in this universe. They never mentioned him at all in the Evo universe, so I'm not going to complicate things more in this one. Kurt and Rogue are Mystique's only children. Just thought I should clear that up! I'm sorry if some of you don't like all the death that I've put in this fic, but it's just something that I wanted to do. There will be a whole lot more to this fic in the future. Stay tuned! Pietro's life is still hanging in the balance, Magneto and Piotr are still out there, and don't forget about the four surviving X-men! Also, Professor Xavier and Wolverine will make their appearance eventually so don't worry...This fic has a lot more to come! So what do you think so far? Like it? Hate it? Please tell me! Send your reviews to me at my email address or post them on the fanfiction website! I'm open to all reviews, but if you have to flame...Please be considerate. Well, that's it for now! Thanks a bunch for reading! Until next time, best wishes to you all!
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