Categories > Cartoons > X-Men: Evolution > Between Life and Death

Expecting The Unexpected

by slickboy444 1 Reviews

A mission gone horribly wrong leads Scott Summers to make the ultimate sacrifice to save his friends. But is he really dead? Or something more sinsiter going on? Scott/Jean, Kurt/Kitty, minor hints...

Category: X-Men: Evolution - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Action/Adventure, Angst, Drama, Romance - Characters: Cyclops, Gambit, Iceman, Jean, Magneto, Mystique, Nightcrawler, Rogue, Shadowcat - Published: 2005/07/13 - Updated: 2005/07/13 - 7530 words

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Between Life and Death
Chapter 6: Expecting The Unexpected


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Outside the darkened mansion, Magneto and his Acolytes seemed poised to attack the complex where Mr. Sinister was carrying out his bizarre experiments. As they stood in the clearing near the perimeter of Sinister's elaborate defenses, Magneto held up his hand, signaling for everybody to stop.

"This is as far as we can go..." said Magneto, "Sinister has the place rigged...I can feel it."

"It don't take no psychic to figure dat one out," grinned Gambit as he stood next to an eager Pyro and Sabretooth.

"Indeed..." said Magneto in agreement, "But we must proceed carefully. We may not get another shot at this."

Just then, a sudden voice echoed through and electronic ear piece that Magneto had built into his helmet and he got the news he was waiting for.

"Eric," said Mystique through the communicator, "I'm in position and so is Colossus."

"Was the security any problem?" inquired the master of magnetism, eager not to have any slips ups with this attack.

"Oh please...You know I'm too good for that," replied Mystique confidently.

"Just don't get too cocky," warned Magneto, "Sinister is a man full of surprises. Be on your guard and don't begin your task until you get the signal...And believe me, once you see it you'll know."

"That wasn't a concern," quipped Mystique, sounding ready to do what she intended to against this madman.

"Good, now get ready...All of you," ordered Magneto as he used his powers to take to the air, "It's about time we send Sinister as wake up call."

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While the activity with Magneto and his Acolytes was brewing outside, Mr. Sinister and his Nasty Boys remained unaware and completely focused on the task at hand. This was supposed to be the last part in Sinister's experiment to enhance a mutant into the newly coined delta class. The body of Scott Summers had proven every bit worth its price since he had successfully gone through the experiment and survived. Now, according to Sinister, he was a truly one of a kind mutant...Unlike anything that has ever walked the face of the Earth. With enhanced body, mind, and powers...He would be a force like no other and Sinister intended to use that to his advantage in dealing with his enemies like Magneto.

"It's almost done...His memories are almost completely gone," grinned Sinister intently as he watched the progress of his glorious machines.

"Goody..." said Emma in an overly sarcastic tone, eager for this all too end so she could get what Sinister had promised her and get on with her life.

"I still don't see the point of this of this," said Betsy, feeling somewhat sorry for the young man who was currently having his mind wiped clean by this man, "I mean...Why erase his memories? Won't that make him confused and unstable?"

"Oh please Psylocke," scoffed Sinister, "Don't take me for a fool. Without his memories he won't be tempted to go back to the life he once had. And thanks to the past I have so meticulously orchestrated for him with my computers, he won't want to anyways. He'll think, act, and be Blake Hellstrom...My creation."

"Not much of an original name for a super mutant, don't you think?" commented Emma once again, looking all the more bored by the incessantly long experiment.

"Since when have you known me to be original Emma?" replied Sinister as the program neared completion, "I think it suits him...Regular, but not too regular...Simple, but not suspicious. And his codename, Blaze...Well, you'll understand why I gave him that name once you see his powers in action!"

With everything in the experiment going Sinister's way, he had little reason to suspect anything other than absolute success. His life's work was culminating at this very moment. For the many decades that he had lived, his dream of creating the perfect species had been an obsession that had driven his mind to madness at some points. But all his work was about to come to ahead now and it would all be over soon.

Finally, the memory wipe program finished and Sinister began the last part of the final step.

"There...Now his memories are completely gone," grinned the mad scientist, "Now all that's left is to wipe his emotions clean so that he will have no sense of self and be completely obedient to me and only me."

"Sounds like something Magneto would do..." commented Betsy, knowing that mentioning one of his biggest enemies would definitely push Sinister's buttons.

"Don't insult me Psylocke!" responded Sinister in anger upon hearing that name, "Magneto is a fool who has long since diverged from the goals we once mutually held. He wanted to wipe out emotion for one reason...I want to do it for another."

"Oh really? Then what makes you so different?" said Emma, still sounding skeptical.

"My creation...Blaze...Now has a great deal of power in the palm of his hand. He also has a powerful mind that has been enhanced...However, because of that he must be kept under control. If the experiment has enhanced his brain power...It most likely has enhanced other aspects of his brain as well like coordination, logic, and emotions. If he is too much of an individual, then I won't be able to control him. And without emotions...He won't be so confused when he awakens in a day or so. It's simply a logical step...For there are so many unknowns with his new class of mutation that it is best to keep strict levels of control until I can ascertain all the effects that have taken place."

Sinister now had the emotion eraser program ready to run and in only a few commands, the experiment would finally come to a successful end.

"Is this the last part?" asked Emma, growing all the more impatient.

"Don't worry Emma...This is the last part," assured Sinister with a snide grin, "And once it's over both you and Betsy will get what's coming to you...Just as I promised."

"It damn well better..." muttered Betsy under her breath, eager to get out of here and go back home so she could call Warren.

As Sinister was about to hit the enter key to start the program...Suddenly, the electricity was abruptly cut and the whole structure went completely dark.

"What the?!" yelled Ruckus in the darkened room, "What the hell happened?!"

Betsy formed two glowing psionic blades to give some light to the room, but as Sinister quickly became very frustrated...His rage was soon turned to suspicion.

"Magneto...It can only be him!" grunted Sinister in a venomous tone, knowing only he had the power to carry out such an act against him, "How did he find me?!"

"Guess this means we won't be getting out of here tonight..." said Emma, not at all happy about this sudden development either.

Sinister frantically tried to get emergency power to the area, but managed only to get a couple dim lights lit from weak backup batteries. It was nowhere near the power he needed to finish the last part of the experiment and he would have to fight Magneto off if he was going to finish his life's work.

"Everybody! Get to the front entrance!" ordered the angry mad scientist, "I know he's out there! And if I'm to complete my experiment...He must be neutralized!"

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Outside, the most crucial parts of this little mission had already been set into motion as Magneto, Gambit, Pyro, and Sabretooth began to rush the front entrance, knowing they would probably be met with Sinister's henchmen at any moment.

"Get ready my Acolytes! That electromagnetic pulse surly got his attention!" said the master of magnetism, knowing the fight ahead of them promised to be quite difficult given Sinister's temperamental nature.

"Finally some action!" said Pyro in his insatiably over the top tone as his flame throwers stood ready to do their thing.

As they got close towards the entrance, the front door was suddenly blown off and Magneto's Acolytes were met with Sinister's Nasty Boys. Upon confirming Sinister's suspicions, it was hate at first sight.

"I knew it was you bucket head!" bellowed Gorgeous George as he, Ruckus, Vertigo, Emma, and Psylocke stormed out the door that had just been busted in a fit of rage.

"Don't tell me Sinister would've expected anybody else!" grinned Magneto upon seeing that he had truly caught them all off guard.

The darkened mansion had put a damper on the experiment, but Magneto knew that he would have to do more than that to keep Sinister from fulfilling it. This facility may have been difficult to find, but if it had everything that Sinister needed to do his work than it was worth the effort. Having both a practical and personal stake in this, Magneto was determined to succeed...But then again, so was Sinister.

Although only three of his Acolytes were there to handle all five of Sinister's Nasty Boys, Magneto was confident in the skills of his men. They were already succeeding in their tasks even though not a punch had been thrown yet...He just hoped it stayed that way long enough for Mystique and Piotr to do their part as well.

"Eric Lensherr!" bellowed Sinister's strange, modulated voice as he appeared behind his Nasty Boys, "I should have known you would be this stupid!"

"You're right Essex...You should have!" grinned Magneto in response as he hovered in the air, poised to attack just as he had planned.

"ERRR! You have no idea what you have just interrupted with your interference!" yelled the very angry mad scientist at his enemy, "All my hard work...A lifetime of blood, sweat, and tears!"

"Shall not come to pass..." said Magneto, cutting him off in mid sentence, "Acolytes! Attack!"

Not wasting any time, Pyro used his flame manipulation powers to form clusters of fiery medieval knights and ordered them to rush the Nasty Boys as they too began to attack in response. Sabretooth immediately went for Gorgeous George, letting out a loud roar as he tackled the strong mutant to the ground and began to let his animalistic rage fuel him and his will to fight.

"Bring it on fur ball!" said Gorgeous as he and the feral mutant became entangled in a grapple of raw strength.

As he only responded with ravenous roar, he managed to break the grapple and slash his claws against the formidable fighter and force him back as Pyro's fire knights began closing in. However, while the hot headed Australian continued to laugh like a maniac as he ordered the knights to attack Ruckus and Vertigo, the two Nasty Boys began to fight back...Tired of hearing the young pyromaniac's banter.

"Hot enough for you mates?" laughed Pyro as he literally turned up the heat.

"I feel a draft coming on..." grinned Ruckus as he took a deep breath and unleashed a sonic blast that blew away the humanoid figures.

However, this action didn't dissuade Pyro as he merely created more and forced them upon the two mutants with increasing vigor. Ruckus kept on blasting them back, but the more that came, the more difficult it got.

"Anytime lady!" said Ruckus in between blasts as he turned to Vertigo.

"Don't worry..." replied the female illusionist, "He will yield quickly to the power of Vertigo."

As her eyes began to glow a strange yellow color, Pyro began to feel the world around him grow wavy and imbalanced. His senses quickly became disoriented and his felt as though everything he had eaten was burning at his stomach. As his concentration quickly waned, the figures of fire faded and Ruckus and Vertigo were allowed to advance upon the weakened pyromaniac as he stumbled to regain his balance.

"AH! Get out of my head you lousy bitch!" yelled Pyro as he tried to keep his dinner down and get a clear vision of where his enemies were.

"You look a little under the weather Pyro," grinned Ruckus as he prepare to send him away with another sonic blast, "Let me sing you a lullaby!"

But before he could unleash his powers, the young Pyro maniac managed to trace he source of the voice and sent a massive fireball in their direction, forcing both Vertigo and Ruckus to get out of the way, thus breaking their concentration as well as the nauseating spell that had nearly incapacitated the young pyromaniac.

"You little twits!" grinned Pyro as he regained his composure and prepared another assault, "You can't beat the power of fire! Now what do you say we kick it up a notch!"

Not wanting to hold back any further, Pyro unleashed large waves of fire that resembled monsters from Hollywood movies and made sure the flames burned with the utmost intensity to keep both Ruckus and Vertigo at bay while the others continued their fight against Mr. Sinister and his Nasty Boys.

With the fire from Pyro's powers illuminating the battlefield, Remy "Gambit" Lebeau found himself fighting against Emma and Psylocke single handedly. Armed only with a bow staff and decks of playing cards he knew it wasn't going to be easy against these two well trained women. But being a master thief and a fighter, he relished in the challenge. However, for Betsy and Emma, their feelings were more centered around their rage for the disruption of the experiment that intended to end their services to Sinister after months of annoying obedience. Having it all yanked away when it was so close had not been very pleasant to say the least...Especially when it meant having to fight for Sinister a second longer than they had to.

"You Cajun street trash!" said Psylocke angrily as she formed two intense psionic blades and prepared to cut Gambit to pieces, "Do you have any idea what your interference has done?!"

"Saved you money on yo' electric bill?" grinned Gambit as he prepared three charged cards and prepared to hold his own against these two angry women.

"ERR! You son of a bitch!" yelled Emma as she formed her diamond hard shell in preparation for the fight, "You had better not prevent me from getting what I have worked so hard for all these months! Otherwise I'll make sure you'll spend every last waking moment of your short life in agonizing pain!"

"Spoken like my last two ex girlfriends," he joked, "But if it's a fight you want, it's a fight Gambit will give ya!"

Despite their anger, Gambit didn't seem too worried as he saw his two comrades holding their own in keeping the battle a bitter stalemate just as they had planned. But Emma and Betsy didn't seem to take this into consideration as they lunged forth in an angry attack. Using their brashness to his advantage, Gambit unleashed three charged cards upon the both of them, forcing Betsy to use her blades to block them while Emma merely plowed through them. This ensured that Gambit wouldn't be double teamed and could take them on in close quarters combat where he excelled.

"Come on blondie," said Remy as he used his quick reflexes and skill with a bow staff to block and deflect her raging, unorganized attacks, "You can certainly do better den dat!"

This only fueled Emma's rage, but it didn't do her any good against the level headed Cajun as he easily countered her brash moves. Knowing her diamond shell was too hard to crack, Gambit knew he would have to improvise in subduing these two very angry women.

"It's time we start playin' Gambit's game..." said the Cajun as he charged a single ace of spades.

"You're even stupider than you look!" scoffed Emma, "You know your card tricks can't hurt me!"

"Wasn't my intention..." grinned Gambit as he flung the card, directly at her face, causing it to explode right before her eyes with a flash.

Her overly rushed moves hadn't given her time to think about what the skilled Cajun might try and now she was stuck trying to regain her eyesight. Upon seeing this, Betsy chose to step in and pick up where Emma had left off.

"You stupid bloke!" said Betsy as she readied two psionic blades, "You're going to pay for that!"

However, Gambit didn't wipe the grin off his face as he quickly ascertained what she was planning. Knowing she had both the skills and powers to match him with every move, Psylocke rushed the lone Cajun as she threw both blades at him as she prepared to pull out all the stops and take him down. But as the blades came rushing towards him, Gambit didn't look too threatened as he pulled off a most unexpected move and used his bow staff and reach to draw the still blinded Emma Frost in front of him, forcing her to take the full onslaught of the blades.

"AHH!" yelled the White Queen as she was flung back by the force of the blades, her shell still in tact.

"Emma!" gasped Psylocke as she saw what her actions had just done.

However, that hesitation was all Gambit needed as he unleashed a barrage of charged cards directly at the skilled mutant fighter, causing her to fall back and lose her composure.

"Now ain't dis a fun fight cherè?" taunted Gambit as he kept his attack going and lunged forth with his bow staff, forcing Psylocke on the defensive.

With powerful mental shields around each one of Magneto's Acolytes, telepathy wasn't an option here. And with bitter stalemate now evident to both sides, this left only Sinister and Magneto as they stared each other down in an angry exchange of looks.

"Your Nasty Boys are getting sloppy Essex," taunted Magneto as he saw the enraged look on the face of his enemy.

"You pathetic fool..." grunted Sinister as his red eyes glowed with hatred, "You have no idea what your interference has done! Decades of blood, sweat, and tears have culminated on this night...And I will NOT allow you to taint it!"

"A little late for that don't you think?" said Magneto, knowing he had already succeeded in some ways and at the moment...Everything was going exactly as he wanted.

"We once worked together for a common goal Magnus..." said Sinister as his venomous voice grew deeper and darker, "We once shared the same dream...And now, just because you had a heart to heart with yourself while you were under Apocalypse's control, you've thrown it all away! If we had worked together...Nothing would have been able to stop us! Not SHIELD...Not the X-men...Nobody!"

"Working with you was a mistake...I see that clearly now...I see a lot of things clearly now," said the master of magnetism, not at all daunted by this man's words, "You could never understand what I went through with Apocalypse. But it has opened my eyes...And in doing so, I can see what a true monster you are! You don't give a damn about mutants or humans! All you care about is destroying them both and making yourself a king in the process!"

"No Magnus...Not a king," grinned the angry mutant, "A God..."

With glowing eyes and an enraged temper to feed off of, Sinister's hands began to glow and he unleashed a powerful energy blast upon the master of magnetism. Magneto quickly countered with an equally strong shield as he took to the air in order to make himself a harder target for his enemy. This only enraged Sinister further as he turned up the heat and kept firing rapid fire bursts.

"You'll have to do better than that Sinister!" taunted Magneto.

Then, using his magnetic powers, Magneto ripped several major steel support beams from the structure of the walls of the mansion along with many smaller rods to supplement it and forced them upon his enemy below. Sinister managed to deflect them, but a few did hit. However, no damage could be inflicted upon the body of Mr. Sinister as his body merely acted like clumps of cellular clay and quickly regenerated any lost parts of his body. Like mercury, his strange body chemistry took all the punishment that Magneto could dish out and regenerated within mere seconds. It was like fighting a glob of clay, but the master of magnetism didn't seem daunted.

"I could keep this up all night Magnus!" taunted Sinister as he let out more blasts towards the powerful mutant hovering above him, "You know you can't hurt me! I'll just heal from it!"

"If I have to...I'll rip apart ever cell in that freak show you call a body one by one! I will never stop!" shot Magneto as he was forced to dodge more energy blasts.

However, this simply made Sinister laugh as his anger became more focused and he managed to concentrate more on the fight at hand.

"You're forgetting one thing Magnus...I am immortal...You are still flesh and blood! You cannot stop me...For I have all the time in the world while you are bound permanently to that ever aging body of yours. Either way...You are simply wasting your time...Or what little of it you have left!"

Magneto didn't let Sinister's words hinder his efforts as he ripped more and more steel beams from the house and assaulted the strong mutant from every angle. He knew this wouldn't kill him, but that was not his intention. Magneto may have been naïve in many ways, but he was certainly not stupid. He knew Sinister's healing capacity, for he had seen him survive many attacks from him and his Acolytes in the past few months. But right now, killing him wasn't important...Stopping his experiments was the main priority. And at the moment, Magneto was doing his part just as he had planned...He just hoped that the others would do theirs.

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While the battle was raging on in the front yard of the mysterious mansion, Mystique had been hard at work gaining entrance to the heavily secured inner sanctums that hopefully housed the vital components Sinister needed to do his experiments. While no mere human could ever hope to sneak into the main lab area via window or vent, a shape shifter on the other hand was more than capable.

Working on strict radio silence, Mystique used her shape shifting to get herself into the ventilation system by shifting herself into a small animal. Thanks to the electromagnetic pulse from Magneto, the main security systems had been shut down and Sinister appeared to have redirected all emergency power somewhere else...Meaning that he must have been doing something that required a great deal of power to both operate and maintain. The pitch black darkness around her made it hard to navigate through the maze of shafts, but once her eyes adjusted the shape shifter worked quickly and made her way towards the center of the mansion. Not having a map to work with, she would have to rely on Magneto and the others outside while she relied on her luck inside.

'Come on...Where is it? Where are you carrying all this madness out Essex?' thought the shape shifter as she quickly made her way through the cramped areas.

It was a big structure and it was a place where she easily could have gotten lost, but thanks to a lifetime of being a mutant terrorist/freedom fighter she kept her focus and was only concerned with carrying out her part. She remembered how after she spoke to Destiny that after Apocalypse was gone, the future for both her and her children was open to many possibilities...Some good and some bad. And after her nightmarish encounter with Apocalypse, she now had the clarity and determination to work for the good and fight off the bad. And unfortunately...Most of the bad aspects that Destiny mentioned seemed to center around Mr. Sinister and her continuing down her path of anger and self destruction.

As she found herself turn another corner and work her way to lower levels, something finally caught the shape shifter's keen eyes.

'Light...' she thought as she saw a subtle glow coming out of one of the ventilation shafts, 'Perfect...Now I'm finally getting somewhere.'

Not wasting any time, Mystique shifted back into her human form so that she could use her hands to bust open the vent where the light was coming from. She remained careful and vigilant, knowing Sinister always had a knack for surprise. But as it was, there didn't seem to be any hint of booby traps or active security systems thanks to the pulse. Upon getting the vent open, Mystique squeezed through the narrow opening and allowed herself to fall to the floor. She now found herself in the main experimentation area where the Final Step machine that Sinister had used on Scott was located. Everything was darkened except for a few dim lights. As her eyes readjusted to her surroundings, Mystique finally got the full image of Sinister's ultimate machine.

"He finished it..." she said, not feeling all too good about this new development, "I can't believe he actually finished it."

Looking around at the computers and components it was clear...Sinister had succeeded in building his mutant enhancement machine. It had been what both she and Magneto had been trying to stop, but it appeared now that they had merely slowed him down. They had truly underestimated this madman as she took in the vast array of advanced technology that looked many decades ahead of it's time.

Knowing that the electromagnetic pulse had fried most of the circuit boards, there was little computer data for her to extract. But that wasn't her mission...It was to ensure that Sinister could not complete or use this insidious machine that both she and Magneto were ashamed to have helped him create in some ways with the early experiments on her son and Magneto's technology on Asteroid M. Now that she found it, she could destroy it before it could carry out what it was meant to do. However, as she prepared to call in Colossus to help her finish the job...Something caught her eye in the center of the room.

"Oh my God..." she gasped as she took a closer look.

Before her, the changed body of Scott Summers, now known as Blake Hellstrom thanks to Sinister, was still on the gurney lying motionless. He still had the helmet on his head that had erased his memories and was bound with metal shackles even though there appeared to be little signs of life. To Mystique, he was a total stranger looking about 19 or 20 years old from her perspective...But from the looks of it, he wasn't here by choice...Few people were when it came to Sinister. Upon removing the helmet, Mystique quickly felt around his neck and placed her ear to his chest in order to detect any signs of life. Upon finding a rather weak pulse, she quickly went to work on the shackles.

"Hold on kid...I'll get you out of here," she said quietly as she undid the shackles, "Trust me...You don't want to be around Sinister...He'll ruin your life."

Upon undoing his bound limbs, something else caught her eye on the table off to her side. It was a small, unmarked folder that was stuffed with papers. Curiously, the shape shifter picked it up and went through some of the contents to find that they were records.

"Blake Hellstrom..." she said as she read his name, "Or do you prefer Blaze? I'll have to ask you later. Until then...I think we've both overstayed my visit here."

Not knowing that the records that Sinister had made were perfect forgeries, she quickly surmised he was an unlucky participant in one of Sinister's experiments. He barely had any life in his body as it was, hinting that something serious was done to him and knowing Sinister it was far from humane. Knowing time was always against her, Mystique activated the small earpiece she had in her ear and contacted her comrade.

"Colossus...I'm in," she reported.

"You found the main laboratory?" asked Colossus over the radio.

"Yes...And something else in addition," she added.

"What do you mean?"

"I'll activate my homing beacon...Come and see for yourself because I'll need some help with this one," she replied quickly and assertively, "How goes the fight in the front?"

"It's a stalemate...Just as planned," answered Colossus, "But it will not remain so forever. I'm coming in the quick way...Get ready."

"Good...Hurry!" urged Mystique as she gathered the folder and proceeded to quickly go around the vast lab area, knocking over barrels of flammable chemicals and preparing the facility for it's ultimate destruction.

Meanwhile, Colossus was now in his full metal skin and ready to make his way through to the area Mystique had found. Thanks to a beacon in her earpiece and a tracking mechanism built into a watch that Magneto had given him, he knew exactly where to go. Not wasting any time, the Russian born mutant began to plow his way through the thick stone walls with ease and burst through the interior leaving a trail of destruction in his wake. The darkened mansion was still difficult to navigate through, but thanks to the beacon Colossus didn't need to worry about that. With powerful punch after punch the walls blocking his path to the main laboratory crumbled until finally, he reached the point where he was over main lab. With a powerful stomp, the floor gave way as a mountain of rubble formed in a corridor leading into the lab area. It would provide a good escape route once the tasks were carried out, but Colossus remained focused on getting there first and seeing for himself what Sinister had been working so hard on.

The smell of gasoline and other chemicals already filled the air, hinting that Mystique had already taken the initiative in the next step of the plan. As he followed the beacon into the main lab area, he quickly gasped at the sight of the completed machine.

"My God...He finished it," said Colossus.

"That's what I said too," said Mystique as she made her way over to him and led him to the center of the area, "And that's why we have to act fast and make sure it's never used. But that's not all we have to do..."

"What do you mean?" asked the Russian as he saw the look of intent on her face.

"See for yourself..." she said as she directed his attention back towards the unmoving body still rested on the gurney.

Colossus felt another twinge of anger towards Sinister. A year ago, he never in the right mind would have chosen to work with Magneto ever again. But that was before Sinister came along and tried to kidnap his sister, Illyana, for one of his experiments. He remembered how he tried to fight back, but was subdued by Sinister's Nasty Boys...However, Magneto stepped in and managed to fight them off with the rest of the Acolytes and saved his sister after having once threatened to harm her. Knowing Sinister would probably try again, Magneto offered him a chance to take down Sinister with him...Saying that the experience with Apocalypse had changed him and he's willing to see things differently now. At first he didn't believe him, but after he saved Illyana and his family and after experiencing Sinister's dark persona for himself...He made his choice. Magneto also generously offered financial incentives as he had with the rest of the Acolytes, something he hadn't done before and even paid for his family's protection. But Sinister did try again and it had only made him hate the mad scientist even more. Now it appeared that someone else had suffered Sinister's wrath and if they didn't get him out, it would only get worse for him.

"Is he alive?" asked Colossus, not seeing any signs of life within him.

"I did a check...He's alive," answered Mystique, "But he's in some kind of strange coma...Probably Sinister's doing in order to keep him docile."

"I wouldn't be surprised..." said Colossus with a look of anger on his face upon seeing more of Sinister's cruelty, "Come...We must get him out of here and destroy this heinous place as well."

"Agreed...Did you bring the explosives?" asked Mystique.

"Of course comrade Raven...And I see you have already taken the necessary steps to ensure the maximum destruction," said Colossus, referring to the thick trail of flammable chemicals that she had helped dump all over the area.

"Glad you noticed," said Mystique as Colossus handed her two, high tech bombs that would hopefully ensure the destruction of this heinous place, "Now take the boy and get him out of here as fast as you can. I'll start the fireworks and inform Magneto."

"Da, it will be done..." answered Colossus as he took the still form of Scott Summers in his arms and quickly began to work his way out through the path he had cleared on his way in.

Mystique proceeded to place one detonator near the main conduits that led down to the generators below. With one powerful charge, the laboratory that Mr. Sinister was using for his insane experiment would be rubble. The flammable chemicals and the damage to the supports would ensure that there would be nothing left for the madman to work with. He may have managed to complete this powerful machine that was capable to great destruction to both humans and mutants alike...But he would never be allowed to use it for its intended purpose.

For the last detonator, Mystique chose to place that on the glass of the main bio tank apparatus that Sinister had affectionately referred to as 'The Final Step.' As she looked at the machine and the surrounding equipment, it brought back old memories of that fateful night when she had foolishly allowed her son, Kurt, to be experimented on with such machines. Magneto may have been the one to carry it out, but Sinister had secretly been the one to order it. It was a time when Magneto and Sinister were allies...But times change. If the young man she had found was forced to go through this machine, the shape shifter knew he was in for a rough road once he woke up. But at least with her current actions along with those of her comrades, nobody else would have to go through the same ordeal.

"Payback's a bitch Sinister...And so am I," said Mystique as she secured the detonators and activated the primer.

Then, with each detonator ready, Mystique quickly made her way down the path that Colossus had gone and followed the holes in the walls he had made for a quicker, easier escape. She didn't know how much longer the stalemate in the front would last, so she worked fast. And as she neared the exit, she activated her ear piece once more and radioed Magneto, who was still in the midst of a fight with Sinister.

"Eric, I don't know if you can respond to this...But the charges are in place," sent Mystique, "We also found something...Or more like, someone. Apparently Sinister used the machine on a rather unfortunate young man who was in some kind of coma when I found him. I'm not sure exactly what Sinister did to him, but Colossus and I got him out and we are returning to the transport spheres. The charges are going off in exactly 30 seconds, so get ready to pull out!"

Mystique didn't expect a response as she finally went through the last hole in the wall and arrived back out near where she had entered. Colossus, with the young man still in his arms, was already near the metal transport spheres that had brought them here. Mystique quickly followed, knowing the rest was up to Magneto now.

As she and Colossus waited anxiously for the others, the bitter stalemate between the Acolytes and the Nasty Boys was finally beginning to wane in favor of the Nasty Boys. The outnumbered Acolytes were finally beginning to falter, but they still fought on. But as soon as Magneto got Mystique's message...A confident grin fell upon his face as he shielded himself from another one of Sinister's blasts. Knowing that he and his team had succeeded in doing their respective parts, he felt it was time to make his leave.

"It's been fun Sinister...But I'm afraid this fight must end," said Magneto, causing Sinister to stop his blasts that were so driven by his rage, "You really are too predictable."

"NO! This fight will NOT end until you pay for interrupting my grand experiment!" bellowed Sinister.

"Oh I've done much more than that Essex..." said Magneto with a grin.

Before Sinister could respond, a sudden blast erupted from the center of the mansion with a deafening bang and a large fireball ascended into the sky. The shock had diverted the mad scientist's attention away from Magneto and back towards his life's work as soon dawned on him what had just happened.

"No..." said a very angry Mr. Sinister as the blast also diverted the attention of his henchmen, "My experiment...My life's work..."

"Shall never be used again!" finished Magneto as he took the sky, "Acolytes! Retreat! I'll handle the rest of this!"

Gambit, Pyro, and Sabretooth didn't waste time as they used the sudden confusion among the Nasty Boys to make their escape back the metal spheres while Magneto finished the job. With his magnetic powers, Magneto summoned all his strength as he ripped, tore, and dismembered every steel component of the mansion he could muster, causing section after section to collapse under its own weight. While the main objective was the laboratory, Magneto wanted to ensure that the entire facility would be unusable to the madman for good. Sinister watched with unbridled rage as the entire mansion began to collapse into a pile or rubble, burying that which he had worked so long and hard for. Once the job was done, Magneto began to make his leave, but not before sending back one last taunt to the man that had taunted him so much in the past.

"So long Sinister! You're experiment has been officially terminated!"

As Magneto saw the rest of the spheres ready for transport, he used his powers to draw them into the sky with him as he sped away from the area at great speeds, with both his Acolytes and the altered body of Scott Summers with him.

Back at the rubble, Sinister was brimming with rage over what Magneto had done. Everything he had worked for...Everything he had overcome to create his ultimate mutant enhancement machine was now gone. For Betsy and Emma, it was equally frustrating because without the facility, it meant that Sinister wouldn't be able to give them what they promised them. Betsy wouldn't get her old body back and Emma wouldn't get the information she needed to clear her name with the Hellfire Club. It was a costly mistake in letting rage overtake their senses, which had allowed Mystique to sneak in and set the lab up for destruction while they blindly fought against Magneto.

And to make matters worse...Magneto now had the fruit of his labors in his possession. He had a feeling that Blaze had been taken and wasn't left to die in the rubble...He knew Magneto and Mystique too well for them to have just left him there to die. Now, his creation was all that remained of his experiment. The modified body of Scott Summers was still the first successful transformation into delta class mutant status. And if he was to rebuild his machine...He would need his test subject back. But this may prove difficult...Because the process had been halted before he could erase his emotions. Now, there was no telling what could happen with him. Either way, he had to get him back...He had to finish what he started.

"It's all gone..." mused Betsy, now feeling as though she would never be in her old body ever again, "I'm going to be stuck like this bloody body forever now!"

"And now I'll never clear my name," groaned Emma, feeling as though all the work she grudgingly did for Sinister was in vain.

"All is not lost," said Sinister, still angry, but not defeated in the slightest.

"What are you talking about Sinister?!" yelled Betsy angrily, "The lab is gone, you're precious machine is in ruin, and now you have no way of giving me that what you promised!"

"You're wrong Psylocke," replied Sinister, "Just because this facility was destroyed doesn't mean that I still can't carry out my experiments. I still have all the data I need to build another machine and plenty of back up facilities located right here in New York. Magneto may think that I am crazy, but he'd be a fool to think that I'm stupid and haven't prepared for such an event."

"Forget it!" said Emma, not believing in this madman a second more, "Even if you can rebuild, leave me out of it! I'm sick of doing errands for you and getting no hint that you'll be able to give me what you promised!"

"Same here Sinister...If you want to rebuild, do it without us!" said Betsy as she and Emma began to walk off.

However, this didn't seem to dissuade Sinister in the slightest.

"Oh you diluted little girls...Where else are you going to find someone who can give you what I can offer?" asked Sinister, causing them to stop and look back at him angrily.

"I'll find something..." said Betsy.

"And I'll clear my own name," said Emma.

"Do you really have any idea how to go about such tasks?" asked Sinister, knowing that these two angry mutants were just being stubborn, "Do you even know where to begin?"

Neither Betsy nor Emma said a word, not wanting to admit that Sinister was right.

"If you two walk away from me...Then so does our agreement," warned Sinister, "Help me rebuild my machine and I'll use my backup data to give you both what you want. You witnessed the experiment and you saw it succeed. I have proven that I can deliver and right now...The best way to get what you both want lies with me and me alone."

Both young women looked back at each other as part of them just found his promise too tempting. If they left...There was no telling how they would find what they were looking for without Sinister's resources. His experiment showed that he had the resources, but his madness could not be overlooked. Whether or not he would stay true to his word had always been in question...But with the offer he had given them, it was just too much to pass up.

"How do we know that you aren't bullshitting us?" asked Emma with a snide glance.

"Honestly Emma...What do I have to gain by doing that?" replied Sinister, "I am a man of my word...You'll just have to trust me a little while longer and I promise you'll both get what you have worked so hard to deserve."

Both Emma and Betsy wanted to walk away...But they just couldn't say no to such a tempting offer. Nobody else could provide for them what Sinister could whether they liked it or not. And with that in mind, both women let out an exasperated sigh.

"Okay...I'll stay," said Emma.

"Me too," said Betsy, "But if I suspect for one minute..." however, Sinister did not let the purple haired mutant finish.

"Betsy my dear...You need not concern yourself with such notions for now. There is much work to be done...And rest assured, Magneto will pay for what he's done...And I shall get my ultimate test subject back no matter what or whom I have to go through."

*************************************************

AN: Quite a turn of events isn't it? Magneto is at war with Sinister, Scott is no longer Scott, and now things are getting more and more complicated. The plot thickens and many twists still remain! You'll just have to read on and see for yourself just how crazy things can get with this fic as it progresses! So what do you all think? Do you like what I've done with this story? There's plenty to come and I'd love to know what you think! Please review via my email address or post them on the fanfiction website! Thank you all very much for reading and I wish you all the best!

HOLD ON! DON'T GO YET! REVIEW!!!
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