All hell had officially broken loose.
From backstage, claws unsheathed, Wolverine lunged, taking Sabretooth out at the waist. On his back, Sabretooth didn't bother with his own claws as he slugged Wolverine in the jaw.
Despite Creed's avid shouts of, "Kill them!" his bodyguards hesitated, unsure of which brawler was the enemy.
"This ain't your battle, runt!" Sabretooth snarled.
"I'm making it mine." Wolverine grinned as he cracked his jaw back into place.
"Damned bullheaded idiot," Sabretooth growled, his claws flashing beneath the stage's spotlight.
"This isn't good," Cyclops noted as the terrified crowd turned into a stampede.
"Creed's still alive," Rachel offered.
Cyclops thumbed his comm. "Professor, how are things looking back there?"
A blue-violet cloud of sulphur erupted next to Cyclops and Rachel. Nightcrawler and the professor emerged.
"The crowd is in chaos," Professor Xavier answered.
"We need to stop Logan," Cyclops said. "The last thing we need is a mutant carving someone up on television, even if it's another mutant."
"Leave it to me." Rachel nodded.
In an instant, the Wolverine was suspended in the air being pulled away from Sabretooth. Creed's bodyguards took this as an opportunity to shuffle the politician to safety.
"Good job, Rachel," Cyclops said.
"I didn't do it." The girl's brows were furrowed.
"Erik," Xavier realized.
As Sabretooth made to attack the incapacitated Wolverine, Rachel sent Victor Creed flying with a flick of her wrist.
"I'll take care of Magneto," Rachel decided.
The girl jumped onto the stage and started off towards backstage. Cyclops immediately followed her.
"I'm coming with you," he said.
"It's not necessary," Rachel said.
"Yes it is," Cyclops insisted. "Because we're a team."
Rachel hesitated and looked from Professor Xavier, to Nightcrawler to the floating Wolverine. She gave a curt nod and waited for Cyclops to join her. As the two ran off, Professor Xavier turned to Nightcrawler.
"Please retrieve, Wolverine," Xavier requested.
Nightcrawler nodded and teleported next to Wolverine. Magneto must have turned his attention elsewhere because Logan was sent hurtling through the air after Sabretooth. Nightcrawler leapt, teleported, caught his friend in his arms and dropped gracefully to the ground.
"The Wolverine is heavy, ja?" Nightcrawler muttered.
Wolverine stood on his own two feet and brushed himself off. "I'm going to go keep track of Mystique." He pointed to his nose before he took off, following the shapeshifter's scent.
"So that leaves you and me," Nightcrawler said to Xavier.
"And a terrified mob." Xavier nodded. "And Victor Creed."
Against the wall, Sabretooth snarled as he pushed debris off of his body.
"Zum teufel," Nightcrawler grumbled.
"Indeed," Xavier murmured.
"Rachel," Cyclops called behind her. "I thought the main goal was to save Senator Creed's life. Why are we going after Magneto?"
"Remove the threat and there's no reason to defend Creed," Rachel said over her shoulder.
"Can you sense him?" he asked.
"Not with that helmet on his head," she replied.
"Then where are we going?" Cyclops wanted to know.
"I'm scanning all the minds in the area," Rachel answered. "I can see through their eyes."
"What do you see?"
"A silver haired gentleman humming Haydn was sitting in the balcony," Rachel said. "With any luck he's still up there."
Sure enough, Erik Lehnsherr was calmly watching the carnage below, a smirk on the old man's face. He offered Rachel and Cyclops a cordial nod.
"I see that wherever I go I'll always be pestered by you children," Magneto noted.
"We can't let you kill Graydon Creed," Cyclops said.
Magneto sighed. "I suspected as much. But I never asked for permission."
"We're here to stop you," Cyclops replied.
"But will you succeed?" Magneto smiled.
"You have no idea what the repercussions of your actions will be," Rachel declared.
"Do you have any idea of the repercussions of that genocidal maniac will be?" Magneto asked.
"If a mutant kills him, then he'll be proved right," Rachel insisted. "We can't beat Creed's ideas if we turn him into a martyr."
"I have located the heart of the problem and am prepared to deal with it," Magneto replied. "I will not allow for this man's blind hatred to spread."
"You are justifying his hatred with your actions," Rachel argued. "Are you prepared to damn an entire species on account of one man?"
"You have no right to lecture me on genocide, girl," Magneto warned.
"Oh I know all about you and your past," Rachel snorted. "You think the Gestapo was frightening? You haven't seen anything yet."
"You talk too much, child," Magneto said. "Has anyone ever told you that?"
Before Rachel could reply, her tongue was wrenched from her mouth by her metal stud. The instantaneous expression of shock was quickly replaced with a dark glare as her tongue muscle fought briefly against the Master of Magnetism's pull.
"You should listen to her, Magento," Cyclops urged.
"Ahh, Charles' prodigal son speaks," Magneto mused. "He would be proud of such dedication. You, however, bore me."
Cyclops grinned snidely as Magneto's protective helmet began to lift off his head. The older man blinked.
"What's this?" he murmured.
Rachel smiled widely around her outstretched tongue, her eyes concentrating on the helmet.
"You insufferable brat!" Magneto growled.
With a quick flick of his hand he slammed Rachel's tongue back into her mouth. The helmet fell back onto Magneto's head as the girl gagged on her own tongue. A theater chair was torn from the floor by another movement of the man's wrist and thrown at her.
An optic blast deflected the chair. Rachel flung her hands over her head and dropped to the floor as shrapnel tore through her real arm. Xavier's first X-Man turned to his mentor's old friend and prepared to fire a second shot.
"Do you not learn?" Magneto roared.
With metal stolen from the numerous chairs Magneto formed several spikes and hurled them at the X-Man with deadly precision. Struck in the shoulder and chest, Scott Summers crumpled to the ground, red blossoming beneath him.
Magneto gave a weary nod as he viewed his handiwork. With a sigh, he sent Rachel hurtling out of his way and left the balcony with the poise and grace of a cat.
Rachel picked herself off the floor and gingerly fingered the small numerous wounds on her arm.
"Cyclops! We need to stop him," Rachel decided.
When she received no answer she looked closely at her still companion.
"Scott?" The word came out a forced croak.
The girl shuffled hesitantly towards the X-Man. Face down in his own blood, try as she might to forget, the image was familiar to Rachel. She kept her distance, not wanting to confirm anything.
Instead, Rachel let the memories of a terrified ten year pour out of her mind. The sole survivor of Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters wrenched from the cold arms of her father by sentinels. It was happening again.
"No, no, no!" Rachel's knees buckled as her fingers dug into her scalp.
Wrapping her arms around her wasn't enough to still her quaking frame. Rachel's shrieks couldn't fend off the incoherent sobs that followed as she stared at the blood splattered visage of Scott Summers.
"No! Can't die-don't die, please! Daddy!"