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

Gaining The Upper Hand

by slickboy444 0 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: 2006/01/14 - Updated: 2006/01/14 - 6088 words

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Between Life and Death
Chapter 14: Gaining The Upper Hand


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

Blake didn't get a whole lot of sleep after the incident with the mysterious young woman that had parked outside the boarding house at two in the morning the previous night. Granted he had been a very light sleeper since he woke up from his coma, but what happened last night was something a bit more...Complicated than he was capable of explaining. In seeing her, he got this weird feeling deep inside of him...As if there was something in his mind that went beyond erased memories. Practically ever part of him had told him that he had never seen that girl before...But parts of him that he couldn't explain said otherwise.

It was Sunday morning and he was the first one up like usual. Although he had only been here for a week, he did manage to work out somewhat of a routine. The first thing he did every morning was make a quick check of everybody and ensure that they were safely in their rooms while usually double checking the Maximoff twins. He then took a short shower, but today...He stayed in for a bit longer than he usually did. The hot water of the shower had somewhat of a relaxing effect on the young man, allowing his mind to slow down somewhat and take a break from the hectic day to day existence of protecting the Brotherhood.

While it had become easier since the first day and he was actually getting the feeling that they were beginning to accept him more as a friend rather than just some minion of Mystique and Magneto, some parts remained complicated...Namely Pietro. He remained cocky and arrogant like always, never really listening or heeding his warning without Wanda having to hex him several times. He was still trying to think of a way to earn the speed demon's trust so that he could protect him like he knew Magneto so desperately wanted to, but after a long life of betrayal and isolation...Pietro Maximoff was not one to lend his trust easily.

As Blake turned off the water and stepped out into the steam filled bathroom, he grabbed a towel and began drying himself off. As he did this, his gaze shifted towards his reflection in the mirror. With his hand, he rubbed away the condensation and looked over his body. His tall, muscular stature was a mixture of familiarity and unfamiliarity...As if he was looking at something he had seen before, yet was still alien to him. Slowly, he followed along the elaborate tattoos on his torso, leading up to his arm. He had hoped early on that they would somehow offer clues to his past, but every time he looked at them he never saw anything more than just elaborate patterns that were for nothing more than aesthetics. Even his short blonde dreadlock hairstyle seemed to give him the same feeling. It was a confusing quandary to his normally sharp mind that could be so easily focused when it came to absorbing knowledge, yet so utterly useless when it came to remembering his past.

Blake tried to push those confusing thoughts off to side as he forced himself to get back to his duties. Maybe after this whole conflict with Sinister was resolved, he would be able to wake up from this strange dream-like feeling that he lived in every single day as if it were punishment for something he did in another life. As he busied himself with making some breakfast for the others, he wondered if it was even possible to 'wake up' in a sense. Having lost memories was a unique feeling in of itself...A feeling no one else could truly understand. The huge gap in his mind was almost like a festering scar to him...One which brought only confusion and pain to him every time he tried to go in and find what Sinister took away from him.

As he continued cooking, he was brought out of his dazed stupor by the second lightest sleeper of the Brotherhood, Wanda Maximoff.

"Don't you look rested..." she said with sarcasm as she entered the kitchen, "Did you sleep at all last night?"

"A little..." said Blake with a sigh.

"Bullshit," scoffed Wanda, "You didn't sleep at all...Believe me, I know the signs."

Speaking from her experience with nightmares in the insane asylum, Blake didn't doubt her when she said that. Wanda was probably his closest friend here at the Brotherhood because she could understand somewhat better what it felt like to have memories be warped. But unlike Blake, she had all her old memories back...And as bad as they were, at least she still knew who she was and where she came from.

"Well, you'd be right about that..." said Blake, knowing he wasn't much of a liar, "I couldn't sleep last night. Something...Kept me awake."

"Nightmares?" she guessed, thinking it to be one of the most plausible cause.

"No...Not really," said Blake.

"Then what?" she asked.

Blake briefly considered telling her about the redheaded girl that had passed by the institute last night. But at the moment he was still too confused about it to reveal much of anything about what had happened. In a way, part of his brain was still trying to process it...And even though it seemed somewhat mundane from an objective point of view, Blake felt it meant something...Something important that he could not yet ascertain.

"Just...Restlessness I guess," he finally answered, "It's been a long week Wanda. I've been trying and trying, but I still can't get Pietro to trust me and I guess it's kind of taking a toll on me."

"Well you shouldn't beat yourself up about that," said Wanda, not feeling fully convinced, but never the less satisfied with his answer, "Pietro doesn't really trust anybody."

"He trusts you..." argued Blake.

"That's because I'm his twin sister and because I can hex him into a world of pain if he give me too much shit," replied Wanda, evoking somewhat of a laugh from Blake.

"Well as bad as his shit can be, I still prefer to have him trust me on his terms rather than mine," said Blake as he finished cooking up his scrambled eggs, "Because if I'm going to protect him, I'll need his trust."

"I know...But just don't expect too much from him," said Wanda, "I know him best and there are just some things he won't allow himself to yield to after all the betrayal he's faced. Its part of the reason why he's so cocky and doesn't think he needs anyone."

"Yeah, I figured that," said Blake as he sat down at the table and split his serving of eggs in two so that Wanda could have some, "I guess I'll just have to have faith that this whole conflict will end before anything major happens. My mind still won't stop torturing me with the huge gap of memories that I can't seem to get back no matter how hard I probe."

The deep sound of frustration in his voice seemed somewhat more intense today from Wanda's perspective, but she chalked that up to lack of sleep, knowing full well how it could affect one's mood. But to Blake...It was more than just his innate sleepiness...A lot more. Not having his memories, not succeeding in gaining the trust of someone he had promised to protect, and the strange incident with the girl last night had brought undo strain on his mind. With each passing day, it seemed like it was only getting worse for him and it looked as though there was no end in sight.

"Well try not to think about that today," said Wanda, "Maybe we should all go out for lunch or something to help take your mind off it."

"That sounds like a good idea," said Blake, "Besides, I need some sort of relief if I'm going to keep my head straight and do my job."

"That's the spirit," said Wanda with encouragement, "Because believe me...Sitting around all day and moping just makes it worse. The best way to deal with matters of the mind is to provide yourself with distractions. That way, it's easier not to think about it."

"I'll take your word for it," said Blake, "Just know that there's always risk involved in going out into the open."

"Yeah I know," said Wanda, still inwardly frustrated that he and Mystique wouldn't tell her what was so dangerous out there that they would send someone like Blake to protect them.

Blake once again fell silent, feeling his thoughts drifting back to the previous night. That girl still had a strange hold on his mind. Her red hair and green eyes just seemed so vivid in his mind...Almost as if she were standing right in front of him, clear for all to see. But he knew she wasn't there...But he knew she had been there last night and his gaze had met with hers. What he had felt at that moment was still a mystery and the more the thought about it, the more strange it seemed. Just what was this feeling that had stuck with him after that strange encounter? Why was it still there and why did it still feel so vivid?

Wanda was right...He needed to get his head together. And maybe some fresh air would do him some good...But still, it didn't alleviate the confusion he felt every time the vivid image of the redheaded girl passed through his weary mind.

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Betsy Braddock and Emma Frost had been out driving in and around the city for days now, still doing Sinister's grunt work. He had already asked them to steal several components that he would need for his machine and they had already dutifully done that...But the longer this whole thing panned out, the angrier and disgruntled Sinister got. It seemed like with each passing day he was getting to be more difficult to be around and work for. Even though they had always known that the man wasn't exactly the most stable person in a mental sense, it was seemed only to get worse with each passing day.

"So what do we do now?" said Emma as she and Betsy took a brief moment to relax and catch their breath from all the exhaustive tasks Sinister gave them, "Just sit around and wait for something to happen?"

"Do you have a better idea?" grumbled Betsy, feeling the boredom of this whole reconnaissance assignment that Sinister had given them while allowing the rest of the Nasty Boys to carry out the more important tasks.

Both women were sitting in a rented car not far from the Brotherhood boarding house where they knew Sinister's prized test subject resided. He was still acting as a body guard for the Maximoff twins and after what Sinister had told them about his power, it would be a considerable challenge getting around him.

"You know...I think Sinister is doing this to us on purpose," said Emma as she lay back in the passenger side of the car, on the verge of passing out from boredom after being stuck with this task for days now, "I mean, he's made it painfully clear that he doesn't trust us."

"Doesn't take a telepath to determine that," said Betsy in agreement, "I'm actually beginning to think that he's been fucking with us this whole time and has no intention of giving us what we want."

"Well he sure as hell better not go back on his word," said Emma with an annoyed tone, "Otherwise I'll make sure he spends every last moment of his immortal live in agonizing pain. You should consider yourself lucky Betsy, at least you can walk away from this shit anytime you want and go back to your fancy apartment and sleep comfortably in the arms of you rich boy toy. I, on the other hand, am stuck trusting this psycho because if I don't clear my name from the Hellfire Club, it'll be very unlikely that I'll survive through this year."

"Be that as it may Emma, don't expect the best from old pasty face," said Betsy, now actually feeling somewhat sorry for her friend, "If by chance he is going to betray us, he'll probably be prepared for it."

"So doesn't that mean that we should be just as prepared?" asked Emma, not feeling more doubtful than ever about clearing her name.

"It couldn't hurt I guess...But for now, Sinister still holds all the cards so we're pretty much fucked at the moment. I mean...Who else could we turn to?" said Betsy, "Magneto? He's just Sinister without the skin and eyes. I don't care how much Apocalypse fucked him up, from what I've heard about him from Warren, that guy is just as nuts as Sinister."

"And what about Xavier and the X-men?" asked Emma, "Are they an option at all?"

Betsy took a moment to think about that. Unlike Emma, she had heard of the X-men from Warren on numerous occasions. She knew how he had actually fought with them on two occasions against Mesmero and Apocalypse. But after working with Sinister and getting to know the man behind the madness, she was somewhat skeptical that they would be able to help much at this point especially since she had never even met them before.

"Let's assume the worst for now Emma," said Betsy, "Call it pessimistic, but knowing our luck...It's probably the most plausible that Xavier wouldn't make much of a difference."

"Great...So where does that leave us?" groaned Emma.

"Up shit's creek without a paddle," said Betsy, "I guess all we can do now is just wait it out as long as possible. And if by chance Sinister does betray us...We're going to have to act fast or end up worse than that boy he messed up."

It wasn't very uplifting to say the least, but the longer this conflict went on, the more it seemed as though Sinister would rather betray them than give them what they wanted. They knew full well that he was a pretty sick and twisted character, but after his lab was destroyed about a month ago, his darker side was beginning to show more and more. His character wasn't too savory from the get go, but the kind of things he had promised them were just too enticing too pass up. Now that they looked back on it, both Betsy and Emma felt confident that they would have chosen otherwise if they had known then what they knew now.

Suddenly, as both woman sunk tiredly into their seats, a cell phone that had been placed on the dashboard went off and startled them back to reality. Betsy let out an exhausted groan as she took the phone and put it on speaker so that both she and Emma could hear.

"Emma, Psylocke...Report!" ordered Sinister's commanding voice on the other side.

"Still a few blocks down the road from the Brotherhood house," said Betsy, not hiding the annoyance in her tone, but trying hard not to play this volatile man's temper even further.

"Any change in activity?" he asked with a few noised in the background from his lab echoing through the phone, hinting at an intensified level of activity.

"No...Not since the last time you checked...One hour ago!" said Betsy, "They're still hanging around that boarding house. I don't know why you're having us do this, but wouldn't it be easier just to attack and get it over with already?"

"Don't underestimate him Psylocke," said Sinister over the line, "Remember...I created him. He's not some mindless minion of Magneto, he's MY creation. And I need to know what's going on with him...Otherwise that might leave me at a disadvantage...And you wouldn't want that now would you?"

Both young women looked at each other, knowing full well that seeing Sinister in a bind would be something they wouldn't mind seeing at all...But unless they wanted to make themselves be even more at risk, they would have to maintain their loyalty in order to breathe comfortably in the end.

"No...We wouldn't," said Emma, "But it's getting to be too cumbersome. We've already had to ditch Mystique and some of the Acolytes in the city and we can't keep doing that forever. As much as you look down upon them, they aren't stupid Essex...Eventually they may find out."

"That's NOT going to happen," said Sinister sternly, "And I know it's not...Because you two are going to be extra careful from now on and you're also going to attack them before they can even respond. And keep in mind...None of this is up for debate."

"Yeah, yeah...We know," grumbled Betsy.

"Just remember to keep your anonymity for a little while longer," he said as he turned back towards his nearly completed machine, "I've had to rush a few things, but I can safely say that my machine is ready for calibration. And unless you both want to wait another year for completion, you'll have to bring me my test subject...Alive."

"Yeah...Easier said than done," said Emma, not looking forward to that task in the slightest.

"Don't worry...I'm sending the rest of the Nasty Boys out to assist you with this task. They'll meet you in Bayville at the usual spot. When they get there you'll be ready, but you'll have to wait until I give the final instructions. This procedure must be handled carefully, otherwise all our hard work will have been for nothing...And you know I can't have that. Do I make myself clear?"

"Yes Sinister...Crystal," said Betsy grudgingly, wishing she could just break free of her obligations and tell him to fuck off.

Just then, Emma sensed something in the distance with her telepathy. Betsy seemed to sense it too and they soon found themselves looking back towards the Brotherhood home in the distance. And since both women had fairly strong telepathic abilities, it didn't take long for them to surmise what was happening.

"Betsy, Emma...Are you to broads still there?!" said Sinister upon not getting a response from them.

"Sinister...They're leaving," said Emma into the phone, "I think they're heading into the city."

On the other end, a slow grin spread across the madman's face, feeling as though fate had just thrown him a little bonus that he wasn't expecting. Magneto may have been lucky last time, but no amount of luck would save him this time...Not with what he had planned.

"The city...Perfect!" said Sinister, sounding slightly more enthused by the new development, "Follow them, but keep your distance. The rest of the nasty boys will meet you in Bayville in the downtown area near the subway station. The city will be the perfect place to catch them off guard and keep them confined. In addition, I'll send along some of my 'toys' to help subdue them."

"Right," said Betsy as Emma took the phone and she started the engine of the car and began to follow, "We'll be there."

"Just remember...You must act fast if you're to subdue my creation," reminded Sinister, "Threaten innocent civilians if you have to, just get me my test subject back!"

Then, they heard a rather loud slam on the other line as the call ended and Emma turned off the cell phone. Sinister's orders were now becoming more and more extreme in a sense that he was actually telling them to threaten innocent people in order to get his precious experiment back. Neither Betsy nor Emma were model citizens to say the least, but threatening civilians was a line they knew they were not capable of crossing.

"This is getting pretty bad Betsy..." said Emma, not feeling to hopeful about this whole escapade.

"No shit..." she grumbled, "But we can't just run away from it all now."

"Then what do we do?" she said incredulously, "You know full well that I may not be the most moral person in the world, but I certainly am NOT going to threaten innocent civilians like this prick is telling us to."

"I know...And neither am I," said Betsy, "But the rest of the Nasty Boys probably don't have an issue with it, so we should at least go to keep them in check."

"And what if Sinister takes such actions as a sign of disloyalty?" asked Emma as the city was now clear in the distance.

"Then we'll just have to improvise," said Betsy, "But the longer we hold out, the better. Until then, we'll just have to find a way out of this that won't involve losing our heads."

"Any bright ideas on how to do that?" said Emma, not sounding too hopeful about it.

"Nope...Not yet," said Betsy, "But for now, I don't think we have much of a choice other than to get this psycho's precious experiment back. Let's just hope things don't get too messy..."

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

Back at the institute, Professor Xavier was still hard at work in the lower levels of the institute working with Cerebro. However, for the past few days he hadn't been using it to find the mysterious mutant that his students had been reporting to him from school, instead he had been working closely with Beast to fully upgrade the system to make it more powerful in order to find the answers that they were looking for. Upgrading something as big as Cerebro was no easy task to say the least, but after long and extensive series of software and hardware enhancements, it was at last nearly ready for use.

"Okay Charles, I think this last circuit board is up and running," said Hank as he got out from under the mainframes, "How goes the software?"

"Nearly done Hank," replied the Professor, "It won't be long now before I'll be able to do a more thorough search on our mysterious new Brotherhood member."

"Well I can see the need to be informed about such activities Charles...But going through all the troubles of upgrading Cerebro seems a bit excessive, don't you think?"

Xavier paused for a moment as he thought about Hank's words. He knew full well the level of extremity this was for simply tracking down a new mutant, but something about this whole situation just didn't sit right with him. Maybe doing this was a good way to distract himself from the lingering scars left by Scott's death and the growing situation with Jean...But despite this, it didn't take away from the strange peculiarity of this whole situation with the new Brotherhood member.

"It may be excessive Hank, but I think this matter needs to be looked into and should not be taken lightly at all," said the Professor as he watched the computer screens show him the progress of the final software upgrades, "Call it intuition, but something about this Blake Hellstrom character just feels...Strange."

"Well I won't bring your intuition into question in this instance Charles," said Hank as he stretched his long, animal-like limbs, "It usually does have some merit in the end whenever you feel something is suspicious and I guess this should come as no exception. But what exactly do you intend to find? Do you think this mysterious newcomer will lead to something more?"

"I'm certain Hank..." said Xavier as the software update was complete, "But there's only one way to find out."

"Wait...You're not going to test it now are you?" said Hank as he saw Xavier start to wheel himself towards the main chamber.

"I must..." said the crippled man with determination, "I have to find some answers...If for anything, for the sake of putting my suspicions to rest while not counting out the possibility that they could make them worse."

"But still, I'd advise you to rest Charles," urged Hank as he followed him into the chamber, "You know how much Cerebro takes out of you and considering that it was just upgraded, you should take even more precautions."

"Don't worry Hank..." assured the Professor as he put on the helmet and loaded the large holographic projection display screen, "I'll be fine."

"Well if it's alright with you, I'd still rather stay and make sure nothing happens," said Hank, not willing to let his friend risk hurting himself again.

"I had a feeling you would," said the Professor with a smile, "But I just wish to put this feeling behind me. If I don't find anything...I promise I'll take a break like you and the others so earnestly want me to."

"You know I'm going to hold you to that," said Hank with a grin, knowing how obsessive Xavier could get about something that sparked his suspicions.

Xavier then fired up the main components, seeing the enhanced features on the screen and feeling eager to put them to good use. He wasn't sure if he was going to locate anything of real importance even with these upgrades, but he was at least determined to try.

The hum of the large, elaborate components filled the room as Hank took a step back and allowed the Professor to do what he did best. Although he didn't see how Xavier could be so suspicious about one simple Brotherhood member even if he was new since they hadn't caused the X-men any problems for months now, he did not question his intuition. For whatever reason he had for feeling this way, he was sure that it was a good one.

As the Professor felt his mind expand through the boundaries of the institute and beyond, he began searching for the mind of the young man his students had told him about while the computer gathered data about the search. This process was a difficult one, even for someone of the Professor's abilities. But he kept probing, searching for any hints of the young man known only to him and his students as Blake Hellstrom.

Then suddenly...He found something. It was weak and nearly invisible...But it was definitely something. Xavier went in to take a closer look, but soon found that it was pushing him away. Not only that, but the signature seemed quite strange in that it was unlike anything he had ever encountered before. With his mind, he kept trying to get in...But even with the enhancements he couldn't even scratch the surface of what it was. All he knew for certain was that it was there.

Professor Xavier continued to try and decipher what this strange phenomenon was...When suddenly, he felt a strange force hit him. Then, without warning, he was suddenly blasted with an intense stream of vivid images...All of which included a demonic looking man with pale white skin and bright red eyes. He tried to avoid them, but then...An insidious laugh filled the aura around him and he was suddenly pulled out of his state as he let out a pained yell that echoed though the room.

"Charles!" yelled Beast as he ran over to his friend's side.

Xavier was now slumping limply in his wheelchair, obviously overwhelmed by something he had seen. Whatever it was, it must have been quite intense for it to send someone as powerful as him reeling back to reality in such an intense manner.

"I saw something..." said the Professor, struggling to catch his breath, "Something...Sinister."

Hank removed the helmet from his head as he did a quick check of the Professor's condition, being the doctor that he was.

"Well then I suggest you not do that again for a while," said Hank as he saw the haunted look in the eyes of his mentor, "Whatever hit you was quite intense."

"No...It didn't hit me," said Xavier, shaking off the effects of the sensation he had experienced, "It surprised and overwhelmed me. I don't know what that was...But I definitely found something."

"Was it this so called Blake character?" asked Beast, wondering just what it was they were dealing with to have caused such havoc.

"No...At least I'm fairly certain it wasn't," said Xavier, "I managed to get a very brief trace of his mind...But it is heavily guarded and very well shielded. In fact, the only reason it was probably visible at all was because it must have been in a strange state of turmoil or conflict."

"Could you sense anything?"

"Other than that, no," answered Xavier as he quickly regained his composure, ignoring the throbbing feeling in his head, "I think what attacked me was some kind of separate force...But not from our mysterious stranger either. It felt almost like a shadow that followed the young man's mind...One designed to keep prying minds from seeing something."

"In that case...I guess your suspicions are now well vindicated," said Hank, "So what do should we do about it?"

"I'm not sure but..." then suddenly, something else caught the Professor's eye on the computer screen, "Wait...It seems as though Cerebro managed to get some physiological data on the young man while I was trying to probe his mind."

Xavier then began to type in a few commands on the console to bring up the data. While his mind may not have been able to venture into the young man, the computer still managed to do its job. But as soon as the data came up on the makeup of the young man's body...The two men who had spent so many years studying mutation were left at a loss for words.

"Charles...Are you seeing what I'm seeing?" asked Hank as he felt himself freeze somewhat at this most unusual sight.

"I believe so Hank," said Charles, looking equally astonished by this new data.

"Do you think this could be some kind of error on account of the upgrades?" he suggested, wanting to rule out any possibility of faulty data.

"No...I don't think so old friend," said Xavier, "The upgrades appear to be working fine. What we're seeing is real."

The two men just stood in silence for a brief moment, looking at the data that the computer had managed to get. While it was somewhat incomplete, it was still stranger than anything either of them had ever seen. The images of a strange, complex DNA strand that seemed packed with more genes than any regular human or mutant for that matter didn't seem natural in the slightest. It looked almost...Enhanced.

"This is definitely major..." said Xavier, "I must look into this more."

"What about the young man...Blake Hellstrom?" asked Hank.

Xavier looked quite anxious now at the prospect of such a unique mutant with the Brotherhood. There were so many unknowns about this new data, but it was very significant...No doubt about it. Having come out of nowhere like this was a warning sign to anybody that this was far more complicated than it seemed and the Professor intended to find out just what this whole thing was about.

"Right now, he doesn't appear to pose much danger," said Xavier, "But given the complexity of his X-gene and his DNA as a whole, it's a given that he must be quite powerful. We may need to find a way to talk to him in order to learn more, but for now...I think it would be smart if we kept our distance. There's no telling what conflict is going on right under our noses with this man."

"Shouldn't we send some students to the Brotherhood to befriend him or at least get to know him?" asked Hank, "It would be wise if we presented ourselves as being friendly if we are to learn about his origins."

"No...Not yet Hank," said the Professor, "We don't know what the Brotherhood has told him about us, but after the incident Kitty and Kurt told me about, I think we can safely assume that he's rather neutral at the moment. Whether or not he stays that way is still in question though. But for now...The best we can do is learn as much about this situation as possible. The more we know, the less surprises we'll have to deal with when they come along. Let's just hope that there aren't too many...But after sensing such disturbances, I have a bad feeling that we may be in for something far more complex and mysterious than we can fully ascertain at the moment."

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

As Betsy and Emma followed the Brotherhood into the city, they kept at least a two block buffer zone between them and Lance's jeep. While they weren't exactly in full sight all the time, the two young women never lost sight of them because of their telepathic powers. Looking at the streets around them, they saw that it was quite crowded...Leaving no shortage of potential hostages for the Nasty Boys if things didn't go smoothly. It wasn't exactly an uplifting thing to think about for Betsy and Emma, but for now they had no other choice. But the longer they stayed loyal to Sinister, the more complicated things would get.

After about five minutes of tailing the jeep, it finally came to a stop outside the Gut Bomb fast food restaurant. As a precautionary measure, Betsy parked their rented car on the other side of the street and waited in silence as they kept a telepathic eye on the six Brotherhood members as they stood in line for some food.

"Yuck...Who in their right mind would ever eat there?" scoffed Emma as she looked back at the crowded fast food restaurant where Sinister's precious test subject resided, "Food like that would go straight to my thighs. Hell, I'm probably getting fat just thinking about it."

"Emma...You seriously need realize that a nice little grease-ball, artery clogging burger every now and then isn't going to kill you," said Betsy, rolling her eyes at Emma's superficiality, "Even the rich have a craving for good old cheap and tasty food every now and then. You should try it."

"Thanks but no thanks," replied Emma, "I'd have to make an appointment with my plastic surgeon after one bite."

Betsy simply let out an exasperated sigh, knowing she wasn't going to convince someone as stubborn as Emma Frost. They both got out of the car and began scoping out the area, planning the quickest, most effective way to get Sinister's precious test subject back. Just then, Emma's cell phone rang again as they both stood on the corner of the street from across the restaurant.

"Hello?" answered Emma as she and Betsy continued monitoring the moves of the Brotherhood.

"It's Ruckus," said the voice on the other line, "We're at the spot. Where are you?"

She hesitated briefly, knowing that once the rest of the Nasty Boys got here things would get ugly. But if either she or Betsy showed any sign of disloyalty or disobedience, they would be just as big a target as Magneto. Looking back at the crowd of people surrounding the restaurant, the blonde telepath didn't look forward to the chaos that was certain to ensue.

"We're at the gut bomb fast food restaurant right off route 11," she answered finally as she watched the Brotherhood sit down to eat their food.

"We'll be there in five minutes...Don't take your eye off them," responded Ruckus, "And remember what Sinister said...Get his little test subject back by ANY means necessary!"

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

AN: Well, that's it for now folks! The Nasty Boys are about to have a little encounter with the Brotherhood! Who do you think will come out on top? The plot thickens as the tension rises so don't miss the coming parts, for they will be major! Sinister is still out there and he's still causing innumerable problems. It's complicated now, but thing will have to resolve themselves sooner or later! So what did you all think? Please tell me! Send me your reviews via email or post them on the fanfiction website! I appreciate any feedback you can give me! Thank you all for reading and I wish everybody the best!

HEY WAIT! DON'T LEAVE YET! REVIEW!!!
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