Categories > Cartoons > X-Men: Evolution > Extermination

Rescue Mission

by slickboy444 0 Reviews

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/...

Category: X-Men: Evolution - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Action/Adventure, Drama - Characters: Cyclops - Warnings: [V] - Published: 2006/02/02 - Updated: 2006/02/02 - 7453 words

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Extermination
Chapter 17: Rescue Mission


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

The tropical paradise in the picturesque Hawaiian Islands seemed a lot less impacted compared to the rest of the country in wake of the blaring news reports from the continental United States. The mutant phenomena and the devastating attack that destroyed the Xavier mansion, the Brotherhood boarding house, and Magneto's mountain complex were big news, but the mentality of the people in Hawaii was one of more ambivalence. The people there were surrounded by the vast waters of the Pacific, what effect could such events have on them?

In the household of the Masters family, this news seemed somewhat more disturbing compared to the rest of the people living in the area. The Masters, unlike the rest of the populous, were a part of the mutant phenomenon. They had an adopted son, Alex, who was a mutant. They had raised the boy since he was only 6 after a devastating plane crash killed his parents and supposedly, his brother as well. But nearly three years ago, Alex rejoiced when he found out after 10 years that his brother was actually alive and well...And like him, was also a mutant. The Masters hadn't reacted harshly to their adopted son's mutant powers...But given the increasingly hostile world around them, that was not always possible.

For the past week, Mr. and Mrs. Masters had been glued to the TV...Listening to increasingly harsh news reports about mutants everywhere. More and more, mutants were being demonized by the media and told to be plotting to kill every last human. However, the Masters did not believe this for a second...Alex wasn't some hate filled mutant supremist...He was a teenaged boy who wanted nothing more than to hang out with his friends and go surfing. Ever since this whole thing started, they had been getting taunting phone calls and death threats through the mail from people who knew that Alex was a mutant. However, Alex was not home at the moment...And it was unclear whether or not he knew of the news.

Then...In the mid morning hours in the usually quiet Hawaiian neighborhood...The tense air of the Masters household was shattered by a sudden knock on the door. Outside, four ominous men wearing clean, high quality suits waited for somebody to answer. But before the door opened, one of the men spoke into a handheld communicator that was linked back to Washington.

"This is FOH first wave reporting...We're at red flag number one's house right now. Prepare for data relay or target confirmation in no more than 15 minutes. Over and out."

The lead man knocked again on the door as he and the rest of his group waited calmly for somebody to answer...Confident in their ability to fulfill their task. After about a minute of waiting, someone finally answered.

"Yes...Can I help you?" said middle aged man as he opened the door to see four, well dressed men with sunglasses standing before him.

"Yes, is this the Masters residence?" asked the leader of the group in a causal tone, not at all showing any hostility.

"Um...Yes it is," said Mr. Masters as he grew somewhat suspicious of these visitors.

"Are you the adopted parents of one Alex Masters? Whom if state records serves me right, recently changed his name to Alex Summers?"

"Uh...We are. What's this about sir? Is Alex in some sort of trouble?"

The lead man then proceeded to take off his sunglasses and once again tried to convey a sincere approach. The three other men seemed to follow suit as the lead man smiled reassuringly to the slightly nervous man before him.

"No, no Mr. Masters...We are just here as representatives from the state. I can assure you that young Alex is in no trouble whatsoever. We just need a few minutes of your time, that's all. Is your wife home?"

"Oh, yes she is," said Mr. Masters as he somewhat calmed down at the change in their demeanor, "Please, come in."

"Thank you sir, I promise that this will just take a second," assured the lead man as he and his colleagues were casually led into the house.

Mr. Masters led the men into their living room. The upper middle class house was bathed in the light of the morning sun as the well dressed men in suits took a casual look around.

"Please, have a seat and I'll get my wife. Would you like a drink or anything?"

"No, thank you. Like I said, this shouldn't take long and we do have a schedule to keep."

"I understand."

The four men then waited for Mr. Masters to return with his wife while they calmly rested on one of the couches. The hot, tropical sun was not friendly to polyester suits, especially this time of year in the midst of summer. However, the air conditioned house provided a nice relief, even if the men knew that they wouldn't stay here for much longer. After only a couple of minutes of waiting, Mr. Master's finally descended the steps with his wife close behind. They were both still somewhat nervous, but they hoped to be done with whatever they had come here for soon enough.

"Mr. and Mrs. Masters, I'm glad you're both home. I apologize for the abruptness of this visit and the demeanor of my colleagues, but you must understand the kind of bureaucratic scrutiny that we have been under in recent years," said the lead man with a light laugh as he willing shook their hands.

"It's no problem at all..." said Mr. Masters, now feeling less anxious about these men then before.

"Well, I'll get right to the point," said the man as he and the middle aged couple took a seat on the couch, "My colleagues and I are here to talk to you about your adopted son, Alex."

"Yes...What about him?" asked Mrs. Masters with worry apparent in her tone upon mentioning their adopted mutant son.

"Well I'm sure you're probably aware that he is a mutant and I'm sure you're probably aware of all the news that's been going on about mutants in recent weeks."

Both Mr. and Mrs. Masters then felt a renewed sense of anxiety upon mention Alex's mutant identity. They knew all too well from the news reports that ALL mutants were being scrutinized and demonized with each passing day.

"Of course we know...But we can assure you that Alex is no criminal or mutant soldier!" said Mr. Masters somewhat apprehensively, "He's just a normal boy who happens to have a rare gift. He's learned to control it quite well in fact. And I won't hear anybody affiliate him to such outlandish claims by the media!"

"Please calm yourself Mr. Masters," said the lead man with a pacifist gesture, "We have no intention of harming young Alex."

"Then why are you here?" asked Mrs. Masters.

The man in the suit then took a deep breath as he prepared to explain himself.

"We simply wish to protect him and maybe ask him a few questions. We feel that he may be under pressure from a local anti-mutant group here in Hawaii. This group has been nothing but trouble for the state, and any information at all that Alex may have to offer would be a great help to us and everybody in the justice department. We just need to know where he is so we can ask him a few questions about this group."

"But...I haven't heard of such things in local news," said Mr. Masters.

"Well with everything that's been going on, there hasn't been a whole lot of time for the news stations to dedicate themselves to local issues. Not a whole lot of people seem to care about what goes on in Hawaii that doesn't involve sand and surf."

"I suppose so..." said Mr. Masters, seeing what he meant by this when he remembered how focused every news channel was on this one story for the past week.

"So please...May we speak to Alex?"

"I'm afraid he's not home...Alex went to attend a surfing competition at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina a little over a week ago," answered Mrs. Masters.

"Oh...Well have you contacted him as of lately?" asked the man as he remained on the couch with his silent colleagues.

"Well...We really haven't gotten a chance to speak with him. Ever since he got there, Alex has pretty much been living in the ocean, training for each competition and enjoying the atmosphere there."

"I see...Well when he does return, tell him to call us so we can talk to him. I have a card right here that you can..."

BANG! BANG! BANG!

Instead of taking out a card, both the leader and the three other men each took out a black colt 9 millimeter pistol and emptied every last bullet into the body of Mr. and Mrs. Masters before they could even think of a reaction. The first shots went right into their heads...Killing them instantly, but the four men kept shooting into the dead bodies as if to make sure that they were dead completely.

"Damn mutie lovers...Well we got what we came for," said the leader of the group with a sinister grin as he and his associates put away their guns and took out the small communicator linked back to their superiors.

"Go ahead first wave," said the ominous voice of William Stryker of the line, "Sir, we have a fix on Alex's location. He's at a surfing competition in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina."

"Very good first wave...That will make finding him a lot easier," replied Stryker, "I'll send a strike team to the area and he'll be fish food by lunch time. Return to base first wave. There are many more mutants out there that need to be taken care of..."

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

It was a cold, dark night with thundering clouds in the distance. The shadow of a dark, dreary building stood ominously in the background. Around this structure that seemed like a scene right out of a horror movie...Vast lines of iron gates shielded the structure and all it's inhabitance in this darkest of places. Over booming thunder of the sky above...An agonizing scream from a young girl being carried off into this building echoed into the air, piercing anything and everything within its range.

"FATHER!" cried the little girl with waves of tears streaming down her eyes, "FATHER! PLEASE! DON'T LET THEM TAKE ME! PLEASE!"

But the men carrying her into the building didn't listen...They just kept taking her deeper into the heinous building as she kept crying harder and harder...Reaching out with her hand...Begging her father not to let them take her away.

"FATHER! PLEASE! FATHER!"

And thus, the young girl was swallowed by the inky darkness of the building, her cries still echoing through the air. Then...The men holding her morphed from mere men...To hideous, grotesque demons that threw the little girl into a deep dark hole...Hitting her so that she would stop crying...Yelling at her and calling her names like freak and witch. She kept crying louder and louder as more darkness consumed the area around her and more hideous creatures continued to surround and taunt her. The girl kept crying and the demons kept yelling at her...Hurting her. And witnessing all of this...Was Eric Lensherr...Watching as the tears in the face of this young girl kept flowing freely...Never stopping. Her screams pierced his soul like a dagger...Echoing through his mind as she kept calling out to him...Begging...Pleading...Crying.

"Wanda...No..."

Then suddenly, everything went black...But the screams could still be heard.

"WANDA!"

Eric then bolted up out of his sleep in a cold sweat...Struggling to catch his breath. He looked around...Unaware of his surroundings. He was back in the base that he had lead the survivors of the attacks to...But the screams of the little girl...HIS little girl...Kept echoing through his mind.

The old man...Who had survived the Holocaust, the death of his wife, and Apocalypse...Couldn't take it anymore. Those screams...Were just too horrible for him to even think of. He soon found himself rubbing the temples of his head in an effort to rid himself of such unpleasant thoughts...But no amount of rubbing could make him forget the horror he had just seen. This dream...No, memory...Was haunting him...Punishing him. Ever since he had been freed of Apocalypse...This nightmare haunted his mind incessantly...Bringing him nothing but pain. He couldn't take any more of it...He couldn't sleep after such a dream. Forcing himself to get up, he slowly made his way towards the kitchen where he hoped to find something heavily caffeinated to keep him awake. But as he entered the fluorescent lighting of the kitchen, he found that Mystique had already beaten him to it and had fixed herself a rather large helping of coffee. Upon seeing his demeanor, quickly identified his disposition.

"Couldn't sleep either could you?" commented Mystique as she took a sip of her coffee.

The distraught master of magnetism merely let out a deep sigh as he dragged himself over to the counter and poured himself a cup of his own.

"I haven't slept will in two years Mystique...Tonight it was just one of my more graphic nightmares. You of all people should understand."

"I do Eric...And please don't call me that!" responded the blue shape shifter with a harsh tone upon hearing the name she now loathed, "Call me Raven...I hate that name. Besides...Mystique is dead...She might as well have died back there at the boarding house...Or that day in Egypt two years ago."

Eric didn't know whether to chalk this behavior up to her sleep deprivation, the attacks on their homes, or the events of Apocalypse two years ago. Either way, Raven Darkholm was clearly different now. She was a wreck...Emotionally, spiritually, and physically. Much like himself, she was at a total loss for her sense of purpose. The hatred and drive that had once made them allies was no longer there...Replaced by only a feeling of solemn remorse.

"Very well...Raven. I'm sorry if I upset you..."

Mystique just let out a bitter laugh as she rested her head on her arms.

"You...Sorry? That's a first. In all the years I've known you, I don't think you've ever said sorry for anything...Not once."

"I'm trying to rectify that Raven...Believe me I'm trying," said Magneto in response, not trying to let his emotions show upon hearing the shape shifter's harsh words.

"Normally I'd find that hard to believe," said Mystique with a sigh as she forced herself to take another sip of her coffee, "But I've found many occurrences within these last few days that I would have normally thought impossible."

"I take it you've spoken to the remainder of the X-men as well."

"Well...We did have a lot of spare time back at that cave," muttered Mystique, but quickly tried to pull out of this despair that she kept letting herself fall into, "I had some time to finally talk to each of them...Scott, Jean, Kitty, and my son of course. I was somewhat shocked...That they were willing to forgive me when I first encountered them back at the mansion. But for some reason...When they looked at me, they just accepted it. And keep in mind I actually tried to kill some of them...Yet they forgave me."

"Xavier taught his students well...I don't think I could ever have done that with Pietro or Wanda."

"Well with all do respect...We both have some serious issues...And I personally wouldn't want to pass that to my children," said Mystique with somewhat of a humorous tone.

That comment did help lighten the mood somewhat and Magneto managed to let out a light chuckle upon hearing that, but her mention of their 'issues' was still somewhat troubling...Since they were in many ways part of the cause that had led them down such a harsh, bitter path in life.

"I guess so..." agreed Eric, "Some parents we are..."

"Don't remind me..." said Mystique in a monotone voice.

The two former enemies of the X-men then sat in a deep silence. There were few noises that could be heard in the vast underground base and the air now seemed to hang as still as a statue. Raven once again rested her head on her arms, not having the energy to get up and get herself another cup of coffee. Seeing someone else in the same position as himself, Eric felt less alone...Knowing that he and Raven weren't so different from one another. They both had estranged children, they both had made serious mistakes with them, and they both were struggling a great deal to make sense out over everything within the last two years. However, for Mystique, it was a somewhat worse...Because unlike Magneto, only one of her kids had survived the attack. And while Magneto was worried and anxious over Pietro's injuries...Mystique, on the other hand, was forced to accept the death of her daughter after trying so hard before to win her back.

"Jean told me about Rogue, Raven..." said Magneto breaking the silence, "I'm sorry...I know you cared for her a great deal."

Mystique looked away...Trying to hide her tears from the man that had once betrayed her.

"You don't know anything..." scoffed Raven, "Both of your children are still alive...You have a chance to at least say you're sorry to them. And I...I can't even do that for Rogue anymore because she's gone...Gone forever."

"Raven I..." but Mystique didn't let him finish.

"I saw her body! I saw what she looked like the moment she died!" yelled the shape shifter as she began to sob, "I'll never get the chance to atone for my past mistakes...I'll never get a chance to see her live the life that I was denied when I was her age. You can't possibly know how that feels!"

Not knowing what else he could say to alleviate her sobs, Eric just sighed in admittance. He knew that Mystique was right in some respects...He didn't know how she felt. Both of his children were still alive...Her daughter was dead. There was nothing that could change that...Nothing.

"You're right Raven...I can't possibly know how you feel. I can't offer you my empathy...But at least accept my sympathy."

"Sympathy...Or pity," replied Mystique bitterly as she tried to dry her tears.

"No Raven...Try not to think of the actions of the old me from two years ago...Things change...People grow. It's just that...Some people grow a lot slower than others."

"I can't argue with that..." admitted Mystique with a somber sigh, "You know it's funny...In talking to Wanda, Scott, Jean, Kitty, and Kurt...I've really seen just how ignorant I truly am. I'm an old woman...Yet it took me nearly two decades to finally see things clearly. I talk to them and they seem so wise beyond their years while our progress of maturity is nothing short of glacial."

"Well...Better late then never I suppose," said Magneto with a slight laugh.

"I guess..." admitted Mystique.

Another silence soon fell over the two mutants as they thought about what had happened in the past few days. So much had changed...So many things were different now. They were stuck here now...Stuck in this huge underground base with their children and surviving friends for an unknown amount of time. Whether or not they were still being hunted...Whether or not they would be found...Were still big unknowns. But here, for the time being, they had a chance to makes sense out of things that had been plaguing them for years. But as much a blessing as such a chance was, the slow learning of the two stubborn mutants had left them in the dark over what they should really do.

"There's one more thing that I've been wanting to ask you Raven..." said Magneto as he finished the last few sips of his coffee.

"What's that?"

"How did you get your son to forgive you?" said Magneto, intent on the answer, "How did you manage to get him to accept you after everything you've done? I realize that what happened to him was in many ways my fault...But he still forgave you for your indiscretions...How?"

At first, Mystique looked at her former ally skeptically...Not at all sure whether he was being sincere or not. But then again...He was in a similar position with his children as well. And he was looking for whatever answers he could in times of such darkness. He needed to know...But Raven Darkholm knew that there wasn't a whole lot that she could offer him.

"I'm...Still trying to find an answer to that question Eric," said Mystique, willing to give whatever answer she could, "My son...Is a very forgiving young man. He's grown into a very kind, gentle person...Something I am most certainly not. He forgave me even after he and Rogue rejected me back in Egypt...And I still don't know why. Maybe...I hadn't let what I had learned sink in that day back in Egypt...And maybe they saw it. But my son...Even after everything I put him and his sister through...Believed me when I said I was sorry."

"Do you think that Wanda and Pietro will be as forgiving?" asked Eric, but not at all sounding too hopeful.

"I don't know...But I have lived with those two for the past couple of years now. Pietro has been betrayed many times...And doesn't think he needs anyone to survive. He's as dense and stubborn as you...So I really don't know. As for Wanda...I've gotten to know her quite well...And she is a good person with a good soul. But I can't tell you if she's willing to forgive you...You still won't tell her about the insane asylum you dumped her in as a child."

Eric winced upon hearing her bring up that horrid act that had just plagued his dreams. For a brief moment...He heard her agonizing screams and saw her painful tears as she was taken away into that horrible, dark prison of a hospital where she was forced to endure for years. Images of the pained look on young Pietro's face as he watched them take away his sister and the agonizing emotions of abandonment that Wanda felt tore at his soul.

"I..." began Magneto, but he soon found it too hard for him to go on, "How do you tell your own daughter that you abandoned her as a child? How do you tell her that you brainwashed her into thinking that it never happened?"

"She deserves to know the truth Eric..." said Mystique as she watched the solemn look on Magneto's face devolve into one of true sorrow.

"If I tell her...She'll hate me forever...And I'll lose her forever, Raven. How can I atone for such crimes against my own flesh and blood? How can they ever forgive me?"

"Well...Why did you do that in the first place to begin with?" asked Raven, that one question always being one that tore at her mind.

"I was a fool...I thought she was unmanageable...I thought that there was no way that I could ever hope to control her," said Eric solemnly, now hating himself more than ever, "I now know that I was just scared...I had to be their leader and mentor...Not their father. I should have loved them instead of trained them...I should have been there for them instead of fighting my own personal battles. It's a weak justification for an act so heinous...That I know. There are other reasons...But they are no better. It's taken me a long time to see things clearly now...But I fear that I may be too late."

Mystique let out another tired sigh as let her tired body sink into the chair. Talking about her problems with a man that had once betrayed her was not her idea of self help, but she couldn't deny that she shared some similarities with this man...And they were both struggling to find ways of repenting for their past sins.

"Just know one thing Eric...The longer you wait, the worse it will be for them. And you have to be the one to tell them the truth...Nobody else," said Raven, knowing her advice was sketchy at best, but feeling that it was the best thing to say right now.

"I'll keep that in mind Raven...Thank you," said Eric as he got up and left the kitchen.

Mystique didn't say anything as she waited for the caffeine to kick in and keep her awake. Kurt may have forgiven her, but she still had to forgive herself...And that may end up being harder in the long run.

Magneto was still stuck between his choices on what to do with his children. Pietro was still suffering, Wanda was still under Mastermind's hypnosis, and he knew that his children deserved, above all, the truth from him. He had lied and deceived them for so long now...And it was time that he finally put a stop to such actions. He was their father for crying out loud...It was time that he started being one for them. As he walked the darkened halls of the base...His thoughts drifted back towards Magda...His late wife that had given birth to these two children that he had hurt so much. Once again, he felt a gentle tear fall down his face as he remembered her beautiful face and loving soul that had done so much mend his wounds from the holocaust. She had died because he wasn't there...And in many ways, her death is what led him to such madness. With images of Wanda's tears, Pietro's pain, and Magda's face...Eric Magnus Lensherr was left at a complete loss as he found himself leaning on the wall for support.

"I'm sorry Magda...I'm so sorry..."

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

In the early morning hours of the first day that the surviving mutants would have to live in this new dwelling, Scott Summers tossed and turned in the bed that he was sharing with his girlfriend, Jean Grey. He was muttering incoherent words as he seemed to be struggling with something...That wasn't there physically, but all too real in his mind. Sensing his distress, Jean quickly woke up and started to shake him.

"Scott...Scott wake up...You're having a bad dream," said Jean anxiously as she shook Scott's body in an effort to snap him out of whatever nightmare he was stuck in.

"Alex...No...Watch out..." moaned Scott in his sleep as he continued to toss and turn in the bed.

"Scott...Wake up! Please!" urged Jean, sensing that it was only getting worse.

"No...ALEX!" yelled Scott as he suddenly shot up out of bed.

Scott felt his heart rate soar as his struggled to catch his breath. He seemed unaware of his surroundings as Jean quickly wrapped her arms around his neck and gently wiped the sweat from his face. Scott was still struggling to catch his breath, but gradually...He managed to calm down.

"Scott...Scott are you alright? What happened?" asked Jean, her voice dripping with worry.

"It's nothing I..."

"Don't give me that Scott Summer!" responded Jean immediately, cutting him off, "I sensed it...You were having a nightmare...A bad one from the sound of it."

Scott merely let out a sigh as he threw off the covers of the bed and sat near the edge, rubbing the temples of his head.

"You're right Jean...It was a bad dream...A really bad dream," said Scott in a groggy tone, "I saw Alex...Somebody was chasing him. He was trying to get away...But they trapped him and then..."

Scott couldn't finish his words as quickly got up and stretched his limbs. The dream he had just had wasn't like the normal nightmares he had. In the past, he had always struggled with bad dreams concerning the death of his parents that fateful day in the skies over Alaska and a year ago, both he and Jean struggled a great deal with dreams of the Phoenix. In wake of the attacks and the haunting images of the body bags of his dead friend and family still plaguing his mind, he had horrible dreams about their suffering. But this time...The dream with Alex had been more vivid. It was like the dream with his parents or when Jean became the Phoenix...It was almost as if he was there watching it happen.

"Scott...Calm down...It was a dream," said Jean as she got up made her way towards him and put a comforting hand on his shoulder.

"No...It was too vivid Jean...Something's wrong. Something is very wrong with Alex...And I have to find out."

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

Everybody else in the base began to arise from their slumber about an hour after sunrise. Upon waking up, the survivors of the horrible attacks on their homes took advantage of the base's luxuries that the old cave back in New York had lacked. These luxuries included full shower facilities, one which they designated for the girls and the other for the guys, and a fully stocked cold storage area with enough food to last them a quite a while. Magneto and Mystique had not managed to sleep at all the previous night despite their obvious exhaustion. By the time everybody woke up, they had downed nearly a dozen cups of coffee each and were starting to feel its effects. The others, most of which had slept...But not very well...Didn't say anything to them.

"Man...They look awful," said Kitty as she looked at Mystique and Magneto from the kitchen while she fixed herself some toast, "It looks like they didn't sleep a wink last night."

"They probably didn't..." said Kurt as he looked at the dark circles that had formed in his mother's eyes from afar.

"I feel kind of bad for them...I mean, Mystique was surprising enough when she arrived, but I never would have suspected the same from Magneto. And he looks worse in some ways."

"Whatever plagues him...He most likely deserves it," said Piotr Rasputin as he sat at the table with Kurt, not looking back at Magneto.

"What makes you say that Peter?" asked Kitty, somewhat shocked by the Russian's response.

"Katya...You have no idea the kind of things that man has done. After what he put me through...After what he put so many through...He never felt any guilt or regret whatsoever for his actions. But now...His conscious has finally caught up to him...And the punishment it has inflicted has been a long time coming."

"But still...He looks so distraught," said Kitty with compassion in her tone that surprised Piotr a great deal, "I never thought I would see the man like this before...But then again I thought the same thing with Raven."

"Ja...Maybe Magneto was just as affected by these last two years as she vas. Vith the vay that he vas vorried about Wanda and Pietro, I wouldn't be surprised.

"My thoughts exactly Kurt," said Kitty as her gaze remained transfixed on Magneto, who was currently sitting in the living room with Mystique, silent and motionless, "Maybe we should do something...I mean, he did help us find this base."

Colossus was somewhat amazed at the young girl's compassion for the man that had once been such a dubious enemy. Although he had not really gotten to know Kitty Pryde very well...He did somewhat recall her attitude when the Acolytes and the X-men uncovered Apocalypse's tomb two years ago. He had found her to be one of the more down to Earth girls...One who was just as brave as the others, yet still showed a human side of fear. She was not some mechanical soldier or mindless follower...She was just doing what she had thought was right. It was something about the X-men that Piotr had admired, but Kitty Pryde had been his first insight into such a mindset. Her willingness to accept Magneto was an act that Piotr still harbored mixed feelings about, but he still had to admire her for her humility even after seeing so many of her friends die.

"You are very kind to think such things...But I don't think I can take part in it. Not after what that man put me and my family through," said Piotr in a deep, monotone voice.

"Why? What did he do?" asked Kitty, now very curious as to why the big Russian mutant would think that way.

Colossus took a deep breath as he prepared to go over the old story that he had observed in his head many times before.

"I never wanted a part in any war...I never once cared about human/mutant affairs. I lived a quiet life back in Siberia on my family's farm. There...Life was simple and it did not matter to me what happened in the world outside of it. When Magneto found me, he offered me a chance to be one of his soldiers in the battle for mutant liberation as he calls it...But I flat out refused. I can't tell you the migraine I got listening to that man's nonsensical human hating babble...But I always said no. Until one day...He forced me accept his offer. He kidnapped my sister, Illyana, and kept her in a guarded facility under lock and key and threatened to kill her if I didn't help. I had no choice, but to follow him."

"Oh my god...That must have been awful," gasped Kitty as she heard the young man's story.

"Vhy didn't you come to us for help?" asked Kurt, also intrigued by Piotr's story.

"I tried...I wanted to...But then Magneto threatened the rest of my family as well!" said the Russian somewhat angrily, "He threatened to kill them all and destroy the farm that my family has lived on for generations. I had to do what he said...I had to protect my family. I know that is no excuse for me fighting against you and your friends...But please accept my apologies. I never wanted to fight you...I swear I didn't."

"Hey, hey...I believe you," coaxed Kitty as she scooted closer to the Russian, "You were protecting your family. I would have done the same thing if I were in your position."

"And so vould I, mien friend," said Kurt, feeling sympathetic to this man's predicament, "You have no reason to apologize."

Colossus felt a lot better upon hearing their words of forgiveness. He was glad that they were so quick to understand...He greatly admired that. But this still didn't resolve his resentment of Magneto.

"So you see why I do not wish to help that madman? After what he put my family through, I feel that he deserves such pain...He brought it upon himself."

"But then why did he help us? If he still has your family, why didn't he just take his kids and leave us out to dry?" asked Kitty, still not understanding Magneto's actions to this point.

"He doesn't have my family anymore...They are all back home in Siberia safe and sound, my sister included. After Apocalypse, he let them go and released me from my service completely."

"But then...Vhy did you vork for him before this happened?"

"Because he needed me again and instead of threatening to kill my family, he offered very sizable financial incentives. You see...My family and I have little money back home and we have fallen into a monstrous debt in the past four years. Magneto offered to pay back all of them at once as well as provide extra money for health care and schooling for Illyana...As well as complete protection from the government. The man did change...There was no question about that...But I still can't forget what he put me through."

"I wouldn't expect you to..." commented Kitty as she placed a comforting hand on his shoulder, which caused Kurt to raise an eyebrow to his somewhat strange action, "But if Magneto was that willing to change his ways and help your family instead of kidnapping them...Then perhaps he has changed in some ways. I still think that we should do something...The man has been through the same ordeal as we have. But if you don't want to go through with it...Then I won't blame you."

Kitty's words actually helped Piotr to smile somewhat, which was something he hadn't done in quite some time now. Looking back at her and seeing her deep, blue eyes...He could see she had a great heart even after suffering so much loss.

"You are a very kind person to understand that Katya...I'm glad to see that this horrible ordeal hasn't tainted your heart."

"Uh...Thanks..." said Kitty, blushing profusely at Piotr's sentiment.

Kurt covered his mouth in an attempt to suppress the goofy grin that had formed on his face as a result of watching Kitty blush so much. This earned him a dirty 'not one word fur ball' look from Kitty, but didn't seem to make his humored look go away. Eventually, Kurt managed to stop his laughter and went back to eating his cereal. But as he came close to finishing, he noticed something.

"Hey...Has anybody seen Scott or Jean?"

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

Another busy signal echoed through the line as Scott let out a frustrated sigh. For the better part of the past hour, he had been trying to use the phone system of the base to contact Alex or his foster parents. But so far, he was left with nothing but busy signals and out of range messages. He knew that Alex had a cell phone and that his foster parents had to be home. But the old phone system of the base was getting out a weak signal and only adding to Scott's frustration, who feared that the dream he had last night had to be some kind of warning.

"Any luck?" asked Jean, whom had been checking on him periodically as she checked on and monitored Pietro.

"No...Still no answer," said Scott in a frustrated and worried tone.

"Not even his foster parents?"

"Nope...But I don't know why. They're usually always home on Saturdays."

"You don't think..." but Jean quickly found herself cut off before she could even begin to say it.

"No...I won't think that!" said Scott, adamant about finding his brother.

Once more, he tried again...But only to get the same busy signal that he had been getting all of the time. Now he was getting worried...If the military knew so much about them and how to take them down...Then it wasn't at all very impossible to think that they may know about him and Alex. Whoever was doing this was trying to kill all mutants...And that included his brother.

"Damn it!" said Scott as he slammed the phone down, "I still can't get through..."

Scott let out a frustrated sigh as he kept worrying about his brother and what may happen to him if the military finds him. Maybe they already did find him...But Scott refused to accept that. His brother was a survivor and a fighter...He fought with them against Apocalypse and survived surfing some of the biggest waves out there. He had to be alive...He just had to.

"What's going on here?" said a new voice coming out from the medical ward.

It was Magneto, whom had been checking up on his son along with Wanda.

"I've been trying to contact Alex for the past hour now...And every time, I get a busy signal. I know something bad is going to happen to him...Don't ask me how, I just do. It's a brother thing..." explained Scott, not hiding his anxiety about the situation.

"Alex..." said Magneto, remembering the ordeal that he had put him and Scott through back on Asteroid M, "I remember him. Do you have any clues as to where he might be?"

"That's just it..." said Scott, "I know he's in Myrtle Beach. He's at a surfing competition and he's been there since last weekend. But every time I call him on his cell, I get an out of service message. I tried his foster parents, but I can't reach them either!"

"It's okay Scott...We'll find him," coaxed Jean as she tried to calm him down.

Scott was beginning to sound desperate and Jean could sense it. She tried her best to comfort him, but nothing she did could make her forget about his brother's well being. Magneto thought about his predicament and began to think once more. His thoughts kept drifting back to what he had put Scott and Alex through in the past. He remembered how he used them...Tricked them...And nearly killed them in the end. Then...He remembered his conversation with Scott last night. He remembered how the young man had changed somewhat since this whole ordeal happened and how he helped him make sense out of things that he had been struggling with. Scott and his friends had done a lot for Wanda and Pietro and they had done a lot to help him. His conscious kept haunting him though...For everything that he had done to them, they still helped him. But...As he looked back at the distraught look on Scott's face, he couldn't help but feel worse. However...This time, he could do something about it.

"You say that he's in Myrtle Beach?" said Magneto, breaking the silence that had fallen over them.

"Uh...Yeah why?" asked Scott, not quite understanding what he was getting at.

Then, Magneto used his powers to float his helmet back over to his hands. He may not have been able to atone for the past, but he would be damned if he was going to keep struggling with the same grim cycle.

"Then that's all we need to know..." said the master of magnetism.

"What do you mean?" asked Scott, now more confused than ever as he watched the old man make his way to the elevator.

"Get a message to the others Scott...We're going to find your brother and bring him back...You have my word," said Magneto as he hit the button on the elevator going up.

Scott and Jean just looked back at each other with confused looks...Was he really being serious? Had this man really changed that much? Why was he helping them with this? Scott had to know.

"But...Why?" said Scott, still not fully ascertaining Magneto's reasons.

The old holocaust survivor just looked back at him and managed to smile somewhat at his bewilderment.

"I owe you Scott...For what I did to you and Alex on Asteroid M...And for you helping me see things a lot clearer. Now come...We have a rescue mission ahead of us..."

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

AN: That's it for now folks! Alex is still out there and now they've got to go on a mission to find him! Stay tuned to see how it pans out and what effects this will have later on. Also, X23 will emerge more in later chapters so you can look forward to that! Also, I realize I haven't visited Xavier and Wolverine in a while, but don't worry...They will play a major part soon enough! So what do you all think? Do you like this story so far? Do you like where it's going? Please tell me! Send me your reviews via email or post them on the fanfiction website! I appreciate any feedback that you have to offer me! But if you have to flame, please be considerate. Thank you all for reading and I wish everybody the best!

ALL FAITHFUL READERS! REVIEW!!!
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