Categories > Cartoons > X-Men: Evolution > Cult of the X

Great Escape

by slickboy444 1 review

Six years after Apocalypse the Xmen struggle against growing mutant hatred. Then one day they come across a mysterious group who sees them not as freaks, but as gods. Multiple pairings.

Category: X-Men: Evolution - Rating: R - Genres: Action/Adventure, Drama, Fantasy - Characters: Avalanche, Berzerker, Blob, Boom Boom, Cannonball, Colossus, Cyclops, Gambit, Iceman, Jean, Magma, Magneto, Multiple, Mystique, Nightcrawler, Professor Xavier, Quicksilver, Rogue, Scarlet Witch, Shadowcat, Storm, Sunspot, Toad, Wolfsbane - Warnings: [!] - Published: 2007-07-21 - Updated: 2007-07-21 - 4711 words - Complete

Cult of the X
Chapter 2: Great Escape


Everything was happening so fast. First a sentinel tried to kill Mayor Kelly then the next thing the X-men knew everybody was blaming it on them. Never mind the fact that something besides them destroyed it, but now they were even more confused.

"Please, follow us!" said the woman who called herself Athena, "We'll get you out of here!"

"Wow, hold up!" said Scott, confused about this sudden shift, "Church of X? What's the Church of X?"

The woman shifted anxiously, scanning the area. The screams from the terrified crowd grew louder and sirens could be heard in the distance. Police and authorities were already trying to handle the crowds while Mayor Kelly's security force known as GRSO was mobilizing and taking aim right at them. This was bad already, but it was about to get worse. And they couldn't have their lords in the crossfire.

"I wish nothing more than to give you the answers you deserve, but there's no time! Please allow us to help!"

"Professor?" asked Ororo, not sure what to do.

"No, she's right," said Xavier, "But we can't leave without the others! X-factor is still out there and so is Wolverine!"

"Leave that to me," said Athena, humbly bowing before the wheel chair bound man, "You have my word no harm will come to them."

Her actions warranted further suspicion, but there was little time to debate. The rumble of unmarked trucks and vans carrying GRSO soldiers were drawing near and the X-men were the prime targets. There were still plenty of questions about this Church of X and this woman calling herself Athena, but that was a concern for another time.

"Legion one, take the X-men to the Sparta at extraction point, alpha," she ordered one of her subordinates, "Guard Xavier and his X-men with your lives. Legion two, come with me!"

Without question, the team of commandos followed. They cared little about their own lives, jumping into the streets in search of X-factor and Wolverine. Meanwhile Xavier, Scott, Jean, Rogue, Remy, Ororo, Hank, Kitty, Kurt, and Piotr had a lot of ground to cover.

"This way, my lord," said one of the masked commandos, "We'll get you out of this! We'll give our lives if we must!"

"Never was one to pass up a good opportunity," said Remy as they followed the mysterious soldiers.

"It still doesn't add up," said Scott, remaining suspicious.

"Worry about zhat after ve're clear, mien friend," said Kurt, hoping to leave before memories of past lynching resurfaced.

The Professor set his suspicious aside for the moment as Beast guided his hover chair down the streets with the loyal guards watching them every step of the way. It was an unexpected turn, but it was better than being surrounded by hostiles. They only hoped X-factor would fare just as well.


Back in the mangled streets, X-factor maneuvered through the dispersing crowd and gathered around the wounded Logan. Jubilee, Sam, Ray, Roberto, Tabitha, Amara, Jamie, Rahne, and Laura all helped Logan as he healed. Laura, being Logan's adopted daughter, was especially concerned. But injuries were only one of their problems.

"Are you okay, Dad?" asked Laura, helping Logan stay upright.

"I'm gettin' there," grunted Logan, "It was just an explosion. I've been in plenty."

"Yeah, they must be a dime a dozen for you," joked Tabitha.

"Now ain't the time, Boom Boom!" grunted Logan, "We have to find the others!"

"Great..." said Ray, rolling his eyes, "We just have to pass a war zone first."

As if on cue, the darkly dressed guards from the GRSO security force showed up and with guns at the ready and took aim at the team of mutants.


"I hate it when I'm right," muttered Ray.

"So do I," groaned Roberto.

With a feral grunt, Logan stood in defiance to protect the team he helped train over the years. These weren't cops or soldiers. They weren't bound to serve and protect. That's why he remained especially suspicious. Laura remained by his side, but in the confusion of the sentinel attack nobody was safe and mutants were the usual scapegoat.

"Easy pal," said Logan, his claws drawn in defense, "Let's not make this messy."

"No, I insist!" said the stern gunman.

His gun aimed right at the cornered mutants, the gunman fired a shot at Logan. And to his surprise and the rest of the team's horror, they were lethal rounds.

"Augh!" he grunted, "Live bullets, eh?"

"Not another word!" he bellowed, "You freaks are going down now!"

It was not exactly crowd control material and these guys clearly had no qualms about using it. The team was cornered. Logan remained defiant while the others weren't as hopeful. It didn't bode well for their public image.

"I thought cops didn't use lethal bullets," said Jamie anxiously.

"Uh hello? These guys aren't cops," groaned Tabitha.

"Oye, what a world," said Rahne.

"SHUT UP!" bellowed the GRSO gunman, "BACK OFF OR I'LL..."

Suddenly, Athena and her men made their presences known.

"Get away from them, heathens!"

Leaping fearlessly into the melee, Athena and her men landed right in front of Wolverine and X-factor, opening fire with their high tech guns. Only theirs didn't fire bullets. They fired what looked like lightning bolts. The hapless men of the paramilitary security force hit with a heavy barrage that would have given Storm some fierce competition. It wasn't lethal. It only knocked them out cold. Yet it left X-factor at a loss for words.

"Wow," said Ray, "I gotta get me one of those."

Their weapons hummed as their adversaries fell unconscious. With little time to waste, Athena and her men bowed before Wolverine and the young team with the same respect they had with Xavier.

"Are you okay? Do you require any medical attention?"

Wolverine looked at the commandos with great suspicion. His claws were still drawn, never trusting something that looked too good to be true. He had seen soldiers of all kinds in his vast combat experience, but these guys were truly something else.

"Damn, that's the nicest thing anybody's said to us all day," said Jubilee.

"Quiet!" ordered Logan, "Who the hell are you?!"

"Lord Wolverine," said Athena respectfully, "I am Athena, warrior for the Church of X. We were sent here to assist you."

"Church? When did we get our own church?" said Roberto.

"I don't know, but I'll take it over a giant robot any day," said Amara.

Yet Logan wasn't convinced.

"Assist us, huh?" said Logan, clenching his fists, "Give me one good reason to believe you!"

Athena and the guards remained firm, maintaining their respect. They had the obvious poise of soldiers and it was also evident they were very loyal, but that only made Logan more suspicious.

"I understand we have just met and you don't know the whole story. But if you do not trust us, at least trust your leader, Charles Xavier. He's the one who told us to help you."

Logan studied Athena's poise. She was bold, assertive, and forthcoming. Her demeanor was steady and her words focused. If she was lying, he would have sensed at least a trace. But from what he could see, this woman believed in everything she was saying. Then much to the surprise of the others, he withdrew his claws.

"Fine, if Chuck said that then I'll take your word for it," said Logan.

"You believe her?" asked Laura, remaining defensive.

"Does it look like we got a choice?" he replied, "But if I suspect for one second you guys are bullshitting us..."

But that was all Athena needed.

"Rest assured we are completely sincere. Just follow us and we'll protect you with our lives. And if you deem it necessary by the end, you may punish us as you see fit."

That definitely came as a shock to Logan, but he didn't have time to ponder it. More chaos could be heard in the distance and units from the security force were down on them in all directions. He had plenty of questions, but they would have to wait.

"Good enough for me," said Sam, "So how do we get out of here?"

"Follow us," said Athena as she led them down an alley, "Your escape awaits."


Back with Xavier, the loyal guards led him and his team through narrow streets and alleys away from the chaos. Unmarked helicopters hovered overhead, scanning fervently for any trace of the mutants who were deemed responsible for the attack. Specially modified cars and jeeps ran by the GRSO security force combed the streets. But the mysterious guards remained determined to get them out.

"This way! We must stay out of sight from the helicopters!"

"Boy, it looks like they really planned this out," said Kitty, "How many private armies have helicopters?"

"Don't tell me you're surprised," said Rogue cynically, "Who's to say they didn't plan this out to begin with?"

"Try not to jump too conclusions yet, Rogue," said Hank, staying close to Xavier with a couple of guards, "We can ponder this conundrum when we are out of the crossfire."

"Doesn't take much pondering if ya ask me," quipped Remy as they turned a corner.

But regardless of whether or not they were set up, the X-men had an army to escape. Following the loyal guards, they neared the major roads again. The streets were jammed with traffic. People were running through the streets in a panic, not knowing what was going on. It was hard to go unnoticed, yet the commandoes pushed them on.

"Over here! Hurry!"

Suddenly, they were spotted by some gunmen who were prowling the area. They didn't weren't out to maintain the peace. They left that to the NYPD. They had one job and it was to take down the X-men.

"There they are! Stop them!" yelled one of the gunmen.

Taking out his gun, one of the gunmen leaned over the hood of a car and fired indiscriminately at the team of mutants. Immediately, the X-men tried to take cover. But Remy was unlucky enough to be in the line of fire.

"Augh!" yelled Remy, the bullet tearing into his flesh.

"Remy!" exclaimed Rogue, catching him as he fell to the pavement.

Seeing one of them fall sent the commandoes into a fury. And with fierce loyalty, they erupted into a rage.

"NO! BARBARIC MONSTERS!" yelled one of the commandoes.

Taking aim with his gun, he fired at the heathen. Bolts of lightning shot out, knocking the gunman back nearly ten feet and into his comrades. The bolt then arced to a nearby jeep, causing it to explode in a fireball.

"Go! You must get out of here!" he yelled.

"Wait!" said Jean, watching as the man stood fearlessly in the line of fire.

"Forget out me! You are all that matters!"

More gunmen fired, trying to hit the X-men as they turned down another alley. One lone commando stood in defiance, firing his weapon indiscriminately. These monsters hurt one of their lords. They had to pay the price.

"Hrrrraahhhhhhhhhhh!" yelled the commando, downing as many officers as he could.

"This guy's crazy! Take him down!"

Focusing their aim on the fanatical guard, the marines unloaded their guns into the man. Two bullets ripped through his chest, but he kept firing. Another hit him in the hand, but he still wouldn't stop. Finally, they got his weapon, causing it to spark and short circuit. But the man still wouldn't go down. Instead, he took out a knife and charged the barricade of officers.

"FOR THE GLORY OF THE X-MEN!" he proclaimed.

Running wildly into the melee, he was cut down by a shower of bullets. Even after he fell, he kept trying to fight. It took a bullet to the head for him to finally stop, but he didn't show an ounce of regret.

"Oh God," said Jean, having seen and sensed it from start to finish.

"Come on, Jean! We have to keep moving!" said Scott, gripping on his wife's hand.

Setting aside the strange yet horrific scene she just witnessed, Jean pressed on with the others as they followed the remaining commandoes to another street. Gates and dumpsters impeded their path, but the commandoes easily blasted them away, clearing the path for their lords.

"Where are we going?" asked Xavier, "Where are you leading us?"

"You'll see! We're almost there!" assured one of the commandoes, "We just have to get to the George Washington Bridge!"

"The bridge?!" exclaimed Rogue, "What about Remy?! He needs a hospital!"

Remy coughed up a round of blood, gritting his teeth in pain. The wound was pretty deep and he was in a lot of agony, but the commandoes pressed on.

"He will be cared for. You have my word. We just have to..."

But as they stepped out into the street, they were met with yet another impediment. This time it came in the form of a barricade of unmarked black vans, each of them loaded with lethal arms. They cut off the path to the bridge and any other path of escape. This time, they left nothing to chance.

"END OF THE LINE, X-MEN!" said the lead gunman.

"This day just keeps getting better and better," groaned Bobby.

The commandoes remained defiant, standing close to the X-men and shielding them with their bodies. It was a curious show of loyalty that further intrigued Xavier. Whatever was driving these soldiers, it was very strong.

"You dare to harm the only voice of peace and reason in this bludgeoned world?!" exclaimed one of the commandoes.

"Save it for someone who cares," said the gunman, "Either get out of the way or go down with them! Either way they're going down after what they did to Mayor Kelly!"

"Not as long as there is a breath in our bodies!"

The commandoes took aim at the barricades. Even though they were outnumbered and surrounded, they were willing to fight to the death.

"Good Goddess," gasped Ororo, "Charles, we have to stop this."

"I wish I could, Storm," said Xavier as two helicopters hovered overhead, "But I believe this situation is beyond our control."

The air grew tense as the gunmen took aim. They were not going to listen to reason. Not a cop or official was in sight to stand them down. It was almost as if they had been purposefully cleared away so they could have a clear shot at them. Yet the commandoes remained defiant.

"Say goodnight, freaks!"

"Wait! Don't do this! We don't need anymore bloodshed!" urged Scott, keeping his hand on his visor.

"You should have thought about that before you tried to kill Mayor Kelly!"

The gunmen weren't going to listen. Enough damage had been done, but they still wanted more. And with Remy already wounded there seemed to be no way out.

"Dang! What do we do now?!" said Rogue, growing more concerned for Remy's health.

"Patience my lady," said one of the commandoes, "Help is on the way."

Suddenly, a blue stream of light shot down from above, hitting the barricade blocking the bridge. And in a blinding flash, two heavy vehicles burst into flames and knocked scores off hapless officers back.

"AMBUSH!" yelled the other barricade as they scrambled for cover.

Another shot came down from above, this time on the other barricade to the south end of the street. The ensuing burst shattered windows and forced the X-men to shield their eyes. But when the smoke cleared, the trap laid by the gunmen was in ruin. The best private security force money could buy couldn't account for surprise. It even left a few gunmen dead.

It came as a major shock since these mysterious soldiers seemed to be strict about not killing anybody up to this point. But whoever fired that shot wasn't thinking about the morality of his actions.

"Fear not, my lords! The path is clear now!" came a voice from above.

"Artemis!" said one of the commandoes with a salute.

"At ease," said the female soldier as he came in via a high tech jet pack that seemed to turn off gravity, "The path is clear now, X-men. We can make our escape."

But for the team of bewildered mutants, this was getting to be too much.

"Are you nuts?!" exclaimed Kitty, "You just blew up half a block! You probably killed some of those men!"

"They were going to shoot you, my lord," said Artemis humbly, "It was the only way."

"You don't know that!" she exclaimed.

"Easy Kitty," said Jean, holding her back, "We have to keep moving!"


"She's right," said Xavier, silencing Kitty despite the obvious conflict she still felt, "This is getting out of hand. Whoever this so called security force is, they will not listen to reason! We have to leave before any more lives are endangered!"

"Agreed," said Artemis, "Which is why we have already made arrangements."

Hitting a button on her watch communicator, the waters beneath the George Washington Bridge suddenly came to life. Massive bubbles erupted from beneath, the surface of the water breaking as a huge, triangular craft ascended into the air.

It was a sight that stunned the gunmen and every other onlooker for that matter. It looked too high tech to be made by humans. Even the X-jet couldn't come close to such a sight. The whole craft shimmered in a dark, purplish glow. It hummed with great power, yet floated so effortlessly through the air. Intelligent minds were clearly behind this machine.

"Mien Gott," said Kurt.

"Bet they don't have that on Star Trek," joked Bobby.

The craft hovered neared the south end of the bridge. From the front tip, a walkway extended and on top of the craft, an oversized hatch opened up.

"Hurry my lords! The Sparta will take us to safety!"

"But what about Logan and X-factor?" asked Beast, not forgetting about their friends.

Artemis hit a few commands on her communicator.

"Athena? Do you read?" said Artemis into the device.

"I read you, Artemis. Is the Sparta ready?"

"Almost," she reported, "One of them has sustained injury. Where are you now?"

"Closing in on the bridge," replied Athena, "But that damned helicopter is on us!"

"Hold on, I'll be there," she said.

"No! Make sure the X-men are safe! I'll take care of it! That's an order!"

With a frustrated grunt, Artemis turned to the X-men.

"Your friends are near! I'll make sure they arrive safely!"

"But what about Remy?!" demanded Rogue, "He needs help!"

"We have medical equipment on board," assured Artemis, "Just hurry before..."

But the helicopters overhead weren't going to make it any easier for them. With one bearing down on X-factor and the other on the Sparta, the private security force weren't going to let the X-men go. Part of their deal with the Mayor was to take them down if they made a move. And this definitely qualified.

"Stop! You people are aiding the enemy of humanity!" said the lead gunman over a loudspeaker in the helicopter, "Surrender now and you can walk!"

"We will never surrender!" yelled Artemis, "I'll die before you lay a hand on our lords!"

"Oh boy," said the pilot, "Guess we'll have to break out the big guns. Fire grenades!"

On demand, two officers manning an opening in the helicopter fired two projectiles at the X-men. They just missed Artemis, but as soon as they hit the ground a cloud of noxious fumes covered the area.

"Ack! Tear gas!" said Piotr, instinctively holding his breath.

"Into the ship!" ordered Xavier, covering his mouth.

One by one, the X-men got into the safety of the Sparta. However, some weren't fast enough and the grenade happened to explode right in front of Kitty, giving her a much greater dose of the gas. She tried to get away, but the fumes were too much. Her lungs burned and her body failed her, collapsing to the ground.

"Katya!" exclaimed Piotr, holding his breath and going after his girlfriend.

"No! Infernal heathens!" yelled Artemis, aiming her weapon at the helicopter and firing another intense round.

"HIT THE DECK!" yelled the gunmen on board.

The blades of the helicopter were warped and sparks flew inside the craft. Smoke and fire erupted as the craft descended wildly towards a crowded building while the gunman inside scrambled to get away. Some weren't fast enough, and even though they were ruthlessly pursuing them with no regard for innocent life, they didn't deserve to die.

"No!" yelled Jean, stopping before she entered the Sparta.

Using her telekinetic powers, Jean diverted the aircraft and slowed its descent. It put undue mental strain on her mind in addition to fighting off the gas. But she couldn't allow more bloodshed.

"Ugh!" she grunted, nearly passing out from the gas and strain.

"Jean!" exclaimed Scott, catching his wife, "It's okay! I've got you!"

The helicopter landed safely, the people inside safe from further harm. It was a relief for the X-men, but not so much so for Artemis.

"Bah!" she scoffed, "Those heathens don't deserve to live."

Just then, she got another call on her wrist communicator.

"Artemis! It's Athena! We're coming in!"

"Affirmative," said Artemis, hearing the second helicopter near, "We're ready for you."

Down the street where one of the police barricades was still a smoldering heap, Athena and her team emerged with Wolverine and X-factor close behind.

"There it is!" said Athena.

"Wow, what the hell is that thing?" said Ray upon seeing the Sparta.

"Our ticket out of here," said Athena, "Your friends are already on board."

"I like it!" said Tabitha, "Sure beats the hell out of flying here on the Velocity!"

The end was in sight. The ordeal was almost over. However, the helicopter overhead wasn't going to make it easy for them.

"You wanna give them one last warning?" said the pilot on board.

"We have our orders," grunted the gunman, loading up his launcher as he manned the side opening of the craft, "The boss put up a big bonus for anybody who took them down. And I intend to collect!"

Ignoring standard protocol, the officer launched a large projectile right at X-factor. They ran close together, surrounded by Athena's commandoes on all sides. But the grenade hit right in the middle, causing plenty of damage as it exploded overhead and launched a shower of hard rubber bullets.

"Get down!" yelled Logan, forcing Amara and Roberto power up while he protected Ray and Rahne.

But some weren't so lucky as Jubilee felt several hard stings course and Jamie was knocked to the ground, landing right on his arm.

"Ahhhhhhhhhh!" howled Jamie, feeling the bones in his forearm snap like twigs.

"Jamie!" exclaimed Sam, coming to his friend's aid.

While the Sam and the commandoes helped him, Artemis cast an angry glance to the helicopter.

"May the gods grant you no mercy in the next life!"

Taking aim, she fired her weapon, launching a wave of lightning at the helicopter. The aircraft shorted out almost immediately, causing it to fall to the street below. The men got out and the stern woman soldier was poised to finish them off.

"DIE HEATHENS!" yelled Artemis, preparing to blow them away.

"No! Stand down, Artemis!" ordered Athena.

"But our lords!" she said angrily.

"That is not our way and you know it! Now stand down and prepare the Sparta for launch!"

"Yes ma'am," said Artemis bitterly.

Taking the rear, Athena made sure there were no more surprises as Wolverine led the rest of X-factor into the craft. He kept his eye on these strange commandoes. He still didn't trust them even though the others seemed enthralled to have a group who didn't want to kill them. He was the last to enter as he helped Sam get the wounded Jamie in. But a look of suspicion never left his face.

"Father, come on!" urged Laura.

"Right," he said with a grunt, "Let's get out of here."

"Agreed," said Athena, the last to enter, "You're safe with us, my lords. Let us take care of the rest."

With the final occupant on board, the hatch closed and the massive craft descended into the water. It made no noise, moving smoothly and efficiently. Bewildered onlookers and authority figures watched in awe, not knowing what to make of it. The relentless GRSO force tried to fire their guns at the craft, but it was already too late. And with perfect stealth, the craft disappeared beneath the waters with the X-men on board.


Once they were clear of the city, things settled down in the Sparta. Inside the vessel, the X-men found it surprisingly spacious and high tech. It looked more like a starship than a submersible. The technology running this craft was clearly more advanced than anything the rest of humanity could muster. But that only left more questions.

"Amazing! Truly amazing!" said Beast, running his hands along the walls.

"Thank you, my lord," said Athena with a humble bow, "I hope our accommodations are to your liking."

"I'm not complaining," said Roberto, admiring the layout of the craft.

But for some, the grandeur of the craft was overshadowed by other matters.

"Hey! What about Remy!" said Rogue angrily, still holding the wounded Cajun in her arms, "Ah can't stop the bleeding!"

"Yeah, and Jamie too! His arm's broken!" exclaimed Sam.

"Augh!" grunted Jamie, "Don't touch it!"

Athena punched in a few commands on a control panel on the wall. Almost immediately, a few doors opened and several figures emerged. Three were women and one was a middle aged man, each of which wore attire resembling a mix between Ancient Rome, Ancient Persia, and technology similar to Apocalypse's.

"Fear not, my lords. Our healers will tend to your injuries," said Athena.

"Fine," grunted Logan, folding his arms, "Doesn't mean I trust you."

"They got us out, didn't they, Wolverine?" said Piotr as he laid Kitty down so the healers could work.

"Still not good enough," grunted Logan.

"Maybe not for you, old friend," said Xavier as he approached Athena, "I, on the other hand, am indebted to you and your teams."

"You humble us, Lord Xavier," said Athena, bowing respectfully.

"Why do you keep calling us that?" said Scott, standing besides the Professor with Jean and Beast, "Who are you people?"

Athena and Artemis rose from their respectful stances and set down their weapons. Every guard followed suit, abandoning their armaments and removing their masks so they could gaze upon their lords. The X-men were surprised to see that they were a diverse crowd. There were nationalities from all over as well as both women and men. All looked young, attractive, and strong. And every one of them looked at the X-men with great reverence.

"Such questions are not for us to answer in full," said Athena, "We are but protectors. My troops and I make up the Praetorian Guard."

"Praetorian Guard? You mean the same guard from Ancient Rome that protected the Emperor?" said Amara, recognizing that from her life as a princess on Nova Roma.

"Indeed, only our allegiance is not to Rome or any other body in the known world," said Artemis, "We serve the Church of X and the lords who bless it."

"Right, this crazy church of yours," said Logan skeptically, "So where exactly is it? The same place where elves and wizards hang out?"

"Logan..." groaned Ororo.

However, Athena was not offended. Even the intimidating leer of the Wolverine didn't scare her or her associates. They maintained the same level of respect and loyalty they had from the beginning. Where such dedication came from was anybody's guess. But now that they were on some strange ship heading into the unknown, the mystery only deepened.

"It's alright, my lord," said Artemis, "I understand your suspicions. Rest assured, we will give you all the answers you desire once we return."

"Return?" said Xavier, "Where exactly are you taking us?"

"Back to our home, of course," said Athena with a smile, "Back to the main grounds of our humble church. We affectionately call it the Xavier Island."


Up next: the X-men arrive at Xavier Island
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