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

Dark Skies

by slickboy444 0 reviews

Category: X-Men: Evolution - Rating: PG-13 - Genres:  - Published: 2007-10-20 - Updated: 2007-10-20 - 4690 words - Complete

Cult of the X
Chapter 15: Dark Skies


Black clouds echoing of roaring thunder blanketed the sky over Xavier Island. Bolts of bright lightning flashed through the crisp air. In rapid form, the clouds spread in all directions. Stormy winds were kicked up, sweeping across the usually peaceful island. It signaled the beginning of the Orion Prophecy.

For the X-men and the priests of the Church of X, it was an ominous sign. Isaac, the zealot monk who sought a violent end to the corrupt order of the world, was determined to purge humanity and make way for a new Atlantis. And as it appeared, Isaac was very close to achieving this goal.

“It’s happening,” said Arion, “Just as the teachings described.”

“You mean that pole shift bit?” said Bobby, “The one that sunk an entire continent?”

“I’m afraid so.”

History was a cruel force. Over 10,000 years ago the greatest civilization in history succumbed to this fate. Now the world as they knew it may go the same route.

“There must be a way to stop this!” said Jean, the wind kicking up around them.

“I wish there was,” said Ayla, “But none of our teachings speak of any such ways.”

“Guess we’ll have to wing it,” grunted Logan.

“It may already be too late,” said Lilandra in a low tone.

“Doesn’t mean we’ll give up without a fight!” said Scott, “What about that machine Namor mentioned? The one Isaac’s probably using right now!”

“I’m not sure,” said Hank, thinking back to the recording of Namor, “Perhaps there’s a way to reverse the process, but I’d have to see for myself.”

“You’re talking about a machine zhe Altanteans couldn’t even control, Beast,” said Kurt.

“Be that as it may, that machine is our only hope,” said Xavier strongly, “We have to get to that island!”

“No problem there, my lord,” said Athena, “Isaac was careless enough to leave a map in his study. I know exactly where he is.”

“Then what are we waiting for?” exclaimed Kitty.

Just then, a loud crash of thunder echoed throughout the land. It was so great that it caused the ground to vibrate and windows to shatter down below. In the distance they could hear the panicked yells of a frightened populous. Ayla and Arion listened with anxiety, worried for their people.

“Looks like we may have to divide our resources,” said Xavier strongly, “The people of this island need help.”

“How big is the Praetorian Guard?” asked Ororo.

“Not big enough,” said Athena in a low tone.

“Then part of the team must stay behind while the rest of us go after Isaac,” said Xavier, quickly formulating a plan, “X-factor, I want you to work with Lilandra and the Guard to help the people find shelter. And since I’ll need Hank’s help, Laura will be the leader. The regulars will come with me to confront Isaac. Hopefully we can reverse the process before it’s too late.”

“You want me to lead?!” exclaimed Laura.

“That never bothered ya in the danger room,” said Logan.

“That’s different!” she said, not looking up to the task.

“No it isn’t, Laura,” said Scott, addressing the younger teen with confidence, “I know you’re used to working alone, but there’s a time to take matters into your own hands and there’s a time to work together. And from the looks of it, this isn’t something one person can take care of.”

Looking up at the sky and back at Jubilee, Roberto, Tabitha, Rahne, Amara, Sam, Jamie, and Ray the former living weapon clenched her fists with determination. As the daughter of Wolverine, she had a lot to live up to. Now she was getting a chance to show it whether she liked it or not.

“Oh boy, led by a mini-Wolverine,” muttered Ray, “This could be messy.”

“Shut up, Ray,” said Amara, elbowing him in the ribs, “Like anyone else here could be as tough as her.”

“If you want, go ahead and tell her that,” joked Tabitha, “I’m sure she’d take it in stride.”

Unwilling to risk provoking the seed of Wolverine, Ray and the rest of X-factor accepted their task. Going up against Isaac sounded like a job for the regulars anyways. And if the growing cries from below were any indication, the citizens of the island needed the help of their gods now more than ever.

“You can do it, darlin’,” said Logan, strongly grasping his daughter’s shoulder, “I know ya can.”

“I hope you’re right,” sighed Laura.

“Just leave de crazy monk to us,” said Remy confidently, “He’s just one homme. How bad can he be?”

Another burst of thunder earned Remy a series of scorns from his teammates. He didn’t try making any more comments and Rogue cast him a harsh glare just to be sure.

“Okay, better safe den sorry,” said Remy.

Aside from Remy’s comments, the task before the X-men was clear. The cloud above continued to grow, making the midday sky appear as black as midnight. Bolts of lightening grew larger and more ominous. The storm brewing was no ordinary storm. And it had to be stopped at all costs.

“If I may, I have one more request before you go into battle, my lords,” said Athena.

“What is it, Athena?” said the Professor.

“Let me come with you. Let me fight by your side.”

Rolling his eyes, Wolverine stepped in.

“Lady, the loyalty is nice and all, but…”

“This has nothing to do with loyalty, I assure you,” she said strongly, “This has everything to do with me doing my job. I vowed to uphold the honor of our teachings and failed. It’s my responsibility to make up for it.”

“Athena…” began Arion.

“And besides,” she went on, “Artemis and I have a score to settle. If you don’t understand anything else about why I do what I do, at least understand that.”

Logan cast the Praetorian leader an understanding look. Having dealt with Sabretooth and Weapon X, he of all people understood the scars old scores could leave. He could see it in Athena’s eyes. Even though his trust in her was still flaky, this was a chance to prove herself once and for all.

With a nod from Logan, the stage was set.

“Very well,” said Xavier, “You can come, Athena.”

“Thank you, my lord,” she said with a bow, “I promise I won’t let you down.”

“We could use all the help we could get at this point,” said Scott, the storm above not waning in the slightest, “Come on X-men. We’ve got a job to do.”


As the skies darkened and the storm intensified, chaos set in all throughout Xavier Island. The X-men had to act fast. Even a society as well built as the Church of X couldn’t withstand nature’s punishing blows. X-factor, led by Laura, would stay behind to help the people. The X-men would take care of Isaac and Artemis. However, a great deal of worry still remained throughout the team.

In Palace X, both teams were getting into their uniforms. They hadn’t worn them since they arrived, but there was little hesitation. The situation was serious. The whole world was at risk. And for some, that was cause for great concern.

“Jean?” said Scott as he entered the room he shared with Jean in full uniform.

“I’m ready, Scott,” said Jean, zipping up her uniform, “I’ll be down in a minute.”

“I was hoping to talk to you before then,” he said, approaching her with a concerned look.

“About what?”

Scott was silent for a moment, taking his wife into his arms and pulling her into a close embrace. Jean returned his sentiment, sensing his need for her warmth. But at the same time, she could feel a great deal of anxiety through their psychic link.

“It’s you, Jean,” he said, placing his hand over her abdomen, “I’m worried.”

“About the baby?” said Jean, running a hand down his face, “I’ll be fine, Scott. I may be pregnant, but I’m not weak.”

“I know that,” he sighed, “I just…you and I have had so many things stand in our way. And now we’ve got a chance to have a real family together. And I…I don’t want to lose you again, Jean. I don’t want to lose you or our baby.”

“You won’t, love,” she said softly, “I promise you I’ll be fine. We have to stop this. I don’t want our child to grow up in a broken world.”

“Neither do I,” said Scott, still anxious yet comforted by Jean’s warm touch, “I want to have a family with you so bad, Jean. I just…”

But Jean silenced her husband with a gentle finger to his lips.

“No more doubts, Scott. We’ve got a job to do, remember?” she said, “Let’s get it done and get back to planning for our baby.”

Her strength never ceased to amaze him. It was one of the many reasons why Scott fell in love with Jean. Setting aside his lingering doubts, Scott gave his wife another firm squeeze. A lot was on the line. They had to win this battle, not just for their generation but for the generation that was soon to come.

“I love you,” said Scott softly.

“I know. I love you too, Scott,” said Jean, giving him a warm kiss, “Let’s get through this. We’re still gods here, remember? A lot of people are depending on us.”

With so much to fight for, Scott and Jean Grey-Summers held hands and prepared for the coming battle. It was sure to be difficult, but it was one they had to win. They were going to be a family soon. They had to ensure the world was safe for the life they would build together.


In Kurt’s room, he and Rogue were in full uniform and ready to go. But before they went into battle, there were a few things they had to get out. Being on Xavier Island had brought many changes to their lives. It was about time they finally shared them.

“So Amanda’s gonna help X-factor?” said Rogue as Kurt put a picture of him and Amanda in his pocket for luck.

“Ja, she’s really anxious,” said Kurt in a worried tone, “She just revealed her powers and she’s already trying to be an X-man.”

“Well Ah sure can’t blame her,” said Rogue with a light hearted smile, “After all, she is marrying one.”

“I know,” said Kurt, smiling back, “I guess I can’t keep myself from vorrying.”

“She’ll be fine,” assured Rogue, “Amanda’s a strong gal. No force on this here planet could keep her from the altar.”

Kurt took comfort in his sister’s words. Amanda being a mutant was all well and good, but being a part of the X-men was going to take some getting used to. But if they were going to spend the rest of their lives together, they might as well share the difficulties of their lives as well.

“So I guess you’ll still be front and center at zhe ceremony vhen all zhis is over?” said Kurt.

“Nothin’ could keep meh away,” grinned Rogue.

“And who knows? At zhe rate you and Remy are going, I may not be zhe only one getting married.”

That earned Kurt a sisterly slap from her super strong sibling.

“Still a jokester,” she said, rolling her eyes.

“As if zhe vorld vould have me any other vay.”

The stage was set. Kurt was getting married after this ordeal. Rogue could sense how much he wanted this. He once thought he was doomed to a life of loneliness because of his appearance. But Amanda changed all that and that gave him all the more reason to come back to her when all this was over.

Just then, Remy knocked on Kurt’s door with Amanda close behind. He was in his uniform and carrying a new Atlantean bow staff. His presence put a smile on Rogue’s face, a gesture that didn’t go unnoticed by her brother.

“Hey, you two ready?” said Remy.

“We’ll be right down, sugah,” replied Rogue.

“Well before you go, mind if I have a private word with Kurt?” asked Amanda.

“Course not, girl,” said Rogue, “Anythin’ for mah future sister-in-law.”

Smiling at Rogue’s words, Amanda approached her future husband. Rogue and Remy gave them some privacy, making their way down the hall and towards the lower levels where the path to battle awaited.

“Got a lot ridin’ on dis one, cherè,” mused Remy.

“Ah know,” sighed Rogue, “All the more reason to make it out intact. Mah brother’s gettin’ married, Jean’s havin’ a baby, and Ah’m finally gettin’ mah life back together.”

As if to show her point, she took Remy’s hand in hers and gave it a warm squeeze. It brought a smile to the Cajun mutant’s face, making it all the more important that they see this conflict through together.

“So does dis mean ya we’re serious, mon amour?” he said in a low tone.

Rogue answered by placing a soft kiss on her lover’s cheek.

“Let’s get through this first, swamp rat,” she grinned, “Then we’ll see where this takes us.”

Encouraged by such odds, Remy slipped his arm around Rogue’s waist and held her close. They had finally gotten their relationship in order. It had taken a great deal of time and effort, but there was so much to build on. They had overcome a lot of obstacles, one more wouldn’t make a difference in the role they would play in each others’ lives from here on out.

Back in Kurt’s room, he and Amanda sat on his bed for one last moment before the battle began. Their relationship had endured a lot of strain over the years, but their love never waned. They had a lot to fight for and even more to come back to. And it was time Amanda share in the struggle.

“Are you sure you vant to do zhis, liebe?” said Kurt, holding his fiancé’s hand with great anxiety.

“I’m sure, Kurt,” said Amanda, giving his hand a squeeze, “I’ve been holding these powers in for too long. It’s time I do something good with them. Besides, if we’re going to spend the rest of our lives together I might as well share in the fight.”

Kurt couldn’t help but smile, pulling his future wife in closer for one last embrace.

“I must varn you. It’s not an easy job. It’s dangerous, stressful, and zhe vorld still hates you in zhe end.”

“I think we’re worth it,” said Amanda with a reassuring smile, “Don’t you?”

“Of course, liebe.”

Sealing this new facet of their lives, Kurt and Amanda met in a deep kiss. Their wedding made success in this battle all the more important. They were ready to build a new future together. But first, they had a world to save.

“Come back in one piece, my love,” said Amanda, gently running her hand over his fuzzy body.

“I promise,” vowed Kurt.

“Good enough for me,” she grinned, “Now let’s clear the skies for our wedding!”


Just outside the palace, lightning began to strike nearby buildings. The mutants of X-factor gathered outside with the Praetorian Guard, ready to get to work saving the thousands of island residents who were depending on them. Jubilee, Tabitha, Amara, Sam, Ray, Roberto, Jamie, Rahne, and Laura were all in uniform poised to take action. It was a daunting challenge, but one that must be done.

Logan was there for one last goodbye. His daughter usually fought by his side in major battles, but it was time she took on a greater role with the team. However, that didn’t stop her from having feelings of reservation.

“You gonna be okay, darlin’?” said Logan, both hands on his daughter’s shoulders for support.

“I don’t know,” she said, her voice wrought with uncertainty, “I’m not Beast. I’ve never led X-factor before.”

“You’re strong, focused, and dedicated. That’s all it takes,” said Logan strongly, “I know you can do this, Laura. Ya just gotta believe.”

Still anxious to no end, Laura put on a strong poise for her father. This man had given her a lot since her darkest hour back at Hydra. He took her in as family when she didn’t have anyone in the world that cared about her. Now she had a chance to show she was truly worthy of being the prodigy of Wolverine.

“I’ll do my best,” said Laura, the feral strength returning to her tone.

“That’s my daughter,” grinned Logan, giving her a kiss on the forehead, “Go get em, kid.”

While Logan went off to join the others, Laura took charge of X-factor. In the sky, tornados were forming and lightning was growing more intense. The vast power system of the cityscape was shorting out under the extreme weather, adding further chaos to the ever worsening situation. It was a daunting challenge for Laura and X-factor, but the people needed them.

“Okay Laura, you’re on!” said Jamie, “What’s the plan?”

Taking a deep breath, former weapon X23 let years of intense training take over.

“We’ll start by evacuating the tallest structures. Sunspot and Cannonball, you take care of the uppermost areas. But be careful of the lightning.”

“Don’t need to tell us twice,” said Roberto, “I hope these buildings are as strong as they look.”

“We’ll worry about that after we get the people out,” said Sam, the frantic cries of scared citizens already filling the air.

“Jubilee! You, Amara, and Ray head into the town square and clear debris!” ordered Laura, “These winds continue we’re going to have plenty of people caught in the crossfire.”

“Leave it to us!” said Ray, his fists sparking with energy.

“Just hope the rain doesn’t muff my powers,” said Amara, powering up with Roberto.

“Don’t worry girlfriend, we’ll cover you!” assured Jubilee with confidence.

“What about us?” said Amanda, standing with Tabitha, Rahne, and Jamie.

“You four are going to follow me and the Praetorian Guard into the center of the city!” said Laura, “We need to lead as many people as we can to safe shelter.”

“But what if the harbor floods?” said Rahne.

“Not to worry, my lord,” said one of the Praetorian Guards, “We have flood gates in place and a series of underground strongholds that should hold a sizable portion of the population.”

“Ever hold any drills?” asked Amanda, the imposing task of her first mission before her.

“I’m afraid not,” said a female guard anxiously.

“Are there enough for everybody?” asked Jamie, making several copies of himself.

“I’m not sure,” replied the guard, “We’ve never tested them.”

“Too late now,” said Laura, drawing her claws in preparation, “Okay X-factor! Let’s move!”

The storm was intensifying. The sea was pounding the island on all sides. Thousands of lives hung in the balance. They all knew the stakes. This was a fight against complete annihilation. She and X-factor had their part. It was up to the X-men to do theirs.


In the back courtyard of the main temple, the X-men gathered in preparation for their departure. Athena ordered an Atlantean transport craft with technology on par with the X-jet, if not more so. Every other piece of hardware was dedicated to helping the people in the city. They were the last ones capable of stopping this ancient prophecy.

Scott, Jean, Kurt, Kitty, Piotr, Bobby, Rogue, Remy, Logan, and Ororo were all standing by for takeoff. Beast and Xavier were set to fly the aircraft, gathering what little information from the archives they could on Atlantean technology. Taking apart a doomsday machine would be no easy task, but such difficulty was typical in their line of work.

Lilandara, Ayla, and Arion were also present to see their lords off. It was a magnificent sight, seeing their lords take on the roles that made them gods in the eyes of their society. But for Lilandra, seeing the wheel chair bound Professor head into the conflict was cause for great concern.

“Are you sure you want to go in like this, Charles?” said Lilandra, approaching him near the back opening before he could depart.

“I must, Lilandra,” he said strongly, “Isaac and this machine must be stopped.”

“I know,” she said, diverting her gaze, “I just…”

Taking the beautiful woman’s hand in his, Charles Xavier smiled warmly at the woman who had enchanted his every sense from the moment he first laid eyes on her.

“I’ll be fine, Lilandra. I promise.”

She was still worried, but a promise from a god was a promise to be trusted. What happened next surprised even the world’s greatest psychic. Lilandra gently caressed his face and captured his lips in a soft kiss. It surprised the professor a great deal, but he dared not fight it.

“Come back to us, Charles. The world needs a man like you.”

Encouraged by her words, Xavier entered the aircraft with a smile of confidence. Such an act did not go unnoticed by his students, but the professor was forced to set aside such chiding for the sake of their mission.

“Looks like the professor found another reason to stop this prophecy,” grinned Piotr.

“I know,” said Kitty, watching with intrigue as the Professor met with Hank in the cockpit, “I think it’s sweet, you know? I always thought he needed someone like that to come back to.”

“Always the romantic, aren’t you Katya?” smiled Piotr.

“You know it, Petey!” said Kitty, taking her boyfriend’s hand, “Love can be our greatest strength.”

“That it can,” said the Russian born mutant, drawing strength from his girlfriend’s words.

“Get a room you two,” remarked Bobby, who was sitting behind them in his ice body form.

“Oh we will!” grinned Kitty, “After the mission, of course.”

Bobby rolled his eyes. Even in the face of danger, the couples still had to be so lovey dovey. Scott and Jean were doing the same, sitting close with Jean holding Scott’s hand over her womb. Rogue and Remy were also together, still holding hands as takeoff drew near.

“Don’t tell me you feel left out, mien friend,” interjected Kurt.

“Shut up,” muttered the Iceman.

Looking out the window, Logan’s thoughts drifted back to Laura. Chances are she and X-factor were already hard at work. The winds weren’t getting any lighter and buildings were starting to crumble in the distance. While he trusted his daughter’s strength, he still couldn’t help but worry.

“She’ll be fine, Logan,” said Ororo, sensing his distress.

“Yeah, she’s a tough one,” sighed Logan, “Just like her old man.”

“You must be very proud,” said Ororo, placing a hand upon his shoulder.

“I am,” he said, managing a smile.

Ororo smiled back. A lot had changed between them. The feelings between them were strong, yet still developing. It gave them all the more hope to see this challenge through. Whatever relationship may come from such an ordeal, they would see it through together when the battle was over.

In the cockpit, the final preparations were being made. Athena was with Xavier and Hank, preparing them for takeoff. Having had more experience with Atlantean machinery, her assistance would be vital. But she had other things on her mind, namely Artemis.

“This hovercraft is called Thermopile,” said Athena as she powered up the systems, “It is among are most hardy of aircrafts, complete with advanced shields and stealth technology.”

“Will it be able to handle skies this rough?” asked the Professor.

“We’ll have to wait and see,” said Athena, hiding her anxiety.

The engines began to hum as another round of thunder rocked the outside. They weren’t sure if it was an earthquake or not, but it was becoming increasingly clear that time was running out.

“Preliminary power-up complete,” said Beast, working faster to get them airborne, “Let us see to it that the Orion Prophecy does not come to pass. And let us pray that we are not too late.”

As the high tech Atlantean aircraft took off with relative ease and shot through the air, the high priests of the Church of X bowed and prayed. Ayla and Arion had built this society. Now they were seeing first hand the ultimate manifestation of their honored legends. The gods of their faith were going up against the forces of fate in a battle of epic importance. It was the essence of the Orion Prophecy and it was finally taking shape.

“Good luck, my lords,” said Arion as he, Ayla, and Lilandra prayed, “May the spirit of Atlantis be with you.”


Magneto was in a world of pain. Everything stung. His powers had been stretched in ways they weren’t meant to be. His insides were on fire. Every muscle was weighed down with weakness. The man who made an image for himself as a strong, super mutant was at the mercy of two zealots. And for once in his life, he was powerless.

The ground shook as sparks flew from the ancient machine. Artemis and Isaac watched in unabated awe at what they had done. They admired their accomplishment with a sense of spiritual beauty. The Prophecy they so revered was taking shape. It sent their souls soaring.

Yet at the same time, it was frustrating to see Magneto cling to life.

“So beautiful…” mused Isaac as sections of the cave showed signs of instability, “It’s finally happening.”

“Indeed,” said Artemis with an accomplished smile.

Looking over at Magneto, a scorn fell upon the proud soldier’s face. As remarkable as their accomplishment was, the ultimate tyrant clung to life. She wanted nothing more than to end him.

“Nnn…” groaned Magneto, coughing up a round of blood.

“Still alive?” said Artemis in a disgruntled tone, “Well if you want to be stubborn…”

Artemis took out her gun and pointed it at the master of magnetism’s head. But Isaac quickly stepped in.

“Easy my friend,” he said, forcing the gun down, “It is not his time yet.”

“Oh come now, Isaac! The job is done! Don’t deny me this honor!”

“Need I remind you the final phase is still pending,” said Isaac seriously, “He must live until then. Afterwards…well, it’s doubtful he’ll be alive anyways.”

“As long as he suffers, that’s fine by me,” muttered Artemis, grasping the weakened man’s face in her firm grip, “Just know that every breath he takes further tempts me.”

Magneto could do nothing but gaze back into the hate filled eyes of his oppressor. His strength was waning, yet he refused to give these maniacs the satisfaction. If he was to meet his end, he would do so fighting.

Isaac had every reason to be confident. Even the incarnation of history’s greatest tyrant knelt in defeat before him. All his hard work was finally coming to ahead. At last he would make the world peaceful again. It filled his heart with joy knowing the end was so close.

“Patience my friend,” mused Isaac with great excitement, “It won’t be long now. The pole shift is almost complete! Soon the world will be poised for a new golden age! The final hour draws near. The final destiny of this world is at hand!”


Up next: The clock starts as the X-men begin their fight against the Orion Prophecy.
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