Death of a Dream
Chapter 19: Battlezone
The headaches began as soon as Havok blasted his way through
the fused door, a mild, annoying pain that seemed to stem
from the center of the brain. It only worsened as they cautiously
made their way through the mansion, alert for any sign of
the X-Men, from mildly annoying to white hot knives that seemed
to stab into their eyes. All of them felt it, save Sabretooth,
Juggernaut and Spiral, who were here of their own free will
and having never been touched by the Shadow King. Psylocke
swore a string of curses and tried to ignore as best she could.
As bad as it was for them, they knew it was far, far worse
for her, being a telepath. Her mood did not improve when they
discovered the X-Men were nowhere to be found and they deduced
that they must have made for the psionic barrier outside.
Gritting her teeth, she strode defiantly toward the mansion
grounds, pushing the pain aside with all the ninja training
she had received. The pain abated...a little.
Rogue was the first one to burst through the mansion door,
and the X-Men saw her easily from their slightly higher ground
not too far away. Even easier to see, and perhaps far more
disheartening, came the huge form of the Juggernaut, quickly
followed by the rest of the Brotherhood. Storm shouted her
final commands to the team to spread out, having time to see
Logan heading straight for Sabretooth, and then the fury of
the battle was upon them.
"Been waiting a long time for this, runt," Sabretooth
growled as he lunged at Logan again, adamantium tipped claws
only grazing Logan's side rather than disembowling him as
Logan's own claws were bloody, and Sabretooth bled from a
great number of minor wounds, but neither could seem to get
a good hit on the other. As elusive as ghosts, they danced
a dance of wild, feral beauty, as intoxicating as it was deadly.
Logan did not pause for breath as he returned Sabretooth's
blow, catching him across the face with an unexpected spin.
Whatever Creed had been about to say was forgotten as he lost
half of his face to Wolverine's claws.
Completely enraged, Sabretooth roared his defiance at Logan,
the already severed muscles of his jaw giving way on the left
side of his face, leaving his jaw bone hanging at an awkward
angle. But Creed was an animal, perhaps even more so than
Logan, and the wound did little to slow his pace as he closed
in on his prey.
Gambit was completely helpless as Storm lifted him from the
ground with a whirling, angry wind, sending him spiraling
up toward her flying form. "So this is how you repay
my trust, Remy? By leading these butchers into our home to
slaughter us?" Her face was twisted with rage, and the
sky around her echoed her mood, booming cracks of thunder
and lightning ripping across the rapidly darkening clouds.
Gambit knew he had to talk fast, or he wasn't going to get
another chance. "St-Ororo...listen to me petite. Me an'
Rogue, we here to help you."
"Lies!" she cried, the thunder echoing loudly on
the heels of the word. "Do not seek to deceive me, Remy,
I know you brought them here, they could not have gotten through
the tunnels any other way."
"Den why ain't I attackin' you, petite? I could...even
from this awkward angle. You trusted me once, chere, trust
Her pupiless, white eyes narrowed as she stared at him with
hard suspicion. "On our friendship, for our friendship,
for everything we have been and might have been to each other,
you swear this is so?"
"I swear, petite. Soon as de big guy shows up, you'll
see for yourself wh-," he broke off, eyes fixed somewhere
on the battle below. "Petite," he whispered, his
face growing pale as he pointed.
Storm spun, looking to the spot where Gambit had pointed,
and felt her heart lurch within her chest at the sight that
greeted her. Logan lay upon the ground, surrounded by blood,
too much blood, she thought, and Sabretooth stood above him,
bloody claws ready to finish the fight.
She did not even think as she called the lightning to her
fingertips and sent it hurtling into Victor Creed with every
ounce of rage in her body. The force sent him sprawling into
the ground face first, skin cracked, blistered and bleeding.
She flew closer toward the ground, gathering the lightning
to her again, ready to strike the next blow if necessary.
Unfortunately, she forgot about Gambit.
He didn't even scream as he began to fall, plummeting through
the air with gaining speed. Looks like dis is de end, LeBeau,
he thought to himself as the ground rushed up to meet him.
And then, suddenly, miraculously, he stopped falling. It took
him a moment to realize that he was safe in the arms of his
beloved and flying back toward the ground at a much slower
Storm didn't even notice as Sabretooth rose from the ground,
wiping a trail of thick blood from beneath his nose. "Not
bad for a frail," he growled, "but you don't play
fair. So...since you wanna stay all safe up there in the air,
I think I'll just take care of yer lover-boy here." He
spun quicker than a cat, leaping for Logan with his claws
extended, but Storm was faster.
The lightning that poured into his body was unlike any experience
he had ever experienced, he could feel his blood boiling,
the skin blistering and blackening, peeling back from the
muscles that twitched and convulsed uncontrollably. He fell
to the ground again like a rag-doll, thinking that even in
all his years of electro-shock therapy, he had never felt
the primal rage of electricity in all its unbridled fury.
He pushed himself up from the ground again defiantly, what
was left of his face twisting into something like a smile.
"That's okay, frail. We can play this all day long. Eventually,
yer gonna be too slow, and lover-boy here is gonna buy it."
"You are wrong, Victor Creed," Storm proclaimed,
the lightning crackling about her form, bathing her in a golden
glow and encasing her in a nimbus of light. In that moment,
she resembled nothing less than the goddess she had once been
worshipped as, and even Victor Creed had to stop and admire
such beauty. For a split second.
"'Zat so, frail? You mean you don't heed pleas of mercy
anymore, or stick to that precious code the old man taught
you?" He knew she would never kill him, she just didn't
have the heart of a warrior. Too dependent on her morals and
standards to just cut loose and go with her instincts.
"You would never beg for mercy," she said, unleashing
another brief blast of electricity and throwing him to the
ground. She floated down closer, almost within his reach,
had he been able to rise at that moment. "And even if
you did, that time is past. Too many mutants- too many people-
have died at your hands, at your masters. No, the time for
mercy is done. You and your masters reign ends here. Now.
Today." The lightning poured from her like a living thing,
burning his flesh from his bone in great boiling strips. He
screamed, an animal scream of fury and pain, but even that
was lost to the howling wind that twisted and screamed its
own primal song about them. She let the power flow through
her relentlessly, until his form was little more than adamantium
skeleton and a puddle of ooze. And still she did not relent.
Glorying in the full fury of the storm that was her namesake,
she did not even feel strained as the electricity coursed
through her, invigorating her very soul. When at last she
let the power return to its rightful place in the sky, there
was nothing left of Victor Creed but his adamantium skeleton.
Rogue set Gambit down gently on the ground, off to the side
of the main activity. He flashed her a smile, and she could
not help but smile back, despite the carnage that ensued around
them. For a brief moment, she felt a fleeting hope, a moment
completely removed from the events around her. A feeling that
everything was going to be all right. And then she saw Magneto's
form floating rapidly toward the battle.
Colossus traded blow for mighty blow against the Juggernaut,
keeping his attention focused solely on him. If he could simply
keep him away from the rest of the battle until the X-Men
had taken care of the other members of the Brotherhood, the
Juggernaut was likely to leave. He had never been much of
a killer, and Colossus was surprised that he had accompanied
the Brotherhood at all. Distracted for a moment by his thoughts,
the Juggernaut landed a solid blow to his jaw, sending him
flying across the hill. He hit the ground, hard, leaving a
furrow in the soft earth as he skidded to a halt.
"Ha! Caught ya nappin, big guy!" Juggernaut called
gleefully, quickly closing the distance between them. Colossus
shook his head, trying to clear it, and then smiled as he
saw a form come into focus just behind Cain Marko's massive
"Speaking of napping," came Shadowcat's voice from
behind the behemoth, "say goodnight, Cain!" Phasing
her arm through his helmet, she passed her hand through his
spinal cord, the resulting scrambled electrons rendering the
The ground shook terribly as he fell, attracting the attention
of several people fighting nearby. A split second later, Spiral
was there, facing off in front of Kitty.
Firestar was nearly at the end of her rope. She fought valiantly
against the exhaustion of her body, forcing herself to concentrate
on keeping her power at full force. If she hesitated, even
for a second, Havok's power would bust free and take out several
X-Men, including herself.
It was nothing so much as a battle of wills, her microwave
blast holding back his raw plasma energy. They had reached
a stalemate five minutes ago, and they had been locked in
this contest of will ever since. Sweat streamed down her face
as she clenched her teeth and bore down hard, hoping to turn
back his power even for a moment. To her credit, it seemed
to push him backward just a bit, and then he increased his
own power, regaining the ground he had lost. She strained
as her muscles began to tremble with fatigue. Her source of
power was not limitless, it depended solely on how much endurance
she had, how much strain she could take. Havok's power, however,
was fueled endlessly by the sun, and though it was blocked
from view at the moment by Storm's furious weather, she knew
he could store almost endless amounts of solar energy in his
She could feel her control beginning to slip as the microwave
cocoon she had formed around his plasma weakened, his white
hot blast slowly creeping closer and closer to her. Oh God,
I've failed, was all she could think as the microwave shield
gave way completely.
"Angel!" Bobby screamed at the top of his lungs.
Everything seemed to be happening in slow motion as he watched
her form fall from the sky, plasma blast catching up to it
despite the speed with which she fell. He had no time to think
as he unleashed a massive ice blast at the plasma wave, freezing
it solid just as it enveloped her form. Too late, too late,
his mind yammered at him even as he ran to where the chunk
of ice had hit the ground.
Havok turned as he cried out, a cruel smile on his face.
"Don't worry, Iceman. Where she's gone, you'll shortly
Even before he had finished speaking, Bobby erected an ice
shield around him, protecting him from the ensuing blast.
He didn't even flinch as the ice began to rapidly melt beneath
the solar power that pulsed from Havok. Instead, he concentrated
every fiber of his being on one objective. Killing the man
who had killed the woman he loved.
Havok was still grinning as the ice shield began to melt.
I have you now, he thought, turning up the power of his blast
and trying to shatter the encasement. Then, suddenly, everything
slowed down. The world seemed to be growing fuzzy, and his
plasma blast began to ebb dangerously. One hand came up to
clutch helplessly at his throat, trying to croak out a curse
against Bobby even as he fell backward into unconsciousness.
A moment later, the ice shield burst open, shattering into
a million diamond-like fragments, and Bobby stepped out, his
expression so hard it might have been carved from stone. With
quick strides, he moved to Havok's unconscious body, kicking
him hard in the ribs. "Wake up, you bastard. I didn't
knock you out that cold."
Havok's eyes fluttered open. "Neat trick, freezing the
bloodflow to my brain like that. You should have kept going,
though." He raised his arms to blast Bobby into oblivion,
and was left open-mouthed in shock as absolutely nothing happened.
"No powers," came Leeches gravelly little voice
from behind Havok's head. Bobby looked up to see him and Marrow
just behind Havok's prone form, rage claiming his heart as
he realized that Leech had robbed him of his opportunity to
kill this man by taking all their powers.
Before he could speak, though, Marrow moved to his side,
with graceful, cat-like steps. "Good thing I keep a couple
of these handy," she said without smiling as she handed
him a bone shard. He took it from her, studying the look in
her eyes. For one brief moment, they completely understood
each other, the need for revenge uniting them. She nodded
once and stepped back, turning her back and walking away.
Leech followed behind her and Havok and Bobby were left alone.
Havok began to laugh as he watched Bobby run his hand along
the length of the bone fragment. "You don't have the
The expression on his face was one of almost ridiculous surprise
as he died, the bone fragment shoved straight through his
Lasher fell back from the blurring blows Psylocke kept landing
on him. Try as he might, he could not seem to hit her with
his energy tendrils, she was just too damned fast. He supposed
he was lucky that his own fighting skill was pretty high,
or he would have been dead a long time ago. He couldn't help
but wonder though, why it was that she didn't use her psionic
powers against him. She seemed to favor her fists and feet
instead, and he could see why she might. She was as graceful
and deadly as a jungle cat, a living weapon honed to perfection
by the deadliest assassins in the world. But it was more than
that...she enjoyed this, he realized. She preferred to fight
rather than take out an opponent from a distance, to kill
them with her bare hands. And if he wasn't careful, she was
going to do just that.
Shadowcat phased instinctively as Spiral's whirling swords
came for her, ducking just as instinctively despite her intangible
state. She realized how lucky she was that she had when one
sword cut through her arm despite her being phased. Crying
out, she cupped a hand over her arm to staunch the bloodflow,
her eyes wide with surprise. Magic, she thought, the blade
must be magic, like Illyana's was. Almost panicking as Spiral
moved in, all six weapons poised, she tried desperately to
focus on her ninja training. So the witch could cut her, it
wouldn't matter if she was phased or not, the goal was to
keep her from touching her at all. Taking a deep breath, she
stepped back and fell into her fighting stance. Then Colossus
stepped between them.
"You should not have hurt her, Spiral," was all
Piotr said, his voice grim as he drew back his fist.
"You should not be so cocky," was all Spiral said
in response, all six blades whirring to life.
Piotr did not so much as flinch, bringing his fist forward
to connect with her smirking face, confident in the fact that
her blades could not pierce his armored skin. His fist took
her in the jaw, hurtling her backward, but not before three
of her six blades sank deep into his mid-section, cutting
through the steel like melted butter.
Kitty was on Spiral before she even had a chance to realize
she had landed. The next sensation the mad dancer knew was
excruciating pain as one of her six hands seemed to explode
and be crushed at the same time.
"Let's see how well you can fight without any hands,
witch," Kitty spat as she continued phase all of Spiral's
hands into the ground, leaving her as trapped as fly in a
Storm surveyed the battle from above, taking stock of the
situation. She had seen Firestar go down, but she couldn't
think about that just now, just as she couldn't think about
Logan slowly regenerating where she had placed him after killing
Sabretooth. Her team needed her, and she meant to be there
Flying down toward the ground, she skimmed toward where Dazzler
and the Scarlet Witch were fighting Nightcrawler. She could
not help but smile as she saw that the Scarlet Witch's probability
affecting ability had a curious effect on Nightcrawler, sending
him farther and farther away from them even as he tried to
teleport up and kill them. The situation seemed well in hand,
despite the loss of Firestar, the team was holding their own
quite well. Her satisfaction warred with her grief briefly,
and then won out. They were succeeding...if only....her thought
trailed off and her heart seemed to freeze in her chest as
she saw the red clad figure floating directly toward her,
magnetic bubble supporting his weight effortlessly.
Every shred of satisfaction she had possessed suddenly drained
from her, and she was left with only mind-numbing fear as
she realized the true battle had only just begun.
Continued in Chapter
Down-Home Charm / Fan-Fiction /
Fan Artwork / History Books /
Photo Album / Songbank /
Miscellania / Links /
Legalese: Rogue, the X-Men, and the distinctive likenesses thereof
are Trademarks of Marvel Characters, Inc. and are used without permission. This is an
unofficial fansite, and is not sponsored, licensed or approved by