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Hate Is An Understatement
"Shoot 'em down! Don't let 'em near the site!"
the deputy of the guards bellowed as the rest of them heeded
his orders and advanced on the rest of the X-Men.
Gambit and Rogue were plunged into the heart of the battle.
Gambit struck two down with his bo-staff whilst Rogue knocked
another two with her fists. Psylocke somersaulted and landed
herself behind her attacker. Before he could react, Psylocke
stabbed the back of his head with her psi-knife, paralyzing
him before he fell heavily to the ground, unmoving. Logan
pounced and cut a thick branch from a tree, with a single
sweep of his adamantium claws, which fell on a couple of soldiers,
knocking the wind out of them. Jean reached out to many of
them through her mind and they collapsed one by one being
subjected to her "sleeping spell". She didn't notice
one, last guard creeping up behind her. Pain numbed the back
of her head and she fell unconscious.
"Jean!" Rogue swept down in time to catch the falling
Cyclops allowed himself a moment's distraction, and saw what
has happened. Anger clouding his judgment, he sent an energy
blast into the soldier's chest. He collapsed with a strangled
groan and lay limply on the ground. Not caring whether the
man lived or died, he knelt next to Jean's still form, checking
her head for any signs of bleeding.
"She's ok.. maybe just a minor concussion," Beast
"Take her to the Blackbird, Beast." Cyclops ordered
and went back to the raging war.
Meanwhile, Gambit and Psylocke had just downed a few more
guards, and stood over the unconscious bodies.
"Dis cain't be right," Gambit shook his head, confused.
"What's not?" Betsy looked at the young, brooding
"Rogue and I monitored the guards' every move ever since
we were in the bayou...they held their posts...not making
any drastic changes in their formations until...," Remy
trailed off into deep thought.
"What?" Psylocke demanded impatiently.
"Don' really know mon'ami..just dat..dere was some sort
of power disturbance or somethin'. Mon Beast's whatchemacallit
"Pray tell how it exactly 'went ballistic'?" Storm
asked as she landed next to her comrades after blowing a bunch
of young punk guards away with a mini hurricane. The other
X-men, having cleared off the attacking foes for now, gathered
together in the clearing. Rogue handed the tracker to Cyclops.
He inspected it thoroughly.
"It just messed up, like a broken down television."
"Nothing remotely wrong with the tracker." Cyclops
commented, weighing the device in his hands.
"Uh-huh. So....?" Iceman prodded impatiently.
"Which means there was another power source intervening
with the tracker's homing device."
"The space craft?" Warren asked.
"Couldn't be..it's still too far to disturb the tracker's
reception like that."
"That means...," Rogue began.
"Dat we're not alone,"Gambit finished.
Logan retracted his claws, "This was a friggin' set-up;
somebody set the alarm off on us."
"But there are no alarms this far off from base!"
Bobby looked around him.
"Mebbe...but what Logan be tryin' t'say is dat somebody
triggered de alarms back at de base...which means somebody
beat us to the space craft and knows dat we're comin'."
"But who-?" Rogue was interrupted by the shrill
laughter of another woman.
They looked up to see a beautiful woman hovering above them,
her thick blonde hair flowing with wild abandon behind her.
She had her hands on her rounded hips, legs apart in a threatening
stance. She wore a skimpy red outfit that clung to every curve
of her magnificent body. She was the embodiment of beauty
but the evil malice glinting in her eyes stained her otherwise
"Candra!" Gambit hissed audibly.
"Shouldn't have returned so soon, my handsome one,"
she drawled. "But I must admit, Remy I'm glad you did,
and now I get to destroy not only you but the brave X-Men
as well." Her eyes strayed to the others and she added
dangerously. "Some of the most powerful mutants on Earth."
"Oh yeah?" Logan challenged. "You and what
Candra grinned menacingly as she snapped her long fingers.
Out of the shrubs, an elite group of tough warriors crept
out of the dark shadows. Remy's eyes reduced to slits as he
sneered at enemies not forgotten.
Continued in Chapter
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