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Sentinels. Eight of them, just standing there and constantly
spouting their digitized rhetoric. The three escapees and
their hired help were less than pleased. Rogue was terrified
but hiding it well. Destiny was a bit put out. She wasn't
used to being blindsided so completely. Gambit saw dollar
Mystique swore out loud. "Stinkin' lousy luck. I bet
this never happens to Domino."
Raven was more angry than she was afraid. The Sentinels were
not something she had figured on in her plan. She had assumed
that there was no room for the hulking metal monsters since
there were no in-ground silos like there were at Trask Industries.
However, the Sentinels she saw were not physically imposing.
In fact they were the only little larger than your average
football player. Your average steroid using cyborg football
Raven didn't let that keep her from understanding the danger
they posed. She tapped Destiny on the shoulder, handing her
the knife. "Get to the transport. Stay close to the building.
It's about 50 feet away on your left."
"Yes, I know. I can hear it."
"Well, you won't be able to hear it in a second. Be
careful, Irene. We're going to get out of this alive."
Raven gave her a parting kiss on the cheek and threw herself
into the fray.
She grimaced as she realized they only had a matter of minutes
before the suppression field would come crashing down again.
She saw Rogue grappling with one of the robots in the air.
Rogue wasn't gaining any ground so Raven morphed into her
daughter's form and attacked the Sentinel from behind. Raven
grabbed one arm and Rogue took the other. They pulled and
the thing exploded in a shower of sparks and blood.
"They bleed now, Mama?" Rogue was incredulous and
disgusted. She had nothing against killing in self-defense,
but bleeding robots was a little much. Raven couldn't comfort
her at all as she broke away and attacked another Sentinel.
Raven morphed into a Sentinel and began to fire at them with
their own weapons. Her grimace became a grin as guards fled
Suddenly, she was surrounded by other Sentinels who knew
she wasn't the real deal. She spun around as they hovered,
encircling her. Rogue was still engaged with one Sentinel
and she couldn't spot Gambit.
"Surrender mutant. Your powers have been compensated
for. You will be defeated."
She reared back and hissed as she began to morph rapidly.
"Oh yeah, compensate for this, Tin Man."
Gambit saw the Sentinels as just one more thing to charge
extra for. He didn't doubt that they would be able to avoid
recapture even if his watch read "00:09:32". They
were professionals and Sentinels were basically walking computers.
He had confidence in their abilities.
What he did doubt was the overall fitness of Raven's plan.
He saw her take Destiny aside and whisper instructions to
her. When Destiny moved toward the transport truck that had
been loading soldiers to defend the main gate. Those soldiers
were all filing out of the truck and rushing towards them
to support the Sentinels' attack. There were seven of the
machines, as far as he could tell and they had seemed to erupt
from out of nowhere
He swung his bo staff out to it's full length as he noted
that Rogue was taking the fight to the Sentinels. She struck
one and pushed it high into the air, probably intending to
drop it and watch it go splat. However, it got a hold of her
and she was forced to wrestle it for control of the flight.
Seems like she's got that under control, he joked
to himself. Sentinels may be programmed to search and
capture but soldiers like these are programmed to shoot to
kill. He turned his attention to the men and their guns.
He charged a fistful of cards and rushed the guards with his
hands and eyes glowing with unhallowed energy.
Some of them recoiled. They had been trained to deal with
all kinds of mutants but this guy looked like he had crawled
up from the belly of hell. Most of them rallied, though, and
Remy found himself in the middle of a firefight. He took refuge
behind the rubble of a Sentinel that had fallen from heaven,
and tossed charged cards and scrap metal at the guards.
Abruptly, one of the Sentinels began to fire on the guards.
At first Gambit ducked too, figuring the energy blasts were
meant for him. Then he realized that this Sentinel was carefully
aiming at the guards only. He wasn't one to question gifts
Remy sprinted to the transport truck, where Destiny was holding
the young driver by knife point. What she couldn't see was
that the fledgling guard was reaching for his own weapon.
Remy stuck his bo into the boy's throat through the truck's
window. "Now, now petit, that's no way to be treating
the nice lady." He snapped his wrist hard and fast and
the boy slumped forward.
He opened the door and snapped at Destiny, "You wanna
tell me whachu t'ought you was doing 'ere? You could have
been killed and we would have had no way out of 'ere."
He turned to Irene as he pulled the unconscious body out
of the cab, expecting an answer. She sat there with a smug
look on her face. "I knew you would come. I Saw it."
He could tell what she meant by the way she said the word.
"Hmm. Handy power." He then braced himself as a
shock wave rocked the truck. He reached out for Destiny, who
was staring out the window.
"This, I didn't See."
They both stared out of the window, mouths agape. Magneto
was outside surrounded by a blue nimbus of magnetic energy.
He stood triumphant above the wrecked Sentinels that struggled
to pull themselves back together. The nimbus pulsed and the
Sentinels went still.
Gambit was distracted for a moment as the alarm on his timer
went off. He felt a wave of energy pass over him as his powers
were suppressed again. He shook it off and forced himself
to focus. He finally got a clear few of what was going on
The nimbus disappeared. Then, Magneto fell out of the sky.
Raven shifted through her repertoire of mutants quickly,
firing optic blasts, then coating them with ice, then slashing
them with claws. She kept this up, morphing before the Sentinels
could recover and counter her attack, until she came upon
a better idea. She swept her eyes around a made sure Destiny,
Rogue and Gambit were out of range. She then shifted into
the scarlet cape and helmet of one of the most powerful mutants
on earth. The Sentinels took a moment to react, to readjust
and prepare for an electro-magnetic attack. They took to long.
"Sorry suckers! We've come to the end of this little
love-train and this is were you get off." She pushed
his powers outward, shredding the Sentinels were they levitated.
As they fell to the ground and began to reconstruct, she let
out another blast, a far weaker one, but it was effective.
The Sentinels were scrambled. Permanently.
She was about to congratulate herself when she felt a wave
crash over her. "The power-dampening field!" She
was thrust back into her own form as she fell from the sky.
Miraculously, Rogue swept in to save her. As the field began
to affect her, Rogue was able to do little more than fall
with style, but it was enough to save them both from serious
They rolled to their feet running as a new wave of guards
began pouring out of the Center. They were in full riot gear,
fully prepared to deal with a few mutant escapees. The truck
was already in motion as first Rogue and then Raven launched
herself into the transport area. They were bounced toward
to front of the truck, which saved them from the hail of bullets
ricocheting off the back of the truck.
A few weapons had been left behind and Rogue and Raven returned
fire until the truck exited the Center's main fence. Out of
the range of power suppressing field, Gambit was suddenly
hurling charged objects behind them. Raven climbed into the
cab and Rogue grabbed him under his arms.
As Raven and Irene drove out into the night, Remy and Rogue
made good their escape. Rogue fended of the guards until Remy
had charged a large chunk of the road leading away from the
Center. Rogue again lifted him into the air and they flew
away just as the asphalt exploded, shutting down any chance
of pursuit. The fireball reached out to grab them but Rogue
kicked in some extra speed and they managed to avoid getting
scorched. Now all they had to do was catch up with their ride.
The ground shook and Raven watched a blast roll up behind
them. "That takes care of anyone following us but that
still leaves us with a couple hundred miles to our destination."
Raven and Destiny burned down the road, jumping to side roads
and speeding through towns until they found the road they
were looking for. I44 would take them straight to California,
their intended target.
Raven tuned the CB radio in the truck to the police band
and listened carefully for any sign of road blocks ahead.
This was the most difficult part of the plan. They had to
figure out a way to get the Los Angeles International Airport
without running across trouble.
"We will not be able to leave as planned." The
certainty in Destiny's voice rang out.
"Why not? Does something happen?" Raven was anxious.
If one more thing went wrong she'd probably have to kill that
thief instead of just shorting him. Either that or he'd kill
her. Or, he'd get sick of the whole fiasco and abandon them.
Raven knew she, Destiny and Rogue would have a hard time
of it alone. The months in the Center had taken their toll.
She was already worn out by having to fight their way to freedom.
She doubted she would be of much use in another encounter.
As much as she hated to admit it, she would need to keep the
thief around to ensure their safe passage out of the country.
So, she really didn't need anymore bad news.
"Yes. When we get to the California border, we will
be apprehended by a police road stop set up for our benefit."
"You Saw all that?" Irene's visions were rarely
"No, it's on the radio." Destiny wore a little
smile as she turned up the volume on the CB.
". . . All NST units report to the state line on I44.
Repeat, all Nevada State Trooper units report to the California
State border at I44. Nevada National Guard is in route as
support. Immediate apprehension of three female patients,
escaped at 6:23 from the Agee Center for the Criminally Insane.
Consider them armed and dangerous . . ."
Raven and Destiny were startled by a voice. "Criminally
Insane! Ah don't believe this!"
Rogue was hovering outside the window. The thief in her arms
looking quite nauseated at the prospect of travelling that
Rogue flew to the rear of the truck and deposited her cargo
inside. She touched down gratefully and sat down across from
Gambit. He took her all in as she moved around gracefully.
She was strong but still gentle. Definitely pretty, definitely
smart, definitely forbidden by his employer. He still couldn't
"So, what do we do now? Ah mean, we can't go to California."
"Wha' I wanna know is, how'd dey figure we was going
to Cali. Mystique figured dey'd assume we was heading to Vegas.
Dat's de nearest airport. I guess dey out smarted us."
Rogue watched him as he furrowed his brows, obviously trying
to think of a way to fix this latest problem. He was very
handsome. And much younger than she had thought at first.
He was only a year or two older than her, at the most. He
was obviously good, or Raven wouldn't have gone through so
much trouble to hire him. Rogue found herself staring at him
He wasn't oblivious to her attentions but he didn't respond
to them. He was trying to find the chink their plan that had
let their pursuers know were they were headed.
He had it! "The truck. Dat's how dey know what direction
we goin' in. The truck must have a homing device or somet'ing.
I gotta tell Raven." Remy grabbed the canvas sides of
the truck's covering and climbed out onto the roof.
Rogue flew out and hovered next to him as he crawled along
the soft roof. "You could've just axed me, I would have
flown you up front."
"No t'anks, petite. I like my feet on solid ground."
He grinned but he really didn't want to fly with her. Those
belly rolls were a trip.
She grabbed him anyway and they went to the cab.
After relating what he had devised, Remy asked "So what
we gon' do about it?"
Just then, they saw the lights of a truck stop ahead. Raven
looked at them and sighed. This was still her show. Their
lives were in her hands. Destiny and Rogue were her family
and the thief had done right by them, even if he was a greedy
little frazem tazem.
"First, we get a new vehicle. Then, we get a new plan."
Continued in Chapter
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