“OHMIGOD! OHMIGOD! OHMIGOD! OHMIGOD! OHMIGOD! OHMIGOD! OHMIGOD! OHMIGOD! OHMIGOD!“
Kurt had released Kitty as soon as they exited the teleport, and she had immediately fallen into a terrified mantra. She had no idea of exactly what Kurt had in mind, but judging by what he’d done to Mr Logan and Mystique, it couldn’t be anything good.
“OHMIGOD! OHMIGOD! OHMIGOD! OHMIGOD! OHMIGOD! OHMIGOD! OHMIGOD! OHMIGOD! OHMIGOD!”
But if she’d taken time to actually look at him, she would have seen him fold his arms and roll his eyes in exasperation. If she’d taken time to draw breath, she would have heard the tic, tic, tic of his clawed toes as he tapped his foot in annoyance.
“OHMIGOD! OHMIGOD! OHMIGOD! OHMIGOD! OHMIGOD! OHMIGOD! OHMIGOD! OHMIGOD! OHMIGOD!“
But she didn’t.
“OHMIGOD! OHMIGOD! OHMIGOD! OHMIGOD! OHMIGOD! OHMIGOD! OHMIGOD! OHMIGOD! OHMIGOD!“
“SHUT UP!” He finally snapped.
The sound and tone of his voice brought her back to reality with a thud.
“Hey!” She said. “He said you couldn’t talk.”
“He says a lot of things.” Kurt countered. “Besides…he said I HADN’T talked, not that I COULDN’T.”
“Now you’re just getting picky!”
He just snorted in response. Kitty looked at her feet and hugged herself tightly. She still had no idea what he had planned for her. He’d never been so intimidating before. Even when she’d first met him, before she’d adjusted to his demonic looks, she’d never felt this uncomfortable around him. She glance up at him, frowning when she realised she was looking up. In his true form Kurt had a tendency to stoop or crouch, as if he was trying to make himself smaller, less obvious, in a vain hope to draw attention away from himself. But now he was standing tall, proud, self assured.
“Come vith me.” He said emotionlessly.
“Why?” She asked with an obvious quiver in her voice.
“I need you to do something for me.” He added in the same tone of voice.
“What?” She asked.
“Vhy do you have to ask so many questions?” He snarled.
“Because I don’t know…if I can…well…” She stammered.
“Trust me?” He finished for her.
“Well…yeah…” She whispered.
“I’m not going to hurt you, Kitty.” He assured her, though it was hard to accept it in his flat tone of voice. “I need you to hack into Sinister’s computer…”
“WHAT?” She gasped.
“He has files on all of us…” Kurt continued. “Vith a great deal of information, vhich he has not shared vith us. I vant to see mine.”
“Why?” Kitty asked.
Kurt somehow managed to bite down his annoyance. “Because he claims that he knows the identity of my father…my REAL father.”
“Your father…?” She echoed. She saw the first trace of emotion on his face as he spoke of his unknown heritage. “Considering who your Mom is…do you really want to know?”
“Considering who my mother is…could it be any vorse?” He countered.
“You have a point.” She admitted. “Unless it turns out to be Sabretooth or something…”
“Don’t even joke like that…” He grumbled.
“Isn’t it more important to help the others?”
“They’ll be fine.” Kurt told her. “He’ll be gloating for hours…”
“But you are gonna help them, right?” She implored. “He admitted that he hadn’t broken you…so you’re still you…aren’t you?” She looked at him with wide shinning eyes. She knew he’d been changed by whatever Sinister had done to him, but she knew the real Kurt had to be in there somewhere, under all that anger and malice.
“More or less.” He admitted. She continued to stare at him with those verdammt eyes. “Okay! Fine! Put it on a disk and I’ll look at it later!”
“I knew my fuzzy elf was still in there!” She squealed. “Now where’s this computer?”
Kurt pointed to a highly sophisticated set up. The techno-geek side of Kitty’s personality was beyond delighted. She sat down at the console, scanning the system with a knowledgeable eye. Kurt was pacing angrily back and forth, muttering to himself in German. It was quite distracting. And disheartening.
“What did he do to you?” Kitty whispered. She hadn’t meant for Kurt to hear it, but he did anyway.
“Exactly vhat he said he did…locked me up in my own mind…”
“But you’re not…”
“He locked away everything that is good and gentle in me…all he’s left me vith is bitterness and anger! I can’t FEEL anything…” He sighed, and even that sounded angry. “Or for anyone…” He added quietly.
“GOTT!” He growled, slamming a fist into the wall, leaving a noticeable dent. “How does Logan live like this?”
Kitty lowered her head and set to her work.
“Kurt…” Kitty asked softly with a frown. “Have you even tried to get this yourself?”
“No…I vas kind of busy being tortured by a chalk-faced megalomaniac and his heartless lackeys.” He muttered. She shuddered at the thought. “Vhy do you ask?”
“It’s not even encrypted…” She pulled a blank CD from a box on a shelf above the giant, flat-screen monitor, loading it in the disk drive. “Either that, or we lucked out and he was actually working on your files when we arrived.”
She pulled the freshly burned CD from the drive and held it up for him. He snatched it from her hand and slipped it into the gauntlet on his left arm.
“Right…” He approached her in what he hoped was an unthreatening way, but she still flinched when he reached for the collar at her throat. “Try to relax…” He said. “This von’t take long…”
“What are you gonna do?” She asked in a terrified whisper. Kurt didn’t reply, he gently slipped his fingers beneath the collar… and teleported.
Kitty screamed at the strange sensation of the tearing at her throat as the collar dematerialised with Kurt, but she didn’t. He reappeared less than a foot away, studying the device in his clawed hands.
“Hmmm…” He mused. “It vorked.” He looked at Kitty. “There vas a possibility that I vould take you head along vith the collar.”
Her jaw dropped. He knew he could have killed her with that move, and he’d done it anyway, with absolutely no concern for her safety. He really didn’t care. A part of her wanted to cry.
‘No wonder he was so unresponsive to Wanda…’ She thought. There was no mistaking the look in the surly teen’s eyes, in her body language, as she looked at the blue-furred mutant.
“Now…” He said as he put the collar down on Sinister’s desk. “I vill go in and create a diversion…once all attention is focused on me…you come in and short out the other’s collars vith your phasing power…”
“Create a diversion?” She frowned. “What are you gonna do?”
“Pick a fight vith Sinister.”
“But that guy’s enormous!” Kitty protested. “And he’s got those other jerks to back him up! You can’t take him on on your own!”
“I von’t be alone.” Kurt assured her.
Essex watched dispassionately as Harpoon and Scalphunter dragged Wolverine over to the other captive mutants. Mystique was still sitting, sobbing, in the middle of the room. Riptide kicked her.
“Move!” He commanded.
She glared up at him, noticing the strapping on his nose. She arched a brow.
“Yeah.” He grumbled. “Little freak’s a whiz at breaking noses.”
Mystique rose slowly, her golden eyes never leaving the smug mutant’s face. As she drew to her full height, she struck quickly, slamming her fist into his already damaged nose.
“That…LITTLE FREAK…is my son!” She growled at him.
“And he just kicked you butt!” Riptide hissed through the pain of his re-damaged nose.
“Yes…” She smirked. “He did make me so proud.” She strolled over to the other captives. “He is far more like me than I imagined.”
All turned at the familiar sound of Kurt’s arrival. He was in a low crouch, head down, at the far end of the room. He was also, Lance noted, alone.
“Tell me, Herr Sinister…” he said quietly as he lifted his head, locking his eyes with the addressed mutant. “Have you ever read Frankenstein?”
Essex frowned. The fact that the boy had spoken was surprising enough. But there was something about his tone of voice, the way he rose slowly, menacingly, to his feet, the wicked smirk that tugged at the corner of his mouth, that Essex just didn’t like. He hadn’t been able to break the boy, and it was beginning to become rather obvious that he wasn’t in control of him either.
He decided not to show his rising uncertainty.
“No.” He said in a haughty tone. “What’s your point?”
“A man created a monster…” Kurt began as he slowly walked towards him. Then he launched into a gymnastic tumble that would have done an Olympic gold-medallist proud. Which each flip and twist he was building up speed. Essex’ older underlings tensed, but Wanda, Pietro and the other two just watched quietly as Kurt suddenly vanished as he reached the pinnacle of a high flip.
He reappeared millimetres from Essex, exiting the teleport at the same high speed he’d entered it. Aided by the force of gravity, his clawed feet slammed into Essex chest with such impact it sent the big mutant sprawling. Kurt landed gracefully in the spot Essex had just vacated.
“And it turned on him.” He finished as Essex glared at him.
Then things began to happen very fast.
Charles was about to say something when he felt his wheelchair jerk into motion.
“Catch!” The boy called Legion said as he telekinetically shoved him towards Scott and Jean.
Siryn took to the air, shattering Vertigo’s concentration. Riptide lunged for Nightcrawler only to be intercepted by Quicksilver. The Scarlet Witch shook lose all of Scalphunter’s weapon building components. Legion lifted Arclight off the ground, without tactile contact, her powers were useless.
“’Bout time you made yer move, Elf.” Wolverine said as he lunged for Harpoon. “I was getting’ sick of playin’ possum.”
“What is going on?” Storm demanded.
“Yeah…I thought they were like in cahoots or somethin’…” Toad frowned.
“You think ve vould be in cahoots vith someone who kidnapped and tortured us?” Nightcrawler’s voice came from across the room.
“Tortured?” Essex questioned as he rose up behind Kurt. “I made you stronger…faster…better…”
“Stronger and faster I vill accept. But better? That is open to debate!” He leapt at his tormentor, feet first, slashing at him with all claws. Essex tried to swat him away, but the boy was too fast, too agile.
“Is it just me…?” Blob said softly. “Or are these guys a lot more brutal than they used to be?”
“Well…” Rogue considered. “Kurt and Pietro sure are…those other two we don’t know…and Wanda was always brutal…”
“Hey!” Toad protested. “Don’t talk about my baby cakes like that!”
“In case ya haven’t noticed…” Rogue turned on him. “Yer BABY CAKES is more interested in fuzzy elves than she is in slimy toads!”
“Yeah…” Toad said softly. “I noticed…”
“Should we go help ‘em?” Blob asked.
“We don’t got powers.” Toad pointed out. The trio winched as Quicksilver slammed Riptide into a wall with a resounding crunch.
“I get the feelin’ they don’t need our help.” Rogue said.
“I’m not so sure…” Jean said. “They’re pushing themselves too hard. The little guy’s beginning to tire…” Legion’s outstretched arm was beginning to lower, so much so, he propped it up with his other arm.
“Yeah…” Blob agreed. “These guys are righteously pissed!”
“When you’re angry you make mistakes.” Cyclops frowned.
“Then maybe we should totally give them some help then.” Shadowcat’s voice came from behind. With one sweep of her arm she shorted out all their collars. A blast of ruby energy arched across the room, very nearly burning the hair from Wolverine’s head. The battling ceased as all combatants turned to its source.
“Warn me before you do that!” Cyclops growled as he shut his eyes, covering them with his arms for good measure.
Essex took advantage of Nightcrawler’s momentary loss of concentration and slammed him against the wall. He hit hard, sliding the floor, he didn’t move. While Shadowcat freed the others, Essex decided to utilise the age old tactic of discretion being the better part of valour…and bolted.
“Son of a bitch!” Quicksilver hissed, and was off after him like a shot.
“Bastard!” Siryn added before shrieking at the top of her lungs.
The castle began to shake as the Scarlet Witch tried, unsuccessfully, to keep her anger in check.
Legion dropped Arclight like a sack of potatoes and threw up a wall of fire in front of the fleeing mutant. Essex spun to face the four approaching youngsters. He had caused them all a great deal of suffering, though none so much as the still unmoving Nightcrawler. But he had faith in his underlings, especially when he saw Arclight preparing to let loose with her powers.
The castle shook as Arclight punched the floor, concentrating her efforts on the foursome, she sent them tumbling.
“Relative of yours?” Toad asked Avalanche.
Harpoon, having taken advantage of the same distraction to skewer the already injured Wolverine, pulled several weapons from his backpack, igniting them and choosing his targets. Riptide fanned out his shuriken. Scalphunter was cobbling something together, his eyes locked on Wanda as he did so.
“We have to stop them.” Mystique said. “They’re going to get themselves killed if they continue to fight him. He won’t stand for it!”
“I have to agree.” Charles nodded. “David is already tiring…it won’t be long before the others weaken.”
Cyclops pulled them into a huddle. “Toad! She’ll probably hate me for it…but the screamer can’t do much if she can’t make a sound…so do that slime thing of yours!” He commanded in a whisper. “Blob! Hold on to Quicksilver! Rogue! Try and drain what the little guy’s got left.” He paused. “Uh…Professor?”
“I’ll handle Wanda.” He said.
“Shadowcat…check on Kurt…get him out of here if need be.” Cyclops continued. “The rest of us’ll keep the marauding morons busy!”
“He’s quite commanding…” Mystique commented.
“Indeed he is.” Xavier smirked.
“Let’s do this!” Cyclops yelled as the leapt into the fray.
Avalanche shook the ground beneath Quicksilver’s feet, allowing Blob the chance to pull him into a tight bear hug.
“Let me go Blob!” Pietro demanded, struggling in the giant mutant’s grasp. “You don’t know what the jerk did to me! To us!”
“Nuh-uh, Pietro.” Blob shook his head. “You may be a royal pain in the butt, but I still don’t want to see you get yourself hurt.”
The Scarlet Witch snarled as Xavier entered her mind, flooding it with calming images. ‘Xavier…please…’ She thought as him. ‘I…we…have to…’ Her body began to relax as he forced her into a tranquil state.
“Yo, baby!” Toad called as he hopped up to be face-to-face with Siryn. “You might want to shut yer mouth!” She didn’t even manage to scream in disgust as her mouth was covered with green slime.
“Effective.” Toad smirked. “But it don’t taste too good.”
Legion glanced about, annoyed to see that these so-called friends of Kurt, Wanda and Pietro were effectively taking them out of the fight. Why couldn’t they just leave them be? They had to destroy Sinister, for what he had done to them, and for what he could do to others if they let him escape.
He turned suddenly, taking the girl with the stripe in her hair completely by surprise.
“You really think you could sneak up on a telepath?” He queried before shoving her away with his telekinesis. He gestured, and a wall of flame enveloped him, making it impossible for anyone to get near him.
“If it’s up to me…” He muttered as he strode purposefully towards Essex. “Then it’s up to me.”
“Cyclops!” Rogue yelled. “A little help here?”
Scott frowned. What to do…what to do?
“Jean! Mind link!”
Jean quickly formed a mental bond between herself, her fellow X-Men and the three Brotherhood boys, allowing them to communicate while continuing to fight. ‘Okay…this kid’s gonna be a tough one…but the Professor already said he’s getting tired. Lance…Todd…you two and I’ll hit him from a distance…make him use up whatever he’s got left…and see if you can smother the flames. And don’t forget…he’s just a messed up kid…be as gentle as possible…’
‘You wanna tell him that?’ Todd grumbled.
‘Rogue…go with the original plan as soon as you spot an opening…’
“Kurt?” Kitty queried as she reached the fallen mutant. She rolled him onto his back, frowning at the large welt on his temple. A few stray hairs straggled across his face. His mouth was slightly open, revealing his fangs. The expression on his face reminded her of that night long ago, when they’d first encountered Rogue, when she’d robbed him of his powers and his consciousness. She’d been so worried he was dead, a worry that now crossed her mind now.
But the sound of battle around her, the scarlet brand on his face and the touch of the cold, hard armour that encased his shoulders reminded her that this was a totally different situation.
Quicksilver let out an angry growl as he saw Legion go down. The boy was already exhausted, and the combined efforts of Avalanche, Cyclops, Rogue and Toad had proved too much for him. His sister was still in an Xavier induced stupor, Siryn was clawing at the goop that covered her mouth and Nightcrawler was a ragdoll in Shadowcat’s arms.
“That freakin’ shit is gonna get away!” He yelled, thrashing about in Blob’s crushing grip.
“Let him go, Pietro…yer free of him now.” Blob assured him.
Kurt’s eyes snapped open when he heard Pietro’s cry. Kitty screamed and backed away from him as he surged to his feet. He growled, his eyes narrowing as they found Sinister.
Eyes that were now blood red.
He coiled and leapt at the massive, chalky-skinned mutant, eyes flashing, claws slashing.
“Oh no you don’t!” Jean said, reaching out and telekinetically stopping him in mid leap. He howled as Essex’ underlings shepherded him out of the room. He began to thrash in Jean’s grip, snarling and growling like a caged beast.
Inspired by this, Pietro renewed his own struggle against Blob, kicking wildly and painfully at some of Freddy’s more delicate areas. Blob just took a firm grip on Pietro’s upper arms and held him out from his body, keeping the swiftly moving feet from doing him any harm.
Jean, however, was beginning to feel the strain of Kurt’s struggle. The furry mutant was surprisingly difficult to grip. “C’mon, Kurt.” She tried to sooth him. “Stop fighting me.” The anger seemed to drain from his body as he listened to her. She relaxed slightly, believing she’d reached him.
Until he teleported right out of her grasp.
“Won’t take a moment to prep the jet…” Harpoon said.
“We’re just gonna run?” Riptide asked.
“There’s too many of them.” Scalphunter pointed out. “You want something else broken?”
“Okay…fine!” He grumbled. “We run…”
They turned as one when they heard the snarl above their head.
“Nightcrawler…” Essex said.
“Kid don’t quit, do he?” Arclight arched a brow.
“I made him well…” Essex smiled as Kurt leapt at him, digging his claws into his shoulders as he teleported them both away.
Those who remained exchanged a glance.
“Whatta we do now?” Riptide asked.
“We prep the jet.” Harpoon answered.
“What about the boss?” Vertigo asked.
“He made the kid what he is…” Scalphunter said. “You think he doesn’t know how to un-make him?”
“How the hell do we track him?” Cyclops demanded.
“The old fashioned way. “ Logan said as he sniffed the air. “Sulpha is VERY distinctive…so is the Elf…” He began to scan the area with ears and nose.
“This way.” He said finally, leading them out of the room.
Kurt threw Essex against the wall as he exited his teleport. They were in the castle’s main courtyard, the cool night air was dotted with stars.
“You vill not leave here.” He promised in a low growl. “I vill not let you use that verdammen serum of yours on anyone else! I vill not let you make anyone else into a monster!”
“The serum only accelerates the power already locked in your genes!” Essex countered. “You would have eventually come into these powers on your own! I didn’t make you a monster…you were BORN that way!”
Kurt looked as if Essex had slapped him in the face. He couldn’t believe that this was what God had intended. He looked at his long, clawed fingers. They began to tremble as he studied them. He could feel the emotions that Essex had locked away pushing against the wall he’d built in his mind. He wanted to scream, cry, ANYTHING!
But he couldn’t.
He glared at Essex, feeling the one emotion he could feel begin to build. His breathed hissed through clenched teeth.
“Maybe you didn’t make me a monster…” Kurt admitted. “But you did make me something…”
“And what is that?” Essex asked.
“Really, REALLY PISSED!”
He hurled himself at Essex, launching into all the attacks he’d used on Logan and Mystique and more. Essex was staggered by the assault. Torn, bruised and bleeding, he somehow managed to nab the whirling dervish that Kurt had become and throw him towards the wall. But Kurt twisted in midair, landing uninjured against the wall, using the force of the impact to recoil him back.
Logan emerged just as Kurt impacted with Essex, knocking the big mutant down as he had before. But this time he didn’t leap away, he landed on Essex chest, digging his claws into pale flesh. Essex howled with pain and grabbed Kurt’s neck with both hands.
Nightcrawler didn’t look at all perturbed by his current situation. Essex could easily snap his neck, but Kurt was actually smiling, an evil thing that looked so out of place on his blue, fuzzy face as Essex rose to his feet. Kurt brought up both feet and racked Essex’ arms with both feet and hands.
Essex snarled and dropped him like a hot potato. Kurt landed easily on his feet, the wicked smirk still firmly in place. Logan didn’t know what was going on, even when Essex raised his arm, outstretched palm towards the young mutant.
“I have had enough!” He growled. “Dealing with yourself and the guilt of what you’ve done will be a far worse punishment than anything I can dish out!”
Kurt’s head snapped back as he was struck by an invisible force. Then he slumped to the ground.
‘He left himself wide open for that…’ Logan gasped. ‘Kid’s insane!’
“You bastard!” Cyclops cried as he pushed past Wolverine. “Haven’t you hurt him enough!?” He didn’t wait for an answer, he just hit Essex with the full force of his optic blast.
Essex laughed at the blast passed right through him. His body seemed to dissolve, dissipate into the air.
“NO!” Pietro screamed, finally finding a weak spot in Blob’s grip. He tore across the courtyard, but Essex was already gone.
“DAMNIT!” He howled to the sky.
“Man…” Lance whispered. “What did that guy do to them?”
“I dunno…” Kitty replied. “But he totally locked away all of Kurt’s feelings…”
“What?” Rogue gasped.
“He said that he couldn’t feel anything but anger…” Kitty explained. “That he couldn’t care about anything…or anyone…”
“Explains why he could beat the living snot outta Wolverine and Mystique…” Todd nodded.
“KURT!” Wanda screamed when she saw his immobilised form on the ground. Todd looked away, heartbroken, as she dropped to the ground beside him, pulling him into her arms. She was startled when he buried his face in her neck, clinging to her like a lost child. She stroked his hair as she felt his body begin to shake with silent sobs.
“Dealing with yourself and the guilt of what you’ve done…” Logan quoted as he walked towards the pair. “That’s why you took that blast of his…” he surmised. “You wanted him to undo what he’d done…”
“I couldn’t live like that…” He whispered into Wanda’s hair, but Logan could still hear him. He dragged himself away from Wanda’s comforting warmth, pulling himself to his full height, though still unable to raise his eyes to his friends.
“But can you deal with it?” Logan asked.
Kurt sighed deeply as he fought to regain his composure. “Yes.” He said finally raising his head.
Logan just smiled and nodded.
Kurt, Wanda, Pietro, Theresa and David had separated themselves from the others.
“You guys have to pick up anything?” Scott called. “We’ll be heading home in a few minutes.”
“I’m not going back…” Kurt said softly.
“What?” Scott walked over to him. “You’re kidding, right?”
“No.” Kurt said, only slightly louder. “I can’t…not right now anyway…I have…things…I have to vork out…”
“Kurt…” Charles wheeled over.
“Don’t try to talk me out of this, Professor…” Kurt began.
“I’m not going to…” He smiled. “I just thought you might need these…” He reached into a compartment in his wheelchair and pulled out a holowatch and several passports. “You’ll need these when you’re ready to return to us.”
“Thanks, Professor.” Kurt smiled weakly.
“And you might need this…” He handed Kurt a credit card. The young mutant frowned. “It’s hooked to the school’s account…just try not to buy anything too expensive.”
“I don’t need your money, Professor.” Kurt said, trying to hand it back. “Home is just a hop, skip and a ‘port that way.” He pointed to the west.
Xavier curled Kurt’s fingers around the slip of plastic. “Take it.” He smiled. “I’ll feel better if I know you can at least buy yourself a meal.”
“Thanks, Professor.” Kurt said again.
“Now, then…David…” The boy looked at his father. “I think it’s time I had a long overdue talk with your mother…”
“But…I…” He looked at the others.
“I know…” Charles sighed. “But I can’t allow it…I have to take you back to your mother.”
David was going to protest, but thought better of it.
“Don’t sweat it, Davey.” Pietro smiled. “We’ll see you when we get back, okay?”
“Right…” He mumbled.
“Professor…” Scott protested as the Professor drew up to him. “We can’t let Kurt go off alone in his current state of mind…”
“He won’t be alone…” Charles smiled as he glanced back at the group.
“None of them are coming back with us, are they?” Scott surmised.
“Apart from David, no.” Charles nodded. “Their shared ordeal has forged a bond between them that I doubt will ever be broken.”
“That’ll make things interesting when they DO come back.” Scott said.
“I don’t believe this!” Todd grumbled. “We come all this way to save their butts…they kick ours…and now they ditch us?”
“C’mon, Toad.” Lance said. “Just who saved whose butts here?”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah…” He muttered, glancing back to where the quartet were sitting. Wanda was sitting rather close to Kurt, though the latter didn’t seem to notice. He smiled slightly to himself about that. After all…Kurt hadn’t really shown an interest in Wanda…and he had Amanda waiting for him back home…
Perhaps there was some hope for him yet.
“So…” Pietro asked as they watched the X-Jet and Velocity take to the sky. “What’s the plan?”
“We head home…” Kurt said.
“Um…hello…our ride just left!”
“Not THAT home.” Kurt sighed.
“Ah…a hop, skip and a ‘port that way…” Pietro pointed to the west.
“Ja…” Kurt nodded.
Doctor Nathaniel Essex watched as the four young mutants walked away from the ruined castle.
“Mystique was right about one thing, Nathan…” A voice said from behind him. “You do good work.”
“That’s why you pay me the big bucks…” He turned to the voice. “Erik…”
“Everything went according to plan?” Magneto asked.
“Nightcrawler turned out a little more aggressive than anticipated, and your daughter is not quite in control of her powers…but the information in the files Shadowcat downloaded will keep them separated from the others for some time…they won’t be easy pickings…but you and your group have them outnumbered…curiosity can, indeed, kill the cat…”
Magneto watched the quartet with great interest. “A pity Xavier took his son with him…” He said. “But at least I can avenge myself on Mystique…”
“And Cassidy’s daughter?” Essex arched a brow.
“I have no grief with him…” Magneto said. “But, you know what they say…the more the merrier. Four additions to my cause is preferable to three...”