El Scorcho (twbasketcase) wrote,
El Scorcho
twbasketcase

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FIC: Hostile Takeover 15/18

Category: X-Force
Characters: X-Force -- Shatterstar, Siryn, Sunspot, Rictor, Cannonball, Domino, Warpath, Cable, Boomer, Moonstar, Feral, Magma, and Deadpool.
Pairings: Rictor/Shatterstar, Domino/Cable, Sunspot/Magma. Minor Warpath/Siryn/Deadpool and Cannonball/Boomer.
Genre: Alternate Universe, Action/Adventure, Angst, Drama, Romance
Rated: NC-17 for extreme violence, language, dark themes, sexual situations (het and slash), and character death.
Disclaimer: I don’t own a damn thing; I’m just playing for awhile.
Summary: A well known terrorist organization has made its move, and its dictatorship starts with the fall of the country’s greatest heroes. A few make it out alive, but they are on the run and in for the fight of their lives. Who lives and who dies? And where do you go when there’s no where left to hide?

Chapter Summary
: Conclusion from chapter fourteen.

Part: One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine, Ten, Eleven, Twelve, Thirteen, Fourteen,

A/N: Just so you're not confused, all these sections take place at the same time.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"SELF DESTRUCT WILL COMMENCE IN 240 SECONDS."


Cable limped over to the young man on the ground as the building’s last sirens activated. The moment Strucker’s body hit the ground, a strange alarm had emitted. The team had to get out right away, and trying to get Sam to cooperate with anything at that point was going to be difficult.

 
“Sam, he lied.”

 
"Ah don’t care.”
 

“She’s alive.”
 

Wet blue eyes shot up to the older man’s face instantly, and Sam practically flew to his feet. He grabbed two fistfuls of Cable’s uniform and glared wildly. “Where is she!? Ya tell me right god damn now, Cable, or Ah swear tah God--”

 
“Rictor and Shatterstar have her. I sent them. She’s okay,” Nate explained, and tried his damn hardest to remain upright. He was still weakened. “But we have a huge problem now. Strucker’s dead and this base is going to blow. We have to get out of here now.”

 
“Not until Ah find her,” Sam growled.

 
“Sam, listen up!” Domino scolded. “I know you’re pissed, kiddo, but we’ll meet up with them outside. We have to leave!”

 
Roberto walked up behind the Kentuckian and grabbed him by the elbow. “Let’s go, homem.”

 
“No! Ah--” he did not finish. The Brazilian blinked as he knocked him out, and then promptly tossed him over his shoulder.


“You know he’s gonna kick my ass for that when he wakes up, right? What the hell did you make me do that for?!”

 
Nate smiled apologetically. “Powers are just a wee bit outta control, Bobby.”

 
“Well that’s freaking great,” the younger boy rolled his eyes and headed toward the door. "No wonder all this shit’s floating around in the air! You better not take me out too! I swear, this day sucks! Like it could get any worse!”

 
Cable winced as his mind locked with the kids in the basement. He was unable to send a communication, but he could hear their thoughts loud and clear. “It can, Bobby, believe me. But we’ll save that for when we get out of here.”

 
“You all right?” Dom questioned as she wrapped her arm back around his waist and helped him walk upright. He was thankful for the help, even if he knew that she was not comfortable giving it at the moment.

 
“Just perfect,” Nate hissed. The awkwardness will have to wait; they would have enough to talk about once they fled the base. Cable had no idea just how badly this had affected his team, and they would have to do some major regrouping once they got back to the hotel they had found. It was bad enough so many of their ranks would not be returning with them.

 
“So Tabby’s really alive?” Roberto questioned.

 
"Yes,” Cable replied.

 
“Why?” he questioned. That time his tone was not as harsh or demanding; they had honestly expected to find the girls dead when they had arrived.

 
“Because Strucker wasn’t lying when he told Sam that he needed his genetic profile. And Tabby has something that would work as a backup had they not been able to capture him.”

“Droga! Sammy’s really gonna be a dad?!”

 
“Only if we get the hell out of here,” Domino muttered, and coughed through the smoke as a ceiling panel collapsed a few feet ahead of them. “Nate, can you reach the others?”

 
He shook his head. “My mind’s linked to them. I can see where they are and what they’re doing, but my telepathy is too unstable to send anything detailed to them. I'd just been able to get through Tab’s cell block number to them, and that was difficult enough.”

 
“You got a comm link still?” Bobby asked the merc.

 
“They haven’t been working since we got here,” Domino explained, and quickly shoved Nate to the right as another piece of wall toppled over. The two leaders fell to the ground unceremoniously, and she grunted. “Fuck! We better hope those stairwells haven’t been blocked off too!”

 
Cable stumbled to his feet. “There are still agents fleeing from them.”

 
“Those caralhos are still alive?!” Roberto scoffed, and waved a blackened hand in front of his face. “How many?”

 
"On the premises? Still close to about one hundred,” Cable grabbed the side of his head. “At least that I can hear. Even more than that have been killed though.”

“We have a chopper outside waiting,” Domino looked up at him, and held open a door that led to the remainder of the main lobby. Large flames illuminated the area, and the smoke was even thicker than before.

 
SELF DESTRUCT WILL COMMENCE IN 120 SECONDS.”

 
“Let’s hope it’s not in blast range,” the time traveller coughed. “How’s Sam?”

 
“Starting to stir, but he’s still out,” Roberto confirmed. He stopped suddenly and fired a large blast at the steel doors that marked the entranceway to the base. A few HYDRA agents had been trying to exit, and were attempting to seal the doors behind them. The plasma blast easily took them all out and destroyed the door, and within seconds the squad managed to get outside. Dozens of men in bright emerald green uniforms could be seen fleeing the property under the golden glow of morning dawn. Cars, trucks, aircrafts, and even tanks could be heard starting up to aid in their escape. Through his mind links, Nate could hear their panicked thoughts. Just based on the self destruct activation they knew that their leader had been taken out. No locations could be heard amongst them as to where they could go next; Nate figured X-Force had taken out all other HYDRA bases in the vicinity.

 
Perhaps taking them out one by one was the best they could do; without their leader, HYDRA was at a disadvantage and would definitely have to regroup. That did not, however, mean that they were directionless. They still had locations set up all over the world, and many high ranking officials that could take over as the new Baron.

 
Strangest of all though, none of the agents fleeing past the group of mutants held a single thought to stop and attack them. They fled only for fear of their own lives, and did not engage in an assault. Out against the blank white glow of the snow, Nate’s squad definitely stood out as standing targets.

 
But not one agent considered it.

 
“How far should we go?” Bobby questioned.

 
Cable looked back at the building and urged the rest of the team to make it out. “Just keep going, Roberto.”

 
“What about the rest of the team!?” he exclaimed.

 
“They’re coming. We just have to hope they can move their feet fast enough to get out.”

 
Domino wiped wet strands of hair from her forehead as they fell to the ground in exhaustion amongst the trees. They were far enough away from the building that they should be safe, but still close enough to see in the morning sun. Cable regarded her with a concerned look, but she did not meet his gaze. She was still angry with herself.

 
“You guys did well,” Nate murmured. “I’m proud of you. I had no idea you were even alive until you guys got that machine off of me. Strucker made it sound like--”

 
“Fuck Strucker,” Domino muttered, and worked on reloading her weapons. “Fuck that guy straight to hell. There’s no way we were gonna let him get us.”

 
“But he did get some of us,” Roberto reminded. “And in a way, that’s as bad as getting us all.”

 
Domino shot him an apologetic look before nodding. “I know, ‘Berto.”

 
“Ugh…” Sam stirred on the ground and blinked up at the brightening sky above them. He pressed a gloved hand against his face as he sat up, working to shake the cobwebs from his head. “What the heck did ya do?”

 
“Sam, I--”

 
“Shit!” he cursed when realization hit him. He stumbled to his feet and glanced back at the HYDRA base in horror. “Dammit, Nate!”
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

“Tabitha!?”

 
Shatterstar stepped further into the room when it appeared that Rictor was not getting much of a response. The girl was definitely alive and conscious, but the Cadre warrior figured that she must be in shock. She was wearing no clothes and she had fading cuts and bruises marking her entire body. There was dried blood matting her blonde hair, and she looked thinner than usual. Whatever had happened to her had not been good, and Shatterstar wondered if she would even be willing to move or go with them at that point.

 
Rictor grabbed her by the face gently and forced her to look at him. “Tab? It’s me…can you say something!? Anything!?”

 
“I think she is in shock,” Shatty told him.

 
The Mexican frowned and looked up at him. “Can you give me your shirt? We should cover her up, or something!”

 
The warrior nodded and pulled the black fabric over his head and handed it off to Ric. The younger man pushed it on over the girl’s head, but she refused to put her arms through the sleeves. They were wrapped around her middle and her knees were drawn up to her chest. It appeared as if she were guarding. “I think she may be injured,” Shatty suggested and knelt down in front of her. “Will you move your arms, Meltdown?”

 
“Tab, is something wrong!?” Rictor grabbed her shoulders. “You can show me! I won’t hurt you!”

 
She shook her head and slowly slipped her hands through the sleeves herself. But the moment the massive shirt rolled down her body, she held herself again. Rictor appeared relieved at the movement, and sat down in front of her. “Where’s Dani?”

 
Tabitha did not say a word.

 
“Tab?” Ric questioned again, and Shatterstar could tell he was trying his absolute hardest to stay patient with her. “Tabitha…listen to me. We need to find Dani now, okay? You know, Moonstar? Chief? This whole place is pretty much fallin’ down and is on fire, so we don’t have much time. We got Cable already so we just need to get Danielle and then--”

 
“She’s dead.” Her voice was low and hoarse.

 
Shatterstar frowned and scratched his head. “They didn’t keep her alive?”

 
Tabitha did not say another word.

 
“Tabby why did they…” Rictor shook his head, and got to his feet. “I’m gonna lift you up, okay? We have to get outta here, chica. Sammy’s waitin’ for ya and he really wants to see you. Same with the rest of the team. We all missed you, can you believe it? I never thought I would ever miss you.”

 
Her usual quick witted comment did not follow.

 
Brown eyes scoped out the warrior, and Rictor frowned unhappily. Shatterstar just gestured for him to lift her, so he did. One hand tucked under her knees, and the other wrapped around her back and even still she did not let go of her abdomen. Rictor frowned down at her. “Are you sure you’re not hurt?”

 
She pressed herself closer to his chest, and Ric’s frowned deepened. Shatterstar just shot him an encouraging nod and tightened his grip around the handle of his sword. When he got to his feet and stepped back out into the corridor, he could still hear the odd explosion or gunshot going off from above them. The structural integrity of the building could not be very sound at that point, so he turned to face his friend. “We need to get out of here as soon as possible. The moaning in the walls is probably a sign that this place will be ready to collapse soon.”

 
Rictor nodded and joined him in the hall. “I agree; that’s a noise I’ve heard one too many times, amigo. I don’t like it.”

 
“Really? I thought you rather enjoyed it when things fell down and broke.”

 
“Ha ha,” he replied flatly. “Maybe most of the time, but not when I’m inside them!”

 
Shatterstar rolled his eyes and jogged to the end of the corridor to take a look around. “The coast is clear; we can go this way.”

 
Rictor nodded, and carefully made his way down the hall. Tabby was not at all making any effort to help, but the warrior figured she would be more comfortable with Rictor than him. Whatever had happened to her had practically converted her into a shell, and Ric was one of her closest friends. He seemed to have a handle on things; they would just be moving a little bit slower was all.

 
The electricity in the basement was down to a mere flicker, and the sirens had stopped going off a few minutes prior. Everything was dead silent around them, and the fact that Shatty’s hearing could not pick up anything unsettled him. Earlier they had been fighting dozens upon dozens of men, and now there were none. Had they surrendered? ‘Star found that highly unlikely considering they were trying to takeover the world. Perhaps something had happened upstairs.

 
“Do you remember which way we came?” Rictor asked him.

 
Shatterstar did another shoulder check to keep his eye on the rear halls. “Yes. If we follow the signs, we have to make it back to Zone A – which was where we came in from the outside. Cable did not say anything about a rendezvous point, however. I am unsure where we’re supposed to meet--”

 
“Figures!” the Mexican scoffed as they rounded another corner. “If he ain’t leading us into a trap, he’s leaving us to get fucking lost!”

 
“Enough,” the warrior muttered. He glanced around once more before lifting his hand. “Stop.”

 
“What?” Ric whispered.

 
“I smell something.”
 

“Um…” he sniffed loudly. “All I smell is gross.”
 

“It’s blood,” Shatterstar informed him.
 

“What?!” Ric yelped. “Whose!? Where!?”
 

HYDRA ALERT. SELF DESTRUCT MODE ACTIVATED. SELF DESTRUCT WILL COMMENCE IN 240 SECONDS.” The speakers in the ceiling buzzed to life and instructed the alert throughout the building. Shatterstar inwardly cursed, wondering if Cable would even be able to control his telepathy for long enough to send them decent orders on what they were supposed to be doing.
 

“Shit!” Rictor yelled, and adjusted the girl in his arms. “Well what the fucking hell do we do now!?”

 
“We need to leave, obviously,” Shatterstar replied seriously and inched his way around the next corner. Years of battle experience had the scent of decaying flesh forever embedded in his head, and he knew whoever it had come from was just waiting around the corner. He could only hope that it was a HYDRA agent that perhaps had been taken out by Cable and Domino after they had split up.

 
But alas, they were not that lucky.

 
“Fekt…” Shatterstar whispered as he peeked his head around the corner of the wall. There lying in the middle of the floor was Warpath. Chest blown open and his blood soaked the entire space around him. The warrior clenched his jaw and pulled back. “Fekt.”

 
“What!?” Rictor demanded.

 
“James…he, uhm, has been cancelled.”

 
Julio furrowed his eyebrows and stepped forward. Together, Shatterstar and Rictor rounded the corner slowly, eyes peeled for whoever it was that had left their team mate there. There were not even shell casings lying around from the ammunition. There were no HYDRA agents. All that remained was Jimmy on the ground, and Theresa seated on the dirty floor a few feet away.

 
“Shit!” Rictor cursed.

 
Shatterstar ran toward the redhead. “Are you unhurt?”

 
“No.”

 
“Well can you walk!?” Shatterstar snapped. “In case you did not hear, the building is planning on blowing up with us inside, so you should move!”

 
“I dinnae care.”

 
“Fekt!” Shatterstar yelled and ran back to Rictor. “Get out of here.”

 
“What!?” the Mexican scoffed. “No way, amigo, not without you. Ever.”

 
“Go!” the warrior shoved his shoulder and pointed down the hall. “Take that staircase and get outside. Go far away and out of blast range.”

 
“What the fuck, ‘Star!?” Rictor seethed, and once again readjusted Tabitha in his arms. “I’m not fucking leaving you down here with these guys when this place is about to explode!”

 
“This is not about you or me…and it’s not about you and me,” Shatterstar narrowed his eyes before looking down at the blonde girl in his friend’s grasp. “You need to get her to safety and that’s what matters right now. I don’t care if you prefer to spaz at me right now because I just won’t listen to you. Get out and take her to safety; there’d be no guards outside looking to fight if this place is ready to blow. I’m quite sure they’ve fled by now.”

 
Rictor looked down at Tabitha and cursed. “But I…”

 
“Please?” Shatterstar begged him.

 
“All right,” he nodded and took a step forward. Silver and brown eyes never left each other as the Mexican stepped away. “Hey, ‘Star?”

 
“Yeah?”

 
“Just so you know, I—uhm…just be careful, okay?”

 
The warrior nodded and swallowed back his nerves. “You as well.”

 
“And you better come back to me,” he warned. “Or I’ll bring you back to life and kill you myself!”

 
“Whatever, Rictor,” Shatterstar rolled his eyes, and gave him one last nod before turning to face Siryn.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

Rictor ran breathlessly up four flights of stairs before he finally found an exit door. The entire stairwell had been powered out and completely blackened, and he had to rely on his natural instincts and bond with the ground to figure out when he had to step up or walk straight. Tabitha had still not said a damn word to him, and even worse, he had left Shatterstar downstairs.

 
SELF DESTRUCT WILL COMMENCE IN 120 SECONDS.”

 
“Fuck,” he muttered. Summoning his powers through his feet, he lifted his boot off the ground and landed a rough kick to the door leading out. The metal shot open easily, but waiting on the other side was a HYDRA agent. Brown eyes widened in fear, and the Mexican instantly shot out another blast. The movement in the Earth was enough to make a part of the floor collapse, along with a wall and the ceiling in the stairwell behind him. The building would not stand much longer.

 
Swiftly, he jumped over the fallen agent’s body and began running as fast as he could with Tabby’s combined weight in his arms. The girl moaned gently at all the sudden movement, but Ric would have to apologize later. Maybe if she would get up and freaking help him, they would not be having that problem!

 
But he did not have time to dwell on it. A gunshot rang out and hit the bottom of his boot, and sent him crashing to the floor with a grunt. Tabitha landed roughly beneath him, but Rictor made it a point to guard her body with his. “FUCK!” he yelled.

 
“Die, mutie!” the agent screamed.

 
Julio could not risk shooting another shockwave. He would probably take out the ground beneath them, or crush his team mates below. Shaking his head groggily, he turned around to see the green clad man reloading his weapon. It was his only chance. Jumping to his feet, Ric ran at the man as fast as his legs would carry him and dove at his waist. The gun skittered out of the agent’s hands and across the floor, and both Rictor and the man landed roughly on the ground. Without his powers he was not much, but he had trained long enough with his team to have some good hand to hand moves, and never until then had he been so thankful for that.

 
The agent struggled to immobilize the Mexican’s hands, but Ric was much faster and smaller than him. Easily he slipped his wrist through the guy’s grasp and landed a sharp upper cut to his chin. The shock of the hit was enough to bank the man’s skull off of the ground, and Rictor used the opening to straddle his hips and get a couple of more in. Punches landed against the agent’s cheeks, eyes, mouth, and nose, and within minutes his face was a bloody mess. Every hit that connected flesh to flesh also caused the floor beneath them to impact his skull.

 
“Motherfucker!” Rictor yelled, letting his anger finally get the better of him. He climbed to his feet and pulled the guy up by his hood. A dark green glow surrounded both Ric’s hands and feet, and he struck him with as many punches and kicks to his chest and abdomen as he could.

 
All the agent did in response was spit a big, bloody loogie at the Mexican’s face.

 
“Ew!” he yelled. “You fucking jerk!”

 
The agent swung a fist during the distraction and hit Rictor’s nose. Instantly warm blood trickled down his face, but Julio was so pissed off by then that the contact barely stung. He grabbed the agent by the collar of his shirt and the belt around his waist, and threw him face first into a crumbling pillar. He was effectively knocked out, but no sooner had he been taken from the fight, Rictor was struck in the head from behind.

 
“Hail HYDRA!”

 
SELF DESTRUCT WILL COMMENCE IN 60 SECONDS.”

 
The Mexican groaned and looked up to see one more agent standing tall over him, pointing a very large gun down at his face. Swallowing, all Ric could think to do was raise his hands up in surrender. Guns. Dios did he freaking hate guns. Squeezing his eyes shut, he waited for the shot to come and nail him point blank in the forehead. The blast sounded, loud and familiar in his ears, and he could not help but flinch violently. Throwing his hands over his head, he curled in ball on the ground and just hoped that he would die fast.

 
“Rictor!”

 
Wait…he was not dead? Hesitantly, the Mexican looked up and sure enough it was the HYDRA agent that had been shot instead. Furrowing his eyebrows, he twisted around and saw Tabitha with the earlier agent’s gun still smoking in her hand. She looked frightened, but her eyes were clear and on him.

 
“Are you okay?!”

 
“I am now!” the Mexican grinned and ran back to her. He quickly lifted her off of her feet and booked toward the door. “About time you did something useful! I was going to die because of you!”

 
“I saved you,” she rolled her eyes.

 
“Yeah, took you long enough,” he huffed as he kicked open the door and ran as fast as he could across the snow. “I’m just glad I at least got to drop you. Serves you right for making me carry you so far!”

 
“Only you would get off on dropping a pregnant chick,” she muttered, as she shivered against his chest.

 
Brown eyes widened comically and he stared down at her. “Pregnant!? You!? How?!”

 
“Well when a boy sticks his peepee in a girl’s hoohoo, sometimes he cums, and then…”

 
Rictor scrunched up his face at the mental picture and glared. “Yeah, no shit!”

 
“Not that you’d know anything about hoohoos,” she teased him gently, even if her usual snotty yet playful tone was not all the way behind it.

 
“Maybe I don’t like hoohoos,” he rolled his eyes.

 
“You don’t say?” she shook her head. He never got the chance to reply though, as the blast went off behind them soon after. Scorching heat licked at his back and sent them both crashing to the ground in a tangled heap. Once again, he had squished her, but at least that time the snow had kept him from landing on her the entire way.

 
For a few seconds, all the sound in the area was gone; his ears rang from the explosion, and he could not hear a thing. Looking back, the base was in absolute shambles. Nothing remained standing except for a few twisted metal pillars, and flames danced dozens of meters high in the sky. Panic swelled up in Rictor’s chest, and he cursed as he jumped to his feet. “Fuck! Did they get out!? FUCK!”

“Who?” Tabitha groaned.

 
Rictor shook his head and fisted his hair tightly. “Madre de Diosall of them!”
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

Siryn watched as Shatterstar approached Jimmy’s body and double checked his pulse. “Theresa, how long as he been…?”


“I dinnae know,” she muttered, unable to take her eyes off of the fallen body.

 
“We have to get out of here,” he insisted, marching towards her. Both swords were clenched tightly in his hands, and he was missing his shirt. He looked dirty and sweaty from fighting, but there was not a cut or bruise on his skin. He got off easy. Blue eyes narrowed at him, and she frowned.

 
“Ye were supposed tah come with me.”

 
“What?” Shatty tilted his head to the side in confusion, and sheathed his weapons.

 
“Ye were teamed up with me. But ye wanted tah team with yuir little boyfriend instead. It should’ve been ye that got shot.”

 
Silver eyes narrowed right back at her, and he roughly grabbed the top of her arm and hauled her to her feet. “Enough of this, woman. Get moving.”

 
“Ye woulda healed!” she screamed at him, and the pitch made him back off with a wince. “Ye shoulda came, and he’d still be alive!”

 
Shatterstar glared at her. “He volunteered. I did not ask to be separated from you, Siryn.”

 
"SELF DESTRUCT WILL COMMENCE IN 120 SECONDS.


“Fekt, move it!”

 
“Nae! I dinnae wanna go back to that base or that team. Nae without them.”

 
“Them!? What are you talking about!?” he yelled back at her, and stepped forward so that they were only inches apart. He pointed down to Jimmy and glared. “He is dead. He is not coming back; he’s been cancelled and therefore cannot get back up and return--”

 
She pulled her arm back and punched him in the face. “Don’t ye dare say that!”

 
His head barely moved at the contact, and his eyes narrowed dangerously at her. Impatience and rage masked his features, and Siryn knew that she had angered him. But at that point she did not care. Nothing even mattered to her at all right then. If the Mojoworlder wanted to stay back and die in the building with her that would just be another stupid decision on his part. He still had everything to live for, and she did not. If Shatterstar wanted to throw it away, too bad for him. She was not sorry for it either.

 
“You are going to walk up those stairs in front of me right now, or I will knock you out and carry you out myself,” Shatterstar calmly stated; thick and angry accent speaking each word slowly and carefully. “Don’t think I am afraid to hit you just because you’re a woman either. This stupidity of yours does not amuse me.”

 
Her heart sank, and she moved her gaze back to her fallen friend. “I cannae – I will not – leave him here.”

 
Shatterstar swallowed and nodded as he looked down at her. “You were very helpful to me when my-- when Julio was going to die. I have no problem returning the gesture to you, Theresa, as you are an honourable comrade. But we don’t have time to sit here and fight.”

 
Grief swelled up in her chest. “Can we take him? With us, I mean? I just cannae…I told ye before that my feelin’s for him were…I take it back, ‘Star. I need him so much and I love him, and I cannae leave him behind…”

 
“Fine, it’s done,” Shatterstar nodded and ran back over to Warpath’s destroyed body. Without even a second thought about the blood or the weight, the Cadre warrior tossed the bigger man over his shoulder with a grunt and gestured for the staircase. Blood seeped out of the body and all down Shatterstar’s bare back and chest as the corpse was moved, and Terry felt the urge to vomit. “Let’s go!” he urged once more.

 
She nodded and finally willed herself to move. The staircase was located at the opposite side of the corridor, and Shatterstar was frighteningly fast enough to keep up with her given his load. However, the hall was completely blackened and filled with smoke when they reached it, and Theresa let out a violent cough. “I cannae breath.”

 
“Yes well you can’t breathe when you’re dead either,” Shatty remarked and stepped past her and ran up the stairs. They got up only two flights when they stopped. “Oh no…”

 
“We’re trapped!” Theresa panicked and pressed her hands against the fallen rubble. She had felt the after effects of Rictor’s powers shortly after he had exited out the stairs, and by the looks of things, he had unintentionally knocked the ceiling down. “What do we do?!”

 
SELF DESTRUCT WILL COMMENCE IN 60 SECONDS.

 
Shatterstar grunted and turned back around to run down the stairs. “We created a tunnel to the outside. It’s only two hallways away, I believe.”

 
Terry lifted off of the ground and flew behind him as he put his enhanced speed to use. He was not nearly as fast as Jim used to be, but it was fast enough to keep them moving at a good pace. They were out of Zone D within a matter of seconds, and Shatterstar continued running as fast as he could. He took two more turns until they were headed to the east part of the building. A dull glow of sun shone in through the wall at the end of the hall, and Terry could feel the urgency to move burn in her limbs.

 
“This is it!?” she scoffed.

 
“Fekt!” Shatterstar looked up and down at the tunnel frantically. It looked as if a lot of the building had caved in on it as well, and there was only one more small hole through the rubble that they could use as a way out. Terry would more than likely be able to fit, but there was no way Shatty would be able to squeeze through; the expanse of his chest and shoulders was much too large.

 
“Go!” he ordered her.

 
“No way!” she huffed. “I can just scream! Blow the rubble away!”

 
SELF DESTRUCT WILL COMMENCE IN 25 SECONDS.”

 
“You will knock down everything else!” he insisted.

 
“Well then we either die from a cave in or we die from an explosion, take yuir pick,” she swallowed and held his hand. “I’m doing it.”

 
“But--”

 
“AAAAAAAIIIIIIIIIYYYYYYYYEEEEEEEEEE!!!” the tunnel was blown clear through with a loud crash, but the ceiling above them groaned loudly as it began to crumble too. With a large huff of air, Theresa screamed again and tightened her hold on Shatterstar’s hand. Instantly they were propelled through the air and up the tunnel. The weight, however, was a bit too much to bear, and the group collided to the ground just a few feet away from the top.

 
SELF DESTRUCT WILL COMMENCE IN 10…9…8…” the speakers quietly cackled to life from inside of the building.

 
“Shit!” Shatterstar yelled, and scrambled to pick up James’ body again. Siryn groggily lifted herself off of the dirty ground and shook her head. Just enough energy sparked within her to get back into the air again, and she increased her speed and willed herself toward the bright morning glow of the sun in the sky. Shatty ran as fast as he could below her, but they did not get far enough to escape the explosion. A feeling of panicked de ja vu came over Theresa, as flashes from the tripwire explosion with Feral invaded her mind. The same hot air scorched her skin and made her topple to the ground roughly. Blackness took over and nothing more could be seen or heard.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

Roberto could not even stop Sam. The second the Kentuckian had been able to make it to his feet, he had activated his blast field and flew towards the two figures escaping the building.  The explosion went off just seconds after Sam fled, and Bobby had to chase after him. Instinct tossed all of his logic out the window, and the only thing that mattered right then was that his best friend was all right.

 
But when they reached their team mates, everything was more than all right. Rictor had jumped back startled as they approached, but grinned nonetheless. “Amigos! You’re okay!”

 

Sam did not even give Ric a second look. Instantly he was at Tabitha’s side on the ground and pulling her toward his chest tightly. Both of them practically burst into tears at first contact, so Roberto tactfully averted his eyes and slapped a hand on Ric’s shoulder. “You okay, homem?”

 
“I am,” he looked behind Roberto hopefully. “There’s Dom and Nate…”


“Yeah, they’re okay…”

 
“Where’s ‘Star?”

 
Roberto furrowed his eyebrows and glanced back at Cable and Domino. “Uhm, amigo, Nate said he was with you.”

 
Brown eyes widened frantically, and the Mexican pushed past Roberto to turn his attention to their leader. “Where’s Shatterstar!?”

 
Roberto looked on in confusion. All he knew was that Ric and Shatty had been together just moments ago according to Cable. Realization hit, and Roberto remembered that Terry and Jimmy had still been inside as well.

 
“Droga,” he muttered and turned to Nate. “We have to go look for them!”

 
Cable placed a hand against the side of his temple, and scrunched up his face achingly. “I-I…I just had contact with them a few seconds ago! Right before the blast went off they were getting out…”

 
“Fuck!” Rictor screamed and ran back toward the burning base. Roberto frowned and looked down at Sam. The Kentuckian still had one hand clutched tightly through Tab’s hair, and one around her waist as he lifted her out of the snow. Nothing else was even registering in his friend’s mind right then, so Bobby shook his head and took off into the air after Rictor. The Mexican was sprinting faster than Roberto had ever seen him move. Rictor would not handle losing Shatty too well, and Bobby knew the feeling. He just hoped for the Mexican’s sake that the alien’s healing factor was still up to par, and he could walk out of a nasty explosion all right.

 
Sunspot flew higher into the air to get a better view of the property. In just seconds he was able to see the small group of bodies in the snow just off the east side of the building. “Rictor! Hang a left, amigo!”

 
The Mexican listened diligently and fought his way through the snow. Roberto followed suit and managed to land quicker than his friend had been able to approach. Shatty was quite obviously alive, as he had begun stirring almost immediately. But Terry appeared to be unconscious, and Jimmy…

 
Mãe do Deus.

 
The Brazilian fell down to his knees and rolled the bigger man over. Deep crimson stained the flawless white snow beneath his pale body. It was quite obvious that he had been dead for quite some time.

 
Rictor ran full speed at the group and tackled Shatterstar to the ground roughly. The warrior let out a loud ‘oof’ and Rictor bent over his bare, bloodied chest and pointed in his face. “Fucking asshole! I fucking told you to smarten the fuck up and not be a stupid dick and get yourself killed, cabron!”

 
The alien groaned, and squirmed away from him. “I’m alive, fekt, what do you want?!”

 
“Jimmy’s dead,” Roberto told them. Both men turned to look at him solemnly before nodding.

 
“Si, we know. He got killed inside.”

 
Shatterstar pushed himself up from the ground and approached Theresa. He turned her over gently, and pressed his fingers against the side of her neck. “She has a pulse. She’s just unconscious.”

 
“Good,” Rictor muttered, and he too stood up.

 
Roberto swallowed loudly and looked back down to Jimmy once more. “So…this is it? This is all of us left? They…they took half of us out?!”

 
Shatterstar nodded and lifted Terry out of the snow. He passed her off to Bobby and gestured down to Warpath. “I will walk him back to the chopper if you like. We can do that service procedure to honour him when we return back to the hotel.”

 
The Brazilian nodded, and looked up at Cable and Domino as they approached. “You guys okay?” the merc questioned.

 
“We will be,” Shatterstar muttered.

 
Cable eyed Warpath solemnly, before clearing his throat to break the silence. “Uhm…good job getting out, guys. Let’s just…we’ll, uh, go back to the chopper now.”

 
The teens nodded wordlessly as they began to walk. Roberto took one last look back at the burning building and frowned. All he had wanted was to get his revenge on the people who had killed Amara, and yet…yet now that he got his chance he was not all that happy about it. All those bastards did was take one friend away from him after another, and it was all over now.

 
At least, for the time being.

 
But at what cost? Sure they had been able to take down one branch of HYDRA operations, but would they be strong enough to continue fighting the rest? Theresa stirred in his arms as she came to, and the sight made Bobby frown even deeper; would they be strong enough to come back from such a brutal blow to their team? How would they go on living after such loss?

 
Could they ever heal enough to go on at all?


Grief circulated within him once more as he finally turned to follow his team back to the chopper. He just hoped Cable had one fucking good plan when they got back to the hotel.
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Go to Chapter Sixteen.

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