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: Cable gathers the team for a briefing and they try and figure out their plans for the future.
Part: One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine, Ten, Eleven, Twelve, Thirteen, Fourteen, Fifteen, Sixteen, Seventeen.
A/N: All done! Holy wow. I'm proud of myself because I really do fail at finishing things sometimes. :D Uhm, I think I might end up posting this somewhere after I read through it again one more time the full way through. So I guess this is just a warning for future spammage. XD But I'm satisfied with this; it turned out a lot better than I imagined it to in my head. So I guess that's a good thing.
Finally, this chapter is dedicated to Ana. Because I got my chapter up before her. \o/ WOO. I mean....because she read and commented on the whole thing from start to finish. <3 What a good friend
“Hey guys, lookin’ a little rough around the edges, huh?” Bobby Drake grinned manically on the screen of X-Force's laptop, and Warren Worthington stood beside him not looking as nearly as amused. “How’s it hangin’ up north?”
“Cold,” Sam told him, shaking his head. “How do ya think?”
“Pffft, it couldn’t be that cold!”
“Says the popsicle,”
“How are things going over there?” Cable questioned before any of the boys could throw in another joke. “Anything cooled off yet?”
“Well, ever since you guys nailed off Baron von Strucker, the army’s been weakened, for sure. A lot of their comm towers and warehouses you destroyed were probably their biggest ones since it’s fairly desolate out there.
“Story of my life,” Domino shook her head amusedly.
Bobby nodded. “
“Any luck?” Nate questioned, and leaned back in his chair.
“Lots,” Warren nodded. “There’ve been reports of civilian mutants fighting back all across the globe. Rebellion teams have been made up, but it’s really makeshift, you know? We’re missing a lot of good teams and people from death so it’s hard to rally people without publicly known ‘hero’ types, you know?”
“Of course,” Nate nodded.
“Anyways, the ‘States is still in pretty rough shape, but you guys did enough damage over there to at least get us a head start. We wouldn’t have been able to do it without you,” Angel remarked.
“And now we finally get our props,” Rictor smirked. “S’bout time, hombre.”
“And attitude!” Bobby scoffed playfully. “Where’d that come from?”
“Yeah, you were the worst,” Tabitha rolled her eyes.
“Boom-Boom!” Iceman scolded playfully and wagged his finger. “Don’t you even get started.”
“It’s Meltdown,” Tabitha scrunched up her face at him. “Catch up with the times, Ice-boy.”
“Okay,” Cable lifted a hand and shot them both a look. “If we can keep on topic here, that would be great.”
“Which is why we called you,” Bobby cut in. “We were thinking if you wanted to get out of the cold, we could send you down under.”
“There’s still opposition in
“Hey, it’s your choice,” Bobby held up his hands. “You guys can get shipped out, or you can stay there. We’re leaving your options open.”
“We’ve got temporary headquarters set up here,” Nate told him, and brought his coffee mug up to his lips. He took a few gulps and placed it back down on the arm of his chair. “I sent out my boys earlier to loot. There’s not much left out here, but we managed to get some food, personal affects, clothes, and some computer equipment. I’ll be sending them out again to look for some surplus stores and hunting stuff, but that’s the best we can do up here. We’re kind of in the middle of no where.”
“Awesome,” Sam beamed.
“How're you gonna get here?” Domino questioned.
“Couple of days ago we managed to contact Lila Cheney. Chick’s powerful, I can tell you that. She managed to teleport us to Mojoworld and we picked up Dazzler and Longshot. They’ve been helping us too on the South American squad,” Bobby babbled. “Anywho, Lila can get stuff to you guys, and bring the others by with her.”
“Wonderful,” Tabitha sulked.
Domino ignored her. “Any technocrap and medical supplies you can spare would be good.”
“We appreciate it,” Nate nodded with a smile. “Your generosity is…amazing.”
“Hey, you’re the ones that put the big boot to the bad guys,” Bobby contested with a happy grin. “It’s the least we can do! Say…you don’t have any room on your team, do you? I think Northstar wants to go home.”
“I heard that!” a voice snapped from somewhere in the background.
Sam snickered. “Bobby yoah drivin’ everyone crazy, aren’t ya?”
“It’s my duty to the public,” Iceman grinned.
“It’s not much better here,” Domino smirked. “You can tell JP that.”
“I’ll definitely do that.”
“Anyways, we’ll cut this short. We just wanted to give you guys a heads up on what’s what in the good old U.S of A. And to say good job. There’s still a ton of dismantling to do, but we figure if we stick it to them now while they’re still down and weak, we’d have a good chance of beating them,” Bobby waved his hands around as he rambled on.
“But we should keep at it,”
“Okay,” Nate nodded. “We’ll keep an eye out on any activity up here, and I’ll keep my guys on it.”
“Great, well you guys keep up the good work,” Bobby grinned and waved. “And don’t forget to eat your Wheaties, kids!”
“Speak for yourself,” Rictor snorted. “Some of us are bigger than you now, amigo.”
“We’ll stay in contact with you all, and you should expect your supplies within the next forty-eight hours,”
“Well, that’s…good news.”
“Does this mean we finally did something that they are proud of?” Shatterstar asked, looking rather perplexed.
“It would appear so,” Cable rubbed his chin.
“And doesn’t it figure, we didn’t even know it at the time,” Roberto scoffed slightly, but grinned nonetheless. “I can’t believe we-- that never happens!”
“Well I don’t know about you guys, but I feel like that was definitely worth it. All that training you bitched and moaned about…” Domino trailed off smugly.
“You were trying to shoot our feet for fun,” Roberto deadpanned.
“That game was intriguing,” Shatterstar added.
“You did what?” Nate turned and shot her an incredulous look.
“It was therapeutic,” Dom countered with a shrug.
Suddenly Rictor just burst out laughing. “Man oh man. I can’t believe we’re the heroes.”
“Ah think it was a long time comin’,” Sam scolded him. “Ya guys say it’s all an accident, but when ya really think about it, Ah ain’t too surprised. We trained for an all out attack and we literally put all of our blood, sweat, and tears intah the fight. It was all strategy, and y’all know that rescue missions bring out more motivation in everyone tah keep on goin’. All Ah’m sayin’ is that wasn’t an accident…we just didn’t need any X-Men.”
“Just like I’ve been saying all along,” Nathan nodded. “You guys should never have been so intimidated by them. Your skills are up to par with theirs, and your discipline is even better.”
“Most of the time,” Domino smirked.
“Either way,” Nate eyed the group before they could start another pointless argument. “We put a huge dent in HYDRA’s army. And because of that, everyone else was able to make the dent even bigger. This is the best news we could’ve heard all decade.”
“So Ah take it then ya wanna switch our priorities back t’ assault?” Sam questioned the older man curiously.
“Well my priority list is rather huge right now,” Nate muttered. “So what I think we’ll do is go back to working in squads again; it’s our best bet. We need people here upgrading this place as often as possible. There’s a lot of clean up to do…” he paused and looked around the group with a perked eyebrow. “And, while we’re on the topic, who’s idea was it to put all the dead hotel security in the dumpster out back?”
Everyone pointed to someone else.
“Figures,” Nate muttered and pinched the bridge of his nose. “Roberto and Rictor, I want those bodies placed in the ground somewhere before nightfall.”
“Yes, sir,” Sunspot scrunched up his face.
“I think if we spend the day cleaning up the lobby and the lounge we can manage to make ourselves a decent base. We’ll use the storage areas in the basement for all of our computer setups and tech. My biggest concern is training, however.”
“Mine too,” Shatty sighed and leaned his face in his hand. “I’m so sick of swimming.”
“Until we can figure out anything better, we’ll just have to make do with outdoor sessions.” The entire group groaned at that, and it made Cable smirk. “Look at that; thing’s are almost back to normal already.”
“Not quite,” Terry muttered.
The older man nodded at her. “We’ll do our best.”
“When are we allowed back out tah fight?” she questioned curiously.
“A few days, at least. You guys have been through a lot and I think we could all benefit from a rest. Give yourselves time to heal and think over things, and we’ll go from there. I told you all at Jimmy’s service -- I do think it’s important what’s going on in your lives, and I don’t want to put anyone else in jeopardy. We’ve already lost enough.”
“You givin’ us a break?” Ric asked.
“Consider it a gift,” Nate offered.
“And then what?” the Mexican questioned. “We moving up here to be Eskimos permanently? “
“I think that’s the safest course of action. And for certain members of our team, that’s something we have to take into consideration now,” the older man explained. “What you guys have to understand is that this entire situation was never supposed to technically happen. Strucker hopped through time to change the course of action of what was really supposed to map out. Any and all research I did with the Professor in Greymalkin is now basically for nothing.
“When I started this force I had a general idea of what was and wasn’t meant to happen. Namely, any events that had been credited for negative backlash had to be stopped. Guys like Stryfe, the MLF, the Externals…while there were a few surprises, I knew that these were people we had to go after. They needed to be stopped,” he explained with a thoughtful expression. “Every recruit I made I made for a reason – I needed, and still do need all of you. You all originally had a role, and were all very important to this cause. And not in a sacrificial way, either. My goal was to make sure your strengths and potentials were reached so that you can make amazing things happen.
“Now everything’s thrown off track. The worst part is that I no longer have the Professor or Greymalkin to look into this either. We’re just going to have to go by our instincts,” Nate sighed and folded his hands in his lap. “I’m not going to lie, it’s kinda scary.”
“Well after everything that happened these past few weeks, I think we can deal with scary,” Roberto told him.
“I also think we can trust our instincts,” Shatterstar added.
“Me too,” Cable nodded. “Which is why we’re going to set up shop here and do just that. I have every ounce of faith in our ability to function as a team.”
“We can still blow stuff up though, right?” Dom joked.
Nate rolled his eyes good naturedly. “Like I could stop you.”
“So that’s it then?” Rictor asked as he stretched his arms above his head. “All for one and one for all and all that good jazz?”
Cable shot him a look for the sarcasm, but ended up nodding anyways. “Yeah, looks like it. Feel free to have some lunch and then meet back here at around tonight for a short training exercise. Other then that, feel free to enjoy your day.”
The younger members of the team look relieved at the offer, and each made their way out of the lounge. Domino stayed behind and watched them all go, but Cable kept his focus on her.
“You sure you made the right choice?” she questioned him a few moments later.
He nodded. “While I’m all for full on attacks, Dom, we just can’t afford to lose anyone else. HYDRA’s still out there, and we gotta keep our ranks strong.”
“You sure made it sound as though things are going to be pretty easy from here on out though. You sure it’s a good idea to let them let their guards down?”
He shook his head. “They won’t. They know better than that.”
“We can only hope.”
“We taught them well. Besides, I think they’ve gotten used to looking over their shoulders, Dom. I don’t even think their subconscious minds would even allow them to let their guards slip.”
“I hope so,” she replied, and tossed her boots up on the chair ahead of her. A thoughtful look masked her face, but he could no longer feel the annoyed anger she had flowing through her since he had returned. Troubled still, yes, but she was feeling a lot more like her normal self. Maybe just a little more guarded though.
“You okay?” he asked her.
Violet eyes sought him out. “Of course. I always am.”
He smiled slightly and nodded. “I know.”
“But you still had to ask,” the merc pointed out.
“Of course. I always do.”
Rictor clenched his jaw determinedly as Roberto helped heat up the outside area of the hotel grounds. The Mexican was focused solely on the movements of the ground below him, and from his place a few feet away, Shatterstar could see he was putting all of his effort into it. They had finally buried the bodies of the hotel staff, and during the process had made a final resting place for Warpath. The ground was completely frozen solid, but Rictor had managed with Sunspot's assistance.
And, of course, the other younger members of their team had followed them outside to say good-bye to their friend for the last time. The warrior was not really that surprised, but proud of Theresa for coming along too. She was still acting like it had hit her very hard, but now she remained calm. It was good not to see her so troubled.
Ric stood at the edge of his makeshift tomb and stared down at the body blankly. The group watched him for many moments until he decided to untie the black bandana he had been wearing on his head to keep his hair from his face as he worked; he had picked it up earlier when they had gone looting. Silently, he looked down at the fabric before dropping it down into the hole with Jimmy.
Terry approached him hesitantly, and looked down as well. “Ye givin’ it tah him?”
The Mexican nodded. “I heard somewhere that when a warrior falls in battle, you take something of his to carry around with ya to honour him, or something.”
Shatterstar nodded and looked down. “He doesn’t have anything that belongs to him anymore.”
“So I gave him one of my things,” Ric shrugged. “It’s backwards, but whatever. Makes me feel a little better since we couldn’t get him a nice…uh, you know, coffin, or whatever.”
The three peered down. The body was covered securely with the burgundy blanket from his bed, and Julio’s bandana lay gently on top of it. A fond smile touched Terry’s lips at the sight, so she reached up and unclasped the gold chain around her neck and pressed her lips against it. “There ye go, boyo.” She watched as it fell soundly.
Shatterstar followed their lead and unclipped a holstered hunting blade from his belt. It was something he had owned since he was a child on Mojoworld, and it was given to him from one of his teachers. It was secured inside an old rickety leather case and was covered in many symbols of his home world’s writings. Thoughtlessly, he let it join his friends’ belongings.
And those items were joined by Sam’s aviator goggles, Roberto’s watch, and one of Tabby’s many rings. Silently they stood and stared down at him together for many moments until Rictor cleared his throat.
Terry nodded. “Go ahead.”
A green glow encased Julio’s hands, and he gestured toward the ground with closed fists. Slowly the ground rumbled and shifted back into place, soundly taking Jimmy with it. The Mexican clenched his jaw at the strain, but had been able to return the yard to looking normal once more. The group did not move though, and Julio sighed shakily.
“Dios, I’ve done that way too many times today.”
Shatty placed a hand on his shoulder. “You are honourable for doing it. Don’t forget.” Ric nodded without turning around, but had leaned into the touch nonetheless.
“I can’t believe he’s…” Terry swallowed and placed her hand over her mouth. “That’s it. He’s gone now.”
“Gone but not forgotten,” Sam lulled.
“So you think Cable was telling the truth?” Tabitha mused after a few thoughtfully silent minutes. “Think it’ll be easy stomping from here on out?”
“Easy or hard, we don’t let them win, menina. We can make a pact right here right now. Stick by each other and watch each other’s backs. And don’t let this happen again,” Roberto gestured down to Jimmy’s final resting place.
“Si,” Rictor approved, and Shatterstar easily nodded in agreement. The girls both nodded too, and everyone looked to Sam. The blonde frowned once more at the ground they stood on before sighing shakily, and placing his arm around Tabby’s waist.
“Agreed,” the deputy leader voiced.
They each stood and let their vow linger in the air. HYDRA had weakened them, yes, but it was not enough for them to claim victory in the war. Under the setting sun of the coloured Canadian sky, the remainder of X-Force stood tall. Branded with battle scars, but united with one simple promise. And while they continued to mourn the lives of fallen loves and comrades, they were prepared to take on whatever came their way next.
“Hey guys?” Terry questioned suddenly. “Weren’t we supposed tah have trainin’ tonight?”
Sam’s eyes widened. “What time is it?”
Rictor glared at Roberto. “Weren’t ya supposed to keep track!?”
“I threw my watch down to Jimmy!” he snapped.
Shatterstar looked up at the sky with an amused smirk. “If the sun’s position is any indication, I would guess it was around .”
Tabitha laughed – loudly – for the first time since she had returned. “Well, we may be heroes now, but, funny, we can’t even make it to training on time.”
Rictor scoffed. “Whatever; we’re fashionably late.”
“The only fashionably anything you are is fashionably challenged,” she poked out her tongue.
“Says Miss bubble gum pink,” Roberto teased.
“You made us late, so you can’t say a thing,” Shatty rolled his eyes.
“Ye never noticed either,” Terry pointed out.
Sam sighed and face palmed. “Well at least we know when big time changes happen, some things always stay the same, huh?”
“And you’ll always be there to point that out, won’t you, Mason-Dixon?” Tabitha smiled at him, and leaned over to place a kiss on his cheek.
“You don’t think training is cancelled, do you?” Shatterstar frowned. But Ric just laughed and nudged him in the ribs.
“And leave it up to you to be worried about it.”
Terry glanced over to Sam and just shook her head. “Definitely stays the same, boyo.”
“Well let’s keep it that way then, shall we?” Cannonball gestured back toward the new base and smiled fondly at his friends; the small degree of normalcy was enough to satisfy them all for the time being. It was just the start to the long way back, but it was a step in the right direction.
~*~ The End ~*~