Characters: X-Force -- Shatterstar, Siryn, Sunspot, Rictor, Cannonball, Domino, Warpath, Cable, Boomer, Moonstar, Feral, Magma, and Deadpool.
Pairings: Domino/Cable, Sunspot/Magma. Minor Warpath/Siryn/Deadpool and Cannonball/Boomer, and eventually Rictor/Shatterstar.
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 wakes to find himself in a sticky situation; Rictor voices his fears after getting chewed out for the stunt he pulled; Tabitha and Dani begin to lose hope; and Siryn begins to lose her grip on things.
Part: One, Two, Three, Four, Five,
Throughout the course of his life he had experienced many kinds of headaches. After living through being shot, stabbed, torn apart, blown up, lost in space and time -- he had even lived through a flesh eating disease -- nothing he had ever experienced had been quite like this. Once he was actually able to open his eyes, it was apparent that the feeling he had been experiencing was most definitely caused by a machine.
There were tubes and rods and cables poking and prodding and puncturing almost every part of his body. His arms and legs were restrained. It was almost as if he was being used to charge a battery.
“Nathan Christopher Charles Dayspring,” a deep, accented voice cut him from his thoughts. A man, probably in his fifties or sixties, stood before him. He was of decent height, and had a strong build -- he looked absolutely incredible for his age. The bald head and the scarring on his face was the only hint of his maturity. “Or are you going by another name these days? Winters? Summers? Askani’son? Soldier X?”
“Where’s my team?” Nate managed to choke out, despite the massive piece of metal clamped around his throat.
The man just ignored him. “I’ve been looking for you for many years, you know. I expected you to be hard to take in, but I had no idea you would be this phenomenal a specimen.”
Nate tried to move, to probe his mind, anything at all, but found that he could not. The last thing he had remembered was being with Dani, Tabitha, and Wade. Where were they now? And why were they not there with him? From his line of sight he could see other bodies being held in strange looking tubes, but none of them familiar. He moved his gaze back down to the man in front of him and scowled. “Who are you?”
“You tell me, Nathan,” he folded his hands behind his back and gave him a smug grin. “You are from the future after all, and I am absolutely positive that you know who I am. I am the mastermind behind this entire operation, you know.”
“Strucker,” Cable grunted.
“That's Baron von Strucker,” he tapped the side of his head before he went back to pacing in front of Nathan’s body. “So I’m glad we’re on the same page here.”
“Where's my team?” Nate asked again. “If you have me, I know you have them too.”
“They are being processed elsewhere,” he replied with a wave of his hand. “Mutants that are kept are done in an organized fashion based on need and importance. If they have something to offer us they are brought here.”
“They may be kept for other purposes,” Strucker responded vaguely. “If not they are dealt with accordingly.”
Nate felt a sick feeling twist in the bottom of his gut. “What do you mean by that?”
“You’re from the future, Nathan," Strucker reminded again. “I don’t believe that I have to inform you how this ends.”
The man had a lot of knowledge of time travel and the future, and such vague hints made Nathan wonder if in fact Strucker was a time traveler as well. History records of the twenty first century in his time existed, but were murky at best. Major events were recorded, and since coming to this century Nate had done a lot of homework alongside the Professor on Greymalkin, but he had not the answers to everything. This particular situation was grave, and he was not sure he was ready to fully accept the results just yet.
He still had time to change them.
“What do you want with me?” Nate asked him, trying and failing to keep from screaming out in agony as the machines continued their assault on his brain and body.
“You have something I want.”
“What is it?” he panted, and forced himself to look at Strucker. “Whatever it is, we can work something out. No more people need to die today.”
“Cute,” Strucker shook his head bemusedly. “I know all about you, Cable. I know of your future, your past, and especially all of your time spent here in the twenty first century.
“Where are they now?”
“Dead,” he replied simply, without a sliver of false bravado. “They provided me with enough information to allow me to realize just how valuable you are, and how to handle you so that you cannot tear this establishment apart piece by piece with those powers of yours.” He clasped his hands in front of him and began to pace back and forth again. “You have a great deal of information in that head of yours, Nathan.”
“That what the machine’s for?” he questioned.
“Precisely; it is extracting and reading you as we speak,” he explained, and that time there was amusement in his voice. “You are the key to allowing us to rewrite the future, Nathan.”
“You can’t do that,” Cable growled. “I won’t let you.”
Strucker just ignored him. “I went to year 2021. In that year HYDRA is finally defeated and dismantled. I will not allow that to happen. I came back and I’ve been taking down and collecting the key players in our demise.”
“Fucker,” Cable spat, and then winced when another explosive wave of pain struck his body.
“However there is one little monkey wrench that was thrown into our plans that we had not been expecting,” Strucker told him, and finally stopped pacing to near Cable’s face. “See, in the future your team is nothing. Most of X-Force is imprisoned or dead. They have absolutely no role whatsoever in HYDRA’s demise. In fact, your team went down in history as nothing more then a bunch of failed outlaws--” he paused and grinned. “Except, of course, you and your little protégé, Samuel Guthrie.”
Cable glared at the mention, and narrowed his eyes. “Then you should let them go.”
“I can’t do that,” he scowled. “Not now. We were not aware your base of operations was currently the Xavier Institute. SHIELD files had you stationed at Camp Verde.”
“Camp Verde was destroyed,” Cable shook his head. “We had only taken up residence in the Institute a couple of weeks ago.”
“And that was the monkey wrench,” he narrowed his eyes. “Your band of bratty teenagers has been killing off my men. Somehow they had managed to escape HYDRA in
Cable could not bite back the smile at that piece of news. “They probably won’t stop either.”
“And that's another reason we are so happy to have you here,” Strucker grabbed him by the face roughly and sneered. “Through your psi-links and radio communications, you have the information stored in that brain of yours somewhere. We will use it to track them down and learn how to handle them.” Forcefully he released him, and reached out his arm to spin a monitor around. “This computer sifts through your psychic database, Cable. You are also hooked up to a mutant power nullifier, so you are unable to reverse it. Soon we will have the information we need to take both you and your team down. And once they are destroyed, we will continue to move forward with our plans. You and Guthrie are all we need.”
“I’d kill myself before I let you have that information,” Nathan spat.
Strucker chuckled and slapped a hand against Nathan’s techno-organic mesh. “You’re confined, Nathan Summers. You are unable to move or do a thing about your condition.”
“We’ll see about that.”
“Always the courageous one,” he sighed amusedly. “But I read that about you and it was expected. You will be such a phenomenal edition to our testing subjects, Cable. I welcome you to the team, and I recommend you make yourself at home,” he winked behind the monocle over his eye. “You’re going to be here awhile.”
“You won’t get away with this,” he glowered.
“I already have,” Strucker stepped away from him. “Your capture had been much easier than anticipated, after all. I’m already that far ahead of you, Nathan.”
“Where’s the rest of my team?” he repeated one more time.
“They are the least of your concern right now.”
“We can’t stay here, Sy,” Bobby frowned. “It only took them fourteen hours to find the last hideout!”
“There’s nae another place tah go,” Theresa snapped back. “And we are nae fightin’ again. I’m the leader and I’m sayin’ we stay here.”
“What the hell!? There’s nothing out here--” Roberto started.
“And nothing for miles,” 'Star pointed out. “This shelter is much better hidden than the last. It would be harder to find.”
“And a lot more difficult to keep a fire going without smoking ourselves out,” Roberto retorted. “There’s only one small opening in here.”
“Just get it built,” Terry told him. “Smoke is better than frostbite, boyo.”
“Will you shut the hell up?!” a groggy voice snapped from beneath them. Shatterstar pinched his eyebrows inward and glared down at the body on the floor.
“Julio! You knocked yourself out!”
“And you freaking woke me up,” he snapped, and threw his hands over his face. “My fucking head is killing me.”
The warrior knelt down on the ground next to Rictor and grabbed him by the face. “You should not have done that! You are stupid for putting yourself at further risk!”
“And for getting me a place to sleep?” he narrowed his eyes, and groaned again. “I was passing out in the air too, so what difference does it make?”
Shatterstar turned his head around to glare at Sunspot. “He was falling unconscious before hand?!”
“A little,” Roberto shrugged before turning to go leave the cave in search of fire wood.
“And yet you still let him--” Shatterstar heaved a frustrated sigh and stared down at Rictor. “Julio you are doing badly!”
“I know,” he muttered, and curled onto his side slowly. He winced and pulled his knees up to his chest. “I fucking hurt all over and I couldn’t move anymore! Is that what you wanted to hear?! I can’t run…I can’t…fuck; you might as well just fucking go and leave me behind. I’m just gonna-- I’ll slow you down.”
'Star frowned and leaned over him so that he could see his face better. “Julio…no.”
Brown eyes opened, and 'Star finally noticed how blood shot and sunken in they were. “Yes, 'Star. I can’t…I don’t think I’m gonna…” he trailed off before falling into a fit of coughs again. His body stiffened and jolted violently against the floor, and before he could even get up all the way, Rictor threw up on the ground in front of him. Shatty grabbed him by the shoulders and hoisted him away from the mess so that he would not fall back into it. “Leave me alone,” he whimpered.
“No,” the warrior whispered and held him close to his chest as he sat. “Never, Julio, no! You're very sick, and--”
“Nothing,” he snapped weakly. His body shivered hard against Shatty’s, but he could not pull himself away. “Just leave me. I'll slow you down.”
“Dinnae think for one second we would do that,” Terry knelt down in front of him. “We’ve lost enough already, and we refuse tah leave ye too, Ric.”
The Mexican didn’t say anything to that; he just sighed and leaned back against 'Star. He was so cold. The warrior frowned irritably and leaned over to grab the bags they had deposited on the floor where they had shoved their blankets. They rolled out when he pulled them from the confines of the bag, and he wrapped them tightly around the Mexican’s body.
“You need to keep warm,” he told him.
“This isn’t helping,” Ric sniffed.
Just at that moment Roberto returned with an arm full of tree pieces and dropped them in the middle of the floor. Using his abilities he was able to heat the wood enough to cause a few sparks, and within minutes the fire was beginning to grow. Shatterstar stood up and carefully helped Rictor to his feet to move him to the side of it; close enough so that he would be warm, but not close enough that the already heat-sensitive burns on his body would ache anymore then they already did.
“We’ll warm you up,” 'Star told him. “Now no more talking your nonsense of us leaving you behind.”
Rictor wrapped the blanket around himself tighter. “I just don’t wanna go anymore.” He said it so quietly that Shatty was sure he had only heard because his hearing was enhanced.
“You can do it,” 'Star told him, and sat down close enough to him that the others would not be able to hear their words exchanged. “I will make sure of it, and I promise you, Julio, that this will end in our victory.
“Don’t make promises you can’t keep,” he whispered.
“I never break my word,” Shatterstar replied sternly.
And it was the truth. Shatterstar was a Cadre warrior -- a fighter from birth. When he pledged and vowed, he did it only in the name of truth and honour. Defending Julio was his top priority, and it had been from the start. In no way was his intention to mother him or make him feel weak, but rather to defend his life and honour when he was physically unable to. Julio had always been there for him in the past when problems arisen and Shatterstar had every intention of returning the favour. After all, he was under the assumption that it was what friends did for one another. Before all of the values and codes of being a warrior, came the friendship and care he held as a human man for his dearest friend.
There was no benefit or gain for anyone if Rictor was left to die and feel unworthy about himself. Julio was worth so much -- so much more than his own eyes would ever allow him see about himself, and 'Star was determined to prove that to him.
However, on the other hand, Shatterstar was not a doctor. His survival training only went so far, and while he had the hope and determination to make things work, he did not necessarily have the equipment or ability to boost Rictor’s immune system. He could have been battling infection, and he had lost a large amount of blood before he had been properly stitched up; they had walked for over two hours to the cave before they had the ability to treat him. For all Shatterstar knew, Rictor could have been in dire need for a blood transfusion.
“Yeah,” he breathed through chattering teeth.
'Star moved over closer to him, and hesitantly wrapped an arm around him to keep him warmer. “If I were to promise you that I would get us out of this, could you tell me that you will at least cease from speaking of quitting?”
“'Star…” he sighed, and dropped his head onto the bigger man’s shoulder. “I--”
“Please?” he did not want to beg, but he was beginning to feel desperate. “If for at least my own motivation and assurance?”
Tired brown eyes looked up at him. “Yeah, I can do that. But don’t tell anyone; they’ll think I’ve gone soft.”
An amused snort escaped the warrior, which surprised him. “I would not.”
Rictor just nodded and inched closer to the side of Shatterstar’s body. The warmth was needed, and perhaps the assurance needed to go both ways. Shatty was not quite sure, but whatever the case he accepted the Mexican against him and did not question his motives. The touch was welcomed, and 'Star was just happy he could be of some assistance at that point in time.
He would do anything for him.
“Take two steps to your left and place your hands above your head.”
Danielle Moonstar fought the urge to spit in the man’s face. “What difference does it make where my hands go? I thought these collars nullified my powers?”
“They do,” the larger man smirked and folded his arms across his chest. “But I don’t want any funny business. Now, you will do what I say or I can make this more difficult for both of you.”
Tabitha sniffed from next to her, and Dani knew the girl was fighting with everything she had not to bust down and cry. Since they had been separated from Cable things had only gotten worse. The guards had informed them that because Nate was 'flagged' he was to be 'processed' separately. Wade had been mouthing off, as usual, and had been beaten down and taken to be processed down the 'men’s' hall. Tabby and Dani had to go where the women were processed, but the
There were four of them all together. Two stood at either entrance on opposite sides of their little room with machine guns pointed at them. One more held a pen and clipboard and was writing things down whenever the girls were given orders, and the last man was the one directing them. Dani had a bad feeling about him; the way he was looking at them gave off very negative vibes to her.
Placing her hands behind her head, Moonstar sighed and narrowed her eyes at him. “Where will you be taking us?”
“Does it matter?”
“Yes!” Tabitha blurted with a choked sob. “What are you going to do with us, and where the hell did you bring the rest of our team!?”
“They are no longer your concern,” he growled before stepping forward and running his hands down Meltdown’s body as he frisked her for any more hidden weapons. “Spread your legs apart.”
She swallowed and her chin wobbled. “What do you mean ‘no longer’?”
“Just what I said,” he snapped angrily, and stepped over to Dani to frisk her as well. “They're being processed as well, and will be kept in a different area then you.”
“Is this a prison?” Dani questioned.
“You can say that,” he replied flatly, and stepped back to his previous place ten feet in front of them. “Everyone here is kept for different reasons. Peak physical mutants are kept for security purposes, and men are kept for other tasks.”
Dani narrowed her eyes. “And what do you do with the women and children?”
“Any inferior species is dealt with…accordingly. That includes any sick or injured prisoner,” he explained with a disgusted glare. “Now, enough of that jabbering and continue with the processing.”
Tabby scoffed from beside her. “Accordingly?”
“Ladies, I’m going to have to ask you to remove your clothing,” he ignored the blonde.
“Why!?” Dani demanded. "There's no reason for that!"
“You need to be issued new clothing,” he said vaguely. “You will do what we say without questioning, or we’ll only make this harder for you.”
Tabby glared behind her tears. “Can we at least get some privacy!?”
“Remove your clothing now or else we will subdue you,” he repeated, and that time with more impatience.
Dani scowled at him before she swallowed and began to work on the buttons of her shirt. From next to her Tabitha was becoming increasingly agitated at what she was being asked to do, and she refused to move. The
“Just do what he says, Tab. We’re more likely to get out of this if--”
“No,” she hissed. “I know what they’re trying to do, and I’m not falling for it! They’re going to kill us, and--”
“Shut up!” the guard interrupted them, and made both girls jump when he slammed his baton against the wall. “Both of you sluts will shut your fucking mouths and take your clothes off now!”
Dani clenched her jaw and pulled her shirt off of her shoulders. Keeping her eyes averted from the men, she then pulled off her pants, and tossed them in a pile on the floor. Tabitha had still yet to move. The
“Underwear too,” he snapped, and then stepped toward Tab. “And you! Get moving!
Tabitha brushed her hand across her cheek to wipe away her tears. Defiantly, she stuck out her chin and leered. “Fuck you.”
“That’s it,” the man tightened his hold on the baton and approached Tabitha. She yelped as he reached out and fisted a handful of her hair, and he threw her roughly against the wall.
“Tabitha!” Dani yelled, but was quickly grabbed from behind by another guard and thrown to the floor. The
“You should have listened to me when you had the chance, bitch!” he screamed at her. The blonde struggled to hit him with her fists, but a second guard grabbed her from behind and held her arms behind her back. The main guard from before approached her and tore her shirt down the middle, before yanking her pants down her legs.
“Get off me! Stop touching me! Please don’t!” Tabitha sobbed and kicked at him, and Dani’s heart panged with fear. As the guards continued to shed Meltdown of her clothes, they began to pull her toward the door.
“Shut the fuck up, mutie,” he yelled.
“Dani!” Tabitha screamed as they hauled her out the door. “Dani please!”
And the last thing Danielle heard as they slammed the door shut was Tabitha screaming for Sam.
She swallowed the lump in her throat and forced herself to keep calm; she would not give these men the satisfaction of seeing her scared or upset. Clenching her fist, she struggled against the floor.
“Is this how you deal with your inferior species?” she spat, as they began to remove the last of the clothing protecting her modesty. They pressed her face down against the floor; nude with a gun against the back of her skull.
“No,” she felt hot breath against her ear. “We deal with you ourselves before they finish processing you.” She felt a hand trace up the back of her thigh, and that time she could not help the stray tear that rolled down her cheek. “Then you will be disposed of.”
Terry swallowed as she watched Shatty move across the cave. He was fisting two handfuls of disgustingly dirty bandages, and staring down at Rictor angrily. The Mexican had passed out again while the warrior had tried to work on his injuries. It was becoming rather obvious to the rest of the team how bad off Rictor was getting, and the Irish girl feared they were going to lose another teammate.
And as leader, that made her feel a sort of guilt that was indescribable. Her tactics and strategy had absolutely failed both Ric and Feral, and she could not help but feel completely responsible. And besides Rictor’s brutally battered body, all she was left with was an unpredictable Sunspot and Shatterstar. Both were having mood swings and tantrums, and she no longer knew what to do.
She wished so badly that Cable was there to help them, or even Sam.
'Star approached her and stood in front of the fire, bandages in hand. His lips were pursed into a tight line, and he did not blink as he stared into the flame.
“Is he okay?” she whispered.
He looked down at the bandages in his hand, and held them out slightly. “These-- they are green and yellow.”
“I dinnae--” she trailed off.
“He has infection in his body,” he murmured, and tossed the stained objects into the fire. “If he does not get medical attention within the next 48 hours I suspect he will die.”
Terry’s heart slammed in her chest and she dropped her head into her hands. “Please tell me yuir jokin’.”
“I would not kid about such a thing,” he told her, and stepped over Roberto’s sleeping body to sit beside her on the cold, rocky ground. “I am unable to…” he trailed off and an agonized scowl crossed his face. “I have no medical supplies left to help him. He needs prescription drugs, and quite possibly some new blood.”
“What about ye?” she asked hopefully. “Aye, I heard once that if a healin’ mutant were tah give blood they could share the regenerative properties, and--”
“My DNA is not fully human,” 'Star muttered into his fist. “My genetic make up, while appears human, does not completely match your own. There is no telling what my blood would do to him.”
“We dinnae have anythin’ tah lose now,” she told him. “If yuir sure he’s gonna, ye know, then shouldn’t we at least try?”
“I will carry him on my back if I have to and kill every HYDRA agent that gets in my way, if it were to mean I find him a doctor by morning,” he told her. “This is not at all a laughing matter anymore. I will no longer hide from them.”
“Shatty,” she placed a hand on his chiseled arm. “No one’s laughin’. Ye’ve done the best ye can do.”
“That is not good enough,” he replied through clenched teeth. “As a warrior born I refuse to see failure, especially in regards to a matter this important. I refuse to let him die, Siryn, and if I had to rip out my very own living, bleeding heart to replace his with, I would do it no questions asked.”
One of her hands raised and covered her mouth as she bit back the wave of sorrow that came over her; sorrow for Ric, sorrow for 'Star, and sorrow for her whole team -- the entire thing was as if she were living in her worst nightmare come true. Everything was falling apart at the seams, and she wondered if it was at all salvageable. They had gotten out of big messes before, but Theresa Rourke Cassidy was to the point where her doubt overshadowed all of her optimism.
Her blue eyes moved back to 'Star’s, and she traced her hand down his arm until she could squeeze his hand. “I know ye would.”
He pulled away and crossed his legs. Silver eyes never left the flames and his frown deepened. “If I take him west back to
“Ye cannae move that fast,” Terry told him. “Ye’ll need a car or somethin’ like that. 'Star--”
“No, Siryn,” he interrupted and finally looked at her. “I do not care. I cannot let him die! What would I do without him? He is the most important person to me.”
She swallowed, not really sure what to say to that. How the hell was she supposed to explain to someone, who as a child grew to feel nothing for death, that he was supposed to feel a certain way about losing someone he came to care for? “'Star, ye dinnae have tah worry about that. We’ll take care of him.”
“He is my very best friend,” he explained carefully. “You may not care for your best friend as strongly as I do.”
“What is that supposed to mean?” she questioned.
“I heard you speak with Sunspot when you were arguing,” he told her. His eyes were narrowed and his eyebrows furrowed. If she did not know him she would have sworn he was trying to intimidate her. “You said that your feelings for your best friend were not as strong as your feelings for Wade Wilson.”
“That’s nae what I meant,” she frowned. “They’re different kinds of feelings. My best friend is the person who I rely on. I trust him more than anyone else and I confide in him. My feelings for Wade are more emotional, 'Star. He makes me feel things that no one else can. Excited, happy, sad, mad -- a whole range of things.”
“Why can’t your best friend make you feel both?” he demanded.
“Sometimes they can,” she offered. “Some married people are best friends. But sometimes people are just better off as friends and nae anythin’ more because it can ruin the good relationship they have.”
“He makes me feel all of those,” he told her. “I fear that he may have caused something strange inside of me because seeing him this way makes me feel very emotional.” He clenched his jaw and frowned angrily. “I do not know what this means, but I fear it may distract me from getting him the help he needs! And I cannot allow that!”
She frowned; that was unexpected. “'Star, love can make ye do crazy things, but it would nae stop ye from savin’ him.”
“Love?!” he questioned with an irritated expression. “Fekt…”
“Oh, uh, that’s nae what I meant,” she tried to offer an apologetic smile. “Love is--”
“I know what it is,” his eyes narrowed further; he was quite obviously annoyed. “I was just irritated at the fact that you had been so easily able to tack such a word onto my behavior and characteristics. I am a warrior bred to kill, and such a term should not be closely associated with a person of my type.”
A small smile formed on her lips. “Such a word can be associated with any person, Shatty. If ye can feel one emotion, ye can feel them all. That’s just the way it works. Dinnae shun it, accept it.”
“Only if this ends the way I want it to,” he stood. “The next time he wakes I am taking him from this place to search for help. Whether you come or not is your own choice, but I am willing to leave this team to do it myself.”
She watched his retreating back as he walked away. “We’ll stick together no matter what, Shatty.”
He did not reply. Instead, he just sat next to Rictor and watched over him. She was quite worried that he was feeling such things only because Rictor was so close to death; unless, of course, the situation was what determined the realization. Either way, the potential mess it could make worried her. Not because Rictor would not embrace such a thing, but rather because Shatterstar had absolutely no idea how to control his emotions that way.
All she knew was that they needed to move and fast; there was no way in hell she was going to let anyone else die on her watch.
“This is Beta, Charlie do you copy?”
Terry smiled down at the comm device next to her and lifted it to her mouth. “This is Charlie. That ye, Domino?”
“It is, girlie! How are you guys holding up?”
“Nae good,” she muttered with a frown.
“Well, I guess it’s a good thing I have some pleasant news then.”
Go to chapter seven