Ch.61 - Magnetic Games
-Bayville Highschool, New York
"Erik, this is insane! You can't threaten the planet or YOU will be one who's going to be responsible when our race undergoes genocide from the humans!" Mystique could barely stop herself from screaming at the top of her lungs at what she had just heard from the man.
She knew he would go far to secure the future of mutants, as he saw it anyway, but this was shortsighted and foolish.
Humans would never submit with something like this. A Sword of Damocles scenario was only going to backfire immensely as their racial pride and superiority complex would force them to match the threat and one-up it.
It was one of the things she learnt over her long life, and more specifically after having joined a new side.
Erik's way would always lead to conflict which would end in the complete subjugation or genocide of either humanity or mutants. It was an all-out gamble which, much more often than not, ended up with mutants as the losers according to her lover.
Charles was no better.
In fact, he was much worse.
Instead of actually doing anything meaningful with his powers, the money which almost never seems to run out even when he turns the school into a well armed quasi-fortress with technology more advanced than most countries, stealth jets, his 'Danger Room' and Cerebro, he decides to make a group of kids perform for humans in the hopes that they basically 'adopt' mutants like their were pets.
Erik's heart was in the right place, but his methods were crude and shortsighted on top of overly aggressive while Charles was selling out their people and hopping for mercy in slavery.
She would even admit that her own methods had been far too... direct.
Mystique's assassination history was long and varied, either to protect herself and those she cared about or mutants. Having also participated in experiments which have crossed lines she herself hadn't noticed until too late.
But now, things were different.
Because now she witnessed what happened when a powerful telepath was determined and intelligent enough to actually use his powers to achieve his goals.
It was frightening if she was honest with her self.
The thought of someone with that level of influence over the minds of others, with such a deep understanding of how people think, and exerting that influence. Sometimes even doubting if her own mind was indeed still her own, only being reassured by a few subtle tests and Irene's Sight.
At the same time though, Mystique was awed at how much one could achieve through long term aims and by using the systems humans put in place to their advantage. How one could use their 'news', entertainment, comforts and power structures for mutant gains while utilizing both species.
Plus the fact that her new side had multiple powerhouses beyond Magneto, a literal army, multiple countries under its sway, and could actually churn out mutants and enhanced individuals like they were candy was rather reassuring. And that was just what she was aware of as even Irene was not willing to reveal just how much their new side had, not wanting to be an unintentional leak from her mind being read and the likes.
And now, Erik just had to decide to go off the deep end with a fucking meteor!
'Magneto, in all his 'greatness', decided that they needed to strike the first blow to cripple humanity by dropping a fucking meteor on the planet if needed, likely destroying multiple countries, and conveniently marking all the mutants he would kill in such a move as 'too weak' on top of just not thinking about how mutants are born from humans.
Not that the man knew of the origin of mutants being giant space gods, something Mystique herself tried not to think about too much, giving every human the potential to awaken abilities in their DNA. Some of that had been messed with by aliens and gods, other headaches for the shapeshifter, but the basic link between humanity and mutants was there.
She would know best with how one of her own children had been born human when she and Sabertooth were strong mutants, resulting in a moment she wasn't proud of retroactively with her abandonment of him.
"I am saddened that you do not follow in my belief Mystique." The older sounding man's voice spoke with regret over a blurry video message. "This means you must be tested as well."
"Tested?! What do you mean tested!? I helped you found the Brotherhood!" Mystique growled over the insult of having to be 'tested'.
She might not truly be loyal to the Brotherhood anymore, but what she did was still for the betterment of mutant kind.
"And I am grateful for that my dear. That is why you are receiving a warning." Magneto said as if he was being generous. "But the weak must be separated so the strong may take their place at the apex."
"So what? Now you're just going to have mutants kill each other too?" She sarcastically spat out with venom in her voice at that little revelation.
"Of course not Raven. Everything I do is for our kind and I will not endorse the waste of mutant blood..." Was the almost patronizing response. "But I must know which are worthy of ascension, even if unwilling."
With that firm declaration, Magneto cut the feed, leaving a suddenly cold Mystique to look at the blank screen.
"Secure office." She softly spoke, activating her kimoyo bead inspired bracelet, letting it scan for both technological and mystical 'spyware' before coming back negative. "Open secure line. Urgent report."
Immediately, the near emotionless 'face' of Cerebra appeared in her palm.
"Ms. Darkhölme, what seems to be the issue?" She politely asked.
"Somethings wrong with Magneto or he's gone crazy. He plans on having mutants fight each other before forcibly bringing all the winners to him for an 'ascension' as he drops a meteor from somewhere high." Mystique quickly reported.
"Yes. We are aware of the small station in question and have it under observation." Cerebra replied, which was not surprising to Mystique in the least. "Although this change of behavior has been deemed worthy of further investigation.
Has your cover been blown?"
"No." Raven shook her head before scoffing. "But he's even going to test me just because I'm not stupid enough to think threatening humans with Armageddon would end well for anyone."
"While not being aware of your own enhancements I'm sure, thus meaning you will likely be aboard the station.
Master has sent over word that Magneto would be set for capture, alongside his means of 'Ascension' as it appears to possibly cause mental instabilities coupled with power enhancement. A dangerous combination which must be secured and destroyed." The Digital Being announced with a nod to unseen or heard orders.
Mystique still had some difficulty understanding how someone could be 'one' with an Artificial Intelligence, even the concept of such a thing was a bit much for her, but it wasn't really her place to judge that.
"I might be stronger, but I know I can't take down Magneto on my own." Raven rationalized with a minute frown. "Even possibly teaming up with Charles and the 'losers' of Magneto's ego trip it wouldn't happen.
Charles would never allow it. He'd prefer handing him over to humans like a good dog."
"My apologies for the misunderstanding Ms. Darkhölme. Capture has been sanctioned for master's pupils to enact, you are requested to maintain your cover amongst the Brotherhood to continue possibly finding and recruiting disenfranchised youths and to turn the more violent members towards more constructive lives." Cerebra explained with a small bow.
That made more sense to Raven at least. She might have received a major boost to her abilities for direct combat, but she would have need equipment she had no way of explaining away to take down Magneto, so another team being sent in was ideal. Her boss has had contact with Charles and his X-Men before, so they knew of the existence of other mutants being taught at least and a few had interacted with some of the X-men too.
"Understood. Any additional parameters?" Mystique asked after having pondered over this new information.
"Master would request that you 'throw the match' as it were. We do not wish for you to be exposed to this source of ascension without understanding it further and would prefer you to make sure the 'losers' are not killed or crippled if possible." Was the answer, which did cause Mystique to be slightly annoyed at having to lose when pretty much all of those she could face would die to her with a single pistol, maybe even a knife, but she would acquiesce.
It wasn't the first time she had to act weaker than she was and it won't be the last.
She could also appreciate that her boss wanted to make sure no one died from Magneto's power trip, even if the man had said he still treasured mutant blood.
Excuse her if she wasn't placing much faith in a man who seems to have just went off the deep end.
"Fine, but that means i might have to either fight or mess with whoever is sent." Mystique nodded promptly, not caring too much in the end.
"Acknowledged. Please be advised that some volatility between X-men and our team may occur due to the involvement our goals." Cerebra warned as a data package regarding the mission was sent.
Her boss was helpful like that.
Constant, almost 100% accurate information at any time when it comes to missions, even about things one wouldn't have thought or known about. Sometimes she's even heard about other agents or 'widows' talking about how they purposefully refuse or limit information for a better challenge or to keep their skills well honed because of how much easier the data packages make things.
Looking things over, she understood her mission as well as predicted 'losers' and means of reaching Magneto if needed. Although the fact that she would likely have to fly a metal plane towards the 'master of magnetism' certainly wasn't the best idea, it was the only one she would have available while keeping her cover.
Unless her son lost and they could somewhat enhance or support his powers to infiltrate, but that was unlikely. Kurt was a special boy after all.
-Later that evening, Xavier School for the Gifted Greenhouse
After her sojourn at Ōshima, Ororo hadn't been able to help feeling somewhat reluctant to return here.
It wasn't that she disliked those she had bonded with, but Logan was a gruff man with far too many issues, young Scott was rather self-righteous and quick to anger over slights or moves towards the object of his near obsession, said object was turning more and more into a manipulative succubus while Charles almost seems to be willfully ignoring the signs, and Charles himself now just seemed so... stagnant.
She very much enjoyed teaching the children the many lessons she had learnt during her turbulent life. Understanding nature and languages were important, especially for young ones inspiring to help others like they are want to do at the moment.
But after experiencing rapid progress during her month long visit, how well she connected to young Meggan and her impish sense of humor, poor Torunn who had lost so much, and the Great Mother herself, well returning to stagnation as the Professor seemed to almost ignore her thoughts regarding her powers and the mystical side of the world. It was frustrating and somewhat disconcerting as the man appeared to have a set mentality that would not change and did not acknowledge subjects which clashed with it.
The more she delved into the thought, the more she found it fitting as to how Professor Xavier was someone who did not waver when his mind was set, but now she saw the negative aspects a lot clearer than before.
She was not aware that this was because she had been blessed by Gaea against the man's passive influencing of others, but she now saw a reason as to why he couldn't see or acknowledge the dark path Madelyne was walking, the way Scott wasn't the best choice for team leader, how magic and mysticism could have many answers to their questions regarding mutants, and even how his beliefs regarding humans and mutants being able to coexist through his methods was possible.
It reminded her of a talk she actually had with Prince Kai in regards to the man.
Somehow he managed to obtain scans of everyone in the mansion when he had visited, responding with a sly smile when asked how he did so, and he discovered something noticeably odd about the Professor compared to the many other telepaths his Highness was very familiar with: mainly that his mind had been tempered with. But oddly enough, every reading said that this was done by himself, something Prince Kai was adamant about being very dangerous, especially for telepaths.
He couldn't confirm what had been done, but he had warned her that the man was likely to be less 'human'. As if he was trying to be something a bit more... or less.
The psychological analysis he and young Jean, a wonderful young woman who had shocked her during their first meetings due to just how similar she was to Madelyne in terms of appearance, had run suggested that he might have sealed parts of himself deemed to be hampering his goals for mutant peace, trying to turn himself into a perfect symbol or leader for it.
A horrifying prognosis.
Who would wish to follow someone mentally compromised, even if said person believed it to be for the best? How can one justify shedding away parts of what makes them human and claim it to be for a better future with them? And if a person was willing to do this to themselves, seeing it as a valid option, wouldn't that indicate that they were prepared to do it to others as well?
But during her musing, she noticed someone approaching the greenhouse.
Her senses and powers had made miraculous advancements when guided by truly knowledgeable beings, those being faes, a goddess and masters of magic, which she was disappointed in not having the time to learn. No longer needing to have such a tight grasp on her emotions allowed her to place more focus on controlling and manipulation her powers themselves, pushing her towards other attributes she hadn't even been truly aware she had.
There was a reason why she was so comfortable in nature and loved her greenhouse. Why Lady Gaea chose her as her avatar, and it wasn't just because of her lineage. It was because her powers were so in-tune with nature, not only the weather, but all of it.
She had gained an instinctive mystical affinity with plants and the earth on top of the sky, a wonderful feeling once it had been unlocked, although returning to the United States almost made her physically ill due to just how immensely polluted and damaged nature was here compared to Japan. It made her understand why Lady Gaea was intent on allying herself with his Highness if she felt what she did on a much grander scale.
And thanks to these new senses, she could tell that this person approaching was too 'fluid'. As in the weight was shifting at minuscule increments constantly.
The other problem was that beside Logan and the Professor, no one should really be at the mansion right now.
Most of the kids were busy with extracurricular activities, an outing with friends or each other, or working in Warren's case.
And since Logan had a much higher weight than his stature would indicate due to his metallic skeleton and the Professor obviously couldn't walk, this rang alarms for an intruder in her mind.
Simple guess work meant a shapeshifter and only one of those was nearby and relatively hostile, so Mystique.
"You are not welcome here." Ororo spoke without turning away from her plants.
"I was welcome here long before any of you were." Mystique subtly mocked as she revealed a small piece of information to file away for further questioning of the Professor.
First he conceals Magneto's existence and his leadership of the Brotherhood and now the fact that its local head might have resided in the manor in the past. Secrets were piling on and they were starting to show many consequences.
"That may have been the case once, but now you will be removed." The African goddess sternly spoke as her eyes glowed white and the greenhouse seemed to come to life.
"Well, that's new." The now blue skinned shapeshifter commented. "But I won't lose to you princess, because now I have to prove I'm worthy to that asshole!"
Shifting into a red haired cat, she dodged a root aiming for her body as she dashed forward, transforming into various animals as she did so.
"You seem to have improved your own abilities as well." Ororo similarly noted as she sneakily gathered small clouds around the greenhouse.
Shifting back into human, Mystique used her momentum to send out a quick kick to the woman, knowing full well she had no means of matching her at range without revealing many cards she didn't want to, but to her surprise the dark skinned beauty easily diverted it and struck out with a knee which was mitigated as the shapeshifter turned into a wolf to claw and bite at Ororo who returned the favor by blasting a bolt of lightning from her prepared clouds.
"Argh!" Mystique cried out as she changed back into humanoid form.
No matter how stronger she could be thanks to her enhanced powers, in most forms Lightning was still very painful and disrupted her focus.
The electricity in her system further exacerbated her problems as they caused involuntary muscle contractions, hampering Mystique's shapeshifting abilities while Ororo manipulated the plants around them to restrain her, taking matters a step further by burying the shapeshifter up to her neck.
"You will reveal why you have infiltrated my home and sanctuary!" The victorious beauty commanded imperiously to the struggling redhead.
"*Grrrr* I shouldn't even have to do this! Proving myself to that fucking ingrate!" Mystique howled as she tried to transform into bigger or smaller forms, only for her restraints to adapt or get worse.
"What are you talking about?" A confused Ororo asked with a frown.
"What the-?!" She then turned towards the noise, only to be met with a metallic sphere which opened up to shoot tentacles out, swiftly grasping her wrist as gas flowed out of its opening before the woman could properly react.
"No! I'm not done yet!" The shapeshifted howled as the sphere quickly grabbed onto the mistress of nature's rapidly failing body as the gas stole her consciousness and bodily control, stuffing her into itself as she secretly worried about some 'interests' she had been exposed to in Japan as some of her last thought.
Although both of their struggles were for naught as the sphere closed and speed off with its target acquired.
"MAGNETOO!" Mystique howled as the roots loosened now that no one was reinforcing them.
-Ōshima Academic Island, Headmaster's residence.
"Hello ladies, how are you today?" I asked the small group before me.
This group consisted of Jean, Wanda, Yuriko and the freshly enhanced and out of training Peggy.
I could have sent only Wanda or Jean and it would have still been overkill, but I was curious over how Madelyne Pryor would react if she felt Jean and Wanda very much desired the opportunity to get some payback against her father while I was fairly certain whatever Magneto used to enhance mutant powers was somewhat mystical in nature. Peggy and Yuriko were going mainly because they were more experienced, but Yuriko wanted to see if Logan had taken his head out of his ass and Peggy was being sent to 'do good'.
Essentially it was one of those subtle tactics which allows individuals to believe more in the groups they're are a part of if said groups performed morally aligned acts. In this case, let them save the world and it makes them more invested and eager when it comes to being part of my teams.
Basic mental conditioning, no powers needed.
It's how anyone is made truly loyal and build up your 'brand' as it were.
I mean, it's why so many people wanted to join the Avengers even when that entire system was a clusterfuck of epic proportions.
"I am well my lord." Yuriko bowed in response, which I signaled for to get up to move on from that.
"Good, but kind of curious about what's going on." Jean said as the other mirrored her interest, with Peggy being the most professional as she was trying to impress.
After her enhancements, especially after receiving her shield, she had become rather antsy to prove herself. Finally understanding the heightened levels Captain America had been operating on and then some as my version of being a super soldier was far beyond Erskine's.
"Like most should be aware, we've been keeping track of as many treats and groups as possible on this blue marble of ours." I opened with as Cerebra projected said marble with numerous icons indicating such. "And today, Magneto, or Erik Magnus Lehnsherr, has decided to act in a manner deemed... over the line."
"What did he do?" Wanda immediately questioned with intense focus on the situation.
"He has decided to firstly force X-Men and Brotherhood mutants to face off to prove their 'worth', offered a 'power up' which I doubt comes without a price, and then wants to use these enhanced winners as his top cadre while he threatens the world with his astroid base 'for mutants'." I explained as the women, beside Yuriko, looked more and more baffled at how insane that was.
"*Groan* Not another egomaniac." Peggy murmured through her palmed face in exasperation. "Why is it that the moment I become a super soldier, some maniac with a racial superiority complex threatens the world?
It's like you can't have one without the other!"
Now that she mentions it, the parallels are interesting even if coincidental.
I've made thousands of 'super soldiers', I just call them peak humans, and they didn't each receive their own genocidal racists with world domination schemes.
"Ironically, he's a Concentration Camp survivor." I informed her, causing her eyes to widen as several complicated emotions flashed through her eyes. "But do not feel sorry for him because of it.
He witness first hand the horrors his ideals can bring, but blinds himself to them parallels between his and Nazi ideologies.
For now, capture him and whatever he's using to enhance mutants if possible. If not, destroy it and anything leading to it. I simply want to know how he's doing it and the side effects, as well as how to reverse them if needed."
"What about his 'Brotherhood' and the Astroid?" Peggy immediately questioned as she grew more serious hearing the mission parameters.
"Defeat them if needed, but no lethality unless necessary as my agent is still in place and Ororo might be temporarily hostile. X-men and Brotherhood members will be fighting haphazardly as well, with both sides mixing with each other, this will stop any potential for a three-way conflict as well.
As for the Astroid, we don't really need it, but if it's not too much trouble do take all the data on board or commandeer it. If you need to, just blow it up as it really isn't important and we can easily make something similar." I shrugged to display none of this was set orders, more like general suggestions and possibilities.
Those present understood that this was going to be their show in general and that these were mostly additional objectives.
If broken down, it would be something like this:
[Mission: Astroid Bust
-Capture Erik Magnus Lehnsherr, AKA Magneto
-Obtain or Destroy means of mutant power enhancement
-Subdue all hostiles non-lethally
-Obtain any Data on board Astroid
-Capture or Destroy Astroid
-Jean: Face Clone]
Pretty simple really.
"Understood sir!" Peggy instinctively responded, barely stopping herself from saluting as I had a small teasing grin on my face, earning a minor blush from the rejuvenated woman.
"Any other questions?" I then asked the group.
"How alive do you need Magneto?" Wanda asked rather darkly.
"Enough to so I can take everything from him. His knowledge, skills and experience would be great boons to your half-sister after all." I answered with a soft smile, causing her to pull out of the darker thoughts she had to instead focus more on a goal of helping Lorna.
The two had been making many efforts in being like sisters, even if they were more on the levels of friends due to missing many formative years together. But they still get along rather well and care for one another at least.
And since young Lorna had the same powers as her father, it would be good for her to gain access to his lifetime of training with them. Plus i can finally use the man's DNA and combine it with Gravitonium essence to ready an enhancement which would make her powers far beyond her father's, likely gaining outright gravity manipulation if she so chose.
That was for later though.
"If there's nothing else, have fun girls, Cerebra will be guiding this run for now. I know you've had experience with the Ancient One, Wanda, but this is a different kind of mission so everyone's on the same level." I stated, which made the elder demi-goddess pout slightly, but she also realized that she wouldn't be ideal for leading while taking some revenge on top of said issues, so she let it go.
Jean never cared too much for leadership, being quite happy with being able to voice her opinions freely and support others when she wasn't required for heavy hitting, while Yuriko was a follower and Peggy was too 'new', so Cerebra would guide today.
"Happy hunting!" I cheerfully waved as a portal opened on the Astroid and I returned to my work.
After today's events, I would remove quite a few annoyances in the shadows after all, but I needed to discuss a few matters with more experienced entities before I implement a few measures.
Observing the fights between all the mutants being tested brought great pleasure to Magneto as he sat of his throne, wearing his signature red armor with purple accents and magnificent cape, his helmet protecting his mind as his old friend watched on in horror from his containment pod.
After having taking him for his own safety and to preemptively stop his meddling in this selection, he had placed him there to let his bear witness to mutant kind's future champions rising. Having already taken his favorite little soldier from him by using young Alex Summers against Scott, easily turning the control hungry boy to his side with promises of such and power.
Although, Magneto would admit that some results were surprising and that his disappointment in Mystique's weakness had needed a few moments to crush before reforming his resolve. She had been of much use in the past, but now he needed power to crush humanity under heel.
So, looking at the winners of his little crucible, he was excited to allow them to ascend to such heights like he had.
Charles would certainly not see his side of things, he never truly did, but his young protege was perfect for it.
He might not see it, but Magneto certainly did. That hunger for more, the way she uses her powers to make humans bend to her whims, young Madelyne was almost perfect and simply needed the power he could provide to allow her to shed her 'humanity' and become the superior being she was meant to be. The way she utterly dominated Unus, even through his supposed untouchable self even made an amused smile come to his lips.
One of the surprising results of the tests was a mutual knockout between Charles' Ice wielder and his Fire manipulator. The clash between these two created a steam explosion which rendered both unconscious, but seeing their clear potential and destructive capabilities Magneto took them both. He couldn't wait to see how far they could go.
The least impressive fight was between the 'Angel' and Toad.
A victory for the prior with his flight and intelligence, but neither would ever be the powerhouses he needed. Regardless, the Victor would be rewarded as was his promise.
Surprisingly though, the Blob lost to young miss Pryde as she used his subpar intelligence against him and combined it with creative usage of her abilities. Admittedly, he had not expected as such from the girl, but he saw potential in her to be a much better agent than Mystique ever was and nearly unstoppable in close quarter combat.
Magneto's own progeny was victorious against his perceived rival, as expected, but the brat was growing irksome with his pride and arrogance.
Mystique's spawn was beaten by young Avalanche as the teleporter's disappointing lack of seriousness or true combat awareness were taken advantage of by the better fighter. Charles wasting the young man's potential as he let him use such a versatile ability for his own amusement was simply inconceivable.
It was only fitting that the woman who birthed him was then beaten by a true powerhouse of mutant kind. One even Magneto had to admit had powers which could potentially match his own, especially after her enhancement.
And finally, his and Charles's attack dogs were still busy tearing at each other's throats.
Knowing that particular fight wasn't going to be resolved anytime soon, Magneto decided to move forward with his plans while those two resolved their conflict.
"Well old friend, it is time." Magneto declared as he stood and his victorious brotherhood members, not including the recovering Pyro and including an uncomfortable Scott Summers as he stood beside his brother in matching leather jackets.
"Please Erik, don't do this!" Charles pleaded as he banged his hand on the glass holding him.
"I must. For mutants." The helmeted man solemnly responded. "And once my work is done, we can see about fixing your legs, but until then I will have you here and unable to hinder our future."
"Scott, you cannot let him do this! It will ruin any chance for humans and mutants to live in peace! It would mean war!" The crippled man changed his target to the person he had thought was his most ardent follower.
Seeing the hesitation on the teen's face, he believed he was making progress, but then a younger one placed his hands on his shoulder with a reassuring smile.
"Don't worry Scott. No one's forcing you to do anything. Magneto's just giving us the chance to really control our powers and become as strong a we could be." The tanned, sandy blonde teen with clear ressemblances to Scott reassured, easing the tension in his brother's body.
"You're right." Scott nodded before turning to his father figure. "I'm sorry professor, but I have to take this chance to control my powers.
After this, I'm sure I can convince Magneto to help you and the others."
With another look, the two boys walked over to a large machine set with an open door.
"You don't understand! No power comes without a coat and no control comes without effort! We have no idea what the side effects of this machine are!" Charles tried to appeal to the teen's logic, but was met with failure.
A result of his own failings as the young man might be a 'believer' of his dreams, but he would only be convinced by the young woman he almost worships with how long the girl had to solidify her hold over the hormonal teen essentially pre-programmed to fall for her.
And said girl had been silently observing as she and the others had been awakened to witness the process, but their powers were restricted by the pods they were in.
Kitty, Storm and Warren were trying to convince the teen not to go through with it though, with no success as their words became background noise the Brotherhood members could snicker to.
Stepping into the machine, the X-men members became worried for varying reasons as red light shone through the minute gaps for a bit of time before the doors opened, all unaware that a third group was present as witnesses. The Summers brothers returned with confident smirks and body language screaming arrogance, even seemingly more muscular as well.
"I don't think you need those anymore." Alex told his brother.
"You're right." Scott replied as he reached up to his signature shades, causing most who knew him to unconsciously hold their breaths as he slowly took them off. "I don't."
Opening his brown eyes subtly glowing with a reddish hue, he tossed his glasses to the ground and stepped on them.
"Now, want to see which one of us is stronger?" Alex offered with an excited grin as energy gathered around his hands.
"I'm game." The formerly sunglasses wearing teen agreed as they stepped away from each other.
As if on cue, the two shot beams of concussive beams of energy at each other from their respective body parts, causing a powerful shockwaves far beyond what everyone knew Scott was capable of achieving before hand, only contained by Magneto's formation of metallic shields.
The two stopped as they grinned excitedly at each other, both thrilled at their power and control of them.
"Truly magnificent!" Magneto's voice boomed before turning to the captured X-men. "Now you see what I offer in exchange for your help in ensuring the future of mutant kind."
"You have to try this guys." Scott supported as he stepped beside the older man. "It's great."
But he couldn't see that his 'friends' were mostly looking in repulsion at the destruction the two left behind in their casual clash.
There was a smocking crater deep in the floor and large dents in the metallic shield Magneto had raised.
It wasn't the power they were repulsed by, or the fact that Scott could now open his eyes without his glasses, but the sudden lack of impulse control and care for the damages and harm he might inflict on bystanders or even his own brother were.
But, Scott didn't really notice them as he hopefully focused on Madelyne who seemed genuinely approving and willing. It made him very happy to see her approve of him like this.
Not that he realized that she was only interested in the way it seemed to augment even someone like Scott, so she was imagining the power she could reach with this.
She always found herself... lacking, was the best word, like she needed to more, hence why she always tried to gain validation and approval from her surroundings to confirm her worth. It was why she used her powers like she did and had a desire to be the center of attention. But with this, she believed she could assuage that constant feeling, unaware as to the true reasons she felt this way.
"Well, that was definitely a magical signature." A measured voice sounded out, causing everyone present to be surprised, especially Magneto as he hadn't felt anyone reach his Astroid, much less this room. "Cyttorak's if I'm not mistaking."
"Who are you? Show yourself!" Magneto ordered as his senses swept the entire Astroid to no success.
But a few people thought the voice seemed very familiar, with one particular individual turning very pale as he recognized a voice which had haunted his dreams regularly ever since he had encountered it again.
"Oh, look at the poor dears." Cooed a British lady at the sight. "The father is rather agressive and the son is like a baby giraffe."
"You really shouldn't keep them waiting too long Wands. I mean, your father is so keen on finding you right now." A young American accented woman's voice sarcastically spoke this time as the group revealed itself, causing Magneto's eyes to widen tremendously as he immediately connected a few dots before steeling his expression.
"Wanda... so you truly have escaped." He stoically observed as he gathered his considerable power as he had heard from his son that she was less than pleased with the two of them.
"No, I was rescued after you stuffed me into a place where I could experience most of everything you preach about humans first hands." Wanda sneered at the man. "Aren't you happy though?
Because now, I'm going to be just like you.
Fighting for mutants so they have better days.
Just. Without. You."
"*Sigh* It was for your own good, but it truly seems you need a reminder of where you stand before me." Magneto spoke as he rose his hands, causing metal to float around him before sending it towards her for capture.
Too bad for him, she lazily waved her hand and changed it all into snakes which she then enlarged and sent after the man, forcing him to urgently send out deadly spikes to kill them, but Wanda simply smirked with a snap of her finger to cause the snakes to explode and send her father flying backwards.
"I'll go and have my family reunion. The Astroid is secure thanks to my runes so have fun." Wanda told the other three 'young' woman before flying after the man she sent through walls.
She knew he wouldn't go down that easily since the man's entire armor was made of weaved metal he could control and reinforce.
"Be careful." Jean requested with care for her longtime friend and teammate.
"You too Phoenix." She returned with a gentle smile before flying away.
Wanda being the only one revealing her identity because it was a family matter.
"Ladies and Gents, if I may have your attention." Peggy spoke in her 'military voice' which served to instinctively cause most present to straighten their spines. "I am Dame, and we have come to stop the man known as Magneto from threatening the world with the dropping of his Astroid base on the planet, which would likely cause, at minimum, a global catastrophe which would send over 3/4 of it to hell.
If you resist or try to assist him, you shall be apprehended.
The power source for these so-called enhancements will also be secured."
Standing before them at 6'2" (1.88m), wearing a customized military uniform inspired by Captain America's war gear, only internally modernized to offer much, much stronger protection against virtually anything and colored in dark navy and a lighter blue star on her chest, giving off a futuristic combatant aesthetic bolstered by the Arkham Knight motif and helmet style, she cut a intimidating figure.
Her shield giving all good Americans clear connotations to whom she was emulating at the moment, making them instinctually feel overwhelmed.
"You can't! That power could help so many mutants!" Scott protested with a protectively glare as he and his brother stood between the trio and the chamber they had exited from.
"I am not letting a free power up pass me by because of some British bint and some chick the bitchsilver is too scared to face." Avalanche joined them with a scowl.
He fought hard to get here and he wasn't letting it be wasted.
Pietro did briefly feel outraged by the name he was called, but he was having too much difficulty overcoming the intense instinctual fear he had towards Wanda and her presence to respond. He desperately wanted to run from her, but he was on a damn Astroid!
"Boys, you don't want to do this." Peggy smoothly warned them as she readied her shield.
She knew very well what all of their powers were, and the fact that they had been temporarily augmented by a Gem of Cyttorak according to Wanda.
Not one to argue against their resident magic expert, she acknowledged her words when she told the group that while the apparent Elder God's gem would provide a power boost to wielders and those exposed, it would only be until the power was used up unless one wielded it constantly. The downsides were obvious power addictions, aggressive tendencies aligned to Cyttorak's desires, and eventually being controlled by the god.
No power came freely.
Even her own as she was told very clearly the price for them.
And it looked like these boys had easily begun feeling the seduction of it.
"You can take them if you want Dame. I'll free the X-Men and make sure the pyromaniac is secured and the snow for brain is ok." Jean dismissively informed the older woman as none of the mutants present were any kind of threat.
"You think we'd just let you?" Avalanche scowled aggressively.
"Honestly?" Jean turned back with a mocking smile on her lips before walking away. "Your compliance isn't a factor."
Outraged by the clear dismissal on display, Avalanche tried to channel his powers through his hands to cause a targeted quake, but he found them to not be responding.
"What hell?! Why aren't my powers working?!" He shouted in distress, causing all mutants present to grow wide eyed.
It was a fear they all had, that someone could take their powers away as suddenly as they had appeared, so hearing the teen scream out in shock took their focus.
"You shall not harm my team whilst I stand." Peggy sternly informed the young man with narrowed eyes, turning all the shocked expressions to herself.
"You did this!" He shouted as his vision turned red and he charged recklessly. "Give me back my powers you bitch!"
Wanting to aid him take down the very clear threat, the Summers brothers tried to shoot out their powers but found them unresponsive as well.
"You chose poorly." Peggy simply stated as she swept the boy's legs from under him and in one smooth motion raised the sweeping leg up and brought down her heel to his head, knocking him out instantly. "Completely reliant on his powers.
The stunned silence of those present was deafening as even the X-Men being rescued were slack jawed at the sight of the field leader of their rivals so easily brought to heel.
"I shall go separate the animals." Yuriko simply informed Peggy and Jean while wearing armor eerily similar to the Black Panther habit, only more ninja like.
A blue portal opened before her to the location of the savage duo ripping and tearing away at each other.
She was upset that she had to knock some more sense into one of them, while she was curious over how her power donor would stack up.
"Now boys." Peggy spoke up, earning the attention of the Summers' anew after they were distracted by a real portal. "Will you stand aside or will I need to subdue you?"
They chose the latter.
In fact, they chose a third options which was to rush towards the open chamber in the hopes of obtaining more power to win.
But Peggy was no fool and masterfully threw her shield with the perfect spin, power and trajectory to strike Alex and the Scott in the back of the head before bouncing off a wall and catching the returned object without effort, sending both boys stumbling face first into the ground as they lost consciousness.
A threat they might be with their powers, but these teenagers were almost exclusively trained around their existence. Without them, they were almost nothing but a combination of supplementary skills without anything to bolster.
Mystique had tried to train the Brotherhood members with her extensive martial, espionage and military knowledge, but each had rebuffed her or scoffed at the notion, having to be forced to train in general. The X-Men had more systematic training, but they were kids with too little wisdom to understand why they were being taught martial arts or to take it seriously and integrate the skills fully.
"Thank you, for rescuing us." Ororo spoke up on behalf of those present as Charles looked towards Scott with concern and the kids were too awestruck to function at the moment. "Are you with his Highness?"
"Indeed. He does send his regards by the way and a reminder that you are welcome back anytime Miss Munroe, as well as notice for the rest of your team to simply let him know if they desire to come along." The armored woman confirmed as she went into the chamber, ignoring the unconscious boys near it.
She quickly found the pulsing red gem responsible for the power enhancements, but heeded a quick warning she received from Cerebra regarding touching it. Instead she placed a small disk near it and allowed the Digital Being to teleport it away to a safe and isolated location.
Meanwhile, Wanda was getting some payback after relocating her father.
"You will regret that." Magneto almost snarled as his magnetic powers surged out and he made a crushing motion, causing the walls, ceiling and floor Wanda strode on to collapse on her.
Too bad for the man, her magic was far too in-tune with transmutation.
She formed a protective sphere which simply transformed inorganic materials into sand with a secondary layer which stops it from bothering her on top of a truly defensive formation. And since her father fought almost exclusively with metal, well he wasn't going to get far.
Fighting smart is much better than being muscle brained as indicated by Wanda as she just kept on walking towards the shocked man due to her essentially forming a tunnel filled with sand.
"I really don't think I will." Wanda sneered at him while the sand gathered around them. "Now... do your best to resist.
I want to enjoy this."
Simultaneously sending out a pressurized sand Lance and blast of concussive beams at the man, Magneto was forced to raise a defense and rely on his magnetic senses to continue fighting, something he could do with ease thanks to his vaste experience with his powers. Usually, his sensing abilities would show humans within his very large range, especially after he enhanced his own powers with the Gem of Cyttorak he had taken from a defeated Juggernaut, but right now he couldn't sense anything pass 100ft and he couldn't even feel his traitorous daughter!
This revelation unnerved the man as he suspected something like the power inhibitors he had paced in the pods of the X-Men, but he couldn't find any.
So while unsuccessfully trying to retaliate, only for his assaults to end as more sand for Wanda to use against him, he tried to find a way out or to get through her defenses.
He thought about trying to overwhelm them, but with his range being limited he could only bring forth so much metal. Attempts at progressively higher speeds and impacts were similarly useless.
It was rather frustrating because he couldn't even target the iron in her system because she was protecting herself as well.
As such, Magneto found himself stumped as he found it progressively more difficult to protect himself.
"Come out of your little shell. I'm getting bored." Wanda told the man as she decided to change things up and just fill the place up with water except for her sphere.
Magic was very useful and Magneto had helped her seal the place off as she gradually pressured him.
The man might be any army's worst nightmare and capable of large scale destruction by using laws of physics against the world, but a one-on-one with someone like Wanda? He was meeting something near his hard counter.
It wasn't even that hard for her. Just set the battlefield before hand while infiltrating the place with runes to limit any changes in the magnetosphere beyond a certain range to give him hope, enchant herself against it, and then prepare a transmutation barrier against metals while handling everything else manually.
Pretty easy to do when one understands the enemy's powers.
Seeing the water filling his 'shell' as Wanda called it, Magneto tried to fully seal it and make his escape, but he found that something was stopping him from doing so and water was still coming in. He couldn't understand how as he had sealed the sphere.
Obviously, he couldn't predict Wanda being able to just teleport water within his shell.
"Ready or not... here it comes." Wanda almost playfully warned the man, making sure he could hear it as she tossed a ball of lighting in her subtle portal.
All round her protective shielding, lightning sparked through the water as she could hear the wonderful screams of her father.
"AAAAARRGGGHH!" The muffled sounds came through the metal clearly, much to Wanda's pleasure.
And since the man wasn't in the best state, she fired a few spells, instantly filling up the sphere with water and then freezing it before bursting away the metal shell to reveal a Magneto frozen in a perfect sphere while silently gasping in pain. Wanda then made sure to place him in an enchanted sleep so he wouldn't somehow escape and returned everything to how it was with a few modern spells designed to help remove traces of magic.
Thus, a few moments later, Wanda stood in the impeccable area with frozen Magneto and nodded in approval before heading back to the chamber area.
There she found three unconscious teens, one being longingly looked at by the bald cripple, her brother who started literally vibrating in fear from noticing her and their father, while the rest of the X-Men team seamed somewhat hesitant in regards to what they should do now that everything was apparently resolved without them doing anything.
Even Charles wanted to do something regarding his friend, but quickly found out their minds had impossibly powerful protections in place.
"My, my, you really let him off easy." Jean noted as she came in with two floating teens, one struggling and apparently muted as his mouth was moving but with no sound coming out while the other was looking weary until he found himself in the same place as most of his team.
"Worst'll probably happen later, but I didn't want him to try anything completely stupid because I couldn't wait." Wanda shrugged as came a logical answer.
"Fair enough." Her fellow redhead nodded easily.
"What are you planning on doing to him?" Xavier carefully asked with untrusting eyes.
"Make sure he's not going to be a threat anymore after wiping away Cyttorak's influence, then punish him." The witch told the older man.
"Without any court or legal system?" He continued, earning derisive snorts in response.
"Yeah, like we can trust any government to give him either a fair trial or actually have him serve his time instead of immediately shipping him somewhere to be experimented on." Wanda then answered fully. "Normal people aren't ready to handle this kind of situation, plus I really doubt they have somewhere that can actually hold him or that his followers can't reach."
"I cannot simply allow this. Even if his actions were wrong, his intentions were good and I cannot just allow you or his Highness to simply imprison a man without a trial before a jury of his peers." Charles stubbornly 'put his foot down'. "We must show that we are not above them or we will never achieve cooperation."
While his words did hit some emotional cords in his students like he'd hoped, his goals were laughable.
None of them could even use their powers now that Peggy saw them as potential threats, and they certainly didn't see themselves having better chances than Scott, Alex and Avalanche, especially now that it involved someone strong enough to beat Magneto on her own and another unknown. Plus the only real fighter, Ororo, was completely fine with Kaihito's team taking Magneto in as she knew they were much better equipped to handle him and had no need to experiment on him.
On top of that, Wanda's logical arguments did make sense.
What was the point of sending the egomaniac to humans who can't actually contain him, and even if they could, the man's followers would likely try to free him for his power if nothing else, resulting in further anti-mutant sentiments since they obviously won't do it nicely.
So, without any kind of mental 'push' from Xavier to support him, even if it might have been an unconscious one, the young X-Men simply stayed silent as the older cripple received another blow from his students' lack of of support.
"You have no choice or voice in the matter. The man is a known terrorist threat and extremist leader known in many governments and he is technically considered to be under maritime laws at the moment, hence even legally speaking we have the right to handle him as we please." Peggy firmly informed the man if he wanted to play the 'law' and 'justice' cards.
She knew how to play that game very well.
"And stop trying to look righteous." Jean followed up with displeasure. "Just because he's your precious frenemy, doesn't mean you have the exclusive rights to decide what to do with him.
WE know that you'd use your powers and influence to make sure he basically receive the lightest punishment to 'show him the proper path' like the massive hypocrite you are.
I can tell from your thoughts.
So be quiet or I will render you unconscious."
"Y-you read my mind?" Charles fearfully whispered.
"Oh look, he's finally on the receiving end of what he's been doing to everyone for decades and is scared because his powers aren't there to protect him." Jean sarcastically cooed. "You aren't the only telepath in the world and certainly not the strongest, so it shouldn't be the biggest surprise in the world unless you really are that arrogant."
It might sound a somewhat hypocritical, but after having set his domain, even Kai generally stopped delving into minds unless needed, preferring to simply observe astral selves and only look for harmful intents in general, preferring to just use his systems and Cerebra to keep track of things since his people were set everywhere already anyway. Jean essentially followed this model due to both of them just being too powerful thanks to their respective forces to try and limit their minds, instead seeing the world with a few additional filters than most.
Right now though, she was seeing Xavier's and it almost angered her.
The way the man seemed to have butchered himself in his efforts to be a 'symbol' was the height to foolishness. He actually had a good deal of potential left before he mutualized himself almost irreparably, then basically cauterizing the areas he removed parts from to halt any degeneration, actually stunting any sort of growth outside of his psionic abilities as well.
It was almost like a minor psionic lobotomization to her senses.
Jean only held back her open distaste because she knew the man 'saved' his 'pieces' and hadn't been completely irresponsible by erasing them completely. But it was tough with how much she disliked what she had seen from a basic purview into his mind.
Luckily, she wouldn't have to pay him anymore attention as she felt over a half dozen minds approaching quickly, with Cerebra confirming the incoming 'Black Bird'.
"That aside, your remaining members are-" Peggy announced as she moved on from that little situation.
"Hafe at thee!" A blue furred demonic teenager wearing a red and black thematic suit shouted as he appeared between everyone.
He only realized that everyone was very much not fighting or captured anymore and were instead looking at him with mixtures of amusement, exasperation and some embarrassment. Kurt then actually recognize one of the four he couldn't as she stood beside a frozen man who apparently had been in quite some pain.
"Well, that means we just need to wait on our resident lady samurai and we can get this done." Wanda dryly chuckled just as a blue portal opened up in time for a large man with short mane of dirty blonde hair bloodied and dirtied as most of his grievously bleeding wounds visibly healed. He sported a torn up red and burnt orange suit with fur around the collar, wrists and ankles to be tossed through, leaving a trail of blood, followed up by a topless Wolverine in a mostly similar state except for the many non-healing bruises on his face.
One looked like he was having problems living and the other was mostly cowed as he followed said samurai lady through the portal after the two 'alphas' had been thoroughly manhandled.
Why make matters complicated when fighting two nigh immortals? Just slap power suppressing disks on them and then beat them down.
The only reason Sabertooth was in such a bad shape was due to him insulting her honor as a samurai and his wild nature as an 'alpha' being unwilling to stay down before a new predator.
He wouldn't have stood a chance even without the disk, but it certainly would have take a lot longer and Yuriko had wanted to get going.
The Wolverine had needed a reminder of who was in charge since he had lost himself in his berserker rage, hence he bruising.
"That's that I guess." Jean shrugged, highly amused by the two males so beaten down by Yuriko like this.
This chapter will look very familiar to anyone who watched X-Men: Evolution as it is episodes 12-13 (The Cauldron pt.1-2) but with some changes from Kai's involvement in things.
Quick summary of the fights:
Charles Xavier vs Magneto (No Fight)
Scott Summers vs Havoc (No Fight)
Madelyne Pryor vs Unus (Win)
Bobby Drake vs Pyro (Tie)
Warren Worthington iii vs Toad (Win)
Evans Daniels vs QuickSilver (Lost)
Kitty Pryde vs Blob (Win)
Kurt Wagner vs Avalanche (Lost)
Wolverine vs Sabertooth (Tie)
Storm vs Mystique (Win)
Basically, Kai didn't trust the X-men to handle things. It was a good way to get everyone's toes wet on an easy mission. He didn't want Magneto to possibly end up in the Savage Lands or escaping because Xavier pulls a Batman (as in stuffs his foes in a place he knows he will escape from so they can 'fight' again).
Plus, this way he can help some of his students, get his hand on the man's helmet, help Wanda get some payback, steal his data and obtain a free Astroid base he could publicly use.
Now, as to why this was considered 'easy' when this was a season finale level event in the show, well, just compare the badly equipped, half-trained teenagers with no intel against an organized ambush by their first 'supervillain' and the highly trained, augmented team with powerhouses capable of handling galactic level threats if they push themselves, gear and powers specifically selected to combat their targets, and with lots of time to prepare themselves.
Just Peggy alone could have theoretically beaten their asses down if she got in close enough with stealth tech. Being able to cancel powers is hella op when paired with a real super soldier instead of a little green child, especially when mutants are so relient on them. The only reason the others were involved was because Yuriko wanted to smack Logan, Wanda wanted to smack Magneto and possibly Quicksilver of he wasn't a little bitch right now, and Jean was there to stop the Astroid from suddenly dropping if needed.
Better safe than sorry.
And if anyone's wondering how Magneto got his ass handed to him, well that's what happens when a stealthy magic user who knows your weaknesses gets the time to set the field. Wanda is not a barely trained train wreck in this, she is a very knowledgeable and skilled elder demi-goddess with an actual understanding of chaos and order magics.
Just as an additional qualifier, this is also before he started to explore more about his powers, while mentally influenced by Cyttorak's destructive desires and relying on that power, so not exactly peak Magneto but relatively strong.
Now onto Charles, I think I'm explaining the kind of effects his self-manipulations and restrictions should have on him as a person and telepath. It basically 'froze' his character to always be as it was when he finished his 'modifications'. I'm using it as an explanation for his set world views and beliefs, as well as why he would allow Magneto to just keep trying to fuck the world for mutants time and time again, because his opinion of him as somewhat misguided but ultimately with good intentions stays like that even after the man repeatedly threatened the world and constantly worsened he overall situation for mutants. It would also be part of the reason why he never seemed to have brought in experts on magic, when he had clear examples to it being at least linked to mutants in some ways, to help mutants with their powers and learn more about them, just like with Ororo's current case.
Moving to our favorite weather mistress, yes she received a power boost from Gaea.
This be the Elder Goddess' move for... reasons on top of just wanting to.
It's just some minor florakinesis and earth manipulation more in line with an instinctive magic that she's very fond of over something matching her atmokinesis. (That's possibly later)
She won that easily because she actually is a masterful combatant, especially with a knife and her supplementary abilities allow her to keep up with Mystique's shifting physical abilities while setting up for a powerful blast. The Shapeshifter just needed to make it believable that she was defeated.
If she really wanted to win, and/or kill, I actually think Mystique could have easily done so against everyone beside Wolverine/Sabertooth and possibly Blob or the Telepaths, but the latter two would just need more creative approaches. She is the 2nd/3rd deadliest mutant involved in that conflict in one-on-one/assassinations for good reasons. But Magneto wanted non-lethal one-on-one fights, which is almost her weakest point beside large scale destruction if she doesn't manage to launch nukes, so that happened.
Next chapter is going to be half results of this one and half Kai erasing annoyances.
Hope you enjoyed 10k chapter cause this took a while.
Sorry if this doesn't really have a lot of action in general though because Kai just has so much meta information and set up to not have to desperately struggle like all those heroes jumping in blind and half-asses until they get theirs kicked in round 1.