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Volume 7 -- Issue 164 -- Crimes Against Inhumanity Part 3

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Crimes Against Inhumanity Part 3
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In a world that hates and fears mutants, Professor Charles Xavier fights for peace and understanding. Together with his X-men, he confronts many threats that would seek to spark an all-out war. They also confront threats that have brought the world to the brink of destruction. However, the X-men now face a very different kind of threat.

It started with the massacre of William Stryker’s Purifiers. A group of mysterious attackers built in the mold of Wolverine and Weapon X demonstrated level of destruction that Professor Xavier was determined to confront. He suspected a connection with the recent events concerning Sebastian Shaw and White Cell.

However, before he could probe further, the authorities that he has worked so hard to trust under the Mutant Monitoring Initiative ordered him to stand down. The reasons General Grimshaw gave hardly sit well for the world’s most powerful mind. This order deeply frustrates the X-men, so much so that some began working secretly to find these mysterious attackers.

With unexpected help from Fantomex and Deadpool, they find the source of this threat. However, they were too late to stop White Cell’s attack. Led by Wolverine’s estranged father, Romulus, an army of Weapon X warriors began attacking every major military force on the planet. X-Force is paralyzed. The X-men are undermanned and outgunned. Unless one side gets a stroke of luck, no one will be capable of stopping Romulus.

White Cell Base – Front Gate

White Cell’s main complex had been locked down. Every squad was in position. Every square inch of the facility was manned. Each squad was comprised of elite forces armed with White Cell’s best agility-enhancing combat suits, ensuring they were ready to take on any threat foolish enough to attack.

The main alpha unit that consisted of Guardian, Vindicator, Northstar, Aurora, Puck, Karma, Sasquatch, Typhoid Mary, and Agent Zero were tasked with guarding the main gate. From the looks of it, the facility was as secure as possible. It would take the military force of an entire country to get through their defenses.

“Well, I think it’s official,” said Guardian, “This base is locked down tighter than Fort Knox, the White House, and the Federal Reserve combined.”

“That doesn’t mean someone won’t attack, Jim,” said Puck.

“True, but even if they did they wouldn’t get far. Not with the hardware we’ve got,” he said confidently.

“You don’t think this is overkill on the boss’s part?” asked Vindicator.

“Overkill is underrated. Isn’t that one of White Cell’s mottos?” said Aurora.

“If not, it should be,” said Puck.

The alpha unit had plenty of reasons to be confident. The base, which covered over 3,000 acres of rural Canadian land, was walled off by segments of tall gates behind large concrete walls. Along those walls were gun posts and sniper towers. Further in were a battery of anti-aircraft installments, most of which was automated. These elaborate defenses surrounded a series of ordinary-looking buildings. Very few had access to all of them. They were considered the most vital structures of the White Cell organization.

As confident as they were, there was still a sense of anxiety throughout the base. The boss had never ordered these kinds of defenses before. Recently, most if not all their major forces were instructed to pull back and fortify their bases. No reason was given.

Rumors swirled of a new threat. Since they were on a strict communications blackout, they had no idea what that threat entailed. Their only role was to remain alert until ordered otherwise.

“Any idea how long we’re supposed to stay on alert like this?” wondered Sasquatch.

“The boss never gives orders with time frames,” said Northstar, “But from what Daken told me, it shouldn’t be for more than a day. He says that’s all the time the boss will need.”

“You sure your boy toy is trustworthy?” said Sasquatch skeptically.

“I can never tell how serious he. All his off-beat mannerisms blend into being an overall asshole,” said Karma skeptically.

“He knows the boss personally so I’m inclined to trust him. And it isn’t just because we occasionally sleep together,” said Northstar strongly.

Sure it isn’t,” said Aurora, rolling his eyes, “Didn’t you say the same thing about that fighter pilot in Fresno?”

“Hey! Don’t bring David into this,” said Northstar defensively.

“Don’t start, you two,” said Guardian sternly, “I don’t care what Daken says. We have our orders. So long as everyone stays at their posts, we should…”

Guardian was interrupted by a strange noise emanating from his combat suit. Without warning the complex components inside started twitching erratically. It caused Guardian’s body to move and stretch in uncomfortable ways. At the same time, Vindicator’s combat suit was facing similar problems.

“Uh…I’m guessing this isn’t you taking up yoga, Jim,” said Puck as he, Sasquatch, Aurora, Northstar, and Karma watched anxiously.

“Ow! Damn it! Does it look like I’m getting in touch with my inner chi?” grunted Guardian, the suit causing his knees to buckle.

“It’s our combat suits! Something’s wrong with the circuits,” said Vindicator, falling flat on her back.

“This is a hell of a time for these fancy gizmos to go on the fritz,” said Sasquatch as he tried to help Vindicator up.

Then to everyone’s amazement, Agent Zero and Typhoid Mary stepped forward. They each took out their weapons and scanned the area for threats. They clearly sensed something that the others weren’t.

“It is not a malfunction,” said Typhoid Mary in menacing tone.

“There is signal disruption. Someone is overriding the psionic circuits in the suits,” said Agent Zero in his usual flat tone.

“So why the hell aren’t you two getting the chiropractor treatment?” grunted Guardian as he continued wrestling with his suit.

“Our interface is older and less advanced. We are not affected by psionic disruption,” said Typhoid Mary, “The same cannot be said for our compatriots.”

The alpha unit looked around and realized what Typhoid Mary was referring to. All around the base, the battle suits of the elite forces were malfunctioning as well. The suits that were supposed to make them the best soldiers they could be had rendered them defenseless. While they could only see the units immediately behind them, it was safe to assume that every unit on the base was facing this mysterious glitch.

“MY SUIT! THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE?” yelled one of the snipers in a nearby tower.

“SOMEONE CALL TECH SUPPORT! FIRE THEM IF THEY DON’T ANSWER!” yelled one of the unit commanders guarding the anti-aircraft battery.

“DON’T THESE THINGS HAVE AN OFF BUTTON?” groaned one of the nearby patrol units.

It sounded bad. If the units in their immediate area were suffering, then it was safe to assume that every unit on the base was dealing with this.

“Ooh, that can’t be good!” groaned Karma.

“What were you saying about this base being locked down, Jim?” asked Puck as he and Northstar tried to help Guardian.

“Shut up and issue the emergency protocols!” grunted Guardian, “Looks like someone is actually stupid enough to attack us.”

While Puck and Northstar tried to keep their unit leader from falling flat on his face, another unexpected turn literally fell upon them. Less than twenty feet away from their post three Weapon X warriors came crashing down like a downed fighter jet.

They hit with such force that they left a small indent in the concrete. Their techno-organic wings were misshapen. Their body suits were sparking erratically, showing similar malfunctions to the ones that the rest of the base was experiencing. The alpha unit hadn’t seen the Weapon X units before, but they understood that this was bad.

That can’t be good either,” groaned Karma.

“Knock it off, Karma! We already know how bad this is,” exclaimed Northstar.

“No…we do not,” said Typhoid Mary as she and Agent Zero looked up.

The alpha unit felt an ominous gust of wind swirl around them. Sensing there was something else at work, they dreaded looking up at what their stoic associates had sensed. Sure enough, more problems literally descended towards them.

Riding a stream of high winds and telekinesis, the X-men landed not far from where the Weapon X warriors had crashed. Phoenix, Storm, Rogue, Gambit, Beast, Sage, Fantomex, and Deadpool arrived at a base rendered impotent thanks to a convenient glitch. The source of that glitch, Sage, was still carrying her laptop and the device Hank helped her make back in District X. Having departed the Velocity rather abruptly, they had to improvise.

“Ding dong! Did someone order a dozen pizzas with cheese and extra pain?” said Deadpool in his usual obnoxious tone.

“And for once we don’t have to crash land in order to deliver,” said Gambit, who had his bow staff out along with a fresh deck of cards.

“We got lucky. My psionic disruptor signal has crippled their units, but don’t expect it to last for long,” said Sage, remaining calm as Phoenix set her down along with Beast.

“We don’t need it to,” said Fantomex as he took out his guns, “We need only find where they keep their explosive ordinance. Basic chemistry will do the rest.”

“That’s only after we make sure X-Force and any other hostages these people have are secure,” said Storm, who maintained her swirling winds.

“Then we had best make this quick,” said Beast as the X-men approached the alpha unit, “Given our rather overt entrance, I’m certain our presence has had an effect!”

White Cell Base – Lab Core

Everything was going as smoothly as Romulus had predicted. Having had over a century to plan this moment, he made sure that disruptions were kept to a minimum. He had his army of Weapon X warriors. The first generation emerged from their pods, retrieved their uniforms, and teleported into the heat of battle with perfect synchronicity.

“The armies of the world are falling fast,” Romulus proclaimed as he monitored the operation, “In less than 24 hours, mankind will be reduced to fighting with sticks and stones once more.”

“And then you can start rubbing it in everybody’s face,” snarled Sabretooth, “No wonder Wolverine is such an asshole. Like father like son.”

“If I could move, I’d have already cut your head off,” grumbled Wolverine, “The only thing that pisses me off more than your ugly mug is you being right.”

Romulus neither listened to nor cared about his son’s disapproval. X-Force had already made it painfully clear. They didn’t care for his vision or the lengths he had gone to accomplish it. He no longer cared about convincing them. They would see for themselves soon enough.

By now, nearly every Weapon X warrior had emerged from their pods. There were thousands of them, each armed with X-Force’s abilities. They old prototypes that had conducted the tests on X-Force had long since been disposed of. Now Cyclops, Angel, Warpath, Domino, Nightcrawler, Emma Frost, and Hellion were back on the examination tables while Wolverine, Sabretooth, and X-23 reamined strapped into the special pods that had them relieve so many painful memories. They all had to watch Romulus coordinate this ambitious operation.

Using the special control gauntlet that fed right into the core, Romulus brought up various holographic images that depicted major military targets all over the world. In addition, there were real-time video feeds that looked like they came directly from the eyes of the Weapon X warriors.

In the feeds, X-Force saw these warriors destroy tanks, down fighter jets, sink ships, and blow up storage bunkers. It wasn’t just militaries either. They attacked everything from organized crime to legitimate gun stores. They had been imbued with so much power and under Romulus’s control, there was no stopping them.

“I gotta hand it to this guy. He’s crazy, yet sane on an extremely messed up level,” commented Hellion, his voice devoid of hope.

“Don’t tell me you admire his so-called vision,” said Emma Frost, still scolding him like a student.

“Doesn’t matter if I admire it or not,” scoffed Hellion, “From what I can see, it’s clearly working.”

“Don’t believe everything you see, Julian,” said Warpath, “Even if it’s working, it hasn’t succeeded yet.”

“Well unless you guys are trying to make this a challenge, you would have done something already,” retorted Hellion, “So much for X-Force being the team that could get things done. And to think…some mutants actually placed their trust in you.”

“You’re not helping, Julian,” said Emma with another scold.

“What’s there to help? We’re lying here paralyzed watching some guy fuck the world in his own unique way. Face it! You guys failed miserably and so did the X-men.”

Hellion sounded as though the paralysis was getting to him, just as it had Cyclops. He was losing all sense of control and purpose. It was a feeling everyone else in X-Force fought. With every bit of damage that Romulus’s Weapon X warriors inflicted, their hope continued to falter. So many things had gone wrong and time was running out.

“You should listen to this handsome young man here,” said Daken, who was keeping an eye on X-Force, “Aside from his needless outrage, you should accept the fact that you cannot stop my grandfather’s vision.”

“I’ll only consider that if you stop undressing everybody with your eyes,” said Angel, “If it’s that hard to keep it in your pants, maybe you should cut it off.”

“Amongst other zhings,” added Nightcrawler.

“Insulting me certainly won’t help your condition either,” added Daken as he drew his claws and pointed them at the two X-men, “Regardless of how these events unfold, I can still make your stay with us very unpleasant.”

“That would sound so much more menacing if your pants concealed your boner,” chided Domino, further adding to Daken’s frustration.

“Do you really believe that your grandfather will stop with this one vision?” questioned Cyclops, his voice every bit as strained as Hellion’s, “He’s created something he has no hopes of ever controlling. Even if he does, what’s to stop him from pursuing another vision? One that involves destroying more than just weapons?”

“You’re incessant whining is almost as infuriating as these petty insults,” said Daken as he turned his claws towards Cyclops, “Need I remind you that you’re still at our mercy? Your bodies are no longer yours to command!”

“You’re the one in need of a reminder,” seethed Cyclops, showing far less restraint than his teammates, “Control is more fragile than you think. You need only screw up for a split second before it bites you.”

“Not to side with pretty boy here, but you’re really pushing it, Cyclops,” warned Emma.

“I’ll push as far as I damn well please!” he went on, “This guy either too arrogant or stupid to see that he’s just as paralyzed as us. He actually thinks his grandpappy over there won’t screw him over.”

Daken’s harsh scowl turned to full on outrage. He had tolerated such remarks long enough. These dishonorable fools had to suffer and his grandfather was too preoccupied to stop him.

“I think I’ve been polite enough. Since you seem genuinely determined to be put out of your misery, I’m more than happy to oblige,” said Daken as he held his claws to Cyclops’s neck.

“Go ahead,” taunted Cyclops, not seeming to care at this point.

Daken prepared to cut this young man up into an unrecognizable heap of bloody flesh. Three days of paralysis and Cyclops insisted on struggling. He either had many issues of his own or he was just that stupid.

Daken was about to cut into the X-Force leader. Then without warning, some unusual activity consumed the lab. The lights around the core flickered. Many of the holographic images throughout the chamber were jumbled with static. It threw Romulus off after being so confident earlier. It also caused Daken to hesitate.

“Hmm…this is disturbing,” said Romulus in a stoic tone.

“What is it, Honorable Grandfather? Don’t tell me we should start worrying!” said Daken, his claw still at Cyclops’ neck.

Romulus didn’t have to answer that question. While he and Daken were distracted with the flickering, the paralysis that had rendered X-Force paralyzed for the past three days unexpectedly wore off. As soon as Cyclops regained control, he made good use of it.

“Yeah, you should worry…a lot!” said the X-Force leader.

While still lying on the examination table, he reached for his visor and fired a punishing optic blast that hit Daken point blank. It wasn’t a blast meant to stun either. Cyclops had his visor on a near-lethal setting. Even with Daken’s durable form, he was sent tumbling back into one of the incubator pods.

“Finally! Someone shut that asshole up,” said Warpath.

“And ve can move again. Zhat’s even better!” said Nightcrawler.

“Any idea how? I refuse to believe this is a fluke of sorts,” said Emma, who rushed to Hellion’s aid.

“Why not? It makes everything so much easier,” grinned Domino as she rose up and drew her guns.

Not far from where Daken landed, Wolverine regained control over his body as well. As soon as he felt it, he let out a feral growl and tore through his restraints. X-23 and Sabretooth followed suit with equal fervor. They immediately set their sights on Romulus, who had no defenses after having sent his Weapon X warriors abroad.

“For the record, I still hate your guts, Wolverine. You and your little bitch here,” snarled Sabretooth as he snorted towards X-23.

“We hate your ugly ass too, Sabretooth. But right now, who do you hate more?” questioned X-23.

“You even gotta ask?” said the feral mutant, not taking his eyes off Romulus.

“I don’t like it any more than you, Creed. Lucky for you, I got daddy issue I need to work out!” said Wolverine as he drew his claws.

Wolverine, Sabretooth, and X-23 attacked Romulus without hesitation. The rest of X-Force still needed a moment to recover from their paralysis. They wanted a shot at Romulus too, but they were content to let the shadows of Weapon X soften him up.

Despite the sudden turn of events, Romulus remained undaunted. His stoic expression hardened as he watched his son lead the charge against him. He had been merciful to this point. Even though this mission was meant to end war, he wasn’t afraid to fight back.

“My poor son…I’m disappointed in you,” he said flatly.

“Likewise, paps!” snarled Wolverine, “HRRRRAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!”

Romulus didn’t break a sweat even as Wolverine, Sabretooth, and X-23 closed in. Wolverine delivered the first blow, driving his claws right into Romulus’s chest. The imposing figure didn’t even try to avoid it. He simply endured it, only mildly flinching as if the pain was invigorating to him.

Then with Wolverine’s claw still buried in him, Romulus grabbed his son’s arm and flung him right towards X-23. She managed to avoid his incoming body by leaping up and using his torso as a spring board so she could get her own shot at Romulus.

“Sorry Wolverine! I’ll make sure this hurts!” roared X-23.

“So will I,” said Romulus flatly.

X-23 led with her claws, preparing to drive them right into Romulus’s head. This time, the imposing mutant avoided the attack, reacting with reflexes so fast it looked like magic. Undeterred, X-23 drew the claws in her feet and as soon as she landed, she did a sweep kick. That cut right into Romulus’s lower leg.

Again, he barely flinched from the gash. While he absorbed the young mutant’s blow, Sabretooth snuck up behind him and pulled him into a choke hold.

“You move pretty fast, old man. Let’s see you move outta this!” roared Sabretooth as he dug his claws into Romulus’s neck.

“I don’t have to,” he replied.

While Sabretooth had him in a choke hold, X-23 moved in for another attack. This time Romulus didn’t avoid the attack. Instead, he reached behind him and grabbed Sabretooth by his messy hair. Then with strength that surprised the feral mutant, he flipped him over his body and slammed him right on top of X-23 as though he were swatting a fly.

“Whoa shi-UNGH!” grunted Sabretooth as he hit the ground hard.

“Hnn…damn you, Creed,” groaned X-23, now pinned beneath the feral mutant.

Romulus remained calm as he brushed himself off. Sabretooth ended up tearing off some of his flesh when he threw him, but he also ended up with a handful of Sabretooth’s hair. Between his pain tolerance, his strength, and his agility he proved every bit the experienced fighter he claimed to be. Yet that didn’t stop Wolverine from attempting another attack.

“Think making a fool of Sabretooth will make me maul you any less?” said Wolverine menacingly.

“Oh I know you won’t stop, my son. It still won’t do you any good,” Romulus boasted.

“Maybe on my own, it won’t. But in case you forgot, I got more than just the furball backing me up.”

Romulus turned to his right where he saw X-Force gathering around him. Despite not having a healing factor, they shook off their paralysis. Cyclops, Angel, Warpath, Domino, Hellion, and Emma Frost were now ready to attack.

“Please tell me I’ll get a shot at this guy,” said Hellion.

“I wasn’t going to dissuade it,” said Emma Frost, already in her diamond form.

“After three days of this shit, we all deserve a shot!” said Angel.

“Your vision ends here, Romulus!” shouted Cyclops.

Romulus’s stoic gaze finally gave way to annoyance. X-Force was proving more cumbersome than he expected. Looking back towards Daken, who was still wounded from Cyclops’s optic blast, his patience finally wore thin.

“I tried to be merciful. I really did,” he sighed.

“Good! That means we don’t have to!” said Warpath as he prepared to attack.,

“Honestly, you act as though I have no backup plan.”

Before Wolverine or X-Force could vent their frustrations on him, Romulus pressed a series of buttons his control gauntlet. This caused the flickering core to change colors, shifting from blue to red. As it did, X-Force was overcome by a familiar paralysis again. Whatever fluke allowed them to regain control was wiped out and this time it was exceptionally painful.

“Arrgggghhhh! Not again!” grunted X-23.

“Damn! Just when I had a newfound appreciation for control over my body,” groaned Domino.

“And zhis time…it hurts!” grunted Nightcrawler.

With far less subtlety this time, Romulus issued new commands through his gauntlet. Cyclops, Angel, Warpath, Domino, Hellion, and Emma Frost were forced to saunter forward and kneel in front of Romulus. Wolverine, Sabretooth, and X-23 were forced to stand. Their bodies trembled and tensed painfully with every motion. Romulus made sure it was as uncomfortable as possible.

“I don’t know how the psionic tracer was disrupted, but so long as the drug is still in your system it will have an effect,” said Romulus sternly, “I need only utilize a fresh signal, which is much harsher as you’ve probably noticed.”

“Harsh…doesn’t even begin to cover it,” grunted Emma Frost.

“If it failed once…it’ll fail again,” said Sabretooth.

“It didn’t fail. The core is merely picking up on a slight disturbance,” said Romulus, “It would seem some old friends of yours were foolish enough to track down this base.”

“Old friends? You mean the X-men!” said Cyclops.

“Don’t get too excited. Even if they can disrupt my signal, it’s doubtful they’ll make it through my defenses,” said Romulus, “My alpha unit should keep them at bay.”

“Clearly, you don’t know the X-men very well,” said Wolverine, “They’ll find a way to ruin your day!”

“Not on this day,” said Romulus with burning determination, “Their fate will be no different than yours, if not messier. Make no mistake, I won’t take chances.”

While maintaining firm control over X-Force, Romulus turned towards Daken. He was still sore from Cyclops blast, but his healing had kicked in and he was back on his feet.

“Daken!” said Romulus in a commanding tone.

“Ugh…yes, Honorable Grandfather?” groaned Daken.

“Head to the surface and check in with the alpha unit. See what’s causing this disturbance. Do not hesitate to take it out if you see the chance,” said Romulus as he leered over Wolverine and X-Force.

“It will be done,” he said, pushing aside the pain and heading for the elevators, “Just out of curiosity, what do you plan to do with our ill-mannered guests?”

“That depends entirely on how much this disturbance persists. If my carefully planned vision is threatened, I may have to take some rather extreme measures.”

White Cell Base – Front Gate

The alpha unit was taken aback by the X-men’s presence. Guardian, Vindicator, Northstar, Aurora, Puck, Karma, Sasquatch, Typhoid Mary, and Agent Zero were left vulnerable in ways they didn’t expect.

Nearly all their elite units had been crippled thanks to a convenient malfunction in their battle suits. If the X-men were the source of this malfunction, then White Cell protocols dictated that they attack. Some were inclined to do so, but others held back. Northstar, Aurora, and Karma waved their comrades down. Having worked with John Proudstar in the past, they did not see the X-men as enemies.

“What are you waiting for? A written invitation?” exclaimed Guardian, “Attack them already!”

“Wait!” urged Aurora, “This must be a misunderstanding. These are the X-men.”

“And a few guest stars. You know how comic fans love team ups!” said Deadpool as he pointed his guns at Aurora.

“Stand down, Deadpool. Stop listening to your demented impulses for just a moment,” coaxed Beast.

“You’ve got thirty seconds max,” said Deadpool, not lowering his gun.

“Some of these people are friends,” Beast went on, “It could not hurt to explain our actions. We could certainly use their help.”

“Sorry, but the boss’s orders don’t include helping intruders,” said Puck.

“Whatever you’re doing to our units, you better fix it now or we’ll make you,” said Sasquatch with an angry snarl.

“Ah’d like to see you try,” said Rogue, cracking her knuckles in preparation.

“No! No one has to try anything foolish,” urged Aurora, “Something is obviously going on here that none of us understand.”

There was plenty of inclination to attack, but there were growing reservations as well. They never questioned the boss’s orders before. They had never been this extreme before either. If the X-men deemed it a threat, then perhaps there was something to it. They couldn’t afford to ignore it.

However, these reservations were not shared by Agent Zero or Typhoid Mary. Their damaged minds were not capable of feeling such uncertainty. Their orders were clear. Rather than allow Aurora to disrupt them any further, they carried out their protocols.

“Protocol is protocol,” said Agent Zero flatly, “Contain the attackers.”

“Containment maneuver beta,” said Typhoid Mary, “Orders are to kill.”

Ignoring Aurora’s presence, Agent Zero drew his guns and unloaded half-a-clip of ammunition towards Sage. Rogue instinctively flew into the path of the bullets, using her invulnerable form to shield her. Typhoid Mary followed by drawing two long blades from the wrist of her custom combat suit.

In addition, she formed a sizeable telekinetic bubble around her and unleashed it right at the waiting X-men. Phoenix picked up on this and instinctively blocked it with a shield of her own, causing the air around them to burst in a thunderous boom.

“They’ve got a telekinetic!” said Phoenix as she stood next to Sage.

“The ringing in my ears could have told me that, Phoenix!” said Fantomex, “I take it this means talking out our disagreements is no longer an option?”

“These thirty seconds were up anyways,” said Deadpool as he started shooting.

“You guys are making a mistake!” said Northstar as he used his speed to avoid the bullets.

“So are you by being in our way,” said Fantomex.

Clearing up any misunderstandings was now out of the question. The alpha unit’s orders were clear. They had to defend the base. The first shots had already been fired and there was no going back. With lingering reluctance, they attacked the X-men.

Phoenix stayed on Typhoid Mary while Rogue drew Agent Zero’s fire. Deadpool sent most of his bullets in Northstar’s direction, who in turn used his speed to literally run circles around the menacing mercenary. Fantomex set his sights on Sasquatch while Gambit confronted Puck. Karma set her sights on Storm, who was keeping increasing the cloud cover overhead to further add to the X-men’s advantage.

Beast lingered next to Sage with only Aurora, who was no longer as reluctant to attack. As the commotion unfolded, she scrambled to get Guardian and Vindicator to safety.

“Still want to play pacifist, Aurora?” questioned Vindicator, still wrestling with her suit.

“They started shooting at my brother. That’s a deal-breaker for me,” groaned Aurora as she turned back towards Beast, “He was right! You are making a mistake!”

“We may both be at fault here, Aurora. We don’t need to add to it,” coaxed Beast.

“It’s too late for that, Beast. Friend or no friend, I have my orders,” she said solemnly.

Fueled by duty and anger, Aurora took to the air and unleashed a barrage of her rainbow-colored light blasts towards Beast. The blasts resembled a real aurora and packed much more of an impact. In an effort to protect Sage and her equipment, he took her in his powerful arms and leapt out of the way.

“Umf! Careful, Hank. I need this gear to stay intact,” she told him.

“I’ll do my best, but for the record…I don’t do my best work with such unreasonable restrictions,” said Beast.

While Beast was avoiding Aurora’s attacks, Karma anxiously looked up at Storm who was still hovering in mid-air. By now she had covered the base with her thick storm clouds. Lightning and thunder rumbled ominously from above. She was prepared to unleash a full-fledged hurricane on the base. While Karma had a deep respect for the X-men due to her history with John Proudstar, she couldn’t allow them to cripple the base.

“Whatever you’re doing, Storm…you must stop!” said Karma strongly, “Don’t make me attack your mind!”

“I will not back down. Especially if James is involved like I think he is,” said Storm, her eyes glowing bright white.

“If that’s how you want to play it…” said Karma, whose eyes started glowing as well.

With a somewhat heavy heart, Karma used her telepathic abilities to take over Storm’s mind. She tried to shield it through intense focus, but it wasn’t enough. Karma broke through. As soon as she entered her psyche, the white glow in Storm’s eyes turned purple and the winds surrounding her were redirected.

“Ungh! You’re good…for a child,” grunted Storm as she fought the telepathic attack.

“My parents fought in the rice patties of Vietnam when they were half my age,” said Karma as she redirected Storm’s winds, “You don’t know what you’re up against.”

“Youth still has its liabilities,” said Storm, who noticed something that the young mutant hadn’t.

Karma was so focused on taking over Storm with her powers that she didn’t notice Rogue grabbing Agent Zero behind her. The man fought like a machine, firing his guns as if someone else was controlling his arms. Each shot from his 45 caliber pistols did no damage to Rogue’s durable form. So when she took to the air and charged him, his machine-like mind didn’t counter the threat fast enough. After taking a few bullets to the face, she knocked his guns out of his hands and grabbed him by the neck.

“My…mission,” grunted Agent Zero, sounding like his brain was short circuiting, “Cannot…not failing.”

“Better work on that grammar, sugah,” said Rogue as she turned towards Storm, “Hey Storm! This ought to help your forecast.”

With Karma still distracted, Rogue threw the dazed Agent Zero threw the air like a javelin. The young psychic didn’t even realize he was coming until he impacted her from behind. It caused Karma to fall flat on her face and lose her telepathic hold on Storm. She was left mildly concussed while Agent Zero looked like he needed to do the mental equivalent of a reboot.

“Thanks Rogue! I’ll take this to higher ground,” said Storm as she ascended into the clouds overhead.

“How much damage are you gonna have Mother Nature do to this place?” asked Rogue as she watched on.

“As much as necessary,” she replied, “Sage says we have a narrow window. I intend to widen it while sending a clear message to anyone inside.”

Rogue wasn’t going to get in her way. Storm knew what she was doing. She might be trying to upstage Sage after she did with the psionic signal. She might also genuinely believe that James was inside. If that were the case, then Scott and the others were probably inside as well.

“The things we do for boyfriends and ex-boyfriend,” she sighed.

Remaining in the air, Rogue turned her attention back towards the other battles unfolding around her. She quickly turned her attention to the battle between Gambit and Puck, which was also affecting the battle between Deadpool and Northstar.

Puck and Northstar were tag-teaming against their respective targets. Northstar used his speed to avoid Deadpool’s bullets and Puck used his ability to manipulate kinetic energy to land a few punishing blows. Utilizing a cartwheel-like motion, Puck was able to turn himself into a guided missile of sorts that wasn’t stopped by bullets or charged cards.

“Ain’t none of you ever stop and question the orders you be given?” asked Gambit as he ducked to narrowly avoid the incoming Puck.

“You’re one to talk. I thought X-men were government stooges now! Where’s your backup?” teased Puck as he landed briefly so he could redirect himself.

“We did our questioning. Didn’t like the answers we got,” quipped Gambit as he charged a fresh deck of cards.

“That’s why I love working for White Cell. We don’t need to ask questions!” said Puck.

Upon building up more kinetic energy, Puck turned his attention towards Northstar. He was still running circles around Deadpool, who was just wasting bullets at this point trying to hit him.

“Anyone want to lend old Wade a hand? I’m getting dizzy here and I had tacos for lunch!” Deadpool yelled out.

“Hey Northstar!” Puck called out, “Want me to shut him up for you?”

“Please do so,” said Northstar as he stopped for a moment while Deadpool reloaded his guns, “Besides, he’s making me hungry for tacos.”

Puck began his cartwheel motion again and quickly accelerated to high speeds. Gambit prepared three charged cards and took aim at the flying mutant. He threw them right towards Puck’s flight path, but before they even got halfway there Northstar ran in at high speeds and grabbed each card out of the air.

Then in a blur of speed, the Canadian mutant slipped the cards back into Gambit’s trench coat. By the time the Cajun mutant realized what was going on, it was too late.

“Aw hell…” groaned Gambit.

Reacting swiftly, Gambit dropped his bow staff and threw off his trench coat just as the cards exploded. The resulting blast disoriented him, causing him to fall to the ground with a sharp ringing noise in his ears.

While Gambit was left dazed, Puck continued flying towards Deadpool. With mere seconds to act, the masked mercenary cocked his guns and took aim at Puck.

“Flying right at my guns. Not a smart move, shorty!” said Deadpool.

“Not aiming for your guns,” grinned Puck.

Just as Deadpool was about to fire, Puck changed direction in mid-air. He shifted his path lower so that when he hit Deadpool, he struck him right in the groin. Even with his healing factor, it left the skilled mercenary in a world of pain.

“Uck! Dude…not cool!” said Deadpool a she clutched his groin, “I expect that from Northstar, but not you!”

“I heard that! It wouldn’t be the first time someone made that joke either,” said Northstar who was still standing over Gambit, “I’ll show you some jokes of my own after I take care of the Cajun here.”

“You comin’ onto Remy?” joked Gambit as he reached for his bow staff, “You should know Remy don’t swing that way.”

“Don’t flatter yourself. You’re not my type,” said Northstar as he picked up the staff before he could reach it.

Northstar prepared to strike the Cajun mutant with his own staff. As he raised it up, Rogue flew in and grabbed it. This caught Northstar by surprise, so much so that he wasn’t fast enough to avoid what happened next.

“Unfortunately for you, he’s exactly mah type,” grinned Rogue, “Which means Ah ain’t gonna feel bad about doing this!”

While Rogue had Northstar in her grip, she delivered a quick kick to Northstar’s right knee. The force of the blow effectively broke his knee. She could have shattered it completely, but she tried being gentle despite what Northstar did to her boyfriend. It was more than enough to stop him from running away or running at all for that matter.

“Ahhhhhh! My knee!” exclaimed Northstar as he fell to the ground.

“Now you know how Gambit’s ears feel,” said the Cajun as Rogue helped him up.

“Damn it, Northstar! Do I have to do everything?” groaned Puck.

Leaving Deadpool to agonize over his groin, Puck built up a fresh round of kinetic energy. He went full speed, going into his cartwheel motion and taking aim at Rogue. He was fully prepared to test her durability and Rogue was prepared to resist it. She didn’t have to in the end.

Despite his pounding ears, Gambit grabbed his discarded bow staff and gave it a strong charge. Then just as Puck was about to hit Rogue, he stepped out in front of her and hit the incoming mutant as if he was a baseball.

“Whoooaaaaaa shit!” exclaimed Puck, who had been unable to change direction.

“You ain’t the only one that can toy with energy, homme,” grinned Gambit as he wielded his bow staff proudly.

“Ah could have taken it, you know?” teased Rogue.

“Remy can’t let you have all the fun, non?” he quipped.

Puck landed back near the perimeter fence. It also where Sasquatch fought Fantomex to a near stand-still. The cocky French soldier tried take down the oversized mutant quickly with a series of fancy jump kicks and body blows. Sasquatch proved to be more durable than he thought.

When Fantomex tried to shoot him with his guns, Sasquatch used his claws to literally rip them out of his hands along with a good chunk of his flesh. From there, Sasquatch tried to corner the agile figure.

“You’re more brain and less brawn than I thought,” said Fantomex, his back nearly against the gate, “I’m almost impressed.”

“You’re also almost dead,” said Sasquatch, as he cracked his knuckles, “You’re no X-man! I’m sure a lot of people will thank me for ripping your head off!”

“It’s tragic how right you probably are,” sighed Fantomex as he prepared himself.

Not waiting for Fantomex to finish, he lunched towards the former French soldier with predatory rage. With nowhere left to run, it seemed as though he had the man right where he wanted him.

Then at the last second, Fantomex made an unexpected move. Using Sasquatch’s own momentum against him, he grabbed his oversized wrists and spun him around so he crashed right into the fence. As it just so happened, the fence was electrified so as soon as Sasquatch hit he was struck by a paralyzing surge.

“Arrrrrrrgggggghhhhhhhh!” he howled.

“You’re right about something else. I’m not an X-man,” said Fantomex.

Sasquatch fell limply to the ground, his fur charred and messy. Such a shock would have killed a normal man. It looked as though Sasquatch was just going to have a few bad hair days.

While Fantomex collected himself, he turned to his right and noticed that Phoenix had been backed up towards the fence by Typhoid Mary. Their telekinetic clash quickly turned into a more complicated brawl. Typhoid Mary proved to be more than just a strong psychic. She was a skilled fighter as well.

After escaping some of Phoenix’s telekinetic counter-attacks, she went on the evasive and attacked with her blades. It forced Phoenix to go on the defensive. She tried restraining her with telekinesis, but Typhoid Mary made it so she couldn’t get a firm grip. At one point, Phoenix took a nasty cut on her lower leg, causing her to limp somewhat as she backed closer to the electric fence.

“Need a little help over there, Phoenix?” asked Fantomex, “It’s one thing to bring a knife to a gun fight, but to bring nothing to a knife fight?”

“I can handle this!” said a frustrated Phoenix, “She’s just being stubborn!”

“Is that confidence or fear in your tone?” questioned Fantomex, “It sounds like you’re trying to convince yourself more than you’re trying to convince me.”

Fantomex’s condescending tone was almost as infuriating as Typhoid Mary’s blade attacks, even if there was a hint of truth to his words. Phoenix once again missed the added firepower of the Phoenix Force. Typhoid Mary fought a lot like Agent Zero. Her moves were mechanical and so was her mind. She couldn’t telepathically attack her because there was nothing to attack. As the electric fence grew closer, Typhoid Mary grew more aggressive.

After dodging another narrow stab, Phoenix tried to shove her back with a punishing telekinetic wave. Typhoid Mary countered by performing an acrobatic leap right over it and landing right next to Phoenix.

“Now that’s just not fair,” groaned Phoenix.

“Surrender or die honorably. Choose now,” she said as she held the blade next to Phoenix’s neck.

“There’s some personality in your tone. Maybe even some thought,” said Phoenix as she stared down the woman through her mask, “I’ve seen that look before. I don’t think you’re doing this because you want to.”

“Are you really trying to reason with her?” said Fantomex in a bemused tone as he retrieved his guns.

“Shut up, Fantomex! I told you I can handle this!” she said, not sounding quite as convincing as she did before.

“No…you will not,” said Typhoid Mary.

Showing off a new power, Typhoid Mary surrounded her body and her blades in fire. It was the kind of pyrokinetic abilities that Phoenix used to wield regularly with the Phoenix Force. Being on the other end for once didn’t sit well for a second.

“Not only are you unfair, you love to rub it in my face, don’t you!” said Phoenix.

“I take it you have made your choice,” said Typhoid Mary.

The menacing psychic prepared to slit Phoenix’s throat before she could muster another telepathic attack. She never got the chance. From the dark storm clouds that were growing above, a large bolt of lightning shot out. It struck both blades extending from Typhoid Mary’s arms, sending a punishing shock that was every bit as bad as the one Sasquatch suffered. Her combat suit quickly shorted out and her body contorted awkwardly before going limp.

Phoenix barely managed to escape the punishing shocks. Looking up through the clouds, she saw Storm hovering over her. While she was grateful to avoid further being on the wrong end of Typhoid Mary’s blades, her frustration was still apparent.

“Hnn…the fire. Not mission. Failure,” said Typhoid Mary in a slurred tone.

“Damn it, Storm! You cut it a little close there!” shouted Phoenix.

“I apologize, Phoenix. Better my lightning than Fantomex’s guns,” said Storm, “He was going to shoot her in the head.”

“Are you going to scorn me?” said Fantomex, “Let me know how much you intend to loath yourself so I can politely tune it out. There’s still a mission to be done.”

Phoenix was plenty tempted to scold this man for his crass remarks, not to mention his willingness to shoot people in the head. She couldn’t allow the situation with her powers to distract her. They were wasting time they couldn’t afford to waste. With the alpha unit nearly neutralized, they were ready to take the next step.

Despite her unit faltering around her, Aurora continued her attack. She kept aiming for Sage, who seemed to be the source of the disruption throughout the base. Beast wasn’t making it easy for her. He willingly took a few shots to protect her. All the while Sage still seemed to be doing something with the device she programmed in the Velocity. She protected it vigorously, making Aurora all the more determined to destroy it.

“I don’t know what your girlfriend is doing, Beast. But I’m pretty sure my boss isn’t happy about it,” said Aurora as she fired off more light blasts.

“Yes, about your boss…would you say he or she is the temperamental type?” asked Beast as he pulled off some acrobatic back-flips to avoid the blasts.

“What makes you think I would tell you if I knew?” scoffed Aurora as she prepared for another blast.

“Because I think John knew and he saw fit to investigate,” quipped Beast.

“Don’t you dare bring John into this!” she said in a more emotional tone.

“He believed this boss of yours was not using White Cell in an honorable manner. Surely you don’t agree with the recent attacks he launched on major military instillations.”

Aurora halted her attack for a moment. That revelation finally caused her to think about her mission in a way she had never allowed herself to do before. She tried writing it off as some sort of psychological ploy, but that wasn’t Hank McCoy’s style. Something about what he said made sense.

The boss kept plenty of secrets from the rest of White Cell. If the communications blackout was meant to cover the truth, then she and the alpha unit were all accessories to some massive attack.

“I think you struck a chord, Hank,” said Sage as she looked up at Aurora, “I don’t think she or anyone else in White Cell really knows what’s happening.”

“What are you two babbling about?” said the still paralyzed Guardian, who was not far from where Beast and Sage were standing.

“What did you say about an attack on major military instillations?” asked Vindicator.

“They really don’t know,” mused Beast, “They have no idea what their own organization is doing at the moment.”

“Then by all means, enlighten us. And you better not be lying!” said Aurora as she flew back down to the surface, “You already busted my brother’s knee. What you’re saying had better be as bad as it sounds or else…”

Then in an unexpected attack on her mind, Aurora was silenced. When she landed, she didn’t notice Phoenix approaching behind her with Fantomex. As soon as she lost her focus on the mission, Phoenix hit her with a telepathic probe.

“Hnn…” groaned Aurora as she froze where she stood.

“What the hell are you doing?” exclaimed Guardian.

“I’m being gentle, I promise,” said Phoenix as she approached Aurora and placed her hands on her head, “Sorry to resort to this, but we’re low on time. You need to know what’s happening and I need to know where we go from here.”

Aurora’s mind offered little resistance as Phoenix dug deeper. This probe included images from the reports they received regarding the attacks. Upon seeing these images in her mind’s eye, she was overcome with a sense of shock and horror. In her disgust, she leaned some disturbing truths about her boss.

“My god…how could he do something like this?” exclaimed Aurora.

“I’ll remember to ask him that,” said Phoenix, “For now, just take a quick nap. You’ve given us exactly what we need.”

With little resistance, Aurora slipped into unconsciousness. Phoenix caught her before she collapse. Fantomex helped lay her out on the hard ground. As they did this they were joined by Gambit, Rogue, Beast, Sage, and Deadpool. Storm remained overhead, building up more storm clouds. By now the sky was nearly pitch black. It would be vital if their next move was to succeed.

“See Fantomex? There are alternatives to shooting people,” said Phoenix.

“Duly noted,” said Fantomex.

“What did you show her Phoenix?” asked Beast.

“More than she thought she knew, that’s for sure,” Phoenix replied, “I don’t think anyone on this base knows what’s happening with the attacks. Whoever this mysterious boss of theirs is, he kept them in the dark.”

“All the more reason to find him,” said Rogue, “How much longer is this glitch of yours gonna last, Sage?”

“Long enough, hopefully,” said Sage as she adjusted the device, “Please tell me Aurora revealed more than just her ignorance, Phoenix. The location of their psionic transmitter would be most helpful.”

“I’ve got that and a few bonuses,” said Phoenix, “Her orders were to guard a particularly important building located in the northwest quadrant. If it’s as important as she thinks it is, that’ll be our best bet at finding the source of this global shit storm.”

“You think X-Force be there as well?” asked Gambit.

“If I were to bet, I would go all in,” said Phoenix, already setting her sights towards the interior of the base.

It sounded like their most promising lead yet. They neutralized White Cell’s defenses. They had already uncovered some of their secrets. Now they were in a position to uncover more.

“I’ll gladly call that bet,” said Fantomex, “Let’s get moving before Storm decides to start dropping tornados on us.”

“Wait! Can’t I wait for my balls to descend?” said Deadpool, still walking funny after the shot he took from puck.

“Sorry Wade, but this mission is more important than your balls,” said Fantomex.

“My balls would beg to differ,” he retorted.

“You two can have that conversation later,” said Sage, “You and Fantomex can go for the boss. I’ll need the rest of you to come with me so I can locate the transmitter.”

“No way! I’m going after this mysterious boss as well,” said Phoenix, already storming out ahead of the others, “If he’s already clashed with X-Force, I need to do some clashing of my own!”

“Wait Phoenix!” said Beast as he tried to stop her.

“Don’t bother, sugah,” said Rogue, who held him back, “She ain’t gonna be stopped. Not if her boyfriend’s in danger.”

White Cell Base – Lab Core

“Warning. Atmosphere anomalies detected. Signal output below 30 percent. Psionic uplink compromised. Initiating defense protocols.”

The blaring alarm was the latest in a series of warning signs that further frustrated Romulus. The disturbance on the surface clearly hadn’t panned out. The elite units were still offline and the alpha unit wasn’t checking in. While Romulus maintained control of X-Force, he had to divide his attention between keeping them uncomfortable and continuing his vision.

“These disruptions are becoming quite annoying,” said Romulus as he wrestled with jumbled signals, “Regardless of what your friends did to my elite forces, this sudden change in weather is starting to slow my operation.”

“That would be my ex-girlfriend and Warpath’s pseudo-girlfriend raining on your little parade here,” said Wolverine, grinning through the pain.

“Pseudo-girlfriend?” grunted Warpath.

“Be thankful, Warpath. That’s as polite as Wolverine vill be vith you,” commented Nightcrawler.

“You think this will stop my attack? My warriors have sufficient protocols to guide them through their respective missions,” said Romulus, “It should give me plenty of time to clean up this mess you clearly brought with you.”

“You’re giving yourself too much credit, Romulus. Clearly, you’re not as in control as you think you are!” scolded Cyclops, who vehemently resisted the paralysis, “It doesn’t matter how old you are or how long you’ve been planning this. Just look at what you’re doing! Is it really war you hate? Or is it not being able to control the outcome?”

Romulus’s scowl hardened as he worked swiftly to ensure his warriors could handle themselves while he took care of this inconvenience. They couldn’t coordinate properly if these disruptions continued. With growing frustration, he turned away from the core and narrowed his gaze on Cyclops.

“My age may have made me a patient man, but even I have limits,” said Romulus firmly, “Your resistance as well as your attitude has worn on my last nerve!”

“Welcome to my world, paps,” commented Wolverine, “It’s about time Summers put that charming personality of his to good use.”

“That may be the nicest thing Wolverine has ever said to me,” made Cyclops, “That proves how little control I have over him. And if you made your warriors in his image, what chance do you have?”

“You speak of control as if I don’t already have it,” seethed Romulus, “You think with all this time I don’t have a firm grip on my own vision? If so, then allow me to prove you wrong.”

Romulus raised his gauntlet and clenched his fist and issued a series of commands to psionic substance that controlled the X-Force leader’s body. Despite Cyclops’s fierce resistance, he found himself turning his head and placing his hand on his visor. He was now staring directly at Angel, who was kneeling right next to him. As Cyclops felt this, a new wave of horror came over him.

“No! I won’t…let you…use me!” he seethed, resisting with all his might.

“You don’t have a choice. Not anymore,” said the old warrior.

“Uh…Cyclops, I don’t mean to add any extra pressure, but could you at least try apologizing?” said Angel warily.

“It’s too late for penance. You’ve no one to blame but yourselves,” seethed Romulus.

Despite his best efforts, Cyclops couldn’t prevent what happened next. Under Romulus’s control, he fired an optic blast that hit Angel dead on. It hit him so hard that it blew him across the lab and into one of the examination tables they had been lying on earlier. Due to the setting on his visor, it was sure to leave him seriously injured.

“NOOOOO!” exclaimed Cyclops as he fired the blast.

“Angel!” exclaimed Emma as she watched on in horror.

“You son-of-a-bitch!” yelled Wolverine.

It was Cyclops’s worst fears taking form and substance. He couldn’t control his powers and someone he cared about got hurt as a result. He was left feeling so sick that he tried to throw up, but his paralyzed body wouldn’t let him. The X-Force leader’s resistance collapsed and he fell to his hands and knees, leaving Romulus utterly vindicated.

“He’ll live…for now,” said Romulus stoically, “I believe I’ve made my point.”

“Yeah…you’ve proved you’re a total asshole!” yelled Hellion.

“That’s not helping, Julian!” scorned Warpath.

“What difference does it make?” argued Domino, “He has control. He can use us however he wants.”

“Is zhat how it’s going to end, Romulus? You’ll have us do zhe dirty work so you don’t have to?” questioned Nightcrawler angrily, “If so, zhen I don’t see much honor in it!”

“I wasn’t planning on ending you. I was planning on having you witness the world that would emerge from the ashes of this battle,” Romulus replied, “But since you insist on being so arrogant, I’ve changed my mind.”

Upon adjusting his gauntlet once more, he turned towards Wolverine, Sabretooth, and X-23. They still had their claws drawn from earlier. As his proudest warriors, it was only fitting that they carry out this grim task.

“Ah hell, you’re gonna make us do it?” groaned Sabretooth, “Where’s the fun in that?”

“I swear if you make me hurt anyone, I’ll…” began X-23.

“You’ll do nothing other than what you are told,” scorned Romulus, “If you’re going to carry yourselves as disobedient children, then I will treat you as such. Make no mistake. I will not allow even a slight annoyance to disrupt my vision!”

“This vision of yours is gonna end badly for you, old man! No matter what you have us do, I can promise you that!” roared Wolverine.

“Your promises are worthless, son. Haven’t I made my point clear enough? I am in control. Disruption or no disruption, your fate has been decided. No one other than myself may change that!”

Romulus had the three former living weapons take on an attack stance. Wolverine and X-23 struggled just as Cyclops had struggled to resist, but it was no use. Their sights set on X-Force, Romulus was going to do it. He was going to make them kill their own friends.

He was about to give the final order when to his dismay and the surprise of everyone else, the main doors to the lab were blown open in a deafening explosion. From the ashes of this explosion, two figures emerged. It was Fantomex and Deadpool. When they saw the scene before them, they didn’t need to ask too many questions.

“Was that timing great or what? Just like the writer planned it!” said Deadpool as he and Fantomex stormed the lab with their guns drawn.

“Deadpool? Fantomex? Should we be relieved or worried?” asked Emma Frost.

“Worried…definitely worried,” dreaded Nightcrawler.

Romulus had to hold off his orders to Wolverine, Sabretooth, and X-23. He kept them paralyzed as he turned his attention to the new intruders.

“Well isn’t this an unpleasant surprise,” commented Romulus.

“I take it you’re the man we’re looking for,” said Fantomex as he Deadpool stood a mere fifteen feet from Romulus, “You’re the one who left his stamp of approval on all things related to Weapon X.”

“I would ask for your autograph, but between the scabs all over my body and the crazy voices in my head I’d rather just shoot you…a lot,” said Deadpool.

“Bold words from yet more immature children,” scoffed Romulus, “I suppose that means you’ll require some discipline as well.”

“Skip the banter. Get to the fighting,” said Fantomex firmly.

“As you wish,” said Romulus stoically.

With lightning-fast reflexes, Romulus launched his attack. Fantomex managed to get off only one shot with his gun, but Romulus was able to grab his arm and divert it so that he fired off target. Fantomex attempted to break the grasp by striking him with a roundhouse kick. Romulus skillfully ducked to avoid it.

In the process, he used his grip on Fantomex to flip him over knee him in the face for good measure. It left him momentarily stunned, allowing Romulus to turn his attention to Deadpool.

“Unngh…” groaned Fantomex after hitting the ground face first.

“Okay, I admit. That was pretty cool. But not as cool as guns! Nothing is as cool a guns!” said Deadpool as he fired a hail of bullets at Romulus.

Despite this punishing barrage, Romulus demonstrated inhuman agility. He moved so fast that he was like a blur. The bullets got close, but never touched him. As he avoided the onslaught, he acrobatically leapt over Deadpool and landed behind him. The skilled mercenary tried to counter by dropping one of his guns and drawing his katana. He stabbed and slashed right at Romulus’s head, but the old warrior proved too agile.

“You were always more bark than bite, Wade Wilson,” said Romulus, not sounding winded as he avoided another couple of bullets.

“No fair! You’re ripping off both the Matrix and Wesker from Resident Evil!” grunted Deadpool as he emptied the magazine in his gun, “I’m filing a lawsuit on behalf of Capcom and the Wachowskis!”

“Madness in a battle makes killing easier. It doesn’t make you more efficient,” said Romulus as he kicked Deadpool’s empty gun out of his hand, “True warriors use the right tools to get the job done.”

As the old warrior stared down the menacing mercenary, he finally drew some weapons of his own. From the hand that wasn’t wielding the gauntlet, he unleashed a long set of metal claws.

They were like Wolverine’s, except Romulus had four of them instead of three. Three came out from the knuckles on the top of his hand. One more came out from near his thumb. Now armed only with katanas, Deadpool went on the defensive as he prepared for Romulus’s next attack.

“Metal claws,” grumbled X-23, who watched the fight intently with the others, “Who didn’t see that one coming?”

“Dude, it may not be copyright infringement, but the whole metal claw thing has been done to death,” said Deadpool.

“That’s because they work. Allow me to demonstrate yet again,” said Romulus.

Utilizing his agility once more, the old warrior launched his attack. He struck with a series of quick slashes. Deadpool narrowly avoided the first two. He then tried to block the next one with his katana. Much to his dismay, Romulus’s claws cut right through it.

“Ah hell!” groaned Deadpool as he went on the evasive again, “Why did I have to be cheap and not splurge for adamantium swords?”

“That’s what you get for spending all your money on tacos, Wade,” said Fantomex, who struggled to his feet despite his face being badly bruised, “Lucky for you, I spend my money one extra bullets.”

Before Romulus could get in more slashes against Deadpool, Fantomex put a fresh clip of ammo in his gun and unleashed a fresh round of gunfire. That forced Romulus back on the defensive, using his agility to avoid the attack like he did before. This time the bullets got closer. A few even grazed his hair and face. Undaunted, Romulus pulled off more acrobatic flips before positioning himself for another counterattack.

While this battle was unfolding, X-Force continued to watch intently. It was a bit odd, rooting for Fantomex and Deadpool. They appeared overmatched by Romulus. He was every bit as skilled and powerful as he boasted. Defeating him with brute force seemed unlikely.

“Quit wasting bullets, Frenchie! Aim for the gauntlet!” barked Wolverine.

“How will that help? Want me to shoot an apple off his head on top of it?” said Fantomex, frustrated by Romulus’s agility.

“We’re not standing here because we enjoy watching,” said Warpath, “Destroy the gauntlet and we can lend a hand.”

“Duly noted, but that’s assuming I’ll need it,” said Fantomex.

The French soldier stepped up his attack along with Deadpool. While Romulus was avoiding the bullets, Deadpool moved in with his other katana and started slashing. That put Romulus to both defend and evade.

He was able to duck and jump over the initial strikes. When he landed he had to move swiftly to his right in order to avoid more bullets from Fantomex. Deadpool moved in for another attack and managed to slash Romulus right across the chest. The wound didn’t seem to bother him so he countered with a hard. It  left him vulnerable just long enough for Fantomex to shoot him right in the arm just above the gauntlet. It was a wound he couldn’t ignore and with growing frustration, he sought to end the battle.

“I’m getting bored with you two. Time to end this,” said Romulus flatly.

Fantomex moved in for another shot. This time Romulus was ready. Using his speed and agility, he did a quick spin move to avoid Deadpool’s next stab attack. He also gave him a rough shove, putting him right in the path of the shot so that when Fantomex fired it hit Deadpool right in the arm.

“Oww! You shot me in the arm! And my jacking arm, no less!” exclaimed Deadpool, dropping his katana in the process.

“Oops,” said Fantomex casually, “Hold on, I’ll make it up to you.”

Fantomex didn’t stop shooting. Romulus used Deadpool as a human shield yet again, grabbing him by his wounded arm and forcing him into the path of the bullets again. He ended up taking four bullets in the chest.

“Ahhh! Stop making it up to me! Just get me some tacos and we’ll call it even!” he cried out.

“Your arrogance is pitiful, Fantomex,” scoffed Romulus.

Having fired so manys bullets, Fantomex hesitated with the next shot. That gave Romulus all the time he needed.

Upon shoving Deadpool’s wounded body aside, he pulled off another acrobatic leap just as Fantomex emptied the last of his bullets. Romulus ended up landing right behind the French soldier. Before he could turn around, Romulus drove his claws right into Fantomex’s torso. Even with his techno-organic blood, it was a devastating strike.

“Argh! That…stings,” grunted Fantomex.

“Ugh…what were you saying about not needing help again?” groaned Deadpool, still lying on the floor bleeding from his bullet wounds.

“If your plan was to simply confront me, it was a foolish plan,” said Romulus, “Your fate will be no different from the others.”

Adding to Fantomex’s discomfort, Romulus twisted his claws to worsen the wound before pulling them out and allowing the French soldier to fall to his knees. He watched without pity as Fantomex clutched his wounds, trying to prevent his techno-organic blood from spilling everywhere. Now wounded and weakened, the two former living weapons no longer presented a threat.

“Damn,” cursed Nightcrawler, “So much for those guys being our best hope.”

“I’m surprised they lasted as long as they did,” commented Domino.

“You two better have a backup plan. Otherwise, you deserve to get your asses kicked!” barked Wolverine.

“Don’t worry, old buddy! We’re not that crazy…figurative speaking,” said Deadpool, his bullet wounds gushing with blood, “We still have a plan C!”

“I don’t doubt that you have many plans,” said Romulus as he withdrew his claws, “I only doubt it will make a difference.”

Now who’s being arrogant?” quipped Fantomex.

Moments after uttering these words, a new commotion emerged from the doorway that Deadpool and Fantomex blew open earlier. A familiar figure came flying through as if having been roughly thrown. It was Phoenix and she appeared to be in bad shape. Following closely behind her was Daken, who stood triumphantly over her.

Upon seeing this, Romulus turned back towards Fantomex and grinned smugly.

“You were saying?” he said.

“Okay, guess we’ll need a Plan Q. Or is it plan Z by now? I’ve officially lost count,” groaned Deadpool, his wounds not healing fast enough.

As Daken took a moment to catch his breath, the rest of X-Force looked on in horror. Cyclops, who had was still on his hands and knees, was especially shocked to see his former lover so badly injured.

She had a nasty bruise on her head and a nasty claw mark on her upper back. Daken looked like he had been roughed up too. He had some nasty bruises on his face, torso, and lower right leg. They were most likely inflicted by telekinesis. Despite his discomfort, he respectfully bowed towards Romulus.

“Sorry for the commotion, honorable grandfather,” said Daken, “Those two slipped by while this bitch kept me occupied.”

“Hnn…I can still…annoy you,” grunted Phoenix as she tried to get up.

“Not after I do this.”

Daken roughly kicked Phoenix in the head, rendering her dazed and barely conscious. She was no longer in a position to use her telekinetic abilities, which had already left While waiting for his healing factor to kick in, he grabbed Phoenix by the hair and dragged her across the lab.

“Jeannie!” exclaimed Wolverine.

“Jean…what have you done to her?” yelled Cyclops.

“Nothing she didn’t bring upon herself,” said Daken, wiping some lingering blood from his face, “She was quite tenacious. Dare I say, captivating.”

“Bub, I don’t care if you are my son. You so much as breathe on her and I’ll give you a time out you ain’t gonna heal from!” barked Wolverine.

“That’s assuming you’ll survive what I’ll do to you!” yelled Cyclops.

“Ooh, sounds like you both have a soft spot for this woman,” said Daken, grinning as he laid Phoenix down right in front of Cyclops, “I must say you have good tastes. She is quite stunning. Not many women can leave me this bruised and look half as good as her. Perhaps she’s less deserving of wrath and more deserving of a special kind of mercy.”

With a sadistic grin, Daken drew his claws and trailed them down Phoenix’s face. Wolverine and Cyclops watched with burning rage as he trailed them further down the top part of her uniform. Daken looked at her with a mix of lust and hunger, making clear that he was cruel enough to do anything to her.

The veins in Wolverine’s neck bulged while Cyclops’s body trembled, crippled by the physical and mental strain. But just as Daken slipped his claw under the top of Phoenix’s uniform, Romulus waved him down.

“That’s enough, Daken. You’ve made your point,” said Romulus.

“Oh come now, Honorable Grandfather. Surely, this is a point worth reinforcing,” Daken protested.

“We’ve neither the time nor the capacity,” said the old warrior, “While admittedly brazen, I doubt she’s the only one left. Like Deadpool and Fantomex, she’s part of a much greater disturbance.”

Daken sighed in disappointment. He usually preferred to squeeze a little fun into his missions, but he respected his honorable grandfather’s wishes. He rose up and backed off from Phoenix’s wounded form, allowing Romulus to approach her. Fantomex and Deadpool were still too wounded to get up. Even if this disturbance wasn’t finished, this daring frontal assault of theirs had failed.

“You have resilient friends, my son. How many more are you willing to sacrifice before you admit the truth?” questioned Romulus.

“How much more of this shit needs to go wrong before you admit you ain’t gonna win?” yelled Wolverine.

“Unlike you, I’m willing to pay any price to see this vision through,” quipped Romulus, “You can make this easier on everyone if you assist me in uncovering who else is behind this disruption. You have my honor bound word that I will show them mercy if you convince them to surrender.”

“Go to Hell, old man! Let me free and I’ll gladly escort you!” answered the feral mutant.

“Don’t waste your breath, Romulus. We may be at odds with the X-men right now, but we’re not helping you take them,” said Warpath.

“Vell, you can keep Deadpool,” said Nightcrawler.

“Hey! I thought you guys were supposed to be heroes. Or is it anti-heroes? I forget. Ugh! I think one of the bullets is in my brain,” said Deadpool, trying to pull out some of the bullets on his own.

“Oh there are many ways I can still use you to resolve this problem. I need only break the weakest link in the chain, which has already made himself painfully apparent.”

Romulus turned back towards Cyclops, whose spirit had clearly been weakened after being forced to shoot Angel. Being controlled affected him on a mental level that the rest of X-Force. He was already on the brink. He needed only one more nudge for his will to be completely broken.

“You mock me about my need for control, Scott Summers. But it seems as though I’m not the only one with control issues,” said Romulus as he stood over the X-Force leader.

“I would say go to Hell, but Wolverine beat me to it,” grunted Cyclops.

“You have a pathological need for control. I suspect it has something to do with those dangerous powers of yours. Just look at what they did to your winged friend. Imagine what they’ll do to this beautiful woman here?”

“No! I won’t!” exclaimed Cyclops, his voice wrought with strain.

“Watch me,” said Romulus stoically, “Or more accurately, watch yourself.”

Using his control gauntlet, the old warrior sent a new round of commands to Cyclops. He continued to fight them with all his might, but he was so weakened from before that he could not resist.

He felt himself turn his gaze towards Phoenix. He also felt himself adjust his visor to a more lethal setting. In her weakened state, there was little chance Phoenix would survive. It was the worst of all Scott Summers’s nightmares. He was going to kill the woman he loved.

“No…Jeannie,” cried Wolverine.

“Come on, Scott! Fight it!” urged Nightcrawler.

“You can do it!” said Warpath, “Don’t let this bastard use you!”

“Jean, if you’re even partially conscious, wake up already!” yelled Emma Frost

“Hnn…Scott?” was all Phoenix could muster.

Their encouragement was strong, but it wasn’t enough. The X-Force leader did not have the strength to overcome Romulus’s control.

“I…I can’t!” said Cyclops in a weakened voice, “Jean…I’m so sorry.”

“You need not apologize,” said Romulus firmly, “You can save her life. You need only aid me in locating her comrades. They may not take kindly to hostages, but you’ll have plenty of incentive to make them understand. It requires that you dishonorably surrender, but in doing so you’ll preserve the honor of your woman.”

It was as cruel a dilemma as it was effective. Cyclops had to either surrender to this man or let him kill Jean Grey with his own optic blasts. His hand was on his visor. He could not turn away. For once, Scott Summers contemplated it. He was prepared to surrender and doom the world for the sake of this woman.

The rest of X-Force watched with bated breath. Some tried to look away, but their paralysis wouldn’t let them. Romulus was prepared to issue the final command through his gauntlet. If Cyclops wouldn’t decide, then he would decide for him.

Then in an instant that surprised even Romulus, a deafening gunshot rang out from above. That gunshot hit him square in his gauntlet, shattering it and seriously wounding his hand.

“Ungh…what now?” grunted Romulus in frustration.

“Uh…was that you, Frenchie?” asked Deadpool, who had just returned to his feet.

“I wish,” said Fantomex, who helped his partner up, “Looks like we’re not the only ones causing disruptions.”

Romulus, Daken, and the rest of X-Force looked up towards the source of the shot. It came from a figure that was perched atop one of the open pods for the Weapon X warriors. When they saw who it was Romulus was left confused while X-Force was left feeling some welcome relief.

“Hey guys! Sorry I’m late,” said Domino, who was wielding a high-powered sniper rifle.

“Domino! Where the hell have you been for the last three days?” barked Wolverine.

“Were you just waiting for it to get this bad?” asked Emma Frost.

“You guys disappeared. I had to wait for the X-men to find you guys,” she shrugged, “Then I had to get in and ended up getting side-tracked. It’s kind of a long story.”

With Romulus’s gauntlet shattered, he could no longer give commands to control X-Force. They remained paralyzed, but he could not control them. It left him more than just frustrated. As he clenched his bloody hand, Daken joined him. He kept looking at the Domino they had under control and the one that was perched above them.

“Stop me before I make a fool of myself, Honorable Grandfather. But what exactly are we looking at?” asked Daken.

“It’s not as obvious as it should’ve been,” said Romulus, “Apparently, I taught one of my pupils too well. Isn’t that right, Rose?”

Romulus turned to the Domino they had under their control. She hadn’t said much since her arrival and he noticed she was grinning in bemusement. That confirmed his suspicion.

“You taught me to deceive and fight, Romulus. Unfortunately, Domino is still a better shot. And the name’s Mystique!” said the shape shifter as she reverted back to her blue-skinned form.

“Mystique? How the hell did our tests miss that?” said Daken.

“We had a little extra magic on our side and a friend named Shaman to help us use it,” revealed Mystique, “So much for your meticulous planning, my mentor.”

“Wait…so you guys did have a plan?” said Hellion.

“Don’t be too upset with us, Julian. You probably would have blurted it out if we told you,” said Emma Frost.

“Cute…real cute,” snarled Sabretooth, who was a bit torn over the sudden turn of events.

“I’ll rub it in your face later, Creed,” said Wolverine as he looked back up at Domino, “Now seeing as how we still can’t move, I would love to hear more bullets flying!”

“Leave me with all the grunt work, why don’t you? Oh well,” said Domino as she adjusted her rifle.

Using her high-powered scope and her uncanny sharpshooting skills, Domino unloaded a hail of bullets from above. She started by firing a couple of shots right into the core, causing it to spark erratically. That helped ensure that Romulus couldn’t reassert control over his prisoners.

Then she took aim at Romulus and Daken. Just as before, Romulus used his agility to avoid the shots. Daken wasn’t as lucky, having sustained too much punishment from Phoenix. He ended up taking a high-powered round right in the chest.

“Argh!” he howled as he fell to the floor, “Honorable Grandfather…help me.”

“You’ll have to help yourself, Daken. The integrity of the core is a much greater concern!” said Romulus as he narrowly dodged two bullets from Domino.

“Thanks for the tidbit. I’ll make sure I squeeze in some extra rounds,” said Domino.

“Destroying the core won’t destroy my warriors. It won’t free your friends from their paralysis either,” said Romulus as he heard a bullet whiz right past his ear.

“I figured you wouldn’t be that stupid. Why else would I be trying to drive you back?” quipped Domino, “You guys ready for the second surprise?”

“Don’t jerk us around, Domino. Do it already!” exclaimed Warpath.

Domino touched a button on her communicator in between shots. She kept firing on Romulus, making sure he stayed away from X-Force so this next phase in their operation could unfold.

Once Romulus was pushed back towards the core, a small glowing portal formed in front of X-Force. From the portal, Illyana Rasputin emerged. Her presence not only revealed how Domino managed to appear in the lab undetected. She also brought revealed that they recruited the Scarlet Witch for this mission.

“The Scarlet Witch? Now you’re working with Magneto’s kids?” exclaimed Hellion.

“She’s not as bad as Fox News made her out to be, I assure you,” said Emma Frost, “Wanda, if you please…”

“Three days was a long enough wait for me,” said the Scarlet Witch, her eyes glowing with hex energy, “I’m sure it was more than enough for you.”

“You don’t know the half of it,” said Cyclops grimly.

The Scarlet Witch put her hex powers to good use. Through careful concentration she struck Cyclops, Wolverine, Warpath, Nightcrawler, Mystique, Emma Frost, Hellion, X-23, and Sabretooth with a hex bolt. She did the same for the wounded Angel as well, who was still lying unconscious near one of the examination tables. It was an uncomfortable feeling, but it successfully freed them from Romulus’ control.

“You did it, Vanda. Ve’re free!” said Nightcrawler.

“Ahh! Feels even better than the first time,” said Warpath.

“That’s only the second time I’ve felt compelled to utter such words,” said Emma as she shook off the soreness.

“Ugh…I still feel sick,” groaned Hellion.

“Shake it off! We still have a job to do,” said X-23 as she set her sights on Romulus.

“Damn straight!” said Wolverine as he drew his claws, “What do you say, Sabretooth? Got the stomach for one more team-up?”

“I’ll throw up later, runt,” snarled Sabreooth, “Let’s get this over with.”

Now free from Romulus’s influence and pissed off after everything he had done, X-Force was prepared to take this madman on. Wolverine, Sabretooth, and X-23 quickly closed in on Romulus, who was still dodging bullets from Domino. Emma Frost stayed behind with the dazed Hellion while Cyclops stayed with Phoenix. Illyana and the Scarlet Witch rushed to Angel’s aid, who was in bad shape after taking a shot from Cyclops. The X-Force leader was also in bad shape, but in a completely different way.

“How is he?” asked Cyclops as he hovered protectively over Phoenix.

“Not in a position to fight, that’s for sure,” said the Scarlet Witch as she checked him.

“He’ll definitely need some serious medical treatment,” said Illyana, sounding unnerved by the sight of his injuries.

“He’ll get it soon enough. Keep an eye on him while we take care of this once and for all,” said Cyclops flatly as he looked up towards Romulus.

Romulus now found himself targeted by more than just Domino. While Wolverine, X-23, and Sabretooth closed in on him, the rest of the team linked up with Deadpool and Fantomex. Mystique, Nightcrawler, and Warpath helped them back to their feet. They were still wounded and bloodied, but their respective healing abilities had since kicked in. They were ready for another shot at Romulus.

“Can you two still make yourselves useful?” asked Mystique.

“For a pretty woman with blue skin who reminds me of Jennifer Lawrence? Sure I can!” said Deadpool.

“Watch it, Deadpool. Zhat’s my mother you’re talking about,” scorned Nightcrawler.

“So what? Doesn’t that just make her a kick-ass MILF?” retorted Deadpool.

Nightcrawler was inclined to strike Deadpool for that remark, but Warpath held him back while Fantomex held Deadpool back.

“Save it for Romulus. He deserves it more,” said Warpath.

“Although after that remark, Deadpool is a close second,” said Mystique.

“I’ll lecture him on his treatment of beautiful women later. Now please stop pretending to help us and stand aside,” said Fantomex, who was already storming towards the core despite his wounds.

“Guess ve know who comes in third as vell,” muttered Nightcrawler.

As Domino’s bullets stopped flying, Romulus now found himself surrounded. He was backed up the core and had none of his warriors present to aid him. He quickly looked towards the wounded Daken for assistance. He was still struggling to overcome the bullet wound he took to chest.

“Don’t worry…Honorable Grandfather,” he said as he coughed up blood, “I will fight by your side.”

He barely made it to his feet. Then Cyclops hit him with another punishing optic blast. That one was so strong it sent him clear across the lab, landing him right next to the broken doorway. Now even more bloodied and battered than before, he was in no position to help his grandfather.

“That was for Jean, asshole!” said Cyclops, “Consider yourself lucky. Romulus is in for much worse!”

Romulus scorned his grandson for being too weak to stay in the battle. He was left to stare down Wolverine, Sabretooth, X-23, Warpath, Mystique, Nightcrawler, Deadpool, and Fantomex on his own. Even with his skill, it was a difficult battle at a time when he should have been focusing on his warriors that were currently scattered across the globe. If he was going to realize his vision, he had to resort to more drastic measures.

“Your crazy stunt ends here, Romulus!” proclaimed Warpath.

“You may be a skilled warrior, but do you really think you can take us all?” questioned X-23.

“Bearing in mind your answer amounts to dick because we’re still gonna kick your ass!” snarled Sabretooth.

“You’ll even get to watch us while we shut down your precious warriors if you’re lucky!” seethed Wolverine.

The former living weapons drew their claws in anticipation. The high price Romulus paid for his vision was coming back to haunt him. As he looked around at the threats before him, he saw that vision falling apart.

A lifetime of planning hadn’t been enough. War and conflict still found a way to propagate. While angry and frustrated, Romulus did not lose his focus. His hand had since healed from the bullet wound. Upon removing what was left of the gauntlet from his hand, he made a fateful decision.

“You’re all making a grave mistake!” he told them, “For every moment you delay my vision, more will die in the endless cycles of conflict.”

“Oh boo hoo, you don’t get to place peacemaker/demigod. I swear you’re worse than Donald Trump,” joked Deadpool.

“Save your breath, pops. You’re old enough to know you can’t bury your head in your own bullshit,” said Wolverine as he prepared to attack.

“I’m also old enough to know the value of a failsafe,” quipped Romulus, “Unlike you, my vision will live to see another day.”

With his back against the damaged core, Romulus opened a small panel near the controls and pressed a large red button. Within seconds, the whole lab blared with red alarms.

“Emergency protocol omega initiated. Activating warrior defense strategy X.”

“Ooh, that does not sound promising,” said Deadpool as he looked around.

“Emergency protocols my ass! I’ll kill you before you even think of escaping,” roared Sabretooth.

The feral mutant ran out ahead of Wolverine and prepared to tear into his former mentor. He was only five feet away when a brief flash appeared before him. From this flash, one of Romulus’s Weapon X warriors appeared. Before Sabretooth could lay a hand on Romulus, he was stopped by a wall of telekinesis and thrown back.

“HRRRRR! DAMN YOU, ROMULUS!” roared Sabretooth as he was knocked back.

“Defense strategy X commencing,” said the warrior.

Within seconds, more Weapon X warriors appeared. It wasn’t long before the entire lab was swarming with them. They instinctively surrounded Romulus. Then they surrounded X-Force and their associates.

They appeared everywhere, even atop the pods where Domino was still perched. She had to leap down off them, falling around where Illyana and the Scarlet Witch were standing next to Angel. The Scarlet Witch used her hexing powers to ensure she landed softly. However, she soon found herself surrounded as well.

“I don’t think I have enough bullets for this,” said Domino.

“I don’t think I have enough magic for it either,” said Illyana.

“Seeing as how we’re out of backup plans, I’m open to a new strategy,” said the Scarlet Witch as she prepared to defend herself.

“We’re…going to need a minute, darling,” said Emma as she looked around anxiously.

Everyone else seemed to share Emma’s anxiety. Romulus was more resourceful than they ever could have imagined. He didn’t just have experience and skill protecting him. He had an entire army of unbeatable Weapon X warriors. Being outnumbered and outgunned, this was one battle they weren’t equipped to overcome.

“Is this how it’s gonna end?” grunted Wolverine, “You gonna have your little drones do your dirty work?”

“This isn’t the end, my son. This is destiny,” said Romulus as he stood behind his army of waiting warriors, “Every warrior has a purpose. Every war has a turning point. This is ours. If you refuse to be part of it, then you will burn in the fires of war!”

Up next: Crimes Against Inhumanity Part 4

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