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Blue
03-07-2006, 10:20 PM
The Sundering Part 2
"Say Goodbye to Tomorrow"

It had brought specific interest to the First One when his scout team had reported several corpses of the same man in the ruins of Falls Edge Facility. At first he was not necessarily sure what this meant, but it quickly occurred to him just exactly who this man might be -- and what he would be able to do with him.

It was this realization that had left Apocalypse by himself, wading through the ruins of X-Factor's former home that had been long abandoned following it's devastation. He was looking for strength in these ruins, the will to survive, and he -- although he would never admit it, very anxious to find just that. However as his titanic ageless hands combed ever so carefully through the rubble, Apocalypse began to wonder if he was going to find the specimen he needed, or if he would have to retrieve a new one himself. That would be incredibly tedious, considering he'd sent the original specimen whose duplicates he was looking for to another dimension, and in fact Apocalypse could assume the man was dead.

However as Apocalypse lifted a final, much more flat piece of rubble, he noted movement -- it was a man's foot, and while he was still covered to some extent by debris it was clear that he was implying he was alive. He was showing strength, survival of the fittest and it was right in front of the Great One's face. He had rarely in history been filled with such joy. He was sure this one had to be alive, the others had all long ago ceased to be, a body would not be twitching after being dead for so long, this was the genuine article. As Apocalypse carefully combed the dirt, and last bits of twisted and broken cement off of the mans body a sinister smile came across his face, and he let loose a roar of booming laughter.

The man himself was one of the duplicates of Jamie Maddrox that had been left behind when X-Factor was sent to the Universal Nexus. As Apocalypse pulled the lifeless man up by his leg, he pressed one hand to his neck, a pulse! A grim look came across Apocalypse's face as he held the man carefully in his arms, "You who have weathered my might, you who have faced my wrath and bested your brothers by surviving, I will build an army with you."

Apocalypse began to laugh to himself again, stepping carefully through the ruins before he disappeared in a blink of an eye.

Meanwhile in Washington DC....

Warren Worthington III, the Archangel, flew wildly through the chaos that the arrival of his father head created. Cutting madly with razor sharp wings through Sentinels, and pieces of Sentinels that were falling to the ground after feeling the power of Apocalypse's fantastic Ship. The celestial Ship would not fall to the pathetic efforts of mere Sentinels, indeed it would be remarkable if any Earthen technology could penetrate it's shields that were made with technology from far beyond the stars. As he rose in altitude he spun around, allowing himself to idle for a moment, a whizz of burning plasma flew by him as he yelled as loud as he could using not only his voice but also his mind, "Come on it's time to go!"

His intended target of course was the mutant Psylocke, his love and soon to be the next of Apocalypse's Horsemen. She was locked in dire battle with the mutant Logan, better known as Wolverine. However much to the shock of the Canadian mutant, Psylocke was meeting him on every blow, blocking every attack and even being able to amazingly counter-attack. Had she really improved so much? Or was she finally tapping the ability of a darker side of herself that she had subdued for so long. Whatever it was Logan would not find out today. Psylocke now charged at Wolverine, her psychic katana glowing bright purple, she let lose a battle cry, and Logan readied himself with his razor sharp claws ready to tear the traitor apart. However right before Psylocke met Wolverine, she leapt effortlessly over his head, flipping in the air then rolling into the shadows. She blew Logan a kiss as she disappeared.

Betsy appeared once again in the vision of the Archangel, standing several dozen feet above him still inside the shadowy hangar of Apocalypse's Ship. Archangel smiled, his dark features making him appear wickedly beautiful in her eyes. He began to fly faster, quickly making his own way into the hangar.

As the two traitors found their way into the hangar most of the X-men could only stare in disbelief upward, however quickly needing to maintain their battle with the remaining Sentinels, taking care to dodge the plasma beams that Apocalypse's Ship bombarded them with as well.

Hope quickly appeared in the Blackbird on the horizon, as Rogue sent the final hammer blow through a Sentinel's head, sending the machine's thinking center flying from its neck she let out a cheer. Magma had made it, things were going to be alright.

Storm's communicator crackled to life once again, the arrival of Apocalypse's ship had seemingly blocked out the X-Men's field frequency, likely the work of Archangel or Psylocke giving Apocalypse information before the battle. She would have to recall this day for when she next met the traitors, and pay them back in proper turn. The voice over the communicator was Cyclops, "Storm, field report! What's going on, what is that ship?" Storm squint her eyes, calling a fantastic lighting bolt down to tear a Sentinel's arm effortlessly from it's shoulders, "Archangel and Psylocke have left us, we're not sure whom that craft belongs to, but we have to assume the worst."

Inside the X-Jet, Cyclops was accompanied by Northstar, the Beast, Magma, and Sunspot, but it was clear to the X-Mens veteran tactician that not even this force could match the might of Apocalypse -- at least without organization. It pained him incredibly to do so but it was time to retreat. Cyclops spoke again into the communicator, "We have to pull out Storm," Cyclops paused for a long moment, "Today is lost, we have to regroup and look toward the future."

On the battlefield Storm could almost not believe her ears, but knew deep down that the X-Men were losing this day, and if they did not pull out soon all would certainly be lost. They already had injured team members, and for all intents and purposes the X-Men had to assume the President was dead, and that the city of Washington would soon be joining him. A snarl came across the Wind Witches lip as she floated high up into the chaos, her eyes turning milky white, and swirls of power began to dance around her thin yet toned arms. "X-Men!" she yelled, hoping that somehow they all would be able to hear her. "The Blackbird is here! It is time to retreat!" It appeared at least for the most part that the X-Men had heard her, as she noted all of the X-Men beginning to pull back, Bishop firing off rounds through his pistol rapidly with an unconscious Iceman over his shoulder, Rogue pounding her way through Sentinels, going low and aiming for their ankles. Gambit quickly came, darting across remaining rooftops, an unconscious Jean Grey secured to his shoulders. The Cajun paused for a moment letting out a deep breath, either Jean had put on weight or his gunshot wound was acting up again. Either way it was Sunfire landing next to him, that likely got he and Jean out of that fight, as the two man now worked together to carry the unconscious woman to the safety of the X-Jet.

Storm let out a heavy sigh, as she sent lighting bolts flying in all directions of her body, a fantastic maelstrom of nature's wrath serving to clear a path for the fleeing X-Men. They had even taken the care to recover those that had fallen, which brought her great joy. Storm however was quickly alarmed as she noted the absence of Wolverine. She yelled down to Rogue, whom was the closest within ear shot, "Where's Wolverine?" Rogue flew quickly up to Storm, floating beside her and scanning the scene.

Rogue herself had not been concerned with Logan's well being, she was pregnant herself, and the father of her unborn child had been deep in the fray of this fight just coming off an injury. Her heart almost skipped a beat when she saw Gambit returning with Sunfire, and the unconscious Jean Grey. A warm smile came across her face, but quickly left as she felt Storm tightly gripping her arm.

"There he is!" she yelled wildly pointing to a fairly far off rooftop.

And that is where Logan was, on a roof top back to back fighting off the remaining Sentinels with two most unlikely partners. Magneto and Sabretooth fought beside Logan, allies merely out of coincidence. Logan screamed at the top of his lungs, "You got a plan here bucket head?" Magneto snarled, ripping a Sentinel in half with a powerful clap of his magnetic power, "We survive long enough to destroy whoever has decided to rain hell on my triumph!" Wolverine snickered, as he smashed his claws over and over again into a Sentinel's chest, bits and pieces of the monster's mechanical innards flying in all directions. "Hey Mags, sure would be a help if those X-Men hadn't decided to stop fighting huh?" Sabretooth laughed loudly as he slashed through Sentinels as well. "Pipe it Creed! Only reason I?m still on this sinkin' ship with you rats is cause I got stuck out here by that god damn witch and now these Sentinels seem to know I wanna leave and aren't lettin me!" Magneto grinned, ripping one of the seemingly numberless Sentinel's apart with a magnetic blast, "Oh Wolverine there may ..."

While the trio were certainly the first to see it, the X-Men who were loading onto the X-Jet certainly could not ignore what had just left Apocalypse's ship. It was large, about ten feet long, and all metal except for in the center where it glowed bright green. "What is dat ting?" Gambit asked, holding Rogue at his side. Cyclops watched it fall, seconds seemed like hours, "I think... that ...it's a bomb."

There was a blinding flash, and then only fire.

To be concluded....