Aurini Four, The Brood Queen Nest

Quicksilver cursed as he yanked himself away from the Brood racing alongside him. This was a disaster. After Rogue had pulled her little stunt, she and Psylocke had fallen within the span of two minutes, a timespan so short even Pietro considered it quick. In fairness, Pietro did admire their willingness to put themselves in the line of fire. Lord knows, there were moments in his life when he hadn’t done the same. What Quicksilver didn’t appreciate, was that it was now up to himself and Drake alone to pull off a minor miracle.

Quicksilver had certainly managed a feat worthy of his superhuman speed. He was leading the superpowered Brood on a merry dance across the vast underground expanse, bobbing and weaving, avoiding the heat of flames, dodging a continuous series of telekinetic barriers and barrages, as well as the never ending streams of azure energy that constantly streaked towards him. Quicksilver knew he could make it out of here. He wasn’t so sure about the others.

Iceman rose upwards on an ice ramp, pulling Darkstar to himself as he slid forward. Several Brood flew towards him but Drake deftly avoided the creatures and fired an ice missile at several more who had approached Psylocke’s telekinetic barrier, before one of Pietro’s assailants took time out to smash a fireball into Iceman’s ice slide, sending Drake and Darkstar toppling to the ground.

Throwing caution to the wind, Quicksilver sped towards the pair. He poured on the speed as his Brood counterpart reached out to grab him, the Brood’s tentacles missing him by inches. He skidded to a halt at Drake’s side, just as the man fired streams of freezing cold at the ground and formed a small wall to block a series of incoming laser assaults.

“Quicksilver, take Laynia and go!” He cried. “I’ll hold them off!”

“And what of the others? You can’t do this alone!” Quicksilver said. Even now he could see the Brood rushing towards them, all teeth and snarls and tentacles.

“No,” said another voice, feminine and filled with eldritch power older than man or mutant. “But I can.”

Darkstar rose into the air delicately, her long blonde hair hanging loosely as if she were a marionette and a thousand whispering shadows followed in her wake like wraiths.

As Quicksilver and Iceman watched, she flicked her wrist and the shadows raced forwards to do the bidding of their mistress. Darkstar’s glowing eyes filled with malice as the Brood were swallowed in darkness and in that moment, Quicksilver was sure that Laynia Petrovna had not been the woman to speak those words.

“The Darkforce will not hold them long,” she told them, her skin paler than usual as slivers of dusk swirled around her form. She splayed both hands.

“To me, my X-Men,” she whispered, her speech little more than breath on the wind. Darkness wrapped itself around the five of them and the X-Men melted out of sight.