The dawn sun came as a welcome sight to those who thought they would never see another sunrise. Like every morning, Khert prayed to the goddess Solaris, welcoming her to the world once more and asking her to look over his father in heaven.
The warm golden glow always made him feel safe, but this morning, as it illuminated the damage caused by the Sentinels, he could only feel afraid.
Below, Jean, Scott and Logan had already begun work on the cleanup, mainly clearing rubble and laying support beams against the damaged walls. Ororo soon joined them. After standing outside H’nk’s door for several minutes, afraid to enter and learn the truth about his confession of love, she needed some sun. H’nk had been fairly badly hurt, but thanks to some healing potions of his own concoction, he would live. It would take some time to fully heal though, as he was no Logan. She was ashamed she couldn’t face him, especially after he saved her life, but she wasn’t sure she could return his feelings.
Deep in thought, she didn’t realise immediately that they weren’t alone. A man stood in the hole that was once the castle gates, adorned in a well polished, but simple armour. A image of a shield with an eagle within it was imprinted on his chestplate. His age was difficult to determine, looking in his forties, but his single eye belied a much longer life. One eye, his left, was covered by a patch.
“Quite a mess you’ve got here,” he said conversationally, whist examining the rubble and one of the crushed sentinels.
“Yeah, we had one wild party. What’s it to you?” retorted Logan, brimming with hostility. Ororo noticed he made a distinct effort not to look at Scott and Jean, who were holding hands.
Charles entered the courtyard, carefully navigating the rubble, “Nikolas Fury, it’s a pleasure to have you in my home,” though his tone indicated otherwise.
“Only my friends call me Fury, Xavier,” replied the eye-patched man.
“I apologise Nikolas, I assumed saving each others lives on several occasions made us life long friends. I was mistaken,”
Nikolas ignored this comment, taking another step into the courtyard, “Some of Bolivar Trask’s best quality golems went rogue. It appears they came straight here,” he kicked one of the crushed constructs, “you must keep a dragon in your castle,”
“I’m afraid a dragon just wouldn’t agree with my art collection,” replied Charles dryly.
“So these golems crushed each other?”
Logan blew up, “Don’t come in here and interrogate us, those things came into our home. If anything, we should be sticking that Trask’s head on a pike,”
“Logan!” yelled Xavier, silencing the volatile man.
Nikolas the Furious held up a placating hand, “Bolivar Trask has already offered to help repair the town and the castle. He sends his sincerest apologies,”
“He can apologise to my fist,” grumbled the ranger.
Nikolas looked to Xavier, “I’m curious, why do you think they game here?”
Charles shrugged, “I believe we were just in their way, if we hadn’t stopped them they would have destroyed my castle and kept walking,”
“Curious, and how did you stop them?”
“I’m sure you recall our mission with the young mage Stephanos Le’Strange in Attilan. We’ll I’ve maintained my friendship with him ever since. He’s been kind enough to give me several magical items over the years,”
“A fruitful friendship indeed!” Furious’s smile was cunning; Ororo doubted he believed Charles for a minute, “Can I see this most amazing item that defeated a dozen of the best golems money could buy?”
“Alas no, it was only good for one use and turned to ashes after,”
“A pity. Very well Charles, men shall be here soon to clean up this mess,” he gestured towards the destroyed Sentinels, “and then they’ll get started on repairs,”
“We appreciate that Nikolas, do join us for dinner some time, should you remain in the region,”
“Thanks for the invitation Xavier, but I really must be on my way back to Kingarth,” with a nod to other present he left, but his presence remained in everyone’s thoughts much longer.
“Sir, who was that?” asked Scott.
“That Scott, was a very dangerous man,”
Charles mind reeled, in just one night relations between the blessed and unblessed people of the world had taken a dramatic turn for the worse. He was certain Nikolas knew exactly what those golems were here for. And with his men around repairing Greymalkin, they would have to be increasingly vigilant to hide their identities. To make matters worse, it was only a matter of time before Magnus makes his next move, which could only result in death and disaster for everyone.
Troubling times were drawing close.
Next issue…Knights of Greymalkin #7: War of the Chosen