————— Somewhere Inside the Mansion ————–

Feet pounding the corridor, Scott Summers, celebrated leader of the famous X-Men, ran. Fear drove him, determination made him make the decision. He was loathe to leave Emma inside, practically defenceless but his X-Men and his students needed him. He felt torn. He had lost one love to the cause, was he now going to loose another? Opening the door to his and Emma’s chambers he gently laid down the comatose body of his wife on their bed. As he left he looked back and took a last look at her peaceful form and locks the door. Please let her be ok he prayed.

Right, emotions aside for now, he thought to himself. I need to be focused, this situation needs to be handled calmly and rationally. He raced to the front of the mansion hoping that most of the X-Men would respond to the presence of sentinels outside their doors. As he raced by he considered the damage done to the school. It was a mess. Whole corridors were caved in and every window had been shattered. At least some of it is left standing he thought reminding himself of the number of times the home of the X-Men had been razed to the ground.

He reached the front steps and paused to survey the scene. So much for calmly and rationally then.

————— On the Lawn —————

“Why will you never leave us in peace?” screamed Piotr Rasputin at the huge sentinel, punctuating each word with a punch from his metallic fists. Leaning down he gripped the sentinel’s foot at it’s base and used his awesome strength to topple the robot onto its front. He just managed to jump clear as the sentinel fired its thrusters in an attempt to right itself.

“Hey Ruskie. Need a hand” came a gruff voice the Russian mutant recognised well.

“My friend you are always welcome” he replied to the X-Man known as Wolverine. Piotr watched as he deftly leapt onto the sentinels head and with a feral roar, savagely slashed it open and began tearing into it. A few minutes later the sentinel deactivated.

“Where’s Kitty?” asked Logan as he flicked his eyes around the school turned battle ground for another fight.

“Katya is in that sentinel over there” responded Piotr, a look of worry and concern passing over his face. It was not lost on Wolverine. He knew of the relationship they had. He knew it had been going on for a while too. Hell, he could smell the stink of pheromones on them most of the time. What he was didn’t know was why they had kept it in the closet. Ah whatever, it was harming nobody and if they didn’t want anyone to know about it then that was their business.

“Doing her electrical phasing shtick huh?” Logan asked.

“That was her plan comrade, but she has been in an awfully long time. I hope she does not have any difficulties. Who is to tell how these monstrosities are wired” he replied smashing another sentinel with a rock.

“I hear ya bub” muttered Wolverine before joining him.

————— Inside the sentinel —————

An atom higher here, an atom higher there, Shadowcat thought to herself as she phased her body up through the stomach of the sentinel. She had discovered on her journey up the leg of the current sentinel she was phasing through, that they had multiple centres of control. While she assumed the head contained the master one, the ones she found in the legs were probably secondary reboot systems. God knows how many they have she thought. She had disabled the ones she could find in that leg and was now systematically working her way up through the robot finding the rest.

This thing is way more sophisticated than anything she had seen before. The systems were immensely more complicated than previous sentinel models, more so than Bastion’s Prime sentinels. She had studied the electrical and mechanical workings of these machines for years along with Beast and thought she knew everything there was to know. These new models were on a whole new playing field. She noted that whoever had designed them though, had sacrificed the unique adaptation ability of the sentinel to add more raw fire power. Well that was at least one thing in their favour.

She raised herself further up the abdomen and was surprised when her head emerged into an empty space. Confused she thought to herself why would there be empty space in a sentinel. The guy who designed these was surely not stupid enough to waste such a large space as this. It can’t be a design flaw. It was too dark to see anything. She phased her whole body into the space and realised that there was room for someone taller than her to stand without stooping.

Suddenly light came into the space. She saw a widening sector of light coming from one side of the space she was in. As it opened further she realised that it was the pectoral plates of the robot swinging upward. Still confused about what was going on she took the opportunity to look around her.

“Oh $*@#” she whispered to herself. Sitting in two ranks, around the interior of the giant sentinel’s cavity, were about twenty smaller versions of itself. Similar to the prime sentinels she had thought of mere seconds ago but lacking the human components. She jumped as the lights of their eyes activated. Finding herself surrounded she decided that it was definitely time to leave. The others had to know about this new threat.

————— The Lawn —————

“LAURA!” James Howlett screamed as he saw his young protege emerge from the front porch of the mansion. He slashed the foot of a sentinel as he leapt over it. That girl was gonna get a firm hand when he got to her. After he saved her of course… . And then sorted out the sentinels… . Why did he always seem to have so much to do?
Looking toward the mansion doors he saw the rest of his squad come out and walk down the steps. Then his view was blocked by a sentinel leg. He immediately leapt at the leg and began hacking away.
He had to get to those dumb kids.

————— The Front Steps of the Mansion —————

“Ok pick a sentinel and let’s get to destroying it” chirruped Masquerade as Squadron X emerged into the chaos on the front lawn.

“To the left, there are no X-Men fighting that one. C’mon guys we can take it.” pointed out Amazon assuming her leadership voice. She activated her mutant power and increased her mass to match the size of the large sentinels. Taking massive strides she leapt upon the one she had singled out. Turning her head she saw the rest of the squad follow her. This is so dangerous she thought but the X-Men needed help against these odds whether they wanted it or not. She scanned the ground and cursed under her breath when she spotted Wolverine battling his way towards them. She knew he was going to be pissed but what did he really expect, that they would cower in their rooms while everyone else was fighting?

Hardly.

She dodged some pulse blasts, grabbed one of the sentinel’s arms and ripped it off. Flinging it at another sentinel she wrapped her arms around the neck of the sentinel and strained, trying to tear it’s head off.

“Redneck try and fuse some of it’s joints together” yelled Laura at one of her team-mates as she and Hisako battered at the foot of the sentinel Beth was gripping.

“Gotcha” said the young boy as he got over to the foot of the sentinel with Olympian’s help. Raising his hands to the ankle joint of the robot, just above his head, he activated his heat powers and began to melt the metal plates that covered the ankle joints. Olympian meanwhile had scrambled up the leg and was using his enhanced strength to rip sections of the sentinel’s hip off. Finishing his job, Redneck jumped back and watched as the melted metal cooled, fusing the ankle joint in place. The sentinel tried to move its foot but the fused joint instead of bending, snapped and the foot crumbled. As the sentinel fell Beth finally ripped it’s head off and Olympian jumped clear. Redneck quickly scanned around for Karen, his girlfriend. Her shape shifting abilities were not much use to her in this battle but she had insisted on being with her squad rather than being left behind. Seeing her unharmed he relaxed a little.

“Well done guys now let’s get another one” came the booming voice of their large leader from high above. Shrugging his shoulders to shake the tension he felt, Redneck set off in Amazon’s wake heading for the nearest sentinel.