Xi’an struggled against the hand which pinned her to the floor. It had moved it’s mechanical weapon several times to attempt to get a firing solution but Karma’s constant struggling and jerking of the head meant it hadn’t been able too.

His hand tightened causing her tongue to be pushed out of her mouth. She swung her leg up to kick him in the groin but there was no effect. They had obviously been one of the things to go to make him into the ultimate mutant killing machine. It seemed to adapt his programming from blowing her head off to simply choking her to death when it became unlikely the first plan would work.

Karma could feel the air being driven from her lungs and the brain cells in her brain popping. She knew she had to do something or she would die on this beach, she was all alone…her eyes turned as she caught something move. She felt the hope in her again.

A loud clang suddenly rang across the area as a stone bounced into the head of the Omega Sentinel ripping off part of it’s flesh with the concussion. The now part metal head turned to stare at Dani Moonstar whose foot connected with him managing to drive him off her friend.

Karma sucked a deep breath in and rolled over. Dani shot her a quick glance and Karma gave a thumbs up to let her know she was ok.

Dani dodged back as the middle aged woman Omega Sentinel swung a bladed arm at her. Dani’s foot surged forward and struck her in the gut. The cyborg didn’t even respond. Pain responses completely deleted.

She rolled backwards and avoided another swing as the second of the Sentinels came at her. She threw a handful of sand into his face that she had grabbed from the deck and launched herself over his form driving him forward into the female with a well placed kick.

The police sentinel fired a blast at the Cheyenne Indian who dropped to her back to avoid it. Karma’s foot landed in the small of the back of the cyborg making it jerk. It span catching nothing but air as she ducked. She launched upwards with her fist catching it’s still human jaw with a right uppercut. It wasn’t effective, the sentinels following blow to her gut with it’s knee however was.

Dani’s legs wrapped it’s neck as she leapt upwards before sweeping her body back and tossing the much heavier opponent to the ground. “You okay?” she asked as her hands found Karma. She nodded. “Can your powers do anything?”

“No, there’s nothing…”she paused as she sensed something. A ping of humanity. “…It’s deep. I need a distraction.” She nodded.

Dani launched back into battle just as the other two Omega’s launched towards her. They had superior strength and speed and had the numbers advantage, the worst part was as well as being machines they were human…they could think and adapt like she could.

It took everything in Dani to drop to the ground to avoid one blade and then leap as another swung at her. She span sideways as a cannon pointed at her. The blast incinerated the end of her hair but connected with the young sentinel sending him sprawling back.

Dani dove forward as both of the remaining sentinels swung for her and then they stopped. “Karma?”

“It’s me,” she nodded from where she crouched. “I can’t control them…can’t even hold them for long.” Tears were now streaming down her face. “There’s only one thing…they’re begging for it. Whatever’s left of them is praying.”

“Karma what…oh god.” Dani inhailed sharply as the sentinels moved their gun arms close to their faces. They too were crying.

“They want to die…can’t override their programming but with my help they can take back their bodies for a second…I can’t let them go until after.” She closed her eyes and then screamed as the lights from the sentinels weapons exploded outwards. The headless bodies slumped to the ground along with Karma’s.

Dani skidded to her friends side. Her cheeks were stained with tears and she coughed through them. Dani knew what had happened, Karma had controlled them and stuck with them until their life’s had ended. She had been with them in the mild psychic bond she shared with them and felt them die.

Dani held her friend close, she did what none of the others could at that moment and comforted Karma.

Her head twisted to the side as a scream rose from the land. Two Omega sentinels rose into the air and then shot off at the speed of sound complete with tiny sonic booms.

The Waterfront…

The two teams had combined into one force as they led the two remaining sentinels where Cannonball had commanded. They had tried to follow sunspot’s lead and lead one behind the other but with four mutant targets they found there were too many variables for the sentinels and so it was hard for them to herd them.

“I could just hack them up!” growled Warpath as he burst into a sprint as a stream of laser fire followed him. He circled back after a second and unleashed one of his knives, it glanced the shoulder of a sentinel who had shifted to launch a blast at Rahne. Warpath swore as he made sure he could track his knife, it arced in the air and then started to spin to the ground.

“What after Magma and Cannonball have went through all the trouble with their plans,” laughed Roberto. The group apart from Rahne were now thoroughly enjoying their fight with the robots, they were getting cocky.

“That’s right I’ve went through a lot of effort.” Magma exploded out of the ground in a burst of flame and hurled a fireball at the sand at the Sentinel’s feet. It solidified into glass holding the robot’s feet tight for a second until it shattered.

“Hasn’t been easy for me either!” Sam hurtled up from behind the Sentinel a cloud of sand down the beach showed where he had erupted from. He seized Warpath’s blade in his hands holding it out in front of him like a dart as he hurtled through the head of one of the Sentinel’s leaving just one. “Keep leading him! Magma get ready with the glass! Maybe we can find out who sent these things.”

Magma, Sunspot and Boom Boom were running and kept stopping individually when out of Sentinel range to launch a blast of powers to keep the robot interested. Warpath, Rahne and Sam also darted across the path of the metal monster to draw it’s attention.

They were leading it slowly up the beach. “Any chance of my knife back Cannonball?” asked Warpath he held his hand up as he yelled to the rocketing team mate.

Sam tossed the knife which James jumped to catch. When the large apache came back down his foot smashed through the sand with a twinkling sound. He swore loudly and leapt clear as he realised they’d reached their destination. The other mutants followed.

The Sentinel paused for a second as it calculated some statistics over the scattering mutants but the force exerted as Cannonball slammed into it’s back shoved it forward. It’s foot crashed through the sand shattering the glass below it. It stumbled forward and fell face first through the glass shattering it around him. Sand began to pour into the hole. “NOW!” The tunnels were Magma’s doing while the tunnels which shifted the sand into the hole were Sam’s.

Magma launched forward and unleashed a massive blast of flames. The sand began to form into glass around the robot. “Mutant target obtained! Return to base!”

The ground shook for a second. The glass Magma was standing on began to crack. The Sentinel began to rise up shattering the glass around it as it went. Magma’s red hot hands slid down the back of the Sentinel. The action caused her to lose concentration and her powers to switch themselves off. The metal solidified around Magma’s hands as an after effect of her powers activated to protect her and she drew the heat into herself.

“Magma!” Rahne yelled as she launched forward and leapt onto Magma’s back and began to try and pull her free.

“Warpath cut her free!” commanded Cannonball. He rocketed forward and up before coming down at the robot. He put his hands out and pushed trying to keep the robot from rising.

Warpath launched up easily onto the back of the Sentinel and dug one knife into it. He began to climb up it’s back.

The sentinel suddenly shifted causing the three mutants on it’s back to let out a yell. It had shifted it’s feet activating the rockets to launch itself away from whatever force had been keeping it down.

The Sentinel was now free, it’s huge rocket feet exploded outwards as it shot off towards inland.

Cannonball rocketed after it followed by Sunspot who in his arms held Boom Boom.

Cannonball pressed on his top speed but watched as the Sentinel shot away from him. He knew soon enough that it was a lost cause to chase.

“SAM!” the shout came from below and behind him. He had covered the entire length of the beach as he gave chase and had passed by Dani and Xi’an as well as the remainder of the crowd without paying too much attention. He turned and came in for a landing. The slower Sunspot and Boomer were already there.

He looked on at Karma who had Melissa in her grip. Her face was stained with tears but it was anger stretched across her face. Melissa’s face was red and she had blood trickling from her mouth and nose.

“Hey! Xi’an!” Roberto grabbed Karma as he dropped to his human form and pulled her away. “Melissa are you okay?” he held his girlfriend for a second as he looked at her and then turned to Xi’an who surged forward towards Melissa again.

“ENOUGH!” bellowed Sam as he jumped forward and pulled Karma back. “What’s wrong?”

“Karma had Melissa take the kids,” informed Dani, tears had begun to roll down her face too but nothing in comparison to Karma.

“They took Leong and Nga! The Sentinels took them!” Xi’an collapsed into the hold of Sam.

Epilogue, an hour later…

The one remaining Sentinel from team one hurtled over the jungle. Warpath had managed to claw his way up on top of Wolfsbane and Magma to cut down on the windsheer on them whilst he held onto one blade to keep himself in place.

Wolfsbane had been using the second blade to cut Magma free. They had been planning to cut her free and then drop off with Warpath’s flying powers somewhere over the city but the Sentinel had moved faster than they anticipated and the cutting took longer than expected now there was nothing below them but jungle.

The Sentinel shook. “Turbulence!”   Warpath yelled to the girls. The buffeting of the Sentinel tossed his body up into the air. He made sure to keep a grip on his knife but it allowed the wind to slam into the girls.

Magma now free of the Sentinel’s back and without claws or extra-physical strength like Rahne was peeled from it’s back in seconds. “AMARA!” yelled Rahne as she reached out for her friend. Amara grabbed her hand while Rahne held Warpath’s knife. The sentinel shook again. Rahne felt herself slip, the chunk of metal she held bent and twisted because of the cutting she had done.

The metal peeled away with a scream and the two girls were tossed into the air away from the Sentinel.

Warpath watched them fall for a second and then released his hold on his knife. He turned his body in the air and accessed his flight powers. He hadn’t used this power in such a long time he began to pray. “I hope this works!”

The three hurtled towards the jungle canopy.

To Be Continued…