Outside the base…

Cannonball extended his blast radius around him outwards in a sharp movement. It formed a protective force field shell for a matter of seconds it had been something with which he was becoming proficient but he couldn’t do it for a long time.

It however did the job he needed it to do at the minute, the steel coils which had been snaking towards him from below and the Wild Sentinels which were buzzing the air stopping him escaping were shoved away long enough to allow him to recover the momentum and slam into one of the Sentinels.

He couldn’t help but think that this battle had taken a turn for the worse in the last few minutes. His mutant team had been cut by the three women heading into the base, this is exactly what he didn’t want to happen. The ground forces had been cut in half meaning that Sunspot had to be reassigned, this all lead to the Sentinels managing to get the drop on him and Warpath…it was turning the tide against them. It also meant the Wild Sentinels and Mastermold himself were able to turn their attention to absorbing the scrapped Sentinels to build and adapt new ones.

He panned his vision across the battlefield as he circled up away from the Wild Sentinels who were in pursuit. James had barely seemed to notice, he was currently darting between three Sentinel’s slashing at their hard metal surfaces in turn one after the other so that none of the three could recover enough to be a threat.

The Apache’s long hair had been unleashed from the bandana which had tied it down so now it clung around his face and naked chest, trails of blood, red marks of impact and slight burn marks were stretching across his body. Sam could only imagine whatever pain Warpath was feeling, he certainly didn’t seem to show it in his behaviour though.

He raised both hands above his head and brought them down sharply driving him bladed into the back of one of the Sentinels as he pressed his feet against it’s back. Sparks were flying from it’s back. He pushed off hurling one of the vibranium blades (the one he had reclaimed from Sunspot when it became abundantly clear the Brazilian had no real skill with it) with his left hand clear through the chest of the second Sentinel whilst he thrust off with his legs and drove his blade through the chest of the third Sentinel. He followed pushed on by his own inertia into the heart of the beast before exploding out of the back. It was a ploughing tackle that even the expert in the manoeuvre Cannonball would be proud of.

A smile stretched across the Kentuckian’s face, Warpath had just gave him an answer to both of the problems he was having 1) The Sentinels who were bothering him and 2) The Wild Sentinels in pursuit.

He scoured the ground for the glinting metal blade Warpath had thrown through the Sentinel. He spotted it with difficulty and dove down towards the ground. He seized the blade and turned directly through the swarm of small robots which followed. Their blasts and thrusting barbs did little against his force field.

Their companions were snapping up and reassembling their parts before the metal chunks had time to fall. The only way to get rid of them was complete destruction of all of them.

He set his course for the standing Sentinels with his arm stretched out, the blade held tightly in his hand. The force on the blade caused by his thrust cut through the Sentinel like it was nothing. He exploded out of its back in a burst of flames and turned to watch as the Wild Sentinels ploughed into the chest of the Sentinel before it finally exploded.

“Warpath can you cover my back with one knife?” he yelled over the noise of the fight.

James as if in answer shot across the ground screaming and slashing at a host of Omega Sentinels who had turned their attention towards him. Blood, flesh and mechanical components arched out of the bodies of the cyborg men sending showers of sparks into the air.

Sam set his sights on shot up towards the Mastermold unit which was surveying the battle whilst it’s drones collected the needed parts to build more Sentinels. James smiled as he caught his friend rocketing towards Mastermold in the corner of his vision ‘dibs’ he laughed gently before returning to his slashing.

Omega Sentinels were currently also the main problem that the three ground bound mutants were facing. The cyborgs with excess fire power, higher levels of manoeuvrability and vastly higher computing ability.

A rather overweight looking model moved like an Olympic sprinter making the fat on his metal bones and components jiggle as he moved. Were erupting through the skin on his arms as he took a swing at Boom Boom.

She hit the deck hard in an attempt to avoid it. Her agility and martial arts training had never really been on the level of Rahne, Dani or Xi’an. She however made Amara look like a ballerina.

The Brazilian mutant had just tossed herself backwards splashing magma in several directions when she hit the ground disintegrating concrete as she did so. Thankfully she didn’t need too much agility. She let out a loud aggressive grunt as she tore the rock from the ground before her up into the air, it formed a solid wall before her.

The Omega Sentinel slammed its mechanical hand hard into the stone wall crumbling it partially. Magma responded with a blast of lava directly through the centre of the hole it had just created. She listened to the scream through gritted teeth.

The wall suddenly crumbled down around her. Sunspot crashed through its solid surface with a bounce, he picked himself up in a matter of seconds. “These ones pack a punch,” he smiled his brilliantly glowing teeth which stood out against the black void that was the rest of his body.

“You seem to be enjoying this,” grunted Magma as a column of stone brought her to her feet.

“That’s because ‘Mara,” he tossed himself forward towards the onrushing Sentinel and tossed his hand forward. It ploughed directly through the face of the robotic creature “I am.”

Magma let off a turret of rock which pierced the chest of another of the Omega Sentinels “How can you enjoy this? We and our friends are in danger.”

“Easy,” an Omega Sentinel grasped his arm. Roberto tossed his entire body weight into the air and rolled his shoulder slamming the humanoid hard into the floor. “When was the last time you got to cut loose like this?”

Boom Boom leapt between the two throwing her hands behind her unleashing a shower of bombs at the Sentinels who were just behind her. Their flesh exploded exposing wires. “Some of us didn’t become captains of industry and have had enough of this crap,” she growled.

“Just let it all go!” laughed Sunspot his elbow smashed through the chest of another Sentinel. It was easy to forget that Roberto had just as much strength as Warpath or Colossus even if he couldn’t take a punch as well as either of them.

Amara grinned, she had a lot to let go of. The flames around her body kicked another notch and the ground began to rumble as it melted and flowed together. An arm of magma shot from the fault lines and swiped at the robots both burning and smashing them in one fell swoop.

The ground began to rumble and the concrete and stone which covered the ground began to tumble down into some chasm. “Magma what are you doing?” cried Boom Boom as she leapt out of the way of the opening.

Magma shook her head. “This one isn’t me.”

Inside the base…

The two mutant women and the ex-mutant moved down the corridor they were in quickly in full bounding sprint. The bullets and laser blasts of the soldiers camped at the other side of the corridor blasted holes in the wall as they went.

The three slid into a small alcove halfway down the corridor and took a brief breath. Dani slid her knife out and angled it so she could look along the corridor using it as a mirror. They were beginning to move down the corridor in standard formation.

“I dinnae think the usual tactic will work, Karma anything you can do?”

Karma closed her eyes for a split second and then titled her head forward, raising her arm to meet it as she did so. “No, they’ve got some kind of protection built into their helmets.”

Dani nodded as she took the measure of the situation and slowly removed brought the quiver from her back and pushed her arm inside the bag fishing around for something. She brought her arm out in a rapid movement and tossed whatever shiny object she had in her hand down the corridor.

“<Grenade!>” yelled the soldiers as they began to scatter. Dani stepped out into the breach and began to let fly with arrows.

Rahne and Xi’an watched from their position until Dani lowered the bow. She motioned for them to quickly come to her. “What was that?” Xi’an asked as Dani began to push her down the corridor away from the fallen soldiers.

“X-Men communicator. I kept it for luck,” she pointed the bow around the corner which they were coming up too.

“It certainly was that ah?” Rahne nodded casting her eye back at the large red circle which had a black X going through it. “Shouldnae not go get it for you?”

Dani shook her head and then inched forward not looking back. “I held onto it for long enough, I’m not an X-Man anymore. That much was made abundantly clear to me.”

“Dani it was a tough time,” Xi’an tried to comfort her friend with a gently hand on her arm. “I tried to talk to them but…”

“I don’t blame you, it had to come eventually. We can’t live our entire lives for someone else’ dream. It’s time we stopped being New Mutants and start being adults…it’s a lot easier for us who aren’t mutants obviously.”

“I’m sorry for all of this Dani,” Xi’an sighed in a whisper “You were out of this life and I brought you back into it. It was time to grow up and I dragged you back into it.”

“Xi’an,” Dani stopped and faced her friend. “This is my life. You and Rahne are the two people I care about in this world more than any other. This is a family matter.” The three girls exchanged a look and a gentle smile. They then continued to move along the corridor, they didn’t have the time to wait.

They continued down the long corridor for a minute or so when Rahne suddenly paused and sniffed the air. “Stop!” she growled, “something isn’t right.” She moved towards one of the walls and then moved back away from it before dropping onto all fours and bounding towards the others “Run!”

The two were about to ask questions but as the wall ruptured in squirting a stream of lava into the corridor. It was obvious Magma had been causing some problems above. The three sprinted at their full speed, the lava wasn;t flowing very quickly but as the wall began to crack more they didn’t want to be around.

“We need to find Leong and Nga!” Xi’an yelled. “They’re still one more level down!”

Dani nodded, she slid the bow along her arm once more whilst she grabbed an arrow and aimed at the far wall down the end of the corridor. She let loose catching a small latch.

The metal cover slammed open and the ladder it held began to roll down. “Rahne first!” barked Dani. Rahne bound past the other two putting distance between them with ease before she leaped into the air and vanished into the hatch.

The top half of her body descended from the hole as her legs kept her fixed safely as she stretched out her hands. Xi’an and Dani leapt at the same time and found the furry limb, Rahne gripped them tightly and began to haul.

“Move,” ordered Dani as she shoved at the other two. This lava would only rise and the three would be cooked alive if they didn’t get a move on.

The three began to crawl swiftly pushing against each other all the way. Xi’an, who was in the lead suddenly let out a shriek. The vent or whatever it was suddenly tilted forward like a slide, a slide which she had just spilled down.

The others without a word followed behind her quickly. They slid down into the unknown.

Xi’an tumbled out of the other side sending the grate bouncing into the room as she did so. She climbed to her feet as quickly as she could and moved out of the way of the entrance quickly. Rahne skidded through seconds later on all fours and Dani just a moment later rolling to her feet. Her bow unfortunately was not with her as it had become jammed in the vent.

It was currently a shame as she could have used it right at that moment. Her eyes became fixed on the number of soldiers who stood in the massive hangar facing them. The large number of Sentinels standing behind them were going to be an even harder possibility.

One of the soldiers who seemed to command the others judging by his different uniform began to speak “If you surrender we will not harm you. If you however…” The knife which Dani whipped from her belt and hurled through his shoulder interrupted him.

Rahne and Xi’an took the signal and the three launched forward towards the mass of soldiers. Fist and feet flying, Rahne was heavy on the claws as she bounced between the soldiers tearing chunks out of their arms and legs. She was more careful in her treatment of their faces, stomachs and chests which she didn’t want to do dangerous damage too.

Xi’an slid along the length of a soldier’s arm sliding her leg behind his before slamming her elbow into the back of his head and tossing him backwards to the ground. She tossed her bodyweight behind her leg and flung it out into the face of another. She moved through them like a choreographed dancer taking them out with the least amount of effort or fuss.

Dani was being a little more assertive in her fighting as she had always been. She was a good solid fighter but did not have the in depth training which Karma did. She was putting them down with the highest amount of expediency she could and doing so with the most force she could muster. She eyed the Sentinels carefully hoping first that they stayed out of the battle and then secondly wondering why they had yet to get involved.

Her answer came as Rahne ploughed through a line of guards driving them to the floor and suddenly all was revealed.

On the wall opposite wall her friends were held solidly. Their arms and legs were pinned carefully to the wall by an Omega Sentinel on each.

A small potbellied man in official attire stood before them facing into the battle. He smiled with his browned teeth at her. “You can surrender at any point,” he smiled.

The three girls slowly raised their hands in surrender. “Omega Sentinels secure them,” he ordered. Three of the soldiers let out a grunt of pain as they transformed into Sentinels and grabbed hold of the three.

“What happened?” Dani asked as she was frog marched towards the others.

“They got the drop on us,” Warpath sighed.

“Then we dropped through the roof,” nodded Sunspot.

“Where are my brother and sister?” begged Xi’an as she struggled against her captor to face the pot bellied man.

“They are safe,” he nodded slowly. “You do not have to worry about that for the rest of your short little life. They will remain safe as long as they are within my command.” He motioned to some of his soldiers and Sentinels and with the snap of his finger they parted allowing two human sized Sentinel units to move forward.

Their chests opened and Leong and Nga bobbed silently held by wires in place. “Leong! Nga!” she cried as she surged towards the two only to be held back. The twins didn’t respond.

“Why have you done all of this? What are you planning?” growled Cannonball as he struggled against the Omega Sentinels which held him.

“I plan to fulfil her wishes. My mistress will be extremely pleased when she arrives to collect her prize.”

“What are you talking about? Do you know who I am? You wont get away with this. I am Roberto DaCosta and I have business contacts with…” The Omega Sentinel which held him punched him hard across the face. Roberto’s limbs went limp and he slid down the wall for a second before he managed to catch himself. All of the New Mutants struggled against the grip of the cyborgs.

“None of you realise what you had here did you?,” he grinned with the thought of his own superiority. A trait he was well known for amongst the guards who he commanded, they had only just got used to his smugness given it was his idea to trade and buy the Sentinel technology for their uses.

The only reason they had not applied for a transfer already was because they believed in this mission. They believed in this cause. Her cause, the one who they had decided to dedicate their lives too.

“You have a brand new generation of mutants. A branch of mutant who escaped the rapture which took the rest of our abilities,” his face wobbled as a look briefly passed across it. “These young children are hope for our future, so she has told us.”

“Well,” sighed Boom Boom “now we know and knowing is half the battle” She cast her eyes to Sam who nodded gently. “BOOM!” she yelled.

Dani’s quiver which lay on the floor near where they had came into the room exploded outwards as the bomb Boomer had planted in it did its job. The soldiers standing near it were thrown forward.

Four of the large Sentinels exploded into a shower of metal and flame as the bombs she had slipped into their hard shells during the fight above took effect. The upper parts of the wall exploded into the room and began to crumble shaking the walls and causing the retractable roof to give a great scream.

Warpath, Sunspot and Cannonball shot forward using their strength and power to toss their captors back, they had been biding their time. Magma exploded in a burst of lava destroying the Omega Sentinels outright who held her. Boom Boom’s Sentinels moved clear towards the others letting her free.

Dani, Xi’an and Rahne took the chance they had been given to free themselves from the cyborgs who had them held tossing their bodies to the floor. Warpath raced past them towards the human sized sentinels which held the twins.

The large Apache had grabbed the two and crushed their metal heads to nothing to scrap before either had managed to make a move. He pulled the twins free at the same time and passed them to Dani and Xi’an.

Boom Boom groped for something on her belt and pressed the tiny button which began to bleed loudly. “Plane is on its way,” she shouted over the noise of the collapsing base.

Cannonball shot across the room and grabbed the fleeing fat man hauling him up into the air with him. “Who is she? Who put you up to all of this?” he growled as he shook him.

“I’ll never tell,” he laughed. “She is our future, you are the past. Your line of mutants is finished.”

“We might be finisehd but we still managed to break into this top secret base, find out exactly why you wanted the twins and now know that some woman, some powerful women if she’s got all of this under her control is looking for them.” He swooped close to the ground and dropped the fat man.

“Escape plan 3!” he barked as he circled around and grabbed hold of both Tabby and Amara as they raised their hands. Warpath grabbed Dani and Xi’an who held the girls and Sunspot swept Rahne up in his arms as the three took to the air.

“You think they’ll come after us?” asked Tabby as she rose into the air towards the now circling aeroplane.

Amara shook her head slowly. “In about six seconds the magma will melt through the walls into the generator room and the weapon storage.”

The explosion ripped up towards them as soon as she finished speaking making all of the flying mutants wobble in the air as they headed for the plane. “…or I could have miscounted.”