Logan shook his head as he got back to his feet and looked around as the battle continued to wage around him. He tried to recall how he had been knocked down and finally he remembered taking a hit from a defense cannon, which would have killed Kitty. He looked down at his chest to see the wound had already closed itself again. The attack on the prison had gone to hell pretty quickly once they had hit it. Clearly while Fury was pulling back a lot of forces they had decided to keep enough backup to protect this place. Whoever gathered the intelligence on this place had missed it somehow and he wondered if it was on purpose or not.
He looked around and noted Jean, Gambit and Storm using their powers in a combined effort to take down a dozen or so S.H.I.E.L.D soldiers. Elsewhere Laura, Rogue, Blob, Hulk, She Hulk and Cable were stuck in hand to hand combat with another large group. He couldn't see any of the others and he guessed they had made it into the prison. Shaking his head he popped his claws and charged back into the fray, taking down a soldier who had started to aim at Rogue's back.
(Headquarter of the Resistance)
Steve looked up as Luke Cage ran up to him looking slightly worried. He wondered what had happened before his mind jumped straight to the attack on the S.H.I.E.L.D prison.
"What's wrong Luke?" he asked as he put the report he was reading down and focused his attention on the large man.
"We just got word from Xavier who went with the attack group that there was a huge S.H.I.E.L.D presence at the prison that must have been hidden somehow," Luke answered with a frustrated sigh. "As soon as our teams hit the prison, a huge reserve force struck back," he told him as he ran a hand over his bald head. "So far our people are holding their own, but if anymore of Fury's or Stark's people turn up they could be in real trouble," he advised.
"Damn," Steve growled. "How did we miss that?" he asked.
"Mystique and Black Widow did the recon on the place and both stated they saw no reserve force close by," Luke responded. "Considering their experience I doubt they would have missed something like that. It is possible the force was put there after the recon was done," he suggested. "Then again it is possible they lied," he added.
"Doubtful," Steve shot back with a shake of his head. "Mystique was almost turned into a slave by S.H.I.E.L.D for purposes we still do not understand," he reminded him. "She was also scanned by Jean Grey who even Xavier says is the strongest telepath alive. She is clean," he added. "As for Widow, she too was scanned and came up clean. She also helped us plan and execute the raid on the S.H.I.E.L.D hellicarrier," he continued. "I doubt she would have done that even as a cover to infiltrate us," he mused. "No, I think they are both loyal to our cause. I'm sure Fury or even Stark might have moved this force in after our recon just as a precaution," he stated.
"I suppose so, but I don't like it Cap," Luke responded. "This could cost us a lot of good people, including the ones we are trying to free," he pointed out.
"I understand how you feel Luke, but have faith in Logan and the others," Steve replied. "They've been in worse situations," he reminded him with a smile. "But just in case have Castle and Blade start putting together a team to help out just if the situation gets worse," he ordered.
"You got it Cap," Luke agreed before he turned and ran off to comply with the order.
Steve let out a sigh and prayed Logan and his group was up to the fight ahead, but then again knowing Logan he was probably having the time of his life. His long time friend loved to fight, it was wired into his very nature and if there was a way to win he would find it. He picked up the report he had been reading and tried to keep his mind off what he had been told, it looked like it was going to be a long day.
Nick Fury looked up as Tony Stark all but ran into the room, looking quite aggravated. He wondered what had happened now. He was busy going through the reports on the possible whereabouts of Doom and his fellow villains, but they had very little to go on and it was frustrating him.
"What can I do for you Stark?" he asked even before the man could say anything.
"The large prison just outside of New York has been hit by a large group from the resistance," Stark responded. "From early reports it is led by Logan and most of the same group that hit the previous prison," he explained.
"No surprise, we shipped most of the captured members of their resistance up there as well as those who refused to sign up with us and didn't get away," Fury shot back. "Thankfully I had a large group of reinforcements moved up there to keep an eye on it. I had a feeling Steve might not be able to resist hitting it," he told him, surprising Stark as this was the first he had heard about it. "Do you have any hero's to send in to help?" he asked.
"Our forces are spread thin, but I am sure I can find some," Stark assured him before he turned and left.
Fury watched him go and wondered how the fight at the prison was going. With the force he had sent to back the guards up he was certain it was not going easy for Logan and his friends. But Logan and his friends were dangerous and resilient. He shook his head and went back to reading the reports he had hoped that they would point to where Doom and his alliance of evil were hiding. They had to find them before they could unleash whatever it was they were planning, he feared with this civil war of hero's waging they would fail.
Magneto raised his hands and used his powers to rent the metal doors off the cages that held the people they had come to free. He also noted there seemed to be quite a few Mutants here as well which fueled the fire within him to destroy this prison. Wanda, Quicksilver and Pyro quickly began to help those who seemed unable to move. The others ran for the hole Daredevil and Johnny Storm had made. He hoped some of them would actually get involved in the fight that was still waging outside. Meanwhile Daredevil, Black Widow and Electra were watching their backs.
He knew Kurt, Kitty, Susan and Johnny Storm, Blackcat and Spiderman were further down the prison in another of the large holding areas. He was hoping they were doing okay, but splitting up had been the only option if they were to rescue everyone and get out quickly before anymore reinforcements arrived. He just missed been shot at by one of the guards who had woken up. The bullet missed him by a few inches. Turning around he threw his left hand out and sent the guard flying into the wall with enough force to knock him out again.
"We can't stay here much longer," he shouted to the others glancing over his shoulder.
"We just need another seven minutes to get the entire lot free, father," Wanda responded. "Some of them are injured," she added.
"How badly?" Daredevil inquired from his position near the hole in the wall.
"Thankfully none of them seem life threatening or to bad for them to move," Wanda answered as she helped another prisoner limp out of the cell he had been in.
"If there are any who are badly injured we'll have to get Kurt to take them," Black Widow suggested as she saw a group of S.H.I.E.L.D soldiers assault Logan as he moved to cover Jean, Gambit and Storm.
She shook her head and watched as Logan tore through them with ease. He didn't kill any of them, but he made sure to put them down for the count. The man was pure rage in a fight and she was sure those soldiers would regret attacking him when they woke up, even she would have a hard time against Logan. The man was as good as Immortal and had years of experience to use. No one, not even Logan himself, knew just how long he had been alive.
Combined with his healing mutation and his adamantium coated skeleton he was basically unbeatable, unless you had something that could stun or render him unconscious. Not an easy task at the best of times. The best weapon against him was a telepath or Magneto himself. Shaking her head she refocused on the task at hand, she was no longer part of S.H.I.E.L.D and she and Logan were on the same side.
Across the other side of the prison Peter watched as the prisoners they had found fled their cells, once Blackcat and Johnny Storm had managed to open the doors. Kurt was looking out of one of the exits when something smashed into him and sent him to the floor. Spinning he turned to see Kitty standing where he had been holding her side which was now bloody.
He quickly realized she had saved him from been shot by a guard who had managed to get the drop on him. He let loose an almost feral growl and attacked the guard as Susan helped lower Kitty to the ground and tried to stem the bleeding. Kurt smashed his fist into the guard's face again and again ignoring his moans of pain and cries for mercy, eventually Peter intervened and caught his fist.
"Enough Kurt, he's down," Peter told him, even though he understood the anger that the young man must be feeling. If it had been Felicia who had been hit he'd damn well be feeling the same thing. "Kitty needs medical attention. Teleport her back to base before she bleeds to death and then come back to help if you still have the strength," he ordered.
Kurt stared at him for a few seconds before he forced the anger away and moved to Kitty's side and gently picked her up. The others watched as they vanished in a cloud of black smoke.
"Is the guard still alive?" Susan inquired as she wiped her bloody hand on the uniform of one of the unconscious guards.
Peter leaned down and checked his pulse and was relieved to find there was indeed a pulse. He was certain the guard would wake up in a world of pain, but he would live. "He's alive, but that was damn close," he responded with a shake of his head. "How much longer do we need before we can pull out?" he asked.
"Another two minutes, we're almost done," Johnny shot back as Kurt reappeared and even though he looked tired from teleporting such long distances he refused their suggestion to pull out.
Susan tried to ignore the blood stains on Kurt's uniform and prayed Kitty would be alright, as Peter had said that had been too damn close. Had Kitty not seen the guard more than Kurt would be dead. As it was Kitty had been badly wounded, but hopefully she would live. She shivered as she imagined what Mystique might have done had Kurt actually been killed. It was not a pleasant thought.
"How's Kitty?" Felicia asked as the last of the prisoners were freed.
"I don't know yet," Kurt said, his tone dark and the frown that marred his features showed how troubled he was. "The bullet at least didn't hit anything major, but still it is touch and go," he added.
"She'll be okay Kurt," Susan tried to assure him. "Kitty is strong willed, she'll make it," she added as she patted him on the shoulder. Kurt nodded his head, but his mind remained troubled, he just wanted to leave and check on the woman he loved.
Back outside Logan growled low in his throat as Peter reported they were clear, but that Kitty had been wounded. Jean placed a calming hand on his shoulder as she heard the same report over their com link. A nearby explosion did nothing to distract him from his worry for the young girl, who like Laura he viewed liked a daughter.
"Easy Logan," Jean whispered as she felt his rage over their new psychic bond. She knew how protective her lover could be when it concerned most of the younger mutants, especially Kitty, Kurt and Laura. "She'll be okay. She's tough and I'm sure Kurt got her back in time for them to patch her up," she told him.
"She better or S.H.I.E.L.D may just find itself with a man shortage problem," Logan swore before Magneto reported they were finished as well. "Send the recall Jean. We need to get out of here before anymore trouble arrives," he ordered. "We got what we came for," he stated.
Jean nodded and sent a psychic message to all the members of the assault team, including Charles, who was actually outside the prison and keeping watch it was time to leave. The few guards still standing only watched as they left. The prison had been ransacked and all of their comrades had been knocked out.
(Headquarter of the Resistance)
Steve watched as the doctors from S.H.I.E.L.D, who had defected to them, began to close the bullet wound Kitty Pryde had sustained. It was the first real serious casualty they had taken. Thankfully according to the head doctor the wound was not life threatening and Kitty would recover. He looked over and noted Mystique was watching as well. That was a surprise when one considered her history with the X-Men.
"Will she live?" Mystique finally inquired, as she moved closer.
"Yes she will live," Steve answered in a relieved tone. "The bullet lodged in her side, but missed anything vital and they managed to remove it easily enough," he informed her.
"Good," Mystique said with a slight smile which again surprised Steve. She noted his curious look. "I'm sure you are surprised to hear me say that, but she is not my enemy, especially not now Captain," she told him as she crossed her arms over her chest. "She is also very important to my son," she added.
Steve nodded at that. "From what little Kurt said before he went back to the prison Kitty saved him from being shot from behind by a guard who had managed to sneak up on them," he explained.
Mystique frowned as she learned her son had come close to being killed, thankfully it seemed his faith in the young mutant he was in love with had paid off. She now owed the young woman a debt and she decided to get to know her better while she had the chance. She was certain Logan and the other X-Men would be relieved to hear that their friend would be okay. She remained where she was until Kurt suddenly reappeared swaying slightly, having clearly pushed himself to his limits with such long distance jumps. She moved to his side and pushed him into a nearby chair and told him Kitty would be okay. Kurt glanced at her with a relieved look before he collapsed. Steve quickly moved and helped her pick him back up and haul him over to one of the empty beds. One of the doctors quickly moved over to them to check him out.
"He has just exhausted himself," the doctor reported after a few minutes. "He'll sleep for a while, but he will be fine," he added much to Mystique's relief.
"Glad to hear it doctor and thank you," Steve replied with a nod as he ran a hand through his hair. "He shouldn't have pushed himself so hard," he mused to Mystique.
"I'm not surprised he did so with Kitty being wounded," Mystique told him with a slight smile. "Where she is concerned I'm certain he would go to any lengths," she stated. "I believe she is more important to him than he realizes just yet," she mused aloud.
"More than likely," Steve couldn't help but agree. "I'm just glad she will be okay or I would be in for the fight of my life trying to keep your son, Logan and a few of the others from going wild in revenge," he said with a shake of his head. "That would have been a bloody event had it happened, especially with Logan involved," he added.
"Yes it would have been, but had they killed Kitty then what ever they did in revenge would have been justified," Mystique stated seriously. "In every encounter we'd had with S.H.I.E.L.D we've not harmed any of them badly, nor have we wounded any of the Hero's who oppose us and yet they have tried to kill one of us," she reminded him. "They crossed the line, we did not," she pointed out.
"I fear the more this civil war goes on, the higher the chance that line will be crossed again," Steve admitted saddened. "I never thought I would see the day this kind of thing could happen," he added.
Mystique didn't answer, but she understood what he was saying. Steve Rogers had been alive since just before World War 2. He had fought against the Nazi's and other such evils all his life and after being frozen for fifty years he had awoken to a new age and picked up where he had left off. He had always believed his country was different than others, but he was now seeing it was just as flawed as all others.
"Cap, Logan and the others are on their way back with nearly all the prisoners they rescued," Luke reported as he ran up behind them. "Xavier is already beginning to scan them just in case they've tried to slip in some spies," he added. "Looks like the assault was a complete success," he stated with a smile.
"Bar the fact they almost killed Kitty Pryde I would agree," Steve responded. "A line has been crossed Luke and we will have to decide what to do about it once they have come home," he told him before he turned and walked of.
Luke watched him go before glancing at Mystique who didn't even bother to return his look. Shrugging his shoulders he turned and headed back to his room. Mystique remained where she was, watching over her son and the woman he loved. Rogers was correct, a line had been crossed and now they would have to respond, but would they have the courage to take things to another level?