Chapter 21: Unstoppable
PSYCOM Operations Center
Skies above Annapolis, Maryland
Three minutes before one…
You know, every so often while living in the Xavier Mansion, you may run across all sorts of tales about the X-Men's leader Scott Summers. Some of those tales will regal you about his stiff demeanor and the rigid discipline that he seemed to live by. How he always eats his vegetables. How he never cuts corners and how he follows every rule to the letter.
But that's all the boring stuff.
Now, some of the fun stuff you might find out is how he's one of the top hand-to-hand fighters in the X-Men. Heck, the guy has been the top self-defense instructor for the Mansion for the last eight years. You might also find out that when it's just Storm as his co-pilot, Scott sometimes likes to push the Blackbird to its very limits its thrusters can take it. Flying fast enough to break the sound barrier is a thrill little else can compare to.
But above all else, the most popular tidbit about Scott Summers is kind of an urban myth around the school, to be honest. You know the one about how Cyclops' optic blast on one particular occasion was so powerful that he was able to punch a hole clean through a mountain. Well let's let the record be known, this last one is no myth. He has done it in the past and most likely he will do something similar it in the future.
As he stands here now deep in the sweltering darken bowels of the PYSCOM technological center with an opponent dangerous enough to crush every single bone in his body with hardly a bit of effort, it is this instance that Scott Summers will rely on that might. Because in this moment, little things like his own safety, fatigue, weariness, and exhaustion are no longer an option. Because right now, a member of his team, no… A member of his family is in danger, and he would make even the devil himself come to pay for ever allowing such an act to occur.
The Juggernaut stared down in disbelief at the clearly insane X-Men Leader. To actually challenge the Juggernaut! Was the little jerk out of his fucking mind? Marko originally had plans to finish off that pup Russian, but now he didn't see the harm in spending an extra minute to make this weakling a dark stain on the metallic floor.
The towering Giant then suddenly slumped his shoulders as if in defeat. He took a tentative step away while turning his back to the Cycloptic Leader as if his change of heart was completely genuine. Then with blinding speed that belied his tremendous size, he hurled his titanic body at that pathetic little man to erase his very being.
The only problem was the exact moment back when the Juggernaut first turned away was the very same instance when Scott Summers made his move. Cyclops drew deep within himself. Deeper than his moral confines, deeper than his conscious self, drew deeper still, to sever the dam within himself to unleash the flood.
A riptide of energy, force, and pure raw power was set loose that not only stopped the Juggernaut, it picked him and carried him into another room…thirteen floors below. Storm and Jean Grey moments later entered the room, both managing to catch the tail end of their Leader's display. And if asked later about it, they both would recount that the spectacle was like peering into the Sun for the first time only to discover it was blood crimson red.
A few moments after he reined in the tide, Summers stumbled down drunkenly to one knee while scrambling to slide his visor back in place. His vision was hazy, making it hard to focus. It's a herculean effort to remain upright. The exhaustion from releasing so much of his mutation, so readily, immediately started to take affect on his body making him feel it like it was made of lead. If Jean hadn't stepped in to help him up, he surely would have collapsed. Only a few minutes… He just needed a few minutes to take a breather then he'd be fine.
Cyclops watched as Ororo raced passed, going to Colossus' fallen form. Summers furrowed his brow, fearing the worst. "How is he, Storm?"
As soon as the Windrider pressed her fingers to his forehead, the young mutant started to stir. "Peter?" she asked her concern evident.
Piotr choked out a few hacking coughs before he finally answered. "Da, I will be fine…" he muttered weakly. The young Russian then took another minute before he started to press himself up. Ororo immediately slung her arm around his waist to help get him standing. Colossus then looked around the room, taking in all the devastation that wasn't present when he was last awoke. "Where is the Juggernaut?"
All at once everyone's eyes directed to Cyclops but instead of answering, he shifted his gaze to the scarlet haired psychic. "Jean?" he asked his intent to find out the condition of the tyrannical titan.
Jean drew her eyes close as she began to concentrate. A few uneventful moments passed as she continued searching for his psyche. Then all at once she paused as her concentration heightened. Another few idle seconds went by before she winched violently, breaking out of the spell. "He's still up," she responded unhappily. Her emerald green eyes then cast a look Scott's way. "But you successfully managed to piss him off," she added dryly.
"Great…" Scott replied with fake mirth. At the end of his sentence, the whole floor started to tremble.
Then from out of the hole a meaty fist the size of an anvil shot up grabbing hold of its edge. A moment later the bulbous armored head of the Juggernaut came into view. He grunted again while hoisting himself up. His beady eyes gave Cyclops a dark glare. "I have to give it to ya, asshole," he snarled menacingly, "That almost tickled…"
Cyclops returned the towering giant's glare, with a grim smile. "Good…" he taunted back, before quickly firing off a chest sized blast of his optic beam. Unfortunately this attack hadn't a tenth of the power and the ferocity of his earlier attempt. So when it struck the Juggernaut, it was little more than a brief annoyance to the seemingly unstoppable menace. But an annoyance, however brief was more than enough time for Colossus to bridge the gap between them.
Within two steps Colossus' mutation fully emerged, its metallic chime rang defiantly as it sculpted his massive form in steel. By the third step he twisted low to the waist, cocking back a mighty fist. It was during the fourth step that Cyclop's beam finally died down, but Colossus followed right behind it, not missing a beat. His devastating punch connected with a resounding crash that whipped the Juggernaut's head violently back. Not allowing the murderous Giant any quarter, Colossus reversed his motion, this time his fist cycling low with a blow aimed for rupturing the Juggernaut's side.
"Colossus!" Rasputin heard the velvet roar of the Weather goddess as she soared down from above. The younger man didn't ask any questions, he just immediately lunged back. Not seconds later a colossal bolt of blue-white lightning struck home, flooding the room with its light.
The buzzing of electricity dancing within his body was a jarring sensation only for but a moment, because to the likes of the Juggernaut it's not even a scratch. With a bellowing howl he thrusts both of his fists upward, completely uprooting the ground around him creating seismic explosion of alloy, cement, and mortar.
Flying jagged shards of debris careened from all angles, causing the X-Men to scatter. The only one not really affected by the disorder was Colossus, but then the thundering approach of the Juggernaut soon foretold he wouldn't be unmolested for long. The unstoppable Juggernaut stomped across; he coiled using all of his tremendous momentum, hurling a hefty fist that struck the young Mutant head on. There was a crack that sounded like lightning striking and Colossus was gone. Sparks flew as his metallic body slid over forty feet across the floor, flipped then crashed into some office's coffee maker.
Colossus was down for the moment but not out. So the rest of the X-Men had to make do. Jean's green eyes brighten for a moment as she was hit with some momentary inspiration. Mentally she then signaled to both Scott and Storm for a synchronized attack. Cyclops nodded then quickly moved to take point position.
The Juggernaut seeing that the pup Ruskie had been taken care of for the time being, suddenly felt the slight nudge from a full-blown blast of crimson energy. He turned, his armor-covered face holding an expression of the darkest horror; his dark eyes caught the image of the navy blue adorned man. The Juggernaut then started his trek again, this time to trample the X-Men leader into paste.
As the Juggernaut moved, so did the flying Windrider above him. With her arms outstretched, Storm called up to the heavens for the aid of her Goddess. She summoned winds; the icy chilling winds from the farthest reaches of the arctic. She then funneled their direction towards the advancing titan.
Cyclops' blasts ripped into a continuous scarlet stream. The crimson tide had no chance of felling the Giant like they did before, but the on pour of the energy did slow his approach. Tears from exhaustion started to fall from his eyes as he maintained his effort. A slight throbbing in his head started to develop, but he was relentless, the leader of the X-Men would not cease.
Meanwhile Storm was still at work. Not only did she call for artic winds but she also added the torrential gales of a typhoon. The temperature started to plummet substantially. Shards of ice started to form blanketing along the ground; especially in the pathway of the Juggernaut as whirlwinds of snow, wind, and rain continuously bombarded him.
A staggering stalemate was now held, between the indestructible Juggernaut and the combined efforts of Storm's wintry maelstrom and Cyclops' unending onslaught of optic might. But still, he's called the Juggernaut for a reason.
Cain Marko growled; the muscles in his thick neck bulged in tension as he took each harrowed step. But still, he's called the Juggernaut for a reason. Sheets of ice started to spread, rooting his boots, causing him to have to rip them free every instant he moved. …Still, he's called the Juggernaut for a reason. The glare from the scarlet beam was blinding, forcing him to throw his hand up to wade through the tide. …Still, he's called the Juggernaut for a reason.
He would not be stopped. He could not be stopped. With each step he gained more ground. With more ground, his seemingly endless strength started to increase its endurance. It looked as if for a moment Cain might have made some headway but that was when the fiery redhead Jean Grey stepped forward.
She took a long deep breath, before parting her stance. She cleared her mind of absolutely everything. All the stray thoughts within her group members, the muddled murderous thoughts of the giant before her, even all frenzy notions between the two berserkers squaring off in another location.
Jean Grey cleared it of everything. Her one, singular thought was…push. Her green eyes snapped open not a second later. Her thoughts took shape and that shape took volume as she hurled a bulldozing tsunami of psychic might right into Cain Marko.
The Juggernaut tried…He tried to plow through. He tried to overcome. He was the unstoppable! He was the invincible! He was an act of nature… A force to be reckoned with… Yet still his feet started to slide back ever so slowly over that frozen walkway of ice, he just couldn't get a grip on. The endless crimson beam of light, he normally would be able to shrug off, started to press back him more and more. And then that wave…a wave strong enough to rock the whole facility they were standing in. That wave struck home, and the Juggernaut shot off again. His massive frame careened, dropping right back down that hole he visited earlier.
When Cain came to five minutes later, the all four members of the X-Men surrounded his form, more than ready to carry on the fight. "ENOUGH!" a voice thundered from up above.
To be Continued…