As Magneto settled the plane down, Storm shut off the power to the jet. Then they all disembarked, Storm, Logan, and Jean first followed by Kurt and the children. "Thought you were locked up," Storm said, not really happy to see him. Mystique and Toad were next to him. Now all we need is Sabretooth.
"Had a small jail break," Mystique replied. Toad gave her a devious small, which really unnerved her.
"I don't want trouble," Magneto said.
"Then what do you want?" Logan asked.
Storm knew she couldn't trust him, but they didn't really have much choice. She turned toward the children. "Alright everyone, get the camp supplies while Logan, Jean and I talk with Magneto."
The kids and Kurt did as they were told. Storm and Logan quickly found some firewood to start a fire while they talked. Having Toad around though, she wasn't really interested. Especially after what he did to her on Liberty Island. She shivered at the thought of having his grimy hands on her. "What's wrong?" a voice said behind her. She gasped and almost shot a lightning bolt to her caper. It was Logan. She breathed a sigh of relief.
"Don't you know better than to sneak on someone who controls lightning?"
"Sorry," Logan said. "But, seriously, what's wrong."
She sighed, he was just going to press if she didn't tell him. "Toad."
Logan looked his way. "He maybe annoying but I don't see any reason why he should unnerve you like that."
Storm's eyes flashed for a moment, but then she calmed down a little. He was, after all fighting Mystique at the time. "Of course you wouldn't," she said bitterly. "You weren't there."
She suddenly regretted saying that and turned back to him. "Look, I'm sorry. Something happened on Liberty Island during our separate fights. I was the unlucky one to get stuck with him."
Logan shrugged. "It's none of my business, I was just wondering what made you snap."
Storm rolled her eyes. They finished gathering the wood and walked back to the Magneto's side of camp. The had three sections, The adults, the kids, and Magneto's. Magneto's was the farthest. After the fire was started, the X-men were on one side, and Magneto was on the other. Storm and Jean stood in front of Logan on either side. Mystique, Magneto and Toad were in a nice line.
" His name is Colonel William Stryker," Magneto was saying, "and he invaded your mansion for one purpose he wanted Cerebro. Or enough of it to make one of his own."
"But that doesn't make any sense," Jean said. "Stryker would need the Professor to operate it."
"Which I think is the only reason my old friend is still alive."
"Oh my gosh," Storm said. She looked at Jean and saw that she was thinking the same thing. Logan didn't have a clue though.
"Hey, now," He said looking from Jean to Storm, "What are you all so afraid of?"
"While Cerebro is working," Magneto said Charles's mind is connected to every living person on the planet. If he were forced to concentrate hard enough on a particular group, let's say mutants for example... he could kill us all."
There was an awkward pause. "Wait a minute," Storm said. "How would Stryker even know where to find Cerebro in the first place?"
"Because I... told him," Magneto said with a sigh.
Of course you did, Storm thought.
"I helped Charles build it, remember? Mr. Stryker has powerful methods of persuasion. Even against a mutant as strong as Charles.
"So who is Stryker anyway?" Jean asked.
"He's a military scientist. He spent his whole life trying to solve the mutants problem. If you want a more intimate perspective, why don't you ask Wolverine." Logan looked up. Jean and Storm looked at him stunned. "You don't remember do you? William Stryker the only other man I know who could manipulate adamantium. The metal on your bones, it carries his signature."
"But the Professor-" Logan began.
"The Professor trusted that you were smart enough to discover this on your own," Magneto snorted. "He gives you more credit than I do."
"Why do you need us?" Storm asked.
"Mystique," Magneto said, looking at her. "Has discovered plans of a base, that Stryker's been operating out of for decades. We know that's where he is building the second Cerebro; but, we don't know where this base is. And I believe one of you might."
"The Professor already tried." Logan said.
"Once again you think it's all about you," Magneto said, looking up. They saw Kurt hanging in the tree.
"Oh, hello," he said.
After he came down, Jean did a small reading on his mind. Even though it was only a few seconds, she felt Toad's unappealing stare upon her. She shook it off, but not without Logan noticing. He gave her a concerned look, but she returned it with a hard stare that told him to drop it. Kurt cried out.
"I'm sorry," Jean said. "Stryker's at Alkali lake."
"That's where the Professor sent me, there's nothing left."
"There's nothing left on the surface, Logan, the base is underground."
Rogue and Bobby were sitting by the fire when Storm came by. "Alright guys," Storm said. "Lights out, now."
All of them complied. John was slower than the rest though, as if he wanted to challenge her authority. But he thought better of it and went inside his tent. Storm was warming up her hands by Rogue's tent when she felt the air displacements of someone coming her direction. "Logan?" she called into the night. As she looked out beyond Rogue's tent, she didn't see anyone. She turned to go back to the fire, and that was when Toad made his move. He jumped down, catching her on the shoulder, which made her collapse to her knees. "Ah, that pretty skin," he said in her ear, as he stroked her cheek from behind her. On the bright side of things, at least he wasn't on top of her like he was on Liberty Island. "Still so perfect."
"What do you want, Toad?" Storm asked darkly.
"I want that perfect skin of yours," Toad replied. "Some of us aren't as lucky as you are. My skin has many flaws in it. Yours is perfect. Flawless."
"You did this on purpose, didn't you?" Storm said, changing the subject. "You knew I wouldn't bring down a lightning bolt near the children."
Toad didn't answer her, he seemed interested in the ruby around her neck. Suddenly Rogue opened her tent, and gasped as she saw Toad behind Storm. "Get away from her," she said, taking off a glove.
"Rogue, don't," Storm pleaded. Suddenly, she saw Bobby and Jean heading toward her. Jean was about to raise her arm to telekinetically throw Toad off of her, when Storm felt the displacement in the air. Someone was coming in from her right, just a bit behind her. Someone tackled Toad, nearly pulling her down with him. It was Logan. She felt relieved at the sight of his claws.
"Are you okay, Storm?" Jean asked.
"Fine," Storm replied.
Rogue woke up to the sound of thunder and howling winds. There was a blinding flash of lightning and another rumble of thunder. Bobby came in from next door with John. "What's going on?"
" is probably having another nightmare," John sneered.
"Cut it out, John," Bobby said. "You and I both know that she didn't exactly have the best childhood. It sometimes creeps up on her."
"Maybe if the weather didn't go insane, I wouldn't care."
"Wait a minute," Rogue said, confused. "What do you mean by 'she didn't exactly have the best childhood'? I thought she was an African Princess?"
"By heritage, yes," Bobby replied. "Her mother married a photojournalist and came to America where Storm was born. She moved to Africa because of racism issues, and became an orphan where she became severely claustrophobic. Rumor is that she became a thief and was a pro at the age of six. That's how she met the Professor. She came to the institute several years later."
"And her nightmares have kept the school up about a quarter of the time," John added.
Bobby looked at him. "John, shut up."
They all turned back out to the window.
Logan was rushing to Storm's tent, Jean right behind him. Logan entered first. Storm was tossing and turning and crying out in her sleep. "Storm," Logan said. "Storm, wake up."
Storm gasped as she shot up. Logan backed up. "What are you doing here Logan?" she demanded.
"Storm," Jean said gently. "The weather just went crazy."
Storm eyes went distant for a moment. "Oh, my gosh." She looked back at them. "Did I hit anyone?"
Jean shook her head. "Could you sleep on the ship? That way I know I won't get injured while fixing it."
Storm nodded and got up to go into the ship.
The next morning Rogue was on the ship. As she helped pack things up, she noticed something on the console. Storm was talking to Jean near by. As she picked up the ruby, someone snatched it from her hand. It was Toad. Storm whirled around and gasped. Luckily Toad had dropped it as it came toward his hand. "Touch it and die," Storm said threateningly. Suddenly, the ruby was floating in mid-air. Then it floated into Magneto's hands. Rogue surged forward, toward him and grabbed it out of his hands.
"That's a nice ruby you have there Ororo," Magneto said. Storm just ignored him, and Rogue handed her the ancestral ruby.
"Thank you, Rogue," Storm said gratefully.
"I'm sorry," Rogue said. "I was trying to look at it, to see what it was and all. I didn't realize it was yours."
Storm sighed. "It's alright, just know that the next time you want to look at something, all you have to do is ask."
"Yeah, Rogue," John sneered. "Wouldn't want to get struck by lightning now would you?"
"You would know wouldn't you, John," Bobby shot back. "Since you kept on trying to steal it."
John glared at him. "Are you guys leaving me out of the fun again?" Logan asked coming onto the ramp.
Everyone shook their heads. Then Storm and Jean got into the pilot's seat and got ready for take off.