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XMen The New Age 18
by Eric Christopher Jackson
Not For Sale
Author requests article critique



The F/22s are flying by over the Capitol and White House.

I don't see anything unusual from here, General…!

I confirm that sir!

We go through the White House where rumbling can be heard, descending beneath the floor into hallways built in secret chambers.

Suddenly, a door explodes off the hinges and into the wall. The secret service moves the current President down the hall when energy pulses fire in from another hallway.

The secret service has upgraded weapons…though being attacked by Special Forces, their weapons are powerful enough to break their armor.

The FREEDOM Unit realizes this which prevents them from rushing in to kill the current and future Presidents. As a result, this battle has dragged on much longer than FREEDOM would like or is used to.

Mr. Slade is with his own men and staff, all heavily armed with similar, but even more effective weapons. The downside is, they have no armor, and are not familiar with the underground system around the War Room.

It's like a maze down here!
Let's keep moving.

The group goes through hallways passing different doors, which all look the same. Then shots ring out. The FREEDOM team ran into them.

Slade blasts a knob off the door and they all race into the room. They hear the steps of the FREEDOM Unit coming towards the room.

But then…a loud bang…shouts…shots ring out for a second before FREEDOM soldiers fly passed the door Slade and the others went through. The group looked at each other wondering what was going on before they saw Rogue fly by.


More shots ring out…Rogue flies back from an energy pulse hit…and glaring streaks of light went through the hallway. Gambit is knelt down, holding Rogue up from the floor. Firing cards at the FREEDOM Unit. But these cards were different…on impact, pieces of metal scattered about, embedding into the FS's suits. Gambit is hit with some energy blasts. He is stunned.

Slade and Kent were at the door, firing down the hallway. Slade was hit in the arm by an energy pulse, it started to burn really badly.

He fell to the floor, dropping his weapon, grasping his arm in pain. The FS unit rushes in, more of his staff come to the doorway firing, knocking a few of the soldiers back.

Rogue jumps up grabbing one of the soldiers by the neck, his blade comes out of his arm band and as he tries to drive it into Rogue's stomach, she gasped, but a streak of light went between the two breaking the blade off enough that he only hit her in the stomach with his fist.

Rogue threw him against the wall as hard as she could knocking him unconscious. Then she turned to see a sharp metal playing card stuck in a wall nearby. Turning to look at Gambit…

Thank Forge for that one…

The FREEDOM unit is backing up down the hallway as Slade and his staff become bold enough to fire at them from different doors throughout the hallway.

Rogue and Gambit rush forward as the FS turn down a different hallway backing up. As he runs, Gambit chooses a pair of metal cards, lights them up, and throws them at the end of the hall. The impact causes the FSs to take cover, trying to guard themselves. Then Rogue is right on top of them, knocking each member here and there.

Gambit rushes passed her, lights another card and throws it, but the FS soldier shot it out of the air. Still, Gambit leaps forward kneeing him in the face, followed by a kick, knocking him against the wall.

He drops his weapon, but his armored mask absorb much of Gambit's blows. Shots ring out behind him, he hears Rogue being stung by energy pulses, but knows she keeps fighting.

The FS guard hits Gambit a few times. He is dazed, but fights back. The FS's punch hits the wall as Gambit side-steps him and returns punches and kicks of his own.

The FS recovers quickly, knocking him back to the floor. The FS takes out two blades, glowing lime green which surprised Gambit for a moment. Charging at him the FS begins swinging his blades, but Gambit extended his upgraded metal rod, blocking the hits, and kicked him back.

Though the FS quickly lunges at him, ripping away the metal rod, and goes in for the kill…he hears Rogue scream.


Before the FS can strike with a straight on blow, Gambit's hands hold sharp metal cards. The blade rips through the back of Gambit's jacket…the FS screams…because Gambit has driven his cards through his armor into his shoulder blades fracturing his bones.

Gambit lights up another card, at point blank range, launches it into his mid-section knocking him back to the floor. Rogue landed near him…Jim Slade and his staff looked on as they bandaged their wounds.

Are you…?!

I'm fine chere'…he'd better not get up though…!

They made it back through the way Rogue came in.

Suddenly, the door blows open from an office room, knocking Rogue into the wall and everyone else on their backs.

A FREEDOM member stands in the doorway, gun fully charged about to fire on Rogue when a door burst open behind him, shots ring out hitting him squarely. He flies back, weapon firing into the office ceiling creating a huge dent in the thick metal. The President walked to the doorway.

Are you all alright?!


I couldn't leave you down here…

I've had it with these boys!

This way…come on!


Cable and Bishop are flying a smaller, but fast X-Jet.

There it is…

Look at that Lucas…

Worse than ever…

We'll get shot outta the sky trying to get any closer…

We don't have time to be "cautious"…

Set her down here. We'll go on the ground.

The jet begins to descend.


Wolverine is in the shadows. Explosions are heard in the distance. He and his team lay low.

The sun is setting, darkness begins to fall. He hears men barking out orders. The Chinese army has flooding the Japanese coastline.

Underwater, it looks quiet…a few submarines float by with the enemy's insignia on them.

We look overhead at ships along the coastline of Japan, only a fraction of the cannons firing away. Although there are destroyed Chinese navy vessels, too many ships have made it to shore, mainly around the area where the defense system was hit.

Wolverine and his team move quietly, randomly grabbing enemy soldiers straggling along. The enemy forces were drawn to the gaps in the broken wall.

Quietly, yet efficiently…his team had been picking off so many men, the Chinese army knew something was wrong and slowed their ground assault.

Smaller cannons were driven to where the wall is been broken, shooting upwards as Chinese aircraft fly ahead to drop bombs on them.

The Japanese's smaller cannons were well-equipped to handle this type of attack. As a result, they held their own for this long.

Suddenly, a huge wave of Chinese aircraft flew directly towards the ground-to-air defense system. The huge cannons fired, destroying many of the planes.

But a familiar scream also came through the sky that had not been heard in a while. More missiles lined with ultra-explosive material. The large cannons could not adjust to so many multiples targets at once.

A wave of missiles got through and entire blocks of the Japanese defense system was destroyed. More Chinese aircraft came.

Wolverine and his team went for any cover they could find. Multiple bombs fell on the defense system, destroying cannons and equipment that powered the system.


Soldiers were advancing against the enemy lines. Russia had taken over some of Poland missile defense systems to fire their own weapons. Smaller teams have finally penetrated the main base. But the German defensive system has been broken by enemy forces led by Toad and the Blob. We look overhead at huge chucks of the walls that are crushed along the German border.

Enemy troops have advanced to the other side and are trying to reach inside the facility to shut down the remaining massive cannons and smaller, but powerful guns.

The Germans fight to keep them back, but they cannot last for much longer.

In the shadows of a building corridor, QuickSilver and the Scarlet Witch hug, tears falling. They know what they must do. QuickSilver is fast, but he's not invincible.

A large group of soldiers stand around them, weapons locked and loaded. They turn to look at them, they shake a few hands. Scarlet Witch presses her lips together as she wraps her arms around QuickSilver's neck, holding on tight, but it doesn't seem to bother QuickSilver. He crouches down, Scarlet's body lights up in a red glow, the soldiers get ready at their positions.

Tanks are approaching the German defense system's wall with reinforcements behind them. Rockets from the defense system streak across the sky, mainly targeted directly in front of where QuickSilver and the Scarlet Witch want to go.

Shots ring out. When the tanks begin to return fire, QuickSilver bolts past them with his sister holding on for dear life.


Colossus comes through a wall and falls back from an explosion from a tank. He is outside of the facility where the special missiles are being fired from. Armies from different countries are united to fight the Russian army. But their strongest defense is here.

Omega Red is tracking them down from behind with reinforcements.

Soldiers look back to see tanks coming in the distance. The soldiers move forward with tanks of their own.

Colossus emerges from the rubble only more determined. He grabs a tank and begins to use it as a bat to smash other tanks.

The ground troops jump onto this turning of the tide following the "path" Colossus is making.

Nightcrawler is already inside searching for the main room that holds the controls for launching the missiles. Cameras and soldiers monitor the area.

But then there was a huge explosion above. The guards were shaken out of place and look up to above levels to notice gunfire exchanging. Most rushed to the elevators, only a few stayed behind.

Nightcrawler was on them in no time. Punching, kicking, and throwing the last guard off a higher level to the floor. Then he saw energy cells holding people prisoner. He teleported down to see one man in particular crying…

Mr. Wagner! Please…help us!

What have you done?!

I…I…I know how to stop the missiles. I know how to shut down the entire system!

You want me to let you out?! We can destroy it ourselves!

No…you don't understand. The system is linked globally on our network. I can manually shut it down.
I'm sorry…I…I didn't know it would go this…look out…!

Shots ring down where Nightcrawler stands, but once Nightcrawler saw the man's expression change before he even said the words, Nightcrawler had teleported out of the way.

The bullets hit the energy cell, which absorb the ammunition. After knocking out the guards, Nightcrawler teleported back to the cell with a weapon, destroying console. The energy cell shut down…

Where is it?!

Ten levels up. I need to get to it before it's damaged! Release them! They can help us!

Read more articles by Eric Christopher Jackson or search for other articles by topic below.

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