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And with that, he turned and marched out of the hanger, leaving Xavier still dazed and recovering from the blow. But the guards would not give him time to recover; instead they dragged him after the retreating Creed.

The blow had left Charles faint and dazed, such that he was unable to think clearly enough. But even so, his thoughts whirled from the storm Creed had created. How did he know that Xavier was a mutant? Where did he learn it from? What research had he done? Did he know of Charles' connections with the X-men and other mutant groups? What did he mean when he said that he wanted Xavier's power? How did he intend to get it? ... All the questions plagued Charles, as he tried to ignore the headache that was coming on.

They seemed to walk for a long time. Along endless metal corridors, with indistinguishable doors. They turned round and round, seemingly turning corners everywhere. Were he able to escape in the first place, he would never find his way out of this labyrinth.

Finally, Creed stopped in front of a door, unlocked it, and led them in.

The room itself was immense, but that was nothing in comparison to the giant that dwelled within. Machines and computers littered the room; some in every corner. But the great monster which captured the attention of all, was the machine in the exact centre of the room, which seemed to stretch, and reach the heavens.

The machine loomed over Charles. Instinctively, he knew that it boded ill towards him.

" Beautiful, is it not?"

Creed was looking up at it. No, he was looking up to it. As if it were his own personal God. One could tell that he loved it, adored it. Whatever it was, it meant a lot to him.

Somehow, Charles did not feel that something that meant a lot to Creed would do him any good.

Then he was led around and behind the monstrous creation. What he saw did not seem any less monstrous.

He saw three cells, with bars shielding them from the outside. All three were dark, almost too dark to see anything at all. As his eyes grew accustomed to the darkness, he was able to make out two limp figures inside the first prison.

Oh my God; Pietro and Wanda...

As he watched, one of the two figures struggled up into a slight sitting position. The dishevelled face and hollowed, pained eyes revealed the identity of Pietro Maximoff. His once impressive physique was reduced to nearly half its original state. He was weak. But not so much that he was unable to recognise those standing before him. He acknowledged Xavier by reaching out a tortured hand to him, and his captors by shaking a defiant fist at them, before his strength gave way and he sank down again into unconsciousness.

His sister, was in no better condition.

To see Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch in such a pitiable condition angered Xavier.

" What did you do to them?"

Creed shrugged his shoulders nonchalantly. " Nothing really drastic."

" They are dying," Charles told him, in a cold and angry voice.

Creed turned to him, his face deceivingly calm. And before Charles realised it, he had swung a blow at his stomach. After that, blows literally rained on Xavier from all sides, with Creed's supporters joining in, letting him slide to the floor.

He was kicked on the back and in the stomach, with someone landing a vicious blow to his head once again. And then they stopped, with Creed smiling. " That's enough for now, boys. We have other things in store for him."

Charles heard a metal gate being opened, and he was flung into a cell. But not before they snapped something onto his neck.

Xavier did not move. Maintaining silence, he heard Creed laughing.

" Goodbye, Xavier... have a nice stay."

His mad laughter rung throughout the room, and within the cell. Xavier, injured and angry, for once paid no attention to his conscience, and determined to strike out at his enemy. He tried to reach out to Creed's mind, but was suddenly checked by something that prevented him from doing so.

Prevented him from reaching out at all.

He realised then, what had been snapped on his neck. It was not a device unknown to him. The collar prevented him from using his powers. He was rendered helpless at the hands of Graydon Creed.

He lay on the floor; his temple was pulsing, and blood trickled down his forehead. He shifted a little, trying to sit up. Then, he felt himself being supported and shifted gently towards the wall, where he was able to sit up against it.

He shifted to get a better view of this mysterious helper, but it was a while before his blurred vision cleared.

" Magnus... it's been some time."

Magneto turned away from Xavier, his face hidden by shadows. " You could never let go, Xavier."

His eyes burned in the darkness of the cell.


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