35 Compounds and Conversation

It didn't take Devin long to fully arm himself. He had checked his spirit levels for each spirit and he was sitting at about 2.5 on Red and about 0.75 on his new White-Silver spirit. Now all he needed was a lift to Alkali Lake and he knew just the people to talk to.

As he stepped outside he first noticed that most of the people that had been downed by tranqs were now up and moving. Devin knew that talking to Summers was a waste of time so he walk up to Wolverine as Devin knew that the man would be invested in finding Stryker as much as him.

"Do you prefer Wolverine or Logan?" Devin asked as he finished one last check on his gear.

"Either one bub." Wolverine replied

"Alright, I know who took the others as well as where, but I need your help getting there." Devin said as he holstered a pistol on his right thigh.

"Why are you talking to me instead of Scott then?" Wolverine replied as he kept glancing at the Blackbird.

"Because the person who orchestrated all of this was one William Stryker." Devin replied low enough for only Wolverine to hear. This in turn caused the man's neck tendons to crack loudly as he turned back to look at the younger man.

"Yeah and like I said I know where they are but I need a ride and I know you want to go so give me a lift." Devin said as he looked at the Blackbird himself.

"Fine, but Stryker is mine." Wolverine said as he started for the Blackbird.

"Finders, keepers." Devin replied as he also headed for the aircraft. As the two opened the ramp they only took a couple steps up before stopping at the sight of the people at the top of the ramp. Standing there was Nightcrawler and Kitty Pride.

"And where do the two of you think you are going with the Blackbird?" the voice of Scott Summers asked from behind the two. Devin looked over his shoulder to see not only the X-men, but the brotherhood standing behind them with expectant looks.

"Field trip, very boring, we'll be back soon, bye." Devin said as he took another step before a hand came down on his shoulder stopping him from moving forward. At this point Devin was beginning to get annoyed at how the others were wasting his time.

'I really need to steal a quinjet once I do have to deal with SHIELD or figure something out.' Devin said as he turned his head to see the armored hand of Colossus on his shoulder.

"Piotr, please remove your hand." Devin asked politely as he looked the man in the eye.

"I'm sorry friend but I can't allow you to take the jet." the deep voice of the metal-coated mutant responded.

"I'm sorry too." Devin replied as he reached up to the metal hand and with a flurry of movement had managed to flip the man onto his back in under a few seconds as he summoned a dagger to his hand, the tip barely a centimetre from the pale orb that was Colossus' eye when a voice called out for Devin to stop.

"If you keep getting in my way we're gonna have a problem." Devin told the rest as he didn't move at all from his current position.

"We aren't trying to interfere or stop you. We are merely trying to help you." Ororo stated as she stepped forward with her hands raised in a calming gesture.

"All of you will only be in the way. Wolverine and me are more than enough to handle things." Devin stated as he planned on wiping every last person from Stryker's group and these people would only get in the way.

"Sugar, there is no way that just the two of you will be able to take on whoever this group is on your own! We have no idea how many people they have or what kind of gear they have. It's better to have the whole gang there just to be safe." Rogue chimed in as she too tried to reason with Devin as Wolverine was beginning to get impatient. With a sigh Devin removed the blade from Piotr's face.

"If I say yes I want your word that you wont get in my way as well as us leaving immediately." Devin said as he decided to let them do what they wanted as long as he saved Yana and Henric.

"Yes." replied Ororo as Devin stood up and then pulled the Russian up before walking up the ramp with only a parting reply of "Good, I'll hold you to that."

It took only a few minutes before they were in the air headed North. It turns out that the two opposing groups had formed a temporary truce till after the leaders of their respective groups were found and rescued. This meant that the Blackbird was slightly crowded though not nearly as bad as it could have been. It was at this time that Devin was approached by members of both groups wondering what exactly he could do as the odd man out among the two groups, but Devin had merely deflected any questions with misdirection and dismissals.

Soon a large lake appeared, nestled amongst the verdant mountains covered in coniferous forest and at the end sat a massive concrete dam. Devin knew that the entrance to the base was located near the bottom left section of the dam and could only be opened from within as the door was made from extremely thick steel.

Upon landing Devin guided the mass of mutants towards the hidden door, but even a blast from Cyclops and Colossus' strength couldn't move the doors. It was then that Devin had an idea. He told Cyclops to focus his beam on one of the hinges. This caused the door to begin to glow red then orange from the heat being used. With his signal Cyclops stopped his powers where Devin used his magic to rapidly cool the glowing metal and soon Devin got the results that he wanted as with a resounding grown the hinge shattered. Soon they had hit the rest of the massive hinges and proceeded inside.

After the first couple of turns and no alarms and shooting, everyone began to feel that there was something off about the hidden base. Just the commotion that they had caused at the entrance should have lit this place up with activity, but there wasn't so much as a mouse scurrying around.

'Left. Right. Right. Right. Left.' Devin thought as he memorized the path in. He had pulled a dagger and pistol out and at the ready just in case of an ambush. They soon came to a set of double doors to which everyone lined up against the walls on either side as Devin, Wolverine, and Colossus got ready to breach. on the count of three the groups burst in and found no one. The area was a massive lab with concrete pillars with sections cordoned off using massive curtains made from what looked like yellow vinyl. Inside each area was an medical gurney, most with leather restraints and some with metal, and medical machinery. At the other end of the lab was another set of doors that led to a hallway that split in two directions.

"Now what?" one of the Brotherhood said with some frustration.

"Now we split up. Half of us will go left and the other half will go right. Keep in contact so that if one of us finds something then we can alert the others." Devin said as he moved to go right. Mystique and Quicksilver, as well as Storm, Rogue, Piotr and Kitty followed Devin as the rest went left. As they journeyed forward Mystique decided that she had a question.

"You aren't human and I doubt you're a mutant either, so why do you care whether a few measly individuals are taken? Why are you here?" she asked in a low toned voice.

"Because I made a promise and I keep those. Now answer my question, why are you with Magneto?" Devin said before asking a question of his own.

"Survival." was Mystique's simple reply.

"That is only a small fraction of the truth." Devin stated which caused the blue woman to look at him out of the corner of her eye.

"Yes survival, but also for a multitude of other reasons that you don't want to admit. Loneliness, greed, and many other things are why you are with the brotherhood. You don't have to put on a mask and pretend to be normal but at the same time never getting close enough to anyone, at least for an extended period of time, lest they betray you." Devin stated as he checked a corner for any enemies before moving on, the rest still following.

"You don't know what you're talking about. You don't know me kid." Mystique said with a growl in her tone indicating she was getting defensive.

"Yes I do. With Scarlet and Quicksilver, they were raised into this little group thanks to Magneto being their father and even they are having second guesses and doubts from what I saw before we got attacked." Devin said as Quicksilver looked at the man in shock and nervousness as he thought he had hid those thoughts relatively well at the time.

"But you? I know that in the past you have tried to save many, but you also have harmed many. You tried to be better and now look. You are part of a group that is no better than Stryker's." Devin said remembering what little he knew of her background only for Mystique to grab the front of his shirt.

"You know nothing of what I've been through nor the ones I've lost. I am helping to make the world safer for mutants." it was then that Devin reversed the situation and pinned Mystique to the wall.

"And in the process making things so much worse for them. There are numerous hate groups and anti-mutant government leaders and personnel now thanks to your activities and those of your group. This is why I warned the kids away from all of you. You are isolated in the Savage Lands with a prospering community, but still you challenge the outside world. Soon this will come to a head and if things don't change you will be at the losing end of this and you will reap what you sow a hundred fold." Devin said before with a final shove he turned and walked off down the hall.

"He's right you know." Storm said as she looked at the back of the man checking another corner.

"If we don't try to change and improve relations, we all might lose more than we know." Storm finished as her and the rest walked forward. Mystique soon stepped off the wall and followed.

***

Fifteen minutes of exploring and numerous empty rooms later the group found another set of double doors. Entering they found a large steel table as well as numerous heavy equipment still in the room. At the head of the table was a medium-sized tank filled with a dark silver molten metal that was slowly swirling and bubbling along.

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Everyone spread out and began looking around for clues of where the captured comrades were. Devin headed for the computer on one of the walls to do some digging and soon found something.

"Guys!" Devin said with a raised voice.

"What did you find?" Storm asked as everyone ran over.

"There are records here. Experiments as well as data and research on mutants. From the looks of things this was a military base at one time. Oh shit!" Devin informed as he typed only to stop on a particular folder.

"What?" everyone asked.

"Ever wonder how Wolverine ended up with that adamantium skeleton? Well, we're looking at it. This is where they grafted it to him." Devin said as he began typing again. This caused horrified looks to cross faces as they began to look around with a new perspective of what this room was. This also gave Devin the chance to download the data on adamantium as well as the mutants and personnel to a flash drive before storing it in his inventory. A minute later was when the comms came to life.

"Cyclops to Storm, we've found something. Over." Cyclops' voice came through

"Roger we're on our way. Let's go." Storm said as everyone left except for Devin.

'Alice just how big of an item can I store in my inventory?' Devin asked as he eyed the tank of molten metal.

'Master, you can store an item up to the size of an average double fridge before a space starts to become unstable.'

'If I store something does it stay in the same state as when I stored it or is it still affected by time and elements?' Devin asked as he strode over to the tank and looked down.

'The spaces are in a constant state of suspended time and space. Anything that you put in comes out in the same state that it went in.'

'Thanks.' Devin said as he stored the tank as well as the equipment attached to it in his inventory. He then did a quick search one last time and managed to find a small cabinet filled with chunks of metallic stone that he assumed was more of the unprocessed metal and stored that too. Exiting the room he got a strange look from a couple of the others, but waved for them to continue on.

Backtracking and then following the trail of the other team Devin's group soon found themselves in a massive chamber with over a dozen monitors surrounding one massive screen to which Beast was tapping away at. Devin leaned forward to see what they had found as the others from his group informed the other on what they had found. A flash of light soon brought everyone's attention to the massive monitor which now showed an older man with a face full of wrinkles and grey-silver hair with a pair of glasses perched on his nose and a goatee in the same color as his hair covering his chin and upper lip. Devin and Wolverine both recognized the man and growled out his name at the same time.

"Stryker".

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