DUST AND ASHES
E-mail: notmanos at yahoo dot com
Disclaimer: The characters of Angel are owned by 20th Century Fox and Mutant Enemy; the------------------------------------------------
character of Wolverine is also owned by 20th Century Fox and Marvel Comics. No copyright
infringement intended. I'm not making any money off of this, but if you'd like to be a patron of the
arts, I won't object. ;-) Oh, and Bob is *my* character - keep your hands off!
"No,I just...wondered."He rubbed his throbbing temples as doubts nagged at him,eating away his fragile peace of mind.Okay,not peace of mind,but sense of denial,perhaps.He knew he was altered against his will,given the adamantium skeleton in a surgery that was more akin to medieval torture,but...but what?Something lurked beneath the recesses of his mind,something dark and ugly that refused to surface.But he couldn't have worked for them voluntarily.Until he had hard proof,he wouldn't believe it,and even then he'd question it.
Had he worked for the very people who'd flayed him alive?
Wesley straightened up in his chair and rubbed the back of his neck."Well,Syon does have some property holdings in the Bahamas and the Virgin Islands,but they struck me more as tax dodges than alternate demon killing venues.But if they were ancillary bases of operation,I have a feeling Cordelia wouldn't want to be rescued."
Angel attempted to smile at Wesley's stab at humor,but couldn't quite manage.The ex-Watcher frowned slightly,his blue eyes tired behind the lenses of his wire framed glasses."You had no luck either?"It was hardly a question,but Angel nodded just the same.
"Some of them didn't even know who the Omegas were,so it was an extraordinary waste of time."He crossed his arms over his chest,making a physical effort not to fidget or start punching things in sheer frustration."I hate to say it,Wesley,but I'm at a loss.What do we do next?Their boss is dead,and the rest of the Omegas have gone to ground,taking most of the witnesses with them.We've exhausted every avenue we have."
Wesley thought about it for a moment,then said,"No we haven't."
"What's left?"Angel asked,confused,and then he realized what he had overlooked."Oh no."
Wesley stood,shutting down the computer before grabbing his coat off the back of his chair."There is no choice.We have to find Cordelia."
Angel nodded grimly,steeling himself for the trial to come.He would do whatever it took to save Cordelia.
Even if that meant singing at Caritas.
She had to sit up in stages so as not roil her angry head,but once she did,she realized she wouldn't have missed much if she remained laying down.
She was on a utilitarian cot in a small,utilitarian room,no bigger than the living room of her apartment,the walls painted a supposedly soothing robin's egg blue,yet they still managed to disturb her on some level.Maybe it was the room's general prison cell ambiance:save for the cot,there was no other furnature in the room,and the far right corner had a toilet and a sink,a rice paper partition cordoning it off to give it a false sense of privacy.The rooms harsh florescent lighting was coming from panels imbedded in the ceiling,too high for her to reach even if she had wanted to,and the door set flush into the left side wall looked metal,despite the coating of blue paint.
She noticed something jingled as she sat up,and she looked down to see a pair of dogtags hanging around her next from an ugly silver chain.They had a number on them,and a name:Cassandra.
"Hello,"she said aloud,unable to shake the feeling that she was being monitored somehow."My name is Cordelia,not Cassandra.And eew,talk about a fashion faux pas."She took the dog tags off and tossed them across the room,a pointless act of defiance that didn't even make her feel better.
She then sat back against the wall,wrapping her arms around herself,feeling suddenly very cold, and very alone.
She had the sinking feeling she wasn't dealing with the commandos anymore.
"Hey,Wes my man,"the Host said jovially,sitting beside him at the crowded bar."Where's the gorgeous Miss brown eyes herself?"
He glanced at the red eyed Anagogic demon,only to find he had turned his attention back to Angel,who seemed to be visibly shrinking on stage-it was possible he was more mortified than the entire audience combined."Ooh,I shouldn't have asked that,"the Host commented,frowning in concern.
"So you know why we're here."Wesley really wasn't surprised;it was the Host's talent,after all.
The green scaled demon nodded,his frown growing into a scowl as the song oh so mercifully ended,and Angel quickly slinked off stage to meager,polite applause,joining them at the bar.
"He knows,"Wesley told him,before Angel could say a word.
The Host nodded,a sour look on his face."This is a bad business,cupcake."
"We know,the Omegas,"Angel commented,leaning against the bar on the other side,so the two of them bracketed the Host.
But to his surprise,the Host shook his head,putting his own drink down on the bar."No,my hunk of burning love,you're going down the wrong bunny trail.This is something bigger and uglier.They look like your Omegas,but they are larger than life and twice as mean."
"Who are they?"Angel asked first,his wide brow furrowing in concern.
The Host had to think about that for a minute,a muscle near his right horn twitching slightly beneath the skin."I don't know."he sighed,rubbing his eyes."I'm sensing a government connection, though,something large and unwieldy.And not in a good way."
"Like the Initiative?"Wesley wondered,throwing a curious glance at Angel.
The Host shook his head vehemently."That was Robin in training
pants compared to this psychotic
"How do we shut them down?"Angel wondered.
"And what do they want with Cordelia?She's not a demon."Wesley added.
"You can't shut them down,handsome;they're too big,even for you.And they don't traffick in demons,sugar-they do mutants."The Host answered,looking at them in turn.
"Mutants?"Angel repeated in surprise,and Wesley shared the feeling."Cordelia's not a mutant,either."
"You know that,dear heart,and I know that,but I don't think they do.Not yet,anyways."The Host picked up his drink and had a stiff gulp,seemingly gathering his courage.
"What happens when they find out she's not a mutant?"Wesley wondered,his stomach clenching in dread.
The sympathetic look in the Host's eyes was enough to make Wesley feel ill with fear for her. "They don't let people walk away.They didn't remain number one in the atrocity field by leaving tattlers behind to tell the tale."
"Where are they?"Angel said,anger clear in his eyes and his voice."Where have they taken Cordelia?"
"There's a complex in the Nevada desert.The name Dry Lake came to mind."
Angel turned towards the exit,ready to leave,but the Host grabbed his arm to stop him."Look,Sir Vampalot,I know you want to rescue her,but these people are well organized and lethal.You alone wouldn't even put a crimp in the lunch schedule.You can't take them on."
"We'll see about that,"Angel said,pulling his arm out of his grip and stalking towards the door.
Wesley followed,and the Host said to him,"Good luck.I really hope you do pull a rabbit out of your collective hats and save her.I'd hate to lose my favorite customers."
Wesley thought he heard a tacit 'but',and glanced at him over his shoulder.The Host raised his drink at him in a mock toast,and mustered up a sad smile."See you later.In this life or the next."
Oh,now that was a confidence building thought.But Wesley knew he had a point.
Maybe,if he were lucky,the next life would be even better.
The blurs and flashes coaleced into what appeared to be a hallway,industrial steel and cream white,and shadows congealed into human forms,the broad back of Shrike nearest him as the farther shadows became two men in dark military fatigues,holding a girl by her arms.She was sagging between them,barely upright,her eyes glassy behind the veil of dark hair hanging in her face.
"Back off,Shrike.Return to your unit."One of the soldiers commanded,sounding like he was a million miles away.
"What are you going to do to her?"Shrike asked,as distant as the stars.
"That's none of your concern.Move along,"the soldier demanded angrily,his voice as fragile as ice.
"What's going on here?"Logan heard his own voice ask,as if from the next room.He was now next to Shrike,without any memory of having moved at all.Everything was still choppy,even though the scene had seemingly solidified into some semblance of reality.And he knew,even from this distance,that things had the potential to turn very ugly very fast.
And the sleeping Logan knew things were about to become uglier than sin.
"Leave or I call a code,"the second soldier threatened,as if that non sequitur should have struck the fear of god into them.
"Let her go and we'll leave,"Shrike offered,attempting to sound reasonable even as his fists clenched at his side.
"That ain't happening,"the first soldier said,and they began dragging the girl forward,even as she continued to struggle in vain.As they neared,the first soldier pulled the paralyzer from his belt with his free hand."Move aside at once!"
When they didn't,the first soldier jabbed out with his paralyzer,but Shrike slapped it aside as the second soldier tried the same dumb ass move on Logan.Logan let his claws come out and slashed the paralyzer into a half a dozen pieces,sending the slightest electric shock through his system,and kicked the soldier straight in the midsection,sending him stumbling backwards.
Someone must have called a code,as the alarm went off,the emergency lockdown siren screaming down the corridor like an enraged banshee,and the first soldier let the girl go.She crumbled to the floor as the soldier snap kicked Shrike in the face,clipping him right under the chin and making him stagger back.
Logan retracted his claws and reached for the girl,intending to drag her away before the fight really got bad,but the second soldier had recovered and dove for him.
And in that nanosecond,Logan realized he hated every single one of these fuckheads,these stupid normals who had made his life a pointless series of sheer misery,and he held out his left hand,unleashing his claws,and let the soldier impale himself on them,his claws slicing right through his chest and throat like cardboard.
The soldier made a few choking nosies,blood gushing from his mouth as well as his wounds.When Logan retracted his claws,the soldier collapsed face first to the floor,already dead in spite of the growing pool of blood that slowly surrounded him.
"What the hell did you do that for,Wolverine?"Shrike exclaimed,throwing the first soldier face first into the wall,knocking him cold."Do you know what's going to happen to us now?!"
"Like I give a fuck,"he snarled,and started towards the girl,who was now looking up towards him,her hand in the growing puddle of the soldier's blood.She seemed shell shocked and pale,and for a split second he thought he saw fear in her eyes.Fear of him?
Suddenly the shadows of a dozen soldiers surrounded them,and as he turned,claws unsheathed, he heard a small explosive concussion,and felt a bullet punch through his left knee,dropping him to the floor.A second blast and a third followed,one dropping Shrike on the floor beside him,while the other hit him in the chest as he tried to stand on his one good leg.
As his consciousness faded away,he heard the girl scream.
Logan awoke,eyes shooting open instantly,and as he watched slivers of sunlight crawl across the textured ceiling of his cheap motel room,he wondered if had been a memory or a nightmare or some combination thereof.
Had he murdered someone in cold blood?Could he murder someone in cold blood?
He sat up,the airplane engine rattle and thrum of the cheap air conditioner a welcome distraction from his thoughts as he kicked the covers aside and sat on the edge of the bed,resting his elbows on his knees and dropping his head in his hands.This only reinforced his opinion he should never sleep,ever,for the benefit of his sanity and all those around him.
Yes,he had killed-in fact,he'd killed a lot.But he didn't lose sleep over any of that,as it had always been self defense.They either meant to kill him or someone else or both.It was,in his mind at least,justified.
But he didn't have to kill that soldier.He was a bastard,working for the monsters who mutilated and imprisoned mutants,but he could have knocked him straight into next year rather than kill him.He was incapable of hurting him or even Electra then without his paralyzer.Why would he just kill him?
Admittedly,he hated most people,but normals and mutants alike.He had no special hatred for 'normals' in particular(well,for some-but that held for certain mutants as well).Would he do that?
He shivered,as his bare legs were now in the path of the decrepit a.c.'s anemic breeze.He'd had no change of clothes,so when he realized even he needed sleep as much as he didn't want it,he stripped down to his boxers,although the sheets were so rough he regretted it.
In all honesty,he regretted sleeping at all.He tried to convince them they should plow straight on,but Shrike pointed out they needed rest,as he and the others had been up for over eighteen hours,and they all needed to be fresh if they were going to hit the base.On those grounds,he couldn't help but agree.But he knew,even before now,that he never should have.
He decided to have a shower,hoping it would fully wake him up and put yet another memory he didn't want aside,but it didn't work.The memory continued to disturb him on several levels.Could he-the 'old' Logan-have been a cold blooded murderer?
Part of him wanted to deny it,but he was self-aware enough to know there was a killer in him;a part of him so dark and cold even he hesitated to examine it head on.Yes,he had considered unleashing his claws and killing people for reasons that could only be classified as annoyances at best,but he had never done it:he knew his darkness,but he had never acted on it.At least,not to his knowledge.
No-he refused to believe it.Maybe Shrike remembered what happened;Electra was too pumped full of chemicals to remember everything correctly.
But what was his excuse?
He heard a knocking noise,and assumed the old air conditioner had finally given up the ghost,but as he left the bathroom towel drying his hair,he realized someone was actually knocking on his door.
"Logan,are you awake?"Electra's voice called through the door,barely audible over the a.c.'s continuous death rattle.
"Yeah,just a sec,"he said,throwing the towel on his messy bed and hastily pulling on his jeans.As soon as he zipped up,he opened the door,squinting at the harsh Nevada sunlight,and instantly started sweating due to the thick wave of heat that greeted him with the sluggish breeze.It had to be at least ninety already,and judging from the position of the sun,it wasn't even noon yet.
"Are we leaving?"He asked her,leaving her at the door as he retrieved his shirt from the floor.
"No,I just couldn't sleep,and since you hadn't wanted to,I was hoping you might be up too."She said,coming in and closing the door behind her,banishing the sun's blinding glare and the waves of merciless heat.As soon as his eyes adjusted to the dimmer light,he turned towards her,curious at her anxious tone.Electra was leaning back against the door,wringing her hands nervously.
"What's wrong?"He asked,quickly pulling on his shirt.
She shook her head,scowling down at the threadbare steel gray carpet."I have this weird feeling something's wrong,but I can't put my finger on what."
"I know what you mean,"he commisserated,donning his jacket,even though he knew he'd quickly shed it in the heat.He had few possessions,but he wanted to keep the meager ones he had.
She glanced up at him sharply,as if he had said something important."You feel it too?"
He had to think about that for a moment-she was dead serious,not just nervous about the raid."I...I don't know.I think my memory's even more fucked up than I though.Or I am,or both.I'm not sure."
It was her turn to look concerned as she moved towards him."What do you mean?Is something wrong,Logan?"
He didn't know if he should mention it at all,nonetheless how to say it,but he blurted it out regardless."When Shrike and I saved you,did I kill a soldier?"
She studied his face curiously,a thin worry line appearing between her delicate brows."I-I don't remember.Did you remember?Do you think you did?"
"I'm not really sure.I don't know."
"I know you don't like to sleep.Is that why?You remember?"
He rubbed his hot,dry eyes,and wished he'd never brought it up."Sometimes...look,forget it,okay?"He started to turn away,but she grabbed his hand,and he felt a brief static electric shock.
"Ouch!Hey,watch it!"he snapped,yanking his hand away.
"I'm sorry.I'm nervous,and this dry heat is doing me no good at all,"she admitted,and then reached up and touched his cheek.He shied away,but there was no shock this time.
"What are you doing?"He asked,pulling her arm gently but firmly away.
She smiled faintly,clearly amused."I remember you clean shaven."
She laughed,and he got the impression she was joking-or at least he hoped she was(for some reason,he couldn't imagine himself without his facial hair-he bet he would look like a dork)-and chuckled himself.After all the shit that had been hitting the fan lately,it felt good.He couldn't remember the last time he'd laughed.
She then shocked him-in every sense but physical-by hugging him fiercely."What do you think you're doing?"He asked,wondering if he should shove her away or simply peel her arms off of him.
"Thank you,Logan,"she whispered into his chest."I know I wouldn't be alive if it wasn't for you and Shrike.And whatever you did,you did for me.Thank you."
"No,I didn't,"he protested,angry with her gratitude and himself and just the whole goddamned world.But he had to admit,it felt distractingly good to feel a soft,firm female body pressed against his...oh,he was not thinking this.He had some scores to settle with some military butchers cowering out in the desert.
But he gave her a slightly reluctant hug in return,ending with a friendly if awkward pat on the back.But then she whispered in his ear,"I don't know who to trust,Logan,except you.Something tells me I can trust you."
He looked down at her,startled."Shrike?Scorpion?If you think they're lying,why-"
She kissed him,stopping him in mid-question,and he felt a tiny shiver of electricity run down his adamantium skeleton:it was not unpleasant.In fact,the soft feel of her lips against his wasn't unpleasant either;it struck him suddenly,and with great ferocity,how deeply lonely he was,and how he probably had been all his life.He kissed her in return,wrapping his arms around her tightly, feeling the electricity tingle across his skin,raising the hair on his arms beneath his sleeves.
It was then that the window exploded inward with wall shattering force,throwing them both violently to the floor,as the first of the commandos charged in through the shattered window frame.
The commando withdrew his paralyzer from his belt and started towards them,but Electra held up her hand,and the paralyzer suddenly discharged backwards,sending tendrils of electric blue energy writhing up his arm.He froze in his tracks,eyes growing as wide as silver dollars as he shook from the shock before falling to the carpet,as stiff and insensate as a statue. But friends of his came in,three commandos piling in through the new hole in the wall,and Logan rolled to his feet,unleashing his claws as he lashed out at the first one,shattering his paralyzer before kicking him straight back into his buddy,and it was a small domino effect as several of the commandos fell into each other,tumbling to the ground like toy soldiers.
But others were uneffected,and as several charged him,he saw what looked like an electrical discharge,a thin filiment of blue lightning,and several other soldiers went down as the scent of ozone seemed to fill the suddenly hot and dry air.Shit,she really could throw electricity.
Suddenly soldiers near the back started falling,some thrown physically aside,and Shrike and Scorpion appeared in the crowd of black uniforms,thinning the herd down to the quick.
"How the hell did they find us?"Logan snapped,knocking the last commando unconscious with a backhanded fist to the face.
Shrike shook his head,frowning in concern."They may have followed us from California.But I could have sworn we weren'tfollowed."
"Who cares?"Scorpion interjected impatiently,pulling his gloves back on."We need to be gone before the reinforcements arrive."
Shrike nodded."Agreed.Let's go."
No one argued-no one wanted to stay-so they carefully picked their way through the unconscious and paralyzed bodies to the trailer,Scorpion donning some type of dark welding goggles to shield his eyes from the harsh light of day.Shrike got in the front seat,but this time Logan got in the passenger side,riding shotgun,so Scorpion had to ride in the back with Electra.He wasn't sure what had happened-or almost happened-back in the hotel with her,but it was vaguely unsettling. Where had that flood of feelings suddenly come from?Being horny he could accept-but lonely? What was that about?Lonliness was his usual state,but he preferred it to the alternative.
As soon as Shrike got the trailer on the road,he took one hand off the steering wheel to run a hand nervously through his hair,and said,"Maybe we should call this thing off."
"What?"Scorpion exclaimed from the back,nearly shouting."After all our planning and waiting?"
"They probably know we're coming,"Shrike argued.
"And what difference does that make?"Logan countered."They know we survived and eluded them:they've probably anticipated this attack from day one.If you want to chicken out,fine,but don't use that lame ass excuse."
Shrike shot him an angry sidelong glance,scowling at the sunbaked ribbon of road that seemed to lead directly into a lifeless horizon far from the (so called) civilized world."Fine.We do this thing. But don't you ever imply I'm a goddamn coward,Wolverine.I'm fucking sorry I can't share your death wish."
"And what the fuck does that mean?"He growled,the urge to lash out and punch him almost overwhelming.Why the sudden antipathy towards Shrike?Was there something about their shared past he didn't consciously realize (yet)?
"Guys,knock it off,"Electra interjected firmly."Save it for the encampment."
Logan decided to try and do just that.
She sat up,wiping a bit of sleep drool from the corner of her mouth,just as a man in a grey-green jumpsuit came in.He tried on a bland,supposedly harmless smile,pretending there wasn't armed guards in the hallway and some weird,boxy black device on his belt that looked even more menacing than the taser thing they'd used on Gunn.
"Who the fuck are you,and why did you kidnap me?"She demanded angrily,not daring to get up from her cot.Not yet,anyways."Where the hell am I?"
The man was tall and lean,with a strangely patrician face that seemed out of place with his military like outfit and rigid posture,although his slicked back salt and pepper hair was probably anachronistic for any era.She judged he was in his forties,but if he was a demon,he could be four thousand years old for all she could tell.
"I am Bertram,and I will be your handler,at least for the preliminaries,"he said,his voice used car salesman smooth as his colorless eyes seemed to inspect her for any signs of dents or scratches."I'm sorry about what occured,but I assure you,if you cooperate with us,not only will you not be harmed,but it will aid you immeasurably."
"What the hell are you talking about?Handler?Touch me and you'll pull back a bloody stump,"she spat,trying to pretend she hadn't grossed herself out by saying that.But it sounded so tough!
His thin lips curved up in what could have been a smile,or perhaps his lunchtime tuna salad coming back on him."We don't harm people here,Cassandra.Not unless they make us."
"My name is Cordelia,not Cassandra,you moron!You've mistaken me for someone else!Let me out of here and I'll be on my way,and we'll forget this ever happened,okay?"
His smile became even more smug,if that was possible."We know your name.For purposes of record keeping your code name is Cassandra,and that is how you will be known here."
She scoffed at him,crossing her arms over her chest."I don't think so."
His smug smile became razor blade sharp,his eyes as cold as ice."Think what you want, Cassandra.But I suggest cooperation,or things could get unpleasant for you very fast."
She wanted to say something to wipe that leering smirk off his smug face,but she couldn't think of anything:she was genuinely scared,and he was dead serious.
And she'd be dead too,if she didn't think of some way out of this.
From horizon to horizon the ground was an ocean of golden sand,with a few brave,scraggly tumbleweeds and stunted cacti struggling through the baked earth wherever they could find the slightest bit of purchase,and there wasn't much of that.
They decided to wait until nightfall,to use the cover of darkness as part of the plan,so they had ended up hanging out in a small waystation of nowhere before moving on towards Dry Lake.While most of them just stayed with the vehicle,they all had to admit this was the most depressing goddamn place they had ever seen.Desolate hardly even covered it;this entire are seemed bereft and sad,openly hostile to life in any form.
A perfect setting,in other words.If armageddon was to come,at least it would feel at home here.
By the time the sky had darkened to midnight blue,the bright crescent of the moon hanging low and preceeding the stars,they ditched the truck about a half mile from the base and walked in on foot,as they were still counting on the element of surprise to help them.
The outer perimeter defenses - mainly fences topped with razor wire,big important looking signs,and some hidden,sophisticated electronics that Electra easily shorted out and otherwise screwed with - were puny, so the electric eyes saw nothing of them.
Logan wasn't sure what he was expecting-maybe something out of a World War Two movie,a prison camp with guard towers and attack dogs,armed soldiers making patrols on foot like clockwork in front of dingy,sagging barracks-but there was nothing but anti-personnel traps and alarms on their way towards the large,golden beige painted building (desert camoflague?).It not only resembled an army base,but maybe a converted airplane hangar.It was so unbelievably still and quiet in the hot desert air,the ground still radiating heat like a smoldering ember,rendering the occasionally cool night breezes a moot afterthought,that it felt eerie,like they were trespassing on hallowed ground.
Logan stopped where he was,and Shrike almost walked past him before he stopped and turned to look back at him.Scorpion and Electra were sharing lead point:Electra because of her ability to fuck with the sensors,and Scorpion because he was their literal eyes in the dark,having doffed his protective goggles to use his infrared vision to guide them safely through the almost literal mindfield.Finally, they paused and looked back at the both of them."What is it,Logan?"Electra asked,whispering so quietly she could barely be heard.
It suddenly struck him that she and Scorpion used each other's real names,but Shrike did not-force of habit?He didn't know what that meant,or if it was important,so he set it aside."This feels like a trap."
"It does,"Shrike agreed.
Scorpion searched the grounds carefully,and reported,"I'm not seeing anyone.Even if they were hiding,I'd see their body heat being reflected."
"That's just it.They're waiting for us inside,"he said,breathing deep of the night air.He smelled nothing,just heat and dust,the tumbleweeds and the scent of machine oil,but no people-mutants or otherwise.
It had to be a trap.He could feel it in his bones.
"We weren't expecting this to be a cakewalk,"Scorpion pointed out testily."But together there's nothing they can do to beat us."
"Are you sure about that?They made us,after all.They have to be ready for us."Logan countered, continuing to sniff the air.Nothing on top of nothing;that wasn't right at all.
"Who's being a coward now?"Scorpion shot back,and even in the dark Logan knew he was glaring at him.
"There's a generator feeding power to the base;it's underground,I can feel it."Electra said softly."I can blow it.It'll leave them in the dark and with no defenses but hand to hand.We should be able to take them then,shouldn't we?"
"They'll definitely know we're coming then,"Shrike said,shifting nervously.
"They already do.Does it matter?"Logan pointed out,glaring right back at Scorpion for the sheer hell of it.No wonder Electra didn't trust them;there was something wrong here,he was more sure of that now than ever.
"I'm doing it,"she said,then crouched down,sinking her hands into the warm,hard packed golden sand.Her hair seemed to move in some hidden breeze,the static electricity she was generating almost palpable in the air like ozone during a storm,and Logan thought he felt a rumble beneath his boots as the entire complex suddenly went dark,as if darkness had physically fallen on the complex like a haphazardly discarded shroud.
Now he heard shouts ringing out from the mutant prison camp,guards barking orders,and Scorpion charged towards the base,shedding his gloves on the way,as Shrike sighed,and said, "Show time."He ran off after him,and Logan paused,looking at Electra,who was still crouched on the ground,but now she seemed to be leaning her weight on her hands,as if she was about to fall on her face."Are you all right?"He asked,and reached to help her up,but the sudden sensation of electricity crackling around her like an unseen aura made him stop and withdraw his hand.He'd get fried if he touched her now.