1963-10-17 - Stryker, You Lunatic!
Summary: After the reporter St. John Allercyde exposes Weapon X and himself, Stryker retaliates, using his minion as a puppet.
Related: Missing Pieces Plot
Theme Song: None
sinjin deathstrike kitty maverick 


Last week, it was reported by the Bulletin that I had been attacked, possibly in relation to a series of stories I am researching on mutant contributions to both New York's culture and security. It's necessary that I be clear about the incident.

I was not attacked by average people as some form of censorship or retaliation. I was attacked by other mutants, under the command of the Weapon X program, in response to my series exposing the Weapon X program for the monstrosity that it is. This was an assassination attempt, nothing less.

Yes, I am the author of those articles. And, yes, I said "other mutants". I would have risked my life and written those articles regardless of my status or affiliation. That said: I am a mutant.

I have never explicitly denied being a mutant — easy, because it does not get asked of someone who seems so mundane. But I am a mutant and it saved my life last week, not for the first time.

I will not stop investigating Weapon X or writing about the good mutants can do in an increasingly corrupt and dangerous world. You will be hearing from me again — if I'm breathing, I'm writing, and I promise to bring you the truth.

—St. John Allerdyce


Progress is slow but at least the ninja twins didn't break Sinjin's fingers. He can type and he types himself into some more trouble — knowing he's doing it. This time, the police officers — the same officers as before — are there to protect him. They're a little sheepish about it but, since they let Sinjin have his lighter and cigarettes behind the nurses' backs, no hard feelings.

"Are you insane?" That's his editor, Owen, on the phone. He has to hand it off to the nurse so she can explain that Sinjin can't talk. That's okay. Owen yells at him for fifteen minutes, then says he's sending over a contract for Sinjin's next book.

He's allowed company now, so Owen can yell at him in person later. Sinjin's Bulletin editor has already been by with a photographer. Apparently pictures of him working from his hospital bed are a good thing. Not how Sinjin wants to be immortalized but it's the job.

Once he has a minute to himself, he gets out his files and starts writing his next article about Weapon X, including all the pieces he'd left out before for brevity.


Nosy reporters face ugly consequences.

Yuriko Oyama, with dark rimmed glasses perched on her nose, dressed in her famous grey pantsuit and a white lab coat, entered the hospital undetected. Extra security patrolling the hallway meant that, in order to minimize collateral damage, she had been ordered to enter the building discretely.

Looking like an average physician suited her just as well to that end.

Long lithe steps carry her into the hall. The slow grow of her nails never had the dramatic flare that claws had for some of her counterparts. But the horror in the guards' eyes wins a slow smile. The screams that carry into the room, however, are short-lived.

Like butter, metal meets flesh, spurting blood across the door and walls as each hand meets a guard's throat and cuts downward through flesh, muscle, and vital organ in its path. The screams cease upon first slash.

Screaming requires vocal chords.

Again, lips edge upwards. Yuriko wipes her bloodied metallic nails on the lab coat. No reason to dirty her suit. She steps over the bodies.

The door to Sinjin's room opens. She steps inside and her eyes rest on the reporter. "Reporter," she states flatly before closing the door behind her.


Survival mode is getting to be a way of life. Sinjin doesn't think before he punches Deathstrike with a wrecking ball of flame ignited from his cigarette. His typewriter and his work are still in his lap when he blows her back through the door and into the hall beyond.

There's no snappy comeback, not with his mouth wired shut and a morphine drip in his arm. Speaking of which, he uses the IV pole for support as he kicks aside his work and his covers — otherwise he wouldn't be on his feet at all. He grabs a bottle of rubbing alcohol from the nurse's cart by the bed and smashes it on the floor in the doorway, giving extra fuel to a wall of flame he doesn't have to tend while he's ripping out his IV and planning his escape.


The woman flies out of the room, igniting on fire with a pained yelp. The Asian woman alight is enough to set off a chain reaction in the hallway as she hits the side of a shelf filled with bandages that quickly set to flame. The fire is, undeniably, catching across the hall.

Physicians and nurses in the hallway scream, and one crotchety nurse runs to pull the red fire alarm displayed on the side wall, causing a very annoying bell to ring across the entire hospital.

The woman on fire, following her crash into the shelf, however, drops and rolls, putting out the flame and exposing her now charred flesh to the world. Oddly, instants later, she stands, and bits of blackened skin chafe away, giving way to fresh new cells underneath. She reaches for the extinguisher located near the nurses station.

One of the nurses jumps towards her to take the lifeline away, but with a slash, the nurse lays lifeless at Deathstrike's feet. A smile creeps across Yuriko's features and she, very slowly, pulls the pin on the extinguisher. Even before treading into Sinjin's room, she's pulling the nozzle, releasing a film of white foam across the expanse of the room.


"This may be the longest elevator in the history of mechanics," Kitty muses to David. The hospital lobby is bright, airy, and white. But such is the way of hospitals. "I heard he can have company now. Thanks for coming with."

The purple orchid Kitty Pryde holds is cradled in her arms. "I think it was a good choice," she states about the potted plant before casting David a sidelong stare. "I mean. The colour is fantastic. And they don't bloom often, you know. Just when given the right amount of care — " trust Kitty to give someone a gift with symbolic meaning. Whether or not they understand it is anyone's guess.

Tied to her back, Ogun's sword had been an assurance to make it here. With the madness across New York City, Kitty chose to bring it in tow. Not that she'd met any vampires or demons on the way here — preparation consistently negates evil forces.

The alarm bell, however, prompts her chin to raise. "David?" the warning in her tone is easily noted as she zips to the staircase, anticipating her company in tow.


Sinjin blows the window out of his wall — discretion is the better part of valor, even though he has almost no experience with the concept of a strategic retreat. The fireball lights up the grey fall noon, draws gasps of surprise and screams of fear from below. There's nothing he can do with Deathstrike but try to hit her again so he can get out the window. This time, he's even more desperate. He's slow and drugged, doesn't have a single uninjured limb, but if he can buy himself some time — in theory — he can ride his fire out into the street.

In the back of his head, Sinjin is aware that this is a terrible, terrible move on Stryker's part. Disastrous. That idea, that this public assassination could end the program, is actually a significant comfort in the face of the fact that this might well be it for him.


Maverick has disconnected.


Yuriko doesn't relent and madly runs back into the hospital room, shooting the extinguisher as she moves. The sound of foam building up in the sprayer of the red extinguisher echoes through the room. Until the woman quickly throws the metallic object squarely at Sinjin.

She follows the metallic makeshift weapon, diving after the already-injured man. She literally spins in the air, metal fingernails sharply splayed as both a threat and a promise of impending doom. The way her hands spin aim to briefly catch the flesh of her target — light this time around — she has orders to keep this one slow and laboured as she delivers finality to the reporter problem.

But death was not to come too quickly.

In fact, Stryker had ordered her to bring the reporter to a place where he prayed that his next breath would be his last.


Sinjin takes the fire extinguisher off his already injured shoulder, twisting awkwardly. He stumbles, catches himself on the bed, recovers in time for Deathstrike's claws to peel him open from just above one hip, across his belly, until the tips catch on a rib on the other side.

If he had any breath right now, he'd scream or curse. Blood spreads, spatters his bare feet. Sinjin staggers back to hit the wall by the window — he'd collapse if something weren't holding him up. He has no idea how bad this is but he knows he's running out of blood to spill.

This time, he uses his fire as a construct that scoops up the heavy hospital bed and uses it like a ram to slam her into the far wall. Almost as an afterthought, he engulfs that corner of the room in flame.


Yuriko SLAMS against the wall. The bed crushes her between the two surfaces. Flames lick the corner of the room, blocking the door and cornering the pair in the hospital realm of hell. Stillness overtakes the room.

Perhaps the fight has finally left the ninja.

The bed is pushed and then thrust across the room with all the strength that Yuriko can muster. Strength surpassing peak human condition means it is not thrown lightly. When the bed moves, Yuriko looks slightly worse for wear. Her hair is dishevelled. Her nose bleeding, and a chunk of blistered skin falls away from her face. The skin stitches itself together underneath. She takes a step from the wall, and her ear drops to her shoulder, causing her neck to crack LOUDLY.

The defibrillator on a rolling cart in the corner of the room is grasped and flipped into the on position, causing the machine to gather charge.


Sinjin musters up one more fireball and lobs it at her but things are already going grey. He misses — he'd miss anything that wasn't holding still right now — and the flames flicker once, then die. He's still got his lighter, clenched in his fist and glued to his skin with his own blood, but he's struggling to focus.

He can't talk. This isn't going to be about information. This is revenge.

Stryker, you fucking lunatic.

The program is over, or at least Stryker is, whether Sinjin lives or dies. Someone will use this as leverage, someone will put him down. Good enough.

Sinjin looks Deathstrike in the eyes and, with his free hand tears his shredded hospital gown open the rest of the way to bare his chest for the defibrilator. Go ahead.

What are they going to do? He said that once, joking. Torture me? Apparently, the answer is yes. That's okay, he's done this before.


Maverick has connected.


It's impressive, really, how quickly David North can move once he has a mind to. As soon as the alarms had sounded, he and Kitty had both sprung into motion. The only difference between them, really, is that David's got much longer legs.

So it's David who comes charging out of the stairwell first, lips pressed into a tight line as he comes sprinting past the chaos of the hallway. Normally, he'd stop to help, but this situation calls for more targeted action.

Even if David's not currently carrying a gun.

His arrival is announced to Sinjin when a narrow beam of purple-pink energy comes streaking into the room towards Yuriko's face, originating from one of David's outstretched hands from just outside the door.


The energy beam creams Yuriko against the wall, forcing the flesh to peel from her bones as the charged defibrillator is abandoned. Her body falls limply against the wall, collapsing into a pile of nothing at its base. The burn mark across her face, in a distinct line that follows that blast, careens in a sharp jag from the top of her cheek to the bottom.

Pulseless. Empty. Vacant.

Her chest rises and falls. Once. Twice.

Her body lurches forward almost impossibly — like a puppet rather than a woman — to lash out and kick towards David with her nails drawn. She is not likely to relent.

From her boot, a second knife lashes out, brought out through the toe in a trick shot of sorts.


Kitty's paces drive her behind David for several beats until, in a moment of sheer frustration, she disappears altogether. The rhythm of her footfalls vanishes. The sound turns to nothingness in the stairwell. And the nothingness seems to echo.

Until the clang of metallic nails meets an unusually strong weapon. The sword — Ogun's cursed, and strangely empowered weapon — withstands the clang of Yuriko's metallic nails against it. Satisfied with her defence, Kitty turns intangible, and swings the katana hard and true towards Yuriko's midsection, only to become solid just in time for the weapon to make purchase with its target.


The last thing Sinjin remembers is the defibrilator hitting his chest and the gut-dropping, heart-clenching jolt of electricity ripping unfettered through his nerves. He snaps back and, for a moment, he thinks time must have passed. But, no. This is seconds later and he's nearly naked and seeping blood into his lap and across the floor, soaking through what's left of the hospital gown. His inhalation through his wired-shut teeth sounds like paper tearing and, for a long moment, there's nothing moving in his chest. Then something skips, thumps, and stutters.

Alive. That means he has to get up. Has to do something. His vision isn't clear enough to for him to make sense of Kitty battling Deathstrike or North standing a few feet away. All he knows is that, somehow, he really needs to be on his feet.


Even with Kitty's intervention, David is lucky that he managed to twist to the side to avoid Oyama's kick — the blades, once they emerge, are long enough that she would have managed to catch him right in the face.

Now that David has heard a clang of metal-on-metal as opposed to the clattering of a broken sword blade, however, it becomes much easier for him to decide on how to proceed. As Kitty goes for Yuriko's midsection, David makes a mad dash for where Sinjin's landed on the floor, keeping a wary eye on the pair on his way past. Please don't decapitate him, he actually DOES use his head.


The slice across Yuriko's belly causes her to crumple into herself as blood drips on the floor. But, much like David's blow to her face, it only serves to slow her down. Her hand presses hard against her stomach, attempting to either keep her intestines in place or stop the bleeding. But within seconds, her hand drops and forms a fist at her side. She spits blood on the floor, and hisses towards the pair, "Defective weapons."

The hiss doesn't even allow time for a reprieve. With David on the move for her target, she's presses off her feet and nose dives towards him. She will not be deprived of her kill. Orders are orders.

She twists hard and fast, aiming to slice and dice David to pieces as she moves. There is no ceremony, there is no punching, just the extended claws of a nearly robotic servant of William Stryker's whims.


If there's anything Sinjin can do, it's survive. He hardly knows what he's doing when he thumbs the blood-sticky wheel of the lighter clutched in his hand. There's nothing but a tiny blue-white spark — that's all his mutation needs. He grabs that spark, pours all his spite into it, rips it at Deathstrike like a terrible little star that takes her in the forehead and lifts her up off her feet, sending her in an arc away from David.

That's his last "fuck you", hopefully it does a bit of good. Sinjin slumps back into the pool of his own blood, barely conscious.


Kitty gapes a moment at the gash she's caused in the other woman. She lingers a beat, remembering full well that the regrets people bear are those based on actions they chose. She chose this. But then the woman is stitched back up quite automatically, prompting Kitty to mutter, "Ohmygosh!"

Kitty's expression darkens as Yuriko dives towards David in a last ditch to off the reporter. But then Deathstrike is sailing back towards her. The flame that pushes Yuriko towards her is quickly accompanied by another of those pink-purple energy blasts. Oyama SLAMS hard against the wall, and in the daze, Kitty doesn't relent. She spins the blade back towards the other woman.

This time the blade meets metal as Yuriko's hand catches the its sharp edge in her metallic claws. The grasp of Ogun's sword, however, does not go to waste. Kitty Pryde, rather impossibly, uses the now-stable sword as a means to strike her enemy. Both Shadowcat and the sword become intangible, drifting through Yuriko's grasp. Kitty literally moves through the woman, with the sword becoming solid when already inside of Deathstrike, thereby cutting her from the inside out. Kitty kicks the woman hard in the knees, and then, rather promptly, slices across the woman's back.

The brunette reaches forward before the other woman has time to react, and promptly sinks her into the floor.


With ambient pink energy still wisping off of his fist, David turns away from Deathstrike as soon as he is confident Kitty's got her covered. Sinjin is his priority, as well, and he trusts the brunette to have his back.

"You have the strangest groupies, Mr. Allerdyce," David muses down at the barely-coherent man, hurriedly yanking off his jacket so that he has something to press down into the gash across Sinjin's belly. He can replace the jacket. Not the reporter. "I do believe you may have popped your stitches."


Kitty peers over to David, "I'll get medical help — " and in seconds, she's sunk through the floor. Thanks to the evacuation finding anyone available to help will be something of a feat. Which is likely why she doesn't mince words before disappearing.


Sinjin shakes his head slightly, makes a strangled noise as the pressure grinds ribs that were cracked the first time Deathstrike attacked him. Then he says something that sounds like "fuck Stryker". It's hard to tell, his face is so battered from the beating Akihiro gave him. He's fading in and out, things go grey and then resolve before fading out again. There are things he'd like to say but there's no way he could work a pen right now. His left hand is still clenched around that lighter so hard, they may not be able to get it away from him, even once he passes out completely.

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