In association with the X-Men Comics group on Facebook, we are proud to present… XvX Round 11, in which Mercury goes up against Warlock!
“Warning,” a robotic voice echoed through the darkness of the mine, “Malicious code detected!”
The young mutant known as Mercury had awoken only a few moments ago; her eyes had tried, and failed, to adjust to the absence of light, but as soon as she moved some lights along the walls of the mine-shaft had triggered. It had taken her a few moments to realise she was in a mine-shaft – namely, when she looked at the lights, and saw the rails that ran across the rocky ground. And then she’d heard the voice. It sounded robotic somehow, distorted – frankly, ominous.
“Mal-mal-mal-mal,” it repeated. Yeah, definitely robotic.
Mercury remained still, assessing the situation; she’d been in the Jean Grey School when she fell asleep, and here when she awoke. She must have been kidnapped again, she guessed, but her powers were still working. Someone must have stranded her down here, left her at the mercy of some kind of robot…
An unusual mutant, Mercury’s body had transformed into a form of liquid metal. It made her tremendously potent, so she couldn’t understand why an opponent would leave her with her powers. Unless they’d done what they needed to do, and had no further use for her; or unless they simply wanted her to escape for some reason.
“Malicious code,” the voice boomed again. Mercury scrambled to her feet, and struggled to work out where the thing was – which direction would take her away from this thing. “Danger,” it repeated, and she could have sworn it sounded closer.
“Oh, great,” Mercury grumbled under her breath. She really had no idea which way to turn. Her hand brushed the walls of the cave, and she started; she recognised the feel of the metal running through these walls. It was vibranium, which had a strange, almost disruptive, texture to Mercury’s own skin. There were only two places in the world where you could find vibranium mines, and this shaft wasn’t cold enough to be in Antarctica.
That meant she was in Wakanda.
This time the voice sounded to be right behind her, and Mercury spun round. She couldn’t see anything, and started to back away, her heart racing.
No, damn it, the thing was behind her again… That, or the sonic dampening effects of vibranium were distorting the sound, she guessed. She couldn’t trust her ears, but she knew it was coming towards her – perhaps drawn by the light.
Her mind raced, and she came up with an answer; Mercury’s body pressed hard against the wall, and it spread and morphed into a sheet of metal that lay seamlessly against the rocky surface. She stopped moving, and simply waited. As she had suspected, after a few minutes the lights went out.
“Danger,” the voice called out again, and she could have sworn it was getting nearer. “Danger!”
To her right, the pitch darkness changed. The motion sensors in the lights were detecting movement, she saw, and Mercury remained completely still as the lights neared. Finally, she saw it; a dark shape, with digital patterns running across it.
Involuntarily, Mercury started, and the lights triggered around her once more.
She had a feeling she was about to fight a member of the Phalanx.