X-Men (5): Wolverine, Storm, Rogue, Gambit, Cyclops

Sinister Six (12): Doctor Octopus, Kraven, Vulture, Mysterio, Sandman, Electro

As the X-Men arrive on the battle scene, ready for a fight, they are startled to find Sabretooth standing in the middle of the arena. Worried that Wolverine will act too rashly in the presence of his greatest foe, Cyclops and Storm urge him to stay calm. Yet Logan’s adamantium claws are already drawn before the rest of the X-Men can stop him.
“You picked the wrong fight bub!” Wolverine shouts as he charges toward his arch-nemesis. Yet just as he’s about to slash his opponent, he finds himself caught in the clutches of four mechanical arms that feel as strong as his own adamantium skeleton.

“Such primitive instincts Wolverine. It’s a wonder Xavier even keeps you around,” says the sneering voice of Dr. Otto Octavius as he appears from the shadows. Wolverine grimaces as he sees Kraven the Hunter, Vulture, Sandman and Electro standing behind Ock.

As Wolverine cocks his head to look his captor in his eye, he sees not Sabretooth, but the master of illusions himself Mysterio! Cackling, he gloats, “Your heightened senses are not easy to trick, but nothing is impossible to a master such as I!”

“Still, you are a unique specimen. Unlike Spider-Man you were born with these incredible gifts. If only your brain was as remarkable as your genetic comp–“.

Yet before Doc Ock can finish his sentence, he is interrupted by the ping of an energy-fueled card. “Enough chit-chat Ock. Thought we were here fer a fight,” Gambit says as he and the X-Men charge toward the Sinister Six.

Quickly, Doc Ock throws Wolverine across the arena while Electro unleashes a powerful blast at him. Cyclops retaliates, hitting Doc Ock hard; while Storm brings down a roar of thunder and lightning upon her opponents. Vulture takes to the sky to get on her level. Meanwhile, Gambit and Rogue go after Kraven and Sandman.

“Don’t know about you darlin’, but I reckon these fellas here ain’t on the same level as the Brotherhood,” Gambit says to Rogue as he tries to hit Sandman with his staff. Yet unbeknownst to him, the staff goes right through Sandman’s molecular structure. Gambit’s staff glows lilac for just a moment as Gambit smiles. The incandescence flows through the staff and begins to radiate through Sandman’s body. Flint Marko’s head, sitting atop his sandy body looks concerned, then pained, and then… BLAM! Sandman explodes with a flash of white light! While Gambit is caught admiring his own cunning, Kraven seizes the chance to unleash a silent one punch KO against him.

“Gambit!” Rogue exclaims as she charges toward Kraven, trying to absorb his powers. Yet before she can reach, a blast of Electro’s energy sends her hurtling toward the other end of the arena. After Vulture comes from behind to attack Storm, she taken off guard and pulled to the ground by one of Doc Ock’s arms, and violently smacked with another.

With Wolverine just regaining consciousness but tormented by Mysterio projecting visions of his dead loved ones, Cyclops is the lone X-Man standing. “Not today!” Their fearless leader erupts a titanic blast pushing through Electro’s electric arc and knocks the villain out. He whips his head upward to blast at the Vulture, who is swiftly using the youth recently taken from Storm. He finally clips a wing, sending the Vulture crashing to the rock below. As Cyclops swing again to a wall of sand trying to recollect itself, he widens his beam and blasts back the encroaching Sandman. “THREE DOWN!”

Cyclops hears a foul cry that he has heard too many times, “RAAARRRHHRRRAAARH!” the shrill scream of Wolverine’s berserker rage. He sees his Mutant brother stand, as he has so many times before after injuries that’d kill any other. He sees, through a stream of red, Wolverine pushing through Mysterio’s illusions, and watching the caped fishbowl collapse as he’s stabbed in the gut. Kraven’s eyes light up as he breaks toward the berserker and the two begin what it is that they do best.

Cyclops knows the damage Logan can do, but doesn’t have time for the responsibility of it. He turns to Doc Ock. The dumpy criminal lashes out with his mighty metal arms. Cyclops uses his optic beam to push one strike away as he sidesteps another, but he’s unable to avoid a third, which smashes down at his feet, sending him falling to the ground with a thud.

Hitting his head on the ground, Cyclops feels foggier than expected. He hears Doctor Octopus over him, “You’re no Wall Crawler!”. He hears the too familiar sound of Wolverine’s snoring and looks up weakly though his cracked ruby quartz lenses and sees Storm, Gambit, Rogue, and Wolverine floating, held, one in each of Doc Ock’s mechanical appendages. A moment too late, he realizes, he’s fallen for Mysterio’s illusions.

Flanked by Kraven and Mysterio, Electro saunters up besides, the Vulture swoops into Cyclops field of vision, and Sandman reforms behind them all, Ock quips to his team. “Gentlemen, remember that the mind is the greatest weapon.”

WINNER: SINISTER SIX

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