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Sooner or later, there was going to be another fight. The Brotherhood couldn’t go too long between them, now that Wanda had joined their ranks, or the X-Men might strike first. So they did. Lance went along unwillingly but seeing no alternatives… and he was the one who had the intel on the mansion. If he backed out it would look questionable at best, and like hell was he letting them unleash Wanda on the place without him there. Jade could be there.

She was. That was what would turn out to be his downfall.

Jade’s powers were next to useless inside the mansion, if they would even have stood a chance against Wanda’s wrath in the first place — and they wouldn’t have. But at least if they were outside she could have defended herself somehow. As the entryway crumbled around them Wanda launched a blast of psychic power down the main hall, at whoever was coming at them. The X-Men scattered to the stairs, and Jade wound up on a chunk that was falling. Breaking away too fast for Lance to get there, that much was certain. Pietro could have, but wouldn’t.

Thinking fast, Lance ran to the base of the stairs and punched them, so that they formed a rickety column of support under where Jade was standing, so she could scramble off. Toad shouted his name and he glanced back, glanced away for just a moment to see Wanda gathering another charge, this one pointed straight at him. No, not at him, above him. At where Kitty was helping Jade off the steps. The Scarlet Witch was picking the X-Men off as their powers were nulled and scrambled, several lay unconscious already around the hall.

There was no worse target for her to have picked. Lance’s gaze darted back and forth for a second longer before he was in motion again, back to the center of the hall, grabbing Wanda’s ankle where she hovered in midair and pulling with all his strength. She didn’t expect that, and the element of surprise was all he had. “Jade, Kitty, ru—” was all he got out before the blast hit him dead in the chest, sending him flying and hitting the far wall with a crack so sickening he was sure his head had been busted open along with his helmet. Everything blurred and faded to black, the sounds of fighting and marble falling to the ground drowning under the static in his ears. Nothingness.

When he woke up, someone was holding his arms. And then he was moving, being dragged out from under— no, being dragged through the rubble that had come down to trap his right leg. He recognized the feeling of Kitty’s power. When he opened his eyes everything spun for a moment before he could see that the front of the mansion had been destroyed, at the least. And then he was solid again, his head rolling on the hard floor. “…Jade..?” he asked her, helplessly trying to push himself up onto his elbows.

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Lance Alvers / "Avalanche"

October 2016

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