• Title: X-men 2 (Spanish Edition)
  • Author: Chris Claremont
  • Released: 2003-04-01
  • Language: Spanish
  • Pages: 285
  • ISBN: 8495070375
  • ISBN13: 978-8495070371
  • ASIN: 8495070375
From the Inside Flap The action-packed adventure continues as simmering tensions explode with a vengeance.

X-MEN 2

They live among us, each possessing special superhuman abilities?sometimes a blessing, sometimes a curse. Mutants. Since the discovery of their existence, they have been regarded with fear, suspicion, and often hatred. Across the planet, the debate rages: Are mutants the next link in the evolutionary chain or simply a new species of humanity, fighting for their share of the world?

Either way, one fact remains: Sharing the world has never been humanity?s defining trait.

There are two sects of mutants: One aims to coexist peacefully with a world that despises them; the other group strikes at intolerance with a relentless, often murderous force. But now there is a new insidious enemy, and no one will be safe. . . . --This text refers to the edition.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved. Chapter One

Mutants. Since the discovery of their existence, they have been regarded with fear, suspicion, and often hatred. Across the planet, debate rages: Are mutants the next link in the evolutionary chain . . .
. . . or simply a new species of humanity fightingfor their share of the world? Either way, one fact has been historically proven: Sharing the world has never been humanity’s defining attribute . . .
—Charles Xavier

“ ‘We are not enemies, but friends,’ ” the tour guide said as she led the group through the East Wing entrance of the White House. “ ‘We must not be enemies,’ ” she continued, pausing to let them gather inside the foyer beneath one of the presidential portraits that lined the wall. “ ‘Though passion may have strained, it must not break the bonds of our affection.’ Abraham Lincoln.”

Alicia Vargas had made this speech hundreds of times, yet she had a knack of making it sound as though she’d just thought it up. She was a short young woman who looked barely out of college, with big, wide-spaced eyes, an open face, a ready smile. That way, you’d miss the fact that those lustrous eyes never stopped moving from person to person among the group she was shepherding along, or that the drape of her blazer masked the Sig-Sauer pistol resting in its snap-draw holster at the small of her back.

Alicia Vargas was Secret Service, just like the tall, broad-shouldered, stone-faced men in business suits who stood at intervals along the walls. At the reception desk and at the doorways leading to the interior of the White House were their equally imposing uniformed counter-parts in the Executive Protection Service. When the decision was made to continue public tours, in spite of the ever-present threat of global terrorism, the Secret Service had insisted that its people take over the job of guides. They understood the political and public relations realities of the office, but their job was to protect the man who held that office, and from that perspective, they argued, you could never be too careful.

Offering up another smile, Alicia indicated the portrait that hung behind her, the sixteenth in the line of chief executives that began with George Washington and culminated today in George McKenna.

“President Lincoln said that in his first inaugural address. It’s one of my favorites. I like to think, especially with all that’s happening in the world, that those words are more important than ever.”

With an apologetic gesture, intended to put the tourists at ease, she led them toward the security desk.

“I just want to repeat what you were told at the Main Gate. Obviously, with the President in residence today, we want to be especially careful. One at a time, please approach the desk, present a photo id, place your bags and purses on the conveyor belt, and pass through the metal detector. Your possessions and all cameras will be returned to you when you leave. I know that sounds harsh, but I hope you understand.”

One man in the back caught her eye. He was wearing a Red Sox baseball hat, pulled low. He wasn’t doing anything wrong; far from it. His body language was totally relaxed and easy. Maybe that was it. Most people visiting the White House came through the door excited, upbeat, impatient, and impressed. Then, seeing the airport-style X-ray console and the metal detector, even the best of them got nervous, wondering if they’d inadvertently brought something that would sound an alarm and get them into trouble.

Red Sox didn’t seem to have a care in the world.

Quickly, as she ushered the first woman in line through the cage, Alicia recalled the scene at the Pennsylvania Avenue gate, where the tour had been admitted to the grounds. She’d watched them come through on the surveillance screens and now that she replayed the scene in her mind’s eye, there had been no Red Sox hat in the group.

Turning back to look for him, she registered a faint sound, the bamf of imploding air, like when a balloon pops.

Red Sox was gone.

From the East Wing entrance, a broad hallway—called the Cross Hall—runs lengthwise through the heart of the building. Originally, this had been the area where the everyday work of the household was done—the rooms housed butler’s pantries, closets, and the like—but successive renovations and the growing need for space had transformed them into formal receiving rooms: the Roosevelt Room, the Vermeil Room, the China Room. At the moment, none of them was in use, which is what caught Special Agent Donald Karp’s attention when his peripheral vision registered some kind of movement in one of the doorways.

When he turned to peer down the corridor, all he saw was shadow inside the deep alcove—that was one of the problems caused by the comparatively low, vaulted ceiling, it made the hallway hell to light properly. He knew it was probably nothing, but he was bored and in the mood for even a minor break in routine. Once before he’d opened an office door and found a couple of mid-level staffers behaving far too friskily for their own good. They’d been lucky they weren’t fired on the spot, but they really should have known better.

To his surprise, as he stepped closer to take a proper look, someone was there—though for some reason he wasn’t sure until the figure stepped clear of the shadow, a lean-bodied man whose stoop-shouldered stance belied the fact that he was roughly Karp’s height, wearing non-descript clothes and a Red Sox baseball cap. Boyoboy, would he have fun roasting Alicia’s ass for being so care-less as to let a tourist stray from the group.

He reached for the man’s shoulder.

“Excuse me, sir, are you lost? I’m afraid you can’t leave the group—”

The man rounded on him—and Karp gasped, goggle-eyed, to find himself face-to-face with a demon. Skin so dark a blue-black it was as if the man were cloaked in his own personal shadow, the only points of color his gleaming yellow eyes. The ears were pointed, the teeth had fangs, and the hand that grabbed Karp’s wrist possessed two fingers instead of the normal four.

Training took over. Without a conscious thought, Karp went for his gun—and a forked tail wrapped tight around his throat, cutting off his cry of alarm. The tail spun him like a top into the alcove, and he felt a blinding pain as the side of his head cracked hard into the arched stone. After that he never felt the blow to the side, chop to the neck that finished the job of knocking him unconscious.

It was all over in a matter of seconds, but those seconds made the difference.

From the East Entrance came Alicia Vargas’ shout—she was already through the hallway doors, coming at a dead run with sidearm in hand, ahead of the other agents and uniformed officers.

Karp’s partner was closer. He lunged for the intruder, who tripped him up with a sideways sweep of the legs—ditching his shoes in the process to reveal elongated, weirdly articulated feet with a two-toed configuration that matched his hands. The intruder leaped across the hall for the opposite wall, somehow grabbing hold of the falling agent’s gun and pitching it clear. His leap landed him up by the ceiling. To Alicia’s astonishment he stuck there, three-quarters upside down, as though fingers and toes were tipped with Velcro.

Above the chandeliers, he was suddenly hard to see, and Alicia realized with a shock that he was blending with the ceiling shadows. Against a dark background, the intruder’s indigo skin made him functionally invisible.

With a snarl, he was gone, scampering faster than her eye could swallow, around the corner toward the executive offices of the West Wing.

Alicia had a mini-mike clipped to her sleeve; she used it now.

“Code Red,” she cried. “Code Red. Perimeter breach at visitors’ checkpoint! Agent Vargas in the Cross Hall, ten meters in from the East Entrance. Intruder is hostile, two agents are down. Threat to Braveheart!”


At the rear of the mansion, in the opposite wing, President George McKenna was working the phones, applying a measure of charm—with just the faintest edge of threat—to a senator hoping to make some political ink by throwing a monkey wrench into the latest administration initiative. The President was a rancher by temperament and wished, as he found he often did since assuming the Oval Office, that he could solve the problem by simply hog-tying the man and planting his brand indelibly on that arrogant posterior. He liked cows better than legislators. At least they knew their place.

He looked up with irritation as the door to the outer office burst open and Sid Walters, the head of his protection detail, strode inside. He was about to lose his temper—which was legendary—when he realized that Walters had his gun in hand and, from the look on his face, he wasn’t going to be interested in any comment the President had to make.

“Say again,” Walters snapped into the mini-microphone clipped to the cuff of his shirtsleeve, “how many are there?”

“What the hell—” the President began, but all questions and any thoughts of protest evaporated as a half-dozen more agents rushed into the room to form a living shield around his desk. The two biggest stood on either side of him. Four of the team were in suits, with pistols in hand, but these last two were in full combat gear, helmets and flak jackets, with MP5 submachine guns in their hands. McKenna had been to war, he’d been shot; he knew at a glance that this was no drill. These men believed he was in deadly danger, and they were prepared to give their lives to save him.

McKenna hea... --This text refers to the edition.

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