A Stolen Season 6/?
For disclaimers, etc., see part one.
Salt. The smell of wet salt mixed with sadness brings me back into
the world. I'd collapsed on the floor, but now I'm lying on the
bed. Marie's in the crook of my arm, her head resting over my
heart. My shirt's soaked with salty tears, but Marie's heartbeat is
steady and her breathing's slow and deep. She must've cried herself
Dammit. I don't feel as weak as the last time I touched her, so she
couldn't have been too worried about me. The only explanation for
the tears is that she got my memories.
Stupid, stupid, stupid. I should've touched her right away. It
doesn't matter that the soldiers were comin'. I could've found a
safe hideaway. I should've touched and then led her out so she
couldn't see. Now, instead of protectin' her, I've just given her a
whole new set of nightmares.
I told her we'd go after Cyke and the kids once she was better, but
now... If she goes back with me, those government goons could hurt
her again. Maybe they'll decide she's too much trouble and just
kill 'er. I can't take that risk. O' course, if I leave her behind,
then I won't be around to protect her if they do come lookin' for her.
Just leavin' Cyke and the kids behind ain't an option. He's a cocky
kid but a good leader, not that I'd ever admit it. Besides, I just
can't leave a teammate behind. There's no tellin' why those
heartless monsters kept us alive when they murdered everyone else.
Whatever the reason, I aim to see their plans and their lives end on
"Mmm," Marie moans by my side.
Hell! I'd pulled her too tight against me in my anger and now she's
She pulls herself up so she's leaning over me and gives me a critical
look. "You ok?"
She pauses a second. "I think so."
"I'm sorry, darlin'. I..."
"It wasn't your fault, Logan," she insists.
"But now you've got more nightmares to deal with."
"You didn't attack the mansion, and we're going after who did."
"Marie, about that..."
"*We* are going after who did," she repeats.
This plan stinks. It's only been a day and a half since we escaped
and now we're back. We had to do this now, though, or there'd be
nothing to come back to. A stray scent or scrap of paper could make
all the difference. If I were them, I'd have set up a surveillance
team or at least planted a few electronic detectors in case we
returned, but I can't smell or hear anyone or anything yet.
We left the Jeep about five miles away and are sneaking through the
woods onto the school's property in the near pitch darkness of the
overcast night. We could've got a lot closer in the darkness, but I
don't wanna risk someone coming across our only transportation. If
they're lookin' for us, we won't have a quick getaway, but hopefully
the woods and the night'll cover our escape.
After about an hour of hiking, we're as close as we can get without
leaving the tree cover. The mansion looks the same as it did two
days ago, but the feelin's wrong. There was always light, sounds,
and smells broadcasting the life of the place. Now, it's dark,
quiet, and musty. Even the smell of death is stale.
The grounds are clean of the bodies, but I don't smell freshly tilled
soil so they can't have buried 'em here. They took 'em, took their
corpses for whatever desecration they wanted to commit. Just the
thought makes my claws snikt out.
"Logan?" Marie whispers behind me.
I growl and pull my claws back in. "Outside's clear," I say striding
out over the manicured lawn towards the ornate building. She follows
me without further comment.
Once we reach a door, I check around it, but still don't find any
tampering. I can't sense anything past the door, either. It's like
they got what they wanted and left, not caring who came after them.
The scents in here are stronger, and I pause a moment to memorize the
musks of the unfamiliar men who passed through. I will find every
one of them and make sure they meet the people they killed face to
face. No mercy, only justice.
"Logan, there's nothing here. Let's check the security tapes."
I turn and nod, following Marie to the staircase we'd ascended only
The jet's gone, Med Lab's ransacked, Cerebro's scrap, Map Room's
dismantled, and the Security Room's trashed. There are no tapes, no
clues, no hope. Still, we spend hours going over everything
carefully, looking for anything they might've left behind.
Once we're done in the sublevels, we check the main level and upper
floors with the same dedication to detail. The sun rises to its peak
and descends to the horizon before we're done.
The rooms are intact. I can smell that the killers came up here, but
they only collected whatever bodies lay around and left. No one's
possessions were handled. Maybe they didn't have time. Maybe a
mutant kid's baseball card collection isn't interesting to his
murderers. I don't know.
Still, it's a lucky break for us. Our clothes are still in our room,
so we can save on that cost. I got twenty-five thousand for the
Porsche from that New York fence. It's less than half of what the
car was worth, but I didn't have time to be picky. With the six
grand I spent on the Jeep, we've got plenty to tide us over for a
while, but it's nice to have our own stuff.
It isn't until we're packing that I look down at my hands and notice
I hold up my hand for Marie to see.
It's got a strip cut out of it from when I'd released my claws. In a
house full of kids, I've learned to keep them sheathed even in the
most exasperating of circumstances, and I always take my ring off on
missions so I won't lose it. It just never occurred to me that my
claws would damage it.
Even though I've never been very superstitious, it gives me pause.
Five months ago at our wedding, Kurt had explained the ring
symbolized eternity and our everlasting love. With a notch cut out
of it, the ring ends.
"It's ok," Marie comforts. "Gold's repairable. We'll get it taken
care of soon enough."
I nod and go back to packing, but I can't shake off that weird
<i>POV: Dr. John Thacker (original character)</i>
"So it wasn't a total success?" President Creed asks.
"Not totally," I answer truthfully. "We've discovered one mutation
that is harder to contain, but I still believe capture is possible
"Yes, but I have an idea. Right now, if one nano is in the host
body, the other nanos move to the skin surface to be passed along to
other hosts. We could subtly change the programming so that several
nanos stayed in the body of a healer. Then, if it takes longer for
the body to be collected, the unused nanos could continue to recut
the spinal cord and keep the mutant immobile."
The president nods. "That seems reasonable. I heard you eliminated
the X-Men. What about the Brotherhood?"
"We don't actually know where the Brotherhood's headquarters are," I
answer. We hadn't known where the X-Men were, either, but that's a
fluke I'm willing to take credit for. "But, they should be as easily
defeated as the X-Men," I add. "We'll just eliminate them with all
the other mutants in our national deployment."
"How long until you have enough nanos to lace the food supply?"
"We're at full production now," I said, pausing to calculate the time
necessary. "It should take about three months, so early Fall."