Yes, I know. It has been a long time since last I added to this story; sorry for that.
Thanks to Estelle for the Beta. It is also to her I dedicate this chapter, she knows why *smiles*
Earlier chapters can be read here: http://www.fanfiction.net/read.php?storyid=391378
Quick recap: Scott and Jean had been attacked in the hallway and so had Logan and Rogue. However while Logan and Rogue managed to get away Scott and Jean is in deep trouble. One of the guards, Joe, refused to be a part of the abuse of the former X-men and walked away. And now
Warning: Strong violence
He had to get away. He couldnt do anything anyway. Joe almost ran down the corridor in a failed try to escape the red haired slaves screams and the brown haired mans protests. When the womans cry echoed through the hallway Joe knew that he had to do something. He was an older man and had a daughter himself. He couldnt picture anything worse than seeing her go through what the red haired woman was. And not just that
he knew the young guard, Paul, was out of control. His hate for the mutant race was so strong that Joe feared hed fulfil his threat of harming the woman so severely that shell break down.
He had reached the end of the hallway and down stood before the offices. He couldnt report this to the Captain. Hell never understand. To show sympathy towards the slaves meant that one considered them capable of emotions and that meant they were human. Joe didnt like what was being done against the mutant race but if they really were as dangerous as he had been told
he wanted his family to be safe. He would have preferred if the mutants were just exiled to an island or something but that wasnt up to him. No, the captain was out of the question. He would stop it. Joe knew that because he hated that kind of break in discipline but he also hated squealers. Hell receive punishment as well. His eyes settled on Michaels office. He barely knew the man. He was in many ways the Captains right hand man and almost as feared among the soldiers and mutants
and as hated. But he did supervise the health of the slaves and when it came down to it
.he was a mutant himself. Fearing the worst Joe entered Michaels office.
Yes? Michael asked as he stood by a drawer and checked his gun.
Oh, this is looking promising, Joe thought darkly.
. Joe began and didnt know how to say it.
Im on a time schedule here. Can we get on with it? he asked, his voice low and emotionless as if he didnt sense the other mans nervousness.
Down the corridor
.towards cell block 32
. Joe gave up again and Michaels eyes narrowed as he read something in what Joe didnt say that he didnt like.
Return to your post and send the cleaning team to me, Michael ordered as he went past Joe, his gun at the ready in his hand. He hurried down the corridor towards the cellblock and took the left way around. He spotted three guards lying on the floor and checked them. Dead. Neck broken. He picked up one of the controls to the collars and saw on the small screen the last minutes of the guards life. The controls where made so they automatically recorded when the carriers heartbeat quickened so when any rebelled slaves were found, they could quickly be identified and terminated. He saw two slaves, one a small, fragile looking woman with brown hair with white steaks to it and one man, grim in appearance, strong in built and fury in his eyes. It was some of the mutants that had been captured with Storm. He frowned in annoyance. Why did they have to be so much trouble? Damn. He couldnt just execute them. Storm would never forgive him for that and for some reason that meant a lot to him. He lifted his small handheld comlink to his lips and said into it;
Michael to cleaning team; come to hallway left to cell block 32. Three bodies to be picked up.
Slaves? a voice asked.
Cause of death? the voice inquired further and for once Black Thunder was sad that he had been so damn efficient when he had been ordered to bring order to the whole process around punishment and death for the soldiers and guards.
Broken neck. They broke discipline rules 2b, 67c and 745d, Black Thunder claimed and hoped he could find some kind of dirt on the guards, otherwise his claim would be hard to prove. To his joy the voice on the other end believed him and said that the team was on its way. Black Thunder ran through the hallway and cast a look into the X-mens cell and saw the two mutants sitting close to each other, the woman leaning against the mans chest. Coming around a corner he saw six guards and two slaves. One guard, Paul, held a knife in front of the womans face and a deep line ran across her cheek, blood running from it and dripping onto the floor. She was naked and he could see bruises, cuts and marks on her body. The marks were all fresh but it was the look in her eyes that made him sick. She held the same look of emptiness as Storm had when he had found her. But only, she was smiling as if she was remembering something beautiful, something nice that only she could see. On the floor, now a bloody mass, laid the man whom he had brought to Cecilia earlier.
Stop. At ones! Black Thunder demanded and the guards moved away from the two mutants. As the red haired woman fell to the floor, her hands went out in front of her as if she reached for the unconscious man by her side, their broken bodies laying a little apart on the naked and cold floor.
We were just havin some fun, mate, Paul said with a evil leer but then a mutant as you would probably not understand that.
I understand just fine, Black Thunder replied and his tone held a dangerous edge that made the others look with fearful eyes at their leader. Paul must have sensed the change in him for he reached for his gun only to be cut down by Black Thunders. He pointed his weapon at the others.
Hey, we didnt touch the woman. We didnt do anything, one protested and drew back as his hand went to his weapon.
You should have. You should have helped her, Black Thunder whispered but no one heard as five gunshots sounded and no one could doubt Black Thunders claim that they had resisted arrest on grounds of discipline break. Black Thunder laid his jacket around the red haired woman and lifted her up in his arms. Without a word he carried her to the cell. He wished he could take her to Cecilia but he had no grounds for that. Physically she was fit for work.
What the fuck
? The man in the cell said as he saw Black Thunder moving towards the cell with Jean in his arms.
Jean?? The woman asked shocked. Black Thunder saw the fury in the other mans eyes as he stood up and dragged the woman with him, standing protectively before her. Not taking any chances after the handiwork he had seen in the corridor, Black Thunder activated the force field and stopped outside it while Logan growled warningly at him from the other side.
Ill push her through now. Catch her, he ordered as he opened the force field and pushed the red haired woman through. Logan moved forth and caught her in his arms. He saw her blind stare and the bruises and cuts.
You bastard! he spat as he tried to cover her body in the jacket wrapped around her, not knowing it was Black Thunders. Black Thunder said nothing as he left, the womans cries and the mans curses following him. He reached the brown haired man he had taken to Cecilia earlier and took him in his arms.
Didnt that kid know how to stay out of trouble? He thought annoyed as he carried him to sickbay. Two visits to sickbay in a month. That got to be a record.
Healer, he said as he entered and laid the man
Cyclops on a bed. Damn, he even remembered his name. Why did Cecilia also have to tell him?
Oh, hey. I was
.., she started with a smile but stopped as she saw the man. Now what have you done? she asked angrily as she went to his side and examined Scott.
Me? He got himself into trouble this time, Medicine Woman, Black Thunder protested.
Oh, my God. Scott, a young female voice said and Black Thunder saw a young Asian American woman with a leg in a splint humping towards them. She wished Bobby were here. She needed his smile and laughter now. Well, it wasnt like shell ever admit that, of course.
Stay away girl and bring the old man, Black Thunder ordered and the young woman stared angrily at him.
Hes over there. You bring him, Black Thunder looked at her through narrowed eyebrows and heard Cecelias muffled laughter. Discipline was going out the window here and he didnt like it. Mumbling something about the girl being unable to bring the professor anyway Black Thunder left and found the older man sitting by a womans bedside, holding her hand and talking in a calming tone to her even though she just stared up in the ceiling. He recognised the woman as Gabrielle who he had brought here himself some months back.
You can forget her. She is dead in anything but body. Help the living instead, he said sharply as he picked the professor up and carried him towards the other mans bed.
Shell wake up. Im sure of it, the professor said confidently.
Youre sure? Where? In your mind
or in your heart? Black Thunder whispered as he carried him over to Cyclops bedside and placed him in a chair.
Scott! the older man said and his voice held pain.
Hell be alright, Cecilia calmed him. But I need your help with bandaging him together. He has some broken ribs, bruises and cuts. Here, give me a hand
, she asked and he began helping her make a tight bandage around Scotts ribs. The Asian woman stood and watched with pained eyes at the man and Black Thunder took a hand and put it behind her back and moved her away.
Youre not helping anyone by standing there. Look to the other patients, Black Thunder said as gently as he could and although he saw the instant denial in her eyes a nod from the professor made her mumbled an okay and she left. On his way out a young man came from further down in the sick bay. He carried some dirty bandages in his hands.
Mr. Summers? the man said in disbelief as he saw the man lying on the bed.
Hes in good hands, Black Thunder commented as he passed him.
I know, John answered as he watched Cecilia work. She really was incredible. All that pain and death yet she kept working. She never gave up. She was so filled with life and strength. In the time he had worked with her, he had found her to be the only sane thing in a world that had suddenly been turned upside down. Without her to look forward to, he doubted he could have managed to live like this. Like an animal in a cage. And just being here
seeing all that death and sorrow. One thing was to see so many people coming in here, beaten and broken but to see them die
to know that they were just thrown somewhere in a big grave and a number was erased from a list. That was all they were, work numbers and files. In his bitterness he caught Cecilias brown eyes and she gave him a small encouraging smile before giving her full attention to Scott again. That Cecilia had been able to survive for so long
.and still keep a part of her humanity with her was beyond him. He couldnt help smiling back at her. She was the light to the dark world where he now lived. One day
one day hell tell her that. Tell her that her smile was what he thought of at night and her voice was the voice that comforted him when he felt alone. She was a beacon of light for him. In a world filled with cruelty she fought for life.
Yeah, I think you do, Black Thunder mumbled to John as he went towards the door. Cecilia, Ill bring him back to his cell in two days. Have him ready, he said as he exited.
What was it he had been ordered to do before all this started? Oh, yes. A guard had been accused of helping slaves to escape and he was among those who should interrogate him. Black Thunder knew the accusations to be false so he had been on his way to pick up the soldier who had accused him to ask him a few questions instead.