Note: for info on the fic, please see the Teaser.
Charles Xavier looked up at his X-Men as they gathered their radio
equipment. They had no idea what to expect and wanted to make sure
they were prepared. "You must hurry," he said. "I've just received
a message from Logan."
Storm and Kurt looked at each other. Logan's dislike of telepathy
was well known; he made a point of speaking in front of Charles,
sometimes even over-articulating to get his point across. While
many of the students took advantage of Charles' ability, often
projecting things to him when they were out, Logan always spent a
quarter on a phone call. For him to be intentionally reaching out
to Charles could only mean one thing: he was in real trouble, and he
couldn't get out of it on his own. They rushed to finish prepping
Scott came bounding into the room, followed by Hank, and together
they loaded medical supplies into the trunk. Ever since Logan had
been kidnapped by Magneto, they'd made it a habit of bringing Hank
along on missions, just in case. They finished loading the
equipment and Scott was just reaching over to close the hatch when
Charles stopped them again. "You'll have to make a quick stop along
the way," he said. A small smile graced his features. "It seems
young Kitty has managed to get away, but she's gotten herself a
Kitty banged her hand against the steering wheel in frustration.
She had absolutely no idea where she was. She'd been in a panic
when she'd left the mall at Logan's bidding, running straight
through walls into the parking lot. Her adrenaline had been pumping
so much that she'd lost control of her powers for a moment, and
she'd had to stand beside the car, frustrated and scared, willing
herself to calm down enough so that she could sit down in the
driver's seat instead of automatically phasing through it.
Finally, however, she'd regained her balance, gotten in and sped
away. Her plan had been to get back to the highway and return
immediately to the mansion. Unfortunately, in her haste, she'd
chosen a different ramp off the parkade than the one they'd come up
on, and ended up on an entirely different street. Not really paying
attention, she'd continued as if she was heading in the right
direction and now she was completely turned around. Kitty sighed.
Great, just great. Logan, Jubilee and Rogue were probably getting
killed in the mall, and she had to call on Professor Xavier's
telepathic abilities to let him know she'd gotten *lost*. Kitty
allowed herself one more good steering-wheel-pounding before she
drew in a deep breath and focused her attention inward, willing her
mind to settle so she could reach Xavier.
~Um, professor? ~
Logan was ushered into the truck, and the back hatch was immediately
covered again, so he couldn't see where he was being taken, or
whether the two girls were being taken to the same place. He
concentrated on listening instead, memorizing the sounds around him
as they rushed by train tracks, bumps of concrete slabs, maybe a
bridge? A tunnel. Other cars whizzing by at high speed probably
the highway. After a while, the sounds dwindled until all he could
hear was the vehicle he was in. A deserted road then, which meant
that the other car had gone in a different direction. Logan sighed,
turning his attention to his immediate surroundings instead.
His legs were chained to the truck bench, and he had to admit that
it was a good piece of work. His arms were chained behind his back,
his hands twisted up towards his neck. The chains were so tight
that the circulation was being cut off, and his fingers had gone a
little numb. Most importantly, if he chose to extend his claws in
this position, he'd send six sharp pieces of Adamantium through the
base of his skull and into his brain. Logan suspected he could heal
even from an injury such as that, but he knew it would take a damn
Across from him, two soldiers sat pointing their weapons directly at
his heart again, good planning on their part. They knew exactly
what to do to slow him down. The commander sat up front with the
driver, and no one had said a damn thing the entire trip, which had
so far lasted the better part of an hour. Logan wished he could
catch a glimpse outside, so he could at least figure out which
direction they were going. He'd already projected as much
information as he had to Charles, but he knew it wasn't enough.
That was assuming the other mutant had even received the
information; Logan knew that Xavier had a hard time reading him, and
not being a telepath, Logan had no way of confirming that the
message had gotten through.
He sighed again. He was starting to feel antsy, especially now that
he knew the girls weren't with them. Finally, he could take it no
more, and spoke up. "So, not exactly a man of his word, your
commander, eh?" The soldiers did not respond. "I mean, here he
promises that if I come quietly, without protest, he'll let the
girls go. And did I protest? Did I resist? Not one whit. So
where are the girls? Where's my proof, hmmm? I think your
commander's gone and screwed me."
One of the soldiers spared him a dirty look. "Commander Lyons is a
good man," he replied shortly.
Logan nodded, satisfied. Having gotten a name out of the man, he
decided to test a theory he was working on. "Ah, Leeson," he
replied, leaning over so he could read the dog tags sticking out of
the other man's shirt. "That the same commander who served under
William Stryker? And what about you? Were you also at Alkali
Lake?" Logan had no idea who Commander Lyons was, but he figured
that if it involved soldiers and people who didn't like mutants,
then it was probably connected to Stryker's little experiments
somewhere down the line.
The soldier nodded. "Yes. That's how we knew how to take you," he
"Shut up," his compatriot hissed. "You're giving away
information." The other soldier reddened, embarrassed, and glared
Logan shrugged, smiling. "Can't blame a guy for trying," he
commented lightly. At least he had an idea of what he was up
against. He leaned his head back against the wall of the truck and
relaxed his muscles as much as he was able. His arms were beginning
to ache, and he really couldn't feel his fingers anymore. Sighing
for a third time, Logan closed his eyes and focused on the road
again. He hoped, at least, that the trip wouldn't be much longer.
About fifteen minutes into their trip, Jubilee had snuck her hand
into Rogue's gloved one, squeezing hard. The Asian girl's face was
pale and her eyes were wide and frightened. Rogue squeezed back,
suddenly realizing that she was the experienced one in this
situation. After the Alkali Lake incident, Bobby and Rogue had both
begun training for combat, while their friends remained just
students at the school. Ordinarily she didn't think about the
difference in their statuses too much, but now it seemed
particularly relevant. She closed her eyes for a moment and tried
to concentrate. What could she do now?
Mentally, she ran through her list of options. She had already
tried to contact the Professor, but she didn't feel that whisper
against her consciousness that suggested he had heard her. That
meant they were probably out of range Xavier could usually
communicate with the students while they were in New York, but
beyond the city, things got a little bit fuzzy. He had definitely
picked up on their fright in the mall, so at least he knew that
there was something going on. Okay, that meant there would be
people looking for them. That was good.
The back of the jeep was completely covered, so she hadn't been able
to track where they were going. She had managed a glance out the
window as they pulled out of the parkade, and knew that they had
started off going west. They had around so many curves since then,
however, that she really had no idea where they were going. So much
for being able to track their movements.
Her thoughts turned to the possibility of immobilizing their
captors. Obviously, the soldiers didn't consider two teenage girls
a big threat; they hadn't been restrained in any way. Rogue let her
eyes wander around the jeep, strategizing. There were two men in
the back with them, and two were riding up front. Jubilee's
fireworks packed quite a punch, and could definitely knock out the
two guys in front of her. That might give them enough time to jump
out the back
Rogue sighed. It was a good idea, except that the car was going
more than 50 miles an hour, and there was nothing to prevent the
other two men from turning around and shooting them both. Besides,
who knew what consequences her actions might have for Logan?
Just then, the jeep whipped around a corner, slowed, and lurched to
a stop. The passenger jumped out, and Rogue could hear his boots
crunching in the gravel as he came around the vehicle to open the
back flap. "Get out," he commanded, and the two girls were pushed
roughly out of the jeep, landing hard on the dirt road.
Rogue blinked in the surprisingly bright afternoon sun, taking in
the sight before her. It looked like an old warehouse, but she
recognized some very hi-tech security cameras gracing its entrance.
With a grunt, the soldiers indicated that they should walk forward.
Rogue noticed that the one walking closest to her had the keys to
the jeep dangling from his hand. Suddenly, she saw her chance.
Subtly, she knocked Jubilee to the ground. "Hey!" the other girl
started to protest, but Rogue shushed her. Under the pretense of
helping the other girl back to her feet, she leaned in close to
"I need you to create some sparks, take out those three guards," she
whispered, moving her eyes toward the ones flanking them on the left
side. "Don't ask, just do, okay?" Jubilee nodded, accepting
Rogue's gloved hand to help her up.
They stood and started walking again. Rogue was relieved to see
that none of the soldiers looked suspicious. ~Good, ~ she thought.
~ Let them think we're just scared little girls. ~ She waited until
the one with the keys was right next to her, then pulled off her
glove and reached for his bare arm, shouting to Jubilee, "now!"
Jubilee's hands went off like
well, firecrackers. Blinded and
burnt, the three soldiers went down. Rogue, in the meantime, had
gotten a firm grip on the soldier beside her with one hand, and was
pulling the keys away from him with the other. Over the last year
at the Xavier Institute, she'd learned a lot about controlling her
powers, and she was able to drain the soldier to the point of making
him pass out without letting things get out of control. Once he was
disabled, the two girls high-tailed it back to the jeep.
Rogue jumped in the driver's seat and turned the engine over as
Jubilee slammed the passenger door. Soldiers were beginning to pour
out of the compound now, but they were too late Rogue hit the gas
and they peeled out of there, racing back down the road. Beside
her, Jubilee let out a whoop of joy. "Oh my god!" she
shouted. "We were amazing!" Rogue nodded in reply. She was
pleased with their escape, of course, but she couldn't help
wondering, what was happening to Logan?
Logan got his wish, because less than ten minutes after he'd gotten
the soldier to talk, the truck pulled to a stop. "Are we there
yet?" he asked jokingly. The soldiers glared at him in response.
"One wrong move and the girls get it," one growled at him, holding
up a portable radio. Logan rustled his chains, indicating with a
disparaging look that he wasn't going anywhere, regardless. The
soldier glared back, leaning forward to undo the chains around
Logan's ankles. "Get up," he replied.
Logan stood, relishing the chance to stretch his legs, wishing they
would undo his arms as well. At the soldier's prodding, he allowed
himself to be led outside. The sun was very bright, just starting
to sink in the sky behind him. He turned slowly, taking in his
surroundings and trying to orient himself. They appeared to be in
the middle of nowhere, out in the country. All Logan could see was
a series of rolling hills. "Move," a voice behind him commanded,
and a push from a gun barrel reinforced the command. Logan bit back
a growl and started walking.
Storm pulled up neatly behind Kitty, who had parallel-parked her car
the minute she'd realized she had no idea where she was. The young
woman, seeing the X-Men behind her, immediately got out and rushed
over in relief. "It's all over the news!" she exclaimed by way of
greeting. "They're calling Logan a dangerous criminal!" Storm
looked at her, not understanding. With an impatient sigh, Kitty
just reached around her, leaning into the car and turning the radio
It buzzed to life in the middle of a recap. "Once again, today's
breaking news: three suspects were apprehended at Hillside Mall
today. Officials said the three suspects were wanted in connection
to a terrorist attack against a military base in Canada eight months
ago, and were considered dangerous. Witnesses have confirmed the
rumor that at least one of the terrorists in custody was a mutant,
and others say a fourth suspect, also a mutant, evaded capture,
apparently by running through the building's walls. National
Security forces are searching for the fourth suspect, described as a
Caucasian woman, eighteen to twenty years old, approximately 5 foot
4 inches tall, with short brown hair. Anyone with information on
her whereabouts is warned not to approach her, but to notify police
" Storm flicked the radio off.
"Get back in the car, Kitty. Drive back to the Institute, and don't
break any laws. In fact
" she turned to the others. "I better take
her. That way she can keep her head down if she has to. The last
thing we want is someone calling the police." Scott nodded, moving
up to the driver's seat.
"Be safe," he told her. "We'll get the others back."
Storm and Kitty walked back to the other car as the X-Men sped away.
Logan figured he'd walked over a mile before the first building came
in sight. It was a squat, ugly looking thing, a square cement block
surrounded by razor wire fence. For something that didn't look like
much, though, it certainly had some pretty sophisticated security.
As they approached, Logan took in the multi-angle cameras, the
electric gates and the guard towers. Someone had gone to a lot of
trouble to make this place impenetrable.
They led him inside and the smell of blood and dirt assaulted him
immediately. There were so many different people in the building
that he couldn't distinguish between them. There was no way he
could tell if Rogue and Jubilee were there, for example. He did
smell fear though, and the stench of pain. They marched him passed
a number of closed doors, which he quickly realized were cells. One
of them reeked of death. He paused beside it for a moment,
sniffing, trying to figure out if the occupant was still alive. One
of his captors prodded him forward, and Logan couldn't contain the
growl of anger that welled up within him in response.
"Shut up, dog," the armed man muttered, pushing him inside one of
the rooms. Instantly he was assaulted by a very familiar animal
smell. Despite the guard's warning, Logan could not contain another
deep growl, his eyes blazing with fury. The noise was met by a
growl in response, and Logan raised his head to see the room's other
Sabretooth was staring at him from the corner of the room, where he
was chained to the wall.