All's Fair In Love and War, Part 22!
- Walking down the small hallway of the women's barracks, Marie
couldn't help but look around some. The walls were so close, she
could reach out on either side and touch them. Just thinking about it
made the cold shiver she knew she'd feel run through her. The walls
just seemed to drip with death, and were empty, except for herself
and the three soldiers there to escourt her. They seemed old, too,
almost ready to collapse.
Entering the room that was to be their destination, she was shoved
rather roughly toward a seat. She caught her footing rather quickly,
surprising even herself, and kicked the chair away in defiance. A
hand was raised to punish her act, when the tall man in the corner
raised his own to hault it. Marie looked over at him through the
strands of hair that had at some point fallen over her eyes. She
remembered this man. He'd already hurt her once since she arrived
here. It was the same man that held her down and forced another
mutants powers into her.
She looked away at the thought, balling her hands into fists when
she heard him chuckle. He'd laughed like that once before. Three
weeks after she'd arrived. Every day they brought her here, removed
the collar, then attempted to make her absorb another mutant's power.
It didn't take long for her to know they wanted her to absorb as much
as possible, for it would make her a useful tool in this war. And at
that moment, remembering what Logan had said about the war ending
soon, they were desperate for it. But she'd resisted at first. Her
mental control was powerful then, as well as her stubborness. Still,
after weeks without hardly any food, water, or any human contact
outside of the three other women in her cell, she was being worn
down. Her thoughts were scattered...some focused on the hospital and
Logan, others thinking of life back home, leaving only a shred left
for her to keep their attacks at bay. In the end, they'd succeeded.
She'd pulled the woman's life and powers into her, pulling herself
into a never ending nightmare and battle with her own mind.
She was, of course, rewarded for "accepting" the powers with her
first real meal in three weeks. She knew they were trying to get her
to trust them. By being nice, offering her things that were kept from
the others, they were trying to make friends. An `I help you, you
help me' situation. What's worse...she'd accepted it. She took the
plate of food, knowing full well that there were thousands of others
just like herself starving just outside those walls, and she ate
every last bit.
Later that night though, she'd regretted it. She sank into a
depression so deep she nearly lost herself to it. Curled up against
the wall, she'd stayed there, shaking, whimpering, all but giving in.
She would have stopped trying all together, had the psyche inside her
not told her to keep fighting. She remembered the woman she'd
absorbed. Tall, blonde, probably very pretty before all this had
happened to her. Now she was barely a pile of bones. Her eyes...those
were the worst. Filled with agony, fear, defeat. Marie remembered the
letter from Logan. "You never look into their eyes, darlin'..." But
she had. And she hated herself for it, because no matter how much
pain she was feeling, she took upon herself that person's pain as
Giving in would have meant allowing the Germans to use her to hurt
even more innocent people. Clinging to that thought, and that thought
only, she'd survived the last month. She was able, presently, to
stand straight as the tall man approached her, graciously picking up
the chair and pushing down upon her shoulders until she sat. He was
gentle, of course. He wasn't stupid enough to be harsh with her, as
the others were.
Suddenly, the usually routine situation changed. He waved his
hand, and the other soldiers left, leaving the two of them alone. Her
collar had already been removed, but she made no move to escape. She
was intrigued, because he was up to something, and she wasn't going
to leave until she knew what it was. "You're a bright girl. So I
believe the two of us can have a very sensible conversation, and
reach a logical, fair, agreement." Raising an eyebrow slightly, her
eyes followed his movements, as he took up a chair and sat across the
table from her. His English was atrosious, the German accent so thick
she could hardly distinguish his words. Still, it was easier than
having to understand his German. "You're hesitant to join us. Why is
that?" The question was ridiculous!
"Considerin' you are mah enemy..." She frowned, surprised at the
changes her voice had gone through. It was rough, deeper, and barely
audible. They didn't dare talk in the cells...not until they were
sure any and every guard was out of sight. Even then they were
cautious. Lately, however, the three women she was with had grown too
weak to move, let alone speak. Her heart went out to them, seeing
their suffering. They'd been there far longer than herself, though
she knew their pain would be over soon. She'd tried tohelp them
before, but her medical training could not combat the decay and
starvation already setting in.
"Now, what makes us your enemy? The fact that our country is
fighting your country? That does not mean you and I must be at odds."
"Helpin' you, is like helpin' Germany."
"You think on such a high level, Marie." Her eyes snapped up from
the spot on the table she'd been staring at. Of course he'd know her
name. They had detailed records on each and every one of them. She
forced herself to calm down. Her breathing had become erractic, due
to the anger that was growing inside of her. With the anger came the
surge of power...not only her own, but the woman's she'd taken into
her. "Helping me is like helping yourself."
"Ah'm not that selfish. Ah won't hurt people that have already
suffered so much, just to keep myself out of it." He nodded briefly,
running his eyes over her. His lips were pursed slightly in thought,
his hands folded together on the table. He did not seem concerned,
nor impatient by her lack of enthusiasm to help him. In fact, much to
Marie's surprise, he looked almost pleased that she was resisting.
"No...I suppose you don't have much reason to betray
your...friends. Not yet anyway. Contrary to your belief, Ms.Marie, we
have been careful with you. We've not harmed you to a point, yet,
where you could not recover. But I fear, if you continue this
resistance, we may have to." Standing to his feet, he took his cane
and knocked twice on the door to his left. The three soldiers from
earlier returned, and re-fascined the collar to her neck. She stood
erect, only her eyes following the man as he left the room. He
uttered something in German, something she didn't hear, and didn't
need to hear. She was taken from the room and moved to another empty
When the door shut behind her, and she was pushed into the center
of the room, she knew precisely what was going to happen to her. And
she was ready for it. She much prefered being beaten to being conned
and persuaded. In such a condition as this, it was easier to handle
the pain than it was to handle all the emotions you were feeling.
There'd be times, later that evening perhaps, where she'd reconsider
his offer, as she lay bloody and broken. But she'd be alone then,
away from him, breaking down when no one could see. And somehow, by
morning, she'd be able to compose herself, and once again refuse
any "deal" he may suggest. And if there came a day when she awoke and
still wished to agree to his plea bargain, then God help the soul who
tried to stand in the way of her taking her own life. Because she'd
rather rot in Hell than betray the people in the same nightmare as