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FIC: Remote Control (Logan/Rogue/Scott etc) - PG-13

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  • Allie
    Remote Control By AllyKat Dedicated to D. Benway. Wherever you are, this is for you. Our email conversations were the inspiration and although it s been
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 26, 2001
      Remote Control
      By AllyKat

      Dedicated to D. Benway. Wherever you are, this is for you. Our
      email conversations were the inspiration and although it's been
      awhile, I never forget a good source. ;)

      Summary: X-Men Movie Universe: The Weapon-X program is revised and
      Logan finds himself used as a weapon by an anti-mutant faction. This
      story contains graphic, violent scenes and plenty of the three
      Angst, Action and Adventure.

      Spoilers: None really. Contains references to Barry Windsor-
      Smith's "Weapon-X" the definitive story of Wolverine's beginning.

      Usual disclaimers apply.


      Chapter One

      New fallen snow carpeted the mountainous landscape in a white sheet
      that sparkled under a moon edging between dark, bloated clouds.
      Somewhere in the distance, a wolf howled once and an animal cried out
      in the moment of death. At the edge of a frozen lake, a half dozen
      buildings surround by a chain link fence topped by razor wire, looked
      dilapidated and long deserted. Broken down military trucks further
      lent an air of neglect and abandonment. But appearances were
      purposefully deceiving. In the basement of a long, one story cinder-
      block bunker, computers and other equipment hummed in a neat and
      sterile environment. Half a dozen technical personnel went about
      business, quiet and orderly, checking computer hardware and program
      output on monitors. One man wearing a white lab coat paused to study
      a satellite image.

      "Close-up on image in quadrant L2, Miss Edwards," he requested.

      "Yes, sir," his assistant answered and used the mouse to draw a
      square around the specific area. The computer screen clicked to the
      area and centered, bringing into focus a man, his eyes and face
      frozen in an expression of serious intent. "Who is he?"

      "Ah, that is the question, Miss Edward, that even he doesn't
      Doctor Kirby raised his voice just a bit, enough to catch his
      attention. "It is time, my friends, to finally see the face of
      freedom. He is the key," Doctor Kirby said. "Freedom from fear of
      mutant persecution."

      All the technicians gathered around to get their first look at the
      weapon that they had worked so hard to reconstruct. Many of them had
      left lucrative jobs to work for Kirby and the doctor appreciated
      their dedication. In the process of choosing his select team, he had
      screened each applicant thoroughly. All of them, he made certain,
      had suffered or had a loved one suffer under a mutant's power. Those
      he had hired understood that due to the nature of their project,
      security around the secret of their agent would be kept until the
      moment of deployment

      Kirby felt that moment had arrived.

      "Weapon-X is... impressive, doctor," said Miss Edwards. "He is not
      what I expected." The woman adjusted the glasses on her nose and
      licked her lips. Her dark hair was pulled into a bun as severe as
      the cut of her gray suit.

      "What did you expect, Miss Edwards?" Doctor Kirby asked and took note
      of the slight flush in her cheeks. It wasn't hot in the room, just
      the opposite. All the computer equipment needed to be cooled.

      "I expected a more brutal appearance. He appears intelligence and
      that makes him more dangerous." She tapped her fingernails on the
      keyboard. "A pity we can't meet him in person."

      "Weapon-X's civilized exterior is only a veneer; he is a tool, a
      living tactical weapon with the appearance of a man. This satellite
      photo was taken this afternoon in Professor Xavier's School for the
      Gifted. He is in a perfect location for initial deployment," Kirby
      said and smiled. Thick eyeglasses magnified his benign expression
      and his avuncular smile was one a child would trust. "All my anti-
      mutant colleagues were going about mutant elimination the wrong way."

      "Find a mutant to execute the rest," Miss Edwards said with approval
      in her tone.

      "Exactly. My uncle found the perfect mutant, one that could survive
      the required operations, but my uncle made one lethal mistake. He
      underestimated Weapon-X's ferocity and strength and paid the ultimate
      price. I won't make the same mistakes he did. Weapon-X will never
      know what is happening to him or by whom. All our contact with him
      must be by remote only, with his mutant senses it is important that
      he can't see our faces or identify our scents." A year ago, when
      Doctor Kirby first stumbled upon his uncle's technical journals and
      tapes in an old box, he realized he held the salvation of mankind in
      his hands. The journals were damaged, some slashed to ribbons and
      splattered with his uncle's own blood. Kirby had some problems
      reading them and the tapes needed restoration. The expense and
      effort to restore the tapes were worth the trouble; what he saw both
      frightened and thrilled him and gave his life new direction. It had
      taken him six months to rebuild this lab on the ruins of the old
      lab. After that, it took Kirby another three months to locate Weapon-
      X, and when he found him he couldn't be more pleased.

      "Should I run another simulation?" Miss Edwards asked, her fingers
      moved nimbly over the computer keyboard. "I have Professor Xavier's
      mansion plans and grounds layout downloaded."

      Kirby tapped a finger on his chin and stared at the image of Weapon-
      X. "No. Are all the necessary software and hardware upgrades in

      "Yes, sir. The revisions have been completed and complied
      successfully into existing code and all A.I. simulations have
      executed as predicted."

      "Kill rate in the simulations?" Kirby asked.

      "Averaged over ten scenarios, sir, KR is 99%," Miss Edwards
      answered. "Would you like me to bring up the data?"

      "Not necessary, Miss Edwards. Tonight we bring Weapon-X online.
      We're going live people," Professor Kirby turned and announced to the
      techs in the lab and a subdued cheer arose. They all had been
      working hard for this moment, the moment of truth when they would
      know if their world would at last be safe from mutants. "Miss
      Edwards, let's wake up Weapon-X and apply stimulus at one quarter.
      Let's see what he can do."

      "Is that wise, sir? We should run through a few more tests...."

      "You're second guessing me, Miss Edwards," Kirby mildly reprimanded
      his assistant. She was a good assistant, asked few questions,
      usually did as she was instructed and unlike his other half dozen
      assistants, she was pleasant to look at. "Even the most detailed
      computer simulations cannot substitute for real data. Let's see what
      we can do with mild stimulus."

      "You're correct, sir, I apologize." Her fingers tapped on the

      "Tech, bring Weapon-X's retina camera online," Dr. Kirby ordered. He
      clasped his hands together and put a calm façade on his
      His uncle had spent years working on this project; he wished he could
      tell the man that his dream would finally find fruition.

      "Yes, sir," replied a young computer techie sitting in a swivel chair
      at a bank of system. "Executing programs. Programs in run state."

      The screen displaying the retina camera feed remained blank, that was
      to be expected Kirby knew, their subject would be sleeping.

      "Thank you. Miss Edwards, you may proceed to bring up Weapon-X's
      neural controls."

      "Executing," she said and typed in the final keys, then quoted
      Virgil "Let us die even as we rush into the midst of the battle. The
      only safe course for the defeated is to expect no mercy."

      "You misquoted. Isn't it 'expect no safety'?" Kirby asked with a
      slight amused tilt to his lips.

      "Not in this instance, doctor" she replied with an arch of one

      * * * *

      **He opened his eyes and found himself surrounded and suspended in a
      warm, viscous liquid contain a glass-like tank; a breathing tube tape
      into his mouth force-fed him oxygen. Dozens of attached tubes snaked
      off his body, and like snakes he could feel their teeth locked deep
      inside his flesh. **

      **"He's conscious. What are his vitals!" barked a voice.**

      **"Stable," replied a female voice, the rest of her reply drowned out
      in a hum of machinery.**

      **"Very good. Begin the feed." **

      **His whole body spasmed and he tried to gasp, the breathing tube
      stifling his cries. Exquisite pain painted his world red and seared
      through his entire body like a blazing inferno that charred every
      nerve ending. A blurry figure wearing hospital scrubs and a surgical
      mask bent over the tank, they held a long hypodermic needle.**


      **"High. Higher than we expected and rising."**

      **"Up the pheno-B two points... no make that one. We don't want him
      to have beans for brains."**

      **"Resistance, sir."**

      **"Compensate and increase feed."**

      **Liquid metal seemed to rush through his body, hardening it and
      turning it to a pillar of living steel. **

      "AAAAHHHHHHH!" Logan shouted and jackknifed up in his bed. A sound
      like a gunshot cracked over his head.


      Six adamantium claws slid from Logan's hands and he rose up to his
      knees and lashed out. His right claws hooked into the wall and
      slashed through the drywall like paper. He stumbled from the bed and
      slashed at anything in his way. His claws ripped blanket and sheets
      into thin streamers. Spinning around, he slashed blindly,
      splintering a chair and ranking the claw points through the wooden
      closet doors. Outside, a crack of lightening lit the room to
      daylight brightness.

      The sound had been lightening, not a gunshot.

      Crouched, naked and panting in the middle of his room, Logan stared
      wildly into the darkness and realized he was alone. Outside, another
      crack of lightning lit the room before it plunged into darkness once
      again. He retracted his claws and breathed in deeply of the familiar
      smells... yet there was something off about the smell, some
      underlying change that he couldn't define. The peculiar scent
      faded. Perhaps it was nothing more than a phantom of his nightmare.
      He looked around the destroyed room. Jean and Storm weren't going to
      appreciate his interior decoration techniques.

      "Shit," he mumbled, stood and retracted his claws. "I'm losing it."

      Maybe it was the storm that had triggered his dream. In the shadowed
      areas of his memory he could remember a mother of a storm the day
      that two men approached him in a snow-covered lot outside a crowded
      Canadian bar. He'd been half drunk; they had taken him by surprise.
      Logan had sworn it would never happen again, but it did the day he
      met up with Sabertooth. He crossed to the window, moved aside the
      curtains and looked out into the darkness and the heavy rain slanting
      down in a stiff wind.

      In had been a few months since dreams of the Weapon-X lab haunted
      him. Since his return from the abandoned military installation at
      Sulphur Lake, he and the professor had twice-weekly sessions. In
      these, he gritted his teeth and tolerated the professor screwing
      around in his head attempting to purge memories that might be false
      and to help fade the tormenting memories of the adamantium bonding.
      At first Logan disliked allowing another to free range into his
      mind. It was the only place he felt vulnerable, where he felt he
      could not shield himself.

      Until tonight, he thought the nightmares were gone, but the memory of
      the suffering was forever burned into his mind. Not even the
      professor could heal those invisible scars.

      All Logan had to do was close his eyes to feel pain spiking up his
      entire body, consuming him in fiery agony. He clenched his hands and
      recalled the first glimpse of his claws pressing through the flesh of
      his knuckles like an inner monster straining to free itself of his
      human-like cocoon. Perhaps in that instant, a monster had been born
      and deep inside his soul there was a darkness that still had a

      Vivid in his memory were his screams and the glistening red blood
      running down his forearms and the horror of those 9" steel claws. He
      held his hands up for inspection. The skin was smooth and unbroken,
      only a few splatters of blood drying on his knuckles. Sleep was
      impossible now. A glance at the clock told him it was a little after
      midnight. Crossing to his nearly destroyed dresser, he slipped on a
      pair of jeans, a t-shirt and his boots. Another jagged crack of
      lightening lit the room again and a rumble barely a second later,
      rattle the windows. The illuminated clock face blinked out. He
      flicked the light switch and nothing happened.

      The power was out.

      Logan considered the dark an ally, it provided a secure blanket of
      anonymity where he could shed his civil façade, but tonight he
      it provided no such refuge. Lately he felt his every move and
      thought was being watched and measured. He wanted to blame it on his
      paranoid personality. Logan kept a bottle of Canadian whisky in his
      top drawer and he reached for it. Jean couldn't disapprove of
      something she didn't know about. He gulped back half the bottle,
      mutant healing ability compensating for most of the alcohol's
      effects. That sucked really. A man should be able to get wasted
      when he needed to.

      Logan paused as an odd tingle spread up his spine and over his
      scalp. He staggered back against the wall. Static-obscured voices
      whispered to him, rising and falling like the volume control on a
      radio. He gulped down several large breaths and the odd feeling
      passed. He held up the bottle, looked at the label and made a silent
      vow to avoid this particular brand.

      Needing something to do other than dwelling on his thoughts, Logan
      slipped out of his room and into the dark, silent hallway. The
      mansion appeared deserted, but he knew it was not. He could detect
      the different scents of the people sleeping behind closed doors. He
      passed the door to the room where Jean and her boy scout stayed.
      Imperceptible to anyone without his sensitive auditory mutation,
      Logan could detect the murmur of voices. He paused for a second then
      continued, his steps turning toward Rogue's room. He should make
      sure she was okay, then again he reminded himself, she was a young
      woman now and no longer a frightened runaway that needed him.

      "Flamin' kids grow up too fast," he grumbled.

      It hadn't been that long ago that he promised he'd take care of her,
      and he hadn't been doing a great job of it. Not that she needed
      help. She was busy with schoolwork and friends, and he with the X-
      Men. She didn't need him any longer, and although a remote part of
      him felt he should be pleased to shed that burden, he was not. She
      provided a grounding focus, a reason to not tell Dickhead to shove
      the X-Men idealistic bullshit rhetoric up his ass as he'd been
      tempted to many times. The X-Men was not for him.

      Outside Rogue's door, Logan paused and lightly knocked with the back
      of his knuckles. If she didn't answer he would just leave her be, no
      sense in waking her. But before he finished his knock, the door
      edged opened and Rogue peeked out, her hair tousled and her robe
      askew. As usual she was dressed almost head to toe. At the sight of
      him she smiled, her affection genuine and unconditional.

      "Hi. This is a surprise visit," she said in her soft drawl
      opened the door a little wider.

      "Lights are out. I wanted to make sure you were okay."

      "I'm okay." Rogue flinched when another streak of
      lightening lit up
      the area. "This storm woke me up." Her smiled suddenly
      faded. "Logan, you don't look so well."

      Logan ran one hand through his hair. "Yeah, well, it hasn't been a
      good night."

      Rogue stepped out of the room and closed the door behind her. "Are
      you having nightmares again? I thought the professor had taken care
      of them."

      "Guess not." He flicked at her silver lock of hair with a
      finger. "I'll deal with it tomorrow. Go back to bed, kid."

      "Promise me you'll see the professor first thing," she urged standing
      so close to him that he could feel the heat of her body. He found it
      comforting and dropped an arm around her shoulders. Her absolute
      trust and friendship had thawed a part of him that he thought would
      remain forever frozen.

      "There's supposed to be a break in the weather tomorrow, so how about
      we go for a motorcycle ride."

      "Go for a ride? Really?" Rogue clasped her arms around his chest
      and gave him a hug. He patted her back and smiled. Sometimes she
      really did remind him of a kid, but her quicksilver flashes between
      mature woman and young teenager still had the power to push him off

      "We'll go into New York City and walk through those museums you
      like." Logan set his hand on her forearms and drew away from
      her. "See you around noon." He started to leave but she stopped him
      with a light touch on his arm.

      "Wait, Logan," she began, then hesitated and looked over her shoulder
      at the door then moved toward it. "Do you... uh, want to come in?"
      Rogue opened the door a bit allowing Logan to see that two other
      young students, Kitty and Jubilee, sat on Rogue's bed and looked at
      him with identical guilty expressions. They had a half dozen candles
      lit and a pack of Tarot cards lay spread on the blanket "We
      been able to get back to sleep, so we're having a tarot reading party
      by candlelight." She tilted her head and smiled up at him. Logan
      wondered if she were flirting with him. "I could read your fortune."

      "Kid, I don't think I want to know, I--." **Kill her**, a battery
      of voices muttered in his head. Logan looked away and shook his head
      and pressed one hand to his ear. "What?"

      "I didn't say anything. Are you okay?" She closed the door, moved
      next to him again and put her hand on his arm.

      **Kill her**. "I--," Logan said and looked up. The face of man in a
      surgical mask and scrubs looked back at him. He yanked away from her
      and stepped back.

      "What's wrong, Logan? You look like you've seen a ghost."

      It was Rogue's voice coming out of that mask. The image flickered
      back for a moment to Rogue then to the man with the surgical mask,
      the nightmarish image that played so prominently in his dreams; the
      face whose disembodied hand held a long hypodermic needle. One part
      of him, his conscious rational mind, told him this was Rogue, the
      other part of him, survival instincts on alert, shouted at him to pop
      his claws, gut her and take his long-overdue revenge.

      **Do it!** sibilant voices whispered.

      A sudden image, like a picture in a slideshow, clicked into his mind
      of Rogue lying on the floor, a pool of blood spreading out from her
      back, a white trembling hand pressed over three narrow wounds in her
      chest. He held onto that image like a drowning man to a life raft,
      it was the only thing keeping him from popping his claws. "I'll see
      you tomorrow, kid," he managed with what he hoped was a normal
      tone. "Go back in your room."

      "Okay, Logan," she replied tilted her head for a moment, then quickly
      leaned up and kissed him on the cheek. It the briefest of touches
      that his healing factor immediately compensated for. He was the only
      one she could touch however brief. It was something they both
      needed. "Thank you," she whispered in his ear, then turned and
      sashayed back into her room with a provocative sway of her shapely
      rear end.

      That sight was almost enough to clear Logan's mind. Almost. The
      door closed behind her and he leaned back against the wall. Sweat
      popped out on his forehead and he drew a long, ragged breath. He
      wiped his forehead on his t-shirt sleeve.

      "I should wake up the professor," he told himself. It would take
      just a mental shout but whatever it was seemed to have lessened,
      although he could still hear a faint irritating buzz in the back of
      his mind. Perhaps another few hours of sleep would help and then
      he'd call the professor.

      * * * *

      The image on the screen was that of a young woman with long brown
      hair and large brown eyes. Information streamed across the bottom
      half of the screen identifying the girl as Marie, AKA Rogue. Mutant
      abilities: With touch, possesses ability to absorb mutant power from
      other mutants or life force from humans.

      "How convenient for her," Kirby muttered and tapped his fingers on
      the arm of his lab chair. "Update Miss Edwards."

      Miss Edwards tapped on her computer keyboard. "Weapon-X's
      factor is compensating for the stimulus. He's fighting us,

      "That was to be expected. Increase stimulus by 1/8th and
      steady current." His eyes narrowed at the screen. "We will
      find a
      point, Weapon-X, where your healing factor cannot cope."

      The screen displayed the dark hallway from Weapon-X's point of view,
      all of the visuals automatically copied to disk for analyzing at a
      more convenient time. Someone approached up the hallway, they wore
      casual clothes and, oddly enough, sunglasses. The computer took the
      image of the newcomer froze it and streamed data across the lower
      half of the screen. 'Scott Summers,' the computer reported, 'AKA
      Cyclops, Mutant power: Produces optic energy blasts.'

      "Increase stimulus another 1/16th."

      "Increasing," Miss Edwards replied.

      * * * *

      Logan turned back down the hallway toward his room but a familiar
      scent brought him up short. With a low growl he stepped backwards,
      fading into the deep shadows of an alcove and listening to the
      approaching footsteps. A coherent part of his mind categorized
      scent as Scott Summers. Another part of his mind identified the
      scent as the man in the surgical mask and he fought the urge to
      attack the man responsible for all his pain, take retribution for all
      the memories he had lost. He fell into a half-battle crouch.

      **Kill him!** The voices urged. **Feel his fear.**

      Just past the alcove, the masked figure stopped. "Logan, was
      you? Are you here?" The man turned and stared right at him,
      sparkling weirdly in the darkness. He held up a hypodermic
      needle. "And you're going to do exactly what we tell

      "Like hell," Logan growled and leapt from the alcove. He hit Scott
      broadside taking him down to the ground and pinning him, shoving his
      face to the side and planting his knuckle against his cheek. The
      position rendered Cyclops' power useless.

      "Logan! What the hell is wrong with you?" said Scott's voice,
      but it
      wasn't Scott. Logan grip tightened. He wouldn't let them
      him a second time. No mercy.

      Logan's voice dropped to a guttural growl. "I don't know what
      you're playing Beam Boy, but I don't like it."

      "Why don't we end it right here, Logan," Scott replied though the
      surgical mask on his face. "Let's do it. I'm sick of your shit, you

      Logan pulled Scott's head around so they faced each other, and he
      shoved a fist under Scott's throat. "I'm game. Let's see what is
      faster, your beams or my claws. I'll even give you a head start."

      **Kill him!**

      Logan blinked. The face wavered between that of a man wearing a
      surgical mask and Scott's. What was he doing to Scott? Granted, he
      thought the guy was a dickless Boy Scout, but he didn't hate the guy
      enough to scramble his brains. He fought to relax his arm and
      release the guy. His arm would not obey.

      **Kill him, now!**

      "Stop it!" Logan shouted. His arm shook with the strain, sweat
      popped out on his forehead. Finally his hand obeyed him and he
      jerked it back, releasing Scott and stepping away.

      Scott sat up and rubbed his throat. "You don't belong here, Logan,"
      he rasped "You're a danger to yourself and everyone around you. If
      you respect the professor, you would leave before you kill someone."

      * * * *

      "Healing factor still compensating," Miss Edwards reported. She
      brought up a graph on the screen. "Should I increase?"

      Dr. Kirby remained silent for a moment. "No, decrease the stimulus
      and let him relax and drop his guard. Let him think that his
      hallucinations have past. Then, we'll increase it to 90% and take
      him unawares, he'll be unable to fight us then."

      "90% could render him unconscious," Miss Edwards said.

      "I think we're underestimating our weapon's resolve and regenerative
      abilities. It is what my uncle did. I will not make that mistake."

      * * * *

      Rogue slipped back into her room, shut the door and leaned on it, her
      grin stretched ear to ear.

      "Why was Logan here?" Kitty asked.

      "Checking to make certain I was okay with the power being out and
      all. He's going to take me out on the motorcycle tomorrow." She
      skipped to her bed and plopped down.

      Jubilee rolled over to her side, leaned on her elbow and propped her
      cheek in the palm of her hand. "You really like that guy."

      Rogue just smiled and hugged her pillow.

      "I think he's scary," Kitty said, gathered up the cards and shuffled
      them. "Bobby thinks you spend to much time with him."

      "Bobby would think I spend too much time with any guy that
      him," Rogue countered. "Logan makes me feel… safe."

      "Well, you're here with Professor X now, and that should make
      feel safe," Kitty replied. "You don't need him

      * * * *

      Scott lay on a trolley underneath Storm's black SUV, only his
      and feet showing. He hadn't slept well last night after his
      encounter with Logan and he was angry with himself. The man should
      never be trusted. Logan lived on a hair trigger, anything could set
      him off and one day he wouldn't be able to control himself and
      someone in this school would end up dead. He gave the wrench a
      vicious twist. Despite Logan's nasty temper, everyone seemed to like
      him and that rankled. Jean told him there was a gentle, lost soul
      inside Logan's gruff exterior.

      Scott snorted. That was a load of crap. From now on, he would be on
      guard around Logan. He heard the scuff of feet against the cement
      floor of the garage.

      "Hi," Rogue said, bending down and looking under the car.
      "What you

      "This is my grease monkey impersonation," he said and smiled.
      liked Rogue. "Want to help?"

      "I'll pass right now," she replied. "Have you seen

      Scott's smile evaporated along with his fragile good mood. His
      expression darkened. "Don't know," he replied shortly,
      and continued

      "Maybe he's upstairs in his room," she said. By the tone of her
      voice, he could tell she was confused by the shortness of his
      reply. "I'll look for him there."

      Scott didn't reply, just mumbled something that he hoped she
      hear. She left, her footsteps fading away and Scott focused on his
      task, trying to forget last night. Working on the SUV helped, it
      gave him something to focus on. He heard the soft swish of wheels
      that heralded the professor's arrival.

      "What's going on, Scott," the professor asked. "I
      need you to talk
      to me."

      Scott scooted out from under the car and looked up at the
      professor. "Nothing." He started to scoot back but the
      voice stopped him.

      "I don't need to be psychic to know when you're

      "Damn," Scott muttered and pushed away from the car, sat up,
      straddling the trolley and looked away from the professor's
      face. He couldn't lie. "Logan attacked me last night."
      He pulled
      down the collar of his turtleneck with the crook of a finger to show
      Xavier the finger shaped bruises. "I thought he was going to make me
      a human shishkabob."

      Xavier was silent for a moment. "Logan did this," it was a
      and not a question. "Do you know why?"

      "Who knows what the hell goes through Logan's mind. I should
      ask you
      that question, you've been searching around in there for weeks."
      Scott shrugged. He didn't really want to talk about it, he just
      wanted Logan away from the school.

      "You have to talk about it. I must know," the professor
      said. "I've
      reached... a block with Logan."

      Scott shook his head then resigned, he shrugged. "He kept saying
      that `It's not going to happen. I won't let you take me
      off guard.'
      He was babbling and I thought he was going to kill me, then he just
      let me go and disappeared." He tried to sound offhand, but knew
      never fool the professor who didn't need to read his mind to know
      was upset.

      "Why didn't you wake me?"

      Scott shrugged again. He knew he was being difficult but he
      help it. "I can handle him."

      "Logan is not someone you can't simply `handle'" the
      returned tightlipped, and Scott keenly felt the reprimand.
      "He's had
      his mind tampered with, his memories ripped from him. He doesn't
      know the first thing about himself. He's not even certain about
      real name. Even beyond his mutations, Logan is not a normal man.
      His anger stems from very real misfortune beyond anything we're

      "It's not the anger!" Scott shouted, unable to prevent
      his surge of anger. "The anger we could all handle. The problem
      that the man is dangerous to everyone around him. Who does he have
      to kill in order for you to believe me?" Scott looked at the
      Professor then took a deep breath. "Logan doesn't belong
      here. I
      don't know why you allow him to stay."

      "This is the very place that Logan does belong," the
      professor corrected. "Would you have me turn him out? The
      brotherhood is not dead, only temporarily suspended. We all know
      they won't hold Magento for long and Logan would be a valuable
      for their cause. We all must work to help Logan."

      "He is too unpreditable."

      "He is a more of a danger out there among humankind.

      "What you're doing isn't helping him, and it'sputting
      us all at
      risk," Scott said.

      For a moment a expression of uncertainty crossed the professor's
      face. Scott had never thought to see the professor uncertain.

      "I must help him, Scott. Logan's memory implants are deep
      and I've been unable to purge them. I'm sorry, Scott.
      I'll ask Logan
      to report to the lab so Jean can run some tests." Xavier
      jerked in his chair and looked toward the mansion. "I
      heard…" he held a hand to his head. "Logan. There's
      something wrong
      with him, I…" The professor's body spasmed then stiffened,
      his mouth
      opened in a silent scream.

      "Professor!" Scott shouted and grabbed his shoulder.

      "Logan… is…" the professor whispered, straining to
      speak. "Someone is controlling him. I cannot breaking in, I
      help him."

      "Son of a bitch," Scott swore, "Rogue went up there
      looking for him."

      "Hurry," the professor whispered, his entire body jerked.
      "Hurry before it's too late."

      * * * *

      "Logan!" Rogue called through the door and knocked again. "Hey
      sleepy head, you promised to take me for a motorcycle ride!" The lug
      wasn't answering... unless he'd already gone somewhere else and
      forgot about their date. She brushed a lock of long brown hair away
      from her face and resisted the childish urge to stomp one foot. "The
      rat, he wouldn't dare," she mumbled to herself. She pressed an ear
      to the door and heard nothing. "All dressed up and nowhere to go."
      Rogue had dressed carefully this morning for the motorcycle ride.
      She wore her long, elbow length gloves, her long black coat she'd had
      since her runaway days and boots. Before thinking about what she was
      doing, she wrapped a hand around the doorknob and turned. His room
      wasn't locked. Taking a breath and holding it for a moment, she
      slowly pushed the door opened and peeked into his room.

      "Hellooooo," she called, stepped inside and stopped short
      staring at the chaos. "What happened here?" Logan's
      room was a
      mess. Sheets and blankets were shredded. Claw marks perforated the
      walls and the beautiful woodwork and furniture. "Well, it looks like
      he left without me where he went, that rat. When I catch up to him
      I'm going to... OOF!"

      An iron-like clamp encircled her throat, picked her up off the
      ground, spun her around and slammed her against the wall. Held
      there, like a pinned bug, her head rocked back, cracking into the
      drywall. She couldn't breath and she gasped for breath.
      she managed and looked into the enraged eyes of Logan.

      Only this wasn't Logan. It was his face, but it wasn't him. It was
      a raging beast that looked like Logan. He held up a large fist and
      his adamantium claws popped out.

      "You... shouldn't... have... come," Logan stuttered. He fought to
      speak, but fought against what? His claws inched toward the tender
      underside of her neck, she could feel the cold, sharp points indent
      the flesh. Rogue swallowed and took a ragged breath; she could feel
      a prickle of hot blood as his claws drove into her skin

      "Logan," she whispered, squeezed her eyes closed, tears trickling
      from under the lids. "Please don't do this."

      Logan threw his head back and creamed, eyes clenched shut. "NO!" he
      shouted, released her and staggered back.

      Rogue fell in a crumbled heap and held a hand to her neck as she
      gulped in deep breaths climbed to her feet. "Logan," she said, "what
      is wrong?"

      "No, no," he kept saying. "Go away. I won't do it. I. WON'T.
      DO. IT!"

      "Do what, Logan? I want to help you."

      And before she knew what he was about he turned the claws on himself
      and rammed them full length into his chest. Blood instantly soaked
      his T-shirt and he grimaced before sagging and falling, almost in
      slow motion, to the floor.

      "Logan!" she screamed and ran toward him and he put out a
      shaking hand.

      "Get away, Rogue, while you can." His voice was rough and scratchy
      from pain. "I won't let them hurt you or anyone." He popped out the
      claws from the hand he held toward her and, arm quivering in
      exertion, straining against an invisible bond he pointed them inward
      at himself. He clenched his teeth and slowly, winning the battle,
      his claws pressed against his own throat.

      Rogue took a step toward him and reached out to grasp his straining
      arm. "Don't do this," she whispered.

      "Me or you." His expression was tortured, like a helpless
      prisoner. "It's the only way," he ground out. Sweat poured down his
      head. "It's the only way."

      Logan shoved the claws into his neck, the tips protruding out the
      opposite side.

      "Logan!" Rogue screamed again. She ran to him and went to her knees
      at his side. Grabbing each of his forearms in both her hands and
      yanked his claws from his flesh. Blood flew in an arc, spattering
      her face and clothes. "Logan," she whispered, slipped her
      arms around him and tried to lift him up. He was slippery with blood
      and she couldn't get a good hold on him. She wasn't certain
      his mutant healing factor would handle this, or even if it could.
      She had to get the professor.

      "Help!" she cried. "Someone help me!"

      * * * *

      Scott, followed by Storm and Jean ran into the room.

      "My God," Storm whispered, and held a hand to her mouth.
      Blood was everywhere.

      Rogue stood in the middle of the room, her clothing soaked, Logan
      with his claws popped, weaved drunkenly at her side. Rogue's
      face was drawn tight in pain, blood glistened at her neck from three
      puncture wounds.

      "Get away from him!" Scott shouted and touched the controls
      of his visor, aiming for the middle of Logan's chest. He'd
      waiting to take out this psycho and now he could. No one would
      question what he was about to do. He dialed up the beam control, he
      wouldn't let Logan's healing factor heal this.

      "Stop!" she shouted and leapt in front of Logan.
      "It's not my blood!"

      Scott had already let loose an optic blast, he couldn't take it
      back. The blast hit Rogue square in the chest, lifted her up and
      flung her backwards, slamming her against the far wall. Scott
      instantly shut down the beam. It was too late.

      Rogue's body slid limply to the floor.

      End of Chapter One
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