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Climb the Wind (2a/5?) Logan POV, adventure/character

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  • Minisinoo Girl
    CLIMB THE WIND 2 Minisinoo Disclaimer and such in initial post Just a reminder: this is dark stuff, though I wouldn t call it, in the end, a tragedy.
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 5, 2001

      Disclaimer and such in initial post

      Just a reminder: this is dark stuff, though I
      wouldn't call it, in the end, a tragedy. Nonetheless,
      I strongly recommend reader discretion. There's blood
      in this one, folks, and some bad language. Also,
      while we're often told that Cyclops is leader of the
      X-Men, it's too rarely shown why. But I detest
      incompetent Scott as much as I detest uneducated

      Remember, due to Yahoo weirdness, "ex*pression" is
      spelled such for a reason. Mentally remove the


      We were ready for them. Summers had been right about
      the time; they came precisely when he'd said they
      would, and with an actual escape plan in place instead
      of just a sense of the inevitable, he had a cooler
      head, was more focused in his fighting technique. Of
      course, he was also simply stronger physically. If by
      no means up to his normal speed and power, he wasn't
      wobbling and falling over his own damn feet.

      We followed our usual pattern until they got in the
      door and had moved away from it. Keeping that door
      open was essential because otherwise, even if we
      killed them all, we'd still be stuck behind a lock.
      There was no access on this side. So Summers backed
      away as he always did, but let the cot come between
      the two of us . . . dividing them. They were used to
      seeing me pop the claws and take swings at the stun
      sticks, so that was nothing new. But Summers' swift
      kick to the bed caught them by surprise. It crashed
      into the back of the legs of two of the three covering
      me. The goons went down.

      That was all I needed. Six swipes left three disabled
      stun sticks, two dead goons and one bleeding out on
      the floor. I could hear running out in the hall � not
      from the sound of the bed crashing over (kicking him
      around the furniture had been part of their fun
      before), but from the screams of the guy I'd
      disemboweled. Grabbing half a stun stick, I shoved
      just the edge between door and jam. The door opened
      in, and that concealed the stick from the outside.
      The approaching guards wouldn't see what jammed it
      until they'd already tried to close it and failed.
      That gave me a few extra seconds � enough time to take
      out two of the goons around Summers. He was on his
      own for the others. "Leave one alive," I called.
      "We'll need to question him."

      I met the new guards at the door, shoved them back
      into hall. Luck was on our side because the
      surveillance camera had momentarily turned away. I
      had to the count of five to disable it before it swung
      back to reveal what was going on. Running and
      leaping, levering half off the wall, I took it out
      with my claws. A nine-inch reach is handy sometimes.
      The guards had gotten the door shoved closed in the
      meantime and pulled a gun on me. It had a silencer,
      so I didn't hear it go off, but felt the bullet impact
      high on my left shoulder and punch out the other side.
      The guy had panicked if he couldn't hit me better
      than that at under ten paces. The burn was bad but I
      knew how to deal with pain; it stopped me for only a
      breath. I remembered what Summers had said about
      wanting a pistol, so I made sure I gutted only the
      goon and left the gun intact. The other tried to run;
      I cut his legs out from under him, then his head from
      his shoulders. Blood sprayed. Only two of them? The
      sons of bitches were cocky.

      But we had to move, and fast. Security would be
      watching the camera screens and had probably already
      noted that one area was out, though I think I'd
      managed to get to it before it could show why. But
      they weren't stupid. They'd come to investigate.
      With reinforcements. And they'd know we were free as
      soon as they saw what was left of the goons.

      I went to the keypad and punched in the remembered
      code from when they'd first brought me down there,
      held my breath until the lock clicked and I could
      shove it open. Good. They weren't rotating the
      codes. High security, but not absurdly high. I
      entered ready to fight but there was nothing left to
      fight. Summers had managed fine on his own, optic
      blasts or no. His ex*pression was . . . interesting.
      A mix of vindicated satisfaction and fascinated
      horror. I wondered if he'd ever killed a man before
      with hands, not eyes. For that matter, I wondered if
      he'd ever killed a man period. But one of the two I'd
      left for him was definitely dead. Very messily dead.
      Skull broken, blood staining the edge of the cot. The
      other had been flung to the floor about five feet from
      him. Seeing it was me, Summers relaxed and squatted
      back down to face his captive. The guy � big,
      undistinguished federal type � had a broken nose and
      naked loathing on his face. By contrast, Summers was
      utterly cold, head tilted sideways a little, and for a
      moment � with those sharp cheekbones and deep-set eyes
      � he looked like a bird of prey. "We gotta go," I
      told him. "Bring the goon."

      "I'm not finished yet." The kid's tone gave me the

      "Scott" � I used his given name on purpose � "this
      ain't the time. Bring him."

      "Not yet. He's going to tell me where the computer
      core is." And like a striking snake, his right hand
      exploded out in a smooth chop direct to the guy's ear.
      "Aren't you?" Summers asked. The goon spit at him.
      Summers boxed both ears that time, one instantly after
      the other. It reminded me that he was a Shotakan *sho
      dan* � a first degree black belt � when he wasn't too
      weak and dazed to employ it.

      "We can question him on the way," I said. "If we
      don't go, we won't ever *get* to the computer core."
      Lure him.

      Common sense came to the fore long enough. Grabbing
      the guard by the ear he'd just hit, he yanked him up
      and swung him around. "Move." As they passed me out
      the door, I handed him the pistol, a classic
      police-issue Smith and Wesson .44 Magnum. He took it,
      smiled, and shoved it against the back of the goon's
      head. "Feel that? Different kind of gun, you son of
      a bitch. If you so much as peep when I'm not asking
      you a question, I'll shove it up *your* ass and pull
      the trigger."

      I can't even begin to describe the rage and hate in
      Summers' voice. This wasn't Cyclops. The kid didn't
      have to be in control the way he did normally. No
      power to master, no glasses, no visor. Just that
      rage. It drove him. "Follow this hall left," I said,
      to distract him. "Then left at the end and right at
      the first junction. Elevator's there." He nodded,
      glanced at what was left of the two hallway guards,
      looked away and frog-marched the goon in front of him.
      He said nothing about it, showed no ex*pression. The
      goon's face, though, had blanched.

      We had two concerns: more guards, and those damn
      cameras. But I learned just how fine a shot Summers
      is, even with a pistol instead of the visor. He still
      had that uncanny gift for aim and trajectory, and a
      steady hand that could blow out a camera lens from
      over fifty feet. At that distance, the lens was
      smaller than a dime.

      Amazingly, we got to the elevator without meeting any
      resistance. "They'll be expecting us to head for an
      exit from the bunker complex," he said. "So we go
      down instead of up. Then we can question this piece
      of shit in peace."

      So we went down three floors. He used the goon to
      cover himself as he exited, but there was no fire from
      waiting weapons. Shooting out the camera, he slammed
      the guy back into a wall and shoved the pistol up
      under his chin while I stood guard. Summers was
      several inches shorter and probably fifty pounds
      lighter, but the other guy still looked intimidated.
      Maybe it was the gun but I think it might have been
      the look in Summers' eyes. "I don't have time to fuck
      around. Unlike you," he said. "You've seen what I
      can do with this; I don't think hitting your brain is
      any challenge. So. On what floor is the computer
      core located? And tell us how to get to the stairs."

      Damn. Even under this kind of stress, the kid avoided
      ending sentences with prepositions. But he was no
      fool. He knew to ask for stairs and get off the
      elevator; too easy to be caught in an elevator.

      The goon just stared back, though.

      "You don't *get it*, do you?" Summers kneed him in
      the groin. Hard. The guy jerked but Summers wouldn't
      let him bend over. "I *will* kill you. You have
      until I count to three. One � "

      "Okay, you shithead freak! Back off! But you're not
      going to get out of here."

      "We'll see. Tell me what I want to know and I'll let
      you live."

      I noticed that Summers had crossed his fingers on the
      gun handle. Even now, he couldn't just *lie*. Under
      other circumstances, I would've burst out laughing.
      But here, it was more sick than funny.

      "Go down this hall further, turn left, then left
      again," the guy said. He was sweating. "There's
      another elevator there and a stairwell beside it. Go
      up five floors and the computer core is right down the
      hall it opens on. Now let me go."

      Summers laughed. "You are kidding, right?" He yanked
      the guy off the wall and shoved him ahead of himself
      down the hall. "You're coming with us. You lied, you

      The second elevator was right where the guy had said
      it was, but it was guarded � as I was sure the goon
      had known. Of course, we'd expected that. We hadn't
      heard any sirens, but we'd been gone from our cage too
      long. The hunt was up by this point and the empty
      halls suggested that non-combat personnel had been put
      on movement restrictions. Guards would be watching
      all exits, elevators, and stairwells and they'd be
      organizing a dragnet through the building, floor by
      floor. Crouching behind a bend in the hall to scope
      out the enemy, I glanced at Summers and found myself
      wishing for Jeannie's telepathy to communicate, or his
      seemingly inexhaustible supply of optic blasts. "We
      need more ammunition," I whispered.

      He nodded, then before I could speak further, moved
      around the corner, lightening quick, and got off two
      clean shots before the two guards even realized he was
      a threat. He wasn't shooting to wound. He just
      killed them. Then he strolled over to deprive them of
      their weapons: standard federal issue Sig Sauer
      P228s, different from the police-style .44 Magnum that
      he was carrying. Unfortunately, the silencer wouldn't
      transfer barrels. He checked the clip and chamber of
      what he had in his hand, shrugged and put it under his
      arm for a moment, shoved one spare gun in a pocket of
      his coverall, took the clip out of the other, emptied
      the chamber and pocketed that, discarded the gun
      itself and came back to us.

      "*Goddamn,*" the goon had said, watching him. I was
      thinking the same, but for different reasons. Killing
      the goons in the room had been one thing. But how in
      hell was he going to deal with this later? How was
      Xavier going to deal with it?

      Now understand � I didn't blame him. At no point
      did I blame him. But that didn't make me less worried
      about his state of mind when he woke from the
      nightmare to realize several new souls were chatting
      up ol' Satan tonight and he'd sent them there without
      even flinching. This wasn't a video game with a reset
      button at the end.

      "Stairs," he said, simple order, and hauled up the

      Still in shock, the man gaped at him and balked.
      "You're fucking *inhuman*." He glanced at me. "Both
      of you. I saw what you did to Ron in the hall.
      Motherfucking mutie *freak*."

      The jackass should have kept his mouth shut. Summers
      slammed him up against a wall, hand gripping his
      windpipe, and got right in his face. "*I'm* inhuman?
      How many times did you *fuck* me, you son of a bitch?
      You locked me up in a room like an animal to live with
      my own shit. You tortured me just for the hell of it,
      made me sick as a dog just to see what would *happen*.
      You butchered my finace� and left her body to rot."
      He was close to breaking and the other guy's face was
      red from lack of oxygen. "If I have anything to say
      about it, you'll see *exactly* what inhuman can be,
      before you die."

      Well, whatever hope we'd had of the goon's cooperation
      was blown now. The man was completely spooked; I
      could smell it, see his eye roll white like a horse.
      He knew Summers wouldn't let him live and had no
      reason to help us. "Scott," I said. "Go make sure
      the stairwell doesn't have any cameras, eh?"

      Summers glanced at me � calculating � then smiled that
      alarming smile and shoved the guard in my direction.
      But he did as I'd asked. I decided not to count my
      blessings just yet. To the goon, I said, "Look, pal,
      the way I see it, you got two choices. I won't
      pretend you'll see another sunrise. But if you
      behave, I'll be sure it's me who kills you quick. If
      you don't, I'll let ol' Cyclops do whatever the hell
      he wants. He's a real creative guy, and I think he's
      just a little bit pissed." I shoved the goon across
      the hall towards the stairwell door. "You said five
      flights up?"

      The guy was too stunned to speak, but nodded. The
      good cop / bad cop routine had its virtues, despite
      the irony of who was playing which.

      We reached the computer core without further incident,
      mostly because they didn't expect us to go there.
      They assumed we'd be trying to escape and dragged the
      floors accordingly. Summers had two clips worth of
      ammo for the Sig Sauer, plus what was left in his .44
      (two shots, he said). There were only four unarmed
      techie geeks in the core, not even guards. They were
      eating a pizza. I covered our pet goon with my claws
      while Summers took out the cameras first. The guys
      gaped and one, pizza slice still in hand, ran for a
      fire extinguisher on the wall. A single shot through
      the back of his neck; he landed spread-eagled.
      Summers still wasn't aiming to wound, didn't seem to
      care if they were guards or not, armed or not. Nor
      did he wait for the other three to try anything, just
      shot them cold. One fell on the pizza box, knocked it
      to the ground. "We don't have time to tie them up,"
      he said. "And I don't trust them on the ground." It
      was perfectly lucid. And perfectly brutal.

      I stopped being just worried about him then, grew
      scared. I'd once stood where he was. My full
      memories began on the day I'd escaped the facility
      where they'd made me into a living slice-n-dice
      machine. He hadn't even begun to approach the body
      count I'd run up that night, but I was sure he could.
      And with as little mercy. Not all my nightmares had
      to do with what had been done to me. Some concerned
      what I'd done back, and there's a special corner of
      hell reserved for memories like that. I'd like to
      spare the kid. Unfortunately, I couldn't take the
      damn guns away from him. We needed his skill too

      He'd been using the Sig Sauer, too. No silencer. The
      shots had echoed loud. I slammed and locked the door,
      but it'd give us only a minute of grace. He was
      wasting no time. Methodically, he shot up the housing
      of every machine in the joint. A spray of metal and
      sparks. With sick humor, I was reminded of Dilbert
      newspaper cartoons.

      Now, audible sirens were going off. Red lights
      flashed. Even the damn sprinkler system came on,
      drenching us in seconds.

      With all the racket, you wouldn't think I'd have been
      able to hear the arrival of the enemy cavalry, much
      less the click of the door unlocking, but I did.
      Grabbing the goon, I swung him around in front of my
      body for cover and yelled, "Here they come, kid!"

      The door blew in at the same moment and a dozen guards
      burst through, automatic weapons blazing. The guard I
      held yelled to them and I put my claws through his
      chest at the same instant someone's fire hit him from
      the other side. Double-dead. Retracting, I dove
      under a table while Summers started picking them off.
      I wished for a gun of my own, even if I wasn't half
      the shot he was. Hand-to-hand isn't always an option.
      He laid down cover for me so I could reach him,
      darting in Z's from computer table to computer table.

      I couldn't believe he was hitting more than he was
      missing, even from cover, with the sprinklers on, and
      under fire from multiple angles. He'd pop up to aim
      and shoot before they could possibly get a similar
      bead on him. Those mutant eyes. Predator eyes � more
      even than mine. All he needed was a brief flash of
      motion, or just the memory of it. I'd asked him once,
      during a rare hour of conversation in our captivity,
      if he could see colors now. He'd shaken his head.
      "My mutation altered my vision permanently, Logan. I
      don't have color rods in my eyes any more, or not
      many. The only color I see clearly is red, even
      without the blasts. My eyes are just different. Hank
      says I see like a cat � minus the night vision, though
      I'd probably have night vision, too, if not for the
      glasses. But that's why I'm so easily distracted by

      "So crowds drive you crazy?" They did me, as well.

      But he'd shaken his head. "In crowds, there's so much
      motion, it's meaningless. It's situations like, say,
      supper at the mansion that throw me. Or a classroom
      of students. I always know when St. John and Jubilee
      are passing notes. I just ignore it most of the
      time." He'd grinned. "In large groups, there's too
      much motion, but at the same time, not enough to blur
      like a crowd. It took me a while to learn to focus
      and not try to look in six directions at once."

      I'd never thought of that, but it helped to explain
      his perpetually uptight demeanor, and why when he was
      with only one or two people, he might relax a bit.

      Now, though, that difference was saving our lives.
      Bam, bam, bam, bam, bam. A regular lone ranger.
      Until he ran out of ammunition. There are only so
      many bullets in a gun even with an extra clip.

      We'd been driven back behind a stairwell. "Fuck!" he
      swore when the second clip ran out, more enraged than
      frightened, and slung the gun itself. Amazingly, it
      connected with the head of one of the goons and the
      man went down. That left three, and no doubt more on
      the way. They'd quit firing when he did, and one was
      talking into a radio. They didn't charge us. They
      knew I was back here. They'd wait for reinforcements
      so they could overpower us with sheer numbers.
      Summers was pressed up against the wall beside the
      corner edge and I'd squatted down to peer out past his
      legs through the sprinkler shower. Someone shot at me
      and I ducked back.

      "If I distract them, can you get to that one?" I
      whispered, pointing to the dead goon nearest us.

      "Yeah, but what are you going to do?"

      "Play moving target."

      He grabbed for me. "Logan!"

      "I have a healing factor. You don't." And I ducked
      out before he could get a good grip.

      Bullets hurt. They burn going in and jolt you with
      the impact, and they tear going out. If they go out.
      Even moving, I took three bullets before Summers had
      reached the guard's body, retrieved the gun, and
      finished off our opponents. Then he leapt a table to
      reach me where I'd collapsed against the rear wall,
      hauled me up in his arms. Water pelted my face.

      "Still breathing, kid."

      "You stupid shithead!"

      "Why, you're welcome, dick."

      He laughed. It was the first time I'd heard him
      actually laugh since Jeannie had died. But he was
      crying in relief, too, or maybe it was just sprinkler
      water. "Can you walk?"

      "Think so."

      I let him help me up. The wounds were closing already
      and the pain fading � except for my hip. The bullet
      had hit bone and hadn't come out again. My body was
      trying to close around it and didn't like the
      interference. He handed me the gun he had. "Listen
      for more guards."

      I nodded and gritted my teeth, trying to ignore the
      pain. He fetched a new gun, then got busy emptying
      clips and shoving extra ammunition in his pockets.
      When he'd finished stocking up, he completed what he'd
      begun on the banks of computers, then came back to me,
      frowned to see my frown. "What's wrong? More men?"

      "Not yet, but I've got a bullet still in my hip. I'm
      going to slow you down, kid."

      "So you'll slow me down. I'm not moving at top speed,
      either." He got an arm around my waist and let me
      lean on him for a change. "Come on, Wolverine." On
      the way to the door, he spied the guard we'd brought
      in, and paused. I watched his jaw work in
      frustration. Taking aim, he started firing round
      after round into the dead man's head, pulverizing it
      like target practice with a watermelon. "Son of a
      bitch," he hissed. "*Son of a bitch.*" There was
      nothing sane in his face.

      "Jesus Fucking Christ, Summers! Snap out of it! He's
      dead!" But yelling didn't get through. I had to
      shake him.

      He started to turn on me, stopped abruptly. He was
      breathing hard. Low, he said, "He was there, Logan,
      *every damn time*."

      And I understood why Summers had singled him out as
      the one to live. The kid really had planned to kill
      him slowly later, as he'd threatened. And I was glad
      for giving the goon the death he'd gotten. Not from
      pity. Summers was going to have enough to live with
      later. I'd let him kill but I wasn't going to let him
      torture. "Let's go," I told him then.

      He took a breath, and nodded, helped me out the door.
      We were on our own to find an exit through a half-lit
      hell of emergency lights and sirens. "I think you got
      their attention," I muttered to him. At least we
      didn't need to worry about cameras any more.

      Go on to 2b/5?

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