Disclaimers, etc. in part one.
His claws were out and ready when the young woman passed his hiding
place. It was obvious from her presence out here in the middle of
the night so close to his position that she was looking for him.
Somehow, he must have given himself away. However, she was the only
person outside the mansion, so she must not be certain why or even if
he was there. There was still a chance to fulfill his mission
undetected. To be successful, however, she would have to die.
Even as he lunged at her, a part of him balked at the idea of her
death and his claws instantly retracted. Her scent. She'd
approached upwind of him, and he'd only caught her smell just now
after she'd passed. It only took one whiff to know he couldn't harm
'Kill her,' a mental command echoed through his brain.
'Yes, the mission. Protect the mission,' he thought as he grasped
her vulnerable neck.
Even as he got a hold of her, his fingers relaxed. He couldn't break
her neck. She had to live. It was important. She was everything.
'The mission is everything. She threatens the mission. Eliminate
the threat,' the commanding, interior voice said, demanding
He wrestled her to the ground, using his body to trap her as she
attempted to fight back. His fingers tightened around her throat,
and she weakened under his grip.
He looked down into her eyes as he choked the life from her. The
panicked, chocolate orbs changed in an instant, softening in
recognition and then widening in terror.
There had to be another option. Wracking his shattered mind for a
solution, he finally realized that if she was restrained, she
couldn't stop the mission. His objective would be met and she would
still be alive.
Immediately, he released his grip and checked her vital signs. She
was still alive and breathing again, having barely fallen
unconscious. Pulling the long gloves and scarf from her limp body,
he flipped her onto her back and tied her hands behind her with one
of the gloves. He tied the other glove around her head, gagging
her. Using the scarf, he knotted her ankles together and brought
them up to her hands, hog-tying her with the remainder of its length.
After checking to see that she could still breathe around the gag and
positioning her so she was as comfortable as possible in the
restraints, he left her lying at the edge of the woods on the cool
grass. Running for the mansion, he resumed the primary mission.
"Rogue!" Jean sat straight up in bed, yelling into the night.
Something was wrong. She had thrown off the covers and was stumbling
for the door before she was even completely awake.
"Jean?" Scott's confused, sleep-addled voice floated to her from the
bed she'd just abandoned.
"Scott. It's Rogue, she's..."
~Jean?~ the professor's mental call interrupted her thoughts, ~did
you feel that?~
"Jean?" Scott asked, concern filling his voice. Jean held up a hand,
begging him to wait just a second as she started a conversation with
~I felt Rogue. She was frightened, but now I don't get anything.
Can you sense her?~
She waited as the professor mentally searched for Rogue.
~No. It's almost as if she's unconscious. Go check on her. I'll be
Jean nodded and then opened her eyes. Her husband was standing
before her, his hands grasping her arms in worry. He'd put on his
battle visor while she'd been psychically communicating, sensing from
her behavior that it might be needed.
"There's something wrong with Rogue," she explained as she opened the
door and jogged into the hallway. "I felt her fear and now I can't
Taking the stairs, they ran up a flight to Rogue's level and burst
out into the empty corridor. Pounding down the hardwood floors, they
finally made it to the correct door. However, Scott grasped her arm
before she could enter. Shaking his head, he put a hand to his visor
and then signaled to Jean to open the door.
She did and he burst into the room, flipping on the light, ready for
battle. The room was empty, and Rogue's bed was neatly made. It was
obvious that she hadn't been to sleep yet.
"Where could she be?" Jean asked, worry filling her voice.
As soon as Scott saw that Rogue wasn't in her room, he remembered
where she was, feeling stupid for wasting precious seconds.
"She's in the security room," he said with a frustrated sigh. "She
had guard duty tonight."
The ding of the elevator sent them into defensive positions again
until they saw the Professor emerge, concern on his features.
"She's downstairs, Professor." Jean said, waving him back into the
lift as she and Scott hurried to join him.
They rode in silence, each consumed with their own fears for Rogue.
When they finally reached the lower levels, they were shocked by what
they heard. They'd been expecting silence or alarms or even
screams. They weren't expecting rock music blasting down the
corridor. As they neared the security room, not only did the music
get louder, but they could also hear off-key voices singing along.
Jean could tell that Scott was in full, righteous-indignation mode
when they finally entered the doorway of the cramped monitor room to
find Jubilee and Kitty jamming to the music.
"What the hell is going on here?!" Scott screamed over the blasting
tunes. "Where is Rogue?"
Jubilee jumped and lurched for the volume control while Kitty phased
through her chair in surprise.
"We... um... she..." Kitty stuttered after the CD player was off.
"She thought she saw something outside," Jubilee provided. "We were
just watching the place while she checked it out."
"Outside?" Jean asked. If Rogue had seen someone then the mansion
was under attack. She was about to voice her concerns when she heard
the screeching sound of metal on metal echoing down the hallway,
coming from the elevator they'd just left.
The killer approached the front door of the mansion cautiously,
checking for any traps. He couldn't hear the hum of an active
security sensor on the door. Also, there were no heart beats or
breathing sounds coming from the other side, and he couldn't smell
anyone but the girl he'd just left, so he decided it was safe.
Surprisingly enough, she'd left the door unlocked in her haste so it
was easy for him to slip quietly inside. As soon as he entered the
foyer, he could smell one of his targets: Xavier. The man's scent
hinted at stress mixed with fear and it lead to a bare, wooden panel
in the hallway. He must know that something was wrong. The entire
school wasn't on alert, yet, but the killer couldn't waste time with
subtle tactics any longer.
Releasing his claws, he dug into the wooden panel, cutting through
the wood and the steel behind it to reveal an elevator shaft.
Sheathing his claws, he grasped the elevator's guide wires and,
wrapping his legs around them as well, lowered himself down the shaft.
Once he reached the lift compartment, he opened the access door and
dropped into it. Then with a *SNIKT*, he cut through the doors,
knocking out a hole and emerging into the metal hallway.
Breathing deeply of the air in this new area, he immediately detected
both targets and turned with a growl to see the woman standing and
the man sitting in front of an open door not more than 30 yards
away. Claws out and ready, he attacked.
See part four.