Disclaimer, etc. in part one.
Jean wracked her brain trying to think of a way to remove the
electrical micro-generator attached to Logan's skeleton. Lorna
Dane? She could control metals, but she was barely a teenager, and
she wasn't anywhere close to having the delicate control necessary
for such a procedure. She'd probably pull Logan's spine out as well
as the small device.
Could she telekinetically remove it? No, she'd probably have the
same luck as Lorna. She couldn't even destroy the inner workings
telekinetically because she couldn't remove the outer adamantium
covering, and she could only mentally control objects if she could
So, no destroying it from the inside out and no pulling it off. What
about cutting it off? No, if the laser hadn't been able to cut
through the adamantium, nothing could. Even Logan's own claws...
wait! A memory flashed through her mind.
On the Statue of Liberty, when they'd all been trapped, she'd heard
Logan yell and then the distinctive sound of metal on metal. He'd
released his claws into his chest to get free and rescue Rogue.
There's no way he could've avoiding hitting at least one rib or
shoulderblade, but he'd had six entry wounds and six exit wounds when
she'd treated him later on. The claws must've cut through his
adamantium-lined bones. That's it! She had a possible solution.
Now all she had to do was figure out how to pop Logan's claws.
Pulling his right arm around from his side, she manipulated the
muscles in his forearm until she heard a distinctive *SNIKT*.
"Jean?!" Scott called from Rogue's bedside, his voice filled with
She'd almost forgotten he was there. "It's ok, Scott. He's
unconscious... How's Rogue doing?"
"I... I don't know. Her heart monitor's beeping and none of the
alarms have gone off, so I guess ok so far."
"That's good," Jean said, trying to be reassuring. "Keep bagging
her. As soon as Logan's stabilized, I'll go back to treating her."
Scott nodded and turned his attention back to the still girl before
him. He wasn't a doctor, but he was doing the best he could.
'Damn it, Charles," she cursed silently. 'How many times have I told
you we needed another doctor! Even a nurse would make this fiasco
easier. How am I supposed to treat two critical patients at the same
time by myself?'
She shook off that line of thought and turned her attention back to
Logan's right arm, clamped in her hands with three, nine-inch, deadly
claws shining in the medical lights. She knew he had finer,
individual control over them, but after her clumsy attempts, she was
glad she could get any of them out at all.
She bent Logan's arm awkwardly behind his back, bringing the claws
around to his exposed spine. She kept one hand clenched around the
muscles of his arm while the other gripped his hand to have more
control of the blades.
'Take your time,' she warned herself. If she wasn't careful, she
could very easily cut through his spine as well as the device,
killing him instantly.
Ororo was holding on to the generator itself now that the skin and
muscle had been removed. She was drawing the charge directly out of
the top making the fused part safe to cut. However, her fingers were
dangerously close to where the blade would strike.
"'Ro, I'm cutting now. Stay very still," Jean warned.
"Hurry," Ororo gasped, barely audible.
It all happened within seconds. Jean sliced through the tiny power
generator, and Ororo staggered backward, setting the device in the
plastic bowl that had been waiting for it before collapsing to the
The silence that followed was nearly as deafening as the thunder that
had preceded it. Now that Ororo was no longer drawing off energy, it
wasn't necessary to keep releasing it into the storm above the
mansion. The lightening and thunder that had awoken every resident
and shaken the mansion to its foundation quickly dissipated, leaving
quiet in its wake.
Jean scampered to her friend's side as Scott looked on helplessly,
unable to leave Rogue unattended.
"'Ro?" he asked in a whisper, as if afraid of the answer Jean would
After a quick examination, Jean declared her exhausted, but otherwise
ok. She quickly moved Ororo to another medical bed to rest before
she returned to Logan's side to finally assess the full extent of his
The surgical incision on his spine needed to be sewn together, but
the lower levels of muscle were drier than living flesh should be and
wouldn't pull back together to be stitched. The flesh was burned and
almost cooked in parts. She had to be satisfied with stitching
together the healthier outer muscle and skin.
She felt the hope that had filled her on the reestablishment of a
pulse fleeing. If this was the type of damage throughout Logan's
body, there was no way he would recover. Doctors treated burns by
removing the dead skin and replacing it with grafts from other parts
of the body. Logan's injuries were internal, not external. If
muscle tissue and tendons had died, there was no way she could remove
them. Unless his healing factor was capable of disposing of and
replacing the dead flesh, he would get gangrene and die. He would
die even sooner from poor circulation if too many of his major
arteries and veins had been burned away.
Even if he did manage to survive, his skull was lined with metal.
Had his brain been permanently damaged by the extended exposure to
high voltage? She wouldn't know until he woke up... if he woke up.
Turning him around on his back, she discovered further evidence of
massive internal injuries. The oxygen mask she'd quickly pulled
around his head was streaked on the inside with blood. She'd thought
his breathing sounded wet, and here was further evidence. His lungs
must have been damaged along with his heart.
The bleeding wasn't limited to his mouth and nose. His ears and eyes
were bleeding as well. She pulled the eyelids open for a second to
see the hazel irises floating in a sea of red instead of the natural
white. Not only were they totally bloodshot, but also the tear ducts
were weeping blood. His ears had been dripping slow trails of red
down his cheeks while he'd lain on his stomach. Now on his back, the
trails disappeared into his hair.
She barely knew Logan, but had felt compelled to save him. He'd been
at the mansion less a week before he'd left again, searching for his
past. The professor suspected that he had found it, and been turned
into a killing machine as a result. But from what she'd read in his
mind those two years ago, she knew him to be a noble and caring man
underneath. Rogue had missed him terribly, and she didn't trust
people easily. Jean hoped for Rogue's sake as much as his, that he
would recover, despite all the evidence to the contrary.
She quickly established a central line, open feed, to try and
replenish the blood, fluids, and electrolytes his body had lost
during the trauma. She then gently intubated him and hooked him up
to a respirator, giving his injured lungs a chance to rest somewhat.
She couldn't do anything more for him, so she turned her attention
back to Rogue.
"Scott, stop bagging for a second," she commanded, listening for
breath sounds with the stethoscope... There! "She's trying to
breath on her own," Jean said, a genuine smile lighting her face for
the first time since this all had started.
"Is that a good thing?" Scott asked, unsure.
"It's a very good thing; she's trying to come back. Her breaths are
too shallow, so I'm still going to hook her to a respirator, but I'll
adjust it to react when she initiates a breath instead of forcing a
steady rhythm. If she improves and is able to keep her blood oxygen
level up, I should be able to extubate her in a few days."
Every inch of her body ached, like she'd gone ten rounds with the
heavy weight champion of the world. There was something in her
mouth, and she tried to lift her arm to inspect it, but the limb felt
like it was filled with lead and she couldn't move it. She tried
opening her eyes instead, but the lids were just as heavy as her
arm. What had happened to her? Why did she feel this way? Where
was she? The curiosity overpowered her exhaustion, and after what
seemed like minutes of trying, she forced her eyes halfway open.
Metal. She was lying in a room covered ceiling, walls, and she
guessed floor, in metal. A blurry figure moved into her line of
"Rogue? You're awake!" the feminine voice said in barely contained
excitement. "I was just about to extubate you, but this will make it
easier. I'm going to count to three. When I say two, I want you to
take a deep breath. On three, I want you to blow it out like you'd
blow out birthday candles. Ok?"
'Birthday candles?' she wondered. 'Yeah, sure, ok,' she thought,
nodding at the woman above her.
"One... two... three!"
She blew out and felt the plastic tube being yanked through her
throat and out her mouth. She couldn't resist the coughing fit that
seized her, as she tried to catch her breath. She was grateful when
a mask was placed over her mouth and nose, blowing cool oxygen down
her sore throat.
Finally, when she had caught her breath, she asked the question that
had been puzzling her since she'd awoken, "Who are you?"
See part seven.