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FIC: The Weapon 4/12

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  • rimmette@earthlink.net
    Disclaimers, etc. in part one. ***** Jean saw the metal doors of the elevator fall into the hallway followed by a barely recognizable Logan. It had been two
    Message 1 of 1 , May 1 7:20 PM
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      Disclaimers, etc. in part one.

      *****

      Jean saw the metal doors of the elevator fall into the hallway
      followed by a barely recognizable Logan. It had been two years since
      he'd left, and he hadn't aged a day. In fact, clean-shaven he looked
      even younger.

      "Logan?" Jean asked, hardly believing her senses. How had he gotten
      on the property, let alone into the lower levels of the mansion,
      undetected?

      Logan turned to look at her and his expression changed from
      purposeful detachment to murderous intent. Her blood ran cold and
      she froze in place like prey before a hunter. For a surreal few
      seconds, Logan charged at her, claws loose and ready to tear her to
      pieces, then a red beam shot from behind her, striking Logan squarely
      in the chest, throwing him the length of the corridor, and slamming
      his body into the closed Cerebro door. The claws jumped back into
      the arms of the unconscious man as he slumped to the floor.

      Finding her voice again, Jean screamed, "Scott?!?", in a mix of
      disapproval and panic. He had used a kill setting.

      "He was going to murder you, Jean!"

      Jean looked at Logan's still form, then back at her husband, then at
      Logan again. She started to walk towards Logan.

      "Jean! Get away from him! It's too dangerous."

      "I have to treat him, Scott. I'm a doctor."

      She was five feet away when Logan shook his head with a grunt and
      stumbled jerkily to his feet. If he hadn't had a metal skeleton, his
      chest would've surely been crushed by Scott's concussive blast. As
      it was, he was gasping for breath.

      Still, when he saw her, so close as to be almost in arm's length, the
      claws came out and he lunged clumsily at her. Jean backpedaled away,
      out of reach.

      "Jean, get out of the way," Scott yelled as he ran towards her, and
      she realized she was in his line of fire.

      Logan took a step and then another, struggling to reach her. Then,
      his eyes rolled back in his head, and he collapsed bonelessly to the
      floor.

      Scott reached her and tried to drag her away from the prone body, but
      she resisted, looking at the suddenly subdued Logan and then back at
      the professor.

      "Scott," the professor said calmly, taking control of the
      situation, "Logan is safe now. Let Jean treat him." He closed his
      eyes in concentration and then, turning to Kitty and Jubilee,
      said, "I think you'll find Rogue by the lake path on the edge of the
      woods. Please bring her down here for medical attention."

      -----

      Marie's arms were aching, her legs were stiff, her throat was sore,
      and all she wanted to do was find Logan. He had acted so differently
      that it was almost like there was another person in his body. She
      knew deep within her mind and soul that Logan would never harm her.
      Why then had he attacked her so brutally?

      When she'd first woken up, she'd wondered if it'd been Mystique, but
      then why hadn't she been killed or kidnapped? Logan had obviously
      been trying to hurt her when they'd fought, and she'd seen cold
      brutality in his eyes. Then, she'd woken up, restrained but
      relatively unharmed. It didn't make sense.

      "Rogue!"

      "Rogue?!?"

      She could hear Jubilee and Kitty's voices calling to her in the
      distance.

      "Mmmph!" she mumbled around the gag, trying to call to them for help.

      "Rogue! Are you ok? Are you hurt?" Kitty asked frantically when
      they finally found her.

      "Let's get the gag off first, Kit. How about that?" Jubes said,
      carefully unknotting the glove in Marie's hair and pulling it away
      from her face. "You ok, girl?" she asked once the gag was off.

      "Logan?" Marie croaked, her curiosity more important than her current
      predicament.

      "He's in the med lab," Kitty said, working on the knots in the scarf
      tying Marie's hands to her feet, ever cautious of her exposed skin.

      "He kinda went loopy on us," Jubes added. "Professor got him under
      control, and they're trying to figure out why he went nuts... He do
      this to ya?"

      "Yeah. I want to see him."

      "No prob. Professor said to take you to the med lab anyway."

      Jubilee helped Kitty with the knots, and once Marie was free and her
      wrinkled gloves were back on her deadly skin, they pulled her to her
      wobbly feet.

      "You sure you're ok, girl?"

      "My legs are just numb. Help me."

      With an arm around each girl's shoulders, Marie made it slowly back
      to the mansion. Once there, she was lead down the hallway, past the
      destroyed elevator and into the emergency stairwell.

      When they emerged on the lower levels next to the Cerebro entrance,
      it was easy to see a large dent in the door as well as the damage to
      the elevator further down the corridor.

      "What the hell happened?" Marie asked.

      "Logan happened. We told you he went nuts," Jubilee said.

      "He was trying to kill Dr. Summers," Kitty added.

      "Why?"

      "That's what the Professor's trying to determine," Scott said,
      waiting for them in the hallway. His face changed from frustration
      and anger to concern bordering on panic. "Rogue? Are you ok?"

      Marie saw his gaze fall to her throat and was sure that the bright
      lighting allowed him to see the bruises she could feel forming as a
      result of her near strangulation.

      She nodded and opened her mouth to reassure him, but he was already
      overreacting, lifting her into his arms and carrying her the rest of
      the way to the med lab.

      "Jean?" he called as they entered.

      Jean turned and walked over to them, allowing Marie to see Logan
      lying on the examination table behind her. He was restrained with
      secure-looking straps, his arms spread-eagle away from his body,
      making his claws useless. The professor was leaning over Logan's
      prone form, his hands on either side of the limp man's temples and
      his face a mask of concentration.

      As soon as Jean saw Marie's condition, she went into action.

      "Put her on this table. Rogue, can you talk? How do you feel?"

      "How's Logan?" Marie croaked, her throat scratchy and painful.

      "He's ok right now... Did he do this?"

      "He wasn't himself," Marie said, defending Logan in a knee-jerk
      response.

      Jean nodded kindly and pulled on latex gloves to begin Marie's
      examination.

      -----

      Logan's mind was a haze of half-remembered missions and half-
      forgotten truths. Charles Xavier treaded through it slowly and
      carefully, like a soldier in a mine field, never knowing what memory
      would explode into being next.

      Finally, he made it to the core consciousness, or at least as close
      as he could. It was blocked off and protected by a mental barrier.

      'Logan?'

      ~There is no Logan,~ a flat, emotionless voice answered.

      'Who are you?'

      ~I am the Weapon.~

      'Where is Logan?'

      ~There is no Logan.~

      'Who created you?'

      ~That is classified.~

      'How long have you been the Weapon?'

      ~That is classified.~

      'What is your objective?'

      ~To fulfill the mission.~

      'What is your mission?'

      ~That is classified.~

      This was getting him nowhere. At least now he knew that Logan had
      acted so aggressively because of mental programming, and whoever had
      done this had been a mutant. Only a psychic could infiltrate so
      deeply in someone else's mind. He had to find a way to break this
      programming if Logan would ever be himself again, but direct
      questioning obviously wasn't the solution.

      He backed out of the other man's mind and looked up into the worried
      faces that surrounded him, all waiting for answers.

      -----

      Hours after Jean was done examining her, declaring her bruised but
      otherwise healthy, Marie continued to sit in the med lab. She
      watched Logan's chest rising and falling as he lay strapped to the
      examination table. It was a good thing he was unconscious. He hated
      being restrained because of the experiments he'd suffered through so
      many years ago. She'd had his dreams for a while after he'd left and
      they were just like this: confined to a metal table in the middle of
      a lab.

      "It happened again, didn't it, Logan?" she asked the sleeping
      man. "They found you again and this time you couldn't escape."

      Logan lay still.

      "I'm so sorry, Logan. If we'd known, we would've come after you. If
      they hadn't gone, I would've come alone," Marie said with conviction.

      Logan didn't respond.

      "You're here now. You're safe. Do you hear me, Logan? You got to
      fight and come back to us."

      Hazel eyes snapped open and gazed up at her. For a moment, she saw a
      hint of recognition, and then his face hardened into cold resolve and
      she heard a *SNIKT*.

      -----

      "They are on full alert. The grounds are lighted like noon-day. The
      perimeter is fortified with electrical fences, sensor nets, and laser-
      sighted heavy artillery. There are ludicrously well-armed soldiers
      on patrol. This is a bigger operation than we'd possibly imagined,
      Colonel. There's no way we can get in there without more men than
      we've got on the entire project and more firepower than a small
      country. I'm afraid the Weapon is lost," the captain reported to his
      distant superior.

      "Damn, Damn, DAMN!" an older voice, the professor's, broadcast into
      the captain's headset.

      "Colonel? What are your orders?"

      -----

      He was trapped. The mission had failed, and he'd been captured. All
      objectives had been left unfulfilled. He had to escape.

      Releasing his claws, he tried to cut at the material binding his
      wrist, but his hand was at the wrong angle. He tried to shift
      positions, but he was securely restrained.

      "Logan?"

      It was the young woman he'd attacked back by the woods. She looked
      at him in fear and concern. Had she been his downfall? Had his
      inability to kill her gotten him captured? He hadn't followed the
      instructions he'd been given and now the mission was lost.

      No! He fought harder against his bonds. While he was still alive,
      there was a chance to succeed.

      "Jean? Logan's awake," the woman called to someone in the far room.

      He sniffed at the air and caught the scent of one of his targets
      seconds before she came into his line of sight. The compulsion to
      kill her was overpowering, and he used all his strength to pull
      against the restraints on his right hand.

      Ignoring the pain and resistance, he pulled until his blood-slicked
      hand, stripped of large portions of flesh, finally came free of the
      restraint. Releasing his claws on that hand, he reached over at cut
      at the fabric holding his left hand in place.

      -----

      "We cannot allow this situation to continue, Professor. The Weapon
      cannot be allowed to remain in the hands of mutant lovers. They'll
      use him against us," the Colonel argued.

      "He has no memories of this place. They'll never be able to track us
      down," the Professor reasoned with equal conviction.

      "But they can still use him as a weapon against our cause."

      The Professor paced the cramped control room, shaking his head in
      disbelief. "I've worked so hard for so long. I created this weapon
      before you were even out of high school."

      "And you lost him, if I recall correctly."

      The Professor slammed his hand down on a nearby control panel. "But
      we recovered him! It was fate that he returned to the Alkali Lake
      base. He was meant to fight for all humans against the mutant
      menace."

      "My men cannot retrieve him."

      "Then get more men!"

      The Colonel shook his head. "You know that will take months of
      tricky requisitioning. Most government officials don't even know we
      exist. We can't afford that time. You must terminate."

      "No! Not when we're so close," the Professor yelled, but now his
      strong voice was giving way to despair.

      "It's the only way, Professor. If you won't, I will. There are
      other mutants. We can begin again."

      The colonel reached for the remote activator, but the Professor
      snatched it first. "No. If it must be done, I will do it."

      Flipping up the safety guard, he depressed the red button.

      -----

      Logan was almost free, having unshackled his arms and one leg. Marie
      begged him to stop while Jean struggled to telekinetically hold him
      in place. Neither woman was successful as his claws inched closer
      and closer to the remaining strap.

      Suddenly, Logan began to shake, collapsing back on the bed in spastic
      convulsions.

      "Jean! Stop it!" Marie commanded, her voice filled with unrestrained
      fear.

      "I'm not doing it," Jean responded.

      Marie ran to Logan's side despite the threat he'd presented just
      seconds earlier, attempting to calm his seizure with her hands
      alone. As soon as she touched him, the electrical shock threw her
      across the room.

      *****

      See part five.
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