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FIC: Remote Control, Chp 3 (Logan, Rogue, etc.) R

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  • AllyKat
    I thought I had posted this chapter, but I looked at the list s website and saw there were only two chapters posted... this after a reader asked me if there
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 29, 2001
      I thought I had posted this chapter, but I looked at the list's
      website and saw there were only two chapters posted... this after a
      reader asked me if there were more chapters. Here's chapter 3 and
      yes, I am now working on chapter 4 *and* a sequel to "The Twist
      Inside" for those of you familiar with that fic.


      Title: Remote Control
      Author: Allykat
      Genre: Action/mystery
      Rating: R, mostly for violence and adult language/situations
      Summary: Logan is discovering that the neferious group who
      experimented on him, did more than graft adamantium on his bones.
      They can remotely control him through implants and their goal is to
      eliminate mutants, starting with those at Professor Xavier's school.

      Chapter Three: Guardian Angel.

      "Son of a bitch," Scott ground through clenched teeth. He lay on an
      exam table while Jean cleaned the wounds on his stomach. His face
      was ashen and sweat stood out on his forehead. Jean had assured him
      the claws didn't puncture anything vital but it sure hurt like hell
      and he hid his pain behind anger.

      Behind him and to his left lay Logan. He wouldn't allow himself to
      look at the man. Instead he tried to focus on the soothing presence
      of his fiancée. Her clean scent of soap and the perfume from her
      shampoo comforted him and he enjoyed the light touch of her fingers
      while she wrapped a clean bandage around his middle. She had already
      stitched and bandaged his foot. It had been painful but he hadn't
      said anything when she inspected it, murmuring over the clean
      punctures and the sharpness of Logan's claws with clinical detachment.

      Those claws.

      Until now, Scott had never been the focus of those weapons and for a
      moment he could sympathize with Mistique. She'd taken a trio of
      adamantium claws to the hilt in her stomach. That she survived the
      attack was a miracle. Perhaps it was her mutation that saved her.

      Scott was young and he knew he was inexperience, but he also knew he
      had good leadership skills. The professor saw that ability in him
      and trusted him to lead the X-Men, yet Logan held the singular
      ability to strip away his confidence, make him feel inadequate and
      immature. And for the first time in his life, pinned under that
      killer's gaze, Scott had experienced real fear. When the X-Men went
      to the Statue of Liberty to rescue Rogue and stop Magento, Scott felt
      more excited than frightened despite the dangers. He wanted to prove
      to the professor and especially Logan that he could handle a mission
      and he had. It had gone well, and they had won that battle if not
      the war. For a time last night and this morning, Logan wasn't that
      man who risked his own life to rescued Rogue from Magento's machine.
      He had become something almost inhuman with a mindless need to
      destroy. Scott didn't trust the man. He was too unpredictable and
      there was too much unknown about him. Scott flinched suddenly at a
      pain in his stomach. Jean gently touched his arm.

      "Hold still, Scott, I'm almost finished," Jean said. They both
      looked up when the door to the lab slid opened. Professor Xavier
      entered and wheeled up next to him.

      "How are you doing, Scott?" the professor asked and wheeled over next
      to them.

      "As well as any man who has faced Logan and lost. I told you he is
      dangerous," Scott replied. "Twice now he's almost killed Rogue and
      now he's almost killed me. Everyone seems to accept that it okay
      because, oh gee, he didn't mean it."

      "You forget that twice he's risked his own life to save Rogue," the
      professor replied in his usual mild tone. "He'd do the same for any
      of us, even you, Scott."

      "Really? Is that why I have two sets of claw punctures?"

      "Exactly," the professor replied with barely a ripple of irritation
      under his calm exterior. "That's why you *only* have two sets of non-
      fatal injuries. I think if Logan wanted you dead you wouldn't be
      sitting here."

      "Excuse me if I don't find that comforting," Scott said. "He is a
      killer, a weapon--."

      "We don't know that," the Professor interrupted. "He's just a mutant
      like the rest of us, one who desperately needs our help."

      "Oh, of course you're right." Scott snapped his fingers. "Logan's
      just your average everyday kinda mutant guy with an adamantium
      skeleton and six 9" adamantium claws that slide like razors out of
      his forearms. As far as I'm concerned, a weapon has been deployed
      and we're ground zero. None of us, even with our mutant abilities
      combined, are safe from this weapon. Do we all stay and hope we
      survive or do we try eliminate the threat?"

      "It's not that simple," the professor said. "We're talking about a
      man, not a machine. He almost killed himself rather than killing

      "One day Rogue will be a credit to the X-men if she decides to join
      us, but her good sense is rose-tinted when it comes to Logan. I
      don't understand why all of you keep protecting him," Scott found he
      could no longer rein in his anger. "It's like you want to think that
      there's a good guy somewhere inside of him, but there's NOT!" He
      slammed his fist against the table. He looked to Jean but she
      stepped away from him, her expression a mix of confusion and

      An uneasy silence stretched between the three of them before the
      professor sighed. "Jean, Scott, I think I may know what we can do.
      We'll talk later."

      Jean nodded and Scott watched her blink away the worry in her eyes.
      When the professor had gone, she continued doctoring him for a moment
      before she finally spoke.

      "I understand your anger," she said. "It's not your fault, and if
      blame is to be assigned, there's a lot of it to go around." She
      brushed a finger down his cheek. "Your reaction was understandable."

      The anger drained from him. She had that effect on him. Maybe she
      used her powers on him, maybe not. He didn't care; he just wanted
      her to touch him again and took her hand pressing it to his
      cheek. "I wanted to kill him."

      "When I ran into that room and saw them, I thought Logan had injured
      Rogue," she whispered. "*You* were decisive, and you reacted while
      Storm and I simply stood, frozen, unable to respond. So who was
      wrong? Who was right? Will my indecisiveness kill one of us during a
      crucial mission?" She leaned forward and pressed her lips to his.
      He gathered her closer and she braced her hands on his shoulders.
      God, how he loved this woman. Their kiss deepened and Scott allowed
      his need to flow into it. His arms tightened around her, his
      breathing ragged. He slid one had up the back of her shirt, feeling
      her warm flesh. His hand moved around her ribcage to one breast.
      Jean pulled away, her face flushed. She ran a hand over his bare
      chest to soften the rejection.

      "Scott, you have to talk to Rogue."

      "I know," he replied after a short silence. "She blames me."

      "She's young and you have to remember that as a frightened,
      ostracized runaway, Logan became her protector. He was, and in many
      ways still is her only preceived source of refuge." Jean handed him
      a crutch. "I think you'll need this," she said with a tentative
      smile that faded quickly. "Scott, you have to stop blaming Logan
      *and* yourself." She cast a quick glance at Logan. His healing
      factor had not yet kicked in and he'd not yet regained consciousness,
      his condition still critical. Jean placed her hands on Scott's
      shoulders and squeezed. "Scott, it is our duty to help him."

      Scott shook his head. "I don't understand your dedication to him."

      "It's just just dedication to Logan, but to mutant kind. If we don't
      help them, who will? Look what has been done to Logan because he is
      a mutant. They stripped away his identity and his memories.
      Everything that made that man who he was is gone. Despite his tough
      exterior, he is vulnerable. "

      "If Sabertooth or Toad came knocking at our door asking for
      assistance, should we help them even if it means someone might get
      hurt or die?" he asked, trying to keep exasperation out of his tone.

      "Yes," she answered and chewed her bottom lip then nodded. "Yes.
      Would it be right to decide who is or is not worthy of our help? Who
      should and should not be given a chance in a society that shuns us?"

      "It's sometimes difficult for me to share those views." Scott slid
      off the table and tucked the crutch under one arm. His wounds hurt
      and pain pulsed through his leg and stomach. He didn't let it show.

      "Scott," Jean said and reached out to him. "Wait."

      "I'm going to find Rogue." He turned away, not wanting to look at
      the hurt expression he knew would be on her beautiful face. There
      had been no problems between them until Logan showed up.

      * * * *

      Rogue sat on Logan's bed in his room. She wore one of his big
      flannel shirts and a pair of his boxers. they were way too big of
      course and hung down on her hips. Next to her sat a whisky bottle.
      She'd found it hidden in one of the drawers in Logan's battered
      bureau. It had been half full and she just drank straight out of the
      bottle. The first few gulps brought tears to her eyes and it burned
      a trail of fire all the way into her stomach. She coughed and hacked
      and thought she'd start breathing fire.

      In the drawer, next to the bottle, she had also found a box of

      "Naughty naughty, Logan. No booze and no cigars allowed." She had
      shaken one finger, chastising the absent man. "Whatever would miss
      prissy Jean say?"

      Rogue puffed on one of the cigars, and discovered with childish
      delight that she could blow smoke rings. It must have been a trick
      inherited from Logan; she'd never smoked before. She'd expected the
      cigar to taste disgusting, but actually found she enjoyed it,
      probably just another temporary trait picked up from Logan. And
      right now she liked being Logan, it helped her cope with the fact
      that he lay unconscious several stories below in Jean's lab.

      Rogue frowned as she thought of Logan. Logan. Logan. She took a
      swig of whisky and looked about blearily. The mess in Logan's room
      had been cleaned up, the blood washed away, although the walls and
      furniture still bore claw marks. It just looked like a really big,
      pissed off cat had gone ballistic.

      "Rarrrr," Rogue growled like a cat, curled her fingers into claws and
      swiped at the air. She drained the whisky bottle and
      belched. "Bring that up again and we'll vote on it," she said aloud
      and giggled. "Whoa!" Listing to the side she slid down onto his bed
      and tipped up the whisky bottle holding it above her mouth, dripping
      the last few drops on her tongue. She missed and the drops dribbled
      down the sides of her cheek and she swiped them away with a finger.
      She loudly sucked the whisky off the tip of her finger while cradling
      the empty bottle against her. Maybe Logan had more hidden somewhere
      but the thought of getting up and looking for it wasn't appealing.
      For now she was content to lie in Logan's bed and smoke his cigars.

      Rogue gazed at the cigar's glowing tip. Amazing how Logan's healing
      factor worked. If she'd done something this stupid on her own, she'd
      be barfing in the toilet by now. Although, if Logan's healing factor
      wore off before the effects of the liquor, she'd be in deep doo-doo.

      Someone knocked on the door. The last two times she was under the
      effect of Logan's personality, people tended to leave her alone.

      "Piss off!" she yelled.

      "Rogue," called a voice through the door. It was Scott. "I want to
      talk to you."

      "The feeling isn't mutual." The doorknob rattled and the door swung
      open. Shit. She thought she'd locked it.

      Scot hobbled through the door, a crutch under one arm. To claim he
      looked like hell was being kind. Somewhere in a remote corner of her
      altered state Rogue felt sorry for him.

      Rogue tossed the empty whisky bottle across the room and it bounced
      against the wall next to Scott's head, fell and spun once before
      coming to rest near his feet. Scott flinched, and stepped to the
      side. For a moment he looked ready to leave. She wished he would.

      "Bulls eye," she said, hiccupped then took another drag on the cigar
      and blew out a series of perfect smoke rings. "What the hell do you

      "We need to talk," he repeated.

      "I have nothing to say to you." From across the room she heard
      Scott's sigh. She ignored him and laid on her back blowing smoke
      rings into the air. After a bit she thought he'd left and his voice
      almost made her jump.

      "Would it help to say that I think you're right? That I think I
      might have misjudged Logan."

      Rogue's eyebrows rose. The righteous Boy Scout apologizing? For a
      moment she expected the earth to shake and angels to sing. Scott
      hobbled further into the room and stood beside the bed.

      "Why now?"

      "I had a talk with Jean. She has a habit of gentle beating sense
      into me."

      "How nice for you. Maybe next time she should use a club." Rogue
      grunted, swung her legs around and over the side of the bed and
      weaved across the floor to Logan's chest of drawers. After rifling
      through the contents of several drawers, she found another bottle of
      whisky under one of his T-shirt. "Aha!" she said and held up the
      bottle like a prized trophy.

      "I can ask Jean to bring you some aspirin," Scott said after a long

      She sent him an inquiring glance.

      "You'll need it when Logan's healing factor wears off. When was the
      last time you drank a bottle of Canadian whisky?"

      "Uh, like, never," she said and laughed, falling back on the
      bed. "Now go away and leave me alone with…" she held up the bottle
      and tried to focus on the label, "uh… Mr. Canadian Bub… I mean Club."

      Instead of leaving like she'd requested, he sat on the edge of the
      bed and winced as he stretched out his injured foot. "I really
      thought Logan was killing you," he said at last.

      "Logan would never hurt me," Rogue replied.

      "Yes, I know that now. I won't deny there is something about Logan
      that riles me. But Jean was right when she told me he needs us, even
      if he doesn't realize it. We have to find out what is wrong with

      Rogue sat up and put aside the whisky. "Jean has some ideas."

      Scott shook his head. "Not yet, but she's good at this and she'll
      find something and the professor can help." Scott patted her knee.
      At this moment he seemed like a recalcitrant big brother instead of
      the leader of the X-Men. Rogue reminded herself that he wasn't much
      older than her. She was eighteen and he was what? Twenty-five
      maybe? Twenty-six?

      "Can we call it a truce?" he asked.

      Rogue tilted her head to the side and studying him a moment and
      realized she wasn't being fair. She held out her hand. "Truce," she
      replied and they shook on it. "Want to stay for a shot?" Rogue held
      up the bottle.

      "No," Scott decline and chuckled. "Don't let Storm or Jean see
      that. Logan won't like them confiscating his whisky. And speaking
      of Logan, you should go see him, it might help. He's still in
      critical condition."

      "Yeah, I'll go. But I think I'll need that aspirin first." She
      pressed her hand to her mouth and burped. What a bummer of a time
      for Logan's healing factor to begin wearing off.

      * * * *

      Rogue walked, or rather stumbled in her current state, into the lab
      and looked around, squinting at the bright lights. It smelled of
      forced cool air and antiseptic that reminded her of a hospital. It
      was also a little cold and she wished she'd brought a sweater. She
      noticed was Logan lying on an exam table with only a white medical
      sheet draped across him from the waist down. Heavy metal cuffs
      secured him to the table around his midsection, wrists and ankles.
      She walked up and was able to studying him without those enigmatic
      dark eyes studying her back. She pulled the wrinkles out of her
      gloves then smoothed a fingertip across his forehead and eyebrows
      then brushed away a lock of hair. He didn't respond; his breathing
      slow and steady.

      "I wish I knew what was going on inside your head, Logan," she leaned
      down and whispered to him. "All you gave me was a powerful urge to
      drink whisky and smoke cigars."

      "He's sedated," said a familiar voice following by the tapping of
      high heels as Jean walked across the lab to join her. Jean wore a
      white lab coat over her blue dress and her hair was drawn up to a
      tight bun. "He looks so peaceful," she said, staring down at
      him. "Perhaps someday he'll be as at peace when lucid."

      "I was thinking the same thing," Rogue replied and touched his arm,
      wishing she could let him know she was here and didn't blame him for
      what happened.

      "How is your throat," Jean asked, slipped on a pair of surgical
      gloves and gently lifted Rogue's chin with a thumb and forefinger.
      Rogue knew the bruising and the painful cuts were gone, healed by
      Logan's mutant healing factor. "When you retire for the evening, I
      can bring you some pain killers if you'd like."

      "The pain is gone thanks to Logan, but I could still use some
      aspirin" Rogue replied, glad the marks were gone. Many of the
      students were already wary of Logan, and a few outright frightened.
      His attack on her only confirmed some of their worst fears. She
      nodded toward Logan. "Do you know what is wrong?"

      "I have a theory, and I'm still running tests," Jean replied. "The
      professor is suppose to meet me down here tomorrow morning. You may
      join us if you'd like."

      "Yes, I'd like that," Rogue said, glad they were including her. She
      felt she had a right to know what was happening with Logan. "What's
      with the restraints?"

      Jean sucked on her bottom lip for a moment. "They are… a
      precaution," she said. "I don't like them any more than you, but
      they're necessary to protect Logan and to…," she paused letting the
      thought hang unsaid.

      "Protect us from Logan," Rogue completed Jean's thought and the older
      woman nodded. She hated seeing Logan leashed down like a rabid

      "We can't risk another replay of this morning," Jean said quietly and
      tucked a stray lock of hair behind her ear that had escaped from the
      bun. Rogue saw then that Jean looked tired. Jean pulled up a chair
      and pushed it close to Logan. "Here, why don't you sit for awhile
      and talk to him. Even if he can't respond, perhaps he can hear your
      voice and it would do him good." Jean smiled then walked away,
      disappeared into her office and shut the door, leaving the two of
      them alone.

      "Logan, don't you dare die on me. Don't you dare." She scooted the
      chair closer, pulled the sheet up over his chest and put her head on
      the sheet and listened to the steady rhythm of his heart, her head
      rising and falling gently with each breath. Even wounded, he seemed
      strong, immortal. "I'm here, and I'm not leaving you. Tonight I'll
      be your guardian angel--everyone needs one of those, Logan. Even
      someone like you."

      She must have dozed off because something touched her hand and she
      jerked upright, staring around the lab in confusion before
      remembering where she was. The next thing she felt was a powerful
      pounding headache.

      "Ow!" she held a hand to her head and squeezed her eyes shut. "No
      more whisky for you."

      "Did you drink it all," asked a hoarse voice.

      Rogue momentarily forgot her pain and stared at Logan. He was
      conscious and looking at her.

      "Uh---what?" she stuttered. "Ohh!" She groaned and dropped her head
      back to his chest and she could hear him chuckle.


      "Yeah," she managed. "You drink some nasty stuff, Logan. No wonder
      you need a healing factor."

      "That's my best whisky your talking about," he said, she could hear
      the smile in his tone.

      "I'm glad you're back," she said, daring to hold her head upright
      again. It still throbbed but seeing Logan conscious made the
      headache bearable. "How are you feeling?"

      "Like I went on a four day bender with a few cases of bad bourbon,"
      he said then tested his restraints, she could feel his muscles
      bunching. "Am I on house arrest?"

      "Not exactly. Jean has been working all night to try and piece
      together what happened. She's going to talk to the professor
      tomorrow," Rogue said. Logan's expression hardened and for a moment
      he looked like the man that had attacked her. "Logan," she
      whispered, suddenly frightened. "Do you know?"

      "How's the boy scout?" he asked, clearly changing the subject. His
      abrupt dismissal of the subject did more to frighten her than sooth
      her. Anything that Logan wasn't willing to talk about couldn't be

      "He's fine," she replied, thinking it better not to push him. "Jean
      stitched and fixed him up." She tried to smile. "And here we are,
      all of us alive, so maybe there'll be a happy ending to this after

      "Come here," he said and wiggled his hand—it was all he could do with
      the straps around his wrist. Rogue folded her hand into his, feeling
      his strength pulse through every fiber of her being.

      Rogue closed her eyes laid her head back on his chest, wrapping one
      arm around him and hugging him tight. She could feel his breath
      across her cheek. "Logan," she said. "The professor will figure
      this out, he will." Logan didn't reply so she just held him,
      silently letting him know that she wasn't giving up on him.

      * * * *

      It was late when Jean finished the tests. She sat at her desk, took
      her glasses off and pinched her nose between thumb and forefinger.
      Her head hurt from staring at the computer screen. She wasn't pleased
      with the results of those tests, and they only served to create more
      questions and fewer answers. That Logan had been created to be a
      weapon there was no doubt. But why? What was his purpose? What
      were his creator's plans for him? A lot of expense went into to
      making Logan what he was, so why was he out free? And where were the
      people who created him? Could it be that they were just now using
      him? The professor said Logan had been wandering for close to
      fifteen years, so why wait so long?

      Jean placed her glasses back on her nose and stared at the computer
      screen in front of her, tapping her fingernails on the keyboard,
      frustrated that she was no closer to solving the mystery of the man
      called Logan than she was six hours ago.

      And speaking of time. She looked at her wristwatch. It was 4am.
      She was to meet the professor in 4 hours and brief him on Logan's
      condition. Perhaps a few hours rest would refresh her mind.

      Jean yawned and stretched, turned off her computer and wandered out
      into the lab to check on Logan one more time before she retired. The
      lights were dim and it took a moment for her eyes to adjust while she
      walked to where he lay. He wasn't alone.

      Rogue slept in the chair next to him, her head pillowed on the sheet
      covering Logan's stomach, her hand in his, her long dark hair
      spilling over him. Logan's chest rose and fell evenly, and Jean
      checked the machine and found his vitals had stabilized. She gently
      moved his head to one side and saw that the claw marks in his throat
      had healed. She didn't want to lift the sheet to check his stomach
      and accidentally wake Rogue, but she assumed those wounds were healed
      as well.

      Jean stood and watched them for a moment and a smile tilted the
      corners of her mouth. If anything could get Logan through this it
      was this young girl who unconditionally gave him her love and trust.
      She softly touched a lock of Rogue's hair.

      "Bless you," she whispered and left the room, leaving the two alone.
      Considering what she had found tomorrow wouldn't be pleasant and both
      of them would need their rest.

      * * * *

      The next morning Rogue gathered with Scott, the professor and Jean in
      a meeting room off the main lab. Comfortable seats were arranged in
      a semi-circle, stadium-like fashion and facing a computer console and
      a large flat screen monitor. Jean moved to it, tapped a few keys and
      brought up an X-ray photo.

      "As we are all aware, adamantium has been grafted to Logan's entire
      skeleton. This makes his bones virtually unbreakable, but it also
      prevents me from getting a clear CAT scan." She leaned over and
      tapped in a few more keys. "I went up through his sinus with a
      camera and this is what I found."

      A new image popped up on the computer screen. The professor jerked
      in his chair.

      "My god!" he said and wheeled his chair closer. "The first time I
      saw Logan's X-rays, I could scarcely believe it, but this is

      "It looks like micro electronics," Scott said, drawing closer to the

      "Exactly," Jean replied. "Before his bones were grafted with
      adamantium, they first went in and inserted micro-electronic

      "What do they do?" Scott asked. His stiff-legged stance telegraphed
      to all presence that he wasn't happy with this new bit of information.

      "That's the problem, these devices are so advanced I would not have
      believed they existed without this visible proof and I can only guess
      at their function." Jean sighed and picked up a laser pointer,
      flicked it on with a thumbnail and pointed it to the screen. "This
      tiny, solid mass here in the back of his retina is… well, I think it
      functions as a recording device of some kind. Here is the Thalamus,
      this large ovoid mass of gray matter at the base of his brain. It
      acts as the chief center for transmission of sensory impulses to the
      cerebral cortex. That is the location of another metallic object.
      My guess is that is the sensory information is changed, I believed
      when he attacked up he was hallucinating."

      "Great," Scott muttered.

      The professor said nothing, his face foreboding, his lips thinned.
      Rogue had never seen him this angry. Jean continued.

      "These masses back here are located on the brain stem, which mean,
      with the proper stimulus Logan can be," Jean shook her head and
      frowned, "well, I think he can be remotely controlled."

      Scott snorted. "I knew he was bad news, I just didn't realize how

      The professor ignored him. "Can you remove them?"

      "That's the problem. I can't get through his skull; nothing I have
      will dent it. I could through his sinuses again, but there's a high
      risk of killing him even with his healing factor."

      The professor sat and thought for a moment then looked up, his gaze
      encompassing all of them. "Jean, I spoke of an idea earlier, I think
      it's time to try it see for ourselves what might happen."

      * * * *

      Weapon-X opened his eyes and the visual information was immediately
      downloaded to a computer screen. The room appeared to be some sort
      of hospital room or lab. Doctor Kirby couldn't be certain because
      the lights were dim. Weapon-X moved his head and at one end of the
      room they could see a woman with white hair walking across his field
      of vision.

      Ororo Munroe, AKA Storm, the computer identified the woman.
      Abilities: able to control the weather.

      "What are Weapon-X's vitals, Miss Edwards?" Kirby asked.

      "Normal. Weapon-X has healed at a rate faster than calculated by our
      computers." She brought up a graph displaying Weapon-X's vitals.

      "Very good. They believe he is secure. Now is the time." He turned
      to his main systems scientist. "Weapon-X is ready for deployment.
      Bring him online."

      "Yes, sir," Downes replied.

      * * * *

      *Kill them!*

      Weapon-X jerked, his eyes snapping wide open, his senses instantly
      alert. Fists clenched, his arms strained against the lockdown. He
      lifted his head and tested the air, his mutant senses telling him
      that he wasn't alone in the room. He couldn't see his first target,
      but he knew where she was.

      Six adamantium claws slid from their housings in his forearm and he
      twisted his right wrist toward the restraint holding his left wrist.
      A minute flick with the adamantium claw cut through the metal strap
      like butter. With his left arm partially free, he quickly cut
      through the remainder of the restraints and sat up.

      His target sat at a computer screen with her back to him.

      A feral snarl lifted Weapon-X's lips as he silently slipped from the
      table and stalked toward her in a battle ready crouch.

      *Kill her!*

      * * * *

      Storm rubbed a thumb in a circle on her left temple. She really
      needed to get to bed. She frowned at the slight scuffling noise that
      came from behind her. She smothered a yawn behind her hand and rose
      from the chair.

      A shadow loomed over her. Her eyes wide, she gasped.

      A monstrous silhouette rose over her. The dim light in the lab
      glinted down the length of six adamantium claws.

      "Logan," she whispered. In that instant she knew she couldn't
      conjure anything strong enough to push him away in time. She could
      only watch in mute horror as those adamanium claws rushed toward her
      unprotected neck.

      End of Chapter Three
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