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FIC: Causa Anima [15/18] [PG-13]

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  • tosh
    Causa Anima by Nancy Lorenz. E-mail: tosh@opera.iinet.net.au Rating: PG-13. Some violent, disturbing themes. Swearing. Archive: XMMFF, WRFA. All else, all
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 9 10:27 PM
      Causa Anima
      by Nancy Lorenz.

      E-mail: tosh@...
      Rating: PG-13. Some violent, disturbing themes. Swearing.
      Archive: XMMFF, WRFA. All else, all ya gotta do is ask.
      Classification: General, L/R UST, S/J content.
      Series: Manus Mortiferum
      Spoilers: The Movie.
      Synopsis: Continues on after the movie. The Mutant Situation is
      worsening and Erik Lenscherr escapes from prison. Rogue suffers
      a terrible mishap during the mission to stop him that shakes the
      foundations of her psyche and changes her life completely.
      Disclaimer: All characters copyright Marvel and Fox.
      Feedback: Enjoyed, responded to, adored and worshiped. Respond
      to the email above :)
      Author's Note: This is beta read, but not to the fullest extent
      that it can be. Some comma and semi-colon confusion occurs. Does
      that really bother you? I figure it's only fan-fic, and I have a
      comic to ink so I don't have the energy to break my back over
      this thing. But I did get rid of the spelling mistakes and the
      grammar mistakes. Most of them anyways :) Very big thank you
      to my Betas - JennyEdu, Jennifer Hallmark, Shaz Nolan, and I
      swear there must be someone else. I can't remember right now.
      E-mail me, smack me up the side of the head and I'll rectify it
      in the next chapter posting. Love ya's alls mates! Oh - and I
      know I said I'm releasing it a chapter a day, but I'll forget to
      do that I think, so I'm just doing it bunch by bunch :)
      Dedication: To the WRGrrls. You've been around for over a year,
      and the fandom is still going. That's majorly cool. Without
      your support, your enthusiasm and love, I'd be nowhere. This
      tenacity and companionship has helped me improve the crafts that
      I want to take into a career. For that, I thank you and love you
      always. Thank you girls.

      Chapter Fifteen:
      Battle Scars

      They stood around the briefing table, faces drawn and clearly
      showing their exhaustion. Professor Xavier sat at the head of
      the table, fingers woven together, calm exuding from him. Rogue
      wondered how the hell he could be so calm at a time like this,
      after what they'd been through. She felt herself twitch with
      excess energy, anger building within her as time went on.

      "Report," said Xavier.

      "They ransacked the lab," Cyclops said.

      Yay for Captain Obvious, Rogue thought darkly.

      "They targeted the office computers, uploading information from
      their mainframe," said Jean. "I took the liberty of taking one of
      their hard drives. Kitty is going through it now, breaking the
      codes and gathering as much information from their computers as
      she can before they change them."

      Xavier frowned, eyes soft and sad. "I assume there was a good
      reason for you to take it..."

      "Yes sir," Jean said, wilting a little under his admonishing
      gaze. "While we were in the basement labs I found this..." She
      pulled a wad of printed papers from her jumpsuit, handing them to
      Cyclops to hand along to the Professor.

      His wise blue eyes skimmed over the paper, and looking up to Jean
      his frown deepened. "This is data pertaining to mapping a human
      DNA string."

      "Not just any string sir," Jean said. "On the second page
      there's a paragraph mentioning a certain point in the string
      where the mutant gene is located. It goes on to describe its
      attributes and the specifics in mapping it... I believe that this
      document is about mapping that genome."

      Storm's brows tilted, her arms crossed and her lips taught.
      "What are you saying?"

      "I believe what our dear Jean is saying," said Hank, "Is that the
      purpose of this government funded laboratory was to map the
      mutant DNA string, specifically seeking which strand causes one
      to be a mutant."

      The alarm in the Professor's eyes was evident. At that moment
      there was a bleep from a console on the table. Xavier pressed a
      button. "Yes?"

      "Hi Professor, it's Kitty." The voice was nervous and lacked the
      cool authority of his older X-Men. "Uhm - I've hacked my way
      into the government server... I think there's some stuff here you
      guys would like to see."

      The Professor pressed his lips together darkly. "I'm on my way."


      Kitty typed away furiously on the keyboard, and as the X-Men
      entered the computer lab behind her, she waved a hand absently in
      greeting. The team, still in their battered uniforms, gathered
      around her, gazing at the large flat screen that the cube was
      plugged into. Kitty's fingers flew, stopping occasionally to
      shift the mouse about on the pad. She glanced to her friends
      behind her and her jaw dropped.

      "Wow... you guys look like shit."

      "Feel like it too," Rogue said.

      Kitty glanced to the Professor next to her before getting back to
      the computer. "Swear to God, Professor, if you came up to me and
      just gave me this information without telling me what it was, I'd
      swear it was some freaky-deaky sci-fi conspiracy theory crap."

      Logan lifted a brow. "You're in a school that secretly harbours
      a group of mutant vigilantes," he said. "Dunno if you noticed,
      but you're living this freaky-deaky sci-fi conspiracy crap."

      Kitty eyed Logan then got back to typing. "That's what worries
      me, dude."

      The Professor frowned thoughtfully. "Can you somehow download
      this information onto our computers?"

      "Already ten steps ahead of you, Professor," Kitty said, "I've
      been downloading since I broke in. I've also been saving
      information on their security protocols, in case I ever want to
      break in again." She blinked then looked to the Professor.
      "Er... that is... if *you* ever want to... er... hehe." She
      looked back to the screen, cheeks red. The Professor just gazed
      at her sternly.

      "Is there any way they can trace this breach back to us?" asked

      Kitty cocked an eyebrow, snorting. "Please! This is Kitty Pryde
      you got workin' here. I'm far too good at this to get caught out
      like that."

      Cyclops gazed at the screen. "I'd think about how much time
      you're spending with Jubilee there, Kitty," he said smoothly.
      "You're sounding more like her every day."

      Kitty stopped, eyes narrowing, and she turned her head at
      Cyclops, glaring at him coldly. "If you were a decent human
      being, you'd take that back."

      Rogue nudged her friend gently, and Kitty went back to her work.

      "Here we are again!" she said, "Legacy, Legacy... this word is

      Jean frowned, pointing to the files. "Legacy01.doc,
      Legacy03.doc... spreadsheets... image files..."

      "Keep downloading," the Professor said. "Normally I would not
      approve of this course of action but under the current

      "You can't afford not to," Jean finished.

      The Professor nodded.


      Jean's back ached as she stepped from the shower. She didn't
      remember hurting it, but with all the rolling around in agony
      she'd done that night, she wasn't surprised that she'd pulled a
      muscle or two. Wrapping herself in a heavy fluffy nightgown, she
      plodded from the bathroom, sipping at a glass of water. She
      looked at the clock on the nightstand.

      6:37 am.

      It felt more like noon. The hours had crawled along, and she'd
      been kept up giving the team members the once over in the
      infirmary, to make sure they'd not suffered any serious injury.
      She looked to her fiance snoozing on the bed. Poor Scott. She
      sank down onto the bed next to him, running her fingers through
      his hair. He groaned, not quite asleep as he'd only just turned

      "Nice..." he mumbled.

      She smiled, drawing circles on his scalp with her fingertips.
      "How are you feeling?"

      "Considering my body looks like a patchwork quilt from the
      beating that green guy gave me-"

      "Rogue said his name was Quicksilver."

      Scott looked to Jean, cocking a brow. "He named himself after a
      surfing label?"

      Jean looked to the ceiling and smiled. "I think he's named for
      the more traditional meaning, honey."

      Scott blew a sigh through his cheeks. "I feel okay." After a
      moment, "Better, since you started giving me the head rubs."

      She sighed back at him. "Well, I'm afraid they're going to have
      to stop for the moment."

      Scott's mouth dropped open. "Huh?"

      Jean shook her head. "I can't get my mind off of these
      government files, and..." A crease of effort touched her brow
      lightly, "Hank is up looking at them too."

      He stroked her arm, "Hon, you should probably get some sleep
      after tonight..."

      Jean closed her eyes. The psychic bombardment she'd gone through
      had drained her, but something inside her couldn't let her rest,
      not on what they'd discovered tonight. "I will," she said,
      leaning over and kissing Scott tenderly, "After I read a few of
      these files."

      She moved to leave, but Scott's hands grabbed hers. She looked
      to him.

      "I was scared for you tonight," he said.

      She nodded.

      "I love you."

      She smiled. "I love you too, Scott." She bent over, kissing
      him again, this time letting her lips sink deeper to his and
      pulling away slowly, she cradled his face. She mouthed, "Love
      you," one more time, then dragged herself away from the bed.
      Warm Scott and a soft bed was very tempting, but the possible
      future of mutantkind needed to be determined.

      She was tired as she entered the private office that came off of
      the bedroom. It was the kind of tired that wouldn't let you
      sleep. It was the kind of tired that was past sleep. Every limb
      hurt, but her mind wouldn't sit still for a moment, therefore
      weariness evaded her. Her eyeballs even hurt. She rubbed them
      as she sat down and turned on her laptop and the lamp with her
      plodding mind. She sank down into the soft self-adjusting chair,
      the creak filling the room. As she waited for the computer to
      start up, she could hear the soft snoring of Scott from the other
      room. Her mind floated to him, adored him. It gave her peace to
      do that.

      She sighed, pulling herself away from such luxuries and brought
      her attention to the computer in front of her that awaited her
      command. The drive whirred as she accessed the school's server,
      and in turn, the files that contained what Kitty was able to
      swipe from the government computers. The file that contained
      their stolen information was easy to spot.

      It was called Legacy.

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