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  • mainsmel
    Chapter 7-Ping Pong Gone Wrong Three weeks! Jerk the mattress off the bed. Kick it towards the door. Three whole weeks— He couldn t believe it! Drag the army
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 9, 2002
      Chapter 7-Ping Pong Gone Wrong

      Three weeks! Jerk the mattress off the bed. Kick it towards the door.
      Three whole weeks— He couldn't believe it! Drag the army cot opposite
      the doorway. That meant, including his trip up here, he'd been gone
      from the school more than a month. Set the bed upright against the
      wall. What was happening to him? Was he going catatonic? Shove chair
      and table over by the mattress.

      Standing back, he studied the results of his labor. Table, chair and
      mattress by the door frame. The cot, vertical, its four legs resting
      against the wall, presenting its springs to the opening. He tested
      the springs now, throwing his body against the links—a stalwart,
      unyielding set, not about to bend under a man's weight and give him a
      comfortable night's sleep. Yup, the army bought well.

      He'd done all he could. Might as well see if his screwy idea worked.
      Logan positioned himself by the door, picked up the metal table, held
      it by two legs. He foresaw three possible outcomes of what would
      happen in the next few minutes: 1-he would escape, 2-he would end up
      sleeping on the floor, 3-he would be battered to death.

      What Logan didn't know about physics would fill a physics book, but
      he had observed that the magnetic field repulsed metal objects with
      far more energy than the energy which it received. He also was a firm
      believer that everybody and everything had a breaking point.

      "So, let's put the two together," he now muttered, "and have us a
      little game of Ping-Pong."

      Twisting his body, he swung the table around 180 degrees and with all
      his strength threw it into the empty doorway. Immediately, the
      magnetic field repelled the table with a force three times his
      effort, smashing it into the springs. The table bounced back, hit the
      field again, returned to the springs even faster—

      Logan just barely ducked a broken-off leg, was about to straighten
      when a second whizzed by, struck the wall and ricocheted off. Citing
      caution as the better part of valor, he huddled behind the wooden
      chair, pulling the lumpy mattress over him for protection as he
      looked out between the chair's slats.

      The noise was overwhelming: the springs whanging, the table—what was
      left of it, anyway—crashing into the bed, the bed itself angrily
      chattering at every strike, the table legs—thank God, there were only
      four of them!—snapping off, booming into the walls, or bouncing off
      the floor and ringing like church bells, and from the doorway itself
      came a hum growing louder and louder until the whole room vibrated.

      It was only the table top now, rebounding faster and faster until it
      was just a streak and a whang and then, as the humming rose to a high-
      pitched, skull-breaking screee like a drill bit going through metal,
      the magnetic field suddenly burst with a hollow scrunch like a
      dropped watermelon, and the table top flew out to hit the concrete
      floor in the hall with a deafening clang and a trumpet flourish of
      dying echoes.

      Logan wobbled to his feet. He was free, he realized dully. But he
      wasn't so sure that his freedom was worth the cost. His whole body
      was a-jangle: his bones felt like they were vibrating inside his
      flesh as if he were some kind of human tuning fork, and his blood
      swished about, sloshing in his veins like an agitated sea. Clutching
      his throbbing head, he wavered to the door, stumbled out into the
      hall, swayed off balance, and was kept from falling by Magneto.

      He jerked to a halt, arms dropping to his sides. But it wasn't
      Magneto who had immobilized him, rather his own shock. The man
      regarded him coolly, looked past him into the wreck of the room at
      the deeply pocked and cracked walls where the table legs had struck,
      at the cot which had pounded holes in the plaster board for its feet,
      at the obdurate springs which bore only flesh wounds in the form of a
      few dented links.

      "Clever." Magneto nodded in the direction of the army cot, a smile
      pulling at his lips. "But not a terribly subtle escape, would you

      Logan scowled at everything but at the man before him as he ground
      his teeth. "Guess not," he muttered at last.

      "However," Magneto continued, "since you seem to have profited by
      your days of rest here and regained your strength—and just now so
      loudly stated how ready you are to leave—shall we go to the lab and
      pick up where we left off?"

      Logan shuddered, found he was gasping and couldn't fill his lungs.

      "I don't have to restrain you, do I?"

      He almost laughed. Stupid to struggle, make a run for it. Magneto
      could stop him cold with a curl of his little finger. Logan
      swallowed, squeezed eyes and lips tight, gave a single, sharp shake
      of head, and followed the man down the corridor, jaw clenched against
      futile pleas and entreaties. He wasn't going to beg!—he hoped. Out of
      the corner of his eye he glimpsed a smirking Toad, a horrified Fawn.
      Witnesses to his surrender.


      He tumbled down a well of fire, screaming, weeping, pleading for the
      torment to stop. And finally it did. But his body still struggled to
      escape, limbs jerking, breath fast and shallow as he ran and ran.

      "Rest. Rest, now." A cool hand steadied his head while a damp cloth
      blotted the perspiration off his face.

      He groped blindly, clutched the hand to him. "Make it stop. Please,
      make it stop!"

      The hand tensed in his grip a moment, relaxed. "It has stopped, my
      boy. Rest, now."

      But great, wrenching sobs tore him apart and he continued to flee the
      phantom pain. The hand slipped away, leaving him alone in the burning

      "Noooo . . . " he moaned, reaching out for that anchoring hand. His
      eyes flew open, searching for the security, the sanity it offered.

      A man bent over him, smoothed back the hair from his forehead. "I'm
      sorry. It will all be over soon. This will help you sleep."

      A sharp sting bit his arm. It was such a light, playful hurt compared
      to what he had endured that he laughed with surprise and pleasure. He
      smiled up at the sad-faced man.

      "I know you. Don't I?" His words came out in hoarse whisper.

      "Yes. I am Dr. Erik Lehnsherr. I am taking care of you."

      "What happened . . . to me?"

      "You've been hurt. But you'll be better soon. Sleep, now." The hands
      arranged the pillow under his head and straightened the covers, one
      dropped to squeeze his shoulder gently.

      "My brave boy. Your ordeal is almost over. You're doing well, better
      than I had hoped. I'm very proud of you."

      He felt a flow of warmth surge through him at the man's
      praise. "Thank you," he whispered. "Thank . . . " And sleep took him.
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