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  • razberrybullet
    Chapter 15-Dawn Cyclops made the first move, flinging open the tunnel door. Stubborn bastard was outside, just like Logan figured. And his fiery beam would
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 23, 2002
      Chapter 15-Dawn

      Cyclops made the first move, flinging open the tunnel door. Stubborn
      bastard was outside, just like Logan figured. And his fiery beam
      would have taken off Magneto's head, too, except the man bent down
      just then, frantically beating at the rat galloping up his leg.
      Naturally, when the ray of fire splattered on the ceiling the
      sprinklers turned on. Logan grimaced and shook the water out of his

      Right on the heels of Cyclops, rushed Storm, crackling with anger and
      little lightning bolts. A small tornado caught up Toad, whirled him
      round and round as he ricocheted off the walls. Logan grinned. Wasn't
      there some joke about a frog in a blender?

      Jean was holding her own with Mystique, rather, holding Mystique
      hostage in mid-air. Meanwhile, the wolves and the lynx were having
      the time of their lives, cavorting about and chasing the rats, which
      were humping over each other to escape and climbing up anything
      vertical. Magneto was doing the Irish jig, kicking, prancing,
      shouting, waving his arms. The bastard was in damn good shape. Logan

      Fawn was running from wolf to lynx to wolf, trying to get them under
      control, but it was a matter of too many cooks in the kitchen—or in
      this case, too many rats in the lab—that unraveled the rescue.

      Cyclops was zapping little flame darts at the scurrying floor around
      his feet and it was pure luck the guy didn't burn off a toe. Two rat
      armies chose the same moment to scale both Storm and Jean and the
      women shrieked, dropping Toad and Mystique respectively as they
      batted off rodents.

      Toad was out of it, Logan judged. The little creep was sprawled
      nearby looking greener than ever. Logan leaned toward him. "You

      "Gurk . . . "

      Logan hastily jerked away and stared with all his concentration in
      the opposite direction in time to see Mystique gather herself off the
      floor and head for Jean, tongue flicking and gold eyes flashing. He
      was awkwardly clambering to his feet to go to the woman's aid when
      Rogue, already at Jean's side, stretched out a fingertip, touched a
      clenched blue fist.

      "'Scuse me, Ah wouldn't do that if Ah were you."

      Mystique started, shuddered, slumped, curled into a pool of bright
      blue water.

      Logan looked around. Only Magneto was left, but he was crouched in a
      corner, quivering, whimpering, held at bay by a plague of rats. Logan
      went over to him, gingerly sweeping aside vermin with his bare feet.

      The all-powerful Magneto shrunken into a frightened, sniveling
      huddle! Logan had expected to gloat, instead he felt a surge of pity.
      Before him was a broken, weeping old man. But wait a goddam minute—
      This was the bastard who had imprisoned him! Tortured him!
      Manipulated him for his own crazy, fanatic reasons! He lifted a hand
      to strike—noticed with surprise and pleasure that it did lift,
      painlessly, surely—then hesitated, lowered it, gently squeezed the
      man's shoulder.

      "Hey. Hey, it's okay."

      "Get them off! Get them off me! Please!"

      "Sure. You just take it easy. I'll get rid of 'em."

      Logan spun around, shot out his claws, snarled, stamped, growled. The
      tide of rats turned with frantic squeaks. "I'm the biggest damn cat
      you'll ever see!" he shouted after the fleeing rats.

      The wolves and the lynx had finally understood that they were rat
      wranglers and were joyfully herding the rodents out of the lab
      followed by a harried Fawn. Storm and Jean were clinging to each
      other in a tremulous hug while Cyclops stood around looking shame-
      faced. Toad was still being sick by the wall, Mystique was in for a
      long night's sleep, and Rogue—

      "Hey, y'all, look at me! Elvis lives!"


      The Blackbird was packed. Fawn waved them off. She was really sorry
      about Dr. Lehnsherr. She only knew he didn't like rats for some
      reason, but rats are so smart! Well, anyway she'd come down to the
      school later when Scott returned to the base for his motorcycle. She
      planned to finish her studies. She was definitely going to be a vet.
      Or maybe a zoologist. But first she had to say goodbye to her animal
      friends here.

      Cyclops consulted copilot Storm and the heavy load lifted with a
      wobble. Behind the pilot was a shattered Magneto with Jean kneeling
      beside him in the aisle, attempting to soften his childhood memories
      of the concentration camp—rats attacking the weak and sick, rats
      feeding on the living. On the floor at the back of the cabin was the
      lump that was Toad and the curl that was Mystique. And in the last
      seat was Logan with a facsimile of himself perched on his lap.

      "Now Ah got claws, too," Wolvie Jr. was saying. "Ah'm big. Ah'm bad.
      Ah'm mean. Ah'm WolveREEEEEEN!"

      "Quiet!" Cyclops snapped.

      Logan grinned. "Better not bug the pilot, kid."

      "Sure thing, honey." And Marilyn Monroe gave him a hug.

      Thank God it wasn't Elvis! he thought. A light struck him in the eyes
      and he squinted, looked out the window. The sun was coming up. Logan
      suddenly realized that he hadn't seen the sun for more than two
      months. He watched the dawn's bright rays chase away the mist, chase
      away the dark. Renewed life flooded the earth in a brilliant, golden
      wave. Logan took a deep breath. It had been a long night.


      Xavier met the Blackbird, knowing more or less who and what to expect
      from Scott's somewhat disjointed radio message. Authorities took away
      Toad. Mystique and Magneto were placed on stretchers and attended by
      doctors. Scott seemed disgruntled. Jean and Storm appeared tired and
      frayed around the edges. A huge, black football player bounded out of
      the craft. Xavier started. Someone famous, he knew, but he couldn't
      place the name.

      "Hiya, Teach!" And Rogue charged for the elevator, eager to show off
      her new toy.

      Logan emerged last wearing only a pair of jeans. He looked thin,
      pale, drawn, his hair frizzy as if it had been subjected to heat. But
      Xavier noticed that the wild, hunted tension that habitually shadowed
      the man's eyes was missing. Instead . . . Was it peace? And if Logan
      felt more at peace with himself, then he was more at peace with the

      "It's good to see you, Logan. Welcome home."

      "Yeah. Thanks, Chuck. It's good to be . . . home."

      "Did you find your past?"

      Logan's eyes flicked away, back. "I found my present. And that's
      enough." He gave a rueful laugh. "For now."
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