X-Book 1: New Allies New Enemies - Chapter 23 - Recovered Evidence
Summary: (See Book 1: Prologue)
Disclaimer: I own nothing associated with characters from the Marvel
universe or any previously published work.
Storm, Scott and Logan stood before a large monitor, watching the
salvaged pieces of the lost video play again and again. There had
only been a few minutes of actual, discernible footage that had
survived the twenty or more years it had lie abandoned, and each
clip only lasted a few seconds. Yet, those brief glimpses of the
past left the three X-Men in a mix of awe and bewilderment.
"What the hell are we looking at?" Logan said, as the video
flashed by in a confusing montage.
Storm shook her head, staring wide-eyed at the screen, "I wish I
As the grouping of clips began again, the image of a large white
room reappeared before them. An older, slightly balding man was
standing with his hands behind his back, speaking to the camera.
The sounds were difficult to discern, but Logan was able to
understand a few of the words.
"Ok, we're back to this guy again
" he grumbled and
frowned as he listened.
"Can you make out anything else he's saying?" Scott
Logan shook his head, "No
just what I heard before. He's
talking about the Lot experiments, then some crap about amino
then its all just dead air..."
The scene flashed out and another image appeared. This time it was
of the same white room, but it was lined with beds, each containing
a young man or woman in their late teens and early twenties. By
their hair and clothes, they had obviously been filmed at least
forty years earlier, but the exact date on the bottom of the screen
was illegible. Among them was the same balding man, talking to them
with a pleasant smile as nurses and medical staff prepared
As the footage again turned hazy, the video clips with any kind of
clarity began to flash by quickly...and became much more
disturbing. The young men and woman in the hospital beds were in
varying stages of chaos; some convulsing and shaking, some
screaming, while other simply looked comatose or dead.
Storm looked away as the footage played, not wanting to view the
horrible images again. Scott stared at the screen with a stony,
grim frown and Logan was glaring angrily, a rage building as he
stood witness to the suffering of so many people. People who were
barely old enough to vote...many probably the same age as Rogue...
Finally, the last clip appeared again, and all three watched in
quiet awe. The footage had obviously been taped by a higher quality
camera than the previous film, but still looked very old. Looking
out over a large, mostly empty room, the video showed a young girl,
no more than eight or nine, standing with her hand clenched and her
back to the camera. She was looking at a ten-foot cinderblock wall
lined with wires. Her light blonde hair hung past her shoulders,
and she was wearing a simple dress and small black shoes. She could
have been heading to school or to the playground, but it was obvious
that she had not seen the sun in a long time.
The little girl had not moved and did not seem to react at all as
the cinderblock wall began to smoke. Flames grew, sprouting from
each brick, and quickly consumed the wall until it collapsed into a
fiery pile at her feet. The girl tilted her head slightly, and the
camera followed her gaze to a tub filled with ice, which also burst
into flames until the room was filled with steam.
Before the video ended, the girl spun and looked up at the camera.
She was shouting something inaudible, but it was obvious from the
look on her face that she was both angry and exhausted. There was
such a great sadness about her that each X-Man wondered what torture
had caused her eyes to look so old when she was still so young.
Storm stopped the footage before it could begin again, and Scott
sighed heavily, sounding frustrated.
Poor kid, Logan thought, feeling a little pity amidst his fury.
"So," he said, "I ask again, what the hell are we looking
"It must be the first experiments," Storm said softly, "I
wonder if they were human or mutants...they never really tell
"Well, that kid was a mutant," Logan said, "Do you think
that kid's the one the Professor and Magneto met?"
"Must be..." Scott replied, "From what the video shows,
she's a pyrokinetic, just like the woman they met. That's an
extremely rare gift..."
"Isn't that what Pyro is?" Logan asked, and Scott and
Storm exchanged sad looks at the mention of their former student.
Scott shook his head, "No, John was different. He couldn't
start fires, he could just control it. Fire manipulators are common
among mutants, but there's never really been a documented
Logan pointed to the screen, "There's your document, bub.
I'd say some kid blowing up a concrete wall is pretty strong
"It's not definite that there was no other source of fire in
the room, though," Storm added thoughtfully, "We can't be
sure she caused the fire herself."
"It's a shame we can't find her and ask her," Scott
said, "And if the Professor was never able to find her again, she
may be dead. What we should be really focusing on is finding out who
may be trying to start these experiments again."
"I think you're right," Logan said and Scott nodded,
surprised by the other man's support. Ever since Alkalai Lake, a
strange truce had formed between them. Neither man could resist
throwing the occasional insult, but when working as X-Men, there was
no sarcasm or bitterness, which Storm suspected was primarily
because of their continuing respect for Jean Grey.
"The papers you found, Logan, also talked about other test
subjects," Storm said, "All children, but each with different
abilities. The latest entry listed was for `Lot 23,' in
which six subjects survived. One says `vocal sonic force,'
sounds a lot like Tracy. Another says telekinesis, another mental
domination...the list goes on like that. Apparently the drug
activated each mutant gene in a different way, just like the natural
induction of mutation."
"So, it worked," Logan said, "And make each kid a
different kind of weapon...making mutants...like Stryker..."
"But Stryker wasn't making mutants," Storm stressed,
"He simply used your mutation to change you. His goal was
destroying mutants...not making more."
Scott frowned, "Maybe we should do a search on modern chemical
and drug companies. See if any of them have been expanding lately,
maybe have Bobby hack into some of their fiscal information and see
if any funds have been transferred to strange locations."
"So, Iceman's a hacker now?" Logan said with an amused
grin, "What are you guys teachin' these kids?"
Storm smiled, "Modern technology survival skills. The more they
know about how you can break into someone's computer, the more
they'll know about the kind of electronic blockades we have up
Logan chuckled, "Maybe I'll have him buy my cigars on E-Bay.
Rusty's place is getting a little crowded with the some new
"I guess you met Gambit," Storm said, looking amused but
annoyed at the same time. She guessed Remy had been out drinking
again when she saw him acting like a walking hangover this morning.
"Is that the Cajun's name?" Logan asked, and when Storm
nodded, he shook his head, "When did you guys start letting the
like him in?"
"I think it was right after you joined up," Scott said quickly
before heading out of the lab, garnering a glaring smirk from Logan.
Jean would have laughed at that, Storm thought sadly as Scott, then
Logan left the room, leaving her alone with her thoughts of the past.