X-Book 4 -- Of Politics, Tacos and Other Things that Give You
Chapter 16: No-Skinned-Flipper-Thingy
Rating: PG-13 (violence, language)
Genre: Crossover (with anything I can squeeze in), SPOILERS FOR X2
Summary: See prologue to book 4
Disclaimer: I own nothing in regards to the Marvel characters or
any character from a previously published source portrayed in this
Reviews: Any feedback would be great and is appreciated!
Rogue was wandering through the halls of the mansion with her
backpack slung over one shoulder. Crisis or not, her duties to the
X-Men did not free her from her school work, or the impending wrath
of one Dr. McCoy if said school work was not complete.
It was after noon, and Rogue had just left the dining hall where she
had been eating lunch with Bobby and Kitty and any other students
whose appetites had been calling out for food. Now, she was heading
for the library, where all the calories she just consumed would be
burned by her brain cells in her search for a passing grade from the
great, blue doctor.
Her mind could not focus on her homework, however, and her thoughts
constantly strayed back to their last mission. There were still
many questions left unanswered about their new enemies (both seen
and unseen). Plus, there had been little word from the Professor
about what had happened to the other mutants present at the now-
Rogue pushed open the door to the library and dropped her bag on a
nearby desk with a sigh. School work now seemed more like a trivial
chore compared to her new concerns, but it would also give her a
welcome break by shifting her attention to something other than the
thoughts and memories she had haunting her mind. Thoughts and
memories that were not all her own...
Rogue was about to sit down when she spotted Mary alone in one
corner of the large room. She was sitting in the direct sunlight
shining in through one tall window, and she was huddled over a very
large book. Rogue frowned, and wondered how long Mary had been
sitting there, since she had not been around during breakfast or the
recently passed lunch hour.
Without much regret for leaving her school work behind, Rogue walked
over to where the other young woman was sitting. Mary did not react
as Rogue walked up to the table, or when she sat down across from
her. Mary's eyes were darting back and forth across the pages,
flipping between chapters and then hastily scribbling into a spiral-
Rogue stared at her for a moment longer, an amused smile spreading
over her face, as she watched Mary's intense attention to her
studies. Rogue chuckled inwardly and wished she had that kind of
dedication to her text books.
"Professor X makin' you write a thesis or what?" Rogue said suddenly
and Mary jumped with surprise. Her large, dark eyes blinked a few
times as her vision readjusted to looking somewhere beyond the
printed pages. Rogue laughed and then covered her mouth to muffle
the noise as other students glared at her with annoyance.
"Sorry," Rogue said quietly, "I didn't mean to scare ya...but you
looked just so...into whatever you're readin'."
Mary grinned and sighed, "It's okay. I was just tuning out the
world I guess. This stuff really sucks you in..."
Her last words trailed off quietly and Rogue frowned and leaned
forward over the table to see what the book was about. The page
Mary had stopped on was filled with an intricately drawn picture of
a very nasty-looking creature. On other side, Rogue read the title
word upside down, but translated it as, Nuckelavee.
"Jeez..." Rogue said, and glanced up at Mary, "No wonder you
jumped. What are you reading?"
"It's a book the Professor gave me," Mary replied quietly, "He said
it might help me with some of my questions about...well, about what
happened the other day..."
Rogue twisted her head so she could read the smaller print on the
"The Nuckelavee," she read aloud, "...is first found in ancient
Scottish lore regarding the sea. It is described as a monstrous
horse with legs that are part flipper and one fiery eye rising from
its back...black blood coursing through its yellow veins...red
muscles are exposed because it has no skin..."
Rogue raised her eyebrows and glanced at Mary, "I gotta say...you're
homework is much more interesting than mine..."
Mary chuckled and turned the page, "That's not the worst of it.
This book is like a field guide to every demon and monster from all
over the world. There are details on how to avoid them...and how to
Rogue frowned, "Why would the Professor give you somethin' like
"Because..." Mary began hesitantly and took a breath before
continuing, "Because...I think that creature in the base might have
been some kind of demon."
Rogue looked at her with surprise, "A demon? You mean...like a real
"I know it sounds crazy but..." Mary said, but then lowered her
eyes, "But...I don't know what else to call it. It...it wasn't
human...at all...I know I must sound crazy but I know it wasn't...or
hasn't been for a long time..."
"I don't think you're crazy," Rogue said darkly, "I saw into the
memories of that mutant at the base, remember? He was drawing life
energy from everyone in that hanger...and...he wasn't drawing
anything from that dark man we saw."
Mary glanced up at Rogue and looked relieved. Rogue reached one
shaky hand over the table and turned the book slightly so she could
"If I was going to call anything a demon," she said, "That thing in
the hanger would be it."
"Now the question is..." Mary said, "What kind of demon is it?"
Rogue grinned and turned the book back toward Mary.
"I guess that's for you to find out," she replied and then added
with a shaky laugh, "Just make sure we're not dealing with the `no-
It was Mary's turn to laugh now, and she leaned back and shook her
"Oh, God, I hope not," she said, "Though I took some notes just in
Rogue tilted her head slightly, glancing over Mary's shoulder, and
waved. From another corner, Kurt emerged from the shadows. He
smiled as he sat down at the table with them and placed a book down
in front of him. It was significantly smaller than the volume from
"Hello, Rogue," he said cheerfully, and then pushed the small book
towards Mary, "Here you go. I knew there was one here. I still
have the other copy in my room..."
"Great...thanks, Kurt," Mary replied with subtle excitement and
began to page through the text.
Rogue frowned, "What is that?"
"A copy of the New Testament," he replied, "Mary asked me if there
was one in the library so...there it is..."
They watched as Mary scanned the words until she spotted the passage
she was looking for.
"Here...look at this," she said and handed the book back to Kurt.
He frowned as he stared down and Rogue glanced over his shoulder.
"This is the story of Jesus exorcising the demons from a man and
casting them into the sea," Kurt said, and Mary nodded. She was now
paging through the volume from the Professor and pointed out a page
to the others.
"Right," she said, "Now look at this..."
Kurt and Rogue looked at the picture in the book and read the text
quickly. The drawing was of many dark creatures falling into the
ocean at the command of a figure in white. The title at the top of
the page simply said Legion.
Rogue began again to read aloud, "A group of demons from classical
Christian mythology. The demons inhabit the body of a man, but in
their true form are numerous in number. Their presence is
characterized by the typical demonic traits of cold and shadows, so
that their true form is not visible outside their human shape..."
Kurt's eyes widened and his fingers closed unconsciously around his
"You think..." he began, "...that was what we saw in the hanger?"
Mary shook her head, "I don't know. From what the volume says, once
the demons were cast into the sea, they were separated, which was
good for the guy they had been possessing...but bad for the rest of
"Instead of one big trapped group of demons," Rogue said, resting
her chin in her gloved hand, "We've got a whole ton of free
"Yeah..." Mary agreed reluctantly, "That's...what I'm thinking..."
"Legion..." Kurt said softly, "`For we are many...'"
"How many?" Rogue asked and Mary glanced over at the large volume
sitting next to her.
"I don't think we want to know," she said, "But...maybe this book,
and any others the Professor has, would be able to help us learn how
defend against them."
Mary sighed, and the worried expression did not leave her face. She
was thinking about the demon in the hanger...of the ice and
cold...of how it took a hold of her...and then she sent it
It wanted us, she thought, It wanted mutants...why would it want
Every generation is more powerful than the last...
That was what the Professor had said.
...And the number of mutants born is increasing...
"He's scared of us," she said softly, and Kurt frowned.
"What did you say?" he asked and Mary looked up and smiled.
"Nothing..." she said, closing the large volume of demon lore, "You
know, I've been staring at this stuff for hours now...I think I'm
gonna take a break for a while...maybe a nap..."
Rogue nodded, "Okay...gonna be at dinner?"
"Yeah, sure...I'll see you there," Mary said, heaving the large book
into her arms and walking out of the library. Kurt and Rogue
watched silently as she exited through the wooden doors.
Kurt looked worried and curled his large fingers around his rosary.
Rogue sighed, "And I was worried about my physics homework...now
"Yes...wait...Was sagten Sie?!" Kurt exclaimed and then he spoke
again with disbelief as Rogue chuckled.
"I don't think Mary showed me that page yet."
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