Major Rogue/Remy & Scott/Jean. Life has grown hard for Remy LeBeau. The Acolytes have disbanded, he is in exile from his home, and sombody has placed a large bounty on his head by a mysterious indi...
Chapter 4: Cold Trail
In the hot afternoon hours of the summer heat, much of the Xavier institute remained quiet while most of the others were at school. After the initial meeting between the Professor, Hank, and Logan...The security system had been silently updated to be more stringent. In addition, Logan had left on his bike to find out more information about Omega Red and Gauntlet. Storm had also been notified of the increased alert status, but Scott, Jean, and Rogue were still unaware and went about their day as usual.
It was shortly after lunch when Jean Grey descended the elevator to the lower levels of the institute basement. Rogue had opted to watch a movie while Scott decided to do a quick workout in the weight room. Jean had the intention of joining Rogue with her movie, but first she decided to see Hank, whom she had yet to actually speak to since her arrival. As she exited the elevator, she found him working over near the medical facilities on a strange new machine.
"Hey Mr. McCoy!" said Jean, provoking a surprising gasp from her blue, furry friend.
"Jean! My word it's wonderful to see you! Sorry I didn't get a chance to come up and say hi last night or this morning, but I've just been so busy down here. So how have you been Miss soon-to-be Doctor Grey?" said Hank as he closed the maintenance cabinet to the machine and turned to face his one time student.
"I've been doing real well, thanks. I just came down here to say hi and ask if you wanted to come up and have some lunch before the others get home and eat it all."
"Sorry my dear, but no rest for the weary. I'm too close to activating the institute's latest new toy. I've been working on it for the past several weeks and it's finally coming together!" said Beast with a noticeable amount of excitement in his voice.
"What exactly is this thing anyway?" asked Jean as she looked over the machine.
"Something I feel will definitely peak your interests! It's a brand new, state-of-the-art blood analyzer. Xavier and I have had this in the works for some time and I must say we are eager to finally implement it."
"Blood analyzer?" said Jean as she walked over near the controls, "It doesn't look like any blood analyzer that I've ever worked with."
"Yes well...This machine is truly one of a kind. It's the only machine capable of reading, mapping, and cross referencing mutant AND human blood at speeds faster than any other modern machine. It will greatly assist us in determining the control factors for mutants with hard to manage powers. That, and it can also run a cross referencing program simultaneously in order to trace the lineage of the X-gene through a family tree."
"Wow...Sounds neat," said Jean, being the aspiring doctor she was.
"I had a feeling you'd be interested my dear," said Hank as he closed the last circuit panel and began powering it up.
"So is it ready?" asked Jean as lights began to flicker over the large array of computer panels.
"I believe so...Now all we need is a test run."
Just then, a door off to the side opened and Scott exited the weight room drying the sweat off his face with a towel. As he passed Jean and Hank, he noticed the strange new machine that they were standing by.
"Hey Jean, hey Mr. McCoy. What's with the new gizmo?" asked Scott as he walked over to them.
"It's the institute's latest blood analyzer. Care to be our test subject?" asked Hank as the main computer screen lit up.
"Test subject?" asked Scott wearily.
"Oh it's nothing serious, but we can't test a high tech blood analyzer without a fresh blood sample now can we?" explained Hank.
"Uh...I don't know," said Scott as he looked at the machine.
"Oh come on Scott," coaxed Jean as she grabbed his arm, mindful of his sweaty form. "We just need a little sample of blood and nothing more. It'll take only a minute, I swear."
"Please..." said Jean giving him her best puppy eyes.
Scott tried not to look, knowing he couldn't say no to Jean when she gave him that look. For all the years he had known her, she had refined that look to the point where he was pretty much powerless to stop it and she very well knew it.
"Okay..." said Scott with sigh.
"Great! Thanks Scott!" said Jean as she gave him a kiss on the cheek. 'And just wait till tonight...And I'll give you a little reward for being so generous.'
Scott cheered up upon hearing that last part through their link as he walked over towards Hank to draw some blood. It didn't take long and they didn't need to draw much. Despite the slight discomfort, it was over quick and soon Hank had his sample to run through the machine.
"Thanks Slim...You can go now," said Jean as she gave him a band aid.
"You owe me Firebird."
"I know. And don't worry...You know I'll pay you back later when the time comes," assured Jean as she gave Scott a winning smile.
A slow smile spread across her fiancÃ¨'s face as he left for the elevator and upstairs to take a shower.
"What was that about?" inquired Hank with a smirk, knowing fully well what the answer to that probably was.
"Oh nothing," said Jean casually as she turned back towards the machine. "So what do you say we get on with the test?"
Logan had been on his bike for nearly four hours now. Not having any leads on the whereabouts of his old nemesis was frustrating to say the least. It was going on three in the afternoon as he turned his bike towards the back roads near east end of the city. He had asked around a bit and so far he hadn't gotten any information that could be considered useful. On top of that, Omega Red had done a good job of covering his scent from the Wolverine's powerful nose. The longer he went, the more frustrated he became. Omega Red and Gauntlet were definitely planning something...He could feel it. But he just wasn't quite sure what it was.
As Logan stopped his bike near an abandoned intersection to get pick up whatever scent he could, he suddenly smelled something familiar. With an angry grunt he unsheathed his claws and turned aggressively towards the trees and prepared to strike.
"Easy Logan, it's just me," said Nick Fury as he stepped out of the shadows.
"Yeah...I know," said Logan sternly, "What do you want?"
Logan kept his claws drawn, not fully trusting Fury after due to his long, complicated past with this man. While he had helped him recently in the past, it still didn't undo some of the things he had done to him.
"The same thing you want Logan...To find Omega Red and Gauntlet. Those two have been on our international top ten most wanted list for some time now."
"I don't care if we want the same thing Fury, I still ain't workin' with you!" quipped Logan in a hostile tone.
"I didn't ask you to work with me Logan...I just want to be rid of those two," said Fury knowing his one time friend had good reason not to believe him.
"So why come to me? You expecting a favor or something?" grunted Logan apprehensively.
"No...I came here with some new information."
This definitely peaked Logan's interest, but he still didn't trust Fury. Never the less, he withdrew his claws and stood ready to listen.
"What kind of information are ya talking about?" said Logan as his curiosity grew.
"It's not much and so far SHIELD hasn't been able to make much use of it...But maybe you and your friends can. We got a new name linking Omega Red and Gauntlet. We have reason to believe that this name may be the boss that hired these two in the first place. The name...Is Sinister."
Nick Fury didn't lie when he said it wasn't much. To Logan it was somewhat of a disappointment, but it was still more than he had found thus far.
"Yes, Sinister. Our database doesn't have any info so far on this guy, but we think it's an alias," said Fury.
"No kidding...So that's it? That's why you followed me?"
"In laymen's terms...Yes. I'm breaking a few rules by giving you this information...But I suppose even an organization like SHIELD needs help as well every once in a while. And when it comes to Omega Red and Gauntlet, anything goes."
"I'm flattered," said Logan sarcastically as he turned back towards his bike.
"Logan..." said Fury as he watched his one time friend start to leave.
The Canadian mutant didn't respond as he turned back to face him before he planned to leave. Words were never his specialty, especially when dealing with men like Fury.
"I know you don't work for SHIELD anymore, but if you do find these two scumbags...Don't do anything rash. I know you have a personal grudge against them, but remember...This issue doesn't just center around you. If you find them...You call me."
A brief silence fell over the two men as the tension around them became thick with mistrust.
"No promises, bub..." said Logan as he got back on his motorcycle and sped off back towards the mansion.
Nick Fury was left behind to wonder whether or not he had made the right decision in sharing this information with Logan. But desperate times often called for desperate measures. His organization demanded results and if they couldn't catch two internationally wanted mercenaries...He would most like be blamed. As unpredictable as Logan was, he still had a knack for finding people that even SHIELD couldn't. He only hoped that one of them would succeed soon before it was too late.
Remy LeBeau had been lying low for nearly 12 hours now. Last night he hadn't gotten a wink of sleep because he was forced too stay alert and avoid whoever or whatever was after him. He had never felt so tired before in all his life. But now, he felt as though he had finally evaded his pursuers. His encounter with Omega Red had increased the urgency of his situation. Now the man who had been making his life a living hell knew he was in Bayville...And if he stayed, it meant certain death. He had already sunk to the lowest point in his life and there seemed to be little motivation to move on. However, he kept on living...Even as the whole world turned against him, he lived on.
As he finally stopped to catch his breath, he began to let his mind wander.
'What kind of life is this...Why do I bother wakin' up when every day just gets worse and worse?'
As uncertain thoughts drifted through his head, he finally decided on a drastic course of action. It was an act that he didn't want to do...But he would have to if he was going to survive.
It was around five in the afternoon and most of the institute residents had returned home from school. Rogue had avoided listening to their incessant groaning about finals by holding up in living room watching her movies. Jean, Hank, and the Professor were still cloistered down in sub levels with that new blood machine and Scott was performing some extra maintenance on his car. Overall she had stayed relaxed throughout the day even though her thoughts kept drifting off towards Remy. As another one of her movies ended uneventfully, she decided that maybe she should go for a swim before dinner. But as she got off the couch and prepared to walk back towards her room, the phone began to ring. Being the one closest to the phone, she decided to answer it.
"Hello, Xavier Institute," said Rogue in to the phone.
"CherÃ¨...It's me," replied an urgent voice over the line.
"Remy?!" said Rogue in shock as she moved to a more sequestered part of the room where hopefully nobody would hear her, "What are you doing calling here? What's goin' on?"
"Remy ain't got time to explain cherÃ¨, but I will. I just need to see you, Rogue...And soon."
"But why? Remy, what's goin' on? Tell me!" said Rogue in an increasingly worried tone.
"I can't now...But please cherÃ¨...I need to see you. Don't question it...I wanna tell you in person."
A brief silence soon came over the line as Rogue struggled to process everything that was happening. It was all coming so fast, but Remy sounded desperate...And she wanted to help him.
"Okay Remy...Where do you want to meet?" asked Rogue, not wanting to stay on the line for much longer.
"In basement floor of the parking garage near the restaurant we ate at last night. I'll be waitin'...Hurry cherÃ¨."
And with that, a sudden click was heard as Remy hung up the payphone he was using on the other side and rushed to the meeting spot. Rogue was just left there to process what had just happened. She knew Remy well enough to know when something was really wrong...And this situation was no exception. He had sounded like this before, but it had never been this urgent. She had to know more...
Rogue proceeded to hang up the phone and rush towards the garage. She didn't even notice Scott as she jumped in to her car and sped off in to the setting sun.
Downstairs in the medical quarters Jean, Hank, and Xavier were still in the mists of testing the new blood analyzer. And so far, everything had been going well. Despite some initial adjustments that had to be made, the machine stood ready to run a full scan of the blood sample that Scott had offered them.
"Is it ready now Hank?" asked Jean as she watched him calibrate a few last minute changes to the program.
"I believe so Jean...I think we're ready to fire it up for an all out analysis," said Hank in a rather excited tone, "Would you like to do the honors my dear?"
"Can I?" asked Jean as she looked over towards the Professor who seemed just as eager to get this machine running.
"Of course Jean," said Xavier with a friendly nod, "After all, you will be an institute doctor soon."
Feeling the excitement that now hung in the air, Jean placed a small drop of blood on a slide and inserted it in to the main analyzer. As the machine lit up in a spectacle of lights and began to hum with activity, the main program began to run.
Large streams of data began flashing on the screen at great speeds as the powerful new machine deciphered the sample and all its wealth of knowledge. The three onlookers continued to run program after program, making sure that everything was in working order. All seemed to be going well...Until Jean began running one of the most complex programs of the whole system. Then...She saw something on the screen that caused her freeze in complete confusion.
"That can't be right," she said to herself as she ran the program again.
Her comment had attracted the attention of her fellow mentors as they moved over towards her position to see what the problem was. But as the program ran again...The same startling result flashed upon the screen.
"Jean...What's wrong?" asked Hank as he noticed the expression on her face.
Jean just covered her mouth in shock as she looked over the data again and gasped.
"These readings they...See for yourself," said Jean as she let her more experienced friends look at what she had seen.
Upon deciphering the data, they too felt a wave of shock consume them as what they saw completely defied all logic.
"Run it again," said the Professor as he struggled to get past this startling find.
Jean ran the program again...But the results were still the same. It only further confused the three minds as the shock of what they had just found refused to wear off.
"How can this be?" said Jean who seemed too be the most concerned because this was blood belonged to her soul mate, "How could we have missed this?"
"This machine is far more powerful than anything we have ever used before Jean," said Xavier as he tried to put this new finding in to perspective, "I don't think we ever looked close enough at it to see it earlier."
A strong silence soon fell over the room as only the gentle hum of the machine could now be heard. Jean felt paralyzed as she worried about the repercussions this may have on Scott.
"So what do we do?" asked Hank, who for the first time in a long while felt completely stumped.
"I have to check on this data...I have to make sure that it's true," said the Professor as he wheeled his way over towards Cerebro.
It was around 6:30 when Rogue arrived at the parking garage that Remy had told her about. Her mind was stuck on how urgent his voice sounded over the phone. She was shocked that he even called the institute in the first place, knowing he never wanted to risk someone like Logan or the Professor finding out about his involvement with Rogue. She hoped that if something was wrong, he would at least let her help him.
As she pulled her car in to a somewhat secluded spot, she immediately began scanning for Remy. The light of the basement in the parking garage was felt like that of a nightmare under the dim light. The more she walked through it, the tense the air became around her. Then, out of the shadows behind her, someone from behind approached her.
"Remy!" said Rogue in shock as she turned around to see his face, "You scared the shit outta me!"
"Sorry Rogue...But givin' the situation, I don't have a choice," replied Remy in a somewhat tired voice.
"Well why is that? What's wrong and...What happened to you?" said Rogue in an increasingly concerned voice.
Remy had looked dirty and lost before, but this was beyond anything she had seen before. He had dark circles under his eyes, hinting that he hadn't slept in a few days. The clothes he had been wearing were now tattered and torn and there were numerous wounds that he was trying to conceal. He was obviously not well...And Rogue didn't want to see him like this. She knew he didn't deserve this...She knew that he had a good heart underneath his self-loathing exterior. But the despair in the Cajun's eyes only grew, for what he planned to say to this girl that had stolen his heart would be very difficult.
"Nothin' cherÃ¨...Just got in to a little fight that's all," said Remy still unsure of how he was going to say what he wanted to say.
"It doesn't look like a 'little fight' swamp rat! You look like a damn war refugee!" exclaimed Rogue as she traced her hand along a small, discolored wound that ran down the side of his face.
He felt paralyzed by her touch as he felt his heart literally break in two from this. He swallowed hard as he prepared to say what he had rehearsed over and over in his head countless times.
"Everyone's after me Rogue...And I'm not just talking about casual street thugs. Now some crazy mutant soldiers are tryin' capture me like some animal. It's getting too dangerous cherÃ¨...I'm sorry mon amour...But I can't stay here in Bayville anymore. Remy's made a choice...I just wanted to see you one last time before I left."
Rogue looked back in to his tired eyes as a new sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach began to emerge as she heard him say those words. For the past year, this man had helped her feel things she thought she could never feel. Now, he was saying he was going to leave her after everything he had given her...And she didn't want it to happen.
"What...No. Remy you can't leave...You can't I..." but Rogue soon began to feel choked up by the fury of emotions that were surging through her very being.
"Remy has to go cherÃ¨...If I stay here any longer, I'll wind up captured or dead and I'll be bringin' nothing but trouble to anyone I come near."
"That's not true Remy!" said Rogue as tears began forming in her eyes, "I can help you! My friends can help you! Please..."
Remy just shook his head in sorrow as she gently collapsed in his arms. He could do nothing but embrace her back as he tried to capture this feeling so he could remember it for the rest of his life. They both knew that once he left...They probably would never see each other again. It hurt...Because there was definitely something between them...Something they both felt, but couldn't explain. They didn't know if it was just friendship or all out love...But now it seemed they would never know the answer to that one question that had lingered in both of their minds.
"I wish there was more I could do cherÃ¨...But I can't get anyone else involved in my mess. Only I should suffer this fate...Remy's bought it upon himself and now I have to pay for it."
"Don't say that!" said Rogue as she held on to him tighter, "You don't have to be alone...You don't have suffer. Please Remy...I need you I..."
Rogue's words devolved in to uncontrollable sobs as she clung to Remy, trying to stop him from leaving. It hurt the young Cajun to hear her cry...But there was nothing he could do about it...He knew he couldn't stay. He didn't want her to get hurt because of him. He had to live with enough guilt as it is...If something happened to her, he knew he could never live with himself...Ever. But if he did leave...He at least had to let her know how he felt about her. This southern angel had to know the truth or else she may never know. Slowly...Remy LeBeau took a deep breath as he prepared to speak his peace with the southern belle.
Then suddenly, a dark laughter echoed throughout the concrete walls of the basement. Startled, Rogue and Remy began to frantically look around them to find the source of this sickening sound. Soon, the laughter stopped and out of the snide echoes arose words from a sinister voice.
"How touching...This is truly a scene worthy of soap operas."
The laughter continued as the two young mutants frantically scanned the area. It was as if the sound was coming from all directions and they had stumbled in to a living nightmare.
"Who's there?! Where are you!? Show yourself!?" yelled Remy as he took a card out of his pocket.
The laughter died down as a new presence emerged from behind them. As they turned around, they were greeted with the sight of a tall, dark man casually leaning against the wall. His eyes glowed an ominous red as shot the bewildered young mutants a sinister grin.
"Why Remy...I'm surprised you don't recognize me," said the man as he started to walk towards the southern couple.
"Are you the guy who's been makin' my life a living hell for the last two years?! I've never even seen you before!" yelled Remy in response prepared to throw the charged card right at this man's head.
"Oh come now...Surely you remember something. Can't you feel it, Remy LeBeau? That sickening feeling crawling up and down your spine...Burning away in the recesses of your mind."
Remy felt a sudden chill run through the core of his very being as he heard the tone of this strange man's voice. He lowered his hand as a new feeling of confusion cam over him. Every rational cell in his body was telling him that he had never seen this guy before in his life...But there was still this feeling gnawing away at his mind...A feeling that he couldn't ignore.
"Yes...That's it Remy...You can feel it...You know. Look me in the eye Remy...Come to me."
Remy started walking over towards this man in a strange trance as the strange feeling in his mind forced him along. Rogue, on the other hand, had seen enough...She knew this man was trouble and she had to do something about it.
"NO! LEAVE HIM ALONE!" yelled Rogue as he lunged forth at the man in an effort to try and stop him.
The glow in the dark man's eyes suddenly flashed and every muscle in Rogue's body became paralyzed. Suddenly, she was stuck...She couldn't move...She couldn't breathe...And she started choking. Upon seeing this Remy came out of his trance as his concerns immediately shifted back towards Rogue.
"LET HER GO!" yelled Remy as he prepared another card.
The mysterious man just grinned back at the bewildered Cajun mutant. Then, in one swift, fluid motion...He grabbed a strange, powerful taser-like device and pointed it towards Remy. Before he could react...A powerful surge of electricity knocked the Cajun off his feet and sent him in to a world of unconsciousness. His concern for Rogue had been his undoing, for he had not been fast enough to get away. The dark man turned his attention back towards Rogue as the strange paralysis that had hindered her began to wear off.
"You son of a bitch! What do you want from him?! Who are you!?" yelled Rogue as she prepared to attack this strange assailant again.
But the grin on the man's face didn't leave as he pointed the device back towards her and gave her a milder, yet still severe blast of electricity. It knocked her back nearly ten feet, but it didn't knock her out. As she got up, all she heard was the sickening laughter of the dark man as he stood over Remy's unconscious body.
"My name is Nathanial Essex...But you may call me Sinister. And this doesn't concern you 'Rogue.' Little girls like you should not venture in to other people's business. You shouldn't have gotten involved with this pathetic waste of flesh!" said Sinister as he gave Remy's still form a hard kick, "This affair goes way beyond your understanding!"
Rogue struggled to stay awake as she looked back at this strange man and tried to understand his mysterious words.
"What do you want with him? Why have you been making him suffer?" said Rogue as her head continued to spin as a result of the shock.
Mr. Sinister just laughed as he took out a strange looking grenade and held it firmly in his hand.
"You'll know soon enough 'Rogue.' You and all of your friends will know soon enough."
As soon as he said those mysterious words, Sinister threw the grenade in to the ground and a large plum of smoke consumed the area. Rogue forced herself up through the pain as she tried to stop this man from taking Remy. But as soon as the smoke cleared...She looked around in horror to see that both Remy and the mysterious Mr. Sinister were already long gone.
AN: Uh oh, Sinister has Remy! And right when he was about to tell her how he felt no less! And what do you think has gotten Jean, Hank, and the Professor so concerned? What do you think it all means? Stay tuned to find out! The next chapter is HUGE! You won't want to miss it! There's plenty more action, suspense, and Romy and Jott to come! Oh, and one quick note...Sinister's appearance is that of the Ultimate universe, the one where he looks more human. Just thought I should tell you! So what did you all think? What are your thoughts on this story so far? Please tell me! Send me your reviews at my email address or post them on the fanfiction website! I'm open to all feedback and I'd love to hear what you think! Thanks for reading and best wishes to you all!
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