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Hate Is An Understatement
The piercing cries tore through the sounds of battle on the
bayou refused to stop. Rogue's bloodcurdling scream of pure
pain could have chilled the bravest warriors that walked the
earth. Gambit shouted for Candra to stop but she was enjoying
herself too much to pay heed to his pleas for the girl he
had come to love. Candra had stopped attacking Rogue but the
aftermath of her and Gris-Gris's handiwork were often worse
than their assaults.
Remy watched helplessly as Rogue twisted and turned on the
ground screaming, "No No NO!!!!!!!!!!"
Rogue saw images...terrifying ones. Some of them memories
of those she had absorbed from years before. She felt the
pain of a thousand men and mutants. They were none of the
unfortunate victims of her powers which was uncontrollable
a long time ago.
'Then where's all this comin' from?' she thought helplessly
to herself as she felt another surge of pain racking her shivering
"What de fuck y'doin' t'her Candra?" Gambit demanded.
"Oh nothing much," Candra shrugged. "Just transferred a piece
of you into her and with Gris-Gris' help, I was able to strengthen
her greatest fears." Gambit's eyes widened partly from fear
and partly from shock. "That's right Remy.. she is experiencing
your memories, your thoughts...your pain and all of those
who YOU'VE hurt in your lifetime," Candra hissed. Her anger
was finally appeased through this rite of revenge. "And I
took it upon myself to aggravate it by re-surfacing some of
her own worst ones."
Candra crossed her slim arms against her ample bosom. Rogue
was still trapped in the abyss of her onrushing insanity.
Random images of people she could not even recognize flooded
into her feverish mind threatening to override her senses.
Suddenly she found herself huddling in the dark unable to
see anything around her.
"Fancy findin' ya here sweetheart." She heard a familiar
southern drawl and turned up to see Cody approaching her from
the shadows. He was his handsome self, charming grin, kind
clear blue eyes and radiant skin.
"C-Cody?" Rogue managed.
"In the flesh!" he replied cheerfully. "But o' course," he
began, his face screwing into a scowl," cos o' you... I don't
have much flesh ta speak of no more!" With that, Cody's cheeks
sank and his eyes bulged. His limbs twisted gruesomely and
his back bent like a fetus. "See Rogue!! See what you've done!!"
Rogue shut her eyes tightly and whimpered. "No No NOOOOOOO!!!!!!!
I didn't mean to!!!"
She broke into sobs. She felt a hand clutch her chestnut
tresses and pulled her head up forcefully. Cody grinned at
her, his corpse-like face breathing foul, decaying breath
into her tear-stricken one.
"Look at me Rogue...this horror is you...you and your powers.
You think you finally got it figured and controlled? This
is what's gonna happen to all those you love..and I am the
first stupid bastard who got it comin'. You cain't run from
your past nor your powers Rogue. You don't control 'em...they
Rogue's gloveless hands that held onto Cody glowed eerily
and Cody began to crumble into a heap of bones before her.
She heard clapping and looked up to see Carol Danvers, Miss
Marvel coming towards her.
"Bravo Rogue! You killed him once again!"
Rogue screamed unable to take the terror that she was exposed
to. She looked at her bare hands and wailed,"Nooo!!!"
All those painful therapy sessions with Professor Xavier,
all those grievous days she spent crying herself to sleep
when she had failed, all the disappointment, all the rejection,
all the suffering, everything resulting in nothing. She was
losing the most difficult necessary skill she had acquired,
her control...over her powers, her pain, her emotions, her
Outside of Rogue's mental discord, Gambit was still locked
to the tree watching as Rogue ranted, "Oh God! Oh God nooo!
I'm losin' control..I'm losin'..cain't! So much pain..too
much...cain't handle it!"
Remy struggled but it was futile, Candra had a strong grip
on him. As a last resort he shouted to his tortured team mate,"Rogue!!!!!!!
Chere!! All dat not be real..it's Candra she be playin' wit'
your head! Fight back!"
She twisted onto her side, trying to respond to him, but
she was trapped too far inside the voodoo trance. Then as
her dilated eyes flitted open for the briefest of moments,
she caught sight of Candra leering over her, a smug expression
of satisfaction that struck a familiar temperamental chord
in Rogue. And what of Remy and her fellow team mates? The
complete strangers that became, first her friends and then
her family. She just couldn't give in now, she owed them that
much, these people whom call themselves the X-Men. Rogue was
willing to sacrifice her life but not theirs..not now...not
Galvanized by her vow, Rogue concentrated, siphoning and
collecting bits and remains of the powers that Candra had
inflicted on her...The feeling of those powers were flowing
through her veins and with all the strength she had left,
she centered them on Candra's unsuspecting mind. Candra was
paralysed for a moment as the terror of her own powers worked
against her. No longer held captive, Gambit charged at Candra
and with a swift flick of his wrist successfully knocked her
unconscious with his bo-staff.
"Protect de benefactress!" Singer cried as all the Assassins
retreated and moved to the external, who lay motionless on
Gris-Gris turned to scowl at Gambit, "You will pay for dis
boy!" With that, he lifted his arm and threw a smoke bomb
to the ground that exploded unleashing a fog of thick mist
that enveloped them. When it finally cleared, they vanished
into thin air and the silence reigned supreme once again.
Rogue's petite frame jerked and shuddered against will as
she curled into a ball on the ground. She choked on her sobs
and convulsed, even as Remy knelt down next to her, enveloping
her traumatized body with his strong embrace, stroking her
"It's over mon cherie."
"I haveta do dis Belle...no way I c'n stay after what I've
done...I'm so sorry m'amour." Gambit froze at the familiar
words spoken by the fallen comrade in his arms. He watched
as the beautiful innocent before him re-lived the worst moments
of his life. "Sold my soul t'de devil..got paid big time..not'in
I c'n do to make t'ings better for you. Dere's not'in left
on dis world f'r us an' it's all my fault. Goodbye Belle...I
Gambit's eyes fell, holding back tears of sorrow he thought
he could never shed again ever. Rogue reached out and clutched
onto the cuffs of his sleeves weakly.
"It hurts," she croaked, back in her own psyche.
"I know," He bent down to place a light kiss her warm forehead.
"I know," he whispered again into her ear as he picked her
up gently and cradled her in his strong embrace. He made his
way back to the Blackbird clutching a fragile young woman
who fell into a fitful slumber, exhausted from a fighting
a battle that she had won.
To be continued.
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