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Homecoming: A Time for Being Alone

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6

This story is in progress.

Disclaimer: The X-Men are the property of Marvel Comics. I do not own them in any way, and I am also using them without Marvel's permission, but I gave them their honour, so suing me will not help much, for I am flat broke in anyways ... unless you want my wheelchair...
Furthermore, I do not even live in New York, so Crescent Park, as well as the Subway, are figments of my twisted imagination.
So, the bottom line is, this is a story about Rogue, and any comments or criticisms will be welcomed with open arms...
Hell, even if you want to sledge my little story I can be reached at
Bye Now!

The Homecoming

Part 2

A very disorientated Rogue sat on the cold floor of the building where she was obviously being held captive. She slowly shook her head from side to side as she carefully allowed her mind to search through the memories that were coming back to her.

She remembered being sent on a mission by Cerebro, at the reports of a malicious attacks on the Subway system of Crescent Park, which was a part of the lifeline in the pulsating city of New York...

The remaining members of the X-Men, Rogue, Beast and Professor X were all gathered in the heart of the X-Men Headquarters, the Control Room. The other X-Men were sent on missions of their own, so this small party of X-Men were the only ones that remained.

Xavier was seated in his hover chair at Cerebro's master terminal with the remainder of his students seated behind terminals of their own.

Beast was unlucky enough to contract the flu, and Trish was with him. She was mothering McCoy continually, whilst trying to stuff another gallon of Chicken soup down his throat.

Rogue sat off to their right.

All of them were summoned here by Cerebro, at the report of attacks on Crescent Park, and the nearby Subway system.

Now, all of them listened intently as the X-Men's super computer's metallic voice game floating through as it gave the report..

~Reports of attacks on Crescent Park, and of the nearby Subway system has been received. According to the data that I have to my disposal, the attacks have been launched by what appears to be the Sentinels, or mechanisms which resemble them closely. Even so, this information is unclear, and should be deemed inaccurate.

The received data however, clearly indicates that the subway system has been rendered ineffective, and that all manners of transport has been brought to a halt. I have tried tapping into the Subway system computers, but the system was of line.~

Charles Xavier sat back in his hover chair as he contemplated the situation. His grey eyes looked unseeing into the far distance, for the Professor was deep in thought.

Slowly Xavier spoke up, his voice grave with concern and worry.

"Cerebro, could any motive for the attacks be established?"

~I have numerous theories for the attacks, anything ranging from a disgruntled commuter to a terrorist threat, but even so, I have found no confirmation of any motive, as of yet.~

Xavier and the rest of the X-Men digested this information in silence, until Xavier spoke up once more.

"Cerebro, has any loss of life been reported?"

~That could not be determined with the data that I have to my disposal.~

The Professor accepted the given information with a mere nod of the head as he moved on to his next question.

"Do we have any visual confirmation of the situation?"

~Strangely no. According to available data, no news teams have yet arrived at the scene.~

"That is very odd," Trish spoke up. "By now news vans should have had swamped the area, for the last time I checked, a attack on a subway system was big news."

"Thank you, Cerebro," Xavier said as he turned back to face his remaining X-Men.

"You are correct, Trish, and you are not the only one who is puzzled by that detail, but that is not really my main concern."

"No, it ain't. What's really gettin' to ya is the fact that Sentinels have been used t'do the dirty work, ain't that right, Professor?" Rogue said from behind her terminal.

"That is correct, Rogue," Xavier confirmed. "Cerebro says that he is not sure if the information is accurate, but if the Sentinels were involved, I wonder why. No mutant seems to be involved, so the Sentinels have got no business attacking a subway, especially if it is Crescent Park."

"So the way I see it, dear Charles, is that the only beneficiary from this attack on the transportation system of the fair New York would be a terrorist, or a terrorist group, for it would cause a great inconvenience, if nothing else," a flu-ridden Hank McCoy joined the discussion, whilst attempting to avoid another spoonful of chicken soup from Trish.

"Correct, Hank. This whole Sentinel issue just does not make any sense."

"So why don't Ah save us all some time by flyin' over there to have a bit of a look-see? Then we won't be wastin' our time speculatin."

Xavier fixed his eyes on the beautiful young woman that sat before him, and he knew that she was right. He was just about to suggest the same thing. Beast obviously was out of the question, so Rogue was the obvious choice for this recon mission.

"Excellent idea, Rogue," Xavier agreed. "I need you to go down to the Subway and investigate the matter, for it puzzles me greatly."

"Piece a cake, Hon," she told the Professor with her most disarming smile. "Ah bash em Sentinels for breakfast. It's been a time since Ah had a 'lil fun..."

"Very well then," Xavier answered. "Remember to keep radio contact with us at all times, via the Comm-links."

"Sure thing, Professor," Rogue said as she got up from behind her terminal and headed for the exit doors of the Control Room.

"Remember, Rogue, be careful. We do not know what dangers await you, so please be watchful."

Rogue smiled inwardly to herself. No matter what anyone said, Xavier was the closest thing she had to a father, and she could not help but to notice the concern for her in his voice.

It's nice t'have someone lookin' out for ya, for a change, she thought.

"Always, Professor, always," she reassured him with a smile...

Beast made a move to get up as well, but a fiery gaze from Trish made him slouch back in his chair, knowing that her was beaten by a superior force on the day.

Rogue watched the little exchange with a chuckle and headed towards the exit door of the control room, ready to leave. The auto sensory doors opened up at her approach.

"Please have me in thy remembrance, dearest Rogue, as thoust dismantles those unfortunate enough to stray within the range of thine's most powerful hand," a resigned Hank chimed in, which the voice of a man left to his doom.

His statement was punctuated with what seemed to be a well-timed sneeze, which set of another frenzied bout of mothering from Trish.

"Ah sure will, Hank!" she called as she stepped through the doors, taking her leave.

The auto sensory doors closed behind her, hiding her from view.

As he slowly watched Rogue fly away on one of the monitors of the outside cameras, the Beast shuddered at the thought that he might not see her again...

"I hope she will be careful. I do not know why I say this, for Rogue is more than capable of taking care of herself, she has done so all her life, but...," a worried Xavier uttered the words he feared most, his grey eyes cast of into the distance.

The Beast shivered inwardly as the Professor echoed his thoughts.

"You actually believe that someone is foolish enough to take on that peculiar Lady without knowing what he's in for, my dearest Charles?" Beast tried to break the tension as he focused his gaze upon his old friend, whilst Trish still mothered over him.

"Yes, I believe you are correct Hank. Who would be so foolish indeed?" the Professor replied, trying to take his worry for Rogue out of his voice. Still, he could do nothing for the worry that flitted unconcealed through his grey eyes.

They all had a little laugh at the Professor's final words.

It did not sound very convincing, not at all...

As Rogue flew towards the Crescent Park Subway system that ran through Central New York, she relished the soft rays of the sun that played over her face, along with the breeze that ruffled her auburn hair on this sunny day.

Typical of the Sentinels t'spoil sucha fine day with their meddlin'. Ah really am gettin' tired of them makin' life difficult. Mine, and that of the others. What the hell are they tryin' t'prove anyway? That recycled garbage cans can be hazardous t' yer health? she thought darkly as she fought for more altitude and speed.

The first thing that struck Rogue was the absence of people.

As she flew above and over the entrance to the Crescent Park Subway, she noticed immediately that there was nobody there. No cars in the street, no people on the sidewalks no people in the shops, nothing.

Nobody in Crescent Park either. There must be one hecuva sale goin' on somewhere, or people only come to the park on rainy days, she thought glumly as she touched down at the main subway entrance.

She glanced this way and that, but she saw no people in the streets. It was if everybody just...left.

Rogue walked to one of the nearby curio shops, but even this was empty of people.

"Talk about a thief's paradise," she said out aloud to no one but herself.

As Rogue took in this modern ghost town, she activated the Comm-link that hung snugly inside the belt around her waist.

"Hi, anybody in the Mansion takin' this call?" she spoke sarcastically.

"No need to poke fun at me over the Comm-links, Rogue. I created them for communication purposes only, and not for taking cracks at me," Hank responded, with all traces of humour gone in his deep voice

"Hey, Ah'm sorry, Beast," she apologised. "Is the Professor around? Ah need t'speak with him."

"I am right here, Rogue. What is the situation?"

"Ya wouldn't believe me if I told ya Professor. Absolutely nothing is goin' on in the Crescent Park Subway system or in the Park itself. Absolutely, nothing, zilch. There are no people, and Ah mean no people around. It's really spookin' me Professor. Ah don't know what's goin' on, but Ah don't like it..."

"Neither do I, Rogue, neither do I," the Professor's voice crackled over the comm-link speaker. "Were there any people on your way there?"

"Yeah, and then about a block from the subway, not a soul. Everything else is here, the Park, cars, shops, everything but the people. What'cha want me t'do, Professor?"

"Investigate the subway, itself, Rogue. Find out what is going on, but keep the Comm-link open, so that we can keep radio contact at all times," he cautioned, worry evident in his voice. "I do not like this spell of nonactivity."

"You ain't the only one, Professor. Ah'm going in now."

Slowly Rogue walked down the steps that led into the subway, finding everything as she found it on the top. There was nobody around. All the benches were empty, and all the trains stood still, for there was no one in the control room, either. The hallways of the long subway tunnels was devoid of any motion, and everything was coated in a thick silence.

All that Rogue could here was the sound of her own breathing, and the sound of the charged up third rail, which droned away in her ears with a consistent humming. She saw no visible signs of any attack of any kind, for nothing was damaged or broken.

"Hey, anybody out there? We're through playin' hide 'n seek. Y'all can come out now!" she called, not hoping to get a response, only aiming to break the silence.

What the heck is goin' on here? The whole of Crescent Park just can't simply vanish!

This whole affair was leaving Rogue a little more than angry, and she felt like just dropping everything right there and then when something suddenly hit her from behind.

And it hit her very hard...

At Salem Centre, Xavier, Beast and Trish were listening intently to the sounds that were transmitted by Rogue's comm-link, and the tension in the Control Room of the X-Men home base was getting to all of them.

All that they could hear was the metallic sound of Rogue's transmitted footsteps, and her catcalls that echoed the tension that they all felt.

This was one of the few times that Xavier regretted the psi-shielding that Rogue's powers gave her.

Even though he was arguably the most powerful telepath in the world, he still had his limitations, and breaking through Rogue's shield is one of them...

Xavier hated feeling so helpless, but he could do nothing but listen.

Suddenly he heard a heavy thump, a startled gasp from Rogue, and a immense crash.

"Rogue, what's wrong?" he shouted, his voice struck through with panic, but the only answer that he got was static as he comm-link went of line.

Rogue was flung straight through one of the walls of the subway, and she had her breath knocked out of her. Fighting to regain her breath, she slowly got back on her feet. She gingerly shook of the effects of the crash, and was immediately alert.

A huge man stepped through the hole that her cashing body just left in the wall. He was absolutely immense, standing about seven foot tall. He was dressed in a black pair of jeans, boots, T-shirt and a close fitting black leather jacket that outlined his strong shoulders, and broad chest.

"Oh great, just what I need. Another Arnie rip-off," she exploded as she glared at him, her emerald green eyes spitting fire.

Before Rogue could even blink, the man suddenly charged at her like a raging bull, with his hands outstretched to grab her.

"Seems ya don't know nothin' about treating a Lady, Hun," she snapped as she nimbly sidestepped his initial attack, took a firm grip on his wrist and flung him to one side, straight into the path of the far wall. He connected with the wall with a hollow thud and crashed down.

Seconds later, he got up again, seemingly unaffected, although she had thrown him hard enough to knock him out cold, at least. Again he came for her, with a quickness that was nothing but uncanny, and swung a huge fist straight at her face, with a huge hook-shot.

"Hey, ain't you listening t'me?" Rogue shouted as she easily dodged the blow, and countered with a blow of her own, once more sending him sprawling. The guy just got up again, but this time round, his eyes were blazing red.

Rogue knew that this guy was not human, not by a long shot. This aint no man, not with eyes like that. A crazed mutant maybe? Rogue questioned herself as she glared savagely at her attacker.

Rogue quickly took stock of her surroundings, and stepped back until she felt her back touch the wall. Patiently she waited for the huge thing to charge once more. It did not disappoint her.

It came at her with a tremendous speed, which surprised her, but she took to flight just in time to see him running straight through the wall she had been standing against.

Instead of waiting on the man, she took after him. As she reached him, he was starting to get up, but before he could do anything else, Rogue seized him by the back of the neck and once again threw him back through the wall, this time with the genuine force that she was capable of.

As she slowly stalked towards the hole that the humanoid cannonball had just made, she saw that it lay quite still.

The skin of the one arm was split open to the bone, and half of the scalp had been torn away with the impact of the collision, to reveal a distinct metallic glint...

The one half of his face was torn away from the metallic skull, and the one camera eye focused on a fuming Rogue.

The black leather jacket was completely torn to shreds, and hung in tatters on the equally torn up shoulders of the android that Rogue smashed violently through the wall.

Rogue approached the machine with caution, not wanting to be taken by surprise as she had been before.

Dang, Ah had not heard him come from anywhere! He caught me out of nowhere, and Ah aint' gonna allow anythin' like that again, Rogue chided herself as she slowly paced around the fallen android, with the stealth of a panther, ready to strike.

The machine weakly lifted one of his arms, but dropped it back down again.

Rogue saw that their last little exchange had completely broken open the android's metallic skull, exposing its circuitry.

Ah guess he aint' gonna see any more action. Might as well go t'the junkyard.

Sure that the android was indeed out of action, Rogue looked around at the destruction her little tangle with Mr. Terminator caused. She slowly let a whistle escape her lips, as she saw that chunks of the walls she and the android went through were scattered everywhere.

Ah sure hope the damages don't come of mah paycheque, she chuckled dryly to herself.

Rogue also heard a faint crackle come from her waist belt, and saw that her comm-link was completely shattered beyond repair.

"So much for communications with home base," she said softly to herself.

It must have been her years with the X-Men, her seventh sense, maybe a combination of both that triggered the bell in her head the warned her that danger was not yet past.

Rogue spun around, saw ten fresh androids, carbon copies of the first, and she immediately took flight.

Even so, the subway was filled with a tremendous roar as seven androids started up some sort of jet pack on their backs, and took after her.

She just had the chance to tear the head off one of them when she was swamped, and forced to take to ground, where the other three machines were already waiting in anticipation at her coming.

Rogue went smashing into a melee of limbs, where she was savagely attacked.

Rogue fought grimly, trying to sent the rest of them for a extended visit to the scrap heap.

She had already destroyed five androids, and only five of the fresh attackers remained, but even so, Rogue did not keep account with the original android attacker, and she was taken from behind...

She was so preoccupied with the others that she did not see the battered, but yet serviceable machine sneak up behind her, and before she knew what hit her, the machine managed to slip a collar of some sort round her neck...

Immediately, Rogue felt a short electric charge surge through her body, only to be replaced by a explosion of light and pain at her right temple as one of the machines hit her. The pain was almost immediately followed by a black wave of nothingness as Rogue slipped into the deep well of unconsciousness...


Continued in Chapter 3


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