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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: Ladies and Gentlemen, here is your host for this evening ... Lomas!!!'
"Yoza, Yoza, Yoza childrens! Here is Part 5 of 'The Homecoming', written exclusively for you, the reader! Even so, I would like to inform you, most honourable members of society, that the X-Men belong to Marvel Comics ... I am only using them for entertainment purposes for you, the Public! And I don't even charge.. Is that not quite a deal, Ladies and Gents? All I ask though, is that you give me your thoughts on the story ... Only your thoughts, please ... That is all the payment that I require, and it can be sent to I must also warn you that this story does contain some harsh words, so be prepared...
Now, I know that all you lovely people have had enough of me, so on with the show!!!"

The Homecoming

Part 5

A solitary jeep rode away from the main gates of the Xavier School for the Gifted, heading out towards town. Seated inside the passenger seat of the jeep was a huge man, with showy white hair. He was dressed in a plain white T-shirt, blue jeans, and black pair of boots fashioned to loosely copy the contours and form of a pair of army combat boots. The whole wardrobe was rounded of by a black unzipped bomber jacket, stretched tightly around his massive shoulders...

The wind blew through his uncombed snow-white hair, caressing the whole of his face with a gentle touch, whispering secrets into the ears of the man known as Cable.

Driving the jeep was a compact, strongly built man, dressed in a blue chequered shirt and an old, worn pair of blue of Levi's, which covered up the old brown pair of leather boots he wore. The driver was completely dwarfed by his companion, but he seemed oblivious of the fact..

He wore a lopsided grin on his crudely attractive features whilst the wind whipped through his thick mass of blue-black hair. His eyes twinkled with pleasure, and deep from within the recesses of his throat he growled his satisfaction at the freedom he felt, as he listened to the songs of the wind..

His name was Logan, and together with the time-traveller, Cable, they went searching for Sabine Rogers, the self named loner of the X-Men, the one known as Rogue.

Logan parked his jeep in one of the family parking spots which was located at Crescent Park.

He hopped out of the jeep with a practised motion to go stand next to Cable.

They made an odd pair, this modern day David and Goliath. However, they were not the only ones on the park.

The first thing that both of them noticed was that the park was swarming with people, unlike what the briefing the Professor gave them indicated. The people gathered there, however were in no mood for a family picnic.

The entrance to the Crescent Park Subway was taped off by NYPD, and the whole place was swarming with police activities, while scattered clusters of angry humans swarmed in the general vicinity of the entrance, wanting to see what was going on. Soon there was a lot of pushing and shoving going on, as the curious nature of Man reigned supreme on that day.

These events started to attract attention from the outside, so everyone who walked or strolled past or through the park also wanted to see what the situation was about.

In a short while there was a thick mass of people swarming around the yellow taped area, like a huge living organism. The Police units, in their turn, formed a thin blue line around the entrance, trying to keep the growing, swarming masses at bay. There was a lot of shouting and shoving going on, and tempers were sure to flare up soon. It was pretty clear that the crowd was forming into a mob, and this mob was anything but docile...

Logan and Cable wisely stayed at the back of the crowd, not wanting to draw any attention to themselves. The crowd was starting to become aggressive, and neither Cable nor Logan felt like being involved...

"Interesting... Seems like the reports that the Prof. gave us were wrong, and by the looks of it this whole mess in gonna turn sour soon," Logan growled to his big companion as the crowd swirled before them, steadfastly progressing to a riot.

"Yes, but something is wrong, Logan," Cable spoke in a distant voice, his hands held to his head, focusing his mental concentration. "These people are not acting this way out of their own free will. They are being compelled to do so. I sense a psychic emission of some sort, compelling these people to react in this way..."

"Yeah? From who?"

"That's the part I do not understand.. I can sense a psychic emission, true enough, but I cannot trace the source. This emission is not of a normal nature either. Usually a psychic emission comes from a certain source, but this is coming from everywhere all at once. But that does not make sense. It's almost as if a signal it being transmitted from somewhere, but it is coming from everywhere at once."

"Well then, just pinpoint the source and let's take it out."

"We can't do that. I cannot pinpoint the source."

"Well, if we can't crash the party, then why aint' this thing affecting us yet? All these people are gonna go berserk, if you ask me, and here we are, high and dry."

"I suspect that your andamantium skeleton has something to do with it. It's distorting the signal -- for now. I also think that my psionic abilities, combined with my T.O armour, is shielding me up to a fashion, but these pulse emissions are going to drive me crazy if we do not get rid of them soon."

Logan pointed to the crowd in front of them. "This joyful little gathering we have here is gonna turn ugly soon, so let's move while we still can."

Logan and Cable dropped further back from the crowd, wanting to get out of the way of the coming storm, which was threatening to break any minute. And it was not long before all Hell broke loose in the Crescent Park area.

Rogue sat in the dark, damp recesses of her prison, slowly gathering her scattered emotions about her when the secret entrance doors to her prison slid open once more.

Rogue squinted her eyes at the sharp light that flooded in, and lifted up her hand in an effort to reduce the glare.

A tall, strongly built woman, dressed all in black, with blond hair and totally expressionless blue eyes, walked into the room. She carried a plate of food on a platter, along with a neatly folded set of clothing.

Behind her, two young men entered, one dressed in the same fashion as that of the woman and another in a white laboratory coat. The man in black carried in two pails of water, with two coarse white towels draped across his arms and a small bar of white soap held in one hand. He set it in the far left-hand corner of the room, and left....

The man in the lab coat carried a medical kit, and was obviously a doctor.

It was the blonde woman who spoke. "The Master has given orders that your wounds are to be tended to and that you will be given the opportunity to clean yourself up afterwards. You are to co-operate with us, or these privileges will be withdrawn, and I may have the pleasure of teaching you a lesson for rejecting the Master's grants towards you."

Suddenly, the blond moved forward, graceful as a cat, and grabbed a handful of dark auburn hair, yanking it towards her, making Rogue wince with pain, forcing her to stand up weakly. She pulled even harder, until she drew herself face to face with Rogue.

"Please do not co-operate. I would love to teach you a lesson in humility to the Master, something you seemed to have forgotten."

Rogue took a closer look at her captor, and saw that she was beautiful, but she could not help but to notice the longing in the blond woman's voice at the speaking of the last words. Rogue also noted the way her beautiful features twisted with disgust and loathing, along with the fire of hate that burnt brightly in her blue eyes...

Rogue knew instinctively that this was one of Asgard's many playthings, and she actually managed to feel sorry for her. Even so, Rogue stood toe to toe with her tormentor, and did nothing to break herself free. She deliberately forced the grimace of pain from her face and glared into the eyes of the other woman, bestowing upon her a humourless smile.

The blond woman let go of Rogue's hair, taking great pains to conceal her anger. After a curt nod of permission from the blond, the physician approached her, and without any display of emotion, started tending to her wounds. He treated her wounds with gentle hands, cleaning away the dried blood from the wound on her right temple before cleaning the gash itself with a antiseptic.

Rogue silently endured the pain that it caused her, knowing that she needed that cleansing burning very much.. If her wounds were left untended, they might have gotten infected, and that could have been fatal. The doctor taped up the wound on the right side of her head with a steri-pad, and moved to the scrapes on her cheeks. He then cleaned away the blood on her split lip, and also treated it with an antiseptic, before examining the rest of her, working his way for the crest of her head to her toes.

After he finished his work, he nodded to the blond woman that he was satisfied with the condition of his patient. She only nodded in response, and with that, he took up the medi-towels and medical supplies and left the room, with Rogue and her jailer as the only occupants...

"Wash yourself, woman," the blond woman commanded with a icy tone.

Rogue knew that she needed to clean the dried blood off her body, for she hated being so filthy. She would do anything to amend that, even if it meant cleaning herself up with nothing but a few pails of water. She stripped off her tattered uniform and as she padded over to the pails of water, the cold air brought out goosebumps all over her skin.

She slowly ran her hand through the water in one of the pails and found that it was surprisingly warm. She wet herself with the warm water, soaked the bar of soap in the other bucket and started to wash, with her guardian watching over her like a hawk, her eyes burning with pure hatred.

Rogue ignored the woman's gaze, fixing her mind on her current task. She did not know how long it was going to be until she would have another opportunity to clean herself, so she shut the other woman out and enjoyed the little comforts that she could.

After Rogue was finished, she dried herself of with the coarse towels she was supplied with and slipped into her fresh clothing. It was very much like the black clothing that her captor wore, and Rogue found that everything fit her perfectly.

After she was completely dressed, Rogue had to admit that she felt fresh and revitalised. She then turned upon her jailer, arching a questioning eyebrow at her.

"Now what'cha want?" she asked in a flat tone that was devoid of any emotion.

"Now, you wench, for reasons that I am yet to understand, the Master has ordered that you are to be fed, so use your brains -- if you have any." She motioned toward the plate of food that was set off to one side.

"Why thank ya for the kind words, sugah. Your hospitality leaves much to be desired," Rogue shot back in an even tone of voice.

"You have a sharp mouth, wench. Tell me, does that mouth come with any intelligence or do you want me to spoonfeed you?"

"Why thank ya so very much for the kind offer, but Ah think that Ah will manage, if it's all the same to ya. After all, ya might just hurt yourself in the process," Rogue answered sweetly, her voice heavy with mock sincerity.

"Don't get smart with me, bitch! You will pay dearly, I assure you," the blonde woman shot back.

"Me? Ah would never dream of it!" Rogue gasped, all wide-eyed with innocence. 'The wish of Asgard is nothing else but mah command."

The blond woman had to use all her self control not to strangle Rogue on the spot, for the pleasure of killing her was not worth the pain that she might endure under the wrath of Asgard.

Rogue saw the self restraint her captor had imposed upon herself, and she made a quick mental note of this.

They fear Asgard more than Ah thought. Ah might be able to use that later...

Flashing her captor a humourless little smile, Rogue began to eat.

The scene at Crescent park was one of pure rioting, with the violent crowd and the police force snarling at one another like two huge animals, ready to attack or kill, whichever one came first.

The NYPD had drawn up a defensive line around the entrance to the Subway, with more cops coming in as reinforcements, completely decked out in riot uniform for the oncoming battle. By the looks written on their faces, dispersion and protection of the peace was the last thing they had on their minds. Total annihilation of the Mob seemed the more suitable alternative.

The crowd, however was not to be intimidated by this exhibition of potential force, and the numbers of the Mob swelled even further as it armed itself with anything it could lay its hands on.

It is the nature of Man to be curious, and so more and more passers by came to see what the whole fuss was about, only to be drawn into the mob by the mind-compulsion machine, making the numbers of the Mob swell even further.

The two opposing forces had already clashed once, and now the two groups pulled back in preparation for the next assault, their numbers swelling continuously as reinforcements for both sides arrived, eager to join the battle.

Logan and Cable stayed at the back of the crowd, trying to work their way out of the situation. To be trapped in this street-war was certain death..

"We gotta stop this lunacy, Cable, or get the Hell outta here," Wolverine snapped to his big companion as they fought to free themselves from the human sea they were about to be trapped in. "This mob is sure to tear us apart when things to turn ugly ... And by the looks of things, that's going to happen very, very soon."

"I hear you, Logan," Cable answered in a strained voice, as he bodily hurled two fanatics into the crowd, smashing open a path of freedom for him and his companion both. Logan was quick to react, and charged into the gap that Cable made with an animalistic snarl, whilst the big man followed suit.

When they were free from the mauling mass of human bodies, Cable and Logan moved even further back, to avoid being trapped once again.

"Well now, Summers, what'cha think we're gonna do?" Logan growled as he fixed his partner with a blue-eyed gaze. "I am all open to suggestions."

"We have to stop this potential massacre. Things could get real messy soon, and I don't want to wade through a river of blood. I have seen enough bloodshed to last a lifetime, and I do not want to go through that again."

"I figured you were goin' t'say something like that. Question is, how?"

"Whatever is causing this whole mess is located within that Subway, and we have to take it out."

"How do we get past his freakin' Mob, Summers?"

"What we need, Logan, is a diversion, and I have it right here."

Cable took two shiny little tubes from his pockets, along with what seemed to be two pairs of dark glasses. He handed one pairs to Logan.

"Here, put these on. These tubes in my right hand are sentient thunder boomers, and they are going to distract these idiots for about five minutes. Put on these glasses, or you'll be more blind than a bat when these babies go off."

"Five minutes ... That's all the time we need. Let's do it."

Logan put on the glasses, and slipped into a world of electronically remade surroundings. "What the Hell is this, Cable? Some sort of video game?" Logan growled at the digitised image of Cable he now looked at.

"VR visors. It emulates the surroundings precisely, so don't worry about anything. So let's just get the job done." With those words of finality, Cable lifted up the thunder boomers, one in each hand, and fired them off. The world above them filled with the greatest peal of thunder that Logan had ever heard, and then the screams began...

Shouts came from the crowd, followed suit by overall panic. The scent of fear in the air was so thick that Logan wrinkled his nose in distaste. Even so, he shook his head, and followed Cable through the disorientated droves of people right through to the Subway entrance..

Once they entered the dysfunctional subway, Cable turned around, took out two small boxes from his pockets and placed them at the entrance. The two boxes bleeped simultaneously, and the entrance filled with a crackling film of electricity.

"Plasma shield," he explained. "Keeps out anybody nosy. C'mon. let's find that wave transmitter. It's driving me nuts."

"Yeah, I feel it, too," Logan said. "You aint' the only one feeling twitchy. This thing is starting to make me feel like gutting somebody, so unless you wanna play catch with your insides soon, let's find it, cause I don't think I can fight this bloody thing much longer. What are we looking for, anyway?"

"The VR visors can scan for the signal, and find it for us. Transferring optical data"

Suddenly Logan's perception of the world changed once again. Everything became a jumble of blue, yellow and red colours, swarming together to form jumbled images of the world around him.. This confused Logan's senses momentarily, and made him partly forget his urge to rip Cable's head off, something he was grateful for.

He turned to Cable, who was transformed into a featureless humanoid jumble of red, blue and yellow. "Okay, Summers. Now what?"

"The visor has not yet located the transmitter emissions, but I am scanning the area for the frequency of the signal ... Bingo. See those pulses?"

"Ya mean the wavy green lines?"

"Yes. Those are the signal pulses. Now all we have to do is follow them to their source."

"Yeah, yeah, let's stop yappin' and start scrappin', kid"

"Don't call me `kid', old man."


It was not long before the two X-Men found the transmitter, hidden away in a briefcase, next to one of the waiting seats of the subway tunnel. Once the object of their search was found, Logan and Cable took off the visors.

"Now, we got to dismantle the bastard." Cable groaned as he massaged the right side of his head with one hand..

"Allow me, kid." A savage growl escaped Logan's lips as his andamantium claws slid from his wrists. He pushed the backs of his hands together, and punched the andamantium claws straight through the briefcase and the transmitter, before yanking his arms away in opposite directions, tearing briefcase and transmitter apart. Almost instantly, both Cable and Wolverine felt the pressure on their minds ease away, as although it had never been.

Cable groaned thankfully as he massaged his scalp, while Wolverine only shook his head in an effort to clear the cobwebs that clogged his brain.

"I sure am glad to see the end of that piece of shit," Logan growled as he looked at remnants of the briefcase.

Cable said nothing, and merely nodding in agreement.

Outside, the cries of the brutal street war had died down almost immediately, and confusion replaced the havoc that raged in the streets only a few moments ago.

"Glad to see we are not the only ones benefiting from this, too," Cable remarked as he looked through the doorway to the disorganised masses outside.

The short-lived street war was not without casualties, however, and the cries of the wounded soon floated through the air, filling the ears of all there with it's wailing. It was not long before the air was filled with the piercing cries of ambulance sirens, coming to tend to the wounded.

"Yeah, yeah, so we saved the world, big deal. We gotta job t'do, remember?" Logan drew the attention back to the task at hand in his usual gruff manner.

"Don't push it, old man," Cable remarked as he began to scan the area with his mind for any clues. Cable thoroughly probed the inoperative subway with its smashed-through walls and scattered debris, but he found nothing that could have been of use. He was about to perform the mind sweep again when Logan called him over.

When Cable reached the Canadian, he was squatted on his heels at one of the holes, rolling loose hair fibres under his nose and sniffing them carefully.

"Rogue was here all right, and I got these t'prove it. Her scent is all over the place, along with something that smells like something that came out of a factory, or a garage."

Cable merely nodded as he digested this information, and in a short while he spoke. "I am going to see if I can pick any residing energy signatures." He slid a pair of VR visors. "Heat trace mode."

Logan shook his head as he waited for Cable to complete his scan.

"Seems you were right, old man. I picked up Rogue's heat signature, and whatever that was with her was not human at all, and there were more than just one."

"That's what I told ya, kid. Explains why the place smells like a factory, too." Logan thumbed his nose.

"They weren't alone," Cable said suddenly.

Logan swiveled his head toward the large man. "What?! I would've smelt someone else."

"I almost missed it myself. The heat radiation was very weak."

"Where was our mysterious friend situated, Cable?" Logan asked as he stood up.

Nathan pointed ahead of them. "There, in the control cabin of that broken down train."

Logan went to the cabin, forced its now-closed doors open and sniffed the inside of the cabin carefully, taking his time to sample the air around him..

"I almost got it, kid. The scent's almost completely gone, but here is something about it ... Something familiar, something sweet and heavy, almost like perfume..."

Logan exhaled, and took a deep breath as he tested the air once more. Then he remembered, and everything clicked so loud that Logan wondered if Cable heard it. Wolverine unleashed a feral growl from his deep throat as his andamantium claws slid free.

"What is it Logan? Who did you smell?"

"I should've known! I can smell her anywhere, and I shoulda smelt her here!"

"Who, Logan?"

Logan fixed his grey eyes on Cable. "Mystique," Logan answered with a snarl. "And I almost missed her."


Continued in Chapter 6


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