Disclaimer: The characters below are
based on the creations of Marvel. I'm not getting paid for this,
so put that tho't of suing me away! :D Vicki Lew | August 2001
Free for a Second
"Sir, she's back," Portman reported as he peered into
his superior's office. "And in the Dungeon as you requested."
"I suppose you're wondering why we decided against cancelling
her despite her disobedience, my boy." Stark let out a cloud
of cigar smoke and motioned for Portman to take a seat. It had been
a long time since Portman was this curious and unsure of the Organisation's
actions, and he did so eagerly.
"Ever heard of the homo superior genetic structure, Portman?"
The latter nodded. "Well, as luck will have it, Operative 357
has it. Which explains her resilience and ability to survive where
others have not. Heightened reflexes, sensory abilities, higher
tolerance for pain, faster healing periods."
Rubbing his chin gleefully, Portman mused, "We had more of
a diamond in the rough than we thought,"
"And the time to make full use of this gem has come. The labs
have obtained her DNA samples, and Dr Svelsky from Russian HQ will
be flying down to conduct the cloning process." Stark announced
The younger man choked in surprise. Never did he anticipate the
Organisation to delve into supersoldier cloning. He smiled devishlly
at the prospect of having such powerful allies.
"And what of Rogue?" he asked.
Stark shrugged. "Well, we've gotten all the DNA samples that
we need. I don't see why we should risk anything else on her."
He leaned in closer to Portman and spoke quietly. "Bring her
along for the Stanton Industries mission. We need all the manpower
we can get. After that, I suppose you know what to do."
Standing up to leave, Portman said curtly, "That would be
a definate yes."
The dark was almost too much to bear.
To cope she retreated to the inner depths of her mind, where she
was in Remy LeBeau's arms. Never had she felt such an intense safeness
and warmth, the void in her soul finally filled.
And lucky her, that one taste was to be her last. An unbearable
ache of regret and longing reared its head, attacking her gut. Pushing
her previous thoughts away, Rogue sat in the cold dank dirt, deep
in meditation for many hours. She feared that if she didn't, she
might go a bit crazy from not being able to see her hand before
her face, and worse, the very idea she would never be able to experience
what might have been with a certain Cajun.
Her body clock had kept some track of how long she'd been thrown
into the Dungeon. Probably 2 or 3 days in the least. The young assassin
was still puzzled at why she had escaped a beating upon her surrender.
Definately not the style of the Organisation when dealing with
rogue Operatives. They had to want something from her. She was good
at what she did, yes, but not that mind-blowingly fantastic that
they'd let her heinous disobedience go unpunished. A rat nibbled
at her bare toe, but she hardly felt it, so numb her feet were from
the cold. It scuttered away as it heard footsteps from the outside.
Sure enough, the footsteps stopped, and the door swung open, making
Sabine's eyes tear from the sudden burst of light.
As her eyes re-accomodated themselves with the light, she could
barely make out Portman's tall built. He threw an array of uniforms
and equipment at her naked body and snapped before leaving, "Get
dressed. Briefing in 5 minutes."
Silently, Sabine did as she was told, her insides frozen with dread
as she contemplated her fate.
Through the mission log camera, Portman watched intently as his
Operatives launched their attack on the factory. They worked as
a single entity, the way that they had all been trained, and wiped
out all those who were unfortunate enough to be working on the night
shift this Thursday night.
He, on the other hand, was safe in the operations vehicle, overseeing
everything. Once upon a time, he had been out there on the field,
risking his life for a cause he did not commit to. Until his later
years, of course, when it all paid off with some well-deserved promotions.
Tapping a finger to his earpiece, he delegated the next task to
the Beta team as they broke through the complex's security, to which
they responded immediately.
"And now for you, Sabine," the stony man whispered under
his breath as he switched communication channels to the Alpha team.
"Sabine, take Alpha team to chemical storage, and plant the
"On it, sir." she replied flatly.
Despite having adknowledged Portman's order, for Sabine, the entire
sting seemed like an out-of-body experience.
The hands that gripped the sniper rifle weren't hers, the dead
body under her feet wasn't bleeding over her boots, and the people
decked in black around her weren't her colleagues'.
Almost robotically, her body swerved and broke into a run, leading
the other five in her team towards their target location. As her
hands reached to her belt for the black box explosives, her mind
was far away, wondering what Remy LeBeau was doing right this instant.
She attached the boxes to the propane tanks and her fingers keyed
in the arming code - was he worried about her; was he searching
for her...or had he just accepted that she had gone?
She nodded to the others, and began running back out, leading the
team away from the highly explosive tanks. Back in the operations
van, Portman saw his chance. The explosives were in position and
armed, they were on their way out and better yet, her back was turned
to the others. Deftly, he switched to an isolated comm channel,
and hissed, "Now!"
Remy LeBeau stood quietly in the dark, waiting for news. His back
stiffened as a figure approached; his fingers curled around his
throwing daggers, but relaxed when he saw that it was Ratko.
"LeBeau." The stocky man tipped his head in greeting.
"I got what you want. Now show me my part of bargain, no?"
The thief slipped a ridiculously thick wad of money into his informer's
coat jacket, coaxing a smile from Ratko.
"Now spit it out, Ratko. What ya got?"
"Stanton Industries just blew up 2 hours ago. My boys tell
me that it is not accident, there was surveillance for months before
this. People. All black. Need I say more?"
"I t'ink I know who you be talkin' about, homme." Remy
replied grimly, eyes burning dangerously in the dark.
Continued in Chapter Thirteen.
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