Down-Home Charm Photo Album Songbank Fan-Fiction History Books Fan Art Miscellania Links
Fan-Fiction >
Claremont era


Author's Note: This is an ugly, horrible story. It is not appropriate for children or sensitive readers. Unfortunately, little of this besides Rogue is imaginary.

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Author's Notes

Author's Note:
This is an ugly, horrible story. It is not appropriate for children or sensitive readers, but does fit in with the current Hatred Challenge. Unfortunately, little of this besides Rogue is imaginary.
Rogue and several other characters belong to Marvel. The story belongs to me. It takes place after my story 'Tag', which is archived at Luba's site, and during the first expedition of the X-Men to Genosha.
Many thanks to Tina S, Luba K, Suzie C, Alara R and Karolina KP for their editorial assistance.
Other stories that I have written are archived at the sites of Luba and Ro.


Chapter 1

She tried to fly, above and away. After the flash, she fell, hard, onto the concrete floor. As she lay there, stunned, a bland little man in a priest's outfit told her that she was no better than a human again. She was lying on a cold concrete floor, naked.

The magistrates were quite efficient. After they had beaten Logan into submission, they had handcuffed her wrists behind her and dragged her to her feet. She barely noticed. There were so many new sensations. The slow, dull ache of the bruise on her left elbow. The raw, sharp pain from the abrasion on her left knee, every time that she moved it. The feeling that all of their eyes were upon her. Once it had been amusing to watch the eyes, knowing that they could look but never touch, ever. They could touch her, now.

An officer wearing a crimson beret approached her.

"Who are you? Where do you come from? Are your meta-abilities mutant or technological in nature?"

She said nothing. There were no words. Not yet. Just watching. They had Wolvie on his feet for a moment, but then he collapsed.

"Does anyone know who these two are or how they got here?"

There was a general murmuring.

"Christ," said the officer. He pointed to the two Magistrates holding her up. "You and you. Take her out to the Centre. They'll deal with her there."

"The other one too?" said the one on her left, pointing at the crowd of soldiers standing where Logan lay on the floor.

"No," said the officer. "Best they go separately."

She was standing on her own now, dazed. Was it the after-effects of the power loss? Physical or emotional? Emotional. No. Both. She couldn't see Logan, but if they were all standing around him then he was probably too badly beaten to fight back. If she fought, she might be able to take three of them down before they beat her senseless. Even then, she had no idea if she was underground or in a tower, in a city or miles out in the country. There had to be at least 30 soldiers in the chamber, and most of them were staring at her. All of the men, and some of the women. Without even trying, they were taking her down. Her knees weakened, and she almost collapsed. Somewhere from within, an inner reserve of strength snapped her almost to attention. That scared her more than anything.

The two magistrates took her by the elbows and guided her out of the chamber, down a long metal-lined corridor and into a garage. They helped her into the back of a truck, and told her to sit on the metal bench. They unlocked the cuff on her right hand and transferred it to a large metal fitting that allowed her to move more freely. Eight other men had come after her, still staring. She had no chance among that many, not until they were outside of wherever they were. In the garage, it was their battlefield.

The two magistrates climbed into the front seat of the truck, and drove down a long corridor towards a small circle of daylight. A mile later, if she had the distance right, they emerged from a heavy steel gateway and passed a row of concrete pillboxes. The magistrates stopped at one of the pillboxes and presented an electronic card, after which a final gate opened. It would have been difficult to fight her way out of here with power. Without, futile. Even Logan would agree with that. She tugged on the cuffs. An hour before, the bench would have come apart. Now, nothing but noise. The female magistrate glanced back at her. She let her arm fall to her side.

The truck continued alongside a long concrete airstrip. Through the rear window, she watched the tunnel entrance dwindle into the distance. They passed rows and rows of what she recognized as F-15s and F-16s, as well as a number of Russian anti-tank helicopters. She suspected that Momma had had something to do with the helicopters. As they turned onto a highway outside the airfield, she noticed that the female one was glancing at her from time to time in the rear-view mirror.

"You gone fruity, then?"

"Fuggoff. She looks cold back there."

"She'll have no worries soon enough."

"No. No worries."

"Going away for the weekend?"

"Yeah. Taking the extra day to go hiking in the mountains, if all goes well."

"Won't go well. They always riot on the long weekends."

"Didn't at Christmas."


"Hate it. Such a waste of fucking time."

"Get overtime- shit."

A loud clunking sound starting coming from the engine. The truck pulled over at the edge of the highway.

"What is it?"

"Bloody motor's shot to hell. Told the sergeant it was fucked. Made me take it anyways."

Both magistrates went around the front of the truck and disappeared under the hood. There was some muffled cursing. The female returned and opened the back door of the truck, not making eye contact. It seemed that they needed some tools.

"I'm cold."

The magistrate looked up from the toolbox distractedly, then fished out an old blanket from behind a spare tire.

"Sorry, love, it's all we've got. We'll have you there soon enough. No worries."

"Take me where?" she asked, wrapping the blanket around her. It was a difficult task, with only one hand free. At least there was nothing for anyone to stare at, now.

The magistrate gave her a pained smile, then vanished around in front of the truck again. The blanket did not make her feel any warmer.

They were driving down Motorway G towards Hammer Bay, or so the overhead signs told her. The traffic affirmed something that she knew from somewhere or someone: 1 in 5 Genoshans worked in some capacity for the Ministry of State Security. At least 1 in 3 of the trucks and cars on the road were painted green and had official pennants flying off their aerials. Of the remainder, half were expensive European and Japanese cars and the rest were old trucks filled with thin, tired looking people that she identified as guest workers. In spite of all of the success the Genoshans had in cloning their Mutates, there were never quite enough to supply the three that were supposedly guaranteed to every Genoshan citizen. Africa and Asia were ready, as always, to make up the difference. Their people lived in the guest quarters, as they had been for the last 250 years. On slow news days one of their frequent riots might make a 10-second spot on the evening news.

From somewhere, from someone, the information came to her. She had heard some of it from Momma, some of it from that boring old thing that Charles had had in to talk to them, and some of it off the two soldiers she had touched in the vault where they had arrived. She wasn't able to recall exactly where she had heard each part from, and that was scary. Losing her power had rattled her, and she was having trouble with her focus. This was bad. Very bad. At least her head was clearing, some.

She went over the inside of the truck one more time. It was intended for carrying prisoners, and built in the good old US of A. Force One Inc, McMinnville TN. The decals on every exposed surface told her that. She knew from Logan that this was one of the better built ones. You couldn't beat the truck, only the occupants and possibly your restraints. Her lockpicks were back in her uniform wherever that was, and her hair was useless. Sometimes, if she twisted a strand out hard, it would take on the consistency of a stiff wire, perfect for a pick. Not now. She went over the interior, carefully again. No wire, no useful trash of any sort, and the toolbox was out of her reach. Regulation clean. The only way out was to talk her way out, and the odds were against that. The two in the front seat looked like lifers. If they had both been straight males, she would have had a good chance of making a getaway, but that thought frightened her even more. She drew the blanket tighter around her.

Swearing erupted from the front seat as the engine started making sputtering noises again.

"Why the fuck couldn't they have bought Japanese?" the male cursed, and began drifting onto the shoulder.

"Not here," said the female.

"Why not?"

"Rebel activity. Ambush just round the bend there, last week."

"Christ. What then?"

"Drive into town. Get a new truck."

"Not our orders."

"Getting shot up by apos isn't part of our orders, either."

They exited the motorway and drove some distance into what looked like one of the nicer parts of San Francisco. The truck engine died as the towers of the centre of town came into view.

She looked at the open hood, listening to the curses as they worked on the engine. She always liked playing with engines. She felt a strong and ridiculous urge to get out and help them fix it. Instead, she looked out the window, at the row of small stucco bungalows along the street. The lawns were perfect, the shrubs in bloom. A bent old woman was walking a poodle down the street towards them, followed by a slight figure in a shimmering green bodysuit. The poodle stopped to do its business, and afterwards the figure in green scooped up the refuse in its hands. The mutate's hands glowed with a faint pink light, and then its hands were empty. She snorted. As the small company passed the truck, she smiled at them. The woman stared straight ahead, features rigid, seeing everything but the truck. The mutate walked past with a look of blissful contentment on its features, not seeming to see anything at all. They bred them from cloned embryos, she recalled the old man at Westchester saying. Or was it Momma? She tried to sort it out as the truck drove off towards the city.

The truck drove into a huge concrete building with the symbol of Genoshan State Security on the facade and parked in its courtyard. The female guard undid the cuffs and locked her wrists together as a small crowd of heavily armed men gathered and watched. The magistrate folded the blanket and laid it over her shoulders.

"Lean forward, otherwise it'll fall off."

She did. The magistrate rummaged around in the back of the truck and found a length of twine. She felt it wrapped around her body, just like what she had felt when Steve and her had played bride and groom when she was six-

Not her. Someone else. Or hers? A real childhood memory, playing house, where?

"Nice dress," said one of the onlookers, chuckling.

No. Concentrate. These men weren't dressed like the guards. They were less heavily armed, and had light blue instead of brown shirts. Their epaulets were different. Police, probably.

They led her down a long hallway into the building, and sat her down on a metal bench which was the only furniture in the yellow-painted room. The cuffs came off, and the female guard chained her to the bench. The male magistrate left them both alone in the room. As the magistrate lit up a cigar, she discretely felt the fitting that the cuffs were attached to. Solid steel, anchored fast in concrete. Before, she could have pulled out and embedded them in the wall opposite, or in the guard for that matter. She had done worse. For now, her only hope was to get the guard to let her go. She put on her very best smile and set to work.

"Excuse me," she began.



A shrill bell started ringing , somewhere just behind her head. A claxon began sounding out a signal. Three long blasts, followed by a short one.

"Jesus fucking Christ."

Her guard put out the cigar, checked the cuffs, and left the room, rifle at the ready.

Hope filled her. Perhaps it was the others coming to rescue her. An attack of the apos, whoever they were. If she survived it, she might be able to escape with them. That was the benefit of companionship. Your comrades in battle would never desert you. Shared spilled blood was the strongest bond.

Twenty minutes later, the only sound that she had heard was a distant thump, probably some sort of explosion. No footsteps in the hall, nothing else. She had been working away on the handcuffs the entire time. There was nothing to use as a pick, and the fixture would wear away from the rubbing in perhaps a year. If she had been Kitty, she could have done that old Ninja trick that would have allowed her to slip her hand right out. Invulnerability had prevented her from doing it before, her muscle and skin strengthening as soon as she tried to dislocate her thumb. She tried to recall what Kitty had done, but failed completely.

She looked around for anything that might be useful as a tool for the thousandth time. Her eyes always stopped on the metal sign posted to the wall, just out of reach. It was white, with a black cross like the one on the Swiss flag inside of a black circle. Beneath it was written GOD IS WATCHING YOU. She knew that it was important, and she knew that she didn't know what it meant. If she wanted to know, she would have to go underneath, and find out. It would be dangerous, but if she let them out only for a short time, she would have a much better chance of escaping and freeing Wolvie. There really was no choice at all.

To prepare, she cleared her mind as Xavier had taught her to. She thought about Berlin and everything she knew of it, then stared at the sign and began to free associate.



Black circles.

Black circles of ash left after the holy burning circles.

The burning circle is a major ceremony of worship in the Church.

Apostasy was permitted under the General Law of 1961.

Of the 5,650,000 citizens, less than 1 in 100 are apostates.

It is impolite to call an apostate an apo.

Members of the Dutch Reformed Church were 1st degree apostates.

Anglicans are 2nd degree apostates.

Jews, Moslems and Hindus are irredeemable apostates.

Anyone who refuses to abase themselves before an all-powerful deity is not human.

Irredeemable apostates must register with the state and wear an identifying badge on their clothing.

Genosha was called Hammer Bay Territory until the Act of Union of 1910 with South Africa.

Genosha was called Hammer Bay State until the Unilateral Declaration of Independence in 1960.

The movement to re-name had started with the development of the mutate technology at the Hammer Bay Veterinary College in the late 1950s.

Genosha leads the world in the development of mutate technology.

Since 1980, mutates can live up to 10 years, though seven was the average.

The Church was founded by Germaine Van Der Valk, the Father.

The Father had been called by God at an early age.

The Father had been committed to a hospital by those who did not understand, but was ransomed by his family and sent to America.

In America, the Father learned many things at the theological colleges of western Michigan.

The Father taught that Genosha is God's Country. Americans and Iranians are wrong about this.

She had written all these during the rote lessons at school. If you could learn by rote and pass the examinations, you could be admitted to the upper echelons of Genoshan state security. Otherwise, you would stay in the lower ranks, keeping the guest workers in line. She prayed every morning for the day when there would be enough mutates to send the guest workers home. They would be so much happier back where they had come from.

He didn't learn by rote, and hated working with a religious fanatic who was so obviously on her way to becoming an officer. There were too many damn women in the Magistrates, and if he had done any worse in the exams he would have ended up in the police or the prison service. Most police officers and warders were men, and usually never amounted to much of anything. He hadn't done well enough on the exams to be sent to the University after three years, and would have to do his full seven years of service before he became a citizen. Still, seven years of Magistracy should get him a good job in a bank or in the Mutate program, both of which still were run by good men. It wasn't that he had anything against women, of course, but if the last book of the Father was interpreted literally, women of childbearing age should have been secluded for 5 to 10 years after childbirth, and he would be facing much better prospects in his career. Still, the Church had never accepted that book, probably because it also forbade non-negroes from taking on the top roles in the Church. He woke up every morning thanking God that he hadn't been born in America. They didn't have circles there. He enjoyed the burning circle. Every Easter, Christmas, and Halloween, his family would throw together a nice circle of brush, take ten percent of their material possessions and throw them into the flames. Some people used it as an excuse for spring cleaning, others deliberately bought an extra ten percent worth of goods each year to burn so that they wouldn't lose anything that they truly valued. He took his responsibilities more seriously than that. He had an itemized list of his possessions and picked ten percent of them by value each year, randomly. He had lost a car that way, but it had burned nicely. Even better were the times when they found those who harbored heretical books and music. Those circles were wonderful, because you could give all of their worldly possessions to God, and God was very pleased with circles like that. Rumor had it that they still threw the odd apo into the circles up in the hills, but they didn't do that in town anymore. No, they did that out in the desert where the free apos and escaped guest workers sometimes hid, waiting. Still, it was his duty to take the prisoner to the terminal for the train-

-the train that was yellow, and followed a precise schedule. It ran under the gray, occupied part of the city. When it did, it slowed in every station as if it wanted to stop, and the gray men on the platform would stare at it with contempt. It would then speed up and leave and go back to the walled city, where everyone was free. Berlin.

She blanked her mind and fought to get her breathing back under control. The city had saved her again, as it had so many times in the past. It was the anchor that she could always flee to. Xavier had taught her how to use it to re-assert her personality, but it had always been hers, even before Momma and Nana.

To her, Berlin was Paradise. It was the walled city, inside of which everyone was free. Everything was perfect and organized when it needed to be, and totally chaotic when it didn't need to be. It was a place where there were no rules, and you could dance all night and touch anyone you wanted to, any way you wanted to. She knew that the real city wasn't like that at all. What she knew about it had come from little bits and pieces that she picked up from Nana and Momma or that she read about in books. She hoped that she would never had to go there outside of her dreams.

Her head was together again, and so it was worth trying to think of what she had learned. It hadn't been all that useful, except as a warning of danger. She was never one for religion, which always mystified anyone who heard her speak. They always assumed that because she spoke on that way that she was some sort of religious airhead who listened to country music and lived on parts of animals that no-one north of Mason-Dixon thought of as food. To her, after many years of living in Washington, the South was just a set of excuses for bad behaviour. Exposure to Sam Guthrie had cured most of the X-Men of their ignorance of the region, but that hadn't stopped Kitty from buying her a Shania Twain CD on the last Xmas they had spent together. She liked Black Flag and KMFDM and Sex Pistols, and sneaking out to dark tiny rooms where the noise obliterated everything and you could scream and thrash, and as long as you were tightly covered so you didn't touch anyone, no-one would notice. She traded in Miss Twain's disc to cover part of the cost of an imported Therapy? CD that she found in Manhattan.

She shook her head. CDs? She didn't have it together as she thought. Not good. The past was useful, as long as it was hers, as long as it helped her get Logan out of this. She forced herself to think about what she had found out while Underneath. This country was some sort of religious state, just like home. They had always laughed about that, everyone except Fred. Momma and Nana thought it was ridiculous that any state could claim to be blessed by a God, unless it would be willing to allow them to marry. Dom believed in God in some weird way that didn't make him any happier, and involved amulets and hand signs to ward away evil eyes. St. John had a million stories about stupid and evil things that devout Americans had done and said in Vietnam during the war, and seemed to be some sort of Buddhist in a very quiet, private way. Fred was always sad, because he alone believed that it was God's country and that it was Hell. She had never been in a church in her life, and never had felt the need to. It was just something that would distract her in her search for the Good Thing.

The Good Thing was something that she could find in Berlin, but in the real world it was very, very rare. Before Momma and Nana, she was sure that she had never known it, but in the house on U St. you could catch sight of it, if you watched carefully. Once, she had become tired during the day and had fallen asleep in a closet. When she woke up, she could see Momma and Nana through the louvres on door. It was close to their anniversary, when they always became very sad, even though they tried to hide it. Nana was curled up in Momma's lap, crying. Even Momma looked sadder than usual. They didn't say anything to one another, but then Nana had gotten up and just looked at Momma and Momma had looked back, and the Good Thing was there. There was a four-letter word for it, that was used as an excuse for people to sell bits of paper to each other. Sometimes, the others had looked at her with the Good Thing in their eyes, like when she was able to hug Momma for the first time. It took Nana over a year to teach her how to accept being touched. Three weeks after that, something terrible had happened and Momma had never touched her again. Nana had said that it was something that happened to some little girls when they reached a certain age.

There was more of the Good Thing at Westchester but much less of it in the Desert. When it was scarce, the power helped her find it. She would fly up into the sky, as far as she could go without blacking out, and look down on the planet, imagining that somewhere down there, there were two people looking at each other with the Good Thing in their eyes. She didn't have the power now, and she knew that people with God on their side really had no place in their lives for the Good Thing at all.

A loud thump brought her back to earth. A short, balding man in a blue uniform had opened the door and was staring at her. The blanket had fallen aside and exposed her. She drew it back around herself, huddling.

"Who the hell are you?"

Opportunity. A name? Which name? No.

"I don't know."

"Where are your clothes?"

"I don't know. I lost them somewhere."

The man rolled his eyes, and turned back to talk to someone in the corridor.

"Will! Got any idea who left the nutter in here?"

There was an incomprehensible response. The man entered the room.

"Let's see your I-94."

She looked at him, widening her eyes and letting her features go slack. It was an expression she knew well from the times in the tunnels, before the Massacre.


"The paper they gave you when you were brought in."

"Paper?" she said querulously. "No-one gave me a paper."

"Well, maybe they put it in here."

His hand slipped beneath the blanket. She recoiled. He drew back, flushing, and looking away.

"Not in there," she whispered.

"Did you eat it?" he said, grinning uncomfortably.

"Why would I do that?" she asked.

"It's happened. Are you on any medication?"

"I don't like the pills," she said petulantly.

"If you don't take the pills, this is what happens," he said.

She responded with what she hoped was a hurt look.

"Look, we'll get this all sorted out. You picked the wrong time to be stupid."

Or exactly the right one. As long as you weren't violent, they often tried to dump psych cases to the hospitals as quickly as possible, especially on weekends. Logan had told her that. Even better, on the weekend, she was likely to get an intern instead of an experienced psychiatrist or psychiatric nurse. As long as she could fake it long enough, she could escape. Security was almost always looser on psych wards.

"Yes," she agreed. "I want my pills now. I want to see my doctor."

"Who is he? Your doctor?"

"I can't remember," she muttered.

"You sound like an American," he said.

She had been trying for Australian. It was close to the Genoshan accent.

"Been here for a while. My husband's a citizen."

"What's his name?"

"I don't recall," she said, letting her voice trip on the last word.

"Christ," said the man, rolling his eyes. "Look, we'll get you some help. We're going to process you, then send you to see someone who can help you. Try to think of your name, or your husband's name, or your doctor. That'll help. You picked a damn stupid time to pull something like this. We've got an emergency on."

He bent over and unlocked her handcuffs, then locked her hands behind her back again. One key fit all the cuffs, but not a key that was anywhere that she could reach. She pulled on the cuffs gently, to feel if the power had come back. Nothing.

She was taken down another long corridor, through a guardroom and into a high-ceilinged room with a desk on a podium. Metal benches lined the walls. They were filled with women, many of them scared and covered in blood. Almost all of them had bar-codes tattooed on the backs of their hands. Guest workers.

The policeman had her sit in a plastic chair in front of the desk. There were two other women sitting there, without bar codes. They were scared as well, but trying not to look it. One had a small Amnesty pin on the collar of her blouse, and a red patch with a large A sewn onto her jacket.

"I-94," said the huge sergeant sitting behind the desk.

"She hasn't got one."

"What did she do with it? And where are her clothes?"

The policeman tapped his finger to the side of his head. The sergeant looked at her directly.

"Do you have any proof of your identity as a citizen?"

Difficult. She kept her face blank. She could make up a number, but that could only lead to more complications. Saying nothing would make more problems for them, not for her.

"Can you speak?"

She nodded, looking as frightened as she could.

"How did you get here?"

She stared at him blankly.

"She doesn't know her name," said the policeman. "She said that she stopped taking her pills. Found her in a guardroom in C wing. I was assigned to cleaning it out before it was requisitioned."

"Bloody Magistrates. Don't know why they have to requisition our cells, when they've got so many of their own. How do you think she got there?"

"Someone was bringing her in, and left her there when they went to the Class 4 Alert."

"Try to find out where she came from."

"I'm still on clean-out drill, sergeant."

"Bloody hell. Never enough hands. Go. But she can't sit there."

"She said she's a citizen."

"Her citizenship cannot be established."

"We can't put her over there," said the policeman, pointing to the benches with the tattooed women.

"Use your initiative, Constable."

There was an empty bench by the door behind the podium.


"She might be a mutt."

"Bloody hell," said the policeman under his breath.

"I didn't quite catch that, Constable."

"I said, very well."

He led her over to the bench. There was a large black M painted on the wall behind it.

"I'm sorry, I can't undo you. Nothing to lock you to."

She gave him a small, humble smile, and made herself as comfortable as she could.


Continued in Part 2


Down-Home Charm / Fan-Fiction / Fan Artwork / History Books / Photo Album / Songbank / Miscellania / Links / Updates

Legalese: Rogue, the X-Men, and the distinctive likenesses thereof are Trademarks of Marvel Characters, Inc. and are used without permission. This is an unofficial fansite, and is not sponsored, licensed or approved by Marvel Comics.
Privacy Policy and Submission Guidelines