A stunned silence had fallen upon the group with the Jedi's
revelation. Gambit stared incredulously at Nomi for a full
minute before he managed to find his voice.
" So ... y' tellin' me dat apart from bein' a mutant
... I be one o' those few who c'n use ... this 'Force' dat
y' tol' us about ? " he stammered in disbelief.
She nodded in affirmation.
" That's exactly what I'm telling you. And you've managed
to develop your talent quite well so far, considering that
you've lacked the proper training ..."
" I ... I don' know what y' talkin' about ... only 'talents'
I got are t'ieving, an' blowing things up ..."
Remy's voice was thick with denial, but his eyes bore a hunted
look, as they darkened in remembered pain.
" Are they indeed ? " Beast asked.
Gambit whirled toward the source of the question, then drew
himself up straight.
" What's that s'posed t' mean ? " Remy asked
Hank sighed, and shook his head slowly.
" Oh, come now, Gambit. Do me the honour of granting
me some credit ... I've long suspected that you had
other abilities, but I always presumed that they were psionic
in nature... However, I was never able to reconcile the emergence
of biokinetic charge with psychic abilities in the configuration
of your X-factor. The powers are simply too dissimilar --
after Miss Sunrider's little lecture, however, the possibility
she has presented seems intriguingly plausible. "
" Remy, whyevah didn't ya tell us ? " Rogue asked
in a hurt voice.
His murmured response was barely audible.
" Got m' reasons ... how ? An' how long have y' known,
Hank ? "
Beast's voice held no accusation in its tone, but rather
" Well, I haven't known so much as suspected,
" Hank admitted, " but it has been for a long time.
Cerebro's inability to locate Storm due to interference while
she was accompanying you was one clue -- and from her descriptions,
your skill at talking your way out of trouble goes far beyond
being the possessor of a silver tongue ... "
Nomi, who had been listening closely, nodded in recognition.
" Mind-manipulation through the Force ... an advanced
talent, and one not easily developed. If you've managed to
come that far on your own ... with training, you should be
able to realize the full extent of your abilities. And judging
from that piece of information, they're considerable. If you're
willing, I can help you with them. "
" How ? An' excusez-moi, but what's your angle ? What
d' y' want from me in return ? "
Gambit was uneasy, instinctively suspicious.
The Jedi calmly regarded the young man in front of her. Though
she had not probed his mind, still she could feel his deep-seated
fear and self-hatred like a cold slap in the face. She would
have to be careful with him ... clearly, he had been deeply
wounded mentally and emotionally at some point in his past,
and had yet to fully recover.
* More likely than not, the training may be a help to him
in more than control of the Force ... *
" To answer your question -- I am a Jedi Knight, and
it's my duty to help others who have the talent. My time may
have passed me by, but I won't abandon my responsibilities.
Should you accept my help, it will take time, but I believe
the discipline you've developed in the control of your mutant
powers will speed your progress with the Force. "
She paused briefly before continuing.
" As for my 'angle' as you put it, what I get out of
this, is the satisfaction of knowing that I did what I believe
to be right -- helping you. From what you have told me, your
world is in danger -- and you will need every resource at
your disposal to defend it and yourselves. And regardless
of your decision, whatever it may be, I'll help with that
too, for the same reasons. "
Nomi had spoken quietly, but there was no mistaking the steely
intensity of her voice.
Silence filled the room. The others looked at Gambit expectantly.
His empathic senses were urging him to trust the Jedi -- but
he no longer trusted those instincts. How did he know that
she wasn't subtly manipulating them somehow -- from her claims,
she had the power to do just that ... Once before, he had
sought help in the control of his powers, and the blight of
the price he had paid for that 'help' weighed more heavily
on his soul with each passing day. He was torn, wanting to
trust her, yet his fears of a new disaster on his conscience
held him back.
Apparently, his fears were noticed, as Nomi's soothing voice
broke into his reverie.
" I understand your distrust, " she began gently,
" and I won't make any claims on you. There is no 'price'
to be paid here -- no one is forced to become a Jedi. You
may not even want to be one, and that's fine -- it's
a choice you'll make for yourself when the time comes. But
if you decide that you want my help, Remy -- you'll have it.
When the Jedi finished speaking, a ponderous silence descended
for what seemed like an eternity before Gambit announced his
He took a deep breath.
* Can' believe I'm doin' dis ... *
" D'accord, chère, " he said softly.
" If those be y' terms ... I'll do it. "
Nomi nodded gravely, knowing that even this tentative acceptance
was difficult for him.
" Thank you for your trust -- you'll find that it's
not misplaced. I promise you that. And in the meantime, "
she said, her tone becoming brisk, " I have something
to give you. "
She turned toward Bishop.
" There was a small box in the pod -- would you bring
it here ? "
When he returned to the room, the Jedi took the box and,
sensing Bishop's lingering mistrust and seeking to allay it,
informed him of its contents before she opened it.
" There is a weapon inside, like the one that was on
my belt. "
The time-tossed X-Man stiffened at this, but made no move.
The woman had told him something which was to her own disadvantage,
if she was planning to attack. It was unlikely that she intended
harm, but still, he was prepared for it as she opened the
To his surprise, she slowly drew out another cylindrical
object, rather than a blaster. Slowly, the Jedi stepped back
a few paces from the table around which the others were gathered.
Holding the object in both hands, she hit an activator switch
on the handgrip. Suddenly, with a snapping hiss, a meter-long
blade of amethyst coloured-light burst forth from the cylinder.
Bishop and Deathbird both watched with wary interest, as neither
had ever seen this type of weapon before, and all listened
intently as the Jedi spoke again.
" This is a lightsaber ... the traditional weapon of
a Jedi Knight. It can deflect energy beams, cut through any
material -- except the blade of another lightsaber. Anyone
can use a blaster, but to use a 'saber -- well -- demands
an entirely different level of skill, a certain finesse. But
it has another purpose, as well. "
She turned off the light-blade before continuing.
" It's much more than just a weapon. For a Jedi, the
lightsaber can also act as a focus for his concentration when
manipulating the Force, improving his control. Every Jedi
makes his own lightsaber when his training is complete. Until
such time as you choose to return this one to me, Remy, or
until you make your own -- I want you to have it. "
A sad smile passed over her features.
" It was my husband's. "
Remy slowly got up from his seat and walked over to her.
Solemnly, he accepted the weapon. After a close examination
of the lightsaber, he turned it on, testing its balance. Considering
that it was a blade of light, it didn't have a weightless
feel to it -- it was as if the humming power of it had somehow
become substantial. He was accustomed to using a rapier, and
this two-handed grip was going to take some getting used to
While Remy examined the light-sword, Nomi turned to the others.
" I completely understand your reasons for disarming
me initially -- that was only sensible, until you could determine
whether or not I was a threat. I hope I've proven otherwise,
" she smiled, and then continued.
" If I have, I would like to have my things back --
at least my 'saber, anyway. Chances are, I'll be needing it
fairly soon. "
" Under the circumstances, " Beast mused, "
I am inclined to agree. We still do not know the nature of
the threat we face, but we could surely use all the help we
can get -- and I'm certain that had you wished to harm us,
you would have done so already. As such, I see no difficulty
in returning your weapons. "
" Ah guess Ah know more 'bout Miss Nomi than anyone
else here, " Rogue stated.
" Ah'm sure we can take her at her word. "
The others agreed, and although both Bishop and Deathbird
were reluctant, even they had to admit the truth of the others'
" I'll get your things now, " Bishop offered brusquely.
An impish grin lit up the Jedi's features, and her eyes twinkled
" Oh, don't bother -- allow me ... "
A look of concentration flashed across her face -- and to
the astonishment of almost everyone, both blaster and lightsaber
appeared at the door, before gliding to their usual positions
on Nomi's belt.
Except for Rogue, who snickered, the others stared at her
" You could have taken them back at any time. "
Deathbird said accusingly.
" So I could have, " Nomi agreed with a small smile.
" I hate to break this up, " Trish interrupted,
" but shouldn't we be getting back to the business at
hand ? Namely, fixing this bucket of bolts so we can go home,
and find out just what the story is behind that spaceship
" A point well-taken, human ... it is time we resumed
our repairs. I suppose it would be too much to ask that you
be familiar with starship engineering, Jedi ? " Deathbird
inquired with imperious sarcasm.
Nomi refused to rise to the bait.
" Give me a multitool, a fusion-cutter, the proper system
diagrams, and just point the way," she replied smoothly.
" Remy -- come with me. While we're going to be too
busy to begin the physical training for a while, I might as
well teach you what I can while we work ... "
" Ah'll take mah turn at the helm. Joseph, sugah, why
don't you join up with Beast an' Trish. They could use a little
extra help ... "
After a few minutes of organization, the eight castaways
went to their respective tasks.
Continued in Chapter
" To win one hundred victories of one
hundred battles is not the acme of skill: to subdue the enemy
without fighting is the acme of skill." -- Sun-Tzu, The
Art of War
Down-Home Charm / Fan-Fiction /
Fan Artwork / History Books /
Photo Album / Songbank /
Miscellania / Links /
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