A cold wind swept through the remains of the old base that
so recently had served as his courtroom. Picking up a twisted
piece of metal, Remy used his mutant powers to kinetically
charge it and used it as a torch. Stepping cautiously, Remy
picked his way through the rubble looking for the small opening
that would lead to the storage room of the facility. In the
distance a sound of metal striking metal reached Remy's ears.
He immediately froze and at the same time pulled the kinetic
energy from the metal plunging the surrounding area back into
pitch darkness. He waited tense moments for more sounds to
come to him but nothing did. Slowly, he re-charged the metal
but, only allowed the metal to glow enough to highlight shapes
not show what each shape was. Normally, he wouldn't have been
this cautious. In fact he more than likely would have been
making a racket kicking stones and metal out of his way as
opposed to carefully stepping over things, but, with Sinister
poking around with his little band of degenerates, he wasn't
looking for any company just yet.
Finding what remained of the doorway that led to the storage
room, Remy stopped again; listened intently. Hearing nothing,
he still extinguished the glowing metal. He bent down and
picked up a couple of pieces of rubble. Holding one piece
at arms length he dropped it, listening as it smacked the
rocks and metal. Sending other pieces of debris scittering
accross the floor. Gambit made a quiet mumbling sound, then
lightly tossed the second piece of rubble off to the left,
letting it scrape it way to a new resting place. Without a
sound Remy entered to the doorway and hugged the wall inching
his way deeper into dark cavity.
'Mon dieu, Remy you gettin' more and more paranoid.' Gambit
thought to himself. 'De place be fallin' 'part 'round yer
ears an' ye still be doin' t'ings to give de impression ye
be goin' somewhere else. What if it were Stormy or Rogue come
back for you. You just went sendin' off in 'nother direction?'
In the darkness Remy screwed up his face with irony, hurt,
self-disgust and a little anger. 'Yeah right, next t'ing you're
goin' be believin' in Santa Claus and de Easter Bunny. Bad
enough you talkin' to yourself like dis already and it only
been a couple days.' Remy was pulled from his thoughts as
more sounds of rock and debris hitting and scratching against
each other came to him. He looked back towards the doorway
which appeared a slightly lighter shade of black that the
cavern he was now in. Again as the sound was so brief and
non-descript Remy tried to convince himself that it was merely
settling stones or pieces of debris falling from the ceiling.
Waiting for another minute or two anyway. He continued on
his way. He found the door he wanted without any light and
entered a long narrow room. He went to the far end of the
room and once more charged the piece of metal bright enough
this time to see everything in the room. He memorized as much
as possible and then extinguished the light not wanting to
possibly draw attention to where he was. By the aroma coming
from a small burlap sack hanging at about chest height he
knew it was full of onions. He pulled the sack from the wall
and dumped the onions on the floor. He'd already tried to
eat kinetically charged/cooked onions and decided they blew-up
better than they tasted. Quickly he grabbed tins and put them
into the burlap sack. He had a near full bag when he tripped
over a box he had somehow missed when he had entered the room.
Cursing quietly he ran his hands over the box and finding
that its flaps were merely folded closed he opened it thiking
to use it instead of the bag to carry his bounty. He was extremely
happy to find when he opened the box that it contained several
army blankets, a couple of pillows and even an emergency medical
kit. Grinning at his devil's luck he reached to his right
for the sack of food he had liberated. Once more his hand
came in contact with something other than the bag. It felt
like a boot. Smiling he tugged at it since it didn't move
"I believe it is customary to wait for a body to die
before stealing their boots, my boy." A sinister voice
"Mon dieu." Remy cursed scrambling to put as much
room between himself and much despised voice as he could.
Remy always prided himself on his cool attitude and proffessional
demeanor whenever he did a job. He couldn't decide which he
despised more at the moment though. The way his heart felt
lodged in his throat pounding fit to burst, the way Sinister
had got the drop on him and he hadn't even been aware of it,
or the way he was scambling on his hands and knees in front
of the despot.
The red diamond on Sinisters forehead was the first thing
he saw. His fist clenched in hatred. Sinister's hand raised
and glowed giving the room an eerie glow.
"Kneeling before me is a good position for you Remy,
but not necessary at this time." Sinister smirked at
Remy did not respond.
Glancing at his feet Sinister saw the open box and the bag
of tins. "I see you have returned to your roots. It certainly
suits more than that pathetic attempt at do-gooding you were
trying out with that equally pathetic group of mutant misfits."
"I got not'ing ta do wit you no more Sinister. Get de
'ell out of 'ere before I be doin' da world da favour it needs
by wipin' ya off de face of de planet." Remy snarled.
"Such harsh words. Why do you turn on me? I've only
ever given you what you wanted. Even when you went your own
way and joined the X-Men I never turned my back on you. When
you first thought your heart was broken in Seattle did I not
come to your aid again and ease your burden? Am I not here
now? Shouldn't you direct your anger where it truly belongs
on those who judged you; turned their backs on you; left you
to die here?" Sinister said with calm, soothing, sugary
Dropping his head, Remy tried to block out the words. Words
Sinister made sound logical and truthful. Words that had echoed
in his own mind during his moments of self-pity, hurt and
anger. Emotions he didn't feel he had any right to feel. Sinister
was trying to make him self-absorbed and selfish. To think
only about himself and how he felt, not about those he had
hurt. Those he was responsible for. Those he cared about more
"At least de t'ruth be known now Sinister. You got no
power over me. Not'ing to be blackmailin' me wit'. Go crawl
back in your hole where you belong and leave me alone."
Remy tried desparately to keep the desparation out of his
"Really..? And since truth is relative, which truth
do they all know? That you brought my Marauders to the Morlock
"Yea dey know all 'bout the Marauders. 'Bout my part
in de whole t'ing. Dey know everyt'ing dere is to know."
"Ah, so how did they respond when they found out about
who your payment was for? Didn't that at least soften some
of them to your plight?"
Remy knew at that moment he had walked right into Sinister's
trap. He glared with open hostility at Sinister. Refusing
to give Sinister anything else to use against him.
"Hahahaha. So, even now they didn't learn everything.
Don't bother to deny it Remy. It is clearly written over your
face. My poor boy, is your hatred for yourself that great
that you hid any shred of redeeming quality from your friends?"
Sinister paused for a second "From your love? Does she
even know how much you sacrificed for her?" His smile
was predatory. He didn't give Remy an opportunity to respond.
"Oh I bet she was just thrilled to discover the Morlocks
were massacred for her benefit." He started laughing.
A manic laugh. An ugly, evil laugh. It grated on Remy's nerves.
"She don't know."
Sinister stopped laughing abruptly. "Really. I am surprised.
Didn't you even give it to her? Didn't you even let her make
the decision? Tsk,tsk. You just keep digging the hole deeper
and deeper for yourself don't you my boy?" He started
to chuckle again.
"You set me up. You and dat tramp Mystique. You bot'
led me to t'ink that Rogue worked wit' you. Dat you were workin'
on a cure for her." Remy snarled, his red eyes glowing
"This has been interesting my boy, but come along now.
I have many things to accomplish this day and really don't
have the time discuss history. Perhaps I'll indulge you later."
Sinister stood back calmly waiting for Remy to comply to his
When Remy remained where he was crouched on the floor. Sinister
sighed dramatically nodded once and looked at Remy again.
"It really is an annoying trait that you have you know?
This independant streak. Times like this you really do remind
me of your bro.."
"Gotta problem boss?" A male voice interrupted.
"Ah yes Rubber. My young protege here is digging his
heels in. Persuade him otherwise." With that Sinister
started back down the hallway towards the main level. "I
do need him in working order Rubber. Remember that."
"Sure thing boss." The man called Rubber automatically
responded. "Alright pretty boy, we gonna do this the
easy way or the hard way?"
Remy's fingers flew accross the floor desparately searching
for something to charge and use as a weapon. 'Where was the
damn piece of metal he had had earlier?' Suddenly his hand
closed around one of the onions he had dropped on the floor.
It took only a second to charge the onion and Remy was already
moving. As he had anticipated Rubber hunched over into a crouch
waiting for Remy to charge him. Remy though waited as long
as possible then performed a front flip over the shocked man.
As he performed his flip, Remy tossed the onion towards the
ceiling of the room. It exploded on impact, sending rubble
showering down on Sinisters paid thug. The force of the explosion
helped propel Remy down the hall and towards the more open
space of the main floor. The explosion made Sinister turn
sharply towards the the hallway as Remy came shooting out.
"Fool! Ah, if you want something done right..."
He let the famous saying trail off as he released a bolt of
energy at Remy. It hit just in front of Remy's feet bringing
the agile thief to a quick halt. All hell broke loose then
as Sinisters' other thugs came charging in from different
directions using various mutant powers and yelling orders
back and forth they circled the ex-X-Man. Remy dodged and
jumped and returned fire when he could but he was simply out-numbered
and the outcome was never truly in doubt. As the beaten Remy
had a power-dampening collar locked around his neck, Sinister
bent low and patted him on the cheek. "It was a good
try my boy. Even though it annoys me, I do adimire your spirit.
I must reward that so I shall discuss your history with you
and we can settle matters. How does that sound?" His
smile was all evil. Turning towards one of the others he told
them to go and dig out Rubber. "If he is still alive
bring him back with you, and tell him to pick a new name.
Rubber is just too crude." Nodding towards the prone
Gambit, Sinister said simply "Bring him."
"Sugah, ah sure am glad someone thought to pack us some
winter woolies. The Bayou this certainly ain't." Rogue
shivered, huddling into the parka Sam had brought with him.
Choking back tears she turned towards Logan who squatting
a few feet away. "Oh Logan, if ah'm feelin' the cold
dressed like this, how could Remy have survived?"
"Don't count the cajun out just yet darlin'. I've got
his scent and it's recent." Logan gave Rogue a reassuring
grin taking off in a Northern direction.
"Oh Lordy, please let him be okay." Rogue said
quitely to herself. She felt a comforting weight on her shoulder
and turned to see a concerned Sam looking at her.
"Don't go mushy on us Rogue. It was seeing your determination
to fix things between you and Gambit that made me proud to
be an X-Man again. Besides if you cry, your eyes will freeze."
He gave Rogue his best Guthrie quirky smile, bowed slightly
and indicated for her to proceed him.
Returning Sam's gallant gesture with her own watery smile,
she took off after Logan.
'Thank you daddy. Ah just can't stand to see a lady cry.
Always makes me feel totally helpless.' Sam thought to himself,
remembering some of the things his father had told him about
how to treat a woman.
Up ahead Logan was moving a slab of ice to one side. Rogue
ran to catch up easily moving the slab with one hand. Her
heart was pounding like crazy. She was terrified and excited
at the same time. She took several huge gulps of air trying
to calm herself. Looking around the hollowed out cave opening
she saw some boxes and some blankets covering a matress. There
was no sign of Remy though. Disappointment washed over her
in great waves.
"Wolvie?" she asked quietly, trying to prepare
herself for the worst.
"His place alright. He's been here today. Hasn't been
back though for at least two or three hours. Probably scroungin'
some food since I don't smell anything recent. Most likely
he's gone back to that citadel ya told us about. Most likely
place to find rations." He stated matter-of-factly. He
turned and headed back outside stopping momentarily to say
"We ain't done yet darlin'."
Moving the ice slab back into place Rogue used her finger
and scratched an 'X' into the ice and then below the X she
scratched a 'Q' with a heart shape next to it.
"Oh crap!" Logan stood abruptly and looked back
at Rogue and Sam. "Looks like we arn't the Cajun's only
company today. I thought I caught a whiff of something foul
but now I'm sure. Sinister has been here recently."
"What about Remy?" Sam asked for Rogue.
"Not as recent. Remy was gone by the time Sinister got
here. But the two scents are mingling more and more stronger
the loser we get to that citadel."
"Well let's go Remy could need our help." Rogue
didn't look to see if the two men were following her. Her
attention was focused on the general area of the citadel/fortress.
Looking at Sam, Logan said "I'm just hopin' the Cajun
wants our help and wasn't waitin' on Sinister."
"Either way, Rogue's gonna need us to be there for her."
Grabbing Logan's hands Sam blasted after Rogue.
"Lordy, look at this place." Rogue said in general.
There looked to be gaping holes in the snow and ice with
thin spirals of smoke still coming from one or two. Steel
girders stood at odds with the flat ground and gaping holes.
Logan approached the area with the confidence his senses gave
him about the solidity of the ground around him.
As the three X-Men approached the closest entrance the ground
rumbled beneath their feet and suddenly they saw two jet like
planes flying northward.
"Not good." Logan grumbled and continued down under
the icy ground.
Inside the citadel they inspected the rubble and debris littering
the area. Logan ignored Rogue and Sam for a few minutes and
went over the ground time and again criss-crossing his own
path many times. Finally he returned to the other two and
looking at Rogue said. "I got good news and bad news.
Which do ya want first?"
"The bad." Rogue said automatically.
"Remy is with Sinister and about eight guys whose scents
I've never come accross before."
Gulping back the pain and doubt Logan's words brought forth
she whispered, "And the good?"
"The Cajun didn't go willingly." Seeing her bright
green eyes lighten he nodded towards some blackened stones
"See them charred stones over there, they've got Gambit's
kinetic energy scent all over them. Over there as well."
He indicated a couple more spots. "Looks like he put
up one heck of a fight first. Specially back from that hallway
down there. Whew, smells like onions and burnt rubber."
"He's alive Rogue. Now all we have to do is find him
again. And since Sinister don't know were here he won't be
expecting anyone to be following them."
"Thank you guys. Ah don't know if ah could of done this
on mah own."
"That's what bein' an X-Man is about. Not having to
do things by yourself. We may have forgotten that for a bit
but we're back on track and we're gonna put things to rights
as best we can. That's a promise." Sam said proudly.
The three quickly left the burnt out shell of a building and
took to the dark sky. The race was on and the prize was a
Continued in Chapter
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