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Warnings: Mature themes throughout the story, dealing with rape, torture and the psychological traumas of imprisonment in a concentration camp. Sexually explicit scene in Chapter 23.

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18
Chapter 19
Chapter 20
Chapter 21
Chapter 22
Chapter 23
Chapter 24
Chapter 25
Chapter 26
Chapter 27
Chapter 28
Chapter 29
Chapter 30
Chapter 31
Chapter 32
Chapter 33
Chapter 34
Chapter 35
Chapter 36
Chapter 37
Chapter 38
Chapter 39
Chapter 40
Author's Notes



Remy follows Eric outside into the beginning of a promising spring morning. A stray cloud momentarily darkens the sun, then moves on. In the distance, more clouds form a grayish haze on the horizon. He wonders briefly if the weather is natural or a reflection of Storm's concern for Rogue. He falls in with Eric's comfortably meandering stride. They walk in silence.

Their haphazard path eventually leads to the lake, where Eric settles his long frame along the grassy bank and stretches out. Remy fidgets, digging the toe of his boot into the loose pebbles along the shore. His frustration manifests in a sudden kick that sends the stones scattering across the grass.

"Is she gon' die?"

"We all die--eventually."

"Dat ain't what I mean an' y'know it, Lensherr."


"Don' play games, mon ami, not about dis."

"I do not 'play games', LeBeau, I evaluate situations and consider appropriate courses of action to achieve desired goals."

Remy turns.

"Dat sound like somet'in' de old Magento would say."

Eric closes his eyes with a heavy sigh.


Leaving Remy with the feeling that the understated comment is not so much a response to him, as it is one man's admission of surrender to destiny.

"However, we are here to discuss more immediate concerns."


Remy flicks his wrist, sending a pebble skimming across the lake's surface.

"What's goin' on wit' Rogue an' de collar?"

"You know that the Genoshans designed their slave collars to inhibit mutant powers."

Remy nods.

"They later modified those collars to allow varying degrees of inhibition, providing greater control over a mutant's abilities."

A flicker of remembrance darkens Remy's eyes.

"Y'know what dey did to Rogue wit' one a those collars?"

Eric's jaw tightens.

"I know only what I have been told. Unfortunately, the Genoshans modified the collars in more ways than were initially apparent."


"The collars include a bio-electrical contraceptive to prevent the random creation of--genetic undesirables. Those are the Genoshans' words, not mine."

Another flick of the wrist. Another stone skims the water as Remy considers Eric's words.

"Why ain't Storm been affected?"

"Rogue's physiology creates a unique situation. In effect, her absorption powers are interacting with the biological elements of the collar. The collar has been responding by increasing production of the contraceptive to toxic levels."

Toxic levels. Remy drops casually to the ground, pulling his knees up to his chin. He tries to keep his voice calm as he again seeks an answer to perhaps the most important question in his life.

"Is she gon' die?"

"Not if she agrees to treatment."

"By lettin' Moira cut her open?"

"Dr. McTaggert believes the radical approach would be most effective. Which is why she's adamant in recommending a hysterectomy to eliminate the possibility of future malignancies."

"Why don' Logan--"

"The problem is gender-specific."

Remy flops onto his back with a frustrated sigh.

"What does Henri t'ink?"

"Henry has been experimenting with preventive chemotherapy with mixed results."

For a long time, neither man speaks, each lost in his own thoughts. Eventually, the distant, gray haze evaporates beneath the full sun of mid-morning. Still, they remain silent, letting the warmth of the new season chase the last chill of winter from their bones. A hundred thoughts run through Remy's mind, all returning, inevitably, to the same point: he and Nicola were both wearing collars in New Genosha. If the collars contained birth control, how did she become pregnant? And if she became pregnant, what if Rogue--?

...the Genoshans modified the collars in more ways than were initially apparent...

There are moments in a man's life when he sees his past revealed with a clarity never before experienced, as if a divine hand intervenes and rearranges the pieces of the cosmic jigsaw into a coherent whole. Remy LeBeau experiences that moment now. Specific images click through his mind, significant images if he can connect them and understand their relevancy to each other. Rogue in the Danger Room, then in bed with him. A flash of Nicola. Rogue. Danger Room. Bed. Nicola. A glimpse of Sinister's self-satisfied smile.

Lovely young woman. I have such plans for her.

...modified the collars...

Rogue wearing the collar in the Danger Room. Nicola wearing the collar in the camps. Rogue wearing the collar in bed. He silently berates himself. A thief is supposed to notice details.

"...mon dieu..."

Important details like the difference between a smooth metal collar and one that has a well-defined chip added to it.


Continued in Chapter 26.


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