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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



Rogue wakes slowly to find herself strapped to a gurney in the middle of an extensive, sophisticated laboratory. By squinting against the glare of the operating room lights, she can make out the dark, skeletal frame of equipment looming over her. It brings to mind the image of a gleaming spider. From the main casing, what can only be described as metallic tentacles branch down across her body. She can feel the one wrapped around her right bicep and forearm taking her blood pressure. She watches, momentarily fascinated, as the one on her left takes a blood sample.

She makes a quick evaluation of her situation. So far, the machine seems to be limited to assessing her physical condition. Adamantium clamps her body at different points--neck, arms, wrists, beneath her breast, thighs and ankles. By turning her head, she can see Storm and Eric confined to far wall. She's relieved that they seem battered and bruised, but none the worse for their capture. She sees Eric's face turned toward Ororo's, catches his low whisper but can't make out distinct words. Ororo's eyes momentarily meet hers before she turns to hurriedly whisper something back to Eric.

"Rogue has awakened. Have you made any progress?"

Eric's brow furrows as he concentrates.

"The collar appears to affect my powers only above a specific threshold. I believe I may be able to generate a low-energy magnetic pulse."

"Bright Lady be praised, we may yet be free."

"Ororo, I may not be capable of sustaining the pulse."

"You should not need to, my friend. Can you vary the intensity?"

"I will try."

Rogue squirms uncomfortably, testing the strength of the adamantium. She exhales sharply, frustrated. She take a moment to rest, letting her eyes wander around the lab. Her blood turns cold when she notices a detailed set of Mendel charts. Across the top are written the names of several X-men. Down the side, is a single name repeated on each line: Remy Etienne LeBeau. In each square where the lines intersect, are carefully detailed notes of projected results from the combination of DNAs. She's even more startled to see additional charts similar to the first, except that the second chart adds the name of Scott Summers to Remy's. The third chart adds her name to theirs.

She's distracted by the movement of the tentacles adjusting her body on the gurney. Just as she wonders why her legs seem to be positioned far apart and raised, another tentacle lowers and answers her question. She feels the cold metal slide across her stomach and thighs before it moves to probe her more intimately. She lets out a gasp of surprise. A throaty chuckle answers her cry of discomfort as Sinister steps into her line of sight. Her shock boils over into anger.

"Ya lousy sonofa--is this you're way o' gettin' your kicks?"

Sinister's placid expression doesn't change as he studies the various test results flickering across the machine's display.

"I am merely evaluating your present condition."

"Mah condition?"

"You are with child."

As one, Ororo and Eric glance up sharply at Sinister's matter-of-fact revelation. The impossibility of what he suggests strikes a sarcastic chord in Rogue, and she answers him with a sharp laugh.

"That would take some doin', sugah."

This time, his thin lips curl in a bemused smile.

"I assure you, it did."

Five words that leave her stunned.



Rogue struggles to sort out a whirlwind of emotions running through her. She's torn between a surge of joy that she's carrying Remy's child and the leaden dread that her pregnancy has been engineered by Sinister for an unknown purpose. Her heart sinks further when she realizes that the life growing within may have been harmed by Hank's experimental cancer treatments.

Sinister turns from her to tap several commands into a waiting keyboard. Doors on either end of the room slide shut. Electronic humming comes to life from all corners of the room. Rogue feels buzz of energy slide quickly across her skin and sees the same blue light flash across Eric and Storm.

"What are ya doin'?"

"Sterilizing the room for surgery."

"Is somethin' wrong with the baby?"

"I sincerely hope not."

"Then why--?"

"I have no intention of wasting nine months when I can acquire the relevant genetic breakdowns now."

Rogue's eyes flash with emerald fire, but Sinister continues before she can put her fury into words.

"There is no child, there is only living tissue, no larger than your fingernail, waiting to be redirected to its full genetic potential."

"Over mah dead body."

Sinister's chill smile adds to the deathly aura of his bloodless skin.

"Au contraire, my dear, permitting you to expire before I have relieved you of the embryo which you have so considerately incubated would defeat your usefulness."

"Sinister, release me!"

Ororo's command serves to draw Sinister's attention away from Rogue. Eric glances over at Storm, curious as to what she intends. Sinister strides to Ororo's side.


"You will have less difficulty if Rogue has the comfort of a friend by her side."

"My concern is for the progress of my work."

Eric picks up on Ororo's lead.

"Even one such as you must realize that undue stress on Rogue may traumatize the fetus."

As Sinister appears to consider the request, Storm again commands his attention.

"I am quite capable of assuming the role of anesthesian."

"A noble gesture, but quite unnecessary. Anesthesia leaves traces of pollutants which are quite unacceptable to the level of purity required for my studies. I have increased the percentages of obtaining usable tissue threefold since my specimens are no longer subjected to the stress of anesthesia."

Over Sinister's shoulder, Storm catches the unmistakable expression on Rogue's face as his words sink in.

"...oh mah lord..."

As Sinister sets up a surgical tray, Rogue considers her alternatives. She still has enough strength to do some serious damage. The real problem is that she's flat on her back in a position that offers very little in the way of leverage. Still, as Wolverine always taught her, she makes the best of a situation that isn't likely to get any better.

As Sinister adjusts the clamp on her right leg, Rogue tenses her muscles, then lets loose, sending her heel cracking against his windpipe. One hand flies to his throat while the other digs painfully into her ankle, forcing it with a final twist back into the adamantium. He dresses in surgical scrubs, keeping a close eye on Rogue all the while as she strains against her bonds.


"One moment--is Sinister--?"

Storm's eyes turn cold.

"He is preoccupied with Rogue, you may continue your efforts."

"Ah, yes, I have it! I--damn!"

"Perhaps if you concentrate on one area of the collar?"

"There does appear to be a weak spot--there--this may take some time."

"I fear Rogue does not have much time."

Eric glances up, a flush of anger colors his face as he sees Sinister's scalpel dart across Rogue's skin, hears her sharp intake of breath in response to the cut. His eyes are drawn to the streaks of blood on Rogue's wrist and throat. Her skin as been rubbed raw from straining against the adamantium manacles holding her. She bites down on her lip, drawing blood as Sinister continues his pursuit of "science".


Continued in Chapter 31.


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