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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



Beneath the rafters of the one-time slaughterhouse, a lean figure leaps with feline grace from the wooden beams to a steel catwalk, and lands silently. Another time, he might be grinning with self-satisfaction at his uncanny agility. In another place, he might give in to the fleeting joy of being airborne as he swings over and drops down to another catwalk.

But this dawn, the echo of Rogue's scream races through his mind even as he races through a maze of corridors as familiar to him as the rooftops of New Orleans. Except for letting her know that he's here, he hasn't responded to Rogue. He did, however, ask Jean to strengthen his psi-link to her, effectively allowing him to "eavesdrop" on her thoughts. He's disturbed by what he finds. Through the sometimes incoherent muddle of grief and exhaustion comes a clearer picture of Rogue's mental state: she's remembering the other times she was about to die.

So much for goin' out in a blaze a glory. Not like when I was rescuin' Maddy. Left to drown in the waters of San Francisco. Put up a helluva fight, though. Did Wolvie proud that day.

In the back of his mind, Remy knows that somewhere far below Wolverine is making his way through the depths of the building. He also knows that Mystique chose to take the direct approach, morphing into a Genoshan guard and walking through the front door. So far, the Genoshans seem to be preoccupied with the air strikes. None of the internal intruder alarms have sounded. Yet.

Never knew dyin' could hurt like hell. 'Cept for the first time. Takin' that blaster. All the other times, with Rachel and the Beyonder...with Forge...snap o' the fingers an' it was done.

The young Cajun flattens against the corridor wall, listening for activity. Nothing. All he hears is the quiet crackle of static in his headset. Once in a while, Scott or Forge's voice breaks the silence, updating everyone on the progress of the U.N. forces.

Cold beads of sweat break out on the back of his neck. He knows this place. Intimately. It's the corridor leading to Sinister's main operating lab. There's only one more room he has to pass through to get there. The morgue. It's easy to look for a distraction, anything to grab onto except the memories of this room. Even if it means responding to Rogue.

Least this way ain't as stupid as gettin' sucked into the Siege Perilous. Still kickin' mahself over that screw-up.

>>Dat all de X-men expect from you, Rogue? Nothin' but dyin'? Dat no life at all.<<

>>Moot point now, sugah.<<

>>Not if I c'n help it.<<

>>Mah hero.....hmph!....oh....God almighty...<<

A minute passes. Then another. Silence. Remy frowns. He can still sense Rogue, but her thoughts now focus on the basics of what she is feeling: hurt, cold, tired. He alerts Jean to the change, and takes small comfort in Jean's response that she is monitoring Rogue's condition closely.

Remy steps through the doors to the morgue, and immediately reels from the odors. Not the stench of decay, but the bitter, antiseptic assault of preservatives. The glare of overhead lights on stainless steel sinks and gurneys. The long wall to his left where Sinister's specimens were stored. As long as they were usable. Before being sent to the pits.

One drawer along the wall draws his attention as clearly as if marked in flame. First, because there is a name instead of a number written on the placard. Second, because it his name. Short and to the point: "LeBeau, Female, Fourth Generation Original". Remy flips through the attached medical chart with trembling fingers. He doesn't need McCoy's background to understand what's been going on. A wave of nausea washes over him. Lungs, removed. Extensive testing of nerve tissue for regenerative properties. Detailed entries of how the infant was successfully removed from its dead mother. Nicola.

He manages to reach a nearby sink before his knees give way, before retching. His fingers tighten on the steel rim, and he feels a long-buried hatred stir. He's barely aware of the steel beneath his fingers turning red until he hears voices. Familiar voices rising and falling, first quietly setting up a joke, then loudly delivering the punchline. The same raucous laughter that has haunted his days and obsessed his nights.

He steps into the shadows as the New Genoshan guards enter. He grabs two long, sharp pieces of steel from a tray. Snap of the wrist, and the guards are on the floor with the steel embedded in their necks. Not dead, just momentarily paralyzed. Remy's heels crackle against the linoleum floor as he takes his time walking over to the guards. He gets a perverse sense of pleasure, of revenge, at seeing the horror of recognition in their eyes.

"Mornin', mes amis. T'ings maybe not so funny now, eh?"

He squats down to their level.

"Gon' be even less funny."

His eyes reflect the unnatural gleam of stainless steel and flourescent lights as he studies their uniforms. Standard issue. Bullets criss-crossing their chests. Guns slung tight to their thighs. Steel card keys in their back pockets. All kinds of metal strapped to their bodies. He grins. A spark of energy crackles across his fingertips.

He brushes the metal buttons of one guard's uniform, sending a spark across each--one at a time. The guard jerks at each burst of energy searing his skin. Remy's thumb flicks the top of the other guard's zipper. He cries out as the energy ripples down the metal teeth. Remy's grin broadens. Now, he knows how to exact his revenge on these two.

In moments, the two guard find themselves roughly hauled across the floor, bound, gagged and thrown into two of the empty drawers. Side by side. With expert skill learned on the back streets of New Orleans, Remy rigs a tripwire. From a nearby outlet, across the doors, through the legs of the steel sink and finally, to the guards' zippers. It will be a painful death, even so, somewhere in the darkest corners of Remy's soul, part of him whispers that it still isn't enough.

He reaches the operating room and glimpses Rogue. Even though her head is turned his way, there is no flicker of recognition in her eyes. Nothing through the psi-link to acknowledge his presence. He glances away from the blood pooling beneath her body. Several cards drop into his palm, ready to be charged with kinetic energy. A sudden burst of smoke momentarily distracts him.


Kurt's sharp whisper cuts the air even as his tail wraps tightly around Remy's wrist, forcing the Cajun to drop the trio of cards from his hand. With his free hand, Remy grabs Kurt's throat. His eyes blaze crimson.

"What de hell y'tink you doin'?"

"Sinister considers himself a man of science, nicht wahr?"


"As a scientist, he would know to sterilize a room before performing surgery. If you cause an explosion, mein freund, you contaminate the room and expose Rogue to infection."

Kurt feels Remy's muscles relax, and he releases his own grip on the distraught Cajun.

"You gon' teleport--eh?"

Remy glimpses a flicker of red crosshairs across Sinister's body. He jerks around to see Mystique taking aim, and immediately whispers a sharp warning across their closed-communication headsets.

"Mystique, don'--"

Sinister's hand rises. The scalpel gleams as it descends towards Rogue. Mystique fires, shattering the glass of the observation booth. Remy catches Kurt's flurry of German epithets amid the sudden clang of the alarms and stench of sulphur as he teleports into Sinister's lab. Remy quickly forces the doors, and follows close behind.

Sinister responds to Mystique's attack with his own powerful blast, striking her hard in the shoulder. While Sinister is distracted, Remy uses his bo staff to sweep his feet, then shove him away from Rogue. Quickly, Kurt steps into Sinister's place. Remy immediately approaches Storm, but she stops him with a shake of her head.

"No, see to Rogue first."

Remy spares a quick glance over his shoulder. Just enough to see Kurt's eyes fill with tears.

"Gott en Himmel..."

And hear Mystique's contempt reply.

"Do you honestly think 'God' had anything to do with this? I'm taking her out of here. Now!"

"She has open wounds, Mystique."

"Fine. You close her up while I watch your back. Can you handle that?"

Wordlessly, Kurt quickly snaps on a pair of gloves. He scrounges a supply of sterile saline solution and washes Rogue's body quickly before quickly stitching the worst of her wounds closed.

Sinister rises to face Remy, his skull-colored face turning chill. Remy rubs his thumb across his fingers, letting the energy build up. Dimly, he hears a scream somewhere in the corridor, followed by an uproar of shouts and heavy footsteps. Sinister's gaze pierces his. Remy flashes a predatory grin.

"Y'help ain't what it used t'be, Sinister."

Sinister coolly appraises Remy, slowly scanning him from head to toe.

"Apparently, neither are my clones."

The dig hits home, giving Sinister the opening he needs to snap a hand out to the Cajun's throat. Genoshan guards appear in the doorway and observation booth and immediately take aim on the intruders. Amid the click of dozens of trigger being pulled back, no one hears the unmistakable snap of two Genoshan collars being unlatched.

"Release him, Sinister."

Sinister's eyes lock with Eric's. The tension in the room rises perceptibly.

"Merely because you request it?"

Eric's voice remains calm, but no one in the room misses the audible power emanating from within.

"Because I demand his release."

A sudden, almost imperceptible change in the air sends the gauges of several machines into wild fluctuations. A blue aura gathers around Eric.

"Because if you do not accede to my wishes, I will destroy this place and all of the information within. Your life's work will be nothing."

Sinister's grip on Remy eases.

"I have known men such as you, and outlived them."

"And I have known creatures such as you--and crushed them beneath my heel."

In the same instant that Eric's magnetic pulse increases throughtout the room, Sinister's hand flashes to a hidden wall switch. As the Genoshan guards fall beneath Eric's assault, Sinister succeeds in escaping, leaving a series of explosions sparking through the room in his wake. New guards arrive in response to the continuing alarm, and open fire at random. The sudden spray of bullets ignites flammable liquids, filling the room with smoke and flames.

Kurt looks up as the massive array of machinery hovering over Rogue begins to short circuit. He surveys the room for help. Mystique occupies herself with returning gunfire, enjoying the heat of battle. Storm uses her weather abilities to try and control the flames. Eric rises through the ceiling, an angry god intent only on pursuing Sinister. Finally, Kurt's eyes light on Remy's.


The Cajun's mouth suddenly goes dry.


"You must take Rogue out of here. At once."

"Can' you--"

"We do not have much time. Now, while the others have distracted the guards. I can teleport Mystique and Storm. Rogue's system may not be able to handle the stress."

Remy swallows hard, then nods in agreement.


For a moment, as Remy releases the adamantium from Rogue's body, he feels her eyes watching him. Understands through the psi-link that her thoughts of dying keep her from thoughts of grief. Until now. His own heart aches in response to the simple thought that they are parents who have lost their child.

Again, he clamps down on his feelings. He quickly dresses her in a lab coat. When he takes her in his arms, she slumps wearily against his chest. For the Cajun, the moment is bittersweet. He has a fleeting thought that at least Rogue didn't flinch when he touched her.


Continued in Chapter 35.


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