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Volume 1 -- Issue 6 -- Rogue Recruit Download Issue
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Rogue Recruit
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It is a time of change for the X-men. Born with extraordinary powers, they fight for peace and understanding in a world that hates and fears them. So recently, Professor Charles Xavier has stepped up recruiting efforts to bring more mutants under his wing. Among his latest additions are Storm and Wolverine. Both arrived under very different circumstances with Storm being an accomplished graduate student and Wolverine being a product of the mysterious Weapon X.  But the transition hasn’t been without issues.

Wolverine continues to clash with Cyclops on and off the field despite the best efforts of Jean Grey. Wolverine’s romantic interest in Jean has added further strain that has continued to fester. Storm has also been adjusting, having already faced two major battles. But she’s had significant help from the others, especially her fellow teacher and new boyfriend, Hank McCoy.

These issues were made painfully clear in a recent battle with the Brotherhood of Mutants, the rival team of mutants led by Magneto. They were able to humble the X-men due to their lack of teamwork. The whole affair was a triumph for the Brotherhood and defeat for the X-men. Now as Magneto schemes, Professor Xavier looks into more possible recruits.

And he may not have to look far. On the banks of the Mississippi river, a new mutant signal has begun to manifest. It already holds a special interest for Professor Xavier, but he isn’t the only one.


The Dark Corner Nightclub – Mississippi

Marie Anna Darkholme let out a disgruntled groan as she slammed back another drink. She was starting to lose count of how many she had taken. Obviously it wasn’t enough because she was still miserable. Two hours into the night and her head was still killing her. Not even sitting at the bar in her favorite club on a Wednesday night was making her feel better. A day of this torment was bad enough, but this was the third time this week she had felt this lousy.

“Gimme another one,” she said to the bartender in her thick, southern accent.

“You’re really pushing it tonight, Rogue. What the hell is wrong with you? Foster mother kick you out again?”

“Ah don’t wanna talk about it. Just get me another.”

“Whatever.”

The young woman rubbed her temples, taking a deep breath to collect herself. But that wasn’t easy in a club like this. The Dark Corner was no ordinary hang out for teenagers in the early evening hours of a school night. It was a notorious Goth club that was built from an old strip club. For years it had been where outcasts and rebels met to hang out, listen to alternative music, and break a few laws. It wasn’t that big, consisting of a central dance floor, a DJ booth, a bar, and some beat up couches where people could loathe the world in peace. The unofficial dress code was to wear anything that wasn’t normal. Whether it was excessive piercing, dyed hair, black makeup, vampire fangs, tattoos, or clothes that were too revealing for community standards it was all accepted here.

Marie had been coming here for years. Only here she wasn’t Marie, the intimidating girl nobody talked to at school and who regularly clashed with her foster mother. She was Rogue, a girl who looked out for herself. She wasn’t the loathing, dreary type goth who lamented about everything. She didn’t even look the part. She didn’t have overly pale skin, elaborate tattoos, or ridiculous body piercings. By all account she had a normal, athletic female body. She did have her share of defining traits though. The most noticeable was a white streak in her hair. That along with the dark clothes she wore made her fit right in with this crowd. They didn’t even give her a second look. She just kept to herself, preferring the company of other outcasts so she could fit in on her own terms.

It hadn’t always been like this. There was a time her mother really looked out for her. She wasn’t her real mother though. She didn’t remember her birth parents. But she never let that hold her back. Her foster mother taught her to be tough, strong, and independent. She even taught her how to fight, which really came in handy when people harassed her about her appearance. If they didn’t approve of the way she styled her hair or the gothic clothes she wore, that was their problem.

“Boy don’t you look gloomy. And in a place like this that’s really something,” said a darkly dressed man with at least six piercing on his face, “Just out of curiosity, how much of that angst is for show and how much of it is real?”

“Depends…how far do those tattoos go?” quipped Rogue as she gulped down another drink.

“Answering a question with a question. I’m guessing you’re smarter than the average goth. I like that.”

“Sorry sugah. You ain’t mah type. Ah only hang out with guys smart enough not to stick hot needles through their eyelids.”

“Who said anything about hanging out?” he said with a flirtatious leer, “Looks to me like that’s the last thing you need.”

“What Ah need is for you to shut yer trap!”

“I’ll be quiet…if you join me in the pit.”

Rogue rolled her eyes. The pit was just Goth jargon for the dance floor, which by now was a sweaty heap of bodies moving chaotically to the industrial rhythm. There was no order or civility to it. Anything goes in the pit. It was a way to release pent up frustrations about the world. And for Marie “Rogue” Darkholme, it was just what she needed.

“Fahne,” sighed Rogue, “If it’ll shut ya up.”

She set aside her drink and followed the man into the crowd. She didn’t know this man, but that didn’t bother her. If he tried anything, she could take him. All that mattered now was getting her head straight.

The DJ, who was a tall, middle-aged man with a long flowing beard and braided hair, began a new song. The thundering base beats reverberated throughout the club. Glasses shook and the floor rocked a mesh of Gothic men and women followed the intoxicating spirit, guided only by the whims of rebellion.

Rogue followed the man to the center of the pit, closing her eyes and moving with the pulsing beat. Surrounded by fellow outcasts, many of whom were only partially dressed, she felt more at ease. The spirit consumed her as she began moving her body to the music. The heavily pierced man who roped her into this moved in close, grinning intently as he danced with her. But his presence was barely noticeable once she got into it. Her head stopped pounding and her mood lightened. It was just the feeling she was looking for. As the beat intensified, she slithered her body in a majestic yet sassy manner. More soon joined in the pit, surrounding her with more sweaty bodies.

Rogue felt the man rub up against her. He looked at her and she looked right back at him, showing she was every bit the rebel her name implied. He leaned in to touch her, trailing his hand up her waist and onto her exposed mid-drift. Rogue leaned into it, matching him move for move. Then something unexpected happened. Suddenly, the man’s expression shifted to one of great discomfort.

“Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!”

His cries were barely audible over the music and crowd, but Rogue heard him loud and clear. When she saw the look on his face, she realized something was wrong. Then she felt it too.

“What the…aaaaaarghhhhhhhhh!”

The man’s body went limp and he collapsed lifelessly onto the floor. Rogue fell back in confusion, grasping her head. It was like someone had just injected fire into her veins. A rush of images surged through her mind. Only these images weren’t from her.

‘My name is Cody Hawkins. I am 18. I’m a poor student. I played football. I got kicked off the team because they found needles in my locker. My dad’s a jerk. My mom’s overbearing. I sneak out at night to go to punk concerts. I dress differently during the day. I become someone else at night. I am…’

It was happened so fast. Along with these thoughts came this strange surge of energy. It felt weird. It left her disoriented and confused. She tried to keep her balance. Then she stumbled onto a girl who was dancing next to her. She felt her arm make contact with her shoulder. Another surge followed, only this time the thoughts were different.

‘My name is Risty Wilde. My other name is Moonlight. My parents are nice. My family is wealthy. I don’t fit in. I want to be different. I skip church to hang out with friends. I hide drugs under my mattress in a hallowed out bible. I want to get out of this town. I want to start my own band. My parents don’t understand. Nobody understands.’

The girl went limp and Rogue tripped over onto another girl. More strange sensations followed and like the previous two, she went limp. At this point, people were starting to notice. Even as the music kept playing, onlookers began to panic. Three people were out cold and one girl was freaking out. Something was seriously wrong with her. She couldn’t stop screaming.

“MAKE IT STOP! MAKE IT-AHHHHHHH!” cried Rogue as she clutched her head.

“Take it easy, missy! You on a bad trip or something?” asked a middle aged man.

He reached down to help her up, but when she grabbed her hand he joined the three other victims lying on the floor. And once again, Rogue was bombarded with a wave of images and sensations. Her reaction drew more attention as onlookers began piecing it together.

“What’s happening to her?”

“She some sort of succubus or something?”

“She knocked them out cold just by touching her? She must be cursed or something!”

“Should we get help or something?”

More closed in on Rogue and the four bodies of her victims. But this time, she wouldn’t let them.

“DON’T TOUCH MEH! GET AWAY!”

With strength that defied her stature, Rogue plowed through the crowd and rushed for the nearest exit. Some tried to stop her, but they were overwhelmed. It was like she had the strength of several men. By the time she reached the back, nobody dared stand in her way. She could barely coordinate herself. Her mind was going so fast she could barely keep up with her body. Once she reached the back door, she stormed aimlessly into the night.

“What’s going on?! Why is this happening to me?! Somebody? Anybody! HELP MEH!”


Xavier Institute – Danger Room

Logan never minded getting his hands dirty. With his history, it was almost a given. Whether it was killing people, acting as a guinea pig in some madmen’s experiment, or simply working on his motorcycle he was never afraid of a little elbow grease. Seeing as how he had to pull his weight around the institute, he was helping in a number of ways. One of which involved helping Hank fix the Danger Room that he had grown so fond of destroying.

“I must say, Logan. You know how to leave your mark,” said Hank as he worked under the hologram projectors, “I can’t remember the last time someone put the projector circuits under this much strain.”

“What can I say? I’m good at testing limits,” said Wolverine with a wolfish grin as he cleaned out some of the mangled debris.

“That wasn’t necessarily a compliment,” Hank retorted, “These components are quite complex, not to mention expensive. There’s only so many times I care to rebuild them.”

“Guess you’ll just have to start makin’ them sturdier,” shrugged the feral mutant.

“I suppose the term overkill is not in your vocabulary?”

“I’m the best at what I do. Far as I’m concerned, anything less than overkill just wouldn’t be right.”

He seemed remarkably casual, even as he forcefully ripped out some old cables and projectors. He almost seemed like he was in a good mood. Hank couldn’t remember seeing him in such a state in the brief time he had been with the team. If what he heard from Ororo and the others were any indication, he had a pretty good idea why.

“So…I heard about you and Jean getting together,” he said.

“Word travels fast,” said Logan with a wolfish grin, “Guess there ain’t but so much hiding a guy can do when he hooks up with a hot girl.”

“Not that you seem to concerned with hiding it, I was hoping to set the record straight,” said Hank as he stopped working on the projectors for a moment, “I don’t mean to make light of your personal life, but don’t you think you getting together with Jean is somewhat…”

“Weird?” scoffed Logan, “Since when is it weird to get together with a good looking girl who’s gone above and beyond to help a chump like me pull his life back together?”

“I was going to say unorthodox, but if that’s what you want to call it so be it.”

“You’re not gonna go all Cyclops on me and tell me it’s wrong now are you?” said the feral mutant dryly.

“Of course not,” said Hank, “What you and Jean do is your business. But I must say I’m a bit concerned in addition to being downright surprised.”

Logan shook his head as he grabbed some tools from a nearby toolbox and kept working on some of the gears. He already had this conversation with the Professor. Warren and Bobby made their share of comments as well. He understood that he and Jean were somewhat of a novelty, but these so called concerns they were voicing were starting to bug the hell out of him.

“What’s there to be concerned about? So me and Jeannie got together. Big deal!” grunted Logan as he struggled to loosen a warped bolt, “What is so freakin’ outrageous about it? Is it because of my age?”

“That can be somewhat of a concern,” Hank pointed out, “Last I checked, your age is somewhat of a mystery. The Professor has already surmised that some of your memories go back as far as World War II.”

“So what? Even if I am that old I’m still technically as young as I ever was. My healing factor takes care of that. Even if it didn’t, age doesn’t seem to bother Jeannie. Guess she goes for guys with some experience under their belt.”

Hank was silent for a moment. Logan didn’t seem to be taking this matter very seriously. It was even more troubling to him because to him Jean Grey was a serious concern.

“Age and experience aside, that’s not my chief concern, Logan,” Hank went on, “Jean is my student. I’ve known her for many years. I was here the day she joined the institute. I’ve taught her and watched he grow into the woman she is now.”

“And what a woman, eh?” grinned Logan.

“I would ask that you be serious, my friend. As I mean this with the utmost candor,” said Hank firmly, “Now I’m not going to stand here and say that you’re wrong to be together. I’m not in position to make that kind of judgment. What worries me is that Jean is rushing into something she doesn’t quite understand.”

“And you think I’m leading her on? That I’m somehow taking advantage of her?” said Logan, who stopped working to finally address Hank seriously.

“Heavens no, but please note that in the past Jean has been known to lose her grip on personal affairs. She’s rational in most things, but not when it comes to intimate relations. She’s never as careful as she should be and if the way you’ve been carrying yourself around her is any indication, you’re not all that careful either.”

“So you’re all worked up about her being impulsive and adventurous?”

“I’m worried about her getting hurt, Logan. I don’t know you well enough to be assured it won’t get out of hand. It couldn’t hurt to have a certain level of reciprocity from someone now so intimately involved with one of my students.”

Logan snarled somewhat. He still got the feeling that Hank was insinuating he was just some jerk looking to use Jeannie for his own selfish. That seemed to be the sentiment of everybody here at the institute. Looking back on it, however, he couldn’t say that he blamed them. He didn’t exactly come off as an eagle scout when it came to women. That didn’t mean he lacked respect for them either, especially Jeannie. If he was going to be with her he might as well set the record straight, starting with Hank.

“Fine, you want some reciprocity and shit? I’ll give it to you!” said Logan, now showing a much more serious demeanor, “I know I ain’t prime boyfriend material. I know Jeannie can do a whole lot better than a jerk-off like me. I also know there’s a long list of reasons why we shouldn’t be together. But none of that mattered. She still took a chance on me. Just like I took a chance on her. Call it whatever the hell you want, but she’s my girl now and I’m her guy. That’s all there is to it.”

“I know. I accept that,” said Hank, “But…”

“Let me finish before you start second guessing me, bub,” said Logan, cutting him off, “I know guys like me don’t get a lot of breaks. But by some crazy twist of fate, I got a chance with the X-men and I got a chance with Jeannie. As screwed up as I am, I ain’t making light of it. I’ll do whatever it takes to be good for her. I’ll protect her, I’ll be there for her, and I’ll make sacrifices for her. I like her. She has faith in me. The least I can do is return the favor…and show her a damn good time in the process.”

Hank took a moment to digest Logan’s words. He studied the feral mutant briefly, making sure he was completely sincere. His ever subtlety indicated he was dead serious. He really did care for Jean Grey, more so than he expected. She wasn’t just some attractive conquest. He did feel something for her. Having shared such feelings with Ororo, he could definitely appreciate such sentiment.

“So what do you say, Hank? That good enough to ease these concerns of yours?” said Logan.

“In a manner of speaking, yes,” said Hank with a smile, “I am somewhat relieved.”

“So you believe me when I say I’m serious about being with Jeannie,” Logan added.

“I’d say you’ve done more than enough to convince me.”

“That mean you’re gonna stop bugging me about it? I’m getting mighty tired of explaining myself to everybody around here about my personal life.”

“So long as you’re dating Jean Grey, you’re going to draw a fair amount of attention,” said Hank with a smirk.

“Funny, I don’t see you and Ro getting that sort of attention,” Logan pointed out.

“True, but even you must admit that the nature of you and Jean is a lot more…intriguing. It’s bound to draw more interest whether you like it or not.”

Logan muttered a few curses under his breath. He couldn’t fault Hank for being honest. The man made a good point. He and Jean were not typical. Even he could see why it would draw attention. It didn’t make it any less annoying, but it was something he was going to have to work around.

Hank offered him a friendly gesture. He was glad to hear that Logan was serious in dealing with Jean. If they could make each other happy who was he to argue? It could only be good for them. However, there were other issues that concerned him.

“I personally don’t care to intrude,” said Hank, “As far as I’m concerned, your dealings with Jean are now as private as mine and Ororo’s. But don’t expect others to be silent. Some may even be quite vocal about it.”

“You referring to Summers,” grumbled Logan.

“Not specifically, but he is the first one that comes to mind,” said Hank.

“The guy’s a prick! It’s not like I stole Jeannie from him. I swear he just uses her as an excuse to piss me off!”

“I would ask that you try and be a little less crass in your assessment of Scott Summers,” said Hank in a more serious tone, “Like Jean, he is a longtime student of mine. I’ve known him for years and I can see why he would be so concerned about you being with her.”

“Why? Because he was too much of a pussy to take a chance?”

“No, because he and Jean share a certain closeness that I don’t think you understand,” Hank elaborated, “To be perfectly honest, I don’t understand it either. Their history together is quite extensive. The way they relate to one another is nothing short of uncanny. So before you go about causing too much tension with Scott, I hope you keep that in mind. You’ll save yourself, and Jean for that matter, a great deal of frustration.”

The idea of trying to be understanding with Scott Summers didn’t have a lot of appeal for Logan. However, the idea of saving himself and Jeannie some frustration seemed much more appealing. It still didn’t sit well, Scott and Jeannie being so close. Hank was right to point out that he didn’t understand it. He wasn’t sure if he wanted to understand it. If nothing else, it would give him less reasons to want to beat the crap out of him. Maybe it couldn’t hurt to at least try.

“I’ll think about it,” conceded Logan as he went back to fixing the gears.

“That’s all I ask,” smiled Hank.

“I still think Cyke would be better off finding a girl of his own. That way everybody’s happy.”

“If only the world were that just.”

“Tell me about it. I don’t know if there’s anybody out there that could stand one-eye, let alone bone him.”

“You’d be surprised, my friend,” grinned Hank, “You may be surprised to learn that there was a very special woman that Scott had quite a…”

Suddenly, Hank was cut off by an urgent telepathic message by Professor Xavier.

‘X-men, we have a code red alert! Please suit up immediately and gather in the hanger! A situation has arisen in Mississippi that requires are immediate attention!’

The Professor’s voice sounded urgent. It appeared Hank’s little story and the Danger Room repairs would have to wait. A code red alert was never to be taken lightly.

“Guess you’ll have to fill me in later, Hank. We got some action on our hands!” said Logan as he and Hank shot up and rushed out of the Danger Room.

“It would seem so,” said Hank as he followed his friend out the main door, “Perhaps a mission at a time like this is a good thing! A little break from the drama could be just what we need.”


X-jet – 45 Minutes Later

The XR-77 Blackbird broke through the thick cloud cover over the humid air over Mississippi. Turbulence rocked the advanced jet as Cyclops carefully piloted them over the agrarian terrain. This was not a good night for a recruitment run. The professor told them that the situation was volatile. People were in the hospital, rumors were flying, and the media were already descending on the area. It had all the makings of a bad situation. Those who had been in the X-men longer knew the signs and this definitely qualified.

It was rare for Professor Xavier to send them out like this in any respect, let alone for a recruitment mission. But half an hour ago Cerebro detected something major and immediately sent them to investigate.

“We’re passing over the coordinates,” Cyclops reported, “Sense anything yet, Marvel Girl?”

“Not yet, Cyclops,” she replied, “But something is definitely going on down there. I’m picking up on a hell of a lot of panic. At least four people are in a coma.”

“Four? Damn, what kind of mutant are we dealing with?” asked Warren.

“A dangerous one if she’s started attacking civilians,” said Logan, “We better get down and start tracking her. She keeps putting people in the hospital and we may have a fight on our hands.”

Just then, the Professor’s voice echoed through the radio.

“Don’t jump to conclusions just yet, Wolverine. The mission isn’t to fight this girl. The mission is to help her. While her condition is unstable, you must try and reach her before resorting to violence of any kind.”

“Sounds like a big risk if ya ask me,” said Logan.

“Indeed, but it’s one we must be willing to take. We don’t want a repeat of the incident with Avalanche.”

Logan was still skeptical. Just because their last fight was a disaster didn’t mean they should shy away from combat. That was called being a coward in his book. But for the sake of not making the same mistake twice, he went along with it.

“Exactly what are we dealing with, Charles? Who is this girl you’ve been monitoring?” asked Hank, who was sitting in the co-pilot chair.

“She’s a mutant whose powers have just begun to reach their full potential. Based on Cerebro’s analysis, she has a unique ability to drain the life energy from others.”

“Draining life energy? That would explain the comas,” said Cyclops, “Any background information on her?”

“Besides a brief criminal record, no. Someone has gone to great lengths to keep her paper trail to a minimum. I was, however, able to uncover a name…Marie Darkholme.

“Darkholme?” said Warren, “You mean…”

“Yes, Angel. She’s Mystique’s adopted daughter.”

Silence fell over the team. As if it wasn’t enough to have to deal with a dangerous, life-draining mutant, she just happened to be related to one of their biggest enemies. While Mystique had always been as mysterious as her name implied, the thought of her having a daughter didn’t sit well. If she was anything like Mystique, it was safe to assume she would be difficult if not downright resistant.

“Just what we need,” groaned Warren, “A date with Mystique’s demon seed.”

“Let’s hope she’s not the apple of her mother’s eye,” said Ororo.

“Yeah right,” scoffed Logan, “You really expect her not to put up a fight?”

“We have to try and reach her, Logan,” said Scott, “And the best way to do that is to avoid violence.”

“You have any idea how stupid that sounds?”

“You guys want to keep it down?” said Jean in a frustrated tone, “I’m trying to concentrate here! Sifting through a million different thoughts isn’t as easy as it sounds!”

Logan fell silent. Jean in her usual referee role got him and Scott to set aside their disagreements and focus on the task at hand. While they had gotten better at getting along lately, they still clashed. It was part of the baggage of being Wolverine’s girlfriend while keeping her close friendship with Scott. She hated being caught in the middle, but then again if she didn’t do her part those two would never get along.

“Man, how did Bobby get out of this mess?” wondered Warren.

“He has a mission of his own, remember?” said Ororo.

“Some mission,” scoffed the winged mutant, “We’re out looking for Mystique’s life-draining teenage daughter and he’s meeting up with that Lorna girl he met on the internet? How is that fair?”

“Look at it this way, Warren…we’ve got the more exciting prospect,” said Hank with his usual optimism, “You always say you prefer a challenge.”

“Maybe so. But I’ll bet my inheritance he’s having a better time than we are.”


New York City – Union Station

Bobby Drake paced anxiously as he waited outside for his date to show up. It took an hour of debate and some all out pleading on his part, but Professor Xavier excused him for the night so he could travel to New York City to meet Lorna Dane, the girl he met over the internet who captured his heart. He was excited, but nervous. Ever since he joined the institute, he didn’t get the chance to meet any girls. After he got kicked out of school, his date prospects dwindled and his only refuge was the internet. And after searching incessantly, he found someone he could connect with.

He hadn’t met her in person, but he had spoken to her over the phone andseen her picture so he knew she was beautiful. She also told him that she was a mutant like him, which went a long ways since people on the internet could be just as arrogant about the subject as they were in real life. He remembered how one time he met a girl over the web he thought he could get to know, but when she found out he was a mutant she immediately shut him out. It was disheartening to say the least, but hopefully this would be different.

“Um…Bobby Drake?”

Bobby turned around at the sound of a shy female voice. He was greeted with a sight that left him momentarily stunned. There before her was Lorna, the girl behind the chat room. And her picture hardly did her justice.

“Lorna? Wow, is it really you?” said Bobby as he approached her in excitement.

“If you’re screen name is IceManX616, then yes. It’s me.”

Bobby smiled widely. She was every bit as beautiful as he imagined. He knew it was her because of her unique green hair color, which she said was part of her mutation. She also had a really nicely toned body. She told him she played sports and it definitely showed. If that wasn’t a sign of good X-men material he didn’t know what was.

“Glad to finally meet you,” she said, “I can’t believe you came all the way out here just for me.”

“It was nothing,” he said, “A trip to the Big Apple to meet a beautiful girl is all the incentive I need.”

Lorna smiled and blushed.

“Thanks. You’re just as cute as your picture.”

Now it was Bobby’s turn to blush. He was rarely at a loss for words, but this was one of those times when even his quick wit was paralyzed. Despite years of vocabulary tutoring from Hank, he was honestly at a loss. It had been so long since he had been with a girl. Where did he even start?

“So uh…want to grab a bite?” he asked her.

“Sure, I’d love to,” said Lorna, taking his arm, “You like ice cream?”

“Love it.”

“Great! I’ll show you the best sundae you’ve ever had!”

“Sounds like a plan,” grinned Bobby.

With a beautiful girl at his side, Bobby Drake followed the green haired girl through the crowded streets. This was already shaping up to be a hell of a recruitment mission. Hopefully his friends were doing just as well on their end.

Local Park - Rogue

Everything was still spinning. Rogue wasn’t sure how far she had run, how long she had been running, or even where she was running to. All she knew was she had to get away from wherever it was she came from. The world was after her and she wasn’t about to look back. Adrenaline surged through her system, pushing her beyond her normal limits. She ran so far she reached the run down park across town. But at some point she had to slow down. Sweat poured down her face as she struggled to catch her breath. Her mind was still racing with many conflicting thoughts flowing through her mind. She struggled to ascertain which were her own and which weren’t.

“Pull yourself together, girl! Don’t freak out on meh!” she urged herself.

Out of breath and out of energy, she leaned against a nearby tree. Her legs were burning and her head was still throbbing. She forcefully rubbed her temples, but the pain persisted.

“Damn it! What the hell is going on?!” she yelled out into the night.

Suddenly, she heard a voice in her mind.

‘It’s okay. Help is on the way.’

The young woman shot up and looked around, ignoring the pain of fatigue and frantically scanning the area.

“Who said that?! Who’s there?!” she demanded.

‘Look above you.’

It sounded crazy to listen to a voice coming from inside her head, but she did it anyways. And to her surprise, the voice wasn’t lying. Out of the sky, a large black plane descended from the clouds and hovered a few hundred feet off the ground. From the plane, the door opened and a group of unknown people came flying out.

Led by Marvel Girl’s telekinesis and Storm’s winds, the X-men descended towards the ground where they saw the anxious looking young woman stood defensively against a tree. She didn’t look daunted by their appearance. If anything, she looked defensive. Her attire didn’t bode well either. That Goth getup she was in cried rebelliousness, something they probably should have expected from the daughter of Mystique.

“Marie Darkholme?” announced Cyclops as they touched down, “We’re here to help you.”

“Help meh?” said Rogue skeptically, “Who the hell are you people?”

“We’re the X-men,” said Marvel Girl, ‘And we know what you’re going through.’

There was that voice again. Only this time she knew the source. At least she knew it wasn’t from her. But that did little to stem her suspicion.

“Get out of mah head!” she demanded, “I don’t want your help! I just want…”

“Whoa there, take it easy!” urged Angel, “Take a deep breath and calm down. We don’t need things getting more messed up than they already are.”

“Tell that to the people Ah just put in a coma! Can you help meh with that?! Can you make me forget what Ah’ve done?!”

She was in a really tense state. The adrenaline, fatigue, and constant surge of foreign thoughts through her mind left her irrational and confused. Even Jean couldn’t calm her down.

“She’s really out of it,” said Marvel Girl to Cyclops and Beast, “She’s not thinking straight.”

“Then we’ll just have to calm her down,” said Storm as she approached the young woman, “Ms Darkholme, please…”

She reached to touch her shoulder, but she brushed over the exposed skin on her wrist in the process.

“Don’t touch meh!” exclaimed Rogue.

But it was too late. Storm let out a pained cry as a paralyzing surge sent her falling back.

“Augh!”

“Ororo!” exclaimed Beast as he rushed to his girlfriend’s aid.

But just as he caught her, he looked up at Rogue and noticed a sudden change in her demeanor.

“What the…Ah feel weird,” she said breathlessly.

“Ah hell,” groaned Wolverine, “I know that look.”

The winds suddenly picked up and thunder rumbled in the clouds above. Rogue’s eyes turned opaque white, the same color as Storm’s eyes when she summoned her weather control abilities. A quick lesson and logic followed. Take a girl who could drain the life energy of anyone she touches and have her touch someone with mutant powers and naturally the powers follow. But unlike Storm, Rogue didn’t have a lifetime of experience controlling her abilities.

“Ah…can’t…stop it!” she stammered.

“Oh no,” dreaded Cyclops, “This is not good!”

The winds picked up from a gentle breeze to an all out tornado. Rogue’s body went stiff as debris swirled around her, her hair fluttering in the mist of chaos. One minute she was fighting off chaotic thoughts that weren’t hers and the next she was overcome with this powerful connection to the winds around her. It was a strange feeling, almost like a bad dream where she had no control of the world around her. But there was no turning it off at this point. Winds raged and lightning began flashing in the skies above them. Leaves, dirt, and even nearby benches were uplifted by the force of the wind and caught in the chaotic winds.

Yet through the chaos, Rogue was remarkably calm. Her body spun with the winds as her eyes glowed white, staring up at the sky as the mother of all storms raged around her. All the X-men could do was take cover.

“Everybody get behind me!” yelled Marvel Girl over the wind, “I’m going to put up a barrier!”

“Better hurry up!” exclaimed Angel, “I don’t do well with…”

But before he could finish, the wind caught his wings and he was blown up into the cyclone. He tumbled out of control, tossed about in the punishing winds like the rest of the debris.

“Angel!” exclaimed Cyclops.

“Hope he gets miles for that,” grunted Wolverine.

Scott and Logan managed to get behind Jean’s barrier, but even behind it they felt the force of the winds. Jean struggled to keep it up, but held it up with all her psychic might. However, Beast and Storm were still out there. Ororo was out of it and Hank was holding onto her with all his might, trying to get behind the barrier.

“Hnnn…” groaned Storm.

“Now’s not the time for a nap, Ororo!” said Beast over the winds, “We must get clear! You’re the only one who can stop this!”

“Hurry up, Beast!” urged Marvel Girl.

“I’m going as fast as I…”

“Watch out!” exclaimed Cyclops.

What happened next flew by too fast for any one of them to react. One of the benches that had been uprooted in the storm surged past the barrier and was heading straight for Beast’s position. Cyclops tried to warn them, but he was too late. Beast instinctively turned to protect it from hitting Storm and was in turn rammed in the lower back, sending him tumbling into the wind with Storm still in his arms. His momentum carried him towards Rogue, who was still hovering aimlessly in the whirlwind. She didn’t even realize the big furry ape man coming right at her until he hit her dead on, sending her falling to the ground.

Upon knocking her out of her state, the winds subsided and the thunder and lightning ceased. But in the process, Beast made contact with Rogue’s skin and like Ororo, he was drained with paralyzing effects. He let out a beast-like howl, his body tensing as his life energy was drained. For Rogue, it was yet another surge of new power.

“RRRRAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!” roared Beast and Rogue.

“You’ve gotta be kidding me!” dreaded Wolverine.

“Jean, can you…” began Cyclops.

But he was cut off by a second roar, this time it was exclusively Rogue’s. Beast was now out cold along with Storm. The weather powers subsided, but now she had Hank’s animal-like instincts fueling her. Combine that with an already confused state of mind and Rogue had little chance of controlling herself.

“I’m trying, Cyclops!” said Marvel Girl, “I still can’t reach her.”

“MAKE IT STOP!” howled Rogue in a feral rage.

Rogue clutched her head as higher functions ceased and primal instinct took over. Her gaze drifted towards Scott, Jean, and Wolverine. All she felt was rage. Her eyes flashed yellow, the same color as Hank’s. Her teeth suddenly grew into beast-like fangs, built now for ripping through flesh. Her first reflex was to attack.

“RRRRAAHHHHHHHHHH!”

“Marvel Girl, try and contain her!” ordered Cyclops.

“Hold on, I-ugh!”

But Marvel Girl wasn’t fast enough. Rogue’s new animal reflexes allowed her to swoop in and pounce the redheaded woman to the ground. She was momentarily stunned and unable to respond with a telekinetic burst. Upon seeing this, Wolverine sprang into action. Recruit or not, nobody attacked his girlfriend without answering to him.

“Jean!” exclaimed Cyclops.

“Get away from her!” yelled Wolverine as he drew his claws and attacked.

The feral mutant grabbed the girl from behind and forced her off Marvel Girl. But despite her size, she was a lot stronger than she looked. She easily broke Wolverine’s grip and delivered a right hook that sent him flying against a tree. He was able to avoid touching her skin, but she definitely showed how much of Beast’s strength she had absorbed. Were it not for his adamantium bones he probably would be looking at a broken spine.

Despite the pain, Logan rose to his feet and stood in an attack-ready position. Despite his promise to hold back on the violence, this girl had shown she was beyond reason.

“If that’s how you wanna play it, missy, I’m game!” grunted Wolverine.

“Logan wait!” urged Marvel Girl as Cyclops helped her up.

“Too late for that, Jeannie! The little rogue here ain’t gonna listening!”

“No! Don’t attack! That’s an order!” demanded Cyclops.

Logan clearly wasn’t going to listen to him. He was ready to fight this girl off until one of them was knocked out. But Scott couldn’t let him get that far. The more they fought her the more she would fight back. This girl’s powers were out of control, but the girl herself was still there and that’s who he had to reach.

“Damn it, Wolverine!” he muttered before running out in between them, “Ms Darkholme…Marie! I know you’re in there! Listen to me! You have to fight this! Don’t let this power control you!”

His words fell on deaf ears. Rogue still looked at him with the murderous rage of a beast.

“She’s not listening, Cyke! Get out of the way!” yelled Logan.

But Scott wouldn’t budge. He kept staring down Rogue not with malice, but with urging. He wasn’t talking to her as Cyclops, the X-man. He needed to reach her as Scott Summers.

“We don’t want to fight you. We want to help you. But first you have to take control. Remember who you are, Marie!”

She looked poised to tear Cyclops limb from limb and Wolverine was inclined to let it happen. This guy was being overwhelmingly stupid by putting himself out there like this. If she didn’t break his bones she could just as easily absorb his power and start blowing everything away within a three block radius. Even Marvel Girl was tense and she had seen Cyclops take on foes much bigger and stronger.

But the attack never happened. Just when she was about to strike, she stopped and started breathing hard. It looked like the rational side of her mind was catching up to the situation and regaining control. The angry eyes of a beast waned and the confused look of Marie Darkholme returned. She eventually backed off, but she was still in a daze.

“Ugh…mah head,” she groaned.

“Speak for yourself,” muttered Marvel Girl, who was still sore from the attack.

“That’s it, Marie! You’re doing it!” said Cyclops.

She looked up to see the young man standing before her. His eyes were obscured by a strange ruby red visor, but his face was calm. He wasn’t afraid of her and he was moving in to help. But she was still so confused.

“Hnn…no! Get away!” she yelled.

With beast-like agility still flowing through her system, she leapt over Cyclops and Wolverine and ran off into the night. She grabbed tree branches, swinging away with greater speed than before and leaving the rest of the X-men behind to contemplate their next move.

“That’s a new trick,” commented Wolverine.

“We have to go after her,” said Cyclops strongly.

Then from overhead, they heard a familiar voice.

“Hey guys! What I miss?” said Angel as he swooped down.

“Plenty,” said Marvel Girl, “She’s on the move again.”

“Is she still powered up? Because wings and wind powers are not a good match up.”

“I don’t know,” said Cyclops, “It looks like she can’t use more than one power at a time. So right now she’s running on Beast’s powers.”

“Great. Any idea when they’ll wear off?” said Angel, not sounding all that optimistic at this point.

“Not a clue,” replied the X-leader, “We still have to pursue her.”

“But what about Storm and Beast?” said Marvel Girl, who was kneeling besides the two elder X-men.

“You stay here and get them back on the X-jet. Wolverine, I need you to track Rogue. We can’t let her get too far.”

“With all the mascara she’s wearin’ that shouldn’t be too hard,” said Wolverine as he sniffed the air, “You mind tellin’ me how you plan on takin’ her down?”

“Let me worry about that,” said Cyclops assertively, “Angel, take the high ground and see if you can spot her. If she gets near civilians, try and lead her away.”

“I’ll do my best, Cyclops,” said Angel, “Just try and reach her before she summons another hurricane.”

The winged mutant took to the air as Wolverine knelt down and sniffed the ground. Rogue’s scent was still plenty fresh and began following the trail. Scott followed close behind, keeping an eye out for any signs of her. Even with Beast’s agility, she couldn’t get too far. But with Beast and Storm’s powers on hand, she could do plenty of damage. They just had to keep her in the park and hope there were no evening joggers out and about. She had already absorbed one person too many. Any more and she might completely lose it.

Across the park, Rogue kept swinging through tree branches with the ape-like reflexes she absorbed until she ran out of trees. She was at the edge of the park now and staring out into a town full of people. Every one of those people was potentially in danger around her. One touch and they could wind up like the others back at the club. The young woman was a threat to herself and others. She had nowhere to go and no one to turn to. Nothing made sense and despair was setting in. Tears ran down her face as she struggled with these chaotic thoughts and alien abilities. This whole night was like one big nightmare.

‘What’s the point? Ah can’t stop it! Ah can’t even remember who…who Ah am!’

While perched in the tree, she sensed a shadow pass over her. She looked up to see Angel flying overhead. Again, her Beast instincts kicked in and she leapt up the branches to face this unknown foe.

“YOU!!!” she roared.

“Damn, if this is what Beast holds back every day I’m never stealing his sodas again,” mused Angel.

Rogue leapt up to attack him, but he was able to fly higher and avoid her touch. He noticed their little spectacle was drawing attention. A few civilians had gathered along the streets and were fixated on the spectacle. Some were even taking pictures. It wasn’t every day a life-draining teenage girl fought a guy with wings so he could hardly blame them. But they were still innocent civilians. He couldn’t put them at risk.

“Stop staring, people! Run away already!” he yelled out.

They weren’t budging, but luckily Rogue had only him in his sights.

“Okay Rogue, you want my wings?,” he taunted, “Come and get em! I’ve outrun Beast at least a hundred times in the Danger Room! I can easily outrun you!”

He flew lower to lure her away. Rogue let out another beast-like snarl and made another attempt at attacking him. She narrowly missed, but kept at it. Her mind was still chaotic. Her only focus was the man with wings taunting her. That was good for the civilians, but potentially dangerous for him. Luckily, Cyclops and Wolverine had caught up.

“Over here, Angel!” said Cyclops, “Lead her into the clearing!”

“No problem,” said Angel, “But if I get drained I’m blaming you!”

Rogue leapt up and tried to swipe at him. Angel almost lost his balance in mid-air, but was able to stay in control while Rogue tumbled to the ground. She landed on both feet, but now she was in the clearing and there were no nearby trees for her to hide in. This was their chance to finally reach her.

“Marie!” yelled Cyclops as he ran towards her, “You have to listen to me!”

“Leave…me…alone!” she yelled out, still stuck in her beast-like rage.

“Please…this isn’t you! Don’t forget who you are! Let us help you!”

Logan moved in to provide backup. If this girl went off again he would have to take her down. He didn’t care what Cyclops said. This girl was dangerous. Then Warren flew in and blocked his path.

“Stand back, Wolverine,” said Angel, “He knows what he’s doing.”

“You’re really pushing it, Wings,” warned Wolverine.

“Trust me. This is what Scott does best.”

Wolverine had no choice but to take his word for it. Angel wasn’t going to let him get in the way this time. They were going to stick to the plan this time. Either they would reach this girl or she was already lost.

“We know what you’re going through,” said Cyclops in a calm tone as he fearlessly stepped closer to her, “You’re confused and angry. Everything feels beyond your control and the only feeling you can cling to is anger.”

He was now within Rogue’s striking distance. All she needed to do was deliver one punch and this man would be on a one-way trip to the emergency room. But that didn’t happen. She stood silently, the look on her face awash with conflict.

“Something’s happened to you. You’re changing into something you’re not. You have a unique ability…just like me…just like my friends. We’ve all been in the exact position you’re in right now. Trust me I know what it’s like. We can help you through this!”

As she stared into the shrouded eyes of this man, her chaotic mind finally slowed down. All the swirling thoughts settled and she remembered who she was. She wasn’t Hank McCoy, Ororo Munroe, or Cody Hawkins from the club. She was Marie Darkholme. But she was still confused. She didn’t know who this guy was or why he was reaching out to her. And her mother had raised her to trust nobody.

“Ah…Ah don’t know,” she said through the anguish, “How do Ah know y’all aren’t lying to meh?!”

It was a tense moment. Wolverine sensed she was on edge, but Angel continued to hold him back. Cyclops contemplated his next move, going over any number of scenarios. His options were limited. This girl was Mystique’s daughter. She had no reason to trust him and every reason to run away. If he was going to get through to her he had to be willing to take a chance. That left him with only one choice.

“Take my hand,” he said, holding it out to her, “If you’re power allows you to absorb people, it should allow you to take enough of my energy to know I’m telling the truth.”

“But…what if Ah take too much? Ah could kill you!”

“I’m willing to take that risk.”

This guy had guts. Even Wolverine was impressed. Rogue watched as Cyclops took off his glove and held his bare hand out for her to touch. She hesitated briefly, knowing full well what would happen once she touched him. But the look on his face told her he was prepared. And she was so desperate for answers at this point she couldn’t afford not to.

Her hand shook as she reached out to touch him. She didn’t want to take too much. She had already put several people in a coma. She didn’t need anybody else on her conscious. Closing her eyes, she lightly tapped his hand. The familiar rush of life energy soon followed. Though it was for less than a second, she still drained enough for Scott to nearly blackout. He almost lost his balance, but Angel and Wolverine quickly ran up to catch him.

“Hnnn…”

“Whoa there, buddy. Take it easy,” said the winged mutant.

“That was really stupid, Summers!” chided Logan.

“Wait for it…” said the X-leader through his fatigue.

The three X-men looked at Rogue, who had fallen back at the new rush of energy. Only this time it wasn’t as overwhelming as the others. Her eyes flashed the same color as his ruby lasers. She got only a brief flash of memories, but they were enough to assure what this man had promised.

‘I am Scott Summers, codename Cyclops. I am the leader of the X-men. I am a student of Professor Charles Xavier. I have a mutant power I can’t control. I’m an orphan. My life has been so hard. I want to make a difference. I want to do good. I want to make up for…’

It was at that point the memories stopped. Her head still hurt, but not nearly as much as earlier. Clutching her temples, the young woman looked up at the young man who put himself on the line for her. He was struggling to stand, but he was still conscious. Another tear trailed down the side of her face. She had been yelling out for help and her pleas had been answered.

“Oh God…” she said in a daze.

She fell to the ground, her mind no longer able to take the strain. Her eyes were still glowing, but she wasn’t in a rage anymore. She was just flat out exhausted.

“Easy kid. No need for another breakdown,” said Wolverine, who leaned in to catch her.

“Hnn...so tired,” she said weakly.

“I’ll take that over the Rogue/Beast any day,” said Angel with a sigh of relief.

Wolverine felt her body go limp in his arm. Absorbing all that life energy must have really taken it out of her. He never would have guessed it after seeing the kind of state she was in less than a minute ago. But Cyclops really got through to her.

“See Wolverine?” he said, still leaning on Warren for support, “You can win a fight without fighting.”

“You gonna start gloating, bub?” said Logan with a half-grin.

“Tempting, but not my style. Let’s just get her back to the mansion.”

Scott hit a button on his belt, signaling the X-jet. On board, Jean picked up on it and flew the plane over to their position. The situation, it seemed, was finally under control. Marie was okay and no other civilians were hurt. It was a successful mission despite some missteps along the way. But after their recent struggles, they would gladly take it.


New York City – Bobby and Lorna

It was an hour into Bobby and Lorna’s first meeting and so far so good. Lorna had been right about that ice cream place. Bobby was still working on the three scoop cone he got and he spent the first fifteen minutes of their first date raving about it. It was a good way to break the ice so to speak. It gave Bobby a chance to show off his powers by re-freezing Lorna’s ice cream when it started to melt. It earned him a cute smile, which was definitely a good sign on a first date. Even though technically, this hardly qualified as a date, but it was close enough in his book. There was so much about this girl he wanted to know. There was just something about her that stood out and it wasn’t just that she was a mutant.

As they ate their treats they walked and they talked, getting to know one another in ways the internet didn’t allow. He found that Lorna had a lot to talk about. He already knew she lived with her mother, was an honor student, and was on the track team. But she added in other details as well. Turns out she also likes video games and horror movies. She was almost too good to be true.

“So you and the X-men are really out to save the world, huh?” mused Lorna, “That’s really something. How do you wrap your head around that?”

“Don’t know,” shrugged Bobby, “I try not to think about it. Everything we stand for comes from Professor X. He’s the one with the vision. We’re just trying to put it into action.”

“That’s amazing. You ever face anything you thought you wouldn’t survive?”

“Oh yeah, we’ve had our share of close calls. During our early days, it was just the five of us. Me, Cyclops, Angel, Beast, and Marvel Girl were always out doing our thing, playing hero and setting the standard for other mutants.”

“Sounds like you set the bar pretty high,” she commented.

“I’d like to think so. But lately, it’s been getting tough,” sighed Bobby, “I’m sure you heard about that little incident in Detroit.”

“You mean the one about you guys demolishing a club and three surrounding buildings.”

“Actually it was four, but yeah,” said Bobby sheepishly, “But the thing is…it’s just not enough for mutants to be heroes. It seems like for every good deed we do, some disgruntled mutant out there does three bad ones that set mutant relations back another couple of decades.”

“Bet that’s discouraging,” said Lorna, trying to sound supportive.

“It is. But that’s why we’ve been trying to bring more people into the X-men. The way the professor sees it, the more people we bring in the more good we can do. It’s not easy, that’s for sure. But some people are just made for it.”

“You mean people like you?”

“I wasn’t going to say anything,” he grinned, “But I think you might do well if you gave it a chance.”

Lorna’s expression shifted. She was afraid Bobby would bring this up. His world sounded so exciting and dangerous. It was definitely a far cry from the usual tensions of high school. But there was more to it than just the risk. And there was just too much that Bobby didn’t understand.

“We’ve been over this, Boddy. I’m not sure I’d fit in with the X-men,” she said distantly.

“Aw, what makes you say that?” said Bobby light-heartedly, “You’re tough, you’re smart, and you’re a mutant. That pretty much sums up everybody in the X-men.”

“It’s not that.”

“Than what is it? Is it your powers? What did you say they were again?”

Lorna didn’t say anything. She had been avoiding this too. Bobby was such a nice guy and he didn’t deserve to have to deal with her issues. But for the sake of making her point, she did a little demonstration.

Reaching into her pocket, she took out a quarter and held it in the palm of her hand. She then focused her mind and summoned the power within her mutant blood. To Bobby’s astonishment, the quarter levitated. But Lorna didn’t stop there. Using magnetic forces that Bobby was all too familiar with, she bent and warped it into various shapes.

“It’s just complicated,” she said, “You understand, right?”

“Uh…yeah. I understand,” said Bobby flatly.

There were only so many explanations for this. Lorna’s power just happened to be identical to another notable mutant that he and the rest of the X-men for that matter knew very well. That definitely put a damper on the date. No doubt this would get Professor Xavier’s attention. But that didn’t make Lorna any less the girl he fell for. It was just going to be more complicated now.


Brotherhood Lair

“SHE DID WHAT?!” exclaimed Mystique over her cell phone.

“Not so loud, Raven! I’m already blind. Don’t make me deaf as well!”

“Your hearing should be the least of your worries, Irene! I gave you one simple task and you let my daughter run off with Xavier’s punks? What kind of a guardian are you?!”

“One who can only do so much by herself! Being able to see the future doesn’t equip me to handle a brat teenage girl!”

The shape shifter was seething. She went to great lengths to put her daughter in a safe, secluded environment while she was with the Brotherhood and this was the result of her efforts. Now her Marie was with Xavier, who would undoubtedly fill her head with his nonsensical vision. And given her rebellious nature she would probably join them just to spite her.

Raven clenched her fists and took a deep breath. She couldn’t believe this was happening at such a critical moment in the Brotherhood’s plans. All this toil would be for nothing if she couldn’t share it with her daughter. Sure it had been a while since she last saw her, but it was all for good reason. Nature had a sick sense of humor. Not only did her powers manifest, but the X-men got to her first.

“Did you at least talk to her?” asked Mystique in a calmer tone.

“No. We haven’t exactly been on speaking terms the past few days.”

“What is it this time? You didn’t find cigarettes in her room again, did you?” she groaned.

“To be honest I don’t remember what the argument was about. One minute I’m talking about her staying out late and the next minute she’s screaming her head off.”

“Sounds to me like you should have screamed louder.”

“Sounds to me like she needs her mother! Honestly, Raven, what did you expect? You skipped out on her four years ago and she’s been bitter ever since. I can’t control her. Lord, knows I’ve tried. And now that her powers have manifested she’ll be even more isolated.”

“Don’t remind me.”

Mystique held back more anger. Marie, or Rogue as she had come to know her, was more than just a tragic little orphan she adopted years ago. She had a unique power that set her apart from everybody. Magneto had revealed it to her when she was still young. He gave her the grim news that she would be doomed to a world of seclusion because her powers involved draining people through touch. It was a world she knew all too well and she had been working hard to change it. Now everything was spiraling out of control.

“So how bad is it? Have you been having dreams lately?”

“Yes, but none of them involve Rogue directly. My power doesn’t work that way and you know it.”

“So what am I supposed to do?!” exclaimed the shape shifted.

“You already know the answer to that, Raven. I’m leaving for Chicago tomorrow and I suggest you make some travel arrangements of your own. Although I have to warn you, Rogue has changed a lot since the last time you saw her. She’s grown.”

“Is that supposed to make me feel better?”

“It’s supposed to prepare you. Goodbye, Raven. I’ll call you when after my flight.”

The line went dead and Mystique clutched her phone bitterly. Then in a burst of rage, she yelled out and threw it across the room. It shattered violently against the rocky walls, scattering tiny pieces of mangled components all over the floor. Some of the pieces landed at the boots of the lone witness to the drama. He showed little emotion to the plight of his comrade, but it did draw his attention.

“Like mother like daughter indeed,” commented Magneto.

“Shut up,” she said bitterly, “I can fix this.”

“You sure about that, Raven? From what you’ve told me, your little Rogue is not the most reasonable person in the world.”

“I don’t care. I’m not going to let her fall into Xavier’s trap! She’s my daughter. If she’s going to get caught up in this mess, it’ll be for our cause. I’ll make sure of it.”

“Be sure that you do,” warned the master of magnetism, “Because once we make our move, there will be no turning back.”

“I know what’s at stake here, Erik. Believe me, I know.”

Mystique stormed off. This couldn’t have come at a worse time, but she wasn’t about to let this slide. Xavier was not going to take her daughter from her. She would see to it and use any means necessary to get her back.

Next Issue: Mother Knows Best

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