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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


Written by Monica Tamaru
Last updated: 01/02/2007 02:01:11 AM

Chapter 12

Remy closed his eyes and tried to take deep breaths. The gray walls seemed to be getting closer and closer together and it was driving him mad. He tried talking to Jono, but the boy had that wrap around his mouth. He tried thinking of happy things, anything to keep his mind off of his predicament.

-----------A few years ago----------

“Hey mister, can you help me?” the young boy asked, his hands clasped behind his back. He wore such a solemn look for someone who couldn’t be any older than four.

“What’s wrong, lil one?” Remy said, amused. He had been sitting on the bench, watching the older men play chess. He knelt down to the little boy’s height.

“I can’ get my kite up!” He pouted as he considered his problem. “My mommy is watching the baby and told me to quit pesterin’ her.”

Remy smiled. “Well, it just so happens that I am an expert kite flyer.”

Within minutes, the kite was soaring across the sky and Remy was watching the little boy giggle as he shifted the string and made it dance in the sky.


“So free,” he whispered as he sank to the ground.

Jono was trying to figure out what the boy was in for. It was the first time in years since he had seen Xavier. He still hated the son of a bitch. Maybe this new boy could shift the power. Maybe he would finally feel the sun on his face again. Maybe.

“Where the fuck is Logan?” Xavier snarled. He was fast losing his cool. He stalked around his study, a glass of straight whiskey in his grasp. The Institute’s staff gazed at him warily and remained silent. They had never seen him so coldly furious.

“I do not know, sir,” Ororo said softly. She had been coping for the past couple of days after finding Logan’s room packed up. The self-pity had morphed into anger very quickly. She was more then eager to help find him. Xavier would happily let Ororo take care of the man if they ever found him. He knew deep down that they never would.

“What about Jean Grey? She couldn’t have simply walked out without anyone noticing! What the fuck is going on here?!”

Hank and Scott exchanged glances. Their little world was fast crumbling away. Hank was thinking that it didn’t matter what happened to the school, he had his other project to worry about. Scott was thinking that he was glad he got Jean out before Xavier got his hands on her.

Xavier eyed each one of his staff carefully. Ororo was both wary and stressed. She sat straight and tall in her chair, but there were lines around her eyes and her jaw was clamped tight. Finding that Logan had flown the coop had turned her emotions all topsy-turvy, which meant that the whole school was stepping lightly around her. Hank clearly had other things on his mind. Xavier’s hand actually quivered as he walked by him. But he needed Hank. He needed his brain, his research. He was looking forward to when he could toss the man out on his head. Maybe that would bring him out of the clouds. Finally he studied Scott. His pride and joy. The man he molded from boyhood. He couldn’t read a thing in Scott’s damnedly smooth face. Twenty-odd years and Xavier should have been able to read him like a book. The only thing that gave any type of emotion away was the drumming of his fingers lightly on the table. Worried? Impatient? Xavier wished he knew.

“The last topic we need to discuss is Remy LeBeau. As you know, he is a source of constant trouble that has turned this school into an uproar. I felt that it was necessary to confine him until I feel he is ready to assimilate back into the student population. I spoke to Dr. Essex, who was quite interested in the boy, and he agrees to give us some time to properly train the boy.” Were his eyes deceiving him, or did Scott look disapproving? It couldn’t be that. Scott never disapproved off anything he told him.

“Where is he now?” Scott strained to keep his voice neutral.

“In a safe place. Back to Logan. I want all of our operatives notified of his defection. I want to know where he is within the week. Scott, you take care of the national web, Ororo, take overseas. Hank, I need you to speed up the testing of your project. I want that ready in two weeks. Any questions?”

“What about Jean Grey?” Xavier frowned for a second. There was really so much to do.

“We’re not going to worry about her. She was not the real threat. It would be nice to have her to help persuade Remy to behave, but we’re not going to concentrate on the girl. Let her die in a ditch for all I care.” He watched with satisfaction as his entire staff nodded. Finally, he was back in control.

Scott sat a bit longer while the room emptied. He was glad that Xavier didn’t consider Jean a threat. It was a stupid thing to do, but it would make things a lot easier. The problem was how to get to Remy.

Cecelia was meeting a friend for lunch. She resisted the urge to glance at her watch for the third time. If she knew Trish, she would be a good half hour late. The woman was never on time. At the very least, she was glad to be off of the school campus. Things have been weird lately. She could feel eyes on her every move.

“Hi Cece! It’s been years, hasn’t it?” The news reporter breezed into the room, walking as if she owned the world. Long black hair dangled down her back in a loose ponytail.

“Did you read the stuff I sent you?”

Trish laughed. “You haven’t changed a bit, have you? Always straight to the point.”

Cece stared back at her, waiting for her answer. The women had a strange history. Total opposites, they had been thrown together in college as roommates. Trish, the popular one, and Cece, the studious one. With more fights than any other pair in the dorm, they managed to keep in touch once they were able to live apart.


“Yes, I read it through. Three times, truth be told. It was very interesting.” Watching Trish settle down to business was a shock. She pretended to be a flighty airhead to get ahead in an industry that still prized women primarily for their looks. Then she used her brain to stay there.

“I realize that there are chunks missing, but what is there could be pretty devastating to the Institute,” Cece said, slumping in her seat a bit. At least Trish didn’t laugh in her face. There was some hope.

“Where did you get this information?”

“From the school. I work there now.” Trish raised her eyebrows. “This isn’t some spite towards the school. It’s the prep school I attended when I was younger. I was just poking around in some files, and it all fell together.”

“I’m really interested in the mind control aspect. Do you think you were controlled? I sent an assistant to dig up information on the subject. No, I didn’t tell him why,” Trish said quickly, seeing that Cece was getting ready to lash into her.

“Not until I came back. I left the ER for Xavier.”

“Hmmm. Well I need to get back. If you find anything more, send it along. Bye!”

“Yeah, bye.” Well, that was one thing done. Cece paid her bill, then quickly headed back to the school. She had a meeting with Scott at two.

Marie was in the copy room in the library. Her notebook was open and organic chemistry notes and homework were spread across the desk. In her hand, however, were two manila folders. She had been slowly copying all of the material that Scott left in her drawer. She ignored the nagging feeling that someone was watching her.

Everything was happening too fast. Remy gone, then Jean. She had been all alone for so long. Then she let him in and now her world was topsy-turvy. And he was gone. A single tear escaped and slid down her cheek.

Jean was practically tearing down the walls. She agreed with Scott that the best thing would be for her to get out of the Institute. She hadn’t counted on the feeling of absolute uncertainty and helplessness that overwhelmed her. She was told to wait until everything was clear. She was to stay out of sight.

“Jean? Scott wants to talk to you on the phone,” Monet said, sticking her head into the room. She was worried at the younger girl’s pale complexion. She yelled at Scott earlier, ordering him to speed things up. She knew that it had done little good, save allowing herself to vent.

Jean dragged herself down the hall and picked up the phone in the office. “Hello.”

“How are you holding up?”

“I’m going insane. Between feeling Remy in my head and actually being confined, I feel like I need to break something.” Her voice was wavering on the phone. Scott winced on the other end.

“Hang in there, Jean. Logan defected and Hank is developing some super secret project. Cece is getting in touch with her contacts and Marie is working with me to put together evidence. It shouldn’t be too much longer.”


Scott paused. “I know where he is. He was right. There is a holding cell in section 023. It now holds Jonothon Starsmore and your brother. I’m working on getting him out, but Xavier takes care of that himself.”

“Keep him safe, Scott. Please.”

“I promise, Jean.”

How interesting, Eric thought. Xavier’s little boy scout has plans of his own. He was monitoring the phone systems on campus. Not because it was his job. In fact, he didn’t think that Xavier knew there were taps in the phones. No, he was monitoring the phones because he knew that Jean would never leave her brother. She had to talk to somebody. Eric hummed as the address from the other line came through.

He couldn’t understand this need to get a hold of his stepdaughter once again. There have been many females in his life, and he never had any use for them once he had a taste of what they had to offer. But her long red hair kept flashing in his mind. And her clear green eyes gleaming with tears. And her thin, pale body. He had to have her again, if only to rid himself of these images that haunted him. Jean was so much like her mother.

The address was in a very rich neighborhood. He couldn’t understand how Jean had gotten into the upper crust of society, but no matter. Upper class or lower class, Eric would work his charm and get what he wanted. He always did in the end.

Ororo watched Scott pace the hallway. She hadn’t been paying attention too much of anything since Logan left, but now Scott caught her curiosity. She walked up to her old friend.

“What is wrong?” She couldn’t put very much feeling into the question, which caught her by surprise. She felt she should at least sound as if she cared.

Scott jumped at her question. “’Ro. I didn’t hear you. How are you doing?”

She grimaced. “Fine. What are you pacing for?”

“I’m waiting. Marie promised to have her report in by now.” As if on cue, the girl ran into view. “Finally. I’ll talk to you later ‘Ro.”

Ororo walked away a little dazed. It seemed she just couldn’t quite grasp what was going on. Damn the man!

Scott and Marie waited until Ororo walked away.

“Here are the schedules I got so far. It seems that everyone I talked to had a session at least once a month. I still have to talk to the lower classes. I think that they’ll probably have sessions more frequently.” Marie quickly passed the folder along. She knew she owed it to Remy to whatever she could to help bring the Institute to its knees. Even though Scott assured her that he was alive, she had her doubts.

“Good work. I’ll get these to Cece. I’m almost done with the files down below. Cece said Trish wants to run the story, but needs some more concrete information. We need to get Remy out before that.”

“And if we don’t?”

Scott sighed. “Then I don’t know what they would do to him.”

Remy looked skeptically at Jono. The other teen was slumped against the wall, staring at him. He was trying not to look too curious, but Remy could tell he was dying to know what was going on. Too bad he couldn’t talk.

“You are Jono, right?” A single nod. “I’m Remy. What the fuck are they keeping you around for?”

Jono rolled up his sleeve and showed Remy the needle marks that came from being used as a human test subject for the various projects the Institute was involved in. Then he patted his head and made an X with his fingers. Remy interpreted that to mean that Xavier was still trying to mess with his head.

“You remember Marie? She said you were a good friend.” Remy was watching him carefully. He was surprised that there was relief when Jono merely nodded. Good. No lost love or anything. “You have family?”

The other boy nodded, then shrugged. Obviously not close.

“Me too. I got a sister out there who probably wants to wring my neck for getting into this mess and then chain me to her wrist. I miss her a lot.” He promised himself that he wouldn’t dwell on Jeannie. He prayed that she was safe. His stomach twisted at the thought of what could have happened. “Is there a chance to get out? If we work together, maybe?”

Jono tilted his head to the side and thought before shaking his head no. He pointed to the top of the room where the vents were. He waved his hands around in swirls, then laid his head on his hands and closed his eyes. They gassed them before opening the doors.

Remy gazed up at the vents. They were high up, but maybe not too high. If only he had a screwdriver, a bobby pin, something that he could pry the cover off with. Well, all he had was time. He’d figure something out. The alternative was too horrible to contemplate.

The butler wouldn’t even let him in the door.

“I’m sorry, sir, but the missus has not approved of this meeting. Please make an appointment with the secretary.” Eric gnashed his teeth at the very polite refusal.

“Gregory, who is that?” A very pretty young lady stepped into the hall. Her expression was carefully arranged to show only vague curiosity.

“A mister Eric Lensherr, miss.” Monet’s eyes lit up as she recognized the name.

“Please show him into the parlor. I will be back down in five minutes.” She walked at a fast pace back to the top of the curved staircase. Once she was out of sight, she ran to Jean’s room.

“Your stepfather is here.” She grinned at the girl. “Why don’t you phone the police while I entertain him?”

Jean nodded slowly. One less thing to worry about. Plus she could just imagine him in jail with hardened criminals. With M backing her claim, the police will barely even ask why they were carrying him away. Monet handed her the phone book and left once again.

“I apologize for keeping you waiting, Mr. Lensherr. If you would please tell me what troubles you, I will do my best to assist you.”

Eric smiled warmly. Finally, he was getting the respect he deserved. “I’m looking for my daughter. The poor dear is out alone in the city. It would just kill me if anything happened to her…”

Hank was ready. He had perfected his project. He wanted to go to the next step. He needed a test subject.

“Why can’t we use one of the kids? I know Bobby would be willing to try it out,” he said to Xavier, his voice tinged with frustration.

“We don’t know what will happen. I certainly can’t send Bobby back to his parents if the serum works. And it would be worse if it didn’t.”

“Well what about one of the boys in 023? Nobody will care what happens to them!”

Xavier rolled his eyes. “We can’t even control them. Can you even imagine what would happen if they suddenly got all this power. They have reason to be…vexed with us.”

“Well, Xavier, we need a human subject. What do you propose we do?” Hank was practically bounced on his toes. He would take the serum himself if there were a way he could be sure to analyze the data correctly.

“I’ll think of something. Just make sure the report is ready to go.” Xavier left the labs, intending to go to his study.

Hank watched him leave thoughtfully. When it came to results, Xavier always said ‘I’. The little project was Hank’s baby. He had nursed it from an abstract idea to reality. There was no way Xavier was going to wrest the glory away from him! Hank tapped his fingers on the table. He just had to figure something out before Xavier did. He stared longingly at the serum on the desk.

Kitty shook her head at her roommate across the room. She hadn’t seen Marie in days except as a lump under her blankets at night. Jean was gone again, though this time it looked as if her stepfather took her and Remy out of the school.

“You do know that finals aren’t for a month, right?” she said to break the silence. Marie was staring at her computer screen with intently.

She jumped. “I know. I’m just doing some research for an outside project for Scott’s class.” She turned back to her work.

Kitty sighed. “Why don’t we do something? Play pool, go for a run, rent a movie?”

“I’m kinda busy now.”

“Oh. Okay. Maybe later, then.” She narrowed her eyes at Marie and planned on figuring out what she was really doing. Everyone knew that Marie hated math passionately. All she had to do was wait until Marie moved away from her computer. Then a little hacking, and Kitty would be able to pull up all of Marie’s files.

Scott smiled as he put all of his papers in order. Cece would be by to pick them up on a while. Her face broke into a big grin when he told her what was in them. Firm connections to Raven Darkholm and Warren Worthington would make big news. Things were getting a bit too stressful at the Institute. The students went along in their studies, oblivious to the growing tensions around them. Spring break was coming up soon, so pretty soon the building will be mostly empty. Scott remembered when he was younger. He used to love the vacations, not because it meant no more school, but because it meant that he would get to spend extra time with Xavier and the rest of the staff. What a fucking fool he had been!

--------------Twelve years ago--------------

“What do you feel like having tonight, Scott?” Xavier asked, smiling widely at the young man seated across from him. They were alone in the huge dining room, a chessboard set up between them. Xavier had begun teaching Scott almost immediately when he was a little boy. Scott had picked the game amazingly fast. It was a weekly tradition to play right before dinner.

“Honestly, sir, I want pizza.” Scott bit the tip of his tongue as he concentrated on the board. A wide grin spread across his face as he captured Xavier’s queen. He had never won, but he was getting closer.

“Pizza it is. I’ll have Logan make the call. Do you feel up going through a few exercises tonight?” The question was casual, but Xavier stared intently on Scott. Scott didn’t notice.

“Sure.” He liked the exercises because they were challenging. Xavier and Logan were so nice to go through them with him later. He filed away every bit of information. Xavier said you never knew when you would need your experience. Just last week, they went over personality traits. Scott promised to work on his stubbornness.

“You’re getting much better, my boy, but checkmate.” Xavier kept his victorious grin well under wraps. It would do no good if the boy got frustrated. He never could lose on purpose, though. He didn’t know how to lose. “I was thinking we could go over covert operations tonight.”

“Sounds good. Why do I need to learn all of this stuff anyway? It’s not like I’m going to anything very interesting.”

“I know you have the ability in you. Why not harness it to the full potential? Plus, you never know what’s going to happen. You may as well be prepared.”

Scott nodded thoughtfully. Why not indeed.


But are you prepared for me? Scott wondered. Everything seemed to be on schedule. The only thing he needed to figure out was how to get Remy out. He frowned. Xavier may have delivered every blow, but Scott intended on coming out on top. For once.


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