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Chapter 1


Written by Nicole Wagner
Last updated: 02/23/2008 11:55:11 PM

Chapter 1

This was not how it was supposed to be. We were more than a team, we were friends, best friends. Despite the choices we made in our lives, we were supposed to always be together. Maybe we were more than friends… maybe we were a family. But now… that family is gone…

Soon after the whole Apocalypse fiasco, Magneto disbanded our teams, opting to go help Xavier for a bit. I thought he was tugging my chain with such news, but the bloke was dead serious.! Well… no more living in some giant metal bubble for us, I suppose. But he was not the only one to jump ship for Xavier’s. Colossus left, too! Great… that leaves me with the giant fur ball, that creepy Mastermind, and Remy… where the bloody hell was Remy?

He left to go back to New Orleans before the huge battle, and no one had heard a stitch from him since. The two of us were close, best friends, actually. But despite that, he left suddenly, and failed to even write or call. But that doesn’t surprise me. The guy is a thief, probably stole something bit, and was some island with women in translucent clothing, having a grand all time.

As for me, I was with The Brotherhood, now. They are all crazy! Fred asked me to light one of his farts on fire, once… I nearly died! I swear, I’d rather have several ingrown toe nails than stay here for the rest of my bloody life. But right now, I need an escape. I need to meet up with my “family”, again.

I actually managed to get ol’ tin man to pick up the phone and invite him out to a bar. Heck, I was surprised he even agreed to go out with me, since we’re now on two different sides of the coin. But he insisted that we meet at Central Park, and not some bar. The guy was so bloody tame for a Russian! To each their own, I guess.

The Park at this time of year was actually nice, if you liked that sort of thing. I honestly hate the cold. I came from Australia, nothing but warm weather there. When we had to stay in those cold areas with Magneto, it made me rather unhappy. Colossus didn’t seem to mind, because he came from a country that’s close to being a chunk of ice! As for Remy, he agreed with me, another warm weather guy. At least he understood me more than the others.

I let out a sigh, seeing my breath in the cold air. Almost looked like I was smoking a cigarette. Hands in my pockets, trying to stay warm. For a mutant who can control fire, it’s kinda funny seeing when I’m cold. At least that’s what Remy used to tell me. I even found it funny, as well. Chuckling to myself, I almost missed the greeting of the big Russian.


I quickly turn around, large smile on my face as I wave to the guy. He’s a bit hard to miss! The guy towers over you, like at seven feet tall! If I had no clue he was some arty pansy, I’d be scared out of my boots!

“Hey, Pete!” I continue to smile, my gloved hands going to fix the scarf around my neck. I’m more bundled up than him! How the heck can he… oh yeah… he comes from a land of ice, snow, and hot women. Of course he’s not going to be as bundled up as me. “ How have you been, you big bloke?”

He just stands there for a moment, with an eyebrow raised, and a bit of a confused look on his face. “You… you did not come to fight me with the brotherhood?”

“What… no! no!, We’re still friends! Just because I with the Brotherhood does not mean I don’t want to hang out with my old buds, now does it?” Man, those X-men must have REALLY confused him! “I told you over the phone, I wanted to hang out with you! A little reunion… only I couldn’t find Remy! Probably hanging out with some hot women, and too busy for us!”

As soon as I mentioned Remy’s name, Peter’s face turned from confusion, to giving me a look that I guess could be described as “scathingly”. Now I was the one with the confused look, waiting for him to give me an answer, and why he had such a look on his face.

“You… do not know, do you?” He asked me, his tone low, almost as cold as the snow I stand in.

“Know what?” I shrugged my shoulders again. I don’t like the ton of his voice, not one bit. It’s making me feel like there is a pit in my stomach. No… a boulder. “Peter?”

“Remy had gone back to New Orleans…” he began saying, and I interrupted him, shaking my hand in the air.

“I know that much, Pete! Just tell me what happened!” I was anxious, now. I just wanted him to get to the point! What happened to one of my best buds?

“While back in New Orleans, a rival family of his Father’s managed to kidnap him.’ He hung his head down, stuffing those large hands of his in the pockets of his leather jacket. “They tortured him for days, John. They punctured his ear drums, so he could not hear them coming, and then they would beat him more.”

“He’s a bloody mutant, Pete! Why didn’t he fight back!?” I don’t understand this. If a punch of flat scans took Remy, he would fight tooth and nail to get out! This could not be true… it couldn’t be true…

“It was a set up, John. Remy had no clue of what was going on, and when he figured it out…” Pete just shook his head, such a sad look on his face. “There was nothing that he could do, John. The people who tortured him thought he was dead, and dumped him in an alley. Someone found him and brought him to a hospital for treatment.”

“But he’s okay, now, right?” I almost forgot that Pete said his ear drums were punctured. Call me naïve, I thought maybe the doctors could fix that. But Pete didn’t answer me, his eyes were still looking down at the ground. “He’s okay, right, Pete?”

“Nyet.” He shook his head no, still looking so hurt. “He is deaf, John. He cannot hear anymore. After what he had been through, what those people had done to him…” I swear I saw a tear escape the tough Russian. “He is frightened all the time, John. His father abandoned him, so Xavier has been taking care of him. Remy, right now is in a school for the deaf. They are teaching him how to communicate again, as well as provide therapy for what has happened.”

Now that I heard the whole story, that boulder in my stomach feels like an entire continent. My best bud… was suffering. He could never heard my jokes, our conversations, me… he could never hear me again. At that very moment, I wanted to kill the nearest human. I wanted to burn them alive, watch them scream and suffer… watch them pay for what they had done to Remy.

“Stupid humans…” I was in tears, now. My hands balled up into fists. I then turned to Pete, anger and fury getting the best of me. “How can you protect them!? How can you protect those who hate and fear us!? They tortured Remy, took away his hearing… and yet you remain an X-man, protecting the humans! Why!? He’s our friend… we should be protectin’ him!”

“I am protecting Remy.” Pete was glaring down at me as he spoke. Finally taking his hands out of his pockets and placing them on my shoulders, giving me a good shake. “I am protecting my friend, as well as respecting him! He would not want me to go on some genocide of innocent humans! Yes, some bad ones in the world, but I will not punish others for what they had done! I will not go to there level! I will not become the monster I am fighting!”

When he spoke those words, it almost calmed me. He had a point. But it still did not make me feel any better. I think he knew that by the look on my face. He’s changed so much since I last saw him. Now I just think Petey and I grew apart. I no longer want to hear about how he’s with Xavier’s human hugging group.

“Fine… you obviously have your path in life, and I have mine.” I try to shove his hands off my shoulders. “You can go hug the people who did this to Remy, and let them know you’ll save their asses when I come along to give them what they deserve! Just tell me where Remy is… I’d like to go visit him.”

“He is at the School for the Deaf in Manhattan, a few blocks from here.” He frowned, letting me go. “Just so you know, John. If you start going on a rampage… I will have no choice but to stop you. I cannot let you hurt people.”

“Whatever, Pete.” I frown and begin walking in the direction of what used to be the Plaza Hotel. “You’ve changed, boyo! The Pete I know would want to protect his family!” I shouted as I left, only to barely hear his reply.

Indeed… I have changed John, but it is for the better.”

Better my arse! He’s letting humans get away with hurting mutants! He’s letting them walk all over us, why? To protect them? To have some moral feeling of being better? They all deserve to burn in my opinion! The X-men are too soft!

As I walked closer towards the “school” Remy was enrolled in, my emotions changed. no longer was I angry, but a bit anxious about seeing him. How would we communicate? He cannot hear me, anymore! As much as I wanted to lash out at the people around me, I manage to restrain myself, and walk into the building.

The “school” just reminds me of some posh apartment building, only with a nurse at the front desk, she smiles up at me, as I walk over. I Feel a bit nervous as I reach the desk, resting my hands on it.

“Hi, I’m here to see Remy LeBeau.” I give the nurse a smile, even though I’m so enraged with humanity at this point. She starts looking through a binder, looking up at me every so often.

“Okay, please sign your name in the guest book, and I’ll take you to him. It says right now he’s in the rec room for “free time” at the moment. Just tell one of the nurses who you are visiting, and she or he will alert him that you are here. She or he will also help you to communicate with your friend, if you do not know sign language.”

This sounded like A LOT of work. Part of me wanted to leave already. Did I really want to see Remy in such a condition? Or was it that I was afraid to see him. Afraid of what I would see. Shaking my head, I return my attention back to the nurse.

“Sure… umm… which way to the Rec Room, then?” I asked. My rage for humanity has just disappeared. All that is left is my worry for my best mate. The nurse pointed my down the hallway, to the room at the end. Guess that’s it. I nod a thank you, and head down there.

Once I made it to the rec room, one of the nurses walked up to me. Hoe the hell could anyone be in such a cheery manner in a hospital is beyond me. I guess the other nurse used a walkie talkie to tell her I was on my way, and who I was looking for.

“Just wait right here and I’ll get your friend.” She smiles at me, walking into the room. It was filled with a few people, late teens to middle twenties. Everyone seemed to be huddled up into a group, signing away in silent chatter. Though I was quickly able to pick Remy out of the large crowd.

He sat in the far part of the room, away from the other students at the school. His knees were pulled up to his chest, and his forehead was resting on the top of his knees. He appeared... lonely. As one of the nurses placed her hand on his shoulder, he flinched and jerked away, almost screaming. She would then kneel down, trying to calm him and using sign language to tell him something. Probably telling him things were alright, and that I had come to see him.

Seeing this, it actually made my heart ache. He was like a frightened child. I could not help remembering what a strong, sarcastic, charming man he had once been. This Remy… this Remy just was not the one I know. Trying to keep a smile on my face as the nurse brought him over, I spoke to him, for the first time in a long time.

“Hey, Remy, how are you, mate?” That smile plastered to my face feels so heavy as I look at him. His face is covered in scars, along with his forearms. The nurse is using sign language to tell him what I said, but Remy suddenly signs back to her, issuing her away.

“I can read lips, John… I don’ need a translator.” His face just seemed emotionless, as we both took a seat at an unused table. When he spoke, his voice sounded so odd. Like there was cotton stuffed into it.

“I’m sorry about that… I just wasn’t sure if you would be able to understand me, or not.” He turns to his side, toying with a strand of auburn hair. He was cleanly shaven, making him look a lot younger than what he was, and just in a pair of blue pajamas. I guess the Remy LeBeau I knew as an Acolyte is Dead, just like the Colossus I once knew. “Remy… I had no clue what happened to you. I’m sorry I could not be here-”

“I don’ matter no more, John.” He frowned, using sign language as he spoke to me. I guess out of a newly formed habit. “I’m useless, now. No use to anyone! My own father… abandoned me. Xavier an’ Magneto have me placed here, to “better” myself an’ understand my condition. Dey jus’ abandoned me here! I know dat! Sure, dey come an’ see me every week… but dey never take me outta here! No one wants me… not when I can’ give’em anything!”

He was lost in a sea of depression and anger. Anger over all he had lost, in such a short period of time. I was shocked to watch him go into a fetal position in the chair he sat on, across from me.

“But… it’ll be okay, now. I’ll help you, Remy. We’re best friends, aren’t we?” I try to place my hand on his shoulder, only to have it violently shrugged off.

“Non!” He shouted, enough to get a nurse’s attention towards us. “You’re jus’ like everyone else! You wan’ sumt’ing from me! You always want sumt’ing from me… an’ den when I’m no good no more, you t’row me away! Non! I won’ be like dat… I won’ !”

The nurse walked towards Remy, standing by his side and rubbing his shoulders, trying to calm him down. In a way, he was right. He always spoke at arm’s length about his past, how people sued him for his powers, and when he was of no use to them, he would be hurt or just thrown aside, like some toy. I guess this was the last straw for him, and there was no going back. The fun loving Remy LeBeau I had once known, was gone, now.

I slowly stand up from my seat, and just look over at him, watching him hold his head and cry on to the nurse’s shoulder. “Would it be too much to ask that…” I shook my head again. “Never mind… just please, tell him I’m sorry, and I’ll come back to see him when he’s feeling better?”

There is only a nod from the nurse, as I begin to leave the so called school. Life wasn’t supposed to be like this. We were like the “Three Amigos“, always getting into some sort of mischief and trouble. Battling the X-Men, making the brotherhood look like a bunch of incompetent fools… It was supposed to last forever. Now?

Now Remy is scared of his own shadow, and has shut out his heart to everyone, Pete is a human hugger, and I? I’m with the brotherhood, in a group of incompetent fools who want to be superior to the human race, or see them dead. I guess we grew into three different men… with different points of view.

It saddens me. I thought the Acolytes would be around forever. But like Magnetos’ dream, it was never set in stone. With my hand sin my pockets, I walk away, wondering about what could have been.



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