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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

Follow Me Until the End of the World: A Place Worth Saving? - REVIEW THIS STORY

Written by Sandman
Last updated: 01/02/2007 02:01:11 AM

Chapter 1

Outside Shreveport, Louisiana

Remy caught a glimpse of a man entering the room. These waking moments were few and pointless. He favored sleep, where dreams of his past haunted him. Sometimes, he could recall a name or face, only to forget it seconds later. He saw the world (the room around him) through a watery glass. Tubes invaded his mouth and nose, feeding him God knows what. And there had been tests, mostly drawing blood.

Usually he saw a man in a lab coat with a diamond tattoo on his forehead, jotting down some notes, but guy that entered was different, and somehow desperate. It seemed as if the stranger were trying to figure out a way to free him from his watery cage. He never noticed anything significant about him, only that he didn’t wear that white lab coat. The sedatives were kicking in once again, and his eyes began to close.

His attention was aroused when his cell shook. The man was hitting something against the glass. Remy fought fatigue to keep awake, wondering what was happening. Each time the stranger struck against the glass, he appeared to nervously cast a backward glance to door on the opposite side of the room. Finally, the stranger reared back and struck the glass with such force that it instantly shattered, and glass fragments showered the ground. Remy tumbled out of his cell and hit the ground with a thud. He let loose a painful moan but the stranger was quickly on top of him, with his hand covering the Cajun’s mouth. “Don’t make a godamned sound,” the stranger whispered, “I’m trying to help you. Take a few moments, just a few, and then we have to get moving. Understand? Nod if you do.” Remy nodded, with a glazed-over look in his eyes. The stranger skidding over the door, wielding the lead pipe that he used to break Remy free.

Long before Remy was ready, the stranger returned to him, wielding clothes with a bit of blood spattered around the shirt collar. “Put these on. It’s a guard’s uniform. We’ve got more work to do here before we leave.” Disoriented, Remy struggled to put the clothing on. “Who are you? Or for that matter, who am I?,” he asked the stranger.

“I’ll answer your question, and any others, once we get the fuck out of here. But until then, just do as I say and don’t do anything stupid.” Remy nodded, appraising the man. He was a bit shorter than Remy, though over six feet, but built much heavier. His dirty blond hair was pulled back into a ponytail and he donned beard stubble that had probably been growing for at least a couple days. His hands were bruised and cut. But the one feature that drew the most attention were his eyes, which shone red and were surrounded by dark pupils.

“Alright, c’mon. Remember, be quiet and follow me”, the stranger hissed at Remy, before pushing the door open. Remy continued to fight his body, which wanted to shut down. His muscles ached and his head pounded, but he kept up with the stranger. They passed several doors before stopping at one. The stranger pulled a metallic file from his sock. He tried picking the lock for several minutes, before Remy snatched it from him. The stranger watched as Remy picked the lock as if it were a natural skill. Within seconds, the lock was disarmed. The stranger nodded in approval, before pushing open the door. Both men entered.

A man was in a tank similar to the one that encased Remy, until a few moments ago. “Summers…” said the stranger, directed at the man. “Alright pal, stand by the door, and let me know if you hear anything.”

The stranger began smacking the glass with his pipe. After the sixth blow, it shattered open, and the large man inside fell onto the ground. “Summers, keep your godamned eyes closed.”

“Who are you?” Summers demanded.

“Wraith. I’ve come to break you out of here.”

Summers took a couple deep breaths. “Yeah, I’ve heard of you. We’ve worked together before. Do you have a plan?”

“Uh-huh. I have a pretty good idea how we’re going to get the hell out of here, but we have to make good time before the guards discover what’s going on. They’re not much of a threat in themselves, but there are probably at least a couple Hunters about.”

Remy stirred next to the door, anxious to leave.

“Fine. Who is he?,” Summers asked, nodding in Remy’s direction.

“I’m not sure-his name’s Remy Lebeau. He’s useless right now, he’s been out so long that he doesen’t remember shit. Pausing, Wraith look around the room. “There’ll be time for this later, can you move?

“I’m a little stiff, but I’m alright”, Summers responded, pushing himself to his feet.

“Alright, sit tight for a second. I’ll see about finding you some clothes and your visor”, said Wraith, heading for the door.

Remy silently stared at Scott Summers, whose body was heavily scarred. His auburn hair was overgrown and he had a full beard. Remy caressed his own face, and realized he had the same. He wondered why this guy Summers had to keep his eyes closed.

Wraith returned a short while later with another guard uniform. He handed it to Summers, who quickly put it on. “Sorry Slim, couldn’t find your visor. All right, let’s go. Lebeau, you have to guide him,” said Wraith.

Remy realized that he was being addressed and grabbed Summer’s arm, leading out of the room. Wraith led them down several corridors before the trio reached a larger room, full of water tanks.

An alarm rang out. Wraith now understood that someone had discovered the four bodies that he stuffed into the ladies restroom. He rushed away from Remy and Cyclops, frantically searching the tanks. Reaching one, he bashed the glass with such force that it broke instantly. A huge giant of a man fell out, already conscious.

Remy nervously kept watch on the corridor that had brought them here. Within moments, armed guards would rush them. The Cajun hoped that whatever Wraith had planned would get them out of there, quickly. There were few places to hide in this room. Some of the mutants inside the dark tanks watched them with open eyes. It gave the Cajun an eerie feeling.

“Its me, old friend. There are two others with me,” Wraith said, pointing over at Cyclops and Remy. “We’re in trouble, and we need to get the hell out of here. I need you to lead the way.”

The dark-haired giant looked up at Wraith with recognition. He shook his hands out and cracked his knuckle.

“I will crush everything and anyone that gets in our way,” said the giant in a heavy Russian accent, holding his hand into the air and flexing it into a fist. He stood, nearly reaching seven feet. Remy couldn’t believe his eyes as he saw the giant’s skin turn into silvery metal.

“Come! This way comrades!” Peter Rasputin called towards Remy and Cyclops.

The metal giant charged ahead of the group. Upon turning a corner, a salvo of bullets met him. His body shielded the rest of the group as bullets smashed ineffectively against him. Spent rounds littered the ground. The attack angered him, and he began shouting obscenities in Russian at his attackers.

The guards began scattering. The commanding officer shouted into his radio “call a Hunter down here! Get me a godamned Hunter! There’s some mutants loose!” Addressing his men he screeched “stand your ground, you cowards!”, as they began falling back.

The metal giant was unbelievably fast for his size. He charged the C.O. and caught him before the poor bastard had time to react. Upon reaching him the, the metal giant crushed his neck, and his eyes bulged out from his skull. He began thrashing his treetrunk-like arms into whoever was unfortunate enough to be nearby. One hit was often fatal. If it wasn’t, the guard on the receiving end wished that it was.

Sirens and klaxons bellowed out into the halls. Flashing red lights indicated emergency status, as guards fled in order to regroup behind a makeshift barrier.

Wraith, upon picking up a discarded assault rifle, joined the fray. He vanished from sight, and made his way behind the guards before quickly mowing them down in a full automatic burst. Blood sprayed from the guards and covered the walls and floor. A few of them emitted gurgling sounds, trying to breathe. Soon after, they expired. The fight was over almost as soon as it began. Wraith refused to put them out of their misery, and merely stood by as they looked on helplessly.

Remy watched in amazement of the fighting prowess of the two, fighting his frustration that he had nothing to offer for his side’s cause. He could feel Cyclops’ tension as well.

Just as the metal giant smashed a guard’s head into an unforgiving metal wall, the way was clear. Wraith beckoned the other two. Up ahead, the metal giant and Wraith were talking, but Remy couldn’t make out what was being said. His head still pounded with unrelenting pressure and he felt like he could be sick at any moment. Just as Cyclops needed Remy to guide him, Remy needed Cyclops to help him along-the man was a extremely muscular and essentially carrying the ailing Cajun along.

Up ahead, Wraith spotted a security door. He cast a glance back at the stragglers, and overheard more guards moving up from behind them. “Go!” he yelled at the Russian, slapping him on his back. The Russian nodded, turning back and charging back down the corridor, quickly passing by Remy and Cyclops. Gunfire ensued, followed by painful shrieks and panic- stricken shouting.

Wraith was trying to open the security door after breaking open the palm- reader and crossing its wires. Remy and Cyclops finally made it up to him when Wraith abandoned the task. He grabbed Cyclops and turned him towards the door. “Open your eyes!” he shouted at him.

Cyclops released control of his eyelids and a massive blast erupted from them, tearing the door from its hinges and sending it flying into parking lot outside. The three escaped out the now-open door as Wraith shouted for the Russian to rejoin them. He waited behind and instructed Remy to lead Cyclops outside towards the fence.

Remy ran into the night, nearly falling out from fatigue. Cyclops remained on his arm, hardly phased by the events. They reached the fence, where Remy noticed a sign showing it to be electrified. He looked back at the open door and saw the other two racing towards them. Wraith began shouting “It’s a Hunter! Get the hell out of here!”

“Open your eyes!”, Remy shouted at Cyclops.

Cyclops released another optic blast, crippling the fence. Electricity danced off it, presenting another hazard. Remy and Cyclops ran toward it, as a huge figure carrying a chain gun step out from the building. “Jump!” Remy commanded before reaching the fence, and the two felt electricity sizzling at their feet as they sailed over the fence. A forested area lay ahead, providing the needed route to escape. By the time they reached it, the Russian and Wraith had caught up with them. The Hunter moved steadily closer, firing heavy bursts at them. Bullets shredded the trees surrounding them. The Russian ran behind everyone, providing a shield. They disappeared into the night, fleeing for their lives. The Hunter gave short pursuit before he stopped the chase. He knew exactly where these fools would be heading.

After what seemed like hours, Wraith stopped running. The metal giant, whose name was apparently Colossus (at least that’s what Wraith called him) had been helping Remy along. The Cajun collapsed against a tree, feeling queasy and shaky.

“Alright, that’s far enough for now,” said Wraith. “We can rest here. I think that wired-up bastard has quit for the time being.”

Lighting a cigarette, he found a log and sat down. Colossus and Cyclops followed suit.

“Cyclops, this is Colossus, an old friend, and the only reason we made it out of there in one piece.” He turned towards the Russian, still in metal form. “Sorry big guy. I would have found you a uniform, but I couldn’t find one in your size. “Don’t worry, our next stop is the city. We’ll re- supply there. But first, I suppose you’re all wondering what the hell is happening.

“Cyclops is commander in the Resistance, and our best shot getting support in the near future”.

Remy listened intently, wondering where he fit into the picture.

Wraith continued “I came for the two of you. I had been monitoring Hunter movements and realized that they’d been depositing captured mutants at this place. I figured this was where they took you guys. But I guess this isn’t the only one like it. There’s still some folks that I was looking for that I didn’t find.” He took a drag and then continued. “I scoped the place for weeks before getting inside. I stayed cloaked…that’s my mutant ability, Lebeau…for most of the time. I found where you two were right away, but I noticed that they kept tight security and had a helluva lot of attention in another room. His,” he said, pointing at Remy. I figured that if they thought he was so important, we could use him on our side. The way I figure it, he’s been in there a lot longer then you two. Maybe years. He will regain his memory slowly, I figure. At least that’s how it worked for me,” Wraith said with an amused smile. Anyway, let’s get going. We need to hurry before that Hunter catches up.”

“Hold on,” Cyclops asserted, “we need to get to D.C. Do you have any idea how were going to get there? I can get a visor there, and that’s where most of the loyalists are located.”

“Fine. We’ll have to play it by ear. I can get us some transportation up river-they probably won’t expect it, responded the Wraith.

Remy stood up and walked over to Wraith. “If you don’t have a clue who I am, then how did you know my name?”, he demanded in a frustrated tone.

“Simple, my friend. I knew your name, Remy Lebeau, better known as Gambit, because I read your profile that was attached to clipboard on your tank. I’ll fill you in some once we get on the road. C’mon, we’ll all feel a lot better once we get some food in our stomachs and some guns at our sides.”

The group walked for another half an hour before reaching the outskirts of Shreveport. Gambit tried in vain to regain his memories. There were faces, names, each that inspired various ideas and feelings, but he couldn’t put quite place them. He felt helpless, but was confident in his newfound companions. He needed to know more about what happened, but he realized that know wasn’t the time. There was still danger about. Several times they had to duck behind cover and a helicopter flew overhead, flashing a spotlight into the forested area. In the distance, search dogs howled in anticipation. But they were too late, the four reached the city.

They reached it shortly before daybreak. Upon coming to a general goods store, they broke in and supplied themselves. Wraith went on weapons detail, while the others found clothes, razors (to cut their hair and alter their appearances), food, water, and other traveling necessities. When the sun began its ascent into the sky, the four had left the store fit for several weeks travel.

Wraith managed to hotwire a electric van (gasoline powered vehicles were nearly extinct), and began driving towards the edge of the city. It wouldn’t last them long, but it would get them to the docks where Wraith had a boat waiting. They would reach it shortly before noon, he predicted. Gambit fell asleep in the back after consuming some water and a bit of food, while Colossus sat in silence. Cyclops rode shotgun, talking with Wraith.

“You realize this is too easy,” said Cyclops, now wearing a blindfold, “ they have to be tracking us somehow.”

Wraith looked thoughtful for a moment.

“It’s the only reason they haven’t set up roadblocks”, Cyclops continued.

“Could be. But then again, I doubt that whoever is in charge of that place wanted Essex to find out some mutants broke free from one of his containment facilities. Especially you. That sort of thing would have caused too much attention. They’ll probably try to catch up with us down the road.”

Cyclops nodded at his logic, though still unconvinced. He sipped a bottled water.

Wraith asked him “do you really think that we’ll find any remnants of the Resistance in D.C.?”

“Its our best chance for finding them. I know for a fact that Hank McCoy and Valerie Allgood were there. They left once things started getting hairy in New York, per my advice. The New York sector was infiltrated shortly thereafter. There were…some betrayals.”

“That’s how you were taken?”

Cyclops nodded, reserving both anger and embarrassment.

“Anyone that I’d recognize?”

“My brother, Alex”.

Wraith knew that the two were very close, having been brought up together. The betrayal must have crushed Cyclops. After a few moments of silence, Wraith asked “so do you think we have a chance of making it, Slim?

“Where? To D.C. or overall?”




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