Home | Forum | Mailing List | Repository | Links | Gallery
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 10

“Heart breaker, soul shaker,

I’ve been told about you.

Steamroller, midnight stroller

What they’ve been saying must be true,

Red hot momma, Velvet Charmer.

Time has come to pay your dues,

Now you’re messin’ with a, SON OF A BITCH”

-Nazareth, Hair of the Dog

“Pushing up the ante, I know you wanna see me,

Read 'em and weep, the dead man's hand again,

I see it in your eyes, take one look and die,

The only thing you see, you know it's gonna be,

The Ace Of Spades”

-Motorhead, The Ace of Spades

Inside Gambit’s head, the bells of hell called him to work. He had nothing left to offer except for the channeled hatred of one man. The filter that prevented one from committing unnecessary risk was so far gone that it was no longer a memory. Graydon Creed met him with the same resolve.

Then staff met the sword, striking and then parrying at a furious pace. Neither man could take either an offensive or defensive attack stance. Neither man had time enough to calculate his opponent’s next move. All that remained was raw instinct.

Gambit swung spiked end of the staff at Creed’s head, and it was parried. He swung the blunt end over and he deftly ducked out of the way. With a mighty charge, Creed stabbed the massive claymore at Gambit, who barely managed to tumble out of the way. Capitalizing on his opponent’s compromised position on the ground, Creed swung his sword down upon him, intending on cleaving him in half. Reacting at the last moment, Gambit held up his quarterstaff to block the attack. The sword sliced through it, cutting it into two uneven parts. Gambit kicked Creed’s knee out, dropping him to the ground. He then pushed himself to standing with legs, and swiped at Creed’s face with the jagged end of the now-broken quarterstaff. It caught him across the cheek, painting a deep gash across it. Creed then caught Gambit’s arm, yanked him forward and smashed him in the face with a headbutt, breaking his nose. Blinded by tears, Gambit flipped backwards to give himself a moment to regain his senses.

Blood flowed down Creed’s flaming red face. His eyes were locked in a psychotic, murderous gaze. Behind them his soul called for vengeance. He swung the mighty claymore upright and charged.

Remy was caught in a daze. His eyes caught a vision moving in slow motion towards him. Somewhere in the distance, he heard the howling of sirens and realized that he was still alive. Still alive.

He charged a piece of the staff and hurled it at Creed, hitting the sword directly on its shaft. It exploded, breaking the blade into slivers. Part of Creed’s left hand disintegrated with it. The man howled in pain, reaching into his face to pick out the metal shards with fingers that were no longer there.

Instead, Creed charged faster at Remy and buried his foot into the Cajun’s ribs. With his good hand, he smashed the hilt of the broken sword into Gambit’s chest. Remy reeled over in pain. Several of his ribs were badly broken.

Gambit reached into his coat for a balanced throwing knife, but found none. The fighting up to this point had drained him of every weapon except for a couple of playing cards. He smashed his elbow into Creed’s nose several times, though the blows were mostly ineffective. Responding, Creed threw a giant haymaker at Gambit’s face, hitting his squarely in the side of his skull. The blow nearly knocked him unconscious. Gambit stumbled back a couple steps and then Creed grabbed him by his coat, swung him into a brick wall.

Before impact, Gambit kicked his foot up and stopped himself from hitting the wall. Without turning, he deftly planted a nasty high kick directly into Creed’s mouth, knocking him back. Blood and several teeth poured out of his mouth.

Like Excalibur, Gambit saw the blade Creed used to kill Rogue sticking out of the ground several yards away. He tumbled away from his opponent and ran towards it. Bracing himself against a fire hydrant with his bad hand, Creed reared back his broken sword and launched it at Gambit, catching him on the back of his leg. Gambit toppled over, feeling the fresh cut pour out blood. Without looking back, he crawled towards the knife.

Graydon limped towards his broken sword, spitting out blood all the while. He finally reached his sword. Like a pathetic worm, Gambit was trying to crawl away for dear life. It seemed like a fitting end for him.

He brought the sword up a final time and marked Gambit’s neck. There was still more than enough power left in Creed’s arms to decapitate him. Feeling a surge of mixed agony and a sense of completion, Creed realized that he was scared that this was how the whole terrible ordeal would end. In a few moments, he would feel the spoils of vengeance. He decided that it would be bliss, pure and simple.

The blade swung down. With blinding speed, Gambit spun around and threw the blade deep into Creed’s upper chest. Graydon Creed cursed himself for not realizing that Gambit had been playing him all along-but that was what he always was-the superior player of the game. When the man lost, he lost on purpose most of the time. And he could pull victory out of oblivion. In that moment, Creed realized that the feeling of defeat and the enactment of vengeance were one in the same. The realization defeated his soul for a final time and he welcomed the damnation that would surely come. The blade exploded his upper torso and his head.

Gambit watched with detachment as the body fell to the ground. He rolled over on his back and focused briefly on the pain coursing through his body. Then, he began to laugh, though it hurt his ribs badly to do so. He laughed because he could not cry.

It was only one more roadblock overcome. And there was still a longer journey ahead to Essex. He teased himself by suggesting that everything might make sense in the future, and thought that it was cruel. For Rogue, he stood and began walking towards the fortress.

A pitch-black circle of clouds formed above the fortress. It was far darker than the blanket of smog and dust that hovered above the city. It began swirling like a vortex, and the winds began contracting, almost like a window was opening. Lightning streaked across the sky. It became unnaturally cold, almost freezing. The winds carried an icy breeze.

Colossus, with his metal skin painted with char and ash, had finally made it to the black iron gates of the fortress. He stood for a moment before them, looking upon the demonic cherubs and gargoyles that were etched into the iron. Before reaching forward to yank them down, he heard people approaching.

A battered and battle-weary Wraith approach with Hawkeye, Quicksilver, and Alexis at his sides. They all sported an assortment of minor wounds and had the aura of people who walked straight through hell. Peter nodded them a greeting, and tore the gate down with a forceful heave.

It had taken hours of searching through the labyrinth of tunnels underneath the complex before Henry McCoy finally reached to entrails of the fortress. While en route, he witnessed the battle between Remy and Graydon and was relieved that the Cajun emerged the victor. Beneath the street, he would not have been able to aide Gambit, even if Remy would have allowed it. Beast knew that after the battle, Gambit was heading to find Sinister while the rest of the group went for Cyclops. At that point, McCoy knew that Gambit was a dead man walking. Even though he learned that LeBeau, by some freak accident of fate, was one of the Summers brothers while rifling through Essex’s databases for his own pleasure, he doubted that Gambit would last five minutes against Essex. Certainly not ten minutes. The only thing he could do was to free Rogue if there was still time, and then find Cyclops.

He found it rather easy to slip in with all the commotion of people clamoring to evacuate the place. The drain tunnels led directly in a room where all the water pressure pipes were found. There was a barely functioning stock elevator that that fed into the complex itself. Walking through the halls was rather arduous, so McCoy simply stuck out his burly elbows and pushed aside everyone in his way to the dungeons.

All of the guards left their posts already. It took a few minutes to bypass the electronic security measures, but McCoy made it through the smallish gateway to winding, descending staircase. He took two steps at a time, careful to find each target step in the flickering torchlight. The sounds of his movements echoed distantly off the walls. When he finally reached the bone cage room, he found the door already bashed open.

He yanked a torch off the wall and proceeded inward. He rushed along the platform and peered inside each cage as moved past it. Upon coming to Rogue’s cage, he noticed something almost horrifyingly surprisingly.

She was not there.

The front piece that secured the lock had been sawed through completely and the door swung ajar. Smiling, Beast found himself saying, “Good girl, Marie. Good girl.”

He swung around and ran back down the platform, this time heading for the research wing where Scott Summers rested in a vat of freezing liquid. Tossing the torch down the endless chasm, he ran up the staircase. Upon reaching the top, he was tackled. The impact sent him sailing into the air, nearly toppling over the side. He firmly grabbed the edge, but before he could move away from it, the assailant was on top of him.

“Ya dirty bastard!” Rogue screamed. “Give me one good reason why I don’t throw you over the side right now!”

Eyes widening, Beast frantically searched for the right thing to say. His non-response was met with the girl beginning to push him over the edge.

“Marie! I’m better now! God knows I deserve it, but don’t kill me! I need to undo everything!”

Her eyes blazed with fury. “You’re ah liar, you scheming bastard!”

“No! There’s still time! We can help them!”

Shaking him violently, Rogue screamed “help who! You better start making sense real soon unless you want to be splattered all over the ground down there!”

“Remy! If we move now, we can save him!”

Taken aback, Rogue stopped shaking him. Then she began shaking her head, “no…you told me he was dead.”

“Rogue, I lied. He’s here, now! Unless we can free Cyclops, Essex is going to kill him. Please-help me help him!”

She looked away from Beast, trying to figure out some way to believe him. If there was some possibility at all that Beast was telling the truth, she had to take the risk.

“Where is he Henry?”

He hesitated first. “Marie, he’s heading straight for Essex. The only chance we have…”

Rogue then leaped to her feet and rushed towards the gateway. “Do what you have to do, Beast.”

He began to try and stop her, but thought better of it. Things might have been handled better, but that couldn’t be helped now. The rumbling was getting closer. It was only a matter of time now. It there was going to be a tomorrow, Beast would have to reach Cyclops very soon. With new resolve, he pulled himself up and ran out the door, heading for the research labs.

With a wave of his hand, Essex opened a portal that fed into the Madripoor complex. He nodded at Gideon and Strounge, his demented lieutenants, and beckoned for their departure. They obeyed, walking into the sickly golden light and then disappearing. Essex then returned to the Siege Perilous, now completely opened. The circle of telepaths around it were now mostly dead. As a final act of betrayal, the Crimson Queen Wanda had poisoned them. Now, only one still lived. The most recent acquisition, Valerie Allgood was barely hanging on. It was by her lifeforce alone that the portal remained open. Her telepathic potential was tremendous-Essex wished that he had seen it before using her this way. Now she was wasted on this relatively mundane ordeal. It didn’t matter much, anyhow. Once they reached Madripoor and the Horsemen returned with the Inner Circles of the Black and White branches of the Hellfire Council, he would utilize the Queens for the telepathic abilities. The others would be tortured to death.

Spectral fire curled out of the Siege Perilous. Essex stepped into it, allowing it to immerse him and peel away the human façade that covered his true form. He heard the whispers of his brethren, telling him secrets and lies of things to come. Above them all, he heard the restrained voice of the Master, speaking in an unholy tongue of incomprehensible things-of the last days, of the eternal agony, and of his own Coming.

He was so enthralled in the mists of demon-speak that Nathaniel Essex did not hear the thief come into the chamber.

Gambit saw Valerie Allgood strapped tightly into a chair, hanging on to her own life by threads. He maneuvered over to the girl and cut her bindings, and silently picked her up from the chair. She was extraordinary light in his arms, though it was hell on his broken ribs. Without taking his eyes off Sinister, Gambit carried her over to a dark and secure corner. After that, he pulled off his trench coat, took out the two remaining playing cards, and advanced towards Sinister. He cast a downward glance at the two cards. The first of the two was the Jack of Diamonds.

He charged it and threw the card straight into Sinister’s exposed back. It blasted him forward and melted a portion of his right shoulder. It bubbled and hissed, like some chemical reaction. Almost immediately, the wound began healing. Essex pulled himself out of a daze, not believing the pain he felt. From out of the shadows came the thief.

“That’s right, LeBeau, come out and face the music.”

“Glad I got your attention.”

“Save your useless ramblings. Nothing you do matters from here on. Its too late.”

Raising his eyebrows, Remy responded “really? From my point of view, it seems like it ain’t too late to blast you into seventh level of hell, old chum.”

“You should know by now that I am undying, LeBeau. If you so choose to fight me now, I will crush you like the insignificant little bug that you are. But I will offer you one chance.”

Remy remained silent.

“Your service to me was always extraordinary and has never been forgotten LeBeau. Since you left, there has never been your match. I offer you your place again, at my side, and in return, you can have anything you want. I do mean anything. Even the love of your life, Remy. I can give her back to you.”

The offer hit Gambit hard. Despite his instincts, he began considering it.

Smiling now, Sinister said “that’s right, LeBeau, but don’t take too long. It’s a simple deal, after all. Your soul for the world.”

Gambit looked down at the last card in his hand. It was the Ace of Spades.

He looked at Sinister again, and unlike the last time, saw straight through him. It wasn’t the distinguished, cosmopolitan man that promised to save the world, but the demon that intended to end it.”


Essex sighed heavily, and then unleashed a light-pink energy blast that knocked Gambit back into the wall that was twenty feet behind him. He smashed into it with a sickening thud.

When Gambit managed to raise his head, Sinister was already on top of him. He had never witnessed the true extent of Essex’s power. Now he was about to.

Gambit was lifted high in the air and thrown to the ground. The impact snapped more of his ribs, making movement nearly impossible. “DIE YOU STUPID SON OF A BITCH!” Essex raged.

He caught Remy with a web of pure energy that sizzled around his body, causing him a slow and very painful death. Gambit howled in agony, writhing while feeling a pain that nobody ever truly deserved. He saw the sick, depraved grin on Essex’s face.

When she came to the chamber, what she saw told Rogue that she was too late. She charged at Sinister with tremendous speed and power. The impact knocked the bastard down, skidding him across the entire room. She landed on his chest and began pummeling his face with punch after punch. His skull bounced each one off ineffectively, they his eyes told a story that he was feeling each one.

He raised his hand and gripped Rogue’s throat, lifting her off the ground. He came to standing, choking her. Without much effort, he threw her away and turned back to Gambit.

The Cajun was standing again. In his hand was a single, charged card. Essex saw its emblem-the always symbolic Ace of Spades, the harbinger of death.

The card was thrown with extreme accuracy, catching Essex across the mouth, setting his entire face on fire. For the first time in his life, Gambit heard Essex scream out in pain. It was simply was not enough to drop the man. Though he stumbled, Essex continued towards Gambit, who accepted that he was now ready to die.

Another attack came at him, however. With a deafening thwack, the optic blast leveled Essex, punching a hole through his chest. Essex wheezed for breath. When Cyclops aimed for another shot, Essex reached into his armor and produced a jewel. He rubbed it, creating a portal. Cyclops fired one last time, though Essex disappeared through it. Summers yelled a series of obscenities, cursing this for happening yet a second time.

Rogue ran to Gambit, cradling his broken body in her arms. Henry almost ran over to them both in order to treat their wounds, but decided against it. Nothing in this world could have kept to the two lovers apart at that moment. He only looked at Cyclops, nodded, and walked over to Valerie Allgood and carried began tending to her.

All that Remy could manage to do was to smile up at Rogue, who could not keep herself from shedding tears. It was the first time in as long as Remy could remember that fate had actually smiled down upon them. For a long time, neither of them could think of what to say-it had been literally more than two and a half years since they saw each other last. The silence didn’t seem to bother either one of them.

She caressed the side of his bloody face with the back of hand, feeling the lumps that were developing there. It made her giggle. “All things considered, sugah, I think you still came out this lookin’ pretty good.”

Laughing a bit, Gambit responded, “yes, well, you have to understand dat’ this is one of my off days, chere,” he paused a moment and smiled at her. “Rogue, I think I need to tell you…”

She leaned into him, kissing him deeply. And with that, the world stopped for them both. All fears, concerns, and pain were numbed. They only radiated love for one another, and that was worth every moment they spent apart up until now. Remy felt her hot tears pouring over his own dirty face. He thought about being together with her thousands of times since coming out of his coma and regaining his memory. Each fantasy paled in comparison to what he felt right now-to actually experience her, completely, to feel her body against his own, her breath flowing into his own lungs, her unmistakable aura. In that moment, he could have died happy in her arms. She pulled away from him and mouthed that she loved him softly into his ear. Remy closed his eyes and savored the words, finer than any wine he tasted in his life. And he told her that he loved her as well.

In those few moments together, they loved one another enough to last a lifetime.

A few moments later, the rest of the group shuffled in. Cyclops greeted them, much to their own relief. They had spent the better part of the last hour rummaging through the med labs trying to locate him. Henry had beat them to there by only fifteen minutes.

It was Henry’s shouting that interrupted them. All eyes turned to the shimmering white glass mirror. A shadow formed in the Siege Perilous, both massive and terrible. It hissed forth the cries of demons, which sounded a great deal like white noise, the filler when no reception came forth from a snowy-screened television. Once it materialized, a great beast walked out of it. It bellowed a primeval screech. It had six limbs, each as massive and thick as a great oak tree. Spikes lined its flesh, each as large as a lance. Its teeth were equally long. It frothed at the mouth, spilling acidic substance all over the ground, sizzling it.

That was when Remy realized that this was what Sinister was talking about when he said that it was already too late.

Hawkeye began by showering it with arrows, nailing it choice spots. The arrows barely stuck into its armor. Not even a direct shot in its eye did so much as make it flinch. From its hand, it shot a tentacle around his neck and yanked him to the ground. Cyclops blasted him several times in the face, knocking it back each time. It seemed to be the only attack that yielded any effect. The creature breathed a cloud of noxious gas at both Alexis and Hawkeye, paralyzing them both.

The cloud made it very difficult to see what was going on in the next few moments. When it cleared, the scene was horrid. Most of the group was lying prone against the ground, unable to move.

Quicksilver was caught with a tentacle. The demon swung him far into the air, and brought him down upon a row of its spikes, impaling and killing him instantly.

Colossus and Rogue, both nearly invulnerable to such attacks, were fighting with the demon. It smacked Rogue against her head with its arm, sending her flying into the wall. Peter was being choked the death. Wraith tried to peel himself off the ground, but could not manage it. He slumped back against the ground.

Cyclops, their last bastion of hope, stood amidst all the fallen warriors, firing concentrated blasts into the demons face. Each time, it pushed it back a few inches closer to the Siege Perilous. The mirror would swallow the thing back, killing it instantly. It wasn’t even a foot away from the portal when it shot a tentacle at him, knocking him out cold.

Isolated screams and groans resonated throughout the room. Gambit watched as his best friend, Peter Rasputin was dying at the demon’s hands. He could barely stand. The pain shooting from his ribs and other parts of his body nearly immobilized him, but the gas did not reach him. He had been stuck in the far corner with Valerie, too injured to fight.

A odd silence overtook the room. The horror of watching his friends being killed left him. There was contentment, and there was peace now for Gambit. He decided this was the day that he would fall. This was the day that he would prove the worth of his soul-that he would rather surrender his own life, giving up every joy and every experience from this day on to preserve the lives of those he loved.

Gambit reached down and picked up a piece of Hawkeye’s broken bow. With his last bit of strength, he rushed towards the demon.

As he ran, he cast a glance at Cyclops. He regretted not getting to know him better, for he found himself feeling an odd kinship with the man. Gambit knew that with him recovered, Cyclops would eventually lead them all to their much-deserved victory.

He cast a glance at Wraith, an anomaly of a man. Everything began with him- this whole ordeal. He was the architect. Never anything more than a cynical lowlife, he was also brilliant and the most competent man Gambit had ever known.

He cast a glance at Colossus, and wished him a good life. He loved the man like a brother, and Gambit knew deep inside that Peter deserved so much more out of life. He had a heart of gold underneath all the scar tissue. One day, perhaps, Peter would recover and forgive himself for all the pain he endured in his life.

And he cast a long glance at Rogue, feeling a profound love for the young woman. He regretted that their time together had not been longer, but knew that he had been blessed to have loved and to have been loved by her at all. She had saved him from damnation-she had made Remy find himself after everything that meant anything in the world to him had been stripped away in the betrayal of his family.

While he ran, she looked up at him. A second later, she realized what he meant to do. Her jaw dropped and her face reflected the horror that she was feeling in that moment, not really believing what was happening. He mouthed goodbye to her, and thought ‘every moment was magic, chere. Every moment…’

Gambit charged the wooden piece and hurled it at the demon. It shook it off balance. Seizing the opportunity, Gambit smashed his body against it. They both were swallowed into the Siege Perilous, and the glass shattered. The room became quiet.


GambitGuild is neither an official fansite of nor affiliated with Marvel Enterprises, Inc.
Nonetheless, we do acknowledge our debt to them for creating such a wonderful character and would not dream of making any profit from him other than the enrichment of our imaginations.
X-Men and associated characters and Marvel images are © Marvel Enterprises, Inc.
The GambitGuild site itself is © 2006 - 2007; other elements may have copyrights held by their respective owners.