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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 3

“You better appreciate that, you filthy whore. I pried it from a dead man’s hand. Literally,” whispered Graydon Creed, while collecting his clothes. Lorna Dane stared lovingly at the diamond inlaid ruby pendant that her husband had brought her back from one of his excursions. She lay nude on their bed on top of velvet sheets, wearing the gift. It sparkled radiantly, but seemed dull relative to her own magnificence. And Graydon had even told her so, before pulling her into the bed after their time apart. They fucked for the better part of the night, but now, business called him away once again. Once dressed, he stood for a moment and beheld her, nearly asleep now. Her smallish breasts gently rose and fell with every breath. He promised to etch this image of his wife into his mind for all of eternity. Such beauty should never fade…he thought, feeling a nearly unquenchable hunger to strangle her to death. It was utter nonsense, of course. She could easily kill him, had she needed to defend herself. It was raining outside. He put on his cloak and pulled the hood over his head. As he opened the door, she awoke, and

called to him.

“Graydon…mmm…where are you going…?”

He paused, silently cursing himself for waking her. “I have to see Essex tonight.”

“Can’t it wait? Come back to me…I’ll make it worth your while…”she teasingly said, arching her legs and taking an inviting pose.

“Not tonight. His request was a bit more serious than usual.”

Lorna said something else, but he walked out to meet his driver. Even if he left now, he would be cutting it urgently close. And Essex hated to wait.


Graydon Creed paced furiously down one of the many hallowed corridors of the underground place Essex chose to reside. Muted screams seeped through the walls, giving the false impression that the entire place was alive. Prisoners, experiments, and God knows what else…Torches along the walls led the way. For being such a fanatic about technology, he certainly likes to keeps things in the archaic, Creed thought to himself. At the end of a hallway stood Gideon, the white haired swordsmaster-and perhaps the most highly favored servant of Essex. Without a word, he opened a door and motioned for Creed to enter. Nodding at the doorman, he entered, and removed his rain-soaked cloak. He descended a winding staircase that led to an oval-shaped room with a dirt floor.

Essex waited inside with his back turned to the door. He stared ahead at a monstrosity entombed in the wall-one that he created many years ago to aide in his ultimate task. Graydon looked it over with amused disgust. A former unnamed mutant that was hardly distinguishable as humanoid anymore was cocooned in web. Only its torso and head protruded from the protective case, where thousands of wires, hoses, and lines kept the thing alive. It bore a face that screamed for mercy in utter silence.

“Such a busy, busy creature…” said Essex, in a near whisper.

It was the first telepath that he had found. A poor, lost young woman in search of learning to control her powers, who had come to Nathaniel Essex to help her. After several years of experimentation, he converted her into an organic machine, fixed on searching out other mutants and especially, telepaths, by studying the psychic signature of every living human left alive.

Clearing his throat, Graydon asked, “is there any progress, master.”

Without turning, Essex responded, “none. I am convinced that until we find the girl, we will not know Xavier’s whereabouts. Our Hunters continue to search in both Seattle and Detroit for the two telepaths that were spotted last year.”

Now turning to face his minion, Essex spoke louder, “you see Graydon, while time is on our side, and I am growing very impatient.”

“But I’m sure that they’ll be apprehended very soon.”

“Perhaps. But I have another matter in need of your attention.”

Creed stirred, a bit anxiously.


Relieved, Creed relaxed and regained his composure. “We’ve had a Hunter tracking him and his little band since they escaped Shreveport. His name is Random, one of our more experienced fighters. As expected, they headed for D.C. Now, they have left for New York City. We will capture them while in route-I have already arranged it.”

“And you said that LeBeau and the Peter Rasputin were with him?”

“Yes”. Creed’s face tightened as the name, LeBeau, was spoken.

“You may dispose of them both as you need,” Essex said, pausing. “At one time, I believed that LeBeau might have been some use in luring the girl back to us, but he can no longer serve any purpose.”

“Of course,” Creed responded. “Summers will be brought back to you, alive.”

“Come with me for a moment, Mr. Creed,” Essex said, beckoning him to follow as he walked towards a door covered only by moth-eaten curtains. Upon entering the hallway, Creed noticed an overpowering smell that he could not identify. Again, torchlight danced along the moss-covered walls and provided the only light. They passed several doors before Essex stopped, and peered inside through iron grating. A figure lay writhing in agony on the ground, moaning and wishing for death. Above him, a stone encased in glass shone ice blue, revealing the prisoner’s tortured body.

“This will be the fourth, and his name shall be death…”

Creed looked on. The man that was once known as Warren Worthington lay mutating into the last of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and by far, the most dangerous. The Ynkron Crystal that hovered above him fell into the hands of Nathaniel Essex several years ago through the efforts of a hired thief, who thought the task only as a test. Remy LeBeau had brought him a great prize, indeed. It affected everyone differently, but as it appeared, Essex finally had the champion he had awaited.

“Release the other three to bring back Summers and dispose of the others. I do not want any chances to be taken,” Sinister said, marveling over his accomplishment.

“But master, there will already be sufficient forces to overtake them.”

“Do not underestimate Scott Summers, Mr. Creed. He is as formidable a fighter as he is a leader. And may I remind you, he exists as the only chance of my own destruction? Go. Now.”

Nodding, Creed turned and hurried down the hall, hoping that Essex would not call him back.

The Beast added a new type of chemistry to the group as he insisted on filling the silence with deadpan humor or whimsical observations. It seemed to almost counteract the persistent pessimism of Cyclops, who always saw things in their most bleak terms. Likewise, he appearance contrasted with the group. Whereas Remy and Wraith had decided on “borrowing” trench coats from the supply closets of rebel base (along with their weapons of choice, a metal staff/playing cards and an assortment of small arms, respectively), thus taking on a look of ragged gunfighters, Hank McCoy stuck to khakis shorts and t-shirts, making him look like a bumbling archaeologist. The Beast walked ahead of everyone, carrying a walking stick, a backpack full of food and toiletries, and little else, reasoning that he was a scientist, not a fighter.

The collective decision to leave had been made only a few hours before the action itself. Without the expertise of McCoy about the base’s security system, the escape may have been more eventful. They had agreed upon making their way to New York in the hopes of finding other members of the resistance, in spite of a significant presence in that area by the Southern Cross, the paramilitary organization that served the will of the Hellfire Council, the “elected” representatives of the various reacquired territories. The Southern Cross essentially tore into city after city gaining new conscripts and searching out dissenters and mutants, who would be studied, exterminated, or turned into Hunters. Cyclops reasoned that everything started and ended with one man, for which he held a vendetta. Nathaniel Essex and he shared combat upon several occasions. Summers knew the man intimately as family, as he had been there throughout his entire life. Summers knew that this was far from an ordinary man, though once exterminated, the real resistance could begin.

It was a grand vision had its merits. The sad fact surrounding it, however, was that it rested in the hands of only five men while the world around them crumbled and thousands of people, every day, blindly pledged their allegiance to a new order that promised to enslave them. Before long, the rivers would run red once again with the blood of innocents and the boneyards would be filled with masses. Only a few would heed humanity’s final, ailing call to survival-and they responded in the most unlikely of circumstances. For some, it remained a matter of redemption. For others, revenge. And yet again, some fought for a sense of purpose. But overall, everyone fought to maintain hope.

During the journey to New York, Peter spoke something uncharacteristically profound. “Its somehow not like the human spirit, comrades, to give up so easily. It can be pounded, crushed, pulverized….and still, it remains. That is what makes us men.” Upon him speaking those words, the group became very quiet and reflected heavily. After a while, Wraith finally spoke, accusing the Russian of being full of shit, to which the company burst into laughter.

Beast had led them through arduous shortcuts, which amounted to highways that were full of parked cars, many of whom still housed their owner’s remains, and only he didn’t seem to mind the stench. He merely continued on his merry way, smiling an ear-to-ear grin while talking about having oatmeal for breakfast the next morning.

The humor had begun to wear thin for Gambit. Weeks of travel had added layers of slight tension within the group. By his admission, he was becoming flaky. His mind continued to drift back into a vortex that was his memory. Always the same images, the same people, the same events…the same woman. He reminded himself that it was a different lifetime and that he was here, now, a fugitive.

One day, they reached a scrap yard in New Jersey. Beast explained that once they reached the other side, there was a rest area, and then beyond it, New York. Adjusting his spectacles, he quickened his pace and deftly began to climb over the rusted skeletons of cars. He briefly stood on top a huge heap of cars, motioned for the others to follow, and then disappeared. The others followed, carefully climbing over the pile, only to find that Beast really had disappeared. Cyclops mouthed, “what in the fuc….” before a gunshot rang out and clipped him in the left arm.

As Cyclops fell backward, Gambit yanked his quarterstaff from off his shoulder and jumped several feet down from the metal pile. In one fluid motion, Wraith pulled a pump-action 12 gauge shotgun from his coat and knelt down besides the fallen Cyclops. Reacting somewhat slower, Colossus turned into living metal, and charged towards the unseen attacker. Gambit was already giving chase-as Peter began to follow, trying to keep up. He followed the Cajun around several rings of tires when he was tackled to the ground. Before he had a chance to react, his assailant was upon him, beating him with a car door. Colossus felt his face being pummeled-each time he attempted to stand, he was struck back down. Finally, he reached a huge tire and swung it around, knocking the attacker back slightly. “Hit me again, JackASS! He screamed at the Russian, who was more than happy to oblige. Colossus reeled back and smashed his fist into the man’s skull, sending him flying into the side of a wrecked mail truck. Amazingly, the man stood up, unharmed. If anything, he looked more powerful than before. The Hunter known as Random stood before Colossus, daring him to combat, knowing full well that he would absorb every punch the Russian would deal out. Shaking his head, Colossus prepared himself.

Gambit had finally cornered the sniper. Sensing his entrapment, the sniper turned, set his weapon on full-automatic, and waited for the Cajun. Once he turned the corner, the Hunter opened fire with a full burst. Before he knew what happened, Gambit was blocking the shots with his quarterstaff. The Hunter stood amazed at the feat of agility, before reaching into his coat and pulling out a jagged long-knife. Once the clip ran dry, the Hunter abandoned the 9mm autopistol. Remy had been pushed into a corner, and his quarterstaff was now so heavily dented it was no longer of any use. Throwing it to the side, he stepped forward to engage in hand-to-hand combat.

Bristol knew that he had a great advantage over the Cajun in close range combat. He watched the way Gambit moved, knowing that he would wait for the Hunter to attack before launching a counter attack. He plans to kick me when I get close…he thought, anticipating his own reaction. A feint within a feint…this fight will be over soon. The Hunter Bristol lunged, missing Gambit by inches. Predictably, the Cajun reared back and attempted a lunge-kick to the Hunter’s head. It failed to connect as the Hunter fell to one knee and stabbed at Remy’s leg, slicing into it. Damn! I hardly caught him at all! The Hunter thought. The Cajun limped backward. Seizing upon the advantage, Bristol leaped forward and went for the throat. On his third step, Bristol saw the Cajun reach into his coat and with blinding speed, release a salvo of energy. He didn’t have enough time in his life to realize that he was going to be killed by playing cards.

Meanwhile, Wraith remained behind tending to Cyclops. The bullet was lodged in his shoulderblade. Wraith was applying a battle dressing when Beast suddenly reappeared. Startled, he grabbed his shotgun and pointed directly at McCoy, who innocently raised his hands. “What the hell happened? I thought you guys were behind me!”

“Keep your voice down, numb nuts! And get over here, you’re a doctor aren’t you?”

Beast quickly ascended the metal heap and sat next to Cyclops. After appraising the wound, he mumbled, “damn…”.

“What is it?” Wraith demanded.

“Its worse than I thought.”


“Well…it appears you’re all fucked!” Beast yelled, smashing his fist into the bridge of Wraith’s nose and sending his shotgun sliding down the heap. Cyclops turned and blasted at Beast, he bounded towards Wraith and tackled him, forcing him to act as a shield. The two wrestled, but McCoy clearly overpowered him. Cyclops sat helplessly as he waited for a clear shot. McCoy pulled Wraith’s knife from his coat and began to inch towards his opponent’s throat. Wraith rolled him off, and the two toppled onto the muddy ground. Ready to pounce, Beast pushed back and prepared to tackle Wraith, still prone on the ground. Once in the air, McCoy was met with a kick to the face, sending him crashing to the ground. The Beast still wore his boyish ear-to-ear grin as blood trickled down from his mouth. From behind him, Random staggered forward, covered in blood. The Hunter aimed a shotgun at Wraith, who then disappeared. Random fired several shots in his direction, missing each time. Frustrated, he rushed back towards Peter Rasputin, who laid unconscious and in human form. Around the Russian’s ankle was a clasp Hunter’s used to temporarily negate mutant powers, used when apprehending them.

Random held a shotgun to Peter’s skull. The Hunter shook with fury.

“That will be enough of that. Summers is up there…he is the concern,” said McCoy.

“No. Maybe this bastard’s brains all over the place will bring his little pal out from the woodwork!” the psychotic Hunter wailed.

“I am afraid I can not let that come for fruition. Please, take whatever time you need. Hold your breath…count to ten…”

“Shut the fuck up!” The Hunter screamed and pumped a shell into the shotgun’s chamber. Before squeezing the trigger, another gunshot rang out. Random fell dead beside the Russian.

Hank McCoy shook his head in disappointment, wondering how he would explain the deaths of two Hunters. He threw Wraith’s shotgun aside, feeling slightly ashamed of committing murder. But after all, it’s not the first time…Beast reminded himself.

Wraith had made his way back up to Cyclops. He heard McCoy say that Summers was the concern-if they wanted him, they would die trying to reach him. Scott had since passed out from the pain. He quickly applied the battle dressing, and then waited. Nearly fifteen minutes later, he spotted Gambit, who bore a slight wound on his left leg. He greeted the Cajun, and they found Colossus, who was now conscious and extremely irate. Apparently, McCoy, the traitor, had fled.

The wound Cyclops sustained was bad enough for the four the hurry their pace towards the city, needing to find a doctor. They slipped into the city easily enough, making their way passed road check points manned by Southern Cross sentries. New York remained nearly as it always had been- constantly moving with a sense of purpose. People from all classes and walks of life coexisting, almost as if the war never occurred. The Southern Cross was in the infant stages of winning over the population by using propaganda and psychological coercion, promising security from Raiders, who had been a flagrant problem, having seeped into the city from the wastelands. The citizenry remained divided, with some still skeptical over the S.C.’s intentions.

Wraith had strong ties to the city. He tapped a contact, who, among other things, worked as a chop-shop street doctor. While he and Colossus took the wounded Cyclops to see the contact, Remy hit the streets in order to make some fast cash pick pocketing. When he returned to his companions, the Cajun had more than enough to cover Cyke’s medical expenses, plus enough to spend a comfortable few days inside the city. The doctor insisted on monitoring Cyclops for a night. Summers insisted that the others leave him be and relax, trying to diffuse from the betrayal. In his estimation, they had earned a small break.

After booking hotel rooms and showering, Wraith went off on his own. Peter and Remy decided to go to a nightclub to drown their sorrows in booze and the company of women, upon the Russian’s suggestion. Remy blamed himself for not sensing McCoy as a traitor-in retrospect, it seemed so obvious. But ah guess hindsight is always 20/20….he thought to himself. Remy came close to explaining his past with McCoy to Peter, but decided against it. Despite his nature, Remy trusted Peter, even more so than Wraith or Cyclops, and decided that if he would divulge any information about his past, it would be with the Russian.

The night club deejay played typical dance music, with full on strobe lights. Caring little for dancing, Peter immediately sat at a table and ordered an entire bottle of vodka. Remy joined him briefly, before excusing himself and leaving for the dance floor. Moments later, to his amazement, Remy spotted Peter sharing drinks with several ladies. There was no real big secret to his success-all Peter had to do was to flex his massive bicep, curl an eyebrow, and speak with a heavy accent. The Cajun laughed to himself as Peter became unraveled, drinking straight vodka at a much faster pace then he should. Colossus had his arms around two very, very attractive ladies and seemed to be content for the moment.

In the middle of the dance floor, a pervading sense of loneliness had overtaken Remy, even though he had little trouble getting attention from the opposite sex. His hair had grown back to a respectable length and despite the life’s best efforts against it, he had natural good looks that most only wished for.

Remy found himself dancing with a girl with wavy brown hair, who kept mouthing to him typical lines about finding him irresistible. The girl had lilac perfume on, which Remy found pleasing. She pushed against him while they danced, grinding her breasts against him. He fed her cheap one-liners that came more of as an instinct than an effort to get close to her. Between dances, she bought him drinks and asked him questions, to which he lied. The more she talked, the more empty he felt, but Remy could not bring himself to leave her company. He wished to rejoin Peter, but did not want to bother Peter, who was happy. His only solace was found in the beers that he continued to drink. Before long, his senses became somewhat dazed and he found the sense of loneliness growing. The girl offered to take Remy to her hotel room, and he reluctantly accepted. Upon seeing them leave, Peter offered his companion a playful wink. They hailed a cab and left.

The entire way there, the brunette caressed his leg. He spent most of the time staring out the window.

She brought him into her hotel room and immediately began undressing. Remy watched her as she dropped her mini-skirt and unstrapped her bra. She walked over to him and undid his shirt, lifting it above his head. Her hands then fell down to his pants, unzipping and then pulling them down. Licking her lips, she smiled enticingly and looked down towards his crotch, before pulling his boxer shorts down and getting on her knees. While she performed, he stared at himself in the mirror, hating himself.

The brunette rose and then jumped on the bed, giggling, pulling off her thong. She pleaded with him to make love to her without words. Her soft nipples had grown hard and she moaned in anticipation. Remy felt inclined to leave the room. Instead, he buckled, and put on a condom. As he approached her, her smile widened. He pushed himself inside of her and caressed her breasts with his hands. He hated himself even more for it, and began to thrust harder. He pushed out pent-up frustration and aggression and she willingly received it. The girl moaned and panted heavily as the bed shook, smacking hard against the wall. Remy moved back and allowed her to put her legs on his shoulders. Not long after, she climaxed, gripping the sheets tightly and calling out the fake name that he had given her. Her body convulsed and she held onto him tightly, before lowering her voice. He could feel her soft breath against her ear. The embrace inspired only cold apathy in Remy.

While she rested, he entered the bathroom and pulled the unspent condom off and tossed it into the commode. Splashing cold water on his face, the sad realization that he was no longer drunk kicked in. He then showered, hoping that the time alone would make him feel better. It did not.

When he came back into the room, the girl had fallen asleep. Remy dressed. Before leaving, he briefly thought about stealing the money out of her purse. Instead, he pulled a blanket over her, turned off the light, and locked her door.

As usual, Remy found himself thinking about his past as he left the hotel. Ghosts that continued to haunt him from a past lifetime were driving him insane. The man that he used to be was driving him insane. Everyone that he hurt, every misdeed, every theft was forgiven because of her, who was no longer here. Without her, his salvation was meaningless. He thought that he concluded that Rogue must be dead by now. But he still held on to some hope…after all, Hank McCoy was one of the ghosts, and he still lives…It would be easier if he could move on. But he couldn’t. He realized that tonight.

Downtown, Wraith entered the New York City night with the intention of meeting an old friend. After trying to track her down all night, he found her performing at a concert hall. Getting inside was difficult. She sold out nearly every performance.

It took some effort, but Wraith made it to the front stage, and stood to watch the concert. Allison Blair spellbound the audience with her angst- driven messages of hope, glory, and sacrifice. Wraith considered it to be a positive message wrapped in good music-he may have hated pop music, but he couldn’t deny her talent. She was a dynamic force on stage with endless energy-just as he remembered her.

At the end of a song, she spotted the blond man wearing dark- sunglasses at night standing in the front, instantly recognizing him. She smiled, and she wiped the sweat from her forehead, and then blushing slightly. Just to be a smartass, Wraith waved to her. Before ending the set and meeting him backstage over a drink, she dedicated a song to absent friends.


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