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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
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18
Chapter 19
Chapter 20
Chapter 21
Chapter 22
Chapter 23
Chapter 24
Chapter 25
Chapter 26
Chapter 27
Chapter 28
Chapter 29
Chapter 30


Written by Valerie Jones
Last updated: 03/23/2007 01:26:56 AM


Remy LeBeau walked through the dimly lit halls beneath the mansion, lost in thought. His steps made no sound on the metal floors. Even his shadow was indistinct in the sparse glow of the emergency lighting. Most of the other X-Men were still in the War Room, their strident voices mixed with those of the newly arrived Avengers. Remy had listened for a while, but the disquiet in his soul had eventually driven him out.

"Alex?! Kurt? Sean? Cable... anyone?" Jean’s voice, desperate and frightened, echoed in the distance. Remy’s head snapped up in alarm, but his spatial sense was still tracking her presence in the War Room. This voice had come from the direction of the Danger Room. Curious and wary, Remy quickened his pace. The mammoth doors leading into the room were open. He paused at the entrance, startled despite himself.

Jean’s image was displayed on the giant main screen, her expression filled with dismay. A single figure stood in the middle of the room, watching her. Remy had not yet seen the recording, but he knew instinctively what it was.

"The mansion has sustained massive damage." Jean’s voice was strained from the effort of controlling her emotions. "I don’t even know if this transmission is being received. If you can hear me—you have to know what happened here. The X-Men have been hit hard... worse, we were taken totally unaware. Both teams—Blue and Gold—have been decimated!"

Remi stared up into her magnified face. At the time, Jean hadn’t known whether the X-Men had survived Onslaught’s first blow. Like all of them, she had been taken completely unawares. Even Remy himself hadn’t seen it coming, and that surprised him. Not because he’d been blindsided—that happened sometimes—but because of the reason why. The clues about Onslaught had been there. Easy enough to find and put together, for someone as universally suspicious as himself. But Remy had discovered something amazing today. Until just a few hours ago, he had trusted the Professor. Trusted him completely, which was something Remy never allowed himself to do.

"If you respond to this distress call, be advised that mansion security has been deactivated from within! As hard as it is for me to say this, you need to know... we’ve been betrayed... by one of our own!"

Betrayed by one of our own. Remy looked toward Bishop, who did not seem to have noticed him. Remy felt a pang of sorrow for the man. He had tried to warn them. Over and over again, until they were all sick of hearing it. Especially Remy, since it was him that Bishop had accused of doing the deed. Strangely, he didn’t feel any sense of vindication to have been so suddenly cleared. Perhaps because he’d done enough evil in his own time. All Bishop had done was try to protect them.

Jean’s face was becoming more animated as horror overcame her. "Incredible as it sounds, Professor Xavier has gone insane. The most powerful psi on the planet is no longer in control of his mutant ability! As near as I can tell, Juggernaut was the first to die. I’m the only one left standing who can make this message, and he’s seen to it that my power’s negated."

Remy felt a chill crawl down his spine. The Professor had gone mad and tried to kill them. It was all wrong. It didn’t make sense. And it hurt, in a little place deep in his heart. He could see the same ache echoed in Jean’s eyes as she stared out of the screen.

"It’s our own fault, really. After what I saw in his mind... We should never have trusted that there were no aftereffects from Professor Xavier shutting down Magneto’s mind! We knew so little about the psionic damage that would result from—"

Jean broke off and Remy tensed. He knew these events were hours past, but to watch them occurring, even as a recording, sent a rush of adrenaline through him.

"Wait! I sense... He’s here." Jean turned, her desperation sliding into anger. "You?!"

Onslaught’s voice echoed mockingly in the giant chamber. "Of course child. Did you truly believe, even for an instant, that you would escape the same fate which befell the rest of your team?"

"I don’t believe you! I can’t believe you!" A blast of power struck her, and her face contorted in agony. But still she cried out defiantly, "You may have killed the X-Men, but the dream will never--!"

"Die?" asked Onslaught from the darkness as she fell. "On the contrary, Jean Grey-Summers, the dream is dead."

The screen froze on that final empty image. In front of the screen, Bishop bowed his head. Remy winced at the defeat he saw written there. Pushing himself away from the door frame, he walked into the room.

"Y’ okay?" he asked. Stupid question, but it had come out anyway. Testament to how unsettled he was himself.

Bishop didn’t turn. "I knew someone would betray the X-Men," he said softly. "I saw this very tape one hundred years from now. But how could I have known--?"

"Dat it was Xavier?" Remy wished he could answer the question for himself. "Y’ couldn’. No one could." None of them had seen it coming, and that was what was puzzling him so deeply. From the day Bishop had arrived, spouting accusations about Remy and telling them all that the X-Men were going to die, Remy had believed him. He still wasn’t certain why, but he had believed him. He had always kept a quiet lookout for the traitor among them.

"I owe you an apology, Remy."

Remy couldn’t help his grin. Two months ago, he would have paid good money to hear an apology out of Bishop’s mouth. "Don’ bother, mon ami." But things had changed, and Bishop needed a hand to keep him from drowning in guilt for something that wasn’t his fault. He clapped Bishop on the shoulder and tried to summon some of the obnoxious persona that annoyed Bishop so thoroughly.

"I jus’ have one o’ dose personalities people find suspicious. Take comfort in de small certainties, Bishop. You’ll always be a raving paranoid—" Bishop looked up sharply. "An’ I’m always gon’ be a charming louse."

Bishop blinked at him, nonplussed, but the angry dip in his brow was easing. Remy figured that was the best he was going to be able to do. Unfortunately, he couldn’t lighten his own mood so easily. The cold that invaded his insides just wouldn’t go away. His instincts screamed at him that something was very wrong. Beyond the Professor betraying them, even. It seemed so unreal. Remy could not begin to explain what he felt, but inside he knew that this was all wrong.

Deep in his heart, he wondered why it seemed to him that it wasn’t supposed to happen this way at all.


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