It had been hours and he had accomplished nothing. His body still remained in its immovable crucified position despite all the effort he had exerted over his straining muscles. All he had accomplished was exhausting himself to the point where oblivion would have been welcoming had he only been able to achieve it.
“I really don’t see why you persist in this foolish quest of yours to free yourself,” Magneto’s voice boomed over the intercom. “You are never getting out of there, Logan. And, if you do somehow manage it, all it will take is half a second for me to regain control of that amazing metal that courses through your entire body.”
Logan didn’t even dignify Magneto’s taunts with a response. He had learned to remain silent long ago. If he was silent, Magneto would leave him alone and he would be free to think about his Marie.
“I thought that I should inform you that we are going to be changing locations soon. It would seem that Charles has caught on to our whereabouts and is readying a team to come here as I speak,” Magneto announced, his voice dark and bitter as he thought of his old friend.
Though he gave no outward reaction, in his mind, Logan was screaming. He was calling for Marie, desperately needing to tell her what was happening. Unless he found some way to slow Magneto down, they would be long gone by the time his Marie arrived. After four long years she was finally coming for him and it killed him to know that he might not be there when she came.
“And since we can’t very well have you knowing where we’re going....”
The instant Magneto’s voice began to trail off, Logan found himself collapsing to the ground. He landed painfully, his left shoulder slamming into the ground and bearing the brunt of the impact. Logan groaned and rolled onto his stomach. His muscles were very weak after so long without using them so Logan was barely able to lift his head off the ground. He struggled to push himself up, knowing full well that it was a futile act.
Sure enough, just as Logan was able to push himself onto his elbows he felt the familiar tightening in his body. Within seconds his limbs began to shift of their own accord. Logan fought it as long as he could, but knew that it was pointless. No matter how often he had tried over the past few years, Logan had never been able to loosen Magneto’s control over his adamantium endowed skeleton.
“Have you finished struggling yet, Logan?” Magneto asked as he entered the room, flanked by Sabertooth and Mystique. “This will be much simpler if you come willingly.”
“I think the magnetic fields have messed with your brain if you think I’m gonna go willingly,” Logan grumbled, his muscles still straining against the oppressive hold.
Magneto merely rolled his eyes and, with a wave of his hand, forced Logan into a standing position. Logan groaned, breathing in deeply as he fought to remain conscious against the aching pain the forced movements created in his body. As his feet began to move forward with a mockery of his own fluid grace, the pain became even worse. Logan nearly cried out, but refused to give Magneto the pleasure. It was the only power that he had over the other man. As long as he was able to hide his pain, he wasn’t completely helpless.
“Let him loose. I can take him,” Sabertooth challenged, glaring at Logan as he flexed his massive fists.
“Of course you could take him, his muscle structure is very depleted,” Magneto countered, glaring at his lackey. “Now do move aside so we can be on our way. I want to be long gone before Charles arrives.”
Logan managed a quiet growl before his body was force forward against his will. It was his last deliberate effort because by the time they reached the door to his prison, Logan was barely conscious. Another dozen steps and the pain became so great that he fell willingly into the inviting abyss.
Please come, Marie....
“Rogue, I really do believe that it would be better if you were to remain in here,” Jean said as the state of the art plane neared Magneto’s hideout.
Marie shot the older woman a lethal glare. “Please tell me that you’re jokin’ cause there’s no way that Ah’m stayin’ in here while ya all go off and rescue Logan. Ah’m goin’ with ya.”
Marie knew that they still had a ways to go until they reached the island and it wasn’t making her feel any better. She wanted this over as soon as possible. In fact, the sooner the better. She had felt a prickling of fear earlier that day and knew that it hadn’t come from here. That left only one other person who had such access to her thoughts. Logan. Something had obviously happened that morning and Marie was desperate to know what it was.
“Rogue, you need to understand that we’re not saying this to be cruel. We honestly believe that it’s in you best interest if you stay aboard the Blackbird rather than come with us,” Scott rationalized, his eyes trained on the cloud covered horizon.
Still, Marie shook her head. “Ah’m goin’ with ya so ya might as well get used t’ it. You can’t honestly expect me t’ stay behind when Ah could be helpin’ ya rescue Logan.”
“Rogue, please don’t make us give you an order. I don’t want to do that,” Scott pleaded.
“Face it, One Eye, Ah’m goin’,” Marie declared, her voice possessing an edge that wasn’t entirely her own.
Silence reigned on the Blackbird for the final forty-five minutes of the journey to the small island that Magneto had chosen to inhabit. According to the Professor, Magneto had purchased the island sometime within the past few years for quite a hefty fee. Marie didn’t even want to think about where he had gotten the money or who he had taken advantage of to acquire it.
“We’re here,” Scott announced as he began the descent.
Scott, Ororo and Jean were all dressed in their infamous black leather uniforms when they left the plane after Scott’s less-than-perfect landing while Marie wore only a simple pair of jeans, a long sleeve t-shirt and Logan’s jacket which had been mended by a girl at the school who was capable of altering the molecular structure of objects. In other words, she simply reformed the leather into its original shape. As always, Logan’s tags hung around her neck, the metal warm against her flesh.
“You can still back out, Rogue,” Jean said once all of them were standing on the rocky ground of the island. Magneto’s building was visible a few hundred yards away.
“Ah’m not backin’ out,” Marie declared, crossing her arms over her chest. “Will ya all please just stop askin’ me that. Ah’m going with ya so just live with it.”
Knowing that they would not win the argument, the three adults led the way towards the large, concrete building that Logan was hidden away in. Marie was convinced that Logan was in there. As they got closer to it, Marie could feel a tingling sensation in the pit of her stomach. It grew more and more as they approached.
Trying to keep up her strong facade even though she was scared out of her wits, Marie reached up and grabbed hold of Logan’s tag. She held it tight as they navigated their way through the large boulders that dotted the landscape. Scott, or rather, Cyclops, didn’t want them to give away their location too soon. The longer they could go without alerting Magneto to their presence. All the better chance they had of rescuing Logan.
“No one is on the island except for us,” Jean announced suddenly, coming to a complete stop. “I can’t sense anyone on the entire island.”
Marie began to shake her head furiously, tears forming in her eyes. “That’s not true. Logan’s here! Ah know he is!”
“I’ll not deny that he may very well have been here at one point, but the fact remains that he isn’t here now. Neither is Magneto,” Jean informed the heart broken girl.
Straightening her shoulders, Marie continued towards the building. “Ah’m goin’’ in anyway. We may be able t’ tell where Magneto took Logan.”
Not waiting for either a response or permission, Marie stalked towards the building. She stormed through the unlocked door and began to systematically search each and every dark and dismal room.
Just as Jean had said, there was no sign of Logan.
Tacked to one door, was a note that caused a growl to form in Marie’s throat that was an exact replica of Logan’s.
I’m sorry, Charles, but your students have arrived too late. I have already taken the Wolverine and left. Let Rogue know that he is still dreaming of her. --Erik
“Bastard!” Marie screamed, tearing the note off the door. She stormed into the room and was hit by a myriad of emotions.
Marie knew instantly that they all came from Logan and that the good ones were meant for her. That they were because of her.
“Ah’m gonna find ya, Logan,” Marie whispered, her voice lost in the tomb-like silence of the room.