Marie sat cross-legged in one of the Blackbird’s large chairs, staring at the back of the chair in front of her. It was only her fifth time on the high tech jet and only her second time on an actual mission. She was breathing deeply, concentrating on the task at hand. Marie had to put her feelings for Logan at bay until they were back on the Blackbird. Her feelings for Logan meant nothing while they were in Magneto’s compound. Saving him was all that mattered. If she let her feelings take over, she could put them all at risk.
“All right, Storm, bring on the thunderstorm,” Cyclops said calmly as he steered the Blackbird towards Magneto’s island fortress.
There was a loud crash of thunder and the pounding of rain on the Blackbird’s exterior followed by a thick mist that hid their approach. In order to keep Magneto from suspecting anything about the sudden storm, Storm had sent dark storm clouds towards the island almost as soon as they had left the mansion.
“We have to do this as fast as we can,” Cyclops announced. “We go in, get Logan and get back to the jet quick as possible. No other hidden agendas. Got it?”
Even though he didn’t say it outloud, Marie knew that he was talking to her. It didn’t take a genius to figure that out considering Marie had been perfectly vocal of her hatred towards Magneto and the doctors who had hurt Logan. She knew that none of them begrudged her her feelings, but that they would be dangerous on such a mission. Later, once they got Logan back to the mansion, they could launch a second offensive and Marie could have her vengeance against the man who had hurt Logan so much over the past four years.
“Ah’m not gonna do anythin’ stupid, Cykes. Ah just want Logan back,” Marie whispered, running her gloved fingers along the chain which held the single dogtag Logan had given her so long ago.
Marie was all but flung from her seat as the Blackbird did a belly flop into the ocean. It didn’t surprise Marie that, even after five years, Cyclops still wasn’t the greatest at landings. At least not water ones. She would give him credit for improving on ground landings. Only once had she heard about him forgetting to put out the landing gear before cutting the engine. It had taken them several weeks to repair the damages. Marie wished that Logan had been there to see Cyclops cursing a blue streak as he accidentally electrocuted himself while dealing with the Blackbird’s complicated circuitry. Even Jean had been laughing at her fiancée’s antics.
“One o’ these days yer gonna hafta learn ta land before ya get us all killed, Scooter,” Marie grumbled as she unfastened her seatbelt. Marie would never be sure whether that was Logan’s voice or her own talking at that moment.
Used to Marie’s unintentional outbursts, the others ignored what she had said, concentrating on the matter at hand. Getting in was the simplest part of their mission. All they had to do was wait for Cyclops to blast open the door and they were all set. It was actually finding Logan in the labyrinth of tunnels that would prove to be difficult. Marie could only hope that Logan would find some way to let her know where he was.
“Everyone stand back,” Cyclops ordered as they reached the door. Putting his hand up to his visor, Cyclops took aim and fired at the rusted locks. Thankfully, his aim was better than his flying capabilities and Cyclops got the door open in one shot.
Marie followed directly behind Cyclops, her mind only half on what they were doing. Besides making sure that she wasn’t crashing into Cyclops when he made any sudden stops, Marie was calling out softly to Logan. Begging him to answer her in some way. She got a few whispers in her mind, but not much else.
“No. Not that way,” Marie mumbled as Cyclops went to turn right . Turning left, Marie followed the whispers in her mind which were leading her to the left. Hopefully towards Logan and not the other man in the building who shared her thoughts from time to time.
The whispers grew louder. The words were still intelligible, but the voice was loud enough so that Marie could tell that it was, indeed, Logan’s. The gruff, slightly accented voice was one that Marie recognized without question. She tried to let him know she was coming for him, but wasn’t entirely sure that the message got through. Logan’s thoughts were pained and panicked and it was almost as though he was putting a wall up around himself that she couldn’t get through.
A sudden scream reverberating through her mind stopped Marie in her tracks. Staggering slightly, Marie pressed a hand to her forehead. “We’re definitely close,” Marie grunted, letting out a deep breath. “Logan shouldn’t be too farh. Not with ‘im screamin’ so loud in mah head.”
“You don’t seem as bothered by Logan’s screaming as you did at the mansion,” Jean noted, her voice soft as they advanced further into unknown territory.
Marie simply shrugged. “The way Ah figure it, so long as Ah have Logan bellowin’ away in mah head, it means he’s still among the livin’. That there’s still somethin’ fer us ta save.”
Jean seemed to be disappointed by her answer and made no move to hide it. “That seems a little callous considering your feelings for Logan.”
“Just wait till we get Logan somewhere safe. Then ya’ll see exactly how Ah feel ‘bout Logan,” Marie informed her, her eyes never leaving the doorway at the end of the hall. There was something about it that was calling to her.
More precisely, it was someone inside that was calling to her. Calling real loud.
“He’s in that room,” Marie announced, pointing a leather encased finger to the metal door directly in front of her.
“You sure?” Cyclops prompted, coming to stand directly beside her.
Marie didn’t even hesitate before nodding her head. “Couldn’t possibly be more sure. Logan’s in there. All we gotta do is get him out.”
Now that he had a location, Cyclops jumped into full leader mode. He and Storm would hand the brunt of the attack while Marie went for Logan. Jean would act as guard, making sure that no one got through to Marie and Logan. Once Marie had Logan they would all get out of there as fast as possible. It was a simple enough plan.
That was how Marie knew that it wouldn’t work.
Logan was in the room, true enough. He was the first thing that Marie’s eyes locked on after Cyclops blew the door to kingdom come. Logan was floating in a tube that was exactly like the one in the compound she had found up north. He was also unconscious which would make transporting him a little more complicated. When he was unconscious, Logan was two hundred plus pounds of dead weight. Not what you needed to deal with when making a quick escape.
That was only a minor problem compared to the fact that not only were the doctors milling about the subterranean room, but Magneto, Mystique and Sabertooth were there as well. The aging mutant and his blue skinned confidant were looking over files with who appeared to be the head doctor while Sabertooth stood in front of Logan’s watery tomb, a feral grin on his face.
As soon as Cyclops blasted open the door, however, all attention was focused on the four people standing in the hallway.
The people in the laboratory barely even had any time to react before Marie was running full tilt towards Logan. Sabertooth’s presence didn’t deter her in the least. After what he had done to Logan, she was looking forward to some much needed retribution.
Tiny as she was, Marie still packed one hell of a whallop when she chose to. Years of watching wrestling with her friends at the school had taught her quite a bit about the power of momentum. Jumping onto a large monitor of some kind, Marie vaulted towards Sabertooth. Her legs went around his neck and her ankles locked behind his back. The force of her motion still carrying her forward, Marie twisted her body so that she went sailing over Sabertooth’s left shoulder. Keeping her legs firmly in place, Marie pulled the gargantuan mutant to the ground with her. Having practiced the move countless times on Bobby and John, Marie was able to roll away easily before Sabertooth even hit the ground.
And it was a good thing that she did because he hit the ground hard. Tiles were cracked and smashed where he lay and had her legs still be behind his back, they would have been crushed as well.
“Jeanie, make him fly!” Marie shouted as she scrambled to her feet and over to the strange device that Logan was kept in. She didn’t even check to make sure that Sabertooth was out of harm’s way. All that mattered was getting to Logan.
Behind her, a huge battle waged on.
“Ah’m here now, sugah,” Marie whispered as she raced to the control panel that worked the large machine. “Just sit tight a wee bit longer an’ Ah’ll have ya outta there.”
The console was a confusion of buttons and switches that Marie knew she would never be able to figure out. Rather than trying to figure it out, she simply began pressing all of the brightly coloured buttons at random, praying that she wasn’t doing anything to hurt Logan.
A muffled thump caught her attention and Marie realized that she must have hit the button that controlled Logan’s restraints because they were no longer visible and he was floating pressed against the front of the glass. Another button sent his body backwards as the entire contraption tilted so that it was horizontal with the ground.
“This’ll prob’ly be better ta get ya out,” Marie muttered more to herself than anyone else.
A bright yellow button near the bottom of the console did something that Marie hadn’t expected. When she pressed it, a little compartment shot out of the side of the console. It wasn’t anything special to look at. Just a piece of metal with a raised section in the centre about the size of a human hand, but Marie recognized it instantly.
Whirling around, Marie scanned the room for the one person who would be able to activate the box. She found Magneto inching his way towards the door, avoiding bullets and lazer blasts at the same time.
“Jean!” Marie screamed over the sound of the fighting. “Ah need ya ta get Magneto over here NOW!”
The older woman didn’t question her. With a simple jerk of her head, Magneto was sent soaring across the room, his body impacting hard with the concrete wall. He had barely collapsed onto the ground before Marie was darting towards him. The older man made no move to get up and Marie hoped that meant he was unconscious. It would make what she had planned so much easier.
Yanking off her gloves, Marie knelt down next to the crumpled form of Magneto and placed her hand on his withered cheeks. With a quick flick of an internal switch, the transfer began. Marie began to soak up his energy, a garbled noise leaking between her lips as she did. It was still an unpleasant thing to do, but it was necessary. That console was the only way to get the glass opened. It was what Magneto had done in her dream and since he had as much free reign in her subconscious as Logan, she trusted what she had seen.
Once she was sure that she had absorbed enough of his energy, Marie half crawled and half ran back to where Logan was. She pulled herself up slowly, her mind a mass of confusion for the moment. Taking a deep breath, Marie placed her hand on the metal block and let loose a torrent of Magneto’s energy.
There was a buzzing noise then the glass swooshed opened, allowing gallons of water to leak out. Slipping and sliding through the water, Marie rushed to Logan’s side and pulled the mask off his face. She lightly cupped his cheeks in her hands, turning his face towards.
“Logan.... Logan, Ah need ya t’ open yer eyes, sugah,” Marie whispered, tapping his cheeks slightly. “Come on, Logan. We’re gonna get ya outta here, but Ah need ya t’ open yer eyes so Ah know yer all right.”
All that she got was a muffled groan and Logan turning his face into her hands.
“That’ll hafta do,” Marie muttered, slipping an arm under Logan’s shoulders and hefting him into a vertical position. She gently pulled his head down onto her shoulder, smoothing her fingers through his hair as she searched the room for her fellow teammates.
The battle seemed to be just about finished. Sabertooth was unconscious on the floor as were most of the doctors. There were a lot less of them suggesting that some, if not most, of them had fled the room. All that was left was Mystique and two doctors who quickly gave up when it became obvious that they weren’t going to win.
In a move that shocked even Marie, the water that surrounded her feet evaporated in a matter of seconds. Her confusion faded moments later when Mystique was encased in a block of ice that reached all the way to her chin.
There was no one left to fight.
“We’re gonna take ya home now, Logan,” Marie whispered, pressing a kiss to his damp forehead.
Marie could have sworn that she saw the tiniest of smiles appear on Logan’s face for about half a second before he answered to oblivion’s enticing call.