Chapter Seven: Rogue Recruit (Part IV)
Mystique was not pleased with her daughter's sudden awakening, she had hoped that she would have another year before Anna Marie was dragged into their world, but this wouldn't stop her from making sure that Xavier never got his hands on her.
It wouldn't be particularly hard to scare the girl off.
Charles' had surrounded himself with mutants whose powers her arsenal could easily mimic and her impression of Logan could convince anyone. So, as she ascended the stairs towards the room she shifted her appearance to match that of the orange and blue clad berserker she had come to know seventy years ago. When she reached the top of the stairs she stopped and wondered what kind of woman her daughter had become in her absence…
Mystique never thought of herself as a good person, lot alone a good mother, but she would not allow her child to be poisoned by the naivety that Xavier preached nor would she allow him to drive the girl to her death with is toxic idealism. With her resolve firmly in place she kicked burst through the door snarling like a ravenous beast.
She had expected a million different scenes when Irene had told her about the other mutant Anna had come in contact with… fire, tremors, ice, but she the thought of seeing her daughter bleeding from the knuckles as three bone like claws poked out of her had never crossed her mind.
How could she have ever predicted that there was another one like him…
Anna was momentarily stunned by the Mystique's entrance but recovered quickly, and ducked through a window before she could even a threaten the girl.
"Fuck." Mystique cursed while giving chase. This development could ruin everything she and Irene had worked so hard for! Changing would be ultimately useless if the Mutant had Logan's sense of smell. Irene had told her that the girl was a telepath, that ability was something that she could have exploited to disorient Anna.
Mystique landed on the grass with a roll and jumped over the fence as she had assumed the panicked had done, in her desperate attempt at stopping Xavier from catching what could possibly be the most powerful mutant there ever was, she had failed to notice the slightly ajar toolshed door or the bright green piece of cloth that hung on a piece of shrubbery.
For the first time since joining the X-Men Kurt Wagner was truly scared.
He had honestly never considered the mission that the Professor had tasked them truly dangerous, not even when they faced Avalanche and rescued Kitty. It felt like he was doing some good… helping people like him… well maybe not quite like him and giving them a home, and if things became too much they always had professor Logan and Ororo to help them out.
But as he carried the rapidly fading Wolverine through the door of the closed restaurant he realized he was wholly unprepared for the dangers his new life exposed him to. Logan had always seemed like unstoppable force and yet he was now near death thanks to a mutant a year or two older than Kurt.
"Kitty!" Kurt called out desperately as he appeared between the bar and the dance floor. He was lucky that Shadowcat had followed Logan's orders and was currently surveying the restaurant.
Kitty was unfortunately looking out the window when the sudden and unexpected bamf, followed by the overwhelming stench of sulfur that quickly invaded her nose.
"Where have-" Kitty turned on her heels ready to tell the blue elf off but as she caught sight of her favorite instructor. "OMG! What happened?!" It was a demand that Kurt neither minded nor acknowledged as he began putting pressure onto one of the larger gashes on the Wolverine's chest.
Now, in the short span of time Kurt had known Kitty, she had avoided him like the plague because of how he looked… which wasn't very conductive to the ladies-loving-the-Fuzzy-man-theory that he had going on… but that didn't matter now that she was ignoring it in favor helping him try to save Logan's life.
Kitty phased through the bar grabbed two bottles of Vodka and an arm full of towels before crouching over Logan parallel to Kurt.
"Grab a bottle and pour it on the cuts." She ordered him while doing as she just said. Logan opened his eyes when the clear liquid made contact with his still bleeding wounds but his body had lost far too much blood to react in any other way.
Kurt didn't hesitate to do what he was told. The alcohol washed away the dirt that was smeared into his tissue and before long they could see the damage begin to mend albeit much slower than it would usually would.
"It's working!" Nightcrawler cried out joyfully.
Kitty slumped back in relief and let out a breath she didn't know she had been holding, "Good." Was the only thing she said for while as her pounding heart slowly retuned to its normally soft rhythm. With the back of her hand she whipped away a few beads of sweat that had accumulated on her forehead and with another sigh she rose and moved away, pulling out the communicator the Professor had given her in the same fluid motion.
"I'm calling the professor." Kitty said curtly before phasing though the wall towards the rear of the restaurant over looking the lake. "We need back up."
Kurt nodded his head in agreement but otherwise kept his mouth shut, if Logan hadn't been able to stop the girl he doubted a fall would do much against her either.
Everything ached and for the life her, Sam couldn't figure out why… the clothes Rogue had leant her were torn as if she'd been mauled by some kind of animal but there weren't any wounds on her, or at least none that she could see in her rather hasty self check. Before the Facility took her Sam could attribute quick healing to a plethora of spells, charms, potions, and herbs… but the lack of exposure to magic made it unlikely that she had, even with her incredible luck, run into a something of the like.
The mere thought of magic caused a few of her muscles to uncomfortably flinch, but she ignored it in favor of focusing her control over a half drunk man who had propositioned her as soon as she exited the forest. It wasn't exactly the most moral thing Sam had done since escaping the facility but her knowledge on the workings of Muggle vehicles cars hadn't exactly done her any favors in the recent past and influencing a weak mind was much easier than learning how to drive 'stick'.
She was currently seated in the passenger seat of an old Ford pickup that at one point or another was grey but was now completely covered in rust. There was a large camper connected to the truck. They drove through the winding streets of Widow's Rest fast enough to show that she was in a hurry but not fast enough to garner the attention of law enforcement. Every once in a while, Sam would tighten her control over the driver's mind just enough so he couldn't and wouldn't do anything too stupid… which was saying something considering she was on her way to take on the incarnation Death over a girl she had only known for a few weeks.
They zoomed past the local hospital and for a split second the young girl's world froze in place when she briefly spotted a green eye, red haired girl about her age step out of the hospital clutching the side of her head. Around her was a fiery red aura that pulled on something within Sam.
Sam could almost swear that she felt two souls rattling wildly within the scarlet haired container. One felt distinctly human and completely unrelated to the fiery aura that was engulfing her entire form… but the other was almost magically alluring. She confusion and fear radiating from both, but one of them was due to disconnect from what Sam could only assume were the girls allies and the other felt like a creature that was half waking and half on the verge of falling back to sleep.
The young witch shook her and looked away, because if she hadn't she was certain that she would be overwhelmed by this new mystery.
It was nearly strong enough to make her stop the car and investigate, but her sense of duty overrode her curiosity. Subconsciously, she made her driver pick up speed as they drove away.
The farther away they drove, the less she felt from this new oddity in her life. They drove another five minutes and it was then that the bright energy disappeared and the human soul relaxed… another five and Sam couldn't feel either one of them at all.
The pale witch let out a sigh of relief as they finally reached the cul-de-sac where she had inhabited Rogue's body before being cast out by Death. She took a few deep breaths to calm her nerves turning to her unwilling driver and contemplating what she should do with him. The car drove until the familiar house was just a few feet away before coming to a complete stop.
On one hand, she could wipe his memory of this entire ordeal, but on the of chance that she failed it could lead the Facility to her location, which in turn would take them to Irene and Rogue and by Merlin she feared what they could do with a seer of her caliber and mutant who could absorb personalities with a touch!
On the other hand, she could alter his memories just enough so that he thinks he sold his car for whatever amount he thought appealing but was mugged by two men shortly after… again. Altering Memories was tricky but much less of a hassle than out right erasing them, because one memory leads to another and then another, until all that's left is a catatonic vegetable like Lockheart that would never completely recover.
It wasn't a hard choice… in fact it wasn't much of a choice at all. She would need a vehicle sooner rather than later and the rusted box of tin that she was in was as good as any other car…
She wrote a mostly pleasant memory for the man up to the point the he had lost the money. Drinking with friends, flirting with a beautiful stranger, selling the car. The works until there was nothing left change except for the last hour that Sam herself was involved. She didn't need to worry about him remembering any of it as his mind wasn't strong enough to detect the changes and even hypnotism wouldn't be able to dredge any of it up.
"Now, get out and find a place to sleep." Sam ordered once she was sure she was done. The man looked at her blankly and walked away into the night, but Sam didn't wait. She jumped out the second he opened his door and sprinted towards the back of the two story house. She was almost over the fence when her body collided with another who seemed to have a similar idea. Sam being the heavier of the two knocked the body back into yard.
"Rogue!" Sam quickly shouted pulling the girl into a hug, careful that none of her skin made contact with exposed flesh.
Rogue pushed her back with a scrunched up look in her face, there was a bit of relief there but that was quickly whipped away by a look of concern. What happened? You smell like a whole lotta of blood and some of it ain't even yours!"
"Not sure." Sam replied pulling her up as white van pulled by he truck. "But we really have to go!"
Scott Summers was still getting used to his position as leader of the X-Men, but that didn't stop him from questioning the play that Professor Xavier was trying to pull off. The team was divided and while he respected Logan's ability to track, Cyclops doubted the necessity of leaving to of the newest recruits under his care.
Sure, the Wolverine had been part of the last generation of X-Men but the new mutants needed to learn to take orders from Scott and separating them was in no way the wisest plan when it came to dealing with unknowns.
Now, Logan had been attacked and neutralized, the Professor was knocked out, and Jean was MIA… leaving it all chances of salvaging the mission to Scott.
That would have been fin if he weren't up against a telepath.
So, it was rather fortunate that things went as well as one could expect. The second Scott stepped out of the car, he lost control over his body but he was still very much aware of what was happening. The very next thing Scott knew was that he was repeatedly smashing the side of his head with the van's door.
Each impact made black spots invade his vision until he couldn't handle it anymore and lost consciousness.
The White Bishop's eyes fluttered closed for a split second as a wave of telepathic energy blew past her like a gentle wind.
Emma Frost watched patiently as some of the most powerful men and women in the world danced and drank with little care of what thoughts spilled out of their heads. She didn't care for the flashing lights or the deafening music but she had learned to ignore all that for the betterment of the Club. She stood at the top of the arching stairs case overlooking the sheep in their revelry. She looked beautiful in her white corset, white jeans, and white boots. Her straight blonde hair reached the small of her back, of course all of this was measured to lower peoples defenses so her telepathy could do its magic.
The Hellfire Club was one of the most prestigious and exclusive establishments in New York City. It was situated safely in the heart of the sleepless city, hidden with what most thought to be a cathedral. Only the ultra rich and powerful were allowed entry and even then it was only to the front door . They saw it as a club where they could play out their desires, where they could revel in their pleasure, and lose themselves for a single night.
It was glorious and one day, it would be hers.
She was the White Bishop but unlike the rest of the Council of the Chosen, whose loyalties were to their respective kings, Emma's loyalty belonged to none but herself. It was a shame that she had to play second fiddle to Sebastian Shaw, the Black King of the New York branch, it would be the role she would have to play until she could figure out a way to completely remove him from the equation and eliminate Edward Buckman.
'Anything interesting?' Shaw's gravely voice echoed through her mind. There wasn't much to their partnership besides the need to keep the other alive for the moment. Shaw was the head of a business conglomerate along with his wife Lourdes Chantel, a spectacular teleporter. He funded Emma's little project in exchange for her ability recruit people to 'their' cause.
Though Shaw was certainly charismatic, Emma was undoubtedly the people person out of the two.
None the less Emma's eyes wandered across the crowd before landing on Anthony Stark. She watched as Stark chatted adamantly with a man with shoulder length chestnut hair. 'If you find machines interesting Anthony Stark is developing new variations of his armor while he talks functionality with Buckman's guest Lang.'
'Be mindful of Lang.' Shaw warned as his hand slid around his wife's waist. 'he has too many fingers in too many pies as is… a contract with Stark Industries could be more problematic than beneficial in the long run.'
'I concur.' Emma returned her complete focus onto Stark and with the slightest of efforts made his interest in the Sentinel program decrease substantially, as to not arise suspicion when he inevitably rejected Lang's proposal. 'It's done. Stark no longer cares for Lang's ravings.'
'Good.' The link was cut when Emma felt a hand touch her right shoulder.
Harry Leland , the one of the Black Bishops, he protected the club from legal and political attacks. She hated him just as much as he hated her, with that came a mutual understanding that they should interact only should the Club be in any actual peril. "Leland?" Leland was a fat, hairy piece of human filth that should have been killed off long ago but for some inexplicable reason was still alive.
"Frost, we have a situation some associate of yours from Britain wishes to speak with you in your office." He leaned in closer. "Take care of them quietly." To which she responded with an arched eyebrow and a withering glare. Leland returned it gladly before descending into the crowed… not quite disappearing due to his regrettable choice of nineteenth century dress and the fact that he was so large.
"Don't tell me how to do my job." She hissed at his retreating form. Emma gave one last glance around before departing from her post. She caught the eye Paris Serville, the current White Queen, gave her a slight nod of approval before pulling Buckman closer towards Shaw and his wife.
While stepping hall she prepared herself for anyone and everyone who could be behind the heavy oak door that led into her office. Her office shared the same Victorian design the mansion had, the red carpet decorated the entire floor, the black curtains with golden embroidery she had a painting of her mother above her desk, a copy of the original that was safely hidden away in a safe house in Salem Center, New York.
Now, Emma wasn't intimate with the inner workings of the magical community in the United Kingdom as her counterpart across the ocean, but she was aware of many of the major players in their little shadow civil war. There were three major factions, the 'Dark' with their purist beliefs that closely mirrored the totalitarian beliefs of the extremist Magneto, revolutionary, violent, bloody; the 'Light' which was too concerned with its own self image to be effective; an the Ministry who had alienated the 'Light', empowered the 'Dark, and had crippled themselves before the war even began.
That being said she could recognize Andromeda Tonks nee Black, skilled witch, Black Queen, and proxy to the Black House while they recovered their missing heir, along with her Black Bishop, Emma Steed, a woman in two-piece black dress with a chain wrapped around her hips, a telepath if the field around the two London branch members was any indication. It was through the witch's connection that Frost International took off successfully in Europe
"Miss Frost." Andromeda rose from her seat, her stony grey eyes ran up and down her body as if measuring how much the blonde Telepath had grown in the six years since they'd last met. Back then, Emma "You've moved up in the world."
" I have." Emma said tilting her head slightly to the right, a fake smile was firmly on her lips. Interaction between the branches of the club were rare to begin with, meetings between them were rarer still. In her four years as a club member she had only witnessed this once when Andromeda had requested Shaw to take the her in. " But I doubt you've gone through all the trouble of crossing an ocean just to check up on me."
Andromeda chuckled mirthlessly as she reached across Emma's desk and grasped a crystal decanter filled with some Scottish malt Edward Buckman had gifted her years ago. "Perceptive as always, my dear, I do need something from you."
"Really? What could a Bishop like me do that a Queen like you can't?" Andromeda poured two glasses, one for herself and the other for her companion.
"It's not that I can't," She said hesitantly, as if trying to find the right words.. "it's that I'm far too busy keeping the factions from undoing all the progress our organization has done in the kingdom, to dedicate the energy necessary to complete such an important task."
"What is the task?" Emma asked after a moment of contemplation.
"I need you to find a girl."
A/N: Here's chapter seven. hope you enjoyed and sorry if it's a little jumpy, i needed to cover a few POV in this chapter.
So, Andromeda is the Black Queen and the mystery of why she was talking to Dumbledore about finding Samantha Potter has been revealed! Writing Emma Frost was really fun and the role she is going to play in future chapters should please a few of you who were hesitant to see Sam on the X-Men. this third faction is necessary because there's no way Sam would join the Brotherhood.
But the Hellions are another story all together...
Still looking for a beta if anyone is interested.
Be sure to check out my other works.
and Happy trails