Author's Note: Dern it! You see?! This is what happens when you write a story arc that won't go away! You keep dreaming up new versions for it! Argh! Why won't Lightning Squad Nightcrawler leave me alone? WHY?!!!


Without further adieu, an alternate to Freedom for Lightning Squad Nightcrawler and Shadowcat!

Even the best-laid plans could be fouled up.

Kurt didn't understand how it could have gone wrong, but he couldn't dwell on it, if he wanted to at least get Kitty out of their destroyed world. Gritting his teeth as a bullet pierced his shoulder, Kurt drew his rapiers and lunged forward, slamming his fist on the activation button; sending Kitty through time and space to Earth 616.

Groaning from the pain in his shoulder, Kurt turned his head just in time to take a blow fully in the face from Hauptmann Englande, sending him into darkness. ***
He had hoped for too much with the scientist. The man had gone straight to the Reichminister after Kurt went up to him with his proposal to help him and Kitty get to Earth 616 before the Fuhrer and his army could. Moira had told the man to bluff through the whole thing with Kurt and Kitty, wanting to catch them in an act of high treason.

It had worked of course. When Kurt told the man to press the button, he instead yelled out the signal and S.S officers came in guns drawn with Hauptmann Englande at the head. ***
When Kurt woke up, he immediately wished that they had shot him through the heart or the head. He was chained to a bench in a truck with a power-nulling collar on. It wasn't an ordinary collar however. It was the kind with the tiny needles on the inside that jabbed into your neck and made you bleed when you turned your head either way.

Not to mention that fact that Hauptmann Englande was sitting in front of him with such a look of pure satisfaction on his face that it made the fur on the back of his neck stand up on end.

"Did you have a good sleep, Nightcrawler?" Hauptmann Englande asked, tilting his head to one side. "I really hope so. We wouldn't want you to be uncomfortable now would we?"

"Where are we going?" Kurt asked, all ready knowing the answer to that stupid question. Hauptmann Englande lifted his eyebrows and laughed softly, shaking his head a bit.

"Don't you know?" he asked. "You're going to the Court of the Reich. The Fuhrer himself is going to pass judgment on you for the crime of high treason to the Reich!" Without warning, he punched Kurt in the gut, knocking the wind out of him and forcing him to curl up on himself and gasp for air.

"Why did you have to step out of bonds, Nightcrawler?" Hauptmann Englande demanded. "Over a Jew no less! We found your journals. You had a Romani wedding to her? She had you absolutely bonkers for her didn't she?"

"At least you can't stick your filthy dick into her anymore." Kurt whispered, gritting his teeth.

"No, you're right about that." Hauptmann Englande agreed, smiling evilly. "But I can still stick it into you whenever I want to."

"If you come near me with that thing I swear to God I'll rip it off with my bare claws!" Kurt hissed, narrowing his eyes.

"How will you be able to do that with broken hands?" Hauptmann Englande asked innocently, his head tilted in a questioning manner.

Kurt knew that he would wish he had died during that raid instead of live to go through a so-called trial. ***
The Court of the Reich's public seats were filled with people who wanted to see what the Fuhrer would do with the rogue Lightning Squad fighter. The seats were in a wide circle in the whole room, surrounding a podium where the condemned would stand to await sentence.

The Fuhrer had a high throne at the head of the circle so that he and the condemned could look at each other eye to eye.

Kurt's wrists and ankles were chained to the podium, and when he looked up at Fuhrer, he understood why most of those standing on the podium would be reduced to begging on their knees for mercy at some point during the sentencing. He himself had to stop himself from falling to his knees from sheer exhaustion and pain from the collar.

Meggan watched from the sidelines, hugging herself and biting her lower lip as the charges were read aloud for everyone to hear. She could feel the mixture of pain and fear in Kurt, and she closed her eyes and slowly tried to send him some calming waves.

Kurt looked over his shoulder at Meggan before his attention was snapped back forward when the Fuhrer stood up and clapped his hands loudly.

The sentence rather surprised Kurt and everyone in the Court of the Reich that day. He was not sentenced to die by gas or by shooting squad or anything. He wasn't even sentenced to die. He was sentenced to be imprisoned alone in a dark cell in a place the Fuhrer called the Bastille; after the old French prison.

Kurt didn't understand the sentence, but when he saw the look on Hauptmann Englande's face, he understood completely and his body was filled with dread.

Hauptmann Englande had a huge grin on his face that would put the Cheshire Cat to shame. ***
Kitty didn't know what to do when she first appeared on the beach of Earth 616. she had tried to start the machine up again to go and get him, but it had landed on a rock that broke some of its circuits. She was stranded.

She lived in a hotel for a week, trying to figure everything out. When she had finally summed up enough courage, she went to the Lighthouse.

She had been met with suspicion by Excalibur; especially with her doppelganger and her tiny version of Lockheed the dragon.

Kitty told them everything that had happened to her and Nightcrawler, including the failed escape for him. Meggan confirmed that what she was saying was the truth, and Excalibur soon relaxed and let Kitty stay with them.

She changed her codename to StarPryde and she fought with them, ignoring the twinge in her stomach for a while before it became apparent that she was pregnant.

Shadowcat should have been happy, she was pregnant with her Kurt's baby, but with the news came sorrow because there was no way that she or Excalibur could go and get him out of her old world.

Her children would never know their father.