Author's Note: Finally the next chapter. I know some of you were ready to strangle me. Well I turned up the angst meter so be warned. Since you've trusted me this far, you'll have to trust me on this part of the story. This chapter contains graphic violence.Remote Control By AllyKat Chapter Four: Hell Breaks Loose
With keen interest Doctor Kirby watched the silver-haired woman become subconsciously aware of danger with minute twitches of her body. First, she rubbed the back of her neck, and then one shoulder jerked. The doctor found it fascinating how a sixth sense worked, in this case, warnings of impending danger.
Her body was warning her, but how quickly would her mind interpret those signals?
Obviously not fast enough.
"Logan!" the woman managed one word, and held up a protective arm, her wide eyes reflecting three adamantium weapons poised above her head.
That single swipe of Weapon-X's claw severed the woman's arm and her head from her heck. Blood flew in a wide arc; the body wobbled in the chair for a moment then toppled forward, the head rolled under a table.
There was an audible, collective gasp from the lab. Weapon-X merely growled in his throat and slipped out into a night-shadowed hallway. He was the hunter, the killer. The exterminator of their enemies. Kirby smiled.
"My god!" Miss Edwards cried, her hand over her mouth. "My god," she repeated again and turned away from the screen and hid her face in her hands.
"He… he just killed that woman," another tech said in a strangled voice. He barely made it to a wastebasket before vomiting into it. Someone else ran from the lab, the door swishing closed behind. The others stood in mute horror alternately repelled and morbidly fascinated.
Doctor Kirby frowned at all of them, then turned on the tech who was wiping his mouth on a tissue. "That wasn't a woman, Mr. Martin, that was a mutant, an aberration of nature. What did you expect? This is war. We did not create Weapon-X to slap their hands."
"I knew," the tech replied, his eyes never flickered from the gruesome scene on the monitor. "I just… I just wasn't prepared."
"It will get worse before it gets better," Kirby said. He had to keep them together, motivated. He raised his voice. "Remember this is a war! All of you personally have had loved ones suffer or die under the power of a mutant." He looked over the room of nodding heads and those words seemed to give them all strength, and remind them why they had joined Doctor Kirby. "Any of you may leave if you wish, but you may miss this turning point in human history, the beginning of the end of our struggle against mutant freaks!"
"Yes, yes," agreed several voices. The tech who had vomited nodded. He had lost his mother and father to a mutant's powers.
A few patted the others on the back or whispered words of courage. And with renewed conviction they stood around the monitor and marveled at the strength of their new weapon. Blood spattered his feral face, his lips were pulled back over his teeth in a snarl, his body held tight, muscles straining against flesh as he crept down the empty hall. A panther on the prowl. A hunting beast searching for its next victim. As silent as the shadows that concealed him. Death had come to the Xavier school.
"Behold then the face of your savior Weapon-X, and let him take back our streets and our schools and our neighbors. Let him free mankind of the scourge, the plague, of mutants."
Inwardly Kirby smiled at their collective cheer. The end result of their quest was all that mattered: the extermination of all mutants. Whoever stood in their way would die.
* * * *
Voices gibbered in the back of his mind, and rose to a shrieking pitch and clawed at his mind when his thoughts wandered from the task.
When he tried to think, to wonder what he was doing out in the hall and why blood tainted his claws, the voices came back, and pain held his head in an ever tightening vice, squeezing and torturing.
Death, he repeated silently.
Yes, the sibilant voices agree, praising, retreating, rewarding him.
Someone was coming, their footsteps were barely a whisper on the floor. Weapon-X lifted his head and sniffed the air. Over the acrid odor of blood on his claws, the scent was familiar, sweet and gentle. The red-hair woman. She had helped him, once. He remembered her soft fingers running over his stomach.
A part of him tried to struggle to the surface, and to shove away the heaviness clouding his thoughts.
The voices awoke. KILL! The sound almost brought him to his knees.
Death! He thought desperately. The thoughts of the woman faded.
Yes! The voices agreed and retreated.
Weapon-X faded into a dark doorway and she passed, close enough that he could reach out and touch her. She stopped, looked around and frowned. He could feel a brush of her mind over his, but something kept her from discovering him. She shook her head, then continued to the door of the lab and he fell in behind.
The lab door swished opened and she entered. Laboratory machines hummed along with the muted rattle of a distant air-conditioning vent. Like silent death, Weapon-X slipped in. The smell of the silver-haired woman's blood was overpowering, consuming the sweet scent of the red-haired woman. He wondered if the red-haired woman's blood would smell as sweet as her flesh.
"Storm?" the woman called. She walked forward and stumbled. And in the half-darkness looked down at the headless body.
Her scream shattered the even tone of the laboratory. As though suddenly understanding the danger behind her she spun.
"Logan!" she said on a harsh note.
Weapon-X shook away the memories that brought the gibbering voices, his thoughts coming only as bright flashes of red and black, blood and hate. Destroy and kill. She held up a hand a pushed it toward him, the delicate fingers trembling, her face a study of concentration. And he suddenly stopped, an invisible wall blocking his path. He strained forward as though invisible hands were pulling him back, and step by step he swam through the psychic net until he stood before her, muscles quivering, veins standing out along his arms and neck. His mouth moved, trying to speak and form words.
"Logan, fight it," she said. A bead of sweat trickled down her temple. Her hand shook "Fight! Don't let them do this."
"Fight it," another voice commanded him. It was the professor and his voice came from everywhere at once. A gentle tendril touched him mind. "You can do this, Logan."
"I…," he tried to say. "….can't. The… pain." His eyes rolled up in his head, and he clenched his eyes closed against the voices shrieking in his mind. Screaming away reason and light, substituting in its absence a hunger. A craving.
KILL KILL KILL.
Weapon-X pressed his hands against his head. "Stop!"
"I can't reach him," said the professor's voice. "Whoever has him found a way to minimize our powers."
Weapon-X lunged forward, breaking through the psychic net. The red-haired woman's scream reverberated like shards of glass in his mind. He grabbed her by the throat, her mouth opened and closed, another scream lodged in her throat.
"Logan," she managed.
"I'm letting him go," said her voice again, this time coming from all around him like the professor's voice.
"Not. Logan." Weapon-X impaled her with both claws through the chest like a fish and lifted her, flexed the muscles in his arm and pressing outwards, cut her lengthwise in two.
The blood rushed down his arm, it felt like heady elixir, warm and life-giving. And the voices praised him, caressed his mind like a lover. He dropped the body to the floor and turned as two more entered. It was a man with a visor over his eyes. Behind him came a young woman.
"Jean!" he shouted at the sight of the bloody body and started forward then he spotted Weapon-X covered in red, eyes radiating madness through a mask of gore. "Jesus! Get back!" he said to the girl, shoving her behind with one hand and with the other dialed up his visor and let go a bright red stream.
It blasted Weapon-X on the shoulder and shot him across the lab like a cannon ball. He crashed through lab equipment and into the far wall where he lay still. He distantly remembered another time when this had happened. Anger exploded within him but he contained it and focused it toward revenge. Weapon-X slowed his breath and relaxed his body. He could hear the quiet footsteps of the visored man though the rubble.
Weapon-X came alive.
The strike was so fast, the motion so blurred that for a moment his victim didn't understand until he clutched his innards, a look of disbelief twisted his mouth.
"I'm only surprised it took you this long," he said, a hand pressed to the mortal wound across his stomach.
Weapon-X only said nothing, only sat, watched the visored-man die and waited for the girl.
* * * *
"This is where we failed last time, Miss Edwards, increase amplitude by one half," Doctor Kirby said.
"Yes sir," Miss Edwards replied and tapped a series of commands at the keyboard.
Weapon-X's body twitched, his lips peeled back over his teeth and he sheathed his claws.
"What is he doing?" a tech asked. "Is he resisting?"
"Quite the contrary." Kirby smiled, clasped his hands behind him and rocked back on his heels. "He is waiting, Mr. Martin, for his next victim."
* * * *
The girl came to him, as he knew she would. She climbed over the rubble, tears streaking the dust on her cheeks. He could smell her fear, but to her credit she did not show it, and she averted her gaze from the dead man. Her only reaction a small hiccupping sob.
"Logan," she said, her voice soothing. She held out a gloved hand. "Please…" she choked, then swallowed. "Tell me what I can do."
She continued toward him. He did not move, only watched, coiled. Waiting. She stopped and knelt next to him and touched his leg. She smelled like light, like the sun's brilliance on a cloudless day. Full of promise. Hope. Life. Weapon-X closed his eyes and listened to the voices that promised solace if he delivered death.
"I can stop this," she said. "I can take the pain away." She began to peel off a glove. At the sudden pressure of his hand clamped around her wrist, she gasped and stopped.
Weapon-X fought against the voices in his head. He fought to form the words he wanted to say, tried to cement them in his mind before the voices erased them and replaced them with their own requiem. "Death… is peaceful compared to the horrors in…. my mind." With an arm like a steel band, he clutched her against him, reveling in her warmth and softness.
Kill her! The voice's screams intensified, rattling around his head, searing his brain.
"No!" he shouted, his breath coming in rapid, frightened heaves. "NO!"
He shoved a wrist against the side of her rib cage. She drew a quick breath and a whimper slipped from her lips.
"Logan." Her voice shook, her courage gone.
"Can't… stop… them."SNIKT
Her body jerked against his and her lips parted slightly, her expression bemused until she looked down and saw the crimson strain spreading across her silky white shirt. Weapon-X held her close, laid his cheek against her soft hair, pressed his face against the silky brown strands and gave the claws a twist.
"I love…" were the last words whispered over her lips before she died in his arms. Her form relaxing, and the smell of hope and promise fading, then was gone like gossamer on a breeze, and darkness returned to engulf his mind.
Weapon-X pushed her from his lap. Gore covered he stood over her body, his eyes wild and unfocused.
"Forgive… me," he finally managed in a barely audible whisper. He held his spurs up to his face and watch the crimson drops slid off the shining metal. Falling to his knees he held them up and gave a howling shout that echoed throughout the empty mansion.
* * * *
The monitor in the Weapon-X lab room went black as they lost visual.
"What happened, Miss Edwards," Doctor Kirby snapped.
Her finger's clicked over the computer keyboard. "I'm no longer receiving a feed from the retina cameras. There may be something wrong."
"Are we still receiving vitals?"
"Negative." She looked up and pursed her lips. "Nothing. He is completely off-line. We've lost Weapon-X."
* * * *
"I'd say we've seen enough," Scott said as he watched his own innards hanging out of his stomach like bloated rubber bands. He leaned over the professor's shoulder to the Danger Room control console and terminated the simulation.
Logan stood below in the danger room, his head flung back, his arms upraised, light glimmered down the lengths of his adamantium claws. .
Of all in the Danger Room observation deck and control room, Scott was the only one who wasn't surprised by the savage attack and the carnage they had just witnessed. He measured the individual reactions of his fellow X-Men. Rogue had curled up in the corner of the room, hands over her head, tears running down her face. The professor sat very still, breathing shallowly, one hand twitched, his face ashen. Storm sat rigid in a chair, unmoving, unblinking, barely breathing.
"I can't… I can't let them do this to him," Jean stuttered. She depressed a button on a small round device in her hand.
Like a puppet released from its strings, Logan collapsed to the floor. The metal bracelet around his wrist emitted signals that interrupted the controlling devices in his head. He rolled to his back, his chest rising and falling with each rapid breath. His startled eyes held the look of a man who'd awaken from a long nightmare.
One by one, the X-Men followed Scott out of the Danger Room, until Rogue was left. Ashen faced, she stared down at the man, who until this moment, was her anchor, her safety net. Her savior. On a sigh, she too left the room until only Jean and the professor remained.
"Can you help him?" the professor asked Jean. He didn't look up. His voice barely above a whisper.
"I don't know," she replied.
* * * *
As the images faded around Logan, lucid thoughts replaced the savage madness that had corrupted his mind, but the memories of what he'd done remained sharp. And too painful to endure.
"Why did you do this to me!" he shouted and clambered to his knees. He didn't think he had the energy to stand. "You said you could help me!"
"Logan," said the professor's soothing baritone voice. "We needed to understand the extent of the controls, and we needed to understand your purpose."
"Are you happy? Did you like what you saw? Did anyone bring any fucking popcorn!" Logan shouted, knowing that he was spiraling out of control without the help of whoever it was holding his mind hostage. He took a deep breath, his hands clenched at his sides. He rose unsteadily to his feet. "Tell me." Logan didn't like the hesitation before the professor answered.
"It seems that your purpose, the reason for your skeleton and the reason for your claws is to turn you into a… mutant killer," he ended on a softer note.
"Shit," Logan said under his breath. "Who… who knows?"
"The team, and Rogue. No one else in the school."
Logan realized now that the home, and the people whom he'd gradually accepted as friends, were lost to him. He held up his wrist where Jean's device had been placed. "And this?"
Jean's voice answered. "It blocks the signals used to activate and signal your controlling device. As long as you wear it and the indication light is green, they cannot control you. It needs to be charged every seventy-two hours. The green light will blink, turn yellow, and in one hour from that time, the light will turn red."
Logan took a deep breath. "Power it up, Red. It looks like I have seventy-two hours to find the bastards who screwed with my head."
And afterwards? Logan thought. He doubted he would return. They'd never trust him again. Not after this.
End of Chapter Four