The Problem With Scanners
"Professor," Rogue jogged towards her new teacher and guardian. She caught up with him in the corridor to the kitchen. "Whah is everyone afraid ta go outside?"
Professor smiled, "Oh nonsense," he said airily. "What makes you think that?"
They entered the kitchen where Evan was cowering under the table, wearing a crazed expression and chanting, "don't go outside. Stay away from the windows."
Rogue stared, and raised an eyebrow at the Professor.
Xavier considered Evan, then shook his head and continued to make a coffee. "Evan's always been a little . . . strange."
Rogue turned away. "Yeah, ever since he moved here." She muttered under her breath.
"Here, Evan, eat something today, huh?" Professor suggested rather sardonically, casually throwing a packet of potato chips under the table for the boy.
"Agh!" Evan cried, recoiling from the blue foil packaging. "They found me!" He dove out from under the table and ran screaming from the room with his hands in the air. Rogue stood with her mouth hanging open.
At that second, Kitty chose to phrase through the ceiling and landed lightly on her feet.
"Professor, where's Kurt? I need to go out," she said to Xavier.
Professor X raised a hand to his temple to locate the furry one.
Rogue frowned. "Whah do you need Kurt ta go out?"
Kitty stared. "Like, duh, I'm not going in that garden again! My favorite top and t-shirt are disintegrated thanks to those systems – I have to wear this hideous sweater!" She motioned to the green jumper she was wearing, which was much too baggy for her. "Jean didn't have anything my size or anything tasteful, so I took the only close-to-good piece of clothing Evan has!"
Rogue shifted her hand so it hid the smile on her face, pretending to be holding her chin thoughtfully.
"Evan's clothes! I'm wearing Evan's clothes!" Kitty continued, oblivious to Rogue. "I have to go to the mall and, like, buy something in the casual wear department, because Kurt chose to use my other pink top to check if the security systems were still working: They were!" She threw up her hands.
Rogue put it together. "So," she said slowly. "The reason everyone is so frit-so around here is because th' security systems … have been goin' wild?"
Kitty nodded furiously. "I wouldn't go outside if I were you."
"When you're quite done scaring our newest member," Professor X spoke up. "Kurt's on his –"
" – way."
"Look, I'm sorry for using your shirt as a target tester," a holographic looking Kurt said at once, facing Kitty, "but I zhought you had lots of zhem anyvay."
Fists clenched, teeth gritted, Kitty looked ready to explode. Then she said, "aw, it's okay, you fuzzy elf." She smiled and attached herself to his arm.
"Professor, I'm scared," Kurt whimpered.
"I'll solve it," Rogue said simply, removing a glove.
"Uh, no thank you, Rogue," Professor X shook his head. "I don't want two Kitties."
Logan suddenly entered the room, looking surly as usual. "Am I disturbing something?" He asked, raising an eyebrow at the Kitty/Kurt attachment.
"Ah, Logan," Xavier smiled (the smile you don't want to see), "I was about to look for you. Would you take Rogue to the gates and program her hand print in the scanner?"
"Fuck no!" Logan said bluntly.
"Oh, I'm going to look up zhat vord too!" Kurt grinned innocently.
The professor's eyes narrowed to glare at Logan. Rogue cocked an eyebrow at Kurt.
Logan looked away. "Uh, yeah, sure I'll take the, uh…" he looked at Rogue. "I'll take her to the gates." He looked at Kurt. "But we'll need a way there."
"But I'm already taking Keety!" Kurt protested.
"I guess I could come back for you two," Kurt suggested hastily.
"That's what I thought," Logan grunted, sheathing his claws.
Kurt sighed, and with another BAMF, disappeared with the attached Kitty. It was some long seconds before he returned.
"Sorry, I could not get her to let go," he rubbed his arm.
"Whatever," Logan dismissed his excuse. "Just get me outta here." He turned his back on the still glaring Professor. The trio disappeared in a third cloud of smoke. The kitchen stunk, and Professor X moved on to another room.
At the gate, Logan and Rogue stood by the device, while Kurt lay twitching on the floor for teleporting too much weight.
"Now, it's alrigh' ter use this to get in ter the grounds," Logan began explaining to Rogue. "But, uh… don't use the one on the other side ter get OUT. Ever."
Rogue eyed the device nervously.
Logan pressed a few buttons in no apparent order or pattern.
"PLEASE PLACE HAND ON SCANNING PAD!" The device bellowed.
Uncoiling themselves, Rogue and Logan glanced at each other.
"It's just a minor glitch," he told her uncertainly.
"IDENTITY UNKNOWN," the machine announced suddenly. "SECURITY ACTIVATED. DIE, DIE, DIE!"
"What the hell?" Logan exclaimed.
Logan and Rogue threw themselves to the floor as the gate exploded.
"Argh!" Kurt, who had been semi-conscious, woke up in the blink of an eye and rolled out of the way of the falling gate parts.
"PLEASE PLACE HAND ON SCANNING PAD," the device continued.
"Shit!" Logan cried as a missile came screaming from the institute grounds and locked onto him. He leaped to his feet and took off. "Fucking metal bones! Fucking metal detector!""
"Hey – wait!" Rogue called after him, on her stomach. She looked over her shoulder and grabbed Kurt's tail which had come free. "Get us outta here, blue boy!"
"Meep!" Kurt was trying to imitate an ostrich and buried his head in his hands, curling into a ball as explosions and galore rocketed and blew up around them. "Just put your hand on zuh pad and make it stop!"
Rogue threw Kurt's tail away and army-crawled towards the manic machine on the wall, which was vibrating every time it screamed "IDENTITY UNKNOWN, SECURITY ACTIVATED."
Taking her glove off, Rogue reached up and slammed her hand onto the green pad.
"PLEASE PLACE HAND … ON … SCANNING…." The voice became lower and slower. "PAADD….."
It short-circuited and the green glow disappeared. The battleground over the wall ceased.
Kurt lifted his head from his hands. "You killed it."
Rogue took her hand back and looked innocent. "Uh, it wasn't me."
"It fucking was!" Kurt answered.
"Elf!" Logan roared in the background, still fleeing the missile. He managed to fool it by jumping behind a tree in the neighboring wood, which exploded and shattered into splinters. Dusting himself off, Logan returned to the two.
"What the hell did you do?" He asked Rogue.
"Yeah, what the hell did you do?" Kurt echoed.
"I just touched it!" Rogue exclaimed. "That's all!"
"The damn thing's broken," Logan stated, poking the device.
"Damn!" Kurt examined it too.
"Goddamnit, Elf, stop copying me – especially not around the Professor!"
"I didn't break th' device," Rogue argued.
"Well, whatever," Logan said, stepping back and admiring the wreck. "Yer solved our problems. Now let's get back inside." He put a hand on Rogue's shoulder.
"Identity unknown," Rogue suddenly droned. "Security activated!"
Logan didn't know what hit him next.
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