The writer: I love to tell stories.

The goal: A test bed for character(s) development

Disclaimer: I do not own X-men Evolution

Prologue: These Walls

Sitting silently yet comfortably on a cushioned stool, Rogue glance about the secluded room with her eyes. Being careful not to make any quick or sudden movements, she tries to ascertain her predicament. The room is almost a perfect cube with her seated in the center. The metal like walls appear to be seamless with the exception of the knob less door off to her left she was lead through ten minutes ago. A single light source above provides just enough for Rogue to make a visual of her surroundings. The air is temperate and clean with a slight systematic breeze that would occasionally cool the room leaving her to assume the room is not completely seamless. As Rogue takes a deep breath while adjusting her posture on the bench, she looks down at her left wrist. Brushing her hands gently over her wrist, Rogue stares at the device that is now clamped firmly on her appendage. Almost resembling an oversized bracelet, it grips her wrist inches above her left hand. Rogue notices subtle embedded sectional parts that follow the curvature of the device around her wrist. She examines the bracelet like piece a bit closer trying to understand what it is actually doing on her wrist. Turning her arm to get a better look at the device, Rogue looks for any kind of familiar unlocking mechanism. But just as she tries to examine it further, a deep distorted electronic voice speaks out to her, "Don't attempt to remove the constraint. We're sure you're aware that it prevents you from using your abilities, but any unauthorized tampering will send a very uncomfortable shock down your spine. A prolonged shock could render you paralyzed."

Trying not to appear surprised at the warning, Rogue calmly stares up placing her hands in her lap and asks, "Why am Ah here?"

"We will be asking the questions if you do not mind." the distorted voice returns, "Starting with your name, your real name."

Choosing to remain silent, Rogue's expression becomes slightly stern as she slowly glances around at the echoing voice. She thinks to herself, she hadn't shared her real name with her closest friends, why would she tell complete strangers despite her grim situation. Rogue changes her posture, acting as though she hadn't heard the question while continuing to glance around. The voice adds, "Very well, it is your right to choose to remain silent. For the time being, we will use the name you gave us at the time of your incarceration. Rogue was it?"

Returning her attention back forward, Rogue responds with a slight nod as the voice continues, "Ok then, Miss Rogue, where did you come from and who are you working for?"

Rogue takes a quick second to think of the answers. Her mind almost goes blank out of nervousness but she manages to stutter out, "Um... the east coast, Bayville, New York. And Ah, well Ah mean we, don't work for anybody. Well not really."

"When you say 'we', you are referring to the group you're attached to?" the voice inquires, "These 'X' people?"

Rogue speaks up quickly to correct, "X-Men, that's our, um, our team name."

"Don't you mean 'gang' name?" the voice returns with a bit of sarcasm.

"We're not a gang!" Rogue darts back at the voice, "We're superheroes, a team, we were only tryin' to help."

Just as she finishes her defensive statement, a somewhat translucent holographic screen suddenly flickers a few feet in front of her. The screen floats like a still ghost. Five feet wide and about three feet tall, the screen comes alive with a current report of a news cast showing what appears to be a scene of a highway accident. Rogue watches the screen with concerned eyes as the echoing voice of the news anchor details the situation, "...police and rescue authorities are still trying to piece together what had really taken place during this afternoon's rush hour. Several witnesses state they saw what they believe was a battle between to groups of powered beings which lead to this horrific fifteen vehicle pile up you see. However, those reports are still inconclusive. Several suspects have been detained for questioning, but no arrests have been made..."

The volume quickly mutes as the voice speaks out to Rogue once again, "You call this helping?"

"That wasn't our fault!" Rogue speaks up in defense, "It was happening so fast, things just came out of nowhere and, Ah don't know, things happened!"

There is moment of silence in the room, then the voice returns sternly, "Well, 'things' did happen. And fortunately, there were no casualties, only minor injuries. The media loves to paint a more elaborate picture of the situation for higher ratings. However, this does not help your predicament, Miss Rogue."

Settling back trying to find any sense of comfort, Rogue tries to comprehend the seriousness of her plight. Her thoughts are of complete confusion and frustration. One singular thought keeps repeating in her mind, how can a place so strange seem so familiar. Rogue's heart and mind feel as though they are in conflict. But just as she feels the answer is at the tip of her tongue, her thoughts are cut off by the electronic distorted voice, "We are going to frank with you, Miss Rogue. Things look pretty bleak for you right now. The only matter which is working for you at this moment is the fact the 'highway conflict', as they call it, happened fifty yards outside the main city limits. Which means to say this falls into the jurisdiction of the state. However, some strings were pulled for you and your, X-Men, and you've handed over to the local city authorities, not the Power Division, as cases like this would usually go to. So we sincerely hope you continue your cooperation with us, because the next step would entail handing you over to the Power Division. Believe us when we say, they have very unpleasant methods of extracting information from those who try to be stubborn."

Sighing out her frustration, then swallowing out of nervousness, Rogue takes a slight breathe and adds, "We were chasin' someone. A dangerous man by the name of Nathaniel Essex. He leads a group of mutant terrorists callin' themselves the Marauders. He also frequents online chat rooms a lot, usin' the name Mr. Sinister, which is tied into several disappearances across the country, mainly mutants. And we believe he has a friend of ours. That's why we're out here."

Another eerie moment of silence passes as Rogue finishes her statement. She stares up and around, waiting for a reply from the voice. Clearing her throat, Rogue straightens her posture on her bench and speaks up, "Listen, if ya'll just contact SHIELD, they can confirm everythin' I just told ya."

A short moment of silence follows before the voice finally replies, "A couple of problems with your statement, Miss Rogue. Your so called group leader, the one called Scott Summers, also mentioned the name Nathaniel Essex when we questioned him. We ran a complete search on multiple databases and found that name or person does not exist. We found no known terrorist group calling themselves the Marauders anywhere on the terrorist watch list. We ran a search for the name Mr. Sinister on the DI-NET and found over two hundred and fifty names involving the name Sinister. All of which have no connection to any kidnappings or reported disappearances anywhere. Neither of them tied into any kind of terrorist activity. And finally, as we told Mr. Summers earlier, there is no such government intelligence agency called SHIELD."

Rogue's expression becomes baffled as she slightly shakes her head in disbelief. She mutters out, "No… that… that can't be right. Ah'm tellin' ya'll the truth here!"

The voice speaks out in a much more stern tone, "Maybe so, Miss Rogue. But that doesn't answer the fact that you and your X-Men also don't officially exist. Upon scanning your physical profiles, we found no known matches or aliases on the global DI-NET. That's a very vast information network to remain anonymous on."

"Ah don't understand." Rogue mutters back with confusion in her voice, "We… we just left Bayville no more than two days ago."

"Bayville you say?" the voice inquires, "The city of Bayville, as you claim you and your X-Men traveled from, has been trapped under a fifty foot sheet of ice for past four years. It was one of the many northern cities caught within the Danger Freeze Zones following the Revelation, and there by abandoned."

That statement only brings more confusion to Rogue as she falls completely silent.

"You honestly have no clue of what I am talking about, do you, Miss Rogue?" the voice remarks and continues, "Tell me, do you know where you are?"

Uncertainty overwhelms any thought she may have had as a sense of vulnerability settles in. Rogue simply responds by lightly shaking her head. The voice speaks out in a more calm manner, "Very well then. You are in Precinct 74 of Sector 12-17 in the city and state of Acropolis, California. The time is now 9:07 AM, the date is February 12, 2108."

It is as though someone had struck her with a brick. Rogue's eyes widen with shock as she tries to take a deep breath. With her somewhat forced breath, Rogue responds simply with a shocked expression, "What?"

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CREDS:

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