Disclaimer: X-men is owned by Marvel Comics and 20th Century Fox. I do not own X-men, nor am I making a profit from this work of fan-fiction. So please don't sue me! Not that you'd get a whole lot from me anyway. ;)
A/N: This is my first X-men fanfic (not my first fic in general). I wanted to put together a story of what could have happened if Remy LeBeau entered onto the scene before the events of X3: The Last Stand (yes, I know he's gonna be in Wolverine Origins – can't wait - but of course there won't be any ROMY there). I'll be introducing several other comic characters that weren't in the movies as well, and several plotlines from the comics. Their histories may be different and events might occur different than in the comics as I will be taking artistic license and converting them to the movie-verse, but nods to comic fans will be found throughout the story.
Rated mainly for violence and language.
Chapter 1: Atrocity
The first things he heard were the screams.
They echoed through the air as he ran down the tunnel. Each scream was filled with raw agony and fear. The next thing he heard was the loud crack of gunshots.
He growled to himself and pushed himself to run faster. As he got nearer, the gunshots became louder, and the screams fewer. He spun around a corner and immediately dove to the side to avoid a burst of fire from a weapon. As he tumbled back into a crouched position, he pulled a small metal staff out of his coat, and twisted it, causing it to telescope into a long staff.
The staff lashed out, sending the assault rifle – an M16, he noted – flying from the man's hands, and then lashed back viciously to slam into the man's head, snapping it to the side and knocking the man out instantly.
He saw the gunner was dressed in some sort of ballistics vest, and armed to the teeth with various weapons. He dove past the body and brought his staff down on top of the next mercenary's head, and heard a loud, meaty crack before the man fell to the floor.
When he saw what was in front of the man his jaw clenched and his eyelids fluttered shut briefly in grief, and when they opened again, his eyes had begun to glow magenta. He sprang forward in a rage, sprinting toward the next pair of mercenaries, running past what he had seen: an elderly white-haired woman clutching four children to her – all five riddled with bullets.
The next two went down nearly as quickly, but he had to dive out of the way when several more saw their fellow mercenaries fall and opened fire at him. He gripped his staff and vaulted himself above the spray of bullets – barely clearing the low ceiling – and landed between two mercenaries, immediately lashing out with his leg pistoning in a side kick into one, while slamming the end of his staff into the face of the other mercenary.
He traded blows with the mercenary he had kicked, taking him out with a swift roundhouse kick. He turned to the other man, only to see him stumbling to the ground, his hands coming away from his mouth covered in blood and teeth.
He saw more mercenaries further down the tunnel, and turned down a passage leading to a smaller tunnel. He only ran into one other man, standing over the body of a pretty young girl with hair streaked with pastel colors. He struck him from behind, snapping his neck with a blow from his staff. He stopped only to kneel next to the girl and close her eyes.
He tightened his grip around his staff when he heard a familiar sadistic laugh echo down the tunnel.
"Zdravko." He growled to himself. The man who he had been hired to lead to these tunnels, which had once been a network of Cold War bomb shelters beneath Manhattan, and then forgotten by most. Only one accessible entrance still remained.
He finally reached the end of the tunnel he was following, where it expanded into one of the many large chambers that had been designed as a military style living quarters.
He immediately spotted Zdravko in the room – not that he was that hard to miss, all 6'7" of him – taunting a young girl with a large knife, a sadistic grin on his face. He dwarfed the girl, the Bulgarian mercenary was an enormous man, not just in height but also in muscle – he had very likely once been a bodybuilder.
"ZDRAVKO!" He shouted, drawing the man's attention away from the girl.
Zdravko's head snapped up at the voice and his mad grin became even broader. "How nice of you to join me. Come to help us exterminate these mutant scum?"
He growled in anger, stalking toward the towering mercenary. "You sick fils de pute! If I'd known dis is what you were gon' do I'da killed you myself when I firs' met you."
The mercenary started laughing deeply. "Boy, you really are clueless. If you'd known who you were really workin' for, you'd have known we were lookin' for this group of muties to exterminate. He really did fool you into thinking we were heading in on a big heist through these tunnels to one of the banks above us, didn't he?"
He lunged at the mercenary, his staff whistling through the air. Zdravko blocked the blow with his forearm, and then in one move he grabbed the staff and used it to slam him into the wall.
"Well, I must say that I am thankful for you leading us here. Why, there has to be at least a hundred of freaks, like this little whore, living down in these tunnels, cowering in fear under the eyes of their betters – humans like us. These muties are an infestation. A festering infection." Zdravko taunted, gesturing toward the young girl he had been tormenting. "Too bad for you that you're too late – we're just moppin' up the last few right now."
He picked himself up, brushing off his coat before looking coldly at Zdravko, and pulling a playing card from his trench coat pocket. Zdravko looked at him condescendingly, until he saw his eyes begin to glow brightly.
Zdravko fumbled frantically for his gun, and he nearly laughed at the large man's panicked look. "Y-You're a freak too!"
He smiled coldly as the card in his hand began to glow the same color as his eyes. "Guess I wasn' de only one dat got fooled." He said as the card flew from his gloved hand and exploded in Zdravko's face, sending him staggering back, groping blindly at his eyes. Two more cards threw him into a wall and sent him into unconsciousness, but not before he managed to bring up his semi-automatic Walther pistol and fire blindly.
He grunted as he felt several bullets slam into his body armor, and then hissed out a curse when he felt a sharp pain in his left shoulder. He glanced down and saw that a bullet had torn through the lighter, flexible ballistics suit between the chest and arm plates, which was there to allow him a great degree of movement.
He saw some blood in the wound, but the ballistics material had slowed the bullet greatly, leaving the close to half the bullet above the surface of his skin. He gritted his teeth and yanked the bullet out. He pushed down his pain and tore off a strip of cloth from the bottom of his trench coat and wrapped it tightly around his shoulder to try to stop the bleeding.
He walked over to the shaking girl who was huddled on the floor with her arms thrown protectively over her head. He knelt next to her and gently pulled her arms away from her head. She flinched and looked up at him, realizing that he was not Zdravko. She looked at him with pleading, tear-filled brown eyes. "P-please m-mister, d-don't hurt me."
He smiled gently at her. "I ain' gonna hurt you petite. Did he hurt you at all?" He asked, looking down at her. She was young – no more than ten years old – and was a cute little girl, not marred even with several bony growths that protruded out of her forehead and cheekbones. He realized there were larger sharp and spiky bone protrusions growing along her arms and on her knees, as well as flat bones on her shoulders – almost like protective shoulder pads.
She shook her head profusely, causing her hair, which held a purplish tinge, to whip around her face. "No, but I twisted my foot, and it hurts a lot."
"Okay, petite," he said, feeling her ankle for any obvious broken bones. "Don' t'ink it's broken."
"What's your name?" He asked her.
"I-I'm Sarah." She said shyly.
"Okay, Sarah, de name's Remy, an' I'm gonna get you outta here. You know if anyone else is alive?"
She began to sob after he asked that. She shook her head. "I-I don't know. Those men started killing ev'ryone a-an' Sally told me to run with her, an' we both ran an' went down diff'rent tunnels, an' that big man chased after me an' caught me."
Remy pulled her close, careful to not poke himself on the bones growing out of her arms. He gently rubbed the back of her head, and rocked her back and forth like his Tante had used to rock him when he was upset.
"It'll be alright, ma mignonne, I won' let dem hurt you. Now come, we got to get outta here b'fore the rest come looking."
As he said that, a walkie-talkie on Zdravko's belt crackled to life. "Sir, we're almost done down here. I think we've got everyone. There may be one that got away – one of the men said he saw a blond girl running out of the tunnels, but his bullets bounced off of her, and she slipped away."
Sarah's sobs slowed, and she looked up at Remy. "That's Sally," she said.
Remy nodded, and shrunk his staff down to its smallest size and placed it in his trench coat pocket. "I'm sure she'll be fine if she got away from dem. Alright petite, hold on t'me, and we'll get outta here. What say we leave a little present for dem?"
She nodded, although she looked confused as to what he meant, as she carefully wrapped her arms around his neck before he lifted her from the ground.
He shifted her weight onto his left arm, so he could reach into his pocket and pull out several decks of playing cards. He held on to one and handed the other three to her. "Can you hold these for me for a minute, petite?"
She nodded and pulled one arm away from his neck to grab on to the packs of cards. She watched in wonder as the deck in his hand began to glow. He tossed the deck over his shoulder and sprinted down the tunnel. It hit Zdravko with a deafening boom, all but vaporizing his body.
Sarah looked back at him, realizing the large man was likely now dead, but said nothing about that, as she felt strangely glad and relieved. Instead, when he took the remaining packs of cards from her, she looked up at his face. "You have very pretty eyes, Remy." She said when she noticed that his eyes were completely black with vibrant red pupils.
Remy grinned down at her. "Dat ain' somethin' I hear a lot. Dey usually tell me I got de eyes of de devil."
She shook her head, smiling back up at him. "Well then they're dummies, 'cuz I like your eyes."
"Well den, I'll take your word for it, but dey aren' near as pretty as your eyes are." He said, setting her down for a moment. He gripped two of the packs of cards and hurled them down the tunnel at the ceiling. They exploded violently, causing large chunks of rubble to fall from the ceiling, and soon bury the passageway.
"Well, now dey'll have t'work to get outta dis place." He said, picking her up again, and exiting out of the tunnels, leaving the third glowing deck of cards to blast open the entrance, hoping the noise and damage would bring the police to the site before the mercenaries dug their way out.
Suddenly everything in his vision shifted, and he found himself lying on his back with the breath knocked out of him. All he saw was a bright light, and he could hear Sarah's voice dimly. "Remy! Remy! Remy!"….
His eyes snapped open as he gasped for a breath, realizing he had just had another dream of what had happened over a week ago. He groaned when he realized Sarah had jumped on top of him while he was asleep, knocking the breath from him, and now she was sitting on his stomach, shaking his shoulder and calling his name.
He moved slightly, and reached up to rub the sleep from his eyes. "Alright, alright, petite, I'm awake. You can stop tryin' t'murder me."
Sarah giggled, and clambered off of his stomach, looking at him with a bright smile. "C'mon, sleepyhead. It's already almost noon, an' you said you'd make me some chicken an' jambalaya for lunch today."
Remy sighed to himself, and sat up in the bed with a large yawn. "I'll bet Henri put you up to dis, didn' he?"
She smiled innocently at him. "Oh, Uncle Henri said to wake you up, but he didn't say how I should do it."
Remy chuckled, and tousled her hair. "Alright Sarah, you go on to th'kitchen, an' I'll get dressed an' meet y'there in a few, 'kay?"
Sarah hopped up and dashed happily from the room, pausing at the door to say, "Just don't go back to sleep like you did last time, or I'll hafta hop on you again."
Remy watched her go with a smile, then got out of bed and began dressing. He was glad she was so full of energy and happiness after what had happened last week. She was a great example of the resiliency children were capable of. He grunted as he pulled on a shirt, feeling the stitches in his shoulder pull at his skin.
He'd gotten out of the city as quick as possible, and made his way to northern Louisiana where his brother Henri had a vacation house – he couldn't go to New Orleans (or even to the northern parts of Lake Pontchartrain) due to the events of several years ago, unless he wanted to end up dead. Henri had gotten him patched up, and had taken Sarah for a day to his Tante Mattie to look at her ankle. It ended up being nothing more than a painful sprain, and she was already running around the house on it the next day.
The aftermath of the event in the tunnels in New York had been all over the news for the last week. The media was labeling it "The Mutant Massacre". Police had arrived on the scene within fifteen minutes when residents in the area reported explosions and a fire that had started.
His exploding decks had done more damage than he thought they would, and ended up caving in a long portion of the entrance. It took two days for the city to dig out the tunnel, and would have taken longer if the mercenaries hadn't been digging from the opposite side.
The mercenaries that hadn't been under the collapse were quickly arrested once the bullet-ridden bodies of more than sixty mutants were found. The mercenaries refused to give any information on their employer, and only stated their hatred of mutants as reasoning for what they had done. The city of New York was quite pro-mutant, especially in their laws, so the mercenaries were all going to be charged with murder – something that might not be the case in a more anti-mutant city.
Many radical groups on both sides had latched on to this issue – mutant terrorist groups using it to gain more recruits, and fundamentalist anti-mutant religious groups were calling it a "sign" from God.
Remy shook his head of his thoughts, still feeling the enormous weight of guilt for being the one to lead the mercenaries to those tunnels. He left his room, and made his way to the kitchen, where Sarah sat impatiently at the table, talking to his brother, Henri.
Henri wasn't his biological brother, something obvious in their completely different appearances. Henri was in his thirties and his light brown hair was already thinning, and he already had a bald spot developing, and he had a large bushy moustache. He was taller and outweighed Remy by nearly seventy pounds, although most of that bulk was muscle. Remy was already a respectable 6'1", and was much more lithe, partly because much of his childhood had been spent malnourished on the streets before Jean-Luc, Henri's father, had found him and eventually adopted him.
Henri looked up with a large grin as Remy entered the kitchen. "Finally up? Y' know it's not even Saturday, an' here y' are sleepin' in 'till noon. Have a nice wakeup?"
Remy rolled his eyes and grumbled. "Yeah, yeah, yeah. Just you wait – I'll get Sarah t'kill you in your sleep an' we'll see how you like dat." He muttered as he walked over to the refrigerator to start getting out the ingredients he needed to make lunch.
Within minutes he had the chicken cooking, and a pot of water on the stove coming to a boil to cook the rice. He shuffled over to the table and sat down next to Sarah. He looked over to Henri who was reading a newspaper. "So what the news be?"
Henri looked up and lifted the paper so that he could see the front page. "Same ol' same ol'." He said, and Remy saw why he didn't expand on that in front of Sarah – on the front page was yet another story on the killings in New York. They had agreed not to bring it up in front of her, and to only talk bout it if she brought it up to them.
Remy nodded and then looked over to Sarah who was reading the comics section of the paper. He frowned and reached out to touch the sleeve of the shirt she was wearing. The bone growths on her arms were quite sharp, and they had torn up the sleeve of her shirt when she put it on.
"Petite, you got to be more careful when you put y'shirt on. Dat's the third one dis week you ripped." He said to her. He immediately regretted it when her bright expression dimmed and her eyes lowered down to her lap and she looked as if she was about to cry.
"Sorry Remy," she said quietly.
He scooted his chair closer and rubbed her back. "Sorry, Sarah, I ain' tryin' to be mean to you. I know you can't control dem. Jus' be a bit more careful when you slide your shirts on, 'kay?"
He felt even worse when he saw tears fall down her cheeks, and she jumped onto his lap and hugged him tightly. "I w-wish I could control them, Remy," she said as she sobbed into his shirt, "I'm tired of people staring at me an' saying mean things to me. My daddy hated me b'cause of them an' threw me out of the house, an' then Sally found me an' they let me stay with everyone else who looked different."
He hugged her tightly, ignoring the bones on her face poking sharply at his chest. She'd never really talked about how she had ended up in the tunnels until now. "I just want t'control them so I don't look like a freak anymore."
Remy pulled back and placed his hands on her shoulders. "You don' look like a freak, petite. You're a very pretty little girl, an' your bones don' change dat. Comprends tu?"
She nodded and sniffled once more and then wiped her eyes. She believed that he thought she was pretty, but still couldn't believe it herself. She glanced up at him, his question in French reminding her something.
"Remy, can you teach me some more French today?" She asked him.
Remy smiled down at her. "Sure, petite." His face became troubled as he worked up his nerve to announce something he had decided. "But Henri'll have t' teach you after dat, 'cuz I'm leaving t'morrow…"
He was cut off when Sarah's head snapped up and he saw her lower lip trembling. "You're leaving? Why, Remy? Is it 'cuz of me? Are you coming back?" She asked in a rush.
"Non, it ain' 'cuz of you – well, it actually sorta is." He corrected himself, continuing on quickly. "I'm going t'visit a friend of mine. She works at a school for mutants, an' I wanna check it out an' see what its like. If I like it, an' it looks safe, I'll take you to go dere. De Professor dere might be able t'help you control your bones like you want to be able to."
"Really?" Sarah asked him, a smile now back on her face.
He nodded to her, and then Henri spoke up. "Is dat the femme y' helped out a year or two ago?"
Remy nodded. "Oui. She told me I can visit if'n I ever need any help. So I'll see how it is an' hopefully Sarah can go dere."
"How long will you be gone?" Sarah asked him.
"Maybe a week. Don' know yet. But I'll call y' ev'ry night an' let you know how I'm doing."
He lifted Sarah from his lap and set her back down on her chair so he could check on the food. Henri followed him and gripped his shoulder and whispered quietly to him. "Y' be careful, alright? Dey might be lookin' for y' if'n any of dem men talked to their lawyers 'bout y' an' 'bout what happened. If'n y' employer knows what happened, he'll be out f'blood."
Remy nodded grimly. "I know. I'll be careful. But…. if somet'ing does happen t'me, you take care of Sarah f'me, d'accord?"
"Oui. Y' just make sure dat don' happen." Henry replied.
Jubilation Lee – better known by all her friends as Jubilee – shook her head and looked over at her friend, Rogue, as another news report played over the television about the recent Mutant Massacre in New York. "I can't believe there are people out there that would do something like this just because we are mutants."
Rogue looked up from the homework she was working on for Ororo's class. "Ah know – it's sick. But it ain't really new – look at World War Two an' the Nazis, or after World War One with th'Armenian genocide. There's just…."
She trailed off and perked up from her place on the couch. "Did ya hear that?" She asked, listening intently.
Jubilee shook her head and glanced at the television, assuming a news story had caught Rogue's attention, but it had gone to a commercial break.
Rogue set her books on the couch beside her and jumped to her feet. "Logan's back – Ah heard his motorcycle." She said, and sprinted out of the room.
Logan, also known as Wolverine, shut down his motorcycle and opened the door to the garage. He was nearly thrown off balance when the door was opened from the inside. He looked up and saw Rogue standing there in the doorway, and she greeted him with a hug.
"Logan! You're back! Are you planning t'stay here for a while?"
He stepped inside and shrugged. "Not plannin' on leavin' anytime soon. I did what I needed to do. Getting over… what happened at Alkali."
He walked next to her on her way to the kitchen. "So, how are you an' Drake?" He asked, raising an eyebrow.
Rogue frowned slightly. "Ah don't know, Logan. He's been…. distant. Ever since Ah kissed him at his parent's house and started absorbin' him, he's been afraid ta even touch me with mah gloves on. Not that Ah blame him," she said, as she lowered her head.
"Don't worry Rogue, he's prob'ly just a little spooked. I'm sure he'll come around – at least he will if he doesn't want to lose you."
"That's just it, Ah think he might have a crush on Kitty. Ah've seen him flirtin' with her a few times, an' Ah know she likes him. Ah'm just afraid he wants a girl he c'n touch without worryin' about her suckin' the life outta him, and he's gonna leave me."
Logan threw an arm over her shoulder. "Well he'd be a fool t'toss ya away like that, an' I don't think he's that dumb. If he does then ya deserve better than him." Rogue smiled gratefully at him, but didn't seem too assured.
"Now, I'm gonna cook up somethin' to eat. You want anything?" Logan asked her.
"Nah. Thanks, but Ah already ate 'bout an hour ago with Jubes. Ah've gotta get back an' finish up mah homework for t'morrow, or Ororo'll have mah head."
Logan grinned slightly. "Oh, I don't doubt that. I'll see ya later. Maybe we can work on some more exercises in the Danger Room tomorrow."
Rogue nodded happily over her shoulder to him. He'd been teaching her a lot of basic self defense before he had left to clear his head, so she'd be able to defend herself - something she'd been wanting because of the limits of her powers. "Sure. Ah'll see ya after mah classes t'morrow."
Logan looked after her fondly. She'd made a connection with him from the first time he'd seen her back in Canada, and he realized that he had begun to think of her as a daughter. He shook his head. 'Iceboy better not hurt her, or he'll be dealing with me'. He thought to himself.
Ending Notes: Hope you liked the chapter. I'll probably have an update schedule of about one chapter every two weeks or so, maybe more like three depending on my current work and school loads.
Now, I don't speak French, so I am relying on internet translators (and a Cajun-English "dictionary" I found on the web).
EDIT: Thanks a bunch to Certh for the French pointers.
Some of the words from the chapter translated:
petite – little one (term of endearment)
ma mignonne – sweetie (literally - my sweet)
Comprends tu? – Do you understand?
D'accord? – Okay?
Non – No
fils de pute – Son of a Bitch
Please, Read and Review.