Points of Continuity. X-Stacy has joined the X-Men but they haven't met the X-Corps yet, Genosha has been destroyed and Cassandra Nova has been defeated without much problem or revelations besides the school and the professor going public. No viruses, or Professor X in a bald female body, No Phoenix and certainly no Thundercats Beast. The X-Men have encountered and fought the U-Men. The new Angel won't show in this fanfic, really so her fate doesn't matter. Cecilia Reyes is working at the school as a doctor and part time X-Man. Basically; this is a stand-alone story so present continuity doesn't play a big part of it.

Other points. The following contains some very disturbing content. If you are a fan of Wolfsbane, you may or may not want to read this. The following is harsh, but intended to be thought provoking. You have been warned. Also, there will be A LOT of angst.

Feedback=Please? Pretty please? Any and all comments are welcomed.

Archive? Sure, just ask first.

Disclaimer, Not mine in any way.

Anyone under 18? Go away, you'll thank me.

*= Telepathic conversation - = Thoughts/internal monologue, -Like this-

Chapter 1, The Rescue

Xavier's Institution for Higher Learning, Virginia.

Professor Xavier, leader and founder of the uncanny X-Men, was having a poor day. So much had happened now in his life so fast. Genosha, an island nation of mutants, had been almost completely destroyed by a mad woman before the X-Men stopped her. He revealed himself and his school to the public and had uncovered a secret organization that was trafficking in stolen mutant organs calling themselves. But not all the events in the past few months were tragic. Cyclops, who was believed dead, was found alive and saved from a mad man. The legacy virus, a plague which had been killing mutants the world over, had been cured, but at a heavy personal cost. One of his students, Colossus, had given his life to activate the cure. But that burden was easier to bear, due to the fact that Colossus had willingly given up his life. But another old friend had been killed in the process of discovering a cure, as well.

-She shouldn't have died. She worked selflessly to help both humans and mutants. - He thought bitterly.

Moira MacTaggert, one of Xavier's oldest and closest friends, had been killed in the process of finding a cure for the Legacy Virus. And though it had been well over twelve weeks since Moira had died, but Charles Xavier was still having a hard time dealing with it. He had known Moira for well over twenty years, and was very close with her. Had it not been for Cable and Jean Grey, in fact, he would have willingly died along with her. Sometimes, he wished he had. But he found the strength to carry on. Most days, he could bear the loss. But today was a little harder than most. Today would have been Moira's birthday.

-I remember when I used to call her and wish her happy birthday. We would spend nearly an hour reminiscing about the 'old times'- He thought to himself. Despite how she left him long ago, he still loved her dearly. But since he couldn't talk to her anymore, he decided he should do something else. Something that Moira would want. He would call and offer his comfort to Rahne Sinclair, Moira's foster daughter.

-I can't imagine what that poor girl is going thru now. To be orphaned twice at such a young age- He sighed. He knew it wasn't going to be easy, talking to Rahne, but when was his life ever easy?

The last time he had seen Rahne was at Moira's funeral. She was weeping so hard she had trouble standing. Although he hadn't gotten the chance to talk to her at the funeral, he had learned that she was going to stay with her friend Danielle Moonstar for a few days before moving in with a cousin of Moira's to sort out her life. Xavier flipped thru his phone book, looking for the number. As he picked up the phone, he thought about what he would say to his former student.

-How do I help her with her grief when I haven't come to terms with mine?- he asked himself. He hesitated as he started to dial, but decided at the very least he owed to Moira to look after her foster daughter. It's what she would have wanted.

"Kinross Manor, this is the house keeper speakin'."

"Yes, my name is Professor Xavier. I was calling to speak with Rahne Sinclair. I understand she is staying there."

"She's nae here sir. She sent word that she would be returning to school in america. Ms. Kinross didn't mind much sir; she was never takin' much with that mutie girl. She thought Lady Moira wasn't right in the head fur adoptin' her. Anythin' else I can help you with, sir?"

"No, thank you, ma'am." As Xavier hung the phone, he couldn't help but be reminded why he never hired a real housekeeper. They gossip like housewives.

-It's not like Rahne to lie to anyone. I specifically remember hearing her tell Kurt where she would be staying. But, where can she be? She doesn't have many places to go. She certainly wouldn't return to Craig- He thought to himself,- I wonder...-

Xavier next dialed his accountant's number. Before she had died, Moira had set up her will so that Xavier would keep Moira's multi million dollar estate in a trust for Rahne until she had turned twenty-one. Moira didn't feel that Rahne was old enough to handle all that responsibility just yet, and she trusted Xavier to do what was right for her daughter. She did however, put aside a large amount of money in a 'slush' fund that Rahne could use as she saw fit and that Xavier would oversee and manage for her until she had turned twenty-one. One call to his accountant revealed that the money hadn't been touched since Moira first established the trust fund.

-Perhaps she's staying with one of her friends- He thought to himself. He looked thru his phone book again and looked up the number of another former student of his, Danielle Moonstar, now attending college. She was good friends with Rahne, even with everything that had happened over the years, and was certain to know where Rahne was. Something about this just didn't feel right. Something in the back of his mind, that he just couldn't place. He put that out of his mind as he dialed Moonstar's number.

"Hello?" Xavier was relieved as he heard the voice of his old student.

"Dani, this is Professor X. Have you spoken to Rahne lately? I was hoping to speak to her, but I haven't been able to reach her." He said. He tried to hide the concern in his voice.

"The last time I saw her was a few months ago at the airport. I haven't heard from her since then. She told me that she was going to stay with a cousin of Moira's for a little bit. Why do you ask? Do you think something is wrong?"

"No, it's nothing. Thank you, Dani." Xavier hung up the phone and thought for a moment. Something was wrong, he could feel it, but he didn't wish to distress his former student until he knew something for a fact. He left his office and headed towards the elevator. As he walked thru the halls, past all his new students, he thought about how things had changed from the 'old days'. He was no longer teaching only a handful of students, but rather reaching out and helping more mutants than ever before. It would take some getting used to, though. As he descended into the sub basement of the mansion, his thoughts drifted back to Rahne.

-Where could she be? Rahne isn't a girl to run off and not tell anyone. The poor child doesn't have much family, so why on earth would she run out on them? Could something have happened to her? - He became more and more worried as he wheeled himself to Cerebro. Something was wrong, he certain of it now. He placed the control helmet on his head and started to power up Cerebro. It needed a few seconds to be able to scan the world, and he didn't see any need to be less than thorough in his search for Rahne.

"Somethin' wrong, Chuck?"

The voice startled Xavier, but he barely turned his head as he ran his hands over the controls of Cerebro, checking every instrument to make sure that it was in working order. He knew of only one man in the world who could sneak up on him(and would call him Chuck).

"I have been attempting to reach Rahne Sinclair, Logan, but I have been unable to find her. I'm a little concerned about her, so I have decided to use Cerebro to find her."

"That's kinda overkill, don't you think? She may just want some time alone. The poor kid took Moira's death kinda hard, all things considered. You sure she wants to be found?" Logan asked as he pulled out a cigar.

"I thought she lost her powers when that shape shifting bitch Mystique attacked Muir Island, anyways."

"She did. However, Mystique used a weapon of Forge, her former lover. He was easily able to restore her powers. Now, please, give me a moment to concentrate."

As Xavier started to scan the planet, a holographic globe appeared before the two. Within a few minutes, the globe turned and revealed two bright red spots somewhere over the Pacific Ocean, indicating where Rahne was.

"Who's that second dot?" Logan asked.

"I can't say. It appears that she's with a superhuman of some sort. I'll run a search thru Cerebro's memory bank, to see if I can identify the other signature."

"Don't bother." Logan said coldly. Xavier looked up, and saw that there was now only one light on the map. Xavier didn't say a word, but reached out his powerful telepathy to scan where Rahne had been located. Despite the fact that his power was increased dramatically by Cerebro, he found his scans were completely blocked.

"Something is preventing me from scanning the island where Rahne has been detected. Summon Kurt and the others immediately, I fear we have already lost too much time." Xavier said, not even trying to hide his fear. Logan turned to leave, but Xavier stopped him for a moment.

"Take Jean with you. If another telepath is blocking my probes, you may need her power and skill." He said. Logan just nodded his head in response.

-Please god; let us not be to late- Xavier prayed. He had lost far too many students already, and he certainly didn't want to lose another.

***

"So what's your research say about the island, Warren? Anything we should know?" Logan asked as he piloted the X-Men's black bird to the coordinates provided by Cerebro. He didn't like going into a situation blind, so he had Angel make some calls. If the head of a multi million dollar company couldn't dig up some dirt, who could?

"According to my sources, the island that Cerebro pinpointed Rahne on is owned by multi-national drug company called Hermes, Inc. I know the founder personally, his name's John Calvin, he's donated millions to charity and helped build hospitals all over the third world. He's very old money, but that has never stopped him from trying to help others. He's also one of the most respected surgeons in the world." Warren replied.

"So kidnapping little girls is outside of his normal behavior, huh?" X- Stacy said jokingly.

"That wasn't funny." Nightcrawler said harshly, "What could they want vith Rahne?" Nightcrawler was far more concerned about the young woman's welfare than any of the others. He knew Rahne personally, from when she was a member of his team Excalibur and loved her like a little sister. The fact she might be in danger was torture for as far as Kurt was concerned, Rahne had already suffered enough for two lifetimes. If anything had happened to her...He would make them pay, priest or not.

"We're about to find out. We'll be over the island in a second. I'm gonna buzz the island with the cloak on. They won't see us, but we'll see them." Wolverine said. He took the black bird down and over the island. The island looked like a normal tropical island, devoid of human life, with the exception a twenty story building in the center of it, built into the bedrock.

"That's going to be one tough nut to crack." Iceman said.

Wolverine landed the jet in a clear field about a mile away from the complex. The X-Men didn't waste a moment, immediately leaving the plane and heading towards the main building. Wolverine thought that they should use stealth, so instead of Jean flying them in, they decided to hoof it thru the forest. For most of the X-Men, it wasn't a problem. They had trained most of their lives and were as physically fit as some professional athletes. But Stacy-X wasn't like most X-Men.

-Huff, I didn't sign up with this outfit to run thru forests! - She cursed. The others were too far ahead of her now, X-Stacy just couldn't keep up. She was in good shape, but not compared to the other X-Men.

"Huff wait... up guys!" She yelled. Much to her surprise, the team had stopped cold.

"Thanks, huff, I...was getting a little winded." She said as she caught up. Oddly enough, the entire team was ignoring her. They seemed focused on what they saw in the ground. Stacy-X then saw what they were looking it. A human foot was sticking out of the ground, while a few feet away from it; a decomposed human hand was slightly protruding out of the ground as well. The area had been cleared of leaves recently, and the ground was still soft. Stacy-X had seen enough reports on T.V to recognize what it was.

"It's a god damn mass grave." Logan said grimly. He had seen them before in World War Two and Cambodia, among other places, but he had never gotten used to seeing them. He never hoped too either...

* Never though I'd be so glad not to have a mouth...* Chamber said telepathically.

"Is Rahne...in there?" Jean asked fearfully.

"Not according to the portable cerebro we brought with us. She's still alive, and in that building." Angel said, trying to reassure his old friend. He tried not to let on how sick he felt.

"And if she's goin' to stay that way, bub, we need to get our asses in gear."

"What about all these people? We can't just leave them here!" Iceman said.

"Don't worry, we'll come back and make sure they all get a proper burial. But our concern has to be with the living right now, and keepin' 'em that way." Wolverine said. –We'll also make those bastards pay for what they did to these people-

-Hold on Rahne, we're coming for you. - Nightcrawler thought to himself. The fear in his gut was far worse now, but he tried hard not to think about what could be happening to Rahne now. The idea that someone could be torturing Rahne, or worse was almost too much to bear. Once they were within eyesight of the building, Wolverine outlined the plan of attack.

"According to the cerebro we brought, Rahne's on the tenth floor, and is the only mutant or superhuman there. So here's what we're going to do. Jeanie, you're going to break inside with Bobby and Kurt. Your telepathy should prevent anyone one from spotting you. You find Rahne, and keep her safe at all costs. The rest of us are going to take out the cannon fodder and meet you up there. Got it?"

"It's a complex plan, but I think we'll manage." Iceman joked, trying to break the tension. Wolverine didn't respond, he just gave Iceman an ugly look.

Without saying a word, Jean levitated her two teammates to the floor where Rahne was being held while preventing them from being seen by anyone on the ground. Iceman froze the wall to sub zero temperatures, and Jean gave it a slight telekinetic push, easily shattering it. There were two guards directly behind the wall, but Nightcrawler teleported quickly and punched them out before they could raise their weapons, ending their threat. The three X-Men looked around at the room they were in and felt sick to their stomachs. The room was filled with surgical supplies, but the floor covered in dried blood, and the shelves were covered with organs, from lungs and eyes, to hearts to brains. In fact, one jar looked like it had an over- sized cat's tail in it.

"What the hell happened here?" Iceman asked as he fought to keep his breakfast, and every other meal he had ever eaten, in his stomach. The site of alone was enough to disturb anyone, but the room smelled like a combination of rubbing alcohol and rotting meat.

"Lets answer that after we find our friend first, okay? We have to search this entire floor, so spread out. I've telepathically knocked out everyone on this floor and telekinetically sealed it off as well, but we still shouldn't waste a second." Jean said. The psi-dampeners in the building were powerful, and she didn't know how long she could hold it.

The three X-Men spread out and started going thru each room, looking for their friend. Everything they found sickened them even more, but they pushed on.

-Omega Wing? I don't think I even want to know.-Iceman thought to himself as he entered one door. The room was cold, and Iceman knew instantly where he was. The morgue. He pulled the sheet off of one the bodies and was appalled by what he saw. It was the body of a young white male with blond hair, with scars and stitches all over his body. He was missing his left hand, and looked like he had been tortured before he had died. His body was covered with stitches and wounds that looked like they had been infected. Worse, he even recognized the man.

-It's Wildchild, that mini- Sabretooth who joined X-Factor! What's he doing here? -

Iceman looked at another body, and read the toe tag. It looked like the other man had died just as painfully as Wildchild, but he was much taller with a heavier set.

-Subject: Jack Flag. Baseline human with enhanced strength and healing factor. What on earth were they doing here? -.

He looked around further and saw two more bodies, which he could see were female. He pulled the sheet back to reveal the face and Iceman immediately threw up. It wasn't just the fact that he could tell that the woman had it been tortured just by looking at her face, though that was bad enough. But he also knew her personally. It was Marrow, a one time X-man and teammate.

-Why is she here? Last I heard she was attending college in New York!-

Iceman took a few seconds to collect himself and looked at the final slab, and saw fur underneath it. Screwing up his courage, Iceman pulled back the sheet covering the face of the second female, and though he was ashamed to admit it, was relieved to discover that it wasn't Rahne. It was Feral, a human mutant hybrid who had been a member of X-Force and former mutant terrorist.

"Mein friends, I found her!" Kurt yelled. Iceman pulled the covers back and raced to Kurt. What he saw was just as appalling as what was in the morgue. Rahne was strapped down to nude a bed, with long scars and bruises all over her body. Her hair was shaved off and the bandage on her head was covered in dried blood. Her lower left leg had an open wound, along with her right fore arm and Iceman could tell from the men, who looked to be doctors, lying unconscious next to the bed that they were performing some kind of obscene experiments on her.

"What were they doing to her?"

"They were dissecting her, examining how her transformational powers affected her physiology in her human form and determining how much trauma her body can withstand before going into shock." Jean explained.

"Why in gods name would they do that?"

"According to what I read in their minds they think it's something important to compare against other factors. I don't really much care right now. I need you two to cover me for a minute. Rahne's mind is going into shock now and I don't do something soon, she'll die."

"You do what you have to, me and Kurt will do our part." Iceman replied. His sickness and disgust had turned to rage now, and his mind was completely focused on protecting Rahne.

"God's graces go with you, Jean." Kurt said.

Jean concentrated, and plunged her mind into Rahne's. Jean was briefly overwhelmed by Rahne's pain, both emotional and physical, before she remembered her training and shut the pain and focused on her mission. She looked around as the landscape around her. At first, it was just mist. But as Jean pressed further into Rahne's mind, it changed, transforming from an ethereal mist into what looked a countryside neighborhood in Scotland.

-Her mind must have retreated to familiar surroundings to cope with the pain, but where could she be? Where would she feel safest?- Jean recalled everything she knew about Rahne, and knew instantly where she would be hiding. She took the air, or what passed for in Rahne's mind, and scanned the block until she found what she was looking for. The church. It wasn't a fancy one; rather it looked rather simple and old. Jean opened the door and scanned the empty room. She saw Rahne curled up in a fetal position under a cross, crying and begging.

"Make it stop, please lord... make it stop, I'll be a good girl, jus' make it stop..."

Jean walked up to Rahne and knelt down beside her. She gently took Rahne's hand and said, "It's okay now, Rahne. The X-men are here now. You're safe."

"Jean, is that you?"

"Yes. Me and the other X-Men are here to save you. Rahne, this isn't real. I'm in your mind now, trying to help you. You need to come 'outside' with me. If you stay here too long, your mind is going to shut down." Jean explained, "You'll die."

"I can't, it's tae painful. I...I don' want tae be hurt anymore...I cannae do it!" Rahne sobbed. Jean carefully, but forcefully, pulled Rahne to her feet.

"You can do this. I'll be right here with you. Be strong, Rahne. I promise you, nothing will hurt you anymore."

"I'm safe here..."

"No you're not Rahne. You'll die if you stay here much longer, and I owe your mother too much just to let you die like this."

Jean, half pulling Rahne, walked towards the door. When she opened it, a crowd of people appeared, shouting curses and slurs aimed at Rahne.

"Ye are the spawn of the devil!" One man, dressed as a minister, yelled at her.

"What makes you so special? Why did you escape while the rest of us suffered! Why!?" Another figured demanded of her. Jean recognized it as a mutate from Genosha.

"You have a good time, sweet heart?" Another man, dressed as a guard, asked Rahne. Rahne pulled away from Jean, attempting to run back to the church, but Jean held strong. She put her hands over Rahne's eyes and walked thru the mob. The crowd parted as they walked past them, never touching the two women and slowly, the landscape began to dissolve until Rahne and Jean were alone and simply surrounded by mist.

"Your ordeal is over now, Rahne. Rest." And with that, Jean sent a telepathic command to Rahne's mind, putting her into a deep sleep and shutting off all her pain receptors. Jean then returned to her own body.

"Did it work? Is she out of danger now? Is she alright?" Iceman asked, not caring how stupid the questions were.

"She's out of immediate danger now, but we have to get her back to the mansion quickly. She needs serious medical attention and she needs it now."

"Vas? We can't move her in that condition, we may kill her!"

"We sure as hell can't leave her here! Look, I can move her with my telekinetic powers without doing any damage to her body. Kurt, go warm up the Black Bird, we don't have a second to lose." Jean said. With a –bamf-, Kurt was gone.

"I'll cover you while you get Rahne back to that hole in the building we made."

"No need, Bobby." Jean waved her hand, and the far wall just exploded outwards. She then gently picked up the bed Rahne was strapped too and flew out towards the Black Bird. She quickly loaded Rahne into the Black Bird with all deliberate care. Once Rahne was secured, she telepathically reached out to Wolverine.

* Logan, we have to get Rahne back to the mansion now! She may not last much longer if we don't. Will you and the others be all right? *

*Does it matter? Get the kid the hell out of here!* Logan responded. He wasn't worried about the odds in the slightest. He, along with Chamber, Angel and X-Stacy, had already defeated well over a hundred guards, but to the X-Men, it was barely a morning work out.

"Kurt, this needs to be the fastest and gentlest flight you've ever flown." Jean stated matter of factly.

Kurt didn't respond. He just activated the vertical take off sequence and smoothly activated the thrusters. He slowly increased the speed until they were flying well past mach five. Once the course was programmed in, he reached for the radio.

"This is Nightcrawler calling the mansion, come in!"

"Ms, McCoy's bouncing bundle of joy here. What do you need, my brother in blue?"

"We have a medical emergency here. Rahne's in serious trouble. Prep the operating room and have Reyes meet us in the hangar."

***