Laura's Journal

An X-Men Evolution Fanfic by Quill N. Inque

I do not own X-Men.

Chapter Seven

Shortly afterward, the other X-Men and I had gathered in the Danger Room, aroused by my panicked cries to the emergency at hand.

"You're sure?" asked Cyclops.

I struggled to compose myself. "Yes. No other organization bears that insignia."

"Like, how are we going to find Kurt? His holowatch had a GPS, but now that he doesn't have it with him…." Kitty's voice broke.

"Yeah, well, Hydra didn' figger on ol' Cerebro, did they?" said Dad with his usual gruffness.

"Indeed," said the Professor. "Nightcrawler will be relatively easy to track down. But getting him back will be another task entirely. Logan?"

With a wave of his hand, Logan activated a plasma screen on the wall. "I called in a coupla favors from Fury and SHIELD. Usin' Cerebro, we've pinpointed the HYDRA base where Kurt's bein' held, in the most remote part o' the Rocky Mountains. Knowin' HYDRA, the base'll probably be heavily guarded. So, Laura, yer job'll be to get Kurt outta there while the rest of us keep 'em busy."

"Right."

"X-Men, move out!"

Aboard the X-Jet, I couldn't keep my mind from straying to Kurt. What was HYDRA doing to him? He didn't have a healing factor like me. Would he still be breathing by the time I got there? I choked back a sob. HYDRA only abducted him because they knew he was close to me. It was likely that we were walking into a trap.

I didn't care.

Come hell or high water, I would rescue Kurt, even if I didn't make it myself.

I was jarred out of my thoughts as the plane began to shake and roll.

"Flak!" yelled Dad. "Looks like they were expectin' us! Hang on!" Flipping open a protective glass case to reveal a red button emblazoned with a black skull, he grinned wolfishly.

"I've been wantin' to press this button fer years."

Suddenly, the X-Jet's entire weapons arsenal seemed to fire at once. Miniature rockets, Stinger missiles, and napalm bombs left their compartments with an enormous WHOOSH. Pieces of steel, concrete, and human detritus flew everywhere as the surviving HYDRA commandos fled for cover. Logan landed the jet roughly, and charged down the gangplank with his claws unsheathed, his eyes widening in berserk fury.

"HYDRA scum! Murderous filth! DIE!"

He seemed to be everywhere, drawing upon decades of combat to decimate the soldiers who tried to stop him. I watched with horror as Dad vanished, only to be replaced by a wrathful killing machine. The commandoes went down like ninepins before his onslaught, many missing arms, limbs and heads. Oh, man, the Professor is NOT gonna like this, I thought as the carnage unfolded. He's always telling us not to use lethal force…Xavier's gonna read Dad the riot act when we get back. If we get back….

Kitty jolted me out of my morbid fascination. "Like, you have a mission to complete! Go!"

"Right!"

I surreptitiously snuck into the entrance while combat raged around me, using every ounce of my stealth training to avoid infrared beams and security cameras. How ironic that HYDRA's training was being used to break into one of its own facilities. I think that's what Beast once called, "poetic justice".

Rounding the corner, I narrowly avoided bumping into a squadron of HYDRA soldiers as the rushed outside to their inevitable evisceration. I felt a bead of sweat course down the side of my head. That was close.

I waited until they passed, and raced down the hall to what the scientists had euphemistically called the "research lab". I sliced through the door as if it were made of cardboard-

And found myself surrounded by over three dozen HYDRA troops, each holding a gun to Kurt's bruised and bloodied head.

"That's enough."

That voice…..

Madame Hydra smiled cordially at me as she stepped through the door.

"Welcome back, X23."

I stared at her in disbelief. There was no way she could have survived the airship explosion last year. It wasn't possible. Madam Hydra, my creator, my tormentor, the one who had tortured and twisted me for her own amusement, was alive.

And she had used Kurt to get to me.

Super-bitch smiled at me again. "I knew you'd come; you're getting way too predictable. You just couldn't stop yourself from trying to rescue your boyfriend over there. Such loyalty, love and devotion….God, you make me want to puke!" she spat. "Now here are your options. You come back to HYDRA…." She took a pistol from her belt. "Or he dies."

My mind raced. Knowing the Madame, the gun probably wasn't loaded. She was, after all, a master at deception. But whether the gun was loaded or not, I had no doubt that she'd kill Kurt with a grin on her face if I refused. I couldn't see a way out of this one.

Unless…

Unless I deceived the deceiver. If I pretended to go along with her, I there was a chance I could double-cross her and get Kurt out of here before she even knew what happened. It was a huge risk, to be sure. If Madame Hydra figured out what I was planning, I'd end up as HYDRA's lab rat again. Or she might kill Kurt anyway. And I'd still wind up as a lab rat.

But Kurt was worth it. And infinitely more.

I put an expression of rage and defeat on my face and held up my hands. My voice shook with faux rage and helplessness. "Fine."

"L-Laura…No…" muttered Kurt before a guard clubbed him back into unconsciousness.

Madame Hydra nodded. "An excellent choice, X23. Now, your first task-"

"Wait a minute. We had a deal. Kurt goes free," I said, successfully keeping the panic from my voice.

"Hmm…Yes, I suppose we did. Release him," she ordered. The guards complied promptly and Kurt vanished in a puff of smoke.

"You see? Madame Hydra always keeps her word," the villainess said.

I smiled at her. "Too bad I can't say the same."

Moving even before I was done speaking, I knocked out the guard closest to me and threw his body into three others. Madame Hydra fled instantly like the spineless coward she was, and I was surrounded by between thirty and forty HYDRA troopers. It was hardly fair. To them, that is….

Six minutes later, I was homing in on Madame Hydra's scent, a wolf tracking its wounded prey. It was so easy. The stench of her fear was like a homing signal, and I found her in the control room as she was about to activate the base's self-destruct sequence. She spoke without turning.

"Is my transport ready?" she asked imperiously, apparently thinking I was a guard.

"Yes. It's ready to take you straight to hell," I snarled as I unsheathed my claws.

She whirled around, her face a mask of terror.

"How does it feel, Madame, to be threatened without your guards and robots to protect you? What's it like, I wonder, feeling fear for the first time?" I said almost casually as she scrambled in vain to get away.

My eyes hardened and my voice rang out like a hammer striking an anvil. "You created me. Now you will reap what you have sown."

The pneumatic doors closed with a hiss as I lunged towards her.

"What took ya so long, kid?" Dad asked, apparently none the worse for wear despite his ordeal. I stared at him for a moment, his ragged uniform spattered with blood.

He nodded. "Yeah, I know what yer thinkin'. An' I don' regret it one bit. It's the kind of end people like that deserve. Chuck'll probably have a few words t'say to me, though."

"Is he gonna make you leave?" I asked.

Dad grinned. "Nah. I think I'll be here for a while, yet."

"Is Kurt okay?"

He pointed. "Ask 'im yerself."

It was true. Though he was bruised and battered, Kurt was by now fully conscious. His face lit up like fireworks when he saw me, and I was so glad to see him alive, I kissed him right then and there.

And I didn't give a damn who saw me.

Back at the Institute, I was helping to bandage Kurt's wounds while the Professor had a "chat" with Dad.

I spoke as I gently bandaged his bruised torso. "I thought I was going to lose you."

Kurt flashed that smile that I had grown to love. "Vhat, did you think you'd be rid ov me zat easily? It'll take more than an organization of super-terrorists to bring down Kurt Wagner!"

"But more importantly, Laura, you can move on now. Hydra's gone for good, and you have your whole life ahead ov you," he said seriously.

"I know," I told him as I held his hand. "I just hope that, whatever the future brings, you're there to share it with me."

Kurt kissed me gently. "I vouldn't have it any other vay."

My name is Laura Logan. Since coming to live at the Xavier Institute, my whole world has changed. I've fallen in love and gained a father, things I never even dreamed of having. At last, I can live without looking over my shoulder. At last, I have come home.

And you know what?

I think I'm gonna like it here.

-END-

A/N: So, there you have it! The epic story of how one girl overcame the odds and fulfilled her destiny! I had so much fun writing this!!! Thanks to all of you who have reviewed my story so far: KityPryde, Jessie07, cheerpandagal, midnight-lady123123, sketzocase, and 3Blue3Moon3. I am so grateful for your wonderful reviews! Let me reiterate: If you have any ideas or constructive criticism on how I can make my story better, PLEASE LET ME KNOW! I would love to hear your suggestions! I hope you all enjoyed the story as much as I enjoyed creating it! As it happens, I already have an idea for a Spectacular Spider-Man story, so keep an eye out….I'm not done writing yet, not by a long shot! ^^

Hope to see y'all again real soon!

-Quill N. Inque