Chapter 22: Resolution
The rescue mission for Ororo had been a success, her powers were once again fully responsive although she was very tired, but that was only natural. Resting however, was not easy in such a restless environment. Rogue was still stuck as a beast and Xavier's only conclusion so far was that it would ware out in time. The stream of random variables that made up Revolution's buggy systems could go on the attack at any time. That is make more serious attacks than the random brainwashed people around that they still needed to keep an eye on.
Then there was the fact that the institute was not exactly known for its peace and quiet lately, even after Lance and Tabitha went off on their mission. "Wanda!" Pietro's voice echoed loudly as his ice-cream dripped down the sides of his face after his sister unexpectedly dumped it on him. He wasn't even sure what that was about and he was too upset about his sticky hair to refrain from demanding to know. " What's your problem?"
"Nothing..." Wanda crossed her arms, leaned back on the couch and silently declared that the conversation was over. Pietro's stare was steady on her until she finally caved and let out a frustrated breath. "Your bragging about taking notes that no one else can see was getting annoying. I guess I wish I was doing something useful too, instead of just making people uncomfortable." She looked back over her shoulder at where Scott and Jean stood.
"Actually," Jean clarified, we came because Pietro was yelling.
"Yeah, it's not your fault baby-cakes!" Todd, who constantly followed Wanda added. "Why don't you come with us on patrol to stop the semi-brainwashed people from killing each other?"
"You've been doing that?" Wanda asked with curiosity and a hint of disbelief.
"Yup!" Todd proudly declared.
"Really?" By then Pietro had zoomed out of the room, washed and dried his hair, and just like that he was back where he sat earlier, now in different clothes before anyone had the time to notice he was gone.
"There have been a lot of incidents in the city," Scott voiced.
"Then I'll go too," Wanda decided, though she was still a little unsure.
"We could use some extra backup," Jean encouraged.
"Then count me in," Wanda decided. Todd was overjoyed at the possibility of being in the same team as Wanda, and he would make sure that possibility turned to a reality.
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Rogue had been quiet lately, after her sessions with Professor Xavier. She seemed quiet enough to go outside and didn't appear to have intentions of attacking anyone. "Looks like you'll get better soon, cherie." Remy reached over to her as they walked across the institute's spacious yard.
Curiously and with a hint of recognition, Rogue reached for his hand, taking it in hers. She was wearing gloves, but suddenly, there was a jolt of energy. Remy stepped back instinctually and Rogue howled. She clawed her gloves off revealing sharp claws, but her face was starting to look more human and the fur that covered her body began to disappear.
"Cherie?" Remy's voice seemed to trigger Rogue's memories.
She paused, looking at him curiously until her whole body was back to normal. Her eyes regained their focus completely and she let herself fall down, taking slow deep breaths. "I felt lost... Everything was so confusing and I couldn't remember who I was."
One of his arms rested around her waist, the other combed through her hair, receiving a familiar draining sensation when his hand reached the side of her face. "It's okay now cherie." Rogue felt Remy's energy entering her and though the sensation of thoughts and feelings was pleasant, she tried to resist it so as to not drain him. She still did, but the intensity of her pull upon his energy was reduced. "You're controlling it..."
Rogue closed her eyes, resting her head on Remy's chest. "I've been trying to control it. I can't do it yet, but I'm trying..."
"You can do it, cherie, just take it easy, control will come to you." It was something that for a time Rogue stopped daring to hope for. Yet after her recent time with Remy, she wanted to be able to control her power more than ever. Somehow, though he had no real way of knowing, she felt that as long as she didn't give up, his words would someday come true, someday soon.
xoxox xox xoxox
Potion finally had all the ingredients she needed, but she wouldn't answer the calls from Xavier and he thought it might be best to send Kitty and Kurt to talk to her. They returned to her house, but the long flight didn't give them the results they wanted. The house was locked, so Kitty suggested going in and leaving a note. She phased through the door with Kurt and was horrified at the sight she found. Potion lay motionless sitting on the couch, her expression was blank as if she was trapped in a dream-less sleep, but she showed no signs of breathing and her skin was strangely gray.
They found a note next to the body in Potion's handwriting. "To who may find this: Revolution has come too close to taking over my mind. I have taken my life before Revolution steals it. The remedy is in a safe place. Goodbye and good luck. To Kurt and Kitty, I wish you a happy life together. -Potion"
The safe place Potion spoke of remained mystery until Kurt racked his brain and recalled that Potion had mentioned that she always felt safe in her garden. Sure enough, inside the hallow tree trunk that was in the garden among the many flowers there was a hidden supply of antidote.
xoxox xox xoxox
The antidote that Potion prepared was absorbed into a cloud controlled by Storm. The rain turned to a mist that was spread all over the city, freeing those who were under Revolution's control and building their resistance against being overtaken again. However, their acquired immunity wouldn't last forever and soon after this feat was accomplished, Storm's powers were blocked again and another heat wave, worse than before, began.
Xavier had a reunion with the X-Men and their allies who were still stationed in New York concerning their status and plans. Tabitha and Lance were still traveling around, which left Wolverine, Storm, Kitty, Kurt, Rogue, Remy, Evan, Hank, Wanda, Pietro, Todd and Xavier at the institute.
"I've come to the conclusion that Revolution uses the energy stored in the atmosphere to fire the beam it used in Alaska," Xavier informed the group. "It will take a few days, but the effect will be devastating if Revolution fires at this city. Given the recent activity in this area, though there is no way to know for sure, it is very likely that Revolution will attack this area as soon as it has enough energy to do so." Everyone had either witnessed the incident in Alaska or heard a detailed account of it, so they knew what a great danger they were up against.
"Revolution must be stopped now," Xavier continued. "Shield has prepared missiles with the antidote that will create a mist around the satellite, which will protect your minds from being overtaken. However, the mist will only last for half an hour in space. Revolution must be disabled by then. To accomplish that, space pods have been prepared for an infiltration. There are five available."
The quietude that reigned at the institute's living room while Xavier was sharing the information, turned into murmurs that escalated in volume. Finally, Remy's voice seemed to prevail with insistence. "I have to go. That thing took my memories."
"I'm going too," Rogue insisted.
An argument began about who should go, as after the first two were decided, everyone wanted to go. With their close involvement in the recent missions, Kurt and Kitty also wanted to go. After a bit of a debate, the final team was decided to be Wolverine, Rogue, Remy, Kurt and Kitty.
xoxox xox xoxox
Surrounded by a mist that neutralized Revolution's brain control power, the five space pods were launched connected wirelessly with a Cerebro-like structure that allowed Kitty to project her ability on all of them, thus hiding them from the radar. When they were close enough, it was Kurt's turn to use a similar technology to teleport the five passengers inside.
The mission so far was going smoothly. The pods they came in we're abandoned to serve as a distraction, which meant they couldn't count on them to get back to earth. That didn't really matter, as they had different plans anyway. Even Revolution was disabled, it would be too dangerous to leave it in the atmosphere for anyone to reach and copy its technology. Thus the X-Men planned to destroy the satellite and use its escape pods to return to earth. Pietro had gone off to find the blueprints of Revolution and, surprisingly, Magneto allowed him to take a copy without protest. The X-Men were thus familiarized with the satellite's structure.
The team led by Wolverine advanced down the metal corridors of the large space station satellite swiftly and with caution. Suddenly the alarms went off, even if there was no crew aside from the invaders to hear them. Revolution had destroyed the space pods and the distraction could only last so long. Laser guns emerged from the walls around them, shooting beams of energy that bounce off the metal walls making them even harder to dodge.
The X-Men rushed through the corridor, heading towards the main control room. Kurt tried to teleport the group to the end of the hall, but they were electrified with the attempt. Kitty phased them, saving them from the laser, though they were electrified again. It was painful, but not deadly. Even if they were sore, the five hurried down the hall. Wolverine sliced through a door, searching for an escape route, any path to get away from the lasers. The five stumbled into the room breathing heavily. It looked like energy based powers were being partially blocked.
"Revolution is buggy, but an attack doesn't get any more obvious than this." Wolverine spoke as soon as they were out of the range of danger, at least for the time being. "This thing doesn't know how to strategize too well because of the errors in the programming, but this is too straightforward. It should be blocking out your powers completely now that its noticed you."
They expected as much and the more energy oriented powers were part of the escape plan after their invasion was noticed. "What does that mean?" Rogue inquired.
"That either this thing's artificial intelligence is really buggy, or it's using its resources on something else," Wolverine concluded. He was hoping for the former, but knew they should be prepared for the latter. "Revolution needs to go through a simulated thought process and the gathering of energy before it makes a move," he recapped. "Remember what Charles said about how it gathers energy from the heat of the atmosphere."
Kurt, Kitty, Remy and Rogue looked at each other trying to come up with theories. Wolverine glanced around the small room where they were. There wasn't much there, just a small empty room with metal walls. He used his claws to slash at a metal panel in the wall; he cut some wiring, but received nothing but an electric shock in return. "I don't think any important wires will be here, but..." He pulled out another metal panel and another, until he saw a small monitor behind a hidden sliding panel. "Take a look at this."
Rogue looked into the small status monitor. It was black with a hint of a green blur that no normal person could read. However, Rogue had borrowed Quicksilver's ability and was able to read the text rapidly flashing through the screen. "AI debugging process 95%"
"Now we know where the system resources are going," Kurt voiced.
"And it's like very bad," Kitty worried.
"We can't let it finish," Remy ascertained.
"That's what we're here for," Wolverine headed back to the door. "We'll have to hurry to the main control room and shut it down." Though there would be lasers waiting in the hallway, they knew they had to hurry. There was no turning back now. "Don't lose your focus, do this like you would do a danger room exercise."
The five charged out, dodging the lasers and pushing their athletic abilities to the limit. The metal double doors at the end of the hallway closed, but Wolverine cut them open to the reveal a tube-like tunnel with a ladder. They were close to the main control chamber. They hurried up, away from the lasers and into a strange room. The chamber was dimly lit, with androids lining the walls locked inside glass capsules. They remained motionless even upon the presence of intruders. "It doesn't look like Revolution has enough system resources to send them against us," Kurt theorized optimistically, though he soon realized what that implied. "This thing is really focusing on the debugging."
"We're close to the center of the satellite structure," Wolverine announced. "There should be a room containing the main power source up ahead, then beyond that the control chamber."
"Almost there," Kitty whispered. They continued on, leaving the androids behind. It didn't look like they would activate and they had no time to waste.
The next room was a great contrast to the last. Like it, it had metal walls and a similar structure, but unlike it, it was very brightly lit with a large glass capsule in the middle. Kurt gasped as he rushed towards the glass and placed his hand on it. Inside there was something blue, a shapeless mass that shifted continuously, not retaining any defined form, yet he knew her. It was mystique. He gave Wolverine a pleading look. "Please, let's take her with us!"
Wolverine frowned, but knew there would be no telling Kurt otherwise. "Fine, if she's being used as a power source, freeing her would be helpful to the mission anyway."
Kurt got to work on opening the glass chamber immediately. Thankfully, the controls weren't complex, as no unauthorized personnel if the satellite had any personnel at all, would be expected to get that far anyway. The shapeless mass of blue flopped to the floor where it remained unable to take on a human-like form, yet it still pulsated with life. "She's probably just exhausted, right?" Kurt voiced hopefully. Someone handed him a bucket and he noticed the utility closet hidden behind a wall panel in the corner... of all the places to put something like that. He was even more surprised to see that the one handing him the bucket was Rogue.
"I'm not fond of her, but if you insist on bringing her along, I won't hold it against you." Rogue voiced in reply to Kurt's unspoken question.
"Thanks, Rogue," Kurt placed the shapeless blue creature into the bucket, it was like melted clay, but the pulsations it held were akin to a heartbeat.
Seconds passed and alarms suddenly blared louder than ever, making the X-Men's heads hurt from the noise. "Looks like Revolution didn't like losing its main power source!"
The androids from the next room were activated, as Revolution concluded that it was worth it slowing down the debugging process to recover its power source. The satellite was working on auxiliary power now. "Gambit, the plan!" Wolverine reminded.
Gambit held a card, he charged it with his power, but was electrocuted as he did. He still managed to charge it enough and threw it at one of the androids. "It'll still work." He hesitated for a moment and glanced at Rogue.
"Go ahead, we'll be fine!" Rogue insisted, taking a battle stance against one of the androids. They were human-shaped, about seven feet tall, made of silvery metal with glowing red lights in their eyes.
"I won't take long!" Remy hurried to the main control chamber ahead to put the plan into action. He was to use his ability to overload the satellite and create a chain reaction to blow it up. With the loss of power to Revolution, the limited block on energy based powers would be lifted and they would swiftly make their escape.
The main control room was just as brightly lit as the room with the power source. Remy began to charge the components, placing his hands over the keyboard and sending a series of explosions through the system. He still got electric shocks, but he was able to use his powers, he only had to withstand the pain. Through it all he felt something stir in his mind and his memories began to return to him. Finally, the alarms stopped as the system tried to save its resources in a desperate effort to restore its functionality. Remy returned to where the others were.
The androids had suddenly dropped motionless, as the satellite vibrated with one explosion leading to another. The lights went out and sparks flew all around. "Mission accomplished, let's get out of here!" Wolverine announced.
With nothing to obstruct their powers now, Kurt teleported the group without any electrocution to the escape pods. Unfortunately, the whole chamber was in flames and the escape space pods were unusable. "We're like in big trouble," Kitty gasped. How would they get out of this?
They tried to think of an escape route but couldn't come up with a possibility. They were in space, how could they make it back to Earth? Kurt couldn't teleport that far. "I have an idea!" Rogue suddenly thought of something that was a little crazy at best, but it was the only possibility that came to mind. She already had Quicksilver's power, but she would need more for this to work. "All of you, lend me your power, I'm going to need them all to make this work. Also, if we still have communication, call the institute and tell them to pick us up at that dimension Kurt teleports through."
"What are you going to do?" Kurt asked in confusion.
"Keep us in that place. It may not b a safe place, but it's better than here!" Rogue replied urgently.
"A crazy plan, but we have no choice. I think there should be some space suits around here," Wolverine recalled.
"I'll get them!" Kurt hurried to find the suits and the five quickly put them on. They allowed Rogue to touch them and absorb their energy, then they were gone.
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The next thing Rogue knew, she and the others were floating through that strange dimension of brimstone, heat and ferocious beasts. It was supposed to be all in a split second, but Quicksilver's powers allowed her to view the events in detail. She saw the light of a portal up ahead. She grabbed hold of the others and pushed them past the pull of energy, releasing them from the teleportation's hold and effectively stranding them there. The others looked as if they were sleeping, since all of this was happening too fast for them to react. The beasts that inhabited that strange dimension were alerted to the presence of beings that did not belong there and were quick to attack, but with exploding cards and metal claws, Rogue fend them off.
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It felt like ages, though it was only a short time until another portal opened and beyond its light Rogue could see Xavier, Forge and many other familiar faces. She hurried through and finally arrived at the institute. Logan, Kurt, Kitty and Remy woke from their daze and examined their surroundings somewhat disoriented. "We made it, well done cherie," Remy congratulated the exhausted Rogue.
"It must have been hard keeping us all safe in that place," Kurt observed.
"It's not something I want to go through again any time soon," Rogue breathe.
"Thank you all for your great efforts," Xavier commended. "Revolution blew up in the atmosphere, that menace is finally gone."
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At the end of another great adventure, the X-Men returned to their lives, though there were certain things that had changed for them. Mystique was kept under observation at the institute, until one day, Kurt went to check on her and she was gone. He wasn't sure where she ran off to, but he knew she must have recovered enough by then and was somewhere out there.
Remy's memories had returned and he remained with the X-Men. Kurt and Kitty continue their engagement, letting everything happen at its own pace. The brotherhood went back to their house and Fred returned soon after. As much as he liked Texas, he had grown used to New York and missed living there with the brotherhood.
Meanwhile, in space... A damaged android floated among the metal wreckage of Revolution, which Shield was in the process of cleaning up. Its eyes flashed red as its metallic monotone declared, "debugging complete." Shield's shuttled took it and several other pieces of scrap metal into a large bin, then it returned to Earth...
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