X-men Evolution Fan Fiction / X-Men Fan Fiction ❯ BurnOut ❯ Chapter 12 ( Chapter 12 )
[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
“He's ruptured a major artery! He will die from blood loss unless you let me take him…” Warren pleaded.
“I'm givin' you five seconds before I shoot! Starting now - ONE, TWO, THREE…” In the periphery of his vision Toby Preston saw his wife approaching. When she reached the dock she raised her arm and aimed a revolver at his head. “Holy Jesus! Angie! What the HELL are you doin'?”
“Put down the shotgun, Toby, or I will use this…”
“You're on the side of this DEMON from HELL?” Toby continued to track Warren with his Remington.
“He's no demon, his name is Warren Worthin'ton. Listen to me, it will take us forty minutes to get to the hospital in the truck. Doug will never make it! Now put down the gun or I swear I'll fire!” Angela yelled.
“Toby, do what she says!” Jen screamed. “I don't want Doug to die!” Toby looked down from the bird-man and saw Jen's face stained with running mascara, “Please…” she sobbed.
Angela watched her husband lower his weapon. “The closest medical facilities are there,” she said, gesturing in the direction of the distant radio tower on the military reservation. “Camp Grafton, across the lake, has an infirmary…”
Warren swooped in and gathered Doug's bleeding body into his arms. In seconds he was far away.
Angela called after him, “It's a closed military base! They're just as likely to shoot!”
She heard her words trail off as the Angel, cradling the wounded hunter, disappeared into the distance.
* * * * * * * * *
Rogue awoke. Her chest slammed into the cold metal slats across her bed. Opening her eyes to near darkness, she couldn't detect any illumination aside from the moonlight penetrating the muslin shades on the windows. It must be late; everyone else was most likely sleeping.
Jean's energy still blazed within her, but Rogue sensed it beginning to ebb away. She was not going to waste these last hours penned in, wide awake. The forces pulling her upwards pressed her body against the cage. It was becoming really uncomfortable. She had to break out. Rogue thought back to one of her early sessions with the Professor. When she touched another mutant, he instructed her, she should use the knowledge of the person whose powers she'd absorbed. So, what would Jean do?
Move the bars… But they were adamantium, unbendable and unbreakable. They weren't fused to the frame of the bed, however.
Think like Jean….
If she was locked in…all she needed to do was unlock the restraints. In her mind she pictured tiny teeth at the base of the slats clenching the metal frame. She heard hundreds of little buzzing circuits sealing the connection. With a single thought she reversed the circuitry. The bars lifted and Rogue sailed towards the ceiling.
She flipped around and flew over to the door. She sensed an alarm attached to the handle. She visualized the current powering the device and severed it. Without alerting anyone, Rogue floated out into the hallway. She wasn't aware of a clear destination, but in minutes she found herself upstairs outside Scott Summers' bedroom.
She turned the doorknob telekinetically and went inside. Scott was lying on his back. She couldn't tell if his eyes were closed - he wore the protective glasses even at night - but the regular rising and falling of his chest indicated he was asleep.
Hovering less than half a foot above, Rogue looked down at him. She touched his face with her mind. The contact made her warm all over. With Jean's abilities she could feel Scott's skin without sending him into a coma. She could kiss him…
“What's going on Rogue?” Scott grabbed her gloved right hand.
“I didn't mean to wake you… I... uh…” Rogue stammered, while retracting her hand and rising higher.
“You're using Jean's powers… Did you touch her again? Where is she?” he demanded, sitting up.
Without understanding how, Rogue knew exactly where Jean was. “She's outside…with Warren…” she blurted out.
* * * * * * * * *
The moon hung high, lighting his way East. Slicing through the clouds, Warren remembered the faces of the men at the Camp Grafton infirmary when they saw he had saved Doug's life. There was only a small training unit on the reservation. The arrival of a winged mutant with a critically wounded local caught them all off guard.
Warren was thankful the men didn't immediately assume they were under attack, concerning themselves instead with treating the bleeding hunter. They had no doctor, only a combat medic and a medical assistant. The two soldiers agreed with Warren that a transfusion was necessary if they wanted to save Doug's life. But the plasma and blood supplies had not been restocked. They had nothing.
“Set up a direct transfusion,” Warren told them, sitting down next to Doug.
“What? What blood type are you? And wait, we don't even know what type he is?” the medic argued.
“And you're a mutant. We don't know what kind of blood you have,” added the assistant.
“I'm type O, but more importantly, my blood might help him heal … I can't explain it right now, but if you don't take this chance he's already dead!”
Moments later, the effects were obvious. Doug's heart rate and pulse normalized. His expression had transformed from the grimace of intolerable pain to the wearied visage of survival. The soldiers shook Warren's hand before he took off. He would never forget their smiles of admiration.
It was around two in the morning, he guessed, when the light from the full moon illuminated the wide banks of the Hudson. The mansion was less than eight miles away.
He could feel Jean's presence below. She was awake, waiting for him. Then he saw her. She was curled around, levitating above the north wing of the mansion, spinning with the wind. The moonlight revealed something dark binding her mid-section, but Warren saw no cable. Was she free? He re-oriented his body to mirror her horizontal position. Her voice came into his head.
Warren, you should go...
It was not what he expected to hear.
“Jean… I'll do whatever you want, but please look at me,” he moved closer.
Jean pulled her head up and straightened her knees. Almost in perfect synch, their bodies rotated 90º; facing each other on a vertical axis, they circled slowly.
“I called out to you, I know. I couldn't help it. I kept thinking about you…” her voice trembled. Even in the dimness, he could see tears in her eyes.
“So I'm here,” he said, gliding in.
“Warren… The Professor, Moira, no one understands what's happening to me. I might lose control. I could harm you…”
His face was right next to hers, “Jean, you're not going to hurt anyone.” He extended his wings, enfolding her. “I'm not afraid of you,” he whispered.
Suddenly Jean sensed Scott below. Rage fueled an optic blast shooting out from his eyes. It was directed at Warren and it was intended to kill him. Scott focused all his anger into the beam. Angel's wings would combust...
Jean's fears were coming true… He was about to burst into flames! She had to send him away. She infused every particle of his being with her energy. In a flash that momentarily lit up the sky as bright as daylight, he was gone.
The massive optic blast hit Jean, instantly knocking her to the ground.
“Jean!” Scott cried, overcome with horror. He leaped to catch her but he was too late.
He ran to her crumpled form on the lawn. He turned her over. Holding her head in his arms his tears vaporized as they landed on the smoldering remains of her vest. The outer fabric had fused with the adamantium fibers.
Rogue rushed in. “Oh, no,” she gasped looking at Jean.
Jean came to, weakly, “What have I done… Where's Warren? What have I done to him?”