X-men Evolution Fan Fiction ❯ Revolution ❯ Episode 21 ( Chapter 8 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

Chapter 21: Breaking Barriers

Later, at the institute. A loud roar echoed from the cage that held a reddish brown human shaped wolf. Remy approached the cage and the creature reached out through the bars to claw at him. He moved back and his hand absentmindedly touched the bandages that went over his chest. In the end all the beasts perished and the X-Men were left feeling as if they walked right into a trap. As for the beast that still lived, she was not of their original group. The proper mushroom was found and sent to potion, but the small step forward had consequences that made it feel like a step back.

Rogue had gone on a rampage that left Remy and Hank injured. It was all too convenient. The anti-mutant groups hiding in Alaska and Brazil, the disasters that followed the encounters with them. Revolution was not a perfect strategist, but sometimes its plans worked. This might have been one of those plans. The remnants of the anti-mutant organization were eliminated and the X-Men were targeted. Revolution wanted them all gone.

"You'll change back," Remy assured, though the beast that was once Rogue only growled in response.

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Outside, wind flowed around Ororo following her every command. Rain fell and there was even snow, lightning once again answer to her calls and Storm felt invigorated. Yet she was also very worried. The fact that her powers were responding to her again was not as reassuring as it should have been. It could, and most likely did, mean that Revolution was saving its energy for something else that didn't include monopolizing the weather, but could be far worse for all they knew.

Reports of assaults in New York were heard of more often and Forge delivered more of the machines that could temporarily free people from the mind control to try to prevent them from hurting each other. Because of that constant danger, there always needed to be someone out on patrol ready to address those problems and the X-Men wanted to have someone working along with Shield. Today it was Evan's turn, it did help that the Morlocks trusted him most out of the X-Men.

Ororo, Kurt and Kitty boarded the new X-Jet and headed for Africa, where they hoped to find some rare herbs to add to Potion's serum. Kurt and Kitty had just arrived from Germany and were very tired, but they continued on with the next mission, knowing that everyone was working hard too.

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After a flight through witch Kitty and Kurt slept the whole time, while Ororo slept for most of it, the three of them landed at Africa. Without wasting any time, they headed out to the shores of the Congo river and began searching for the herbs they needed. The task was surprisingly easy and they had the herbs quickly. They thought that for once things would flow smoothly all the way, but it couldn't be that easy.

Lightning crashed with the echoing of thunder as Ororo was enveloped in light. The aftershock sent Kurt and Kitty backward several feet. The electric light was gone just as fast as it came and Ororo was left unconscious. Alarmed, Kurt and Kitty rushed to her and checked her vitals. The sky was clear with no signs of a storm. Kitty and Kurt quickly carried Ororo to the X-Jet and took off in a distressed rush.

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Later in New York, Kitty and Kurt had rushed back to the institute fearing all the way that lightning might strike down the X Jet. Ororo was taken to the infirmary and treated, but she did not have any real physical wounds. Xavier tried to look into her mind, but that only made him end up in pain. "Something is trying to restructure her mind." The professor concluded with worry. Evan and Logan were there with Xavier and the unconscious Ororo, the professor didn't want to be too crowded so he could focus better, but they insisted on staying. "This is more intense and faster than the past brainwashing methods used. We might have to..."

There was a tense silence during which all eyes remained on Xavier. "What can we do?" Evan asked urgently.

"Her brain waves are very active, she's fighting. I have an idea about how we can help her, but it's too soon to say if it'll work. I'll get things ready right away." Noting the impatient look on Evan's face and the look of poorly concealed irritation on Logan's features, Xavier assured. "Ororo is strong; her mind will not be easily overtaken."

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The institute was quieter without Lance and Tabitha, her random improvised parties and his unexpected earthquakes at all hours of the night whenever Tabitha bugged him about shaking it up. He had gone to Japan to release some of the planet's tension on that side of the world and Tabitha insisted on tagging along.

Meanwhile, at New York, Ororo, who was still unconscious was wearing a helmet with lights around it. Cables came out of it left and right connecting to helmets worn by Xavier and Jean on either side. A third cable connected Ororo's helmet to a peculiar machine with a screen displaying brain wave patterns.

The helmets worn by Xavier and Jean also had cables that connected with the machine as they sat left and right from Ororo's bed at the institute's infirmary. More cables went from helmets to the machine for Logan, Scott and Evan, who were lying in more of the infirmary beds giving into the dream-like state.

xoxox xox xoxox

Logan, Evan and Scott found themselves in a fog covered city with dark buildings that gave off the impression of closing in and falling on them. Only bits of the night sky could be seen between the skyscrapers with an ominous yellow moon with dark lines visible on its surface as if it was cracking, ready to fall apart. The more they looked at the scenery the more the moon and buildings looked like they would fall on them.

Logan tried to follow Ororo's scent, but he could not perceive it. He extended his claws and retracted them again, at least that was working. Scott shot a beam of laser to the sky and Evan pushed out his spikes then hid them again. Concealing their presence was not their concern because it was impossible anyway. Yet Revolution might not expect something like this and that would, with any luck, cause it to not take action, or at least take such a long time to figure out its possible course of action that the mission would be done by then.

"Split up and search," Logan commanded. "Don't risk being overtaken. If you feel the psychic lifeline coming loose call to Charles or Jean to get you out." The three of them ran in different directions.

Logan tried to focus and allow his instinct to guide him. He could see and hear acutely, but his sense of smell was gone within the dream world. He walked down the street for a while longer until he felt there was a building he should enter. It was shrouded in dark mist with creaking floors and walls that became narrower as he further explored the structure.

Going deeper in, Logan thought he heard something. He stopped in front of a door and reached for the doorknob, it was very cold. He turned the doorknob with a screeching sound. The room inside was filled with a sense of vertigo as the wall pulsated and closed in. The feeling of entrapment was strong in the air, even for someone who didn't have claustrophobia and Logan recalled that Ororo did. He quickened his pace through the gray walled tunnel following the faint sounds of breaths.

Fog invaded the tunnel that turned narrower as he went until he reached a dead end. The metal at the dead end was not entirely smooth, but rather held a few small openings no more than an inch in radius. "Ororo?"

There was a gasp and an unsure pause. "Logan?"

"I'll get you out, stand back as far as you can!" With his claws at the ready, Logan gave Ororo a moment to back away then slashed at the metal. Unfortunately, there were only sparks and scratches as a result of his efforts.

"Logan?" Ororo's voice was broken rather than panicked.

He expected her to be screaming in terror, then he thought about how coarse her voice sounded and realized she must have already done that until she could take no more. This was a world of nightmares, but her weary state of mind was showing on the projection of her dream self tired of being trapped, beyond panic into quiet resignation. "I'll get you out of there."

"Go... Go before you're trapped too. I can barely remember, I can barely think. Get out before it's too late for you." Ororo's voice was fading. She had suffered for too long, she was past her limit.

The already dim light darkened. "Don't give up!" Logan insisted. He clawed at the metal plate in the way again and again, drilling through the same area continuously until he managed to break a small opening. "Ororo..."

She looked through the opening, her eyes red from crying, expression half blank. "Save... yourself..."

"I'm not the one who's in danger here," Logan half growled and half comforted. "It's your mind that is about to be overtaken. I thought you were stronger than this!"

"Trapped..." she sobbed, " for so long..." she covered her face with her hands and she saw that her knuckles were bruised and bloody.

"Is that all?" He paused and waited for her to look at him through the opening in the metal again. He could guess what she was about to say. "Don't tell me I don't understand your fears because that's not the point here. Revolution attacks the mind, your mind, so you're the one who has to understand your own fears and overcome them. I'm here, I haven't abandoned you, but I can't save you."

"I'm sorry Logan," Ororo whispered in apology. "I can't, I tried but I can't. I know this isn't real, I know I'm sleeping, but I'm still trapped. I don't know if I'll be trapped forever or be crushed by the walls."

The panic in her voice rose, but Logan took it as a good sign, because it was worse if she was numb. "You're strong enough to break free."

There was silence and ragged breaths, then the opening on the metal wall closed up on its own. " Logan!"

"I'm still here," he answered.

"Don't leave, I don't want to be cut off from the world, don't leave!" Ororo called desperately.

"It's time to leave, time to wake up," he spoke seriously, "do it. I'm right next to you in the real world, follow me."

"Trapped... Trapped..." Ororo yelled and started hitting the walls again.

"Ororo!" Logan scolded sternly and the sounds from her side of the wall stopped. He spoke in a softer tone after he knew she was listening. "Take my word for it; even if it feels like an eternity, there is no entrapment that lasts forever."

Ororo took a deep breath and repeated those words. "No entrapment lasts forever..." She closed her eyes and imagined an open space. Images of a dark enclosed space invaded her mind, but she just kept thinking the same thing over and over. "No entrapment lasts for ever..." She pictured herself at the institute where everyone was waiting for her. She couldn't let them down, her nephew, her friends, and Logan...

When Ororo opened her eyes again, the metal wall was gone and she was standing in front of Logan. She hugged him before she even had time to register what she was doing and by the time she did he was already hugging her back. A loud crash came from outside and they hurried to look out the window. Scott and Evan came running down the street full of dark buildings, each doing combat with two shadowy monsters.

"Out to get revenge on your fears?" Logan encouraged. Ororo looked unsure, she knew what kind of feelings those creatures would give her if she went near them, they were her fears. That was how she ended up trapped in the first place, trying to get away from them. Sensing her worry, Logan gave her hand a small squeeze. "I'll back you up. I didn't come all the way here to save you just to leave you behind."

Ororo nodded, that was all the reassuring she needed. He was there for her and it made her feel better. No entrapment lasted forever, not even the entrapment of fear itself. "I need to do this," she finally decided. Then she leapt out the window flying toward the monsters, her eyes glowing with power. A fierce wind blew and a massive amount of lightning answered to Storm's calls. Everything was engulfed in flashes of light. Storm knew that her friends were waiting for her and Logan was there too. He had come for her and she wouldn't let him down. She would be brave and she would conquer her fears.

To be Continued

The end of the story is near! :o