The Past Revisited (sequel to The Perfect Weapon)

Authors listed in alphabetical order:

Anonymous Poster, Evil Cordy, Jag, Jason Barnett, Khaki, Lurker, Mac, Sparrow


Jubilee had been sick for many days now. It was like her body was not responding to the medicine. And each night she had fevered dreams. She was stuck alone in the Med-Lab. And tonight was not any different from any other night. The dreams started again.

JUBILEE'S DREAM
Jubilee was running down a strange hall with many doors.

REALITY
Jubilee twisted in her sleep.

JUBILEE'S DREAM
Jubilee tripped as she had done so before.

REALITY
Jubilee moaned clutching the corner of her pillow.

JUBILEE'S DREAM
Then the ghoulish demon head came towards her; mouth open. And swallowed her up.

REALITY
"Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!" Jubilee screamed.

Beast bounced into the Med-Lab, still in his jammies.

"Jubilee, are you all right?" Beast asked in a concerned manner.

Jubilee was gasping for breath, a hand on her forehead.

"I'll be all right, Beast, can I just get a hug?" Jubilee asked with her eyes wide and frightened, her brow sweaty and fevered.

"Um..." Beast hummed and hawed.

"Please, just one little hug, I won't even mention that crush you have on a certain, cute redhead." Jubilee pleaded as she blackmailed the oversized cookie monster.

Young Hank just stared at her, as he processed this new information. 'Just how much does she know?'

"Sure, J!" Beast said as he complied awkwardly, and gave her a big, blue, furry hug.

Jubilee returned the hug, an evil sneer on her face as she rested her head on Beast's body; she gripped the knife that she had hidden, and plunged it into Beast's back.

"AH!" Beast started to scream, but Jubilee quickly put her hand on Beast's mouth, and sneered at him, with her eyes glowing a very icy blue.

-----

Jubilee woke up in shock. Gasping for air, she looked around. She didn't see Beast's body; there was no knife and no blood.

"Just a dream, J. Snap out of it. It's not like I haven't this kind of dream before."

She put her hand to her fevered brow and wiped the sweat away. She calmed down and lay back down. As soon as she was asleep, an evil smile worked across her lips.

Sparrow

**********

Kitty hit the ground hard, followed by Rogue.

"Thanks for the sparrin' match, guys."

"Uhh...no problem, Jubes."

"It was our pleasure."

Rogue turned to Kitty. "Ah've seen Logan use those moves, but he never showed me how ta do 'em."

"I know, and he never showed Jubes or me either."

-----

It took some intensive telepathic therapy sessions but Victor Creed had all his memories restored. Combined with the positive influence of being the new surrogate father of Blink, they had brought back the man who had once been Logan's best friend. The two had begun working to make sure Project: Weapon X was done for and finding Silver Fox. They'd been out of the loop for a while, but thanks to friends, they'd managed to make do.

"What d'ya think of that guy Neena's hanging around?"

"Pain in the ass, runt. 'Specially since I can't figure him out. He ain't a cyborg, those parts don't smell enough like metal, an' if that ain't part of a mutant power how the hell did he get a metal arm."

"My thoughts exactly. I think I'm gonna let him know how I feel 'bout people keepin' secrets."

Tyger Tiger stood in the doorway blocking his path. "Logan, Neena has known Nathan most of the time you were gone. He doesn't keep secrets from HER and she isn't the little girl trying to make do in the business anymore. You've got plenty of girls you can treat like daughters, so don't start anything."

"I know at least one a those girls is lot more than a daughter to him," Creed chuckled.

"Shut it, Vic. You eavedropping, Tyger, or do ya have somethin' ta say."

"The school is on the phone. There's something wrong with Jubilee. Something about fighting in ways she never learned, and the telepaths can't enter her mind anymore."

"I better talk to 'em."

"If we need ta get there quick, Clarice knows where we are, just tell her ta come pick us up."

Jason Barnett

**********

The girl named Jubilee looked at herself in the mirror, clean and refreshed from her after-workout shower. Ogun was pleased. The body was young and strong. It would last him many years and win him many victories.

Her will had been strong, but the head injury she'd sustained six-months ago had allowed him to gain a foothold in her mind, and the fever she'd just recovered from had allowed him to push her core personality into the background.

He was in control now, and he had been a studious observer. He could copy the mannerisms of the girl; her speech and inflections flowed easily from his mouth. The mental barriers that had kept him hidden from detection for two years were now keeping the telepaths away from his thoughts.

The only person who could possibly defeat him was Logan-san. He had used his samurai techniques in the sparring match with Kitty and Rogue as a way to alert Jubilee's teachers to a problem and to draw Logan back to the school.

Once Logan was here, Ogun would kill him in his sleep, perhaps poisoning him first. He would not make the mistake of so many warriors before him and leave Logan with any means to recover. He would not be satisfied until he held the man's heart in his hands. It was not the samurai way, to kill with cowardice, but Logan was more animal than man and would not die any other way.

Perhaps he would allow Jubilee's personality a glimpse of the bloodshed. Surely that would kill her spirit even more and allow him to push her out of the body completely.

Khaki

**********

Months prior.

"Silver Fox, the mission you were brought from exceeded even your authority. Not only did the Contessa LMD cause only superficial damage to S.H.I.E.L.D. operations, but our computer systems were massively damaged. You are a high-ranking member, but Hydra is not yours. Your vendettas are not the reason for our existence."

-----

Now

Silver Fox watched her troops perform flawlessly. She had been busted down to a single squadron leader, but months of intensive training had left them the best in Hydra... and loyal only to her. She had a way of winning confidence.

There was an offshoot of Hydra located in Madripoor led by a woman named Viper. She planned on allying her group with Viper's, taking Madripoor, then dealing with Logan.

-----

"Colonel Fury, Professor Xavier for you."

"What d'ya need, Chuck?"

"I fear that project X-Factor may need to be delayed."

"That ain't somethin' I wanna hear. What's wrong?"

"Jubilee..."

"The girl who's supposed to be number two in the group after Maverick?"

"That is her. She has been showing extremely bizarre and unexplainable behavior as of late, and I haven't been able to read her mind to determine the potential problem."

"Why not?"

"Because I cannot."

"She was on one a those Hydra copters wasn't she? They replaced Val with an LMD an' we still ain't found her."

Jason Barnett

**********

"I shouldn't be gone too long. You'll let me know if you get any leads on Silver Fox?" Logan had attached his pack to his motorcycle and was ready to go.

"Yeah. You sure you don't want Clarice ta just blink ya there?"

"No reason to wear out the kid. It's not an emergency. Plus, I'll enjoy the ride. See ya in a couple of weeks."

-----

"Jean, Colonel Fury has just given me a possible explanation for Jubilee's strange behavior."

"Yes."

"One of his people was replaced by a LMD a few months ago, an android with an organic body. He said it was almost indistinguishable from the real person. Since Hydra was responsible for the switch in that case, and since Jubilee was captured by Hydra before these changes started to occur, do you think it likely..."

"That's she's been replaced by a robot? Charles, really, it sounds like so much science fiction."

"Yes, but can you think of any other reason for her unexplained behavior?"

"It'll be easy to determine whether you're right or not. I'll just call her down for a physical."

-----

Ogun would be relieved once he could leave this place and resume his work in Japan. This Jubilee's life included an inordinate amount of frivolous activities. He couldn't train or do katas all day as it would arouse suspicion. Instead he was forced to play video games, watch T.V., do homework, and just "hang with the girls."

He would have left already if it hadn't been for Logan. He could track Jubilee anywhere her body went. No, it would be better to stay and take Logan unawares. Still, Logan had better show up soon. Rogue was threatening him with a fashion makeover, and he could only say "no" so many times.

Khaki

**********

You're coming with us, Sugar." Rogue and Kitty came into the rec room to drag Jubilee out. They had been asked to keep an eye on her while Dr. Grey set up for the phyical.

"I'm not taking no for an answer, either. I made appointments at Sasha's for all of us, a girls' afternoon out. We'll make it just in time if we leave now." Rogue said grabbing her arm. What better way to keep an eye on Jubilee than at the mall?

Ogun fumed. Logan would pay dearly for this treatment. He began thinking of various forms of torture he could inflict on a man with a healing factor.

In the background a newsbreak came on the TV.

"We are interrupting your regularly scheduled program for the following story." A blond news woman came on the air. Behind her was the smoking remains of what was left of a city block. "We are live at the World Trade Center here in New York where just minute ago an explosion occured. It was possibly a bomb. The rescue workers are here now. At this time no word on any injuries or deaths..." The report went on in an empty room.

-----

"Sir, we've got a photo image of the bomber."

Nick Fury turned his chair to the officer that had spoken. They were in the new temporary S.H.E.I.L.D. headquarters, an office tower in New York City. From the outside, it looked like any other office building. Inside, it was business as usual for S.H.I.E.L.D. personnel, while a new helicarrier was being designed and built. The time table put its completion date in about one year's time. In the meantime, they were using a network of ground offices.

"Put it up on the screen."

The room went quiet. "Val" He said.

Lurker

**********

Ogun would never admit it, but he was actually enjoying his facial. The scents calmed his nerves, and the massage helped his tense muscles to relax. He began to mentally chant one of his favorite meditation rhythms and lost himself completely in the sensations. It was a perfect way to center himself, since it calmed the Jubilee personality, as well.

He should not have fought this outing. It had aroused suspicions, and the day was turning out rather well. He had received a manicure, and after this facial, the final item on his list was something called a leg wax. If it was as pleasant as the other two treatments, he would have to come back and do this again.

-----

"Dum Dum, is there any way to determine where she went? Do we have any shots of vehicles, any leads we can use?"

"No, Nick. From what we can tell, she walked in and walked out. We even checked local ATM cameras, but the only shots we have of Val are on foot. No vehicles, no license plates. We don't even know if it was Val."

"Why would Hydra want to blow up the World Trade Center?" Nick said, rubbing the bridge of his nose.

"They couldn't have been trying to destroy the building. It wasn't that big of a bomb. Minimal structural damage. No fatalities."

"What offices were in the vicinity of the bomb. What could they have been after?"

-----

Rogue was enjoying her manicure. It was one of the few treatments she could get at the salon because the manicurist wore gloves. She'd already gotten a pedicure, and this would be the last treatment of the day before they returned Jubes to the mansion.

Jubes had been acting like she didn't want to go to the mall, and that, more than anything, had alarmed Rogue and Kitty. Jubilee would drag herself on a mall trip even if she was dying of leprosy, just in case fingerless gloves were on sale. If the mall was on fire, Jubilee would still go and just hang in the "less smoky" stores. Rogue was certain that there was no force on earth that could keep Jubes away if someone at the mansion was going to the mall. That's why she had been stunned speechless when she'd asked Jubes earlier in the week to join her for one of those free makeovers, only to be rejected. She and Kitty had to practically drag Jubes for this afternoon of beauty. It felt wrong.

Of course, ever since they'd arrived, Jubes had been her old self, revelling in the attentions of Sasha's employees. She was in the back now, starting her waxing...

"OWWWWWW!" A scream from an angry Jubilee filled the air and the girl came running out of the back room, clothing askew.

"We're going. Now." was all Rogue heard as Jubilee stormed past her and out of the salon.

Rogue turned to an equally baffled Kitty.

"You get her," Kitty said. "I'll pay."

Khaki

**********

Ogun had lived a very long time. However, like most men, he knew that he didn't understand women. 'If they subject themselves to things like that it is no wonder they are so often moody. However, it doesn't explain why they would do it. However, given the amount of body hair Logan possesses, it does give me a very entertaining idea.'

Jason Barnett

**********

They had just finished putting their bags in the car when Kitty climbed in.

"Gee, Jubes, what's your damage? You'd have thought you were getting a full Brazilian bikini wax with the way you were screaming."

"I did not scream," Ogun said with as much diginity as he could muster. In Jubilee's body it came off more as a pout.

-----

"Nick, here's the list of offices nearest the center of the bombing." Dum Dum handed Nick Fury three files. "Frost Enterprises, a firm called Landau, Luckman & Lake and Stark Enterprises."

Lurker

**********

"Hi, Jubilee, Rogue, Kitty."

"Hi, Beast. What's up?"

"Uh, Jubes, Dr. Grey wanted to see you down in the Med Lab. You know, as a check-up to see if you've fully recovered."

"I feel fine."

"She was insistent."

Jubilee let out a long sigh, allowing everyone to know just how necessary she felt this check-up was, then followed Beast out of the room.

-----

"Well, Jubilee, that's about it. You may go now."

"So, I'm gonna live, Doc?"

"Absolutely. You're in perfect health."

As she watched Jubilee leave, Jean reviewed the results of her tests for the third time. Blood tests... X-rays... they showed nothing. The CAT scan had showed a little more activity than was expected, but her new psychic shields could easily account for it. Jubilee was absolutely normal and perfectly healthy.

The tests had lasted well through dinner and Jean supposed she should probably just go to bed, but the lack of any progress on the Jubilee matter was disturbing. She decided to run the blood tests one more time, just to be sure.

-----

Logan was worried. He hadn't said as much to Sabretooth, but if Jubilee was doing the things that Rogue had described something must really be wrong. He hadn't stopped, except for gas, since he'd left, and he was finally pulling up to the mansion at around 10 p.m. local time.

Leaving his bike next to One-Eye's in the garage, he entered the house and almost ran into the girl he was looking for. "Hey, Kid."

"Hey, Logan." Jubilee replied, heading towards the stairs. "What're you doing back?"

She was trying to keep her voice neutral, but from her scent and the way she stood, Logan could tell she knew why he was back. It was almost as if she'd been waiting for him.

"Heard you've been showing off in training, Kid. Thought I'd get a crack at you."

"Yeah, well, maybe tomorrow. Night, Logan."

As he watched her go, Logan was stumped. Her smell was Jubilee, he was certain, but her behavior was odd. He'd purposefully called her 'kid', something Jubilee normally wouldn't tolerate, and she hadn't seemed to notice. Also, she called him Logan. She hadn't called him Logan since they first met. It's always been Wolvie or some other twist on his codename. What was going on?

-----

Ogun smiled. Logan was back. He would make Logan's death exquisite and then be able to return to Japan.

Khaki

**********

Logan went to look for Xavier. Something was beyond wrong with Jubes. That was her body all right, but that was not *her* in there. He knew he couldn't really explain exactly how he knew that. Only that he did.

He just hoped the Professor took him at his word.

Evil Cordy

**********

As Logan walked down the hall, he noticed some faint spices.

'The Cajun. He'll help me out,' Logan thought.

Believe it or not, these two had come to a understanding about Jubilee.

"'allo, Logan. What brings vous back to the mansion?" Remy asked, as he lit a cigarette.

"Hey, kid! Don't you know smoking will kill ya one day." Logan said as his nostrils flared at the scent.

"Many t'ings that could kill me, Logan. As I asked before, what brings vous to the mansion?" Gambit asked once again as he snubbed out the cigarette.

"Jubilee. Wheels and Jeannie said she was acting strange."

"Ah, you noticed that too." Gambit replied, but anything else was replaced by Logan grabbing his coat and slamming him against the wall.

"What the hell do you know about that?" Logan asked as his eyes went bright.

"Many t'ings, Logan. I called her petite the ot'er day and she did not get mad at moi." Gambit said as he was slowly let down.

"Yeah, I called her 'kid' in the garage and she did not say one blasted thing about it. Something's wrong Gumbo and I don't like the smell of it." Logan said as began to pace back and forth.

"So we go to de professor. Allez vous." Gambit said as he made the sweeping motion with his arm.

And they both made their way to the professor's office. Neither one of them noticed that Ogun/Jubilee was behind the wall, she being downwind of Logan and out of range of Gambit's proximity sense.

'Damn that Gaijin!! Damn them both!!' Ogun/Jubilee fummed. But inside Ogun/Jubilee's mind a lone figure shackled to the wall smiled the first smile in a long time.

Sparrow

**********

"I agree that there is something wrong with Jubilee. However, after Jean's tests, we do know that she is Jubilee. I'm sure she will confide her problems in at least one of us when she is ready. For now, it's late. I suggest we resume this discussion in the morning."

The professor had effectively dismissed Logan and Remy for the night. They weren't happy about it, but he was right. Nothing would probably change between now and the morning.

-----

Logan was asleep. Ogun had been waiting in the hall for hours until he was certain. The man's senses would have alerted him to Jubilee's presence if Ogun had tried anything earlier, but now, unconscious, Logan was vulnerable.

Hefting the katana in his right hand, feeling the comfortable weight and balance of the weapon, Ogun approached the bedside of the man who had once been his student.

He could feel the Jubilee personality fighting within their combined mind. Thrashing at her bonds, trying to stop him from what he must do. The first strike was important.

Lining up a blow through the heart, Ogun positioned the sword, ready to thrust. It wouldn't kill Logan instantly, like it would any other man, but it would injure him enough to be easily disposed of.

A split-second before he struck, Logan's eyes snapped open. It was too late, though, as the blade plunged between the metal ribs and into his chest.

Khaki

**********

Logan brought his claws out and slashed off the blade leaving the possessed Jubilee holding the worthless weapon. He rolled off the bed and stood.

"How... your healing factor isn't that great! You cannot heal with the blade through your chest."

"Heh... cough... can't bleed out with it still in there either."

Jason Barnett

**********

"Who are you? What's happened to Jubilee?"

"Logan-san, you weren't always so naive. Is this what time has reduced you to?" Jubilee flung the sword hilt away and sprang away from the claws and into a perfect samurai attack stance. "Come, let us dance like we used to."

As Logan rose from the bed, Jubilee attacked. The blows rained down on him as he blocked and ducked her attacks. She was too good, and the sword still in his chest was making him slow. The blood flowed out around the metal that was embedded so close to his heart he could feel it vibrate with every beat.

As his vision began to blur around the edges, and his movements became more sluggish, he realized that the sword had been tainted and poison was flowing through his body, propelled by his every movement. He fell to his knees, still blocking the attacks with his arms, although more kicks were getting through.

"Logan-san, is it so hard to recognize your old master?"

Logan knew only one man that could fight like this, but... "Ogun is dead. I killed him. You saw it, Jubes."

"No, I am Ogun. I have many faces and many names. I have lived centuries before you, and I will live well beyond you. I must thank you for finding me this new body, Logan. It is young and strong. I will rule with it for many years to come."

"Nooooo!" As weak as he was, his shout echoed the halls of the mansion, waking the occupants.

-----

A red optical blast splintered Logan's door and Cyclops, Jean, Storm, and Rogue ran in to see Jubilee holding Logan's hair in one hand, a shortened sword in the other. She was cutting into the meat of his throat when she froze. Jean's shaking, outstretched hand holding her captive.

"Jubilee..." Cyke said, stunned at the image of his student killing one of her best friends.

Jubilee's eyes focused on Jean, pushing in to her essence. Jean gasped at the mental assault and stumbled back as Jubilee, now free of the psychic hold, dropped Logan's body and jumped through the open window, fleeing the campus.

Rogue ran to Logan's body as her teachers stood stunned. "Jean, help me."

Jean took in the injuries, the gash in his throat, the traumatic wound caused by a blade still held in his chest. Feeling for a pulse, she let out a breath she didn't know she'd been holding. "His pulse is erratic, but it's still there. Help me get him to the med lab."

Khaki

**********

Rogue quietly entered the Med Lab. Jean and Beast were working feverishly over microscopes and machines, while Logan lay in the middle of the room, IVs and tubes attached to him everywhere.

"How is he, Jean?"

"Rogue... he's not good. There's some kind of poison in his system that's slowing his healing factor. We're trying to come up with an antidote now. With his kind of chest injuries, normally I'd use a sternal saw, crack the ribs, and repair the damage. With his adamantium skeleton, I can't get access to the injuries. His left lung has collapsed and his aorta was nicked. If he didn't have the chest tubes, the cavity would be full of blood. Right now, we're taking the blood from his chest and putting it right back in with the IVs. It's a stop-gap measure at best. If he doesn't heal on his own..."

Jean didn't finish the sentence. Rogue nodded and pulled a chair to Logan's bedside as Jean returned to her work. Putting a gloved hand to his sweaty brow, she whispered into his ear.

"Logan. I know you can hear me, sugah. You hold on. Come back to us."

Khaki

**********

Ogun smiled slightly as he, no, as *she*, ran into the night with a pack filled with a few items banging against her back. Deep inside, in a dark place that not even a telepath could reach, the rightful owner of the body screamed and railed at the intruder that she couldn't evict.

'You sonofab*!%h! When I'm strong enough I'm gonna kick yer psychic @$$ from here to the outer galaxies. I'm gonna wail on you so bad you'll think you're married to a linebacker for the Dallas Cowboys.'

'Such language, child. What would Logan-san think? Oh, I am sorry. He will not be thinking of anything much longer.' Ogun laughed faintly. 'And you will never be strong enough to defeat me.'

Jubilee settled in to fume. It was one of the many things she did incredibly well, and it also served to conserve her strength. And she would get strong enough to beat Ogun. She had to. Logan and the others needed her.

Evil Cordy

**********

Rogue jumped as Logan coughed, blood coloring his deathly pale lips. The heart monitor started spiking in more and more erratic patterns as his body started to shake in convulsions.

"Jean!" Rogue shouted, holding Logan's head in an effort to keep him from hurting himself.

Jean and Beast rushed to the side of their stricken teammate, Jean ordering anti-seizure medication.

Rogue was pushed aside, to give the doctors room to work. She stood, terrified, as she watched her best friend struggling on the bed. Then, his body stopped moving.

The whine of the heart monitor filled the room, transmitting one, flat tone. Jean and Beast took a step back from the body, communicating without words.

"What're you doing?" Rogue screamed. "Start CPR, get one of those electrical shock machines."

"It won't work, Rogue," Beast said in an attempt to help her understand. "The metal skeleton is too strong for CPR, and any electrical impulse will be conducted away from the heart."

"No, that can't be it. He can't die."

"There is one chance," Jean said, as she rushed to the medicine locker. "Hank, get me a heart needle."

"What're you doing?"

"I'm going to inject adrenaline straight to the heart," Jean said, filling the three-inch needle and plunging into her patient's chest. "It might start it beating again."

The three waited, breathless as they watched the heart monitor. The flat line jumped once, and then again, until there was a steady rhythm.

"That was close," Hank said in relief. "We've got to find an antidote, now."

Rogue silently pushed her chair back up to Logan's bedside and resumed her vigil.

Khaki

*********

Gambit hissed into the phone. "Non, I'm telling *you*, dat girl o'mine be in trouble. She ain't been right in d'head. Not for near on a year. Now, you gonna find Ol' Tante and you gonna ask her dat question, or Gambit gonna come on down t'Nawlins. An' Gambit knows you don want dat."

He slammed down the phone and turned to find a few of Jubilee's other nearest and dearest standing behind him with hard looks on all their faces.

"What the heck was that all about, Remy?" Kitty demanded.

Gambit thought about trying to put her off, but the girl was a pigheaded as St. John and Bobby, who were standing on either side of her. "Gambit got some... special contacts. Jubilee tried killin' Wolverine, which be somet'ing p'tite not never wanna do. So Gambit contact de specials."

"Say that again," Bobby said in tone of voice he rarely used. It made him sound... dangerous. "In plain English this time."

"I sicced de psychic who works for m'family on Jubilee," Gambit muttered. "Ol' Tante be clairvoyant. I was hopin' she could find Jubes."

Evil Cordy

**********

"Clairvoyant, huh. That means she'll be able to tell us where Jubilee's going an' Blink might be able to take us there."

-----

"So, you're the famous Viper."

"And you are Silver Fox. I've heard a great deal about you from my contacts in Hydra's main body. This is my right hand, the Silver Samurai," she said pointing to the armored man entering.

"A pleasure. Lady Viper, I must speak with you."

He led her away from Viper. "I have just received a message from my late father's former mentor, Ogun. He says he will be arriving soon, seeking an alliance. However he warns his form will be surprising."

Jason Barnett

**********

Viper scowled. "I dislike Surprises. You know that."

"But Ogun does not, Lady Viper," Silver Samurai said almost gently.

The venomous woman only ground her teeth together and stalked back into the room where Silver Fox waited.

Evil Cordy

**********

"Eureka!" Hank called, backing away from the microscope. "I think I've found it."

"Let me see," Jean said, leaning over the equipment he'd just left. "Hmph, looks right. The reaction appears to be working. Let's try it out."

"But Dr. Grey, shouldn't we experiment more with the formula? We don't know how much to give him, or if it will work in his body."

"Hank, you saw yourself. Half an hour ago, Logan was clinically dead. He doesn't have any more time. We've got to use what we have and hope for the best."

When they entered the main room where their patient lay, they found an exhausted Rogue asleep, her head laying on the bed, her hand still holding Logan's.

"Should we wake her?" Beast asked.

"No, let her rest. We'll know soon enough if this works."

-----

The pain woke him, more than anything else. His chest was throbbing, but with each passing second, the pain eased, and it got easier to breathe. He opened his eyes to find the sterile surroundings of the med lab. As he tried to remember what had happened to him, he heard a soft moan beside him.

Rogue was sitting in a chair, her head resting on his bed and her hand clutching his. He squeezed the hand, and then released it, bringing his hand up to run his fingers through her hair.

Groggily, she sat up and looked into his eyes.

"Logan?"

*Cough* "Hey, Marie."

"Jean, Hank, Logan's awake!"

Khaki

**********

Logan glared at the assembled members of the X-men where they were, crowded into the MedLab. "What. Do. You. Mean. Jubilee. Is. Gone?"

Rogue bit her tongue at the slow, flat sound of his voice. She knew better than anyone what that meant. The Wolverine was pissed.

Gambit gulped. "I got a friend looking for her. I should be hearing from her soon."

Evil Cordy

**********

"Shouldn't have bothered your friend," Logan said, sitting up and swinging his legs over the side of the medical bed. "I know where he went."

"Logan, you're still too weak to..." Jean was cut off by Logan's hard glare. It didn't matter to him that he'd been at death's door not four hours ago. A friend was in trouble, and he was going after her.

"Mon ami, you said 'he.' Is someone with Jubilee?"

"In a manner of speaking, and he's taking her to Madripoor," he said. 'Makes the most sense,' he thought. 'Ogun'll have to re-establish his contacts, and Madripoor is the place to do it.'

"If you're going to Madripoor, I'm coming with ya," Rogue said.

"No, Marie. I'm going solo. Ogun caught me off guard this time. I don't wanna be watching anyone's back, not even yours, and have him sneak up on me again."

'Ogun,' the name was familiar to Gambit. "You killed Ogun in Madripoor, non?"

"Apparently he's harder to kill than I thought."

'Dis be the man that tried to kill Jubilee before. Don't matter than Logan wants ta be solo. Gambit's gonna save da chere.'

Khaki

**********

Early in the morning:

Nick Fury wandered into the kitchen. It had been another late night, and at 6 a.m., all he wanted was a cup of coffee. He poured a cup and sat down at the table with the morning paper trying to remove the cobwebs from his brain. He reflected on his talk to Tony Stark. There had been some microchip prototypes taken during the blast. Frost Enterprises and Landau, Luckman, & Lake had both been less than forthcoming with information but said that nothing had been taken.

Nick opened the Daily Bugle, took a sip of his coffee and then promptly spayed it all over the paper.

"#$*)))@*!" He yelled as he jumped up and grabbed a towel trying to clean off the paper so he could read the article attached to the front page photo. It was of the masked vigilante known as Spiderman fighting. Nothing new there. No it was who he was fighting. The camera had caught her face perfectly. It was Valentina. According to the story, Osborn Enterprises had been broken into last night. No details as to what had been taken but the thieves had escaped.

"Dum Dum," Nick said into his wrist communicated.

"Seen the morning paper, I take it," replied Dum Dum. "I've already got a team heading over to interview Osborn."

Nick looked at the photo again. The caption said that the photographer was named Peter Parker.

Lurker

**********

"Get me this Peter Parker, Dum Dum. I wanna talk to him."

-----

The young Asian woman departed from her flight and approached the Silver Samurai.

"I am here."

"Leave me, little girl. I am waiting for someone."

Ogun dropped his bag and attacked, catching the Silver Samurai off-guard. Through a few swift movements, she had him on the ground, stunned. After all, Ogun was a master with centuries of experience in the martial arts.

"I am Ogun. I will forgive your impudence this once because of my altered appearance, but be warned. I will not forgive again."

-----

It had taken him longer than usual to pack, but he was finally ready to go. Everything was taking him longer than usual today. His injuries had been severe enough that his healing factor was still working on them, and he'd needed to borrow a cane from the med lab just to stay on his feet.

As he finished loading the jeep, he turned to see Marie jump in the front seat and toss her duffel in the back.

"You're not coming."

"Oh yes I am. Jubes is my friend, too, and you need the help."

"I already told you, I can't watch your back..."

"Yeah, but you need someone to watch your back. I still have your memories, ya know. I know what I'm getting into, and I'm coming."

Khaki

**********

"What she doin'?" Gambit demanded as he jumped into the back of the jeep.

Logan growled. "Same thing as you, Gumbo. Being stubborn, pig-headed, and down right stupid!"

"Learned from the best, sugar," Rogue drawled. She snatched the jeep's keys out of his hand and started the engine. "Hold on, boys."

"Merde," Gambit muttered.

"What are you whining about?" Logan twisted around to demand.

Gambit blinked at him. "You ever been in de car when Rogue dere be driving?"

Logan didn't have time to answer as Rogue peeled out of the driveway.

Evil Cordy

**********

Nick Fury looked at the picture in the dossier a young man. He was about 17 years old, brown hair and eyes, average looking all around. His file had said that he was an honor student. It also had said that he was an orphan living with his Aunt and that his uncle had been murdered just months before. Overall, he was a prime canadate for getting into trouble.

He couldn't believe that his people couldn't find the kid. He got out of his car in front of an average looking house and was about to head to the front door.

"You're one of the men looking for Parker?"

Fury looked up to where the voice came from, the shadow on the side of the house. Fury walked over and looked at the red and blue masked man clinging to the side of the house.

"Look the kid is clean. He did me a favor, so I let him take pictures to help his aunt pay the mortage. I'm the one you really want to talk to."

"Yeah, you are." Fury rolled his cigar to the other side of his mouth. "What were you doing at Osborn Enterprises last night?"

"I was following someone else. The attack was unexpected."

"You remember seeing this woman?" Fury pulled out a photo of Val.

"It was pretty dark, but yes. I followed her to the docks. She and the others got on a boat, the Asian Princess. It left before I could retrieve the chips that had been taken. I recognise you. You are Nick Fury."

Fury nodded his head.

"Take this. You get within a half a mile of her, and this will register. The homing device I planted on her will show her location, providing she's still wearing it. Now, leave the Parkers out of this." Spiderman handed over a small electronic box and webbed himself away.

Fury climbed back into his car. He had what he needed, now to find Val and figure out what HYDRA was up to.

-----

Spiderman watched from the neighbor's roof as Fury pulled away. He breathed a sigh of relief. He'd have to be more careful, or Aunt May would find out about his new idenity. It was a wake up call to be more careful. You never knew who might pay a visit.

Lurker

**********

"I can't believe Logan would just take Marie and Remy and go off like that."

"Scott, you have to understand how much Logan cares about Jubilee."

"I do but they'll have to take a plane and then they can be seen. They'll have no chance of getting in secretly."

"But we can, Mr. Summers. I was listening and they're going back to Madripoor. Mr. Logan said it was where Ogun would need to go, and a friend of Remy's confirmed it."

"Unfortunately, Clarice, we don't know Madripoor like they do."

"But Mr. Creed and all his friends do. He called me and they got some information that said Silver Fox was there."

"We can sneak in, while the others grab the majority of the attention. We'll have to be ready to back them up, but we can't turn down any potential advantage."

After conferring with Professor Xavier, Blink opened a portal. Cyclops, Dr. Grey, Storm, Iceman, Shadowcat, Pyro, and she stepped through to Tyger Tiger's home in Madripoor.

Jason Barnett

**********

As soon as the portal was closed Sabertooth scooped Blink up into a hug that looked like it was crushing her ribs, but she only smiled and wrapped her arms tightly around his neck in return.

"How sweet," Tyger Tiger drawled. "I didn't think you really had it in you."

Blink stuck out her tongue at the older woman.

"Nice to see you again, Tyger," Cyclops said politely. "Will you be working with us?"

"Not exactly," Tyger said with a smile. "I'm just supplying hardware."

Mac

**********

The trip to the airport was a white-knuckled roller coaster ride.

"Darlin', shouldn't you wear your seatbelt?" Logan asked, gripping his seat and wondering the same thing about himself. After all, his healing factor still wasn't completely up to snuff.

"Safe driving tips from the Wolverine? I never thought I'd see the day."

"Chere, perhaps we could go a little slower, non? Remy'll be no help to Jubilee dead in a ditch on the side of the road."

"Oh, you big babies. You're no fun."

-----

Ogun realized that his fight with the Silver Samurai had attracted quite the crowd in the busy airport. Sighing, he reached down and helped the man to his feet.

'I hope I don't have to prove my identity to everyone, here. I don't have the time and I'm not in the mood,' Ogun thought.

Deep down, trapped within her own head, Jubilee worked on the mental bands holding her captive. Ogun had killed Wolvie. He'd told her about the poison and allowed her to watch while he used her body to run him through. She had to get back control. She couldn't let him kill again.

Khaki

**********

Miraculously, Rogue, Logan, and Gambit made it safely to the airport.

Things we're going exceptionally well. They got tickets for their flight, their luggage was being loaded, and the plane had a wonderful takeoff. So in other words, something bad was going to happen as soon as they got off.

"Logan, perh'ps you tell this Cajun what's truly going on. Rogue may have her own deductions, but Remy don't believe that Ogun is alive, fully." Gambit said while Rogue slept.

"Mmmm.. I don't know if I should tell ya kid. You might not like the answer, seeing how 'fond' you are of the kid." Logan said as he pulled his hat down a little further.

"You might as well tell Gambit now, before Gambit finds out in Madripoor." Gambit said with a warning tone.

"Didn't anyone tell you that the third person talk is a little strange," Logan said as he got a murderous glare from Remy. "I'll tell you what's going on in a couple of minutes, just gotta think of something."

That seemed to settle Remy down for now.

'Jubilee, darlin'... keep fighting!' Logan thought as he began to tell Gambit what was truly going on.

Sparrow

**********

Gambit really, really wished that Logan was wrong. He really, truly wished there was a chance in [email protected] that his Jubilation had just gone slightly nuts. But there wasn't.

His petite ange was possessed by Diablo his-self going by the name Ogun.

Gambit really, really wished he could think of a way to get his Jubes back. Because from the looks of things, they might have to kill her to destroy Ogun once and for all.

Mac

**********

Nick Fury had sat in the pilot's seat trying to make the pieces fit. He was on his way to Madripoor because HYDRA was there. Because Val was heading there. Because HYDRA wanted him there. He knew it was a trap, but with the chips and the others things that were taken in seemingly unrelated crimes, the brain boys down stairs had come up with a potential hypothiesis that couldn't be ignored. The potential of a machine to control the weather in the hands of HYDRA was too much.

He looked at the tracking device Spiderman had given him. He hadn't told anyone about it or his talk with the vigilante. It worked like a map of sorts. The person holding it was in the center and when close enough to the tracking device a light appeared showing where it was in relation to the person holding the box. So far the light wasn't lit. He had to keep his distance from the aircraft that had picked Val up from the ship she had boarded in New York.

-----

Jubilee was alone in the dark. She struggled with the bindings on her wrists. This shouldn't be happening. This was her mind, her body. Why couldn't she control it? She growled in frustration. Here she was stuck to the wall in her own mind while some souless bastard was out there killing people with her hands! She had to stop him! The man had no conscience. He'd kill anyone. He had already killed Wolvie and made her watch unable to help her friend. A tear slid down her cheek. Wolvie always said she was annoying, but it was always with that affectionate growl. He was family. She turned her head to wipe the tear away on her shoulder. Ogun was tring to break her. She knew that but there had to be something she could do. She wouldn't give up. Logan would never give up.

'Wait. Think, Lee, think. You're on to something here.' She tried to rewind her previous thoughts. 'OK, Conscience, Wolvie, annoying.' She could do annoying. Oh yeah, she could do annoying. Everyone said she was an expert at it. A smile crept acoss her face, the one that made even Remy run away in terror.

Jubilee stopped struggling and opened her mouth.

"This is the song that never ends.
It just goes on and on my friends,
Someone started singing it not knowing what it was.
Now they just keep singing it forever, just because
This is the song that never ends...."

She didn't bother trying to stay in key, and when she was done with this one she knew some good Barnie songs. 'Eat this, Ogun!'

Lurker

*********

This girl was driving him crazy. Her obnoxious songs, most of which he didn't even recognize, were making it impossible to concentrate. She had just completed a mind-numbing rendition of "Henry the Eighth, I Am," complete with an astoundingly bad English accent, and was now singing a saccharinely sweet song about love. It was more than an ancient samurai master could bear.

"Stop the car," Ogun commanded Silver Samurai.

"We are almost there, Master Ogun," the man protested, but at the look on the young woman's (no, he reminded himself, Ogun's) face, he pulled over.

Ogun leapt from the vehicle and manhandled the young girl he had seen into his grasp. She had been playing on the sidewalk with a friend, who was running away screaming. The girl couldn't be older than 6, and she cried and struggled in the young woman's grasp.

Ogun shouted into the air, "If you do not stop this immediately, I will kill her. I will slash her throat and allow her blood to run through your hands. I will kill another and another and until you are covered in blood."

Jubilee stopped singing. She was stunned by how quickly the man controlling her body had become infuriated. She didn't want anymore killing, but this was not the way to stop him.

'Hmm, but it is a way to distract him,' Jubilee thought.

Khaki

**********

Jubilee stopped singing. Ogun got back in the car. Jubilee waited five minutes and started singing again. Ogun was out of the vehicle threatening another bystander in seconds.

Jubilee repeated the process. 'That's it asshole. Leave a nice big trail for them to follow. The X-men'll come, or Sabretooth when he finds out Wolvie's dead. And one thing I'm good at is sticking out.'

Ogun hadn't bothered changing Jubilee's clothes, and right now, she was dressed in her usual array of blindingly bright neon colors.

Jason Barnett

**********

After the third time the girl had provoked him, Ogun decided to follow through on his threat. He had Silver Samurai stop the car, despite his protests.

"We're just a few blocks away from our destination, and you're attracting too much attention. The police..."

"This is Madripoor. No one sees anything. I have an errand to run. We shouldn't keep Viper waiting more than a few minutes."

Ogun entered the back yard of the apartment building they had stopped at. There were children playing some sort of hide-and-seek game. He watched as the children split up and disappeared. Following one of them into a side alley, he found the child hiding behind the dumpster.

"I will not allow you to bait me, Jubilee, and I always follow through on my promises."

Pulling his blade from Jubilee's jacket and grabbing the boy in one swift movement, he cut the child open from navel to nose and slashed his throat.

-----

Jubilee had tried to stop him. She put all her energy into stopping her body, kicking and pulling at her mental restraints. She threatened him, saying she would keep singing forever if he did this. She pleaded with him that the boy was just a child and didn't deserve to die, but in the end, nothing worked.

She watched the child's terrified face as he was gutted. She watched the pain and horror give way as his strength left him and his blood stained her clothing and shoes.

'You @#*$*#! I don't care how long it takes me, I'll kill you for him and for Wolvie. One of these days, I'll get control, and you'll die. I'll make you suffer.'

'Hollow words, Jubilee. You'll never defeat me. You're strength is fading every day. I trust this demonstration shows you I do not make idle threats. Do not provoke me again.'

Khaki

**********

Wolverine, Gambit and Rogue had finally made it it Madripoor, Logan had once again donned his 'Patch' appearance, and the three were making their way to 'The Princess Bar'.

Sparrow

**********

'MY STRENGTH IS NOT FADING!!! If it was then I wouldn't even be an annoyance to you!!!'

As Jubilee's anger grew pyrotechnics flared around her in the mental landscape she was in. Suddenly the wall she was chained to seemed to explode, and she was lose.

She tackled Ogun and began kicking and punching the ancient ninja. Soon enough, though, Ogun managed to strike her and knock her back to rechain her.

'I got loose once! I'll make you pay!!!'

-----

"Lord Ogun, are you well?"

"I am fine." 'She should not have been able to do that, she could not break free when I killed Logan. Though she never actually saw a lifeless corpse. So either seeing a person definitely killed by her hand strengthened her, or somehow, I am weakening.'

Anonymous Poster

**********

Jubilee settled back into doing what came almost as naturally to her as being obnoxious and annoying seemed to, only she didn't have to work as hard at it.

Jubilation Lee seethed quietly.

It wasn't exactly something that she allowed others to know she could do, after all, she had a reputation to uphold. But then she had finally let the mask she held up to everyone but three or four people fall away.

She was't being Jubilee, prank ring-leader, rollerblade goddess, or Queen of the Mallrats. She wasn't being the little girl she let everyone think she was.

She had dropped the act. Jubilation had dropped the act, and her mental appearence echoed that.

Not that Ogun was paying attention to the mentally adult woman trapped deep inside her own body.

Not that he would think to actually look at her until the next time she drew his attention.

So it was time for her to plan, to feed seeds of the demon's destruction from within.

And if Ogun thought she was too simple or too young to do it, he had another thing coming.

Jag

**********

"What've we got, Dum Dum?"

"Appears to be a Hydra safehouse. It can't be a central headquarters. There's not enough room and the neighborhood is too busy."

"Val's in there, according to this readout," Nick said, holding up the small tracker he'd been given. "Do the spotters have any clue who else we have to deal with?"

"We've had sightings of Silver Samurai and Viper, both Madripoor locals. Silver Fox, that Hydra agent that attacked Xavier's a few months ago, is there too."

"Anyone else?"

"Here, have a look for yourself."

Fury took the offered binoculars and focused on the closest window. The shades had been drawn, but S.H.I.E.L.D. technology allowed him to see the body heat, outlines, and extrapolated pictures of the people in the room. There were spotters located at different spots, surrounding the building and keeping a watch on the occupants. Others were listening in to the conversation through hyper-sensitive listening devices.

"Has anyone seen Val?"

"Nope. She must be in one of the interior rooms."

Fury's attention jumped back to the window when he saw the shade being drawn. A young Asian woman pulled the blinds away for just a moment to see outside. It had just been a glimpse, but Fury knew 19-year-old girl. What was she doing there?

"That's Jubilee," Fury said.

"Who?"

"One of Xavier's kids. He mentioned to me that she was acting funny."

"And now she's with the same people that have Val."

"We've gotta call Xavier. Logan'll want to know about this."

"Logan's here."

"In Madripoor?"

"Yeah, just arrived a few hours ago at the Princess Bar."

"Why wasn't I notified?"

"I thought you had been."

"Ok, well get Logan up here. Call Xavier, too. He'll want to know what happened to his student."

-----

"Ok, Patch, I've got some info for you on your friend," O'Donnell said, sliding into the booth occupied by Patch and his two young companions. "Some people are talking about an Asian gal in bright neon clothes stopping and threatening by-standers. She's even suspected in the murder of a kid in Lowtown. Some kids saw her go into an alley and come out covered in blood."

"Sounds like her," Logan said, sorrowfully.

"No, Jubilee would never..." Rogue started, but Gambit interrupted.

"Chere, dis not be Jubilee. Dere's someone controlling her body right now, a samurai master called Ogun."

"How did that happen?"

"Not important now. What's important is getting Jubes back," Logan responded.

"But if someone's controlling her mind, how do we know there is a Jubilee to save?"

"Ogun died two years ago. He must've done something to Jubes back then before we could get to her. If he'd gotten rid of Jubilee completely, he woulda done something sooner than this."

"So Jubes has another person stuck in her head? Good thing you brought me along, sugah. I'm the expert on this sort of thing."

As Rogue finished speaking, a S.H.I.E.L.D. officer walked in the door. After looking at the faces in the bar, he strode confidently to their table.

"You Logan?"

"Who wants to know?"

"Colonel Fury sends his regards and says he's found a friend of yours: a Jubilation L..."

Before the sergeant could finish the sentence, the group was up and headed for the door.

-----

"Scott."

"Yes, Professor?" Cyclops asked into the phone at Tyger Tiger's.

"I've just received a call from S.H.I.E.L.D. Jubilee's been sighted in Lowtown."

"Give me the address, and we're on our way."

-----

Logan crept up beside his friend, Nick Fury. The situation reminded him of another time, during World War II, when they'd attacked a German outpost.

'Concentrate,' he berated himself. 'That's Jubes in there, not Germans, and you've gotta get her back safe.'

"What's the plan?"

"A simple snatch, grab, and destroy mission. We're going in for Val and Jubilee. Since both of them have shown, shall we say 'aggressive tendencies,' we'll take them by force. Also, we need to destroy the plans and equipment for a weather-controlling machine. Val's been seen at the sights of several robberies where the components were stolen. We don't know if the machine is complete and operational or not, but we're not taking any chances."

"Your team'll have ta handle the machine and Val. The three of us will focus on Jubes."

"Agreed."

-----

Ogun was annoyed, to say the least. The girl had struggled within his mind against the bonds for days, and even succeeded once in escaping. The bonds were weakening faster and faster, and he had to keep going into his mind to reinforce them. He would be happy when he could finally find a place of solitude and meditate so he could flush her from the body once and for all.

It didn't look like he would get his chance for quite a while. First, there had been the long flight to Madripoor. Then, there was the long drive to the safehouse, with that annoying girl singing and carrying on. Now, he was trapped in a meeting with Viper, Silver Samurai, and some woman named Silver Fox, discussing plans for a large machine.

He just wasn't up to discussing technical details now. He was rubbing the bridge of his nose and pushing the long hair out of his face for the millionth time (how could she stand this haircut?), when the alarm sounded.

"The perimeter has been breached," Silver Fox shouted.

Ogun was immediately alert. He could hear the sounds of the battle below them, slowly approaching their room on the top floor. He retrieved the katana Silver Samurai had provided and prepared himself.

When the figures came into the room, he could hear Jubilee's voice rejoice. "Logan's alive!!! You didn't kill him! There's Remy! He's come for me. Now you're gonna pay, Ogun."

Ogun ignored the threat, seeing that the soldiers plus the three mutants would be too much of challenge in open combat. He needed a ruse.

Dropping the katana, Ogun reached out with a plaintive hand to the Cajun. "Remy, you've come for me. You've got to help me."

"No, don't!" Logan warned and Rogue tried to stop him, but Remy had run as soon as he heard Jubilee's call for help.

Remy pulled Jubilee into an embrace, telling her how worried he was, asking how she'd defeated Ogun, when Ogun pulled the small blade from its harness on his back and plunged it into the vulnerable Cajun's side.

Remy dropped, scooting away and looking in horror at Jubilee's sneering face.

Jubilee broke the mental bonds once again while Ogun was distracted by his attack on Remy.

'You *#$%@!' she yelled as she leapt on Ogun's mental essence. Gaining control of her body, she yelled, "Wolvie, Rogue, I've got control. You've gotta stop me now!"

Her two friends looked at each other. Jubilee had dropped the knife and they could see the awkward way she moved, as if she was fighting for every action, every word. They knew this was the real Jubilee and that she was begging them to help her. Logan unsheathed his claws, but he stopped a few steps away from her. He just couldn't do it.

He watched as Jubilee's expression changed again, falling back into the sneer. "You should have attacked while I was disabled, Logan-san. I thought I taught you better than that. Now, you will all die."

Ogun felt the brush of flesh on flesh as two feminine hands gripped his head. He heard the words, "That ain't gonna happen, sugah," and then he was forcibly ripped from the body he'd taken refuge in for two years.

-----

'This is the only way,' Marie thought as she grabbed Jubilee with her bare hands, holding on as both their veins popped out and Jubes struggled for breath. 'I can handle someone in my head better than her.'

She absorbed the surface personality of Ogun first. When she started feeling Jubilee, too, she released her hold and dropped her friend to the ground.

"He's so strong," she muttered as she clutched her head and fell beside her friend. Releasing the personalities of all the people that she'd absorbed, she focused on the battlefield of her mind.

Cody and Jubilee were the faintest, insubstantial spirits in her mind. Magneto was stronger, but it'd been two years since she'd absorbed him, and his strength had waned. Logan was the strongest, since she'd absorbed him three times in her life. Still, it was over six months from the last time she'd touched him. He wasn't strong enough. She wasn't strong enough. Ogun would win. Even as she entered the battle, she knew she would lose.

"He's too strong."

-----

Logan hadn't looked around the room. Ever since they'd entered, he'd only had eyes for Jubilee. She'd begged him to help her, and he couldn't do anything. He couldn't use his claws, couldn't kill her. There had to be another way.

He watched as Marie latched on to her friend and seen her absorb Ogun, taking him into herself.

He'd grabbed her as she fell, and heard her mumbled "He's so strong... He's too strong."

She wasn't physically hurt. She needed help in her mind, not with her body. Still, he felt she needed another fighter alongside her. If Ogun was strong, he'd make the Logan in her head stronger. Reaching down, he brushed away the hair from her face and kissed her.

-----

Silver Fox saw the soldiers and Logan enter. She'd seen Logan run to Ogun, and seen him kiss the young woman that had defeated the Asian woman. She watched as he struggled for breath, saw him weaken from the woman's touch and fall away unconscious. She doubted that he'd even noticed her presence, he was so distracted.

Of his companions, the two women were unconscious and the young man was wounded. Now was the perfect time for her revenge.

Khaki

**********

Jubilee's eyes flickered open slowly. After Rogue had touched her she barely had the strength to keep her heart beating.

Then she saw the woman who had kidnapped her six months ago standing over Wolverine with the knife she had dropped.

"No," Jubilee hissed. She forced her body to respond, lifting a hand slightly, then fired a weak plasma blast.

"Don't worry, brat," Silver Fox snarled. "You will be next!"

"Non," Gambit growled, "she won't."

-----

The first thing the X-men heard when they followed the S.H.I.E.L.D. operatives into the house was gunfire from the lower levels. Cyclops snapped out orders that sent the senior members of his team down while Creed took command of the younger X-men, leading them upstairs.

The second sound they heard was a woman's scream. Creed and Blink recognised it as Silver Fox.

They ran faster.

Jag

**********

Remy had charged his entire pack of cards, his other hand resting against the wound.

Jubilee was still desperatly trying not to collapse, when Remy fired his entire deck of cards at Silver Fox.

"Ahhhhhh..." Silver Fox screamed as the kinetic energy engulfed her.

Just then Creed and Blink 'Blinked' into place, as Remy collapsed and Jubilee finally sank into unconsciousness.

Meanwhile a battle for Rogue's mind was taking place.

Sparrow

**********

Within Rogue's mind.

Wolverine clashed claw to sword with Ogun as the other voices in her mind prepared to fight. Cody, her ex-boyfriend wisely stayed away. Magneto, though an enemy was willing to help defend a mutant.

But directly behind Logan despite barely being absorbed at all was Jubilee.

Jason Barnett

**********

Scott lead his team down the stairs after the the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. The stairs opened to a wide, sloping corridor. They were heading downwards and could hear gunfire up ahead. The corridor turned and then opened up to a wide room. The area was filled with bullet holes and a couple of bodies wearing Hydra uniforms. The X-Men stopped and looked around.

"It looks like some kind of train station," said Storm looking at the underground rail system.

"I think this place is bigger than anyone expected," replied Scott.

Lurker

**********

Gambit was losing strength quickly, at about the same speed he was losing blood. So far, he had managed to stay conscious through willpower alone. He watched from the floor as the wounded Silver Fox got up, her burns healing before his eyes.

"You will pay for that."

"I don't think so, Fox," a deep, almost animal voice, rumbled.

Gambit turned his head to see Sabretooth and his X-teammates. He never thought he'd be happy to see the larger man, but as he attacked the now armed Silver Fox in battle, Gambit couldn't be happier.

Now that the immediate threat was gone, his adrenaline left him, and he collapsed next to Jubilee.

-----

Shadowcat was stunned to see her friends incapacitated. Jubilee was feebly trying to help Gambit, but she was obviously just as bad off as he was. Logan was unconscious, his breathing labored. Rogue was just plain unconscious.

"Help me here, guys," she called to Iceman and Pyro, but they had already engaged the Hydra troops.

"Jubes, it's gonna be ok. Let me help Gambit." She tried to sound reassuring, but her words sounded hollow even to her.

After securing the makeshift bandage over Gambit's wound, she started to plan how she was going to get her four teammates back to safety without any help.

A purple hand grabbed her shoulder and she twisted around ready to attack. There was no need.

"Clarice?"

"Can I help."

"We need to get them to a safe place."

Clarice closed her eyes, and Kitty felt the shift as her body left one place and reappeared in another.

-----

Inside Rogue's mind was chaos. Logan was slashing at Ogun with his claws while Ogun blocked the attacks and made some strikes of his own. Jubilee's paffs were weak, so she was forced to use them to try to blind Ogun instead of injure him. The tactic had worked a few times, and Logan had gotten in good hits.

Ogun raised his sword to block another blow Logan aimed at him, when the sword was pulled away from his grasp and into Magneto's hand. He mentally recreated the sword just in time to block.

Rogue, for her part, was firing a machine gun into Ogun's back whenever Logan was out of the way, which wasn't that often. She couldn't get closer for her usual hand-to-hand combat style with claws and swords waving around.

Ogun realized that he was losing the battle. It was only a matter of time before they subdued him enough to lock him away in the back of Rogue's mind, never to emerge. He needed to take drastic actions.

Closing his eyes, he focused on the body he now occupied. If he could kill the body, he would kill his attackers. He would die as well, but death was better than the eternal prison they had planned for him.

-----

Kitty looked around. They were now in a large, quiet living room.

The silence was broken by a young teenaged voice calling, "Mom, they're back... Well, some of them are back."

Kitty recognized Karma and Tyger Tiger as they hurried into the room.

"Help me. They're hurt," she said, indicating her injured companions.

"What happened?" Tyger asked.

Kitty opened her mouth to respond when Rogue made a low guttural noise and went into a seizure.

Khaki

**********

Fury found himself leaning against an underground support pillar, his gun held ready for the next barrage of bullets. When they had stormed the safehouse, he had seen Val grab something before heading downstairs. Now he was stuck in this underground maze, seperated from his team, watching her as she approached the lab technician with what looked to be the last component to a large machine that stood in the center of the chamber. The lab was crawling with HYDRA guards on high alert.

'Well, Nick, you found the base and the weapon. You even found Val. Now how are you going to destroy that thing with out blowing up half of the island, Val, and yourself in the process?' he thought to himself.

Lurker

**********

Inside Rogue's mind, Jubilee watched as Ogun released his power. Immediately, she could sense the change. Their surroundings muted and faded, becoming duller colors. Rogue dropped her weapons and clutched her head, writhing in pain.

Wolvie, seething in rage, tried to attack, but Ogun had some sort of mental shield around his essence that Wolvie couldn't get through. Magneto couldn't do anything either, now that Ogun wasn't using his sword.

Soon their surroundings were a dark blood red, fading into black. Jubilee didn't know how she knew, perhaps it was all that time with Ogun in her head, but she knew that he was killing Rogue. The fading was just a result of Rogue dying.

"NO!!!!" she shouted, charging her enemy. "No more. I won't let you kill another person, ever!"

Khaki

**********

She too bounced off the shield surrounding him, but something surprising happened. The color stopped fading from the surrounding mind even though the personality fragments continued to.

-----

"I...I have her mind," Karma grunted with exertion. It's difficult to focus around all the noise of the different voices in her mind but if I can keep a hold of her mind then Ogun will kill himself for nothing."

"But what about the others?" Clarice asked.

"They'll be lost also, but remember, they're just fragments. Their loss will not affect the real people. But it is a difficult use of my possession power. If Xavier is nearby, please hurry and get him. I may need help."

-----

All the soldiers had abandoned the weapon, and Nick walked over to examine it.

"Mighty nice of you boys ta leave the blueprints out for me."

His stogie fell from his mouth as he read the shockingly familiar plans.

"This ain't no weather control device. This is Magneto's mutant creating weapon. Only it don't need a mutant to power it."

With this weapon, Viper could target any populated area and subject them all to slow painful deaths at any time.

"Not even the main branch of Hydra would use this. They'd be too worried the anarchy it would cause would come crashin' down on their heads."

Jason Barnett

**********

"NO!!!" Ogun could tell that it wasn't working anymore. He and his opponents were fading, but their surroundings were recovering. Rogue was back on her feet, standing with Logan and Jubilee.

He was denied this final victory. Someone outside this mind was interfering with his control. Reaching out with all his senses, he tried to find the interloper's mind. He had to stop the interference if he was to succeed.

-----

"You're right, Nick." Val's thick, liquid voice interrupted his one-way discussion. "The main branch of Hydra doesn't even know about this."

"Val," he called, looking up to see her a floor above him at the machine's controls. "Why are you doing this?"

"Because Silver Fox, my master, commands it."

Khaki

**********

"Now, step away from the device, Nick, or I'll activate it. It's not finished, so who knows what'll happen."

"If you're the real Val, you'll thank me for this." He drew his pistol and fired up at her.

She dropped off the weapon and avoided the bullet.

Nick put the gun back into its holster, drew his combat knife, and charged at her. Slashing at her, he managed to graze her thigh.

Rolling away he brought the knife up to his mouth and flicked out his tongue. He knew what blood tasted like; he'd had teeth knocked out and sucked out venom from snake bites. He could tell if she was real or just another LMD.

Jason Barnett

**********

It was real blood, all right. This must be the real Val, but why was she acting so strangely? She said that Silver Fox was her "master." Must be some kind of mind control. If he could get her back to S.H.I.E.L.D., he could probably get her help.

Of course, thinking that would be harder than accomplishing it. Especially since she had drawn a knife of her own and was preparing to attack.

-----

Karma reeled back, breaking her link to Rogue's mind. The power of the attack had caught her off guard and pain filled her senses. She could faintly hear her mother calling her name, but she couldn't respond. Her last thought before she succumbed to unconsciousness was that she had failed. Rogue's attacker had fought back, and she hadn't been strong enough.

-----

Karma had asked for the Professor. He was back in Westchester, but if Rogue needed help, Clarice had to get him.

*BLINK*

She was in Westchester in the Professor's office at the mansion.

"Clarice, what's wrong?"

"No time. Take my hand."

He placed his hand in hers.

*BLINK*

The professor collapsed onto the floor of Tyger Tiger's estate.

'Stupid, stupid,' Clarice berated herself. I forgot his wheelchair. I must be more tired than I thought.

"Sorry," she said.

"Not a problem, my dear," the professor replied, calm as ever. "Now why did I need to be brought here?"

"Rogue's dying. Karma said you could help."

Following Clarice's arm, the Professor took in the sight of several of his X-men and Karma incapacitated on the floor.

Khaki

**********

"Oooo getting kinky, Nicky? Let's see how your heart tastes shall we?" Val lunged forward. Nick swung his blade up to block, looking for an opening to grab her.

-----

The Professor took in the situation quickly scanning the minds of his fallen team. He slid himself into Rogue's mind knowing that was where the battle was taking place and that there wasn't much time left.

-----

Ogun was tired but knew that he had almost suceeded, soon it would all be over. The girl's mind was dim, a dark fog was settling over everything. A lone figure appeared in the landscape. As it walked forward, Ogun could make out that it was a man in armor, carrying a sword. It was the crippled headmaster of the children's school. He moved as one accustomed to battle, a worthy adversary perhaps?

"I am Ogun,Master of the Hand," Ogun bowed then took a fighting stance.

-----

After noting that Blink had helped Kitty with the injured and that the walking icecube and his buddy the flamethower had the guards occupied Sabretooth had turned his attention to Silver Fox. Now he stood dripping wet in a corridor, bullet holes almost healed. The scent of her blood from the cut she had gotten jumping out that window into the rain was strong. She had tried to lose him before ducking into a warehouse a few blocks away from the safehouse but he had found her scent leading down to the basement and now into this maze. Sabretooth fought hard to keep the beast inside in check as he turned left following her.

Lurker

**********

Nick could see it all happening again: fighting with Val, struggling for the knife, her bloody death in his arms. Only this time, he wouldn't find out later that it wasn't the real Val. This was her, and he couldn't let her die again.

Lowering his knife, he took a step back. "Val, I don't want to fight you. You've got to let me help you."

-----

Silver Fox was half-running, half-stumbling through the maze of boxes. The bleeding had finally stopped, but she knew if Sabretooth had decided to follow her, she'd left an easy trail.

Pausing in her flight and holding her breath, she listened very carefully. She could hear the rain beating on the roof, the sound of the wind through the trees outside, and the scrape of a boot on concrete. He was coming.

Her mind flew back to that day: Logan's birthday. She had wanted to surprise him, but it was she who had been surprised when Sabretooth attacked her. He would have killed her if she hadn't managed to escape, but he'd done plenty of damage.

'No,' she thought. 'Not again. I'm strong now. I won't call out to Logan for help. I won't wait for a man who said he'd protect me, who had instead abandoned me. I'll win this time. It is time to make my stand.'

-----

Logan woke with a killer headache, uncomfortably sprawled on an expensive rug. Groaning, he pushed himself up to look around. Jubilee and and a bandaged Gambit were unconscious to his right. The professor was sitting, concentrating solely on Marie, to his left.

He could smell death on her, like her body was shutting down. Looking across the room, he saw Tyger Tiger approaching him.

"What? How?"

"Jubilee and Gambit are recovering. They'll be fine. The professor is helping Rogue. Karma tried, but Ogun is too strong for her. The professor is probably that girl's last hope."

Logan was devastated by that news. He wished he was a telepath for the first time in his life, just so he could help. Of course, wishes never got you anywhere, so he abandoned that train of thought.

A familiar scent caught his attention. It was coming from Gambit's and Jubilee's clothes.

"Silver Fox? Kitty," he called. "Was there a Native American woman there?"

"You mean the gal with the healing factor? Yeah."

"What happened to her?"

"I don't know. I was just trying to get you guys to a safe place. When I left, she and her troops were fighting with Iceman, Pyro, and Sabretooth."

"Sabretooth?" he asked. Then, lost himself in thought. 'Sabretooth and Silver Fox, is he going after her, will it happen again? I have to help her. But how can I leave Marie?'

Khaki

**********

While Wolverine was contemplating his decision on looking for Silver Fox, Jubilee groaned.

Sparrow

**********

"I am Charles Xavier, and you are to release control of this mind at once."

Ogun didn't dignify that with a verbal response. He let his sword answer the man's demand.

He was fast. Ogun would give him that, but Ogun was a master. His skills had been honed over centuries in the art of battle.

As the fight continued, strike after strike hitting, missing, blocking at the speed of thought, Ogun began to tire. The man he fought was as strong as ever. Why wasn't he breathing heavily? Why wasn't the fight draining him like it was Ogun?

-----

Xavier saw his opponent tiring. He might be a master in the real world, but his mental discipline left much to be desired against a strong telepath.

As they fought, Charles built a mental cage. He gave it all the strength that was his powers. Mentally, he imagined a box made of thick strong metal, adamantium even, with no windows, just a door that would seal immediately once it was closed.

His attacks pushed Ogun closer and closer to the enclosure, and before the man knew what was happening, he was inside. The professor heard his shout of outrage as the door slammed shut and sealed. Then there was silence.

~Rogue?~

Nothing. The world around him was frighteningly dim.

~Marie?~

-----

The pain had stopped. The terrible, hurtful, mind-numbing pain was gone, and in its place was a deep, comforting voice. It was a familiar voice.

~Marie?~

~Professor?~

~Follow me, Marie. It's ok. He's gone.~

-----

Logan helped Jubes up to a sitting position. She still looked dead tired, but at least she was herself again. He'd been so worried.

She turned looked down at the man beside her and then turned to him. "Remy?"

"Tyger's says he'll be fine."

She relaxed a bit, leaning against him, then stiffed again. "Rogue?"

"Dunno yet."

The professor moved for the first time in an hour, pulling his hands back from their hovering position around Rogue's head. Then Rogue opened her eyes.

"Marie?" Logan asked, moving to crouch by her. "You ok?"

"Yeah, Logan. I'll be ok. Just real tired," she said closing her eyes again.

He nodded. His decision made, he got up to go find Silver Fox.

"Hey," Jubilee asked from the floor. "Where're you going?"

Khaki

**********

"Ta keep Creed and Fox from killing each other," Logan said gently. "Stay here, Jubes."

Jubilee let herself flop back on the floor with a soft moan. "Oh, like I'm going anywhere!"

Evil Cordy

**********

Silver Fox finally made her position with many weapons by her side to hurt Creed. She remembered, if you struck someone enough times with any kind of weapon, who had a healing factor their healing factor would eventually not be able to keep up.

'Remember try to keep the knife in the neck.' Silver Fox thought as she shivered involuntarily, not from fear, but from how that almost had happened to her.

-----

Creed kept following his nose, following Silver Fox's scent. He kept thinking something was very familiar about all this.

-----

While Silver Fox, fortified her position, and Creed followed his nose, Wolverine was locking onto both their scents.

'I pray I ain't too late.'

Sparrow

**********

Victor could smell her, waiting to ambush him on the other side of the wall of boxes. Her scent, fear and determination, brought him back to a day many years ago. Logan's birthday. She'd had that same smell, but then, the scent had been mixed with her blood. He could fix that.

Ducking around the boxes, lower than she'd expected, he easily grabbed her swinging arm. Pinning her against the boxes, he effortlessly manipulated her wrist, forcing her to drop the knife. Taking a quick glance at her planned battle ground, he saw she had fortified her position with two crowbars and some rope, in addition to her knife. He grinned ferally in his captive's face; her makeshift weapons were no match against him.

Her scent was stronger, up against his body as she was, but the smell was still wrong. He ran a claw along her throat, creating a wound no deeper than a paper cut, but still yielding a few drops of blood. There, that was how he remembered it.

"Just like old times, frail."

"No," she answered with determination. "This time I will kill you."

He laughed at her brave words. "No, this time, we'll do it right."

"Let 'er go, Vic," a masculine voice interrupted.

Creed turned to see Logan standing a few feet away. To all outward appearances, he was strong and ready to fight, but his scent wafted exhaustion and pain.

"Now why would I want to do that? We were just about to have some fun."

"This isn't you, Vic. Not anymore."

"This is more the real me, and the real you, than you're ready to admit, little man."

"Clarice is waiting for you."

At the mention of his little girl's name, the spell was broken, the past programming fell away, and Sabretooth was once again Victor Creed.

Logan could see the change come over his once enemy/now friend. "Go, Vic, I've got it covered."

Creed released Silver Fox and picked up her weapons, taking them with him as he left Logan alone with her.

Logan looked at the woman sitting on the cold concrete, clutching her legs to her chest. He could smell her blood, but the wound was superficial. Vic had been able to keep that much control.

"Fox," he said, calmly approaching the woman. "Why d'ya keep coming after us?"

"How can you ask me that?" She asked, lifting up her head, rage filling her eyes. "You know what happened."

"No, I know what I think happened. Until I saw you again at Xavier's school, I thought you were dead. I remember holding your body. I remember fighting Creed in revenge until I was near dead."

"No!" she yelled, interrupting him. "You never came back. He came and... and... did things and you never came back. You left me with him."

"Fox, none of it happened. Not what I remember, not what you remember. They're memory implants to control us, to make us better soldiers."

Silver Fox held her hands up to her ears. "No, I was there. I felt it."

"Let me help you. There's a guy I know. He can help you sort out what's real and what's not. If he can help Vic, he can help anybody."

"Why do you want to help me?" she asked, her voice suddenly small.

"I remember loving ya, Fox. I still care about ya. You're better than this. That's not something they made up. That's real."

Khaki

**********

Nick used his larger frame to force Val back. He slammed her hard against the weapon, dazing her.

"We'll talk it out later, Val," Nick stated using her hair as a hand hold to bash her forehead against it, knocking her out. "Better to mess up your pretty face than get you killed."

He pulled his communicator out. "Dum Dum, get a group of techies down here and disassemble this thing. Any sign of Silver Fox or Viper? Val called Silver Fox her master but mind control has always been Viper's MO to my knowledge. I want 'em both."

Jason Barnett

**********

Pyro and Iceman had split off from the rest of the team still hunting down Hydra goons.

"Give it up, lady," Pyro shouted over the wooden crates that were doing a bang up job of keeping the bullets from hitting him. "There ain't no way out, 'cept quietly."

The only reply was a spate of cursing that would have made both young mutants blush if they hadn't heard worse from their overall team leader. And Jubes was at least ten years younger than the green hag they had cornered in a store room.

"Like the man said, give it up," Iceman shouted from behind his ice shield. "The only way you're getting out is if Pyro melts the door, and we have nothing but time."

"Shield lapdogs! You'll never take me alive!" Viper screamed as she resumed firing on them.

Pyro ground his teeth together to keep a scream of his own from ripping loose.

One of the bullets had finally gotten through one of the much abused crates.

An explosion from someplace deeper in the rabbit warren of tunnels rocked the room. A support beam gave way with a groan and a shudder that shook the room again, leaving the two young X-men coughing and choking on dust.

And a green gloved hand streaked with green tinged blood sticking out of the rubble.

"I hate it when they're right," Iceman groaned, right before he turned to cough up his lunch.

Pyro just nodded blankly.

Mac

**********

Nick had laid Val gently down on the floor when Dum Dum and a few agents came into the room.

"I brought them back up for the techs. We'll have to work fast. Most of the guards have either surrendered or been captured but, there are still some on the loose down here." Dum Dum saw Nick next to the unconscious Val. "You found her I see. How's she doing?"

"Still not happy to see me. She'll probably have one heck of a headache, but should be all right." Nick replied. "I want Viper and Silver Fox."

Before Dum Dum could answer there was the sound of a shot and the tech beside him fell to the ground. Everyone took cover and begain shooting back. It didn't take long to relize that they had been pinned down. Nick and Dum Dum had pulled Val next to the machine for cover and made their shots as the opportunity presented itself.

During the firefight, Val woke up and seeing that Nick and the SHIELD agents' attention was on shooting at the returning guards, she reached up and actived the machine. Nick Fury would die.

-----

Scott and his team moved quietly to where they heard the sound of gunfire. They had been walking through the tunnels fighting HYDRA agents as they encountered them, looking for the machine. They rounded a corner and saw HYDRA guards firing at what was presumably SHIELD personnel in a large room.

Jean erected a TK shield around them as Scott blasted the guards enough to stun them and Storm blew them away from the line of fire. Between the two opposing forces, the guards didn't stand a chance. The two left standing surrendered. The X-Men walked up to the doorway as the SHIELD agents arrested the HYDRA guards. Storm was the first to feel the currents of the room change as the machine drew in air to cool its motor.

"Cyclops, the machine has been turned on!"

Lurker

**********

The machine began to make a knocking sound as it rocked back and forth. Nick dove for Val knocking her to the floor and covering her with his body. Jean quickly threw up a TK sheild around them as the machine blew. The force of the explosion knocked everyone off their feet and rattled the walls as various pieces of metal and electronics flew across the room. Luckily, no one seemed seriously hurt. With the exception of Nick and Val, everyone had been rounding up the HYDRA guards.

Jean dropped her shield and ran over to the two prone figures. Nick rolled off Val and rubbed his head. He looked at what was left of the machine five feet away. "She did say it was missing parts."

"She'll be all right," Jean said as she checked over the again unconscious Val.

Lurker

**********

Nick nodded at the doctor, then turned to Dum Dum. "What about Viper and Silver Fox?"

"Viper's dead; she was killed during the battle. Silver Fox got away. We can't find her anywhere."

"We'll deal with her later. Now, I wanna get Val back to SHIELD and get her some serious medical attention." He turned to the X-Men. "Guess this is it. Thanks for your help."

Cyclops shook his offered hand. Then the X-Men went one way and the SHIELD agents went the other.

-----

Days later, Logan was walking by the lake when he came across Jubilee sitting on the dock.

"Hey, Jubes," he said, sitting down beside her.

"Hey, Wolvie."

They just sat there for a few minutes, neither of them saying anything. Then Logan spoke.

"How's the cajun?"

"Fine. Dr. Grey's releasing him today. How's Silver Fox?"

"The professor's helping her sort out her memories, but I'm still not one of her favorite people."

"At least she's not trying to kill ya anymore."

"Yeah."

Another few minutes passed in silence. Then Jubilee spoke.

"I'm sorry... ya know... for trying ta kill ya."

"You don't have ta apologize, Jubes. It wasn't you."

"I know, but still, I was there. I saw it, and, well, I'm just really glad you're ok."

"And I'm really glad you're back to being you."

"So we're ok, then?"

"Yeah."

"Good."

They sat there, now companionably quiet, and watched the sun set over the water.

Khaki

 

The End