IN THE NAME OF SCIENCE

BY : hellion
Category: X-men Comics > General
Dragon prints: 4036
Disclaimer: I do not own X-Men comics, or any of the characters from it. I make no money from from the writing of this story.

Chapter 12 “…is a miracle.”

*Miracle. That’s what she called it. And I saw it with me own two eyes to boot* Jonathan Starmore, A.K.A the X-Man named Chamber thought to himself. Even among other mutants, Jonathan, or Jono as he preferred to be called, stood out in a crowd. That was because he had a huge hole in his chest that stretched from his mouth to his stomach and leaked powerful psychic energy that could destroy tanks and level the most powerful of foes. But it was also a source of great frustration to Chamber because it forever separated him from the rest of humanity in many small, but important ways. He couldn’t eat or drink and he couldn’t sing which before his face exploded, he did all the time. After some time, he had come to terms with his deformity, but he still had hope. Hope that somehow, someway he could be something resembling normal again.

-This may not be the smartest idea I’ve ever had, but it’s not like things could get any worse for me, is there?-

He proceeded to lock down the danger room and activate the psi dampeners from the control booth as a precaution for when he injected himself with the green solution that had just saved Joshua’s life a few hours before. He knew that he shouldn’t have secretly taken it while Cecelia and Hank were ‘discharging’ Joshua, but he did it anyway. After seeing what he saw, he had hope, real hope for the first time in a long time and he didn’t want to risk the possibility that it was a false hope. As he entered the danger room, he hoped that if what he did failed, he would still be able to walk out of the danger room in one piece.

-Here goes nothin’-He thought to himself as he inserted the syringe into a vein in his left arm. At first, he felt nothing. But after a minutes, he felt a cold, numb sensation spread thru out his body, just seconds before he passed out.

-This was a very bad idea- Were the last thoughts that went thru his mind before darkness claimed him.

As Chamber awoke, he noted that he really didn’t feel any different. In fact, he felt like hell and wanted to throw up.

“ Well, that was a bloody failure! All that hope and, and… ” He said aloud. He then caught himself, and did something that until an hour ago, was literally impossible. He smiled. He looked down at his stomach, which was once a powerful furnace of energy. Now, all that remained was a small hole about the size of a baseball leaking psychic energy in the center of his chest.

“Even got me nipples back!” He said, relishing the sound of his long gone voice. He hugged himself, as though to make sure he wasn’t dreaming. Although he was overjoyed about the fact that he had his face back, Jono decided to retire for the day. The formula had taken a lot out of him, and he knew he needed to be well rested to explain exactly why there was no longer a huge hole in his chest to everyone. But not before he downed a few pints, of course.


***

“ Rahne, honey? Are you awake? I need to talk to you about something.” Jean said thru the door of Rahne’s room. It was Two o clock in the afternoon, so Jean already knew the answer. But there was still no response. Jean opened the door and walked it. She saw Rahne lying in her bed, staring absently out the window.

“ Rahne? Cecelia and Hank sent me to tell you that they have some good news for you.”

“ What? Tae tell me that I have a fatal disease an’ that I’m going tae die?”

Jean grimaced at the statement. She could tell that Rahne had completely lost her faith in a better tomorrow now, and it concerned her a good deal. After all, that wasn’t the Rahne that Moira always spoke of when she called. The Rahne Moira always went on and on about was so full of life, of hope, of energy…

“ They didn’t say, really. They just said that it was important to see you as soon as possible.”

Rahne didn’t bother to argue. In truth, she didn’t really have the willpower anymore. Jean helped her get dressed and walked with her towards the mansion.

“ I was thinking, Rahne. Would you like to come with me and Scott to church this weekend? I know…”

“ I’m ne’er goin’ t’ church again, Jean.”

“ Don’t say that Rahne, I know how much church means to you…”

“ Then ye know that f’r the first twelve years of muh life, god was used tae make muh life lonely an’ miserable. I know god dinnae answer muh prayers when I begged him tae save me mum’s life, or every time those horrid men decided ta look at me insides jus’ f’r kicks or touch me in ways that they shouldnae have. Maybe I shid be stronger, but I’m nae. I’m nae Jov.”

“ Rahne…”

“ Jean, I know ye mean well, but it’s nae open f’r discussion. It’s nae just me body that’s tired and sore, it’s also muh soul. I’ve made up me mind.”

“I… alright. Maybe when this examine is over, would you like to have a picnic over on the south lawn with me and Kurt? He’s been asking about you lately.”

“ I’d… prefer nae t’ see Kurt… f’r now.” Rahne replied.

“ May I ask why?”

“ Because…because when’er I see a man, I’m…I’m reminded of wha’ t those guards… did t’ me…how they hurt me… like only a man could.” Rahne explained, with tears in her eyes and a heavy heart, “I know… it’s nae right tae f’r me tae hold somethin’ like that against him, jus’ because he’s a man, but… I cannae help it. I ken hardly deal wit’ Hank. I’m sorry Jean…”

“ Don’t be Rahne, you don’t have to justify yourself to anyone… Aaaah!”

Jean clutched her head in pain, as though she had suddenly been struck by an unknown force.

“Jean! What’s wrong?”

“ Someone just tried to scan me! I think it may be ugly out here in a second.”

No sooner had Jean said that than three circular pods dropped out of the air and smashed into the ground twenty feet away from the two women. They exploded, and revealed fifth teen heavily armed men inside each one of them, wearing what appeared to be a combination of medical scrubs and high tech weaponry. One of the men stepped forward,

“ Attention mutants, we are the U-Men. Surrender to us immediately, or suffer the consequences.”

“ It takes more than directional explosives and big guns to impressed me,” Jean said to herself. She turned to Rahne, “ Change into your wolf form and get out of here, Rahne! It’s not safe for you here!” And with that Jean took to the air, smashing several U-Men to the ground with her powers before getting within five feet of them.

“ Nae safe?” Rahne said aloud. The idea that she would need to run and hide almost offended her. She had fought alongside the big boys in X-Factor and Excalibur and had more than held her own. When was safety ever a concern? And the U-Men…From what little Rahne knew about them, they were almost as depraved as the scientists and doctors who tortured her those long three months, and that alone was reason enough for Rahne to join the fray. Rahne shifted to her wolf form and ran towards the U-Men. She saw Jean floating in mid air, clutching her head in pain, her nose bleeding as one U-Man aimed a sonic gun at her. Rahne leaped at the solider with the sonic weapon, knowing that if she took him out of the fight, Jean would free to take down the others. But despite her great courage, Rahne had forgotten that her leg strength wasn’t what it once was. She smashed into the U-Man, but didn’t knock him off his feet like she had planned. He swung the butt of his sonic rifle and smashed it into Rahne’s forehead, drawing blood.

-Stupid, stupid! Yuir leg strength is gone!- she chided herself as she crashed to the ground in pain. She easily pushed past the pain in her head and instantly shifted to another mode of attack, one tshe she knew would work. She knew that the strength in her arms was still incredible, and along with her claws she had more than enough to defeat this villain. The U-Man turned and pulled out a small dart gun filled with sedative and aimed it at Rahne. Rahne attempted to duck to the side to avoid the weapon, like she had done a thousand times before, but before she could do anything, Rahne perceived the information her enhanced senses were giving her. The man smelled of an odd combination of rubbing alcohol, pure oxygen, alkali, iodine and was wearing sterile gloves. Combined with the scent of her own blood, Rahne was vividly reminded of her time in the labs. In an eyeblink, Rahne found herself mentally transported back to them, strapped down to a bed with her stomach cut open.

“ Lo’thouIwalkthruthevalleyofdeathIshallfearnoevilforthougharewithme…” Rahne repeated mindlessly, on the verge of unconsciousness as the doctors gathered around her, observing the latest effects of their torture. Half of her was convinced what she was seeing and feeling was real. After all, she could feel the pain from the doctor’s incisions, smell the dried blood on her face and body and feel the straps that held her down to the bed. But half of her knew that it was fake, a living nightmare.

-Get up! He’s going tae kill ye! Get up!- she screamed to herself. She knew she was completely vulnerable now, unable to defend herself from anything.

“ What the hell is this?” The U-Man asked himself as he saw Rahne writhe in terror before him. Rahne’s flask back had taken the U-man completely off guard as well and he just stood there, bewild. Hd. He had also forgotten that he was the one thing keeping Jean Grey off balance and vulnerable.

*GET THE HELL AWAY FROM HER!* A voice screamed in his mind as his body was hit a powerful blast of telekinetic power, knocking him sixty feet thru the air while crushing his weapons.

“ Rahne! It’s alright! You’re safe now!” Jean shouted as she rushed to Rahne’s side. She was about to use her powers to help Rahne, but before she could…

“ Jean? What…what happened?” Rahne asked as she came out of her flash back, still trembling from what she had just ‘seen’.

“ You…I…I think you had a flash back, just then, Rahne, but you’re safe now.” Jean explained as she tore off a piece of her jacket and placed it against the gash on Rahne’s head, “ That’s one nasty cut, Rahne. We need get you to the medi-lab quick to treat this.”

“ But, the U-Men…”

Jean pointed out the U-Men’s positions to Rahne and she saw that the U-Men were all laying unconscious on the ground surrounded Wolverine, Cyclops, Angel, Nightcrawler, Beast, Iceman and what almost looked like the new X-Man Chamber, but without a huge hole in his chest.

“ We dealt with them in seconds after you saved me, sweatheart. They were stupid enough to attack while the entire senior staff was here. Let’s get you treated, okay?”

“ I…need tae… get somethin’ from muh room first.”

“ What? Why would you need to get something from your room?”

“ I need tae get somethin’ from muh room!” Rahne insisted.

“ What’s so important about getting something from your room that it can’t wait?”

Rahne looked away, too ashamed to look Jean in the face,

“ I…soiled… muhself.” Rahne said softly, blinking back tears, “ Like a bloody coward.”

Jean concentrated and stopped the flow of blood from Rahne’s wound. She then picked Rahne up with her powers and took her back to her room, while using her telepathy to prevent anyone from seeing them “ You saved my life today and put yours in danger without a second thought. That’s hardly the act of a coward.”

Once Jean helped Rahne change into some clean cloths, she then rushed Rahne to the medi-lab.

“ Sorry, we’re late. We had a run in with the U-Men and got held up,” Jean explained as she placed Rahne on one of the beds, “ Rahne got a nasty cut to the head during the fight.” Before Jean could offer more assistance…

*Jean?*

*Yes, Professor?*

*I need you and the others to do a security sweep of the mansion grounds. I don’t want to chance there being other U-Men out there waiting in secret*

*But Professor, Rahne needs me with her*

*I’m sure that Rahne will be able to get along without you for a time. The other students need you as well. I’m sorry Jean, but the needs of the many out weigh the needs of the few right now*

“ Rahne, the professor wants me to check the grounds in case there are any more U-Men out there. Do you think you need me here?”

“ Jus’ go. I see no reason f’r me tae be an even bigger burden on ye, Jean.” Rahne said miserably.

“ You’re not a burden on anyone, Rahne.” Jean replied for what had to be the millionth time. As she left, she wished desperately that Rahne could be happy.

“ I don’ suppose that ye believe in euthanasia, doctor?” Rahne asked dryly.

“ Nope, not really Rahne. Why do you ask?”

“ Jean jus’ told me that ye wanted tae talk to me ‘boot something, an’ I had me hopes an’ all…”

“ Actually, I wanted to talk to you about something Hank discovered. According him, he created it using some of the Shi’ar material and devices laying around here. It’s a formula that might help you regain the strength in your legs. But the problem is that’s still experimental. Hank told me that it wouldn’t be a problem if you took it, but it’s full effects would be impossible to determine.”

Cecelia deliberately left out the fact that she had seen the formula perform miracles because she didn’t want to get Rahne’s hopes up prematurely. But she still couldn’t hide her enthusiasm. Rahne barely even noticed to it, though.

“ If ye aboot tae ask if I want the treatment, the answer is yes. I don’ care aboot any side effects or possible complications. I don’ have much to live f’r as it is.”

“ Are you sure, Rahne? It might not help at all.”

“ I’m very sure, doctor.”

“ This is quite a leap of faith you’re taking, Rahne.”

“ It’s nae a leap of faith when ye don’ care where ye land, Ms. Reyes.”

“ Then lets slip you into a hospital gown and get started.”

Cecelia gave Rahne a mild sedative, and then injected her with the ‘Pancura’ formula (as named by Dr. McCoy). Cecelia took a seat by the scanners and took out a tape recorder to take her notes.

“ Subject Rahne Sinclair has just been given…” Cecelia’s voice trailed off as she saw the scanners. The formula wasn’t just repairing the damaged cartilage and muscles in Rahne’s leg, it was regenerating her missing lung, kidney, womb, everything. All at the same time and without taxing her body in any serious way. In fact, the formula seemed to sense Rahne’s massive stores of nutrients that her body contained and utilized them. While this was happening, Rahne was gradually transforming into her change form.

-Dear god in heaven, her body is creating stem cells to regrow the organs she lost! But that’s impossible!-

Cecelia was so enthralled by the miracle of medical science she was watching, she completely forgot about keeping notes. She felt like she was watching the work of the greatest medical discovery since penicillin, perhaps even greater. It didn’t really matter that she wasn’t taking notes. The scanners were fully functional and recording every last bit of data.

***

“You did what?!” Hank McCoy roared.

“ I saw what that formula did f’r that other chap and I took a leap of faith is all, wha’s the big deal?” Chamber asked. He had hoped to reveal his good news to the other X-Men on his own terms, but the U-Men’s attack took that option away. When duty calls and all that. Now he was the center ofentiention of a group of mutants, which was almost always a bad thing.

“ What’s the big deal anyways, Hank? Jono screwed up, but it was only his butt on the line, after all.” Iceman said. –What is Hank so angry about? I’ve never seen him so pissed!-

“ The big deal, Bobby, is that the formula he took was completely untested! Who knows what could have happened?”

“ It worked just fine on that lad you brought in.” Jono replied, “ That seemed like an equal leap of faith to me, mate.”

“ Look, we don’t have time for this,” Scott explained, “ Jono looks fine to me, and the mansion has just been attacked. Warren, I want you and Bobby to patrol the grounds with Jean in case they have any follow up attacks planned. Logan, I want to check the woods around the mansion to see if the U-Men set up any devises to monitor us. I’ll get Moonstar to assist you. The rest of us are going back inside to reassure the students that they’re alright and everything’s okay.”

“ I don’t need no stinkin’ help, one eye.” Logan growled.

“ Well that’s just too damn bad, shorty. You all have your job to do, so get to it.”

-This is going to get out of hand very soon- Hank thought to himself, -I’m just glad Rahne will get the formula before it all explodes in my face-


***

After about half an hour under, Rahne started to awake. As she did, she noted that her legs felt alot stronger now. She lifted them high into the air easily.

-Ijus’jus’ because I’m in muh wolf form- She thought to herself. She shifted back to her human and was surprised that her legs still felt strong now. Rahne sat up, and was surprised to find her legs responded to her cods jds just fine. They weren’t sluggish or weak anymore. Cecelia walked over to Rahne, overjoyed with the information that she had to give her.

“ The pancura formula was a complete success, Rahne! How do you feel?”

“ I…strong. I feel a lot stronger than before. Muh legs feel so much stronger…” Rahne replied, dumbfounded. She stepped down and started walking to test her leg strength. She was a little wobbly, but otherwise fine. She could walk across the room with ease. Rahne absently ran her hands over her body. The static that she felt from where her scars had once been was gone and she didn’t feel the least bit sore. Rahne started to shed tears of joy now. She had her legs back; she wasn’t a crippled little girl anymore…

“ And that’s not all, Rahne. According to what the scanners show me, all the organs that were removed have been completely regenerated. Your lung, kidney, womb, everything. As impossible as it sounds, you are now completely healed.”

“ Yuir… kidding? Everythin’?”

“ Not in the least. I don’t really understand how, but all your internal organs, and I do mean all, have completely regenerated and are now fully functional.”

“ I…ken have children now?” Rahne was almost in shock at the great news. The news seem far to good to be true…

“ Yup. And P.M.S and all that other good stuff that comes with being a woman.” Cecelia joked.

“ Saints be praised, I dinnae think that was possible!”

“Until a few days ago, it wasn’t. But you’re back to 100% now, Rahne. No if and or buts about it.”

“ Oh, thankyethankyethankyethankyethankye!” Rahne hugged Cecelia and wept. It was a miracle, an honest to god miracle…she had her life and future back now! And for the first time in so long, she wasn’t reminded of the torture that she suffered.

“ I ken hardly wait tae tell Dani!”

Rahne shifted to her full wolf form and dashed out of the medi-lab on all fours, her nose searching for Dani’s scent.

***

-You would never know the X-Men have been in these woods- Dani thought to herself as she took in the beautiful scene of nature around her, -they’ve never been blown up or burned to the ground-

Dani knew that Cyclopsigneigned her to patrol the woods just to get her out of the mansion and away from Rahne. He probably thought he was doing her a favor, and Dani wasn’t really worried about Rahne at the moment. Jean had promised to watch her, and who better to watch Rahne than the most powerful, and compassionate, X-Woman ever? As Dani walked the woods, she spied Doethe the distance.

-Been a while since I’ve played ‘tag’- Dani thought to herself. Growing up, her grandfather had taught her how to sneak up one almost any animal in the wild. He himself had only managed to get within ten feet of an animal before it realized he was there, but Dani had actually managed to touch the animals before they got startled and ran away. It wasn’t until years later that she discovered that it was her powers, specifically her telepathy with all animals, that let her get so close them. But before Dani could take another step, the doe turned and shot away.

-What startled it? I know it wasn’t me- She asked herself. Dani heard the crunching of dried leaves behind and she turned and saw a red wolf leap thru the air at her, knocking her to the ground. Dani hadn’t noticed Rahne due to the fact that Rahne had learned how to block their psi-link when she wanted to, and she really wanted to surprise Dani with the good news. Rahne licked Dani’s face profusely, barely giving her a chance to breath.

“ Ahh! Rahne…knock it off! Your breath stinks!”

Rahne transformed back into her full human form and helped Dani up. Dani was shocked by what she saw.

“ How are you walking while human? Where are your crutches?”

“ I don’ need ‘em anymore, Dani! I’m completely healed!”

“ What? How?”

“ Accordin’ tae Cecelia, Hank used some Shi’ar tech tae heal muh body! I even got muh tail back!”

Rahne transfo int into her normal change form, with her body covered in brown fur but still humanoid and somersaulted backwards to emphasize the point.

“ I ken walk jus’ fine now, hae children, everythin’!”

“That…great, Rahne. I’m very happy for you.”

Rahne wao ovo overjoyed to catch the trace of suspicion in Dani’s voice. She was whole, healed; a real human being now, and as far as she was concerned, nothing else in the world mattered.

“ Oh, I ken hardly wait tae tell Jean!” Rahne exclaimed.

“ Umm, do you think that you can wait ten more minutes, Rahne?”

“ What? Why would I do that? Aftel Jel Jean’s done f’r me, she shid know as soon as possible!”

Dani was trying very hard not to laugh now…

“ Because, furtop, you’re in your birthday suit. You would probably flash most of the school! Not that the students would complain, I’m sure.”

Rahne glanced down at herself…

“ Ack!” In her rush to tell Dani her good news, Rahne had forgotten that the hospital gown she had worn to take the formula wasn’t strong enough to take the punishment of her transforming into a wolf and running into and thru the woods. Rahne motioned to cover herself even as she transformed into her full wolf form. She was still naked, but since she was a wolf, it really didn’t matter.

“ Man, who knew wolves could blush?”

*I’m jus’ glad I dinnae flash anyone!* Rahne said over the psi-link she shared with Dani.

“Well, the look on your face was priceless, Rahne.”

*I bet. Dani?*

“Yeah, Rahne?”

*Thanks*

“ For what?”

*Everythin’, an’ I mean that* Rahne replied, * Ye and Jean have helped me so much. I know ye put yuir life on hold f’r me. An’ I know it’s nae been easy helpin’ me recover, dealin’ with muh poor attitude, muh pain. Thanks f’r jus’ bein’ there f’r me when I needed ye most. Yuir a wonderful friend, Dani. I could ne’er ask for a better friend, honestly.*

“Any time, Rahne. You’re right, it wasn’t easy, but you’re more than worth the effort.” Dani said, -And thank the Spirits, I got my smile back - She secretly thought to herself.

“ Come on, let’s get you some cloths, find Jean and tell her the great news.”


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