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 14 Confessions

A few minutes earlier…

“ In one bold step, I have become an accessory to murder and torture.” Hank McCoy, A.K.A the Beast, said aloud, to no one in particular. His actions had been bothering him tremendously; so much so that he felt it was best just to confess to the walls of his private lab. The doors were sealed with five inches of titanium steel, so interruption wasn’t very likely.

“ What’s more, I am an accessory to the rape, torture and molestation of the daughter of my closest associates, Dr. Moira MacTaggart. I knew full well what those doctors had done to Rahne. After all, I treated her when she was brought to the mansion. How they tortured her, how she was made to suffer during her captivity and her eventually escape. How they had killed everyone else they had taken slowly, how in the name of science, they tortured hundreds of innocent men and women. And knowing that, still I examined the data. It was then and there I became a party to murder, and far to many other crimes to list. Crimes that would even put Dr. Mengela to shame. And the most damning and baffling thing of all is, that I think I can live with that.”

Hank took off his glasses and rubbed his sore eyes. He hadn’t been getting enough sleep, and he didn’t expect that to change anytime soon.

“I told myself, and others at first that I was simply looking the information over to help Rahne. But I know now that was a lie. I knew it then that it was a lie. I saw the potential in the information the first time I glanced over it. How could I not? A first year med-student would have seen the exact same thing. The data was little more than a puzzle that was easy, far to easy, to put together. And in doing so, I have created something that can save the lives of millions. And all it really cost me, was my soul.”

The comm. unit buzzed. The comm. unit identified the caller as Cecelia Reyes.

“McCoy, could you come out of your lab and to the medi-lab for a second? We need to talk about something.”


“ I’m afraid that I’m too busy at the moment to conference with you now.”–They know. Somehow, that thought is so very relieving- He thought to himself.

Hank waited a few minutes for what he knew what was to come next.

*Boom!*

In a flash, the locked doors to his lab had been blown apart, and in the dust was standing one very pissed mutant.

“ Directional explosives with the power of C4. Most impressive use of your ability to create solid mirages, Dani. Did you learn that with S.H.I.E.L.D or X-Force?”

“ Don’t be coy with me, you blue fucking furball! I know what you did! You used the data those bastards gathered from dissecting Rahne and the others to make that pancura formula!”

“ That is correct.”

“ Despite the fact that all that data is drenched in innocent blood!? That they tortured and killed innocent men and women to get it?” Dani snarled as she advanced on Hank, “ What kind of doctor are you?”

“ A human one, thus fallible.” Hank replied. Enraged, Dani hit him square in the jaw with all her strength, nearly dislocating it despite her inferior strength.

“ I learned that in X-Force!” She yelled.

“ Feel better now?”

“ No, I don’t! How could you even think about using that data? Do you have any idea how Rahne suffered because of those bastards? Do you? Her first experience with sex was RAPE! They_held_her_down_and_gang-raped_her for hours, laughing the entire time! I doubt you could even begin to understand how horrible that was for her! And that’s not even the worst of it! They ripped her fingernails off and then forced her to shift into wolf form so they could do it again! They repeatedly dipped her in freezing cold water so they could study hypothermia! Torture doesn’t even come close to describing what happened to her, how she suffered! Do you know how she would have flash backs of what they did to her if she saw the smallest reminder of what she lived thru!?”

“ I do! As I recall, I told you about the possibility of them happening and how to help her when they did occur! And don’t you want something good to come of what happened to her?”

“ Is that why you lied to her, to us? Saying that you used the crap we have around here to fix her when it was really because of those fuckers who dissected her? Because you thought you were doing the right thing? That’s bullshit and you know it!”

“ Good tae come of whit? Lie tae who?” A voice asked naively. Hank and Dani looked towards the destroyed door and saw Rahne standing there, with her hands behind her back innocently.

-Oh dear god no- Dani thought, “ Rahne, what…what are you doing here? I thought you went to bed…”

“ I was goin’ tae, but… somethin’ woke me up an’, I remembered that I dinnae thank Hank fer whit he did fer me. Creating the ‘pancura’ formula, I mean. He was cooped up in his lab all day, an’ I hoped tae thank ‘im before he went tae bed. But… why are muh friends fightin’ each other? What this all aboot?”

Dani opened her mouth to explain, to tell her how Hank used the data the doctors who had tortured had gathered from her body, but her mouth just went dry. She couldn’t do it.

“ The pancura formula was created solely using the data… gathered thru Dr. Calvin’s work, Rahne. That’s… what we were fighting about.” Hank explained. When he said that, Rahne looked at Hank, truly confused. He didn’t…

“ Ye mean, it wasnae the Shi’ar technology that gave me muh life back, but it was thanks tae the doctors who raped an’ mutilated muh body?”

“ Their… work was essential to its creation, yes.”

“ Work? Work! Ye have a queer way o’ describin’ rape, murder an’ torture, McCoy!” Rahne screamed as she shifted fully into her wolf form and flashed her claws, “ How would ye like tae see muh work?!”

Rahne leaped at Hank, intent on ripping his throat out with her bare hands just before she would tear his head off. But Hank leaped back and Dani ducked under Rahne’s lunge and grabbed Rahne’s foot, sending her crashing to the ground. Dani quickly placed her knee on the small of Rahne’s back and twisted Rahne’s arms behind her, pinning her despite Rahne’s greater strength.

“ Let me up, Dani! I’m goin’ tae kill him!” Rahne bucked to the side, dislodging Dani, but by the time Rahne had jumped to her feet, Dani had placed herself between her and Hank.

“ Get out of muh way, Dani.” Rahne snarled as she bared her fangs and drooled slightly. She was deadly serious, “ Or I’ll go thru ye!”

“ I’m not letting you do something you’ll regret later, Rahne. Put it in park.” Dani said as she summoned her psychic bow and arrows. The irony that she was now defending a man who she was more than willing to assault herself a minute ago, didn’t escape her.

“ Get oot of muh way!”

“ No.”

“ Ye don’ have any right tae stop me! After whit they did tae me…how I suffered…an’ tae be indebted to those bastards like this…If yuir truly muh friend, ye will stand aside an’ let do what needs tae be done!” Rahne growled.

“ I am your friend, so that gives me the right. I’m every bit a pissed about this as you are, but that’s no excuse to kill him. Now, put it in park!”

Rahne stood there for a moment, staring eye to eye with Dani. She wanted Hank’s blood more than anything in the world now, but she wasn’t sure she wanted to spill the blood of her closest friend to get it. Seconds seemed to stretch into hours, years until finally…

“ Fine! Have it yuir way!”

Rahne changed back to her human form and with tears in her eyes, looked towards Hank.

“Mum tol’ me once that ye were a good man, Hank, o’ honor an’ integrity. One of the greatest men she had e’er had the pleasure tae know an’ call a friend. I see now that she was sorely mistakin’!”

Those words cut Hank to his very soul, and he tried to mouth an explanation, explain why he felt he had a duty to use the data, but he couldn’t find the words. And with that comment, Rahne changed into her wolf form and ran out of the room, unable to bear the sight of the man who had violated her body and trust.

“ Look McCoy, I need to chase her down before she does anything stupid. I suggest that you go confess to the Professor and burn all your data by the time I get back.” Dani hissed.


***

Rahne ran out of the mansion as fast as her wolf form would carry her. She couldn’t accept that the men who had raped and tortured her for three straight months, men whom she was never able to defy or thwart in any way; were now responsible for giving her her life back. And so she ran into the woods surrounding the mansion and just kept running. For a time, it was all she could do to keep from thinking about it. After about an hour of running, Rahne slowed down and realized that in her haste, she had become completely lost.

-Brilliant, jus’ brilliant- She thought to herself as she looked around in the thick woods, trying to get her bearings. She used to know the woods around the mansion like the back of her hand, but that seemed like a lifetime ago.

*You’re not lost, Rahne, just keep going north like you were doing. I’ve been waiting here for you for a while* Dani said over their psi-link, startling Rahne. She hadn’t even noticed that the link was on.

* Dani? What are ye talkin’ aboot? I don’ even know where I’m goin’, so how ken ye?* Rahne replied.

*Because I do. You’re about a half-mile away from where you were running to*

Rahne, though confused by what Dani was talking about, did as she was asked. Soon Rahne had caught Dani’s scent; she noticed she was standing in a gravel parking lot. Of a church. The same one she attended with Sam while she was a member of the New Mutants.

“ I’m that predictable, huh?” She asked as she shifted back to her human form and approached Dani.

“ Well, I prefer to think of it as consistent. You were raised by a reverend, Rahne. Granted, he was a very hateful and bitter man, but where else would you run to? It’s not exactly rocket science.”

“ So are ye goin’ tae lecture me aboot losin’ muh temper, or how I shid forgive Hank f’r making me a party tae muh own rape and torture? Ye ken save yuir breath, Dani.”

“ You know me better than that, Rahne. And I’m every bit as angry with Hank as you are. Hell, I was going to beat him up myself until you got there.”

“ So, why are ye here? I ken take care of muh self jus’ fine.”

“ Maybe, but I don’t see any need to risk it.”

“Thanks. So…”

“So what?”

“ So, are ye goin’ tae ask me?”

“ Ask you what?”

“ If I would have taken the formula, if I knew where it really came from.”

“ The thought had crossed my mind, yes. Do you think you would have taken it?”

“ I…don’ know, Dani. I mean, ye know how I took it when I found out I couldnae hae children, how hard it was f’r me tae have tae use crutches, an’ how hard it was f’r me tae get up everyday because I was always tired an’ sore, an’ how that formula saved me. F’r the first time since the X-Men rescued me, I had hope, Dani. Hope that I could put everythin’ behind me. Hope that I ken live the life I wanted. Now…”

“ Yeah?”

“ I’m nae goin’ tae lie tae ye, Dani. I dinnae think I could. I don’ want whit I lived thru tae be f’r nothin’. When Mum died, it…it was a lot easier to bear, nae only because I knew she was dyin’ but because her death helped save millions o’ lives. Her death wasn’t f’r nothin’. It mattered. An’ I always believe in ‘hate the sin and love the sinner’ with all muh heart, but…”

“ But?”

Tears came to Rahne’s eyes as she recognized that she now owed the men who violated her an incredible debt, one she could never repay, even if she wanted to.

“ But if Hank gives the world his pancura formula, then he… makes… them… right! What they did tae me, how they killed an’ tortured innocent souls, no one’s going tae even care, Dani, I know it. In muh heart o’ hearts, I know it. My…our pain an’ suffering will jus’ be a footnote… aboot the greatest medical discovery e’er! It means those men who raped; molested and mutilated me an’ countless others… will be vindicated by history! And what aboot the next disease they need tae cure after that? They might be tempted jus’ to strip people o’ their human rights, because after all, it worked the first time! I…I jus’ don’ know what tae think, Dani.”

“ We could lie about it, Rahne. Say that it was discovered some other way, you know. What about that?” Dani suggested. She wasn’t thrilled with the idea herself, but she hoped that it could give Rahne some peace.

“ The truth always matters, Dani.” Rahne said forcefully, “ Don’ kid yuirself otherwise. I dinnae live thru a lie or dream, I lived thru hell. Barely”

“ I know, Rahne, believe me I know.”

“ Dani?”

“ Yes?”

“ Would ye have taken it, if ye were in muh place? Knowin’ where it came from?”

“ Never.”

“ If ye knew where it came from, would ye have lied tae me aboot it an’ given it tae me?”

“ Honestly, Rahne? Without a second thought.”

“ I…see.”

“Look, why don’t we worry about this tomorrow? It’s late at night, we’re both tired and this thing will keep. How about we head back to the mansion, get a good night’s sleep, and deal with this problem in the morning.”

“ I may as well, I guess. I’m beat from runnin’ thru the woods…wait a minute, how did ye get here before me?”

“ I knew that you would head towards the church you always attended when you were in the New Mutants, like I said.” Dani said as she walked into the parking lot.

“ But how did ye get here so fast? I ken leave ye in the dust in muh wolf form, an’ I don’ see any of the vehicles from the garage here.”

“ That’s because I stole Wolverine’s bike.” Dani said matter of factly. She then got on the Harley that she had hidden in the shadows and started it up, revealing it to Rahne, “ It helps when you can create solid mirages of anything you might need, like a key.”

“ WHAT? Ye daft, woman! Wolverine! He’ll kill ye!”

“ Nah, I just got a sense of style, and he won’t mind. Come on, we’ll be back home in a snap!” Dani smirked.

“ Ye have a death wish, tae.” Rahne muttered under her breath as she climbed on back. Dani revved the engine, and headed back to the mansion. At a 100 miles per hour, of course.

***

Xaiver’s Study.

“ I can’t believe you did something like this, Hank!” Jean shouted, “ In all the years I’ve known you, I never thought you could do something so outrageous! You know what those monsters did to her!”

“ Not that I agree what he did, Jean, but it was because of him Rahne has her life back.” Cecelia said. She didn’t agree with what Hank had done, but the harm was already done now.

“ That still doesn’t make it right! She had a right to know!”

“ Jean, I know you’re mad but…”

“ That’s alright, Cecelia,” Hank interrupted, “ I am more than capable of defending myself. I fully recognize that I bent certain ethical rules when I utilized the data in the fashion that I did, but I felt that I did what I had to for the greater good! I’m sorry you can’t see that, Jean but I did what I had too.”

“ What you had to? That’s the weakest excuse to ever come out of your lips in the ten years I’ve known you! You didn’t bend the rules, you knowing broke them ignoring any consequences!”

“ And yourself?”

“ Excuse me?”

“ Immediately after you rescued Rahne, you copied and ‘downloaded’ all my medical knowledge into yourself without even asking my permission, though I would have given it freely! Isn’t that a breach of ethics? And don’t tell me you haven’t been tempted to reach into Rahne’s mind and erase the memory of what they did to her if you thought that would help her. Sometimes, we have to bend the rules to help people!”

“ …”

“ Well, am I right?”

“ Not in the least! That was different! There was an immediate need! You and Cecelia couldn’t have possibly saved her if I hadn’t done that!”

“ There is still an immediate need for this information all over the world…”

“And how many will be killed if…”

*Enough!* Professor X said forcefully with his telepathy, ending the conversation. “Jean, I understand your emotional investment in this, but Hank had barely begun to explain himself before your…out burst. Let’s hear Hank out before we jump to conclusions, shall we?”

It was more of an order that a request. Jean reluctantly reined her outrage in, out of respect for her long time mentor.

“I believe you were just explaining how this ‘pancura’ formula works, weren’t you Hank? Please, continue.”

“ Thank you, Professor. The pancura formula works by stimulating certain genes possessed by everyone in the gene pool. Whether they are latent mutant genes in humans or excess genes in mutants, I haven’t been able to fully tell yet. The formula wouldn’t work as well on others as it did Rahne. Her recovery was due to a combination of her powers and dumb luck. Regardless, the pancura formula works to ‘transform’ anyone, human or mutant, into a fully healed person within a matter of seconds. Nerves are healed, scars are made to disappear and it can fully heal organs within seconds.”

“ I see. How many times can it be used?”

“ Twice, at the absolute most. After that, the genes that it utilizes become unresponsive according to every computer simulation, but that’s really more than enough. Since it heals nerves, we might be able to reverse engineer how to completely heal them WITHOUT the formula. And whereas it may not be able to fully heal a cancer patient, it would certainly give him years of life, and possibly reveal to doctors how to fully heal him. What’s more, the disk given to me contains medical information that could potentially put us ten years future of medical history at the very least.”

“ I see. Well…”

“ Yes?”

“ I think it would be wise to table discussion about this for tomorrow morning, and let the senior staff discuss and decide on what should be done about it.”

“ What?” Jean fumed, “ How can you even suggest that? This shouldn’t even be a topic for discussion! That formula is drenched in innocent blood!”

“Normally, I would agree. But this subject is something that we have a duty to approach with caution and an open mind. One way or another, millions of lives are in our hands now, and we need to act responsibly.”


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