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 5 Necessities

“…. And fourth quarter earnings look better than ever. Our investments in the Middle East, while pragmatic, on doing fine. Our joint venture with Oracle has blah, blah, blah…”

Despite himself, Warren Kenneth Worthington the Third, A.K.A the high flying Angel of the X-Men and head of Worthington Industries, couldn’t bring himself to focus on what his C.E.O was saying. It wasn’t as though he didn’t want too. After all, thousands trusted him to make the right decisions regarding his company and he wasn’t about to betray that trust. Ever. But today was different from most. He had received a phone call from the Daily Bugle asking if he had any comments about the actions of his old family friend, John Calvin. Without a second thought, he had told them that he was always proud to call John Calvin his friend and that they could go fuck themselves. As soon as he hung the phone, he knew that he would regret saying that, as they would no doubt quote him in tomorrow’s paper. To make matters worse, immediately after that, Kurt had called him to tell him what had happened when Rahne awoke. The thought that he had just defended a man who could instill such terror in someone both shamed and confused him.

-He was such a great man. Why would he do something like this?- Warren thought to himself. Everyone, from the papers, to news reporters to the man on the street, considered John Calvin nothing more than a modern day Dr. Mengele, a sadist disguised as a doctor. But Warren knew better. He knew how John had donated a two billion dollar trust fund to the Red Cross and how he personally trained nurses for Doctors without Borders. He knew how John normally worked eighteen hours a day, six days a week to help others. If he wasn’t running one of the most successful and compassionate medical companies in the world, he was doing everything he could to make the world a better place in one way or another, regardless of the personal consequences. Calvin had testified many times in front of congress, stating flat out that insurance and medical companies gouged their customers, infuriating his stockholders. When asked for proof of price gauging, he responded, “ Not everyone in America can afford insurance, despite the fact that they need it to live a full and productive life. That, senator, is my proof.”

“Sir? Are you listening?”

Warren snapped back to reality, “ Yes, I’m sorry. I’m just a little distracted today. You were saying?”

“ I was saying that our projected fourth quarter figures are best judged by our past earnings, and not our single recent failure with Stane International.”

“ You mean that we should be judged on our total actions, and not one mistake that we have made that we openly regret.”

“ That’s correct sir. Your thoughts?”

“ Not likely to happen. I guess it takes to much effort to look at the big picture.” Warren sighed.


***

Despite the fact that it was two o clock in the morning, Rahne Sinclair fought hard to stay awake. The fact that the lights were on helped some. Cecelia had briefly turned them off to let her rest, but she had a panic attack the moment they were off. The dark terrified her. They would leave her in complete darkness in-between torture sessions and experiments. When the darkness became light, the pain would only get worse and more horrific, leaving Rahne to truly dread it. Even when she closed her eyes. And it wasn’t as though she wasn’t tired. Dani, despite her promise not to, had tried to pry the details of her captivity out of her most of the day and she barely had the strength to lift her arms, after all. She just didn’t want to fall asleep. She knew what was waiting for her when she did, so she tried to stay awake by thinking something, anything other than what happened to her. But it wasn’t easy. She slowly traced her hands over her body; feeling for the scars she knew had once been there. While she couldn’t feel them, the touch of her hands on her skin felt off. Wrong. Like static across her entire body.

-According t’ what mum used tae tell me, the device they use to heal scars can’t completely heal the nerves- she thought to herself matter of factly. Without really meaning too, Rahne realized she had just thought about her mother for the first time since she had come out of her coma. But the thought of her dead mother didn’t depress her or make her sad in the slightest, like it had before she was taken. She just accepted it as fact now. And that hurt Rahne almost as much as the death of her mother once had.

-I couldnae even properly mourn the death of the only real family I’ve ever had! -She thought bitterly.

She was kidnapped shortly after she had landed in Scotland. They were waiting for her at the airport in secret. When she hailed for a cab, they came and picked her up. All she remembered about the ride was smelling something odd during the ride, and then awaking in a cell. She fought them with all her strength at first, but when they got tired of it… By the end of her first week as their prisoner, Rahne was no longer crying because her mother was dead. She was crying because she wasn’t dead along with her. Rahne tried to put the thoughts of what happened to her while she was a prisoner out of her mind, but it was difficult. The images out what happened to her were etched into her soul. Even now, every time she looked around her room, she was reminded of her suffering, her pain. The medi-lab she was resting in, even though it was filled with flowers and get-well cards, reminded her of the labs she was tortured all the samherehere they performed operations and examinations where they would violate her body like they might a lab rat. She blinked back a tear, and found she didn’t have the strength to open her eyes again. She reluctantly decided to stop fighting it, to go to sleep. She knew when she was beaten. But for the first time in months, she fell asleep not wanting to die. But that didn’t mean that she wanted to wake up again, either.


***

As she opened her eyes, she saw that she was back in the labs. She was nude and her body was wracked with pain. She could hear the doctors walking towards her.

“ No, the X-Men, they rescued me! I escaped!” she exclaimed as she saw them gather around her bed. She tried to get up to run away, but she couldn’t. She was still strapped down.

“ It was just a dream, whore. You’re still helping the cause of science!” One doctor smirked. The rolled her bed into an adjoining room, filled with all kinds of medical instruments. She summoned her powers, but they were useless. The bonds were too strong, and she was far too weak, even in her change form. She was alone now, but she tried to be brave.

“Lets take a look at that extra muscle mass that’s in your leg today, shall we?” One doctor asked as he held a scalpel in the air for her to see. She saw a look in the doctor’s eyes she had seen a million times before. He was getting pleasure out of the pain he inflicted. That look alone caused all her courage to flee her.

“ Don’, please, no more, ye done enough t’ me…”

The doctor just ignored her, and made a slow, deliberate horizontal cut along her left ankle. She tried to scream as incredible pain shot thru her body, but found she couldn’t. She briefly considered changing back into her human form, just to spite them, but she feared what they would do to her then even more.

“ I must say, the extra growth and expansion here is incredible! If we could duplicate it, under controlled conditions, we may be able to decrease the amount of time trauma victims spend in recovery!” Another doctor commented. She barely noticed what they were saying; her mind was red with pain. She was in to much pain to even scream. The doctor made another cut, this time vertically. When he peeled the skin and nerves back and poked his thumb inside her leg; she found the strength to scream again.

“ Arrghhh!” Emma Frost awoke, her mind filled with imagined pain.

-What just happened?-she asked herself, but she already knew the answer. She realized that she must have ‘latched’ on to Rahne’s nightmares, and pain, as she slept. Oddly enough, Emma wasn’t at all angry that her night had been interrupted by Rahne’s nightmares. She was used to nightmares, after all. She was at ground zero when Genosha was destroyed. Despite the fact that her diamond form, which was indestructible and saved her life during the attack, lacked true telepathy, she still felt the death screams of millions in her mind. The screams were slight, but Emma Frost had been a telepath all her life. She was always psi-sensitive, regardless of her body. A slight smile came to her face, though; as she remembered the revenge she took on the woman who caused all that death and destruction. It certainly wasn’t pleasant, but very fulfilling.

-Lets see if I can do anything about Rahne’s problem- With little effort, Frost’s mind left her body via her astral form and traveled to the medi-lab, where Rahne was sleeping. She saw as Rahne’s head twisted from side to side, obviously in distress. Without a second thought, Frost reached inside of Rahne’s mind and attempted to sooth her. Immediately and with incredible force, she was thrown out of Rahne’s mind, overwhelmed by pain and shame.

-Her pain, it’s too much for me to handle while she’s asleep. The training Xavier gave her to resist mind control, coupled with her trauma means I’m helpless to help her with my powers-she scowled to herself. She hated the fact that the young Scots woman was in so much pain, while she was helpless to do anything about it. Despite her cold exterior, she cared for all children in pain, mutant or otherwise. She ‘walked’ over to Rahne and ran her hand over Rahne’s cheek affectionately.

-No child should suffer like this-She thought to herself. As she thought that, she realized that she had another problem that Rahne would be causing, something that she needed to deal with immediately. She returned to her body and started to scan her telepathic students. Five of them had latched onto Rahne’s dream, while others were coming close to doing so as well. Calling on the skill she had built up over twenty years with her telepathy, she broke the connection that her students had to Rahne and blocked any other connections before they could be made. Emma knew that while Rahne slept would be the best time top deal with her problems ‘easily’, but cursed the fact that she was forced to chose between the best interests of one child over the best interests of her many children.

-This situation needs to be dealt with quickly, before it can get any worse- Frost thought to herself. She genuinely wanted to help Rahne, but if Rahne posed a danger to her other students, she wouldn’t stand for it.


***

-It’s not the best breakfast in the world, but I’m a doctor, not a chef- Cecelia Reyes thought to herself as she trekked towards Rahne’s room, -Though I doubt Rahne would complain any if the food was burned to a crisp -

It had been five days since Rahne had come out of her coma, and she still hadn’t divulged any details whatsoever about what had happened to her. She routinely alternated from insisting that she deserved what happened without ever explaining why, to saying that she didn’t remember anything, which of course was complete bull-shit.

-Girl should at least keep her story straight- Cecelia thought to herself.

Rahne would wake up screaming at least twice a night, but she would still insist that she didn’t remember anything at all. When she didn’t wake up screaming, she sweated like a pig in her sleep, always soaking her sheets. Despite how filthy she would become, Rahne hated it when Cecelia and Dani helped her bathe and resisted the idea as much as she could.

-God only knows what’s going thru her head now- Cecelia thought to herself. When Rahne wasn’t avoiding questions about what happened to her, she was just staring quietly into space. She absolutely refused to see anyone other than Hank, Jean, Dani and Cecelia herself. She never explained why, though.

As Cecelia entered Rahne’s room with her breakfast, eggs and applesauce, she saw Rahne lying in bed on her side, sleeping peacefully, or so it seemed. Her sheets, however, were soaked in sweat and Cecelia could smell them from the doorway, per usual. She placed the food on Rahne’s tray, and debated on whether or not to wake Rahne up. She looked so peaceful now, so innocent…

“ She’s faking, she’s awake.” Dani said. Cecelia didn’t even notice Dani slumped over in a chair in the corner until she had spoken up.

“ You sure?”

“ Yup. Trust me.” Dani decided against mentioning that Rahne had been crying softly to herself for the last ten minutes. As much as she wanted to comfort her friend, the moment she moved in the slightest, Rahne stopped crying and would pretend to be asleep.


“ I was jus’ restin’ some.” Rahne said weakly. She sat up and Cecelia adjusted the bed so that Rahne could eat her breakfast comfortably.

“ I’m nae hungry.”

“Too bad, you’re going to eat anyway.” Cecelia replied.

“ Ye need t’ watch me eat?” She asked bitterly.

“ Yes.” Both women answered. Rahne ate little less than half before she pushed the plate away.

“ I’m finished.” She said forcefully.

“ You need to eat more than that Rahne. Your body needs everything it can get right now.” Dani said, her voice filled with concern.

“ Don’ talk tae me like ye muh mother, Dani. Yuir not. She’s dead and ed.”ed.”

“ That doesn’t mean that there aren’t people who love you just as much.” Dani replied.

“ Ms. Reyes, why can’t I ‘feel’ muh powers anymore?”

“ According to Hank, in order for your body to transform into a lupine state like it does, it has to store massive amounts of nutrients that allow the muscle and hair growth accompanied with your change. Your stores of vitamins and such have been almost completely depleted by your recovery. You should be able to transform again, but it may be a few days. But you can begin your physical therapy now, to regain the strength in your legs.”

“Great. I get tae’ learn t’ walk all over again.” She spat.

“I can’t begin to imagine how hard this is for you Rahne, but you should try to maintain a positive outlook.” Cecelia said as she brought a wheel chair into the room.

“After what I lived thru doctor, that was bein’ positive.”

Without giving a response, she gave Rahne a large t-shirt to put on. She then carefully helped her get into a pair of sweat pants, taking care not to agitate Rahne’s damaged leg muscles.

“Do you need me to help?”

“ Ye don’ need tae watch me all day, Dani. I’ll be fine without you hoverin’ aboot all the time.”

“ I got this, Dani. Why don’t you change the sheets on the bed and get some fresh air? You look like you need it.”


***

Dr. Henry McCoy looked over his program one last time before he started his recordings. He didn’t feel right about what he was planning on doing, but when he ‘saw’ what he did, he felt that to turn away from it would be a far greater crime. With the flip of a button, he started recording his hypothesis.

“ Using the information extracted from several individuals possessing healing factors and combining it with information relating to Wolfsbane’s, A.K.A Rahne Sinclair, ability to transform into a lupine state, I may have stumbled onto the greatest discovery in medical history. However, I feel a computer simulation is at the moment a more prudent route at the moment due to the fact that the information may not be reliable. The simulation will recreate what happens when a damaged cell is subjected to a chemical compound devised thru the information provided by Mr. Calvin’s …research.”

Hank pressed enter on his computer and watched what transpired. As he saw the simulation run its course, his eyes light up like child’s at Christmas.

“ Oh my stars and fucking garters…”

***

As Dani stripped Rahne’s bed, she couldn’t believe how bad it smelt. If she was the melodramatic type, or Wolverine, she would have considered it the smell of fear.

-Smells like a gym locker! I didn’t think someone could sweat so much- she thought to herself, -Rahne continues to impress me-

“ Dani, could we speak for a moment?”

Moonstar felt a chill down her spine when she heard that voice. After all, it belonged to a woman who attempted to brainwash her more than a few times. Emma Frost, the White Queen.

“ Not now, I have something more important to do than talk to a former supervillain. Laundry.”

“ Then let me help you and we can talk as we go.” Emma refused to acknowledge the supervillain comment. She was never a supervillain, just a woman who used her god given abilities to help others like herself. At least, that’s how she saw it, and the hell with the rest of the world.

Dani, without missing a beat, threw one of Rahne’s sweat soaked blankets right in Emma’s face, “ Thanks a lot. I mean that.” –She’s a telepath and she didn’t see that one coming?- Dani smirked to herself. She picked up the rest of the covers and walked towards the laundry room. Emma barely contained her anger and followed.

“ I think Rahne needs some… special care, Dani. I know you care about her, but you can only do so much for her. I think I may be of great help to her.”

Dani just ignored her as she loaded the covers into the washer machine.

“ You can’t do this on your own, Danielle. Let me help her.”

Dani spun around, incensed by Frost’s comments.

“ I know exactly what your help entails, thank you. Your ‘help’ makes the person dependant on you for the rest of their lives!”

“ I want nothing more than to help a young woman who’s in pain right now! I don’t have an agenda here, Dani! I just want to help Rahne!”

“ So you say! I remembered how you ‘helped’ the Hellions! Trained them to fight for you and the Hellfire Club, but you didn’t deem fit to train them to think for themselves, did you? Or was it an accident that the moment you were taken out of the picture, they were all easily killed by some tit tit thug?”

Furious over the suggestion that she was responsible for the death of her first students, Emma transformed into her diamond form and lashed out at Dani. With little effort, Dani ducked under the strike, and in one fluid movement, grabbed Emma’s arms, pulled her close, arched her back and threw Frost over her shoulder into the far wall. Frost, unharmed physically but seething inside, got to her feet and lunged at Dani. In response, Dani created one of her psychic arrows and readied herself for Frost’s attack. But before either of them could hurt the other, they both froze, unable to move.

“ I know the situation with Rahne is hard on us all,” Jean Grey said calmly, “ But getting into a fight won’t help anything or anyone.”

“ Beating Frost within an inch of her life would certainly make me feel better.” Dani muttered under her breath.

“ All I want to do is help a young woman who is in incredible pain! Not to be insulted by some self righteous brat!”

“ Your help is worse than no help at all!” Dani spat.

“ Look, Emma, I know you mean well, but I think that you should leave this matter for others who know Rahne better, and who Rahne will trust. I’m sorry, Emma, but that doesn’t include you.”

“ Fine! Let the poor girl be traumatized because you were to proud to ask my help!” Frost said as she stormed out.

“ Not that I like taking Emma’s side, but she has changed a lot since you last…encountered her, Dani.”

“ So they tell me, Jean. But that sure as hell doesn’t make up for all the brainwashing attempts. And she’s still a bitch.”

“Yeah, well, some things never change. Me and the others just started breakfast, care to join us?”

“ Sure. Thanks for the help back there. I don’t think that the professor would have been to pleased with me if I put one of his teachers in traction.” Dani said as they went to the mansion’s private dining room. Despite the fact that the school had been recently overhauled to accommodate all the new students, the Professor preferred that his older students had a place to eat and gather in private so they wouldn’t be bothered by the new students. Right now, it was only being used by the Professor, Logan, Kurt and Scott.

“Pull up a chair and join us, chief. Looks like ya been burning the midnight oil.” Logan said as he handed Dani an already made plate.

“ More like the oil’s been burning me.”

“ Has Rahne spoken any about what happened to her?” Kurt asked, his voice filled with concern. He knew Rahne personally from his time on Muir Isle, and cared deeply about her welfare. The fact that Rahne now wanted nothing to do with him troubled him greatly.

“ Not a word, and it’s not for lack of trying. Every time that I get remotely close to the subject about what they did to her, she shuts me out. I didn’t think she could be so damn stubborn.”

“ Yes, she is her mother’s daughter in that regard,” Xavier commented, “ Have you been able to glean any details about what happened at all? I don’t know how well we’ll be able to help her until she admits to herself what happened.”

“ Like I said, she’s refused to talk about it at all.”

“ Have you seen about getting her some professional help?” Cyclops suggested.

“ I’ve looked into that, Scott, but I’m afraid that isn’t possible. Given what Rahne’s lived thru before she was kidnapped, I can’t think of many therapists that could truly appreciate what’s she’s going thru now. The few who could, are not an option. Dr. Rory Campbell, whom she knew from Excalibur, is no where to be found, and her first therapist, Dr. Samson, is off chasing the Hulk.”

“ Don’t need a shrink ta’ tell ya’ what’s goin’ thru her head. She’s hurt and confused right now, at why someone would experiment on her like that, and how god would let someone do somethin’ so horrible to one of his children.” Logan said, “ I got some experience bein’ a lab rat, after all.”

“I don’t suppose that you’d be willing to talk to her, would you Logan? She’s doing everything she can to shut me out.”

“ I doubt I could get thru to her. Crazy canucks don’t mix well with church girls. I know it’s hard, but you’ll just have to be there for her, even though she’ll do everything she can to push you away.”

“ Don’t worry. The harder she pushes me away, the harder I’ll hold on.”

“ There is also another problem concerning Rahne that we need to address. Emma has brought to my attention the fact that her nightmares are starting to affect our other telepathic students. I don’t think that Rahne can stay in the medi-lab much longer.”

“ That bitch… so she can’t get her claws into Rahne so she pulls this… So what? You’re going to throw her out now?” Dani snapped.

“ That’s not what he’s suggesting at all, Dani. Give the Professor a moment to explain, if it’s not to much trouble.”

“ Thank you, Scott.” Xavier said. He was a little taken back by the force of Scott’s statement, which was unusually aggressive for him, but that didn’t matter right now, “I’ll excuse that statement due to the fact that you have been under stress, Dani. I have never abandoned a student in need, and I certainly won’t start with Rahne. And for the record, Emma has been the one who has kept Rahne from affecting the students at great personal expense. It’s been very taxing on her mentally. But that’s beside the point. I think it would be wise to move her. I was going to suggest that we let her recover in the guesthouse. Hank has designed some psi-dampeners that will prevent any students from latching on to her nightmares and I also think that Rahne will be far more comfortable there than in the medi-lab.”

“ Not that I have a problem with it, but this is the first I’ve heard of this suggestion.” Jean said.

“ I’m sorry Jean, I talked it over with Scott last night. I thought that he had discussed it with you already. Not to worry, though. The room that I set aside for you two in the mansion will afford you plenty of privacy.”

“ That’s alright Professor, me and Scott won’t have to move out of the house. There are two bedrooms in it, after all. Dani will need someone helping her with Rahne, and Rahne’s perfectly comfortable with me.”

“ Are you sure about this, Jean? It won’t be easy for to be in Rahne’s presence when she’s asleep.”

“ Sometimes, things that need to be done in life aren’t easy. Doesn’t mean they don’t have to be done.”


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