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To Have and to Hold

Chapter Twelve: Warrior Goddess

A figure stepped forwards; smoke billowing around it light shining from behind. The figure was that of a woman, a goddess, tall and strong. Her feet were clad in hard, well-worn boots, her long shapely legs encased in shining black leather. Panther black covered her torso and arms, clinging to her form. Draped over her shoulders was a deep brown trench coat. Around her slim waist was a belt with two gun sheaths hanging from it. One gun was poised in the goddess’ slim hand, its pale skin making a startling contrast to the black of the leather. An unseen breeze shifted her two toned hair.

“Forever is a long, long time,” she whispered but Logan’s ears heard her voice.

Suddenly his awareness of his surroundings exploded back into his consciousness. Hurriedly he climbed to his feet expecting a hand from Rogue but she offered none. Rogue’s gang had joined the fray aiding the waning X-men in their struggle. At last the tide was beginning to turn. Rogue fired round after round, taking out the rapists and murders who fired on her old teammates. Eventually her ammunition run out and she produced daggers from somewhere on her person.

“Shut those doors!” she commanded. Inside her head, the psychic of Hawkeye a mutant from Latvia with perfect aim clicked into place. In a split second her eyes narrowed as she focused on the main control panel. Suddenly she threw the dagger in her hand, sending it straight and true into the main control more than twenty metres away. Immediately what doors that were open slammed shut, halting the streams of the SMU. She delivered a swift punch to the man nearest her and he went down. Logan was gone from her side but in his place stood the one thing she cared for above all else. Remy LeBeau released card after burning card at the attackers but they just kept coming. Out of the corner of her eye Rogue saw Scott go down, struck by a knockout dart.

“Their orders have changed,” Rogue shouted to her lover as her blade slipped through another mans ribs. “They want us alive! We have to retreat.” She slammed her elbow into a guys face and kicked another in the face.

Remy nodded and began yelling the retreat over the din. Immediately the X-men began to cut a path to the entrance to the air ducts, supporting each other as they ran. Only one figure did not move.

“Professor!” Rogue yelled, struggling to support a senseless Jean and fight. The bald man ignored her and continued to type away. Logan chucked Scott into the hole unceremoniously before climbing up himself. Wanda tried to maintain a shield around the retreating teams.

“Rogue,” Pietro whispered as his leader passed the red head up. “We can’t leave with them. They’re gonna slow us down.”

Rogue continued. “What would you have me do? Leave them?” she hissed. “I’ve made that mistake before,” she turned to go retrieve the Prof but Pietro gripped her arm.

“Do you think by saving them you can bring Piotr back? You are insane,” he instantly regretted the last comment as he say her green eyes harden. She shrugged off his grasp and ran into the fray, reloading her last cartridge.

The SMU couldn’t fire at the woman sprinting through their midst for fear of hitting one of their own. On the stairs the soldiers fired at the old man on the computer but none of the shots hit the target. Rogue attacked from behind sending them clattering down the harsh metal stairs. As soon as she reached the top, the SMU below opened fire but were distracted by a flurry of explosions. Rogue seized her chance and the Professor. He tried to resist being dragged down the stairs after her but his efforts were futile. Eventually she ran out of bullets and had to resort to hand to hand. Even as she fought she felt a wave of tiredness in her limbs. The Prof was being thoroughly useless for the most powerful telepath in the world. Through the mass she saw Gambit trying to shove his way to her.

“Go,” she shouted. She saw his face-harden, desperately she said the one thing he would listen to. “That’s an order.” For a second Remy stopped and stared as she slashed a man in the face. From her sleeve she produced a small item that looked like a pen. In one easy movement she threw it into Remy’s hand. Behind her she felt the prof sag. Eventually the Cajun turned and swung expertly up into the duct. Rogue couldn’t help but smile as the warrior goddess was buried under a pile of men.

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