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The Loss
Chapter 7

disclaimer:  see chapter 1

Francis and Maggie stood outside the Danger Room, examining the uniforms on display there.  Maggie held an ice pack on her eye, but stood in awe.


"And that one is Dad's.  He doesn't like it, says it squashes his...um...package."


Maggie took a closer look.  "And they wear these on missions?  What kind of missions?"


"Rescues, stuff like that.  And there is this guy called Magneto, and they went out after him once, to keep him from hurting a lot of people.  Sabertooth works for him, I guess."


As Francis spoke, he glanced down the hall toward Cerebro, looking for a sign of life.  He saw none.


Maggie studied her grandson.  He looked very agitated, worried about his father, and from what she had learned over the last half hour, rightly so.  She wondered why the man had gone off alone to face his enemy.  It appeared that these people worked as a team.  But knowing what she knew about Logan, the word team did not appear in his vocabulary.


Francis began to fidget, still staring at the door that held Cerebro.  Maggie followed his eyes.  "Is that it?  Why don't you just go in?"


Francis looked up and grinned weakly.  "I have to wait until he's done.  I don't want to bother him."


Just then, the door slid open, and Xavier glided out, a bit surprised at seeing his waiting audience.  Francis was at his side in a flash, while Maggie slowly followed behind.


"Did you find him?  Is he ok?  Did he find Sabertooth?"  Francis anxiety was palpable. 


Xavier smiled warmly at him.  "I see you have given Maggie a bit of a tour.  Yes, I have located him.  He is nearing where Sabertooth is waiting.  I have informed Scott and Jean, and they will be catching up to him shortly."


Maggie looked confused.  "But how did Logan find him?  Is he a telepath too?"


Francis snorted.  "No.  He followed his scent."


"Scent?  He can smell him?  Like a dog?"


Xavier explained.  "In effect, yes.  Logan has enhanced senses, and can track people by scent."


Francis smiled coyly.  "And he can hear a flea fart, so you had better stop talking about him the way you do.  He has heard everything you ever said about him."


It was all becoming too much for Maggie to handle, and she began to feel dizzy.  "I need to sit down."


The professor nodded to the boy.  "Francis?  Would you escort your grandmother into the Med lab, please?  She can lie down for a while.  I'll keep you informed about your father."  He spun his chair, and re-entered Cerebro.


Maggie was very shaky on her feet, as Francis assisted her to the Med lab.  "No wonder he would pop out of the woodwork when I was baking cookies.  He could smell them a mile away."


Francis just smiled brightly.



Inside Cerebro, Xavier spoke with Jean.  "It appears Logan will reach Sabertooth before you can catch up with him.  Please hurry.  He'll need all your help."


"Is he still heading for the Hudson?"  Jean could not keep the fear out of her mind.


"Yes.  The state park.  Sabertooth is waiting down by the boat docks.  It seems Logan was correct.  Sabertooth was indeed calling him out."


"But why?"


"I don't know.  But I fear that the attack on Maggie was not a random act."



Francis sat by Maggie's side, holding her hand.  "Feel better?"


Maggie rolled her eyes as she scanned the room.  "No.  My head is pounding, I'm sick to my stomach, and I broke two nails."  She was trying to soothe the boy, by making a small joke.  It worked to a degree.


"That sucks.  Two huh?  Well, it could have been worse.  Could have been three.  Be thankful."  Francis too, was trying to relax the tension both felt.


Maggie patted her grandson.  "He'll be ok.  He's tough, he can hold his own.  I just hope he gives that guy a big painful thumping, for me."


Francis nodded.  "He will.  Slice him up good."


Maggie winced, having forgotten all about Logan's accessories.  "When that bastard gets back, we are all going to sit down and have a nice long talk.  I want to know everything, you got that?"


"Even about me?"  There was a sadness in the boy's eyes that tore at her heart.


"Yes.  I want to know everything about you, too.  You must be real special to be allowed to play in that Danger Room, and know about all this.  I want to hear all about you and your old man playing those games, going on secret missions, battling aliens."


Francis brightened considerably.  "You won't like it.  A lot of it is kind of scary.  Like what happened to me this morning."


"And what was that?"


Francis swallowed, and began to tell his grandmother all that had occurred to him.



Logan stopped his bike, and scented the air.  He was close; the air was heavy with the man's foul stench.  He climbed off the bike and stood very still, listening, tasting the air.  Straight ahead.  He took a deep cleansing breath, rolled his head to loosen the tension forming in his neck, and slowly made his way to the docks.



Scott drove as fast as he could.  They were still a good ten minutes away.  "Damn it!  Why does that moron have to do stuff like this?  We could have all gone out together.  He has to do everything his way."


Jean sat next to him, trying to make contact with Logan's mind.  She could not.  His mind was closed, and focused elsewhere.  "Shut up Scott.  He did what any of us would have done.  You aren't any different."


"I wouldn't have gone out alone."   He gripped the steering wheel tightly.  "He has to be out of his mind to go after Sabertooth alone."


Rogue watched the scenery flying by outside the window.  "He's not out of his mind.  This is just the way he handles things.  He's done it before, and will do it again."


Jean was frustrated, not being able to touch Logan's mind.  "I can't get through to him at all.  He's all closed off."  Her worry was clearly expressed on her face.  "We won't make it in time."


Scott pressed the accelerator to the floor, and the van lurched forward.  "Christ.  I hope there's not a lot of pieces to pick up after all this."  He lowered his voice, whispering, "Be careful, Logan."


Chapter 8

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