She had no concept of how long she had been there. It was just an endless cycle of torture and unconsciousness. Maybe it had always been this way. She couldn't remember. She couldn't recall anything but this living hell.
Meanwhile at the mansion...
Logan paced in Charles' office. "It's been three weeks! Why can't you find her? Is she dead?"
The professor's voice tried to soothe him. "I will keep looking, Logan. I will not stop until I know for sure. There must be some kind of shield that I can't see through, but I will keep trying. You must know that."
"I know." Logan slumped dejectedly into a chair. "I can't stand this, Chuck."
"We will find her. I'm going to return to Cerebro."
Logan was working out his frustration in the danger room when he heard the call he had been waiting three weeks to hear. 'I found her. Meet me in the hanger, X-Men.' Logan ran.
Charles was waiting for them. "She's still in Arizona. I have programmed the coordinates into the plane's database. Get going." His eyes bore into Logan's. "I don't know what shape she'll be in when you find her. Logan's brow arched, questioningly. "She's been experimented on," Xavier finished.
Not a word was spoken on the flight west. When the plane touched down, Scott detained Logan. "Please keep your temper in check. We are here to get Misti out, not destroy everything."
Logan, an evil look on his face, replied. "Misti is my priority, then I'm gonna kill the son of a bitch who's responsible." Scott wisely backed off. The trio entered what seemed to be an abandoned clinic.
Jean did a mental scan. "She's in the basement, but I can hardly sense her. She is very weak." They found her in a cell, tossing and turning, in the midst of a nightmare. Logan sliced the lock open, entered the cell and gathered Misti gently in his arms. Her eyes fluttered open.
"Who are you?"
Tears formed in Logan's eyes. "Don't you remember, Sprite? It's me, Logan."
"Please don't use the needles. Anything but the needles," she begged.
"Oh, Sprite," he sobbed. "No needles. I'm gonna get you out of here." He turned to Scott and Jean. "I'm gonna take her to the plane. Scott, find the bastard who did this and blast him to kingdom come."
"Logan, don't you want..."
"No, Scott. I can't leave her. I'm trusting you to take care of it." Scott nodded as a look of understanding passed between them.
Jean told him, "Upstairs and to the left."
Logan and Jean took Misti to the jet. "You have to put her down, Logan. I need to examine her," Jean said softly. He complied but continued to hover. "I won't know everything until we get back and I can do a thorough exam, but it looks like they were taking samples." Jean pointed out the needle tracks.
"What's this?" Logan pointed to one of several stitched up wounds.
"More sampling, I assume."
Scott entered the compartment. He answered Logan's unspoken question. "He's in hell."
Misti woke to see a red haired woman leaning over her. This seemed familiar. She must be one of the needle people, as Misti referred to them. She started to whimper.
"It's ok, Misti," a soothing voice said. "I'm not going to hurt you."
The needle people had never spoken to her before. Maybe the red haired woman was not one of them. "Where am I?"
Again the calming voice came. "You're home."
'Home? Where is home?' Misti wondered.
'This is home.' A voice was inside her head. 'You are safe. We won't let anyone hurt you again.'
Jean watched Misti relax. What had they done to her? Jean was determined to find out.
The next day, Jean addressed the assembled X-Men. "Misti's captors did extensive tissue sampling. They also withdrew a lot of body fluids. She was severely dehydrated."
Charles turned to Scott. "Did you find anything in the data you took from their computers?"
"They were trying to set up a cloning factory. The clones were going to be used for military purposes and auctioned off to the highest bidders."
Logan growled. "They hated mutants, but wanted to use them to make money."
"There's more," Jean said. She made sure Logan was sitting. "She has suffered significant memory loss. She doesn't remember us."
Logan rose. "She'll remember me."
"No, Logan, she doesn't." Jean's eyes filled with concern for her friend. "Logan, she's pregnant."
Logan dropped back into his chair. "Pregnant? Did they...?"
"No. I did a DNA test. It matches yours."
A howl exploded from Logan as he ran from the room. Jean turned to the Professor. "Did you know she was pregnant?"
Tears filled his eyes. "I had an idea, but I wasn't sure."
Logan met Jean outside the infirmary a few days later. "I have to see her, Jean."
"I don't think that's wise," the doctor advised. "She's not ready yet for you to go barging in there."
Logan scowled. "I'm not gonna do that. I just need to see her, to know that she's okay. Damn it, Jean! Let me go to her!"
"Under two conditions, Logan."
He nodded. "Anything."
"You keep your temper in check and you don't mention the baby." Jean's voice gentled. "She doesn't know yet."
Logan silently entered the lab. Misti was sitting up in bed reading. "Hiya. Sprite," he greeted her. She didn't look up. "Misti, it's me," he tried again. This time she did respond, but the blank look in her eyes broke Logan's heart.
"Do I know you?"
Damn, how was he going to survive this? "Yes, you do. I'm Logan. I'm your," he paused, thinking, "best friend."
The troubled look on her face cut him to the quick. "I don't remember you." Tears of frustration slid down her cheeks. "I don't remember anything! I try so hard but there's just blackness."
Logan took her small hand in his larger one. "It's ok, Sprite. I understand. I have no memories past fifteen years ago."
"Why do you keep calling me sprite? My name is Misti."
He winced. "It's a nickname, is all."
"Well, I don't like it! Please use my name."
"Okay." He took a deep breath. He had to get out of here before he said or did something he'd regret. "Well, I gotta go. See ya' later Spr... Misti."
Logan fled to his room. Sobs racked his frame as he realized his love
was lost to him. Locked in Misti's memory. Hopefully it wasn't forever.