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Maria
Cline



Am I Getting Through To You?:
Part 1


Natalie D started this story. She allowed me to continue 
since she couldn't. This is a response to the disability challenge. 
All characters are property of Marvel Comics.

Continuity: It is set in the near future 
(about three years into the future to be exact). Most of the 
X-Men are part of the team. The mansion got it's Shi'ar technology 
back due to Lilandra and Corsair's assistance.


The first thing he became aware of was a constant pounding in his head, but technically, he'd always been aware of that. The pain was flooding his senses; he began to long for the blessed relief of unconsciousness that would let him forget. That would FORCE him to forget.

He had to forget. Otherwise he wouldn't have had an excuse, how would he stay true to Xavier's Dream? No one would buy the 'I have to protect the world.' Or the 'I'm a good leader.' Who would listen to crap like that? After all...

Even with the highlighted-in-neon sign that was glowing as a warning, he wasn't prepared for the rush of memories. The flashes of pain. The torture. The sadistic pleasure they took in trying to break him. They had only stopped when they realized what they had finally done, why he was no longer responding.

Shreds of light began to filter into the room. He dared to hope. Hope was the only thing sustaining him, nowadays. Maybe Hank could help him, if any of them remembered, or cared. Then again, they wouldn't forget him. But they might not have suspected anything... yet. What if this... Fortress was undetectable or *almost* impossible to get into?

Who knew he was so pessimistic? Nobody, DUH! Where had he learnt that... Jubilee?

That's right. He missed her. Screw that, he missed *all* of them.

At that point, his mind chose to wander back to his original point. Shreds of light had started to filter into the room, through the obvious door, that is. His last thought as his 'blessed unconsciousness' arrived, was 'Damn it, now Tub Thumping is going through my head...'

*****

The X-Men crashed though the door. They had been trying to rescue their 'fearless leader' for the past five months. A rogue government group that wanted him to become a weapon for them had captured Scott. They wanted him to become a 'super soldier' for them to fight his own kind. Jean, out in fear and anger, yelled Scott's name.

Logan looked around. "Jean, I think we found him." He motioned toward a figure strapped to a table with medical instruments all around him.

Everyone gasped in horror. Jean telekinetically ripped off the restraints and cradled Scott's limp body in her arms. Scott had wires attached all along his tall body. His very face had been altered. Where his eyes once were, there was now a long stripe of red embedded in his face. The stripe made him look like a true Cyclops. His rough face, due to lack of shaving, was painfully thin.

His hair had been shaved off and revealed hideous scars that came from numerous surgeries and torture. His body had become extremely gaunt and lean from the muscle that were removed to put in the weaponry.

Jean's eyes seemed to glow with anger as she silently vowed, "They-will-pay."

*****

Scott awoke to see a familiar blue furry face. He attempted to speak Hank's name, but found that his mouth wouldn't produce sound. "I believe that Scott is conscious," was Hank's only observation.

Logan came into Scott's line of sight "He's awake alright," confirming what Scott thought was obvious.

Fear started to come over Scott. Why couldn't he move? What had happened to him? Why did his body ache or more correctly, feel like shit?

Then, Jean stepped in front of Scott. She asked gently, "Scott? Can you hear me?"

He tried to answer through their rapport, only to discover that he could feel her thoughts, but not the other way around. Logan answered for him, "I think he heard ya', Jeannie. His heart's poundin' an' that means that he's either worried or happy."

Jean placed her hand on Scott's rough face. Trying to comfort him, "Don't worry, Scott. We'll get though this."

He wished that he could show some sign of understanding. Show some sign that yes, he felt comforted by her touch, by her smile, or maybe even touch her back. Logan, again, answered for him, "He knows. His heart's slowed down 'gain. It's still goin' fast, though."

**Thanks, Logan.** Scott said psionically, or at least tried to.

"I have done a complete diagnostic on his body. There are several various implants connected to his nervous system. I cannot remove them without doing serious damage to his system,Ē said Hank.

"Why can't he move?" Jean asked as she held Scott's hand. He could feel her soft skin wrapped tightly around his rough thin hand.

Hank sighed and answered, "The implants control his movements, his directions. They are designed to make sure that the person stays paralyzed unless his captors wished otherwise. His captors would have had to, in a sense, tell the implants to let him go."

"So, he's stuck like this?" Logan asked as he looked at Jean squeezing Scott's hand even tighter.

Hank nodded. He went to Scott and placed a hand over his shoulder. "I'm sorry, Scott. I will try to disable the implants paralyzing you. But I cannot make any promises."

Scott had the most faith in Hank, of any doctor. He only wished that he could show his faith, rather than act like a vegetable.

Jean hugged Scott, "Don't worry. I'll help you." Scott wished that he could hug back.

*****

It was late at night as Scott felt the horrors of the past few months worth of memories washed over him. He couldn't remember what happened during his captivity. In his nightmares, he saw men standing over him talking as if he doesn't matter.

It was a few months ago, when he was taken surprise by a group of men. They put psyhic and power dampeners on him and they took him. He was embarrassed about the fact that a group of humans managed to capture him. He waited as they ripped at his body. They tried to break him and fail. They mocked him and told him that if it weren't for the fact that Alex was dead, they would've used him.

Scott woke up. He couldn't scream or even indicate that he was awake. Hank was standing over him looking over his diagnostic. 'It was just a dream.' Scott realized in relief. He wanted to get Hank's attention. But he was occupied. Hank thought that he was still asleep. He stated in his tape recorder, "They installed implants so they could use his body even if his mind was still his. The implants paralyzed his entire body. He couldn't even express facial emotions. All that was running was his life support system. Logan had been able to understand what was Scott's feeling due to his heart and respiratory rate. However, that is all we could do. There are a series of weaponry that is installed within his body already. I am concerned for Scott's sanity and well-being."

He turned off his recorder and said, "Oh, Scott." He patted his chest lightly.

He looked down at Scott and observed, "Perspiration?" He gently wiped away the sweat off of Scott's brow with his napkin. Scott wanted to tell someone, anyone about his nightmare. He remembered the nights when Jean would sense his nightmares and comfort him.

Logan entered the room and looked at Scott. He said, "Scott's awake." He lifted Scott into a sitting position and continued, "He must've gotten a bad nightmare."

Hank said, "I'm sorry, Scott. I shouldn't have spoken about you in your presence." He sulked away. Scott wanted to show that he forgave Hank, but couldn't even reach out.

Logan put an arm around Scott's shoulders and said, "It's okay, Cyke. We're all here. Nothin' to be scared of." He hoped that Logan was right.

*****

It had been a couple of days since his rescue. Scott had been waited on, hand and foot, by his fellow X-Men. His nutrients were given to him via IV because his jaw wouldnít move. Jean stayed by his side constantly. Logan also visited often. His enhanced senses enabled him to often understand what Scott was feeling.

On a rare moment, Logan was alone with Scott. He was reading Moby Dick. He enjoyed the way Logan changed his voice differently for the different characters. Logan occasionally stopped only to take a sip of water. His healing factor helped his throat from getting too sore.

Scott knew that Logan would rather be out on the battlegrounds, fighting the enemies. Not reading to a man who couldn't express anything in any possible way, except for his heartbeat, breathing, and scent. He felt grateful for what Logan was doing.

Jean entered the room and asked quietly, "How is he?"

"He's fine, Jeannie. Heart pounding hard and good."

"Actually, I was asking Scott." Jean said as she quirked an eyebrow.

Logan growled a little. Scott let out a sharp breath, as if laughing. Logan grumpily replied, "Very funny, Cyke. Keep acting like that and you won't know how the story ends."

Jean, now talking to Scott, replied, "The whale killed the entire crew except for Ishmael."

"Thank a heap, Jeannie." Logan said as he tossed the book over his shoulder in frustration.

Jean smiled as she sat down in front of Scott and said, "I have a surprise for you."

Scott thought out, **Surprise?** he wondered what the surprise is. Bobby gave him a surprise earlier that was a calendar of scantly clad women. He hung it right in front of Scottís face and kept on turning the pages slowly. Jean telekinetically destroy the calendar and chased him for an hour. Scott heard that Bobby managed to get away through the sewers. He wondered if the stench of the sewers go through ice.

He wondered if it was the Professor. Xavier was out of the X-Men to pursue the dream in more legal ways. He became a politician. He had been in Washington DC for peace treaties with Genosha. He couldnít leave. Then he put aside the notion. The treaty is too important. The X-Men probably hadnít even contacted him yet.

Jean kissed him on the cheek and said, "I'm getting him."

Logan nodded and stood up, as if to leave. Jean said, "Stay here, Logan, please. Our surprise will need an interpreter, for the most part."

"You sure, Jeannie?"

"Yes."

Jean left and Scott's heart jumped at the figure that entered with Jean. He was in civilian clothing, but Scott recognized him. Alex sat down and said, "Hi, Scotty." Tears came to the Alex's eyes as he said, "I missed you." Scott missed him too. Alex died in an airplane explosion. His remains were scattered in ashes in the countryside. But, he's here alive, well, and not trying to kill him.

Scott wanted so much to just grab him and hug him. Alex instead reached out and held him tightly. "I'm sorry. I tried to come back but I thought that I was needed in that alternate universe more. Do you hate me? I'd understand." Scott felt a knot in his throat. he wanted to cry too. Alex was here begging for forgiveness and he couldnít let him know that he is forgiven.

Logan said, "Scott doesn't hate ya' 'Lex. He's confused. Can smell it."

Alex let go and went in front of him. "I suppose I should explain myself. It all began when that time machine exploded...."

Alex talked for the next two hours, explaining about his adventures in the alternate universe. He talked about Madelynn Pryor being his wife, Scotty Summers, the alternate X-Men and even about the benevolent Dr. Doom.

Scott listened intently. He was intrigued about his life. Occasionally, Alex stopped to make sure that Scott was interested. Logan always informed him that Scott was interested. Alex kept on talking. Scott kept on listening. Logan kept on watching to see how Scott was reacting.

Finally, Alex stopped and said, "I can hardly wait till Hank figured out a way to help you, Bro. I _hate_ one-sided conversations. How are we supposed to have a decent argument if you can't speak? Well, maybe I could argue for the both of us, but where's the fun in that?"

Scott mentally smiled and thought out the same thing.

*****

All of Scottís family members and Logan gathered in the Med. Lab with Scott sitting in the bed. Hank said, "I have been going over Scott's options. There are two things that we may be able to choose from."

"About time." Nathan said, very near to a growl, "Scott is probably miserable right now." he looked over at Scott who was agreeing profusely.

Logan said, "He is. What's the plan, Hank?"

Hank took a deep breath and said, "Our first option is to completely remove the implants. However, it will cause Scott to be permanently paralyzed. Our second option is to add on more implants to counteract the first implants' influences."

Jean asked, "Can't we just remove the implants and put in prosthetic devices to replace the implants?"

"I'm afraid not. The implants are connected to his nervous system. There are also implants within Scott's brain to help keep the implants on the nervous system in check. If we remove the implants and put in prosthetic devices, Scott's system wouldn't be able to handle it and his system and/or body would die."

Scott heard both of the opinions. He will have to choose between being a cripple or being a 'Robocop'. But his opinions didn't seem to matter. He couldn't express what he wanted, and no one seemed to want to listen anyway.

Jean said, "I think Scott would want to get the counter implants."

"He doesn't wanna be a robot, Jeannie." Logan argued.

"I think that Scott doesn't want to be a cripple." Nathan said angrily.

Everyone started to argue. Scott was getting angry. It was his life, and his decision. Not their's! And everyone was acting as if he wasn't there; that he was incapable of making the choice. He had to get their attention. Alex was directly in front of him with Jean to his left. Hank was to his right trying to keep Logan and Nathan from killing each other. Over the days that he had been in the X-Menís care. He realized that he didnít need to move to see. He only need to see just to use his power. Hence, he didnít need to move to use his power.

From the red visor that is now his eyes, a bright narrow red blast shot out and hit Alex on the chest. Everyone stopped and Alex groaned, "Oh man, that was my favorite shirt."

Jean gasped and asked, "Scott, why did you do that?"

Logan said, "He's angry, Jeannie. I guess that us arguin' 'bout his fate with him right there, an' bein' ignored was what kinda ticked him off."

Everyone looked down in self-disappointment. Scott felt better. For the first time, he had showed that he was alive without Logan.

Jean felt the most guilt. It had been hard to act like Scott could understand her since she couldnít hear his thoughts or feel his feelings. She sat down beside him and hugged him again. ďIím sorry, Scott.Ē

Scott forgave her. He knew how hard it could be to act like someone is alive even if that person was in a coma or worst. He wanted to tell her. He just wanted her to hear him speak. He just wanted to hold her like he use to do before he got captured.

Hank said, "Perhaps, Scott should be the one who decides."

"How will we know what he wants?" Jean asked, "Not even I can even read his mind."

Everyone frowned and Nathan spoke up, "I have a suggestion. It's risky."

"What is it, Nate?" Jean asked as she held on to Scott's hand.

Nathan looked at Scott and said, "We could have Rogue absorb him. Just enough so we will know his opinion. Her 'empathy' is very strong. A psi couldn't even block it off. She could get past the barrier."

"The process might hurt him." Hank said. "But, it seems to be the only way."

Alex stood up and said, "I'll go and get her."

"Wait!" Jean ordered.

"What?"

"Let's not go and get Rogue to do it yet. Scott may need some time to think it over." Jean reasoned. It was a fairly big desision. Rogue wouldnít want to absorb Scott twice if he didnít make the decision before she absorbed him.

"Sounds fair." Alex reasoned, "How long?"

"How about six hours?" Logan asked, "I think that's long enough."

Scott mentally nodded to himself. Six hours seemed long enough to make the decision.

*****

Over the next six hours, Scott pondered what to do. It wasn't like he had anything to distract him. No one bothered him or try to entertain him. He liked it like that. He tried to picture himself, as he would be if he chose loosing the implants or getting more implants. He could tell that everyone was wondering what he wanted. Occasionally, an X-man entered the med. lab to peek in and he could see their curious faces. Finally, the six hours were over. Rogue, Logan, Jean, Alex, Hank, and Nathan entered the Med. Lab.

Rogue knelt down to see Scott eye to eye. She was wearing a pair of ruby quartz glasses just in case she absorbed Scott's powers and lost control. She said, "Ah hope that ya' made up your mind, sugah." She took off her glove and said, "Ah promise Ah'll try to be as careful as possible."

Scott just stared straight ahead. He had complete faith in Rogue. But he couldn't help, but feel scared of what was to happen. He felt the bare hand strokes his cheek, he felt a sudden drain in his entire body, and darkness consumed him again.

*****

He awoke on the operation table. He took several deep breaths as he sat up slowly. Jean and the others were sitting around his bed. He flexed his hands and moved his head around. He loved it. For the first time in months, he could move on his own. He smiled and reached out to Jean.

Jean went into his arms as they kissed long and hard finally reunited at long last. They had waited for what seemed to be an eternity to be in each otherís arms holding on to each other tightly. Finally they let go. Everyone else gathered around him hugging him and smiling broadly. Hank said, "I'm glad that you're pleased with the implants. I tried to make you look as human as possible. Itís not perfect. In fact, we will have to do some more adjustments."

Scott stood up and looked in the mirror. He still had one long red eye. His head had traces of silver-looking metal along his headline it counteract the implants in his head. It made his head look bald with silvery streaks. His chest was a silvery metallic color. Traces of circuitry were visible along his arms and legs. His arms and legs were covered in metallic skin; silvery armor skin.

He looked down at his hands and saw that small slivery lines covered his skin. He flinched and a group of five short sharp claws came painlessly out of some holes from the palm of his hands. They were silvery and made of some variant of adamantium that wasn't as deadly to the human body as the adamantium in Logan's body. He felt stronger and bigger than ever. The first implants enhanced his reflexes and the secondary implants seemed to feel as if it was designed to aid them and at the same time hinder their paralyzing ability. He stared at the mirror. He couldn't recognize himself. He withdraw the claws.

Jean asked, "How do you feel, Scott?" She tried not to sound horrified of her husband's look of fear. ďI still canít hear you through our rapport.Ē she said.

He realized that the implants are still making it impossible to have his mind read. Scott opened his mouth to answer only to find out that nothing could come out. He clutched his throat in horror and glared at Hank.

Hank put his furry hand on his shoulder and said, "I'm sorry. I could not risk putting in a artificial vocal box." He gave Scott a pad of paper and a pencil.

Scott's bionic eye twitched and he looked at his family sadly. They were trying to look sympathetic and try not to stare at his cybernetic body. He carefully and sadly wrote down, ~I feel almost human.~

To Be Continued...


Other Stories By Maria Cline

 


Still Here
[1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

Am I Getting Through To You?
[1] [2] [3]

Aftermath
[1] [2]

X-Men In Pokeworld
[1] [2]

Conversation Between Naps

Sinister Help

Sinister Reactions

Duality
[1]



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