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Nadja Lee

Trapped in Darkness 11

Disclaimer in part 1.
Quick recap: The X-men have been taken as slaves. Scott was tortured. We left Scott with the X-men and 
Cecilia and Black Thunder in sick bay.

Thanks to Maria, L. Burke and Misty of the Red Shades list for helping me with these parts.

Warnings: Talk of torture and rape.

Part 11:

Black Thunder entered the captain's office almost two hours after he had brought Cyclops back to his cell.

 " Yes, Michael?" the captain asked as he turned towards him.

" You wanted to know when the leader of the X-men, Cyclops had been returned. He has been so now," Black Thunder reported, standing at attention before the other man.

" Yes, I did ask for this in tell," the captain's eyes narrowed. " As I recall I also asked for it as soon as possible. The guards on duty in the hallway reported that the X-men leader have been in his cell for almost two hours now."

" I had business elsewhere," Black Thunder replied, the lie rolling easily of his tongue. The only sign of anger was the fire in his eyes as the captain stood up and drew closer to the other man and swiftly slapped him in the face and Black Thunder's head flew to the side. He turned back and continued to look directly at the captain, nothing betraying his emotions as he wiped the blood from his broken lip.

" You disobeyed a direct order. You were to give me this information at once. You will take the full consequence of your actions," the captain stated coldly as he turned away from him again.

" I understand," the voice was low and toneless as always.

" But that'll have to wait," for a while neither spoke. Then the captain sighed and something that could have been regret was in his eyes.

" Why do you make me hurt you so?" the captain whispered softly. Black Thunder said nothing for there was nothing to be said. The captain returned to his seat and looked through some files, the X-men's files to be more precise.

" This leader of the X-men, Cyclops. He fascinates me. Do you think we could use him?"

" He has great mutant powers and a sharp military mind but."

" But what?"

" He'll rather die than work for you," Black Thunder said confidently. The captain's eyes narrowed.

" That can be arranged. But he has friends, maybe even a woman. We could use them," the captain continued.

" That'll only buy time. He'll never work efficiently; he'll destroy anything he could get his hands on. He'll have to be watched 24 hours a day and I don't have the men to spare," Black Thunder explained.

" Given enough time as a prisoner or under interrogation, any man would do or be anything to me, anything. He'll even kill his own wife for me, isn't that right, Michael?"

Black Thunder got a bitter taste in his mouth and fought the shame down.

" It is."

" Hum, but I believe you're right. He'll be a handful and we can't spare men to guard him when we're at the brig of war with the natives," the last was said with a meaning look at Michael but his face gave nothing away. The captain looked through the X-men's files again.

" This one is interesting. Logan, called Wolverine. Hum, healing factor, metal skeleton, heightened senses, claws. The man is a living weapon!" the captain said impressed.

" And totally uncontrollable. More beast than man in his actions," Black Thunder warned. The captain sighed and looked further into the files.

" This one is also a possibility. Ororo Munroe, Storm. With her on our side we could win the war. The natives would probably think she was a Goddess and do whatever she says and then.. we win!" the captain looked excited at the prospect.

" True but again she'll have to be guarded 24 hours a day and if she's to be totally loyal to you, to this cause, if she is to betray her friends.it'll take years. If her collar is removed now, she'll kill anyone in her way to free her friends. She can't be trusted that quickly even if we started brainwashing her now."

The captain closed the X-men's files and stood up.

" If I didn't know any better I'll say you are trying to keep them away from me," his voice was almost pleasant, making it all the more deadly.

" No, captain. I'm merely doing as I'm told; telling you what I see. Those 3 will be great assets but it'll take years to convert them and more manpower than we can presently spare." The captain smiled.

"True," he said and walked around his desk. "Come with me," he ordered as he went past him and Black Thunder followed with five of the captain's guards. They walked through the hallway until they stood in front of the force field separating the X-men from the hallway.

" What the fuck do you want now, you sick bastard?" Logan growled and so wished he had something to back his threatening behaviour up with.

" Logan, no," Scott warned but too late. The control was in the captain's hands yet again and Jean instinctually moved closer to Scott as he and the others had gotten to their feet.

" I have grown tired of your ill manners," the captain stated and with that he pushed a button on his control.

" Noooo!" Rogue cried.

" Stop it," Scott demanded.

Logan fell to the floor in agony as his entire nervous system felt like it was on fire. He bit his lip to blood from preventing from screaming. No way in hell was he giving the bastard that satisfaction.

" Logan. Oh God. Please stop," Rogue cried as she kneeled beside Logan, unable to do anything to ease his agony. She tried to take his hand to try and somehow ease his pain but he rolled up in a ball, trying to escape a pain that he couldn't fight.

" You are a brave man, Logan. However it can't help you now," the captain said and pushed a new button. The intensity of the attack strengthened and this time a yell of pure agony did escape Logan's lips.

" For Christ sake, stop this!" Scott demanded, feeling so helpless.  He knew the pain Logan was going through and he never wished anyone to feel that yet he couldn't do anything to prevent it.

" Captain, may I remind you that you have a scheduled meeting with President McLain today at five?" Black Thunder's emotionless voice broke through the noise of Logan's screams, Rogue's cries and his team-mates threats, demands and even pleas from Kitty.  He sounded for all the world like he was watching a soccer game and had just commented on the fine weather.

" You are quite right," the captain pushed a new button and Logan was finally freed.

" Logan," Rogue cried and laid his head in her lap. He had lost consciousness. She stroked his hair gently and bent down and planted a soft kiss on his forehead.

" You, slaves," the captain began, " will work from tomorrow like all others. The healthy men will go to the mines. The injured will go to sickbay and then return to work. Long-term damaged goods will work here, in this building. The presidential palace is near by and they always need extra hands in the kitchen and with the cleaning. Those I can use will stay here to work with the facilities we have here. Is this understood?" he looked around at the mutants.

" We understand," Scott answered for them all. They couldn't risk more getting hurt. What did they take them for anyway? Stupid three-year-old kids? Or most likely not even kids, not humans at all, Scott thought annoyed.

" Good. Now.." The captain studied a hand held panel with writing on it. He looked at the mutants in the cell again " Jubilation and John will be taken to sick bay and will work in this building until their damages heal." He turned to Black Thunder. " Michael, find something useful for them to do."

" Yes," he simple acknowledged.

" Logan, Peter, Robert, Remy and Scott will be taken to the mines starting tomorrow. I know of your teamwork so you'll work alone and as long as you fulfil your quota you can do what you want out there. Remember, of cause that you will be under surveillance by guards and that attempting to escape equals instant termination," he warned as he already predicted trouble with this group.

" Logan has been injured. He should go to sickbay," Scott argued. He wasn't surprised that the man knew their real names nor that he used them. He had simply to check their picture with any kind of photo ID in the US to get that information, now that they were powerless and more or less out of costume. Furthermore, by calling them by their first name he reduced their status. Codenames were for their powered identity and last names were to indicate they were to be given the same hospitality as any human. To use their first name was also like an insult; as if they were friends when they were enemies. But the again, in his eyes, they probably weren't human.

" He will recover during the night. By tomorrow he will be quite capable of joining you in the mines," the captain declared with a dismissive wave of his hand.

" What of the professor?" Scott asked, noticing that he hadn't been mentioned and knew it was a bad sign.

" He can't work in the mines. I have no use for him. By sunset he will he terminated."

" No!" Jean protested.

" You have no right to control life and death," Ororo said.

" Don't." Scott began but Xavier caught his hand with his own, holding it for a shot while. He still sat on the floor as the only one as Bobby had ignored Jubilee's protests and had lifted her up in his arms. Jubilee's face was a grimace as she tried to fight the pain her broken leg gave her. John too looked strained but he didn't say a word. What would it help anyway?

" There is nothing you can do," Xavier told him gently. He didn't want Scott, didn't want any of his students, of his X-men, to suffer because of him.

" The professor could prove valuable to you," Black Thunder said to the captain.

" I don't see how but by all means; enlighten me."

" We could always use him in Sick Bay. Dr. Cecilia is doing it all alone and there is a lot to be done," Black Thunder argued but his voice didn't betray if he cared at all about the fate of the man whom he spoke of.

" Hum, I don't know," the captain wondered out loud.

" Give it a try. You can always terminate him later."

" Very well. Should he prove useful so we don't loose so many slaves he can stay. Otherwise he is out. I have no need for a mutant who can't work," the captain declared and all X-men visibly relaxed.

" Thank God," Kitty mumbled against Peter's chest.

" Where was I? Oh, yeah. The women," the words had barely left his mouth before all men instantly took up a defensive position before a woman dear to their hearts. Bobby held Jubilee a little closer, Rogue squeezed Logan's limp hand for comfort, Scott eased Jean behind him and Peter did like wise with Kitty, Remy went to Ororo and stood with her and John stood before Rogue, ready to protect her should the need arise though what good he could do in his present state was doubtful.

" You leave them alone," Scott demanded.

" You should be thankful that I'm in such a hurry, otherwise I would have been forced to show you some manners, boy," the captain said, his eyes narrowing.

" Scott, please," Jean said softly and laid a hand on his shoulder.

" The women will work as servants in the presidential palace. They are all quite beautiful and that's what we need to those posts," his glance swept over the women. " Tonight is our celebration of the president's rise to power. My guards deserve a good time," Scott stiffened, as he knew where this discussion was heading and not liking it at all.

" Lay one hand on Jean and I swear you'll regret it," Scott spat out, anger blazing in his eyes. Anger and an overshadowing concern. The captain pretended not to have heard his outburst. He looked at the women and then at his panel with writing on it and then back to the women again.

" Ororo, Jean, Katherine and Marie will come with me for tonight. Jubilation will do no good because of her injury," he demanded and waved the guards over to get ready to open the force shield.

" Captain, I think one of these women will be sufficient," Black Thunder broke in, his eyes glazing at the women. The black woman with the white hair, the one the captain had called Ororo, there was something about her. She awoke feelings in him he thought he had long since buried.

" Why?" the captain asked sharply.

" Too much pleasure and you'll never get them back to work again. They will get demanding. Besides there are going to be other women. Humans as well as slaves more.willing that I'm sure they'll find these," with a nod he indicated the women.

" Some like the fight but I see your point. However my soldiers need entertainment, any kind of entertainment, for the evening," the captain made a gesture to say that he didn't see any other way. He didn't like men forcing themselves at women, not even mutant women but he saw no other way. His soldiers were soon to go to battle, he needed their loyalty.

" Then let them take me," Black Thunder offered as emotionless as if he always offered his life on a silver platen which he never did. Looking out for number one was a rule he had lived by for a long time and it had kept him alive.

" You??? Why should I?" the captain asked surprised. This wasn't in the plan at all.

" No one here exactly likes me. They'll be happy to have a chance, one whole night, where your command of no harm coming to me unless you order it, is disbanded. Besides you did say I had punishment coming. Let this be it," his voice wasn't pleading, merely stating a suggestion. The captain saw the looks of hatred, contempt and joy at the prospect at being able to hurt Black Thunder in any way that his guards gave the man. Sick bastards, all of them, the captain thought darkly. But favouritism always had a price; usually a high one.

" Very well but." he looked sternly at his guards. " he is not to be permanently damaged and I mean that literally. All his limps will work come sunlight and he'll have lost none of his senses, you got that?" his voice was calm but held an edge of steel.

" Yes, Sir," the guards chorused. The captain's eyes narrowed as he saw the intense hate in the guards eyes.

" If he dies, you die," he promised and the guards nodded understanding.

" Furthermore, at first light the chain of command and punishment is re-established as always on this night. One drink after sunrise, one drunk guard, one undisciplined punishment and it is instant termination, understood?"

" Yes, Sir," the guards chorused again.

" Good, now back to the matter at hand," the captain looked at the women. " One of you come to the force field now. The others can stay. I don't care which one but decide now!" the captain demanded and no sooner had he spoken before Ororo slipped past Remy and stepped into the light and in the same she stood on the other side of the force shield.

" Stormy, no!" Remy cried and ran after her only to ran into the force shield as he made a grip for her and he landed on his butt by the far wall.

" Ororo, what are you doing?" Scott asked pained as she was handcuffed.

" This was the best way. I'm second in command after you. It is my responsibility," her voice was strong even though she knew what lay ahead of her in the night to come. In her thoughts she tried to convince herself of the necessity of her actions; the others were way too young and she was the only one without a man to worry for her. It had to be her.

" Oh God, Ororo," Jean cried as she was lead away. Black Thunder followed after. He hadn't spoken a word but the woman's actions, so unselfish, so pure, had him intrigued. He didn't want to admit it but he had fought for her. It was her he hadn't wanted to see hurt. It seemed that fate was always unkind to him. He had just made a deal he couldn't break. A deal which could make this a very long and very very painful night in more ways than one. He caught the woman's eyes. He saw fear in them yet still she managed a small smile for him. Where did that bravado come form? She looked so fragile yet she accepted her fate as a warrior. As the guards lead them both towards the main hall, Black Thunder found comfort in the fact that at least he wouldn't have to face this alone. But then just before they reached the main hall, the white haired woman was lead away from him, into another room.

" Where are you taking her?" he asked, trying to keep his voice under control. Damn, he had worked so hard to bury his emotions yet one look from her eyes and he was falling apart. But this wasn't the time nor the place to do that. He needed to be strong now. He couldn't afford to show weakness.

" You should rather worry about yourself, half-breed," one of the guards said and drew his hands back, trying to handcuff them.

" No, I'll walk by myself," he declared and slipped out of his grip.

" Why you." the guard began.

" That's enough. He'll keep his word. Let him walk by himself," the captain demanded, getting ready to go from the small group and to the meeting he had with the president. He looked at Black Thunder and a flicker of something that could and could not have been compassion flashed in his eyes but was then gone.

" Be in my office tomorrow at eight for instructions, Michael," the captain demanded and then left. That meant that if the sun rose at the same time as yesterday he'll have some three hours to be patched up in. He hoped Cecilia was up for a challenge.

" Yes, captain," Black Thunder simply said as he began to walk towards the main hall and the fate that awaited him. He remembered the courage he had read in the white haired woman's eyes and he drew on that. He had lived through a life made up from pain and built in blood. He could survive this as well. He would get through and he would be strong. He might not have his freedom but he had his pride. And holding on to that pride as if it was all he had left, which it also was, he walked into the main hall and the arms of his enemies.


Part 12


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