Disclaimer: The X-Men characters, and all other recognizable characters are copyright to Marvel Entertainment Group. This work of FanFiction is not meant to infringe on that copyright or defame Marvel Comics or the X-Men and related characters in any way.

Copyright: This work of FanFiction and the original characters described within are the intellectual property of K-NICE and her IRL persona. No copying, distributing or editing of this material is permitted without the express permission of the creator, K-Nice, under United States copyright law.

K-Nice 1999



Rogue hunched down next to her mother. Even through her insulated green and white uniform, she could feel the cold that pulsed around her.

The air was crisp like lettuce and sounded just as crunchy. Her shins felt bruised were they struck the top of the snow. An icy crust covered the snow and the snow covered the black ice on the road. Even Mystique had felt uncomfortable negotiating the Colorado hills. Snow fell from the immense banks of water-laden cotton that packed the sky, kissing the top of the pine forest.

Rogue’s attention fixed on the group of four men on the other side of the road: two soldiers, one politician and one business man--all bundled in heavy parkas, indistinguishable if not for the intense debriefing she had endured that morning.

The two men and their little deal were her mother’s responsibility.

Rogue watched, seeking an opportunity to take the soldiers out.

The two anonymous soldiers hovered near the road, too far to hear dangerous promises. They wiped the snow from their eyelashes and stuck their hands in the pouches of their parkas.

There was a slight hesitation in the actions of the rookie but so slight that their actions appeared simultaneous.

The private warmed his hands inside the front pouch. His fingers ran up against his cigarette lighter. He toyed with it, flipping it around, caressing the carved metal. The curved top was counterpoint to its heavy, expensive, rectangular from.

He pulled it from his pocket. He turned to brag about his father’s latest care-package from Boston.

A hand went up: a warning to be silent. The sergeant cocked his gun, taking a single step forward.

His whole body slid forward to the snow. Shocked, the rookie slumped to his knees, his lighter slipping from his hand onto the crust.

Rogue shivered with cold as she put her gloves back on.

She heard the whisper of twin gunshots leaving Mystique’s silenced gun.

She picked up the fragile gold lighter, flinging it to the heavens.

Pulling her hood up, she joined her mother’s side, calmly walking away.

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