Author: Curt Kenobi
Fandom: X-Men (draws from X-Men: The End, Heroes and Martyrs)
Summary: Remy’s early years are vague at best. But everyone has a mother. And, even when forgotten or unknown, everyone has a beginning to their story.
Disclaimer: Remy and all recognisable characters involved with him are all Marvel’s (but damn, I’d like to have Remy LeBeau – not for profit, just for some fun ;) ) Only one that belongs to me is his maman Alix/Roxanne.
Heads up: A good deal of this chapter is a flashback, as will much of the next chapter.
A few notes:
1) Sinister is living up to his name, of course. Nothing graphic, just hinted.
2) In Heroes and Martyrs, there's a flashback of Sinister's life. Basically: He pledged himself to Apocalypse and Apocalypse granted him seeming immortality. He came to realise that that wasn't quite the case -- he did age, just slowly. So, he began to transfer his psyche and abilities into younger hosts. Initially, he needed a woman to give birth to this younger host, though later he developed the technology to grow a clone to transfer his psyche into it.
3) I am totally ignorant when it comes to French, so bear with me, correct me if need be. Thanks :)
Eyeless skulls watched her from the walls with gap-toothed leers. He had grown increasingly frustrated with her, day after day. She didn’t much care. Absently, she found it odd for a thing that claimed to be devoid of feeling to seem that way. She was all but completely shattered by now. She was the prisoner of a monster. It was not only the glowing red eyes he was revealed to have, no – but more so, his calm sadism and what he’d done to her. She’d stopped praying soon in. What did the Lord want with a whore’s pleas anyways? And while the Blessed Mother may have felt her anguish, she was begotten with a sinister demon’s spawn. Perhaps this was her penance. For the way she had lived, for being foolish enough to willingly fall into this devil’s arms.
He, M. Essex – Sinister, he had told her he was often called, and she believed it a well-earned sobriquet, if an understatement – had laid out her fate to her early on. He had meant quite literally, “I will have your body.” He would and did. Currently, in this lab, he did not have the “advanced technology he would have preferred.” Something about wanting to take advantage on his holiday here in France of her, and willing to use the basic facility he had here. Besides, he had a morbid fascination with her, and the rudimentary facilities he had here made it much more…personal. Thusly, she was to be kept about, kept alive. Not taken apart and constructed from. He himself would do all the conducting and observing.
He said he had perfected the genes he desired his “next incarnation” to have. She would be little more than an incubator. A womb for use.
“I will be perfect. And you, mademoiselle Alexandrie, with your own ability – and your beauty, shall serve to make me even more so. You don’t realise just how great a service you shall be – but then, you’re quite remiss in realising your own potential, after all.” His metallic fingers had caressed her cheek. She had turned away from him, unable to go anywhere, bound as she had been to a lab table. She didn’t want to see that metallic visage, so unlike what she had been introduced to – and yet the same. The skin wasn’t the tan she was used to – no, now it gleamed like silver metal – but there was still the goatee and chiselled features, the slicked raven hair. But then the unnerving ink-black lips would part, revealing sharp teeth all around. She’d rather ignore him. He didn’t concede to her disdain, though, and persisted contact. “But, I’m afraid, my dear, as for all things with a short, designated purpose, you shall be disposed of in the end.”
It was then, with that cold, monotone, straightforward admission, that most of her caved.
(four months ago, right after conceding to Essex's request)
She woke with a gasp. The lights her eyes were met with were blindingly bright – she tried to shrink away reflexively, but found her arms, waist and ankles bound with thick metal restraints. The table beneath her was flat, uncomfortable. Gone was the nice dress she’d had for two years now, instead a lab gown covered her thinly. Frantic, her hazel eyes searched about for a clue – for anything that might tell her where the hell she was or help free her from these restraints. All she saw was medical equipment. The walls were silver to either side and to her feet. She laid her head back and tilted her chin up to see behind her. Skulls and bones mortared to make a wall greeted her. The catacombs?
At the admonishing tone, she jerked her head up. And screamed.
“Now, come, my dear. Certainly that’s no way to greet your host.”
“You are no host; you are a monster!” she burst out, struggling against her immovable bonds. With a sigh, Essex moved forward, and as Alix watched, his form changed. Seemingly melting away, the English gentleman visage disappeared and coming to a stop by her side was some metallic manlike creature. His lips were black and his eyes glowed an unearthly red. Alix stilled.
“What…are…you?” she whispered. Had her hands been unbound, she would have crossed herself.
“Not much different from yourself, my dear,” Essex – if that was what he was even called – replied offhandedly, his attention rather on the items in a tray on the small metal table beside him. “A step forward in the human evolutionary process – though for myself, I was rather…created, instead of just a natural talent such as you.”
“What do you mean? What are you saying? Why am I here?” Alix’s voice got more hysterical as she continued.
“Mutants, mademoiselle. Those born with gifts that far surpass that of the normal homo sapien. The fittest in this everlasting game of survival. And your ability, if I’m not mistaken, is a rare and underestimated, but coveted one: the ability to feel and manipulate the emotions of individuals. Is it not?” Black lips twisted, sharp arrows of teeth making a mockery of a smirk.
“I – I…no. No.” Alix shook her head, shocked. Yes, she could feel the feelings of others, but had blocked her reception to them early on. Manipulate? She didn’t think so. But how could he know this? …She wasn’t a mutant. She was just a young woman. Just a whore, whose choices had never been the wisest. Anything she felt through a sixth sense was simply intuition.
“Really, now?” he mocked, picking up items from the tray. Alix wanted to know what, but didn’t want to take her eyes off this creature.
He gazed up, apparently lost in thought as he put together the needle he had picked up from the tray. “I…I will be perfect. And you, mademoiselle Alexandrie, with your own ability – and your beauty, shall serve to make me even more so. You don’t realise just how great a service you shall be – but then, you’re quite remiss in realising your own potential, after all.” A metallic hand reached out and caressed her cheek.
A hard, cold chill raced through Alix at his musing, and in disgust at his cold touch. She looked to the ceiling. “What are you saying, monsieur—”
He drew away, pressing the needle into the rubber top of a small vial and drawing up its contents. “My name is Nathaniel Essex, dear. But I haven’t much been known by it since the late 1800s. Most know me simply as Sinister.”
Burning hazel eyes turned back upon him. “You are a monster, Monsieur Sinistre. A deceitful, evil, conniving monster. Now: why…am I…here?” She had always been one to stand her ground while she could.
Clear liquid arched in a fountainhead from the gleaming needle tip as he depressed the plunger just slightly.
“Don’t do it,” she said, forcing steel to her tone.
“I do not believe you are in the position to make any demands, my dear. You don’t know how to use your gift to aid you—“
“I am most certain I could figure out how,” Alix interjected, though he kept talking.
“—but I should oblige you, seeing as your importance to me.” His cold hand took a firm grip of her left arm and the next instance the needle tip had slipped underneath her skin into a vein on the inside of her elbow. Precisely, he depressed the plunger, dispensing the clear liquid.
“What – what is that?” Alix watched in shocked horror.
“A paralyser. You will still be able to speak, but I don’t need you causing undue commotion.”
Sinister ignored her repeat of his words and went over to the counters along the wall. Alix closed her eyes and began to recite prayers. But a nagging question kept yelling in her mind over the words she knew by rote. Why? It echoed and got louder and louder until it finally fell from her lips. “Pourquoi? Pourqoui je?” Now unable to turn her head, she slid her eyes towards the ribboned cape and the back of the silver monster. He was shaking his head at her words. Like she was an errant, ignorant child.
“Why. …A good question, I suppose. To be frank, I don’t really need you beyond some genetic material. I am a skilled geneticist – I know how to create clones and have been for a time, though, as always with experimentation of that sort, it can be rather hit-and-miss. I personally do not like the idea of a ‘miss’ with a future incarnation of myself, especially when I have taken great pains to perfect my genetic makeup to make me a formidable mutant of my own means, and not just those that were bestowed upon me in addition to the one I already had. Therefore, as creating life the...more or less, 'old-fashioned way' is much more reliable, it’s the process I’ll choose.
“So, I suppose your ‘why’ is because you fit my needs and I have a uncalled for fascination with you. Suffice it to say: When one is offered a boon, you must seize it – especially if it’s not an unpleasant one either.” He gave her a pointed look with those glowing red eyes. “…As I am quite sure you understand, mademoiselle.”
She hated herself. She did understand. All too well. That was how she had conducted herself most of her life. It was ironic that she would be the pawn in someone else’s game for profit, for advancement. There were many who had been the pawn in hers – he was to have been a pawn in her game. And instead, she never realised the tables had already been turned. It had happened a few times before – a lot early on, but she never imagined such a devious plan on the other side. To be raped, all her money and anything valuable upon her stolen, beatings, death – all those she expected at some time. But never had she expected to be a guinea pig for some creature talking about “survival of the fittest” and mutants and how she suited his plan that had something to do evidently with both. “Future incarnations” and creating life and clones. It all was too unreal.
Sinister had been at the counters again, doing something. Alix was too lost in her own thoughts – too lost at what was going on. Instead of pondering it further, for she feared hyperventilation if she did, she simply blanked her mind and went back to the prayers. Offhandedly, she thought of the sheer audacity she had always had, showing up for Mass on Sundays. Confessions were always an odd affair, when she offered one. But when she had been twelve, new to the streets and thought she had started to lose her mind, what with feeling a million different ways at once and not at all sure why, even as she figured out how to ignore them, she had met Grand-mère. The old woman was a diviner, and counselled any. “Everyone needs a constant,” she had said, blind eyes set in a heavily lined face looking at Alix’s waif-like form, milky blue beneath white curls bound with a long navy blue scarf. “You’ve begun already to distance yourself from who you should be. Strength of will like that is to be celebrated, but not at the cost it may have to you. One day you will come to realise this. But until then, you are off-balance, and your life has no holds to begin with. To counter this adrift nature, you must find something to ground you.”
As she now recited the rote pleas, she came to realise that she had never really followed Grand-mère’s advice…and that the old woman was right.
Booted footsteps back towards her made her open her eyes. Sinister had another device now, some sort of long syringe.
“Don’t do it,” she said again, but the steel was not there, though most of the heat still was. She realised, though, that she really didn’t have much of a choice.
“You understand the futility of that,” Sinister stated dismissively. “Now, for the procedure.”
Tears streamed down Alix’s face minutes later as the horrible reality of her fate set in with her. And just like with the emotions she had received as a child, she started to block out the knowledge as much as she could.
Another needle was pressed into a vein, though she didn’t feel it and was staring numbly at the ceiling; she noticed Sinister’s movements peripherally. Suddenly, her eyelids feel like lead.
“Qu—quoi?…” she whispered, fighting against her eyes closing reflexively. Honestly, sleep was probably a good option right now.
“A sedative. I don’t wish to have you in hysterics or catatonic. This should hopefully reduce the chances of that.”
Alix couldn’t think anymore. Her eyes closed, and deep sleep claimed her.
(The lyrics in the page break are from "Lullaby" by the Cure.)
-->Next: Part Two