Ororo loved to watch the sunrise from her roof garden every morning. She was one of the few early risers in the mansion, and she loved this hour of solitude before the school began to bustle with activity.
Sipping her tea, she sighed in contentment. Her roses were in full bloom and the heady scent washed over her as...
~'Ro! Med Lab! Now!~ Jean's mental command interrupted her thoughts. The woman's tone was frantic, bordering on all-out panic. Something must be terribly wrong.
Ororo rushed to the nearby elevator, but it was taking far too long to come. She ran instead for the emergency stairs, taking them two and three steps at a time as she made her way from the roof down the ten flights to the lower levels of the mansion.
When she emerged, she was surprised to see the condition of the hallway. The Cerebro doors were badly dented and the elevator had been slashed open. Were they under attack? Why had Jean called her to the med lab instead of to the battle?
As the doors swished open, the sickening smell of burning flesh assaulted her. Jean was on the floor desperately giving Rogue CPR while a man writhed on an observation bed a few feet away. Another bed was rising out of the floor unbidden as syringes, heart paddles, and other medical equipment floated to Jean as if they were alive.
~'Ro!~ Jean called to her mind, unable to stop the CPR to talk to her. ~Logan's being electrocuted. I can't touch him until the current's stopped. Can you... can your gift...?~
Ororo saw the psychic image of what Jean couldn't express in words. She was touching the seizing man, Logan, it barely looked like Logan. She was drawing the electricity into herself, pulling it away so it couldn't harm him any longer and so Jean could treat him.
The image disappeared as quickly as it had entered her mind. When she looked up, Jean was telekinetically moving Rogue's limp form to the fresh bed.
"I don't know..." 'Ro said, uncertain. "I've never done anything like that, Jean."
~If you're not sure, well, you can see what it did to Rogue...~ Jean paused, as if rethinking her proposal, then she thought, ~Don't do it, 'Ro. He's probably already dead. I just... maybe... it's the only way I can think of to save him.~
Rogue had touched him? Ororo had learned early in her mutantcy just how dangerous lightning could be, and she could almost feel the energy Logan was giving off from where she stood. Jean was probably right. Logan was already dead and Rogue would be lucky to recover. Still, she knew she had to try.
Opening herself to the very essence of nature, she saw the world turn a milky white as she focused on seeing and controlling the elements. The electricity was spiking through Logan's body so strongly. She reached out, allowing her hands to hover over his shaking frame, feeling for the source. His neck, a device in his neck was producing the current. She called to the power and it responded to her summons, leaping from the device to her fingertips, ignoring the beleaguered body it had been so gleefully destroying. Distantly, she felt the body go limp, but that was almost unimportant. The energy. She had to focus to control it. She couldn't worry about anything else.
Jean could hear the thunder start shortly after Ororo started drawing the energy from Logan. It was probably deafening above ground if it could be heard down in the med lab. She didn't pay it more than cursory attention, however, since her efforts were focused elsewhere.
'C'mon, Rogue. C'mon,' Jean thought as she placed the heart paddles into position on the still girl's chest.
"Clear!" she called to no one in particular and pressed the triggers on the paddles. Rogue's body leapt on the bed and then lay limp. The heart monitor had registered one beep and then the rhythm changed back to ventricular fibrillation.
'No, Rogue. Fight! C'mon.' Jean demanded, increasing the charge to 200 on the electrical stimulator.
"Jean?" Scott asked, running into the med lab. He took in the sight of Rogue lying on the bed before her and 'Ro sparking with energy next to Logan. "What the hell is going on down here?"
"Clear!" Jean shouted again, attempting again to shock Rogue's heart into beating. She watched the monitor intently. One beat... another... another. Soon, there was a steady sinus rhythm. The young woman still wasn't breathing, though.
Jean ignored her husband's questions, telekinetically pulling a intubation tray towards her from the cupboard across the room. She opened Rogue's mouth, keeping the tongue out of her way with one instrument while she tried to fit the tube down her throat. It wasn't working. The swelling from her previous injury had to be the cause.
"I can't see the vocal cords!" Jean huffed in frustration. Looking up and seeing her husband, she said, "Scott, come here. I need crychoid pressure."
"What do I do?" he asked, eager to help Rogue where he could.
"Pull on some gloves... Ok, press here," Jean said, positioning his hand on Rogue's neck and helping him apply the correct amount of pressure before she went back to tubing Rogue.
"Ok... ok... I'm in." Jean said, pulling out the guide wire and attaching the air bulb to the end of the tube. "Here, pump this," she said, handing Scott the bulb while she listened to Rogue's chest with her stethoscope. "Good breath sounds, bilaterally. She's ok," Jean declared, switching her attention to Logan.
Dammit, he looked dead. His skin was hot to the touch and already deeply bruised from the internal fires that had danced along his metal skeleton. He wasn't breathing and she doubted he had a pulse. She had to remove the device that had caused all this damage, but he couldn't wait. If she didn't bring him back now, she probably wouldn't be able to at all.
"'Ro, can you keep it up? I've got to help Logan."
In a dreamy, distant voice, Ororo replied, "Yes. Hurry."
She hooked up the heart monitor quickly to find that he was in V-fib. His heart was quivering too weakly to pump blood, but it hadn't stopped beating all together. It was better than she'd expected. At best, she'd thought he'd be in asystole, and at worst, flat line. Still, she couldn't do CPR or electrical stimulation because of his metal skeleton. The only possible way to bring him back was a massive dose of epinephrine. Still, how much should she give him? His healing factor might counteract too small a dosage, but it didn't seem to be doing much in the way of healing right now. She decided to try a dose on the high side of normal and hope for the best.
Plunging the three-inch needle into his chest between the third and fourth ribs, she felt it hit the heart muscle. She depressed the plunger all the way and waited. She didn't have to wait long.
Completely blood shot eyes snapped open as Logan took in a deep, gasping breath. The eyes slipped closed just as quickly as they'd opened, but his heart kept beating. It was an irregular, weak rhythm, and she tried to strengthen it with medication, but it didn't work. The heart muscle must be damaged.
His breathing was shallow, labored, and sounded a little wet. He needed a ventilator. Still, she pulled an oxygen mask over his face for now, opting to deal with the more pressing matter of the electrical device 'Ro was temporarily controlling.
"'Ro, where's the device?"
With some effort, Ororo whispered, "His neck, the spine."
"Ok... I'm gonna turn him over. Can you keep control?"
Releasing the last of Logan's restraints which had held his left leg to the table all this time, she concentrated on turning his body as smoothly as possible so as not to distract Storm. Jean then called a surgical tray from the cabinet, setting it on the countertop she'd summoned from the floor.
There wasn't time to scrub up or sterilize the surgical field. She had to do this procedure quick and dirty, hoping that she didn't cause further injuries. Picking up a scalpel, she carefully sliced into the skin around 'Ro's fingertips. She didn't want to touch the current with a metal instrument, but she wanted to get close enough to access the generator.
Slowly and cautiously, she pulled away the layers of skin and muscle until the spine was exposed. An inch long metallic instrument lay fused to his adamantium spine between the second and third vertebrae. Bringing the laser scalpel into position, she prayed that it wasn't made of adamantium, too. Her prayers went unanswered. The metal seam wouldn't melt away, even on the laser's highest setting. The device was adamantium, and it wasn't coming off.