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" Storm!"

Rogue was calling her.

" Get a load of this."

Storm too knelt beside the man in the black suit. His hands were clasped together, fallen though he was. Storm could see the tensed muscles, the contorted body. But what was truly frightening was his face. It was the face of a man possessed - the mouth wide open, facial muscles tightened and contorted, eyes unnaturally wide. The white of his eyes showed plainly, his pupils focused on some distant object only he could see.

Storm held his wrist.

" There's a pulse. This man is still alive."

" You call this guy alive?" Rogue stared in disbelief at the lifeless figure, the empty look on the face. " Ah wouldn't want to know what dead looks like. An' them eyes are spookin' me out."

She reached out and closed the man's eyes. As she did so, tears welled out from the sides of the eyes, and soaked into her glove.

" Oww!"

Rogue jerked her hand away from the man, shaking it up and down. Gambit and Iceman immediately looked up from the people they were tending.

" What happened?" Storm asked her.

" It's crazy, but that guy's tears jus' burned a hole in mah glove." She held her gloved hand out for inspection. True enough, there was a hole in it, and the edges were still bubbling away from the acid.

They looked at each other. They knew what each other was thinking. He's a mutant.

" Dey're all mutants, Storm. Take a look at dis one." The man Gambit knelt beside resembled an animal more than it did a man.

" Hey, reminds me of Beast." Rogue laughingly commented, and moved to join Gambit.

Storm continued to examine the man. Somehow, the man's expression looked very familiar...

But where have I seen such a thing...? Egypt... it was in Egypt... Cairo... the, the Shadow King...

She remembered now. It had been during her childhood, in Cairo as a young pickpocket. She had been under the control of the psychic known as the Shadow King - been used as his slave and puppet. Then Xavier had come, and challenged the Shadow King. The Shadow King had been defeated then.

But she remembered how, as Xavier left the room the Shadow King had been in, she had sneaked in the back door, searching for the ' Master'. Seeing his lifeless body had been one of the greatest shocks she had ever experienced in her life.

His face and body were contorted, locked in the fury and intensity of psychic struggle - his eyes wide and inhumanly white, his mouth opened and the saliva trickling out. The sight of such a horrible ' death' had been too much for the young Ororo, who ran screaming out of the room.

The Shadow King...


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