GAMBIT: Page 7 of 12

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1st November 2011

Gambit didn’t return to the mansion but to his thieving ways, leaving Guild leadership to Bella Donna, who, as his viceroy, had already been taking care of most duties. Remy traveled to Spain, intending to find the Madripoor set, several gemstones of power. One of the jewels was in the home of Vargas, the nigh-invincible mysterious new foe of Storm’s X-Men group, who had recently killed Psylocke. Since it was impossible to win a fight against Vargas, Gambit managed to charm the man - or so he thought - and swipe the diamond under his nose, unaware that Vargas let him get away with it. He had done so because he had glimpsed in one of Destiny’s Diaries that something important and horrible was in store for Gambit in the near future. [X-Treme X-Men #4]

Gambit’s path would cross that of Storm’s X-Men team soon after, as he found himself framed for the murder of the Australian crimelord, Miles Warbeck, whom he had tried to rob. The X-Men went in search of him and to find out what truly happened. Rogue went off looking on her own, meeting Gambit in Sidney’s Chinatown only to find Father Gow, one of the Triad’s leaders, also dead with one of Gambit’s trademark cards in his back, another sign of Gambit being framed. The two of them were taken prisoner by the Triad and tortured until they managed to free themselves. They left with Gow’s grandson, Red Lotus, only to find themselves attacked by Sebastian Shaw and Lady Mastermind, the true culprits. Red Lotus fled with Gambit while Lady Mastermind used her illusions to turn Rogue against her teammates. After fighting and eventually stopping Rogue, Gambit managed to break through the illusion she was caught in. In the days that followed, Red Lotus cleared Gambit’s name. [X-Treme X-Men #5-9]

Gambit later asked Storm for her ruby gem inherited from her mother, as it was another stone of the Madripoor set. Somebody else - an otherdimensional warrior named Shaitan - had the same idea. Shaitan kidnapped Gambit and stole the gems, using them in synch with Gambit’s power in a Madripoor temple to create an energy needle - a portal that would allow the troops of his master, Khan, to come through to this dimension. Remy was left helpless and bound behind a forcefield on an altar energizing the needle. In the meantime, his friends had to stave off the invasion and either free or kill Gambit to eliminate the portal before it became a permanent fixture.

While the others entered the tower, Rogue chose to stay behind, trying to save the man she loved. However, Vargas then entered the equation as well, intent on killing Rogue. As Vargas fought his way into the temple which held Gambit, Gambit spat a charged piece of rock he had kept out, hoping to topple building, a feat in which he succeeded. However, Rogue flew in at the last moment, covering him with her own body to protect him. However, this didn’t interrupt the beam, as she had absorbed Gambit’s power as well and now it was feeding from her. As the beam drained Rogue, she was trapped, as well and helpless to do anything as Vargas stabbed them both with his sword. [X-Treme X-Men #10-16]

Miraculously, both of them survived and Rogue used her supercharged powers to bring Vargas to justice before collapsing and being brought to hospital alongside the critical Gambit and several other teammates. Gambit was hovering between life and death, even though the Beast performed surgery on him using advanced methods and nano-tech. But Gambit’s soul was already leaving his body. With the help of Phoenix, Rogue’s soul followed him to what seemed to be a spirit version of his ancestral home. Remy was at a door, only waiting for her before moving on into the light. Even though he was at peace with himself, Rogue refused to let him go, forcing him to return.

The X-Men recovered, but Gambit and Rogue found that the events they’d been through had neutralized their powers. For the time being, at least, they were no different from average humans. They decided to leave the team for some time and find out how things stood with their relationship, now that they could actually have one without any obstacles. [X-Treme X-Men #18-19]

Gambit and Rogue relocated to the Californian town Valle Soleada, a rare place where humans and mutants lived in relative peace and tried to build a normal life together there. While Rogue worked as a mechanic, Remy returned to his thieving ways. Eventually, the X-Men came to stay with them and Gambit, despite the loss of his powers still being an impressive combatant, helped Storm infiltrate a meeting at the Presidential Ranch in Texas, where Storm sold the powers-that-be on her idea to build a mutant police team. [X-Treme X-Men X-Pose #2, X-Treme X-Men #31-35]

Afterwards, Gambit and Rogue helped the team in their battle against Bogan, still considering themselves X-Men and relying on their natural skills, rather than their powers. Apart from his usual charm and tricks, Gambit even seemed to display a certain immunity to telepathy, actually conning Bogan into believing he was his slave when he was not. [X-Treme X-Men #40-45]

In the wake of a mutant terrorist attack on New York, the X-Men meant to return to New York and help with the relief work. Rogue felt that Gambit’s powers should have returned by then and asked Sage to help jumpstart them. Using an image inducer and disguising

herself as Rogue, Sage staged a seduction to get Remy’s adrenaline level to rise. Then she used her power on him successfully jumpstarting his own. [X-Treme X-Men #46] In the wake of that crisis, the X-Men were re-organized, and Gambit and Rogue were assigned to a team led by Havok.

As Rogue’s powers soon returned on their own, the lovers were once again unable to experience a physical relationship. On the new team’s first mission to China, to investigate the sighting of a new mysterious mutant, tragedy struck. The X-Men were battled by the Eight Immortals, super-powered protectors of the ancient Chinese Homeland. During the fight, Rogue knocked over one of the Immortals who was about to shoot a gun, making him lose his aim. The bullet hit Gambit’s charged up card instead, causing it to explode right in the Cajun’s own face, blinding him. [X-Men (2nd series) #157-160]

This put a further strain to the lovers‘ relationship; already unable to touch Rogue, Gambit now could not see her anymore either. While Rogue hardly stayed away from his side, Gambit often blamed her for his condition, making both of them feel bad. During one of their arguments, Gambit became so angry over being dependent that he even pushed Rogue away. [X-Men (2nd series) #161, Rogue (3rd series) #1] However, when she took a leave of absence to follow a lead on her parents, Gambit went after her despite his blindness and helped Rogue sort out her past. [Rogue (3rd series) #4-6]
While “looking” at a charged up card of his, Gambit had some sort of precognitive vision. He saw the imminent attack of the Brotherhood of Mutants on Xavier’s mansion and helped fight them off, with one of the X-Men’s resident telepaths providing him with the visual information to aim his attacks. Whether the precognitive glimpse Gambit experienced was a first sign of a secondary mutation kicking in was never revealed, as soon thereafter Remy’s eyesight was restored by a combination of one of the X-Men’s healers (Elixir) and Sage jump-starting Gambit a second time. [X-Men (2nd series) #163-165]