GAMBIT: Page 8 of 12

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1st November 2011

Later, the X-Men were sent out to Alaska to investigate the threat of Golgotha, an alien creature that could bring out its victims worst fears into reality. During the case, Rogue and Gambit believed that their love was over and they were better off without each other. Gambit even suspected that Rogue had feelings for Wolverine and didn’t want to stand in their way. As Remy had a moment of clarity and began to question his actions, Golgotha made Gambit believe that he was being attacked by Mister Sinister. When Golgotha was finally destroyed, Gambit and Rogue apologized to one another and made up. [X-Men (2nd series) #167-169]

Regardless, it was clear that there were some serious issues in their relationship, as became rather obvious when Gambit returned to New Orleans for a thief job. Frustrated over not being able to touch Rogue anymore, Remy slept with a female client in a weak moment. The incident was recorded by Ginny, the daughter of one of Gambit’s contacts, who had a severe

crush on the Cajun. Hoping to break him and Rogue up, so that she would stand a chance with Remy, Ginny sent the disk with the video footage to Rogue. With the help of three students at Xavier’s mansion, whom Gambit was supposed to teach about the wrongness of stealing, he managed to get hold of the disk before Rogue could watch it. [Gambit (4th series) #3, 8-10]

Despite being a rather questionable role model, Gambit was given his own squad of X-Men students to train. The latest addition to this squad was an attractive female student named Foxx, who openly flirted with Gambit, who in turn barely managed to resist her attempts to seduce him. At the time, Gambit and Rogue had consulted the X-Men’s own sex therapist, Emma Frost, for relationship advice and moved into the same room to try rebuilding some intimacy. The telepath also took both of them to the astral plane, so that they could share some intimacy there without making any actual physical contact. However, due to all their psychic baggage, they couldn’t safely touch even there. The instant they tried, Remy’s astral form was drained the same way his physical body would have, had they actually touched.

Even worse, during the next telepathic counseling session, Rogue learned of Gambit’s attraction to Foxx and was furious. It was right then that Foxx revealed herself to Gambit as none other than Rogue’s foster mother, Mystique, in disguise. Apparently, Mystique had decided that Gambit was not good enough a man for her daughter and she was determined to prove it. As seducing the Cajun in the guise of Foxx had not had the desired effect, Mystique offered Gambit the one thing he could not resist – by shapeshifting into Rogue. Although Remy has denied that anything happened between him and Mystique that night, he did not report her presence to the other X-Men either. When they did find out about her some days later, Remy claimed that he hadn’t told anyone as he didn’t want to upset Rogue. In a rather surprising move, Mystique petitioned for X-Men membership and was granted probationary status against Gambit’s protests. [X-Men (2nd series) #171-174]

Shortly after M-Day, during which 90-95% of Earths mutant population were depowered, Mystique presented the X-Men with another potential recruit by the name of Pulse. The handsome man was a former partner in crime of hers, though he had only stolen from the rich and given to the poor. That noble streak, plus a mutant power that allowed him to temporarily cancel other people’s powers (including Rogue’s absorption talent) made him the perfect match for Rogue, according to Mystique. Gambit did not take too kindly being further provoked by Mystique and he tried to veto Pulse being welcomed into the mansion. However, he was once more outranked by the X-Men’s leaders. [X-Men (2nd series) #181-182]

A few days later, Apocalypse’s ship arrived at the Xavier estate, with the millennia old mutant declaring himself the savior of the diminished mutant race, wanting to lure the mutants staying at Xavier’s to his side. While his teammates battled Apocalypse’s Horsemen outside, Gambit secretly entered the ship and submitted himself to Apocalypse. Next, Remy drank a serum derived of the ancient mutant’s blood and agreed to be transformed into his final Horseman, Death. At first, Apocalypse’s assumed Gambit turned his back on the X-Men, as they no longer valued his opinion, but the Cajun clarified that he hoped to protect his friends from Apocalypse by staying close to him. At the time he didn’t know that two other former X-Men, Polaris and Sunfire, were already among his Horsemen. Gambit’s plan backfired somewhat, as the transformation process, which granted him new powers and turned his skin black and his hair white, also affected his mind. Although Remy remembered his love for Rogue and he hesitated while fighting her, he nearly killed her if not for Pulse temporarily neutralizing his augmented powers. [X-Men (2nd series) #183-186]

After the X-Men drove Apocalypse off, Sunfire took Gambit to a remote Zen temple in Asia, reasoning that they were entirely new beings now – neither X-Men nor Horsemen. In order to move on with their lives, he convinced Remy that they needed to clear themselves of Apocalypse’s brainwashing. The two confused mutants were soon approached by Mister Sinister, [X-Men (2nd series) #187] who offered them to join his Marauders. Apparently, Sinister was able to reverse Apocalypse’s transformation, as Remy’s looks were restored by the time he re-surfaced.

When Sinister learned of critical events in the near future, he ordered his Marauders to eliminate all time travelers, precognitives and any other sources of future knowledge, so that nobody else could prepare for what was coming. Gambit and Sunfire were sent after Cable, who seemingly died when he activated his base’s self-destruct sequence to keep his databanks from falling into the Marauders hands. [X-Men (2nd series) #200, Cable & Deadpool #42] Sinister was also after Destiny’s diaries, which contained precise predictions regarding the mutant birth, and the Marauders tried to steal them from right under the X-Men’s noses. However, during the conflict, the diaries were destroyed in a blast caused by one of Gambit’s charged cards. Although he claimed it was an accident, apparently Gambit didn’t want Sinister to get hold of the books either.

Ironically, Gambit’s initial suspicions regarding Mystique turned out to be right on the spot, as she secretly was also a member of the Marauders and betrayed the X-Men for them. In fact, Mystique even shot Rogue in the chest and then took her to Sinister, reasoning that he could extract the diaries’ content from Destiny’s absorbed memories in Rogue’s head. Still, Mystique secretly convened with Gambit, assuring him that, despite appearances to the contrary, she still had Rogue’s best interests at heart. [X-Men (2nd series) #202-204]
The reason for the Marauders’ scheme soon became apparent, as the first mutant was born since M-Day. Various parties tried to get hold of the baby, which ultimately ended up with the Marauders on Muir Island. However, they were no longer led by Sinister, as Mystique had killed him and assumed his guise. Gambit deliberately let the X-Men track him to Muir, so that the rest of the Marauders were busy fighting them, allowing Mystique to carry out her initial plan. Apparently, Destiny had foreseen the coming of the child years ago and it was supposed to be the key in curing Rogue of a recent augmentation of her powers that was about to kill her. Before Gambit could stop her, Mystique placed the mutant baby in contact with Rogue. Surprisingly, the child did not die - instead, its touch somehow cured Rogue of all her ills and awakened her from her coma. However, Rogue was horrified at all Mystique had done and her willingness to sacrifice the life of an innocent child in order to help her. While Gambit was happy to see his lover’s health restored, he also respected Rogue’s wish to be left alone as she needed some time for herself. [Messiah Complex crossover]

Still checking in with his friends from New Orleans every once in a while, Gambit received news that the Assassins Guild had been hired to kill a short list of people, including Charles Xavier. Remy rushed to the side of the professor, who barely recognized him as he had just survived a life-threatening injury and had lost some of his memories. Repeatedly under attack by assassins, they uncovered that each person on the list had some of the late Mr. Sinster’s genetic make-up written into their DNA. A device named the Cronus machine was to trigger that genetic information, literally transforming that person into Mr. Sinister – it was the villain’s ultimate back-up plan. The kill had been ordered by one of Sinister’s former assistant, who wanted to have his powers for herself and needed to eliminate everyone else ahead of her in the transformation sequence. In fact, the change had already begun with Xavier but Gambit managed to remind Xavier of who he was long enough until the machine was destroyed. [X-Men Legacy #211-214]

As Xavier was trying to make amends with his past, he decided to fulfill a promise he made a long time ago, namely helping Rogue cope with her powers. He asked Gambit to accompany him to meet Rogue, whom he had pinpointed in the X-Men abandoned base in the Australian Outback. Gambit was hesitant, as Rogue had asked to be left alone, but went along with Xavier nonetheless. They arrived right in time to aid Rogue and Danger, the embodiment of the X-Men’s Danger Room that had developed sentience, against a bunch of Shi’ar pirates. Once the foes were defeated, Xavier and Danger worked together to alter Rogue’s mind, allowing her powers to evolve. Gambit then volunteered as a test subject and indeed, when Rogue kissed him, she did not absorb him. [X-Men Legacy #220-224]