BIOGRAPHY - Page 9
Rogue decided to help Northstar and Aurora overcome their brainwashing and enlisted SHIELD’s help in doing so. She took Cable and Mystique to the helicarrier, along with the comatose twins, and after a tense meeting with Maria Hill she got the help she desired. Mystique took the opportunity to try and talk to her daughter again but Rogue made it clear that she wasn’t wanted. The mission was disturbed by Exodus and his Acolytes looking to build a new Cerebro. Rogue was knocked unconscious but, luckily for her, Mystique was on hand to save her. After the intruders were dispatched, a fully-healed Northstar informed Rogue that it was Mystique who saved her life, much to Rogue’s dismay. [X-Men Annual (3rd series) #1]
Rogue also ended up getting into a fight with an alternate version of Ms. Marvel. This version had been travelling from universe to universe, killing alternate Rogues and any version of herself that had forgiven Rogue for stealing their powers. Rogue teamed up with the real Ms. Marvel to take down the counterpart. [Ms. Marvel (2nd series) #8-10]
After finding out that the mysterious Pan also had ties with the Children, Rogue decided to take her team and leave the Institute, relocating to the Conquistador. In trying to figure out how Pan and the Children were involved with the hospital where Regan and Karima were kept, Rogue and some of the team tracked down one of the people who were working on the women at the hospital. After absorbing his memories, she discovered that Pan was in fact Richard Palance, a friend of Professor X’s and who was sought out to help Rogue at one point. They went off to find him but Rogue was starting to have trouble with some of her more volatile team members. Lady Mastermind showed very little restraint when dealing with people, causing her and Rogue to have cross words. Eventually, the team arrived at the place where they expected to find Pan, but instead walked into a trap where the team was scattered and Rogue was captured. The team tracked her down but Pan proved to be a fierce adversary and they were also defeated.
Pan had restrained Rogue and was preparing to experiment on her. He explained that, when Professor X took Rogue to see him many years ago, he had been fascinated by her powers. Using samples taken from her, he experimented on himself and copied her gifts, giving himself her abilities. However, though he had intended to use her absorption powers to experience other people’s lives and experiences, instead all that he stole were their powers. He created a serum called Strain 88 that would allow him to take people’s entire essence with a single touch but the result was that the original would be wiped out. Instead of testing it on himself, he decided to test it on the next best thing… Rogue. He injected her with the Strain 88 and her powers went into overdrive. Her team eventually managed to defeat Pan and she was saved, but the celebration was short-lived, as Rogue developed a fever and fell unconscious. [X-Men (2nd series) #194-196]
Cable took Rogue back to his island of Providence so that the scientists there could figure out what was wrong with her. While she remained at death’s door, an alien entity known as the Mummudrai had taken over the consciousness of Lady Mastermind. The Mummudrai had come to warn them that a living weapon called the Hecatomb was headed to Earth. Having destroyed over eight billion minds with each and with every one having been absorbed within itself, it had recently reached Earth and immediately started doing the same to humans. Cable had been monitoring it and, seeing no alternative, he woke Rogue up using his telepathy. When she came to, she accidentally killed a doctor who touched her arm. Rogue now had a death touch ability that completely absorbed the mind of her victims. She flew to where the Hecatomb was and made contact with it. However, instead of the Hecatomb absorbing her psyche, she ended up absorbing the eight billion minds into her. The strain immediately began to show as she struggled with so many minds vying for control. [X-Men (2nd series) #197-199]
Rogue decided to take the team to her old home of Caldecott, Mississippi. Becoming more and more unstable, she began to lash out at everyone around her and Mystique especially received more than her share of harsh words. After Iceman decided to call the X-Men back at the Institute for help, Emma Frost entered Rogue’s mind to see what was going on for herself. She found that every mind Rogue had absorbed was in turmoil and they were beginning to overwhelm her own personality. Emma was going to help her out psychically but was interrupted by the arrival of the Marauders, who ambushed the X-Men. Worse, when Rogue tried to help, Mystique shot her in the chest. With the X-Men defeated, Mystique and the Marauders left with the critically wounded Rogue. [X-Men (2nd series) #200-201]
Rogue was taken back to Muir Island, the current base of operations of Mister Sinister, who had recently joined forces with the Acolytes, as well as former X-Men Sunfire and Gambit. With their aid, Sinister had been killing off any mutant with knowledge of the future, as well as trying to locate Destiny’s diaries. Since Rogue had touched Destiny a long time ago, she still retained knowledge of the diaries deep within her subconscious. When Sinister inspected Rogue’s mind, he found her consciousness had started to disintegrate amongst the eight billion others inside her. However, after Gambit spoke to her, his voice sparked memories inside her and she briefly came around. Still, she was soon overwhelmed by the other minds inside her and she fell unconscious again. [X-Men (2nd series) #202-204]
The reason for which Sinister had been removing all the knowledge of the future soon became apparent when the first mutant since M-Day was born. Sinister, the X-Men and the Purifiers all wanted it for their own reasons. A game of cat and mouse ensued with the various factions fighting for control of the baby. Sinister’s foreknowledge gave him a slight edge and the baby was eventually taken by the Marauders and brought to Muir Island. As he had no use for Rogue now, Sinister told Mystique to say her goodbyes as he was going to kill her. Instead, Mystique grabbed Sinister and used Rogue’s death-touch ability to kill him. Gambit brought the baby to Mystique and she enacted her own secret plan. Destiny had foreseen the trouble Rogue would go through and the part the baby would play in her recovery. Mystique took the baby and pressed her against Rogue’s lips, much to Gambit’s horror. Amazingly, not only did the baby not die but after a few tense minutes Rogue woke up. When she learned that Mystique had gambled with a baby’s life to save hers, she was furious. She slapped Mystique and then touched her face with her bare skin. It was only after she had done so that Rogue realized she no longer possessed the death-touch. The Hecatomb, Strain 88 and every mind she had ever absorbed was gone. For the first time in years, she was a clean slate. Sadly, however, that knowledge came too late for she had just absorbed Mystique’s psyche into hers. Gambit was overjoyed that she was okay but Rogue told him that she needed to be alone to deal with all the recent events. She slipped away without any of the X-Men realizing she had been there. [Messiah Complex crossover]
Rogue decided she needed some peace and quiet, so she headed to a place where she remembered being happy. She ended up in the abandoned Australian town the team liberated from the Reavers many years before. However, she wasn’t exactly alone there. Mystique’s psyche remained in Rogue’s mind and it constantly tormented her. She did her best to ignore the psychic echo and concentrate on her new task of finally gaining control over her powers. [X-Men Legacy (1st series) #215]
Rogue peace was soon disturbed though by the arrival of a social historian who had apparently come to study the ghost town. Rogue didn’t trust the woman and it was a feeling that was well founded, as she really turned out to be Danger in disguise. Years ago, when Professor Xavier was installing the Danger Room with Shi'ar technology, he realized it had gained sentience, but nevertheless had chosen to ignore it and imprison it within the programming for the greater good of training the X-Men. However, years later, the sentience created its own body and escaped, vowing revenge on Xavier. Danger had tracked Rogue down, as she was about to become a pawn in her revenge scheme. The arrival of a Sh’iar salvage crew complicated matters. They attacked Danger, causing her to envelope the entire town in holographic scenarios depicting the X-Men’s past exploits. With the help of Mystique’s psyche, Rogue managed to navigate the ever-changing landscape. The holographic images allowed her to face up to some of her own darker memories, such as Gambit’s trial and her feelings about Ms Marvel.
Thanks to the timely arrival of Gambit and Xavier, Danger was subdued and the holograms shut down. Danger then switched sides and the Sh’air salvage crew were also defeated. Whilst the whole event had been stressful for Rogue, Danger had actually managed to diagnose the cause of Rogue’s absorption problem. Danger explained that Rogue first used her powers before she knew what they were about. When she absorbed Cody Robbins and Ms. Marvel, her mind had become partitioned, freezing her powers in their early stages. Xavier and Danger joined together to enter Rogue’s mind and sort out her issues once and for all. They broke down the walls in her psyche, allowing her powers to mature for the first time since they developed. When Rogue woke up from the procedure, she was unsure as to whether it had worked or not, as she had no concept of control to compare against what she was feeling. After taking some time to think things through, she approached Gambit and passionately kissed him, proving to herself that her involuntary absorption reflex was a thing of the past. [X-Men Legacy (1st series) #220-224]