1747X-Men: Special Services #4 of 4
- Apr 23, 2010X-Men: Special Services #4
Writer: John Flint
Webmaster: Liam Gibbs
William Stevens walked through the cemetery with December Holiday and Deus ex Machina on either side of him. All wore black. The couple each put a hand on William's shoulders in an attempt at comforting him.
Professor Roger Coburn, William's lover, had been assassinated. It was his funeral they were witnessing. Though no one mentioned it outright, everyone knew that he had been killed because of William.
"Sell," Matthew Renard said, leaning against a tree at a distance from the rest, cell phone in hand, "No, trust me, you're going to want to dump it all today. It'll only go downhill from here."
Matt flipped shut his phone and kept his eyes moving across the cemetery. He pressed his thumb against the silver X-pin on his jacket and whispered, "Keep your eyes open. I have a feeling he's going to be making his move any moment now."
"And your hunches are always right," Deus said into his X-pin.
December turned around, looking far off into the distance through her sunglasses.
There was a noise like someone unscrewing the lid of a carbonated drink, but louder, as something went flying through the air, Matt nodding his head and smiling, his eyes covered by his black cowboy hat.
"Showtime, kids," Matt said into his X-pin.
The spear that had been sent through the air suddenly lost its velocity and dropped to the ground several feet before reaching its target, William Stevens. He and his mutant allies stood their ground, calm and confident, as the other mourners began to panic and holler at the interruption.
"Don't worry, everyone, the X-Men have the situation well in hand," Deus said, his voice loud and strong, "as long as you stay close to me, the kinetic damper in my pocket will keep anything going beyond a certain velocity from moving once it reaches the dampener field."
[A distance away.]
Bavelier cursed his luck as he reloaded his spear-gun. "May have to switch to the high-powered rifle," he said, "better use armor-piercing bullets. If they're this well-prepared, they'll be wearing body armor "
"But wait! It gets better!"
Bavelier spun to meet Iceman's fist. It crashed into his face and sent him reeling in the grass. Iceman chopped to force the spear-gun from Bavelier's hand and was on top of him before the Wakandan mercenary could react.
"We have an expert who knew this would be the most likely place for you to make your next attack," Iceman revealed, "so we found the best place for me to hide in waiting for you to make your move. Plenty of witnesses; attempted murder is a serious business, and I have a feeling my partners and I will find more than enough evidence to prove you killed Roger Coburn, as well."
Bavelier head-butted Iceman, sending him sprawling. The Wakandan got to his feet, unsheathing a knife hidden inside his belt, and lunged. Iceman rolled out of the way, the blade stabbing into the earth.
Iceman's head was ringing now, his skull possibly cracked, but he let Bavelier get in close again while he worked his hands at something behind his back. As the Wakandan raised his fist to stab the founding X-Man, Iceman pulled his hands out from behind him and tasered the Wakandan.
Bavelier spasmed and collapsed on the grass, shaking uncontrollably.
Matthew Renard approached, laughing. "Not bad, old-timer," he said, "I knew you'd have to pull out some sort of trick to stop him, you're not enough of a brawler to get the better of him on your own, but I wasn't expecting a taser."
"If it works," Iceman said, "it works."
Deus, December, and William ran up to meet them. Deus and December held William back.
"Matt, I want you there when the police question him," Iceman said, "you'll be able to tell if he's lying and by how much.
"Deus, December, crowd control.
"William, come with me. We need to get you into the Danger Room where you can vent without possibly hurting anyone."
"Are you serious? I can't go off and play while"
"Nothing more you can do," Matt said, "you served as bait to draw him out, now let me do my job and see what he's about. Then we go after whoever sent him after you, capice?"
William thought about it, his eyes narrowed, and after a minute finally growled, "Alright."
[The Church of the Redeemers.]
Reverend Marcus Stevens shut off the news and threw the remote at the television set. It missed and smashed open against the wall instead.
The X-Men had captured Bavelier, alive, and were interrogating him with the police. It wouldn't be long before everything was laid bare before them and the public; how Stevens had hired the Wakandan to snuff out his own stepson. With the public eye shifting towards the Redeemers, their mission would be over before it even had time to begin. The government would crack down on them and it would all be over.
Unless he did something to take the focus away from the Church, and entirely on himself. He would have to martyr himself.
Reverend Stevens went to the armory for a gun. This was not going to be fun, but it had to be done, for the greater good of the Redeemers.
He sighed as he loaded the pistol and strapped a belt of grenades to his chest.
"Your control is really improving fast," Iceman said as he wiped a towel against his face. "Before long, you'll fit right in as the new Iceman around here."
"I don't think I want to be Iceman, Jr.," William said. "No offense."
"None taken," Iceman said, "We'll find you your own codename."
"Iceman," came a voice over the X-pin, "it's all over."
"What do you mean?"
"Matt called in," Deus explained, "Bavelier was hired by a Reverend Marcus Stevens."
William rose from his seat and nearly bolted. Iceman held up a hand and he stayed in place. "Alright, we'll go pick him up."
"Not going to happen," Deus explained. "He's dead, too. Around the same time he was being questioned, the reverend went on a rampage against his own church, blew himself up."
"What?" William's eyes began to get misty; though he had been ex-communicated to his step-father for years, he was still an important figure in the mutant's life and his death was something of an unthinkable shock.
"What did Matt have to say," Iceman asked, coldly.
"He thinks it's to keep blame away from the group," Deus said, "make sure everyone assumes he was just a nutjob. If that's the case "
"Then we'll just have to keep our eyes open," Iceman said, "that's all."
[Later, the Danger Room.]
Logan flipped Bobby onto his side. Bobby immediately got up and attacked again, to which Logan again easily deflected him and threw him off.
Finally, Bobby slipped in past Logan's defense and punched him square in the jaw. Bobby yowled and grabbed his throbbing hand as Logan rubbed his unharmed jaw.
"Not bad," Logan admitted, "if it weren't for my adamantium bones, that would've hurt. Yer learning."
"Good," Bobby said, "if I'm going to be of any use to you guys while I'm powerless, I'd better get used to fighting with my fists."
"Some brains wouldn't hurt, either," Logan said as they resumed their sparring session.
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