1757LA NUIT #4 of 5
- May 3, 2010Antoine stood with his back against the wall, the furious mob all around him, ready to tear him limb from limb, pausing only because he was still just a child. Within a few moments more, their sensitivity would be gone and it would be all over for the young mutant.
Jaws of darkness swallowed up a number of the crowd, clearing a path for Benoit Nott, Antoine's older brother, his shirt a tatters, his pants ragged, to come to Antoine's rescue.
"Another monster!" Someone could be heard distinctively shouting above the rest of the calls for blood vengeance against perceived wrongs.
The crowd called for murder, for blood, and Benoit put up a wall of darkness between his brother and himself and the crowd. For a moment, they were silenced, stifled by the miracle of his mutant power.
"You must leave Paris," Benoit said, "Leave, and do not come back. We are all monsters tonight, Antoine. You must not become like the rest of us. Go!"
Benoit created a tunnel of darkness which Antoine crawled into, protecting him from the crowd, and Benoit shoved the tunnel of Darkforce energy off, the crowd stepping away from it for fear of being struck by it.
Antoine fell clumsily out as it dissipated, well beyond the reach of the angry mob who had leapt onto Benoit. He heard the shouting and fighting going on in the distance, savage smacks and rips as people died in violence.
Antoine wiped at his eyes, then turned and fled. He would be obedient, not setting foot in Paris again for a number of years.
"Don't try to resist," Dr. Kilgrove said, "the drugs will keep you from freeing yourself with your power. If you try to use it, you'll find yourself disoriented at best, possibly confused at worst, driven mad."
Antoine stared at the IV tube going into his arm. He heard the sink run as Dr. Kilgrove washed his hands. "Why are you doing this?"
"I already told you," Kilgrove said, "I have developed a process, thanks be to Apocalypse, that will allow me to graft your DNA onto my own body, giving me your powers. You might even survive the process, if you're lucky."
"I'll tear your heart out and shove it down your throat, you mongrel dog," Benoit shouted and Antoine could hear that he was struggling to free himself from his bonds, unsuccessfully. "Argh!"
"I did tell you the drugs would do that if you struggled," Dr. Kilgrove warned, "just relax. This won't take any time at all."
Antoine heard a power tool start up and tried to look but the doctor was out of range from where he was sitting. He tried to activate his power and found that, indeed, it made him even dizzier than he already was.
"Don't worry, Antoine," Kilgrove said, "I'm going to do your brother first. No one will care if a minor villain like him lives or dies."
Benoit screamed as the power tool, some sort of drill, presumably, fought him for dominance in Antoine's ears.
Antoine stood on the street corner, skimming the magazine. The X-Men were on the cover, having come into fashion at the time, the team reforming with new members such as Colossus and Nightcrawler.
"Eh," Antoine said, throwing the magazine over his shoulder and into the trash bin. He wore a leather jacket, jeans, black boots, and shades over his eyes. He returned to the crowd, cheering, as he stood among them, a stranger in a strange land.
King T'Challa was on the stage before the crowd, shaking hands with various international figures. It was an event of the political sort; something of which Antoine had little to no interest. He didn't involve himself in these things.
He remembered his goal; he had only to use his power to attack, to kill the Wakandan king in a sneak attack. He would receive bountiful payment by foreign interests for his trouble. Presumably they wanted to cause political chaos in the African country so that they could exploit its resources, claim the vibranium mound for themselves.
Not that Antoine cared. He did whatever work people were willing to pay him for. He did what he had to so that he could get by. Whatever it took.
He had never murdered anyone before, however. Not in cold blood. If it were a case of `kill or be killed,' that would be another matter entirely, but this this was murder, plain and simple. The work of a sociopath.
Antoine stared into the sun high above and wished for it to melt him away from Berlin. He knew he couldn't do it. He would have to return to his employers, regretfully decline the commission. If they had a problem with that, then he would just have to deal with it.
Antoine turned and walked away, his fists shaking.
Dr. Kilgrove worked quickly, and Antoine fought the drugs, disoriented as he was. Hearing his brother's screams of agony were enough to push him and he dredged up every last iota of willpower in him.
Antoine heard the bonds snap almost mutely, and his eyes popped open in surprise. Had it really happened so easily? He looked down and saw that it had. He tore free his neck and chest and waist. He snapped the bonds off his legs, the doctor too close to the loud drill to hear the quiet snaps, like twigs being stepped on.
Antoine ripped the IV from his arm and ignored the fact that Darkforce matter had flowed out from him, corrupting the drug, allowing him to gain the upper hand at last. He threw Darkforce shurikens at Fantomex, cutting loose his bonds, and then turned to face the dreaded doctor.
Rising to his feet, he saw that the doctor was backing off his brother, and finally shut off his drill. Blood painted the walls, and Benoit remained limp in his chair, unconscious or worse. The doctor was chuckling, a deep gurgle rising from his throat.
"Yes! I've done it! I have the power!" Dr. Kilgrove watched as he flexed his fingers and watched an impossible shadow dance before his eyes, its movements not matching those of his fingers.
Antoine smashed him through the wall with a thick mass of darkness. "Madman, I hope that hurt," he said and ran over to his brother's side. "Benoit, are you ?"
"Help me," he whispered, and Antoine covered his injuries with Darkforce to stop the bleeding.
Dr. Kilgrove rose to his feet, howling with laughter. "None of that, now! I can give just as much as I can take, thanks to your brother!"
"Take this," Fantomex said, stepping out from behind Dr. Kilgrove and shooting him in the back of the head. His already shredded face exploded outwards and he fell forward, limp. Fantomex shot him another five times in the back of the head, then holstered his weapon.
"That settles that," Fantomex said. "It's what he deserved."
"It is," Antoine agreed, "now help me get my brother to a hospital!"
Dr. Kilgrove watched from across the street, with his binoculars, as Antoine Nott returned the money to the foreign industrialists who had remained nameless to him and had requested his services so delicately.
"I cannot do this job for you," Antoine said, "I am sorry but I am not a monster."
"We will not forget this, comrade," the industrialist said, practically sneering at the French mutant. "I promise you that."
"Do as you must, I go now," Antoine said, turning his back to them. They stared daggers as he went.
Dr. Kilgrove sat back at his perch and wondered. "Perhaps he is not so strong as I had hoped."
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