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Slavery, Deliverance and Faith 6/?? (Movieverse)

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  • Dyce-Elihara
    (continued directly from last post, more of the same) * * * Jonny. Jonny, wake up. Kyle s voice was a hoarse whisper, accompanied by a rather hot, rank
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 20, 2001
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      (continued directly from last post, more of the same)

      * * *

      "Jonny. Jonny, wake up." Kyle's voice was a hoarse
      whisper, accompanied by a rather hot, rank puff of
      breath against Jonny's ear.

      "Why?" Jonny mumbled, wrapping one arm around his
      head. "Tired."

      "New Subjects," Kyle hissed, still crouching
      protectively over his friend. "'cross the hall."

      Jonny blinked, and lifted his head, turning onto his
      stomach so he could rest his chin on his arms. All he
      could see was a bunch of guards moving around in the
      cell. "That's new. How many?"

      "Three." And then Kyle made a growling, grunting
      noise that was pure disgust. "All girls."

      That got Jonny to sit up, frowning. That was *bad*.
      The guards weren't allowed near him or Kyle because...
      not to put too fine a point on it... one of the things
      the scientests liked to test were what they politely
      called 'stool samples', and they got pissy if those
      were 'compromised'. He had a nasty suspicion that
      they wouldn't object at all except for that, which was
      why it was very bad for there to be girls here.
      Especially if they were young ones, like him and Kyle.
      "I can't see."

      Kyle nodded, and moved over to the bars, growling and
      baring his teeth at the guards, who were standing
      around and muttering to themselves. One of them
      turned around, and brandished his night-stick
      threateningly. "Shut up, dummy!" he snarled. Kyle
      rumbled a bit more. They all thought he was a
      halfwit, and Jonny knew he didn't like that.

      "Come on," one of the other guards said, over the
      growl, and he gave whatever was on the other side of
      them a nervous look. "We don't wanna be in here when
      that one wakes up."

      "Yeah." The third nodded grimly. He gave Kyle a
      hateful look. "She's probably just like the other
      one. All claws and no brains."

      Kyle snarled again, a bit louder, and kept it up until
      the guards vanished down the corridor. Then he made a
      satisfied noise. "Fuckwits," he muttered happily, and
      he and Jonny both leaned up to the bars and peered
      into the other cell.

      They couldn't see many details, but they could see
      enough to set *both* of them growling with helpless
      fury. The one closest to the bars was, very clearly,
      only a child, even if there were magenta markings on
      her grimy, baby-round face and strands of magenta hair
      spreading over the small body and tiny hands. There
      was another girl, next to her, but she was facing away
      from the bars, and all they could see was a mess of
      blond curls and a pale, slightly pointed ear. A
      third, older than either of them, was propped against
      one of the walls, brown hair streaked with white
      half-hiding her face, and her coverall - grey, like
      all the others - undone halfway to her waist. The
      guards had obviously sneaked a quick grope, if not
      worse.

      The only thing to say about THAT was at least they
      hadn't tried it with the youngest girl.

      Kyle, whose throat was obviously adapted for it, kept
      up a quiet, steady growling noise as they settled down
      next to the bars and waited for their fellow prisoners
      to wake up. Jonny's was a bit raw from the initial
      snarl, so he contented himself with muttering quiet
      curses on the guards, the scientists, their parents,
      and their progeny unto the tenth generation. He
      thought about including pets, but decided not to. Just
      in case THEY were the pets.

      * * *

      "Logan's definitely gone." Scott reported. "He's
      obviously been through the maps in my filing cabinet,
      and taken some."

      Xavier rubbed his eyes wearily and sighed. "I
      suspected as much." They'd spent most of the night
      calming hysterical students - most of them had been
      sure that the human hordes were coming to take them
      all away to be experimented on, and since they weren't
      sure that that was not, in some part, the case, the
      teachers had had trouble being suitably comforting.
      By the time they'd noticed the Corvette out the front,
      Logan (and presumably Creed with him) had been long
      gone. In Storm's Jeep, apparently.

      "Can you find them with Cerebro?" Jean asked
      hopefully.

      Xavier shook his head. "I've already tried that, I'm
      afraid," he said reluctantly. "I did find him, but I
      could not tell where he was. He is so consumed by
      fury at whoever did this that I could sense nothing
      but rage and bloodlust, and I was forced to retreat
      quickly lest I was drawn in myself."

      "Better safe than sorry, Professor," Jean said,
      touching the back of his hand gently. "Even if we
      have no idea where they are."

      For some reason, Ororo and Scott looked at each other
      and shook their heads. Jean bristled a bit. "He
      can't take that kind of risk!" she snapped. "Neither
      could I, even if I had enough training. He could end
      up in a fury identical to Wolverine's... and without
      his focus." She didn't need to say that there would
      be a risk not only to the teachers, but to the
      students as well, if Xavier lost that much of his
      control.

      "That isn't what we meant," Ororo said, lips quirking
      a little. "Am I the only one who heard Scott say that
      Logan stole some of his maps?"

      "Yes, but..." Xavier trailed off, and smiled
      ruefully. "Of course," he said wryly, looking at
      Scott, who, even at five in the morning after a
      sleepless night, was uncreased, unslumped, and had his
      hair under perfect control. "You file your maps,
      don't you? You know which ones are missing."

      Scott nodded, looking a tiny bit smug. Xavier
      couldn't blame him for that... Logan had probably
      headed for Scott's office knowing that he'd be able to
      find the right maps in moments, because they were all
      perfectly filed as well as up to date and in perfect
      condition. He would also have known that Scott would
      know, after one look, which file had been burglarized.
      A clue as to where they'd gone, obviously, since if
      Logan *hadn't* wanted them to know where he was going,
      he'd have simply gone and bought the maps he wanted on
      the way to wherever he was going. "Which maps did he
      take, Scott?" he asked hopefully.

      Scott shrugged, face falling a little. "Oregon. All
      of the maps I had."

      Xavier squashed an urge to roll his eyes and sigh
      theatrically. A clue, yes, but not a clear set of
      directions. "At least it's a place to start, I
      suppose."

      * * *

      "What're you stopping for?" Logan growled, lifting
      his head and looking around. He'd finally given up
      the wheel around seven that morning, and he'd been
      dozing in the passenger seat for... he checked the
      clock... about three hours. Not sleeping, really -
      not with Marie missing, and Creed close enough to pop
      his head off like the top of a beer bottle without
      even getting up - but dozing. Resting his body, if
      not his mind.

      "Get some petrol, get some food, and take a leak,"
      Creed responded shortly, pulling into the small
      service-station. It was a shabby little place, out in
      the middle of nowhere, and that was good. Nobody to
      notice them, or remember. "You need to?"

      Logan nodded. He could hold it a long time if he had
      to, but the faded 'Gents' sign was pretty welcome.
      "Won't say no."

      It was strange how easily they were falling into the
      pattern of travelling together... they'd switched
      seats easily that morning, without more than a word or
      two, and now they didn't speak at all - they both made
      use of the men's room, then Creed went to fill up the
      tank while Logan picked out what food he could that
      didn't stink of chemicals or smell half-rotten.
      Without really thinking about it, he picked up a big
      six-litre container of spring water, and added it to
      the pile. Creed came in, grunted the price for the
      petrol, and went looking for something up the back of
      the store. Logan shrugged, watched the nervous kid
      behind the counter add the petrol to the price of the
      food and water, and tossed in a couple of packets of
      beef jerky before he paid for it all.

      He pocketed his wallet and looked around just in time
      to spot Creed, holding another container of spring
      water, reaching for the jerky. Logan looked at the
      stuff on the counter. Creed looked at the stuff on
      the counter. Giving Logan a very strange look, Creed
      dumped the water he'd been carrying, and picked up his
      share of the food to take it out to the car. Blinking
      a bit, Logan followed him.

      Neither of them commented - it's hard to find a macho
      way of saying 'hey, you like the stuff *I* like'. But
      they watched each other covertly for a while, and
      Logan started noticing stuff. They were both
      right-handed, but tended to eat and drink with the
      left hand to keep the right one free, just in case.
      They both kicked off their boots in the car to flex
      their feet. They both liked to have food where they
      could reach it, but rarely bothered about the water
      unless they were thirsty. They both, if Creed's frowns
      and shifts were anything to go by, tended to get a
      stiff neck and a sore tailbone if they spent too long
      sitting upright - one of the reasons Logan liked
      motorbikes so much. He could hunch forward and let
      his head drop a bit, which felt a lot better.

      He was driving when he noticed that, and he jerked his
      head towards the back seat. "You should sleep for a
      couple hours," he suggested, in an unusually mild
      tone. "Your turn again around midnight. Might as
      well get some shuteye first."

      Creed frowned, as if to protest, but then he nodded.
      "Might as well," he agreed. He was too big and bulky
      to just slide over the seat, but he moved fast enough
      that Logan had hardly pulled over when the back door
      slammed shut, and he could get back out on the road.
      He glanced in the rearview mirror, and caught a
      relieved expression on Creed's face as he sat sideways
      on the seat, hiking his knees up a bit and resting
      arms on knees, head on arms. His breathing smoothed
      out almost immediately, and Logan's lips twitched into
      a tiny smile as he put his eyes back in the road.
      He'd had worse travelling companions, he conceded
      privately. Better ones, too, but definitely some
      worse ones.

      That put him in mind of Marie, though... that nervous,
      stubborn little look she'd had sitting beside him when
      he'd first picked her up. It had been... what...
      eight, nine months ago? Tail end of winter in the
      mountains, spring everywhere else. Now winter was
      coming again, and he couldn't shake off the image of
      her standing alone in the snow, without him to stop
      the trailer and beckon her over...

      Creed listened to the soft growl and the shift in the
      engine noise as the car sped up a bit, and grinned
      into his folded arms.

      * * *

      It was a long time after they'd been dragged in that
      the girls started to wake up, and it was the youngest
      one who woke up first. She whimpered, sitting up and
      scrubbing at her eyes with small lavender fists, and
      then she looked around. She saw the cell, and the
      other girls still sprawled where they'd been dropped,
      the prison-grey coveralls and the bars.

      Before she could do more than crumple up her face and
      open her mouth to start crying, Jonny waved a hand to
      get her attention. "Hello," he said softly.

      The little girl sniffed, pushing tangled hair out of
      her eyes. "Hi," she whispered.

      Jonny smiled as reassuringly as he could. "I'm
      Jonny," he said, and poked the sleeping
      grey-and-blonde lump beside him. "And this is Kyle,
      when he's awake. Don't be scared of him, even if 'e
      does look a bit creepy."

      Kyle grunted and sat up, looking like a caveman with
      his long, lank hair and the beginnings of a beard.
      "Hi," he said, sniffing at her scent.

      For some bizarre reason, the little girl brightened
      considerably when she got a look at Kyle. "I'm
      Clarice," she said shyly. "And that's Annie..." she
      pointed to the blonde girl, "and that's Marie over
      there."

      Annie, having been poked a bit, seemed to wake up, and
      made a heart-rendingly pitiful noise. "Oogh..."

      Jonny shook his head, having heard that particular
      noise before, and gestured at Clarice. "There's a hole
      over there in the corner," he said urgently. "Get her
      over to it before she pukes."

      Clarice nodded, and moved surprisingly fast, grabbing
      the shoulders of her friend's coverall and throwing
      her small weight against the bigger girl's inertia.
      They made it over to the hole just in time and - since
      it was quite close to the third girl - the resulting
      disgusting noises at least managed to get her to wake
      up. "Wha... hey!" She slid pale hands up to yank the
      front of her coverall shut, looking around with
      startled suspicion. "What the... Clarice?" She
      looked surprised to see the younger girl. "I thought
      you and Annie were with Annie's dad."

      "We were. Then someone shot some darts into us, and
      then we were here." Clarice shrugged, and pointed
      across the hallway at Kyle and Jonny. "Maybe they
      know where here is."

      "Not a clue, luv, sorry." Jonny shook his head.
      "I've been here for... dunno. A while now. Kyle's
      been here longer."

      Kyle nodded, and gave Clarice and... what was the
      other one's name? Mary? Marie?... a thoughtful look.
      "Don't you feel sick?"

      Marie shook her head. "Nope. I've got a little
      headache, and I'm thirsty, but that's it." She was
      pretty, Jonny noticed a bit wistfully, and had traces
      of a soft Southern accent. Looked like she'd have a
      nice smile, too.

      Clarice patted Annie's back, and nodded. "I got a
      headache, too, and I'm a bit dizzy, but I don't wanna
      throw up," she agreed.

      "If this is what a hangover's like, I hope I never
      have one," the blonde girl moaned, still hanging over
      the hole. "I never felt this sick before."

      "Hit me the same way," Kyle volunteered. He shuffled a
      bit closer to the bars.

      Marie looked at him, and did a small doubletake. "I
      can see why," she murmured.

      Kyle frowned. "You can?"

      Annie gurgled a bit and sat up. "You can?" She
      turned around and looked at Kyle.

      Yellow eyes met yellow eyes, and they both blinked a
      bit. "Wow," Annie said mildly. "We look alike. Only
      your face is bonier than mine."

      From the tops of their blonde heads to the tips of
      their clawed toes, there WAS certainly a startling
      resemblance. Kyle was a bit bigger and bonier than
      Annie, and Annie still had baby-round cheeks and the
      disproportionately long limbs of a kid in the middle
      of a growth spurt, but... yes. Definitely a likeness.
      Jonny looked at them both for a while, then shrugged.
      "Interesting. Not much help, but interesting."

      Kyle and Annie both grinned fangy grins. "I dunno,"
      Annie said modestly, inspecting her heavily clawed
      fingers. "I figure the two of us could... AIGH! I've
      been clipped!"

      Kyle looked mournfully at his own truncated claws.
      "They do that."

      Marie and Jonny's eyes met, and they both chuckled a
      little. "They ARE a lot alike," the older girl said
      ruefully, watching Annie shuffle off into a corner to
      mourn over her abused fingers. "Do you... have you
      guys thought up any way of getting outta here?"
      Please, please don't say it's impossible, her eyes
      begged. Because it's just starting to sink in that
      we're prisoners here and I really don't want to stay a
      prisoner.

      Jonny blinked. "We... no, not really. I mean, the
      plots you see on TV aren't likely t' work here, and
      neither of us are secret agents or nothin'..."

      Marie brightened a little. "Ah. Well, we have a bit
      of an advantage there."

      * * *

      Creed grunted, squinting a bit as he traced the line
      of the road with the very tip of one claw. "Y'think
      this is the best one?" he asked dubiously. "Me, I'da
      gone this way." He traced another route, more direct,
      but also more obvious. He didn't say that one reason
      he'd have taken the more obvious route was because it
      was easier to see, with eyes better adapted to a far
      off, moving target than a slip of printed paper right
      up close, but he suspected that Logan guessed.

      Logan wasn't getting all that close, either, and he
      was squinting a tiny bit at the map as they held it
      spread out on the hood of the Jeep.

      "That way's faster, yeah... but they'd be more likely
      to see us comin'." He shook his head. "And we don't
      wanna be spotted. Not that I mind a good scrap," he
      added hastily, as Creed's shaggy eyebrows went up a
      bit, "but they might hurt the girls if they think
      we're going to get to them."

      Creed thought about that, and nodded. "Might just cut
      their throats and be rid of all of us," he agreed.
      Logan twitched in a way that wasn't quite a flinch.
      Creed wasn't too happy with the idea, either. Annie
      and - increasingly - Clarice, belonged to *him*. They
      might get annoying sometimes, but they were *his*, and
      anybody who messed with his stuff got their entrails
      wrapped around their necks and lit on fire. Besides,
      they were about the only two people in the world who
      actually liked him, and that was sorta nice. "Back
      way it is."

      The runt gave him another one of his odd looks as they
      folded up the map and slid back into the car. Creed
      rolled his eyes a bit. He might be a psychopath, as
      humans reckoned it - he hadn't thought of himself as
      human in a long time, although he wasn't sure he
      bought Magneto's Homo Superior crap, either - but this
      was pretty much a job, a contract, and he knew how to
      be professional when it was necessary. He might get a
      bloodthirsty kick out of gutting and maiming, but he
      didn't do it twenty-four-seven. And picking fights
      with Logan... he was starting to think of the man by
      name, now... wasn't going to get anyone anywhere.

      He looked sideways, evaluating weary brown eyes, a
      deeply lined face, and hair that was going oddly tufty
      now that he wasn't bothering to comb it. He looked
      tired. "You should sleep," Creed grunted. "Yer no
      good to anyone if yer wiped out."

      "In a bit."

      Creed shrugged and nodded. He wasn't the man's
      keeper. Even if they *were* getting along better than
      he'd ever expected. It wasn't the chatty, cutesy,
      let's-all-be-friends shit the X-Men seemed to expect,
      mind you. Not Magneto's
      we-are-brothers-and-sisters-in-adversity schtick,
      either. More like... he searched his memory. More
      like the few times he'd taken contracts that meant he
      had to work with someone else, and the someone else
      was a pro. He'd kind of liked those times - working
      with someone else, yes, but someone who'd be where
      they were supposed to be and knew how to fit the way
      they worked around someone else's way, so everything
      was smooth and easy. Logan was like that; he knew
      what he was doing, and he knew that Creed knew what he
      was doing, and even if they didn't have much to say to
      each other, they'd get the job done all smooth and
      nice.

      There was a sort of satisfaction in that, Creed mused.
      Maybe this wouldn't be so bad. Unless the runt
      choked when it came to the killing. Then he'd
      probably have to waste him too, otherwise he'd spook
      back to the X-Men and they'd make trouble.

      It'd be a shame to have to kill Logan, though. They
      were getting along so well.

      * * *

      "I'm very disappointed, Professor Epstein," Nina
      Allejandro said unhappily. "Not only did we not get
      the two adults, we lost three of our operatives. And
      the others are all refusing to go out again."

      "Yes, well... I don't know why they're so upset."
      Epstein scowled. "Just because they have never
      suffered casualties until now is no reason to get all
      pouty. What do they think I'm paying them so much for?
      Snatching little girls out of parking lots?"

      "No stomach," Nina said firmly. "You'll have to be
      firm with them, Professor. Tell them that they can
      either go out after the adults, or they can fill in
      for them in our experiments." She smiled a bit
      nastily. "Of course, the reason we needed the adults
      with the healing factors is because they wouldn't
      otherwise survive, but..."

      Epstein brightened. "That's very good, Doctor
      Allejandro," he said admiringly. "Incentive!"

      "It's the key to enthusiasm in the workplace," Nina
      agreed.

      Epstein looked at the chart. "At least they picked up
      the power-duplicator and a spare one," he observed.
      "And the one from Vancouver is being brought in today,
      isn't he?"

      "This afternoon." Nina nodded. "He's older than the
      others, which is good. We can use him for those
      experiments which require specially designed
      equipment." She made a little pouty face. "The ones
      we have keep outgrowing it."

      "The penalty of working with the young and resilient."
      Professor Epstein smiled encouragingly, and took the
      liberty of giving her a little pat on the shoulder.
      "Never mind. Soon you'll have all the variety you
      want in our little subjects."

      Nina nodded, and returned the smile. "And there's so
      much to study," she said happily. "We'll be so far
      beyond the cutting edge we'll make the cutting edge
      look like a butter knife." That was what she loved
      about this job... she could study things nobody else
      could, go places that nobody else dared go, all
      because they were too chickenlivered realize that
      scientific advancement counted for much more than
      petty moral restrictions, and experiment on humans.

      Well, mutants, technically, but it was the same thing,
      really.

      * * *

      "Hey, look... another one." Annie whispered, out of
      consideration for Marie and Clarice, who were
      sleeping.

      Kyle nodded. He was leaned up against the bars, same
      as she was, and they'd been playing
      scissers-stones-paper to keep themselves amused. "Can
      you see anything?" he asked, also in a whisper.
      Jonny was asleep too, with his head on Kyle's leg.

      Annie pushed her face up against the bars, and craned
      to see. The newcomer was in a cell next to Jonny and
      Kyle's... by himself, too. That was interesting.
      "Not much," she whispered back. "He's definitely a
      guy, though. Older than us, too, but not too much.
      Marie's age, maybe."

      Kyle brightened a bit. "I guess this is good," he
      said hopefully. "I mean, they wouldn't bring in a
      whole new batch of subjects if they were just going to
      kill us all."

      "True," Annie whispered back. "The question is, are
      we going to wish they had?"

      Neither of them said any more after that.


      (end part six)




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