Fic: Sinister 2/?
- See part 1 for disclaimers etc
"What's up with Chuck?" muttered Logan as he tossed a second bag of
gear onto the Blackbirds ramp. Scott was striding across the hanger
towards him. Logan didn't need to see Scott's eyes to gauge the
irritated look that the younger man threw his way as he grabbed the
last kit bag and followed Jean up the ramp. Logan trailed after
him. "What we gotta play guessing games here leader-man?"
" No guessing games Wolverine," Cyclops said at last. "I can't tell
you what I don't know, what the professor doesn't know. It's our job
to find out what's going on so I suggest we get on with it."
Wolverine rolled his eyes at Storm and made a grand gesture for her
to precede him up the ramp. "After you Darlin'," he smiled.
The hum of the engines lulled the group into sleep on the outward
journey, only Cyclops remaining alert and on station as he piloted
the craft through the night. Unlike both Logan and Storm he actually
enjoyed flying (in Storms case it was the flying inside a machine
that she didn't appreciate), something Jean had always found
surprising given the circumstances of his youth. Scott had been
orphaned in an air accident, the only survivor of his parents mid air
collision with an unknown object and even he had nearly been killed
when his parachute had partially failed. The accident had left him in
a coma and suffering from the brain damage that he later learned
resulted in his inability to control his mutant powers. All that
aside he found piloting the Blackbird a relaxing experience with the
occasional thrill ride thrown in. He let himself smile slightly as he
considered this. If any of his team knew that the ultra serious
Cyclops actually got a kick out of this they would probably keel over
from the shock.
"Something amusing Bub?" Logan muttered as he slipped into the vacant
Scott started slightly. He didn't want to admit that Logan caught him
off guard as often as he did. "Can't you scrape your feet or
something when you do that?" he asked wryly.
Logan stared out the window. "How fast we goin anyhow? Mach 2?"
"We over water?" he asked again.
Scott could actually sense the nerves in the other mans constant
chatter. Fearless Logan really did not fly well. "Most direct route
if we want to avoid commercial air traffic," Scott answered
Logan snorted. "All these fancy gadgets on this thing and you cant
even get a decent picture on the screen. Y'know just for variety
change the colour of the night scope from red to green or something.
The red makes me queasy."
Scott canted his head to regard the man, a mixture of bemusement and
annoyance in his look.
"What ?" snapped Logan.
"I didn't know it was red," Scott said finally. "I haven't seen any
other colour since I was fifteen." Scott went back to looking at the
read outs and the screen ahead.
Logan stared at his profile, at the visor that aside from his
glasses was ever present. "Never thought about it that way," he
said at last. A soft insistent beeping saved either of them from
pushing past the awkward moment.
"You'd better strap yourself in," said Scott "we're coming up on the
landing site the professor picked out." Scott kicked the craft into a
steep dive that elicited a groan from Logan before pulling out at the
last moment and setting the VTOL vertical takeoff and landing to
put the large craft down in the relatively narrow clearing a mile or
so on the outskirts of New Orleans.
Scott slipped free of his harness and joined the others in the back
of the jet.
"So what's the drill?" asked Rogue, who up to this point had seemed
unnaturally subdued. As the youngest member of the group by far she
still seemed to defer to the others or try to slip into the
background as much as possible. Scott had been surprised when the
Professor had begun to insist she be included several missions back,
but she was plucky and street wise and surprisingly adaptable. Her
youth also meant people tended to overlook her at their cost
probably vital to the information gathering aspect of this gig. Scott
glanced at Jean and hesitated for a moment, he didn't really like
what he was going to say next. He tossed a bag at Logan.
"You, Jean and Rogue go into town in regular clothes. Storm and I
stay here and monitor for the time being. We know that Cerebro picks
up energy spikes when there's mutant activity in the surrounding
countryside and Storm will have the best chance of responding to that
fast. Jean keep in contact with me. You and Rogue will play tourist,
hit all the night spots and attractions. Logan check out the docks
and industrial areas on the pretext of looking for work. Pick an out
of the way hotel that you can all meet back at and use as a base of
operation and keep your communications gear and locators on at all
times. I'll use the time here to hack into all the local networks and
information repositories and see what I can come up with that way."
"Sounds like a plan. You ever have Gumbo darlin?" Logan grinned at
"Why no I don't believe I have," she said softly then linked arms
with Rogue, "but I do believe my little cousin here can show me this
fair state like no other, having family down this way and all."
"Sure `Cuz'," said Rogue brightly catching on fast, "you'all won't
believe what they can do with shrimp in this neck'o'the woods."
With a Benny hat shoved low over his forehead and cigar stuck between
his teeth, Logan looked about as rough as they came. "C'mon ladies,"
he grinned "least I can do is walk you to the edge of town." Rogue
followed him out but Jean hung back for a second. She gave Scott's
hand a gentle squeeze and kissed him softly.
"Take care," he said, voice low as he glanced after the other two.
"I can handle Logan," she said firmly, smiling to take any sting out
of her words.
He sighed. "I know, just take care," he repeated. Jean slipped out
after the other two and Scott moved to the hatch to watch them
disappear into the trees before straightening and, all work once
more, heading back to the communications array to begin his part of
Jean tossed a stack of papers on the bed and called toward the
bathroom. "Have you been to New Orleans before?" she asked Rogue.
The younger woman entered the room towel drying her hair
thoroughly. "Once, when I was a kid. I really do have family down
this way. I didn't get to see much though. It's more fun for adults."
" Well, I picked up a stack of leaflets from the lobby in keeping
with our tourist guise. Truth is I guess we'll need them."
Rogue glanced out the window. "It'll be dark again in an hour we can
try 'em out then."
"I can't believe it took us all day to find a suitable hotel room,"
Jean muttered. "We're lucky we got one at all, how were we supposed
to know Mardi Grass starts in two days when we came down this way."
"I'm sorry Jean," said Rogue softly. "I grew up knowin' all about it -
shoulda remembered the date at least."
Jean waved off her apology. "It's going to make things difficult
that's for sure."
"Maybe Storm should have come with you," said Rogue quietly.
Jean laughed out loud. "In the kinds of crowds this is likely to
draw - no it's a very good thing that she is not here. Storm does not
like large crowds. Scott will be annoyed that he missed the whole
Mardi Gras date thing, but I like it when he slips up. Gives me a
chance to remind him he's only human after all. I wonder how Logan is
Logan looked long and hard at the barkeep when he sloshed the second
beer on the scarred counter. "Watch it bub," he snarled
"Yeah whatever," the guy muttered as he moved away.
Logan had been through the same routine for the best part of the day,
stopping at bars and asking what work was going. Usually he got a
shrug, most often he got told to go back where he came from. He
listened everywhere and so far the story was the same. No one gave a
damn what happened to humans let alone "mutie trash". He downed the
last of the beer and moved off, aware that as he did so he was
followed out into the alley. Since entering the dive it had gotten
"Hey bud - you got a light pal?" a rough voice called out behind him.
Logan turned and faced the loose semi-circle of 4 men.
"We'll take whatever cash you got too," sniggered another.
"Why don't you come take it Bub," snarled Wolverine, extending one
claw in each gloved hand with a snick. The fight was short and
brutal. He took two down inside a minute, before the other two got
together enough to double-team him. He was slammed back into the
alley wall, his head ringing. Grunting under the blows rained in on
him he gutted the taller of the two, then retracted his claws and
simply head butted the last man to the floor. Standing over them he
shook his head to clear the stars from his vision and heard the slow
claps of applause. He looked up sharply to see a heavyset man in a
sailors pea coat smiling at him. It wasn't a pleasant smile.
"I figured you for a dirty scrapper," he said his voice
gravely. "That's the sort I need," he added as Wolverine squared off
"You offering me a job Bub or just chit chattin'?"
The man shrugged. "That depends on you. You passed the interview
Wolverine grinned nastily. "Who've I gotta kill and how much does it
The man smiled. "Name's Gulich why don't I buy you a beer and we'll
Less than two hours later Wolverine, Gulich and two others crouched
on a rooftop in the industrial quarter. Gulich pointed through the
skylight at the shadowy figures within. "Watch yourselves with this
bunch at least two of em are muties."
"So what's the deal - we kill em?" snarled Wolverine.
Gulich shook his head. "Send a message Logan. You gotta get with the
terminology here. These clowns are moving in on the docks. My boss
doesn't like that so we use these guys to send a message to their
boss. Reads something like fuck off back to whatever swamp they
crawled out of." He signalled them to spread out and enter at the
areas they had been assigned. Once inside they didn't have long to
wait. Gulich stepped right out into the open. "Well, well what do we
have here? You'all don't know when to take a friendly warning do you?"
Two of the three men were lifting a crate into an RV, the other was
lounging on the tailgate shuffling a deck of cards. One of the two
immediately unfurled a tail from beneath his coat and shot a half
dozen spikes from the end of it at Gulich. The man dived out of the
way and Logan's other two erstwhile companions opened fire on the
thieves. The deck shuffler promptly began spinning energy charged
cards with devastating accuracy at the shooters while the other thief
crumpled to the floor riddled with bullets.
"Logan!" yelled Gulich.
"Right behind you Bub," he answered stepping out from behind a crate.
Gulich spun into his right hook and slumped to the floor. The two
mutants looked across at him then tail guy shot two darts into his
chest. Logan doubled over with a snarl as the guy sniggered and
strutted over towards him. The look of surprise on his face when
Logan simply plucked the barbs from his chest was almost worth the
pain, almost. "You loose these Bub?" The snicht of his claws
extending were the last thing the guy heard before he hit the deck.
"That wasn't a smart thing to go an do now was it homme?" said the
card carrying mutant softly shaking his mane of russet hair.
"Hey pal - your good buddy here took his best shot first." The two
began wearily circled each other. Wolverine grinned like a feral
animal. "Bring it on Bub - I figured better side with a mutant than
some human thug but you wanna go at it too that's fine by me."
"That why you switch sides homme - cause that don't really encourage
trust now do it mm?"
"I signed on for them for pay - he didn't pay me. Figured whatever
you got goin' here could use some muscle."
The Cajun, least he sounded like a Cajun to Logan, laughed. We do
things with a little finesse around here homme, but ol Gambit here
don' mind if the guild don' mind. Truce eh?"
Wolverine grinned without humour. "Lead on Gumbo."