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Fic: Sinister 2/?

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  • Sarita
    See part 1 for disclaimers etc 2/? What s up with Chuck? muttered Logan as he tossed a second bag of gear onto the Blackbirds ramp. Scott was striding across
    Message 1 of 1 , May 6, 2001
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      See part 1 for disclaimers etc

      2/?

      "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
      co-pilot seat.
      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?"
      Scott nodded.
      "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
      laconically.
      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
      Jean.
      "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
      the search.
      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
      getting on."
      Logan looked long and hard at the barkeep when he sloshed the second
      beer on the scarred counter. "Watch it bub," he snarled
      threateningly.
      "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
      dark.
      "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
      toward him.
      "You offering me a job Bub or just chit chattin'?"
      The man shrugged. "That depends on you. You passed the interview
      anyhow."
      Wolverine grinned nastily. "Who've I gotta kill and how much does it
      pay."
      The man smiled. "Name's Gulich why don't I buy you a beer and we'll
      discuss that."
      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."
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