Fic: Sinister 4/?
Jean put the communicator away and turned to look for Rogue. Finding
her chatting amiably to the bartender she sidled up to her and
grinned widely. "C'mon kiddo," she laughed "I've just heard about a
real hot party down town." Waiving cheerily at the bartender, they
made their way out.
"What gives?" asked Rogue immediately, "I'd just got that guy
talking 5 more minutes and I'd've known the names of everyone in
the place and their life histories."
"We need to find a club called the Ichelbob Lounge. Scott and Storm
have been playing in the swamp and came up with a lead."
"Eeew," muttered Rogue, "hate to think what the Blackbird smells like
right now," she muttered.
Jean shot her a quick glance and laughed. "Scott didn't have much
time to explain but this place is definitely where the action is.
Looks like there's some kind of elaborate and totally staged gang war
going on between mutants and humans with one guy supposedly calling
the shots on both sides."
"Why?" asked Rogue.
She shook her head. "That's the part they can't figure. Scott's gonna
call the Professor, see what he makes of it all. Make sure your
locator is set. Scott wants to be able to track us in case anything
Rogue nodded and reset the tiny device on her bracelet. "All set,"
she confirmed .
"Good there's a taxi c'mon."
The tall man regarded the loose semi-circle of men standing in the
room beyond through the one way mirrored wall. He turned to the large
mutant beside him. "I'm not at all happy Danvers."
The powerfully built Woman shifted nervously. "They didn't anticipate
intervention, didn't even realise it wasn't the quarry until after
they got hit by those concussion blasts."
"Mmmm," the tall man murmured.
Danvers pointed to one of the men. "He nailed one of them with a bike
chain but the guy smacked him into a tree with a look. He only woke
up 10 minutes ago." She shot the tall man a look, "he got him pretty
good though hurt him. There's blood on the chain to show it."
The tall mans head whipped round. "Still?" he asked quietly with
"I..I think," answered Danvers.
"Find out," he snapped. "If there is take a sample. We'll see what
our interventionist friend is made of."
"What about the one who got away?" she asked.
He favoured her with a smile. "I'll make arrangements with the guild
he won't get very far. That one would have been of no use to me
As Danvers hurried to do his bidding he regarded the group in the
next room while contemplating this new turn of events. "With a look,"
he said softly to himself, "I wonder if it could be ?" he trailed
off. "Well," he said decisively his voice brightening, "if it is then
fates favours me indeed." He seemed to fade out of existence for a
moment before taking shape, a new shape, and striding out of the
room. He strode into the communications room and picked up the
telephone. "Ahh, Gambit," he said quietly as the other end was picked
up. "I would like you to make some arrangements for me, I have a
problem I'd like eliminated professionally." His tone was seductive
to the point of hypnotic.
Gambit put the phone down and shook his head slightly, as if to clear
it. "Tillek," he said, his tone similar to that of the tall
mans. "The man wants a Job doing, homme. No evidence eh. Yesterdays
target he eluded the `gators, this time you see to it that it's done
Tillek grinned evilly. "My favourite pastime," he muttered
sibilantly, looping and un-looping the cord he was playing
with. "Just let me know where and who and I'll deal with the rest."
Gambit stared after the man as he left a few moments later. Now what
exactly had he been doing before that little interruption. He shook
his head again, "Remy," he muttered to himself, "ya'll is loosin' it
son," he thought darkly.
The tall man regarded the phone for a while until Danvers entered.
"Got a sample," she said interrupting his musing, "anything wrong?"
"I'd like to see Gambit tonight," he said turning to her, "arrange it
so that he is at the Club. I don't want to take any chances with him,
he has a strong will and my suggestions need reinforcement now and
then. Now, lets go and see that sample shall we."
Scott sighed as he hung up the connection to Westchester. Storm
touched him on the shoulder. "Any ideas ?" He shook his head.
"The professor agrees that it seems to be one guy running both
groups, though I don't think the groups themselves know that aside
from some key people at the top. As to why he's doing it I don't
really know, seems a little elaborate to me. The professor is going
to run some scenarios through Cerebro to see what comes out and to
find out if there are any concentrations of mutant energy in the
area. He wants us to go back into the swamp and find out why we were
being herded toward the area we were. He thinks there may be some
sort of base of operations out there."
"You're not going anywhere just yet," Storm said firmly. At his long
hard look she simply smiled. "You're hurt," she reminded him
softly, "those wounds need cleaning before you wander around in the
filth again or you'll get an infection and be no use to anyone. Undo
your uniform" she ordered him firmly.
Scott sighed and unzipped his uniform to the waist. Storm pulled his
collar back from his neck, earning a hiss from him as dried blood
came away with it. She used antiseptic to clean the lacerations
before dressing them with a flexible, porous tape. "Okay," she said
finally, "that's about the best that can be done under these
He stood, closing his uniform top as he did so. "I'll grab some
tracking equipment, you check over the SUV it should get us in
pretty close before the ground gets too boggy for it."
"I can fly us in," she said defensively.
He shook his head, "too many limitations if we need to get out in
hurry and find someone else again."
She sighed, "don't forget to pack some ration bars then," she
muttered "no need to go hungry as well as without sleep."
In just under an hour they were back at approximately the site where
they had first encountered the two mutants. Scott scanned around the
area with the portable instruments he carried. He shook his head
slightly. There was a faint reading but then it disappeared. "Either
the swamp is messing up the readings or there is something out here
but it's well shielded. I'd go with the latter."
Storm motioned into the undergrowth. "That's the direction they were
running us in."
He nodded. "Lets move out, you go up and see if you can get a better
impression of things from the air but watch out for yourself. If
there is something out there sophisticated enough to hide itself from
this equipment then its feasible they already know we are here." As
Scott progressed along the general line toward their goal he couldn't
shake the uneasy feeling they were being followed.
"This place's heaving," yelled Rogue trying to make herself heard
over the voices within the low ceiling room. Even the live jazz band
playing the crowd was just background scratching, drowned out by the
sheer cacophony of half a hundred different conversations in almost
as many different languages. Jeans head was pounding from trying to
scan so large a crowd in such a confined space. "You Okay?" asked
"Peachy," muttered Jean.
"Huh?" asked the girl startled.
Jean gestured toward the bar, unwilling or unable or both to continue
the conversation. The crush at the bar wasn't much better, but at
least it allowed Jean to face the crowd and stare of into space
without looking too conspicuous or getting trampled.
"Logan's here," she said suddenly leaning toward Rogue to be heard.
The younger girl looked startled. "No don't look around he's out
back somewhere. Weird though I get the sense he's with someone, but
its like they're not there, shielded maybe."
In the back room, Logan stood idly outside the door that Gambit had
gone through ten minutes earlier. His keen hearing could not pick up
any of the conversation going on inside.
Gambit shuddered despite himself and blinked rapidly. "Is everything
all right?" the man before him asked mildly, his tailored business
suit at odds with the thief's' scruffier demeanour. "Huh, oh sure Mr
Essex, Gambit was paying attention," he added hurriedly. "Mmm," the
man smiled and it did not reach his eyes. "I'm sure you were my
friend, I'm sure you were. I think that concludes our business for
the evening. I will leave through the club, give me ten minutes and
then leave by the rear. You have your instructions find the two
mutants that were in the alley yesterday night then we will arrange
a private party for them near my retreat."
Gambit nodded. "Didn't get a good description of them, but we'll
"See that you do," the man smiled and left Remy Le Beau, also know as
Gambit, to wonder where the last ten minutes had gone exactly. As "Mr
Essex" glided through the throng to the exit he did something he
rarely bothered to do. He let his eyes wander over the crowd of
seething human detritus. And stopped short. There by the bar was a
very familiar face, recognised from TV as well as several medical
journals and the like. "Dr Grey," he muttered. Without hesitation he
reversed direction, intending to get to Gambit before the thief left
"You sure?" Gambit asked a few moments later, wincing as soon as he
said it and glancing at his employer and patron.
Mr Essex favoured him with a faintly bored look that bespoke trouble
if he was interrupted further. "Yes my dear boy I am sure. That is Dr
Jean Grey, a woman at the forefront of mutant DNA research. She
addressed the Senate only a few months back prior to that idiotic
mutant registration law defeat."
"So what she doin' here," muttered Gambit. "Playing tourist?" he
Essex laughed. "Quite probably my dear Gambit, this is one of the
worlds finest pageants is it not? Still, it is far too good an
opportunity to pass up. Her assistance in my work may prove
invaluable. Of course she is unlikely to be altogether willing to
lend such assistance. Take your new playmate with you and see that
she is taken directly to my laboratory. If she has a companion with
her, get rid of them. I do not want a missing person's report filed
Gambit nodded once and left via the rear door motioning for Wolverine
to join him.
"What gives?" Logan growled as they strode around the building. "I
been coolin my heels forever now we're in some kind of hurry?"
Gambit whirled on him. "When the man tells you to do something homme,
you do not keep `im waitin', eh? There's a lady inside that will be
coming out soon. She just got invited to dinner with the boss. I'll
deal with her, you deal with anyone she's with."
"Deal?" he growled in response.
Gambit leant against the wall studying the front door. "The red head
is mine, she gets to go a little sleepy for a while homme, but any
one who should be with her you get to make sure they no with her no
more mm?. Take it somewhere quiet though, then meet me back at the
warehouse. We gotta little trip to make with the lady."
"I need to pack my swimsuit?" snickered Logan. *Jean * Logan
screamed with his mind, *god dammit woman are you listening. *
* I'm right here stop shouting * he heard inside his head. * I can
pick you up just fine. *
*Something's gonna happen and I think they're after you. Something
about taking you somewhere on the boss' orders. I'm supposed
to "deal" with who ever is with you. *
*Okay * he heard after a pause. * Go along with it all the way. I'll
forewarn Rogue to expect you to get a little rough.*
*Are you nuts lady * he practically screamed back. *No way I'm
letting these creeps get their hands on you. *
*Yes you are * she answered firmly, reinforcing it with a mental
command that made his teeth ache.
*Sunglasses boy'll fry me for this * he shot back, * you want that on
your conscience. Course I'll have to kill him for trying * he added.
*I can't reach Scott right now, he and Storm are in the swamp some
where and that blasted shield is getting in the way. There's no way
we could anticipate this and we need to act this gets me inside
whatever is going on, not just skirting around the edges. I've got my
locator set to tracer mode and if that fails we've got Cerebro its
easier to trace one of us that is familiar to Charles than an unknown
so the shield shouldn't affect that. Get Rogue to the blackbird to
warn the others then hone in on me wherever I am. *
Logan's first instinct was to tell her to go to hell, no way lady.
Realistically he knew this was their best chance though.
"Get ready," muttered Gambit, "we need to follow them down de alley."
At Logans' perplexed look he smiled. "Sometimes, homme, the oldest
tricks really are de best."
The door to the club burst open and Jean and Rogue ran out,
following a boy clutching Jeans bag to his chest. The boy shot down
the alley and the two women pursued. Gambit led Logan around the back
where the two alleys intersected and as the boy ran past shot his
hand out and around Jeans' neck. He pulled her into a chokehold and
smoothly covered her nose and mouth with the cloth he held in the
other hand. Her struggles stopped almost immediately. He turned to
regard Logan who stood over the form of the other woman, unconscious
on the floor. Logan hefted her over his shoulder and held up a
hand. "I know take it somewhere else. I'll be back after I've visited
that nice convenient river of yours."
Gambit grinned, shouldering his burden. "You don' dally now y'hear. I
wanna move this lady `for sunup."
Logan made sure no one was following them before he put Rogue down.
The girl immediately punched him in the chest.
" How could you let her do that," she demanded angrily.
"How was I supposed to stop her," he demanded. "I hate this but she's
right. This is our best shot at this. You get your ass back to the
blackbird and warn Storm and Cyke what's happened. I'm staying damn
close to Jean just to be sure."
He could tell the kid wasn't happy but they both knew what they had
"Fine," she muttered. "Leave me to tell the man who can blow a whole
in a mountain with a pissy look that his girlfriends just been
kidnapped by the Psychos who we came down here to stop and that it's
all okay `cos we let it happen."
Logan smiled. "See," he said turning away, "I never get the fun