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FIC: X-Cursions, part 1/5

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  • Rhonda Amos
    A friend invited me to join this group, and submit a fic I ve recently completed. (Well, almost. I m still toying with the idea of adding a scene.) Anyway,
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 21, 2001
      A friend invited me to join this group, and submit a fic I've recently
      completed. (Well, almost. I'm still toying with the idea of adding a
      Anyway, it's called X-Cursions, and it just took second place in a writing
      contest at a Wolverine fan page. That and fifty cents will get me a cup of
      coffee, but I don't drink coffee. Anyway, hope you enjoy it.

      Author: Ramos
      Rating: PG
      Summary: A call for help from the New Orleans Thieves' Guild takes
      Cyclops, Storm, Rogue, and Logan to the Big Easy, where things are not as
      easy as they seem.
      Disclaimer: These characters are the property of Marvel and Twentieth
      Century Fox. I make no profit from their use.
      Author's Note 1: Author's note: I have envisioned a brown-haired Christian
      Kane as Gambit (Lindsey from Angel) and Marc Blucas as Joshua (Riley, from
      Author's Note 2: PLEASE READ THIS - I began this story in August, long
      before the events of September 11th. I never had any idea that real life
      would find an echo in this story. I can only tell you, honestly, that I
      really wish it hadn't.

      A young woman picked her way along the rutted dirt road, hopping clumsily
      over the muddy spots. This late at night, even the crickets were falling
      silent among the tall pines that clustered thickly in resistance to
      civilization's encroachment. So intent was she on negotiating her path
      over the uneven ground that she gave a startled gasp when the large man
      stepped out of the trees and into her path.

      Flannel clad and smelling of beer, he grinned at her wide-eyed fear. The
      designer jeans and salon haircut belied his redneck image. "Watcha doin'
      out here, honey?" he drawled. The faintest hint of white ghosted from his
      mouth in the cool evening.

      "Um, ma car," she stammered, gesturing back down the track to the distant
      blacktop. "It just up and quit on me, and when I saw all the tire tracks,
      I figured y'all must be up here huntin' or sumthin'." One small hand
      flitted nervously at the shotgun in his grip. "I figured maybe one of you
      boys might give me a ride." Her soft southern accent trailed off, and she
      smiled nervously and shrugged. The big man didn't miss what the shrug did
      to her cleavage under the tight scoop-necked shirt.

      "I think maybe we could help you out." His eyes traveled down the white
      shirt to the black leather pants and back up to the odd streak of white at
      her widow's peak. Must be a new fashion statement, he thought. "Honey,
      the guys are gonna just be thrilled to meet you," he said. A nasty grin
      revealed the even result of rather expensive orthodontia work. He slung
      the shotgun in one elbow and reached out for her with the other hand. She
      stepped back, and his expression turned menacing. "Come on."

      The woman turned away from him, and for half a second he thought he might
      get the fun of chasing her through the woods. He was totally unprepared
      for her to spin back, and never even saw the boot that slammed into the
      side of his head. He dropped the shotgun and staggered. Trying to keep
      his balance, he was completely unable to fend off the hands that grabbed
      the front of his flannel shirt. A knee flashed into his groin, then his
      belly. He was already collapsing when the iron grip smashed his head down
      onto her rising knee.

      Rogue, who had long since ceased to think of herself as the helpless
      southern belle she'd been raised to become, slid the shotgun into the
      brambles. A man dressed in black leather, just as tall as her victim but
      runner lean, eased up beside her. One hand held out a jacket, a twin to
      his own. Under a ruby-lensed visor, a quick grin flashed in appreciation
      of her economical assault. A beautiful, white-haired, mocha-skinned woman
      joined them, followed by a younger woman with a merry glint in her Asian
      eyes, and a tall, sandy-haired young man, all of them in black. In
      moments, Rogue's white shirt was zipped up in the concealing black leather
      uniform of her team, and she ghosted after them in a stealthy jog.

      In the small clearing further up the dirt track, half a dozen trucks and an
      occasional battered sedan were parked in a semi-circle under the edges of
      the trees. A weathered bunkhouse and cabin sat side by side, framing the
      open area. A handful of men lounged about, talking idly and poking the
      dying remains of a large fire. Beer bottles and cans littered the trampled
      grass around them, and occasional their bawdy laughter punctuated the night.

      Cyclops paused in the narrow space between the two buildings as he studied
      the situation. A bulb over the cabin door threw harsh yellow light towards
      the grassy alley, but left the shadows all the darker where he stood, his
      shoulders flat against the weathered wood. He could hear voices coming
      from the small windows in the bunkhouse wall and he estimated at least five
      more men were playing cards within. A wooden plaque on the back door read
      "Humans Only," but he spared it no attention.

      He gave a hand signal, and Storm and Jubilee faded back, circling around
      the perimeter to the far side of the larger building. Rogue stayed several
      feet away, watching rear guard. Cyclops waited until he picked up a
      flicker of movement on the edge of the clearing, then gave Bobby a nod.
      The younger man held out his hands, and a haze of white frost and cold
      streamed to the old screen door on the back of the cabin. The wood creaked
      and popped as the intense cold and ice sheeted it, encasing the doorway in
      a barrier that would require significant effort to breach. Another hand
      gesture and the two followed their leader, crouching under the light and
      the windows as they crept to the front edge of the bunkhouse wall.
      Finally, reaching up, Cyclops made a slight adjustment to his visor.

      A mighty beam of red light streaked across the clearing, hitting one of the
      trucks and causing it to blow up in a ferocious explosion. The men around
      the fire scrambled to their feet as a second truck exploded, the quiet
      conversations becoming disconcerted yells and ineffective curses. Streaks
      of sparkling light and coils of multi-colored plasma from the opposite
      direction sent the bewildered group running for cover.

      A whipping wind sprang from nowhere as more men spilled out of the cabin
      and the bunkhouse. Fast food wrappers and other debris joined with dust
      and dried leaves, forcing the few men who had not run to shield their
      faces. Storm hovered several feet off the ground, arms spread wide, her
      eyes pure white as a gale-force wind knocked more of the men off their
      feet. A few hardier souls struggled against the elements, but the rest
      hugged the ground and attempted to crawl away from the onslaught.

      Cyclops sent several more blasts into the trees and then one into the fire,
      the explosive force sending burning debris and hot coals showering down.
      Bobby the Iceman sprayed snow and cold on several of the larger smoldering
      chunks, freezing them to the wooden veranda of the bunkhouse. Rogue
      sprinted for the door of the cabin, with Cyclops right behind. A shocked
      man in a denim shirt and baseball cap belatedly tried to intercept her, but
      failed to see her large shadow. Cyclops quickly overwhelmed him with
      several well placed punches, annoyed and not a little anxious at the delay
      in backing Rogue up. He entered the cabin in a rush, glancing at the
      overturned table, scattered cards and chips from the interrupted game. An
      unconscious man lay on the dirty braided rug. A gangly teenage boy with a
      bad complexion charged him from the kitchen, only to be twisted around and
      redirected out the open door and into the yard. A quick check over the
      kitchen pass-through's counter for more opposition revealed only the
      accumulated dishes of men who considered 'roughing it' a license for

      The front door was equipped with an old but serviceable heavy wooden bar
      that he rammed shut, leaving him the luxury to turn and locate his
      teammate. A hallway led off the main room, and Rogue emerged from one of
      the doorways and immediately tried another closed door. This one was
      locked, but gave way as she dropped back a step and gave it a strategic
      kick. Several large splinters flew as the door crashed open.

      Scott was directly behind Rogue and grabbed the broken doorframe to avoid
      slamming into her as she paused just inside the doorway. Huddled in the
      corner of the sparse room was a small form sitting on a bare army surplus
      cot. The gray fur on his arms blended into the scratchy gray woolen
      blanket he clutched around him. Huge eyes stared out of a paler gray face.
      Small, inarticulate sounds came from his throat has he watched the two

      "It's O.K., son," Cyclops said appeasingly, holding his hands out. "We're
      here to help you." The child watched them advance another few steps,
      then suddenly bolted over the end of the bed, but a heavy chain rattled as
      it pulled the child up short of the corner. He was chained to the wall.

      "Bastards," muttered Scott.

      Rogue knelt slowly beside the boy, talking gently, her southern accent more
      pronounced as she tried to soothe him. "It's alright, honey. We're gonna
      to take you home. We're gonna take you to your momma."

      The child looked up at Rogue, then to Scott, with an expression of slowly
      dawning hope.

      Outside, a lone holdout finally staggered forward in the wind, trying to
      point a large pistol at Storm. She watched him struggle, then gazed
      upward. A bolt of lightning struck the ground in front of him, and the
      force of the discharge tossed him up and out.

      The windstorm died, and Jubilee pushed her messy dark hair out of her face.
      "Stormy, you got style," she commented.

      "Thank you, Jubilee," she replied in her measured English tones. Together,
      the two women crossed the empty yard to join Bobby Drake. The young man
      assumed a pitcher's stance, then formed another snowball in his bare hands
      and lobbed it the burning truck, obviously enjoying the sizzle as the cold
      orb hit the hot metal.

      Inside the cabin, a flash of red severed the chain. The child stared at it
      in disbelief, then at Scott's outstretched hand. He slowly put his grubby,
      furry, fully human-shaped hand in the man's and let himself be drawn to
      stand upright. Cyclops gave him an encouraging smile. The child smiled
      back. He offered the same small smile to Rogue, then looked beyond the two
      adults and suddenly shrieked in fear.

      Reacting instinctively, Scott grabbed the child and whisked him up off the
      floor as a large Rottweiler stalked into the room. Its growl rose and
      fell, then abruptly shifted into a flurry of barking as it lunged at the
      three of them. Rogue grabbed the edge of the metal framed cot, spinning it
      on its leg and into the dog's path. Quickly she grabbed the blanket and
      snapped it in the air. The distraction worked for only seconds. Scott
      fingered his visor with one hand while trying to keep the boy up high with
      his other arm, desperately maneuvering for a shot. The dog lunged again,
      ignoring the flapping fabric and biting Rogue's forearm. Viciously it
      shook and tore at her. Its comparable mass jerked her across the floor and
      forced Scott to hesitate. He called out a warning to her and managed to
      get a shot, but it merely scorched the wall.

      Abruptly, the dog froze. It's eyes locked with Rogue's. Above its white
      teeth the veins stood boldly against the suddenly gray gums, echoing the
      condition of Rogue's face as her features twisted in pain and shock. A
      gasp came from her, met by a sad whine from low in the dog's chest as its
      grip loosened. It fell to the ground, twitching heavily for several long
      moments, then grew deathly still.

      "Rogue!" said Scott urgently, reaching out for her arm. He did not touch
      her, but the movement let her tear her eyes from the corpse and inspect the
      damage. Her leather sleeve was badly torn, exposing her pale arm and deep
      bloody wounds seeping heavily. Tearing a piece from the ruined blanket she
      wrapped it around her arm and followed her team leader out of the silent
      room. Outside, Storm and the younger team members greeted them with some

      "Let's go," Cyclops ordered, still carrying the boy.

      Jubilee gave the bloody rag around Rogue's arm a long look. "You okay,
      sweetie?" she asked.

      Rogue's white strands bobbed as she nodded. "I'm fine. Don't worry, I'm
      not gonna start sniffing anybody's butt or nothing."

      "How about growling?" Bobby asked. He ducked from the glares he received
      on all sides.
      "What? We already got one of those."

      "Let's get out of here." urged Scott. They walked away, leaving various
      fires burning in their wake. Not a single person opposed them.


      Tendrils of heavy smoke swirled lazily around the afternoon patrons of a
      small corner bar. The occasional 'chuck' sound of balls hitting each other
      came from the pool tables in the back room. The inevitable TV was barely
      audible, and a newscaster read the news without enthusiasm.

      "Three days after being kidnapped from his family home, nine-year-old
      mutant Tommy Robertson is back with his family. Details of his return
      remain sketchy. The boy's mother will only say that "friends" helped him
      escape from his captors. She does say she plans to send the boy to a place
      where he'll be safe, but refuses further comment.

      The group accused of kidnapping the mutant, a local chapter of Humanity's
      Champions, claim they were attacked by agents of the National Security
      Agency using rocket launchers and explosives. A spokesman for the NSA
      called this claim ludicrous.

      The spokesman for Humanity's Champions insists that the local chapter
      exceeded its authority, reiterating that the organization is dedicated to
      non-violent changes. The head of the organization, Franklin Pierce, was
      unavailable for comment. Local members could face charges of kidnapping
      and civil rights violations."

      A man wearing a battered leather jacket sat at the bar, dashing what was
      left of a large cigar into the ashtray in front of him. Almost as if it
      were against his will, a slow, feral grin grew from one corner of his mouth
      to the other. Reaching into his pocket, he stood up and threw a bill on
      the ring-stained counter.

      "Headin' home?" inquired the barkeeper.

      The man paused for only a moment. "Yup."
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