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FIC: Seasons of Growth Chapter 6

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  • novemberotica
    Title: Seasons of Growth Chapter 6: A Warning Sign Author: November Tuesday Email: novemberotica@yahoo.com Rating: NC-17 for violence Summary: A mission
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 26, 2003
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      Title: Seasons of Growth
      Chapter 6: A Warning Sign

      Author: November Tuesday

      Email: novemberotica@...

      Rating: NC-17 for violence

      Summary: A mission changes Rogue's life forever.

      Continuity: Series begins 3 years after X1.

      Disclaimer: Marvel, Fox, Brian Singer yadda yadda yaddaÂ…

      Archive: Sure, and if it's someplace other than list archives, please
      let me know.

      Feedback: is my lifeblood. Please please please!

      Author's Notes: Thanks to N. E. Star for beta.


      "There's a warnin' sign on the road ahead,
      There's a lot of people sayin' we'd be better off dead.
      Don't feel like Satan but I am to them,
      So I try to forget it anyway I can..." --Neil Young

      Rogue zipped her leather pants. Nervously adjusted her halter top.
      She brushed opalescent glitter onto her eyes. Dark liner in efficient
      movements. Jubilee was switching her usual piercings for dayglo ones.
      The inside of her mouth glowed violet and the hollow of her navel was
      soft blue.

      "Try this." Jubilee handed her the lipstick. It was a violet-blue
      shade. Perfect on her. She looked gothy-Euro-trashy. She'd worked gel
      into her hair to hide its luster.

      Jubilee looked different in black, without a speck of yellow. She
      wore Rogue's sheer black top, spandex shorts under her mini skirt.

      Kitty was having a little more trouble with the look. Her lips were
      pink. "C'mere, Kitkat."

      Kitty, relieved, came over and allowed Rogue to make her over. She
      had never seen Kitty look anything other than soft, wearing shades of
      pink. With a comb Rogue quickly parted a line down the center of her
      hair, black nails flashing, and combed out the two sections. She
      wound each one into a little nub on top of Kitty's head, secured them
      with covert bobby pins, enhancing her feline appearance, then,
      covering Kitty's eyes with a cupped palm she cemented the look with
      hairspray.

      Meanwhile Jubilee went to work on her with the kohl and purple
      glitter.

      There was a knock at the door. "Come in," Jubilee called, tension in
      her voice. Storm walked in, wearing perfectly fitted silver pants and
      a slip of a top. They never knew that her navel was pierced.

      "You look good, Stormy."

      "Thank you. Can you do my hair?"

      "Sure." Rogue finished applying brown lipstick to Kitty, then started
      tousling Storm's hair into peaks like meringue.

      John walked in.

      "Hey," Jubilee said. "Hair?"

      "Sure."

      Rogue wet her hands and slicked them with gel. John's hair was in
      perfect spikes. She affixed a fake piercing to his nose. "You're
      good."

      "Rogue, am I printing?" Storm lifted her arms above her head,
      shifting back and forth in front of the mirror. Her top was loose
      white gauzy fabric that showed no evidence of the gun taped between
      her breasts. All of the A team members were carrying.

      "No, you're good. Jean wanted some of that body tape."

      "Me too," Kitty said. Storm handed her the tape. She was wearing a
      tiny gold Betsy Johnson dress. She hiked her leg up on to the
      countertop and John blinked at the expanse of leg it revealed. She
      pulled the spandex workout pants up and taped her gun to the inside
      of her thigh.

      "You look cute, Kit." Jubilee said. "If I'd have known you had that
      I'd have swiped it. It's almost yellow."

      "You look fine in black. Though I don't know where you're gonna carry
      your weapon."
      "Don't need one."

      Rogue looked at the clock. "Where the hell is everyone? It's almost
      time."

      The team was to rendezvous at one in the morning in the room Rogue,
      Kitty, and Jubilee shared for final "costume" touches.

      There was a knock on the door and Scott, Jean, and Bobby entered.
      Jean was wearing low-rise jeans and a red sequined top. Scott wore
      leather pants and a sheer black tee shirt. Bobby wasn't wearing a
      shirt at all.

      "'Bout time," Rogue said. She pulled her silvery top from its hanger
      and handed it to Bobby. It was too tight, but he left it open halfway
      down his chest and the look worked.

      Rogue shouldered a backpack containing first aid supplies, latex
      gloves, ammo, gas canisters, and body bags.

      Now that costumes were done, Scott took charge. "Pyro and Kitty,
      weapons?"

      Kitty lifted her skirt. John lifted his shirt. A revolver was tucked
      into the waist of his pants.

      "Okay. Any questions?"

      No one had any.

      "Any questions about the telepathic hub?"

      Still no questions. They were quiet. They all were either tense or
      focused.

      "Okay. Let's roll." It was the way he started all his missions, his
      homage to Todd Beamer.

      Despite the late hour Xavier saw them off. "You all look the part.
      Call me when you ID the perps and I'll give you directions."

      The Blackbird reached South Philadelphia in twenty minutes. It was
      ideal for landing. A Limp Bizkit concert had let out three hours ago,
      and the expanse of asphalt and stadiums and industrial plants was
      practically deserted. The only sign of life was a warehouse with
      broken windows and rust stains.

      Their intelligence told them that it was the biggest cell of the
      Humana Coalition, an organization composed of fine folks from the
      Aryan Brotherhood, the Ku Klux Klan, castoffs from the Friends of
      Humanity, with a few ex-cons thrown in for good measure. In the
      basement they were supposedly raping and torturing mutants. The upper
      levels were deserted during the day. But on this particular night
      there was a rave on the top floor.

      They infiltrated the building the same way as everyone else, by
      waiting in line and paying their twelve bucks to get in. No one was
      carding. There was no security to speak of except for one mohawked
      bouncer. Inside, colored lights danced through smoke. The air
      quivered in a rapid techno heartbeat.

      Kitty and Scott went first, then Storm. Rogue and Jean came in close
      behind them, and then Bobby, Jubilee, and John. Hank and Darla, the
      nurse, were standing by on the plane.
      The teams spread out looking for the stairway. The blueprints on file
      at the Philadelphia courthouse showed that it was behind the bar, but
      these things weren't always accurate.

      Jean was dancing, her top tossing sparks of light as she moved. Her
      eyes were closed and to any observer she was tripping out on some
      substance, but in reality she was the telepathic hub of all their
      communication, and she was focusing hard on all of it. Comm devices
      were too obvious, so both teams had trained for hours to be able to
      maintain telepathic thought flow in a combat situation. It took an
      enormous amount of effort to tune out the thoughts of those around
      her and to reach out to the X Men.

      Scott went into the bar and ordered a scotch. He surveyed the crowd,
      eyes darting behind the shades. He was in charge of this operation
      and he kept an eye on all of his people, especially Jean, and
      pretended to sip his Scotch.

      Jubilee: ~Found the stairway, just west of the bar. No security.~

      Cyclops: ~Blow it.~

      Jubilee made the door explode inward, one rapid explosion in a single
      beat of the song. Scott could feel the difference of that particular
      beat, a low vibration, but no one else noticed.

      Jubilee: ~Done.~

      Cyclops: ~Shadowcat, take point.~

      Shadowcat: ~Stairway secured.~

      Kitty crept down the stairs and phased momentarily through the wall.
      She saw one large room, once an assembly floor, with desks, wooden
      crates, and a huge copier that was spitting out anti-mutant
      propaganda. There were seven people doing mundane office duties, six
      men and one woman. One of them was talking on the phone.

      Shadowcat: ~Seven perps, six male, one female. Two doors on the left,
      one hallway, two hallways on the right. They haven`t spotted me.~

      Cyclops: ~Let's knock `em out.~

      Shadowcat: ~Stand by until she gets off the phone. We don't need to
      tip anyone off.~

      Cyclops: ~Copy, stand by. I want everybody but Jeannie on this
      stairwell, and I want Jubilee and Pyro up front behind us.~ Scott
      looked and ensured that everyone was there.

      Jean still danced, eyes still unfocused and trippy, heart pounding,
      able to reach and hold the thoughts of the whole group, without
      conscious thought of her own, but with great effort. Sweat was
      beading on her pale skin.

      Downstairs, Scott pulled out a canister the size of his fist.
      ~Shadowcat, you secure the first right hallway; if the blueprints are
      right there are more rooms that way. Pyro, go with. When it's secure,
      Cat, come back for perp ID.~ Kitty and Pyro nodded.

      ~Iceman, you secure the second right hallway. Jubilee, secure the
      left hall and behind those doors. Blow `em if necessary.~ They
      nodded. ~If anyone sees casualties, tell Rogue. Rogue, triage and
      evac. Pyro, Iceman, Jubilee, when your sectors are secure help Rogue
      with casualties. Storm, wipe the computers. I'll monitor the exits
      and secure the outer perimeter. Questions?~
      Everyone shook their heads no.

      Shadowcat: ~Okay, she's getting off the phone. Wait- go!~

      With one fluid motion Scott rolled canister under a desk. No one
      noticed it. When it discharged the hiss was lost in the noise from
      above. Scott ducked back behind the wall and Kitty watched while the
      six men and one woman became unconscious and fell to the floor.

      ~Move out.~

      At that moment a scream came from the first right corridor. Kitty and
      Pyro glanced at Scott, then ran out. The others moved stealthily to
      their sectors. Rogue moved down to the foot of the stairs, certain
      there would be casualties, ready to move. She pulled on a pair of
      latex gloves.

      Iceman: ~Second right hallway secure. Bathrooms secure.~

      Storm went to the first computer and thrust a CD into its drive,
      sucking out its data.

      Jubilee: ~Left hall secure, first door unlocked, an empty supply
      closet.~

      Cyclops: ~Kitty and Pyro?~

      Shadowcat: ~Long room with five cells. Three perps, two whipping a
      male. Five casualties.~

      Beast: ~Copy.~ In the Blackbird, Hank and Darla sprung into action,
      preparing gauze, sutures, syringes.

      Cyclops: ~Are you sure the third one is a perp?~

      Pyro: ~He's holding a gun.~

      Cyclops: ~Kill `em all.~

      Jubilee: ~Second door secure, broom closet.~

      Three shots rang out and Rogue jumped. Then, there was only the
      rhythmic thump from above.
      Pyro and Kitty simultaneously: ~All three terminated.~
      Rogue rushed in to rescue the casualties. She passed Kitty who was
      running to ID the rest in the main room. She quickly went from person
      to person in the main room and pulled out their wallets, obtained
      fingerprints, and photographed them. With a click of a button all
      seven photos were mailed to Xavier. The information would go into
      their intelligence files and be used in future missions, the
      fingerprints to be used in comparison to past crime scenes that
      Xavier was privately investigating.

      Rogue saw three women and two men, all in cages except for the man
      who was being whipped. They were screaming for help. They were
      bruised and cut and appeared dehydrated.

      Rogue: ~Shadowcat, these cells are locked, I need you.~

      Cyclops: ~Iceman, take over ID. Kitty, did you send photos?~

      Shadowcat: ~Sent, X is reviewing them.~

      Cyclops: ~Help Rogue.~

      Shadowcat: ~I'm on it.~

      Rogue: ~Hank, elderly black male, mutant colorings, was just whipped,
      various freshly bleeding lacs to torso and extremities, bruise on
      head indicating old trauma, confused and disoriented, John, take him
      now.~ "You're gonna be okay, we're taking you someplace safe."

      Pyro: ~Copy.~

      Beast: ~Copy.~

      Cyclops: ~Stormy, computers?~

      Storm: ~Done.~ She tucked the CD into her bag.

      John ran through with the bleeding man.

      Rogue surveyed the casualties and Kitty pulled them, one by one,
      through their cells. The last woman was so weak she had to lift her
      up and carry her.

      Rogue: ~Anyone evac'ing casualties, put on latex gloves!~

      Rogue: ~Hank, Black male, mutant colorings, superficial lacerations
      to torso and extremities, bruise on head indicating old trauma, alert
      and oriented times three...~ The camera phone that Bobby was holding
      rang, he ran it over to Cyclops. "Hello?"

      "Kill them all," Xavier's voice was spotty.

      "Terminate all perps, copy. See you in a few." He hung up and
      pocketed the phone. He pulled out his own Glock and made seven
      rhythmic shots, in time with the beat.

      Cyclops: ~Jean, what's goin' on up there?~

      Jean: ~Business as usual, no police.~

      Rogue: ~Hank, White female, lacs on arms and torso, contusions on
      head, appears to be bleeding rectally, red sclera...~

      Beast: ~Copy.~

      Rogue: ~Hank, Black female, approx 60, contusions to head,
      disoriented and too weak to stand, tachycardic, pupils equal and
      round, needs to be carried...~

      Iceman: ~ID and prints complete on perps.~

      Cyclops: ~Help Rogue with casualties.~

      Jubilee and Pyro each ran out with a wounded person. From where Storm
      stood she could see Darla helping them into the Bird.

      Rogue: ~White female, lacs and open sores on extremities, coherent
      and agitated, contusions all over.~ "It's okay. We're gonna help
      you."

      "I wanna go home."

      "We'll take you home, but you're getting medical treatment first!"
      ~Kitty, escort this chick out before I deck her.~

      Beast: ~Any more casualties, Rogue?~

      Rogue: ~No. Oh Jeez. We've got bodies.~

      Cyclops: ~How many?~

      Rogue: ~Looks like three.~

      Cyclops: ~Whoever has body bags, help Rogue, bring them out so their
      families have something to bury.~

      Down the hall, Rogue choked back the urge to vomit and was glad for
      her gloves. Storm came to her side with vinyl bags and together they
      worked.

      As they pulled each body a trail of fluid was left and the skin on
      one's foot nearly degloved. They worked quickly and efficiently,
      ignoring the maggots. They kept going even when the third body was
      only three feet tall and only took up half a body bag. A little girl.
      The others carried out the dead without being told.

      Cyclops: ~Who isn't at the back door?~

      Rogue: ~Rogue, carrying a body out.~

      Storm: ~Storm, same.~

      Cyclops: ~Jeannie, ready to blow this taco stand?~

      Jean: ~Copy. Approaching stairs.~

      Cyclops: ~Stairs secure.~

      Pyro: ~Back door secure, Blackbird visible, no company.~

      Cyclops: ~Anyone not at the door?~

      Silence, just the rhythmic thump from upstairs.

      Cyclops: ~Move out.~

      They ran single file to the Blackbird. Casualties were strapped into
      chairs that converted into bunks and the bodies were stowed
      underneath. Scott took the pilot's seat.

      Storm stayed at the bottom of the stairs to vomit. Rogue sat next to
      her and rubbed her back.
      Hank: ~He's seizing! Don't take off.~

      Cyclops: ~Copy.~ He shut down the engine. Bobby, Kitty, Remy, and
      John buckled themselves in.
      Cyclops: ~Ro and Rogue, where are you?~

      Rogue: ~Shh, I hear something...I think we missed one! I'm going
      back.~ She bolted back into the night.

      Cyclops: ~Storm, Kat, go with.~ "How's that man doing?"

      "He's in V-tach. If he starts seizing again we're up shit creek
      without the proverbial paddle!" Hank shouted.

      Storm and Kitty ran out to follow Rogue. She was running not toward
      the warehouse, but to a dark row of dumpsters. She wondered if it was
      Logan's residual hearing or just luck that let her hear the high weak
      cries.

      Rogue got there first. Gun ready, not waiting for Kitty, she peeked
      around the corner of the dumpster.

      ~Oh my god, it's a little girl!~

      In the jet, everyone stopped what they were doing and looked up.
      Storm and Kitty gasped.

      The child was crying. Old tears were drying on her chin and new ones
      were falling over reddened cheeks. A bruise was blooming angry and
      purple on her forehead.

      "Momma..." she sobbed weakly.

      Chapter 7 is up at novemberotica.com
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