Fic - The Currently Unnamed Project (Complete and Illustrate

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Fic - The Currently Unnamed Project (Complete and Illustrate

Post by SheCat » Thu May 20, 2004 1:20 am

Note to Zam - the sad fact is that I cant write anything that makes logical sense when I try to explain plans. So, I tend to leave them out to avoid incredible embarassment.

Chapter Seven - Synchronized Weeping

“Hello darkness, my old friend. I’ve come to talk with you again.” ~Art Garfunkel, Sound of Silence





There was no sleep that night. Kurt should have known there wouldn’t be any. How was it possible to sleep when the sobs in the middle of the night keep waking you up, then you realize they are your own?

Lorna. He was supposed to protect her. He was supposed to keep her safe, because she might as well have been family.

Fur sticky with tears, he wiped off his face for the eighth time that night. How could they trust him again? After he let one of them die?

Part of him was ready to kill MZ, to go in his room in the middle of the night and place hands around his neck and purge the air away like a poison. He needed to avenge Lorna, but how? When the other part of him was relieved that Tom had held him back, because MZ had been right?

There was a time when being proved wrong made him feel worthless. Now, it resurfaced. He was worthless. He was unable to protect those who mattered. As much use as a beaten animal.

Kurt gasped for air between his tears. Quiksilver had returned late that night, gone to bed without a word. He wasn’t sleeping either, but he’d be damned if he’d ever show anyone.

And everyone else just cried. Even Lucas Bishop wept, the monument cracked down the center.

Kurt didn’t even bother to wipe his face this time. He killed Lorna, he killed Lorna.

A family had gone from seven to six.




In the other room, the monster laid down his head but found no sleep.
"I throw de cards, de cards go BOOM! End of bad guy, end of story." -Gambit, X-Treme
"Everything I still want I just now prayed for." -Kreon, Antigone :cry
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"You act like I know what day of the week it is." ~Patchy
From the Strange and Twisted Mind of Emmy-Jay / Enter the Patchverse...:respectgambit

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Fic - The Currently Unnamed Project (Complete and Illustrate

Post by Lauren » Thu May 20, 2004 2:51 am

*sniffle* what are you doing to me, SheCat! you horrible horrible person! *sobs*
"I am known as Valentinez Alkalinella Xifax Sicidabohertz Gombigobilla Blue Stradivari Talentrent Pierre Andri Charton-Haymoss Ivanovici Baldeus George Doitzel Kaiser III. Don't hesitate to call." -Vash the Stampede


"No, you see I'm blind in my right eye now... So boring. You know what really makes me pissy? Grunge, Heroine chic, and dying are over. I so hate being behind the curve. Tourism's up." Brett(Alan Cumming) from Urbania

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Fic - The Currently Unnamed Project (Complete and Illustrate

Post by Saint Kurt » Thu May 20, 2004 6:38 pm

This is so short. But really really sad. *sniff*

I know what you mean about avoiding embarrassment... I'll have to forgive you since I do the same thing. :)

And I just realized you're in highschool which blows my effing mind. If I could write like this in highschool I'd have a pulitzer by now. Some folks have all the luck.

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Fic - The Currently Unnamed Project (Complete and Illustrate

Post by SheCat » Thu May 20, 2004 7:03 pm

Thanks, you guys! *kisses and hugs for all*

I'm so glad y'all like it. Unfortunately, the next fwe chapters are undergoing the editing from Hell...curse those action scenes! :P
"I throw de cards, de cards go BOOM! End of bad guy, end of story." -Gambit, X-Treme
"Everything I still want I just now prayed for." -Kreon, Antigone :cry
Viceroy of the Black Tom Appreciation Society
"You act like I know what day of the week it is." ~Patchy
From the Strange and Twisted Mind of Emmy-Jay / Enter the Patchverse...:respectgambit

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Fic - The Currently Unnamed Project (Complete and Illustrate

Post by SheCat » Tue Jun 01, 2004 5:38 pm

Chapter Eight - Sky’s Still Bleeding






“Why is it so hard to tell you what I want? Why can’t you just read my mind?” ~Alanis Morrissette, These Are the Thoughts

“Take another shot of courage.” ~The Eagles, Tequila Sunrise





He was avoiding her. And that bothered her.

Of course, she couldn’t let anyone know she was on edge. She kept on with her basic duties. Much to her chagrin, it was raining again. All that lovely snow was melting, but it seemed as cold as always.

Belle saw it in the mirror that morning. That fever in her eyes scared her.

The rumors ran like wildfire. This next raid, three days or so from now, was their turning point, Judgment Day or Armageddon, whatever they made of it. And she was warm, deep in her stomach and womb, with the yearning for it.

But Belladonna did not dare to hope until she was certain. She’d been let down too many times by the same words before. She was ready for the end to come, but she was not going to say whether it was actually going to happen.

The MFF team had kept her up all night. They had been more tight-knit than she’d thought. From the whispers and whimpers, she figured that they’d been too sheltered. They didn’t know that to survive they had to be absolutely ruthless.

She figured that they’d said something that upset MZ, and that was why he was avoiding her. He was still human, even if he was a mutant, or so she thought. Maybe there was nothing human left in him. Either way, if he needed some time, she’d let him have it, as long as she had an explanation afterwards.

What would he do when the war was over, if it ever was? What would anyone do? Return to normal and pretend they’d never taken lives? Hardly. Scars were irreversible.

The sky was bleeding. Belle hated the rain.





What had he sunk to? He’d killed a girl because her life was a threat. And when accused, he had defended himself. And still was defending himself, just by removing himself from their presence so they couldn’t stand and blame him anymore.

Three dead on a single mission, and some of his followers still thought he was their savior. Why didn’t they see he was leading them all into death?

There was nothing that had been accomplished. The factories still stood, still killed. He’d bought a few of them a taste of freedom, and then led them right back in to repeat the cycle. And they didn’t even realize it.

How could they be so blind? Why couldn’t they see him for the abomination he was?

Because he hid in the dark, where it was impossible to distinguish anything.

MZ reached for the glass of water on the table. His hand missed it and knocked it to the floor, where the droplets splattered all over the floor. He cursed loudly. Add perception to the things they’d stolen from him.

He hoped dearly that Kurt’s plan would work. If it did, then there would be a purpose. There would be the victory, and the bloodshed would be worth it all. Then it would be worth something besides his skewed ideals of vengeance.

And if it didn’t?

If it didn’t, it confirmed his worst fears.





For Kurt, sleep finally came out of the need to steal himself away from reality. It was a blissful, dreamless sleep, dark and quiet like a tomb. There were no beautiful, ethereal visions, no terrifying, translucent nightmares. An exhausted body found respite.

In sleep, there was no one to protect, to guilt to be laid upon anyone, no fingers to be pointed. It was when he was awake that he was going to die. There’d be no peaceful passing for him.

There was that unattainable possibility that this might be the last one for them, the blow that would cripple their foe. It wouldn’t free their kind everywhere, but it would save those he cared about and those nearby. And it was a step.

Then there was the much closer possibility that this was his last, but not for the same reason. For some reason, the idea of falling like a hero on the field made him feel ill. He couldn’t find anything beautiful in tasting blood in his throat, or in writhing in agony, or even in the numbness that might follow. He would rather die like a coward, instead of dying in pain.

He wanted to live to see his surrogate family grow and hopefully prosper. He wanted to be there for Tom’s possible wedding, to see Neena go to college, to see Quiksilver and Betsy grow and raise children, to see Lucas grow old and get friendly wrinkles. Would it be too hard to have mutants live normal lives without victimization?

It shouldn’t have been too much to ask.





“You okay?” Why did she even bother asking? Of course he wasn’t. She wasn’t either. No one was. A hard life had taken its toll on them.

Still pacing maniacally, he nodded. How long he’d been walking in circles around that couch, she didn’t know. She could see the wear and tear on the floor from years of neglect. A ring of scuffmarks and muddy shoeprints marked off a halo around the couch. He’d been pacing there for seven years, ever since he’d regained enough strength to walk. She ought to clean it, but the entire thing seemed futile. Besides, the halo of scuffs and prints was the only halo she’d ever earn. It filled her with a sense of possession. If it weren’t for me, he’d never be around to make that mark around my couch, in my house, thanks to me.

She sat on the headrest of the couch. That was his cue to stop and stand in the corner, leaning nonchalantly against the wall. It was a lie. Nonchalant didn’t exist for them.

Mechanically, she rummaged beneath the couch, where everything imaginable seemed to be stored (including the Marlboro’s without the M’s and the A’s). Equally unemotional, he sat on the other end of the couch. Still with a respective distance, even though she knew him in and out physically, every scar and bruise and cut.

She retrieved another pack of cigarettes, smashed it against her palm until a few crooked rewards came out. She also pulled out a blanket, grey-stained and old. A few black-brown spatters on it were a reminder to them of that one night, where she’d saved his life.

Debts unreturned. He looked away. The memory of sickly sweet, burning blood was still strong, after all that time. The recollections of that sweet, sweet plague, that tangy metallic sickness on the air, were still too powerful.

She wrapped herself up in it. It was cold, even inside. “Something happen between you and de German, what’s-his-face? Kurt or Karl or somethin’?”

“Kurt?” God, she hated those wraps. She could never tell what he was thinking. She had been an assassin, godammit! She was supposed to know people in and out!

“Yeah.” He finished, quietly, and she figured he was staring off into space, but who could tell?

Belle’s lip curled. One of those things she hated was ignorance. That, and the ever-present scent of sick, sweet, burning blood.

Even in saving a life, it never redeemed her, a blood-traitor to her own kind. God, she hated blood so much.





The “troops” had assembled, all in the room MZ resided in. About twenty strong, healthy mutants ready to win a war, plus Belle. The MFF team huddled in the corner, playing the defense. They were going to take orders from Lorna’s killer? That didn’t seem right to them.

Kurt, by contrast, was ready to assign orders to his team. He knew the plan forward and back. It was a brainchild of his, fragile and elusive, but his.

It irritated him that his team would be split. Tom and Betsy would be going with MZ. He didn’t argue. Still, it wasn’t the greatest morale booster for them, and it wasn’t like any of them put any faith whatsoever in the Cajun.

His job was to break as many mutants out of their cells as possible. MZ’s group was going to electronically link and then fry the security systems. From that point on, the goal was to create enough pandemonium to collapse a few buildings and take the humans hostage (though from the malicious glint in some of their eyes, it didn’t seem there’d be all that many hostages).

It sounded like a simple plan. It was anything but.

Belle, sitting on the couch next to MZ, bit her lip until it bled. Paige chewed on the ends of her hair and Neena picked at her lips. The entire room understood the stakes, and it made them nervous.

“If you don’t override their security systems, the rest of us will get killed.” Kurt stated.

MZ gave that fishhook smile. “Trust me.”

The entire idea of trusting him was almost laughable. After Lorna? Never.

“Two hours.” MZ gave them the warning and they dispersed.

Belle’s blood was the same color as her lipstick. It made her lips look like they were melting, a thin trickle of red candle wax conquering down her chin.

MZ turned to her. “Belle, if dis works, come out about an hour after de factories fall. Dey’ll still be out for human blood, most of ‘em.” He wiped the blood from her chin with his thumb.

“Right, O Fearless One.” There was no humor in her voice. “Be careful.”

He nodded, but she might as well have been trying to communicate with the dead. It didn’t matter what she said, he wouldn’t take her advice anyway.
"I throw de cards, de cards go BOOM! End of bad guy, end of story." -Gambit, X-Treme
"Everything I still want I just now prayed for." -Kreon, Antigone :cry
Viceroy of the Black Tom Appreciation Society
"You act like I know what day of the week it is." ~Patchy
From the Strange and Twisted Mind of Emmy-Jay / Enter the Patchverse...:respectgambit

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Fic - The Currently Unnamed Project (Complete and Illustrate

Post by SheCat » Wed Jun 02, 2004 5:44 pm

First illustration. Expect more. :) No Obvious Spoilers
"I throw de cards, de cards go BOOM! End of bad guy, end of story." -Gambit, X-Treme
"Everything I still want I just now prayed for." -Kreon, Antigone :cry
Viceroy of the Black Tom Appreciation Society
"You act like I know what day of the week it is." ~Patchy
From the Strange and Twisted Mind of Emmy-Jay / Enter the Patchverse...:respectgambit

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Fic - The Currently Unnamed Project (Complete and Illustrate

Post by Saint Kurt » Thu Jun 03, 2004 4:38 pm

Sorry I can't give a more indepth critique, but I'm really tired and keep falling asleep at the keyboard.

I like the art work a lot. It really helps establish the mood. Chapter 8 seems more like an aftermath/transition chapter so I look forward to what's going to come out of their plans.

I like the fact that you're illustrating these.

-e
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Fic - The Currently Unnamed Project (Complete and Illustrate

Post by Lauren » Fri Jun 04, 2004 6:17 pm

oh this looks to be very interesting now! update right now and tell us how the mission goes dernit!
"I am known as Valentinez Alkalinella Xifax Sicidabohertz Gombigobilla Blue Stradivari Talentrent Pierre Andri Charton-Haymoss Ivanovici Baldeus George Doitzel Kaiser III. Don't hesitate to call." -Vash the Stampede


"No, you see I'm blind in my right eye now... So boring. You know what really makes me pissy? Grunge, Heroine chic, and dying are over. I so hate being behind the curve. Tourism's up." Brett(Alan Cumming) from Urbania

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Fic - The Currently Unnamed Project (Complete and Illustrate

Post by SheCat » Fri Jun 11, 2004 2:19 am

Chapter Nine - Poisons

AUTHORS NOTE - I couldnt copy and paste this large a chapter, so this is in two installments. Both are the same chapter, however.

"I cant love shot full of holes." ~Elton John, I Want Love

“Wouldn’t it be a shame if I realized how great I was five minutes before I died? I’d be filled with regrets before I took my last breath.” ~Alanis Morrissette, I Was Hoping





Kurt had made it into the building, along with his faction, but they still had to wait for the signal. They had to wait until the electrical systems were down before they made their move.

He didn’t know how much longer they’d have to wait.

Quiksilver tugged at Kurt’s tail. “Mr. Wagner? Do we go yet?”

“Shhh.” Further back, Neena shushed him.

“Not yet.”

Kurt felt his butterfly pulse in his neck. He prayed to God that there were no security guards anywhere nearby, nor any officers. It wasn’t the idea that terrified him; it was the waiting and wondering if something had possibly gone wrong.

He heard the whimpers behind the tarnished doors. He heard the cries. They took him back, back to where he was in the cell with a Veteran, afraid, traumatized. He shivered.

How much longer?

They had no clock, no watches, not even anyone who could tell the time. He figured that was a blessing. The ominous tick of the seconds-hand might have driven him insane. Wondering if their signal was the next second, or the next…

He shivered again. It was too cold in here. Way too cold. As quietly as he could, he sat and waited with his team.








They were in.

MZ, Tess, Piotr, Tom, Betsy, Paige and Alison were in. Now was the hard part. Navigate the halls and avoid being caught by anyone armed. Avoid tripping any alarms. They were going into the heart of the complex. Security was tight.

How long would it be before they were there?

A slight beep caused Paige to stop. “Did you hear some-“

Piotr’s huge voice boomed out. “Get down!”

That was when the gunshots started.




Quiksilver pulled on Kurt’s tail again. “I really think we should do this now.”

“Quiksilver, shut up!” He whispered fiercely. “We go when we get the signal!”

“But what if something went wrong?”

Neena put a hand on the young man’s shoulder in an unsuccessful attempt to comfort him. “Nothing we can do anyway.”





“Sapristi!”

MZ shouldered into Tess, knocking her off to the side and onto the ground. He cried out as he hit concrete. From that point on, he wasn’t certain of anything.

Gunshots, the grinding sound of shrapnel being torn off of walls, the high-pitched clink of bullets ricocheting off of Piotr’s body, screaming. He couldn’t tell what was going on, except that they’d made a mistake. The sharp, deep pain in his stomach told him he’d been hit, but he couldn’t tell how badly yet. He raised his head to see and was nearly hit in the face with a sharp shard of the wall.

There was the sound of an explosion. Then it was quiet.

Tom Cassidy stood in the center of the demolished hallway, streaming blood from a cut above his eye. At the other end of the hall, the demolished remains of cement walls were all that remained of their adversary. The sick, acidic smell of charred flesh and burning clothing was nausea-inducing. Piotr and Paige stood up.

“Tess!” MZ coughed out. It was an order, because it was not possible for that to be a question. Tess was the key. They needed Tess. Without her, the entire plan went downhill. “Tess!”

Tess stifled a moan as she rose, clutching her nearly obliterated shoulder. The red leaked through her fingers. Mentally, she took a roster.

“Tess, analysis.” MZ ordered. Panting, he put a hand to his stomach, where hot blood was staining his shirt. It didn’t hurt much - yet. He knew it would.

She took note of the blood, of erratic breathing, of broken bones and signs of hemorrhaging. “Medical attention is advised, sir.”

“Shit, Tess, I was talkin’ ‘bout dem.”

Alison was dead. Betsy had potentially fatal injuries. Tom had been hit by a barrage of shrapnel and MZ had a shot wound. Piotr and Paige were unharmed.

MZ wiped blood from his mouth. “Paige and Tom, get ‘em outta here. Piotr and Tess come wit’ me.” He flinched and sat up.

Paige carried Alison’s body. Tom glared a minute into nothingness, then helped Betsy and began to carry her. He didn’t need to be told to be careful. He’d just obliterated an attack squad. They’d come out of nowhere. It was a miracle they hadn’t all been decimated.

“Do you remember the way out?” Piotr asked. MZ winced as if the Russian’s voice was going to echo throughout the halls.

Paige nodded mutely.

Tess cast a wary glance down the hall. “Go now.”

They did.

“Ready for just de three of us?” MZ stood and nearly pitched forward. He placed a hand on the wall to steady himself. “God damn it!”

Tess didn’t offer to help, just walked down the trashed hall and watched for any other unseen dangers. Piotr offered a saucer sized hand, which MZ used as support. “Are you all right, sir?”

“Take a wild guess.” He spat blood onto the floor as if to prove the point. He was running the risk of shock, he knew it. He just couldnt give in when they were so close.

Tess gave the all-clear signal. She winced and wiped her stained glove off on the wall. “We have very little time before they come back here looking for why they just lost contact with a squad.”

MZ leaned on Piotr’s massive hip. “Den let’s get goin’.”





The Red Roof Diner was famous not for its good food, nor for its charm (of which it had very little), but for its convenience. Service was fast, if sloppy, and all six of the factories could be viewed from the east windows. Belle was waiting for the day when she could see them fall, or when she would be witness to flames creeping up their cold sides. As of yet, that day hadn’t come, but time didn’t force the little hope she had out of her.

She’d told herself that she was not going to expect anything. She’d told herself to be ready for those factories to still be standing at the end of the day. It didn’t keep her from looking out the window.

The usual poker game was happening at one of the tables. The men playing were reasonably sober, seeing that most of them had just arrived. In her younger years, she might have flirted with them, but now they didn’t interest her and she didn’t intrigue them. If they’d had any interest in her at all, they might have noticed her continuous return to the window.

They kept her busy. She thanked God that they kept her busy. She had less time to worry about the fate of the world and such. Instead, she kept occupied with remembering who wanted a daiquiri and who wanted tequila.

They were still there when she looked out the window. She didn’t allow herself to sigh because she wasn’t supposed to expect anything.

“Today now, huh?” One of the poker players barked at her. She rushed over and passed out a third round of drinks.

A man with a thick red beard eyed her suspiciously. “What’s so interestin’ outside?”

Belle blew it off. “I was wonderin’ if it would rain again.” She said simply.

Walking back, she kept her eyes firmly on the floor.





MZ stopped and leaned heavily against the wall. Piotr signaled to Tess.

Their leader gasped for breath and placed a hand to his wound, where the hot blood was still streaming and sucking all the warmth from his body. He moaned, not out of pain but from frustration. He’d been shot before; they’d just never done this much damage. It all depended where the bullet hit.

“Sir?” Piotr asked. “Can you continue?”

“Gimme a second.” He suddenly coughed and vomited blood onto his chest.

Tess glanced nervously down the hallway. “We can’t delay.”

MZ nodded, but didn’t move. He was amazed he was still upright. It seemed that the strength had been removed from his legs and had running out with the hot blood.

“Piotr.” Tess cocked her head at him. The Russian knew what to do. Gently as possible, he scooped their injured leader into his huge arms. MZ opened his mouth to protest, but the stern look on Tess’s face told him that he’d surrendered his authority.

“We’re not that far.” She reassured him. He grimaced. Piotr and Tess walked on.





Kurt and Lucas were on the verge of breaking formation and investigating. They hadn’t been given an exact timeframe, but this seemed to be too long by any amount. Neena and Quiksilver were getting impatient, and the longer they stayed the more likely the night-watch would catch them.

He kept praying that the signal would come before he did anything drastic. He didn’t want to think about how long it might be before anyone sinister came.

Tail whipping across the floor, he paced as softly as he could up and down. It wasn’t his intent to look nervous, but staying still wasn’t helping his nerves. The compound sector of the factories had less security systems, so he walked half the length of the hall before turning back.

Quiksilver was about to pull Kurt’s tail again when he hissed, “When we get the signal, okay? Now shut up and leave my tail alone.”

Quiksilver looked hurt and traced his finger across the floor.





There was a reason to bringing Tess. She, the mutant with a computer’s mind, was also the ultimate code breaker. Her fingers flew across the console and alarm system pad. She didn’t react when they opened for her, nor when they reset.

“I’ll need to hack into their electronic network too, Piotr. Leave him here and I’ll take care of him. You can incapacitate anyone in there, correct?”

Laying MZ gently on the ground, he nodded. Tess continued cracking the passwords and codes that encrypted the command room. Piotr cracked his knuckles in anticipation.

Tess paused before hitting the last button. “Are you prepared?”

“Da.”

The door opened.

From what she heard, there had been workers in the room. Piotr was making sure they no longer existed. The sound she recognized as a chair connecting with a wall ended the racket and Piotr poked his head out of the room. “All clear, Tess.”

Piotr carried MZ into the room, where Tess proceeded to jump to the first console and type in the codes they’d acquired on their last mission. “Keep him talking. We need him to overload the system.”

That all I’m good for? Overloading systems? MZ tried to focus. Too much blood loss. Funny. It didn’t hurt five minutes ago.

“Keep him talking, Piotr.” Tess changed to the next console and tried it.

Piotr helped the Cajun to sit propped against a wall. He felt so weak, and it irritated him. He didn’t want to be helpless.

Piotr kneeled in front of him. He still was at least four feet higher. “You know I came from Russia?”

MZ gave a moan that Piotr interpreted as pain. He’d heard this story every time Piotr was told to keep someone talking. Why didn’t they just kill him now and put him out of his misery? “Oui, Piotr, I know.”

“And where did you come from?” Piotr acted like he was talking to a four year-old.

“Brazil.” The look of confusion on Piotr’s face was priceless.

Eyes wide, Piotr wondered where he had acquired that accent in Brazil. “Brazil?”

Some jokes were wasted on the ignorant. Feeling helpless made MZ cranky. “No, dipshit, Louisiana.”

Piotr looked injured. “If you are going to make fun of me, maybe I won’t keep you talking after all.”

“Fine by me.”

Tess glared at both of them. “Piotr, I’m almost done. Could you follow orders for once?”

Piotr turned back to MZ. “She says we have to talk.”

MZ spat out more blood. “Slave driver.”

If Tess heard, she didn’t show it. Piotr continued. “Are you feeling okay?”

“No.” He coughed and shuddered violently.

“Can I help?”

“Doubt it. Where’s Belle?” His voice got weak. His breathing came even faster.

Piotr looked over his shoulder. “Tess! Hurry!” He looked back at his leader, who reminded him more of a broken toy than of a savior. “Belle’s not here.”

MZ mouthed the letter ‘O’, but no sound came out. Another coughing fit left red flecks on Piotr’s shiny metallic face.

“Tess!” Piotr called desperately. MZ turned and retched.

Tess’s eyes flashed triumphantly. “All security systems disabled and all databases electronically linked!” She jumped from her seat and over to her two companions. A quick overview told her more than she needed to know on the Cajun’s condition. “Piotr, get him over here.”

She indicated to what looked like a large, cylindrical refrigerator, with wires running from it like life-supporting tubes, or hangman’s nooses. Small, blinking green lights told them it was on. A generator, now connected to several electrical systems.

MZ used the wall to stand. A sudden burst of energy came from indignation and pride. He didn’t want to be helped.

“I can do it.” He said weakly, stumbling forward without the Russian. His hand came to rest on the machine’s side. It was even colder than he was. It made him feverish. He hit his knees, basking in the sweet freezing sense it gave him. He didn’t even seem to notice he was choking on his own blood.

Tess went back to the computer consoles. “Overload the system.”

Overload the system? What does that mean again? Oh, that… MZ leaned his entire body against the machine and began the process. In science, it was his mutation kinetically rearranging molecules and releasing explosively unstable atoms. In the language they used, it was ‘charging’ things.

Piotr watched in awe as man and machine began to glow, then the hangman’s wires shot through with energy. He wiped his hero’s blood from his face. Tess regulated the electrical flow between the five factories. Her shoulder throbbed.

Tess watched and prayed to the God she didn’t believe in.





Kurt believed that time was relative. It had to be. They couldn’t have possibly been in there three hours; it only felt like that.

If MZ’s faction didn’t finish their job in time, they’d all be dead. And Kurt didn’t want that to happen, obviously. But how long would it be? How much goddamn longer? His feet were sore from pacing. Maybe that was all psychological. Maybe he’d only gone down that hall five times and not fifty-six, like he’d counted. How much longer till the night watch? How much longer until they ran out of time?

Fifty-seven. Back and down the hall fifty-seven times.

Neena was playing with her shoe, Quiksilver with the dirt on the floor, Lucas was remaining stoic. Their anxiety was warm on their breath, their fear quick in their eyes. They could still hear the cries and screams from further down the halls.

Fifty-eight. Fifty-nine.

Sixty.





He didn’t want them to die.

No, MZ didn’t want the factory workers to die. He wanted his gang to mutilate them and leave them in the rain. He wanted them to feel the blood on their face, in their throat, their backs and their chests and their arms and legs. He wanted them to be defiled, insulted beyond injury, dying but still alive in the mud and rain. He wanted them to have everything - every last goddamn thing - stripped away from them except for their lives.

And then he wanted them to crawl, torn and bruised and living only because the idea of death scared them, and he wanted them to live. He wanted them to land in a debt they couldn’t repay. He wanted them to sleep every night and never rest. He wanted them to hide in the dark and fear the light. He wanted them to wake up every morning screaming and lay down every evening in tears. He wanted them to be dependant, pitiful, beaten, broken, defeated wrecks, trapped inside their withered selves.

And then, after too many long years were spent like that, then they could die and go to Hell.

Charging let him think clearly, like purging a poison temporarily from him. It was what he had to do, and then his task was over. It didn’t take long. He’d known how to charge since childhood. This was no different.

The lights flickered and went out. Tess turned on her flashlight and Piotr cheered quietly. Their job was over. Now it was to get out, hopefully alive, and hope the other teams were as successful.

MZ smiled even as the blood, sweet poison, continued to flow out of him. Behind the glasses, his eyelid fluttered. He stared bemusedly, down at the floor.

Piotr scooped him into his arms as gently as possible. It didn’t stop MZ from gasping in pain. Tess shook her head sadly at the behemoth Russian, but he didn’t pay any attention to her. He wouldn’t accept it until there was no other option.

MZ would have thanked Piotr if he had been able to speak at that moment, but his tongue was too heavy to bother with. Instead, he watched the poison be extracted, slowly, but nevertheless, it was being removed and he didn’t have the energy to complain. The poison was being purged.





The lights near Kurt suddenly shut off. His breath came fast. The signal had come! Relief and a new wave of fear clashed in his tired brain, but he knew his part now. He turned to teleport back to his group for the eighty-sixth time.

Quicksilver was already ahead of him. The speedster leapt to his feet and darted down the hall and into another hallway, where security systems had previously forbidden it. He called to Neena and Lucas to follow as Kurt jaunted to his side.

The thrill of potential victory washed over them, and the four tore down the halls and never even stopped to think about the unconscious bodies of the two guards who had been in the way. All of them slid into the control room, where Lucas proceeded to take control of the room over two technicians. They were still trying to figure out what had happened to the power when Lucas’ large fists met their jaws.

Neena sat herself down at one console. Kurt sat at the next, while Quiksilver tied up the technicians and Lucas, as always, kept guard. “When we turn on the emergency fuse, we get approximately two minutes to unlock every cell in this compound. Then we run out of power for good.” Neena stated as she pushed her hair behind her ears. In the light of victory, Kurt noticed that she was rather attractive. Darkness hadn’t done much for her.

Kurt nodded and hoped he’d gotten his instructions correct. Quiksilver slammed the fuse in and prayed that it worked. A second later, the lights in the room, but not outside, flickered back on.

“Damn. We must look like a fuckin’ beacon.” Quiksilver stated as he looked at the darkness out the door.

Kurt shushed the white-haired boy. He realized that too. The guards would be swarming them in minutes, so he punched the code on the computer.

Incorrect Password.

“Shit!” Kurt slammed his hand at the side of the console, making a coffee cup slosh over. “Verdammt piece of fucking shit!”

Neena looked desperately at the screen and typed in another password. No luck. She tried again.

Loading your personal settings.

Kurt looked at Neena in a mixture of awe and confusion. “How did you do that?”

She shrugged as she worked at her console. “Just a lucky guess.” She punched in more numbers. “Quiksilver and Lucas, the cells on that block are open. Get the inhibitor collars off the mutants and set ‘em loose!”

Kurt finished his set of data as well. “Both blocks are opened. Lucas, blast that fuse.”

A flash of light and the fuse was reduced to a piece of smoldering electronics, along with the computer consoles. Quiksilver darted down the halls in search of something he could use to pry open collars. Lucas used his energy emissions. Neena and Kurt grabbed some guards’ guns and prepared to use them against the fate that was inevitably awaiting them.





“What the hell?” One of her customers looked out the window and gawked at the factories. “It looks like the power just went out!”

One woman at the table rushed up to see for herself. “That’s not right!”

The first man stared at her like she was stupid. “Like hell it aint.”

“Look, the power just went on in that one!”

“They must have things under - aw, damn, there it goes again!”

Belladonna had to rush to the back for some more drinks to avoid being seen with an insolent smirk on her face. She knew that the power outage was one factor among many, but it did tell her that MZ was still alive. And it did tell her that they hadn’t failed yet. By the window, no less than five of the off-duty factory workers gazed at the black monuments that were their careers and for the first time in a while, felt fear.

“It’s gotta be those renegade mutants again.”

Another voice, another comment. “I thought we creamed them last time.”

Opinions flew like leaves on the wind. “Why can’t they all just shut up and die?” “They killed my sister and daughter when a gas station blew up.” “Genetic freaks.” “You should have seen what they’ve done to Jose; it was awful.” “What’s going to happen to the factories?” “What’s going to happen to our jobs? What about our families?” “Why don’t they ever just stop trying to make our lives miserable?”

Belladonna kept a morose face as she collected her tab. She was with her kin, and she was their traitor. And she didn’t care.





The first few mutants took a while to free. Lucas was afraid to use any blasts against the collars for fear of hurting their captives and Quiksilver had nothing but his hands. Still, Lucas slowly melted the collars and Quiksilver scratched at one with a knife until it opened for him. After about twelve had been freed, one used his regained magnetic powers to do the rest.

By then, though, the guards were everywhere. Terrified and newly freed mutants bolted and ran into the ranks of their enemy. Others sat, petrified, and more fought with each other to escape. Kurt and Neena were doing their best to avoid being shot and lead the captives to safety. Quiksilver and Lucas were trying to hold off the enemy.

Quiksilver was armed with a buck-knife. Their shots were too slow to catch him, and he raced around. In a time long past he’d slashed hands and fingers, sliced the barrels off guns, stabbed his foe in the feet, but today he was aiming for the face, the torso and the throat. The bastards had killed Lorna. They’d taken away his best friend in the world. His goal had moved from incapacitate to murder, and he didn’t care in the least.

Lucas Bishop had been blasting a section of the hallway to rubble, creating a very convenient makeshift door. The humans were using tranquilizers right now. Screaming, newly released refugees struggled to get out and into freedom.

Kurt and Neena had stopped helping them out and were now fighting for their lives, realizing that they’d relied on the freed mutants to fight as well. Suddenly, the idea of having a force in the hundreds dwindled to four.

That was when some of the stronger captives turned around and fought. The hall was filled with human and mutant alike, in such close quarters that automated weapons and energy blasts were useless, and it became a sole battle of hand-to-hand. The few who could sniped from the side.

Neena was down but fighting, using her feet to keep people off her as she struggled to avoid being trampled. Kurt had been shot in the right hand, and was now teleporting in and out of the center of the fray. Lucas had a significant advantage over anyone unarmed, battling with his immense strength and height. Quiksilver was useless, unable to attack and retreat in the confines. He hated being so pointless. Now was his personal chance for revenge.

Quiksilver cast a glance out the hole in the wall and hoped the electric fence had been disabled. A black tide of mutants was rushing to it, ready to climb and escape. Their pathetic bodies were framed by the cold moonlight.





MZ was terrified. He knew it was coming. But he didn’t want to die.

Thanks to his shades, no one saw the pained tears seeping into the wraps on his cheeks. He gritted his teeth in agony. How could it have happened that way? He was going to die without seeing the end of the war, his war, that he’d fought all these years. It was the greatest of injustices and he was powerless to stop it. His war.

The Russian’s voice, talking gently and monosyllabically, kept him focused. It was his lifeline. By contrast, his footsteps jolted the Cajun to keep him in constant pain. He couldn’t have cried out if he had wanted to. The blood wasn’t hot anymore, just cold and slithering down his body and down Piotr’s, to land in tiny beads on the floor. All the warmth was gone from him, and Piotr’s metallic body gave no heat. He panted desperately, hoping vainly that each breath would bring the slightest warmth. No such luck.

His war. He’d been waiting for so long, and then he would barely miss it. There was no justice. No justice to him, to the people that died, to the ones he’d killed and the ones who had died at his command, to those who gave everything. No death in battle against impossible odds, no last war cry, just dying in safety after the danger was gone. He’d been cheated. And he’d never even get to know the white-streaked girl’s name, or see Belle again.

Someone had once said, in some long-lost past life, that he’d had a way with women, but he’d leave them without a trace. It seemed true.

He didn’t want to die. He didn’t want it to be his turn. Strange, for someone who gave the order on a single breath, he couldn’t take it when someone else decided it.

MZ breathed deeply. The venom was purged, he was cleansed, the rest of the world purified. The poison was no longer a part of it.

“We’re out, sir.” Piotr said quietly, laying the bloody man down on the dirt in a small alley. Tess panted heavily and wrapped her shoulder with Piotr’s sleeves, which she had ungraciously torn off. They had done their part. There were no guarantees of what happened next, but they hadn’t failed.

Tess looked away in shame. Piotr wiped his forehead. “Sir? Sir, we’re safe now.”

MZ was no longer listening.

...

...

The pandemonium in the halls had moved out onto the muddy fields. The electrical fence had not been shut off; mutants blasted holes into it and tore each other to pieces trying to get out. The humans had taken posts. There were more shooting from windows than from the ground now.

Quiksilver wiped dirt from his brow. It was useless trying to help everybody at the same time. He still raced around anyway, helping women and children out and supporting the injured. He knew he needed to get as many out as possible.

Elsewhere, Neena and Kurt had organized a group of mutants. All were ready to shoot down the building when they received the order.

Kurt hadn’t originally intended to kill so many humans. He hadn’t intended to cause any death by himself, but caught up in the frenzy he had. He was stained again. He’d never relished taking lives, even in revenge, and now he had done it again.

Another faction of MZ’s gang seemingly had no guilt. They ravaged, maimed, obliterated, destroyed without blinking. Humans were savaged by mental assaults, ripped by fangs and claws, torn apart limb by limb by strength greater than their own. A few weren’t even killing, just mutilating the faces of their opponent like some strange ritual, a tribute to their leader.

Kurt teleported throughout the building to check for anyone remaining. When he was sure as many people were out as were going to ever be, he returned to Neena and their group. “Fire at will!”

Several energy beams and blasts of varying strength and color shot into the factory. The building shuddered. Another round and it started to lean. From that point on, the jackhammer blows of the shots pushed it deep into the ground. Dust rose and cement was reduced to powder. Their attention was turned to the next building, then the next. By the time their work was done, there weren’t any humans around to resist them.

Kurt turned to the east. The sun was starting to rise. Everywhere, mutants were calming down. A few finished off the groaning forms of their adversaries. More were dealing with the law enforcers and fire trucks that came around. Most were beyond the fence, but not traveling any further. They were waiting; the taste of freedom rich on their tongues, waiting for some answers and commands.

“They want you to talk, Kurt.” Neena shoved him onto a slight jut of rocks. He stumbled forward, and hundreds of pairs of eyes turned to him. Expectantly. He looked at Neena nervously.

“My…” What was he supposed to say to his people now? What were they supposed to do? What did they want to hear? “My fellow mutant brothers and sisters-“

A loud cheer cut him off. He started again. “My fellow mutant brothers and sisters, I am from the Mutant Freedom Front, and today we have won a war.” More cheers. “Today we made a stand against the cruelty that has been displayed against us…”

He turned back to Neena. “What now?” He whispered.

“Tell them to stay and organize.” She prodded him back up onto the rocks.

“We hope to someday have justice for all that has been done.” More cheers. “First, we have to organize. Anyone who can create psionic shields needs to block off this entire section of New Orleans. Everyone else, stay here.” The ensuing chaos drowned his next orders out. He stood in shock. They were listening to him. Why?

Kurt got down, looking around for his team. Tom carried Betsy’s corpse to Kurt, tears in his dark eyes.

A few telekinetics created a psionic shield around the area. Some more cleaned the area of bodies. The others paced around, still anxious, finding old friends and family and learning about the deaths of their dear ones, mingling like sand and wine.

Quiksilver walked up to him sadly. The bloodied rage was gone, replaced with just more hollowness. “Lucas died, Mr. Wagner. We just found his body.”

Kurt sighed. The war was won at a cost. “Danke, Quiksilver.”

Several looked at him in awe as he climbed back onto the rocks, ready to say more.

“My friends, today is a day for reveling, but also for sorrow. In this war we have fought, countless lives were lost. Dear friends and family gave their lives to the cause. We can’t forget them.” He raised a clenched fist. “This is for departed friends!”

The crowd echoed him. “This is for departed friends.”

Kurt didn’t cry until he was off the rocks and hidden from sight.




Belle didn’t let her excitement get to her when she saw the factories fall. She didn’t grin until her customers had all rushed out. She knew better than to follow them. As MZ had told her, many of the refugees were still out for human blood.

Nobody was in the Red Roof Diner anymore. She shouldered a pack of food and headed for her home, where she’d be meeting some of the children and elders to spread the news. She couldn’t look too conspicuous. She had to act panicked and frightened as she cut through the back of the building, just in case.

They’d done it; they’d finally done it!

She and MZ had made plans, just-in-case plans, if it were to ever happen. She knew that if they had any mutant who could create some type of shield, they could live quite prosperously for a few years on the old factory land. It wouldn’t be easy; they’d have to start an entire civilization, but then again, they had won a war from an abandoned house. Anything was possible.





Everywhere, his people were greeting him and cheering for him, their Messiah, their Moses, The Liberator. He’d saved them.

Kurt was a deity among them now. The MFF was legend. And more importantly, they were finally free here. Not all over the world, but for these hundreds of mutants, that made all the difference.

He took a roster. From his team, Lucas and Betsy had lost their lives. From MZ’s gang, he recognized at least five who hadn’t survived. It was more than they’d expected, but nothing surprising. They were, after all, just names and numbers now.

Just names and numbers. That’s what everyone was in the end. He fought back tears again. He wasn’t supposed to cry in front of his people, not when he was their leader.
"I throw de cards, de cards go BOOM! End of bad guy, end of story." -Gambit, X-Treme
"Everything I still want I just now prayed for." -Kreon, Antigone :cry
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"You act like I know what day of the week it is." ~Patchy
From the Strange and Twisted Mind of Emmy-Jay / Enter the Patchverse...:respectgambit

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Fic - The Currently Unnamed Project (Complete and Illustrate

Post by SheCat » Fri Jun 11, 2004 2:21 am

Over an hour had passed. The troop of elders and children followed Belle through the alleyways, to a new, legendary place protected by a glowing green bubble. Their haven.

Belle felt her breath quicken. She couldn’t believe it. After all those years, all those long, long years.

A figure stepped out of the shadows. Belle started and grabbed her gun. The elderly woman carrying Lisa Charly nearly dropped the babe. The others prepared to use what power they had until the form moved into the light. It was a harsh light that lit up the lines under Tess’s eyes and the creases that ran from her nose to the corners of her mouth.

Belle dropped her gun-wielding hand to her side. “Tess, thank God it’s you.”

Tess motioned for Belle to come over. The rest of her train started to come too, but a quick wave from her hand told them to stay put. Lisa Charly whimpered and the woman holding her cooed.

As soon as they were out of earshot, Tess pulled Belle close by the older woman’s collar. The blonde opened her mouth to object to the sudden movement, but Tess’s urgent eyes made the Cajun’s stay quiet.

“Belladonna,” Belle rolled her eyes discreetly at her full name. “We don’t know what to do. Piotr’s in a panic-“

The distancing glaze of fear swept over Belle’s eyes. “Where’s MZ?”

Tess had no subtlety. “He’s dead.”

Belle’s eyebrows lifted in disbelief. “Show me.”

Tess grabbed Belle’s sleeve and dragged her to the corner of another alleyway. A kneeling Piotr was holding the pitiful remains of a man in his arms, looking around helplessly. Belle felt her stomach turn cold.

“Belle, what do we do?” Piotr asked in a voice far too high pitched for him. “What do we do?”

She crouched down and held her hand over his slightly open mouth as one would to a flame, hoping for the sign of some exhalation. None. Her hand wandered down to the blood on his body and touched it. Her hand came away wet and crimson red. The same sweet, burning blood she’d felt eight years ago. “Do what you’d do t’ anyone else. Take him home, wrap him in somet’ing and burn ‘im.”

She sighed from the back of her throat, not her body. Her face showed no grief, just a slight curve at her eyelids showed - disappointment? Defeat? Regret? Relief? There was no love lost between them. War bred different bonds - trust and dependency, debt and respect. Not love or friendship. “There’s a lighter under de couch and some vegetable oil in the kitchen. Set him on fire wit’ a cigarette; he’d love dat.” She remarked dryly.

Piotr looked surprised. Wasn’t this man their hero, who deserved utmost respect and led them through the dark times? Anyone could have led them in the bright times, but didn’t their beacon deserve more than getting wrapped in a blanket and set on fire?

Belle glared. “Just do it, Piotr.” Tess nodded in agreement and faded into the darkness again. Belladonna could swear that sunlight never hit that woman. Piotr still looked confused and almost angry, but stood and carried his burden with him.

Belle bit her lips again. She could feel the crack where they had bled earlier.



...



They did what Belle had said. Sitting in the mud behind the abandoned house, they set the body and the blanket he was wrapped in on fire. Tess waved the cigarette out. Piotr looked on. In his humongous hands were some face wraps and a pair of sunglasses.

They looked so small in his hands. He remembered taking them off the body, holding back a gasp at the mutilated face - no, he was too trusting to ever expect that they were for more than just hiding an identity. Tess had been unwavering. She didn’t seem to have any emotions about anything.

The tendrils of black smoke reached up to the gray sky, marring and ugly, a darker version of an already dark surrounding.





Kurt was trying to organize as best he could. It proved to be an incredibly difficult thing. He tried putting families together and getting them to set up small camps. Small search groups went out for supplies. The rest seemed to mill around pointlessly and not listen to him.

“We’re going to have to start by farming. But first, we need to set up some shelters. We need to organize!” His cries seemed to fall on deaf ears. He didn’t blame them. Why listen when all he wanted to do was break down and kiss the mud at his feet?

In the distance, coming from near the psionic wall, he saw a flag. The letters MZ were written across it, and it was apparently coming towards him. Upon closer look, he saw Belle pushing her way through the crowd while someone he didn’t recognize carried the banner. She had an easy time picking her way over the bodies. Once an assassin, always an assassin.

It took them a while to reach the pile of rocks. After pushing a multitude of people out of her way, she clambered up onto the rocks with Kurt. He noticed a striking bruise across her eye.

“Belle, you…”

She snapped at him as one of her cohorts passed the flag up to her. “Dat’s Miz Belle t’ you, and apparently you didn’t tell your people dat a certain human could enter widdout a fist fight.” She scowled.

Kurt flushed angrily. Who was she to talk down to him? Not now, not when they’d just won and died in the same day. “Nice flag.” He said sarcastically.

She either didn’t get his sarcasm or just plain ignored it. “It’s a sign dey recognize.”

“Where is he, anyway?” Kurt prodded. He was torn apart by too many emotions to have much respect for her right now.

“Dead.” Kurt’s eyes widened in shock and regret. Proud and distant, Belle stood up and lifted the flag high, waving its white, yellow and red glory high. Everywhere, the mutants turned to look at her and her banner.

“Mutants everywhere!” She boomed with a voice that was much louder than he’d ever expect from her. “We may have won de war, but what happens next?” She gave them time to talk. “We have to be more den just living out of the mud and dirt! We have to rise up and build somethin’ outta it!!”

They all watched her and the still waving flag as she commanded them. The letters of a dead hero caught the wind and billowed out for all to see.
"I throw de cards, de cards go BOOM! End of bad guy, end of story." -Gambit, X-Treme
"Everything I still want I just now prayed for." -Kreon, Antigone :cry
Viceroy of the Black Tom Appreciation Society
"You act like I know what day of the week it is." ~Patchy
From the Strange and Twisted Mind of Emmy-Jay / Enter the Patchverse...:respectgambit

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Fic - The Currently Unnamed Project (Complete and Illustrate

Post by SheCat » Fri Jun 11, 2004 2:24 am

Illustration

Spoilers! Definite spoilers in both image and description.

Chapter Nine Illustration
"I throw de cards, de cards go BOOM! End of bad guy, end of story." -Gambit, X-Treme
"Everything I still want I just now prayed for." -Kreon, Antigone :cry
Viceroy of the Black Tom Appreciation Society
"You act like I know what day of the week it is." ~Patchy
From the Strange and Twisted Mind of Emmy-Jay / Enter the Patchverse...:respectgambit

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Fic - The Currently Unnamed Project (Complete and Illustrated)

Post by SheCat » Sat Jul 10, 2004 2:42 am

Chapter 10 - No Tears

“Your candles burned out long before your legend ever will.” ~Elton John, Candle in the Wind





19 years later…





Belladonna Boudreaux, age 62 (but only 54 if you asked her), had been shot on three separate occasions, had been the target of at least seven different assassination attempts, and was currently speaking in front of the United States Senate. She was on the hit list of humans and mutants alike, was a traitor to her kind, and was a representative for her foes.

It was little wonder she was nervous.

Thanks to eleven years of public speaking, she could speak without an accent. Thanks to her race, she had become the spokesperson for Mutant-Human Relations. And thanks to a lifetime of pain and hopelessness, she wasn’t expecting anything from them either.

Either way, she was caught in a losing battle. If her proposal was accepted, she and the freed mutants would end up living an entirely new life halfway across the world. If not, they’d be expecting genetic warfare on all fronts. She preferred to choose the lesser of two evils.

“Thank you, Miss Boudreaux. The Genosha proposal will have its case in two weeks.”





She still had that magic touch. While most of the senators, spokespersons and representatives were getting harassed by eager news reporters, she’d managed to slip out uneventfully.

A woman with fiery red hair and a tattoo over one side of her face was waiting in the red car outside. The tinted windows were rolled up, so Belle only saw her silhouette. She did, however, recognize the license plate - NMEMRY. “In Memory”, in memory of too many people.

Belle got in on the passenger’s side. “You shouldn’t be here.”

Smiling broadly, the redhead slammed her foot on the gas. Belle noticed the large gap in her teeth. With a pronounced Southern drawl, the redhead spoke. “Ya needed a ride, Tante Belle?”

“Guess I can’t refuse, since ya went to all dis trouble.” Belle reverted back to her natural dialect, much more comfortable. “You do know it’s illegal for mutants to be outside de Haven boundaries, Lisa Charly.”

Lisa Charly laughed. “Comin’ from an ex-convict, that’s funny, ma tante.”

She was so much like her mother, just a little wilder, a little less broken. She’d grown up in better times, albeit not that much easier. Her Cajun slang came from Belle, her accent from her uncle, her smile from her mother, and her temper from whatever hellcat had decided to possess her as a child.

“Where we goin’?” Belle asked as she ripped off her fancy shirt and resorted to a ratty T-shirt.

“Ah’m gonna visit Ma. You wanna come?” She said sadly.

Belle nodded. Paige had passed away a few years ago. “I have some people to visit too, den.”

“Who?” She asked, her eyes telling Belle that she needn’t answer if she didn’t want to.

“Old friends and family. Other people too.” Belle sighed.

Lisa Charly Guthrie nodded. Taking her foot off the gas just a little as she saw the green glow of the psionic shield, she changed the subject. “I read Mr. Wagner’s book.”

Belle changed her pants to jeans with holes in the knees. “You like it?”

“Is it all true?” She asked. Belle nodded. “Mon dieu.” The redhead whispered.

There was silence for the next few minutes as Lisa Charly concentrated on the road. Then she spoke plaintively. “I heard they want to ship us all away.”

Belle nodded. “To Genosha.”

“Where’s that?”

“Near Australia.”

Lisa’s eyes narrowed. “The fuck with them all! We’re doin’ just fine in the Haven!”

Belle looked away. She didn’t want to admit that it had been her idea to go to Genosha. By any standards, it was the safest thing for everyone. Many didn’t see it that way. Lisa Charly was a fine example. So was the Haven President himself. Of course, when had Belle and Kurt ever agreed on anything? They saw through different pairs of eyes.

Lisa Charly raised an offending finger out the window, but made sure to keep her tattooed face inside. The speeding car in front of her seemed to ignore her. “Get the fuck off the goddamn road, you jackass! There’s a such thing as a goddamn speed limit, you fucker!”

Belle grabbed the young woman’s hand and yanked it back inside the car. She changed the subject. “How’s Sam?”

Lisa Charly brightened up. “Oncle Sam’s fine! Damn nice harvest on his turf this year. He says that we might even sell some, if we have enough.”

Belle smiled. Funny what 19 years had done. The Haven had farms, markets, homes and small community centers. They had childcare and some law enforcement, safety drills and a fire station (which comprised largely of pyrokinetics). Though most was still under construction or not even on the drawing board, between super-powers and good organization, they had the makings of a city.

“But ever since that one girl got raped next door, he’s been worried sick about mah well-bein’ and it’s drivin’ me crazy…says we need someone all powerful to govern us, since us mutants can do anything…” The young woman droned on and on.

They reached the gate at the Haven. The shield was no longer psionically made; it was now made by machinery, courtesy of a Native American mutant inventor.

A black woman with dirty blonde hair came up to their car as they stopped. She rapped her knuckles on the window.

Belle rolled it down. “Honestly, Shard, can’t y’ tell by de license plate already?”

Shard blushed. “Sorry, Miz Belle, but it’s my duty. Lee? That you?”

“Yup. And Shard, can’t ya just let us in already?” Lisa Charly tapped the steering wheel impatiently.

Shard hit a button on her walkie-talkie and the gates opened. “Have a nice day, you two.”

Lisa Charly winked and closed the windows.




All cemeteries were depressing, and this one was no exception. Everywhere, there seemed to be tombstones without graves, graves without names, and bare slabs of rock without name or body. The majority was because of the war. Lisa Charly was over in the fairly small corner of the ones who had died after. Tears in her eyes and flowers in her hand, she stood over a plain stone tombstone. At least this one had a name.

Belladonna walked by the rows. She knew too many names. Lisa Charly would hopefully never understand - Belle had lost her brother, husband, father, the rest of her family, then comrades and whatever MZ had counted as.

For what had started as a mass grave, it had been fixed up pretty nicely. Smooth stone, green grass, swaying cherry tree. Nothing too personal, just the way it should be. More universal, because everything died in the end.

Sha’ara…Braddock…LeBeau…Summers…Bishop… Blaire…

There was a long stretch of nameless tombstones there. She walked quietly, observing that these poor souls had no flowers, no stones, no letters, no photographs. Then there were names she didn’t know.

Lenscherr…Munroe…Pryde…Cameron…McCoy…

Her hands reached into her pockets. She recognized the shape of the rock in front of her. Another nameless one, though if anyone besides her knew who’s ashes lay there, there would definitely be a name. There’d never be a face to go with it, though.

She pulled out something wrapped in black cloth. Those were his. She’d found them, earlier that morning, where Piotr had left them in his house. She and Piotr talked sometimes. He was the only one who seemed capable of talking about the old days, and she was the only one who seemed able to listen. After all these years, he still had questions.

Laying it on the ground, she unfolded the cloth. A pair of sunglasses, a small bottle of balm. The cloth itself turned out to be the old face wraps. She wrapped them back up again and laid them by the edge of the tombstone. No name, no body. She stood up, waiting for Lisa Charly.

Better to be forgotten that to be remembered a lie.

“You ready t’ go, Tante Belle?” Lisa Charly asked, wiping her red eyes. She forced a weak smile.

“Yeah.” Belle took Lisa Charly’s hand and walked out with her. “Don’t you cry. I hate it when people cry.”

The redhead nodded and sniffed. When she got in the car, Belle took passenger’s seat and they drove off, back to Lisa Charly’s home with Oncle Sam. Belle grabbed a cigarette pack out of the glove compartment - Camel brand - and used her nails to scratch off the M and the A.

Lisa Charly looked over to see. “Why do you do that?”

Belle looked up, cigarette hanging lightly from the corner of her mouth. “Do what?”

“Scratch off the letters.”

Belle shrugged and relaxed, sticking her hand out the open window.

~End~
"I throw de cards, de cards go BOOM! End of bad guy, end of story." -Gambit, X-Treme
"Everything I still want I just now prayed for." -Kreon, Antigone :cry
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From the Strange and Twisted Mind of Emmy-Jay / Enter the Patchverse...:respectgambit

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Post by SheCat » Sat Jul 10, 2004 2:48 am

"I throw de cards, de cards go BOOM! End of bad guy, end of story." -Gambit, X-Treme
"Everything I still want I just now prayed for." -Kreon, Antigone :cry
Viceroy of the Black Tom Appreciation Society
"You act like I know what day of the week it is." ~Patchy
From the Strange and Twisted Mind of Emmy-Jay / Enter the Patchverse...:respectgambit

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Post by Lauren » Sun Jul 11, 2004 4:10 am

that was a bittersweet ending... but what happened to Kurt?
"I am known as Valentinez Alkalinella Xifax Sicidabohertz Gombigobilla Blue Stradivari Talentrent Pierre Andri Charton-Haymoss Ivanovici Baldeus George Doitzel Kaiser III. Don't hesitate to call." -Vash the Stampede


"No, you see I'm blind in my right eye now... So boring. You know what really makes me pissy? Grunge, Heroine chic, and dying are over. I so hate being behind the curve. Tourism's up." Brett(Alan Cumming) from Urbania

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Post by SheCat » Wed Jul 14, 2004 6:49 pm

He's the President. :D And he writes books! LOL.
"I throw de cards, de cards go BOOM! End of bad guy, end of story." -Gambit, X-Treme
"Everything I still want I just now prayed for." -Kreon, Antigone :cry
Viceroy of the Black Tom Appreciation Society
"You act like I know what day of the week it is." ~Patchy
From the Strange and Twisted Mind of Emmy-Jay / Enter the Patchverse...:respectgambit

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Post by Saint Kurt » Wed Jul 14, 2004 9:44 pm

I've got a lot of comments throughout so I'll give a more global review.

My favorite parts of this are the characterizations of the various mutants. You do an excellent job showing who everybody is and what drives them. I think Belle was the most effectively rendered of the bunch.

The descriptions of the mutants living evironments and the world they lived in was very good too - you definitely evoked the desolation of a hunted poeple in hiding. All and all, when dealing with the small mutant group and their plight, everything was handled with sensitivity and well detailed.

I supose my only complaint would be the lack of detail about how the rest of the world worked. I wouldn't have minded knowing more about why the mutants were in such a state and how it came to be that way. I also would have liked to know more about what went on in the factories and how the humans (besides Belle) thought about the treatment of mutants. A story like this has a lot of political and social commentary it can make - it's one of my favorite aspects of science fiction.

And I too, lost track of Kurt at the end. Other than seeing he had written a book, I wasn't sure what had happened to him.

I don't know if you go back and re-work your stories, but this one has so many good parts and so much potential to be even better. I would love to read a longer version that deals not only with MZ and Kurt and their fight, but also describes the world at large so we can see exactly what they're up against.

A tall order I know, but what I see here shows me you are definitely up to the job.

Good work and congratulations on finishing it. I know you must be very pleased.

-e
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Post by SheCat » Thu Jul 15, 2004 3:34 pm

Thanks, and I will be reworking it for ff.net. I'll try to work with what you're talking about - one of my major problems is that my villains turn out one-sided. Again, thank you. :)

Oh, before I forget - Lisa Charly Concept - Ignore the Shoes!
"I throw de cards, de cards go BOOM! End of bad guy, end of story." -Gambit, X-Treme
"Everything I still want I just now prayed for." -Kreon, Antigone :cry
Viceroy of the Black Tom Appreciation Society
"You act like I know what day of the week it is." ~Patchy
From the Strange and Twisted Mind of Emmy-Jay / Enter the Patchverse...:respectgambit

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