For the Children: Gotham

April 01, 2015:

X-23 and Phoenix go to Gotham to dissemble the mutant trafficking ring to Santa Prisca, and Fantomex volunteers to help. Everything is far worse than suspected.

Scene happens the same day as http://cmbeta.wikidot.com/log:176

Gotham harbor environs

Red Hook - Gotham

Between residential and the Gotham River's warehouse activity Red Hook is
a squalid smear of homes, low brick-like structures and storage facilities.
The location is surprisingly stable despite the rundown, crime ready look of
the landscape. With a steady influx of harbor work, the Warehouse District
is predominately controlled by the Irish Mob of Gotham, this whole area is
sometimes referred to as "The Cauldron" almost every business and
residential complexes in the Cauldron are owned by some criminal element or
another that has ties directly to the Irish crimelords of Gotham. The
Warehouse district stays busy, productive and secure keeping work in and out
of Gotham's western shores very active.

Renfield Heights is a giant tenement complex here that sprawls out along the
short stacked buildings, warehouses and structures. The Gotham Central
Terminal is also situated here. If you want to get to any location in Gotham
along the monorail the bes starting point is Red Hook.

Characters

NPCs: Hex, Sparky, Ghost and a large cast street thugs

Mentions:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

An outfit and look X thought she would never put on again, but Magneto said she had to look more youthful then she was, as they were not targetting older mutant kids it seemed, so she used his money.

Black boots bear heels, not the usual flat heavy soles, in fact these are heeled, laced until their end just below her knees where two straps and belts bind. Fishnets pick up where boots leave off riding high upon thighs until the garter clasps fall down over the front and backs of sinewed limbs, strips falling from benath the black leather laced mini-skirt. Abdomen, and in fact much of her is left bare save where strips of leather X over her chest and wrap around her back and over her shoulders in that weave-work, though not all can be seen of it as that large leather jacket is present and center, hanging off one shoulder. Reason being?

One of the leads is standing over her small figure, face flawless and de-aged by lip gloss and a good foundation to take away the weathering of time, backed against a brick building as his one arm is propped upon the brick right by her head like he is pinning her there, or enjoying this show of power and stance.

"So, what is it you said you could do, baby?" He murmurs to her.

"I can mute sound." X says with a small smirk.

'Why don't you show me that too, eh?" He says as he leans in. "Let's take a walk?" His hand falling from the building to capture her arm and almost jerk her into a walk with him.


Gotham is a big city, but criminals are a cowar… er… they stick to certain areas. Even the brave, daring, not-cowardly and very French. Like Fantomex. Fences are here, because the port is near. And so E.V.A. lurks invisible in a nearby rooftop. Laura’s disguise is not enough to fool the technorganic flying saucer; she has read the girl’s dossier.

So by the time the thug talking to Laura grabs her arm, Fantomex is close enough to grab said arm and twist it behind his back. “Bonjour… and get lost, monsieur. She is too good for you.”


X is ready to walk with the man, already shifting in position so much so that is shadows one side of her body from the fist that is forming and the pinpricks that only open upon knuckles that far - pin pricks.

Fantomex's presence is what makes it stop, mossy green gaze settling upon him with a look of both a glare and that of curiousity. Something is failing to compute for her with his phrasing, or she's failing to see his meaning but when he tells the man to get lost her head shakes slightly while the man's face is too busy scrunching up in shock and slight pain, trying to tell him silently with a look between them there is a /reason/.


Fantomex knows exactly what Laura is trying to tell him. He is also pretty much ignoring her. His grip of the other man is iron-like, despite the other guy outmassing him by a good forty pounds. He shoves him off and sends him stumbling, when the thug turns, the thief lets him see his guns. Definitely convincing him to leave.

He has totally ruined Laura’s plan, yeah.
Then he turns to the dark-haired girl. "Welcome to Gotham… what are you doing here? Not looking for trouble, are you?" All cheerful and… French.


"Finding out this place is more my type then I assumed." Her words are low in response to his chipperness, those eyes marking the mans back as he stumbles forward and disappears down an alley.

"Why?" X asks now, turning to the side to look up at him with a lift of chin that would almost seem indignant if it was not for the obvious pout. She /had/ a mission, she /had/ a purpose, and it just walked away down an alley.


"Because it is a gentlemen’s duty to get sleazes like him off young ladies like you," notes the white-clad thief. Or rather ladies like Laura -should- be if she hadn’t been trained as a killer. But hey, he is sure her mother would approve his behavior if she was alive.
"Look… you are looking for something, oui? Perhaps I can help you," he offers. "I have been living in Gotham for a few months, I know the lay of the land."


"I am looking for a few things, one of which you just chased off." A flash of those eyes towards him and then away as X shoves her hands into the coat pockets, rolling her shoulders to shrug it back up to cover her. "I can handle them." X says, her words clipping off as that detachment attempts to set in, that emotional shut off switch that keeps her alive and dead all at the same time.

Upon an exhale a strand of that black hair blowd from her face and she starts walking down the street, when her back is finally in visual of him he can see the tension, that rise in shoulders that make her almost seem… Hunched.


"Oui, you could," admits Fantomex, walking at her side. "But you shouldn’t have to," he adds. There is no disguising she is very tense from him. He might not have senses quite as sharp as hers, but they are very specifically adapted to read body language. "Why are you this far from Mutant Town, young lady?"


X stops when Fantomex insists. Not only by keeping pace with her but asking questions. Questions. She hates them. They warrant answers. Answers require lanuage, and she hates that too. Her shoulder rises and one hand withdraws from her coat, a shift of eyes up one side of the street then down the other.

If he does not disappear her hand snaps out, grabs him by the bulk of his fabric and drags him with her in a rapid climb up the side of a building to the roof. Whether he comes or not that is where she stands, looking out over the bleak horizon of Gotham. "I like it here." Pause, exhale and her head hangs, her words going low. "I'm hunting."


Fantomex follows easily enough. He seems as quick and agile as Laura. She likes the Dark City? He wishes he could say he is surprised. "I prefer Paris," he comments. Ah, hunting. "Suspected as much. A person, a gang, information? I can help you with most of those." He has already asked E.V.A. to identify the thug talking to Laura. Of course there is a police record.


X's look at him is not surprised, given his accent his preference is audible. "Three men. Hex, Sparky, Ghost. A dark haired woman." She debates on how much information to give the man.
"They're making mutant children disappear." All of it but none of it. He has given her no reason to doubt, but some people play hard games like that. Give you nice things….Then strip the hope away, or make you do it yourself.
She can handle it.


Fantomex stands still a few seconds, then comments. "That man, he works for Bane. Not directly, but…" he looks at the warehouses and crosses his arms across his chest. "They are involved in human trafficking, mostly illegal immigration from South America." And it is not farfetched some mutant kinds are being taken back and forth, is it? They have the means already.


"Bane?" X tilts her head and watches Fantomex curiously. "Only a few months and you are a fount of intel." A suspicious look flickering before she looks back out over the city's rooftops, stepping back and away so their voices do not carry too far.

"I have to find them. Stop them." It is her orders, and she needed… /wanted/ that purpose again, a reason to do something but do something good this time. It doesn't change things nor her past, but it might help, might set things right.
Nevermind the killing part.


"Oui, in this dark city there is much injustice afoot," comments Fantomex. Which is why it is better if he doesn’t know certain things until he needs them. If he starts righting wrongs he will end up dressing like a flying rodent and with no social life whatsoever. "I shall help you, I know where his kind gather." But just once, he can. Just once.


"Why help me?" X paces now, back and forth in front of Fantomex and then around him, a slow circling and assessing although she would no it would do her no good. He could come and go from her heightened senses in seconds. Lie to her. Everything about him was like it was made to evade her, elude her… She stiffens.

"You show me, then leave." Wariness, concern for herself or him? It is unknown but her posture is tell-tale of the fact that she is awaiting a blow she will respond to savagely.


"Perhaps it is the right thing to do," muses Fantomex, glancing back to the girl. "Or maybe I am reaching out for a kindred spirit. Most likely it is because it is Tuesday, and Bane is an ass. But you should pick a more romantic reason, it is more fun."
She is right, Fantomex is /made/ to deceive and confuse. For Laura is just more obvious than for others, because she is usually able to see them coming easily. Not with this man. "Have you come alone to Gotham?"


When he mentions picking a romantic reason the look she is giving him goes from one of just simple watching, amusement, and then. Blink, leer. Her head snaps away, tearing her eyes from him as hands thrust into her pockets and the lowering of her head is only to do her the service of hiding her face.

Her lone wolf attitude doesn't mean she is obliged the treatment, when he asks about her being alone one shoulder rises and falls lamely, almost as if all muscle was removed for the descent. "For now."


"Lets wait for your partner, then," suggests Fantomex. "It is still early for the gangs to gather, and I want to do a few calls to find out about Sparky and her group. Metahumans are often tricky, oui?" Actually, E.V.A. will be making the calls, he is taking Laura to the closest Starbucks.


Flying high above Gotham, the repugnant air was so much that it set Jean to cough and cover herself with an extra shield of TK to keep the particles at bay. Description at hand, she hones in on those upon the streets below, seeing through their eyes until she catches an image of dark hair and a man in white. Strange.

Dropping and lowering herself to a fast descent, Jean's boots hit the ground in a half run which skids her to a loud stop behind them; her hair soon turned a mess, black gloves soon digging through her scalp to shift the hair into places, ripping the tangles and fluffing the curls as a breath is let out with a huff. For fuck sake. Wear a ponytail next time, Jean Grey.
"I'm here."


Well, no coffee for X, which is fine, that's about the quickest way to get her from zero to Squirrel Girl with claws anyway. Not a safe concept.

X can hear the approach before Jean lands, her word of warning low to Fantomex. "Company." Then footfalls, a hop-skip pace of catching ground before the greeting that only has X stopping in her walk beside Fantomex with her back turned to Jean.

A long pause of silence, and likely far more to come from X as she steps to the side and that mossy green gaze cast in shadows goes her way.


Wait! There is no man in white, just a couple college students about to go into a Starbucks. A girl, short and ghoth-y, and a boy, somewhat taller, dressed in beige slacks and jacket. But Jean has a tracker for Laura’s cellphone, it is there.

It takes Jean a few seconds to get through the illusion and see Fantomex as he is, masked and armed. Whatever it was, it was not psychic. But also not strong enough to deceive her when she knew what to expect.

Fantomex hrms, turning to spot the descending Jean. "Sacre bleu," he mutters, "your partner?" He glances at Laura. Brief pause. Laura is not making introductions? Damn girl. "Here you are," agrees Fantomex, French accent showing strong. "You must be Laura’s friend. Nice to meet you and welcome to Gotham. I am Fantomex, your… guide to the Dark City for the night," he bows dramatically, and if Jean lets him, he will kiss her hand.


The people that Magneto connects with are not friendly. Save for the man that actually turns to speak and catches her hand in a low bowed kiss. Jean doesn't pull away, only staring towards the strange man in which causes her to tuck her psyche inside and tight. No sharing, cause after all? It's polite to ask and she wouldn't, and she really didn't want to know. It takes a type.. Jean isn't it. So the probing remains as is.

"Distant acquaintance." Jean respectfully corrects, drawing her hand away from such a greeting, a light, warm smile drawn upon her lips as she draws in a breath to gaze at the both of them. She wasn't familiar with Gotham, this probably would have been their beat. She was just along for the ride to watch and assist.


"She's not my friend." Pause as X affirms everything. If it isn't clear, allow her to make it. "Nor my partner. Only for this." A roll of shoulders and that loose leather jacket seems to be fitting her a bit more like a blanket. Concealment for that tension.

"He's the self-appointed guide." Now she is looking at Jean again, or perhaps through her. "I can't get rid of him." No apologetic look, nothing. X has nothing but apathy for derision for this moment in time and for many reasons unnecessary to list, but when Fantomex goes to kiss Jean's hand her eyes roll back and carry her head with her, ending her in a thumped lean against the building at her back. Waiting while she looks at the sky like a bored third wheel.
Cough. "Missing kids." Cough.


Fantomex tilts his head at Jean, then glances Laura. "Is that so? Well… I wouldn't go seeking trouble with Bane's crew without some friends." Which is a lie, but also reasonable advice. "Which is why I won't let you 'get rid' of me yet, mademoiselle," he directs Laura. "This gang territory starts six blocks north of here. Many of them gather at a nameless billiard bar to talk, plan and carouse. If they are involved in kidnappings, someone there will know. They are involved in human trafficking, certainly. Mostly of South American illegal immigrants." So Fantomex considers perfectly possible they are also involved in trafficking with mutants, they have the means, and Bane is bold enough.


X made it clear, though Jean wasn't attempting to be friends. She just wanted the children, and all of the abducted home safe and sound. So that this chapter could be closed finally and moved on.. Missing Kids. "There's no need to be friends to take out a crew. Only a similiar goal in mind." She's watching her own back, her feet soon taking to the pavement as she begins to walk. "Six blocks North. That's not too far. We get them and get this over with and we all can be out of this place and on to the next."


Perhaps it was a bad thing to allow Jean to come along with this, her bad side was already showing. Impatient, a little unkind. Not bearing gifts in the form of cookies and milk and whatever concoction she used to bake since she's been home. Though now, most nights were spent in the danger room and not sleeping, pacing, reading books and watching violence.

"If you all favor the direct approach, I'm all for it. But if needed, I will pull everything from every mind within the place and we would not have to lift a finger." A slight glance back towards Laura, her gaze considered is given. "Though I have a feeling.." Yeah. The woman looks like she wanted to beat someone down. Jean would let her have at it.


The attire X is wearing is on the side of a street walker. From the boots that buckle to her knees, the fishnetted stockings with a peek of garter straps and the leather mini skirt. All tied together with a corset that laces in two paths up the front, parallel, nipping and tucking her small figure into an hour glass proportion. She looked harmless, she looked like she belonged here, and she looked like all she needed is the right offer…

But that is what she was here for, to find an offer she couldn't refuse and use her appearance to her advantage. When Jean and Fantomex were done getting acquainted and the information given, she looks down the block in the direction Fantomex stated they needed to go and started walking. If you knew what you were looking for, that walk was anyting but small and innocent yet tainted. It was primal, and the closer they would get, the more she would straighten. "Just find the guilty ones. I wasn't given any instructions but to make it stop." In saying that, the hands hidden in the coat pockets curled into fists.


Direct approach? Fantomex would avoid the direct approach even when it is the best approach. But he has the impression he would get outvoted here. Impatient ladies, dangerous both, he is sure.

"D’accord," he agrees with a sigh, seeing Laura already on stalking mode. It is half an hour walk, the warehouse district is nearby, the city blocks are large. "From every mind, you said? So you are a telepath, I imagine," and he will keep his thoughts well-hidden behind his mask. "Do you have a name you can give me?"


Jean's attire? Street level. Jeans and a t-shirt, books that stalk up to her knees, leather jacket which was zipped up and leather gloves to fight off the chill. Nothing important. It seems as if she'd probably go overlooked in the looks department, compared to the elaborate way of dress that X and Fantomex have taken on (naturally), Jean just looked like a soccer mom attempting to be daring.

"You got it." She says towards X, her gaze cutting back towards Fantomex as she gives a faint nod of her head. She couldn't tell if Fantomex shielded himself or not, for she blocked everyone and anything out by natural habit. "Yes. A telepath. I try not to tell people that, but.. this isn't the time for secrecy. Call me Jean." She didn't care to use the Phoenix handle either. Jean was just a lot easier to come by.


How to get there slow or fast is not an option with this group, if given a scent, direct directions X could have the distance cleared in less then half the time. As the crow flies parkour, but alas Fantomex is trying to get to know Jean, already acutely aware how abrasive the silent dark haired young woman is. So before he does the introduction for her or she is asked. "X."

A pause in her step and a Cuban cigar is pulled from her coat pocket, having been stamped out earlier and now the zippo brings the tip back to a red glow - odd sight but none the less could be uncannily… Familiar for Jean.


"What a happy coincidence, my name is Jean too, Jean-Philippe," comments Fantomex in passing. There is no way a woman like Jean could be overlooked in this neighborhood, even though only about one in three of the street lights are working. But Fantomex is already weaving illusions to make all of them hard to see. No one bothers them until they arrive their destination. Some gunshots can be heard in the distance, police sirens a minute later. Typical Gotham night.

The unnamed billiard bar was called Lope's, or maybe Lupe's, or maybe Lopez. Unfortunately the hanging poster bar was shot and half burned some months ago and it is almost impossible to read now. The place was a warehouse not long ago, but the parking is half-full, with an unusual number of motorbikes parked. Some young thugs are drinking beer and smoking weed outside, talking in hushed tones.

Inside there are maybe three score men and women, most of them young, many of them armed.


Alright. That was different. The way X moves causes Jean to stare, and rightfully so. The cigar, the way the zippo was lit.. a faint memory and..

"What? Jean-Philippe? What a pleasure." There was no sarcasm in her voice. None at all. She was truly genuine with each word she spoke.

Or comes off that way.

Once the billiards bar was met, Jean presses her back against the brick, her eyes closing as she allows herself to mentally fan out /inside/ the building, not out. Her hand even lifts to lightly press against her forehead, nails nearly digging into the temple which soon cease as she rakes her hair back and away from her ear.

She wasn't too far away from the thugs, but with Fanty's cloak.. Jean adds a mixture of fear and dread to the emotions within the air that would be enough to keep them at bay, for now.

"Searching for the guilty ones as we speak.."


X is not doing anything to conceal herelf or play ninja. She had what she was to do in mind and already activated when Fantomex made the guy take a walk… Literally… With the arm twist and all. She is her own bait and not stopping, walking onward, just pausing right outside of the bars entry, plucking the cigar from her lips and looking down at the ashen red embers, rolling that thick leafed smoke between thin fingers.

Now she takes on a stance that is all new to her 'comrades' at least. One hip cocked to the side, her eyes downcast at the cigar, and a smile… Something as scary as wednesday Addams'… peeling across her glossed lips. Yes, she wants a fight and is doing nothing to avoid the possibilities.


Jean pulls herself out of it, a slight hiss of breath as she sees something she wasn't meant to see, not apart of the mission but bothersome none the less. She drops her hands down to her side, allowing the facade of fear and dread to placate the area, her eyes gazing towards the two thugs with a slight hitch within her breath.

"Fuck it."

Yes, there were times where Jean can swear but often refrains, but she wasn't at school, she was in Gotham. Apparently the grit within the city was more than enough to make a good girl go bad. "I'm going in." With a push off of the wall, she moves towards the entrance, the door handle gripped, pulled.. opened.. and entered. It was time to mix it up, lets hope the others back home won't think less of how nasty this was going to get.


"Laura knows the guilty ones," mentions Fantomex. "Lets see if any is inside, oui?" And maybe prevent some unnecessary deaths. Although it might be everyone in the bar deserves to die. This is Gotham, after all. Jean is going into a rather dark area. The best are desperate and angry, too many of the folks inside are psychopaths. Thugs that work for Arkham's worst when they can. Very unpleasant minds to read.

Looks like the redhead noticed, Fantomex follows the women, letting them draw all the attention and becoming an invisible whisper. Of course they draw attention. New faces. Young goth girl and very hot redheaded woman. Half the customers are looking at them and many conversations die off.

From the end of the place, behind the bar, a burly bald Hispanic man glances at the women and swears quietly. "Are you lost? Get out of here." Likely the nicest thing, most useful advice they would be given if they were normal women.


Jean and Fantomex go in, she follows, keeping that stogie within her fingers, smoking lightly in a white spiral along her side, tapping the ash off with a light sweep of her fingetip over the burning end without so much as a flinch.

Putting the cigar back in her mouth she speaks lowly around it, that green that typically holds a muted darkness, flashes. "Don't think we asked ya directions." Now thumbs latch into the zipper pockets of the biker coat, acting at home.

That's one thing she has down pat.


There is some snickering at Laura’s words. The bartender snorts and proceeds to ignore the newcomers. Some conversations resume, but not all. Many eyes are still in Laura and Jean, including those of the sleazy man Fantomex drove away not an hour ago. This man is currently pointing a smartphone to Laura, trying to get a clear image despite the poor lightning of the bar.


There was a little amusement in her features as they entered the bar, her hands remaining within her pockets, favoring silence above all else to allow the smaller woman to do all of the talking. Green eyes scan the room, narrowing upon the man with the phone, which seemingly cracks and snaps within his hand as soon as his button presses against the surface.

"What the fuck?" He howls out, and a satisfied Jean takes a few steps forward to draw a leg upright to strattle the stool, both hands drawing from her pockets to rest upon the counter top to pull herself upright. Jean was a stranger to bars like this. It was clearly obvious.


X recognizes the man, his scent before his words, and then his face. It all comes into focus for her as he swears out and is busy looking down at his broken piece of technology before he can look back up and see those green eyes narrowed into a /smile/ at him.

Slowly her head tilts, an almost eerie bird-like motion in rotation, that cigar tapped once more before it comes up with her other hand that rests on his. "A picture cannot last a lifetime, but memories.." Her words are almost a whisper. That hand with the stogie clutched between fingers taps tips upon her temple and the smile returns, although half-cocked.

One glance, cast down and away from the man, towards Jean. A warning, a signal, and the only one X would give before the cigar is flipped in her hand and stamped out on the mans temple, burning flesh beneath the sudden pressure of stoked embers.


Despite his careless appearance the bartender (Miguel) is confused about Jean. Thoughts run through his mind haphazardly. Laura… he can get punk kids trying to probe something (and getting badly hurt). But Jean looks like a super-model, dresses like a slumming middle-class lady and has not a clue how to behave. Surely no undercover cop could be so… clueless. Maybe she is a gangster wife with a bone to pick? Or a suicidal lady that was dumped by his boyfriend and is trying to hurt herself.

He is sure he is going to be the one that ends up cleaning her blood from the floor. With a heavy sigh, he looks at her. "Want anything to drink?"

Then Laura starts, the sleaze man (Andres) yelps and jumps back, stumbling to his feet as the chair he used falls down with a loud crash. "You bitch!" He swears, aiming a punch to her face. Behind him several other gangers stand, but given the thug is thrice the size of Laura, they are in no hurry to help him to beat the teen into pulp.


X's nod was noted. And quite frankly, she didn't care. If the woman was one of Magneto's brood, she was going to be put to the test right then and there with mama red-head watching from the bar. The bartender was nearly ignored, favoring fixing herself upon the seat to turn around to watch the show that would be given, until he speaks up which causes Jean to glance over her shoulders with a smile that was obviously shown within her green gaze.

"Diet Pepsi. With a little bit of ice in a glass? And one of those straws. The thin red ones." And then she turns, arms hooked along the counter top with one leg crossing over the other, that aura drawn up over her that protects her from being hit from behind yet.. knowing that it's going to happen.


X is not one to really move until she needs to. Nostrils flare when he calls her a bitch, and the smile drops, just the real thing there now and there is nothing. It is almost as if X empties even more then what she portrays to release what she really knows.

The swing is met with an agile bend of her body, the jacket sliding off her shoulders to dangle down in her hands, whipped up and over her head to wrap around his overextended arm, and if the catch in her coat is successful she is jerking him forward.

The forward pull will end rather quickly to him being pulled down in a double over stance, one that has his face repeatedly meeting her knee until a bone cracks and blood gushes over fishnet clad appendage.


Are there a couple thugs thinking on hitting Jean from behind and dragging her to the back alley? Yes. Do they try? Yes. Do they get to the redhead? Of course not. Fantomex kicks their knees from behind, breaking the legs in an excruciatingly painful way. The bartender jawdrops at seeing a costumed hitman (he assumes) appearing from nowhere, and then hurries to get Jean her pepsi.

The large thug falls easily to Laura maneuver, and his nose shatters with a satisfying crunch, there is blood and screams of pain and rage. Seeing this some of his friends pull out guns, while a couple circle around Laura. A few look intimidated enough to fall back, though. And the rest of the customers dive for cover, or try to get to the exit before someone fires the first shot.


Jean couldn't control time. But she sees the scene being played out in front of her with slow motion, practiced, cold and calculating. Each move of the men were watched and weighted with the pound until the pepsi was soon presented, glass, straw and all, taken up with a leathered hand and sipped upon, eyes narrowing.

As the men draw down upon the young woman, Jean finally lifts her hand, gaze falling towards the two who had approached, leaving Fantomex to it as she flicks a finger upright so that the pistols that were wielded in Jean's wake soon rip from their hands. It almost seemed a little unfair, the way the three had waltzed into this town, if a take over were to happen it surely would be at this point in time.

"That is not fair." Jean calls out, the guns slowly turning to point at each and every one of the thugs, save for the one with the cracked and bleeding nose. "I hate it when people are not fair."


X is not done, and when the cries of pain and rage subside it is only because she has a fistful of his hair in her left hand, craning his neck back painfully to where the blood runs back and down and is nearly choking him.

"Where are they?" Three questioned words, and when his lackies go to surround her she pushes his head forward to let him spit out saliva and blood and speak if he would, but not releasing him. Nothing is said as X watches the gunmen, her eyes narrowing and the right hand lowers, those adamantium claws pushing through the skin at her knickles, a duet of bladed shine mimiced by one from each toe, the only ones remaining in are those upon the fisted hand that holds the man - the one in the game of: Drown-in-your-own-blood.


There are gasps of surprise and fear among the gangers when the guns are ripped from their hands and pointed at them. This kind of thing doesn't happen in Gotham. But at least the lack of shots allows most of the people at the bar leave unhurt.

The man Laura has grabbed coughs blood and struggles panicky. "What… what are you talking about? Let me go you crazy bitch!" In truth he is not sure what Laura is talking about, but it is because it could mean too many things. He is responsible of more than one missing thing or person.


*Siiiiiip*

It was unlike Jean to take the lazy approach, definitely a cheat herself in this little game of who, what, where, and when, her body soon rising from the stool with a little hop to touch the ground; a can of diet pepsi soon floating from the back to hover over her as such as she leaves the glass within the thin air to be filled by a spectre of her own creation.

"She is talking about those who were kidnapped and trafficked away from their homes." No bad words Jean, no name calling. With the soda itself trailing behind her, it was clear that she was the one who held the guns, armed and ready at his goons.

She bends down now, attempting to grow eye level with the man as she takes a deep breath, the inhale loud enough as her eyes soon brighten and light afire, a grin appearing upon her lips to make it seem as if she were the devil herself, impacting his emotions with her empathy to drive the point home.

She will swallow his soul.

"Do not make her ask you twice."


Again X is snapping his head back, with suck a ferocity that gives no wiggle room, in fact it may make his back arch in order to accomodate his vertebrae from snapping. Again letting him gurgle on his own blood before she is righting him again to sputter and face the approaching Jean.

X doesn't have to say a thing, unflinching in her stance those claws extended are enough of a threat and evidence of her mutation. "I warned you…" X said lowly to the man. She said she could take breath away. Just not /how/. Though that warning is flashing in her eyes upon those that are standing in wait around them.

Now there's life in her eyes, -something-.


"I have nothing to do with it!" Cries the bleeding man. He is obviously quite scared, but maybe not scared enough of the women here. Gotham holds many terrors, after all.

The half a dozen thugs with the floating guns aimed at them are slowly stepping back, obviously looking for a way out that doesn't involve them getting shot.

"He is lying," states Fantomex quietly from the bar. Because he likes to point out the obvious.


The gaze full of fire soon draws up towards X, Jean shaking her head. "Not yet." Was Jean giving her permission to kill the man? Maybe? It was all suggestive, whatever Jean spoke of was left up to speculation. She turns her head briefly to regard Fantomex, her gaze soon falling upon the guns, watching the shaky feet of the men who try to inch their way to freedom.

"This is taking too long."

The red hair that dons her, marks her who she is begins to lift, embers of flame soon manifesting as she gives a snap of her fingers. The men who surround them? They all fall to the ground in a neat little circle, guns dropping to the ground in loud clicks and clangs, unused and unfired.

She crosses the boundary that she hates to go, exuding herself with a touch of her hand, smashing against the guys face, the other hand grasping upon X's wrist to connect the two as such.

And she begins to pull, using herself as a conduit that links the two together so that information could be spread from one person to the next.

Jean will apologize later.


The thugs have little defense against that kind of telepathic manipulation. Some try to stay awake, fearing never to wake up, but none manages to resist more than ten, maybe fifteen seconds.

The injured man cries in terror when Jean touches him, and his eyes roll back when she forces her way in his mind. Dragging Laura with her.

The past flashes in front of both women. He came to America as a boy, with his parents. Illegal emigrants from some tiny Central American republic. But Gotham is a tough place for the poor and ignorant. It destroyed his family quickly. The mafias, the drugs, the gangs, the violence, the racism. He was running drugs at fifteen, breaking legs at eighteen, got into human trafficking at twenty five, obtaining some perverse satisfaction out of making others go through the same world that destroyed his youth. He feels little remorse; he has become hardened, alienated, psychopathic. His mind is a dark, filthy place.

He worked for the Falcone, until Batman broke them. Then the crazies came, and those were bad times. But Bane feels different. Strong and bringing some order to the chaos. For a couple years, things have been good. Except for the creepy mutie kids. Bane’s men pay a lot for those freaks. Someone wants them in Santa Prisca. He had thought it was his lucky day when he met Laura before.

There is a warehouse no far from here, close to the sea, where they keep the kidnapped kids. He heard there were a couple of them there now; the ship to Santa Prisca would arrive tomorrow. He has not seen them. He hates (fears) the freaks, all the freaks. Bats or muties. Or the three metas that lead the kidnapping operation. All was much better with the Falcone.


X knows this sensation, where your mind is not your own, where you are on the outside looking into the darkness and debating whether or not to cross. She did not have to cross, it came to her all thanks to Jean. The dark recesses of this criminals mind. Standing there in the middle of it all X does not move, she lets the scenario unfold around her. The man, his history and his present. It /was/ not his fault, but now… Now it /is/. He was free of it, he has a choice.

And he's making the wrong ones. She would never, all she wanted was to stop and get away from it all.

X's breathing is ragged and shallow, her teeth flashing in the feral sneer born and etched upon a young woman's face. The things he saw when he saw her. An opportunity to sell into yet another situation with the rest. Put her back from whence she came.

When the visions left her mind and he fainted, the scenario unfolded for all X lunged for his falling body, the short form catching him by his neck before he even hit the floor, those claws coming out and her fist drawing back.

In about 2 seconds you can call him (ka)Bob.


The connection was severed soon after, Jean releasing the wrist of X and the neck of the man, taking a few steps back to look to her own hands as she closes her eyes to shake out the fire that built within her eyes and hair. She had seen the darkest side of man, she had looked into the abyss, she had stolen the lives of millions.. and still.. the actions of this man sickened her to her core. Her stomach had turned.

"No.." She finally stammers out, coming to her senses as she stalks forward, attempting to intercept even though there was no space in between. Jean would have loved to see this man dead, but in truth, that was not her way. Not today, at least. "Put him down. Please." She wasn't begging for the mans life, just for the request to be made.


And Fantomex is there in a flash, catching Laura by her shoulders and pulling back. "Focus. Wait." He states, calmly. "You came to Gotham for a reason, oui? If you start killing all that deserve to die in this city, you will never end." He glances to Jean, frowning. "Next time, spare her the trip, se il vous plait? We should hurry, there were some witnesses." The barman ran away at some point, for instance.


The woman's voice crooned like a conscience, the mans grab was the physical reminder. And when X is pulled back her hand had yet to fully release, jerking slightly to be let go before she chucked the unconcious form aside like a ragdoll, wiping her palms off on her thighs. What she has just touched bore bacteria beyond sanitization but apparently worthy enough to be left alive.

Mossy green eyes look between them and once she gets free of their grip and or reach she heads for the door, using the sleeve of her coat to wipe away the strands from her face as if batting at annoying insects. The road to redemption is not easy, nor one X cares for is she can /see/ it all.


Laura leaves the scene, in which Jean remains. There was a need to clean up this crew to make them not remember their time there. The bartender is another story, she would leave his memories in tact, a constant reminder of what could happen and what would become of this place should he allow such sorts to continue to meet and greet underneath his roof. Her hand presses against his temple as she draws into the minds of them all, shaping.. re-writing memories, erasing the bad.. adding in some of the good.. attempting to draw light from a dark place. To reset the choices, reset their lives, give them a fighting chance where they deserve none.

After this? This is all their own doing. If things go bad from here on out, they will suffer the consquences.

She leaves wordlessly there after, stepping out into the middle of the street, her hands tucked deep into her pockets as she lets out a breath. If one were to take up smoking, now would be the time.. but the images were transmitted easily to Scott through the connection they continue to share.


The sea is close, but the scent is not to foam and salt, the harbor smells like rotten fish and motor oil. The warehouse in the thug’s memory is easy to find. It is the only one in the block that still has lights. And sounds inside.

Laura can hear men moving, preparing. Someone made a phone call to warn them trouble could be coming, so a couple trench-coated men are taking positions at the open metal gates. More are moving inside. But Fantomex is there and can’t see anyone approaching. There see only deep shadows, fitting for Gotham’s night.


X-23 has to treat Fantomex's presence like it does not exist, like he is not there until he -is- because otherwise the fact that he can elude her would drive her mad. It's not normal - but then again is she or Jean? Not by the looks of her as she approaches, avoiding trying to breathe..all together, through the nose, through the mouth… That pollutant can be /tasted/. It was damaging to the 5th sense, where it smelled so bad she could taste it.

At the end of the gate the only thing she moves is the shadows as she silently scends the gate like a trained feline, slinking along the top of it like a predatory animal well trained to the urban jungle. It is exactly what and who she is. Most men don't look up, they may be ready but not prepaired, not for X when she approaches low and stretched along the top of the gate and then flips down in her descent upon them, seeking to wrap her legs around ones neck to silently take him out.

Where Jean is does not bother her, the woman disturbed her enough with those kind of abilities, it is best not to think about and just hope she stays on her side and does not lash out.


The trek was simple enough, hands still tucked within her pockets, the gait that she carried was one without a care in the world. She had to put on that front, to blot out the images that she gleamed from the man, her eyes closing every once in a while yet twitches upon opening. Where she was once there.. she was not. Her approach was complete stealth, the only sounds was the echoing of her boots, amplified in the minds that she hides herself from like an omnious knock in the dark..

*Click..*
*Click*
*Click..*

Laura's quick work allowed Jean's re-emergence into the seconds reality easy, one hand dashing out to strike at the adams apple twice, the second hit lifting the man clean from the ground with hidden tk and a slam with a bended, denim clad knee upon the concrete, the limp body falling suit. Her fingers wrap around the mans neck as she holds him there, checking for a pulse, her gaze gone up towards the warehouse as she glances towards Laura to hold up her finger to cause her to wait.

Her eyes light with fire as that same finger which was held aloft presses against her temple, drawing onto the minds not to see.. but to count to see who.. or what was where.


Fantomex was going to ask the plan when Laura sneaks forward, quiet as a mouse. The guard never sees her coming until he is falling, struggling to breathe. The second guard turns, but Jean punches him too fast, and goes down with a thud.

Inside, Jean can feel a few others… or not. They are all blurred, like through weird, thick fog. And someone is calling. A weak <help… please… help… hurt… help > the presence of an unskilled, injured psychic almost getting through the strange psionic fog.


The guard trapped in the tight constriction of her thighs struggles, but not long. Muscles tighten and when he falls she comes to her knees, a practiced attach that with the twist of her hips has him going still. Dead or simply knocked out, unlike Jean, X is not checking, crawling forward at first, a slink through the shadows until she jumps back up and clings to the gate in a spideresque sprawl.

Deadly silent, but those eyes that watch Jean and then land upon Fantomex show the spark there, the life wrought by movement such as this.
Home. X is home.

Flipping over the gate to the warehouse side she lands in a crouch and is moving forward, melding into darkness like a camouflaged spec-ops soldier. Give her orders fast, or she will make her own.


Fantomex and Laura were an admirable bunch. Jean is not like the others. She will tell them such with a quiet nod and a slight grin.. one that does not fit the look of an X-Man on a mission. This was personal, children were personal. There was a temptation to not give X an order but to let that woman fly and to join in on the fray. Jean invades.. but she does not pry or steal. Her mind throws back to when she spoke to Magneto first. She's not going in as an X-Man. Mama bear is on the loose.

« Be unrestrained. »

It wasn't an order, it was a suggestion given as Jean finally stands, her gait calm, yet the light bends around her as the shield slowly draws itself upright over her body. Her mind was fitting itself to the frame of a mercenary.. for that's exactly what she was tonight.
But this job will be done for free.


There is a long chamber ahead, the warehouse has two floors, but the lower one is just one room and it is 20 feet tall, with a sublevel for scaffolding-like metal staircases and gangways. A couple lonely metal containers huddle at the end, along with a black van with tinted windows. Lightning is scarce, provided by hanging light bulbs, some of which are not working.

Laura can see another pair of guards near the containers, and another is walking up the gangway, noisily. There are many scents in the place, few of which are pleasant. Many people have passed through this warehouse in the last year, leaving fear, tears and blood on the concrete floor.


X can use tact, she can be silent and she can be bold…

Reaching the doors X stays in the shadows for a moment, nostrils flare and all of what is inside is taken in, fresh and old. Her eyes flutter closed. Gotham, this is a city that can overwhelm the senses and repel them. Yes, she liked it here, but at this moment she wanted to get in and get out. There is no need for Jean for her mind to envision what those smells came from, how they were birthed into the open.

Jaw set she rises to a stand with the two words from Jean, walking right on up to the doors and pressing them open. Just as they part before the unrestrained shove to nearly slam them back like an incoming storm those twin adamantium blades slip from knuckles, droplets of blood adding to what is faded upon the floor.

There's X, standing in the middle fo that corridor, in the open with her 'bring it' stance braced by booted feet where single slivers of metal push through the steel toed leather.


As X disappears from view; Jean herself moves around the backway. She didn't have to take her time, her walk casual, stepping over fallen debris of a time past. Her mind was on them all, feeling the alarm of the doors as X makes her entrance, Jean taking a few steps back once she reaches the side of the warehouse.. her eyes alighting with flame once more.

It was about to go down.

Before any of the men react, Jean proves to be a distraction, both hands drawn up into fist, her elbows pulled back, the air around her thickening as she inhales.. and pushes.

The force and weight of the TK blast hits the brick walls, shuddering the building but not breaking an opening as such. It was going to take a few more tries.. and tries that echoed in rapid succession.

*BOOM*
*BOOM*
*BAM*
*CRACK!*
*SMASH!*

The wall itself crumbles, the hole apparent made.

Who needs a door when you can go right through the wall.

Her name is Jean Grey. And she is destruction incarnate.


Laura slamming the door against the wall draws plenty of attention, but Jean bringing down a whole wall… well, that could even bring here some genuine port authority guards. That is, if they had not been told to ignore everything that happens in that particular warehouse.

It is not the first time a fire fight breaks out there.

It is not even the first time super-powers are used there.

The guards near the containers are the first to react, pulling handguns and aiming Laura. "You! Don't move!" They hesitate when the wall comes down, though, and then switch targets to shoot at Jean. No warnings to wall-busting redhead.

The guard in the gangway almost falls down when Jean appears, but then he starts screaming warnings, and heavy footsteps can be heard in the upper floor.


The guns aimed at X have both her hands going up, almost like it is a 'don't shoot' motion, her head lowered only slightly… Just enouggh…

From beneah brow those green eyes flash, an answer of twinkle from the duet of blades also suspended in the air as backup to her splayed fingers. Not once did she stop moving though, one bootedstep followed by another, daring them to shoot her. Did X have a deathwish?

The wall coming down distracted them, and whether they are looking or not Laura is already upping the pace, from a stroll through the doors to a breakneck run right for them as their gunshots begin to carry the echoes of ear piercing thunder. Her gait forward has her bending at the waist, and in one second she crouches, hands slamming the ground in aid to spring her up into the air and forward, plunging herself into the middle of the armed goons bladed feet first - followed by the trained flaying of hand to hand.


There was almost a certainty that the guns would be aimed, trained, and fired upon her. As soon as the first crackle echoes through the warehouse, her hand shoots upright to draw up her shield, fingers curling to keep the force solidified as the bullets bounce and begin to ricochet. That alone doesn't stop her approach, it only pushes her forward as X begins her dance with the devils who try to take them both down.

But as she presses forward, her gaze shoots up towards the ceiling, backing down towards those in front of her as she searches out through that psychic fog to find the voices of the weak ones who called for a savior. There was no words, no need to talk. It was only retrieve them and leave the mess behind.


It was a understandable mistake to focus on the obviously superhuman redhead and ignore the small brunette in the cute goth getup. One of the thugs realizes this in time to try to aim back to the running Laura, but then she jumps, and he misses. Next thing he feels are the razor-sharp claws cutting his flesh. Laura is just too fast and deadly for them to mount an effective defense.

Both men are down and hit the floor almost at the same time she does.

Bullets hit Jean’s shields from the side and from above. Laura takes down the guards on the floor of the warehouse, but another is shooting from the gangway, and soon two more join him, coming down from what must be offices upstairs. Loud but ineffective. Jean can feel the source of the psychic fog somewhere upstairs, but the telepath that is weakly asking for help must be down there, perhaps inside the metal containers.

It looks easy, but the metahumans have yet to show up. And then they do.

Ghost, a well-dressed gentleman, appears behind Laura very suddenly, just as she was standing up. No sound, no scent until the very millisecond the man appears and stabs with a large combat knife, aiming for the girl’s liver, twisting the blade and pushing her down. A lethal strike for a normal human.

Sparky lets the thugs to draw Jean’s attention, she jumps to the gangway from above, hands crackling with power. The closest lightbubs explode as she builds a charge, than she releases the lightening against Jean’s shields.

Fantomex enters the fight shooting at Ghost from behind, as he runs towards Laura. But too late to save the girl. And Ghost fades, the bullets going through his vanishing form.


X can feel them fall before she sees it. She knows her aim is as true as it is deadly - efficient. Dropping two she is standing over their fallen forms, arms at her sides, the blaes dripping the visceral red over bodies and concrete floor, shoulders hunched much akin to an animal with hackles risen,, her mussed hair hanging haphazardly across her face and down her back.

Trigger happy, a way to view X's reflexes and movements, all she needs is assurance, words, the okay…or a scent, and she will do what she knows…who she is… The sudden appearance of Ghost comes in at the last moment, much like Fantomex, but it does not /feel/ like him so she is spinning, rapidly seeking to lash out towards Ghost, who appeared behind her and..

It burns

The knife drives home, target intended is hit and from fight to pause her eyes reflect the pain and the anger, then the realization as Ghosts reflection is in those empty green eyes alight with a flame that momentarily wavers.

X crumples like a house with its support beams knocked out from under it, knees tucked beneath her huncheed over body, the blade still protruding from her back, her own claws retract as she is fumbling for the blades exposed hilt. Odd angle.


Jean continues to press forward, the bullets nearly cracking the shield as she presses on, her hand lifting to snap the guns away from the thugs hands.. hoovering them within the air. With a twist and turn of her hand, those guns begin to fire, tracing and tracking the ground at their feet to put them onto a run, tossing the metal aside until Sparky decides to show her hand.

Jean didn't see her, she was focused upon the thugs in front of her and the child calling for help, for once that show of electricity drops down upon her, it shatters her shield in a blinding light and flash that causes her to drop. She felt it, static electricity within the air, tickling and causing her skin to crawl, her teeth gritted as she slides back upon the ground in a backwards spider crawl.


The human thugs are disarmed, and they run for cover when Jean turns the guns on them. The dark-haired young woman called Sparky yells them something in Spanish, moving quickly to cover herself while shooting more bolts of electricity to Jean. These are easier to block, lacking the power of the first one.

Fantomex reaches Laura, he is swift, kneels and puts a gloved hand on her neck, then shakes his head. "Play possum, heal. Let them lower their guard," he murmurs. He stands, shooting a couple rounds to Sparky, making her duck out of sight.

Ghost reappears just at Jean's side, and not alone. A lanky young man of about twenty is with him. He is Hex, the source of the psychic static, and he jumps at Jean trying to grab her. On touch he can do much more than psychic static, he can neutralize most of Jean's power and even paralyze her.

And Ghost vanishes again, his eyes on Fantomex.


Play…possum? Was he kidding? "Pull that out for m—-" /Shhh/it. And Fantomex was gone, leaving X in that crumpled heap, her blood soaked hand shaking as she seeks the blades hilt, finally grabs it and rips it free. No, that angle was not just a straight out, it was tilted and slides her side open in its extraction, leaving her opened wide beneath the concealuing leather of corset. The blood spilling out and her form fully slumping to the floor is (not totally) real.

The knife is out, now, laying in her own blood with her face covered and her body very still she starts to shallow her breathing… What they cannot see is the fact that the bleeding had already stopped, the punctured liver and the toxins it released into the body were already gone and healed, the skin knitting like an old lady on amphetamines making a christmas quilt.


Each show of electricity from Sparky was blocked and fended away with a raised hand; the shock itself giving life to the curved shield that Jean produces. She manages to scramble to her feet as Sparky disappears, her foot pushing forward with the need to move until someone was at her side.. two of them.. then one gone.

What?

The reach of a hand draws Jean back, her sholder twisting, hand raising upright as she forces a blast from her very fingertips into Hex's direction. She skitters back and away, unknowing of his power, but if this was going to be a hand to hand show-down, let this be it. She didn't train all of those years for naught.


Fantomex stands conveniently between Laura and the metahumans, so they can’t see the girl is still moving. When Sparky hides, he keeps a gun aimed up, the other coming down to Hex, pausing an instant to make sure he won’t hit Jean.

Too long an instant. Ghost materializes in front of him, twin knives stabbing from down up. Fantomex is lifted from the ground from the impact, then crumples down, twin tigershark knives through his chest. One through the heart, then other took off the right lung, but… pretty much overkill.

Meanwhile Hex, not as good a fighter as Ghost, mutters a curse as Jean avoids him, then throws himself to the ground to avoid her blast. Rolls to his feet and… he receives a brutal kick on the face from a second Fantomex that was just there.

Sparky reappears when she sees Fantomex #1 going down, gain he aims a lightning bolt to Jean. More lightbubs explode. The place is getting really dark.

The psychic static fades out. Jean can feel every mind again. Well, except the one from the French thief, who is still shielded.


Slowly X looks up. Those eyes are peerin through the vines of almost greasy looking strands of black hair, slickened with the melee of the fight, her face mottled in drying red to black. Something out of a horror movie and a grudge watching as Fantomex is firing and then… Nothing. Lifted from his feet and Ghost before him X is already moving.

From a crumpled mass of leathher and flesh in the floor X is leaping through the air she sprung into, a knot and then release of muscles to lift her over 15 feet up, those blades unsheathing from her skin once again, even pressing through boots upon the apex of the jump and aimed for Gost un descent. If her aim and fall lands true she is about to be imbedded in him claws first like a rabid animal in for the final kill. Attached and anchored.


This was something to talk about later, she was sure that Fantomex was with Laura, but appeared there and.. is gone again? Her brain processes this much more differently than most; the scene flies by and would be reexamined later, detail by detail, especially since the fog was clear. The flickering of lights was more than enough to draw her attention towards Sparky, the bolt of lightening striking her right within the middle of her belly.

Her body caves and draws back, slamming into the metal container only to slide down and hit the ground face first. It looks as if she wouldn't move, but she does.. her hands drawing back as one knee draws forth, the woman pushing herself up enough to whip her hair back, her eyes pure white as she draws out a slight hiss in pain, gaze focused.

"You're mine now." Her voice echoes out, just in time for Sparky to try to draw another bolt to land the killing blow. But nothing happens, she remains frozen where she stands, only her mouth allowed to quiver and let loose a faint whimper which draws a slight sneer from Jean.

She could do this, because no one would ever see.

Standing upon her feet, her arm wraps around her middle, her body at a hunch as she drags herself towards where she could feel Sparky, her eyes slightly hazy as she draws herself into the gangway, clear and close towards the woman. "Where are the children…" She utters, her arm hanging loosely at her side, her fingers curling slightly as if she were ready to strike at any moment.

"Tell me, and escape with your life."


Ghost spares a second to make sure Fantomex is not moving, then turns to see if Hex needs help. Of course Hex needs help, as usual. Then Laura impacts on him, her claws impaling him through his chest. The man cries, vanishes… reappears ten feet away, bleeding heavily. "No…" he gasps, falling to his knees… he fades again. This time he doesn't return, but some blood is left behind.

Fantomex #1, the corpse, vanishes in a puff of mist.

Fantomex #2, totally not an illusion, aim his guns at Sparky when the dark-haired woman fries Jean. That Jean gets into Sparky’s mind before he shoots might actually save her life. "Good to see you are still alive, Red. Looks like she was almost out of juice, oui?" He glances Laura. "You alright?"

Sparky pales visibly when Jean comes closer, "t-the container, the red one," she murmurs. Two recently captured mutant kids, Jean can see it in her mind.


X is standing there, watching, the images flickering over her vision like a tv in fast forward, but played back and relayed through reflection, meeting her mind in refractions. Her breathing is ragged, pants, hands fisted and those claws dripping blood not her own but empty of the body they /should/ bear. This enrages her, as she does not get that finality, that satisfaction of /knowing/…

Though when Fantomex's body disappears she is blinking, Fantomex #2 appearing making her take one step back and away and look down to the empty ground and back. "I hate you." His trickery and deceit is not fair…to her senses. No, not really, but for that, yes.

Jean's appearance and display gets an approving look, but it could be just as cold coming from those eyes. There is no judgement in any action she deems to take, as long as there is action. Her head nods to the woman slowly, a wet tendril of black and sticky hair slides down bare shoulder with the gesture, leaving in its wake another streak of red on pale skin.


Jean was not done with Sparky, not yet.

"Who is upstairs?"

Her gaze falls towards Fantomex and Laura upon approach, drawing a sharp upnod as the red container that was indicated.. opens itself wide open, yet there was a barrier there that Jean put upon it herself, not wanting to let the children see. Not just yet.

"I suggest you two search the area to see if there are any stragglers left." What Jean was about to do, was unthinkable. And it would stay in between the three.


"You wound me, mademoiselle," says Fantomex, in his best ‘wounded’ voice. He moves to the red container and tries to open it. Locked. He invites Laura to remove the padlock with her claws and glances up at Jean.

"Stragglers? We can hardly arrest them, can we?" They could kill them, but Fantomex has already enough blood in his hands for two lifetimes of bad karma, so he is somewhat reluctant to add to the tab without a good reason.

Sparky shakes her head. “No one else, just the three men,” she told them to go for heavier weapons, but apparently they are smart enough to know when a fight is over. There are fire escapes they can use to flee the warehouse. Laura can hear them fleeing.


Let them retreat, X twitches hearing it, she wants to go after them, but Fantomex is right, and they have what they came for, it is over. Control…

A sharp exhale has X hunching once again, shoulders folding in while those claws suck back into the flesh of her hands as well as disappear back within boots. a sharp glare to Fantomex and his condescension before she rises her chin in response to Jeans upnod.

"They ran." She was kill crew, not cleanup crew, once the kids are safe, she goes home to shower the remnants of Larry Steve and Bob off of her. Sooner then later maybe.


"I'd rather them gone." But gone had a million different meanings for Jean, but what was done was done. The kids were safe. "Allow me." Jean lifts her hand, the lock drawing upright, breaking apart and twisting, her hand soon dropping to her side to allow the kids to roam free as soon as Fantomex opens the doors. There was just one loose end to tie up, something that Jean decides to do herself, spare a second chance.

Which causes her to stand in front of Sparky, her hand reaching out to rest upon the woman's shoulder, heavy.. as the woman remained locked into place. "Sparky." Jean says, tiredness within her eyes. She expended herself fully tonight, and a good nights rest would do, after a stint in the medbay of course.

"I'm going to do something that I so do not like to do. Especially to your kind. I'm going to let you go." She pats her shoulder twice, allowing the woman to move, yet Jean's fingers clench upon the womans shoulder.. a threat soon laced into her words.

"And if I find you again, or see your face among me or mine, I will kill you. Even if you are just simply crossing the streets." And with that.. she lets her go, allowing the woman to run scared and out into the open, just like the three that escaped.


Inside the container there are cages, about ten of them. Cages for people. It stinks to urine and worse. Only two cages are occupied now, though. One has a small girl of about ten, fine grey fur covering her face and hands, she is terrified but looks healthy. Another has a boy of about 14 and he looks badly beaten. He is the psychic calling for aid, but besides the beat up he has received he has been drugged with heroine, so he can barely think.

At that point Fantomex starts thinking maybe they should have killed everyone. And for once there is no witticism from the faux Frenchman. "I'll call for an ambulance," or rather, E.V.A. will.


X approaches the container, but stops… Stops when she smells it. The body fluids, from tears to blood to urine. The drugs. What Jean did was good, /too good/. There's that moment where the young woman named Laura appeared over her facade. Innocence, fear, regret… Emotion spilled over X as she stood on the outskirts and though she did not want to see what she could already tell was bad those wide green eyes laid bare stared in and penetrated the shadows with heightened senses.

Boots drug across the ground, a sound almost like a defeated and tired scrape… And then X stopped. A hiccup of breath sucked in and her head shook, slowly at first and then rapidly, those bloody strands of ichor and viscerae slapping over her skin where forward steps turn to backward ones.

The way Sparky retreated is now looked upon by those eyes and the claws shot forward with a cry of pain just before X is leaping out and on the trail. Too fast.

Rewritten or not, Sparky played a part, they all did, and X knew their scent. There's no forgiveness in a kindred heart.


Jean could smell it from where she was, there was sadness and a moment of rage within her heart. One could not hurt children, they were the innocents.. even though some were misguided children..

She still holds tight to her stomach, and for once? She does nothing. She doesn't offer up a word or tell X to stop, she doesn't force Sparky to run nor stay still. She just.. watches. Eerie and sinister as it all was, coming from this one.

"Clear out. Get the children outside. I'm bringing this place down.."

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