The MCRT, Morlocks, MGH and Murder

Part 2: Chapter 7

Remy had decided he should inform The Green Clan about Red’s death and then, because he didn’t want to go back to the scene, he took a walk a couple blocks north to 120th, where there was a condemned building that had just recently been taking in residents. Unlike the Morlocks, the mutants that lived aboveground did not try to completely sever their ties with humanity, and thus, often kept their ears to the ground. Maybe one of them would know who might have sold Red his ticket to the other side.

The closest complex of buildings that housed mutant residents was at least twelve blocks in the other direction, and called itself The Left, an obvious anti-comparison to one of the anti-mutant religious groups known as The Right. It was one of the only mutant areas in MD1, or in New York City, for that matter, that was nearly self-sufficient. In fact, some called it Little Genosha, because it was almost like Magneto’s fairly new mutant island, Genosha. The Left was made up of mutants who primarily had some skill set that was useful or likeable, and thus, brought in revenue for their building. Many sold art, in the form of paintings, poetry, pottery, jewelry, anything that would sell on the street, but others would contract their skills out, mostly hard labor, to people who didn’t mind paying a mutant.

Remy didn’t mind spending time in The Left’s headquarters, because they were the most ‘normal’, so to speak, and were very open to assimilating and following societal rules. This new building though, formed less than a year ago, was vastly different than The Left, and needed sometimes more than Remy thought he was capable of providing. They called themselves Charlie’s Angels, and of course, copyright infringement was the least of their worries. Remy suspected they chose the name, in part, because of Charles Xavier, but he didn’t ask them.

Basically, the Charlie’s Angel’s headquarters was a halfway house that encouraged prostitution among other things. Possibly selling MGH. No one there would admit to being in charge, though it was more than obvious it was run by a woman named Marjorie. But she let her ‘girls’ as they were called, even though some were boys, form their own groups and mark their own corners. They looked at their position in the world as laughable; in a world where they were jeered and unwanted, they made a lot of dough by cashing in on the sorry folks who fucked them.

Remy entered without knocking, because clients knocked, and he wasn’t one of those, and was met by a woman who had always reminded him of Cruella DeVil from 101Dalmatians. Marjorie, of course. She was tall and thin, and her hair, like the puppies’ worst nightmare, was black and white. She was also draped in a long, pale colored, fur coat, but it wasn’t removable. Smiling at him, she waggled a long-nailed finger in his face and said, “It’s a little early for a call girl, isn’t it, De-tec-tive?” It didn’t matter how often he had introduced himself as Special Agent LeBeau, she liked the sound of ‘detective’ better.

He smiled back at her and said, “It all depends on what I’m paying for, now doesn’t it?”

“I’d do you for free any day of the week, handsome,” she said, unapologetically. “Now come on in. You’re just in time for a lesson.”

She swiveled her hips naturally as she led him from the doorway into the main room. There were brightly colored towels and blankets hung up over the boarded windows, keeping in as much heat as possible. It had an interesting effect, as the morning sun filtered hazily through the colors and settled on the rooms below. The ‘lesson’ was exactly as it sounded; and as Marjorie made her way to the front of the makeshift classroom, she tapped a young girl on the head and said, “Cora, angel, this isn’t art class. Now get out your book.”

Remy hadn’t seen Cora before, a girl he placed at somewhere between fourteen and sixteen, and far too young to be in this business. She had black hair and pale, milky skin, with bright blue eyes and rosy red lips. She was like a china doll. The picture in front of her was a stunning array of pale colors, dripping in some spots, but a beautiful image of a sunny park with floating balloons on strings.

She looked up at Remy with a wide grin, odd indeed since Remy was a stranger to her, and said, “Hi! My name’s Cora! Do you like my picture?”

Another girl reached over and hit her, and said, “Cora, shut up!”

Remy noticed the area around Cora was wet, especially around her too-long sleeves, and he figured her powers had something to do with generating water, and also that there was at least some lack of control involved. “It’s very pretty, Cora,” he said, quietly, passing his eyes over the girl who had told her to shut up. Older, not the least bit cute with a rough, perhaps bark-like texture to her skin. It was yellow and pink in color. She had no hair and barely a nose to speak of, more of a slight ridge with deep nostrils.

Marjorie turned around and gave Cora that ‘I’m not kidding around’ look and said, “Listen to your sister, Cora.” Then to Remy, she said, “I take it you don’t want to stick around for a lesson on The Lord of the Flies?”

“I put in my time with that book, already, Marjorie. But I would like to talk to you about something else.” He would not discuss it in front of her ‘girls’.

“Will it involve tying me down, de-tec-tive? Perhaps begging?” she asked brazenly, and Remy noticed Cora’s sister seemed uncomfortable. They were obviously very new here. But with Cora’s talent, why didn’t they go to The Left?

“No, but it might involve handcuffs and the back seat of a car if you don’t cooperate,” Remy replied, but not rudely.

Marjorie chortled in delight and led him back into the back room, where she had paperwork, just as any other boss might. Sitting behind a desk left behind, motioning that he should sit in the only other chair, she leaned her elbows on the desk and practically purred, “So what is it you need my ears and eyes for, my love?”

By the time he returned to Westchester, it was half past noon. He missed the days when he and Ororo made time for each other for lunch. Now, she would be in a Danger Room session with some of the Academy members, surely making their lives hell. As she liked to say, ‘someone a lot worse than me’s gonna introduce them to the real world if I don’t’. Remy certainly didn’t envy her the job, nor did he miss his days as an Academy student. Or a rookie, for that matter, as he neared the corridors where he had spent his first three years as an Avenger.

When he was a little boy, his older brother Henri had a dog named Russ, and Henri had been nice enough to let Russ sleep in Remy’s room most of the time. Russ would climb up on Remy’s bed, all one hundred and ten pounds of him, and let Remy hold on to his ear. Russ died when Remy was only eight and Henri was fifteen. Henri had taken it pretty hard and they never got another dog afterwards. But Remy had always wanted one. Unfortunately, with his hours, having a dog was impossible. Seeing Trust, the secretary Ashley’s golden Labrador, thump her tail at his arrival made him smile, especially after what he had just seen.

“Hey good girl,” he said crouching down to her level so he could pet her.

She made a little happy whine and rolled unto her back, exposing her belly to him, so he might scratch it. He indulged her and she responded with a happy bark. She wasn’t allowed to bark. “Ssh, you’re going to get us both in trouble,” he whispered, now not scratching so vigorously, so she would settle down.

Trust wagged happily, but stopped barking. But Ashley, who was legally blind by baseline standards, had developed her other senses well, and had heard her dog – and Remy – anyways. She came out of the copier room and asked, “What’s the matter Trust? Did Remy forget your treat today?” There was a glass container on her desk filled with dog treats next to a sign that said ‘Please feed the dog’ written sloppily with a paw print to make it seem that Trust had written it herself.

It really didn’t matter if Remy was quiet or not, because Ashley would have known he was there anyways. Remy sort of wished she wouldn’t have, because after the death of most of the serpentine community less than a week ago – her people – he had spent his time avoiding talking to her.

She made her way to her desk and sat down, before asking, “Were you ever going to tell me what happened?”

Ashley was short and thin, with pale milky skin and visible green veins. She had short cropped green hair and many piercings and a couple of tattoos. Her eyes were yellow and cloudy. “Ashley,” he started, not knowing what he might say, and then settled for, “I’m sorry.”

“For what?” she asked, “I doubt you’re a secret Purifier.”

He coughed and replied, “No, but I should have said something. They were your family.”

She shook her head, and somehow found his hand with hers and gave it a squeeze. “They were my relatives. I was a member of their community. Clara and Trust are my family.” Clara was her girlfriend, a student at The Xavier Institute for Higher Learning. “And this place, and everyone here, is my community now.”

He smiled and figured she knew. Opening the container on her desk, he pulled out a treat and gave it to Trust. As he headed for the corridor, Ashley called out, “Oh, and Remy, get some rest. Even I can see you look like crap.”

“Thanks, Ashley.”

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