Part 2: Chapter 22
It came down to twelve. Twelve families or communities that Remy would have to revisit – and soon – so they could start raising awareness of the dangers of taking MGH. In some ways, he felt like a failure. Mutant communities were his bread and butter; he had written a lot of the rules on how to proceed with these people. And the more afternoons and evenings he spent with Emma Frost, the less assured he felt that he was what these people needed. Not that he was convinced that she was the answer to their problems. She could force them to like her, but Remy knew that’s all it would be. She’d have to actually visit them first and dirty houses, not to mention sewers, were not her forte. Not in the least.
Eight o’clock p.m. and he was still sulking at his desk, as it were, when the phone rang. Remy didn’t recognize the number or the name, but answered it when he saw it was from The Triskelion. Another government employee going the distance, or trying to. “Agent LeBeau.”
“Hello, sir. It’s Agent Waynesboro. Kate Waynesboro. We worked the serpentine mutant case in West Virginia.”
“Yes, Agent Waynesboro,” Remy said, remembering a woman with a rigid demeanor and mouse brown hair. “You have any leads on who’s responsible?”
“I think so,” she said quietly, after a moment. And then, as if she were talking to someone she knew and trusted, she continued, “My partner disagrees.”
Remy said nothing, knew he shouldn’t. And Agent Waynesboro continued, “But I saw their bodies, Agent LeBeau. It was brutal. So much rage.” She cleared her throat, composing herself. “Anyways, I looked into the various sects of Purifiers. Well, there isn’t anything substantiated here, in our records. So I dug a little deeper. I’m sending you some information that I collected. Rumors, possibly. But it feels right.”
Again, Remy let her talk. She went on, explaining the reason for the call, “You and your people can do more about it than I can.” By people, she meant The Avengers. Or mutants.
“Thank you, Agent Waynesboro,” Remy said finally. “How about I send you the occasional progress report?” After all, she was handing him something that she wanted to be a part of, but couldn’t.
“Yes, I would like that. And one more thing, take care of yourself, Agent. It’s a crummy world out there to have your DNA.”
“I never thought it mattered much,” he said and perhaps he was being naive. “Violence is violence.”
“You will change your mind once you read this. Have a good night.”
His name was Dion Wales, though when his body was found no one even knew the color of his skin, let alone who he was. The seventeen year old runaway was found shredded to bits on a highway in plain sight. The assailant, or in this case the potential assailant, had crudely pinned a Wal-Mart receipt to what was left of Wales that said simply ‘mutie trash’. The receipt was easily traceable, as it was from the same day, back to a sixteen year old that had known Wales before Wales dropped out of school and hit the streets. The name of the sixteen year old was never released, on account of his protection, and no one the cops had inadequately interviewed knew anything about it. The events leading up to Wales’ death, though, spoke volumes. He was bullied mercilessly by a kid that went to his school when it became obvious that Wales was different.
Agent Waynesboro had done her research, as she had included the transcript of a telephone call she had with one of the English teachers at Wales’ high school. The teacher said that, yes, Dion had been bullied, but she wasn’t allowed to go into details. She wasn’t allowed to name names, nor was she allowed to talk about what the guidance counselor had shredded. But she did say, adamantly, as Agent Waynesboro had written in the margins, that Dion was not violent.
In a matter of four days, indicated by the town’s newspapers, all included; there was no mention of the death of Dion Wales. It was as if an animal was struck by a car. People knew who had done it but no one received any punishment. No one fought for him, not even his parents. And life went on. In fact, the following day, front page news in the town of Bauxite, Arkansas was the pumpkin festival.
As it would be in his home state, Remy knew it was quarter to eight in Arkansas, and no one would be still at the high school where Wales had gone to school. So he didn’t call with the intention of speaking to the guidance counselor. Instead, he did a search of the school on the internet, and bookmarked it. He already had twelve dead bodies to worry about; he’d leave this one for Kate Waynesboro for now. It’s not that he didn’t care, but he did have – or had to have – a limit.