The MCRT, Morlocks, MGH and Murder

Part 2: Chapter 24

A shrill sound pulled him from sleep and he squeezed his eyes shut as if willing it to shut off. Not the alarm already. Hadn’t he just laid his head down? Ororo heard it too, and mumbled, sleepily, “Remy, your phone.”

He coughed to clear his throat and whispered a ‘sorry’ before taking the call into the hallway. “Agent LeBeau.” No recognizable sound. “Hello? Who is this?”

Ororo could only hear half the hushed conversation, but knew it wasn’t good before Remy came back into the room. “What is it?” Ororo asked as Remy started changing into something suitable for public.

“Nothing good,” Remy said, half-dressed, and tossed her his phone. “Call Kurt and Anna for me, would you?” Ororo could see his agitation even in the dim light. As an afterthought, he added, “And call Jean, too.”

He went into the bathroom and splashed cold water on his face and brushed his teeth, trying to wake himself up. He knew he’d need a clear head for this one. Ororo was out of bed and making her way down the stairs and Remy heard her tell Kurt not to teleport inside the house.

Because she lived next door, Jean arrived first, driving the SUV Scott had sequestered from the hangar. She said very little, but her coping methods were well known to both Ororo and Remy, so Ororo just silently offered her a travel mug filled with herbal tea. They waited ten minutes in that loaded silence until Anna Marie’s car could be heard screeching against the curb.

Remy stopped pacing to let her in and forced himself to put on enough of a calm demeanor to ease her into the situation. She wasn’t wearing any makeup, except for some mascara. She was taught to never leave the house without it. However, without the additives of blush and foundation, her smooth skin looked pale and drawn. This was her first real middle of the night serious mission, though she’d had several training ones. So, her pallor and those big bouncing green eyes were almost to be expected, and yet, it could mean added trouble. Before they went any further into his house, and into the mission, Remy gave her an out, quietly, “You don’t have to go with us, Annie.”

She leveled a gaze at him and tried to make her thin frame seem intimidating against his. “I know you’re an empath, sugar, and probably can’t help feeling sorry for me, but don’t. Not right now.” She didn’t know what this was about, but the fact that it had been Ororo to call made it somehow seem like something awful was ahead of them. But whatever it was, she couldn’t stay behind.

Remy simply nodded his acquiescence. He couldn’t reassure her that what lay ahead was going to be anything but awful.

Kurt arrived last, though he could have been first since teleporting was nearly instantaneous. And though Remy thought about jumping down Kurt’s throat for his apparent lack of concern, it was not necessary at this time. Though he regretted his kindness when he overheard Kurt complaining as they drove to the scene that he had been interrupted from a good part in the book he was reading and that Remy did not have the decency to call him himself.

Jean’s range of empathy was wider, longer and deeper than Remy’s was, and so she had a far greater idea of the situation at hand than any of them did. And with it, she took charge. Turning to her team, she said in a clipped and angry tone, “Preserve the scene, and for heaven’s sakes, get her out of here.” She got out the car but didn’t move; she would need a moment to prepare herself for what lay before her, both scientifically speaking, and emotionally. And currently, she was trying hard not to be angry at Remy for dragging her into this.

Willa all but ran at them when she spotted them not two seconds after they parked the car. Her fists were flying and rage was boiling off of her. She landed a few vicious hits against Remy as hard as she could muster. “There’s nothing left of her!” she shrieked, “Nothing! Nothing!” Remy went to grab her hands, but Anna Marie grabbed her by the arm and yanked her away. Willa was now just shrieking, not making any sense and Anna Marie held onto her until her voice cracked and her body starting shaking with sobs. ‘An ugly crier’ her mama would have said.

She silently told her mother to ‘hush up’ and as she led Willa away, her eyes locked onto Remy’s and she said almost inaudibly, “This isn’t for me.” Those green eyes were liquid, dancing with tears, as she had just admitted failure.

Remy managed to nod his head. He understood, and at times, he agreed with her. He walked away from Willa to the ‘scene’ Jean had referred to, which Kurt had managed to rope off, not too far from what had obviously been an underage gathering of idiots – all gone now – and very nearly threw up. There’s nothing left of her screeched through his brain as if Willa had said it again. And she was right.

For the apartment complexes on this particular street, it was garbage day tomorrow, and like good citizens, they put the round containers of trash by the curb like any normal week. Inside one, a dark green one with the lid nearby, was an image Remy knew would never leave him.

An arm, almost translucent white, was precariously sticking out of the top, bent at an angle arms didn’t usually bend at. It was attached to a slumped over head with damp black hair and what was left of the body, which was gruesomely twisted off at the lower torso like a water balloon. The legs were not visible if they were even present.

Remy finally realized Kurt was not far away and appeared to be praying. Even by the dim street lights, Remy could see the tear tracks on Kurt’s blue skin and where he had obviously lost his dinner. Remy gave him a moment to finish, making the sign of the cross, because it was the respectful thing to do, and then asked, “Did you touch anything?”

Nein. No. Oh God, I couldn’t.”

Jean had silently joined them and took a few more silent moments to examine the scene. Then, in a voice that was strangely monotone, she said, “We’ll need to take the entire garbage can with us.”

Turning to Kurt, she said, “Put down the back seats of the SUV and cover the space with a tarp and then butcher paper. I’m not sure we have enough paper or a big enough tarp.” It was a request that he get things if needed.

And after Kurt had teleported away, probably in pursuit of the nearest 24 hour store, Jean continued her analysis. With her gloved hands, she lightly traced a finger against the skin near the tied off torso. “It appears the skin has some stretching capabilities not within normal range.” And pushing just a bit of the garbage bag aside, she noted what appeared to be shreds of the same translucent colored skin. “These shredded pieces just might be the legs.”

Remy was appalled by her distant tone, by her words ‘the skin’ and ‘the legs’ as if it were just some experiment that didn’t include a human life. And before he could contain it, he snarled, “Yeah, well, she used to be a fucking human being.”

Jean snapped her eyes up at him and took a step closer to him in one fluid motion. “Calm down,” she said, her voice harsh and cold enough to frost the air. “You can’t help her like this, so get ahold of yourself and save it for later, okay?” Even in the dim light, Remy saw that her eyes were completely gold; the surest sign that she was relying on her psychic walls to block emotion from bubbling to the surface. She was telling him the same advice she had told herself, no doubt.

Remy took a breath, calming himself, pushing past the sick feeling that was as pervasive as goldenrods in the late summertime, and looked with unreadable eyes at the bloated bag that had once been a vibrant human life. Had once been Cora – a sweet, innocent child, who had never done anything wrong to anyone.

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