Talking To Strangers
Dinnertime at the Xavier Institute resembles a large restaurant buffet. The student bustle about filling their plates and sharing stories of their days events. One particular story is traded across the table and embellished by the imaginations of its' young tellers.
The story of a calm, cool and collective biker who stood up for them and threw three punks through a door with one hand, as so described by Bobby. The news of such a person rings speculations of his origins and the young students let their imaginations flow with amazing possibilities, from a super government agent just passing through to a last surviving member of an alien race sent to Earth to protect them from the forces of evil, as so described by some of the much younger students. As the young chatty students eat their dinners, the real speculations take place in Charles Xavier's office. Standing in front of his desk with concerned expressions, Scott, Jean, Rogue, Kitty and Kurt, look to him for answers. Scott asks, "So have you been able to track this guy with Cerebro, Professor?"
Charles shakes his head, "No I have not. He either knows how to block me out Like Magneto, or it maybe possible he may not even be a mutant."
Kurt speaks, "But we saw him in action, Professor. Vell, kind of. I mean vhat else could he be?"
Charles answers, "There are many possibilities, Kurt. Many of which we have faced in the past. Yet he has shown no real threat, and his intolerance for mutant hatred is genuine from you've all described to me. But his actions may gain the interest of some of our enemies, which may put him in danger as well. By now, I'm sure, Tabitha has bragged to the Brotherhood about him. Word will most certainly reach Magneto. We must find him, if not to learn about him, but to protect him as well. Hank and I are already adding modifications to Cerebro to broaden the scanning range and frequencies. That will hopefully allow me to at least confirm his location. Until then, stand ready and be watchful. He may not be a threat, but his brief involvement today may have put him in danger."
Scott glances around and asks, "Where's Logan, Professor?"
Charles answers, "He driving Ororo to see Evan with the Morlocks. They will both be back later tonight. For now enjoy your dinners and clear your minds on this matter, try not to add to the hysteria that has started in the dinning room." As he smiles.
The students walk out of his office casually as Charles turns his wheel chair to gaze out his window. A cloudless sky reveals a blanket of stars across the horizon. He catches a glimpse of light as a shoot start streaks across the night sky. He thinks to himself, 'Should I make a wish?' As his gaze becomes concerned glare.
Then his desk intercom beeps and Hank's voice comes through, "Professor, I'm almost finished with the modifications to Cerebro."
Charles turns towards his desk, "Very good, Hank. I will be there shortly."
Standing by the team's high-tech vehicle, the X-Van, Logan lights up a cigarette. One of many as he waits in secluded alley. He glances down a open man hole as he puffs out smoke shaking his head as hears muffled conversation echoing from within the sewer.
Beneath in the sewers, a tall slender African woman makes a plea, "Evan, please just come up for dinner tonight, everyone really misses, I miss you."
In front of her stands a shorter figure covered head to toe in a hard armadillo like armored shell with only his young innocent face showing through. He looks up at her and says, "I can't, Auntie O. I want to so badly, but looking like this," gesturing to himself, "I feel safer down here."
They both fall silent in the darkness trying to contain their emotions. Then they hear a sniffing sound and look up to see Logan with his head partially in the man hole.
He looks at the tall slender woman and says, "Ororo, I'm smellin' somethin' really funky right now."
Evan and Ororo giggle a bit as Evan says, "It's the sewer Logan, we get all kinds of smells down here."
Logan continues sniffing using his sharp sense of smell, "No, it ain't the sewer, kid."
Ororo then asks, "What is it Logan?"
Just as he about to answer, Logan quickly looks over his shoulder then quickly turns and dives head first into the sewer as he yells out, "GET DOWN!"
Logan dives head first into her sewer sludge, and in a swift motion rolls to his feet. A sudden loud rumbling and crushing sound envelopes the area as the ground around them shakes violently. Logan dives towards Ororo and Evan pushing down and further into the tunneling sewer just as the sewer and ground behind him caves in. Smoke and dust fill the air blinding them and forcing them to cough and gag. Logan gets to his feet fast waiving his hand trying to clear the air. More rumbling as the ground shakes again almost knocking Logan off his feet. He looks back at Ororo and Evan saying, "Stay here, I'll check this out."
Ororo sternly replies, "I'm going with you, Logan."
She raises her hands concentrating as the wind picks up around them. Logan was always impressed with Ororo's mutant ability to control the weather, he smiles at her then turns around waiting for her to clear the air. Ororo forms a funnel sucking out the dust and smoke from the air. As it clears, they see the street above them has caved in heavily. Logan leaps through the open gap and spots the X-Van still on one piece. Ororo flies up behind him.
She says, "Evan, stay where you are. We'll handle this."
Evan nods as they as they leave his sight. Logan and Ororo look down the empty alley way slowly making their way to what ever trouble may lurk. The ground shakes more violently than before forcing Logan off his feet. The air becomes thin as Ororo starts gasping, "Logan….something..is wrong!"
She passes out and falls from the sky unto the pavement. Logan runs to her aid but is also gasping for air as he reach her. A very loud crashing sound and a cloud of billowing dust surrounds them once more as Logan hears the sound of struggle in the debris that was once a brick wall.
Logan grabs Ororo and drags her at the same time coughing and gasping for air. His eyes begin to water due to the dust and fumes. The sounds of large impacts and harsh grunting echo from dust filled alley. Logan realizes it's some kind of fight, but his first concern is for Ororo. He carries her out of the alley and starts to run across the street. Just a he begins to clear the dust clouded area, and large, elongated and scaly hand wraps around Logan head and lifts him off the street. The grip is tight and painful he drops Ororo back unto the street yelling in agony. He would have been killed instantly if weren't for his indestructible metal skeleton. However, the scales of the hand dig into his skin and he begins to bleed. Logan grits his teeth with blood rushing down his face. He growls out as he extends his metal claws from his fists and slashes blindly behind him. The hand lets go as he hears echoing like female squeal. Logan barely lands on his feet, after being dropped. He begins to feel his strength wane as the dust slowly settles. Looking at his claws, Logan notices some kind of yellow glowing matter dripping from the tips. He feels exhausted, drained of all his strength, Logan knows that it's his remarkable healing ability that's barely keeping him on his feet. His bleeding stops and his vision clears, standing before him is a nightmare beyond anything he has ever seen. A somewhat female figure, partially scaly and fresh like elongated arms and hands. The head was a bit large and moved as though the neck was broken, yet it twitched feverishly. Different colored eyes protrude out of every curvature of the head with one distinct mouth that seems to smile hideously, drooling and breathing deeply. Logan sees where his claws slashed the creature, across the chest area where normally a woman's breast would be.
Yellow fluids gush from the three cut marks from his claws, but it doesn't seem to bother the creature in the slightest. Then it speaks in a slithery tone, "Gooood….fffight…ssstruggle…you anger and adrenaline only makes the meat on your bones all the more deliciousssss."
Logan feels his strength again get weaker, but still tries to fight swinging his claws at her.
The three blades slash and cut into her again, as she just laughs grabbing both of his arms. Logan struggles but is unable to break her grip as she holds his arm straight out. Drool drips from her mouth as she says, "Yyeessss….cut me….fffight me… grow angrier, feisty one. Make this meal worth my while."
Logan grits his teeth and grunts out, "I'd sooner kiss ya on the lips lady."
She smiles and adds, "That cannnn beee arrrranged."
She pulls Logan closer to her as she starts puckering up. Logan shakes his head trying to pull away, but his strength has grown weak and all he can see is her bile dripping lips get closer to his. Then with a violent jerk, she screams out loudly as she lets go, dropping Logan to the street. He lands on his back unable to get to feet. The female creature screams out in pain with her arms flailing out. A bright light seems to envelope her in a dome like manner. The eyes on her head glow and one by one begin popping like balloons. Finally, in an extremely brilliant burst, her body is lifted off the ground then literally ripped in half. The light dissipates as the remains of the female creature's body splatters to the ground making a sizzling sound as it hits the pavement. Logan gradually looks up and sees another figure standing before him where the creature was. Though his vision is still a bit foggy, Logan can still make out shapes. He sees human looking figure look down at him, it's eyes glowing bright red, and a bright shining four corner star across it's chest. Logan squint his eyes trying to focus, but is only able to make out the glowing eyes and star, the rest is just a shadowy figure, which is now crouching down to him. In an echoing yet gentle tone, the figures ask, "Mister, are you alright?"
Logan just groans out, "Nnno."
The eyes and star slowly dim as Logan focuses on the figure. He sees a what believes is a guy, covered head to toe in some kind of uniform. He can't make out any colors due to the darkness, but he can tell the guy is wearing some kind of face plate or helmet.
The guy ask Logan, "How are you feeling?"
Logan replies, "Lousy… drained."
The guy chuckles and says, "Well that's what happens when you try to fight a Kligroxu."
Logan raises one eyebrow, "A whatsu?"
The guy stops for a second and continues, "Huh? Oh yeah, in English I guess it would mean, Displacer Beast." as he grabs Logan and carries him over to Ororo, who is still out cold.
The guy adds, "Man I got to tell you, you have got a lot guts to try and fight her. Either that or you're really crazy. I would have gotten to you sooner, but she kind of knocked the wind out me back there. You and your girlfriend here got very lucky."
Logan mutters out, "What's goin' on, what happened to me."
The guy answers, "The aftereffects of a Kligroxu's power. She was pretty much gonna drain you everything, then chew you both up like beef jerky. They also like to talk crap to their victims. They're kind of weird like that, but it gave me time enough to save you.
Anyways, this should help," as the guy places his hands on Logan's and Ororo's foreheads, "you should wake tomorrow with just a head ache. A very long and painful headache, but you'll both live."
Logan feels a warm sensation throughout is body that relaxes him. He no longer feels drained, but just tired. In the distance he can hear the sounds of sirens. Just then the guy stands up saying, "Well, here come the blue light specials. I gotta go, trust me you'll be fine. And, uh, thanks for the assist, I guess."
Logan struggles against his fatigue while he watches the guy leap into the air and pretty much vanishes into the night sky before finally blacking out.
Just a few miles away, standing atop one of the highest buildings in Bayville, a cloaked figure bears witness to the light brief light show that has just transpired. Peering through T shaped view port of his sinister helmet, his eyes glare as the sound of his power reverberates. Metal shards float around him and begin to orbit around his cloak body. He slowly turns to two the shadowy figures standing with him and says, "Sabertooth , Gambit, I want you two to find out what that was. Something is transpiring without my knowledge and I will not allow this to pass. If it is a person, extend my invitation. If this person is a threat, eliminate them. Understood?"
They both nod to him as he floats away into the shadows. The smaller of the two starts grinning as he says, "Now Gambit can dig dis spying part," as he gesture to himself, "But da killin' ain't Gambit's style."
The larger and more beast figure steps up and remarks, "Then leave all the killin' to me.
Let's play , swamp rat." As they both leap to next roof top and work their way further towards the scene.
The younger students of the Xavier Institute keep their eyes glued to the TV all morning hoping to catch anything about the action they only heard about. They listen to the news anchorwoman as she details out the situation, "Authorities are still unsure what has happened last night. Witnesses a few blocks from the scene said they could hear loud crashes resembling an earthquake. Then a very bright flash of light, as though a building transformer had blown up. Police at the scene say they have only found one body but believe it is some kind of wild animal. Coroners have yet to identify the remains. The chief of police says he is not ruling out the possibility of this being homicide or a mutant threat. Channel 7 News will keep you updated as further details arise."
Below the mansion, in one of the many chambers that catacomb beneath, Logan slowly opens his eyes. He lays in a bed in the infirmary next to Ororo who lays in the bed next to his. Charles rolls up to him in his wheel chair, "How do you feel Logan?"
Logan rubs his head, "Like the man told me, alive, with a major headache."
He looks over at Ororo, "How you doin' Ororo."
She mutters out with her eyes closed, "I've had much better days, Logan. Thank you for asking."
Logan looks at Charles, "How'd we get back here?"
Charles settles back in his wheel chair, "Evan alerted us in the X-Van. It he and the Morlocks that were able to get to you before the authorities did. You two were lucky."
Logan swallows, "Yeah, that's what 'he' said last night too."
"Who was it, Logan. What happened?" Charles inquires.
Logan shuts his eye tightly, "I really don't know, Chuck. It was like a scene right out of the Twilight Zone. Nothin' felt right, smelled right, even looked right. Tell you this much, I won't look at meat the same way again."
Charles grows concerned, "Well, the media are making speculations at this point. A good portion of the population believe it is a hoax."
Logan opens his eye and looks at Charles, "Where're Scott and the others?"
Charles responds, "They went to take a close look at the scene. And hopefully try to catch up with this mystery motorcyclist they met yesterday."
"You think this guy and last night are connected?" Logan asks.
Charles says, "Hopefully we will find out soon. I scanned the city with Cerebro hoping to find him, but was unsuccessful. I did however detect Sabertooth."
Logan grits his teeth and grunts out, "Damn."
"Take it easy, Logan," Charles says, "I suspected Magneto may have heard about all this. His presence was not unexpected. You and Ororo just get some rest, both your muscles are in shock according to Hank."
Ororo speaks up with her eyes still closed, "Believe me Professor, I have no intention of moving an inch today."