Disclaimer: Though all characters belong to me I am simply borrowing the Marvel Universe, and certain koine terms, to let them play in. This is purely for fun, and to combat boredom, no profit will ever be made from it. ^_^


The sun was barely cresting the horizon, bathing the desert in crimson rays. Already a warm summer wind ruffled the tall grasses that grew along the side of the normally empty road. Stray jackrabbits and prairie dogs roamed among the tall sagebrush, seeking water from the morning dew. Their comfortable silence was broken by the sound of an engine. A lone car, sleek and black, tore across the empty blacktop.

Zaid, at the wheel for much longer than he was accustomed to, squinted his dark eyes against the morning light. His sunglasses weren't helping. He glared at the passenger seat where his companion was sleeping all too comfortably. Wake up Pet. He reached out and gave the woman a gentle shove.

Zaid, if you don't let me sleep I'm gonna cut out your liver and eat it for breakfast, came the less-than-cheerful reply.

Chuckling, Zaid shoved her again. Come on, you're missing the sunrise.

Wiping the sleep from her pale blue eyes, Petra Bauer sat up fully in her seat. I've seen a sunrise before. It rose yesterday and, unless something goes horribly, horribly wrong on this trip, it'll rise again tomorrow. You're gonna need a better excuse than that for waking me.

How bout shear boredom? Counting jackrabbits is getting old. Zaid gave his partner a rough grin, trying his best not to let his attention linger on the scar that trailed its way across her face. ~You did that to her!~ his mind screamed at him.

Petra shrugged and ran her hand through her short cropped blonde hair. Fine. So... we there yet? Her grin was wicked, knowing how much the question would irritate him.

Zaid sighed and chose not to answer. He focused his attention on the road before them once again, trying to ignore the voice of his conscience. ~You gave her that scar. You did it.~ Out of the corner of his eye he watched the woman get comfortable once again.

There was never a pair so obviously mismatched as the two of them, at least in appearance. Zaid, big and dark as midnight, and Petra, the very archetype of a Norse warrior: blonde and fair skinned. He loved to tease her that all she needed was a Viking helmet and a horse and she'd be the spitting image of a Valkyrie. She was the strongest person he'd ever met, almost a match for himself, and a fearsome fighter.

She would have been somewhat attractive too, if it weren't for him. The scar he'd given her at their first meeting started at her left temple and trailed its way along her cheek, under her jaw, and down to her right collarbone. The funny thing was that Petra didn't seem to mind. In fact, she was kind of proud of it. She said it helped people believe that she, a woman, could be one of the best bounty hunters around.

Zaid shook his freshly shaven head. It did no good to dwell on it. It was in the past and, luckily, Petra held no grudges. A green highway sign streaked past. Hey, what was the name of that town again?

Haven. Haven, Nevada. Petra glanced down at the map in her lap. Brushing away the fast food wrappers that covered it, she quickly located their tiny destination. Only about 20 more miles till the turnoff.

Zaid pressed the accelerator a bit more. They had a job to do and, truth be told, he was eager to get started. Rumor held that this isolated town was a place just crawling with mutants. Their employer was willing to pay top dollar for every collared mutant he and Petra could bring back to New York.

Petra laughed. Easy Zaid. I don't think this thing will go much faster. Besides, if what we've heard is true these mutants won't be going anywhere soon.

True enough, he grunted. But my backside's getting sore from all this sitting. I just want to get out and stretch my legs.

Petra's laugh filled the car as the miles continued to fly by.