"Rest in Pieces"
By Roby Carr
Part Three: Pyro, Gamgee, Sabertooth Tiger and Colossol... Oh My!

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"So that was what you found out?" Charles Xavier asked Logan and Ororo as Evan and Kitty sat to the side, listening to the exchange. Both adults had finished explaining the disappearance of two seemingly random girls until they found that one, a girl named Claire Roberts, had some sort of connection to four of the six Acolytes. Nothing else really clicked though, Professor Xavier had to admit to himself. When he had ran tests through Cerebro, searching for both active and inactive X-genes, he had been given results showing that Glen Ellyn had no mutants.

"So, Chuck, what's the verdict?" Logan grunted, glancing down at the professor.

"Yeah, Professor, we, like, totally should get going on chasing after the Acolytes if you, like, this they're behind the kidnapping," Kitty agreed. Both she and Evan stood and joined the adults at Xavier's desk.

"Alright. Logan, I want you, Scott, Jean and Bobby to wait for my instructions. I'll be searching for the Acolytes and when I find them I want your team on it. Ororo, you take Kitty and Evan back to Glen Ellyn. We need more information for Jackie, especially to see if she has any connections to anything mutant what-so-ever. Make sure you speak to their parents this time," Xavier ordered, "Beast and I will be back here at the Institute directing all of you. It's very likely that the Acolytes may have had something to do with the disappearance of Claire Roberts and Jackie Kelly-Goss. If so, for the safety of those girls, they must be returned to Glen Ellyn as soon as possible. The Acolytes have done some horrible things, but I certainly never expected a kidnapping."

Logan nodded and Kitty and Evan followed him to the door. Evan paused, glancing back at his aunt, but she waved him on and he closed the door behind him.

"Charles," Ororo began, "You should know that something happened in the Glen Ellyn Police Station. I feel that it may help you with finding when these girls are, if you know about this."

"Yes?" Xavier prompted. Ororo looked somewhat reluctant to continue, more than likely because she doubted Charles would still believe she was mentally stable after telling him this. She continued anyway though.

"As we were heading down the halls to the interrogation room, I was positive that I heard someone calling for help and, when I glanced back down the hall, I was certain I saw a girl standing there. When she looked up at me, I felt so sad and hopeless despite the fact that moments before I'd been feeling fine. Logan called to me and when I glanced back to the girl, she was gone. The strangest part was, later Claire's boyfriend gave me a picture of her and without a doubt, she is the same person I saw in that hallway."

"Mm hmm..." Xavier said, as an idea sparked into his head with this story, "Ororo, may I borrow that photograph for a while?"

Ororo slid the picture over to Xavier and he smirked at the girl's face. Ororo headed for the door and Xavier followed, heading once again towards Cerebro, his thoughts churning endlessly.

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"Hello?" Jackie screeched for probably the thirteenth time that minute. For the past hour she'd been doing this. She would screech out either something logical - or once in a while for fun, something completely random - and then press her ear up against the cold steel walls of her prison, attempting to listen for any noise what-so-ever. She had heard footsteps as someone passed the room she was kept in, and one a husky male voice speaking to someone else, so she knew, eventually, someone would have to answer. Or so she hoped.

"C'mon, you assholes! Pickle juice! Rabbit foot! Fool's gold! Cock-a-doodle-doo!" the mouse-brunette girl shouted hoarsely, narrowing pretty almond-shaped eyes at the door, which she still couldn't figure out how to open, "Damnit! Just answer my questions and I'll do whatever you want, I swear it! I just want to know what's going on!"

She paused, remembering her old, crazed grandfather. Anytime he even whispered anything, he had everyone's attention. Time to take out a page out of his lunatic book.

"GIANT ALIEN CANDY CANES IN HAMBURGER SPACESHIPS!" she screamed, clenching her eyes shut and trying to ignore her throat's protests to calling so loudly. Jackie sank to the floor, eyes still closed as she held her breath, praying silently.

'Oh, c'mon Gramps... This just has to work. Please save me here... I need you right now, Granddaddy, and I forgive you for being so weird... Please, Lord...'

"Well, aren't you the strange one." Jackie's bright green eyes snapped open and focused on the door, which was quickly opening inwards and up. It was obviously working electronically, for the moment the man stepped inside, it shut.

'I love you so much right now Grandpa.'

"Who the hell are-" Jackie began, stopping short as she got a good look at the man standing in front of her. Though dressed much more... humanly than before, this was most certainly the same man who'd set fire to her socks. Her ankle still hurt from the slight burn from that, in fact. "You bastard!" she shrieked without warning, fists clenching at her sides, "You're that same asshole that permanently scarred my leg."

"Oh, come on!" he replied, striding forward, "It was hardly that bad. The X-kids can take it, so can you, mate."

"Look, I don't know if you're insane or what. But obviously, you aren't from America, so I've got a little somethin'-somethin' to tell you about the USA. Here, we don't let men run around on the streets with flamethrowers and we don't ever let men kidnap high school girls and get away with it. I want to know where Claire is right now and I want you to let us both go!" Jackie demanded, glaring at the man through almond-eyes.

"Hello, my name is Pyro. Who're you?"

"ARE YOU STUPID?" she cried, strutting forward and grasping Pyro by his shoulders fearlessly. Okay, she survived the first encounter and in a place like this, did it really matter whether or not she survived the next? Of course! But that wasn't really the point, "My name is Jacklyn Edith Kelly-Goss of Glen Ellyn High School, daughter of Gordon and Katie Kelly-Goss and sister of the late Anders Kelly-Goss, may he rest in peace. Got that? I've got PEOPLE who WANT me back at my HOME! You won't get away with it."

"No, I won't, shiela."

"What is wrong with you!"

"Magneto will get away with it though."

"Who the hell is Magneto?"

"I'm a mutant."

"Mutants do not exist!"

"You're a mutant."

"No, I am not!"

"I've got to go now, mate. Perhaps we can chat again, sooner or later."

"What?"

With this, Pyro turned on his heel and headed for the door, a completely confused and stupefied Jackie was left in his wake, gaping like a fish out of water. He paused at the door, waiting for it to open, ducked under and disappeared as the door snapped shut.

"Uh... Wait!" Jackie shouted at the door, a little too late. Her head was spinning with the amazing amount of information that idiot had managed to cram inside in the span of three minutes.

'What's a mutant? Am I a mutant? Is he really a mutant? Is Magneto a mutant? Who the hell is Magneto anyway? Is he more crazy than Granddaddy? Who're the X-kids? Do they have school where he's from? He could so not have passed kindergarten. What about his country's laws? If I shoot him once I get out of here, I could probably get away with it at this rate.'

And that was only the beginning of the madness in there as she stared at the closed door, her mouth still gaping and her eyes hardly able to blink.

"The hell?"

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"Hey," Ororo heard a familiar voice say as she entered the interrogation room once again, finding it much less crowded than the last time she was here. Armed with a notebook, ballpoint pen and her two 'interns', Ororo was now ready to do some digging on the Acolytes' apparent interest in these girls.

Ororo glanced over to see the friendly face and lanky body of Brenden Kelly, grinning at her like a maniac. It was almost seven hours since they had been there around eleven o' clock that morning and Brenden was still there, not looking like he might be leaving anytime soon. The boy looked persistent, like he might actually spend the night here at the station if he was asked to do so.

Pressing down on his messy hair and failing miserably at making the light brown mess look the slightest bit presentable, Brenden said, "Remember me? Brenden Kelly - we were talking earlier today. I'm glad you came back. I left a little while after you did to go check if Nate was back at the Roberts' house yet and-" He paused, his dark brown eyes flitting suspiciously over to both Kitty and Evan slightly behind Ororo, still a little miffed at each other.

"Evan, Kitty," Ororo said, gesturing towards where a few police officers were now speaking with the 'crazy' old man and the old woman she'd seen that morning, "Why don't you both go and ask around about Jackie while I talk to Brenden about Claire?"

Both X-men looked ready to protest having to leave such a juicy conversation just as it was getting good, but Ororo shot them the type to look that said 'go-or-see-Logan-when-we-get-back'. Grumbling under her breath, Kitty and Evan moved off to find someone to talk to instead.

"Interns," Ororo explained quickly, "Please Brenden, continue. You went back to Claire and Nate's house and then what happened?"

"Well," Brenden began, "I poked inside - you know, I had a key since I'm always the one feeding their cat when they head out to Chicago for the weekend - and suddenly, it popped into my head that I hadn't checked my email in a while, so I headed upstairs to go online with their computer. I go on Claire's computer all the time, she doesn't mind. But while I was clicking into Internet Explorer, a couple of Claire's folders caught my eye and I couldn't help but pry. I know it wasn't right and all, but I just went in and flipped through some of her Microsoft Word files."

Brenden hesitated, glancing around, probably thinking that Nate would wring his neck if he found out that Brenden was poking through Claire's stuff.

"Go on." Ororo smiled reassuringly and Brenden gave her that wild grin again.

"So I used that tool - you know, the one where you type in a word and it searches the whole document for the word? - and there was this one document that had all four of those names in it. What were they again? Pyro, Gamgee, Sabertooth Tiger and Colossol?" Brenden shook his head and tugged off his trucker hat before pulling it back on again. "I had them written down somewhere or I wouldn't even have a clue."

"Brenden, the document," Ororo persisted, placing one hand on the tall teenager's shoulder and forcing his to look down at her, "What did it say?"

"I didn't read it," Brenden said, shrugging, "I was printing it out for you, but I had to leave it at Claire's house because it was only halfway done printing when Mrs. Roberts called me up on my cell phone and said that my own mom was wondering where I'd been all morning. I totally forgot that I had to pick up my truck from the shop."

"Where's Claire's house?" Ororo asked and Brenden looked a bit confused for a moment.

"It's hard to explain. Can I drive you there?"

Ororo sighed in relief, glancing over at the brunet boy in a trucker hat and jeans. Brenden Kelly had just become her angel in disguise.

"Yes, please. As soon as possible."

"My truck's just outside."

-----

Charles Xavier sat alone in a giant metal room, hooking himself up to Cerebro. His mind was calm as usual despite the more than unusual complications. He had never expected Erik to stoop to the level of kidnapping two girls who didn't even seem all that special. Which was why he was turning to Cerebro once again. He had the photograph of Claire Roberts now and he would work even harder to check the citizens of Glen Ellyn for active or in-active X-genes.

"Claire Roberts... If you are a mutant, than how did you escape Cerebro?" Xavier murmured to himself and closed his eyes focusing. The screen in front of him lit up and the brain wave patterns of millions of people from all over the world bombarded Professor Xavier.

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"You there! Boy!"

Evan almost cried out in surprise as a small bony hand grasped his arm, the grip surprisingly strong considering who was holding onto him. A very short and rather ugly old man was staring at him through increasingly pale blue eyes. Next to Evan, Kitty looked almost grossed out by the strange old man.

"Uh, can we, like, help you?" she asked hesitantly, glancing back towards where she and Evan had left Ororo, but both the weather witch and the boy she was speaking with were gone.

"Not you, wench! Him! Boy, you've seen them, haven't you?" the old man was surprisingly loud and his voice was high-pitched, almost squeaking so high that Evan could no longer hear him, "You've seeeeeeen them!"

A woman hobbled up, using a cane to walk and looking both worried and embarrassed. "Oh, do tell me he hasn't gone off on another rant about those things," she groaned, her voice softer and calmer, reminding Evan of his Auntie O, though older and more tired, "I hope he hasn't insulted either of you. My husband, Jonathan, he gets like this sometimes and then he just doesn't stop for hours. It's all because Jaclyn's gone, I tell you. If that poor girl hadn't gotten lost, he might have his head today-"

"You know Jackie?" Evan asked, slowly managing to pry his hand out of the creepy old man's grip.

"Why, she's my granddaughter," the old woman replied, "My name is Edith Kelly and my daughter is Katherine Kelly-Goss and her daughter is Jaclyn Kelly-Goss. And if that girl isn't the rudest young woman I have met in ages! Jaclyn is going to have quite the bit of trouble finding herself a man if she continues to wear those tomboyish outfits. Really! No young woman should be wearing boys' jeans, especially if they belonged to her dead brother-"

"Well," Kitty interrupted, seeing that this was going nowhere fast, "We're interns on the case to, like, find Claire and Jackie and we just wanted to, like, talk to Jackie's parents."

"Now, in my day, young ones like you two were busy getting married, not trying to solve crimes like the detectives on 'Law and Order'. Besides, my daughter and Gordon are on their second honeymoon. And I'm not planning on calling them up and ruining such a happy time. Jaclyn's just run off again, I'll bet you! She'll be back by dinner and Miss Claire Roberts'll be at her side, apologizing like there is no tomorrow! I do declare, that girl is far too over-apologetic for her own good. No man'll promise himself to a girl like that. No, indeed! Now, me and Jaclyn's granddaddy, we got married on Midsummer's Eve and-"

By now Edith had turned away from Kitty and Evan and was hurrying after her husband who'd found new prey in the form of a young police officer who was looking utterly bored.

"We should go," Evan groaned, stumbling back until his hand found the door handle, "Why do we always get the crazies?"

"Not crazy, Evan. Those two were like totally insane!"

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- Roby Carr