"Summer Days, Summer Nights"
By Roby Carr
Part Two: Disturbing the Peace, Much?

-----

"Talk about weird..." Claire groaned, stretching as she pulled herself from her stomach to her knees, "They really should have called Cleopatra the drama queen of the Nile." She glanced down, carefully marking her page in her copy of Antony and Cleopatra and finally turned to faced the simple oak desk in the room, at which sat Jackie. Claire pursed her lips and leaned back against the wall, focusing on her friend across the room. Jackie was slumped over on the desk, her head in her arms and she stared at no spot in particular on the closest wall.

"Isn't that nice..." Jackie murmured back, her lips barely moving and the rest of her body staying stationary.

Claire frowned. Why wasn't her best friend answering her properly, cynically, sarcastically, anything! It was almost scary. Nothing especially obvious had happened to Jackie lately, so she had no reason to be acting this way. Maybe it was the sudden change of location, but Claire was a little irritated, something even she knew was strange.

"Are you alright?" she asked slowly, standing and approaching her friend to place a hand on her shoulder. The moment her palm touched Jackie's black t-shirt, she jerked forward and stumbled, barely holding herself up as she grasped onto Jackie.

"Claire!" Jackie cried and spun, grasping her friends hand and glancing up at her to see that her eyes were unfocused and staring at something Jackie couldn't see. Her breathing was shallow, accompanied by a cough every moment or so and her eyes began to water as Jackie suddenly realized what was happening. Claire's powers as a mutant were widespread, but included her visions of the future. This, like many times before, was one of those moments that were originally shocking.

Relaxing slightly, Jackie kept an eye on her friend as she continued to support her by her arms, wondering what it was that Claire was experiencing to cause a reaction like this. The dirty-blonde haired girl sighed in annoyance and sat back in her chair, deciding that, frustrating as it was, the only way to find out was to wait.

-----

Claire' winced as a familiar bright white light flooded her eyes and began forming a scene around her. The first thing she noticed was the gaseous substance, visible in the air as green smoke. She coughed harshly as she inhaled some of it and she could feel her entire body stiffen. She couldn't run to escape the gas and it just kept coming as she choked on it, feeling strangely satisfied with the relaxed feeling it caused.

"Psych!" a voice shouted and the redhead turned her head, finding that she had control of her body back once again. Jackie stood at the end of a gas-filled corridor, waving to her impatiently. "They aren't here! Static and Gear have already checked the rest of the place out. C'mon, or I'm leaving without you."

Claire wanted to shout back, to ask about the gas and find out who Static and Gear were, but her voice wouldn't work and the bright white light filled her eyes once again as she was jolted back to reality.

-----

Claire stumbled forward into a large piece of furniture. As her eyes adjusted, she felt Jackie push her back a bit, allowing her to grasp her bearing on her own, though she still ended up falling back on her behind. She could still smell the sulfur-like stench of that gas and she felt like she could hardly breathe. Jackie raised an eyebrow and leaned down, offering her a hand.

"Get some water and come back here so I can hear about your vision," Jackie instructed her, but though she accepted the help in standing, she shook her head. It was beginning to clear up, her lungs filling with the room's fresh air and her mind setting the pieces of the vision back in place so that she could recall it.

"I'm alright, but something it going to happen. I don't know what, but there was this gas and a corridor and you were there and you talked about Static and Gear and I don't know. It was confusing and I forgot how these things work and-"

"Whoa, Psych-o-path. Slow down and just tell me everything you remember, exactly as it happened."

Claire nodded to her best friend and turned, so focused on the vision that she forgot to reprimand her about the teasing. She sat down on the bed and tucked her legs under her, closing her eyes as she explained the vision to her best friend. Everything she could remember she added in until finally Jackie stopped her, frowning.

"Repeat that last part," she demanded.

"You looked really determined and-"

"No, the part about the clothes. Tell me what I was wearing again."

Claire hadn't expected that at all. Jackie had never been one to care much about her appearance, but she seemed fixated upon exactly what she looked like in this vision, so Claire replied, "You were wearing baggy black girls' cargos. Your shoes were black combat boots, laced up really tightly. And your shirt was just a black hooded sweatshirt, I think. But you were wearing this dark red vest that looked sort of strange for some reason on top of that and fingerless gloves in the same color. That's all I can remember."

"Damnit!" Jackie said suddenly, slamming her fist against the top of the desk, "I thought so. Bet it looked familiar, right?"

"Yeah. It did, sort of. How did you know?"

Jackie looked furious, "Because that's the uniform I wore last summer with the X-Men. The gloves and the vest were fire-proof so I could take of Pyro. I thought it was going to be this sort of shit when you mentioned I called you Psych. We haven't actually used those codenames since the battles last summer."

"You think that we're going to have to fight the Acolytes again?" Claire asked, horrified. She had far too many bad memories of the Acolytes to ever want to even consider seeing them again.

Jackie shook her head and replied, "I'm betting it'll be something else. But what I'm wondering is who Static and Gear are? They must be other mutants here in Dakota."

"It didn't feel like that," Claire said tiredly and Jackie sighed.

"I'm going to sleep. You do it too and we'll talk tomorrow, deal?"

Claire nodded and Jackie left briskly, shutting the door behind her rather harshly.

In the hallway alone, Jackie leaned against the door and took a deep breath. She was not ready to take on another group of bad guys and play hero. And she didn't ever want to touch that fireproof vest again.

Because that meant she would be near fire, and Jaclyn Edith Kelly-Goss despised fire.

-----

It was far too early in Jackie's opinion when she opened her eyes the next morning, cranky at having been woken before noon - it was summer, for God's sake! Groaning, she turned onto her side and pulled her pillow over her head, trying to block out the noise that had woken her. But, of course, it was impossible to drown out. Peeking out, she realized that the noise was her own Mexican Hat Dance ring tone on her cell phone. Jack sat up, raising an eyebrow. No one was supposed to call her long distance unless it was an emergency. Reaching out, she picked it up and pressed the talk button, holding it up.

"Who the hell decided to call me?" she growled, not registering the consequences if it was her parents. Luckily though, it wasn't.

"Jackie! Thank the lord that I was able to get a hold of you. I would have called the house but I don't know the number and Claire's number isn't programmed into my cell phone and-"

"Angela?" Jackie frowned, "This is long distance! What the hell made you call? The X-men need help or something again?" She knew her sarcasm wasn't very good and it could have been entirely sincere. Angela didn't even seem to notice Jackie's tone though.

"It's horrid, Jackie-"

"What is it?" Jackie interrupted, irritated and wanting to go back to sleep for another precious hour.

"Brenden," Angela said softly and she continued after a long pause, "Jackie, you're going to have to be the one to tell Claire. There was an accident - a car crash. Brenden and the rest of their family were heading to the airport for their trip to Ecuador. But a van was out of control and moving way too fast and, Jackie, it hit the back-left side of the car. Brenden was sitting there. His family is alright. The worst was his mom's broken arm. But it was awful and Brenden's in the hospital." She sighed.

"I can't believe it. Claire is going to freak," Jackie said, standing and moving to the window. It was hard to believe that a world could look so nice and then go around breaking people's arms and sending them to the hospital.

"It's room 151 at St. Margaret's," Angela told the girl on the other end of the line and Jackie nodded before she realized that Angela couldn't see her.

"Thanks for telling me, Angela," she said, glaring at the car that drove past, "I'll make sure Claire finds out about it."

The line went dead and Jackie shut her phone off, staring at it in her hand. How was she supposed to be the one to tell Claire the some idiot driver broke her boyfriend? This wasn't the type of thing Jackie was good at. Claire was empathetic, Angela was comforting, and Jackie was completely clueless as to helping people feel better. Oh well, might as well get it over and done with. Maybe Claire wouldn't mind that Brenden was in the hospital suffering through pain and broken bones and whatever had happened.

Yeah right.

Jackie stalled, changing into a pair of black boys cargos and an overly-large black t-shirt. She re-laced her sneakers before sliding them on and actually took the time to brush out her short hair. She spent over five minutes on her pigtails and finally realized that she was out of stuff to do. She opened the door of her bedroom, staring at the room down the hallway. This was really, really going to suck. Reaching it, she knocked before pushing the already half-open door farther open.

Claire was on her bed, still reading Antony and Cleopatra, when she looked up and grinned widely, making Jackie feel like the worst person in the world. Her best friend was sitting there, chilling out and having a great summer and she was supposed to ruin it all by telling her that her boyfriend was in a hospital.

"Listen, Claire," Jackie started and her friend gestured for her to come sit down. Jackie moved towards the bed and sat down rigidly.

"You're finally up, Sleeping Beauty," Claire teased gently and closed her book, marking her page as she did so, "What's up?"

"Well, I just got a call on my cell phone from Angela..." Jackie couldn't figure out what to say. Could she make a joke out of it or something?

"And?" her best friend urged.

"And something really bad happened," Jackie answered as quickly as she could, "to Brenden."

"Oh my God!" Claire gasped, "Tell me he's okay. Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God! Was he in a plane crash? Tell me he didn't die."

"No, Claire, calm down," Jackie told her friend, grabbing her by the shoulders, prepared to use force if necessary, "He wasn't on the plane. He wasn't even out of the state. It was a car crash and I guess he got hurt pretty bad, but Angela didn't seem drastically worried, so I'm sure that he'll be fine."

"Where is he?"

"It's a hospital," Jackie explained, having expected this. Of course, Claire was going to do the whole astroprojection thing so that she could go check on Brenden. And thus, she needed his location. "It's St. Margaret's, right in Glen Ellyn. Room 151 if they didn't move him or anything. Check before going. Third-eye or whatever you call it. And look the bedroom door. I'm going out." Jackie was not going to take the chance of having to be the bearer of any more bad news. She just wasn't good at this and, for her own protection, she was going to get as far away from that cell phone as she could.

"You take your cell phone with you. I'll call if I find anything out or if we need you home."

Of maybe she was going to stay right by it all afternoon.

Things sucked sometimes.

-----

Jackie strode down the sidewalk next to some street near the middle of Dakota. She'd rather have done something that was actually fun instead of walking around like a complete fool, but Claire was currently locked in her bedroom doing her astroprojection-thing since her third eye had finally watched Brenden's mother leave the room Brenden was staying in at the Glen Ellyn hospital. Jackie didn't doubt that while her friend's body was technically dead on the bed in her bedroom, her visual spirit had been warped back to Glen Ellyn to see Brenden. And this left Jackie to spend the afternoon however she wanted to.

But Jackie quickly began to realize that there wasn't actually all that much for her to really do around the Roberts' house. Instead, she had taken the subway out to whichever stop had the coolest name and was now walking around on the sidewalks, entirely lost without caring, and absorbed in a piece of paper in her hand. It had been torn out of the Roberts' newspaper, something Claire had pointed out that morning while eating a bagel and glancing through the articles over her uncle's shoulder. Jackie watched as her uncle just told her to forget about it and Claire had pouted, but Jackie's interest was piqued. Curiosity wasn't usually her thing, but Jackie had trusted instinct before and it had saved lives. She wasn't going to doubt it now.

She had torn it out just as she was passing through the kitchen on her way out of the house, it being the first time neither of the adults had been in there, and it hadn't been until now that she had gotten the chance to look at it. It wasn't even all that interesting, even though it had been right there on the front page as one of the main stories with a picture that was even in color. Just something about a guy who'd gotten out of jail lately.

'Francis "F-Stop" Stone, also known as the bang-baby, Hotstreak, was once again released from Dakota City Penitentiary earlier than was expected. His three-month sentence for petty arson and disturbing the peace was cut short to only one month and four days due to good behavior and positive reports from a city-appointed anger management councilor.'

Jackie almost laughed as she read it over again and glanced at the picture. This 'Francis' guy was pretty buff, even Jackie had to admit, though not to such an extreme that it was creepy. He looked rather Irish too, his hair a very unnatural shade of bright red with blonde streaks that assured her it had to be dyed. And even she could see what a crappy dye job it was.

Just as she was wondering what company it was that provided such bright hair colors though, she slammed into a much larger figure than her own, being knocked back onto her butt and dropping the folded paper she held. She winced inwardly, but outwardly she only said, "Hey! Watch where you're going, jerk!"

"What're you going to do about it if I don't?" a voice snarled back. Her eyes traveled forward to fall upon a pair of black and white skater shoes that were much too clean for Jackie's taste. They continued up Skater Boy's legs, clad in khaki-colored cargo pants that were so baggy and showed so much of his boxers that it was hard to tell how they stayed on. Next was a tight red shirt over a muscled chest and finally a face that was extremely familiar to Jackie. She'd only been looking at it a moment before. It was the boy from the article... what was his name again? Francis?

"Forget you. You aren't even worth the effort," she replied, evading his question quite nicely.

"No," Francis told her, with a dark smirk that Jackie really didn't like, "You're right."

"What?"

"I've got to start watching where I'm going," Francis explained, looking sincere in a very, very venomous way - if that was possible.

"Whatever, just go bother someone else," she snapped back angrily. It was only now that she had noticed that the entire sidewalk on her side of the street was emptied and there were very few people on the other side, most of them in the process of getting out of there anyway. Jackie didn't really want to find out why they were all over there. This dude 'disturbed the peace'. Big whoop. It wasn't like he was a serial killer or anything.

"The least I can do for you is help you up, right?" he said simply, "Oh, look. You dropped something."

Francis reached down and picked up the folded newspaper article. He grinned in a twisted manner and his eyes never left her face as he gauged her reaction as to what he would do next. In a moment, the paper in his hand flared up and burned away, stunning her into silence. She knew she looked terrified, a look the Jackie Kelly-Goss very seldom wore. She was even angry at herself for betraying her emotion before this boy. Jackie wasn't even actually afraid of him. All she could think of was that fire the summer before, the fire that Claire's third eye had shown her and she couldn't do a thing as it burned, her family still inside that home, because she wasn't there to protect them.

She hated fire.

As Francis towered over her, his furious expression darkening by the moment as he stared down at her triumphantly, glad to see the horror on his victim's face. He was about to continue when a bolt of blue lightning whizzed past him, crackling against the wall behind him. Jackie twisted around from her spot on the ground, startled and half-expecting to see that one guy, Berzerker, from the Xavier Institute. That had sure looked like one of his attacks. Instead she saw two guys, dressed in extremely weird costumes, both of which looked like they were about to play 'knight-in-shining-armor' for her. Yeah, like Jackie was going to let that happen anytime soon.

"You haven't been out of jail for more than a week and you're already harassing people, Hotstreak?" one of the two boys said, making Jackie rather annoyed. Banter was cool and all, but making comments about jail sentence and stuff like that, that was low - not hero. "What happened to good behavior and anger management?"

"You can't do anything to me, Sparky," Francis - or was he Hotstreak? - replied, glaring at both of them, hovering in thin air like they were all that.

The second hero dropped to the ground and stepped towards her, like he was going to kneel down and ask if she was alright, but Hotstreak grabbed her arm to yank her up and Jackie's eyes widened in pain when his red-hot hand burned against her skin.

Jackie's eyes narrowed and she slammed her head forward on her shoulders, wincing when she bit her tongue and her chin hit her chest. It'd been a while since she'd last tried this. Though her head didn't even touch Hotstreak as did no other part of her body, he let out a loud groan and stumbled back, gripping his stomach and trying to catch his breath.

"Woah..." the boy in the helmet said and she noted that he still didn't look all that surprised behind his visor. He turned to look at her and Jackie glared back defiantly, not exactly sure what she was even being defiant of.

A ball of fire shot past their heads and both turned to look at Hotstreak, who had pulled himself up using the wall as help. Glaring darkly at the two strangely-dressed boys and Jackie, he spat, "You can't say I did anything wrong, Static. I ain't breakin' any laws yet." The 'yet' sounded suspiciously foreboding, but Hotstreak left too quickly for Jackie to even decide that she didn't actually care about anything this guy said. The boy above her in the air, the one she was pretty sure had shot the electricity from his hands, looked like he was going to follow after him, but apparently Francis had been right when he said he hadn't done anything illegal, because instead the boy landed on the ground next to his partner and glanced at Jackie.

"Are you okay?" he asked and Jackie's eyes traveled down to his feet, more interested in the piece of metal he'd been hovering on than the actual boy. It just looked like a normal round piece of thin metal. So, how did it float? She looked back up at the boy and frowned skeptically. His costume looked ridiculous. Was he supposed to be Superboy or something? Internally, she forcedly berated herself. She'd acted that same way about Magneto and the Acolytes at their base last summer and look at how that had turned out. No, she was certainly going to be more careful this time around.

Or at least she would pretend to be.

"He asked if you were okay?" the boy wearing the helmet repeated for her and Jackie scowled darkly at him. What did he think she was? A child? An invalid? Of course she could take care of herself against some wanna-be, punk asshole.

Ignoring the fact that he could call up fire anyway.

"I'm fine. What did you expect? He couldn't have done a thing if he tried!" Jackie replied, annoyed by this treatment. It wasn't until now that she even noticed the strange look she was receiving from the electricity kid. "What is it? Usually I wouldn't care about it, but it's really starting to piss me off that you just won't stop staring!"

"What'd you do?" he asked simply and Jackie paused. It hadn't occurred to her either that she'd used her mutant powers to thrust a telekinetic wave into Hotstreak's stomach and knock him back. She'd been so terrified by the flames that she hadn't thought of the repeated warnings that she was never supposed to use her powers in public.

"Well-" She paused and narrowed her eyes once again, placing one hand on her hip. "What'd you do? Normal people don't throw around lightning like a toy. And him! That Hotstreak asshole! What'd he do?"

"Come on," the boy in the helmet said, answering for his partner - well, they seemed to be partners anyway- as he crossed his arms over his chest, "He's a bang baby. A metahuman. Everyone's heard of Hotstreak. And he," he gestured to the electric kid, "is Static. And I'm Gear. You know, Dakota's superheroes? We take down Hotstreak, Ebon, Talon, Kangorr, Carmendillo on a regular basis? That sort of thing?" Jackie hardly blinked, appearing unphased by this. "You can't be telling me you've never heard of us. Of them. Shiv? Puff?"

"I'm not from around here."

Despite seeming entirely bored, Jackie could not have been any more confused as he said this. Weren't they mutants? Obviously not, according to what this guy - Gear - said. He called them bang babies, metahumans. And how many had he mentioned? At least eight. Maybe ten? A summer ago, Professor Xavier had said that the number of mutants, latent mutants, and potential mutants in Glen Ellyn was strangely high. But according to what Gear was saying, there had to be tons of 'bang babies' in Dakota.

An extremely quiet voice pounded in the back of Jackie's head and despite how much of an oxymoron that last statement was, even attempting to dwell on that fact couldn't keep her from feeling as though there was something about these boys she was supposed to be remembering at the time. Something extremely important that she would probably screaming at herself for not realizing earlier once she did realize it.

"Yeah, that's obvious."

"You still didn't tell us what you did."

The boys voices resounded clearly for Jackie to hear and reply to, but she ignored them, frowning. Static and Gear... Gear and Static... Static and Gear... Gear and Static... She meant to cross her arms across her chest as she thought but a sudden feeling of hot pain raced through her arm and she realized that a red handprint-shaped burn had appeared where Hotstreak had 'helped her up', so to speak. Glancing at it, a line of thought struck her instantly. Following it in her mind, Jackie could feel her expression changing to one of shock.

The burn on her arm.

The burns on her ankles.

The burns from Pyro.

The X-Men fighting Pyro.

The uniform she got from the X-Men.

The uniform she wore in Claire's vision.

The words she spoke in Claire's vision.

'Static and Gear have already checked the rest of the place out.'

Static and Gear.

-----

"Claire?"

Claire glanced up suddenly from the seat she'd taken next to Brenden's bed, silently watching her boyfriend rest. She'd been sure to come when no one was in the room, but she had forgotten completely about being wary otherwise. And now someone had seen her and if they knew she was supposed to be in Dakota, or if they mentioned it to someone who knew that, she would be exposed soon as a mutant and then they would find out about Jackie and Brenden and Angela-

"Astroprojection, right?"

Well, speak of the angel.

Angela closed the door and locked it behind her, checking that the blinds over the windows showing into Brenden's room were closed tightly before she turned to face her curly-haired friend. Claire couldn't have looked any more relieved that it was Angela who'd shown up, instead of one of the many people that didn't share her secret and Angela could easily guess why. They'd been given the 'exposure-is-bad' speech too many times before to think that having someone realize they were mutants didn't matter.

"Yeah," Claire told her softly, letting out a relieved sigh, "It's my astroprojection."

"Be more careful," Angela warned her solemnly, "Jackie told you then?"

"Yeah. She told me about... about the accident and I needed to visit. I wanted to come see him. I couldn't ever forgive myself if I wasn't here for Brenden."

Angela took the seat next to her friend, staring down at the brunette laying in the bed before them. She could understand what Claire meant. Not empathetically or anything - Claire's power, not hers -, but just basic human instinct gave her the sympathy to care about both Brenden and Claire.

"He cut his hair..." Claire reached out and brushed her fingertips against the top of his head. Still light brown and hopelessly messy, it was as short as she remembered it being the summer before and spikier than ever before, "I knew he would."

"Claire..." Watching the red-headed girl sit there, Angela, for the first time in her life, had no idea what to do. Claire looked broken-hearted over the sight of her boyfriend, the needles connected to IVs sticking out from his arms and the back of one of his hands.

"He isn't going to wake up again. I know it. I left and I wasn't here and I couldn't be there for him and keep him safe and I-"

"Claire! He will wake up! God won't let him die after everything Brenden has done. He's too much of a good person to die so early. Last year he said the same things when we couldn't find you and Jackie. He said, 'We'll never get her back will we? We won't ever find them and if we do, they'll be dead!' He thought he was an idiot and it was his fault that it all happened. And he was wrong about it, because Jackie came back and so did you and you remembered him. You didn't remember Jackie or Nate or me, but as soon as Brenden reminded you who he was, you remembered everything. He'll wake up because he wants to see you again. You and everyone else." Angela caught her breath, silently praying to the Lord that Claire would believe her. That Claire would understand and would be strong again.

Slowly, a smile broke out on Claire's face and she hugged Angela suddenly, surprising the Catholic girl immensely. She hadn't realized her little speech would affect Claire so much.

"Yeah. Brenden will come back, won't he?" she repeated and pushed back some of the long reddish curls that were hanging over her shoulders, "I should go back to my body before my aunt and uncle begin to wonder and find me dead. I don't want to make them worry." She stood and paused to look down. "Angela... Thank you so much."

Angela stared at Claire for a moment before nodding. This having been said, Claire dematerialized in front of Angela and the Filipina girl stood up again, brushing her hand against Brenden's arm as she did so. She desperately wanted to used her own mutant powers - healing - to help Brenden, but his miraculous recovery would be too risky. They would want to run more tests to find out what had made his body heal so quickly and they might discover his powers. Once again, exposure was going to keep her from helping someone and she despised it.

Sighing, Angela fixed the blinds and unlocked the door as she left the room in silence.

-----

"Static and Gear?" the girl repeated to Gear and the boy frowned. She hadn't answered any of their questions, but here she was asking things that they had already answered. Quite thoroughly too if his memory served him correctly - and, as he was a super genius, it always did.

But Static seemed to be feeling a lot more patient than his partner at that point in time despite the summer heat and the electrical hero nodded in response. "Why do you ask?"

"Look, hero," Jackie said, paying no attention to his question as she glared at the burn on her arm, "You and your sidekick-" Gear protested wholeheartedly to this. "-need to meet me and my partner so we can discuss something. And I want you two outta uniform. I only work with people who don't look like total morons." Both boys looked quiet annoyed with this comment in particular.

"Look, you still haven't answered our questions. What'd you do to Hotstreak and why do you need to meet us?" Static asked and Jackie sighed.

"Here's the deal, Static. My name is Jackie Kelly-Goss, codename Scythe. I'm what they call a mutant. I was born with something called an X-gene which gave me special abilities. A lot of people have X-genes and powers like telepathy and junk. My powers are based off of telekinetic attacks. Last summer, I helped save the world from a genocidal mutant called Magneto. My friend helped too. Her powers include the ability to see the future and she had a vision with you two in it," the girl explained, "You guys might be a little bit experienced, but I've saved the non-mutant part of the human race from mass extinction, so just believe me, okay?"

Static glanced over at Gear and the other boy nodded, not quite as stupefied by the rapid-fire explanation as his partner. Despite the fact that it wasn't in their nature to trust so simply - especially when they had only met this girl moments earlier - , both Static and Gear knew that turning down possible allies was one of the stupidest things they could do.

"Agreed," Static finally answered, "Under one condition - we call the shots. If we feel it's safer to stay in uniform-" Jackie snickered irritatingly at the choice of words. "-then we do that. Fair enough for you to handle?"

Jackie rolled her eyes and just shrugged, "Whatever. You'll believe me eventually."

"You're new, right?" Gear asked, "Do you know where Merde Park is?" From the confused look on her face, he assumed she did not and didn't leave her any more time to make a snide comment. "Take the subway down route B to stop 13. Just above it is the police station. Go east down the street and you'll see the park. It's usually pretty safe because the station is so close. Drug dealers don't bother selling there. Eight o' clock sound alright?"

"Uh... Sure."

After Gear repeated his directions again, the boys departed, Static's gaze fixed behind him at Jackie as she watched them go. It was a little eerie, the idea of genocidal mutants, but he had a feeling that Jackie - despite her rough exterior and unladylike attitude - wasn't like Hotstreak.

For the safety of both Gear and himself, he could only hope he was right.

-----

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a/n; Thanks for reading.

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- Roby Carr