Disclaimer: I do not own the X-men though I do so love toying with them.
Summary : Gambit, Beast and Wolverine get abducted by off-world slavers and make some new friends along the way. Part one of a long ongoing series.
Notes: This story contains a number of OCs(other characters). No, wait, before you run away screaming – there are X-men in it, but the story is mainly about Kimble, a sentient, living hologram who finds himself among the X-men. This story is his impact on their lives (mostly Gambit's) as he tries to find his place in their world. Bah, you say! Who needs OCs (other characters) anyway! Well, take into consideration that technically any new X-men after Giant Sized #1 could be considered an OC, they are not part of the original team after all. That would include some big names – Kitty Pryde, Gambit, Cable, Bishop, Maggot, Marrow, Psyclocke, all the Gen M kids. Are you getting the idea now? Yes, this story has a few OCs, but I'm asking you to let them pass or fail on their own merits, not because they are not original X-men.
Rated M for language and non-explicit sexual situations. (Sorry, it ain't that kind of story). AU but only because I chose to change a few things in my dear friends' histories, nothing drastic so please forgive. I wrote this for a friend who didn't read the comics so there is a bit of back history and explanation on who everyone is and what their powers are. I've been working on this story for years so I do ask that you don't use any of my non-Marvel universe characters without my permission. I love my Siskans as I do my children. LOL.
For anyone who is interested, I started a forum to discuss my work or if you just wanted to say hello. I would love to hear from you. I will respond to your reviews there or answer any questions you may have as well. The link is on my profile page.
I did more than just write this story, I illustrated it and now, my good friend Deina has built a webpage for me so you guys can have a peek at the art if you like. The link is: ~ or go to my profile and click on the homepage link.
9-25-09 -Just a quick note to say that I have just revised some of the material in this book since it was first posted years ago. I didn't change any of the events, I just wanted to clean up any spelling and grammer mistakes I could find and well, try to make the writing itself a bit better. I plan to do this with all the stories I have posted but since I have such a huge collection of books, it will take me a long while. I apologize now for any inconsistancies you may encounter going forward, there will be a point where my revisions have left off and you'll probably notice it as you read along. Please forgive me. -Squeekness
10-12-13 - As some of you know I have posted a large amount of stories to this site. I've put up a lot of "books." Because I haven't published in a while, I've been away from the site and updates to the site get by me. Normally I used to break up scene changes or perspective changes by putting in a dotted line or a series of symbols to break these up so that you as readers aren't going "what the heck?" when there is a change. Well, it's come to my attention that while the site once let me use that series of symbols, it isn't anymore. Looking back over all my old chapters I'm seeing that those breaks I put in place ages ago are gone and one scene sometimes just rolls into the next, something that is probably confusing to the reader. I'm trying to find a way to do something that won't get taken away when a year or so from now the site decides to make another change. That being said, I still have to go back and somehow fix all that materiel I posted previously, a rather daunting task at this , until I come up with something better, if I have an awkward transition I will be using a (break) in between paragraphs to show these scenes or perspective changes and hopefully you as readers won't be confused by it, now or three years from now. But for those of you reading these older posts, please bear with me while I go through the arduous task of fixing these older posts. There will come a point where you read past the parts I have recently fixed. If a scene suddenly changes in the middle of things, it's not you, it's the site and now how I had originally posted. SQ
The music was terrible and loud.
Logan hated discos, the obnoxious thumping music was hard on his sensitive ears. He wasn't a normal man, he was a mutant which meant he was born different than the other humans in this room. In his case, he was gifted with an animal keen sense of hearing, sight and smell. Most of the time these traits were considered an asset, but right now all they were doing was making him miserable. Places like this were an assault on his ears he was forced to bear as part of his job. He'd been dragged along by two of his teammates to this nightclub because his enhanced senses made him an excellent tracker and spy.
He was leaning comfortably against the back wall, trying not to look too conspicuous. He was dressed in tight fitting blue jeans, a black T shirt, and cowboy boots. He was better suited for a biker bar than this place and Remy had to pay extra to get him in. Logan snickered at the thought. Anything that was inconvenient for Remy was just fine with him. He had his light black leather jacket slung casually over one shoulder and drank beer from an open bottle while he scanned the crowd.
The club wasn't particularly small, but it was packed with young people. You had to push and shove your way through to get around. Logan's compensation for the noise came in the form of eye candy, there were lots of beautiful women here. Some of them had to brush past him to get by. He'd just grin and raise a hairy eyebrow at them as they wiggled by in tight dresses and skirts.
"Excuse me!" they'd giggle.
"No problem, ma'am," he'd growl softly in his gravelly voice, and tip his hat at them.
Logan didn't get asked to dance. As soon as the women would get a close look at him, they'd shy away. He was a rough character and it showed in his face. His black hair was brushed back straight over his head and unruly. Today he'd jammed a cowboy hat over it. His cheeks were buried under long black muttonchops, out of style for this day and age, but he could've cared less. He had always looked this way for as long as he could remember and wasn't one for change. He'd shaved this morning so the rest of his face was neat, but that was not the usual case for him. His personal appearance had never been an issue for him and he could care less what anyone thought.
His eyes were small and squinty, yet saw everything in the room. They were framed in laugh lines, but they came more from growling than laughing. He was not known for a kind and gentle disposition and was often grumpy and ill tempered. He was a short man, just over five feet tall, heavily muscled, and compact for his size. His bare arms were large and hairy, as was most of his body. He gave off an air of arrogance and danger. He was a loner by nature and avoided crowds. He wasn't here for pleasure, he was working.
Logan belonged to an undercover group of mutant humans called the X-men. Their leader was a crippled professor named Charles Xavier, hence the name X-men. Charles Xavier was reportedly one of the most powerful telepaths on the planet and used his team to fight for peace on this world. All of their members were mutants and gifted with a variety of talents. Logan had his animal senses plus a healing factor in his body that allowed him to recover rapidly from almost any wound or injury. It was the world's greatest equalizer and the source of his fearlessness and arrogance.
It also made his age impossible to determine. He looked to be about forty or so but was probably much older than that. He suffered from a fragmented memory and didn't even know himself how old he actually was or where he'd been born. He'd spent a great deal of time up in the Canadian Rockies and so considered himself to be Canadian more than American even though he was living in the States now. What he did know and recall was a lifetime's worth of military training. His mutations made him well suited for such work and he had found himself working for various secret agencies within the Canadian and American governments over the past years. He was an efficient killer when the situation called for it. He was the guy you wanted covering your back because he'd always be there. He was dependable and fiercely loyal to the X-men, they were his adopted family and he would die to protect them. He was also unfortunately cursed with a wicked temper and a cruel mouth. His codename, Wolverine, was well deserved.
"You see anyt'ing yet, mon ami?"
Logan looked up, the smooth Cajun drawl had come from somewhere to his right. As if by magic, a tall slender man melted out of the crowd and came lean against the wall next to him. The new arrival ran a hand through his thick auburn bangs and checked out the women dancing close by. His hair was a bit long and unruly at times, at the moment he had it up in a neat ponytail to keep it from his eyes. Even though it was dark inside the club, he wore an obnoxious pair of cheap sunglasses with mirrored lenses. He was chewing gum and popped it loudly, only one of his many annoying habits.
"Nuthin' yet, Gumbo," Logan growled irritably, using his pet name for his Cajun teammate. "This place'll be no better than the last. This is a fuckin' waste of time," he complained with his usual tact.
"P'etetre, we do better at de next place," his friend said with a shrug. "I'll go find 'Enry, be right back, d'accorde?" He melted smoothly back into the crowd, sliding his glasses down slightly and smiling at a pretty girl as he went.
Logan grunted a laugh at him and went back to perusing the crowd.
That handsome young devil was Remy LeBeau, codename Gambit. He was young, only about twenty three or so, overly handsome by some accounts, and a natural charmer. He had dressed in loose dress pants with a matching dark sweater. He carried his trademark leather duster trench coat folded over one arm. He was relaxed and comfortable here, everything Logan was not. He was at least a foot taller than Logan and towered over him. He was lean and lanky and had a catlike grace as he walked with casual ease through the crowd. His face was ruggedly handsome and the only thing that gave him away as a mutant were his eyes. They were an odd combination of a crimson iris on black, with no whites. He always wore the cheesy sunglasses whenever he went out in public to hide them. They could be creepy sometimes if you were unaware of how much of a clown and a scoundrel he really was.
Before he had come to join the X-men, Remy had been a talented thief and a gambler. His reputation for being able to get into anywhere and steal anything had been well known before he arrived. One of their teammates had found him living fast and loose on the streets and asked him to join them, seeing his skills as valuable even before his mutant powers were even considered.
His mutant gift was the ability to charge small objects with bio-kinetic energy from his body and hurl them like bombs. His weapon of choice was a charged playing card tossed with a skill and accuracy rarely matched by others. He would toss these red glowing grenades to confuse or stun his prey. He would then dazzle them with his acrobatic prowess and skill at hand to hand combat. He was nimble and quick and difficult to catch, unlike Logan who was more of a bruiser and brawler.
Gambit claimed to be reformed as far as thieving went, but Logan knew better. It was more like nobody asked when he showed up with something new. When the Professor needed something "acquired" from a difficult or dangerous place, he asked for Remy, often using Logan as his back up. Not that Remy felt he needed it. He was confident of his fighting prowess and chose instead to spend most of his time trying to annoy Logan as much as possible. He was playful and easy going, delightfully cocky as he gleefully tormented his teammate, but he was not malicious by nature. Although often at odds, these two did work well together.
A couple of months ago, large groups of people began to disappear. There was no pattern to the happenings, except that it seemed to occur at dance clubs or bars where young people hung out. The last time it happened, one of their friends, a mutant teleporter named Jacob, had vanished along with everyone else in the club. The X-men didn't believe mutants were specifically targeted, but they could be behind the disappearances.
At any given time, there were as many as six or seven warring factions of mutant humans fighting over control of their territories. Those territories could be a city or a country, sometimes even the whole planet. These groups would destroy buildings, kidnap people for ransom, and terrorize the world just to get their point across. Opposing them and no less dangerous were human government agencies and paramilitary rebels. The bickering was endless and disheartening. Somewhere in the middle was the X-men. Their goal was peace between all the mutant and human groups, something Logan doubted he would ever see. He'd been all over the world, to Ireland, Israel, and Yugoslavia. If the normal folks there couldn't resolve their differences amongst themselves, he failed to see how global acceptance of mutants would happen. Logan chose to stick it out with the X-men anyways because it was the only team he'd ever been on where he was completely accepted and welcomed as part of the family.
Logan was still just hanging out in the back when he was blinded by a sudden flash of light and felt a sickening lurch in his stomach. As he staggered back against the wall, he recognized the sensation and understood that he'd just been teleported to somewhere else. One of the drawbacks to being as old as he was and as experienced, was that sooner or later everything happened to you. He cursed with impatience. Sometimes it seemed like he couldn't catch a break.
He blinked rapidly and rubbed his eyes, but saw only a blur. He leaned forward unsteadily and groped out blindly with his hands, accidently colliding with the breasts of the woman who had been standing in front of him only seconds before all of this happened. It might have been funny in another time and place, but instead he jerked back in surprise and felt the whiff of air as she swung out at him in fright.
"Hey!" she complained.
"Sorry, darlin'. Can't see shit."
"Fuck you, asshole!" she said, giving him the ritual response.
He could smell her fear and didn't say anything more, she was panicked enough already.
Logan's enhanced senses told him a lot about his current circumstances even without the use of his eyes. He could still smell the same people that had been around him right before this had happened. Wherever he was now, they had all been forced along. At least the loud terrible music was gone, it had come to a screeching halt the same time he'd been blinded. It let his ears go to work. He could now hear clearly the people around him talking to each other in a panic. No one knew what was going on and no one else could see either. Whatever this was had affected them all. He could tell by the way their frightened voices echoed back to him that they were now in a large room with a high ceiling. The air was stale, recycled, and there was a humming vibration from the floor. That made him assume they were in a huge moving vehicle of some kind – but what was large enough to hold them all?
He turned around, trying to assess what else might be different. He could still feel the hardness of the wall behind him. He put his hands on it and realized he'd been mistaken. The painted cinder blocks that had been there before were gone, that wall had now been replaced by a force field. He felt the red hot rage rise and he began to growl softly, pulling his lips back in an angry sneer. He naturally rebelled against any kind of confinement. He swallowed the urge to pop his claws and start hacking away.
Because of his healing factor, Logan had been forcibly taken by the Canadian government agency he'd been working for at the time and experimented on. They'd discovered he was a mutant and decided to exploit that for themselves. He was kidnapped and given no choice in the matter, it was simply done to him without his permission. His memories of the whole thing were foggy and confused, a result of the trauma of the ordeal, but the final outcome was that someone had bonded Adamantium, an indestructible metal, to his bones. This made them impossible to break. He also gained six nine inch retractable switchblade like claws - three in each arm. Most of the time they were hidden safely in his forearms, but he could snap them out of the backs of his hands at will and had mastered the art of killing with them. The goal of the program had been to make him an unstoppable super soldier, the supreme assassin. It didn't quite work out as planned. He rebelled against them and escaped. The slaughter still haunted his nightmares to this day. His will was quite strong, Logan could not be caged or controlled by others for long.
Wolverine's growl grew in time with his rising frustration and he sensed the woman he'd accidently groped move away from him in terror. Normal humans don't sound this way, not ones who could be trusted. The people were all stumbling about into each other in confusion. Most of them still couldn't see or figure out what was happening. The smell of their fear was very strong, almost choking him with its intensity. His sense of smell was curse as well as a gift.
He rubbed his eyes and blinked again. His vision cleared after a moment and he looked through the field. When he took a good look around, he knew instantly that he was in serious trouble.
The force field was transparent, clear enough to see through though it gave everything a slight blue cast. It rippled slightly at his touch, but not enough to block his view. The room he was in was huge. The walls were made of grey metal and very high. Two levels of what looked like iron catwalks ran the circumference of the room, giving the strange soldiers who patrolled them a perfect view of the corralled humans. These soldiers weren't human, not even close. They looked like really tall lion people. They were large and their legs were bent like the hind legs of a cat. It didn't hamper their movements in any way, they were all heavily muscled and walked with an arrogance and strength that came from years of dominating others. Their uniforms were blue and made in the cavalry style, complete with heavy looking boots. The guns they carried were elaborate and nothing Wolverine had ever seen before.
Once a long time ago, he had been incarcerated as part of some infiltration scheme. It had been like this, large men with guns patrolling the walks. He had been in danger then and he was in danger again now. There were a lot of these soldiers and he realized his team wasn't going to get out of this easily.
He and the people from the dance club were penned in by the force field, contained in the center of this huge room. Everything had come with them, the tables and chairs, even the bar itself. More of the lion soldiers moved about on the other side of the force field. Two of them came quite close to where Logan was standing. They were taller up close, probably seven or eight feet in height. Their uniforms were in good condition and so were their guns. He could smell gun oil, but not powder. These were energy weapons, possibly lasers or blasters. One soldier had a blue sash on his arm, the other a red one and Logan guessed this was some kind of ranking. They spotted him watching them and moved closer.
Wolverine saw them come and put his hands up against the energy field, slouching arrogantly. He growled and spat in their direction, letting them know he wasn't the least bit intimidated.
They were impressed by his lack of fear and jabbered to themselves in a language he couldn't understand. Blue Sash made a joke and the other one laughed.
"Wouldn't be laughin' if I was out there. I'd be kickin' yer stupid little ass," Logan challenged in his usual arrogant slur.
Red Sash smiled and went right up to him. He was so close Logan could see he had the slitted eyes of a cat as well. Red Sash spoke to him in accented broken English, "Look, you. Brave man. Make good slave, yes? Fight slave. Tranding Muzla pay huge, yes? Good for us!"
So that's what this was about. Slavery. That's why all the people had been disappearing. "I ain't gonna be nobody's slave," Wolverine sneered confidently.
Blue Sash's grin was as cruel and wicked as his friend's. "Make brave man slave mine. Hmm... Play nice fun you, me." He licked his lips and blew Logan a kiss.
Happy to play along, Red Sash cackled and grabbed his crotch suggestively.
Logan's eyes went wide at that. He snarled and punched the force field angrily in an impressive display of fury. The people behind him moved away in a panic at his noise, shoving into each other and shouting. They were loud and their fright spread through the crowd in a ripple. Someone screamed loudly to his left and the smell of their fear came washing over him again. He could hear as someone fell down and was trampled as frightened people charged in all directions like startled deer. He cursed his rage and the panic he'd caused, but wouldn't tear his eyes away from the enemy in front of him.
A new soldier with a gold sash approached the two soldiers there and he began to berate them for starting the trouble. Naturally, they made excuses and pointed at Logan. Gold Sash drew his weapon and leveled the gun at Logan. "You there! Calm yourself or be destroyed!"
Wolverine looked him in the eye, his chin high. "I'd love to see ya try."
Gold Sash ready to make an example of someone, turned his gun on a woman nearby and fired. The blast of energy easily passed through the containment field and into her. She screamed in agony as her body became red hot and she disintegrated before Wolverine's eyes. He could smell her flesh burn as it was incinerated and then vaporized almost instantly. He stepped back in horror, raising his hands defensively. His healing factor was the world's greatest equalizer, but it couldn't cope with this. Clearly, the gold sashed soldier thought Logan was more valuable than the woman and had killed her instead.
"You there! Back off now! Be calm and no one else will die!" Gold Sash repeated with authority. When he saw Wolverine had gotten the message, he moved on.
The rest of the people near Logan backed away from him, afraid he would get them killed. Logan shook with rage at the senseless killing but kept quiet. He didn't want any one else to die because of him.
"See you makin' friends already."
Logan turned at the sound of Gambit's voice. Remy had found their straggling teammate, Henry, had they had made their way through the crowd to join him. Gambit had taken off his dress clothes and was now wearing his working uniform. He had worn the uniform underneath his regular clothes, just in case something like this happened, he was never one to be caught unawares. He was revealed now in tight fitting black spandex pants and a protective Kevlar flexible chest plate over his torso. Underneath the chest plate was a long sleeved, black spandex shirt that ended in gloves that could be detached if he wished. Two of the fingers on each hand were uncovered, allowing him to charge objects with his bare fingers. He'd put his long trench coat on over his outfit, making him less conspicuous. He still wore the sunglasses. With the lights now so bright, his eyes would be that much more obvious. He chewed his gum with nervous tension as he looked at the soldiers pacing the catwalks, evaluating their situation. He didn't look any happier than Logan was.
Henry's image inducer was still working and Logan wondered what these cat guys were going to think when it stopped.
Henry McCoy was the X-men's chief scientist and doctor, but he occasionally got called out on missions such as the one they were on. Henry's usual appearance was vastly different than what Logan was looking at now. Henry was a hulking mass of blur fur and muscle, almost like a huge bear. He had a broad face with a large mouth that allowed his elongated lower canine teeth to protrude from his lips, making him look like a troll. He had the pointy ears to match. He had to be four hundred pounds at least and resembled a football line backer. He wasn't born blue and furry, that was a result of one of his genetic experiments gone awry. He had been normal looking in High School and had played on the football team, earning them the state championship all the years he was there.
His size and physique had earned him the codename Beast, but his nature was anything but. He was very sensitive and gentle as well as extremely intelligent. He had the same unruly hair as Logan, but his eyes and voice were soft and kind. He was really just a big softie with a weakness for science journals and Twinkies. His fingers were clawed, yet quick and nimble. He did most of the technical work on the X-men team as well, being very skilled in electronics and machinery. He was very strong and agile, almost acrobatic which was surprising given his size.
The image inducer Henry wore projected a false image of a normal looking man to disguise Henry's freakish and frightening appearance. It didn't change his size, he was still quite large and looked every bit like that linebacker, only better dressed – he was in a nice dress sweater and tan slacks. He was forced to use the image inducer whenever he left the X-men's residence because the anti-mutant harassment had been growing steadily worse over the years.
"These guys are fuckin' slavers. We gotta get these people outta here!" Wolverine said to his teammates, looking around for any kind of opportunity to get out of this.
"You t'ink of sumptin', you let Gambit know, patron," Gambit teased in his Cajun drawl. He had a habit of referring to himself in the third person, something that had always annoyed Logan. Of course, Gambit was well aware of this and made no effort whatsoever to change it.
"It would seem our situation is less than desirable. Our captors have us pretty much where they want us," Henry added.
A mechanical voice chimed on a loud speaker, silencing the room. "Attention please. Attention please. Welcome to Dognan Processing Station Twelve. Stand by for processing instructions. If you follow the orders promptly no harm will come to you. Resist and you will be destroyed."
"Sounds inviting," Henry teased sarcastically, rolling his eyes. "I can hardly wait."
"Please exit through the two doors at the rear. Males to the right. Females to the left."
One of the soldiers on the catwalk fired his gun towards the ceiling and bellowed, getting the crowd moving. The noise was deafening and horrific, forcing Logan to cover his ears with an irritated growl. The crowd surged towards the two doors in the back, dragging them along in its wake. The smell of fear and panic flooded Wolverine's senses again and he had to swallow the urge to lash out. He felt Henry's strong hands snatch at him protectively, Henry wanted them all to stay together as they tried to steer towards the open door on the right.
The crowd did not always co-operate. Some of the couples didn't want to separate and they clung to each other in fear. The guards fired on them as promised and several people were incinerated. The Dognan lion soldiers laughed at the sight and made jokes like this was some kind of game.
"Who are dese losers!" Remy exclaimed, horrified by what he was seeing. They hadn't been prepared for anything like this when they had left the house only just a couple short hours ago. Granted, things didn't always go as planned, but this was ridiculous.
"Don't know! Don't care!" Logan snarled in response. "They ain't gonna be nobody when I get through with 'em!"
"Take it easy, my hairy friend," Henry cautioned, putting a large furry arm on his shoulder and keeping him in place. "We don't yet know for certain what's going on. We don't need any further violence until we are sure what awaits us."
As they had been directed, they went through the doorway on the right and filed into a long hall. The walls were the same grey metal as the big room and seemed to confirm the X-men's suspicions that they were on a vehicle as opposed to a building. Wolverine's Adamantium claws were very sharp and could cut through most anything. He hoped maybe he could slice through the wall and they could break free. He inconspicuously snapped out a claw and dragged it along the wall. He was surprised when it didn't cut through easily but he could surmise why – the same force field that had corralled them earlier in the big room was still there even now, keeping them from escaping. The Dognan were taking no chances with their prisoners.
This was not good. Any hope of getting out of this quickly was fading fast.
The hallway narrowed until they were forced to stand single file in the line for processing. The trio took up their standard training positions – Gambit, the taller man with the best visibility, had taken the defensive spot in front of Logan, the more powerful fighter, while Henry was last, holding up the rear. There was no way to know what they could expect and they tried to prepare themselves for anything.