Summer, 2004



Kurt sighed as thick mud slid from his leather uniform pants to pool clumpily around his bare feet. He shook the wet leaves from his hair and set his laptop case on the toilet seat, its waterproof bag completely caked in black mud (at least he hoped it was mud).

That reeked.

Of things Logan refused to identify.

He had dragged Kurt off on another one of his "C'mon, Elf. I'll tell ya when we get there." Mystery Missions.

Mystery Mission was completed (and he still didn't know exactly why all those people in fur man-kini's had been shooting sludge-bombs at them.)

He'd been captured twice and he thought he might have come perilously close to either A) being mistaken for some god called 'OoGaopani' or B) being sacrificed to some god called 'OoGaopani'. Either way, it involved body-paint, a gift of a dozen nubile maidens, and several melons.

Actual melons, unrelated to the nubile maidens.

But he was home now, after a side-trek through Central Park to capture an errant man-kini who'd found his way to New York after a magical faux pas. Which was entirely NOT his fault. Logan was the one who shoved the banana leaf into his hands and told him to read the syllables.

But, Huzzah! Home.

Sweet, sweet furkini-less home.

He unstrapped his sword scabbards and leaned them against the wall, frowning as the brackish "mud" dripped from them as well.


Stripping off his filthy trench-coat, Kurt eyed the shower appraisingly. He thought he could shower without clogging the drain...maybe.


Forty-five minutes later, Kurt had managed to scrub his fur clean of about five acres of top soil and the sticky juice of at least seventeen exotic melons, and was clean and dressed in a tank top and pajama pants -- nice black silky ones that reminded him that his bed was right over there.

But it was only three o'clock in the afternoon, so bed would have to wait.

He was about to settle down with a beer to check his email before heading down to con someone into going on a run to Subway when he heard it.


Coming from his bathroom. He knew that sound. It had haunted his dreams, made him quake with unreasonable dread ever since the summer began, and had reminded him that evil did exist in its purest, most unholy form.

He had to act.

And running away screaming to Katzchen would -- besides being the utmost in cowardice -- leave It alone in his room.

Nightcrawler held his breath as he crept toward the bathroom, peering around the door frame, ready to flee at a moment's notice. His tail peeked fearfully over his shoulder.

Verflucht noch mal! There It was. Sitting on his discarded muddy trench coat laying in a gloppy pile on the floor.


Nightcrawler managed to not scream like a girl.

How? How did it get inside?

Oh, Gott! It must have Been. On. Him.

When he 'ported in!

He could feel his fur stand on end with the horror.

Kurt stared at the horrible thing, its red eyes gleaming with the infernal evil of a thousand Hells. Its malevolent buzz an abomination from the pit of Hades itself. He had to do something! It could take flight and...and could get in his hair.

Oh, Gott and only madness could follow. He had to get it out of his room or he'd never sleep again.

Had to something...NOW!

Nightcrawler sprung.

Twenty-five minutes later, after several panic based 'ports, shrieking profanity in assorted languages, nine Hail Mary's, one broken lamp, and the sacrifice of two paperback books...The Cursed Thing had been captured in a coffee cup with a magazine as a cover -- the whole demonic prison 'ported and dropped over the woods.

Kurt, his room cleared of sinister insectoid invaders and now too traumatized (and lazy) to beg passer-by's for a Subway run -- he couldn't eat after that -- 'ported to the kitchen to hunt for alcohol.

And to think of a really good reason why he'd be crawling into bed with Kitty (or Bobby or Ororo or Scott) with a bottle of Captain Morgen.

He'd think of something.

Blasted Brood X.

Brood X is the cicada brood that swarmed then North-East, from New York down to Ohio in 2004.