Disclaimer: I don't own the X-Men; however, these new X-Men are my creations. Copy them, and I'll lay claim to your first born.
Summary: The X-Men must stop a new brand of enemy—and time is anything but on their side.
Author's Note: This is the fourth in my New X-Men Chronicles, following "The More Things Change…," "Clinging to Falling Angels," and "Only a Shadow of Innocence." It's probably a good idea to at least skim over those first—otherwise you'll have no idea what's going on.
Feedback and Archiving: Please. I spend a lot of time on these stories, and I like to know people are reading them. Send all feedback and archiving requests to firstname.lastname@example.org or IM me through AIM at ChereRogueMarie.
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New X-Men Chronicles Part IV:
Until the End of Eternity
By: Addie Logan
Kacie Drake—Ice Queen
Warren Worthington IV—Shadow Stalker
Briana Braddock—Captain Britain
Dr. Angela Worthington
*** *** ***
The night's blackness blinded him. But he didn't need to see. He'd grown up in these swamps. He could make his way through them by memory.
Not that he had much of a choice. When you had an assassin bent on your demise on your tail, you didn't have a lot of time to dawdle. No, he had to get away—far away. Preferably out of Louisiana all together. But where?
He thought of a place and smiled to himself. He could lose his adversary. Running was what he did best, after all. And then, well, he'd hop on the first plane to New York.
It was about time he paid a visit to his favorite cousin anyway.
*** *** ***
As soon as Victoria Creed opened the door she wished she hadn't. The man on the other side was tall and scrawny, with dirty, light brown hair pulled in a long ponytail. His facial features were obscured by several days worth of stubble, and he smelled like a swamp. Vicky wrinkled her nose. "Can I help you?"
"I need t'speak to my cousin…Marie."
Vicky raised an eyebrow. "You're LeBeau's cousin, huh? Well, that explains a lot." She went as far as the end of the stairs and hollered up, "MARIE!"
Marie came bouncing down a few moments later. "Emil!" She squealed as soon as she saw the visitor. She ran into his arms, giggling. Vicky wondered how she managed not to die from the stench.
"Miss me, petite?" Emil asked.
Marie laughed. "Of course!" She pulled away. "Emil, why are you here?"
"Would you believe to visit?"
"With you? No."
"Marius Boudreaux wants t'kill me."
"Marius! What did you do?"
"Not a t'ing!"
"Marius jus' have it in for me, Marie! I'm innocent, I swear!"
Marie held up her hands. "Fine, fine. Whatever. I'll let you keep your silence—for now. Come with me upstairs and I'll see if maybe we can find someplace to put you."
"T'anks." Emil followed Marie, stopping beside Vicky. "You're hot," he whispered to her.
Vicky jumped about three feet back. "Get away from me, swamp boy!"
Emil laughed as he went up the stairs, and Vicky decided she found the sound quite annoying.
*** *** ***
"Where are you headed?" Ric asked Logan as he saw her going for the front door.
"Now? It's midnight on a Tuesday, Addie."
Logan shrugged. "Do you think I care? I'm bored around here. I want to go somewhere."
Logan rolled her eyes. "For your information, I have a date."
"Same guy you saw last week?"
She snorted. "No. Look, Ric, I'm in a hurry. Go keep your girlfriend warm or something."
Ric cringed at the mention of Illyana, and Logan smiled to herself. Knowing that Ric had spent the past six months in a miserable relationship with the Russian girl thrilled Logan for some reason. "I'm worried about you, Logan."
"Because ever since Tristan left you've been acting, well, not like yourself. You're never around at night, half your closet is leather, and you spend a lot more time out alone or with strangers than you do with your friends."
"Friends? Like you, Ric?"
"Dammit, Addie, why do you have to make everything a fight?"
"Because you always go around acting like my father! Hell, Ric, I can't even walk out the door without getting the third degree from you! Why don't you just take a hint and leave me alone?!"
"You're throwing your life away."
Logan rolled her eyes and walked away before she had to listen to him anymore. She slammed the door hard enough to rattle the walls. Ric sighed.
"Still love her?"
Ric jumped, then turned around. "Vicky! Damn, I didn't even hear you come in."
"Yeah, I'm real quiet like." She grinned, showing her fangs.
"I've noticed. What are you doing?"
"Hiding from your cousin."
"Emil? He hasn't even been here a day…"
"Yeah, well, it's been long enough. He keeps asking me if I want to touch his gator."
"I decided it was safer not to ask. What's up with his anyway?"
"He's the first son of my dad's cousin—Emil Lapin, Sr. Emil, Jr.'s one of thirteen."
Vicky's eyes grew huge. "Thirteen? As in there are twelve more of him?"
"Worse. Little red-headed swamplings, the whole brood. Emil's the only one to have his mother's coloring."
"Oy. And that's your family?"
"Marie's more likely to claim them than I am. Emil and I have never gotten along."
"I can see why. Does he ever bathe?"
Ric snorted. "Yeah. With swamp water."
Vicky wrinkled her nose. "At least it gives me a head start in running."
Ric chuckled. "Yeah."
Vicky jumped a little at the screech from upstairs. Ric just sighed. "I'm needed, apparently."
"Coming, Yana!" Ric yelled. "Sorry, Vicky. Catch you later, all right?"
"Yeah, sure. Better get up to your girlfriend until she banishes you to Siberia or something."
"I'm coming!" Ric bounded up the stairs, muttering the whole way.
Kacie Drake came down shortly after him. "Vicky! Are you busy?"
"No. I was talking to Ric, but then the little woman called."
"Well, in Mother Country, men always come when yelled at," Kacie said in a perfect imitation of Illyana's accent.
"You do that well."
"Thanks. You up for a game of pool?"
Kacie pouted. "Watching mudwrestling with Warren. I've been abandoned."
Vicky laughed. "Makes me glad I'm single."
Kacie grinned from ear to ear. "Billy has his perks."
"So, you up for a good ass-whoopin'?"
"As if, Drake. I could take you out in pool blindfolded."
The challenge was laid down, and Vicky Creed was more than willing to take it up.
*** *** ***
It was the perfect shot. If she could make it, she would have beaten Kacie, hands down. All Vicky had to do was concentrate.
She made the mistake of looking up, just in time to see Emil Lapin standing in the doorway of the rec room, he mouthed something that looked suspiciously like, "Wanna touch my gator?" Vicky missed the shot.
"Emil!" she yelled, putting down the pool cue and going after him. Kacie got out of the way, deciding between Creed and her prey was not a good place to be. "I'm going to kill you, swamp boy!"
"Go 'head and try, chère. Like t'have ya dat close."
"Okay, that's it."
Emil just laughed, standing there. "You smell good," he said when she was close.
"Can't say the same for you." Vicky raised her hand, and Emil moved quickly, easily evading her. "Dammit!"
Emil chuckled, and walked away down the hall. "See ya later, chère!"
"Not if I'm lucky!" Vicky called after him, deciding that following would mean more swamp smell, and that was a bad thing.
Kacie was standing beside the pool table, looking smug. "I think you guys would make a cute couple."
Kacie laughed as she prepared to make her next shot.
*** *** ***
"Thanks for coming on such short notice."
Logan shrugged. "I'm your sister. What else could I do?"
"Most little sisters wouldn't run out in the middle of the night because their big brothers told them to," Craig replied.
"I would've been here earlier if I'd had my damn cellphone on. But I don't mind coming this late. Even gave me a chance to mess with Ric's head a little."
"You still giving that boy a hard time?"
"Well, yeah. I have a tendency to stay bitter."
"Must be genetic," Craig mumbled. "Briana called the other day and I hung up on her."
Logan chuckled. "Good. She's a bitch, and you can do better."
"Thanks for the vote of confidence."
"Anytime. So where is this thing you wanted to show me?"
Craig led Logan to a small wooded area behind a tennis court on his mother's estate. "I was visiting Mom, and my cousin made me play tennis with him the way he does every time I see him. Anyway, I lost a ball, and I went back here to get it, and well, see for yourself."
Logan stared ahead of them. It was a light, floating in midair. Logan walked around it. "It looks almost like some sort of…rip."
"It's gotten bigger since I was here earlier."
"That probably isn't good."
"Have you ever seen anything like it?"
"I thought maybe Cerebro would have some information that we could use, but I wasn't sure. And I wanted to talk to you before any of the other X-Men. Some of them have a habit of freaking out to an annoying degree," Craig said.
"Try living with them. I'm about to kill Illyana Rasputin," Logan muttered.
"Sure none of that's jealousy?"
Logan glared at her brother, then turned her attention back to the light. She tentatively reached a hand in, and noticed that it didn't come out the other side. She pulled it out. "Okay, that's freaky."
Suddenly, the light grew brighter, causing both Craig and Logan to shield their eyes. It flared up like a pulse, and something fell out, hitting the ground. The light went back to the size it had been when Craig had first seen it.
"What the…" Craig stopped, looking down at his feet. It was a young woman, with thick red hair. He looked at Logan, and then they both crouched down beside her. Craig rolled the woman over, and her green eyes opened for a moment.
"1407 Greymalkin Lane," she said softly before going limp against Craig.
Craig and Logan looked at each other. They both knew that address well.
*** *** ***
First chapter of the fourth part. Maybe I can finish this one without having huge gaps between all my postings. There is a first time for everything, after all. Let me know what you think of the latest in the New X-Men Chronicles so far!