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2/2/2012 #1

Part One.

Jamie Madrox rolls to one side, and stares at his alarm clock.

5:22, AM.


Holding onto the rickety wooden table beside his bed, he hauls himself out and onto the floor, where he aside kicks a pile of discarded clothes.

Reaching into a battered suitcase, he pulls on some day-old clothes (a pair of black jeans and a green t-shirt - adorned with a curious symbol) and grabbing his keys and wallet, he staggers towards the door, slipping into a dark coat before sliding out of his apartment.

2/2/2012 . Edited 2/9/2012 #2

Out on the cold morning street, Jamie wanders aimlessly, hands stuffed deep into his coat pockets, breath frosting in the air.

He carries on down the road despondently, then turns a right-hand corner, heading towards a slightly seedy looking bar with the air of one who is resigned to a morning of drinking alone.

2/8/2012 #3
Ink and tea-leaves

Monique pushed her chair back away from her desk, and rubbed her eyes behind her glasses with the base of her hands. Her head was throbbing slightly, and when she took her hands away it took a superhuman effort to open her eyes again. She ran her hands through her hair several times, then checked her watch. 5:27 am.

"Oh god" she groaned, and stood up. "Daaaaviiiiid!" she yelled, and the door to her tiny office swung open, a head with a mop of black hair and eager green eyes poking round the door.

"Yes Miss Monique?" Try as she might, Monique couldn't persuade him to drop the 'Miss'.

"Cut them off David" she said. "I've had enough. I'll do the rest after I've got some sleep." David nodded, and his head retreated.

Monique went over to the desk and poured herself yet another cup of coffee from the thermos flask on the desk. She'd been in here all night, questioning witnesses and suspects. A bomb had gone off in a hospital last night at 10:23, only 7 minutes before she was due to leave for the night, killing 17 people and injuring many more, and several mutants had been captured on the scene, and brought in for questioning, along with dozens of other witnesses. More had been flowing in throughout the night, until by 2am there was a solid backlog, and there was clearly no hope of going home. This was one of those cases she hated the most - there was very rarely a real conclusion as almost all evidence had been destroyed in the explosion, and as it was by a group of mutant terrorists the regular police force were not trusted, which meant that she was one of the only people capable of carrying out the questioning, andthe onlyone available at the time. There was no challenge, no conclusion, and no satisfaction, just horror stories, tragedies and nights on end of no sleep.

She needed a walk.

She grabbed her coat, scarf, hat and gloves from a peg by the wall and left the room, avoiding David's eye as she left, or anyone elses for that matter.

Down the stair, past the security guard, out the door and through the gates. She walked with her head down for 5 minutes or so before she reached the park, where she finally looked up, and breathed in the freezing, early morning air.

2/8/2012 . Edited 2/8/2012 #4

Jamie crosses the street, swaying slightly.

The previous night is something of a blur; an arrival at Heathrow, then a sea of bright light and motion sickness. How he'd found that tiny apartment at such short notice he couldn't quite remember.

What was he doing in England, of all places?

Muir Island.

That was it, wasn't it? To make his way to Scotland, and then on to Muir island, go back to his second home to try and get over this emotional crisis.

Reaching the other side of the road, he finds the bar is shut.

Surely that's illegal in this country?

Deciding to walk the streets, perhaps to get his bearings, perhaps to find cheap alcohol, Madrox sets off again, loping listlessly down the slate grey road.

Sighting a park not far ahead, he makes a beeline for it, hoping to find a bench - or even a flowerbed upon which he might sit.

2/8/2012 . Edited 2/8/2012 #5
Ink and tea-leaves

Monique walked the perimeter of the park twice, running her fingers along the railings like a kid, trying not to think. As she finished her second lap, she spotted a guy enter the park at the gate only a few feet ahead of her and flop down onto a bench. She was curious - she had thought that only madmen and women would be up at this hour.

She gave him the once over, mildly applying her mutation to make things easier:

Clothes - once smart, now old and tatty, in second or third day of usage without a wash. Travelling clothes. Hair - needs to be introduced to water. They'd get along well. Bags under his eyes says he's tired. Swaying slightly, so very tired. Crumpled paper in one pocket, maybe a ticket. Looking around as if he doesn't know where he is, assessing the area. Conclusion - just arrived in London, jet lagged maybe, not well prepared, alone or he wouldnt have worn the same clothes. Arrived late last night, hence the tiredness, but not late enough that he could've slept on the plane, otherwise he wouldn't still be short of sleep.

Monique looked away. If he muttered something or made some obvious gesture she'd get the full wave of his current thoughts, what with the state she was in and how much she'd been absorbing that night, and the last thing she wanted was more information in her brain. She felt like an overly-full balloon about to pop.

2/8/2012 #6

Jamie sagged into the bench, too tired even to yawn.

God, this jet lag was hitting him bad.

He rubbed at his face vigorously, trying to in vain to warm up, and realising how woefully unprepared he was for this trip.

Scotland's would be even colder, if he remembered right.

Looking about the park, he noticed a shortish, brown haired woman not far off. Something about the way she was standing suggested a weariness not a million miles away from his own. Self-consciously, he ran a few fingers through his traveller's hair, and shifted uncomfortably on the bench.

Half tempted to thump the wooden bench and spawn a dupe, he ran a hand along it instead.


Flinching, he inspected his palm, newly adorned with a collection of flaky old splinters.

Well this was shaping up to be just the best holiday ever.

2/9/2012 #7
Ink and tea-leaves

Monique heard the "damn" across the park, and on impulse looked up. He'd sounded American. A pissed off American in a cold London park at 5:30 am. Her curiosity got the better of her, and she started making her way towards him.

2/9/2012 #8

Grumbling, Jamie flexed his hand, and tried to pluck the largest of the splinters from his palm - a task that would be easier were the weather better.

He looked up quickly, cautiously upon hearing the woman's approach. He frowns, then glances from his hand and back with a sheepish grin.

"Uh, hi. Don't suppose you've got any tweezers?"

2/11/2012 #9
Ink and tea-leaves

"Mmm, I don't think so..." replied Monique, ignoring the information pushing at her from the guys mind and riffling through her pockets. "Nope, completely tweezerless. Sorry." She looked at his hand. "That looks painful..."

2/11/2012 #10
Alex Wilder

"It'd better be" said Guido Carosella approaching the two of them. "I wake up at 7 a.m. like a normal person, spend half an hour looking for you to go catch some breakfast and you're chatting up some woman in the park". At this point the man took in the lady standing near Jaime and found himself admiring her looks. "Oh excuse me miss, I meant no disrespect. I'd love to make it up to you by offering you a late breakfast", he paused here and gestured towards Jaime "on him", he said with a smile.

2/11/2012 #11

Jamie grimaced half-heartedly, his eyes darting around the park quickly.

"Would you believe me if I said it's not what it looks like, Guido?" He held up his hand for his friend's inspection, "Just me being my usual clumsy self. Feel like I'm a kid again, minus the cascading dupe-Jamies everywhere."

He turned back at the English woman, "Sorry, ma'am - you must be pretty much in the dark here." he offered her his good hand to shake, "I'm Jamie Madrox, my statuesque friend here is Guido Carosella."

Shooting a glance back at Guido, he asked - perhaps with a degree of hopefulness - "Just you keeping an eye on me, is it? I'm not going to see Rahne walking out from behind you am I?"

2/12/2012 #12
Ink and tea-leaves

Monique ignored the hand Jamie offered, looking between the two, her mutant abilities bleeping red-alert. They´d made a huge mistake giving her so much information - they may as well have handed her their bank acconts on a plate.

"Jamie Madrox, friends with Guido Carosella, obviously just jetted in from America, mentioning another friend Rahne, talking to a mutant who never forgets a name on any list she´s ever read. Seriously. Únsubtle. Youre the X-Factor guys. I´m Monique Carmichael, good to meet you."

2/14/2012 #13

Jamie blinked, hard. Raised his eyebrow and tilted his head back.

"I, uh." his eyes flicked to Guido and then back, "Well, yeah. Yeah that's us." Slowly he withdrew his hand, dropping it by his side.

"Yeah... we were with X-Factor. Back when it was Government run." Trying to change the subject, he smiled again, "So - you're a mutant?"

2/19/2012 #14
Ink and tea-leaves

Monique inclined her head. "One of the surprisingly many working for the government."

2/19/2012 #15

"Right. I knew there were mutant groups over here," he cast his eyes around the park, "Excalibur and such."

He grinned, "So you're what? MI6? License to kill and all that?"

2/19/2012 #16
Ink and tea-leaves

Monique laughed. "More like license to interrogate until I fall asleep on my desk. This is an attempt to wake up."

2/19/2012 #17

"For you too?" Jamie grinned weakly as another wave of jet lag crept through him. He frowned at Guido, as if resenting his friend's lack of weariness.

"So what's yours? Your power I mean?" he inquired interestedly.

2/19/2012 #18
Ink and tea-leaves

"Information" replied Monique, then explained. "I absorb everything. I can read an 1,000 page document a remember everything in it, or recall a conversation I had with someone years ago word for word." She laughed. "It gets to be a right pain sometimes, but I remember all the jokes."

2/19/2012 #19
Ink and tea-leaves

((ANNOUNCEMENT: I am posting this on all the forums I'm active in (ie one heck of a lot). I've got important exams coming up in just under two months, and I've realized that I seriously need to work if I'm going to get the grades I need. Also, I'm a major procrastinator, so I've downloaded a program onto my laptop which limits my internet access. As in, I've set the amount of time I'm allowed on certain websites each day, and if I exceed that, it cuts me off.

THEREFORE during the week I will no longer be on fanfiction. (But I'll still be online on the weekend.) This ends on Wednesday 20th June, the date of my final exam... Lets just hope I don't suffer from brain-melt before then!

Wish me luck!))

2/19/2012 . Edited 2/19/2012 #20

"Sounds tough." Jamie winced. "I know a thing or two about having too much information buzzing around."

((I should probably be doing much the same thing... Best of luck Gypsy!))

2/19/2012 #21
Ink and tea-leaves

((Thanks, you too!))

2/19/2012 #22
Alex Wilder

"You remember everything huh? well remind me never to get drunk around you." Guido the turned towards Jaime "you asked about Rahne earlier, for a second i thought you were joking. i must have been talking to a dupe you let get away from ya, cause I told ya already, the women folk have gone on ahead to muir island" At this point Guido shook his head in a mocking sort of way. "I always found it strange how a guy who can make his own support staff could ever be so disorganized."

2/19/2012 #23
Ink and tea-leaves

Monique stifled a laugh. "Guess he can't fire his secretary for incompetence when his secretary is himself..." ((Hour and a half then no fanfic for a week... D:))

2/19/2012 . Edited 2/19/2012 #24
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