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On the Beat
During her dinner hour, Xandra sat in her favourite spot,
near the artificial lake just outside of the police station.
It was quiet, still, and brought an inner peace. At least
usually. But today was different. Her case was getting to
her; the thief's apparent non-existence was incredible, almost
unbelievable. But Xandra was sure Ororo Munroe had told the
truth, and all that she knew. And since he couldn't be hired...
As she glanced in the water, Xandra repressed a deep sigh
at the sight of Cody's reflection approaching her. She did
not need this now -- it wasn't the right time. But then, when
was the time right? Never. And since subtlety was no gift
of hers, she took a deep breath and spoke the painful truth.
"Cody, Ah think we should finish this."
She felt the stillness beside her, and saw his amazed look
in the water, but she turned away when it turned to one of
"Ah'm sorry, Cody, truly ah am, but ah can't pretend Ah'm
happy when ah'm not, an' this relationship ain't doin' either
of us any good. It ain't workin' out, an' ah wanna finish
it now, ‘fore we go any further." A glance at their reflections
saw Cody looking devastated, and so Xandra stood.
"Goodbye, Cody." Those two simple words, so hard to say,
but now they were said, it was as if a weight of enormous
proportion had been lifted from her. She felt free; something
she hadn't felt in too, too long. She walked away, and felt
as if she were leaving something behind her, and she was.
She was leaving behind her old life of comfort and security,
of knowing what would happen everyday. It seemed her life
was changing. Becoming more dangerous, yes, but with excitement
and reason that it had previously lacked. It was with an aura
of purpose that Xandra walked back into the police station
which was so strong, it stopped even Bobby Drake flirting
Back at her desk, Xandra blinked in surprise at a black envelope
placed conspicuously in the middle of the mess that was her
desk, her name written on it in silver. She looked around
suspiciously for a moment, then shrugged and opened it. She
just hoped it wasn't from Cody. The next sound from the detective
was a startled gasp. Inside the envelope was a single, small
sheet of black paper, also hand written in silver. It read;
"Pawn to B5. The game begins."
Holding the paper and envelope tightly, Xandra ran out of
her office and looked down the corridor. She saw a sea of
faces, many unfamiliar, and cursed. Mr. X, Gambit, could be
among this crowd, and she had no way to know, save from using
her mutant power on everyone she didn't recognise, and that
was hardly feasible. She swore colourfully and inventively.
Glancing down at the paper then gave her an idea.
Joining the crowd, she made her way to the staircase, and
ran up the flight of steps to the next floor, frightening
a startled janitor on the way up. She then made her way to
an office at the end of the hall. Frowning a moment before
she entered, Xandra knocked then entered before waiting for
a reply. Before her, an unsurprised looking woman glanced
up, a thin smile on her face. The appearance of the woman,
with her lilac hair and slim, English Rose-style beauty was
totally at odds with the fact that Elizabeth Braddock was
one of the most powerful telepaths in the world. Xandra could
not say she truly liked Betsy. She was too straight-laced,
odd and silent to be likable. But she certainly respected
her, and right now, she needed her help. She passed the paper
and the envelope over.
"Ah have reason ta believe that the guy who wrote this is
a theif whose case ah'm working on. Ah was hopin' ya could
find an imprint on it."
Betsy nodded, then closed her eyes. She opened them with
a frown. "I'm picking up amazement, but I assume it's your
own. But other than that, this is a blank slate."
"God damn it!" Cursed Xandra. "Another goddamn dead end."
Betsy stroked her chin. "Maybe not. Whoever wrote this letter
must be a mutant with considerable mental powers to black
their thoughts from a letter. And also you should ask someone
to look at the handwriting, and possibly Logan to see if her
can pick up a scent -- I suggest you let noone else touch
"Bett's, ya're a genius!" Xandra was perched on the edge
of Logan's desk. He was carefully sniffing the letter, trying
to discern a scent other than hers, his or Betsy's. He frowned.
"There's somethin'. I couldn't pick him out of a crowd, but...
He's young, probably early twenties. Wears Fahrenheit. And
... leather. And he's got auburn hair."
Xandra blinked. "How in hell could ya know that from his
Logan grinned. "I don't." He held up a single strand of hair.
Xandra stared at it. It was jaw length and auburn, just as
"Maybe it's a plant. Ororo said this guy's a real pro..."
"Maybe it is. He's givin' you a few clues, he likes the thrill,
right? But maybe he's underestimatin' ya. Maybe you're better'n'
Xandra looked at Logan for a long minute, then sighed. "So,
Ah've gotta mutant with mental powers, auburn hair, who's
young and wears Fahrenheit. Do I wait at the Elizabeth Arden
counter and arrest every guy who matches the profile? How
the hell do I find this guy?!"
"I have faith in you, kid." Logan put a hand on her shoulder.
"The scent's gotta lotta hormone in it -- this guy's pretty
horny. Maybe you should let him look for you, not the other
Xandra scowled at him. "Ah ain't some kinda whore, nor do
I intend to act like one."
"Not even if it wins this case for you?" Xandra gave him
a long look as she considered.
Continued in Chapter
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