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On the Beat
Sighing, the young Detective closed the folder that lay in
front of her. This was getting her nowhere. She had given
the single strand of hair she had found in the envelope to
the laboratory, ordering them to do a DNS analysis. Now, finally,
the results had arrived, and all she had learned was that
Gambit was a mutant. Big clue! She had suspected that after
reading in the files how easily he had evaded every security
system during his pitches. That WAS supernatural.
The labrats were still trying to identify his mutant power
and knowing them Xandra gave up the hope to have the results
within this week. They hadn't even found a match in the data
bank. This guy really knew how to cover up his tracks. But
at least there had been matches to other DNS scans made after
other robberies. When all there had been left at the scene
of crime had been a hair, or a scale of skin. So at least
they had a lot to charge him of when they caught him. If they
Determined to try the seemingly impossible, Alexandra Thorne
got up and copied the sheet with the locations and dates of
the matching robberies on it - which was against regulations
- and left the Police departments with the copy hidden in
a secret side pocket of her bag - which was against regulations.
Common police work wouldn't help her here. If she really
wanted to find this thief, she had to extend her boundaries
a bit. And she knew exactly where to start.
The area was as filthy as they get, where people tend to
mind their own business - which was perfectly fine. Nobody
would have suspected the most genius computer expert to have
their 'store' in an old garage there, without even a sign
giving evidence of it's existence. Exactly the way Katherine
Pryde liked it. Daytime programmer at a middle-sized Computer
company, she turned into software dealer and hacker-girl at
night. And her friendship to a NYPD Detective had kept her
back clear. Not that she had ever left any evidence when her
deals crossed the line of being legal, and since she was very
selective when choosing her customers, she didn't consider
herself as being a criminal. Her products weren't used for
evil purposes, at least she did everything to secure that.
One of her regular customers was said Detective. She had
sold her several hardware pieces and self-written hacker software
that no Police officer should own. But Xandra wasn't a common
police officer, she knew one had to howl with the wolves at
times, if one wanted to arrest them. But sometimes even the
extensive illegal equipment at her home PC and her hacker
skills weren't enough for her to get the information she needed.
It was then that she turned to her friend with an order that
would not only prove to be hard work but interesting as well.
So Kitty smiled at the woman opposite, taking the list Xandra
"These are the dates of the crimes. Ah need the air traffic
with passenger lists of each in the period of the robbery.
Leave out the regular passengers at the routes, compare the
remaining to resemblances, compare them to the guestlists
of the hotels in the area. He will be flying with a faked
ID, so Ah need every remaining name on th' list checked whether
there's a birthdate and location. Hopefully our dear Master
thief hasn't used the names of existing persons."
Kitty nodded, not looking the Detective in the eyes. Her
mind was already considering the line of action, when a question
sprang to her mind.
"What will you do with the names? His aliases won't be of
much use to you."
"First, Ah can maybe make a personality profile. Second,
Ah need a check on matching names currently residing in local
"Uh huh. Consider it done. I'll call you ..uhm.. Thursday."
"Tomorrow." Xandra said while turning around to leave the
"Hey, I have a life besides playing your Jimmy Olsen!"
"Tomorrow." the Detective closed the door.
Xandra entered Logan's apartment and leaned against the doorframe
closing her eyes for a second. This wasn't the cosiest of
places, and her new case did nothing else but making her feel
like a failure. She had been so thrilled when Forge had given
it to her, her chance, her acid test. And she was getting
nowhere. Through the turmoil of her thoughts she heard the
beeping of the answering machine. She hadn't even known Logan
had a telephone.
She slowly strode towards the desk, kicking off her shoes
as she did so. 23 messages. Great. Cody must have found out
where she had gone. Big clue, how many friends had she that
weren't actually Cody's friends. In that instant the phone
rang again. Xandra looked at it almost hostile, as if the
ringing was an assault at her persona. She didn't move to
pick up the receiver and finally the answering machine went
on. The Detective rolled her eyes when the voice at the other
end of the line was really Cody's.
Gawd! How she hated his nickname for her!
Please, pick up the phone ... Xandy, c'mon, Ah know that
ya're home... Can't we even talk lahk normal persons anymore?
Though everything inside of her screamed to not do so, she
was tempted to pick up the phone and talk to him, at the sound
of his tired voice, but an instant before her hand touched
the receiver, Cody let out a sharp breath and he lost his
Damn you Alexandra! You're just as much a bitch as your
goddamn mother! Go ta hell. KLICK
Xandra's hand froze millimetres above the phone, then started
to tremble. Her features turned from shock to fury. She finally
picked up the receiver, her fist clenching around the plastic
so hard that her knuckles turned white, and threw it against
the opposite wall. Panting, she glared at the answering machine
as if she could set it on fire with her stare.
Swallowing her anger, she walked to the wall, dangerously
calm, and picked up the receiver to replace it on the station.
In that very moment the phone rang again, but Xandra just
stared at it coldly, waiting for the answering machine to
go off another time, an air of indifference layering over
the rage that was still boiling in her guts. It was Cody again.
Xandy, Ah.. Ah'm sorry. Ah shouldn't have compared ya
ta yoah mother. Please...
Alexandra's hand grabbed the receiver, this time not to toss
it, but to lift it to her ear.
"Listen, Cody, if ya say Ah'm lahk my momma, Ah'm proud o'
it! Ah love mah mom, an' no matter what she did, that won't
change! And now LEAVE ME THE HELL ALONE!"
She tossed the receiver back on the station and pulled the
cable out of the wall to keep that moron from disturbing her
Then, a smile creeped up her face. Her mother, of course
... why hadn't she thought of this earlier? Who could teach
her better to think like Mr. X than Mrs. X herself? Again,
it was time to pay the women's jail a visit.
The shadowy figure watched the young woman with growing interest
as she yelled at someone on the phone, then hung up and slammed
her fist into the wall. He retreated to the outermost corner
of the sill he was crouching on as she approached the window,
hoping that she wouldn't perceive him, stirred as she was.
He should leave now, an inner voice screamed, but he couldn't
tear himself away from his observing place. He tried to convince
himself that he was just studying his opponent as he watched
the young Detective stare into the rain.
But when the look of anger on her beautiful face turned to
one of sadness and a single tear crossed her face, passing
her trembling lips while she leaned her head against the glass,
eyes closed, he could barely restrain from reaching out with
his hand as if to comfort her from the other side of the window.
Her shoulders twitched treacherously as she sobbed silently,
then she took a deep breath and pulled herself together visibly.
As she opened her eyes again, he could see determination there.
The young thief couldn't help but feel like an intruder.
He had observed the woman in a very private moment, had witnessed
a weakness at the memory of an old pain, a weakness she would
have never shown him deliberately. He had observed people
a thousand times before, gleefully noting every weakness that
he could later use against them. But this time all he felt
was remorse at having stolen a bit of the woman's soul. For
the first time in his life, Remy LeBeau felt remorse for being
Raven Darkholme watched her foster daughter closely. She
was nervous, but that didn't show in her face or her gestures.
Good. She had taught her well. Xandra wanted something, Raven
could tell as much, but she wouldn't make this easier for
her. She would wait till her daughter found the nerve to tell
her what she wanted. The nerve Raven had preached her endlessly
to find when she had been younger. The world would give her
nothing if she didn't demand it. And family was there to offer
Xandra couldn't help but glance at the power suppression
collar her mother wore from time to time. There she was now,
recently promoted Detective, face to face with her mother,
the terrorist. Before the declaration of equality between
humans and mutants has been signed, her mother had been very
... 'intent' in fighting for the mutant rights. Xandra approved
of her mothers intentions and her bravery to stand up against
a suppressing system. She didn't approve of her means to do
that though. But that was past long gone, and now that her
mothers goals were finally achieved, she couldn't relish them
Xandra sighed. These were the issues her mother had to deal
with, and she had always known the consequences her actions
might have on her. And as far as the Detective could tell,
Raven wasn't doing that bad in imprisonment. She seemed calm,
at peace with herself. And she was really interested in what
Xandra told her, about her promotion, about her break-up with
Cody, all the news she had to offer, evading the subject at
hand. But this small-talk wouldn't help her arrest Gambit.
The young woman took a deep breath.
"Momma, Ah need yoah help. Ah'm working on this case, and
Ah'm kinda struck. Ah hoped maybe ya could help me in anticipatin'
the guy's next move."
Raven smiled. "Who are you searching, honey?"
Continued in Chapter
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