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"Taking Prisoners"

Taking Prisoners

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6

(This story is in progress.)

Disclaimer: The X-Men characters, the New Orlean's Theives and Assassin's Guilds, and all other recognizable characters are copyright to Marvel Entertainment Group. This work of FanFiction is not meant to impinge on that copyright or defame Marvel Comics or the X-Men and related characters in any way.
Copyright: This work of FanFiction is the intellectual property of K-NICE and her IRL persona. No copying, distributing or editing of this material is permitted without the express permission of the creator, K-Nice, under United States copyright law.
K-Nice, 1999

Taking Prisoners

Part 2

Raven walked calmly down the blank hallways, her hands at her sides like a good little prisoner. Her right hand flipped through the guard's keys trying to find the one that fit the Genoshan Slave collar around her neck. "Got it." She slipped it from the ring and let the rest of the keys fall from the hand. She brought her hand to her mouth as if to cough and forced the key under her tongue. Raven rounded the corner in the women's cell block and presented herself to the guards. She forced a look of shame and despair on her face as the guards checked her over.

One of the bulky men was in a jovial mood, according to plan. Someone had slipped him some weed earlier in the evening. "Briggs is done with ya then, huh pretty one. Fine then, you know the drill."

She spread her arms and legs as one ran a metal detector along her body, while Mr. Happy patted her down. The detector went off by her mouth, just as it had for weeks whenever she entered or left, thanks to a fortuitous trip to the Center's dentist a month before. This time they didn't bother to check her mouth. "Fillings" they said in unison.

Raven just grinned as they lead her through the gate into the general cell It was a 60' by 60' box, thirty women on 20 bunk beds. This morning, Raven was grateful for the conditions she was forced to live under. It would take them longer to notice she was gone. She walked quickly over to her cot, where her bunk mate, Irene, and Rebecca, the young woman they were raising as their daughter, sat waiting for her. Reb was reading to Irene, who, although blind, was the one to look up first as Raven approached. She knew something was bothering Irene. She was so tense when Raven sat down next to her.

"What do you see, Irene?"

"Raven, we must leave. Without any delay."

"I know." Raven watched as Reb gathered the things they would need and tucked them in her clothing. The knife, the ID card, the tiny vial of poison.

"No, Raven, you don't know." Irene was upset and Raven took her hands.

"Just we three may go. In every Path were you try to take the others, none of us survive. We must go alone."

Raven protested "We must get them out!"

"Not now, Raven. They must wait."

Raven knew better than to argue with destiny. A full break was impossible. But if they got out, there would be hope for the others. Irene was the one mutant in the Center who did not wear a collar. The Center took her once a week to some secret meeting, but Irene would never speak of what went on there. The Center was not afraid of her foretelling power but Raven had relied on it to make her plan for escape. All along it had been possible to take the others but now, things were happening too quickly. Raven resigned herself and was glad she had been cautious enough to keep the plans secret from the others.

Raven slipped the key in her mouth into her hand swiftly unlocking her collar and then Rebecca's collar. As Rebecca went to remove her collar, Raven stopped her.

"No, let them think we're still under their control." Raven signaled to the other prisoners. It was a kind of code for "start some trouble." They didn't need to know a reason. Suddenly, and just on time, a fight broke out. the guards could be counted on to watch a catfight rather than break it up.

Reb grabbed one of the floor panels, ripping it up and sliding it away. She waited as Raven and the Irene crawled under the floor, then went under herself and pulled her panel back into place. Reb then opened another panel in the ceiling of the level below them. Raven dropped down first, immediately shifting into a guard. Reb carried Irene down, hoping no one saw her flying.

There was no need for such caution. The hallway was clear. The was no one in sight.

They started to sprint.

Remy stuffed card into the control panel. He spun his bo-staff out between the guards, clearing a path to exit through. The five of them ducked for cover as he dove between them. He rolled outside, jumping to his feet and into a run with explosions at his back. They would continue as the timed charges ripped the fencing to shreds, one explosion at a time.

As he crept along in the darkness, he saw his ticket into the Center. A lone guard stepped down from his transport truck. He looked as if he would rather be anywhere but in the dark investigating strange noises. I suppose I should put him out of his misery, he thought.

Remy grabbed a guard by his helmet, twisting it with a jerk and bringing him to the ground unconscious in seconds. He checked his countdown. "00:22:16" he had three levels of security to get through in 12 minutes. Fine. He could do that just not quietly.

He quickly stripped the guard and took his ID and uniform. And truck.

As he drove at break neck speeds toward the second gate, he practiced his new accent. He nodded to the guard who took his ID. "There's some kinda trouble back at the entry gate. They sent me to pick up a regiment of reinforcements." They let him pass quickly.

In a matter of minutes he was inside the second gate and half the guard detail was rushing to support the outpost Remy had destroyed. They thought the attack was coming from outside. Remy would have laughed at them but time would not allow it. It was a five minute drive between the gates and it would take about 3 minutes for them to find the downed guard. His ID wouldn't be any good by the time he got to the final gate. He turned the truck's brights on and parked in front of the gate. The guards looked out at the truck. By the time the three guards came to check the truck, Remy was scaling the electric fence, conveniently shorted by his attack on the main gate. Life was so good.

Once on the other side, he was tempted to simply let go and fall the 20 feet to the ground. He couldn't risk it though. He swiftly climbed back down the fence. He was in the Center.

Remy checked his watch again. "00:15:21"

Raven, Irene and Rebecca skidded to a halt at the corner. They looked at Irene.

"It should be clear."

"It should be, dang it." Reb took point and let the bullets bounce off her. Raven and Irene crossed the hall under the cover she provided. They were two levels up from where they needed to be and Raven could feel the time crunching in on them. They couldn't afford to fight their way out.

"Reb, get over here." Raven was crouched behind the fire door of an emergency stairwell. When Reb dashed in next to her, she reached out a touched the girl's face. Raven felt weak for a second but the feeling past as Reb absorbed her shape shifting powers. Reb followed Raven's example, shifting into a guard. Reb put her collar on Irene then they balanced her between them. Irene went limp and suddenly they were two guards having their way with a prisoner, instead of three escapees running for their lives.

They hurried down the stairs, two at a time, finally reaching the main floor of the complex.

Raven cracked the fire door and watched as guards hurried into transports all around them. This was why they had run into a minimum of guards inside the Center. It was under attack. Perfect timing, Raven thought, patting herself on the back.

"Mama," Reb said urgently. She was pointing up the stairs. Their pursuers had caught on finally.

Raven lead them out into the lobby. They stayed close to the walls, avoiding attention as they slunk toward the outside, toward freedom.

They were stopped by a guard several feet from the door. "This is no time for partying. Something serious is going on. Three prisoners are missing and the perimeter fence is being attacked. The computer system is shot and inner fences are down. Load up on a truck to defend the main gate."

Reb looked at Raven.

Raven looked at Irene.

Irene nodded.

Reb shifted back to her true form and broke the guard's jaw, then slammed him to the ground, unconscious or dead or whatever. At this point it didn't really matter. Raven also shifted back to normal and grabbed the knife from Reb's waist. She spun kicked at the dark form and slashed at it with the rough hewn blade.

"Easy, chère, I wouldn't do that if I were you." The shadow ducked under her kick and rolled to his feet in front of her."

"Gambit, I presume?" Raven asked. This thief definitely amused her.

"Enchantè, Madame Mystique." He had the nerve to bow. "Destiny, Rogue." He nodded to each in turn. Reb gave him a shy smile, Irene a questioning glance.

The pleasantries over, the little group suddenly noticed that they were alone. The guards seemed to have deserted the area.

It was too quiet.

As one, they ran toward the door. They rushed outside, ready for anything.

Almost anything.

They hadn't counted on the sentinels.


Continued in Chapter Three.


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