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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 4

Mystique pulled the military truck up to rear of the station. She stepped down from the cab carefully, the sticky, greasy asphalt threatening to suck her in. She shifted into a classic good 'ole boy Teamster before as she worked her way around the front of the truck to were Destiny awaited her.

From the cover of the truck, Raven watched drivers come and go. What she needed was a truck with out cargo, maybe even a detached cab. More trucks were leaving than were coming in, making her search seem futile.

A big black rig pulled in, all gleaming chrome and shiny black steel. It pulled to a stop near the entryway, obviously not there for gas. Raven turned away from it. It was too expensive not to be missed. It was also probably privately owned, and truckers were a nasty bunch about their personal property.

On the other hand, there was a small green cab hauling a long white trailer out of the weighing station. Rogue hadn't sent any signal saying it was empty, so Raven let it pass. The driver stopped next to the black rig and hopped down.

"Hey Doug, is that you?" The man in the green truck was banging on the black rigs door. Raven nearly snickered at his appearence. He was tall, blond and straight off some Mid-Western farm.

"Hey, there Buck-Buck, when'd you get here?" Doug, the black rig's owner, was an equally massive black man, who seemed to be competing with his truck for girth.

"'Bout the same time as you, I reckon. Hey, why don't you buy me dinner and I'll tell you about some fine sistah's I met in California." Buck was grinning from ear to ear and Doug seemed to explode with laughter. The two compatriots guffawed their way to the diner.

"Momma, that's the truck." Raven squelched a desire to backhand her daughter. Rogue had suddenly appeared at her shoulder, shocking Mystique into dropping her shift. Instead of responding, Raven spent a moment shifting into good ol' Buck-Buck's form.

Rounding on her daughter, Raven screamed in a whisper, "Where on God's green earth were you? You were supposed to be at the weigh station signalling empty trucks, not gallivanting around trying to give people heart attacks." Raven watched Rogue carefully as her daughter's skin flushed. Satisfied that the girl had learned her lesson, Raven was able to get back to business. "Which truck, fagod'ssake?"

"The green one. It's not empty, but all it's got in it's a couple boxes of books." Raven was about to interrupt, but the girl went on chattering. "Remy, he said I could call him that, broke into the back of it. We can put the cargo on this truck and then steal the green rig. Or maybe just leave the trailer and take the rig."

Raven stared at her daughter some more. The plans were decent, but they would all lead to detection long before they reached any viable destination. "Okay, we take the rig and the trailer, but we dump the trailer before we get to the next weigh station. I'll get the tractor-trailer, you take this truck and dump it somewhere. We'll be up the road a ways, so be quick about it." Raven took Irene by the hand and started off toward the green truck.

"Ya forgot one t'ing Raven." A voice came from the cab of the Agee Institute truck they had commendered.

"Oh, you, right. And here I was hoping you'd gotten lost." Raven smiled at the slimy little thief. She had assumed he would take the first exit stage left available and leave them to their troubles. The Cajun cuss had some backbone in him after all. Which meant Raven was probably going to have to pay him, and soon. Eliminating him was out of the question, too many people knew she was in contact with him. Raven had no interest in leaving a body trail.

"Nah, I ain't lost, but I t'ink I know where we should be headin'."

"Ah, and where is that we are going, hmm?" Raven let Irene stroke her back through the flannel shirt she now wore. She could Destiny whispering nonsense in her ear, but the one thing that stood out was "Don't trust." Raven already distrusted the boy, but perhaps Irene meant something more. In reality, he was only one of them in fighting shape, and he couldn't get that much from them if things went sour. Raven resolved to be more open minded, at least until she could discover what ever it was Irene's powers had uncovered.

"Well, dere's always Washington." Gambit rested his head on his arms, hanging half out the truck window.

"DC!! Are ya crazy? There's no way we can get all that way without getting caught!" Rogue said it before Raven could get a word in. Raven's eyes darted back to the rigs, but no one seemed to notice their little discussion. They were well concealed in their dark corner

"Not DC, Washington as in Seattle, as in Space Needle, grunge, Starbucks! It's not dat far. And I know someplace we can stay once we get dere." Raven found that smug grin infuriating, but the boy had guts making such an offer. Her mind said it was a trap. The thief was a professional. He would see the job through, which was great if she was his only contract, but if he was also working for someone else, someone who wanted the Sisterhood of Mutants out of the picture, they were as good as dead.

But Raven's instincts warred with her logic trained mind. If it was just a job, the boy would be long gone by now, payment or not. It was personal with him, to a certain extent, and a quick glance at her daughter's blushing face gave her all the answer she needed. As much as she loved Rogue, if the girl stood between the S.O.M. and certain death, then the thief could toy with her as long as he wanted. He would learn soon enough that Rogue was no easy prize. But Raven would let him play for a while, if it meant he wouldn't double cross them in the end.

Banking on her daughter's capableness, Raven took Irene's hand and headed for the green rig. "Then Seattle it is. You go with Rogue and make sure that homing device is as far from us as possible."

"Sure, Momma, we'll meet up wit' ya soon." Gambit's grin was beginning to set Raven's teeth on edge, but she kept her shift and moved from the shadows of one truck to another.

Irene pulled herself into the rig as Raven watched the passing traffic. Gambit was driving the stolen truck out of the station, with Rogue in the passenger seat. They headed back to the highway, south bound and Raven considered that part of her plan underway.

Once in the rig, Raven was for the first time grateful for the changes Dr. Agee and his associates had wrought on her powers. The rig felt as comfortable as Buck's skin and Raven pulled it out of the truck stop before its owner had even started his first course around the buffet table.

Irene sat silently by her side, fuming. Destiny had done everything she could to prevent the disaster in her mind's eye. After all, she had warned Raven, "Don't trust Rogue with her own heart and don't trust our lives to a thief's instincts."


Continued in Chapter Five.


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