Tuesday, 3:36 am somewhere outside of New Orleans
There's nothing left, it's all burnt to the ground.
The young woman walked through the charred remains of what
had once been her home. Oh, momma, poppa... Her thoughts
trailed off. Behind her on a tree limb the crow sat watching
her with its black eyes.
She walked to where her parents bedroom had once been, and
looked at the charred pieces of wood which were all that remained.
Then she saw a glint in the moon light. Kneeling down, she
brushed away the mud and pieces of blackened wood to reveal
a tarnished necklace.
When she grabbed it, she fell back as images rushed through
her mind. Images of a happy life, tragically and senselessly
cut short. Images of a loving family being slaughter by three
monsters. Tears rolled from her eyes but still she clung to
the necklace, all that was left of her former life. Soon the
flashback stopped, after a moment she stood, wiping tears
from her eyes and placed the necklace around her neck. Then
she turned and walked away, the crow flying close behind.
Tuesday, 6:24 am.
The old man known only as Ethan paused at the door of his
small run-down apartment in the seedier section of New Orleans.
Carefully, he checked to see if the nearly invisible hair
that he had placed on the door had been disturbed. It was
his way of making sure nobody was in his place to meet him.
After a moment's evaluation, he was satisfied that it hadn't
The door opened with a creak, as it had ever since he'd moved
in so many years ago, after his release from prison. He had
done time for burglary, done it and been released. And hadn't
pulled another job since. Straight and clean, that had been
He stepped into the dark apartment and shut the door behind
him. As he reached of the cord to turn on the over head light,
he heard something,
A match suddenly lit the room and was brought close to the
face of an intruder, who lit the cigarette in his mouth with
the flame, casting eerie shadows across his face.
"Long tim', Ethan." Remy said as the old man stepped
back in shock.
"Remy... Remy LeBeau, that yu?" A smile as big
as the Mississippi formed on the old man's face. Remy reached
up and turned on the light. "Howz yu been boy? I'z not
zeen yu in earz. Not zince you left de Guild." The old
man walked up to Remy and hugged him.
"It's good t' see you again, Ethan. You doin' okay?"
Remy said as he patted the old man's back.
"I be okay, Remy." He paused and sniffed the air.
"Why don' yu ask yuir lady friend t' join us." He
mentioned with a nod toward the kitchen, where Rogue was waiting.
"Zhe got zome mighty nice perfume on, neh?" Remy
smiled -- Ethan always did have a good sense of smell. After
being introduced to Rogue, Ethan fixed a pot of coffee as
he and Remy reminisced about the past for a little bit. Although
both men's pasts were anything but boring, Rogue began to
doze off at the kitchen table, her 24 hours without sleep
now catching up to her.
The two men continued their conversation without her. "Ethan,
I hate to be a bother, but I need some information. Dere was
a boy killed early dis mornin', down near Galvez and St. Philip,
you know anyt'ing?"
Ethan may not have been in the business anymore, but he still
heard quite a lot. "Yeh, yeh, I know the one yu be talking
about. Boy, name o' Swipe, a mutant," he said with a
slight hint of disgust in his voice. He quickly added, "Neh
offense to yu or the lady, o' course."
Ethan went on to explain that Swipe was a thief working for
a new player in town, a mysterious individual named Charisma.
"If yu be tryin' to catch dis woman, yu might try lookin'
up zome o' the boyz' friendz. He use t' workz with a lady
name o' Joyride."
Tuesday, 8:54 am
Mardi Gras was still going strong. The streets were still
jammed pack with people, many in elaborate costumes. If one
didn't know better, he might have thought a convention of
super-heroes was going on.
Up high on one of the buildings, a woman in black looked
down on the crowd, her eyes fixed on one individual, a brunette
woman dressed in gray and white.
She called herself Joyride, and she was a mutant.
"Caw... Caw... Caw...."
Joyride looked up at the crow that was perched on the street
light, then walked on. It be time for business. With
twelve of her best men behind her, she entered the plaza lobby
and quickly took out the two security guards. There was a
big party here tonight, and the guests had something that
Joyride wanted: money and jewelry. As the group made their
way up to the floor where the party was being held, they began
to prepare themselves. Uzi's, shotguns and automatic pistols
were brought out into the open, loaded and cocked, ready for
action. Joyride herself pulled out her trademark twin katannas
as they arrived outside the party room. All 13 of them grouped
quietly around their leader just outside the door. From inside,
sounds of music and laughter seeped out.
"On three," Joyride whispered tersely to her men.
"....THREE!!" The door was kicked opened, all but
two of the robbers filed in as guests started to scream. There
was gunfire, mainly to get everybody's attention, although
several shots were made to take down those foolish enough
to try and play hero.
"OKAY, PEOPLE!!" Joyride shouted over the cries
of fear as her men rustled the guests into one corner of the
banquet hall. "Be nice and do as we say and nobody be
getting hurt." She added the last part with a twisted
smile. She knew she was lying, knew that not a soul would
walk out that door, except for her and her men.
Joyride watched with twisted pride as her men made their
way through the crowd with large sacks that were being filled
with the guests' valuables.
Suddenly outside the door there was the sound of a small
explosion, and dust began to creep in around the edges. Then
the door burst inward from its hinges as one of Joyride's
guards was slammed into it, sending both guard and door halfway
into the banquet hall before crashing to the floor.
"Dis be a private party?" Gambit asked as he stepped
through the now-bare doorway, holding three glowing, energized
playing cards in his right hand and smiling.
"Or can jus' any ol' body join in, sugah?" Rogue
added as she tossed the second guard to the floor and wiped
her hands together, like she was brushing dirt off of them.
Outside, on the building across from the plaza, the woman
in black leapt from the edge of the building as the crow took
to the air. She reached out and grabbed the cable of lights
that stretched between the buildings. With a crack, the cable
snapped from the sudden added weight, and she swung through
the air over the crowd of people below -- many of whom did
not even notice her -- straight towards one window in the
There was a crash and glass flew into the hall, along with
the newest of uninvited guests.
"What the hell?!" Joyride exclaimed, raising her
arm to shield her face.
The woman in black crashed to the floor and rolled, coming
out in a kneeling position with two 44. mag desert eagles
drawn. Two shots were fired into a thug off to her right and
another two into the one to her left.
The guests screamed in terror, and some tried to flee. Gambit
leapt foward to avoid the spray of bullets, flinging the three
cards from his hand. Two struck one thug and sent him crashing
backwards into the buffet table, while the third struck another
guard, knocking him unconscious.
The crow landed on the widow sill and watched. "Cherie!"
Gambit shouted to Rogue over the sounds of screams and gunfire,
"That be her!" Two more cards flew from his hands.
Rogue looked over to the woman in black, who was emptying
the desert eagles into a group of three thugs and then caught
another with a reverse roundhouse kick to the face. She tossed
the empty guns to the floor as two more thugs appeared in
front of her and fired their weapons. The bullets ripped into
the woman, sending her flying backwards.
"Oh...ya know that's gotta hurt." One thug laughed
to the other, then turned his attention to Rogue, a sneer
on his face. "And as for you. beautiful..."
Rogue felt the sting of the bullets strike her as they tore
through her costume, but she dared not move because she was
between the thugs and some of the guests. It would take more
than regular small arms fire to get through Rogue's nearly
invulnerable skin. Suddenly, behind the two thugs, the woman
in black flipped to her feet, machete drawn.
Rogue watched in utter disbelief as the woman swung the machete
with a deadly grace, separating the heads of the two thugs
from their bodies.
The woman then turned her attention to Joyride, even before
the two bodies had fallen to the floor. She walked with a
determined pace through the melee, taking down whoever came
within her path with ease. Joyride stood her ground, katannas
"Time to pay for your sins, murderer!" the woman
in black shouted as she swung the bloody machete at Joyride.
Joyride had been trained by some of the best swordsmen in
the world, and with her mutant agility and ability to telepathically
scan her opponent for their next move, she was nearly unbeatable
in combat. But whoever this mysterious woman was, she was
better than Joyride, and within minutes she had Joyride disarmed
and at her mercy.
"This is for my family, bitch!" The woman raised
the machete high, but never had the chance to bring it down.
Rogue flew across the room and tackled the woman, slamming
her into the wall.
" 'Nough o' the killing!" Rogue yelled as she tried
to pin the woman to the wall. But somehow she twisted herself
in Rogue's grip and rammed her fist into Rogue's jaw.
Then it happened.
The woman's flesh touched Rogue's flesh. Rogue's mutant abilities
kicked in, draining the woman's memories and abilities. Rogue
screamed in terror as the woman went limp. In an instant,
Rogue lived the young woman's life, but instead of just gaining
her memories, Rogue experienced every emotion she had felt
-- even the horror of being forced to watch her parents slaughtered,
then of being raped -- all the time fully aware but not in
control of her own body. Finally, she felt the pain of dying,
of being too weak to struggle as the swampy waters dragged
her under, trying to breathe but getting nothing but water.
And then she felt the pain of being reborn. She saw in the
woman's memories the crow that had brought her back for revenge.
And she understood.
Rogue turned, her face now twisted with rage, and faced Joyride.
"Ya murdered my Momma and Poppa!" Her voice wasn't
her own -- it was that of the woman in black. She picked Joyride
up and threw her across the room. Walking over to Joyride,
Rogue picked up a shotgun off the floor, slipped a round into
its chamber and pointed it at the stunned woman as she approached
her. "Ya murdering mutant bitch!" Rogue placed the
barrel of the shotgun against Joyride's forehead and slowly
began to pull the trigger.
"ROGUE, NO!!!" Remy shouted as he lept toward her.
He knocked the gun away just as she fired. She caught the
Cajun in mid leap and held him in the air, her hand clutching
"I told ya to stay out of my way," she said with
a growl. Remy felt her grip tighten -- and then loosen. "Re...Remy?"
Rogue said, shaking her head in confusion. Her psyche was
beginning to take control again. "What am ah doin'?"
she said as she lowered him to the ground. "Oh Remy...it
was awful... what they did to her. It was...."
Rogue was trembling. Remy held her, trying to comfort her,
but she continued on about the things that had been done to
the woman in black.
Joyride stared at the woman who had just attacked her and
watched as her personality changed. Reaching into her boot,
she pulled out a long dagger and got to her feet. Unnoticed,
she snuck up behind the man and plunged the dagger into his
back, between the spine and left shoulder blade, an evil smile
forming on her face as she twisted the blade.
Rogue screamed as Remy went limp and started to fall. She
caught him in her arms. Blood began to run out of his mouth.
She looked and saw the woman leap out the broken window.
"Remy... Remy... No...Oh god no, Remy......No..."
she cried, her voice barely a whisper, as she dropped to her
knees cradling Remy in her lap.
Remy looked up at her, his eyes weak, "Ch..che..rie,
m...my... lov....." then his eyes closed.
"NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!" she screamed
Continued in Part
Disclaimer: all Marvel characters
are copyrighted by Marvel Comics and are used without permission.
Disclaimer: The Crow and all Crow related material
is copyrighted by James O'barr and is being used without permission.
But other than that this story is a product of my own warped
mind and thus is copyrighted by Allen Sumner, 1996.
This is a non-profit piece of fan ficiton done solely for
Send comments\messages to: ASumner@Highland.Net
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