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Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12


Written by KazeRogue and Cat Smith
Last updated: 01/02/2007 02:01:11 AM

Chapter 2

Alexandra Thorne sighed and let her chin rest in her folded hands. She was tired and hungry and she didn't think there was one muscle in her body that wasn't aching, due to the hours she had spent sitting at her desk in the NYPD HQ, going through the evidences in her new case, or what little she had. The absolute fruitlessness of her work didn't help to lift her mood. Additionally, she despised this desk work. She felt rather like Power girl than Research girl. But during her time in the NYPD she had learned that she couldn't bump her head through every wall, though that was what she was still best at. So, she had sat down like a good girl and scanned through the file of Mr. X that was little more than rumors and worthless testimony. But this was the first big case that has been given to her after her promotion and Detective Alexandra Thorne wanted to solve it - badly.

And so this complete lack of results after hours of hard work pissed her off big time. She tossed the file off her desk and searched for something to follow the example, at best something fragile, that would make a noise and maybe dampen her anger. Her glance fell to the framed picture of her still-boyfriend Cody, who was momentarily problem #2 on her list, and she had found what was most likely to follow the file. But before she could toss it, a strong hand clasped around her arm and held it firmly.

"Hey, kid. Demolishin' yer furniture won't help much. Believe me, I know." Xandra heard the low, rumbling voice of Lieutenant Logan.

Logan had been the one who had taken care of her when she had arrived as freshman from the police school in the Big Apple, in his own, gruff way, taught her what she needed to know to survive out there, on the streets. Rumors said he had once been an agent for the government and that his job here was some kind of retirement compared to what he had done before. Xandra didn't know why he was doing this, maybe out of boredom. Anyway, she was glad, she liked the man. But at the moment she was just too frustrated to deal with whatever he may want.

"Logan, look, Ah'm not in the mood to talk. It's late and Ah... why are y'all here anyway, it's 10 p.m.?"

"Could ask you the same question, kid. I don't like to hang at home and do nothing..."

Xandra grinned. She knew Logan's apartment was rather a place where the mail was delivered to than where he lived, it would be the last place where she would look for him.

"... and so I had to choose, stay here and see if I can help some overzealous would-be police officer, or go to 'Kurt's' and get drunk. And since I did that yesterday my constructive side won."

Xandra could very well imagine Logan's previous evening. 'Kurt's' was their favorite haunt and the owner, Kurt Wagner, was a buddy of Logan, though Xandra had only found that out after weeks. It wasn't easy to tell if Logan was close to somebody, he hid that well. But Kurt was also a valuable source of information. He seemed to know everything that was going on in the town. Also, Xandra suspected Logan to have a special interest in Kurt's waitress, a pretty redhead called Jean, but she would never ask him. That was an unspoken rule in their friendship, don't meddle in the other's private life!

"Thanks for th' offer, but Ah think Ah'm done here. Ah haven't made any progress, so that's it for today. Maybe tomorrow, when Ah'm able to think straight again, Ah'll have the brainwave Ah'm missing today."

"Shall I drive you home?" Logan asked.

Alexandra looked at the picture she still held in her hand. Home. To Cody. She wrinkled her nose.

"No thanks, Ah think today's my 'Kurt's' day." she said after a moment of hesitation. She wasn't really in the mood for 'Kurt's', but that was better than having to face what she's been avoiding the last couple of weeks, a conversation with Cody. Like so many times before, Logan seemed able to read her thoughts.

"If you need a place to stay, you can have my place, don't need it anyway."

He tossed her the keys and she smiled at him thankfully. It was good to know there were people she could rely on. The young Detective stood up to finally leave her work place, her leather jacket in her hand when Logan addressed her once again.

"By the way, remember the woman they arrested yesterday? The black one? Top class thief, maybe knows something about your mysterious friend."

Well, that was at least something to start with the next morning, Xandra decided and thanked him. She walked to her new home, relishing the fresh air and not regretting for one second to have refused Logan's offer to drive her home on his Harley. The next day she would find something, get on in this Sisyphus task that arresting Mr X seemed to her. She would solve this case, she swore herself a holy oath. And nobody and nothing would stop her.

The next morning, Detective Thorne entered the women jail. She asked the guard for the black thief that had been arrested the day before, showing him her ID and the permission she had got from Forge before. The guard led her to a cell and opened it for her to enter, then came in behind her. The woman sat at the window, looking out in the rain. She was incredibly exotic, with dark skin and white hair. She wore an inhibitor what was standard these days with mutant prisoners. Yes, mutants were accepted and, in the course of equality, were arrested in the same jails, but they had to wear these inhibitors to shut down their powers.

The woman turned around to meet the young Detective's gaze and even Xandra felt timid for a second. The other radiated a dignity like no one else she had ever met. Even in the jail clothing she looked like a goddess. But Alexandra was nobody to be intimidated quickly. She walked towards the woman.

"Ororo Munroe, Ah presume. Ah'm Detective Thorne of the NYPD."

"I am sorry detective, I already told your colleagues everything I had to say. And I see no reason in involving another officer in this case." The thief said pleasantly, but firmly.

"Ah'm not here to ask you about your case, but about the recent robberies in museums. This was a master and you played in that league, too. What do you know?"

"I am sorry, I cannot help you." She answered, not even trying to conceal her lie.

Xandra sighed and leaned a bit closer.

"Look, sugar, this isn't about any honor stuff or whatevah y'all're holding onto. Ah want to get this guy, and Ah will get him. So Ah offer you something for any information you can give me. Help me and the judge will regard this at your trial. Maybe you'll even get away with probation. Jail can be cruel, y'know. 'Specially for someone with claustrophobia. Oh, don't look so shocked, it's all in your file."

Stubborn silence was the only answer Xandra received. She looked at the guard who was standing next to the door dismissively.

"Leave us alone please. Ah'll call for you when Ah'm finished here."

When the guard had left she turned to Munroe again, smiling.

"Look, sugar. We can do this the easy or the hard way. Ah'll get my information, no matter if you simply tell me or if Ah have to suck it outta your brain with my mutant power. Now it's your call. Which way shall it be?"

The thief looked at the Detective who was already putting off her gloves. She would do it, Ororo knew it in the instant she looked in the other woman's eyes. She would and she could. She would drain every information out of her brain, not only about this particular thief, but also about herself and any other thief she had met in her life. Why offer the whole cake if the Detective would be also content with a tiny piece. She wouldn't get him anyway. What rumors Ororo had heard of that man indicated more a phantom than a human being. This girl in front of her wasn't a match for him. And freedom would be nice to taste again.

"Probation?" She asked.

"Probation." Thorne confirmed. She had already Forge's signature for this deal.

"Alright," Ororo said "I'm afraid this isn't much. Nobody knows much of him, he is very much a loner."

Xandra had figured that much, though the boy had quite 'guild quality'. But the Thieves Guild was just a myth and her colleagues would have laughed at her if she had drawn such a connection, although she firmly believed in the guild's existence. But at the moment, Mr X was definitely a loner. She motioned for the thief to go on.

"Rumors say that his Interpol file is six inches thick, though they do not even know his name. You cannot hire him, he just does what attracts him. Just the dangerous pinches, he seems to like the thrill. He would not need the money anyway after everything he already pinched. He is a perfectionist. He is not likely to make a mistake, you will never find a trace of him if he does not want you to. He is also very creative. The way is the aim. His thrill is to get in and leave evidence that he made it, not particular the loot. Though he only goes for things worth the risk. I do not think you have a chance of finding him, he smells every trap. They call him Gambit, but this is not quite a gamble. He always wins. Maybe that is why he only does the big jobs. He likes the challenge. But he has not touched his limits yet."

"Well, time he has." Xandra said, a determined look on her face.


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