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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
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18
Chapter 19
Chapter 20

Faith and Dreams - REVIEW THIS STORY

Written by Valerie Jones
Last updated: 04/26/2007 02:10:47 AM

Chapter 19

Remy woke as the bed beneath him lurched violently and began to vibrate. Alarmed, he opened his eyes to find himself in a small room with a curved ceiling. Everything was done in a subdued pattern of gray and white that, while threatening, didn’t quite scream "hospital" at him. It wasn’t until he noticed the small oval windows in the walls and the ground rushing by outside that he realized he was on an airplane that had just touched down.

Memory failed him for a minute, but eventually the pieces began to come back and he wondered how he had gone from the slime filled tunnel he remembered to a private jet. He discovered that the torn and dirty scrubs he’d been wearing ever since being dragged to this world were gone, replaced by new. Their color was a truly awful shade of eggplant.

The roar of the decelerating aircraft began to fade as Remy cautiously sat up. He was indeed in something that resembled a hospital bed. An I.V. was attached to his arm and a squat monitoring machine sat beside the bed, beeping to itself. Restraints hung from each corner of the bed frame, but Remy’s hands and feet were left free.

Interestin’. Remy was about to try swinging his legs over the side of the bed when the single door to the room opened and Krycek walked in. He carried a pile of clothing that he dumped unceremoniously on the foot of the bed.

"Get dressed. You think you can stand?"

"I was jus’ fixin’ t’ find out." Remy put his feet over the edge of the bed and cautiously shifted his weight. Fresh bandages tightened across his abdomen. "Where are we?"

Krycek glanced toward the sliver of taxiway that was now rolling past at a sedate pace. "Heathrow."

Remy kept the obvious question to himself. He was certain he’d find out what they were doing in London soon enough.

"How long ’ve I been out?" he asked as he rose shakily to his feet, grimacing at the flash of pain. The good news, he thought, was that it didn’t feel like anyone had tried feeding him any painkillers. Probably woulda blown us all out o’ de sky. Good t’ing dese folks ain’ big on sympathy.

Krycek shrugged, his face expressionless. "About twenty-four hours."

Remy studied him with interest. The hard aura of mistrust that normally surrounded the other man had dimmed. If nothing else, Krycek seemed to have accepted him as an ally. On instinct, Remy held out his hand. "Remy LeBeau." His name didn’t mean anything on this world anyway.

Krycek raised one eyebrow in skeptical surprise, but then accepted the handshake. "Alex Krycek." He frowned. "I thought your name was Gambit."

Remy grinned. "Nah. Dat’s m’ codename."

Alex’s expression said he didn’t believe Remy for a second. Remy grinned blandly at him, daring him to comment, but he was disappointed. Gingerly, he reached over and picked up the shirt Alex had brought him. It was a plain black t-shirt, obviously new. So were the jeans and boots, and the socks and underwear were still in their packaging. He glanced over at the other man, taking note of his dress. It was obvious who had done the shopping, and Remy was silently grateful.

"T’anks." He indicated his current attire. "Purple ain’ my color."

Alex gave him an odd look as if wondering why he cared. Remy just shook his head, and after a moment Alex turned to leave.

Remy felt a whole lot more human once he was dressed and had pulled the I.V. from his arm. The airplane had come to a stop and now he could hear the distant rumbling clanks that indicated that the cargo area was being opened.

Not entirely steady, Remy opened the door and walked out into the body of the business jet. Both Cancer Man and Krycek looked up as he entered. A quick check confirmed what Remy already guessed-- his connection to Cancer Man had snapped while he was unconscious. He would have to start from scratch if he wanted to influence the man.

Cancer Man stared at Remy with his dead eyes. "Let’s go."

"Where?" Remy wanted to know.

A brief expression of annoyance crossed Cancer Man’s features, then disappeared. "I called a meeting." Another expression flickered across his face, one that Remy couldn’t identify. "If what you have told us is true, then I believe an... exchange of information is in order." He turned toward the nose of the aircraft. "But the decision must be made by all."

Mulling that, Remy followed him. Alex fell in behind and the three trouped out of the jet and into a waiting car. Remy was a little surprised when Alex took the wheel, but then decided that he shouldn’t be. Krycek struck him as the type that would do anything that needed to be done.

The trip passed in silence. Remy stared out the window, once again surprised by how much this Earth resembled his own. Cancer Man kept a covert eye on him and Remy took perverse pleasure in doing absolutely nothing suspicious. Pure curiosity would have brought him to this "meeting" regardless of anything Cancer Man said or did, and he didn’t have the energy to mess with the man too much.

They arrived at an elegant London address and went in. Remy took note of the security, letting his mind play with the information as if he were on his first walkthrough of a building he intended to break into. What he saw was impressive, and made him uncomfortably aware of the fact that, in his present condition, getting out on his own would be a challenge.

They went upstairs to a large, smoke-filled parlor. Inside, a group of men sat or stood in an informal group that reminded Remy of nothing so much as an old-school gentlemen’s club. And though the men looked like bankers, each had the unmistakable cold aura that surrounded Cancer Man. These men, Remy knew instinctively, used lives the way the bankers they resembled used money. His warning senses began to prickle as the conversation in the room died and all eyes focused on him.

He turned to Krycek. "Wish y’d bought me a pack of cigarettes while y’ were out."

Krycek gave him an odd, distracted look. "Didn’t think of it." His stance and covert surveillance of the room told Remy that he was a minor player compared to these others, and that he was well aware that these men held the power to kill him with a word.

Remy had no intention of giving anyone that impression. He let his gaze roam slowly, meeting each man’s eyes for a moment before moving on. They couldn’t help but notice his red-and-black eyes, and he enjoyed the stir of uncertainty he left in his wake. Last was a heavyset man with white hair that Remy took to be the unspoken leader of the group.

The man’s reaction was hardly more than a flicker before he turned to look at the Cancer Man. "You said you had information to give."

Cancer Man smiled. "And I do." He pulled out a somewhat battered package of Morleys and tapped one out. "I have an explanation for how Mrs. Summers was able to destroy the alien virus."

That gained him the instant attention of every person in the room, which Remy found interesting. There was a hunger to their gazes, almost a desperation that seemed out of place in a room full of men who played God over the whole world.

Cancer Man smirked at the attention while the heavyset man eyed him doubtfully. "And this explains why you abducted this one from the research facility?" He nodded in Remy’s direction, his expression disdainful.


The heavyset man pursed his lips thoughtfully. "Go on."

Cancer Man lit his cigarette and puffed on it a moment before complying. "Mrs. Summers is a telepath of unprecedented ability. She is beyond anything we have seen before, and is, in fact, beyond what our projections say is even possible." He paused while eyebrows rose around the room. "In addition, I believe Mrs. Summers is also a telekinetic."

Heads nodded. They had apparently come to similar conclusions themselves. "We’ve seen the tapes," the heavyset man said. "Do you have something new to add?"

Cancer Man paused dramatically. "She isn’t the only one."

His statement was met with carefully veiled shock that slowly gave birth to an electric current of excitement that Remy couldn’t begin to interpret. They were obviously interested in telepaths, but he couldn’t fathom the reasons. They ought to be threatened, since Jean had proven capable of defeating the Racth’zai but... He paused, studying the men around him more closely. Could they be interested in a weapon against the aliens? But why would they, if they were cooperating with them?

He pushed his puzzled thoughts aside as the collective attention of the room slowly focused on him.

"Mr. LeBeau here is not a telepath," Cancer Man said, waving a hand in Remy’s direction. "Though our alien friends reported him to be highly... resistant to their probes until they began using torture to break down his mental shields." Remy tried not to wince at that but Cancer Man’s smug expression told him he’d failed.

The heavyset man looked at Remy. "Then you will tell us where we can find these telepaths." It was stated as a command.

Remy smiled thinly. "Non." Anger flashed behind the heavyset man’s eyes as Remy added, "But I might be convinced t’ act as a go between if y’ got a proposition f’ dem."

The man’s gaze turned calculating. "You’re not in much of a position to bargain." Towards the sides of the room, two younger men in suits reached inside their jackets in clear warning.

Remy ignored them. Very casually, he walked over to the small end table that sat beside one of the Victorian loveseats and picked up a decorative silver lighter that had been left there. In his fingers it began to glow, and he was pleased to discover that it no longer hurt to charge a small object. The men watched him with undisguised interest as he showed them the now glowing object, then flipped it toward the door through which he’d entered.

The explosion blew the door off its hinges with a sound like a thunderclap, and ripped away a portion of the frame as well. Plaster dust and smoke boiled out of the doorway. Several of the men jumped out of their chairs, their expressions appalled as they turned to Remy. The two guards had their guns out, both unerringly pointed at Remy’s head.

Remy kept his hands open and away from his body as he turned to the heavyset man. He didn’t feel like trying to dodge bullets. "I’d say I’m in a pretty good position to bargain," he told him.

Scott sighed and shook his head. "They’re all still playing dumb."

Jean reached over and pushed a button on the remote, muting the television with its droning coverage of the alien craft that, as far as the world knew, S.H.I.E.L.D. had downed. Scott and Jean, along with the rest of the X-Men, had come to Muir Island to regroup and plan their next move.

"Yes," she agreed. "No one wants to step forward and admit that they knew the Racth’zai were there all along."

Scott frowned. "I wonder if they still believe they can carry on this charade. I can’t think of any other reason that the fleet up there hasn’t uncloaked."

Jean cocked her head thoughtfully, her gaze distant. "I got the impression from them that they’re a..." She paused, searching for the right words. "Fearful race. They do everything by subterfuge, afraid to cause any kind of direct confrontation." She gave her husband a lopsided grin. "For all their power, they’re spineless."

He returned her smile. "We can use that to our advantage."

Her expression sharpened. "What are you thinking?"

Scott only shrugged. "Nothing specific. But if all we have to do is present a strong enough front, then Earth stands a real chance of resisting this invasion."

"Very true." The Professor’s voice was heralded by the approaching hum of his hoverchair. Scott turned to see him enter the living room, accompanied by Dana Scully. "But without a significant perceived threat, the nations of Earth are unlikely to do so."

Scott was forced to agree with that. "Then maybe we should be considering another mission." He glanced upward to indicate the ships that hung in orbit around Earth. Beside the Professor, Dana’s eyes lit with suppressed excitement and he had the sudden feeling that, if they did return to space, she would be going with them.

Professor Xavier steepled his fingers and tapped them against his lips. "Maybe. I am concerned about provoking too harsh a response." His gaze turned inward. "I haven’t heard anything from Lilandra yet."

Scott held private doubts as to whether they ever would. Personal feelings aside, Lilandra was an extremely competent general. He wouldn’t be surprised if she chose to use Earth as a buffer for her own empire against the invading fleet. Disappointed, maybe, but not surprised.

"There’s another reason for going back." As always, Dana’s voice was surprisingly soft for the authority it carried. "Two of them, actually."

Scott’s stomach tightened. He didn’t need to ask what she meant. Her partner was still missing, as was Gambit. Considering how the aliens had treated Gambit before, Scott was very afraid of what might now be happening to the Cajun ex-thief.

He risked a glance in Jean’s direction. Through their rapport he could feel the wash of hurt and guilt that accompanied any mention of Gambit these days and saw it reflected in her face. He couldn’t deny the fact that her affection for Remy bothered him, though he suspected that it was mostly because Gambit insisted on flirting with her. Serious or not, he found the behavior inappropriate.

Jean threw him a quizzical glance and he abandoned his train of thought. He could worry about making Gambit behave around his wife once the other was safely back with them and in good enough condition for a thorough browbeating. Scott hid a smile at the mental image he conjured and saw Jean’s expression lighten minutely.

The Professor ignored the silent exchange. "We don’t have any evidence that we’ll find either Agent Mulder or Gambit aboard one of the fleet ships," he answered the FBI agent’s statement. "They could as easily be here on Earth somewhere, or on your world, Dana, and there is no reason to assume they’ll both be in the same place."

Dana crossed her arms, looking strangely appropriate in the multicolored body suit she’d adopted as her uniform. "I know, but we have to start somewhere, and once the fighting starts for real-- assuming it does-- those ships are going to become very risky places to be."

Scott had to admit she had a point. Going back to those ships would be dangerous, but they’d been through worse. The risk was never a consideration when an X-Man’s life hung in the balance. Wryly, he reflected that Dana had somehow become one of them, making her partner as much a part of that commitment as Gambit.

He found himself nodding. The X-Men always looked after their own.

Alex Krycek, Remy decided, was about as close to a magic key as the Cajun thief was likely to find. Every door they came to opened automatically for the Cancer Man’s agent, without suspicion and without questions. As far as Remy could tell, everyone simply assumed that Krycek was going about yet another errand for the shadow government and so ignored him accordingly.

By the time the two men reached the hangar, Remy was chuckling at the ease with which they’d just waltzed themselves up to one of the Racth’zai’s ships. Cancer Man’s friends hadn’t liked turning Remy loose, but he’d read them right. They were desperate. Taking Alex along gave them the false impression that they retained some control over him, which Remy didn’t mind. He had his own reasons for wanting Krycek’s company -- his magical ability to open doors being one of the lesser ones.

"What’s so funny?" Alex demanded as he opened the belly door on the sleek shuttlecraft.

Remy shrugged. "Oh, not’ing. Dis is jus’ de easiest B&E I’ve ever done."

A momentary smile cracked Alex’s reserve. "Just wait. It’ll get more interesting."

Remy didn’t answer as he followed Alex up into the ship. The interior of the shuttle was as cramped as Remy expected, given the size of the race it belonged to. He went forward to the cockpit and did a credible job of wedging himself into the pilot’s seat, wincing as the contortions pulled at his stitches. Alex settled in the co-pilot’s seat, his expression a mixture of doubt and curiosity.

"So, dey got a user’s manual f’ dis t’ing?" Remy asked, looking around.

Alex snorted and shook his head, smugly amused. "Getting a ship is easy. Finding someone to fly it is somethin’ else." He seemed to be waiting to see just how Remy was going to deal with that minor hitch.

"Can you?" Remy asked. That would be a bonus.

Alex again shook his head. "Sorry. I’m just a passenger."

Remy grinned at him. "Dat’s o.k." He studied the darkened panel in front of him. "Well, when in doubt, try de obvious. Computer." He raised his voice slightly to address the ship. It burbled back at him like a snake hissing underwater.

"English, please."

The computer burbled again and Remy waited expectantly. A few minutes later he was rewarded by a cultured male voice.

"English interface running."

Krycek stared at the darkened displays in disbelief, then began to laugh.

Remy ignored him. The Racth’zai had been working with humans for long enough that it seemed likely that they’d have developed an interface and stuck it in an electronic library somewhere. Wriggling deeper into the cramped seat, he instructed the ship to start its power up sequence. He didn’t recognize the technology, exactly, but it was close enough to some of the other things he’d seen that he could work with it.

Alex leaned back in his seat and crossed his arms, still chuckling. "Don’t tell me you know how to fly this thing, too."

Remy shrugged. "We gon’ find out, non?"

The alarms inside the hangar began to blare as they lifted off, but Remy figured it was far too late to do anyone any good. They might have some trouble from Racth’zai ships in orbit, but he’d deal with that when it happened. Somewhere up there was a gateway that would take him back to his own universe, back home, and he intended to find it.


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