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


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

Chapter 5

The Blackbird jet was soaring like a sleek, black arrow over the Atlantic ocean.

"Well," said Ororo in her regal voice. "that went better than it had any right to."

Jean looked over at the silver maned beauty. "I'll say. It...it seemed almost as if he were... worried?" She intoned, with a look of confusion on her face.

Scott, his arm around his wife, shook his head, refusing to believe that the man who had haunted him and his family for years, who had caused the mutant massacre, had any heart at all. "I doubt that, hon. If he was worried, it was probably that an important piece of genetic material had gotten away from him."

His wife turned to look at him, a scarlet eyebrow raised. She didn't say anything though. Where Scott was concerned, Sinister was a very sore point. She could see why he hated him so much. But while she was down there, she'd seen something in Sinister that she knew she'd seen in herself once or twice. She had seen a parents concern for his child. Admittedly, it was a very subdued version of it - after all, a man like Essex wouldn't let his feelings run his life. Jean thought of the day when X-Factor, the team she was in at the time of the Morlock Massacre, went down to the Morlock tunnels, surrounded by dead. Maybe Scott was right after all. Maybe she just wanted to believe there was some good in everyone. She snuggled up against her husbands chest, trying to forget the outside world.

Ororo looked at Jean, one of her closest friends, for a moment, wondering what was on her mind. Logan spoke suddenly, jolting her from her reverie.

"Rogue, darlin'?" He asked, his voice dark and gritty. Rogue turned to look at him, her eyes dark and concerned.


"What did Slim say were Sinister's last words to you?" Rogue looked him in the eye, and he could see she'd been thinking about the selfsame thing.

"He said that we should be careful, cuz Remy was more dang'rous 'n we realized." Logan sat back in his chair at looked at her long and hard.

"An' what, darlin', do ya think he meant by that?" Rogue looked at him from her perch by the window, and stared at him. She frowned for a moment, and then realised who could answer the question.

"Ah don't have a clue. But Bishop might." The big man turned and looked at her dazedly.

"Me?" He looked at every one in the cabin. Storm spoke.

"Indeed, Bishop. You seem to often have alot to say on Remy's presence in your time. Is there anything about the Witness that might suggest there was more to him than met the eye." Bishop looked her straight in the eye and she could see that he was hurting.

"Ororo, you don't understand. The Witness... my father was over 100 years old... of course there was more to him than met the eye. Whatever else he was, he was the stubbornnest man I ever met. He spoke in riddles, wouldn't tell me the answers when I asked questions. He was enigmatic, secretive, but I don't think I once saw him use his powers. So, if Sinister meant his powers, I have no idea." He frowned a moment, then looked up again.

"However... if he meant his personality... the man is sharp as a double edged knife that's slick with blood. He isn't to be trusted. And, I've noticed that Gambit has some odd personality quirks - a nasty temper, silent when asked any questions though I have noticed a change in him recently. I would say... I would say he's more like the Witness than when I first came here."

The X-Men stood there for a moment as one mutant, trying to take in that which Bishop had said almost without a breath. It was obvious he had been dying to get it off his chest. Cyclops frowned.

"In what way Bishop? Remember, we know practically nothing of the Witness save what you've told us."

Bishop looked out of the window for a second at the fluffy white clouds the Blackbird was flying over. He thought of what he could tell these people. When he thought about it, it was kind of silly. How could he compare a man in his early twenties with a man over a century old? And yet...

"I have noticed that Gambit is a lot more quiet than he used to be..." He started, slowly, wondering what exactly it was that reminded him of the Witness. Then it hit him, like lightning. "I've noticed, that sometimes, when he lets his guard down, Gambit has a look in his eyes. All I can describe it as is self-loathing, or maybe self-pity."Storm looked at Rogue for a second. She looked like she wanted to cry. Ororo felt a pang of pity for Rogue. She knew it was terrible to know that you are responsible for the emotional distress of others.

"Bishop," She started. "This may well be true, but it does not help us in this particular area."

Bishop looked up at her. He nodded, and his eyes glazed over remembering the future past. "As I understand it, when the X-Men where killed, Havok," Jean squeezed her husbands hand for comfort, "Lead a group to the Summer's Rebellion. I do not know if Remy were a part of this. I do know, however, that eventually, the mutants and human's signed a peace treaty, and that led to my world. Gambit had a crime syndicate that I had heard of, even as a boy. It dealt with most of the crime up and down the coasts. By this time, LeBeau must have easily been in his 80's. He did this for personal gain, perhaps, or because he knew how to do anything else. I don't know. He did however, take me and my sister in. He took some other's in too, trained them to be in his syndicate."

"I'll take it he didn't train ya an' yer sister t' become police officers," asked Logan in amusement.

Bishop smiled weakly. "Actually... to all intents and purposes, he did. He taught me to look after myself on the streets, to look after my sister. He looked after me. He was not a very caring father - to cold and bitter to be called that. But he did care for me, and teach me. Somehow, through him, I have become what I am today."

"Ya know Bish, that didn't help us one bit." Said Rogue, annoyed.

Storm looked over at her. "Perhaps not on the surface. But, if we think clearly about what he has said, perhaps an answer will follow."

Bishop sighed, his frame showing the dejectedness he felt. "I doubt that, Ororo. I think it was probably just a chance for me to get all that off my chest."

Jean had been sitting with her arms wrapped around her legs, when she suddenly jerked into sitting position with an astonished gasp.

"Jean!?" Asked Scott, worry written all over his face.

Rather more calmly, Logan asked; "You okay, Red?"

Jean blushed, trying to get her breath back. "I... yes. It's Remy... he just linked with me... telepathically!"

Rogue stood up. "So what are we waitin' for!?"

Ignoring her for the second, Scott concentrated on his wife. "Telepathically...?"

Jean looked at her husband with feverish eyes. "I know it sounds abrupt that he suddenly has these new powers, but the professor and I had been suspecting it for a long time now."

Logan snorted. "Makes sense t' me, too. The kid was too good a charmer."

Jean nodded her head. "I doubt he was even aware fully of his telepathy. But he had excellent psi-shields..."

"Excuse me, ya'll, but stop talkin' 'bout him n the past tense. He's alive. Jean sensed him. Right?" Asked Rogue nervously.

Jean looked at her, as though she was trying to but her finger on something.

"Yes... but there was something about him that wasn't quite... right..." She shook her head. She couldn't place the feeling.

Cyclops looked up, mind decided. "We'll check it out."


Cyclops set the Blackbird down in a deserted car park. The sonic dampeners engaged, the cloak on, no-one would know that sleek black jet was landing. The landing legs extended as the jet set down, blowing dust into the air. The hatch came down, and the X-Men climbed down the steps, warily stepping out. Seeing that the surrounding area was indeed devoid of people, they gathered at the bottom the steps to await Scott's orders.

"Okay, people. First on the agenda, everyone remember where we parked. Second, Jean can't sense Remy. We have no idea where he is. We've set the mobile Cerebro unit to search for his DNA pattern, but if he's in range it may still take a while. I've opted to stay here and keep a look out, so Ororo will lead the Strike Force."

Ororo looked at Scott and nodded. "We shall split into teams. Rogue and I will search from the air, Jean will stay with Cyclops and try to find him telepathically from here. Wolverine, you shall use your heightened senses to try to find him, and Bishop will accompany you for back-up."

Rogue lookes at her. "yo' kiddin', right? We ain't never gonna find him that way."

Ororo raised a sleek eyebrow. "Unless you can suggest another way, I do not see one myself."

Rogue hung her head.

Cyclops looked at her. He wanted to comfort her, but he didn't want to get her hopes up any more than they were. "Alright then. We'll meet back here in one hour. Watch your backs, people."

And with that, he was off up the steps with his wife. Ororo summoned the winds upon which she flew to carry her into the air. Rogue set off to follow her, and then looked back at Bishop and Logan.

"Guy's?" They looked up at her. She stopped for a minute. She could feel her eyes welling up with tears. "Please bring him back to me safe." She flew off fast before they could answer her.


The street was dark, damp, and filled with the homeless. These people had nothing left to live for except there next fix of crack. In between the junkie's were children, some teens, some younger. They looked terrified, hopeless. The adults around them that weren't high looked out for their physical well being if they could, but nothing could help their mental state.

As Bishop, in street clothes, walked among them, he couldn't help but think of his own past, still not to come yet for another hundred or so years. He and his sister, Shard had lived on the streets, until the Witness had adopted them. There had been many threats to them - the psychotic mutant terrorist groups, the anti-mutant hatred of the humans, starvation, and the most deadly of all, hopelessness. When Bishop first met the Witness, it had been a bad night. He hadn't eaten for three days, his sister two. She was crying. Bishop was trying to silence her. The HAMmeRs, the Humans Against Mutant Rights, a terrorist group much like the Friends of Humanity, were patrolling, and if they heard her starved, terrified whimpers... he didn't want to think what would happen. There was a screech of metal on metal as the cover of their hidey-hole was uncovered.

"...no..." Bishop had whispered. He wrapped himself protectively around Shard. The human grinned wickedly.

"Well, well, well, lookee what we got here. A couple o' street freaks.Well, boy and girl, what'll it be?" He'd asked, showing the two children his array of weapons. A machine gun, a nasty looking double edged blade, or, the HAMmeRs personal favourites, a desynpser, a device that looked like a sleek crossbow, with hypodermic needle-like arrows. When shot with one, the chemicals in the needle made every synapse, every nerve ending go off at once. very painful, very gruesome, and very, very deadly. Bishop started shaking in earnest when suddenly, silently, the desynapser was snatched away.

"What the Hell...!?" The human exclaimed to a shadowy figure about a meter from him. "Who the Hell do you think you are."

"De guy who brings justice t' people who think it's fun to murder innocent children." With a swift hand movement, the figure brought the desynapser up to the human's forehead and pulled the trigger. The human screamed, in agony beyond belief.

"Come on. Dere be more HAMmeRs on de way." Bishop looked at the man, now in the light. Very old, grey hair down his back, his lined face holding some scary looking red-on-black eyes, Bishop hadn't known what to do. He looked at the man who had just gruesomely killed a human. However, he had just saved their lives. he remembered what he'd promised his Grandmother. That he'd look after Shard always. Not having anything else to do, he'd gone with him. Although...

"Bishop!" The hiss from Wolverine woke him from his reverie. His eyes narrowed, he was looking behind him while continuing to walk. "You ain't been payin' attention for the last ten minutes. A punk kid's been followin' us, an' I wanna know what he wants."

"Fine." The voice sounded from near Bishop's ear. Bishop jumped, and moved reflexivly away. They looked at the speaker. A boy of about 18 or 19 was staring at them. Tall and thin, with long blond hair, he stood there arms folded. "You friends of Remy LeBeau, right?"

"Who wants to know?" Asked Wolverine suspiciously.

"Me. If you are, I got a message for ya."

Bishop drew his gun, and levelled it at the kids head. "Give it us. Now. Or become a stain on the wall." The kid only grinned maniacally at him. Wolverine put his hand on Bishop's arm.

"Put the gun down, Bish. Let him talk." The kid laughed out loud.

"Yeah, right. Like it's ever that easy? You guys never seen no movies? It'll cost ya." When the men didn't react, the kids grin grew. "100 bucks."

"So ya can blow it on crack? I don't think so." Said Wolverine. Checking there was no-one within eyeshot, he extended his claws and pointed their tips at the kids neck.

"The message?"

"Hey, sure, man. Just kiddin', ya, no?" He handed Logan a piece of paper, and he let him go. The kid scarpered faster than he'd ever ran before, as Wolverine opened the folded paper. It was in Gambit's writing.

"Well." Said Logan. "I'd say we got us a lead."


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