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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


Written by NicoPony
Last updated: 05/06/2007 06:22:13 PM

Chapter 13

Malice was peering through the glass, the gelatinous nutrient gel nearly concealing the figure held within the tank. Another one of Sinister’s clones was waking up. She watched as a hand rose to press its fingers against the glass. The mind inside the tank was confused and fearful. Malice licked her lips in anticipation. The fingers squeaked against the glass as the tank began to empty and refill with cleansing water. In the reflective surface of the tank, Malice spotted movement in the corner of her eye. She quickly turned, but it was too late. She was forced back against the tank, her spine arching along the curvature of the glass lid. She felt a sharp pain in her leg, and she found herself suddenly released.

She fell to the floor and readied to fight her attacker. He stood calmly a few feet away, his expression inscrutable. Malice realized with a jolt that it was Death who’d shoved her against the tank.

“Hey, what’s the big---,” she fell silent when she saw the empty hypodermic syringe he held in his hand. Malice glanced down at her leg. A small trickle of blood ran from a pinprick on her thigh.

“What did you do to me!?” Malice screeched. “What was in that?”

Behind her, the glass tank whispered open. Malice turned slightly, the world around her seemed to slow and blur around the edges. Death leapt at her and sent her flying into the tank with a splash. His hand was on the back of her head, forcing her face underwater. In her struggle to free herself, she grappled with the clone beneath her. The world was growing dark. In a panic, the psychic being known as Malice fled Lady Mastermind’s body, jumping into the living, breathing clone so close by. As she entered the clone, Malice sucked in the clean air from the respirator, felt her head clear of whatever drug had been in that syringe.

Lady Mastermind’s body was yanked from the tank; the lid suddenly slid shut. Malice threw her hands up against the glass, pounded the lid with her fists. There was a shower of sparks nearby which spattered against the glass tank. Suddenly, the air to her respirator cut off. Malice screamed and pounded on the glass with her hands and feet. She was running out of air! She needed a new host! But there was no one to touch, no one to jump onto. She sucked in a few last breaths...

Gambit was dimly aware of the clone’s thrashing form in the tank behind him. Eventually, the movements slowed and then came to a stop. He was far more concerned with the unconscious woman lying still on the floor. Pinching her nose, he pressed his mouth to hers and blew two long slow breaths. Lady M gasped and coughed. Gambit turned her on her side as she coughed up water.

“Are you all right?” he asked her. “Can you breathe okay?”

Lady M coughed and nodded her head as she sucked in gasps of air.

“What did you do?” she asked between coughs. “How’d you get her out of me?”

“I tricked her into thinkin’ she was drugged,” Gambit replied. “She bailed when she thought she, or rather, you, was dyin’.”

“Well, your little trick nearly did kill me, thank you very much!”

“Hey, keep your voice down,” Gambit said. “If we get caught, it’s game over.”

Regan sobered. “What’re we going to do?”

“I need you to make sure no one knows what’s hit ’em. Until it’s too late.”


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