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


Written by Protege moi
Last updated: 07/30/2007 11:36:51 AM

Chapter 2

The sunlight broke through the slits of the binds and into Remyís room. He squinted and reached for the small clock by the bedside. It was nearly mid-day. Had he really slept that long? He supposed it wasnít too unreasonable considering the course of events these past few weeks. He leaned up on his elbow and ran his free hand through his hair. You really should get yourself out oí bed, homme, he told himself. With that, he threw of the covers before the temptation to lie back down overcame him, sat up, and put his legs over the side of the bed. He put a hand to his torso again, holding it as he stood up. He seemed to hurt more today.

The apartment was empty; Reia was gone just as she said sheíd be. It was quiet, calm. Remy half expected to hear sirens and yelling from alleyways, except all he could hear was the hum of electricity. The sun was shining brightly through the kitchen window, or was it two suns? Remy couldnít remember. And the kitchen wasnít as Remy had imagined it to be. Instead of something you would expect to see in a futuristic, technologically advanced world with replicators and the like, the kitchen resembled something akin to Earthís. Remy could identify a stove, refrigeration unit, a pantry...Okay, so heíd be able to fake his way around in the kitchen. Jíai besoin du café. But he couldnít find any; this was going to be a problem. Dieu, Iím goiní tíave de biggest íeadache later on, he told himself as he remembered someone at the Palace telling him once that theyíd never heard of caffeine or the likes. Dommage. Whether it was more of a shame for him or for the people of Chandílar...Remy couldnít decide.

After giving himself a thorough tour of the kitchen, Remy found himself something for breakfast. It was awful. It probably would have been a good idea to have known what the foods were before just putting them together. Damn, why couldnít Xavier have sent him on an assignment to the Palace? You know de answer to dat one, homme; you de only X-Man qualified, really. And he was. Lilandra had called Charles while he was with the X-Men on a joint mission to Mars with NASA. There was an alien species building an outpost there, and they were beginning to pose a significant threat to Earth. Remy had hated every moment of it. Heíd always hated space travel. He hated the US government even more; he didnít trust them. That was a fun time...a month on a space shuttle stuck with US government NASA big-wigs you didnít trust. Bobby felt it too. Alex told them they were being silly, that there was nothing to worry about. How wrong was he! The moment the team had landed, the astronaut pulled their guns and shot. Remy winced as he remembered hitting the tarmac. His side remembered it to.

When he woke up in the hospital, Xavier was sitting at his bedside. He remembered thinking, Must be bad news. Bobby and Alex must be in bad shape. Charles was rarely ever at his bedside when Remy was injured at the Institute...so why else would he be here, at his side, in Florida? Am I dying? He was suddenly aware of IVs, oxygen tubing, heart monitor panels...all attached to him. He chided himself later for that thought. Of course he wasnít dying.

"How do you feel, Gambit?" His words sounded distorted; Remyís head was fogged.

"Like shit." He was blunt.

"Robert and Alex are doing fine. Robert was able to regenerate by shifting into ice. Alex has a graze wound amounting only to some minor tissue damage, and is doing well. You, however, seem to have bad luck."

Oh, Dieu, je meurs! "íOw bad?"

"You were shot three times. One bullet nicked your liver and there was damage to your small intestine, but the doctors expect you to be out of ICU by morning."

Intensive Care Unit?! Merde! But Charles didnít give him time to dwell on that very long before speaking again.

"I received a subspace communiqué from Lilandra while you were in Space."

"íOwís Lil?" What did he care about the Shiíar right now? He wanted more morphine and his head was really foggy. He was having a hard time concentrating. Plus, the last time he met the Shiíar was to fight the Phalanx. Come to think of it, the Shiíar only ever call the X-men to fight.

"She is doing well, but she needs our help."

Remy let out a groan, "Do I look like Iím in fightiní condition?"

A small chuckle escaped Xavierís lips. "She doesnít need us to fight, Gambit."

Remy looked at Xavier, his bald head was a big blur. Remy couldnít focus. He closed his eyes. "Oh?" Was all he had the energy to say.

"How familiar are you with Chandílarís political climat and geographical regions?"

"Not very."

"The let me explain a little," he paused, either not noticing or ignoring Remyís fading attention span. "The Shiíar have divided the planet into regions which they call hemispheres, North and South. As Iím sure youíre aware, the money is in the North."

"Okay," Remy mustered. He just wanted to go back to sleep.

Charles was enjoying giving his lesson too much to really notice. "In the South, there is a district called Bara Nocta."

"Sounís like sometíiní outta Star Wars."

Xavier did not appear to be amused. Or períaps he doní know Star Wars. "Indeed," he responded rather apathetically. Remy wasnít sure if it was in agreement, or just one of the psychiatry íindeedsí to show that he was listening but really had no clue what Remy was talking about. "Anyhow, Bara Nocta is a very poor region much like you would find in the Bronx. However, I get the impression from Lilandra that it is getting out of control. She does not send anyone there unless she absolutely has to. Its politics are quite internal to the region."

This was hurting Remyís head. "Look, Prof, dis is all interestiní aní all, but canít it wait ítill my íead ainít so foggy?"

"Iím afraid it cannot, Gambit." Remy could tell through the haze of drugs that Xavier was furrowing his brow. "This is a matter of utmost importance to Lilandra. You see, the power and influence of Bara Nocta is spreading outside the region into other parts of the hemisphere."

Remy huffed incredulously, "I jusí wanna sleep. Dis...dis Lilís problem, not mine."

Clearing his throat, Xavier moved to a more serious tone of voice. "I am sending you on assignment to Chandílar, Gambit. Lilandra is asking that I send the X-Men to re-establish her authority in Bara Nocta. However, I do not feel that this is an attack force type mission; itís more covert. Given your experience in New Orleans, I believe you to be just the man Lilandra needs."

"Ah bon?" This was a dream; it had to be. Remy coughed and then winced immediately at the pain it brought.

Xavier seemed not to notice. "I have informed the Majestrix of this, and she has already sent transport for you. They are standing by, ready to íair transfer you to a hospital in New Yorkí as soon as you are out of ICU." He sighed, "I wish you luck, Gambit. However, I am meeting an old friend for dinner, and I am late."

With that, the Professor wheeled himself out of Remyís room before any protest could be made. It seemed the Professor was right, Remy did have bad luck. The next four days were spent in the agony of space travel. As much as Shiíar technology made space travel a lot more comfortable than what humans were capable of, Remy still hated it. He had just wanted to be curled up in his own bed, on Earth, with the comfort of morphine and a television. In fact, he still wanted that. And Jell-o... Instead, he had spent those four days studying Shiíar history, law, politics, culture, language...How much of it he actually retained, he didnít know.


Remyís breakfast was now cold, as well as disgusting. He couldnít eat it anymore. As he threw it out, he told himself that he would replace it. He felt bad for wasting it, especially when Reia didnít seem to have an extra cash flow to just throw food away like that. She didnít even have the money to pay for television, or whatever the Shiíar equivalent of it was. He knew he needed to find one, though. As much as he reviewed from the transport shipís library, he still needed to know what the local and most recent news was for the area. Remy sighed; it looked like he was going to have to go shopping.

"So, Reia, have you found a roommate yet?" LaiíNal was trying to strike up a conversation with her best friend of one hundred and thirty six years, but she wasnít paying attention. There was a newspad sitting in front of her, but she wasnít paying attention. In fact, Reia had barely touched her lunch. "Hello? Best friend hailing Reia, do you copy?"

"Huh? Oh, yeah, sorry Lai, what did you say?"

"I asked if youíd found a new roommate, yet?"

"You know, I did! Just last night, in fact!" She ruffled her feathers a little bit to keep them from falling over her eyes. She had let them grow a little too long for her liking, but Lai thought they looked good.

LaiíNal looked at Reia appearing to be a little disappointed, "And you didnít tell me?! Girl, weíve been on lunch break for half an hour! Tsk."

"Yeah, well, Iíve got other things on my mind."

"Uh-huh...So what could be more important than telling me about getting a roommate? Is it a he? Is he hot? Common! Tell me!"

Reia leaned closer to LaiíNal and spoke in a hushed voice, "Promise you wonít say anything?" She looked pleadingly at her friend.

LaiíNal raised an eyebrow in curiosity. "Sure, of course, I promise."

"Okay," Reia took in a deep breath. "Heís Terran."

"Terran?! What? Reia!"

"Shhhh!!" Reia put a finger to her lips and went on to chide her friend, "Not so loud!"

"But Reia, we donít know anything about the Terrans! He could be bad news!" She furrowed her brow looking at Reia. She had a school girl grin on her tanned face, which was a little usual for a Shiíar. LaiíNal sighed, "Is he cute, at least?" The grin on her friendís face transformed into something wider, and more mischievous.

"Oh yeah." Reia erased the grin off her face as best she could and tried to ease her friendís concern, "Heís really nice, you know. Not just to look at, but I mean genuinely nice. Heís quiet, though. I think he was tired. I wonder if heís doing okay right know...Heís at the apartment already. Should have given him breakfast suggestions, you think? I donít know how well he knows Shiíar food..."

"Okay, okay! I get the point. Just, as long as youíre safe. What does Toríkol think of all this?" LaiíNal saw Reiaís face frown a little. "He doesnít know? REIA!!!"


"But Reia, honestly, whatís he gonna think when he finds out? Heís not going to take lightly to having a stranger in his parts, especially an alien!" She sighed and looked at her friend empathetically, "Just be careful, kay?"

"Iím fine!"

"Okay. Now finish your lunch, our break is almost over."

As Reia and LaiíNal were making their way back to the front of the store, Reia stopped in her tracks. She couldnít believe what she was seeing. She tugged on LaiíNalís shirt sleeve, "By Shara, Lai, look, itís him!" She pointed to the man, clearly out of place, trying to communicate to a store employee with hand motions.

"Whatís he doing here?"

"It looks like heís shopping." Reia snorted. "You know, people do that here, in a store."

"Oh, donít be a smart ass, Rei, you know what I meant." LaiíNal slapped Reiaís arm lightly and playfully.

"Common, letís go help him out." With that, Reia took hold of LaiíNalís hand and dragged her over to where Remy and her fellow employee were standing. "Hey, Remy!" She waved a hand. "What brings you here?"

Remy blinked and stared for a moment. "Hi, Reia. I didní realize dat you work íere."

"Uh, yeah," she bit her lip nervously. Then she motioned to LaiíNal, "This is my best friend LaiíNal. I was just telling her about you over lunch." She motioned to Remy, "Lai, this is Remy."

"A pleasure," LaiíNal said flatly as she took Remyís hand. She gave him the once over, studying him. Remy supposed it was the best friend approval thing...After all he would do the same should one of his friends bring a new chick home.

"Pleasureís all mine, chère." He faced Reia, "Períaps you can íelp me out. This homme canít figure out what Iím talkiní about. Canít say as I blame him, tíough." Reia just stared back at him. "On Earthí we call it a TV...television. You can watch shows, movies on it? Um, broadcasted news?"

"OH! A media screen! Yeah, okay, I know what youíre talking about. Except, Iím going to have to let Maríak help you out, cuz I have to get back to the front; our break was over like five minutes ago."

"Oh, yeh, sure! I doní waní you gettiní in trouble bícause oí me."

Reia nodded and started walking to the front of the store with her friend. She turned her head around, "Iíll be home in time to make some supper. See you then!"

Oh, merci Dieu, Remy thought. At least he could learn what she cooked so he would know what to do. At that moment, he decided that heíd leave her some money for the breakfast heíd wasted instead of buying something completely inedible by mistake. He watched her walk out of sight, and then turned his attention back to the man that was trying to help him. "So, um...a media screen..."


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