New Mutants Unlimited 2

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New Mutants Unlimited #2
Post by Roxanne "Madrock" Madison on Oct 16, 2006, 9:47am

New Mutants Unlimited #2
Madrock’s Night Out

Cover Description: The Rhino, laying face down in the street with his rear-end up-tilted. Madrock’s sitting on the back of his neck, Spider-Man (Ben Reilly) is sitting on his butt (not as homosexual as it sounds) Their turned away from each other, but are looking at other over their backs. There’s a crowd watching, and they both look embarrassed.

~ ~ ~

I need air, so I got air.

I’m not supposed to be outside, and I’m really not supposed to be hanging around on the mansion’s roof. Even if it wasn’t past curfew – and it is, believe me – Professor X gave us specific orders for us NOT to go out of our rooms. Not that we deserve to. Not after what happened to Current.

But I really needed some air.

It’s clear tonight, and it occurs to me that this is the first time I’ve seen the stars. I mean, I’ve <I>seen</i> the stars before; yeah, yeah, I spent the bulk of my life in the sewers, but I have come out and I do know what a star looks like. But this is the first time I’ve ever actually just sat and stared at them. They’re really pretty. Just hanging up there. Twinkling. I really would’ve liked to go to one of those stars; visit the Shi’ar or the Kree or the Skrulls or any of those aliens the X-Men used to hang with. Adventures in space…Madrock, interstellar hero…could have happened.

“Not supposed to be out, sugar.” I turn around, look up, and see that woman with the white streak in her hair floating above me; probably watching me for who-knows-how long. What was her name, what was her name…started with an ‘R’…

“Hey, Rouge.”

She gets this kind of irate look; brows furrowed, mouth frowning, but she trades it in for a light smile a moment later. “It’s Rogue, honey. Rogue.”

Never was too good with names. Or most other things, for that matter. “Oh, sorry. Not going to turn me in to the Professor, are you?”

I give it one of those fake laughs you do when you want to sound funny but you’re really not feeling it, and it works; she shrugs it off and floats down, standing on the edge of the roof, right next to me. “Nah, not bothering.” She sits down; feet dangling off the roof just like mine. For about a minute, we’re just quiet. Not saying anything. Not even looking at each. A wind blows by. “So. Heard about what happened.”

I feel a little weird talking to a woman I’ve known for all of two minutes, but since she’s doing me the favor of not turning me in, might as well. “Yeah. Current, he…well, he saved us. He saved us, and he died. And we didn’t…” I feel something wet coming out of my eyes, wipe it away fast. “We couldn’t save him.”

She rubs my back and I think she’s trying to make me feel better; but, honestly, I’m just creeped out. “Well, you couldn’t, honey; Current made his decision. Not your fault, not your teams fault, nobody’s fault.”

“What about Mr. Cannonball?”

“Guthrie? No, not…” Her voice trailed off and her stare went off to the side. “Well, it is kind of his fault, a little, but these things happen; part of being a team means you lose parts of the team, sometimes.” Still rubbing my back. Still creepy. “It’s happened to me before, too. Happens to all of us.”

I sigh, taking my eyes off the stars and staring at the ground. “That doesn’t make me feel any better, really.”

She takes her hand off my back and puts it to better use, scratching her head. “Yeah, not much good at this pep-talk thing, am I?” She uses a fake laugh, just like the one I used. Doesn’t work on me. “Say, you like ice cream?” That might.

~*~

A dark alleyway in the heart of New York City…

I can hear them sometimes. Laughing at me. I mean, you know, I can hear them all the time, when they’re laughing at me, but sometimes I hear them different, when their not around. I hear them in my head. Like, voices. Just laughing at me, telling me how dumb I look, making fun of me when my horn’s stuck in the wall and I’m bent over and Spider-Man’s webbing me up.

I’m the Rhino! I’m not some small-time chump; I can knock over buildings, kick over buses, all that stuff. I took on the Hulk, damn it! Well, okay, I didn’t beat him, but I didn’t get pounded into hamburger meat, either; with the Hulk, you count that as a win.

Point is, I deserve more respect than I get. I’m standing in an alley now, watching people walk by in the night, and I know, I just know that every damn one of them was watching that spot on Jay Leno last night. Spider-Man fought me last week, got lucky like usual, made me hit a wall, I got stuck, and some jerk with a camcorder gets the whole thing on tape. Heard it did great for the ratings. Laughingstock of the nations. Ha ha ha.

Nobody’s laughing tonight. I’m running a hole in this town.

~*~

A Dairy Queen, three blocks away.

Before me is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen in my entire life. Which isn’t really saying much since I haven’t had much life yet, but still…wow.

Five bananas. Five scoops, each one smaller than the one below it, but each one bigger than my fist. Strawberries around the bottom. Chocolate glaze on the top. Sprinkles around the middle. Beautiful. This is the god of banana splits. “Is it all mine?”

Rogue nods, yawning and leaning back in her chair. “Yeah, don’t got much taste for it, right now.”

It’s pretty late and the bar’s empty; me, Rogue, and the cashier are the only one’s around, which is good because I don’t want anyone to stare at me while I dig in. Not that they would see much with this huge coat I’m wearing and this hood to cover my horns, but still…don’t like that sort of attention.

“So, Roxanne, tell me something about yourself, kay?” I just nod; not wanting to speak and let the mouthful of ice cream spill. “You were with the Morlocks, right?”

“Yeah, used to be.” I’d say a little more, but I’m too busy discovering that my mouth can hold six strawberries at a time.

“Heard your mama and your papa didn’t live down there, though. Remember them?”

“Nuh-uh.”

“Not a little bit?”

“Not really.” I reach over for the sugar-shaker, but hesitate. “If I put more sugar on this, will it taste better?”

“Wouldn’t bet on it, honey.” She pulls it back, taking the sugar-shaker out of what little reach I’ve got. “Now tell me, what’s the first thing you remember?”

“Just hanging out, not really doing much. Talking with my old friend.”

“Old friend?”

I shrug, working away on the bananas. “Yeah, there was this guy I used to talk to, met him like…once, twice. Didn’t really see him much after that. He was nice. Talked kind of funny, but nice.”

One of Rogue’s eyebrows rises and the other stays put, giving me this weird look and leaning over the table a bit. “What was he like?”

I stuff my mouth with ice cream and let it sink; waiting until it’s all down before I speak. “He was big, real big, and his voice was real deep, too. His skin was gray, kind of like mines, and he had this really weird suit.”

“What was his name?”

Another shrug. “It was a weird name, I remember that, but I don’t-”

I look up and see she’s not looking at me, she’s looking past me, out onto the street, wide-eyed and mouth-gaped. “Get down!” Rogue reaches over the table, drags me over the banana split, curls me in her arms and turns around, just in time for me to see a minivan crashing through the Dairy Queen’s store window, slamming into her back. She doesn’t move and inch, but the minivan keeps on coming, tearing in two around her, the halves passing by in a flurry of sparks, one half crashing into the counter, the other half crashing into the bathrooms.

Smoking all around, sprinklers are going full blast, but things are clear enough for me to see who threw the van: A giant man in a Rhino suit. “Yeah, who’s laughing now?” He picks up a car with one hand, one hand , and tosses it in the third story of a building; explosions on impact. People screaming, running, tripping, driving away, mad chaos. “Come on, laugh! I’m right here, you bastards! Come on!

He doesn’t seem to be going after anyone in particular, just swinging and yelling and doing his Hulk impression, but the way he’s going it won’t be long before bones break. “Can’t even turn a corner in this town without running into some nutcase, swear to God.” Rogue lets me go and takes off her coat, showing off her full uniform. “Stay here, alright? Take this punk to the woodshed and be right back, no problem.”

“Let me come with, I can help!” Dangerous as this guy looks, he can’t be all that smart. I mean, look at what he’s wearing.

“Sorry, kid; we already lost one of you New Mutants, I’m not going to make it an even number.” With that, she flies out through the hole and the wall and heads straight for the big lug, and I follow the cashier out of what’s left of the front door, standing on the sidewalk so I can get a front-row seat.

“Hey, Rhino!” She comes at him from behind and flies fist-first into his face as he turns around, staggering him, knocking him back, but not knocking him down. “You want to fight, trying fighting somebody who can fight back.”

“What the-” He seems a little surprised at first, but it doesn’t take long for him to get solid again; walking Rogue’s way with a balled fist. “Ah, I know you; you’re one of those X-Punks, right? What you doing here; shouldn’t you be getting your ass kicked by Magneto or something?”

“I’ve always got time enough to stomp mudholes in a joker like you.” Her fists are raised, her body’s floating, she’s facing him head on, and I’ve got to admit: She looks kind of cool.

“Joker, huh?” He gets in range and takes a swing at her, but Rogue’s way too fast; she floats over it and kicks him in the face, snaps his head around. “Yeah, that’s just like you capes!” Another punch and another miss; Rogue moves to the right and hits with a left, hitting him but not really hurting. “Always mouthing off, always treating me like a joke-”

He swings again, but this time Rogue does more than dodge; she wraps her arms around his huge wrist, twists around to get some strength and sends him flying. “Ever think that’s because you are a joke, Rhino?” He crashed into a car on the other side of the street, head-on, and I have to duck back into the store to avoid the shower of glass. By the time I come back out, Rhino’s already back on his feet and Rogue’s back on his case, landing all her blows at close range and dodging all of his. He’s strong, probably stronger than her, but it just doesn’t matter; she can fly, she’s faster, and she’s just showing him up.

He tries to headbutt her with those dopey looking horns of his. She just floats away and kicks him in the face. Again.

He tries to bring his fist down on her. She moves to the side and punches him in the face. Again.

He reaches out and tries to put her in a bearhug, but Rogue just flies over him and grabs him by the horns, taking him with her, circling and spiraling, flying higher and higher and higher and gaining more momentum until she lifts him over her head and hurls him back down. He screams all the way down, and it only comes to a stop when he hits and sends debris flying everywhere and making a pretty big hole to boot.

As I knock the falling pieces of street away, I can’t help but think that Rogue would make an awesome role model. Right behind Ms. Marvel. Yeah.

“Woohoo!” I cheer as Rogue floats down, nearing the smoking hole that Rhino fell into. “You totally rock!”

Unfortunately, Rogue isn’t sharing my enthusiasm with this. “Girl, get back inside!” She lands, turning her back to the crater and pointing inside the Dairy Queen. “This isn’t a game, you need to stay out-”

She doesn’t get the chance to finish as the Rhino comes out and charges from behind, his horn shooting into her back. It cuts through the fabric, cuts through the skin, cuts everything but the bone and leaves a red streak down her back as she’s knocked away, landing hard on the sidewalk. “Who’s the joke now, huh?” Rogue starts to get up, starts to fly again, but Rhino stomps her down flat. “Who’s the joke now?!”

He stomps her. And he stomps her. And he stomps her. She’s halfway into the street now, not moving as his foot crashes into her head, and it’s pretty obvious that he’ll keep doing what he’s doing until there’s nothing to do it to.

Not like I’m going to let him, though.

I grab a chunk of concrete with my powers and throw it at his head; breaks apart on contact, doesn’t even faze him, but it does get his attention. “Leave her alone, you jerk!”

He’s pissed when he turns around, but he gets one good look at me and laughs. “What’s this, Attack of the Freakshow?” He gives Rogue one more stop and kicks her aside, crashing back into the Dairy Queen. “Though Wolverine or something would show up; the best they send is a pipsqueak like you? Figures.”

He starts to walk my way, ground trembling with every step, and I’d be lying if the thought of running away hadn’t crossed my mind. But, until Professor X tells me different, I’m an X-Man…sort of. And X-Men don’t run…usually. “I’m warning you, back off!” I raise my fists and get in a defensive position.

“Aw, that’s cute.” He stops and laughs, which I wouldn’t mind so much if he wasn’t close enough for me to smell his breath. Putrid. “What kind of stupid name they set you up with, anyway? Gray Girl? Horn Whore? At least these rags you got on are better than the stuff they always wear.”

“It’s Madrock!” Got to say, really not appreciating the mouth. I know enough about the word ‘whore’ to know that I shouldn’t appreciate it. “And you look like a guy who’s getting eaten by a rhino; where do you get off talking about how I look?”

He’s a little steamed at this, but I can’t imagine why: It IS what he looks like. “Hey, rhinos command respect, you know! They hunt, they dominate, they kick ass! Just like I do!”

I stand there for a moment, just processing what he said and trying to find his point. I can’t, because there is none. “Uh…rhinos don’t hunt.”

“What?”

“Well, I’m pretty sure.” I shrug. “I mean, I was watching this thing on Discovery Channel, right? And I’m pretty sure it was eating grass. Not, like…hunting grass, just eating it.”

“Oh.” He scratches his head, a little embarrassed. “There’s grass where they live? I thought there were in the desert or something.”

“What?” Not sure where he got that idea from. “The desert?”

“Yeah, the desert. ‘Cause the Egypts, they use to ride them back when they were building the pyramids!” He’s actually smiling now; sounding real sure of himself. “Saw it in a textbook, long time ago.”

I’m surprised he can read, but I don’t tell him that. Half because I’m afraid to get him ticked, half because I’m trying to figure out his angle. “Egyptians…riding…rhinos?” It takes a minute, but it sinks in. “You mean camels? I think the Egyptians rode camels, man.”

“With the humps and stuff?”

“Well, yeah. That would be a camel.” A run a hand through my hair, still not quite getting this guy. “How do you confuse a camel with a rhino? Have you even seen a real rhino before?”

“At the zoo once, yeah. I think. They have horns and stuff, right? Gray, big?”

Wow. Just…wow. “Yes. Like the suit you’re wearing.” I speak slow, making sure I’m understood. “I think that’s why people call you ‘the Rhino’. Because of, you know, the suit you’re wearing that looks like a rhino.”

“Oh.” His head sinks. “Yeah.” A little lower. “Right.” All the way down.

My mouth is open, my arms are sagging, and I just stand there, staring at this mammoth man in front of me. My mind has some trouble processing it, but the reality of the situation comes out soon enough. : “You’re an idiot, aren’t you?”

That gets him riled.

“Little punk!” His face reddens up, his fist draws back, and it looks like I’m about to find the hard way whether I bleed red. “Think you can make fun of me too, think I’ll take that crap just ‘cause you’re a little girl? Fat chance!”

“Golem!” I leap out of the way as Golem forms in front of me, taking the punch and splattering to pieces, already reforming. “Hold him off!” Rhino takes his eyes away from Golem and focuses on me as I run past, a mistake he pays for with a smack across the face.

“The hell is this?” I look over my shoulder and see Rhino punch Golem in two, then get smack a second later as my construct reforms. I think he’s going to be busy with that for a while.

“Rogue!” I kneel by her side; nearly slip on the pool of blood that’s growing under her. “Are you okay? Ah, man, there’s blood everywhere, and-”

“Yeah, I’m fine; taken a lot worse.” She manages to get up to her knees, but I don’t think she can get much higher. “Lot worse. Look, kid, just go; already got a thought out to the Professor, help’s coming.”

That does sound like a good idea at first, but as I turn around see the Rhino barreling through Golem, hardly slowing down, coming straight at me…just leaving doesn’t sound like an option.

I take off running, but the Rhino’s right behind me; Golem keeps reforming in his path, but he can’t do much more than slow the guy down. I make a wall behind me and he runs straight through. A make a hole and he falls in, climbs out a second later and keeps coming. Golem’s reforming and I’m making barricades, but this guy’s so strong and moving so fast that it’s just nothing to him. “Get back here, you little runt!”

“Uh, I don’t think so.” I rip off a piece of the ground below me and take flight, pretty confident that rhinos can’t fly. I’m pretty sure they can’t chuck rocks, either, but that doesn’t stop the rhino from doing it; he rips pieces out and lobs them my way. I dodge the first one, the second one, the third one, but the fourth hits my platform head on; knocks off my concentration and knocks me off, landing on my back from about ten feet. Hard.

“What’s wrong, done playing tag?” Golem forms again to protect me, but the Rhino just bats him aside, easy, marching towards me. “You know, I think this is going to be a new start for me, right here. Yeah. Definitely. I take care of you, then I rub out that X-Chick back there, then I start getting the respect I deserve.” He knocks Golem away again as I struggle to try and stand up, but my back’s on fire; so much pain I can barely. “About time.”

He raises his fist, I wince, and the only thing that saves me are a bunch of webs in his eye, followed by that thwiping sound that I’ve heard on the news a million times. “Spider-Man!”

“Where?” Rhino rips the webbing up and looks skyward, trying to get a bead.

“Right behind you, hornhead.” Spider-Man swings out of the darkness in a blur, kicking Rhino in the back of the head with both feet as he passes by. “Memory must be getting bad; could’ve sworn I curbstomped you a week ago. And a month before that. And two weeks before that.”

Rhino’s face slams into the pavement, but he doesn’t stay down for long; if anything, he’s even more determined when he gets back up. “Hoping you’d show up!” Spider-Man hits the ground and Rhino follows after, swinging and missing, swinging and missing, swinging and missing, swinging and missing, swinging and missing…Spider-Man dodges everything. He twists around, back flips, somersaults, does every move imaginable, and he moves so fast that I can’t even really see half of it; it’s almost like there’s three of him in there.

“I just got to know Rhino.” Rhino swings hard and Spidey leaps over it, flipping over him and landing on the tip of his horn. Standing upside down. On one finger. On top of the Rhino’s horn. Awesome beyond words. “When you woke up this morning and you ate you Capn’ Crunch and you got his little plan in your head…how else did you think this was going to go down? I mean, I’ve whupped you more times than you can count, but you thought this time would be different?”

“This time you’re getting squashed; that’s the difference!” He reaches up, tries to grab Spider-Man…and, of course, misses. “Stay still!”

“Sure thing.” Spidey drops down and stick to the Rhino’s back, just out of the big guy’s reach. That doesn’t stop him from trying, though; he keeps reaching around, pawing at his back, like there’s an inch he just can’t scratch. “Almost there, almost there! Just a little further! Come on, you can do it!”

“Gah, you’re going down!” Rhino reaches over his shoulder and nearly grabs Spidey, but he crawls out of the way in time, making a webline between Rhino hand and his head. In one quick move he grabs the Rhino by the wrist, leaps over his horned head, lands in front and lets go at just the right time for just the right effect: The webline sends Rhino’s fist into Rhino’s face. Over and over and over.

“Quit hitting yourself!” Spidey just stands in front of him, watching as the Rhino does all his work for him. “Quit hitting yourself!”

“Hate you!” Rhino has to speak in between punches, getting dizzier and dizzier with each blow. “Hate you forever! Hate, hate, hate-” All the blows pile up and it’s finally too much; he falls over and shakes the whole block when he lands. Unmoving. Unconscious. Another win for the Amazing Spider-Man.

“Always a pleasure, Rhino.” He nods, dusts off his hands. “Now, we’ve really got to find out what prison you keep escaping from, because they need a serious upgrade if they can’t keep you-”

“That was totally wicked!” Back’s still hurting, but I’ve got enough energy to hobble over towards a surprised Spider-Man; and I know he’s surprised because he’s doing that cool thing where his eyes widen up. “Ohmigohohmigodohmigod! It’s you! I mean, it’s really, really, really, really you!” I get up close and shake his hand. I shake Spider-Man’s hand!

“Um…hi.”

“So, like, where do you get this web-shooter from?”

“I made it myself, but-”

“But your powers, their natural, right? Are you a mutant, too? It’d be so cool if you were; I mean, you could join the X-Men and everything and it’d be so sweet.”

“No, not a mutant. Look, kid-”

“And, like, your suit. Where’d you get it, or did you make it yourself, and why’d you switch away from the old one? The old one was a lot cooler; well, I mean, not like this one is bad, but that one was better. The black one was the best one, though. Shame that ugly with the tongue ripped it off. Did you get it back from-”

“Kid!” He puts one hand over my mouth, sticking to it. “Ease up on the questions for a second, okay?” He pulls away, takes a look around. “Where are your parents?”

“I didn’t come here with any parents, just Rogue.”

“Rogue? The X-Man Rogue?”

I nod, pointing back down the street. “Uh-huh. She got hurt, though.”

“I see.” He takes a glance at the Rhino, gives him a quick kick in the side. “Well, doesn’t look like he’s going anywhere for a while. Come on.” He takes me under his arm and we go for a swing; a quick trip through the air that’s just a slice of what I’ve dreamed of. We make it to Rogue fast, and she’s still laying there, quiet. “Rogue!” Spidey kneels and gives her a shake. Nothing. “Looks like she passed out.” He webs up her back, stops the bleeding. “She’ll be fine, though.”

“She said the Professor had somebody on the way, so I guess everything’s straight.”

“Oh. Okay then.” A weird moment of silence between us; not quite sure what you say to a guy like this. He comes up with a few words, though. “Well, uh, stay in school and don’t do drugs. Later.”

He shoots off a webline and starts to take off, but I grab him by the wrist before he goes. “Wait, wait! See, I’m a really big fan, and I was kind of hoping you could maybe give me something remember you by, like a…a…”

“Signature?”

“Yeah, like that.”

“Well, I was going to leave this note on Rhino, but…”

~*~

~CAREFUL: WIDE LOAD

COURTESY OF YOUR FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD SPIDER-MAN~

I think I’m going to hang this on my wall. “Sweet.”


Re: New Mutants Unlimited #2
Post by K'lar on Oct 16, 2006, 2:07pm

«Nice work, lasthero!»


Re: New Mutants Unlimited #2
Post by The Sacred Digits on Oct 16, 2006, 2:20pm

ROFL @ "Don't do drugs".

I need to finish mine up.


Re: New Mutants Unlimited #2
Post by Chord on Oct 16, 2006, 3:38pm

Great Job lastey.


Re: New Mutants Unlimited #2
Post by Roxanne "Madrock" Madison on Oct 16, 2006, 7:41pm

Thanks, glad you all enjoyed it! ^_^

And, uh, blackmore, if you feel the need to waft a few extra XP my way, don't fight the urge. <_<;


Re: New Mutants Unlimited #2
Post by K'lar on Oct 19, 2006, 10:12am

LOL! Yeah, I think I can arrange that. 15 point EXP bonus.


Re: New Mutants Unlimited #2
Post by Curt "Reflex" Camden on Nov 3, 2006, 12:36pm

I've grown tired of being lazy. So I've not only started writing my own fan fics…but reading the rest as well. Very nice. Good characterization. So what I'm late…


Re: New Mutants Unlimited #2
Post by Risk on Apr 3, 2007, 10:52am

You think you're late?

Soooooooo, I finally got around to reading this. Probably wouldn't have if Skitch hadn't linked me. Huh. Skitch. That just seems weird. Skitch, Skitch, Skitch, Skitch, Skitch, Skitch, Skitch, Skitch, Skitch. Yeah, weird. It's no Blackmore, but if he wants to be called it…

You know, I'd say I need less caffeine, but the thing is, I haven't had any . All I've had is a good amount of sleep…

But yeah, back on topic - great read Last! Nice and fun with good characterisation. The Roxie/Spider-man interaction was especially great.

For some reason, this has also reminded me that I have three partially posted fics that are unfinished… I should get around to finishing them sometime.


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