New Mutants Unlimited 54

Fan Fiction » New Mutants Unlimited » New Mutants Unlimited #54

New Mutants Unlimited #54
Post by Risk on Mar 31, 2007, 10:59am

New Mutants Unlimited #54

Cover: A torn Cain mask on the floor with a splatter of blood running down it diagonally, and along the alleyway floor that the mask lies on.

Title: Masks and Prey #2


The rich doing anything to add a little more to their accounts. The scared doing anything to get their next quick fix. To forget where they come from and where they know they are going.

Where you come from is never something you should forget.

Drugs. Typical.

Everything is hazy for a moment and the world spins. I misstep as I try to clear my head. As I’m dazed, one of the men strikes me in the side of the face with a vicious haymaker.

He staggers back, clutching his hand in pain. A smile touches my lips, but it is gone as quickly as it appears. That dealer… the one who hurt the other man before. When I turned up the man was lying on the floor in pain. His arm was broken. And yet, this person kept on striking him.

I try not to enjoy it when I break his jaw.

I turn on the last man standing. Drugs. It isn’t much, but there isn’t much at all tonight. Not that I can see. And drugs usually still mean people getting hurt. Usually over the ‘merchandise’, rather than anything else. It’s an impossible task, but I want it gone. A quick strike drops the last man, but I make sure he’s still conscious. I wonder if he likes heights.

It doesn’t take long for me to find out that he doesn’t. He tells me what I want. There’s a warehouse near the Thomas Paine Park. How typical.

It takes a lot of the night just to get down there. This seems simple. Take down anything that’s inside, and make the call.

Easy. Or at least, I hope it will be. Things have a habit of taking turns for the worse around me.

A snap resounds in my head. It will never leave me. That much I know. I don’t know if I can ever make up for it, though. Help enough people? It seems unlikely.

As I hit the ground silently outside the warehouse, I have to wonder; should I even be doing this? Is it worth it? Or am I wasting time that other people need? This isn’t hurting people, is it? It’s illegal, yes. But legalities are not much of a concern to me. If they were then I would not be here. I would not run around in mask and uniform. There must be someone out there who needs real help. There are eight million people in this city. How many of them are out there right now, screaming for help? Begging, crying and pleading?

And I couldn’t find any of them.

I know I’ll find out in the morning just how many people I failed to help today. And it will be more than however many I see. The people hidden away… with no-one to care for them. With no-one to care about them. The people who need help the most.

I crash through the window. I have to concentrate on what’s in front of me. And I can hear the screams anyway. They aren’t real. I have to tell myself that. But somewhere in this city…

Suddenly I feel sick. And there is fire. I’m thrown back out of the warehouse as quickly as I smashed in.

A pyrokinetic? What is this place?

I get up in time to receive a blow beneath the ear that sends me reeling. Whoever this is knows how to fight. No superhuman strength, but…

What is actually going on here? What drug shipment needs a superhuman to defend it?

I roll to my feet and dodge to the side as a burst of flames hits where I was. Another burst forces me into a refuse pile. The seam of one of the bags splits and the rubbish begins to leak out slightly.

There’s a garbage can to my right. The lid is on the floor. I step on the lid and it flicks up into the air, spinning into another kick that sends it into my attacker’s neck, putting him down.

But not out. Not that I notice. Not yet.

I walk over to the warehouse, more warily this time. Something about this seems so wrong… And there has to be something inside the warehouse that will help me understand.

With one more burst of flame from behind me, the warehouse literally explodes in a firestorm. And everything that was inside is lost to me.

I lash out at the pyrokinetic in anger. I don’t care who he is now. I don’t care why he is doing this. I don’t care who hired him. A rib breaks under my baton and the harsh snap breaks through the haze, bringing me to my senses. Staggering back, I drop the baton. A little sickened, to be honest. In myself.

But there’s someone else here. I notice that only a moment before he makes himself known, clearing his throat. I spin around to face him, taking his appearance in. A tall Caucasian male with short, well groomed blonde hair in his late twenties or early thirties. There is something about his features that makes it difficult to tell. A slightly crinkled suit. Impressive, nonetheless. Either an extremely pretentious hood, or someone from higher up. I cannot understand someone in that position being reckless enough to risk associating himself directly with a mess like this.

He takes a few steps towards me and I memorise the way he moves. It exudes confidence. Perhaps even arrogance.

“You really don’t know how much you cost me,” he tells me with a smirk.

I want to reply. Tell him about what he deserves. About what is going to happen if he doesn’t tell me what I want to hear. But it happens again. Words become strangers to me. Four languages run through my head, and everything I want to say comes together in each of them. But it doesn’t happen in any of the others, and I cannot formulate the sentence. Unfortunately, English is not one that comes together right now. Instead I settle for a few words that come out brokenly.

“Tell me… if I… care.”

His amusement increases at this, and the smirk spreads into a sickeningly smug grin. “You can’t even speak our language? That’s rich. And pathetic at the same time.” He takes another few steps towards me before speaking again. “What do you even want from here?”

“You… broken.” I hate this. I cannot even… I can think. I can hear it all; everything I want to say. But I cannot say it.

“Me broken? Well, that’s ironic.”

I feel my arm lock in place.

This is why I long for the normal streets.

Another crack. I feel the bone break inside my arm. The pain is sharp at first, and the bone pushes against the skin, but the skin is too strong for it to break.

This is why I hate dealing with metahumans.

I suppose that is hypocritical.

A growl leaves my lips, but I refuse to let the pain show in any other way. It’s tempting to fall to my knees… but somehow I manage to stand strong. He shifts my entire body so that only my broken arm is facing him – my legs are held in place. He waits until I am secured before walking up to me, staring at the one way lenses on my mask. I can almost see the curiosity in his mind through his eyes. I would spit in his face if I could. The mask stops me. Leering over me, he pauses. The stench of alcohol is on his breath. Indulgent.

Two ribs break, and yet I still don’t know what it is that he is doing. They push into my lungs. I get lucky. They can’t pierce them.

He grabs onto my mask from the top, taking his time. He has a brain. And a skull to slam it against. He doesn’t get my mask. He’s not allowed.

“I hate masks,” he seethed.

“Me too.” I drive my broken arm, the only thing he had been careless enough to leave unrestrained, into his jaw. I watch him fall away as he slams into the ground. It’s the last thing I see for a moment, as another haze comes over me and my consciousness begins to fade. The only thing that keeps me from passing out is the pain ripping through my arm again. But I can’t stay here. I’ll leave him here… maybe I’ll get lucky and someone will turn up at the scene. He’ll have difficulty explaining it. If not, then I’ll be back when I’m able to deal with this properly. Need to understand this… but I can’t stay here right now. Can’t make the call. No explanation to give… none to take for myself either. And I’m in no fit condition to…

I come to a few moments later. I must have slipped away. A leap takes me to the rooftop of a nearby building. I need to get back… I stagger to the end of the rooftop, staring down over the edge for a moment. Dizzy… and I keep on hearing a snap. Everywhere. Can’t- can’t think. Can’t focus. Everything beneath me is spinning, and I’m still tired. I topple forwards and slam into the floor of the alleyway beneath me, passing out again.

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