New Mutants Unlimited #65

Fan Fiction » New Mutants Unlimited » New Mutants Unlimited #65
http://nmsim.proboards88.com/index.cgi?board=nmunlimited&action=display&thread=1187935072


New Mutants Unlimited #65
Post by Protoman on Aug 24, 2007, 12:57am

New Mutants Unlimited #65

Cover Description: Lex standing in the pouring rain, the water running towards the reader becomes a darker red as it reaches the bottom of the cover.

Title: No Choice

Written by: Steve Bragdon

The smell of fresh blood hangs heavy in the air as Lex walks into the room, he knows immediately that something is wrong. His head darts to the left, the wall is streaked with blood, fallen to the floor under the blood is the body of a woman he knows very well. Her name is Elizabeth, she's only 15 years old. The girl babysits Lex's young daughter Alexia. Lex doesn't bother to check the girl's pulse, the sheer amount of blood pooling around her gives him the answer.

"…Alexia."

Lex moves quickly into the next room, the room holding the baby's crib. Things just went from bad to worse; Alexia is gone. Lex walks back out of the room, casting one final glance at the fallen babysitter, her throat slit. He leaves the house, the only sign that he was there being the bloody footprints. Lex reaches for his phone as he gets into the car.

"Jubes? Lex. Stay in the mansion."

He hangs up without giving details, Jubilee is still screaming at him as he shuts the phone. The car starts on the second try, Lex flipping on the headlights as he pulls away from the house. The car breaks the speed limit by at least twenty before it stops in front of a rundown bar. Lex gets out, his only thought being how much he wishes he still had his trenchcoat… much more intimidating. He walks into the bar, ready for anything.

The bartender, a large heavyset man, looks up from the glass he's cleaning with a dirty rag to give Lex a once over. The last time he was here he broke a customer's nose, the bartender isn't going to give him trouble. Of course, that doesn't mean other customers won't. That becomes blatantly obvious when a small drunken man steps in front of Lex.

"Whataya want, Mutie? We told you not to come back." He's holding the back of a chair to steady himself, it's a miracle he's talking straight.

Lex grabs the front of his shirt. "I'm in no mood for any of your shit, where's Drew?"

The drunk attempts to spit in Lex's face, it ends up dribbling down his chin. "What's it ta you?"

"Where is she?" Lex asks, a bit louder this time. He grabs the man's wrist with his other hand.

"Go fer it Mutie, break it."

Of course, the drunk didn't expect to hear the sick crack as his wrist shatters. He cries out, staggering back and out of Lex's grip. He falls to the floor at the feet of a much larger bar patron, clutching his wrist. Lex kneels down close to him. "I won't ask again."

"S-she's in…in the back!" He screams. The larger man kicks him and mutters something under his breath. Lex grins, getting up and walking behind the bar. The bartender moves towards him and almost says something. Lex looks him in the eyes and he backs down, returning to making the glass dirtier.

"Drew." Lex says, almost under his breath as he walks into the back room. Computers and monitors line the walls, wires hang low from the ceiling. The only light in the room is the larger monitor in the back, it's glow illuminating a feminine figure sitting in front of it.

She spins around in her chair, standing when she sees Lex. "Serden, I thought you were done doing odd jobs for me."

Lex can't help but glance down upon seeing the low cut top she's wearing, he pulls his eyes back up quickly. "I am. Drew, you know just about every crime that happens in this city. Someone killed a girl I know, and it looks like that same someone took my daughter."

Drew's lips form a thin line as she brushes her black hair behind her ear. She nods and sits back down, knocking a box of CDs to the floor with a thud. "Lets see what I've got here." The girl starts typing and clicking rapidly. Lex starts playing with… something, he's not sure what it is, but it lights up. "Put that down." Drew says quickly, not looking up from the screen.

After a few minutes, Lex speaks up. "Anything? I can't hang around all day… this is my daughter we're talking about."

She remains silent for a few more moments, save for the clicking of the keyboard. "Yeah, I got who you're looking for." She spins around to face Lex. "Guy calls himself The Badger… what is with the stupid codenames?" She shakes her head. "Anyway. Seems he got contracted to go after your kid. The girl was collateral damage."

Lex nods a bit, his hand in his pockets. "Who's he work for?"

"Freelancer, but… tends to work for Wilson Fisk. The Kingpin."

"Kingpin…what the fuck would The Kingpin want with Alexia?"

"I dunno Lex, but I hope you don't plan to get her back alive if you pissed off Fisk."

"Go to hell, Drew. I'm going to save my daughter. Do you have an address on this guy?"

Against her better judgment, Drew writes and address down and hands it to Lex. He nods his thanks and heads for the door, slamming it behind him. She winces as three monitors smash to the floor.

Back in the bar, Lex glances at the drunk, still cradling his wrist. "I'll do more next time." Lex kicks him hard in the kidney as he leaves the building. He climbs back into his car, turning the key… nothing.

"Mother fucker…"

Another turn of the key, nothing. Another, and another. Still nothing.

"DAMN IT."

Lex climbs out of the drivers seat, slamming his hands on the roof. What options did he have? Walk to the address, steal a car, call a cab. None of them are good choices. Lex leans down, grabbing his new sunglasses out of the console inside the car. He slides them on with one hand, the other slams the car door shut. He gives the side of the vehicle a hard kick as he walks away.

I'm not stealing a car, I've got a feeling I'm going to breaking quite enough laws tonight.

Through winding alleys, down side streets, staying in the shadows whenever possible, Lex reaches the right neighborhood about forty five minutes after leaving the bar. The street smells distinctly of urine. It's pitch black other than the flickering street light about ten feet to his right.

Lex retrieves the piece of paper from his pocket, creating a small flame with which to read it. He was a few streets over from his destination, but he was a hell of a lot closer than he had been. He sets off in the correct direction after a few moments rest. He could really use a drink, he'd run most of the way here and was pretty exhausted, but there was no time to waste. He'd wasted enough.

All that remained was a final alley between Lex and the street. He reaches up, removing his sunglasses, it had been too dark for them since he'd put them on. They find themselves sliding into his shirt pocket moments before Lex hears the ominous sound of a switchblade popping open. He spins around to find himself face to face with a someone he'd never seen before. The boy has the knife in his left hand.

"Give me all your money and no one gets hurt."

Lex just stares at him for a moment. "You picked the wrong day to fuck with me. You really really did." With a swift motion, Lex hears that noise he's so familiar with, the breaking of a nose. Apparently, however, the boy isn't ready to go down easily. The switchblade peirces the skin on Lex's right arm, he can feel the blood running from the wound already. Lex has felt worse and doesn't make a sound as he pulls the blade out of his arm. Suddenly the mugger feels a chill run over him… through him.

"W-wha… what're you doin to me?"

"Have you ever had the very heat pulled out of you before?" Lex can already feel his muscles becoming stronger, the wound on his arm now no more than a tingle. "I didn't think so." With a flick of his wrist, he breaks the mugger's forearm. He, unlike Lex, is not used to pain and cries out loudly. Lex kicks the boy's legs out from under him, the boy hits the ground with a soft thump.

"A-are… are you gonna kill me?" He's scared, so scared in fact that his pants are wet, it's not from the puddle on the ground.

"No. I'm not going to kill you, I'm not the bad guy here." Lex closes the knife that had cut him and slips it into his pocket. "Go get your arm looked at." He turns, again missing his coat… it would have made that cool swishing noise as he walked away.

Upon stepping out into the next street, things are already different. This street is fully lit by its street lights. The house in question is one of most well maintained on the street, of course… that won't last long. Lex walks towards it quickly, listening carefully. It's far too quiet. Then… there it is, a baby crying from inside. He can't help but smile, it means that Alexia is alive.

Lex takes a moment to take in his surroundings. It's nearing nine PM now, not late, most of the houses on the street are still lit up. A car drives by every once in awhile. Other than that it's almost silent, the baby still crying in the background. Those cries the only thing giving Lex any hope at this moment. He walks up the stairs onto the porch, crouching to move under a window to get to the door. Upon trying it, he finds it unlocked… and squeaky.

"God damn it…" He slowly pushes the door open, staying crouched down. This floor is quiet, the crying is coming from upstairs. As Lex slowly moves into the house, the first thing he notices is that the TV is on and muted in the next room. There's a rather large man asleep on the couch in front of it. Lex's heart is in his throat as the man seems to stir. He moves, scratches his balls and settles back to sleep.

Lex stands upright as he enters the kitchen, the faint scent of lemon stings his nostrils. His feet stick lightly to the dirty linoleum as he steps carefully through the room to approach the stairs. The first step creaks loudly and he pauses for just a moment to listen for movement in the living room. There's nothing, so he continues upwards, reaching the second floor landing a few seconds later. The crying is significantly louder up here, it's coming from the room at the end of the hall.

Of course, as if at the most inopportune moment possible, Lex's phone rings loudly, noticeable through the entirety of the empty house. He reaches for it quickly, too quickly, it slips out of his hand and hits the floor. It's almost as if the ringing were louder now. He grabs it up quickly and answers it, it's Jubilee.

"Not a good time." Lex can hear movement downstairs.

"I just got a call from Liz's mom."

"I know, Jubes, not a good time."

"YOU KNOW? You know? Lex, what the hell is going on?" Jubilee is quite clearly in tears.

The movement downstairs steps into the kitchen. "Babe, I've got it handled. Please. Not a good…" Lex trails off as he hears the first step creak. He lowers the phone, Jubilee screaming into it loudly. It closes with a snap and is replaced back into his pocket. No more time to waste. Lex moves into the room with the baby, fast. His eyes settle on a playpen in the center of the room. Sitting inside is Alexia, her face streaked with tears. The crying lessens when she sees Lex.

"… Alexia… baby, it's gonna be okay." Now that Lex was sure this was the right place he turns and walks back out of the room just as the large man from the couch steps onto the landing.

"The fuck are you?" He yells, his voice scraggly.

"Your worst nightmare." Lex moves at him quickly, his strength still slightly increased from the heat he stole from the mugger. He lands the first punch on The Badger's jaw sending him stumbling back a bit. Unfortunately, this guy is tough… and fast. He's landed three punches, one to the face two to Lex's stomach in seconds after Lex's attack.

"I don't have nightmares." He says into Lex's ear. Lex feels another punch sap the remaining heat he had absorbed. A fifth punch sends Lex to the floor, which is just what he wanted.

Lex forms a fireball and sends it at The Badger's face. The Badger clearly didn't see that coming as his eyebrows catch fire. It's amazing how much like a little girl a grown man can sound when his face is ablaze. Badger stumbles backwards, right down the stairs. He thumps against every step, finally landing in a heap on the floor. Lex isn't willing to take a chance, he's on his feet chasing after him, taking the stairs three at a time.

Once he reaches the bottom Lex is back to super strength, the stairs are covered in a thin layer of frost. He's on The Badger like… well, like a badger on a chipmunk. A punch to the jaw, it breaks. A kick to the arm, it breaks. A second punch, this time to the gut… something pops. Super strength does a number on a baseline human… even a strong baseline human. Lex spends a good five minutes working the guy over, towards the end he starts to wake up. He's coughing blood, but still manages to speak.

"G-g-go ahead, Mut-t-tie… kill me… you never escape the Kingpin…"

Lex punches him in the mouth again before standing up straight. He moves into the kitchen again and shuffles through the drawers. He retrieves a pen and paper.

The Badger speaks up again, his mouth horribly swollen. "K-killed ya mother… gonna kill you…" He fades into unconsciousness again.

"…my mother…" Lex writes a few words on the paper before lying it down on the Badger's chest. He pops the mugger's switchblade open and stabs it through the note into his chest.

The Kingpin picked the wrong guy to fuck with.

Lex steps over the body and onto the creaky step. He walks slowly up the stairs, wiping the blood off of his hands and onto his shirt. As he steps into the room with Alexia he smiles at her. Upon being taken into her father's arms, the crying stops. Alexia smiles slightly, happy to be with someone she knows. Lex walks slowly down the stairs, covering Alexia's eyes as he steps over the body. He's got his phone out as he enters the living room.

"Babe? It's me. I know. I know."

Lex pauses as Jubilee yells at him.

"Enough! Just pack stuff for me, you, and Alexia. Why? Because I said so."

He leans down and picks up The Badger's car keys, listening to Jubilee talk. Registration… the Kingpin… probably a murder charge. There's only one real option here.

"We're going to London. We'll be safe there, just trust me on this. I love you."

Lex shuts the phone and returns it to his pocket. He kisses Alexia lightly on the forehead, she welcomes it with a giggle. Guess I AM stealing a car tonight. Lex thinks as he walks out of the house and into the driveway. The loose gravel crunches under his feet. He straps Alexia into the carseat that Badger must have stolen from Elizabeth, giving her one more kiss before climbing into the driver's seat. The car starts on the first try, better than Lex's car.

"Here we come, Generation X…"


Re: New Mutants Unlimited #65
Post by Paige "Anima" O'Hara on Aug 24, 2007, 1:11am

Well, I'm far too lazy to critique this twice, so I'm just going to repost what I said the first time.

Quote:NoOriginStory (1:39:10 AM): Anyway, I liked it. I think it was pretty well done. The descriptions, I think at least, did a good job of setting up the atmosphere. The pacing was pretty good as well. As far as the story itself, it was interesting. Darkish too, though with some humor peppered in. Like his desire for his trenchcoat, not being able to see out of the sunglasses, the cell phone going off. Chuckleworthy.

Really got to wonder what reason Wilson Fisk, Kingpin of crime, lord of the East coast, has to be interested in Lex and his baby. That seems like the sort of detail that I can't judge properly until I know what's up. Could end up convoluted. But comics tend to lean in that direction… And, you know, considering the histories of Greg and Nadia with the Dark Beast, I clearly don't have too many issues with some convolution here and there <_<

Lex's underground connections come out of nowhere for me, but I haven't been up on the New Mutants since I left the team. Eh… more an observation than a criticism.

Lex's badassometer seemed cranked up to eleven. Mixed bag on that. Makes for some cool moments, though perhaps sets him up too much into the badass hero archtype. But I think you also play off that in a humorous way that I enjoyed. Namely the comments about wishing for his trenchcoat for the sake of looking cooler. Also when he grabbed the sunglasses I thought he was slipping more into the type, but within a couple paragraphs he's taking them off because he can't see at night. . I was very fond of that. Hell, I know first hand - I occasionally wear sunglasses at night <_<

All in all, those few criticisms aside, I enjoyed it a lot. Fun little "action movie" story, atmospheric descriptions, nice balance between the seriousness of the tale and humor peppered through out. Well done, all in all.


Re: New Mutants Unlimited #65
Post by BornIn1142 on Aug 24, 2007, 1:21am

Probably your best-written story. It was definitely a noticeable improvement over your usual style. But a lot of things confused me… As TEO said, where did those underground connections come from? I can imagine Lex having them, but have they ever been mentioned before? For a moment, I thought it was some kind of alternate future story. And what about Elizabeth? She doesn't really make sense, and only seemed to exist to give the kidnapping further 'weight' with a dead body attached.

Additionally, I really didn't like how you continued to marginalize Jubilee. Her opinion here doesn't seem to matter a lot, she's just a background detail. Much like the whole time she's been together with Lex. It would have been more interesting if she had put her foot down and told him she was staying in the US with her friends.


Re: New Mutants Unlimited #65
Post by Protoman on Aug 24, 2007, 1:38am

A quick comment on the underground connections; They've never been shown, but they have been implied a couple times.

As for Jubilee; I quite simply don't feel comfortable playing her, I just don't know her well enough.


Re: New Mutants Unlimited #65
Post by Orchestra the Mighty on Aug 24, 2007, 1:40am

I don't have any of the small little beefs with the story that TEO and Born had because, whether you remember it or not, I know all of the little details pertaining to a mission that never got off the ground.

My only issues with the story were the fact that an assassin could sneak into the mansion, kill a student, kidnap a child, and get out, without someone noticing - but that's not really a big thing. I'm all for suspending disbelief.

Quote:
Lex's badassometer seemed cranked up to eleven. Mixed bag on that. Makes for some cool moments, though perhaps sets him up too much into the badass hero archtype.

TEO really said what I'm thinking but couldn't put into words. The whole situation is very cool, and badass, but it just seems incredibly out of place for Lex. It's almost as if the story was written as a blank slate, and you just filled in the details that could make it pertain to Lex.

Other than that, it was a great improvement over your other work and an enjoyable read.


Re: New Mutants Unlimited #65
Post by Protoman on Aug 24, 2007, 1:43am

I should have made it clearer, I didn't intend for Elizabeth to be a student. I intended for her to be watching the baby at her house.

And hey! Lex is allowed to be badass to save his kid. :P Glad you liked it.


Re: New Mutants Unlimited #65
Post by Cheshire on Aug 24, 2007, 1:05pm

Yeah, my only problem was that Lex was just a shade too much of a badass :P

Much, much better than your usual, though, Proto. Good job :D


Re: New Mutants Unlimited #65
Post by The Sacred Digits on Aug 25, 2007, 11:16am

It's like Sin City with superpowers…but I thought it was well-written.

I do, however, agree with the fact that I didn't realize Bruce Willis circa 1990 was playing Lex in this.


Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 License.