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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


Written by Flitz
Last updated: 08/24/2008 12:48:30 PM

Chapter 10

“Where exactly is dis place?” questioned the black garbed thief lightly fingering the blueprints laid out on the metal table. Seated around the large conference room aboard the helicarrier was a trio of Colonel Fury, Gambit, and a man with a light complexion and the beginnings of a receding hairline in his carroty hair whom had been introduced as Agent Henning.

“That’s need to know,” Fury said stoically not unfamiliar with giving that response.

“Let m’ guess, I don’ need t’ know?” asked Gambit lips curling contemptuously. He’d escaped the expected lectures from the Xavier community at Shield’s timely arrival earlier that morning, and despite his enhanced metabolism was still wishing he’d gotten a few hours of sleep before their demands on his time began.

“And they say freelancers aren’t intelligent,” filled in Agent Henning his dour expression unchanged, not one to encourage any appropriation that wasn’t accomplished through government agents.

“Is dis buildin’ even in de US?” queried the thief unused to the runaround he was receiving during what was supposed to be his briefing. The silence that answered his question prompted the young Cajun to speak again his voice grating, “If I have dis straight, y’ want m’ to break into a seven story buildin’ wit enough security t’ choke a horse, mais y’ won’t tell m’ where, why, or what I’m pickin’ up. Dat don’ sound like de best position t’ be in.”

“Gambit,” replied Fury, “You know the arrangement; I don’t think I have to waste time here passing around threats. Just do this job and vacation at the Institute for a few days. You don’t need to worry about the whys.”

“Humor m’,” asked the teen not appeased in any manner, “It might be jus’ a tad harder t’ steal what y’ want me t’ steal if y’ don’ tell m’ what it be.”

“That’s where Agent Henning comes in,” said Colonel Fury gesturing to the already seated agent hands folded calmly upon the tabletop. “You’ll be taking the agent along with you. All you’re required to do is gain him entrance into the building, and he’ll retrieve the package.”

“Excuse moi? Gambit don’ work like dat. Every time y’ add a body y’ add risk s’ stupid t’ take two people. Jus’ tell m’ what I’m looking for, I don’ need extra baggage,” Remy countered sizing up the fit but nearly middle aged agent across the table.

“This assignment may not officially exist Gambit but after almost thirty years in service I think I understand the government’s desires fairly well. I don’t think our government or the American people would want the retrieval of sensitive information to be entirely in your hands,” Fury announced eyeing the youth rapidly tiring of the mediator position that had been thrust upon him.

“M’ sure not,” Gambit agreed sneering returning his stare to the plans once more as he’d done several times during the last few hours, “Dese blueprints ain’t complete, de two upper floors are de only ones wit any detail, and de underground levels ain’t even sketched out de whole way. Dere’s too many holes in dis, too many unknowns t’ try a snatch. Y’d have t’ figure some o’ dis onsite, y’ standin’ still too long waitin’,” Gambit argued.

“This assignment is not a suggestion,” Fury returned unaffected. “No one likes this situation, just finish the job,” he said forcefully, tucking away the assignment briefs. “Finish suiting up and throw on the rest of your equipment, chopper leaves in twenty.”

Gambit’s eyes sparked as they followed the figure out of the room, rubbing his tongue roughly under the top row of his teeth feeling the canines biting in, the tingling sensation distracting him from speaking further. The young thief didn’t enjoy enacting the role of trick pony for the government or anyone else. But the quicker he finished this job, the less time he spent with Shield and the aggravating presence of suited men boasting analyzing stares forever following in his wake. He knew some were behavorialists who were evaluating him, searching for clues that he’d purposely fail the mission. The Cajun was tempted to do so, but regardless of his distaste for his current position he wasn’t willing to do anything more to worsen the precarious arrangement he was in, at least not yet. Remy pushed away his chair, stretching upwards stiffly.

He waited a moment as the pair exited to the corridor ripping out the transmitter he had felt in the lining of the modified, insignia free uniform Shield had provided. The auburn tressed mutant shouldn’t have expected anything less from Shield, scoffing angrily at their conceit to think he wouldn’t find the barely concealed device.

The dark uniform wrapped around muscular figure was unsettling, not only the associations it entailed but the design itself. A far cry from his Guild uniform, entirely black and stream-lined while possessing enough pockets to hide the numerous tools he might need. Unfortunately unlike his Guild uniform, it was deprived of any type of armor. In successful heists armor wasn’t needed, the pinch wouldn’t be discovered until he was long gone. Gambit had always found it a comforting weight nonetheless. Standing slowly stifled discontent wavering underneath his features the crimson eyed thief joined the waiting Henning.

“How many?” asked Gambit coolly schooling his features, cocking his head sideways at the older man. While he’d never admit it, Remy had never taken a heist with so little information beforehand. The actual heist while thrilling took a much shorter amount of time compared to the extended effort of preparation. The patchwork plan that had been formulated did not comprise the Cajun holding the deciding opinion. A detail that set the generally well prepared thief’s nerves twitching, the jagged edges jangling obscurely.

Agent Henning for his part didn’t need to ask Gambit what his comment had meant, though not usually on the same side of the law they shared a similar profession simply under different titles. “This will be the third attempt on this building, four deaths so far,” Henning replied his voice unburdened by emotion. The mutant thief acknowledged the information but didn’t return any vocalization, his personality submerging marginally an automatic task as his focus narrowed on the heist.

“Dis place be locked up pretty tight f’ an office buildin’,” Gambit sent out questioningly his quiet voice carrying to his unwanted partner beside him. Laying prone on their stomachs the pair gazed down from a slightly taller neighboring building reassessing before their attempt to gain entrance.

“The location was chosen for cover more than anything, our friends know the government can’t come after them directly so they built here in the middle of a metropolis. The building looks fairly unassuming, as to not alert the public, but it was designed to keep people like us out,” Henning said in undertone scanning the bleak edifice.

“Direc’ly?” asked the lithe black-ensconced teen luminescent crimson pupils roaming over to the agent. Henning weaved his gloved hands together briefly before ripping them apart in slow motion. “Bomb?”

“Missiles, same thing. It’s messy, but it keeps our body count down,” said Henning. “Building smack in the center of the city, it’s not an option,” he continued shifting slightly on the tarred roof. “Which is why we’re here,” he mumbled under his breath.

The brickwork building itself wasn’t particularly intimidating, but the surrounding area was. A heavy chain link fence surrounded the dark red exterior, glittering coils of barbed wire adorning added an extra foot of height to the fence. The rest of the structure continued in a similar vein, the grounds saturated with cameras and guards. A tight patrol negated any entrance through the front, rifles sites sweeping the grounds intermittently.

The plan that had been devised entailed evasion of the guards, access through basement windows, then carrying themselves up to the correct level. Upon inspection that like many other features of the grounds had been altered since the last botched op. The ground floor windows were under bulky wire mesh that was too thick for the intricate tools they had brought. This job was finesse, destroying windows for an entrance would draw more attention than was appreciable.

Gambit was young for a Guild thief, younger still when compared to the American officer next to him, but he was equally experienced if not more and his appraising eye revealed more than his detached expression conveyed. The building’s security measures before them carried only a slight resemblance to the ones that he had been briefed upon. It was possible and probable that the owners had altered and updated security especially considering it had nearly been infiltrated twice.

It was tempting to simply bypass all the security with his charms, it would be so easy to wrap the personnel in a haze and acquire the target, altering the tapes from the security cameras once he finished. Following that course it would be one of the quickest heists he’d ever accomplished. Unfortunately through tradition and practicality Guild law prohibited him from taking such an action. Obvious use of mutant powers would leave an easily recognizable trail. However, when taking recent events into account being detected by the authorities wasn’t as large of a concern as previously.

“De roof,” Gambit finally announced running a quick inventory on the tool kit he’d arranged.

“The cornice stones and the rest of the edging has pressure sensors, in case you’ve forgotten,” Agent Henning replied sarcastically, “You’d never secure a line over there without detection.”

“Good t’ing I don’ have to,” the teen said seriously nudging his head in the direction of the flagpole that hung off from the building the pair was situated.

“All of the sudden you think you’re Spider-Man? I was briefed on your mutant abilities and they don’t include flight. You’ll never make a clean jump from here, we’re too far away. That’s why it was ignored that as an entry-point from the start,” Henning argued. “Think it through, even if you make it how am I supposed to follow you over?”

“Den what’s y’r bright idea?” the teen snapped out aware their options were scarce, there were simply too many guards to try any other point of entry, the roof was the only area devoid of their presence. Remy’s shoulder muscles tensed at Henning’s opposition, suddenly glad he hadn’t deigned to tell Henning of the rather complex laser grid that lanced the rooftop.

Henning spared a moment to gather his composure before answering, “Obviously our original tactic isn’t possible. We create a diversion, and make our way over the fence while the majority of the guards are distracted. There’s a side door on the south-side, we might be able to crack through the codes before a guard spots us.”

“Oui I remember, dats what de second group did, non? Dat worked real well f’ dem,” the mutant thief replied snidely knowing the dismal fate of those men. Henning’s head shot up in anger, but Gambit overrode him, “Y’ objective ain’t possible y’r way. Y’ want it done, listen t’ Gambit. What’s de point of havin’ a Guild t’ief on y’ side, if y’ don’ listen?”

Agent Henning quieted his harsh breathing hoping their strengthening voices hadn’t alerted any of the guards below, “Fine,” he relented edging out his communicator, “let me call it in first maybe I can get authorization to send you in alone.” The dark gloved hand of the teenaged thief snaked out and took ahold of the device,

“We don’ have time f’ dis, understand?” the young thief asked adding a strong undercurrent of charm to his statement, allowing himself to bend his own set of rules slightly. The longer they remained in a relatively open space, the higher the chances of discovery became. Henning let his grip on the communicator loosen and Gambit pried it from the agent’s hands gently letting his mutant eyes lock with the elder man’s, sensitive pupils full glittering faintly in the muted light.

“What’s de target?” asked the red-haired thief quietly keeping both their figures low to the ground.

“A disk stolen from what was supposed to be a secure facility in Nevada. A reliable informant alerted us to the disks location, it’s supposed to be located in one of the executive offices, fifth floor. It’s about two inches in diameter, gold tinted,” Henning continued lazily.

“What’s on it dats worth all dis trouble?” the agile mutant questioned holding his charm in a tight pattern as to not interfere with his own focus.

“Weapons Intel.”

“Dat all y’ know?” Gambit asked disbelieving threads of anger coloring his tone.

“That’s all I’m required to know,” came the even reply.

Deciding to leave the questionable use of need to know operations behind satisfied he had an obtainable objective the young mutant thief moved away from the bemused agent. Crouching under the low lip of the wall which they had been concealing their outlines he continued a silent count of the guards’ rotation he’d memorized. The red haired mutant was surprised at the meager amount of information that Henning had been given. Under normal circumstances the thief would never attempt a heist with as little information on the subject as Henning had been given; and the Cajun wondered what Shield would be willing to throw him into alone if that was how they regularly treated one of their own agents.

A casual glance back towards the temporarily sedate Henning and Gambit vaulted into the air sticking a decisive landing on the flagpole, using a sudden blare of a car horn to mask the noise. It rebounded harshly and the thief expertly held his balance as it slung him upwards. Remy leapt at the apex of the arc, adding his own strength to the poles momentum. With his height and the distance from the other building the mutant teen should never have been able to make the maneuver. Then again, he’d always been told he was lighter than he should be. A fact he was again grateful for sliding through the air near silently landing in a cat-like stance, his nose mere inches from a beam.

The young Cajun carefully drew his contorted limbs back into position, disinclined to calculate the odds of him failing the jump, or even what the results might have been had he been wearing his favorite duster as opposed to the form-fitting black outfit he’d been supplied.

His unique eyes had picked up on the existence of the lasers as easily as they’d penetrated the darkness of the night. Remy stole his way through the grid quickly, ducking, stretching and bending his supple form in ways no human being would be able through the narrow openings available hyper-aware that one misstep would result in a messy ending.

In the midst of one bound the young thief glanced down a just the right moment to spot a small thin wire that ran crossways over a portion of the roof. A trip-wire he was a few scant seconds from landing on. A fierce wrench of his lissome frame and the teen flew through the last set of lasers blind, an abrupt landing almost slamming himself into the lone access door. The soft skid of his boots against the tar stilled him, but seven stories up combined with the echoing sounds of the city surrounding none seemed to hear.

The security pad that held the thick metal door closed was one aspect the young thief had come prepared for. A slender black pad was inserted into the door’s mechanism the keypad blinking lightly, stuttering for a minute before readying its pulse. The device broadcast an artificial all clear signal to the security system even as the youth thief levered the cover aside with a small inoffensive appearing knife. Splicing the nest of wires expediently manipulating the keypad control for the desired response, being granted one favor that the system was one which he was familiar. Gambit shoved the dark gray plastic cover back into position and removed his device, not leaving a solitary mark of his presence as the door closed noiselessly after him.

Keeping to the stairs which he found himself on, the young thief carried himself down a flight on whispering footfalls, his senses sweeping outwards detecting the slightest hint of movement. The swirl of motion to his left was identified as a guard making his rounds and the mutant teen was forced to hold his position, waiting for the man to move on. The cameras were sparser within the building, the constructors overconfident of their external security force. Staying within the shadows Remy slunk through the dim corridors. He was without the exact location of the disk, but deeply entrenched thieving and fought for instincts guiding him unwittingly like a gentle tug.

Passing by a multitude of unremarkable doorways the auburn haired thief slowed as he approached the second corner office. Outwardly it looked no different than the last he had passed, but a niggling feeling informed him he was on the right course. The lock that kept him from entering was trifling, an insult to his skill. A simplistic metal lock pick slightly curved at the end appeared in the Cajun thief’s hands immediately dispensed to its purpose, the miniscule click of the lock welcome.

The room he found himself in was almost appallingly benign, compulsively structured. The stark white walls were offset with several wall hangings and paintings of a somber hue. Fields of lilacs and junipers paired the royal blue carpet to a low purple couch hugging one side of the office.

The modest desk was a typical modern design of metal and glass that hid nothing from view and was easily dismissed in his search for the diskette. The office hardly looked used, orderly rows of pens and pencils seeming more of a mock-up. The only accoutrements on the desk were an undersized phone system and a small smattering of paper in the inbox that when reviewed were of no particular consequence. The cords that were secured to the legs of the desk bespoke of a missing laptop and the young mutant fervently hoped the disk had not slid out in that manner. Completing Shield’s dirty work wasn’t high on his priority list, but the sparse pride he’d been able to maintain was, an unblemished record for solo thefts.

Feeling much as he did earlier in what he refused to label anything other than his transitory room the Guild thief searched the office diligently this time returning each item to its exact location. The simplistic room had no hidden panels or safes that he had been able to determine, though something in the room remained teasing at the edge of his consciousness. Sliding to a stop in the middle of the room he let his radiant orbs brush through the room for what he hoped would be the last time.

Something was out of place; relatively sparse the office was incredibly well kept up. The desk was almost entirely bereft of paperwork and the magazines that lined the coffee table shared an almost geometrically perfect formation. Even the paintings hung at precise intervals, balanced flawlessly…except, except for one.

Aware of the time ticking away the young thief prowled toward the center painting. Barely perceptible the middle painting was off by only a few scant degrees. He had moved the lilac painting to check for a hidden panel an overplayed but occasionally successful tactic. It was possible he had altered the angle himself, but resetting objects that he’d disturbed into its precise original position was habitual. A mistake of that nature would be blatant and he was certain he hadn’t made that mistake. Despite anything else that he might become Remy was a professional thief, an irrepressible and integral part of his makeup.

Cautiously removing the painting from its mooring the young mutant examined the smooth light brown backing. Gambit tilted it minutely listening for any telltale scratches of a shifting object. The disk if it were hidden within would be too slight in weight to tell its existence by feel. Deciding the risk of disturbing the backing was acceptable Remy brought out his knife once more carefully splitting down the center and peeling back the two halves. Not terribly surprising the small disk was wedged against the side of the frame, the minor weight throwing off the balance. Allowing himself a quick grin the red eyed mutant tucked the miniature diskette into one pocket which he had left empty. Withdrawing a tube of quick dry adhesive Gambit spread a small amount over the ruined paper. Under any kind of scrutiny it would be visible but he didn’t have time to create a workable facsimile. At the least the pieces wouldn’t rustle giving away its mutilated condition immediately.

Secure in the knowledge that the office was in the exact order in which he found it the young thief ran his hand across the pocket his tight fitting uniform once more reassuring himself the disk was still in place. A momentary sense of disquiet settled in his stomach and the thief moved out swiftly retracing his steps.


“Took you’re sweet time Gambit?” stated Henning eyes raking the teen’s form unforgivingly. “Disk, now!” he hissed holding out his outstretched palm, not looking favorably on the realization that he’d somehow been duped and left behind by the young Guild member. A broad returning stretch of white teeth was his only answer as the low pulse from the communicator severed the early morning air. Grimly Henning answered his strident body language a contrast to the jubilant form of the successful mutant thief.

Henning’s conversation consisted of a monotone sequence of yes and no sirs while his gestures became more vehement until the still smirking thief relinquished his prize, gold colored disk winking softly in the dim light. The triumphant Cajun thief waited until he heard the closing comments before turning his attention to Henning the rush of the heist holding him prisoner.

Henning grabbed the young mutant’s arm as he moved off intent on reuniting with their transport. “I’d keep a little of that excitement on hold if I were you,” he warned. Gambit rid himself of the agents restraining grip before replying somewhat exasperated,


“You’ve been volunteered for another assignment.”


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