I know it has been a while, over a year, and a lifetime, since I last posted something in the Marvel Mayhem Alternate series. As you all know, or may not know, I lose my wife in July, and I've been working my way through many things. Also, life has kept me busy, even prior to my wife's passing. Still, I do plan to keep this series going. Also, it looks like @cbishop, if I recall right, may have to take back some words about Marvel Mayhem being gone. Once this is posted, it will be posted shortly afterwards on Archive of Our Own and Fanfiction. Now, I hope you enjoy this fifth story in this series, and a rewrite of Issue two of the Marvel Mayhem 2.0 series On The Run.
|Generation X/Marvel Mayhem Disclaimer|
Attention: Generation X and their villains, as well as any other mutant mentioned in this work, is property of Marvel Comics. The character Richard Cale is one of my own development. There will be changes to some of the characters background, as this work is an alternate of the Marvel Mayhem series on ComicVine.com.
|Previous Entry||Eyes In The Field|
Story 5: Goodbye Paris (A rewrite of On The Run: Story 2: Found In Paris)
Paris, the capitol of the country France, is said to be the most romantic city in the world. Countless tourists come to the French capital with the sole purpose of infusing their lives with romance, in an effort to improve their relationships.
One such couple in the city at the time, however, was not there for the romance, yet found themselves doing something people might call romantic. This young couple consisted of the British mutant named Richard Cale, and the redheaded mutant girl from Yugoslavia named Yvette. They had not come to Paris for romance, but to hide from the menace known as Emplate.
For the past week, the two had remained hiding in an apartment in the corporate office of Richard Cale's father's company. The two had ventured forth briefly to get supplies, or clothing. In the rest of that time, they passed the time speaking about their lives. Richard also allowed his own power to lock on to Yvette's, knowing full well that this meant he would always have her power. They also took the time, and safety, to rest up. If they figured things right, they might not have time to get much rest after they left the place.
Richard had learned, during that week, that Yvette had lost her family in an explosion, which she was certain was caused by Emplate. He also learned Yvette had been a good student in school, as well as a natural gymnast. He had seen her keep her balance on one foot for nearly half an hour.
He also learned more about her powers during that week, since his own power took them on. When the power was active, their skin was almost untouchable. It also meant their clothing would be cut to shreds, so before each time they used that aspect of her powers, they had to strip down. The only things that could withstand it was the straps Yvette had been in when he found her.
Yvette had learned more about Richard that week as well. She learned that his father was one of the wealthiest men in England. She also learned that he was an only child. He seemed to value his family, even though he had, as he put it, butted heads with his father from time to time. It usually concerned some of the business decisions his father made. Thanks to the mental link that had formed, she also learned that he was always thinking, even when it looked like he wasn’t . She had a feeling that would be very important in the coming days.
They tried to figure out more about Richard’s abilities, even though he figured that all their time together might result in him holding on to her abilities for the rest of his life. Sometimes, when they put some distance between them in the apartment, he had said it felt like the power was starting to weaken. They then would try staying close to one another for a while, and eventually, he said he didn’t feel it was weakening when they were apart. This information allowed them to figure that he must have needed to hold a power for the total time of a week. What they weren’t sure on, however, was if he could pick up another power or not. This didn’t bother them, since keeping her power meant they didn’t have to worry about hurting each other, and with their budding relationship, they could even be intimate if they wanted to.
By the time that week was over, they had decided that it would be safe to venture out. Of course, they weren’t going to be naïve about it. They knew that they could be recognized on sight, so they put on the outfits that would disguise how they looked. For Yvette, it meant putting on a wide brimmed hat that hid her red hair. They had dismissed the idea of a wig. It also fit well with the blue dress she had gotten on the one trip out. For Richard, he had gotten a porkpie hat, and a pair of eyeglass frames. While Yvette might have thought it didn’t look like much of a disguise at first, he somehow made it look like he was a different person.
They had then left the apartment, with Richard carrying a carryon bag holding all the items they had. Since they felt they would have to leave Paris that day, they also decided to take one risk. They might not get another chance to do so, so they made their way to the most famous museum in the world: The Louvre. To Yvette’s surprise, when they entered the place, no one seemed to question the bag he carried. They were free to walk around the museum, taking in all the sights.
Eventually, the two teens made their way to the most famous work in the building. Yvette marveled at seeing the Mona Lisa in person. She had only seen it in her school books, and felt that seeing it in person was much better. As they looked at it, she said to Richard, “It is beautiful, especially the smile. I’ve always wondered what she was thinking at that moment.”
She felt Richard stand a little closer to her, and part of her hoped he would put his arm around her. She felt, with the past week together, it would be alright. While he didn’t, he did whisper in her ear what he apparently knew about the painting. “That smile is part of one of the greatest mysteries in the art world. Some people believe that the Mona Lisa was a noble woman, while others believe it is a self portrait of Leonardo.” He paused, and then Yvette heard something that made her blush. “Personally, I’ve seen a more beautiful smile this past week.”
For a moment, she forgot about the Mona Lisa, and felt self conscious. After all she had told him over the past week, including how she had ended up with Emplate, he thought she was beautiful. Part of her was ashamed that her past was so tragic, but another part of her was certain it couldn’t be that tragic again. An explosion wouldn’t steal Richard from her like it had taken her parents. He literally made her life complete.
Richard could tell he had embarrassed her a little, and felt a little bad doing so. Since he now had her power, and during the week, he felt like it was right they were together. He should be able to tell her the truth. He took her hand, and softly said, “Sorry. I didn’t mean to embarrass you, but it’s the truth.” He saw her look back at him, and saw the lovely smile on her face again. It was a smile that told him things were right in the world.
While they both thought that, the Paris skyline changed. All of a sudden, a new structure joined it. Normally, the sudden appearance of a lighthouse in the Parisian skyline would cause people to react in a panic. The placement of it, however, seemed to blend in with the buildings already in the skyline. It was also why no one took notice of the odd assortment coming from the building. Some people, however, did notice the building, and the individuals. They could sense the menace, and felt it was wise to disappear from sight for a while. It was a kind of instinct that prey developed when they sensed a predator around.
The people that came from that building weren’t after the individuals that decided to go into hiding. They were seeking two specific individuals, and knew where to locate them. The group made its way, discretely, to one area of Paris. This area was around an office building, one that was set in the merchant district of Paris. They were acting on information relayed to them by another individual, one recruited to watch out for their quarry. By the time they were all in place, only someone who knew who they were would know they were there.
Those figures were all in place when the young couple was leaving the Louvre. As they left the Louvre, Yvette voiced a serious question to her rescuer. “Richard, do you think you could take on another power in the same amount of time as it took to take on mine?” It was a serious question, since they both knew they were being sought after by Emplate.
She glanced over at Richard as they passed the glass pyramid made by I. M. Pei, and saw he was thinking about it. She had learned to recognize the look he had when he was deep in thought. He had rested his hand against his chin, and had pursed his lips. Eventually, as they walked, making their way back to where they had been staying, he answered. “It could take twice as long. If that is the case, if Emplate were to capture us, he might keep me close to him for weeks.” She felt him shudder as he said that. She even shuddered at the thought of that. She didn’t want to think of how he might be in that case.
Yvette tried to look at the skyline, to marvel at it and forget her fear. She froze, however, when she saw what she saw. She grabbed Richard’s arm, and squeezed it, hoping her hand wasn’t tensing up and cutting his clothes. “Are you seeing what I’m seeing?” She glanced over at him, and saw him nod. She then said, “How did he find us?”
Richard thought about it as he tried to answer her question. He had an idea of how Emplate had found them, but he wasn’t entirely certain. “It could be a coincidence. We had been very careful when we went out.” He look at her, and he saw her nod. They started to walk again, and as they did, he tried to figure out how Emplate could have found them.
He had brought Yvette to Paris for a few reasons. First off, the size of the city would have made it hard for them to be found in it. Second, since his father’s company had a branch in the city, they could stay in one of the apartments, avoiding appearing on a hotel guest list. Third, he had figured that when they left, they would use the Metro station that was linked to the building. That way, they could leave the city in secret. That was thought up before they decided to visit the Louvre.
He glanced at Yvette, and then put his arm around her. He felt her relax a little, and he said, “It could be that he figured that we would have came to Paris, and doesn’t know exactly where we are. They could be searching the city looking for us.”
Yvette felt a bit comforted by that, but she couldn’t shake a feeling she had. She had had that feeling when he came to the manor. She felt like she should be cowering before him, but she didn’t want to be. “Is this what we will have to deal with every day of our lives? Always watching our backs, thinking he might be behind us.” She had slowed her steps as they walked, and fought the urge to look back. She had a feeling that if she did, someone might think they were up to something. It would look that way with the bag Richard was carrying, especially as they had come from the Louvre.
As they walked, she leaned in close to Richard. It helped to relax her a bit, and as they walked, he said something that reassured her. “Right now, the plan is to get back to the apartment, and use the Metro entrance linked to the building. If he has found us, we have a back up plan ready. We will know when we get closer to the building.” She nodded, and felt a little better. She sighed a little, and hoped that they could get back into the building.
As they got closer to the company building, two figures stood outside it. Like the couple, they also wore disguises, but they had different reasons for doing so. Their goal was to find and capture the couple for their master, Emplate. They were both thralls, and had they not had on outfits, they would stick out in a crowd. The one, whose disguise was hardly effective at all since his power gave him greater bulk, was named Bulwark, and he was keeping an eye out for the couple. In fact, every time he spotted a couple, he started to move towards them. This action usually resulted in the other figure placing a hand on his arm, saying “It’s not them,” as he did so.
This other figure wore a trench coat with a high collar. This hid his purplish skin, and obscured his face from curious people. While Bulwark’s look could be explained as into the alternative lifestyle, this figure’s appearance had no easy explanation. He was also the brighter of the two, for as Bulwark looked at him, he explained why he stopped him. “That girl is obviously older than Yvette. Besides, the man is blond. We need to focus on who is entering the building.” This purple man, known as Vincente, pointed to the door of the building to emphasize the statement. “Remember, the master’s source figured young Cale might be stopping here, if they feel threatened. All we have to do is wait for them to arrive.”
Vincente saw his partner nod, and start looking at the door. As he did so, he noticed that his partner was obviously trying to focus on who they were looking for. In fact, he knew Bulwark would want to find young Cale again. The young mutant had managed to sucker punch him when he broke Yvette out. Soon, he realized the muscle in their little pairing had started to focus on one couple, but he shook his head. “That one is wearing glasses. I didn’t see glasses on the one that broke Yvette out.” Vincente was glad that Bulwark was catching on.
He decided to look around, and in the far corner of the area, was another couple. The man wasn’t the young Cale lad, but looked similar. The man was wearing glasses, but something wasn’t right. He couldn’t see the lenses. That was suspicious, but he dismissed it, since that could be a trick of the light. The girl with him looked similar to Yvette as well, but there was no trace of red hair. It was possible that it was hidden under the hat she appeared to wear, but he couldn’t be certain. The brim of her own hat seemed to obscure her eyes as well.
He stopped looking at them as his eyes were drawn to a teenager in the area. It was another girl, whose figure was similar to Yvette’s. There was one serious difference, however, that did tell him that the girl was a mutant. She had a squirrel tail on her. He wondered what kind of power it was linked to. It was also a hypnotic sight to watch, especially as she started to go in the same direction of the couple he had just seen. They were obviously now walking away from them. He then noticed that the male was carrying some sort of carry-on bag.
The couple that had been walking away was Richard and Yvette, and they had noticed the strange duo watching the building they had been staying in. Luckily, they hadn’t been close enough to be recognized by the odd duo waiting there. Yvette had been the first to notice them, since she was a bit more familiar with Emplate’s minions. She had realized the bulky one had to be Bulwark, and she had immediately warned Richard. They had luckily turned their backs on the duo. As they did, Yvette spoke to Richard in the mental linked they shared.
She glanced over at Richard, and he only shook his head side to side. Just those words made her worry. They had only ventured out once in the area, and that was to pick up some more clothing for her. The second time, they stayed closer to the area, and got some food.
As they started to move farther from the area, she wanted to ask what he meant, but before she could, she noticed an odd look on his face. He looked uncomfortable. She then noticed the girl that was close to her own age who had stopped to look at something right near him. She had a tail that was just like a squirrel’s tail. A horrified thought then crossed her mind, and she glanced back. At that moment, she noticed two frightening sights.
The first one was that Richard was now sprouting a tail as well. It was a bushy squirrel’s tail, and under normal conditions, she would have marveled at how such and odd event was happening to Richard. A small part of her even wondered what would happen when the power left him, how it would look. That, however, wasn’t the most important thought on her mind.
The second sight was the thing that worried her most. The one figure of the duo had been watching them, or possibly the girl. It was now pointing in their direction, and they had noticed Richard sprouting a tail. She grabbed Richard’s hand, and said in the mental link,
As they ran, Vincente grab Bulwark’s arm, and said, “There they go. I just saw Cale sprout a tail like that girl that went next to him.” As he started to move, he inwardly cursed that there was so many people around. Emplate had ordered them not to draw too much attention, and the meant he couldn’t use his power. They would have to do everything on foot.
As they ran up to the where the couple had been, he saw them turn a corner. As they closed the distance, he heard Cale’s voice say, “There. We’ll lose them in the Metro.” Vincente had to laugh at that. While there would no doubt be people down there, he could use his powers once they went down.
When he and Bulwark turned the corner, he didn’t see the couple, but he did see the entrance to the Metro. It was obvious what they had done. He put a hand up and said, “Bulwark, stay a few steps back. Once I’m down, I’ll take all their breath away. Then we just have to grab their unconscious forms.” He saw the big guy nod in understanding, and he went down the steps.
This particular station was busy, but it wasn’t too busy. The train hadn’t arrived yet, and there was no way his quarry would have gotten to the tracks yet. With that in mind, he made the transition from solid state to gaseous state. He became a living mist, and started to spread out in the Metro station. He loved the panic his purple gaseous from caused, and that was good. He could enter more people as they panicked. In fact, they were also quicker to knock out.
While Vincente was doing that, thinking he had caught the duo unaware, they had actually ducked into a shop they had taken note of when they had left that morning. They had ducked into that shop, and had moved far enough back so that they couldn’t be seen too easily from the entrance to the Metro station. They didn’t move from that spot until they saw the bigger of the two start heading down out of sight.
For a moment, the two felt guilty about all the lives they had just put at risk. Richard felt a little more to blame. He had forgotten to keep the range of his powers in check, especially when that girl with the squirrel tail had passed him. If he had, they might not have even had to run. He hoped, however, that he made the right choice making the thralls think they had gone down there. He recalled the history lessons about Winston Churchill, and now had understood how hard his choices had been back in World War II.
He took a moment to check the shop, and noticed that only one person was watching them. It was a girl of African decent, and when he looked in her direction, she turned away. He also remember seeing her before. He turned back to look at Yvette when he heard her speak to him. “How are we going to get down to the Metro now, with them down there? Weren’t we going to take the Metro to leave Paris?”
He shook his head, not wanting to speak aloud, at least not his actual plan now. He now had to agree with Yvette that Emplate had found them, and now he had a good idea how. He then said, “Yes. With them down there, we can make our way to the Metro entrance in the building.” He risked a glance in the direction of the girl he spotted before, and saw she had been listening, only confirming his beliefs.
He then started to lead Yvette to the entrance on the other side of the shop, since it was the length of the block it was in. As they headed to that entrance, he mentally said to her, Thankfully, she just nodded, and didn’t question what he was planning.
As they left the store, the figure Richard had spotted was watching him and Yvette leave. She had seen them before, and figured out where they had come from. Luckily, she had used the device given to her to cover her long disappearance from home so she could help Emplate capture those two again. Luckily, the holographic cloak was still working, so she didn’t reveal her actual identity to them.
She ducked into a spot out of sight, and dropped the cloak while no one could see her. She then switched on the communications part of the device, and said, “They didn’t go into the Metro near the shop. They are heading back to the building.” She then ducked farther back, sneaking into the shop’s restroom.
After a moment, she heard a raspy voice respond to her news “Very good. You may head back to your home for the time being. Hopefully, they will walk right back into my clutches.” The spy, Paige Guthrie, turned off the communications part of the unit, and then activated the teleportation part of the device, and returned back to her home in the United States. She knew Emplate would need her services again, so she kept the unit handy.
Emplate was thankful of that bit of news. He had expected that move, and had put Paige in that very shop. She had notified him once his quarry entered the Louvre. He had figured Cale would hide in his father’s company, but he wasn’t entirely sure why the place was selected. The fact that it would conceal them as they went to the Metro did make sense. All other entrances would have been public, and if they were hiding from him, they would avoid getting into Metro that way if they could.
He made his way towards the front of the building, and kept an eye on things. He would remain out of synch with the world, watching everyone go by. This was the only way into the building, as he could see. It would only be a matter of time before Yvette was his again, and he would have Richard Cale as well. He had learned about the boy’s power, and knew he wanted that one as a special thrall.
As he surveyed the area, he was momentarily distracted by a cab that was going by. As it passed, he noticed the trace of a mutant aura coming from the back of the vehicle. He didn’t think Paige had been spotted, but if she had been, she wouldn’t have been recognized. They would, however, know that he had a spy. If that was the case, he realized they wouldn’t be coming back to the building at all. They would find an alternative way out of the city, like a cab.
He returned his gaze to the cab just as it turned a corner. It was now out of sight, and by the time he would get the others together, he would not be able to trace them. He would have to have D.O.A. trace Cale. It would only be a matter of time before they do something that would have them detected. Most likely, Cale would access his bank account in some way.
The truth was that Yvette and Richard Cale were in the cab that was now speeding away. Richard had told the cabbie to take them to the farthest train station from that point in Paris, promising a nice tip when he did so. He had no problem in doing so, since he was promising a three digit tip. The cabbie would even take them out of the city if they were going to promise such a huge tip.
As the cabbie drove, he took a moment to look at his two passengers. They appeared to be tense as they passed the big British company. The cabbie remembered the stink that building had caused when it went up, but when the owner made sure mostly Parisian were hired there, the stink went away. Now that they were leaving the building behind them, they relaxed. He also noticed that in some of their actions, it appeared they were communicating. He didn’t overly care if they were mutants or not. He could tell, however, that they were young lovers. When the male told him that they wanted to go to Rennes-le-Chateau, he didn’t ask any questions. It seemed to be a popular spot for one of two groups: mystery seekers, and lovers. He didn’t care, since they were going to pay well. He just made his way to the train station. The cabbie didn’t realize that he had just saved them from a proverbial monster, and a fate worst than death.
|Library Page||RichGenX's Library - Marvel Mayhem (Original and Alternate)|