New Orleans

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New Orleans

Post by Kander on Sun Nov 08, 2015 3:35 pm

Gambit's intro- part 1


Jazz notes wove through the humid air, intermingling with the hundreds of voices on Bourbon street. Natives scammed tourists, barkers enticed the drunk and lonely into seedy strip clubs, and row after row of sleazy dive bars embraced the thirsty with open arms. Remy breathed in deep. He had been all over the world, but no city was quite as alive as New Orleans.

He wove his way through the crowd, licking the powdered sugar off of his fingers from a recent beignet. Life had been good these last few months. He had finally managed to broker a truce with Belladona and the assassin’s guild to allow him back into the city without being killed on sight. He hummed along with the sounds of the Musical Legends Park, and, seemingly lost in thought, collided with a man walking the opposite direction on the crowded street.

“Mon Dieu! Pardon, mon ami!” Remy said, giving the middle aged man a friendly pat on the shoulder.

“Ah, no no, it’s my fault. It’s my first time here, I was too busy looking around,” the man replied sheepishly.

“No worries here,” Remy exclaimed with an easy smile. “Dere’s always plenty ta see.” He nodded to the Nikon slung around the man’s neck. “Looks like a nice camera. I hope ya use it. Most people don’ tend ta remember deir first night in New ‘Ahlins, if you catch my drift. Den again, dat may be for da betta!” He gave a jovial wink and continued on.

Eventually he turned down an alleyway near the end of Bourbon, farther away from the festivities. The crowd was thinner here, the music muted. A few teens were hanging in the alley, playing dice by the look of it.

“Bonsoir, boys. I’m gonna need ya ta clear outta dis alleyway, if ya don’ mind. You’re not gon’ wanna be here, soon enough.”

The teens turned on the intruder, pride and testosterone filling their swelling their chests as they prepared what surely would have been a compelling and erudite response. Remy cut them off by waving a fistful of freshly-liberated tourist money in their faces.

“Don’ worry, I’ll pay ya for ya troubles.”

The boys swallowed their retorts and looked at each other uneasily. The offer seemed too good to be true, but eventually greed got the better of them and they snatched the money out of Remy’s hands and left to find some other perch for the night.

Remy walked farther into the alley, relaxing against a wall, facing the entrance. He took out one of the many decks he had in his pockets and started shuffling and cutting the cards, idly spinning them around his deft fingers with barely a thought.
A minute later, a tall, broad shouldered man in a sharp suit rounded the corner of the alley and stopped in his tracks seeing Gambit waiting for him. He tensed. The mutant stayed relaxed, but it was the deceptive laziness of a great cat eyeing its prey.

“Bonsoir. Tu parle francais? I doubt it, ‘cause ya clearly ain’t from ‘round here. If ya was, you’d’ve known dat dis is my town, an’ nobody gets da jump on me here. I picked ya up ‘round Decatur.” His drawling words were punctuated by the soft flapping of the cards. “Nah I don’ know what it is ya followin’ me for, but I was hopin’ we could talk about it widdout gettin’ da gents on da rooftops involved.”

The man in the suit grimaced and reached into his jacket, pulling out a pistol.

Remy sighed. “Guessin’ not.” He flicked one of his cards at the man, a pink streak that struck him in the chest before he leveled the gun. It exploded on impact, the sound muffled by the cacophony of the street, and sent the man spinning into the trash. Remy looked up at the men in tactical gear running down the fire escapes.

“Les’ just get dis ova wit’,” he said as more cards in his hands began to glow.

Kander
Keith

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Re: New Orleans

Post by Kander on Mon Nov 09, 2015 12:56 am

Glowing cards lanced through the air, fanning out and exploding against the rusted metal steps in front of the lead assailant. With no time to react he fell through the newly-created gap and landed hard on the landing below him, twisting his legs at an awkward angle and collapsing with an audible grunt, his gun flying out of his hands.

The man behind him had enough time and vaulted over the destroyed steps, made the bend in the stairs easily, and leapt over his pained companion towards the hand rail. He didn’t bother to use the ladder but rather launched himself over the railing, dispersing the impact of the eight foot drop with an expertly executed roll. He finished in a crouch, bringing a silenced submachine gun up to bear.

If the mutant known as Gambit was impressed, he did not show it. Another card was already slashing through the air, and before the would-be assassin could take aim it collided with his gun, blowing it roughly out of his hands and reducing it to scrap metal.

Undeterred, the agent whipped a knife out from a back holster and charged. Remy frowned. He was deliberately trying not to kill these men; the investigation (by those on both sides of the law) wouldn’t be worth the trouble. On the other hand, he wasn’t about to let himself be gutted in an alleyway.

The knife-wielder crossed the distance between them, but Remy was quicker. Another fan of cards flashed out, charged with kinetic energy. The man was expecting it and rolled to the side, barely dodging the cards, though it did disrupt his charge. He once more ended the roll in a crouch, barely five feet from Remy’s side, and proved that Gambit was not the only one who could throw as he hurled the knife toward Remy’s chest.

It was the mutant’s turn to narrowly dodge as he dropped to a crouch of his own, throwing out another fan of cards. The other man jumped over them, and as he descended upon Remy he flicked his right wrist, causing a hidden blade to extend from the palm of his glove.

Gambit may have been preternaturally fast, but even he wouldn’t be able to avoid this attack. Instead, he made the split second decision to drop the remaining cards he held and readied himself.

The two men collided with each other, rolling through the dark, dirty alleyway, their strained grunts and shuffling an odd accompaniment to the punchy jazz that lazily sauntered through the air.

To Remy it seemed like the struggle lasted hours, when in reality it was over in seconds. He was flat on the pavement with his assassin was on top of him. The blade was inches from his neck and descending, despite his best efforts to push the man’s arm back. This close Remy could see the other man’s eyes through his black ski mask, but all that was there was cold determination.

Remy had gotten soft. He almost regretted the last eight months of partying. Almost.

The shaking blade descended, a millimeter at a time. It wouldn’t be a minute before the blade pierced his throat.

In all the unbelievable adventures he had undertaken, in all the awe-inspiring places he had been (both on this planet and off), in all the insanely dangerous spots he had been in, Remy never thought he would die in New Orleans.

The blade slid lower, eager for his blood.

He had never thought he would die at the blade of a nameless assassin.

His knuckles were white, both hands gripping at the wrists of his assailant, pushing with all his strength. It was only delaying the inevitable. He slowly tried to adjust the grip of his left hand, but it just caused the knife to dip lower still. He stretched out his fingers to graze the cold steel of the knife.

He had never thought he would die on his back in an alley...and he wouldn’t. Not today. A purple-pink glow brightened the alley as he made contact with the blade and charged it with latent energy.

“Dis gon’ hurt you more dan it gon’ hurt me,” Gambit promised through clenched teeth.

He finally was able to get his feet under him and he jerked his body to the right. Simultaneously he adjusted his grip and yanked the assassin’s hand down to his left. The other man was powerless to stop the sudden reversal of momentum and the blade plunged down toward the asphalt. Remy grimaced and turned his head away, letting go of the man’s wrist at the last second.

The knife struck the ground.

The explosion was drowned out by the man’s screams. Bits of gravel stung Remy’s left cheek, and he felt warm blood splatter across his face. Not wasting any time, he bucked his hips and sent the man tumbling off him. Remy shot up and back peddled, wiping the blood off his face.

There was a crater where the man’s palm should have been. A few fingers were still attached tenuously to his body, but for the most part his hand was a ruined stump. A stream of foreign curse words ran from his mouth like a spigot. Sounded Russian.

Remy picked up the man’s knife and turned to face the other assassin from the fire escape, now attempting to limp up behind him. Remy held the knife, point first, ready to throw.

“You really tink dat’s a good idea?” he said, panting. “Why don’ you just get dat old fella who was also followin’ me? He’s da boss, ain’t he?”

“Yes, you are correct.” Came a voice from the entrance of the alley. An older gentleman, dressed stately with a neatly trimmed white beard, leaned on a cane, regarding Remy evenly. “Stand down, Ivan. Get your comrades out of here. You’re done.”

“Ain’t nobody done here till I get an explanation,” Remy spat.

“You’ll have to forgive me, Mr. LeBeau. There’s an item I need aquired, and I heard you were one of the few people on the planet who acquire it for me. I also heard that you dropped off the face of the earth and haven’t done a job in nearly a year, so after I tracked you down I needed to be sure you were still sharp. You are...a little rough around the edges, maybe, but quick. And resourceful. Both valuable traits.”

“You must have some big brass ones attempting a hit on da guild’s home turf, even if it’s for a ‘test’. I don’ want your test and I don’ want your job. I haven’t worked a job in eight months because I don’ want to. You ain’t gon’ change my mind. Now kindly go ta hell before I get real mad.”

“Oh, now Mr. LeBeau, don’t be so dismissive. I promise you I have incentives prepared. All I need you to do is liberate an item from a corporation. Believe me when I say I won’t take no for an answer.”

Gambit struggled not to roll his eyes. He had heard that one before. Still, he played along.

“Oh, yeah? Supposin’ I was interested, what corporation would dis be?”

“One I suspect you’re familiar with...Worthington Industries.”

Kander
Keith

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