Greetings and salutations, faithful reader! Welcome back to Story Time With Tim! Hope last weeks offering was entertaining for you because here we have the second part of GNR Illusions! The novella I was once writing for a fan fiction endeavor! Anyhow, I don’t have a whole lot more to say about it so I’m just going to let the story speak for itself. Sure, it isn’t great but it certainly demonstrates the growth of my writing starting from the late 90’s and moving into the new millennium.
Without further ado, Story Time With Tim:
I remember dis place…
A riverfront mansion…
The art deco was something that the mutant thief calling himself ‘Gambit’ could quite get into. Looking around and about his position, he could see that the entire interior of this mansion was laden with precious art from around the world. Gambit only wished that he had the time required to pilfer this mansion for all its worth, and then some. However, there was business at hand, and his employer was not a happy man. Of course, neither Gambit. He’d been all over this mansion only to find it already inhabited. This was a dangerous environment for a thief and he was hardly ever eager to ‘work’ around potential witnesses.
Gambit didn’t imagine that there were many of them here, but more than enough. And obviously well into the finer art of ‘S&M’, if the black and red leather suits with spikes upon them and spiked collars as well were any indication. Though he wished too to spy the action, there was still a minor difficulty…
Par le diabolique un se! Where is she!? He said she’d be here! Eh? Wha’s dis? Gambit hides himself behind a pillar and bears witness to a young, white haired girl leaping from the third floor balcony in the spacious, open main hall. At its bottom, there was a pool and the only thing to break the impending and sudden stop at the end of her fall. Gambit looked to where the girl had just jumped from and saw a glowing energy pattern flailing out after her. It was in the form of a massive hand and this unnerved Gambit to no extent.
Mon Dieu! I know that energy signature! And if he’s here, den small chere in trouble! With that thought in mind, the Gambit makes his way over to the rippling pool that the young girl feel into.Could she be? A thought enters his head as he considers his mission. Too much is riding on this. Non…she is too young. But… the ethnicity…of African heritage if not a few or more degrees lighter in tone. And she looked as if she tried to fly…
Gambit doesn’t finish his line of thought as he draws near to the girl now crawling out of the water. She drags herself onto the pool’s edge and notices him with panicked eyes. He says nothing as he extends his hand to help her out of the pool. The girl is afraid, there is no doubt. And Gambit has every reason to understand the girl’s fear.
Still he does not speak as he escorts the drenched girl off to another room. She tries to speak but he silences her with his index finger to his lips and she closes her mouth back shut and goes with the stranger to a room on the west side of the mansion.
Dat’s how it was, wasn’t it? Yes…
Admiring eyes take in the work of art before them. Quickly, the mind behind the eyes assesses the piece as an early Picasso. Quick cash for a quick thief. However, this one’s mind is not on thievery but o the course of action at hand.
The room had very little light, with what light there was illuminating from one small lamp in the corner of the large, Grecian designed room. As well, moonlight splayed into the room through the large, oaken braced windows. On the couch, sat the small girl watching the thief with careful eyes. She had been watching him, afraid, for the last fifteen minutes…or rather, ever since he brought her to this room and told her quietly to sit and be patient while he weighed his options. She had not known about the vault, and wondered why a vault had windows. Obviously, the original owner hadn’t a care of potential criminals like the one before her and she herself. Now, his back was to her and his attention elsewhere, she assumed on the art and figured him for what he was, a thief.
Interesting predicament, non, Gambit? Hmph, now what? A thief with no name protecting a girl whom could be…but she isn’t. But if she isn’t, then where? I wish he hadn’t made me come ‘ere. He could ‘ave sent anyone to retrieve this woman…or is it girl? He didn’t make that clear! C’mon, Remy, when does he ever make it clear? Gambit senses movement behind him. Yet, he doesn’t turn. He already knows. The girl…she gonna bolt. I should stop her, but she ain’t my responsibility! So let her bolt. As the girl stands and creeps to the door, Gambit remains motionless. Until he senses something else…behind the door. Uh-oh!
“Attendez, Chere! Watch the door!!”
The young girl turned and looked at the man too late as she turned the knob. From behind which one of the spike-leather clad people burst through. The girl fell backwards with the strange man leering at her. However, to her, he looked far more feral than any human she’d remembered seeing.
Gambit moved quickly before the man-beast could do any harm to the young girl. He spoke as he whipped out a throwing spike and charged it with his natural mutant ability. The spike glowed with the kinetic energy.
“Do us both a favor, hey, pup-pup? Scoot away from de girl…Other ideas, eh? Gonna carry the kidling back to your boss, claim a pat on la tete and an extra ration of yummies? Figured as much. Can’t let you do dat.”
In one swift underhand toss, the charged spike leaves Gambit’s hand and flies towards the man-beast. The spike makes contact with a wall behind the thing and explodes. The force sends the creature sprawling across the floor and into unconsciousness. The creature known as a “Hound” had absorbed nearly all the blast’s pressure. Yet, still enough pressure sent the young girl flying into the arms of Gambit, whom couldn’t resist the quick quip.
“Hasn’t been your night, eh, Chere? Or maybe it has– considering how often I’m here to rescue you.”
The girl looked into the strangers eyes and was taken aback. They glowed bright red and before she knew it, she was spouting out her own comment with a bit more irritation in her words than she intended.
“I am called STORM! An I don’ need you! Do fine enough on my own!”
“Yeah, right, tell me another. I’m Gambit, Stormy, an I don’ believe a word. Some great choice you leave me…A fortune in classical art…or you. Paintings’ll keep. Us t’ieves…we have to stick together. ‘Sides, I’m intrigued. If you’re who I think you are…I’d like to find out how you got so good so young.”
Yeah, you found dat out all right. And the mission…? Cairo, Illinois…
A riverfront mansion…
Remy Lebeau, aka GAMBIT, mutant thief–or is that ‘ex-thief’?, extraordinaire stands beside what used to be the main hall’s pool. Now, it lies dried up and the mansion desolate. Broken down and in ruins was now this place’s legacy. No more fresh greenery as several years before. And the air, stale as the air trapped in a sunken ship.
It has been a long time since the Shadow King has roosted here. Now…only memories remain. Memories of distant missions long forgotten. And ones that Gambit had hope to forget and never complete. Yet, here he was at his beckoning.
Gambit takes in the sight of the poolside edge where Ororo Munroe, Storm—or “Stormy” by Gambit’s accord, transformed into a young girl, had once been pulled to safety by a tall and dark, handsome stranger. A stranger on less than a nice mission. Sure, he and she, they had fun times together…but overall, he was to get her to accept him. And then to get her to allow him entrance to the mutant team known as the X-Men. How fortunate for him then, that Storm had desired and bade him entrance unto the team. And Gambit was well accepted. At least at first. Of course, that was long before the trial. And the mission?
Gambit crossed his arms and stared with an icy stare towards the unknown darkness as if waiting for it to move. And when it did, he was not at all frightened or nervous or in want. The shadow moved and spoke to him.
“I am…please…that you could come, Remy.”
The tall and fearsome figure approached Gambit from the opposite side of the pool and stopped. He saw that his influence over the mutant had been tainted…maybe even eliminated. The tall man’s figure stood tall and unwavering, though his great smile, faded just a touch. But not enough to allow Gambit to notice. However, Gambit noticed and didn’t care. His icy gaze stayed fixed.
“Stow it, Sinister. We ain’ her to walk down memory lane…what do you want?”
Yes, definitely fading…but we will soon remedy that. Sinister knew that his tenous hold on the thief was almost gone but he also knew he had a few trump cards left to play.
“I’m hurt, Gambit…tell me again why you chose such a…intuitive name?”
Blazing red eyes bright like fired coals glare into the once renowned geneticist. And for a second, a cold sweat nearly broke out in the madman. But merely a fraction of a second in response to the ‘nothing’ this man Gambit spoke.
“The mission I assigned you…what seems like ages ago…I need you to finish it.”
“I thought you dropped that business?”
“Let’s just say…it…reemerged.”
Sinister smiles broadly in almost a sneer intended for the Cajun. And with that he begins to walk closer to Gambit. Gambit in turn holds up his hand to stop Sinister from coming any closer.Where is my hold? Sinister stops seven feet away and still maintains his grin. Gambit doesn’t budge. Instead, he stands taller with his trench coat blanketing his body. Only the Cajun’s steeled boots show from beneath the coat. Something…has definitely changed. Hmm, I wonder?
Gambit stays silent for only moments and then speaks to Sinister with increasing threat in his voice. This enrages Sinister whom remains composed. However, all his carefully laid out plans are falling apart at the seams and it seems to him that now Gambit is the master weaver.
“I am under no obligation to do anything for you anymore…”
Sinister opens his mouth to speak but is cut off…
“I ain’ finished! As I was sayin….However, dis I t’ink mus’ be done. ‘Sides, I owe dis one…a little bit o’ Cajun payback.”
The tall geneticist watches Gambit turn and walk away. His smile widens and he feels in control again…that soon his way will be done and complete. It is at this junction, that Gambit turns…
“By the way, don’ go t’inkin you won. You ain’. Right now, I’m holdin’ all de cards an’ I’ll use ’em, if I have to. Believe me.”
Mister Sinister, arch-nemesis of the X-Men…incredulous figure in history responsible for the most despicable of creations, hate-crimes, and sacrilege…can only stare smiling at first. Until that smile fades…gradually at first. Then, suddenly, it disappears all together in sudden realization in what Gambit is referring to. He stares then, coldly. No teeth bared…only a look of pure evil and hatred for this once X-Man, once thief, now once ex-thief. And that thief turns, knowing that his message was delivered and received all the same and complete and understood. Without another look back, Gambit enters the shadowy depth of the main hall beyond. Sinister doesn’t move even until well after the gentle ‘clang’ of the front door. And Sinister wishes suddenly that he’d never made an attempt at this young and dangerous mutant. I should have left you in the cradle…
There you go! Thanks for reading and hope you come back next week for some more Story Time With Tim! There isn’t much left of Gambit and Rogue Illusions. However, I do think there will still be two more postings left in the novella. So, come back, stay tuned, and we’re almost done with GNR Illusions! Then, another short story!
Thanks for reading and I’ll read to you all again soon!
~Timothy S Purvis
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