X-MEN MAFIA TRANSIT: Shadows and Dust

It had stopped snowing while they were underground, and the sun had come up. Everything outside the subway terminal was blanketed in glowing white, and most of the group had to shield their eyes as they made their way out into the bright new world. Everything looked pristine, reborn, and the sky was a particularly promising shade of blue.

“Where are we?” Quinn heard a voice ask from somewhere behind her. She looked around. They were in a commercial district of some kind, though one that had been abandoned long ago. Most of the buildings showed signs of looting, and the streets were deserted. Evidently, they hadn’t gotten as far as she would have liked.

“Somewhere North of the city.”

“Are we safe here?”

“Nope,” she answered. “More people North.”

As they moved through the town, the only sound was that of snow crunching beneath their feet. Quinn knew the place had been dead for years, but every once in a while she thought she saw curtains flutter, and shadows sweep behind shattered windows. She saw them through Sabertooth also, and though there weren’t any odd scents on the wind, instinct told her they were not alone. They kept their guard up, and remained alert, but the pass through the town turned out to be uneventful. They reached the city limits a bit discouraged, as they had hoped to find a working vehicle of some kind. Those they found abandoned in the streets were either broken, or out of gas however, so the group was forced to continue out onto the open highway on foot.

After some time, a rest was in order, so the group huddled under a nearby oak. Quinn, who had decided to start building a snowman while she waited, was the first to see the body, a distant smudge on the snowy white canvas. As she approached, she knelt down beside it, and with some effort, turned it over so she could see who it was, or at least how it had died.

Quinn gasped, immediately recognizing the face of the deceased. She ran her fingers over the woman’s frozen skin, and then through her hair, dark save for a tuft of pure white that ran it’s length.

“I know you,” she whispered, petting the woman’s head lovingly. “I know you.”

The rest of the group gathered around to see what was going on, but none of them dared cross the invisible line Sabertooth was defending. Quinn sat alone with the body for the longest time, her head bowed as if in prayer, and though they couldn't be certain, some even thought she might be crying. When she finally came back, she looked paler then usual.

“We have to get out of here,” she said coldly. “It’s not safe.”

They didn’t question her, just followed east away from the road. Occasionally one of them looked back, and thought they saw a shadow moving against the blue and white horizon, but whenever their eyes tried to track the movement the shadow disapeared.

The Bagota internment camp had been abandoned once the solution to the mutant threat became more and more realized. Still, the massive sign that arched across the entrance, and the barbed wire fences gave the group pause before they walked through the gates. Bagota had widely been known as the place you sent problem mutants, those considered overly dangerous to society. Sabertooth himself had spent time here before being transferred to the Bronx facility for more in-depth experimentation. Most were not so lucky however, and in its prime, Bagota had taken the lives of thousands of mutants daily.

“Why in God’s name did we come here?”

“It’s the last place they would look,” Quinn snapped, starting to get annoyed at all the questions. “Besides, the fence should keep anything unpleasant out.”

“Yeah, unless they can fly.”

“Or jump really high.”

“Or are a twenty foot robot.”

“SHUT UP!” Quinn screamed. She pointed as Sabertooth swung the massive gates closed and bent one of the bars across to act as a makeshift lock. “That’s the best we can do!”

The others seemed agitated by her sudden outburst, but the look on Quinn’s face led them to believe question time was over. Wrapped in awkward silence, they began to explore the camp, and though her face betrayed her anxiety, Quinn didn’t tell anyone what she was so afraid of.