XMEN THE MAFIA - Day 5: Mafia Hit - Bird on a Wire

The mutants chose to gather in the cafeteria, thinking it would be the least unnerving place to spend the night. In here, there were fewer reminds of the atrocities and murders that had been committed, and the air was lighter; not so heavily hung with the aura of death. In the kitchen, the managed to find a few cabinets full of canned food, which they eagerly dug in to. As they sat at one cluster of tables, eating in silence, Quinn spoke. “Someone needs to keep watch. We’ll take shifts.”

“Keep watch for what?” another mutant asked, and a silencing glare from Sabertooth was the only answer that they received. There were a few places that Quinn wanted guarded, key among them being the gate to the camp and the entrances to the building they were currently in. Further attempts to discover what Quinn (or maybe Sabertooth?) was scared of were met only with more ambiguity. They were instructed to report immediately if they saw “anything obvious, or anything suspicious”.

They drew straws to see who would watch first, while the others slept. The first group went to their posts, while the others huddled together in the cafeteria, and spoke in hushed whispers. The sun had gone down, and the entire camp had transformed. In the day, it was like walking through an old war museum, where you only looked at the instruments of death, only read about the atrocities committed. At night, the place felt truly haunted, completely saturated with the souls of the dead. Those on watch stood at their posts, clutched by a sense of impending dread, and waited anxiously for their shifts to be over so that they could return to their companions, the realm of the living.

The first shift returned to the cafeteria and the second shift went to take their place. Among the replacements was The Humming Bird, who drew the worst of the posts: the gate. The others were only a few moments away from the others, but the guard at the gate was across the complex, a several-minute away run from help.

Birdie arrived at her post, and climbed the ladder up to the guard platform attached to the gate. She would probably be the safest up here. She could see for miles in all directions, and no one could climb the ladder without her noticing. She settled in for a long four hours, and looked out across the bleak landscape. Almost immediately, she saw something moving far away in the distance. At first it looked like a living shadow. She leaned over the railing for a better look, but before she could focus, something thin, cold, and metal looped around her neck. Before she could react, she was lifted off the ground and her petite form was pivoted forward and over the railing. She opened her mouth to scream, but the supersonic cry for help only lasted an instant before the wire around her neck snapped taut and dug deep in to her flesh, making a ruin of her narrow throat and delicate voicebox. She dangled at the end of the wire, strangling in her own blood, unable to do anything to save herself.

Back inside the cafeteria, the other mutants heard nothing, but all simultaneously became afflicted with sharp headaches as a result of Birdie’s short scream, which had been too high-pitched for any of them to hear. None of them would make the connection until hours later, when Birdie did not return from her shift.

Meanwhile, an hour after Birdie’s death, a shadowy, shifty figure emerged from the landscaped, approached the camp, and scaled the gate. The passed unharmed through the barbed wire atop it, and made their way deeper in to the complex, towards the unsuspecting mutants.