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On the Beat
Alexandra Thorne sighed and let her chin rest in her folded
hands. She was tired and hungry and she didn't think there
was one muscle in her body that wasn't aching, due to the
hours she had spent sitting at her desk in the NYPD HQ, going
through the evidences in her new case, or what little she
had. The absolute fruitlessness of her work didn't help to
lift her mood. Additionally, she despised this desk work.
She felt rather like Power girl than Research girl. But during
her time in the NYPD she had learned that she couldn't bump
her head through every wall, though that was what she was
still best at. So, she had sat down like a good girl and scanned
through the file of Mr. X that was little more than rumors
and worthless testimony. But this was the first big case that
has been given to her after her promotion and Detective Alexandra
Thorne wanted to solve it - badly.
And so this complete lack of results after hours of hard
work pissed her off big time. She tossed the file off her
desk and searched for something to follow the example, at
best something fragile, that would make a noise and maybe
dampen her anger. Her glance fell to the framed picture of
her still-boyfriend Cody, who was momentarily problem #2 on
her list, and she had found what was most likely to follow
the file. But before she could toss it, a strong hand clasped
around her arm and held it firmly.
"Hey, kid. Demolishin' yer furniture won't help much. Believe
me, I know." Xandra heard the low, rumbling voice of Lieutenant
Logan had been the one who had taken care of her when she
had arrived as freshman from the police school in the Big
Apple, in his own, gruff way, taught her what she needed to
know to survive out there, on the streets. Rumors said he
had once been an agent for the government and that his job
here was some kind of retirement compared to what he had done
before. Xandra didn't know why he was doing this, maybe out
of boredom. Anyway, she was glad, she liked the man. But at
the moment she was just too frustrated to deal with whatever
he may want.
"Logan, look, Ah'm not in the mood to talk. It's late and
Ah... why are y'all here anyway, it's 10 p.m.?"
"Could ask you the same question, kid. I don't like to hang
at home and do nothing..."
Xandra grinned. She knew Logan's apartment was rather a place
where the mail was delivered to than where he lived, it would
be the last place where she would look for him.
"...and so I had to choose, stay here and see if I can help
some overzealous would-be police officer, or go to 'Kurt's'
and get drunk. And since I did that yesterday my constructive
Xandra could very well imagine Logan's previous evening.
'Kurt's' was their favorite haunt and the owner, Kurt Wagner,
was a buddy of Logan, though Xandra had only found that out
after weeks. It wasn't easy to tell if Logan was close to
somebody, he hid that well. But Kurt was also a valuable source
of information. He seemed to know everything that was going
on in the town. Also, Xandra suspected Logan to have a special
interest in Kurt's waitress, a pretty redhead called Jean,
but she would never ask him. That was an unspoken rule in
their friendship, don't meddle in the other's private life!
"Thanks for th' offer, but Ah think Ah'm done here. Ah haven't
made any progress, so that's it for today. Maybe tomorrow,
when Ah'm able to think straight again, Ah'll have the brainwave
Ah'm missing today."
"Shall I drive you home?" Logan asked.
Alexandra looked at the picture she still held in her hand.
Home. To Cody. She wrinkled her nose.
"No thanks, Ah think today's my 'Kurt's' day." she said after
a moment of hesitation. She wasn't really in the mood for
'Kurt's', but that was better than having to face what she's
been avoiding the last couple of weeks, a conversation with
Cody. Like so many times before, Logan seemed able to read
"If you need a place to stay, you can have my place, don't
need it anyway."
He tossed her the keys and she smiled at him thankfully.
It was good to know there were people she could rely on. The
young Detective stood up to finally leave her work place,
her leather jacket in her hand when Logan addressed her once
"By the way, remember the woman they arrested yesterday?
The black one? Top class thief, maybe knows something about
your mysterious friend."
Well, that was at least something to start with the next
morning, Xandra decided and thanked him. She walked to her
new home, relishing the fresh air and not regretting for one
second to have refused Logan's offer to drive her home on
his Harley. The next day she would find something, get on
in this Sisyphus task that arresting Mr X seemed to her. She
would solve this case, she swore herself a holy oath. And
nobody and nothing would stop her.
The next morning, Detective Thorne entered the women jail.
She asked the guard for the black thief that had been arrested
the day before, showing him her ID and the permission she
had got from Forge before. The guard led her to a cell and
opened it for her to enter, then came in behind her. The woman
sat at the window, looking out in the rain. She was incredibly
exotic, with dark skin and white hair. She wore an inhibitor
what was standard these days with mutant prisoners. Yes, mutants
were accepted and, in the course of equality, were arrested
in the same jails, but they had to wear these inhibitors to
shut down their powers.
The woman turned around to meet the young Detective's gaze
and even Xandra felt timid for a second. The other radiated
a dignity like no one else she had ever met. Even in the jail
clothing she looked like a goddess. But Alexandra was nobody
to be intimidated quickly. She walked towards the woman.
"Ororo Munroe, Ah presume. Ah'm Detective Thorne of the NYPD."
"I am sorry detective, I already told your colleagues everything
I had to say. And I see no reason in involving another officer
in this case." The thief said pleasantly, but firmly.
"Ah'm not here to ask you about your case, but about the
recent robberies in museums. This was a master and you played
in that league, too. What do you know?"
"I am sorry, I cannot help you." She answered, not even trying
to conceal her lie.
Xandra sighed and leaned a bit closer.
"Look, sugar, this isn't about any honor stuff or whatevah
y'all're holding onto. Ah want to get this guy, and Ah will
get him. So Ah offer you something for any information you
can give me. Help me and the judge will regard this at your
trial. Maybe you'll even get away with probation. Jail can
be cruel, y'know. 'Specially for someone with claustrophobia.
Oh, don't look so shocked, it's all in your file."
Stubborn silence was the only answer Xandra received. She
looked at the guard who was standing next to the door dismissively.
"Leave us alone please. Ah'll call for you when Ah'm finished
When the guard had left she turned to Munroe again, smiling.
"Look, sugar. We can do this the easy or the hard way. Ah'll
get my information, no matter if you simply tell me or if
Ah have to suck it outta your brain with my mutant power.
Now it's your call. Which way shall it be?"
The thief looked at the Detective who was already putting
off her gloves. She would do it, Ororo knew it in the instant
she looked in the other woman's eyes. She would and she could.
She would drain every information out of her brain, not only
about this particular thief, but also about herself and any
other thief she had met in her life. Why offer the whole cake
if the Detective would be also content with a tiny piece.
She wouldn't get him anyway. What rumors Ororo had heard of
that man indicated more a phantom than a human being. This
girl in front of her wasn't a match for him. And freedom would
be nice to taste again.
"Probation?" She asked. "Probation." Thorne confirmed. She
had already Forge's signature for this deal.
"Alright," Ororo said "I'm afraid this isn't much. Nobody
knows much of him, he is very much a loner."
Xandra had figured that much, though the boy had quite 'guild
quality'. But the Thieves Guild was just a myth and her colleagues
would have laughed at her if she had drawn such a connection,
although she firmly believed in the guild's existence. But
at the moment, Mr X was definitely a loner. She motioned for
the thief to go on.
"Rumors say that his Interpol file is six inches thick, though
they do not even know his name. You cannot hire him, he just
does what attracts him. Just the dangerous pinches, he seems
to like the thrill. He would not need the money anyway after
everything he already pinched. He is a perfectionist. He is
not likely to make a mistake, you will never find a trace
of him if he does not want you to. He is also very creative.
The way is the aim. His thrill is to get in and leave evidence
that he made it, not particular the loot. Though he only goes
for things worth the risk. I do not think you have a chance
of finding him, he smells every trap. They call him Gambit,
but this is not quite a gamble. He always wins. Maybe that
is why he only does the big jobs. He likes the challenge.
But he has not touched his limits yet."
"Well, time he has." Xandra said, a determined look on her
Continued in Chapter
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