Shadow And The Kat-Act 3 [ Chap 21 THRU 24!!! ] NC-17

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Shadow And The Kat-Act 3 [ Chap 21 THRU 24!!! ] NC-17

Postby Nightmare » Mon Dec 08, 2003 6:27 pm

They're starting to complain at me. =)
-=-=-


DISCLAIMER: For the most part, these aren't my characters, they belong to Marvel. Only their dilemmas are mine.

ACT 3

21) Kurt - Blood Stains

At the end of the third month they were separated, Kurt was brought unexpectedly to a Mission briefing room. Kitty was there, but when he tried to greet her, the Mission leader interrupted him. "Pay attention to the briefing, Hounds. Both of you."

They both nodded, but Kurt knew it was hard for anyone to tell just where his eyes were looking, and he made use of that advantage. Kitty looked pale and strung out... and as twitchy as he felt himself. He didn't know how long either of them would be able to live like this.

The leader started the briefing. Blah, blah. This was of utmost importance to Shield, so what? They were to hit the compound of a man designated a traitor to Shield. He was a well-placed officer, and son of a ranking General. He'd married a woman who just recently was revealed to be a mutant, and had two young children by her. The objective were to arrest the disgraced officer, apprehend the mutant and her spawn, and seize any papers or effects that might link the man to the mutant resistance.

To one side, Kurt was given a rundown on the what kind of security the compound had, and on the other, Kitty and the combat specialists were briefed on the number of guards at the estate, and their armament. This mission was evidently very urgent, as the target might learn at any moment that he'd been discovered, and disappear along with his family; possibly to the north, where the renegade Fury was rumored to be.

As soon as their briefings were over, they were loaded onto separate planes, and launched. A technician placed the expected explosive collar on him. If he got too far away, boom. If he somehow got it off, hers went boom. Clear? He nodded. That was very clear.

* * *

The compound was in the vicinity of Atlanta, Georgia, and when they landed that evening, the teams boarded a series of vans and trucks for the last leg of the journey. In the hours between midnight and dawn, Kurt crawled over the wall near the rear gate. He bamfed into the guardhouse and swiftly knocked the men unconscious. He neutralized the alarms and opened the gates for the vehicles.

He was on his way for his next job at the house, when he heard silenced gunshots from the guardhouse. He blended with the shadows, and teleported to get up close to the estate, near a wiring box. He picked the small padlock and clipped through the electrical lines, killing power for most of the house. He would be in his element, now.

He watched from high up on the exterior walls, as Kitty and the combat team skirted the compound's perimeter with night-vision goggles, taking out any patrols. When the outer area was clear, they went inside the house, looking for resistance or sign of their targets. He shadowed the group with his beloved in it, from the ceiling and upper walls.

She was holding back when she could; injuring when she had to, and letting the agents do most of the work. If he saw anyone threatening the team unseen, he would drop down like a hunting cat, and knock him or her out. The agents he didn't care about, but he didn't want Kitty to get hurt.

She must have heard him one the times he intervened, because her glowing lenses turned his way. He widened his eyes and smiled toothily at her, she nodded and turned to catch up with her team. In the core of the house, the team found people destroying documents. The leader whispered, "Split up, people, time is of the essence here."

Kitty headed off alone, and again he followed her from on high. His job in this phase of the operation was to support, but just who he was to support was unspecified. In other hallways they could here reinforced doors being battered down by hand held rams. She didn't have one, but then, she didn't need one either. When she found a barricaded door, she stopped and looked around for him. He dropped beside her, and she pointed at the door. He reached for his lock picks, and she stepped through the obstacle.

He could hear voices on the other side, high pitched. It was the sound of panic maybe, or of children. He focused on getting the lock open, knowing Kitty would have removed anything place to bar the door. He heard the lock click, and pushed the heavy door open to a tense tableau lit by scarlet emergency lights.

Two small children huddled behind a sleep-disheveled woman in nightclothes, who was holding Kitty back at gunpoint. The opening of the door drew the woman's gaze, and her aim wavered. Kitty took a step forward, her goggles hanging from their straps. The woman focused her attention again on her. Kurt leaped the wall outside up to the ceiling, and flipped into the chamber over the upper lintel. He began to silently creep across the room to behind the panicky female.

"What are you doing here?" the woman said. "You're a mutant, why do you want to hurt these children?"

"I'm a Hound," Kitty said. "I don't want to hurt them, but my orders are to take them into custody. I cannot disobey."

"You could just run away, disappear," the woman said. "I saw how you got into here. They can't hold you."

Kitty pointed at her neck. "Explosive collar. If I get too far away, then I lose my head. Literally." He was easing down the wall behind them now, and he saw her eyes flick towards him. "So, tell me, are these your children?"

"Mine? No," the woman said. "I'm their nurse and guard. And I won't let you take them from their parents."

"Lookit the funny man!" the smaller of the two kids said, pointing behind them.

Kurt froze on the wall, as the woman backed up where she could see both of them, dragging the bigger child, a boy, with her. The smaller one, a girl, stared up at him fearlessly, and didn't seem to notice the other two had moved. He stepped to the floor by her, and picked her up. Carrying her behind Kitty, he put her down in a chair. "Stay there, please," he said. "We don't want you to get hurt."

She smiled. "You talk funny. Emmy, Dunc'n, he talks funny!"

The woman snarled silently. "I know what they'll do to them... and to her. It's better than they die now, then to be subject to that." The gun turned towards the boy, and time and motion seemed to slow...

...Shitk. A dagger popped into Kitty's hand, and she raised it to throw...

...The girl behind them screamed in sudden terror...

...The boy's eyes turned as large as saucers as the snub-nosed pistol aimed at his head...

Kitty's arm snapped forward, and he ported, ducking down to fit into the space between the woman and the boy. If he had to interpose his body to take the bullet, so be it. The blade slammed home as he wrapped the boy in his embrace. He heard the gun go off, and a hot brand slid over his shoulder. The boy trembled in his arms, and started whimpering against him.

"Are you okay, Kurt?" Kitty's voice was hoarse with worry. He turned to look at her and nod. She was shivering, and her faced was turned a deathly pale around the Hound tattoo.

"My shoulder's creased, but nothing major."

"Good. Take them out of here. I have to... get my blade."

"Understood." He rose with the boy in his arms, and shifted him over to one hip. Walking over to the girl, he held out an arm, and she surged up to him. He carried them both into the dark corridor, and waited while they clung to him.

She walked out, her goggles back in place, and she adjusted her wrist sheaths. "Kurt... look here. I found it... in a pocket."

He stepped nearer, and saw she held in her hand a coin. An engraved 'M' was on one side, and a red and purple Greek helm on the other. "That's what I saw before, liebe. The very same thing."

"It's probably evidence... but, I don't care." She put it in a buckle of her leathers, and snapped it in two. A curl of smoke rose, and the sides turned a charcoal black. She dropped the pieces in the foliage of a potted plant, and turned to him. "Where are the others?"

He cocked his head, listening. "This way." He wrapped his tail around Kitty's hand to lead her along; her grip was clammy and tight. The four of them walked through the dark halls; the only sounds were the sniffles of the children and her soft footfalls.

They came into a large red-lit room, and a weeping woman called out. "Duncan, Rose!" They reached out to her, saying as one, "Mommy!" Kurt held them tightly despite their squirming until he reached the woman's side, then he crouched and set them gently down. They clung to her, crying, each babbling a different version about what happened to 'Emmy'.

"Shut those brats up!" the mission leader snarled. Their mother hushed them, and the three watched sadly as the battered form of the family's father was laid down near them. "Good, we got the traitor, the mutie, and the kids, so that's all of them. Any remaining resistance?"

"No sir, we're processing evidence now," said one of the other agents.

"All right. Hounds, you're done now. Sit over there and be quiet."

"Jawohl," he said, and nudged Kitty out of her daze to sit with him near the prisoners. He watched her, concerned. She needed a good cry, but she wasn't withdrawing, not fully anyway. She was understandably upset about what she'd had to do. He drew her next to him and leaned her head on his shoulder. Her hand found his and squeezed desperately.

Kurt looked up as he felt the woman's eyes on them. She looked at him, then at her, as if looking for something, but what he couldn't tell." She nodded slightly, and said to them quietly. "You two are little better than kids yourselves, aren't you? Despite what they've done to your faces, I can see it."

Bitterness quirked his mouth. "Ja, that is so, but we feel much older than we are."

"There's so much pain in both of you," she said. "What happened to Emma?" She nodded down to the sleepy children, "They either didn't see, or didn't understand."

"She held a gun on my partner," Kurt said. "When Rose saw me, and Emma knew she was outnumbered, she... turned the weapon on the boy."

"I stopped her. I had to," Kitty said flatly. Where only the woman could see she snapped a blade into her hand, and flipped it into a throwing grip.

"I see." She looked down to the sandy haired head of the boy snuggled against her. "Thank you, for that. At least I get to see them and hold them, before..."

Kitty made a strangled noise that sounded like it started out to be a sob. She busied herself with putting her knife away and locking it in place.

He curled his tail around her waist and pulled her closer. "Come here, liebe. Rest with me, before they make us part again." She leaned closer, and buried her face against his neck.

"She's so sad. Is she gonna cry?" Rose said.

"Maybe later," he told her. "When she's alone. She doesn't like to cry in front of others." He could feel the warmth of Kitty's breath on his neck fur. He kissed her hair, breathing in deep. It had been so long...

"Even in front of you?" the girl said.

The child was like a mastiff after a hare. "She cries in front of me, when we are alone together," he said finally. "But we haven't been alone together lately. We are prisoners, like you are. We have no say in what we do."

"Up and at 'em Hounds." One of the Shield lieutenants had come over to them. His lip curled as if confronted with something particularly disgusting. "If you can peel apart from each other, that is. We're heading out."

"Jawohl, mein Herr," Kurt said. He helped Kitty to rise, and then took a deliberate step away from her. She squared her shoulders and looked up, a mask of composure firmly in place. Back at the vehicles, they were placed in separate vans for the long trip back.

* * *

After touchdown on the Carrier, Kurt was told to wait on the flight deck. He leaned against a wall until he heard shouting from the other plane. "...damned freak is gonna scrub my deck until it shines! The nerve of her, throwing up on my plane. And the way reeked, even after the bitch tried to clean it..."

Uh oh. Kitty must have had a reaction. Kurt hunted for a janitor's closet and got out some cleaning supplies. He presented himself to the irate pilot, who was still chewing her out. She stood before him, near the transport, eyes downcast. He cleared his throat and the man rounded on him angrily, before turning pale and stepping back.

"Gah! What kinda..." He swallowed hard, and Kurt couldn't help but to smile. "Fine, you help the clumsy freak clean up my airplane. He stalked off; muttering to himself, "Worst part of the job, dealing with all the damned muties."

"And Auf Wiedersehen to you, too, mein Herr..." Kurt murmured. "Here liebchen, you take some of this, bitte." She grabbed the mop and the jug of cleanser, and trudged back to the plane where she'd just endured a several hours-long flight. All the hatches were opened, and it still smelled like vomit. "You really did a number on this plane. What have you been eating?"

"I haven't been. This was just bile, and water." She poured the cleaner full strength into the bucket and soaked the mop into it. She started grimly scrubbing at the soiled spot.

"Hey! You!" said a muffled voice.

Kitty barely twitched, but Kurt turned to the open hatch. A flight deck worker stood there, one hand covering his nose and mouth, the other holding some dark plastic sheeting. He walked over to the worker, whose eyes got larger the closer he got. "May I help you?"

"Um. The pilot says there's a load of bio trash aboard. Uh. Get it for me."

"Anything you say," Kurt said. The cleaner Kitty was liberally applying to the floor was helping to counter the odor of sickness, but even through it, he was able to find the trash bin with the paper towels she'd used to wipe things up. Month in Disposal inured him to most stenches, but he still made a face as he carried the bagged materials out to the man.

The worker held out the sheeting; it was a heavy-gauge trash bag, and Kurt dropped his inside. It was quickly sealed and the man made his get away.

Kurt took some fresh toweling, dipped them lightly in the solution, and started to wipe the surface of everywhere he could reach, which was nearly everywhere. When he finished, the only places he could still detect the stink of what happened, were on Kitty herself and the mop she'd used.

"Hang on, Katzchen. Let me dump out that bucket and rinse the mop. If you go over it one more time after that, you should be done."

She stopped, and wearily sat on a bench. "Okay."

He took the mop and bucket back to the closet and rinsed them out thoroughly. Then he hurried back to the plane. He wasn't sure he trusted her to be alone, and even beyond that, he would take any opportunity to be with her, even while doing this.

She put a bit more cleanser in the bucket, and gave the wet mop another good pass over the section of floor. He stepped over to her with a cleanser-dampened towel, and wiped off her chest, where she'd splattered bile on herself. He took an exploratory sniff, and smiled. "We're done, I don't smell anything anymore."

"Then... I guess we have to put this stuff away." She looked terribly tired, and groaned when she stumbled, heading for the hatch.

He wanted to weep at the state she was in, or to wrap her in his arms and never let her go. He could do neither, so he steadied her, and took some of the cleaning supplies from her for the trip back to the closet. Just outside the door, they were confronted by a group of agents. Their senior trainers, Major Rudolf, and... the General himself stood by, watching them.

Kitty nodded in bare acknowledgement of their presence, and went into the closet with Kurt to put the cleaning supplies away. Then she came out and dropped to her knees in front of them, her head sagging. He joined her on his knees, unable to keep his tail from lashing in anxiety. The Major looked down at them, his eyes glittering with an unreadable expression. "You're not done cleaning, Hounds, there are stains on your equipment. See to cleaning it." Kurt nodded, and he and Kitty went back in, but he kept his ears open.

"Major, the last time I saw these two, their morale was good, considering, and they each had another 20-40 pounds more weight on them. Now, they look like they're headed for illness or nervous breakdowns. Your treatment policies are not supposed to be counter-productive to their effectiveness." The General sounded distinctly displeased to Kurt.

He whispered, "Katzchen, wash your blades."

"Sir, they performed well today, exceeding expectations."

He ran water in the sink, and Kitty frowned in concentration, as she bent to the task. Over the sound of running water, he strained to listen to the voices outside.

"Exceeding yours, perhaps, but not mine. They do better when they're not eaten up with tension. The doctor believes she's showing signs of developing ulcers, and according to the combat medic, there was blood in what she spewed on the plane. I'm giving you a chance to fix this, Major. Don't disappoint me."

"Yes, sir. Brestin, Vaile, obviously you were given too much responsibility, too soon." Kurt smiled. He'd bet they resented the hell out of that; they were only doing what he'd given them a blank check to do... but blame rolled down hill. "You're dismissed." He heard the sound of salutes and receding footsteps. "They will be assigned new trainers immediately, sir." He took off his gauntlets and worked at cleaning dried blood and bits of skin from between the jointed plates.

"Correction," the General said. "Headquarters wants them treated as a single combat unit. Deal with them as partners, and not as separate Hounds. As for trainers, give 'em back Howards and Combs, and them only. Those two were tough but fair on them.

"Yes, sir, that shall be done immediately. Do you... wish them to resume their former living assignments?" Rudolf's tone was strained and bitter. Kurt held his breath for the answer.

"You mean those exceptional arrangements that I personally authorized and endorsed?" The General's voice was deceptively soft. "Yes, I think that will be best. Have them both take their work shift at Disposal, also. They don't need to be scrambling all over the ship to get to their workplaces."

The General made a thoughtful sound. "Give them the rest of the day and tomorrow off, and they are to report to the clinic in lieu of work on Monday. I want them back up to peak as soon as possible. Headquarters has plans for them, long term plans. So you will kindly pass any policies concerning them to my office. Am I understood?"

"Perfectly, sir." More footsteps receding, and the door opened. "Are you done, Hounds?"

"I need my oil, so they won't rust," Kitty said. The Major frowned at the lack of honorific.

Kurt turned off the water. "They've been cleaned in water. sir, but we could use the oil that was in the missions room."

"Very well, see to that, and your trunk will be delivered in a bit, Nightcrawler. When you're done, you're dismissed for the day."

"Yes, sir, Major." He led her to the missions briefing room, where their supplies were still laid out, and handed her the bottle of cleaning oil. He worked the lubricating oil into the joints of his metal gloves. When he'd restored the condition as best as he could, he laid them on the table. "Take the knives off, liebe. It's almost time to go home."

"Home..." she echoed. He judged her to be out on her feet, but she still laid the blades out in a precise order. Her suit looked strange with all the loops and pockets emptied out. She unstrapped the wrist sheaths, and turned to the changing room.

"Just change clothes, Katzchen, we can bathe when we get there."

She nodded and peeled off the cat suit. He frowned at how thin she was, although he knew his own condition was little better. He put his arm around her once they were back in their jumpsuits, and she seemed content to simply lean against him, as he led her home.

Two people waited on them at their door. Combs had his trunk, and Howards was pushing a hand trolley loaded up with food containers. And not just any kind of food; there were two jugs of whole milk, fresh strawberries and eggs, and boxes of frozen steaks. The General seemed to be very serious about getting them up to condition quickly.

Combs shook his head. "You two look like hell," he said, his voice gruff.

"Thank you for noticing, sir," Kurt said. "We feel like hell."

Howards held out a paper. "This is from the clinic. It's a high protein, medium carbohydrate diet plan for the both of you." He snorted. "It's even sorta kosher, or at least, it lists her as being 'allergic' to pork. Keep her on the milk, use the pepto for stomach pains, and if you notice any unusual bleeding, take her to the clinic right away."

"Yes, sir," Kurt said. "Now, if you'll excuse me..." He opened the door, and half led, half carried her inside and into a chair in the kitchenette. She put her head on the table, cushioned on her arms. Kurt hauled in the trunk, and unloaded the trolley around her and on every available bit of counter space. "Is there anything else, sirs?"

"No, carry on, and get some rest, you two," Combs said.

"I was planning on it." He closed the door quietly as they walked away. She was trying to put things away in the fridge, and he took over that chore, finishing quickly. He crouched down next to her. "Do you want to wash up tonight, or wait until tomorrow?"

She looked down at her hands and watched them tremble. "Tomorrow... I'm just so tired."

"Alright, liebe, tomorrow it is. Come on, now. It's time to rest."

In the bedroom, he smiled at the faint scent of Old Spice on his pillow. He switched it with hers, because it would be too strong for him to sleep on. He snuggled her next to him, feeling a lump in his throat at the rightness of her being there.

He thought she might break down and cry, but he was only half right. She didn't have the energy for hysterics, so she pressed her face against his warm side and cried softly, but steadily until she fell asleep. He held her close for a long time after that, until sleep claimed him too.



In This Thread:
Chapter 21/24: Kurt - Blood Stains
Chapter 22/25: Kitty - Revelations
Chapter 23/26: Kurt - Fall Of Darkness
Chapter 24/27: Kitty - Magneto's Raiders

Upcoming:
Chapter 25/28: Kurt - Assault On Asteroid M
Chapter 2629: Kitty - A Taste Of *******
Chapter 2730: Kurt - ********
Chapter 28/31: Kitty - *********
Chapter 29/32: Kurt - For The ***, ***** *** ****
Chapter 30/33: Kitty - Legacies

Chapter 30 Ends the third act, and the story.

**UPDATE** Chapters have been replanned...
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Shadow And The Kat-Act 3 [ Chap 21 THRU 24!!! ] NC-17

Postby bluefooted » Mon Dec 08, 2003 6:46 pm

...And there was much rejoicing.

Yea! It's back! It's back! Thank you. Just wanted to say that even if people aren't commenting as much, I think they're still reading. I know I am. We're in the home stretch now. That means you've got to finish it!
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Shadow And The Kat-Act 3 [ Chap 21 THRU 24!!! ] NC-17

Postby Nightmare » Mon Dec 08, 2003 7:28 pm

Thanks, Blue. They've been telling me the same things. Kinda spooky when the characters start talking to you... (Twilight zone music...)

I've only barely started 22, so it'll be a week before it's posted.
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Shadow And The Kat-Act 3 [ Chap 21 THRU 24!!! ] NC-17

Postby taekwondodo » Mon Dec 08, 2003 8:18 pm

Yay, update! Wah, sad stuff! Poor little kidlets. I hope that they get to rescue them before this is over too.... I'm glad we're in the home stretch, because the tension is killing me. I want to see butt-kicking vengeance! I need some serious catharsis here. I'll be so sad when it's done though - maybe you'll have to do a sequel? Maybe? I can hope anyway, can't I?
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Postby Maelstrom » Mon Dec 08, 2003 10:02 pm

I suppose it's good for the story that I'm not the one you're writing about. Because by this time, I think I would have just said "fuck it" and let the collar activate. :bawl
Eagles may soar, but weasels never get sucked into the intake of a jet engine..... :evil
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Shadow And The Kat-Act 3 [ Chap 21 THRU 24!!! ] NC-17

Postby MoonbeamDancer » Tue Dec 09, 2003 1:44 am

Well when she gets done, it may scream sequel, that would kick ass. :) I'll add this to my site tomorrow or later this week.
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Postby taekwondodo » Tue Dec 16, 2003 5:51 pm

Just thought I'd bump this back to page one and let you know I'm still waiting for the next chapter w/baited breath. I'm just not sure what exactly the bait is, and I hope it doesn't attract cats or small rodents....
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Shadow And The Kat-Act 3 [ Chap 21 THRU 24!!! ] NC-17

Postby Nightmare » Thu Dec 18, 2003 9:06 am

Steamy if not real explicit. To be safe, I'm linking it, maybe the next one too.

Body of Chapter 22


Next 23, Kurt - Fall Of Darkness.


Rate has dropped to about a week and a half to finish a chapter because of the holidays and such. So 23, not this next week, but the one after that.

Actually I think the story should continue after this is over, but as more of an interfic sort of thing, like on 'Nutter's site, and maybe moved to there, if she agrees.

The cast will increase quite a bit, and since the original roleplay has long since diverged from this story, there's a lot that can be done with the background here developed, that I don't think I wanna do all by my own.

Certain characters and situations I will outline and define, especially early on, as I introduce them, and then open them up for use. How does that sound?
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Postby taekwondodo » Thu Dec 18, 2003 6:42 pm

Very nicely done. Yay for the General, even if he is only being pragmatic. Poor Fuzzy, I'm glad they're getting things straightened out between them, that was awful.

I hope you do trot this over to the Nutboard when you've got this part done, it could be much fun to play with as an interfic. Week and a half, hmm? Something to look forward to for after Christmas I suppose. Happy holidays then.:)
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Postby InterNutter » Thu Dec 18, 2003 10:37 pm

Hey, if it means seeing more of your writing, I'm all for it, Nightmare ^_^

:D I guess you could say I'm a fan :D
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Postby Nandireya » Sat Dec 20, 2003 2:45 am

Don't be offended if I don't contribute...it's just...well...I haven't dubbed myself the Anti-Kurtty over there for nothing ;)
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Shadow And The Kat-Act 3 [ Chap 21 THRU 24!!! ] NC-17

Postby taekwondodo » Tue Jan 06, 2004 1:35 am

Just thought I'd bump this back up Nightmare and let you know I'm still patiently awaiting your next update. Hope you had a relaxing holiday and are feeling in the mood to do some writing.:) Whenever you get around to it, I'll be in the mood to do some reading.
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Shadow And The Kat-Act 3 [ Chap 21 THRU 24!!! ] NC-17

Postby Lynati » Tue Jan 06, 2004 7:05 am

nice additions. waiting avidly for the next; hope you have time to finish and post soon.
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I know I can't be the only "whatever-I-am" in the room, so-
why am I so lonely?
why am I so tired?
I need backup; I need company; I need to be inspired..."

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Shadow And The Kat-Act 3 [ Chap 21 THRU 24!!! ] NC-17

Postby Nightmare » Mon Jan 12, 2004 2:24 am

Kay, 23 is written, and I'll get it in a few days. I've broken a bit of a block and I'm getting back into the momentum of the story.

This one is the begining of the end for the story, and it should be more clear from here where it's going.

And I don't mind, Nandi. We all like different things and that's cool with me. Taekwondodo, I really like where 'Playing With Fire' is going. And Nutter, please finish your update, I'm trying to finish PWP.
=)
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Shadow And The Kat-Act 3 [ Chap 21 THRU 24!!! ] NC-17

Postby InterNutter » Mon Jan 12, 2004 2:52 am

That should be all accessable by now, Nightmare ^_^

I'm eager to see the next installment :D
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Shadow And The Kat-Act 3 [ Chap 21 THRU 24!!! ] NC-17

Postby Nightmare » Tue Jan 13, 2004 5:58 am

23) Kurt - Fall Of Darkness

It took a good deal of time until Katzchen finally had enough of him, and only some of that was spent engaged in sex. They'd spent much of it just happily entangled, reassuring each other of their devotions. She fell asleep with a smile, and he found once he faced his fears, they melted away as he lay in her arms.

Kurt sat crouched at the foot of their bed, his tail wrapped around her hands as a tangible link between them. They still had much recovering to do, physically, mentally and emotionally, but they were on the way now. Or at least as much along the way as was possible here. Soon enough it would be time to face the world again, and all it's cruelties.

He gazed at her sleeping form, relishing the sight and feel of her. It was nearly Monday morning, and but he'd had so much rest the last couple of days that he woke well before the alarm. She had an appointment at the clinic today, but he felt the change in circumstances and diet would be healing enough to heal her. She was young, and she'd bounce back.

Shifting positions gingerly, he knelt down and lowered his head. He prayed silently; If there was any way, Oh Gott, to be free, and still be together, let it be so. They could and would endure as long as they must, if necessary, but oh, to be free... Lord, let it come to pass. He lifted his eyes to her sleepy smile. He smiled back at her, and squeezed with his tail.

"I hope he's not offended by naked praying," she said.

"He who formed me in my mutter's womb? I don't think so." He climbed over to lie next to her, holding her.

"Aren't you cold? You've been out for a while... your pillow is cold."

"I can take more cold than you... my fur and metabolism keeps me warm."

"Just like you keep me warm, Fuzzy." She nuzzled closer, rubbing her face against him. "It's Monday, isn't it?"

"I'm afraid so, liebe. But since the clinic isn't open for sick call until 9:00am, that leaves us a lot of time yet. We can enjoy a lazy morning for hours yet..."

"Mm.... I can think of some things to do..." She turned his head and nibbled along his ear, making him shiver with sensation.

"You..." he said with a rumble, as he took firm hold of her with hands and tail, "... are insatiable."

"You bet, lover," she purred, smiling up at him. "I thought you liked that."

"I do..." His mouth fell on hers, and no more was said for a while.

* * *

Cleaned and dressed, they walked in step to the Clinic. He sat in the waiting room while she was admitted, and tried to remember if the guard was the same man from the time he'd done exercises in front of when they were found together. He'd about decided he didn't care one way or another, when she came back out with a pink bottled and some papers.

"More pepto?" She nodded and stowed it in her leg pocket. "We're to go to Admin now," she said, indicating the papers. He set off with her and wondered what wanted of them now.

When they checked in at Admin, a young lieutenant came out and led them to his office; he said his piece in a bored tone. "Based on your exemplary records in the service of Shield, you are hereby designated as senior Hounds. Here are your pins." He laid down two small brass circles, with the enameled red, white, and blue of the Captain's Shield.

"This designation enables you to skip two work shifts each weekend, which you are to coordinate with your supervisor. Early or late, or both in one day; however you work it out with him. Give me your name cards." They did, and he cut them in half, giving them new ones, with an image of the pin on the cards.

"By the order of General and the Training Department, every Friday evening you are to report to the Psych Department for a conditioning renewal session. This conditioning is to prepare you for an upcoming mission. That is all."

"Yes sir," Kurt said, putting on his pin.

"Thank you sir," she said. She looked at him and put hers on as well. The lieutenant stood up, "Dismissed." He looked pointedly at the door. They left.

Down the hallway, Kurt caught her eye. She raised her eyebrows, and he made a deliberately florid dismissal gesture with his tail. "That is all," he mocked, in a whisper, looking down his nose at her. She covered her mouth as she fought to control a bout of the giggles. A guard they passed gave them a stern look as they hurried out of his sight.

* * *

It was honestly a relief to have their old trainers back. The men were firm and tough, but at least they weren't liable to pull any 'extra-curricular' stunts. Howards and Combs were both well of aware of how their relationship kept them stable and grounded. Free of the crippling apprehension they'd both been under, he threw himself into the routine of his training with an abandon that seemed to surprise everyone.

Kurt had been wasting far too much energy in fear and resentment these last few months. Now he could just perform to the best of his abilities. It wasn't a large crowd, but holding back had never been his style, not when he could give something his all.

"My, what sharp teeth you have..." Kitty said with a grin. "I've certainly been seeing them enough today."

He stepped closer to her, tilting his head closer to her, "All the better to eat you with, my dear..." He smiled at her blush. "It's simply... this is as straight forward as it gets, liebe. We are good at this, so we may as well enjoy ourselves while we're at it."

"If you say so," she said, then with more confidence. "Yeah, why not."

The practice went on until after a particularly flamboyant tumbling maneuver, he'd bowed to the trainers. He grinned, enjoying their shocked expressions.

"Alright, Nightcrawler, this isn't the circus. Bowing to the crowd is not an effective combat tactic," Combs said with a drawl.

He didn't make the sarcastic reply that he could taste on his tongue. He simply raised an eyebrow at the man. "Yes sir."

Howards shook his head, trying to suppress a smile. "Go hit the weights, you two, I guess we need to work you harder. Although I'll tell you one thing, I wish you'd have shown this much enthusiasm when we first started training you.

"We were different people, then," Kitty said. She leaned her head on his shoulder, and he put an arm around her.

"Increase all your reps by 20, and be prepared to work your butts off tomorrow," Combs said.

"Jawohl," he answered with a smile, and they went to do their weights.

* * *

The rest of the week continued in the same vein, with the training getting progressively harder in the attempt to absorb their excess energies and make them fit for this big upcoming mission.

When Friday came, they both reported to the Psych Department. They were separated and Kurt was lead to a partially reclined leather chair that had been modified with him in mind, with the removal of the cushion at the low back. He was directed into the chair, and his arms and legs were strapped down. A medical tech gave him an injection, and left the room. The lights dimmed and three large monitors flickered to life in front of him. One was centered on the chair, and the other two were hard on the left and the right.

His head began to swim from the drug, while fast cut scenes of a patriotic nature flashed on the screens, marching from screen to screen from one side to the other, then changing directions, or bursting out from the center. The eagle-bearing flag of Shield, Captain America, Mount Rushmore, the reflecting pool of Washington DC, the launching of the Helicarrier, the signing of the Surrender Treaty of Europe, Hounds kneeling, reciting the litany; these and many more images were shown to him.

Kurt began to silently recite the rosary to himself. The words were so ingrained and familiar that not even the drug and the images could confuse them. If this was only the opening salvo, this was going to be an intense session. A voice began to drone on about his debt to Shield, to whom he owed his life and everything that he had. He was never to forget that his duty was to kill the enemies of Shield. Images of specific enemies were shown; Mutants fighting Shield agents, and killing civilians.

A movie clip began to show on all three screens. A tall man walked purposely, his massive body gleaming with the bands of metal he seemed to be made of. His eyes darted from place to place, and he moved protectively in front those who followed him. A slightly smaller man came next, his step graceful and majestic. He wore the helm that Kurt had seen on the mysterious coins, and a long flowing cape that nearly brushed the floor. Next to the second man walked someone almost as tall, a wiry man with white windswept hair, whose movements were quick and full of energy. Rear guard was a lanky man, who wore thick goggles on his face, lit from within with red light.

"Our enemies are deceptive. They exist only to lie and to kill those not cursed with mutation."

It seemed that Shield was ready for the men. A tremendous flash turned the rest of the scene black as pitch in comparison, and the camera jumped and fell to the ground. When it focused again, the first man stood gawking down at a hole burned through his midsection. The metal flickered and melted away, and he turned to flesh, collapsing to the floor with a gush of blood from his mouth and the wound.

Now exposed, the helmed man tried in vain to protect the bared and blacked bones of his nearer arm and side with one hand. The man with white hair had reacted quickly enough to shove those on either side of him away from the center of the fatal flash, but now he reached out desperately to the man with the helm, with most of his throat burned away. He barely managed to touch the other's arm before he, too, fell.

The man in the back was holding his face, his cheek raw and red, his hair scorched and the goggles smoking faintly. The helmed man snarled, and made a beckoning gesture. Metal objects from all around flew to him, even his helm becoming subsumed into the shining mass before him. He thrust his hand away, and the mass surrounded the goggled man, even as he struggled to remain. The sphere of metal shot away, breaking through part of the roof and wall of the building.

Alone now, the man with the cape straightened slowly, facing the direction of the blast; and the camera. Blood stained lips turned up in a faint smile of victory before agents rushed past the camera like jackals upon a wounded lion, clubbing him down to the ground, as the scene went dark.

"Even with their leader killed, they claim he yet lives. It is a myth they use to perpetuate their doomed cause."

The screens lit again, with grainy surveillance film of a white room; apparently some kind of morgue. On steel tables the corpses of the men Kurt had just seen killed lay with the terrible expanse of their wounds readily apparent. Nearly naked, only brief cloths covered their loins, except for the marker drawings on their flesh of the post mortem examinations yet to be performed.

The heavy door to the room crumpled open like wadded notepaper. A man with the same helm and cape walked in, and looked down at the bodies. The tables spread out like blossoming flowers, which quickly folded petals around their contents and detaching from the floor. The man turned and left, the capsules following behind him as the shot faded.

"Whatever trickery they used to make it appear their leader yet lives must be exposed for the good of Shield. This new leader must be terminated at all costs. But he is not the only target you must be aware of."

A crowd of agents writhed around a figure, and fell like flies around him. The camera zoomed in on a snarling rictus of a face, splattered with blood and crowned with stiff crested hair. Protruding from between his knuckles were long bony spars dripping with blood.

Weapons gouged into his body, and bullets pounded into him, but the injuries healed almost as soon as they took hold. The only thing that matched the rain of brass shell casings were the fall of deformed slugs as the mutant's flesh rejected them. The last of the agents dropped and he spun about, looking for more prey. Seeing none, he lifted his head and roared in savage triumph.

"Our enemies are more animal than human, and they harbor lesser breeds among them as well."

A negress floated upon snapping winds, her light brown skin contrasting to her dark garb and stark white hair and eyes. Her expression was one of fury, as lightning forked down from around her, holding off the pursuit of two figures below her. The camera focused on them as they reached their vehicle.

One was a red headed woman, well endowed with curves. The other was a figure that had been shown before, lanky and tall. Only one side of his goggles where lit up with red, and a shock of white hair showed on his temple above the darkened glass and scarred cheek. The black woman landed beside them, and the clawed man gestured them to come inside the machine as the scene cut away.

"These four are your primary obstacles. You must destroy them in order to kill their new leader, the false Magneto. You have a personal interest in their deaths, as well."

Another clip of the man with claws, showing how he used his weapons to rip through clothing and flesh. Then the scene cut to video of Karla, before she was bandaged. There was something familiar about those sets of three parallel cuts that where visible on his friend.

"She was a Hound, just like you. Our enemies did not care. They crippled her and left her for dead. You must do your best to rid the world of this scourge."

The Shield March began to play, the other center screen showed him and Kitty on their knees reciting the litany. On the side they faced, the Shield flag waved proudly against a blue sky. On their other side showed the now familiar helm, containing a grinning skull.

"You know your duties, you know your mission. Only your best efforts will do against this challenge. You must give it your all."

The screens went dark, and all that remained playing was the sound of his and her voices reciting the litany over and over. Kurt recited his own words of allegiance under his breath along with it, as he always did. 'Ave Maria: Gegrüßet seist du, Maria, voll der Gnade...' Not even now would he let their poison take a stronger hold on his mind.

His head began to clear, and he fount to retain the images he'd seen, that threatened to fade into his unconscious. He wanted to remember what they were trying to put into his mind. Only then could he really think about it, and make his own decisions on what he'd seen. The two Magnetos for instance. Clearly both had the ability to manipulate metal with but a thought, but hadn't one of them been a smaller man?

And there was something... wrong about the implication that the savage one was responsible for Karla's wounds, but he couldn't quite figure out why? It was something about the images that were fading faster than he could pin them down.

The lights came back up and the tech unstrapped him. "Come with me," the man said brusquely. Kurt followed until his keen hearing caught the sound of Katzchen sobbing. He brushed past the man, following his ears until he found his beloved.

She sat slumped in a chair like the one he'd been in, weeping. She was no longer bound, but what she'd been shown rooted her more effectively than straps. He put his arms around her. "Shh, liebe," he said. She flung her arms around him, and he could feel her teeth grinding in tension against his shoulder. "It is alright, Katzchen. My session was rough, too."

"Oh, Kurt," she whispered. "They showed me who hurt Karla." The anger in her eyes was fierce, and it made him feel uncomfortable, as he was still unconvinced of that.

"They also showed me... the one they say harmed her." If she registered the qualification he'd added, she didn't show it.

"Let's get out of here," she said. "I don't like this place."

"Nor do I, liebe." He gave a last suspicious stare at the equipment before they left the room.

* * *

When they went to work on Saturday morning, there were far less regular workmen in Disposal. A lot of gear was being packed and shipped down to the surface. It looked like the Carrier was being stripped for action, and changes like that always made him nervous. Kitty worked on the standard sorting chores, while he found his boss on a break. "Joe, where are the workers?"

Joe looked at him with a harried expression. "Non-essential personnel are being evacuated. Hell, I'm even supposed to teach that snotty lieutenant over there how to do my job. Punk." He sighed. "You two try to keep out of his notice, 'kay? He don't like Hounds."

"I understand. But... do you know why this is happening?"

Joe snorted in derision. "Since when do they tell me anything? Get on back to work now."

They didn't work either of the late shifts on the weekend. It was a compromise they'd made, so they'd each get half their Sabbath off. As days progressed, they could hear down in their rooms a lot of clangs and noises from the under parts of the Carrier. Helicopters buzzed nearby, and cranes were doing something to the exterior, but they couldn't tell quite what.

Kitty didn't want to talk about the conditioning. Kurt wrote down all that he could remember in his cramped German script in the journal. He didn't want to lose any more of it than he already had. He didn't know why there were being fed these images, but he felt it would be important to remember.

Monday, at lunch, before they went up top for training, the sounds were outside their bit of the hull. He ported them to the beam and they watched, as workmen on cables guided a large metal plate on to their vent, and bolted it in place. Bit by bit the light visible between the slats faded, until it was completely darkened. It was darker now than he'd ever seen this area, even during moonless nights.

"Um, Kurt?" His lady's voice was shaky, and he quickly went to her.

"It's alright, liebe. I've got you." He lifted her to her feet, and ported them to the deck below. "Damn them for taking away our sky."

"Yeah..." she hugged him hard. "Come on. It's time to go if we don't want to rush."

"Ja, it is." There was nothing permanent here. Kitty told him that Karla had said that to her before the end.

How very true that was...
Don't hate me because I scare you...
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Shadow And The Kat-Act 3 [ Chap 21 THRU 24!!! ] NC-17

Postby taekwondodo » Tue Jan 13, 2004 4:00 pm

Hurray! Actually read this before bed last night but I was too darn tired to review. Interesting now, to get a bit more of an idea of where this is going and wondering how thoroughly they're going to have Kitty brain-washed by the time they're sent off after the mutant resistance (can't remember what they're called here). I *really* want to know who's masquerading as Magneto - Polaris, or is there another magnetic mutant in this world (or in the X-worlds for that matter that I just don't know about). Oh well, eagerly awaiting the next instalment as usual.
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Shadow And The Kat-Act 3 [ Chap 21 THRU 24!!! ] NC-17

Postby Lynati » Sat Jan 24, 2004 9:55 am

*I* really want to know if what I suspect is up with Kitty is true, and if this story is going to have a happy ending or not.

-Lynati
"somebody do something, anything, soon-
I know I can't be the only "whatever-I-am" in the room, so-
why am I so lonely?
why am I so tired?
I need backup; I need company; I need to be inspired..."

-Ani Difranco
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Shadow And The Kat-Act 3 [ Chap 21 THRU 24!!! ] NC-17

Postby taekwondodo » Fri Mar 05, 2004 8:28 pm

*sigh*
I was hoping to have 3 or 4 chapters of this to read if and when I finally got back on the site. I'm here, but it's not...:bawl

I hope you haven't given up/lost interest in this Nightmare. It was one of the things I missed most when I couldn't log on for a month and a half.:tail
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Shadow And The Kat-Act 3 [ Chap 21 THRU 24!!! ] NC-17

Postby MoonbeamDancer » Sat Apr 24, 2004 6:20 pm

~Tosses this back up to the top~ Still waiting for new stuff and wondering where it went...
"You cheated."
"Pirate."
-Will Turner and Jack Sparrow

"But why is the rum gone?"
-Jack Sparrow
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Shadow And The Kat-Act 3 [ Chap 21 THRU 24!!! ] NC-17

Postby Lazerwolf/Phoenix » Wed Jan 05, 2005 12:59 am

hi there i'm not exactly new here and some of you might know me from other locations (ie Nacht) like ff.net and Nutter's site. i enjoy this fic and would ask that you continue it.
i am NOT a lubber! what's wrong with this thing!?!
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Shadow And The Kat-Act 3 [ Chap 21 THRU 24!!! ] NC-17

Postby HoodedMan » Wed Jan 05, 2005 1:03 am

The thread seems to have been resurrected but now that it has I'm pleased to see this fanfic; I love the emotion. I hope as others do that the author hasn't given up on wrapping it up! :p
ACHTUNG! Alles touristen und non-technischen looken peepers! Das computermachine ist nicht fuer gefingerpoken und mittengrabben. Ist easy schnappen der springenwerk, blowenfusen und poppencorken mit spitzensparken. Ist nicht fuer gewerken bei das dumpkopfen. Das rubbernecken sichtseeren keepen das cotten-pickenen hans in das pockets muss; relaxen und watchen das blinkenlichten.
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Uh, Hi! ? !

Postby Nightmare » Fri Feb 25, 2005 10:04 am

Say, it's been awhile. I'm amazed this post is still seeing the light of day.

I've been posting the story, with edits and such, on Adultfanfiction.net (category Comics - X-men). I'm nearly caught up with where I left off here, as I posted "Blood Stains" ( here #21, there #24) to it today. The chapter numbers are different there, don't let it phase you, it's because I counted the Intro and Interludes as chapters...

If you check the first post of this thread, I rearranged the chapters, because I conflated some and renamed others.

As for my progress, I'm hand-drafting the second to the last one (29/32), and the two before it are still in hand-draft stage... (27 & 28) but Taekwondodo has the three before those in her mailbox, that have yet to be seen here. (Here 24-26)

I'm seriously considering a sequel, because in the last few chapters I'm throwing a lot of new things into the mix, and the story as planned doesn't resolve the new stuff...

Anyway, SATK will be finished, here and on AFF, never fear.
Dang I missed this place...
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Shadow And The Kat-Act 3 [ Chap 21 THRU 24!!! ] NC-17

Postby HoodedMan » Fri Feb 25, 2005 8:18 pm

Welcome back. I'm sure we're all eagerly awaiting more; thanks for coming back! :p
ACHTUNG! Alles touristen und non-technischen looken peepers! Das computermachine ist nicht fuer gefingerpoken und mittengrabben. Ist easy schnappen der springenwerk, blowenfusen und poppencorken mit spitzensparken. Ist nicht fuer gewerken bei das dumpkopfen. Das rubbernecken sichtseeren keepen das cotten-pickenen hans in das pockets muss; relaxen und watchen das blinkenlichten.
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Shadow And The Kat-Act 3 [ Chap 21 THRU 24!!! ] NC-17

Postby Lynati » Tue Mar 01, 2005 6:21 pm

Woot! glad to hear it. : )

-Lynati
"somebody do something, anything, soon-
I know I can't be the only "whatever-I-am" in the room, so-
why am I so lonely?
why am I so tired?
I need backup; I need company; I need to be inspired..."

-Ani Difranco
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