|Ninjas, Revelations, And A Gambit|
|What: When three mutants try to deal with the hand, all sorts of explosions happen.|
On the second floor of an unassuming Park Slope office complex, an ancient evil festers, hidden away from prying eyes behind a facade of white collar normalcy. JuiceFan International - a multi-level marketing company from Japan that purportedly specializes in over-priced 'fitness drinks' - took up the space a few months ago, bringing along a dozen or so of its own employees to set up a call and local distribution center.
Nevermind the sharp uptick in drug related crime, kidnappings and murders in the area since JuiceFan's arrival; the city is still a pretty rough place, right?
It's late, and while the rest of the complex is empty, most of JuiceFan's employees are still hard at work putting the finishing touches on finance reports, going over inventory, negotiating with clients over secure cell phones, sharpening wicked, masterfully crafted blades, and so on. They're all still attired in the business casual gear they've been wearing all day, but now that it's late, a couple of the people who aren't already tied to a computer have set out their distinctive blood-red gear in preparation for the rest of the night's activities. It's going to be a /long/ night; they'll be lucky to get more than a couple hours of sleep when it's all said and done.
Not that the dead /need/ much of that.
A few days back, one of the company's 'affiliates' sent in a contract marking a former product of the Weapon X project for capture; it, along with a small number of other high risk contracts is waiting for the proper agent(s), plan, or both to bring it to completion. Since then, rumours of the enigmatic Hand's attempts to locate the fugitive X-23's whereabouts have begun percolating throughout the criminal underworld, and all of them, ultimately, lead back to that unassuming office complex in Brooklyn.
An office building? Nothing too impressive or important. At least on the outside. And yet, considering what happened not too long ago near Los Vegas...
Well, after what happened there, things had to be checked out. Rumors had to be followed up on. After all, if Weapon X is subcontracting /something/ regarding X-23, then X-23 itself... Herself, needs to know about it.
Hence why on a second building, not too far from The Park Slope office complex, a pair of individuals watch said building, listen, and prepare. In fact as one of them, a girl who goes by the name 'Laura' lowers her binoculars, she scowls slightly before asking a single question.
"This is the place? I though I just saw some red shirts..."
Looking impressive and important is a sure way to stand out. When one is running a deep cover operation, one does not want to stand out-- much less attract adventuring interlopers or master thieves. "Dey working late." Remy notes, breath fogging the chill New York City air without his customary cigarette; he knows the Hand well enough to know this operation requires a bit of professionalism, and cherries are obvious shit as night descends.
Remy borrows the binoculars only a moment before passing them back over the Laura, checking his coat pockets to make sure all his concealed weaponry is secure.. and ready. "Kind of encryption on their phones ain't de kind you see on a cut-rate callcenter for t'ird party vitamin water. Pretty sure dey don't tend to bring katana to work, eit'er." LeBeau smirks a bit grimly, "Going to drop in de back, the dark offices. See if I can dump de systems. Den join de party."
The Cajun guages the distance from their perch to the next rooftop. "You want first crack, you be my guest cher." She deserves that, after all-- and then some. Gambit launches into a far-vaulting front flip that seems all but uncanny, landing lithely on the far roof and seeking out the rooftop access to the office building. Bypassing security in a place like this? He expects it to be child's play, at least until he hits the right floor.
Whether they're pacing the phone bank, squinting at a computer screen or sharpening weapons, JuiceFan's employees all have one thing in common: they're all on edge to some degree or another; spending hours chained to a desk and a suburban cover identity day in and day out is trying for men and women whose unnaturally extended lives have been dedicated to bloodshed and misery. Opportunities to go out in the field are not rare, exactly, but given the alternative, they're no less prized for breaking up the monotony of their service.
As Gambit slips into the building, Laura's keen ears can barely make out a keen whistling approaching from the distance, like ghostly machinery racing through the skies above. A glance would reveal shadows in the air, moving far too quickly to be tracked by the naked eye. All in all, it only lasts for a couple seconds before something - no, some/one/, dressed in black and grey - falls from the passing shadow, sans parachute; by the figure recovers from his landing and heads inside, the shadow is gone.
Inside, Gambit's instincts prove accurate: it's smooth sailing all the way to the second floor door, which, on top of being locked, is rigged to trigger a small explosion if forcibly opened from the outside. It's enough to blow off a few fingers, maybe a hand--certainly not enough to kill.
On an operation like this, Laura sure as heck brought her Outsiders earpiece (aka one of the pieces of recovered AIM/Hydra tech they've been using). Hopefully Remy has his too. Because as she notices that shadow enter the upper level, she uses her earpiece to send a quick transmission.
"Possible third party, or reinforcements on site. Investigating."
And with that, Laura backs up, and removes her black winter coat, revealing her black body suit with a black X on it, before she takes a running leap towards the building, so she can in theory land on the roof, and follow after that 'late comer'.
"Guess I better hurry, den." Remy muses in scarcest whispers, probably barely audible over the earpiece... but it at least confirms reception. After all, he has the lock to a door to a room full of necromantic ninjas to concern himself with, and Gambit -really- doesn't feel like testing their hearing this early. One of the burners in the Cajun's longcoat is taken out and quickly, quietly dismantled, the master thief working quickly to gingerly disable the tripwire and rewire the explosive to the more advanced circuitry of the mobile phone.
Only then would he work at the physical or electronic locking mechanism directly, taking a bit more time with it than the one sealing the side stairwell accessing the roof. With a bit of luck, the Hand trusts their rigging to alert them to intrusion from Remy's angle, but he's not visible long as he seeks to stealthy slip through a crack in the door, and sneak through the shadowy call center towards its more isolated offices.
Boss' terminal or server room, as long as Remy's access point isn't on the main floor... he's happy. Relatively speaking, see above mention of necromancy and evil ninja.
The 'late comer' is a small, stout man dressed in a skintight black and grey uniform that comes complete with a pointy-eared cowl, and he's briskly moving from office to office on the empty fourth - and top - floor. Some desks are searched, and papers are riffled through, but he's careful to leave things as he found them before moving on. It's a small, simple space, with a pool of cubicles in the middle, and a few short hallways leading to office spaces, a small break, the reception area where the elevators lie, and the stairs.
Of course, with someone else - someone /small/, from the sounds of her - entering from the roof, Wolverine abandons his recon and steps back into the shadows of an office to hide. He keeps the door open a crack to keep an eye out for the newcomer--and more importantly, to look for an opportunity to get the drop on her.
Downstairs, Remy's jury-rigging does its job and earns him entry to the Hand's inner sanctum/cubicle farm. A young woman with a cell in one hand a kunai in the other is seated at the closest desk, a little less than ten feet ahead; her attention is mostly on the cubicle wall in front of her and the dagger, which she's casually flipping into the air. A couple of other employees with no vision at all of the door are similarly hard at work; only of them is actually speaking English, and his end of the conversation seems to consist entirely of rattling off a shopping list for a chem lab.
All in all, a smooth insertion--until Remy veers away from the phone banks to head for the offices. That's when a kunai goes sailing past his head to stick in a nearby wall.
"I will call you back," the knife-flicking woman - now standing a mere few feet away from the Cajunand flanked by a few of her well-dressed peers - murmurs into her cell before slipping it into her blazer. Despite their clothing, her fellow ninja salarypeople are alerady armed with katanas, sais, and sickles.
"You are trespassing," she then informs Gambit in a voice devoid of any real feeling. It's a warning, to be sure, but only a token one.
The girl up above appears almost to sniff the air as she enters the first room of the fourth floor. Only as she sniffs, she frowns slightly. For some reason she can't exactly place, the smell is a bit familiar. But it's there. And she can follow it.
Thus the short girl does so. And slowly. Inching closer and closer towards that door. Being almost painfully careful to make as little sound as she can.
And yet, as she does that, Lauras scowl grows. Part of her is more than a bit on edge because of this. After all, Undead Ninjas don't exactly smell like this. Or at least they shouldn't. Right?
The blade trembles with its forceful impact with the wall, and Gambit's eyes shift sidelong sharply, a contrast to the languid grace with which the Cajun rights himself, and holds his hands up, displaying his palms. "Place was suppose t'be empty." Remy lies, and smoothly. It's too smooth, too cool for the situation, really. Anyone who -truly- didn't belong would likely be crapping themselves, about now. "Don' figure we can talk 'bout dis, non?"
It's a hard sell. For one thing, there's a devilish grin on Gambit's face; his only real regret is that Laura doesn't get to hit them first. This is a foe he can get behind, and all his discovery does is accelerate their pre-existing timetable. Swiftly, with the eye-defying grace of a stage magician, the thief flips his hands around, and produces a pair of playing cards as if from thin air.
There's an audible thrum in the air as glimmering, violet-red energies surge into the deceptively unassuming rectangles of paper, throwing off their own light brilliantly in all directions... for the instant before each is released, with high explosive force, for left and right flanks of that business suited ninja team. Gambit himself dives into a roll the way he was headed, hitting the ground shoulder first as he seeks the scant cover of the cubicle farm and draws out his (currently retracted) fighting staff.
For one thing, Wolverine doesn't smell like a corpse; rather, the scent wafting from him is a mix of sweat, alcohol, and the faintest hint of blood. He doesn't move as Laura approaches, not even to breathe; this close, he doesn't even pay much heed to the cracked door, preferring to let the sound and smell of his quarry tell him where she is--especially once she turns down his hall and approaches his door.
And /stops/ in front of it.
Seconds tick by, and he considers just barreling through the door to get the jump on her; just as his fists begin to clench, however, the distant rumbling of explosions from a couple floors down catches his ear. Frowning, he grabs the door and tries to fling it right into Laura in the hopes of buying himself enough time to take off running towards the stairwell.
Hopefully, whoever his fellow interloper actually deserves to take a door to the face, but if not, Logan's conscience can probably take the hit.
Downstairs, one ninja makes the mistake of trying to parry an incoming card; the others - being smart enough to seek cover at the sight of glowing projectiles - end up with some cuts and bruises due to flying debris, but that one foolhardy individual who raises his sword to the incoming card is scattered to the four corners of the office when the resulting explosion turns his body to dust. The other card just takes out a desk and most of a distant cubicle partition, but that, at least, is good for buying the thief some breathing room.
"Leave his body intact," the kunai-flicker coolly instructs as she pops out from another cubicle to hurl another knife towards Gambit's position. The others who were with her - perhaps wary of the Cajun's explosive talent - hang back for the moment, rather than rush his position; all the better to give the rest of the staff the opportunity to join the battle.
Given a few seconds - five, maybe ten - they'll do just that, abandoning the drudgery of office work in favour of deadly weapons. None of them makes a sound as they emerge from their back offices and break areas, but sure enough, more and well-dressed murderers wielding ancient and deadly weapons take up positions around the cubicle farm, perhaps seeking to trap the intruder before going in for the kill.
Unfortunately that interloper is starting to reach for the handle of that door right as the explosions start. Thus the teenager is caught a bit off guard by the sounds. In fact, she's even starting to turn, more than likely towards the stair case when the door is thrust open, and into her. So it shouldn't be that much of a surprise that she gets hit by the door. not the entire thing, because she's already moving, but it does end up smacking her in the leg causing her to fall.
All though as she falls, she does catch sight of the person who rushes past her, at least for an instant. And for some reason, what ever she sees' even if it is just a brief outline in the darkness starts to set her off.
But it's not full fledged. At least not yet. Not as she scrambles back up, onto her feet, and after the 'unknown' interloper down the stairs.
And yet, as she rushes, she does transmit a small message, "Two of us incoming, Remy."
Hopefully, just hopefully they'll get there in time.
So much for needing his remote detonator to draw attention or announce a fight, right? Not quite as subtle as Remy might have liked these first few moments to go, but he can at least take some solace in the amount of trouble he and Laura are about to cause for the gathering ninja-- assuming, at least, they don't kill him first. It's hard to get a bead on the agile Cajun as he darts between cubicle walls, pausing as the Hand converge but don't press the assault to press his hands to one of those walls directly.
It takes a moment, then another for the charge to take, suffusing the larger object with exponentially increasing energy. The ninja get ten seconds, perhaps a little longer to trap Gambit... then he flips out of his hidey-hole, inverting his strategy and running, at full sprint, down the narrow edge connecting cubicle to cubicle, as the charged wall falls forward, building momentum on its own...
... if the playing cards didn't get Laura's attention, well. A wide radius, easily up to several dozen feet, would be directly consumed by the release of kinetic energy, sending office equipment and debris hurtling in all directions, blowing out the better portion of a bank of windows into a showering shotgun of shimmering shrapnel that sprays out over the near-abandoned lot below. As much range as Remy gains in those instants, sprinting for cover, it's not minimum safe distance by a longshot.
Gambit braces himself, rides the shockwave, and rolls with the impact-- tumbling end over end to upend into a wall, leaving a print in the shape of his armored form directly in the crumbling drywall, his coattails falling down around his ears. The one bonus? In the newly dust-filled cubicle farm, with his damn ears ringing, maybe his enemies can't get a good bead on /him/ either.
Risky, but then... LeBeau is sure not everyone made it out even that well. One way or the other... thinning the herd is essential to his continued survival.
'Dust-filled' is putting it mildly; none of the ninja were foolish enough to linger anywhere near the glowing wall, but one still takes half of a destroyed telephone receiver to the jugular, and another ends up with a stapler embedded in his chest; both were too busy trying to get a bead on the sprinting Cajun to stick to cover.
And if any of their comrades could be bothered to spare a feeling for either of them, it would undoutedly be contempt; as it is, they have enough on their plate with the slippery thief and increasingly disadvantageous environs without sparing a moment for weaklings.
Because the air is so thick with atomized debris and Hand remains, the remaining ninja are stuck stalking through what's left of the space to track their elusive quarry. Separating, they silently creep over and past the rubble; their nice clothing is in varying states of disrepair, but at least the fresh wounds beneath match the attire they're most accustomed to wearing.
With so much blood and dust in the air, the second floor is an assault on Wolverine's senses; unfortunately, all he can really do is try not to breathe too much of it in and thank God/Charles Xavier for the lenses in his cowl. Like Gambit and to a degree, the Hand, it doesn't take him long to see the value in it, though, and soon enough, he joins them in stealthily searching the destroyed cubicle farm.
/Un/like the Hand, it also doesn't take him long to find a target; between his fellow intruder, 'Remy', and whoever caused those explosions, he's perfectly content with grabbing the first warm body he finds and hurling it across the office to begin thinning them out.
The impact isn't enough /kill/ that unsuspecting ninja, but Remy and Laura might want to watch their heads.
As Laura rushes down the stairway, she coughs for a moment, and rubs her eyes.
Unfortunately, she doesn't have a mask with lenses. Or even glasses. Thus the clouds of dust hitting her eyes... The smell of the chaos... The very taste of dust and plaster as the airborne particles hit her tongue threatens to overload her senses. At least for a moment or two. But she ends up pushes on. Fighting to continue moving.
And she does, /fortunately/ keep moving. She isn't grabbed as she tries to silently move through the mass of cubicles, but she hear what Logan does to who ever he does grab. Or at least she hears the movements as she continues on ahead, her claws extending from both her fists and her feet with an momentarily audible *SKNIT!* as she moves along, before lunging at the first thing she /thinks/ is a ninja, claws first.
And yes, she is coming for you Remy. She's coming.
Gambit doesn't have the benefit of enhanced senses or electronics to make sense of the chaos he has wrought, nor does he succeed in stifling a cough that brings several hunting ninja down on him, even as the bruised thief rolls to a crouch. What Remy /does/ have, however, are reflexes to make the finest baseball pro ashamed, and a bo-staff made of nigh-unbreakable metal. It's that unassuming artifact weapon that opens with a metallic slide, whirling about to intercept blade or bone as assailants present themselves.
His fighting style-- and weapon of choice-- give him the advantage of reach and radius in the tight quarters, and the Cajun is not about to stay in one place long. Once instinct insists that he's going to be surrounded and skewered, several seconds into his staff-whirling tirade, LeBeau leaps in an inverted arc, kicking off the ceiling and hurling a pair of playing cards groundwards, the whirr of energy quickly giving way to the impacting shockwave of those explosive, mutant-powered weapons.
Their violet flare shimmers violently against the backdrop of white-grey office remnants wafting like snowflakes through the dustcloud that fills the area, casting brief illumination centered on and around that point that, until an instant ago, Gambit himself occupied...
Wolverine actually starts to glance down at his own hand when that distinctive sound cuts through the chaos, no matter /how/ silly an impulse it is. Beneath his mask, the old man's brow is creased with confusion and concern as he shakes his head and tries to concentrate on the task at hand: whoever is carrying whatever made that sound is just one of many targets yet to be rooted out, after all.
As he rounds half of a corner to close in on Remy and the ninja converging on him, the chorus of breaking bones and clashing metals that rises from the Cajun's deft defensive maneuvers give him some pause; if the others want to thin /themselves/ out, so be it. By the time Remy goes high to pitch those cards down, Wolverine is already backing off--though he does linger to squint bemusedly at the cape or coat wearing figure flipping through the air.
The white flash and accompanying *BOOM!* that follow make him regret even giving the other mysterious intruder /that/ much attention; with a loud cry of pain, he jerks away from the blast zone and clutches his hands to his ears, just for a second--and before he can lower them, something - a ninja, he assumes, given the blades digging past his ribs - slams into him, sending faint arcs of blood into the air to clash with the rubble/ninja cloud.
There aren't many ambulatory ninja left, thanks to Gambit's efforts - the knife-thrower, a chain-wielding, middle-aged man, and a younger man with sais are about it, and they're all injured - but with all the ruckus the two clawed mutants are causing, the knife-thrower and the sai-wielder peel off to investigate, while the last man begins gingerly whirling his chain and creeping towards the space Gambit disappeared from.
Out of all the people... All the things that could of been stabbed...
The flash. The explosion. It just had to happen then. Didn't it? Because as soon as Laura feels her claws enter something, she yanks them back out and tries to cover her own ears.
The explosions just add to the sensory overload she already has. Thus as she tries to cover her own ears, not only do her claws retract, but X-23 falls to her knees.
Worse, as she falls, she's left wide open. For Logan, or any ninja that may try to come at her.
And yet as she falls, she does glance in the direction of the person she stabbed, and tries to let out a faint, "/You/."
For his part, Remy has yet to fully recognize their third 'ally'.. not that he's got a lot of time to look around, just now. He does seem quite enthused with the idea of thinning out their numbers, though; not so much with the inverse. The dust won't stay a cloud forever, particularly with the cool air rushing in the newly, permanently opened bank of windows, and by the time Gambit lands.. he has a pretty fair view of that whirling chain and its wielding silhouette.
"What I like 'bout you folk. No fear. No brains. Man can feel good 'bout dat." Remy flashes the chainwielder a smile, invites attack. He's deceptively relaxed, experienced in enough situations to know the behavior of that weapon... to /want/ it whirling in, wrapping around his bo, threatening to disarm him. Gambit lets it happen, telegraphs into a full parry like a clueless amateur; just to lay fingertips exposed by his fingerless gloves on even one link of that chain.
At that point? Well, it should be obvious; LeBeau would send his trademark reddish energies right up that weapon, link by glimmering link, before whipping his staff right at the ninja. "Can't disarm Gambit, mon ami." He's squirrely enough, even injured-- but it's a moment after dropping his name that he catches sight of Wolverine's form coming clearer through the debris.
Remy doesn't speak his own echoing '/you/', but recognition is clear for just a moment past any pretense of pokerface. In fact, Remy eyes the open 2nd story windows for just a moment. The man unhesitatingly engaging a room full of ninja might just want to hurl himself out to flee said burly runt, Laura's peril be damned; to his credit, LeBeau doesn't.
The ninja has brains enough to throw his end of the chain away once that reddish energy begins racing along it; unfortunately for him, when the weapon explodes in mid-air, it sends Gambit's trapped bo darting darting towards him. He has just enough time to watch it coming for him with an actual expression of disbelief before it connects--right between the eyes.
/Had/ brains. The ninja /had/ brains; now they're dust.
"No fear, anyway," the remaining woman coolly corrects as she plants her feet to pivot towards the arrogant Cajun and flick her last two kunai in his direction.
Meanwhile, the wounded X-Man does what he does best when faced with a deadly adversary who has the drop on him: he lashes out, claws *SNIKT!*ing free as he takes a vicious swipe at her aggressor's face with his right hand.
"Me," he then rasps as he tries to push her away so that he can stand and--or at least /try/ to; even if he does get free, he won't get much further than half-standing, half-sitting against part of a desk, and the sai-wielder is only getting closer.
The clone girl moves as the claw comes her way. But it's just barely. If anything, it's more like a reflex as she hears the noise that's made as Logans claws pop out. And it may very well be what saves her life, as instead of having her head skewered, the claws just slash open her cheek as she uses that push Logan gave her earlier to roll clear.
"/YOU/." is once again snarled at Logan, the ninja either not noticed, or ignored as she focuses on /HIM/. All though as she tries to force herself up onto her feet again, there's a *SKNIT* as her own claws pop back out.
"They made me because of /YOU/ Weapon X! They wanted me to be you! To be better than /YOU/!"
Then slowly, ever so slowly, Laura inches forward for a moment. That is before pausing to sniff the air. That in turn leads to her turning her head slowly, as if finally catching wind of that sai-wielder.
But she doesn't attack. Either Wolverine, or the ninja. For the moment, she pauses.
One blade is caught up in a flourish of trenchcoat, digging into cloth and leather instead of flesh, while the other strikes through-- burying itself halfway in the Cajun's dark body armor, enough to draw a wince from Gambit... and a steady flow of blood hidden within his protective garb. There's one or two others similarly present-- some scratches, some a bit deeper. One doesn't rush across an enclave of the Hand unscathed, as Logan can well attest... at least, once he's not locked in a deathclinch with his X-chromosomal counterpart.
If they kill one another, Remy is going to have some serious explaining to do; or not to do, as the case may be. Luckily, killing either of /them/? Tricky, by LeBeau's reckoning. Very, very tricky. "Lucky dey busy gettin' acquainted, cherie, or dis be over already." Remy notes, spitting once to the side and setting his stance like an old west duelist. Fingers flex and limber, and energy-filled eyes lock on the apparent ninja leader; or at least, the most alert of the bunch.
"Girl's not your enemy, we come here t'kill de same people!" Rather than immediately drawing as he appears ready to do, Remy yells aside at Wolverine. It's mid-thought that a five card draw comes into his hand, fanned out like he were prepping for a round of poker; each glimmers in a swiftly expanding wave of charged energy. Remy discards sequentially, three cards come out first: a wide angle of fire to limit safe zones where the ninja bitch can safely flee.
The other two? Those come in direct, one after the other, once she -does- move. The Cajun's precision and reflexes timed almost in tandem with the Hand mistress' inevitable motion.
Despite barely being able to keep his feet, despite bleeding freely from his chest, and despite the mouthful of blood he has to spit out after growling that syllable, Wolverine glares daggers at the slight, dangerous girl who tried to run him through. He's about to say something further, when she offers a set of counter arguments so unexpected that the words vanish into the ether, leaving his mouth slightly ajar and his wide behind the mask.
In fact, he doesn't say anything for a /while/, much less move--even when it seems as though she's about to come at him again with those claws of hers. If nothing else, he'll see them coming; he hasn't taken his eyes off of them since they were bared.
Gambit's shout breaks his reverie, though, and while he doesn't stop staring, he does manage to murmur, "No," after trying - and failing - to swallow. "Can't--grrgh!"
Gambit's salvo of cards cuts the bewildered tracker off and turns the knife-thrower into a swirl of dust; it also causes the sai-wielder to pause, cover his ears, and consider switching targets. Laura and Logan seem to be doing a reasonable job of killing each other, even if they're taking their time with it..
"--nngh," Wolverine grunts after the worst of the ringing in his ears subsides. It's slow going, but he manages to push himself all the way upright, too, and once there, he grabs the lamp from the desk he was leaning against and throws it at the distracted sai-wielder's head, dropping him. With that taken care of, he refocuses on Laura, who he takes a step away from while retracting his claws.
"Listen, girl," he warily murmurs, as he turns his palms towards her, "if you're tellin' the truth--" He pauses, briefly, to squint suspiciousy towards Gambit - who seems to be acquainted with her - for some kind of confirmation, then fixes his eyes on Laura again.
"--I ain't got nothin' to do with the people that wronged you," he finishes with a heavy voice.
The fact that Remy causes a few more explosions causes Laura to not even wince this time. It's not that she's use to them. But it's more like she's focused to a point where she knows that if she lets go right now, she'll loose what she has.
Or at least that's her fear.
All though as Loagn takes care of the ninja with the sai, it is enough to cause Lauras claws to retract as she watches the warrior in red fall.
There's even a momentary pause after that, before she looks back at the person she /accidentally/ stabbed not too long ago.
"It is the truth." is spit out, before one... Last fact is spit out. Potentially the biggest one.
"I am Weapon X-23."
"I'm your /CLONE/."
The kunai sticking out of his gut is the last pulled free as Remy is given a moment's respite, flicked over in his fingertips in the instants before Logan drops the approaching, last standing ninja, then nonchalantly hurled into the intact inner wall, buried to the hilt. LeBeau barely looks over to nail his target; but then it is something like hitting the broad side of a barn while locked inside, and rather deceptively simple if not for the perfect form.
"Jus' look at her." Gambit encourages Wolverine, gesturing like he shouldn't even have to confirm Laura's story; as much of it as he can. "How else to t'ink it happen if not dem?" He doesn't bother to point out that her spoken designation suggests freaking /prolific/ attempts.
The Cajun fishes a crumpled pack of smokes from his jacket and lights one of the intact ones up, wandering towards the back offices in search of that intact workstation. When and if Remy finds one, he just jabs a preloaded thumbdrive in a USB slot, and lets the worm do its work; it's not exactly his area of expertise, but the data miners have served him quite well in the past.
The number is /certainly/ not lost on Logan; whether it means that he has 23 new children to wonder about or 22 fruitless deaths to avenge, he isn't sure, yet.
His first, knee-jerk instinct is to deny, deny, deny - when Weapon X wasn't shoving metal into his body, it was playing with his mind; given the rumours that brought him here, it doesn't take a great leap to imagine his former handlers finding a whole new way to turn his world on its head.
A slight flaring of his nostrils and a delicate sniff is all it takes to wipe away the doubts, though, leaving plenty of room for the cold, sick horror of staring his sixteen year old clone in the eye to set in.
Not that he /can/ hold her eye for long; soon enough, he's averting his gaze to look around for Gambit--who seems to be missing, leaving him to turn and drift away, ostensibly to survey the damage they(Remy) did to the place.
"Oughtta pick your partners better, in that case," he advises in a tight, quiet voice as he wanders through the wreckage. "That one--that one's--" There's a beat as he pauses to squint down at a fallen ninja, and then, as he reaches for a pouch on his belt, he turns back around to close in on Laura again. He stops when she's right at arm's length to hold a plain business card with nothing but a Westchester phone number printed on it out to her.
"If you need a place to lay low, after this," he instructs, rather than continue dispensing advice. He still doesn't come anywhere close to making eye contact.
Mercifully, hacking a computer is way easier than facing down one's mysterious clone-daughter; given a couple minutes, the contract, as well as the info for the account that was used to put up the money for it will be Remy's.
There are answer Laura can give. More answers. But they can wait. Especially as Logan and Remy work to recover that data.
Laura meanwhile just stands there, her emotions now drained. What rage she was feeling. What confusion she may have had. It's gone now. After all she did it. She looked /HIM/ in the face and said what needed to be said.
Thus, while the card is examined, it is pocketed. Because she's definitely going to call that number. If only because she knows that she's going to have to tell him the rest eventually. About how there was /MORE/ than 22 others for example.
"I will call. And... A place to be safe, even if for a little while..."
Yeah, the rest of that sentence is flat out unsaid, before her gaze flickers to Remy.
"As for Remy... He is a..." She pauses, fighting for the right word. "Ally. He's saved me from others trying to get me back to them. He has saved my friends as well. What few I have." Another pause. "What few I had."
Once the data is securely on the portable drive, Remy pops it back out, and back into his coat. It's a long, convoluted trail to follow... he knows that much already, and intimately. The Cajun also knows some people won't stop following it, and that information can indeed be power. Some of his best jobs are all about information, some of his best clients.. well, it's all they care about, at the end of the day.
When LeBeau re-emerges from the offices, it's with a slightly slower step, traces of that hesitance to face Wolverine at all. Gambit hasn't lived this long by being careless, and while the two mutants have never properly met? Remy knows more than he'd like to know about Weapon X, that much is for certain.
"My ears are burnin'." The Cajun notes wryly as he moves over to survey the parking lot, armored boots crunching over scattered debris, the asphalt several stories below still shining with broken glass. "Cops are going to be here sooner'n later. Expec' it's time for us to be gone. Got de files off deir servers, can sift it later."
"Yeah," Wolverine murmurs when Laura trails off. He knows full well what a relief it can be to have a safe place to turn to when things get really, truly bad.
Nevermind that he just all but led his latest source of angst right to his safe haven, parenthood is, he's heard, about making sacrifices.
He leaves things at 'yeah', for now, while Remy does his thing. He does look up, once, to guiltily study his clone, and perhaps even say something; he drops his eyes before whatever it is can come out, though. When Gambit returns, he's /still/ studying the floor... until the Cajun speaks, at which point Logan looks up to glare at his back. One of the former Weapon X employees he visited while tracking chasing down information about the contract had pictures from the night he escaped, recovered from the Canadian installation's records--pictures of a man who looked an awful lot like the silver-tongued Cajun standing in the window.
The man who, apparently, has been a stalwart ally to other victims of the program, despite his inexplicable presence on that fateful, blood-drenched day.
"Probably right," he murmurs after a fleeting glance in Laura's direction. He starts heading for the stairs with that; going from the roof to the alley should afford a little more cover than going from a second story window to the parkling lot. "Let's go."