Read Or Die Fan Fiction / X-Men Fan Fiction ❯ Read or Die: Shadowcat! ❯ Interlude: Madripoor ( Chapter 11 )
Shadowcat: Read or Die!
Interlude: Madripoor 2003
"Drake-san! Drake-san," Yomiko Readman protested, running to keep up with him as they left the docks and carefully tucking a novel into her coat pocket, "I nearly dropped my book."
Drake Anderson looked mildly pained, the blonde haired man taking off his stocking cap to run a hand through his hair. "Come on," he sighed, "we've got to meet are contact."
Yomiko followed willingly, the black haired girl pulling her suitcase behind her while her overcoat fluttered in the breeze. "So where are we going, anyway?" she asked, the two navigating through the streets of Lowtown.
"The Princess Bar," Drake answered, glaring down at a rat-like man who was about to try and pick his pocket until the man cautiously moved off. "We've got a local contact waiting there," he continued, "a fellow called Patch."
"Patch?" Yomiko echoed as she looked up at him, squarish glasses gleaming in the sunlight, "Sounds like a pirate."
"It's obviously an alias," Drake agreed, "he's part owner of the bar, been seen around Madripoor for the past several months. We don't have much more background information on him, so watch yourself around him."
"Sure, Drake," Yomiko said cheerfully.
Drake just sighed softly at that. The two reached the Princess Bar a few minutes later, a pretty good looking place despite the rough neighborhood all around it. He reached out to grab the door when it was suddenly slammed open from the inside, a man flying right past them and then hitting a nearby wall with a loud crash.
"Wow," Yomiko blinked.
Drake cautiously pulled the swinging door open, keeping Yomiko behind him as he lead the way inside. Various tables had been turned over, chairs scattered around the room as a crowd kept a safe distance. A shorter man was brushing his hands off, a cigar clenched between his teeth and a eyepatch covering his left eye.
"Patch," the African man behind the bar shook his head, "you didn't have to throw him out of here that hard."
Patch just smiled back, "Archie, he was abusing the working girls again." He shrugged as customers began to put tables back in order, "What was I supposed to do?"
Archie grinned, "You just love a good fight, buddy."
"Logan," Drake murmured the name to himself softly, then he shook himself, moving aside so that Yomiko could follow him inside.
"Welcome to the Princess Bar," Archie noticed the two of them walking inside as he cheerfully continued, "the finest drinking establishment in Madripoor."
"Or at least no one's willing to argue with us over the title," Patch said, studying the two of them thoughtfully, his gaze hesitating a moment on Drake.
"So what can I get you two?" Archie asked.
"Beer," Drake said, picking the least toxic drink he could think of.
"Iced coffee," Yomiko ordered cheerfully. Everybody looked at her a moment and she blinked back owlishly, "What?"
Archie just chuckled softly, drawing a beer first then rummaging around in a small freezer a bit until he found a can of iced coffee. "We don't get this ordered much," he explained ass he passed the drinks over to them.
"Come on," Patch said, leading them over to a corner table that was slightly apart from the others, a bit more private. He took a generous drink of his beer before saying, "So you two were sent by that old kook, Gentleman?"
"You know Mister Gentleman?" Yomiko blinked in surprise.
"The problem is," Patch said as he took another pull of his drink, "the book that I was told you two are looking for is the hands of General Manh."
"Which means?" Drake asked crisply.
"The General is one of the two crime lords in the city," Patch was smiling slightly, "with a very dangerous bodyguard, Bloodscream."
"Doesn't sound nice," Yomiko sipped her coffee.
"That's an understatement," Patch agreed. He finished off his mug of beer, "A vampire with some pretty unique powers, he's pretty lethal."
"Marvelous," Drake muttered under his breath, drinking more of his beer.
Patch opened his mouth then stopped, noticing that Yomiko had pulled out a book and was cheerfully reading away while drinking iced coffee. He looked over at Drake and quietly asked, "Does she do that very often?"
"You have no idea," Drake took another drink.
"Good news is," Patch sat back, a smile on his face as he continued, "I'd love to see the General get embarrassed, so I'll give you a hand."
"I appreciate it," Drake noticed that Yomiko was entirely engrossed in her novel before quietly adding, "Logan."
Patch didn't seem too surprised as he smiled slightly, "Thought you recognized me." He tilted his head to the side, "You mind not telling your bosses?"
"None of their business," Drake said dryly. He reached over to calmly pluck the book away from Yomiko, the girl following it until he tucked it behind his back.
"Drake-san?" Yomiko looked up at him plaintively.
"Patch here has agreed to help us out," Drake said to her firmly.
"Oh, thank you," Yomiko beamed at Patch.
Patch shook his head slightly, lighting another cigar. "You're going to need to break into Manh's headquarters," he said, "and raid his library. He's got good security systems and a lot of goons, so you're going to need a distraction.
"And you're it," Drake smiled slightly.
"But..." Yomiko actually looked worried as she looked at Patch.
Patch grinned back at her, "Don't worry, kid. It'll be loud, but I won't be taking any risks." He paused, "Well, not too many."
"That's comforting," Drake sighed as they bent their heads over the table, quickly sketching out the plan they were going to follow.
BOOM! The walls of the high-rise shook, insulation falling from the ceiling on them as they raced down a hallway. "What's going on out there?" Yomiko wondered.
"I think Patch and his friends are getting a bit carried away," Drake made a face.
Patch had called in a few markers and gotten together a substantial force of men to launch an attack on Manh's headquarters. Most of them seemed to be in it for the pleasure of the battle, much like Logan himself, and they followed him eagerly. The halls were deserted, the majority of guards drawn out to the battle, Patch going toe to toe with the vampire Bloodscream himself.
"Here it is," Drake said, kicking the door of the library open.
"I wondered why the direct assault," the Asian man mused before pulling the trigger, firing across the room at Drake.
Yomiko moved like a shot, a piece of paper thrust between Drake and the bullet. The slug struck, deforming against the paper to come to a dead halt. "Are you all right?" she asked Drake softly.
"Fine," Drake had his own gun at the ready, carefully studying his foe. "General Manh, I take it?" he asked, ready to shoot him.
"What do you want?" Manh asked coldly.
"The Hellstrom chronicle," Yomiko spoke up, "the one your people stole from England."
"That's all you want?" Manh narrowed his eyes a moment then went over to a bookshelf, one of four that lined the walls of the dimly lit room. He pulled the leather bound tome out and tossed it over, "Take it, and call the attack off."
Drake caught it one handed the passed it to Yomiko, "This it?"
Yomiko brought to book up to her nose, sniffing at the paper, then carefully licked the cloth of the binding. Her face seemed pale, almost chalky as she said, "It's the real thing, all right."
"Nice doing business with you," Drake all but pushed Yomiko out into the hall, the two racing away even as they heard the man calling back his security forces. "It's going to be close," he muttered, running to the stairway.
"No it wont," Yomiko stopped them at a window, throwing a sheet of paper to shatter the glass. "Climb out," she ordered, the sound of guards getting nearer.
"You're not planning to...." Drake started.
"Climb," Yomiko urged him.
The two got out onto a shelf that curved around the building, barely standing as the winds buffeted them. Yomiko opened her suitcase, papers swirling around them as a figure was formed from the pure white sheets. With a sweep of powerful wings the paper bird carried the two of them up, then away from the building as those below looked on with awe.
"Now that," Patch pulled a cigar from his battered shirt, his gaunt adversary Bloodscream looking up with a equally stunned look, "is impressive."
To be continued....
Authors Note: Patch and Madripoor are from the Wolverine comics, mostly back in the first twenty or so issues. I thought that if I was going to mix the ROD and X-Men universes I almost HAD to have the Library have a run-in with Logan eventually.