32 – Rooftop Traveling
Gambit sat on the roof of the SUV with the college boy and the big black man and sulked. His little dramatics after meeting the other four dimensional travelers had almost made them refuse to believe that they were in danger from anything but Remy himself. They wanted to stay in town and they were on the very edge of refusing to leave with Gambit and his friends. That’s when the braver zombies returned of course.
A quick battle and an even quicker explanation ensued. That led to Methos driving them out of town with the strange femme in the backseat with Xander and the older suit wearing man in the passenger seat next to Methos. Gambit rode on top of the SUV with the other two and took great joy in blasting zombies with his cards while his new companions fired their guns from either side of him.
It had been very surreal.
Now that they were past the town limits and heading wherever the pissed-off ancient immortal decided on, Gambit was suffering through a Methos lecture as interpreted via Xander’s telepathy. Thankfully, Methos’ temper was beginning to cool down.
=Oh,= Xander’s mental voice was both smug and amused, =Methos also said that if you ever pull such a stunt again, he’s gonna put you over his knee and spank you with the flat of his sword.=
Gambit blinked rapidly at that last bit and couldn’t quite help wondering if it was meant as a threat or a come-on. Xander dissolved into mental laughter and Gambit loftily ignored him. Instead he took a moment to miss Jake. The Courier would have loved the idea of him being threatened with a spanking. In fact, he’d probably have insisted that Gambit really deserved one.
“Can you tell us what in the world is going on here?” Gambit looked up to see the tense faces of their newest travel companions. The boy was the one who spoke, but the black man was nodding along. “And also, no offense, but…what are you?”
With a sigh, Gambit pushed his sunglasses up on his head and fully exposed his, admittedly, eerie red on black eyes. The black man hissed even as the boy leaned forward to see them better.
“Gambit be a mutant,” he said. Before either could ask, he continued, “Which means that he has a mutated genetic sequence in his DNA. That causes some minor physical differences, like his eyes an’ some o’ter powers, like his bio-kinetic charge. De world that Gambit from has lots of folks wit’ mutations.” A frown. “No one really sure why, but maybe ten percent of de population be mutant.”
Both of them arched up an eyebrow at him. He wasn’t sure if it was from his explanation of mutants or from listening to him speak about himself in the third person. At this point he really didn’t care which and his speech patterns had been set years and years ago. He wasn’t about to change now.
“As for what be going on?” Gambit shrugged lightly. “We still figuring that out ourselves. We came t’ this world through a portal too an’ now we stuck here wit’ no way back. That’s not a good thing ‘cause as far as we can tell, this world is dead or dyin’.”
The boy tilted his head, his eyes unfocused slightly. It was obvious that he was thinking hard. The man wasn’t going to let it go at that though. He gestured back down the road in the direction they had just come.
“What the hell was up with those…people things back there? That was…all sorts of messed up. I don’t like having to fire my gun into crowds and I know that Q-Ball here feels the same.”
The boy looked up and nodded in agreement and Gambit grimaced and sighed.
“We still piecing it all together.” Gambit frowned, tipped his head back slightly and considered. “Methos an’ Xander been doing most of de research, but…nearest I can figure is that de company Umbrella Corporation had a military contract t’ build some sort of bio-weapon. They tried t’ create a virus that would infect a person an’ then mutate them t’ have powers.” He grinned. “Take it from de man born that way, it ain’t all it’s cracked up t’ be.”
“So they’re mutants?” The boy frowned and gestured vaguely, “They don’t seem to be anything like you and if you’re a mutant…” He trailed off in confusion.
“Non, they not mutants.” Gambit shrugged and wished he had some cigarettes, “De virus worked, just not as predictable as they hoped. Not everyone mutated right an’ got powers. So, they call it a partial success an’ start workin’ on a new formula, better an’ stronger, heh? It de second virus they developed that cause all de problems. De T-virus got loose an’ began infectin’ people. Only, it don’ do what they hoped because it mutated itself, not de victims.”
“It rot them from de inside out, including their brains. What’s worse is that killin’ ‘em don’t always stop ‘em cause de virus can reanimate dead tissue. Dismemberment an’ fire seems t’ kill ‘em permanent, but that’s it.”
They both stared at him in shock for a long moment, unable or unwilling to try and confirm what he’d said until the big black man pulled it together a bit.
“Are you telling me those people things were zombies?!”