Fanfic – Wildcats: an Alternate Version, Chapter 2

Wildcats is owned and being buried by DC comics, a division of Time Warner. It used to be owned by Jim Lee, part of Image comics, but those days are over so let’s not dwell. I make no claim to these characters and will return them in approximately the same condition I found them in with minimal wear and tear.

This is a slightly updated, slightly tweaked retelling of the original WildCATs miniseries. It takes place about 5 years later than the original series would have taken place. I hope you enjoy my new take on it!

© Wildstorm

Voodoo’s heart sank. The club was gone. The few people she had made any connection with in her current life were very possibly dead. The only person in the world she had right now was a stranger she had just met in a gun fight. They had been riding for a while but with all that had happened she wasn’t sure if she could trust herself to judge distance or time. She didn’t recognize the area they were driving through but knew it had to be outside of DC. They slowed down as he drove into an area that was dark and questionable, full of pool halls, party stores and sleazy motels. The Grifter pulled into the gravel parking lot of a motel. The lot was lit only by the dim glow of the neon sign showing vacancy. He parked the ridiculously customized bike next to a similar one. She still had no idea of his intentions. She followed him as he walked towards the center of the complex. Vending machines for soda and snacks cast a faint glow on the opening between two run down stucco buildings. She could see thick privacy curtains pulled shut in the single large window on the front. She glanced around nervously.

“Damn, I need a cigarette.” She looked back at her rescuer who was pulling a pack from the inside of his leather jacket. She sized him up again, he was younger than she had first through, late 20’s, early 30’s, broad shouldered and muscular. He was brimming with confidence and an energy that was one hundred percent masculine. Getting them both inside out of the cold night air was apparently a lower priority than the cigarette, as he was taking his time digging in his pocket for the room key.

As the adrenaline wore off she was getting increasingly colder. The mini dress and boots she was wearing exposed most of her body. The night had a chilly breeze and she shivered involuntarily. She was thankful that she hadn’t gotten to the second part of her act when she was taken away. Grifter was distracted at this point and barely acknowledging her presence. He finally located the stray key in his other pocket and opened the worn green door marked number three with a reflective sticker intended for mailboxes. Her heart started to pound as she followed him inside wondering what the “cost” of her rescue would be. Good deeds were rarely free. She should never have followed some strange guy anywhere alone especially since her instincts were telling her very little. She couldn’t get any kind of read on this man.

“You have done well, Cole.” The voice came from a six foot tall platinum blonde. She was standing by a flimsy excuse for a table in the corner of the room looking at the screen of a laptop. She was unusually toned with miles of leg wrapped in tight red spandex. Her hair was pulled back. The woman had a commanding presence. Voodoo shifted uncomfortably.

“Yeah, could have used some back up when those Cabal goons showed up. Where the hell were you?”

“I was only a few minutes behind you after I dealt with the Troika. When I arrived I saw you leaving with the girl in your possession so I just headed straight back here.”

“Well, I guess you owe me one since I pulled this gig off solo.”

“I’ll take it off your tab. It looked like you arrived just in time. There was a group teleporting in as we departed.” The woman turned to Voodoo. “You are the Gifted One, Priscilla is it?”

“Uh yeah…gifted what?”

“My name is Zealot. The man who brought you here is called Grifter.”

“You can just call me Cole. That code name bullshit can get kinda old.”

“You have great power. I can see it in you. Tonight your attempted kidnapping was a tipping of the scales of power. You are the key in a millenia long war. Your destiny is to turn the tide.”

“Uh..about that. I have no idea what you are talking about and it sounds crazy.”

“If it’s so crazy why were highly trained agents of a criminal organization dispatched to kidnap you? I can assure you they weren’t after you because of a parking ticket.”

“You have a point.”

” I can explain more in the morning. Why don’t we retire for now? I have taken the liberty of picking up some clothes in the case that we were successful in locating you.”

“I’m not sure I can trust you.”

“You don’t have an option. The clothes are on the dresser. We will be departing very early in the morning so get some rest.” As the pair stepped away she felt the knot in her stomach grow tighter. She was a prisoner at this point. She didn’t know what to make of the situation. She had nowhere to run to. After the incident tonight she had no desire to return to D.C. She was estranged from her family. She had no close friends other than the girls at the club. She glanced suspiciously at Grifter and Zealot as they conversed quietly on the opposite side of the room. She had the bed farthest from the door. There was a second bed and a sorry excuse for a couch towards the entry. The two spoke in hushed voices just out of earshot. She strained to hear them as she riffled through the clothes that were left for her.

“This was a risky maneuver, Z. We are going to be target number one of the Cabal as long as we have her with us.”

“Aren’t we already? We had no choice. We could not let her fall into the wrong hands. She is young and her powers are not even fully realized.”

“Young, all right.”

“I thought you liked them that way?”

“Don’t do this, Z. I don’t want to go through this again. Giving up my bed is bad enough.”

“The fold out is not to your liking?”

“What fold out? That couch was made before they invented sleepers. I’m going to wake up with a crick in my neck.”

“Just take the bed. You have done well.”

“I’d turn you down if I wasn’t so beat.”

“You can rest. I’ll finish packing.”

She was about to walk away when Grifter’s hand grabbed hers and squeezed.

“Goodnight.” He said huskily.

“Goodnight.” She said as she retreated.

Voodoo took this opportunity to slip into the bathroom to change. As he heard the door to the bathroom click shut the Grifter stripped down to his boxers in the room. The box spring creaked loudly as it gave way under the weight of his body. Fuck being a gentleman. He worked his ass off that night. He retrieved the target. He was sleeping in a bed. If she wanted a place to sleep other than the couch there was still some room on the mattress. It wouldn’t be the first time. When Voodoo emerged the makeup was scrubbed from her face and she wore the loose sweats that had been purchased for her. She found a glass of water next to her bed and drank it. She crawled under the covers and promptly fell into a deep sleep.

Zealot glanced over at the beds. She had finished packing up their gear. The girl was sleeping soundly now. They had taken no chances and placed a mild sedative in the glass of water by her bedside. She would not awaken for several hours. She bit her lip. She could tell by the sound of his breathing Grifter was half awake. She could use a small amount of sleep. She eyed the couch hesitantly knowing it was scratchy, squeaky and definitely not comfortable. The bed was barely better and probably a greater health hazard. She sighed and approached Grifter. She hesitated at the edge of the bed then turned away. Things were complicated enough as it was. She walked to the couch and lay down but sleep was more elusive than usual. They had been working for months on locating the Gifted One. Now it was time to put the plan into motion and Zealot had the unfamiliar feeling of dread. She closed her eyes but with the newcomer’s presence it was hard to relax. So much was going on and all according to plan so far…something was bound to go wrong soon.

HALO Industries

“What do you mean you showed up and the girl was gone?” His team had failed on its initial mission. Jacob Marlowe was understandably upset.

“We saw the Cabal agents dead on the ground, bodies everywhere in the rubble but the girl had been taken by a masked man who took off on a motorcycle, sir.” Hadrian gave just the facts. He wasn’t programmed to talk back.

“Who do you think he works for? We have to find this guy!”

“He took her without harming her. He could be a mercenary. If he is we have to find her before she is sold to the highest bidder.”

“Agreed. We can work on finding out who this mysterious man is. Did you get even a glimpse?”

“We arrived seconds after he had left. I wasn’t even able to get a license plate number. We were able to get a name from the club owner. I’m not sure if it’s an alias. He said the man’s name is Cole Cash.”

It was before dawn when the incessant beep of the clock radio rang throughout the small motel room. Voodoo looked towards the clock groggily. She couldn’t seem to focus or shake off sleep. Her limbs felt like lead. Grifter was scowling. He was apparently not a fan of early mornings either. He sat on the edge of the bed for a moment rubbing sleep from his eyes. Voodoo looked at the tattoos scattered on his arms and back. She quickly looked away when he turned towards her. “Morning.” Zealot was already walking around the room fully awake. Voodoo swung her legs over the side of the bed and attempted to steady herself. She looked up when Grifter tossed a set of clothes at her. The garments in her lap were more suited for travel than the sweats she had changed into the night before. “Get dressed. We gotta leave before dawn. We have a long ride ahead of us.”

“Do I get any of the explanations I was promised?”

“Let us get you a safe distance from here where the Cabal will not find you and I promise I will answer your questions then,” Zealot interceded. Voodoo was still not trusting, but went into the bathroom to change into her clothes.

Zealot changed into a leather jumpsuit for the ride ahead. As she zipped the form fitting leather on she felt eyes on her. “You’ve seen this a thousand times now, Cole.”

“The view never gets old.”

“Keep your mind on our objective. We can discuss…other matters later.”

“I get the feeling we just walked into a shit storm. There won’t be a dull moment for a long time.” Grifter had a bad feeling about all of this. He learned a long time ago to trust his gut.

“With us, is there ever one?”

Voodoo emerged from the bathroom in head to toe leather. Grifter was taking out his morning cigarette and eyed her up and down. Maybe they were walking into some trouble, but he could get used to running around with two ladies if they dressed this way regularly. He gestured at the cigarette pack and offered her one. She shook her head vigorously and ran her hand through her dark mane, attempting to comb it out with her fingers. Zealot left to check out of the motel. Grifter and Voodoo walked outside with their bags into the cool early morning air. “Do you guys have anything to eat?” Voodoo inquired. Grifter pointed to the vending machines flanking their room. She wrinkled her nose in disgust. “I can’t put any of that in my body.”

“Well aren’t you a princess… We’ll stop at our halfway point about two hours ride from here. If Z had it her way we would just drive on through but I just don’t work that way.”

“So is Zealot your girlfriend? Wife?”

“What? Wife? I’ve been running around with Zealot for about twenty years now, but married? That’s just not in our dispositions. She’s my partner.”

“Twenty years? Since you were what? Twelve? How old are you anyway?”

“Look, what you need to know is Z and I are going to keep you safe. Don’t get too personal too quick, kid”

Zealot returned at that moment. They loaded the small amount of gear up on the bikes. Grifter motioned that she would still be riding with him. She pulled the helmet on over her head and held on tight anticipating the jarring force of the bike’s forward momentum.

HALO Industries

Jacob Marlowe paced in his office. It was still dark out but the many city lights still were illuminated outside his office’s floor to ceiling windows. He had been nothing, a bum living in a haze when Void found him. Then with her guidance within two years he had become a world class businessman amassing a fortune. The next step she outlined was for him to be the savior of the human race. It was still so foreign to him. Void floated beside the window, looking out at the vast city below. “Any more visions, Void?”

“No, none of this is right. It is like the future has not yet been written. We are entering uncharted territory.”

“Great, so did we screw up?”

“I do not believe that is so. I think through the butterfly effect the probable future was distorted. A power surge caused an electrical short that triggered a delay on a traffic light or even a pause of the elevator or a change in plan of the other players caused an unexpected detour to this alternate future. I relied on my visions before, but now there are no visions. No guide. We are on our own.”

“Well, I guess making our own rules can’t be so bad. We can just make it up as we go. Spartan is working diligently to see if we can get a lead on this Cole Cash character.”

“I will keep trying to hone in on the Gifted One’s bio signature. It would be a lot easier if she were not on the move. I cannot lock onto a target constantly in motion.”

“We all gotta stop running sometime, Void.”