Issue Date: January 2013
Story Title: Under-dressed and under duress
Staff: James Asmus (writer), Diogenes Neves (penciler), Allen Martinez (inker), Rachelle Rosenberg (colorist), VC’s Cory Petit (letterer), Terry Dodson (cover), Jennifer M. Smith (assistant editor), Daniel Ketchum, (editor), Nick Lowe (X-Men group editor), Axel Alonso (editor in chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)
Gambit has been captured by Borya Cich and his men. They take him to the Swiss Alps where he is given a motorbike. He uses it to stop a truck destined for the Eurotech Research Project nearby and Cich’s men take the truck. When they get there, they use cunning to enter the building and head to their target area, a small room where tiny teleportation devices are being stored. Cich’s right-hand man, Remlik, tests one and it appears to work properly. Gambit blindsides Remlik and attempts to use one to escape, only to find himself teleporting right back to Cich’s private jet. He is tasered unconscious and wakes up to find himself strapped to the back of the plane. Cich then detaches the cable and Remy falls to Earth, thinking about how he may have gone too far this time. As he resigns himself to being killed, he is teleported back to the plane. Cich warns him that, now he knows what is in store next time he deviates from the plan, he will be prepped for the real mission. Meanwhile, two of Director Pete Wisdom’s employees bring him information about the Eurotech break in and inform him that not only was Gambit involved, but the plane is heading to the UK. Wisdom asks them to rally the troops. They need to be ready for them.
Gambit finds himself in a private plane with Borya Cich and several of his armed henchmen. He has been given a job to do and Remy asks if they can call it even after he’s completed it. Cich informs him that he’ll have his eyes and ears on him. If he tries to run any plan apart from his, he will be finished. Remy thinks to himself that he’s fortunate to have been in situations like this plenty of times before.
Once he is in the Swiss Alps, Remy is given a powerful motorbike and set on his way. As he races along the mountain pass, Cich feeds him only small bits of information at a time. It makes it damn near impossible for Gambit to get a step ahead of him. Cich contacts him
via an earpiece and informs him that his target is approaching. Remy knows that he’s got no choice but to play along until he finds a window of opportunity. Remlik watches from higher up the mountain using binoculars and he warns Remy to be careful. On these roads it would be easy to have an accident. Remy replies that he appreciates the concern. The hatchet face he wears hides a real warm heart. Remlik tells him he misunderstands. They all look forward to his death, but he would prefer the pleasure of causing it himself. He wishes Remlik good luck with that as this truck is bigger and faster than him and he’s still stopping it in its tracks in style.
Remy approaches a large truck heading in the opposite direction. Once he is within sight, he charges the bike up until it’s ready to explode. With only yards to go, he leaps from the bike and lets it continue its path towards its target. When it collides with the truck there is an explosion which stops the truck dead. The German driver and his mate step out and ask Gambit if he’s okay. The driver says he should stay still and they’ll call an ambulance. Remy has no idea what he’s saying, but then he notices several red dots appear on the guy’s face. He leaps at him and tells him to get down before turning to Remlik, who has appeared close by. “I told you. No one gets hurt,” he snaps. Remlik asks if he was serious when he said that? He thought a mutant thief would rather leave no witnesses. He smiles and says fine, they’ll leave them. There is a chance that someone might take this service road and find them before they freeze.
They climb into the truck and drive off, heading towards Eurotech Research Project, a large series of buildings almost hidden amongst the mountains. Cich informs those inside the truck that the payload is located on the lower level of the rearmost building in the complex. Gambit will handle all the internal access points. The truck pulls up outside the gates and the security guard tells them to go to Dock 3 on the development complex. Remlik orders Gambit to get out. He tells Remlik that he gives a great pep talk. He sees why Cich put him in charge. Remlik informs him that the rendezvous is in twelve minutes.
He gets out and notices that he has a big ugly shadow in the form of another of Cich’s goons. He asks what that’s about. Cich informs him that they have to keep him motivated. If Remy steps out of line his shadow will kill civilians. Remy approaches three female workers and lays on the charm, asking where he can find the Matter Transport Technologies lab. They all smile adorningly but their male colleague sniffs, “What kind of accent is that?”
They drive over in the truck and someone explains to the Eurotech staff that their instructions were to deliver it to the lab. The guy replies that the lab is in a different building. They can either go there or he will call security to handle it for them. As he speaks, Remy pulls up the shutter behind the guy making it look like he works inside and apologizes for being late. Someone told him he had twelve minutes. He tells the guy that they’re taking their packages down to the bottom floor. The guy replies by pointing out that the delivery note says otherwise but Remy informs him that there’s been a last minute change. He apologizes for being short, but the packages are from Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four. The stuff is a compound of antimatter, vibranium and unstable molecules. If they don’t get it into a controlled environment in five minutes it’ll explode and tear a million holes to the Negative Zone. They certainly wouldn’t want that. The guy lets them through. The place freaks him out sometimes.
Once through, Remy scans a card allowing them access to the next level which he stole from someone earlier. Remlik tells him that he calls attention to himself with his lies, but as he swipes the card, Remy explains that he’s just giving folks something to think about so they don’t notice what he’s really getting away with. Once inside, Remy notices that it’s a public area. He confronts Remlik and reminds him that he said he could do this without people getting hurt. Remlik asks Remy not to worry. Cich is a smart man. They chose today as everyone is out at a conference; one organized by Cich himself. He asks, in that case, what they are expecting to shoot. Remlik aims his pistol at Remy and informs him that the weapons are for him.
They move to a doorway which has security measures in place. Remlik tells him that if he needs to open the door without triggering an alarm. Remy notes that the keypad has about twenty keys. There could be millions of combinations. Fortunately, the people at Eurotech don’t keep things too tidy and clean, and his powers won’t charge living things. He sends a small charge across the keypad and the keys which have been pressed reveal fingerprints. It doesn’t take him long to work out which order to press them and he opens the door. Remlik asks one man to stand and guard whilst the rest go with him.
Once inside, Remlik contacts Borya Cich and informs him that the targets have been acquired and the environments controlled. Gambit asks if they are finally ready to tell him what they’ve gone to all this trouble for. What’s so valuable to a man who has everything? Remlik pulls out a knife and grimaces. He grabs Remy and replies, “Had. Mr. Cich had everything, until your filthy mutant hands destroyed so much.” He warns Gambit that he would be unwise to try and take anything from him again. Remy replies that he wasn’t fixing to take anything. But, since he figured he’s so expendable, he might as well be the one to give this thing a test drive. Remlik doesn’t think him being expendable is a bad idea.
Borya Cich contacts Remlik and tells him that he is more concerned with Remy’s other idea. They do need to ensure the merchandise is in working order. Remlik decides to find out. He taps one of the small devices and it disappears. He reckons that teleportation seems successful. The devices are good. Cich asks him to collect as many as he can before…
Remlik is caught by surprise as Gambit blindsides him. He grabs one of the tiny teleportation devices and apologizes, but was this their plan? Kidnap a thief around a bunch of teleportation tech? He guesses Cich isn’t the mastermind he took him for. “Au revoir, les sots,” he says as he disappears. Unfortunately for Remy, he reappears on Cich’s plane where several henchmen are waiting for him. One of them pistol whips him and Cich thanks him for being so predictable. He informs Remy that the devices were designed for transporting goods. He needed to test whether or not a living specimen would survive. So, while he was inside, his tech man created a blanket re-route to the jet on all nearby locator signals. “You caught me off guard once,” he adds as a henchman tasers Remy unconscious. “It’s a grave mistake to think you can do it again.”
Remy awakens only to find wind rushing past him at speed. He looks up and sees that he is strapped by the ankles to the back of the plane at the end of a long cable. His hands are cuffed behind his back. Remy asks if it’s too late to say sorry. Speaking so Remy can hear him through an earpiece, Cich tells him that this was his chance to make good, but he chose rebellion. He doesn’t take kindly to betrayal. Remy asks if he could bring him in safe and sound so they can work out a truce, but Cich apologizes and states that, for some reason, he just doesn’t trust him. He presses a button and a connector between two cables detaches leaving Remy to fall to the ground. “Cich! Cich! Damn Youuuu!!!” he cries as he begins to fall.
As he drops, he thinks about his options. He gets his hands in front of him and calls out, just in case anyone with super hearing can hear him. It’s worth a shot, but no one arrives. He sees the city below getting closer quickly but he manages to slip his handcuffs. He still has no idea how to land. Concrete, glass, metal… they’re just different kinds of death. He wonders whether he could crash through something or maybe charge something to cause an explosion to slow his fall. He starts to think that he may have made a mistake this time. He closes his eyes as he resigns himself to his fate, thinking about how he’s made a lot of mistakes.
Suddenly, he arrives back in the jet with a ‘whkam!” He struggles to get his bearings as Borya Cich asks him to pardon the dramatics, but he wanted him to experience what will happen the next time he thinks about deviating from his instructions. As he may have noticed, his men plugged the teleportation device to his ankle. If he tries to get away they can pull him right back. He leans in close to Gambit and adds that they wired in a few other features too. If he tries to remove it or heaven forbid, try to blow it off, the explosives built in will take him with it. Remy asks why he went to all that trouble when he could have just let him fall. Cich reckons that his last job was just to secure him on a leash. They’re now ready to prep him for the real target.
Two suits make their way through their building, past an interrogation room where two aliens are being interviewed. The guy asks how sure they are. His female colleague assures him that they are sure. They knock on a door which has a note on it saying ‘piss off.’ “Director?” he says. They enter and inform the Director that they have recaptured satellite data from the Eurotech robbery and believe they have pinpointed the aircraft. He asks if the note fell off the door. The brunette says no, but adds that the men involved in the robbery seem to be headed straight for the U.K.
The director asks what makes them think these hooligans merit his attention. She shows him a photo of Gambit and explains that none of the men show up on their database except for the man who led them… Remy LeBeau. He replies that he’s bloody well familiar with the X-Men. “Director Wisdom,” she asks, “What should we do?” He replies that they are MI:13 - the Queen’s own knights of abnormal ass-kicking. They should rally the troops and then they’ll be ready for the bastard!
Truck driver and mate
Several Eurotech employees
Pete Wisdom and three employees
On Pete Wisdom’s desk, we see an alien in a jar, a Ouija board, a ceremonial sword and a metal bracelet.
Issue Summary written by: Fantomex