Within the next several hours or so, according to the map, the team were getting closer to their desired destination. Christie hopped up to give a little prep talk, just as Steve would've done in this scenario.
It had only been a couple of days, but she kinda missed him.
"Alright guys…so this is gonna be a very tight mission. Don't forget, these people managed to neutralise Ash with no issue, so you must be careful with them. Do NOT let them get close, I don't know what kind of weapons they'll have-"
"I'd like to see them try," Rogue scoffed back confidently.
"So, what's the plan when we land?" Scott asked Christie directly. "Are we heading down to a base or what?"
"I'm pretty sure we are - I genuinely don't know," Christie sighed to herself, already missing all of S.H.I.E.L.D's high tech equipment. "I don't even have a floor plan of the freakin' building, so we're really winging this one."
"So we're just gonna walk in and start shooting?" Scott murmured. "I thought The Avengers always had a plan?"
"Don't you start - we were getting on so well," Christie grumbled back in irritation.
"Quick question - what's the rule on 'killing' with you guys?" Logan had to double check with his hand risen like a child.
"Logan, I am an assassin," Christie reminded him with a small smirk growing on her lips, making him shoot one back. "You can kill all you want, mate."
Within minutes, Christie had landed the jet amongst a few tall trees nearby and made it invisible before staring at an old disused chapel in the distance. There were two guards outside of it, armed ones at that, and they were looking deadly serious. "Are you sure she's in there?" Scott hissed to Christie with a frown as he stood up. "She was never really the…overly religious type."
"Well she's not here by choice is she, smartass?! And this is what the damn tracker said, either she is here or she was - don't quote me on either one because this thing is over 20 years old and frankly, a little useless," Christie hissed, tapping the screen to make sure that it was working properly. "My guesses are this is a HYDRA base and we just never…knew about it to actually take it down."
"So what, we just walk up in there and kill everyone on sight until we get some answers?" Scott frowned pessimistically, once again turning his nose up. "How exactly do these 'HYDRA' people work?"
"Well, every group has a base leader - they used to be run by one head but they've been running outta names since Steve busted them. When I say Steve - I mean me," Christie explained to them all as she got her weaponry belt on. They couldn't help but stare at the number of knives and little gadgets she wore around her slim waist. "The base leader usually has an office somewhere, or is dressed differently to the rest…he's an easy spot and an even easier kill, if we can get to him before they warn him or before he kills himself with his 'Hail HYDRA' suicide-cyanide-pill sh*t."
"So basically we needa be stealthy," Rogue guessed, squinting at the chapel disguised bunker in the distance. "Cos if we make too much noise we'll alert them and they'll alert him - right?"
"Exactly, which swiftly brings me to my next question - which one of you guys are light on your feet?" Christie blinked at them all expectantly. The three of them sniffed and glanced at each other, none of them saying anything. "Oh you've got to be joking me? None of you? So it's just me-"
"Well, it's a good thing I snuck on then, huh?" came an incredibly smooth voice that Christie didn't recognise, but the rest of the group certainly did. She craned her neck to peer behind them, then tried not to show the shock in her face as her eyes rested on the blue scaled woman with deep red hair and piercing yellow eyes sitting comfortably in the darkest corner of the jet.
"Oh for god's sake, now who the hell are you?" she groaned, immediately reaching for her weapon.
"NO! Don't hurt her!" Scott and Rogue blurted out in a panic with their hands risen in the air. "It's Mystique!" Christie's hand dangled by her side as she struggled to find her words.
"What, the shapeshifter from last time? What are you doing here? When did you get on here? How did you get on here?" she was suddenly asking all the questions at once, incredibly confused and utterly perplexed as to how she got on without her noticing.
An assassin, right?
"What can I say? I'm light on my feet," Mystique hummed back as she stood up to stretch her long legs.
"We snuck her on - Logan got on the ship twice whilst you were turned round," Scott explained with a tired sigh, "then it was just a matter of hiding her in plain sight."
"My god. Dramatic as hell…and for what?" Christie scoffed back, still not understanding.
"Because she wanted to help too and we didn't really wanna waste time arguing with you before taking off…which is actually what we're doing now…so…" Rogue trailed off awkwardly.
"Listen, she's changed," Logan assured Christie quietly, "well…apparently."
"Any family of Charles is a priority to me," Mystique nodded seriously, looking Christie dead in her eyes. She rolled her eyes in response and waved her words off.
"Whatever. Have you got any weapons on you?" she asked Mystique directly.
"Don't need 'em," Mystique quickly answered back. "You let me go in there first and I'll show you what I can do with my bare hands." Christie raised a sceptical brow at her confidence but nodded in agreement. She opened one of the compartments in the cockpit and pulled out a handful of the small earpiece devices, passing one to each member of her new temp team.
"Put these in your ears, they're already activated. It will mould into your ear after a few seconds so that they can't fall out. Stay alert and stay communicating - Mystique and I will go ahead until we can give you an overview of what we're dealing with. Any questions?" Christie offered up. They all shook their heads. "Alright, then let's…wing it. God, Steve would absolutely kill me for saying that."
Bracing themselves, the team left the jet and slowly made their way towards the building with Christie and Mystique ahead of the rest, crouching through the long tall grass. The sky was a little grey, but there was just enough sunlight peaking through that allowed them to see without needing torches. On closer inspection, Christie noticed there was now only one man patrolling the entrance of the bunker instead of the two that were there earlier. He looked rather bored. "Can you see that guard?" she whispered to Mystique who was crouching next to her.
Or so she thought.
The silence from beside her immediately let Christie know that Mystique had already left, and her eyes grew wide as she watched her transform into the guard himself and walk up to the real guard boldly. Before he even had time to register what was going on, she had elbowed him in the neck and knocked him clean out before yanking his gun from him and standing at the door to analyse what it was made of. "It's fingerprint activated," she quickly alerted the rest of the group who were still frozen crouched in the tall grass, watching her in wonder. She unlocked the door with ease and spun back around, expecting the rest of the team to be behind her already. "Ummmm guys? When you're ready…!"
"Okay so she really is good," Christie frowned as she hopped out of the grass and headed straight towards the bunker. "Scott, there's a camera up there - can you handle it before it catches me?"
"Got it," Scott confirmed, blasting the hell out of the camera from where he was running up a few metres behind her. "It's out!"
"And we're in," Christie hummed as she finally joined Mystique, who still hadn't transformed back yet. Suddenly, they heard two more soldiers make their way down the hallway, chatting to each other. "Quick, grab me," she hissed to Mystique at the speed of lightening. Mystique did as she was told and immediately took Christie by her neck whilst Christie 'struggled' against her, just as the soldiers came into view.
"Hans?" one of the soldiers frowned as he slowly lifted his gun. "Who the hell- is she S.H.I.E.L.D?"
"I don't know - I found her snooping around outside," Mystique lied, the voice completely different to her own. "I'll take her down to the cells with the rest of 'em." Christie couldn't even pretend to act like she wasn't impressed by such specific scripting.
She was just praying that it would work.
"The cells?" the smaller soldier chuckled. "You weren't listening in this morning's briefings, were you?"
"The boss said we can't take anymore prisoners in the cells, cos the freaks started packing them out," the first soldier reminded Mystique with a risen bushy eyebrow, "so now we're just killing any snoopers on arrival." He began to raise his gun, but Christie suddenly lifted her free hand, grabbed her silencer pistol and shot him clean in the head as Mystique turned blue again and released her. She speedily ran up onto the wall to tackle the remaining soldier down with her feet, standing on his neck as the rest of the team finally entered through the main door behind them.
"W-w-what the f*ck are you?!" the soldier shouted, squirming under her firm chokehold. "Where is Hans?!"
"Hopefully dead, now where are our so called freaks?" Mystique hissed with her foot weight getting heavier and heavier. Christie walked over to stand next to her in support. "Where are they being held?"
"I…I don't know! The boss knows, I think they're i-in a cell in the higher m-mountains, at the bottom of Zugspite," the soldier spluttered out the best he could, his face turning an odd shade of blue. "The b-b-boss knows!"
"Where is your boss-" Christie began to growl - but then she heard soldiers marching down the hallway round the corner yet again. Mystique glanced up at her for further instructions. "Get as much out of him as you can," Christie whispered as she whipped out both her pistols and made her way towards the steady sound of footsteps, taking cover by hiding round the corner first.
But this was Logan's time to shine - he was far too impatient for covert missions.
He boldly turned the corner whilst extracting his claws and all four soldiers immediately started to open fire. Logan let out a roar of both pain and anger, causing Christie swear under her breath and lean against the wall, still hidden. She turned to both Rogue and Scott, about to apologise for their loss of a great teammate, but was shocked to see that they didn't seem fazed by the sound of it all.
"Um, not that you seem overly bothered - but I think your friend is dying a hard ass death out there," she informed them with her thumb chucked back to the source of the noise.
"He's fine, trust me," Scott told her dryly. "Just give him a few more seconds."
"Christie!" Mystique suddenly called from behind her, diverting her attention back to her instead. Christie skidded over to where the bleeding soldier was still being pinned down. "He said all the coordinates for the mutant holding cell is in his boss' office at the bottom of the hall, and he's confirmed that Ashley was taken there too. He swears he knows nothing else." Christie clenched her jaw and nodded.
"So we need to get into that office - got it," she mumbled, wiping the sweat off her forehead.
"So what d'ya want me to do with this one?" Mystique asked her swiftly. "Do you wanna take him back to your guys or what?"
"Oh, he wanted to kill on sight, right?" Christie hummed as she crouched down beside him, looking dead into his petrified eyes. "Well it's a mighty good plan, 'cos we have no space on our jet either."
Before he could plea another word, Mystique pressed her heel into his jaw and stamped her foot down, snapping his neck and killing him instantly.
"That's for calling us freaks, b*tch," she growled down at his corpse before finally standing up straight again. Once Christie stood up as well, she couldn't help but high five her, ridiculously impressed, before the two of them jogged to the corner of the hallway to join the other two, who were now rejoined by a bullet hole studded Logan. Christie's mouth dropped open as she approached Logan tenderly whilst the rest of the team walked ahead.
"What the…dude, are you okay?!" she hissed, staring at him in disbelief.
"Yeah - healing abilities, kid," Logan filled her in with a risen brow. Christie looked a little closer to see the bullet holes gradually close up, and his skin began smoothing itself out as if they were never there. "C'mon, let's finish this. There's a door down at the bottom of the hallway and it's locked. I guess the sound of bullets drew attention to whoever's hiding behind it."
"Yeah, that's kinda what I was afraid of, honestly," Christie rolled her eyes as if it were obvious as they trudged down the hall to the others. Once they turned the final corner, she was able to see the aftermath of Logan's destruction. Bodies everywhere, sliced up like shish kebabs, bleeding out. It looked as if a wild animal went to town on them.
There was the door at the bottom of the hallway, yes - but it was barred shut.
"Stand back," Scott murmured to the group. He placed two fingers on the edge of his glasses and blasted the door down, allowing Logan to skid straight into the office with Mystique beside him, the two of them quickly taking down the last of the remaining soldiers before they could respond.
Christie ran into the office last to see Logan and Scott holding down none other than Mikel Munchwitz in his chair, as much as he was struggling to escape under their grip. He was a big man with a thick neck - but even he couldn't budge under Logan's undeniable weight.
Christie quickly approached him whilst Mystique and Rogue got to searching his office.
"Hold him still, these HYDRA guys are known for biting down on poisonous capsules like the little pussies they are," Christie hissed to Logan who gave a solid nod in response. She sat on the desk in front of him and swung her slender legs as if she were in a playground. "Hey, ugly! Where's my sister?" Christie spat directly into his face. Mikel simply glared her up and down with a look of disgust, saying nothing. "Where's Ashley?" Christie asked him again, much louder this time.
"I don't know who that is, but chances are…" Mikel suddenly muttered, his low and steady voice rattling against the walls of his office. "…you're wasting your time." Scott's face hardened at his words and Rogue froze. It was like time had completely slowed down for them - but Christie was stronger than that.
She had dealt with many a man like him before, and it would take a little more than some throwaway words for her to be fazed.
Especially when her sister was on the line.