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Thread Contributor: Mercy LeBeauConclusion and Debriefing
Marvel-X-men Comics-1

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#1
Mercy Lebeau had, at her husband's request, kept away from his office while he was speaking with la putain, something that she understood, even if she wasn't happy about it. But she'd requested that he inform her as soon as Jaya left, and he'd done so.

She hurried to his office, wanting to hear what had passed, what games the little trollop had tried to play, and how her mari had countered them.

What she hadn't expected was the tired, pensive look that was on her husband's face, the way he was pouring a measure of bourbon into a glass like a man who badly needed a drink.

"What happened?" she asked, enfolding him in a warm embrace "What has yo' so upset, ma coure?"
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#2
Henri sighed, as much as he loved his wife, valued her council and insight, she’d proven in this case she wa anything but impartial. “De Simmons deal es completed. He will be here an gone in de next three days.” Henri’s gaze seemed fixed on a distant point, the windows in his office were special, showing different vistas depending on his whim. Today they showed a desolate Dead Sea bed. “Her Syndicate wishes to negotiate for an Alliance wit us.”

And that was apparently the price to his brothers possible happiness.

“Yo’ are no half wrong about her. But no half right either.” The ice in his glass clinked as he finished it. “She es loyal t’her people an’ dat es no t’ing t’scoff at.”

Henri grimaced at the drink “Give me back my nose Chere, dis is water wit out it.”
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#3
"Bien." Mercy replied "Et was a good deal, yo' know dat Ah never had any problem wit' de bargain. Jus' de terms." she sighed a little, thinking of Remy and that whole mess.

"An alliance?" Mercy said, scoffing at the idea "Ah hope dat yo' told de little salope dat we would no' ally wit' dem. Why would she even t'ink dat such a t'ing would be possible?" the question was rhetorical, of course. She'd clearly thought that because of the easy way that she'd been able to influence Remy.

"She es loyal t'her own. Dat es a good quality, but jus' 'cause a wolf es loyal t'dere pack does no' mean dat we should let et inside." Mercy replied, trying to be reasonable and fair "So tell me, how is dis Mercy wrong, an' how is she right? Now dat yo' have spoken t'dis putain."

"Desole, Henri." she said, returning his sense of smell with a gentle caress along his nose. "Ah am glad dat et work, an' kept her from playin' tricks on yo'."
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#4
Henri raised an eyebrow at her continued verbal insults of the woman, “Mercy Have you even spoken t’her?” He reprimanded with weary exasperation. “Dis is no like yo’ t’ have so much unreasoning hate of a woman!” He would understand it better if the green woman had set her cap for him but this-

It was getting ridiculous.

“Why she think it possible?” Henri pulled out a purely physical folder tossing it on the table near Mercy “Mayhap Because her people come from a universe of starships, guns that vaporize an’ Medicine dat can make yo’ immortal? Perhaps because our Guild is a few hundred and Dey are an entire race?! Yo’ t’ink the treaties we have wit the assassins and Brotherhood, all the bonds we have forged t’stay independent make us a spit on a hot stove compared t’a planet?”

Henri was a proud son of his Guild, old and powerful as they were he was also very aware of how easily it could all be destroyed. There was a reason That the SON OF THE PATRIARCHhad been exiled as the price to keep the peace.

They could not win a war.

And that was also why he could never forge an alliance with the Syndicate; they would be absorbed in a generation.
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#5
"Ah do' no' recall, but Ah certainly saw enough o' her, de night we went t' dat 'club'." Mercy replied "Ah cannot explain et, Henri. Jus' dat as soon as dis Mercy set eyes on her, Ah do no' trust her, Ah know dat she es wrong. Wrong an' dangerous." Mercy sighed "Ah wish dat Ah had a reason, dat Ah could explain why Ah feel dis way, but Ah do."

'We could no' survive an invasion, dis es true." Mercy said thoughtfully "But et es no' an invasion, es et? T'ink 'bout dis-des Orions, dere are what, four o'dem here? Right now? De Orions are de ones who need help. Dey need allies, need a chance t'establish a presence here. We do no' need t'fear dem, Henri. We should no' trust dem, an' a true alliance es out o' de question. But dey need us, Henri, an' we should no' worry 'bout losin' a war. No' when we can use dem, even as dey try t'use us." she didn't like Jaya, didn't trust Jaya, and from what she'd seen, the Orions were in many ways worthy of contempt. But that didn't mean that they couldn't be useful.
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#6
He wasn’t truly afraid of invasion(although he and his father had had more than on conversation about the dangers of Hub.) But- “Mercy. There es a danger here dat has no t’ing t’do wit the Guild.” Henri needed his wife to see the possibilities he saw, “Dey use us to use dem. We are de first point of contact for our world. We need t’be so very careful what we choose to allow through de portal.” Henri sighed rubbing his eye, “This place is wonderous, but es also tempting.” Did she understand the burden his father had placed on him? Henri was literally determining what technology and ‘magic’ they allowed through and who had access to it.

He didn’t like to play god.

“I t’ink she cares for Remy-“ Henri returned to the original topic slumping down in the leather back chair. “But es too loyal.”
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#7
"Oui, Henri. Yo' did no' ask fo' dis, but we are de ones who mus' decide who an' what come t' our world. An' many ot'er worlds as well. But et es our duty, an' we mus' do et, non?" placing a slight emphasis on 'our' and 'we' so that he would be reminded that he'd always have her by his side to help him carry the burden. Which was ironic, in a way, since in the beginning she'd been just another burden that he'd agreed to take on for the sake of the Guild. "Oui, we mus' handle dese Orions carefully. Mo' carefully dan we have so far." she added, acknowledging her own mishandling of the situation with a delicate shrug.

"Meanin' dat she would no' agree t'leave her Syndicate fo' a place en de Thieve's Guild." Mercy said. She hadn't liked the idea when Henri had told her that he was going to make the whore that offer. Henri might have told himself that it wasn't selling his brother for the good of the Guild, but that would be what it was. "Bien. We know that dis path es closed, an' es past de time dat we could 'encourage' de putain t'fail at her business and go back home, an' fo'get dat de club exist. Now we must t'ink o' what we can do next."

As Mercy spoke, her tone was becoming calmer, and more dispassionate. She might loathe Jaya with the visceral hatred that most people reserved for snakes and cockroaches, but that didn't mean that she wouldn't do her best to stay calm and be a good adviser and sounding board for her husband. Especially since she'd seen what happened when she gave in to in emotions where the whore was concerned. "Now, we have options. We can hope dat de Orions abandon de Hub, an' dat dis put-" she saw the look on Henri's face and checked herself "dis Jaya will get bored wit' Remy an' everyt'ing will be well. But dis Mercy t'ink dat mebbe dis ship has sailed already. Bien. De milk es spilled, we will no' cry. So, we can keep doin' as we es doin' now. Work wit' Jaya an' her Syndicate in a friendly way, but no' get too close. Dis es temptin' t'hold dem at arm's length. De problem dere es Remy. He has friends, contacts, experience, an' yo' promised him dat he could freelance wi'out restriction." she managed to say the last without even a hint of reproach in her voice, which was a truly exceptional achievement. "Remy could do most o' what dey might need on his own. Which means dat they could be able t'roll over de Guild, o' walk around us, even straight into our world, if dey want." there was an obvious solution to that problem, but she didn't even mention it, since she knew that Henri would never agree to it, and would never forgive her for mentioning the possibility. Which was fine with her, since she didn't want her little brother's blood on her hands.

She took a drink of bourbon, wanting to fortify herself before she laid out what was probably the best choice, even if she hated it "De ot'er option, es dat we get in bed wit' dem. Or stay in bed wit' dem, since yo' frere es already dere. We make sure dat dey go through us t'move people in t'ot'er worlds, and we do what we can t'make sure dat dere are some t'ings dat de Jaya do no' bring t'de Hub wit' her. Like slavery, fo' a start We make de best deal we can now, an' make et stick, befo' de Jaya decide she no longer need us. Even if" she shrugged "et may mean usin' Remy t'seal de deal." Mercy didn't like the idea either "Yo' said she cares fo' him, mebbe Remy will like de idea."
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#8
Henri leaned back in his chair, rubbing a hand over tired eyes; his wife was at least talking out the options-

Blue eyes that if he’d shared any blood with his brother would have been glowing wrathful crimson snapped open “I did no hear dat.” She hadn’t said the words but she didn’t have to. Henri heard the words unspoken.

One reason he had fallen in love with his wife was that she could be as brutally pragmatic as he, putting aside emotion for cold logic.

He had never seen it turned against his family.

Angry words teatered on his toung; to ask her what had changed, where had his wife gone, to banish her away from this place if she could not balance the pressures,

“You are tired.”
Henri stood in one smooth movement. It was not a question. “You would remember dat you are de wife of the Theives an’ no longer Assassin.” Henri took the files, the Heavy click of locking them into his desk held a finality.

“De first true challenge t’us an’ yo’ mind goes t’de knives in darkness.” Henri watched his wife feeling his anger drain away into tried concern. “You are no yourself. What es wrong Mercy?”
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#9
She hadn't said the words, but her mari had heard the unspoken implication. Which was the problem with being married to a man who knew your mind almost as well as he did his own. "An' Ah did no' say et." she reminded him "Ah did no' say et because Ah remember dat Ah am yo' femme, an' dat Ah am no' an Assassin. Dat woman died when Ah took yo' name, Henri. " yes, granted she'd still considered the possibility, but she'd also rejected it as soon as she'd thought of it, which had to count for something.

"Ah am no' tired, Ah am afraid, Henri." she said, moving closer to him "Ah do no' trust dis Jaya, Ah do no' trust her people, an' Ah am afraid dat we will lose Remy t'her. Ah am worried dat de Orions will send some little bit t'get her claws into yo' as well. Ah am afraid because Ah t'ink dat et es de case dat our only real choice es t'make friends wit' de Orion Syndicate, an' Ah worry dat dis will be like de mouse makin' friends wit' de snake. But Ah t'ink we may have no' ot'er choice, and Ah hate knowin' dat."
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#10
Henri’s expression softened only slightly at her mollifying words; that she thought it was a hard pill to swallow. He could not in fairness judge her for a thought, but this one...was it vain he’d hoped the years of living in a softer world has dulled thouse sharp knee jerk reactions?

“We lose my Frère if we push him from us.” Bracing himself on the desk, the scars dotting his hands stood out whitely. Thieves learned the knife too and the heir must be good enough to take any challenger in a duel. Even the mutants That threaded through his Guild; Henri needed to be better than all of them.

“Dere are worse t’ings den them-“ probably, very likely even. “An’ dis Guild has experience bein’ de snake charmer.” They has managed to keep the assassins at bay after all.

But at deep costs over the years.

Risk vs reward. Henri was certain that he could if he put their full resources to it a way to close the portal, and perhaps they needed to make that fail safe a higher priority.

“Ah mus’ talk wit Remy.” The younger thief would be angry with him he was certain, but that was for later.
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#11
In truth, Mercy had been softened by her years in the Thieve's Guild. Softened so much that she'd rejected the idea of removing Remy from the equation, because he was her brother, and that meant that she'd never hurt him, no matter what the cold practicalities of the situation might dictate. Had softened her enough that it had been a thought, not a plan of action.

"Oui, an' we lose him if we try t'hold him too close." Merci said, then admitting her own fault she added "An' we can lose him by tryin' t'hold him too close. Ah t'ind dat Ah show dat mistake wit' ma frere" because Remy was her brother, as much as he was Henri's.

"Dat we do." Mercy replied "An' Remy es already charmin' dese snakes. Yo' should talk t'him, oui. Talk t'him, an' find out what dese putes really want from us, an' what dey will settle fo'." she looked at him sharply, she knew her husband's mind as well as he knew her's, and knew his fears about the portal "Non, we will no' close de portal. Et es a temptation, but es also good t'have a bolt hole. At de moment de world we live in es gettin' better fo' mutants, but would you bet yo' son's life on dis always bein' true? O' yo' frere's life? O' yo' femme's?" which was the best argument she could think of for keeping the portal open-they'd learned from other worlds how bad things could be for mutants, and the answer was, apparently, very, very bad indeed.
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