Out of the Box, or
A Mime is a Terrible Thing to Waste
by Desert Nomad
Disclaimer: X-Force = Marvel. Any questions? Norman Griswald is not real. Hear that? HE IS NOT REAL. I made him up. Don't go asking your history teacher about him.
"...and on your right is a statue of great Civil War hero, Norman Griswald...."
"Cable, why do we have to take a historic tour of every city we beat people up in? This is booooring."
"It's educational, Tabitha. And I want you all to get a little culture."
"Try all you want, it'll never happen," Rictor mumbled.
Meanwhile, Shatterstar was poking the statue. "You are tugging my arm, Cable! That man is not a warrior!"
"Well, yeah, I guess he is a little wussy looking. And it's "pulling your leg," not "tugging your arm."
"No warrior allows pigeons to perch on his head."
"Hey, where's Caliban?"
"I dunno. Haven't seen him."
"Well, he's this giant purple guy! How could you lose him?"
"I'll go find him!" Roberto DaCosta volunteered, eager to escape the educational tour. He walked back through the park, checking out the tourists a bit. Finally, he spotted Caliban's seven-foot-tall, lumpy purple form, standing still. "Hey, Cal, what's up?"
"Friend-Sunspot! Caliban is glad you are here--man needs help!"
Caliban pointed to a man in a black leotard, his face covered with white grease makeup. "Man is stuck inside invisible box! Caliban cannot get him out!"
'Berto studied the man. Sure enough, he did seem to be trapped inside some sort of cube. He was desperately trying to get out, feeling all the sides. 'Berto stared at Caliban. "Cal, it's just a mime. A street performer."
"But he is stuck inside the box!"
"There is no box!"
"Then why is the mime stuck there?"
Deep breaths, 'Berto, Bobby told himself. "Okay, Cal, you want me to get the man out of the box?"
Caliban's eyes lit up. "Could you, friend-Sunspot?"
Bobby sighed. He reached overtop the mime's head, and pretended to lift the lid of the invisible box. The mime sprang out, jubilant. "There, he's free, you happy?"
"Oh, yes! Hello, friend-Mime!" The mime grabbed Caliban's hand and pumped it up and down several times. Then he hugged 'Berto.
"Hey, man, get a grip!" Bobby replied.
"Friend-mime is just happy that you have freed him," Caliban explained.
"I didn't 'free' him. THERE WAS NO BOX. Look, man, you made the box up," Bobby said, shouting at the mime. "It's in your head. Get off me." The mime let him go, and wiped away an invisible tear. "Yeah, whatever. C'mon, Cal, everyone's looking for you."
"Caliban is sorry. Bye-bye, friend-Mime." The mime waved.
'Berto grabbed Cal's hand, and started to lead him back through the park. Then he realized the mime was following him. "Hey, you! Go away. Get outta here! Go get back in your box!" The mime looked crushed. He began to fake crying.
"Friend-Sunspot! That was mean! Now friend-Mime is sad!"
"So, Caliban thinks friend-Sunspot should say that he is sorry."
"I'm not sorry. He's a freak."
"Friend-Sunspot! Cable-Nathan says never, ever to use that word!" The mime was still crying.
"Fine, fine, I'm sorry. Okay, Cal?"
Of course, at the apology, the mime had brightened up, and began to follow them again. Bobby briefly entertained the idea of frying the mime with one of his solar flares, but that idea had two problems: 1) too many witnesses, and 2) Caliban would throw a fit. He decided to just let the weirdo follow him, and maybe Cable and his metal arm would scare him off.
He returned back to where X-Force was sitting on the grass, listening to Cable drone on about the military exploits of Norman Griswald. Rictor had his eyes closed in a serene listening state that distinctly resembled sleeping. Tabby was playing with her gum. Terry was making dandelion chains. Jimmy was throwing gravel at pigeons. Domino was sharpening one of her weapons. In fact, Shatterstar was the only one who was actually paying attention.
"Found him!" Bobby announced.
"Good," Cable said. "Now, three months later, the troops were starving. There was three feet of snow on the ground. People were dying of hypothermia--"
"Cable, three months later would make it August," Terry pointed out.
"Did I say three months? I meant six months. Anyway, did ol' Norman Griswald panic? Did he give up and crawl in the snow to die? No! Because he had spirit! He had drive! So, he went to the local brewery--"
"'Berto, I think someone followed you," Tabby hissed to him.
"I know. It's this creepy mime. He won't leave me alone."
As Cable continued to narrate the epic of the brave (not to mention drunk) Norman Griswald, the mime began to act it out. "Hey, who is that guy?" Cable asked, giving up on his history lesson.
"That is Caliban's friend-Mime!" Caliban announced. "Friend-Sunspot freed him from the invisible box!"
"You let him out of the box?" Jimmy asked. "You moron." He threw a piece of gravel at Bobby.
"I hate mimes," Teresa said, not looking up from her flower chains.
The mime took that as a cue, and trotted over to her. He picked an invisible flower, sniffed it romantically, then offered it to her. Terry looked at him skeptically. "There's nothin' there, ye pasty-faced, delusional freak!"
"Cable-Nathan says never, ever to use that word," Cal started. The mime began to mime crying again, and sat down next to Terry.
"Cable, make 'im go away. He's scary."
"Just ignore him, Terry, he'll go away."
"That was your theory with Deadpool, too, and look how that one worked out," Domino griped. The mime looked up and caught sight of Domino. It was invisible love at first sight. "Nate, why is he looking at me like that? Make him stop looking at me like that." The mime walked over and kissed her hand. Dom made a disgusted face. The mime plucked another invisible flower, and presented it to her.
"Nate, do something!"
"I dunno, Dom, I think he likes you."
"Get him away from me, Nathan."
"Just ignore him. He'll go away."
"I am ignoring him, and he's sitting on me. Nate, get him off my lap."
"Get him off your own lap."
"I hate mimes," Terry grumbled again.
"I can't! He's heavy!"
"Perhaps this... mime creature believes he has found another member of his own species," Shatterstar suggested.
"I'm not your species!" Domino yelled at the mime. "I speak! See? Noise comes out my mouth. I am not a mime!"
"Perhaps mimes are deaf, as well as mute!" Shatterstar suggested.
"Fine! Read my lips! Begone!"
"Shatty? Have you ever even seen a mime before?"
"No, but they seem to be most insidious creatures. They are not honorable warriors."
"They're not creatures!" 'Berto burst out. "That's just some weird guy with no life who puts on grease paint on the weekend, and annoys the heck outta people like us!"
"Za's Vid! That is human?"
Jimmy tried tossing gravel at the mime. It responded by shaking it's finger at him, and scolding him noiselessly. "I think he's cussing me out in mime-ese."
Finally, Domino managed to pry the reluctant mime off of her lap. She jumped up.
"Does Patch-Eye not like friend-Mime?" Caliban asked.
"No, Patch-Eye does not!" The mime got up on one knee, and began to act out a proposal. "No! No! Get away from me!"
Meanwhile, Shatterstar began to shake Rictor. "Rictor! Rictor! Wake up! An assassin has infiltrated our camp!"
"Huh? Whu? I'm up, I'm up." He rubbed his eyes. "What the $%^# is that thing?"
"It's a mime," Tabby griped. "Bobby let him out of his box, and now he won't leave us alone."
"If Wade was here, he'd just throw a grenade at 'im," Terry said, mostly to herself.
"You freak!" Ric shouted. "You never, NEVER let a mime out of his box!"
"Cable-Nathan says never, ev--"
"Shut up, Cal."
"Cable-Nathan says not to say that, either."
"So, O Great Mime Expert, what do we do now?"
"Well, you can kill him. We had a whole troop of mimes invade Guadalajara once, (which is why I know this) and we had to chase them down with torches and shotguns. It was good for the economy, though."
"Sounds good to me," Domino said, trying to shake the mime off her leg, where it was desperately clinging.
"Try again, Julio," Cable said.
"Well...you can try and get him back in his box."
"But the box is all the way over there," Bobby said.
"It's an imaginary box!" Tabby snapped. "How does it matter where it is?"
"Fine, whatever, how do you make him get in the box?"
"Jeez, don't you people know anything about mimes?"
"Okay, okay. You have to use invisible wind."
"Invisible wind, why didn't I think of that?"
"Isn't all wind invisible?"
"Well, imaginary wind, then."
"Well, get some!" Dom snapped. She was waving a knife at the mime, now.
"Well, you can't just... get some. It's a psychological thing."
"Rictor, I don't care what you do, just do it, and get this *&%# mime offa me!"
"Okay, okay!" Ric paused to genuflect. "Father, save my soul."
"Puh-lease..." Tabitha groaned. Ric finished praying, and stood up. He took a deep breath, and walked over to the mime. Then, he started staggering forward, struggling against some unseen force.
"Boy, it's windy out today..." Suddenly, the mime seemed to be stricken by the same invisible force.
"This is the dumbest thing I've ever seen in my life," Tabby observed.
"I hate mimes," Terry added.
The mime struggled, but managed to hold his position.
Ric stood up. "I'm not heavy enough."
"Look, we need a strong enough wind to blow the mime into the box. And if it's gonna blow him away, it's gonna blow me away. So we need someone bigger." Everyone stared at Jimmy.
"Jimmy, just do it."
Terry fluttered her eyelashes at him. "Would ye do it... for me?"
"I knew there was a reason I made her deputy leader," Cable said.
"What do I do?"
"Just what I did."
Jimmy looked at everyone, then took two steps. "Darn, that wind is strong today," he said fakely.
It was evidentally enough for the mime, who began tumbling backwards. It came to a stop in a heap on the grass. Ric quickly leaned down next to it, and faked hammering in nails.
"There! You're stuck! Ha!" The mime looked miserable, and once again, searched for a weak spot in it's invisible box.
"That was weird," Terry said.
"I can't believe I did that," Jimmy added.
"Now friend-Mime is stuck in the box again!" Caliban wailed.
"It's better that way," Tabby said, patting his shoulder. Dom shuddered.
"I hate mimes," Terry said, once again for good measure.
"Let's get outta here," Cable said. "Enough history. I hoped you've learned your lesson, Bobby."
"Oh, yeah, Cable. Always keep an eye on Caliban."
"But won't friend-Mime get hungry in the box?" Caliban sniffed.
"Don't worry, we'll take care of him," Tabby promised, and dropped something in the box.
"Let's go," Dom said. "I need to shower."
As they walked away, Bobby leaned over to Tabby. "What'd you put in that box with him?"
The End (or is it? Watch out for them mimes. They'll getcha.)
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