Word count: 746
Warnings: None that I can think of. Well, one bad word, I think.
Fandom: City of Heroes/Sunday 9s
Characters: Teff and some people's parents.
Timeline: Takes place more-or-less during and after "Pieces of Eight".
If you've read the previous fics, you know who these people are and what's going on. If you haven't, you might want to go read them first, 'cause this will make lots more sense after you read the other ones. Check the Memories section, under "CoH Fiction" in my LJ info. I mean it this time. ;)
Copyrightage: The City of Heroes universe is copyright Cryptic Studios/NCSoft. The individual characters of the Sunday 9s were created by their players. I created Heat Lightning, Boneshatter, most of the NPCs, the shard and all of the Aligned and their concepts.
As always, comments are welcomed with open arms. All of 'em.
Ray "Heat Lightning" Jeffries is originally from Philadelphia.
The 'war walls' are from the thwarted Rikti invasion of Earth. The walls were put up in Paragon City to keep the districts (and fighting) separate. Huge gates in the walls allow traffic and people to go through.
'Influence' is the CoH game term for money. Here, I'm using it in both that sense and in its real-world sense.
Meanwhile, Part III
(On a plane heading for Paragon City, RI)
Alan Jeffries traveled first class. It wasn't by choice; his younger son was the only one of the immediate family who would fit in the tiny coach-class seats. His wife had suggested the previous year that maybe it was time to get one of those hero-class RVs. At the time, she'd meant using it to go on vacations. Now, with Ray in another state, maybe it was time to get one just to avoid cramming himself into another airplane.
Ramona Jeffries noticed her husband fidgeting in his "travel clothes." Mutants their size stood out no matter what, but they at least made an attempt to dress like everyone else. "Alan, are you sure you wouldn't like to buy an RV? This is the second trip to Paragon we've made in six months."
"Maybe, honey, maybe. If Ray decides to stay."
"Look," Ramona said, after a moment, "Why don't we stop in and see him, after we recover that fluorperdin gun? He was asking about it. Maybe his team was the one who found it."
Alan considered, then shrugged. "Why not? We can check out his team in person, see about this 'warehouse' he lives in."
Ramona nodded. "All right. We'll call after we get the gun back, then."
~ ~ ~
(On the same plane, in coach class)
"There's something she's not telling us, I just know it."
"Husband, it's all right. It sounds like she's found a nice young man. The least we can do is wait until we meet him before deciding he's not right."
"He'd better be a Christian." Khalid Najjar straightened his tie. "And normal."
"Let's not bring that up again, shall we? I'm sure there are many people in Paragon who don't run around in tights with their underwear on the outside."
"Do they think it helps them fight crime?" Khalid failed to notice his wife rolling her eyes; once he got started on a favorite topic, it was hard to stop him. "To prance about in brightly colored skintight clothing? Pfah! At least Jamie has better sense than that."
"Of course she does." Alexandra Najjar tried for the third time to read her in-flight magazine. "She said he manages a security concern."
"He must have plenty of work in that town. He'd better make enough to support her if he's serious."
"Well, we'll find out when we meet him, won't we?" Alexandra tried to put the "end of discussion" tone into her voice. For the moment, it worked.
~ ~ ~
(In Bell Medical Center, Independence Port, Paragon City)
Teff stared out the window. The mess had long since been cleaned up, followed by questioning everyone in the restricted ward about what might have happened. As far as Teff knew, they still didn't know. He wasn't entirely sure himself. He hadn't dared summoning flames again.
But now he'd been relocated, he had a window, and it looked like a nice day out there. And Teff just wanted to leave. Get out of here, out of the hospital, out of Paragon. If he stayed, he had more police issues to deal with, and who knew what the hell was going on with Eric anyway. Still no word from the drew guy. Of course, after the fire incident, he probably couldn't get in anyway.
Teff's face itched. He watched as a hero flew past. Teff didn't like flying. He'd never been in an airplane, but being carried by someone who could fly was bad enough. From this window, he could almost see the gate to Kings Row. If he could get there – and then avoid all the Skulls and Vahzilok, while dressed in an open-back hospital gown – then maybe he could make it to the apartment...
He sighed in frustration. Fat lot of good that would do him. Just like – Wait. Maybe – well, he could hope, right?
He fixed his gaze on one point along the war wall, as close to the Kings Row gate as he could see, and tried to concentrate. Nothing. Well, as long as it's not flying.
Then there was a flash, and he found himself high up on the war wall separating Independence Port from Kings Row, the wind whipping at his thin cotton gown, and the realization that he had indeed escaped the hospital was tempered by how utterly ridiculous he looked. In fact, a nearby hero paused in mid-flight to stare at him.
Teff tried to grin and look nonchalant. "Hey there!" he called. "You look like a fella with a lot of influence..."