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Title: Getting Some Answers, Part Two: Terecito (Continued)
Word count: 1,922
Warnings: Some language
Fandom: City of Heroes/Sunday 9s
Characters: Emerald Flames, Dr. Rayvn, Terecito

Timeline: Takes place during the "Aftermath" fics, appropriately enough.

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.

Copyrights 'n stuff: 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.

Comments welcome, of course. I hope this one is a bit more cleaned-up – I tried to take more care this time around. ^_^; Of course that means I probably missed something anyway!

Answers, Part Two: Terecito (Continued)

Emerald Flames spread his hands wide. "Chill, dude, no firing squad here. But I did hear you say that you didn't have a choice in what happened. That once you let the Shard in, you were kinda trapped. In legalese that means you were coerced. And that means that we might be able to help you get a lesser sentence, or even off on just probation with a hero group monitor, if you cooperate... So why don't you tell me about this Shard that controls you through the crystals..." He sat down at the table and pushed a paper cup of water toward Terecito, who took a big gulp of it.

Terecito wiped his orange-sleeved arm across his mouth. "Shard's, well, it's part of you, when it gets you." He brushed his hand against his chest again. "It helps, but you gotta pay for the help, I guess for the rest of your life, I dunno. Just that whatever it says, you gotta do, or bad shit happens. Even die for it if... if it says so." He didn't look up. "I guess that's part of it, it gives you what you want, so afterwards it's kinda like, you gotta pay up, y'know? Nothin's free. But now I dunno. The – parts – are still here, inside me, they said, so I probably still got the powers, and no one's in my head now, so I guess it can't do anything to me, but – " He finally looked up at Flames. "If Ace or one'a them survived, then – I dunno if they're gonna come look for us or what."

"Yeah, I can get that. The streets are never a safe place, and this place is practically made of Swiss cheese. But think of it this way. The more you help us get them, the easier it is to put them away, and I mean for real. That makes it not only safer for you on the streets, but all of the 9's and the city as well." Flames stood, spun his chair backwards and rested his arms and chin on the back. "I don't know anything about you, but I'm a pretty good judge of character. You aren't the first person to have fallen in with a bad crowd or make bad choices that affected the rest of his life. But right now, right here you have a second chance. A real one. Nothing's free, though, like you said. The price for that second chance is doing the right thing and betraying the other criminals you were working with and for. With Eric's testimony, our legal psychic scans of his mind and the stuff the Fifth said before Crey saved his ass, we can put you and the others away for a long time, or until you escape and find a life on the run and getting bounced back in and out of this pit. By turning evidence, you could get a reduced sentence, maybe even just probation. Like I said, we've done it for other villains turned heroes before, in the 9s, it's kind of our specialty at this point."

Flames wiped his eyes, as if clearing tears. "I'm not saying it'll be easy either way. You're all pretty much fucked, after actually killing a hero. And with him being gay and all it's kind of a hate crime on top of it. But just how bad off you are is really going to come down to what you do now. And... well, I can't speak for you, but with my mindset, I can't choose not to help. I'm hoping that your mindset is like that too."

Terecito had frowned as Flames talked. Now he spoke: "The one Ace killed was gay? I never knew that. We just figured he got one of you, that's all." He scratched at his ear. "Shard's got a hard-on for the J-Star for some reason, don't know why."

He thought to himself for a couple minutes, wrapping his arms around himself again. At length he looked up. "Um... so do I talk to you, or... who? An' maybe I could get my iPod back?"

“If you want to talk to me you can I’ll get the cops to bring in a tape recorder to protect both of us. And just so you know, you don’t have to. I don’t want to violate your rights, and you do have the right to make us wait for an attorney. I don’t know about your iPod, but I promise to ask. But honestly, do you want to have it on you in there?” Flames nodded at the prison door behind Terecito. “You’re little like me. Some bruiser might just take it from you, or worse, just take you… the guards don’t really care too much about what happens in here. But I’ll make sure it’s with your stuff, and if you want, I’ll ask to have it removed from your stuff and hold it for you for safekeeping.” He winked.

"It helps with the noise," Terecito said. "But you're probably right..." He fidgeted.

Time for change of subject, Flames thought. “So this Shard guy hated Ray, huh? Ray, the prissy boy everyone thinks is gay. Then the Shard, or one of its helpers, blew up and almost killed Zoom, another big ‘mo, and did kill drew, one of the more out heroes in Paragon. Sounds like he, or she, was after the 9s for the wrong reason. Probably thought all of us were big ‘mo’s too.” He shook his head. Terecito didn't respond. “I’m not, by the way," Flames clarified. "Doc… well the jury's out on him.” He winked again and chuckled.

Still no response from Terecito, who seemed to have decided to keep quiet on anything in this part of the conversation as a safety precaution. Tough audience, Flames thought, and changed the subject again. “Want me to get a guard to bring a recorder and re-read you your rights, to make sure you know what you should and shouldn’t say?”

~ ~ ~

Doc Rayvn looked over the arrest records. That night's records had the names and supergroup affiliation of anyone who was off in Astoria that night, plus (where possible) identification of people arrested. The list didn't include fatalities or, Doc noted, bodies left behind; only those that came back out alive, one way or another, or bodies retrieved by others. The 9s had a big part of the list to themselves, between their members and those they arrested. Someone had made a note that, while the 9s' captured villains were allegedly from different villain groups, they appeared to have acted in concert, and they all had crystal shards (or bits of shards) remaining in their bodies.

There was a notable absence of anyone with fire-type powers on the list, and the big Freakshow tank wasn't on there either. Of course, Doc thought, they hadn't brought back any of the Freaks – just left them there in the apartment after Heat and Flames had taken their trip to the hospital, and they'd found Boneshatter shot full of drugs.

On the other hand, the 9s' arrest list included representatives of Paragon City's villain groups are represented here, plus the PCPD riot squadder who'd fought Whirly, a janitor from MAGI and an intern at City Hall.

Wait a minute. Heat was in Astoria too... something or someone beat him up. I'll have to ask him when we get back.

Doc got the sensation someone was watching him. Of course he knew this was leftover from humanity's more primitive past, when sensing the hungry leopard stalking you made a world of difference in whether you'd continue breathing. But there was no denying it was a useful thing to have even in today's modern world. He looked up to see two men engaged in quiet conversation with the desk clerk.

They wore Crey Enterprises' distinctive dark suits and shaded glasses. Crey's operatives favored "men in black" fashions in general, with the addition of headsets and, in the right parts of the city, extra thugs and specialists for whatever quasi-legal work they might be doing.

The desk clerk pointed toward Doc, who quickly shuffled the papers together. He tucked them under his arm as the two Crey approached. "Can I help you?" he asked, putting on his best "dealing with the public" face.

"Johnson and Myers, Crey Special Investigations Division," one says. "We'd just like a look at the Astoria arrest record when you're finished."

"Fine. Let me know where you'll be and I'll bring it right over when I'm done."

"We'll be here." They moved slightly away, one of them speaking quietly on his headset, the other one apparently just waiting, like he had all the time in the world.

Doc looked at the record again, this time searching for anything that Crey might be interested in. He wasn't even sure what that might be, but it was worth a try. He did note there were no Crey employees anywhere in the arrest record. But Ep and Pyro talked to one... if the Crey woman wasn't involved in this, she probably told her superiors that something big was going down, and they've sent these two to find out what it is.

After a time Doc had to admit he couldn't find anything else of note on the list. But there was a chance someone else might see a pattern. He returned to the desk clerk and handed over the list. "Can I get a copy of this, please?"

"Not a problem." Doc had to produce his hero ID and wait for the laser printer to finish its prior documents in the queue, but within a fairly short time he had a copy of the arrest list to take with him. He thanked the clerk, then waved to the Crey operatives. "Have fun, boys!"

With that, he headed back to the interview room.

~ ~ ~

Flames stepped out of the room as Doc approached. Speaking very softly, so only the two of them could hear, Flames said, "The kid's going to work with us, don't be nice, but don't keep yelling at him."

"Fine," Doc agreed. "I looked over the reports. Looks like just the basics in there, but there were some Crey sniffing around, so I got copies of the reports just to be safe. Didn't see anything of direct interest to them, though, since there were no Crey arrested, and nothing they could use against us. Makes you wonder about the one up on the hill that got let go though. Anything more to handle with the kid?"

Flames nodded at Doc's words. "Just waiting on him to actually talk," he said, still speaking quietly. Getting a recorder so we can document it with his permission. And depending on how things work out, maybe invite him into the 9's..."

Doc rubbed the back of his neck. He could feel stiffness settling in. "That's if we can get him to stop being so afraid of this Shard thing. We need to find out more about it. After we're done here, I want to do some research on it. Check my books at home or the ones at Magi if I have to..." He dropped his voice to a mutter. "If Azuria hasn't let them get stolen again."

Flames grinned as Doc returned to his normal voice. "If we're still waiting on that recorder, I wanna go check on something." He handed the arrest list to Flames, stepped back, and turned invisible.

Comments

( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
hylandr
Aug. 18th, 2005 07:18 pm (UTC)
Remind me to smack Mr. Ciruit Party when I see him again. :-P
anthoras
Aug. 18th, 2005 07:33 pm (UTC)
Careful, he might like that....

though he'd fully deny it, I'm sure. ;)
andrew_jp_reyes
Aug. 18th, 2005 08:01 pm (UTC)
LOL!!!! EF really is str8!!!

Really!!!
hylandr
Aug. 18th, 2005 08:49 pm (UTC)
Isn't that what Eric is saying right now too? ;)
laridian
Aug. 18th, 2005 09:03 pm (UTC)
Eric just doesn't remember anything that happened "before." That's all. ;D And with Vix being right there and all... ;D
hylandr
Aug. 18th, 2005 09:15 pm (UTC)
The answer is...
6 beers.
laridian
Aug. 18th, 2005 09:22 pm (UTC)
Re: The answer is...
What, 6 beers until Eric hits on a guy? ;D
hylandr
Aug. 18th, 2005 09:54 pm (UTC)
Re: The answer is...
It's the answer to an old joke.

The question:

What's the difference between a straight guy and a gay guy?

*eg*
andrew_jp_reyes
Aug. 18th, 2005 10:01 pm (UTC)
Re: The answer is...
I always heard 6 pack and a joint. ;-}
hylandr
Aug. 18th, 2005 10:32 pm (UTC)
Re: The answer is...
I guess away from the big city, we don't need the drugs. Plus, we're closer to Toronto and the good Canadian beer. ;)
andrew_jp_reyes
Aug. 18th, 2005 09:16 pm (UTC)
EF has always been str8. Eric was/is bi, but drew always called him gay.

EF is totally str8, meaning he's sure of his sexuality and the whole gay thing doesn't bother or affect him in the least and he's comfortable enough to play along. That part of his personality is modeled after a few of my str8 friends that are like that.

Of course that was before he died in drew's arms...
laridian
Aug. 18th, 2005 09:30 pm (UTC)
Of course that was before he died in drew's arms...

Now, if they'd been together that would've been really Teh Angkst!
andrew_jp_reyes
Aug. 18th, 2005 10:00 pm (UTC)
Have you seen teh changes to EF's costume? There is angst and drama surrounding dying in drew's arm's, just not what you think.
hylandr
Aug. 18th, 2005 09:55 pm (UTC)
I'm just ragging on you. Don't worry. Just like how CR ragged on EF that one time they bantered in chat.
andrew_jp_reyes
Aug. 18th, 2005 10:00 pm (UTC)
::sob::

;-}
smtfhw
Aug. 18th, 2005 07:55 pm (UTC)
He's not really too bright, is he? That or he's never seen any cop shows.

OK, same problem here I think, as in you've been working fast and maybe haven't polished this as much as you normally would:

Should be made and not make here:
You aren't the first person to have fallen in with a bad crowd or make bad choices that affected the rest of his life.

The end of this is a bit breathless, as if it requires punctuation instead of all those ands:
With Eric's testimony, our legal psychic scans of his mind and the stuff the Fifth said before Crey saved his ass, we can put you and the others away for a long time, or until you escape and find a life on the run and getting bounced back in and out of this pit.

Something missing here:
“If you want to talk to me you can I’ll get the cops to bring in a tape recorder to protect both of us.

Some thing's got a bit scrambled in here:
On the other hand, the 9s' arrest list included representatives of Paragon City's villain groups are represented here, plus the PCPD riot squadder who'd fought Whirly, a janitor from MAGI and an intern at City Hall.

You've lost a set of speech marks:
Flames nodded at Doc's words. "Just waiting on him to actually talk," he said, still speaking quietly. Getting a recorder so we can document it with his permission. And depending on how things work out, maybe invite him into the 9's..."
laridian
Aug. 18th, 2005 09:31 pm (UTC)
Dang, and I thought I'd done better... **headdesk**

So, what can I send you from the US to make up for all this editing torture? ^_^;
laridian
Aug. 18th, 2005 09:32 pm (UTC)
Oh, and to answer your question... Terecito has a few things against him. He's not the brightest bulb in the store, you've got that. He's also completely adrift without someone telling him what to do, because - well, things have been hinted at in the fics, so I won't say more. He's extremely stressed out right now so he's not thinking too clearly. ^_^
saintnicster
Aug. 18th, 2005 08:28 pm (UTC)
Good continuation
laridian
Aug. 18th, 2005 09:29 pm (UTC)
Thanks! :)
redwolf
Aug. 19th, 2005 03:34 am (UTC)
Cool! More questions raised than answered.
ladyday
Aug. 19th, 2005 05:34 am (UTC)
This is the obligatory "I read these, finally." comment. :-) I enjoyed them. Oh, and I'm still not dating him in Simland. :-)
( 22 comments — Leave a comment )

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