Word count: 587
Fandom: City of Heroes/Sunday 9s
Characters: Terecito, Lapis (indirectly) and a surprise guest
Timeline: Takes place immediately after "Guess Who". It's going to also happen concurrently with the next-to-be-posted fic.
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.
Guess Who, Indeed
Now the townsfolk still remember
How the old schoolhouse was blown to embers
Though Miss Prim's body was never, ever found –
"Eh, country music," Terecito muttered, and skipped to the next song. He'd raided the 9s' computers and music devices shortly after joining the team, wholesale copying playlists into his iPod, and then usually set it to random-play. He never knew what he'd get that way, but it made for interesting listening most of the time. He wasn't fond of country music, though, and idly wondered who'd had this one in their musical inventory.
Living here in Jersey, fighting villains from afar
You gotta find first gear in your GI-ANT RO-BOT CARRRR!
- roared the indie-punk sound in his earbuds.
Well, that was better than country music, anyway.
He reached toward the keypad next to the warehouse door to enter the passcode, then frowned as he noticed something: scorch marks. So something had happened to the keypad, although it didn't look outwardly damaged apart from the blackening. Terecito gently nudged the keypad, then hooked a fingernail around the edge. It pulled away slightly, and a bit of smoke issued forth.
Electrical short, then. Not big enough to cause a fire, which was good, but enough that it probably caused some kind of problem in the wiring. Maybe he could fix it, or at least determine whether someone else would have to come in. Oh, or Vixen – she could probably do something about it, too. But he wanted a crack at it first, to prove (if he could) his usefulness.
He opened the door – the short in the keypad hadn't locked it permanently, at least; he didn't want to break into his new team's headquarters. The place still smelled, but the smell was stronger. That worried him. It shouldn't be getting stronger, unless someone left the bathroom doors open. He went to check. No, they were still closed off, though the smell was particularly pungent in this location. So it meant more gas was rising up through the pipes. Good thing Kawaii and the rest were cleaning out the zombies in the sewers, then – the city workers could clean out the blockage that much faster.
Still, would they manage it fast enough to avoid this place becoming permanently stanky, not to mention downright unlivable?
He should probably open the skylights and any windows, see if that helped. He made his way back to the highbay, then paused. He should let someone know, too. The 9s had two team leaders, Heat Lightning and Lapis Lizard. Since the J-Star was out, that left the big blue lizardman. Terecito turned down his music so he could use the communicator. "Lapis? Are you there?"
"Yeah," Lapis responded after a pause. "What's up?"
"I'm back at the warehouse, and I think the smell's worse. I mean, I think it's getting stronger. I'm going to open the skylights. Is that okay?"
"Do they open? I don't think we've ever tried."
"Oh." Terecito looked up at the nearest skylight. "I'll take a look. If they don't – "
"If they don't, call me back and we'll see – no, wait." The ex-Outcast heard Lapis sigh. "You shouldn't work on it alone, just in case the fumes knock you out. I'll be right there."
"Gracias." Terecito signed off, then jumped as someone tapped his shoulder. He turned just in time to see Ace, most favored of the Aligned shard minions.
"Hola, pelegatito," Ace said, unsmiling.
~ ~ ~
"The Ballad of Freddy Pharkas: Reprise" by Al Lowe and Josh Mandel
"Theme from Megas-XLR" by Deathwish Nine (credited as Ragtime Revolutionaries)