The Light That Failed Pt 15

From the Story Arc: A Fine And Private Place

Previous Story in the Arc: The Light That Failed Pt 14 by Social Medicine (Monday, October 10, 2005)

Next Story in the Arc: The Light That Failed Pt 16 by Agn Stratonik (Monday, October 10, 2005)

(posted Monday, October 10, 2005)

Red had spent most of the last couple of weeks feeling helpless. Sometimes, if felt like much was expected of him, perhaps too much? He couldn't be sure anymore. He did his job though, and when given more to do, he did it. He made the decisions expected of him, and stuck by them, for better or for worse.

Today, he had come close to cracking.

Rushing to the hospital seemed now like such a wasted effort. He had pushed himself to top flight speed over miles to arrive here, and for what? To stand there, a great red lump, giving the occasional, obligatory mutter. He felt like a cartoon.

They had the situation well in hand. Well, as much as anyone could, he supposed. Red Saviour was calling the shots, and it was good that she was. Zack certainly wasn't in any state of mind to.

And Red? He felt sluggish, almost detached from the proceedings now. Everyone was two steps ahead of him, in thought, in deed, even gestures. Numb. Worry had gnawed at his mind, for KC, for Paladin, for Lily, and now for Bella, Social and Vic. Especially for Vic. But the rollercoaster ride of emotions, of panic, then relief, then worry, and now...

He felt his eyes wanting to go back to the television screen. He closed them instead.

There you have it. He was numb. There just wasn't enough of Red to go around. This, he figured, was what really being stretched to the limit of one's psyche felt like.

He had seen Vic in there, and had wanted more than anything to rush to her side. He was about to scream protest on the containment, but Zach had beaten him to it. And if Zach could see reason and not enter, what right did he? It was another pivotal moment in Red and Vic's relationship, but no one would ever know. Something he had known for a long time finally burst from slumber within the recesses of his waking thought.

Vic doesn't need you for everything, y'know. She's actually stronger than you are. You're simply going to have to trust your greatest love to help save your best friend.

The twists and turns, the internal roar as his mind sped from one end of the emotional spectrum to the other, he could barely recall the catalyst for each: Saviour's cry for an immediate evac, something the doctor said about Crey, Mandragora's suggestion, the arrival of the chamber...

He heard Vic's voice blare from his Comm unit, "This is Vickie Vee. Get a replay of the Crey Press Conference. Look at the girl talking to the old man."

He felt the snarl rise from his lips, and bit down. Hard. Tasting blood, he stifled a gasp. Nerve endings were still a bit fresh in his reconstructed mouth.

"Nat?" he muttered. "Get a lock on me. Port me back the minute something, anything, happens. I need some air."

Staring at the television broadcast herself, Red Saviour only nodded, and Djinni marched out of the room, off the now evacuated wing, and out of the hospital.

"Ignition!"

He began to soar, and headed south, towards the Faultline gate. Shielded in fire, and biting back his wrath, he went on a hunt. Even in broad daylight, he found muggings and shady deals in dark recesses under the highway, in filthy alleyways, even in the local park. Trolls and Lost, he barely gave them time to react. He simply charred them, their lungs full of smoke, and knocked them about with bonfires. He didn't bother to tag them for the Zig. He left them where they lay, the few who could still walk struggled to remove their fallen friends.

Red let them go. The message was clear, today was just a bad day to be a bad guy.

Especially if your name is Kid Crisis.

Numb? Helpless? Screw that. Bella came first, they'd see her through this. After that...

Red felt his hands start to clench, imagined his fingers around KC's throat...