Afflictions: Part Thirty

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TW: Blood , Violence

Vanessa’s heart was pounding, as she silently rode up the elevator of the Cinnistar wireless R&D building with Anastasia. They had ample evidence, and approval from the DSR to take him in for interrogation. She’d done more than one arrest by now, even in the past few months, but it was still nerve racking. You never knew who you were dealing with for sure, or what kinds of things they have up their sleeves. Sure they were all powerful supers, but that didn’t mean that this guy couldn’t have powers, or even a quick trigger.

Visions of the time at the bank flashed through her mind. She flexed her arm, and felt a tingle go up her shoulder. Even with the best medical treatment her dad could get, her arm would never be the same again. It served as a good reminder not to get cocky. She saw where cockiness had gotten her over the past few years. It gets you trauma or injuries at best, and dead bodies at worst. She knew she was powerful, but she wouldn’t let that make her hold back. She couldn’t go for the throat right off the bat, but that didn’t mean she couldn’t maim someone the second they made a move. Regardless of the morality of it, it was the world they lived in.

The elevator dinged, and Anastasia stepped off side by side with her. Handcuffs jingled on her belt. Both of them had ditched the old flashy costumes in favor of more smart tactical gear. Kevlar vests beat out pink spandex any day.

She pulled herself out of her head, as they approached the door to the VP’s office. The name plate read ‘Robert Stewart. They were here.

“You ready?” Anastasia asked, looking around at the slowly fleeing bystanders who worked in the offices around.

“Ready as I’ll ever be.” She readied a pink disc, and threw open the door.

Stewart had time to jump to his feet and take a step before he found a pink disc hovering next to his throat. His hair was grey and cut short, and stubble was growing on his chin. He had bags under his eyes like someone who didn’t have a good relationship with his pillow. He looked quickly around the room, then took a deep breath.

“Robert Stewart?” Anastasia spoke calmly.

“That’s me.” He laughed nervously. “How can I help you ladies?”

“We have a few questions for you. Why don’t you have a seat?” Vanessa gestured to one of the chairs in his office away from his desk. “Nice and slow.”

Stewart nodded, and, with his hands in the air, made his way over to the designated seat. He made the best smile he could, then looked up to Vanessa. “So, what kind of questions do you have for me?” He was clearly nervous, but he spoke clearly.

“First, I want to ask about your relationship with a man named ‘Vondrasek’. Do you know him?” Anastasia asked.

Stewart directed his attention to his other interrogator, and laughed nervously. “I think I know where these questions are going, so I’ll cooperate.” He nodded. “Yes, I do know Mr. Vondrasek. He recommended me for this position.”

“Why is that? You didn’t seem to have any relevant experience.” Vanessa leaned back on his desk, keeping the disc at his throat.

“I earned his trust. He needed a project completed distant from his companies, but wanted someone he could trust over it. I just so happened to fit the bill for that.” He kept up a faintly nervous smile.

“Now I want to ask about a date. February 24th, 2020. There was a shooting, for which you happened to be absent with food poisoning. The investigation into this was dropped, but I think you know something else about it.” Vanessa pressed the disc a little closer to the man’s throat.

As he spoke the man’s smile began to shift. “Well, you’ve got me there. I called it in to a line I was provided by some rogue terror group. I had a super in my department, and she needed to be apprehended. Not to mention those two researchers who started to ask too many questions. I felt no need to be there for that.” His smile began to set into something more smug, and he began to lean into the disc. “I believe I’m looking quite guilty right now, aren’t I?”

“What’s your plan here, Stewart? Why are you covering for Vondrasek. It’s clear he put you up to the shooting and orchestrated it.” She pulled back the disc a bit, before he hurt himself. There would be time for pain later if he wanted it.

“Oh I acted completely on my own. Mr. Vondrasek would never be associated with something dirty like a shooting. I acted completely out of hatred for people like you.” He sighed. “However, I do know that at Vertech we looked out for our own, and he will be looking out for me. We do have another policy at Vertech that I think you might find interesting, however. Would you like to hear it?”

“Wipe that smug look off your face, asshole.” Vanessa didn’t have time for this, she gestured for Anastasia to handcuff him.

“That policy is death for traitors.” He was shouting now. “How has your dad been feeling Mrs. Smith? Coughing a little?”

Vanessa wavered for a moment. Had they been poisoning her dad for betraying them? But how? He had security, and Gregory, Jean’s handpicked successor, was watching over everything.

In that split second, Stewart ducked out of the chair and to the side, before making a break for it out of the office. He made it about 20 feet before crying out and crumpling onto the ground. Blood poured from his ankle, where Vanessa had sent a disc, severing his Achilles tendon. Within five seconds Vanessa and Anastasia had him pinned to the ground and handcuffed.

With blood on their hands and uniforms, Anastasia and Vanessa carted Stewart to the van waiting outside the building.

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Hello traveler! You’ve happened upon my serial, or maybe found it intentionally. If you like what you see, be sure to check out the reading guide and read the rest of the series! This may be season 3, but there’s pretty comprehensive recaps, so it’s not as if there’s an enormous backlog.

Note that this is the midseason finale, speaking from the perspective of story structure. I actually don’t know if this is the numerical midseason. I’m fairly certain this distinction doesn’t matter, but I thought I’d add it anyways

Finally got in my things. This week I want to turn the tables in this little barely even a paragraph section that my weekly blurb has been reduced to. How are you doing? I feel like we always talk about me. I want to talk about you for a change. What’s been going on?

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