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The Inquiry (one-shot)

Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by Bailey Matutine, Apr 21, 2020.

  1. Bailey Matutine

    Bailey Matutine (Verified Pooka)

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    Battery walked into the room, led by the bailiff. She flexed her hands in the cuffs that had been put on her in the recovery tent. The cuffs were tinker made, and were honestly fairly comfortable other than the fact that they were designed to resist the use of her powers and in fact resist her building a charge. There was a spot in the back of her brain that itched at this. Battery sat down in the indicated seat in front of the panel.

    “I’d like to call this formal inquiry into the events leading to the death of Protectorate Hero known as Assault and accusations of a breach of the Endbringer Truce to order. Protectorate Hero Battery, you have been accused of deliberately causing the death of your partner, Assault, and we find the accusation credible enough to ask for your defense in this.”

    “If I’ve been accused, I’d like to face my accuser,” Battery said, calmly, keeping the advice she’d been offered in mind.

    “This is not a criminal prosecution. This is a formal inquiry. You have no right to face your accusers here.”

    “You already have my official statement, that Assault nobly volunteered to sacrifice his life to allow several of the defenders to escape Behemoth’s kill aura. Can I know who made the accusation, and what basis it was made under?”

    “The exact identity is classified,” one of the seated officials said, shuffling some papers, “but one of Madcap’s old associates raised the concerns. He stated that Madcap had informed him when they were out drinking last week that he only joined to see you dead or miserable as revenge for ruining his career, and that sacrificing his life to save yours would be the last thing he’d do.”

    “Well,” Battery said, “that can’t be correct. The terms of his parole specifically forbade him from associating with any villains at all, especially ones he met as Madcap. Are you sure I can’t confront the source of such an obvious lie?”

    “Dammit woman, I have here your reports from ten weeks ago that you believed he was breaking his parole in exactly this manner. It was looked into and the inquiry board accepted his defense that he was explaining the benefits of joining the Protectorate to his old contacts. Don’t pretend this is news to you.”

    Bingo, Battery thought. “Why, are you speaking of the five different reports over the course of two weeks complete with surveillance photographs of a probationary Protectorate member violating his parole that I turned in to the Director along with my request for a transfer to another city? I was informed, when Assault was transferred along with me, that I must have been mistaken and those pictures were of someone else. My being correct about his parole violation is entirely news to me. So, a villain he was explaining the benefits of joining the Protectorate to says this behavior doesn't fit his motives because he wanted revenge on me for thwarting his villainy and wouldn’t have sacrificed his life for mine. What’s my motivation in this fantasy?”

    “Presumably the same,” muttered one of the officials, going silent at a sharp look from her right.

    “I have here,” said another official, “a series of thirty sexual harassment complaints from you about Assault, two or three a week, every week. It’s not unbelievable that-”

    “Excuse me,” Battery interrupted, “that can’t be correct because Protectorate regulations state that any protectorate member with more than ten misconduct complaints against them is to be relocated to another office while the complaints are investigated. If you have thirty complaints from me alone, then there is no reason he should have been assigned as my partner for every single patrol during that time.”

    “We know you did it,” came the angry response. “We know you killed him because you didn’t like being forced to work with the man. You couldn’t just shut up and put up with him so we could have more heroes. Now you’ve robbed us of not only him but of every villain who might have joined us for his example.”

    “Are you saying, Director Stone,” Battery replied slowly, “that it is the position of this inquiry board that Assault was a villain who was sexually harassing me as revenge for stopping him from committing criminal deeds, that everyone in a position of authority was shielding him from my complaints about his malicious nature, and I should have allowed him to continue worsening the work environment in the Protectorate? That’d be a terrible thing for the public to hear. Now, I have a recording device in my cuffs.” Battery tilted her arms so that the officials could see the display of controls including the blinking RECORD on the side. “Try anything and it gets sent to some very interested journalists. I personally don’t subscribe to your theory. I think that everyone who told me I was wrong about him was absolutely correct, that he indeed turned over a new leaf, and that he died saving my life and the lives of those around us. He’s a success story, because the alternative is worse. What do you think?”


    {}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}


    Battery ran from the building to where Armsmaster waited at the curb. “Excellent. Right on time. I confirmed ten minutes ago that they had determined the accuracy of your words regarding my design.”

    “Thank you sir. I don’t know what I would have done without you.”

    “Don’t thank me. It’s much more efficient to not have certain kinds of issues interfering with team dynamics, and now I have a success story to hold up, about how well probationary heroes work. It will greatly improve my reputation.”

    Battery smiled. “Still, thank you, sir.”

    Armsmaster paused. “Any time. Just ask.” Then, he sped off. He had a city to save, and discussing things any longer with his subordinate would be an inefficient use of his time. Plus it made him look cool as hell.
     
  2. Stormbringer117

    Stormbringer117 Soulless

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    That's about accurate for a bureaucracy.

    Nice little one-shot. Thanks for sharing.
     
  3. Prince Charon

    Prince Charon Just zis guy, you know?

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    OK, I can see this. Depressing that she 'hypothetically would have needed to go that far, in the scenario which the officials presented,' but not surprising.
     
    SlickRCBD and Christopher Tate like this.