When the Chips Are Down 1.1

Author’s Note: A possible reboot is happening as of now (4/25/2014), so this may no longer be canon or continued. To proceed to the reboot, click here

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How did her life go from living it up, doing whatever she damn well pleased, to wishing the walls of her cell at least had tiles for her to count?

Whoever designed this cell didn’t even have the decency to consider what incredibly bored prisoners would do for entertainment without a single tile to count. The walls were smooth metal, sturdy enough to withstand someone with superstrength using them as punching bags all day.

There was a small stack of three books lying beside Cameron’s pillow, and despite all of them being mediocre, she had read them from cover to cover twice already.

Two days of being trapped in this room and she felt like pulling her hair out, just to have something to do and keep her thoughts away from what was going to happen to her when they released her.

The government didn’t take too kindly to people who stole their things, especially when those things were very expensive pieces of equipment that had the added bonus of being hard to make, requiring the assistance of an inventor, a superhuman with the powers of creating advanced technology. They really didn’t like it if you did it more than once.

Cameron tapped the metal braclet on her wrist, another inventor made gadget that stopped people from using their powers. Well, that wasn’t true exactly. It could detect when you were about to use your powers and when it did, it shocked you hard enough to render you unconcious. If she didn’t have this, she probably would have already escaped by now. Cameron could still go and try to escape but it was a bit of a gamble. What would happen first, her magical powers of teleportation getting this damn bracelet off, or the bracelet sending her to see the sandman? Not a gamble she was willing to take, considering if she tried and failed they’d tighten up her security even more, maybe even put her in a medically induced coma or something. Cameron had heard stories.

Hope was not completely lost. Her life of crime had benefits, connections she was using to help get her out of this mess. A lawyer, in this case.

Robert Blackwell.

Robert Blackwell was a name that popped up in the news often enough to stick in the public’s mind. He was a defense lawyer who became famous for his willingness to work for supervillains, then to balance it out, he took on many cases for free, selecting people who couldn’t afford a topnotch lawyer and were victims of circumstance.

By night, he was a supervillain himself, going by the name Creed.

He was one of the best and he assured her she wouldn’t be going to jail. He probably planned on playing the tragic past and the oh she’s just a teenager, she doesn’t know what she’s doing cards.

And as long as they didn’t find out about the really bad stuff in her past, Cameron had a fighting chance.

The doors swooshed open. A tall, imposing man with a scarred face stepped into the room, a pair of handcuffs held in his hands. Not a superhero, an SAA, short for Superhuman Affairs Agency, agent.

It must be important. They tried to avoid letting her out of her cell as much as possible, the chance that she’d use the opportunity to escape was too high. They didn’t even let her leave to speak to her lawyer, forcing her to talk to him over the phone, one they were probably monitoring.

“Don’t make this difficult. Hands,” he ordered. He never introduced himself but she remembered someone calling him Agent Hayes.

Cameron gave him a look. She felt tempted to give him trouble, make things difficult, just because he assumed she would. She sighed as she extended her arms and let him handcuff her. Later, she promised herself.

Silently, they walked out of the cell and down the hall, into a room she recognized, the interrogation room. They had brought her here shortly after they captured her. There was already someone sitting at the table, a phone in his hand. Creed. He wore a black business suit, his dirty blond hair neatly brushed, attractive in a clean-cut way. He looked up from his phone and smiled winningly at her. “Miss Pierce, it’s a pleasure to meet you, face to face.”

She returned the smile as she took the seat next to him.

The agent sat down in the chair on the other side of the table. “Mr. Blackwell and I have managed to come to an agreement. He seems to think you’re an ideal candidate for one of our special rehabilitation programs. He’s talked to you about it?”

He had. There were a bunch of facilities where some of the less violent supervillains could be sent to, in the hopes of one day turning them into productive, law-abiding members of society. Creed had said there was a pretty high chance of them trying to send her to one of those. That idea sounded horrible, Cameron spent time in a similar place before, a place young, troubled powers got tossed in, and it had been far from being a pleasant experience. Creed had offered an alternative. Apparently, if someone had a useful enough superpower and their crimes and personality weren’t too bad, they were given the opportunity to become superheroes, as a form of community service. Something about positive peer pressure making them more likely to stay on the straight and narrow.

She would have said no to that too but Creed subtly hinted that it was important for her to say yes. He couldn’t explain his real reasons, not with the SAA listening in. Cameron trusted him, and owed him, maybe more than she could ever repay.

“Yeah, he has,” Cameron said. “He told me you don’t think I would be a good fit.”

“Still don’t. Someone else agrees with your lawyer though, and she tends to handle that kind of crap. I’ll leave it to her. What I handle is the tactical aspect of our operations here in this city, figuring out ways to efficiently and effectively defeat and capture superpowered crooks. I look at you and I don’t see a team player, someone I could use out on the battlefield. You’ll cause more harm than good. That said, more people disagree with me than agree, so I’m willing to give you a shot.”

“Great.” She raised her arms, rattling the chain a little as she pulled her hands apart. “Can I get these off then?”

Agent Hayes smirked. “After. There’s a few things we have to go over, first.”

“You’ll live here, in the SAA building, until something else can be arranged. I assumed you wouldn’t want to return to where you lived before,” Creed said. “You will, of course, be monitored for a while with a tracker to let them know where you are, and you must start attending school again.”

High school. Ugh.

“And there’s a curfew,” Hayes chimed in.

“Whatever. Is that it?” Cameron tugged at the handcuffs again.

He shrugged. “Agent Brown will, undoubtedly, go into more detail later.” He reached into his pocket and retrieved a key which he used to unlock the handcuffs. “Stay here, someone will come in a minute for you. I have more important things to do with my time.” Hayes stood up and left, leaving her and Creed alone in the room.

“Is this satisfactory?” Creed asked.

“It’s alright, I guess.” She sighed. “Better than jail. I could do without a curfew.”

“The woman Agent Hayes mentioned, the one who convinced him, is a much more reasonable person than Agent Hayes. I’ve spoken to her, Agent Brown, and I think she would be willing to lift the curfew, provided you stay on your best behavior,” he said, lightly.

Cameron wanted to ask what his endgame was. Creed was a planner, every move he made was carefully thought out, designed to put himself in a better position. He was a pretty nice guy to her, going above and beyond the call of duty in helping her but at the end of the day, he was a supervillain. Successful criminals were rarely selfless beings. Not that there were a lot of selfless people running around generally, in any group.

It just seemed a little too good that she avoided jail and was going be putting on a white hat instead thanks to a criminal mastermind.

The door opened as a younger agent came in, also male, he gestured for them to stand up. They did, and Creed gave her another smile, extended his hand for her to shake. “Good luck, Miss Pierce. If anything comes up, you have my number.”

“Thanks,” she said as she shook his hand.

Once Creed was gone, the agent turned to her. “It’s not official yet, but I’ve been asked to escort you to your new room regardless. Follow me.”

They walked out of the room, with him in the lead. He guided her to the elevator at the end of the hall. Cameron would have preferred taking the stairs, if there were any down here, but this guy didn’t seem like he wanted to take the long way. They didn’t pass any other agents on their way to the elevator. The agent tapped his ID card against a panel below the numbers before he pushed a button. Third floor. The elevator lurched into motion. “Most heroes have a space set aside for them on the fourth floor,” he said. “You’ll be allowed there when they vet you.”

“Are they going to make me take a lie detector test or something?” Cameron asked. She looked down at the sweats she was wearing, they were comfortable but, well, she’d rather be wearing something she owned.

He shook his head. “They’ll use some mental power instead.”

There were a number of mental superpowers that could do the job, mind reading, some analysis power, maybe even precognition. The chances of them using telepathy was low, thank god, it was one of the powers that didn’t work well or at all when used against someone else with powers. The elevator doors opened, and from there it was a short walk to a hallway to her room. It didn’t have much in it, just a bed, nightstand, and a desk with a computer. Bigger than her cell, though, and there was a window, covered by a curtain.

“Someone will come up later with food, until then you’re free to entertain yourself with the computer, it’s already connected to the internet. The bathroom is two doors to your left. Other than that, you’re not allowed to leave this room.”

“What if there’s an emergency?” Cameron said melodramatically. He gave her a questioning look. She smirked, and shoved her hand in his face. “See? My nail polish is starting to chip.”

He rolled his eyes and left, closing the door behind him, without a goodbye.

That made her feel better about this crappy situation. Wasn’t as bad as it could be, but it was far from ideal.

A little sunlight sounded really good right now, after days of being locked inside that cell. Cameron walked over to the window and pushed the curtains aside. Her view of the outside world was blocked by a sheet of paper taped to the glass. A message, written in black marker.


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9 thoughts on “When the Chips Are Down 1.1

  1. Typos
    There were(was?) a small stack of three books lying beside Cameron’s pillow, and despite all of them being medicore (mediocre?)

    Not a superhero, a(an?) SAA, Superhuman Affairs Agency, agent.

    She sighed as she extended his(her?) arms and let him handcuff her.

    He had. There were a bunch of facilities where some of the less violent supervillains could be sent to, in the hopes of one day turning them into a productive, law-abiding members of society.

  2. “Some mental power will.” -> This sentence, while the meaning makes sense, does not make syntactical sense. Some mental power will… what? Make her take a lie detector test? That’s the closest verb, and that doesn’t make sense. Probably “They’ll use some mental power instead,”

    “An SAA, Superhuman Affairs Agency, agent.” -> This is awkward. I would put the expansion of the acronym in parentheses, because otherwise “superhuman affairs agency” could be interpreted as a subset of the SAA, like “A Microsoft, Development Department, programmer.”

    This looks promising! No real grammatical or syntactical errors I spotted, and the characters seem to already have some personality. I’ll be reading through your archive in the days to come, but expect erratic progress, given how absurdly busy I get at the drop of a hat.

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