The problem with Mr. Bunny part 2

Half an hour later, and after much reassurances by Hormesis that radiation healing wouldn’t affect the general area of the wound permanently, Cavalier was finally getting his temper under control. Given the fact that Hormesis had made some joke, about male organs being known to have fallen clean off the body, after being irradiated like that, Cavalier was in a good mood. For fifteen minutes, he lectured Cymbaline about using her powers inside HQ, on safe grounds, while Icy Heart sat amused on the old leather couch, sometimes making funny faces behind Cavalier’s back. The vein in his face throbbed a few times, while spit showed up on his lips, and his throat was getting raw from yelling at her.

“And what do you have to say for yourself?” Finally voiced Cavalier at Cymbaline whose face was sad and flushed.

“Can we just pretend that I already feel awful about this?” She simply replied in a broken voice. Cavalier looked her down, then straight in the eyes, and remembered that she was his friend, foremost in all of Paragon. He turned around, and walked straight for his desk, pulling out two pieces of paper.

“I have summoned you two here for a special assignment. These papers are your ECPC permits for this mission. That means you could level a city district girls, but there better damn well be an explanation for it in the end.” And whit that, he went to Icy Heart and handed her the two sheets, that amongst other things stated: Mandate of Arrest.

“Great, so you call me here to go hunt down ten Hellions, ten Skulls, then twenty Thorns and twenty Freaks?” Simply replied Icy Heart as she stood up, and walked for the door uninterested by the details of this mission. She had gone out on too many of them, had given up too much of her time for this city, and she felt in her heart of heart that she deserved more from this super group than simple tasks.

“Jade Rade.” Simply said Cavalier as he looked at Icy Heart walk away. She stopped with her hand on the door handle, and looked over her shoulder. “I want you two to capture Jade Rade and bring her into custody.”

“Jade Rade has been sitting in prison for the past few months Cavalier, did she escape recently?” Icy Heart was the hero who had put a stop to Jade Rade about a year ago, when it was found out that Rade had irradiated the water supply of an entire district, to exact revenge on the Tsoos for the murder of an innocent bystander, her brother. The Tsoos paid with their lives for that action, along with thirty innocent civilians, and several more had to spend some time in the hospital to recover from the radiation sickness. During her trial, Jade Rade had remained silent as she was sentenced to life in the Ziggurat, where she was supposed to be at this very moment.

“Look at this.” Cavalier held out a pair of photographs for the women to look at. Wearing an eye patch, and what looked like Rularuu skins for clothing, Jade Rade and two others were standing on the ramp, in front of the blue shimmering surface of the dimensional door, at Portal Corps.

“What is she doing free, and who are these two clowns with her?” Asked Icy heart at the famous scrapper.

“The big one is called Metal Core, the small hairy one, I have no clue, we’re searching the database in the hopes of getting an answer. Bottom line, I want her arrested and brought in for questioning. These three look like they have been away for a long time, and if you look closely at Jade Rade’s features on the second picture, I think she is happy about being back home.” Cavalier pointed his index at Jade Rade’s face.

“A tear.” Said Icy Heart as she looked more closely at the pictures. The three people on them looked weathered and tired, combat weary and disoriented, as if they had been fighting for too long. But how could that be, since she was supposed to be sitting in prison for the rest of her life?

“How did they get passed General Hammond and his forces on Firebase Zulu?” Asked Cymbaline, who had been standing there, listening intently to what had been said. “Hammond watches that portal like a dog, no one goes through it without authorization.”

“That’s another problem we have to deal with today, but it’s none of your concerns.” Replied Cavalier sharply to the ladies. “What I need from you two, is Jade Rade and whoever else is with her, to be brought in, can you handle it?”

“Yes.” Replied Icy Heart, while Cymbaline acquiesced.

“Go get ‘em girls. Send Hormesis back in will you, please?” The girls left the office, heading out into the city, debating where to look first for the infamous defender turned bad. Hormesis walked in and threw himself on the couch, resting a leg across the arm chair, he looked around the room and said:

“Smells like burnt hair in here.” And he smiled a taunting smile at Cavalier.

“Shaddup. I have a special assignment for you, a personal favour.” Cavalier leaned both elbows on his desk and hushed his voice as he waited for Hormesis to reply.

“Name it, you’re the boos.” Hormesis was always one to laugh, and with his pronounced southern accent, some words did sound strange when he spoke.

“Earlier this morning, Firebase Zulu was overrun by the Rularuu and the military forces present there were defeated. General Hammond is dead and the losses are heavy on our side.” Cavalier spoke seriously, with a low voice that carried meaning. Hormesis eyebrows shot up as he heard the news, and his features went from careless to intent, instantly.

“The Rularuu host sits now at the entrance of the zone, and they are not coming through or attacking. But if they wanted to, they could gain access to our world.” Went on the famous scrapper, who then stood up to walk to the window, looking over Steel Canyon.

“The city wants Apocalypse to track down someone that came through the portal this morning. It won’t be easy, and I have specific orders concerning that. Given the fact that you are radiation based and that he is radiation created, I think you are the best choice to find him. But understand this, your orders are to locate him, not to try and arrest him. Once you have found him, I want you to call me. Under no circumstances are you to challenge him, if he sees you, run.”

Hormesis didn’t like what he was hearing at all, it sounded as if Cavalier was trying to cover up something. His tone, his demeanour told the defender something was hidden here, something that shouldn’t be brought to light.

“I can find anyone or anything irradiated, you know that. But why am I not allowed to arrest him, and who is it?” The radiation defender felt intrigued, this task was getting mysterious and exciting.

“Understand me well Hormesis, under no circumstances are you to get near him. Just find him and call me, I will take care of the rest.” Cavalier turned around and looked straight into the eyes of the radiation defender, dead serious look on his face.

“Understood boos. Who is it?” Replied Hormesis with a twinkle in his eyes.

“Voyager.” And with that, Hormesis face went from happy go lucky, to flat serious.

Pressing the record button on the video camera, Moon Psyche came to sit across the table from the huge man that had just been brought in from Brickstown Infirmary. Taking off his fedora hat and putting it gently on the left corner of the table, he looked around the interrogation room. Much like any room built for that purpose, it had the tell tale two sided window, through which observers on the other side could witness the process. Cement walls and floor, with a single ceiling light, it was located in the basement of the Apocalypse HQ.

“Please state your name and affiliation for the record please.” Spoke Moon Psyche softly while he pushed forward a small microphone, to rest it in the middle of the table. The huge man leaned forward, looked at Moon Psyche, then at the camera and said:

“Bunny, Bugs Bunny. No affiliation.” Bear Cat was beginning to feel annoyed at answering this all the time, but better that, than the truth. Moon Psyche looked him straight in the eyes, smiling gently.

“You can tell me the truth, or I can pry it out of you, your choice.”

Bear Cat remained silent, a few seconds went by, then he felt it. Tendrils of a presence, probing his mind, brushing the edges of his consciousness. Clenching his teeth, recognizing a psychic touch inside his head, he knew what to do. His training had included painful sessions of psychic attacks and how to resist them. Scattering his thoughts from subject to subject, never thinking long enough about one object then moving on to the next, he was hoping to hide his memories from Moon Psyche.

But, Moon wasn’t just any other psychic, he was probably the best psychic this city had ever seen, all walks of life included. Smiling gently still, Moon’s eyebrows creased at the effort he was exerting. Bear Cat suddenly felt jarred, and his thought pattern froze on the picture of a horse. Then, a throbbing headache began to pound inside his head, making him grunt.

“I can have you tell me everything I want to know, including the maiden name of your great grandmother if I want to. What is your name?”

Silence occupied the space between the two men, it filled the room as if the world had hushed itself for a minute. Bear Cat’s nose had begun to bleed, veins on his forehead and temples were pulsating to the rhythm of his heartbeat. He stood straight up, throwing the table against the far wall, crushing Moon Psyche’s fedora hat in the process. The controller stood up as well, facing the huge tanker directly, he came to stand a few inches from his face, looking straight into his eyes, unblinking and resolute.

“Tell me your name.”

Bear Cat’s body was shaking, held in position by an unseen force, he was trying to regain control of his body, so he could crush the small man in front of him. All Bear Cat wanted, was to get him out of his head, out of his thoughts.

“Bear Cat.”

He heard himself muttering, while he tasted the blood that had trickled into his mouth. Another sharp, almost unbearable pain, had him fall to his knees. He moaned heavily while a more important blood vessel imploded inside his nose, letting free a flow of red liquid that fell in heavy drops on the floor, in front of him.

“Tell me, who do you work for, Mr. Bear Cat.” Asked Moon Psyche as he was looking down at the huge helpless man, hoping he was not pushing it too hard. Bear Cat's fists clenched, and his whole body was shaking, from anger and from the psychic bombardment Moon was exerting on him. He had been faced by mind attacks before, but never of this magnitude. Steeling himself, resolved that he wouldn’t answer the question, he decided to accept the pain instead.

“I will not!” Screaming, he fell to the side, body shaking and twitching.

“Tell me!” Yelled Moon Psyche as he kneeled down next to him. “Tell me and I will make the pain stop.”

Bear Cat let out a long scream, his ears began to bleed now. Moon Psyche looked at the mirror, knowing that X-ecutioner was on the other side, waiting and ready to oppose the prisoner if the need arose. X was shaken to the core by what he was seeing, he knew Moon psyche was powerful but he had never thought such a frail looking man could subdue a tanker so easily. When the phone rang, it took him some time to answer, so enthralled he was by the scene he was witnessing.

“Are you related with the Hunters of Apocalypse?”

Moon had carried a lot of interrogations in his time with Apocalypse, and many of those he had to do exactly what he was doing now. It was a merciless task, gathering information from the enemy, but today felt different. Somehow, this man didn’t register as a threat. Moon had researched the entire data that Machine had provided, and according to it, Bear Cat should register as a super-villain. But after probing his mind, and shaking the man to his core, Moon Psyche couldn’t think of him as one. Bear Cat could be qualified as a vigilante, but a villain he wasn’t. For the first time in his career, Moon was interrogating someone that wasn’t a criminal per say. He felt strange and oddly ashamed at his conduct, but on the other hand, this issue needed to be resolved. The knock on the door brought him back to reality. He stood up and went outside, in the corridor, to talk with X-ecutioner.

“A lawyer is upstairs, with papers that sets him free, Moon.”

“And those papers check out?” Replied Moon who suddenly let his hold on Bear Cat vanish. A moan and coughing were heard coming from the room.

“Apparently, they are official, the five hundred thousand dollar bail has been paid, and Bear Cat his free, until his trial.”

“Interesting outcome. It would appear Mr. Bunny has friends in high places. Ok, call in a healer, get him cleaned up, and let him go. I think that lawyer’s name will help more than he will. Get all the information you can on who hired the lawyer, and report back to me in two hours.”

Moon opened the interrogation room door, and looked in on Bear Cat, who was still curled up in a ball on the floor. Reaching for his cell phone, he flipped it opened and auto dialled a number.

“Calling Cavalier?” Asked X-ecutioner as he bent down to help Bear Cat stand up.

“No, more important than that.” Replied Moon Psyche as he looked at the two tankers leave, one almost carrying the other. Alone, standing in the room and looking down at this crushed hat, Moon swallowed with difficulty. He felt ashamed of what he had just done.

“Hello Serge?” Said Moon as a male voice with a heavy French accent answered a the other end. “I need a new hat.”
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