I woke up in a cell. Three of the walls were painted cinderblock, while the 4th was made of iron bars, with a gate that was locked electronically. Above the bench I lay on, a narrow window let in some natural light, its glass pane crisscrossed with chicken wire.
My head throbbed, and as I reached up, I felt gauze, a little dried blood, and worst of all, no helmet. A quick glance told me it was resting on the end of the bench by my feet, my Machinas costume folded neatly beneath it. I was wearing the orange jumpsuit and white shirt combo of common criminals and convicts.
I picked up the helmet. Its hard plastic casing was cracked, and a jagged hole was left where the rock had penetrated and hit me in the back of the head. I scratched at the gauze, Gravity Girl would pay for that move. No more playing gentle. She would suffer for this.
Then, a man in a policeman's uniform approached the bars of my cell. He was young maybe only a few years older than me, if that. He had the tired, worn down look of a young dad, and his arm was in a sling, though I saw no cast. A wound then, probably gunshot, to the shoulder or upper arm.
"Follow me," he said, unlocking the cell door.
I decided not to be snarky, and followed the officer down the cinderblock hallway, then we passed through a door to something a little more commercial. Drywall, and wooden doors separated offices from the rest. I was in the police station, and I resisted a sigh of relief. I was still in the city, which meant I could escape.
I was led to an interrogation room, where another cop, a large man with a bristling mustache, handcuffed me to the table. Then, he promptly left as the man with his arm in a sling sat down across from me. So, this wasn't going to be the good cop, bad cop routine after all.
I folded my hands on the table, and waited as the officer flipped through a file. I didn't need x-ray vision to know it was everything the police had on Machinas. It was not a large file. He opened it to reveal some photos, and a few newspaper clippings.
"You're pretty good, Machinas," the detective said. "We can't find any information on you. No name, no data, nothing. Mind filling me in some?"
"They're letting a rookie interrogate me?" I said instead, intending to insult him. To my surprise, he laughed, which was a good natured sound. It fit the rest of him.
"Fair enough, kiddo." He replied. "But I'm still going to need your name."
"Tell me yours first," I tried to keep my voice light, to get information from him, I would have to be his friend.
"Well, I believe in something for something. You tell me your name, and I'll tell you mine." Maybe the detective was looking a little too smug.
"You already have the only name you're going to get, Detective." I said, pointing to the file. "Machinas. I've got to protect my secret identity. Or are you saying you know Gravity Girl's?" Gravity Girl was a vigilante, there would surely be a file on her. I wondered if I could get my hands on it.
"Gravity Girl isn't a wanted criminal," The detective leaned back in his chair, putting his good hand behind his head, but across the table from him, I was reeling. I was furious. Gravity Girl, not a criminal? She'd done more damage than I had! She'd nearly killed me, and blown up my lab. Perhaps she'd even set that fire last week, to save the official. The man continued. "I'm George Scott, detective of the SCPD Special Crimes Division. Your crimes are bad, but you never killed anyone that we know of. If you give me some information, I might be able to talk the big bad judge down."
I could see the file from here, he couldn't pin anything on me. He was treating me like a child, though I couldn't have been more than a few years younger than him. "I'm not afraid of your laws, detective. You can't hold me here." I said, recovering from my shock finally and retaliating.
"Actually, I can," Detective Scott said. "See, as Machinas, you've committed several acts of terrorism, and even a theft, though we still need to prove that one--" I tuned him out, trying to think of what act of terrorism I had committed. I was not a terrorist. I was a supervillain. A criminal, yes. A thief, sure, though I wasn't about to admit it to this joker. But I had never hurt anyone. Any damage was done to my own property. It was my rule. I was a stand up citizen, but I had to make a living somehow.
"Terrorism? I made it snow! No harm to anyone."
"Does 'if Gravity Girl doesn't come to stop me, I will plunge this city into an eternal winter the likes of which the world has never seen' ring a bell? That statement, along with freezing over town hall, is terrorism," The man had the indecency to shrug, and I seethed on the other side of the table, fighting to keep my countenance calm when I was quickly starting to hate this man as much as I did Gravity Girl.
The taunt had been a bluff. I had no other power-enhancing machines, and besides, I could only keep a city-wide snowstorm going for about 3 days before my powers gave out. Again, I wasn't going to tell him that. He would probably tell Gravity Girl, they were probably best friends.
"But hey, work with me," the man had continued. "Give me something I can use. I can help you, kiddo, if you let me."
"I'm not a terrorist," I began. "I'm a supervillain. Crime is my job, and it's the only thing I know how to do. You can get me a lawyer now, cuz I'm not going to talk about what I've done to make you feel better. Like I already said, you can't hold me. You can try, but you can't."
Detective Scott rubbed his nose irritably. "You're making my job so much easier. I can get you a lawyer, but at this point it's not even worth it. Is there anything you are willing to give before you try to escape?"
"What could you possibly want?" Since he was obviously not going to listen to reason.
"Name, history, reason for being a villain, and the location of your devices." So the same questions as before, plus an extra, the cheat.
"Machinas," I answered, "None of your business, none of your business, and that's for Gravity Girl to find out. I prefer to have her carry out her own tasks, though you seem happy to let her do your jobs for you, or I wouldn't be here."
The man sighed. "Help me out, will ya?" He said, trying to be all buddy-buddy, but I had had more than enough of this.
"I will not," I replied shortly, "and I want the device from the top of City Hall back. You don't want that falling into the wrong hands." Never mind the fact they thought mine were the wrong hands.
"Don't worry, Gravity Girl has kept it safe." The Detective actually looked smug, but in my head, I was imagining the disaster. Gravity Girl, with a superpower enhancer, she could flip the entire city upside down, or lift it into the air, and did no one see the Ultron movie where they did that and it nearly wiped out the planet!?
"You have to get that away from her." I said, trying to make eye contact with him, but he just looked at me blankly, one eyebrow cocked.
"I don't think she wants to make it snow, kiddo," he said.
Enough with the kiddo! "You tiny--" I took a deep breath, trying to put it logically. "It's evidence! What kind of cop are you? Get that back from her, or there will be true terrorism happening in Sky City. Deadly terrorism."
"We got the crook, don't need the evidence, though I would like to have it."
I could see the heat shimmering above my hands as he spoke. I was appalled, and I couldn't contain myself much longer. This man was no detective.
"Get that machine away from Gravity Girl," I stood up, trying one more time to reason with him, even as every muscle in my body strained to leave, though I couldn't go far because I was still cuffed to the table. "Or it's goodbye Sky City."
"Sit down!" Detective Scott ordered. "What are you talking about?"
I didn't move, and I had already made my case. If he didn't want to listen, then fine. The disaster wouldn't be on my hands. Well... it was my machine. Bad idea, Kieran, to make a machine that amplifies all superpowers. Why couldn't you have just made a weather machine like everyone thought? Despite all this, I wanted more than anything to spite this man, by escaping within the confines of the law.
"Get me a lawyer," I said, as the cops came in to unlock my cuffs. The man who did so hissed slightly as he tossed the cuffs onto the table. His fingers were blistered and he crossed his arms as I turned to leave. "I'll be in my cell."
I lay there alone some hours later, still mulling over the conversation. I hoped they'd get me a decent lawyer, though I knew that the chances of that were slimmer than a snowball's in that interrogation room. I'd seen George sweating, and I knew it wasn't nervousness. The man was too ignorant, too caught up in his own ideas and beliefs, to consider the big picture that I had tried to lay out for him.
At least it was quiet in the holding cells. Part of me wondered if Liz would even notice that I hadn't come back. But I didn't care. She was still angry with me for some reason. It was good, to sleep in a room where I couldn't feel her anger through the walls. I was glad I wasn't at the apartment.
Though I wore an orange jumpsuit, and though the mattress was thin, and the sink in the corner leaked, I slept better that night than I had in nearly a week.
I felt kind of bad about missing the first day of school though.