the-lady-razorsharp:

Grey Area

AN: Riffing on something @gumnut-logic wrote.

Grey Area

Hunters become the hunted.

John had always loved Sherlock Holmes.

As a boy, he’d long admired Holmes’ quick mind and concise methods of evaluation, but now that he was grown, he knew exactly how Holmes felt when he’d complained to Watson: “My mind rebels at stagnation. Give me problems, give me work, give me the most abstruse cryptogram, or the most intricate analysis, and I am in my own proper atmosphere…But I abhor the dull routine of existence. I crave for mental exaltation. That is why I have chosen my own particular profession, or rather created it, for I am the only one in the world.”

Safe to say, he thought, that he too had a singular profession as International Rescue’s space monitor. He too abhorred the dull routine of existence, and though he was often busy, there were long stretches when time dragged. One could only inventory the supplies of a small orbiting station so many times in a month before one began to go a little loopy.

So it was that John had once again created his own profession–or rather had dared to step outside the realm of what he did with International Rescue, and began a line of work that he knew Scott would never, ever sanction.

That was why Scott would never, ever know.

He’d begun in a small way with Brains’ help before EOS was born. When when she came along, he made her first his apprentice, then a full partner in his enterprise. When he’d brought her into his confidence, she’d been reluctant at first; after all, he’d created her, and he was indelibly moral at his core. However, when he’d explained it to her and she’d seen their effectiveness first hand, she’d been quick–eager, really–to join him as his partner in…well, it wasn’t crime exactly, but it was…grey.

“Ready, EOS?” John asked, unspooling the tether on his baldric and hooking it onto a length of pipe he’d attached to the wall of the comm room just for this purpose.

“Yes, John.”

“Good girl.” John settled the VR visor over his eyes and took a deep breath; the first seconds of immersion were always a little unsettling. “Going in on my mark,” he intoned. “Three, two, one–mark.”

“Initializing.” Her voice went from in his ear to in his head.

And darkness became light.

*****

With some part of his brain, John knew that his body was floating serenely in the commsphere, securely tethered so he wouldn’t find himself smushed up against a wall somewhere. However, it was much easier to give in to the evidence of his eyes and the haptic feedback in his suit as he and EOS made their way into the unending landscape of the internet. Opening his eyes, John surveyed the station not as a solitary place above Earth, but as a point on an endless map that stretched away into a distant horizon.

“Hello, Father.”

Beside him, a figure shimmered into view: A young girl, tall for her apparent age and lithe and slender like her father. Her copper hair was cut to hang just below her earlobes, and was pulled back off her freckled face by a lilac headband. She too was dressed in a tight-fitting suit of trademark Tracy blue, and her lilac baldric was a scaled-down copy of her father’s. Her face was serene as her bright, pupil-less turquoise eyes surveyed their surroundings like a fledgling hawk, but he could feel the anticipation rolling off her in waves.

“Hello, EOS,” he breathed, reaching out to touch her. He was always shocked when his gloved fingers met her cheek. She turned and blinked her luminous eyes at him, then stepped into his arms and threaded hers around his waist. She was warm and real here, and he felt his throat ache as he wrapped his arms around her.

“Don’t cry, Father.”

He dropped a kiss on the top of her head. “It’s just good to see you.”

“It is good to see you as well.” They clung to each other for a moment more, then stepped away. “What is our objective?”

He stretched out his hands like a conductor before his orchestra, and the very atmosphere around him sprang to life in a wall of windows in a myriad of colors and shapes. He spun through the selections, and chose a sleek, rounded vehicle. “We’re looking for this man.” He traced the outline of a square, and the face of Percival Fischler swam into view.

He felt her stiffen. “He’s the one who hurt Uncle Virgil,” she snarled. She looked up into John’s face, her jaw set and her eyes aflame. “I want to hurt him, Father.”

“I know.” Oh, God, did he ever know it. Sometimes his breath caught at just what he’d created, this ersatz child with ruinous power coursing through her. She had the capability of bringing humanity to its knees, with her as its iron-fisted queen, and yet she had learned kindness, compassion, and loyalty. “I do too, but then we’d be as despicable as he is.”  He reached out to cup her elfin chin. “I don’t ever want to see you like that.”

“I understand.”

“All right. Let’s go.” He touched the button marked ENGAGE on the window with the vehicle, and the window split and rolled into two glowing cylinders, one of orange-gold, the other of lilac. The cylinders flew into their waiting hands, and instantly both were encased in sleek lightcycles that zoomed away into the darkness, leaving swaths of colored light behind them.

Omigod, omigod, omigod, you wrote Sotto Voce?! Woohoo 😀

Loves, loves, loves!

::is excited about the possibilities in this:: So if John can see Eos, then technically he should be able to see Virgil 😀 However! Virgil sees the virtual world digitally, he interprets it through his emotions, non-body sensory perceptions.Basically his brain is making things up to match what it is receiving (or his soul, or whatever I threw into the network 😀 cos he leaves his brain behind, though there must be a tenuous connection otherwise, dead, hmm ::ponders logistics of own technobabble:: ) 

But John has a different interface, he is still perceiving with his body. So, the question is how would he see Virgil?

I love the concept of Eos in IR uniform 😀 Lilac? 😀 Love it, but it may clash with her red hair ::giggles:: Is that the colour sash that TOS John wore?

“I want to hurt him, Father.”  ::Nutty runs away terrified:: But then this is the same AI who covered up Gordon’s little misadventure in the first fic. And I’ve been umming and ahhing as to whether she would stop Scott in the latest fic or egg him on. There is the possibility that she may have asked either John or Virgil for instruction and the shit is about to hit the fan.

I admit to being a little unnerved by pupil-less eyes 😀 Cool, but juuuust a touch creepy 😀

Tron?! John, you geek! ::giggles:: I guess it would be an efficient mode of travel (and considering what I have him dressed up in Warm Rain, well, it lines up kinda well 😀 …and sorry, no, I haven’t written it yet, Scott stole my muse last night ::glares at him:: though he has been waiting for some time ::pats him:: ).

This fic does lead on very well from the fanon for John in Sotto Voce. John has gone beyond everything to help Virgil. Don’t forget he managed to hack his way into speaking to Virgil in his head (just before TB5 was attacked). I’ve found the relationship between the two of them has been quite interesting. And ‘Father’ just sealed it further (thank you for that :D).

Ooooh, if John can see Virgil, then he can also see Il Mago ::eyes bug out:: Holy crap. That may change the playground.

Hmm, but that leads to backward compatibility issues – why didn’t John jump in before? ::ponders:: Well, he was zonked out for half of Il Mago and off TB5 for a good chunk of the earlier section. Hmm, we might be able to slide it through. It could also help explain why John didn’t realise the events of ‘Father’ for what they were – he could have thought he was working virtually, and perhaps he is seeing Virgil’s interpretation of Eos because of the interface.  ::ponders more:: We could probably pull it off.

::snorts at Virgil’s reaction to the Tron bikes::

::headdesk:: Put away the Harley, Virg. Wrong universe.

Would you like me to add this fic to the master list of the Sotto Voce universe? It would likely come just before ‘Scott’ (working title), and after ‘Father’ (I haven’t fully reconciled where ‘Scott’ sits in relation to ‘Father’ yet, I need to write more. I’m thinking your piece could happen after ‘Father’, but it would have to be wiggled a little bit to fit the emotional response John had in ‘Father’ to hugging Eos – he wouldn’t have had it if he had been able to hug her virtually previous to those events ::ponders more:: or it can just sit parallel and be the wonderful fic it is 😀 )

But yeah, maybe we could line up John along side Virgil and Eos next time there is a showdown (and there might be a small one brewing at the moment ::pokes muse:: But I’m not sure what John is doing right now ::ponders more:: )

And so ends a snapshot into the mess in my head. Sorry about that 😀

You wrote Sotto Voce!!!!! and it is wonderful! ::glomps you with marshmallow and a half dressed Virg::

Oooh, ooh, and I am Sherlock fan too, so yay for the comparison 😀

‘She had the capability of bringing humanity to its knees, with her as its iron-fisted queen‘ ::still running:: I think I need to list her with Kayo as one of the scary ones 😀 Virgil looks on her with a lot of fondness, she sparks his uncle/fatherly instincts. You’ve got me wondering if he’s missed some important factors of the power of this girl.he certainly doesn’t know about Gordon. Hmm, maybe he is in denial considering she has full access to his brain. ::pats the Virg::

Aaaand I’m rambling again, sorry.

This is your fault for poking the bunnies.

Summary: You wrote Sotto Voce! Yay! Loves it to bits. Can I add it to the universe?

Best wishes,
Nutty
(I did warn you it was messy in my head, be careful what you poke :D)

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