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Tin Man fanfic: The Remote (WIP) - Part 5

Headers in Part 1


Previously in Part 4


*~*

Azkadellia led the way with frightening intensity. Behind her, Cain fought the nervous twitch to reach for his gun as they got closer to the holding cells while his other arm was still firmly in the possession of Glitch. Following behind the three of them was Raw, who was giving unhappy little growls at the familiar cages.

The advisor was eyeing the surrounding cells warily. “Shouldn’t we put some of those resistance kids down here as guards?”

“The cells are self-contained, there’s no way to escape,” Azkadellia pointed out, not bothering to turn around.

“DG and Raw did,” Cain shot back, earning a glare reminiscent of the Sorceress.

“The Witch sent Tutor to get her out,” the princess replied coldly.

Glitch patted Cain’s arm. “Don’t argue with the princess, Cain,” he said lightly. “If she says it’s secure, then who are we to argue?”

Cain ground his teeth together but remained silent.

“Resistance guards outside, keeping watch,” Raw contributed helpfully.

As they got closer to the occupied sections of the prison floor, the noise level increased. It was a disturbing reminder that while the eight of them wandered the hollow corridors of the imposing structure these lower levels teemed with life.

But when Azkadellia began passing by the occupied chambers, silence spread through the hallway in a rolling wave of emptiness. She glanced past the bars of each cell, mentally cataloguing the tenants as she went.

Coming to an abrupt halt in front of one door, she narrowed her gaze to one figure seated on the floor. He was young compared to his cellmates and when he saw the striking gaze of the former Sorceress descent on him he climbed to his feet cautiously, a tremor visible in his hands.

“Step forward,” Azkadellia’s voice took on a chilling darkness, a tone that commanded respect and obedience. While the man in question did as he was ordered, the others cowered toward the back wall. Azkadellia’s hand waved lazily at her side; down the hall, a wheel turned to open the door separating her from her chosen prisoner.

Cain reluctantly made Glitch release him so that he could step forward and take hold of their inmate. “You want to live, you’ll do as we say and nothing else.”

With a smirk of approval, Azkadellia brought the door back down and strode confidently back the way they came.

The prisoner stared at the three men wide-eyed then shifted his gaze to the retreating figure. “Is she going to kill me?”

“Only if you make fun of her dress,” Glitch grinned wickedly and spun around to follow the princess.

Cain snickered and Raw gave a low chuckle. The chosen prisoner looked even more frightened and not a little bit flummoxed as he was led away from the relative sanity of the prison level.

*~*

By the time the group returned upstairs to the medical wing, they were relieved to find that DG, Ahamo and Lavender had arranged one of the empty rooms to have a much warmer, more welcoming atmosphere. There were no metal tables, no leather restraints and the lighting was bright without being harsh.

Pushing the captive surgeon into an empty chair, Cain stepped back to let Azkadellia take the lead.

“How many people did the Witch order you to turn into headcases, Morley?”

The man in question shot a quick glance at Glitch before answering. “Um...seventeen, Highness,” he answered quickly.

Glitch turned away to face the wall, running a shaking hand over his mouth, appalled. Cain rested a hand in the middle of Glitch’s back, though he never stopped watching the prisoner.

“Why?”

Morley frowned, clearly confused. “Highness?”

“Why did you condemn so many men and women to a lifetime of cruelty and pain? Was it out of pure loyalty to your Sorceress? Or did you simply savor the power it gave you over your victims?” Azkadellia’s voice was cold and calculating, meant to scare the truth from the man she had chosen. To make him react on instinct, unable to hide his honesty from the Viewer watching closely from the side.

“N...neither, Highness,” Morley shook his head, hands gripped together painfully tight in his lap. “I...my family, I was afraid for them. The only security came from working under...her, working for the Sorceress. It was the only way to ensure their safety.”

Azkadellia glanced at Raw, who gave her a subtle nod. “You will be given one chance to redeem yourself, Morley. One opportunity to earn your freedom and return to your family, and you will receive a full pardon for the atrocities you committed.”

Morley stared at her in shock, unable to believe what he was hearing. “Anything, Highness,” he leaned forward eagerly.

“Many annuals before you came to work for the Witch, there was an alchemist who devised the procedure to remove a supposed criminal’s brain,” Azkadellia explained. “The man you see here was the top advisor to the Queen, to my mother. For his unshakable loyalty and brilliant mind he was punished in the cruelest fashion. He was the first, Morley. The experiment.”

Glitch glanced back at the alchemist, gauging his reaction. He witnessed dawning realization and a hint of curiosity.

“There is a machine bridging the system between the remaining part of his brain and the rest of his body; it was used to test the procedure,” DG picked up where her sister left off. “We need your experience and knowledge of this specific surgery to repair the connection and remove the thing they put in him.”

Morley looked down at the floor, the room around him completely silent as they awaited his response.

He finally looked up again, at each of those watching him. “With the Viewer’s help, I can only swear to do my best. I need all the information you have on this machine and how it works. I’m sorry I can’t make any better promises,” he grimaced as he looked at Glitch.

Glitch gave him a small nod. “I appreciate your honesty,” he said softly, arms crossed tight across his chest. “You’re the best chance I have.”

Squaring his shoulders, Morley turned once again to Azkadellia. “Do we have a deal?”

Azkadellia considered the man in front of her for a long moment before answering. She looked at Raw first then turned her gaze to Glitch and Cain. “It’s your call, Mr. Glitch,” she finally said, giving him control of his own life for once.

Glitch looked at Cain, then at the room full of people who would stand at his side and support him no matter what he decided. With his throat threatening to become too tight to answer, he came to his decision. “Give him the papers,” he said determinedly.

“What about the remote?” Cain asked him softly, not ready to let that part of the problem become known to the surgeon.

“That’ll be your job,” Glitch replied. “You don’t let it out of your hands, no matter what this guy says. And if for any reason he needs it to be turned on again, you’re going to be the one controlling it.”

“I’m not turning that damn thing on,” Cain argued sharply.

Glitch pulled him further away from where the others were bustling about sorting papers and gathering necessary tools. “Raw will be right there with me. He’ll be able to tell if...that guy, the surgeon, is telling the truth. I just want you to be ready if it comes to that.”

“It won’t,” Wyatt said tightly. “Nothing this guy says is going to make me hurt you like that, not after we saw what it does to you.”

Sighing in frustration, Glitch threw his hands up in defeat. “All right, it won’t come to that, then. Just hang onto the remote until after this is over.”

“It’s not leaving my possession until that thing is out of you,” Cain vowed, giving Glitch a serious look. “You just focus on making it through this, you got it?”

Glitch flashed a quick grin, gracefully switching moods. “I’ll be fine, don’t you worry.”

*~*

End Part 5

*~*

Continue to Part 6

Comments

( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
lionille
Jun. 18th, 2008 04:42 pm (UTC)
Oh, the suspense! *breathes*

“It’s your call, Mr. Glitch,” she finally said, giving him control of his own life for once.
This was a great moment for Azkadellia, on several levels. Fence-mending, atonement, recognizing what's been done to him, etc....

gracefully switching moods
I love this phrase. It's very Glitchian! As was his wonderful quip:
"Only if you make fun of her dress"
^^



surranndie
Jun. 19th, 2008 01:02 am (UTC)

*grins* Don't worry, the suspense will be resolved soon!

I figured it was about time for Az to start mending her relationships and Ambrose is definitely near the top of her list.

And once again, Glitch doing what he does best...messing with peoples' heads! :D
milenrei
Jun. 18th, 2008 07:16 pm (UTC)
I too aggree with Lionille about the atonement moment for Azkadellia.

I must also comment that the way she can be cold is "refreshing". Knowing how long she had to share her life with the witch and the atrocities that were committed even if not "by" her but undoubtedly still part of the proceedings, it's nice to know she can separate herself from it but still use the fear tactic and dominatrix-like regal bearing to her advantage. :)

Wonderful story, I am on pins and needles waiting for the rest of it!
surranndie
Jun. 19th, 2008 01:06 am (UTC)

Thanks so much for reading! It was an interesting thing to try, bringing Azkadellia's personality to a slightly different level than I usually see in fic. She's a smart woman and she knows what is necessary to get what they need. :D More soon!
candacestls
Jun. 18th, 2008 10:29 pm (UTC)
Great part, I love Az being tough much more than how she's usually portrayed.

Ha, I just told you that to fake you out (although it is true) to make you believe I care about plot!

Of course the part I loved was the hand on the back and the pulling a side, 'I must speak with my unreasonable but incredibly hot woobie now'. Then Cain's 'I won't turn it back on', you tell em Wyatt baby :D
surranndie
Jun. 19th, 2008 01:08 am (UTC)

*snort* Plot? What plot? I know, I know - this part was necessary to lay down the setting and atmosphere for the rest of the story. The major facts have now all been established, now I can get on with the good stuff! Yays! Lots of petting and angst coming up!
avari_maethor
Jun. 19th, 2008 02:51 am (UTC)
Always positive, just one of the many reasons I love Glitch.

Always protective, the main reason I love Cain.

Writing an amazing story is the reason I love you Surreal! -hugs-
surranndie
Jun. 19th, 2008 03:00 am (UTC)
Awwww! *HUGS!!!* You're so sweet! I just adore all of your positive comments, they make me smile and work hard to keep putting up new parts really fast! :D

Gotta keep the characterization as accurate as possible, ya know! *grin*
amedia
Jun. 19th, 2008 08:06 pm (UTC)
“Only if you make fun of her dress,”

LOL!!!! Not only is a great comment, it fits with Glitch's personality to have him lighten such a dark situation with a quip.

This was a very, very interesting chapter and shed some light on how/why the alchemists did what they did.
surranndie
Jun. 19th, 2008 08:13 pm (UTC)
Hee! Glitch always has that gift of shamelessly breaking the tension. He's a fic writer's favorite toy!

I'm really happy that all the plot/exposition (necessary evil...) turned out interesting! Thank you so much for saying so! :D
ciara__mist
Jan. 29th, 2009 06:35 am (UTC)
I love Az in this part. Being menacing to the 'bad guy' and atoning and mending the rift between them all at the same time. Very Glitch to switch gears so quickly. Some on the other side might call it Bipolar, in the O.Z. it's called headcasing lol

I love me a protective Cain

*huggles*
surranndie
Jan. 29th, 2009 02:35 pm (UTC)
*grins and does a happy dance* Everyone should have a protective Cain of their own. *sage nod* It was quite fun to let Az fall back into her Sorceress personality. :D

\o/ *huggles back*
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )