Conflict Resolution

Epilogue

by Scalar7th

Tags: #another_day_at_the_office #any/all #multiple_partners #romance #superhero #urban_fantasy #bondage #comic_book #D/s #enchanting_voice #exhibitionism #scifi #socialism #villainy

A strange meeting takes place on a park bench

The streets of Trace Point

A few hours after a certain small group moved into a certain run-down motel

11:32 PM

Vigilance, with his flaming fist, frightens off the muggers. Watching them run, he sighs.

He used to be someone.

Then everything had collapsed on him.

After the fiasco at the docks, an tiny envelope had showed up on his desk. The note inside said, step down or this becomes public, and there was a smart card inside, which he had carefully inserted into a device not connected to any outside sources. The only file on the card was a black-and-white video taken from a very odd angle, less like a security camera and more like a spy device, but it still very clearly showed Reggie Bright lighting his hands on fire, setting his father's carpet ablaze, and smashing the old man's head with a scotch glass.

Of course he destroyed the card, but of course it would not have been the only copy. So Reggie had done as directed—he informed the board that Monday that he would be "taking an indefinite leave to properly put his family's affairs in order."

No one had objected.

The days that followed had seen him chafe at inaction, and he decided to head out in disguise to deal with petty criminals and local miscreants. He still wants the violence that (he tells himself that) Silver Tongue had put in his head, and he finds whatever ways he can to express that desire that won't bring undue attention to himself.

And still, as he sits on a park bench, attention finds him.

A middle-aged man, likely in his late fifties, sits down next to him.

"Vigilance," he says conversationally, causing the hero to tense up.

"What—"

"No cause for alarm, Vigilance," the man interrupts, holding his hands up to show he's unarmed. "I came alone, as well. But I have information you want, and you have information I want, and I believe that an alliance might be forged between us." Without waiting for a reply, the stranger reaches into his coat and hands Vigilance a tablet with a video playing. "I like 'Vigilance,' as a name," he continues. "Better than 'Flamehammer.'" He chuckles. "Or 'Reggie.'"

"What the f—"

"Just look at the video, boy."

Reggie complies. It shows a man working at a desk. A tall grey-haired man he recognizes, and despises. "Karl?"

"Yes. A live feed to his work desk."

"My father's assist—"

"My assistant," the man clarifies, "temporarily seconded to your father's office for the purposes of gathering information I might use to undermine the Bright Society, and while he's given me a great deal of information, I think you've done far more than I have to dismantle that organization. He, by the way, is the one who sent you our little video from the night your father... met his unfortunate end." The man's voice grows wistful. "I knew him. Gerald, I mean. I envy you, I wish I'd been the one to... well, you know." He makes a gesture with his hand Reggie assumes is meant to imitate striking Gerald's head. "The point is, Karl, there, will release that video to the press if I don't call him and tell him that I'm safe in..." He checks his wristwatch. "About twenty minutes."

Reggie tries to take it all in. "Karl is... a spy?"

The older man nods. "If you like. That's definitely a word for it." He laughs. "Sorry, misread my watch. Fifteen minutes. Well, fourteen, now."

Reggie hands the tablet back, feeling a bit numb. "Who are you?"

"Oh! of course. Forgive me." The man takes the device, rises, and extends his hand. "My name is Warren Donovan, and I believe you have news about my daughter."

AUTHOR'S NOTE

Holy cripes, it's done!

No work of this magnitude could ever be completed entirely alone, and indeed it would run counter to Sterling Grey's understanding that we are stronger together. There is no way I could have possibly managed this without help, advice, and encouragement from any number of people, and I will doubtless forget some, but I must mention at least Meleva, Annalise de Fere, Lunar Circuit, sassy, bendy, and Mystic.

Over the last year, I've had a fantastic time writing this (in my opinion) beautiful story. A big thanks to ROM for the platform to host it. A big thanks to you for reading it, and to those who took the time to give me a snap, or a comment, or a recommendation.

For the moment, these lovely characters will have a rest. Maybe I'll return to Port City and the PCDCC sometime. Maybe not. I don't know at the moment. But it's a wonderful setting and these are wonderful people, and doubtless they have many wonderful stories ahead of them.

Until next time,

Solidarity

S7

x12

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