Season Notes: violence, magical coercion and related self harm, references to suicide
Figuring out what to do with him was a pain. They didn’t exactly have a dungeon in the basement. For lack of a better idea (or better supplies), they cleared out the basement bedroom Salem had been using and chained him to the bed by his ankle. It was a solid metal frame, so if the chain didn’t break, the bed likely wouldn’t. There wasn’t much else they could do. The team set watches, and Blade (going through four transformations and then going straight to bed) gave each of them a vial of the anti-magic powder. Then they went to bed.
Some hours later, he was awake and waiting. Finally, the door to the room opened.
“I thought it would be you,” he said without moving. He lay stretched out on the bed with his hands behind his head.
“Thought what would be me?” Quickmoon asked, standing in the doorway.
“Now that I’m not sure of,” he replied. “Did you come to question me a bit more rigorously than your friends would approve of? To kill me? Perhaps you have something else in mind. I suppose I’ll find out soon enough.”
“Why are you here?”
He pointed to the ankle cuff chaining him to the bed, “I don’t see how I could be anywhere else right now.”
“What is Mourningdagger planning?”
Ey nodded when he didn’t respond.
“I noticed that. Sometimes when you don’t want to answer — like why you are here. You didn’t refuse to answer — you deflected. Other things — like anything about Mourningdagger, you don’t deflect, you clam up. So what’s the difference?
“That’s a rhetorical question, by the way.” Ey watched him a moment more. “Stand up.”
The cuff on his ankle made it awkward, but he stood.
“That’s another thing,” ey said. “Whatever we tell you to do, you do. No questions, no smart remarks, no resistance.”
He snorted. “Since your ‘Guns’ first saw me, there’s always been one of you with a weapon pointed at me. Appearances to the side, I don’t actually have a death wish.”
“Which is what I’ve been telling myself, but somehow it feels wrong. All of this feels wrong. We’ve been missing something.”
Almost casually, ey pulled a knife and tossed it to him. “Kill yourself.”
His eyes flashed, but without a moment of hesitation, he brought the knife up to his throat.
He pulled the knife away, his face blank of all emotion. Quickmoon had almost been too late to stop him — blood trickled down his neck and began to stain the t-shirt.
Quickmoon stared, mouth open. “You… but… you actually…” With a sigh, he dropped the knife and ripped off the shirt. He pressed the already bloody shirt against the wound. “I didn’t really think… I mean… I didn’t want…”
“No, if you actually wanted me dead, I expect you’d have found a less messy way to go about it. If only to keep… what do you call him? Frontman happy.”
“You… they… you…” Quickmoon stopped a moment and took three deep breaths. “You’re Mourningdagger’s most loyal follower.”
His smirk flashed. “Never most loyal, only most obedient.”
“And now we…” ey trailed off as he nodded.
“And now you and your friends hold my leash.”
They stood a moment, staring at each other, cynical age and horrified youth.
For the first time, Quickmoon stepped into the room. Another step, another, until ey stood right in front of him. It seemed that neither breathed as ey crouched down and removed the ankle cuff that chained him to the bed.
As soon as the cuff was off, ey darted out of the room and backed down the hall.
He watched em, still unmoving. “Aren’t you going to tell me not to leave?” he asked quietly.
Ey shook eir head once, twice. Then ey was gone.
He remained standing, watching the empty doorway, for several minutes. Then, slowly, as if unsure his body would work, he stepped forward and closed the door.
He climbed back onto the bed to get what sleep he could.
Blade yawned as he walked into the kitchen, then froze in mid-stretch. He stood at the stove, shirtless cooking eggs. “What the hell are you doing here?”
He didn’t turn around. “Making breakfast. I like to eat in the morning, and I missed dinner last night.”
“Let me rephrase that–”
“Why am I not still chained to that very comfortable bed? Thank you, by the way, not the accommodations I expected.
“I am older than your grandfather’s grandfather’s grandfather and was one of the strongest servants of Prince Mourningdagger.” He moved from the stove to rummage in the cupboards. “Paper plates.” He sighed and started plating the eggs. “Did you really think a simple shackle would hold me if I wanted to escape?”
He put two plates on the table, sat down, and started eating.
Blade hesitated a moment, then stepped forward and poked the eggs. “You could have poisoned these.”
“That’s not a question,” he said after taking a moment to chew and swallow, “But I’ll give you the answer: even if I wanted to poison you, I couldn’t. Of the many I have served, none trusted me enough to let me learn poisons. And if I did know anything about poison, I doubt I would have found something I could use in your kitchen.”
Blade looked back up at him, and the young man narrowed his eyes. “What happened to your neck?”
He shrugged. “I believe it was an accident.”
“I didn’t think you’d still be here.” Both he and Blade started at Quickmoon’s voice from the corridor. Behind em, the rest of the team was gathered.
He said nothing but stood from the table and stepped back to lean in a corner while he continued to eat.
Quickmoon stepped into the room, and the rest spread out, keeping an eye on him but mostly watching Quickmoon in confusion.
“Why are you still here?”
“Where else would I be?”
Blade hissed, “Quick, what the hell?”
Quickmoon looked around at the others. “Sorry, Blade. I should have woken all of you last night. I just… I kind of freaked. And when I went looking for everyone this morning, I couldn’t find you, and he wasn’t in the room and I…”
Salem shook her head, “Quick, you aren’t making any fucking sense. Did you let him out? Why the hell would you do that? He could have killed us all.”
“No,” Quickmoon shook her head. The shock of their middle of the night… discussion still reverberating in eir voice. “No, he couldn’t.”
Quickmoon again pulled out a knife and tossed it too him.
His humorless grin returned. “Another demonstration, child?”
She shook her head, then nodded. “I wouldn’t have believed it otherwise. I don’t think they will either.”
Salem, Blade, Astaroth, and Mobb all felt… something at that moment, as he and Quickmoon stared at each other. He with a mix of resignation and anger. Quickmoon with an unnamed horror shining in eir eyes. All four of them felt somehow that what came next would change everything, even if they had no idea what it would be or what changes it would bring.
Quickmoon took a deep breath and said, “Use the knife to pin your hand to the wall.”
Mighty Hero Force Epsilon (S1 E7)