Allegheny General Hospital Emergency Trauma Center
To say that the evening and following morning had been rather eventful was like calling the Atlantic Ocean just a bit of water. Already overworked, the staff had resorted to calling in all of their personnel on standby to deal with the fallout from the Convention massacre. So many people had gone without sleep from the day before, and the woman sitting in Room 8 was no different though she didn't work here. The reason she was here was the man heavily cuffed to the hospital bed on the other side of the room. Two police officers flanked the door outside and one actually stood inside near the bed just in case.
In all honesty, Ava Hunt didn't need to be here. She wasn't a cop, but a state prosecutor. Her role wasn't evidence gathering or interrogation, or at least usually it wasn't. This particular case had already blurred the lines heavily. Plus, she was already at the hospital anyway from her own adventures during last night's fiasco. The memories still fresh as she looked over at the seemingly unconscious man on the bed. His shoulder was heavily bandaged and he had an IV of saline pumping into his left arm while a monitor was hooked up to monitor his vitals. Nothing particularly out of the ordinary other than the large metal cuffs shackling his arms and feet to the bed itself. The brief provided by that officially sanctioned hero, Basilica, had told the police enough to know that the man possessed the power of teleportation. How it worked, though, was anyone's guess.
"You know they want me on this cocktail for a week and a half?," Ava complained openly to the officer in the room, "I'm not going to have anything left in my guts after that."
"I feel for you, ma'am," the officer responded. Young. African-American. Athletic and tall. Name tag says J. Watkins. Jerome Watkins. Former Running Back at Penn State. Good, but not good enough to go pro. Sad, but common. Very polite to her. Raised by his grandmother. Better not be some "Respect your elders"-shit. Don't feel that old yet.
"I don't suppose you'd take 'em for me, eh?"
"That would defeat the purpose, ma'am," the younger man answered with a smile, "Plus didn't they tell you? This is part of that payoff for being a hero."
"Ugh god, don't remind me. Everything else in me still hurts too much from that bit of stupidity."
"I heard about what you did, ma'am. That was...well, I apologize for the language, but that was bad ass."
"Yeah, well keep that shit to yourself. My official involvement in it has officially been reduced to 'at the scene', remember? It doesn't look good for the Feds when the headlines read that their sanctioned hero had to get herself rescued by some boring prosecutor in a suit."
"And cut out the ma'am-shit, officer. I'm not that fucking old yet."
Floating in the depths of surreality, at peace, the World's consciousness felt like an infinitismally small white dot amidst a sea of endless primordial blackness. Then, in a flash, like the big bang, his thoughts exploded across the vast ocean, sensation expanding to fill out every corner of the universe that was his brain-self. He became painfully aware that he had a head, and that it throbbed, and that it was attached to a bruised, sore body. Then memory came flooding back, full, sharp awareness of everything he was and everything he'd done. Then, after somatics, bulk apperception.
He was in a hospital bed.
His eyelids flitted back and forth, then cracked open in slits. It was bright in here, and they took a moment to adjust (he felt a little dizzy), and he perceived immediately that he was shackled to the bed. That prompted a gutful chuckle, which made his shoulders bounce a little bit. He knew that he'd been shot, and run over by a van - but he also remembered what he'd accomplished, and without any control, a vulpine grin played across his features, one he could not disguise. Nor did he bother to.
This was big time.
His head felt like a dumbbell, but he managed to sit up alright. His body language was loose, with slow, languid movements accompanying his laborious sitting up. But once he was up, his eyes fixed on the unfamiliar woman across from him. The one from the rooftop? No - this one's build wasn't as masculine. Different jawline.
He didn't hide the smile. The small white scar over his lip, from before, accentuated the grin. He wasn't self conscious about it. He almost played it up.
"You're not a doctor."
Smith jangled the handcuffs on the side of the bed and smiled warmly.
Matt had been lucky, that much was certain. A few broken ribs that caused a small pneumothorax, a dislocated shoulder, and enough bruises to make him look like he'd been in the ring with Muhammed Ali were all that he had to show for being in such a bad wreck. It was the first wreck he had been in as an adult and the second in his lifetime. The first had been when he was sixteen, or was it seventeen, when he was young, dumb, and invincible. He'd convinced his best friend to let him drive through the snow and ice and, unlike the professional drivers he tried desperately to emulate, he had met a tree at 45mph because the tires were smoother than a koala's brain.
As soon as the nurse left the room and he was sure she wouldn't return, he swung his legs over the bed and stood, every muscle screaming in protest as he did so. A young officer, on the force for fewer than two months and still in his probationary phase, looked up from his phone with a concerned look. "Detective, you're supposed to remain in bed," the young man started, quieting only when Matt held up a hand. Part of the reason for the newbie's presence was because Pink had escaped and the department brass were concerned that he would make an attempt on Matt's life, though the main reason was because Matt had refused to sit in the hospital without access to his police equipment.
Matt moved over to the chair beside the officer and grabbed his pants by the belt. He had been allowed to keep his underwear on for modesty, though everything else had been removed. He slipped his legs one by one into his tac pants, the tough material having stood up well to the forces of the collision. He buckled his belt, though it was only then that he realized his holster was missing. One look at the young officer had the man produce it from a patient belongings bag next to him. While being an officer might come with certain drawbacks, one of the benefits was that he was allowed to remain armed in the hospital unless he was deemed unable to be safe and responsible with his equipment. Given that he had refused all pain medications more powerful than Tylenol, he had no need to be disarmed.
Five minutes later, the detective was fully dressed. The only indication that he was a patient was the patient armband on his right wrist, the 18ga IV in his left arm, and the sling that laid on the bed, having been removed by Matt when he put on his SWAT shirt. His plate carrier had been taken by the department, having been damaged in the collision and requiring inspection before being put back into service or replaced. His belt, equipment returned by its rightful owner, had his duty weapon and a few extra magazines but little else. His uniform badge had been on his plate carrier during the wreck, though he still had the one he kept in his wallet and that was more than enough for him.
"Sir, they said you're supposed to rest and take it easy for a little bit," spoke the newbie once more. He had been saying similar things the entire time that Matt had been getting dressed, though Matt had simply ignored him. Now, though, he was getting tired of it. "There's enough work to do that I'll already be drowning in overtime, might as well get as ahead of it as I can. We've got one suspect still in surgery and we've got one just down the hall. Now I could let everyone else do my job or I could pull my own weight. Here's a tip, kid: if you want to make it anywhere in the department, you have to prioritize. Right now, I'm safe and on the road to recovery. I'm gonna be on desk duty for the foreseeable future anyway so I might as well get a head start." Matt went to grab his backpack, which he had specifically told one of the visiting officers to bring him from the office, though the newbie stepped between he and it. "Fine, you can carry it and escort me wherever I go. But if you're coming, let's go, I've got shit to do. And give me my damned clipboard."
The detective made his way down the hall from room 3123 to room 3104. It was still in the Trauma/Acute Care Surgical area of the hospital, though the area was being used as a step-down unit for those injured to the point of needing admittance and potentially more resources than the ED could provide. It wasn't as bad as being in the Trauma Surgical ICU, though the fact that the floor staff were running around like chickens with their heads cut off told Matt that they were being stretched thin. He reached over to the newbie's uniform shirt and activated the man's bodycam, an audible beep coming from the Axon Body 3.
He stepped inside just as the patient inside jangled his handcuffs and complained about them. He saw Ava and Watkins and gave both of them a nod before opening his clipboard and reading one of the many new brief inside it. The probationary officer stepped inside the room and uttered a series of quiet hellos before standing in the corner, watching the room. "Randall Smith the fourth. You're thirty-two and a vice executive at DeltaCorp just like your father. I'm Detective Matthew Jones with the Pittsburgh PD. Before we begin, you have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in the court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided to you. At this time, you are under arrest. I'm sure you're in pain, they pulled a bullet out of your shoulder because it was dangerously close to an artery. Let's start with what you were doing at or around the convention center today. Start from the beginning."
Police entered the room and identified him by name. He was impressed by that, not because of their investigative skills, but because it meant that his profile had grown. He didn't carry any kind of ID while going out, so they'd identified him by his face. Naturally, this meant his civilian life was over, and a little sooner than he'd have hoped, but he'd been prepared for the pivot since the first night he went out on the job. There was always a chance he'd be wounded and need to go to a hospital. Preparations had been made so that he could pick up and continue without his old life's assets. He wouldn't be able to go home, but he could live out of hotel rooms. The hard part for most people was breaking into the room unseen. He didn't need to sneak anywhere. He didn't even need a room key -
He kept the smile on his face and consciously didn't look into the body cam. They'd Mirandized him.
"I suppose a little thanks is too much to ask?" he said with a smirk, shaking his head.
Normal people aren't supposed to say anything to police without a lawyer present, but he wasn't afraid of being arrested, or convicted, or any of that business. No prison could hold him. He was fine to give away everything. He'd be the most perfect, most cooperative, most unrepentant suspect in Pittsburgh's history.
"You know, Matt - can I call you Matt? - I want you to know that I appreciate what you do. I know you have to go through all this - "
He waved his hand around at the room as best he could with the handcuff still on.
" - because it's necessary. I get it. I won't have any hard feelings after this is done. You're just doing your job, like I'm doing mine."
He licked his lips for a second.
"Make sure you write down that my alias is 'The World.'"
He cleared his throat.
"So...what all happened, after I blacked out? I'm dying to know."
Randall smiled earnestly, ready to move past the procedural mumbo jumbo and get to the good stuff.
Ava's opinion of the cuffed man was lowering by the second. Going by Basilica's testimony, he was a bit of a thrill-seeker-type of vigilante. She thought to add "egotistical" to the descriptors. Such things were common, but these types were some of the worst Ava had ever experienced. They didn't really care so much for helping society as much as being important. Their own greatness came before all other things.
"Quite a few things, Mr. Smith," Ava finally answered, her personal quiet game having gone long enough, "Foremost is the councilman was rescued by the hero Basilica, whom you met. Everything else is...secondary to that."
The nonchalant attitude. The importance of his chosen alias. The creepy fucking smile.
Pretty sure I hate him.
"However, I believe the detective has asked you a question. I would focus on that before worrying about others."